Melted Chocolates

Sunniest Flower


I am trying to find my way back to this place.  The path had become overgrown and full of weeds and I simply turned away, tired and dirty, to wait for the start of something new.  There is only a tiny clearing in the path now, but the light is changing and there is a bit of freshness in the air and it gives me hope to try again.  I’ll start easy, with thoughts of my summer.   

If a summer could be bipolar, this was it.  It was brimful of alternating cycles of good and not-so-good, all mixed up with days of hot temperatures and no rain.  Scientists in Boulder say that the ice in the Arctic has melted further this year than in any other year of recorded measure.   The heat here in Colorado broke records too.  Frankly, I am not suited for it.

Clara Mary

But the hot days of summer brought amazing joy in the form of a new granddaughter, Clara Mary, who is named for my mother’s mother and for my mother.  She arrived healthy and happy, a few weeks early but precisely on the third birthday of her sister Anna.  Exciting birthday parties ahead.  

Riding Square Top

Fourth of July was spent at our Lucky Dog Ranch, where my grandson Jacob took his first ATV ride and inched ever closer to walking the line as any young cowboy should do. 

Photo by John Baumchen

My granddaughter Anna leapt with zeal and maybe some faith as we spent hours together in the water.  It brought back memories of the times that my brothers and sister and I spent with my mother in the pool.  Mom, who was afraid of water and had never had a lesson in her life, taught all four of us to swim.

Early On

The Bounty

I shared a plot at the community garden again this summer.  Would you care for some zucchini bread?  It was hard and hot work this year but as it is when labor is over and the baby is sucking at momma’s breast, the harvest makes it all worth it. 

The flip side to these joys were the fires in Colorado, devastating, destructive and frightening disasters that consumed lives and took away resources that will never be regained.  And there was the highly unnatural disaster of a gunman in a dark theatre, a tragedy that was even more frightening and which shook the equilibrium of all. 

Double the Fun

A good part of my summer was spent in blazing hot Kansas City, where my mother continues her fight with advanced cancer.  With renewed connection, we four kids teamed up to help my mother and my father as her disease progressed.  We helped her to move into a caring facility about the time of she and my father’s 59th wedding anniversary.  We watched my father face the unknown and unhoped-for circumstance of being home alone.  Despite challenges and much sadness, many good things have come of this.  We prize the time we have with her and continue, daily, to admire her grace, dignity and strength. 

Forrest Gump said his momma always said that life is like a box of chocolates, that you never know what you are going to get.  This was a summer of very sweet and very bitter-to-the-taste sort of experiences.   I guess you might say I got caught with my mouth full, so stuffed by both the good and the bad that I simply had to stop and swallow.  I stayed away from the page for a while and missed the balance that I get from writing and the buzz I get from reading blogs and connecting with the fine people who write them.  I do know that I have a bad habit of withdrawing when the chocolates in the box go stale.  It’s good to try again, to reach right in and see what comes up.  And to remember, sooner or later, I’m bound to grab the chocolate covered cherry again. 

62 thoughts on “Melted Chocolates

  1. I’m so relieved you weren’t directly affected by the horrible events in your state this summer Stacia. It’s great to hear of new grandchildren and precious time with family. Those are the things that matter.
    Here’s hoping the rest of this year is less stressful.

    • Thank you B. I have read your posts and although I have not commented, wanted to say how much I am enjoying them. Now that I have broken my silence, you’ll see more of me there 🙂

  2. Dear Bella,
    So sorry for the difficulties, natural and family, that you have faced this summer and continue with. Good luck with them. Thank you for sharing the good and for letting us be your release for the hard!

  3. Sunflowers. Oh how I love sunflowers.
    I empathize with you and your summer. I’ve kept the people of Colorado in my thoughts through the fires and shooting. I am glad you had some wonderful family time with your Mom, Dad, and siblings. My summer was similar in that regard, as we gathered with my Uncle who is battling Alzheimers. I have a post in my head/heart waiting to share, but I’m just not ready yet.
    Thank you for sharing. Congrats on the newest addition to the family.

    • Thank you Lenore Diane…….those posts that percolate in our heart and minds for while are so often the best. But I know what you mean….I am not ready to share it all yet either.

  4. A lovely and poignant story–true and meaningful to all –especially grandmothers who are also still daughters. Visualizing your dad alone is sad.

  5. A wonderfully worded post, as usual. Your summer sounds like the proverbial mixed bag. So happy for the good times; thinking of you as far as your parents are concerned.
    Welcome back; we’ve missed you!

  6. You have been missed, and I hope you will again find comfort and enjoyment here in this shared corner with your fellow bloggers and readers. The difficult times help us better appreciate the true wonders of life, and you are on your way to forming many happy memories with your new granddaughter. Best wishes for a more even keel this fall.

  7. Love your blog & the wonderful photos…and I’m so very sorry to hear about your mother… Congrats on all of your wonderful grandchildren – you will certainly pass on all of your Mom’s valuable lessons!

  8. Congratulations on the birth of the new granddaughter. I hadn’t heard that, about the box of chocolates. Seems to me the variety is greater than what you’d find in a box of chocolates. A few hot peppers, and some onions to make you cry… but it is a grab bag full of surprises, and we do manage to digest most of it. Welcome back to blogging.

  9. Oh, I’m so very very sorry to hear about your mother. It’s a tough journey.

    Love love that shot of your granddaughter flinging herself into the water.

  10. Thanks for a beautifully written post Stacia. Great way to put life into perspective. You made me sit and think about my summer so far 🙂

  11. So glad to have you back. I was worried about you. Poignant post. I couldn’t help but think of the word “balance” as I read your post. A new life enters as an old one is readying for departure. And our emotions hang in the balance, too, as we try to balance our joy with our sorrow. Just wanted you to know I’m thinking about you, Stacia.

    • Thank you so much. I returned to my yoga class yesterday and found that my strength and flexibility were about the same but my balance was really off. It made me think about where I am right now. Getting back to blogging and to yoga class will both help my balance, surely. Good to see you again 🙂

  12. I thnk a lot of people took off or slowed down for the summer. It’s as it should be. Nature does the same. I hope there were precious times of rejuvenation as well as peeling away what wasn’t important. Take care of your heart. it’s good to see you again.

  13. I think Melted Chocolate is a PERFECT title for this post, and I also think that Clara Mary is a most beautiful name combination. The (heart) beats go on…:)

  14. Clara Mary is beautiful! Congratulations.

    My summer was similar to yours: full of painfully different emotions, with the joy of a new baby in the family but the struggle and tears of caregiving for my chronically ill mother.

    I am sorry to hear about your mother. Stay strong. Welcome back to blogging. You write so eloquently and poignantly.

  15. So glad to see you back, as I’d missed you and your wonderful posts. I’m sorry to hear about your mother, but happy for all the joys that are in your life. That seems to be the way of days, the balance of good and bad. I suppose the one helps you appreciate and savor the other. *hugs*

  16. Your post and pictures gave me a (warm) chill up my spine. That only happens when I’m deeply touched. Life and death, celebration and mourning, all seem to go together in that box of chocolates. THANK YOU for sharing so beautifully.

  17. It is nice to see you back in my inbox. I always feel I have hit the chocolate coated cherry when I see a submission from you. You did not disappoint. Thank you.

  18. Your writing has a way of reminding me to breathe in, and breathe out, slowly, savoring every moment, bitter or sweet. How blessed to have good moments to counter-balance those that are not. How sweet Clara Mary decided to share her sister’s birthday. Glad you’re back to visit with us. The garden bounty looks great.

  19. I lived in Colorado for over 15 years and I’m saddened by all of the destruction that has taken place there this summer. All of them are tragedies. I’m glad you enjoyed your family time, and I love the combining of names for the newest addition. I wish my name had more meaning to me, instead of being named after a soap opera character that my mom liked.

  20. What an intense summer. I’m glad you had so many happy moments with your family and I’m sorry you had to face your mom’s illness progressing. But it sounds like you have a great support system and I’m hoping the fall is less bipolar. 🙂

  21. So full a life does have its measure of every low and high point in abundance, and sometimes in overwhelming and swift succession. It’s a wonder you come through it all with the grace to say what’s in your heart so poetically as always. You are in my thoughts, Bellissima.

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