I started this blog in fall of 2011, just as I was coming "Home Again," to the home I was born and raised in, after nearly 40 years of living elsewhere. I came, with the help of my husband, Paul Beauvais, to buy my father's house so Dad could come home to it once or twice a week from Assisted Living. The move didn't help our retirement funds, but it sure created wonderful moments for the last eight years of Dad's life. When he died, just days after his 94th birthday this past March, I felt saddened of course, but deeply at peace for what we had accomplished. Together, we three had really learned to "number our days." I learned about Dad, about us, about dementia, and about aging in America, and I am grateful for those days. 

In the following months, there was a memorial service to plan and execute with a bagpiper and military funeral honors (which Dad had asked for) by two soldiers from Wright Patterson AFB and
Sippo Lake in autumn
a 21 gun salute by our local VFW. Although we held off till the end of April, the small crowd of us at the cemetery had to stand under a small white tent as freezing rain fell, fairly miserable conditions. I know Dad would have said what he always said when you were stuck with a bad situation: "What are you gonna do?" (Go on.) We had the military honors, the 23rd Psalm, the bagpipe, "Amazing Grace." Several people said afterward it was the most moving memorial they had been through. Go figure. 

Afterwards, we went to Sippo Lake, where
Dad had put in so much recreational time, skating and hiking with us as children, and so much volunteer time with the neighbors. At the Marina clubhouse, we had the "bereavement dinner," of Dad's dreams including many many pies home-baked by friends and family. A lunch catered by a high school friend's business. Many people got up and spoke informally and warmly about Dad.

And then, as I've written in a poem recently: "I myself ask what I’ve done with the hours/I used to spend with you, weekly doctor visits/ before stopping for pie, the real event..." Summer seemed to go by so very fast, but then, it always does, like weekends. 

As a teacher for over 40 years, the new year always seems to begin in fall for me. So I am back planning two writing activities in Cleveland, preparing to be a poet in the schools-- heading off to see about first graders at Sandy Valley this week. I am back to sending poems out, being rejected at an amazing rate, and for the first time in ages, I am sending out my family musical, Talk to the Moon, getting requests for synopsis and scripts. (Anyone need a play to produce? Message me!)

This weekend, Paul and I went house hunting in Cleveland for the third time in our lives. We didn't find the house of our dreams yet. We never have because we don't have a dream house. We've made a home of wherever we have lighted-- which has been a lot of places. The term "real" estate just seems very humorous to me. (I've been laughing about real estate terms with my friend Peter who has been waiting nine months just to hear back on his bid to buy a place that is a "short sale." Hahahaha.) We plan to try again. Cleveland has more art museum and orchestra, more poetry readings and poets and writers. (And for Paul, the Beachland Ballroom, for starters.) Here we have woods and lake a short walk away, a well-built house small enough to care for, lower taxes and easy driving...except for all the driving to Cleveland. So we'll see where we are come winter.

Meanwhile, our front porch these days is beginning to look like the photo above that I took five years ago: the impatiens are played out, the mums are up, the pumpkins out. I see my reflection in the door, taking a picture of me taking a picture of my home....again.  

 But though I have learned to number my days, I hadn't gotten back to the blog till today. And if you thought I was getting ready to say that I am letting go of the blog, then, I I have to say, I am not. I am back, still "Home Again," wherever that is, trying to share here a few informal words in prose a few times a month about poems and homes. Again. 

 Teach us how to number our days


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