How I Earned My Wrinkles, by Anne K. Bardsley - “Come on in, sit down. Can I get you a cup of coffee?” I could almost hear Anne Bardsley saying that to me as I read her new book, How I Earned My Wrinkles...
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Alone and then there's ALONE
With a recent end to a relationship, a somewhat impulsive move to the house in the mountains and a snowfall that has me snowed in, I've taken to brooding on the subject of living alone.
When my husband died almost seven years ago - alone was paralyzing for a while. And then I hurled myself into a flurry of activity - massive renovation on the house and garden, travel, volunteering. Anything to stop me thinking in terms of being alone, confronting my loneliness. It took a couple of years to slow down, calm down and appreciate life alone. I still had friends, health, a comfortable lifestyle and of course dog. Had Samantha the cat too but she passed almost three years ago.
There have been two or three relationships in the past five years - all long distance and I have to say, pretty much on my terms. I have grown accustomed to my independence, actually enjoy time alone - maybe a bit too independent one man ventured to say.
With the ending of this last relationship, one in which we had attempted to live together, I've come to realise that I do like time alone, my own space so to speak. It's also clear to me that I am capable of sharing but not capable of compromising on those issues important to me. I guess my acid test with a man is can I visualise a future with him - in this last case - no, the picture wasn't there.
I'm just in from digging a "potty" path for dog (he has very short legs) and a path round the side of the house to where I can get to the logs under the deck. I've filled the log carrier on the deck with enough pinon wood to last me three days, dog is happy with his path, the Sun is shining. As I was hurling logs over the railing it occurred to me that this was a job for man. Down with that thinking - as long as I'm mobile I can take care of myself! Moving the snow was easy - it's incredibly light and fluffy. I poked around the garage looking longingly at my XC skiis - ancient by most standards and with bindings that no one makes boots for anymore. The boots themselves are beyond the duct tape repairs I've effected for several years now. I'll head into the nearest burg with a ski shop when the roads are clear and see what I can find. Did find a dead mouse in the garage - oh gross! that is a job for a man.
All my kids, spouses, grand kids and daughter-in-law's parents will be up for the holidays - extra dogs too! My 14 year old grandson, an avid skier watches weather reports daily and informs his parents of snow conditions around the world. Maybe a meteorologist in the making. There's been a flurry of emails about meals over the holidays - recipes for mole (the sauce not rodents) flying back and forth along with banter about the year I made a 43 ingredient mole - although in the re-telling it becomes a 100 plus ingredient deal. Truth is it's Rick Bayless' recipe for Mole Negro and I think has 23 ingredients. We have a tradition of a New Mexico themed meal on Christmas eve. Once I gave up the need to control every aspect of what goes on in the kitchen and delegated meals to willing cooks it's been a lot more fun for everyone including me.
So on a snow-packed day, with a turkey soup simmering in the slow-cooker I'm wandering around my place up here, fire-blazing, The Three Tenors entertaining me and life is good. Would I like the company of a man - no question, yes I would - but am I willing to settle for less than what makes my toes twinkle big time - no way!