Monday, December 23, 2013


My Doc asked me to keep track of what I ate on a particular day. 
So I did and this is what I sent him:

An apple and a slice of cheese
Welch's fruit snacks

This is what he sent back:

Let me begin with some positive feedback by saying how refreshing it is to have a patient not be misleading about their diet. In conclusions to the positive aspects you are not a liar.
However you may want to rethink trying to live on the diet of an alcoholic toddler. Please try again and this time give me something we can both work with. 


Friday, December 20, 2013

the search team

What the old dog didn't know was why the little dog and I were out in the field.  

He barked at the edge of the yard but refused to break the barrier between tame and wild. 

Little dogs never cares about crossing lines, running slopes, or chasing sunlight.  
She simply follows. 

So she happily followed me out once again looking for the body of BC's cat in hopes of finding it before BC does.  

Despite the grim errand the snow was overwhelmingly beautiful.  
We stayed a long time walking and sitting against the far fence lines.  We watched the birds fly over head.  Listened to the winter sun melt the ice.  We savored the coldness of the snow as it seeped into our bodies like tiny bubbles of overflowing champagne.

I think I knew even before I put my boots on this morning that I would not find the cat.  I fear if he is ever found it will not be by me. 

However I did find something out there in the field. 

I found a reminder to not be too old of a dog that your feet cannot forgo the comforts of tame ground and you miss a walk through the wild.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

layers and ...

Layers and layers of life separate us now.  
Seasons and earth and decomposition.  

I think about going to her grave but I always have a reason to wait.  A reason to pause and think about going- but not.  She, my sister, would have appreciated today the frantic call from me when I discovered a blender of good news/bad news coming from my editor.  The good news: the paper with *my* story on the front page is out. The bad news: the formatting editor made a mistake and a caption of a photo of the mayor was mislabeled calling him a 4 yr child and giving me the credit for it.  The mistake unseen until after the paper went to print.  Super awesome.  And in the blazing moment of oh my god are you joking?! I realized I have been holding onto that little story and my writing more than I care to admit.  I was seeing possibilities again.  The misprint throws a shadows, just enough to feed the doubt I live in.  I felt incredibly stupid for allowing myself to care so recklessly about something again.  For getting caught up in life.  I  wanted more than anything to be able to call my sister so she could laugh at me and I would be okay.  
But there is no phone call between us.  There is nothing between us but frosty roads and snow covered winter grass.      

It hit me pretty hard, yet another new understanding of her not being here.  See there is no one who can take her place. I know I have been sending messages meant for her to a friend, sometimes to her mother too and they are both very nice to me about it but I am sure they wonder why I invade... 
Without her I don't have someone to conspire with, someone to shamelessly laugh at me until she is laughing with me, someone to give a shit about only the things that matter to me.  I really miss her.
In the end she cared for no one but herself and her addiction.  For a long time I was trapped with only that version of my sister.  Insulated from the pending loneliness without her by the overwhelming legacy of her demise.  But anger untended falters.  Now I find long stretches of silence in my heart. All the times I struggled with the weight of her death were not nearly as painful as facing the shortness her life.     
...I just think that if I was to go her grave I might not be able to leave.    

Saturday, December 7, 2013

finding light

Five-twenty pm, a freezing December Friday night at Walmart.  I had no choice.  I had a 10 year old who NEEDED her glasses tightened before her morning meet and wouldn't settle for 'let's do it in the morning'.

We parked on the top level of the parking garage and entered via a landing overlooking the entire store. Shelves and aisles packed with hopelessness disguised as holiday goods, as shoppers, as workers in line trying to cash their paychecks at the end of a long cold week. A swarm of emptiness overflowing the brick and mortar.  

The lines snaked around bright displays of cheap junk. It is the sinking soul of consumerism but it also where we bought Boo‘s glasses.  The narrowest and cheapest frames on the market are sold only at Walmart.  And one of the best eye doctors in town clinics there once a week.

The staff of the ophthalmologist knows her.  They are sweet and funny, an island of humanity.  We watch the madness as if we are outside of it.

As we were leaving I tired not to see the faces of the people standing in line.  I tried to block out my feelings which I assigned to them.  A man with a cane not able to make his way through the crowd of shoppers and no one slows down for him.  An old woman in worn blue scrubs near tears in the return line rubbing her back.  A lost child by the bank line. 

Out of the crowd a young man towered above everyone else.  I pointed him out to Beach.  “He must be over 7 feet tall!”  She gasped.  We made our way back to the escalators rising out of the craziness to the safety of the dark and bitter cold parking lot.  But as we rose the tall young man stopped what he was doing to sign an autograph for a little smiling boy; he was a University of Utah basketball player buying red gift warp and some shiny string.  The little boy's mom and grandmother tired looking and loaded with groceries and other smaller kids waiting patiently with love. 

Joy and love are like ripples in still water, they spread. 
A random act of kindness and suddenly everything has changed.   

You are the designer of the world you live in.

You find what you set out to find.  
See beauty where you seek it. 

If you light your path with kindness you will always be heading the right way.