Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Idiots and heroes...all on the same icy road.

First of all I live in, and love, the South.
People from here, in general, are good natured, easy going, and are willing to jump in and help out in a crisis. Forget the stereotypes, though I admit they have their place in the world, people FROM the South are often kindhearted, thoughtful, and well intentioned.  Yes, we have our share of greedy dumbasses, but for the most part, we embrace people from all walks of life and consider the needs of others above ourselves.
Today, on my way home in the snow storm, I had to pause to reconsider my roots, my kindness, my manners, and my ability to deal with idiots.  If I'd had my Bersa 380 with me all bets would have been off.  I have never seen such an astounding group of ill prepared, STUPID, and inconsiderate people in my entire life.  I can only assume they are transplants from the North or the West Coast.  Yes, Yankees, or damn foreigners!   No one born and raised in this neck of the woods could be so incompetent.   However, I do admit a snow storm of this intensity is enough to make anyone a little stupid- it was/is really bad.
My dad, who is from Indiana- always told me, "Snow is fine to drive in, but ice is another story."   From him I took my cues when it came to driving, and I've always felt that snow was "doable", but ice was something to be avoided at all costs.
Apparently some people can not find a way to drive on a wet road, much less one covered in snow. Triple their incompetence when it comes to ice.   When ice is involved- please alert the morgue- because you will have an influx of deserved visitors!  (at least I hope so)

My first clue trouble was ahead was when I drove down the empty street next to my office and saw a woman, near her home, stop her car in the middle of the street, to wipe her windshield with a scraper brush.  Yes...she was half a mile from home, and stopped- IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, to clean off her windshield.  A little further down the street several people, whose cars were not in ditches or off the road in any way, had exited their vehicles- apparently, just to walk around in the snow.
The main roads, as you can imagine, were impossible to traverse.
My Google GPS took me a way home I had never been before...avoiding the congested streets and areas with reported accidents, it took me through the housing projects- where apparently people have no cars- and they simply congregated on the corners to see if anyone would break down.  It was kind of like Firefly having to coast through the really horrible part of deep space- and hoping they wouldn't be raped, cut up, bbq'd and then murdered for merely being in the wrong part of the solar system.   Obviously, I made it through unscathed.  Or at least I think so.

An hour out of my way, and surrounded by Asians and Indians in tiny cars, I found myself on a familiar road, yet mysteriously at a stand still. No one was moving, except for the tiny woman from India (who had abandoned her car and was walking) who wanted to talk to other motorists who were at a standstill.  She was very cute, and when I rolled down my window to listen to her, she kept insisting everyone up ahead was stuck.
I chose to believe her and turned around.
I sort of wondered if we were all headed into an internet sort of scheme- only a highway version.

I took the very road the police had warned us against.  A long, curvy, hilly sort of road that had not been plowed or treated in any way.   Of course, this road, while being free from any sort of city treatment, was also free of all idiots.  No one in a little car would brave this particular street.  Even Santa would have been wary of it.  I, on the other hand, was pretty sure I could manage it, and if I ended up in a ditch, at least no one would see it- or find me until I was properly dead.   Heaven forbid I be found in a ditch and not properly dead...I could not bear the embarrassment of all that!

In less than 10 minutes I was home.  A giant truck about 200 yards ahead of me had made a perfect path for my 4Runner to follow along in.  No idiots, no abandoned cars, just me and the beautiful snowy road was ahead of me.  No one ran into me, or scratched my truck, or rear-ended me.  It took over 3 hours to get home, but I avoided all the zombies on the road.
Wait, I meant...idiots.
They WERE just like Zombies.

I really should have had my gun with me.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014 myself?

"It is easier to do one's duty to others than to one's self.  If you do your duty to others, you are considered reliable. If you do your duty to yourself, you are considered selfish."
-Thomas Szasz 

What is a duty to yourself?  I understand (all to well) the duty I have to others- as a mom, daughter, wife, friend, and sibling, but when I think of being dutiful to me I wonder what that looks like.   Why don't I know exactly what it means?   Have I put myself at the end of the list for so long I can't imagine a life of simply caring for me, or to ask to have my needs met?

The other day I explained to a friend that I didn't want any more emotionally un-fulfilling relationships in my life, which includes work, home, and social relationships.  This also includes food, alcohol, music, TV, books...anything which can enter my body needs to be healthy and and enriching.  I am tired of the junk.  At times, I feel like junk.   (I should probably delete my fb page too!)
I don't believe in resolutions.  I do believe in re-evaluation.  I need to make, and have made, drastic cuts in people and habits which drain my resources, or weaken my body and spirit.  I want the power to say NO, and the wisdom to know when to give my all and say YES.   I will not abuse/numb my body because my spirit is suffering.  I will face the searing pain in my heart/spirit and let it rage on, pour out, be released, and try to heal as best I can.

I suppose that is a duty to myself.  A duty only I can manage.

Eating right, going for a walk every day, listening to uplifting music, making an attempt to be better organised...all these things build me up and make me a better version of me.  Versus my pretending to be well.  The facade can only hold up for so long.

So perhaps the best way to really understand what "duty to self" looks like I should start with what might look selfish to others.  Putting my needs first.  Thinking of myself as a person I love...hmmm.   Herein lies part of the problem.  It's so very easy to love others, and so much harder to love myself.   I mostly see my value and self worth reflected in the things I do for others. This makes it difficult to see the intrinsic value of myself.   I will have to reflect on the last sentence for a while.  It pains me to read it.

I need a shower, and to prepare for work tomorrow.  I'm going to use the new bath stuff I got for Christmas, and not keep it packed away for guests.  I'm going to enjoy and relax the time I have to myself for the next hour or so.  I'm going to turn on my music, make a cup of tea, and relish the rest of this new day in a new year.

Tomorrow I am getting my hair cut and highlighted and I am leaving work early.
Perhaps this idea of "duty to myself" will be easier to accomplish than I thought?


Monday, September 02, 2013

How did you live...and die?

I read this the other day- and it made me think of my mom, as well as the way I want to live until my last breath.   Thank you for your thoughts and love during this time.  Tomorrow I see a grief counselor for the first time and I'm sure it will be helpful.   I'm sad to admit I still feel so sad and at lose ends most days.   I look forward to being on vacation for a week every month until the new year.  I imagine I needed one before now, but the timing just hasn't worked out.    Love to each of you-

How Did You Die?

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It's nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there -- that's disgrace.
The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts,
It's how did you fight --  and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he's slow or spry,
It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,
But only how did you die?
© Edmund Vance Cooke 

Thursday, August 22, 2013


This poem has touched me so much over the last few days- especially this last part,
Oddly enough, I wasn't sure who I was thinking of sharing it with when I first read it.
Now, I am beginning to believe, I to say it to my self.  
To be able to say this ABOUT myself.
To embark on a journey where I am, and must be, TRUE to me.

I want to mirror your image to its fullest perfection, 
never be blind or too old
to uphold your weighty wavering reflection. 
I want to unfold.
Nowhere I wish to stay crooked, bent; 
for there I would be dishonest, untrue. 
I want my conscience to be 
true before you;
want to describe myself like a picture I observed 
for a long time, one close up, 
like a new word I learned and embraced, 
like the everday jug, 
like my mother's face, 
like a ship that carried me along 
through the deadliest storm.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mom- remembered...

This is a re-post from several years ago.   Mom passed away last night, she was 63.  I will miss her dearly-

My mom has been ill, and is now in the hospital.   For the last 3 years, in addition to caring for our families, my sisters and I have been taking care of the lady who brought us into the world...
She is not well.

Last week as I stood at her kitchen sink and washed her dishes I discovered 2 knives she had bought many years ago in her marriage to my dad.    The knife distributor was a door to door salesman who had "everlasting" blades in his bag, and he was selling top quality cutlery which "would last her a lifetime".   It donned on me, as I stood there, in mom's government subsidized apartment, these knives were all she had to show for her 38 year marriage.   My sister reminded me that "I" was also something to show for all those years.   Sigh.   I felt tears in my eyes.   Somehow, the 6 of us didn't, or couldn't, quite validate the importance of the woman who was sick and dying before our very eyes.

She is better, but things are changing.    Unlike my beloved Foamy, I can't move mom in with us and give her all the physical and medical attention she deserves.   Her needs are great and beyond my skill.   She understands and accepts this fact.

As I move through this period of grief, and it is grief- even though she is still here, I lose a small part of her every day...I want to write about the things she has said and done which imparted wisdom, laughter, and joy to me from my early years until the present.   Even yesterday she made me laugh!

She is allergic to percocet, and she said, "It makes me itch like a monkey with a flea!"
I know you do not KNOW my mom, but that is one of the funniest things she's ever said to me!    And I have seen her itch on maybe that's part of why the phrase is so funny :)

When my Grandmother (mom's mom) saw me for the first time as a baby, Grandma said she saw a halo around MY head.    She told my mom I was special.   Before last night I had NEVER heard that story.     I'm not sure my Grandmother or my mom were/are right- because I have certainly made a TON of mistakes and bad choices...but my mom swears the story is true.    I am NOT an angel.   I am ONLY holy if Jesus has made me so, and I feel very far from all those things these days.

Eternal life has less value to me than this present life, and forgive me if I sound like a doubter...because I am not.   I do believe in God, and I think He has a special place for souls like that of my mother.   I feel certain life exists beyond this dim plane- and people I have loved deeply have made it clear to me their love still exists for me- and is extended to me, despite being in a form I can no longer hug or touch.    LOVE is an ENERGY.    Period.   Figure out what ENERGY is and can do and you will understand what I mean.

My mom used to sing nursery rhymes to us as a was "Sam, Sam, the garbage man- washed his face with a frying pan, brushed his teeth with a monkeys tail, and died with a toothache---in his..heel"

she always paused before saying the word "heel"- knowing full well we'd think that didn't quite rhyme...

???"Died with a toothache- and went to hell...."???

Our Dentists ALWAYS said we had the BEST TEETH!

I so love my mom.