Making Peace with October

My father with our cat Sylvester

My father with our cat Sylvester

Today marks nine years since my father passed away. Sometimes it feels like more time than that and sometimes less time than that. Either way, any amount of time without my father has been difficult. However, as the years have passed, the actual day of his passing has lost some of the heavy weight it had upon my heart and I’ve learned to make peace with October.

Feeling sad without my father after his passing used to come around certain dates such as holidays, his birthday, family birthdays, and the day he walked on into the spirit world. It would also come at just random times when I’d be struck with a wave of sorrow that nearly knocked me off my feet. But time has lessened the pain and I’ve learned to enjoy holidays and birthdays again. While I miss him every single day and will always miss him, I also know that he doesn’t want me to dwell in pain and sadness. After all, when my father was alive he was very much into celebrating holidays, birthdays, and all special occasions with as much happiness as possible.

This year leading up to the anniversary of my father’s passing, I’ve been distracted by various things. I was working hard to save up for my recent trip to New England and the week before I left for that trip, I was battling wasps that had come through the wall of my closet. The wasps were an unexpected and unwanted adventure and the trip to New England was my little reward to myself for surviving that harrowing escapade. I think those distractions served me well, even though one was far less pleasant than the other. I had a strong feeling that I needed to go to New England this October because I hadn’t been out in October in many years, and I’m so glad I went! I know my dad was with me in spirit as always and sharing in my travels.

Today I spent the time just enjoying a lazy Sunday with my daughters. My mom stopped by briefly to drop off a new coat for my youngest daughter and we had a nice little visit chatting about various things. I’ve also been playing a bit of World of Warcraft with my oldest daughter, which is always fun and interesting. Then I did some beading of a new Halloween themed pin and had a nice talk with my youngest daughter about the tablet she uses for school and how it helps her with her homework.

This evening will be more along the lines of just spending time with my girls and being grateful for the blessings and happiness in my life. I know my father would want it that way and I know that he’s always with us in spirit. He watches over us, laughs with use, and most of all, loves us all.

Advertisements

From out and about to forced inside

Yesterday's sunset, wanted to remember what the sun looked like...

Yesterday’s sunset, wanted to remember what the sun looked like…

Took this picture today during a brief break from pouring to only sprinkling.

Took this picture today during a brief break from pouring to only sprinkling.

It rained all day here! It’s still raining in fact! It literally put a damper on any plans to go out and about but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Spending a day inside just relaxing is perfectly acceptable when on vacation. I enjoyed not having to drive the car anywhere and the girls enjoyed just hanging out playing and watching DVD movies.

The girls playing in the sunroom.

The girls playing in the sunroom.

Remnants of the girls playing in the sunroom lol

Remnants of the girls playing in the sunroom lol

Up until today, we’d been going out and about to various places every day. Monday was our adventure in Boston and we all had a great time! Yesterday we did some general errands and shopping in Amesbury, MA to stock up on toys for today’s rainy day indoor play. I introduced my girls to Ed Justen from Workspace 36, Kathi from Attentif’ Design and Deb from Parke Place Boutique and I was happy my daughters could meet the nice people I call friends in Amesbury.

My daughters with Kathi and Deb in Amesbury, MA

My daughters with Kathi and Deb in Amesbury, MA

Our adventures in Boston require a whole separate blog entry that I’m too tired to tell now but hopefully someday! I used today’s indoor day to catch up on my beading and redo the clasp on my handmade bead chain for my key pendant. I also started a couple other projects, took a nap and tried up online odds and ends. Having a day to regroup after running around was exactly what I needed so I don’t mind Mama Nature’s usual Wednesday “attack of the bad weather” tantrum.

My new heart shaped clasp end for my necklace. One side is blue, the other is silver =)

My new heart shaped clasp end for my necklace. One side is blue, the other is silver =)

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and beautiful so we’ll be out and about on more adventures but for now, I’m still enjoying just relaxing. Oh hey! The sky is getting a lighter shade of gray! Maybe the rain will stop before it gets totally dark…

The Power of Three prepares to conquer New England!

The Power of Three in Newburyport last summer.

The Power of Three in Newburyport last summer.

This coming Saturday, my two daughters and I are heading to New England for a week-long vacation. We took a family vacation to New England last summer but it was only for my usual custody days with them, Saturday through Wednesday. This time I have them for an entire week and instead of staying in a hotel like last time, we’ve rented a cottage on Plum Island. This is the first week-long vacation we’ve ever taken just the three of us and I’m certain the Power of Three will find many new adventures!

Last summer’s vacation to New England was filled with ups and downs, including a trip into Boston that didn’t exactly go well. That was the first time I’d been in Boston in the summer and I was overwhelmed by the amount of people! We visited the Aquarium which was far too crowded and noisy to enjoy and went on a whale watch that evening. We did see some humpback whales which was amazing but the long boat ride out and back took a toll on all of us.

Girls excited about Boston on the train in.

Girls excited about Boston on the train in.

One of the whales we saw.

One of the whales we saw.

How the girls looked heading back on the Whale watch.

How the girls looked heading back on the Whale watch.

As I just went into Boston in June, I’m now better prepared for the crowds and I scouted some great places to take the girls. We’re driving to a T station and heading in that way because taking the train from Newburyport ended up being more exciting than we wanted when we had to take buses back for part of the journey due to a shooting at/near one of the train stations.

All threes of us crammed into one seat on the bus. It was a bumpy ride!

All threes of us crammed into one seat on the bus. The girls smiles are a bit more strained lol. It was a bumpy ride!

I don’t want my daughters having that last experience as how they remember Boston so this time, we’re going to take our time, have fun and take the T as much as possible to avoid getting exhausted from walking. I have faith they’ll enjoy Boston much more this trip!

I will of course be taking the girls into Amesbury, MA more than once during the trip so they can meet the new friends I’ve made there. We’re going into Amesbury Saturday night after we get in because I promised Jordan pizza from Flatbread as a second birthday dinner. This Friday she’s turning 12 and while we’re having a birthday dinner and cupcakes here at my house, it might be a bit hectic as I finish packing the car and such. My promise of a second birthday celebration once we’re in New England made Jordan’s eyes light up like fireworks and I’m sure we’ll all be happy to be munching yummy pizza after a day in the car!

We’ll also be venturing into Salem and Plymouth which I’ve been to and Gloucester which I haven’t visited yet. Even though I’ve been to places before, they’re always new to me when I have my daughters with me as they point out things I missed in previous visits. Three females on a trip together might not be all smooth sailing but we’ll navigate the waters in our usual Corbin woman way and return home with a boatload of great memories! Look out, New England, this Power of Three is coming your way!

A trip of firsts

IMG_6651

This past trip to New England was the first I’ve ever made in July. Last summer I skipped July because I went solo in June and then with my mom and girls in August. I was also still working at my office job last July so taking a road trip every month wasn’t yet a possibility. While I knew this was my first trip in July, what I didn’t realize was how many other firsts it  was going to be filled with.

Every trip I take to New England is filled with new experiences, some of them planned and some of them not-so-planned. This trip I planned to go to the community theatre show I was invited to Thursday night and then down to Plymouth and Cape Cod Bay area on Friday. My weekend plans were to attend the MCNAA Summer Moon Pow-Wow. I did everything I planned and it kept me busy with plentiful new adventures! But it was the firsts that stood out most in my mind.

This was the first trip to New England where I didn’t see any of my friends in Amesbury, MA. There were various reasons for that but it still made me a bit sad. This trip was the first time I attended any kind of show in New England. I’m glad it was The Village Theatre’s production of The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes because I felt honored to have been invited.

A bit bummed in Amesbury, MA.

A bit bummed in Amesbury, MA.

It was the first time I saw with my own eyes parts of the Wampanoag culture I’d only read about in books. I had my first experience with the craziness that is Cape Cod traffic and also my first meeting with an online friend from that area. It was the first time I was finally brave enough to go out and dance in the circle at a pow-wow for both the Round Dance and some Inter-Tribal dances. That last first is rather huge for an introverted semi-hermit like myself!

The inter tribal dances are a chance for everyone to dance together.

The inter tribal dances are a chance for everyone to dance together.

Along with expanding my knowledge of Massachusetts and its history, I also learned a lot about myself. I learned yet again that I’m stronger than I think. I faced some rather tough lessons, lessons I’d been certain would reduce me to rubble, but I didn’t crumble. In fact, I stood taller and prouder of myself. Certain life experiences add cracks in the foundation of my beliefs but I always fill those cracks with a truth that makes my spirit ever stronger and more determined.

Sunset as I head back to NH from Cape Cod area.

Sunset as I head back to NH from Cape Cod area.

One thing that will always remain true is that my trips to New England renew my soul, stimulate my mind and fill my heart with joy and fulfillment. The first time I see the “Massachusetts Welcomes You!” sign when I cross into the state makes me smile, take a deep breath and remember that I’m on the right path.

Massachusetts Welcomes You

Expanding explorations

A rough idea of where I'll be going this trip!

A rough idea of where I’ll be going this trip!

Tomorrow I’m heading out to New England for one of my monthly adventures. I make it a goal every trip to explore a new area of New Hampshire or Massachusetts and so far, so good! My last trip I explored new areas of Boston, scouting out places to take my daughters in August and finding the best route to get there. Despite getting lost once or twice in Boston, I found exactly what I was looking for and know the girls and I will have a ball in Beantown.

For my trip starting tomorrow, my newest exploration destinations are Plymouth and Cape Cod, MA. I’ll be staying in Seabrook, NH as usual but on Friday I plan on leaving rather early to head south to the Cape Cod Bay area. I’ve encountered the traffic to the Cape on more than one occasion and I know that the earlier I go, the better. I plan on visiting Plimoth Plantation and the Wampanoag Homesite and then wander wherever the spirit takes me.

Before heading to Cape Cod Bay Friday, I’ll spend Thursday in my favorite city/town of Amesbury and the surrounding areas. I plan on visiting my favorite businesses in Amesbury and investigating a couple of the new ones for future write-ups. There are also trails I’ve yet to walk and sites I’ve yet to see! I’ll scope out where the girls and I will be staying on Plum Island in August and visit the beach at least once.

On Saturday and Sunday I’ll be attending the MCNAA Annual Summer Moon Pow-wow in Danvers, MA and have volunteered to help out there on Saturday. It’s supposed to be a beautiful weekend and I’m looking forward to experiencing more of the Native American culture.

I cram a lot into my days in New England and I love having the freedom to go wherever I wish. This summer is going far too fast but I’m going to fill it up with endlessly expanding explorations as I pursue the path leading to my future in the area I love most!

The Steps of Amesbury, MA

An escaped hermit crab at Nest admiring the wooden Amesbury signs for sale.

An escaped hermit crab at Nest admiring the wooden Amesbury signs for sale.

There was a Block Party in Amesbury, MA the Thursday night I was in New England so I decided to attend. I’d never been to a block party before and I was curious and eager to experience something new. I visited Ed Justen at Workspace 36 shortly before the event started and I was impressed by how much the coworking space had expanded in the year since I first started visiting the area. I wished I’d taken pictures so I could do a fresh write-up but I forgot. Next time!

Ed said he’d be playing saxophone at the Block Party and I said I’d be sure to be there to listen for a bit. After a brief stop up the way at Parke Place Boutique and Attentif’ Design to speak with Deb and Kathi, I headed back to the hotel to freshen up and change into something warmer as the temperature had dropped considerably from the day before.

Once showered and dressed in a clean tank, lightweight sweater and capris, I returned to Amesbury and had no trouble parking in my usual lot. I walked up Main Street to where the block party was happening and things were just getting underway. A local stable was unloading ponies for pony rides and food vendors were busy making final preparations as people started to arrive.

Adorable ponies ready for the kids.

Adorable ponies ready for the kids.

In a very short amount of time, the grassy area in front of the church and the blocked off street were crowded with people. Couples, families with children in strollers or tagging along, people with dogs and others milling about near the beer truck. It was quite a busy scene!

Getting crowded!

Getting crowded!

I bought 10 tickets so I could sample the food available from local restaurants and shops. I had little pork sandwich from No. 8 Kitchen and Spirits, delicious paella from Amesbury Sports Park and numerous chocolate truffles from Ovedia Artistan Chocolates.

Yummy paella from the Amesbury Sports Park booth.

Yummy paella from the Amesbury Sports Park booth.

I stayed long enough to listen to Ed Justen play a few songs but then decided a block party just wasn’t my thing. I didn’t know anyone else there and felt a little out of place as everyone greeted familiar faces.

Ed Justen killing it on his sax!

Ed Justen killing it on his sax!

Carrying a bag filled with three chocolate truffles from Ovedia (I’d used my last 3 tickets on them) I headed back down Main Street toward Parke Place Boutique and Attentif’ Design. I found Deb and Kathi inside Attentif’ Design and we chatted a bit before settling onto the shared steps outside their stores.

It was a lovely cool evening and I really enjoyed watching all the people stroll by on the way to the Block Party. Deb and Kathi seemed to know everyone that walked by and greeted them happily and I was so thrilled to be there I’m surprised my inner glow wasn’t escaping to the outside.

Downtown Amesbury is so beautiful and I truly believe the people who live there are quite lucky. There’s no downtown like Amesbury anywhere near where I live and the level of friendliness doesn’t exist in the areas of NY I travel. To go to Amesbury and have people greet me by name with smiles and welcoming hearts is the most amazing feeling in the world! I fear I can’t seem to properly convey how much it means to me to feel like I’m part of Amesbury, even if it’s only an occasional, visiting part.

As we sat outside, Jon Mooers and his brother came along to work on hanging red, white and blue banners over the storefronts of Parke Place Boutique and Attentif’ Design. I dashed across the street quickly to take a picture of the scene and I think it captures the essence of what makes Amesbury such a wonderful town/city!

Locals visiting, talking, being social. It's lovely!

Locals visiting, talking, being social. It’s lovely!

Lots of people walked by with dogs and many of them stopped to chat. I learned that the large fluffy black and white dog/Shetland pony is named Lloyd but I didn’t catch the name of the other adorable pup that was sweet enough to give me kisses.

Lloyd

Lloyd

Deb and the sweet pup.

Deb and the sweet pup.

At one point Kathi asked me when I was moving to Amesbury and I said “Tomorrow if I could.” She thought that was very sweet and it was the honest truth. If not for the fact that I have shared custody of my girls and the divorce agreement states that I have to stay where I am until the girls are adults, I’d move to New England with them in a heartbeat! There’s so much more opportunity there than in NY and we could all learn a lot of positive things living there. When my girls are grown, I’ll definitely be moving to New England and then finally I’ll be where I belong.

I could have stayed there on the steps of Amesbury among all those friendly people all night but it was getting a bit cool and I had to get up early to head into Boston the next day so I headed back to the hotel. I am so grateful for the friends I have there and while I didn’t make it into town again this last trip, I’ll be back July 16-20 for more adventures!

Gorgeous Glistening Goddesses

Fiery me, fashion-forward Deb and creative Kathi represented as Goddesses. Image courtesy of VegaColors at DeviantArt

Fiery me, fashion-forward Deb and creative Kathi represented as Goddesses. Image courtesy of VegaColors at DeviantArt

When I arrived at the hotel for my latest trip to New England, I went about unpacking in the nice air-conditioned room. Once I’d driven out of the rain, the day had become hot, humid and sunny which left me feeling a bit bedraggled. After unpacking, I showered and felt much refreshed and ready to head out on some evening adventures.

I’m always pulled to Amesbury on my trips so I obeyed that pull and drove the 10-minute drive south from Seabrook, NH to my favorite little Massachusetts town/city. I parked my car in the lot by Crave like usual and then walked up main street breathing it all in. There wasn’t much of a breeze and the humidity was quite oppressive but I was still overjoyed to be back in Amesbury!

I walked up to Parke Place Boutique to see if the owner Deb was there and when I peeked inside I saw her and Kathi, the owner of Attentif’ Design relaxing and chatting. I was surprised their stores were still open at that hour on a Wednesday evening so I stepped inside and was happily greeted by both of them. That right there made my night! In NY, I’m basically a recluse with no local friends who spends most of her time with her dog. I live a good life but it’s not exactly exciting. That all changes when I return to Amesbury!

I sat and chatted with Deb and Kathi for a while and learned that they were both still open because they didn’t have anywhere else particularly important to be that evening. The subject of dinner eventually came up and as I hadn’t eaten anything in a while, I was very interested in a meal. It was decided they’d close up their stores and we’d walk up to Barking Dog Bar & Grill for food and that sounded divine to me!

I hadn’t eaten at the Barking Dog yet during my visits to Amesbury so it was obviously overdue. I enjoyed talking with Deb and Kathi and feeling like a social human being instead of a writing hermit. Deb, Kathi and I are all at slightly different stages of our lives but I didn’t feel out of place at all with them, in fact I felt very welcome and relaxed. We’re all strong, powerful, tenacious and determined women after all, goddesses in our own right. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was energetic and it was a great re-introduction into a social life for me.

During the conversation, the topic of the humidity and heat came up and the word “sweaty” was uttered. To which I said what my mother had always told me “Women don’t sweat, we glisten.” Glisten is a far lovelier word than sweat and as women are the lovelier gender, it makes perfect sense 😉 As the evening continued, the term “glisten” and “glistening” when referring to women perspiring came from the mouths of a few other people and I felt that to be an affirmation from the universe itself that it’s true wisdom.

When Deb, Kathi and I finished our meal and walked back down the street toward their shops, we were an impressive, beautiful and laughing trio of Gorgeous Glistening Goddesses, the likes of which Amesbury was truly fortunate to behold!