Thursday, July 30, 2009

When A Door Closes,A Window Opens

Well, I must say that things have been crazy in our little cottage in the country. We have been running around on errands or appointments,and I have not had the time to blog as I should. When I have had a break I try to play catch up with my household chores. Yesterday I took a real break.Zach and I went to Milton Town Beach on Milton Three Ponds with my dear friend Michelle,and her two sons,Ethan ( who is Zach's good bud) and Kyle.The boys swam while we girls sat and chatted. We stayed about three hours.
Michelle and I have known each other for about three years,and we met through Cub Scouts. We were friendly,but only saw each other during scouting events. We did have a mutual friend,Alex. Alex was a great person,full of life and love for the land and her family. She had a huge garden,chickens,had raised pigs,and grew her own flowers -beautiful flowers. She sold the flowers,veggies,and eggs at the roadside stand at her house. Michelle and Alex were very close,and Cub Scouting brought Alex and I together when our Cubmaster stepped down. We had been in the program the longest at that point,and had mostly new people,so we kind of took the wheel together. We got to know each other fairly well,and we were becoming real good friends. Then,two years ago,Alex was diagnosed with Stage Three lung cancer,and she passed away this past April. It was this tragedy in our lives that brought Michelle and I into our friendship.
We would talk on the phone and console each other, voice our fears,and our hopes regarding Alex.This bonded us. During this,we found out more about each other,and I was surprised to discover we had more things in common besides Cub Scouting.
She had animals (chickens,goats,pigs) and a veggie garden. She loved working outside,being organized,and trying to find better ways of doing things. She wanted to be more self sufficient and make things herself. I found that very intriguing. She said that Alex had inspired her. Alex lived her life they way she wanted without worrying about judgement. Now she was doing the same. So, as Alex inspired her,she has inspired me.
We started emailing each other bemoaning about getting our lives organized and losing some weight. We followed FlyLady together and talked about our successes and failures regarding food/exercise for that day. She introduced me to homesteading and organization blogs. That got me going on my continuing quest for self sufficiency and making my household as organized as it can be. I have wanted to be more self sufficient for a long time,and was happily surprised that Michelle felt the same way. That being said, she is much more focused than I,and I admire her for that. When we discussed making our soap, I told her I had done melt and pour,not lye. She said she wanted to do lye,and I said it would be fun to try. Well, I still haven't done it,and she has. I think within a week of that email she had ordered the supplies,and shortly after that,she had made her first batch! She gave me two bars of her Oatmeal Honey soap yesterday,saying that once fall starts,she wants me to come over so we can make myself a batch. She has made her own cheese. She has her own worms for composting. She does not like to buy plastic that is not recyclable,and is always trying to find ways to reduce waste. She buys earth friendly household cleaners,all the while tyring to find if there are homemade solutions to them. We also talked about making our laundry detergent-again, I say it's a great idea and want to do it,she has gone and done it. It makes it sound like I am all talk,no action,doesn't it? I truly admire her do it attitude.
She has also introduced me to Jamie and Claire,the lead characters from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. She and Alex enjoyed it,and,knowing my love of history,thought I would enjoy them.They combine historical events with fiction. She was right, I love them,and we are counting down until Sept 22 when the new book comes out. We are hitting the bookstore together. I know our emails will be filled with "Where are you in the book? What did you think of..."
One of things we said to each other was that regardless of how busy we were,we were going to see each other at least every other week. When the boys were in school,it was easier,of course. I would either go to her house,or we would meet at a local restaurant for coffee or tea and a muffin. Now that summer is here,with more chores,and the kids out of school,it's not every other week, but that is OK. We are both busy,but take the time to drop each other a line regularly.( It's one of the first things I do in the morning).Once school starts, our "muffin dates" will resume.
I treasure our friendship and know that it will continue to grow as time goes on. I also know that Alex is looking down at us,smiling with approval.

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