....."Navy". Or "USS Constitution". Or "Haiti". Then you should skip this.
This blog started off as a place for me to vent. A place for me to yell and scream and spout nonsense. It has evolved, as such things do and that's a good thing. But I miss being able to come out here and just say the things that some people scream into their pillows.
But today will be retro BostonMaggie.
It will be what it was before people knew who I was.
What it was before I felt any responsibility to anyone else.
When I wrote whatever I felt like without editing.
So if you are are looking for the GODNAVBLOGSTRIFOR or some political insightabout Scott Brown or such. Come back tomorrow. Tomorrow we will be back to your regular channel.
My ex-husband and I moved into this house in July of 1982. Tommy was seven months old. I created elaborate gardens in the front and small ones on the other sides of the house. I spent many enjoyable hours reading in the yard. Barely warm spring days when everything was in bud. Languid summer days, stereo speakers pressed against the screens of the living room windows, enjoying the smells of freshly cut grass, the scent of my flowers, a neighbor firing up some charcoal nearby wafting in on a fresh ocean breeze. Fall days that were warm and secret. I felt like I was stealing them. Back then the Nook would empty out after Labor Day and many houses around me would be buttoned up, their owners returned to the city. Kids would be in school and I felt like I had the Nook to myself. Every weekend was a project. Trim to paint. Windows to wash.
My family's cottage was just 500 feet away. My mother and my uncles share it, so the summer was a revolving series of visitors who had their own place to stay. It was ideal.
I can remember hot days when the tide was not good - Rocky Nook beach has such a high tide that you can swim two hours before and after the high tide, otherwise it's mud. It would be too hot to do anything. I would sit in chaise lounge, Frankie slathered in sun block, between my legs, the hose gently misting us.
I can remember cool fall days when Tom and I would snuggle under a blanket in the lounge chair reading Time magazine. He was 5 and he could name every world leader. People said read to your kids....that was what I was reading. Plus Tommy had a higher IQ than mine. I wasn't boring him, I was feeding his head.
The 80s and most of the 90s were spent gardening, cooking, reading and parenting.
When my husband and I separated, he and his girlfriend (later wife) lived a few doors away.
My sister Jen bought a house on the water in 2001. Just 800 feet to my east. It was perfect.
Later after I was divorced, I had to work more and the yard slipped by the wayside. I worked hard and paid the mortgage and even bought my ex-husband out of his share of the house. I remember reclining in the chaise looking up at the stars that night, thinking about owning the house all by myself. I always looked longingly at the yard and thought, someday I will get back to that.
And then of course I was diagnosed in July of '08. I remember standing in the yard after I told Frankie. I thought my heart would break. I needed to think of something else. I looked around and thought about the gardens and how I could bring them back.
Of course that didn't happen. I spent the first month tryng to hang on to my sanity. Telling people was painful. The next two months meeting doctors and trying to learn what I could to make the best decision possible. Treat, don't treat. Two drug cocktail, three drug cocktail. Then when I entered chemo, despite promises of how well most people tolerate it.....I was devastated. I couldn't have lifted a trowel at many points.
Recovery from chemo was supposed to take two to twelve months. Once again I drew the short straw and didn't return to my old self for nine months. This past summer, I was lucky of the lawn got mowed.
So there I was, fifty pounds heavier, deeply in debt, way behind on my mortgage.....and still full of cancerous plasma cells. Chemo had failed. The only flowers in the yard were the beds of orange daylilies and a few other rogue blooms.
I pretty much just got my feet under me when I had the car accident in December. It wasn't a bad accident. The Saturn withstood it and is still chugging along having passed 220K.
Apparently, I am more fragile.
The chiropractor advised me in the first visit that I would have to be patient. They couldn't approach my treatment in the normal way because of the multiple myeloma. she assured me that she could help me and she has. I feel much better and I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
But my finances haven't been so patient. I got a letter the other day. The mortgage company has foreclosed and the sale date is scheduled for March 10th.
I knew it was coming, but I hadn't expected to be so blue.
I should be proactive. I should be shopping for a storage facility. I should be sorting what I want to keep. I should be tossing what I don't want to keep so I can streamline this process.
But all I can think about is going out to one of the small gardens and turning over the rocks that edged the iris and rose bed around the tree.
There is a big, half-dead tree that defines one of the borders of my yard. When my husband was little he lived next door. His grandmother had a similar garden on the other side of the same tree. She was the one who planted the iris, tall beautiful blue iris. She put two quarters under the rocks. When we moved in to this house years later, that house was abandoned. There had been a devastating fire there in the years after John's family left and no one was doing anything with it. That yard was wild and untended for years. Part of my gardening had been to push into that yard, trespassing, squatting. I would call John's mother, Marie. She was a lovely woman who I miss every day. Marie would tell me as I pushed, what I would find. I remember finding the bed of lily of the valley on the north side of the house and calling her, all excited.
I remember how I felt when I pulled out the rocks that edged Pearls flower bed on her side of the tree. I called Marie and we talked about her mother. We decided I would put the coins back and add my own.
When the Guildersons moved in and restored the house, they were too busy to bother with that corner of their yard and I continued to tend the rose bed. When the Bradaneses bought the house they were content to leave it where it was. I remember the first time I met them I was working the yard in that flower bed. I had just taken Tommy to school, he was in second grade. I had Frankie in a baby swing next to me and Anna Bradanese came out to meet me, but more to see Frankie. He was a beautiful baby. They have both passed on and I miss them.
The next owner and I never saw eye to eye. Now there is a stockade fence cutting the garden in half. I don't know what happened on the other side. I've never pulled the rocks out, afraid the coins are on the other side of the fence or lost. The neighbor still owns the property, but lives elsewhere. I think I am going to ask Frankie to look on the other side. He is very friendly with the tenants.
So I am at another crossroads.
Do I stay?
I think if I really put my shoulder to the wheel, I could probably work out some kind of deal with the mortgage company. The house is worth less than the mortgage. I'm sure there is a deal to be struck. It would take my all. It would get easier as I recovered, but it would still be hard and all consuming. My income is half what it was before my diagnosis. Fighting back to full pay will happen. But not immediately.
But is that how I want to spend the time I have between now and the next round of chemo? The next round of chemo will be more devastating than the last, they've already admitted that. What the first round broke in half, the next round will decimate. In all likelihood I will lose my job and have to go on disability.
Is an other spring and summer in this house worth it?