60 degrees F at last

Spring is late this year, everyone says so. The wait is especially long because the winter was so cold and the snow never seemed to stop.

Our April showers were snow showers; now, we are having May rain.Rainbow

 

When we are delayed like this, the flowers seem to come on all at once.

Erythronium americanum (Trout lily, Yellow trout lily, Yellow dogtooth violet)

Erythronium americanum (Trout lily, Yellow trout lily, Yellow dogtooth violet)

This week we have narcissus and daffodils, finally! The trout lilies started on Monday and by Wednesday there were dandelions.

Seal mothers patrol the beach looking for likely spots to give birth.

We used to have a seal every spring come and balance on a rock until her baby came. The tide would float her off and she would always be there as the water receded, bowed and bouncing. Then she would leave the howling baby on the rock while she fished. We named her Lucille and when she stopped coming we felt abandoned and empty.

harbor_seal_groupNow we have more numerous un-named seals competing with the loons and the eagles and the osprey for the fish in the bay. Mergansers, eiders and cormorants are back, too!

Osprey

Osprey

I know that the Ruby-throated hummingbirds are here because I have been dive bombed and buzzed, but they are not at my feeders yet.

Next week the black flies will be out, without a doubt, and our netted hats will finally replace the wool and felt of winter.Mozzi_Suit_Seth_100mm-e1307566307177-250x250

blackflybreeders

 

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Delayed gratification: Another postponement

I have really enjoyed meeting all the great participants in Blogging 101/Zero to Hero.

Unfortunately I must take another little break from my journey towards finding a new way of life.

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My time has been hijacked again by problems at my autistic daughter’s house, problems that are much more severe than I knew or could imagine. So, priorities shift once again.

My enthusiasm for communicating via the blogosphere is high and many ideas are waiting in the wings. I will be back!

Early Spring…

 

Here in the upper right-hand corner of the map of the United States, spring has barely sprung.

We are just barely seeing the grass, the woods still contain berms of snow and ice, and rivers are coming down from their high after the ice jams broke up in the last heavy rain.

Osprey

Osprey

Two weeks ago, I cheered the day I saw my first returning osprey. Today I put out the hummingbird feeder because the migration map shows two sightings in the past week. I will put away the winter boots, keeping the muck boots, leaving the sandals for a few more weeks.

Still, no wind, rain on the way, we welcome the beginning of the light to come.

crocus

Running scared? Not this year!

There are 36,000 official registrants to the Boston Marathon this year, 9,000 plus more than last year. Add in the unofficial runners, the wheelchair entrants, and the more than 1 million spectators and you get a security challenge of massive proportions.

Over the past year, since the tragedy at the finish line in 2013, runners have gone from outrage and anger through fear and uncertainty to resolution and determination. This marathon is to be a living breathing celebration of resilience and perseverance. There will be survivors of last years bombing at the finish line and many are running on their behalf.

Some people complain that too much is being made of this anniversary and that the national news should focus on something else.

Like what? The latest Kardashian headlines? Plot twists in Modern Family? Who killed who in Game of Thrones?

I am not a runner, but I am a New Englander. When the bombing happened last year I was not near the finish line or even near Boston. I was lightly following the race on twitter and on the radio when the unthinkable happened. Since 9/11, we have been especially anxious here, wondering when our open and generous nature would leave us open to the inevitable. The 9/11 terrorists came through my local airports, after all: Portland, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts. But we still lead relatively complacent lives and are naive and trusting of strangers; I rarely lock my house or car, even now.

The idea that two ungrateful punks would try to rob us of our lives and our way of life, of our very core values, this does not sit well with us. Descendants of the Revolution, founders of our country, believers in free thinking freedom of religion and freedom for all, we are not to be bullied.

I am inspired and humbled by the courage of those involved, those who are returning to run again, to complete the course they might not have been able to finish last year. Their determination, already stronger than mere mortals, is greater than ever.

Adidas_RaceDay2013_220x126

This year, we are all from Boston, we are all running the 2014 Boston Marathon, and we will not be running scared.

Watch live: HERE

 

 

 

 

Accountability

Last year at this time, an acquaintance of mine, a poet and artist, told me I better hurry up and finish that memoir I was writing because he wanted to read it. He happens to be the father of my landscaper and was helping her with the spring raking in my yard.

I dreaded seeing him this year because I have not written another word since last April.

Before that, I had not written a word since the spring before that.

I have thought about writing. I tried reading what was already written to stimulate me but it only depressed me. Did I really want to write this memoir? Maybe the first go around, dredging up my memories, putting them down on paper, having a good laugh and a few more tears, maybe that was what I wanted all along; a catharsis; bring up the emotions to let them go. Yes, let them go, far, far away, like balloons into the deep blue yonder.

I have often procrastinated over the years but I always had a great excuse that I was too busy just surviving my life to stop and write it all down. Women who write parenting blogs, especially about their special needs kids, must have participating husbands or way more energy that I was born with.

I liken it to buying twenty perfect pencils and sharpening them all perfectly, getting a stack of just the right paper, then next year you buy the same thing because you don’t remember that you started this all before.

Now, it is more expensive, this preparing to write. Maybe I need a writing program or a new computer? Done. Maybe if I write it on paper then read it aloud into a Dragon Dictate microphone, the emotions will flow better from brain to fingers to paper. Should I join a writing group? NaNoWriMo was great for stimulating my creative juices in the direction of a crime novel, but not my memoir. Be Prepared, (as a former Girl Scout I have the right to this phrase, I think); be prepared to write and never actually write, that is my motto.

I went to a conference specifically designed to educate people in my line of work in the tools they would need to get published and write a book. It was very stimulating and depressing at the same time because I found that there is “not a large enough” market for my planned book. They said that I would need at least 1 million potential buyers! 1,000,000!

For a few weeks after the conference I was almost talked into writing a self-help book.

But, I do not want to write a self-help book. I do not care if they sell better and make you (and the publisher and agent) more money.

I did want to write something that could be labeled “Narrative non-fiction”, or “Memoir” with some factual details and perhaps some prescriptions for what might be needed in the future. But, definitely not “10 Ways to make your Autistic Adult child’s life better” or “The 10 things your autistic adult child wishes you knew”.

So here we are in April again, Autism Awareness month, the anniversary of me starting my first blog, and I am back again trying to either write the memoir.

Or not.

blue-buddha

The writer within us all

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For the last two years I tried on and off to write a blog about my struggles finding a good life for my severely autistic daughter. Whenever I wrote about something else, I somehow always found an autistic connection. That is because my life is defined by autism in a way that it was never defined by my career.

Now that I am no longer working, I have even more time to devote to making my daughter’s life better; and it takes time, time and patience. Sometimes I run out of patience, but I no longer run out of time.

I thought about writing a book about my experiences, and I wrote fifty percent of a first draft of a memoir before the motivation left me. I wanted to write the story of how I did not cure my daughter of autism, of how my friends and family, church and community, did not come together to support me in my efforts, how the miracle never happened for us. And yet, we survived. One day I realized that, despite my best efforts, she would remain severely affected by her disease and that it was okay.  She was still my beautiful girl and I still loved her more than I could have ever imagined. I accepted her as she was, maybe for the first time.

This doesn’t mean that I stopped fighting for her and trying to improve her life so that she can be as happy as possible. I also still research all the latest information about the possible causes and treatments being discovered, ever hopeful. But I feel more free to explore my other life, the life I abandoned all those years ago. I can be a little less obsessive on the autism subject; no more “All Autism, All the Time” on my mental channels.

Everyone writes books now, with on-line publishing and blogging, anyone can write their thoughts down in their own way and there will be an audience for them somewhere in the web universe. This is so liberating! Now I can try out my life long secret desire to “be a writer”!

Possibly, on this site, I will be able to share some experiments in writing that are not directly related to autism. Maybe short stories, a novel? Or just whatever strikes my fancy on a given day. Maybe even the long abandoned memoir.

I hope to connect with other closeted writers and enjoy their efforts as well.

I also hope to make my pages inviting and interesting to look at and explore.

My other blog is at: accidental autism.com