Tell me about a relationship that ended*


Impermanence (Photo credit: Licorice Medusa)

There are so many sad memories associated with the end of relationships. My experience is that I will hold on until the bitter end. I can’t seem to say goodbye. I have a problem with goodbyes.

When Doug was breathing his last breath My mom was saying goodbye to him, telling him it was o.k. to go. Giving him permission to go. So he did. He slipped away. And as he slipped away I kept saying, “no” to myself and I even let this thought slip through my lips. I said, “no”  out loud. I couldn’t bear to see him go. But he did anyway.

I am terrible with goodbyes. I want things to last forever. Maybe this is my koan. Impermanence. I have a difficult time with impermanence, in all of its forms.

*I found this draft in my WordPress Dashboard.  It is a writing exercise from the book Old Friend From Far Away by Natalie Goldberg. I realized that exercises from this book might make good blog fodder since this blog is, essentially, one big giant memoir. Good idea? Good idea. 


Write about a time you slept outside


From the wonderful Natalie Goldberg book, “Old Friend from Far Away”.

The Milky Way

The Milky Way (Photo credit: satosphere)

I used to sleep outside in the summer all the time when I was a child. The thought of it now brings back wonderful memories. Memories of hot summer nights in July and August. Usually a friend would be sleeping over. Sometimes it would just be me and my younger brother. We would dig our sleeping bags from out of the closet and sleep under the stars, right on the grass in the back yard. I am recalling popcorn, too. Did we eat popcorn on these nights? What I really remember was laying on the ground and staring up at the sky in amazement. There were millions and millions of stars. We would find the constellations and satellites.  We would always remind each other that the stars we were looking at were older than we could even fathom. That it took millions of years for the light of the star to get to the point where we could see it. I would stare up into the sky until I feel asleep and wake up the next morning in the wet, dewy grass.

I loved these nights. At the time I couldn’t express how they  made me feel, but I know now that they made me feel like I was a part of this vast universe.  And they made me realize how vast the universe truly is. There was so much possibility hidden in those stars.

A writing exercise that turned into a story about my Grandpa


Who is the Tallest Person You Know?

Grandpa Ed

The tallest person I have ever known was my Grandpa Ed. He was very tall and very lanky. My brothers all took after him but I didn’t. I took after the Boucher  women (my maternal grandmother’s side of the family). I am curvy. I have never been lanky. My entire life, it seems, I have always been awkwardly curvy.

My Grandpa Ed liked to drink. We would go visit their old yellow house and he would take my dad, and later my step-dad, out to the back porch where he kept the whiskey. They would stay out there for a while shooting the breeze.

When he drank he would tell stories and he would get very loud.  I think I have taken on this trait.  I’m pretty sure I am a loud talker when I drink and am telling a story. I want everyone to hear me, as I’m sure Grandpa Ed did.

My Granny Mary

One story that sticks out in my mind is the story of how he met my Grandma. He told that story several times, each time with the same vigor.They met at a dance when they were in their early twenties. This was in the 1920s, the flapper era. My Granny Mary was beautiful. She had a short flapper-style bob, dark brown eyes, and the curvy Boucher body.

My grandpa fell instantly in love with her and wanted to dance with her but she was on a date with another man. My Grandpa Ed didn’t like this. One thing led to another and he got in a fight with the other guy; and won the heart of my grandmother. When Grandpa Ed told this story my Granny Mary would have a twinkle in her eye and teasingly chime in, “And I was having such a lovely time with that guy, too!” He would give her a big kiss and hold her tightly and say, “I still love this woman after 50 years!” He really did. It was sweet.