My heart breaks for her and her family today.
I am sitting here, in the cold, reading her post about her darling Finn. Knowing full well that I should not complain about my life circumstances here today. What I can do is reach out in love and understanding.
My long time readers know about my first son, not Large, but my bulldog of a baby, Getty. He would have been 17 years old this year. And I know first hand that there is not a damn thing you can say or do to ease the pain of the choice you are faced with. I have not been so good at commenting lately, but I read, and I have been pulling for Little Finn from day one. No one should ever have to face the decision I did in this modern medical age.
"He said it was time. They placed him in my arms, not yet even 2 lbs, and pulled the tubes out from his throat. The tubes that kept him breathing, tubes that had been our only hope. But it was time. I grew tired of watching him, tired of not sleeping, tired of the worry, tired of him coming so close to death. His eyes opened as they removed the plastic tubes. This would be the second time I ever saw his eyes. So blue, like mine, almost black in their intensity. No one would have faulted me for crying, but I didn't. I marveled in his eyes for that second. They were mine, they were saying goodbye.
I rocked him like a good mother would, when a child is hurt. I touched the tip of his nose with a gentle finger. I kissed his forehead and whispered his name, Getty. His last breath was taken while cuddled close to my chest, where he could hear my heart beat once more. It's the sound he heard when he began, and the sound he heard when he ended. My son died, and I waited to weep."
I wrote that several years ago as I watched my Father die. My son was preterm, he survived a month. I can't help but weep now, not just for my son and the pain it still holds, but for Mystic Mud and her family, and for Finn.
Many of us have had to face the death of a child, and it is more painful, emotionally, than any other death we have encountered. There is no solace in words, most the time we barely even hear them being muttered.
To Finn and Getty, may they be the best of playmates.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I decided the other day to write things out a bit differently. It would help me process and vent, wring my hands,freak out and resolve on my own terms and not worry about how I may come across to the public.
Nights seem long, but of course they are in the winter. With no electricity it makes it longer. I am awed by the amount of windows that hold candles here. It does warm my heart. As wholly dark as some nights may be, as soon as there is a flicker of moon light, the holler is illuminated. During a full moon I wake after midnight in a start, fully believing that I had over slept. It is never a complete darkness here.
My Ford pickup no longer can make the full journey up the hill that is our driveway. I have been driving backwards, down hill, to a flat spot to park in the drive. Several days ago the truck was left up top, and the boys and I had to walk the close to half mile driveway. My knee screamed. The burning churned my stomach and I dry heaved at the top. It was that moment I decided the risk of sliding off the drive, into the 75 ft drop full of trees and boulders was worth the risk. Three nights in a row I have been able to successfully park. Though the second night was frightening, and nervous giggles erupt even now, just thinking about it.
The driver's side door was open, as I leaned over to see the gravel in the drive. The slopes and turns are angled against me merely using the back window. My brake lights lit up the thin line between the solid rock and the overgrown weeds that conspicuously hide a drop off. Suddenly my brake pedal felt spongy, and I rolled a bit faster. I pressed the pedal to the floor board and began to slide at one of the curves in the drive. The foliage snapped under the weight, my mouth pleaded for the truck to stop, until I screamed STOP! My mind raced through scenarios of survival. The back end could snug up against a tree, or I could plummet landing upside down. I could jump, but the truck would roll over me, or I could do damage to myself as I bounced off of trees and wild rose bushes. All the visions seemed gruesome. The truck stopped sliding just as the rear tire peaked over the edge and I screamed that "stop". I put the truck in park and closed my eyes, I wanted to be back in Kansas.
This is far from my first moment of wishing I was back in the sunflower state. And it is sure to not be my last. I have that fleeting moment were, as if I was still a child, I yearn for the safety and familiar comfort of home.
Walking down that steep part of the driveway, although possibly therapeutic, is painful. My ACL is not yet stretched enough to handle that grade comfortably. Even though my wounds have fully healed, my muscles are weak and my tendons taught. I fear falling more than the big cats that everyone keeps telling me hunt my woods, as I walk from house to truck with only a cell phone and flashlight. I fear if I fall the damage to my knee will set my recovery back.
I see Small Farm Girl far less often than I did before, and my weight loss seemed to come as a surprise to her. It's all this walking up 30* grades and not eating like I was before. My practice of turning weeds into a decent dish has helped our survival immensely. With the deer Husband has killed for us, I have been able to create roasts, seasoned with store bought salt and fall weeds, that rival anything I could create with traditional herbs. Living on so little has helped me stretch my culinary skills, putting all my knowledge to the test. We go to sleep content. Though I miss butter, a lot.
Tonight I have hatred for domestic cats. With the few dollars I was able to earn, I bought some staples from the store. Rice being a big one. I came home this evening to find that the cats, that we had thought were left outside this dark a.m., had torn the bag open and flung it about the room. I came close to breaking. The stress of the past few months beginning to overwhelm me and tears threatened to have there way with my cheeks. Serval nights worth of filling dinners could have come with the $1.59 bag of rice. With a Husband trapped in Kansas because of an artic storm, I suddenly felt so alone. I just can't keep doing this.
My thoughts turned to those people back in Kansas that hope to see us fail. Their smirky faces filled my vision. The ones that told us we would never be anything without them. That told us they wanted to see us fall and would help push. I bucked up at that moment. As much as things are tiresome here, as stressful as the financial situation has become, I have real love and adventure. My children are clean, full of delicious and highly healthy foods. We are warm, and get plenty of sleep. Small is not the happiest with school here, but Medium and Large love it. We have beauty all around us, with harrowing mishaps. I have what they don't, and I forgave the cats.
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Many of you have watched him grow up here on this blog. He was 2 years old the first time I wrote here. He will 10 come Janurary.
I am concerned about my youngest. Here they do not give extra or special help to those without a low I.Q. They tested him as I requested and as the State of Kansas requested. He suffers with a short term memory recall issue. And it make learning new things, like math skills, a bit more difficult. He needs extra time, and has to have the new information gone over with him multiple times. In Kansas, they were teaching him how to work around the issue, to create news ways for him to recall the information. That has stopped here. Husband and I are working with him, I do not want him to fall behind.
The first week of school was the hardest for him. He had never been in trouble before, and suddenly it seemed that everything he was doing was causing him to miss parts of recess in a timeout. Most of it was due to his memory recall issue and the fact that we had no clue what the school wanted from us. I got some of that worked out, but not before Small gave up. He no longer cares if he gets in trouble. It bothers him a bit that he has missed every fun Friday since we started school here though. I had hoped to resolve things before he gave up, but I couldn't.
The Principal however has been trying to work with me on other aspects of his school life. His hands are tied with the special needs, and tutoring will be available after Christmas Break. It is not called winter break here. Honestly doesn't bother me either way. Because of Small's shyness I had him enrolled in their after school program. They get one hour of homework time and one hour of physical game time. Small LOVES dodge ball. Yes, they play it here in all it's painful glory. Small thrives during that time. Because of the drought and the high temperatures back in Kansas, I just couldn't send them outside to play. Then the wreck happened, and I was unable to get the boys to go out to play. Small gained weight due to his father's cooking and lack of physical activity. He has been very self conscious about it. He is a very tall boy for his age, and then the weight, it made him feel awkward. But dodge ball has helped him shed those pounds, helped him find some friends, and he is always picked first for teams because he is that good at it.
He still loathes school, but the after school program brings him joy. He is finally excited to tell me about what is happening during his day. He laughs a bit more, he chats with me and his brothers more often. He is slowly coming out of his shell. Kentucky may not be his favorite place right now, but he is starting to find his joy, and that's all I really want for him.
Small loves Banshee Holler though. It is indeed a boys paradise down here. He knows full well were he will be building his tree fort, and bridges, this summer. He is thrilled with sledding, as he was the one to find a spot without trees, however it has a few butt hurting rocks. Last spring the weird insects and the small reptiles he would catch gave him hours of happiness. I just wish it translated to school hours a bit better. But it will come. I foresee next school year to be better for him, and his Debbie Downer attitude.
Saturday, December 07, 2013
Friday, December 06, 2013
Thanksgiving has come and gone. And to my surprise, I didn't get overwhelmed and cry. I find myself tearing up a little too often for my own comfort. A pioneer woman in a frontier land is a bit bothersome and trying at times. But Thanksgiving Day I fell into my comfortable role as head chef of a family of seven.
Seven? Yes. When Husband returned for his last trip to Kansas, he brought back a friend of ours and her 4 year old boy. Having them here has helped me emotionally. As Small Farm Girl reminded me, I do not have my support system here. It's me and my family against the hills. Our friends husband is in the Navy, she hasn't seen him in almost a year. She told me that staying the month with us has helped her as well. And I am glad of that.
I digress, Thanksgiving Day. I didn't wake before the dawn. I slept in by two hours. I started the turkey, and the sides, finished the potato bread and we were eating by 3pm. I adore my obsolete stove.
It's difficult to see the bounty that I made. Little sunlight makes it into the house, and my phone doesn't like taking pictures sans bright light. Makes things look darker. As I cooked, our friend and all our boys went sledding in the 6" of snow that fell.
Well. . . Ok it was only an inch, the weatherman told us 6" was on the way. It never showed. Not even the second inch they said would arrive that night. The hills make their own weather, it's harder to predict things here than on the open plains. People here truly believe that the weather is easily predictable in Kansas. I giggle at that. I know, it's flat and open, however we have nothing to slow things down, nor help spread it up. We are at the mercy of the Gulf and Canada and what they decide to send that way. When they meet in the middle of the US, bam! Swing season and tornadoes erupt. But if the Rockies decide to intervene, it blows it away to the Ozarks. Our local guys are better than the national weathermen on telling you what is about to happen.
Now I have to get use to the weather signals here. Without a defined horizon it become jumbled on what the clouds are doing. Sometimes it looks like a hill has exploded and I am seeing the aftermath plume of smoke. And it is merely a small storm.
Thanksgiving gave us pause. We talked about the things we were grateful for. I was grateful to be walking, Husband was thankfull we were still with him. My boys, well you know how boys are. But the things they were thankful for made us giggle.
We had pie, which by the way was made by a pumpkin Small Farm Girl had gave me for Halloween. And as I had nothing to purée the pulp completely, it was a bit chunky, like good mash potatoes. To be honest, it was very good. Then we fell asleep close to the fire.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I have been neglecting posts here due to one simple reason, I am afraid I might come off as whinning.
I don't regret coming here, but the timing is making things very difficult. More on that later.
My winter garden is flourishing under the heavy frosts. Banshee Holler stays warmer than up top of the ridge. This has been a nice bonus. Though I know it will be cooler longer come spring and I will have to heat my soil to grow early crops.
We had our first snow fall.
Not a whole lot as you can tell. Just enough to get our attention.
The mornings have been heavy on the frost. Which makes getting out of my driveway easier. It's when the rains come or the frost melts that I get to go muddin' just to get up top.
Last week Husband went deer hunting for the very first time. He came back 1 1/2 hours later with a small buck. He had mistakened it for a medium sized doe. Either way we have meat. One can only live off of tuna for so long.
I really haven't met too many people here yet. We have been going to theis "biker" themed restaurant and bar on the weekends. Mainly for clientele. We can't really afford it, sticking with coffee for the most part. But we need to try to wrangle some clients. Things here move so much slower than I am use to. And it has me frustrated at times. Husband fits in well. He is so laid make that it doesn't faze him much. And honestly, if things don't pick up soon. . . Well I am a bit frightened what might happen.
Right now we can not afford the line needed to finish the solar project. We still live by lamp light. It's trying at times, enjoyable at others. But frustrating when needed.
I managed to gather chestnuts this weekend. I will have a post dedicated to that soon.
The transition from Kansas to Kentucky hasn't been as smooth as one could hope for. Time will tell if this was turely the right desicion.
Monday, November 11, 2013
First, thank you to all that have served and sacrificed for our country.
Monday, November 04, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013
But I thank you for your concern.
Giggling. . .
We have a new member of our ensemble. Meet Chili.
He is part fainter part Nubian. He won't get much larger than this. He joins our cast courtesy of Small Farm Girl and Small's excessive pleading. He misses having goats about. So I caved. Small loathes school here. So a little goat to make things more pleasant for him was an easy decision.
The nights here have turned colder. Leaves have exploded in vibrant yet dulled colors. Things seem morose here. The overcast days, littered with rain, doesn't help the feeling of sadness. Though I am not stuck in a pit of depression, but the over all feeling of this place is one of morbidity. More so than any other place I have visited at this time of year. Fall always ushers in death, and you can actually feel it here. Husband says I have arrived in my true world. And even though I still know I do not fit in with the locals, this holler has become home. I have always meant to be here.
The full moon is startling bright when you are surounded by trees and hills. The framing of the sky still fascinates me, and I hope my awe of it never dulls. The scenery changes just as you grow use to it, and start to see the mundane. New brilliance erupts. Whether it be life or death that occupies the sight.
The hills have quitted. The screaming has gone into torpor. Or has moved on to wintering grounds. As much as it sent chills prickling down my spine, I have begun to miss them. I can only assume that the bean sidhe will return come spring.
Our wood stove has been heating the house nicely as the night time temperatures fall below freezing. My fall garden is still doing just fine. We learned that it doesn't frost down here as quickly as it does up top. That adds to my relief. I digress, the stove is doing a fine job in its temporary setting. Flames flicker well into the night. The hard woods make us smell less like bacon as the fruit woods of Kansas did. Medium is grateful for that to say the least.
Thinghere have slowed. We have done all the winter prep that we were able to in such a short time. Snow has begin to fall in the mountains surrounding us. It is just a matter of time before Banshee Holler sees the fine white stuff blanketing her. Let us hope I can escape up top when needed. The mud has caused issues with me being able to leave in the old Ford. I portend being isolated much more often then any one else has predicted.