Monday, January 30, 2023


 I read a quote the other day from Ann Lamott as I have been trying to sort out why I feel the need to write the stories of the things learned and as much as I try not to use the word...the journey.  Why do I feel my stories are worthy of being told and shared...  Why on earth this blog? But then this popped up.

     "Stories are written and told by and for people who have been broken, but who have risen up, or will rise, if attention is paid to them.  Those people are you and us.  Stories and truth are splints for the soul."


I knew when I came back here to do this blog, it was because stories had kept me up and night and with some gentle and not so gentle nudging from people who love me to write more. I am here for the telling of the stories and all that comes with them. I am here for truth telling and saying the things I have to say with as much honesty as I can bear.  I don't know any other way.

After many years of trying hard to find peace, love, respect, happiness and connection in my marriage, on June 7, 2022 a moving truck came to my house in the morning and picked up 10 bins of fabric, embroidery projects, yarn, clothes and shoes that I had openly packed up over a few weeks (nobody even noticed the stacked bins and cleared off dresser)... the hope chest my dad made me when I was 19, two small bookcases I had recently put together and a dresser from my mom's house.  I loaded my small collection of baking appliances and pans, 8 china place settings, my sewing machine and a couple of things that hung on the wall and a hour later the moving truck and my car headed west as I left my home and marriage. I ran away. 

I did not give advance warning, I had done all the asking for help to piece it back together I had in me. I didn't ask for anyone to bring their trucks and help haul my stuff to my new home because this was my task and I desperately needed and wanted to do it myself. I had spent the better part of 15 years wondering how to do this and when it was going to be the right time to go. I didn't sleep from the stress and over thinking and I lived in a constant state of heartbreak, hopelessness and fear that I would never know anything else.  I stopped asking for respect and support because it was time for me to respect myself enough to do what was best for me.  It was time to stop abandoning what I knew was good for me for anyone else's comfort.  It was time to go and although I had waited for some big "reason" or crisis to make it palatable to other people, the plain truth of it all is, I couldn't do it anymore. Nobody was coming to save me, I had to become my own warrior girl on own white horse. 

I knew where I was going, I had known for a very long a town 2 1/2 hours away, close to the coast, a small town with hills to climb, a downtown that was so similar to where I grew up that it felt like home and beaches to walk on. Every visit to this place had felt like comfort and peace and every time I left to return home, I was on the verge of tears.  As I planned and enacted my runaway, I knew was leaving my sons behind but knew they are grown and I ached to do so but knew it was their time to also find what they want for their own lives, I couldn't save them and me at the same time.  

I started fresh, living in an apartment that feels a bit like the treehouse I always wanted to live in, I have created and put together a space that feels safe and is so full of pink and pretty things that I can hardly stand it. Every day I wake up (sleeping full nights again at last) in gratitude and although living alone for the first time in my life can be daunting and achy, the peace is everything.  I am grateful at the same time I grieve. Still grieving my parents and the loss of our family home, still grieving the loss of the illusion of the relationship I tried so hard to fix and create. I fully accept that if it doesn't feel like love and support, it's ridiculous to try to convince the world and myself that it's those things. I'm so unsure of what is next but letting life help me float back to the surface of things and working on becoming whole without trying to always manage what is next. Solitude is a beautiful but also overwhelming thing at times but I remind myself that this is what I wished, ached and dreamed of for so very long.  This town has welcomed me, simple things like lunch on a Friday with my daughter, time with grandsons (I wish all my kids and grand children lived here honestly)a walk on the beach, new friends and a sense of all feels like home. I am figuring out all out one day at a time, grateful for this time and place.  

I simply did not know how else to get from there to here, from sadness and angst to peace and happiness, I just felt I had no choice.  I am not saying I did it exactly right, it was a bit of messy for sure, but I did the best I could.  I'm doing the best I can, I am really glad to stop running from my fears, the turmoil and knowing that I wasn't doing the right thing for me.  Now I am. 

With Love




Thursday, January 12, 2023

When it all changed

 Before yesterday, the last bit of anything I wrote was pretty similar to yesterday's post, saying I needed to jump back in and do the things I was aching to do.  

That was November 3, 2021. I talked about how I needed to do up Christmas and make it so good.  The reason for that was twofold.  Christmas in my home had been me doing all the things, trying to shop, wrap, decorate and bake my way into feeling how I used to feel at Christmas.  My parents were Christmas elves, they did all the things (on a budget you all...a small budget), our 100 year old house was full of lights and baked goods and villages and greenery and the biggest tree ever. There was always a mountain of presents, mostly homemade despite  their claims that next year they were cutting back.  They didn't.  After dinner on Christmas Eve people stopped by and the house seriously bulged and swayed with family, my parents friends, our friends and eventually our spouses and children. It was loud and never once did I feel alone or in any way left out or ignored.  I needed that again. And my  mom was starting to have some life changes that didn't allow her to create that giant Christmas in her own home, I had invited her to my house and my plan was to Christmas it up as far as I could make it go. I had started knitting her a beautiful lace scarf and was making lists. I  had lights and greenery ordered to throw around. I wanted to give her the same kind of Christmas she gave us.  I was excited to give her and also get back some Christmas love and spirit I was desperate to find through doing it for and with my mom.  A holiday purpose and liferaft.

On November 5, I got a call in the morning that our mom was admitted to ICU and had a small ulcer they were watching.  Nobody was in a panic but I felt like I should get there as I lived 5 hours away. I arrived at the hospital at about 3:30 and found my mom as I expected... kind of mad she was in the hospital at all , not overjoyed that we were making a deal of nothing and complaining so much about being bored. She claimed over and over that she feeling just fine and mostly pretty pissed off that she wasn't in charge of anything.  I hung out with her for a couple of hours, talked to her nurse who laughed at how sassy and bossy she was and with promises to bring socks for her cold feet and cards to play Gin Rummy the next day since she couldn't get anyone to spring her, I gave her a kiss, told her I loved her dearly and left her with books and her glasses on the night stand.  I said we would talk about the Christmas plans I had the next day. That was 6 pm.  An hour later her body had a crisis and we lost her late that night.

I know we aren't the first adult children to lose a parent and I know that it is often shockingly sudden and I know there is no way to be prepared. Figuring out what needed to be done was a weird kind of buffer, planning things and getting things set up, arranging things, dealing with mortuaries and hospital aftermaths, picking dates and making calls to her friends and ours. Stunned silences and not even clear about how real it all is and how fast life had changed forever.  My brothers and I in our separate barrage of  shock and grief and disbelief but sitting feet apart not even knowing how to speak. 

Let me say this part now because it's important to me.  My two brothers and I have, I believe navigated this really difficult bit of life with what I believe is the utmost grace and in doing so have worked to honor our parents, the way they raised us, the life and attributes they gave us as well as the way they lived and loved each other.  We had a herculean task ahead of us in the clearing out of our family home of 59 years with so much stuff that had memories attached to everything.  That's for another time.  But I'm so proud of us, I love those two men so deeply and I am grateful for the time we got to spend connecting as grown ups , working together and forging relationships that are made of granite. They have with their wives reminded me that I am loved and valued.  I am grateful beyond words.

This for me was when the reckoning began. When it became unbelievably clear how desperately short life is and how uncertain each day can be.  It was the time to come to terms with my own stuff . I am my parents only daughter and they loved me so, I wasn't taking care of their girl. I was freefalling trying to find a branch to grab onto before I hit the ground. I had lost my pieces, my spirit, my spunk and my hope. Life is short and it was time to stop abandoning myself for anyone else's comfort. I have a whole lot of shame and guilt that goes with what I accepted and normalized in order to get along and make it look like I was good. There was a walk I had to walk and hopefully not too late... this is where it began. Sitting under the redwood trees at my childhood home, I let the light in, I found my lost pieces, I stopped feeling hopeless and helpless. It was past time to take charge of my own well being without waiting for permission from anyone.   

I think we all have our things we need to tackle and sort out, I think the beauty of life is that the moments when the lights come back on in the dark cave of worry and wondering ...those are the moments we start to believe that maybe just maybe it is going to be okay but it's a walk up a steep narrow path to the top of the hill. But I'm pretty sure that the view is worth it.  Walking our walk, holding up the light for the ones behind us and in front of us, trusting that this is not for nothing.  Even if we just get stronger legs in the process and learn to breathe deeper, we will have stories to tell from the top of the hill.

with love


Diving In....

 So... here I am again.  My third reinvention and refresh of a blog and if I'm honest I still have no idea what I'm doing but it seems the desire and if I'm honest, the need to pound out in words the stuff that is rolling around my heart and thoughts.  I want to write and this is where I choose to do it.  Hi, I'm glad to see you all...

It has been a roller coaster kind of year and a half, some of it totally brutal, some of it amazing and beautiful and some of it not for me to share out loud. I will tell as much truth as I can without making  people I love uncomfortable or embarrassed. It does feel a bit like I'm opening Pandora's box and while keeping the heart of my family  in mind I do think it is important to be honest about what got me here.  It feels like I'm walking a narrow path up a steep hill.  But I believe that truth is light  and healing...that is the whole point of it all. I'm not coming from anger and not looking to unload a bunch of stuff that is not the point anymore, just telling the  story of how I got here as well as what the future holds for a woman in her 65th year who feels way more alive and free than she has in a very long time if ever (imagine that). I want to bask in the beauty of this time but acknowledge the way here. Breaking down, saving myself, figuring out how to heal and live with love as the bright lamp that lights my way. I hope it comes out the way I imagined. I hope I make it stick this time . I hope for the best of everything. 

After months of trying figure out a name for this new iteration of my writings, I decided to use my former tagline, Barefoot & Tangled. I just kept coming back to it and it felt right this morning when I started playing with layout and nailing down how I was going to approach things.  The moment I decided to return to Barefoot & Tangled, it felt much like crawling into bed and pulling up the comforter, like an exhale.  

A quick shout out to the friends who encouraged me to write again, I didn't know if I could , not sure if I should,  yet here I am because I believe in listening to the things that call my name, that will not leave me alone. A big bunch of love to my family that has shifted and evolved this last year and a half ... I will try to make you proud. And a big Ta Da for me, I put my well being at the top of the list of things I needed to get right and I had to do it in my way, on my own terms.  A woman in her 65th year coming back to life and talking about how that happened and what happens next.  For anyone reading this, I thank you for giving it all a look, I hope you will stay. Diving In....

With Love


Story telling

   I came back to this blog to write and tell the story of things.  I don't think what I've been through and lived is that unusual a...