Finding my footing

It’s an in-between time. The past week we had both rain and snow; what the meteorologist refers to as a wintry mix. Wintry mess is more like it. The snow lining the roads is now blackened with a dirt/sand/salt melange, the sun has made only the briefest of appearances, and what with the frequent wind, it feels a bit raw outside.  Bleak, in a word.

Not quite winter and not yet spring. And my mood is much the same. As we prepare to move, I am not only packing and painting walls, I am beginning the process of emotional detachment from our current home. It is, in all respects, an unsettling process. And my thoughts have been at loose ends as well.

I believe I have a plan to get back on track. In a few weeks I will hit my six years since diagnosis anniversary. I’ve been thinking a lot about my continued survival as well as certain lifestyle changes that have been helpful to me in this journey. So in those moments when I am not wielding a paintbrush or taping up boxes, I am going to start spelling out those practices which help keep a bounce in my step.

I’ll conclude today’s blog with a children’s poem written by Carl Sandburg. It illustrates rather sweetly what I feel to be one of the most important attributes in survival; the capacity to keep going even after a fall. Brush yourself off, and try again.


Stumbling is where you walk and find you are not walking.

Stumbling is where you find yourself spread on the ground, instead of standing on your feet.

Stumbling is where your feet try to make a fool of you.

Stumbling is to go where you are not looking when you mean to go where you are looking.

Stumbling is to get your feet mixed so you go down.

Stumblers are two kinds, those who come up quick and those who say, “Where am I?”

If you never want to stumble, be a fish or a bird.

Carl Sandburg

12 responses to “Finding my footing

  1. Pat & Will Plattner

    So you guys are DEFINITELY moving? I thought it was all contingent on Peter being accepted at new school. Has that already happened?? Is house up for sale now? I’m confused…..but, hey, that’s pretty normal for me these days!!! At any rate, I’d help you pack if I was still on Blueberry Hill, but you must be pretty good at that yourself! Good time to get rid of stuff…..less is more, and all that!!! Good luck!!!

    • Pat and Will, definitely (especially in caps) is one of those words that intimidates me. However, I guess it’s true. We have signed a contract for a house in Amherst, NH. Not so very far really. Telling Mary and Raleigh was hard, but I think they still love us. Bill and Jolanda are next to know…And we will be (a little bit) closer to you. Now wish us the same luck you had in selling our home. Love, Linnea

  2. I agree with Pat and Will! Are you definitely moving? I read your earlier post and thought I had some time to adjust to the idea, and so I called up my old coping tool called Denial ( as I tend to do with things I don’t like) but now it sounds like I need to review the part of the Serenity prayer that tells me to accept the things I cannot change…. Will I guess it’s not all about me ( just once in a while would be nice…) Painting? packing? You know I’m here to help in any way I can – love ya all

    • Missy, friendships are portable. Have car, will travel. And I still want to have a book club–it will be a good excuse for both of us (whether we are going south or north) to expand our horizons. Love, Linnea

  3. I’m scared to think that you will bend to the real estate agent request for white walls. The colors in your home make me happy and remind me of Carl Larsson.
    I sold my last house with walls the color of pumpkin pie, buttery crust, and ceilings of whipped cream. The kitchen was sagey green (some afternoons seemingly blue) and deep eggplant or perhaps French Lavender. When I visited a year later I was surprised and happy that they had not repainted anything!

    Looking forward to thoughts on living 6 years with this. Bouncing steps sound good right now – though I will admit to making a batch of peach buttermilk scones this evening – no pie for 3.14, but I did what I could.

    • Stephanie, your former home sounds delicious. And no, I will leave my colors intact. Saying they remind you of Carl Larsson makes me really happy–I have been in love with his house since I was a young girl. What we are painting is walls that were never painted beyond primer (been that way since we moved in…sigh). They will be mostly neutral shades. Just cuz (makes my husband less anxious). But the citron, mint green and pthlalo blue (a hall) will stay. As will the door that is orange on the outside and red on the inside. Pretty soon I’ll begin to de-beige another residence.
      Peach buttermilk scones! May I come to tea sometime?


      • I would invite everyone to come to tea if I could, but especially you. A fistful of frozen peach slices from last summer truly brightened our day.

        I had to finish painting my house the week before it went on the market – already had the paint (from how many years before?) but hadn’t finished the job. Sure did look pretty for the new owners. Even got the real estate agent to pitch in. I also replaced the back deck carpet from lawn green to serene berber (outdoor type) and the fiberglass roofing, laid a new floor in the kitchen, and painted the front porch. Much better shape than when I bought it. And lots more plants that I kind of miss. I think I will spend some $ on plants this spring; there is plenty of room.

  4. I love this post Linnea~ Thank You!

  5. Pat & Will Plattner

    But of course we send you all good wishes that your house sells as quickly as ours did……and with the view there, how can it not??? I imagine Harold and June will miss you terribly, and telling Yolanda and Bill not something I envy you having to do. My stomach was in knots for weeks before breaking the news to them………and Mary? Oh, so very hard. But the spirit that lives on Blueberry Hill goes with you no matter where you might live…we have it here, so surely it can go just ‘down the road a piece’ to Amherst! We will look forward to future postings to know more of packing and painting! Be well, dear friend.

  6. Linnea not only you are very good with colors but you have soo much energy, I wish I was half century old again!
    How do you get the corners and ceiling lines straight?
    For me the best part of the move is being closer to the sea side.
    I went to the movies and cancer is a common theme. First was Biutiful, great acting by Javier Bardem with terminal prostate cancer, but not a beautiful movie for most people. Second was the King’s speech, George VI with lung cancer is advised to smoke to relax his throat muscles… Sixty years latter I got a king’s treatment in Toronto, surgery first and because of my insistence on CT scan instead of X-ray’s they found and treated with a blood thinner an arterial blockage in my right leg like the one that killed the king.
    To help keep a bounce in our steps we must get involved and get a second opinion. Onc, Onc if you survived

    • Guillermo, the movies love cancer. Wonderful dramatic device. Not so wonderful in real life. I will see Biutiful; even though I know how it must end.


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