I started this post while sitting in the coziest corner in the cutest desert cabin in Joshua Tree, CA.  My daughter and I came for a long weekend, my Mothers Day present.  We stay at a different Air B&B each time we go to get ideas for the one we're building.  Still in the planning stages, it's current status is 2 acres of tumbleweeds and one lovely Joshua tree.  This was a dream of my husband's, to build vacation home/Air B&B. Onward we go!

When we arrived, (my daughter drove the second half of the trip), I got out of the passenger side and was immediately standing in front of this heart made of rocks.  This was something Mike and I would do.  We collected rocks everywhere we went and often made hearts with them around the house.  In fact this one looks exactly like the one we made for our save the date card to our wedding.  What a welcome!   Life is full of signs.  All you have to do is pay attention.  The purple sky was a bonus.  I like to think he painted it for me. 

That's my new Jeep.  I got it on April 30th.  April was the 2nd anniversary of Mikes death and our wedding anniversary month, so all and all not a great month emotionally, so I did a thing and traded in my little car for this pretty, plug in hybrid fun mobile!  I was hit with a tad of agism at the dealer.  The salesman loved the idea the jeep was for me, but when the finance manager came over he assumed it was for my daughter.  When I told him it was for me he looked like a deer in headlights.  I messed with him about jumping to the conclusion that a "woman of a certain age" wouldn't want a fun adventure vehicle.  I guarantee he'll never make that mistake again. HAHA

It was hard saying goodbye to my car.  It was hard when I sold Mike's car last year, but this was harder. This felt like I was abandoning a family member.  When Mike got sick I had to drive everywhere so he was always in that passenger seat and I felt like his DNA had permeated the seats.  It took me a few days not to be sad about it.  Happy for my new Jeep, Lady Wrangler, I love her, but very sad to say goodbye to Lady Coco. Yes, I name my cars.

A lot of people don't understand being both happy and sad at the same time, and living life while grieving.   My grief is always with me.  You can fill your time with work, projects, friends, hobbies, travel, etc.  And be as busy as you can be.  But guess what?  Grief will wait.  It will wait until you stop for lunch, it will wait until you get into bed at night, it will wait for you to be alone in the car or the shower.  It will just wait.  And you have to greet it, let it visit, and let it be.  When your partner dies there is a hole in you life and no matter how many wonderful things you try to fill it with there will always be a hole.  Maybe it's just supposed to be that way so that you always have space for them, in the hole, to store all the love and the memories. 

Grief is like an old friend now.  You know, the annoying kind that you can't get rid of even though you'd like to.  So if you asked me how I'm doing I may tell you I'm doing great, but my husband's still dead. 

Have you ever been to a place that is completely silent?  That's the desert.  Joshua Tree is all about the silence, the sunrises, sunsets, and the zillion stars that fill the night sky.  It's so quiet here.  The absolute best place to relax, there's something so magical about it.  At home my backyard is filled with vibrant color and the songs of so many birds and I can sit out there for hours.  In contrast this is the opposite.  I love both these worlds.  

Here are a few pictures from my few days of zen...

We both love to cook when we're here, simple but yummy.  The first picture is spaghetti with olive oil, lemon and parmesan.  Salad with lettuce from my garden, pine nuts, feta and an amazing peach balsamic from Ojai.  Second picture, creamy spinach artichoke dip in the making.  Bottom left, my high protein Mediterranean crunchy chick peas.  I'll share the recipe in my next post, it's so, so good!  And it wouldn't be us without a classic weekend tuna melt.
We tend to stick to this vibe, I guess you'd call it cowboy chic.
Sill life, blank canvas, and Penelope and Stella making themselves at home.
On Mother's Day, another sign.  I went out in the morning to take another picture of the heart rocks and right in the middle at the top was a penny.  Whenever I see a Penny at my feet I call them pennies from heaven.  You see my mothers name was Penny and I had just been thinking of her.  Watch for signs! :)

Wishing you a beautiful May!