I Will Survive!

I looked forward to going home every summer.  This year we were doing something different.  This year we would be more active while still having fun, a little quirky, to include all ages.  I couldn’t wait to get on that plane and back to Wisconsin.

The ex was from So Cal and after getting out of the Army in 1978, he decided it was where we would live.  We were there long enough to have a baby, get jobs, move to 3 different homes, spend most of our money and move in with Ex’s divorced father and 3 siblings.  All that in 2 years, until we moved to Wisconsin, my home state.

We settled in a wonderful medium sized town, got good jobs and later put our son into a great public school.  We had it made, on the outside, anyway.  Ex started his construction company.  Good money and a lot of stress.  We built a home in an upscale neighborhood.  One of the jobs he took was remodeling a restaurant and lodge. It was a big project and took many months.  He did this on a handshake.  After it was finished, they didn’t have the money to pay it all.  Bankruptcy, moving out of our custom home, and then too much drinking.

Time to move back to California.  That was at the end of 1989.  Ex went back first and found a house and a job.  Our son and I came out shortly after that.  I had to leave a job I loved for 8 years and my family.

Oops, back to the story and fast forward to 2001.  I go back to Wisconsin for a week every summer.  I go by myself.  Ex is never happy about me going and won’t come with me.  After a few years, I don’t care, I just need to go.

I always end up at my parent’s home on the Island and my 7 siblings come, at least for the weekend.  We had done Christmas in July the years prior.  This year (2001), my brother-in-law suggested we do a family “Survivor”.  There were plenty of emails and phone calls to plan the weekend.  We figured we had between 20 and 30 people with sibs, in-laws, nieces, nephews, my grandma, my parents and a couple friends.  The teams ended up with 12 people each, ages 7 to 81.  We had spouses on opposing teams.  Each team had four siblings, mine with 2 sisters, a brother, Dad and assorted others.  The other had 2 brothers, 2 sisters, Mom, Nanny plus 6 more.

Events included food challenges, basketball shooting, how far can you jump, hit a golf ball and sunflower seed spitting.  We picked teams on Friday night and saw the area my bro-in-law chose for the tribal counsel. Games to begin on Sat morn…

Tribal Counsel

Writing 101 Day 4

View From the Dock

River06042014

 

If I could be transported anywhere in the world, I would want to be sitting on our dock enjoying a partly sunny, breezy day, with the temperature around 65 degrees.  I fell in love with that spot when I first moved here.  It was where I found peace and solitude after leaving my marriage and everything I had known for most of my adult life.  I started a new journal there, I laughed there, I cried, I began a new relationship on that bench.

We are on a river that if we wanted to, we could kayak out to Lake Michigan.  It’s a narrow river, about 60 ft. across and pretty shallow.  Trees line the shore and right now they are full of new leaves.  The green is a beautiful sight after the long gray winter.  On the opposite side, about 100 feet away is a small waterfall that we can hear all year long except when it’s frozen over.  I love that sound at night with the window open.  It’s been called Slippery Rock for many years.  During the summer, the campers go there and you hear the children screaming in fear or delight as they slide down the rocks.  That’s also the prime time for groups of people tubing down the river in front of the dock.  All different kinds of people.  There are families, groups of couples with their designated beer cooler tube, and sometimes groups of teenagers.  It is people watching time, but so different than at an airport or the mall.  It’s almost intimate, catching them in private moments only meant for them.  Some of them are friendly and will talk as they float by, others won’t look at us, almost like we are interrupting.  I always have my camera with me and take pictures while I sit there.  Some people pose, others hide and then there are those who just stare at me with the, don’t even think of taking my picture, look.  The voyeuristic side of me, loves it.

About half a mile upstream is the dam that creates the lake.  When the ice is melting and the water is rushing over the dam, there is a good current.  As summer goes along and the lake level drops, the current is pretty weak.  Sometimes it looks almost glassy out there.  At this time of year you can see the bass splashing in the areas where they are making their beds.  We do fish off the dock but catch and release.  I almost feel like they are my fish.  There were a couple of guys in waders last year fishing about 20 feet from the dock.  I went out there and told them not to be catching “my” fish.  They probably thought I was crazy.  Maybe I am…

The Offer

Falling asleep last night, took forever.  Staying asleep, impossible.  Getting up, very difficult as I slept hard from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

There are a few reasons for my insomnia.  Last night one of the reasons was the offer I got on a property I just listed.

My ex and I flew to Wisconsin for my 50th birthday back in 2005.  It was a great week.  All seven of my siblings came up to the Island and roasted me in my parent’s dining room.  It was hilarious. Something I will always remember.

While we were there we looked for a piece of property.  He fell in love with one off the beaten path.  It was all wooded, lots of hard woods, mostly oak.  We bought it.  I was thrilled to own a little bit of a place (born there) I will always love.

Out of the eight properties we owned, it was the only one I wanted when we divorced in 2012.  Fast forward to now.  I will never put a home on that property, I can’t afford it.  I listed it last week assuming I wouldn’t get an offer for years.  It would take someone with the same vision as my ex to consider buying it.  I got a call yesterday from the realtor.  He had an offer, cash, but lower than I wanted to go.  The guy has adjoining property to mine and just wants it.  He has a reputation for being an ass and a hard negotiator.  Do I take the money and run or counter and risk losing the guy?  That is my dilemma.  I make the phone call now.

Oops, twenty minutes is up. Seems short but I was also scanning the signature pages sent by the realtor.

First post for Writing 101 done!

Hello!! You’re Married…

People may think that because I am divorced, I have no right to give marriage advice to anyone.  I disagree.  I was married for 34 years before I decided to leave for the last time.  We are both good people.  I was a good wife.  He was not a good husband.  He now agrees with both of those statements.

I was brought up by parents who loved each other and never fought.  I never saw them argue even though I know Mom didn’t always agree with everything Dad did.  I joked with them that not showing their children how to openly disagree was bad when one of us married an arguer.  We laughed about it but I honestly believe that my mother’s compliance was carried on by her daughter.

My ex came from somewhat abusive, and eventually divorced parents.  He had plenty of aggression shown to him as he grew up.  As a parent, I feel sad for him as the child growing up in that situation.  I also have moments I could sit down and cry because of the crap my son had to live with.

I will not go in to the details of why we didn’t make it, but will share some thoughts.

The fact that two completely different human beings, a man and a woman, are about to live together forever, is an interesting yet scary thing.  Think about it, try to prepare.  It is not a fairy tale, it is real life with real life stuff.  There’s bills and babies, illnesses and in-laws, old flames and old age.

If everything was sunshine and lollipops when you were dating/engaged and all of a sudden that person turns in to a monster/bitch when married, not good.  But, if he spoiled you with flowers and now that you are married he can’t afford it, suck it up, be a grown up.  If she wore her makeup every time she was around you and all of a sudden she doesn’t, get over it, she’s a real person not a movie star.  If he is from a family of a few boys and leaves the toilet seat up, Ladies, put it down.  If her “stuff” is all over the bathroom counter, Guys, get used to it.

Most men are not big talkers (except my brother Pat), so ladies, don’t assume that when they are quiet, something is wrong.  Don’t ask with that whiney voice, “what’s going on”.  More than likely they are just in their head.  And guys, women talk, at least look her way once in a while and grunt. Try listening, it may not be as uncomfortable as you think and you might learn something.

Many women I know, think that their men should be able to read their minds and figure out that they need a hug or help with something.  If they don’t get what they want, they can be moody, pissy or bitchy.  This can also be men, and who likes to see a moody, pissy, bitchy guy?  If you need something, ask for it!!  Give them a hug, stop waiting!

Understand that the things you get upset at your spouse for, could be your insecurities and nothing he/she did.  If they are having a conversation with the opposite sex and you get jealous, is it because of something they are doing wrong?  Or, is it an insecurity you have about them leaving or a wound from the past?  If it’s your stuff, talk about it. Don’t blame him/her.

Communication, honesty and truth are things I did not have in my marriage.  I have them now.  It is so refreshing to be able to say to someone, I am sad, I am mad, I am jealous and be able to have an open and loving conversation regarding those feelings.  We discuss everything that is brought up.  I am with a man that I feel safe with and have enough trust in to discuss anything.

Possibly I could have had this with my ex but he was not willing to compromise. Compromise is a no-brainer and you should realize that going into a marriage.

He was right. I was wrong.

I was weak.  He was strong.

Now it’s over. The marriage gone.

Now I am right.  I am strong.

 

This started as a comment on great snaps, goodreads and me regarding a post from today.  It got a little too wordy so I decided to post it on my blog.

Still In a Funk

 

Still in a Funk

I finished a book a couple days ago and have been in a funk since then.  The book is “All the Dancing Birds”.  It is fiction and the story is about a woman with Alzheimer’s, written from her perspective.  It goes from the beginning of her diagnosis to the end of her life.  I liked the book but every night when I stopped reading, I felt sad, lonely, depressed and scared.  I put myself in her place or thought about My Michaels mother, who just passed away in August.  I watched my Papa die in the 1980’s with this disease.  When I came in to Michael’s life, they had just put his Mom in a nursing home.  That was August of 2011.  I had firsthand experience with her dementia and how it affected the family.  This book was probably more powerful for that reason.  With all that said, my funk isn’t even about Alzheimer’s.  When I get depressed, which isn’t often anymore, all my insecurities come rushing forward.  Some of them I won’t discuss with anyone but my man and I only journaled about them.  Others are okay to list.  I get those stupid, insecure, I’m not good enough/smart enough/young enough/thin enough thoughts.  Really hate those as they bring in other crap.  Then there is the, I don’t have enough money in the bank and should go get a job.  With that comes, I am too old to get a job (except Walmart) and I don’t want a job.  I take on my son’s problems, my ex’s health issues, siblings problems.  I wonder if I was supposed to stay in my marriage and accept the fear, loneliness, pain and stress. Sometimes I just want to talk and I don’t want girlfriends and all that goes with it.   I have sisters to discuss things with but they have busy lives and don’t need to deal with my funk.   So, my journal got most of my feelings this time, you got a very short edition of it and My Michael and I will talk tonight over some wine, a fire and Kleenex.  I am planning on being “all good” tomorrow.  Why did I put this out there?  I think all the stresses I have had in my life, have mostly been kept inside.  I am sure it contributed to my melanoma in ’05 and I am working on letting go.  You get to be my shrink.

30 Blog Challenge Day 2 – Current Relationship

For those of you who haven’t read about me, I got divorced last year after 35 yrs. of marriage.  Maybe someday I will blog on that.

I won’t go into the timeline but I am now with the best man I have ever known.  We graduated from the same high school in 1973.  We dated for a short time as freshmen. We started talking again on facebook a few years ago.  I hadn’t seen him in over 30 years.  I knew he was divorced and a college educated, very intelligent man.  I soon discovered he was also very wise.  We messaged a few times but no real long conversations at first, just generic stuff.  Fast forward…

We now live together in a small cabin in the woods on a little river.  It’s perfect, something I dreamed of for a long time.

It’s been an amazing and eye opening experience.  I have dealt with my woundedness and insecurities.  I have learned so much about myself and about people in general.  My relationships have taken a new direction, this one with my Michael and other relationships as well.  He has taught me so much about life by asking the right questions.  He pushes nothing on me.  He speaks truth to me, we have an honest relationship.  I learned all those little white lies are nothing but lies and lead to more lies.  I learned honestly is the way.  I speak it all the time.  I tell him my innermost thoughts, fears, feelings, dreams and fantasies.  I laugh everyday, a lot.  We have never had an argument.  We disagree but talk it out, with out anger.  I am not afraid of him.  I am not afraid with him.  I have never felt this safe in my life.

We both like dark meat.  We both cook. We both fish.  We both read.  We are so alike, sometimes it’s scary.  He taught me how to be independent, like myself, hunt, fly fish and play World of Warcraft(can you say adolescent boys).  I taught him there are women out there that trust you and respect you and won’t shame you.

I love him and I love us and we both love the Lord!  I can’t imagine ever being without him.

20 Facts About Me. Day 1 of 30 day blog challenge.

So, here are 20 facts about me.

1.  I love the Lord!

2. I’m in love with the best person I’ve ever known.

3. I was in the Army.

4.  I’ve killed a rattlesnake.

5.  I am a cancer survivor. (Melanoma)

6.  I have one child. A 35 yr old man.

7.  I am divorced. ( I was a good wife.)

8.  I lean to the right.

9.  I am the oldest of 8.

10.  I love to read, mostly nonfiction.

11.  I zip-lined in Mexico.

12.  I tandem surfed.  (Waves were small)

13.  I HATE mosquitoes!!

14.  I’ve never smoked cigarettes.

15.  I’ve competed in 2 triathlons and numerous 5K’s, all in my 50’s.

16.  I am a Grandma. (Nanny to the girls)

17.  I make the best chocolate chips cookies that I have ever eaten.

18.  I would rather clean the toilet than go shopping with my girlfriends.

19.  I don’t have any girlfriends.

20.  I love being a woman and all the stuff that goes with it.  Good & bad.

There you go.  I actually started this list last week as I was going to post 58 facts about myself for my 58 yrs.  I may still do that after this.

Next one is to discuss my current relationship.  Not going to be around tomorrow so that may wait until Sunday.

Juneathon Day 10

Yesterday was a great day!  Almost as good as today!!  Had to drive an hour to take a test to apply for a job at the local Post Office.  Took it, passed and now will just see what happens.  I haven’t worked for about 2 years and the money I got from the divorce is getting lower.  No worries yet but I don’t want to get in the position of worrying.  

When I got home, we walked about an hour and covered 3.5 miles.  Great breeze and a bit cooler than the last couple days, but the sun was shining and it was gorgeous. Mosquitoes were few.  My Michael walked back home and I went for a short 1.2 mile run for another 15 minutes.  My feet felt good and I probably could’ve gone farther but I wanted to be home.  Last night I did Day 6 of my squat challenge and knocked out 75 of those bad boys.  I feel good today except for a little achilles tightness in my left foot.

Some interesting bugs out there.

Image

 

Michael took this, but I had to get closer.

Image

I am clueless as to what it is.  Anyone?  N.E. Wisconsin.

 

Just life stuff…

I am not a writer or a photographer or anyone who does anything really well.  But, I do like to write, take pictures and do things in a mediocre way.  I am just a 57 yr old woman who got divorced last year after being married most of my adult life, 35 yrs.  I am a mother to a 34 yr old son and a Nanny to 2 beautiful girls.  I am the oldest of 8 kids and we are all alive and kicking.  I am in a new relationship with an old high school friend and loving it.  I don’t have any unusual things to talk about, just stuff that seems to get into my head and needs to come out. I journal but thought I would do it here for the world or nobody to see.  I have new, exciting things happening in my life, at least to me.  I still have woundedness from my past.  I cry over stupid stuff and laugh more today than I ever have in my entire life.  I would love to hear what others have to say about their lives and see what they think about mine.  More to follow.  Right now I have dishes to do and a toilet to clean.