North Vs South Vs Home

Last month my family got a chance to travel through a good part of Florida by SUV.  It was a long ride down from Maryland but it was worth the drive. Being able to experience Florida from North to South and then South to North in March over a ten day period gave me a good representation of the differences of the north and southern parts of the states and in our case the East coast along the Atlantic Ocean vs the west coast on the Gulf of Mexico.

We made three stops in Florida and by that I mean we stayed overnight and we experienced the areas where we stayed. The first was Saint Augustine and I wrote about the some of that area here. That place is a winner -the beach area and the city. It is quaint and picturesque. I loved Flagler College which has a dorm that was once a beautiful hotel. There was a great vibe to the town even though the outside of the town feels like anyplace on the coast but cross the bridge into the main city and its like stepping back in time. The beaches are beautiful. We hope to get back there next winter.

After our short stay in Saint Augustine we headed down to Orlando where we stayed in a resort for a conference that Kevin had to attend. I spent time sightseeing with the boys. We also attended the trade show for the IHRSA conference (all fitness related) where Kevin was working.  The hotel was huge and beautiful. A place we probably would not have stayed in had it not been a work thing. Orlando is nice but I didn’t see enough of it to get a true feel. I wrote about a night out where we attended a company party – EDM music and open bar. So not my thing but fun actually! We know a few people who live in the Orlando area and really love it.

We headed to South Florida for the third leg of our trip. My father and his wife live on Marco Island and that is a beautiful place.  This was the leisure part of our trip where we enjoyed the pool in our rental house and the beach and visited with my dad and his wife. It had been a long time since we had made a trip to see him and it was a great visit. We also had time to drive around the island to see what had changed in the years since we last saw it. There was more building but there were still these pockets on the island that felt like you weren’t in a place that swells to forty thousand people in the busy season. Of course those were my favorite places on the island. This is the part of the trip where we took the airboat ride. You can read about that here.

I love the differences in the Florida climate from the north and the south. The north has more variation of hot an cold and I think that suits me best. The south can be hot. When we were visiting Marco it was hot and humid and I found that I wasn’t used to it yet and it got to me a few times. One thing I learned there was do not underestimate the strength of the sun. I got very sunburned and I thought I had been being careful about applying sunscreen.

I found Florida to be busy and that makes sense bc we were there over a busy time- but I kind of wanted to find that quiet that I have at home. With a whirlwind trip and not a lot of knowledge of different areas I never found that country feel except maybe on that drive in the center of Florida as we drove from one side to the other. I wasn’t over impressed with those areas though. There were those quiet neighborhoods in the out of the way areas of Marco Island but we aren’t talking about big lots -just less traffic. I did enjoy the Everglades – I loved the quiet and the lack of so many people buzzing about. But it is not a place to live really and I guess what I am searching for is a place to live in the future and if Florida might be that place -I need to find the areas that are quiet- they don’t have to be remote- but just away from the fray. I can be around crowds of people but I need my sanctuary to get away from them.

I contacted an old college friend who lives in the Jacksonville corridor. She works in Real Estate now and she is going to help me get a feel for the north east coastal areas of Florida. She knows I am into horses and the country and she says there are lots of equestrian areas there -so I look forward to see what she puts together for us. If we can get back to the St. Augustine area next winter we may rent a house for a week or two. I think that will help us get a better feel for the area. With the help of my real estate friend and a couple other people we know in that area we should learn a lot more about this pretty area.

We have time before we would need to decide where our next home will be. There really isn’t a true deadline. Though I guess I keep thinking that we can do something after my kids finish high school which will be in 2018. By that time we will have lived here on the farm almost 8 years and in the town of Mount Airy for 16 years!  I have lived here longer than I have lived in ay place since I was a kid.

When we moved to our little farm now over 5 years ago I always thought we would own it at some point. That point hasn’t happened and it now seems like maybe we were just meant to be the stewards of this little farm and its little rancher that needs work.

The other night Kevin and I took a walk out in our left pasture. We had just let the horses out for the night. It was a beautiful evening – the sky was clear blue and we could feel the air softly blowing across our faces as we stood and watched the horses as we chatted with each other. The next thing I knew we were strolling into the field. We went to see the horses who looked up surprised at our presence there but quickly went back to munching their grass. Then we headed to the back fence where a new bunch of crops – either corn or soybean – will be planted soon by the tenant farmer who rents the land from a neighbor. Then we walked along the treelined boarder along our neighbors property. We stopped where  I used to chat with Lou our 90+ year old neighbor who would sometimes chat with me while I was riding my horse -Harley. Lou passed away last fall and our other neighbor June passed last summer. When we moved in we were the younger couple living here and now with a few home sales to some very nice young couples we are now the the older people. We are the older people – wow.

We have gotten rather grounded here on this little farm and I would be lying if I said it will be easy to leave here. There are so many things I love about living here – on the farm and in our small town. But Maryland is an expensive place to live and the winters are cold and I long for warmth – oh and the ocean.  If only I could pick this place up and put it a few miles from an ocean and in a place with a better climate. I would take the house warts and all.  If only…

One thing writing all this tells me is that I am not ready to leave this place just yet. I do look forward to spending more time in Florida over the next couple winters.  There is so much to learn about and to see. And there are other places to see outside of Florida – and to consider.

I know part of all this is comfort. I think Kevin and I will have to develop comfort with a place before we can make a decision of where we want to live in the next phase of life. That means visiting these places and that means vacations and I love vacations! So there is that fun in the discovering.

This vacation was really a good one. The teens did well and we all basically got along. So that is a win. I think I got some good photos of the different areas as well. And we learned about new places and  saw some great things. And I learned that being home wherever that may be is the best place of all. Right now my little farm is the best place of all- because it is home.


Photos below:

Saint Augustine Photos:

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Orlando Photos:

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South Florida Photos:

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Little visits from beyond?

The first time it happened was in the grocery store about 3 weeks ago. Kevin walked over to me as I stood in one of the aisles. I had left him a couple minutes before perusing snacks one aisle over.  I forget now what I was even searching for but when Kevin caught up with me he asked me if I had been calling him. I shook my head no and asked him why. He had a puzzled look on his face and he said “I heard someone whispering my name..they said ‘Kevin, Kevin’. ”

“It wasn’t me.” I said. “And nobody was near you?”  He shook his head no.

“It was like someone was standing near me whispering.”

Then the thought popped in my head and came out of my mouth in a flash. “It was your dad!” I said. “It was dad!”

We went on to discuss this possibility as we perused the shelves of that grocery store. I think it gave Kevin some comfort in the wondering if his dad was somehow trying to reach out.

We know he is around or at least we believe him to be. Every night since he passed last December he has been sleeping with my mother-in-law. After 68 years of marriage I can certainly understand why he might not want to leave his bride. I believe he is there- if you knew my mother-in-law she is very lucid and she would not talk about it unless she felt something was happening. She says she knows it sounds crazy but she  “feels” him there at night and she feels his breathe. I also believe it because I believe there is thin veil between here and there(where we go after we die). We just cannot see past it- but sometimes little things happen that remind us that the here and there are closely connected.

This past weekend Kevin and I foolishly decided to build a chicken coop (more on that later) -we were doing work outside on the covered patio that leads into the gym section of our barn. I left Kevin with my son Zach who was helping him- as I had to pick up my other son from work. When I returned we got back to work and out of the blue Kevin said ” I saw my Dad today.”

“What? Where?!!!” I asked rather astonished.

“Out of the corner of my eye sitting on that chair. I saw him twice” He was pointing to our plastic adirondack chair that we pulled out for rest breaks.

“What did he look like? Did he say anything?” I was excited and stunned all at once. And kind of jealous because I wanted to see him too.

“He looked younger…like when he was our age.” (which is 50ish) ” He didn’t say anything. I just saw him there.”

I asked him if that upset him, or scared him. Kevin said it didn’t and he said it actually brought him comfort.

Kevin's dad made this some years ago. It hangs over the workbench in our garage.

Kevin’s dad made this some years ago. It hangs over the workbench in our garage.

I am not surprised Dad showed up when Kevin was building something. Kevin’s dad loved to build things. He finished their family homes entire basement and created a cool buffet area that houses the TV but had a built in sink. He made bookshelves for his home. For us he made a toy chest and a table that detached from it’s base so you could turn the leg structure around and that would change the height of the table as my kids grew. He had that sort of mind. He liked making things that served a purpose but they would have this twist of engineering. He was a master at acrostic puzzles and sudoku – at least up until the foe dementia took away his mind.

In time my kids outgrew these items so they now reside with great- grandkids and hopefully they will continue to be passed down through the family. Maybe they will make their way back to live at with my future grands we might have. I am sure each of Dad’s sons can list off items that dad lovingly made for his family. Mom joked he always cut himself every time he made something.

“He is probably here to help you along.” I told Kevin. “For moral support”.  Kevin laughed. Kevin is not a natural do-it-yourselfer.  He has had to become more self-reliant since we moved to this farm. There is always something that needs to be done and sometimes those things cost lots of money if you get others to do them. So Kevin has learned along the way to do a number of things.  This coop is our first major build. But thanks to good plans and maybe a little mojo from Kevin’s dad, we are chugging along.

Last evening Kevin wanted to build two more walls for the coop. It was a nice evening and I looked forward to getting outside and helping him. I mostly read the plans and tell him the measurements of the cuts and the stud placements. I also occasionally measure stuff.

When we got down to the barn I told Kevin that I hoped his Dad would show up. I told him he had to be around because he couldn’t stay away from a project. I had just reminisced the day before with my mother-in-law about the time he came over to our old home and helped us put up a play set for our then young kids. Kevin still says that it was only because his dad pitched in that that set was put up the right way!

Kevin making cuts to the wood for the coop wall.

Kevin making cuts to the wood for the coop wall.

At one point last evening Kevin’s drill bit was starting to strip. I asked him if he had more and he said yes. Except we didn’t have any down at the barn with us they were up at the house in the garage. I suggested to Kevin that maybe we could text our son, Luke, and ask him to grab one and bring it down.  Yes we were feeling that lazy!  I was about to do that except all of a sudden Kevin looked down where he was kneeling at the end of the wall he was building. “What’s this?” He said as he reached down for something.

“What..Oh my God..” I said as I registered what he was now holding in his hand.

“How did this get there?” he wondered as he held up a drill bit- just the one he needed for his screws.

We looked at each other. “Your Dad did that.” I said. I sat there thinking it through. Kevin had just loaded material onto the patio the night before and he was working at building a side wall which he had laying on top of the t1-11 boards that would eventually be the siding of the coop. Kevin had been kneeling there for like ten minutes and he had not seen that bit there. I had been standing nearby and we measured for square and Kevin would have had his face right where that drill bit was – but it wasn’t there then. A few minutes later it was just laying there near his knee.

“Wow – that is amazing.” Is all I could say.  I got up and walked into the gym to grab something and when inside I just stood there in amazement at what had just happened. “Thank you Dad” I said to the air.

And I swear I felt him near me.

At lunch today Kevin and I chatted about the drill bit “incident” again. He told me he finds all these little signs very comforting.  I am glad he finds peace in that. I know how much he misses his dad. I know how much I miss him.

My son Zach said after he heard that his dad saw his grandfather  “We see what we want to see”. Ever the skeptic I suppose.  Perhaps that is true. Maybe hurt hearts want to believe in signs from those that have gone through that thin veil before them. Or just maybe that when we are open enough to really “see”, that veil opens up just enough so someone we love on that side can let us know they aren’t far away.

Thats what I believe…

Thanks Dad – you are welcome anytime…and maybe keep helping us with this coop.. we need it  ….luv u….always…


Chick shoot 

Today I’ve have a list of stuff that needs to get done -a big list. The last thing I needed to do was try to take photos of my new chicks. But well the wanting to take pictures of my new chicks won over and my list of things to do is now on the floor somewhere. No really it’s in my head and that’s not the best place for it either. Maybe I’ll write it down sometime. Maybe I’m more apt to follow it. 

Anyway. I tried to take photos of chicks. And they move a lot. A lot. I had trouble with my Nikon and my canon as there is funky lighting in my office where the chicks are living until it’s warmer and I can house them in the garage.  We used to house them in our lower level bathroom but the boys use that now so it’s safer for the chicks in my office or in the garage. 

So I had dslr issues today and it is hard to make changes to the camera on the fly when a little chick is skittering around. They move fast. 

In the end I opted use my iPhone camera and I pulled the picture  into a photo app to help them a little. 

The chicks are about 4 days old and are supposed to all be hens. But I’ve been told that before and ended up with my rooster Clark. So we will see. They are barred rocks and Rhode Island reds. Chicks are selling in these parts like hot cakes. One feed store told me they had lines out the door at delivery time and were giving out numbers to customers like in a deli! They had 38 people at the door last Thursday! And no chicks on Saturday when I went to look. I wasn’t up to waiting in a long line to get chicks it wasn’t Bruce Springsteen! So I ended up at Southern States on Monday at 10am  just after a shipment arrived and I was able to secure six cute chicks. 

I love raising chicks. There is a point where I am happy they are ready for their little closed in area of the coop where they live until about 8 weeks and then get to integrate into the flock. They do get messy after a while. And they lose their cuteness as they morph into hens. But I’m still in the honeymoon phase with these babies. 

 This time they will only be integrating in with a rooster and one hen as we have two Roos and have them separated -so Clark the -best rooster ever – will get these new girls. He only has one girl left now as we lost many hens over last summer and fall. Mostly to old age, some to injury, and a few to predators. We are down to 9 hens all of them 2 years or older. So the laying isn’t quite as good as it once was. It will be nice to have some more eggs. 

There is just something about getting and raising chicks that makes me feel so alive. So renewed. I am sitting in my office listening to their peeps and their foraging in their Rubbermaid storage container (aka brooder). It’s very peaceful.  I am always touting the zen of chicken raising. It’s a true thing. 

So here is my attempt (and it’s only ok) at a chick photo shoot. I will be in awe now when I see really great pics of chicks as it’s not that easy!

Note: (No chicks were harmed in this photo shoot and they received meal worms in exchange for their participation.  However the photographer was pooped on.) 


Airboat in the Everglades. 

I think for me the best part of the airboat trip in Everglades national park was when I was on dry land. That’s not to say it wasn’t a good boat ride. I loved the slow parts where we talked about the Mangrove trees and where I was like two feet from an Alligator. That was all cool – I just am not a fan of trying to make a boat fly. I don’t like feeling as if we are out of control because we are going so fast – and I do not like doing 180s in a boat either.

I spent a lot of time trying to be brave – my glass of wine buzz that I got at lunch in preparation for a fast ride on a boat was well worn off as the wait was so long for our number to be called letting us know it was our time for our flight/ride through the Everglades.

I tried to be brave. Fast boats are not my thing and I hoped an airboat would feel different when going fast. And it does. It’s real smooth. You feel like you are gliding on top of the shiny briny water because you are -flying on top of it. It’s smooth not choppy and bumpy like a regular boat but is still freaking fast and it’s the fast – it turns out – that I dislike.

I even shot some photos while we were flying through the canals that were flanked by mangroves – I tried to just let go and enjoy.  I even once had my hands in the air like I just did not care – yay me. But I spent much of the fast parts trip tucked with my head down. When Kevin caught on that I was scared he put his arm around me. Nice man.


You can’t tell but we were going very fast here!

Turns out our guide was a lead foot and we did a lot of fast moving. Maybe BC there were only two areas that had gators out that day. Maybe he wanted to give us our money’s worth.  But we went fast!

Incoming airboat as we were heading out.

Incoming airboat as we were heading out.

In between the going super fast part our tour guide did stop and teach us a few things about the area.

There are three types of Mangrove trees in the area – the red, the black and the white. It is illegal to cut down the mangroves and I read on the park website for Florida that if a person needs to cut back the mangroves for some reason there are many rules and approvals that one needs to get to do that. A person can be fined for cutting down mangroves willy nilly. Mangroves are part of a delicate ecosystem in the everglades so I can see why there might be regulations. The driver felt that the mangroves were overtaking the everglades – and to him it was a problem. Maybe it makes getting their boats around more difficult. Each airboat company operator only can travel in specific areas in the everglades so it is probably not uncommon that they need to cut back the trees to allow their boats to be able to get in and out.  I found the mangroves to be very interesting and beautiful.


Mangrove roots

Mangrove Trees

Mangrove Trees


An early blooming Mangrove tree.

An early blooming Mangrove tree.

We also learned about a big problem that is messing with the delicate ecosystem in the everglades- the Burmese Python. This snake is not a natural animal in the everglades. They were put there by people who got them as pets but could no longer care for them. The python population has grown over the years in the everglades and they are eating everything in sight. They can even take on an alligator – the other big eater in the glades. The snakes pose a threat to endangered species in the everglades. I noticed a big lack of birds when we were on the tour. I was hoping to see more seabirds but there were very few. I suspect some reasons for this are the snakes who will eat the eggs (and a bird if they snag one). There are python hunts now yearly which may hopefully help slow the growth of the python population.

What I wanted to see in the wild were Gators! We were able to see two in the habitat. It is thrilling to see these prehistoric looking beings in their natural habitat.  We had seen some in the “zoo” that was attached to this tour company -but seeing them in the wild is even cooler. When we arrived to buy our tickets we also saw one in the water adjacent to the ticket booth. He was a big one. I tried to get pictures of him through the fence but seeing them from the boat with no fencing separating us from them was really awesome. One smaller gator was about two feet from our boat and she swam away as we approached but I was able to get some good shots as she was on my side of the boat. I made sure I dove for an end seat on the boat when our number was finally called – I wasn’t going to like the speed but I was going to get a prime picture taking seat. It occurred to me later that many people actually go on the trip for the airboat ride not for photo ops – I was one of only a couple of people that carried a DSLR camera. I was not there for the thrill ride but I did get to see some gators and that made the trip worth it-even the 180s. _ well maybe.

This is the guy we saw when we were getting our tickets.

This is the guy we saw when we were getting our tickets.

Another shot of the guy we met at the ticket booth.

Another shot of the guy we met at the ticket booth.

This is the gator that was close to my side of the boat on our tour.

This is the gator that was close to my side of the boat on our tour.


She said – “see ya!”

My dad – who was also on this ride with us- said- “It was my first and last airboat ride” – yes Dad it is a one and done for me too. But it was worth the scariness and the discomfort I think.

I wanted to chat a bit about the “zoo” that was part of the tour companies property. We got free tickets because there was a long wait for our turn on the airboat. The zoo was an enclosed area of maybe an acre or two that housed some pretty amazing animals. I am not a big fan of these types of zoos – the enclosures are not big enough for the animals that are in them. There were even signs all over saying they knew that the enclosures did not meet USDA requirements and they were in the process of building more. I didn’t see any evidence of that on the premises so I had to have faith that these signs weren’t just up to appease the masses. I will say that all the enclosures were clean and all of the animals looked healthy.

I enjoyed taking pictures of the animals there. They had a room of reptiles that were examples of what lives wild in the area- and there was a burmese python along with a rattle snake and some lizards. My camera did not take a good shot in that room – but the python was scary big and I was told that was a medium sized guy.

I was floored to see a panther,and even lions and tigers in this zoo. They were all sleeping or sunning themselves- none seemed particularly stressed in any way. Of course there were tons of gators and they had some crocodiles too. In one enclosure we saw some birds – egrets – I think- and vultures. As I mentioned before there was a lack of birds out in the glades- but plenty that flew in and out of the enclosures. I also fell in love with some otters. How can you not love an otter?

Overall I think the trip was really fun. Most people don’t hate fast boats as much as I do.  If you go have lunch in Everglades City first. They have a few restaurants that are pretty good. We ate at one that was changing management and they were in the middle of a huge remodel and there wasn’t even a name on the place but my dad’s wife ate there before so we trusted her – it was a mess inside but the back deck was open. And we had a nice lunch. I may or may not have tried and liked gator bites- but I am not saying. The gators might find out and they bite…!


Breakfast in bed 

I have breakfast in bed almost everyday.  But there is a story around it. There is always a story. 

About the time I was diagnosed with cancer in August of 2013 -we had another big Change in our family. My children who were now young teens -the boys about 13 and my daughter about 15- started public school and they took a bus. Prior to that my husband-Kevin- or I would drive them to private school and pick them up. Often we did this together as my husband had a flexible schedule being in sales and/or personal training (often he as had more than one job at a time. ) 

When the kids began public school the bus was a blessing as I had been just diagnosed with cancer and getting up in the morning got hard for me. After surgery i was sore and then radiation kind of slams you into a perpetual tiredness that took months to wane after the treatment was over. 

I will go on recorded to say I have  never been a morning person. Ever -not even as a teen.  I have forced myself up at early hours in the past to take shots of sunrises (I prefer sunsets!) and also to drive myself to my various jobs but as the years began to open up opportunities for people to work flex schedules I took advantage opting to come in later to work in the morning and to stay later at night. For years now I’ve worked from home running a company we own so the 5:45 am alarm for me was gone. In fact I stopped sleeping with an alarm clock by my bed years before we could tell Siri on our phones to wake us at a certain time. I felt it was such a luxury not to be told when to get up. 

We moved to our little farm over five years ago and in the beginning i got  up every morning to do chores. But Kevin begangetting up earlier to train clients in our gym and he began to do the morning  farm chores. It was too early for me and after cancer treatments I had physical issues that precluded me from doing the chores alone.   That kinda was a bummer even though I wasn’t missing getting up -I missed being able to do some of the things I did before.  And mornings are so pretty here. Maybe not the early Kevin mornings but an hour later is still really nice. But since I couldn’t do much I stopped getting up for morning  chores.  Sometimes I miss those mornings and I do get up and walk outside and do the chores that I can do and enjoy the peace of the morning. But more often I linger in bed. 

There was a time when I was in my early 20s that I became ill. It was a weird thing. I felt tired like I had the flu all the time. I would sleep so deeply only to wake up in the morning to be tired again after being up only an hour. A lot had gone in around that time for me health wise – I had had a surgery for ovarian cysts but I recall that I was feeling the fatigue prior to the surgery. I wasn’t able  to work full time. At the time I was living with my grandmother (Nana) and she was diagnosed with cancer and died a short time after my surgery.   I was wrecked from losing her. I ended a long relationship at that time and I was going to have to move from my grandmothers apartment and find another place to live.  I also began to date a new person who I would date for the next five years. That relationship was probably not something I should have started then  but I was so lonely.  Perhaps it did help me to get better as well as it made me stay active going  out on dates and trying to appear like I felt well.  Fake it until you make it. 

I struggled so hard feel better and after my dad read an article on Epstein Barr virus he suggested I ask my doctor for a blood test. And there it was. The diagnosis. But nobody knew how to get rid of it.  

I remember praying to God to help me. One day I had lugged my bicycle down the steps from my nanas apartment after she died but before I had to move out and I was determined to ride someplace. I had fallen in love with cycling when I lived in Boston the year before and I could ride some huge hills in Vermont and New Hampshire. Cycling up heartbreak hill in bean town was nothing- but that day in front of my grandmothers apartment I could hardly bike around the block. So I prayed hard for God to heal me and I vowed that if that vast tiredness would go away and  I could function like a normal person I would never waste a moment of time again in my life laying around. 

I had secured a full time job by then and everyday I got up early and though I felt bad much of the time I put in a full day’s work. I made a habit of going to bed early and within a few months I began to feel better.  I can say I have probably never felt as well since that diagnosis thirty years ago than I had prior to getting Ill but I felt much better than I did while I had it so I just moved on.  And since then have come to read a lot more about that virus and the effects it has in the body.  Some of it explains my anxiety disorder but that is another story. 

But I stayed true to my vow for years and got up early each day vowing not to waste time lingering in laziness – I got my life back after all. 

But as I got closer to 40 I began to hate getting up really early and by that time I was working from home so I had some flexibility but I had little kids so there was no lingering in bed. 

My kids came to me though adoption so I only had one baby who did wake us many nights after he came home at 8 months and he had early morning feedings and needs so early was a given. After I became a mom at 37 I was never so shell shocked and so tired.i still wasn’t  a morning person then either but someone else came first. So up I went. It was quite overwhelming and so very wonderful at the same time. 

For years , I did get up early to drive my kids to school, to assemble lunches or to make breakfast for the kids. Actually Kevin did the breakfasts more than I did -now that I think of it. He is an early morning person – the chipper kind after a cup of coffee.  I got up in the morning -but took longer to get downstairs as I wanted to be dressed for the day if I was going to take the kids to school. It was just a thing I had to do.  So Kevin had my bagel ready for me every morning so I could have it in the car on the way to school. 

Their school began at a reasonable hour in private school. In public school they have to get up at the crack of dawn to get their high school bus.  Too early for me. 

And since I was going through cancer treatments and was not feeling well I opted to parent from bed. At first I did get up to eat breakfast while they were readying themselves for school. I wanted life to appear normal even though I didn’t feel well.  But that became stressful as I would just get nervous if they were dilly dallying and I would begin nagging – stressing them out.  So at some point I began to parent from bed yelling or texting my questions from the comfort of bed “is Luke up?” Or “let the dogs in ” ” don’t forget you (insert item name here)”.  Things seemed to go better for everyone most of the time with this system and Kevin was there if he wasn’t training a client   

After my cancer treatments were over  I was so tired and depressed that I began to linger in bed more. I was awake but I just didn’t want to get up    This time I didn’t vow not to waste time. This time I decided to enjoy the rest. I had lived frantically much of my life and still do some BC having teens -well it’s busy. I needed that time to linger in bed in the morning to just be. I had to heal mentally and physically. 

 I began getting up after they left for school. I would have my husband prepared breakfast in the kitchen area ( our kitchen is an area out in the open) with Kevin or alone in the solitude of a house that is void of kids for six hours. Sometimes that’s glorious -that emptiness -and sometimes it’s so lonely. 

Typically Kevin -still an early riser -will get up to train clients in the morning ( he still has multiple jobs – just less of them now) and each morning he makes my breakfast (a fresh egg from our hens and a piece of bread of some sort) and for a good while he would leave it the microwave. I would go out when I was ready and heat it up and sit at the counter. But after a few months of that I decided to take it into my room and eat in bed. It was luxury for me. 

I suppose Kevin caught on to this and he began to ask if I wanted to eat in bed and and now on most mornings he brings me my breakfast in bed.  It’s just a thing a thing he does.  Kindness and caring are in his DNA. He was with me every single day of my cancer battle. Friends said they’d take me to radiation so he could work but he went to every one.  Never complained -he just loved me through  it.  Even in my darkest hours and there were many. 

He doesn’t have to do it- the breakfast thing. He just does. We balance each other well I think. I may not do the same for him -If he were the late riser. I may not make him breakfast in bed everyday. . But I do other things to show I care and to keep the wheels turning in our little family. But he’s a gem and I know it. I’m not trading him in -he is stuck with me I tell him often. He doesn’t seem to mind. 

It occurs to me that I need to start getting up  earlier. Not the crack of dawn but earlier because the lingering in bed has become longer and longer and I’m getting less productive. Some of that is ok but some isn’t because I still have a job and though the business can run some on its own and it has slowed down a lot – I still need to work on it. ( I’m really ready to retire from that job but that’s yet another post). I have gotten into some more creative things like furniture painting  and I find I am turning to those things first when I get my day started late and then I’m flustered later trying to catch up on the work stuff. I see where my priorities are and maybe they need a shift. 

But back to the breakfasts in bed…if I rise earlier will I miss them? Of course! But it’s not really about the getting the food in bed it’s about having a partner in life that is willing to meet you where you are in a loving way and let you know you are good even if you want to linger in bed every morning or scream and cry on a bad day or run in a manic way on one of those crazed days where the mind never quite focuses at all. That person says you are good – you are loved. It’s as simple as an egg and a piece of toast..