Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Slipping back into my life

I am still keeping a low profile for me.  But I am starting to feel myself shake off the fear and anxiety and bad juju that has been surrounding me lately.  I have no idea what it is.  This happens at times and I just don't think I have ever worried about it before.  I just shut my door and closed the world away from me.  Now, however in this world of blogs and facebook, email and messaging, it is more noticeable when I slip from this world.  People notice.  Thank you for caring.  I have received such sweet and precious emails supporting me to well, just be me.  I know part of this break with the world has been simply that I once again, bit off too much.  I tried to do it all.  There is nothing wrong with doing it all.  It was a woman's mantra in my 30s and 40s.  But as I entered the 5th decade of my life I started realizing that as much as I did, I was missing so much.  Not because I wasn't doing enough.  No, I have always done way too much.  No, it was more I realized that clicking off accomplishments has nothing to do with living.  For me.  I am only speaking about me here.  I am not being critical of anyone Else's choices.  Shoot, I am not critical of my choices.  I have had an amazing life and done so many wonderful things.  But now, sitting in my red chair in my little single wide trailer, on my little 2 acres in the woods of north Florida, I realize that looking out my door and seeing sunshine and the green glow of new spring leaves, it is enough.  I belong here.  I feel safe and loved and special here.  I can close my gate and close the world out.  I can sit in my red chair with Harry and Bob and Edna at my feet.  Stella curled up in my lap, Luna asleep on the back of my red chair, Marina blending in to the woods around Labrun and Henry patrolling the borders.  John C and his hens scratching and clucking, singing a sweet rhythm under the trills of birds, the loud crack of a pileated wood pecker, the argumentative rasping of squirrels.  My lotus lifting round smooth leaves out of the surface of my little gold fish pond with bright orange flickers as my fish dart in and out of the rocks.  My heart feels peaceful.  My mind is still awash in things to do.  But I am feeling calmer.  I am feeling more like wrapping my arms around my friends and smiling into their faces as I reach in to press a kiss on their soft cheeks. 

Thursday was the Altrusia pres how for our murder mystery.  They were a fun crowd as always and the show went fairly well.  The audience seemed to enjoy it and we had the first of seven shows under our belts.  We have all been working so hard on this production, especially Judy and Denise.  This was Judy's debut as the director of the show.  She did an amazing job.  It is so different then the show would have been if we had worked together.  So it was fun to get to see her version for a change instead of the compromised version that we do together.  And I was so proud to be a part of this production with her, and for everyone to see her shine and show off what she can do. 

Friday was opening night.  It was a small audience, about 24 people.  They were a different audience.  They were argumentative and very interactive.  Not a bad crowd.  Just different.  No complaints, they were a great crowd to work with for our opening night and they did seem to enjoy the show, but they also found a lot of things to "discuss" with us.  For one thing there had been a confusion in the menu.  We had it listed that it would be sirloin tips.  In actuality it was sirloin tip roast.  Okay as a non meat eater that is a language not familiar with me.  The audience, who had actually gotten a much better cut of meat then we had promised was not happy.  They wanted the traditional dish of sirloin tips.  I don't know what that is, and honestly, do not care.  But I did care that our audience was not happy. 

Yesterday we got together to set tables for a sold out show.  Yep, a sold out show.  We were thrilled.  And we wanted to make sure that our audience last night was happy.  But we had printed the menus/boarding passes off with clever space names for the food.  It was going to be a huge waste to throw out 100 of those menu/boarding passes for the show.  So the group decided together to have Judy make an announcement that the main dish would be different as  part of the opening of the show instead of wasting all that paper and reprinting.  As she got up to welcome everyone to the performance, Angie Perry aka Fork, the merengay owner of the restaurant Deep Space Noir, came out and handed Judy a note.  She read the note to the audience announcing that Fork had come into a rare cache of sirloin roast and so everyone in the audience was being upgraded to that meal.  The place went crazy.  Cheers filled the room and we all breathed a sigh of relief.  No one was unhappy.  They were all thrilled with the roast. 

The audience was wonderful.  There were 2 birthdays, an anniversary and an engagement celebration.  The place was packed tight with family and friends all snuggled in together ready to laugh and enjoy themselves and celebrate each other, the Opera House and see a fun performance.  It was magical.  Truly magical.  The place looked adorable with space things everywhere.  The audience came in antenna and some in Start Trek outfits.  Others had gold lightening bolt tattoos and everyone had plenty of smiles lighting up their eyes.  It was one of those perfect nights where a small community comes together and loves their lives.  To celebrate and toast and hug and laugh together.  To support our little stage company as well as knowing this is one way we keep our beautiful old building that Mr. Perkins left to us alive and well.  The heart of our community. 

The show went spectacular, the actors rose with the energy of the crowd and it was hard to tell who was in the play and who was watching.  It was like we all meshed into one glowing ball of energy, love, laughter and peace.  Yes, this is why I always have in my bio, that my greatest desire is for world peace.  Because you can see the possibility, the extraordinary love and joy that comes from people coming together in heart, mind and soul.  There were people there who had never been to the Opera House before.  There were those who have danced on those old boards themselves many times.  it was a multiracial blend of men and women from age 11 - 80, from all backgrounds coming together over a space play.  Space, the final frontier.  Space, the hope for universal peace, for the dreams of dreamers like Neil Lagrasse Tyson, my favorite astrophysicists.  Don't we all have our favorite astrophysicists?  hee hee

At the end of the show the winners are announced a young lady wearing a start trek outfit reminiscent of Ahura from the original Star Trek series was voted best costume.  A young man known to several tables wrote a clever answer to who done it and got it all right.  And then I handed the cast a poster and took a picture of them supporting my nephew Christopher for winning his school's Tropicana speech competition.  He goes to the county competition May 12, our closing night.  I won't be able to be there because I do the makeup, sound and spot light for the show, but he knows I am proud of him and that all of his friends at the Opera House are proud of him and cheering him on.

I hope Christopher notices that one of the cast members is also a Whovian and is holding up one of her "screwdrivers".  Many of the cast members know Christopher from when he was here last summer.  Ten of us were in the Radio Play with him and the one holding the screwdriver taught him cookie decorating at art camp.  He is much loved here and everyone is looking forward to spending the summer with him again.  Go Christopher!!!!  And hello Nathaniel and Heidi and Jessica.  Don't want to leave y'all out.

Maybe it is the temperatures that are waking me back up from this slump.  It has been an interesting year so far, weather wise.  One of the warmest winters on record, and then one of the coldest springs.  Over the past couple of weeks we have had lows in the 30s and a couple of days later, highs in the 90s, and it has slipped back and forth those 60 degree differences for all of April.  Everyone is really suffering with allergies here whether pollen or mold or simply the drastic swings.  But it is warm, hot actually again, and I feel myself thawing out of this frozen place I have been.  I also am getting out into my gardens.  That is always one of the most healing salves I have.  dirt.  Yes, dirt.  If music soothes the savage beast's heart, gardening soothes my soul.  It gives me perspective and accomplishment.  Joy and fragrance, color, shape and form.  I feel sometimes when my fingers are up to my elbows in dirt that I could just become a part of the dirt.  My mother would read my stories of naiads and tree spirits and I always felt such a kinship to that world.  I have never felt safer and more myself then in the woods.  I love the water.  I lived on it for most of my life.  I married a man of the sea.  I love the air and flying and blue skies and clouds and rain and all those things that make up our atmosphere.  I love space and stars and galaxies and distant worlds.  But I am a child of the earth.  A very spirit of the dirt and plants I surround myself with.  I am a gardener.

Also, taking this time for myself and away from the rest of the world did not mean that I have been home.  No, I have been at the Opera House and running here and there to get the things I needed for the show.  But I have also been home with my kids more and truly trying to spend quality time with them.  I have sat on my little front porch and read and read and read.  Yes, there are so many things I need to do and get done.  But as the weather gets hotter my world becomes more focused on my gardens, books and summer reading.  My diet changes, my clothes change, my movements slow a bit as I assimilate into the comfortable heat of summer.  It is going to be a hot one, and I already think another mild winter for us for next year.  I already see signs of that in the caterpillars and the trees and leaves.  My grape vines are heavy with flowers that will soon plump and round into sweet juicy fruit. 

I am here.  I am finding my happy again.  I am falling in love with my life and my precious beloved ones.  I am sorry that I have disappeared, but it was for me.  I am not out yet.  No, I still need solitude and time in the dirt.  I still want to sit on my porch and read.  I am finishing the books Tom, Pat, Nathaniel and Christopher have given me.  It is Christopher's favorite author, Rick Riordan.  His stories are fun and about challenges and magic and heroes and action and good over coming evil.  Of friendship.

It looks like a good summer, and this week is the change of season from fall/winter to spring/summer.  May Day is Tuesday.  My favorite day of the year.  And there will be flowers and laughter and I will dance around my yard at night and celebrate the fertility of life.  The fertility of creativity, of love, of passion, of things growing and living and as the world leans farther into the sun for my hemisphere, the in between of winter and summer will slip past many.  But I will be one of those who is watching, who is participating in my little magical world here.  I have celebrated May Day my whole life, but for the past 35 years I have run through the dark into the light and seen the many wonders that can come out of the in between.  And the world will continue to turn and I will dance and laugh. 

Anne Rudloe died this week.  She is a local hero around here.  She and her husband have been very active with bringing awareness of our marine habitat that is such an important part of our world in Florida.  And here in north Florida they are standouts in this field.  But she was also a standout by her courage and simple acceptance of her life.  She died of cancer.  She never regretted having cancer.  She never questioned it.  She just appreciated the challenges and opportunities it gave her.  I did not know Anne personally.  But she is an inspiration to me and all those who have been fortunate to be touched by her precious words.  Her awareness of everyday and how utterly and completely fortunate we are to live on such a gorgeous blue and green orb.  Surrounded by life and love and energy.  Thank you Anne for what you have given everyone who hears your words.  Thank you for being another person who understands the true gift of cancer.  That there is so much more to gain then is ever lost bthis disease if you can just see it.  Yes, it is a double edged sword because now we no longer have Anne or Pete, or Fazal or Larry or Vivian or so many other special people, but we had them.  And I simply appreciate that. 


  1. I'm glad that you are coming out of your slump. I am too. I have just been tired which makes me not deal with life well.

    I knew Anne Rudloe professionally. I'm sorry that she is gone.