Thursday, December 01, 2011

World AIDS Day

I woke today, early in the morning, reaching for my phone to check the time. Before even noticing the time I noticed the date and in my sleepy state thought "world AIDS day".

In 1980, maybe 1981 I remember driving with my father in the car to school - an extremely rare thing, and the radio was doing a report on some men with Kaposi Sarcoma. This was the first report I ever heard related to what was about to become the AIDS epidemic. Today Hillary Clinton made a press statement which included
We have come a long way in the fight against AIDS, but there is still a long road ahead to realize our ambitious goals. If we continue to work together and coordinate a global effort guided by science, we may one day live in a AIDS-free generation.
What a lovely thought. I am not sure I can allow myself to think I will see, at least not yet but it's a nice dream.

Rest in Peace: Doug, Ben, Glenda, and the cousin I never met.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The 30th

Finally. I did not fully succeed but given everything I am please with my attempt. Hop you were happy with whatever you attempted to accomplish this month.

I am officially done with everything except my final paper for Social Welfare Policy. If I manage a B- in this class I will be satisfied. Not pleased, but happy to have it done.
Macro I, I have done all that I think I can do, except a few more comments on my colleagues postings. The assignments that get reworked into the final paper? Yeah, I'm behind. I will draft the assignments, submit them and without feedback will write the final.
Tomorrow I will get my third paper back from my Micro I professor, and I am cautiously hopeful. The final paper may kill me however.
Playing major catch up in Human Development and Behavior I. Still have module postings to do, a much delayed mid-term and the final.
Yeah the next 9 days will be hell.

I would love to say I will keep blogging through all this but just case a heavy dose of reality sinks in, see you on the other side of the semester!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

simple things

(Yes, yes, I realized late last night, about 12:40am that I lost track of posting yesterday. Ah well. It's my fifth year doing this and the first where I missed days. I suppose with all that's on my plate it is to be expected).

Late Saturday The Music Nerd (trying on a nickname for my sweetheart, we'll see if it sticks) and I were driving home after an all day meeting in Cambridge that we attended. I was asked about my favorite movies of the holiday season. Rudolph is undoubtedly a top favorite, as is The Grinch. The Year without A Santa Claus is another, the songs crack me up. I also spoke about watching the Nutcracker Suite every year, not that I remember which company performed it, or if it were the same production aired year after year. Then I recalled how once a year The Wizard of Oz would be on television. It seemed to me that it was on every November, though I don't have any clear recollection, not really.

Sunday I woke sullen, cranky, and unmotivated. I gave fair warning to the Music Nerd, who was gracious about it, asking if there were anything to help. "No," I replied flatly. Being faced with such a sweet inquiry, and those gorgeous, kind eyes, I started blabbering about all the things that were overwhelming me: I have so much school work to due; terrified I won't pull it off, that I will freeze like the last time I attempted grad school; my house is a mess - needs a true cleaning; I've gained a bit of weight; behind on DNE work, and basically I blathered on about my fears, anxiety, generally bitching about my life.

As I attempted to settle in to accomplish some of the mountain of schoolwork, suddenly the television was on, a movie was starting. Without me noticing, Music Nerd had popped in a dvd - The Wizard of Oz. The smile that came over was so big, my heart lifted with the sweet gesture. Music Nerd was surprised at my response. This is at least the second time that MN has done the exact perfect thing to attempt to remedy me when I have been at some of my worst.

Simple things, thoughtful gestures, makes life so much better.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

it's late

But I'm here.
Now I'm going to bed.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Anxious melancholy

The title sums up the feelings that keep sliding over me, or rather creeping around my innards, leaving feeling like something is terribly wrong. It resembles the impending doom feelings that were regular visitors before I discovered happy pills. I am not without my drugs of choice so I am at a loss to explain why this keeps settling over me. It could be that I am coming to the end of my semester and the stress is getting to me. Perhaps that is all, not that that is minor but it could be reasonable; which is perferable to truly something being wrong, or that my feelings of things being about to implode is true. Even if it quite reasonable and explainable, it still nerve wracking and leaves spending a portion of everyday waiting for the other shoe to drop. I do hope this stops easily, on its own, and soon,

*Please excuse typos and brevity, composed on my phone.

Anxious melancholy

The title sums up the feelings that keep sliding over me, or rather creeping around my innards, leaving feeling like something is terribly wrong. It resembles the impending doom feelings that were regular visitors before I discovered happy pills. I am not without my drugs of choice so I am at a loss to explain why this keeps settling over me. It could be that I am coming to the end of my semester and the stress is getting to me. Perhaps that is all, not that that is minor but it could be reasonable; which is perferable to truly something being wrong, or that my feelings of things being about to implode is true. Even if it quite reasonable and explainable, it still nerve wracking and leaves spending a portion of everyday waiting for the other shoe to drop. I do hope this stops easily, on its own, and soon,

*Please excuse typos and brevity, composed on my phone.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Another favorite


Fifteen years from tonight you have to make a desicion
The greatest love of your life
Is gonna call during dinner...
From the home of the girl that he's living with now
And the guilt he'll say is killing him
He's wilted in the middle and
He knows how bad he acted
Knows he can't have you back
But the fact is he can't be happy when you're angry
And you're so angry, he says you stayed so mad
And he heard it on the street that
You moved back in with your dad
You were drinking something awful
And that makes him sad
Then he says it's good to hear your voice again
And that it's hard to ask it,
But he's calling with a question
He's been working real hard, he's trying to make a new start
An honest to god fresh beginning
So maybe you could try to finally find it in your heart
To forgive him

You've already been here before
You already know where it goes
You chose this, you know it's suppose to be over
You've been here before
You already know where it goes
You chose this, you know it's suppose to be over

He hung up the phone, you listened to the dial tone
And you stared at the stove until the beeping started
You read some love letters some threats
And some you couldn't tell apart
That you keep under the bed at the apartment
And then you did what he asked you to do
You opened your heart up
Right there on a napkin on the carpet
And part of it was frostbit
But you've always been a smart kid
Could still distinguish, the blood black as pitch
Valves had gone stiff, veins and scar tissue
Four chambers just a standard issue
But none had room, forgiveness is huge
And you had two full of ice water
One fulla salt, one packed with coal
Eager and ready and willing to find fault

You've already been here before
You already know where it goes
You chose this, you know it's suppose to be over
You've been here before
You already know where it goes
You chose this, you know it's suppose to be over

Then with your heart in your lap
And your head in your hands, suddenly you had a plan
Wrap the mess in newspaper
Headed west on Hennepin,
Heavy with a huge favor for a kid that just turned ten
A flat-chested, gap-toothed girl
Was the best that I've been so far
And now I'm too big to forgive him
I need just a moment with me,
A moment when I was still little
I used to sing on the roof outside my windowsill
And I came hoping some ghost of me would be here still
And here you are, stick figure and a busted grin
Still ignorant of all the trouble I'ma get us in
Hoping we could trade, just for tonight
Like I could borrow your heart
And I could leave you mine
It's not much for collateral, tattered and battle-scared
But I can promise you solemn
That I will be back for it tomorrow
I only need yours this evening
So I can call an old friend
And I can tell him
That we're finally even,
That we're finally even

You chose this, you know it's suppose to be over
I've been here before
And I already know where it goes
You chose this, you know it's suppose to be over

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful is a good

and that I am.

For many things:
friends
family
community
grace
that I am healthy, relatively ;-)
education
dance
music
my sweetheart
my cabin and it's owners' grace for letting me stay there
a yummy dinner tonight
meeting new people
a never ending supply of books I want to read
the smell of wood smoke

So many things, I am sure I am forgetting many important things but I think this is a good list for now.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My holiday bird is a phoenix

Once again I am doing something different, unfamiliar for a "holiday". Here am I again wandering into someone else's structure, secret language of their family. I seem to have yet to create my own rituals around most holidays, and the ones I have invented seems more like phoenixes, burning up in my past being reborn into still new plumage.

Perhaps that is my tradition, to reinvent, recreate, blend what is known with what is new year time about me, about my life. There was a time when I could not imagine ever not going to my family Thanksgiving, I did choose not to go from to time over the years. Sometime because I went else, or I lived too far away. With various partners I have attempted to start something but when relationships end, the attempts to create those familial habits turn to a pile of ashes of things that have passed on.

My pattern, when alone, is to try on other families' customs but unlike Goldilocks none of them are just right. Oh, they sometimes feel that way, especially when it's been my lover's family. In reality, though I dearly enjoy my far and few between family gatherings, my family is not really close - only gathering twice a year for most of life, and those gatherings have shrunk as died and reformation by marriages have thinned the branches even further. Stepping into others' families have always been filled with hope and dread. I long for an extended family that thrills, annoys, and loves one another; one where we gather for no reason, randomly and share little bits, hide others, but there is always laughter. When I have had a glimpse into that possibility I then fight the urge to run away; it's too close, too much expectation. The annoyance and obligation overshadow the warmth and I am left feeling claustrophobic. There really is no pleasing me in this arena, I know that but yet I search, hope, and wonder when my turn comes to have that family that meets my hopes and dreams. It won't happen, at least not with perfection, and certainly not without me taking an active part in the annoyance, laughter, and warmth.

This is related to my recent whinging about being single, about never having that happy ever after. How does one create that "family" if one is single? Who makes up the members? Surely I have enough friends to create my own ragtag crew ala Charlie Brown, but there will be no grandmother to scoop us all up in breast of kin that are the grown ups who provide. I am that grown up now, but who and where is my tribe? I remain a nomad, regardless of living in one place for over a year, I roam on more esoteric planes all the time it seems; constantly seeking something that may not be findable, so perhaps I should enjoy the journey more. Maybe some of us are not meant to hold rituals in the same manner that others do. Perhaps I am more of a catalyst than a stable solution; jumping into things and seeing what happens; what to take onward with me, and what to leave behind for others to amalgamate for themselves.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is there a formula to this?

Driving this morning I was reflecting on my relationship and noted that when I fell in love, it has not played out well for me. The first time I truly fell in love I was in my early 20's, it was a disaster - she was immature, insecure, abusive, manipulative. One year in, I had tried to leave but after hours of weeping, apologies, and pleading, along with a sprinkle of feeling responsible for her being New York City where she was like a lost sheep, I gave in. The more time that passed, the harder it was to know how to extricate myself from the crazy cycle of our life. The tipping point seemed to appear out of nowhere, which of course is never quite the case, and suddenly I knew that no matter what the price (and it was very high) I had to get out to save myself.When I left it felt great but I felt enormous pain; pain that left feeling like I wanted to die; I did not really want to die, but I wanted the raging, stabbing sensations to stop.

Before and after that roller coaster ride I was in relationships that were much calmer, and I wondered if it is was because I hadn't "fallen", wondered if I would again. And if I did, could I survive it. But then again, I fell deeply, irrationally for someone. Before even meeting her in person I felt attached, even addicted to this person. It was a ridiculous fall, all the more since it turned out that almost everything she said was a lie. Again I was relieved when it was over, felt worlds better, and it hurt, not as bad as before, but there was sadness. There were little things I missed, much I did not, but there was this emptiness as I was single for the first time in eons, briefly.

The next one I thought was more reasonable, but only because I was not the one who fell first. This one I thought had real potential, it all seemed so sane, especially by comparison. She was not insane like some others but that being swept up thing? Clearly that is my downfall, my Achilles heel. I should know that when I feel that swirling, too hopeful feeling that it is bad news.

What I also noticed in my reverie this morning is that I seem to choose best when it starts slower, perhaps knowing them as part of my social circle first. It might serve me well to keep this in mind for the future. Things are lovely with the person I'm seeing and they fit more in this category which after the review I conducted of my romantic history should be a good sign but the moment I start having faith in someone, my magic thinking leads me to expect the happy times to end.

Yeah, I have might still have some issues to work on.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Like sands through the hourglass.

Checking the television guide tonight I noted, once again, what shows I no longer watch. There are many shows that I associate with Her Geekyness (who I left some time ago) which are no longer part of my regular viewing. There were a few I avoided initially because it was too hard to watch them, knowing the shows had been part of my day to day life that no longer existed. There were some that were always more her thing, those were easier to let go of, but the others were more mixed. Since that time, I have not had a pattern of watching tv with someone. Actually since leaving Dayton, my television watching patterns have shifted. Initially I stayed with someone who did not have any signal and certainly no cable; often I crashed with Greg and Janet, who have digital signal or whatever it's called, but no cable. Sure we rented movies during some of those visits, but again folks who do not use television the way I had (or Her Geekyness). I learned how to cope without depending on tv as much.

It's been rather freeing to have little idea what the new shows are, to happen upon things, and only really know some of the syndicated things (they are much easier to remember since the schedule is the same five days a week). Vastly different from how I lived much of my life. Even now I watch more than those early gypsy days but I often am doing other things and can barely tell you watch I'm watching let alone the plot. I even shut it off! Seriously. Though this more normal, it still feels so odd.

So no more forensic shows (mostly I'm good to have stopped watching them, but I did get used to what she used to "the voice", there truly was something soothing about the sound of his voice, though the subject matter was not the best to fall asleep to - her habit. Very little CSI, The Closer. I do miss the original CSI but tend to forget to watch the reruns, and did not care for Laurence Fishburne on the show - a supreme disappointed because I had high expectations for his performance (I have caught bits and pieces of Ted Danson and have been pleasantly surprised by the character and performance). It's hard to remember what else I have "given up". I am still happy to catch Charmed repeats however, whenever the day allows and I remember it's on. As time moves on I remember less and less of what I have stopped watching, or forgetting more and more to connect them to her, hard to tell which. It's not about missing her, it hasn't been for a long time, more of a like a far away memory, of what my life used to be; one I don't miss in very many ways. The life I'm living now is much better.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A quiet day

Nothing good, nothing bad, just eh. You know, a "meh" kinda of day. Did not get much accomplished, except for some work that needs to be shipped tomorrow. Way too much time reading a compelling thread on Ravelry, almost caught up. Beautiful day but I did not take advantage. It does seem that the day after a productive one, the next gets little attention in terms of the "to do" list. I wish I could be more consistent. More things to work on in the future.

Perhaps tomorrow I will be more pithy. Thanks for tuning in.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ah, to be brilliant

But I'm not. At least I'm not feeling it right now. Cannot think of a blessed thing to write about. I was going to post photos I took today but am having difficulty getting them off my camera. Argh. Technology is a pain in the arse sometimes.

Overall not a bad day, it included a nap, a shower, laundry, and an awesome fire which has keep the downstairs at about 75F all day.

Finished one extremely overdue assignment, am working on another. Might finished it tonight, or tomorrow. In either case, more things to cross off the to do list feels good.


Friday, November 18, 2011

In which our heroine discovers her minions are missing

So yesterday I hauled work back with me that is still in the car. There's coat in there from, um a week ago? A wrap from sometime this week. My travel mug which hasn't had coffee in it for at least two weeks. Oh, damn let's be honest probably more like three. A coffee cup from that place I'm ashamed to say I go to from time to time - it's been there a week as of today. Old mail, I think. Parking tickets that need paying. Lots of other flotsam and jetsam of living half out of my car at least 3 days a week.

Then today I went to Sunny's. And now the car is really full. As in seeing out the back window a bit of an obstacle course. What was added was:
  • a beautiful pasta serving bowl
  • two sets of flannel sets (yeah!)
  • a laptop cooler pad thingy
  • an air purifier
  • a portable dvd player, complete with car charge, two pouches, and various cords to plug it into the wall, a computer, or tv.
  • my little bookcase, which I think will go upstairs next the couch
  • all the yarn that was in said bookcase: 10 balls of some purple wool, 10 balls of some black wool, 3 skeins of vintage 3ply yarn which could make a nice throw, two skiens of some Lambswool in cool colors, a small cone of beautiful peacock colored lace weight yarn, and probably a couple of others.
  • a necklace that I thought was lost but I found it but it needs repair. It make me totally happy to find it, I was just mourning it's loss the other day
On the way home I stopped at the grocery store for a few items that I needed (i.e. ice cream and cookies to get me through a weekend of cramming on school work). Once home it was cold out, a fire needed to be started, the cat at the main house needed to be fed, and it 's kitchen tidied. Let's just I'm lucky the things that needed to be in freezer got of the car. Tomorrow, unless the forest trolls have done their job, and given their performance of late - the odds are against this, I will be spending time unpacking the car, stacking wood, vacuuming, and doing laundry. All this and school work too. Perhaps the fairies will at least have made the coffee.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bittersweet

I work for a lovely couple, assisting with their business which she founded and he supports her in her mission, serving as her right hand man. Aisling and Kent have been together a number of years, marrying two years ago. They share a home, dogs, friends, and families. There is a comfort surrounding their relationship, that leaves longing for what I do not have, haven't for a long time, and wonder if I will find again. Their home is well tended, the furniture tasteful and comfortable, they adore their dogs as though there were their children and in a way they are - something I understand. I realize I have only seen the tiniest slice of their life and my envy is based on impressions, my lack, and not reality.

Living alone has suited me well, very well for the last year and a half; I have learned a great deal about myself, and it is lovely to only have myself to account regarding my choices, my spendings, and my grocery shopping. Still there are times when I miss partnership in the everyday, the glow and glide of couplehood. There are not great periods of this desire seeping at the edges of my being, but they happen, like today.

Aisling and Kent had left for a trip of approximately three weeks and I was still at the house finishing some work. Kent called shortly after leaving, as I expected because I was sure there was something left behind. He had left his wedding ring by the kitchen sink and really didn't want to be without it. As we spoke I walked over to the sink and retrieved the ring, slipping it around in my hand, noting it's simplicity and size - it would fit on the middle finger of my larger hand. While playing with it, I recalled feeling that way about my wedding band, which has been off my hand since 2005. I have not been single all that time but no bands with the weight of commitment, purpose, and promise have encircled my finger since then.

My desires in these moments fights with my cynicism - relationships don't last. Or at least mine don't. It's not that I have only flitting partnerships, but apparently I lack that gene for sticking things out. Perhaps that gene is related to my cynicism - they are mutually exclusive, if I have one, I can't have the other. Only one time did I have any true faith that a relationship would last, which it did for twelve years but in the end I still left. Regretfully in many ways, but it was the right decision for me at the time. In the years that have swirled by it does seem that in some ways I left the best thing I've had. But somehow it still wasn't good enough for me. The truth is that there were things missing, some incompatibility concerns that time have not erased but have left me wondering - at what point are things like that still good enough to stay? How do you know when you should stay in spite of those mismatches?

Perhaps the reason I laden such loveliness on relationships like Aisling and Kent's is that I keep hoping I if I can learn the secret of couples like them, I will be able cure myself of my lack of faith. If I can find inner peace that will lead to acceptance not just of my imperfections about another's, I would be allowed me the domestic, marital bliss that has alluded me, and I would finally believe I deserve such riches.

I will be shipping it tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Good Day

It doesn't take much sometimes to feel like a day feel successful.

- I was able to sleep in, and felt relatively rested upon waking
- An excellent cup of tea
- Lovely trip to my acupuncturist (despite being offered a choice of a no sugar/no alcohol diet or herb, I chose the herbs)
- Finished a paper for Micro Practice class before midnight, meaning I can get to bed at a reasonable hour
- Receive a "B" on my module posting for Social Welfare Policy
- My home is warm and toasty on gray rainy day
- A glass or two of a lovely red wine (see why I chose the herbs?)

How was your day?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Aargh" says Charlie Brown

While reading in bed last night, at precisely 12:01am, it suddenly occurred to me that I had not blogged. I confess, I was tempted to leap out of bed and back date the posting. But alas, I am too honorable.

So here I am hanging my head in shame, four stellar years of not missing a post, the record has been broken. If it was going to happen I cannot think of a more appropriate year than this one. Lyme has been kicking my arse for over two months, finally seeming to abate just a week ago, graduate school has been kicking my arse for over two months - partially because of Lyme. My internship is not quite doing a number on me, but it's a contributing factor as well. So are my two very part time jobs, my reduced commitment to the Frolic (I'm very sad to not be doing a better job), and my responsibilities to Dance New England (also falling down a bit there as well). Perhaps even attempting NaBloPoMo this year was a foolish idea but I really thought I could do it. I still think I can, so I am resuming my intention of posting daily for the rest of month.

Wish me luck, I think I'm going to need it!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Another great day in Western Massachusetts

It was lovely to sleep in, the fourth day in a row that I did not have a specific time I had to get up - what a luxury.

Had lovely little bit of time with Michele before I took off to pick up my sweetheart up in Greenfield. We decided on a side trip to the Montague Bookmill - it's been YEARS since I was there. It is lovely to see that this place has survived, and thrived all these years. I had a lovely warm rice salad at their Lady Killigrew cafe; it was so yummy. The sunset was blazing with pinks and reds, incredible.

Now we are home, the stove is cranking, and we've had dinner, some yummy lemon shortbread and chocolate for dessert. Schoolwork is calling me but I am enjoying the stupor of a nice weekend, a full belly, and a goal of serious cuddling soon.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lovely Saturday

A day in Northampton.
A real shower, not a cubical pretending to be one.
Lovely vegan breakfast and coffee at Haymarket - god I love this place.
Nice visit to the Forbes Library for study time.
Awesome catch time with Michele, then dinner at a fabulous new (to me and her)
restaurant in Florence, Side Street Cafe. Food was so good, and I loved the
waiter - I want him to be my waiter every where.
Now more chatting with Michele, both of sprawled on her bed, it's like when
we were housemates, but in some ways better. More history between, we've had
some challenging times, some rifts, but we have grown and grown back together.
It's like being home, in more ways than one.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Making good decisions

Today, in a fit of maturity, I decided to not attend an intriguing sounding workshop (using mindfulness and yoga in treating depression and anxiety) nor a one day conference (on feminism) - both coming up in a week. As much as I would love to attend either, or ideally both, I have no time to do anything except what is necessary for school, work, and daily survival.

Perhaps I'm getting better at setting priorities, at least a little. There seems to be some improvement in this area, which is good as it should get me through school. On one hand I keep focusing on getting through this semester and I expect that that will continue to be the mantra for each one. Recently Greg pointed out that in a year and a half I would be setting up a practice, actually working in my field. I shuddered and said more like two years in a fit of fear and wanting to put off the reality of next steps. But then I recovered and realized that yes, what he said was true, scary, and terribly exciting. Making good decisions is what will get me there. Learning to fight my internal demons that let me feel like I'm a fraud, that my good grades are not valid and my less than stellar ones given to professors who see through my facade of being capable of this work, will also work to get me to where I want to be.

Which leads me back to there is so much to do, work on school, on me but it's all for the good.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One month to go

Until the end of the semester and the list of work to do by then is staggering. Truly. However I am so looking forward to the time off from classes. It's hard to believe how the time has flown by. Of course having Lyme since before classes began probably accounts for how behind I am.

One goal for my time off is to do a jigsaw puzzle. Yeah I know big excitement but it will make me happy. What else? Knitting. Reading some of the articles and such that I didn't get to during the semester. Um. Cooking! The benevolent landowner is going to Germany for a few weeks I will have access to a stove and oven. So exciting. I should pick out some things to make. Sleeping in everyday I can, except for my internship days - that will be thrilling.

And perhaps I will blog even after NaBloPoMo is over. Anything is possible, right?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Children's Work

This is Dessa's song that first got my attention. It resonated so stronger for me. The lyrics are great but listening it, even better hearing her intonation, the arrangement.

I get something different each time I listen to her cd - A Broken Code. I highly recommend her, her songs, her writings. Everything



My father was a paper plane, my mother was a windswept plane*
My little brother is nearly twice my age, he taught me how to meditate, I taught him how to read.
I grew up with a book in my hand, I got these dark circles before I turned ten.
Heard my mother with her friends worry it was something she did, to get such a serious kid.

But I've learned how to paint my face,
How to earn my keep
How to clean my kill.
Some nights i still cant sleep,
The past rolls back, I can see us still.
You've learned how to hold your own,
How to stack your stones,
But the history's thick.
Children aren't as simple as we might think.

Before you came along i was a lone cub,
Fell in love with language, tried to tell the grown-ups
About the storm clouds, the weather in my head,
Hadn't heard the word for melancholy yet.
Then you came in five years behind,
We thought you couldn't talk, turns out you were just shy.
Mom said it was serious, dad said you'd be fine.
I thought you were the prophet of 1989.
You were so tender, we thought something was wrong with you.
So patient, we thought that you were deaf,
you were so solemn, so tiny but so ancient.
Ma took you to see doctors, you scared her half to death.
And I made you a library of tiny books with spines 2 inches high.
You didn't say too much,
But your smile taught me how to quiet down my mind.

But I've learned how to paint my face,
How to earn my keep
How to clean my kill.
Some nights I still can't sleep,
The past rolls back, I can see us still.
You've learned how to hold your own,
How to stack your stones,
But the history's thick.
Children aren't as simple,
As we'd like to think.

You slept in my bed, and if I kept quiet
I could hear all the voices in your head.

When the wagon tipped,
I prayed over your body, I asked God to take the damage out on me.
10 years later he finally gets the memo, sent it to accounting,
and knocked out my front teeth.
But you came to, and took my hand,and held my eyes and...
Me and you, had a long walk home, so we decided not to cry.
Now we've got a grown up love,
And I know that's how its supposed to be.
Same old story, mom gets Easters, lets dad have Christmas Eve.
But I won't pretend I don't remember,
How unusual they were,
The little mystic and his handler.
All some children do is work.
I've learned how to paint my face,
How to earn my keep
How to clean my kill.
Some nights I still cant sleep,
The past rolls back, I can see us still.


Monday, November 07, 2011

Some days

Some days, it is about the small victories. Other days, it is about just slogging through. Still others, it is muddling through hoping the apple cart didn't turn over.

I'm not sure that today was exactly any of those days, not entirely. There was a small victory (booking a speaker for the elders I work with). There was some slogging through (hello, school work), and a bit of muddling (isn't that most days?). Oh, and some huge frustration with bureaucracy, not sure what that category would be, but today was that too. Even in all that fog of happy, slog, muddling and frustration there were slivers of joy.

In the upstairs of the cabin there is a huge window over the desk, standard height but about 5 feet wide with a view of trees and not much else, that faces west. There is a bit of what we call "lawn" where I have seen deer and woodchucks grazing and can catch a glimpse of the main house if my eyes veer left a bit but mostly trees with just a bit of sky above. The clocks were set back this weekend and my judgement of time is a bit askew and I can't tell if it's later than I think, or earlier, or darker than it should be. Tonight at a bit past 5pm the sun was setting, lighting up the sky with pinks, bronzes, and casting elegant shadows below. With more of the leaves off than on the trees and the conifers losing needles those pockets of light have shifted to allow more contrast of the almost black of branches which the sky peeks through with it's quickly changing rainbow display. This view from the window never fails to offer me a slice of joy, any time of day, any weather, any season.

The other day my beloved brought me curtains to help curtail the blinding light of the late afternoon, but today while I was at work had artfully tacked it up to allow the view to still be available. Sitting at my desk, working on a reading assignment (Pinderhughes's 2000 article in the Journal of Family Psychology on Discipline, if you must know), after being at my internship (it's going well, thank you for asking), I enjoyed the curtain engineering and the briskly shifting light show that my window offers me daily, if I just pay attention.

Perhaps that's what every day brings, the chance to be mindful, to take in the simple things that we know will lighten our souls, if only we remember to do that small task. There are things each day that if we really see them, breathe them, hear them, we can find the path to a moment of happiness each day. This is not something I do consciously every day, but often. I suspect I do it unconsciously some days as well, how much more joy I could have in my life if I was mindful about it every single day? Can one overdose on joy? I suppose a way to find out is to be more purposeful about a simple thing like the view from my window.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Never on a Sunday

Never on a Sunday
do I find myself rushing for Monday
will a rainy day not be perfect for cuddling
does a breakfast out seem wrong or indulgent
will I resist the temptation of too much tv
does a long bath sound like a bad idea
nor does sitting for hours with a friend
should I forget that the hours change, the light shifts
and every day is a gift.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

oops!

Meant to write earlier but now I'm at the Frolic, so I am "phoning it in". More tomorrow. Have a great night peeps. Don't forgetto set your clocks back an hour!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Happy birthday to my siblings

Today is my siblings birthday, yes plural, they are twins. I can still remember the flurry of activity surrounding the birth, though I am sure that there are details that have been lost, as well as many I never knew about.

My stepmother went into labor on Sunday the 3rd, after attending a party the night before. Sometime that day I was shuttled across the street to stay with my friend Eileen, who lived on the fourth floor of a brownstone with her blind mother and father. Her mother's sister lived with her husband, and two children on the second floor; their mother on the ground floor - she always wore black as all the good Italian widows did in our neighborhood. I was there because my mother had left our household less than a month before, unexpectedly, and was living in California.

After spending the night, I readied for school at the neighbor's but realized I had forgotten my gym clothes (I hated gym) so I dashed across the street. I have no idea what made me enter the parental bedroom during this trip, perhaps I heard a sound, but I was stunned to find my mother in the bed. I have no recollection of asking her anything but I suspect I did and the response was probably that she came home for the birth. Confused I made my way to school.

Coming home there was no one home and I headed back to my friend's apartment. At some point my father called there, and I eagerly waited to hear if I had a brother or a sister. The response was "It's a them!". I had one of each, and once again that day I was stunned, surprised and unsure what to say next.

My recollections are a bit fuzzy but I think they came home when they were five days old. The image that has remained in my mind all these years remains true. Fran sitting in the rocker nursing my brother, my sister in the single crib (did I mention we were not expecting two babies?) wearing a light blue one piece sleeper looking so tiny, so breakable. Standing motionless in front of the crib Fran told me to pick her up. I reached up and into the crib a bit terrified and awkwardly scooped her into my skinny arms hardly breathing for fear of dropping her. She seemed so tiny, so soft, and I felt nothing but love for these tiny beings. That feeling has never changed.

The next time I saw my mother was in late January when she came home to us and we became a house of six for a time.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Documentaries you should think about viewing

Recently in my Micro Practice class we have watched some videos that have really touched me.

First was Raising Cain, http://www.pbs.org/opb/raisingcain/ which was a great look at boys in this culture. Certainly it left me with the desire to read more of Michael Thompson's work and food for thought about stereotypes that reside in my head. An intro can be viewed here, but it does not begin to convey how deep, how disturbing some of the stories of these young men are. Heartbreaking.

Today was an emotionally draining day in class as we watched two videos, one of which I had seen in my last go round of grad school. The Color of Fear triggered intense emotions and tears this time as well. One difference this time is that I have since become friends with one of the men. This scene particularly stands out both times, strongly.

As if that wasn't intense enough my professor followed The Color of Fear (which I still feel everyone should watch) with Big Mama. No, not the one y'all are thinking of, not Big Mama's House. This documentary had most of the class in tears. It follows the story of an 89 year old woman with custody of her 9 year old grandson and their journey towards foster care for the young man who has developmental and behavior difficulties.

Happily as class was breaking up I checked my phone and had received a lovely message from my sweetheart which took the emotion edge off a bit.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Two for Tuesday

Yes there will be shortcuts to make it through NaBloPoMo this time around, more than ever!

Two recent favorite moments:

Last week, while at my internship, a lovely 83 year old woman whose mouth was tucked into itself because she hadn't put her teeth in, gently reached up to point to my nose and said: "I like your nose earring". Such a sweet moment.

In a moment of clarity I realized that I could move the drying rack from the left to the right side above the sink. It totally opened up the appearance of lightness in the kitchen area. Small changes can make one so happy.


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Because clearly I'm insane



This will be my fifth time doing this. This is the second time I have done it while also doing a butt load of school work. However this time I am taking four courses, spending about two days at my internship, mentoring two new CCG members for DNE, and attempting something related to being the PR person for the Frolic. And you, know sleeping. Oh, and I'm on the recover road from Lyme.

Did I mention I'm insane? No? Oh.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years Ago Today

On this date in 2001 I departed Northampton to begin my drive across country to meet my then wife who have moved almost two months ahead of me. I piled the last of the belongings from our home, my beloved Niya cat (5/1995 - 12/2010) and a heavy heart.

The next morning as I was leaving Buffalo, news of the first attack made my ears. An already surreal experience suddenly became more so than I could have ever imagined. I wrote an email to friends most nights from the road. I am pasting that collection of ramblings, unedited here. Make of it what you will.
***********************************

My Travels Thus Far – September 12, 2001

Hello all,

Well. To say that my last few days in Northampton were surreal would be an understatement only made more surreal by driving yesterday.

I left Mass on Monday morning, landing in Buffalo later that day. I was entertained by my friend and their lovely daughter, fed a wonderful meal and had a good sleep. Well, good except that like a child my cat woke me for no apparent reason at 2:30am. Darci and I blithely chatted in the morning with no tv on so I had no idea what my day would bring on

Tuesday morning.

I plotted my day's journey expecting to land in Elkhart Indiana to stay at my brother-in-law's. I checked voicemail and had already received 2 messages informing me of event. I called Chris who filled me in while I listened to reports on the radio.

As I traveled west listening to the reports I felt like I was lost in "The War of the Worlds" as I had no picture of what was happening. At times it was had to drive because growing up in NYC it was impossible to imagine that the towers were gone. It seemed too terrible, too unlikely, too frightening in the unknown of it all.

Upon landing in Elkhart I finally saw the pictures. I was grateful that I was so tired, too tired to have too much emotion.

Today, Wednesday I landed in Milwaukee, a slight detour from my destination to see my mentor. So far it's been a lovely visit and Niya is especially making their home, hers. Except for their dog, who wants to be her friend (he's a 9-year-old miniature collie who's losing sight

and hearing and has an injured leg). I intend to head out fairly early in the morning and my goal is to make it to Des Moines Iowa. The day after that I hope to end in North Platt Nebraska. Depends on caffeine intake, enough sleep and how much my cat objects to the hours in the car.

I will continue to update when I can.


Travels – The Next Installment 14, September 2001

Hello dear ones,

As I continue my drive National Public Radio has been a consistent companion along with my mostly sleeping cat. Occasionally Niya will comment on apparently nothing at all, perhaps she disapproves of my music choices, or is voicing distress over our political state.

I have surpassed all my goals for driving so far. As of today, Friday, I have driven over 2000 miles! The views have been amazing so far. The variety and beauty of this land is so vast. Indiana is unbelievably flat and filled with cornfields. The route from the South Bend, IN area to Milwaukee WI was mostly boring, crowded, citified and had way too many tolls! Niya especially hated the tolls - I had to open the window each time, which elicited, each time, a disdainful yowl. However, leaving Milwaukee and traveling the southwest section of Wisconsin was really how I think of Wisconsin - gently rolling hills, farms and cows.

Iowa was so incredibly gorgeous. Lush hills and valleys, absolutely bucolic, green, the living vision of fertility. The same day I left Milwaukee and drove through Iowa my goal had been to make to Des Moines, but I was in a groove and kept driving til I has in Omaha Nebraska, 525 miles total! I found a slightly skuzzy motel room with a lovely view of a construction site right in the "back yard". I realized I still had not seen one plane up in the skies the entire trip.

Today I drove with the aim of ending in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The evening before I could not believe how boring, industrial, and ugly Omaha was, at least what I had seen of it. I flopped in the bed and was blown away by the fact that I was in Nebraska. It seemed so weird. I mean Nebraska! But oh how wrong I was about the beauty that Nebraska holds.

Driving through the state was incredible (I think I am so road tired that I am running out of adjectives - sorry!). I had thought that in Iowa one could see for miles - it's nothing compared to the land view in Nebraska. It was like looking out the ends of the earth. What's really amazing is that you are not looking from the vantage point of height like in the New England; it's all so level. Sometimes the large expanse of nothingness (not truly of course, but no cities, no buildings, etc) seemed scary, claustrophobic. There was a small farm, small house and a barn or two surrounded by acres and acres of tilled land. And beyond the tilled land - nothing, except for the highway on one side.

And the view of the skies! So awe inspiring. I could see the storm I was driving into for miles ahead. When it seemed like I was right under it, I still wasn't, but also to the right I could see beautiful clear skies with wispy clouds. The vista was so all encompassing of the different weather conditions. Further into the state hills appeared with shrubs scattered on the surfaces. In the distance the shrubs looked like a man's stubble on the planes of a face. About 40 miles from the border, up on the left is a large silhouette of a coyote up on the hill. Quite amusing.

Oh then Wyoming! So beautiful. Late in Nebraska and continuing into Wyoming the landscape is not as flat but marked with striking outcroppings of rock forming shapes and ledges. The road often takes such a gentle climb it's almost unnoticeable - except for the huffing and puffing of the truck. In Medicine Bow National Forest I drove through more rain, this time light, and then to my right the most incredible rainbow I think I've ever seen. It seemed so much wider than any other. Also I was able to see both ends! So beautiful and magical. In Arlington WY, there is an "A" up on a hill - I suspect it's not a state/city-sanctioned thing but it was amusing.

There were times where I am sure I saw more cattle than all the people on the road for at least 100 miles. Cows in all sorts of colors have been everywhere, along with sheep and bison (buffalo). I also saw deer or perhaps elk along side the road much later in the day. I have seen seagulls so far from a body of water. In Wyoming there was a body of water with lots of red floating somethings. The only thing I could think of was cranberry bogs.

Today I landed, finally, in Rawlins, Wyoming. I drive way past my goal by about 120 miles. Today mileage was 631. I was quite exhausted after all that. When checking into the hotel (much nicer than yesterday's) my hands were still vibrating. I have approximately 1150 miles to go. I don't know if I can keep the pace of the last two days - if I can I will be in my new, temporary home on Sunday and in the arms of my beloved.


Travels Continue 18 September 2001

Hello everyone

Sorry to be so long since the last post, I tried fruitlessly to post on Saturday night from Winnemucca Nevada but to no avail.

When I last left off I was in Rawlins, Wyoming, staying at a very nice Sleep Inn, a driveway away from a 24-hour family truck stop restaurant and gift shop. Gotta love the road. The morning fog was so thick that I could not see the interstate or the mountains just yards away to the south.

It was hard to imagine any fog could be that thick. After a filling but mediocre truck stop breakfast Niya and I became one with the road once again. After a short time on the road I passed a sign for the Continental Divide, elevation 7,000 ft. Wow. Here the area surrounding the road for miles was flat with mountains suddenly sweeping up, particularly to the south. Again the sky appears so vast out here. Today the sky was clear (once that pesky fog burned off, which it had by the time I finished breakfast!) with no sign of rain anywhere. Wyoming is incredibly beautiful. I want to return and spend time finding the towns that I know are contained within the twists and turns the roads off the interstate take.

As I was driving off to the right I passed a single elk or antelope or whatever member of the type of species occupies that area. He was so beautiful and close that I could see the markings on his horns as a buzzed by at approximately 80 miles per hour. (The speed limit is 75 mph in Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada - I wasn't speeding! honest. Okay those moments when I hit 82 or better maybe one could consider that speeding.) The animal was so still and beautiful in the midmorning light. The towns spread out more and more as I drove west and the mountains came into better view. In New England the mountains are so covered with tall growth that one doesn't see much of the crags and wrinkles in the rock that forms the massive eruptions. Out west in the distance the mountains seem to show the years of millieum written with their jags and folds laid bare to sun and shadow. The earth shows subtle changes in the reddish brown that become clearer as you drive closer, though it seems one is always still so many miles away from them.

Driving toward the town of Rock Springs the mountains jump alive with new colors, like a wide paintbrush clumped irregularly has colored the surfaces with white, taupe, and chestnut. Again the mountains are bare with little to interrupt the horizontal stripes. It is so beautiful and so startlingly to approach a town of some size for the first time in hours upon hours of traveling. The town's name while trite is so appropriate, the mountains seem to suddenly emerge in front of one while driving a previously flat forward view.

Somewhere along this route I saw a black shape on the side of the road and as I came closer I realized it was a cow, far from any others in a position that could only mean that he or she had wandered too far away and was now dead. This particular dead animal was sad to me, though I had seen so many animals killed by humans safely contained in steel. Maybe because cows are a herd species and this beast seemed so much closer to the road than other bovines I had seen.

Saturday afternoon I crossed into Utah, which seemed like a milestone in traveling this large expanse. For the first time this trip the mountains are right upon me and I am driving in what feels like a crevice between rock faces. Here the mountains show their crags but also have trees springing up and like colorful plumage on birds these trees are announcing autumn with yellow, bronze and red disturbing the green. Rather suddenly it seemed I was on the crest of what had surely been a large basin, which is now Salt Lake City with what just has to be a shrunken lake. As I entered the city limits I saw my first planes since I entered the Buffalo, New York region early Monday evening. Even though planes flying is so commonplace, especially for someone raised in New York City, which seems to always have at least a half dozen planes in the air at any given moment, today it seemed such an odd site and at the same time a triumphant gesture of new beginnings.

And then the lake. Huge and blue with sail boats, motorboats cruising. But again I couldn't help feeling that a million years ago this huge body of water was hundreds time this size. Though it's a salt-water body, the smell is of sulfur and not altogether pleasant. Not as strong as the sulfur springs I remember from my last drive out west. Since that trip was about 27 years ago I can't remember what state this was in. The piles of salt are huge, reminding me of the snow piles in parking lots of shopping malls in New England. These mounds are easily 4-5 train cars long and about 3 cars high. At one point there is the lake all the way right with train tracks the next few feet over, then a canal of water, then Interstate 80 heading west, another canal of water, the Interstate heading east bounded by more water. It's hard to believe that the road I'm driving on is solid enough for me to be on with my truck loaded with the remainder of my Massachusetts belongings causing it to sit at least 3 inches lower than usual.

Soon the landscape changes again and it is flat, flat, flat, with mountains so far in the distance that they seem to belong to another state. I've entered the Great Salt Lake Desert and the Bonneville Saltflats. To each side of the road is sand and salt with the only other color being the stones and rocks that are mostly black adding stark contrast. It feels wind blown like a beach but the only water is to the north, which one can't see from the road. In fact in looking a map now (to help recall the trip) is when I noticed that there is another lake.

Near the border there is a rest stop and my curiosity and the realization that I may never be here again cause me to do something I haven't done the entire trip. I stop. I get out of my truck for something other than gas, food or sleep. One can walk on the salt flats here. Perhaps it is a need caused by my alternative persona who is Tuareg, a people who harvest and trade salt. After parking I walk on asphalt, cement, pebbles and then the salt. It is hard and crusted, baked into a solid mass. There is a family with several kids being silly and running around, and making designs with the dark pebbles on the stark salt. It reminds me of recipes for things like salt-crusted cod. I reach down to try to scrap a few grains, it takes great effort. I rub the grains between my fingers, coarser than table salt, but nowhere near the size or clearness of gourmet salt from France.

I return to the truck happy I stopped, and happy that I am ten miles from Nevada.

Next chapter - Nevada the land of nothing.

The Journay Almost Complete – Nevada 18 September 2001

Hello again my patient readers,

Crossing the border into Nevada is a bit surreal. After the great nothingness of the Great Salt Desert there is the early foreshadowing of Nevada. There are casinos within the first few miles, and then nothing again. Only after driving about, oh maybe 100 miles do you come to a town of any consequence, Elko. There isn't much. Of course after all the times I've seen this during my journey you would think I would be used to it. Maybe it's because I grew up in New York City, but I continued to be surprised at how much nothing there could be in a town. Actually Elko had a "strip" with stores, strip malls and what-have-you but beyond what you could see I suspect there wasn't a lot more. To the south of the interstate there was nothing visible, to the north was the strip and I'm sure some side roads off into large stretches between homesteads. To the east and west the interstate. My goal for the day was Winnemucca, which I did succeed in reaching, 647 miles from the start of my day. Between Elko and Winnemucca the only town of note was Battle Mountain with billboards announcing the casinos. I cruised past doggedly in pursuit of Winnemucca.

I found a very decent place to spend the night but before sleeping decided that I really needed dinner. Okay I confess my brain was road dead. I got back in my truck and drive about a half a mile up the road to the Red Lion Inn/Casino/Restaurant. It was bright, smoky and noisy. Here I was finally in front of slot machines and unfortunately those one-armed bandits had elevated themselves beyond a simple pull of a lever. There were buttons and multiple lines upon which one *could* win. My eyes were tired and I needed food. There was to be no channeling my grandmother tonight. (For those that don't already know, my grandmother was famous for her low-level but consistent gambling - bingo, Atlantic City trips and lottery tickets. The day before she died she was in Atlantic City - she had won $400 that day. She came home and died before breakfast.)

Waking up on Sunday I knew I had so many fewer miles to go, and though Niya had persisted in keeping me barely asleep from 2:30am to 4:30am I was eager to complete my trip. I found a wonderful place for breakfast. If you ever find yourself near Winnemucca during anything resembling breakfast hours run, don't walk, to The Griddle. Great food,nice atmosphere, cheap prices and large servings. I would go back in a heartbeat even though it would mean being in Nevada.

The drive through Nevada on Saturday was remarkedly dull and apparently devoid of rational thought as it was almost impossible through the entire state to find an NPR station. Perhaps I was just plain tired of driving but it was hard to rejoice in the landscape here. There was just nothing. I drove for hours without seeing any indication of life form, not even cattle.

Today, Sunday, the mountains seemed more colorful. I listened to Patsy Cline and early kd lang. It seemed the best possible music for the day. Here too the colors of sand and white salt seemed prevalent. More endearing and less destructive forms of graffeti abound on the road - black rocks are formed into names and sayings on the sides of the road. Unfortunately they were hard to read if they are too close the road - the distant ones easier to read while speeding by.

Since I hit Reno in the morning I suspect I missed the glitter but perhaps I will see it another time. Here again I saw a couple of planes, still an infrequent enough sight that it surprises me. Suddenly I thrust into the Sierra Nevada mountain range inside the Tahoe National Forest. Here I am riding at great heights along the sides of mountains with bright rivers on one side and then the other. California, I am now in the state that is to be my home. It's hard to fathom - I'm here already and I'm finally here - all at once. Chris and I are talking on and off as I get closer. The drive becomes less important and the destination is everything. Almost. Suddenly I see hills again and again they are so different. Here the mounds are wheat colored, deep yellow, with the surface looking plush and velvety, mottled with trees,tall and deep colored. Again I marvel at how different these lumps of rock and earth can look. And then water to my right, stretched out before me, beckoning. Yes, this part the landscape is the thing that makes being on the coast, the west coast so marvelous. I can be so near water.

Chris and I agree to meet at off an exit near her office. I see the little red car she's been driving compliments of our friend Tracy (Suzi's partner). She gets out of the car, the wind blowing hard against her and I open my door to come out. We hold each other and I can feel her belly shake as she cries. She tells me that I smell good and remarks how long my hair has gotten. We release, go back to our respective cars and I follow her to the Richmond Field Station, University of California Berkeley - the place that has brought us both here, far from what had been home. 3207 miles from home.



Random Leftovers Thoughts from The Road 20 September 2001

Hi again. Bet you thought I was done ;-)

In Milwaukee I got to eat in the new baseball stadium. Obviously this was during the moratorium on sports so the field was quiet. This stadium is beautiful and smaller than the old one to enhance the intimacy and the immediacy of the game. It was built on the same plot as the old one but where the actual old ball field was is where they are building a little league field so the kids "can play where the greats played".

In Iowa: The Museum of the Danish Immigrant. Also, a Danish Windmill

Somewhere, sorry I don't remember: The Museum of the Mountain Man (honest!)

Billboards in Nevada: "Police hide behind these" (I saw two of these)

"Keep your eyes on the road - hard isn't it"

"The King of Cha-ching" - for the Silverado Casino, you just have to say it out loud - I did!

An exit in Nevada (recalled especially for Ann): Ramusen Road (I may have the exact spelling wrong)

In the middle of the Great Salt Desert in the distance is this tall narrow structure, I can't figure out what it would be, but I'm guessing something to do with radar, sonar - one of those -ars. But no, it's "art". A tall pole with various sizes of balls or globes painted with odd colors jutting out at irregular intervals and distances from the pole. Looks like it was done in 50's or early 60's but who knows. Also out here a random american flag stuck in the middle of nowhere. In the distance I think it was placed there for the recent world events, but upon driving closer this flag is faded and ragged - I have no idea why it's there.

Marking the mountains with initials of a city name is fairly common. I had seen what I thought was an unofficial marking in Arlington WY, I still think it was not a sanctioned marking as it was quite faint. I saw a distinct "C" in Carlin Nevada, and an "L" in Lovelock Nevada.

The colors in the mountains in all the states vary so much and are beautiful in their complexity. Peachy oranges, terra cotta, dusty mint green, ochre, gray-green, green, brown, taupe, white, chestnut, raspberry sherbet pinks and every shade leading into and out of these.

While I hadn't been worried about being on the road in terms of my safety (though others were) I was concerned about my ability to drive this distance and a tad antsy about my sanity with this much time alone (no offense to Niya). I felt completely safe in terms of bodily harm, getting scammed, etc. The truck held up fine. Until this trip I hadn't driven farther than about 250 miles/4 hours by myself. This trip took 7 days (Monday -Sunday) and 3207 miles. My shortest day was just over 200 miles, my longest day was 647 miles (which is way toooooooo long by the way). I have learned that my comfort zone is about 400-475 miles in a day, although the day of 525 miles wasn't too bad actually.

I have learned why people who only talk to animals the bulk of their day sound the way the do. You get used to the non-response so your linguistic style changes. That was scary. ;-) On Saturday I started to truly get a little lonely but at the same time more comfortable being by myself. I think that I could do a trip like this again, even longer and maintain my sense of humor. Next time I will take a little voice recorder because there was so much detail I forgot, even when I got to write the same night.

Well I guess that's probably all I can remember. Thank you all for listening to my little (okay, long) monologue.

Now that you no longer have to send travel prayers, Chris and I would like you to think good home hunting thoughts. I have seen 8 places already (today is Thursday morning) and driven by a few others. Still hunting. Once settled I will send you our new address and phone number(s) and extend invitations for you to visit, though I can't guarantee premier sleeping accommodations - hope you like the floor and sleeping bags ;-).

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Hope you enjoyed the trip.

love

Samantha