Juicy Strawberries

Six years ago I watched my younger sister Megan dance with our grandfather at her wedding reception. I reached back to grab by glass of Cab, but it was drained. I looked over at my husband Kevin who had been sober five years, at my request.

“Skyler drank it,” he feebly tried to blame our 9-year-old son, but then, reluctantly he admitted the truth.

My face went from curiosity to fear to incredulity to dread. As my sister’s married life was beginning, mine was unraveling.


Yet, practicality and guilt kept me grounded in place. Almost every penny I needed to survive came from my husband. We were upside down with the house and a mountain of credit card debt.

I lost my grandfather, biological father and saw our daughter off to college over the next ten months. Then a desire to live juicy, loud and true welled up inside me, obliterating all excuses and I moved out and divorced.

I recall pacing the backyard of my cottage apartment wishing I could afford flowers while begging the banks to grant us a loan modification to keep the house. Kevin wiped out the 401K to pay half the credit card debt and got the interest rate decreased.

I tried to hold onto my faith, repeating mantras of strength and freedom while weeding the side lot, trying to make a garden from nothing. But it’s hard to feel the security and love of the Universe when your cupboards are bare and you have too much damn pride to tell a soul how really scared you are.

I nearly cried whenever the boys needed new shoes and with forced cheerfulness suggested duct tape. Our shopping went from surf shops to Kohl’s to the 5 t-shirts for $10 warehouse. We built a room in the garage to separate the boys when the tension reached an all-time high. They got a tongue lashing for leaving on a light or not bringing home the Tupperware from lunch. I had to save up to buy a potato peeler. And yet, I somehow kept them at Waldorf and in soccer.

We trudged on. Never looking up. The journey was too long – no point in looking for the finish line. Very few tears fell. There wasn’t enough time.

Instead of wallowing or lamenting, I allowed wanderlust to carry me through.  I don’t have a clue how I did it now. The road and the blessed yellow line was my soothing balm. It calmed me and yet kept me striving, pushing for more – more from life – more happiness – more juicy adventures – more security – more abundance.

Until I reached this very day. Today, I made the final payment on the credit card. The mantra rings true.



One of my first memories is of the different sounds my breath made when I exhaled inches from a large square fan. I wore pigtails then and thought my thumb tasted like juicy strawberries.


3 thoughts on “Juicy Strawberries

  1. Mary Wood. says:

    Sort of been there and done that, but the room in the garage was not o good idea for me. Luckily I managed to get my house. I diligently made the payments, managed to get a good job, and finally made it to “debt free.” What a wonderful feeling.

  2. Ann says:

    beautiful writing, jamie! It was the wonderlust that carried. You were connected to source and that takes you flying high!!! Congrats on your wonderful new financial status – it was always yours. You created the way to line up with it. Hope to see you sometime soon.

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