A New Day

Great song to get your morning going! Light Years by Pearl Jam

 

I sit here early Saturday morning listening to Halo, our family dog bark outside the window. The sun creeps threw the half opened shades casting a shadow across the dining room table.  The laundry is tumbling in the dryer and the house is quiet.

Grandpa and Grandma have the twins for the weekend and it is so very quiet, so quiet one can hear the dripping from the bathroom sink.

I am paused in this moment and feel so grateful for all of the things in my life.  I am so lucky to have my family and my husband’s family, to have such a wonderful husband and my sister as my best friend.

The smell of fresh cut grass flows in from the cracked window, flowers bloom, and Spring time brings new growth on our farm.

The orchard is beautiful out my window, endless bounty if she is taken care of…fresh new growth, bright green leaves, and this year’s crop on its way.DSC_2620

A Shout out to Teachers!!

I have been thinking a lot lately about teachers. I just signed up and am now enrolled for a week long writing workshop with my high school creative writing teacher…for me learning should never end.  Granted, you have a number of years to  be taught in a school setting.

It’s an empowering feeling that comes when you complete the task at hand, the report, the project, and for me at 39-I will never stop learning-Wether it be how to be a better writer, mom, wife, bookkeeper, photographer, I will never quit learning. I believe learning is important to all people at all ages.

I think about the things that people say about my father as a teacher.  He has been retired for a few years now but I still run into people who ask about him and share with me the wonderful stories of how he impacted their lives.  I actually had my dad as a teacher, years ago and I remember loving watching him (he always looked like he was so happy-elated really, to be a teacher) but I also remember him being very strict with me.  I understand why now because he wouldn’t show any special treatment with his own daughter but I remember thinking he was a great teacher!

Fast forward to today, I have two 12 yr old boys who each struggle in their own subjects and with different social situations. I lean on their teacher’s to tell me what is going on, to help me help them with homework, to let me know when they are having a bad day or a good day.  I expect them to move mountains for my children and they do!

I also believe some teachers see me walk down the hall and want to run like hell to their classrooms and lock the doors.  🙂 I can often become emotional about my children (after all, they are my kids and they deserve the best). Their growth in school is something I feel I need to be actively involved in because I have no control about what it is happening when they are in school.  Again, I rely on the teachers.  So, for any of you who have known me as a parent and you have had my child in your class, I am not crazy however, I am fighter for their education, I am also a fighter for you (teachers), if any teacher came to me about something they needed in their class, I would go out of my way to help them personally get it.  If they needed a voice, I would give mine.

Teachers, I need you to do your best and have the supplies you need to be the best teachers you can be! Down to my core, I believe that the teacher/parent relationship is so important.  So, to some of you, I am sorry if you ever had to pass me the box of Kleenex in your classroom. I am passionate about my children’s education and you deliver that to them!

We have been blessed to have some amazing teachers for our boys.  Teachers that go above and beyond, they embrace their roll as their educators, they do not give them the answers they work to help show them the way, these educators deserve more-every year we pack their classrooms with more and more students, less supplies, and less time for hands-on learning…..there is so much testing and standards that MUST be met.

I wonder, if we gave teachers the standards to meet for a year and didn’t have to worry about specific standardized tests–what would happen in those classrooms.  I believe those teachers would guide their students to fly….if they met the requirements set by the state but they were not limited by how they fulfilled those requirements.  Just think…what that would do for the teachers and most of all, for our students and children!? The entire classroom would light on fire with learning and ideas….minds asking questions and exploring new and different subjects that just don’t fit in to today’s curriculum.

Teachers are an incredible resource, they are a special kind of person. These people are rare! When you find a good one, try to figure out how you can keep them in your child’s life, so they develop a bond and the student will always know they can go there (to that teacher).  They will know and feel that that specific teacher will always have their back. They give and give without expecting anything in return.  We need them, more of the them, and it seems every year the number of actual teachers, we have, drops.

So, if you get the chance and see a teacher-your childhood teacher, or teacher’s you  have now, make sure to thank them and let me know how important they are to you and your world. I know I need to thank the teacher’s that help my boys’ every day. Without teachers, what would our children and future look like?

 

Everyone Has a Past

I will never forget the first time.  The first time I realized I was in love.  I believe there are different types of love and different ways to love people because no two people are the same.  Peo…

Source: Everyone Has a Past

To My Grandfather…

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I hold you in my hand

your silent ashes dust my palm

fist clenched, I couldn’t release you,

colorful petals to guide you

beneath me, Lake Cushman

above me, a cloudless blue shy

around me, an icy wind without you

everyone who loved you…

A memory of your still body

I stared at you for countless hours

but now, your body does not exist

my angry hand loosens around you

I wanted one last goodbye, your whiskers scratching my face

but I missed it…

remembering the last words we shared

Today, I face life outside you

wondering what our words would’ve been in our last moments

making myself promises because of you

striving for goals to prove myself…”write,” you said.

I can’t guarantee mistakes won’t be made

but I will live on with your name honorably

Not ready, I let you fall between my fingers…

I put you to rest surrounded by family

and the wind carries you to the surface of the water

I was finally home.

I came to this place with boxes, clothes in suitcases, shopping bags stuffed full with everything I needed access too on a daily basis.  Everything I had to my name came in Rubbermaid containers…some of which hadn’t been opened since high school.  They had been moved from colleges, attics, dorms, houses, basements, the home our babies first lived in, and then moved again, to the farm.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I knew I could trust my husband on blind faith that everything would work out.  Don’t hold your breath…everything has worked out so far!! But we have tons of time left to screw it up! HA!

We are so luck and blessed to be a part of this legacy this parents created years ago.  I am not going to lie-it gets lonely for me. I am surrounded by everything beautiful, everything that everyone is so jealous of, but you know women…they never are quite satisfied.  Today, I can say this farm is everything I ever dreamed it could be.

I have two amazing 12 year old boys, who yes, act up at times. They are polite, kind, loving, generous, well behaved, for the most part–not like some other kids we know that after an hour with them we want to drown them!  (Understand, this is a joke!) My boys are helpful-they vacuum, do the dishes, clean their rooms, do the laundry, work in the yard, help out on the hysters, 4-wheelers, and check the traps in the orchard. I could not ask for better children and this is because, of course, they have two wonderful parents (HA!) but also because of our families.  Most families don’t have both sets of parents near, practically fighting over them.  Everyone wants “their” time…..is that a wonderful problem to have or what…a wonderful gift to have, I say!

There is so much to complain about in life but does all that little shit matter….when you have family, food on the table, a home, and more family-a loving husband, my parents, his parents, his brothers (and Jaimy, damn it-marry her, already) and my siblings with their kids.  My brother and sister who have given my kids, cousins!! I always loved my cousins growing up……I still do, but life changes!! Today, I say-just be satisfied in this moment!

Moving to this farm was very hard for me, having my in-laws closer than neighbors, trying to figure out where I fit out here, in this dream land my husband was living in…..fulfilling his dream of work and raising our boys on the farm.

Somehow, in someway, moving here almost 10 years ago I found my voice again.

It was always here hiding inside me….being called out daily. Always, I stuffed it back down deep inside over and over, until it broke free.

A certain someone, Brittney Hall, kicked my ass in gym one day.  I moved slowly for weeks, sore everywhere, places I didn’t know I could be sore, and her positive outlook and driven personality-broke down my wall.  I remember sitting down after one of the classes she tried to kill me in, I was looking out the window, raining falling, so sore…..I leaned back, closed my eyes…..and my left hand found my black roller ink pen and I started to write again. My pen couldn’t keep up with my words, I wrote for six hours straight that day……. listen to this song by Andra Day called, Rise Up! (I would put it here for you to listen to but I don’t know how to do this….damn technology!)  This song, is again in thanks to, Brittney Hall.

Morning, afternoon, and evening I continued my writing, crying, I wrote the ink clean out of two pens!

I knew that day, I was finally home!

USS IOWA

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I walked up the large, steep, steel ramp. I slammed my foot down and it vibrated up my leg.  I was forced to take a silly picture against a  green screen and I was given a map. Yellow arrows were pointed out on the floor to me by a Vet. His jacket covered with patches, three metals, and a cap he wore with honor, tipped down over his left eye.  The wrinkles around his sunken eyes and creases at the corner of his smile pointed me ahead, I wanted to stop and sit, ask him questions, listen to him talk about those years on this ship.  I smiled and said thank you without looking back.

I left my heart sitting with him on that bench….now a retired director on a ship he loved and served his life on-no one would ever understand where he had been. Today, tourists walk by excited and busy without even seeing him.  This man of honor and steel.

I followed the yellow arrows around and under, up stairs and down stairs, in bunk rooms, in senior officers rooms, kitchens, mess halls, the Captain’s quarters. I peered through the same port holes, ran my hand down the rough steel exterior of a gun that I couldn’t possibly image going off. I laid on a bunk….three high and once in the bunk, I could not get out or down.  How could a full grown man fit in that bunk?

The steps, the stairs, the arrows, getting lost even with the arrows and the map, the history that was in front of me and behind me, so much life once happened on this ship….everything around me, underneath me…..I couldn’t breath, couldn’t catch my breath, I was so quiet, I could hear everything. Tears rolled down my face…

I was so moved. I could hear mates shouting , I could feel the exhaustion in me trying to imagine what these men and women sacrificed for us, for our country, the emotional burden of what it might be like without a family, I stood on the port side of the ship, wind on my face and whispered, “thank you.”

As I followed the arrows back to the exit ramped, I shook hands with every officer I passed-making sure to look into their eyes.  Without saying any words. Their eyes told me years of stories. They showed me their wounds, their losses and their wins and how proud they were to be a officer on the USS IOWA.

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A Silk Tank and Cowboy Boots

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I spent the day getting ready.  Primping, finding just the right clothes, and imagining his eyes when they met mine.  Tight denim clung to my hips, cowboys that amused him, and a silk tank sunk low in a V to just above my breasts. I knew he would peak at any moment. He wanted me and I wanted him with the same urgency.

I checked myself one last time in the rearview mirror…nerves fluttered from my throat to my toes and I could hardly swallow.  All I had to do was get out of the car, my hand trembled as I reached for the handle……swallow…..deep breath…. and finally the warm summer air swirled around me. Engulfed in the evening sunset, I grabbed my cooler from the back of the car and came around the cabin and there he was.

Our eyes met but he did not come over to me.  I talked to everyone before it seemed that we made our way together by force. I hugged him, I was shaking, he trembled and I could feel his soft sweaty palms through my silk shirt. We both wanted to hold on but even then it may have seemed a second to long.

He gave me a cold one and moved back around to the other side of the fire pit.  He kept his distance but every time I looked at him, he was looking at me. The same smile and spark in those blue eyes.

It had been years. So long since we looked at each other, saw each other’s eyes, and how it felt when just the two of us looked at each other.  So long……. since we talked and spent years talking, and not enough time showing each other how much we loved each other.

In an all consuming way, where nothing seemed to fit without the other.  Somehow, we carried on along side each other…watching and waiting for the other to take the first step.  There was never a first step.  Maybe a few seconds of hands touching, a mere kiss on the cheek, but later much later things changed.  Things evolved and it became clear to me.

The moment I knew, I came back from a run.  There was a  wet mist in the air.  I was feeling defeated by my week, all alone, and my mind found him waiting in the dark corners. I stretched, and rested after my shoes pounded pavement and it started to rain.  The kind of rain that washes away  your soul…my hair matted wet on my shoulders, my clothes stuck to every curve in my body like glue and just like that, I knew.

I wanted him and I needed him.

Forever.

 

 

Stay or Go

Sometimes life is complicated.  Everything whirling around like the inside of a tornado. So, fast, you don’t dare look inside.  There is no simply reason why people drift in and out of our lives. But each time for me, it gets a little more difficult to move on, to let go, and say goodbye. Some times, it’s worth it to work at other times it isn’t. It ‘s easier to move on… but it still hurts.

Lately, I have been going back and forth about my friendships.  The people I used to think were my dear friends have drifted-life happens, kids happen, but I think it is a choice to let our friendships go.  Friendships need to be nurtured, taken care of, treasured and it doesn’t mean getting together every weekend, to me, its remembering the little things that show them and their family you are thinking of them.  It is a kindness that you don’t have to work at, it just comes naturally.

Recently, I have realized there are very few friends in my life that I can see on a planned or unplanned basis where we literally don’t skip a beat when we see each other.  We pick up where we left off and the laughter and closeness….begins….this may last for a few short hours or the length of the weekend but these friends I cherish!  They will always be there. I will never be able to tell them what they mean to me…but I plan to show them for the rest of their lives and mine.

I am a firm believer in being grateful and tell people what they mean to me. After all, life if short.  As a writer, I don’t want anything to be left un-said. I want all of my “tribe” to know who they are and what they mean to me.  I want to stop putting energy into things and people that just drag me down….after all, again-life is too short. Feeling pressured or stress to do something because of a friend is just not right, in my mind we respect each other’s opinions, each other’s values, and what is right for them…is what is ultimately best for them.

I strive to be better but as I am finally tackling my dreams head on…..just going for it has given me strength I didn’t know I had. I know I am doing what I want and what is right for my family and myself and I refuse to settle anymore.  I know I can do anything!! I AM!!

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Fleeting Highway 126

My face is in his hands, he told me to run with it, Kiss on the move-

Thumbs attract to highway, like love pulls skin on the shoulder. My name

perched on his lips. We peddled until blisters rose like moons on our heels.

Dust and sweat slicked our legs, sun touched our arms.

Long stretches of empty hills, horizon mirrored asphalt-

his body tight and flexed.

For miles, no cars, around dry corners, little conversation.

Silent, I imagined us, back to back in wheat fields that rustled around

around our bodies-

Broken, you found me-captured,

you helped me fly. Through dust and sweat,

surrounded by dry rugged trails-

You became my moon.

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