Life in limbo

There are moments in life when time seems to stand still. This is absolutely one of those moments.

Recovering from a serious illness or injury is a time-consuming thing. The days and nights begin to blend in with each other, then the days start to bleed together. The next thing you know, a month has passed and you wonder how it’s possibly been that long.

It is hard to believe it’s been a month. Not much has changed since I came out of surgery and back into ICU. A lot of the swelling has gone down and the pain isn’t quite as bad, but I’m still in pain. Still practically bed-ridden. I can move my left leg a little on my own, but very little. 

Some days the pain is so intense that I feel like I’m eating pain pills like they’re candy and still not getting more than minimal relief. I feel like I hurt all the time.

I have a wheelchair that I often resent with all my heart and hate to be in. It’s a mental image I’m struggling to accept since there is a chance, a rather good one in fact, that I will be tied to it for the rest of my life to some degree.

The chair itself, while certainly the best choice for my condition, is a hulking monster of a contraption that causes impolite stares everywhere I go, even at the doctor. With an anxiety disorder, people staring is the last thing I need, so I tend to not even try to go out unless I have to.

I’ve come to feel lost and like a burden to those I love. I can’t even be left alone for an hour. I feel helpless.

It’s all very depressing in and of itself but add to that the fact that the life I had, the life I spent more than a year building, is gone now.

Two wheels, no matter how much better for the environment they may be, will never happen again. Even the thought of a loved one getting on one sends me into an anxiety attack.

My beloved camper will never be home again because of its size. It’s just too small for my chair. I almost got sent to a nursing home in another county against my will because the hospital wouldn’t release me unless we made more appropriate arrangements.

Life, as I knew it before the accident, is now a closed chapter.

Now, I spend my days (and many nights) worried about the future. Where will we go? How will we support ourselves when I have to have around the clock care and we can’t afford to hire anyone to look after me for him to work? 

Will I walk again? How well and for how long if I can?
The thought that my left leg, since it was already damaged prior to the accident, might never work properly again, is something I have to deal with. The chances of full mobility are nill anyway because I was already having trouble with it. 

I still have another four weeks to go before there’s even a chance of being able to put a little weight on it to see if it’s even going to work. If it does, I still have a long and painful recovery ahead to find out what it will and won’t do.

It’s all very depressing.

Right now my life is in limbo and there isn’t a damn thing I can do but wait.

Advertisements

Life, Interrupted 

She sits silent and hulking in the shadows. A reminder of things unfinished, lives undone as suddenly as a glance away from a lonely stretch of road.

Nature has already begun the process of reclaiming what was once hers as the weeds stretch and bend in the shadows.

A glance through partially shrouded windows shows proof that life once happened here. A glass stands silent sentinel on a side table, remnants of the holders last sips moldering in the heat.

As time passes, the disarray of rushed visits has taken its toll. 

Dust quietly gathers in unseen and untouched places, marking objects now missing from their homes.

Disheveled blankets hold testament to an uneasy night’s sleep where breath was held as tightly as a sweat soaked sheet clenched in the fists of an unwilling participant in a nightmare.

Worry wanders the halls that once tinkled with laughter and sighed with spent passion. Half-dreamed fears that refuse to fade with morning’s light.

Hands once lovingly tended this space that lies neglected and forgotten. The care-giver now the one in need of tending.

In the blink of an eye, two lives changed forever. Hopes and dreams fade into the darkened corners of what once was a home and are exchanged for more uncommon concerns. 

Plans for upgrades traded for pain that seems endless. Thoughts of gardens overshadowed by an endless parade of doctor’s visits.

Lives that will never be the same.

Deep Thought

I’m sitting outside a property Paul is helping to get ready to rent out for a family member. The place is beautiful, with towering oak trees, lots of shade and plenty of room for planting, it could be a small homesteading dream come true. There’s even a fenced field just begging for goats or sheep to graze at my back. It’s truly beautiful.

I find my mind wandering in times like these and trying to sort out life’s little problems. At the moment, life’s big problem seems to consist of trying not to get carried off by the local insect population.

Today is the three year anniversary of my mom’s passing. We lost her rather suddenly. 

We knew her health wasn’t great but she was hiding a lot of her pain and illness from all of us. It seems like once the doctor said cancer, her body reacted violently and in a matter of a few months, she was gone.

Our relationship was never what I had hoped it would be, but I still miss her with an intensity some days that’s almost scary. Yesterday and today have been such days.

We also have a lot of changes looming in the immediate future. My beloved Compound will be going in different directions and that weighs heavily on my heart. 

While the situation has had its moments, overall, we’ve been happier there than we’ve been anywhere in years. 

I will miss my best friends not being in shouting distance of my kitchen table. I’ll miss long talks with them and Big Man bringing me four-leaf clovers to brighten a crappy day.

I will miss the complete lack of judgment, which is hard to find, even in a friend.

I realize that change is part of life, but it can still be an emotional upheaval, even for me.

These are the things weighing heaviest on my heart today. Come Monday I’ll be back to the flurry of things that need to be done to prepare for the move, but today, I’m going to enjoy the scenery and be a little melancholy.

Blessings,

Dawn @ TPC

Up In the Air 

Everything is still up in the air with The Compound. Have I mentioned that I’m not great with this kind of limbo?

It’s really had me regretting some of the decisions we’ve made over the last year, namely that six months we spent chasing dreams that we didn’t want to admit at the time weren’t ours.

Regret isn’t something I really deal with often. I try to live my life with intention and responsibility so that I don’t have to live with regrets, but it happens.

We have made some decisions of our own in the midst of all this though and the relief of those decisions is what’s keeping me grounded.

Paul and I had a heart to heart about what we are going to do moving into the future. We’ve kicked around different ideas for a while now. Full-time RVing complete with travel, full-time no travel except vacations. Homesteading, Tiny House. Those were the options we were both willing to consider and we’ve taken over a year of living a little bit of most of them to see what we wanted to do.

While we both feel that pull of Gypsy strings on our feet, having a family you can’t take with you can make you hesitant. 

In the end, we have decided to eventually get a smaller Camper for vacation travel and to completely demolish the current one to the frame and use the frame to build a tiny farmhouse. We want about an acre to put it on and we’re going to Micro-Homestead complete with a garden and chickens. 

I’m not sure if Micro-Homesteading is an actual thing, but if it isn’t, we’re going to make it one.

Anyway, we’re going to do the best we can while we try to find and get land of our own. 

The image I picked up off Facebook because it’s a compact style I found that would work with our space. I do not own the image.

Blessings,

Dawn 

Hard Choices 

The hard truth is, everything changes whether we want it to or not. Some changes are intentional and well planned but sometimes they’re brought on by things beyond your control.

We are about to be faced with some changes beyond our control. 

My beloved Compound will be moving somewhere else and we will be faced with the decision to follow, possibly further away from where we currently are than we’d like to go, or to strike out on our own and give up most of the things that have made this where we chose to stay for so long.

CB and Big Man (CB’s hubby) want us to go with them, and if they don’t go too far we most likely will, but Big Man works in a neighboring county and it’s possible that they may end up moving in that direction…a direction that wouldn’t be as beneficial to us as it might be for everyone else.

Paul just got this job and he likes it there. There’s potential in this job to move up eventually and no guarantees he’d have the same opportunity somewhere else. We’re not even sure if a transfer is an option.

Going to an RV park is a possibility but our camper is 30 years old and looks pretty rough on the outside and I’m concerned about how much of a problem that will be. Also, we’ve been gradually remodeling and are no where near done. I don’t know what the rules would look like for remodeling at a campsite or RV park.

There are so many variables in every direction. So many unknown factors. None of them are really options we even want.

To say we’re sad about the coming changes is an understatement. With my social anxiety being what it is, these kinds of changes are hard for me. 

At this point, I have no idea how all of this is going to play out.

I do feel like in a lot of ways, this will be a good change for the rest of The Compound but if we can’t stay together, it’s going to be a huge adjustment for me!

Battling the Heat

So far, we’ve been lucky with the heat. The temperatures have gone into the mid-eighties, but not much higher. Until today, anyway.

Today the temperature swung into the 90’s and brought enough humidity with it that I’m watching one of those early evening humidity-fueled thunderstorms brewing in the distance. It should be here within the next half-hour.

Inside the RV today felt sweltering. Paul is hot-natured anyway and the poor guy looked absolutely miserable.

He started working on a DIY a/c a few weeks ago made from scavenged materials. A styrofoam cooler that was laying in the woods, an old cabinet door we hadn’t up-cycled yet and the motor from a hair dryer I never use anymore. Plus some frozen bottles and jugs of water CB helped collect in her deep freezer for me.

It still needs work, but with an additional fan blowing at the kitchen, which was sectioned off with a sheet and divider door, it was enough of an improvement that I stopped actively sweating at least.

Luckily, this storm is already pushing lower temperatures in, so it’s cooling off rapidly now and the breeze feels heavenly after such a sticky afternoon.

I know part of the reason the DIY a/c struggled was the humidity and also that we committed a cardinal sin today by not keeping up with the forecast and we waited until it was too hot to get it going. It just couldn’t catch up.

It just started raining, I’m gonna go enjoy the breeze!

Little Spaces, Big Personalities, Moving Into Summer 

When people talk about the struggles and adjustments that go along with living in small spaces, you hear about downsizing, letting go of stuff, organizing…what you rarely hear about is how living in a small space alone and living in that space with another person are very different situations and the latter can be complicated.

Take Paul and I, for instance. We both have very dominant personalities. We both like to be the boss. 

We’re also very passionate. Paul has the fire and passion of an artist and I am a true Pisces, ruled by my heart and my emotions. That can make life complicated at times when you share one very small space.

When the weather is nice outside, it’s a little easier because our tiny yard is used as an extension of our home but in less friendly weather, it can often feel almost like the camper is shrinking, especially if either of us are having a bad day or not feeling well.

Because it’s so easy to take everything out on each other, we have to try to find ways to redirect that energy. 

Luckily, we seem to have survived the winter here in SC, but I’m finding some of winter’s stress and aggression hard to shake, even as we move into summer. 

Part of that, I think, is because I don’t want next winter to be as stressful as this one was.

I do have to take into consideration that we spent most of last summer, trying one last time, to see if we could “live like everyone else”, and we weren’t here to do the prep work that would have made the winter easier. That was definitely a factor, but not the only one.

Another factor was money. 

Living full-time in an RV is less expensive than living like the rest of the world, but that doesn’t make it free. We both have cell phones, you use more propane in the winter, there has been car insurance until now, food, gas, holidays, and even though we live in my best friend’s yard, we do still pay for the utilities we use…I could go on, but you get the idea.

Between the cost of living and trying to repair the major things on the RV that had to be fixed, we struggled hard this winter.

Now that we have the house livable, we’re looking at all that remodeling that needs to be done and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, another thing that can cause tension in a small space.

Even with the lengthening of daylight hours, there never seems to be enough hours in the day.

I will say that I’ve felt a little better about it this past week than in the weeks before due in large part to getting the “yard” a little more to my liking.

It’s a hard balance, a lesson living in a small space has taught us often about many aspects of small-space living. 

I know we’ll get there, but some times it seems like the progress is happening so slowly that it drives me crazy.

DIY Citronella Candles

Summertime and I have a love/hate relationship. I love nearly everything about summer (except excessive temperatures when I can’t breathe well due to severe bronchial asthma). I just wish I felt more like it loved me back.

Well, Mommypotamus may have a helpful DIY solution to cure at least one of my warm-weather-woes, the insect battle.

No one likes the irritation of feeling eaten alive every time you walk outside to do something and when you live in a small space, getting outside when the weather is nice is even more important.

I personally intend to give making these DIY Citronella Candles myself. Head on over to Mommypotamus and check out her simple step-by-step instructions.

Buying a homestead 

Paul and I saw our first real Tiny House in our area recently and it’s had us thinking about the possibilities of perhaps settling down somewhere again. 

Homesteading has been something I’ve considered before and, honestly, it’s not really very far from how we currently live. I’d want to do it with a tiny farmhouse though. 

This list of 12 questions to consider before buying a homestead sounds like a good place to start thinking. Head on over to Prairie Homestead to see what questions you should be asking before taking the big leap.