Wednesday, April 3, 2013

These little earthquakes

I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA lately. Sometimes I open the page here to write, and nothing comes out. This post was from yesterday. It’s just been sitting here in my drafts, mostly because I thought it sounded lame (and somewhat sad).

Spring has arrived, however. And that’s always good.


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We knew our friend, Warren, was very sick. He’d been battling cancer for years and was in remission for many of them. But when he came to see us on March 11, we both knew that it would be the last time for all of us to be together. We were surprised that he passed away just three weeks later. The days have been difficult lately – going through the massive collection of photographs and negatives that I have and seeing how young and beautiful and full of hope we all were – it’s very bittersweet.

And putting aside the ones I’ve found of my husband, just in case. Then I made myself stop doing that because it was too heartbreaking.

And somewhere between doing what’s right and doing what’s right for you, we decided to stay home and not go to the funeral service for our friend. Getting to Biloxi, MS would have been a great hardship for us.


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So imagine my surprise when I asked my husband today if he would like to drive to Chesapeake City, and get lunch to go, and have a picnic by the water, and actually hearing him say, “yes”.

Mind you, this is something we rarely do. So this was a treat to me.


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I called to order crab cake sandwiches from the Bayard House Restaurant in Chesapeake City and we sat by the water in the warmth of the car while we ate our most delicious lunch.

The sun was shining, but it sure was cold.

And, of course, George came along for the ride.


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Historic Chesapeake City used to be sort of our home town, back when we lived at the horse farm. It lies along the 14-mile C&D (Chesapeake & Delaware) Canal, the waterway  that connects the Chesapeake Bay at its northernmost point to the Delaware River.


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I used to cross this bridge every single day while driving to work at the school.

It’s very high.


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My husband wanted to take a drive after our luncch, so we stopped for coffee at Starbucks in Middletown, DE and traveled through Odessa, then down Rte. 9 on this sunny day, and got out to take a little walk.

I hadn’t brought the proper cold-weather gear, so it was a short walk.


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Beautiful sky.


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And then we came home and sat outside on the patio and watched the birds and remembered our friend. When he was here a few weeks ago, the birds were out and about and we identified them for him as we sat outside and talked. Warren was my husband’s best friend, and my best guy friend. It was Warren who introduced me to my husband when we were all 19 years old.

They called each other George. I don’t know why . . . it started 25 or so years ago. My husband named our dog after the pet name they had for each other, telling me at the time that it had to be a name he would remember.


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Sometimes it’s really difficult talking to my husband. But I’m not here to complain about it. His words are sometimes wrong and it’s often a guessing game as to what he’s actually trying to say. (You know that football player I was friends with and he got the cancer and he lived in Pennsylvania?) It wasn’t until several hours later that I realized he was talking about Joe Conwell who played for the Philadelphia Eagles, and we first heard that Warren had cancer. We lived on a horse farm in Pennsylvania.

I tell myself that it’s not his fault (because it’s not). But that doesn’t make it any easier. Sometimes I pretend to understand, but he’s not stupid. He can tell when I’m faking it.

* snort *

I just made myself smile.

It’s just after 5 PM and I have {this chicken} in the oven (found it on Pinterest) and a small dish of my go-to {macaroni & cheese}. This has become my favorite mac & cheese recipe, and for good old-fashioned comfort food, it can’t be beat. It’s going to smell divine soon in this house. All I need to do now is steam the carrots.

Thanks for stopping by, my friends.

123 Signature[5]


Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow. So, sad. Sometimes life can be so hard to take and understand. At times like this, the only thing you can do is be. Loved that you went for your picnic. Somehow it is perfect. My prayers and my heart is with you. Pam

Mental P Mama said...

So, so sad. But happy to read about your adventure. xoxo

Sheila said...

What a beautiful afternoon you and your husband had. Thanks for sharing all of the great images with us all.

Carol E. said...

I'm sorry that you lost your friend, and your husband is struggling. Life can sure be tough, and then there are beautiful, blue skies. sometimes it's hard to know how to feel.

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Woman Seeking Center said...

Kate, as so often happens, I find my heart moved by your painterly words. Words that both capture and reflect the questions of our days, of love and of life...

Loss is hard. The greater the heart-treasure, the deeper the angst. And loss is loss, be it the ending of a life, or the unraveling of conversation (as you described with your dear husband).

If emotions were a river there are times and life experiences that would drown us as surely as if we were tumbling amid whitewater rapids.

I was reading earlier of Lauren (thankfully!) sidestepping disaster and reading your words here I again think of how layered and complex, joyous yet intense, predictible tho tenuous life is...

It made my heart sing reading you chose to celebrate and remember Warren in the way that was 'right' for you, for your husband. As it should be - too much of life (IMHO) is spent in trying to follow standard guidelines for things that really have no 'standard' response.

So think of your friend and hold close the years shared while gently unraveling your sadness of his loss, of youth lost, of control of life* lost.

*(Even tho we never did control life, like you looking at decades old images recently I realized I miss the days when I thought (somehow) we did).

Hugs x many

Anonymous said...

How beautifully Issy put it !! And what a beautiful tribute to your friend.


Marilyn said...

life is like can kick you in the gut and knock you down and then serve you up a great lunch and a walk by the water...
your friend is gone but you'll always remember him...which means for as long as you are here...he will be too... a lifetime of memories are all we have sometimes...the longer we live the more we get to have...
hugs dear Kate...take care.

Kerri Farley said...

I'm very sorry for all you're going through ..... but glad you made a beautiful memory with your husband today. Really .... all we have is this moment .... I'm learning that ... and to make the most of it.
HUGS to you!

JaneK said...

My guess is that Warren would not have wanted you to make the very big trek to Biloxi just b/c it seemed like it was the right thing to do. Funereals are for the living, anyway. And you certainly don't need to go to a funereal to pay respect to a dear one who has passed on. It sounds like his memory has been very much honored.

I didn't get the "faking it" innuendo until the *snort*. Ah, such is the pathetic life of a separated middle aged mom. *snort*

Glad you and your husband had a peaceful and pleasant day.
Hugs to you :-)

Connie in Hartwood said...

Not lame at all, sweet Kate ... it's life, and I am pleased to share it with you.

The "George" thing reminds me of a cartoon, where there was a character who said something about "I will pet you and stroke you and name you George". I don't remember exactly which one it is, but we refer to it and call our cats George ... and laugh.

Country Gal said...

A beautiful post and photos ! I understand totally . For I had lost a wonderful friend years ago to cancer . Life throws so much at us , tests us to the max and yet we learn to deal with it all the best way we can ! Bless you both .

Nellie said...

Dear, dear Kate. What a marvelous post! You have been in my mind this week. Yes, Biloxi is a long way to go. It is good you had some recent times to remember with Warren.

The outing with your husband sounds absolutely wonderful! Reminds me of a few my husband and I have taken.:-)

The day looks beautiful, but the air was still very cool for you.

It is such a good thing to be making good memories.


Andi said...

You are still on my heart and mind, with the loss of your friend. Our best friends we have also known for over 25 years. I met them, when I met my husband. Our friend uses my husband's "pet" name for him, as his email address. I can only imagine the loss I may feel some day if the four of us are no longer "The four of us" -- Rather than stuggling to get to MS, it sounds like you found a very nice way to honor your friend, and spend some time thinking of him. <3

Cheryl said...

Dear Kate,
Reading your post brought back so many memories. I used to feel that my conversations with Kenny could be like participating in a word scavenger hunt. And just as you described, a few hours later, it would become clear as to what he was saying, and make complete sense... Exhausting? More than anyone can know! Do I miss it? I do.
My thoughts are with you.

Driftwood and Pumpkin said...

My dearest Kate. I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't pretend to know the sadness you carry right now but I know you are strong and I know you will carry on and get through this. Blessings to Warren's family and friends for healing past grief and into joyful remembrance.

Sabrina Steyling said...

Beautiful post, Kate. Sometimes life is definitely beyond comprehension; I'm sorry about your friend Warren and will continue to keep you all in my prayers. But I'm glad you and your husband could share this little getaway! Looks divine.

Anonymous said...

I laughed at how you and your husband communicate...almost sounds like a game of charades. Xox

I can almost taste those crabcakes!! Yum.

JC said...

I was trying to think of something wise and uplifting to say to you. Only the real thing is that life is hard sometimes. Very.

I am so sorry about the loss of your friend. I can't even imagine the pain your heart is feeling.

The drive and lunch seemed very nice and would have brought back many warm memories.

Your husbands talking is what I do when I'm tired. After my coma, I relearned most words. My h says I have my own language. So, I can relate and know what you are going through. We can't find the words so we describe.

My hope is that this is it for now. May Spring bring you peace.

George, I've always thought, was a marvelous name for your dog. Now, I know why.

Don't forget to enjoy those birds, it's what will get you through those hard times.


mrs mediocrity said...

You made me smile through the tears you had brought to my eyes. Life is filled with little earthquakes, and some big ones, too, isn't it? xo

Cloudia said...

See. THAT is literature; the unique voice of a particular, thoughtful person, in a particular time and place, facing that we all face.
Perhaps it is my own approaching 'big' birthday, the friends of youth I've lost, the setting in the Middle Atlantic in SPRING (the Delaware was my river). . . . . Thank you for speaking to my heart and soul.

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3

The JR said...

Your friend will understand that you didn't attend. They are hard on us....the ones that are left behind.

I'm glad you got out to enjoy a pretty day with your husband and that great doggie.

Take care, am thinking about you.

Karen said...

I've been looking for something different for dinner.. we'll have those two recipes tonight, I thank you :-)

Your day was delightful, here's to many more ahead, and a hug to you and yours -

Daryl said...

i know that restaurant and bridge ... it was warmer when you, reena and i went there .. need to do that again ... xoxo

Em Parkinson said...

Kate, it must be SO hard for you and I'm so impressed at the strength you find in seeing the humour in such a difficult time. How awful for your husband too to lose someone so bound up in both your lives. Love to you both. x

Hilary said...

Such a sad loss. It sounds like the two of you acknowledged your friend well on this day. And you made me laugh too with your faking it comment. ;)

beth said...

i'm so happy the two of you had a date....a well needed date....and it sounded delicious !

now we know where "george" came from.....i love that!

rest in peace in peace......xo

Carolynn Anctil said...

It sounds like a lovely day and a charming place to spend some time together remembering and honouring your dear friend. I like the origin of George's name.

I hadn't realized the difficulty your husband has communicating. That must be very frustrating for both of you. If it's any consolation, I often struggle to figure out what my husband's trying to say and he's, otherwise, healthy. *grin*

A Glowing Ember

Cindy said...

I am so sorry for your loss Kate. Your post was wonderful and I'm so glad you decided to post it.

Reena said...

I know there is no way to fill the gap of losing Warren but you created such a nice memory with Andrew for the day. Memories that you will always have.

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Mary said...

Sounds like a lovely way to honor your friend's memory. Having gone through the funerals of two close family members in the past year, I can say with all honesty that it is so emotionally draining, even when it is "a blessing.". To spend a quiet day with a loved one is as fitting a memorial as any.

Sending much love your way, and hopefully a little bit of spring as well. xoxo

Shannah said...

What a nice way to spend a beautiful Spring day. So sorry for the loss of your dear friend. There is so much peace in nature and you capture it so well in your photos.

thotlady said...

Such a lovely day.

Lisa Gordon said...

Some days must be very, very difficult for you, Kate.
I am glad that this day was a good one.

sharon said...

As much as I love Oklahoma I would love to live in your area for a summer. Your pictures are always so inviting. I'm glad you had a nice day with your husband and George .

GailO said...

I am so sorry about your friend. You have written beautifully about him and celebrated his life in a delightful way. There is so much beauty and love that shines through your words...

thecatalanway said...

Dear Kate
Sometimes I read through all the comments on your site - what a very nice group of readers and friends you have! I hope it brings you comfort to know you are in our thoughts and our hearts - even if we don't know you outside of this blog world! Losing a dear friend whose life was woven in with yours is so painful I know. I'm glad you share this a little with us and reading your words, seeing your photos, somehow brings me comfort as it shows me how the more painful parts of life can be dealt with by a brave and warm woman. It's hard to describe the effect your posts sometimes have on me - simply perhaps it is just that they touch my heart and that is good!
Love the little bird and the George story - all perfect. Hugs Kate x

Jan's camera said...

I am so sorry to hear about the death of your friend. That is so heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing these lovely images. I also use Ree's recipe for Mac & Cheese. It is very comforting indeed.

Bluebird49 said...

I remeber your other posts about going to visit your friend in years past--how you and your hubby always looked forward to that special trip, although it was a long one.

What a great trupbute to "George" in many ways.