Selling your home isn’t for the weak at heart part 4

Nor is having a mother-in-law who at first calls your husband because she’s afraid to live alone after three recent visits to the hospital. I totally get that and yes, she’s not getting any younger. It’s not how I saw our lives in our new location. We’ll get two apartments so we can check on her and she still has her independence. Fine, but then she doesn’t want to live in a rental so she wants us to house shop. because she wants us to share a home. Okay after spending hours looking at suitable one story houses she decides that she’s not ready to move yet but we need to be ready. Fine and Dandy, but I don’t want to buy a house and wait for her to change her mind again. I didn’t want the upkeep or the stress of maintenance. And the more I think about it, I don’t want or need the stress involved with living with her. I could go into all the horror stories but I’ll leave it as is with simply she’s difficult. So we’re going with our original plan. Apartment for 2 and a fur baby. We need to do what’s best for us and our health.

The good news is we have a tentative offer on our house pending architectural approval for the sale. The house should pass easily enough so we can finally get to the next step in our lives. Now, I’m looking at apartments, and packing up an eight room house. Goodwill and the V.A. are loving me right now. 1000 books have left our home, three bags of clothing, bookcases, dishes and I’m not done yet.

I’m sorting the boxes as I pack what goes to the apartment and what goes to storage so once we’re there it won’t be chaos.

Anyway, keep your fingers crossed everything goes as anticipated and we get to move in 6 weeks.

Pondering those things I cherish

The memories they hold and the stories they tell. On the fireplace mantle I have a piece of driftwood under the picture of the seagull swooping down over the sand. It’s a grayish brown in color and straight with rounded ends. Nothing spectacular visually but it has a story.

I was working for Northern Outdoors Whitewater Rafting at the Forks, Maine on weekends and driving school bus during the week. On this day, I was carrying food down to the halfway point on the Kennebec River like the other bus drivers for the different rafting companies. A friend of mine, Brenda Gleason was there for New England Whitewater. She and I drove school bus together as well. We had time on our hands waiting for the rafts when I pulled the driftwood from the river. Brenda asked me what was bothering me. Typical me, said everything was fine and dandy. That was always my answer when I didn’t want to talk about things.

I put the piece of driftwood in my bus. I didn’t think about the driftwood again until much later. It was gone when I went to retrieve it after my shift. No surprise. At that time in my life, nothing went as as it was supposed to be.

Monday morning I unlocked my school bus and there on the dash of my bus was the missing driftwood with fine and dandy wood burned along the side. I didn’t see Brenda until later in the day. I thanked her for making my driftwood log special.

That piece of driftwood traveled in my Pontiac Catalina, then my Ford truck and then my Dodge Neon before becoming a part of beach décor. I’m guilty of still saying when I don’t want to talk… I’m fine and dandy.

I’m not sure where it will be displayed in our next home but I know it definitely going with us.

“Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.”― Oscar Wilde

Stream of pomegranate

Only Leslea Newman would choose a pomegranate for prompt to use in stream of consciousness writing. Yes, the fruit is a power color or as some would say a royal color. Although, I’m not fond of eating fruit that stain my fingers, but I do enjoy a glass of pomegranate juice. And it’s a nice change of pace from all the green hype. Just so you know, fresh juice doesn’t have to be green or full of spinach to be healthy.

Speaking of healthy, I decided to toss a soup together in the crockpot. It’s dreary and rainy again and a good hot bowl of soup is the perfect comfort food. I’m all about comfort these days. It’s not easy in this stressful existence to balance good meals and keeping the house looking unlived in.

Checked the balances in our account, no stimulus payment again. That’s three times we’ve not received anything. Our address hasn’t changed nor have our bank accounts. I’m not even sure why I bother checking, I only get more depressed. At least, our cupboards aren’t bare… I’m thankful I always kept them well stocked for emergencies. I just didn’t expect them to be happening for such a long period of time. No deposits from the insurance companies yet for Vic’s commissions. Absolutely deplorable! I totally understand why there is such a high turnover among insurance agents, the f-ing companies don’t pay consistently. It’s all about the shareholder’s and ceo’s accounts. There’s also the first quarter reports involved, got to keep that looking good for new investors. Yeah, lots of gray area to go around but that doesn’t pay bills.

Macavity was snuggled with me when I woke up this morning. He came down with me, watched me make coffee and then his breakfast before snuggling on my lap while I free wrote in my journal. He wasn’t happy when I picked him up so I could grab another coffee. He should know by now that nothing comes between my coffee consumption. Anyway, he’s lying in front of the window on his pillow. So there’s peace in both our worlds thus far, because there aren’t any showing requests yet.

I just finished reading Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop. What an interesting perspective! The story unfolded in first person with us joining Monsieur Perdu on his floating bookstore on a barge on the Seine River. He interacts with customers from time to time but mainly we’re reliving his pain from a lost love. He refuses for the longest time to read the letter she sent him. When he finally does, he sets off on a mission to where she lives. Our gift from this book is a reminder how the literary world can take the human soul on a journey of self-discovery and healing. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded of the power of stories and how they shape our lives. Amusingly, the back cover of the book is the same color as a pomegranate.

Thinking ….remembering my childhood. I wore my mask well, hiding behind laughter. I longed for someone back then to save me from my self-hate but no one cared enough. Now, I’m older and a lot wiser but there are times when my dark mind… fears, insecurities and the urge to cut again rises. Depression is a continuous battle that even a good cup of coffee can’t cure.

Just getting it done

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of putting your foot on the ground and then going through the motions masking whatever stress we feel just to function I love when people tell me, put a happy face on and before you know it you’ll be out of the funk you’ve been in. Yeah right, if only silver dollars fell from the sky too. Nothing is ever that easy. Times like this, I actually envy robots, they have the luxury of programming. Humans on the other hand malfunction more than function.

Yesterday, I woke up and absentmindedly reached down to pat Yeatsie. No Yeatsie, no cat bed beside my bed. No Macavity snuggled by my legs. I felt alone even though Vic was still sleeping beside me. Then I rose, made coffee and opened Facebook to discover a good friend had passed away unexpectedly. As I sat, thinking about our last conversation the phone rang and it was the vet’s office telling me Yeatsie’s body was back from cremation. All of this before I finished my first cup of coffee. Needless to say, the day didn’t improve emotionally.

I found myself wondering where I bought the candle I lit for Bruce because it seemed to burn forever. I know I could have distinguished at any point but that’s not my way. I always light a candle to help guide a loved one’s journey to the other side. Many of Bruce’s friends lit their own candles along with mine… he was loved. Wil I be as loved when it’s my time. I hope so.

I glanced at Yeatsie’s urn, it matched Purryl’s perfectly. Three urns with my beloved fur babies all in red cherry sitting together isn’t how I expected life to be but then no one thinks of the time when our pets depart their physical bodies.

I made it through the day, packing up more stuff until I was exhausted and it was time to chair the writing group on zoom. By the time that meeting ended my mind was too exhausted to think and the pillow felt inviting.

This morning, I woke with Macavity beside my legs and I thanked him for making the beginning of my day comforting. He nuzzled my hand and stretched out on the bed. He wasn’t ready to rise yet but I was. Thursday is trash pick up so sleeping in is out of the question. I could have put it out last night but the rain was torrential and I didn’t find it appealing to get saturated before going to bed. The fog is lingering this morning, kinda like Macavity wanting the day to wait for him.

Adding to the daily stress is the mortgage company representing the investor calls every f-ing day. to find out the status of the house. Yes, they harass us every single day except Sunday. I’m beginning to think the investor who owns our loan just wants to take the deed in lieu and sell it himself cutting us out of the picture. Nothing has been easy in this picture since covid drastically impacted our finances. The Care Act is pretty clear on our rights as homeowners but our wallets can’t handle hiring an attorney and this sleeze ball is confident he can pull the rug out while fattening his wallet.

It’s a wonder we rest at all, I believe our bodies shut down out of sheer mental exhaustion.

Sometimes, I wonder if living is really worth this,

The Moon went behind a cloud

to hide it’s face and cry…

The silence of a falling star lit up the early morning sky.
I wonder where you are, Bruce.
I’m so sad…… it just can’t be true. But it is… his son, his daughter, his daughter-in-law all say it is so.

This candle is for my friend, Bruce Shubert, he passed unexpectedly yesterday, leaving so many of us in shock.

Hank Williams knew how to put it into lyrics… the heart ache that never goes away when your loved ones pass.

After Johnny died a man (Bruce) I didn’t know very well at the time reached out daily. Initially, it was just to let me know I wasn’t alone. Bruce offered kindness in the dark hours when I couldn’t sleep. He understood how difficult it was being a grandmother who has lost her grandson and was terrified of losing her son as well.

Sometimes, people say I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m only a phone call, don’t hesitate. Time passes and they’re always too busy. Bruce wasn’t like that. He lived up to his promise and then some. No matter what was happening, he always found the time to check in . We became good friends though we never physically met.

He was very active in many Facebook groups and his presence was felt around the world. Oddly enough yesterday morning he posted this meme. All of us are going to miss his good morning and many blessings post.

I hope he’s right because this world feels very alone today. I found myself wondering if somehow he knew his time was coming, you know like a premonition.

As if there wasn’t enough sadness in my world, the phone rang to tell me Yeatsie is back from the crematory. I stood looking out the window, trying not to cry. Mother Nature thankfully, had it covered, it’s pouring…. all the tears that I’m ready to shed.

Bruce, please give, Johnnie, Sammy, Logan, Yeatsie, Purryl, Quasi and Fluffy… each a hug for me.

Selling a home isn’t for the weak of heart part 2

The listing went up March 17th. The realtor said there were requests to see the house the very next day. WTF? I didn’t even have it clean yet or all the boxes moved to the basement. I said, not happening. Schedule them for Friday. And then I did what I could get done until Jordi came over. Thank goodness he is young and strong because the boxes alone would have killed me. He did all the running up and downstairs and unassembled the cabinet upstairs so we get it ready for bulk pick-up. He’s been our salvation through the packing thus far.

I went to bed exhausted and it still wasn’t all done. I got up early and continued with the cleaning. I finished with 15 minutes to spare before the first appointment. We have a ridiculous amount of glass and mirrors in here that takes a lot of time.

Macavity and I collapsed in the car together while Vic did a walk through with the realtor.

“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.” – Robert Tew

It’s stressful enough getting everything done but then trying to find ways to make it easier on Macavity. He hates riding in the car. I can’t say that’s unexpected, most cats react that way. But the alternative is more terrifying to me. Back in 2016 when we had the first realtor experience, she left the sliding glass door open and my cats ended up missing. Purryl and Yeatsie thankfully were only in the lower yard but Macavity was missing for hours. We fired her and withdrew the house from the market. I was so upset that he had been placed in harms way. I stressed to this realtor under no circumstances are the doors to be left open. I didn’t feel confident this would happen so I’m taking Macavity with us. Thank goodness I was still holding Macavity because we came home to the back door open. WTF? Are all realtors brought up in barns? Or without common sense?

Anyway, Friday and Saturday there were showings and now there’s an open house scheduled for this weekend. Macavity did better on Saturday in the car then he did on Friday. Hopefully, this weekend he will as well.

Selling a house during a Covid pandemic, adds another dimension to the picture. I’m faced with wiping all the surfaces once we’re back in the house to minimize the virus risks. I don’t feel comfortable not doing it. So clean before I leave and then clean again once I’m home. Lucky me.

“Welcome to my nightmare.” comes to mind.

We did get the first round of vaccine and the second round is scheduled but Macavity doesn’t have that luxury. He is already compromised with his heart condition so I can’t take any chances.

Yesterday, we worked on finishing the basement floor with interlocking mats. I was surprised what a difference it made, the concrete was freezing. It looks good compared to when we got the house, the previous owner had a blue rug that didn’t match anything down there and there wasn’t even a pad under it which we discovered after the water line broke. We had to pull everything because it got moldy.

“I used to feel like this home was my anchor in a storm, but leaving it… is it saving us from drowning. The taxes alone are staggering, add in the home owners fees on top of the mortgage there’s no way we can survive here. This house has been the gift that kept giving. We’ve had so many repair nightmares. I’m not sad to see it go, but I’m sad at what is involved to get to the next stage in our life. I can’t imagine doing this more than once in a lifetime but people do.

Selling a home isn’t for the weak of heart

The process of making it look fresh and clean is time consuming. Whether you’re scrubbing all the trim or repainting it to hide any blemishes, it’s not a one day task. In this house, I’ve been at three months straight out to get the 2125 square feet looking great. Especially getting rid of all the black trim from the previous owner. That in itself was time consuming as all get out. Then waiting for my oldest son to have time in his schedule to bring staging down to reach the hallway. He set up two one feet ladders and then added adjustable planks to walk across. It looks awesome.

All the window dressing is done then onto removing all the personal stuff, heaven forbid a new perspective buyer see family pictures or decorations. They just want minimal artwork up and no clutter. That’s challenging with my husband who is notorious for hanging onto every scrap of paper and then some. His desk is always an eye sore to me. I’m at a loss as to how he functions there. Then the fun stuff of cleaning everything to make it look unoccupied.

The challenges of that is fun when you have cats who leaves their own dna everywhere. With all the stress of our adjusting to a one cat household. Macavity still springs down the stairs like he used to do to Yeatsie everyday and then slumps his shoulders and waits there. It’s been a difficult week since we took Yeatsie to be laid down. Macavity has just begun eating again.. I took Yeatsie’s beds to the shelter, along with the self feeders, cat towers, and the extra litter boxes. They were quite pleased to get the donations.

It was terrifying to Macavity to go to the car because he saw Yeatsie go in the car and then not return. He did better the second day in the car with us. I can’t say I blame him. I’m not thrilled at having to leave our house for 3 hour chunks at a time so people can wander through our home, snooping where ever.

This is my first time selling a home and it feels like I’m being violated. I’ve always cherished my privacy.

Last night, deciding what I wanted to cook and then thinking about all the clean up after diminished my usual joy in food preparation. Hopefully, this will be a quick process but having this as long term situation will definitely drive me insane.

Getting this house ready as sucked the energy out of me and then some. It’s been more so challenging with the foot injury. I’m not sure if it was good news on Wednesday when the doctor said it looks like the stress fractures have healed. Apparently, they missed that break in October when they did the initial exam. I can’t fault him because I saw the first MRI, it wasn’t clear. This one showed everything really well. ( The difference in technician’s was huge too.) This MRI showed I did have two breaks along with the over extended Achilles. The bad news is the tendons, they’re still inflamed and he couldn’t tell me how long before they cooperate.

My friends have been commenting on my lack of writing. Yes, it has fallen to the side, there’s only so many hours in a day and by the time I get what has to get done versus what I would rather be doing. If only I could split myself in two. Even that might not be enough.

It is what it is. Like the old adage, everything has a time.

Dedicated to Yeatsie, Purryl and Quasi… Macavity, Mom and Dad miss you so very much.

Melanie’s Share Your World

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2021/03/08/share-your-world-3-8-2021/

QUESTIONS: 

If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be for?  (Covid considerations are suspended for this question)

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love throwing costume parties. The anticipation of seeing everyone’s costumes is the best part.

Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

I’ve taken a lot of pictures in my life, I’m not sure if they speak 1000 words but they do speak volumes about me.

Where IS Waldo?   (Waldo, for those unfamiliar with him, is a cartoon character featured in many “find Waldo” images and puzzles)      <——  WALDO

Waldo is taking a nap on my back deck. Waldo has been traveling a lot avoiding all the restrictions of Covid, When he landed in Jersey, I offered him our guest room but he really wanted to be outside. He’s hoping to see the new moon before anyone else.on… March 13, 2021

What’s the best part of waking up?

The smell of coffee beans being ground and then the aroma of coffee brewing. I love the quiet in the early morning as I patiently wake for my coffee.

Would you rather be covered in fur or covered in scales?   (Wee disclaimer.  I’m certainly not advocating the slaughter of creatures and the use of their skins for clothing or accessories.  No!  This question is a ‘grow your own’ type question…if you had an option of your own skin being made of fur OR scales, which would you choose?)

Fur, it’s not exactly beach weather yet.

“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.” —John Green

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Painted the upper trim in front entry way. The last time it was painted my friend talked me into painting it the same color as the wall because it doesn’t really say anything. It doesn’t frame a window or define the end of a space. But I never liked it blending in. Today, I painted it the same color as the lower trim and the window. It’s now monroe bisque and if I do say so… what a difference. It adds some visual and makes my photographs pop right out.

I wore my boot for part of the painting and my sneaker for the other so I didn’t abuse the foot. I wish I could say one was better than the other. I’m writing this blog entry with a tens unit do it’s thing on my foot. It’s so frustrating that 5 months later the foot still hurts this much.

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“Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” —Parker Palmer

Many people understand the importance of eating right but it takes more than eating the right food if your body doesn’t process the way it supposed to do. I know every time I go for my physical I have bloodwork done and it comes back flagged with 2 deficiencies. I eat fruits, veggies and drink almond milk everyday. Doesn’t matter. my bloodwork says vitamin d and vitamin b12 are deficient. So I take supplements..

I felt sad and anxious … assumed that being depressed was a norm. I discussed my feelings with my doctor which led to my bloodwork. What a difference in just a couple of weeks. I suggest if you’re feeling out of sorts or sad that you ask your doctor to check your vitamin D and vitamin B12 levels to be sure. Vitamins don’t make me feel funny or make me feel tired. Some medical practioner’s are saying vitamin D is helpful against covid as well.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325823#vitamin-d

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/b12-and-depression

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/vitamin-supplements-hype-or-help-for-healthy-eating

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/do-multivitamins-work#heart-disease

One step forward, one step backward

Just a brief recap, Sept 30th, I fell down the stairs carrying a box that was going to my granddaughter in Maine. I got up and continued bringing the box to the car and fetched the rest. No big deal, who doesn’t fall. I checked it out before bed, no bruising but it was sore. We went to Maine the next morning and made the deliveries. The following week a dark discoloration/ bruise appeared and the pain level increased. So I thought, well I’ll get it checked out. Ex-rays showed the third metatarsal was broke but he was concerned about the extension of my achilles and the swelling that was appearing in my calf. Okay on to get an MRI. MRI showed the achilles was torn slightly so into this boot for 3 months. The break healed but the achilles was still causing my toes to curl and the back of my leg to spasm. So we began PT, and a home tens unit. Now, mind you we’re talking four months and I still can’t walk without pain.

That’s not going to work I have a house to pack, and painting to finish so we get the best possible selling price. So interest of doing insanity I found a way to work for a couple of hours, use the tens unit to manage the pain. It made the process slower than it needed but at least there’s progress. I go to the Doctor yesterday morning for a recheck. I ask why the outside of my foot has increased in pain while the rest has appeared to recover. He takes another ex-ray and I have a new break.

You have got to frigging kidding. I’ve worn the boot when I’ve had to be on my foot longer periods even after I was freed. I am beside myself with frustration. Now, another MRI appointment is for this afternoon. He said to wear the boot again to I see him on the 17th when he goes over the results.

I’ve got a realtor biting at the bit to show our house and I’m still trying to pack. Can we say timing sucks?

If that wasn’t stressful enough, Vic’s mother collapsed again. She’s in the hospital because of oxygen deprivation and disorientation which go hand in hand. She lives in the St. Louis area, easy enough to get to if you hop on a plane. If you have the money to do that or feel comfortable flying with all the covid issues. Timing again, yesterday was Vic’s 68th birthday.

These are some of the crochet projects I completed during my time out from writing. My granddaughter , Olyvia was very happy with her albino bat like the one in Roblox, Stitch, Mike and Sully, and Rudolph. I made a few of the Plague doctor and nurse with cards saying 2020 survivor. And of course, hats and scarves for family. I did make all the grandchildren a reindeer for their holiday decorations. I made productive use of my time in the boot and restricted walking.

I’m going to close this entry with one of my go to quotes when I feel overwhelmed.

“On your darkest days do not try to see the end of the tunnel by looking far ahead. Focus only on where you are right now. Then carefully take one step at a time, by placing just one foot in front of the other. Before you know it, you will turn that corner.”
― Anthon St. Maarten

# Laughing along with a Limerick

https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/2020/10/26/laughing-along-with-a-limerick-30/

seriously, give me a dang break
sincerity, yours is clearly fake
you….. promised to be there
said you really care….
I don’t need this headache or heartache

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Crocheting

I’ve been working on Olyvia’s birthday present while I’m laid up. She’s a huge fan of Monster’s Inc. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve worked on toys. I used to make crocheted toys all the time when my children were younger. John had a blue and white rabbit, Chris had a dragon and Amanda had Humpty Dumpty that I had done when they were born. There were other crocheted toys over the years. I don’t know why I stopped.

Last year a friend asked if I could make him Finn from Adventure Time. It was actually an easy pattern and I enjoyed it. Then he asked about Forky from Toy Story, so I did Forky.

I asked my daughter if Olyvia would like Woody and Jesse from Toy Story. She said, Olyvia would but she would really love Mike Wazowski and Sully. Her favorite movie is Monster’s Inc. So I did Mike and I’m working on Sully.

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Foot update:

I’m a klutz . I fell on September 30th lugging boxes downstairs for our trip to Maine on October 2nd. I missed the dang step. Yeah, it hurt but I didn’t think too much of it. It was sore but one expects that when you fall. It didn’t bruise so I thought I escaped the bullet. It was uncomfortable to bear weight but I figured it would go away But unfortunately, last Monday (19th) my ankle turned dark purple and the swelling was spreading up into my leg. So I made an appointment with an orthopedic. Ex-ray wasn’t conclusive enough on the ankle but they were able to determine I had a heel spur, tore my achilles and a hairline fracture of my foot. Naturally, let’s do more tests so I had the MRI done. Stay off the foot, use crutches and we’ll see you on the 28th. We discuss then if you need surgery because the MRI will tell us more about the achilles and how bad it’s torn and what’s going on with the ankle. By the way, we recommend compression knee high socks so you need to get those for your boot that you’ll be fitted for on the 28th.

If it hadn’t been a pandemic, I would’ve had the MRI the same day and this would already be done. Got to make the appointment online, wait for them to call you back do their screening and then they’ll schedule you.

Anyway to make a long story short… I’ve been hanging out in a recliner with my foot elevated putting a lot of Voltaren creme on it and crocheting. If you have any kind of pain, Voltaren works really well with the direct application to the area. Between that and taking the Diclofenac which is the pill form of Voltaren I’ve been reasonably comfortable until I do the hop to the bathroom or navigate the stairs to come down in the morning or go back up at night for bed.

Vic wants to wrap me in bubble wrap.

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Reading:

Olyvia gave me a talking too about my reading. Apparently, I’m not reading enough. I just finished Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree ( excellent) and Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories. She’s read more books than me plus done her schoolwork. I took the lecture in good grace because I couldn’t simply say I’ve bee crocheting her birthday present.

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Poetry Contest: Picture Prompt

OFP3 - 2020

Mirrored in Pain

A single glowing orb casted light
upon my love’s dark, silken mane
for it helped hide her slender neck from sight.

I fear she chose the angle to hide her fright
from my rage because every word was a strain.
A single glowing orb casted light

adding to my agony beholding this night.
Oh the sorrow, if only there wasn’t pain
for it helped hide her slender neck from sight.

Did she abandon living out of spite,
just to mock our love. Is she really that vain?
A sing glowing orb casted light

I will find a way to set things right
for I will not be known as a cruel swain
for it helped hide her slender neck from sight.

Lovers all have moments they feel contrite
we mustn’t let our happy memories be slain.
A single glowing orb casted light
for it helped hide her slender neck from sight.

19 lines

A Villanelle is a nineteen-line poem consisting of a very specific rhyming scheme: aba aba aba aba aba abaa.

The first and the third lines in the first stanza are repeated in alternating order throughout the poem, and appear together in the last couplet (last two lines).