With all the moving things from out of the shed to the garage, and packing, the dogs seem bewildered. They don’t know what’s happening.

I was planning on talking about the fact that I’m beginning my exodus one week from today. Starting it anyway. It will take awhile to get fully moved.

I was also planning on talking about last Monday’s episode of The Blacklist.

But instead I’m going to tell you what I did this afternoon.

Getting Ready To Move:

The sun was bright, and yesterday I had dragged, backwards mind you, about six big plastic containers from the shed.

I was planning to go through boxes of Christmas decor to eliminate some things. Make my baggage lighter when I move next week.

Nurse Joe, my next door neighbor, has been fantastic. I email him when I have a bunch of packed and taped boxes. He gets my dolly and hauls them all to the garage and stacks them up.

There are lots of stacks now. I don’t know that I’d make it backwards down the porch steps with boxes teetering on a small dolly with the tires almost flat.

Today he was outside cleaning something in the back of his car. They have two new pups, cute as can be. I was pulling weeds in the front and called out to him, asking him if one of the pups had peed in the back of his car.

Conversation With My Neighbor:

He said no, one of them threw up when it got too excited during the engagement photos.

You’re getting married? I asked him, surprised.

They are. In September. They’re going the relaxed and independent route, planning and paying for it themselves.

I told him I’d look up frugal wedding ideas online and email them to him.

I still remember the first time I met him months ago, and I asked him if he was moving in alone.

And he said, with a little squeak in his voice. “My girlfriend and I are going to live together for the first time.”

When It All Sinks In:

Apparently for him it was one of those moments when the gravity of a situation sits right down on your shoulders and makes itself comfortable.

He’s a good and decent young man. Thoughtful and caring. He will make one hell of a good husband. She’s a lucky girl.

Back to what I was doing this afternoon. I took everything out of the boxes that now had mud on the bottom of them from my dragging them up to the porch yesterday.

Just like I imagined with Joe, I guess there comes a moment when it all just hits you.

Ornaments The Girls Made:

That moment came when I was digging through one of the boxes of Christmas decor and came upon the little ornaments my kids hung on the tree when they were little.

I can’t tell you how many moves those little trinkets have made. They’ll make yet another.

I sat on my garden scooter and cried like a baby. Ever tried untangling those strands of beads you layer around the tree when your eyes are blurry and your glasses are all smudged up with tears?

The dogs were quiet in the yard, the way they always behave when mama cries.

They are as bewildered as I am right now. It is unsettling to them to watch me fold and cry.

Don’t Look Backward:

I’ve tried really hard to not look backward. To keep forging ahead with my eye on the next place I plan to live.

I do know that each time I move, I’ll think it will be the last time. But then it doesn’t quite turn out that way.

Yet another exodus. Me and two spoiled and precious pupsters.

Ever wonder why tears have to be salty? I mean, there’s the indignity of not being able to hold them back anyway. And then on top of that they have to sting like the dickens as they roll down your face.

Like The Dickens:

While I’m at it, ever wonder where the saying “like the dickens” originated?

It goes back a lot further than Charles Dickens, though it does seem to have been borrowed from the English surname. Which was most likely sometime in the sixteenth century or before.

It was — and still is, though people hardly know it any more — a euphemism for the devil.

I sat out there, in a moment of peace, my steel boot and sneaker wet from hosing down the plastic boxes, and wondered about that.

Distracting Myself:

Do you tend to wonder about esoteric things when you’re trying to distract yourself from crying? I guess that’s what I was doing.

I guess all I know at this juncture is that I lived to tell the tale. Just about as bewildered as I was crossing the state line from Texas into Oklahoma.

I was confused. Emotionally spent. Going over every conversation and event and wondering where and how it all (the marriage) went wrong.

Of course that’s foolhardy. Because it doesn’t really matter. It’s best to think about the fact that, for 57 years now, I’ve actually lived to tell the tale.

Because somehow or another, plans just seem to have a way of getting changed, don’t they?


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  1. I'm late to this party Brenda as I don't get on the computer much over the weekend but here is my two cents ~ you have every right to cry…your life has been upside down for the last couple of years and here you are getting ready to move from a house that you thought was going to bring you such great joy being closer to your children and grandchildren. Sometimes things just dont' work our the way we think they will. I look at it this way..your going on a new adventure and just jumping into a new faze of your life. I think you will be fine..your a strong woman and you'll hike up your pants, pull up your boot straps and keep on a going! I wish you nothing but luck in your new journey and happy decorating. You'll be fine!~

  2. Brenda . . . I pray that some good, well-intentioned people will rise to the occasion to help with this HUGE moving project. I am so fond of you and, since I can't be nearby to help, I would like to sincerely suggest that you find a 'church family'. I don't care WHAT church, or even if it is a church (it may be a sewing group, a bird-watching group, whatever). Those of us who do not have family close simply have to NETWORK and find others to be our "family". A caring group can be our "family," sometimes even a whole lot better than our own family. Also, you have so much to offer to others who need your experience, your talents and your counsel. I grew up in a church that did not attend to one anothers needs, but, the older I get, the more amazed I am by how much a caring group of people can do to reach out to help one another. Perhaps this move will help you to find a "network" of people with similar likes, beliefs and needs. I found, from my own experience, that keeping a house together alone is more than I found I could handle. My love and prayers.

  3. I have been crying all week. I thought I was improving, getting through my mourning and it hit me all over again. Life is like that sometimes. Sometimes the bends in the road are joyous and sometimes daunting. But we have no choice, we must keep moving along. One thing I know for sure, you always have my friendship, an ear to listen to your fears, a shoulder to cry on and one who will wipe your tears. We will get through this dear friend.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  4. I'm sure the enormity of what you are doing, what you have been doing, was bound to hit sooner or later. But the tears don't mean that you are afraid to move forward or look backward, I think they are tears of exhaust. You've come so far and you haven't really settled yet. Do you know how much strength that takes for any person to handle? And you are doing it all on your own. You are a strong woman.

    I pray the next tears that fall are ones of joy. Sending a big hug to you, girlfriend.


  5. Brenda, sometimes a good long sobbing cry does a world of good. I think that no matter what the reason, when we move there are a lot of raw emotions about the past and the future. And always remember MOVE is a 4-letter word for a reason, . You have a large community of friends here for support for you. We are all anxious to walk with you through this next step and join you in the journey you are embarking upon. We know it will be interesting and fun!

  6. Brenda, one day while I was struggling with a problem my eyes fell upon a bookmark that was laying on an end table. I have no idea where it came from or how it got there. This is what it said: TRUST in the LORD with all your heart and lean NOT on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and … He Will Make Your Paths Straight…Proverbs 3 5-6 Sometimes we get little messages from GOD and I hope this one helps you as much as it has helped me…Love Rebecca

  7. Hi Brenda, My heart goes out to you. I think every situation can be deserving of a few shed tears. Maybe our heads would explode without them. LOL I wish I was living near by to come help you. I've done this so many times myself and those salty tears have run down my face more times then I can count. In the end, all will be okay and I am keeping you in my prayers for a smooth transition. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
    Sending big Texas hugs!

  8. Your writing has a way of pulling the reader in and making us feel like we are there with you and experiencing what you are experiencing. Such a gift.

    Those ornaments represent a time when your life was so different and full of hopes and dreams for the future both for you and your children. I'm sure you never imagined your future would be what it is now, but that's what life is all about. We must expect the unexpected. Not sure how to do that though, but if I figure it out I'll pass the info on ;).

    We're packing too since we're moving on the 15th. So much to do I can't think straight, but I don't have to tell you that. Just remember you're not alone. Sometimes it might feel that way, but you're not.

  9. Virtual hugs from me too! I remember a day that the tears wouldn't stop and my brother sat and listened quietly, letting me rant, cry and just listening – not trying to fix anything because he couldn't. Then he quietly said "yep, it sucks … Today …. but you can't see what tomorrow will bring". I read Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts" and it changed my perspective. Now, I start my day counting what I "do" have and try to concentrate on the glass 1/2 full – not half empty. And then I try to find ways to help someone else. You do that everyday writing your blog. Helping us all see the beauty in nature, a creative way to make our surroundings beautiful, or a different perspective on life. You are rich in friends! Praying a blessed day for you!

  10. Brenda, some days can just be like this one. Crying and moving forward! Moving is one of the most stressful things you can o through so I am sure it was just that build up that you needed to release. I will keep you in my prayers hun ~hugs~ Call if you just need to chat. 🙂 You can even make fun of my NY accent?…….;0)

  11. That sounds like a very healthy cry, Brenda! It's natural to have moments of feeling overwhelmed by emotion when you're in the middle of a big change, and I can see you have a good perspective on it. Before you know it, you'll be feathering your new nest and experiencing the joy of using your creativity to make your new place "home"!

  12. Oh Brenda, I'm so sorry to hear you broke down in tears, but sometimes you just feel so much better when you've had that good cry. I'm sure it's tears over lost plans and love that hasn't worked out by moving to Oklahoma. So much of a load will be lifted off of your shoulders in one week, you wait and see.

  13. You can say that again. Life has a way of changing our plans. But I think this will be a very good move for you. A move away from disappointing situations and on to a bright new beginning. Hugs to you! Pat

  14. oh my sweet Brenda…. I read this post and cried for you. I KNOW this is very hard for you dear friend. You needed that moment to grieve. Tears are a way of cleansing our heart and souls. Don't hold those tears back.
    I am thrilled you have met a great neighbor! God bless him! I am sure the pupsters are confused…. but they are like little children… when they once again see momma is happy, they are happy too!
    I KNOW without a doubt this is the right move for you! And you have a huge audience waiting to see you transform your new place! It will be adorable and cozy for sure! You are loved dear friend!!!!

  15. Hi Brenda! I'm so sorry you're having to go through all of this. I'm so sorry everything hasn't worked out with your daughter and her family. I've had those burning tears many times and I know how you feel. I wish I lived closer to you. I'd come over and help you and I would give you a big ole hug and we could cry together. You're strong but tears can be a form of healing too. Let 'em flow, it's okay, and we love you.
    Shelia 🙂

  16. Even in your mourning for the life you left behind you, your photos make sure you still have a beautiful post. Moving is one of the most stressful things a person can do, and trying to sort that type of belonging just adds more misery. The year after my divorce I had an entirely different tree, all new to me. (thrifted, hand made, and some store bought) This past Christmas, 21 years after the divorce, I can now get some of the old things out and put them on the tree and smile. The rest I have passed on to others. That life is in my past, not where I am now. Until you can look at them and smile leave them in the box. Your life is yours to live, please do not give others the power over you to make you hurt. Gentle hugs to you.

  17. So sorry to hear that you've been so melancholy. I think I get that way every time I pack things up to move. It's natural when you've been under a lot of stress and your house is not in order. I think that's why I hate moving so much. I haven't done it that much but it's such a stressful thing every single time! I think you'll feel better once you have the distraction of fixing up your new place. You'll be back in your creative saddle again and probably happier too. I think the house you're living in has some painful memories in it already. You can now start with a clean slate!

  18. sometimes moving can be depressing and it sounds like it has kind of caught up to you a little bit. I hope the new place will be fine – it will take a little adjusting – good luck!

  19. I can sure empathize with you, as I have experienced that awful feeling many times. I'm so sorry that things didn't turn out as you had hoped. I am hurting for you and with you.

    Thinking of you…

  20. Hi, Miss Brenda! I'm sorry I haven't been around lately. No matter how much a person wants to sit back and take it easy, life just seems to not want to let you. Poor excuse, I know, but nevertheless true.

    I don't really understand the particulars of what's going on in your life, but I'm sorry you're hurting so. I haven't cried in over 17 years, since the day my divorce was final. I cried so hard that day after being notified, that I literally choked on my tears. I couldn't breathe. I was coughing. It was terrible. Afterwards, I made a choice that I would never allow anyone to hurt me to the point of tears again, and I haven't either. I've learned that life is just too darn short to be anything but happy, and I won't allow anyone to rob me of my joy. Perhaps one day, you will be at the point where I am now, and all you'll cry is happy tears.

    Take care,


  21. Sometimes a good cry is just what we need. Great big hugs to you. I'm a moving expert and it stinks….no matter what people say the process stinks. The good news is your place will be beautiful in no time and we are all rooting for you. I'm excited for you that you get to decorate another place and have some more company.

  22. My heart goes out to you Brenda. The last time that I watched the videos of my children as youngsters it made me very sad. So I did what my hubby does. He has two estranged adult children. Mine are not. But what we do is we boxed up the memories and keep them in a safe place. But the photos and ornaments we use are newer and reflect our life as it is now. I am sorry the little blue house did not work out for you. Everything happens for a reason so don't look back. Just keep on looking forward. I'm betting by time you are in the new place you will be busy and happy. Please get some rest and don't overdo. Sending you love and hugs.

  23. Oh, Brenda…I can easily see why you broke down. It's physically and mentally hard enough to move, but then when you came across some sentimental items from when your children were little…

    What a gem of a guy that Joe is. I'm so glad he's become your friend and is helping you out.

  24. I've seen you grow as a person these last few years and I know that will be an ongoing process for you..
    let the tears flow and then just keep looking Forward.

    big hugs

    1. That's what I do, Sonny. I let myself cry a bit due to everything combined and being tired too. And then I'm okay.

  25. As Tessa says, Gentle hugs! If I were there with you right now, I'd hug you! I am so sorry you are going thru this hard time yet again. I don't know the story of why you are moving right now, but I know it saddens you and confuses most of us. What a good cry can do us all sometimes! I know I've had my moments! I only wish the best of your new beginning for you and the pups. You sure do deserve the best!


    1. I'm sad a bit, but then I am happy. I'm excited to be going somewhere I won't have to worry about repairs and where I will have a nice fenced patio to fill with plants. So it's all good.

  26. Hugs to you Brenda…damn it sure seems you need a hug. When I get to the point of a memory taking me to the pits…I'll cry it out a bit , then pray…I have to sister, or I would get a headache from crying. Brenda, I hope when you move this time, you never have to move again… you want some roots. Hope your children still will be close by. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

    1. Well, you get so tired from packing and trying to decide what you want to take that finally the tears are very cathartic.

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