June 18, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away!

The days blur together in a fog of grey clouds and raindrops.

The sun make fleeting appearances and brings with it hope that is quickly blown away.

It feels as though we've had nothing but rain for weeks on end.

The grass is in desperate need of mowing.

My tomato and pepper plants are floundering and are precariously close to drowning. They are on the verge of giving up the fight.

We need some sunshine and light. I hope it comes soon.

June 12, 2009

The Rest of the Story

I know that my last post was vague, that was the intent. As someone told me, "it reads like a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma". There are a couple of friends from way back when that know who I'm talking about, or at least have a good guess. But for the rest of you here's a little more light on the situation...

JU was one of my best friends in High School. Undoubtedly my best male friend.

Our houses were down the road from one another (maybe a mile between the two) but due to logistics and boundary lines we attended different school districts. We'd been neighbors most of our lives (minus the times we moved around with my mom, but my Dad still lived close by) but never really knew each other until High School. A couple dozen students from the High Schools in our county were involved in a Math/Science program at a nearby vo-tech school all 4 years. All of us spent half a day together, every day, all 4 years. JU and I were both in the program and quickly became good friends.

We tried dating our Junior year and I was the one who put an end to it. I knew that I was in love with him, probably had been for a while. At the same time I knew that any kind of emotional relationship could be catastrophic for both of us and our friendship. Somehow we managed to walk away from the beginnings of a dating relationship and maintain a friendship. He watched and listened as I went through one disasterous relationship after another.

JU and I headed off to college together the fall after we graduated. I was esctatic to have him on the same campus; to be involved in this new chapter of our lives together. He started drinking really, really heavily our freshman year at Michigan State. He got involved with an influential crowd and threw everything away, was put on academic probation and then eventually told not to return for our sophomore year. I think part of it was being away from home and away from the rule of his parents. I tried to get him to curb his drinking and go to class. I'd walk out of my way to his dorm to try to get him to go with me; I'd call him to wake him up; offer to help study. None of it worked. I couldn't watch him self destruct. I began to distance myself and watch from afar.

After he got kicked out, he moved back home and went to work for a friend of my Dad's (who is another dairy farmer). He continued to drink. Sometime after that he got into construction work and moved in with some woman. They had a kid but never got married. He seemed to get himself back on track and was doing alright. I talked to him a couple of times after we moved to Utah.

JU has since split with his girl, moved back home with his parents and has gone back to work for that friend of my Dad's. From what I can gather he's not drinking anymore.

Emotionally, I'm so drained right now from the stress of my job (which hasn't all been disclosed here, but let's just say last week was UGLY) I don't know if I can open the door right now. I think that is where some of the guilt lies. I feel like I should reach out but don't know if I have the strength to do so.

June 11, 2009

A Bit Melancholy

I really believe that friends come in/out of your life at specific times for important reasons. Sometimes they lend a shoulder to lean on in times of need; sometimes they serve as a source of humor on a glum day; sometimes they give you a reminder of a simpler time or another version of yourself that has faded.

I've had friendships wax and wane over the last 15 years. People that for one reason or another have come and gone from my life. As some friendships have fizzled I've let them burn out. Knowing that their caustic nature wasn't worth the stress they kindled. Some friendships didn't survive distance or changes in life such as marriage and kids. Trying to resurrect them seemed painful. There are friends that had brief prior interludes and have now come back incredibly strong, making me question why we weren't better friends before.

For the most part, I love it when friends from my past reappear in my life. I enjoy having the chance to reconnect and reminisce over memories created.

Many years ago I let a very important friendship drift away. A friendship that I held very dear to my heart; one that I stepped away from because of choices that the friend was making. The path he was taking was so different from what I knew he was capable of. It was one I couldn't walk with him. So I walked away.

Over the first few years people gave me updates. It allowed for a glimpse into his journey from a distance. It helped to ease the pain I carried from walking away. But it created pain too. As time went on his path didn't veer, it held steady to a course of destruction. I know the decisions were his to make but I felt sadness for him knowing his potential.

A few days ago, I connected with a family member of his online. It has dredged up many, many feelings. Memories of time spent together, laughter shared. Only now am I realizing how important he was to me and how much I valued his friendship. But I'm hesitant to call. Hesitant to touch base for reasons I can't figure out.

Uncertainty is hard for me.

June 7, 2009

All Hail Broke Loose

After last year's attempts at transplanting strawberries (and the two post-planting frost episodes), I was nervous to try again this spring. But as one who can not pass up free plant starts I decided to give it one more shot this year. If the frost got them, I'd admit defeat and would plant something else in the area designated for berries come next year.

Much to my surprise and delight, all 50-some strawberry starts that were tenderly dug from my neighbor's patch and transplanted in my little raised bed have flourished. The first week after planting them I nervously watched the weather forecast every day. I watched for frost warnings and constructed a prevention plan that incorporated old bedsheets and tent stakes.

As we got further and further from the projected frost-free date here in Idaho, I began to be hopeful. I watched as the little green plants showed signs of browning around the leaf edges. I watched as they begin to wither every so slightly in an attempt to put down new roots. I watched as new growth emerged from the crowns, quickly reaching for the sunlight.

While the strawberry transplants were merrily growing in their new home, we devoted our time and attention to the rest of the yard. Tomato and pepper plants were bought and planted. Seeds for sweet corn, squash, carrots, lettuce, peas were sowed into freshly tilled soil. Flats of annual flowers were planted among the shrubs, under the trees and around the things I'd like to hide, if only for a temporary span of time. For the first time, I tried my hand at herbs -- with a little container containing some parsley, sage and basil.

I watched as everything germinated, took root and began to dot the barren flowerbeds/garden with tiny spots of green. The flowers were beginning to open, the bulbs began to sprout, the trees were full of leaves.

And then the storm blew in. A storm to make other storms cower in the corner. One full of rage and anger with wind gusts that uprooted mature trees and marble-sized hail.

The wind and hail tattered my tomato plants, shredded hosta leaves, and defoliated many a petunia in the yard. The apple tree looks a little worse for wear.

Thankfully though, my strawberry starts seem to have been spared.

June 4, 2009

Don't Mind the Makeover

It's time for a change around here. I need something bright and cheery -- something fun to look at. Maybe it's my version of a mid-year crisis.

June 1, 2009

4 Days

The official end date is June 5th, 2009

Even though I knew it was coming, it still stings. I think I'll go stand in the rain and let it wash away the tears.