Monday, May 27, 2013

Safely rest

I grew up on Army bases...I've probably heard 'Taps' played over a thousand times.

It ALWAYS affects you.  On base, when it's played every evening, you're expected as a civilian to stop what you're doing outside and hold your hand on your heart for the 24-notes it takes to play the song.

If you're driving, you stop the car.  If you're in uniform, you get out of the car and salute until the song is over.

The song is special.

Today I remember the more than one million Americans who have died serving in our Armed Forces.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Forward and back

I successfully made it to work I think six weeks in a row, before I slipped and missed a week and a half this time.  When I fail, I fail big.  My first day back was today.  It's interesting living life on the edge.

And I hated myself for not getting there...and taking that step backward...not to mention the disappointment I could feel from my mom and my daughter and Dwayne.  Oh, the waves and waves and crushing waves of disappointment...

The only time I left my room in the last week and a half was to go the doctor.

So I guess it was nice to get out today.  It was really hard.  Once you fall back into the pattern of never leaving the house, it's hard to escape.

Every day is a battle.  If I didn't have a family that loves me I would have succumbed long ago.  But I do and so I keep fighting.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The ambien effect...

I used to sit and watch my grandpa count out his pills every night and think, wow, old people need a lot of medicine.

And now I'm pretty sure I take more pills than he does.  He's 83, and I just turned 40 and am in denial about it.

I regularly swallow 9 pills every night.  That's not including any Benadryl or antibiotic or whatever else I might sporadically need.

My most important pill is, of course, the AMBIEN.  I can't go to sleep without it.  I also wouldn't be able to explain away all my strange middle of the night behavior without it.

"Michelle, why did you buy $500 worth of music from iTunes in the middle of the night!?"

Oh, wow, it must have been the Ambien...

"Mommy, I told you to get up and put these in the fridge and lock the door!"

Oh sorry, it was the Ambien...

"Why does the cat have all these bald spots?"

I was giving her a seemed like a good idea with the Ambien!

So now I'm up because this one time the Ambien hasn't put me to sleep yet.  Which means everything is suspect.  My judgment is compromised and my memory will be faulty.  Everything I'm typing right now holds the potential for embarrassment.  But I really want to go get a diet Pepsi which is full of awesome caffeine so I'm gonna hit publish and blame it on the Ambien.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

No Escape

We were on one of those Halloween `Ghost Runs` about fifteen years ago...Dwayne and I, a couple of friends, and a whole bunch of people I didn't know.

The group decided to go to `The Haunted Forest` but when we got there only three went in, leaving about eight of us sitting in the van.  For a very. long. time.

Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore, and I asked if anyone had ever read Sartre's "No Exit"...and started explaining a little bit what the play was about.

"So," my friend Jim said, "are you saying that sitting here in the van with us is like being in hell?"


Dwayne still likes to make fun of me for that one...he says I need reminding that I'm not always the smartest one in the room.

I was totally put in my place.  I think it was probably a few days before I said anything at all...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ties, baby

We go to Cumberland Falls every year.  My daughter feels the pull as much as I do, and insists on it.  She'll be 21 in July. !!!.  She was 2 or 3 in this picture, and my grandma had talked us to the edge to get a great shot.

We're Kentuckians, through and through.  Even though I was an Army brat and lived in a lot of different places, it was a relief to come back home.  I'll never want to live anywhere else.  Why would I?  This is the best place in the world.

I blame my grandmother.  She raised all of us to be like this.  I'm not kidding when I say that when I was little, she'd sing me to sleep with a lullaby that began, "Kentucky, you are the dearest land outside of heaven to me...".

I'm a city girl, but I can trace my dirt poor tobacco-farming eastern Kentucky ancestors back to the 1700's.  That's because they're all buried in our family cemetery in Blackwater, KY, where we go every year on Decoration Day.  My grandmother is buried there, and my great-great-great-great-grandmother is buried there. There's still room left for me, too.

We were taught how to handicap the Kentucky Derby by the time we were 5, the basics of country music at 6, and had field tripped the state's major landmarks before age 10.  The UK Wildcats basketball worship training began in the womb.

It's a good thing the brainwashing began early and intense, because it might not have otherwise survived the big 3-year move to Germany.  We didn't get basketball over there, I had to rely on country music cassette mix tapes sent to me via APO mail, the only mountains were the Alps, and the only landmarks were various castles and the Schwarzwald.

I got shipped back home right before I turned 13.  A little culture shock.  But my family!  My trees, my basketball, my Derby, my bluegrass, my mountains, my falls, my Kentucky...

Edit: My mom reminded me exactly how the song goes:

Kentucky, you are the dearest land outside of heaven to me,
Kentucky, I miss your laurel and your redbud trees…
When I die, I want to rest upon your graceful mountains so high..
For that is where God will look for me

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I need a Speaker.

Ender was the first Speaker.  He didn't eulogize...he instead spoke of the intentions and hopes and regrets that made up the essence of an individual's life.

I need a Speaker.  I've become so lazy, self-centered, slow, dumb, uninteresting, vain, mean and a host of other bad things I can't think of right now because I'm slow and dumb...

I need a Speaker.  To explain all this away...