“Alone” is a relative term & other early morning musings

A quiet morning dawns in Lake Superior land.  Light barely shows above the black shadows of trees at 7 a.m.  The temperature this morning was a balmy 47 degrees (8.3 Celcius).

I did start a fire in the woodstove and am not ashamed to admit it.  It was 67 degrees in the house (19.44 Celcius).  It’s suppose to reach a sultry 70 degrees today (21.11 Celcius).  If the sun shines with a mighty fervor above the trees, a fire would not be necessary.  But the weather predictions involve clouds and rain showers, so I gave us the gift of a warm house, thank you very much.

This "fellow" greets me daily down by the woodstove. Honest.

The woodstove hums merrily in the basement now and I’ve shed my long-sleeve shirt.

I am happy.

You know, the kind of happiness that surprises you sometimes when you wake up in the morning.  It’s a happiness that has nothing to do with anything–except the joy of being alive.  (Perhaps it comes from forgotten midnight dreams, but since those are long forgotten, we’ll just feel the joy of it without pondering any more.) This happiness seems to have forgotten all your little woes and worries, like a chalkboard eraser wipes the blackboard slate clean of concerns.

There is one reason I could be so happy.  This is one of the first days being alone in the house in five weeks.  It feels like meeting an old friend, this aloneness, and reveling in her.  I love being alone so much, although, gosh darn it, Barry and Kiah, you know I love you guys, too.

People who live alone all the time often speak of loneliness which arises, and perhaps it would arrive like a cloud to obscure the heart.  They speak of the challenges of needing assistance with no one to share chores, smiles, stories. 

I like the luxury of alone days intermingled with together days…

Moths can be as much company as humans. Can't they?

And of course, my day will only be alone until mid-afternoon. 

And during some of those hours, I must travel to town for errands.  In which case, may call my friend, Lyn–whom I haven’t seen in months and months and perhaps months–to suggest a walk around her three-mile block. 

In which case, it won’t be complete alone-time.

And that’s OK, too.

Come to think of it, are we ever alone?  There are at least forty fat red tomatoes squawking in the kitchen now. 

“We’re going to get soft and rot if you don’t can us!”  the tomatoes chatter.

A partridge inspects the tomatoes, pausing to commune with them.

I also have notes sitting all around this computer.  Want to hear what some of them say?

“Call Julie at BS&A Software.”  “Call John to answer his tax question.”  “Christina at the auditor.”  “Write Janet a note and tell her how much I appreciate her comment about this blog that she slipped in with her tax payment.”  (OK, the last note does not say all of that.  It just has Janet’s address.  Hi Janet, if you’re reading!  You made my day the other day.  Everybody should send love notes to their tax collector.)

 I am suddenly tired of writing blogs about Netflix and Facebook and want to share the simple happenings of our days in the woods.  I’ll bet you don’t even know what we do every single night, day in and day out here in the woods.  OK, some of you do.  Maybe it’s time for another blog about that daily fun.

(Some of you are frowning.  Facebook? you wonder.  What’s she talking about?  She hasn’t written a blog about Facebook lately.  And you’re right.  Only in my head.  Thanks to Pierre.  Pierre recently appeared on the blog I wrote Facebook,we’ve got issues and said something like,

“Interesting read, 16 months later, how are you feeling about Facebook, are your impressions still the same?”

My first thought was “16 MONTHS LATER?”   16 MONTHS LATER?  How could so much time have passed?  And how could I still be investing time thinking about the same issues 16 months later? Life is TOO short to think the same thoughts over and over again, without every resolving them! 

I told Pierre that maybe I’d write a follow-up blog discussing this, but instead got side-swiped by a Netflix letter.  (see yesterday.) 

Please meet Gerri, our Geranium. (Not related to any blogging friends.)

Waking up so happy this morning–not a concern in the world–except maybe the chatter of the tomatoes wanting to be canned–I suddenly am just smiling about all the ways we disagree with the ways of the world.  The way we think Netflix should cost under $10, how we want Facebook to be an on-line place where we feel 100% positive, how we wish our husband didn’t need a heart catheterization and knee surgery, how we want more or less alone time.

Gerri's crowning glory...just before frost nips 'er

I am going to eat breakfast now.  A bowl of rice topped with juicy ripe peach slices, sprinkled with–perhaps–slivered almonds or pecans–and a dash of coconut.

That’s enough.  

This beautiful moment–and then the next–and then the unfolding next.  When we stay close to what is arising in our lives–without disagreement–life can be a very beautiful gift.

P.S.  Ohmygoodness!  Just remembered.  I have a Skype phone date with my friend and blog reader, Nicole, in a half hour!  And will perhaps talk with Kiah and Chris today.  Perhaps “alone” is a relative term…


About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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28 Responses to “Alone” is a relative term & other early morning musings

  1. We are never alone, no matter how hard we try!! 😉 That first image is just spooky, I can’t stop looking at it! Just when I think I have it figured out on what it looks like, it changes!!

    • Kathy says:

      I shall tell you a secret, Holly, and whoever else returns to read these comments. Only you returnees shall know! The first photo is a picture that hangs in our basement. It is a Native American fellow with his head coming out of the earth and long eagle feathers coming down around him. The other day I ventured downstairs to stoke the fire and the light was twinkling in on the picture, moving this way and that, looking like the Indian fellow was alive and speaking. So I snapped the picture–and this is what came out.

  2. holessence says:

    Kathy – I love your woodstove fellow!

  3. jeffstroud says:


    Alone is a relative term! Any in a way everyone and everything is your relative.

    I love the back to basic idea of this blog. It is the common everyday stuff that we miss when we going “looking” for something or someone else to make us “happy” or feel unalone…

    If I feel alone, my problem is I don’t feel alone often enough and when I do I go out into nature to spend time with her, see if she will pose for me… show me something that I had not seen before.
    I also have photography groups to attend, exhibits to enter, creative or as the artist’s way state “artist’s dates” to expand and inform my creativity.

    Here’s to a life full of possibilities! ( Raising my coffee) cheers!!!

    • Kathy says:

      Here’s to life’s possibilities, Jeff! It’s interesting the different thoughts and feelings people have about aloneness. How we make time for her. How we don’t make time for her. Like you, I don’t want to miss the common every day stuff. It’s so precious. And miss it we can… It made me very happy to see you here again. Thanks for visiting, dear friend.

  4. Carol says:

    Alone is a relative term, as are so many things. Alone can be a very very good thing, but for some it’s a bad thing. I love alone time, time to luxuriate in letting my mind wander or time to do the things I want or need to do uninterrupted. Other times I like the warmth of a roomful of friends and chatter.

  5. Susan Derozier says:

    Kathy – I LOVE your first photo. It looks like an Indian spirit guide coming to you through the fire and assuring you of his presence and “watching over.” Just the thing to expect in that beautiful north woods! I’ve learned over the years to be with my “aloneness” and honor it. In my book I spoke of that in a chapter I called “From Alone to All One.” I think it speaks for itself. You fill me with such beauty at a time when there is extreme stress around me and I thank you once again. I’m sending all my positive energy to Barry for his upcoming cath and surgery. What a healing environment you surround him with!

    • Kathy says:

      Dear Susan, you are so right about that Indian fellow. Please read the first comment and you shall have an extended explanation of this Fire Tender. I am hoping that your health is improving. Barry is still in no-man’s land, taking one day at a time. You two would have much to share right now, I think. What is the name of your book again? I would like to look it up. How very cool to have a published book! Have you thought of writing another?

      • Susan Derozier says:

        Aw thanks for asking Kathy. it is called “Therapeutic Journaling: A Road to Healing.” It is a self-therapy I designed and used to teach for several colleges, hospitals and such. And yes, I believe Barry and I could share some understanding about the lessons of frustration and patience. My health is stable for the moment so am grateful for now. However, everyone around me seems to have the world crashing down on them and sometimes that is more difficult than dealing with one’s own problems. I love your little reflective gift with your picture. Someday I would love to tell you about a beautiful Native American print I bought at an art fair. Interesting story and special experience. Please tell Barry I hope he is out of no-man’s land soon!

        • Kathy says:

          Susan, I would love to read your book some day–just to learn more about you. I put it in my “wish list” in Amazon, so someday may pick it up. (Just spent $30 there yesterday, probably won’t be for a while.) Glad you are stabilized now…and I will await your own Native American print story.

  6. Barbara Rodgers says:

    “I like the luxury of alone days intermingled with together days…” Me, too! It’s like the tide coming in and going out…

    • Kathy says:

      Appreciating the tide, Barbara. Remembering to want what’s right here now. Not longing for the out when the in appears. Not missing the in when the out comes once again.

  7. Dawn says:

    I love love LOVE my alone time, when I can get it. Now that husband is retired it’s a pretty rare thing. I never know what to do with it and don’t want to waste it…but often do! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, I have heard that comment before about retired husbands. 🙂 Perhaps “wasting” our alone time can also be a gift. To surrender to being completely unstructured and just letting ourselves play and dabble where we may. (I am talking mostly to myself with this comment. Reminding myself it IS OK to play and dabble.)

  8. Elisa's Spot says:

    All I can think are boundaries and identification of place. Oh, and choice!

    Maybe it’s just time for me to dance for a while again.

  9. flandrumhill says:

    Kathy, you’re never alone when others are carrying you in their hearts.

  10. I LOOOOVE my alone time! I don’t get nearly enough of it, thanks to hubby working from home much too often (and being home right now for at least a week or two after his surgery yesterday). That’s why I get up early – tired or not – to ensure that I get at least one little quiet hour to myself.
    Oh, and tempertures like the ones you’re having right now, would make me happy, too! You described your chilly morning beautifully.

    • Kathy says:

      Hopefully your hubby is feeling better soon after his surgery. We have B’s surgery to look forward to it early October. Getting up early for alone-time is such a gift we can give ourselves. I am glad you do that for you.

  11. Brenda Hardie says:

    I love alone time….especially spent outdoors, but then I am really not alone. We are never really totally alone.
    The picture of the fellow who greets you at the wood stove is wonderful! I can’t stop looking at it. It brings a feeling of warmth (yep I said that) and safety. But on the other hand it makes me wonder what you are burning in that wood stove 😀 Honestly I love the photo!
    And I have to admit that while I love the summer time, it is very refreshing when fall comes around. The colors of the leaves, and the fragrance, the scurrying of the critters as they stock up on supplies before winter sets in, and just a feeling of “nesting”.
    My tomatoes are calling to me too 🙂 .

    • Kathy says:

      Brenda, see my first reply to Holly to hear who the woodstove fella really is. And you are oh-so-right. We are NEVER alone! Loving that feeling of nesting, too, although methinks the tomatoes can just about stop their production any day now. lol!

      • Brenda Hardie says:

        That’s awesome Kathy! I just read your explanation about the woodstove fella 🙂 You are lucky to have such a wise watcher over your stove.
        My tomatoes are all sitting in a paper bag, ripening. Had to pick them all when we had the 2 nights of hard freeze temps 😦 Pretty much everything is wilted now…a few of the flowers made it through, but even they look pretty sad.

        • Kathy says:

          Brenda, although most people in our area have had a hard freeze, we haven’t yet. We’re close to the lake, so it actually acts as a mitigating force and we avoid frosts long after the inland folks. Hope your tomatoes ripen happily.

  12. Colleen says:

    Kathy, reading this, I feel happy too. And will remember to stay close to what arises today, that life is a beautiful gift. I appreciate and honor your fire fellow, he radiates wisdom, in his regal ceremonial garb, feathers and all. My imagination?

    Thank you 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Not your imagination at all, Colleen! Good guess. 🙂 Please see my reply to Holly to hear what the photo is. I suspect you shall not be surprised at all. Glad you feel happy…or felt happy…or shall feel happy soon again. Thank YOU for stopping by.

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