Catching a Breath

breathThe rain and thunderstorms this morning cooled things off, both literally and figuratively, and the breeze coming through the windows smells just a little like the ocean.

If you follow this blog, you may be aware that my life has been sort of stressful in recent weeks. My mom is selling the house she’s lived in for forty-six years, so we had a yard sale at the end of July to help clear out some stuff. It was a good idea and parts of it were fun, but it’s not easy to see items that symbolize years and years of memories sitting in your old driveway with price tags on them.

Then, the first week of August, our family and extended family took a trip to Bermuda, and while we were there, my mom fell and fractured her hip. Perhaps I’ll write more about that experience someday, but for now, let’s just say it was very sad on many different levels. Thankfully, Mom’s doing better, and should be released from rehab tomorrow, so we’re grateful for that.

Our family also had a rabies scare last week when a bat somehow got into the house and interacted (not by choice) with our cat and possibly our dog too. Again, though, we’re lucky because the bat ended up testing negative for rabies. Hence, our family and animals weren’t exposed to the deadly disease.

But wait, there’s more. Yesterday, the dog had a severe allergic reaction to something. All of a sudden, he seemed unable to stop scratching and biting himself all over. I gave him Benedryl, which helped some, but last night, things flared up again, and his nose actually broke out in hives. It was a rough night for him (and me), but with some more Benedryl, he eventually fell asleep. He woke up this morning looking and feeling much better, and he saw the vet, who instructed me to keep him on a strict Benedryl regime, at least until the end of pollen season.

And if that wasn’t enough, around 10:30 last night—right in the middle of the dog’s allergy attack—one of the burners in the basement blew a valve and started spraying water everywhere. Luckily, my husband was home by then—he’d just gotten back from a work trip in New York—and knew how to shut off the water, but not before the cellar got a bit flooded.

So now it’s Friday afternoon, and the house is amazingly quiet. The dog is calmly sleeping on the floor, and both kids are home at the same time. And here I am, drinking iced coffee, typing on the computer, and breathing slowly. If I shut my eyes, I can convince myself I’m in a beach cottage.

If only it could stay this way for a while! But in less than an hour, everyone will mobilize. The kids both have adventurous weekend plans, which should be fun for them, but will raise my anxiety level again. I wish I were a more laid back parent, but I’m not.

Then, tomorrow morning, I’ll be picking up my mom at rehab, and on Sunday, a whole bunch of family members will be making a concerted effort to get Mom’s house cleaned out for good. And in just a couple of weeks, school will start up. My son’s crew team has already been practicing for over a week, and fall racing season starts in late September.

Has it been a relaxing summer? Not so much. But this little moment—right now with the laptop and the iced coffee—encapsulates my vision of summer when I fantasize about it in the middle of winter. Which is why I’ve taken time to document it. If for no other reason, than to verify that such moments really do exist.

About Mary Rowen

My three published novels, LEAVING THE BEACH (a 2016 IPPY Award winner), LIVING BY EAR, and IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY focus on women figuring out who they are and what they want from life. Music and musicians have a way of finding their way into the stories. I live in the Boston area with my family and pets.
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7 Responses to Catching a Breath

  1. jan says:

    Oh boy, I can really sympathize! I cleaned out my mom’s place in June and she’s been living with us since. Today we’ve gone men clearing out brush behind our house in order to create a fire break. $$$ but better than the alternative. Hope life brings you some more breaks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Rowen says:

      You too, Jan. You know that old line, “I need a vacation from this vacation?” Well, I think we both do. And I’m glad you’re getting a fire break. It’s sad that such things are needed, but better to be safe!


  2. Sarah Monsma says:

    Mary, good for you for documenting the calm! Sometimes just appreciating that there are good times even among the stressful and sad times helps immensely. I’ll keep you and your mom in my thoughts this weekend.


    • Mary Rowen says:

      Thanks, Sarah! Sometimes it feels like life is so frantic all the time, but those calm moments are so important. You’re an expert at capturing them on your beautiful blog.


  3. So much happening all at once. Glad you took time to relax, write and sip that coffe.


  4. eandeoconnor says:

    love your descriptions feel like i’m there with you – as for moments like that grab ’em you don’t know when you’ll get the next one!


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