Remembering And Moving On

Today I got caught.

I got caught in the place in between…..the place between remembering and moving on.

It’s not a bad place to be.  But when you remember, and you find yourself in a sad place, that’s when you get caught.

It’s a dichotomy.  Actually it’s a di-caught-omy.  And the thing that did it to me was the single Asian pear that became the biggest harvest ever.


This was the Asian pear from my back yard.

It was the only pear produced by my Asian pair tree…..the Only pear this year.  But that is a wonderful thing!  A good thing.  A great thing!

Two years ago, before we moved into this house, Andrew asked me what I wanted for my birthday.  “I would like an Asian pear tree,” I said.  So Andrew gave me not only an Asian pear tree but also four lilac bushes, and we set out to plant them in the back yard.  We started with the pear tree.  “Dig a three-foot deep hole.”  That was one of the instructions for planting.  As it turned out, mixing the fertilizer stuff with the mulchy stuff was much easier than digging the hole for all of it!

It was a hot day.  We had moved in some furniture and were sweaty and tired.  Poor Andrew!  He was sweating and digging, digging and sweating…..well, trying to dig, I should say.  He looked at me and said, “Maybe we should ask Jerry?”

Our lovely neighbor, Jerry!  God bless Jerry!  Jerry was willing to join us for everything from handyman jobs to laugh-out-loud conversations in the middle of the road.  (I’m recalling that there may have been more of the latter!)  Andrew went to get Jerry and when he saw what we were doing he looked at Andrew……and he laughed!  He laughed and laughed and laughed!  “You’re never going to dig a three-foot hole in the Lemont dirt!”  Of course his response was all in fun, and telling this story is something I know Jerry has done on numerous occasions! Anyway, Jerry helped us dig a hole, we planted the pear tree and the lilacs, and we crossed our fingers.

Jerry             IMG_7139

(The first pic here is of neighbor Jerry laughing – notice the gardening tool in his hands! The second pic is of Andrew and neighbor Mike, who brought us a snack!)

Since then I’ve kept a fairly good eye on that tree.  And I’ve been hopeful since day one that it would take hold and eventually grow some fruit.  Last year it looked good in the spring, it was growing well, and after I learned about Reiki I would go out and visit it, sending it healing vibes.  This spring I went out into the yard not expecting to see anything on it at all, and what did I see?  One pear!  One Asian pear that had come from One blossom on my One tree!  Excitement!!!!!!

Today the pear was ready to pick!  The girls and I shared it while we were all here together.  I think Andrew was here with us too, and I think he was laughing at the whole scene (one pear, four girls).  Actually, he was probably feeling a little proud.  I’m a little sad that since it was an opportunity that we needed to take quickly I didn’t get to invite Jerry and his wife, Susan, to share in the pair cutting.  (They know about it now!)

IMG_4301                     IMG_4320


That Asian pear was the sweetest, most wonderful thing I’ve ever eaten in my whole life.

Earlier this week I caught a glimpse of the Asian pear tree in our old back yard.  Wow, is it loaded!  I sure loved that tree.  If anyone ever cuts it down I will cry.  Bob, the head of maintenance at Grier, will attest to the fact that I would.  Years ago there was a new guy helping with lawn care, and he didn’t quite know the ropes.  He was trimming bushes and really did a number on the pear tree.  I’m surprised it yielded anything after that!  I called Bob and I cried.  I literally cried over the phone.  “Please, Bob, don’t ever let anyone do that again!”  Bob was sympathetic (and maybe a little disturbed).  Thank you, Bob, for your understanding.

[For the record I just need to say how much I miss Bob, Little Bob, John, Bill, and all the guys who work tirelessly to make the school’s campus a beautiful, functioning place. Thank you.  Sorry, I got caught again….now, back to the blog.]

I would pick bags of pears and take them over to the school.  I’d give my friend, Yong Sook, full bags just for her, and she’d eat a whole bag in one day!  I’d make muffins, pies, and pear pancakes, etc., etc., etc…….  I’d have a basket sitting under the tree so the Grier girls could grab one that was ripe on the way to riding or wherever.

Sigh.  I remember it well.  I remember it well, and the remembering is good, but I can’t hold tightly to it.  The bit of sadness of this moment pays tribute to the gratefulness of the past moment.  I am also very grateful for this very moment.  This very moment is the Only one we have right now, just like that Only pear on the tree.

I imagine I will always be getting caught.  A snag here, a tug there.  I’ll get “caught” between the old and the new, and it will be okay.  And at that same moment I will be ready for what’s ahead.  I think what’s ahead can be pretty good if I let it.


I have a new tree to love.  It provides a really cool tie between what was and what is to come.  One pear will lead to many pears, and many memories pave the way for many more to come.

There’s another dichotomy, too.  There can be something new and beautiful that rises up out of a terrible tragedy.  Trimmed branches grow again  Life can spring up from almost nothing.  And healing comes after death.

Here’s to remembering….and moving on.


(Follow up note:  Jerry and Susan have relocated and I don’t get to see them like I used to.  When I got in touch with Jerry to ask for permission to use his part of the story he told me that he had fallen while trimming tree branches.  He broke some ribs, his back, and his leg!  He will be in a wheelchair for 10 weeks.  Please send prayers, good vibes, and healing intentions for this fabulous fellow and his patient spouse!  I have no doubt the he will rise to trim again!)


Darcy’s website:

Darcy’s Etsy store:

You Are My Pothole

You are my pothole, my only pothole….You make me happy when skies are grey…..Sing along!!!!!

Well, maybe not.

I ended up being grateful for a pothole just recently.  You know how time and time again rotten things happen to us, and then low and behold something good comes out of them?  This was one of those times….and I ended up singing that silly song!

I drove up to Burlington, VT for the Level 1 Biofield Tuning class (more on biofield another time).  I went all by myself, and the trip lasted 5 days in total, with all the travel.  The fact that I made this journey is pretty epic for me at this point for several reasons.  One, I haven’t gone away by myself for a long time.  Two, I’ve never gone away for so long (I don’t think….).  And three, I’ve never driven so long and far without company.



Another thing that made this trip especially interesting is that Andrew and the girls and I would travel this route north twice a year, for the most part, heading either to Middlebury, VT to visit his parents or to Essex, NY, on Lake Champlain, to vacation for a summer week with family.  So the route was familiar, only my previous experience had been doing it while playing “the rhyming game” with the girls or pontificating on pertinent points with Andrew!

I thank my girls for letting me go off so I could “follow a call,” so to speak.  They did just fine without me, and at 25, 20, and 17 I’m not surprised.  They are independent and strong young women.  And I thank Andrew for blazing the trail up north and giving me so many great things to remember while I did this trip solo.

I may not have taken this class had it not been for Andrew.  Finding out that it would be in Burlington, VT (a town we had visited numerous times during our treks by the lake) made me say, “I can do this!  I know Burlington!”  It made a new experience a bit more familiar.


I know, you’re wondering about the pothole.

First, I have to backtrack to a few days before I left on my trip.  Cut to downtown State College, PA and the moment Grace and I discovered that we had a dead battery in the Veloster (crazy name for a car….Grace takes it to Grier and back every day).  Dead battery means call Triple A.  Ah, Triple A!!!  Find the card.  Pull out the card.  The card is expired!!!!

Neighbors Jerry and Susan come to the rescue with a jump start!

I vow to call AAA.  (I need to buy jumper cables, too…..)

Now cut to the moment I’m packing for my trip.  Oh, I forgot to call AAA.  I pick up the info they mailed me (Side note: I get so many mailings from various places and they tell me I need to renew or resubscribe, but I swear that I just renewed a little bit ago, so it can’t possibly be time to renew again!)…..yes, I pick up the info and tuck it in my folder.  I don’t have time to call now, so I’ll call when I get there…….

You know what’s coming, right?…..Anyway, I leave for my trip the next day and stop to get gas.  I pull out of the gas station lot and my eyes fall upon the beauteous AAA building right across the street!  Oh, look, AAA is right there!  I could stop, but really, no really, I have to get on the road.  I’ll be fine.  I’m going on this “zen” trip to learn how to help people improve their quality of life, so I’ll be Just Fine!

The trip up actually does go really well despite pouring rain.  And the next few days go just great!  (More on that later!)  So we get to the last day of my classes and I’m driving to this “out of the way” bagel place (Andrew and I loved to find “dive-y” type places that seemed more real.) and in the distance, on the road, I see this dark spot.  Is that a patched spot?  A puddle?  I kind of looks like, KATHUNK!, a pothole!

This was a HUGE pothole, and I didn’t swerve in time!  But the car’s wheel didn’t pull, and I thought maybe it was ok.  Then the tire light on the dash came on……

Oh no, I forgot to call AAA!!!!  (Swears loudly)

To make a long story short I met Seth Helper who supported and advised me (even though he didn’t know me) and I called a tow truck, etc.  After my credit card caught some drag time the tire got fixed pretty quickly, and I did make it to my last class, albeit only a half hour late.

But here’s what makes me sing the pothole song….. When the blessed tire guy checked out my flat he looked at the Other tire on that side, and pointed out that there was a prominent bubble in its side.  Even I, musician and mom, knew that that didn’t look good…. He said if I hit the highway the next day with that bubble in there the tire probably would have blown!  (And who knows where it may have blown, causing an accident, or who knows what kind of trouble….)

You are my pothole, my only pothole!  Sing along!  And here’s the moral of the story!  When you are told once, twice, and then three times to do something….you’d better do it!!!  We are not left on this Earth to experience things all alone.  And even if we ignore the first admonition, or even the second or third, we are still not alone!  I am thankful for that pothole, and as annoying as it was, I’m glad that I was given “another chance,” so to speak, which helped me avoid an even worse disaster.

In the end I was able to finish my class and even got a quick trapezius rubdown from one of my classmates!  I had a nice visit with my sister in law, and I made it back safely to Lemont, ready to digest my experiences and move on toward exciting things for all of us.  (I also got a new AAA membership….)

I’m sure I’ll be writing more about biofield tuning and where I’m heading with that and my new reiki experiences.  Actually, I don’t know exactly where I’m headed with it all, but that is the beauty of it….

The beauty is…….


The beauty is that the guidance you need is out there.  It may be quietly knocking at your mental door or blowing out your tires!  You just need to pay attention to it, and then follow it.  Look and listen for the signs (and maybe symptoms?) and you won’t end up singing the pothole song!

And as for the jumper cables…..maybe I’ll get them next week……

: )



A Different Day……

A Different Day

I see things differently every day…..

I think I can now say that it has finally sunk in.  Not that it hadn’t sunken it at all before, and not that I won’t feel the weight of it tomorrow.  But I have definitely settled in a bit. Time is definitely a factor in this healing equation.  This new, different life is going to happen whether I’m ready or not.

It has been over 6 months since Andrew passed away, and I find I’m shaking my head less often.  My shock and disbelief have settled into a seat that’s a little further back on my mental train, and I’m left to ride on, looking forward through a glass that is slightly less foggy.  People have gone back to their own seats and now look toward their own destinations.

So here we are, starting a new year.  Black Friday started on Thursday, Cyber Monday started on Sunday, Christmas came and went, and we did it.  We made it.  We got our tree, gave our gifts, saw a couple friends and some family, and began this “new normal.”  It was different, but it was OK.  It was all right.  Next year we’ll do it all over again.


I imagine that 2016 will be just as much of a surprise as 2015 was.  I think after you live through horrible things you learn to change your expectations.  I’m less surprised at everything that happens; I guess I’m somewhat desensitized.  I get less ruffled when things glitch.  It’s all relative.  Don’t get me wrong, there are days when one little thing happens, and it makes me feel like I’ve hit rock bottom.

In the past four years, in addition to “regular” life surprises, my dad passed away, my mom gave in to Alzheimer’s, Andrew and I retired from jobs, Hope started college and we moved.  Then Andrew passed away……and Grace had to start back to school without him.  How much can one family withstand?  The answer is “a lot.”  And a lot of people withstand a lot of stuff.  We all become different people as we experience these “different days” and survive everything that happens to us.  I have to say that I look at people, and life in general, a lot differently than I used to.

A friend said to me, “Life is just one tragedy after another.”  I agree.  It’s true.  But I have to add that life is also one joy after another.  I can’t help but laugh at some of the bright, quirky things my girls say or do, and I can’t help getting a kick out of hearing a friend burst out laughing on her end of the phone…..

You never know what will hit you next.


So I’m glad it will be 2016.  It’s not that I expect it to be a better year; I’m just more aware that anything can happen at any time.  That’s not such a bad lesson to learn.  Also, I’m glad that 2015 is over.  (Plus, 2016 is an even number. I like even numbers, I don’t know why.  I always feel a little better on the first day of an even numbered year.  Crazy.)

The future is a mystery.  Many things are mysteries, and there will be more surprises, I know.  Who would ever have thought that I’d be frosting cookies in a local bakery…that I’d have the voice students I have now….that I’d have an Etsy store…?


There is one thing that I haven’t mentioned yet…..hope.  Some may call it faith, maybe some call it optimism.  What ever it is, there must be a little of it left in me or I wouldn’t be able to wake up tomorrow…..

Have I said yet that I am grateful?  I think I am more grateful now than I have been my entire life.

Tomorrow will be a different day.  I’ll probably see things differently than I did today.  And who knows what I will come to think and feel next year?

My life moves ahead.  Yours does, too.  None of us know what’s out there in the distance.  I hope we can all relax, take our time, travel along with the surprises and be grateful for what we have.
Addendum to A Different Day

I actually wrote this piece several weeks ago, but when the day came that I had scheduled to post it I couldn’t post it.  It seemed too positive.  It seemed much too optimistic and “got it together” to post.  Things weren’t going really well, and I didn’t feel I was handling the glitches very well.

I tried waiting until I felt like I was living up to what I wrote. I waited some more. And today I realized that if I wait until I feel I’m worthy I’ll never post anything!  I realize that it’s OK if, in my own mind, I don’t always live up to what I write.

Tomorrow will be a different day again, and I’ll probably feel differently about many things. At least I hope I do….and I’ll have another chance.