Monday, February 28, 2011

It's All a Blur

Winter is particularly challenging for me personally. It's the lack of sunshine, the excess of snow, the cold weather that chills me to the core and the inability to make my son's days "fun" that make just hanging in there such a struggle. Fortunately for me, I have a long term plan that helps me through this "end of Winter" hurdle. It's called a Time Share. It's a Winter option that I have, if I can muster the courage to go.
For years I have hated my property because it has seen me at my worst and most vulnerable. It is a place where I meet autism head on and dare it to break me. Invariably, it beats the sh** out of me, but I dress my wounds and try again. Three years in a row GP broke my glasses while I was there. The nearest optometrist being a 45 minute drive, longer when you can't see where you are going. Oh wait, there was the year when he didn't BREAK my glasses he knocked them over and they fell into the baseboard! I had four men in the apt looking for my tiny wire rimmed glasses in a tan colored room. It took them a long time to find them but they did. My heroes! One year GP decided he liked the outdoor hot tub and went out at 6am to stand in the snow in his jammies watching it. You have no idea what it feels like to wake up in an apartment in the middle of the White Mountains (that pic is the view from my unit's porch) and discover your child is missing... and when it happens more than once??? The second time he was found standing by the pool, fortunately he had not jumped in, he was three or four at the time. It was so early, that's all I remember; it was so cold, and so early. By the third time he was spotted in the wee hours of the morning I was called to collect him (by then everyone knew of the little boy who was lost TWICE before), and a chain was put on my apt door to keep him in. I used a suitcase after the first time, a chair after the second. At the time we lived in a dead bolted house, and a card key entry was like an open invitation to wander. As I always say, my son is autistic, he isn't stupid! Needless to say, the chain was unnecessary, that day I simply packed up and went home. I was done. Remember GP was non verbal, non communicative. So you could ask him his name, where he Mommy was, and you would see nothing but a little boy who seemed like he was deaf... lost in thought.
Every year for one week, I would pull my son out of our home where he was safe and sound and take him to the Mountains. Every single year, something would happen. Something bad. In time it came to be an apartment full of bad memories, and I couldn't go there. I couldn't sell it though. I couldn't. I refused. I would not accept defeat. I just stopped going, but I paid it off and like a nest egg, just let it rest.

Last year we changed management companies and spent an extraordinary amount of money on renovations. After writing a check that rivaled my mortgage payment I decided it was time to go see what had been done. I dressed myself in courage and set off to face my fears.
I psyched myself up, and set off with GP. I knew I was "home" when I closed the door and the chain was still there. That chain is was like a scar, a battle scar. I caught myself standing there, staring at it and reliving that horrible stay so many years ago. But it didn't kill me and I was back. Stronger, wiser and ready for the challenge.
How much my dear boy had changed. How happy he was to be there. He was talking, choosing restaurants, making our schedule. Now he was planning sightseeing drives and checking show times at the local cinema. He was not waking up at 5am to wander in the night. He was sleeping in. I don't remember everything we did that week, it's all a blur... which is really a good thing. You know the saying, "No news is good news" ? That applies here. If nothing stands out, it just means it was all good. =)
They say that time heals all wounds but I am here to tell you that some wounds heal leaving scars so deep that you just have to stop pretending you don't see them. You have to stare at them and know that what has not killed you, has made you stronger. In my case, I faced my fear and this time, this week, I stared autism in the face and said Screw YOU!
I lived through it and if you are where I was, know that you too will live through this. It matters not what your challenge is. If you can make it through today, you have won. B.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Day at JB Woods

JB Woods is a company that makes one of my favorite things in the world, unfinished wood painting surfaces. Oh, I could hear my heart thumping as I walked the isles of their warehouse and thought of all the hours I could spend in painting bliss if someone would just lock me up there with some paint (and jelly belly beans). Oh, the treasures in the making that they had on their shelves...
Ahhh, I was in heaven. And, I was in good company, as you can see.I spent the day painting with Cynthia Erekson and a group of ladies who shared my love for her work. We painted her Lazy Lamb Farm design on a Workbench Widget Box. My box is still a work in progress (just call me Chatty Brenda, OK?), but you can see how cool it's going to look in the pic above. Cynthia is holding her sample, the pic doesn't do it justice. It was amazing.
Here is what I have done so far:and here is a close up of my little guy fishing. The coolest thing about painting with Cynthia is that her designs are fast, fun and easy. All her patterns have a story and this one was that the little man was fixing the fence (see the toolbox and all the broken fence parts in the scene???) but he was taking a break and decided he was going to spend it fishing. I never think of a painting as being a story but when I paint with her she always has one and I think that's part of what makes her work so wonderful. It's storytelling at its finest.
I'll post a pic of the box as soon as it's done. Hopefully later today.
Gotta finish it before it becomes an UFO or worse, I lose one of the parts... not that THAT's ever happened to me, LOL!
Hope your weekend is full of fun too.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Retail Therapy

We all have those moments. We can either, eat, smoke, drink or shop.
I'm too fat to eat, it was too hard to quilt smoking to start up again, I'm too upset to drink, so I went shopping! Yeah, I have those days... and if nothing else works, I put on the snow boots and trek on over to the Burlington Mall for some Retail Therapy.
Yesterday I got new glasses, new Sunglasses, and an estimate on my bathroom remodel. Not only am I blind as a bat but my arm and leg will belong to the contractor effective immediately.
The snow has turned to ice and the ice is hanging over my brand new gutters and it's looking like they might not make it, the bathroom window sprung a leak, the light on my car says "oil change" and my son's trainer took the day off so I drove all the way to the Health Club to bicker with GP who is telling me, "You are not my trainer!" as if I didn't know! I slipped on the ice and fell on my *** in front of my house, and I thought, "That's it! Stick a fork in me, I'm done!" so, I
decided I'd get a jump on Spring and buy some lovelies for myself, some chocolates for grandpa and call it a day. I almost forgot what a crappy week I'm having until I turned on the TV and realized my Direct TV is still not working (Ice on the roof)... but I'm going to finish packing some orders and think of Spring. It's HAS to come soon, I don't know how much more of this I can take! Hope your day was better than mine. May your cable be working, your bathroom not leak, your car light stay off, and your butt stay dry this week, LOL!
Hang in there and remember, if nothing else works, there's always Retail Therapy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Now Why The Heck Didn't I Think Of That?

Ever have one of those moments? I have them often but rarely when it comes to GP because I swear, I never stop thinking of ways to improve his quality of life. I try to always stay one step ahead of the challenges he will face when doing one thing or another but when I saw this video I had one of those moments.
I know many of you have children with Special Needs and I hope this will help someone who is just now reaching this crossroad. I have been there, done that; and I remember how sad I was when I gave away his first bicycle, then his second and lastly when I told Gino if he bought him a new bike I would lay it out in the middle of the road.... denial is a terrible thing.
I also remember the joy in my son's eyes when he finally, at the age of fourteen, got on a tricycle and zoomed through a store where there was an adult size tricycle on display. It took him five minutes to figure out how to go in a straight line but not once did he fall off. It was amazing. He did not want the tricycle that day, but every time we go to that store he looks for it and rides it and I am confident that one day he will muster the courage to take it home, knowing he will not fail., as he did so many times when he tried to ride a bike (he doesn't even want to try those,, and I will NEVER ask him to). I wait patiently, for that day that he will want to bring that tricycle home because although I did not think to remove the pedals from his stupid bicycles (I'm not bitter, do I sound bitter?), I did think that a tricycle would put the wind in his hair and a smile on his face... and it did.
Now it's just a matter of time before he decides the isles are not long enough ,
I can't wait! =)