Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 10th – 16th October 2021 – Crows, Robins, Diana Ross, Relationships, Stories, Reviews, Health and Humour


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed on Smorgasbord this week.

I hope all is well with you. Quite a bit going on around here with spare parts for the wood burner, tiles to replace cracked ones and other bits and pieces arriving daily. We are still waiting on those who will be installing topsoil, lawn, fixing said wood burner and chimney sweeping but early days yet… no fixed day or week was mentioned in negotiations! When we can ‘fit you in’ seems to be the common phrase you wait patiently.  David will be fixing the tiles himself during the redecoration process so no mystery there.

An earlier photo of Charlie

We believe that Charlie has been back in the garden. We noticed a crow, slightly bigger which is to be expected, but with the same mottled grey markings foraging under the bird feeder, accompanied by a friend. He still has trouble flying but managed to clear the hedge and perch on a telephone line. What made us think it was Charlie was that he wiped his beak from side to side on the line. Because his beak was damaged he did that after eating so we are hoping it was him.

Other than that I am making progress on the writing front and you can read an example in the post that Jane Risdon kindly shared this week…with an excerpt from the next collection.

I was the guest of author Jane Risdon who shared my short story, Miss Lloyd’s Robin, from the new collection due out at the end of the year… I hope you will head over to read.. Thanks to Jane for also showcasing Life is Like a Mosaic…

Guest of author Jane Risdon with a short story

This week William Price King, D.G. Kaye and Daniel Kemp contributed their expertise in the form of music, relationships and humour… they are amazing. Thanks to you for dropping in and the support during the week.. it keeps me motivated.

On with the show

Chart Hits 1980 Part One – Christopher Cross, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross, Queen

D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – October 2021 – No Contact – The Breaking Point

Walter – Lost and Alone by Sally Cronin

What’s in a Name? – Xenia – Beloved by Sally Cronin

#TankaProse – The Hunter’s Moon by Sally Cronin Posted

New Review #Fantasy #Adventure – The Ferryman and the Sea Witch by D.Wallace Peach

Memories, Music and Movies – 1966 – Manfred Mann, kittens and Georgy Girl

Podcast – Turning Back the Clock – The Hormone Factor Part Two – by Sally Cronin

Women’s Health – The Heart and Stress by Sally Cronin

Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part Two – Vitamin C to K2 by Sally Cronin

#Finance – Absolutely Necessary Expenses by Sharon Marchisello

#FlashFiction The Last Ride of the Night by D.L. Finn

Do You Know What To Do When One Of Your Blog Posts Gets Reblogged? Hugh W. Roberts

#Offer Marcia Meara, #Teaching Pete Springer, #Writers D.G. Kaye, #RoundUp Carol Taylor, #Halloween John Howell.

Thursday October 14th 2021 – #Humour Joy Lennick, #Interview Terry Tyler, #Booklaunch Mae Clair with Joan Hall.

Smorgasbord Children’s Reading Room – Book Review – Drystan the Dragon and Friends Series, Book 6: Dragana Helps a Fairy by Janice Spina

New Author on the Shelves – #Portugal – #Memoir – Another Day in Paradise by Karen Telling

New Book on the Shelves – #Paranormal, #UrbanFantasy, #Shortstories -Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair

#Reviews – #Menopause D.G. Kaye, #Mennonite Marian Longenecker Beaman, #Comingofage Bette A. Stevens

#History #NorthernIreland Jane Buckley, #Mystery James J. Cudney, #SouthernCulture Claire Fullerton

#History #JewishFiction Eva Hnizdo, #Fantasy Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, #Poetry Balroop Singh

October 12th 2021 -Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Funny Bone and Famous Last Words

October 14th 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – Recovery Time and Lost in Translation

 

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you have enjoyed the week… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – Rewind – Empaths and Spiritual Communication through Energy


As many of you already know that D.G. Kaye’s husband passed away on April 7th and our thoughts are with her during this sad time. Debby was happy for me to reshare her relationship posts from last year for the benefit of new readers and hopes to be back with a new column later in May.

If you have not already read Debby’s moving tribute and thoughts on the last week’s of ‘G’s life you can follow this link: Obituary – The Send Off and Love, Loss and Grief

Realms of Relationships – Empaths and Spiritual Communication through Energy

Welcome to the June edition of the Realms of Relationships. Today, I’m writing off course about a different kind of communication – through energy. Perhaps it’s these crazy times we’re all living in, but for people who are Highly Sensitive Persons, also known as HSPs, and for those of us who are empaths with similar traits, I’ve found these last few months, and in particular these last few weeks of world-wide protests for justice, weighing me down with a heavier than usual load to carry, emotionally.

For us sensitives, we are uber sensitive to the energies emitted when the hurt in the world becomes insurmountable. For empaths and HSPs, we don’t necessarily have to be directly in front of one person to pick up energies. We can also take in the collective. And I can tell you, absorbing too much of the negativity going on in the world can be very affecting.

Empaths are ultra-compassionate people, and it’s no surprise that we are feeling way too much in this time of the world.

You may be thinking I’ve gone off the beaten path here, talking about empaths today, but I tagged this column Realms of Relationships because in order for any relationship to flourish and thrive, there must be good communication. And when it comes to communication, an empath – receiver of messages through alternate methods of communication, has good experience understanding communication.

The question has often been asked – what is an empath, and what makes empathy different from sympathy? So today I’m going to break it down.

Empaths can literally feel the emotions of another. An inner-knowing through a feeling of invisibly transmitted energy, is how I’d explain it. I suspect every empath has their own unique abilities how they receive messages, just as many sensitive people, including psychics and mediums, feel spirit with one particular sense.

For example, I can sense when spirits are around me by a sudden drop in my body temperature to downright shivering, no matter the degrees it is in the room. I also sense spirit by scent. I don’t see or hear ghosts, but I sense their presence when the room I’m in suddenly begins to feel very chilly to the point that my teeth chatter as the rest of me shivers. I can smell a distinct odor of Export A cigarette smoke just as I always did when my father entered a room and when he now visits me from ‘the other side’. I get the same feeling when a mysterious waft of a certain sweet scent of perfume fills the air when my Aunty Sherry pays me a visit. Not surprisingly, I’m the only one who can smell these visitors if I’m not alone.

But I digress, I was talking about receiving empathic messages before I got lost on the ghostly messages, lol. My superpower? I like to say, I read souls. I can read and feel emotions – yes, goodness, anger, sadness, evil and every emotion in between. It’s not always a good thing, that’s for sure, but it does come in handy for sizing up situations. How to explain?

How does an empath absorb the emotions of others? I can only speak from my own experience, and the best way I can explain it is – In person, it only takes a few minutes for me to sense emotions from looking through the eyes – beyond the eyes, into the soul, so to speak. Body language and words also transmit energy. Certainly, we’ve all heard some of the old clichés like – ‘the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife’. That example of thickened air is a good indicator of what an empath picks up on whenever encountering negative energy. Empaths can feel the emotions given off by others. Like I previously mentioned, I would describe it as an energy transmission – communication through absorbed energy.

I am like a sponge or a Bounty paper towel, and have therefore, learned through the years, where to keep myself away from to avoid absorbing certain energies from attracting to me. Again, hard to explain, but I’m sure almost everyone has had a superstitious moment in life where we’re convinced there is a black cloud hanging over us, or have once felt that someone has cast an evil spell on us or maybe we just plain feel like bad luck is surrounding us. These examples are what an empath feels when we pick up negative energies about a person. And that person doesn’t have to be physically in our presence for energies to bounce off us. And not to mislead anyone, empaths pick up both good and bad energies – no discrimination. It’s just that attracting the negative energies are harder to repel. And it’s no surprise when an empath is accused of being ‘moody’ that an energy can certainly have us changing our minds like the wind – just ask my husband!

A good example of picking up collective energies is when we’re watching the news. There really is no good news on the news and by watching too much sadness, our energies become ‘empathetic’ to the pain and sadness of others. My heart gets heavy and my concentration is shot as my heart prefers to lead my mood. Just as when we’re around a celebration and our hearts are full, we’re going to feel joyful because that is what surrounds us. And those good energies are like refueling from being drained from other bad energies. It’s a cycle for an empath, but there are ways to help deter attracting those energies by learning how to shield.

Empathy is different from sympathy in that having sympathy is more of an offering of condolence as we may feel sorry for someone because of their loss, but we do not feel that person’s actual grief as an empath can by taking in the griever’s actual feelings and emotions. Our own bodies can feel the pain of others – walking precisely in their shoes.
Some may think it must be so cool to have this ability, but honestly, I’d rather not have it. Being an empath isn’t something we typically train to become, but rather, it’s an inherent or unconscious developed trait. Psychics, spiritualists, witches, and earth angels are more notoriously known for having empathic abilities, but one doesn’t have to be any one of these in order to be an empath.

Being an empath is sometimes referred to as ‘a gift’, but it’s not always a gift. Many people are empathic. And many more may be but are not aware of their ‘gift’, and some are often hindered by it.

It’s been asked many times, does one just become an empath? Is it inherited? Is it learned? Well, I’ve heard various takes on the subject, but one thought of interest stuck out to me: Some empaths don’t realize that their desire to help others sometimes stems from a lack of nurturing as a child, resulting in an unconscious need to help others. I think that’s just one possible method of how a person can be transformed into an empath subconsciously, and despite there being a ‘how to’ for almost anything available, my personal feeling is that teaching someone to be empathic would be like trying to teach someone to become a psychic. We can read all we want about the subject and watch Youtube videos, and gain lots of insight from doing so, but one cannot simply just ‘become’ an empath or a psychic. Dr. Judith Orloff, Psychiatrist at Psychology.com explains how genetics and trauma can aid in playng a part in becoming an empath, in her article where she explains this a little further

What’s it like being an empath? Well, let’s say you’re watching a depressing movie or reading a sad part of a book and your feelings are touched by what you’re reading and/or watching. You may be feeling anger, disgust, elation or any other emotion from that movie or book. The writer of the story has done a great job of painting a story and bringing the characters to life when they can evoke these emotions and the reader is drawn in and can almost feel what the character is experiencing. For an empath, we don’t require someone to narrate their feelings to us, we sense and feel the emotion. Sure, if someone shares something affecting that happened to them, I can immediately take in how they’re feeling as a result of that incident, often no words are required. It’s a vibe and energy someone gives off and that energy is transmitted into their personal space. An empath only has to look into someone’s eyes to pick up on emotion – unspoken emotions. There is definitely more than meets the eye, to quote an old cliché – ‘the eyes are the windows of the soul’, because they definitely are.

An empath is a receptor for the energy. Someone not as sensitive to these energies wouldn’t be an empath, and subsequently, wouldn’t even be able to take notice of someone around them with a hidden emotional issue unless they were informed. And sadly, it’s sometimes difficult for an empath to shield or shutdown so as not to absorb these energies. Shielding is a protective measure that is learned, it’s the virtual putting up of an invisible wall to repel the energies to keep them from penetrating into us. With that I’ll add that one doesn’t have to be an empath to learn how to shield themselves.

Empaths are usually open targets for energy vampires (suckers) because we take in other people’s energies. Our compassion can sometimes exhaust us when we encounter too much needy energy at one time. Needy doesn’t necessarily always mean the vampire is intentionally reaching out to us, but, because we are susceptible to other people’s energies and feelings – means we can sense the needy energies. We receive the feelings through energy. This is the reason I refer to these types of people as vampires – because they suck out and overwhelm our own energies as we begin feeling their pain or sadness.

Don’t forget, an empath can experience happy emotions too, not just the bad and the sad, but experiencing happy and good emotions do not drain us. In fact, they can be quite uplifting. That’s why happy people are so good for the soul. And negative people drain our souls.

There are good parts of being an empath – despite an empath’s ability to attract others’ negative energy, sometimes having that uncanny ability of reading a person’s soul through looking into their eyes, can also come in handy for staying safe and sensing oncoming trouble ahead.

Just as a fine- tuned intuition will save us from making many wrong moves, an ability to be able to learn people’s intentions through looking in their eyes can help us avoid – or at least, prepare us to avoid danger. My internal alert system flashes before me if I’m in close proximity to something scary. If I’m out in public and find myself in a situation among undesirable people, or feeling a little too close for comfort, I have an early chance of escape.

I’ll observe people when they aren’t watching and look into their eyes at an opportune moment. If there’s an exchange of words, I’ll check if a smile is genuine (an empath knows). Eyes speak, so does an ominous silence – like a smile without matching smiling eyes. But I would have to say my finest tuned skill as an empath is attracting people’s sadness. My empathy is my Achille’s Heel. It may not be that someone is intentionally in my energy space, but my radar picks up on those energies. As I mentioned earlier, we don’t have to actually be in a room with someone to pick up the energy, just as we could be watching something on TV that transmits those same energies. For a seasoned empath, we can also read energies from the written word – some things like a commonly used phrase – reading between the lines, reading ‘behind’ the words that emit the true emotion behind the words.

I’d like to share an example of an experience I had that never leaves me, to demonstrate how the energy thing works with me.

The Medium and the broken-hearted woman and my book.

About 10 years ago now, I was invited to a private gathering at my naturopath’s office by my friend Charlene, the then office manager at the clinic. Charlene invited a well-known Medium to come to the clinic to perform readings by picking up energies in the room and afterwards, the group could ask the Medium questions.

The room was dimly lit as a candle burned at the center of a big round table. The Medium would announce a spirit who came to her and ask out loud who the spirit was calling on and what was their message from the beyond. I was curious to watch more than anything, and typically prefer not to call up spirits, yet, nonetheless, I was fascinated to be invited.

Charlene told me the room would be set up in a circle, but that she too didn’t want any readings and would sit at a desk across the room from the group of about a dozen. I told her I was happily going to sit with her during the ‘session’ as I preferred not be part of the circle.

When I got to the clinic, Charlene and I went downstairs together in the room where the event took place. The Medium still hadn’t arrived yet, and people were mingling as most of them were patients who knew each other from having IV treatments together in the lounge.

Charlene and I stood by the entrance and were chatting as a sudden drift of profound sadness shot through me from nowhere and my body temperature went cold as ice. My eyes quickly cast upon one of the women at the table. I didn’t know her, she wasn’t familiar. She was merely sitting in a chair around the circle waiting for the event to begin. She displayed no outstanding emotion through body language or otherwise, but when I looked across the room, into her eyes, I felt her heart breaking. After that enormous wave of emotion transpired, I turned to Charlene with tears rolling down my cheeks and asked her who that woman was because she didn’t look familiar as I continued to tell her what I was experiencing. I told Charlene when I looked at that woman, I felt a profound sadness within. Charlene informed me the woman’s husband died a week prior and came hoping for a final goodbye message from her deceased husband, transmitted through the Medium.

I will always remember that story, just as I will always remember what happened after the session when the Medium came up to us to thank Charlene for hosting the event. But before she walked away, the tall, dark, and Bohemian- dressed Medium gazed into my eyes, leaned in and told me – “You need to write that book.” True story! It was her commandment that inspired me to write my first book – which I planned to be my only book. LOL.

~ ~ ~

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Realms of Relationships. I would have to guess there are quite a few of us empaths in our writing community here. If any of you would like to own up and share something of your own experience as an empath, please do. Conversation is music to my ears. 😊

I’ll leave you with this fun fact post which lists some of the most well-known personalities you may not have known were empaths. I’m also including some links you may want to checkout to see if you are an HSP or empath and what to look for.

Fun Facts: Five Highest Ranking Famous Empaths a wonderful post on what made these famed 5 (One is George Orwell) at the top of the compassionate list.

The difference between HSP, empaths and introverts : Empaths, Highly Sensitive People, Introverts

Checklist. Are you an empath or HSP?Highly Sensitive Person Signs

You can find the other posts in the series: D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

©D.G.Kaye 2020

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the recent reviews for Conflicted Hearts

Jan 25, 2021 D.L. Finn rated it Five Stars it was amazing

“Conflicted Hearts” is a wonderful insight of a girl growing up with an unavailable mother and father lost in that world. I could easily relate to the role of caretaker being thrust on a young girl and the guilt she carried. The blame her paternal grandparents had toward her because her father had to marry her mother was heavy, as was her parents’ on and off living arrangements and mother’s self-absorption toward her children. The guilt followed Ms. Kaye into adulthood, as she always tried to do the right thing. I appreciated how mistakes made had given her the lessons needed. One situation that made me cringe was during a trip to Greece and a broken foot. But people came into her life just when they were needed. I found that very heartening. It was hard to read about the abusive relationship she ended up in, and I was relieved when they parted ways. I loved watching the author make her way to her happily ever after. I found this an inspiring journey of how Ms. Kaye navigated her home life and then left it behind to find herself and love. I highly recommend this memoir 

If you have not discovered the non-fiction books by D.G. Kaye: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster

 

My thanks to Debby for taking on the challenge of exploring the complexity of relationships, and sharing strategies to improve the way we manage those important to us. As always your feedback is very welcome and Debby will respond to you comments when she can. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – #Marriage – After You Say “I Do” by Cheryl Oreglia


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

This is the first post from Cheryl Oreglia and it is a wonderful walk down the aisle of her long marriage, the ups and downs, losses and wonderful moments of welcoming others into the family.  I am sure that many of you will relate to the post and enjoy as much as I did.

After You Say “I Do”

We were married less then a year when Larry walked through the door of our small apartment in Beaverton, Oregon and announced, “we’re moving back to California, I quit my job, start packing.”

“Shouldn’t we discuss this first?”

Oh the hell with it, I wasn’t sure what I thought about the pool freezing over in our complex, or the nonstop rain, and I was sort of homesick. I started folding, wrapping, and stacking our life in cardboard boxes. That’s when all our belongings fit in a U-Haul trailer and our need for stability was minimal.

“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday.” Nicholas Sparks

It was the second anniversary when we realized we cared for each other even more than last year.

Three years in we gave birth to our first child, a mini me, and she became our world. Larry presented me with a beautiful Lladro figurine, something he would repeat with the births of our successive children, and those figurines still live on the mantle in the family room, sparking joy in my heart whenever I pass. #MarieKondoThing

I think it was the fourth year, right after we moved to Kansas, when our beloved child split her chin open on the edge of the bathtub. We were in the recovery room when I realized I was wearing a nightshirt covered in blood, no bra, and bright pink sweats, but more importantly we learned how unified we could be when our child was in distress. We cried, we held her, we spoke words of comfort, and we no longer cared if she slept with us for the rest of our lives.

Six months later we welcomed our second beautiful baby into the world, there’s two things we know for sure, they were sent here from heaven, and they’re Daddy’s little girls (Bob Carlisle adapted). We decided being a parent was so damn hard, except for the butterfly kisses, morning snuggles, and the patter of little feet on the hardwood floor. My prayers were completely redirected, all I could feel was enormous gratitude, and sheer exhaustion, but God had my back.

Year seven we moved back to California, I was eight months pregnant, and four weeks after moving half way across the country we welcomed our third child into the family, our hearts were on fire, and although outnumbered we learned to multitask. At this point in time I’d been pregnant or nursing for six years, hadn’t slept though the night in ages, and really had no business driving.

We didn’t get the seven year itch, we got promoted, Larry moved from medical into high tech, and suddenly our lives were immeasurably easier. We installed a car phone, put up a play set in the backyard, and discovered fine wine. Our house and hearts may have been in full bloom but every now and then the weeds took over. You know what I mean? Bad seeds get mixed in with the good. It happens.

Larry doused that shit with roundup.

I think it was the ten year mark when I realized I could not change the dude I married, it was the same month all of our children came down with the chicken pox, and suddenly his travel schedule was unusually packed?

Hallmark does not make a card for this type of occasion.

I called my Mom, “S.O.S., I’m sinking, send in the fu*king coast guard.” She was on the next flight and walked in the door just as I was throwing a shoe at the traveler for no reason. She caught it midair. Damn handy woman.

It’s not a moment I’m proud of but I tell you this because I’ve learned it’s okay to ask for help. As most of you know I would rather pull my fingernails out one at a time then admit defeat, but as if a card game, you have to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run screaming to your Mama.

We took our first vacation without the children during our tenth year. Mom flew in to guard the nest. I wrote out a complex daily schedule, loaded the refrigerator with food, and left the insurance cards on the counter. When we returned everyone was alive. A taxi was waiting in the driveway?

She couldn’t get on that return flight faster.

It was year twelve, let’s call these the difficult years, when I realized I could survive just about anything but not on my own. Our fourth child arrived, traveler dropped me off on the curb, with the child still in the car seat, a sign on the front lawn welcomed the baby home, and he headed to the airport for a week long business trip. I was trippin.

But Mom was there waiting for me. She had the older children dressed in the matching sibling shirts and the kitchen floor was recently swept. For some reason this made me inordinately happy and I sat down in the living room and cried.

That night without a single word Mom heard my silent anguish, walked into the room, took the cranky baby out of my arms, and put me to bed. Then she crawled in next to me, rubbed my back, while she rocked the baby in her other arm, put us both to sleep. I would one day do this for my own child, but this is how I learned, her hand on my back, her heart holding my son.

One evening around year thirteen traveler called from a swanky bar in downtown Boston, he said, “what did you do today?” I thought he was kidding, we have four kids, a dog, a cat, and high maintenance fish. They all need to be fed, clothed, taxied all over town (except the fish) and he wants to know WHAT I DID TODAY? Yeah, I hung up on him.

No long-term marriage is made easily, and there have been times when I’ve been so angry or so hurt that I thought my love would never recover. And then, in the midst of near despair, something has happened beneath the surface. A bright little flashing fish of hope has flicked silver fins and the water is bright and suddenly I am returned to a state of love again — till next time. Madeleine L’Engle

I decided it was time to go on strike (I may have overreacted a tad) but there is nothing worse then a women on a diet, premenstrual, and perimenopausal. The combination can be lethal, especially for husbands, poor guy had no idea what sort of storm was brewing at home.

I did absolutely nothing for four days and could hardly wait for him to walk in the door. When he did I was ready, a beer in hand (I never drink beer but it was the perfect prop), Magnum P.I. on the television, children running amuck, with no surface in the house visible. In fact we had to create a path in order to get around.

He stepped carefully over all the rubble, leaned in to give me a kiss, and without a word rolled up his sleeves, and started cleaning. Thirty minutes in I asked for a cold beer and if he could hold off vacuuming until the commercial break? He was ever so accommodating.

I married a good one.

By year thirteen we expanded the house. It was as if I could breath again. This was a good year.

During years fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen, we had the time of our lives, sporting events dominated the calendar, our neighbor Brighton was officially adopted, the teens took over the house, messaging became a thing, the front yard looked like a used car lot, we needed more chaperons, because preaching abstinence seemed futile, and as everyone was learning to master their own lives, I was learning to let go. It hurt like hell.

We survived, we thrived, we maybe even matured.

One evening I glanced around the patio, gathered at our ample table were some of our closest friends, sipping wine, laughing, singing along with the Eagles. It was a cool evening after a warm summer day, when Larry was turning on the patio heater, I remember catching his eye and smiling, because we both knew the rarity of true friends. It was these who picked us up when life won the round and they did it with such grace we hardly noticed.

“Each suburban wife struggles with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night- she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question– ‘Is this all?Betty Friedan

I applied to graduate school somewhere around year twenty, got accepted, even graduated, but more importantly I developed my critical thinking skills, and landed a day job with a paycheck. When we looked at each other from across the almost empty nest and we deemed it as good. I think we started dating again. (Update: my sister just called, she wanted to know who the hell I was dating? Hello, each other!)

Our first trip to Europe with those same good friends marked our twenty-fifth year and we got bit hard by the travel bug. Italy rocks, I decided I didn’t want to change him after all, and we both became frequent flyers.

Year twenty-seven we lost my Dad to an array of health issues, I had to learn to live with a gaping hole in my heart, I felt rudderless, so I just gave into the waves of misery, and we learned how grief ebbs and flows, but more importantly how to value the rapidly dwindling years.

Before long daughter number one married the love of her life, we gained an incredible new son, the morning of their wedding Larry handed me a gift with my coffee. I said, “what in the world is this?” It was a Lladro, something to mark this momentous occasion, just like he did after the births of all our children. I sat in bed with this little boy figurine in my hand and cried. He so gets me.

By year twenty-eight we bought a lake house in a desperate attempt to bring the family into one zip code. A place we could call our own, a way to stack up memories as if logs on a fire, and hope those embers would keep us warm in the winter of our life.

By the way, we’re toasty.

Was it year thirty when one of our children decided to move to Australia? He took a piece of my heart with him, I had to stop myself from chasing his taxi down the street, I hate good-byes. There, I said it.

I’m still waiting for him to come home, but slowly learning home is where he makes it, I’ve had to let go of the idea that home was exclusively my place. Tissue please.

Less than a year later we welcomed our first grandchild into the family and our hearts grew three sizes that day. She lit up our world as if the fourth of July. We looked at each other with new eyes, we saw how love inflates, stretches, and repurposes everything we know to be rare and true.

“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous,” says Elizabeth Gilbert.

Somewhere during year thirty-two twin grand daughters came into our lives. It is not possible to understand how they doubled our joy, and just when I was learning to tell them apart, my beloved Mother went off to be with Dad. Did I mention I hate good-byes?

Larry was my rock, but the pain of severing the umbilical cord from mother to child is indescribable, Nancy (my beloved sister) and I clung to each other as if our lives depended on it. As it turns out it did.

And we clung even tighter when her husband lost his battle with diabetes, left us in the middle of the night, and suddenly my sister became a widow. There are no words at a time like this, just presence, tears, and love. The family flooded in as did friends and neighbors, a beautiful tribute to the way David loved the people in his life.

He would have said, “It’s all good,” because early on he learned to trust in something much bigger than himself.

Life, ever a mixture of devastation and delight, we set off in celebration of daughter number two who said yes to the ring last February, and Tim finally joined the family slack channel. We looked at each other on our second flight out to Boston in one week, my foot still in a boot, and deemed us ever so lucky, my soon to be son-in-law pulled everything off without a hitch. Love is in the air…

I think it was year thirty-six when we bought each other cards and forgot to give them to each other. It’s the thought that counts.

“A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.Dave Meurer

The things we have collected over the years no longer fit in a U-haul but the things that matter do not take space, money, or go on strike. I’ve learned that real love forces you to weed out the rubbish, and embrace the good in each other, because as we know love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres as if figurines on a mantel, sparking joy in the lives of our beloved. (adapted 1 Corinthians)

I still love watching him walk into a room, I love when he pulls me into a warm embrace, and when he kisses me slow. As Kahlil Gibran notes to love is to melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully.”

I end with these wise words from Shannon Alder who says, “When you find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will stand in front of you when other’s cast stones, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who will hold your hand when your sick, who thinks your pretty without makeup, the one who turns to his friends and say, ‘that’s her’, the one that would bear your rejection because losing you means losing his will to live, who kisses you when you screw up, watches the stars and names one for you and will hold and rock that baby for hours so you can sleep…..you marry him all over again.”

This is what happens after you say, “I do.”

©Cheryl Oreglia 2019

About Cheryl Oreglia

Living in the Gap is a lifestyle blog which appears randomly as I corral the time to write and reflect on the mundane. I do have a life outside of my head and it squeezes between me and my keyboard like a frightened child. What can you do? On the surface my life is common, I’m married with children, a high school teacher who lives for weekends at the lake, but just below the surface is a unique voice, one that I hope will resonate with you. Living in the Gap, customized, over the hill, gritty, complicated life. Wouldn’t have it any other way

Connect with Cheryl

Blog: Cheryl Oreglia
Twitter: @CherylOreglia
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My thanks to Cheryl for sharing this with us and please head over to her blog to enjoy browsing through her archives.. thanks Sally.