Posted February 1, 2009 @ 8:15pm | by S. Cutshall


Prepare for at least a few days of absolute boredom.  I am no dynamo of excitement for sure, and Chloe...well, Chloe's 9.

For better, and certainly for the worst, at least lately...Scott is much more interesting than Chloe and I.  However, in an executive decision instituted by the matriarchal side of the family, Scott is banished from posting.

I have been thinking about this entry for a few days.  I have been all over the place with what I wanted to say.  There's so much that I am lost.  Also, much of it has been Mother Hen-like.  I don't want to create further rancor among the readers of this thing.

I think that I want to remind people that this blog has been authored by a person.  That's it...good, bad, beautiful and ugly...it all comes from a man.  Sure he can be an Ass, so can I, and so can you I would imagine.  (By the way, he's always been the same size of an ass; it has not fluctuated with his weight, whatever you think-I know, I've been here the whole time!)  I think that a lot of the time we forget how big this blog can be.  When Scott feels insulted or hurt, he mouths off.  Quite loudly.  Unfortunately, it has far-reaching effects.

I think through years of writing this and sharing, it has made it feel like writing a journal or sharing with friends, not publishing something that so many people will read.

A lot of people are dismayed at the feel of the posts lately.  Some of you get it, some have, unfortunately, piled onto this huge character assassination. 

Lest anyone forget, our family has been in a whirlwind.  Yes, we did it to ourselves, but we're still in it.  It's hard to look through rose-colored glasses and be funny and entertaining when the ground beneath you is shifting relentlessly.

The same thing happened when we moved to Minnesota.  We felt lost, but we persevered and in the process made some absolutely wonderful friends.  Certainly it was worth everything that we went through.  We became a part of a beautiful community of cyclists.  It didn't matter that many were younger and single and that we dragged our daughter everywhere with us...people were warm and accepting.  It didn't matter that we like to bitch...it's an East Coast thing, I think...it's cathartic, and they excused us.

The weather got us.  I think maybe I was not tough enough.  In any case, we decided to uproot our small family and go to a more temperate clime.  What better place than Portland.

Portland is purported to be liberal, laid back and accepting.  This is important to us because our life is not very conventional.  The hours we keep are certainly not normal.  I work a day job with an income level that I have worked 23 years to obtain, and Scott takes care of us.  He cooks fantastic food for us, he home schools Chloe, and believe me, the things she learns are so much more interesting and thoughtful than anything I ever learned cruising through the traditional educational avenues.  The nastiness that has been said regarding his "coasting" and getting a "free ride" are ridiculous. Would you have said that about your Mom?  or Caroline Ingalls?  As I said, we needed an open and accepting community in which to live.  Best of all, it's said to be a Cyclist's Nirvana.  Wrongly on our part, we had the feeling that the cycling community across the land was one big contiguous blob, not so segmented as it is in reality.

A few things happened that we didn't count on.  First of all, we ended up in Beaverton.  Now, I know that Scott has caused offense with his unrelenting criticism of Beaverton.  But you have to know, we are city people.  In all the years back East we left the city proper, I think, four times.  In Minneapolis, we left the city two times.  One for a Drum Corps show in Stillwater and another to pick up Otis for Chloe, all for a total of about four hours time.  We are not comfortable in the suburbs, and to find ourselves living in them was hard for us. 

So, we pushed and were moved into the city.  That would be better, right?  Well, sort of.  Now we were even more exhausted and living in a sterile box like gerbils in a habitrail.

The other thing that we crave is character-filled older homes.  Our brownstone apartment back East was full of character.  If you spilled water in the far back right corner of the kitchen, it would run to the front windows on the other end of the living room in under 10 seconds.  It had a crack in the wall that allowed you to see into the abandoned brownstone next door.  Over the years, the bedroom settled enough that you could see sunshine coming through the seams between the walls.  The wood floor was tattered and deep dark brown from use.  That was home.  Our house in Minneapolis was full of old woodwork and ladybugs that flew around all winter whenever the sun or the oven would heat the walls.  This is the stuff we love; the stuff that makes us feel warm.

So now we went from the suburbs in a RULE-FILLED apartment complex with neighbors who didn't look at each other to a sterile box whose predominate color was white.  Here the neighbors tattled on each other and we could only go outside through an elevator and a sterile lobby.

Then, it snowed.  And snowed.  And snowed.  Beautiful, for about a day.  Heartbreaking.  Wasn't this what we came here to avoid?  Wasn't this why we have been struggling?  Why we left our good friends?  So, we bitched.  Come on, we were feeling pretty demoralized by now.  Just to point out, even the natives who found it all so charming in the beginning, started bitching.  Everyone was grumpy at work.  Very little was open or running.  We made the best of it with riding in the parking ramp and trudging through the snow on long walks in the city.  But now we were encased in white-both inside and out.

So, we decided that it was more important to let the rest of our nest egg be used to find a place to live that would feel like home to us.  We did.  We love the house and the neighborhood feels good.  A lot like Seward,  where we were very happy.  Along the way, we have become more and more exhausted. 

The time of repair was coming.  We would be home and in a permanent job at the hospital.  We could start putting some money back into our nest egg after we caught the bills up and also we could start reaching out to people here and becoming a part of our new community.  This was our daily, and sometimes hourly, refrain.

Now, no job and no money.  The best laid plans...

So, Scott's posts have reflected some of this.  I wonder why?  Maybe this is a lot for a family to be caught up in.  Some days are hopeful, and some have tears and hopelessness.  Underlying everything is exhaustion and a real sense of having left our friends.

Some people here have reached out to us and have been wonderful.  Thank you so much for your invitations and offers of inclusion.  You have no idea how much they mean to us.  We have taken almost no one up on the offers.   Mainly because, as a family, we are tired.  If they are still there when we have gotten our collective energy and enthusiasm back together, you will hear from us.

Now, this is where a great deal of disappointment and, on my part at least, sadness, hurt and anger kick in.  Some people are rescinding their offers and jumping on the Scott has become a bad person bandwagon because he hasn't gotten back to them or accepted offers for things.  That's not fair.  Every offer that is forwarded is talked about and seems like a fabulous idea, and then it has been promptly forgotten in our stupor.  Days fly by like you wouldn't believe.

And the whole thing about the 'Boy Prince of Portland' had NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING to do with money.  How can you not get that?  It was about getting a nod, about feeling valued, about feeling some respect.  Scott was absolutely WRONG to air this publicly, and I have soundly beaten him for it, not that I needed to...the asinine death threats are enough I think.  However, my theory is that this comes back to the beginning.  It comes back to his having written this thing for so long that everyone feels like a bunch of friends sitting around with a beer in their hands.  What a mistake.  No, that is not the case.  We communicate with so many of our friends this way (online) that it felt natural to him to air his complaint here. 

So, where do I want to wind this up?  As I said, I have thought of so many things that I want to say, I am swimming in them.  I think I'll end with a reminder that I touched on in the beginning.

Scott is one man.  He is not perfect, by far.  Unfortunately for everyone, his imperfections are usually loud.  He cannot shut his mouth sometimes, and he thinks that everyone likes to be examined the way that he likes to examine himself.  I try to tell him that that is something  he learned that is SOOOOOOO erroneous...I think the lesson is settling in.  I personally do not like to examine my mistakes nor, god forbid, have someone else help me to examine them.  I prefer to have them slip away forgotten.

Scott, however, is the best husband and father in the world.  I cannot imagine how much less my life would be without him.  Certainly far more boring.  

He is one of the more intelligent people that I have ever met.  He talks a lot, but mostly it is interesting.  His take on life is so different than the way I learned to think how could that not be interesting?   Through him, our daughter is already more interesting and well-rounded than I am.  His absolute dedication and devotion to music, cycling, his friendships, and most of all his family, is more than I have ever had to anything.  He is far more caring than I am.  He is full of ideals that I, in my pragmatism, have never held.  Unfortunately he holds himself and others up to them, and many of us, including himself most of all, are found lacking.  This is where the lack of being able to shut up and stop the bleeding fails him the most.

So, think what you like, but please cut us some slack here.  If you aren't ready to ride out the waves with us, then just stop reading will ya?  Believe me, if his posts are feeling dark, then our days are dark.  We need support, not some lineup of people waiting to kick at us, huh?  So, enough analysis already.  I don't subscribe to it.  I don't think it's as healthy as he does and I think it can be hurtful.  If you are still pissed at him, then just quietly be pissed, okay?  Do this for me?  I personally think his skin is thinner than you all think it is.  I know mine is and I've had enough of all the painful and judgmental crap.  Enough character assassination has occurred-believe me, if you are one of the pissed people,  you can feel vindicated.  Our days are feeling a little more cloudy than even the Portland skies.

So, if you still feel kindly toward us, then please keep including us.  It feels fantastic and we will eventually recover and join in and reciprocate.  If you're feeling unkindly, just go away for a while.  We've got enough going on right now.

Tomorrow I promise that the really boring stuff will begin..like a nice conversation about my recently rediscovered joy of knitting,  with maybe some Enya and sleepytime tea.  We'll all think happy thoughts together.


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