Quotes for a short post

I apologize for the absence. Again. I have several posts in the pipe line but haven’t found the time to finish any of them just yet. So, I’m instead going to offer up some quotes, as per my usual mood when I feel the need to write but can’t get my own words down. For those of you who do not like these posts, I apologize. For those of you who do, you’re welcome.

“But my heart it is brighter than all of the many stars in the sky.” Edgar Allen Poe, For Annie

“How quietly we endure all that falls upon us.” Khaled Hosseini A Thousand Splendid Suns

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” J.R.R. Tolkien

“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. But there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.” J.R.R. Tolkien

“I have noticed that when all the lights are on, people tend to talk about what they are doing – their outer lives. Sitting round in candlelight or firelight, people start to talk about how they are feeling – their inner lives. They speak subjectively, they argue less, there are no longer pauses. To sit alone without any electric light is curiously creative. I have my best ideas at dawn or at nightfall, but not if I switch on the lights – then I start thinking about projects, deadlines, demands, and the shadows and shapes of the house become objects, not suggestions, things that need to be done, not a background thought.” – Why I adore the night ( Jeanette Winterson)

“Give your daughters difficult names. Give your daughters names that command the full use of tongue. My name makes you want to tell me the truth. My name doesn’t allow me to trust anyone that cannot pronounce it right.” – Warsan Shire

“This life is filled with goodbyes; but not all are bad. Some simply bid farewell to the things that are toxic to us. – M. Triea

“And if I asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?”

“Getting your shit together requires a level of honesty you can’t even imagine. Ain’t nothing easy about realizing you’re the one that’s been holding you back this whole time…that your lack of discipline is the answer to some of those, why not me, questions you ask.”

” ‘If one day you wake up and you no longer care about me,’ she says, ‘say so over our morning coffee and I will let you leave.’    ‘I will not ask you why. I will not ask you to stay one more night. I will give you a small smile to say that it is okay and that people lose feelings for all sorts of reasons and that I will survive.’     ‘If it comes to it,’ she says, ‘just say so. You should stay because you want to. You should leave if you need to.’ ” – S.Z.//Excerpt form a book I’ll never write # 131

” ‘I am tired,’ she says, ‘and it is so awfully difficult to feel sad and tired when all you want is to feel alive.’ ” – Excerpt from a book I’ll never write # 84

“There’s two things I judge harshly on. The inability for one to admit when they are wrong, and the lack of courage to say I’m sorry. That tells me all I need to know. Because we are all wrong at some point, but not all of us are sorry.” – JmStorm

“respect your exes. You shared time. You shared energy. Have respect for them. Don’t talk about them like you didn’t choose to be in their presence daily.”  – Slyvester McNutt III, Lust for Life

“Sadly, too many of us stay together far longer than we should because it is easier to say, I love you, than it is to say, I don’t.” – Beau Taplin Love you anymore

“Do not look for healing at the feet of those who broke you.”

“I’m not choosing you because our being together makes sound, solid sense. I choose you because you make me forget there’s a choice.” Beau Taplin Sound Solid Sense

“She’s an old soul whose heart speaks an all but forgotten language.” – JmStorm

“One of the most troublesome things in life is that what you do or do not want has very little to do with what does or does not happen.” – Lemony Snickett

“We are not in control of what lessons others are here to learn.”

^^^This one above has been my mantra for days. :(^^^

“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can all do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa

“She’s known sadness and it’s made her kind.”

“When you are ready for fireworks instead of sparklers, I will come for you.” – Erin Van Vuren

“To all who walk the dark path and to those who walk in the sunshine but hold out a hand in the darkness to travel beside us, Brighter days are coming. Clearer sight will arrive, and you will arrive too. No, it might not be forever. The bright moments might be for a few days at a time. But hold on for those days. Those days are worth the dark.” – Jenny Lawson Furiously Happy

“I wish someone had told me this simple but confusing truth: Even when everything’s going your way you can still be sad. Or Anxious. Or uncomfortably numb. Because you can’t always control your brain or your emotions even when things are perfect.” – Jenny Lawson Furiously Happy

“Boys learn too late that being ‘the man’ is not the same thing as being ‘a man’.” – Atticus

“Sometimes, it doesn’t work out with someone because they’re a piece of shit, who deserves a piece of shit, and you’re not a piece of shit.” – loyalgirlnotes

“We have calcium in our bones, iron in our veins, carbon in our souls, and nitrogen in our brains. 93 percent stardust, with souls made of flames, we are all just stars that have people names.” – Nikita Gill

“What’s comin’ will come and we’ll meet it when it does.” – Rubeus Hagrid Harry Potter

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Doctor Marigold Charles Dickens

“I cannot promise I will never become restless, that I won’t ache in ways you don’t know how to help. There are clouds in me and they roll in from time to time, I hope you learn to love the dark mornings, instead of always fumbling around for your umbrella.” – Tyler Knott Gregson

“I don’t care if I fall in love with a devil as long as that devil will love me the way he loves hell.”

“It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

“You can’t love her half-way any more than you can half-jump from an airplane. You are either all in or standing on the ground wondering what it would be like to fly. To experience her, she demands all of you, because she will give you all of her. She deserves no less. If you want to know the exhilaration, then you will have to soldier-up and take the plunge. History has never been made by the meek.” – wyatt

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn

“the rain falls for you the same way I do: unapologetically, over and over.” – s.r.w.

“my beautiful lover, he’s a complicated mess: of hidden muscles and sinews that pull the world’s weight; and a skin so smooth his tears roll off it like pearls over marble; my quiet lover, he’s a self-made mystery: of destroyed family portraits and broken glass, i can hear the crunching sound every time he clenches his gloved hands, my broken lover, he’s a system of failing organs and collapsing worlds: of purple galaxies that look a lit like bruises, his father’s beliefs printed on his back like the rawest, reddest form of education, of heirlooms that much be kept in secret and eyes like polished serpentine, but my lover walks like a general and thinks like a king; ambition shining in those bright green pools like jewels. and i’ll admit: it only took me an eternity to realize i was in love with a tragedy.” – boys like him are made of wounds

“the child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.” – African proberb

“You remember too much, my mother said to me. Why hold onto all that? And I said, where do i put it down?” – The Glass Essay Anne Carson

“Just because they’re in your circle, doesn’t mean they’re in your corner.”

“The trick is that as long as you know who you are and what makes you happy it doesn’t matter how others see you.”

“But I must admit I miss you quite terribly. The world is too quiet without you nearby.” – Lemony Snicket

“I promised myself I would never fall in love with you. But it was 4 am, and we were laughing way too hard, and I felt happy for the first time in a long time, and I knew I was screwed.”

“She stepped on the stars like skipping stones Searching for her way back home.” – S.L.

“Ah, kindness. What a simple way to tell another struggling soul that there is love to be found in this world.”

“It’s up to you to change ‘generational narratives’: When they tell you this ‘runs in the family’ you tell them, ‘this is where it runs the fuck out.’ “

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Where’s the Love? – Why My Boyfriend and I Don’t Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Welcome dear readers! This is gonna be a short, personal post followed by some love quotes since today is Valentine’s Day! Now, I know you may be thinking, but the title says you don’t celebrate it. And you’re right. We don’t. But hear me out.

Valentine’s Day is a largely corporate holiday. It just it. It has deeper roots, but honestly, can you name them? Probably not. Because now it’s all about how much a guy does for his lady. Send flowers to her work, get her chocolates, plan a fancy dinner. It’s like a competition for who does the most for their lady. And I’m not ok with that. I know some girls who have broken up with their boyfriends because he either didn’t get them anything for Valentine’s Day or didn’t “do enough”. Seriously? What did you do for him for Valentine’s Day? Nothing. But I digress.

The boyfriend and I don’t celebrate it. I do NOT want to be part of this “competition” it creates about who buys more or does more for their significant other. It’s not ok. And I would much rather have many small random acts of love through out the year than one day of large gestures that he feels obligated to give me because of social norms. Sometimes, just when I feel like he’s getting away with not  doing any gestures of love, he surprises me with something small that just reminds me that he thinks about me more than I give him credit for. And I try to do the same for him. Sometimes it’s just bringing home his favorite candy bar when I know he’s had a rough day at work And to me, that’s what love is. Small, every day gestures. Not one day filled with large gestures. But, to each their own.


 

  • “I was waiting for the longest time, she said. I thought you forgot.     It is hard to forget, I said, when there is such an empty space when you are gone.” – unknown
  • Stardust – “If you came to me with a face I have not seen, with a voice I have never heard, I would still know you. Somewhere between the sand and the stardust, through ever collapse and creation, there is a pulse of you and I. When we leave this world, we give up all our possessions and our memories. Love is the only thing we take with us. It is all we carry from one life to the next.” – Lang Leav Memories
  • “What a sad thought it is, that some of us will surrender and settle down long before we have met the person we are supposed to love.” – Beau Taplin The Pressure
  • “I know I’m not easy to love. I’m a chronic over-thinker, I overreact more than I should… And every once in a while, I might be a little insecure. But if I am in love with you, I can promise you wholeheartedly that you will be loved with so much passion and intensity that you’ll forget what life felt like before I came along. You will always be cared for and you will always have someone in your corner. Maybe I’m not the best at being loved – but I like to think I’m pretty good at loving.” – Chelsea Carroll
  • “People don’t like love, they like that flittery flirty feeling. They don’t love love – love is sacrificial, love is ferocious, it’s not emotive. Our culture doesn’t love love, it loves the idea of love. It wants the emotion without paying anything for it.” – unknown
  • “Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not join you on the bridge. And whatever their reasons you must leave. Because you never ever have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. You never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready. There is more extraordinary love, more love that you have never seen, out here in this wide and wild universe. And there is the love that will be ready.” – Nayyirah Waheed
  • “I can say with great certainty and absolute honesty that I did not know what love was until I knew what love was not.” – P.T. Berkey
  • “It is a frightening thought, that in one fraction of a moment you can fall in the kind of love that takes a lifetime to get over.” – Beau Taplin
  • ” ‘ You can’t love someone unless you love yourself first.’ Bullshit. I have never loved myself. But you… Oh god, I loved you so much I forgot what hating myself felt like.” – My thoughts before I go to sleep.
  • “She reminded him of happiness, he reminded her of home; together, they were happy and at home.” unknown
  • “A relationship works best when both people believe they have got better than they deserve.” – unknown
  • “Sometimes, I think of the sun and the moon as lovers who rarely meet, always chase, and almost always miss one another. But once in a while, they do catch up, and they kiss, and the world stares in awe of their eclipse.” – unkown
  • “It’s somewhat early and she’s fast asleep. It doesn’t bother me because I know that there’s been times she’s laid awake at night unable to find sleep, no longer familiar with what it meant to find rest. The moment she laid on top of me, her head against my chest, her ear to my heart, I ran my fingers through her hair and felt her thighs loosen, symbolic for how relaxed she’d become. Even when her days are chaotic, she comes home to me and I help her find peace. This is love.” – r.h. Sin
  • “When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No don’t blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away.” – Captain Corellis Mandolin
  • “you can always find something beautiful in something destructive and now I finally understand why I’ve always been so fond of you.” – uknown
  • “I think I fall in love with people a little too much, just in the way they sound at 4 am or how they look when they smile. And it’s so addicting, when their eyes light up, because you’ve remembered something they may have said. I think I grow attached to people, who I know, will leave. But I can’t help it, because I see all that you are, when you don’t really see it yourself. And sometimes I wonder how someone’s heart, grows so cold, and I think, that maybe it’s because for a while, it was left out in the rain. You know some days I struggle, when there’s nothing left to say, because I still don’t know how to convince you, that out of everyone, and all the ones that leave, I’m always the one still standing there, with an umbrella, just big enough, to cover your heart.” – c.p.
  • “She knew she loved him when home went from being a place to being a person.” – E Leventhal
  • “I will never be the first of so many things for you. I came too late, after life and love were woven into the tapestry of your existence. I care not about lost firsts, but I will fight, knuckles bloody and teeth sharpened, for your lasts. Take the old firsts and put them to rest, silent below the dirt and ash of all the new ones we will burn through. Take them, but give me the lasts.” – Tyler Knott Gregson
  • “and in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “I don’t ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside of me there will always be the person I am tonight.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald Tender Is The Night
  • ” ‘The trick, kiddo,’ his mom replies slowly, ‘is finding someone who complements you instead of completes you. You need to be complete on your own.” – unknown
  • “I asked him for it. For the blood, for the rust, for the sin. I didn’t want the pearls other girls talked about, or the fine marble of palaces, or even the roses in the mouth of servants. I wanted pomegranates – I wanted darkness, I wanted him. So I grabbed my king and ran away to a land of death, where I reigned and people whispered that I’d been dragged. I’ll tell you I’ve changed, I’ll tell you, the red on my lips isn’t wine. I hope you’ve heard of horns, but that isn’t half of it. Out of an entire kingdom he kneels only to me, calls me Queen, calls me Mercy. Mama, Mama, I hope you get this. Know the bed is warm and our hearts are cold, know never have I been better that when I am here. Do not send flowers, we’ll throw them in the river. ‘Flowers are for the dead,’ ‘least thats what the mortals say. I’ll come back when he bores me, but Mama, not today.” – Daniella Michallen, “Persephone Speaks”
  • “And I think the thing that terrifies me most is that one day, you’ll be the story I’ll tell my daughter, when she’s curled up in bed, wrapped in blankets and heartbreak, when she hasn’t eaten anything in days but the voicemails he left her, when she hasn’t been able to sleep because the goodbye that broke her shatters her bones all over again every time she closes her fucking eyes. And I’ll climb into bed with her and she’ll lay her head on my lap and I’ll try to brush him out of her hair and her tears will soak through my shirt and I’ll tell her about the boy I met when I was sixteen, who sat next to me in math class, who I fell in love with after two weeks, who saved me, who fucking destroyed me. And I’ll tell her about how it hurt. It hurt so badly it almost killed me. It hurt so badly my mother stopped going to work so she could stay home and make sure I didn’t take too many pills. And then I’ll tell her about how it got better. How it stopped hurting. How I stopped bleeding. My mother went back to work. I got out of bed. But I won’t tell her that sometimes I still have dreams about you and can hardly breathe the next day or about the pictures of you I have hidden in the attic.” – via extrasad
  • “I am not very good at a lot of things; i cannot paint you pictures because the beautiful things in my head cannot be translated  nor can I sing to you as my voice has an uncanny habit of falling flat  nor can I play for you as my fingers fumble when my thoughts cross over to how you look, watching me  but I can brush the knots out of your hair, and work the knots out of your back when your day has become too much to bear  i am not good at much, but I will be good to you. – kpk

A Year’s Worth of Reflections, Pt. 1

Hello dear readers.

I know this year has been sporadic in my posting of this blog, but it has been a long complicated year. I would say that I would like to leave many of the things that happened in 2017 in the past, but they have made impacts on my life, and the lives of my family and friends that we simply must move forward with them in tow.  I warn you that this will be a long, and probably depressing read, but I will also add some quotes at the end, as a way of apologizing. Just stick with me. This is part one, a lot of the bad and the painful that I would like to leave in 2017. Part two will be some of the better things, happier and joyful.

It has been a year of loss and pain, and yet a year of small victories and joy. In January, my maternal grandfather passed away at the age of 87, two weeks before what would have been my grandparents’ 66th wedding anniversary.  It is hard to say that it is ever a surprise when someone who has lived such a long life passes, but alas, death is one of those things for which we are never ready. It hit my mom really hard as she had quit her job to take care of my father but instead wound up taking care of her own father.

After her father’s passing, she went immediately to caring for my grandmother. As selfish as it is to say, my father’s health continued to suffer as a result. In May, she took my grandmother to the hospital due to a shortness of breath and a ever growing goiter. They discussed options for removing it, shrinking it, ect. In the end, the hospital decided to refer her to a throat cancer specialist at Emory because they would be more familiar with the type of surgery that would be required. This was sometime in June. The oncologist decided that further testing, such as further blood tests and a biopsy, were necessary to form a more detailed plan of action. In mid July, we received news we were not expecting.

My grandmother, at the age of 86, was diagnosed with stage 4 anaplastic thyroid cancer. Possibly due to not having the goiter removed years ago, but that is not a game worth playing. She was scheduled to start radiation on August 3rd, the day after my mother’s birthday. There was a large family fight because she was required to have a family member stay with her at the Hope Lodge (special housing near the hospital) round the clock. My mom wanted to go but I argued largely against it because my dad’s health was beginning to fail, more so than it already is.

August 2, my mother’s 61st birthday, changed that. My father, who is diabetic, on dialysis, has vision problems, and neuropathy, stepped off the stairs on their front porch wrong on his way to get in the car to dialysis. He broke his ankle, on both sides of his left leg. Being diabetic and on dialysis means that he does not heal quickly. My mom rushed him to the ER the next town over (because the hospital in our town will not touch a patient on dialysis – for any reason) where they splinted his ankle and scheduled him for surgery late the next day. I took off work to stay with my dad while my mom went with her mom for her first radiation treatment and to help move her and my aunt ( who took a temporary leave from work) into the Hope Lodge.

After the surgery for my dad, he didn’t quit using his foot. He couldn’t tell how much pressure he was putting on it because of the neuropathy. The screws pulled out and the plates bent. The options weren’t great after that. They really wanted the wounds to heal more before they went back in. Once they felt that happened as much as it could within the time they had, they went back in and removed the plates, screws, and a few bone shards. They then put a wound vac on it in order to try and speed healing for the next surgery.

In the midst of all this, my grandmother was still undergoing radiation. My mom made a few trips to go see her, while I stayed with my dad. One day, at dialysis, they discovered his fistula (the super vein created in his arm for dialysis) was clotted. They sent him to the vascular center the next town over. They attempted to clean the clots out, and sent him home. He begged them to admit him to the hospital because of the stress he would have to put on his arms getting in and out of the car.

When he got home, it was still bleeding slightly. As he got out of the car, he felt he popped one of the sutures. It began bleeding profusely. My mom couldn’t get him in the car by herself, so she was forced to call an ambulance to transport him to the hospital (the next town over of course). Unfortunately, the paramedics did what is their job, but not quite the correct course of action for this case. They applied pressure to stop the bleeding. Which, as we discovered when he got to the hospital, also reclotted the super vein. Which put him into a surgery that was several hours long. Once they got in to try to bust up the clots, the artificial vein basically disintegrated.

It had been in for three years, which is apparently pretty good, but it also meant that they had to do an emergency reconstruction instead of just cleaning the clots out. They also put a permacath in his chest so they could continue dialysis while his arm healed enough to use.

Meanwhile, my grandmother successfully completed her 6 weeks of radiation at Emory.  She was, understandably, glad to be home. However, my aunt, who had been staying with her at the hope lodge, started dragging her anywhere and everywhere she could think of, even though the doctors had prescribed lots of rest to help her recover from the radiation. I understand what she was trying to do, but my grandmother was visibly exhausted. We were still having problems keeping her blood pressure and sugar under control. A few weeks after she completed radiation, she had to go back to Emory for a check up/ PET scan. My mom and my aunt went with her.

Much to our dismay, the news wasn’t what we were hoping for. The cancer was still there, and there wasn’t much more they could do. The experimental trial they were hoping to get her into did not cover her type of cancer, so that was no longer an option. And, a few days after this, my aunt woke up to find my grandmother non-responsive. They rushed her to the hospital where options were discussed. The hospital where she was taken is where my aunt (my mom’s sister-in-law) has been a nurse for many years. The doctors informed us that there were medications they could give her that *might* help with a few things, like bringing her blood sugar into check, but not with everything. Her kids (my mom, aunt, and uncle) made the decision not to put her on life support or anything like that, to just wait and see. I rushed up there as soon as I could from work, and most of the family was already there.

It was heartbreaking, but to be honest with you, I think she was just tired. Sad and heart broken at the loss of the love of her life, tired of the radiation, and I think, when they told her she still had cancer and few options, she took that the only way she knew how. As God telling her that it was ok to let go, and that it was time. She passed away two days later, and I held my mother as she cried. Ugly tears of soul ripping sorrow. Tears of regret and sadness. Tears of love she still had to give. Tears for the phone call she now had to make to my brother, who moved to Seattle with his wife in March.

After her passing, they went to planning the funeral (which was paid for and mostly planned) and I went to finding flights home for my brother and sister-in-law. I know we do not get to plan things like life or death, but I do hate the fact that the funeral wound up on my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding anniversary.

In the midst of my grandmother getting out of the hospital and her passing, my father had more complications of his own. The wound vac was supposed to heal the wound so they could go in and either a) immobilize his ankle completely with a steel rod or b) amputate his ankle and foot. He and my mom had many many long talks about what would be better. He was leaning towards amputation but the doctor, after more reviewing, convinced him to at least give the immobilization a go. Well, home health had been coming out several times a week to change the wound vac, and one morning, it was full of blood, so full it was bubbling out the plastic dressing of the wound vac because the vac couldn’t keep up. Flash forward two more mornings of this and my mom called his surgeon. The assistant answered, and advised her to take my dad to the ER a town over (same town as earlier, different hospital) where the Dr was already in surgery and she would make sure he knew my dad was waiting to see him.

They immediately admitted him to the hospital with a possible infection. This began another worry of whether or not the infection was septic, which would mean surgery promptly to remove the permacath as it goes directly to his heart. After testing, it was determined that the infection was not in his blood, but was in the soft tissues of the wound. The prognosis was not good. Apparently, for otherwise healthy people, it takes two separate antibiotics, administered daily via IV at the hospital, for several months in the hope that the bacteria won’t become resistant to both of the drugs. For my father, who has many health problems, this was explained to him while also being told that it wasn’t really an option for them because they were afraid of the infection going septic or moving further up the tissue in his leg. He was advised that his best, and pretty much only option, was amputation.

That was on Friday. If that was what he decided, they were going to schedule the surgery for Monday because they felt time was of the essence. He told them to schedule it. He and my mother spent the weekend deep in discussion. While amputation had already been on the horizon, we didn’t think it would come up again so soon. The surgery was done Monday at noon. I left work to be with my mom, who can hold up a good front but was falling apart on the inside. Especially when the surgery took a few hours longer than they told us it would. And when they brought him out of recovery… well, let’s just suffice it to say that it was a long rough night for all of us.

My dad, surprisingly, was more prepared than my mom, I think. She was worried about how to get him places, like home and dialysis, and care for him, with the new change of events. Her car is not handicap friendly, they can’t afford one that is. She drives a 2010 Ford Focus that I had a trailer hitch and cargo carrier installed on so she could put his wheel chair on it. My boyfriend and I, and a friend of ours had built a handicap ramp on the side of the porch so she could get him in the house. We learned a lot about amputation and prosthesis the same way we learned about renal failure and dialysis, on the fly as it was happening. While he was in the hospital recovering from the amputation they went ahead and did a surgery on his opposite arm to try and form another super vein / fistula for dialysis. Unfortunately, this also meant he couldn’t start physical therapy as undo stress on the arm could cause the fistula to collapse or clot.

So, my mom gives him a hard time about adding Thanksgiving and their 35th wedding the anniversary to the days spent in the hospital this year. They sent him home with home health for 3 weeks to let the fistula heal. He went back in the hospital last week (Monday the week before Christmas) because he was wheezing and couldn’t breath. They discovered more fluid build up in his body and in his lungs. They did dialysis every day, and did CAT scans, x-rays, an EKG, an ultrasound of his heart and chest, and more. He was hooked up to a bipap, they are concerned with some spots in his lungs, decide it’s early pneumonia, and possibly COPD. They finally sent him home late Friday after taking a total of 17 liter of fluid off his body and running a round of antibiotics and such for the pneumonia.

While he was in the hospital, his other surgeon (for the fistula) told them Friday morning to try to use it for dialysis. Unfortunately, it didn’t work and we’re not sure where that leaves us. We aren’t sure if he used it too much (which is the more likely possibility), when another surgery will be, or what this means for him starting physical therapy. He did have an appointment to take out the rest of the stitches from his amputation and it *knock on wood* seems to be healing. I, however, am worried because he took out the part of the limb protector that forces him to keep his knee straight, keeping the tendon stretched. But, you can’t force people to do what’s best for them. Especially when that person is a parent. We will see where this all will lead, but that, for now, is a problem for next year.

End part 1. P.S. I also had all 4 wisdom teeth cut out the day after Christmas, which is why I have time to type this.


 

“The world is not a wish granting factory.” – The Fault In Our Stars

“Your speed doesn’t matter. Forward is forward.” – Unknown

“It seems to me, that love could be labeled poison and we’d drink it anyways.” – Atticus

“I sailed seas of emotion, to wander a forest of scars, I am a dance of Light and darkness, A galaxy of shadow and stars.” – R. Queen

“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” – Looking For Alaska

“You will never recognize happiness if you have never danced the night away with sorrow.” – r.m. drake

“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. But still is fair there is much that is fair. And though in all the lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps the greater.” – The Lord of the Rings

“You know what the issues is with this world? Everyone wants a magical solution to their problem, and everyone refuses to believe in magic.” – Alice in Wonderland

“People don’t like love, they like that flittery flirty feeling. They don’t love love – love is sacrificial, love is ferocious, it’s not emotive. Our culture doesn’t love love, it loves the idea of love. It wants the emotion without paying anything for it.” – Unknown

“It’s a beautiful thing to have lungs that allow you to breath air and legs that allow you to climb mountains, and it’s a shame that sometimes we don’t realize that that’s enough.” – unknown

“Damaged people love you like you are a crime scene before a crime has even been committed. They keep their running shoes besides their souls every night, one eye open in case things change whilst they sleep. Their backs are always tense as though waiting to fight a sudden storm that might engulf them. Because damaged people have already seen hell. And damaged people understand that every evil demon that exists down there was once a kind angel before it fell.” – Nikita Gill

“You come home, make some tea, sit down in your armchair, and all around there’s silence. Everyone decides for themselves whether that’s loneliness or freedom.” – Unknown

“When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.” – Louis C.K.

“And then I felt sad because I realized that once people are broken in certain ways, they can’t ever be fixed, and this is something nobody ever tells you when you are young.” – Douglas Coupland Life After God

“Forgive them. All of your thems. The more thems you can forgive, the better you’ll feel.” – Karen Salmansohn

“Sometimes the fear won’t go away, so you’ll have to do it afraid.” – Unknown

“My love, you have too many smiles left in you to be so sad.” – Atticus

“Life advice: Always be the best person you can be. Be kind even when you’re tired. Be understanding even when you’re angry. Do more than you’re asked, and don’t ask for anything in return. Don’t silently expect anything either. Listen when someone talks, and really listen too, stop just thinking of how you’ll reply. Tell people that you love them and that you appreciate them. Go out of your way to do things for people. Be the greatest person you can possibly be and when you mess up, make up for it in the next moment or minute or day. One thing you should never do? Never spend your time trying to prove to anybody that you’re great, your actions will speak for themselves and we only have limited time on this earth, don’t waste it. If someone doesn’t see your light, don’t worry. Like moths, good people are attracted to flame and to light, and they will come.” – Unknown

“In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.” – Andrea Dykrstra

“Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“But the past cannot be changed, and we carry our choices with us, forward, into the unknown. We can only move on.” – Libba Bray The Sweet Far Thing

“We create the illusions we need to go on. And one day, when they no longer dazzle or comfort, we tear them down, brick by glittering brick, until we are left with nothing but the bright light of honesty. The light is liberating. Necessary. Terrifying. We stand naked and emptied before it. And when it is too much for our eyes to take, we build a new illusion to shield us from its relentless truth.” – Libba Bray The Sweet Far Thing

“The way sadness works is one of the strange riddles of the world. If you are stricken with a great sadness, you may feel as if you have been set aflame, not only because of the enormous pain but also because your sadness may spread over your life, like smoke from an enormous fire. You might find it difficult to see anything but your own sadness, the way smoke can cover a landscape so that all anyone can see is black. You may find that if someone pours water all over you, you are damp and distracted, but not cured of your sadness, the way a fire department can douse a fire but never recover what has been burnt down.” – Lemony Snickett The Bad Beginning

“You carry so much love in your heart. Give some to yourself.” – r.z.

” ‘You,’ he said, ‘are a terribly real thing in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain.’ ” – Unknown

“There are two types of tired, I suppose. One is a dire need of sleep, and the other is a dire need of peace.” – unknown

” ‘You can’t love someone unless you love yourself first.’ Bullshit. I have never loved myself. But you, Oh God. I loved you so much I forgot what hating myself felt like.” – Unknown

“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” – Harry Potter

“She knew she loved him when ‘Home’ went from being a place to being a person.” – E. Leventhal

“The sun will rise and we will try again.” – Unknown.

Medical Emergencies and Multiple Hospitals

*apologies, this was written Thursday Morning but I’m just getting around to posting it. I will update more later*

Here I am again dear readers. Unfortunately, events like this seem to be the only time I’m able to find enough free time to write. I’m sitting here in the floor, back against the wall, in a hospital room listening to my father and my boyfriend snore.

Life is a complicated animal. Much has happened, as is the case for everyone. But over the last few weeks, it’s been crazy. My grandmother went in the hospital for not being able to breathe. It went from her having a goiter on her windpipe and artery to her also having a very aggressive form of thyroid cancer. While trying to get everything scheduled for her to start radiation at Emory, my mom has also been trying to take care of my father.

Renal failure, diabetes, eye issues, neuropathy (to the point of not being able to feel in his hands and feet), and balance issues are just a few of the lovely things my father faces every day. It’s a constant battle. But, it gets better. Yesterday morning while my mom was getting ready to take my father to dialysis, he fell and broke his ankle. Pretty severely. It was also my mom’s birthday. And her mother was in the hospital due to severe fluid retention that turned out to be a blood clot in her leg.

Today, they managed to get my grandmother released from our local hospital but only to take her to Emory in Atlanta to begin her first day of radiation treatment. My dad is supposed to have surgery on his ankle today. My poor mom can’t be in both places. So I took the day off work to come watch over my dad.

It’s so hard to see him like this. Restless, in pain, and a shadow of his formal self. But this is life. It happens to all of us who are here long enough. And I know he hates for me to see him like this. But I guess we all come to a point where we have to bite our pride and accept the help of those who love us, regardless of the situation. So, while my mom drives to Atl with her sister-in-law and my grandmother, I am sitting here doing research for the coming days after surgery.

Planning to add a ramp to the stairs at my parents’ house. Looking up trailer hitch receivers and cargo trays for my mom’s car to carry a wheel chair for my dad and/or my grandmother. Planning food prep menus to help my parents when they’re exhausted but still need to follow dad’s dietary restrictions.

So many things to do. So little time. The curse of my life.

In these situations, with a loved one who’s health is chronically failing, it’s difficult to explain. People always ask me how he’s doing. It’s hard to say, isn’t it? It’s not like chemo, there is no fight and then remission. The only thing that helps renal failure is a transplant. And what can you tell someone then? He’s hanging in there waiting for  someone with a good kidney and pancreas to pass so he can have them? That, by the way, is not something people want to hear. It’s the truth, but people do not want the truth. Not the whole, unaltered truth that makes them uncomfortable. So I tell people the truest thing I can. He’s still here.

And for now, that’s all that matters.


 

” ‘ Some people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them.’ I said. ‘Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That’s what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.’ ” – John Green, The Fault In Our Stars

“He admired my melancholy madness and said that it was graceful and beautiful. But it was neither of those things. I was a hurricane at the centre of a collapsing, burning, building; and I wasn’t someone to be admired at all.”

“Even if you know what’s coming, you ‘re never prepared for how it feels.” – Natalie Standiford

“You wake up every night to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love, is bravery.” – unknown

“Well it breaks my heart to see you this way, The beauty in life where’s it gone? And somebody told me you were doing ok, somehow I guess they were wrong.” Flogging Molly “Whistles the wind”

“Don’t ever think you’re alone here, We’ve just been trapped in different hells, and people aren’t against you dear, they’re just all for themselves.” – e.h.

“May we exist like the lotus, at ease in muddy water.” – Zen proverb

“Keep your chin up little stargazer, At worlds above your own, You are small but you are stardust, And that’s worth more than you’ve known, For every sun and solar flare, Is made up just like you, And if they’re cause for wonder Then I promise you are too. Look out little stargazer ‘Til nothing’s left unseen, And know there’s not a patch of sky Where no one else’s eyes have been, That the darkness that enfolds you Holds countless other starlit hearts, And with this you stand together Though you live lifetimes apart. Be brave now little stargazer The sky is growing light, And courage wanes like moonbeams When it’s pulled out from the night, But like those who gazed before you; Know when your heart is full of fear, That it is always in your darkness That the stars start to appear.” -e.h.

“we mature with the damage, not with the years.” – Mateus William

“Enjoy every sandwich” – Warren Zevon

“I abide my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this is also a chasing at the wind. For in much wisdom is much grief. And he that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow.” – Assassin’s Creed

“Empedocles claims that, in utero, our backbone is one long solid; and that through the constriction of the womb and the punishment of birth, it must be snapped again and again and again to form our verterbrae; that for the child to have a spine, it’s back must first be broken.” – The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation M.T. Anderson

“She looks back out the window and as the light slides along her profile, I think I see sadness. And I wonder if she’s sad that I’m so weak and so afraid when she’s always been so strong.” – The Forest of Hands and Teeth

“If I leave you it doesn’t mean I love you any less.” – Warren Zevon “Keep me in your heart.”

“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.” – Tyler Knott Gregson

“Take the night and darken everything around me, Call the clouds, and listen closely, I’m lost without you. Call your name everyday, when I feel so helpless, I’m fallen down but I’ll rise above this.” – Seether “Rise above this”

“We live in grim times indeed if even children are too world weary to believe in magic.” – Fable

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis

“She’s all laid up in bed with a broken heart, while I’m drinking Jack all alone in a local bar. And we don’t know how, how we got into this mad situation, only doing things out of frustration, trying to make it work but man these times are hard.” – The Script “For the First Time”

“Mama whispered softly, time will ease your pain. Life’s about changing, nothing ever stays the same.” – Patty Loveless

“Life asked Death, ‘Why do people love me but hate you?’ Death responded, ‘ Because you are a beautiful lie, and I am a painful truth.’ ”

“But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out all the clearer.” – Samwise Gamgee “LOTR: The Two Towers” – J.R.R. Tolkien

“These are hard times. The world hurts. We live in fear and forget to walk with hope. But hope has not forgotten you. So ask it to dinner. It’s probably hungry and would appreciate the invitation.” – Libba Bray “Going Bovine”

“It’s not hard to do. It’s just not easy yet.” – Monte  Selby

“Life is a grindstone, and whether it grinds a man down or polishes him up depends on the stuff he’s made of.” – J. Billings

” ‘Sometimes,’ he said while gripping the fabric of his own pant leg, “You run out of tears long before you run out of hurt.’ ” – Tyler Knott Gregson

“Listen to the musn’ts child, listen to the don’ts , listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me – anything can happen child, anything can be.” – Shel Silverstein

“I clutch my pillow to my chest and bury my face in it. I don’t cry. I just ache. Grief is not as heavy as guilt, but it takes more away from you.” – “Allegiant” Veronica Roth

“Needles and pins, needles and pins, sew me a sail, to catch me the wind. Sew me a sail, strong as a gale, carpenter bring out your, hammers and nails. Hammers and nails, hammers and nails, build me a boat, to go chasing the whales. Chasing the whales, sailing the blue, find me a captain, and sign me a crew. Captain and crew, captain and crew, take me oh take me, to anywhere new.” – Shel Silverstein

“She taught me all about real sacrifice. That it should be done from love… That it should be done from necessity, not without exhausting all other options. That it should be done for people who need your strength because they don’t have enough of their own.” – Veronica Roth Insurgent

“A nurse guy came in and told me I had to leave, that visitors weren’t allowed, and I asked if she was doing okay, and the guy said, “She’s still taking on water.” A desert blessing, an ocean curse. ” – John Green The Fault In Our Stars

“We all carry things inside us that no one else can see. They weigh us down like anchors, they drown us out at sea.” – Chelsea Smile Bring me the Horizion

 

Welcome to the Machine

Hello everyone. Welcome back. I apologize for my last couple posts being about how long I’ve been gone and hollow promises of getting back to this blog. Life has threw a couple wrenches in my gears lately, but I’ve been working hard to get all those cogs freed up and running smoothly. I could tell you all the sad, frustrating, hair pulling, banging my head against the wall stories that have kept me away from this blog and many things in general, and I might, but not today.

I know, as well as anyone, that life can get in the way. It’s a machine. It keeps chugging along, regardless of the parts falling off, needing greased, or repaired. It is a machine to be admired for its unwillingness to quit, regardless of how it falls apart. People are much the same. That is how I have felt lately, like a machine in need of a serious breakdown and rebuild. But I don’t have time for that, so I make small repairs where I can – on the side of the road, in the rain, in the gas station parking lot – because on this journey, you don’t always have time to stop. You have to evaluate the priority parts and make sure you keep those on par, everything else? Well, it just depends on where it is on the priority list.

Sometimes we think certain parts of the machine are important when they really aren’t. That is a problem. It leaves us blindsided when a part that is actually important blows up. This has happened to me a few times lately. So, I am trying to shave off some unnecessary parts and focus on the core of the machine. Because unfortunately, when some of those really important parts blow up, there’s no fixing them or replacing them. You  must simply move on without them and readjust the way the machine works.

In my re-evaluation, I have decided that I have neglected some major components of my machine called life for far too long. And I have lost some parts that cannot be replaced. So, I am changing the oil, lubing the chain, changing the air filter, and moving on.

When is the last time you re-evaluated your life? There is never a bad time to sit down and make a list of the people or things that you love but haven’t seen or done in a while. Our excuse is usually that there isn’t enough time right now, I’ll do it later. I promise you that the most important thing you can do is make time. Right now, before your machine blows, locks up, and leaves you stranded with a part that you’ve lost and cant’ replace. As a quote by Buddha says, “The problem is, you think you’ve got time.”

As my favorite band, Pink Floyd, says, “Welcome to the machine.” Be sure to take care of yours every once in a while.


 

“Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels that couldn’t make a decision.” – Anonymous

“We travel because we need to, because distance and difference are the secret tonic to creativity. When we get home, home is still the same, but something in our mind has changed, and that changes everything.” – Anonymous

“There is a kind of crying I hope you have not experienced, and it is not just crying about something terrible that has happened, but crying for all of the terrible things that have happened, not just to you but to everyone you know and to everyone you don’t know and even the people you don’t want to know. A crying that can not be diluted by a brave deed or a kind word, but only by someone holding you as your shoulders shake and your tears run down your face.” – Lemony Snicket

“Until we are ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.” – Lemony Snicket

“February is the shortest month of the year, so if you are having a miserable month, try to schedule it for February.” – Anonymous

“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.” – Lemony Snicket

“There’s a history of heartbreak, Tucked in the creases of her eyes, A museum of the moments, That she’d watch just pass her by, And each tear that escaped her, Held the things she’d left unsaid, So the words she’d never spoken, Stained her dampened cheeks instead.” – e.h.

“I think there are two kinds of forgiveness, the kind that when you forgive you’re also giving then another chance, or the kind where you forgive, but move on without them. Use them both wisely.” – s.b.

“You told me that you had my back, And I thought that it was true, Now my shadow’s still behind me, But where on earth are you?” – e.h.

” ‘Love me slowly,’ she whispered, like the love I had for her, had limits. Like it could run out as easily as a grain of time. I could tell, by the sound of fear in her lungs, that she had a terrible past. The kind that no one talks about, the kind that remains bottled up inside of you, slowly and quietly, killing everything in your bones.” – Christopher Poindexter

“There is no statute of limitations on starting over. Re-invent yourself every day. Be the girl who walks barefoot and listens to the blues. Tomorrow, wear a trench coat and speak fierce truths. Be a phoenix. Be ashes. Burn down. Resurrect. Let go of the idea that you must always be who you have always been.” – unknown

“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.” he said. – Rachel Wolchin

“Le beau est toujours bizarre. (The beautiful is always bizzar.)” – Charles Baudelaire

“She wears strength and darkness equally well, the girl has always been half goddess, half hell.” – unknown

Wanderlust & Wordy Wednesday: Lake Winnie

Hello dear readers! Today’s destination is, I hope, a fun one. I went here many times as a child and always loved it. As a family, we went here instead of Six Flags. Shocking, yes I know. Today’s destination is Lake Winnepesaukah, or as it is more commonly know, Lake Winnie.

For those of you who don’t know, Lake Winnie is an amusement park in Rossville, GA, just south of Chattanooga, TN. It was opened by Carl and Minette Dixon in 1925 and was named after the Native American word Winnepesaukah, meaning bountiful waters. They purchased 100 acres surrounding a 9 acre lake. It was originally home to the largest swimming pool in the southeastern US (22,000 sq ft) but was later removed. The boat shoot ride, designed by Carl Dixon and opened in 1927, is the oldest mill chute water ride of it’s kind still open in the United States.

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The original Boat Shoot, still in operation. 

Flat rides were added in the 40’s and 50’s, and the first roller coasters were added in the 1960’s. The most iconic of these, the Cannonball, is a wooden roller coaster added in 1967. This is one of the first “big kid” roller coasters that I ever road. One time, my brother and our cousins were riding it, and because there was no one else in line the operator didn’t make us get off. He actually sped it up and we jumped the tracks coming back into the station. It was fantastic and I still carry fond memories of this coaster everywhere I go. The coaster actually has a top speed of 50 mph, a 70 ft vertical drop, and 2,272 ft of track spanning three quarters of a mile. It’s only 90 seconds but oh so worth it. Other rides here include more modern coasters now, as well as many kiddie rides.

2013 saw the addition of the SoakYa water park, a 5 acre expansion for the park. The park is set up like a classic American Fair, with a midway featuring food, rides, and games. It also has an outdoor concert area called “Jukebox Junction”. A lot of people will tell you that the park is outdated. Personally I think that it’s classic. I enjoy the fact that it reminds me of a simpler time. It’s not as new fangled or complicated as Six Flags but I feel like that’s really just part of it’s charm.

If you’re ever in the area, do me a favor and give it a try. Reserve judgement for yourself. You can find all the info you need, such as hours, ticket prices, and more here. Do you have memories here? Share them with me!


“I’m looking at her. She’s sitting across the room on the couch, book in hand, arms pressing down the blanket that wraps her body. Lost in words, but sensing my gaze, she looks over the pages and smiles. Then her eyes and mind return to another world, while her heart stays here with me.” – Dean Jackson

“She understood that the hardest times in your life to go through were when you were transitioning from one version of yourself to another.” Sarah Addison Allen

“Do I have to spell it out for you, or scream it in your face? The chemistry between us could destroy this place.”

“Watch carefully, the magic that occurs when you give a person just enough comfort to be themselves.” – Atticus

“Don’t let the heart that didn’t love you keep you from the one that will.”

“Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.”

“You are so brave and quiet I forget you are suffering.” – Ernest Hemmingway

“I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.” – Oscar Wilde

“There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis

 

Wanderlust & Wordy Wednesday: The Battle of Resaca

Hello dear readers! Welcome back and thanks for stopping in. Today’s destination is also an event. This place is historical so it is also open year round. Today we’re going to talk about The Battle of Resaca. Resaca is a small town in Gordon County, Georgia but also has unincorporated parts in nearby Whitfield County. It lies along the Oostanala River and has a population of around 540. It has 2.8 sq miles, .1 of which is water.

The Civil War Battle of Resaca (the first battle of the Atlanta campaign) was fought here and reenactments  happen every year on the third weekend of May. Which means that is is happening this weekend! It is also home to the first Confederate Cemetery in Georgia. The story goes that Mary J. Green, who lived on a plantation, and her family returned to said plantation to find a horrible sight of scattered graves of confederate soldiers all around their house. They decided to collect all the bodies and re-interring them to a single plot of land. They had no money so in the summer of 1866 Mary began writing to her friends all around the state. They sent what they could and Col. Green gave his daughters 2.5 acres of land, with rustic bridges spanning the stream. This became the Confederate Cemetery.

The battle was between the Military Division of Mississippi, led by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman (Union), and the Army of Tennessee, led by Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, (Confederacy). The Confederacy wound up retreating. The 152nd anniversary of the Battle will happen this Friday, Saturday, & Sunday (May 20 – 22). It will happen on the original battlefield, off Chitwood Road (off Highway 41 in Resaca). More detailed directions can be found here. Chitwood Farm is 650 acres of the original battlefield and saw some of the heaviest fighting. It still has preserved earthworks (from the battle, 152 years ago!), the Federal and Confederate entrenchments and the Western & Atlantic railroad lines.

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There are different events all day as well as sutlers and vendors. There will be a memorial service at the Confederate Cemetery and the main re-enactment will happen both Saturday and Sunday at 2. It is $5 per adult and $3 for kids, I believe. It is an educational and fun time for all. It’s well worth the visit and the cannon blasts can be heard for miles.

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They just opened (May 13, 2016) a brand new Resaca Battlefield Historic Site right off of the 320 exit of I-75. It is just miles from the reenactment site and features miles of hiking trails and interpretive markers. There is also the new Fort Wayne Civil War Historic Site on the other side of I-75, just yards from downtown Resaca. This historic fort was part of the defensive earthworks guarding the river and Resaca during 1864. After the battle and retreat of the Confederates, it was occupied by Federal troops.

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I have not had the chance to visit either of the new Historic locations but I plan to soon. I will make another post for them when I do. Please let me know if you visit the Battle of Resaca this weekend! I would love to go back but have prior obligations this weekend. For more information, visit The Battle Of Resaca Reenactment and Civil War Trust: Resaca for more information on the battle. Be well, dear readers.


“Live as though you can fly away any moment you wish; live as though you can but have always chosen to stay.” – Tyler Knott Gregson

“There was a tiny house in town, that has always stayed the same, Home to a girl wearing a sundress Calling each flower by name. It was calm within the chaos, The sun around which we revolved, As stubborn as a stone, In its refusal to evolve. I thought it had forever Trapped within its weathered walls, Watching all the lives They built around it rise and fall. But one day with no warning The world felt shallower and strange, And the view outside my window Seemed all at once to have changed. I ran with lungs near bursting To that tiny house in town, Yet the ashes of forever Was the only thing I found. Walking home it felt the world Was made of me and salty tears, And the woman in a sundress Who watched me slowly disappear.” – Erin Hanson

“oh my darling, it’s true. Beautiful things have dents and scratches too.”

“Introverts are collectors of thoughts, and solitude is where the collection is curated and rearranged to make sense of the present and the future.” – Laurie Helgoe

 

 

Wanderlust & Wordy Wednesday: Old Car City

Hello Dear Readers, I apologize for those personal posts if they weren’t for you (which judging by the feedback, they weren’t). We’re back to travelling today. Our destination is one I absolutely cannot wait to go to. It’s Old Car City in White, GA.

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Old Car City is the world’s largest known classic car junkyard. The vegetation that we’re famous for here in the South intertwines with cars that have been left there for good. It started as a family run dealership in 1931 and is still family owned and operated in its current state. It’s like a museum and grave yard all rolled into one. As someone who values classic cars (and owns a semi-rare one) it breaks my heart a little. However, I also find it fascinating.

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There are over 6 miles of trails and 4,000 cars in Old Car City. They are open Wednesday thru Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are two separate admissions prices, depending on whether or not you want to take pictures. Having never been, I assume it works on the honor system now in the age of camera phones? But I would pay the second price anyways so I could take all the pictures I want. It’s $15 for no pictures, $25 for making or taking pictures. If you are not making or having pictures taken, then it’s $10 for children 7-12. Active military members get half price on either option. They do ask that all commercial photography contact them ahead of time.

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It is interesting to mention that the city of White, Georgia is relatively small itself, with a total of 618 acres and a population of only 670 (2010 census). White acts as a stepping stone between it’s urban (or urbanizing) neighbors to the south and the rural towns to its north. Who knows how long it will be before places like this are swept away to make room for more high rises, malls, or parking lots? Places like this are special to me because they represent a different way of life that is unfortunately being passed by for more modern conveniences. Pretty soon, the only place to see cars like this will be in books (hah!), on the internet, and in museums.

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To me, road side attractions like this ran by families and “characters” are just the bee’s knees. They’re what I grew up on and they are something that I love. They’re so different than the mass produced theme parks and tourist traps that are turning every town that was touristy because it’s different (had something unique to offer) into the same mega-mart kitschy place. I’ve watched this happen to towns I grew up loving that you know can’t tell apart, except in name. So please, when you find places like this, stop in. Slow down. Enjoy them and enjoy life. Get to know the people who run them. And help them hold out in their little corners of the world. old-car-city-photo-shoot-web41

I know that this probably doesn’t appeal to everyone. “Who wants to walk SIX MILES through junky old cars?” That’s ok. Stick with me for a post that does show things you want. I can’t please everyone all the time but this one hits close to home for me, seeing as how my “day job” is in the automotive industry. If there is somewhere you would like to know more about, please leave it in the comments or message me!

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“It was winter when he left, Her heart stood shivering with the trees, Afraid unlike that mighty forest She’d never get to bear new leaves. But branches know a thing or two About needing to let go, That even with no audience You never cease to grow. So when spring seeped though her skin (As spring is always wont to do), Her heart sent out its roots And like the world around she grew. Stronger than she thought she could And braver than before, She left her former self To rot amongst the forest floor. It was summer when he came searching Back to the place where she had been, Feeling small beneath the forest And its brand new coat of green. She smiled to know he’d never find her For the person that he missed, Was a version of herself That long ago ceased to exist.” -e.h.

“It’s said she’s made of storm cells And a wild wolf’s hungry heart, That she’s learnt the lightning’s secret To ripping darkened skies apart. The power of her presence Can bring the mountains to their knees, Her song is one of chaos As she stirs the angry seas. But if you’ve met you’d be no wiser For she is also born of light, Another face amongst the crowd; The hidden hiding in plain sight. Great power doesn’t always come Inside the forms that you’d assume, But you would never down her strength When she is howling at the moon.” – e.h.

“Sometimes the most beautiful people are beautifully broken.” – r.m. drake

“I promise you these storms are only trying to wash you clean.”

“I can say with great certainty and absolute honesty that I did not know what love what until I knew what love was not.” – P.T. Berkey

 

Love is Unconditional, Relationships Are Not.

Life is a funny thing sometimes. It always has a way to bring us back around to a lesson that we learned before and may have, somehow, still forgotten. When I was little, I heard somewhere (either from my parents or read in a book)  that you’re better off to learn lessons from other people because you don’t live long enough to make them all yourself. I took that to heart, but there are still lessons that I have to learn for myself, the hard way.

I’ll be turning twenty five soon. An “official” quarter lifer at that point. I think it is a testament to the stresses of my generation that I had never heard that term used before we came into adult-hood. Some of us have been forced to grow up fast, due to circumstances beyond our control. It’s a testament to the lessons we’ve learned the hard way and the stress that we are under to be adults who are respected instead of looked down upon as “entitled”. It’s a testament to knowing how many of my peers are on anti-depressants and in therapy (neither of which they can afford, so it just gets stacked upon the thousands of dollars of student debt they have). It’s bad when there’s now a name for it because we are having “quarter-life” crises instead of mid-life.

One lesson that has been the hardest learned for me, and that has recently come back to remind me just how I learned it, is that while love is unconditional, relationships are not. This requires a little bit of back story, so bear with me.

My last relationship (as you’ve heard me mention over the last couple personal posts) was very abusive. He was a compulsive liar and very good at gaslighting. I was young and naive, and he wasn’t (naive, that is, he’s younger than I am). He knew exactly how to manipulate me to get what he wanted. This lasted for three years. Three years. The result was that during this, my already low self esteem dropped lower, I became even more withdrawn and anti-social, and I was more lost than ever. I was a teen. My parents were going through a rough time. It was, I thought, the love of my life.

I had only had one other guy before this ever tell me that I was beautiful and that he was in love with me, but that relationship wasn’t meant to be. We never even dated. So, when this guy came along, I took a chance. In some ways, I regret it deeply. I lost a lot of friends and missed out on a lot of experiences (including enjoying experiences like prom and graduation) because of this guy. At first it was great, but then every thing changed and I found myself in a situation that I knew in the back of my mind, was not safe and was not healthy. However, like a lot of people who find themselves in abusive relationships, I loved him hopelessly. As much as any 15-18 year old can know love. I was convinced that I could change myself to be that person he loved again. I was convinced I could change him to not be so quick to anger.

I convinced myself of a lot of things that still make me cringe and turn red with embarrassment. Please believe me that hind sight is 20/20, a lesson taught to me by one of my favorite history teachers. It was his response as to why people see things more clearly or differently after the fact than in the heat of the moment. Somewhere, another quote came to me when I needed it the most. It took a lot of time for it to sink in, and a lot of courage for me to finally cut him out of my life. I had tried before, just to go to being friends with him. This was a false hope. The only way to break that cycle is complete cut-off. The reason I can’t remember where this quote comes from is that I have literally dozens of notebooks, scraps of paper, journals, and files on my computer filled with quotes gathered over the past ten years of my life.

That quote was this: Love is unconditional, relationships are not. It rattled around in my head for a long time as I wrestled with exactly what it meant to me. And what I took from it was this: Yes, love is in fact unconditional. We don’t get to decide when it happens, where it comes from, who it applies to, nor how deeply it runs. It is something that exists beyond us, on another plane. Relationships are not unconditional. Ask anyone who’s ever been in one that has ended, from lovers to friends. They will all give you a reason. And most of the time will tell you that they are still in love or still love that person. Sometimes there are just parts of a relationship that we cannot handle. While this does not mean that we no longer love the person, it just means that we now realize it is not healthy for us to be a part of their life anymore.

From dirty socks and differences in politics, to lying and unfaithfulness, there are many conditions that define what you expect in a relationship. We all think that a failed relationship equals no longer loving that person but that is not the case. I think that line of thinking is what makes relationships, especially long ones, hard to walk away from. But it’s not love that has failed. There are some things that even love cannot change or conquer. You can love someone and realize that you can no longer live with them. You have to choose to let them go and love them from afar. And it hurts. Damn does it hurt. Usually. It hurt me to realize this, but the more he hurt me, the easier it made it. That breaking point is in different places for different people. I was lucky to realize mine before I fully committed my life to his.

Now, it has been nearly 7 years since we split. I do not talk to him, I have only seen him once (in a failed attempt to get my things back). I do not friend or follow him on facebook or any social media. His number is blocked from my phone and, to be honest, I no longer remember it though I once knew it like I knew my name. Now, I am seeing a pattern of a toxic relationship develop with someone close to me who I thought new this lesson. Unfortunately, they’ve been blinded to it by the beauty of the “honeymoon phase”. It frightens and angers me for this person because they’ve been through this before and deserve so much better. But that only served to remind me of another lesson. One that is just as hard for me to accept and follow.

“You cannot save people. Only love them.” I’m a nurturer. The Mother Goose. I want what’s best for the people I love and it’s hard for me to accept that sometimes I have to step back and let them make their own decisions and deal with the consequences that follow. My boyfriend actually reminded me of this one, which was slightly humbling because I’m the one who taught it to him. There comes a time when you are really going to hate a decision someone close to you makes. You’re going to think that you know that this decision is only going to get them hurt. But it is not our place to make decisions for others, it it only our job to love them. Sometimes you get presented with the ultimatum of accepting their decision and loving them, or losing them from your life. I learned a long time ago you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be, or think that they need to be, saved. You’ve got to let people go their own way and just be there for them.

Simply another reminder that love is unconditional but relationships are not. Relationships are full of not only conditions but compromise. You have to decide, in every relationship, what compromises you are willing to make and what conditions are hard lines. Pick your battles. This is always complicated by love. It’s pretty good at blurring those lines. There is always going to be someone that comes along that you love so much you turn into a pirate, going, “Rules? I thought those were more guidelines…”. There’s always going to be an exception to your rules for some people. Trust me, I’ve met one that just broke every rule I’ve ever had about a person and I fell in love with him anyways. I was willing to throw everything away for him, and he knew it. I am lucky enough that he loved me enough to not let me do that.

So,thanks for hanging in there with me and letting me ramble on. I’m not really sure where I hoped this would go when I started, but I’m ok with how it turned out. And, dear readers, with all your loved ones, just remember that love comes in many shapes and forms, and just because you might not have a great relationship with someone doesn’t mean you can’t love them.


“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck”

“Your heart is surrounded by cobwebs and dust, it hasn’t seen the light of love in years. your skin is painted with blue and green circles, and red lines going in all directions. this is the aftermath of strangers,  of friends, of family, who are tyring to claw their way into your cobwebbed heart. they tried knocking first but you slammed the door in their faces, as if they were a door-to-door salesman. it’s time. time to let them in, time to clear away the cobwebs and the dust. time to let the light in.” – a.y.

“you can always find something beautiful in something destructive and now I finally understand why I’ve always been so fond of you.”

” ‘The trick, kiddo,’ his mom replies slowly, ‘is finding someone who complements you instead of completes you. You need to be complete on your own.’ ”

“Darlin, forever is a long, long time, and time has a way of changing things.” – Big Mama The Fox & The Hound

” ‘You,’ he said, ‘are a terribly real thing in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain.’ ” – Emilie Autumn, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls

“I would have loved you with everything I have. But you didn’t want to be loved, turns out you just wanted to be fucked.”

“People have a habit of inventing fictions they will believe wholeheartedly in order to ignore the truth they cannot accept.” Libba Bray The Sweet Far Thing

“You can never really know someone completely. That’s why it’s the most terrifying thing in the world, really—taking someone on faith, hoping they’ll take you on faith too. It’s such a precarious balance, It’s a wonder we do it at all. And yet..” – Libba Bray

“I love you for who you are, not who the world thinks you should be.” – Libba Bray  Beauty Queens

“He admired my melancholy madness and said that it was graceful and beautiful. But it was neither of those things. I was a hurricane at the centre of a collapsing, burning, building; and I wasn’t someone to be admired at all.

“If there’s a thing I’ve learned in my life it’s to not be afraid of the responsibility that comes with caring for other people. What we do for love: those things endure. Even if the people you do them for don’t.”“I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe that’s true of beginnings, but it’s not true of this, now. I fell in love with him. But I don’t stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.” – Allegiant

“I know that I am birdlike, made narrow and small as if for taking flight, built straight-waisted and fragile. But when he touches me like he can’t bear to take his hand away, I don’t wish I was any different.” – Insurgent

“The worst thing is watching someone drown and not being able to convince them that they can save themselves just by standing up.”

Wanderlust & Wordy Wednesday: Georgia Renaissance Festival

Hello again Dear Readers! Today is a bit of a two-for. I wanted to make brief mention of one thing and then I’m going to cover something near and dear to me.

First thing, everyone loves free stuff, right? Well, I know I do. April 16 thru April 24 is National Park week. What does this mean? It means free entrance to ANY National Park! April 16th is Junior Park Ranger Day and the parks will have badges and activities just for the kiddos. April 22nd is Earth Day. April 23 is #InstaMeet at the National Parks. There will be designated times and places to gather to take photos and videos just for your Instagram, if that’s your think. April 24th is Park Rx day with a focus in the parks on encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

National Parks have always held a special place for me. My parents have been taking me and my brother to them to hike and enjoy nature for years. I have been to most of the major National Parks all across the U.S. Please, take advantage of this FREE Park Week and get outside and have some fun! Find out more information here.

My next post, and our actual “destination” for this week is a seasonal event. This event starts April 16th and runs through June 5th. I am talking about the Georgia Renaissance Festival. For those of you who do not know what that is, it’s a really big festival celebrating life like it would have been in Medieval England. Specifically, it is set in the reign of King Henry VII and Anne Boleyn.  There are “cast members” who are officially employed by the festival and will be in character at all times. There are craftspeople who demonstrate older ways of doing things, such as the Weaver’s Guild, Glassblowing, and Fencing.

There is food everywhere (yay!) and tons of things for kids to do. This is a very family friendly place and it is also very educational. I actually went here for the first time on a field trip in 8th grade. There are demonstrations, gifts to buy, and fun times to be had by all. There are also “theme” weekends such as Pet Friendly, Highland Fling, and Kid Free. My favorite “theme” weekend is opening weekend. Adult tickets are buy one get one free. Every year. It’s the best time to go if you aren’t sure that it is your thing. You get to experience the entire festival for half the price.

Be sure to get there early. Traffic tends to back up and the later you get there, the further away from the gates you will be parked. You also don’t want to miss the opening ceremonies. It’s just a taste of what you will find inside. The jousting is always a good time, as are the side shows. I personally recommend the Washer Women. We laughed so hard we were in tears. Seriously, I cannot recommend this festival enough. You can find directions here. If you go, please post some pictures or stories of your trip in the comments!


“it’s not the endings that will haunt you But the space where they should lie, The things that simply faded Without one final wave goodbye. Like a book with torn out pages, Forgetting things you’re sure you knew, A question with no answer And a song stopped halfway though. So when your mind attempts to store them, Their crooked shape will never fit, And forever in the corners Of your consciousness they sit. Jagged edges made from moments You can’t be quite sure were the last, Slicing open thoughts that healed As they attempt to slip right past. You see, not knowing is what haunts you, The memories that never mend, For they are puzzles missing pieces, Of all the things that didn” e.h.

“She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.” – Ariana

“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.” – Charles Bukowski

“Integrity is making sure the things you say and the things you do are in alignment.” – Katrina Mayer

“One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.” – unknown