Returning Home

country road, Missouri photo by kristin nador
It’s been awhile, friends. Again.
We had an earthquake.
Not an actual earthquake. The metaphorical kind that shakes the foundations of your life. Keeper Hubby, struggling with severe chronic pain and debilitation, has had more physical set backs since his last spinal surgery. He will most likely not be able to work outside of the home anymore. His last employer was understanding enough to allow him to try working at home after surgery, until he was included in a mass layoff of over fifty employees. On the medical front, once it was realized that the last surgery was not successful and in fact, is causing even worse problems, Hubby’s surgeon washed his hands of the problem, refusing to allow him to make any more appointments. The pain management doctor hinted at referring him to other surgeons who favored a competitor technology that the pain management doctor now says is better (while having regular dinners and golf dates with said technology’s representative) despite testing and approving the original technology and surgeon in the first place. Feeling a bit uncomfortable with that, we declined. In all our medical dealings over the last twenty years, we’ve come to grips with the fact medicine is also more often than not big business.
So with no income and minimal support from the Kentucky medical team, we took it to prayer and decided to let it all go. We would go full circle and head back home. Home, as in the metropolitan area of our hometown, St. Louis, Missouri, where we have some family and where we hope to find more sophisticated and empathetic medical support. Home, where we spent our childhoods, but haven’t lived for the last 30 years. During the last 4 months I stopped writing and blogging completely to focus on taking care of Hubby, downsizing our life, and making our way home.
We had already downsized for our initial move approximately 18 months ago from a three bedroom home in Oklahoma to a one bedroom apartment in Kentucky, but you’d be surprised what you hold on to, what you think you might need, what you are willing to pay storage for when you have the money to pay for it.
I sold everything I could. There is a buyer out there for every thing you might want to sell. My writing skills came in handy when marketing said items in online sales groups (Only 3 Days Left for This Kitchen Do-Dad Extravaganza!). Some folks like to buy things when they feel like they are getting a great deal, no matter they don’t actually have any use for them. The process cemented my new gravitation towards a minimalist lifestyle, simplifying in all the life areas that you can. It helps to keep mental balance while dealing with those areas that aren’t quickly simplified, but instead full of complications.

 

cats on a roof, photo by kristin nador

Some citizens of the feral cat colony

One of the contrasts on our new journey is keeping this minimalist philosophy while living in a ‘collector’s’ house, located in an isolated rural area. One of our close relatives has generously offered us a safe landing spot during this transition time. We are so grateful, but it requires adjustment on our part that is sometimes harder when you are ‘of a certain age’ and set in your ways. As the saying goes, beggars can’t be choosers, so we’ll focus on gratitude and what we can learn from our disparate life philosophies. I’ll also be able to share with you about the ups and downs of rural life, reconnecting with my hometown roots, and strangely enough, the fascinating goings on of a colony of feral cats that live only several hundred feet from my bedroom window.
And I’ll be writing again. I’m looking forward to blogging about all my passions: creativity and the creative process, writing, midlife and my grandma gig, history, genealogy and memoir, pop culture and today’s important issues. I hope you’l be here to join me, and if you’ve been having some tumults in your life that have gotten in the way of pursuing your creative path, I encourage you to take care of the business you need to, but make sure you make a space to return to your creative passions as soon as you can. It will bring you solace in the midst of the grit of life.
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Write Anywhere 082

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Fall is my favorite time of year. The oppressive bake of summer gives way to the cool morning crispness of autumn that favors hot tea, cinnamon oatmeal, and leisurely walks. It also brings harvest time. In the midwest where I grew up  Continue reading

How To Stage Your Home For Creativity

typewriter on shelf

Is your home staged for creativity?

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Have you set the stage in your home for maximum creativity potential?

It’s been a year since we sold our four bedroom home in Oklahoma and downsized to a 850 sq. foot apartment in Kentucky. We were excited for the job opportunity for Keeper Hubby, but not too keen on what it would take to get there. Continue reading

Write Anywhere #81: Weekend Wanderings

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Do you ever plan to NOT make a plan?

I am a planner. I have lists, and lists of lists. It’s not that I am necessarily skilled at fulfilling the plan, but giving myself structure helps me make progress. Even with all my planning, I find myself in a general pattern of creative ups and downs. Spurts of creative productivity punctuated by dry spells  filled with frustration, anxiety, and low spirits. I’m working at being more balanced, but it will be a lifetime journey.

I don’t do well at spontaneous. It can even make me nervous. That whole facade of control, you know.

Some days though, the stars align, and I agree to throw out the list for the day. Keeper Hubby is good at helping me do that. He helps me get out of my always-so-serious mode and enjoy the moment, live in the present, and laugh at myself. Another one of so many reasons that he is a Keeper. 😉

We spent a day letting nothing in particular dictate our plans, and it refreshed my creative focus. Continue reading

Write Anywhere #80: Plantation House

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

I feel a bit claustrophobic. This is my first winter in Kentucky. I like it here but the forced confinement after snow and freezing temps that rival Siberia has got me antsy in my apartment. When wind chills go into the negative digits, it’s time for hot tea and a good movie. I’m not a winter person, so I hope the cold will move on soon.

Before the weather turned arctic, I spent an afternoon at a local landmark with immense spaces and loads of history attached. It inspired me to dig deeper in the writing research I’m doing for my historical fiction. Continue reading

Write Anywhere #79: Japanese Friendship Garden

by Kristin Nador/@KristinNador

Walking and I have been having an epic struggle lately.

I enjoy walks outside. A stroll around the neighborhood, a paced walk around a track for some intentional sweating, or a gentle hike in the woods all suit me fine.

My foot and ankle haven’t agreed with that assessment at all. They protest in pain, refusing to participate in the simplest activities. Foot and Ankle were forced into an intervention with a podiatrist, and now after some painful injections and custom orthotics, foot is about 85% better. Ankle is still questionable, with MRI results pending, but much better than before.

I’ve gotten to the point where I can take very short walks without aggravating the healing process. We have nice sidewalks in our apartment complex, but once you’ve walked around a building a few times, it’s time for more interesting views. I found the perfect spot for gentle walking just a few minutes drive away, and discovered it helped coax some gentle writing out of me as well.  Continue reading

Write Anywhere #78: Kentucky Horse Park

I’ve discovered some things since moving to Kentucky. They call it bluegrass, but the pastures of Kentucky are bright green. A hot brown sandwich tastes pretty good considering it’s the bottom of a turkey sandwich with a pile of gooey stuff plopped on top. Drive-thru liquor stores are open on Sunday. And two things folks in the Lexington area are very serious about: Wildcats (college humans of the athletic variety) and Horses (large animals of the fast variety).

When some Tulsa friends stopped for a visit while traveling, they mentioned they might like to see some of the famous Kentucky thoroughbreds. I don’t usually think of myself as a horse person, but thought it would make an interesting outing, nonetheless. We were happy to include them on a trip only ten minutes from our home to a place full of horses and history.

Write Anywhere #78: Kentucky Horse Park

Kentucky Horse Park

Kentucky Horse Park

Continue reading

Write Anywhere #76 Bone Museum

It’s been a long hiatus here on the blog. Life went sideways but Keeper Hubby and I have left Oklahoma and landed mostly intact in our little apartment near Lexington, Kentucky. I hope to be posting more often now.

A funny thing happened on the way to Kentucky… not really. I injured my hip during the move, and developed a severe case of plantar fasciatis. Left hip, right foot. Not much locomotion happening now. I’m continuing to heal thanks to physical therapy, but in the meantime I’m mainly confined to the house. It’s very frustrating when you’re used to being independent and going places whenever you choose, and then you can’t. I’m anxious to begin exploring my new surroundings, but I’ll have to listen to my body for now.

The isolation has given me time to reflect on this new season of life.

The nest is officially empty: Artist Daughter and her hubby Saint Nick have gone off on an adventure of their own in the Big Sky Country of Montana. Poet Son likes it there, too.

Musician Daughter, Musician-In-Law, and Destined-To-Be-A-Musician are still in The Middle happily expecting to make their group a quartet in the fall. I’m happy for them all, but find myself nostalgic, the phrase “Remember when…” popping out of of my mouth almost daily.

I’m working hard on focusing forward, working on my health and my writing. Write Anywhere venues will be limited during my rehabilitation, however. My goal at this point is to get out once a month, at least until I am physically back to 100%, to discover new places to fuel creativity.

In the meantime I was fortunate to have one last Write Anywhere outing in Oklahoma with my youngest before we all went our separate ways. Artist Daughter invited me to spend the day with her. She advised I should bring my camera, because photography would be the main activity. I love taking photos, but little did I know I’d not only be preserving the trip in photos, but preserving my time with her in my heart.

Write Anywhere #76: Bone Museum

Museum of Osteology Oklahoma City Oklahoma photo by kristin nador Continue reading