Skip to main content

And so it begins......

I've arrived in Evergreen, Colorado and am beginning the journey of five weeks in my little (rented) mountain cabin. I actually arrived on Monday night, went to the grocery store to load up on supplies, and then drove up to the cabin. I didn't sleep well the first night, waking at 3 am, and resorting to my tried and true solution of turning on my favorite news channel to provide white noise to lull me. I guess this was to be expected with the time difference and the first night in an unfamiliar place. I woke yesterday to grey skies and cold temps. I brewed a pot of coffee and huddled down in a chair on the deck to watch the skies and the mountains in the distance and wonder what I would be able to accomplish in the coming five weeks. Today, the skies are clear and sunny.

I tend toward a bit of agoraphobia when left to my own devices. The physical manifestation being a scarcely perceptible cotton ball of anxiety that sits in my chest and then slowly gains weight and panic-y heft when I contemplate leaving the house, getting in the car, and driving somewhere. It's not overbearing, just ever present, just enough to aid me in making excuses for staying in. For instance, during the year that I lived at Lake Tahoe, I never once went to Truckee, a town merely 15 miles away. Instead, I spent most days holed up in my little house, making trips to the grocery store down the hill from my home and the rest of the time sitting on the deck staring at the sky. I seem to be able to handle social situations only in small doses and solitude in large, looming chunks. It is a double-edged sword, on the one hand, I treasure my solitude and am quite happy to spend hours or days alone. The problem is that left alone for too long, I spend too much time in my head. And speaking from experience, even healthy introspection has its limits and does better when bounced off the company of others from time to time.

I could see the same happening here, it's been two days and I have yet to leave my 'yard' with the exception of a walk up the dirt road behind the cabin. I suppose this could point to a career possibility of joining a cloistered convent or a monastery, though I'm not good at joining groups, so perhaps I would have to go the more singular route of becoming a hermit, or one of those monks that live in caves.

I'm working to combat this tendency by arranging things to get me out and about. Tomorrow I have an appointment with my realtor to look at houses. To give you an idea of what this entails, I've already highlighted the route on a map and contemplated the drive. (Bizarrely, I've driven cross country, and a couple years ago spent two weeks on my own, driving over two thousand miles through Wyoming and Colorado with no itinerary. It's just the getting started that is the crux.) Next weekend my brother and his wife are coming up for four days, and at the end of the month, one of my friends is coming for the weekend. These visits will compel me to leave the house and get on the road so that I can share with my guests the beauty that can be found with a drive through the mountains. And topped off by dinners in town.

On the other hand, this intermittent solitude will be the perfect opportunity to get some writing done. My goal is to spend time each day working on the revisions of my second novel. I'm about halfway through it at this point, and it would be incredibly satisfying to make a big dent in the second half. I've also got some blog ideas brewing that reflect my ongoing obsessions with politics and baking. As you can see in the picture above, I've already set up my computer at the kitchen table and my little cabin is blessed with a really fast wireless connection which makes working a breeze (if I could just discipline my compulsion of check the Drudge report fifty times a day.) And then, there's that small pile of books that I've brought along to read....

In all, I'm easing into the journey and am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to live in such beauty. I hope it will be productive, that it will help me to discover a happy medium between my desire to continue to live with my mother to provide her with companionship and care at this time in her life, and a desire to have a place and time for myself. (In another post we'll discuss the changing role of elderly parents in our lives, the old world traditions of parents living with their adult children, versus the modern tradition of assisted living communities, the pros and cons of each.). In a perfect world, I would have a little house here and have the freedom to spend time in both places. At present, there are no easy solutions, but my hope is that I will discover one that is a blessing for both of us.

As you can see there's a lot on the expectations plate for this trip, I hope I'll remember to just relax, let go, and let it happen.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Mark Salinas said…
Very nice...good for you and good luck with your journey. I look forward to your journey updates! :)
Keetha said…
I can't wait to hear more. You look quite happy in the photo. :-)
Jennifer H said…
You made it! I hope these next week go as you plan, and that you will find a home of your own.

And I can't tell you how good the idea of a few weeks in a mountain cabin sounds right now.

Good luck with all of it, and I can't wait to hear more of your updates.

You look great!
Jennifer H said…
You made it! I hope these next week go as you plan, and that you will find a home of your own.

And I can't tell you how good the idea of a few weeks in a mountain cabin sounds right now.

Good luck with all of it, and I can't wait to hear more of your updates.

You look great!
Camellia said…
I love your cabin, and understand mild agoraphobia and the compulsion to check Drudge every two minutes. Also I spent a total of nearly three years total of living with and taking care of terminally ill parents, and was glad I could do so. I am checking on you every day I love to sift through your reader list.

OH, you are living a life I would live if I weren't living this one. Thanks for sharing.
Trish said…
Suzanne, wow, I am so thrilled for you to have a writing retreat (with fast Internet? um, I'd get no writing done refreshing or Drudge). Your blog looks like a place I would like to visit often and so I will! Happy writing!

Trish Lawrence
Southern Girl said…
Hey, Suzanne! I didn't realize you were headed to Colorado!!! (: Now that I have my computer back, I'll be sure to check in with you! This post reminded me of the fact that my husband calls me "Anti-Social" as a nickname. (: He says, "you don't blend very well, unless it's with YOUR people." What was it that Emily Dickinson wrote? "The soul selects her own Society, then-- Shuts the door?" (:
JCK said…
So glad you have this time to work on your writing. And hope you find the balance between solitude and getting out amongst some interesting people.

Popular posts from this blog

Women are Highly Esteemed in the Eyes of This Man

I enter the sanctuary of Our Lady of Peace Church and my eyes adjust to the dimmed lights as the only illumination comes from candles on the altar and their glowing reflection in the monstrance holding the Blessed Sacrament.
My friend and I had come to join the Mary and Martha’s quarterly meeting which started with an hour of Adoration.
I took my seat in one of the pews, knelt, and surreptitiously glanced around the sanctuary. In the gloaming, I could see thirty other women kneeling like sentinels in silent prayer. 
Over the course of the hour, we would remain in contemplative silence.
As I slipped in and out of my prayers and wandering thoughts, I considered how pleased God must be when he sees us gathered in the simple and divine act of Adoration.
But in fact, women are highly esteemed in God’s sight not matter where we are. 
We only look at the life of Jesus Christ to understand how dearly he cherishes every woman.
In the Gospel of Saint John, a group of men bring a woman caught i…

When our spirit hungers

The precocious toddler’s interest in talking to her mother grew in insistence as the gathered group settled in for an hour of silent prayer. Shushing didn’t work, so the mother led her child into an adjoining room where she would still be part of the sanctuary, but sound would be dampened. Despite the closed door and heavy glass walls, the child’s fervent desire to speak with her mother was still audible.
I said a prayer for the patient mother determined to stay, and for the child who was either tired or hungry or impatient for Mom’s undivided attention. And then tried to bring my wandering thoughts back to prayer. I had come to Adoration with my own pressing need for answers.
Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a growing emptiness in my heart. A void, as if something is missing. It’s not psychological. Not physical. After doing an internal check, I determined it’s a spiritual void that I’m experiencing.
No, I’m not doubting God, his existence or goodness. I have full confidence in…

If you are tired of the guilt trip you usually feel at church, here’s a different perspective

I am counting the days until I fly to Fort Lauderdale to see Mom for Christmas. Yes, I speak with her every day, sometimes twice a day. But as you know, phone calls just aren’t the same as being with someone you love. I look forward to seeing Mom’s smile, to holding her hand, to going for a drive along the beach with her. Spending time in the presence of someone we love enriches our relationship with them.
I believe the love I feel for Mom, is a sliver of what God feels for each of us. I believe God longs to share that love with us. Which is why we are called to spend time in God’s presence daily. We experience God’s presence when we meet him in our prayers, in church, and hopefully in one another. If I could make one wish for each of us, it would be that at some point during the next four weeks of Advent we would experience how much Jesus loves us.

The Best Christmas

During my morning devotions, I read these two verses of Psalm 117:
Praise theLord,all you nations;
extol him, all you peop…