Share Your World

  • Struggling here with the pingbacks from the phone. But I found these questions on a prompt called ‘Share Your World” and I enjoy them. So maybe I’ll remember to get on from a computer tomorrow and make sure the pingbacks is right.
  • I also can’t figure how to change formatting on my phone. Hence the bullet points since I copy/pasted the questions. I’m sure I could,.but the amount of frustration it will boil up in the attempts is not worth it. I mean…. There’s this symbol clearly intended for bullet points, but when I touch it, nothing happens. Things shouldn’t be so damn frustrating. Why put the symbol in your cloudware if I can’t use it?

Now for questions…

  • Do you have a favorite kind of tree?
  • My giant mulberry tree! It attracts sooooo many birds and wildlife! And pawpaw trees because they are the host plant for zebra swallowtails. I just ordered my first 2 pawpaws since I own my house and the land now. I can’t wait to plant them! Also, the tree my brother and I used to “go fishing” in comes to mind. On that note… Trees in general are amazing. They give us life! Literally give us the air we breath! They keep moisture in the air. They let kids be kids and get used for purposes of climbing, shade, and fishing. They are beautiful!
  • What bridges are you happy you burned?
  • That job I left at the end of 2018. Wow! That place was just NOT a match for me. I’m a better person for putting me first and my health bounced back.
  • Would you sacrifice yourself (die) for a stranger?
  • I doubt it. But there is a possibility a situation may exist where I would surprise myself.
  • How have your priorities changed since the C-19 virus took over?
  • Hiking… Hiking…. Nature photography… Hiking… Nest monitoring… Hiking… Oh, and then some work AFTER I hike. Truthfully, this spring has been a blessing. I do not want to go back to my work hours and living by a bell schedule. Schools are no flexibility in scheduling and I’ve never had such an opportunity to hike during migration season before. I’ve seen so many amazing things and photographed some of them. Now I need to find a way to make about $3000 so I can get a new setup and get clearer shots of things far away.
  • But back to the trees… They are also in the way of my bird viewing now that they’re growing all those leaves everywhere. But. I’m thankful they are helping us breathe.

8 Week Rant

I can’t believe I’ve been home for 8 weeks. Time is flying by. I have so many thoughts and opinions. I don’t really write them down. A lot of my thoughts and beliefs are contradictory. It makes it hard to get out of my head and write.

I lost all motivation to work when I found out kids don’t have to do the assignments. Don’t worry. The world is hard and a scary place so you are just going to earn a half credit for every course you are enrolled in. That makes me so mad. It’s so frustrating to have no control. Just sit. Listen. Watch. Good dog. Want a treat? Here’s a direct deposit in your bank account

Diplomas from the district I work in have always been sketchy. But I’m beyond irritated right now. Colleges and universities complain kids aren’t prepared. Companies complain college graduates aren’t prepared. Statistics say people get fired from an average of 2 jobs before they “figure it out.” Why is that? Because we baby and hand hold for 18+ years until they get a worthless piece of paper called a “high school diploma.”

The people graduating don’t understand perseverance or hard work. They don’t care about details. They are too lazy to think for themselves and do their own research. Unless of course you tell them to stay at home or they might get sick with a potentially deadly virus. Then, all of a sudden, they can think for themselves. They think they have rights. They think they want a life. They think they should be allowed to go out and live their life. Some even think a virus is a conspiracy lie.

Yes. You have a right to get sick. Yes. You have a right to die. But you don’t have a right to put me at risk. You don’t have a right to make it dangerous for me to go to the grocery store or plant nursery. I think they should also have to give up their “right” to a hospital bed if they act careless. Fine. You want to go sit in a movie theater or go to a house party. That is fine. But we aren’t going to expend important resources on you if that’s your choice. We will use those resources for people who couldn’t stop working (nurses, police, etc.) and for people who took precautions, but maybe got it anyways running out to buy milk for the kids or something like that.

I won’t start in on parents right now … I’ll save that for another rant.

Story Time

I got to do story time tonight. Storyline was my favorite b when I was a kid. I couldn’t wait to get old enough to read “chapter books.”

I wanted kids… But for a brief moment when I first started teaching, I feared having my own kids. Then I tagged my best friend… And his 1 year old son. I got so many amazing moments like catching fireflies and tasting Grandma’s green beans. I’ve wanted children every since.

For some reason I never received that blessing.

Tonight I got to do bedtime and read stores to my “new” best friend’s son. I love those moments. I say “new” because compared to the reference I made above, she’d be new. But really, it has been 8-9 years now.

Her son is 3. Every moment I get work him is a blessing. I’m also jealous. I wish I had my own 3 year old.

13 Years

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately.  I’ve been processing it through thinking… a lot of thinking when I hike.  Sometimes I tell myself that I need to write about it… write it out of my head so I can let it go.  But I haven’t been doing that.  Here is a slight attempt.

The memory has only gotten better with time.  Tonight I’m trying to drown it in wine.  13 years.  You died 13 years ago – today – in Iraq.  I’m struggling to process beyond that.  Putting my true thoughts and feelings into written words feels like…


I’m honestly not sure the feeling.  Maybe betrayal, dishonesty, fear… but I don’t know of what.

We were dating different people at the time.  But that very true, honest fact does not negate the magic that we had experienced together.  It doesn’t take away what existed between us.

What existed between us doesn’t refute the fact that our actions betrayed your friend and a man that I was dating.

The one underlying fact:  It was messy.  That’s why we weren’t together when you died.

That’s okay.  I heard she was a nice girl.  I never met her.  I heard you were good to her.  Always a gentleman.  I wouldn’t have expected anything less.  I truly can accept that.   Both of those things are good.  I am not angry with you or her.  Maybe a little bit jealous.

When I got that phone call… the one that has most silence than words… and the weight of the silence tells you everything you need to know before the words are even spoken.  The tears are already falling by the time he says that you aren’t coming home…
When those words came I cried inconsolable tears that still flood my eyes and fall on occasion.

Occasions like today.

I fell so…. soooooo….. sooooooooooo.,.. undeniably… incontrovertibly (is that a word?)…. in love with another soldier.  He came home.  He came home 3 times.  But over the course of the next 10 years, he hurt me.  Not physically.   But years of emotional trauma – telling me all the ways I was wrong and how I could never be enough.

Maybe that’s one reason I cling to your memory.  Your love was pure.  Unbiased.  Uncritical.  I’ll never know if we could have found our way back to each other.  I’ll never know if you would have provided me with all the things that he couldn’t.

In all fairness, part of me still clings to him, too.  Part of me clings to the love story that could have been.  The romance you gave me will always transcend all the things he did not give me.  Thank you for that.

You never really were mine… and I never really was yours.  Maybe that is what I haven’t accepted.  Despite those ugly truths, you were the one who provided me with the most magical experience.  That truth lives in my heart today… generating the tears that fall when I realize you are no longer living with us in this world.   These tears represent a loss from true experience, but more so represent what never was, what could have been, and the future you never got to experience.

I feel like I need permission from the world to love you…. more appropriately… to hold love for you in my heart… because after 13 years, it is true that I just can’t let it go.


Lost Time

The wind rushed by at a constant speed, sounding like a forever long distant freight train.  It brought cold air, dropping the temperature at a a steady pace throughout the day.  I can’t believe a whole week has passed.  I must have been so busy I didn’t notice the time ticking away.  So busy doing frivolous tasks, accomplishing so little along the way.  I was processing these thoughts when I came upon it for the first time.  My best friend ordered food for us, “Just drive and park by the door.  Call this number and they’ll bring the food out to the car.”  The restaurant is one of those on the outskirts of the outlet mall, positioned just so at the edge of the mall’s parking lot.  I saw the reality of our situation for the first time.

There were no cars in the mall parking lot.  There were no people.  There was one other car already there waiting for their food when I parked.

I’ve been to ghost towns, explored abandoned buildings, etc.  I hike by myself all the time and I have imagined what the world would look like if something happened to the human population.  I’ve imagined trees growing up through windows and roofs, flowering vines snaking up sides of buildings, and a coyote using the checkout counter as a den.

Today I saw what it looks like before nature takes over.  Emptiness.  Silence.  Stillness.

I saw humans quelled by nature, muting our global impact.

Have you ever thought about us as the virus?  I have.  I hike alone frequently.  I listen to amazing symphonies composed by birds, frogs, bees, wind, and creaking tress.  I freeze breathtaking moments of time permanently to a screen.  I pray.  I think.  Sometimes I see trash or deliberate harm some human inflicted on another living being.  That’s when I think about all the damage we are doing to our planet.  I have thought some many times, if the world could fight back… if nature could fight us and slow us down, how would she do it?  I’ve always known a virus was a viable solution.  Oddly enough, my mom and I had a conversation about such a possibility when I was visiting around Christmas.  I never thought it was something that I would see happen.  I never imagined living the reality.

We are losing a lot.  Jobs.  Education.  Money.  Chances to vote.  The illusion of control.

At the same time, a lot of people are gaining time at home with their spouses and kids.  Before this, they lived in a world that was constantly on the run.  They were never home.  They rushed from one activity to another and forced kids into doing the same.  Just imagine how many years of time with loved ones you have lost by always being caught up in the act of being busy.  When things go back to normal, how will this change the way we live?  Will we slow down for a spell, prioritizing time with family?  Or will we just rush right back into rushing and business all the time?

C is for Cats

They really are my saving grace. I’d be completely alone without these furballs.

I made it 12 days… 12 being mostly isolated from people. But then I worked from home all day and it was 7 pm and I hadn’t eaten… and people from work had ordered food to be delivered this week. So, UberEats, right? I get this phone call from a friend I haven’t seen in a while, “Hey! I think I’m on my way to your house!” She totally delivered my food. Of course I invited her in to see the house because she hasn’t been too the new house I bought.

Then how did she know she was driving to my house when she got the UberEats order? She’s clever. I only moved 6 blocks… So first name, last initial and this general area. She guessed.

Anyways, I invited her in for a tour. We tried to stay 6 feet apart. She hung out on one couch for a while, while we chatted. It was nice to have some face to face human contact.

Cats. Clever. Contact. AtoZ Challenge accepted.