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Birthday Wishes


Today is December 10th.  My Mother’s Birthday.  Mom died in 1989, when I was just 12 years old.  I am very lucky to have had quite a few people in my life take on a motherly role for me since then.  Of course, no one can truly replace a Mother.  So through the years, I’ve done various things in memory of her on her Birthday.  Flowers on her grave, choosing the Birthday card I think says best how I feel, doing something nice for someone else because that’s something a Mother would do.  I’ve also assumed the tradition of a Birthday wish.  I make the wish I imagine she would have made if she were alive.

Last year, on this day, I wished that I would find a way to put the negatives of my past behind, to once again have my own house to call home, and be surrounded by people who truly care about me.

Today, I sit in the bedroom-turned-home-office of my beautiful home.  The home John and I bought together.  The 140 year old Victorian house I’ve dreamed of owning since I was a little girl…eight or nine years old, staring up in awe at the huge, colorful, gingerbread-trimmed houses in Cape May, NJ.  It needs different paint colors to bring it out, but our house has its’ share of gingerbread…and even daisies at two of the peaks.  Could it be more fitting for me?  I have great neighbors in every direction, and one very special set of neighbors who have become like family to us.  I could not have imagined feeling so lucky and so blessed.  I have a good Husband, good family and good health.  What’s more, is this week I took a big step towards putting one of the biggest negatives of my past behind me.  I don’t know if anything will come of it yet, but I know I tried with an honest heart.

Although I can never know for sure what my Mother would have wished on her Birthday, I think being proud of your children is towards the top of any parent’s wish list.  I am told by many that Mom would be proud of the woman I am today.

So Happy Birthday, Mom.  As I’m sure you knew, life doesn’t always turn out as expected; but yes, wishes DO come true.

My Mother and Grandparents in the backyard of the family home.

Settling In


It’s 90 degrees here in Northern New York.  I can’t go in the pool because I added chemicals earlier so I’ve been spending my day with the computer screen in front, the air conditioner to my left and three fuzzy cats to my right.  Not a bad day.

I’ve settled into our new home, an Eastlake victorian built in 1870.  We are redecorating top to bottom and doing some minor landscaping.  We gave the house a new roof.  Our neighbors are wonderful people and I enjoy spending time with them.  We got a new kitten, named Scribbles, who has become the center of attention.  He’s a chocolate persian and is so happy he poops glitter and rainbows.

I also finally got a single-brew coffee maker and I love it!  I think it is the single most used appliance I’ve ever owned!  Not sure how I ever lived without it…or the dishwasher, for that matter.

I kind of took some time off from photography.  Nothing really comes close to the beauty of Alaska and I was temporarily convinced I’d never take another beautiful picture again without being there.  It was a good two months before I picked up the camera again in an artistic way.  Doing so felt like putting on a favorite sweater; warm and cozy and comfortable.  I really got back into it when we went to Boldt Castle for my Birthday.  Some of the photos made it to my flickr account and I’m hooked again.

So, life goes on.  I think John and I may one day find ourselves back in Alaska, but I’m finding plenty to be happy about here in Northern New York.  Finally!

Our New House




Here we are, in upstate New York.  We close on a house in six days.  I don’t hate it here but don’t love it, either.  I love the house we are buying and the town it’s in is my favorite one within John’s commute.  That’s something.  I feel displaced, homeless, and confined in this musty old hotel room.  Traveling here wasn’t exactly fun, but I did enjoy a great breakfast in first class and got some good pictures from the air.  This week, I have the flu.  I know better days are ahead, and soon.  It just sucks to wait.  I have daydreams of decorating and shopping for a new desk and swimming in our in-ground pool.  It’s like Christmas is just around the corner!  But then I look around and see a drab hotel room, with stained wallpaper, dirty carpet and god-knows-what lurking in the bathroom sink.  (The nice hotels don’t take pets and kitties are traveling with us.)  I’m trying to see nice things in the surrounding area, and most of the people I’ve encountered here are very nice.  But all I see is the looming gray sky, too much traffic, too many power lines and run-down real estate.  I can’t wait to close on the house so I can once again sleep in my own bed!  Maybe then I’ll see something a little prettier in this place that’s too far from home.

Alaska, I miss you!