Summer Vacation - Talking street, wearing skulls and skating through life in “almost Etnies” - Day 41
Summer Vacation - Caution, slippery when wet! - Day 51

Summer Vacation - a short break, the long goodbye and seeking balance - Day 45

I have a favorite chair -- it's an overstuffed comfy piece large enough for me to sit sideways and wide arms that house a napping chocolate lab, comfortably -- it's centered underneath the picture window in the livingroom and overlooks the front porch.

Early in the morning, the light filters through the purple plum trees, creeps around the black-eyed susans, stretches a narrow beam over the burning bush and casts a soft glow to the surrounding moss.

The finches -- having begun their day much earlier -- sweep back and forth as the cardinals settle in the holly tree and the mourning doves collect their breakfast from underneath a bird feeder centered between the first two porch posts nearest the front door.

A large grapevine wreath wrapped in white Christmas lights hangs on the otherside of the window as a reminder for them not to fly to close during the day and serves as a distraction from what lies just on the otherside, at night.

It's a place that I come to regroup, relax and reconnect with...myself.

I'm taking a short break, now -- though it seems I haven't done much more than stare at the shadows dancing across the front lawn -- my body already feeling tired long before my childrens' day has even begun.  

My mind, however, is quiet and I find myself enjoying the nothingness that exists between my sleep-encrusted eyes.

I don't often get the chance to sit like this -- in fact, it's a guilty pleasure just to be able to write -- and in less than an hour, my day will be filled with sights and sounds that will, at times, overwhelm every part of me.

But not at this moment.

Right now, I will allow my feelings to ebb and flow, as a tide of sadness slowly begins its way through my chest and collects itself in my throat before spilling down my cheeks, swelling my tongue and causing me to catch my breath in short drafts.

The pain does not become me (to be sure) but, time is precious and I already have very little to spare.

Right's all about me.

A jogger catches my attention and I begin to wonder whether or not I should suck it up, grab a pair of sneakers and just walk it off.  But, as the neighbor from across the street (who I often have waved to for the last thirteen years and have yet to learn her name because, well, she doesn't ever wave back) begins to back out of her driveway, I wonder if perhaps it's not me and that she's feeling a bit sad.

Like me.

I had to say goodbye to a very dear person in my life -- a favorite aunt from very, very far away -- and, in my haste at feeling sorry for myself, I neglected to realize just how much my children have grown fond of having Elizabeth (yes, I was named after her) around.

[wiping Elizabeth's eyes]

"Don't worry, I promise to send pictures of the kids and I'm sure we'll see each other again."

I love visiting with family and friends -- especially from very, very far away -- but, it's the long goodbyes...

[translating for my SIL]

"She says that she hopes that there'll be a day when we can eat, drink and laugh together, again, very soon."

My mother is not well -- she'll be going back to the doctors soon and decide the next step -- and Aunt Elizabeth will be back perhaps sooner than we think.

[translating for my husband]

"She says that she wants me to take good care of my parents and that we should call her the moment we need her, or else, because although she's short, she can still kick my ass!"

Yes, we share a lot more than just a name.

But, it's okay -- to feel sad, I mean -- because the cat is curled up behind my shoulders, the light blue sky is filled with white clouds reminding me that it's going to be a pretty day...and that I'm sitting in my favorite chair.

Not for long.

I can hear my husbands alarm clock going off and little voices in muted conversation, which means I will have to say goodbye, soon.

Separating myself from the sadness and letting it go.

But, it won't be for long -- I'll be back, next time with a warm glass of red wine, sometime tonight -- because there's always tomorrow.

I'll be leaving my chair for a few days -- as I regroup, relax and reconnet...with my husband -- but, you are more than welcome to join me here...or here...and here at the house...when I can share pictures...of another favorite place of mine...and hope to be feeling better, again...on Monday.

TGIF, early, and remember to B.Y.O.C.! 

[photo credit:  Westin Hotel and Resorts]

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