search
top

The City Girl

I barreled over the Chesapeake Bay on up the highway to my hometown city of Baltimore.

The Western Shore on shalavee.com

On the way to meet up with some old friends and journey up to see another friend now living in Pennsylvania. 

Howard Street in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

I sped through the city. The quickest way through the city to my friend’s house was right through the neighborhood that I grew up in, Waverly.

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

the neighborhood where I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

And I was thrilled to see that there was a new library there. So much beautiful light now. I got tears in my eyes.

Another hour plus driving and we were in New Oxford Pennsylvania visiting our friend Rose and her lovely kitchen shop.

And then feasting on green chile and psole stew at her house and toasting ourselves.

My Hon alum date on shalavee.com

My Hon alum date on shalavee.com

And then all too soon, I made the journey back. Through the city of my youth which doesn’t look itself at all these days. I’m glad.

The city I grew up in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

I Read What I Write and Discover Myself

I write to discover, and then I forget myself again. It’s been a really interesting journey discovering who I am and what I know. Then, like so much dust churned up, the ideas dissipate back into the computer files. The complexity of me is lost to myself, to others.

I envy my blog’s readers as they know me better than I often know myself. I find it equally interesting that many of my friends never read my blog. They must figure they’ll catch up with me when they see me. Or maybe they don’t want to know too much about me for fear they may not like me as much as they do now. Fiona and Me on shalavee.com

The me here on the blog is more “me-er” than in real life. A kind gentleman reader fussed recently that he felt bad for me always being so down on myself when I come across as such a confident person in person. I explained that with three posts on the blog weekly with subjects tending towards the wobbly, the picture of me is skewed and concentrated. But in this way, I can show that my humanity is here and so the reader can allow for their humanity too.

I never ever imagined that writing would lead me to such a wealth of self-knowledge and acceptance. A deeper understanding of self and the kindness of people in general has given me renewed faith in both myself and others which is exquisite as liquid hope. Opening up to others’ thoughts and worlds has given my brain sustenance and gifted me all sorts of friendships with all sorts of people including myself. And a boundless bounty of perspectives. Fiona's hair on shalavee.com

I made a passing comment in the beginning of the year that I wanted to read my writing daily. In that way, I could remember what I do and why it is I think others should really read it too. Because sometimes when I read my stuff, I think I rock. Hope you are enjoying at least this one post. There are 700 more posts hidden and awaiting my to read and recycle them. Acknowledging that I am a writer has been one of the greatest gifts to myself. And it’s gonna keep on giving until I keel over.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

My Dearest Friends

Some friendships start due to proximity and then are maintained with intention. This is the story of my Hon friends and me.

We all worked together at the Cafe Hon in Baltimore, Maryland 20 years ago. We try to get together at least once a year and remember those times, ourselves, and the people we knew. We catch up on each others lives, listen to shared tragedies, and congratulate each other on our big choices.

To make all of this happen today, we took a road trip to go see our friend Rose and her fabulous kitchen shop in New Oxford, Pennsylvania called Red Bud House which she co-owns with her husband John Lansing.John Lansing and his Redbud House shop on Shalavee.com

John And Rose Lansing and their Redbud House Shop on Shalavee.com

Sorry Rose, the only picture of you both!

Redbud House Kitchen Shop in New Oxford, Pennysylvania on Shalavee.com

Terry at Redbud House Kitchen Shop in New Oxford, Pennysylvania on Shalavee.com

Leslie and her new phone in Rose's shop n Shalavee.com

Redbud House Kitchen Shop in New Oxford, Pennysylvania on Shalavee.com

A short drive up route 30, aka Lincoln’s Highway, and we arrived at her lovely little old brick house where we toasted Rose and our visit, and she fed us a yummy pork, corn, and green chile chowder. And, of course, cherry pie.Rose knows the way to hearts. Yes, of course through our bellies. So yummy ! Thank you Rose.

Rose's House on Shalavee.com

At Rose's house on Shalavee.com

At Rose's on Shalavee.com

Rose's cherry pie on Shalavee.com

These get-togethers are always so grounding. We remember another part of ourselves here. We laugh and reminisce. We compare aging body war notes. We give our condolences to one another. We are remembered by each other and now we are saying our goodbyes. Two of our group are moving away, one to Florida and the other to Oregon.

Thank you Rose, Terry, Martha, and Leslie, for your loyalty and love for me all of these years. You are dearhearts and I love you all.

(And PS it was nice to meet you Sharon and Robin!)

Leslie and her new phone in Rose's shop n Shalavee.com

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

My Backyard Friends

Once upon a time, Stay at home moms communed over their backyard fences while hanging laundry out to dry. Their social needs to bond and chat were met because their days required them to be outside with their neighbors doing the very same chores. When the “automatic” washer and dryer arrived to make life easier, laundry became an inside task. And being inside meant a new era of isolation for the very people who needed community support.

Mt Vernon in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

Where once women were connected and substantiated over our fences in the sunlight with sheets dancing in the wind and children shrieking at our heels, now there’s a disconnect to our backyards and to ourselves.  Garden and card playing clubs and porch sitting gave way to soap operas and TV sitcom addictions. We’ve fallen out of touch with our natural need to bond with people in our community, the ones we are always a part of whether we know it or not. We’ve forgotten how to request support. We suspect it might be good for us to have community “if we could just find the time”. We are unaware that the smile from someone and human touch can heal us from so much pain and fear.

At the Walter's Art Gallery on Shalavee.com

Long disassociated from our fellow women folk, we surprised ourselves by embracing the internet and, stripped of all our pretenses, we delved into the online world of social media bearing our sorrows and struggles as we posted soulful paragraphs and square photographs. Suddenly a generation of turtle women is coming out of their shells. And we are connecting again with our global community albeit a sometimes faceless one as the rare selfie is all we have to go on to know what our new friends look like. What is truly amazing is that we already know each other even though we’ve never spoken.

My new Friend on Shalavee.com

I was buoyed this month when I came out of the box and met with fellow Mother and creative Leah, a contemporary who I have much in common with and met through Instagram. I needed to hear her voice as she gave words to the same struggles I’m experiencing and suddenly, those struggles were smaller. We are more empowered to create plans of action together when we hear the same worries and realities behind others’ stories and we can say, “I’ve been there. This is what I did”. We allow ourselves to move on then.

A tthe Walters Art Gallery on Shalavee.com

A the Walters Art Gallery on Shalavee.com

A tthe Walters Art Gallery on Shalavee.com

My new friend and I met for the first time at the Walters Art Gallery in downtown Baltimore, the city where we both spent our teen and young adult years. And what a delight to talk creativity and artistic direction. We talked about motherhood, childhood, stumbling and rising again.

I have a new friend and renewed hope that where I’m headed, and the lovely women I am headed there with, are all my destiny.

Garden in Baltimore on Shalavee.com

 I like the view of my life’s possibilities standing out in my backyard, standing out in the world, standing with people I met through our new playground telling and listening to one another’s stories.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Weeding My Garden

This weekend was a glump of happy life happenings. It was a Mother’s Day weekend of wonderful gifts. My cooking hiatus started Thursday so carry out food it was for three nights in a row. Usually this would bother me. Not this weekend.

Caitlin and Fiona on Shalavee.comOur surrogate daughter Caitlin visited Friday and she and everyone else but me and Fiona went to see a local high school production. Instead, Fiona and I watched Follow That Bird, the Big Bird movie from the 80’s. Sweet. And then came Saturday, the day I’d been patiently awaiting. My gardening relief crew showed up as planned. The Uber Weeder on Shalavee.com

My garden story is a story of overwhelm and give up. But it was also a story I hated telling. So I asked for help from two women who I knew would bring it on strong. The uber-weeder and the disciplinarian/transplanter. I am so cheered and encouraged by their presence in my life and my garden. Hope has returned. And these are the thoughts that bubbled up for me on life and gardening. Ajuga takes over on Shalavee.com

Everyone’s got a life garden they are tending. The original garden plan is created in the family you grow up with but sometimes the major focal plants are just not what you want or need in your garden in your adult life. One person’s rose is another’s thorny weed. And so it’s up to you to decide which dreams and efforts are worth keeping and making the effort for and which need to be summarily yanked from that bed and tossed ceremoniously over the precipice. The Boobis Garden

Sometimes in my garden I’ll continue to coddle plants that needed the boot long ago. I’m a laissez faire gardener. Sometimes I make so much effort only to have half the garden get nuked by two freakish years of spring frost. Sometimes, we don’t want to make the effort unless we know it’s the perfect height and color plant in the perfect micro-climate in the perfect soil and light. Perfection is also a garden killer. And a life thwarter. Nothing grows if it’s not planted.New plants to kill on Shalavee.comBut most of the time you are taking a gamble on every single choice you make in the garden and your life. Once you expect the unexpected, you can start to hedge your bets. You’ll make good friends with people who have gardens and who have the sort life they can advise you on creating. You get medieval on the weeds and the negative influences in your life. And you keep your eye on the prize, your hands in the dirt, and you keep on digging, goaling, and doing. Awaiting my garden help on Shalavee.com

My garden is nothing like I’d like it to be. And yet, I am beginning to see my garden and my life not as a product but as a process. A learning process. Not as a destination but an adventure. My perception of how things are going is the only control that I have. The quality of my garden is both mine to make and to choose to then see. So I begin again. Enjoying the small moments, seeking some bigger ones to take root. And not trying to overachieve while I still have a wee Fiona ensconced in my soul and my time. All in good time.

(The story of my lovely mother’s day weekend will be another upcoming post. Talk atcha then.)

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Page 1 of 512345
top