Somebody Else's to them, whomever they may be.

Somebody Else's to them, whomever they may be.
How I feel after throwing a party...

Thanks for the visit!! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

They Don't Know...That Sometimes Dreams Don't Come True

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, or wish, or work, and pray, dreams don’t come true.  So what do you do then?  You pick yourself back up.  You fix your lipstick, you put a comb through your hair and you move on to something new... a new dream, a new project, a new task.  You keep walking and climbing and falling and standing back up and trooping on.  It doesn’t  mean you don’t cry, or that your heart didn’t break, or that you aren’t angry or frustrated, it doesn’t mean that you don’t hurt…it just means that you pick up and you keep trying…sometimes leaving what was behind, and looking for what may be instead.

This is what it feels like with my 18 year dream for a family full of children.  It is compounded by the well meaning and the nosy who have been asking…all…these…long…years…”Sooooo…do you have kids?”, “Are you going to have kids?”, “Are you sure you tried everything?”, “That must be so hard for you?”, “I couldn’t do that, I would want to die if I didn’t have my kids.”, “You’re not really a whole woman if you’ve never had children.”, “Oh, that’s so sad for you.  I don’t know what I’d do if I hadn’t had my children.”, “Are you sure you’ve done everything you can?”, “Are you pregnant yet?” And any number of other things.  What they don’t understand is that from the kindest questions to the rudest statements, it’s still probing an open wound and it still stings and throbs every time they want you to talk about it and give the vaginal-uterine update.  There’s so much they don’t know and so much they don’t understand.

They don’t know about the crate that sits in the space under the house full of little clothes that you have bought and saved over the years as you wished and hoped and dreamed.  They don’t know about the little dresses, and feetie pajamas, and hair ribbons, and basketball shorts that sit unused and with their tags still on them.  They don’t know about the little blankets and quilts covered in baby animals and tiny flowers, washed and waiting for a little body that never came. 

They don’t know that sometimes you open the crate and you take those little things out, and that in the beginning you imagined a little person of your own in them and that you could picture their sweet little face with their tiny nose and rosebud lips and kissing them and singing to them and loving them, or that in the middle of this journey that you hoped so hard for a little person for them, and that most recently, now towards the end of this time, of this dream, you wonder if you should just get rid of them all…but even though you almost do, you can’t quite bear to part with them because there still is the tiniest chance.  And so you put them back in, and you close the crate and you tell yourself that you have other things to do like cleaning the bathroom and making dinner and that you don’t need to be looking through the trappings of dreams that have almost vanished.

They don’t know about the crafting nights with other women and friends when you made file folder quiet games for church for when you hoped you would sit together in a pew as a family, with quiet books and cheerios to help shush and pass the time.  They don’t know about the family activity board for chores and assignments, or the flannel board you made and all of the Bible stories to go with it.  They don’t see the cheap little photo albums that you turned into books with pictures of Jesus and animals and children to teach them about God’s love for them and the importance of family and love and obedience.

They don’t know about the little toys and the teething rings or the few little stuffed animals that you just couldn’t pass by.  They don’t know about the children’s book collection that you started with thoughts of reading out loud to a lapful of little warm children that were yours, or that you disguise it as something that is just for the nieces and nephews…because that is what it slowly turned into. 

They don’t know that you saw an advertisement for a series of porcelain plates with little children painted on them as angels…and that thinking you would have angels of your own…you bought the series and that they came to you in foam and light and are signed by the artist and have certificates of authenticity.  They don’t know that when you looked at the one with twins, a boy and a girl, that you thought that could be you, you wished it would be you, and that you knew it would be you and you smiled every time you took out that plate and looked at it…excited to hang it, with the rest of them, in a nursery someday soon.  The box sits quiet now, closed, dusty and you don’t look at those plates anymore.  You’ve thought about giving them away but can’t think of anyone who would dream with them the way you did and so you leave them be in the quiet of the garage.  They are remainders of you from the past.

They don’t know about all of the research and reading and studying you did about breastfeeding, healthy eating, disciplining and training children. They don’t know that you thought about public school vs. private school vs. homeschooling and that you went to conferences to learn more.  They don’t know how you thought about education and enrichment and college and grandchildren and growing old with little children hugging your legs while you made a giant Thanksgiving dinner, or watched their faces as they opened Christmas presents, or ran in sprinklers. 

They don’t know about the name books and the lists you made to the point that you thought “I love all of these names!! I’m going to need to have 25 kids just to use them all.” And that you laughed at yourself and that you were having fun in the dreaming and the learning and the growing.  They don’t know that you sometimes still look at those names in old journals and notebooks and that when friends and family talk about not knowing what to name a baby or that they are stuck for names for a newbie that has already arrive, that you quietly suggest some of your second tier favorites…but never the first tier because maybe…maybe.

They don’t know that you’ve imagined yourself in the hospital going through the end game experience with your husband and that in this dream you are both so happy and can’t believe that the miracle actually happened and that everything finally came true.  They don’t see what you see as you hold your new baby together as a new little family, laughing and weeping at the same time in disbelief.  They don’t know the life that you know you’ve missed, and that you don’t know how to make it right because it is beyond your control.  They don’t see it turn to mist and fade to black.  They don’t know that you have woken up weeping.  They don’t know that you have dreamt of countless babies and small children through the years that you found and saved and thought were yours but ultimately realized in the dream that they were not yours to keep but just to care for and that you woke up and got ready for work and went on with a day because what else can you do?

They don’t know about all of the exams and the probing and the medicine and the calendaring and tracking and timing and the science of trying everything you can to create a human being.  They don’t know about the naked humiliation of having person after person after person looking and probing and shining giant lights and injecting fluids and taking x-rays and ultrasounds of your most intimate parts.  They don’t know that you come away some days feeling like a test rat from all of the touching and probing, with needle marks in your arms from all of the blood drawing, or feeling sick because of months and months of medicinal treatment that try to trick your body into all kinds of performance.  There is no magic to it because it becomes formulas and routines and schedules but you don’t care because you have become a maniac.  You are a crazy woman.  You know every nuance of your body and you track every difference, every change, and every twinge because maybe it means something. 

You find in the end that maybe it did mean something…but it also meant nothing because here you are…changed but the same childless woman that you started out as with an empty uterus and no warmth or wiggling in your arms from a little creature that is yours and ours and pink and alive.  You have not propagated the species.  You have given your husband no children to love and to carry on his name.  There is no one to teach or to train, to love and to make you laugh, to make you scold and put in time out, or to be proud of as they grow into fine human beings.  You remain two where you wished for so much more.

You learn to tolerate it, to smile, to be thoughtful and kind, and to not snap back at people because they don’t know, and they won’t ever know…because this is your cross that you carry.  It’s your cross with the heartache, with the pain, with the regret, with the frustration, with the sadness, with the loneliness, with the personal blame of a broken body that should work but doesn’t.  You carry all of it, and you cry in your closet so that no one else will see your sorrow and your sobbing despair…because there is nothing to be done about it.

And so you step up from the dark at the back and the bottom of your closet and out of your shoes you knocked off of their rack when you fell to your knees in crying despair calling out to God to provide a balm to your broken and battered heart, and out from under your dresses and blouses and pants and coats that are in your hair and on your face where you rocked against them in your heartbroken weeping, out from the comforting embrace of the smell of your own perfume all around you, and back into the light of the room. 

You unfold yourself and stand back up.  You wipe your tears and blow your nose, and fix your makeup, cooling off the pinked eyelids and brows, fix your mascara streaks, powder your face, brushing your birds nest out of your hair.  You look at yourself in the mirror, at the sad, sad face that looks back at you, and you choke back your last sobbing at the broken heart that you see in your own eyes, and you tell yourself to get a grip, to get a handle on it, to be glad that you are alive, to be glad that you can breathe, that you have love, that you are healthy and that you have opportunity.  You tell yourself that you are grateful for flowers, and trees, and birds.  You’re thankful for oranges, and limes, and strawberries and bananas.  You tell yourself that you are thankful that your butt is chunky because it means that you have food in your home and in your belly.  You tell yourself that you are grateful for a husband that is your best and dearest friend, and that he loves you and wants you and appreciates you and doesn’t care that you can’t have babies because this thing doesn’t define who you are, because you are bigger and more than the things your body can or cannot do, and that this thing has never changed his love for you. 

And then you realize that even though your dreams of being a mother of many children…or at this point…even of just one little human…didn’t come true…and that the window is closing…that you are happy, and loved, and warm and that you’re going to be o.k. even if your plans didn’t work out the way you thought they would. 

You realize that you have a bigger love in your heart than you did because of your own suffering and struggling, and that it helps you to love the other humans on the planet all the more.  It helps you to understand heartbreak and sadness in all of its guises more poignantly, which in turn helps you understand how to be a greater comfort to others, how to love them more, how to give and embrace with greater sincerity and light.  It teaches you that even with regret and unrealized dreams, even with tragedy and surprise, life marches on, that it is spectacular, and glorious and full of color and light. 

Sometimes dreams don’t come true, but without the bitter there can be no sweet, and so you walk on embracing the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the ups and the downs of this human life, of this human experience and you learn to love yourself for all the things you are, and for all the things that you aren’t, and that you are a good woman and that this is enough even though you wanted so much more not realizing or knowing that you already are so much more.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Black Road and The Starlit Night Make Dreamers of Us All

The whip and hiss of the fishing pole, followed by the thunking kerplink of the lure. He stands on the gray rocks down by the water casting with the very last of the light. Whip and hiss. Whip and hiss. The rhythm peaceful and natural and the man is calm in his own mind, and it is only him and the pole and the lake.

Deep dusk is quickly descending on this mountain lake and it is almost night. The sky behind me is quickly closing in on that deep dark blue that appears just before the stars start to peek and shine. In front of me it is electric royal blue, like the sun is giving me one last glimpse of the day before tomorrow starts my way.

Whip. Hiss. Kerplink.

The air has changed and autumn is coming on. There is a bite in it that makes me glad for the corduroy coat that I have on and for the deep pockets that hold my keys and camera that I periodically jam my nipped and rosy fingers down into.

I breathe deep and smell grass and leaves, dirt, water, trees, cattle and the promise of cold mixed with the last breaths of warm summer air. It smells like the mountains in September. It smells like memories, and nostalgia and longing ring in my heart and make it ache a little.
I turn. What quiet. What peace. My mind calms and stops whirring and clanking, it stops spinning and solving. I stop. I stand. I breathe. I simply am.

He stands, feet on rocks, arm drawn to the side, the pole extending.

This man stands in the peace of day that comes at the end of dusk. He stands where he has always wanted to be. He has been traveling here all day long. Through the chores and responsibilities, he has been driving himself to this reward. He has arrived. He is alone, toes over the water for one last cast.

Whip. Hiss. Kerplink.

The sizzle of drawing the line back in as it whips across the water, droplets, that in the light would be silver diamonds, but in the night are invisible as they flit and fling from the line back into the lake. He secures the line, and before turning to scramble across the now-black rocks to the pebbled and sandy shore, takes a long look at the dark lake, rimmed by mountains full of scrub brush and sage, mule deer and sleeping rattlers and I know that in a primal way he is home.

We climb the mountainside and back up to the sandy parking lot. I look at the mountains again as the last of the daylight fades away behind them, and night has arrived with all of her midnight majesty and so true evening begins.

In our headlights we see fat, fluffy rabbits startled out of the road by the noise and vibrations of our car. In a bunny panic they hop and dash to the side of the road, scrambling into overgrown brush with dried and silvered grass that has greened temporarily before the cold snap of fall comes on. I'm hoping they don't mis-hop the wrong way and back into the road before we move on past. They don't, and live another bunny day.

Our lights slip and flash across old trees and into their shadows, slicing across pieces of field and fence and mountain. I think about pioneers and mountain men and Indians and explorers, about pirates, renegades and bandits. I reflect on the wildness and danger of exploration and discovery, of the fear and excitement that accompanies the wilds and the forests, the oceans, the night and the unknown.

Half stories and memories of tall tales combine with my imagination and I think about hiding and camping in the deep clusters of trees. I think of drawing cold creek water in a wooden bucket or a tin pan to drink, to wash, and to cook with. I think of wagons and horses and canoes, of homes with sod roofs, of the smell of campfire, coffee and exhaustion. I think of how hard it was to live and how easy it was to die. I think of my ancestors and ancient peoples. My thoughts deepen as our car slides on.

Ahead our lights catch the silvered startled light in the eyes of a deer. He is perfect and turned towards us, his ears perked and standing straight up, his radar detector for danger. We slow. We marvel. He pauses and then in a bound and a dash is gone, jumping and crashing back into the night. We glide on.

We emerge from the back road onto the highway and we are deep in the valley of the mountains and the night is black and purple and navy blue. I feel like I am in the deep of a gorge as the stars begin to rise and glimmer and spark high above our heads.

We drive in the shadows like reivers snaking along on our bellies, our tires whispering and whirring as we speed along streaking the dark with our lights. In black relief the mountains stand sentry around us as we slide through the valley and down the canyon. The night continues to rise and I watch the stars as they begin to pepper the sky in groups and in clusters and some in solitary. This is mountain night and it is beautiful and black and ancient. There is no light pollution from the city and you can imagine yourself in days long gone by and what that loneliness and peace must have been like.

Chris Knight croons in gravel in the background, telling us stories of hard times and broken people, and is soon joined by Waylon and Willie adding their own dash of humor and melancholy, until we are joined by a recording of the lonely, haunted howls of the true Rebel Yell, which is Celtic and Indian and lonely and desperate and wild.

And so my mind falls back in time again to a wilder place, a wilder time, where death and life were cradle-mates and not so distant from us. There was work and love and life and justice was a luxury and people clawed and scrapped and fought and choked on their last breath to survive and to be free.
The mountains crowd and cradle me in their vastness and the stars shine and fill my eyes with their eternity as the road continues to rush on beneath me.

We decide to stop for gas in a tiny, side of the road mountain valley town. Its only nine o'clock, but it feels more like 3 a.m. I feel suspended in time somehow, disconnected from everything current as I float between memory, history and opportunity. My mind is full and wild and alive.

Sometimes when I'm out on the road, and the highway is whistling in my ears and the road stretches out in my eyes, I don't want to stop for gas or food or rest, because the people are there... and reality is there... and social constraints are there... their noise is there, and even if only briefly until I get on the road again, the magic will end.

We fill the tank and I feel the pull of the road, the call of adventure, the desire to run wild from one electric living moment to the next. I don't want to stop. I don't want to go home. I want to be free together. I want to road trip. I want to write. I want to take pictures. I want to breathe free. I want to swim in the ocean. I want to read stories of myth and magic and legend. I want to be somewhere that doesn't exist anymore.

In this madness that threatens to consume me I realize that I am here and now. I realize that this is my time and these are my people. I realize that there is a connection between past and present in me that makes this wildness explode and I am happy to be me. I can be and do all of these things that bring my blood to life. These things that fuel my mind are good and wild and free.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Long Time Ago in a Beautiful Place

A long time ago in a beautiful place I swam deep in the ocean blue. 

Kelp beds called me, beckoning with their olive green, slippery arms.  "Come swim with ussssss...come swim with ussssss."  Bright orange fish followed me, dancing and darting and then crowned me like an underwater queen.  Swimming along the pale sandy bottom I startled a shark, who in a flash of creamy sand darted away into the gloom.  I happened upon a baby shark that turned and darted for my outstretched hand which I jerked back with a start. I picked up an urchin with its purple needles waving and reaching all around, and fed a slippery, green-silvery eel. There was a foray into an underwater cave, dark, mysterious, claustrophobic and uncomfortable, with a space just large enough to surface in, with fresh air and the sounds of the outside open air.

I swam in the echoes of my own bubbles and whispered breathing, and the swoosh and swish of my fins.  The ocean is a heavy quiet, filled with vibrations, burblings and rushings and splashes.  It is a peaceful place where there is silence in the filtered blue and green shadows and the golden lights that dance like diamonds all around you.

With my air tank beginning to run low, it was time for the ascent.  Time to leave the peace of the green and the blue, and to surface back into the warmth of the air with its blazing yellow ball of light.  And so I began to swim, and spiral upwards, slowly, quietly, happily.

At last I bobbed my mermaided self into the airy sky once more, sound exploding in rushing waves and cawing seagulls.  And as I adjusted to the bright sunshine and fresh air, and as the waves gently bobbed me to and fro, only a short ways away my human eyes were riveted by two large, brown, beautifully-lashed eyes of a harbor seal.
We stared, surprised and curious. I could not...dared not...move for fear of destroying the moment. 
The ocean became a pool and seconds became a lasting moment permanently etched in memory. 
With a dash and a splash she was gone, and the human girl bobbed alone in the waves once more.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Out of The Night That Covers Me

Written on Saturday, February 11th

Whitney Houston died today.


In 1985 or 1986 my young women's youth group went to one of her concerts for a youth activity. She was in her prime and performed beautifully. She wasn't who I was "in to" but it was a free concert, and I loved concerts, and she was someone very popular at the time. At this point her star was on the rise and she was vibrant, energetic and electrified with youth, beauty and talent that was spun sugar that rolled out like taffy across the audience. People loved her. Whether she was someone who was my "thing" or not was irrelevant, because I came away thinking the 12-13 yo's I was with were just as annoying as always but that she had some pipes and was amazing.

Whitney Houston was 48. The age difference between us just shy of 6 years. That's not a lot, especially as people in your generation are slowly starting to kick off.

I am not shocked that she died--with the drugs and the abuse, the rough living and the loss of confidence that the loss a beautiful talent can bring, and having your life splayed across tabloids and magazines for years, your life exposed with every move and mistake scrutinized--they haven't announced it yet--but of whatever killed her, truly, a broken heart would have been a part. I think it is so unfortunate that she wasn’t able to get it all under control before it had permanent repercussions: a tainted reputation, a damaged voice, and doubt. She definitely caught the tiger by the tail and, from what can be seen, never found out how to really let it go.

Her death is a marker of passing time. It is a marker of a generation that is aging and beginning to come to death and will come to death more and more frequently as time continues slipping onward.

It's not a "call to arms" to stop doing drugs, or drinking, or eating too much sugar and not enough fiber, not exercising, or whatever other nefarious behaviors people may be engaging in. We already know all of that. If you are doing or not doing then it's your choice to do or not to do.

No--her death is more of the quiet tolling of a somewhat distant bell. Something that you hear that is faint, but should be paid attention to.

The tolling calls out things like "Are you living the life you want?", "Are you utilizing your talents and skills in a way that brings you joy?", "Do you see beauty in your day-to-day living or do you trudge through a grey existence?", "Are you surrounded by people who care for you, love you, support you and encourage you?", even “What do you need to let go of to be happy?”

Sometimes life becomes a drudgery, something dissatisfying, something dismal that we don't want to be a part of. We get into known routines that can turn into ruts. Sometimes you can find yourself in a bucket full of crabs who can't do anything but tear down and hold back, people who don't want to build and move forward, people who would oppress and suppress your talent and your joy. Get out of the bucket. Climb out of the rut.

It doesn't matter so much what has been, or what has not been, what was had or has been lost. There is a great world out there full of joy, delight, experiences both good and bad that can give us richness and texture and growth.

If you are stuttering on the edge of an abyss that you would fall and disappear into, step back just once, and then again, and then again. Change your course. Reset your compass. You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul.

Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll.

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

An Introspective on...The View From Under the Bus

I wrote this this morning while reflecting on the dregs of these past few days, and weeks, and months. I just keep thinking about all of this human drama, and these nonsensical issues that are just stupid and unnecessary and are caused by a need to subjugate others to ones will, and to always have the last say. It is about power, bullying and unrighteous dominion.

We’ve been having some pretty significant conflict with some of our work partners.  Severe enough that we’ve had a handful of escalated meetings and some strong verbiage used. Several months back I purposefully stated and made it known that I knew that if these issues were not sorted out, discussed and repaired, that several months down the road we would be revisiting them. Sadly, I am right.

The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior and people rarely surprise you with true change. And so here we are…still.

The past two weeks have stretched and pulled me and I have learned a lot.

It has been interesting to see people who have complete denial down pat. It's not just something they “did once” or because “we don't agree on something perspective”-- it has been done so often that it is an actual trait and something that is not going to change.

I've also witnessed adult bullying at some of its ugliest and most manipulative, as well as matured-adult temper tantrums.

My conclusion: these particular people, along with scores of others, have been permitted these bad behaviors by many of those around them that turned a blind eye to dealing with the issue and the behavior because it was easier to work around them.

This would include parents and other family members, teachers through the years, friends, bosses and coworkers.

It is difficult to stand up against that kind of history. It is difficult to stand alone in the face of that type of behavior. It is difficult to be the one that is constant and trying to hold a standard in place. It is difficult to be the one that says "Enough!"

It is difficult because people fear the bully and they try to tell you that it's not really what it seems like. They try to sway you and tell you to get along and go along. But if you don't say “No,” if you don't stand for right, who will? Do you let them continue to destroy people and careers because it's "easier" to go along and get along? Do you say wrong is right just to get business done?

Information has come my way that indicates that these individuals that I have dealt with have always been this way. That they have always been "difficult," "known bullies," and "defiant." That they have never been team players and have always subjugated people around them to such misery that they got what they wanted so that people could get some peace.  Why the acceptance? Why the tolerance?

Essentially what this has done is just create chaos and obstructions for the rest of us down the road.  I have been tossed in to some pretty volatile situations, hot confrontations, lies, deceptions, whining, conniving, cheating, breaches of ethics and been privy to conflicts of interest that everyone else seems to be turning a blind eye to.  I have done my due diligence in discussing these issues and trying to decide how best to handle the varied situations I have been involved in.

I have tried to do right. I have tried to be a defender and a voice. I have tried to be as fair as possible. I have tried to provide good counsel. I have tried to move forward. You try the things that are supposed to work and sometimes they just don't.

The ugly fact is that no matter what goodness and honesty you practice, the wheels of the bus can still end up running across your back. But that's ok. When you're under the bus you're learning.  You may bleed a little and your eyes may sting with some hot tears, but you're learning...and that's not a bad thing for the next go-round that is inevitably coming your way.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Since Before Time We Have Been

"Since before time we have been.
Birth and death are only doors through which we pass, sacred thresholds on our journey .
Life is a game of hide- and -seek .
We were never born and can never die.
I see him every time I see your picture or read your sentence structure. "
          February 8th, 2012--Written to me by Gus Scholtz--
                                            My friend, family friend, friend of my father.

The following was written on February 7th, 2012

Topsy Turvy day today.  Along with the other misc day-to-day comings and goings and things to deal with, it's my dad's death day.  I find I always introspect about him and end up writing about my feelings as I process this loss every year.  I don’t really plan on it, it just kind of happens and this year is no different.

And so here I am, orphaned daughter, wondering how 12 years can go by so quickly and yet still seem like an eternity. The memory of his death always pulls on me like a sucking void when the thoughts of it come around and there is no taking it back—and I think that every time.  There’s no taking it back.  There’s no changing it. 

Death is such a personal thing.  Everything you feel, all of your thoughts and memories and that ringing sadness that clings to you as an experience that brings itself around, at times, when you least expect it, and sometimes when you do, it’s all in you and sometimes there are words, but sometimes there is nothing but the sorrow.  It’s a lonely grief because it is persistent and always somewhere in the periphery.  Other people don’t know it, don’t feel it, because it is solitarily yours.  They may have their own, but yours is your burden to carry, your loss to feel, your sadness to pack. 

When people die they take a piece of you with them, and you’re always kind of looking at how to get that piece back, how to fill that space. But it’s changed and morphed and gone, there is no getting it back.  And so you are left with the shadows of smiles remembered, and wisps of memories that start to fade in your mind, and the hollow call that is never answered. The sad piece is that you try so hard to hold on to clarity, crispness and color.  You try to remember the feel of loving arms and the sound of a voice that was home to you, but your brain betrays you and it all begins to fade. 

If you are lucky, perhaps there is a recording of some sort of their voice and you have some happy photos to help jostle the memories loose from their tightly honeycombed cavern within your brain.  It’s a blessing to have those things, but even when you do, it’s not enough because it’s not them.  And it is them that you are actually craving and are what you are looking for.  These other things are only a pale consolation prize.

A few months ago my mom came across an old cassette tape of my dad’s.  Ecstatically I put it into the player thinking “His voice!  I’ve missed his voice!”  For the briefest of seconds he was there.  He was speaking in Portuguese and I only had a moment to register that he sounded a lot like my brother Andy.  Then he stopped speaking and there was nothing.  I thought “There must be more!” and looked down and saw the tape turning.  With a sudden realization I panicked as I realized the machine was eating the tape.  I stopped the tape and was able to pull the mess out without ripping the tape, but it was done for now as we didn’t want to risk another eating episode.

And so, just as fleetingly as I heard him, again, he was gone.  It wasn’t long enough to register and stick, only long enough to make a heart sigh and for ears to strain to remember every sound--but to fail.

Science fiction and fantasy are fun to think about but they are never real no matter how much we may play with it or wish it. Sometimes I dream about time machines and reincarnations and returns from distant journeys or secret missions.  Sometimes I dream of alternate endings or of changes in history or of events and choices.

Sometimes I indulge in scenario-vision and think about what should have been and is not.  Sometimes I think about the things that would be different if he were still around.  Sometimes I think about the injustices that he would never have permitted, of the defending that he would have provided, and the wall that he would have been between me and the buffetings of the world.  I dream about the conversations we would have had and the ideas and music and books we would have shared.  I think about how he would have reacted to any number of situations and peoples and scenarios. 

The reality is that no amount of speculation changes the end result.  No amount of wishing and fretting and dreaming can turn back time and change the end.  He is gone and is gone and is gone and he isn’t ever coming back…not to this life at least.

He has missed a lot and is missed a lot.

I'm a little blue with a tight throat and there are always tears that come...always.

And so time marches on...and so do we.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I had a good chuckle this evening.  I guess technically it was at someone else’s expense…but I don’t know…I choose to view it more as a welcome-to-the-club commiseration.

One of my girlfriends is a few years younger than I am…heading solidly into mid-30’s.  She has a delightfully direct way of talking about her experiences that keeps people hopping, but can be extremely funny…(o.k. she’s not just a girlfriend…she’s a part of the family girlfriend…which makes it even better because we have all kinds of shared experiences and inside jokes, but I digress.)

Anyway, apparently she went in for a little yearly OBGYN joy today.  Her Facebook post…yes…Facebook…was:

“Got ‘the shocker’ at the Dr’s today…huh, I didn’t see that coming…” 

To which I very promptly laughed out loud and thought “Ohhhh hoh-ney!” 


(If you don’t know what “the shocker” is…well…your edumacation on that is going to come from somewhere else. ;))

So this will definitely be fodder for conversation at the next book club for a good 20 minutes or so because no doubt everyone else will share their stories of medical humiliation.

I promptly replied to her Facebook as sensitively and as understandingly as I could muster…which amounted to the following “Bahahahahahahahahaha!!! You are NOW officially a woman...of a "certain" age! LOL Congrats...and welcome to Club-Surprise. LOL”

Why do doctors do this? 

You’re just there on the table, leaning back in a half-torn, wrinkled napkin, (that they must laugh at every time they leave the room after telling you to go ahead and get undressed) in mostly all your exposed glory, after the doctor has said "Go ahead and scoot your bum a little further down.  No, a little further. Further. O.K. Perfect." Like he's waving down a high-precision jet on an aircraft carrier with those little orange cone things they wave around, and you're trying to human-crab-scuttle down the examination table, (but it’s all for your good health, right? RIGHT???) thinking...

“O.k. Ugh. Almost done…I still need to go to the store.  What am I making for dinner?  Do I have time to grab lunch on the way back?  Probably.   
O.k. speculum out. Sigh. Almost done. 
Hey, whoa!!!  Oh now!!…wha…nooooooooo!! Bastard! No warning.  Dammiiiiiiittttttt!  Arghhhhh!”

And you are left awkwardly squingee and wondering where the hell the customer service is in your day.  

At the bank they give you a lollipop when they finish things up and the dentist will give you a new toothbrush and some cinnamon dental floss.  This guy...he's giving me a poke and a prod and nothing but a bad naked time memory.  The insurance clowns have it backwards...I'm the one who should be getting a $25 copay.  Sheesh.

Anyway, the drive by probing has, thank goodness, only happened once and it was several years back.  And when she posted the unauthorized, unwarned one-peek-cheek-sneak it all came rushing back and it made me laugh out loud…in commiseration.  Purely.

Alright…TMI…but at least it was funny TMI.  Welcome to one of the many medical humiliations involved in being a human being.

Beware the man in the white lab coat with the rubber gloves and the never just never know.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Sunshine-Ocean Bender

I get these sometimes.  The Sunshine-Ocean Bender.

I get to craving the sand and the sun and the sea and this landlocked crap is not working out...especially mid-gray-winter.  Sometimes I feel like my soul is simply going to dry up in this desert air and with one touch, explode into a million dusty irreconcilable pieces.

Don't get me wrong...yeah, I make the best of where I am.  Yeah, I like Utah.  Yeah, I would definitely do some missing on the mountains were they no longer a part of my life.  Yeah, I married somebody from the desert and it comes with the territory.

Yeah, I's my own choice, but shit...I miss the water.  Seriously. And "No." It doesn't matter how long it has been since I lived by the ocean because the missing of it never goes away.  You dampen it, but sometimes it comes on like a today.

There is nothing like the ocean.  Nothing.

I love water in all its forms but when you need the ocean...lakes don't make up for it, a river can't hold a candle to it and a swimming'll do in a pinch, but it ain't no ocean.  When that hunger for the salt water comes on you...well it's a bitch to shake.

So...that said...I need to figure it the "adult-word" out...well...I guess technically "Bob," I already used two adult words...but oh well.

Anyway here's the schtick.

I've been sick in bed since Friday after work, and the only reason I wasn't sick in bed on Friday was because I had to finish up some non-negotiable mid-year reports.  So that was my weekend.  And it's been crummy weather.  Rainy, which I love, but winter, which I don't.  My stuffy-snottacularness is finally dissipating, but the ragged cough that brings on an insta-headache is still with me in full force.
I am well enough that I stinking carcass out of bed and down to the computer so I could...Pin.

I'm totally addicted to Pinterest.  I would call it a problem, but I just don't quite see it that way.  What?? I don't.  It's more like...a special kind of...therapy...yeah...therapy.  ;)

Anyway, I have a board called Watergirl...and I put everything about the beach and the water and the sunshine and water-stormy-wonder on it.  I like to go there when I'm feeling stressed out, disgusted, unhappy, confused, or distracted...or I just need to be free.  It's a dreamy, delightful little place that gives me back a piece of me that doesn't get much satisfaction...ever.

Well, today---I came across a whole slew of delightful images and I have been a pinning maniac.  And I mean absolutely, delighted, little sunshine, water-sprite-like, maniac.  And I also wrote a little piece about the ocean and my experience with it throughout the course of my life.

Raised in the ocean like a baby mermaid.

Raised with the sand and the sun and no shoes so little feet grew stocky and strong.

Raised with the squawking and diving and stealing of gulls.

Raised with the smell of the ocean, of sunshine, of beach and fish, of cigarettes and cigars and pipes in the open air, and Coppertone and Hawaiian Tropic, and chlorine, and coconuts and mangoes and potato chips and cheetos and tuna fish sandwiches and Oreos and Nutter Butters and chocolate chip cookies and grapes and apples, and the tickle of 7Up and Ginger ale…and the occasional crunch of sand in her sandwich.

Skin browned and shimmering as it dove in and out of the water and plunged up and down between the waves and bobbed along as it rode them into the sandy shore.

A body that would delightfully float, sparkling with water and sunshine.

Digging toes and fingers deep into the hot sand until you found the cold sand untouched by the sun and a little damp from the night tide.

Digging ditches and holes and castles and moats, hauling water in a red bucket to make dripping sand castles for mermaids and fishes.

Eyeing the rising tide and wondering if you are close enough to fill your moat but far enough to not drown your castle.

Smiles with white teeth and rosy cheeks as eyes blinked the water out of their lashes.

Dancing with the shoreline running too and fro as the waves would chase and retreat ending with splashing immersion.

Hair streaked with sunshine and dripping with saltwater.

Fingertips edged with sand as they picked out little speckled shells and curved white rocks and sand-smoothed blue and green glass for pockets.

Feet stung with heat, speckled with tar, running across the sand, sinking and burning and splashing into the water to cool off.

Starfish. Jellyfish. Sand Dollars. Dolphins. Sea Lions. Whales.

Seaweed creepiness that grabs your legs and makes you squeal and pull your legs up and splash away to somewhere else.

Waves that are fun.  Waves that are not fun.  Stomach sinking near misses.  Full hits.  Underwater tumbles with sandy shampoo jobs and saltwater nose enemas.

Sea breezes drying hair and caressing skin.

Eyes squinting and cast across the diamond sea as sun begins to set looking at the edge of the world and wondering about the beauty of the beyond.

Night comes on and the moon sits low on the sea, huge and pregnant and mystical.  She pulls the tide and pushes the sea.  The fires burn low and warm the toes, casting shadows all around.  Myth and legend could be real on a night like this.  Gods and goddesses could frolic near and magic is in the earth and being a human is a small thing in the universe.

Sitting on the glowing sand looking at the glimmering black and blue of the night sea and knowing that there are secrets loaded and deep that run through the ages.

On other nights when the moon is less prominent, leaning back and seeing the Milky Way scattered across the night and there are diamonds everywhere.  Diamonds are in the night and in the water and in her eyes and nothing was ever so beautiful or perfect as that precise moment of pure peace and wonderment as the waves rush in their eternal push and pull.  And she is home.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pho Adventure

I heard about Pho a couple of years back.  It is a Vietnamese dish--a hot, hot soup that sounded fantastic.  I didn't know how or when I would have the opportunity to put myself in the path of Pho, but it stayed on my wish list.

A few weeks back, I had a conference in Salt Lake City, and my group and I decided to grab some lunch before heading back into work when the conference was over.  One person recommended Mi La Cai Noodle House in South Salt Lake, I jumped all over that as she highly recommended it and seems reasonably trustworthy in this regard.  Besides, the thought of eating at yet another Applebees or Iggy's or some such frozen-food-re-heated-Mecca just wasn't doing it for me.

Driving into the parking lot, we were overcome by the most delightful wafts of cooking foods, garlic in particular, and so I knew that if nothing else, I was in for an adventure if not a down-right treat.  My boss wasn't so sure about it, but she's a salad eating kinda gal, and so while a nice person...just not someone in whom I can invest any epicurean trust.

And so we entered into the world of Mi La Cai.  And...wowza.  Clean, pleasant, fast.  We only waited about 10 minutes.  I guess this place is hopping no matter what time of day.  The staff were exceptionally pleasant and since I'm twitchy about customer service this set me off on the right foot, on the right path to an enjoyable dining experience.

The menu had so many different options that sounded absolutely delectable.  I had a hard time choosing.  I decided that since there Pho was known, I was definitely going to go with that.  And because I am almost physically unable to pass up gyoza, pot stickers, or dim sum--I went with the pot stickers.

Once I made my choice and put in my order I felt giddy like a kid and was hard pressed to professionally sit there sipping at my ice water while I waited.  Ohhhhh the smells wafting out from the kitchen.  My boss wanted to talk about usual...but how could she want to talk about work at a time like this???  There was amazing food being prepared, cooked and served all around us...didn't she want to talk about that??? Sheesh.

Before I knew it (remember I said the service was fast), out came our orders.  First the pot stickers and crab rangoon--and they were worth every figurative finger-licking bite.  My mouth is watering right now as I think back on it.

Next came the entrees and here--yes--here at last in my very life, at long last was my precious Pho!!!  My brain was elated, my heart it beated, and my taste buds and salivary glands were quickly liquifying.  I looked at it, smelled it, and completely lived in that moment in time as having achieved something that I had long desired and at long last was experiencing.  I know.  Dramatic for food, but I take my pleasure and delight wherever I can.  ;)

It was delicious!! I could not get enough of the broth and the whole thing was like a party in my mouth!

It comes out in a big bowl: hot, steaming broth, beef and noodles. A side plate of bean sprouts, lots of Thai basil, lime and jalapeños. Shred the basil and add it all in to the soup. Add in the jalapenos (all of them) and then squeeze every last bit of lime into it that you can.  Lastly season with hoisin sauce and sriracha chili sauce (and don't be a lightweight about it either.) Mix and submerge. Eat with gusto, and let your eyelids sweat a little bit. Absolutely fabulous and the basil is just a fresh tasty surprise every time it hits the palate. 

I enjoyed every luscious bite and ate until I was stuffed.  Then I asked for a to-go container so I could take the rest home.  **Side Note: I ate the rest at home, but it doesn't keep well as far as the noodles are concerned, they go a little go hungry...and eat it all on site.  At lease that's what I will do next time

Mi La Cai: Great restaurant, great food and the service outstanding. I would eat there anytime. :)
Pho: A new delight that I will be trying again and again.  All thumbs up.  :) 
If You Want to Make it Yourself (which I haven't tried yet): A friend of mine ventured forth and made it from the recipe on this site: She said it was delicious. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Huzzah! Hurrah! and All That Jazz

New day.  New year.

A great time for reflection, introspection, perhaps some personal annoyance at things unaccomplished, and a reality check that if there's something that is really important to you then you'd better hop to.

I'm looking at this new year as time ticking to get some things done.  Things that are important to me.  Their relevance to others irrelevant.

2011 was kind of topsy-turvy.  Ups and downs but no doubt not unique from any of the rest of the world.

My 40's have been interesting, and in another short bit of time I'll be solidly two years in.  With it has definitely come additional confidence, and a little bit of devil may in the devil may care what you think...but saucily...I don't.

Well, that's not exactly true either, I do care what other people think, just not as much as I use to.  I find my own counsel very companionable right now. Most people seem to have some kind of an agenda, good, bad, and/or indifferent. And while some may be blessed with resources there are a lot of us out there in the big bad that have to carve our own way out of the living rock--pick-axing our way to accomplishment, and when we slide or lose our ain't much of a safety net if there is one at all.  Which--will often make a person wary of change or acting on a crazy-hair whim.  But no matter--opportunity is lost whether you have a safety net or not.

So in 2012--I think I'm going to take a little more risk, live a little more edgily.  Not like a 23 year old partying like a rock star...but like an almost 42 year old looking to own her own ass and make some changes that will bring a greater level of accomplishment and joy.

So here's to a reboot.  Here's to pursuing dreams even if they fail.  Here's to stepping out of the box and having more than just amazing ideas...but pursuing them to failure or accomplishment and learning along the way.

May your 2012 be equally filled with the things you have always dreamt of and never done.