Growing up I knew I was destined for greatness. I was going to be somebody. I was determined to sing on stage at The Grand Ole Opry. You see when I was young I thought I could sing pretty well. Of course I am sure
half the people who audition for American Idol think the same thing. The difference between them and I is I knew when my voice left and I moved on to other things, lots of other things, until I finally discovered that I am a story teller. Yes I am an author but I am a story teller first and foremost. I have been told that anyone can write but not everyone can tell a story.
As a writer it helps to have a vivid imagination. Everything is a story to me. I eavesdrop on conversations, not to be rude but to hear the stories. You see sometimes fact is better than fiction. I think my imagination is expanding as I become more and more involved in writing but looking back, even in my younger days as an aspiring singer, I would make up songs. I guess I’ve been a writer all along and just didn’t know it.
That got me to wondering is it possible that everyone’s destiny is predetermined? Is that knowledge just laying dormant waiting for each of us to find our course? Do we really get to choose or are our paths chosen for us?
What if you are not a person at all? Picture yourself as a tree growing in the forest aspiring to be the grandest tree of them all, then someone comes and cuts you down to make you a Christmas tree. Does that make you less of a tree or are you just reaching your destiny?
One year we bought our Christmas tree early in the season. It died and we and had to get a replacement tree. Seriously, how awful to not to be good enough to be a “real” Christmas tree. That had to be hard on that poor tree. This is how my mind thinks.
Now picture you are a pumpkin growing in a pumpkin patch and have aspirations of being a scary jack-o-lantern. You grow and grow to be the best looking pumpkin you can be and someone takes you home and makes soup out of you. Seriously, that would have to suck. It is thoughts like these that plagued me as I was picking out my own pumpkin last week knowing that I only wanted him for his seeds. I bought him five days ago. He is still on my kitchen counter. I haven’t had the heart to cut him open knowing I will be ending his dream of becoming a jack-o-lantern.
I was in the pet store today buying dog food. I was at the counter, ready to pay, when a guy walks in, obviously a regular. One of the ladies behind the counter said “rat?” He shook his head and waited patiently for the lady to scoop up a random rat, shove him unceremoniously into a box, and hand him to the guy. I am sure the rat was ecstatic. He was out of that aquarium. He was going to be Stuart Little to some child, as that is what he has always dreamed of. Little does he know his dream is going to be shattered the second he discovers it is his destiny to become snake food.
I asked the girl behind the counter. “Do you think when the rat was growing up he ever thought he was going to be snake food?” She laughed and said probably not. She tried to comfort me by having me look at all of the other rats joyfully playing on the metal wheel. I then asked her “How does it feel being the one who decides who’s the next to go?” By this time the second lady, who was trying to make a phone call, hangs up the phone, obviously deciding I am someone who needs watching. The first girl does not know how to answer my question and merely stares at me. I then decided it was time to relate my pumpkin story to her telling her how long it took me to pick out a pumpkin knowing I was dashing all hopes of it becoming a jack-o-lantern. As I left the building the younger lady was laughing and the second lady was staring at me in disbelief. I beat a hasty retreat but not before I had given them something to think about and probably debating whether or not to have me banned from the store. I hear voices. I worry about the feeling of inanimate objects. I am constantly seeing movies inside my head. I keep a tape recorder beside my bed. Some of my very best friends are fictional. I am not crazy, I am following
As most of you know my husband is in the Navy. He is pretty old, okay not really, but old for Navy standards. I laugh as I write this, because that makes me old by Navy wife standards. That’s alright we are growing old together and that is what counts the most. Together being used loosely, as it is the Navy, and together and the Navy does not always mesh.
My husband joined back in the day of the dinosaur; otherwise known as 1977. We were married in 1980 so I have been there for most of the journey. Before you start doing the math and say there is no way he is still in, he has broken service. Meaning he got out and came back in, twice actually. I have always said the Navy is in his blood, and apparently the powers that be know this as they kept letting him come back.
It is funny hearing him talk about the people he works with and realizing he has tattoos older than some of the senior guys. I think he has even shared this bit of trivia with them on more than one occasion. They just shake their head and look at him as if he is some kind of relic. Maybe he is, but he is my relic and I love him.
I have to smile when I hear some of the newer, younger, spouses complain that the e-mail is down. Or they haven’t had a phone call lately. Don’t get me wrong, a missed e-mail still sends me into panic mode because I have gotten used to them. I want them. I need them. But then I have to remind myself that there was a time when we did not have e-mail. Heck we did not even have phone calls except for the rare occasion when the ship pulled into port and I was woke at 3am from a collect call from Israel or some other costly place. I can guarantee that phone bill was not pretty on Petty Officer pay!
At the risk of sounding like my parents, who had to walk to school in blinding snowstorms, uphill both ways, I have been there. Afraid to leave the house, because you never knew when the call would come. Before you say it, I have to remind you this was a time even before cell phones. So a missed call was indeed a missed call. There was no e-mail. There was what we now refer to as snail mail. This was race to the mail box everyday in hopes there would be some word, some envelope, that had traveled around the world at a snail’s pace with news so old it didn’t even pertain anymore. Still it was
that life raft which managed to keep me afloat just by knowing he had sealed each envelope with a piece him himself. You know, saliva, as this was even before peel and stick envelopes!
It is funny what we get used to, and what we come to expect. When snail mail was all we had we dealt with it. But now in the “new” Navy, we bitch when the ship’s internet is down and he can’t get on facebook. We complain when the ships phones are down or heaven forbid they have a delay! It is so much easier now than it was in the past. Through creative code I know when my husband is going to call, or when he is going to arrive at what port. Separations are tough even with all the new ways to communicate but at least the “new” Navy is helping to make the ocean feel a whole lot smaller. I am sure at some point they will have the capacity to Skype from onboard the ship. Of course that may be years in the works and I am not sure if we will still be in to see that. Of course if they install people elevators on the ship then maybe we will. As my husband likes to joke that he will retire, when they block his way and tell him he can’t bring his walker onboard the ship!
I am going to end this now, as I just received an e-mail from my hubby. Have a wonderful day!
Like many women my age, I struggle with my weight. I exercise most days, and try to make healthy food choices. Okay the optimum word there is try, because if I am at a
restaurant it is difficult to forgo the fries. I realize it is not actually the potato that appeals to me in those situations but the salt that coats them. I know this, because there have been times where I have eaten cold, limp, grease laden, fries all the while asking myself why I continued to eat them. It was the salt that kept my attention.
So, given the fact that I make mostly healthy food choices by day, I was surprised when last night I had a dream, and healthy food choices were the furthest thing from my mind. I was riding my bike at the airport, okay that in itself is rather bizarre but let’s stay on topic here. I was hungry, and the next thing I knew I was eating a hotdog. I don’t know where the hotdog came from. It was a dream, it just appeared. The point is I do not eat hotdogs. I have maybe two or three hotdogs a year, and that is normally when we are out and there are no other options. I am not only eating this hotdog, but I am enjoying the heck out of it. I have no doubt that I even moaned in my sleep while eating this hotdog. I give my dreaming subconscious credit, because after taking that first delicious bite, I actually questioned whether I should be eating that. Even in my sleep I knew I would balloon up something fierce, but my hands chose to ignore my subconscious and continued to feed my face.
The dream was very vivid, and even now, I remember every scrumptious bite. So much in fact, my mouth actually watered while writing this. Does it count that all the while I was enjoying that sodium filled cylinder, nestled in that soft white bun, that I
was still riding my bike? Probably not, beings I was heading to the store to purchase other forbidden items.
Yes, there was a small store along the road at the airport, it was a dream remember? I arrived at the store and went straight for the sodas. This is yet another thing that is on
my no no list. I do not drink sodas. Okay, I do allow myself to have the occasional Canada Dry Ginger Ale when we order a pizza, and I have to have one or two big red’s when I go to Kentucky. Big red soda’s, Moby Dick fish, and Mike Linnigs are my Kentucky guilty pleasures. But other than those occasions I do not drink or even purchase sodas. Just ask my two oldest grandchildren, who just spent a month at my house, they were going through withdraws, as Gamma did not buy them sodas! Okay, they would say pop, they are being raised in Michigan, it is a northern thing.
So I am in this store and I ask for a coke. I am not sure if it still holds true as I no longer purchase sodas, but as a child growing up in the south when you asked for coke
they always asked you what kind. You rarely said coke and actually meant you wanted a coke.
Next I am at the counter and they are handing me a Pepsi. I am not, nor have I ever been, a Pepsi girl. Luckily even in my dream I held fast on that, telling them that I had not ordered a Pepsi. The lady pulled the bottle away and asked what it was I had wanted. Before I could answer she said Big Red and I agreed that, yes that was what I wanted. Okay, while sodas are a poor choice at least I was drinking the right one.
I then proceeded to the chip isle, which again is a rare treat for me. Once again
I bought my favorite brand, only I did not buy the small individual bag, I know I have to, in order to limit my intake, no I opted for the largest bag of Cheeto’s they had, knowing I would eat them all.
Next I bought a snickers bar. I never buy snickers bars! While I never actually ate anything except the hotdog I know I was going to.
I woke this morning thinking of that hotdog and am still fighting the urge to run to the store and purchase ballparks for breakfast. But what I was most concerned about was getting on the scale this morning, fearing that somehow the sodium would have wreaked havoc on my body during the night. Thankfully that was not the case. But it got me to wondering, do I always eat during my sleep? If so, is this my body’s way of rebelling against its daily intake of salads and chicken? Maybe my weight issue is caused by the choices I make in my sleep, and not the ice cream I have after dinner each night. Is there a way to control our dreams? Can we train our subconscious to make healthy eating choices in our sleep? I think I may have I just figured out the next big diet fad. I should write a book! Hey wait, that is not such a bad idea. People are desperate, looking for excuses and always searching for the easy way out. Just take a peek at my book
shelves, I speak from experience. I must go now; I have another book to write. Coming soon to bookstores near you, Dreaming Your Way Thin…finally, something that will get me on the morning talk shows!
As the summer wanes I find myself thinking about my fall wardrobe. In going through my closet I’ve found Capri’s, jeans and white pants. My first thought was to switch my white pants to my summer closet as I’ve always heard don’t wear white after Labor Day. But I do so love my white pants, having only gravitating toward them since losing weight last year. I like the lighter look as I am one who is often referred to as the lady equivalent of Jonny Cash. Not because I can sing, but because I am often dressed in black from head to toe.
The climate here in Virginia, is often muggy and much more conducive to shorts than their longer cousins. Since it doesn’t cool off in this area until well after Labor Day, most of my cute white pants and capris remain in my closet for most of the season. Therein lies my dilemma. Should I adhere to the centuries old tradition and banish the white, or do I say phooey, and welcome the new season with my beloved white pants? To answer that question I did what I always do, I turned to the internet for answers. To my surprise, I found I am not the only one who has asked that question of late. I
discovered post after post from women, who were just as contradicted as I. More
to the point, I found post after post of women not yet willing to let go of their favorite accessory, be it white pants, blouse or even blazer.
The funny thing is, there is no real clear reason for not wearing white after Labor Day. It seems as though it is one of those things that got started, and gained support, without any real reason to do so. One article suggested it was something started by the elite socialites, as a way of insuring that the up and coming members of society adhere to a certain standard of dress, in order to show their social class.
I on the other hand wonder if it was instigated for a simpler reason. Back in the day, when water had to be drawn from a well or hauled in from a creek, people were more apt to wear clothes more than once before washing. Water was more prevalent in the summertime, allowing for more frequent washing, and harsh weather may prevent laundry from being done on a daily basis. Maybe it was easier to mask dirt when wearing dark clothes, thus allowing a person to wear a garment for multiple days before washing, hence no wearing white after the water started to ice over. It is just my theory, but
you must admit it makes sense.
Whatever the reason, it seems the old custom is just that, an old, outdated, custom which more and more people are ignoring. I am of a mind to leave the white in my closet, and pair it with darker colors as the chill takes hold. In an age where it has become acceptable to wear your pants below your backside, pajama’s to the mall, and house shoes to Wal-Mart, I doubt my white slacks will cause many tongues to wag. Of
course if I am wrong I will just smile and say, it’s okay, I own a washing machine!
Why is it when you look your worst you get unexpected visitors? I worked in my yard for three hours recently, trimming the hedges, pulling weeds and pulling even more weeds. After the first hour in the sweltering heat, looking less than presentable, the pest guy, who was spraying the house next door, caught my attention asking the status of my children’s book. I let him know it was out, and of course I have copies, to which he said
he wanted one. I went in, washed my hands, retrieved the book, and signed it for his three children. It just goes to show that I never turn down a chance to sell or talk about any of my books!
I went back to work on the yard, and after about an hour the neighbor kid drove up and
decided to come over and say hello. This is rare, as he normally has blinders on and goes straight from the car to the house and back again, without a doubt still numb from the blare of his stereo. But not this time, no this time he walked over to say hello. Keep in mind by now I’d been working in the heat for over two hours. He told me the yard was looking good and I told him no, it is looking less bad. After chatting several moments he went inside and I got back to work kneeling in the dirt pulling weeds.
Two separate people stopped to ask me where the yard sale that was, three houses down, closed for the day, back open in the morning. At the three hour mark I am now totally covered in dirt, the sweat is causing the dirt to run in streaks down my legs. On a scale of one-ten I am pretty sure I was a minus seven on the sexy meter. I looked up and another neighbor who’d purchased a Goblin book the day before, had seen me outside and decided to bring the kids by and let me know they loved the book! The kids had a ton of questions and comments about the book. I answered them all, told them I was
happy they loved the book, and made further small talk until they were ready to leave.
I have few friends in the area so it is rare that I get company, yet today when I looked the worst I’ve probably ever looked I had plenty of eyes upon me. It is funny that even though I looked as though I had walked through a garden hose and wallowed in the mud, not one person made any comment about the state of my appearance. Were they just being polite or were they afraid if they made mention of how hard I was working that I might ask them to help? I guess I’ll never know…
I don’t remember exactly how old I was but from the picture in my mind I would guess my age to be around ten. My parents had taken us to a farm. I am sure it was a farm belonging to a distant relative, but again just who that may have been escapes me. So you may be wondering why I would chose to write about something I don’t remember that well, but that is the thing, while I do not remember my age or where precisely we were, I do remember what happened that day so many years ago.
My brothers and I were watching the farmers harvest the crop. They were using a machine which had a long shoot and loading a semi with soybeans. After they were finished they shut down for a bit and all of us kids got to climb right up into that semi trailer and play in that bed of beans! We had such a grand time. I firmly believe that the inventor of the air filled bouncy house must have got the idea while playing in a semi bed filled with soybeans.
Oh what fun it was walking on that bed of beans, our feet sinking, and disappearing, into the tan colored pellets. Often our shoes would slip off and we would have to dig to recover them. That in itself was fun because as we dug the beans would cave in around the hole, in such a way of playing in a sandbox of loose flowing sand.
After digging for shoes lost its allure we finally took them off and tossed them unceremoniously out of the trailer. After that we discovered a new joy. Oh what fun we had sinking our toes into the countless tiny balls. They were warm from the heat of the sun and kept their heat when poured into the large steel trailer which was covered to help contain the beans. It was open at the end which allowed for the hopper to spray
the beans into the truck and also the route we traveled to climb down into the
In a time before cable, or video games, there was no better time than we had that day.
Unfortunately that joy was short lived. The chute appeared in the opening and
started filling the truck. At first it was fun getting pelted with the tiny
balls but soon the fun nearly turned deadly. As those beans flew into the truck
a whirlwind effect started, and soon we found it very difficult to breath. Our
lungs were filling with husks, dust, and whatever else was being forced into the
truck. I think that is the first time in my life I actually worried that I was
going to die. For what seemed like forever, however in reality probably only
lasted a few moments, I had a fear of being buried alive. I don’t know if they
suddenly remembered there were children playing inside of the trailer, or if we
just got lucky but we all survived. I remember not being able to breathe very
well for a couple of days but in that era you didn’t run to the doctor just
because you inhaled a bit of soybean dust.
My husband has always said children grow up in spite of us not because of us. I am not sure where the quote originated but looking back, I think the statement is so very true…
Yesterday I decided that the weeds in my yard were
causing me too much anguish. While I felt guilty not being in the house writing,
I felt that the stress each time I looked at what needed to be done in the yard,
was not doing me any good.
So I decided to allow myself one hour of weeding. Well I
enjoyed myself so much that the one hour turned into 3.5 hours. I got a lot
accomplished and can now look out the windows without cringing.
One of the other things I have been neglecting is my
exercise routine. It is not that I do not want or need to exercise it is just
that I get so caught up in the editing/writing mode that I have blinders on,
and feel guilty when I do anything not related to writing.
The problem is if I take an hour to pull weeds and an
hour to exercise then that is two hours out of my precious editing time.
Well this morning it appears I may have found an answer
to this, a way to cut that time in half. You see while I was pulling weeds I was
squatting, bending, reaching, and pulling (some of those buggers require a bit
of muscle to remove). I did not realize is at the time but I was getting a full
workout doing what needed to be done. I know it was a workout, as today I have
winced more than once at the pain from yesterday’s “workout.” Surely knowing I
am completing two tasks at the same time it will ease my guilt at being in the
yard for an extended time.
That new revolution has changed my outlook on simple
tasks that I have on my “to do” list. I can now mop the floors, scrub the
counters and clean the bathrooms all while knowing that I am indeed multi
tasking. Not only will I get my exercise in, but my house will look well kept in
the process. Instead of mopping the floors I can hand scrub them, bathrooms will
now be cleaned while squatting, not bending and kneeling. Scrubbing the
counters will be done in long deliberate motions. Yes, the possibilities are
I hope to
get to the point where my neighbors think I have writers block. Surely if I have
so much time to maintain my yard and house I could not possibly be getting
anything else done!
Yes, that is the plan, but for now I am going to get back
to editing as all of this talk of house work and lawn care is really wearing me
After seeing recent photo of my blinding white legs I have decided I am in need of a bit of sun on my lower extremities. So for that reason I have taken to lying out for an hour a day. I have found that if I lay out early in the day it is a bit more tranquil and I can toss around storylines
in my head. In case you didn’t know a writer is always writing, even when they look like they are not.
Today was no different. I was laying there enjoying the suns warmth when my tranquility was interrupted by the sounds of the neighbor’s dog. “Quiet you beast,” I called from the recesses of my mind. He continued to bark, and bark, and bark. What an annoying little brute I thought, wishing him to be more like my Oliver. My good, quiet little boy who was lying at the base of the shed, quietly willing one of the new little bunnies to come out and play.
Once again the neighbor’s dog started blaring a round of
woof’s when suddenly I realized that my Oliver, my quiet little gentleman had
joined in on the tirade. I called to him but he ignored me. This was not like
him. After several moments and many more woof’s from both sides of the fence I
decided it was time to investigate. I slipped on a shirt, so as not to frighten
the neighbors, and made my way to the back of the property.
As I approached the fence Oliver, who until this time had
played the spectator, grew bold and began lunging at the fence. What had gotten
the two into such a state, but a tiny little opossum who was clinging to the
top of the fence, holding on for dear life!
My first thought was to try to help it make it to a
nearby tree. My second thought was to look around for the little guy’s mother as
it was without a doubt too young to be on its own.
As Oliver lunged once more the baby bared its teeth
leaving no doubt that it would use them if further provoked. Gone were the
thoughts of picking it up and helping it along its way. Besides growing up in
the country I have seen the damage these little buggers can do when cornered,
which is why I did not follow my maternal instincts in the first place.
Still I could not just leave it there quaking in its grip
on the fence post. So I reached through the fence and picked up a long, thin,
log from the firewood pile, and was able to maneuver it so that the baby would
take hold of it.
My thought was to get the baby onto the log and then move
the log close enough to the neighboring tree for it to get out of harms way. A
plan that worked well for the first few seconds as the opossum decided it would
much rather be on the high end of the stick, you know the end where my fingers
were. At that point I had no choice but to quickly lean the log against the
fence post, which once again allowed the baby to climb up to the top of the
fence. Luckily though this did take it several posts away from its original
position, and a bit further from the clamoring dogs, who by now had seemed to
tire of this game. I retreated to the house, sun and tranquility forgotten, and
the dogs followed suit. Once again the neighborhood is quiet, and the baby
opossum has lived to see another day.
It seems to me that the newest catchphrase is “bucket
list”.It seems as though everyone I speak to has one. I have even seen several
news posts on Facebook of late referring to bucket lists, so much so that it
made me wonder if I am the only one left that has not made a bucket list of my
own. I had to ask myself, what exactly does one put on a bucket list? I have
been accused of over thinking things and this bucket list problem is no
different, as I worry about what to add to my list. I wonder about the outcome
of reaching the end of your list. Do you keep things simple so you are sure to
achieve everything on your list? If that is the case then what happens when you
reach that last item on your list. Can you add to it or is that the end of the
road for you and your list? I am not sure I want to find out.
In order to prolong things do you reach for the stars and
take the chance of leaving this world with unfinished business?
Could that be worse than accomplishing everything on your list? These are
just a few of the questions that are plaguing me as I contemplate starting a
bucket list of my own. As I sift through the cobwebs in my mind and determine
what things are significant enough for me to add to this very important “to do”
list I would like for you the reader to weigh in and tell me do you have a
bucket list of your own? Did you keep it simple or reach for the stars? Are you
making a valiant attempt to cross off everything on your list or are you
constantly adding to it? Do you keep your bucket list private or do you share it
with others? If so what is the most outlandish thing you have on your list?