What If…

Life is settling again, at last. I have come to appreciate the daily and ever changing “what is”, as the powerful and perfect starting point for life, and have eliminated “what if” from my lexicon.

It has been an eventful few years for me.

In the winter of 2014/2015 I lived alone at Mist Cottage, unwilling to spend another winter isolated in the bush, while Attila worked long days, six days a week. I missed Attila like crazy, but didn’t have cabin fever once, so I knew that I wasn’t going to spend another winter virtually alone in the bush. Attila, after that living apart, agreed that moving to Mist Cottage was the right thing to do, so our Country House went on the market for the third year in a row, and it finally sold, giving us two weeks notice to move.

So in the autumn of 2015 Attila and I packed up our belongings, rented two trucks, and moved our belongings to Mist Cottage. It was was downsizing on steroids. Attila was living in Tank, back at his old job near the Country House, hoping to find work near Mist Cottage. After a number of weeks of living in a vehicle, he finally found temporary employment near Mist Cottage, gave his notice at his old job, and drove Tank home for good.

The summer of 2016 we took our first recreational (versus renovational) vacation. During that one week, my younger brother died, and most of the week was spent driving back and forth to the hospital to be with him as he was welcomed into a better world. I took my brother’s passing very hard.

In 2017, Attila decided to leave me. I wrote about that experience, it was an extremely difficult time, and a wake up call really, that I cannot rely on anything or anyone. Attila decided to stay for the summer before moving away, to do the garage renovation, so the house would be marketable. During that time he came to change his mind about leaving, and we lived together peaceably enough, as he tackled the huge job of replacing the garage roof. During this time I came to know that my children could not be “there for me”, and that whatever path my life followed, they would be treading another, as would my Grandbabies. My 26 years of parental responsibility ended in 2004, and it took many years, and a personal crisis to bring that into clear focus. This too I mourned, and accepted without rancour. We are all just trying to survive, and must “live our own lives and die our own deaths” as Ester Harding in The Way of All Women put it, in reference to mothering.

I found 2018 a very difficult year, as this process of change was taking place. So much loss all at once, it was overwhelming and disorienting. Everything changed, and nothing changed, depending on how I looked at it.

2019 has been a kinder, gentler year thus far. I have found my bearings, I am not feeling overwhelmed. Attila and I live peaceably together, as we still share affection for one another, a multitude of common interests, and history after so many years together. Strangely, there is more companionship between us now than there has ever been.

So, here I am today, comfortable in this little house, as a heat wave presses up against the walls, but cannot enter. I enjoyed a morning cup of coffee, perusing the internet, reading interesting articles, checking in on my friends from all over, seeing what they are up to, interacting, enjoying the company of like minded people. I have just now come in from the garden. I had donned my sun hat, and grabbed a bowl and scissors, to head out to gather the ingredients for my lunch. The spinach bolted last week, so no spinach today. But there are five for six mature beets left in the garden, so two of those were harvested, cleaning the roots by brushing them in the grass, letting the good soil fall into the lawn, where it will do some good. I found only four sugar snap peas, for they are almost spent for the season, and sprig of fresh basil, which is always a welcome addition. Thinking this not quite enough for my repast, I found a mature radish, on the other side of the fence in Attila’s garden, and I harvested it, I don’t think Attila will mind. All of these garden delights will be diced and sauteed in olive oil, with fresh garlic, then enjoyed with a sprinkling of a dried garlic herb mix. My lunch has been fresh from the garden for the last few weeks, and I love it. Soon there will be fresh zucchini, and the second crop of spinach, to enjoy.

There isn’t much that is exciting about my life, I rest on none of my laurels, enjoy no benefits from those achievements that were so hard won over the course of my life thus far. But I appreciate and enjoy the integrity of my life choices, in the quiet and peaceful passing of days.



Date: 11:00 AM EDT Thursday 11 July 2019
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 23.4°C
Dew point: 22.7°C
Humidity: 96%
Wind: S 13 km/h
Humidex: 33
Visibility: 19 km


“Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work.”
Thomas A. Edison
1847 – 1931

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Maggie, so much loss, so much pain–and so much knowing where you are, now that the other shoes have dropped. There’s a certain relief to being able to stop chasing the “little maybe” that somehow certain relationships will evolve as we had hoped. Congratulations on coming through to the other side.

Take care and be well.

Stubblejumpers Cafe

I thought of you when recently I spent a weekend with an old friend whose husband of more than 35 years said out of the blue I don’t love you anymore, I don’t want to work things out, I’m leaving. That was before Xmas and she is still heartbroken. What an awful thing to go through, and no one deserves it.
I’m glad you and Attila made it this far and your life is no longer up in the air. You know how quickly everything we thought was settled can change, and that’s a good thing to remember. -Kate


When Attila said he wanted to leave, that blew me away. It brought me back to several different circumstances in my own life that were similar and the feeling of loss, and the hollowed out of my inner core, was just indescribable. I knew you were experiencing it, too. Relationships are so important to us all, even the ones who hurt the others, but what’s the alternative? We go on, we find more, we wait for it to possibly hurt again, but we try again and again. I wish my garden were like yours, I only have 2 tomato plants and 2 blueberry bushes on the side deck in containers. The birds at all the unripened blueberries and the tomatoes are just starting to grow now… my little plot on the deck.

Joan Lansberry

I’m SO glad for you that 2019 has been good so far. Yes, learning to appreciate the “what is” is sometimes hard to do, but as we can’t really control the future…. just to appreciate the “now” is so wise.


Sounds like you’re getting many enjoyable meals out of your garden. Nothing more fresh or tasty as your own veggies!

We’re still strongly living in the ‘what if’, now that we’re finally past child support for DH’s daughter. She had 5 credits left to graduate high school after 5 years but decided not to go to classes, so no more support. Nineteen and Year 6 of high school isn’t supported by the courts.

So, now we are in what if territory – what if we pay off this bill, what if we replace the failing wood deck at the cottage, what if we put a smaller shower in the cottage so we can put a real sink in the bath, and on and on and on.

DH has finally begun talking of retiring in 2 years. Before this, every year he would say the same thing: I’ll retire in 3 or 4 years. It never changed, but now it finally has.