2k17 Day 2 

What a laid back yet productive day.

The kids went back to school today and the grand-babies weren’t here which meant a quiet house and a tv without cartoons.  

The day began with driving to the next town over to help my dad put away Christmas decorations at my Nana’s house. The fog and misty air gave the feel of driving through a ghost town. The naked trees look like creepy fingers reaching out of the ground and the black cows with their white faces added to the spookiness.  The fog began to lift sometime in late morning but the air remained thick enough to cut all day.   61° and humid today and by Wednesday, 25° with possible snow: That’s the way the weather is in Kentucky. No one is ever shocked at what’s going on outside. Hahaha 

 My youngest spent a week in Arizona for winter break and already she suffers from a cold or sinus infection or God only know what. This is what Kentucky weather does to its residents. Tonight NyQuil, tomorrow the doctor … perhaps… we shall see. 

Dinner is done, kitchen is clean, everyone is hiding under their own little rocks around the house so, I suppose for the rest of tonight I will continue to veg out on “Man in the High Castle” while crocheting a pooled pattern blanket.  Not a bad way to end the second day of the year.  

Blessings to all,

Willow 

365 Pages

So begins a brand new book in life with 365 pages to fill.      Some pages will be written in perfect penmanship on high quality paper filled with moments of love and laughter. Some pages will be written with a skipping ballpoint on a corner of tissue soaked with heartache; others will be written with crayon on whatever paper I can find and filled with boring scribbles that no one will want to read.  Regardless, no pages will be left blank- they are a story that each day of my life will write whether I feel like it or not. And at the end of the year every mismatched page will be bound by heart strings and placed on a shelf in my mind: A treasure to keep forever. 

365 pages means I have 365 chances to write something amazing; A best selling novel!!!  And every day is a day that I can write something better than I did the day before; taking care to proofread and correct any mistake I make. 

365 pages.  A new year. A new book. 

I’m ready. 

Devine Memories 

December 23rd – the day my dads side does Christmas every year. I drive an hour. The house always smells so good: a huge prime rib, scalloped potatoes, great grandmothers jam cake, warm custard. The house is decorated with simple decorations of red and gold. The cherry table is covered with a white linen cloth this night. The tableware is fine white china featuring Santa and his sleigh. The red cloth napkins are folded with precision and placed into ceramic holders my grandmother made: They compliment the boughs of holly that hang from the brass chandelier. Tall red, hand-dipped candles inside crystal cylinders set the room a glow.  Across from the formal dining room is a den where the family gathers before and after dinner. On a cherry end table sits a nativity scene that my grandmother made. There were the usual Mary and Joseph, the manger and baby Jesus. Three Wisemen presenting their gifts, a camel lying in straw… a donkey covered with a blanket and a black sheep. A black sheep? What a perfect reflection of my grandmothers sense of humor.    

The 1950 style Christmas tree is tall and thin with branches like long, skinny finger that drip with hand blown glass and wood ornament jewelry. The deep red tree-skirt was covered in gifts; each one wrapped with military creases hugged with ribbons and bows: Hand made. All of it. Everyone was happy. My grandfather wore his Santa hat and sang carols. We gather around him while he reads the Christmas story from Luke. The entire house was picture perfect: A Norman Rockwell painting brought to life. This is the ghost of Christmas past. 

December 23rd- I drive 30 minutes.  A fried chicken, mini taco, sausage ball, veggie and cheese plate pot luck has replaced meals my grandmothers hands once made. The decorations are gone, the table setting too. The 1950’s faux tree has been replaced with a new fat, LED pre-lit spruce. Somehow the ornaments that once stood out are now lost in the full-figure branches. The red tree skirt is now covered with gifts that are in bags. My grandfather hides in his room to avoid the chaos; there is no singing. Whatever kid asks first gets to stutter and trip over their own tongue while they read the Christmas story. No one is listening. The only thing that’s the same is that nativity scene and it’s black sheep.   This is the ghost of Christmas present. 

December 23- I drive 10 minutes.  Holy wreaths with red ribbons are the only decorations I see. The trees are naked- branches bare. There are no ornaments.    “Fall on your knees, oh hear the angel voices..”  I sit and read aloud the Christmas story from Luke; everyone listens. Before I go I place a Santa hat atop his side, and a black sheep atop her side of the tombstone.  As I walk away I sing:  “O night. O night Devine.”  Everything is beautiful. 

This is the ghost of Christmas future. 

It’s been awhile 

…since I sat down to write with thoughts in my head ready for flight.

Riding a roller coaster with hills up then down, hard jerks snap into loops high off the ground.

I love the excitement of soaring so high..riding fear like it’s nothing, speeding down from the sky. 

Feet over head, head over feet ..twisting, turning – my heart skipping beats.

No time to think, adrenaline kicks in;  protects me from feeling the feelings within.

Life is so busy, so writing will wait; until 5 weeks have passed and I GRADUATE!!! 

The Interview

I was asked if I could be interviewed for a school paper- of course I agreed.  The questions started simply, “Where did you grow up?” and “What’s your favorite food?” These questions were answered with some thought.     “Grow up?” What does this mean exactly? I lived all over the place during adolescence. Is this like, middle school/high school years? And, my favorite food? What are you asking me? What would I want to eat if it was the only thing I could eat for the rest of my life or, are you asking me what food I’d choose if it were my last? These would have different answers. I need specifics. 

More questions came, “What was the moment you knew you had to grow up?” and “What advice would you give a kid today?”  These took a little thought, but still, not a great challenge.    Of course I’m still in the process of “growing up.” People never stop growing. And the only advice I would give a kid, “Just be the best you that you can be… find your passion and never give up.” 

The last question was, “If you could change anything in your life, what would it be?”  The answer came as involuntarily as breathing, “NOTHING!!! I would not change a single moment in my life!!” 

The interviewer seemed taken aback by my answer: She assumed that everyone would change something if given a chance.  But not me; I wouldn’t change a thing!  Because of the awkward silence I went on to say “I wouldn’t change anything because if I did, I don’t know where I’d be right now… or if my kids would exist… my grand-babies. One small change in my life, one tiny step, could erase all that is and I couldn’t imagine my life without my kids. They’re everything to me.”   

That was the end of the interview. I don’t know why the kid wanted to interview me but I’m glad she did.  

America. #fail 

My 85 year old grandfather, like many of yours’, was in WWII.   He was also a police officer.    He served his country and his community.   He worked every single day, raised his six kids and just about all of us grandkids at one time or another….. 

As we speak he fights for his life. He has two brain bleeds and a clot in his heart. He has trouble walking, talking and sometimes he doesn’t know any of us. All understandable with what’s going on.  But you know what he did remember??  He remembered Germany and he remembered France. He told me all about serving his country while he lay in the hospital bed last week.  

The land of the free. We give illegals free every thing. We provide addicts clean needles. We waste millions of tax payer dollars prosecuting or defending “criminals,” and we waste a few million more on unnecessarily long-term prison sentences. Oh lord ha’mercy don’t get me started on the welfare system and all that wasted money!!!! 

So can someone please explain to me how, in this land of the free, a man who served his country, who upheld the law and who has been a PRODUCTIVE member of society his ENTIRE life, cannot get his VA medical insurance to provide him a wheelchair or walker??!

Why does a man with two brain bleeds love his country and the time he spent protecting it so much that he remembered it when he couldn’t   remember anything else; but that same country can’t remember that it once loved him?   #merica 

America – you should be ashamed. 

When you wish upon a star…

 you’re really setting goals for yourself. 

Yesterday I was sitting at my kitchen table looking over a rubric for a paper I have to write when it hit me-  I have achieved every goal I’ve ever set for myself.  How many people can say that??
When I was little girl (I’m talking around 3 years old and up), I preferred to play with boy toys; race cars, Tonka trucks, toy guns and tools.  One of my favorite things to do was play in a sandbox my dad built in my bedroom; with my dump trucks.   My mom bought me all the girl shit like dolls, Barbies, a kitchen and all the supplies… I did play with those things but when I did, I destroyed them.  I’d “operate” on my dolls, cut my Barbies hair off making them all punk-rockers and my kitchen….well it was kept spotless because I had all the dishes outside in the mud!!     I never cared too much about make-up, clothes or accessories.  I basically had my own dorky style. 

As I’ve said in previous posts, I was in love with anything public service. Early in life I was exposed to firemen, police officers, medics and news reporters: My mom worked the graveyard shift at Dunkin Donuts.   These good men and women inspired me to become one of them with their heroic stories. When I was little I wanted to be a fire fighter when I grew up.   I also wanted to be a journalist, a nurse and I wanted to be a police officer—   

I became a Fire Medic and I’m a decent writer. I have earned my SRNA, became a partner and GM at a successful business… I’ve traveled around the globe and I have lived all over the US. And soon, I will have my degree in Criminal Justice.   That’s pretty flippin’ AWSOME! 

Sadly this world defines success by the size of ones’ house, the year of ones’ car, a career choice and social status.  At one time I defined success the same way.   But looking at the goals I’ve achieved I’d have to say that success is defined by standing on top of the stars I once wished upon. 

Um…Excuuuuuuuuse me?

Ok so today I went to the gym to study.  That’s right… Study!  I hopped up on that treadmill and walked my procrastinating ass 45 minutes across a peer-reviewed scholarly article on the recidivism rate in juvenile offenders and the cost-effectiveness of diversion programs vs. incarceration.    Tired, cross-eyed and hungry I decided it was time to go.    

My daughters were a few  doors down at “Nail Pro” contracting fungus and probably MRSA.  I gave them a call to let them know I was done and to see if they were too.  I’m standing outside the gym talking to Danielle on the phone and while I’m listening to her chatting away….this older man in a black Toyota stops and from about 20ft away he’s says to me, “Those are incredible pants.”    Within a split-second my mind processed that this man was a creeper with some sort of weird sex fetish so I force a smile and almost as a question said, “Thanks..?”      This man looked at me like I was insane.  And??? I was looking at him the same way, so it didn’t hurt my feelings none.  The just sitting there looking at me got on my last nerve like…… yesterday. “Can I help you?” I asked and he replied, “Incredable pants.”   I almost lost my shit. “Excussssse me??” I snapped.   Slowly and taking care to annunciate every syllable, he yelled out, “IN. CREH. DUH. PET!”       Oh my good lord … he said Incredipet, not, “Incredable pants.”  Ha! That’s not embarrassing at all.   Good grief.  I’m gave the man directions to Incredipet, just across the street,next to the Liquor Barn. I was halfway embarrassed that I misunderstood him and the other half, offended that  he didnt find my pants incredible.  

Incredible pants.  Only me. 

K.I.S.S.

I hate it.   I absolutely hate to be disrespected and I will not tolerate it from anyone.  How hard is it to treat others as you would want to be treated?    I don’t understand kids who refuse to listen. I don’t understand parents who don’t teach their kids to respect them and others.   Teachers, Law enforcement and many others are abused everyday, verbally as well as physically because kids have idiots for parents.   Where do bullies come from? Yep, idiot parents.   Kids who bully other kids, and kid who are disrespectful are the product of their environment and I think their parents (or whoever the hell is caring for them) should be held partly responsible.

All I ask my kids to do is get good grades and keep their areas clean— this includes their bathroom.  I demand them to respect other people, including each other.  When these few rules are not followed, I lose my shit.  They simply do not know how good they have it and when they take for granted all that is done for them, a swift reminder takes place.  

I’ve never spanked my youngest child, I’ve never had to.  Don’t get me wrong, she can be a total jerk sometimes and she is dealt with by warnings and taking things away from her that she holds dear.  My two oldest might had had a handful of swats to the butt when they were little—   95 times from a 100, they could be warned and that was that.  Sometimes they lost privileges which was worse than anything else.     As many stupid things I’ve done in my lifetime, I’ve never faltered in raising my children to be respectful, productive members of society.  I’m proud of them and the adults they are (or are becoming.)      

Everything nowadays has to be faster to be considered better-  fast food, fast internet connections, fast cars, fast ways to make money and the worst of all, forcing kids grown up faster because you’re a shitty parent and don’t want to take the time to let them be kids.   Fast. Fast. Fast.    A study I read said that most families share a meal together only a couple of times a month. Most families are so on the go that they just grab food out, usually separately.   And you wonder why juvenile obesity and diabetes is soaring in America???  #idiot   Want to keep people out of prison? Start when they are young and raise them right. 

You know what this world needs? To get back to “family.”   Everyone needs to slow the hell down and get their minds focused on what’s important in their household instead of what’s happening on social media; Cook and eat a sit-down dinner together at home! Talk. Listen. Learn.  Make your kids earn what they want and stop handing them what they want just to shut them up.  And for the love of all things holy, bring Jesus …or whatever god you believe in (for all you Christian haters out there,) and His teachings back into the home. 

Keep It Simple Stupid and your kids might actually turn out to be decent people.   Just sayin’.