The Nothingness

 Dark Poetry from another life

The Nothingness……………………………

I can actually feel my heart sink lower, shudder and retreat
It crawls desperately deeper, searching for a blackness
so far, that no one else can reach

I see it cowering
I feel it shrinking
It seems so small now
So deep, I’m not even sure that it’s still there

I am not angry.
It must protect itself.
I must protect me.

I know that it is not healthy that I don’t shed a tear
but to cry now would require my heart and it has abandoned me

I am emotionless.
I stare.
I write.
I breathe.
These things do not hurt.

My shoulders are too heavy to stand
yet when I lay, my chest feels as though it will collapse.
A hideous darkness has pinned me down.
I have trouble breathing.

I am numb.
I am shock.
I am empty.
I am gone.

Nothing to write.
Nothing to feel.
Nothing to say.
Nothing to hurt me.

Here in this darkness, I simply exist…………..


Finally, My Very Own Pony

         When I was 7 years old I overheard my Mom speaking to a friend in the entry way of our house. The friend was looking to re-home their beloved outgrown pony. I stood with my back to the wall and my ear pressed as close to the hallway corner as possible, not wanting to be caught eavesdropping. The lady explained that her daughter had outgrown the pony many years before but that they had been unsuccessful finding a permanent home for her. She explained that the pony was talented and educated but that she was testy with the children and could be difficult to ride. After failing to work out as a lesson pony at one of the local competitive barns the pony had been put out to pasture to be used for breeding and had sustained an injury to her left eye by a stray piece of wire on the fencing of the pasture. The vet had proclaimed that she had lost most sight in that eye with the exception of possibly seeing vague foggy shapes. For these reasons the Owners were only looking to sell the pony for $1.00 to the right permanent home. That word permanent was all I needed to hear. I sprinted to my bedroom to grab the allowance I had been saving. This was my chance to have my very own pony, a pony that my Mother COULD NOT sell. I didn’t care how hard she was to ride or what her eyesight was like or how old she was. All I cared about was that she would be MINE and stuck in a deal between friends to never be sold, a deal that my mother would HAVE to honor.

      Perhaps I should explain. You see, my mother was a Horse Trader. This means she made her meager living from buying and selling horses. She would often pick up unwanted or untrained horses for very little money and turn around and sell them later for a profit. My sister and I were part of this family business, whether we liked it or not, and were used to train the horses in whatever riding discipline suited them best. Our small ranch did not have any staff but us. We cared for them, fed them, groomed them, bathed them, cleaned up after them, and tamed them. 7 days per week. If Mom saw a profit to be made in a horse, she took it. Time and time again my sister and I would break these young horses, tame them, hit the dirt, hit the dirt some more, and hit the dirt again until they began to come around to become gentle riding horses only to come home from school one day and find their corral empty because they had been sold. And of course, each time they were quickly replaced by the next wild animal. With 21 horses in the back yard you would think that I would not be excited about adding another but now you can understand why I was sprinting for my allowance to buy myself a pony that I could keep forever.

9 dimes and 2 nickels.
I ran back down the hallway and abruptly interjected myself into the conversation. Just in time to interrupt my mother’s polite rejection to the Owner. Cutting her off mid-sentence I confidently proclaimed “I’ll take her!”. Then I reached out my hand and dropped the $1.00 in change into the ladies palm.
My mom looked at the lady and the lady returned her glance quizzically. Then after the brief silence was over the lady must have clued into my desperation because disregarding my mother she bent down to my eye level, placed her hand on my shoulder and said “I believe you will give her a very lovely home. It’s a deal”. Standing back up she asked my mom when the pony should be delivered. My mother exhaled and waved her hand in the air, “Fine, fine. Whenever is convenient for you.”
I was so ecstatic that I almost forgot to ask her name. Not the ladies name, of course, because that was of no consequence to me but I needed to know the ponies’ name. “What’s her name?” I asked excitedly and the lady replied “Springtime”.

“Springtime…….” I contemplated for a second, “that’s beautiful”. Little did Springtime know it, but this was going to be the beginning of a very incredible relationship, I could feel it.

        For the next 2 years Springtime and I had many amazing adventures together. For instance, Springtime thought it was very fun to watch me run around the pasture for 45 minutes chasing her to catch her. I believe she thought it was particularly entertaining when I would throw the halter and lead rope on the ground and start stomping up and down on it or when I would collapse exhausted against the tree for a break. But never once did I give up and eventually Springtime would take pity on me and make the clear decision to stand perfectly still after the 45 minutes allowing me to halter her. Each time I would be so excited to ride her that by the time I lead her up to the barn to tack up I would have completely forgotten about the past 45 minutes of chaos and all was forgiven.
She was MY perfect pony.
Riding proved to be fairly interesting at times as Springtime would often decide that she no longer wished to go anywhere I wanted to go or even go at all. Yet, on other days, she would get a wild hair and decide to go everywhere I didn’t want to go and go there very fast. The blindness in her one eye often took a bit of negotiating on her riders part because it caused her to be spooky on that side. It was also important to pay attention if the trail dropped off on the blind side because Springtime would not know of the dangerous terrain to her left. One of the many things Springtime did not care for was mud. I remember one trail ride with my sister where we came to a mud crossing that we could not go around and I was determined to get Springtime through it so we could enjoy the rest of our trail ride. After many determined attempts I came to the conclusion that if she refused to walk thru the mud, then I would simply make her jump the mud. Getting far back for a running head start I galloped her towards the mud crossing with all the confidence I could muster. Springtime must have felt my sheer determination because upon reaching the mud crossing she decided that I must surely and truly want to get to the other side so she assisted me in my conquest by slamming on the brakes and catapulting me into the air to cross the mud all by myself. As luck would have it the inertia was not quite enough to propel me clearly across and I landed in a swan dive right in the center of the mud hole.
“Now you’ve done it Pony!!” I said spitting out mud.
I angrily pushed myself up and spun around to point my finger at her but to my surprise she was gone. My anger was immediately swept away and replaced with horror. I thought to myself “oh no, I lost MY pony” and I desperately searched the horizon. To my relief she was only about 100 feet away happily snacking on some luscious field weeds. “it’s a good thing she’s a pig or she might have been miles from here by now.” We then played our customary 45 minute keep away game while she picked new places to graze always just beyond my reach until I finally caught her. This time she had had enough playing around and walked right thru the mud and we had a lovely rest of the trail ride. I returned home covered in mud and couldn’t be more pleased with MY perfect pony.

       Soon I began to attend horse shows with MY perfect pony. I entered her in Hunter/Jumper events. My family did not have much money so I didn’t show often and mostly I wore hand-me-down show clothes from others and borrowed tack but I still remember the day that we finally beat “Foxy lady” in the walk-trot division. And later when my all illusive and diabolical competition “Cherry Berry Soda Pop” finally took 2nd place to “Springtime” in the Short Stirrup division. Onward and upward we moved thru the divisions together becoming a flawless team. I had my dreams set on one day competing in the Pony Hunter division like my older sister but I was willing to be patient and work towards that goal at the rate that Springtime would allow.

      There was a rule in our family that you had to be 8 years old before you could take off into the hills trail riding by yourself. I couldn’t wait. As soon as I was 8, Springtime became my solace. There were many chores that were mandatory on the ranch but one of them was keeping all the horses on your string exercised. I used this to my advantage. Springtime and I would take off into the hills together just her and I. Best friends on countless adventures into the safety of our solitude together. There was also a rule that we had to wear our helmets. So I got into a naive and dangerous habit of wearing my helmet off the property, once out of sight, I would promptly ditch it in the bushes until I returned. Of course, because Princess’s do not wear helmets, neither do Cowboys nor do Indians. So no matter which adventure I was on for the day, ditching the helmet was the first item on the agenda.   Hair flying in the wind, galloping over hills and meadows I had found my freedom. Sometimes I imagined myself as a Runaway Princess leaving my corrupt Kingdom behind to find my own freedom, other times I envisioned myself as Cinderella escaping my duties. A common favorite was to play “Man from Snowy River” (a movie I had seen about an Australian Cowboy). I would find the biggest and steepest hill I could and try galloping carefree down it to recreate an epic scene from the movie. Of course, no one told me that they actually killed a horse in the filming of that movie because it was such a dangerous stunt. Whether it was Cowboys or Indians, Princess or pauper, Springtime was part of my adventure and the key to my escape. She was always there for me to listen to everything I had to say, carry me around on my adventures and of course, to keep me humble with her comical antics.

       In turn, I was always there for her as well. Feeding her morning and night, cleaning her corral, endlessly bathing and brushing her white coat. I even soaked her bit in Strawberry soda the night before shows. Strawberry was her favorite, I was hoping that she would love it and work extra hard for me the next day at the horseshow. I listened to her, I respected her, I was dedicated to her and above all I loved her.

      One day, a few months after my 9th birthday, Springtime fell ill and my world started to crumble. We had the vet come out immediately to take a look. He was very perplexed with her symptoms at first. She had strange swelling around her groin area. After some blood work it became apparent that Springtime had contracted a very rare disease carried by flies. She had sustained a bite to her utter which is where the swelling began but once in her bloodstream it soon spread to other areas of her body. I asked the vet if he had seen this before and he stated “only two other cases.” I then asked him “how did they turn out?” and his demeanor immediately changed. He struggled for the correct words and finally he said “Both horses died.” He must have been feeling the complete desperation because he quickly followed it with “but they didn’t catch it as soon and they didn’t take care of their horses nearly as well as you do.” At this point I did not realize that he was simply trying not to crush a little girls dreams and was giving me hope where there was none to be given. I nodded in understanding, for I was absolutely positive that I could do it. I could be the one to take such great care of her that she would pull through, unlike the other two horses. The vet spoke with my mom in private. I could tell she was not very happy but the only words I could pick up on were “I understand, but I also can’t afford to have you here everyday nursing her for who knows how long.” My heart felt pained and sank into my stomach. I couldn’t speak past the large knot in my throat, my legs became weak and I felt as though I might lose my lunch. Up until now, I had been able to provide for all of my ponies physical and emotional needs but I did not have any money to pay a Doctor for her necessary medical needs. I knew money was tight in our household, and realistically paying a vet to make a house call everyday was out of the question but still I did not want to hear those words come out of my mother’s mouth. We had animals in the past that had “cost too much money medically” and had been euthanized. Sometimes without even giving us notice first to say goodbye. I instinctively stepped closer to my pony providing a protective barrier between the adults and her. Not this one, not MY pony.

       When they were done speaking the vet walked back to me and he kneeled down so that we could speak eye to eye. Not an adult to a kid but one concerned person to another. He said “Your pony is going to need everyday care. In fact, she may need around the clock care and I am too busy to make it by here everyday. So you are going to need to be my assistant and take care of her when I am not here. I will teach you how and you will need to be in charge. Can you do that?” I sucked back the tears and quickly nodded, Yes. I was still emotionally a wreck that Springtime was sick so seriously but I was definitely relieved to have a chance at saving her.

      Over the next couple of days the swelling increased and expanded forward towards her lungs. The Doctor taught me to administer Springtime’s twice daily Intra-muscular shots myself for pain and inflammation. He explained that if the swelling was allowed to harden that it would make it difficult for her to breath and soon hot compresses were prescribed to be applied to the edemas every few hours, 24 hours a day. As it travelled nearer her throat it became difficult for her to swallow and a food substitute with warm bran mash had to be prepared for every meal and hand fed to her. Luckily it was summer time and I did not have school to attend. At the tender age of 9 years old I stepped up and committed to an around the clock caregiver routine. MY pony needed me too. I stuck by her side all day and all night. Applying hot compresses, administering shots, listening to her heart rate and taking her temperature. I prepared all her meals and fed them to her myself. Always encouraging her to keep fighting the disease. I sang to her and I read books to her to pass the time.

       Soon I was allowed to move a cot into Springtime’s stall to sleep in at night. Her breathing was becoming raspy as her lungs were filling up with liquid. I became accustomed to the sound as I would sleep and knew that if she stopped breathing it would awaken me. I applied the compresses even more often and I made them so hot I would burn my hands while holding them against her coat.
I was determined to save my best friend.

       Time blurred after a while of care and I am uncertain if it was merely 2 weeks or as many as 6 weeks later that my Mom announced the family would be taking a trip to see my grandparents in Oregon. I was shocked and confused.
“But I can’t go anywhere right now!!” I shouted pleadingly. “Springtime needs me. There is no one else that can care for her like I do”.
My Mom sat me down at the table and said “Now, now, calm down Wanda. The trip is only 1 week long and I have hired the young lady that use to own and ride Springtime before you did. She is going to move into the ranch temporarily and house sit for us. She is the best person I could think of to take care of your beloved pony.”

       I took some time to contemplate this. My mom was very clear that this trip was for sure happening and as much as I hated leaving Springtime, I also knew that it was not an option for the family to leave a 9 year old home alone. I was however, pleasantly surprised that my mom had found an acceptable solution. After all, if this was the last little girl that had experienced the same kind of relationship that I had with Springtime then there was really no one better to take care of her in my forced absence and until I could return. Reluctantly, I attended the trek to Oregon.

       It took two days to arrive in Oregon but it was just as beautiful as I had remembered it. My Grandparents have 40 acres well off the beaten path and in the middle of a luscious forest. There are Blackberry bushes that you can walk right up to and pick off fruit to your hearts content and plenty of magical places to find yourself alone and happily lost in an imaginary world of adventure. It was so nice to step out of the camper and take in a big breath of fresh forest air full of scents from all kinds of trees, plants, grasses, and the smell of damp earth after last night’s light rain. It seemed to wash away part of the dark cloud I had been living under for the past few weeks. The nature around me lightened my spirit and began to make me feel like a kid again.

       On the third day of our trip, just a few hours after we arrived at my grandparents, the phone rang. I remember it sounded alarming because it was a very old phone with a loud clattering ring to it. As usual, my grandmother answered it. But less usual, she shouted across the porch “It’s for you Mary”(that’s my mothers name). Instantly, I was ripped from my new adventure and my gut told me I should be filled with dread. I sprang from my dreamy state in nature and ran quickly towards the house to eavesdrop. As I reached the house I moved stealthily inside. My mom sat at the phone with her back to me, nodding. With a sad tone but lacking any shock value, my mother said “uh huh,…. uh huh,….. okay then, it’s done?” Now admittedly, that phone call could have been about anything. But somehow I knew. I knew in my gut and in my heart what that phone call was about. And in that very same moment I realized that I had been set up and betrayed. This vacation was a ploy to get me away from Springtime so they could end it.

         I gasped, causing my mother to spin around suddenly realizing that she was not alone in the room. All I could think to do was run away and that is exactly what I did. I ran out the door and off the porch. I ran into the thick welcoming forest and kept running. I didn’t want it to be true but I didn’t need to wait and listen to know that it was true. I ran down to the creek that runs thru their property and back tracked a bit along the edge of the creek until I came to the old wooden bridge. Tucking myself up into a nice hiding place underneath the rickety old bridge at the creeks edge I collapsed in a heap of despair. My body was convulsing and heaving with each sob that it let out and I struggled to catch my breath between the out pours. My tears streamed down my face and fell into the mud around my knees. Eventually I curled up on my side drawing my knees to my chest and my body fell silent.

       It must have taken them a while to figure out what to say and who to send to do it, but after some time passed I started to hear my name being called from somewhere near the house. For fear of punishment, I was typically a well behaved child but I had no desire to answer their calls today.
I remained silent.
After failing at attempts to call me out from the house I began to hear more than one voice calling for me and soon the voices were coming from different directions of the forest. I suppose I had been missing for a pretty long time by now and it was getting dark. By the sounds of it they were sending out a search party. Yet still, I could not bring myself to my feet to retreat back to my betrayers nor could I muster up any kind of answering call from the distance.
So I remained silent and hidden.

       When the sun was almost completely down I gave in. I crept out of my hiding place and climbed up the bank of the river to the roadway. I could not find the strength to walk myself all the way into the house but I figured I would meet them halfway. I walked back into reasonable view and sat down in the swing that hung from a tree just 50 feet from the front porch.

     My father was the first to find me and he softly spoke to me in an attempt to explain. Apparently I was not meant to over-hear that phone call and they both wished I could have had a wonderful vacation first. They planned to inform me on our way home or once we arrived home.
This infuriated me.
I wanted to scream “But our hearts are connected!! You don’t think I wouldn’t feel when hers stopped beating? Do you really think that I would want to go a week in ignorant bliss while my pony was already dead?!” but instead I stayed silent just staring at the ground beneath my tennis shoes. I was so caught up in my own head that I could only hear some of what he was saying. Of course he spoke about the suffering of the pony and pointed out that it was the only right thing to do. And deep down in my heart I knew he was right about that but after everything I had been thru with her I felt that I deserved the respect of being present with her when it was done.
I wanted to hug her, tell her I would see her on the other side.
Explain to her that she wouldn’t hurt anymore.
I needed to be there when the light went out in her eyes. I owed her that.
But that was all ripped away from me in a well-intended decision to spare me the pain.

       Most of that week was a blur of tears but I was grateful to be able to retreat alone into the beautiful peace of nature each day. Upon returning home I realized that my mom had not saved anything related to Springtime. In an effort to avoid drudging up feelings there were no more memories to be readily found of her. Her corral and been cleaned spotless and her tack was already packed away. Had I been given the choice, I would have kept hair from her tail to look upon when I missed her.
This “cover-up” was exceptionally painful for me.
Instead of honoring her memory it felt like everyone was trying to erase her.
Trying to make me just forget her.


       Reflecting back as an adult I realize that my parent’s intent was to spare their nine year-old daughter what they deemed to be unnecessary pain. As parents we all hope to be able to shelter our child from many of life’s great tragedies. Often times we look for the quickest way thru it or around it so we can continue on with our lives pretending it doesn’t exist. But I can honestly attest that even from my young 9 years of experience I knew better with regards to what I could handle. My parents unknowingly created more discord in my heart and between my relationship with them then if I had been allowed to take the tough decision that needed to be made into my own hands and met it head on.


A typical Monday with ADHD

Warning: This is a lengthy one but hilarious if you have, or know anyone that has, Adult ADHD.
(Then again, if it is you that has adult ADHD, you likely won’t make it to the end of the story anyways. LOL)

The Story of My Mondays – Told by Me, an ADHD mother, wife and business owner

First, you need to know that Mondays are my days off. In fact, many weeks they are my only days off and I generally feel a great deal of pressure to make them count.

Next, this is not a story of a particular Monday so much as it is simply an example of a typical Monday for me. Pieces of this story have been collected from my memory and I write them down as they pop up. Then with a lot of effort I took these stories from several different days and arranged them together to make an entire day. On a relative scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the worst Monday in history) this story will represent a more typical yet slightly drama filled type of Monday for me. I will rate it a 7 or an 8. The rest of this Prelude section will include a detailed “Real Time” running narrative of what’s going on while I am trying to even put this story to paper.

Mondays are typically…
– (forgot to open Cockatoos cage, get up and open, talk to bird, return to computer, “Where was I?”, Oh yes)
Mondays are typically my only day off. As each week progresses my “Monday To Do” list grows and grows.
– (my dog is so cute, look at him running circles chasing his tail that he doesn’t even have. “Back to the story Wanda”)
By the time Monday comes around my To Do List is a mile long…
– (Omg, its Monday and this story isn’t on my To Do list, which means IF I finish it I will have nothing to cross off and feel proud about. That would be a shame. Pick up my phone, Add to To Do List, see that I have email and get sidetracked with email for about 30 minutes)
… Anyways, I feel like it may be impossible to complete the Monday To Do List but if I don’t get it done the next week will only add more and more to it.
– (Beep Beep, oh look someone texted me……….. 15 minutes go by)
– (“Where was I?” Re-read Paragraph that I’ve written and I find that I’ve skipped words or letters so I correct it)

So every Sunday night I set my alarm early for Monday morning because I am determined to FINALLY conquer “The Monday List”.
-(Speaking of that, I can’t believe I slept an hour past my alarm this morning, that was NOT productive!! ….. proceed to think about all the things I could have done during that hour instead of sleep in…. some time passes, I’m not sure how much because I wasn’t paying attention)
Even though the ominous “To Do List” has never been fully conquered on a Monday in the past 20 years, nevertheless, I am hopeful today will be the day.
-(There… I managed to get the opening paragraph completed…… I better re-read it)

Okay, now that you get the idea of how hard and/or time consuming this has been to write I will continue through the Monday story skipping the “Real time” Narrative. But you can pretty much assume that this pattern has been going on throughout the entire story.

6:58AM I beat my alarm awake. Good start. It’s Monday morning and as soon as my eyes open my mind is swirling with all the things I need and want to accomplish today. This is the day that I am going to get EVERYTHING on the list done!!! At the end of this day that list will be EMPTY!!

7:00AM I grab the phone to turn off the alarm but there is a message from Facebook. So I log in and read the message, then I browse the News feed, update my status, chuckle at a few things…..

8:00AM I look at the time. YIKES!! I’ve been on Facebook for an hour, now I’m late. I jump out of bed. I start getting dressed and notice my favorite pants are dirty. I need to do laundry, that’s on the list, so I might as well start. I grab up a bunch of darks, head to the laundry room and throw them in. Looks like there is more room. So I head back to the bedroom for more laundry when I see my unopened Ice Tea on the counter in the kitchen. I’m going to want that cold later so I put it in the refrigerator. But while putting it in the refrigerator I notice the week old Pizza box. That’s right! I need to clean out this fridge before I go grocery shopping. So I start by grabbing the pizza box and taking it to the garage trash can. Except teetering on the top the trash can is the shopping bag with the Hamster food in it that I bought yesterday. Well, I better take that into Jacob’s bedroom and put it in the container since they are almost out of food. I leave the pizza box on the ground and grab up the food bag. I’m pouring the Hamster food in the fresh seal container I have next to the cage when the refrigerator starts beeping because someone left it open. I run back to the refrigerator to close it and stub my big toe on the way there. I manage to close the fridge but now I’m bleeding so I carefully head to the bathroom for a band-aid. As I’m applying the band aid I notice the ring around the bath tub. “Yuck!, I better add that to The List”

9:00AM I pull out my phone to add something to the list but I don’t remember what it was………. Stare at phone……. I need to go potty. While doing this I see the ring on the bathtub again. “Ahh Haa, that was it” I quickly whip out my phone and add it to The List. While on the phone I see that I have an email so I open my email and get lost in email for some time.

9:30AM My legs are numb…… well, that’s because I’m still sitting on the toilet. Silly me. “Back to work!” I walk into the hallway and try to remember what I was working on….. no problem, that’s what The List is for so I open up the phone again and pick something from the list. I pick “Bills”. Okay, I walk to the living room and sit down in front of my laptop to pay some bills. The laptop is not on so I turn it on. Always the over achiever and not wanting to waste time I say to myself “Well, while it’s booting I might as well multi-task and get something else done that’s real quick”. Just then the dog whines. “That’s it, I’ll take the dog out for a quick walk to go potty” heading to the door I realize that I’m not even dressed yet. “Well that will certainly give the neighbors something to talk about” I chuckle and head to the bedroom to finish getting dressed. As I start to get dressed the same thing occurs to me about my favorite pants being dirty. “That’s right!! I was going to start the laundry!!” Opening the two laundry baskets I realize that it needs to be sorted so I began throwing the clothes out of the basket and onto the floor into piles of lights, darks, and delicates. “Eeeek!!!” A spider in the laundry. I run into the kitchen to grab the Raid. I see all the dishes piled up in the sink and say “Shoot, that’s not on my list but I better add it, it’s starting to smell. Well if I don’t add it now I will forget. So Mr. Spider will just have to wait to meet his demise” I set the Raid on the counter and began to look for my phone. Where did I put my phone? Walking around the house.

10:00AM I spot my phone on the couch next to the Laptop which is now booted and waiting for instructions. I sit down with the laptop and somehow I did remember to add “Wash dishes” to my To Do List. “Time for bills.” I say to myself. I start to organize the bills when I notice I have received another email, might as well check it. I get lost in email for a bit.

11:00AM -DING DONG – The doorbell rings. Dog is now barking and the bird is squacking “Who could that be?” “Oh, it’s the end of the first quarter. That’s probably Fed Ex with my quarterly reports for the business that I have to sign for” I get up and head to the door when I realize I’m STILL not dressed!!!! I can’t answer the door and sign for something without any pants on….. Argh. I run as fast as I can to the bedroom to grab some sweats and trip on the first pile of “sorted” clothes I come to near the bedroom door. I am now flailing through the air falling face first towards the ground. Luckily the second pile of dirty clothes softens my landing but before I have time to feel greatful about the second pile of clothes I come nose to nose with Mr. Spider that has been lurking around the laundry pile for the past hour. “Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!” I leap up and backwards. Feeling foolish I say “Stupid little Spider, I’ll teach you” I grab my nearest shoe and promptly take care of the problem. Then I think to myself “I wish THAT had been on The List. *Kill stupid Spider* I would love to be able to check that off”

11:02AM Quickly I get back on task and grab a pair of sweats and throw them on. Trot back down the hallway and open the front door. There is no longer a postman there but instead I see a little yellowish/tan card stuck in the door. I read it: “Sorry we missed you. This is our second attempt. Your package will be available for pick up…….etc etc” I sigh. “Dang it. Now I have to make a trip to the post office this week” Closing the door I shrug “Well, better add that to The List or I will forget” At this point the bird has climbed down off the top of her cage for the third time today and I am very annoyed with her. If I put her back inside her cage she will just scream and carry on so I decide to take her to the bedroom cage where she can safely be put inside and I simply will not hear her from the living room as she screams and carries on. While in the bedroom I see the sorted piles and remember that I still haven’t even started the first load of laundry yet. Talking to myself humorously I say “Oh Wanda, what am I going to do with you?” Scooping up the rest of the darks I take them to the laundry room and add them to the load that has been waiting. I put the soap in and set the dial. -RING RING- Whats that? Oh, it’s my phone AND it’s not only my phone but it is the ring tone specific to my loving and adoring husband who I have been missing since this morning. Not wanting to miss the cherished and rare call I rush back into the living room and answer the phone.
(I did not realize that I had not yet pressed the “Start” button on the washer)
I walk around the house talking on the phone for a bit. My husband had called to remind me about something………. It was pretty important….. but I don’t remember it now. But don’t worry though, because it’s on The List….. I think.
Nearing the end of the conversation he casually invites me to meet him for lunch. I immediately become frustrated. Inside I’m feeling like I would LOVE to run off and meet him for lunch but I can also feel the stress quickly building like a storm.
All these questions like: How much time is that going to waste?
How am I possibly going to finish The List if I’m out flitting around having lunch and idle conversation?
This is the ONE Monday when I was finally going to get it ALL done! I ONLY get one day off a week, I can’t waste it on things of pleasure.
-5 seconds of swirling conflict go by-
My husband says: “Wanda? Are you still there?”
I finally respond in some version of emotional vomit: “Lunch? How do you expect me to go to lunch with all the stuff I have to get done? Do you even realize how much stuff I really do on a daily basis? How can YOU go to Lunch? Aren’t you suppose to be busy? Why am I the only one that’s so busy all the time? If you have so much free time why don’t YOU do the laundry? (sarcastically I continue) Sure…… I would LOVE to go to lunch with you and blow off the rest of my day. But I just can’t. You wanted to know how my day was? Well that’s how it is, I don’t even have that much time, that’s how busy I am.”
My surprised and caught off guard husband says shortly: “okay, sorry I asked. I’ll let you go and talk to you later.”

Somehow it’s now 12:00PM and I’m pacing.
I head back to the couch with my laptop waiting for me. I pause….. “Damn it, there was something I was going to add it to The List…….. what was it?” More pacing. “Damn it, Chris made me forget! Damn damn damn. I wish he hadn’t called.”
– A period of time passes while I reflect inwardly –
Well actually, I don’t know what I wish. I am so glad he called and it was great to hear his voice.
I really wish I could have gone to lunch with him.
I wish I could go to lunch with him on any Monday.
That would be really nice.
I don’t know why I lost it on him.
I didn’t even tell him thanks for reminding me about that thing.
Now he probably thinks I never want to go to lunch with him.
He probably won’t even want to invite me again….. or even call me for that matter.
I’m sad.
But if he just hadn’t upset me so much the conversation would have gone better. I mean seriously, doesn’t he even get a clue of how busy I am all the time? He lives with me for Christ sake, shouldn’t he know?
But I really miss him today.
I really wish I could have been sweeter on the phone to him.
Snapping out of it I say to myself out loud “Your wasting precious time, get going”

12:30PM Upon sitting down I see the Yellowish/tan notice. “That’s it. I was going to add a ‘trip to the Post office” I quickly added it to The List. Then, knowing it might get overlooked and being the responsible person that I am, I even took it a step farther and I added a calendar reminder in my phone to alert me when it is available to be picked up from the Post Office.
Proudly I say “There, done.”
Settling into my computer I begin working on Bills again. In an Amazing turn of events I COMPLETE all the bills through Online Bill Pay. I say to myself “Well, there’s something I can cross off my list”

1:30PM I’m hungry. So I fix myself something to eat. While eating I think “hey, I deserve a little bit of ‘me’ time. Maybe I don’t have enough time to drive over to Chris and go out for lunch but I should at least get a little ME time. I think I should be able to watch one of my pre-recorded TV shows on my day off without feeling guilty. What’s an hour of free time in a whole day off? Can’t hurt. Right? In fact, if I fast forward through the commercials it will only be about 40 minutes. That’s good display of proper time management right there. I’m going to do that.” After 15 minutes of debating the pros and cons I switch on the TV. Engrossed in the TV screen I forget the fact that I can fast forward through the commercials and proceed to watch the whole show from start to finish commercials and all. Although somewhere near the end of the program one of the commercials reminded me of something annoying a client of mine did the other day. I stewed over this annoying act for about 15 minutes looking at it from all different angles and dreaming of all the different ways I would have preferred to handle it including some pretty comical and completely unrealistic solutions. As my show is wrapping up in some sort of devastating “to be continued” next twist I realize that I have missed some of it and don’t completely understand the ending. “Well, that just won’t do. How am I suppose to understand what’s going on in next weeks episode? Let’s just rewind that real quick and take a quick look.”

It is now 3:15PM I am done eating and watching my show.
Feeling a bit guilty and very much behind I pick my chin up and say enthusiastically “Don’t let this set you back. Must get back to working on The List.”
– Beep Beep –
Email notification on my phone. Exsaperrated I say “You know, that is like the 10th email alert in the past hour or so.  know I always say No Emails On Monday but those emails are going to stack up quickly if I don’t just get to it now” Curiousity wins out and I open my laptop again and dive into my emails to find out that I have received the most ridiculous email from an innocent client.
“Are you serious?” I say aloud. Heated and anxious about the email I call my sister to share it with her. Then after she whole heartedly agrees and takes my side I decide I need a second, less biased, opinion so of course I call my best friend. “I know your probably busy but can you believe this?” After she agrees my fire has been fueled. “Well then, I’m just going to have to respond immediately to this foolishness” I begin drafting the reply email educating them on how unreasonable all their outlandish ideas and requests are. yada yada yada, etc etc. The email quickly grows into a lengthy wordy emotional retaliation for every dumb question or request that anybody has ever waisted my time with.
Then, as I always do…… I calm down and re-read the email. I re-read and re-read and after I am satisfied that I have thoroughly expressed myself…………… I delete most of it.
After much time the final draft is much shorter. I have supportively and careful answered their request in a very diplomatic and professional tone. I have light heartedly responded and probably compromised on a couple of points to help keep us both smiling.
I press send.
(Not even realizing that I have basically given them instant gratification and information on my sacred day off, a Monday. And I wonder why everyone expects me to answer on Mondays?? All the while taking up an hour and a half of my precious and ever important TO DO List time.)

4:45PM Moments after hitting send I realize the computer is “stuck”
What is it doing now?
I impatiently strum my fingers on the edge. Is it going to send the dang email or not?
My email disappears and a smaller rectangle window pops up accompanied by a dreadful short audio alarm buzz. It says “Could not complete the task…..something or another… bla bla….. network failed…….” I’m not really sure what it said through the red haze that now covered my vision. It might as well have been greek to me. My husband is the computer savvy guy and I can’t rely on his assistance because for all I know he is still out to lunch somewhere having fun or since he has so much time on his hands maybe he even left work early and is fishing down at the shore. I throw my hands in the air. Great!! Now my email is probably gone. I glance at the time: 4:50. Almost screaming in my mind I think “What? Where has the day gone?” What followed this thought was a string of explicatives which I will spare you. Once again my head is swirling. All the chores, all the important things to get done, so much to do, so little time.

The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland flashes through my mind, scurrying down the dirt corridors in his little plaid vest. He whips out his time piece to check the time and desperately proclaims to whoever will listen “I’m late I’m late I’m late”. And now for a moment I am that little white rabbit. Hurriedly and frantically rushing through a fantasy world of nonsense. Fairytale creatures, bright swirling colors of poka dots and stripes. As I hurry, I rush by the Cheshire Cat who is pompously grinning at my failures. Funny looking trees pass by, an oversized mushroom with a crazy looking Catapillar sits wisely on top smoking his hooka. Maybe I should stop and partake? Maybe it will chill me out? NO!! I’m late, I’m late, I’m late. Funny looking cottages and a Tea Party with Hats. All the while fanatically worrying about an agenda that I can’t quite remember but know in my very being is just oh so important.
But now thoughts change to The Great Nothingness that is swallowing every dream ever created. A boy riding his Dog Dragon through the Never Ending Story trying to save what is left of this dream land. But this mythical world is crumbling all around him. Rocks are tumbling down, trees are getting blown out of their roots as the Nothingness continues to gain speed and swallow everything in it’s path.
Will the hero save it in time?
Or will the world fall and crumble into the great Nothing and become nothing?
“Oh stop being so dramatic and snap out of it Wanda!” I say firmly scolding myself.
“Organize your thoughts.”
“Call Chris”

5:00PM I’m calling Chris.
No Answer. Well, either he has had enough of me and doesn’t want to talk to me ever again or he is out fishing having a grand old time while I am trying to salvage my last 2 hours with this email mess. Because of course, those are the only 2 possible scenerios. Now I am mad at my computer, I’m angry at myself because it is so late, I am steaming at anybody that dares to email me on a Monday when they know I’m not going to answer, and it’s all Chris’s fault because he is the computer guy!!!
So there.
I thrust myself backwards deeper into the support of the couch and fold my arms defiantly over one another.
I pout about it.
And with a frown I say “What a terrible day!”

5:15PM Wait a minute……
what is that noise? I unfold my arms and tilt my head.
Sounds almost like water running onto the carpet behind me……….
Well that’s just impossib……..… SHIT!!!!!
I leap off the couch screaming at the dog “MAX!!!!! NO!! BAAAD DOG!! STOP!!” The dog tucks his butt in fear and takes off down the hallway leaving a trail of unfinished business in his wake for the entire 20 feet. Now to truly understand the gravity of this situation you must first understand that my husband does not like the dog in the first place. And second, this is our first home together that we actually own and he is very protective over everything in it. This especially includes the condition of the carpet. Third, my husband may not have the best hearing but he has an incredible super sense of smell. This realization hits me and insues another stream of explicitives which I will once again spare the reader from.
In my anger I search the house but cannot immediately find the dog.
Smart Dog.
Then as I have a chance to take a couple deep breaths I remember that it is all my fault because hours earlier he whined to tell me he needed to go out and I got distracted and never took him. Feeling like a terrible dog mother (LOL, I guess that makes me a bitch) I slumped down to the floor. Sitting cross legged on a non-soiled section of the floor and picking at the carpet fibers I started talking to Max. “I’m sorry buddy. That was all my fault. You can come out now, I’m not mad.”
Mustering up a little cheerier voice I said “Come here Max. Come here. I still love you.”
Dogs being the over achieving people pleasing loyal and forgiving animals that they are…. Max soon came cautiously out of hiding and tentatively climbed up into my lap. Within seconds he was offering me to rub his tummy and happy to be receiving pats and praise for the peeing on the carpet incident.
(It’s a wonder I ever I got him potty trained at all)
“Let’s go for that walk I promised you earlier. I will clean up the mess as soon as we get back” I don’t have shoes on but I don’t even care at this point. I can manage barefoot. Also feeling like a bad bird mother, I give in and retrieve the bird from the bedroom cage and place her on top of the living room cage where she loves to be to watch over everything and play with her toys. I’m feeling better now about calming down and doing the right things. At least my animals are happy. Max and I head out for our walk.

5:30PM We are coming back in the house from a short happy walk when I see the clock. “Oh no!! I have to get Jacob from his Extended Studies after school program by 5:45.” I quickly take off the leash and promptly step forward into the wet squishy spot of carpet with my still bare foot. Speaking mostly to myself but somewhat to the dog too: “Damn it!!. Chris is going to be home soon and you peed all over the carpet!” I quickly grab paper towels and throw them down over the mess. Then I use up most the rest of the roll following the trail down the hallway. “Well, that will just have to do for now. The towels can soak it up while I’m gone. Once again I’m out of time and I’m late.” Grabbing some shoes I jump in the car and leave to pick up my son.

6:15PM When I return home my husband has not yet made it home. It turns out he had a quick stop to make. I think to myself, maybe this is my break and I can try to clean up and salvage the situation as best as possible. I’m feeling pretty sheepish about the potty accident and have to figure out how to explain to Chris that it is actually my fault. When I walk into the living room my jaw drops and I am now frozen. When I left in a hurry to get Jacob I broke a cardinal house rule.
Never leave the bird unattended outside her cage –
In the 25 minutes I was gone she got bored and climbed down off her cage. Piecing the wreckage together I figure she must have headed first for the paper towels that I had left. She apparently had a wonderfully entertaining time shredding them into tiny little soiled pieces and leaving them strewn about everywhere. Next she climbed up on the couch, pulled some keys off my open laptop and deficated in a number of different places along her path. Lastly she was currently enjoying a game of “Chew all the buttons off the $150, difficult to program, and hard to find Universal remote control.” Knowing her freedom was soon coming to an end she was working on all of it as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Following the initial shock I experienced a brief moment of comical jealousy as I thought:
“Geez, If only I could get that much done in just 25 minutes.”
Just then I heard the sound of the Garage door opening and my husband was pulling in the Jeep. I didn’t know whether to run and hide like Max had previously done or throw my hands in the air and waive a white flag. At that moment I was a jumbled up mess of every emotion one could imagine. Not sure whether to laugh or cry.
My loving and ever supportive husband walks through the door and says: “Hi Honey, I’m home. I’m sorry if my called interrupted you today. Did you get it all done?”
I remained silent. I couldn’t even begin to recall what “it” even was. Let alone whether I had done it or not.
Heading from the garage through the kitchen he continued “Honey? Did you get a lot done today like you hoped?” Still I remained silent. He finished his entrance into the living room and upon observing the mess said “Oh my…… umm, how was your day?”
And that is precisely when I lost it!

Just Call Me Crazy

The next hour is a little blurry but I know there was ranting and raving, pacing and sitting, plenty of crying and sobbing, and there were many times when even I didn’t understand half the words that were trying to come out of my mouth. It was my fault for being stupid, it was his fault for being a computer guy, it was the business fault, the emails faults, the computers fault, Max’s fault, the bird, my mothers for raising me. In fact I was pretty convinced the entire world is out to get me and make sure that I fail. My husband was mostly at a loss for words and when this happens he just stays quiet and still. I guess he figures he’ll just weather the storm. As usual, his lack of participation launches me into a monologue of how poor of a communicator he is and now my bad mood is all his fault for being such a poor communicator. “And now that we’re on that topic…..” I suddenly feel the need to continue this train of thought at 100mph pushing it straight into a full blown fight. Something deep inside wants to just let it go and hug him.
But NO!! HE should be hugging ME!!
As I stoke the fire some more…… “Whats wrong with you anyways, just sitting there? Don’t you even care about what I am going through? How can you be so silent?” “Fine.”
To myself, I think: He wants to play the silent game, we can play the silent game. I can be silent and irritating too. So I cross my arms and hunker down for the silent game. Glaring at him. But the water is boiling up inside, rising higher and higher. Reaching a critical point of combustion. Steam is coming out my ears. It has been hours that we have been sitting here like this. Well, I’m not so sure about that. Maybe minutes, maybe seconds, but that doesn’t matter! It feels like it has been hours. Fine. “You win!!” I say breaking the silence with more ranting.
My husband is probably sitting there thinking “Win what? What the hell is this crazy woman talking about now?”
Telling himself “Just don’t talk dude, you’ll only make it worse.”
Again that little part of me somewhere deep inside whispers “This is the man you love, adore, hell… you practically idolize him. Just take a deep breath, let it all go, walk over there and give him a hug. I promise you will feel so much better.”
NO! I just can’t!! I don’t know why I can’t but I just can’t!! I want to….. but I literally cannot. My brain will continue to find any piece of long buried kindling to throw on that fire to keep it going.
In fact: “look how much time this whole argument has taken!! I could have been productive working on The List this whole time but instead I am having a one way fight with you! Now I’m not getting anything done!!”
Why is he looking at me like I’m Nutts?
I am not crazy!
I wish he would just say something….. I think to myself “Boy he is lucky he didn’t grow up with MY mom. Now SHE was CRAZY!! When she was on a war path nothing and no one was stopping her. Any transgression was up for grabs. It didn’t matter how old it was, if you had already been beaten for it before, or even if it was completely imagined by her. She would use whatever she could get her mind wrapped around. Best to just flee at the first signs of the storm. No one could stop the storm once it started. No one that is but dad. He had this way of intervening if it got real bad. He would calmly and quietly walk into the room, wrap his arms around her and lovingly remove her. All the while she’s kicking and screaming.”
Seriously, if he wants to sit there and tell me, with his eyes, that I’m crazy he should have met my mother back then. Just then breaking my train of thought that little voice in my head sneaks forward again and says in secret to me “I wish he would get out of that seat and come here and hug me.”

That’s all I can say after re-reading and reflecting on this chapter to myself.
Guess who the crazy one really is? ME!!

The facts of that Monday were that I did NOT finish the Monday List.
I didn’t even come close.
I couldn’t even really give you or anybody else a list of the stuff I HAD done. All I know is that I was very busy ALL day. I had started the day excited that this would be the day that I got everything done and I had every intention of working very hard to do it. I Never “slacked off” or got “lazy” and other than the 1 TV program, I didn’t even engage in anything fun or recreational.

Ironically by the end of the day the scene looked like this:
Clothes strewn all over the room into haphazard piles.
My Ice tea still in the fridge, unopened.
The Fridge still not cleaned out.
The dishes still not done.
There are un-used band-aids all over the bathroom counter.
A pizza box now randomly lays on the floor of the garage with old Pizza in it.
A Hamster food bag is half emptied and sitting on the night stand next to the fresh seal container that’s lid is not even on.
Paper towel remnants are everywhere.
Very little paper towel left.
Half the buttons missing from the remote control.
Dog pee still everywhere.
One very confused and less potty trained dog.
The first load of laundry in the washer with soap seeping into it but no one has pressed start.
My favorite pants are still dirty.
A dead spider smushed into the bedroom carpet.
I missed the mail though I was home the entire day.
The dirt ring is still around the tub.
I’m sure I probably used all the toilet paper and didn’t replace it when I spaced out in the bathroom.
My “To Do List” grew by quite a few items.
My email response to my client is probably stuck in cyber space somewhere.
My computer needs fixing.
The remote needs to be replaced.
I didn’t do whatever “it” was that Chris had called to remind me about that I’m sure was very important.
AND I got in a big fight with him when He actually didn’t do anything wrong.
Just think……. I was only trying to be Super Human and do everything right that day.

After re-reading and revising this many times, leaving it and coming back many times, I have learned a lot about myself and about this Monday. All I can do now is laugh at myself. With a big sigh I say “Well….. After 12 hours of rushing around at least the kid got picked up from ESS and the bills got paid.”
Panic strikes.
“BILLS?…. OH CRAP!! I forgot to run to the bank to deposit the checks.”
That was item #22 on The List.
Quick, check of the watch.
“Damn, It’s after 6:00pm. Banks are closed and I do not currently have enough money in the accounts to cover all those bills. “


-Update: Since originally experiencing these typical Mondays and deciding to write about them, I have now received 8 months of Neurofeedback for my ADHD and I am very proud to say that I do not suffer through my days off like this anymore. I have lower anxiety, lower stress, and I am also a MUCH better communicator to my husband. Hooray for Neurofeedback!!! I am very very thankful.


Adventures of Windi West: A Dragon’s Tale

Adventures of Windi West: A Dragons Tale

There once lived a girl that was born Duct Taped to a Dragon.
Go ahead, read it again……….

Anyways, she was not a Dragon herself but just a plain looking fair skinned child with dark brown hair and green eyes. An otherwise ordinary little girl that was indeed stuck to a Dragon. She called herself Windi and she most often addressed her companion as “Dragon”. You see, Dragons don’t speak and they don’t wear name collars either (or at least this one didn’t) and given that her Dragon didn’t have any friends aside from her she had never heard him called anything other than Dragon. Furthermore, officially naming him like this seemed fairly safe since she had never met another Dragon and besides, even IF someday they did happen across another one and even IF his name already happened to be Dragon there were plenty of kids on the playground with the same name and they seemed to survive just fine. As for Windi, well, she could never get her Dragon confused for another because her Dragon would always be the one that she was Duct Taped to. So after a lengthy and healthy debate with herself, on that day, so very many years ago it was decided. “Dragon” it would be.

Life on a Dragons’ tail might not be a common birthday wish and while it certainly had its ups and downs it wasn’t an entirely awful life to have. I mean after all there were starving children in Africa, girls & boys stuck in their Great Aunts dark attics, Grandmothers that had to walk miles to and from school each day when they were young and it was uphill both ways. Just think, there are Orphaned Annie’s, A Man trapped in the belly of a whale, there was that raggedy little girl, Nute, that was stuck on a planet infested with Aliens that have Acid for blood, and even poor tiny Dutch children forced to wear hand-me-down wooden shoes one size too small. That last thought made Windi quiver a little.
“I would hate wooden shoes!!” Windi suddenly exclaimed.
Dragon just kept steadily beating his wings against the cool dusk air without notice. For it was completely normal for little Windi to blurt out her thoughts mid-stream.
“In fact, I don’t care for shoes at all!! I rather enjoy feeling the world around me with my toes. I can feel the warmth of the sun, the tickle of the grass, the firmness of solid rock, or the faintness of a summers breeze…..” Windi began to drone on and on about all the plus sides to not wearing shoes. Dragon exhaled lightly and gave Windy a brief glance. Slowly rolling his eyes he returned to watching his flight forward. “Oh NO, don’t you pretend you disagree with me!!” Windi was pointing her finger now. “ I have never seen you so much as try on a pair of shoes.” Dragon quickly turned and gave her a quizzical look. At that moment Windi tried to picture such a shoe, shaped and sized for a Dragon…. but stubbornly forcing back the urge to giggle she quickly retorted: “Well, come on, I have never even seen you look in a store window longingly at a pair of shoes. You know.. Like, as if you WISHED they were Dragon shaped” She crossed her arms and looked the other way firmly pursing her lips so that the silly mental picture of her Dragon with shoes on wouldn’t slip out. Just then, Dragon gave a little chuckle. His large belly jiggled and this always caused his tail to roll a bit which was much like what Windi imagined a roller coaster would start like and she couldn’t hold it anymore. A squeak escaped Windi’s mouth and the smile won its way to the top, exploding across her face. At that moment Dragon abruptly increased his speed, carved thru the air towards the left and added in a couple exhilarating twirls. Now Windy was full of squeals and laughter. Against the wind and between giggles Windy happily shouted “I have my very own Roller Coaster” Besides Roller Coasters there were plenty of other wonderful things about being strapped to a Dragons tail. Like experiencing so much more of the world then just one playground like the other children she often watched, or growing up in the same neighborhood, marrying the boy next door and working down the street at the local grocery store. “Seriously, how blaise” Windi questioned. Dragon raised his eyebrow while scouting for a place to land. “We could fly anywhere………” tapping her chin Windi continued excitedly “Dragon! We could fly to the North Pole to meet Santa!” Windi gleamed with excitement at her sudden idea but Dragon cringed and then began to shiver at the thought of all that snow. Now, you must understand that Dragons are pretty long and when you are Duct Taped to their tale you can see the shiver coming as it travels from the snout and unavoidably towards you. There is that quick moment where your stomach sinks all the way to your feet in anxious anticipation before the force of the tail rapidly sling shots your lunch back up towards your mouth. If you’re lucky it stops as a hard knot in the top of your throat. Today, Windi was not lucky.

After a few choking sounds and a couple coughs Windi managed to speak “Okay, that is definitely going down in the ‘Cons’ column on my list for debating Life on a Dragons tale.” Dragon flashed a small apologetic expression with a little shrug of the shoulder but Windi was pretty sure he wasn’t all that sorry. “Can we find a place to rest? My tummy doesn’t feel good and I don’t want to lose my breakfast too” Windi practiced her coy smile, batting her eyelids she put her hands together against the side of her chin and tried her best to look adorable. But Dragon wasn’t even looking, he seemed to be intently gazing down and circling back around like he does when he…..
“Oh No, it’s Tuesday” she instinctively closed her eyes and covered her face.
Just then Dragon suddenly dropped straight towards the ground with incredible speed like a missile locked on to its target.
“Why do Dragons have to eat?” Windi asked herself rhetorically. Keeping her face covered Windi struggled to think of a safer place to go to.
“Exotic Island? The beach on a warm summer day? The top of a mountain with the mist rolling in?” Windi shook her head and started over. “Ugh, let’s try Christmas. Yes, Christmas”

I’m so excited I can’t sit still. We are all gathered around the tree on Christmas morning. It’s my 2 year old brother turn and he is reaching under the tree for my present that I specially picked out and wrapped for him.
Wait; let’s do a 5 year old brother.
Yes, that would be more fun.
My 5 year old brother snags up the present and flashes me a big smile. He has recently been able to read names and he was scrounging around under the tree all last week checking tags. I think he has an idea already of what I picked. With an enormous grin on his face he rips into the present eagerly.

The thrashing about often made it difficult for Windi to keep her face covered and eyes closed. She tried so desperately not to connect but as a helpless passenger bound to the end of a feeding Dragons tale the frenzy began to force her eyes open. She held on tight and stubbornly pinched her eyes closed again. “Ugh! Go to a happy place Windi. Think Christmas, Christmas, Christmas……..”

Just then the bellowing voice of her angry mother broke abruptly through her imagination.
“Windi!!! It’s dinner time and if you don’t get your butt in her in the next 30 seconds to set the table I’m coming out to that tree to get you.”
Opening her eyes she began to hastily unbind herself from the large tree branch she had been perched in out in the front yard. Frantically she spoke to herself “Oh no, my imagination went wild on me AGAIN and I lost track of time.” After releasing herself she quickly climbed down the tree. Brushing the leaves off and adjusting her hair she quickly tried to look presentable. Shrugging she told herself “At least my mom yelled right when my adventure was turning south. I’m not sure I could have handled much more of a Dragon feeding frenzy”. Giggling she skipped off towards the house.

I hope you enjoyed Windi’s first Adventure


Meditation and Reflection – A Nature Walk

This is a story of a Nature walk inside my mind that took me for a stroll down memory lane.

As I stroll through the field I can feel the dampness of the fresh grass under my bare feet. Small pieces of grass making their way between my toes. I smile at the familiar feeling of connection to the earth that always occurs when I walk freely barefoot. Coming to some natural stone steps I descend each step carefully, taking time to notice the new sturdy sensation below my bare feet. I look up and see that I have come to the locked rod iron gate. My key is still hanging tied to a weathered blue ribbon and awaiting my return. Just as last time, I find a carefully wrapped present also waiting on the stone step at the base of the small iron gate. The present is wrapped in plane brown paper and tied closed with a single piece of twine. Beautiful in its simplicity. Again, there is no name to indicate who the present is from. Slowly bending over I retrieve the present and unlock the gate. Stepping through I am once again in awe of the beautiful garden that now surrounds me. Each set of flowers uniquely displaying it’s own variety of color and adding to the brightness of the world around it.

I walk the now familiar grass path until I reach the waters’ edge of this vast garden’s pond. Setting the present carefully down I peer into the water. First I notice the radiantly colored Koi happily swimming about but now I refocus my eyes to see just the surface of the clear blue water and I notice my reflection. I am a young girl with long blonde hair and blue eyes. I am wearing a white shirt with thin horizontal multi-colored stripes and a comfortable pair of maroon courdoroy knickers. My shins and ankles are bear as well as my feet and they seem joyous to be breathing free amongst the wonderful nature that now surrounds me.

Now I sit down on the grass, my legs comfortably crossed and I decide to open my mysteriously wrapped present. Delicately removing the tied twine the brown paper falls away to reveal another beautifully hand crafted wooden box. I smile. As I open the box I realize that this time it is not empty of solid matter, as it has been in the past. In the very center of the box lays a grey-blue smooth rounded river rock. Also stunning in it’s simplicity it is not unordinary or especially unique but it feels really good in my hand. Heavy, but not too heavy. Sturdy, yet elegant. Smooth to the touch and comforting like the quiet presence of an old friend. I set the box back down and decide to store the rock in my pocket for now. As it slides down inside my pocket my mind floats away………..

I am sitting cross-legged on the top of a rusty 55 gallon oil drum that I set up-right in the middle of a sandy horse riding arena and I am surrounded by nature. I am about 7 years old and I have decided that I will sit here impossibly still, for hours if need be, to observe the wildlife around me. I am curious to see how close the Blue Jay will venture towards me or if the resident Squirrel will be brave enough to check me out. When I have waited long enough and I am no longer perceived to be as much of a threat I notice that the songs of the birds and the sounds of the crickets and frogs seem to increase. Almost as though it is natures’ beautiful symphony rarely heard and only performed in the comfort of safety. Over these next few hours the Squirrel works with me, he teaches me how to sit the least threatening and how to divert my eyes when he approaches to help him feel comfortable………………………………..
This is a memory that reminds me to be patient.

Standing back up I walk along the water’s edge peering into the shallow pool hoping to spot more dancing Koi. Instead I spot a similar rock. Blue-grey and smooth with a slightly different shape. I delicately pick the rock up. Allowing the rock to drip dry while I inspect it’s surface I then decide to drop this new rock into my pocket and my mind travels again……

It is winter and the rainy season has hit our town sending water to rush through the back of our families property down thru the canyon. Strictly against the rules, I decide to climb through our broken fence and push the rest of the way deep into the canyon trees to play in our new river. Soon my brother joins me. We run happily and a bit wild through the thick brush and trees, cutting our own paths in order to follow the stream until we happen across a section deep enough to float objects. Any objects will do. Sticks, small logs, leaves, trash and even parts of an old shoe. Pretty soon we have managed to tie wire and twine together and secure broken pieces of drifting wood to some old tires attempting to make an escape raft. A magical raft, one that will carry us far away down river to a different life and a new adventure. Blinking, my eyes re-focus on the clear stream that I have found on my nature walk. Thinking about this memory I am reminded what a powerful tool my imagination can be to help me escape my worries, even if just for a few whimsical hours…………………

Back in the present, I stroll further along the streams edge enjoying the sounds that are bubbling up to my ears when my toe gently strikes an object. I glance down to realize that there is another Grey-Blue stone laying at my feet. This one is much larger than the rest. Slowly bending down I pick it up and it causes me to travel once again…….

I am 15 years old. My mood is brooding and dark and I feel very sad. I am sitting on the dirt floor of the delapadated metal shed located near the back lower corner of my families property. I am not alone, I am sitting in silence with a boy. He is looking at me with a broken heart, tears welling up in his eyes and he begins to plead with me. The air between us is thick and I can feel the darkness pressing down on me. I feel depressed, lost and very unhappy. This boy is unhealthy for me and as much as I want to help him I realize I cannot. I just can’t do this anymore. I raise my hand between us palm out to halt his pleading. “I cannot stay in this place with you anymore” I firmly whisper while staring down towards my drawn up knees. And with those last words spoken I find the strength to compel myself to my feet and swiftly walk out the door of the shed alone. I can hear his agonizing sobs as I begin to stride away. I can feel his pain inside my chest and my steps slow for a moment. I want so badly to turn back to him and give up my soul to save his but somehow I convince myself to keep moving away. Next, there is a loud “THUD”. The startling sound broke thru my scattered thoughts. It was coming from the shed, followed quickly by the clanging sound of something heavy hitting the metal shed siding. Without thinking I spun on my heels and ran as fast as I could back to the shed. Stepping inside the doorway I came to an abrupt halt and struggled to process what I was seeing. There was blood and the boy was lying uncouncoius on his back. His legs and arms limp at his side. A very large boulder that we had drug into the shed years ago to sit on was now wedged between the top of his head and the crinkled metal wall of the shed. The boy was older than me, and at 17 years old, he was not only a large young man but he was also very strong. He had warned me in the past that there was no way that he would live without me but I guess I just really didn’t think he would actually follow thru on that kind of threat. Apparently I was wrong. In a frenzied moment of complete despair he had laid down on the ground of my shed and lifted that heavy boulder straight over his head suddenly dropping it with the intentions of cracking his skull in two. With the sudden realization of the scene that I was viewing my legs gave out and I collapsed to my knees in horror. A moment later I found myself scurrying desperately on all fours across the dirt floor, scooping his head and upper body into my arms and holding him tightly. “I take it back” I cried, craddling him as tight as I could and desperately hoping that he was not already dead. Through my weaping tears I begged and pleaded to him “I take it back. I will stay with you. I promise. I take it back.” ……………………

Thumbing the Blue-Grey stone thru my fingers with one hand and wiping the tear from my cheek with my other I nodded to myself and decided to drop that stone into my pocket with the others.
You see, I never told anybody about that incident and for approximately 460 more deep dark days, I followed thru on my promise to that boy. I stayed glued to his side. I buried my soul and I struggled to use what little energy I had to shine my light in a selfless effort to illuminate his path in life. I could not bear to be the reason for his death. I smiled and nodded and followed his specific directions. I patiently listened to HIS dreams of our future together. I started to miss a lot of school, my grades were plumeting and as he became increasingly uncomfortable with any friendships that I tried to maintain I soon allowed those to fall to the way side as well. I consoled him in his darkest hours and I tried to brighten each of his rough days with my kindness and my smile. But he was disturbed and it wasn’t easy being his lighthouse every day. For well over a year I let go of all hope that I would live a life of my own and I accepted my surrender fully and completely. My role was to simply take care of this young man and be what he wanted, needed, and demanded that I be. That is, until just after my 17th birthday, when my guardian angel of a sister did what I seemed to be incapable of doing. One Saturday afternoon, with courageous strength, my sister physically ripped me away from that boy’s side, leaving him furiously and dramatically flailing around in our driveway as she sped away with me prisoner in her car. I cried and pleaded for her to return me to him. I lied, saying that I was happy with him and swore that he “needed” me. Finally, as a last ditch effort, I came clean and told her that he would surely kill himself if I left him again. She pulled up to a stop light and looked me square in the eyes and with all the truth of the world behind her she said to me “Now you need to listen to me. IF that boy chooses to kill himself then that is HIS choice to make and there is nothing that you or I can do about it!!!” With that she kept driving and within minutes I was a weeping sobbing mess, confessing all my deep dark trapped feelings of the past few years. Silently she drove me far away and she kept me until I could heal some and think clearly without his ever present darkness weighing on me.
That was the end of my relationship with that boy and the first day of my new life. Ultimately, I was never able to help change this mentally disturbed young man. If not for my brave sister, I would have lost myself completely to even the effort of the task. Perhaps that was an important lesson to be learned and that is why I chose to drop that large stone in my pocket with the rest. Looking up at the beautiful garden before me I returned my mind to the present to enjoy my nature walk.

Continuing around the waters edge, enjoying the feel of the moist grass between my toes, I see a small waterfall just a couple inches in height. I kneel down listening to the water and then I stretch my arm out and place my fingers under the gently falling stream. Cool to the touch the water feels free, free to flow over my fingers and continue on its path. My fingertips accidentally dislodges a small pebble and it falls into my palm. Upon closer inspection this smooth pebble is also Grey-Blue. Ordinary and common much like the others but yet still unique in its own way. As I am inspecting this small piece of nature my mind once again wonders away to a time from long ago………

I see a young blonde haired girl galloping through a field of daisies and summer weeds. She is riding bareback on a very small but high strung Shetland pony. The girls’ long sun kissed legs hang wildly free and far down the small pony’s side. She giggles with delight as her dirty bare feet are tickled by the weeds and flowers of the field. They are playing together, the pony and the girl. Free of spirit and having been transported to some invisible make believe world that can only be seen and felt by the two of them. I recognize this young girl as me. Once upon a time, filled with wonderment, free spirit, and laughter. And I remember the Pony, her name was “Snips”. I began riding Snips when she was just 3 yrs old. She was a Tri-Colored pinto with beautiful splashes of white, black, and brown all over her body. She reminds me now of a Native Indian pony. Snips had a stray splash of white at the tip of her nose called a “Snip”. She and I had many great adventures together. Though Snips had quite the sense of humor and loved to end most of our adventures with the two of us….. umm, well… “parting ways”. In fact, on one particular adventure it became quite the challenging game of duel between the two of us. We were “suppose” to playing the part of Robin Hood thieves escaping the castle walls with the treasure in hand, I would leap from the fence to mount my faithful stead and ride off into the darkness. However, Snips did not like it when “leaping from the fence onto her back” was part of our playtime script and would promptly take off bucking with her head between her legs until me and the treasure were strewn about the courtyard for all the Kings Knights to come seize. After numerous tries I conceded to re-write our play script. I suppose it is just as good if the Robin Hood thief would come running around the tree where his faithful mount was waiting and swing up onto her back treasure in hand. But now the “faithful mount awaiting” part was giving us some trouble. Every time I would come around the tree with my stoledn treasure I would find that Snips had wondered off to nibble on some grass and was much too far away. Being the resourceful child that I was I finally resolved this part. Robin Hood would now simply secure the treasure from the villainous king while holding a long rope which was tethered to his faithful steed in order to come running back, fleeing from the castle guards he would then gracefully swing up onto his faithful steed treasure in hand. “Ahhhaaaa! I am victorious” I shouted from the top of my pony, raising my hands up and waving the clanking treasure high into the air. Alas, perhaps Snips just did not like the thought of being a thief, even if it was to give to the poor. Promptly upon hearing the clanking & rattling of our treasure Snips took off running and bucking once again with an ultimatum: Drop the treasure or else I will drop you and the treasure. I believe that we “parted ways” no less than 23 times that day before I felt like I had gotten the last word. After all, I was Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, and I was most certainly going to steal that hard earned treasure from the corrupt King and return it to the poor villagers even if it meant that I would have to hand walk the Treasure and my faithful stead all the way home.

Chuckling at the pure determination of that young girl from my past I stood up back to my feet. After brushing my knees clean I reached towards my pocket and happily dropped the pebble in with the rest of the stones.

Nature Walk to be continued………………………………………………………………

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