A Late Season Harvest

Still on the heels of retrospection concerning 2013, I find myself thinking (always dangerous)… thinking of the events that effected me, or mine, and how the hell I can avoid them in the future. 

I began last month by deciding to not blog during the holiday season. Just too much going on. Not enough time to give it my all. Prioritizing family and friends over the enormous time and effort of attempting to create a blog worth reading- and then promoting it across social media. If you only knew (and some of you do). 

But this post isn’t about writing, or blogging, or feeding my virtual ego.

This post is about thinking. 

My father died under unbelievable circumstances in 2012. He did not leave a hole. More like a dark room that I choose not to enter often- at least not without a flashlight and a playbook. Enough. 

Both of my in-laws passed away in 2013. I loved them very much. We were close. I was not there at the end. After 30+ years of support and love. Shame on me.

My beloved sister-n-law passed away after a long battle with cancer that began in her breast. 

This took my breath away. I am still reeling, and my husband (her brother) is still hyperventilating. We are trying to relearn how to breath- together. Some times pure oxygen is required. Sometimes just letting a moment of remembrance pass over us without a word. Like that. Hard. 

My sister and I had a knock-down-dragout a little over a year ago. We’re back to normal but we’ve chosen to ignore it- or I have. I don’t think we can get to the bottom of a bottomless pit. I just want to hold onto each other, fight and forgive, and laugh- always laugh. And love each other so much it hurts- and sometimes it does. 

My mother has gotten older and I’m having a hard time forgiving her for that. I thought she’d be young and live forever. What a disappointment to find out she’s actually not invincible. 

I miss girlfriends. Mine are all over the country- not necessarily next door, or down the block. Advise: do not expect to make new lunch-ready girlfriends in a new city at 50+ years old with no little kids to push you together. Women my age have their friends and are not looking to make new BFF’s. That’s a fact. As it should be.

I’m wondering how Ben and I will march into the future. What will it look like? Will we always laugh? Will he remember to kiss me even when I look like hell? Will his desire to fish and mine to travel mesh? Or will we just be room mates with children in common, and medications? 

How will I keep myself relevant in my children’s lives when they both live so far away? Will I be a good mother-n-law? A good grandmother? How will this work?

Thinking and feeling my way through the future, a future that can’t be avoided, no matter how hard I try.

What I do know is that I will persevere, and thrive, and continue to try, all hard… 

but any great harvest is.
Our late season harvest from the garden.
Those are LEMONS, people, not grapefruit.

  • Anonymous - Things do sound dark as this new year starts. The loss of loved ones and complications with some really do draw a dark curtain. I understand. I feel your pain and guilt at “not being there” –then again, many loved ones wait til their families are ‘not there’ to release. So maybe you’re the only one it mattered to, Maybe it freed them to go, you know? Don’t beat yourself up. Like you, I get introspective but I’ve learned to be careful about staying in the darkness too long. It’s helpful to feel all emotions, but depression can kick in if we stay in the dark past the time we should and only you know when that will be. But maybe I can encourage you. I have made several new really good friends in the past 3 years, when I moved back to CA. Women in their 50s and 60s. Keep reaching out. Friendships nurtured will often bloom in the unlikeliest places! Don’t give up. And remember, you have all of us.
    Blessings to you–

    • A Pleasant House - I know this post will throw some people for a loop. But I’m human too! Thanks Carol. I do appreciate your friendship.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Steck - What a difficult time. I’m so sorry to hear about all the loss and pain. I’m glad you have people in your life to help you thrive and persevere. The harvest will be worth it. Welcome back.ReplyCancel

  • Natalie DeYoung - Oh, I am so sorry for your loss. 🙁 Though I’m not yet in my 50’s, I relate to what you observed about friendship. I moved to a new city two years ago, and have yet to make any friends here…ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Life is good- even GREAT! But was feeling like it was the right time to write a different, non sarcastic, kind of post. I’m nothing if not an optimist!ReplyCancel

  • Travels with Tam - I can certainly relate. I had an indescribable 2013, which ended with my husband alive and recovering from being on life support and a double lung transplant. An unbelievable turn of events. I just published a blog along these lines, http://www.travelswithtam.com/blog called Taking Stock. I completely relate….my 23 year old son called this morning to tell me he’s engaged. I need to meditate.ReplyCancel

  • Travels with Tam - I completely relate. 2013 was an unreal year for me, and I am hoping for a better 2014. I just blogged about my intentions for the new year, called Taking Stock. Change is definitely in the air!ReplyCancel

  • Rich Rumple - Life is filled with low points. Mine, perhaps is proof of that. However, the future can be tremendous, if you keep a positive attitude. I usually don’t, but what the hell, low expectations bring little disappointment. As my wife and I have grown together (not literally, you can’t become Siamese Twins through living together) over the years, I still hug and kiss her, and even grab her tail from time to time. I just have to reach much lower in order to do so as gravity does affect the human body over the years. Hang in there and stay a survivor, unless, of course, you have extremely wealthy friends that die and leave you an active producing gold mine. If that happens, party like crazy! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Thanks Rich- I am an optimist. Always have been. Always will be. Just getting a little off my chest- which is now down around my waist. HeheeeeeReplyCancel

  • Kay Lynn Akers - I think it’s good to write about the bad things in life as well as the good. It makes us appreciate those good times so much more.

    I lost my mother rather unexpectedly in 2012 and that year was just awful. Finally in 2013 joy returned to my soul and it was a very good year. I wish 2014 to be like that for you.ReplyCancel

  • Dana Hemelt - I’m so sorry you’ve experienced so many losses, Cheryl. I think about many of these things and my oldest is only 15. Only. But time waits for no one, right? I wish you the best as you think and feel your way through the future…I’m sure you will thrive.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Thanks Dana. Yes- I think no matter where we are in life we all ask the same questions and face the same challenges. As a passionate gardener I know how to thrive. You’re so sweet to stop by.ReplyCancel

  • Carollynn @ www.designGumbo.net - 2013 was a tough year for me, but honestly, not nearly as tough as yours. It sucks to compare my year to yours, and find out I may be a whiny little b-atch. But ok, so be it. I read your blog for many reasons, and the honesty you share is at the top of the list. Yes you are sometimes sarcastic, but I love that, too. Seems we’re of a similar mindset, and I’m thankful you have the balls to put in writing what I’m often thinking, but too chicken to say. Happy new year, Cheryl. I hope 2014 is amazing.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Once again- I am speechless. I think hard years are relative- whatever is going on seems hard and like childbirth- we forget and the next time is just as hard. I try to be as honest as I can without becoming bitchy- though I am sarcastic because it helps tell the story, or is part of my ‘between the line’ observation. Thank you for all your good tidings. I REALLY appreciate it and please come back, over and over again! HahaaaaReplyCancel

  • Bryan Jones - I’m 55 and have suffered few major losses to date; my parent are both in their 80s, so it is realistic to assume that death is not too far away. I know it’s a cliche, but I do try to take each day at a time and live it as if it might be my last .

    Wishing you resilience and a less eventful 2014.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Thank you for your glad tidings. I also try to live each day to it’s fullest. It helps to have this little blog and hear from people like you. I’m glad you stopped by.ReplyCancel

  • William Kendall - 2013 was a bad year for me… but for you, with all that loss… that’s much more.

    What you say about your sister… it’s the opposite for me. There’s been a long, long rift with both of them, but I was willing to at least give it a try with one of them at Christmas. Instead she blew up the bridge by declaring I’m not welcome in her home.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Holy Mother! That’s bad. What is it with siblings???? That would probably be the last straw for me. How does one get over that? SO sad William. Mostly for her I think- not having you in her life. {{shaking my head}}ReplyCancel

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