Thursday, 6 March 2014

When I was 17...

When I was seventeen I had a step mom. There was nothing in the world I couldn't tell her. She took me in and treated me equally as one of her own and equally as the adult I so desperately wanted to be.


She taught me that being an adult didn't mean you couldn't still have fun.
She taught me what it meant to be a free spirit.
She taught me what it meant to work hard for what you wanted.
She taught me to make the perfect fried egg.
She taught me how to pinch pennies.
She taught me what it meant to be dependable.
She taught me that just because you were mad at someone you didn't stop loving them.


She taught me all of this and so much more.


Of all the things I remember, I remember most how infectious her laugh was. But I also remember...


Listening to her sing "Bobby McGee" at the VFW and being a little jealous that I couldn't pull off a Janis Joplin cover the way she did.
Sitting up late while my dad was in Saudi with the bag of Oreos we hid from the kids and a full gallon of milk. We'd read his letters and gorge ourselves on cookies and milk.
Staying close after her and my dad split and he was seeing someone else.
We'd go to the bar on the weekends and get smashed, go back to my house, and piss off dad's new girlfriend (who I couldn't stand) by making the noisiest breakfast two drunk women could make.
Shopping at flea markets and yard sales and marveling at how she could find the most awesome things and make them into something new and beautiful. If you ever wondered who first thought of repurposing someone else's old junk...I'm pretty sure it was her.


I've known she was sick for quite some time. She sent me an email and told me. F-ing cancer.


 I've been internally kicking myself for months because I wanted to see her and knew there was no way right now. Fibromyalgia and diabetes wouldn't allow it. I've been kicking myself for months because I didn't just ask for her number to talk to her on the phone. But I'd let her know in other ways I still loved her. But now, in retrospect, a damn Facebook message seems so inadequate.


And now I'm filled with regrets, and I'm beating myself up, and I'm dying to kick and scream and throw things.


Because I just found out she's gone.  She lost her battle with F-ing cancer and I won't get to hear her laugh one more time because I didn't ask for her number so I could call her. And I don't even know why I didn't ask.


And I don't want to write about this anymore. And I don't want to talk about it. I know which thoughts are rational and I know which ones aren't.  I just needed to regurgitate what was going through my mind.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

I don't know who I am, but I'm trying...

I'm changing. Or, is it evolving? Maybe growing as a human?


Something... something I don't recognize.


Don and I have been talking about gardens, living off the grid, the world going mad and how we'd survive. Knowing that I wouldn't survive. I'm an insulin dependent diabetic. Once that insulin runs out, so do I.


I find myself interested in things that never interested me before... like an insane, yellow-eyed, black cat named Ninja. I always hated cats...but this cat...well, you'd just have to meet her to get it. She's the exception to all things I hate about cats.


Despite what I believe to be a completely rational fear of pressure cookers, I'm going to learn to can the garden spoils. That is, can what can't be frozen. Better safe than sorry, right?


Don has collected some 1500 or so beer, wine, and liquor bottles. They will be used to build a wall to terrace the yard. If you're wondering how this works, click here. He's also working out how to convert our home into an earthship type structure.  Self sustainable, meaning we will produce our own water, food, and electricity. He will be building a chicken coop soon and we've been discussing dairy goats.


It's been nearly 7 months since I stopped working. I haven't written a single word. Two novels, two beautiful stories to be told, and I've not written one single word. I'm somewhat ashamed of myself.


Instead, I've been sewing. I've been sewing blindly. No patterns...grabbing things out of my closet that I know I'll never wear again and making them into something else entirely. Right now my passion is skirts. Flowy bohemian skirts. My practical solution to scorching Arkansas summers. That, and now that I'm not working I can't afford to run to the store every time I feel like having something new to hang in my closet.


I haven't cut my hair in almost a year. It hasn't been this long since I was in Jr. High. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. If you see me out and about, you can be assured that my hair will either be in a bun or a braid. I have long hair that I never wear down because I can't stand for it to touch me. I will also be in thick rimmed glasses, most likely perched towards the end of my nose, and I will not be wearing makeup.


I spend more time now picking out things I can only find in the "hippie foods" section at the grocery store. We're trying new things like kale, red lentils, and more vegetarian options. This happens much to the dismay of my dad. He's a meat and taters kind of guy -- country cookin' drowned in bacon fat, it ain't a meal if you don't have at least three carb choices and something mooing on your plate. That kind of guy. However, to his credit, I have convinced him that Morning Star and Boca products are, indeed, acceptable meat replacements.


All of this, and then I realize that I'm becoming what I call a hippie. And, if it means more socially aware, if it means comfortable with me rather than society's norm, I'm ok with that. To me it means freedom. Maybe you should try it, too.