This Writing Life

 

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Currently, my writing garden is mostly clumps of dirt. Wet, heavy, soggy, bogged down clumps of dirt.  (Trying to insert a garden metaphor to this post – seeds and all that)

People talk about their muse, and only being able to write when she shows up.  Is the muse always a she? Other’s talk about writing whether she shows up or not.  They say writing is a discipline so make it a daily habit.  I see the argument on both sides, however, I tend to lean more toward the needing to be inspired category of writing. If I try to write when there is no inspiration it feels flat (much like what I’m writing now, but I will muddle through because you have a right to know if I’ve stopped writing or not).  I’d like to know the answer to that as well.

I hope I’ve not stopped writing, but the truth is that for a long while the words have been scant (like a garden without flowers. Sorry).  I mentioned it several months ago.

I love words and how they interact; I love aligning words to paint a picture (or arrange them into a lovely bouquet. again, sorry).  The writing of words is in my blood.  I can’t imagine a life without writing.

The truth is I’m struggling with words and life and fatigue.  I feel as if I’ve lost my passion for all the things that make my heart go pitty-pat.  I’ve been so consumed with caregiving and managing my own self-care that frankly, I’ve become depleted.  I’m not complaining, just trying to put the absence of words in perspective.

I’ve done a lot of thinking and wondering lately if maybe this season of life does not include writing.  Is it possible that I’m to put the pen and paper on the shelf for a time so I can concentrate on other priorities?  I don’t have any clear answers.

What I do know is that my husband needs my support; my parent’s health needs require our help and my own health needs dictate that I must have proper rest in order to not deplete my energy or cause a flare. Most days that is all I can manage.  So, I don’t write.

I also know that social media hogs more of my free time than I’d like to admit.  Because it’s easy and doesn’t require much effort or brain power.  The time would be better spent reading which is a necessary thing for writers to be doing.

I miss the not writing.  I think a few of you might too, based on some things  others have said.  I don’t want to neglect the gift of writing and I don’t want to take it for granted. I don’t want to be presumptuous and assume that people can’t live without my words, but I also don’t want to let down the handful of people who tell me my writing is meaningful to them.

So, I’ve plucked the petals one by one, to write, not to write, to write….  Do I shut down the blog, keep it open without writing, or make an effort to write at least once a week or….. on and on.  What about social media? Reading? You get the picture.  I’m really not clear at this point.

So, what does all this mean?

  1.  For now, the blog will stay open (you can go back to the beginning and read all the posts if you’d like).
  2. There will not be a regular posting schedule (nothing new about that). In all honesty, I wouldn’t expect much until Fall ish.
  3. I will write when I can and if you subscribe you will get an email when I do.
  4. I may participate in the 31 Days of writing this October.
  5. I have already done away with my blog Facebook page and will be spending less time on my personal Facebook page.
  6. I’m rarely on twitter and will consider dumping it entirely
  7. I really don’t understand google + and never go there so will dump that account if it’s not necessary for my gmail.
  8. I don’t have Instagram (wrong phone) but would love an account. Because pictures. I enjoy taking pictures and sometimes they speak when words can’t or won’t.
  9. I will attempt to read more for spiritual growth and for writing growth.
  10. I will be spending time praying about the direction of my writing. I appreciate your prayers too.
  11. This fall I will be attending a writers workshop which will help give some clarity.
  12. I will update you when I have more insight. Please be patient I don’t know how long it will take.
  13. Comments are useful and welcome as I would love to know your thoughts.

In conclusion – I am a writer.  Who is not writing much these days. Rather than stringing words together in a passionate fevered pitch and seeing them bloom on the page, it has been more like standing in a downpour turning clods of dirt. While I’m being drenched by the deluge, I will continue to plant seeds in hopes that they will not wash away and in due time will produce a harvest.  (How’s that for a garden metaphor).

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Digging in grace,

Teresa

 

 

 

 

 

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My Lately

I started writing a post.  It is not ready for the public.  It may never be.  I really don’t know what is going on with this not writing and it is starting to scare me a little bit.  I trust that God has a plan though and in the meantime I am still here, even though not exactly here.  Not here writing.  Hopefully soon.

While we are waiting for the words to come, I thought I’d share some pictures of my lately.  Just Random shots of recent snows, a small depression glass dish I found to fit a lid I already had,  and supermarket flowers I arranged.

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100_4244 100_4251100_4277100_4255 In addition to snapping pictures and arranging supermarket flowers I have been watching a lot of 7th Heaven.  We started from the beginning and are now in season 3. I loved that show when it was on originally and it seemed a good fit for me right now.  I think watching it has been some kind of therapy for me and I’m still working through the why.

Grace is good,

Teresa

 

Granville Ohio

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In my last post I mentioned that we had been on a trip to Granville, Ohio.  Years ago when my husband was taking some college classes we had a music studio in an old Victorian farmhouse in Lancaster, Ohio.  We took over the studio from a teacher who was moving to California and were fortunate to be able to rent the same house he had lived in and taught from.  The house is no longer standing, which makes me sad. On our trip, we drove through Lancaster and took a picture of the spot where the house used to sit. It was raining while I was taking them, which was somehow appropriate.  It was as if heaven was crying with me over the loss of a house.  Am I the only one who is sentimental over old houses?  I just think it is wrong to tear them down if at all possible to keep them.

These trees were in the back of the house – we are parked, looking towards the back of the “house”
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These pictures are looking at the front of the “house”

Granville, is situated about an hour Northeast of Lancaster.  One Sunday afternoon, when we lived in Lancaster, we set off on an adventure to Granville.  We found it to be a charming picturesque little town, much like a New England town, full of older homes beautifully restored and well maintained.  We were hard pressed to find any part of town that looked dumpy.

Beautiful older home in Granville
Beautiful older home in Granville.  If you look closely, you can see a robin on the corner of the porch roof.

You could smell the history, a little bit of preppy and money in the air.  We instinctively knew that it simultaneously was, and was not, our kind of town. The was, captured my heart and made me want to move immediately.  The was not, of course, would mainly be the money part as in we didn’t have much back then, and still don’t.  We knew if we ever had the chance we wanted to go back for a longer visit.

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This summer we felt the need to have a few days hiatus away from all that was familiar, but we wanted it to be no more than 2-4 hours away and it had to be a quiet non-touristy place where there were shops if we wanted and other things to do such as gardens or museums.  And of course, lots of homes to drive by and some beautiful countryside nearby.  It also needed to have a charming place to stay that was not too pricey.

I remembered Granville and how I had always been fascinated by the town, so we decided that it met all our requirements and booked a room for three nights at the Buxton Inn, which comes complete with a few resident ghosts, including a ghost cat, named Major Buxton.  Or, so the story goes. Thus began our quiet adventure. You can google ghosts of Buxton Inn, if you are interested in that sort of thing.

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We arrived in Granville on a quiet Sunday evening, checked into the Inn, unpacked and proceeded to find sustenance.  We drove around town to see what was available and finally settled on Brews Cafe.  It was a quiet family type of evening and we both had fish and chips.   We went back to our room, The Rose Room, and settled in early for the evening.  I did not see any ghosts.

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The Buxton is a charming Bed and Breakfast type of Inn.  I would describe it as slightly dated with a shabby air, but very clean and lots of character.  The staff were wonderful and the host was quite the charming older gentlemen.  He and his wife acquired the Inn in the seventies and over the years have added other houses on the block to their little compound.   I think they have a total of 5-7 houses, surrounding a garden courtyard that is full of lights in the evening. We were in one of the annex buildings, Founders Hall. Rumor has it that the entire complex is for sale to the right buyer.  If only.

We really enjoyed our stay at the Buxton and would go again.  The following pictures are of the Buxton grounds and houses.

Founders Hall.  Our room was on the back right corner, with a nice porch off the back, overlooking the courtyard.
Founders Hall. Our room was upstairs, on the back right corner, with a nice porch off the back, overlooking the courtyard.

 

The Warner House, part of the Buxton compound, was next door to our house.  We could look out our window and see the side porches of this house.
The Warner House, part of the Buxton compound, was next door to our house. We could look out our window and see the side porches of this house.

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One of the many fountains on the property, next door to yet another of the houses in the compound.  The water looks green, but if memory serves, it was actually clear, the green was the color of the floor of the fountain.
One of the many fountains on the property, next door to yet another of the houses in the compound. Another fountain and the gazebo below.

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gazebo collage

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Statues in the courtyard garden.
Statues in the courtyard garden.
I loved this little garden shed.  I wanted to peek inside but the door (other side) was locked.
I loved this little garden shed. I wanted to peek inside, but the door (other side) was locked.

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Night Shots
Night Shots
Resident cat, real, not the ghost cat. I'm pretty sure.
Resident cat, real, not the ghost cat. I’m pretty sure.

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pineapple post collage

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Traveling in Grace,

Teresa

I took lots of pictures on this trip and a few themes stood out:  Houses, Churches, Barns, Cemeteries and lots of pictures at Dawes Arboretum (met our gardens requirement) and the Avery Downer House (met the museum requirement).  I also took a few pictures on the Denison campus and of some of the places we ate, including the greenhouse room at the Buxton.  I could bore you to tears with too many pictures.  However, if you are interested, over the next few posts, I will organize the pictures into categories and share some of them with you.  We also made another little day trip last week with my parents that I will tell you about soon.

 

choosing a slow settle

The house is quiet this afternoon.  After a few days away, it is nice to come home to the quiet of my own home.  Getting away for a few days was a necessary reset, but being back and settling into the everyday rhythm is good too.

I’m choosing a slow settle into familiar routines.  The whites are washing in the laundry, reminding me that home is a good, safe place to be.  The unpacking was done earlier as I got my morning started.  I think for today the unpacking and washing of whites is enough.

I’ll just linger a little longer in the getting away from it all mode and enjoy a rare afternoon of quiet solitude to unwind the treasures of being in another place and time.

Then, quietly, I’ll inhabit my sense of place.

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(all images property of Stoneleaf & Co. taken by T.L.Hardymon. Please do not use without permission.)

You may have noticed my absence the past six weeks or so.  I meant to tell you ahead of time that I was taking a break for a while.  I just wasn’t quite able to put into words all the reasons why I needed time away and then one day led to another and I’d been away long enough that I figured you had figured out that I was on break.  I guess I just needed a respite from anything that wasn’t totally necessary for survival.  At the end of the day what we actually need for living is a very small requirement.

I’m not really sure that my impromptu hiatus is over, but since I was away for a few days and took lots of pictures, I thought over the next few days or weeks, I might want to unfold the story of my journey and see what tales come forth.

Slowing in Grace,

Teresa