That Little Back Bedroom

From the day I was born until I moved into the apartment on Preservation Drive in Fayetteville, I lived in a white brick house on Highway 371 just outside of Prescott. We were actually closer to a little community called Laneburg. And if you want to get really technical, my grandpa always called it Cruise Creek. There was a creek that ran from just south of our house to our farm about 5 miles away called "Little Terre Rouge Creek." This apparently means red earth in French, but we called it "Cruise Creek." I have no explanation for that.

I hope this is not too boring, but I just wanted to reminisce about my youth a little.

I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm. We had cows and donkeys. I named them all. The donkeys started off with Pretzel, Popcorn, Peanut...you get the picture. We had a vegetable garden that I helped plant and tend, and thought was fun until I knew better. I had the quinessential experiences of learning to drive on backwoods gravel roads and getting up at 2:00 a.m. during snowstorms to help birth calves. Okay, I'm not sure I actually helped, but I did have to get wrapped up in a blanket and sleep in the truck while it was being done.

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My little handprints are in two or three spots of concrete around the house. I have killed my fair share of snakes and rats. Exploring the woods was a favorite pastime. Don't worry though, I was protected by my fashionable rubber boots that were three sizes too big because they were handed down from my cousins.

I remember my grandpa laying down in the cool spot on the floor between the kitchen and living room when he came home for lunch after working in the sun. I would lay there with him. I thought it was the coolest thing ever that we could lay on the bare floor.

Not to sound too much like a country song, but it is where I learned to love Jesus. I heard my grandma's prayers at night and felt the safety as she asked Him to protect me. I found out the best lessons I would ever learn wouldn't come from college, my peers, or life experiences, but from a little white bible that I got when I was a baby. It taught me all I need to know. Everything important, anyway.

I have slammed doors in anger, stained pillows with my tears from heartbreak, laughed until I cried with happiness, hung my head in shame from guilt, and been so loved that my heart all but burst in that little white brick house on Rosston Road.

When I was growing up, I thought it was the worst place in the world to have to be. I was bigger than that, I had wings to spread and dreams to make come true. Now, I go back as often as I can. It's that sense of peace that you can't explain when you know you are loved and you can be your complete self.

Who says you can't go home?


Blackberry Santa

So, I came across this article...and it made me cringe.


Apparently, one-third of women in America check facebook before going to the bathroom, washing their face or brushing their teeth in the morning. I started thinking, do I do that? Have I done that? Would I do that? The answers are no, yes, and well...maybe.

I know you don't want to hear about my sleeping habits, but I need to give you a little background on my blackberry and bedroom logistics. My blackberry sleeps across the room from me on my desk. I did this with the hopeful (and turns out, wrong) notion that I would wake up, get up and turn it off, thereby prompting me to be chipper, awake and ready for the day.


The only thing that resulted from that bright idea was me having several stubbed, bruised and close to broken toes by tripping over evil, wooden things because of my sleepy half-closed eyes. Of course, the only thing that would make it better was to get back in bed and snuggle up in my cozy comforter and pillows. The best laid plans...

But, I digress...

So, my blackberry sits there all night chirping away, and flashing its little red light letting me know that someone or something has decided to leave me an email or text message gift. Have I checked it first thing? Yes. Disclaimer: It was only because I was either a)expecting a time sensitive email or b) looking for the latest election coverage. Honestly, I do not check facebook before I get to work. Wait, did I just admit that I check facebook at work? Usually, sometime between blowing drying the hair and finding a stale granola bar to eat for breakfast, I will check any emails or texts that the blackberry santa brought me during the night.

Sad? A little. Obsessive? I don't think so.

I have always wanted to be able to go on a weekend trip, heck even a day trip, and leave my phones at home. Not just in the car, turned off, but at home where I cannot be bothered with them the entire time I am away. Sadly, I have not been able to accomplish this, yet. The very thought of it makes me sweat, my stomach turn quesy and my mind race with thoughts of missed calls, important messages and not being the first one to know the latest, greatest breaking news.

Notice I said "yet." I will do it. I will conquer my fear/addiction and forego the blackberry to have some peaceful time with myself or with friends.


For now, I'll bandage my toes, keep my phone charged and dream of sugarplums (emails) dancing in my head.


Since When?

Did my hair like to be gray?

Did my back start hurting when I sat too long?

Did I start considering how late it was when I called my friends?

Did I start saying things like "those kids are just too young to be getting married?"

Was I 10 years out of high school?

Did I start worrying about my retirement account?

Do I rarely go out on Friday night because it's a work day and I'm just too tired because I've been up so long?

Do I have a "skin care regimen?"

Did I start complaining about the prices at the grocery store?

Did I start complaining about the price of gas?

Did the weather become my go to conversation starter?

Have I felt the need to admonish children (even if I don't know them) when they are misbehaving in public?

Have I driven around trying to find the closest parking spot to the door?

Do I have a specific day and time to go buy groceries?

Did all my high school friends get married and have babies?

Did I have a regular dry-cleaning schedule?

Did exercise become about health instead of vanity?

Do I have blog posts about becoming an adult and how weird it is?



I know a girl...

"...she puts the color inside of my world, but she's just like a maze, where all the walls continually change."

Hopefully by then end of this post, you will get the title and subtitle of this post. If not, read John Mayer's Daughters lyrics. You'll see.

I want to start out saying that this is not a sad post. It's not meant to be depressing or to envoke sympathy. It's just what has been on my mind, and always is this time of year.

June and July are bittersweet months for me. My Daddy and cousin both died on June 19, 15 years apart. In 1989, on June 19, it was Father's Day. I was six and lost the most important man in my life. My dearly departed grandfather, would have had a birthday on June 22. He raised me until I was 14, when he passed away. My dad would have been 50 yesterday. The sweet of bittersweet comes from the fact that I love summertime and I have many great memories to cherish.

I was my daddy's little princess, my cousin Ryan's annoying, tattle-telling, irritating "little" (I was 5 months younger and was constantly reminded of it) sister whom he fought with and for; and constantly reminded me of how proud he was and how much he loved me. I was my grandfather's pride and joy. He was sure I would change the world someday.

These three men loved me fiercely and I wantto tell you how their lives...and deaths have affected me.

I was barely six when my daddy died. I have exactly four pictures of the two of us. They were all happy, loving pictures filled with mutual admiration. To him, I was the funniest, prettiest, smartest, most talented, greatest thing to ever be born. I remember a huge, fun-loving, cuddly, and kind man who could throw me in the air with the greatest of ease. Unfortunately, at 29, he was still a kid himself and was taken from me way too soon. I still have great memories of him. I have stories from family and friends; and of course the one thing that can still make my grandmother's heart ache for her baby boy even after all these years - my daddy's piercing blue eyes.

When it came to Ryan, I was gray and he was all the colors of the rainbow. He was rambunctious, fun, mischieveous, and, well...wild. I was a rule-follower, a worrier, a loner, and someone who played it safe. We never admitted it to each other, but I'm pretty sure that each of us wished we had just a little piece of the other in us. We fought, hated each other, screamed, yelled, and went silent. But, before night fell, one of us would undoubtedly throw our arms around the other and say "sorry, you know I love you like a brother/sister and didn't mean what I said." He was a force to be reckoned with, and my heart aches for him more than anyone. He was the first person I lost as an adult. I had to deal with real, grown-up emeotions and heart break. His death is the reason I questioned my faith and was comforted my the answers I received. I never doubted my faith again.

My grandfather had an eighth grade education. He worked extremely hard to provide for his family. He could hardly write and learned to read by studying the newspaper every day. He loved current events and politics. He gave up a leisurely retirement to raise me. He taught me everything I know about driving, work ethic, the value of an education and staying grounded in your morals and values. If I had to choose...I'd say he is my hero.

It's interesting how the three men that have meant the most to me and have influenced me the most, were gone before I became an adult, and learned to appreciate the lessons they taught me. All I can do now is make them proud and do my best to imitate every good thing they represented.

"...Oh, you see that skin? It's the same she's been standing in, since the day she saw him walking away. Now she's left, cleaning up the mess he made. So Father's be good to your daughters."