23 Hilltop


Despite the layers of wallpaper, the overcrowded rooms, the chipped paint on the exterior I loved you from first moment I first saw you.

When I bought you I was broken and trying to pick up the pieces of a shattered heart and destroyed dreams.

For 8 years, 6 months, and 4 days I called you home.

You helped heal my heart, kept my pups safe and warm in the winter, hosted family dinners, baby and wedding showers, withstood a tornado, hurricanes, and blizzards.

You stood empty for months as I traveled the globe, opening your arms as I walked through the back door when I returned home.

You gave me everything you had.

I thank you and I honor you.


On Letting Go


This past weekend I cleaned out two storage containers full of artifacts, letters, cards, and mementos I have held onto for years.   These containers have moved with me from state to state as I worked my way to Seattle and back home again.  They sit in whatever garage or basement I have available collecting dust as I moved on with life.

Lately I have been feeling the weight of them, a weight I no longer want to carry.

On Saturday morning I opened the first box, examining each item as I pulled it out. Playbills and pictures and letters, all evoking a memory stored deep in my mind.

Old friends long forgotten.

Ex – boyfriends who once wooed me in handwritten notes.

State championships lost and won.

Then I found the email.  An email from a very young love after we decided to discard each others heart.

After giving the email another read I realize he was not strong of enough to stay with me through a down period in my life. My smile faded for a minute and he count not handle it.

The words were right there on paper for my eyes to see, process.

All these years I carried this weight of him with me, on Saturday I finally let him and all my report cards go.

Directly into the recycle bin.


Drum Circle


We sat in a circle, these 10 strangers and I, holding the drums the leader provided for us.

boom – boom – boom – boom

The beat started low and steady as we all found our rhythm, our hands getting used to the instrument, to the sound we hear, and to the sound we internalized.

boom – boom – boom – boom

The shy man, the elderly woman, the loving mom and her two kids, the married couple, the healer, the drum leader, and the soul searcher.  Each us were beating the the drums to the music we heard, and we eventually fell into a rhythm that echoed our heart beats.

boom – boom – boom – boom

Eyes closed and  heart open.  We played softly, we played loudly, we played played for each other, we played for ourselves.

boom – boom – boom – boom




Christmas 2015


I sat at the end of the table observing the 17 members of my immediate and extended family as they chatted with each other over Christmas dinner.

At one point during dinner I looked down towards the opposite end at the oldest family member, my 89 year old grandfather who we call Nonno.  He was holding his 2 year old great grandchild, Andrew, on his lap.  Andrew LOVES Nonno, 87 years separate them but they speak the same language.


Nonno (89) and Andrew (2)

This is the family he built with my Nonni all those decades ago when they first met and married.

Seperately they arrived from Italy, together had 5 children, 10 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.  At Thanksgiving Nonno had commented to one of my cousins how amazing it was to know he build this family. (I don’t remember the exact conversation, but it was something along those lines.)

We lost Nonni in 2004,  I wish she had lived long enough to see her first great grandchild. On Christmas, I felt her there, it was such an overwhelming feeling of her presence.







03/01/2006 – 12/05/2015

I lost Brady yesterday after a very short and sudden illness.

A few weeks ago the vet confirmed he had Lyme Disease, two weeks of antibiotics would normally cure it, only he never got better. He lost 6 lbs, and for a 20lb dog that’s over a 1/4 of this body weight.  He was sleeping constantly, refused to eat.  On Friday the vet confirmed kidney failure, which is a very rare side effect of Lyme Disease.

Brady was dying.

Honestly though, I think he had a broken heart.  He missed Java, since her passing I noticed he was always a little bit sad, no attempts to make him happy worked,  he had lost his spark.

I spent Friday night holding him, making sure he knew how loved he was.  How I was going to miss him.  He and I took one final ride on Saturday morning before we went to the vet. My vet is so kind and let me hold him in my arms as he euthanized him just as he did Java 9 months ago.

I am happy they are reunited in heaven, I hope to see them again one day.

I am completely and utterly heartbroken.



Goodbye Stress


For the past 11 months I have been dealing with a stressful situation with no end in sight, then just like that is was gone.  The end was sudden and swift, and very sweet.  There was a half of second of disbelief, but then elation.

The impacts have been immediate,  the weight lifted off of my shoulders and my smile returned.

Life is good. Life is really good.