In a parallel universe

In a parallel universe, at this very moment, I am sipping coffee on my front porch. On a picturesque street, lined with maples and oaks, an elderly gentleman rides his bike by me and waves, shouting out, “Hello, Miss Kristine. Mighty fine day, isn’t it?”

I wave back and smile, luxuriating in my book and the warm liquid burn of fresh roasted coffee as it runs down my throat.

My children are at school after a near perfect breakfast of hearty pancakes and crisp bacon. Later, we will gather at the dinner table for homemade stew and biscuits. They will complain, as usual, about the roasted brussel sprouts on their plates. Homemade caramel cake awaits for dessert because in this life, my Pinterest file does not bulge with untested recipes—they are actually made and made often. We will talk about our days at the dinner table, unhurriedly, because in this town of ours—there is no rush. Hustle and bustle means more than two cars at the light on Main Street.

In this parallel life, my husband picks up the eco-friendly dry cleaning, and my cleaning woman puts fear into the heart of dust bunnies everywhere. I write, most days. But first, I am up at 5:30 a.m. every morning—because, of course, in this lifetime I am an early bird. I meditate. I run by the river. I commune with the deer, the swallows, the bunnies up at the crack of dawn.

I know how to say “no” early and often in this life, so my patience is rarely worn thin. This version of me is unfamiliar with the clamor of a video conference via laptop, as the e-mail pings pile up, the texts come fast and furious, and the cell phone rings. This version of myself is familiar with the feeling of being well rested and glowing with the energy true self-care brings.

Friday night is family night. Pizza at the parlor, followed by community theater or a flick in the park. We know most of the townspeople, so my kids can’t really get away with much even when out from under my watchful eye.

My husband can rock a Harvard sweatshirt like nobody’s business and I love that he wears it with old-school navy sweatpants. You know the kind—with elastic around the bottom, circa 1984. He sports these while fixing the arbor that just won’t stop tilting under the weight of the clematis we planted years ago, when we first moved into this house.

At night, as we sit on the porch with a smoky Cab, I feel the satisfying heft of the glass in my hand. We listen to the crickets. The haunting sound of the loons interrupts our reverie. And we listen to our boys arguing back and forth from their beds upstairs, the ways boys do—trying to one-up each other on every topic known to man.

As we open the porch screen door to head up to bed, it squeaks reassuringly—a squeak we keep so we know when the boys are up to something. I fall asleep in this man’s arms—a man I know so well–comforted by the sound of his breathing and the sure knowledge that while what we have created is not permanent (nothing is), it is at least solid. Oh so solid.

In a life that has been less than ordinary over the past few years, I sometimes long for ordinary. Even though I know ordinary might bore me as a steady diet, the allure of a less than manic schedule, the comfort of a partner to lean on, the predictable nature of a day that begins and ends on a front porch rocking chair—on the craziest of days, this alternative life sounds lovely.

I am sure my alter ego in this alternative life is writing a similar blog at this very moment, wishing for a fast-paced life in which she calls the shots, does the corporate gig, lives and plays in a big city. A life in which she wonders what will happen next.

I’d love to be able to sit on her front porch and tell her over morning coffee. If only I knew what to say.






43 Comments Add yours

  1. Dale says:

    I was reading this, thinking, man, oh man, she is dreaming in Technicolor this one! Or looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses… Or thinking she really wants something but if she had it, would she be bored to tears?
    And, by the way, secretly thinking… I have had those same exact thoughts 😉

    1. candidkay says:

      I will admit that after I wrote this little daydream, I wondered the same thing. If I wouldn’t just be bored to tears :-). Not with the man or the family, but with the situation that I painted. The town, etc. I guess I’ll never know.

      1. Dale says:

        There is much of that daydream that appeals to me, I cannot lie… I’ll never know, either. But I imagine is be chomping at the bit in no time.

  2. Leen says:

    I love this post. Very beautifully written 🌷 stay awesome 👍🏿💪🏿

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, both for the kind words and for visiting my blog.

  3. Loved this. Kristine, you never know what you put out to the universe! Sounds like some beautiful musings.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, thank you:). Very kind words! Thanks, as always, for reading.

  4. suemclaren24 says:

    As you imply, we tend to yearn for that we do not have. And we often fail to recognize what we DO have. Amongst those “do have”s, include shelter, food, clothing = much more than many of the refugees overseas. When we count the “do have”s, it is easier to honor that maybe the other driver has just suffered the loss of a loved one, and to be graceful in our interactions.

    1. candidkay says:

      Very true. I’m a big practitioner of gratitude. Sets the tone for each day before I get out of bed!

  5. Amy says:

    I wish you may have all your wishes… That’s my dandelion prayer for you, dear friend. ✨ xoxox

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! The Universe knows best, I guess:). And someday it will all be made clear. Thank you for always being so kind.

  6. I loved this. I, too, am a fan of ordinary, good and predictable. There is something just absolutely lovely about it. I long for that quiet porch, as I push the rough the bustling sidewalks of NYC. Oh, to have a porch!

    1. candidkay says:

      We are contrary creatures, aren’t we? 🙂 I bet if we were on that porch, we’d yearn for the bustle of the city!

      1. Actually, our family home is in the country. I love that place. I never would have left, but God takes us down mysterious paths! Hopefully, I will make it back to a porch someday. I appreciated its goodness all along.

  7. Roy McCarthy says:

    Wonderfully written Kristine. And if humans were hard-wired differently it would be entirely realistic. If we took striving to compete, to acquire, to excel out of our mentalities then simple pleasures, simple comforts would be there for the having. It’s a utopia that used to be theorised but we’ve long since passed the tipping point. Now only the strongest and richest need not struggle to survive another day.

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m still hoping acquired wisdom comes to the fore. Not sure it will be in my lifetime though!

  8. Love the way you write Kristine and I can definitely see a book in you one day. My experience with life is no matter what I am experiencing, I always have a choice to make space for these parallel worlds. My mind can expand and visit any place I imagine and after I have been there for awhile, I feel more accepting of where I am. 💚

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! A book would be wonderful:). Wishing you a bit of peaceful time in your parallel world today :-).

  9. Your parallel universe sounds just fine to me. I’ve had enough of the fast-paced corporate world. I’d love a little house in the country with a back porch where I could sit drinking wine and watch the squirrels and other critters play.

    1. candidkay says:

      I think it’s a common fantasy!

  10. Ah, but each moment does bring a sense of self Kristine. Thankfully change is everywhere, so we can find that heart within.
    Mind you…for just a little while…that porch does sound beautiful…restful…peaceful even.
    But then some idiot would throw you over their shoulder, drag you upstairs to the bedroom, and play scrabble or monopoly or something 😀
    Life…never know what it will bring.
    Great post Kristine, a parallel in all our lives, we just have to choose it 🙂

      1. Ok, ok…maybe snakes and ladders then 😀

  11. Writing the future…dreams come true! Love this piece. I’m with you, though, we might just be bored with the everyday if it was every day. But there’s a balance and a mix ready and waiting, I’m sure of that!

    1. candidkay says:

      Maybe we could stay long enough to find out just how bored we’d be, Lee:).

  12. I’m there too …. attending book club after mending the tear in my daughter’s winter coat.

    1. candidkay says:

      Of course. And missing buttons don’t occur in this universe, so after the tear mending–you are home free:).

      1. candidkay says:

        Thank you! Join me there:).

  13. Su Leslie says:

    I’ll be in the house across the street, baking sourdough and making casseroles for the neighbourhood potluck dinners!

    1. candidkay says:

      Ooh, sourdough. I like that. Am hoping cinnamon muffins are in your repertoire also. That’s a neighborhood requirement:).

      1. Su Leslie says:

        I’ve never made cinnamon muffins, but how hard can it be? I do bake a rather fine banana cake though!

      2. candidkay says:

        I’ll take it!:)

  14. bethanyk says:

    Can I be your next door neighbor in the parallel universe!!!!!

    1. candidkay says:

      Of course! You bring the midday homemade lemonade and we do yoga in the backyard:).

  15. Sparkyjen says:

    I love your writing style. It strokes all the senses. It is easy to follow along with, and scoops up my interests from the first line. Much appreciated. What a wonderful way to observe the makings of a life well spent.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! Very kind praise. I think it’s almost easier to put senses to our daydreams than real life sometimes–in real life, we’re generally far too busy to think that hard about things:).

      1. Sparkyjen says:

        My thoughts are: How ever we get to put our senses to our daydreams is a positive. Our minds are busier than we think they are. If they are busy doing this kind of undercover work for us… YEAH TEAM!!!

      2. candidkay says:

        Score one for the Gipper. I’m on board:).

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