Secret of the Universe

Breathe in. Now, breathe out. Are you ready for this? I’ve stumbled upon what might be a staggering truth of the universe, kept hidden inside a tiny bed and breakfast outside of Hagerstown, MD. Her name is Selena. During my husband’s and my brief first night away since Asher was born over five years ago, as we celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary, Selena, the b and b owner, told stories amid pouring libations and slicing cheese. And then told more, after a gourmet breakfast of Dutch pancakes, waffles with homemade whip cream, and a deep dish egg dish. (Nod to Dr. Seuss.)

The blur of a one night stay was heavenly, but that’s not for the telling tonight. What’s on tap at the bard house is Selena: a former PGA tournament golfer with a masters in organization and planning who now runs a bed and breakfast out of an old farm house, owned by her family for four generations. She and her husband, Andrew, spent two years of their lives renovating the house full-time. And opened the place earlier this year.

Within hours of driving away from Selena’s farm, it should be called, I realized that woman has accomplished an incredible amount in her life. Granted, she doesn’t have children crawling up her leg or tackling her in the living room. Instead, as Eric put it, “she puts that energy into life.”

Organization and planning are two words that might as well be old English in my vocabulary. Those words could be dusty and tattered if they were books on my shelf.

In my moments of stillness this week, when I have allowed the rushing river of work and life to flow around me without taking me under, I’ve thought about Selena. I’ve realized that simple planning and organization can help any of us move mountains that we think are insurmountable.

I am on a new quest, perhaps its slow and steady, and I might even lose my way, but I am on it. Placing cairns along the way to an organized existence. Now, if I can just remember where I put those cairns?


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It took me a long while to consider the title for this blog. I wanted something that defined me both as a person and a writer. A name that would also perhaps speak to a particular audience. Why “The Astronaut Wife?” Since my early days of blogging, I have leaned toward more of a confessional style of writing, to some degree. I write as much truth as I can muster at each phase of life. In addition, I also come from a conservative Southern family, and I have grown very far from those roots. You could say I have rocketed to the moon in terms of my upbringing. I have rocketed away from debilitating family dynamics, from worldviews that held me beneath a rock. In my thirties, and now my early to mid-forties, I have learned to live more comfortably with both sides of the moon and write just as much about the raw, dark places as the light ones. Don’t quote me on that, though. It’s quite likely I will lean more heavily toward one or the other depending on which way the wind is blowing. Then, we get to the wife part, and quite frankly, this is where the feminist in me bucked and brayed. Identifying myself as “wife” has felt simply stymieing, particularly since becoming a mother six and a half years ago. But if the truth is going to be told, being a wife to my particular husband has altered my entire shape and has given voice to much of the inner deep. So in fact, becoming a wife was the singular most life-changing moment for me in my journey to the moon and back. Fellow travelers, you can feel safe and comfortable here. What matters more than what you might “get” about me is what you might take for yourself.

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