Home & family

When I made the bold but also long overdue decision to leave my marriage, I had to find a new place to live. Working within the constraints of a limited budget, my options were few. However, I had a hunch that being an artist might just play to my advantage and I began to look for live/work spaces in old mills.

And damned if I didn’t find exactly what I needed. Big enough (1500 square ft), open floor plan (one large room), huge windows abutting water (the Pawtucket Canal) and within my budget. However the very best part about my new home would turn out to be the community.

There are fifty lofts at Western Avenue filled with an incredible assortment of people employed in creative endeavors/vocations. Painters, photographers, writers, musicians, actors, fiber artists, dancers, teachers, metal smiths, ceramicists, glassblowers, jewelers, clothing designers, sculptors, printmakers and a resident drag queen (our facilities manager)…we’ve got it all.

It is a wonderfully funky, fun and supportive crew, and sometimes I feel as if I’ve landed in Oz. We even have a Toto, although his hame is Luke. Besides Luke there is a supporting cast of cats, more dogs of all sizes, a turtle and a rabbit too (oh yeah, I inherited a fish from one of Peter’s classmates).

The one thing we’ve been missing is a baby.

However, my friends/neighbors J. and Joelle took it upon themselves to address this issue and Miles Franklin Haley was bestowed with the title of First Loft Baby on June 16th.

Joelle and Miles

Joelle and Miles

I love my home and the people in this community have become an extended family for me. J. and Joelle, who used to live across the hall from me, have a special place in my heart. One day, about a year into my living here, I impulsively knocked on their door. Joelle answered and I burst out with ‘I just want to tell you that I love you and J.’ Joelle, who is incredibly serene, calmly responded ‘We love you too.’ Five minutes later there was a knock on my door and her husband J. (who is not serene) rushed in and gave me a big hug. Didn’t say a word but we both knew what it was about.

Now I get to be an honorary auntie to the newest member of our community, Mr. Miles. And my family just got a little bit bigger.

10 responses to “Home & family

  1. this is one of the best posts ever and I am so happy you are an auntie and that you got that hug from Jay! yay for walking into something and finding out it was a beyond GREAT decision!! Miles is gorgeous!

    • Thank you g. I actually spelled Jay’s name wrong—it is J. which I thought you would get a kick out of. And yes, Miles is gorgeous!


  2. I am following some lung cancer blogs because a dear friend is struggling with this disease. But I certainly relate about leaving a relationship. After 16 years I still debate this issue. When do you leave? If it’s 60% not good and 40% good? It’s a difficult decision when the differences are more compatibility issues than clear cut like alcoholism or abuse. If we had known each other longer before we committed, we would have realized our major differences regarding intimacy, home bound vs travel bug, etc etc.
    Anyway, following a few blogs I realize daily living goes on for all of us both in sickness and in health.
    I adopted 2 children when I was 49 and 50. I worried about being alive to parent them. Now my son turns 18 in Aug. I hope to be around longer, but I did breathe a sigh of relief.
    Congrats on living in a time when new drugs have given you your life back! And enjoy your new freedom and bohemian life!

    • Anne, that is amazing and brave to have adopted two children when you did and I am happy that you have been able to witness them growing into adulthood. As to relationships, I question why I didn’t leave sooner, but the reasons were myriad including hope (that things would get better). Also, I was afraid. Leaving turned out to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it needed doing and I think we are all better for it.


  3. Just want to like this very much! From a long time lurker for my hope-to-be but “only” granularly ALK positive brother.xx

  4. You are the best example of ‘living fully’ I’ve ever had contact with! Rock on!


  5. Precious — I’m so happy for you and for all of your extended family. Glad you found each other!

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