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  1. i have a "Grateful Jar" and it's been a little lonely lately. i'm finding being grateful is a little harder these days, with so much “taken away.” i thought about that tonight while i re-read some blogs, poems and stories here. Looking back at what people have written, stories about hardship, blogs about overcoming obstacles. i heard the kids hanging out together while Phil and i were on the couch. It was a combination that had me thinking about what i have, what makes me happy. i am grateful for my Husband He has been calm and steady through this whole “thing.” He’s had His own issues to be sure. He wasn’t able to bring His large monitors home. Not that we have room for them, but having to figure out how He’s going to do His job when He can’t see everything on a small laptop screen was just the first obstacle. He is always there with an encouraging word, or glance. He’s running all those errands to the store when we can’t get a timely pickup, to the pharmacy so i don’t have to. i am grateful for my family Though our house is small, and noisy, there is a genuine feeling here that we all like each other. Several times recently i’ve almost been in tears hearing the laughter, whispered conversations, and the not so whispered conversations, between the kids. We’ve been making it a point to eat together as much as possible. With work schedules being what they are, that’s usually just lunch. But when we’re all home for dinner, we eat together. It brings me great joy to fix meals that everyone loves so much, there are no leftovers. i am grateful for my job My 5 year anniversary is Tuesday, and the people i work with, and for, are pretty great. Our CEO has been holding regular “all hands” meetings to keep us in the loop as to what’s going on with our parent company in Brussels. We found out this past week that the entire upper management level has taken pay cuts so that those of us below won’t need to make bigger sacrifices than we already have. i know that i am lucky, many people have lost jobs, or have taken significant cuts to their income. My team, 14 when we’re all in the office, is having weekly virtual happy hours. The “Fun and Games Committee” has planned a rotating get together next week to say farewell to one of our guys who is being deployed to North Africa. There’s been a great pulling together to cover tasks that are “usually” done by others. i am grateful for technology This thing called the internet has it’s problems. Cyberstalking, the ability to hide behind the keyboard and be snarky, and mean. But, it has allowed us all to connect in so many different ways. We can send pictures almost instantaneously, no need to wait for a week, or even one hour for photos to be developed. Then you’d have to mail them to someone to share. i can hear my sister say she’s fine, but through video chat i can see dark circles under her eyes. We can work from the safety (and comfort) of our homes. No need to wait for a bus, or fight through rush hour traffic. Also, working in yoga pants is pretty great! i am grateful for my friends, local and online Throughout this whole time, there’s been a lot of contact. Instant messaging, texting, emails, phone calls. One night, there was even a driveway/tailgate happy hour. Messages of support, offers to run errands. Quick text messages, “I got a pick up time at the grocery store for tomorrow. Need anything right away?” One friend is a retired nurse, she made everyone masks. It helps, you know, to know that other people are having the same problems with isolation. It’s good to know that you aren’t the only human feeling this way. My online friends have shared news, interesting, fascinating articles with hints on handling the emotional aspect of isolation. They’ve been here to listen to rants, and raves. We’ve shared recipes, physical and mental health issues. i am grateful for online shopping i had been doing the weekly groceries online for some time before “all this” and it was very convenient. It became a little less so with everyone else using the system, pickup times went a week out, some of our favorite items were now “out of stock” or “limited to XX number per order. (We can only get five fresh meat items with any order still). That’s eased a little now. For example, i placed the grocery order Saturday, before 10:00 AM and the earliest pick up was 5:30 PM Sunday. There are still limits, and there is a chance that what i've ordered i won't get. But i don't have to go into the store, packed in with everyone else. i am grateful for my dogs Now that they’ve calmed down with everyone hanging out at home all the time, they’ve been great. Our Border Collie, Bella, stays by me most of the day, she sleeps under the table while i’m working. Rubin, the lab mix, well he’s busted into a couple of Phil’s team meetings. Jumping up on the couch for a cuddle while the meeting’s going on. It’s so funny to hear everyone going on about the dog, and the meeting being derailed. They’re always there for a cuddle, or a laugh. i am grateful for comfy sheets Sleeping has not been as easy as it once was. i’m thinking it’s the increased stress. But we’ve been keeping the comfy flannel sheets on the bed. i make the bed up every morning because i like the way it feels sliding into a crisply made up bed. Also, because of this. There are mornings when those comfy sheets try to coerce me into staying in bed a little longer. i am grateful for long drives in the country What a boredom buster those have been! Just to get out from within these four walls. No destination, just a direction! Sunshine, fresh air, music and talk. Nothing big or heavy, just … talk. There are still an abundance of wildflowers on the roadsides. There are sheep, goats, cows, and their babies. Occasionally we’ve seen small herds of deer back in the trees. The hawks and buzzards are soaring in the sky. We’ve driven through small towns with restaurants we might want to come back to, when we’re able. i guess finding things to be grateful for just took a little thought. And now, if y’all will excuse me, i think i’ll go drop these things into my Grateful Jar.
  2. My brother got dad moved into his new facility yesterday -- or, more accurately, watched as staff got him moved. Sent me a pic of the room through the window; looks nice from what I could see. Said dad was able to walk [using a walker] from the car to his room, but also asked if he would still be in the Army. 😢 Dad's not been in the Army since the end of WWII. Hoping that by the time SP and I am able to get up there to see him he still remembers who I am. It's been very upsetting and I'm glad to have SP by my side supporting me emotionally through this.
  3. my mind went wandering today... Having a tall son means that the windows of your SUV get cleaned well while he pumps gas Having mostly grown kids means you can say "This house needs cleaned up" & no one asks "What do you want us to do?" Daughter started assigning jobs & they got busy (ok there was some sighing & eye rolling). Having mostly grown kids who can think for themselves (mostly, lol!) means they know to take the big trash can to the curb when you say "i need someone to come take the trash out." Having mostly grown kids means that the laundry gets done without intense supervision Having mostly grown kids who all have jobs means that when you leave something they needed off the grocery list, they say “That’s ok Ma. I’ll order it from Amazon.” Having mostly grown kids means you can share questionable online jokes and memes Having mostly grown kids who all have jobs means they’ll spring for lunch when you’re out running errands. Having mostly grown kids means hugs and cuddles are fewer and farther between. but when they come, they’re a little bit sweeter. Having mostly grown kids means they need less and less from me. Having mostly grown kids means that soon they’ll all be gone from home. Having mostly grown kids means that my job description is changing, and i don't know how i feel about that.
  4. Dad is getting settled into the new assisted living facility. We've been told he could be confused for a month or so still. Went up yesterday to help my brother sort through the remaining things in dad's old apartment in the independent living center - piles for me, piles for him, piles to move, piles to donate. Extremely depressing. Like dividing up someones things after they've died - thought I guess there is a bit less emotion to doing it now. Brother has finally admitted that dad is 98 and is pretty much done with things. I really don't see him hanging around much longer because he has no real desire to do so. Will need to try to go back up in a couple of weekends, and maybe take SP with me this time.
  5. Warning: This is me whining, but trying to get my thoughts in order by writing them out. I left work early today not knowing if I was going to start screaming or crying; or just start doing both. This week has not been a good one. The weather keeps shifting back and forth by large jumps so the joints can't get back in balance before the next front hits. This is keeping my pain level above normal, and that is increasing my depression, and that is increasing my level of irritation. Partly because of this and partly -- I think -- because of the increased feelings for SP, C has been on my mind a lot the last few days. SP knows something is up because he reminded me he was there if I needed to talk. I wasn't going to because I don't want him to think he's competing for my love with a ghost, but I'm finding that to be deceitful; lies of omission. So I've decided I need to talk to him about C being in my dreams and how that relates to our beginnings. I'm pretty sure that SP will understand where these things are coming from. I've already said that my love for C will always be there. That won't fade as my love for SP grows, and he is aware of that. He actually brought up polyamory, and that is what led to that conversation. It's nice to be dating someone who is open to the idea of polyamory and the possibility of finding a third -- for the long term -- once our foundation is set. I Will Love You by Gin Wigmore came on this morning and I thought I was going to break down in my office - "So if you die before I do, I know the heartache will kill me too. So if I ever live again, It will be to find you." My brother sent a txt this afternoon telling me to call him when I had a chance. He never does that so I knew it wasn't good news. They brought dad from Skilled Nursing back to where he's been living for the last 9 years. Both my brother and I thought his memory would be better once he was back in familiar surroundings, but... doesn't look like it's going to be. He really didn't remember the building. He remembered the tractor in front of his door and a few other things but asked if he had lived there before. He didn't quite remember the person who's been cleaning his room for the last several years (who was sweet enough to come see him when he was in the hospital). Dad's also lost weight (11 pounds), which isn't good, and he's not as strong walking as he has been just a few days ago. Something is still wrong with his back. Nothing is broken but there's still too much pain for there to be nothing wrong. He did ask my sister in law if "this place can take care of my needs" so there is some self-recognition that he is going to need help. A good chance he'll be moved either to Assisted Living or Nursing Home in the morning. I know my brother is bothered by this, as am I; but it's the best thing for him. I need to try to call my brother back and get more info. He had to hang up when we were talking this afternoon because dad needed something. I hope to see SP tonight, but it probably won't be until tomorrow. I know I'm a mental mess at the moment. I need him but, at the same time, am afraid of letting him see me in this mental state.
  6. Cake was a hit, but.... Morning before I left my brother called to say dad had fallen (again) and this time shattered his leg just below the hip. They did a partial hip replacement yesterday morning, using a spinal block instead of putting him out completely. Doc said his leg / hip bones looked like someone who was 48, not 98 so that was good. He was doing ok this morning. Came back home to find a car from the AirBnB across the street parked in my driveway. They moved it pretty quick after I used the word "IMPOUND" and I filed a complaint through AirBnB Neighbors. Have a date stopping by in about an hour. Need to eat a small supper. Nervous, and not sure why -- was nervous at our lunch last week too. Just want to relax this evening, with him in my arms, and forget about the rest of the last few days.
  7. Like the title says not all things in life work. It's a shame, but it's true. My desire for our new boyfriend to become more in our little family didn't come to fruition. He decided it wasn't right for him and moved on. I've talked to him, but we'll leave it here for the moment. All of this was hard on tim. Especially since he'd grown so close to Jim. tim is willing to continue on this adventure - he has a big heart and wants to make me happy - but we will see. I am aware of other things he wants to explore, more related to our lifestyle, perhaps that's the best way to go. Hearts are nothing to be played with.
  8. i’m angry and hurt, and need to get this off my chest. People will tell you that death is a part of life, it’s all part of the circle of life. Well, they’re full of crap. Death is death. And it sucks. Doesn’t matter who it is, if you lose someone you love, it sucks. Like Great Aunt Betty, the one who would sneak you that candy you loved at the family reunion—it’s a loss and it hurts. A nephew with leukemia—hurts like a punch to the gut. A nephew was hit by a car, while he was in the crosswalk? Almost unbearable pain. Very recently, a few people i know here lost family members. It was hard for them. They were both sudden. Not that having advanced warning for an impending death, makes it any easier. i mean, we all know those stories; Uncle Frank diagnosed with whatever, so everyone starts “preparing” that he’ll pass soon. Nope, doesn’t help to have that time to what, wrap your mind around it? No, don’t think so. Loss is hard, nothing really makes it easier. i have had two losses in as many weeks. My family is shattered. My brother and sister both have lost sons. One niece has lost her big brother, another niece and nephew have lost a cousin and a brother. my own youngest son will have to attend his third memorial for a peer. A peer, someone his own age, not for an elderly relative, but a person in their prime. Of my sister’s step son, someone said, “He’s in a better place.” Hell, he was in a pretty good place! Good job, a beautiful wife, and the most adorable 3-year-old son. They said similar things about my brother’s son. He died in an accident on his very first day at university. His. Very. First. Day. He was 19. He was in a very good place already. i’m angry, hurt, all of those things. Grief is very different for everyone, and that’s ok. Right now, i’m stuck in anger and hurt. i need to work past this, a little anyway, since i’m going to have to be the big sister, the oldest child, next week and do all the social niceties. Go hug someone and let them know you love them. thanks @Mikiesboy you are the best
  9. This is the discussion for my new posting Snowfalls, Fires, and Family. Summary: They had been pulled apart, their mother slowly falling into her mind, when he had been six. But now their mother had died just a month before and her will had asked for them to come together at least one last time to get what she has left behind for them. They thought they would walk away with a piece of liquidated estate and money for their own lives. They hadn't expected to find themselves coming back together as siblings. Some quick information on the story: I originally wrote this back in 2017. Before I got with my girlfriend (3 years this December 24th!), I decided that I wanted to do some holiday stories and post on Wattpad. This was one of them. This one kind of went different than what I wanted to go with it originally (lots of fighting and a not so happy ending) but then I was finding myself in a better place mentally and emotionally. As for the story, it is fully complete. Two (2) chapters of Ten (10) have been posted and I'll post the rest of the chapters at least once every couple of days. The next couple of days I'm just going to let it sit for now and let others read. It seems you guys seem to like it so far? I hope at least. I hope to hear your comments, questions and suggestions! It all helps me to grow as a writer and editor! Thank you. Quick edit: in the story there is talk of mental illness and the affects on a family. Nothing graphic but still...it does talk about it. And yes, I had my name changed to S.L. Lewis from Rose Strailo. So kind of ignore the copyright name on past and current story please? Thank you.
  10. A "transmission arm" broke early this afternoon in the city where my brother and parents live, leaving about 1/5 of the town without power (just under 10.4 thousand). Naturally, my charming brother didn't bother to text me until FOUR HOURS LATER to say that he still had power and mom & dad were with him. I hadn't had the TV on all day and hadn't heard anything about it. Aunt was without power too. Heat index there today was 108° F at 3pm. Can't find anything that gives trivial little details like why the line broke. 😕 He txt'd back a bit ago to say that mom & my Aunt had power but don't know about dad yet. Just glad that mom & dad had a place to go. Hate to think of the other elderly people in their buildings that didn't have anywhere else they could stay.
  11. Drove up to see my Aunt this morning before she passes. Mom and I went over once I got into town. There was enough of an awareness that when mom said we were there, her breathing rate changed. Almost like she was struggling to the surface. I told her to relax -- that she didn't need to respond to us, and sat holding her hand. Told her I loved her. Weren't there too long, but by the time we left her breathing had settled back into a calm and regular (if shallow) pace. Her blood pressure (top number) was in the 50's when I left to come home. They expect she'll go this weekend. My youngest Aunt is, again, holding everything together for everyone else. Just once I'd like for her to be able to be the one to fall apart -- let someone else "hold it together" to help everyone else cope.
  12. From the album: Pride Pics

    We'd just got our t-shirts and were waiting for the others to arrive to help with collecting money during the parade.

    © Caz Pedroso 2018

  13. After a few rocky weeks, our lives are returning to normal. Well, normal for us. Two working adults, with one car, mornings starting at 4:45 AM. Two kids in high school, one with a job, the other with after school commitments until 9 PM. Weekends are full of their events, family time, household chores and on and on ad nauseum. People are often shocked at that. Well, yes, it seems a lot. But it’s normal for us. Normal, now there’s a word I’m not to sure about. What is “NORMAL?” We hear about “the new normal.” Kindergarten kids have lock down and active shooter drills. “Oh, well, that’s the new normal.” More and more people are utilizing food banks, and low income housing. “That’s the new normal in this economy.” But, they aren’t normal. They’re outside the norm, aren’t they? So, is normal a fluid concept? What was normal to our great grandparents during the Great Depression wasn’t normal to our parents in the 1960’s. And it sure as hell heck isn’t normal to this mom in the 21st century! And, the definition of normal is boring, and I mean like BOOORING!! Merriam-Webster says: conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle But who wants to conform to a norm, or a type? Why? Who wants this? Aren’t we all individuals? Why do I have to conform to some outdated definition of a word that changes its meaning. Okay, okay, I know there are societal norms that we all need to follow, you know, like wearing pants when you go out in public, and not talking with food in your mouth. But really? Who wants to be normal? I live near Austin. Their motto is “Keep Austin Weird.” There’s a statue going up of a homeless man known as Leslie, who roller skated all over town in a bikini, and ran for mayor 3 times.(He actually came in second once! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Cochran) I raised my kids constantly telling them that normal is overrated. And who wants lock down drills and not being able to buy your own home “normal?” Normal sounds like an insult, “Why can’t you like chocolate like a normal person?” “Why don’t you wear a dress like a normal girl?” “Normal boys don’t take dance class.” Normal sounds so blah. Normal sounds like average, like beige, the four door sedans of the automotive world. I don’t want to be average, or blend in. Now, I can understand the concept of NORMAL, as it relates to me and my family. But it’s really an illusion, isn’t it? Because MY normal isn’t YOUR normal and it’s not HIS normal. So why should this word be applied willy nilly to all things? Is there anything that is really NORMAL anymore? Was anything ever NORMAL? And is that good, or not? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
  14. From the album: Personal

    My cousin got married 8th July, and i just had to show off how handsome he looked. Who doesn't love a man in uniform?
  15. Just gonna leave tissues on the side table for people who need it. This is why coming out is so important and that we live our authentic truths. https://www.outsports.com/2017/6/21/15851730/gay-pride-fathers-day-son-micah-porter
  16. I'm back, getting my creative juices flowing and trying to earn discreetly online. A lot has been happening at home and it's been driving me up the wall. It hasn't been the most pleasant experience and it makes me sad that I've been on and off with all my projects mainly because I'm in hiding with my family. But, I refuse to just stop and give up. I keep holding onto these little bits of myself that I feel matter. In the society I'm in, creativity is a waste of time most of the time. It's rather half-assed. I'd like to believe in the potential of a creative and adaptive mind. I'm definitely brooding something personal. Fights and arguments with my folks just fuel this fire to just be better than all of them, and hopefully step on them when the time comes. I've lost most sympathies for them, which I didn't plan and yet can't help but feel. So I came back with a few story updates. I'd been revising the flow and pacing for some of them, so I hope they're to your liking. I posted updates to my long-running series A Frigid Grasp and His Happiness. So have a read and enjoy! I'm aiming for weekly updates so please follow the stories if you enjoy them.
  17. Interesting article in today's NYT about the experience of being gay and the effects of same-sex marriage in the Southern United States. The article writes of the experiences of four couples and compares the year 2013 to present day 2015. I found the article and the included video to be quite moving and wanted to share it with you. There is an option at the end of the article to submit your own personal experiences. If anyone would like to include their own narrative about the new reality here, then you're very welcome to share (remember, no political discussions). I included the link for those who would like to read the article and watch the video. Struggling for Gay Equality in the South
  18. This cat is the most amazing pet I've ever seen. This cat drove away an attacking dog, and it's amazing. I laugh every time I watch this cat attack and chase away the dog, but I love this awesome cat. If you find similar videos of pets protecting their family and homes please post them here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI867wz93Lw
  19. From the album: My life

    with my niece.

    © I am IAN 2014

  20. Finding Home by Diana DeRicci My rating: 5 of 5 stars Sometimes, I like a feel good story. Diana DeRicci's story, Finding Home, starts out rough for our main character, Parker. He's gotten the crap kicked out of him by life. Sometimes, pride is all a person has left but Parker takes the ride and the $20 offered to him by a well-meaning older man. Even more amazingly... just a short time later, he takes the help offered by a local gay couple, one of which is a local cop, to stick around for a while. People pop up to help Parker settle in to Jasper. No one offers him a handout after the initial effort of the ride and a bit of money for food, but they certainly offer him a hand up. I loved the realism of the struggles Parker faces as he begins to stand on his own two feet once more. Diana could've given us a pat romance device of uniting Parker with his first love, and the reason for his journey on the road, but she's a better writer than that. I loved the interweaving of Parker's past life and people from it with the connections he was making in the present with Ian and Caleb's families. I adored Summer, as we were meant to, of course. Okay, so the plot moves a bit fast for all the changes and the emotional leaps for the characters. I'd have enjoyed more story and getting to know Parker and his romantic interest more as a couple. That, however, is exactly what every really good story I read leaves me wanting. I know as an author that isn't always the way it works, but as a reader, I WANT! lol All in all, I definitely recommend reading this story! Oh, and I read this outside of the series, having never read the first or second, and had no troubles keeping up with the story as a stand alone. I'm sure I might have been more familiar with a few of the other characters had I read it after them, but it wasn't necessary. View all my reviews
  21. I dunno but i’m just going to write down everything that is running through my head right now. but I honestly do not understand any of this. It started with small argument between my parents in the past year or so, slowly building up getting more and more severe over small things neither would listen to the other because the other wouldn’t listen to them. Things got worse but they concealed it from me and my little sister who is still ignorant. Slowly my dad got more and more possessive and controlling, while my mother slowly ceased to really care. They got agitated over more and more trifling subjects. It took a while but things started to look up when it seemed like my sister had a shot at getting on the junior british squad for her sport. The pair of them went to the pub, it seemed like a normal evening of mid november, but when they came back they came back separately. My mum went to go back to bed and my dad smashed open the back door and started screaming at my mum, and my mother screamed back complaining that he had kicked her in the shin. (Her lower legs were swollen at the time due to “underlying” health issues according to the doctor. So i went down to mediate the situation and remind them that my sister was asleep. I left once the situation looked under control. A short while later the shouting started again, this time more serious than before. I didn’t intervene as my mother left the house. I found out later that evening my father had threatened to kill my mother. But before this i thought everything would calm down. But i could hear smashing and crashing so i thought perhaps he’d hurt himself. So i went to see what was happening to find my dad smashing everything up, from the kitchen to the front lounge. Only to end up haveing bit of the kitchen unit lobbed at me. So i swiftly left to my room. I sorted out my room with enough space for my little sister, I got her from her room and put her near me. Cause ever fiber of my mind had judged my dad as a threat to myself and my sister. I thought maybe he’ll calm down and go to sleep. Not too long later he stormed in screaming “I’ll kill her, if she’s not back in 10 minutes. I’ll kill her. Tell her that.” It took him awhile to realised he’d scared the shit out of my sister. As soon as it was quiet enough to leave, i took my sister and we left the house. I didn’t care that it was 4 am. All I knew is my dad wasn’t sane, sober or thinking straight and a danger to myself and my sisters well being. I walked down the road with my sister and across to the local shops planning to go to my friends. Yeah i was just going to waltz into my best friends house and sleep on the sofa with my sister. but my mums friend phoned me telling me she’d phoned the police and they were coming to drop us off at hers, which is where my mum had fled too. We waited for the police, until they came. My little sister rather panicked, over what had happened was occurring. My mum decided we were going to go stay with her parents for a while so we spent almost two months there. No college for me, no school for my sister. My mother she was and emotional wreck and still is. Well both me and my sister decided we’d see him on weekends eventually. But currently they’re both bitching about the other. neither has realised that they issues upstairs arn’t going to be solved like that. You know for a while I was the sane mind, in the family. Ha yeah me Who trusts almost no one. And certainly relies on no one. But in the end I became emotionless as i was over my nans death. Yeah i liked her. But for some reason I had still have no feeling on the event and what occurred. But you know its not just that, my mother is trying to be someone she’s not and is now seriously suffering from depression and barely getting anything done. My father he’s spinning a web of words into my little sister ear, he can try all he likes to spin his web with me but i know the trick as i taught it to myself to knock the bullies down in school. So now my father probably doesn’t realise he’s polluting my sisters mind and she is saying thoughtless things around my mother that is sinking her deeper into depression. What are my feeling on this, I think about what each of them has done to wrong me. Then tally them up. But for some reason on this whole matter i have no emotions, all I want to do is LEAVE. but i know i can’t leave my sister to sit there and be broken by both of my parents shattered emotions, words & deceit. But when it comes down to it both my parents have made me feel like i’m worthless, and never going to amount to anything. It is one thing to be told these words by your peers but when your own parents say the words, it becomes a part of you. That you never escape. And to be honest, ever since my father backed up the word of my peers. I’ve felt like even if i try i’m going to fail. So why bother smiling and trying and continueing if you're only going to fail and never amount to anything. I’ll tell you something if it wasn’t for my best friend who fell in to anxiety issues and depression. I wouldn’t be here. Cause everyday I wake up thinking how stupid I am how fat, worthless and how i’m never going to make it through life, every single Stupid, Dumb or things i’ve done wrong throughout my life flashes through my mind. And everytime I try to sleep the same things flash through my mind till i have to cry myself to sleep. But that one thing that keeps me going everyday, is that I care for my friends before I care for myself. So I try to forget, everything that makes me upset, feel worthless all for the sake of my friend I smile and pretend i’m okay. I have this issue that I can’t cry when people are around, because after all I can’t trust or rely on anyone but myself. So I try my best never to look like these are the thoughts running through my head. So in the end I just become numb, neutral. It looks like i don’t care but I care, I do. They think no matter what we say you’ll be fine, it won’t affect you. they’re words and actions sting more than anything else. In the end the person I can’t forgive the most is myself. So today I wrote this to tell you all, because you can’t alway not explain sometimes you need to explain it to another to explain it to yourself. When I was younger i wanted to kill myself. Today I just want to leave and start anew, somewhere away from where I grew up and different from how i’ve lived till now. If you read this thanks, just for reading it. Just knowing that someone had read about my situation from myself I hope it lift my burden slightly. Cause I know that just writing this has lifted it a lot.
  22. Okay, I have been in physical therapy for two weeks now, and have finally found my first bit of relief. Yesterday, my therapy took a new direction. In addition to the chiropractor , I have begun trigger point therapy. Basically, they insert needles into the muscles of my back and inject something to force the muscles to relax. I hadn't realized how tight the muscles were, but a day later my back is in constant ache mode. I will take that as a success. At work one of the women I really get along with is leaving. Her position is open and I am applying for it. It would mean a set schedule, no closings, and Saturdays off. It would be the closest I come to working a 9 to 5 job while in retail. Wish me luck. Dad is doing okay. My second cousin is up to see the family, her friends, and take care of a few odds and ends before her wedding. With my back an hour is the outer limits of what I can do right now. Traveling down to Western Pennsylvania for her wedding isn't something I can do by next month. So I got to see her today. A friend is going through what can only be a really rough patch in his life. No one should have to deal with the blows he has had recently. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Meanwhile, another friend has graced me with a package. I love and look forward to a card so you know I was like a little kid at Christmas. Thank you Jo Ann. Your thoughtfulness is appreciated. To my friends, well beware started another round of postcards. Stay well and be happy.
  23. (Some rambling words after two glasses of wine and some dark chocolate. You have been warned.) Father’s Day has gotten me into a “what if” mood. My younger brothers are both fathers now and enjoying the pleasures of suburban family life. Many of their activities center on their kids with swim meets, violin recitals, girl scouts. They and their families generally seem happy and content with no more or less stress than most middle class Americans. Their happiness is well-deserved and I hope for their sakes, they are truly happy. I’d hate to think of them putting on a façade for me and others. When I see their lives, I can’t help wondering why I never wanted that. The three of us had happy childhoods. Our parents loved being parents. They took an interest in our lives, in our worlds. Their greatest gift to us was treating us as individuals; we were people, not just children. Given how things turned out for me, it was something of a blessing that I didn’t have a desire for children of my own. I think it would be a frustrated desire, one that would be exceedingly difficult to fulfill. Sometimes I question why that impulse to parent passed me by. Tonight is one of those questioning, reminiscing nights. I remember the first time I discussed the possibility of parenthood with one of my brothers. I was 22 and my brother was 19. We were home from college at Thanksgiving. Somewhat impulsively we decided to go after the summit of Mt. Tabaguache on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Colorado was in a drought, the ski areas were relying on manmade snow, so even though it was winter, the climb wouldn’t be a true winter ascent. We both climbed regularly in the summer. We also had some winter ascents under our belts, but always with climbing partners more experienced than either of us. The early part of the climb was perfect. We made our way up the rocky gulch at a moderate pace and stopped for lunch at the top of a ravine. We were in shirt sleeves on the unseasonably warm day and taking in the view back to the east. We got on the subject of family and my brother asked me if I wanted children. “No. Never.” I was vehement. I couldn’t imagine myself as a parent. The task seemed too monumental. I could never go through what my parents had gone through with us. “Why, do you?” “Yeah. I do,” he said. “I think I’d be a good father.” Who thinks about that at the age of 19? I thought. I didn’t say it out loud, but I was really flabbergasted that my kid brother was thinking about parenthood at such a young age. I thought for sure he was about to tell me that his girlfriend was pregnant. We continued upward and onto a plateau we would need to cross before making the final push to the rocky summit. The winds were horribly strong. We were walking straight into them, and I remember the air was moving so quickly past my mouth, it was hard to breathe in. I had to capture the air moving past me, snatch it into my lungs. We fell behind schedule, but the weather was clear and we pressed on. Time at the summit was a quick affair. It was cold, as expected, so we got our trophy snapshots and immediately started back down the way we’d come. Traversing the plateau was easier with the wind at our back, but it was so strong, we still had to brace ourselves against it, particularly when a large gust would come up. It was noisy too. Talking was impossible. Getting back to the top of the ravine was a relief. It had been a long day, and it wasn’t over. It was about this time that both of us realized we’d neglected to consider a crucial fact. The daylight hours at that time of the year were very short. While in most respects, the day had been no different than the summer day hikes to which we were accustomed, we were facing the likelihood that we were not going to be back to the truck before it was dark. Taking inventory of our supplies, we realized how truly foolish we had been. We had flashlights as part of our emergency gear, but neither of us had been good about keeping fresh batteries. The temperature would drop drastically once the sunlight was gone and we had not brought clothing suitable to spend a winter night in the Rockies. We consulted a map and determined that a neighboring ravine would give us a quicker descent. Once off the rocks, we’d need to find the creekbed at the bottom and follow it back to where we’d parked the truck. Our thinking was to get down the ravine while it was daylight. Chances of turning an ankle or other injury was greatest there. We’d rather stumble through woods than rocks at night. As predicted, the dusk was deep by the time we got to the bottom of the ravine. Entering the woods, it was completely dark. My flashlight was no use at all. We relied on the weak light from my brother’s, turned on at sporadic intervals, as we tried to find a likely path to the creek. At this point I was incredibly concerned in that way only an eldest sibling can be. I felt responsible for our predicament, probably irrationally so. But I was the more experienced climber and the oldest. I should have been the one thinking through our supplies, thinking ahead about the shortened day. Had I even looked at the night’s weather report? What if snow was forecast? I couldn’t remember. So much could go wrong before we found our way to the truck. I didn’t verbalize my concerns; I just kept picking my way along and listening for the sound of the creek. I kept thinking about the earlier conversation we’d had about parenthood. My brother already thinking about being a father, thinking about his future in that way. He’d have children, a legacy. He had things about himself he wanted to pass on. It was foreign thinking to me and strange, and I felt this incredible responsibility in that moment to make sure I got him back to the truck and back to town. We found the creek, of course. It took a long time before we could locate a point we thought it was safe to cross. By that time we were quite disoriented. We then found the road we’d driven in on but weren’t sure if the trailhead where we were parked was up the road or down. After some more walking about, we located the truck. Given our ages, by the time we were 30 minutes down the road we felt like we’d had a grand adventure. My brother’s girlfriend wasn’t pregnant. He would be 32 before he became a father for the first time. Today, he’s living his dream. He’s a stay-at-home dad. My sister-in-law has the high speed job. He helps take care of the business end of running her clinics, but nearly all of his work is done from a home office. He’s the one getting my niece and nephew off to school and to their assorted appointments and busy lives. Sitting here tonight, I can’t say I envy him his life. It’s not that. I’m happy for him. I don’t want what he or my other brother has in the sense of a wife and family. I guess I envy the sense of purpose their lives have. Maybe I envy the normalcy, the ability to fit in with everyone else. Lacking a desire to fill that parenting role, that urge to procreate, what should I be doing with my life? I have fun. I set goals for myself, mostly in the area of sports. I don’t really care about a legacy in the sense of leaving something behind when I’m gone. It just seems I should be doing something more than what I am; that I should want something more; aspire to something. Patience. Patience. Patience. I use to counsel myself to be patient when I was going through transition and things seemed to be taking too long. I guess that’s good advice to give myself now. Be patient with myself and that sense of purpose will arrive. The answer is up ahead somewhere. (Meanwhile, I am looking foward to a week of reading the Choices Anthology. I went through a couple of fantastic stories tonight. GA had a great group of writers.)
  24. This is one of the places I've been hiding: prepare for... laughs.
  25. I am one of those writers who enjoys a challenge. Whether it is a new world to create, a love story, a mystery, or just breathing new life into an old tale. This story came about when I actually asked in the chat room about what fairy tale I should take on and recreate. I'd already done Snow White for a prompt by Lugh, and also taken a twisted take on Sleeping Beauty for a prompt I had created. Elezbed suggested I take a look at Little Red Riding Hood. So I now had the bare bones for my work. Welcome to the world that Dama and her family lives in. In the dark future the world is no longer controlled by humanity. The creatures that were once thought of as imaginary are proven to be real. In fact, not only are they real they now rule the world and are not sweet and kind about it. This world is dark and there are elements of it every child is never told of until after they have become an adult. Vampires, Werewolves, and Elves control the world. What they command will happen without question. To disobey is a death sentence. Here children had better listen to their parents for if they don't they will end up dead or worse. Chapter one is now up in this four chapter story. If you have any comments or questions feel free to post them here or on the story pages. Thank you.
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