When I am here, I am the person that I believe I am supposed to be.

My entire system relaxes.

I have friends here who only know me as Suzanne; not E,B and R’s mother, or Suzanne from Zuma, or T’s ex-wife or the gal having the nervous breakdown.

I feel loved by the earth.

It’s been a long time. I’ve been through and camped nearby and done some running, but I have not come to town to hang.

Not since I publicly humiliated myself here about 8 years ago.

So when I came down the hill into town I had to say out loud, “I’m here.”

“I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.”

I pulled into the Lodge and without going into my room or getting any of my stuff, I walked to the river and sat, for two hours.

Then I went to the cemetery and sat at my friend’s grave.

Down to the river to write. And next? Either a hot tub or the Navajo fair – I haven’t decided which comes first.

All week I have cried in the soup. I have lain on the kitchen floor with countless people holding me while I sob uncontrollably.

I have been to a therapist. I have had some Chi Gong. I’ve had bloodwork done and I have been prescribed a sedative hoping that it will help my stomach to stop eating itself from the inside out.

In other words, I have been in a really scary place.

Then I had this image of this really simple world that feels like home and I knew the best thing I could do was to get myself here.

I told the owners, “I am here to have a nervous breakdown. As you know, I’ve done this here before.”

The owners said, “Honey, get in line. We’re all having them.”

I have written more this afternoon than I have in months.

The red sand in my toes reminded me that I am an earth woman and I am solid and grounded and powerful.

Watching the sands shift underwater while the river flowed over them brought peace through beauty.

I’m still not healed or whole. Maybe not even well. But in returning to my sanctuary, I have regained a tiny smidge of me.


the GIANT plug in my nostril

What they do tell you when you get your nose pierced:

Sure it hurts, but look at me, I have 13 piercings in my nose, it can’t be that bad. It’s going to feel like plucking 3 or 4 nose hairs out at the same time.

Great analogy, maybe, but since I am a woman, I’ve never had a wayward nose hair that needs to be forcibly removed.

He also said, it will make your eyes water.

What they don’t tell you when you get a nine inch nail driven through the very most tender part of your face:

Your eye will scrunch up and pour liquid and you won’t be able to open it for 20 minutes.

It hurts like someone shot an icepick into your body – because basically, they did.

Your entire face will throb for…going on 20 hours with no sign of relenting.

Your teeth will feel like they’ve been knocked loose.

And, worst of all, you will feel like you have a dangling booger and when you unconsciously try to remedy the situation, you will be forced to remember that you have done something self-destructive to your body and you might think that pulling off your fingernails with a pair of pliers might hurt less.

When friends “appear” just when you need them

Packing. Boxing. Labeling.

Even though I keep moving and keep clearing out shit, I still have more. And I have so much that sometimes I don’t know if something is mine or someone else’s.

Today as I attacked the bookshelves and sorted piles of his and mine I came across this:

I asked myself, “Is this one mine or his?”

Then I opened it up and saw this:

Apparently it’s neither of ours.

Thanks for showing up and bringing a smile to my face today Nancy.

Do you want it back?


spoken like a true man

My son just relayed a comment from a conversation to me that he participated in recently over espresso:

men’s groups, self exploration, trainings, transformation, emotional intelligence, etc.

The wisest man I know said, “Why are all of these men sitting around talking about what it means to be a man, what don’t they just….be men?”



In the process of sorting through, tossing out, and packing up, I’ve come across a few gems that I had forgotten existed.

I found my boys’ braids from their first haircuts (at age 5.) They were in a box with their baby quilts that I made for each of them, and the lobster raincoat and the yellow dress.

My childhood teddy bear, Bear, was in there.

Then, under a few layers of child paraphernalia, I came across this:

It doesn’t really look like much – but it is a treasure.

This green hoodie was Mike’s. It has been tucked away in a box for almost 20 years. I had totally forgotten that it existed.

It still smells like 2 stroke oil from his chainsaw – the smell of all of his things in Alaska.

When I got a whiff of the sweatshirt today I got a whiff of him.

I wore it all day.

And carried around Bear.

Handling this like a champ.



packing for the move


I hate this.

I’m excited and all to move into a beautiful place that’s only mine and has killer views and lots of quiet.

And I am trying to keep my morale up and not dwell on the fact that instead of the desert, I am moving to a higher elevation; 300 feet higher, which, around here means something – more snow.

But the reality is, I don’t want to be doing this. I loved my life. Loved what we had created. I was happy with our home, the animals, the beauty and solitude. My children. Him.

And I am tired of seeing him drive by or come down to the ranch for one reason or another (like feeding the animals or slaughtering a pig.) I am tired of driving past all of the people and places that were “ours.” It’s painful.

The kids officially moved out yesterday. We all know that it doesn’t mean that they are gone – they’ll still be around, but it won’t be the same. They don’t have what they consider “home” to return to. They don’t have bedrooms – or even beds for that matter.

Me living alone and the kids out there in the world on their own is a good thing – inevitable – but it feels rushed and forced. This is not happening organically – it’s happening because of someone else’s choices and it frightens me that it is happening too fast, without a firm foundation underneath all of us.

Every box I tape together is a reminder of all that I am losing. All that I have lost.

I’m trying to believe that I am not running away to the boondocks, but running to peace and serenity.

But right now, I am sadly picking apart a life that I spent years putting together.

This is hard.

I wouldn’t say this was entirely accurate, but…

This popped up on FB with a title that said “Zodiacs and how desperate they are for a relationship.”


You’ve always been the person that everyone thought was going to get married right out of college, but that’s not what happened, and now you really, really want it to happen. You’ve always been in long-term committed relationships, random hookups have never been your thing, and as warm and people-oriented as you are, you hate the ‘modern dating scene’ as you call it. You want nothing more than to fall in love right now, take yourself off the market, and never have to worry about being single ever again.

I don’t “really really” want it to happen – not right now, that’s for sure.

I do hate the ‘modern dating scene.’ When I was partnered, I thanked my lucky stars that I would never ever experience on-line dating.

Shitdamn. I’m still pretty sure that if and when I end up with someone, it will not be through the world wide web. I just deleted over 1,000 unread emails, and I never ever return phone calls. Do you think that meeting people through the internet and having to respond to them is really going to happen?

I have always been in long term committed relationships – or I thought I was until I found out that I was the only one viewing it that way.

I do NOT want to fall in love right now, but do you want to know what I DO want?

I want a kiss; a sexy seductive sultry surprise kiss. I want some handsome stranger to find me irresistible enough to lay his lips on mine, but not so  irresistible that he actually wants a relationship.

Obviously not a random hook-up – Taureans don’t like those.

Just a little thrill, a reason to take a shower.

a metaphor…not

For our honeymoon, my ex and a friend and I went to Bolivia to climb this 20,000 ft. peak:

It was my first big mountain and my first time above 14,000 ft. My pack weighed 200 tons and I felt my back compress with every oxygen starved step.

blah blah blah

I was starting into this long, metaphorical, diatribe about yawning crevasses and my life…


Because after looking at Google Images of the peak all I can think is, “I climbed that shit.”



When I was suffering grossly somewhere around 19,000 feet, I groaned, “I’m not having any fun.”

The companion who wasn’t the husband looked me in the eye and said, “Oh no, it’s not fun. Not while you’re doing it. What’s fun is having done it.”