love in TN
I was nominated by Billie over at
http://willeke73.wordpress.com for the Sunshine Award. Thanks so much Billie.
In Billie’s words, this is what is said about why to blog.
Have you ever heard of bibliotherapy? Wikipedia describes it as ‘a therapy that uses a person’s relationship to the content of books and poetry and other written words and it’s often combined with writing therapy.’
Where other people might need bibliotherapy, I consider writing a help to ease past issues like being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005. However, when I started my blog, I didn’t think writing would become some sort of therapy I would find useful and it was not the initial goal. That goal only became clear after blogging for about a year, and realising it helped me settle my relationship towards my illness and eventually, seeing things in a more realistic way.
Because of my background – immigrated to Ireland 10,5 years ago, diagnosed with MS 8 years ago, losing a few family members in the space of 3 years interwoven with lots of funny stories and optimism – some people suggested I should write a book about my experiences of the last 10,5 years.
In a perfect world, I would like to sit down and start writing that very book, but being a perfectionist, I thought it would be wise to check out blogging to see if I could find an audience interested in my blah-di-blahs of daily life. Granted, I really do want to write a book, but it rather scares me having to look back and go over emotions that kept me busy shortly after being diagnosed and losing family members.
Creating a blog solely dedicated to living with MS would be interesting, but quite soon after starting it, I realised that I wanted to write about much more than just MS because I am more than just my illness. I am a daughter, sister, auntie, lover of life, of art, literature, libraries, museums, photography, psychology and another gazillion other things. Writing about MS only would mean that I would have to return to issues related to it over and over again every time I wanted to write and eventually I would run out of ideas faster than I can say ‘hi’ in English. MS does give me something to think about every day, but often it is about things I would not necessarily want to share (yet). However, adding posts about life in Ireland and my love for books and literature meant that my blog would be balanced enough, as long as I created one that would clearly show my other blog posts besides those about MS. A famous saying goes like this: ‘I may have MS but MS does not have me‘ MS does not rule my day anymore, it is here in my body but I refuse to let it take over my mind and I want that to be clear in my blog.
My aim is therefore to write about times like the ones I just described. I decided to stay in Ireland after my diagnosis for several reasons which I already wrote about in other blog posts. The biggest reason was living in a country where the weather is good for me and ride on the waves of life the slow way. That is what my life is like now… moving forward slowly but utterly enjoying everything I do. Because life is too short for regrets. And for dreams that cannot come true because you think you will not have enough time to fulfill them. If you can find all of this in my blog, then woohoo! Mission accomplished!
So read. Write. Dream. Be happy. Blog. And just breathe. Simply take a step back, breathe, and before you know it a new blog post is born.
Thanks again my friend~
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Florida, Alabama, Germany, Indiana, Ky
Racked with stress, and no sleep Tess gave notice of her job and high-rise apartment in New York City and began her packing. Her parents were from the hills of Tennessee. Born and raised Tess had dreamed of moving up and out one day.
But when things were too much home always drifted back in her mind. Many nights she cuddled up with her fluffy pillow and cried praying for sleep. After a medical check-up and learning her blood pressure was in danger and the script in her hands for relaxers, she knew she wanted to live again.
Her parents were deceased but the shack she had been born in still stood and it was left to her. She hadn’t stepped foot back for over five years. As the taxi sat in the gravel drive way, she hesitated getting out. Had she made a mistake? She could turn around and go straight back to the city. She could take those pills and somehow make it all work. But the noise, the stress, cold-hearted people. No, she turned the door handle and getting out handed the driver a tip as he took her luggage out of the trunk. She would stay.
The driver smiled and tipped his hat and then backed out throwing dirt behind him. Seemed like he was in a big hurry to leave. She stood staring, memories of years gone by rushing back to face her.
As she fumbled trying to find the old house key, the neighbor walked up to her and shook her hand. Tess had hired Ben a few years back to keep the yard mowed. He had made sure the house inside was secure and kept his eyes on the property.
She had written to him weeks ago and let him know she was coming back home. He took her luggage and the two walked up to the door. He took out his key and unlocked it allowing her in first. He couldn’t help get a nose full of some sweet-smelling perfume.
He watched her walk in. He had never met her in person. She looked nothing like her voice sounded. Cute little bottom, small hips. She walked with a strong stride though like she had been used to being a leader.
He sat down her bags and watched as she gazed over the place. Slowly she walked to each piece of furniture and took off the white sheets. She looked in Ben’s direction and said matter of fact,”you have taken good care of the place. I want you to know I appreciate it.”
“No problem Tess. It was my pleasure. I best be going now and leave you some time to adjust to your new or old surroundings.”
“Do you have to go? It is so quiet here. It feels odd and I would appreciate the company.”
Ben had nothing better to do. He was in his mid forties. He was single. He had never found the right woman yet, but he always hoped. His place was just up the hill, a short walk from here.
“Sure, Tess, I will stay as long as you wish.” She shot him a quick look wondering what he meant by that remark. As long as I wished? He better not get any ideas just because I am alone here.
He took her bags to her bedroom then the two went through the kitchen and rewashed the dishes and eating utensils. He scrubbed the floor and she wiped down the table and chairs and washed the windows.
When they were finished she was tired. “Do you want some coffee? I brought some with me and I see an old coffee pot over here. I am not sure how to work the darn thing. It has no electric cord.”
Ben roared with laughter. “That’s called a perk coffee maker. You put the cold water in with the ground beans and sit it under the fire on the stove. Here, you go get the coffee and I will turn the gas on the stove.”
She went to go get the coffee and he lit the burners. The stove ran on a tank of propane. This reminded him that he would have to make sure the chimney was cleaned and free of critters and nests.
While the coffee was brewing they looked out the windows. She had never remembered how beautiful it was here. It was October and all the trees were so colorful. Oranges and reds and bright yellows.
He must have sensed what she was thinking as he replied,”they are beautiful aren’t they.” The two walked from room to room inspecting what needed to be done tomorrow.
“Do you know anything about building fires Tess? I will check out the fireplace tomorrow. I didn’t do it today as nice as it has been.”
“I’m sure I can figure it out. I watched Papa do it for years. It can’t be that hard.”
“Do you know how to use a shotgun?”
She turned and looked into very dark brown eyes and asked,”why would I need to know how to use a shotgun? Is it dangerous back here in these woods?”
Again he laughed. A laugh that was contagious. Her being tired and getting out of the city renewed her in some odd way. She found herself laughing right a long with him.” No, Tess it is as safe as can be, but the animals. There are bears out here and plenty of fox and coyotes. You never know when you may come face to face with one.”
“Well, no, I have never even had a gun in my hands. Papa used to let me touch his gun after he polished it, but nothing more.”
“Well this is something I will do personally, teach you. You can’t be too careful out here in the woods.”
Tess yawned and he noticed the smooth lines of her lips.”Well, I better get going now. Is there anything else I can help you with Tess?”
“No, I think I will be alright for tonight. Thanks Ben for all of your help. Some day soon I will have to have you and your wife over for dinner.”
“I’d like that but it will just have to be me. I have not married yet, but hoping to one day.” She caught his eye and then walked him to the door. Saying goodnite, she locked the door and went to her bedroom and slept the best she had in years.
The next morning came and Ben drove over her car. It was a small car, nothing special, but he had stored it ever since her parents died. It had been their car and it went with the property. He offered to drive her into town to get some groceries, and she agreed.
On the trip she was in awe at the beauty. Why had she ever wanted to leave this place? What kind of crazy thoughts did she used to have?
Ben introduced her to the butcher and the manager of the store. The two walked down aisle after aisle until she thought she had everything she could possibly need. Flour, sugar, butter, eggs and milk. She was glad she was a good cook. She spent enough time in the kitchen with Mama growing up, she had learned to cook and bake very well.
Helping get her groceries in the house and handing her the keys to the car he bid her goodbye and told her if she needed anything to just give him a ring. The rest of the day she spent cleaning the rest of the house. Thank goodness she had gifted her parents an electric washer and dryer one Christmas. She could remember the old wringer washer Mama had and how much work it was to do just one load.
She dusted cobwebs, took the curtains down and washed them. There was a clothes line and she preferred that over the dryer. She always did like the smell of fresh sheets on her bed. Something she never got to do in the city.
She was finishing up and Ben had came over and was worked on the chimney. He carried some wood in and showed her how to make the fire quick. Soon there was a roaring fire. Shadows were casting from the walls giving the newly cleaned living room a whole different look.
It wasn’t cold anymore. It had warmth. She hadn’t even thought of the big city she had left only days before. She was thinking about how this was always home and as she looked over at Ben who was attending to the fire, he turned and their eyes locked.
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What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us VACATION.
I was born and raised here in good old flat-land, corn raised Indiana all of my life. But while I was married to my last husband who was never satisfied where we lived, I had the opportunity to visit places other than here.
I went to see my real mother out in Yuma Arizona a few different times. I tried actually living and working there to be near her, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Not only was my Mother’s love for me less than a dog’s instincts for her pups, I was the minority. People carried guns too. It is still like the old west in reality.
Then when I was married to my first husband, I was given the chance to travel to Stuttgart, Germany, where I lived and had my baby girl. I still dream of this country after many years have gone by. I loved everything I saw there, so this must be why I still dream about this beautiful place.
I married my second husband in Florence Alabama. I loved the southern people, the laid back life style, but I have a lot of bad memories just with married life. Big mistake, big, big, big mistake.
When our Father died, Al hated the memories of the home he had lived in. I battled for years and still do about this house. It was a nice home, but it wasn’t home to me and Al didn’t like it. We sold it. That is the battle I have. Maybe I should have kept it no matter what our feelings towards it. It was paid for and it was family, but I can’t go back and change it now. I only wish I could leave it alone in my mind. We headed south. We had one aunt and my grandmother that lived there. Our aunt who I will call M just thought we would love it here.
The first mistake I made is going on the word of someone else. I hadn’t ever argued with M, but she had lived in Florida for many years so our personal level of family was not there. I took the money from Mom and Dad‘s home and bought another home in Sarasota, Florida.
The homes are more expensive there than here. I think this is one of the bigger areas in my mind that I learned material crap is nothing more than crap. We had a home that was maintained by other people. It was in a nicer area of town. Complete with pool and tons of places to see and all several Goodwill stores and Salvation Army Thrift stores. The people were different though. I can’t tell you how many time ladies at stores would look me quickly up and down to see what I was wearing before they would respond to my hello. It was too rich for me. Many rich homes and people lived there. I had come from a size of 35,000 people to an area with more than 150,000 people. Too big, too rich for a country girl.
Al hated the pool. I got him in it one time, but he froze in spot. I helped him out and he never came within 10 feet of the pool again except one time. He sat on one of the lounge chairs with me.
I was able to find a place that was for disabled adults. Al went there M-F up until we came back home. He absolutely loved it. Since Sarasota is so large, his group was given many different tickets. He got to go to Tampa to see several ballgames. He went to Imax Theatres. He saw plays. He got to see alligators and all types of wild life.
But one day he quit qualifying for the program. His Parkinson’s was getting in the way. Al just couldn’t understand why he was not going to be allowed to go back. His heart and mine were broken. He didn’t care for the terrible heat, so he stayed inside most of the year. He didn’t like the pool and he was getting more sick, and becoming a patient of the heart and general hospitals.
Florida is a great state for retirees, but if you are a disabled adult who is mentally challenged too, you are up shit creek without a paddle. In our area there was no help. I was becoming frustrated and Al was still very sad about his day program.
I kept hearing Mom and Dad in my head. They were so mad at me because I had sold their home and went to Florida. But worse, I was thinking of coming back home. I thought about my kids and how they were here and I was there. The doctors that Al needed were back home and not in Florida. It made sense to come home but I was ridden with guilt.
The expenses of the property in Florida, giving up my parents home, and only being in Florida less than five years, plus the expensive moving in itself was enough to eat me alive with guilt by now. When I look back on this part of my life, I have come to terms pretty much with the big waste of money. It was a trip or a long vacation for Al. He had been left alone for so many years, that this was his chance to get out and experience life and have fun. Now with his Parkinson’s so advanced, I am glad I was able to give him those few years of total fun.
I talked to Al so many times back then. He never got over being miserable and his pains were becoming more often. I had the sad memories of Mom and Dad being in heaven if I came back here. All of our family but the half-sister were deceased. There was one aunt here but our relationship was ruined when our Dad died.
So why come back to a lonely and sad place? Why come back to the ugly, cold, long winters? I just knew it was the right thing to do, but still I fought with it in my mind.
My daughter gave me an idea. She lives in Ky near Bowling Green. She suggested we move there instead of back in Indiana. It was a brilliant idea to me, and Al was excited too. He loves my daughter and her husband.
I didn’t want to purchase anymore property at this time. I didn’t know the areas, and quite frankly I wasn’t sure where this Parkinson’s of Al’s was going. We found a place to rent in Bowling Green. I went on the words of the landlord. I specified that I wanted and needed a very safe area to live in.
Well it wasn’t quite like she said, considering someone took my car out for a midnight stroll one night. They broke into the car and tore up the glove box. But in general we really liked the area.
Everywhere we went people treated us like we were family. They didn’t know the word stranger. We lived in a duplex and our bedrooms were upstairs. Things went along pretty well. Al got to visit the Corvette Museum and we went lots of places. We fit in nicely. Then one day Al started stumbling. He was seeming to have heart attack spells more and more.
After a few visits to the ER we discovered he had Angina. Now he had this along with his heart attack a few years back. What was causing the Angina was the stairs. Every time he climbed the stairs he would have another attack.
The doctor told me we had to definitely move out of a two-story place or Al would have another heart attack. I was disappointed and I think Al was too. At this point in my life I gave up the fight and we bought our mobile home back home in Indiana. I had to bring Al back. My conscience could not see it any other way.
Being back home in Indiana gives me very few comforts. Yes, I know my way around very well. Yes, my one son lives within walking distance of me. Another son lives about an hour a way. We don’t see him often and the son who lives close we seem to always be at odds.
Now Al has been dealing with Parkinson’s and the ugly parts of it. He lives in a nursing home but is coming home. I am lonely without my parents. Too many memories here. The winters are cold. My feet suffer so bad in the winter from my Diabetic Neuropathy. They burned and burned most of last winter even with socks and very warm slippers on.
I know my two boys are here, but my daughter is in KY. I know that I loved that area so much.
I know my dream is to be back in Ky, but I don’t know if I will actually ever be able to do something about it.
I can hope and dream. I would be selling the home I live in, but to purchase another home with mobile home profits would be difficult. I guess if God wants me to go back to the blue grass state, he will find a way to help me make my dream come true.
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I have been nominated for Best Moment Award by Charm! Thank-you so much.
Best moment award is a pretty awesome moment. It means that I did something for someone that caused them to have a great moment thinking about me.
In return it gives me my best moments and it wants to make me smell the flowers and give thanks to the one above for blessing me with so many wonderful friends.
I found this segment on Charm’s blog. I found it very enlightening.
Here is what she says,“Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you …….You must read more to find out what else she had to say that follows.
The rules for this award are;
Accept and thank the person who nominated you
It would be nice to say a little thank-you speech
How about nominating a few people you think would enjoy this as much as you
My nominees are;
my secret love for you
- My nominee’s for best moment award (annetteharris42.wordpress.com)
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- Best Moment Award (mymomsmemoirs.wordpress.com)
- Glory to God for the …. TWO-TIME BEST MOMENT AWARD ! (justmikemon.wordpress.com)
- Best Moment Award. (andlifesmile.wordpress.com)
- Best Moment Award & The Versatile Blog Award Nominee (failuretolisten.com)
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