Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ah, I love the smell of pavement in the morning...

Wet rain-soaked flagstones give off a particular scent. They glisten and reflect in their tiny grooves and crevices; sparkling up the sidewalk and cement that serves to frame their edges.

Something about the smell of wet rock, earth and trees is extremely attractive. Not, as it were, in the same way that chocolate chip cookies spreading thickly as they bake in the oven would, but in an open, extending universal way.

Cookies smell good in a close, bringing home, wrap you up way. Wet stone smells good in an expansive, free and let you out way.

The same way that the ocean calls to my senses, and the grass on the planes, and the balsam of the woods, and the dust of the horses.

This morning I went for my walk about 6:45 AM. There was an opalescent light glancing off the buildings trees and pavement. Something pearly and glowing - as a backdrop on a large main-stage would be if it were set for sunrise.

Everything outside had that wet smell to it that I love so much.

I remember that early mornings in Oklahoma were always Dad mornings.

No one else would be awake, (save the cats) but Dad would already be in the kitchen as I padded downstairs in my bare feet and pajamas. He'd step into the dining room and open the glass door to the back porch, his body warm as I approached, his blue robe framed in the first light of morning, a hot cup of English breakfast tea in his hand, his hair mussed from sleep.

Then, he'd turn to me and smile, while the first, fresh morning breeze blew through the trees and into the doorway where we were standing. With a wink, we'd close the back door and holding hands walk to the front, out onto the porch, our feet slapping silently on the cool flagstones. We'd pass the swing and head out along the front yard walkway, down the rough textured driveway to get the paper; waiting for us in it's plastic bag-- always with beads of water glinting like little glass jewels on the outside.

He'd chuckle and shake off the water and we'd walk in, usually with our yellow tabby female, K.C. winding between his legs.

I loved to smell the newspaper; the fresh ink was comforting and inspiring, same as the smell in books, or freshly sharpened pencils, with their gray, slippery, smudgy smell of lead.

The train went by on my walk this morning. I went a different route than I normally do; just because I felt like heading clockwise instead of counter clockwise around the block.

I walked into the coral gold backlit morning and just as I was getting to one of my favorite streets; the kind with sweet old houses, lampposts and big trees.  I happened to pause because the train was growing louder and louder on it's approach; booming in the whispery breeze of morning, competing with the birds and insects to announce it's awakening.

I reached the west side of the park, which has the tracks as a border on it's east side, just in time to hold my breath as the rumbling beneath my feet reached a climax.

The train burst through the atmosphere; lights flooding like circular fires behind glass as it came barreling through, it's hot whistle hollering loud and heavy, screaming the morning to any who could hear.

My Mimi used to live about a quarter mile from the train tracks... or if not that close or far, near enough.

I remember feeling the vibration as it went by; comforting, not far away, but not next to us either.

I love trains.

I would much rather travel by train than by plane. I also love boats. These older methods of travel have a romanticism about them; as though something exciting or magical could happen. Though I DO absolutely adore  the moment on a plane, when everything is quiet but the hum of the engines as you part the clouds and emerge from the misty gray-blue in to a world of clouds and sunlight covering everything. It's like flying through the sky of a painting.

This morning I walked home, with the train hurtling through, with the smell of sparkling wet pavement in my nostrils, with my Dad in my head.

I remembered what it was like to smell the pavement being 7 years old, followed by a ginger cat and swinging a heavy wet newspaper and I remarked upon how much I love mornings.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The stench opens up as a rotten egg will, when tipped down the food waste disposal...

"MMMMMph, don' wanna' get up..." J mumbled as the alarm went off for the 3rd time. I snuggled closer to his back, wrapping my arm around him so he'd be warmer.

The cats were already running around like crazed toddlers who've had too much juicy-juice, crying for their breakfast, after all, it was 6:06 AM for PETE'S SAKE, what did a body have to do around here to get a MEEEEEAL!

"Uuuuugh," he moaned as he rolled off the covers and slid out of bed. "You feel up to making breakfast this morning?" he said wistfully.

"Sure thing Honey," I yawned back at him, stretching and unsuccessfully wiping the sleep from my eyes. Hopping up I jerkily made the bedclothes and shuffled in to the bathroom to brush my teeth. J had beat me in there, and was tiredly wiping his face with a towel before slipping behind me back into the bedroom to grab a t-shirt.

My morning ablutions finished, I ambled into the kitchen, to see a pan already warming on the stove. 

"Thanks for washing the eggs!," I called to J, who seemed to be fumbling about on the back porch. A muffled "Welcome," came floating through the sounds of chicken feed being shucked into containers.

I had noticed that there were three freshly rinsed eggs in a bowl, and one sitting on a bit of paper, separate from the others. Suspicious of this, knowing J prefers only 3 eggs in the morning, I left the segregated ovum alone. 

The fork clinked in the bowl, as the three I'd chosen to demolish spun around the ceramic, blending into a yellow, viscous mixture. Setting it down, I scooped some coconut oil out of the jar, and flipped it into the pan. The delicious smell of coconut fat began filling the air of the kitchen. I poured the eggs in to the warm, buttery-like mess, where they began to sizzle pleasantly. I pinched a bit of sea-salt over them and went to throw the shells away.

"JEEBUS OBIE!" I exclaimed stepping into the laundry/utility room (where the large trash can resided) with a growl. Our large golden tabbied Maine Coon has a tendency to pull things from the laundry basket WITH HIM into the litter box. It's very exasperating. We don't know why he does it. 

Fishing out the cloth napkins floating in the pine pellets of the litterbox, and cursing quietly to myself ("Malevolent MOTHER TRUCKER!") I cleaned it out and put fresh litter in.  

Then standing up, and stepping back into the kitchen I smelled... something... browning... in an unpleasant manner... THE EGGS! 

"Oh no," I murmured frowning... J's eggs were nicely thickened into a fluffy omelet, that was turning golden brown underneath... way overdone for eggs. I flipped them over with a sigh, and grumbled about cats and napkins. 

Folding the omelette into quarters I surveyed the damage as I turned it out on to a plate. I set it in front of J, who began, bless him, to eat it anyway. 

"These are a bit... " he began.

"Overdone. I know. I'm sorry," I countered.

"I was going to say... chewy," He said grinning.

"Yes, well, I'm sorry. Didn't mean to," I tossed out grumpily, "what's up with that fourth egg anyway?"

"It just doesn't look right to me," he said "I'm going to throw it out."  I gave him a hug and began putting the dirty cups in the dishwasher. Then I plodded into the bedroom to grab a sweatshirt, before spooning his lunch into the thermos. I heard him over at the sink, the water running, the disposal on... wondering to myself what he was spinning down there, there was a loud crunchy noise, followed by the strong surging of water from the tap.

Handing him his lunch, I kissed him goodbye as he grabbed his bag and helmet. 

"Love you Darlin', see you this evening!" He said cheerfully with a kiss.

"Have a nice day," I said back. Then he left, forgetting the garbage on the porch. Oh well, it can wait a bit, I suppose.

Then I poured myself a cup of coffee and grabbing my book, slipped outside to walk and read this morning. 

It was cold out, but only just. The gray fingers of the sun were barely beginning to come up. I sank onto the porch swing out front, and sipping my coffee began to read where I'd left off in one of my favorites, "Wuthering Heights."

Then, the wind picked up and after a quick self-debate I stepped back into the house... 

And was accosted...


"Oh no... the lone egg..." I thought to myself.  As I approached the kitchen, the stench grew stronger. 

Grabbing my cell phone, I dialed J.

"Hiya Darlin', what's up?"

"Honey, where did you happen to put that funny looking egg?"

"Down the disposal," was the cheerful reply.

I groaned.

"Well Sweets, the whole house smells of rotten egg."

"Oh gosh! I'm sorry Darlin'. Maybe pour some apple cider vinegar down the sink?"

"I think we're out, but I'll try," I mumbled, "Love you."

"Love you too," he purred back. 

Sometimes little innocent things explode...

Such as a mystery egg spinning down the disposal, cracking into a horrible, overflowing stink that permeates the air around it, rapidly spinning outwards in a cloud of awful, seeping into every room and filling every space with it's deadly perfume.

Just remember, that should a small, and seemingly insignificant thing crack and show it's true, stenchy colors, hang in there.

You might want to keep some lemons on hand too; to cleanse the putridity.

Also, they're damned helpful in making lemonade after a sour day.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Some days I feel like crying, don't matter if it's raiiiiin or shiiiiiine...

Everybody needs to be rescued sometimes.

Some days the world simply feels too overwhelming, to heavy and too vast.

It's on days like this that we appreciate the people in our lives who have enough compassion to understand, enough love to try, and enough courage to care.

Sometimes we don't realize we're even capable of receiving help. It's all too easy for a person to feel so utterly, completely and absolutely alone, that they're barely even able to ask for it.

Don't forget that you're NEVER alone.

Even when you feel pulled down into the depths of the deepest, scariest, most unknown vortex of yourself, you're not alone.

Feeling far away can be part of this too; not wanting to disrupt other's lives, or put the burden on someone else... the truth is, when you reach out, even if it's only for someone to listen, or talk 'normally,' to you for a while so you can feel some of the relief of the regularity of someone else's life--- that's what often times, is the exact thing one needs to anchor again.

Asking for help is the most brave thing a person can do. It's not weakness, it's strength. Knowing when to seek what you need--- STRENGTH. A person must be STRONG to do it.

I used to suffer by myself; I'm a sensitive, an all-too-energetically aware being. It's only been in the last 5 years or so that I realized exactly how things affect me in this life and this world; I'm still figuring some things out.

Everyone has a gray place, a dark place, a murkiness that hides behind the eyes and the heart.

It's one of the many things that makes us human, that makes us alive.

It's really hard to ask for help sometimes. Goddamned hard, but it's worth doing.

There are things that cannot be held, survived, contained or controlled alone. Some demons within are too great and a body needs backup to keep them at bay so they can be processed a little at a time.

There is not one kind of depression, sadness or fear. There are hundreds, thousands, millions. Every person has a different interpretation-- a different piece of puzzle.

You don't have to know exactly where someone is coming from to help. You have only to listen. To be present for them with love, compassion and patience.

No fixing. No taking over. Just listen to them-- it can help a person feel empowered, seen and loved, even if it's only for a moment. That little bit of hope and light - that's some times the difference between a body making it through, or succumbing to the pain, fear and deep.

No one is responsible for anybody but themselves - people can't be saved outwardly, they have to decide to save themselves, to do the work, and this is no easy task.

Remember to have patience for others and patience for yourself. It's no good to hold on to a pattern of behavior or belief system, that doesn't serve you as an individual. It's just like wearing an ill-fitting garment; horribly uncomfortable.

Please don't give up: on yourself, or someone else.

You don't have to remain constantly vigilant, but be open to someone who needs you, even if it's only for a 5 minute window to hear a friendly, comforting voice.

Depreciative judgement never helps. Of self, or of others when a trial appears. It makes things harder, more painful and clouded.

Honesty with one's self and others is what releases the hurt sometimes. It's okay to be scared and feel like a freak-- you're NOT one.

There's a quote, no one knows who it's really attributed to, but it goes like this:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

Your playing small doesn't serve the world.

There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are born to manifest the glory within us.

It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. 

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do to the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."


Warts and all, darkness and light, hard and easy; no depths are too deep, no height too disorienting.

Also, please don't forget: Someone loves you and cares whether you live or die. Please don't ever be afraid to ask for help.

This entry is dedicated to E: You are loved. <3

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A winding dirt path leading up to a stone cottage with an outlying lake, just visible beyond the huge shade trees...

Ding-ding-ding, DING-ding-ding, DING-DING-ding, DING-DING-DING! sang J's cell alarm. 

Mumbling, he hit the snooze icon on it, and rolling over, pulled me into him. 

We sighed happily in unison.

Duggita, DUggitta, DUGitta, DUGGitta, DUGGItta, DUGGITta, DUGGITTA! 

"Uuuugh, hrrrummmph, StoppitCAT!" moaned J. 

"Mrrrow? MROOOOOOW--EEEE-oooowww," whined Seuss. 

Duggitta, DUG---- swoop! Seuss was whisked away mid-paw of the bedside cabinet. When he's awake and hungry, he finds the most annoying thing he can do to coerce action into his humans. Eating homework papers, eating papers, shredding boxes, shredding bags, playing with things that make really irritating repetitive noises like pawing doors, cabinets, and pushing books off of tables...

"Gotcha Bad Cat. Here," he said as he thrust our tabby Maine coon, the younger of our two males, in between his body and the form of mine. 

"PRRRRRRUUURRRRRRRRRURRRRR," Seuss responded, his large warm body vibrating against my ribcage. 

This was nice.... until I peeked through my half-opened eyes at the clock and read: 5:50.  We had to get up in 3 minutes... well... correction. J had to get up in 3 minutes. 

Lately, I'd been slacking on my duties to get up with him. 

Normally, our routine is that we get up together, he goes out to check on the chickens while I make breakfast, then we eat together and I prep his lunch while he packs his bag for the day. Then it's a quick finishing of coffee, a hug and a kiss, and out the door he goes. 

However, the new phenomenon is, that I don't get up when he does. As he rises, plunking "dismiss," into his phone, to silence the too-cheerful alarm, I whisper...

   "You'll come say goodbye, right?" to which he responds,

   "Of course Love," and then continues on his way.

This secondary option to our daily pattern, usually means that he doesn't have time to eat a full breakfast, that he runs out of time to get everything packed before the bus, that he usually forgets something (though never my goodbye hug and kiss) and that as a result, he is much less relaxed in the morning, because he has no help from me. 

In short, it's me being a lazy partner. 


   I'm not sure if it's because it's been so bright and beautiful outside lately, or what, but I've been having a difficult time getting up in the morning. I've also been having a hard time getting my chores done: Piles of laundry remain in their baskets unfolded... we're running out of common household items like a scrubber for the cast iron pans, automatic dish detergent, toilet paper...

I finally remedied that issue yesterday: I bought auto dish soap, a scrubber and TP. Which reminds me... Disney is certainly getting their adverts out for The Lorax movie. You know, the one based on the Dr. Seuss story?

"I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees...." he drones.

  I love trees. I also love Seventh Generation products. These two have married in the advertising campaign for The Lorax movie.

 The T.P. I bought yesterday has LORAXs on it. It's rather fabulous, though I DO feel like a putz for purchasing TP with a cartoon character on it, even if I was going to buy that brand anyway, because it's 100% recycled post-consumer waste and it's the SOFTEST of the 'eco-friendly,' brands besides....

  Speaking of trees...

I have this vision. I have had it for a long, long time. I think I first imagined it when I in my senior year of high school....

It is the image of a stone cottage with a red door... it's really a stone farmhouse, surrounded by large shade trees... oaks, maples, ashes, lindens, elms....  as you face the cottage, to the left is a dirt path driveway that continues beyond the house to the barn behind it.

Between the dirt and the house, there is a wooden fence: the kind behind which horses are kept. This fence goes around the house and closes in front with a gate, running around the sides and opening up into a larger grass-covered paddock behind the house, connecting to the end of the barn - where the doors are open for the animals to have shelter, shade and covered water.

The barn itself, is a two-story structure; the stalls large and comfortable, enough for 3 or 4 horses, with a large hayloft above; bales stacked in a large space on the right end side of the upstairs. There is a wall behind the hayloft, with a secure door.

On the other end, taking up 2/3 of the 2nd story, is a large, open studio-- well sprung floors, barres, skylights, mirrors and a sound system. Marley covers the hard wood of the floor.

Moving through that to the end of the 2nd story, opposite the hayloft end, is a staircase which leads down to the ground floor, along the stall aisle.

Downstairs are the stalls and a tack-room; with a harness for a team of drafts, lightweight saddles, snaffle bits and bridles, reins, blankets, pads, boots, gloves, helmets, liniment, tools, brushes, sponges, buckets, cabinets, a sink, a small refrigerator, treats, a closet for sweet feed, a first aid kit, a radio...

Leaving the tack room, past the stalls, and out through the gated end (directly under the hayloft on the second story) is the paddock/green mini-pasture that opens across to the back of the house.

On the far end of the fence, on the other side, is the vegetable garden and compost pile.

On the opposite end of the green, the flowers begin, balancing out the veggies. The flowers wrap around to the front of the house, just in front of the fence.

The front of the stone cottage has windows, and flower boxes beneath.

The fenced in area attached to the barn and wrapping around the house, is so the horses can peek in to the kitchen via the window over the sink, which faces the barn, or the dutch door leading out to the back, the top half of which can be left open...

Through the dutch door, to the right is the aforementioned kitchen, complete with double sink (and window) and a large counter along the back wall.

The end of the kitchen is cozied by a farm table with windows all around; wooden and sturdy, that could seat six, or be extended to seat ten to twelve.

 The wall opposite the sink, houses a built-in buffet and cabinets; glass and wooden doors holding dishes, cookbooks, cutlery and after that, on the end farthest from the table, is the icebox (refrigerator)... between this wall and the sink wall, in the center of the kitchen, is a moveable island.

Anchored to the floor by wheels with brakes, it includes extra counter space, enough room for a few stools, and can be moved to replace the table at the end of the space, in case the gathering requires all the leaves and thus, a larger dining area.

To the left of the dutch door is the double built in oven-- with a gas range-top stove just after it. Next to that lies the door to the pantry/cellar.

Then a corner built in shelf, for more books and hanging pots and pans, and the end of the kitchen, opposite the table end, is the entry way into the living room.

It is an open, high ceilinged room; the highest in the house. Most of the ceilings are 10.5 feet, this room must be practically double that from floor to ceiling--- it spans into the second story.

Through the entryway, directly across is the large fireplace.

To the left of the doorway, down the wall a ways, is a small half-bath.

 Standing in the doorway, looking to the right and front, is a piano, flanked on all sides by the walls of books. A guitar in a floor stand also resides in a corner by the piano, next to it's bench.

Directly to the right, if standing in the entryway again, is the small hallway into the front door. A rack for coats, with a bench and shoe compartments underneath, is built into the tiny hallway that opens to the red door and the open front porch of the house.

It is flagstone, or some other stone, and has a porch swing and windows with the aforementioned flower boxes, with wooden pillars at the corners and framing the stairs to the entrance of the house.

Back in the living room there is a circle rug in the center of the room in front of the fireplace; bordered by a large, deep, but firmly cushioned sofa, with a folded quilt upon it.

Opposite the couch, are a love seat and an overstuffed chair; all cozy and warm.

All the walls of this room, from floor to ceiling, are built in bookshelves; every wall space but the stone chimney over the fireplace are covered with books- with a ladder on each wall to the left, right and across from the fireplace.

To the left and forward, still perspectively standing in the doorway, is a circling, wood carved staircase leading upstairs; the underside of the staircase are again, built in bookshelves.

To stand inside the underside of the staircase, would be to have books winding up and around you in a 360 degree wide ribbon.

Behind the spiral stairway, on the wall of books, is a built in door; unnoticed except by those who know it's there, that can be pulled gently open into a chamber with couches, a projector and rows of movies and films. A sound system lives in here, which can send melodies and music all over the house.

Up the winding, swirling, stairs, at the top of the landing, there is a small, round balcony floating amidst the bookshelves (railings all around, like a crow's nest, except that it opens to the upstairs), which looks down over the warmly lit room.

At the edge of the circle, facing the fireplace, is a large dog bed.

Stepping out of the circle, lead two a wide hallways.

Down the hallway to the right, first door on the left, is an office: comfortable and open, with a large partner's desk and black and white photographs covering a lot of the walls.

Down the a bit further, with a door on the right, is a small linen closet; further down on the right is a the master bedroom.

The door opens to a room with an old, dark wood carved bed, and not much else in the way of furniture, except a large trunk, containing family quilts at the foot of the bed.

Directly across from the bed is a walk-in closet. Next to that, a door opens into a modestly sized full bath. Most of the space taken by a large, extra-long, deep and wide, claw-foot tub with a shower.

Light cascades through windows and skylights in this bathroom, but it is still warm and fresh; not stark and sterile. At the end of the bathroom, lies the second door of access. It opens back into the hallway.

Take the other hallway leading out of the crow's nest, and we find ourselves in the part of the house above the kitchen.

The first door on the left enters a bedroom smaller than the master, with a bed and built in shelving and windows facing the view from the front of the house. This room has an attached half bath and a domed ceiling, with a skylight at the center.

On the other side of the hall, a door opens into a full bathroom with a tub and shower, and another door opening into a bedroom with two twin beds, or stacked bunk beds. It's windows mirror that of the kitchen; looking out on to the small paddock and towards the barn.

A door at the opposite wall, opens back into the hallway.

At the end of this second hall is a door which has a small set of stairs opening up into the attic room, which spreads back out over the footprint of the house.

 It has windows at either end, and two skylights dance in the center of the roof, across the broad beams of the ceiling. A bed sits on a frame close to the floor at one end of the room, covered by a quilt.

The rest of the space is open: with cameras, art supplies, and other miscellaneous activity-related items placed here and there on a single shelf, running under the windows around the room.

There is a rocking chair by the other window opposite end. Four large windows, one each in the center of the wall, provide a stunning view of the landscape.

This stone farmhouse is shaped rather like a tall rectangle; it is cute and rustic and medium sized, not huge, though it uses it's space quite well.

High ceilings make smaller rooms seem larger; stone and wood send a timeless feel throughout the place.

It's all in my head. It's all... safe. It's all made-up.

You'll note that the house of which I've written is uninhabited; oh sure, evidences are there, like the dog bed, but in my description it is silent. Untouched.

The horses, the dog and cats, the things I left out of this description:
The lake out beyond the property,
the unmentioned shed which holds the cart the draft team can pull and the gardening tools,
the two-car garage attached to the end of the barn opposite the hay loft and paddock;
the pasture beyond bordering the lake along with the rest of the property;
the birds twittering high above in the canopy of shade trees;
the imaginary children padding barefoot around the floors -- no carpet, just a few rugs here and there... radiant heat flooring in the bathrooms;
quilts all over the place;
pies cooling on the windowsills...

This is the home of my imagination.

It is the place I return to in my mind for solitude and the company of a family not yet come together-- not yet born.

It is the place where my wishes come and go; the place I dream of finding, or building and resting within.

 It is the sacred space of my heart; a place that I have dreamed of, yet know not whether it exists beyond the realm of my yearning and creation.

There are so many things I want to do, so many things that I want to experience and learn.

The children I love already, but who haven't even been conceived!

Such is this: my feeling of time is circular, I feel all this is familiar, even though I haven't experienced most of it yet.

 It is all a huge, intricately ornate deja-vu for me.

Will I ever find it? This home that popped into my head one day? This sanctuary in the realm of possibilities?

Perhaps I'll find a space that has elements of it: that is more realistic. Some home made of stone, with land for horses and space for a garden.

Until then, whether I happen upon this home of my dreams, or whether I must build it with my own two hands, or hire a contractor, I will keep on dreaming.

Because after all; if you're going to dream, why not dream as well you are able to?

How else will you know what you're looking for when you see it?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Listen to the rhythm of the falllling raaaaain, telling me just what a fool I've beeeeen....

Cool, fresh, wet air wrapped around me as I stepped out onto the porch, the red screen door tapping gently closed behind me.

It smelled of wet, rain soaked flagstones sunk in concrete, of wet rich earth, of wet silky red dust in Oklahoma.

It smelled of deeply green grass that water's caressed and poured upon, of wet tree bark, of wet leaves and pine needles, of wet wood.

It smelled of rain on the ocean, a dark storm rolling in, and the grey, smoky coloured wind blowing a warning before the calm...

The scent of sweet, wet hay, of grasses blowing like a furry, multifaceted pelt in the wind on a volcanic earth field in Hawaii.

The smell of urgency, but also of peace; of the inevitable knowledge that things will be cleaned, gently, fiercely, completely, by the rain.


B-squared and I were so excited to be on this island. I'd never been before, and it was C's birthday, and we were SOOOO excited to come and spend it with her in such an incredible place. 

You could hear and smell the ocean on the breeze everywhere, all the time here. Part of me felt as though I was arriving home; it was always that way for me around the ocean. Salt water, waves, the sea; it flowed through my veins.  

Though a humid, breezy island wasn't my chosen climate-- I felt... stirrings of peace here. The tumultuous energies that I'd been fighting were finally resting for a while. I was to have a break, not an escape, but a time of inner calm at last.

The car pulled squishily up into the driveway. A large avocado tree, with fruits half the size of my head were laden on the ground beneath it's twirled branches. 

The screen door banged shut, and three figures appeared. 

   "C!!!!", B-squared and I hollered, all three of us hopping to hug her at the same time. K and G walked over to the car... I'd heard a lot about them, but not met them before. C was very close with her brothers.

K grabbed B-squared's luggage and they followed him up the steps, C grabbing a bag as she held open the door and followed them inside.

I'd grabbed my lonely backpack, and suddenly found myself approaching the steps to the beach house and the solitary figure of G. 

He was tall, broad-shouldered and his eyes seemed to glow in the evening light; circles of gold reflected in the warm lamps of the house. 

He smiled at me and took my hand to help me up the steps with my heavy pack. 

Warmth surged through my fingertips, I almost exclaimed aloud, I was so surprised at the energy of it; an instant connection, a feeling I'd not had in a long time; pure, warm electricity, a real zing and tingling feeling.

 I stopped mid-step, right there, simply awed and I felt as though he was familiar. We were inches from each other, we'd never met each other before. I just searched his face, knowing that I was blushing and couldn't stop, knowing that it was silly to read so much into the touch of a hand, but I couldn't help it: it was instantaneous, completely true and real and big. 

  "Hi, nice to meet you," he said softly. 

  "Hi, yes, I've heard a lot about you. I love your sister, she's amazing."

  He was still holding my hand; his palm was dry and warm, his hands large, strong and well proportioned, a little rough from diving and the salt water and island living. I could tell he was tan and dark, sandy brown-blonde from the light we were both standing in. 

  I couldn't in good conscience stand still any longer. We were, after all, loitering on the doorstep; something my grandmother would've considered quite unlucky. 

I reached the top step as he held the door for me and giving my hand one small, but firm squeeze, he let go. I felt him pass me on the left, his hand lightly touching my shoulder to let me know he was there, as I bent down to remove my shoes. 

Looking at the warm, laughing faces around me, all smiling and happy and relaxed and flushed, I was suddenly hit by how much I cared for these people; not just B, her daughter B and C, but for G and K too, because they were allowing us to stay with them. Welcoming us completely into the house they called home, and after-all, they really were a family there: two brothers and a sister sharing time and space, and they'd made room for the three of us.

C came tripping lightly over and I gave her an even bigger hug than the first one. 

"Welcome to Hawaii!" she said cheerfully! I could see how happy she was to have us, and also how she'd been stressed about something too-- work, it turned out to be. It's very hard to work on the island if you're not a native... or at least to receive and retain benefits. 

K scooted by us, grinning, to the fridge. 

"Want a beer?" he said, winking at me. 

"Sure, I'm just going to drop my pack off."

"It's the door at the end of the hall," C gestured warmly.

Walking down the hallway, I realized how tired I was. I slung my pack off, and stretched, arching my back and feeling my aching muscles release; lift and lighten after being compressed under the pack. I felt strangely lightheaded too.

Entering back into the living room, I again felt an overwhelming flow of gratitude; whether they knew it or not, these people were helping me deal with the pain I'd had back in CO. The discomfort and angst of navigating a relationship that was no longer clear, easy and comfortable; something that had become bent and frustrating, about technicalities, labels, freedom and white lies; all about him and nothing about me -- no commitment at all. Something that was gone beyond finding. Something that was already painfully past the beginning of it's end. 

G came over and pressed a beer into my hand. His eyes were sparkling again; I didn't know eyes could really do that with light, but they were reflecting gold and crinkling at the edges as he smiled, and I could feel the warmth coming off of his and the rest of our bodies in the room. Everyone was sprawling on the couch, warm, tired and relaxed from a day of surfing, work and traveling. 

He gestured to the foot of the couch; C, B, B and K were filling up the cushions, so we sank down facing them on the floor, sitting on the soft carpet and gazing up at them.

He wasn't sitting too close, but I could still feel the warmth, the tingle in my field that was affected as it came off of him in waves; he understood what I was feeling. He felt familiar and friendly, though we'd only met 5 minutes ago-- it felt like five weeks or more.

Listening half-heartedly to the conversation, I can barely remember what we talked about that first night; the plane, the colouring book little B and I shared, the funny people at the airport-- a lady digging in her guy's ear as though trying to exterminate something....

All I could focus on was how happy I was to see C, how open and courteous her brothers were, and how tomorrow, I was going to be back in the ocean.... and how the guy next to me seemed to understand exactly what I needed and gave it to me, without words.

After everyone decided the beer was the last step on the road to laying down and sleeping, I realized that G and I were still up, and seemingly not tired at all. 

We stayed up for at least an hour afterwards:  watching episodes of "Firefly," and enjoying the amazing connection that we both felt; not really needing to say much at all, just reveling in the amazing closeness, comfort, and above all, familiar feeling between us. 

I had many more unbelievable adventures with that group of people on that trip. I'll never forget any of it; it started with magic, and I must say, none of us wanted to leave that island when the end of our time came.
 How the hell G knew that I was hurting, confused and needing comfort, I'll never know, but he was instantly kind to me, instantly attentive, and I'll never forget the surge of warmth that came dancing down my fingertips into my body at that first touch.

Sometimes we find people who are beyond explanation; who have no purpose other than to open our eyes to something wonderful, brief and painfully bittersweet that we are desperately needing, though that may not be known at the time. These are the people who teach us about ourselves without even realizing it; a connection is made, understood and then afterwards it seems impossible... like a dream.

C is still one of my best and THE best friends I've ever known. We've been together through joyous occasions,  heartbreak, crisis, tough decisions, tougher decisions, celebrations, excitations and all manner of terrible and splendid things.

Her brothers K and G are two of the most stupendously sweet guys I've ever met. K recently got married to a great girl. G and I still catch up occasionally and talk about wind, water and life.

B-squared are one of the coolest mother-daughter teams I have the privilege of knowing.

I'll never forget our time in Hawaii and all the incredible things we did and the feelings that swept over me.

Someday, maybe, I'll have the chance to experience such a time again; if I'm still lucky.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Golly, Gosh and WHOA NELLIE!

The birds were twittering sweetly as I stepped out into the light of morning. The sun was doing that movie style glow trick; a glittering golden orb, streaming and blinking brightly through the tree branches.

The wind was moving pleasantly over the grass. Squirrels were cutely chasing each other all around and up and over everything.

It was, in short...  a borderline disgustingly hunky-dory and cheerful outside this morning.

Taking a sip of my coffee, and inhaling the faint smell of cinnamon, I began my trek down the steps; yesterday they'd been so icy that I'd almost fallen screaming "NYMPHODORA!" at the top of my lungs... that's what I get for re-reading Harry Potter.... today they were dry and again, creaking happily.

It was a gosh darn zippetty-DO-DAH-morning.

The kind that if you're cheerful too, is akin to stepping into a warm bathing glow of light and feeling as though kicking your heels, would not be out of place behavior.

I felt a lift: I won't lie. I'm a morning person.

Walking along and breathing in the cold 23 degrees Farenheit air I was suddenly struck by an old memory.

A memory of waking up in a room with wallpaper like a blue willow china pattern.

The wooden slats of shutters striped the sunlight as it was streaming through the windows. The smell of bacon and Folger's coffee and toast was wafting through the air, mingling with something slightly mustier... something more like a spicy perfume. 

Opening my eyes fully, I could feel the warm, fragrant breeze fluttering the lacy curtains, dancing with the sunlight and swirling tiny dust particles like sand in a jar of water; gleaming. 

The bed was soft; navy cotton sheets and down pillows and comforter; the smell of clean dust -- that's what the feathers smelled like. 

Everything was warm, blue, happy and shining with sunlight. 

   "Goood MOOORNIIIIING!" came floating down the blue carpeted hallway to the back bedroom where I was stretching, trying to decide if it was worth getting out of the delicious cocoon I was curled up in.


   Three heads peeked around the corner. Two blond, one sandy brown. 

The eldest  head had a full shock of long, shiny, straight hair and bright blue eyes belonging to my cousin E (age 20). The slightly shorter, blond curly head, belonged to my cousin J (age 10), which left the sandy brown curls to be my cousin N (age 9). 

All three faces were grinning at me (age 6) as I sleepily rubbed my eyes.

"How did I sleep in? When did you guys wake up?" I murmured. Usually N and I were a tie for first awake. 

He and J and I, all slept in the room I was in; the boys in the other set of bunk beds. E had the larger guest room in the middle of the hall, because she was the eldest. 

  "We just got up to go to the bathroom. Beat you by about 3 minutes!" Stated N, bouncing into the room and jerking the covers off me good-naturedly.

   "Hey!" I exclaimed, nudging him with my foot. 

   "Grandma says breakfast is ready," said J, excitedly but quietly. 

   "Hurry up! She's calling us again," responded E, rolling her eyes, but smiling just the same. 

   Bouncing out of bed, we all tumbled down the hall, half-racing, half laughing across the parkay floor of the living room and up the stairs into the kitchen. 

   "Doe, dee, doe, doe, dooooooe," sang Grandpa C softly, humming to himself between 'does' and shuffling his feet. He still had on his dark gray, navy piped pajamas and slippers.

   "Oh goodness, you're ALWAYS singing the BREAD song!" chirped Grandma B fussily, frowning at the stark white head of her husband. 

   His eyes crinkled into a smile and he winked at us, before whistling and beginning again...

   "DOOOE, DE DOOOOOE, DOOE, DOOOOOOOOOOE!" a slight vibrato making the louder singing that much more intense. 
   "OUT! Shoo! Out of the way! You're blocking the stove and I need to get the kids' breakfast on the table! OUT!" she clucked at him, smiling despite her irritation. 

He sidled over to the end of the long counter, and grabbing the newspaper at the end of it, sank into a walnut-colored kitchen chair and disappeared behind the overlarge pages, humming all the while.

   "Can I have some coffee?" asked E sweetly. 

    "Yes, it's fresh in the pot," she motioned to the back burner of the stove. 

    "CAN I have some TOO Gramma?" said N excitedly. 

    "You and J can have a tiny bit, but make sure it's mostly milk and sugar, or it'll stunt your growth," purred Grandma B smoothly. With flashing blue eyes, she began to gently stir the eggs in to a fluffy mixture of milk and butter. 

   SHUNK! Up came the toast, streaks of golden brown across the ivory slices of bread. 

   J fished out the hot pieces onto a plate, and slid two more into the toaster, clicking the lever down firmly. 

N was staring over Grandma B's shoulder, watching her as she stirred the eggs, gently swaying from side to side, her shoulders slightly rounded, the skirt of her night gown gliding along with with her. She was humming in a delicate soprano; vibrato buzzing out of her gently, a light smile on her lips. 

 "H, E, would you please hand me the butter and the bacon?" she ordered politely. 

  Pulling open the icebox door with both hands, and nearly falling over in the process, smelling the cold, salty air that issued forth, I found the bacon packet and E reached for the butter dish. I reached onto my tip toes and slid the bacon onto the counter to the right of the stove, E scooting it further as she set down the butter dish, so it wouldn't slip onto the floor. 
   "Thank you girls! N! What're you doing with that milk carton! Be careful now," she cautioned loudly. 

  N was holding the milk nonchalantly by the handle, swinging it back and forth. He grabbed a glass out of the cupboard to the left of the fridge, and began pouring himself a healthy serving, a little too quickly.  J stepped over and reaching for a second glass, tried to take the milk away from N before he was done topping off his. 

   "HEY! LEGGO!" N yelled at his brother.

   "You're going to SPILL it, DUMMY!" J hollered back, they were elbowing each other fiercely, cheeks flushed and hair mussy as they fought over the carton, which was splooshing dangerously. 

   "BOYS! That's enough!" Grandma C barked, "Everyone over to the table. NOW!" she finished.

   E walked ahead, her hair falling softly down her back, carrying the plates that had been set aside for the table. I bounced after her. Standing behind me, she helped me set one in front of Grandpa C before finishing up the rest of the place-settings.  

N grabbed silverware with his right hand on his way over, walking very, very slowly so he wouldn't lose a drop of the milk he'd filled up to the very top rim of the glass he was holding tightly in his left. The surface area tension was like a large bubble at the top. Dropping the silverware carelessly onto the table, he gently and carefully set his milk down by the place next to mine. 

  "SIT!" commanded Grandma B. 

 Each of us slid into our seats. "C, we're about to eat, so please put away that paper, would you?" She said firmly.

   "Yes Dear!" He said perkily back to her. She set a bowl of eggs, a plate of bacon, and a plate of toast onto the table, before reaching over to the counter to hand us each a small juice glass. Then she set the big glass pitcher of orange juice in front of E and sat down herself. 

   "Heads bowed," she began, and said a prayer, blessing the food and us alike. While she was solemnly reciting, I snook a peak at N, who was bouncing up and down in his chair he was so hungry, his eyes squinted, his hands together, but he couldn't sit still to save his life. J was sitting quietly, as was E, who took that moment to whisper to N, 

                       "CALM DOWN!"

                 "All right everyone, let's eat!" said Grandpa C.


  This memory is one of the few I have where my cousins from both sides aren't all mixed up together.

J, N, and E are all from my dad's side of the family, and I can't honestly think of a childhood memory or holiday where we weren't all together.

When D, C and M were over, it made the grandkid number 7, and that doesn't include the friends and second cousins who would usually pop by.

We're all spread out now, but I love my cousins and I'm grateful to have grown up with them.

E is like my big sister, N and J and C my big brothers, D and I are 6 months apart (they dressed us like twins for a good while)  and M will always feel like my baby sister.

I wouldn't be the person I am today without them!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Someday.... wait, is that really Sunday, and I've been pronouncing it incorrectly?

Swish, swirly, swirl, swish, chugga-lugga-lug-squeeeaky-vrooommmmm..... quoth the washing machine.

BAM-BAM-BAM-bouncy-bounce-BAM-Bouncy-bounce... spake the drier.

BrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRrrrrrrssssssshhhhhhhhhhh... stated the dish washer.

The appliances in my house are communicating with one another and I fear it might constitute the end of me... perhaps they're going to go on strike for fairer treatment...

Maybe I shouldn't have threatened the drier the last time it ate a hole in four of my shirts.... but it's still new really (less than 2 years old) so it shouldn't be chomping down just yet...

Of the household chores, the three I least enjoy, are:

1. Taking out the garbage and recycling to the big bins out behind the house.
2. Scraping the food gunk out of the stopper in the left side of the sink.
3. Emptying the litter box.

Someday, if I get pregnant, the books, doctors and other pregnant women I know, have all said that I won't have to do the last one, because of something called "toxoplasmosis," which is a microscopic parasite that can be harmful to humans.

It is found in the feces of animals who have eaten a rodent infected with the little buggers.

I have read about it, and decided the risk is quite low for us, seeing as how we don't release the lions outside, but hey, if it's safer for J to do it than me (in the interest of the hypothetical BABY of course) they why the heck not?

Well, WOOT on THAT one. Someday...

I could continue on about the lovely mundane chores I perform regularly, but for now, let's just leave it for now.

I was thinking about "someday," while listening to the gurgling, thumping and whooshing sounds emanating from my kitchen (though the washer and dryer aren't technically resident therein, they are in a small closet-type space next to the oven, and really, are part of the kitchen as we never close that door, due to the cats enjoying their warmth and box) and truly wondering what we as humans mean by it.

Most of us begin with something like:

Someday, I'll quit this job and do what I want to do.
Someday I'll be a famous fill in the         .
Someday I'll learn self-defense martial arts.
Someday I'll be able to afford x, y and z.
Someday I'll stop worrying and start living.
Someday I'll be fit as a fiddle, instead of mushy round' the middle.

Someday I'll learn how to play a musical instrument, program the VCR, change a tire, etc. as in someday I'll finish that book I never started, that symphony I can hear in my head, that painting I see behind my eyes, that dish I've always longed to learn to cook...

Someday holds a lot.

It can be an excuse for not finding the courage and bravery to try or do something that has always been out of one's grasp; usually, something inspiring or happiness holding.

Someday, I'll have children... and a dog... and horses... and a farm... and a completely different life than what I have right now.

I think everyone is guilty of a box in the back of their mind, holding a complex system of files under the umbrella heading of "SOMEDAY."

When though, does "someday," become "today,"  and then "yesterday," and then a longing, regretful, it's-too-late thought?

Everyone is aware of the sentiment of "Carpe Diem," which means to seize the day, or in effect, the now, this moment, for oneself.

 Waiting usually doesn't get things done.

 Most folks, can't afford this cavalier attitude... or so they say.

I am 28 years of age. This year I will be 29. Next year, if all goes according to J and my plans, we'll be married 6 months before I turn 30.

By some people's measure, we are "late starters," and this isn't a real source of stress for us, but J often remarks upon the fact that he wished we'd met 5 years ago instead of 2, and that he'd finished school when he was 28 or so, instead of working through it now at 32.

I just tell him that we aren't the same people we were at 23 and 27, and things probably wouldn't have worked out so nicely for us. :-)

After all, despite the fact that I thought "someday," I'd want to have kids, I maintained the belief that I was going to marry the right person for me, and it doesn't matter if I'm 90 years old when I finally find the fellow I want to hitch my wagon to.

Luckily, I found him a little over two years ago; hence the upcoming nuptials... which we're doing not out of any religious significance, but because we think it's safer if one's going to bring kids into the mix.

Honestly, we live together, we have joint checking... we're kinda' already married in spirit.

Moving on...

Someday is TODAY according to my great-grandmother.

Don't do anything that doesn't feel right in your gut, but for Pete's sake (I don't know who Pete is, but apparently he's in danger) don't put off til' tomorrow what would make you happy today!

I'd like you all to know that I modified that statement from Bompie's original (she was my G.G. on my mom's side) which reads: Don't put off til' tomorrow what you can do today.

I don't know when someday is, but J and I are trying to live with the idea that today is the day too. When he or I leave the house, or when we part ways for a time, we always kiss and hug each other good bye.

And I don't mean a lil' peck on the cheek. I mean a real goodbye, or for those of you who are familiar with the world of musical theatre, an 'Oklahoma hello!'

 You never know.

Phantom busses can appear out of nowhere and one of us may not make it home.

I don't really know about what to say concerning "someday." What I do know, is that J and I are trying to put our priorities in order.

We have chickens; we're that much closer to a little farm in the country.
I work for myself; my stress levels and food allergies are easier to manage.
We've set up savings accounts to do things such as; restore a 1942 Chevy truck, purchase our wedding bands, ready for a rainy day...

Life isn't easy. Life can be scary. I don't want to make sacrifices for someday. Planning is good, but it has to be active and not plain ole' wishful thinking.

Now I'm just being redundant and rambling. Time to stop for today.

Besides... the appliances are all about to buzz together to see which machine has the most of my trust before they plan their coup...