"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: home

perspective . . .

blue bestYou know how sometimes you go along for YEARS thinking that your life is or has been a certain way? Then, a conversation happens and it flips your perspective upside down? This happened to me yesterday when I was talking with someone I had known quite a long time, but not all that well. She is single and manages her own small business but is doing better, especially now that the economy seems to be shifting forward in a more positive direction.

We were talking about being lucky about our lives. I had thought about myself as having been “unlucky” in love because my first husband and I had a mostly silent marriage for over a quarter of a century before we parted ways and I didn’t marry my “first love” whom I had sporadically kept in touch with for decades, knowing he loved me in his own way all that time. Then, I met G., my second husband and we have been together for over 20 years. That is why I say on this blog that “life is long,” and that dreams eventually come true if you can wait long enough. At least that’s what happened to me.

“Meant to be” (MTB) is a good way to think about things, I think. My granddaughter has a very nice boyfriend who is a year ahead of her in school and going off to college soon. I wrote to her that if it’s “meant to be” then, no matter what they do to mess it up, they’ll still end up together eventually. And if it’s not “meant to be,” then no matter what they do to try to stay together, it won’t work. So, they might as well enjoy their time together since it’s largely out of their hands. She agreed, I was happy to read in her note back to me. I wish that I had known more about this “MTB” perspective when I was her age!

The other thing that I noticed to my friend is that I’ve also been extraordinarily lucky about the homes I’ve managed to find throughout my adult life. Luck played a large role each time in finding: the rent-controlled 12th floor apartment on West End Ave. with a river view in New York City during graduate school; the Lexington Victorian house with herbaceous border and apple trees where the kids grew up; the Georgian townhouse in Salem on the Common when I was newly separated; the contemporary condo on Lake Quinsig where I moved in a strange town before I met G. Then, moving to our Queen Anne Victorian home which he has restored for the past couple of decades. Serendipity had mostly to do with each of these finds and life transitions, it seems to me.

At the end of our visit, I realized, really for the first time, that I’ve been LUCKY in love, (not unlucky,) having loved and been loved by three great guys for long stretches of time and that I’ve landed on my feet in environs that are just as extraordinary. That I worked my butt off in a career that was extraordinarily stressful for a very long time may have been a way of paying my dues for part of my good fortune.

Luck, good fortune and “meant to be” were combined in my life as it unfolded. Thanks to any and all Helpers in the Universe for providing for me along this Unknown Way. Many…many…thanks.


no matter what . . .

I hope that I am not boring you with themes and ideas that I pick up from reading the New York Times. Today, there is a beautiful article about creating gardens in very small spaces. It came along at just the right time because I looked around our place early this morning and thought to myself that there’s just too much to take care of. But after I cleaned off the kitchen countertop and put away the stacks of books and other reading material that seems to accumulate overnight while I am asleep, I thought it over again.

While I pondered whether or not to look for a canary to keep company with the lone singer that I have left and after watering the money plant and the gardenia tree next to it, plucking the spent blossoms, I watered the orchids on the shelf beside my computer set-up and marveled once again at the longevity of these flowers. Take a look here at the white orchid, for example–which has been gracing this space for seven months!

On another note, there are boxes of old photographs that need to be consolidated together, a task that I have been avoiding because we all looked so happy and well at the time before misfortune ran into us later on. But I think every family has this up-and-down phenomenon in their midst, don’t you? The thing is to put them in their proper place (the past) and take some photos in the present. The cast of characters sometimes changes and all that we know is that while we don’t know what the future will bring that we will persevere and enjoy our lives.

To quote the aforementioned NYTimes article, the urban gardener says,

“I think two people can live well no matter what and no matter where. . . the idea is to take pleasure in life, and be willing to be pleased.”

a home . . .

Truth be told, one of my vices is magazines. Not such an expensive addiction, but one that I have confessed to for a long time. It’s probably not as costly as shopping for shoes or something like that. Here is what magazines do for me: they take me to a very different place. Australia, for example, where the culture of the place and people are captured within a magazine, a journal of a place and time, so to speak. I have been clipping pictures and articles, recipes and wish-list items for years and pasted them into my commonplace journals. When I look at these large spiral-bound treasure troves of what I was thinking about in those days, it is astonishing to observe how much has realized itself, or become part of my life, almost without my knowing when it might have occurred.

Today, I was looking at a couple of Australian magazines saved from 2009. There were so many bits of inspiration. Can’t wait to start filling my new blank book that has been sitting around for just the right Read the rest of this entry »