National Chicken Wing Day

Good Morning, Dad!

I had all intentions of writing yesterday, but it was national chicken wing day, and I was so busy being excited about my wing dinner, I forgot to write.  You know how much I love wings, so I’m sure you understand.

All is settling down here, dad.  I’m feeling a lot better.  I look at photos of you each night before bed, and I put a tiny bit of your ashes in a locket that I wear all the time.  It rests on my heart chakra….right where you belong.

I was sad for you to miss national chicken wing day, but I’m not sad for you to be missing most other news.  Jeeeesh.  The killing of Cecil the Lion is all I can bare.  Then add Donald Trump to it, and, well, the world feels terrible. I feel like I can write the news each day before things even happen.  Some awful shooting, some horrible presidential candidates (I won’t name them here, but really, people can fill in their own blanks.  Being that you were apolitical, I won’t get all preachy when I’m writing to you.  You heard plenty of my opinions when you were alive, and since I’m a hippy, free spirited folk singer, people probably already know which way I lean).  Any who…..the news.  You always hated the news. I know there’s probably lots of good news, too.  I wish it was talked about more.  I just don’t care what mega stars are getting divorced.  Seriously.  Who gives a shit? Tell me who’s doing good in the world. Help me do good in the world.  And on that note…..

On the Music front…..one of my main struggles since you passed is understanding sense of purpose in my musical life.  I mean seriously.  I spend most of my time on the road, away from home, away from the people I love, away from miss Lucy the dog, away from having the garden I can’t have because I’m away, away from the chickens I also can’t have because I’m away, alway from being able to help a neighbor, away from being able to volunteer…….I can go on forever.  What I do on the road seems so trivial compared to an existence I can have at home, BUHHHHT  just when I was about to throw in the towel and figure out how to be home all the time, I received the most beautiful e-mail from a woman named Paula.  I don’t know her, but she was at a show of mine this past year, and the letter she sent reminded me that music can be so healing. I don’t normally share stuff like this, because bragging isn’t my way in the world, and this feels a little like that, but for the purpose of explaining this to you, I’ll just share one little quote from her extremely thoughtful message.  She said, “So, you and your art have traveled with me from despair to tranquil happiness. Your voice – shit, your magnificent pipes, have been my soundtrack to healing. ” And just like that, I’m ready to play more shows (that barely anyone attends), because you just never know, dad.  You really never know who might be there and who might need to hear that show in that specific moment in time. Life is so awesome like that!  And although my plan is to play  less and be home more, I’m actually excited to write again and record a new album, which you would have worn out on your boom box.  You had a boom box! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I do want to thank Paula for her message.  I hope I can explain to her how much the timing of it matters in my life.  Thank you for your honesty, Paula.  And dad, you should watch over her. She’s good peeps. Oh, and I’m singing with Danny at Strange Brew in Austin this Sunday.  You never went there, but you would have liked it a lot.

On the fertility front, Danny and I are rockin’ it.  Progesterone shots in the ass that are mostly fine, but I sometimes have moments that make little to no sense at all.  Example…….I was in a very adorable little shop in Charlottesville the other day and I just looked at Danny and said, “Everything in here is so beautiful.” And I started crying.  Right in front of the pottery and the post cards.  Crying. Tears running down my face.  Danny is so cute in those moments. He makes the perfect amount of fun of me and gives me a hug and shuffles me out the door.  Dad, he’s taking real good care of me (although he’s down to the zero nicotine on his e-cig, and between that and my hormones, we’re two crazy people). BUT YAHOO FOR DANNY!  You were never addicted to anything, but let me tell you, it is nearly impossible to quit.  You’d be so proud of him.

On the crafting/home DIY front, I finished painting the little rental unit and  decoupaged the light switch covers.  I also took some photos.  See:

light switch covers
decoupaged light switch covers
Re-finished white cabinet
Re-finished white cabinet

I think that’s all for today.  Life is good.  I’m easing back into this universe at my own pace and I still have moments of such sadness, but they feel different now.  I don’t feel as panicked. And I’m sleeping a little better.  And I saw you in my dreams for the first time last night and it was awesome. Thanks for showing up.  You were always good at that.

I love you and miss you, dad.  And I’m always crying by the end of writing to you.  I hope no one ate your angel wings on National wing day…….

xo.

c.

p.s. Here’s a little photo series of you and Austin the day before you died.  This is how amazing you were (and SO FUNNY!):

austin dad 1 austin dad 2 austin dad 3

Compartmentalization, fear, and getting back to life or whatever.

Good Morning, Dad!

I don’t know.  I just really don’t know.  I keep thinking of how on earth I’m going to transition this blog into a crafty/touring/random life stuff blog, and I have no idea how to do it.  And I guess I’m not QUITE ready, really.  Tomorrow will be three weeks since you passed and now things are getting tricky.  Like it all feels so much deeper.  I’ve never been good at compartmentalizing, but I’m starting to understand the importance of such a skill, and I’m working on it, and getting pretty decent at it, I must say.  I guess the “my dad died” compartment gets full a lot of the time though.  And then the flood gates open.  I woke up this morning looking like I had been punched in the face.  And feeling like it, too.

And this past week.  ugh.  I keep having all these anxiety dreams and mild panic attacks.  I didn’t think I even had the ability to have these things.  I thought it wasn’t part of my Elkin make up.  As it turns out, it IS possible for me to feel enormous amounts of fear and anxiety.  Every time the phone rings, I fear the call will be about someone I love dying. And these nights are so restless.  And I’m walking around in a fog.  In circles.  But I always want to be doing something, because when I stop, I think, and when I think, I cry. I tried to play music for the first time since your passing and I couldn’t get through 10 seconds of a song without having a melt down.  This weekends festival is going to be interesting, huh?  I’m gonna do it though.  I’m headed to The Woody Guthrie festival with a bunch of my pals to “get back on that horse and ride”.  I’m scared to death.  I’ve never been afraid to step in front of an audience, and for the first time ever, the thought makes me sick.

I missed you on the 4th.  I remember sitting between your legs as a little girl and you would cover my ears because I didn’t like the noise.

And now, my beautiful community of friends keep asking me what I need.  They keep asking what they can do for me.  And I just don’t know.  I wish there was something I could tell them.  But all I can say is it’s nice when they check in. I think it’s because what I need is to have you back, and although I have the most beautifully powerful friends, I’m pretty sure none of them can do that.  Right?  Wait, can anyone do that?  Text me if you can….

I do want to thank you, dad, for your birthday joke.  I was actually excited to receive your ashes on your big day.  It made sense.  I decided to wait to open them until later in the evening and what happened??  Oh, I think you already know.  But I’ll remind you.  THEY SENT THE WRONG ONES!  THEY SENT THE WRONG PERSON’S ASHES!  OMG.  I couldn’t even get mad.  I was laughing so hard.  In response to the whole episode, I just kept asking myself,”What Would Rich Do (WWRD)?” I find myself doing that in all kinds of situations. You would have been so kind and gentle, so that’s what I was.  And it worked.  I got free shipping! HA!

On a crafting front, I’m taking an online embroidery class.  It’s meditative.  And sweet.  And good for me.  Plus, I can take projects on the road!  If you were still around, I’d make you something that you would have hung on your “Carrie wall of fame”.  I always made fun of that wall.  Taking that stuff down from your room was not easy, I must say.

On the house front, I have been painting away in the back house.  AND IT IS CUTE. I also refinished a piece of furniture that’s been hanging out in our woodshed for, oh……FOUR YEARS (Paul, it’s a good thing you guys moved out, because there would be no storage space for your drums now that the cupboard thing has been painted!). And we put a new ceiling fan in, too.  I’m getting ready to make some curtains.  I need to start photographing this stuff.  Mental note. Photograph stuff.

On the fertility front.  Well, this topic we’re keeping a bit more private to the whole world, but after miscarrying your last would be grandkid, we’re moving forward with things again.  HORMONES INCLUDED! I shouldn’t make light of such a thing, but really, and REALLY, there’s no other way to get through these totally shitty and overwhelming two months without shaking my head and laughing. Note to self…..do not wait until you’re 41 to have a kid. Oh wait, we totally screwed that one up. eh.  We’ll be fine.  Today’s hormone injection was only a two on a pain scale of one to ten. Things are looking up.

And now.  I should go make myself busy because my heart hurts. I miss you, dad.  I called your voice mail just to hear your voice say your own name….you’ve reached the voicemail of “RICH ELKIN”!

And I’m gonna attach some photos here that I found when going through your things.  One is of you in 1965 when you were in Guantanamo Bay during the Cuban Missile Crisis (BAD ASS).  One is of you and Rick and me at a picnic in Squires Castle where the Hells Angels used to hang out and you would make friends with them. And one is of you and me on my first day of school. Pretty cute.

I love you so much.  And my heart is broken. I guess this is what it feels like, huh?  A broken heart.

marines squires castle school