Posts Tagged ‘Windsor’

Hold That Thought

April 18, 2018

I was supposed to register today for my fall semester in the Transformative Inquiry PhD program.

But.

Nope.

Holds on my registration.

My first thought, “but I don’t have any over due library books!”

Literally.

Second thought, “or videos!”

When I was in my undergraduate program at UW Madison Four Star Video was affiliated with the UW system, I don’t really know why, but it was and I had a video that was over due.

By like a year.

And the school wouldn’t release my financial aid funds until I returned the video.

But I had already.

Or so I thought.

I had given the video to my boyfriend, my first boyfriend, now that I think of it, Rob, to return to the video store.

He said he did.

But as it turns out, he did not.

I hadn’t been dating him in a while, a while for me at least, six, seven months, and had barely seen him around the campus, he wasn’t a student, but his father was a professor in mathematics at the school.

I was so broke.

I remember it so distinctly.

I really needed my financial aid and I had to pay out $90 to the video store to replace the rental.

It was “Gone With The Wind,” I have no idea why they hell I had rented that movie, although I do like it, though the book is so much better, and was astonished that to replace the video it would be $90.

Partially because it was a double cassette movie, two different cassettes.

I am so dating myself.

I couldn’t track down Rob, but I could track down his father.

I went to his office and I waited until he had office hours.

He remembered me fondly and asked after me and I was suddenly shy to say why I was there, but I needed that money and the financial aid office refused to let it go, I mean, I reasoned, wouldn’t it make sense to just give me the fucking money and I pay the fine?

But no.

I had to pay the fine first.

I girded my loins and told Rob’s dad and he was so sweet, he opened his wallet pulled out the money and wished me the best of luck.

I ran back to Four Star Video, which was a haul, UW Madison is a huge campus and Rob’s dad’s office was on the other side of Bascom Hill, it was probably a two-mile hike, but I feel like I did it in twenty minutes.

I paid the fine.

I got my financial aid.

As it turns out, I don’t have any outstanding video rentals or over due library books, note to self, I do have a book I need to return next class session.

LAST CLASS SESSION!

I can’t get too excited yet.

I am not there.

I still have two papers to write.

I still have work to do.

My therapist and I talked a lot about it, how it feels surreal, how it doesn’t feel like it’s actually happening.

I’m having my best friend over for dinner tomorrow night to do party planning and catch up and I have to say it feels weird to be planning the party as it’s not really hit me yet that I’m going to graduate.

My therapist look at me at one point in the session and said, “you’re going to graduate.”

I’ll take her word for it.

Therapists are supposed to hold the hope.

heh.

Anyway.

The hold seems to stem from the fact that I am not yet graduated from my Master’s program and I can’t register online for a PhD while my grades are still out.

I have been provisionally accepted.

Which means I have to graduate before I can be in the program.

But.

I can register for classes.

I just have to go to school and do them via hard copy.

Hard copy!

Shit.

That sounds like craziness.

I remember when I went for my undergraduate the school had just switched from the stand in line and hand register and hope that you can get to all the classes you want to get to, to using the phone.

And man.

It was so important to call ASAP.

Once your time was up it was a hustle.

I remember waiting with my booklet of classes and the phone, dial-up, though at least not a rotary phone (although, yes we did have a rotary phone in middle school and high school, a big yellow one that hung of the wall in the kitchen nook in the house in Windsor, that had a super long curly cord that my sister would stretch tight so she could have phone calls in the bathroom without anyone overhearing her), and I would have to put in my student id pin number and then punch in the code for the class.

Sometimes I was lucky, especially by second semester Junior year and most of my Senior year, and I would get right into the classes I wanted.

But often.

So often.

I would not get what I wanted and thus began the negotiation of what class to pick up that would fulfill my schedule needs, I worked full-time (nothing’s changed, well, that’s not true, I don’t work in a bar anymore), my school requirements for my degree, and whether or not I had any interest in the class.

Sometimes I would get home from work and comb through the class lists, looking for an interesting class that I might have overlooked, sometimes I would sit on the phone, continuously dialing and re-dialing the number.

I was persistent.

Persistance paid off.

Someone would drop the class I wanted and I would be having one of my twenty-minute or half hour tries at getting into a class.

It was always the best feeling when I would dial-up a number for a class that I had been trying for days, sometimes weeks (happened a few times) and suddenly there was a spot open.

And it was tricky.

I would not be able to register for the class and then drop the one I didn’t want, I’d have to take a leap of faith and drop the class first, knowing someone might grab the class I’d drop or that someone else might be trying for the class I wanted.

It always worked out.

I remind myself of that now.

Things will work out.

I will get my papers written.

I will get it all done.

I will get registered for my PhD.

And I will have a party.

All the things.

They will happen.

I have faith.

Thank God.

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You Are A Magician!

October 10, 2017

I got the sweetest text tonight as I was wrapping up at my internship.

My boss had sent me a message extolling my baking prowess.

I made the family an apple tart tonight.

It was going to be a pie, but they only had tart baking dishes so I changed up what I was doing and made a butter pastry, yes, by hand, it’s not that hard, and did my version of apple pie filling.

The nice thing about it too.

All the apples came from their tree in the front of their house.

It reminded me of when I learned how to make apple pies.

I was twelve, we had just moved from Madison, Wisconsin, to Windsor, Wisconsin.

I went from being in an urban multi-cultural neighborhood and school to rural white country in a blink of an eye.

I didn’t think much of it at the time, the racial stuff, the class system and structure, I got lumped into the “farm kids” group even though we didn’t live on a farm.

And yes, I have drank milk straight from the pail underneath a cow’s udder, I remember very distinctly that it was warm, but I was no farm girl.

I can pass for one though.

I currently pass for very urban, the tattoos do that and my funky style of dressing, which has been evolving for years, but it is still quite urban.

However.

I can pass for a country girl too, not so much a farm girl, but I know a lot about living in the country and the seasons, canning and jarring, making preserves, putting up food for the winter.

We had a pantry in the cellar.

And it was a cellar.

Oh, sure, we had a basement, but we also had a cellar too, an unfinished one with a dirt floor, which was spooky as fuck and after one winter of storing stuff there I declined to ever go near it again.

Some places are just too goddamn creepy and I had a penchant for reading Stephen King in highschool, which did nothing to help matters.

Anyway.

This country girl can also jam and she can bake.

My mom taught me.

We had an apple orchard on the property–4 Red Delicious Trees, 1 Golden Delicious, and 7 Cortland trees.

I don’t know that there are any Cortland apples in California, there might be, but I don’t recall seeing them in the stores.

I have dreamed once or twice about having my own apple orchard.

A modest one.

Maybe a hobby one.

I would be a famous writer.

Or better.

A writer who just made money writing.

I would have a big house and a small barn.

I would put up apples and preserves and make apple jelly and apple pies, apple sauce, and oh!

Apple butter.

So freaking good.

And of course.

Lots of apple cider.

I would write in my office in the barn and have a braided rug and a rocking chair, a big desk and a fireplace.

I would drink hot tea while the snow fell and be super content listening to the hush and crackle of snow falling.

I would fall asleep under large comforters.

I would have my bunny slippers of course.

It’s a sweet fantasy.

One I could imagine having here, partially, but it would be outside of the city, obviously.

Or.

Maybe I could just have my own house and I would have the trees that I like, a couple of apple trees, the Envy varietal or Pink Lady, I also really like the Mutsu apples.  And a persimmon tree.

Fuck I love persimmons.

And it’s persimmon season.

When I get done with my blog I will be having both and apple and a persimmon as my evening snack, I shall cut them up, sprinkle them with cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt and pumpkin pie spice.

The best.

I might have a pear tree too.

And definitely a fig tree.

Then a little kitchen garden–tomatoes, lettuces, onions, herbs–rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, heck, maybe even some sweet corn.

But really I want tomatoes, like the ones my grandfather grew in his garden in Lodi.

My grandfather helped my mom quite a bit with the planning of our garden in Windsor, we had an acre of land and the back of it was a big sprawling yard, halved by a grape arbor and then the back was the orchard and the garden.

The garden wasn’t as big as my grandfathers and I remember my stepfather (step asshole, step asshat, step misogynist, oops, sorry, digression) got some weird ideas about what to grow.

One year it was a god awful amount of cabbage and he decided we were going to make sauerkraut.

We made so much sauerkraut that four years later I could still find it in the pantry in the basement, not the cellar mind you, but the basement.

Another year it was potatoes and broccoli.

There was also a small strawberry patch, some raspberries, and red currants as well as rhubarb.

One of my mom’s masterpieces was her strawberry rhubarb egg custard tart.

God damn it was a miracle.

And my mom taught me her pie crust recipe.

Which, to this day, I can see on its index card in her small recipe box, the way she wrote her letters and the fanciful swoops and curves of her lines and the flourishes.

When I think of my mom sometimes I think that her creative soul can be found in her cursive handwriting.

I didn’t even need to look at the recipe card after a few years, I had made so many pies that it was unnecessary.

I made apple pies, of course, until the cows came home.

This is a saying, not literal, although there was a farm just down the road that the dog liked to go occasion once in a while to piss off my mother by rolling in the cow manure.

There is nothing fouler to smell than a dirty dog in cow shit.

Anyway.

My mom taught me well and it was nice to dip back into those memories, to feel the seasons change, to think about fall abundance and harvest.

I miss baking sometimes and I’m a good baker, so it was super sweet and a bit special to make the tart for the family I work for.

I cooked a lot today for the family as it was a stay at home day for the kids, Columbus Day school observance, but the pie made me the happiest to make.

I didn’t need to taste it, I don’t eat sugar or flour, so that was out of the question.

But oh.

I smelled it.

And it was so good.

It reminded me of home, the days crisp and cool and the leaves turning and the grass still green but cold now on my feet when I was out picking through the windfall apples in the tall orchard grass.

I am so glad and grateful that I get to live in San Francisco.

But once in a while.

Yes.

I do get a touch nostalgic for the Midwest.

And baking today felt good.

Sweet.

Homey.

Cozy.

It stirred me and I was grateful for it.

And touched too, that the mom would send me such an effusive message.

I am glad they liked the pie.

I probably liked baking it more than they enjoyed eating it.

That might not seem possible.

But.

Well.

I think it is.

How Did I Get From

May 4, 2016

Here to there and back again?

The day just flew the fuck by.

And here I am again, at my little sky blue, robin’s egg blue, tiny table writing yet again.

I have already written a lot today.

I started and finished my Multi-Cultural paper.

Five pages, 11 pt font, 1.5 paragraph space, 2,653 words–not counting my reference page, I haven’t put that together yet.

And I haven’t proofed it.

I was typing out the last paragraph before work when I realized, holy shit, I have to go to work.

Now.

I mean, go.

I was a few minutes behind my normal walk out the door time.

I had gotten up early to do the paper, I also wrote before I wrote the paper, my standard three pages long hand.

All the writing.

All the time.

I don’t mind though, the words they come and I am continually grateful that I have the words to express the pictures in my head.

There are a lot of scenes, there is a lot of language.

There are a lot of notebooks, blogs, papers, book manuscripts, poems, etc, etc.

I have written (not including the blogs, probably about 45-50 that I scrubbed when I started this previous nanny gig, my employers did a deep back ground check and I did not want them to find anything should they be led to my blog) 1,789 blogs.

HOLY SHIT.

Really?

Each of my blogs is at least 1,000 words.

That is always my goal, get to a 1,000 and if I get past that, fuck yeah, but at least get to the 1,000.

The same goes for the morning writing, at least three pages long hand, there is importance to not losing that muscle for me, often times I am working something out in those pages, even if they seem insubstantial, I can tell when I have skipped, rarely, or skimped, again, rarely, but it does occasionally happen, I can feel it in my bones.

I am many, many, many things.

But I am always a writer.

It does not matter how many views I have had of my blog.

67,771.

Or how many people have visited my blog page.

20,475.

Or how many followers I have.

Not so many.

But most of them I don’t know, they, you are not my friends, you stumbled upon my little blog and read a few of them and subscribed.

How fucking flattering is that?

I have 281 followers.

281 people that have opted to have my blog sent to their e-mail.

Whether or not they read it, well, I have no clue, but I am flattered none the less.

But I don’t write with you in mind.

Oh.

Sometimes I edit what I am going to write about or I allude to something, I can wear my heart on my sleeve, I can be totally transparent, but there’s still so much left unsaid that I am quite aware that I could be writing another blog entirely with a lot of material that I would not dare put here.

That being said, I do like being available and writing about things that matter to me, to my heart, to my being, I like speaking to and about my experience.

I don’t know for the most part what I will write when I sit down to share.

He sent me a photograph of train tracks.

I was reminded of summer days in Wisconsin, living in Windsor, the railroad tracks that cut through town.

Depending on my mood I would go left or right.

If I was going left I was wandering off into fantasy land.

To the left were banks of golden red snap dragons, their sword like leaves cutting through the humid air, there was a farm with horses that were out to pasture, there was a small bridge over a creek, there were blackberry brambles, and off to the left, heading out of Windsor, toward Madison, there was an island of old oak trees in the middle of a corn field.

I would balance on the rails and walk them as far as I could without falling off.

I would see that island of oaks and think about sitting in the grass there, what that perspective would look like.

I would fantasize about sitting under those oaks and the romance of it was dire and daunting and isolating, but sweet too, though bitter, I would nibble at the fantasy, a thin wafer cookie of sustenance to get me through another summer day.

However.

If I was going to the right.

I was running away from home.

Heading toward school.

Going towards the town of DeForest.

It was infrequent that I turned right, but it did happen.

And usually at night.

Or.

Once in a while I would be returning from school at night, too embarrassed to accept a ride home from swimming practice or debate or forensics, or French club, because my mom had forgotten me or was late or, who knows, I would wait and wait and wait.

And at some point.

I would head through town, walk out to the front of the school, hope to hear my mom’s car, knowing all the while that I wouldn’t, I would walk down the left side of the road and hit the railroad tracks heading back to Windsor.

I would hope for a passing train and I would imagine jumping up and catching the last rungs of the metal ladder hanging off the caboose.

Once in a while a train would come.

Most of the time I would scoot down the sides of the shale and quartz rock and let the train pass, berating myself for not trying to jump the train, not having the courage to do so, the where withal to really jump and save the hours of walking ahead of me back to the house in Windsor.

I remember once making the decision.

I could hear the train coming and it was going to be coming around a corner of the rail and it was going to be moving at its slowest, I was determined to jump it.

I gathered myself and sprang up the tracks as the last car rattled by.

I chased it for awhile, “jump, jump, jump,” I admonished myself.

I could just reach it.

If only I were to jump.

I didn’t make the leap.

I think back now and I am glad I did not.

“Argh, you are lucky to be alive,” he texted me.

Yes.

I am.

Who knows where I would have gotten off, if I had gotten off that train heading away from town into a wilderness of unknown possibilities and challenges.

To read the story of The Boxcar Children was one thing entirely.

To think that it could actually happen for me was another.

In one way or another, I realize, I have been catching trains all my life, jumping, trying, falling, stumbling, dreaming of things that are just outside my grasp, just beyond my reach.

Until one day.

I realized I had caught my train.

I had been riding it for years.

Irony that I have dated three train conductors since I moved to San Francisco?

Is it odd.

Or.

Is it God?

I don’t know, I certainly don’t need to analyze it.

Fuck.

I did enough analyzing this morning while I wrote my paper.

Suffice to say.

I am pleased with the work and the gift of being allowed to do the work.

I’ll be riding this train for a while yet.

Dream train.

Steam train.

Good night.

The moon in the window, the tracks a circle on the floor, the little engine that could puff, puff, puffing into the shadows of the night.

I think I can.

I think I can.

I think I can.

And.

I did.

My paper’s done.

My day is done.

I made it.

Tickets please.

All The Pretty Lights

December 24, 2013

“Slow down,” I told myself, as I navigated the Wiggle back “home”.

Home, is where the house sit is.

I was up at 7th and Irving after work taking care of a commitment and having some last-minute check ins with some ladies, good to have service to keep me steady no matter where I lay my pillow.

But I am ready to have home be my home again.

Out at the edge of the sea.

Where it is warmer.

This house, though more than quadruple the size of the place where I live is constantly cold, it gets little to no direct sunlight and is an interior apartment, it stays cold.

Plus, like so many of the older Victorians in the city, it does not have insulation.

Even on nights when it is not that chilly out, it feels cold.

Oh, boohoo, I can hear my friends from Northern Wisconsin pipe up.

But, if you think about it, no one, and I mean no one is sitting in a house in Wisconsin that registers the same temperature as the outside temp here.

Nope, most folks like there interior domicile to probably be around 68-70 degrees Farenheit.

This place does have lovely gas heaters in the old fireplaces in the front and back rooms, so at least when I am in the bedroom the warmth sticks and me and the kitty can get cozy.

Of course, the internet it is not working so good from the back or front room.

Haha.

So, I am in the kitchen with the chilly air, no heater in here, nope.

Oh well.

I at least chatted with the guys who I am sitting for and got the television on, it had to be reset, so it wasn’t just a matter of turning it on and off, but once I did, I spent close to fifteen minutes scrolling up and down the 700 plus channels.

Nothing to watch.

Nothing to see.

Screw that.

I turned it off and realized what a time suck just that was.

I could have been nearly done with my blog and already enjoying my evening snack and finishing up Bad Santa.

Oh my god.

So fucking bad, so fucking good.

Billy Bob Thornton is fucking brilliant.

I am about half way through, and truth be told I may wait until after Christmas to continue watching it, it’s a little dark, but I am glad I downloaded it.

Tonight instead of the 700 plus channels of dreck, I shall be watching a Downton Abbey Christmas special.

Now that is up my alley.

I will also try to down load another version of Elf, the one I got was not good quality, that and Holiday Inn.

My plans seem to be holding steady for the holiday, but who knows what may happen, God laughs when I make plans.

Tomorrow I am working until 2p.m. then I am off for the rest of Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

I am off to the Ferry Building, off to Sausalito, off to take photographs of the skyline from across the bay.  Off to eat oysters from Hog Island when I get back from the ferry ride and there’s a very good probability that I will hit a 7:05 p.m. movie at the Embarcadero Theater.

Either 12 Years a Slave.

Or The Dallas Buyers Club.

Leaning more toward the latter.

But I’m just going to play it by ear.

Same for Christmas, although my plan is a little more concrete.

I will meet my lady friend Beth at 2900 24th Street at Florida, hit a cafe for some coffee, either Philz or Haus, or SugarLump, whichever happens to be open, I think Philz is typically open until about 2pm, if memory serves.

Then hang out for a little bit and after ward ride our bicycles over to Christmas dinner with friends.

Simple.

Easy.

Hoping that I won’t stick my faulty agenda in there anywhere and just show up.

Half the battle, that, just showing up.

I do that fairly well.

The city is empty and when I did slow my roll down, following the arrows on the street unconsciously along the bike route, I spent a lot more time looking up and out at the houses, the pretty Christmas lights and how people had decorated their homes.

I felt extraordinarily grateful to be looking at and appreciating all the pretty lights.

One of my favorite games over the holidays was one I played with my sister when we were on road trips to and from Milwaukee for my step-fathers family Christmas, or to and from Lodi for my mother’s family Christmas.

I much preferred the trip to Lodi, although there were not nearly as many lights, Milwaukee being a city and Lodi a tiny town of 2,200, maybe 2,300 folks.

I would stare out my side of the window into the dark inky indigo night speckled with stars, God’s Christmas lights, and count the strands adorning the homes as they flashed into view taking this turn or that as we headed from my grandparents home back to Windsor.

Sometimes it was very, very, very cold and it felt as though the world was under a glass dome of ice, but I always remember getting used to it.

The only time I believe I ever felt scared about the cold was my sophomore year in highschool, the school district actually shut down for two or three days, the temperature with wind chill registered at -70 to -75 degrees Farenheit.

I remember that cold.

It was deep and hit fast.

The dog did not want to go out to pee.

I did not want to outside to walk the dog.

It was a chore to get to the mailbox.

I remember sitting huddled on the couch in what we called the library, and had we any money it might have been, but it was more like the only room in the house that we could possibly keep moderately warm.

My room might as well have been outside.

I was beneath the attic and my closet door opened to the attic door which opened up a flight of non-insulated stairs.

I could see my breath when I walked in my room and my parents never let me leave the door open to collect any of the heat that might be rising from the downstairs.

It was Siberia.

When my mother and step-father divorced, my mom actually took the room and I moved into her old one.

Not nearly as cold.

In fact, I don’t remember being cold in that room, I remember being warm and that is where so much of my adult person seems to have been raised.

I am still quite childlike and I still tend to listen to the little kid in me that is nervous about not having enough, even though I completely do, I have so much.

I was admiring the lights, thinking of all the gifts in my life and sailing around the corner of the street, Christmas is here and though I don’t know how it’s supposed to all go down, to plan or not to plan, it’s here and I am grateful that though it is a little chilly in my abode, it ain’t no -70.

Wishing all my friends and family in colder climbs warm cheery hearths and loads of love as the Christmas day approaches, I am thinking of you with so much love in my heart.

Well, I am not cold anymore.

Feels Like A Sunday

April 26, 2013

Despite it being Friday night.

However, I am out in Chambourcy, just outside of Saint Germain-en-Laye, France.

I am already in my pjs, and it is just before 8 p.m.

I just got out of the gigantic bathtub in the master bath and I felt no compunctions about putting on my Hello Kitty sleep shirt and yoga pants.

None whatsoever.

It has been a very relaxing kind of day, also, why it feels like a Sunday.

I have listened to jazz, gone for a walk with the dog in the woods, drank tea, curled up on the couch for a few hours while the rains blew in–just barely got back from the walk before the rain started to drop–and a bath.

I am quite blissed out.

It is counter intuitive to my personality, this slowness.

I am not a good practitioner of the resting, slow down, mellow out school.

I mean, come on, my blog subtitle is “Girl on the Go.”

That’s what I am usually up to or going to.

I realized as I was plugging in this person there and that person here and what BART would I take to get from Oakland to SF to see such and such and maybe I can squeeze that errand in here, that I was not in California yet.

I was in Chambourcy.

I put down my Iphone and turned on the music.

Jazz for the majority of my day and for a little throwback fun, I am now listening to some new age–Thomas Dolby, The Golden Age of Wireless.

It always reminds me of my last summer after highschool before I started my freshman year at University of Wisconsin, Madison.  We had sold the house in Windsor and I was living with my mom in a small two bedroom apartment on East Johnson Street.

The entire apartment was about the size of the room I had previously been occupying.

I escaped with friends from school.

Not my school either.

Although I had some friends from DeForest High School, I had left abruptly, the house had sold faster than I thought it would and we actually moved before I graduated from highschool.  I was the only person that did not show up for the dress rehearsal for graduation.

I had no clue it was happening.

I was busy helping my mom box up the house and move into the tiny apartment.

I was embarrassed and shy and scared, although from the front I put on, you would never have known.  No one in my group of friends knew that I had run away from home just a few months prior to graduation.

I had nowhere to go.

I ran away to school.

I slept in the back of the bus in the back parking lot I had broken into.

My swim coach had some suspicions, but did not discuss them with me.  He did however stop handing over my paychecks to my mom from the lifeguarding shifts I was doing after I asked him to not do it any more.

That may have been the first time I had really stood up for myself.

I am still learning how to do so.

It takes a little more time than one would think.

I still feel like a young woman finding herself out in the world.

I still want some one to tell me what to do.

I find that people pleasing is just a way for me to be in control of my environment.  Though the fact, amply substantiated by years of evidence, is that I do not have control of my environment.

The more I can let go of that, the freer I am.

I wanted to feel guilty about being out here in the country, taking it easy, but really, it is a bit of work.  I traveled from outside the city early in the morning to the city center, walked through thorough fares teeming with tourists hauling my pack of stuff with me like a college kid on sabbatical, up and down train station steps to the next Metro line to the next RER.

I do not mind work though and as I sit here berating myself, not as hard as I used to, I know that I will continue to do what is put in front of me to do.

Usually it’s just the dishes.

I don’t remember doing a lot of dishes that summer.

I remember I went to the pool nearly every day, riding my bike from the East side of Madison on Hwy 51 to DeForest.  My friend Jay had no idea I had actually moved to Madison until one night after the pool closed he offered to give me a lift and as I directed him past the Windsor Road turn off I finally broke the news to him.

The friends I hung out with were from Sun Prairie.

I had met one of them when I was in middle school in Madison.

When we moved to Windsor she and I stayed in touch.

Then her family moved to the outskirts of Madison and she was relocated into the Sun Prairie school system.  I would go weekends to her house in the country to escape the crazy at my house.

Not that I even knew it was crazy.

But when your step father makes you cut the grass with hand shears and the lawn is about an acre, there is some crazy going on.

My friend’s mom had her own struggles, I am sure of it, looking back with perspective, however, she seemed to make do in a way that I still admire.

She cooked and baked and made stained glass ornaments and windows in a little studio off the side of the house.  The house did not have running water, there was a well, hooked up to a motor, and there was an outhouse, but it was more civilized than anything I had experienced.

The bread she made still makes my mouth salivate.

One of my favorite smells to this day, hot bread fresh from the oven, mixed in with the scent of cut grass on a warm dusky night, topped with butter and mulberry jam she made I don’t know that I ever wanted to leave.

I was not always that fond of the friend, but man, did I love her mom.

I love my mom and I know she was just doing what she could, but that summer a lot of stuff fell out and I just knew my life on my own was really starting.  I took what fun I could and tried to cram the worry away in a bolt hole.

Worrying about the future does me no good, it takes me away from the blooming pear orchard out the window of the house here in Chambourcy France, where the sun has gathered one last welter of light to push the edge of the clouds apart and shafts of golden lace are caught high in the balls of mistletoe in the trees at the periphery of the lawn.

I was never at ease in my younger girl days.

I am now, which may explain the glitter and the pink and the fondness I have for childish things and toys, yes, my vibrator is pink, but it took me a god awful long time to get to this point.

I am going to enjoy myself to the utmost.

I am aware that the road is about to change and I am about to change again, I still carry the core of girl within me though, and today I am alright with it.

I have no regrets.

I really don’t

Here in France.

Four more days.

Homeward Bound

June 30, 2011

I e-mailed an environmental bed and breakfast yesterday in Wisconsin yesterday that just opened in May and found out that they have an opening for  me when I go back to Wisconsin in July.

What?  Dude, that’s next month.  Fuck, that’s this like in a few days.  Oh my god.

It is in Token Creek.  Had you told me a few years back that a. I would even consider going back for my high school class reunion or b.  that I would be staying at a bed and breakfast in Token Creek; I would have told you to load up another crack rock.

But it is really true.

Granted, I have yet to book the room, I am waiting until I get paid and pay my rent for July, but I have officially decided to splurge.

The lesson I learned going to LA this past weekend was this: do not compromise on your sleep or your accommodations, it will make you or break you.

I have always been rather frugally minded.  Well, to a point, there have been more than one occasion when I decided to buy something else other than food.  C’mon if I get that gram of cocaine, I won’t need food.  Maybe just cab fare to get back to my dealer when it’s gone and a pack of smokes.

But over the last six and a half years I have prioritized a little.  Like I buy groceries and pay rent and get myself new socks when I need them and I totally splurge on body lotion. Shit, I pay like $13  for a tube of %100 Pure coconut body lotion.  It smells like a virgin sacrifice to a volcano god.  It is so good and it only lasts me like, a week and a half, two if I don’t shower a lot in fourteen days.  But I must have it.

However, I have been rather tight with my money in other areas, especially travel.  So, I am going to “splurge”.  It’s not much of a splurge, but it is a bit of one.  I am going to pay twice as much as I could to stay some where.  Further, I am not looking to stay with friends.  I have not asked.  Nor have I sought to manipulate.

Now, this is fucking progress, Batman.

My normal M.O. is to be so worried about money that I have to stay with someone to offset what ever financial insecurity I have about having booked the trip in the first place.  I have slept on floors, in attics, on couches, back yards, in campers surrounded by dog shit, on borrowed sleeping bags, in tents, in poorly ventilated rooms, and in play rooms for the people I work for.  I have had to share bathrooms with people I normally would not even say hello to on the street, let alone want to leave a toothbrush on their sink.  I have put myself in really compromising positions to save some money.

Well, fuck that noise.

I am done with it.  I decided I want a nice place to stay.  It does not have to be über fabulous and totally out of my price range–hello Mansion Hill Inn–but it can be nice, and it can be my own room, and it can have some amenities.

And since I do a spending plan every month and know how much I have coming in and going out, I know I can afford this.  And really, when it comes right down to it, it is not a splurge.  It is keeping my sanity.  I want to be well rested and fresh.  I want to stay where I want to stay.

I want to stay in a place that is located just outside of Madison.  I want to be in the country.  I want to be minutes away from where I spent some of the most formative years of my life.  I want to go for a walk along the creek.  I want to take a nap in the hammock that will be outside my room underneath an oak tree.  I want to sleep on nice sheets and get up to go to the bathroom naked, because that’s how I sleep.  I want to not be on anyone elses schedule but my own.

That is not to say that I won’t be packing my time in tight in Madison.  I have people to see and places to go.  But I will be taking a little time for me.  I will make sure that I get to do some things that I would not have the opportunity of doing if I am at the whim of another’s schedule because I am their house guest.  I am not sleeping on the floor, on the couch, or at a crappy motel by East Town Mall.

I want to wake up to the smell of high summer in Wisconsin.  I want to see lightning bugs flit through the meadow grass while I listen to the horses knicker to themselves as they settle down for sleep.  I want to smell the air, warm and fragrant with lilac and summer blooming roses.  I want the full Wisconsin country side experience, even if I am there for just a short time.  Particularly, because I am there for such a short time.

I do once in a while fantasize about moving back to Wisconsin.  And I want to emphasize “fantasize”.  I don’t have any real plans to do so.  San Francisco is my home sweet home, but my soul was born in Windsor, Wisconsin, and some times one has to make that journey back to feed the head waters of that spring.

And I am renting a car.  No being at the mercy of somebody who doesn’t know how to get to Hwy 51.

It’s kind of like knowing how to get to Sesame Street, but you make a right instead of a left.


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