Nothing Much

Good morning! It's 4:25am and the birds are singing aggressively. That's right, aggressively. Birds. The birds are SINGING and the sun is on the horizon. Mrs. G. isn't going to lie. Sometimes she hates birds with all their forced cheerfulness. She wants to scream at them to give it a rest. But then she remembers how they charmingly bookend her days and nights and she feels guilty like the Catholic she used to be. Catholicism. It's for the birds. Oh don't go there. Mrs. G. is earnestly kidding.

And the neighbors. Their suspicions would be confirmed if they heard her bawling out the birds.

Mrs. G. woke up too early because last night she tucked into the gin, and she hasn't tucked into the gin in many, many months. It's been many hours since her last drink but when she drinks, Mrs. G. wants to talk. She wants to talk about everything and Mr. G. takes it for as long as he can take it and then he goes to bed. Where are all of you when she needs you? Oh that's right, you're tucked in bed with clean cotton sheets and a fluffy pillow, sleeping. Mrs. G. is right behind you.

Things Mrs. G. considered writing about:

The one year she was a cheerleader because her school, Blessed Sacrament, put out an open call to every girl. All you had to do to join the team was buy the uniform and knee-hi socks. It was great! 

That's all she can think of because she's sleep deprived. And scared of revealing stories like the one where she is wearing the underwear in her rotation that is two sizes too small. Underwear of hope and desperation she might call it if she were writing about it. Why yes. Today is laundry day. 

That's all that she's got. She knows it's not much.

She was lying in bed last night wondering where all of you are from. You lurkers that is. Everyone actually. So where are you from? It only seems right and just to give up this information. Will you share it? Mrs. G. shared her underwear of hope and desperation. Give it up. Where are you from?

Night all.

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Reader Comments (127)

I live in Suburban Orlando but I am visiting my Mom in Massachusetts. That's where I am physically.

I am also living in the stage of life where Mom and mother-in-law are in their 80's and hoo-boy, that might just be worse than when I had 2 toddlers.
They are both so freaking set in their ways. They are both an accident waiting to happen. We just got the MIL into assisted living and I give my Mom about 2 more years and she'll be there too.

I also have my 29 year old son living with us, but that is too long a story to even begin.
Don't even get me started on my husband's job that he used to LOVE but has become unbearable in the last 4 months.

Every day I tell myself that I am blessed and my life is so much easier than some people with REALLY hard problems. I just Breathe.

Oh, I'm sorry. I thought this was the Confessional :-)

As you may have guessed, I'm from Maine. And we are Facebook friends. And I love you. :)

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRachel from Maine

I haven't tucked into the gin in a long time myself. Hm...

We're having a party today for Kai's 14th birthday. Good god, where did that time go? Trying to keep it simple with a cookout and swimming. Trying not to have too much food, but I know we will go overboard. I realized this when I was frosting 24 gluten-free chocolate cupcakes this morning AND a strawberry sheet cake. We've invited a total of 16 people. Everyone gets cake whether they want it or not.

I'm sleeping in tomorrow.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

I live in the Denver suburbs, but am originally from the FL panhandle, aka the Redneck Riviera. I'll take mountain views over gators in the yard any day!

Also, Underwear of Hope and Desperation would make a great band name, but they would have to be a Weird Al Yankovic meets Thelma and Louise kind of thing.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJenC

I think you know I'm from Richmond, Virginia. Actually, about 20 miles North of Richmond. We moved to the city from New Bern, N.C. when I was 6 or 7. We lived in a big, old white house on Patterson Avenue, which I will always think of as my childhood home, even though we had moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan by the time I was 10, and a Jewish Temple now resides in the place where our white-columned house once sat.

What else can I tell you about Richmond? We're the third most tattooed city in America. Growing up here, I learned to tell the difference between the good ol' boy Richmond accent and the my-family-has-lived-here-for-generations Richmond accent as well as the we-moved-here-from-up-North-but-want-desperately-to-belong accent. I am a master at each of them.

I like birds and can also be aggressively cheerful. But only after my cup of *black, please* morning coffee. I am presently waiting for my only pair of jeans that fits these days to come out of the wash. Meanwhile, I'm wearing my red flannel dog print Nick and Nora pajama bottoms. Old Richmond would be scandalized.

Love you Mrs. G. Have a great weekend!

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

I grew up in Utah. Spent a few years in Seattle as an adult. Moved to the suburbs of North Carolina a few years back. Just barely moved to Raleigh where we are empty nesters living in an apartment while my husband goes back to school to pursue a PhD. Everyplace I've lived has been a lot of fun, but I think I like this latest situation the best.I love all the different people and the abundance of fabulous restaurants.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjennyinnc

I grew up in Northern NJ, a proud Jersey girl complete with mangled vowels, a verbal affliction I managed to shed during my college years in a different state.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersuburbancorrespondent

Northeast Ohio here. And I hope you get to take a wee nap later today!

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermarty

Grew up in small town Australia. Lived in the capital Canberra for 24 yrs. Living in Vienna Austria for the past 8 years.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPenny

I've never posted anything before but I really enjoy reading everyone elses posts. I've been following Derfwad Manor for a long time now. I'm from Edmonton, Alberta.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJD

"Where are you from?" That's the dreaded question for military kids. I grew up in a military family and then married a military guy. He retired from the AF last summer. His new job required a move to the Chicago suburbs. (We unwittingly picked the 4th snobbiest mid-sized city in America .)
After bouncing around my whole life, I am now in a place where I will potentially live for the next 20 years. It feels strange. Both of my parents grew up in this area and my husband not too far away. We have lots of family here. For the first time in my life, I live close to extended family. I am alternately thrilled and terrified by that prospect. It will take some adjusting to, that's for sure.
(I should mention that it was always the plan for us to move to the PNW when he retired from the AF. It was not to be, and a large part of me is still mourning the mountains and the ocean and the green and the seafood and ...)

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIrishJenn

Here in sunny Sarasota, Florida raising a 15 yr old son and an 82 yr old mother.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

Originally from Ft. Lauderdale but have bounced around, including a few years in Australia, and now am back on the west coast of Florida. I grew up in one house and my kids have lived in at least nine. Two are off at college and after getting divorced and finding an amazingly great guy who unfortunately lives 3.5 hours away on the east coast of Florida near Daytona, I see another move in my near future.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLynne

Dixon, Illinois here; Ronald Reagan's birthplace. Born in Kansas City, Kansas. I have been a lurker for several years now. I love your Dames of the Northwest. I think you don't give yourself nearly enough credit for all that you do! I would love to give you a big hug and many many pats on the back.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterScherrie Uhlig

Well, it's Summer Solstice and as the sun sets people dressed in white will gather on the footbridge on the bayou up the street for St. John's Eve head washing, a major holy voodoo day - so I think you can guess where I live (if I haven't mentioned it enough in past comments). Now, off to a local bakery that's having an open house to show off their kitchen and get complimentary coffee and pastries. Yummm.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenternaomi d

Currently living in the western suburbs of Denver in a neighborhood quiet and serene. I was awake last night, too. At 1:46 AM I tossed and turned, listening to coyotes yip in a nearby open space and a train horn shrieking in the darkness. The tracks are located more than a mile away yet it sounded like it was chugging along the closest main thoroughfare.

Originally, however, I was born in Paterson, New Jersey, until my parents whisked me away to Colorado at age one.

Try not to be jealous of that Paterson, New Jersey thing.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDATdeborah

Cincinnati, Ohio - deep in the Heartland. Born and raised here. Penny, I've got relatives in Canberra. One of these days I'm going to stop spending money on all those pesky essentials and go visit them.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBriget

I've always lived in Oregon and can't imagine ever wanting to live anywhere other than the PNW. I was born in Southern Oregon, moved to Portland when I was 4, and lived there until I was 23 and moved down to Southern Oregon to go to college. Met my husband from outside of a tiny town in the Willamette Valley, he moved down to live with me while I finished school, had a baby, and then moved back up to the Willamette Valley. Living in SO had ruined me for larger cities and I couldn't stand the idea of moving back to Portland. I think my husband might have died if we had as living in a city at all, even a smaller one, is extremely difficult for him. Lived in smaller, somewhat conservative, lots of religion town to be near my parents for almost 4yrs and could barely stand it. We had no friends. So finally we settled 4.5yrs ago into a very small logging and agricultural based town that nestles in the Eastern side of the base of the Coast Range. After living my extremely liberal and very artsy Portland and S.O. life I was afraid that we would never fit in to this small town that we had fallen in love with. Instead we found a surprisingly diverse range of people with an astonishing large (for it's population, we have fewer than 2,000 in town limits) group of artsy liberals. And for the first time since leaving the house I grew up in in Portland, we have a Home not just a living space. Unless our little town totally implodes neither of us can imagine ever living anywhere else.

And so right now I am drinking my coffee and directing my children in their preparations to stay the night with my parents. I anticipate nearly 24hrs of blissful quiet in my Home but as it's nice outside the reality will likely be hours of listening to neighbors mow lawns and barbecues that get louder as people's alcohol intake increases. I will not however have to listen to hours of questions and sibling infighting and that will be quiet.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHeather in Oregon

I live in a small town near a beautiful river city in the Canadian prairies, named Saskatoon. (The name of the province I live in is Saskatchewan. Quite a mouthful when you say them both!) The city name is not to be confused with the delicious wild saskatoon berry that grows abundantly in this area. Yes, we often have brutal winters, but our summers are glorious. (Except when we have endless days of rain.) Last night I was awake for several hours due to the Grey Goose vodka I consumed while out for supper with friends. We need to form a 2:00 a.m. club.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEllie

Well this is wonderful.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermrs. g.

You know where I live.
(It sounds like I'm threatening myself)

Please a) get some sleep but also b) keep writing because I want to read it and I'll be motivated to get my writing going again and c) plan time to meet up so we can drink & talk together.


June 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie (bad mom)

I grew up in northern New Jersey, and am now living the city life in Manhattan. I hope your son liked his first year at school here. Hoping you'll come to visit, Mrs. G! My couch awaits!

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArli

NE Kansas - in the same home I grew up in. Queen of poor decisions, I moved back to take care of my mother, and I didn't have a good exit strategy. Now she is gone, and I am basically stuck. Yesterday a young neighbor told me that I am his best friend. Kinda' scared both of us. He is reforming his ways, and cannot hang with the young people. (I am old enough to be his grandmother.) Meanwhile, I practice my hermit skills, as I have nearly nothing in common w/neighbors. And Mrs. G.? If/when you decide to do another cross country adventure, I'm not far off of the main east/west interstate, and would love to have you here for a visit.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteranother sue

Grew up in rural, mountainous Colorado, moved to NM for the first round of schooling and the Washington DC for university and a few extra years tacked on. I've done a semester abroad in Hungary, spent a summer living in Boston, but came home to Denver -- mid-sized city with all the amenities and none of the drawbacks of a really large city. I rarely leave my neighborhood. I'll be here forever, albeit with international and national excursions, because I love to travel.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterilyanna

I live in Tacoma,Wa and really do love it! I've lived in Kirkland and West Seattle as well. I'm originally from Los Angeles and sometimes get a bit homesick for the weather:) Get some rest today!

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

I really don't mean to just "lurk" - I just never think of anything clever to say! I'm originally from a small town in southeast Iowa, lived a short while in Minnesota and returned to Iowa - Iowa City, Iowa to be exact (all our creatvity went into the name). Very much enjoy reading your blog! Thank you.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChar

I live in Snohomish County WA. Whenever you are ginned up and talky, let me know- one of my favorite things in the world is to drink beer and chat... don't get to do it nearly as frequently as 15 or so yrs ago, before kids and (current) husband. :)

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Also, I had to go buy new underwear the other day because my too small underwear was SO too small it was rolling down continuously. Sad. But it's where I'm at.
My daughter was rolling on the floor of Target while I tried to decide just how big I'd gotten/how frumpy did I have to go, whining "this is BOOOOOORING". A wise lady stopped her and told her "only boring people get bored". In this age of mind your own beeswax, some people would probably have been annoyed at somebody telling their kid that. I loved it. She was quiet for just long enough after that that I could resign myself to the least objectionable choice.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

North central Indiana. I have lived here my entire life. We recently built a house on my husband's family's farm. My inlaws are directly across the road and my parents live about 10 minutes away. Both sets if parents are a huge help with the kids (5 yr old boy and 6 month old girl) and we're close enough to help them as they're getting older. They range in age from 63 to 70 and are still mobile and mentally with it.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAuntjone

Enumclaw, Washington. Yes I know.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBetsy

Originally from southern Ontario -Richmond Hill, just north of Toronto. And it used to be a small town. Now it feels like a large extension of Toronto. I currently live in Calgary Alberta, which I love. Especially since we have started to act like a real live city,instead of a bastion of red necked, small minded mostly male conservatives. We still have them, but they are slowly being outnumbered by a more liberal minded, accepting and diverse population. And we have the coolest mayor. Naheed Nenshi. Try googling him - he's Mancake in a different way.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMomwhoknits

I tell people now that I grew up in Sopranos country. My father had a construction firm in the 70s and lots of people, places, and things about the Sopranos are familiar to me. One reference made mention of a restaurant where my father knew the owners and every time we went there, the hostess brought me into the kitchen to look at the lobster tank. Pal's Cabin. It still exists after all this time...

After my father died (unrelated to the construction business, just so we're clear), my mother moved us to comparatively genteel Connecticut to be near her family. I too escaped Jersey without an accent, although my kids laugh at the way I say AHHrange instead of OHRange.

I am most definitely a mix of that grittness and the sailing set. It's weird sometimes.

This fall will mark thirty years since I came up to Boston for college. The CITGO sign tells me I'm home.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisse

Born in NC. Raised in VA near the coast. Now living in the VA mtns and loving it.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter1Les

Northern CA, here. I grew up on the peninsula in the Bay Area. 25 years ago, we moved inland to Roseville and raised our kids. 9 months ago we sold our house, I retired, and we are renting a house in a retirement community in Lincoln, CA. It's quiet but I have my 84 yo mother, her insane husband, our daughter and her family, which includes my 2 yo grandson, all of whom live 15 minutes away to keep me busy.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeeAnn

I never say exactly where I live in Southern California but lots of people visit my small town for wine and pastries.

Our morning birds get going a little later than yours, shortly before 5 am. They drive me crazy! The morning doves' who-who-whooing echos throughout the neighborhood like the twilight bark.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSmalltown Me

I grew up in Northern NJ and still live here. Although in a different town, I'm still just a few miles from NYC. I love the town we're in but wish my house was different. I live here with my husband and my 18 year old son. I had hoped my son would go away to college so we could move but he has decided to go to the community college. I'll get over it. Someday I'll move and probably take my parents with me. Maybe South Carolina or Georgia?

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjean

I was born and grew up in Northern NJ, now living just outside Denver, CO.

I like it here.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTC

I bounced around the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard for the first 20 years - Pittsburgh, Philly, Chicago, Cincinnati, New Jersey. Then after college in Ohio, I lived in Manhattan for four years, then moved to Seattle, where I lived for 18 years. Now in LA.

Today is my son's 26th birthday!

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Snow

I used to be in Atlanta for a long time… I am in the mountains of Western North Carolina near the small town of Cashiers.. it is beautiful …full of people escaping the heat of Florida..for the summer.. I will be here for the summer in the early fall we head to Tucson, Arizona to spend the winter excited to be out West

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkaren

Born in Seattle, grew up in Eugene OR. VERY identified with the NW and specifically Seattle... but needed much education. After many locales for school/other (St Paul/Minneapolis, Rochester NY, Dallas TX, back to MSP, Seattle, and Raleigh NC), I made it back to Seattle several years ago. Then I messed it up by opening a business in Tacoma and ultimately needed to move down there.

Fortunately, after my reluctance to "let go" of Seattle, I have found many good things in the Tacoma area. Including my partial water/Olympics view (through power lines, but still awfully nice).

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Sarah, I wonder if we ever crossed paths. I went to college in Eugene and moved to Seattle from Cary, NC.

It is great to read everyone's stories

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermrs.g.

I was born and raised in Denver (Englewood, actually). I lived in Port Townsend, WA for 2.5 years, then Iceland for 3 years, then back to Denver (real Denver). I've been back since 1991. I love it here, but if I live to be old, I might go back to Port Townsend. It's one of the places old hippies go to die. :)

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy

I was born in Abilene, TX. Dad was in the USAF and we moved to Lakenheath, England, when I was 15 months old. When I was 4, Dad left the Air Force and we moved to Champaign, IL. I moved to Los Angeles all on my own when I was 22, then back to Champaign 18 months later. Did time in Carbondale, Streator, and Bloomington, IL, while married, then moved back to Champaign when The X divorced me in 2003. Four years ago, I moved to Lincoln, NE, to attend the University of Nebraska and be closer to the love of my life. I've graduated, I'm looking for a job, and that relationship is over. I don't want to leave Nebraska but if a job doesn't happen soon I will start looking in the Chicago area.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterViolet

I was born in Abilene, TX. Dad was in the USAF and we moved to Lakenheath, England, when I was 15 months old. When I was 4, Dad left the Air Force and we moved to Champaign, IL. I moved to Los Angeles all on my own when I was 22, then back to Champaign 18 months later. Did time in Carbondale, Streator, and Bloomington, IL, while married, then moved back to Champaign when The X divorced me in 2003. Four years ago, I moved to Lincoln, NE, to attend the University of Nebraska and be closer to the love of my life. I've graduated, I'm looking for a job, and that relationship is over. I don't want to leave Nebraska but if a job doesn't happen soon I will start looking in the Chicago area.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterViolet

I'm from Chicago, and live there still, despite stints in other parts of the country. I miss the lake when I'm away from it too long..... We are with you, Mrs. G. Add some tonic and a lime slice to the gin, and let's find a porch swing.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGwyn

I grew up in Portland, OR and now live in Beaverton, just a few block out of Portland. I have never lived any place else because I love it here!

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHeather#4

I grew up in the middle of nowhere Mid-Michigan. Lived in suburban Hotlanta for 14 years. Then moved back to Michigan but now on the sunset coast. Well, not actually ON the coast but very close to it.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkellyg

I was born a little Hawaiian princess in Alaska ... no really, it's true. Adopted at birth, I was raised in Alaska by my parents who were in the FAA, which is kind of like the military life. My Dad managed airports for the government so we moved a LOT. He picked the best places to raise kids, I give him credit for the wonderful childhood we had and the gift of "adaptability". By the time we settled in lovely Stockton California ( yes that was sarcasm ) for my high school years, we had lived in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau Alaska, Wake Island, Guam, Honolulu, Toltec and Tempe Arizona. Finishing high school and working for the newspaper through my 20's in liberal Northern California, made me ill prepared for moving with my 1st husband and kids to Alabama when I was in my 30's. I only lasted a year before I ran back to California and the diversity I was used to. After remarrying years later, we moved up here to the PNW , way out here in Port Angeles , and in a lot of ways its as isolating as living on an island AND as culturally diverse as Alabama. So 7 years later the house is for sale and we are going back to Northern California, Roseville area for awhile. Hopefully I will get over my writers block of 5 years and get inspired to write the whole adoption story ... Maybe I will move to Hawaii :) Ohhhh hey ... maybe the Women's Colony can move to Kauai with me ?

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Your old stomping grounds... Cary, NC.

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersusan

well, you have been here: ITHACA! :) which is flippin' GORGEOUS now

June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGary Edward Rith

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