Strange viewpoint from a 50something

Kyle did not come into the world in the usual way… in fact, he didn’t want to come at all. He breeched and a C-section happened. When his doctor reached in to retrieve him, he slipped from her grip! A laughing gasp and I heard her little foreign voice… “oops! trying to get away??” She dove back in and grasped him tightly and gave a good yank! And that is how he made his entrance!!

kyle 2

This little guy, all blonde curls and green/grey eyes, became my little protector from the word go! It came into true play when he was about seven or so. I had been “almost mugged” one night at the grocery store. A man approached me with a gun and demanded my car keys!!?! It didn’t work out for the mugger and I was told by countless people how lucky I was. I didn’t realize the impact of this act of crime on those around me until a few days later I had said I wanted to go out to the store. My little guy said that he wanted to go with me wherever I went because he had learned in school that muggers don’t attack women with children!! I will never forget the look of love on his face, and his intent to save me!!

kyle 3

On this day, 30 years ago, my son was born. He has since become a man who has faced many obstacles in his life. Over the years there have been many good memories and some not so good. That’s what happens when you live life. I am very proud of the man he is becoming. And that little boy love I felt all those years ago, I see again in his grown man eyes.

 

kyle 4

Happy Birthday Squirt! I love you!

If only she could answer…

Hello?

Hi ya Ma,

Hi Sweetie,

I miss you! How is it there?

It’s wonderful! I’m with your Dad, he looks so good!! =]

You doing ok?

Oh yes! I’m off the oxygen and I can breathe again! I’ve even lost some weight!

That’s great Ma..

Dad and I have been doing a lot of dancing since I’ve been here…

I’m so happy for you.. you got a few minutes to talk?

 

 

3 years since I’ve heard her voice. I’ve dialed her number countless times. As it rings, I imagine words that will be said. All the things I want to tell her, those small victories to have her cheer about.. all the hurts I want to cry to her about.. all the love I felt no matter what I did or said.. all those encouraging words to lead me in the right direction..

If only she could answer..

 

 

 

 

 

For seven solid days I have enjoyed the company of a very dear friend. I have missed her tremendously. Back together. My little blue baby! =] She’s baaaaccck!! (Thank you Dee!!) Just like a favorite sweater, I slid into the driver seat and I was instantly comforted. Driving her out of his driveway…. a 45 minute drive home and I am in love all over again. Not only did she get her driving groove back, but my sweet friend also rewired her stereo system and my little baby RoCkS!! The rumble in my tail from the vibrating subs ~ only a few will know to what I am referring.

Yes. She is a little worse for wear. But so am I. She is flawed and scarred. Just like me. Getting her back is different this time. Shes in need of a little pampering… so, I bought her some new tires. I found a new (to me) set of wheels to put on her, picked them up today even! I am excited!! The anticipation of getting her back to a glory state, thrills me so!!

I am glad the timing of her returning to my life is right now. I am walking a little taller. I am much happier. (Not having to climb in and out of that awful hoopty I’ve had the blessing to drive for the last 6 months, has made such a difference in my disposition!! ) To feel like my old self. To be my old self. Yes. The timing couldn’t be better.. I just feel incredible!!

As I write this, I feel the nervous excitement building in me, as tomorrow I begin the long awaited LoadMaster class!! I am wound up tight like a drum, hoping that I can even get some sleep! I don’t know why I feel this way. I should have felt this way about my first attempt at this certificate. But it means more to me this time. One year has passed since I failed the final test. I had passed the first 2 courses… and cocksure I would get the final course. But no. I failed. By two questions. At the time I was crushed.

In the year that has passed since that test day, I have had the opportunity to learn so much that will be beneficial to my passing it this time. I am confident. I am sure. I am feeling good. My “Like a Boss” month is progressing on plan, and almost halfway through! Well dear readers, gotta get a few things together before I hit the sack early. This girl has plans!! =]

The month of May is mine. No ifs. No ands. No butts. I will OWN it. A very full and promising 31 days. Mine, ALL mine!!

The month of May is mine ~ I do believe this will be the turning ‘month’ in my world! So much going on! So much excitement for me! So much to plan and make happen!! I don’t think I’ve been this alive since the summer before Mom died. I look forward to May because is packed with activities to keep me engaged! I have always worked better under pressure, the more I get on me… the harder my backbone becomes. And so it begins….

The month of May is mine ~ Looks as if I will be getting my little blue baby back in running order! I have missed my car so much. Like a best friend that car has been to me. And she is being repaired as I write this!!! It’s funny, I had to drive it – in broken condition – to the friend’s home who is giving her back her groove! It’s about a 45+ minute drive, and even though she was driving wounded, it was sheer Joy to drive her again! To roll those cranks and make the windows go down!!! To turn on my much missed stereo, plug in my pod and feel my music. This is what I long for and it will happen this month! My goal is to NEVER drive the car I am currently driving – ever again! =]

The month of May is mine ~ My next greatest May event, is another thing I have longed for…. The Load Master class. It is going to happen for ME! I have been accepted into the May class! And for those in the know, I need only to complete the Weights & Balance course because they are giving me the credit for the other 2 courses that I passed last year!! This is a BIG relief for me! So for 9 days I will have my head buried in this and I will succeed! (The 22nd is test day and I ask that you send a big Atta-Girly my way!!! hahaha!!) I have arranged with my 3 jobs to take this time off to devote to the class, and all are complying. (Another brow wipe and a loud “shoooo”!)

The month of May is mine ~ I will be making a better effort to come back to this blog. I have missed writing. I’ve missed you, my dear readers!! I have missed telling a great story. I have missed expressing myself. To be honest, haven’t had much to really share because of the funk I’ve been in since my Mom’s been gone. I really find it difficult, I can write a great blog in my mind, all while I am not at my laptop. More effort from me. Promise to myself.

The month of May is mine ~ And to close out this most busy of months for me… a trip to the Lou!! Yes, this is a fun filled trip as I got the BEST Christmas gift ever!!! My girl, Shelby, has 2 tickets to see Cher, in St Louis and guess who she’s taking???? =D Yes… its MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME!! Oh, sorry. A bit excited. Cher was definitely a childhood idol of mine! On top of that, a Cardinal game and lots of time spent with family and friends!!

The month of May is, indeed, mine ~ I do believe that this is just the beginning of things most wonderful! I have a few other great events to look forward down this road called 2014. I am going to own every day of this fantastic year and then everyday after that, for the rest of my life. Yes, this is where I say it~~ I will own it ALL,  ALL I say!!!… LIKE A BOSS!

Whoop! Whoop!

 

The more we question our existence and ponder our purpose here on earth – the more we realize we may never know what that one thing is that is our thread in this tapestry of life. Most of us will pro-create. That is the true cycle of human life. But our ‘soul’ existence… it wants more. It wants to be validated. We want to know why??? Why are we here? Why be born only to die?? (That is one BIG burr under my life’s saddle that has plagued me for years…. why be born at all?)

We often placate ourselves with our own theories, make justifications for our actions. As if there is a damn book with a pattern on how to be a woman (man, child, preteen, fill in with your title..). I have bucked the system all my life.. I don’t think there is a thing I’ve ever done that I didn’t tweek the rules, where I didn’t seek change. I truly believed that I just didn’t fit in. As I’ve grown older, I tend to be more grateful that I have lived an off-kilter life. I have done some fabulously wonderful things and I have also done some not so, well… (I admit nothing!) not so nice things. And through all that living I keep coming back to that same old question… why am I here?

I still don’t know the answer to that. But I had a great conversation a few days back that helped me to understand the weaving interaction with people, and the moments that really make a difference.

I am a closet WalMart-aholic! I love these treasure troves of treats! And because I have the craziest of crazy schedules I find myself doing most of my wandering among the aisles in the truly quiet hours… and that is such a plus for me. Ooops… kinda got off subject!!! Because I am a very frequent customer at a couple of our local WalMart’s. I see the same cashiers most of the time. A few months back a friend asked me to pick up a pack of cigarettes for them. I got to the cashier that night and asked for the brand… we looked, she grabbed a couple.  As I debated on which pack to buy for my friend… I mentioned that I had just surpassed 16 years as a non smoker. I remember she said she was really bent on quitting.. she was so tired of the habit. And she asked how I managed. I told her it would be hard.. but that I had a couple helpful hints. First, don’t tell yourself that you just can’t live without them (cigarettes).. remember you were a kid once and you lived without smoking then, so it is entirely possible to live without them now. Think about it differently.  And the other thing is to change your routine. Instead of getting in the car, keys in ignition, hand in purse for cigs, seat belt, light cig.. turn on music… car in motion… instead of that – make it a point to change the habit. So walk up to the car door.. stop… instead walk to the trunk unlock and put purse there. Then get in the car… your mind has been put to the test, think about what you are doing.. now .. keys in ignition, turn music on,,,, car in motion! As we finished the transaction, she said she was going to give it a try. I walked out of the store and never had another thought about that little chat about cigarettes.

A couple nights ago, wandering my way through those long aisles, wasting time until my plane lands…. a felt a tap on my shoulder. And there stood the above mentioned cashier. She said “Excuse me, I thought it was you! I just want to tell you thank you!” I am totally at a loss, and she must have sensed this, but she continued… “I was the cashier one night when you bought cigarettes for your friend. And you told me you were a non smoker. Well I remember what you told me and I have been making it work! I told myself I can do this and I did! I changed my smoking habit times into little games and it made things a little easier. It was hard at first but I did it!” Her words rushed out and her face just beamed.

And then everything went fuzzy….

Tears flooded my eyes… I felt my heart do the Grinch and swell 5 sizes in my chest. I just stood there, feeling all thick but washed in this wonderful feeling of being part of something bigger than myself. At the moment this all took place, I put it off to pleasant shock. But I have had the most…(well I just can’t say it in a word, but whenever I rerun this altercation in my mind I am swept up in the moment again and a..)  wonderous feeling rushes through me. Which brings me back to that wicked burning question… what’s my purpose again?? Well no matter what that purpose is.. I am finding that on the road to that strange “Whatever” that draws me through this world, I – (me!!) -I make a difference in the lives of others. So no matter how I feel about my lot in life… someone, somewhere took something I said or did and those in turn will do the same without my even knowing. Just how many lives have I touched? I don’t know. I do know that I will not stop talking. Because I am very encouraged that my journey of “touching” others is far from over.

25 questions concluded….

21. The saddest time that shook your world. The death of my Mom. A year ago this past Sunday. By far, one of the hardest years I’ve endured. I’ve wondered many times why her death has hit me so hard… I’ve lost many other important people in my lifetime. She was my Mom. She was my anchor. It’s true I am older but she always kept me grounded and she inspired me with her spunkyness. She was so many things to me. The void is very huge. And I still hurt.

22. The unfulfilled ambition that still haunts you. Throughout my childhood and into my teens, I was going to be a singer. And back then I could sing. Maybe if I hadn’t felt so insecure I might have taken a different path with it. But at that time, my sorry self-esteem did not go well with my teen years. I did a lot of things I shouldn’t have and ran with the wrong people, trying to find some sort of validation. Eventually delving into the world of drugs and mischief, and I didn’t look back for many, many years. The fact that I came out on the other side of the drug use is a wonder, but I did. And that I am fairly undamaged from the abuse to my body, has me perplexed! Unfortunately, the loss of my innocence and the loss of my voice changed that long ago dream.

23. 23 was actually a question I didn’t like. And because I am so mentally challenged at this time, I can’t even make one up.

24. Describe your funeral. I would like for there to be a gathering, just as we did for my Mom. We called it a Celebration of Life Party. Remembering the good times. Yes, there was a lot of crying. Remembering the good times. There was also much laughter. Remembering the good times. Just the way she wanted it. Always remembering the good times, that is how I want it. Simple as that.

25. The way you want to be remembered. That I helped other people realize just how wonderful it is to have life by the ass. Until that last breath… you’re in charge! No matter what the circumstances being alive is awesome. Keep making those good times. =]

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Dear Reader, I will apologize for the lengthy gaps in between posts. Hit a couple of personal road blocks that I had to figure my way around. The detours were plenty. Living the life, I am. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

25 questions continued…..

To start this post from the beginning, go here…  https://iam2stl.com/2013/10/03/one-question-after-another/

And then, go here…    https://iam2stl.com/2013/10/08/one-question-after-another-part-2/

Then, go here…   https://iam2stl.com/2013/11/07/one-question-after-another-part-3/

16. The misapprehension about yourself that you wish you could erase.  That I got it going on. That I know what I’m doing. I wake up everyday wondering how I might make it through this day. I am pretty resilient for the most part, and I do and say things in the minute that give the impression that I am all together. But I question and worry over everything.

17. The event that altered the course of your life and character.  It would have to be the ‘hair loss’ incident and it’s aftermath. (My self esteem was already taking a beating over the indian ink tattoos I now displayed on my skin.) I knew then that my life would always be ‘against all odds’. And so begins my – don’t judge me, I don’t give a crap – attitude. As a young girl I just wanted to be accepted, and loved. Like everyone else. Not. To. Be. I dared to be different. I wanted to be different. But losing my hair was an extreme I was not prepared for. And at 16, it was one of the worst possible times. I stayed in a mental funk for all those months, wondering and worrying about how I would live the rest of my life… 1/2 bald. Funny but I actually remember the day I noticed the first peach fuzz that was starting to grow!! Oh how happy I was!! You would have thought I won some major lottery or something!!

18. The crime you would commit if you knew you could get away with it. Driving my car as if it were an emergency vehicle. No laws to obey, speeding, weaving through traffic… siren-ing through stops of any kind. Yes I’ve fantasized about this many times!  (I’d like to add that another crime would be murder. The who and why isn’t important. =])

19. What song means the most to you. Itsy Bitsy Spider. I learned it as a kid, and I’ve loved it since! I sang and taught it to both of my kids and their kids too. I’ve sang and taught it to babies of friends and family. For a long time I didn’t understand my draw to this little ditty, but it’s the lesson. It’s ~~ no matter what you face.. it will get better. (So the rain washed him from the spout? No problem… the sun will come out again and dry it all up!) What a simple example.

20. The happiest moment you will cherish forever. Being with my Mom, at the birth of my first grandchild, Spencer. To share this important event with her! I am my Mom’s firstborn child, and we are with Shelby, my firstborn child, who is having her firstborn!! It was awesome… and beautiful… and incredible… and magic… and moving… and heart-swelling… and… and… and just everything wonderful. Mom and I talked many times about this, and she confessed that it was one of the greatest moments of her life. (Afternote… little man Spencer just celebrated his 10th birthday! Man, time is flying!!)

 

thank a vet

On this Veteran’s Day 2013, I can’t say thank you enough to the Men and Women of every branch of service in our United States Military. Those who have served. Those who serve today. And those who gave their lives. I will honor you for the rest of my days. I Thank You.

 

 

This is a repost, originally published in February of this year…

It takes only a second…

He was on the bench, just inside the grocery store. Sitting there in slacks and dress shoes, wearing a freshly ironed plaid shirt, with his Retired Air Force cap straight on his balding head, he was just some old man waiting for his wife to finish shopping. The vacant look on his face makes most people think he isn’t all there… maybe alzheimers, maybe dementia, but he watched as each person passed him. I, too, watched as each person passed him, not giving him a thought.

I walked up to him, “Excuse me Sir”. I reached out my right hand and finished, “I’d like to Thank You for your service to our country”. He looked up at me, I saw as the tears began to well in his old eyes, he struggled to get up, once on his feet he squared himself, and reached out and took my hand in his. His grip was light but purposeful, gently squeezing my hand, his gratitude was like electricity running up my arm. “It was my honor to serve.” It was then that I saw the fire in his eyes… I took him back to another time, another place. Somewhere only he knows. I asked if I could sit with him a minute, I wanted to hear about his service. After a few minutes of hearing his personal story I realize all of his military history was lived before I was even born. But that matters not, to me. He served in one of the bloodiest wars of our time… and he returned. Many did not, and it’s for them that he represents.

A frail woman pushing a grocery cart, walks up to us. She eyed me with some suspicion, I stood up and reached my hand out to him one more time. “Again, let me thank you, Sir” I began, but this time he interrupted. “I’d like you to meet my wife, Mrs. Johnson, she is also retired.” I swing my open hand towards Mrs. Johnson, I say “Thank You, Mrs. Johnson, for your service to our country.”  She reached out, I cupped her tiny hand in both of mine and looked her right in the eye. “I am so proud of you both” I say. The frightened look gave way and this little woman grew a smile that warmed my soul.

I don’t know how I affected their day… but I am forever changed. And forever grateful for the freedoms that they were willing to give their lives for.

Thank You to all who currently serve, for those who have served, and for each soul whose fate was the ultimate sacrifice. You are not forgotten in my world.

25 questions continued…

To start this post from the beginning, go here… https://iam2stl.com/2013/10/03/one-question-after-another/

To the second 5 questions, go here… https://iam2stl.com/2013/10/08/one-question-after-another-part-2/

11. The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child. Keep the power of play in your life. And then play some more. Never stop playing. Growing up is not what you believe it to be. And when you do grow up… never stop playing.

12. The unlikely interest that grabs your curiosity. True crime stories, and it began with murder mysteries. My Mom was a big reader of the mysteries… so I started with all her hand me downs. Mostly Agatha Christie and Earl Stanley Gardner. When all that craziness was going on on the west coast with Charles Manson and his crew, in 1969, I was just wetting my appetite for true crime novels… then a few years later out came “Helter Skelter”, by Vincent Bugliosi. Wow. After that, I found “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote. And it was on… throughout the years I have devoured whatever true crime books I could find. It simple amazes me, and it frightens and saddens me, what one human will do to another.

13. The treasured item you lost and wish you had again.  The year I was 16, after half of my hair was yanked off my head by a press pulley. That summer I went to work with my Dad, who was a printer. I leaned back in the chair I was sitting in and a printing press pulley caught my hair and instead of turning the press off and unraveling my hair, the pulley began pushing into my skull so I was yanked away from the machine. The shock to my skin/hair roots was so dramatic that it took close to a year before any hair began to grow. Remembering that I was 16 at the time of this incident, it was such a game changer for me… I was NOT like other girls. I was half bald. What guy was attracted to me? Good grief. Hats, scarves and constant comb over hairdos…. this is why I HATE hats of any kind!!

14. The unending quest that drives you on. Life itself. As I age, time seems to be moving faster. So each birthday I pass is a much sweeter celebration since there are so many who left us much too soon.

15. The poem that touches your soul. Corny as it sounds, I have two favorites and they both involve baseball. Who’s On First. Which was a skit done by Abbott and Costello. And ‘Casey at the Bat’ by Ernest Thayer. (I am a huge baseball fan, a bleed-red St Louis Cardinals fan for life!) The ‘Who’s on First’ skit I’ve seen many times and it’s funny!! I think I even tried to memorize it back then! But Casey at the Bat, that was real to me. As I was a ball player growing up I felt every moment of this poem ~ as I struck out many times in my own little Mudville.

25 Questions continued…….

 

 

6. What one thing would you do if you were invisible for a day. I would spend the entire day walking the halls of the Smithsonian Museums. Being invisible would afford me the freedom to get up close to history – past the velvet ropes and those rundown old security guards. I would love to breathe in the aura of some the our worlds greatest treasures. To see those inventions that inspired someone to make a better world, or some fantastic artifacts brought back from every corner of our world and galaxy. Would I touch the hem of one of the dresses worn in the movie Gone With the Wind?? Yes, I would, but ever so gently. To see wonderous works of art, beautiful paintings and sculptures, made by the hands of other humans no better than I am. I would be a sponge absorbing as much of all this wonder that I could. But I’d need a map… I’ve been told I couldn’t see everything in a day!!

7. The pet peeve that makes your hackles rise. Stupid drivers who drive against the arrows in parking lots while giving you the evil eye because you are in their way. Arrghh!! #$@%*!! Don’t get me started…..

8. The film you can watch time and time again. The Shawshank Redemption. It stars Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. (Before this became a movie I had already read the book, which was written by Stephan King! It was so out of genre for him, as it’s about humans and how they react to pressure, instead of spooks or aliens.) A story of great courage and faith in a world of complacency, greed and hopelessness. Where some gave up, our main character held on. Wrongfully convicted of killing his wife, he goes to prison where he is violated and abused beyond what normal people can take. The lesson? Hope. Never give up hope. Best line of the movie… Tim Robbin’s character ‘Andy’ is talking to Morgan Freeman’s character ‘Red’, after explaining all the money laundering he is doing for the warden, Andy states, “I had to come to prison to become a criminal!”

9. The person who influenced you most. Ruth Lewis. Ruth and I worked together as PBX operators for Ramada Inn. This was indeed the old phone switchboards like on Green Acres that you pulled cords and pushed into holes to connect calls. (Wow. That in itself is quite a memory….) At that time I was just 18 and Ruth was in her late 60’s. She was a happy lively gal who always had a smile on her face. If you asked how she was doing she would remark, “Just Peachy!” Her upbeat philosophy was so contagious that just being close to her you felt better. I was lucky enough to get to know Ruth. Always with a joke or some funny tidbit that happened in her daily travels. She had a worn deck of tarot cards that she kept her her purse. She’s get those cards out and shuffling away, with a little glint in her eye she’d say…. “Are ya ready?” Hahaaha! She told my fortune everyday I saw her…. with a few differences most of them said the same thing…. I would live a long life, I would find a wonderful man. I would travel. I would… I would…  I would. The laughter that she and those cards provoked were epic!! After I left that job I stayed in touch with her for a few years. Sadly, I lost track of her. I would guess she may have died by now. But then again, she might still be kicking somewhere! My understanding of this friendship is becoming clear. She was the precursor to what kind of person I would like to become. She used to tell me that in the end… nothing matters more than continuing to breathe. I get it now. Live while you’re alive. Laugh and laugh some more. Enjoy your life and remember that the only thing you cannot recover from is…. death.

10. The figure from history that you’d most like to share a meal and a drink. Audie Murphy and Alice Huyler Ramsey. I couldn’t choose just one.

Audie Murphy (1925-1971) I first came to know about him because he was an actor. I saw him in a lot of westerns that played on television all day long on Saturdays when I was a kid. But the film that I loved him in the most was a war movie called “To Hell and Back”. It was years later that I found out that the movie was about him and he was playing himself! This man is one of the most Decorated Veterans of our history! He died at age 45 in a plane crash. And in his short life, not only is his service to our country incredible, but he was a early champion of PTSD which was then known as battle fatigue or shell shock. As he himself was a sufferer. I thought then, and still think today, that he was one of the most attractive men I have ever seen. Yes, let me clink glasses with this man and Thank him for his service. *sigh*

Audie L Murphy

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“Good driving has nothing to do with sex. It’s all above the collar.”

Alice Huyler Ramsey (1886-1983) Thank you Mrs. Ramsey!! She was the first woman to drive from New York to California in 1909. 3,600 miles and only 152 of those miles were paved! The trip took 59 days. It was the first real road trip for girls! (She was joined by 2 of her sister-in-laws and a girl friend, and not one of them could drive!) One thing to remember here is, not only was a woman driver frowned upon at that time, but this was waaaaay before roads became the interstate system we are spoiled with today! She changed her own tires and cleaned her own spark plugs! I’ve read a couple of stories about this adventure… sounds like something I would have loved to do! She was honored as “Woman Motorist of the Century” in 1960 by AAA. I think her and I would have been buddies. Go Alice!

Alice Huyler Ramsey