Falling up


Thursday might be the first day of official fall, but there was unofficial fall all over our weekend.


It was long jeans and short boots and even a light jacket kind of weather. It was a trim the spent blooms from the garden and be glad there are still a few left kind of time.


My girl was home (sort of) for half a week.


She was flown home to attend the Pendleton Round-Up in her role as Rose Festival Queen. I’m so glad she had to come back for this. It’s almost as if her leaving cast a spell over the house, the kind you read about in fairy tales, and in the weeks since she left we’ve been sleep-living in suspended time–the way everyone is knocked out for years in Sleeping Beauty’s castle but when they wake up it’s as if they never stopped living.

Somehow, her coming back was like the Prince’s kiss that broke the spell and woke everyone. (OK, maybe not everyone. Maybe just me. I’m probably the only one who’s been creeping through fog.)

She noted in a text to me today that the day she flew back to school was exactly one month after the day she flew there in August. Maybe there’s some kind of magic in that.

Her visit home was at least a little bit enchanted. We were able to get ice cream at a (pretentious) Portland shop that is famous for its long lines, without waiting in line at all.


Of course, it might be that we got lucky because it was pouring down rain. Timing is everything, isn’t it?

I still miss her like crazy, but I’m getting used to the new normal. The grieving isn’t so much a howling these days as it is a quiet voice that startles me at odd moments. It’s more hollow than full, more yearning than demanding. It’s a companion whose presence I can yield to.

It’s nice to feel the season changing, a turning toward a different state of being. We had that glorious rain this weekend, and I unwrapped a puzzle that’s been wrapped in plastic on the living room table since July. We made chicken soup. I haven’t done anything in my studio, but I begin a writing class this week. It will be good to be forced to exercise those muscles with some like-minded people.

It’s nice to be looking up again.


This seems like a fitting view for these days. A moody mix of cloud and shadow and shots of color.

PS: You might notice that things look a bit different here. Messing with blog design is something I do when I’m feeling at odds with the blog. And blocked. I also revise the About page.

10 thoughts on “Falling up

  1. Kathy says:

    I looked at your about page last week when I noticed your little blog icon on my saved favorites page changed to a pencil! I loved it!

    I’ve got a daughter living in Washington state and another daughter, son in law and granddaughter living in Tennessee. I understand the ache. But, I also have a 17 and 13 year old still at home. All kinds of feelings going on around here! 😉

    Your fall looks nice. We still have the air on here in Chicagoland.

    • Rita says:

      Oh, that does sound like a lot of feelings! 🙂 I think I might be glad I’m not going through this AND raising a young teen. That requires a special kind of tough.

      And yeah, changing that little icon is the kind of dumb thing I sometimes do when I don’t feel like doing anything too real. Amazed that anyone noticed that! Hope you get some fall soon (if that’s what you like). I’m always glad when the weather cools down and the leaves start turning.

  2. Riafrom Oz says:

    I am here in Bend, Oregon on my visit from Australia, and I am very aware of the changes in the air. The warmth of the sun is lovely but the chill in the air and the beautiful colours of the trees tell me Fall is on its way here. I will be going home this weekend back to my own piece of paradise and change. Spring is bringing good cheer to those who stop and smell the blossoms. I look forward to seeing the joy in the earth bringing bounty yet my heart is sad with leaving Oregon; what feels to be my second home.

    So, the sadness you feel when your daughter leaves is the similar kind I feel when I leave here. ALready my heart is growing heavy, my eyes seem to tear up at the silliest moments (in Fred Meyer’s of all places!), my sleep is interrupted by the sudden panic of only days to go. It hurts to leave behind something I treasure and I am sure you feel the same when your daughter leaves you. I know I can come back here in the future but it always feels like I shall never see this beautiful country again. Just as I can imagine you must feel when your dearest leaves you.

    • Rita says:

      Always so nice to hear from you! I would be sad to leave here in the fall, especially if I were returning to the spring! (But that’s just because fall is my favorite season.) Does that feel disorienting? I hope you have safe travels. I can sure understand why it’s hard to leave Bend. It’s beautiful there.

  3. Marian says:

    I’m so happy for you, Rita, that you got to have that time with your daughter. The Sleeping Beauty analogy made me smile. I’ve often wondered though if that’s a more common feeling for the people who’ve LEFT … to feel as though everything and everyone who has stayed behind remains in stasis … and then to be just a bit surprised (and sometimes miffed!) to return and find life has moved on without them.

    “It’s nice to be looking up again.” I’m SO glad to hear you say that 🙂 .

    LOVE the new About page, btw, with Seinfeld and Cheers … it made me smile, and tear up a little, too. I so love being part of your community.

    • Rita says:

      I so love that you are part of my little community, too. You give me reasons to keep writing away here. And I’m glad you like the About page. I was in a bit of a mood when I revised it, but I think that’s actually me and the voice I have these days. Wondered if it might put some of you off. Made me smile to see that you were OK with the real me I am right now.

      And I think you’re right about how it is for those who leave. I think that was my experience when I left my parents’ home. It was probably more than a decade before I truly got it that there home wasn’t really mine any more. I’m glad our house is still home for Grace, though. About two weeks in I asked her how she was feeling about things, and part of her response was that it’s easier for her than me because while I have a Grace hole where she used to be in my life, she is in a place that doesn’t have any holes. It’s all new for her, and there’s nothing missing. I thought that was such a clear way of understanding how the experience is different for each of us–and why all the kids leaving for college don’t seem nearly as torn up about it (if they are at all!) as their parents. Hope you are doing OK with your change, too.

  4. Lisa Capasso says:

    Oy, I’ve missed a bit, haven’t I. Hugs for all the sad and lonely feelings, and the old endings/new beginnings.

    Your fall looks lovely and I am terribly jealous. Its 106 degrees here and I haven’t seen rain in…..a year? Weather in SoCal is mostly pleasant (when its not 106) but monotonous.

    • Rita says:

      Hi! I’ve missed you! 🙂

      If I were living in 106 degree weather and no rain for a year, I would be mentally ill. (Or out of remission. Because I think mentally ill is probably something we always are, if we are? Anyway…) I really, truly would. I am so thankful for the change in seasons. And virtual hugs. They are surprisingly helpful.

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