This n’ That on the Lost Coast

Lost Coast culture seems to be similar to Japanese culture, which reminds me of Minnesotan culture and that’s probably a reflection of Scandanavian culture. Hey, that’s like a walk around the world!

In a nutshell, people are friendly and polite and they need TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME to get to know you. And once you are in, you are IN. But whoah, does it take some time.

Having the kids helps as an “in”, Moxie especially, due to the the community’s ties with Down syndrome and special education (woot! one for T21 and the relay that is parenting!). But it still. takes. time. and there is just no way around it.

Friendship here is like a flower, it just. needs. time. to grow and bloom.

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I’m willing to put the time in here, because when I look around, I see people that I’d like to call, “friend”. I see people that seem like they are really worth it

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But there’s no ‘expedited shipping’ that I can employ in this.

It just. takes. time.

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But it’s been hard because I’ve needed friends.

I’ve been solo parenting now for nearly the entire summer and the days just get longer. They are up to 14 hours now – Mikey leaves at 6am and returns at 9pm. He’s gone, in the hard business of farming and I am in the hard business of raising kids and managing the yurt, mostly alone and with the most rudimentary of tools.

This ‘hard’ business works in communities like the Amish because of friendships. Having supports, breaks. Raising the barn together and all that good stuff.

If you are alone, on a hill by yourself? With three little kids? Well, it’s pretty fucking mind-numbing and borders on breaking.

Even when your kids are beautiful.

Even when your hill is beautiful.

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Katherine, who is one of my best friends in this world, sent her eldest daughter to help me, then came herself and then re-sent her eldest and her middle daughter back to help.

Her children watched my children and I was able to roll up my sleeves and slough away at my mind numb by carving out part of my mountain in a small terraced garden, preparing another area for a garden, deep cleaning and organizing the yurt and the camper (in preparation for travel after harvest).

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But Katherine coming up and spending time with me?

Oh man. That  made me feel alive again, just being able to LAUGH. Dreaming and planning and talking long hours also played its part.

We did a lot of that. On repeat.

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friendship.

It’s such a weird thing sometimes, isn’t it?

I was instantly friends with Katherine – I think over the years it’s been about opening up more, but we had no problem in being fast friends from the start. I think it’s that our experience, being deaf and growing up in a hearing world and hearing communities, is not so common.

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here on the Lost Coast, it’s just going to take time to develop those friendships.

I’m going to need to do that and have something a little firmer in place for next year – maybe provide an internship or a nanny opportunity? Something will work out. Something will happen.

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Everything always works out.

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 …right?!!!

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Meriah

is a deaf blogger, global nomad, tech-junkie, cat-lover, Trekkie, Celto-Teutonic-peasant-handed mom of 3 (one with Down syndrome and one gifted 2E).

She likes her coffee black and hot.


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1 Comment

  • I read this last night and was feeling all the feelings for you. I spent all day yesterday with Atti (and normally my friend takes him off for half of Thursdays) and we did all the stuff you want to do with your kid you know – we did some cooking together, we walked to the shops, did some cleaning, we played with various toys, talking about colours and numbers and things (Atti is MacQ’s age), he had a nap, got up and we had lunch, then we had some friends over to paint and playdoh and draw and sing and dance. It really was the hope you will do with your kids when you are at home with them – and I was absolutely shattered by the time everyone left my place. To the point where I drank a glass of rose at like 5pm (which is not normal for me) – literally to get through the next two hours before I could go next door for dinner.

    And I was thinking that I felt like I had been hit by a truck and;
    1. I only have one kid, you have three.
    2. I didn’t have to cook his dinner, my neighbour made dinner for her kid and mine.
    3. I didn’t have to cook my dinner, it was our house dinner party last night (well I had cooked my part previously)
    4. My partner left at 7am after giving Atti breakfast and was home by 5.30 and gave him his bath and helped with bedtime
    5. I live with some of my friends so when my neighbour walked in at 5 with dinner and her daughter and saw my face she immediately gave me wine. Also, I had friends/neighbours to hand out with that night.
    6. The friends who came over for the playdate also.

    And I tried to imagine how hard it would have been yesterday if those 6 things weren’t true. Wow. I have so much respect for how well you are doing it all Meriah – I would be a blob lying in my bath-tub with a bottle of wine each night I think if I was home all day with little support and no friends nearby I think. You are so right that it is friendship and … well community that makes that kind of life sustainable. I am sending you a big internetty hug and all my hopes that by next season you will be a more integrated part of the community – because the community you live in, and the place you live in looks so awesome. There is so much of your life I would love to bring into mine – but the road to get to the place you know is there for you sounds hard.

    If there is ever anything I can do to help, even just sending emails or jokes or something, let me know. Virtual friendship is good, if not as awesome as plonking down in the middle of a group of friends, with some good food and a tv show to watch or a board game to play together or a nice long political issue to debate about.

    😀

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