Saturday, August 17, 2013

Precious Moments

Beautiful day today.  And the weather was nice, too.  

Friday, August 9, 2013


This morning didn't start out well. I work up cranky, congested, and late. After deciding to work from home instead of dragging my stuffy nose and bad attitude to the office, I pulled on a sweatshit and baseball hat and headed out to get coffee from the closest coffee shop. My first meeting was at 8am, so I was going to have to haul ass to get to the coffee shop and back in time. Caffeine will always win over punctuality.

10 minutes later, I was delighted to see the drive-through lane at Dunkin' Donuts was exceptionally short. I yelled my order into the static box (extra large coffee extra hot with cream, please) and dug through my purse for exact change.

But guess what!

When I got to the window, the clerk let me know that the car in front of me paid for my coffee. I looked up and saw a lady in a red SUV in front of me, waving and giving me a thumbs-up as she drove away. I waved back, dumbfounded, and offered her a ridiculously huge smile. I took my free coffee from the clerk and felt the irritation of my cranky morning melt away. Two points for humanity!

Talk about small things making a big difference. A stranger spent $2.11 on me this morning, and she expected nothing in return. Maybe a stranger did something similar for her and she wanted to share that feeling with someone else. I'll never know. But I know that this is something I'll talk about for a long time, and (more importantly!) something I'll do myself in the future.

I drove home, smiling, singing along with the radio, and ready to deal with whatever my 8am meeting had to throw at me (and throw stuff it did...)

What amazing things will you do with $2.11 today?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


This memory came racing out of my Repository of the Repressed faster than I could slam it back down.  It took my breath away.  Here's what happened:

My beautiful daughter asked me if I'd ever had stitches.  This question came after I'd mentioned to her that she has a tiny scar on her chin from the stitches she'd had three years ago.  She'd fallen off the playground equipment at her school when she was about four years old, and the incident resulted in a cut deep enough to warrant stitches.

"Momma, did you ever have stitches?"

Well, sure.  Who hasn't?  There were two episodes that I recall clearly:  one set of stitches in my head after slamming head-first into the corner of a wall, and a second set after my parents' evil, shitty dog bit me on the face (I hate dogs--that dog in particular).

But I'd actually had three sets of stitches.  This third set I'd somehow forgotten about--shoved it so deeply back that it was a shock to feel this memory come to the surface.  I have another set of stitches in my head.

This set came courtesy of my mother.  My mother was (is?) a dedicated alcoholic, but she sure didn't appreciate it when people brought her alcoholism to her attention.  I'll fast-forward through the gloom and doom of living with a drunk (well, make that TWO drunks) and get to the point of this post.

I had once again had to bum a ride home from school because dear mom failed to show up to get me.  When I got home, she was (of course) drunk and (of course) passed out on the sofa.  My dad was (of course) drinking whisky from a bottle and told me (of course) to 'fuck off' when I asked why no one bothered to pick me up from school.  Another Wednesday night.  I think of dad as a 'functional alcoholic'--I mean, he did usually go to work.

But here's where my usual Wednesday took a turn.

My mother (as usual) came-to around 8pm and started walking around like nothing had happened.  I was in the basement, doing my laundry and trying to tidy up.  I (of course) found a few new fifths of vodka hidden behind the washing supplies.  This pissed me off for a few reasons:

1) I had handed over ALL of my money to get our phone turned back on.  I worked part-time and pretty much every cent I made went to bailing out my family in one way or another.  And you know what?  That didn't bother me much (at the time).  I mean, it's all I knew.  Plus, my father was constantly reminding me that we could be living in a much less-desirable area, putting me in a much less-desirable high school, so I owed it to them to help out with utilities, etc.  Whatever.  Anyway--the fact that I'd once again handed over my entire paycheck and dear mom STILL used our limited cash for booze...well that just pissed me off.

2) I'd just bummed a ride home from my friend's mom, forcing me to come up with yet another lie about why my mother wasn't there to pick me up herself.  I'm sure I said something clever (not really), like she had a last-minute appointment.  I hated hiding this secret behind lies.

So, I had just about HAD it with this bullshit.  So, I took one of the fifths of Smirnoff upstairs.  Found my mother.

I opened one of the fifths and took a long swig. Mind you, I was 15 or maybe 16 years old...

Then I spat the whole swig in her face.

Mind, you, this was when fifths were still sold in GLASS containers.  Oops....

Dear mom, while wiping the burning vodka from her eyes with one hand, grabbed the bottle from me with the other hand.  And in a moment that feels like it slowed down to a crawl, she hit me over the head with it. With a fucking glass bottle.

The bottle didn't shatter--it just splintered.  Gotta hand it to the boys are Smirnoff, they make a heavy-duty bottle.  My soft head, however, didn't appreciate the blow and started bleeding like crazy.  After staring stupidly at my dear mother for a moment (or an eternity, I don't know), I went to get a paper towel for the blood.  Blood was fucking EVERYWHERE.  Blood had saturated the collar of my shirt and was running down my back.  It was warm and felt thick--head wounds bleed like crazy.  And stupidly all I could think was, "shit, this is one of my best school shirts."  I was so grateful that my brother wasn't home.

I didn't bother even telling my dear father that his loving wife had just hit me with a fucking glass vodka bottle and that I was bleeding like crazy.  I mean, it's not like he was fit to drive me for help, so why bother?

After about 30 minutes of bleeding through a roll of paper towels, I started to feel...woozy.  I realized I probably shouldn't allow this bleeding to continue.  So, I crept into my parents' bedroom, where the other phone was, and called my friend's stepmom.  She had divorced a drunk a few years back and knew what my home situation was.  I trusted her.  I told her that I thought I needed stitches due to an "accident."

Friend's stepmom took me to the Emergency Room.  I told her what happened.  I begged her to not tell the attending physicians--I knew they'd have to call child protective services and, as much as my homelife sucked, I really didn't want the alternative.  So I muttered some bullshit about a glass tray falling on my head from an overhead cabinet, then sat silently while the attending physician cleaned the splinters of glass out of my head and stitched the wound shut. When he was done, he suggested that next time I use a ladder to get heavy glass objects down from cabinets.

Then friend's stepmom drove me home.  I have no idea if my parents even noticed I'd left.

I didn't want this memory to come back.  I really don't appreciate it.  But you know--whatever.  I will go and read my beautiful daughters a bedtime story tonight.  I will tuck them in.  I will tell them I love them.  I will take them to school tomorrow and the take myself to work.  I will believe that my past has built me into the person I am, and the person I am is A-OK.

I'm pretty sure this is why fifths now come in plastic bottles. ;-)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hi Blog!

Well, it's been a while, hasn't it?  Yeah, I know...everyone's given up.  But you know, life and stuff....

I confess that I'm a bit old school and still carry a journal around with me.  I have a bunch of mini-stories and general observations written in nearly-illegible handwriting.  Sometimes writing feels more real when you are actually writing (not typing) with a really good pen.  I have such a pen.  :)

A few topics that I'm hoping to get caught up on via my blog here:

* My new house.  I love it and feel very fortunate.  David and I have worked hard and done a lot of planning to make this a reality.  My in-laws live minutes away, which has been such a joy for my daughters...they love nothing more than spending time at Nana and Poppa's house.

* My mother's new home.  When we moved into our house, my mother moved into her new senior apartment.  Unlike David's family, my mother lives on the other side of town.  It's perfect.

*  My gorgeous nephew.  I have a lovely nephew who I just love love love to pieces.  I'm sad that he (and his parents) live over 600 miles away, but thanks to FaceTime, I get to see him in action from time to time.

* My job.  I had a really good talk with my VP several weeks ago about what I want to do when I grow up.  My nearly-illegible journal is full of pity reflections on that topic.  I'll tidy it up so no one vomits over the volume of sentimental bullshit.  Heh...

(I like that I can write "bullshit" in my blog.)

*  God, religion, and all that jazz.  I've been doing a lot of reading and reflection on God, religion, and what part I want God and religion to play in my life.  I feel like I need to get my head on straight before I can provide my girls any kind of guidance on spirituality, have life/death conversations, and talk about secular vs religious roles in our culture.  It's a very difficult journey that challenges everything I learned in my religious training as a child.

Anyway, for the loyal few who still check my blog from time to time, now you have a few hints as to what you can expect.

I am happy.  I am fortunate.  But I still have shit to figure out.  Let's see where this goes...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Moving On!

So, we're packing up and moving to a new house. Yep, it's true. It's crazy. Trying to pack up a house with two "helpers" running around is pure insanity. But we're getting there. I have been journaling about some of the more interesting parts of this process, so I'm going to try and get some of my entries posted soon.

More to come! :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Is that the REAL Easter Bunny, Momma?"

Erin says, "tell me, momma, what am I supposed to be smiling about here? The seven-foot rodent, the fake flowers, the smell of mothballs? And what is sister so happy about?!" ;-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I've been thinking about things that feel safe...jotting some notes. Here's what my subconscious has produced so far:

I think it's winter that gets me thinking about feeling safe, being safe. What feels more safe and secure than snuggling under a blanket with your head resting on a fluffy pillow? What makes a parent feel better than wrapping her chilly child in a toasty warm comforter with woolly socks and watching her drift off to sleep? I hear the furnace kick on and know that my family will be warm in spite of the 7 degree temp outside. I make a pot of decaf at 10pm and watch the snow pile up on my frozen deck outside. It just feels good. In control.

Maybe it's me...I rarely felt a sense of "safe" as a kid/young adult--I was always waiting for the bottom to drop. And drop it did, many times. I think my brother and I walked an emotional tightrope for 20+ years. Perhaps feeling safe as an adult, and making sure my children feel safe, is that much more important because I know so well how disturbing UNSAFE feels.

I don't buy that though. I mean, who doesn't have some sort of shitty childhood story? I think this notion of Safe is something we all look for regardless of our past.

More to come. What makes you feel safe?