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.  

Bucket List: Alaska 

Previously I told ya that I wanted to begin writing about the items on my bucket list. I began with NYC and today it’s Alaska!I think I fell in love with the state of Alaska when I was about 6 years old. It all started after I saw this commercial on tv for “Wildlife Treasury;” a kind of learning system that taught kids about animals, birds, fish and insects from all over the world; species and places I never knew existed- and I wanted it!! I gave my momma the phone number and to my surprise I began to receive a few packs of nature cards through the mail every month!! The cards came with a cool green plastic box so you could keep your them safe and organized. Those cards were my most valued treasure. I cared for and protected those cards like they were bars of gold.   
I was a weird kid- the kind that preferred fruit over candy, encyclopedias over fairytales and documentaries over cartoons. When a kid in the 80’s wanted to learn more about a subject they couldn’t just sign onto the World Wide Web.. they had to wait for library day at school and use the Dewey Decimal System to find a book on a shelf that was often times not where it should have been. Lemme tell ya, if a kid couldn’t put things in alphabetical order, they were screwed! Also a kid better be a speed reader because you only had a week with the book before you had to return it. Life was hard in the 80’s. 😂
Anyway, back to Alaska. 

In school we would get these book order forms on occasion and one time I was lucky enough to find a book about Alaska. When the book finally came in I remember being unable to wait until I got home to look at it. We had “Quiet time,” when I was in first grade. This was a time to bring a book from home and sit somewhere in the classroom to read. My teacher had several beanbags scattered about the floor and a cardboard box decorated like a house which was filled with large pillows. I can still remember peeling open my book order bag and darting to the box for quiet time. The cover of the thin paperback was glossy, enhancing the glaciers icy appearance. I can also remember how vivid the photos were on the inside and how I just couldn’t believe the size of the glaciers, humpback whales or the grizzlies. From this point on, I was hooked on Alaska. 

Nowadays whenever I catch a documentary on tv or Netflix about Alaska, I watch it. It really doesn’t matter if it’s about logging, fishing or the people, if it’s on and I catch it, I watch it. 
So for my second Bucket List item, I want to one day fly over to California, sail up the coast to Alaska in hopes to catch a humpback breaking the surface of the sea. I wanna take a short stay in a log cabin out in the wilderness. I’d like to hike about, absorbing the beauty all around me. More than anything else, I wanna lay outside in the darkness to see the sky dancing with color. Oh aaaand I wanna put on waders and give fly-fishing a go. After that, I’d like to train through Canada and somehow end up back at home in Kentucky. 
Guess I better buy a lottery ticket. 
  

My Bucket List 

I was chatting with a friend of mine earlier today about my “bucket list,” and I had this grand idea to blog about it. I’m not sure that anyone will find my entries interesting but nonetheless, I’m going to type it all out because — why the hell not!?!!
I’ve already accomplished so much in my 41 years and I’ve nothing to complain about. I’ve lived all over the place and traveled to all about the globe. I’ve been truly blessed, still I have desires.

My #1 bucket list item is to visit NYC. I know, I know … Not too many folks would have a desire to visit such a place. I think most see it as a “concrete jungle,” full of rude people and werido’s but in all seriousness, isn’t that what makes NYC, NYC!?!! Hahaha!! Really.. look at its history. NYC is a melting pot of every kind of person on the earth. It’s where people came looking for a new life and i love that. Think about it- people came because they heard of a new land, rich with possibility. They came with nothing but hope. And think about what it would have been like sailing on a crowded ship many around you – hungry and sick. Can you imagine the feeling of seeing America on the horizon and feeling her soil beneath your feet after those seemingly endless days on the sea? I for one would probably hit the land and begin to weep, overwhelmed by great joy. Oh and let’s not forget how so many were turned away because they couldn’t pass the ridiculous literacy and/or medical exams. I’m pretty confident that I’d pass just fine but I’m just as confident that many of my family members would be shoved back onto the ships and sent home. I’d be like “Au revoir… Don’t forget to write!!” As I waved goodbye. 😂

Although I’ve never been to New York, I’ve always thought that a wedding in NYC, with the Statue of Liberty in the background would be simply amazing- I mean, what a perfect place for a new life to begin. Too late for that now so I’ll have to settle for a grand tour and an, “I ❤️ NY” t-shirt. 
 

For the love of donuts 

I told you before that my mom worked in a donut shop when I was a kid.  I did a lot of my growing up sleeping on flour sacks in the back of the shop.  It’s one of my best childhood memories.   Owning that donut shop was what I had planned on- but it was closed down and the building has been turned into several different businesses.  Currently it is painted a putrid lime green and in the windows there are tires and shiny rims.    Still, whenever I pass this building I immediately think back to the donut shop.  I can see the “regulars,” smell the fresh coffee and taste the powdered sugar with every breath I take. Oh how I loved that donut shop.   These memories have been branded deep inside of me.  More than anything else, it’s how my momma connected to the customers.  Everyone loved her.  She had a way (still does) to make everyone feel like her best friend.   I’m pretty sure some of these customers came in just to see her; donuts and coffee were just a bonus. 

I also remember the color of the paper that lined the racks. At different times of the day the paper under the donuts would change to show they were fresh. Like in the wee hours of the morning it might have been yellow, late morning maybe pink and in the afternoon, white.  Customers knew how old the donuts were this way.  Anyway… At the end of the paper change the “old” donuts were thrown away.  My momma decided to place them in a clean garbage bag and set them outside the back door for the homeless folks.   She didn’t think I saw this, but I did. I didn’t get it all. 

Yesterday morning I had to run some errands and while making a quick stop at Walmart for a bag of catfood, Lelly called to asked me if I could get her some donuts. While I was talking to her while walking through the parking lot I noticed a homeless woman sitting with her sleeping bag up against the wall near the pop machines.  I’d seen her a few times before but like so many, I walked past. It wasn’t my problem. 

Inside Walmart I packed the 15lbs. of catfood on my hip like a lumpy toddler and the next aisle over I reached for a box of assorted donuts, tucking them between me and the catfood. Then I reached for another.   Two aisles over I grabbed a single serving bottle of whole milk and preceded to the check-out. I asked the cashier to place the milk and one box of donuts in a bag by themselves, and she did.  I took the bag to the homeless woman and when I handed to her, I saw her face for the first time.  She wasn’t what I expected.  From a distance she looked- homeless ….but when I took the time to get closer, she looked human.  I handed her the little gray plastic sack and wished her a, “Merry Christmas,” then I walked away.  The sensation that filled my chest was that of the Grinch when his heart grew three sizes. 

I debated on whether to share this story because I don’t think people should talk about what they do for others.  Truth is, I’ve always been bitter towards homeless people.  I’d turn my head and ignore them as I walked past. I mean, it’s their fault they were in the situation they were in, not mine and …come on now, they could get a job..they were choosing this lifestyle. They want handouts. Right!!???     This is what I usually think.  I’m not proud of my thought process, I’m just being honest.  Those people with signs asking for food- erk me. I’d see them in one area of town and later the same day is see them again, in another part of town.  They made me bitter because they only wanted money not work, not food.

So I bought donuts. I really don’t know why I did it but after doing so I debated whether to tell anyone about it because I didn’t want people to think that I was looking for pats on the back.  You know?  That’s not what this post is about.   This post is about doing more than handing someone a donut, it’s about serving another person.  It’s about being human in a world knee deep with shit.   This woman wasn’t panhandling; she didn’t have a sign–  for the most part she was invisible, but I saw her. I really saw her. I hope one day the homeless woman finds herself in different circumstances and I also hope that she knows that it wasn’t me serving her, it was her serving me and it all started with my love for donuts.

**thank you momma for loving people the way you do. I saw you. 

Day 134 – ESFJ (Psych of Personality Assignment)

Extravert 90%, Sensing 19%, Feeling 11%, Judging 100%

After taking the Myers-Briggs Indicator test to determine my personality type I learned that I was type, ESFJ. At the end of the test I was asked my age and sex. I cannot think of a single reason as to why that would matter. Does being a 40 year old female make me a different ESFJ than say, my 37 year old husband might be? This is where the uncertainty of personality testing began to take a turn for the worst in my head. As I read through the description of my type I began to really question the whole thing. The test and the results brought to mind an old horoscope column from the back of Cosmopolitan magazine. In other words, the results seemed too generalized and they felt much like Freud wrote them back in the 1890’s. I’m not a fan of Freud whatsoever so I decided I would take another personality test to see what it had to say. Again, I was labeled an ESFJ. Still unsatisfied with the results, thinking there just isn’t a way to lump people into groups like these, I took another personality test. This particular personality test was much longer and instead of just answering, yes or no, I was permitted to use a sliding bar to determine the severity as to how much I agree or disagree. I thought to myself that I finally had a chance to prove that this personality thing was just a bunch of hocus-pocus with generalized traits and character flaws. The results of this third personality test not only typed me, yet again, as an ESFJ, but it typed me, once more, an even stronger ESFJ. Being the stubborn soul that I am, I decided to look up one of those horoscopes to see what it had to say about me, a Leo ruled by the sun. When comparing the ESFJ and the fiery Leo sign side-by-side, I noticed that they weren’t too far off from one another, which made me even more skeptical of my ESFJ type. According to both the EFSJ and the Leo zodiac sign I should be strong-minded, stubborn, generous, and sensitive female who will go out of her way to protect people. I see my world in black or white with few, if any, shades of gray. When there are shades of gray, I am internally sickened as I look for a black or white answer. I have an ability to see problems clearly and delegate easily. I am a natural born leader and will accept nothing less than being in that role- meaning; I am a control freak. My perfect career choices are that in a medical field or in any role where I would the boss. Honestly, I agree with all of these findings, therefore the ESFJ means very little to me since it was on point with the lining of the planets. It is true that I like to be in control and I certainly live in a black or white world with an inability to accept shades of gray easily. It is true that I am easily wounded because I wear my heart on my sleeve and it is also true that I bear a strong right to seniority. Even with all of these things being correct about me, I still felt the need to do some further research. I wanted to know just how many people across the globe fell into my personality type. According to the website http://www.careerplanner.com/MB2/TypeInPopulation.cfm , I’m pretty common in the world which again made me feel that personality typing was too gray. The more I Googled the more skeptical I became. I ended up taking a personality test based on my O+ blood type and another test for my only child status. Every single personality test came back with the same type of results. Yesterday I walked away from my laptop completely confused about my fiery ESFJ only child, Leo personality whose O+ blood apparently makes me more susceptible to mosquito bites and weak joints.
After a long, restless night of over-thinking and analyzing every detail of every test taken, I have come to the conclusion that I am most definitely a very strong ESFJ personality type simply because I couldn’t accept that I was.

ESFJ

Day 31 – Zzzzzzz 

It’s getting late and I’m too tired to think really.  I can tell you that it has been a good day- one filled with a nice, busy kind of relaxation that gradually melted into lots of belly laughs with friends over dinner and later; serial killers on Netflix.

Doesn’t get better than that.

Goodnight yall.

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-Willow

Day 15 – Another Man’s Treasure

As I was driving toward downtown today, I caught myself looking at other people’s trash on the side of the road.   Maybe I’m weird but I use to enjoy finding broken things and redoing them in my garage.  Once I found a ladder back chair and redid it with belts I bought from the Goodwill.  I saw a chair made the same way at Artique and it sold for more than $200!!  I made mine for less than $15.  I ended up giving it to my dad.

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I don’t mind living paycheck to paycheck. I don’t mind that I’m not wealthy. I like the drafty old house in live in. The 2004 Mazda that I drive has seen way better days, but it’s paid off and it gets me where I want to go; not to mention that the old crusty dusty is cheap on insurance!!  Anyway, I like finding good trash on the side of the road, shopping at Goodwill, yard sales and thrift stores.  It’s fun!! You never know when you’re going to find a treasure.  Really!!   Once I found an old schoolbook book from the 1800’s.  I paid .50c for it and it was worth $800!!!  No, I didn’t sell the book; it’s in a box downstairs.  It has a hand sewn cloth cover and still contains the notes from the boy who owned it. It has his name and address in it too.  Money can’t buy that book from me.  To me, it’s amazing and I can’t believe someone took it to the Goodwill.

Don’t het me wrong, having more money would be nice. Sooooo nice.  I’d like to be able to travel a little bit more and eat out more often at better places but it’s not necessary. I am able to stay home and be here for the kids (and grabdbabies) without too much worry.  I’d be better content if I had more tools and an uncluttered basement that I could rework furniture and sculpt in again.  I would love to have a space that was solely mine, where I could go and step away from the world and into my own.  Being that there isn’t an inch of unoccupied space in my house, I should consifer myself lucky if I can take a 10 minute bath without a kid, husband or animal at my door.   😂 I’m not being mean, at least I’m not trying to be. I’m only thinking out loud. I miss my space. I miss my time.  I miss doing what I love to do.  I’ll get there…. someday.

-Willow