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. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring babies

Babies are precious anytime, but spring babies are just so special.  And here at Labrun we have our newest babies.  Mr. and Mrs. Martin are busy feeding an unknown number of little bluebird babies.  Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Martin (Azure and Cobalt) are bluebirds, but they live in my Martin home, so I have just assumed that they must have Martin as their last name to feel so at home where they are.  I love to get up in the morning and sit on my back porch with a cup of tea and listen to the wispy sawing noise of the babies everytime a parent sticks it's head into their little home.  Such a perfect spring.

I am still in hiding.  I am finding it even harder to attend rehearsals and go out into public.  I simply want to be at home.  I want to have my hands up to my elbows in dirt.  I want to be outside and in the spring air.  The pollen rich, blue sky cool spring air.  I have put in veggies in my garden.  Tomatoes (of course), eggplants, cucumbers, peppers.  My yard long beans are sprouting, I am waiting for soy beans, carrots and radishes.  I know not all of these plants do well in summer, but I had the seeds and just went a little crazy. 

My flower gardens, or what is left of them after my hiatus of the past few years and the chickens attention to them, are hanging in there.  It is starting to bloom, but instead of waves of flowers there is one here, one there.  But that gives me time to see what I want to keep, and what I want to move.

I am busy working on the Murder Mystery.  I am working on makeup and latex, postcards and my own costume.  I am working on projects around the house.  And I am taking walks.

Wednesday OB and I rode over to Apalachicola on his red Harely.  It was a perfect glorious day.  The weather was cool, but sun filled, the traffic not so bad and we flew over the bridges.  It was a great break from my self imposed solitude.  We wandered through antique and junk stores.  It was as relaxing as sitting on the deep sand of St. George Island having a drink at the Blue Parrot. Which we did.  I kept waving up at the cameras hoping that maybe Nancy in Indiana would be looking at the cam corder at that moment.  Finally the waitress explained that most the places I was waving were not cameras.  Oh, well.  But it so relaxing, and yet I was glad to get home and close the gate again.

I don't know why I am hiding.  I just am.  I did go out last night to The Wharehouse to see a new theater group's first show.  Dr. Faustus by Christopher Morely.  We walked into the wharehouse and it was a pool hall.  Lenny and I did not look like we belonged in there.  A tall thin man ran up to us.  He looked like he could kill us with a tire iron as well as talk to us.  He smiled pleasently and asked if we were looking for the play.  We said we were and he showed us where to go.  Everyone in the wharehouse were really nice people.  It was just surreal to walk into a bar/poolhall when looking for a play.  A play in 1602 English, which I only barely understood.  But it was an interesting evening.  The folding chairs were not very comfortable, but the play was so well done that it was hard to notice. 

Friday Jan and I worked on the postcards, Saturday OB and I drove east and west on Hwy 90 where the annual flea market across Florida was taking place.  We founds lots of chickens, and plenty of things we could not live without.  It was a gorgeous day to jump in and out of the toy.  To slip along the black ribbon of a state highway with blue skies above, and clusters of yard sales that had sprouted up along the sides of the roads.  It was a full day of yard saling, and more yard sales then I have ever gone to.  I had fun.  I cam home with some great treasures.

Today is Sunday and after  lovely walk this morning, I have been working around the house, getting ready to head to Atlanta and work on the Murder Mystery trying to download heart beat sound effects.  I am at rehearsal, but as soon as rehearsal is over, Carolyn and I are heading to Atlanta for a couple of days.  OB is watching the animals before he heads off to a couple of bike rallies later this week. 

Sorry, I am still laying pretty low.  It is not that I don't love all of my friends and family.  I do.  But for now, I am spending time on myself.  Time that I have long ignored for myself.  Love to all of you.......from a little quiet and maybe a little confused me.  Learning about my life and what I want to be, where I want to go, what will be next.  I have always been so busy doing as much as I could do.  Now, I am trying to learn.....what?  I don't know.  But life is changes, and I am changing.
hope to be back soon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hello, I'm here

I am sorry for those of you who have been worried about me.  Thank you for the emails and phone calls, I am in hiding.  I am hiding from my life, my normal pace, life outside of my property.  Yes, I am just fine.  I have just not been able to face writing anything lately.  I have no idea why.  My life is humming along like normal.  Busy, fun, happy, lots of things to do.  But I am feeling overwhelmed, and for the most part, I have disappeared into my property where OB and I are working on projects.

OB is a friend of mine.  He is a journeyer (that should be a word).  He is on a journey.  As he talks about his life, it seems from a very young age his decisions were made to put him right where he is at this moment.  Very happy.  He lives in his 5th wheel.  It is one of those places that has a drop gate in the back and he can drive his Harley's up in the back, close the doors and off he goes on his journey.

He does not seem like someone who is missing the trip to get somewhere.  He seems to appreciate each day and to move when and where he wants.  The world is full of people who call him friend and he rides his Harley's and goes to bike rallies and drinks beer and listens to music and does the things people do at bike rallies.  Which in my experience is to talk to other people about their bikes, listen to music and drink beer.  This is what he has always wanted to do, and he is living the life fully and completely.  I am just once again so very very lucky to have met him on his journey and to call him a friend. 

And he is the best kind of friend you could want.  He is funny and smart and can fix anything.  He has been very busy here because there are lots of things to fix.  He lives in his 5th wheel under the canopy of hardwood trees in my front yard, where azaleas surround his little campsite and where he is quite self sufficient.  I live next door in my single wide trailer.  The only difference is my does not move, which suits me well, and his does, which suits him well.  He has always wanted to have the life he has.  I have always wanted to have the life I have.  I have always wanted to pretend I was a farmer, and I do a fine job of that these days.  As OB fixes motors and fences, electrical and gas problems, I pull weeds and plant vegetables.  As he scratches his head over electrical wiring on my airstream, I hang laundry and stare at my flowers and feed the chickens and tell the seven new babies how big they are getting.  They are big enough for names, Hyacinth, Iris, Daisy, Snap Dragon, Marigold, Cosmos and Chrysanthemum.  They are getting so big and doing fine.  They have made a lovely little flock and look through the door at the other flock, that one day they will become a part of.  The older hens and John C are also do very well.  They are laying between 4 - 6 eggs a day.  Oh my, too many eggs, and I go and get more hens.  duh!

I have been reading the Rick Riordan series that my 11 year old nephew has been reading.  It has been such a fun read.  I have cleaned and worked on small projects around the house, and worked on projects for the Murder Mystery. 

I played the virgin Mary in a short little gospel play at Ron and Pat's Micosukee Methodist Church Easter Sunday.  I considered wearing a fire extinguisher strapped to my leg, but it turned out I didn't need one.  I have been riding on a Harley, and took Flat Reid for a ride to St. Mark's.  Flat Reid is my sister Sioux's grandson.  Or rather the paper doll he made of himself after he read the book, Flat Stanley.

I made Flat Reid a little paper doll helmet to wear on the motorcycle ride.  We have been tie dying and I made him a little paper doll  tie dye shirt that matches the one I made for normal Reid.  I took him to closing day of The Fantastick's and got a photo of him with the cast. 

And yet, I have been thinking a lot.  Something is weighing on me.  I feel like I have a big decision to make, but I am not sure what that is.  I feel as if wonderful possibilities are coming, but they may not be what I would expect  I just don't know.  I feel fine, but alert.  Like I need to be watching out for something.  I don't feel anxious or crazy, just anticipatory.   It is odd to feel so certain that there are decisions I have to make and not know what they are, or even really what it is about. 

Why is that keeping me from simply writing out all the wonderful things I am doing with my life right now?  I am not sure.  Why am I reluctant to talk on the phone or to share myself with others right now?  I do not know  I do not know why I feel this way, or what is going to happen or when, or if this is something more inside then outside.  I do not know.  I feel fine not knowing everything.  When it is time I will understand better, maybe. 

So, I am here.  I have not quit thinking about my precious beloved ones, I just can't seem to be social.  Even at rehearsal I find myself longing to be quiet, to fulfill my duties and responsibilities to the Director and the cast and crew, but I feel like I am looking in at them as they sing and act, move across the floor.  Watch as they become other people.  Watch as they struggle to get used to the stage, and to build muscle memory of where to stand and when to move.  They are doing a wonderful job.  I am so happy to be even a small part of this group.  But I feel like I am holding back something.  But it feels good.  It feels like they can, will and are doing what they need.  I don't have to do much, just be there and appreciate the moments.  Moments that my senses become sparklingly alive.  Where I am aware that my senses are working together in HD instead of black and white.  That sounds are in quad instead of stereo, that light is brighter, more colorful, more acute.  That smells, and touch and taste are more acute.  That everything is preparing, for what?  I do not know.  Maybe this is just who I am now.  Maybe I have learned to be more alert, to live more in the moment, and this is my reward.  Nothing more.  But maybe.
Maybe there is something still yet to come
Maybe there is a decision I have to make
Maybe there are some new and wondrous possibilities just around the corner
Maybe it is just spring