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Monday, July 23, 2012


What leaves you breathless? I am asking myself; because this week’s GBE2 word prompt is “breathless”.

My answers~

1)     Elvis Presley’s voice singing almost anything.

2)     The sound of my grandchildren laughing, talking or playing.

3)     The hug or the kiss of my husband. (Not the kind of breathless that makes it hard to catch my breath, the kind that makes me grateful that he chose me.)

4)     Finding just the right words to type to express an emotion I’m feeling for my characters. Or the right word to convey my own feelings on a subject.

5)     Furbabies kisses.

6)     Holding a newborn~anything.

7)     Watching a mother animal instinctively know how to care for a newborn, the first time.

8)     God’s infinite mercy and grace and love.

9)     A hug from someone who genuinely loves me.

10)  A wedding.

11)  Reading a book that I am incapable of putting down.

12)   Love.

13)  A sunset, especially over water. (I’d probably enjoy a sunrise, too, IF they happened a little later in the day.)

14)  Cooking something for someone who really enjoys eating it.

15)  Having my entire family in one place for hours.

16) My life.

Okay, not all of these things literally leave me breathless, but they do make me very happy and a couple of them really do take my breath away, momentarily.

What leaves YOU breathless?


Sunday, July 15, 2012


Such a huge topic, where to start?

Where to focus?

How about salaries of teachers? Okay, let’s start there.

Michigan ranks quite high on the salary scale nationwide. Our elementary teachers average $57,958 a year salary and a decent benefit package as negotiated through their union. (A union to which they pay very high dues for membership.)  Secondary teachers average $55,000. I have no idea why the difference or if these are accurate salaries in my rural area, but I do know that in this economy it isn’t bad pay for 9 months work of 60 hour weeks, but no one is going to get rich or support their family in high style on that income. They will pay their bills and some will work summer jobs to stay afloat.  New York teachers make about $13,000 more than Michigan teachers. $68,000 is a little more respectable except that the cost of living in New York is probably  higher than that of Michigan.  Point is these are the professionals to whom we’re giving our children for 8 hours each of 5 days for 9 months every year for 13 years. 

To verify those salary numbers you may check out the following link…

Each month the teacher spends about 160 hours with your child. That works out to $40.28 per classroom per day. So let’s say there are 25 children in each classroom.  That’s $1.61 per child per DAY.  Your weekly childcare bill is $8.05 per child. Now in this daycare, they will also be given instruction in math, English, history, social studies and science and many other fields. The kids sometimes make friends for life under these teachers guidance and most definitely they advance their ability to live in the world as adults one day at a time and one year at a time.  That makes your child’s education one big value, if you ask me.

Our teachers are not only underpaid by a large amount, they are more importantly undervalued and grossly underappreciated. I know some are awful and should not be alone with a child EVER and classrooms are a vast waste of time with those undedicated and uncaring individuals. I believe them to be in the minority, however, and that the schools are filled with mostly teachers who want to help form your child’s mind and fill them with information they will use every day of their lives. They will help prepare your child for college or help train them to a particular trade to help assure their futures as contributing adults. For all of this, you are paying $8.00 a week!  Yep, they deserve a big raise and they deserve your respect. They have mine.
Maybe one day this week, thank a teacher. They are not working for a paycheck to support an elaborate lifestyle, they are teaching because, for the most part, they love teaching your children.

Now, how important is your child’s education these days? How many people do you know who have graduated with a degree in xyz and are working in a completely unrelated field, if they are working at all?  I am afraid I know several. It is a mystery to me why just having attended college and graduated with some diploma and some degree makes you the perfect candidate for some job that you never even considered actually doing. Never wanted to do and don’t really want to do it now, but you have bills to pay and this job is a big paycheck. Common.

I guess the education is important. It’s a job. It’s the key, apparently, to obtaining the higher paying jobs with a future even if you have no idea in what field to study for the world four years from now, when you will walk out with your own degree in biology to accept the job at Dow Chemical in the Human Resources Department.
Education is never wasted, can’t really argue that.


Saturday, July 14, 2012


I am inspired here to write about believing in something, more particularly something bigger than you and me. My own spirituality is defined and definite. I know what I believe and I know what I doubt. I do not know what is factual and what is not. I will not know that until the end of my life on earth which could be the end period or it could be the beginning of eternity.

Heaven? Hell?  I believe Heaven is your reward for your life on earth. I do believe you will encounter loved ones and friends who have gone before. I do believe you are judged by God and you must answer for whatever He finds you failing. I also believe in forgiveness and that once judged, you will be forgiven if you are regretful and seek forgiveness. I also believe the Devil wins some souls and Hell awaits them as their reward. Those who shun God, accept the Devil, will share eternity with that.

When I talk of my beliefs, MY beliefs, there is no argument with anyone about them because they are what I believe and no one can argue with what I believe. I never state my beliefs as facts. I never ask the listener or the reader to accept them as their own. I simply am telling you what I believe. I am telling you how I live day to day in peace and relative happiness. I am telling you why I don't attend church, not why you shouldn't. It is just a sharing of my own beliefs and done so with the hope you will understand me a little better. If that is not something you want to do, then by all means, clickity click outta here now and no hard feelings.  One of my biggest and strongest beliefs is that you are entitled to your own values and your own beliefs. None of my concern, really, but I would read about yours if you posted them. Just to know you better.

I ask only that no one feels compelled to start a big argument in the comments section about how ridiculous they think my beliefs might be or leave me quotes from the Bible disproving my beliefs. Otherwise, say what you want and be respectful as I will be in return.

Steven Clark is my inspiration for this blog. He is a fellow writer and recovering addict. I love his writings and his strength through addiction. No one I have known personally has kicked addiction without some sort of relapse and the right helping hand is a factor for most. That hand is not always the 12 step programs, but it can be, it is sometimes someone who just said the right thing at the right time or one on one therapy with someone who knew how to lead the addict through the tough days and nights. Point is, every hand reaching out to help is a possible key to success. I have tried to explain to Steven how to believe, if you don't. That is a difficult concept and here, I am just going to explain my beliefs and hope he will find something in there to inspire him. I am not trying to tell Steven Clark WHAT to believe, only hoping it will inspire some desire TO believe in something greater than himself.

I was raised in the Methodist church. I have spent a good deal of time in the Catholic church. Considered once joining that one. Being told I would have to annul my first marriage was the deal breaker. My first marriage was in church, I swore before God and the witnesses etc, so annulling it and making the 10 years I lived with the father of my children, a man I loved very much, null and void, was unthinkable to me. Formality or not, I would not do that. Those 10 years existed and were real and not void. The second reason I didn't follow through was the reading of "the word of God."  More on that later.

Having said all of that, I am now associated with no religion. I cannot identify any group that would make my faith any stronger, any better or any more real than it is. My faith is between me and God. For me, He is real; He is constant; He is omnipresent; He is in me. Always IN me. He hears every thought and He sees every action. He reaches out to me when I need His guidance and ask for it and He knows my gratitude for all the gifts He has given. He knows my heartache, He knows my joy and He shares those. He loves me unconditionally even when I fail to do the same. My God is forgiving and loving and constant. All things I strive toward. All things I fail to obtain. All things I hold dear and shall work on all the days of my life.

The Bible, I believe, is a book. That's all. A very interesting book with thousands of interesting stories written by thousands of people over thousands of years. It has been translated millions of times by as many hands. From one language to another from one time to another. Now being read here in the USA by many people in a modern language so as to be understood more easily and read by more people with less strain to understand. Understand the new words by the new translator. My point, it contains a lot of good advice. It has moral stories and explains how faith will lift you up and it is a GOOD  BOOK.  I do not, however, believe it is the word of God. It is the words of many men who believed they were hearing or seeing the word or the works of God and they are telling their stories. The stories of Jesus were told by many, I like reading them. I read them as men telling of their adventures with this Carpenter from Jerusalem who came to us as the son of God. I certainly believe in Jesus, he certainly existed and I choose to accept that he was the chosen one. He was given to Mary, the virgin, so as no suspicion could be in her own mind as to how precious this gift of hers was. Hers was the womb He chose. No one, no one, but Mary knew she was a virgin. Others just believed. Faith requires you accept some things without proof. I choose to accept this one.

I do believe Jesus lived his life spreading the word of his father to all who would hear. I just don't know that the stories of the Bible are exactly as they happened or even exactly as those men told them. Translators have to use different words when none exist so their meanings may or may not be accurate.  I choose to think it's safer and more accurate to believe in God on a personal and intimate level and live with Him inside of me than to hang onto a book which often contradicts itself.

For me, faith and God are everyday all day long facts of life. I live with Him all around me, with me and helping me along this path. I never doubt, I never wonder, I do forget now and then to be thankful, but I remedy that asap. I believe he forgives me for being human because he made me to have faults and weaknesses so that I might remember to look up and say, "thanks" and continue on my way. I am enveloped in God's love and His forgiveness and His unfailing faith in me. I am a child of God, a student of God and a faithful and sinning worshiper of God.

Asking someone to believe in a Master of the Universe or a Universal Power or God is not for me to do. I am here simply and straightforwardly to say that I believe and all it takes is a little thought and a look around your world to realize it had to be created somewhere. There had to be a beginning at some point. The Genesis according to the Bible or any other genesis you might choose to fit your life, but in my head it's a simple fact that God did create and now oversees His work lovingly. Sadly. Hopefully. Endlessly.

My question would be, "How can you not believe in something bigger than you and me?"


Suggested reading for some inspiration or entertainment...
A series by Neale Donald Walsh

Conversations with God
*an uncommon dialogue*

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


1)  No matter how much they think they do, your kids will never love you as much as you love them.

2)  Of all the people in your life, no one can or will hurt you the way your kids do and will.

3)  When you are on your last ounce of hope, no one will bring you back from the edge by just walking into the room like your kids can.

4)  The less you expect from your kids, the happier your life will be. Everything they do is so much more special if you weren't expecting it.

5)  Understand that your children will never know YOU as well as YOU know THEM. Then accept that that is okay.

6)  When you encourage your kids to grow up independently, knowing their own mind, making their own decisions and living with the consequences, you are also teaching them not to need you. That isn't always a good thing. Sometimes it is a good thing.

7)  Of all the people in your life, no one can make you happier and no one will make you happier than your kids.

8)  When you find yourself aging, just a bit, some things become just too difficult to do alone.  Call your kids, but understand they also have lives and probably can't come right now.

9)  When they call you, drop what you are doing, they may not call next time. If they Do need you, go now.

10) When you think of all the things you have done in your lifetime, everything, if being a parent is the best thing you can remember doing, you have done your best. That is all you can expect from yourself and all the kids can expect from you.

11) When your kids make time for you, appreciate it, enjoy it, relish it and never punish them for not doing it more often. They are busy and have made time to be with you because they wanted to. Appreciate that.

12) When your grown children give you grandchildren do all the things you wish you had done with your own kids PLUS all the things you did do with your own kids. Just leave the parenting to your kids. Grandparenting is a lot more fun.

13) When your grown adult children disappoint you, keep it to yourself and find the silver lining, there always is one. Always.

14) If your grown children do something extraordinarily nice for you, hug them, kiss them, thank them and then thank God for giving you such thoughtful and loving children.

15) If you forget any of these, forgive yourself because you are human. You can hurt sometimes and burst with pride sometimes but you can never stop loving your children, even if they aren't so lovable all the time. Maybe you aren't either.

16) No matter what happens in your life, be thankful you are above the grass another day and that God gave you someone to love forever.  

Hey call your kid, give 'em a hug, even if it has to be a virtual one and know how blessed you are.

AND if by chance you ARE the child, keep these things in mind and make time to get to know your parents and make time for them, a little bit anyway.



On the last day of June Beth unplugged for a month of family, hubs and Beth time. She told us she was off on a two week road trip without the laptop and wasn't looking back.  We all said, "Good for you!" We said, "We'll miss you!" Some said, "Jealous, wish I could make myself disconnect, but I'm addicted." On and on the comments came fast and furious.

Well, it's a reality now. Bethie has been apart from us for 11 days and I miss her. I see very few posts on GBE2. Is it because she isn't here? Is it because I changed her topic? Is it because no one can think of a good fictitious tale about where she might be? Or no one wants to do that? I don't know, but I sure wish there were more to read.

That being said, I am adding my second possible explanation of Where Beth Really Went.


"Well, I did it, Carl. I unplugged. I turned off. I put the laptop in its case and I am not going to make a move toward it until August 1 at 12:01 a.m." She smiled at her hubs and walked out of the room. Not sure why she felt so arrogant, but knowing she did. Actually the feeling was more of self-righteousness. He didn't think she would really do it, she knew that, and she knew she needed to. She also knew she would do it because she desperately needed to get control of her life and that darned computer just kept pulling her away from all the more important and more pressing things in her life. Her upcoming move, her husband, her children and the grands. Oh, those precious grands needed more Granny time and by cracky, they were gonna get it.  As soon as the road trip was history, she would be spending some majorly quality time playing with those little blessings.

"Beth!" Carl called to her from the kitchen. "Wanna load the car tonight?  We can just get up and head out in the morning if we get that done." Alone time with her would be so good. He always felt like he just got a sliver of the woman he adored. She was so busy and so occupied a great deal of the time and for the next 2 weeks, she would be his. He would have jumped in the car at that moment if she would agree. She wouldn't because she hadn't gotten those last hugs and smooches yet. Nor had he.

"Sure, I'll bring my stuff down in a minute. Might as well get a head start, eh?"  She smiled at the thought of being with this guy for 2 weeks with no real distractions. She loved talking with him, cuddling with him and basically being with him. He was her forever man and he was also her best friend. So off they would go on an adventure together for the first time in a very long time.

The trip began at 5 a.m. when Carl woke Beth to get her moving. He had made her coffee in a travel mug and was sipping his own when she entered the kitchen. He smiled and stood to make his way to the car which was loaded and waiting. She said nothing and quietly looked around to make sure all was loaded and all would be well until their return. This kids, of course, would be taking care of things while they traveled.

Day one was under way with some good old fashioned flipping of a coin. Heads, north, tails south. Second flip, heads east, tails west. Third and final flip, the two winners. First flip, south, second flip east. Third flip south. South wins and the car heads to the one and only highway they would be using to get them out of Illinois. Once they crossed the state line, all rural roads would be taken. That was the rule. Through Indiana, through Kentucky, through Tennessee.

Day one ends in south Tennessee. Oh, what a long day on the road and what fantastic country side they had seen. While cuddling after dinner they decide they are now ready to go east. Cutting across this state to the mountains is in order.  Oh, how she loves the mountains.  The sunrises on the east, the sunsets on the west. Hard to choose her favorite, hard to choose anything in this frame of mind, but off to the east they would go.

Day two was not quite as smooth as day one, which basically ate up miles and got them south. No sightseeing, no stopping at weird sounding things. But cutting across Tennessee west to east there are just way too many 'interesting' places to pull over and just SEE. Shops with really cool stuff you just don't see up north. Cafes and bars with unique decors and some crazy rules, like they don't sell liquor, but you can bring in your own! Really!

As they made their way across they stopped 20 or 30 times; so many they lost count. Every little town had something fun or silly or really beautiful to see. It was a day of real road tripping.  Driving a little and stopping a lot. They both loved the experience and bought a few little things to bring back for laughs, mostly. Nothing of any value except the time they were sharing and photos of this beautiful country.

The days went on and each one brought its own little gem or passel of gems. Each day brought them a little close to knowing. Each day told them something new about this part of the country and each day found them discussing the good and the not so good of each area. They never stayed in the same hotel two nights. They moved around a little east, a little north, a little south no a little west every day looking for THE spot. THE town or rural area to possibly make their home. The move was coming and the exact spot might be found on this trip. Or it might not.

The one thing about this wonderful 2 week rural road adventure was that it was just the two of them and all the people they met along the way. The many things they saw that made them think of someone back home. The many times one of them would start to speak and stop only to hear the other one say exactly what they were thinking. The thought that wherever they live, they will be happy because happy is inside and inside, these two people were happy.

Whether one word of this is true or not, I know that the last paragraph is. I know this month will enhance Beth as a person and if she felt the need, she will benefit from doing the total disconnect thing. I am not interested in doing that, but I don't have the busy life she has and I don't have the responsibilities she has so it doesn't interfere with my real life, it makes my real life better. I also know she misses us and will be so happy to jump back in and send hugs, ♥, : 0, and lots of word nerd speaks wisdom all over us when she gets home to us again on August 1 at 12:01 a.m.

It's only 20 more days.........*sigh*


Sunday, July 8, 2012


Telling her writing group that she needed time off the internet and time with her real life, Beth went offline for a month. Oh, she handed off her duties to a friend who was happy to help out, but she did walk away with a backward glance. Fingers quivering at the thought of no internet for a month, she shut it down, closed the lid and took a deep breath. Turning to look eye to eye she said, "That's step one. My time belongs to you now for 31 days. Only you."

He could scarce believe his eyes nor his ears. She had done it. She had disconnected and handed him the power cord, figuratively. He would fill her time. He would fill her heart and he would fulfill her every desire. For the next 31 days nothing would be more important than Beth's smile. Nothing more important than Beth's satisfaction. Total satisfaction in all respects.

She walked across the small unfamiliar room to his open arms. His face said all she needed to hear. His eyes were soft and filled with love or longing or both. He had waited weeks for her to make her move and now, the waiting ends. As she fell into his embrace, their lips touched ever so lightly and then more passionately and then hungrily and hard. He touched her all over and he explored parts of her he had only imagined before. She was completely pliant in his hands. Every nerve in her body was on edge and electrified. If he didn't take her soon, she might experience spontaneous combustion. The heat, the need and the taste of this man was all that existed. 

The foreplay lasted nearly 20 minutes and one more would have been too much. He entered her and possessed her with vigor and raw force, yet it felt gentle somehow and not savage but wild and hot and heavenly and right.  They rocked and they tangled and the breath between them was hot, humid and rapid. As their passion came to a climax, he locked onto her eyes and held them. They were alone in this world for the first time ever. He had waited so long for her. He had left his long time relationship for her. He had risked his career, though once the public met Beth, he knew they would understand. He knew everyone would love her as he most certainly did. She was his. Finally, totally his.

Naked and spent they lay on the living room floor still tangled into a human pretzel. Neither wanted to move for fear of losing this connection forever. Silence. The house held their closeness as possessively as they did. Not a sound. Nirvana. 

They slept.

As the sun rose on day one of her disconnected life, Beth awoke still wrapped in his arms. He was still sleeping soundly. Exhaustion was being relieved and Beth studied his face. His perfectly perfect face. One hand lay on his own chest and one lay on her thigh. She studied both of them. She studied this man who adored her and lusted after her and begged her to be his. That face was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen close up. Those hands were the perfect size to hold to caress and to feel all over her again and again. Yes, they could be very happy now and forever. 

This day had come after much soul searching and much deep thought about her family and her future. Yes, she loved this man and had for many years. Yes, she loved her family and her husband. She could never be with this man. Her life belonged to her family it was a commitment she had made many years earlier. One she could not walk away from. Yet, here she was now laying naked in his arms and smiling. It had happened.

Months before this day Beth and her husband had discussed her second love and oddly enough her husband had agreed no one should carry this deep love unrequited forever. He suggested she reach out and see what happened and together they would work it out.

What? Yes, he was that good a man. He believed in his relationship with her enough to share her with another man, if that would be fulfillment and satisfaction for his wife. He wanted whatever would make her whole and complete and to that end, he would share.

Before she could reach out to him, he had started to email her. Texting her weekly then daily. He had read Word Nerd Speaks and knew this writer was his destiny. He wanted to know her. He needed to know her. Soon they were telephoning back and forth. They talked about how they could meet and where they could meet.  Hubs remained in the background and waited.

Plans were finally in place. Hubs would stay home and for one month...31 full days...Beth would go off with her man and explore. She would go offline and disappear with him and see what happened or didn't happen.  Hubs would wait. Decisions would be made in 31 days.

It all lead to this day and night of passion and lust. It all lead to Johnny and Beth naked on the living room floor of Johnny's condo and the laptop plug being pulled.

For the next 30 days she would be alone with him and he would be incommunicado with all his people so that his time belonged only to her and to them. This relationship would either bloom into forever or fizzle to a memory neither would ever forget.

Every day of the month they would make love at one time or several. He absolutely couldn't get enough of her. Her taste, her smell and her passion were everything he knew they would be. For her, the rough, yet never too rough lovemaking was exactly what she thought he would bring to her. He always made certain she was satiated before even considering his own need. He never ceased to say what she wanted to hear and intuit her every need. Physically they melded into each other much like an old married couple who each knew and cared about the others needs above their own. Yes, physically the match was perfection.

Emotionally they connected and shared likes and dislikes and learned so much about each other; adding to the list daily. They had so much in common and the differences were minor and gave them something to fake fight about so they could make up and of course, have make up sex. That rocked.

Conversation, however, lacked spark. It was dull and his intellect was not what she had expected. He was an actor and spoke prolifically about that subject and nearly none other. He had little depth. He didn't really care about anything beyond himself and Beth. His career would bring a monologue and when she asked about other actors, he'd say he didn't really know them. Refused to discuss anyone except himself. A little of that wore thin for Beth. She is an intellect with many interests and passionate about issues of rights and fairness to others. She is politically inclined and has opinions which bored him silly. 

The month was passing. 

By the end of the second week, Beth knew this was sex only and the hero worship was much better than the reality. How sad and how difficult for her to accept. Her man, her dream man, wasn't in reality what she saw in the movies or on TV and she was devastated by the loss. Wishing she could go back. Wishing it had never happened. She had agreed to the month, but wasn't sure now that she could make it. She confided in him that she might not be able to stay the next two weeks.

"Really? I was just going to ask if you wanted to spend the two weeks in Tahiti.  I have a place there and it's lovely in July."  He looked away and wondered to himself what the hell was wrong with her.  They were perfect together and she seemed to be pouting or something. 

"Tahiti? For 2 weeks? Well, okay, but if at anytime I want to leave, I will have a flight back, right?" She felt a little cheap even thinking of going, but Tahiti...she could live with this.

"Yep. My jet will take you anywhere you wanna go anytime you wanna go.  I hope you'll stay, but yes." Johnny was confused except he didn't really care why, he only cared that no one walked out on him. He was too charming and too, well, Johnny Depp! Come on!

They left almost immediately for their Tahiti getaway. The island was fabulous and Beth adored the tours and the bungalow they called home. The blue water and tropical fish under their floors of glass made her smile like a child. She loved the sidewalk cafe meals. Breakfast was served in the bungalow at 8 and lunch and dinner were at the cafes in the shade of thatched umbrellas. They walked and rode bikes and got into vans or taxis for tours like "common tourists," Johnny said, and she loved every minute of it. Then they would go back to the bungalow and have sex and a few drinks and sit on the edge of the boardwalk and talk. Well, Beth talked. She explained that he was not the person she had believed him to be, but she would love to remain friends without the benefits, if he was agreeable.

The last few minutes were so revealing. As Beth finished packing she heard Johnny on the phone in the other room making plans to drop her off and head to California to meet with a childhood friend for drinks. He came to her side and slipped his arm around her one last time and leaned in for a sweet kiss on her cheek.

"Thank you for a  month of fantasy, Beth. I will never forget you and our month." He didn't wait for her reply he simply left the room and walked out onto the balcony with his phone to make more plans.

And so it went. They had their fantasy month and Beth returned home alone. Walking up her sidewalk she wondered if Hubs would really still be there. Did he really love her that much? Could she even think he might for a moment? She opened the unlocked door and head down walked through the foyer into their living room. Nothing had changed. It looked wonderfully and comfortably the same. She raised her head and smiled. Home. My home. 

"Honey, I'm home!" She softly called out. Knowing she was alone.

Someone was coming down the stairs quickly. Heavy steps. 

She turned to see Hub's smiling face coming to her, arms outstretched. She ran to him and jumped into his arms nearly knocking him off his feet. They turned and kissed and hugged and cried. He said he had missed her every moment she was gone and prayed for her safe return. He said he never thought she would walk back into that door. He thought he had lost her to her dream. She had never seen such a handsome man in her life.

"I am living my dream now, ya big dummy! I love you with everything I am and YOU are my dream man. I'll never know why you let me do what I did. I'll never know why you didn't just laugh at me and put your foot down, but I will forever be grateful to you for loving me enough to let me see for myself that THIS is my life. This is my happiness and no one will ever be more to me than you and the kids and the grands. Oh, my god Hubs, I love you so much."

They talked all night long and he held her close while she cried her sorrow at having risked what she had for something unknown. He understood and also knew this was the first night of the rest of their loving union and it would be eternal.

Tomorrow, day 32, Bethie will be online and back to normal with some major changes evident to all who love her. Bethie will have lost her obsession, but will have gained her place in this world permanently.  Our Bethie will be truly and completely in control of her days and her nights and her family will be her priority from day 32 until forever.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Camping Trip

BFF Challenges:
I Blog Because...#204
The More Things Change  #205
AWOL  #206
Independence Day   #207
Hopes and Fears    #208

Okay my dear and precious readers, I am about to embark on a combo post with those five prompts included in some logical and sensible way. They may seem unrelated, but I shall attempt to relate them in my musing which follows.  Thanks for playing with me, by the way.  ♥

The wind, the rain, the cold all teamed up to make this less than a pleasurable evening for Sue Anne and Charlotte. The week-end camping trip was meant to be fun and exciting not wet and miserable. The tent had blown down a dozen or so times and now was as wet inside as outside and the little heater that usually caused them to open the tent windows was nearly useless. Getting the chill of their bones so they could get some sleep was proving impossible. Happy Freakin' Independence Day.

A quick look at the clock told Sue Anne they had less than 2 hours to actually sleep and neither of them was even close to drifting off. They had signed up for a hike at 7 a.m. and it was now 5:15. She touched Char on the shoulder softly. Char was cuddled as close as  possible, spoon style to Sue Anne. In her softest voice Sue Anne spoke with her lips touching Char's ear, "Why don't we just get out of this damp sleeping bag and sit by the heater? We can just talk 'til daylight."

Char pulled the sleeping bag back and eased her achy self out of it and grabbed the blanket they had used earlier, before the rain to see if it might still be somewhat dry. It had been hanging, sort of, from the table edge near the heater and was in fact, nearly dry.  They wrapped themselves in it and each other and got as close to the heater as possible. Sue Anne kissed Char lightly on the forehead and reminded her how very loved she was. Her entire life revolved around Char's happiness and wellbeing. It was a life-long love for both of them. 

"Not the fourth we planned, huh?"

"Not exactly. It has been fun, though. The cold sucks, but the day setting up camp and checking the river and sitting by the fire before the rain, that was all really good. I love you so much, I'd be content no matter what else is going on, ya know? It's just so good to be AWOL with you. No one knows we're here. No one will be interrupting us or wanting one of us to do something or go somewhere... I love being alone and unaccounted for with you."

Sue Anne was not surprised by any of this information, but she was touched by it nonetheless. She didn't hear those words often from Char, though she did often say similar things to Char. She was much more demonstrative than Char and much more vocal, so the little pronouncement of love was well received and much appreciated.

"When we first started seeing each other, I thought we were far too different to make a couple. I thought we'd be friends. Just friends. Now I can't imagine my days without you. This week-end in the woods is exactly what we need to remind us how very lucky we are. You are most of my hopes, a few of my dreams and all of my fears.  I hope you'll share the rest of my life with me, I dream of all of our tomorrows and I fear you won't be here when I wake up one day." A tear fell down her cheek and she quickly brushed it aside, she is not a crier and it wasn't natural.

Char's arms tightened just a tad as she turned to look into Sue Anne's eyes. Her heart was full. This was the person she had always dreamed would be in her life. This person was everything she hoped for. She had found all of her fears melted when she and Sue Anne were together. 

"Baby, I don't think I could leave you even if I wanted to. I have waited every minute of my life to be with you. Long before I knew you, it was YOU I was dreaming about. This is it for me. Forever. Until death do us part. Legal or not. I take YOU." Char poured her heart out to the love of her life and felt truly Independent doing so.


It's just a moment in time. A brief look into a very personal moment of two people in love professing their commitment. Nothing more and nothing less. Had I written this with a man and a woman, it would have been mainstream and no one would have wondered if they were a couple, or parent/child or siblings. It would have been obvious. As I wrote it, it was obvious to me that they were a couple. Period. I wish life was that easy for all same sex couples. I wish everyone would just recognize that love is a gift to all who feel it and give it. I wish it was not anything to even discuss. If a person finds love, I wish we could all be happy about that for them. I so hope one day it will be that way.

We live in a world where The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same.  The likelihood of my wishes coming true on this subject are slim because there will always be hatred, bigotry and prejudice against anyone who is different than someone else. We evolve, we accept and we grow yet, we still see it around us in others. How many protests, how many marches, how many gatherings and laws will have to be passed before we as a nation change our view on HUMAN rights? 

Sadly, I don't think it will ever happen. Elitists will always exist to hurt anyone they feel isn't as good or righteous as they.

Why can't all people share the same rights, freedoms and happiness? We are all humans. So simple..

Yep, The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same.

I Blog Because...I need to clear my head of random thoughts and because injustices bother me and here I can state my case without having to do battle. I enjoy battle sometimes, but sometimes, I simply want to say what I think, therefore, I blog.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Abby approached the school with some trepidation. She had never been through the doors before, but had ridden by a hundred times or so to see whatever she could see from the sidewalk. One day she had jumped off the bike and tried to look inside through a lower level window, alas the window had a shade pulled tightly down. She could see nothing. Standing along side her bike she took in the whole of the large ancient  building. The recessed stone square of a tanish shade centered in the front of aged and glorious bricks read, "Central School" and so it was. Centrally located within the small city Abby's family now called home.

No brother or sister to walk with on that first day. No friends since she had lived there only a few weeks and had met only one boy who lived very near her house. She thought he lived 3 houses from hers, but couldn't be sure because he always ran between two houses when she saw him go "home". It mattered little because he wasn't someone she wanted to know, really. His name was Zeke, but beyond that, she knew only that he lived with his father on her street and was in 6th grade. She would be starting 5th grade so she probably wouldn't have to deal with him often, if at all.  He had not offered to walk to school with her and she was a little bit glad and a little bit sad. Walking into a new school completely alone was not fun. Walking with Zeke would have been slightly better and he could have pointed her in the right direction.

Opening the over-sized door, she took a deep breathe and stepped in. There were a few kids walking around talking, laughing and acting very comfortable. Abby looked up and down the long hallway and spotted the row of lockers to her left. Her locker number was 118 and she started off in search of the first stop in her new school. Almost half-way down the row was her locker, she looked at the combination for reassurance, though she had memorized it a few days ago. It opened when she completed the code and she immediately noticed a sweater and a pair of shoes.

Stunned and a bit scared, she had no idea she would be sharing a locker, she put her own sweater on the remaining hook and closed the door. The first room she was to report to, according to her letter of introduction, was room  #55. Where that might be was a mystery to her. She started looking down the other end of the hall and headed in that direction with her letter in her hand.

"Can I help you find your room?" The voice was soft and masculine and completely new to her ears. Nice.

"Please. I have no idea where I am going. Room #55?" She sounded helpless and that was not her norm. She usually was confident and self-assured, but this scary environment was not giving her much to work with and the sweet man who offered his help was leaving her a little shaky.  He was so tall and so handsome and so young. He couldn't be a teacher, could he? So young! Her thoughts were clearly inappropriate, but still she was 11 years old and on the cusp of womanhood and this was a delish man.

"It's right down here on the left. Even numbers are on your right and odd on your left in this hall. I'll point you toward your next class when this one is over." There was a pause as he walked toward their destination. "I'm Mr. Browning, by the way, your homeroom teacher. And you are?"

Her homeroom teacher. She would be starting every school day looking at those green eyes and that perfectly messed up brownish hair. This was going to be a very good year.

"Hi, I'm Abby Lincoln. Nice to meet you, sir."  She smiled and regained some of her usual confidence.

They entered the homeroom and Mr. Browning pointed to a desk near his desk.

"Why don't you have a seat there for now. I do alphabetical assignments after everyone arrives, but you can see everyone come in from here and you'll be near-by if you need to ask anything, you know, quietly!" He winked and smiled at her with that last addition.

The first day in the new school would be okay, but she was going to have a difficult time with this new fever she was feeling. Spring Fever? Oh, that might explain it, but she had a feeling this fever would last until she graduated and left this building, if not many years beyond.

"Hey, Princess! Where are you?" Zeke was touching her knee and obviously had been talking to her, though she heard nothing.

"I was remembering my very first day at school in Templeton. I have no idea why, I just got lost in the memory, for some reason. It was a good day and a nice memory, but I'm not sure why I went there now."

"That was a great school and I remember the day I met you. You were so beautiful and I felt such an attraction to someone I had never even heard speak! I saw you coming out your front door and jumped on my bike to 'accidently' ride by just as you cleared the gate. I was hooked right then!  Ya know, every now and then, I think about the day I asked you to the prom and you said, 'Are you sure you wanna take ME?' Do you remember that?"

"I do," She laughed softly. "I thought Mr. Browning would be asking me, I think."  With that they both laughed.

Through the years of Central School Abby learned that nearly every single student, well female ones and a few select males, saw their future with Mr. Browning.  He had been single when she first started there, but had married when she was in the 9th grade. His wife, also a teacher at Central, was beautiful and very desired by most of the male and a few of the female students. Somehow, in her own mind though, Abby still thought he had a special feeling for her. She had been right, but not quite right. He adored her as a student and he loved watching her mature with her classmates. He saw in her exactly what he wanted his own daughter, if he ever had one, to become. It was a mutual love with different definitions. They remained close until graduation. She had not seen either Mr. or Mrs. Browning since.

She had married her first sweetheart, Zeke, a year after graduation and had two babies with him.
They had a good marriage, but her Spring Fever returned every year to haunt her memory, but not to disturb her life. She had made good choices and the Spring Fever was just a warm and fuzzy memory that jumped into her head out of absolutely nowhere at some point each and every spring in New England.  The Brownings still lived in Templeton some 1500 miles away, but they both lived in her heart and she imagined they thought of her from time to time, as well.



One of the most common and most often committed of the seven deadly sins could be envy. Who hasn't envied someone at some point in their life. I wonder why that is. I wonder what makes us want what someone else has or what makes us want to be someone else or live their life. I wonder why we aren't just happy for what we are and what we have. Isn't it ever enough?

I want a life of "enough". I am trying and am still totally a work in progress, to live with what I have and accept who I am. To stop wanting more or seeking better. I am hoping to understand and then implement the idea of "enough". I am good enough just as I am today. I have more than I need right now. I want that solidly pounded into my brain and part of my everyday life. I still want my life to get better as I live it. I want to always be improving who I am and I want my home to be well maintained and as maintenance free as possible. Those are not in contradiction to being enough and having enough. Those are growing and improving things.

I am talking more about seeing something someone else has or a picture of some perfect thing that I then wish to own. I am talking about seeing someone I think is beautiful and wishing I looked more like that. Knowing someone who is more patient, more loving or more intelligent and wishing I was. That is what I am working to end in my life.

What is beautiful is being who you are. What is intelligent is knowing you are enough. What is  patient is accepting who you and who others are. What is loving is giving of yourself. That is where I need to be and I am getting closer. The things I see that I think I want, I am not apt to go find now. I know that I own enough things. The things I might be pursuing in the future are things that will make our house more attractive to a buyer. The pretties I see or the gadgets I think I would enjoy, I'm trying to pass up. I have enough stuff.

Simplify. That's my goal. Because Envy isn't a pretty thing and it isn't a healthy thing. It leads you to do things you know aren't right for you or your situation, but you forge ahead. Why? Because someone else has it. Or worse, you can't be happy for the person who has it because you are too irritated that you can't have it.

Ever visit a really remarkable home and then go home and feel like you live in a hovel? I used to do that. I don't now. We have a modest and cute house. It's our home. I like it here a lot. When we move out it will be to find someplace with less work attached and probably in a warmer climate. This little house is not a bargain utility wise. Our electric and heat bills are ridiculous. We will need to find a more economical place one day and that won't be because we are envious of someone else's home, it will be because we need to live within our means. Retirement means less means.  But for now, it's home and it's enough.

I am enough. A work in progress, but for today, enough.

Envy thou shalt not own me.