memories waiting


Do you remember where you were when you heard JFK was shot? A line on a tv show that’s rhubarbing in the background…but a line I’ve often heard in social settings.

Before my time but instantly I remember where I was when I heard Robin Williams was dead. I was in a Starbucks on Newbury Street. The little one was in line and I was using the wifi and checking facebook while I sat near the window. When something big happens you can’t avoid it on fb. Not something I wanted to know, let alone sitting there, a world away from my comfort zone.

The little one’s new apartment was literally across the road. What I don’t remember is whether we already knew that – were we there to look at it, to meet one of the guys? Or were we just randomly on Newbury Street and she wanted something with caffeine… She was in that Starbucks so many times over the two years that she doesn’t remember that particular visit anyway. It was my first and only time but I wonder if I’d remember if not for the image of my screen and my disbelief.

Who knew I’d ever go to Boston. And then in two years I went twice. There are bits of Boston that I know now! I doubt I’ll ever get back there but I have to remember, when darkness is sliding down the sky and blanketing me, that I didn’t ever have the faintest clue I’d see Boston in this lifetime…so who knows what’s next. It’s not over yet.


confusion / change

I came back from the beach last month serene and resolved. I knew what I wanted to do.

It didn’t last.

Confusion was only playing hide and seek, and laughing at the game. Now it’s back full strength and no amount of pondering shifts it. Should I leave my job? Should I apply for others, or retire? Would I even get another at my age? And by retire do I mean move into full time grandmother/childcare mode.

I keep waiting to just Know the answer.

At the beach I woke up to, if I’m even thinking about it there is my answer! And so I applied for a new job. Not having been called for interview probably helped confusion to escape it’s hiding spot.

Is this inner conversation palpable? The boss has requested time next week to ‘discuss my future’ – will at least part of the decision be made for me?

Once I overheard ‘you’ll find forced change can be a good thing’…



if I could paint…

One weekend, when we were here together, Ali painted the view. I wish I’d asked to have it. It wasn’t as if we didn’t talk about death, her death, but it didn’t seem appropriate to say ‘when you die, can I have that painting?’!

Today the sea is flat and grey. The sky light blue, with a white streak as though someone has dragged their paintbrush across the canvas. No boats out, other than two tankers on the horizon. And helicopter count 1.

No birds on the deck the last two days – is it too cold despite the sunshine? From time to time though, a unseen family of kookaburras cracks up about something.

I’ve got less than 24 more hours to contemplate my future – but that’s another post…

the early bird catches the longboarder

All my talk of huddling by an open fire at night doesn’t give you the scoop that the days are warm and blue skied. Warm enough anyway.

I drove down to the park yesterday, hoping to get a coffee but also the obligatory beach house garbage run. It was summer like in swarms of day trippers! Took me by surprise but yeah, standing room only this suburb.

The coffee queue was ridiculous. I realised I could do without. Remember not so long ago when going out for a coffee wasn’t even a thing? And now everyone Needs one, so much so they’d queue the sunny day away to get a grip on that paper cup of frothy goodness. Hmm, wish I had one right now!

There’s a spot near the children’s playground, the one with the boat shaped climbing frame, where cockatoos convene. And there they were. It’s almost like they were trading photographs for food – it was working for them. Like some organised tourist attraction.

It must have been longboarders meeting day and damn I missed it. Saw a bunch of old surfers standing around, wetsuits half down. And when I say old I mean perfect vintage 😉 Very nice scenery. Talking waves. Heading home.

Note to self – got to get up earlier…

wake up laughing

Last night I slept on the couch. It’s warmer in here by the fire, and last time I was here I found it sooo comfortable. I woke up with a sore back/neck this time but I think, after the car accident last week, the support wasn’t right. I’m doing it again though – just opening the door, padding up the corridor to the bathroom, icicles form on any exposed bits. It’s just too cold to leave this room, sorry house owner who hates anyone sleeping on the couch!!

Waking up in this room wins awards 🙂 I haven’t seen many sunrises in my life and my eyes opened just after it today but the light was exquisite. Then, a bush turkey tiptoeing across the roof. Took me a few minutes to identify the footsteps in my half sleep haze…but oh they make me laugh. Sounds like someone trying to walk in heels – but they’re never going to get the hang of it!

Loud whoosh overhead and a small village of cockatoos landed on the wires beyond the garden. Their arrival was celebrated by a welcome laugh chorus of more kookaburras than I could work out.

The best thing about it all was knowing I have another three, or four, wakeups like that to go.

all about me

I think it’s about six weeks since I was last at the beach. It seems I haven’t written much in that time, or actually since mother died at all…

The beach is my happy place. I’m sure if I went back through the blog I’d find most of my writing is done here. Perhaps it’s the quiet. The total lack of needing to do anything. More thinking time.

That can’t be right. I can’t switch off the think. Maybe it’s a different breed of thinking up here, away from the domestics and real life.

I stood in front of the fire tonight and thought about someone I knew way back when, who’s first born was badly burnt in a fire. He’s over thirty now and has lived a perfectly fine life with fewer fingers than he started life with but I wondered if she has ever reconciled what happened. Did she blame her husband? Does she use an open fire to warm the winter house?

My headspace moved from that story to the fact that I am far from the only mother in pain. Everyone has their own story and surely no one can raise children without experiencing every emotion there is. So much joy. So much despair. I believe we’re made of tougher stuff than we imagine when tested. We’ve got this.

The changes to me, and growth through it all, have been quite fascinating and yes, impressive! I like me and I’m proud of how I’ve done.

I hope there is plenty more to come. I hope my son will prodigal back to us. And I hope some of my offspring will have their own. I think it’d be pretty cool to welcome another generation.

Later this year I’ll go to a writers’ festival up north. Back to hippy beach. With siblings. What.was.I.thinking? I mentored a new volunteer this week who told me ‘I’m not speaking to any of my family’. We’re too old for that. Talk to them I said, family is important. I think of my son of course, not my own siblings. Easy to dish the advice, harder to remain zen in their lap….

Without great expectations, I have joined an online dating site tonight…I don’t think it will end the ice cream binges of self pity as per last night but….let the games begin 😉