coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Monday, June 26, 2023


The rainy season is here. It's hot, humid, and wet in Central Florida. It's been raining the past couple of weeks, so the ground is mushy. Up north we would not have mowed our lawn in such a state, but down here we must.  

The sun came out the other day, and although the forecast projected about a 40 - 50% chance of rain for the rest of the day, we went out early to mow. The grass and weeds were SO high. Tom mows and I edge. I use a Black and Decker string trimmer that runs on a rechargeable battery. It's not the best, but it's good enough for me. I wish I had a gas-driven metal blade trimmer because they are so cool; however, they are worse for the environment. Plus, they are lethal and I don't want to cut my toes off.  

When it is wet and mushy, the string kicks up mud as I slice and dice our wayward grass. I am often splattered with mud at the end, all the way up to my sunglasses. It's kind of thrilling.  

We already need to mow again

Friday, June 23, 2023

Can you love when you don't like?

I received the following comment on my last post: "I have no idea what the participle "loved" means in this context."  

Good question. Here's my answer:

It's love, rather than loved. I feel love for my Dad currently. He's dead, but I'm not. I put myself first. 

What is love in this context? A deep caring? An ancestral connection?  An ineffable feeling that can't be fully erased? I don't know.  

Before I forgave him I was angry, burning in Hell kind of angry. Consequently, his actions continued to hurt me. I was a victim. That made me more angry. There came a time when I understood that in order stop being a victim, I had to let go of my anger and leave him behind. It seemed like the best thing I could do for myself.  

Forgiveness doesn't mean I think he's a great guy. It doesn't mean I accept his brutality as a good thing. Forgiveness means I stepped away and left his meanness with him. Sometimes forgiveness is the meanest sucker punch of all. You know, "yeah I have some bruises, but you should see the other guy."

It wasn't being hit that messed me up. The real damage was the feeling that I was unimportant, unloved, and somehow at fault or deserving of such treatment. In fact, his actions were never about me. I was an innocent kid in the wrong place at the wrong time.  

Once I detached, I could see that he was a sad, pathetic person. I left him and his problems behind me. I no longer expected to have a good father. There was only ever going to be him. He had his own story, and his own father. 

It's not a happy, feel good kind of love I feel for him. I'm sad for him, but that's not it. I know his story, his own tortured childhood. I know his father once beat him so badly his mother didn't know if he'd live through the night. No hospital, no calling the police, just the resigned maternal vigil.  

Having said all this, I do believe there are some "sins of the father" that are unforgivable. Thankfully, he was no worse than mean and brutal.  

I don't like him, but that's not an absence of love.  

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Oh well

When I was little I was a Daddy's girl. I adored him. Unfortunately, he changed from a loving father to a scary alcoholic when I was about 6. Yeah, it was super confusing.  

He was disabled in a motorcycle accident when I was 15. He never drank again, but that didn't make me want to spend time with him. I was too used to staying under his radar; some habits are hard to break. If I called the house to talk to my mother and he answered the phone, I hung up. If he was in the living room when I visited, I stayed in the kitchen. I avoided him as best I could. 

I do feel love for my father. I have long since forgiven him. I understood violence was his weakness, not mine. I left the sin with the sinner, but forgiveness doesn't mean we could have a relationship. Emotionally, I walked away. I never had any desire to be around him. That dog don't hunt, as the cliche goes.  

I'm not writing this for consolation. This is just the way it was. Don't worry, I've had lots of therapy.  

Friday, June 9, 2023

Waking up

I remember waking early to an alarm, jumping up half asleep to start a day that was rarely mine.  Nowadays that alarm only goes off when we have to take an early flight, which rarely happens.

I get a thrill out of staying in bed after I wake up.  I doze, I try to remember my dreams, I think about people.  I feel gloriously self-indulgent staying in bed.  

I also try to make room for the cat, who wants me up, not because he needs food.  My husband, an early riser, gets up hours before I do.  Murray the cat has already been fed and has been outside.  He just thinks he can determine the schedule for his humans.  

It's no use fighting with him.  He is big, orange, and has claws and sharp teeth.  Plus, he's relentlessly cute.  

Here's a video of him saying hello to my friend, Judy:

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Window to the soul

I have my mother's eyes. They are small and slant upwards, and as I age my eyelids droop. Just like Mom. I also have her mouth, and her body type. My nose is more like my father's. Parents, family, DNA; it's all so interesting.  

Who do you look like?