(Disclaimer: There are way more family photos and far fewer animal photos in this post than is customary. If you're not interested in this sort of thing, please skip over this post and come back tomorrow.)
(Disclaimer #2: This post is also way too long and, for this, I am truly sorry.)
Now. About August....
There are two keys things, I realize now (hindsight is always 20/20, right?), to getting through an emotional rough patch. One is to talk about it. I did this ... --> here. The second thing is to stay busy. Really busy.
And because I actually did these two things, I can say that I'm now feeling much better than I did when I wrote my beginning-of-August-not-so-happy post.
As I wrote then, my youngest son, Aidan, left on August 2nd for his assignment with AmeriCorps in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
One moment he was here, the next...he was in a different world.
His departure hit me really hard.
As a rule, when I'm feeling emotionally low, sad or just plain depressed, I'm not at all good at talking about it. However, one of the best things I did was blog about what I was going through. By writing it down here - in what I consider my safe place, it allowed me to clearly and (fairly) concisely get all my thoughts and feelings out about how I was feeling. Verbalizing is an amazing way to gain clarity, who would've guessed?! (I need to remind myself this next time I don't want to talk about something.) The bigger picture -and HUGE bonus-, though, is that I received so many supportive, gentle and kind comments from my blog friends. You are a very wise and loving bunch, you know. Thank you.
While I didn't answer you at the time, every one of the comments I received made me feel like I had an amazing team of supporters out there, rooting for me and wanting me to feel happy again. I loved this.
But since you all don't live on my road, ready to come and walk me every day and make me laugh, the second best way to combat the sadness in my heart was to stay really busy. So, over the course of the rest of the month of August...:
I surprised my friend, Marcee, by showing up unexpectedly at her house on August 7th. She's a hard one to surprise, so that was pretty fun.
It was good to see the llama ladies again and watch them enjoying Marcee's goat babies:
Then I made Marcee plant about 50 baby strawberry plants that I had dug up from my own garden so she would have more strawberries next spring. She didn't fuss at all. She's like that.
That's not to say we didn't have some fun while I was there:
When I got back home, only a few days later, another trip was planned. On the 12th, four of us from Portland (my Jim, my oldest son, Teagan, his girlfriend, Alana, and I) attended the amazing wedding of Jim's son, Brian, to his lovely bride, Avalon, in Victoria, B.C.
In preparation for the event, I had to go "fancy dress" shopping. My farm attire just wasn't going to cut it. I hadn't done this kind of shopping in so long, I took pictures of every single dress I tried on:
Having a major shoe fetish, I delighted in a gorgeous new pair of heels, too:
I think my son and his gal had as much fun on our trip as Jim and I did:
And I loved seeing them all dressed up for the wedding:
I also got to meet Teaka, who belongs to Brian's new mother-in-law:
She is two pounds of cuddly, shivery, excitable Yorkshire Terrier. (She's even smaller than my smallest chicken, Dottie.) Missing my own animals, she kindly allowed me to cuddle her up on more than one occasion:
When we got home, I harvested my garlic:
My barn smells delicious right now:
On August 18th, I realized this was my favorite time of the growing season. Look at everything that's suddenly ripe and ready to eat:
Around this time, I doggy-sat my mom's beloved dog, Wolfi, for a week while she was in Germany:
See what a good dog he was?
Most of the time, he and Roxy, my farm pup, were pretty lazy:
Except for on the 19th, when Roxy got a haircut:
Here's Roxy before:
Much better, right?
On the 24th, we celebrated my oldest son's 22nd birthday:
He still likes waking up at his mama's house on his birthday morning. This makes me so happy.
Also on the 24th, while washing windows, I inadvertently straddled a wasp's nest. *That* was an exciting moment when I realized those weren't flies flying up my dress and buzzing angrily around me:
And I didn't get stung despite their distress at me spritzing Windex above their nest.
On the 26th, five, delightful guests appeared on my doorstep for a little over 3 days of great fun. My friend, Marcee, brought her kids and mom for an end-of-summer get-away. This was Diane's (Marcee's mom's) first time to Oregon and she pretty much had that huge, wonderful smile on her face the whole time she was here:
Look, Diane brought me a few new donkeys for my collection:
Suddenly, I found myself almost at the end of the month. It went by so quickly!
It seemed especially fitting, then, that on the 27th, my heart got a special treat when I got to see Aidan on the CNN program "Anderson Cooper's 360" that was broadcasting out of New Orleans for the 5th anniversary commemoration of Hurricane Katrina:
He looks good. I also noticed that he's still very tall. :-)
So, that, in a rather lengthy nutshell, is how I spent my August. There was lots of travelling, lots of laughing, some gardening, absolutely no blogging...just living and learning how to be with no children in my house. Can't say I'm happy with this arrangement, but I don't feel like I'm going to shrivel up and become irrelevant anymore. This is a good thing.
Talk to you tomorrow.