Tag Archives: letting go

Letting Go (Part 2)

by Kassandra Lamb (see Part 1, Pulling Up Roots here)

The Maryland house today

So my little summer cottage/writer’s retreat is sold. A nice young man now owns it, and I don’t. I’m having very mixed emotions about that.

I put a lot of effort into fixing that little house up, making it cute and cozy. And I wrote a lot of good words in my writer’s cave there. Also, letting the house go means one less link with my home state of Maryland. But I’m very, very relieved to be rid of the maintenance headaches that had gotten worse as the house aged.

This has gotten me thinking about why it is hard sometimes to let go… of people, but also of the places we have called home.

Herd of wild horses

 

We humans are innately social beings.
We are herd animals. Like horses and
wolves, we instinctively know that we
need to band together in order to
survive.

 

The need for connection to others is so important that the humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow made belongingness and love the third tier in his well-known hierarchy of needs. We need what he referred to as the three A’s of belongingness–affiliation, acceptance and affection. These needs take a backseat only to basic physical and safety needs.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

image by Anthony Beck (CC-BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

I’m realizing as I’m writing this that the need for connection to others is the reason people read fiction. We so strongly want to feel connected that we don’t even mind if the people we’re connecting with are figments of an author’s imagination! And many readers, myself included, particularly like series, so we can stay connected to the same characters book after book.

Woman reading in a library or bookstore

photo by Onderwijsgk, CC-BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

But why do we connect with a place?

Most humans also feel a need/desire to have a “home.” This is not just a female thing. I know plenty of men who have a strong sense of home. We are not so different from the fox, burrowing into his den at night, snug and safe (Maslow’s second tier).

Now I have to let go of my little “den” up north. I will focus on my home here in Florida and on my friends and family scattered around the country. I have plenty of connections to replace the ones I’m losing. But still it isn’t easy, this letting go.

How about you? How strongly do you feel the need for connection? Are you a homebody who becomes attached to places as well as people?

Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.

We blog here at misterio press once (sometimes twice) a week,  usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.

Please follow us so you don’t miss out on any of the interesting stuff, or the fun! (We do not harvest, lend, sell or otherwise bend, spindle or mutilate followers’ e-mail addresses.)

PULLING UP ROOTS

With a few exceptions (Lee Child’s character, Jack Reacher, comes to mind), we human beings need a sense of roots, a place we call ‘Home.’ For the past decade I’ve had two homes. So if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been this summer, I’ve been in Maryland at our second home.

Before you turn green with envy, read on.

it hasn’t really been a vacation. My husband and I have worked our butts off this summer getting the place ready to put on the market.

I’ve fought the idea of selling the place for several years now, but this summer I was ready. More than ready. It’s an older house and it just needs too much work these days to keep it up.

I put my heart and soul into this little house. When we bought it in 2002, calling it a fixer-upper would have been too kind. It needed a lot of work, and I enjoyed fixing it up (most of the time). I like working with my hands.

Kass's summer house

The BEFORE picture. Note the big-ass AC sticking through the wall. How chic! (Don’t know why the bottom half of this pic is blank.)

With lots of assistance from my brother, and occasionally hired contractors, we’ve modernized the kitchen, finished off what used to be a sleeping porch into a lovely sunroom, plus re-tiled, re-carpeted, re-painted and otherwise refurbished it from stem to stern.

kitchen

Part of our remodeled kitchen. The rooms are so small it’s hard to get a pic of the whole space.

And it has served us well in so many ways.

When we retired in 2004 and moved to Florida, this little house made that transition go much smoother than it otherwise might have. I was born in Maryland and had lived here my entire life, and my husband had called Maryland home for thirty years. Knowing we still had a place in Maryland made it a lot easier to let go. As my husband put it, we didn’t have to pull up all of our roots all at once.

Also our son was in graduate school at the time, and planned to come back to Maryland to work afterwards. So every summer we would load up our van and make the trek up I-95, to see our son and his wife, my brother and other family members and our Maryland friends. And to relax in the somewhat cooler clime of Maryland for a couple months.

This little house has been a Godsend a couple of times. In 2008 when my daughter-in-law was pregnant with my eldest grandson, I came up a week before he was due and stayed at the house, just two hours’ drive (instead of two days) away from them. When the little guy made his appearance, I was able to be there to help the new parents out.

Kass's study at Maryland house

My writing cave in Maryland.

In 2011, I spent several weeks at the house, just me and the dog, doing some much needed projects (that were easier to do without another person underfoot). And in the evenings, I wrote. That summer I finished the first drafts of two novels, Celebrity Status and Collateral Casualties.

I threw my husband’s retirement party and also his 60th birthday party at this little house. It has many fond memories attached to it–trips to watch 4th of July fireworks in the nearby small town, eating Maryland crab cakes at the waterside restaurants, 4H fairs at the county fairgrounds…

But the time has come to pull up the last of our roots here.

I used to love the projects. Now the aging house is throwing problems at us faster than we can keep up. And many of the friends and family members we came here to visit have moved on. My son and family are now in Pennsylvania and my brother has moved to Florida, 40 miles from our home down there.

We’ll still travel north periodically to visit folks there, but we’ll stay in motels or rented condos like the rest of the tourists.

And I’ll probably sneak over now and again to the old neighborhood, and check on the little house that was my fixer-upper project, my roots in my home state and my writing haven for so many years.

The Maryland house today

The finished product of our efforts this year. I spent my birthday painting that shed!

How important are roots to you? Are you one of those natural nomads who doesn’t seem to need them (like Jack Reacher) or do you need a sense of ‘home’ somewhere? Where are your roots?

Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.

We blog here at misterio press once (sometimes twice) a week,  usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.

Please follow us so you don’t miss out on any of the interesting stuff, or the fun! (We do not harvest, lend, sell or otherwise bend, spindle or mutilate followers’ e-mail addresses.)