My Stoop

My Stoop

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Driving Into My Culdesac: Say What?

Waking up this Sunday morning seemed  like any other. A nice cup of tea to start my day soothed my body and soul. Looking out onto my deck I observed the male and female cardinal snacking on the bird house food we had left for them. "Good morning birdies, we have a beautiful day before us."

My phone rang off the hook since I am coordinating a benefit/memorial for a friend and taking in auction items for the silent auction. I love being able to put the gifts God has blessed me with to help a friend in need. So sad though that the benefit is now a memorial because Steve who was awaiting a stem cell transplant from his sister never did get strong enough to have the procedure. Life is so very fragile. All in all though, life is all about lessons and being there for one another.

Later in the afternoon, twin sister and I went out to one of our favorite lunch spots called Khans Mongolian Barbecue. My kids were at their father's house for the weekend, so sis and I could talk about many of the ideas we had for the benefit/memorial.

Upon driving home and rounding our culdesec by our home, we were shocked by what we saw. Three police cars lined the street directly in front of my home. My heart pounded out of my chest and visions too many to name were flooding my psyche. My sister Linda and I drove in the driveway and literally jumped out of the car.  I spotted two police men standing in front of my neighbors home next to mine.

Many neighbors were outside their homes wondering, worrying about what had happened and who it had happened to. We are a close knit neighborhood and care deeply about one another. The title of my blog was inspired by my loving neighbors and is called  "Stoopin It In The Suburbs." My blog was so named because of the conversations about all of life's up's and down's and the connections we make on the stoop.

Later we learned that our teen neighbor was pushing his parents around physically and had been running away often. The parents decided it was time to call the police and take some action. It turned out he will be going to a great crisis center for runaway youth.

I feel raw because I love this boy and see his pain so deeply. It was hard to see him drive away in the police car with his head down. It was a hard day and I feel like a little kid who just wants mommy. I will pray for him and the family as I know there is abundant healing that needs to take place. " Dear God, please wrap your divine love around them all and let them know it is ok to heal and to be open. Let them know that it is your peace that will guide them through.

In Him,


One of my favorite things to do is sit peacefully at home and gather inspiration from looking out into nature. Today on Writers post we are to write anything that this picture inspires. There is no place like home. At times I sit on my deck or at my kitchen table which looks out into a lush forest of trees and just write. I so love to write and let nature just take me. There is never a loss of words for me since nature supplies endless images for me to marvel at and document.

Spring started early in Minnesota this year only to taunt us later. It has been chilly and rainy now and we long for the warm up again. Apple blossoms, tulips and other flowers started to bloom and then the chill hit. It is mid April and we have been up and down in the weather department. Oh so it goes with nature.  Looking forward to our "real spring" to come.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Ahhhhh...... Home. The sound of the word just wells up alchemist dimensions and layers of archetypal images. Home and what home symbolizes can have differing viewpoints depending on who you ask. Well for some of us, home brings forth lovely memories and for others, rough and emotionally painful memories are evoked. Still, whether or not home was experienced as a hearth or a place of horrific pain as a child, home can be and usually is our grounding place when we are adults. Like they say, "home is where the heart is." Or is it?

My own childhood had scads of pain and chaos scattered through it. As a psycho-therapist by trade, I now know that dysfunction in families is normal. There is no perfect family. As much as we want to believe in idealistic childhoods, odds are, not so much. Not Perfect.

 Blessed is to live in my home now with my kids and  my identical twin sister after thirteen years of living in and with the cycle of abuse.  My life was like a Friday night horror flick filled with confusion, fear, and thick black oppression. I am using the exact words that my domestic abuse group used. I fought to breathe and at times, I really couldn't breathe. The dark, exhausting, empty,superficial and sinister energy was all encompassing. It drained my once abundant life energy,stained and permeated every space and every place in my home. Even in a tropical paradise with him, I was miserable. I was stuck, abused, scared, lonely and ashamed. How could I have ever made a decision to be with someone so void of emotion and empathy.

Home is supposed  be comfortable and a place of safety, solidarity, a sanctuary.  This was not a home. Only a rare few courageous friends and family dared question the darting stares, anger outbursts and personality inconsistencies in him.

I had made a home at college in my simple dorm room, and apartment off campus later in my college career. I made a home after college at another apartment.   No matter where I am, I will make a home.  I made a home with my ex husband  In fact, I made two with him because we also owned a cabin up north together. But was it a home? This is a morsel for you to critically think about.  I sold this  lovely cabin with lovely people whom I made lasting friendships with. I had all the toys that go along with having a place to go  "up North".  I had by all societies standards  everything ......  Arrived....... ski, pontoon, and fishing boats, a timeshare in Cancun Mexico, snowmobiles, jet ski's.....bla bla bla.

 When it came down to it all of that mattered naught  to me. I have never placed a high value on money, wealth, or material wealth.  The only thing I truly cared about was my children and I, our freedom and serenity.  God taught me great life lessons:  Great wealth comes from happiness, relationships, peace, using your God given gifts, and love. You can not buy love, you can not take wealth or materials with you when you go. You must live life with eyes wide open. Questioning and Assertiveness is positive and perhaps may save you.  Do not pretend if the life your living is not what you hoped for. It's OK to be sad,  it's OK to be honest with friends if your relationship is complicated. You will survive with your integrity even after some family and friends don't believe you. It is OK that you trusted him. You will find peace again, but it will be a deeper, more powerful uplifting peace. You will come out on the other side of the hell you once knew with a sureness about most everything. You will not care so much about what others think about you because you know who you are and what you endured.

The home I presently abide, was where the ever present  house of horrors hung cold and dank. This is where my children were raised and it's also where danger soaked the walls which have now been cleared. All that darkness and fear turned into harmony, peace and gratitude.  My home now is full of light, love, learning,  laughing and freedom.

Home is where the heart is. Please know that a home should be a place of great love, comfort and support. We all have a choice to abide in a house of love----

"Happiness resides not in possessions and not in gold- the feeling of happiness dwells in the soul"- Demoritus

Sunday, April 8, 2012

No Particular Place To Go

Happy Easter to all of you. I link Easter to the prompt of no particular place to go because Easter this year was at home. Life is about change and my life has had changes just like we all go through. The family Easter ritual was to eat at my fathers house. Dad getting older decided that was just too much so we started going out to Easter brunches. Change can be hard but it made sense and we all acclimated to this change. Then I married and Easter was spent at my in-laws home or brunch with my side of the family. Thirteen years married then divorced, life changed again and now I could do Easter at my own home. The caveat was that each year either myself or the children's dad had the Easter holiday. This was just like every other holiday, we switched off every other year. Change is hard but my children and I acclimated to it once again. Such is life.

Let's come to this year, this Easter of 2012. No particular place to go is not such a bad thing you know, in fact it is a surprise blessing. OK, so this year is not an Easter with the kids but I acquired a running list of new hobbies that I look forward to and enjoy----

I had an Easter this year I won't soon forget  A stellar dinner with twin sister and best friend. Walks with the dogs and sissy in our neighborhood with lots of sunshine.  How wonderful life is, it is just different now and that is a good thing. Truth be told, I love being a single mom with no man to take care of.   Happy Easter to you and yours--------

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Fools

Let me start at the beginning. I awoke to a perfect Minnesota day on April fools day. Skies were blue, lovely light wind and temperatures in the 70's.  After talking to my neighbors and friends outside, I decided to take a sit on my favorite Jamaican chair. It is exquisite to say the least. I found this gem at our local farmers market.

The kids and neighbors dispersed. I put the two dogs on the chain and walked over to my little piece of heaven. I thought the Jamaican chair was quite high, oh well I will jump up on it. I mean, how hard can that be? I looked back and made my plan.  OK, here I go.....

Envision me jumping up and going backwards so my tush could hit the chair. It hit it all right. I got my bum on the chair and thought that wasn't so bad.  In the next moment I realized I was plummeting down to the earth. Yes, you heard me right. I hit the grass and were it not for my fleshy bum, I could have really got hurt. I landed and straight away looked in all directions hoping that No one saw this ugly display of insanity.

I saw a neighbor coming around the corner walking her dog. She could hear me laughing and asked me what was so funny. I told her I had just taken a spill and ripped the Jamaican Chair right off the tree. She protested that she did not see it happen I think just to be nice.

Any WHO, I picked my ego right up off that green grass of mine and walked into the shower because let's just say...I had to.........

Jumping out of the shower, I hear loud commotion and my son screaming " Mom, where are you?" I walked out to the hallway in my towel and he exclaimed that he and the neighbors were all worried because..
They found a pair of cheater glasses belonging to me on the ground next to the Jamaican chair lying next to the tree and the rusty chain lying near it.  The chain was no longer hooked into the tree.  Hmmmm....

I explained to him what had happened.  Later that night........As I sit in my favorite leather chair on Advil with an ice pack to calm my now aching back and thighs...We realize we have not yet punk ed my kids and it is April fools day.  We will take care of that.

Linda and I came up with a plan. As my kids sat around the bonfire, Linda made her way out to the deck. She reported to the entire group of kids and adult neighbor friends of ours that I was in the house crying because the pain was so intense from falling of the chair. She also informed them that she was taking me in to ER.  Lots of oohs and ahhs and worried kids and neighbors....


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Nature Sings Video