Friday, May 15, 2009

A View OF my Porch

I didn't know exactly what attracted me to this little old farmhouse that was for sale--until I walked out on the porch. As if in a Coming Attractions reel, I saw myself sitting with my feet propped up on the railing, a legal pad in my lap (remember those?--they don't need batteries), basking in breeze and birdsong, and WRITING. And that happened. Every year about this time, the porch became the best room in the house, and my muse and I have spent happy hours there. However, just as I let weeds overcome my garden, I stopped treating my porch like the special place it is, and my muse like the special person SHE is. My porch became a place of flyspecks, cobwebs, and dust. My muse wasn't interested. So this week I armed myself with buckets of ammonia, rags, and brushes, and made my porch home again. Just as I was finishing, Annabelle and Ivy, the little girls who live next door, came over with a handful of lilac blooms for me. I put them in a blue glass vase and gave them a place of honor on the porch.

My muse won't be able to resist.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I Get by With a Little Help

Many people had advice for me when I decided to leave the 9-5 Club. A forwarded e-mail reminded me that decisions about fitness and nutrition made at this time will reverberate through the rest of my life. I painted a shed today after a lunch of salad from a neighbor's garden, so I think I'm OK there, so far.

Other tips from friends:

Do at least one productive thing each day.

You'll have good days and bad days.

Don't take work home from the office.

From friends who are already retired or part-time, the most common comment is: "Isn't it fun?"

Yes, it is!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Communing with my Inner Flower

Two weeks ago the view from my porch was still bleak, so it was exciting to head south for a four-day Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Great Smokies with fellow writer and hubcap artist Harriett Diller. We enjoyed quiet trails under lofty tulip poplars, rushing creeks nearby, and delicate, colorful blooms peeping out of the leaf litter and carpeting the banks. Highlights: scrambling for salamanders in a rocky creek bed. The ten-year-olds in the group showed up the rest of us. Listening to Karen LaMere, a Ho-Chunk Indian, tell us about harvesting wild rice and collecting quills from road-killed porcupines. Sitting on a log bridge by a creek sketching a flower. So engrossed in noting every indentation in every leaf that I nearly didn't see a turkey hen strolling past--and she took me for part of the scenery.

I came home filled with green and the sound of water and the peace of forests. It was a week spent being myself, free of daily frets and worries. A good transition to this new path I'm on.