Loosened from the mud, I find myself floating in a world of possibility.

So can you.

cracking the shells open

When I was in Florida, I think I ate my weight's worth of clams. I loved them so much that I came home and started making them for Saturday night appetizers. I was surprised to learn I could find good clams in Minnesota and that they are relatively easy to steam. I have lots of wine leftover from the birthday party and what better excuse to drink more wine? The bottle is open to steam these clams, oh well, can't let the wine go to waste, right?

Since returning I've noticed an increase in the intake of food that requires cracking shells. And that goes right along with how I've been feeling these days.

Note the pistachios in the background.

I had a terrible time with the grandparents in Florida. But also the glorious realization that I am not only their daughter anymore. I have created a wonderful life for myself and my family which has nothing to do with their (the grandparents) negativity. Sure, I have a tendency to be angry and tumultuous but I married a man (21 years ago) who has a tendency to be soothing and considerate. I realized I have a choice in my behavior and I can choose happiness instead of fury if I dare to crack that shell of anger to get to the tenderness inside.

It has taken me 43 years to fully understand these choices. Growing up in a family that uses shouting and anger for communication, I realize I don't have great communication skills. Ironic considering my work in the community where I am considered to be very diplomatic, calm, and inclusive. But communicating within personal family space is different than how I present myself to the public. I suppose I've always know this and certainly my daughter has always given me incentive to communicate batter. It's just always great to find clarity, even if it is about something I've known all along.

Clarity brings about solutions and cracking the shell open is only the beginning.