You, me, a puppy & a bean.

a story we're still writing

feeling prosetic.

As the sun sets behind me, I watch the shadows grow over the foothills while I climb towards the horizon. I expect at any moment to top a hill and discover the mountain they lead to. At dusk, I realize there is no mountain on the horizon.

I am the mountain.

-CL

Leave a comment »

Happening now… 

I kid you not, I took these pictures in my house this morning. 

We have a potluck at church today and I wanted to bring something healthy. An adult carrot slipped in! 


But look what I found behind hubby’s backpack… 


It is always an adventure here… 

-CL 

Leave a comment »

i wish it were a hoax

I’ve been thinking, today (and off and on for the last ten years), that I wish my mom’s death were a hoax. While I know the truth in my head and in my heart… my mind still wanders sometimes. I believe it is human nature to hold on to hope.

Maybe she ratted out an old drug dealer from her days “living on the edge” and the price to pay was joining the witness protection program… She had to leave us and never see us again.

Sometimes I see people in the store and they have her body shape. Or they walk with her gait. Or they have her smoker’s cough that both used to worry me and comfort me. My eyes drift her way and meet eyes that don’t know me back.

Maybe she didn’t want to have us any more and developed this elaborate plot to fake her own death.

Why is that less painful to think about than remembering that she died? For the sake of my mental health, I really hope other people sometimes think this way too. I guess it is because death is so incomprehensible. We cannot understand it. At least, I can’t. Not truly.

-CL

Leave a comment »

Wise words. 

I’ve been thinking about something my grandad said to me when I was about 14 years old. Like most teenagers, I knew everything.   
 Over the years I’ve come to terms with a general discomfort with the fact that some things cannot be known, and now, rather than fear it, I’m humbled by it and captivated by the unknowable. 

When I say I’m captivated, that doesn’t mean I’m chasing it. It means that the unknowable no longer invokes the arrogance it used to. The unknown is kind of comforting. 

You see, when you know everything, when you lose control of your little world, it is terrifying. Shouldn’t you know why it is happening? But, you don’t. Because you never even realized the things you don’t know were going to spin your world out of control. 

If you don’t know what you don’t know, how can you learn more? You become unteachable. Unreachable. Arrogant. Ignorant of the fact you might be ignorant of something. 

-CL

Leave a comment »

10 years and a yellow butterfly

10 years ago I woke up and I heard voices in the other room. I knew what was happening and rolled over to tell my sister. I laid there and waited for them to come get us. I walked out to the living room and stood there while I tried to piece together a world without my mom. I grabbed the phone and grasped at straws calling people at home hoping they could help me when I felt so lost and so forgotten–a thousand miles from home on the day she died. 

Years 1-9 were hard and weird, especially as I graduated, got married and had kids. Year 10 means I’ve lived a whole decade without her, and that I’ll have to live the rest of them with out her too. Ten years means that people who knew her are dying; that memories I was too young to have are dying with them and the answers to questions I have are dying too. 

Ten years means our faulty American system of grieving death is continuing to fail me. Ten years means I am feeling extra selfish about time I didn’t have. 

44 years, 15 of them as my mom, was too short. A life worth living.

********

Today I sat out with hubby’s family at their campsite in North Florida. We were eating at the picnic table and as most everyone finished up and started to put their food away, a lull in the conversation prompted me to look up. I saw a lone yellow butterfly coming from from the pine tree canopy. It flew down and hovered right in front of me for just a second, then flew away. 

I verbalized my thought, “that was weird“. In December. Shouldn’t butterflies be gone for the year? 

 
************

After my mom died, my grandma was convinced that the yellow butterfly in our garden was her. I always liked to think of her as an orange butterfly, partly to spite my grandma, and partly because monarchs used to visit my mom’s butterfly garden at home. 

*************

A few days before she died, I sat beside her on the porch and she asked me if I wanted her to come back and visit me as a ghost. She believed in the spirt world in a way I wasn’t sure of. I told her, “no! I’ll just see you when I die.”  I told her that it was creepy and laughed it off. After a few minutes of other conversation I came back to the topic and said, “well, I mean, you can visit if you promise not to be creepy. I mean, I don’t need to know you are there. You can check on me.” 

I think she kept her promise. 

-CL 

1 Comment »

#snackagedon2015

CRITICAL ALERT: Supplies of squeezy applesauce packets from Costco have decreased to an unsustainable level. Supplies are expected to be depleted within the next 24 hours.
There is an over abundance of goldfish crackers in the household, to the point that the population of children in the region are rejecting sustenance as a result. They have been demanding fruit bars as a substitute. The supply of fruit bars has dropped as the demand is outweighing provisions. Complete depletion of all snack resources is expected by the end of the weekend.

Hide your snacks, hide your plastic toys. ‪#‎snackagedon2015‬‪ #‎NotEvenMickeyMouseChickenNuggetsCanSaveUsNow‬

Leave a comment »

Remembering John.

Writing about your unmarried past, after you are already married, well, that seems a little odd for some reason. The truth is… that is it IS odd. Being married means that the two become one, and a new life begins. That is certainly true. I do have memories of a life before marrying my sweet husband, but I feel like my real life, the one I’ll be remembered for, began on my wedding day. Before that day, I wasn’t a wife. Before that year, I wasn’t a mother. I hadn’t even become a teacher yet. Those are the core pieces of who I am today.

All that being said… I do feel there are occasions in which parts of my former life warrant my attention. Tonight is one of those nights. After a brief scroll through Facebook, I saw a post memorializing a friend that I worked with a few years ago (read: 8). I was shocked and saddened to learn that he had passed away this morning, unexpectedly.

John was one of those friends I hadn’t talked to much in recent years. This really isn’t surprising, being that I had met him while working part time at Steak ‘n Shake in high school and college, and being that I moved away, got married and had my own kids. But, during that 2, almost 3 year time that we worked together, we formed a bond that I haven’t been able to shake since.

John wasn’t my biggest fan in the beginning. I was a high school student, and he was already graduated and had been working there for a while. Soon, after many afternoons on the line, I proved myself and we declared ourselves a team. Truth be told, we were a damn good team. Our managers realized it and would often schedule just him and me to run the line. I would work the drive through and the prep line, he would be on the grill and start the line items or work shakes. We worked perfectly together and had awesome times. (If you’ve never worked in the food industry, you are probably confused at this point, ha.) The only station I wasn’t trained on was the grill, and he taught me that too.

During that time, (2007-2009), we talked about everything while we worked on the line: from work gossip to our individual relationship woes. John had a son, and I got to meet him several times. The kid looked just like him. Every shift was full of new stories about C; John lit up every time he mentioned his name.

Coming from working at McDonald’s to working at Steak ‘n Shake was a bit like moving from Jr. High to High School, or from High School to College in terms of the crowd that worked the shifts. I was one of the only high school students who worked there. Most were college aged or older. They were adults with kids and spouses or significant others, and real bills to pay, and real life experiences. I stuck out like a sore thumb, being a high school student, and an “AP” tracked kid, at that. John became my big brother. Once he finally approved of me, he laid down the law with the others as well. We had an affinity for each other, a type of mutual respect and a bond that only seemed to sync up when we had the line to ourselves.

Fast forward to Spring Break, 2009. I was home from college, and my boyfriend (now, husband) was away on military training. I came home and immediately contacted Steak ‘n Shake about getting on the schedule for the week. I messaged John and asked if he was working. I’m not sure if he was or not, but I know that by then, he worked at the bowling alley, and he was bowling in a league that night and invited me to come and hang out. I showed up near the end of the event, and he invited me back to a get-together at his house with several friends. We had never hung out outside of work before. Being that he and his friends were older, there was alcohol. I’ve never been a law-breaking type, so I was the random sober chick laughing at everyone else and praying no one fell into the small bonfire we had set. After a while, it was finally time for me to head out, and John offered to walk me to my car. He’d had a little bit to drink, and I hadn’t drank anything. I think it made us both brutally honest. He told me he liked me and asked me what I thought of that. I told him he was like a brother. We hugged and I drove away.

We never saw each other in person after that, but social media has kept us in contact for many years. I’ve watched his son grow up through snapshots and Facebook posts, as I’m sure he’s watched mine. I’ve messaged him here and there to check in on him, and sent him encouraging comments when disaster would strike. I’ve prayed for his family members and friends. And tonight, I’m grieving his loss. My own loss. His son’s loss. His friend’s loss. His family’s loss. The loss of a father, a son, a friend, and a brother.

John was a silly character with a big heart. He was all smiles and jokes and puppy-dog eyes. He was a good friend and dedicated dad. He was a hard worker, and the best partner I ever had on the line.

Prayers of peace and comfort,

CL

Leave a comment »

The Facebook Divorce

If you thought i’d be writing about giving up social media or switching to twitter, sorry. You can move along… I’m actually talking about real divorce. 

With the advent of Facebook i’ve had the (pleasure? privilege? terribly overwhelming misfortune?) of keeping up with people from across the years/ phases/ places of my life.

Over time, I notice that their husbands and wives disappear from their profile pictures. They start posting pictures with a new person. Or, maybe, suddenly, she is posting pictures with all her single  girlfriends again. He posts less pictures of the kids, because, let’s be honest, for most divorces, its a woman’s market. Sometimes its subtle. 

Sometimes its not. Just this week, a friend of mine (acquaintance, really) posted a picture of him and his wife “dueling”. It was adorable. I clicked on it, because I sort of thought it would be a baby announcement of some type–but I was mistaken. It was an amicable divorce announcement. They have decided that friendship is more appealing and they even plan to continue living together as roommates and continue their partnership in a different way.

My point here isn’t how I find out they get divorced… its the weird feeling I have about it. I mourn their losses for them. I look at my own marriage, and I literally can’t imagine myself without my husband. It makes me wonder if they once felt that way too. It makes me want to know what was so irreparable. It kind of gives me this weird time warp feeling, or feeling of “oldness” and “age” when I see them move on. (Probably the same feeling people get when their friends all get married or have kids–I didn’t experience this one as much, because I was among the first in my friend groups!) I wonder how, at age 25, my contemporaries could be on their 2nd engagement, waiting on their 2nd wedding. Of course, many of my friends are older than 25, (35, 45), but many of them aren’t. I get a weird and nervous feeling for them about the idea of starting over.

Again, i’m not making a judgement here about their marriages, divorces and future relationships. I’m merely observing. Facebook is good for that.

Some relationships are better ended. Others are better off if they never start. Some can be fixed, if all parties are willing. But in any case: we are writing the story of our lives on social media and seeing how we choose to author our wins and losses of life is worth noting.

-CL

Leave a comment »

That time I tried to Pinterest. 

#fail 



-CL 

Leave a comment »

#marriage

IMG_3903

Leave a comment »