It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.
There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


When we moved here, we knew we were moving into a small town in a big place where people know their neighbors and are helpful and watch out for each other. We assumed this .. that is what you always hear about small towns.

From the start .. curiosity plus neighborliness was demonstrated daily- with help on how to start the riding lawnmower to when the garbage is picked up and where to put your garden refuse for pick up.

The lady next door helped my husband with the Riding Lawnmower which was endearing and hilarious. She is better at a lot of things than most men I know .. plus she has a heart the size of New York State ...

My husband loved that lawnmower .. he would get out there and drive around, he waved at me as he went past the living room windows, he tried his best to get me to try it.
No .... I said ... You do it .. you like that stuff.

I would sit on the ground and dig and weed and plant and water and talk to the plants.
He would keep the grounds neat.
We had an excellent partnership.

We would take long drives and explore the area, discover places .. sights .. never did I once dream that I would be doing any of this alone one day .
Never did I think I should pay more attention to how he starts that damned lawnmower, what road to take to the car dealership .. a million little things that he took care of and I didn't worry about.

Then suddenly ... from one day to the next .. actually within moments one morning .. I was alone.
Alone, frightened, broken hearted , panicked, desolate.
I prefer  the word in French  .. désolé ... It sums it up so well.
My world changed so suddenly .. I was unable to catch up .. to realize, to adjust ... to face it.

It has taken months .. I still weep at odd times, I have trained myself not to think about some things, I am weeping now as I write.

It has been all this time and I am starting to feel like being out in the world .. going somewhere and doing something .. I was married so young, we were together always, I have to now adjust to doing things by myself ... being alone all the time.
It is so difficult !
Who knew ?

I want to go back to Buenos Aires. Partly because that is where my friends are. That is where we were so happy and where I feel at home.

I can't though .. obligations, kittens and babies tie me to this place.

So I say in a grumbling way to the neighbor that I want to get out and do something.
In my past life, the neighbor would suggest a new museum exhibit, shopping, restaurant or neighborhood. Here my neighbor suggests going to a Garden Club meeting.

In my past life, I would tell an acquaintance that I want to do something with my time ..  I am thinking to myself, perhaps they will say Join me for a drive to the Llama farm .. but in reality they suggest I get a job at a Co-Op grocery .

I have discovered that while I speak the same language as everyone here, they don't understand what I am saying.

I feel the pressure of Winter coming and being alone here again.
I am not sure what to do ... the person who always gave me the most brilliant advice is no longer here.

I will talk to Minette, she might have an opinion. If I can just pry her away from her spot by the sunroom doors where the chipmunks scurry back and forth and snicker at her because she is stuck inside.


  1. Long time lurker here. I'm a native city-dweller and world traveler who has lived in a very rural area for the past decade. I still feel like an outsider, which can be very isolating. I try to focus on the nice aspects of living here (of which there are many), but I sometimes feel much as you describe here. I know you have Minette and babies to think about, but can you get away for a little while-- long weekend or even a week? I find that sometimes helps. Barring that, I'm sending you a hug. :)

  2. Hi Cubbiccino and Thank you !
    I know wherever I go I have to adjust to doing it alone but yes, living in a rural area is isolating. I think, for me, too much. Because of the kitten and various other reasons, I can't really go away for any length of time, although I do wish I could put the kitten in a box and get on a plane to BA :)
    or a train to NYC...
    But then I think ... will it be the same fun ,doing it alone ? Adjusting is hard work :)
    I can do it.
    Thank you for your suggestions .. much appreciated.

  3. Gail, in northern CaliforniaAugust 6, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    I give myself pep talks all the time but then the house is just as empty, the silence just as deafening. I don't want this new life. After a year I am only just now able to sleep in our bed. Eating alone is gawd-awful. I live alone in the forest. Never bothered me fact, I rather liked the privacy. Now, like you said, it's complete isolation. Have you found yourself talking to yourself yet? That's a rude awakening too.

    His indelible presence is everywhere. The other night the TV stopped working, screen went black, no sound. Then I remembered him saying, "No, I want you to do it. Get a pencil. Flip down that little lever on the right side. Now with the eraser end gently press that tiny red button." The Directv satellite reset system fired right up. I said, "Thank you, David. Thank you."

    I don't know. I guess I'll get through this but the futility disturbs me. I no longer understand my purpose, I'm rudderless.

  4. Gail, I know.
    Pep talks are good, cheering for yourself is good.
    My memory is better .. my son might not agree, or maybe he would but I am not having quite such a hard time remembering ordinary things.
    I think part of that is not being panicked by every new thing that happens. My first response used to be to sit in fear and wonder What Do I DO ?????
    We all have a purpose and even if no one died, you still have a purpose .. as more time goes by, it might become more clear to you ..
    I will call you next time our stupid satellite tv goes out.

  5. I would imagine that going back to ARgentina could be a lot more difficult than you think. Everywhere you go will be filled with happy memories of your spouse and pup and it is only going to reinforce their absence.

    Have you thought of relocating from your rural setting to somewhere more urban? If you move to the city at least you can walk out the door and have restaurants and coffee shops within reach.

    Your loss was a wake up call for me. We are looking for a location to put down roots, but as I said to my spouse we have to assess each location as to how we would feel if we were on our own.

  6. Gail, in northern CaliforniaAugust 7, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Toula....forgive the direct response to you but I just have to say, you are a wise lady. Most of us are in denial. We refuse to even discuss writing a will, much less how we will cope when our husband dies, and this is a very real situation a lot of women find themselves in. Coping with the daily maintenance of a home by yourself requires skill and determination but throw in debilitating grief and your nerves are tested.

  7. I haven't read any of the comments above so perhaps someone suggested this already. Go to the local school district or districts depending how far they are and register to be a substitute teacher. You can sub in anything but think how fantastic it would be for you in Spanish! Most of those classes are at the high school level, but as long as you are on a list you could be available for anything. Gets you out of the house, surrounds you with young people (teens I mean), gets you beer (or shoe or bag or wine) money, gets you meeting other people, and Minette will be there when you get home. Just a thought. Food Coop???? nooooooooo--not for you........

  8. Gail said it all ~

    Thank you for your thoughts.
    I appreciate them so very much.
    besos ..


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