Weekly Photo Challenge: Local

This week, the challenge is to show us where your heart is.

“Local” to me is not so much a place as the people you know and experiences you have while being there.

Here is a garden dedicated to my son’s former third grade teacher, Mr. Winford. He died unexpectedly and it was so very sad. He loved kids and teaching. His eyes smiled when he spoke to his students. I feel lucky that at least my oldest son got to learn from him. Gardening meant a lot to Mr. Winford, so it’s fitting the school choose to honor him this way. 

I’m betting he’s still smiling as he watches these kids, having a quiet moment in all the chaos stirring around them on any given day. But here in the garden, they can stop for a bit, rest on the bench, and gather their strength and enjoy the beauty of this place. I know Mr. Winford would love that.

welcomegarden

Mr. Winford would appreciate this picture.

gardenvisit

But I think he’d like this one more! Mr. Winford is there right with them. That’s what I think!

lawnnap

For more Local photos, visit the Weekly Photo Challenge site.

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Don’t Let It Pass You By

I imagine that if I got together at a party with my blogging friends in the real dimension, we would have a blast and all be fast friends. We would hit it off immediately with laughter and tears of joys. There would be no hang ups, no jealousies, no judgments, no cliques, as we already know each other so well and have revealed our secrets. And then I thought to myself…have I? Or, have I been aloof on my own blog?

My blog has been my happy place and my lighter side, as of late. I talked about transitions with a fence in my backyard, suggesting I could share a moment with my neighbors. There was no moment, and that was fine. The new fence was up in two days, accompanied by a lot racket with my cats in a frenzied state. You think they’d lost a life. I’ve never heard such moaning over a fence down.

There it’s down…

Fence down, side view

Fence downNow it’s up!

Fence up, side viewFence upFor me, this fence marks change and the passing of time. Lately, I feel as if my life is appearing in flashes before my eyes. Recently, I attended the memorial of my late Uncle Bob, who lost the battle to cancer. Although a sad event, it was an amazing experience to be reunited with relatives whom I haven’t seen for more than thirty years. Our reunion was easy, acceptance in the air rolling off of us like a cool breeze, our embraces full, our smiles genuine. In the back of my mind, I thought it sad it had taken Uncle Bob’s death to reunite us.

Since his memorial, life is unraveling for many of my relatives. Another uncle has been hit with an onslaught of grief. In addition to his brother’s death, a pending divorce, and then just last week, lost his daughter a car accident. What more can one take?

In an earlier drama, my sister’s and brother’s cars were stolen in the same week, hardly a coincidence, this now an inconvenient circumstance more than anything. Still, stress-inducing for all involved.

As I pause to reflect in a rare moment of quiet in my house, I see how it is all too easy for me to excuse my own insecurities and worries. They seem small and insignificant. At this juncture, I recognize that life is, indeed, passing. When you’re in your forties, no longer does one say, “You have your whole life in front of you.” You don’t hear it, and if you did, you wouldn’t fall for it. In actuality, you’re lucky if you have half your life in front of you. This is not me being down in the dumps, although I would pop a Xanax right now if I could.

Honestly, I feel crippled by my inability to find a job after a ten-year absence from work, having chosen to stay at home with my kids. I’ve had a few part-time jobs here and there to help supplement the family income. If I had known how hard it would be to get back, I don’t think I would have ever left. Sometimes, I don’t know if I have it in me to write yet another cover letter. I also am weary by my constant indecision as to what to do with my life and decide what to be when I grow up. I’m starting all over. I’ll settle on a path and then, almost as quickly, become discouraged and abandon it altogether.

A few weeks ago, I was finally awarded a temporary job by my employment agency. I temped for a temp as a receptionist, and my employer instructed me not to answer the phone. Just let voice mail pick it up. Oh, really? Is this what it’s come down to? I had to laugh a little about that one. I’ve been told that even if I have experience in some area, it’s just been so long ago, you have this gap, you see. I want to tell them all to go fuck themselves. I’m still the same person, only wiser, stronger, and would run circles, circles I say, around those other candidates. I only a want a job that will let me pay back my debts and allow me to get on with enjoying my life.

The next time I write about this, I promise good news. I am an eternal optimist, and I’m due for a break, right? I’m releasing this now and thank you for receiving it.

Later this week, my son will be participating in the Junior Olympics for water polo. I’m going to ride that wave and soak it up, I’m so proud of him. I will be stepping away from my blog again, but will try to stop by your blogs. Have a great week!