Tuesday, August 24, 2021

HAY!! Good Morning! - One More Thing


It's going to be sporadic and weird around here, at least for a while. I'm moving. I have lived somewhere or the other in Colorado Springs since I was twelve. Still going to be in Colorado, but I'm headed for the Western slope, where there are fewer people, most of whom are of a nature I understand.

My horse Mort and I came together two years after my family arrived here. He saved me from a downward spiral that I don't believe I could have pulled out of, no matter how many well-meaning nuns my parents threw at me. Mort, and my dog Jud, were my rocks, my moral compass, and my protectors during my initial foray untangling human nature. 

Horses are my passion, and dogs are my best friends. The genetic wheel dropped me into the humanity slot, which rolled me into my immediate family, so I'm a member whether I like it or not. Lucky me, there's a few gems in the bunch, and the effort is worth while.

In 2017 I was diagnosed as autistic. I was 59 years old. 

It was an enormous relief. It explained so much. Years of therapy, delving into whys and hows, always feeling just outside of ...  almost everything. My therapist did a fine imitation of that forehead smacking emoji after she read an article I found on autistic adult women. 

She said, "Now what will I do with you? Autism isn't my field of study."

"Clearly," I said.

She may have thrown a wad of paper at me, I'm not sure. 

All our years of work turned out to be caused by a wiring issue. Well, hell, I could live with that just fine. 

Plus, all those years with her kept me with at least one foot on the planet, got me through raising my creatively challenging daughter, and prevented my mind from snapping like an old, spongy rubber band, you know, like the ones you yank out of the shower drain, twisted around a snarl of hair. So we still hang. 

Therapy kept me sane enough to care for my dying partner, Jim. I'm sure many of you know, but I'll repeat just for clarity, my partner Jim had a massive stroke while on the operating table for the surgical removal of a blood clot that went from his ankle to his groin. 

Within 24 hours my life had turned upside down and I became his full time caretaker, which ended my evolving career as a writer for a small town newspaper.

I hung in with my horses as best I could, kept up hiking, writing, doing what I try to do, but as his mental and physical health faded and my Parkinson's Disease began to amp up my outside life began to fade away. 

Friends and assistance from his children disappeared into the Netherworld. I've known this from my cancer years, long term illnesses become boring. We're supposed to get better or dead, but for God's sake, don't dawdle. People get bored. 

In order to maintain, I began to let things go. First, riding, then hiking, eventually writing, drawing, reading, watching TV, visiting friends, all of it, put to the side so I could maintain my single minded focus on Jim.

I wasn't playing martyr, I was doing what I felt needed to be done in order to keep Jim's butt out of a nursing home, one of his greatest nightmares. When you choose a life partner, you've got each others back, and that's that.

Three years and some months ago, Jim died. 

Three years, some months and two days later, I found out his children had systemetically been emptying his estate. The end result was I was broke and going to lose my home.

The last three years I have been fighting for my house and my way of life.

This week will be the end of all the shit. 

I can sell the house, get into the mountains and take a breath. I may be buying another place, or a field with a yurt on it, won't know for a bit, but it will be mine. 

I've been reading. Hanging with my horses and dogs. Pretty much quit people, I get along better through the written word. I'm drawing again. For the first time in my life I am about to be unfettered from obligation I did not choose. It's heady. I never knew old age could be this sweet.


  1. Change is bittersweet, isn't it? Wishing you well on the next part of your journey in life -- I hope you'll keep posting as reading your stories just makes my day.

  2. I missed you. I love reading everything you write, no matter what form it takes. And while reading this made my heart hurt for you, I feel there is a glimmering hint of a brilliant, rich new chapter for you.

  3. I will read whatever you will write. And appreciate it. I now know we are only a few years apart age wise. From an old lady, alone, up the end of a road on the other side of the planet, who wishes she had ridden reined cow horses and now wonders what it all was for.

  4. You are never obliged to share your details, but they are bracing to read. I hope a little bit of the pain we all feel in absorbing your challenges takes a little pain away from you. Not sure it works that way, but it should. We are out here listening.

  5. I started reading your blog as a teenager sometime between '08 and '11. Our circumstances obviously diverge in a number of ways, but I found out in the past year that I'm autistic as well - and similar to you, it's helping explain a lot for me, too.

  6. I am sorry for all your troubles. It sounds very hard especially taking care of Jim but how true you were to him. A testament to your character. Glad to hear things are looking up for you and so looking forward to more blog posts.

  7. Ha! So that's why I understand your writing !! I was diagnosed as autistic in 2019! I think spending time with horses and artists (grew up in an art supply store) saved my sanity ... I'm butting a lot of heads that want me to be more 'normal' ... Glad you are reaching out and hope you land with some comfort. -- Karen