And another adventure begins…KarseCoteHowm

Well, they don’t call me the wandering Jew for lack of a reason, but I’m putting down tentative roots once more.  I bought a house.  I’ll try not to burden my mind with calling it my ‘forever’ home, as I did once before when I found a little slice of heaven – making it like a tearing asunder when I had to leave it once I’d just barely gotten to know it in all four seasons, and the wildlife, herbage and sounds that shared the space with me.

LegoMan and I will be heading out this Friday to yet another new state – this time landing in North Carolina.  This took a bending, nay, I dare say a partial abandoning, of my long habored inner dreams of carving out a place in the woods, building from cobbled together salvage pieces, sweat, pained fingers and broken nails, that I could truly call ‘mine’. Now that I have a li’l punkin to consider, I had to balance what would be best for him versus what I truly wanted. That was…hard. I don’t necessarily feel it is bad for kids to grow up in the wild; in fact, in some ways it is healthier and leads to greater self-reliance. However, with him starting off with special needs and me being the only family member that has embraced that lifestyle, it might go well or it might go very, very badly. Since socialization is one of the skills  areas  where he needs a LOT of work, talking to goats and field mice may not advance that a whole lot.  Since the whole ‘my parents gave me away’ thing is rearing its ugly head, proximity to mental health services are also a plus.

So I blended my life-long love of all structures old, with a half-measure of acreage on the water, but close in enough to present social and other enrichment activities other than counting wild turkeys and does vs bucks in season for the Lego sprout.  Meet KarseCoteHowm (Scottish for lowlying river land, humble home, in a floodplain)

KarseCoteHowm 2017

She’s built in 1925, so nearly 100 years old and shows some of her aches and pains, but she’s had some surgical procedures to freshen her up a bit in the showy bits.  The underbelly will take some interventions in the near future; think of it as bad knees but hopefully not a full hip replacement!  I do wake up sometimes fretting that I am going to be a featured actress in “The Money Pit 2” and then try to roll over and go back to sleep.

Meanwhile, back here at the apartment, I’m perfecting my combo skills of Tetris, Jenga and “How to keep ones pinky toes attached” due to the boxes, storage bins, and disassembled items stacked in wobbling towers throughout the place.  Maybe it is more like “Rats in a Maze: A study in close quarters”?  One of us, LegoMan, OldGrumpyDog or me, bangs into boxes at least once or three times a day. Somehow that simplicity thing that I have been striving for has not taken root yet.  At least now I have an actual storage area both inside and outside of the domicile.  I feel most for my little Jack, OldGrumpyDog. who has gone mostly blind, totally deaf and is having anxiety because he sees boxes again. In the night, he bumbles around trying to trace his steps to the water dish, and sometimes gives up trying to find his way back and collapses on the pillow under the dining room table instead of returning to his bed beside my bed. But it will be over soon, except for that packing-the-truck thing.

LegoMan has sprouted and turned  into a boy in his year and a half here – growing three inches, six pounds and several shoe sizes over the course of time.  His face has elongated, sprouted freckles and his hair has turned a shiny auburn that curls like mad when I let it get too long.  I sense a lady killer in development, folks. He’s completely off all medications now, and although there is still a lot of anger and disrespect that pops out, the daily thrashing and screaming fits have subsided for the most part. He is practicing for Debate Team though methinks.  That boy would argue with a fence post. Summer camp was…interesting. Busted nose, eye punches, nose bleeds, falling off the bleachers into broken metal railings, and enough bandaids and ointment to make me consider taking a course in “Boy First Aid”.  Very different than raising girls, my former area of experience. But he did learn to swim, and is mastering the art of scooters – which of course means more bandaids and ointment purchases.

Quite the change, eh?  Those legs took on a life of their own! Maybe the scabby salve has growth hormones in it or something 🙂

This move is mostly for his sake. The pain of seeing his siblings remain as a family unit gnaws at him, throws him into a tailspin of doubt, self-loathing and anger, even though he desires to see them. I’ve considered that maybe it hurts me more than it does him. While I want him to remain close to his half-siblings, I also want him to form an identity of his own that isn’t based on being given away, but positive things.  Things that will be a strong, loving overlay to the insecurities that plague him.  It’s hard on him, having a grandmother stand in as a ‘mom’ figure.  He often says he wishes I were 25 or 26 (heh, makes two of us buddy!).  I try to stay young thinking and energetic for his sake, but hey, I’m on the near side to sixty now – perish the thought!  I look forward to introducing him to hiking, to serious gardening, to lawn mowing (oops, that slipped in there) – to the beauty of the natural world that produces healing and an awareness that we are part of something so much bigger than our real problems.  He’s already able to identify birdsong without seeing the bird, has knowledge of herbs and flowers, and has the beginning of understanding of plant medicine. He’s naturally curious and terribly bright (where is my tumeric and black pepper again?). It keeps me on my toes.  Some things scare me. Other things amaze me. I’ve never grown a man, and I hope that I do right by him.

Someone called me “the bravest person they know” today.  I don’t feel brave. Mostly I feel kept by that old adage “God watches over babies and fools.”  Life is hard. But I also get to blow bubbles again.  I get to watch a little boy double over in spasms of laughter when I say “Ewwwwwwwwwwww” with a weird face when he makes up another totally ludicrous, horrid thing that he thinks I should eat.  I get to watch him master a 1,000 plus piece of Lego assembly on his own, and the care he takes of that work.  I get to teach him James Taylor and John Denver songs (which, surprise, he likes!) And yeah, there are bad parts too.  Very bad parts.  Hopefully I have the strength not to snap, and the tenacity to keep believing that I’m making a difference. And love, lots of love.

Two sets of people are allowed to call out to YHVH when they are being oppressed or afflicted- the widow and the fatherless.  Kind of ironic that we share a household, isn’t it?


Be well, until next time.  And if you see a pokey Penske truck with a bug-eyed lady, a grumpy little dog and a little boy playing with Legos in your way this weekend, please don’t flip us off, ‘mmkay?  😀


  16 comments for “And another adventure begins…KarseCoteHowm

  1. August 8, 2017 at 11:16 PM

    Sending you strength and peace. You’re such a beautiful spirit. Just right to love and nurture a curious and questioning young boy. Your consistent presence and care will nourish him. I hope you have nourishment flowing your way too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • August 8, 2017 at 11:23 PM

      Thank you, Brenda! I have amazing long-term friends who provide me with great support and I’m learning to care for me, too. Perhaps one day someone on the masculine side of the house, but each thing comes as it is time. Sending hugs your way too, milady!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. August 9, 2017 at 6:19 AM

    Adventure awaits, dear friend! You have done fabulously in a short time, so I am certain of continued successes in your raising a fine young man. And oh, the space you now have to nurture and grow your garden!

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 9, 2017 at 7:06 AM

      I declare, I still think more on what I want to do outside than inside, LOL! Thank you for the encouragement in regards to LegoMan. Donning my adventure hat and turning towards the horizon full of promise…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. August 11, 2017 at 12:35 AM

    A beautiful home ~ and there can be nothing more freeing and exciting than a change you have just described above. Nothing quite like a new adventure ~ and you’ve got a great sidekick to boot 🙂


    • August 25, 2017 at 7:37 AM

      It IS exciting, and humbling, at the same time. I always come face to face with more stuff I don’t know when I take on a new challenge/adventure. Thank you for the compliments on the old girl; she has lots of life left in her, and the rooms are huge! I hope your adventures are panning out well, too, as I recall you also were at a crossroads place. Good as always to ‘see’ you 🙂


  4. August 14, 2017 at 12:46 AM

    So good to here your voice, I think of you often and how life truly is. This is such a great post, I’m reblogging to my site. I have to say…it’s tough for me, you’re the loving soul like my grandparents! My gramps was a year away from retiring and they took this bad attitude thug drug addicted 14 yr old and turned me into what I think is a good person. I’m so happy for the steps forward he has made, he is traumatized and you have the love to watch him grow up. I can relate to him is some ways and it’s shitty. God saw your strength, the love you had to offer. God changed your path, your Blessed to watch a child learn to love, trust and live in an environment thats interesting with a pretty cool granny.
    Keep us posted as you can. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 25, 2017 at 7:31 AM

      Thank you, M for your memories about the healing your grandparents allowed to begin to lead you to the person that you are today. If only I was just a year away from retiring, lol! A new post will be forthcoming soon. Hugs and take care lady!

      Liked by 1 person

      • August 27, 2017 at 2:02 PM

        Come back, I miss you in our environment. It’s so diverse now. Just as now write with no pressure for more. Your voice of reason and the normal life lessons of unconditional love. Not many have known the pleasure and sacrifices made for love. You’ve done a 360, good lessons for all to learn. You would make me so happy, I certainly understand with the speed you run at a reblog may be to much to ask. Have an awesome Sunday. 🙂


  5. August 14, 2017 at 12:50 AM

    Reblogged this on LOOKING FOR THE LIGHT BLOG and commented:
    Awesome post from our friend Sunflower Solace Farm. M


  6. August 20, 2017 at 2:14 PM

    You seem like the type of person whose sense of humor usually gets you through just about anything, which I’m sure is one reason I was drawn to your blog. I know that I personally knock wood every time I say out loud that my adult children are “normally” happy and healthy, at least as far as I know based on what they tell me, Luckily, I also didn’t experience overly much pain or difficulty getting them to that point, though again I’m not 100% knowledgeable of what they experienced in that process.

    This is a long winded way of expressing my admiration for you, in taking on the raising of a new, relatively unknown (I’ve also only raised girls) and difficult child. I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that I won’t have to do something similar somewhere down the road. If I did, though, I’d try to see it as my contribution to making the world a better place, not only for that one child now but for what he could bring to the larger world as a result. I think you are also Jewish, so you are definitely performing an act of tikkun olam, to heal the world.

    Stay strong, but at the same time remember to ask for help, for both yourself and this special grandson. And, if you have to move both of you closer to :”civilization,” at least you will have a lovely place to call home to shelter you, in both body and spirit.


    • August 25, 2017 at 7:34 AM

      Sue, so good to hear from you! Thank you for your kind words. I actually chose ‘civilization’ to offer him more opportunities. Me, I’d be holed up in the woods somewhere, lol! This is a pleasant compromise, with great neighbors and still the wild beauty. I had not though of tikkun olam in relation to my sheltering of Legoman, so thank you for that reminder. I hope you and yours are all well over in my former home realm 🙂


  7. August 29, 2017 at 4:29 PM

    Boys are certainly different in my experience. After growing up with just brothers, having a daughter opened up a whole new world. That house looks pretty cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 3, 2017 at 8:39 PM

      It is pretty quirky, a faded grand dame. And I enjoy her quirks and flaws (well, most of them, lol)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. September 3, 2017 at 3:08 PM

    Best of luck on your new ventures. I really enjoyed reading your blog and that quote you added at the end:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 3, 2017 at 8:40 PM

      Thank you! Eleanor was a wise woman methinks 😉 Wonder how she’d handle social media?


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