On Being a Bold Woman

A note to my readers: this is a slightly updated version (added an image) of a post from nearly 2 years ago. Consider this encore part 1 of a 2 part series on the theme of ‘boldness’. There may be more to follow as the year unfolds!

Building A Life Of Hope

Credit: interviewsaloud.comOne of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go. – Sheila Murray Bethel.

On a recent morning, I was enjoying my usual morning visit at my local Starbucks, chatting with the staff and the other regulars whom I see daily. The store has always been a positive community connection for me. I can honestly say that I have never met someone that I have not liked having a conversation with-even if it is just for five minutes.

Beginning last spring, however, a person with a link to my past began to frequent the establishment at the same time as me. I tried not to make too much of these “coincidences”, but I did feel forced to be on my guard. Lately, the frequency of this person’s appearances has increased and my sons…

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A Moment of Serenity

Credit: fineartamerica.com

 

Sitting here in an early June quiet. The days have finally grown into a full warmth. This late spring surge of sun has distracted me from my writing. We cut grass, plant flowers that will last well into early fall, lay down mulch. Fret over carpenter bees boring holes in the upper eaves at the back of the house (I need a 25 foot ladder to reach them). Douse the paper wasp nest with chemicals before it outgrows the strength of  our spray can.  Stain the long neglected front porch a luscious mahogany red while noticing that we need new risers. The rails need a fresh coat of white. The north side of the house looks tired. Long winters and years of just plain wear are evident at this direction of the house’s compass.  I try not to worry about the expense of repairs and send out intentions of abundance to the universe.

A year from now, this house will be my sons’ domain. Rented with others in order to afford payments. We are shifting gears. Learning to be present in a major life transition. Sharing in the pulls and tugs of the here and now as we move into the there and then. Keeping our eyes wide open while we let go of the old life little by little. We are all making our way into an independent dynamic. There is much to do before my wings take flight.  I send out more intentions-ones where I hope to avoid the vortex of panic and anxiety. A friend says “Don’t be afraid to pray for big things.”  So I do.

For now, I am staying in this moment. Sitting up in bed, nearly ready for sleep. The house is empty except for me. The crickets are back and the night breeze is full. Cool and cleansing, sort of a northern climate mini spa in my mind.  I look forward to refreshing dreams and a new morning sun.

 “Listen to yourself. And in that quietude you will hear the voice of God”

– Maya Angelou

 

Mother’s Day

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Apparently I hit Publish by accident when I uploaded this photo from my phone to my WP App.   These flowers are sitting in my mud room, a gift from my oldest son, along with a bottle of wine. We just finished a dinner of homemade chicken taco pizza, cooked by my youngest who bought me a card that brought tears to my eyes. A young man of few words with a big heart for sure. And a mighty good cook in the making! Settling in for a quiet Sunday night. My eldest is waiting patiently to watch the latest episode of “Friday Night Lights” via Netflix.

 

Life is good and we are blessed.

 

Journey to the Other Side

Credit:  intentblog.com

At the time of the dismantling I used to wonder

used to sweat in desperation

used to be ensnared in your endless games of lashing out

 for  punishment of things that I did not do

for the person you thought I was

the one who punished you for her own guilt

At the time of the dismantling

I felt myself wasting away

sick with a loss of control over my own destiny (or so it seemed)

eager with a morbid curiosity about your private transgressions

At the time of the dismantling

I used to wish you would become a stranger to me

someone I would pass by on the street or the airport without notice

someone I would see by chance who didn’t bring me to the brink of madness

At the time of the dismantling

I wish I wouldn’t recognize you

to turn my head in instinct at your unwelcome presence

a witness to your lingering lurking

and latching yourself to people and places where I could be found

 

At the time of the rebuilding

I ceased to wonder

 became refreshed in renewal

no longer trapped, but free in my freedom

At the time of the rebuilding

I felt my self growing

a woman with curves and flesh

the mistress of my destiny

no longer curious but filled with awe at new love found

At the time of the rebuilding

you became unfamiliar

a transient that I passed by with ease

no longer on edge, existing on a different plane

At the time of the rebuilding

I no longer took notice of you

I see you on the street at a distance,

at peace with knowing that the long ago parting happened to someone else

 

Voyage to Nirvana

 

Image Credit: stuffpoint.com

 You find yourself in the lower level of an old ship. A calendar on the wall says  1682. There is a small window, and the view is nothing but open sea and a setting sun. There is a staircase and you can see daylight at the top…

 

Lydia awoke to the sound of vomiting, the stench of urine and shit and the feeling of her body being buffeted against a rough surface. Her mouth was parched as her tongue scraped across her lips in a feeble attempt to quench her thirst. Her eyes searched for information in a near void of blackness. Straight on, a piece of paper crudely slapped upon wooden beams.  In her blurred vision, she could make out four numbers:1682.  As her eyes adjusted to the low lighting, she realized that she was looking at a calendar. August 7, 1682!

Dazed and out of sorts, she attempted to arise only to be slammed down by a sudden jolt.  Something was not quite right. She stood up once more only to fall over once again. As she tried one final time to upright herself, a phantom hand grabbed her forearm. “Aye, where you going there, Missy?”  Could it be? Was this her former lover disguised as some sort of rag tag sailor out of a pirate movie? God, he was wretched looking. And then she looked at herself.   A gown of some sort corseted at the chest and waist. She was covered in a heavy shawl and her long flowing hair-did she have hair?- was atop her head hidden beneath a bonnet.

This was too weird. Where the hell was she? That tequila sure was strong last night. How many shots did she drink, anyway? As she looked around, there appeared to be others in the “hole” with her. Men, women, children in various states of sleep as well as health.  Then that smarmy voice called out  again .”Come on lovey, give it over a little.”  One hand was at her breast and the other up her dress. But her foot reached the perfect target just in time for another rolling around the room. He screamed and she found herself up against a set of stairs, her head aching. She looked up. Daylight! Lydia mustered all her strength and crawled on all fours to the top.

“Hey, babe. Sounds like you had a rough night at Club 1682. I made your favorite breakfast and some strong coffee. But first let’s get ourselves in that warm bubble bath made just for two.”

 

 

Thanks once again to Kellie Elmore for the Free Write Friday prompt!

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Different Than The Rest

Credit: www.dreamstime.com

Nicolette hopped on the old big yellow for the first time once again. She didn’t bother taking a survey for possible seats to share with someone or even look for empty ones in the middle. Just sat herself down right behind the bus driver. She placed her side-saddle book bag on the empty space beside her. Of course, in 1973 no one thought to carry a bag for their books. Just wrapped them in paper bag book covers and a bungy cord. That’s if they even bothered with books at all. From her twelve-year old perspective, the only ambition that her peers had were playing spin the bottle in someone’s basement or smoking in the bathroom between periods. In fact, she could already smell someone’s morning high at the back of the bus.

She let out a heavy sigh.  A new school away from the safety and innocence of her elementary years where her teachers encouraged her intellect and her small group of friends felt free to be themselves and not follow the crowd. But when Daddy lost his job, they were forced to sell their small house and move to the local trailer park on the other side of town. Momma said it would be temporary and as soon as Daddy landed on his feet, they would buy another house back in their old neighborhood. Yet Nicolette-a girl Daddy said was born with an old soul-knew the family had a long road ahead of them. Dixsville Junior High would be her school for the next few years. A place where they said the inmates ran the asylum. Where the rough kids went. The Dixsville Dump. Not like Janesville where class sizes were smaller and teachers were respected and rules were followed.

Without warning, her brief reverie was disrupted. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her bag being moved to the floor. In its place, sat a long-haired “greaser” wearing a thin black leather jacket, dungarees and black boots. Nicolette dared herself to look him in the eye. Surprisingly, he had a tender, sweet face and a welcoming smile. “Hey there, you must be the new girl. Name’s Joey. You look like one of those smart chicks. Don’t worry, Dixsville ain’t as bad as you think. We’ve got some great teachers who look out for kids like you and me.”

Nicolette looked at him in disbelief. What was talking about?  Kids like him kept the teachers in line, didn’t they? And ate kids like her for lunch.  As if to clear her confusion, Joey asked her, “So what do have first period?”  All of Nicolette classes were Level 1-the courses for the geeks. “Geography with Mr. Fiske,” she replied. “Hey! Me too!” he answered. “In fact, all my classes are the Level 1’s this year. My dad said if I don’t get my act together and show some ‘potential’ (he said this word in a sneering tone) I would be shipped off to military school instead. No way I  am giving up this (he tugged at his jacket) for those  brass monkey suits.”

“HEY! MR. JOE SMARTY PANTS! COME BACK HERE AND HANG WITH US FOR THE REST OF THE RIDE!  “Oh. Looks like my boys want me.  What’s your name by way?”  With a quick and still shy smile she answered, “Nicolette.”

When the ride ended, she stepped off the bus first. As she walked the long portico to the roughly worn brick building, Nicolette knew it was going to be a memorable year.

Kellie took us back to junior high with this one! I know I am dating myself…

#FWF Free Write Friday: Time & Place