ATTACKED AT 4:00 A.M.

4:00 a.m.
The only light is the cold white glare of the computer screen
The only sound is the wishy washy whir of the washing machine behind me

UNTIL…(dun dun dunnnnn)

4:05 a.m.
The only light is the cold, white glare of the computer screen
The only sounds are the wishy washy whir of the washing machine, no longer behind but beneath me, as my (thankfully) wheeled computer chair shoots backwards, hits the machine, becomes the launch pad from which I launch myself on top of the machine, to make my none-so-quiet, highly unnatural, most un-ladylike, slightly animalistic, noises, after some sort of CREATURE landed on my nose, scaring the ever loving CRAP outta me, thereby causing a coffee-flood all over my computer desk, before I high-tailed it out of the laundry slash computer slash Ms. Sadie’s room, but not before turning on the glaring over-head light, so that I may (when brave enough to return) investigate this attacking, murderous, intruder and…DISPOSE of it!

4:30 a.m. (do not judge me…it took me a minute ok?)
The only lights are the cold, white glare of the computer screen and the 100 watt glare of the over-head florescent
The only sounds are the gurgling of the draining washing machine in front of me and the slightly judgmental, ticklishly child-like snickering (or so I imagined) quips coming out of Ms Sadie’s crate, and the squeaky, decidedly un-stealthlike, flap of my flip flops on the linoleum as I re-entered the war zone, having donned said shoes and my armor of well-worn sweater
To find………to find………to find……….what the hell…..to find……OH, there it is….at the bottom of my (spilled) coffee cup

A FUCKING LADY BUG!

REALLY?

A SCREAMING MEEMEE, CRAZY-ASS, SISSY-WOMAN OVER A LADY BUG?

5:00 a.m.
The only lights are the cold, white glare of the computer screen and the new, strategically placed, table lamp (10 feet away from the computer table)
The only sounds are the gurgles and whirring of the spinning washing machine and the slowly lessening, yet still slightly deafening, beating of my heart, as my flippy flops flap back to the kitchen to make myself a new cup o Joe

Sans Lady Bug

Go back to sleep Sadie (traitor)

Good Morning World

Now…EFF OFF!

Home is where you learn to walk

Walking.

Like riding a bike…once you learn how…you don’t forget.

Choose not to, sure.  But you don’t forget.

When I was a girl I used to walk everywhere.  I would stomp with purpose in my Wonder Bread bag covered shoes to school in the winters, hoping to get the bags off and stowed before the LL Bean boot-wearing kids could see them.

I’d march, like a good little soldier, the kiddie version of a 50 yard mile to church on Sunday, fiddling with the all too popular, bang-holding, enormous, white, clip-on bow my mother insisted I wear.  One that made my hair sit pregnant and waiting to pop its clip from atop my head, and in doing so, birthing my bangs back onto my forehead where they belonged!  The post clip-on years saw my 9 to 14 year old self, stomp the yard the longest 1/4 mile known to adolescents…especially on Catechism Saturdays, where God’s own wicked witch of the north ruled with an iron fist!

The better walking days were when I was old enough to sashay and glide; take my time meandering and strolling, to the place where all good things happen.  Overstreet.  Which, for those who don’t know, is our far north yank-speak for Downtown.  I could spend my fifty cent allowance buying nickle candy at the Economy Store, making sure to save the quarter I needed for the Sat’dy matinee a couple doors down at the Savoy.  And often times, I’d even have enough to stop at The Candy Kitchen for a creamie on the way home, if that’s what the gang wanted to do.

In the pre-bicycle summers, walking to the pool was the equivalent my now-self walking 5 miles on the huff and puff scale.  I’ve actually checked since then and know now it was just a hair shy of a mile…but it was the last half that was a killer.  Or so it seemed at the time. And looking back…having a bike didn’t improve that hill any…not one lick!  I don’t think I managed to stay ON the bike the whole way up but once, and only then because I rode that hill like it was a Donkey Kong trail, without the ladders!  Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.  It was easier to push it (or leave it home).  Besides, kids pushing bicycles up that hill was just the way of it…until the 10-speed arrived.  YeeHaw…what an invention.  Not that I ever had one, but boy could those kids ride that hill like it was nothing!

Our’s was a small town; a good, walking town for a kid when you come right down to it. Nestled in a little valley surrounded by the Green Mountains; a college town without acting like a college town because we didn’t really sport the kinds of places college kids like to hang.  And those we did have, the cadets managed to get thrown out of more often than not, so it was really just us town folk most of the time.

I loved walking that town, and I know it’s from walking that town that I feel so drawn to the beauty in everyday things that I often take pictures of.  Imagine walking down the street where you live, and everywhere you look, there’s a mountain, or a brook, or a river. Walk to the end of that street and you can chose to go straight over the footbridge, crossing the river towards downtown and what adventures lie there.  Or left over the tracks towards one of your schools or a shortcut to your friend’s house, the side street tree lined and leaf covered.  Or better yet, turn right and walk to where the pavement ends and the dirt begins.  Fields full of wild flowers and cows; promises of swimming holes and tire swings, and mountains as far as the eye can see.

All the time looking up.  All the time thinking…I want to live in those mountains.  I want to hear the brooks run and the smell the spring mud; feel the snow tickle as it falls on my face, and crunch under my feet for as long as I live.

I no longer live in that town.

But that town lives in me.  I take it with me everywhere, as I take all those things I fell in love with there too.

It’s the peace I reach for when I can find none where I am.

No matter where I hang my hat, my  heart remains there…in my little town.  Where walking the streets is not a profession…it’s a path to connection.  To God, to community, to nature, but most importantly, to oneself.

When I need it, I put on my boots and hit the road and remember.  I remember to keep my ears open, my eyes wide, and my mind quiet.  I remember to be thankful for some of the absolute best memories of my life…and more so, to be thankful for giving me the mountains my mind ran away to; where I’d sit under a glorious burnt orange tree while it bathed in the red-gold light of a late fall sun…for the absolute worst of my life.

The little town where I learned to walk; to never take for granted the beauty in the simple things; to accept with gratitude, the gifts it gave me every day; and learned too, the true understanding of what it is…the power…to have a place to call home.

Northfield in the fall

My town, where I learned to walk

 

(photo by Carol of Carol’s View of New England on blogspot)

Mommy Dearest

I’ll go out on a limb here and say for most of us, being a parent is, quite literally, the hardest job we’ve ever had or ever will. And, at the same time, it’s the richest, most fulfilling, most rewarding contribution to our own lives and always will be.  alex

One of the most surprising aspects of parenthood’s lifelong journey is finding out that one split second is all it takes for you to come to know the best and worst of being a parent…the span of that second is the distance between loving another being so much it hurts, to wishing you’d gotten a dog instead!  True dat  🙂

angry_baby11

But in looking at this most difficult most rewarding dichotomy, it’s not so hard to understand when you consider first, our tendency to place the highest value on that which was hardest won, and second, our amazing capacity for forgiveness (as parents at least).

But what is it that takes parents to the depths of the difficult to the heights of reward when it comes to loving our children? How do we survive the splintering of our brains in a thousand directions trying to figure them out, yet tarnishes the love in our hearts never?

I don’t question the reward; I think it’s obvious. I do, however, ponder the difficult. Is it because we love too much?  Is it that even possible?

I don’t believe so…

However, could it be that we love too much for too long?  Is that it?  Does parental love need to be doled out in stages or degrees?  Or fit into categories in order to not overload these little overlords once they come into their own?

So what (you ask) are these stages/degrees/categories you ask?

I’m a little cuss who can’t (and don’t want to) function without you so love me, love me more, love me most!

I’m a teenager so love me lots, and with patience, but for God’s sake, don’t let my friends see it!

I’m a young adult now so love me from a distance, but not too far ’cause I may need the car!

I’ve met someone and we’re going to get married.  Can ya help, can ya pay, can we have it there? (ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love him/her!)

I’m going to have a baby so love me, love me most, and love me now ’cause we’re going to need babysitters! (ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love it!)

Mom? Dad? I’ve never felt this way before…I love this kid so much my heart hurts!
(ps honey…we know!)

And so on…..

The short answer to the too much / too long question is…yes, okay, maybe, a little bit. But we parents come to this conclusion naturally I think. We instinctively know (or learn soon enough if our instincts are not as honed as they will be), which stage or category we’re dealing with or which degree of parental love to douse them with, simply by living it. Organic knowledge.  We just have to choose to go with it.

Does that stop us from loving the same soul-deep way we did when they were newborn?

No.  Perhaps it does in theirs though.  For a time.

I know that they love us the same way we do them…in the beginning.  Outside of themselves, we are their world. Their universe. Their moon and their stars, and they are ours.

Parents and kids grow up together.  That’s a given.  No matter if you’re 18 or 45 when you have your children, you have to grow up with them to be able to give and receive all that these little selves need, and later, need to share.

We may grow up more with our first.  Then again, it may just be that we grow up differently with the next one or two or three.

But…if we’ve played our hands well, we are love.  All of it.  Every stage, every degree, every category is of the love, by the love, for the love.  And they are right there with us.

Completely (in the beginning)

Mostly (in the middle)

Until (still in the middle but getting further towards the…the…well shit…not the end, but you know what I mean right?)

Until…they find out there are more people to love and to be loved by; more stars to shine the light of love on their heads and in their hearts; more room in their world for other loves.

As it has always been.  As it was with our own parents to be sure.  Just another way of experiencing the circle of life.

Consider…

Our children are loved as only a child can be loved and they in turn, love as only a child can love. The universe is secure.

As time goes on, they thrive and grow in that forever, universe-spanning, parental love and love them right back. But as they continue to grow, they s l o w l y  recognize that their world is expanding to include the many, many different kinds of love; each addition a glimmering star to their universe thus far.

But their recognition is as single-minded as their love for us was in the beginning. When they venture out from underneath the love-cloaked expanse of their parental universe, they don’t at once realize that their hearts are big enough to add new loves without setting aside old ones.

Our time will come again (usually around the time the grand-kids show up!), but as parents, it’s only natural that we do feel the initial loss of that connection when our love is no longer the moon and the stars in our child’s heart.

BUT…

Facing this fact head-on is hard, but absolutely necessary.

For our own well-being as well as theirs.

If we don’t, we run the risk of pushing them further out into the expanse by clinging too close, depending too much on their always being there, pining away for their childhood days when they aren’t there, regretting what we didn’t do, or forgetting what we did. Even romanticizing the harder times and not counting our blessings.

We all can probably think of a parent in our experience who has done, or does, this. Think back to the last time you witnessed a parent who cannot let go and re-live what you felt. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling.

I’m certainly not completely innocent of it still.  I sometimes catch myself feeling guilty for not being ‘that mother’. The one who always can, always will, never says no, never says can’t. Who wouldn’t want to be considered ‘the perfect mom’?  But that’s not perfection. It’s limiting to both your life and those of your children.

However, even knowing I am not (and never could be) that mother…(nor is their Dad ‘that guy’) it nevertheless hurts (and in the dark of night, makes me wonder if they’ll still love me enough to ask again- I know, just silly ) to know that we are the ones disappointing our children.

But we get over it because we know we are good parents who have raised good people.  We all deal with disappointments in our relationships.  We have difficult conversations followed by deafening silences.  But we’ve loved each other long enough and well enough to know what’s really important.

So there is hope. Once we’ve matured enough in our parenthood to realize this fact of life, we can recapture that sense of oneness, specialness, absolute love not felt anywhere but in your parents’ heart of hearts.  It is, after all, our hearts that need to make preparations for the day when our children learn there is a love flow-chart.  This will fluctuate during their life spans, but it will always show a solid heart-red line for us.  Mom and Dad.  Steady as she goes.  What more could we hope for?

And an added benefit to this stage of parental maturity is…we can (and hopefully do) look back at our own parents with a new appreciation for all they’ve done, all they’ve been through, and all we’ve learned from them without even knowing it.  Score!

Cheers and happy parenting (and I mean that!)

Dearest Mommy

Dedicated to my Mother and Father and to my Sons
I’m proud to be one of your stars

Is there a Q in Creation?

Hello Hello!

And Happy New Year!

It’s been almost 3 months since I last laid fingers on this spot and quite frankly, I’m stumped as to why.  It’s not as though nothing has been going on in my life; not like I couldn’t have found something to regale you with.  But I didn’t, so there it is.  What to do, what to do?

My Quandry

It’s me and not what’s going on in my life, that is the…

queller of quills that once quivered in quickness as they quilted quality quarters in the quest of her quair; chock-full of the queenly and quintessentially queer, the quacky and quaggy and quixotically quaint.

It is me and me alone who can say…

quiescence remains in this quaffer’s quaich. What’s quashing that quorum of quarrels, quibs, and quips that querimoniously queue up in the quar of my gray- matter quag; quit of its quant?

As it is also me, the once…

quartermaster, now turned querulous quester, who is lost in quassation.  A quat, a quidam, a word-quean, bereft of her quean-dom; whose quiritation quickens toward quotidian.

Quit?

Qualify?

Quantify?

Quiver?

Quash?

Quell?

No

Hence the exercise in the little used and under appreciated

Q

A little warm up to get the juices flowing.

Maybe?

Hopefully?

For if this does not work…

I’m off to the Zees

Yikes!

Is there a Z word for HELLA-NO?

[I looked it up]

Z I P

Wish me luck  🙂

 

 

And Now…Something Completely Un-Original!

2014 – The Year in Review

I had the title typed before I saw the email with the gift from the WP helper monkeys that I assume we all got.

And I know this is a bit longer than usual, but if the ultimate goal is to kill a baby (the new years baby silly people…calm down) one can’t skimp on the details 😉

At first, I thought I’d just make the WP Review public and call it a day, rather than come up with a review of my own.

It does, after all, highlight our most popular posts, our busiest days, how many views, and how many countries.

It also…
Reminds us that this year has been spent like yesterday’s paycheck!
Proves in black and white that 2014 has slipped right through our fingers.
Shows us that we blinked and there it was….G O N E!

None of which are bad or surprising. Just not a true enough picture. At least not for me.

Can I say there’s something that makes me think it has been “The Best Year Ever”?

Not even close

(Though, I AM content knowing there were a couple events that will be remembered fondly. One of which was welcoming a beautiful new friend named Sadie into our hearts and our home and the landscape changed for the better)

If you are, or know, A Mama of Mayhem, A Deb of Destruction, or A Brittany of Breakage like me…then you understand!

Being a title holder of all three…this year is one for the books.
I actually shutter a little writing this ‘pre-midnight 12/31/14’ little tale, as it scares the SHITE outta me a bit!  Lord knows, a LOT can happen in the 36 hours that remain!

For example…I sit here writing in a room that houses nothing that could hurt me, yet I still feel as if I am in a militarized zone. I almost want to ensconce myself in the bathroom, where, if I manage to not fall into something wet and drown, I’ll be good to go.

There will be no daily, weekly, or monthly, blow by blow review of the past year here. Not even a highlight reel.  You’ve heard all of that before. No need to rehash old shit storms.

However, it appears this almost year-old ‘baby 14’ is not done with me.

He did, yet again, set his sights on my ample bottom, reared back his infantile, yet strangely fat and hairy leg, let loose, and kicked me in the ass.

Yup, this over-grown, tantrum throwing, troll doll, is still flinging the contents of his dirty diaper my way, and frankly, I’m sick to death of the little shit!

I Am, in fact, celebrating the fact that in 36 hours, this mini monster will be
D E A D

D O N E

H I S T O R Y

W O R M F O O D

But, before his happy demise, the little bastard thought it would be funny to inflict a bit more madness and mayhem into my life.

How you wonder? Ooooh, he’s nothing if not imaginative, the little Attila.

(cue dreamy, going back in time music now…)

Saturday, 12/27/14
2:30am
I left Virginia in Mini Me, primed and ready for my 700 mile trip to the frozen north to spend time with Superman and Lois

Well prepared, reasonably rested, I hit the nearly empty highway in good form

350 miles in, I was awed by the mile long caravan of flashing lights; cruisers, suvs, vans, and buses, of law enforcement vehicles from all over the south, headed to New York City for the funeral service of two fallen comrades

I cruised through NYC (okay, the Bronx) in record time
(Guess everyone had the same thought…no troopers on the road)

I reached the interchange of Interstates 95/91 in New Haven at 11:30am

Considering I’d stopped for breakfast and a fill-up, I was making good time

The GPS said I’d be there by 2:45pm, just a bit over a 12 hour trip

Right on schedule (Lobster dinner tonight!)

Then…that big, bad, baby decided to wake up

With a shitty diaper

And he reached into that shitty diaper

Grabbed a handful

And flung it in my direction

It was a direct hit!

Round I

At 75 miles per hour
Traveling in the left lane
Interstate 91 Northbound
Exit 5 (I can’t get away from details)
Mini Me died
Foot on gas pedal…nothing
I was surrounded by flying traffic by this time of the day, and just north of New Haven, CT
No where to go that didn’t already have a vehicle occupying that same space
There was no left shoulder
I had no choice
One look over my shoulder resulted in a “FUCK” and prayer to God that I had enough forward momentum to reach the right shoulder alive
I shut my eyes and turned the wheel
I drifted…just drifted…amid honks and screeches which I had no choice but to ignore in an effort to get to safety, but sick to my stomach and shaky with fear of being Johnny Hot Rod’s New Year’s Roasted Road Kill
When I opened my eyes, I realized, had I waited to do that one second later, I’d have landed in the middle of the entrance/exit ramp and been no better off, and just as likely to be creamed
But, as it happened, I opened my eyes just in time to two-foot the brake and stop right before the shoulder/guard rail ended

Round II

After regaining the ability to breathe and pick up my phone without dropping it from shaking, I realized I only had 27% left on my battery with no power to re-charge
Panic set in, knowing I had to have my phone to get out of this mess

I tried to call my husband at his job in Virginia
I didn’t have the damned number in my phone as he’d just been transferred
SHIT  (not that he could have done anything, but I needed to hear something, anything, besides whizzing traffic)
I called Lois…hoping she answered and not Supe, because I didn’t want him to worry. She was gone, he answered
SHIT
He reminded me his best friend lived about an hour away, was a mechanic, and calmed me a bit.  (so much for me worrying about him eh?)
I called this friend, but he knew nothing about good ol’ Mini Me, but would pick me up if I needed
All I knew was I needed off the road but was not willing to leave the car sitting there
I called my insurance company thinking I had roadside assistance coverage
NOT (but she offered to sell it to me, the bitch)

After a Google search, found the number to hubby’s new location, called him and cried all the way through that conversation (ugh, what IS that anyway?)
He too reminded me (needed a lot of reminding that day) that I had an extended warranty that included roadside assistance (duh)

So, I called them and after a lengthy discussion, was relieved to hear that by 12:50, there would be a tow truck there to take us to a service location.
PHEW because I was down to about 12% on the phone and sweatin’ bullets

Round III

12:53pm
Tow truck arrives
Mini Me quickly and expertly man handled onto the flat bed
Passenger (moi) rudely told “IN. Don’t Smoke. Don’t Eat”
Passenger (moi) just as rudely yelled (in my head of course) Fuck You. Drive.

1:30pm
Reach our destination
Driver takes Mini Me off the rig, gets her safely into a parking spot behind the dealership
Waves me off and drives away
I go into the dealership to seek guidance
(after noticing the service department was closed baby closed)

Information desk girly pages the manager who informs me they don’t service Minis, so even if they had been open, they could not have helped me
Water works begin in earnest

To say anyone within spitting distance was a tad uncomfortable with this 54 year old lady, blubbering in the middle of a BMW dealership would be an understatement
(and worse still-they were having an ‘event’ and the place was packed!)
To say I gave a shit would be a lie

Round IV

After being herded off by the dealership manager
(to a padded, all but sound proof, cubby hole)
Where I was to sit and get things figured out
(offering to keep me in coffee and food, a power outlet, and a phone at my disposal)
I called the warranty eeeedjit back

One point five hours later, having listened to this dickhead tell me it was my fault I’d landed in “A place no Mini has gone before” (really?)
I told him to shut it…get me a new tow to somewhere that could actually SERVICE my car, and I’d deal with his incompetence later

Got a text ten minutes later that the tow truck would be there at 3:50pm to tow me 45 miles further north, to Hartford, where there was a Mini dealership whose service department was closed, but they were open until 5 and I could get my car checked in and arrange for a rental to continue the 300 miles I had left on my journey north
That left me about 10 minutes to spare, provided the tow truck arrived on time

The truck did NOT arrive on on time, and I knew I needed a new plan
I couldn’t be stuck at an empty dealership in Hartford, CT with no way out

Lois to the rescue…she calls my cousin in Massachusetts and arranges for her and to pick me up in Hartford and drive me to Brattleboro, Vermont where my visiting brother would drive to and pick me up to take me the rest of the way home

All told, cousin Shari and brother Allan would spend 3 hours and 4 hours respectively, driving on my behalf, all because a warranty roadside assistance representative didn’t think it was necessary to find out if the destination HE chose to have me towed to, actually serviced my vehicle

(I’m lucky to have the family I do…at least there IS that)

Round V
4:30pm
The second tow truck finally arrives
Getting to Hartford in time to talk to a person was already completely out the window
A talker
Good God, they sent me a fucking jaw bones!
(In an antique truck to boot)

5:00pm
The driver (Randy) finally gets to doing what he’s there to do
While he’s putting her on the truck, I notice the driver’s side window slowly inching down
And of course, there’s no power to raise it back up
OMFG…wanna guess the forecast for that night and the next day?
Yeah…like that
Oh well, another phone call to Shari to let her know I wouldn’t be in Hartford by 5 and to go ahead and get something to eat in the meantime

Sometime after 5:00 but before 6:00
Arrive at dealership in Hartford
Hugs and kisses for Shari and Jimmy
Off load Mini Me to spend the night, the next day and night, and the next morning exposed to the elements
Transfer all my shit to Shari’s car
Pay Randy (a.k.a. driver jaw bones)
(and I hugged him actually…he turned out to be good company and a much needed source of laughter and companionship on the drive to Hartford. He told me I was his ‘best tow ever‘ and I told him that’s only because I like to use the F word, tell raunchy jokes, and smoke (so he could smoke and he was good with that!)
🙂

Round VI

We meet up with Brother in Brattleboro Burger King
I got a drink while he sat staring at what he dubbed his “ass burger”
After a few minutes of visiting for the brother and the cousin, the eventual garbage can burial for his ass burger, we hit the road for our 2 hour trip home
ps…My brother is a genius! He brought me a bottle of wine and a plastic cup for the ride home. Does he know me or what? Update:  I’ve been informed that it was brother number 2 who told brother number 3 to bring the wine!
Could they both be geniuses?

Round VII

It is now Tuesday, 12/30/14
I know absolutely nothing more today than I knew Saturday about the state of Mini Me
All I know is she’s there and I’m here
I’m already $260 bucks in the hole for which they called me to authorize, yet they’ve not even looked at her
Unsure if any or all or none of her ailments are covered by the warranty or if it’s gonna cost me an arm or maybe the one good leg I got left

So…let’s try this again:

2014 – The Neverending Story?

2014 – The Worst Story Ever Told?

2014 – It’s A Wonderful Life For Somebody Else?

2014 – Kill Me Now and Get it the Fuck Over With?

Sure…they all could work

But, since the little cuss ‘Atill-ito de Hun-o’ seems to like it when I get upset or angry or depressed when he slings his excrement my way…I’ve decided to take his poo and make poo-ade

I’m looking for and looking at, the positives that came out of this.

1. I’m alive
2. I’ve got great family
3. I made a tow truck driver’s year
4. That same driver made my fucked up day not so fucked up
5. I still made it up north to be with Superman and Lois
6. Mini Me is where she needs to be – in a Mini Hospital where she’ll get the care she needs

So, little baby butthead, go ahead ya filthy animal
You’ve got 36 hours to do your worst

But remember…
I’ve got a hell of a lot more time than you do, so there IS that, right?

In a little while, the world will be celebrating YOUR demise and your REPLACEMENTS arrival

How does that feel?

new_years_baby_crying

For me…it’s p r i c e l e s s

Happy New Year to all of you

As for you Baby 2.0.1.5.

Good friends?
Maybe, maybe not

But I’ll tell you what I’ve told your predecessor…

“I’ll be around a lot longer than you (God willing), so go ahead…

Bring. It. On!