Tender Mercies

The Lord knew just what I needed. 

I pulled into the driveway after work on Friday without opening the garage door.  I came into the house and saw the door to my son’s room closed.  I knew darn well I had propped it open so the cat could come and go.  I pushed open the door and there he was!  My son, not the cat :o).  He had come up from Norman and pulled his car into the garage just like old times.  He went out to dinner with us and his grandmother and then surprised me even more by staying the night in his old room.  I so needed this!  

If anyone at all has read my posts lately, you know I’ve had a really hard time with separation anxiety since he moved out a week ago.  Thursday was Meltdown Day, Friday was better and then the unexpected gift of having him back until mid-day on Saturday!  Such a good thing!  Perhaps he needed to come home, too, to the familiarity and peace after a week of learning to live with roommates and sleeping on a bunk bed.

So, now he’s back down in Norman at work this evening and I’m okay with it.  Life is going to be different from now on as he comes and goes, being gone much more than he is here, especially once classes start in August.  But, I will deal with that, too and the grace of God will see me through it all.

Thank you for loving me so much, Lord, that even this is important to you. 

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Fighting It!

I am determined now, to not let this depression get the best of me!  This has been one of the worst weeks of my life so it can only get better from here.  The separation anxiety of having my son move out has been debilitating to the point that all I could do yesterday was sit at my desk and stare out the window – literally.  Then I cried most of the night at home after my husband and his sister went to a movie.  At some point, my brain kicked in and said “enough!”  Don’t know how long it will take, but so far today has been a much better day. 

The power was out in our building when I got to work so for the first hour or so (after consuming cheese cake and coffee ice cream for a co-worker’s farewell party) I read the first chapter of a book I ordered on biointensive gardening.  I also made a list of all the things we need to fix/update on our house.  When depressed, spend money! has always been my motto…LOL. 

So now the rain outside has stopped, the sun can’t make a decision about whether to shine or not, and the power is back on.  Darn, the reading was just getting interesting.  Oh, well, it is lunch time, after all.  I’ll go run a couple of errands.

One of these days I’ll get back to the reason I started this blog: learning to live simply, learning to grow my own food, learning to be more eco-friendly.  One day, when the pain has eased and my mind can focus again.  I’m pointed in the right direction, now just need to walk.

Sigh….

Well, you’re just going to have to bear with me a while in this one.  Our son moving out has hit me so much harder than I would have thought.  Farmers’ Market was really, really hard yesterday.  I did not want to be there, but didn’t have the new manager’s number and its totally not cool to just not show up.  Anyway, I have this weird, German Texan thing about “you have to do this because you said you would” mentality.  So, I went and set up the booth and just kind of sat like a lump on a log and every time a friend would stop by to say hello, I would just start tearing up. 

You know, true friends are so precious.  Leann, the owner of Soy Candle Cottage, was so sweet and empathized so sincerely because she has been through this.  She told me what to expect over the next months and let me know it was okay to be “out of it.”  Other friends were so kind and it makes me feel loved.  Thank you, guys.  I love you, too. 

We traveled 3 hours to my parents’ house yesterday afternoon and came back today.  My Mom went through the separation anxiety 3 times with us girls and she was also a good shoulder.  I felt guilty leaving an hour earlier than we usually do to get back home in hopes of seeing our son at a friends’ house for dinner tonight. Now I know why Mom always stands in the driveway and waves until she can’t see us anymore.   I’m so glad they moved next door to my youngest sister and her family a couple of years ago.  Now I know she and Dad won’t be lonely.  I am going to do better, though, and call more than just once a week.  Seeing it from the other side opens your eyes.

One of these days I’ll probably look back on these posts and realize how pathetic I must sound, but right now it feels good to be able to put it all down in writing.  I feel like a part of my life has ended and I guess it has.  Its hard to put into words the physical aching, the fatigue, the near panic attacks where your mind tells you something is terribly wrong and your heart starts pounding.  But then at other times, I get my mind occupied with other things and I’m okay.  Then it just comes rushing back in. 

I know our son must be going through some adjustment, too.  He’s accustomed to privacy and his own space which will be hard to come by in a house with 4 other guys.  He sounded really tired when I talked to him today (yes, I called, I couldn’t go a whole day without hearing his voice).  I worry about him not eating well and not getting enough sleep.

Change of subject.  I’m going to be talking to a woman about buying the dog treat business tomorrow.  For those of you out there who are pray-ers, please pray for this to all work out.  I really, really, really want out from under it. 

Okay, enough self-pity for one day.  Off to change clothes, put on a little makeup, and go have dinner with our dear friends. 

Thanks for listening,

Sherry

 

Hard Day

Its been a very hard, sad day.  I’m sitting here sobbing.  I know it sounds silly, but I just left my one and only child 45 minutes down the highway, in his new digs, with four other guys.  Yes, my only child has left home at the age of 19.  How can I not be a part of his every day life anymore?  Not see him every day?  Not see him except on weekends if I’m lucky.  And once school starts it probably won’t be that often.  I feel like someone punched me in the stomach.  He took all his posters down.  He left a lot in his room, too, so he’ll have to come back for some stuff.  I could tell he was stressed out and nervous.  Only one shelf in the pantry for his food; only one shelf in the fridge.  Only a few towels.  An upper bunk.  This is a child who grew up not having to share a room or a bathroom or have anything but peace and quiet to study.  I just want to keep him all tucked up safe and warm.    He lived at home his first two years of college, but now has decided to transfer.  In a year he’ll be traveling to Japan to study abroad.  Hopefully, I’ll take that parting a little better, but probably not.  Won’t think about that now.   The cat is laying on a pile of his clothes he left behind.  How do parents who lose children to death cope?  I can’t even begin to imagine.    He’s only gone 45 minutes from home and I’m a mess. 

Now I have to focus on how to get ready for farmer’s market tomorrow.  I think I really screwed up committing to it this season.  I just can’t handle it right now. 

It Is Alive!

Just catching up from the weekend.  Had a great day at Farmers Market on Saturday and Father’s Day was a lot of fun at the zoo.  That my husband would choose to go there and my 19 year old son would be excited to go was unexpected but fun – hot and humid, but fun. 

Doesn’t the okra seedling look great?  I watched Young Frankenstein over the weekend and when I went out to water the little plants, “It Is Alive!” came to mind.   Couldn’t resist.

In one of my posts a week or so ago, “Dreamin…”, I mentioned that some friends have an acre of land I would like to buy and build on. Disappointment came in the form of the city government that requires at least 1.5 acres to build, put in septic and dig a water well.  BUT, my friends have a much better idea.  They have been wanting to turn that plot into a community garden!  Wow!  I didn’t even know they were thinking along those lines.  What a great idea.  As much as I would love to build and live in a green house that I get to design myself and have things just the way I want, a huge biointensive garden that the local community can take part in sounds even better.  Think of the school kids we could educate about sustainable gardening; the local homeschool co-op could make it part of their curriculm; think of the local missions, etc. that we could supply with fresh, organic produce; think of the elderly and shut-ins that Meals On Wheels feeds that we could help.  Think of the restaurants that might want organic produce.  Let’s make it solar or wind powered so as to not have to use gas-powered equipment.  My husband is an electrician – he could learn how to hook it all up.  Last night on Planet Green I saw a solar panel on a pole that rotates and tilts to take advantage of the changing position of the sun.  Who needs a rooftop?  I know it sounds expensive, but the Lord can provide.  Just need to have a little faith.  Maybe I need to sell the dog treat business which would provide up front capital and free me up time-wise.  Any takers? LOL.  I’m so glad I got that retreat refund.  $500 should buy a nice tiller and have money left over.  We’re having dinner next weekend with our friends.  Can’t wait to take a closer look at the land and see just how serious they are. 

I ran across another great website that I wish I had more time to dig into.  It will be a great resource later on, I think.  http://attra.ncat.org/.  Take a look, someone, and let me know what you think. 

I Have Enough

Last year I attended a wonderful retreat in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  I spent four wonderful days in workshops, creating, trying new techniques, making new friends.  My husband made the trip with me and spent those days hiking and exploring the great outdoors.  We both had a wonderful time.  It was my reward to myself for making it through a very stressful season wtih the dog treat business.  I even put down a deposit on this year’s retreat.  I came home and put the business up for sale, swearing off another season at the farmer’s market as a producer.

Well, the business didn’t sell over the winter and with the money I have invested in the website, barcodes, custom labels, etc., I decided to give the market season another go.  I saved the money for this year’s retreat and even mailed the check.  But something just isn’t the same.  For some reason, I don’t NEED to go this year.  Maybe I’m more content with my life.  I’m not as involved in the art form as I was last year.  That’s to be considered.  Could it also be that my new passion for simplifying things and being a better steward of what God has given me, is beginning to affect decisions I make? In other words, do I really want to spend $500 on a trip that will result in me coming home with unfinished projects that will then cause me stress?  I spent an extra $150 last year on kits and books that have not seen the light of day since.  I know myself well enough to realize that I will do the same this year. 

So…I decided not to go.  I asked for a refund of my $500 and was very graciously granted one.  I feel good about NOT spending 18 hours round trip on the interstate highway dodging 18-wheelers- stress!; I feel good about NOT using our gasoline credit cards to pay for what could then be close to $5 per gallon gas and stressing about it when the bills come in; I feel good about putting that money back into the bank where it will be available, if need be, to help our son who is moving out on his own in a few days.  Having a simpler summer sounds good. Why keep pursuing the American “nightmare” of spend, go, buy, pay later – when all it does is create stress?

As a Christian, I believe – and have experienced many, many times, that God will confirm correct decisions.  I felt good about my decision but couldn’t really express why.  Then this morning, I was reading a little further in David Wann’s Simple Prosperity and there it was.  He quotes author Vicki Rabin:

“When you have Enough, you have everything you need. There’s nothing extra to weigh you down, distract or distress you.  Enough is a fearless place.  A trusting place.  An honest  self-observant place…to let go of clutter, then is not deprivation; it’s lightening up and opening up space and time…”

I have enough. I have a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe; I am married to a good man; I have a job; I have a wonderful son who is becoming an adult and spreading his wings toward independence; I have an amazing network of friends who love me in spite of my quirks and I have a bare spot of earth that will hopefully sprout okra seedlings in a few days.  I have enough.

Keep it simple,

Sherry

Sustainability resources

I have spent the evening catching up on the listserv digests from my local sustainability network.  Its such a huge resource and there is so much going on locally that I’ve never been aware of.  Check it out for yourself at the Oklahoma Sustainabilty Network.  You can access the archives without having to join or anything, but I would suggest that you go ahead and sign up for the digests.  There is a wealth of information available.

One recent thread in particular is titled Sustainability Bibliography.  The local sustainability guru, Robert Waldrop, lives in a house that he has converted to a sustainable, low-energy dwelling, has turned his front and back lawns into sustainable gardens and is the founder of the Okahoma Food Cooperative, the model for all community online farmer’s markets.  There are several other states that have started co-ops from our model.   But I am getting off track….back to the subject at hand.  Go the OSN website and check out the Resources information.  Then check the discussion thread and read Bob’s list of his personal library. 

http://www.oksustainability.org/

While I was catching up with other posts, I ran across three other articles that really offered some valuable information and well as some encouraging news of what other towns and individuals are doing to live more sustainability.  Here are the links.

the ripple effect of high oil prices:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=a4kOXcpl3dQg&refer=home

Transition Towns

http://bonnercountydailybee.com/articles/2008/06/08/news/news01.txt

Eating local

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/24994028/

Hope you find something useful for a more sustainable way of life.

Keep it simple,

Sherry