Messages

Every day for the past several weeks, a cardinal flies to the weeping cherry tree just outside of my dining room window where I work. He flits happily among the gently swinging branches, his vibrant red feathers a glorious contrast to the lime green leaves that quiver in his wake.

Each day, I watch him while he visits, mesmerized, unable to do much else until he  leaves for another destination. I’d never seen him before this spring, though he may have been here before. Cardinals are non-migratory birds that mate for life and put down roots, so he must have settled nearby. Until now, I’d been too busy to notice.

Now, I wait for him, and each day I’m rewarded. I watch him jump and flit and play among the swaying leaves in the tree outside my window. I listen to his song and wonder who he is serenading, peering out through the glass in search of his lucky mate.

Many believe cardinals deliver messages from loved ones who have passed, to let us know they are with us and watching over us. I take comfort in this thought. But to me, he is also a sign of life, of beauty, and joy. Especially now. I’m transfixed. IMG_7425

Life, beauty, and joy. It’s all around us. We just have to pay attention.

Gardening & Life

Hello! I hope you’re all doing well and keeping safe. I woke up this morning to sunshine and warm air. Here in the Northeast, Spring has arrived! You know what that means… Time to bring these babies outside.

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In the past, I’d been too busy with work, family, and writing to pre-plan a garden. I was the one scrambling late in the season, running to the garden center to pick up infant crops to plant out back.

This year, well, you know what happened. We’ve been sheltered in place, doing the best we can while staying safely at home for the past 8 weeks. Suddenly, I have time to think, and to consider my garden. So, with the bug from last year’s successful harvest of my first seeded sunflower (pic right), I dedicated a sunny space in the living room, bought some soil, pots, and seeds, and started my very first indoor “victory” garden.

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The most beautiful thing I’d ever grown (other than my boys)

Every morning, I checked on my pots, marveled at the sprouted greens through the soil, and enjoyed watching their growth. Watering them daily and adjusting their position throughout the day to get the most sunlight became routine, calming, predictable. I found my rhythm.

But, as plants and flowers tend to do, they’ve outgrown their small pots and they’re ready for the great outdoors. I need to let them go, allow them to plant roots outside where they belong, and do what they do best: provide beauty, food, and thrive.

As in life, the rhythms we find change. We settle into a comfortable routine only to face the next phase of our lives.

Parenting is like planting, but waaaay more terrifying. We raise these children, and before we’re ready, they leave, searching for their place in the world. We’re left to face our days without them. We adjust.

In Seasons Out of Time, which comes out next Friday, Heather Harrison just dropped her only child at college hundreds of miles away, and she too faces the next phase of her life. No longer a wife, or a full-time mom, she must re-define who she is and how she’ll fill the long, empty days ahead.

And so begins her journey of self-discovery in the most unconventional way.

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This gorgeous cover was designed by my talented designer and friend, Suzanne Fyhrie Parrott of First Steps Publishing

Have you pre-ordered your ebook? If you do, it will arrive on your kindle Friday, May 22nd  in time for the holiday weekend. The paperback version will be available to order that day too. Here’s the link: Amazon

I’m excited, nervous, and hopeful that you’ll love the story as much as I do.

Until then, I wish you health, peace, and sunshine.

Love, Kim

 

 

To Say Goodbye

We never quite know what our last words will be to those we love. We part ways with a hug, a kiss, or a wave, without a second thought.

You left us a few days ago, during this strange time, and we weren’t there to say Goodbye. Instead, we’re left with mixed emotions: sadness, frustration, regret, and love.

There are things I want to say. I’m sorry. I’m sorry everyone who loved you couldn’t be by your side during your last days.

If I knew our last conversation would be our last, I would have said, Thank you.

Thank you for being the kind, humble, and giving man that you were.
Thank you for loving my children.
Thank you for teaching my husband how to sail, and for countless days on the water all those summers ago.
Thank you for sharing stories of your youth, and teaching us the history of our town.
Thank you for loving my mother for the past twenty-five years.
Thank you for sharing your family with our family.
Thank you for the wonderful memories that we have to hold onto.

As you sail into the setting sun, with the warm wind at your back, I pray you are at peace.

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James I. Baylis 1930- 2020

The Song

Happy Birthday to you.

Happy Birthday to you.

Happy Birthday dear….Everyone,

Happy Birthday to you…

I wash my hands so often lately, I can’t get the song out of my head.

It’s been a while since my last post and for that, I apologize. However, I feel compelled to come out and say hello, to let you know I’m thinking of you, and I hope you’re all doing okay during these trying times.

We may be social distancing (I hope), but we’re united. It’s evident in the beautiful posts and videos I see, of people around the world sharing music, poems, messages of joy, and hope.

We’ll get through this together. Spring will be here soon. And when it arrives, may it bring a new appreciation for the lives we live, for those we love, and for all we have.

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If you’d like to talk or share anything at all, I’m here. Let me know how you’re doing.

And don’t forget to sing the Happy Birthday Song while you wash your hands. It is, after all, a song about life.

~Kimberly xo

Moving on

For the first years of my son’s life, he was my shadow. On any given day, you’d find him on my hip, or on my lap, or hugging a leg. When I walked away, he followed. When I went out with my husband or friends, he cried. When he woke up in the morning, or from a nap, he called for me. It was endearing, exhausting, and short-lived (if you consider three years short).

About 13 years ago, both of my boys wrestled. For a few months in the winter, I brought them to practice at the high school. I sat in the hall waiting for one, then the other, to enjoy rolling around on thick, smelly mats in the gym with their peers. 

One evening I was with my younger son, my shadow, waiting for the older one to finish his practice when a coach came out of the gym with a large box. He placed the box on the floor and asked me if I would help him to hand out tournament t-shirts to the players as they left. 

Of course, I agreed. 

As each boy came out, I found his size and gave it to him. To do this, I had to lean over and reach inside the box which caused my sweater to rise a few inches above my waist exposing my lower back. Each time this happened, I felt a small hand pull the sweater down to cover me. My son was almost five years old then. 

Last week we dropped this son at college for the first time. We found his room, unpacked his belongings, made his bed, set up his television, and too soon, said goodbye. 

I’m not sure why that memory, so clear in my mind, came to me. I can’t remember what I did yesterday. But I grabbed it, reliving the moment outside of that gym. Last week, I walked away from this child who used to pull down the back of my sweater so my skin wouldn’t show. I walked away and he didn’t follow, or cry, or call for me. 

My heart is full of small, yet significant memories such as this, and to know I can draw upon them when I need brings me comfort. 

This is the beginning of a new stage for us. And maybe, just maybe, the memories we’ve made over the years, the ones I hold like treasures, will make the moving on hurt less.

This is the face I saw at college drop-off 

 

Gone too soon

You welcomed us to the party. No matter our mood when we arrived, we had to be happy. We danced and drank, toasted and cheered. Most of all, we laughed. The laughter could be heard everywhere. There were so many of us, people of all ages, all with one thing in common.

Occasionally, we’d look around and wonder how we got so lucky to find ourselves at this celebration. This amazing, life-affirming, gleeful, wonderful bash. We knew we were blessed. We never wanted it to end.

Then the music stopped playing, the lights went dim and we were told it was over. It was time to move on. But how do we move from something so celebratory and joyous? What will we do now?

This is what it felt like to have you in our lives. In your presence, we were at life’s exclusive gala, laughing. Laughing until we cried.

Thank you for giving us cause to celebrate, for filling our lives with joy, for sharing your generous spirit and kindness and love. We know how lucky we are to have spent time with you. And we will forever be grateful.

Rest in peace, dear friend. We’ll miss you.