Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We Lost.... For Now

Friday, May 22, 2009

Home Again

I came home a couple days early. I missed my family. My family missed me. Jeanine asked and I willingly made it home in time for Zachary and Jake's baseball games.

It feels great to be home.

All of my time away was not spent going through gruesome moments of the past. I also spent a great deal of time reflecting on what I'm doing now.

And... um... painting the garage. It was driving me crazy.

There were a couple of interesting things that I realized, without really trying.... one was that I ate almost no meat the whole time I was away. Little chicken, little bacon, some eggs, but no beef at all. I didn't miss it and to be honest, I'm not sure I like it all that much. Donald inspired me with his Pad Thai- it was very good.

I didn't miss reading the newspaper but I did miss doing the crossword puzzle.

My children are capable of putting away all their laundry, putting their dishes in the dishwasher, but the minute I walk in the door, they can't make their own lunches for school.

This, I don't mind so much. I do like making lunches- shhh. Don't tell anyone.

My life is very full. I spent too much time chasing news and not enough time with my friends. Every day, I am going to dedicate a couple hours to something that has nothing to do with the computer. Take a walk, shoot some pictures, try a new recipe, have coffee with someone who doesn't want a donation.

Which I also remembered while away, some very important advice my mother always gave me. When you start to believe you are the smartest, most beautiful in the room, instead of understanding you are writing the checks? It's time for a kick in the pants. I know a few people who need a kick in the pants.

When I take long periods of time, write, rewrite, I come up with some decent writing. When I blog quickly, I come up with ok stuff. I need to spend more time, more deeply, more thoughtfully on my writing.

But I do love to blog- which I realize is an entirely different animal. This blog has served me well. I have loved writing it. I have a fairly small audience but a very loyal one.

Thank you.

I've decided to start posting, primarily, at I will continue to post on occasion at Huffington, and have been told to consider a Daily Kos diary. I'm not sure how I'll deal with not getting the instant gratification of "publish post" so we will consider this summer an experiment. I think it's the right fit for me. I will still respond to comments, just as I always have.

I hope you don't mind following me there. I will, for a while, post a link here to the piece on Bilerico, so the RSS feed with continue to work.

I feel calmer, more confident, and more settled than I have for a long time. I think I've addressed all the different "voices" and their needs. The General feels productive, the Athlete thinks it might get some work outs in during the non computer time, the Worrier is.. well, worried you'll all stop reading, and while the Tough Guy still wants simply blow everything off, the summer filled with the beach, kids, and friends isn't such a bad idea.

I'm home.

I'm really home.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Owning The Present

You know, a day of chores, busy work and hunting stalker barbies has been great for me. My friend last night was right- out of the weeds! Breathe!

As I walked down the beach today, I kept thinking... I have Ben at home for four more years. That's it. A huge chapter of my life will end. My first born is turning into a young man.

I am so proud of him. Even when he leaves his laundry all over his floor- that would be the clean laundry.

I feel a new sense of purpose, a new sense of what the next steps for me are. I loved Ellen's speech- be a good person. I am trying, every day, to be a good person. Honest. Thoughtful.

That doesn't mean I'm not a jerk sometimes, because I am. Or narcissistic because whoa nelly, I am. It only means I'm trying.

I have three of the best kids in the world. Ok, I may be a bit biased but the joy they bring me is incredible.

The catch is to live in the moment, and let it in.

My moments, in everyday life, are full of opportunity. I see that now. It took being away from it all to appreciate it. I had to laugh, for in the middle of my most dark moment in Downeast, my sister in law sent me a powerpoint she had seen as part of a work training.

Do you want to be a victim or an owner?

Um... can I own being a victim? Is that covering all the bases?

The point was in your perspective. Do you get angry when someone cuts you off in traffic, thinking they have disrespected you, the presentation asked.

Hell no, I'm a Boston driver. I hunt them down and cut them off at the first opportunity.

Seriously, what can I own? I love writing. I can make people laugh out loud or cry. I can make them think about things in a different way. It is a gift.

I also love my family. Jeanine, the kids, Walter and Allan... and my MOMS. You know who you are. I am blessed with amazing friends.

I came from a crappy place. And still, I have accomplished much. When I read a reply to one of my posts, from a man who is disabled, who still sees the joy in his life, I thought to myself, it's time to hold it all.

In the book, Three Dog Life, the author's life has been shattered- and still, she sees joy.

It is my nature, my long training, to feel not enough. Used. Humiliated. A victim.

It is my choice to hold that.

This time has shown me I am ready, strong enough, and... maybe even just a little excited about moving on. I want to embrace the time I have left with my kids at home. Love my wife with all my heart because we are here, today, healthy, and in love even after 18 years.

I knew it would take more than a week to get to where I needed to go. I knew I had to get past the loneliness to see the bones of who I am today. I have.

I love writing about politics. I love being at home when my boys are done with school. I love the ocean. I can look all I want but the truth is, I have it all right here. I don't need to prove anything anymore.

What a relief.

And Hara? I'm ready for that big dinner, with all of us around the table, laughing, eating and drinking great wine.

Common Cement

I love Ellen...

Hat tip to Tobias Packer for posting this!

And Along Came...

It felt good to get back to some normalcy today. Cleaning, laundry, yard work. I was cleaning out the pots on the deck in hopes that Walter would be bringing up plants this weekend.

And I came across...


I dunno who put her there or how long she's been there.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Warm, warm, and warm

Ok, enough.

Enough with the cold, enough with the bad coffee, enough with the compost toilet.

Enough with the silence.

I left downeast and came to Ogunquit. I've never been so happy to see traffic.

I had a friend call and tell me to get on a conference call. She said I needed to hear some people, get a grip.

She's right.

Mind you, this is someone who thinks deep thoughts. She did not say it's time to get your head out of your ass, Whitman, but I know she was thinking it.

I am grateful for the time I had. The beautify of the coast. The harbor seals, the eagles. But I'm only human and I can only take so much. After a restless, sleepless night, and the dog snorting at me at 5:30AM to go out, I was done. I cleaned up, packed up, closed down and left.

I'm not doing the conference call, though.

I miss my kids, I miss my wife, but mostly, I missed people. I don't want to be far away anymore. I've kept myself far away, distant, in so many ways. Safe.

And alone.

I learned something about the parts that drive me. I also learned that I don't have to be miserable to be "working." I also don't have to work all the time to be a good person. It's enough to be a mom. A partner. A good friend. It really is enough. Those are the things I'll take to my grave. No job, no movement, no award will ever stack up to the friends and family I have. The love I have in my life.

Now? I'm going to eat a tasty Italian sub, no mayo this time, chug a giant bottle of vitamin water and go to bed without the dog snoring next to me.

I am a blessed person. It's time to remember that.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Scuba Diving

It's pouring rain this morning. The water is fairly still and if I weren't such a baby, I'd be out there fishing.

Perfect time to catch fish.

A friend sent me a note yesterday talking about the depths in which some of us are comfortable exploring.

There are those who snorkel, she said, and those who won't even put their face in the water. And then there are the scuba divers.

I'm definitely doing some serious scuba diving here.

The weather has me bummed. I had a hard time getting the fire lit this morning and the dash to the outhouse meant getting soaked.

Not a happy camper right now.

I have plenty of busy work to do around the cabin. Floors to be swept, god forbid I actually took out a mop.

Perhaps I'm just a little scared. I got to a place yesterday, seeing a part of me filled with shame. The little girl waiting for the comics who... enjoyed the feeling. She is just a child. Four years old. Incapable of understanding what an adult should and should not be doing.

I can't quite believe I just wrote that, said it out loud. Some abuse survivors deal with the deepest shame, that their bodies responded to the stimulation. Not all, not always, but some.

It's all suppose to be all pain. Horror.

It is, both are true. Looking back, as an adult, I know what was going on was wrong. Sick. But that little girl, she didn't know. She just wanted to be loved. Held. Happy to see her father smile.

Without any understanding of why.

A friend of mine once said, she felt like she was "hard wired" at a young age. It was often difficult to understand what was pleasure, what was pain and how to draw healthy lines around it.

When I read the book The Courage to Heal, I found that to be true in many stories told.

Usually anonymous stories told.

I'm afraid packing up today is the General in charge, saying enough. Enough of this stuff. Time to go write a political piece for Mass Equality, time to get focused on work to be done.

Perhaps mopping the floor will quiet the General down. Setting up the solar lights Jeanine sent with me, taking out Walter's old clock. There is a 1000 piece puzzle of Allan's here. Put away all the board games the kids loaded in the car.

My family is here even though they are not. I have to hold onto that comfort, and keep diving.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Still Work To Do

Life here on the Point is very different. There is no drip coffeemaker, with a timer, to have a lovely cup ready the first moment I open my eyes. Instead, a peculator pot sits on the stove and cooks some up.

And I mean cook. There is no elegant balance of flavors when it's done.

The bathroom is not a shuffle away but rather outside. This requires additional effort, socks, shoes, coat, before going. The dog gets a little impatient.

I walk around with about three lighters in my pockets because everything needs to be lit- the fire, the propane lights, the stove. I am all about fire up here.

Every day is marked by where the tide is, at least for me. All I wonder is, can I take the boat out now? How about now? Is now good? It hasn't been very good this past week, I've only been out once. When the water is calm, the tide is out too far to get the boat in. The high tide has been in the afternoon, which has also been fraught with white caps and fog banks.

No, Donald, I did not go out when I saw the fog bank on the horizon.

Yesterday was a hard day for me. I was antsy and wanted to do something other than write. I missed my kids and I wanted to go home. I wanted to be there to make the bagel run this morning, or to cook them some yummy fried egg sandwiches.

It is hard doing this work and it leaves me wanting to move, go, change, do. The challenge is to acknowledge it without actually doing it. I can't leave now, the tides is just starting to shift so the water will be perfect first thing in the morning. I can go out and visit the seals by Strout Island.

And today, finally, the loons are back. I just heard one do is long, sad call- not the crazy cackle, thank god, because that is just too strange. There are two in the cove in front of the house, diving for food. The other day, when the water was rough, the only birds dumb enough to be out there were Canada Geese. Loud squawkers, I've never thought much of their intelligence. They are not regular figures on the water, rather stopping in on their way back to somewhere else.

Everything here in this small, Victorian era cluster of cottages, have names. When we bought this, it was called "Turnstone." There are small birds, called turnstones, that come every year mid summer to stop on their way to somewhere else. The previous owners had a sign, with a hand painted bird on it.

I feel like I am making a stop on a way to a very different place. Something inside has already shifted, although not solid yet. I think that's why I feel the need to move, go, shift. If I stay, it will become permanent. I have migrated so much in my life, never settling in one space for too long. Being able to keep in motion has meant survival.

It's time to stop.

I am tempted to go, but I know that's not in my best interest. I have work to do...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mindful Living

it is hard to let go. To be totally present in the moment, not look forward, not look back, just be.

Buddhists call it mindful living. Being aware of the present, all of the present. For me it's like listening in on a chaotic family meeting. I have so many different voices pulling at me. Different parts of who I am, all clamoring for attention.

There is the Tough Guy, who just wants to go out and have fun, break rules, live wild and on impulse. There is the Worrier, always fraught about something, or someone. There is the General, who wants to go go go, be bigger, better, faster than anyone else. Often talked over, the Athlete is annoyed at what terrible shape I'm in. The Mother, who wants to care take, make everything nice for everyone, and is still upset about not making homemade baby food.

Give it up, sister, it's been a long time.

Then, of course, there are the lurkers, the ones that you have to listen hard to hear. The Little Girl, who's pain scares all the rest. The Needy one, who paces back and forth, wishing only to be held, for the noise to stop.

I know. I sound like Sybil, don't I? It's not as if they are real separate beings, just very real voices that drive me on a daily basis. Sometimes, one gets in charge and moves me in an off kilter direction- like the General. The General's direction is to get a real job, earn some real money, and move on with life.

Not such a bad idea. Except that the Mother hates it, the Athlete knows it means no time to work out, and the Tough Guy is completely against anything that would mean structure. The Worrier... well, the Worrier worries. How will it work out? What will happen to the kids? Will it strain the marriage?

The Little Girl knows it means more layers to work through to be heard.

The catch is to be mindful of them all. Take pieces of each, because each is incredibly valuable. I love being spontaneous, a mother, and I don't think I'll ever give up worrying. I do want to be successful, although I'm not sure what it looks like.

And I want the Little Girl to be heard, held, and comforted.

I've been trying to sit with all of them, to listen, and to find the good in all of them. It's not easy to do. The fire needs more wood, or the ocean looks calm enough to take a boat out onto and the dog would love to take yet another walk.

But I'm trying.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fifty Bucks and a Card Game

A friend of mine, who I’ll call John, phoned the other day. He was on the way to the nursing home to say goodbye to his father, long ill, and finally succumbing to age. He was heartbroken but ready- he loved his father enough to let go.

I can’t imagine that kind of love for a father. It reminded me of my own father, someone whose death I doubt I will mourn.

But is that true?

My mother would often tell me, as a little girl, that she went ahead with my adoption even though she knew my father was ill. Mentally unstable. It was her way of telling me how much she loved me, how much she wanted me, usually after a long night of bourbon on the rocks.

But that’s where I always go, back to my mother, when thinking about my father. Safe, while at her feet in the kitchen, with the smell of coffee in the air. Talking about my father and love is almost impossible for me.

Was there ever any? He was diagnosed as schizophrenic, manic-depressive, but the real sickness of his mind doesn’t come through with these clinical words. He was a tall man, mostly silent. In a wedding photo, one stashed away long ago by my mother, his gaunt face sans smile and haunted eyes, he looked wrong. Incapable of joy, it seems, without ample amounts of gin.

There was a time, though, when I was very small, I wanted his love. He would come home from work and I would sit in his lap while he read the comics to me. But that image melts away, as he always slid me down his leg, bouncing me up and down, in a way I knew was wrong.

My mother would end it. Dinnertime, set the table, come help in the kitchen… she stopped it. An innocent game with a child, one played by so many fathers, in love and silliness, I knew on some visceral level wasn’t the point. There was no love, only sickness.

I wanted love. Over time, I tried to erase him from my mind. I haven’t seen or spoken to him for so many years I can’t keep track. I won’t keep track. But his voice and smell stay with me. The way he rocked from side to side, a side effect from the years of medications, or stuck his tongue out, oblivious to the bizarre impact it had on his children. I convinced myself I did not want a father, but I know that’s not true.

I wanted a Dad. Over time, after my parents divorced, he would take us camping, to football games, and once to see the soccer star Pele play. He would take us to the grocery store and let us pick out junk food, sweets, anything forbidden by my mother. Always, at the end, there would be the sickness, the touch, when we returned to his apartment. Take a bath, he would urge my sister and I, while he masturbated behind the shower curtains veil, small sounds betraying his secret.

When John talked about his Dad, his voice cracked. The connection and love was clear. And yet I felt like I was watching something from behind a thick pane of old glass, distorted, waved by the years of withstanding the weather. I wanted to know what that was, the love of a father. A father who loved his child with kindness and generosity. What would it have been like to be safe, cared for, held with no sick demons demanding rewards?

Triggers, always triggers make me ask these questions. The most innocent of conversations can send my head spinning. One night, a friend mentioned a sailboat her father made her.

I know her father was a horribly abusive man. Unlike John, there is no separation; the glass is jagged and cuts me. I lean into it because I cannot stand the curiosity. Was this love?

It started as a casual conversation about a seaside town. I almost moved there, she said, because I had this sailboat my father made me…

It didn’t fit. John would say this, and have love in his eyes. Not her. I looked long at her and she simply shrugged. Her father was a vicious man who broke my friend at a very young age. I don’t think she’s ever recovered. And yet, with this simple sentence, enter my own father again.

Triggers are like that. Small innocent words with the teeth of a bear trap.

What did my father ever give me?

Fifty bucks when I went to college to spend on “books.” That and an intense hatred of camping, pan-fried hamburgers and cleaning out the bathtub. I’m not sure those were gifts but they were lasting memories.

He made her a sailboat.

My father was not a brilliant musician, nor a poet, nor a craftsman of any kind. He did own a table saw, where he cut off two of his fingers while still married to my mother. I can remember sitting outside and having my mother’s frantic call to me and I assume my siblings. There was a blanket wrapped around his hand and her instructions to stay home, the neighbors would check on us.

I knew there was blood. I went to the table saw, where I was not allowed, and looked at it. I don’t remember seeing anything, only the horror that I would.

What was it like to have a man as a father who was many things? Both awful and talented? Mine was simply awful. Sick, mentally ill, there was nothing there but voices that echoed in his head, telling him what to do.

Surely, I keep thinking, there must have been something. Something, somewhere that he built or sang or wrote that was beautiful.

Cards. I know he was a brilliant card player. Life Master at Bridge. He taught me, and my siblings, at a young age to play a very grown up game. I can still play, although I am not very good.

Combined with the fifty bucks, I feel cheated. If I had to go through what I did, couldn’t I have at least some gift?

Do I really want one is the better question. I can simply write off a man who was neither my biological father nor a real father in any way. I feel no remorse. It must be harder for my friend. Beauty came with the carnage. How do you sort that out?

Maybe you never do. Maybe I’m blessed to have no ambivalence about the fact that I hate the man. I don’t miss him and when he dies, I will not cry. Cold, some have called me, mean, thoughtless. I throw people away, I was told.

I am thoughtless when it comes to my feelings about some one who ripped away my innocence, showed me pornography with a sick laugh, encouraging me to read the stories, guiding my hand in the dark of the canvas tent. I look at my eight year old and think about what I was swallowing at the same age, leaving me with endless dreams of a mouthful of glass. He reads a silly book about farts and poops, tucked under a blanket, snug on the couch.

Cold? No… encased. I built sturdy armor at a young age, fed with the images of the Greek Gods and Goddesses. I longed to be Athena, born fully-grown and in full battle gear. No arms stronger to hold me down.

And yet the sailboat lingers, intermixed with the sealed off dream of a real, painless father. Somewhere is the little girl, waiting for her father to come home to read the comics.

My mother, on the other hand, left me many things, and while we fought, we loved each other very much. She could be cruel but to a child where pain had another dimension, she felt like safety to me. I could kick the can through the air so everyone was home free. When she died, I needed her things close to me. I wanted them in my life. The things she gave me over time had more meaning.

I am back in the kitchen. Coffee is in the air, it safe enough to write this even though I know my mother would be furious. Life is hard, Sara, she’d say. You move on. Her last words to me, as she lay dying, Will you ever be ok?
I don’t know.

Our relationship was nowhere near perfect. Over time, I have been able to pick away the shards and find the kindness. I know I’ll never have that with my father. There is simply nothing left after the pain is swept away.

I know, on some level, that I’m lucky. I know it’s better to not have anything than to have something, briefly and have it ripped away. I understand the sailboat is the illusion of some kind of love, of regret, an extension of good will. I know my friend John had other struggles to attend to, and life is never as perfect as it seems. The reality, my guess, is the sailboat was a gift of guilt, shame, and not for my friend at all, rather her tormentor’s conscience. Aloe for his soul, not his daughter’s.

Fifty bucks. And a card game. So pitifully forgettable, it was indeed a gift.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Telling the Story... Finally

Yesterday, as Beanie and I walked down to the pump with our wagon and container for water (our well is very shallow and not drinkable), we passed a man in a truck. He was working on one of the cottages, getting it ready for the year. Weathered, with a long white beard, he stopped to say hello.

Nice dog. Well trained.


I realized something as he drove on- I'm not afraid of men anymore. White men. I've never been afraid of men of color, nor gay men. I don't know why it never generalized that far but it didn't.

Straight, white men always made me feel on edge. They don't anymore. I enjoyed the very brief conversation and went on to get my water. I wished I had my camera to take his photo, his face was very calm and yet the lines carved in spoke of many years working hard.

I'm not afraid.

It is really only about one man. Not my father, he always seemed weak to me, even standing at 6'2". The medications had long left him with odd ticks and tremors that made him look broken to me, even as a child. There is really only one man who frightens me, who I feel my adrenalin start to race when I'm in a room with him. With good reason, as only a couple years ago he shoved me hard enough into a wall to leave a large, gaping hole.

I was fighting back. I broke the rules.

As kids, he would pin me to the ground, and let a long line of spit come from his mouth and hold my face.

I remember him on my back, holding my face to the ground, the stink of the old green carpet the plush shag long lost, making me stay there until he was bored.

I remember him chasing me through the house, trying to grab the key to the bathroom, and locking myself in. And then he would lock me in with a chair. Same for the closet. Tried to get there. Hold the door tight. I’d wet my pants trying to hold the door. Then he’d stick a chair against the handle and keep me there.

I wet my pants when I went through the wall. Some things never change.

I am breaking big rules by writing this. I know. I am prepared to get the threatening letter. Libel. Lawsuits. I realize he remembers things the way he needs to.

That's OK. There are times I wish I could hold it the same way, as playful rough housing. What kids do.

Oh, how that line is embedded in my mind. Just what kids do. Normal.

I remember things the way I do because I have to. We have different truths. It is fair for him to say I have it all wrong.

And it is fair for me to tell my side, my truth. The stories told around my mother's kitchen table have another edge to them. One without laughter or the old lie that it was normal. I need to let the little girl have her voice, so she stops bringing me back to a fearful place. To a place of shame. Holding her back doesn't take away her power.

I'm not afraid anymore. The old man was not a menacing rapist but just a guy doing his work. Being neighborly.

I'm ready to tell the whole story.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm Here

I'm here. Finally.

I thought I was coming into major fog season but in fact, the sun is out, the sky almost clear, and it feels like it might get to a rockin' 60 degrees today.

I won't mention how cold it was last night.

I have so many books to choose from up here it's hard to know where to start... my first choice might be The Floating Brothel. Kinda matches the sounds of the lobster boats on the water.

I am struck by how quiet it is here.

A friend of mine said, it will take a few days to get over the need to be busy, the loneliness. I don't really feel much of a need to be busy, although the place does need a good cleaning, the kerosene lamps all need tending to, wick cut and filled with new oil.


The furniture all needs to be set up but that's Allan's job. The compost toilet needs emptying too, but that's Walter's job. I think I'll save both for them.

The shore is littered with bleach bottles from the lobster boats. I will pick those up. The tide is already coming in so no mussels for dinner tonight.

Charlie Crist, (R-Closet as my friend Steven says) is considering a run for senate, even though he was outed in the recent movie, Outrage. Obama made a great wink wink joke at the White House correspondents dinner the other night- he is without a doubt for marriage equality. I hope he stands up and says it clearly soon. The world of politics, the economy spinning, is all merrily going on it's way.

And I can hear the sea gulls, the wind and water. Nothing else.

I'm here. Mostly, but not all of me yet. As I went to bed last night, the silence shook me a little. There is still that edge of fear tapping me on the shoulder, telling me perhaps the ax murderer isn't worried about mud season and is on his way.

I know this is the safest place on earth for me. The woods have always been my haven, where no one could reach me tucked under an arch of fallen tree limbs of my youth. The fear keeps me from being present.

This is a moment I've waited for, like so many others in my life. I won't let fear win.

It is far to special a moment.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Two Days...

Two days and counting...

Yesterday, I unpacked boxes of glasses from my mother's house. They have been in the basement for two years. I finally went through them to get the wine glasses I wanted to take Downeast.

They still smelled like cigarettes and white diamond perfume. It gave me quite a headache.

I realize today, that I am very much like my mother. I love my time alone, crave it, and always find space for it. As I put the other glasses, the funky ones that I would never buy, into the cabinet I wonder if I'll ever be able to use them.

I don't want to be that much like my mother.

Lately, as I've walked through the dining room, I smell cigarette smoke. All of the furniture, the artwork, the rug, were hers. I pulled my son Ben into the room once- Do you smell smoke?


Are you sure?

Mom, it doesn't smell like anything.

I think she's haunting me. I don't know what she would be mad about. Okay, I can think of a couple of things but overall, nothing big in comparison to the fights we had while she was alive.

Except the book. That, she would not be so happy about.

As I get ready to go on this trip, this sojourn, the past is starting to creep back into my dreams. Last night, I had a horrible nightmare about my abuser. I was trying to get away from the rage.

Whatever it took.

I kept waking up, and reaching out to see if my sweetie was still there. She was. The cats were both perched at the end of the bed, thrilled with the midnight petting.

Will I be able to handle these dreams alone?

I keep hearing my sister tell me to let it go, just let it go.

I can't.

Maybe... I won't. Not until I make some lemonade from the lemons.

My mother can haunt me. There is something familiar about the smell that feels good. If she had lived to see it, she would have loved downeast. Understood my need to go there.

Two days... I'm a little frantic getting ready, finishing laundry, seeing people, going to baseball games, track meets.

All with a waft of cigarette smoke following behind me.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Right Side of History

I went to a concert this morning for my son Jake. They sang the song, Nifty Fifty United States...

I kept thinking, oh, win, win, gonna win, gonna win... long time for that one.

The truth is, we are making huge headway on the marriage equality front. I wonder why Obama continues to be silent. If he says he believes in "traditional" marriage one more time, I'm going to scream.

I don't believe it. I don't believe he is against marriage equality. Simply does not fit the rest of who he presents himself to be. Enough, President Obama. Time to have some courage.

Time to stand on the right side of history.


Maine's Governor, who had been a long time "one man one woman" rhetoric spouter, changed his tune yesterday and signed the law. Immediately signed the law. New Hampshire's Governor is being hard pressed to do the same.

It's time. Like I said when Iowa approved marriage equality, the war is over. While there are still battles to be fought, it's over. One word for all those politicians out there- there will be another election. And your soundbites will be used.

Careful. You wouldn't want to sound like a bigot.

I love Maine. I can guarantee there will be a ballot question but you know, Mainers are a special breed. There is a whole lot of common sense up there.

Mostly? It's time for Obama to take a stand. Stop the bullshit.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


From my son Jake. I thought it was appropriate because it is about Downeast Maine.

A lot of rocks around
Icy cold like an iceberg
carefully step in

There will be no stepping in this time of year.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Teens Have Their Say

Now, I do not allow this language in my house. Unless of course, it's coming from my mouth.

Then it costs me a buck.

But I love the energy of these kids.

Thanks to Cathy Renna!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Strange Day

Strange day today... all around.

A friend who is always loud and exuberant was quiet and reserved on a phone call. Hmmm.

I read a financial update that looked very good, in light of the economy. Hmmmm.

I had to instruct my middle son to NOT leave his "cup" on the table. Or the kitchen counter. Or anywhere, except his room. Yikes.

And earlier, I was sitting in my office. It was about 4pm. Suddenly, I heard a man's voice in my living room. At first, I assume it's Walter. The front door was open, as it always is... I stand up. There is a man I don't know standing in my living room.


Is this the open house?

My first thought is, can you see what a mess it is?

No, it's not.

My favorite, privileged white male response- Are you sure?



He turns and leaves and I have to say, in my almost 25 years here, I have never, ever had anyone just walk in the door.

Very strange.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Countdown Begins

In eight days, I leave for my two week solo vacation. Well, I am taking the dog so almost solo. I have had a few folks say, you'll never make it.

I say, as long as I don't have to empty the compost toilet, I'll be fine.

Fishing gear, new telephoto lens. Lots of wool socks. Wine glasses I have been meaning to take for a year- I don't care if we're drinking two buck chuck, you still need a proper glass.

Wicks, lamp oil, long underwear. It'll be in the thirties, low forties at night. I've looked forward to this for so long I can't quite believe it's coming up. I did have a small anxiety attack about the axe murderer who would be wandering around and a friend said, oh, not during mud season. I mean, really.


I am worried I will miss my kids and bag the trip after a week. I picked two because I knew I wanted to get on the other side of that.

It doesn't help to have a small betting pool going on re:when will Sara come home.

Jeanine... I will miss Jeanine but there is something rock solid about our relationship right now. I have no even remote interest in anyone else, or changing what we have now- I'm certain she feels the same.

Muck boots, a bright baseball hat, the new hammock. Not that it will be warm enough to hang out on the hammock, but one can hope.

Few more days. Plenty to keep me very busy before hitting the road. I'm not sure what I am looking for in this solitude. I do know I'm looking. I want to spend a day without speaking to see how it feels. My kids say I cannot possibly do that. I yammer on- and Walter, too- and can chat with pretty much anyone.

A writing teacher once said to me, writers will do anything to avoid writing. Talking to friends is the number one downfall of a good novel being done in a timely fashion.

She was right.

I plan on picking fresh mussels and taking the time to cook a great dinner for myself- something I used to do a long long time ago. Now, whenever I get the chance not to cook, I am happy with a bowl of cereal.

Eight more days.

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Swine Flu

Thanks to Mark St. John who posted this on facebook...