I was living 2 lives……

And it can be quite exhausting and daunting….


…….but for the most part I’m doing a lot better.

Christmas Day evening, when I realized I kept wishing for something that would never ever happen again? ….did a lot to calm me. It’s like I let out a huge sigh. Nick wanted me to move on and maybe it’s time I did. Maybe I want to start dating. (*ugh*  Thanks for throwing me back out there after 35+ years of NOT thinking about it.)

I will ALWAYS miss Nick. He was a force to be reckoned with. He was the love of my life and will always be a part of my life. Hell, I have all his cars, how can I NOT think about him? Family reunions will be difficult at first. All the firsts I will have will be difficult. Have been difficult. The last one that will be hard will be July 22,2017. One year. Sitting here thinking about it is making me sad but I’m not losing it. July 2017 will probably be another story. I will go sit with him that day. I will continue to visit him because it does a lot to calm my soul to sit and talk to him. I tell him what the G’kids are doing and how they miss him too.

I’m doing OK. I’m doing what I need to survive this first winter on my own. I have a guy up the road who helps me more than I can thank him for. I have a daughter from Thailand that is just awesome and keeps me on my toes. I have a son in Italy who keeps me giggling. I have my own children who are amazing adults married to amazing people with wonderful kids…….I just love them to bits. And back. I have 13 ‘grandchildren’ so far….counting the blood, step, and fosters. They are all mine, regardless. To me, it doesn’t matter….if they live with MY kids? That makes them MY grandkids. So there …. pffffft.

So on to this new chapter in my crazy life.

~So today I leave you with this: Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them? ~~Rose Kennedy

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Isn’t she just ADORABUBBLE?

I have a stunningly purdifuls and darn right cute granddaughter. I had to share her photo with you. I just love this little bug to the moon and back. Just look at those eyes!

The scary part is I put her photo up next to mine at her age and they are very similar. And of course I cannot find that photo in this computer. I’ll have to add it at home.

juliana-rose-in-purpleJuliana at WWII memorial.JPG



This was my realization this morning. I’m living my life. I’m in charge of MY happiness. I just really like how this put everything into perspective.

I’m taking my key back. From my sorrow, from friends, from my kids and grandkids.

But thanks for y’all being there for me. It’s time for me to stand strong. Again.

See ya when I’m healed…..

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And….on to Christmas Day…

wood pile 2016.jpg

To get a perspective on how much wood that is………..that’s one of those 30 gallon garbage cans over on the right side……3 rows of stacked chunks and on the side closest to the red wood stove is a stack of planks you can barely see.

I am beyond excited about this. What a wonderful Christmas present in the huge load of wood and for the two men that threw it in the basement for me! Thank you beyond words.


My daughter gets it. I just LOVE this cup!!! It makes me smile.

Things are getting better for me. Christmas evening, I sat listening to Vince Gill singing and I was looking at the series of photos of Nick and I.


And it suddenly hit me.

I’m wishing for something I cannot have. Ever again. I can’t wish Nick back. I don’t want him back…he was in such pain. I can’t wish that on anyone.

I will never have another love like what he and I had. I can’t have him back. I cannot think I’ll find someone like him as he was unique. Just like I am. I may have another man in my life. I may not. Friends with Benefits?? hmmmmm – interesting concept … I may even find love again. But it will be totally different.

It won’t be like what I had with Nick because it won’t BE Nick.

Ever since then….I’ve gotten calmer. I may get sad and down again, but I think it won’t last as long. I think this realization is putting me on the right path to healing.

In this season I will find hope, and grief as well. ~HAL

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Christmas Eve morning….

I knew this day was going to be hard…………and it was. It was something I needed to get through.

And I was bound and determined to spend part of it with Nick. So I left home around 915 or so, drove the 45 minutes to Nick, spent my time with him, then got home around noon. I took along a lawn chair so I had somewhere to sit. Cause that bench is COLD when it’s only 30° outside.


I told him about the g’kids growing. How Lennox misses him like I do. How much I miss him. And wish he was still here. What I was doing for the weekend….just like the journal I started…..talking to him like he is still here.

Then I went home. Drained. And had to prepare to meet a bunch of people I didn’t know. My friend Kevin had invited my daughter, Earn and I to spend Christmas Eve with them since my son was gone to Maryland and my daughter had other plans. This way I didn’t have to sit home alone for my first Christmas Eve. I was more than a bit apprehensive. He has 3 sisters!

It actually was a lot of fun. New people, new venue? Made a world of difference. Kevin’s family is nuts. Earn made a wonderful new friend in Hannah. Hoping to get Earn and Hannah together Thursday night. I stood there watching those two girls connect like RIGHTNOW. And it was wonderful. They all made me feel welcome and like I’d been part of the family for years instead of the first time meeting all but 2 of them. I told Earn at 4:15 that I was going to church. “You come back here?” Yes, I won’t leave you with these people…..they all LAUGHED……oops.

I left at 430pm and went to church. I had to go. It was one year ago Christmas Eve that I had this overwhelming urge to get to a Christmas Eve Service. The Methodist Church in a neighboring town was suggested to us as one we would like. Nick promised if he got a nap in, that he would go with me. Little did we know that night what chain of events this would put in motion.

Three months and 2 days after going to that service, Nick and I married after being engaged for 20 years. Amazing huh?


I sat through the service Saturday night, my eyes leaking but I could breathe. The service was very nice. A lot different from a year ago, which I think helped. After it was over, I went up and sat in the chapel again. It is SO different when it’s dark. People kept going in and out of the room so I didn’t get my peaceful time alone. But I did sit there and thank Nick for being in my life.

Back to Joan’s house I went, barely able to see the road I was losing it. I should have just stopped and had Kevin come get me, but I knew he was in the middle of his family Christmas so I wasn’t going to interrupt that.

When I arrived, I kept hearing “Oh! Sue’s back!”, so after 3 times I just hollered ‘SUE’S BACK!!’ so everyone knew. They laughed. Again. *sigh* Easy audience!

I will open my heart to the love that is around me. ~HAL

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So I started something last night…

………..that I think is going to help me.

Yesterday I read an article on 6 ways to help you grieve. I’m thinking they wanted to say grieve productively instead of just wallowing in your pain. But that would be rude….right?

Anyway. The article stated you should write letters to your loved one.


pen and journal.jpg

Granted I write in here. Probably not very well but it’s helping me get stuff out of my head and put it somewhere I know I won’t misplace it. Some people have told me to turn this into a book. We’ll see.

I had started a journal thingy that has on the front of the page, questions….’What’s the weather like, in the news today, my concerns, what made me happy today, what did I do to make someone else happy’……that sort of thing. On the other side of the page is a place for thoughts and notes.

Originally, I started writing in this Journal back on June 1. I read it last night and found some things I’d forgotten. June 16th is when we decided Nick wasn’t going to do Chemo anymore. He was too thin, worn out, and just could not take anymore. When we went to Canada and a few of the things we did there. Silly things my grandkids had done.

It stops abruptly soon after we returned from our trip. My last entry is Aug 1. It’s not easy to read that day.

So at 12:30am, I started in writing. Writing to Nick like he’s just gone away on another car parts scavenger hunt. I didn’t think I would have much to say. I answered all the ‘questions’. On some I ran out of room.

And I filled both pages.

I guess I had more to tell him than I thought!


I know that one day, there will be an angry rant for him leaving me. For throwing me back out on the dating scene like we joked about. I’ll tell him how well HIS pick worked out. I know there will be a day or two when the page will be tear stained.

I miss him.  I’m not the only one.This little guy wanted to ‘Wake up Papa now?’ last time I took him with to the cemetery .

lennox-napping-on-papa-71915 Lucille Lennox and Nick cropped.JPG

I cannot begin to imagine what was going thru his mind. I just know what went thru mine. It left a mess in its wake that I’m still trying to straighten out. Trying to remember everything that needs to be done, things that he used to do. I have car guys calling and stopping in now that want to buy the stuff in my shed and garage. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed again. Thank God for my car club guys. They are a buffer between me and the buyers that think I’m stupid. I’ve learned how to turn on my heel and walk away. When they pick their jaw up off the ground, they can get off my property.

And yet, Life IS settling down. I’m getting into a routine that will get seriously disrupted when my daughter goes back to Thailand but I’ve done it once, I can do it again. Matteo and I keep in wonderful contact. Corvin even messages me on occasion.

I’m looking forward to filling up my book of letters to Nick.

I think it’s a good idea for me.

It’ll take time, but I’ll feel good again. ~HAL

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This year Ive been thru a lot.jpg

I am still here after the year of hell … aka 2016. Even tho it’s not quite over yet…..there’s still time for another bad thing or two to happen. *snortz*

So many ups and downs too numerous to mention…..The worst being Nick finally succumbing to his cancer in July…..the best? being the knowledge I will live on without him. It’s difficult. There are days I let the day win. There are days when I make it thru OK. I’d give anything to see him in a dream. But he never comes to me. I see signs of him (remember that incident with my glasses disappearing?) and other things have happened. But to actually have him come to me in my dream….hasn’t happened. Yet?

I click on videos of him so I can see his face, hear his voice and watch his hands. Doing so brings me to my knees but I miss him so much I just have to watch them. I listen to his voice mails telling me he fell asleep in our bed…and I can see him there.

Now and then I have a bad week. This week being one of them. Just trying to get thru the day every day and soon Christmas will be over. I find if I have time alone without having to think about anything, helps immensely. I spend my time doing little things I would normally do when Nick was here. And strangely enough, tis comforting. Almost normal. A routine.

I’ve met some amazing people, strengthened some awesome friendships, and gained another daughter in Earn, my Thai exchange student. I’ve met people I’d like to go out with, spend time with, do things with. I feel my world is expanding. I haven’t been single since 1980. OK, be quiet. I KNOW that’s a long time. I have things I want to do.  I want to make new friends in other places and enjoy my life. No one said I have to get married again. Maybe I’ll do OK on my own. I’m getting rather used to sleeping alone again.


Thanks to my girlfriend, Holly, I have a freakin’ AWESOME bedroom I love to be in. It’s comforting and peaceful and I sleep well in there. In that huge bed that is now all mine. In a house that is now all mine. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to realize everything on my property is now all mine. It’s not mine and Nick’s. It’s mine. To do with what I will. I have so many things to sell I don’t know where to begin. It’s not what I wanted. It’s what I ended up with.

It’s a heat wave of 37° today. Almost 50° difference from Sunday when it was chucking filly outside!! Snow and ice is melting and the sun feels good on my face.

Christmas is almost here. I’m just disorganized as to what I have to do yet. So over the next few nights, I MUST get  presents wrapped and finished up.

Y’all have a great week!

After the struggle and the fear . . . comes peace. ~HAL

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I feel crafty now….*shudders*


I found this idea on a post on Facebook that referenced Pinterest. I get flowers pretty regular from a dear friend of mine. The last time included these cool cedar branches.  I knew I had a pickle crock, this cedar, the little red berried and flower spears……so off I went playing.  It looked good but something was missing. I knew I had a couple of birch branches on my wood pile….but as you can see…..


No flippin’ way…….So I put on my heavy duty snow boots, my down coat, scarf, hat mittens, and traipsed out in the snow to find a birch branch. I got lucky. I have two trees in my yard.


I may have to retake this photo with the white stuff behind it but I do really like how this thing turned out. I have it on this chair next to my tree. I love it. I might actually be getting in the Christmas spirit………………………? nah. It will take going to church for that to happen.

I had the 3yr old grandson this weekend. He’s changed. He’s in the terrible two stage and talk about selective hearing! Wow! Pout at the drop of a hat…I used to get hugs and kisses like crazy and that’s stopped. He’s better when Mommy isn’t around but omg when Mommy shows up? Instant crab to me. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Lennox and the animals cropped.JPG

He’s laying with his back against Jegs, the dog, and his head against Sprint the cat. They felt the need to snuggle around him. All night. At least he is still being nice to them.

And so begins the week leading up to my first Christmas alone. I’m not looking forward to it. I can feel it building up already to being a bad week. I have so much to do and I’ve been putting it off because then I have to deal with the fact that Nick is gone and it’s Christmas. And I’m alone without him. Today on the way to work it was sinking in and it was difficult to drive and think.  I can feel myself pulling inward again and I feel a need to just be left alone again.

I don’t like this feeling. I am hoping that spending some time in the chapel will help. And spending some time at Portland always grounds me. We’ll see if it still does this year.

I know that talking about a loved one is good medicine. ~HAL

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Drunk and Debauched….not this weekend…..dammit

I was so counting on a weekend of drunken debauchery…………………….


But Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, decided to schedule a HUGE snowstorm for this weekend, completely ignoring OUR plans. Thank you!! Three dozen states are under some kind of weather watch due to this storm so I’m gonna play it safe.

Instead, I’ll go home and get presents wrapped and house cleaned and laundry done and and and……….most likely have Lennox for the weekend!! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS With his mommy working now, I don’t get to see him as often. I will probably take him back home on Sunday. Providing the roads are clear enough….


There are some………………………………….


I have been….I think? I’ve been doing what I want lately and I feel calmer, more focused, more in control. And as happy as I can be considering my circumstances.

I have some very good friends who contact me regularly to make sure I’m ok. I have a friend who helps keep my house from falling down, burning down, or blowing up. I can’t thank him enough for his time and all he has done for me. I think I’d be insane by now if he hadn’t changed my light switch in the basement, put up my ceiling fans, hauled wood in,  and other misc stuff with my vehicles. Thank you, Kevin. You are a lifesaver.

One day I’ll be 95% happy again and I’ll call that good. Because there is always going to be a hole in my life that only Nick could fill.


With confidence in the stars that guide me and the waves that carry me, i move toward the harbor where my loved ones wait. ~HAL



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