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 |  July 29, 2013

You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.” ~Maya Angelou

This may be the longest break in writing in all the eight years I’ve had this blog. As I mentioned in a previous post sometimes there is just too much to process, too much that sews up the lips when words become inadequate. Even now, I wonder how to begin. I want to get back to my art and to writing and so here I go. I feel like life has been on hold since that fateful night in April when the flood filled our home with 3 feet of water.

And yet life actually has not been on hold. It’s been on fast forward, in fact. After living in a hotel and being displaced for over 6 weeks, we were forced to make some hard decisions. Hard decisions that brought a big move to our new home. In Maryland. Yep. Maryland. I wasn’t kidding when I said there were some more changes in the horizon.

magnolia

So this summer is a bit of a blur. It’s gone something like this: Move back into flooded home. Pack it all up again. Finish up kindergarten for my son. Travel back and forth between IL and MD to home search, home purchase, home inspection, home closing, etc. etc. Moving to Maryland. Living at my sisters while waiting for our stuff. Delay of stuff. Moving in. Unpacking. Settling in. A little bit of culture shock. Holy hot humidity. And general adjusting to our new life in a new town. I grew up in Maryland, but outside of D.C. We are now outside of Baltimore, which is foreign territory for me and it is so different here than Chicago. These days I am remembering how hard it was to adjust to Chicago when we moved there from Seattle. But I am holding fast to the thought that there is a reason for all of this and it will all become clear.

Hampden neighborhood, Baltimore, MD
exploring the Hampden neighborhood in Baltimore, MD

But among all the chaos, there are blessings. I now live really close to my sisters and my mom, who are really and truly are the people closest to my heart other than my husband and my children. We have a new home that is on a hill (less likely to flood)! We are currently renovating the space that sat on top of the garage into my studio. I cannot wait to get back to creating again. This has been the longest period where I haven’t been able to create. So, in that sense I still feel unsettled. My kids have been missing studio time too.

climbing tree
blessing: an awesome climbing tree in our front yard

appalachian trail
blessing: happy to be on the trail again, the Appalachian Trail

So here I find myself on the other side of a crossroad. We took a big step in an unexpected direction. Sometimes things happen where you find yourself at a point where you know that the decision you make will completely alter your path. And you just have to take a deep breath and say, here I am, I am going to make something out of all of this. Here I go. And then step forward.

Baltimore, MD

The task ahead of me now is to make this new place a home, to make our new house our home, to get our life back on track, to get back to artmaking, to get back to me. These past few months have been pretty tough. I am ready to start a new chapter. And ready for this blog to get back to recording what is happening in the studio.

The rest will be written as the story unfolds.

Home is a shelter from storms – all sorts of storms. ~William J. Bennett

27 Comments

  1. by nacherluver on July 29, 2013  11:32 pm Reply

    Wow! What a move!

    We had flooding this summer as well. My creative space as well as my children's bedrooms were seriously affected. Kids are still camping in the livingroom as we had to waterproof the basement and then take care of the mold/mildew that was left behind. Insurance didn't cover. Nightmare. Lost a lot. Still dealing.

    Love seeing that your flood created positive changes for you and yours. I'm sure there was much nightmare as well, but now you are close to family! All new adventures await you I'm sure. I recognize that giant flamingo from an episode of "Kitchen Nightmares!" love the pics of the kids enjoying their new surroundings. It will be fun to see how your art changes with your life and surrounding changes.

    Very happy for you.

    • by bridgette on July 31, 2013  9:35 pm Reply

      So sorry to hear that you had to deal with flooding as well. I hope your kids are doing ok dealing with losing their bedrooms and belongings. i hope you're ok! I kind of feel like unless you've been through it, it's hard to comprehend the loss and all the feelings of vulnerability that accompany it. I'm sorry. It was a nightmare through and through and even though I know it could have been worse, it still sucked to have to go through that and that my kids had to go through it as well.
      Yeah, apparently that place was on the show! I never saw the episode. Thank you for your support, I hope you're nightmare ends soon.

  2. by Joyce on July 29, 2013  11:33 pm Reply

    Wishing you luck in your new adventure. Missing your art.

    • by bridgette on July 31, 2013  9:36 pm Reply

      Thank you Joyce. I miss it too!

  3. by Kim Hambric on July 30, 2013  9:54 am Reply

    So many big and difficult steps forward. Too much lost but a new nest and studio to create. It is so good to be near family. Enjoy exploring your new city. I will actually be visiting Baltimore this weekend to meet up with my sister and her family -- Orioles game and the fantastic aquarium.

    I'm wondering if that wonderful tree will be featured in upcoming artwork.

    • by bridgette on July 31, 2013  9:37 pm Reply

      Thanks Kim. I know you've been through a big move yourself. Hope you are getting settled. Do you come to baltimore often? We should make plans to meet some time if so!

  4. by Roberta on July 30, 2013  10:46 am Reply

    Glad to see you back again. Things will fall into place eventually. I agree that being without the art is the worst. If you can manage to get back to that soon that will feel good I am sure.

    • by bridgette on July 31, 2013  9:39 pm Reply

      Thanks Roberta. I can't wait to have a space to create again- physical, mental and emotional.

  5. by Ruth Armitage on July 30, 2013  12:21 pm Reply

    Blessings to you in your new locale! You definitely carry your home in your heart, always. Looking forward to exciting new things from your new studio!

    • by bridgette on July 31, 2013  9:42 pm Reply

      Thank you Ruth. I'm learning that lesson for sure- that home is in my heart. Something that has always seemed so elusive to me...
      I'm looking forward to it too!

  6. by Jen Worden on July 30, 2013  12:50 pm Reply

    urg. such a rough few months you've had. (((Bri)))
    but. good on ya for recognizing what was is not where you wanted to be and changing it. takes courage and foresight and faith. kudos to you for leaping. the rest? will take care of itself. xo

    • by bridgette on July 31, 2013  9:45 pm Reply

      thanks jen, yeah it's been probably the most trying couple of months in my life and that is saying quite a bit! One thing that I've learned about myself is that I'm actually really good at dealing with crisis, but not so much with everyday. Working on that. ;)
      Thanks for your encouragement. xo

  7. by Judy Shreve on July 30, 2013  4:11 pm Reply

    You have been through so many changes in such a short amount of time -whew! It's rough enough when it's just you and that happens - but you have kept your family together and your children happy and put aside your art making! Amazing Woman Award!! Seriously I think things fall apart and the universe spins us out in a totally new direction for a reason - you and your family and your art will be stronger for it. Now you have family close and a new studio - can't wait to see what you create from this chaos. Hope nothing but happy days are heading your way!

    • by bridgette on July 31, 2013  9:49 pm Reply

      Thank you again Judy. Having a bit of a hard time adjusting here a bit, but I keep thinking that there is a reason for all this, as you said. I did learn what my little family is made of and I have to say that I'm really proud of us. We made it through! Thank you so much for your understanding of the situation and for your encouragement. It really means a lot.

  8. by marymccloskey on July 30, 2013  5:57 pm Reply

    Bridgette,
    You are one brave woman. I have so missed reading your blog--it's a real inspiration for me. Happy that you are in a new place and soon will be back to your artwork. All best wishes on this new adventure.

    • by bridgette on July 31, 2013  9:51 pm Reply

      Thank you Mary. Not really brave, just crazy. :)
      I thought of you when i was leaving and sad that our chances of meeting up again are less likely...and yet maybe not! I hope out paths will cross again. Let's keep in touch for sure!

  9. by Carol on July 30, 2013  8:31 pm Reply

    Strongly believe things happen for a reason even if we're not sure what that is. Best of luck in your new home and studio. So much behind you....so much ahead!

    • by bridgette on July 31, 2013  9:52 pm Reply

      thank you carol! I like how you put it- I think I'm going to write that down and put it on my fridge to see every morning when things seem difficult. Thanks so much for the encouragement.

  10. by Kathryn on July 30, 2013  9:06 pm Reply

    I know how stressful moving home can be and you've had the added struggle of a flooded home. Be sure to give yourself time. Time to adjust, to breathe, to get used to a new neighborhood and your new space. Hopefully having family close by will make the transition a little easier. Wishing you all the best . . . and remember not to be so hard on yourself. Take your time and we'll all still be here once you get back into a rhythm.

    • by bridgette on July 31, 2013  9:56 pm Reply

      Thank you Kathryn for your understanding. We have moved several times and this has been the hardest move of them all. I think because it just felt like it was going on forever and living out of luggage and surrounded by boxes for months. Thank you for the reminder to take it easy. I sometimes forget that

  11. by tangled sky studio on July 30, 2013  11:00 pm Reply

    we are six weeks into the full circle move (back to where i came from) and i so totally get where you are at...it is a familiar yet raw and unexpected place that requires patience and the ability to be open to surprises and happiness and appreciation for all that we've gathered other places and carry with us. i too am closer to my mom and sister and all things hilly and green and as much as i love and miss chicago i truly feel like i'm home now. hopefully the same will be true for you and we will both begin to create soon.

    xx

    • by bridgette on July 31, 2013  10:00 pm Reply

      Oh beth! How I have thought about you so many times these past 6 months since we sold our house in Chicago and then moved to glenview then moved to MD! I know you have been through many moves yourself and doing it with kids too.....I don't know how you dealt with it all in the day to day, but I have to admit that I would think of you and it would be like beacon. I don't know if that makes any sense, but I felt that it would all be ok. For both of us. It's hilly here too and green!
      xo

  12. by windrock studio on July 31, 2013  6:17 pm Reply

    So happy to hear that you've finally landed! Quite a bit of surprises in your world and alot of adjustments to make but how terrific that you're near your mom & sisters. It will be such a thrill to see what comes of all this for you, your art and your family. All the very best ... now take a nap!

  13. by bridgette on July 31, 2013  10:02 pm Reply

    We'll see what comes next! Thank you for your encouragement. I took an involuntary nap already- I fell asleep when I was putting my son to bed. ha!

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