Eight Is

Today I have been
blogging for eight years.  Today I am
fifty years old.  I hadn’t given it a lot
of thought, but I suppose I did expect to be fifty; I never expected to be
blogging for eight years.  But life, as
we know, is often not what we expect.
            I
have started designing a line of needlepoint. 
As much as I love stitching, I did not expect that I would pursue
creating my own line.  I started
stitching twenty-four years ago with two, small rectangular fish pillows for my
boyfriend’s house.  I bought them to have
something to do as I sat with my mother when she was sick and dying.  Reading, even a magazine, made me feel as if
I were distant from her and what was happening. 
I wished, both emotionally and physically that I could be distant. But I
needed to be there and the starting and stopping to accommodate the doctors and
friends who were coming and going made retaining anything that I would read
impossible. 
Stitching allowed
me to feel as if I were doing something, while still being able to talk or not
talk, to make eye contact or not make eye contact.  Beyond that, I found the rhythm of the needle
moving in and out soothing. The subtle rasp of the wool against the canvas
echoed a dissonance that I felt in my heart.  
Being close to her was always putting myself in harm’s way, but now I
had to. It was the right thing to do. 
Push in.  Pull out.
            I
finished the pillows and married the boyfriend a few months after my mother
died.  She never expressed interest in
the fish, but she did like the boy.  I
moved into his house and the pillows and everything else became “ours.”  My next needlepoint project was his Christmas
stocking.  I bought it in the
neighborhood shop where I had bought the fish from a woman who became my
friend.  Joanie’s almost exactly
thirty-five years older than I am.  I did
not expect to become friends with her when she pulled the T-pins from that
Christmas stocking, took it down from the wall and referred to my husband by
his boyhood nickname, but we did. 
She owned the shop
and her own line of canvases, yet a different artist had painted my husband’s
stocking. It featured ducks and geese and holly on a background of white.  Joanie painted his monogram across the top of
a canvas that had 13 holes per inch.  It
is, roughly, two feet long and about ten inches across at its widest
point.   If you don’t stitch this means
nothing, but if you do you know that it was a big project. I did not know what
I was getting myself into, but I was determined.
            I
finished his stocking before our second Christmas together and started my
own.  Some stockings are part of a line
and the artist creates a series within a theme, so that you can have a different,
but similar piece for each member of the family.  That was not the case with the first stocking
that I chose, so I designed what I wanted – first for myself and then for my
children – and Joanie painted them for me. 
They all have the repeating pattern of holly. Mine has poinsettias and a
long, yellow satin ribbon that twists through the greenery.  My oldest son has snowflakes; the middle has
pinecones and the youngest has cardinals and mistletoe.  I finished each boy’s stocking before his
first Christmas, because that’s the sort of person I was then. My oldest son
was born in November.
            For
a long time, I was rarely without a project. 
I stitched loads of pillows and made ornaments for the boys every
year.  It still provided a sense of calm
and productivity. After I had come up with the concepts for the boys’ stockings
I found that I preferred designing my own projects.  Joanie, who continued to paint them for me,
was always enthusiastic about my ideas. 
I tore images from
magazines and sketched on legal pads and explained, using large gestures with
my hands, what I wanted.  She listened
closely, her eyes alert, until I finished. She would never interrupt. When I
stopped – talking and gesturing – she would nod sharply and say, “Sure. We can
do that.” And then she would.  In an
effort to eliminate so much background, which is the Siberia of any needlepoint
project, I began to play with scale and pattern.  Often, I asked her to make the flowers
bigger, to paint a subtle damask, to create a wide border.  It’s nonsense to think of background as
tedious; it’s all the same stitch.  It
shouldn’t matter really, the color of the thread, but often it does.  The joy is in the revelation of the image,
not the field behind.
Three years ago, I
began thinking about starting my own line of canvases and I talked to Joanie
about it.  No surprise, she encouraged
me.  She invited me to her house and
walked me back to her studio, which is flooded with light and a view of her garden,
and she taught me how to paint a canvas. 
“I don’t know,” I
told her.  “Maybe I should I just show
you what I want and you can paint it.”
She looked back,
her mouth a firm line, and said, “No. 
You need to do this yourself. It has to be your work.” And she pushed
me, gently but firmly, out of the nest.
I had a file of
tear sheets filled with images of things that I thought would make great
pillows or seat cushions.  Old rugs,
Chinese jars, wallpaper. And I sat at my desk and started to sketch and then
finally to paint on paper and eventually on canvas.  I showed my first designs to Joanie and she
pointed out where I was going to have trouble and said, “Keep going.”
And I did.  After several attempts on paper, I painted my
first complete canvas, a pair of peacocks inspired by a piece of Chinese
pottery.  Eighteen inches square, it
features hues that I love: lipstick red, jade green, rich turquoise against a
background of pale aqua.  But painting it
was not enough.  I needed to see it
complete.  Once it was dry, I pulled yarn
from my bag, separated two stands, folded them tight and slid them through the
eye of the needle and began.  As I
anchored the thread against the back of the canvas and pulled it through,
beginning the weave that would create the picture, I could see the whole collection
coming together. I was going to start my own needlepoint line. But I got a
divorce instead.
I’ve never met
anyone who wanted a divorce or who has come through it without feeling as if he
or she has walked through fire.  The end
of a marriage, I’ve learned, is usually a long unraveling.  Sometimes people are aware that it is coming
undone, but others don’t see it until it’s in a heap at their feet.  Regardless, it’s rarely the doing of one
person. 
Once I could admit
that my marriage was over, I began to look around to find people who had ended
theirs well.  I was lucky that I knew a
few women who stood on the sidelines of soccer games next to their exes and
planned birthday parties together and formulated schedules for holidays that
were sane and civilized rather than battle zones.  I sought them out.  I begged their counsel.  They nodded when I told them that I wanted my
divorce to be different than my parents’ had been and they promised me that it
could be.
Living with my
mother and witnessing her dying was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but getting
a divorce is certainly the second. It is not what I thought was going to
happen.  I did not think I would ever sit
at the kitchen table where our family had routinely exchanged stories of our
days to tell my children that their parents were not going to be married any
more. Three pairs of clear blue eyes looked back at me in disbelief. I was
stunned that they were stunned.  I had
wept my way through the summer and as much as I tried to keep it from them, I
felt our home was awash with pain and worry.  They had not seen it.  It was not what they thought was going to
happen.
I did not envision
standing in my basement with the boxes of Christmas decorations open on the ping-pong
table as we divided the hundreds of ornaments I’d collected. I remembered where
I bought every one as I slid them into two bright and glittery piles.  I did not think I would ever pull four
stockings from a box and leave one behind, worrying that whatever came to
replace them in my ex-husband’s house would not match the one I made him twenty
years ago. Then I realized he would probably never use it and I ached for all
that went into it.
Still, we managed the dividing with some grace.  A woman
asked me recently, after watching me and my ex-husband sit together for nearly
three days of swim championships, “How do you do it? You make it look so easy.
I don’t think I’d be able to speak.”
“It’s not always
easy, though it’s usually not hard either,” I told her.  “But what it always is is conscious.  We do it for the boys.”
We have always
parented well together and we still do. We consult with one another on the
larger issues of rules and responsibilities, rewards and punishments.  Any sentence that I prepare to utter that
contains the words, “your father,” I stop and review in my head: do I really
need this information and are my children the best source from which to get it?
We agreed going
into the divorce that the worst thing about our own parents being divorced was
the way they treated one another and how the tenseness of their relationships
made our milestones difficult: graduations, weddings, baptisms. We wanted to
avoid that, and we have. We celebrate the boys’ birthdays and Christmas morning
together as well as any school or sports event. 
It seems to be working pretty well. 
It’s not perfect, but it is civilized. They know they can count on us
and that we can be in the same room together, not only without tension, but
also with humor and tenderness.
I have been the
person on the other side of the table now, as a few women have sought my
perspective on how to manage the process of divorce.  I am not, by the way, a divorce
cheerleader.  More often than not I find
myself shaking my head over a cup of cooling coffee and saying, “I don’t think
you’re there. Keep trying.” But for someone for whom the issue is resolved I
say, “There is a lot of change.” How you live, where you live, perhaps where or
if you work and certainly, your friendships will change.  Many of these things, especially the
friendships that will fade, will not be what you expected. 
But if you are
careful and conscious, you can craft a life for yourself that is entirely
authentic.  Starting over offers a clean
slate in a lot of ways. I’ve lost friends whom I held very dear, but I find
that now I only spend time with people who I like.  To a great extent I do only what I want to
do.  And if I am sometimes anxious about
how I will sort all of this out, I know that I am where I’m supposed to be.
Part of that place
is drawing and painting and stitching.  I
had put down my canvas during the separation and had not thought about it until
I hung the bag in which it lives in my front hall closet of my new home.  The closet is in the very center of the house
and holds the normal stuff of hall closets. It’s filled with coats and boots,
leashes and balls, school supplies and gift-wrap.  Eventually, as I settled into a new routine,
I began to take the peacocks from the bag and weave the yarn into the
mesh.  The movement still soothes me and
I liked the idea that this piece would be the first new one in this space.
As the canvas
filled with rich color, I began to feel a rejuvenation of my passion for
creating and I knew it was time to look again at launching my own line of
needlepoint.  When I called Joanie, now
three years from our original meeting, she did not hesitate to pick up the
thread where I had dropped it and began coaching me again to get started. I
call her with my worries.  “I don’t know
if this will work.” “I don’t know how to manage.” “I don’t know what I will
need.” All of these are versions of “I don’t know what to expect.”  She replies calmly with humor in her voice,
“Right. You just have to keep going.” So I do.
I am going to keep
going here, too, however irregularly. 
I’ve gone back through the entire blog, from beginning to now, to do
some cleaning up.  I’m shocked at how
often I referred to myself as silly and dismissed my life or my talent or what
I was doing.  I’m incredulous that I gave
others the forum to criticize me so cruelly. I’m quite finished with that.
My life has
changed, almost entirely.  What is
certain, is that I am fifty today.  I am
starting a line of needlepoint.  I am
still blogging after eight years and still grateful that you stop to see what I
have to say.  Thank you, as always, for
reading.

The line of needlepoint will be called Mrs. Blandings as well.  I have eight designs with which I am
satisfied and two that I’m still tweaking. 
I’ll have at least two more to complete and all of them will be ready to
go to market in January.  They will be
available to retailers and for purchase here once I launch.  Feel free to email me with questions. 
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53 thoughts on “Eight Is

  1. Happy Birthday, Patricia, and congratulations on your new endeavor. The hint of the peacock looks beautiful. Being 50 sure is better than the alternative, and in so many ways it sounds like you've got the right attitude to make it through this decade! Good luck and best wishes!

  2. First – Happy Birthday!! Second – Congratulations on 8 years of blogging and I love your comments on your review of those posts which represent…your journal. Isn't life an amazing journey and evolution? Third – Congratulations on your next venture. I love the creative vibe and experience of being an entrepreneur and think it's your destiny. Can't wait to see your line in full, rich, beautiful color. 🙂 And finally, thank you for your heartfelt sharing of the way you crafted the best divorce experience for you and your children. Twenty years out from my divorce, from time to time, I still do a bit of heartfelt review of the experience. It seems my perspective changes as I grow older.
    Thank you! Your post made my morning and gave my word for the day (or maybe even the month) – Authentic.
    Sandy

  3. Happy birthday and happy the rest of your life. Your writing has always been what brought me here. I have watched from afar how others in the blogosphere have published books with writing that is not any where near your talent. It is my sincere hope that as you thread the needle for this new project that you don't leave your writing in a bag in the hall closet. The essay has many times been the red headed middle child. It should not be. The ability to see and feel the world and live to tell the story is a gift. As a survivor of someone who lost someone precious, I come back to tell you that you are more than just surviving, you are thriving. I wish you well and hope to one day to hold your book in my hands—illustrated with your personal needlepoint patterns—telling the story of a remarkable journey to your most authentic self.

  4. Been there, done that. I had the 40th "anniversary" of my divorce late this summer. It took a LONG time to reach the level of civility that you have accomplished in such a short time, but then it takes two to make this happen. It finally happened after the birth of our first grandchild when I said I could not imagine telling him that I wouldn't be seeing him that Christmas since it was his "grandfather's Christmas" that year. I knew he would tell me to come, too and then I'd have to say, "We really don't like one another". Shades of the Hatfields and the McCoys! So, we started having holidays with my daughter together, with Christmas Eve always at my house. It certainly has helped that by then he was divorced from the woman who was part of the cause of our divorce. Since she had been a close friend, that would have been impossible with her there, too – just too much betrayal. But, it has worked and we've done it for our children and our grandchildren. We owe them that much since we failed them by not having an intact family.

    Good luck with your new needlepoint line! I hope you continue to blog as I always enjoy reading what you have to say. My daughter is in the process of opening a new hotel/restaurant in downtown KC (my birthplace!), so when I come to see it, perhaps I'll get to meet you sometime.

  5. First of all, happy birthday! And thank you for eight years of this wonderful blog–one of the first I ever read, not long after its inception, and one of the very few I still read. A wonderful, generous entry today, a gift in so many ways. And I can hardly wait for your needlepoint. The jewel tones on aqua you described is calling to me even now, and I decided in my own post-divorce life to emulate your Christmas ornament tradition, but have yet to find any I love, so I am sure to be a customer. Wishing you a wonderful birthday celebration, like the golden Leo you are, and a joyous new decade!

  6. Wow…what a post! First, Happy Birthday and congratulations on being here eight years. Except for the needlepoint part, I could have put my name on the top of this post. I approached my divorce with the same thoughtfulness and civility because I decided my daughter's well being came first, and I never wanted her to feel she had to choose between us. My torments may have been different than yours, because once I accepted the reality that my marriage was over, all emotion ended for me…no regret, no anger, no feelings of loss or hurt, just the awareness that a new reality was beginning and I needed to reconfigure my life with a clear, purposeful head. Because I was always calm and rational, we even managed to handle the financial disagreements with dignity. We have celebrated holidays and milestones together, as friends. We have been there for each other through difficulties, illnesses, and tragedies, yet emotionally free to pursue our individual lives. Our daughter is healthier for this, and that is what has always mattered most. I have divorced friends who don't understand this, and never will. They are still trapped by feelings of anger and betrayal…yet, for me, every breath I take is fully mine and wonderful! Way to go, Pat! Angela Muller

  7. Happy Birthday Patricia! I am very excited for you and your line of needlepoint. As with everything you have done in life, you have come through your divorce with so much grace and thought mainly of your children's feelings. You helped me start my blog as well so many years ago, as yours was the first I visited and as you are also in Kansas City, and I am proud that you are!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Artist Nicoletta Belletti

  8. Happy Birthday and Congratulations! I have been reading your blog all these years and miss you when you are gone. I am rather erratic myself, so I do understand.

    It is wonderful that you have found or re-found this new venture. I used to enjoy needlepoint myself, but somehow it got lost along the way. At this point in my life, now that I am retired, I think I need to pick it up again. I will watch for your launch!

  9. Thank you for this statement of being. Having walked a similar path (but not as successfully with an ex-husband) I know the courage it has taken to keep on going. Your blog has been a light to my day for at least the passed 6 years!! As for the line of needlepoint, I wish that my carpal tunnel would let me pick up a needle and canvas–I love to needlepoint, but can't do it any more. However, I am designing a line of furniture and need to pick up the creative threads as I put the design process aside to work on other fires. Thank you so much for the inspiration. Congratulations on turning 50; congratulations for the amazing Mrs. Blandings anniversary and finally, and most importantly, congratulations for sticking the path. xoxo Mary

  10. Very good, Patricia. And VERY well said. You are an excellent writer – you really should consider doing a book…or two… All my best to you in the days ahead.

  11. I'm not a commenter… never have been. But I've been reading your blog for years now and I cannot tell you how many smiles, nods and outright belly-laughs it has elicited. You're writing is wonderful, even on these very difficult topics. I just turned 50 as well and am "no where I thought I would be," although not disappointed either. Thank you for sharing your talents, you are most certainly not silly.

  12. Thank you for this post. You have written and explained what many of us have experienced. Good luck with your new endeavors!

  13. Of all the blogs I read, I get the most excited when a new post from your blog pops up on Bloglovin. I sussed out a while back that maybe some things had changed in your home life, and I am sorry for the upheaval you have endured. But for all the tribulations, your writing has remained constantly a joy to read. I love your taste in "things", your humor, and the way you unexpectedly bring a tear to my eye. Best wishes on your new endeavor – the needlepoint looks delicious and I for one will be anxiously awaiting January!

    Write when you can – I'll be waiting to read!

    P.S. Following you on Pinterest and love repinning from your page! Good taste on you!

  14. I have been quietly reading your blog from the early beginning. I, too, had guessed what had changed in your life. Thank you for sharing this chapter in such a beautiful way. As a reader, it is not our right to know everything, but so often blogs become journals with some of the pages missing and the flow of the journey is lost. Should you ever need a barometer of how well you are doing, compare your profile pictures — you are absolutely glowing with your rediscovered feminine energy, strength and light in your current picture. Looking forward to seeing your new designs, as I've just returned to abandoned needlepoint projects and will be ready for something new. Best of luck, and thank you again for sharing.

  15. I've been following along with you for a while now and had read between the lines regarding your changed circumstances. Kudos to you on handling such a difficult situation with dignity and grace. It can't have been easy. A big Happy Birthday to you and applause for your 8 years of blogging. I hope that you will continue to blog for the purely selfish reason that I enjoy your writings! I am also a stitcher and have created the Christmas stockings interestingly enough for each of my family but not one for moi! Perhaps there will be a design in your collection that calls out to me. I agree with your friend and mentor, just keep going…

  16. I don't even know what to say about such a post. 'Thank you' is a good place to start. I've been a reader for years, feeling affinity as a mom of boys, a writer, and a lover of decor. A couple days ago I posted about a needlepoint. So the parallels are there. But this post is so brave and exciting and inspirational, I had to comment. I'm sending you an electronic high five for your new venture and a whole slew of emoticons for a future that is stitched together with skill, richness of color, and love.

  17. Happy Birthday, Patricia! Thank you for eight wonderful years of blogging – yours was one of the first I signed up for since discovering blogs! I, too, enjoy your writing in particular, and all your artistic talents. I look forward to your posts and have never been disappointed by their content.
    I am sorry for your changed circumstances, which I too suspected, and I applaud your careful, thoughtful decision to make it as civil and dignified as possible. Your boys are not the only winners here, you are too for not carrying the weight of all that bitterness that some never can get past. I admire how you have picked yourself up and carried on with your creative passions – which are really an expression of you. Thank you for sharing your experience, wisdom and creativity with us all. Wishing you all the best!

  18. I don't remember when I started reading your blog, but it must have been at least 5 years ago. I have found it interesting, informative, well written, and personal — just the combination of things I want in a blog.

    I also used it to help me design a short vacation to Kansas City, using some of the places you have mentioned in your blog to guide my travels. Thank you.

  19. An absolutely profound post which I will read and reread for its nuances. Thank you and again for the depth of your thoughts. You're a shooting star, P. WOW.

  20. Thank you for your honesty. Every woman who can tell her story honestly and live authentically is a beacon for the rest of us. Your new needlepoint designs look absolutely gorgeous! Maybe they will inspired me to pick up a needle and wool. I wish you all the best on this important birthday, anniversary, and fresh start.

  21. Congratulations on the eight years and the fifty years. Thick and thin. Up and down. We're with you every step of the way.

    xo

  22. This was a post that I will remember for a long time. You are a class-act. I am not a commenter, either, but just had to share with you something my dearly departed Dad always told me in tough times, "The race is not always to the swift, but, to those who keep running." Sounds like that is what you plan to do. I can't wait to see what you have in your line. It may even convince me to take up stitching! Happy Future Life!

  23. I am a devoted reader who appreciates your prose style, no matter what the content. Thank you for trusting us with personal information, and regrets if you slow the pace of blog entries. Please consider publishing your work, it is stellar.

  24. Patricia,

    Happy birthday. I think I've been reading for almost that time, and have never thought you silly or without talent. Your writing has strengthened and deepened over the years, and you occasionally take the brave leap, as with this post, into your personal life. Us regulars are always rooting for you, and I agree, with others, that a book would be a good idea. However, in the meantime, I might have to learn the fine art of needlepoint.

  25. Happy Birthday! What an elegant way describe an ordeal that was undoubtedly anything but elegant as you were going through it. It is wonderful of you to share your experiences. I'm wishing you all the best from here on out! As for your needlepoint line (!!!!) this is fantastic news! I have gotten way too into my sons' Legos and a really need a hobby that doesn't put me in direct competition with a 5 year-old. My mom used to needlepoint and I'd love to pick it up! Looking forward to seeing your designs!!

  26. You are an inspiration to everyone finding their way through life and all it's ups and downs. The stories you tell are so helpful in ways you may never expect. Congratulations on your Birthday and the needlepoint line !!!!

  27. Happy Birthday! Good luck on your new venture. I loved reading this. You are always honest and thoughtful and a pleasure to read.

  28. Happy birthday to a "birthday buddy." I celebrated #63 on 8/15, while my grandson celebrated #1. I smiled at this blog entry, as I went thru my own "unexpected divorce experience" 14 years ago. Indeed, Secret #1 is to "keep moving forward," and Secret #2 (also underrated as a therapy tool) is to give oneself permission for the occasional "pity party." Best wishes for success in your venture!

  29. You face and write about difficult things with such grace. Happy Birthday, and congratulations on your eighth blog anniversary.

  30. Happy 50th! Not an easy one but the alternative is worse!!
    I have always enjoyed your writing and find you an amazing lady. I took care of my Mother for the laat ten years of her life and she died this January age 99. I know about hobbies helping you deal with stress and mine were all crafts…sewing, papercrafts,and reading.
    I am also a divorcee and made sure that my ex and I kept on friendly terms so that our children didn't have to split themselves in tow for holidays. It is all about setting a good example for their future relationships with others. It goes by the name of "respect" and love.
    I think your design talent is exceptional and know it will be successful…it is very classy.
    Best of luck and keep us posted.
    A loyal admirer from Idaho.

  31. Welcome to the best part of your life! There is a certain freedom that you appreciate when you are Fifty! I will call it the "fifty" factor, that allows you to be who you are and care less about what people will say. I am turning 65 this November and have learned to live that freedom for the past fifteen years.
    You write beautifully and I can relate to caring for an elderly parent. I have often stitched my way through my 93 year old Father's many Hospital visits. He and my Mother were divorced when I was 2 and we had no relationship until I was 30! It is ironic that I have become the last woman standing in his life. I am happy to know how you and your ex have made a better choice for your kids.
    Your peek at your new design looks wonderful and I look forward to seeing your full line. Best of luck and I wish you great success. Having a friend to mentor you through this process is amazing.

  32. You are so gifted, and you give of those gifts so generously. I can't do needlepoint to save my life – no small motor coordination – but I can read, and feel and see. I applaud your launch, all around.

    Ah, so it is your 50th birthday. The 50s, in my experience, are just wonderful. Once I stopped getting traffic tickets, that is, which after the divorce seemed to happen all the time. There was too much on my mind. Peace shows up, eventually and happily. Again, congrats and best wishes for your launch.

  33. I've been reading and enjoying your blog for five years. Recently I visited your beautiful city and thought of you while I was there. Your writing is captivating; thanks for sharing your perspective on life and beauty. You make me want to take up needlepoint. I've got 10 years on you so I don't think that will happen. Happy belated birthday and best wishes with your new venture.

  34. An incredible post about pulling it all together like the threads of your canvases. I look forward to seeing your collection. Congratulations, keep creating, happy blog anniversary, and happy birthday! With much admiration, Barbara XO

  35. Patricia, I've enjoyed reading your blog for years. You are a terrific writer. I always feel warmed when I read your postings. Many have mentioned writing a book – I'd buy it too. I too have let myself and others trivialize my efforts. No more, either!

    I feel honored that you trusted your readers enough to let them know what you've been going through. My heart goes out to you – you've done remarkable things. The best is yet to be! (Except for your children.) I really feel that about you.

    We'll watch as your become authentic and you'll give us the courage to become more authentic in our own lives. Your posts have always meant a lot to me. I miss when you haven't written for a while. Somehow you make the everyday into something special and worth reading about.

    My very best wishes for your future!!

    Anita

  36. I've enjoyed reading your blog. I hope you continue at whatever pace your family, this new venture and life allows. Good luck and enjoy everything. I turned 60 this year–my children are growing and grown and I love my job. I wish you every happiness in this belated birthday wish and can't wait to see your needlepoint designs. Bravo – Ms. Blandings.

  37. Love to you. Always. And Gratitude. Seconding the sentiments of Home Before Dark.

    & So incredibly thankful for the joy & beauty you've brought to our lives.

    xov

  38. Happy Belated Birthday! I have a hard time understanding why anyone who reads your writing would take the time to criticize you harshly. I look forward to your writing. This one had me in tears b/c I am 50 and will be facing a divorce in the near future. It's like you knew I needed to read this. He does not want the divorce but I can honestly say that I do. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but dealing w/a spouse who has been unfaithful is pure hell to me. It doesn't mean a divorce won't be painful. I am CA, the gal that wrote a comment to you before and thank you for taking the time to so kindly respond to me! I want to pack away all of my stuff b/c I no longer care to make the home a nice place for him.

  39. Happy Birthday Patricia! And congratulations on eight years of blogging. I've been following you since the early days and boy! Does time fly. Thank you for sharing so much of your life. I see now why that little drawling is gone now. I am sure your boys are much taller now. Tell me, do you ever think about doing another little drawing of you and your dog walking around the city? I like the picture of the ball (and the story behind it) but I miss seeing that little picture. I check in less frequently now that you write less frequently. I was so happy to see so many entries!

  40. CA – I can't promise, of course, but I have a feeling you are going to be just fine. It's not easy, but living any life that is not honest is much harder. Keep your friends close and let them help. Wishing you the best.

  41. Happy Birthday to one of the finest, most inspiring authors I know..You show incredible insight and courage and I applaud you in how you approached dealing with the losses in your changing life.
    I wished that my sister and her ex spouse had your decency and were able to keep the memory of the good in their former marriage for their children's sake- rather than tearing the whole family apart by having us choose sides. That rift never healed..

  42. Hello Patricia
    I'm so happy to hear that you are doing needlepoint design.
    I'll be watching for them as well as reading our blog as usual.
    Cheers!

  43. Thank you for such a moving and thoughtful post. I did note that you acknowledged that you had been a doubter of your talents in the past. I have recognized that in many of my friends and therefore must suffer it myself. As you age it seems we can shed those restrictions we place upon ourselves and begin to mature into our full potential.
    All the best and keep writing.
    Regards Janine

  44. My husband moves out today, with much relief and a sudden rush of kindness from both of us. I still have to tell a few people, my very elderly parents are mainly weighing on my mind but our boys know now. I have read this several times lately and appreciate you sharing the story of telling your boys, I have read that part over and over. Thanks Patricia.

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