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Drowning

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I go to the river often to center myself. It works amazingly well when I can’t make it to the ocean. Recently, I was going through some stuff. I hit a rough patch, and was trying to find my way out. I sat on a bench and prayed: Please God, show me the path you want me to be on, help me get on it. Show me the way.

The water was running rapidly in the distance. Maybe not white water rafting rough, but rough enough. The river is higher than I’ve ever seen it, thanks to the wet winter we finally had.

And here I am praying. Not knowing what to do. Light starts burning through my eyelids and I opened my eyes…. to see the picture above. My first thought was “Not that path, Lord, I can’t swim.”

No, I did not get into the water. I was too scared. And pretty sure that wasn’t my path. In the morning, I was telling the story to Dad, thinking it was just a cute story. He had another answer. “It’s not the water, Wyndie, it’s the light. You’re meant to bring the light to people.”

I wasn’t expecting that. Especially since it makes so much sense. When I write my cards, I call it “sending out my ray’s of sunshine.” People seem to like them as much as I enjoy sending them out.

But the whole situation made me start to wonder: how many times have I felt like I was drowning, with no help in sight…. only to learn later it had been there all along? Sometimes its a matter of interpretation, sometimes we just need a little time.

It was comforting to sit on the river’s edge and talk to God. Even when I thought his answer was something I wasn’t sure I could do. Just sitting and talking with Him helped me sort myself out.

Keep on keeping on, my lovelies.

I’m trying to be back on a more consistent basis. We shall see how it goes 🙂

 

Uncle Mark #wemissyou

You were involved in some many firsts, although not *that* one lol. You were the first grown up friend we made, one outside of family, school or church. 

You called us the Katzenjammer Kids.

We called you Uncle Mark.

Which is utterly ridiculous because you were only 5 years older than us.

But you had a house. We were in our early twenties, and that seemed so far away. That’s the only thing I can think of, because you were wholly and unapologetically there for us. 

We met at Danny’s, of all places. In Milpitas, off Calaveras. It was our non bar hangout, and your dinner stop on your commute home from work. I still order the Super Bird, with a side of ranch. Dipping it makes all the difference,

You weren’t one of my college buddies, but we talked about everything. From motorcycles to midevil knights, books and bars. Your interests were so wide ranging, I think you could talk to anyone about everything. 

You found love, and lost love. Always painfully, and sadly, once, tragically. And yet you still believed, still put yourself out there. And found it again, with Lyn. I could tell when I met her that she was going to be good for you. That twinkle was back in your eye. You, Sir Knight, had found a Lady worthy of your wooing and you enjoyed it.

I didn’t make it to your funeral. Damp, winding roads scared me too much. Instead, I did something I know you’ll approve of. I went and spoiled my great nephew, visiting from afar and sicker than a dog. He napped while I dropped the stuff off, but spoiling doesn’t happen because you need approval. It happens because they need to be spoiled. 

Regina and I will miss you terribly, Uncle Markypoo.But we know that when you see you again, you’ll share all the best spots with us and have some amazing stories for us.

Thank you Terrible Minds

Had a great date night with the boy child, and I owe it to Chuck Wendig.
I get notifications in my email on blog posts by the author, Chuck Wendig. I love his blog, it’s funny, real and NSFW. Yesterday, he posted a flash fiction challenge ( which he does most Fridays) and you can find it here

 When we went in to Strings (one of our favorites…. yummy pasta), I brought in a tablet of paper. We sat down, and for the past month or so, the princeling has been playing on his phone while we eat. This is not ok.

The boy child loves many things, and storytelling is one of them. In the flash fiction challenge mentioned above, you have to create your own monster. Not a rehash of a goblin, orc  or nessie. Your own monster. 

Thursday night, the princeling asked me why I never write his story ideas. I don’t have the heart to tell him that mommy’s writing is not built that way. I’m not a Tolkien, Martin or Hobbs that can weave large complex stories with ease. I’m light and fluffy with a sometimes dark turn, and I’m OK with that.

We sat down, and I handed the book to him. “There’s a writing challenge and we’re going to do it together.”

His little eyes lit up. When I told him about the challenge, he looked at me and said in a very soft voice… “Goblins?”  

“No, it can’t be anything ever written about before. Not in movies, in books or video games. Completely new.”

He grinned at me and said “oh, that’s easy”. 

As he drew and told me about his monster… I got chills. No lie. Some of his descriptions were chillingly beautiful. We discussed the monster over pasta, then went into what’s in the closet that scares him. It’s doll and stuffed animal eyes.

I was thinking we would do a light, kid friendly minster under the bed kind of story. Instead, my son took my hand and led me into the shadows. I can do dark and twisty with beauty intermixed. I can’t live there for a novel, but I can visit.

I’ll have our story posted here before Fridays deadline.

And thank you, Chuck Wendig, for a great night out with the boy child.

I Didn’t March

I didn’t March last weekend. Before you get all excited one way or the other, there were a few mitigating circumstances.  1. I’m a chicken, and there has been much violence lately at protests. 2. I also had my son last weekend, and with his SPD, I did not want to take a chance. It could have been fine, or worst case see above. Instead, we went and saw Hidden Figures. More on that later.

I’m happy for you if you feel women’s rights are right where they need to be. Although I have had a fairly charmed life, I don’t see it that way. There are some major areas that we need to protect, and some we need to change.

Womens health needs to be protected. Planned Parenthood is important. Take abortion off the table, because I’m not getting in to that argument right now. I’m talking about women’s health. I’m talking about when I lost my health insurance while on maternity leave (after the birth), and Planned Parenthood provided my post natal exam. They also kept a tight monitor on my iron levels, which were extremely low, and got me the info to get on WIC. Later, right before the Affordable Care Act, they helped me through the diagnosis of Fibroid Tumors, kept a tight check on my cervix which had bad cells in it, and supported me through what was going on. As soon as ACA went through, and I had insurance, they got my info to my Doctor quickly and we’re happy that I was getting the treatment I needed that they couldn’t provide. I know this because they called to follow up with me. And because of federal and state funding, all that care, except for the ultrasound (I had to go to an outside provider for that) it was free. I even got my monogram through them.
There is a disconnect between how the law is written, and how it is implemented. I’m assuming we can all agree that rape is wrong. And yet, how often do we ask what she was doing out that late, or what was she wearing.. it should not matter where I am, what I’m wearing, the time or even how drunk I am or if I’ve ever had sex before. Rape is a crime of violence, and yet we often blame the woman. Even when the man is held accountable, he can get a slap on the wrist because of the bright future he had shown. Want to know why more women don’t report rape? See above. Believe me, I know how lucky I am in this regard. The statics are heart breaking.
The workplace can also be a minefield for women. Get past the not getting paid the same as men. Let’s talk about having a boss who belittled you, never allows you to succeed and blames you for loosing customers who left 5 years BEFORE you were hired. Or being cussed out for 10 minutes on the phone for saying “thank you for holding, this is Wyndie, how can i help you?”. I have had great male bosses, don’t get me wrong. My current boss is awesome. I don’t think he cares what I wear, he cares how I do my job. He also doesn’t have inappropriate content in his email. I have had bosses whose email I had to clean out that was such a smutt factory I finally refused and suffered the consequences. And there were consequences. 
I didnt march for those things. I believe in them, but didnt march. In the end, whether you marched or not, I hope you can be kind to the other side. We are all in this ride together, and if it breaks down we are all screwed. 
One last thought. I have a friend who is very conserative. She doesn’t understand the March. But if I called her and said I felt I needed to go but was scared or didn’t know how to get there, ornwhatever, she would have been there for me. She would have taken me, called people out for pushing and shoving and littering, but she would have been there for me. People over politics. Because we are on the same ride. Women especially need solidarity.
Oh, and Marching? Peacefully PROTESTING? It’s a right.and because of women protesting, we have the ability to vote. Back then, women were dismissed as being hysterical for their political views and could be put in an insane asylum. Those women marched, even though others didn’t understand or believe in them. Even though it was dangerous. We can’t understand what they went through but owe an incredible debt to them. At the time they were dismissed.
Please stop dismissing women who March. Who knows what they’ll say 100 years from now about the Womens March of 2017? I’d love to read that story…. 

Santa Mom

I felt my mom close to me this weekend, as if she were with me while I shopped. She was there as I found the special soup spoons she used when we were sick, and the babmoo grippers thingees that she used to pull toast out when it got stuck in the toaster. She was there with me in a tractor supply store (don’t ask), as I started bawling.

I started bawling, the first time, because of a day planner. The year my mom died, she kept a day planner, and used the spaces for days of the week as a sort of journal. The comings and goings of us kids, all grown, and her little trips with dad… all in the little journal. Some weeks were full to the brim. Some only had a few filled out.

Then she died.

I couldn’t look at that blank planner, so I started filling it in for her. Comings and goings, a little glimpse into life right after she died. It was 20 or so years ago, but I still remember that journal. I think I still have it somewhere. But I know it. I know the cover, i know the feel of it, and I know what it looked like on the inside.

And in the tractor supply store, right with all the calendars… was a copy of that same damn planner, only for 2017. Same. Damn. One.

I bought it. I will put it into my stocking, and I will write in it. Buying it means that I now have 2 but one will be for my writing and one will be for my adventures in mommyhood.with my boy.

And then Walmart happened.

In talking with a friend, I told her I don’t know why I’m so emotional today. I don’t know why this is happening, but…

But I’m tired of being the one to do for everyone. I do stockings for everyone in the house, because Mom did. Because to me, that stocking shows time and attention and love. Dad used to do mine, and help with his current wife’s stocking… but since the stroke (and maybe a little before), it hasn’t happened.

I know every single present that is currently under the tree.

Even mine.

And it sucks. Because my son would love to do it for me. And wanted to. But I didn’t think to think outside the little house. But next year, next year… I have 2 different people who have said that they will take him out shopping for me, and help him do my stocking too.

Friends and family are a blessing. But sometimes, you have to stop being so strong and powering through… at least enough to ask for help.

I fell Mom close to me right now. Not just because of the stuff, but because of people willing to come together and help out.

Love you guys.

If you know someone who is a single parent, if the child is old enough, offer to take them shopping for their parent. Both the child and the single parent will appreciate it. Being strong and keeping it together, especially under the pressure of making the perfect holiday is tough.

 

 

Christmas Card Explosion

I think I’ve sent out well over 50 Christmas cards so far. At first, it was 14 ( or 15) for a great group I belong to plus those family and friends that I had their addresses for. That was a total of… 40 something.

Big family.

But then I did something different. I went on Facebook and tagged a whole ton of people, telling them to PM me their addresses so I could send more. I’m still getting responses, one today from a very dear friend I’d lost contact with.

She’s getting a letter. SSSHHH. Don’t tell her.

One friend PM’d me and said “You didn’t tag me, but I’d love to have a little good mail.” I may have also mentioned random cards that I send out. I always try to write my auntie, and then a few other cards to other people. My little rays’ of sunshine going out to the world.

Apparently, people need more sunshine. I’m willing in my own little way to give it to them not just at Christmas time, but all through out the year.That’s my challenge for myself and for you for 2017.

Go forth and spread your sunshine. The way you make people feel special may be different than mine. That’s ok. The sunshine in Hawaii is great, as it is in Santa Cruz, Ohio, Florida and every place on earth.

Spread those rays, let the sunshine out.

No Headaches

I run a weird ship. Because the priceling and I live with my dad and his wife, the only spaces I have are in my room and my garage. I take care of the kitchen, but it’s not my happy place as I don’t enjoy cooking.

Last weekend, I hired someone I know who is just starting their cleaning business. She came in and did a spanking good job on both rooms… so good, in fact, that the kitchen became my happy place.

Don’t get me wrong, I knew what I needed to do. Clean my room, declutter some area, purge purge purge. I started the process, but then life happened and it went on the back burner and…..

I made the call. Help me with my spaces. Please. 

The picture above shows about 1/3 of the crap in my closet. Here’s another  view 

I didn’t think we’d get it done. I Had to make choices:is it useful, does it make me happy?  And does having it on display make my life more serene? Yes, a lot of stuff was cleared out, my art work moved around, just so I can breathe in here again. 

It gets hard to be creative when you’re holding on so tightly to everything. I had insurance bills from 2 years ago, reams of stuff I just didn’t need or want. And some stuff, like the princelings art work went into a file.

After next weekend, when I get the garage done complete with new chairs and a crafting table, I’ll turn that artwork into a scrap book.

Time for me to leave, my lovelies. I feel the urge to put pen to paper. 

My mind is clear.

Here’s a photo of the after

Trust me when I say it had been covered in cords and clutter. It’s now my happy place.

My art collected at Stockton con got a new home, with lots of white space.