Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat?

I miss the Halloweens of my childhood. As I drove this evening I kept looking for any signs of it, but alas all I saw were stressed, impatient adults trying to get home or to a party. I kept waiting to see groups of children dressed up with bags in hand only to be disappointed. Still I long to see...

Yoda walking hand in hand with a ghost while Wonder Woman gleefully lists the contents of her bag. Knowing they were safe because Superman, Spiderman, and Batman were following close behind them. A ninja happily dragging at tiny angel behind him steadily reminding her to hold tight to her plastic pumpkin quickly filling with treats. Han Solo joins a witch with a green face, striped stockings, and a shy laugh. They both wave to Glenda the Good Witch crossing the street with a curly-headed pumpkin waddling slowly next to her. She bends to reassure him that black cats that are at least three feet tall and answering to the name of Melissa don't eat baby pumpkins. Sweet hobgoblins with the musical voices of elves haunting the streets of my memory.

Oh to be a child again and feel the warm trusting hand of my baby brother held lovingly in mine. To see his bright, freckled face smiling up at me as he begs me to take him to "just one more house, Sissy". To sit cross-legged and red-faced in the middle of the floor and pile our candy up together because it never occurred to us not to share. Dividing it into piles so we could share it with Mommy, Grammy, & Papa. A non-stop commentary of who we saw and who scared us delighting them as they waiting patiently for our sugar highs to gradually fade.

To be safely tucked into bed as Mommy kisses our foreheads. The taste of hot cocoa with marshmallows still on our tongues. Slowly drifting off to sleep while my baby brother asks if we can do it all again tomorrow. Knowing we'll have to wait a whole year but glad to have the memories that will last at least that long.

Happy All Hallow's Eve! May all your bags be filled with life's sweetest treats!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Dear George...

Please ignore the crazy rantings of that woman from Maine. While she's trying to warm up, I'll show you a hot time like only a southern belle can. Trust me, baby, you'll never look back.


P.S. Don't worry. Maine is very far away from Texas so you'll be safe with me.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

There are millions of people in worlds of their own...

Today was laundry day. I gathered up my dirty clothes, a book/crochet project, and my quarters. I loaded it all in to my car and headed out before 11 this morning, hoping to beat the crowd that always starts building around noon. Of course I had my light jacket on because since the surgery I tend to be colder than I am normally. I didn't pay attention to the weather at all. I just wanted to get it over with and home again.

Flash forward about two hours and I'm loading my now clean clothes back into my car. Suddenly the weather catches my attention and I realize the rarity of it in Houston. It's about 68 degrees (Fahrenheit of course), only 40% humidity (I say "only" because frequently it's 100% humidity here and NOT raining), there is a cool breeze blowing, AND the sun is shining. Can you say beautiful weather?

My first choice on how to celebrate this extremely rare and lovely day was a picnic. Alas, not only do I not have the money to buy what I'd need for a picnic lunch or a place to have a picnic, but I don't have anyone nearby to join me. So as an alternative I decide to take the scenic route home.

I roll down all the windows, open the sunroof, and crank the radio. My favorite Barenaked Ladies album is in the CD player ("Maybe You Should Drive" for anyone that is curious). I'm singing along loudly as I feel the fresh air rushing at me from all sides. People are staring at stoplights, but I don't care. It's not environmentally responsible of me to be driving around just for the hell of it, but again I don't care. I think the almost Zen state I'm achieving is more important than what little damage I might be doing to the environment.

All too soon my responsible side manages to finally be heard over the music and rushing air. With a sigh, I turn back towards home. What I would really like to do is head south towards the beach, spend a few hours soaking up some salt air, and read. But I know that I'm really not in good enough shape to make the nearly three-hour roundtrip drive and the walk to find a good spot to read. So it's back home for me.

Still it was a great drive filled with fresh air and fabulous music. Sometimes it's really good to live in Texas. :)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Someone Somewhere Has Unglued Our Epoxy...

The last 4+ months have been a test in patience and strength that I'm not sure I'm passing. This time five months ago I was independent, working a full-time job, paying my bills with relative ease, and looking forward to my upcoming birthday. Things look quite a bit different at this point in my life.

Don't get me wrong. I am so very grateful to everyone for all of their help. I wouldn't have made it through one single day of this ordeal without a very long list of loving family and friends. I don't know how I will ever repay them all or find a way to express just how grateful I am.

I'm still independent, more so now that I can actually take care of myself. My Dad and my Stepmom did most of the taking care of me for the first three months. I still have a full-time job, but I haven't put in even one hour of work since I had surgery at the beginning of June. I'm receiving short-term disability insurance, but since it amounts to about half of my regular pay financially I'm struggling. So much so that my Mom and Pops had to send me enough money to make my car note this month. As for my birthday, it passed in a pain-induced haze almost as if it was just another day.

Right now I'm overwhelmed, overwrought, overstressed, and overemotional. Not a real good combination for healing. I'm also eating Tylenol like it's Pez because my surgery wound is hurting and I don't want to take a pain pill. It's been a pretty rough weekend and I seem to be about five seconds away from crying all the time these days.

I've been trying to shake the feeling that I need to break down and fall apart so that I can try and put the pieces back together again. I'd like to curl up into a ball and cry until I don't have any tears left but I'm afraid if I start that I'll never stop. There are so many things I need to come to terms with but I don't have the time or the energy to do it.

Okay the drama queen is going to shut up now because I for one am sick to death of hearing me complain. Not really the update that was requested, but the best I could do at the moment. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Testing, Testing...

Over the last few days I've been posting some very short stories. I want to thank everyone that gave me feedback on them. It is always greatly appreciated.

I've been making up stories for as long as I can remember. I would tell them to my baby brother. I would tell them to my Grammy. I would tell them to my dolls. I'd even tell them to the family dog if he'd sit still long enough.

Then one day I began to write them down. And about that time I stopped sharing them too.

My family expected me to get married and have kids or to make a great career for myself. Being a writer wasn't considered a great career, so my writing got increasingly less of my time. Until it became nothing more than a hobby.

Flash forward to now. I'm not married and I have no children. I have a job that I love but it's not a career. And the one thing that I really want to be is a writer.

Here is where I run into trouble. I come up with lots of ideas and usually have no trouble starting them, but I have a LOT of trouble finishing anything longer than a poem. I have several unfinished projects that I've put large amounts of time into that remain unfinished. It's like being trapped onstage and not being able to find the exit.

Over the weekend I got to thinking about it and decided that I would take a few ideas and purposefully write something very short with them. No pressure and no chance of them getting so big they overpower me. And I used my blog for their unveiling.

I still struggled with the endings. The first one was difficult until I stopped fighting the symmetry that wanted to be there. The second one just didn't want to end. A fact that a close friend pointed out by saying, "I like it but I don't like the ending. I think, in part, because I didn't want it to end. It seemed like a very good beginning of something a lot bigger and I wanted it to be." Tell me that doesn't do something for the old ego. The third one gave me trouble because I hadn't really thought it through as much as the first two stories. The characters were still virtual strangers to me so I didn't know where they were headed. So basically I faked it. Hope it didn't show too much.

I think this battle with endings might help me in the long run. At least I hope so. You can expect more very short stories since this is an ongoing battle. Like I said, feedback is always appreciated. If you don't want to leave a comment then feel free to email me.

Thanks again for reading!

Monday, October 02, 2006


I stop packing long enough to blow my nose. The tears make me angry and I’m glad no one is here to see my moment of weakness. How could I be so upset about leaving when it is my own idea? After all it’s the best thing for everyone. Especially him.

It was my own stupidity that got me into this mess so leaving without involving him is the least I can do. I know it’s the right thing to do, but the thought of never seeing him again makes me sadder than I thought possible. It’s only fair that doing the right thing is so very hard.

I’m not sure where I’ll go, but I know if I don’t leave soon I never will and that just won’t do. He is too good a person to be dragged down with me. Not to mention that this town would ever let him live this down. Some things still aren’t done in small Southern towns and an illegitimate child is definitely one of them.

Of course he would want to marry me and help raise his child but I would always wonder if he would have done so if I hadn’t gotten pregnant. I know he loves me and I love him. Yet marriage is not something either of us has ever considered or even discussed. He doesn’t need any more responsibilities and I’ve always prided myself on my independence.

With renewed resolve, I go back to packing. I need to be packed and on my way as soon as I can. The longer I wait the harder it will be and it’s already hard enough.

Mentally I begin making a list of all the things I need to take with me. I can’t forget anything. Whatever I forget will get left behind. Sadness threatens to overtake me again when there’s a knock at my door.

Nervously I open the door and am surprised to see him standing on my doorstep. Instinctively my hand moves to my lower abdomen. His eyes follow the motion then meet mine with a defiantly possessive gleam. My heart flutters but I simply step back so he can come inside.

I turn from closing the door and find him staring at the growing pile of luggage and boxes. He turns towards me in disbelief. “You were really going to leave and not tell me?” he asks sadly. My idea suddenly doesn’t sound like such a great one.

“You already have so many responsibilities. I just didn’t want to add to your burden.” I find I can’t stand the pain in his eyes and drop my gaze to my feet. After a few minutes I see his feet join mine and raise my watery eyes to his. The first tear slowly rolls down my cheek when I see the tears in his eyes.

Softly he caresses my cheek and says, “You could never be a burden to me. Either of you.” As his arms go around me he begs, “Please give me a chance to prove to you that this can work. I love you. I don’t want to marry you because you’re carrying our child. I want to marry you because you can make me laugh, make me think, and make my heart race all at the same time. I want to marry you because I can’t bare the thought of you not being in my life. Please don’t make me spend even one day without you.”

After his speech I could never again doubt why he wants to marry me. Tears begin to flow in earnest as I search for the right words to tell him how I feel. “I love you,” is all I can manage before emotion puts a lump in my throat.

“Is that a yes?” he teases. All I can do is shake my head in affirmation. Laughing, he kisses me softly. I melt into his arms as my own arms go around him. “How soon will you marry me?” he asks and it’s my turn to laugh.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Restless Soul...

I’m restless and I start to worry. It’s too soon, far too soon. The pattern is all I’ve been able to rely on all of these years. It’s how I’ve gauged my life style.

Now I find myself thinking things that I shouldn’t be for at least another year. Wondering what I’m missing out in the world while I’m stuck in this tiny town. Yesterday I was blissfully happy, but today the restlessness began chipping away at the edges.

It all started in college so many years ago. After dating the same boy for nearly three years, I began yearning for some time alone. Weeks later, intending only to be gone a few days, I found myself already immersed in a new life. The boy I was so in love with was barely a fond memory.

Now many years and loves later I’m two years into a relationship with a newspaper reporter in a small Texas town. Up until today I’ve been happy in a town where everyone knows everyone else. I’ve enjoyed dating the “catch of the county”.

He’s handsome in a big, cuddly teddy bear way with a wicked sense of humor and sharp wit. He never fails to make me laugh and can make me weak in the knees with a single kiss. He’s not perfect but that’s what makes him so wonderful.

For the last few weeks I’ve been thinking that I’ve never been this happy. That maybe there was something different about him. About us. Yet here I am, wide awake at two in the morning and planning my escape.

I pull the blanket more tightly around me as I feel the chill creeping in through the ancient glass in the bay window. I think for the hundredth time that we should install storm windows before winter really hits but stop myself with a reminder that I won’t be here long enough for that. A tiny moment of regret surprises and saddens me.

I reach up to brush away the tears when I feel him walk up behind me. Silently he slips his arms around me from behind and softly kisses my neck. We stand quietly, both thinking our own thoughts.

“Let’s get away for a while,” he whispers. I turn in his arms to look at his face. “I mean it. I’ve got plenty of time off saved up that we could go away for months. Maybe even longer.” He pulls me closer to him. “We both need a change of scenery and this time you don’t have to leave alone.”

Surprised I look up into his eyes and realize he’s always known. That’s what made him different. He could look into my eyes and see into my soul. I’ve let him further into my life and heart than any of the others. Now I know why. My restless soul recognized another restless soul the moment I found him. I say, “Let’s leave tomorrow,” and he kisses me deeply.