Monday, April 12, 2010

from the photo archives - still life with Mr. Handsome Handsome & a summertime bouquet

I have lived in this old brick house in this tiny, quiet seaside village for 17 years and before I met the cowboy last fall I had been single for all of those 17 years. When I say that out loud it shocks me. 17 years - how could that be ? My home was filled, always, with the love of cats and dogs but I rarely ever let a human in. Literally - not for dinner, not for coffee or a cup of tea. I was the merry recluse*, the happy hermit - proudly almost or at least that's how it felt at the time. I had convinced myself that I was as content as I was ever going to be, I was someone who didn't need anyone. And all those many years ... well, they just kept passing by.

Well you know that hindsight is always 20/20. It turns out that's not who I am. I had to tell myself that's who I was so that my life made sense every day. I was hiding, I tucked myself away from the world as much as I could. I had my three dogs, two cats and life at 29 Black Street was full– I think it really was. I lost 4 senior pets in 2 years. First Ernst, then Em, then Jake and Lulu - my old guard, all gone. And with Jake's death it seemed I lost my happiness. The dam broke.

The cowboy's been gone 10 days. I miss him but I talk to him daily. The thing that's made me feel sad is that having him gone is reminding me so much of the place I was in before I met him. With him gone I remember what my life was like before he so suddenly smacked into it. I was so lonely, so sad. Looking back now I can see with that hindsight clarity that I was hanging by the finest of threads. I was giving up. MLou bless her was trying to whisk me away to the city, to a new tiny life with her nearby because she could see I was dying here in this place of loneliness. Admittedly loneliness of my own creation because I'd forgotten how to be any other way.

The cowboy's story is almost identical to mine. He tells me often how I saved him. I smile, wink and say back to him, like Chip to Dale Shut Up ! No ! you saved me ! happy & loved, safe & secure, grateful, and thankful, thankful, thankful ... and not at all lonely anymore.

Off to the lands of bubbles & scent. It's so funny when I sit down here each morning I'm never really sure what's going to come out. There are days like today where I will walk away from this keyboard and wonder ... eek ! have I been too honest, too open ... have I exposed too much and I will worry about it, for a time, but the great thing about a daily journal is today is just a day ... and there's always a tomorrow.

* Caroline Knapp - all of her books are amazing


  1. All sorts of painful earlier posts are now making a lot of sense, Susan. To read this knowing that you are in a very different space now is truly wonderful! You've had a long wait for your happiness..... Onward and upward! It can only get better and better.

  2. I love your salvation story. And I love Flo's silver pitcher. It's got Blackstreet written all over it. Thanks for the monday morning smiles. x

  3. I, for one, am very glad you put it all down on digital paper. No regrets sister. Sometimes Karma takes her good sweet time getting to you but when she does finally get there it's with bright sunshine, a cowboy's mustache and a wiggly brown velvet puppy.

    Now let's eat some chả giò and chocolate cake.

  4. Susan...I loved it!!! You are giving all of us hope. The possibilities are endless. I think you are beautiful, gifted, and lovable. And one of the main reasons we all love you is this openness and honesty. You are the Velveteen Rabbit. When will the Cowboy be back? What are you cooking? He will be starving for your food, movie night, and all the love you can give him.

  5. Beautiful, Susan. And beautiful Susan! It's wonderful to be saved by love. However you live that, however you share it, that precious experience of redemption radiates out into the world and saves others as well. It's so wonderful to read this.

  6. And yeah, I'm with Shamu. Let's eat.

  7. yo know, dear wonderful, creative, Susan, if you did not open up adn write such posts as these I suspect you would lose some of your followers. All I can say it is this exact quality of your that makes your blog so wonderfully personal --like visiting an old freind and catching up. I love to read about your animals, your bsths, snacks, sunset adn sunrises of every kind. It is so wonderfully expressive with you delightful photos and art being the cream on top.

    Yes, you certainly seemed like you were hanging on and definitely a very isolated life by yourself but I always admired how you found beauty in the midst of loneliness, sorrow and heartache. I reach back to that now through my own not self enforced loneliness and loss.

  8. Just read Martha's comment above--SO very true. :)

  9. I am so glad you wrote what you wrote in the last paragraph...I too often wonder if I have exposed myself too much...but then, the older I become, the less I want to hide. I am so happy for you Susan.

  10. Susan, just catching up on some posts I missed during a crazy last week or 10 days! I, too, am a HUGE fan of Caroline Knapp, God rest her tortured soul. Pack of Two, so cathartic for her. Saved by love: I have lived that living it today and for the last 12 or 13 years. Still pinch myself daily. You deserve this big all out love! Good for you! Hugs to all!


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