Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Happy 14th birthday to Lydia. She is beautiful inside and out. I am so proud to call her my daughter, and of the young lady she is becoming.

But she is growing up way too fast. I remember these days as if they were yesterday.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

From Adventures to Burdens

The 100 Acre Wood has been my home for more years than any other. Tim and I spent half of our married life here. Moving here was a bit spontaneous. It was a little, maybe a lot, crazy. I look back on those early years now, and can't quite believe we did it.

The first five years involved a lot of hard work, frustrations, and learning.We really didn't have a clue what we were getting into, and even what we thought we knew was highly romanticized, but it also was a grand adventure. It made me happy to have my kids roaming the woods. We were proud of our meals that came entirely from our farm. I loved our variety of animals, and sharing our farm with friends and family. It wasn't easy, but it was highly rewarding.

Then my dad died, and we had to reconsider how life in the 100 Acre Woods would change. I find it ironic that I am sitting here almost exactly five years later writing the same kind of post as I did then. That post was written just a few months before Tim would receive his initial melanoma diagnosis.  It was here that our adventures started to feel more like burdens.

We did away with our variety of animals, and focused on pigs and chickens. We worked, but constantly seem to take one step forward and two steps back. We struggled to keep up what had already been established. Tackling the many started or dreamed of projects was out of the question. The excitement, rewards, and enjoyment began to dwindle.

I still held on to this place, to those dreams, perhaps out of stubbornness, perhaps out of a sense of needing to complete what we started. Tim and I planned to live here forever. We planned to build our earth bermed off grid house a bit farther back on the ridge.  When he died, people asked if I planned to stay here. At the time I couldn't even process that question, and I also resolved that I wouldn't make any major decisions for a year.

Truthfully, then, I thought the question was more about could I, was able to. In my mind the answer was yes, of course I could. Staying here would be a lot of work. It would require some muscle and skill that I don't have, but it is possible. It didn't occur to me, that the question really wasn't am I able, but do I want to.

In the past month or so, the answer to that question feels more like no. The adventure feels gone. The burden remains, and I don't think I want to work that hard anymore. Everything here feels unfinished and overwhelming. I don't think I want to pursue the dreams we had for the 100 Acre Wood without Tim.

I know I have a impulsive side. I know that emotionally I am still a little unstable. I am trying to stick to the wise advice of no major decisions for a year. Yet, in my heart, I feel like the decision has already been made. This doesn't feel like home anymore. This is no longer an adventure. It is a burden.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016


We did it. Check those off the list. We got through Christmas. We passed our anniversary date. We remembered Tim. We missed him, but we enjoyed our holidays with friends and family. I didn't end up a sobbing mess at any point.

Then it happened. A first I wasn't prepared for. Notice that theme? It is always the unexpected things that wreck me.

I went to the shop that processes our hogs. I've been there several times since Tim has been gone. I don't know if others in the shop know, but this particular employee didn't. He asked me how Tim was doing.

I don't even know what I said to him. Poor guy didn't know what to say to me. I just couldn't get to my vehicle fast enough. The door closed, and I was an instant blubbering snotty mess. This happened Monday. Typing this on Wednesday, I am much the same. In fact, this whole week I've felt a bit like I was under a cloud. It probably has to do with the post holiday blahs, but it also feels like that one innocent little question has knocked me back onto the emotional roller coaster.

When I posted about our anniversary on Facebook, friends commented, "It's not fair." It isn't. The grief process isn't fair either. We've lost Tim. I want to remember him with warm fuzzies. I want to miss him, but get on with life without the scab on this big gaping wound getting ripped off with a tiny, innocent question.

I am impatient with the process.