I’m Not Sure Where I End and She Begins

Meggie said, “Momma, you’re cray cray.”

I told her, “I know that baby girl, but you are just like me, so watch what you say.”

She smiled and said, “I’m glad I’m like you.”

It’s eerie how alike Meggie and I are. She used to loathe it when friends and family would tell her that. Now she embraces it.

Friday, I got the joy of spending  24 hours with her. We took a road trip to Lansing/Charlotte for  Cato, her Husky pup to compete in his first dog show. We turned on Pandora Radio and sang the whole way there. Sara Barielles radio first and then Garth Brooks’ radio. The first lines of Gravity came on:

Something always brings me back to you.
It never takes too long.
No matter what I say or do I’ll still feel you here ’til the moment I’m gone.

Meg and I sing it together while we’re driving down I-96 in the rain. We’re feeding Cato pieces of Twizzlers strawberry licorice. I don’t know why, but the song by Sara Barielles always makes me cry. Meggie tells me I’m a sap, and then we harmonized for the rest of the song. I love singing with her. I miss her, but we get along so much better now that we don’t live together anymore.

She switches to Garth radio and I’m transported back in time to when she was young. Whenever we were on a road trip, didn’t matter the length of time or distance, we always played a Garth cd. The song Unanswered Prayers comes on and she says it reminds her of Daddy. I tell her it does me too, and then I tell her about the time he and I sang it at some bar on karaoke night. She laughed.

Sometimes I thank God, for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts, are unanswered prayers.

We talked about life. About her upcoming wedding, school, and work. She also told me that she didn’t want to hear about my writing all the time. She knew it made me happy, that I was good at it, that it was my passion, but it got annoying to hear about it all the time. I said, excuse me? You’re the one that has to tell me all about the stupid raw food diet that you give your dogs. And you have to tell me about how smart your dogs are. And the fact that you’re going to learn everything there is about showing Cato because you want him to be a champion. That’s the thing about us, when we’re passionate about something, we talk about it incessantly. It annoys the fuck out of everyone around us. But we really don’t care.

We grabbed food at the Cracker Barrel before heading to our hotel. We figured what the hell, we might as well eat good food that was bad for us. Take out of course because of Cato Potato. We couldn’t leave him in the car. Meg was like a worried momma, she had to keep looking out the window of the restaurant to make sure he was okay. We had fun shopping while waiting for our food to be prepared. Finally with the food packaged up and paid for we headed to the car. I said look Cato is sitting there being a good boy. As I opened the car door I realized why Cato was being so good. He had opened the bucket of Twizzlers and was chowing down. Meg and I laughed hysterically. It was so fun to be with my girl and laugh about her silly dog.

We didn’t get much sleep because Cato was anxious and wouldn’t settle down. Me being the good momma, got out of bed and took him outside every half hour while Meggie slept. He finally settled and cuddled up with me on my bed. I got about four hours of sleep but figured I’d sleep when I’m dead. It was a big day for Meg and Cato.

She and I got ready without killing each other. It was nothing like when she was a teenager. It’s a wonder we didn’t beat the shit out of each other when she was a kid.

All in all we had a great day. Cato did well and I got to see Megan feeding her passion. She did great and so did he. A friend of mine from high school is mentoring her and teaching everything she knows about showing dogs. I hadn’t seen Linda in 28 years. It was good to reconnect and see her interacting so well with Megan. Linda treated Meg like a daughter. That made me so very proud.

Meg told me thank you for all the help and that she loved me. Said it was so great to spend time with me. She missed her “Mommy” time because now she’s so damn busy. We loaded up the car and the exhausted Cato dog and headed home. We turned on Pandora and listened to Garth radio again. Sang songs all the way home and then laughed our asses off when I picked up my ice tea and proceeded to spill then entire cup into my purse. I spilled it on my pants too. She looked at me, laughed and said I look like peed on myself. I was laughing so hard I told her I might have, but I couldn’t be sure because of all the fucking ice tea everywhere.

Cato slept the whole way back to Livonia, Meggie and I sang and talked. She told me to stop drinking so much coffee because it was going to give me wrinkles, and that I had to re-hydrate my skin every day. I told her to shut the fuck up. She then got on Google found an article about it and gave me hell. I told her I would only drink 40 oz. of coffee a day instead of 80 oz. She just shook her head at me and told me to wear moisturizer. The she said, Mom you’re beautiful and you have no wrinkles, you want to stay wrinkle free for as long as you can. I looked at her and asked, how the hell did you get so smart? She said, Google Mom. Google is Goodle. I told her she was a dork.

We got back to Livonia in record time. Unpacked, hugged, kissed and said our goodbyes. Had to give hugs and kisses to Cato and Delilah the Wonder Huskies too.

After I dropped her off and headed back to Tecumseh I realized that she was one of the best things I’d ever done in my life. I thought back to the day she was born and was laid on my stomach. I was scared to death of what kind of mother I would be, but by God I was going to do my very best to love and raise her up right. I remember the feel of her in my arms that first time I held her. I remember Roger Darling carrying her around the delivery room and calling her his little girl. And then I snapped back to the present and realized that I got my wish. That I did raise her up right. That she may be quite a bit like me but she ultimately is her own woman.

The Fourth Day of Vacay and More Word Doodles to Share

Yesterday was great fun. We traveled all over the countryside. I got to see a beautiful cemetery in Sheperdstown. And the bloodiest battle field in the Civil War called Bloody Lane. The cemetery at the site is beautiful and sad. At the battle site it is said that it was so bloody that the blood of the wounded and dead was inches deep.  There were thousands of bodies strewn everywhere. It was strange to stand on the site where so many men lost their lives. Where we stood there were bodies of young men underneath us. I was awestruck. I don’t understand war for one thing, but to be standing there in the quiet of the cemetery, you could just hear and feel the souls of those that died. They were tortured.

I met Tracy’s doodah doggies. I got mauled and love on by them. It was a good, good day. Now to share the rest of my silly word doodles that I wrote down on my drive to God’s country.

The song Landslide comes on. I will sing this song soon. With the kids singing harmonies.

My ears pop in the peaks and valleys.

Clouds still forming with thunderheads. Want a storm so badly.

Asshole in Beemer tailgates me. P!nk Stupid Girls on radio, (Pretty, will you fuck me girl, Turn around I’ll suck it girl) Flip off Beemer dude as he passes me.

Ipod unplugged.

Radio is set to Froggy 95 and Life is a Highway plays.

I’m heading through the Alleghany Mountain Tunnel with the biggest grin on my face. Life is a highway, I wanna ride it all night long.

She’s so Mean by Matchbox 20 comes on. It makes me giggle. Roger says it was written for me. I told him maybe, but you don’t need to hit me to make me cum. Har!

I make it to I70. Cross the Mason Dixon Line. Cross the Potomac and then I’m in West Virginia.

Berkeley Springs is like Charlevoix or Petosky in Up North Michigan. It’s beautiful.

And then I’m there. At our beautiful cabin, er house in the woods. I see Tracy and Curt. Tracy runs to me. I run to her. We don’t cry. We just gaze at one another in wonder. I haven’t seen her in 28 years, and she is just as beautiful. If not more. We hug, we laugh, we smile like idiots. All the while Curt stands on the balcony and takes pictures of us. What a beautiful journey this turned out to be.

Thoughts at a Toll Booth on I-76

I’m at the end of my route on I-76. Finally. I’m waiting to pay another fucking toll. Shit, this is expensive. I look into my rear view mirror and I see a big SUV behind me. I see a couple. The woman is driving, and the husband sits  in the passenger seat. She is bitching up a storm at him. She looks like an aging Jersey Girl. He looks like a Guido. He starts bitching back. I see there are kids in the back seat of the Audi SUV. I think to myself, STFU with the screaming and posturing in front of your kids. WTF???

The wife keeps screaming and waving her arms everywhere. The husband looks like he wants to cut and run, the fuck away from her. Preferably down the exit ramp we just passed. I wonder if she knows how miserable she makes him. I seriously don’t think she would care though. She probably feels like he stole her youth. Her life. Her passion. He looks out the passenger side window. She stops bitching, leans her elbow on the driver side door and leans her head into her hand. Husband has the toll ticket in his hand and hands it off to her. She takes it, not even looking at him.

They drive an expensive vehicle. Her hands are adorned with fancy rings, but material possessions won’t keep you warm at night. Unless of course it’s a blanket. And even then it doesn’t whisper they love you in the night. It doesn’t cuddle in close and make you feel safe. It is only an expensive blanket. Such is the life of those with material possessions and no love.

It’s all a guess of course. Every picture tells a story. Even a mental picture seen through my eyes and my rear view mirror, at a toll booth on I-76.

Almost Heaven, West Virginia….

This Sparkly Girl slept the sleep of the dead and woke up in West Virginia. It’s as close to Heaven as you can get without being dead. I wrote down my thoughts in little snippets while I was on the road. Thoughts like all Beemer drivers are assholes! I’ve never had so many run ins with them as I have today. WTF is up with that? I don’t know how many there were on the road today but I think they either drove up my ass, swerved in front of me, or drove like a bat out of hell past me. Yeesh.

I thought about Tracy of course. I thought about how much she has inspired me with the pictures that she and her lovely husband have taken. She inspired my story of West Virginia in the Summer Time, The Conversation in the Rain, Sunrise, Coffee and Sanctuary, The Ghost of a Great Love (MY FAVORITE, BTW!!), and Then She Prays. The simple click of her shutter has made my heart sing and bring forth words from my head that I had no idea were in me. She is a published writer, and she knows the rush that I feel. She knows of the elation I feel when I get an idea in my head and want to write about it. I tried not to talk too much about it but I’m in the throes of ecstasy with writing right now.

I wrote every day this week. Longhand of course. My notebook is full of notes and little snippets. We’ll see what stories I come up with in all the little word doodles I made. I’ll give you a little sample of my thoughts on the drive today. It’s mostly music, shitty drivers, and what I spied with my little eye while driving. I’ll only give you a little taste tonight as I’m pretty damn tired.

I’m so glad to be back. Wink, wink.

First Day

Turnpike

Starbucks Dark Roast, five pumps caramel and room for cream and sweet and low, because I didn’t get much sleep. Excited.

Sia on the radio, I am Titanium. Thoughts of youth and Tracy. I wanted to be her when I was young. Beautiful, magnetic personality. and she didn’t take any shit. She was her own woman. Even as a teenager she was.

Munching on cantalope and making silly wishes.

…I’m bullet-proof, fire away, fire away. I am Titanium…

Now P!nk is telling me I’m fucking perfect.

If only I was.

The stick families on rear windshields annoy the shit out of me. Maybe because my kids are all grown up and I can’t have one.

I see scads of rock face on either side of the highway as I travel through hills that will soon become mountains.

See the Cleveland River.

The clouds are like fluffy down comforters. I want to pull them from the sky, wrap myself in them and sleep.

I hear Ramble On by Led Zeppelin. And in the darkest depths or Mordor, I met a girl so fair. That’s where I’m headed to see my fair haired friend. My split apart. It’s been 28 damn years!

I missed the chance to take a picture of the Pennsylvania sign. SHIT!

Asshole in an Audi passes everyone in the far right lane. Why is there never a cop when you need one?

Butterfly Boucher and David Bowie start singing about Changes. Ch, ch, ch, ch, changes. Turn and face the strange changes.

(Cont’d tomorrow, this girl is spent, night.)