24
Aug

ANGELINA – current excerpt

by Pamela in Family

To read ANGELINA from beginning to today’s excerpt go here.

“The flour mill…. in Montalto Uffugo.”Dominique responds. Those around the table gasp.

“MontaltoUffugo! You crazy Domi. My baby not going to Montalto Uffugo! That too far away. Over the mountains. You killing me. There no family there. You split the family apart! They can’t go all alone. Who help with the babies?”Nonni D starts to wail. The women get up to comfort her.

“What’s his salary?” ZioUgenio asks.

“We will discuss that with Franco, later.” Domi says coldly.

“When does start?”Luigi asks.

“They want him immediately. Domi responds.

“When they leave?” Zia Lita asks.

“Franko and I will leave tomorrow to make arrangements.” Domi answers her.

Nonni D mumbles through her sobs, “Rosaria can’t travel. I not see my new grandbaby!” She wails as if she is at a funeral.

Frightened, Angelina looks at the family.

“Mama, why can’t Nonni see the baby?”

“Because we are moving far away.”

“Why? Why can’t we stay here with the family?” Angelina begins to panic.

Papa looks at Domi and Lita. Disgusted he talks through his teeth. “Gratzi Domi, look what you have done. Are you happy now Lita?” He turns and pulls Angelina on his lap. “Angelina, bambina, it will be fine. It’ll be an adventure. Maybe we get to go on a big boat on the ocean.“

“Si, Angelina, you, me and Papa, we start a new life. No one knows us and we owe nothing to no one.” Mama turns her glare at Domi. His sad eyes reveal his heavy heart and shame flushes his cheeks.

Zia Lita smirks at Angelina, Papa and Mama. “Papa, why the witch…why Zia Lita smile now?”

“Some people feel less pain when others feel more.”  Mama says sorrowfully, slowly rising to clear the table. She leans back to stretch her small protruding stomach that extends out toward Zia Lita. Zia Lita stops smiling.

Nonni D dabs her eyes and orders, “Rosaria, sit. Sit. You no need do dishes tonight.”The aunts grab the dishes and haul them to the back porch and the large aluminum tub.

The brothers, lean toward Dominique. They pepper him with whispered questions.

Mama looks at Papa and nods toward the house. Papa nods back. He whispers to Angelina, “Come, let’s take a walk.” She takes Papa’s hand and follows Mama on the stone path toward the houses back door.

“Franko, you and I go tomorrow to make arrangements.” Yells Zio Domi. Papa ignores him. “Did you hear me Franko?” Zio Domi yells again. “We have to leave early. Pa, tell him.”

Angelina turns back and sees Poppy. His crushed face looks older and so tired. Angelina releases Papa’s hand and runs to Poppy.

“Poppy, I sorry. Don’t be sad. I not call her a witch no more. Don’t make us leave.”

to be continued…

21
Aug

Angelina

by Pamela in Family, Writing

Chapter 1

Song and Dance

 

“Papa, is Zia Lita a witch?”Angelina asks quietly, but not quiet enough.

Next to Papa, Angelina sees Mama’s tiny hands stop in mid air. Has Mama’s hands ever not moved, worked or talked?

No.

She avoids Mama’s eyes.

The summer meals eaten out back at the the summer table before the sun goes down is a noisy family affair. Angelina’s question stops the chatter. Forks and spoons hang in mid motion. Zio Gio, Papa’s older brother chokes on his half chewed wad of spaghetti.  Zia Minna slaps her husband’s wide back.

“Enough already,” he spits out between coughs.

Awkwardly, eyes glance at Zia Lita. Her black brittle hair pulled back tight in a braided bun accentuates her skinny long nose she habitually pushes up with the palm of her hand. There she goes again. What? Does she think that will change the hook from down to up? No, it leaves a line below the crook of it. Zia Lita’s big brown eyes dart around the table. The family averts her gaze, except Mama. Her eyes steadfastly focus on Zia Lita who willfully avoids Mama’s calculated stare.

With Zio Domi, Lita’s husband late for supper,  Lita looks expectantly at Nonni, Angelina’s grandmother for support.

Angelina begins to wonder if maybe this is a question she should have whispered to Mama and Papa late at night. But she knows that their room is not always a safe place for quiet talks or anything else.

Just last week Nonni traipsed in their room when the house was already snoring. Unabashed in her white nightgown with her gray wavy hair draping around her face and shoulders, she carries a lantern in one hand and her ever-sacred Borsari Violetta de Parma perfume in the other. She acts like she owns the place, which she does with Poppy.

“Franko! Nero been fighting with the wolves again. That dog of your Papa’s is turning into a killer. Figliolo, I have a bad feeling. You keep your eye on Angelina. She always with that animal.  Oh Lord, how those wolves stink the air!”

Spray. Spray. Spray.

“Ma. What time is it?” Papa asks groggily.

Laying between Mama and Papa, Angelina sticks her head out from under the covers. “Is Nero alright?”

“Si, si. Nothing can kill that dog. Believe me, I’ve tried.”

Spray. Spray. Spray.

Angelina watches the perfume glisten in the candlelight. Drifting toward her she captures it in her little palm. What does it matter if Nero chases the wolves? Why Nonni have to wake everyone with this news. Couldn’t this wait until morning? No, everyone has to suffer together, all night long. Has she really tried to kill Nero? No, she just talk. She is always just talk. She opens her palm to her nose and smells deeply.

Sniffing the air, Nonni sprays the powdery sweet violet, rose, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, hyacinth, musky scent until satisfied that the wolves wild smell is sufficiently masked.

Just when Angelina thinks her grandmother, all 4 feet 11 inches of her, will leave them doused in peace, she comes and leans over papa. Her gray hair cascades down Papa’s face. Putting down the perfume bottle on the bed, she caresses Papa’s face. “Mi babino. Ti voglio bene. Buona notte, mio figlio.” Nonni kisses his cheeks.

“Buona notte, Mama, ti voglio bene.” Back under the covers Angelina peeks at Mama.   Her dark brown hair lays in waves on the crisp white bed linen. Her hands lay in tight fists cross her swollen belly. Thank goodness her brown eyes are closed. Mama’s full dark lips disappear in a thin dark line. Angelina lies very still. Papa bravely reaches over and touches Mama’s arm. She does not move. The tension dissipates with the click of their bedroom door closing. All three lay still and listen.

Zio Gio’s bedroom door creaks open. “Giovanni!” Nonni shrieks.

“Ma! What the hell you doing in our room? What if… geez Ma, what is that smell?” Zio Gio asks.

“It’s the wolves!” Nonni exclaims.

Mama looks at Papa and loudly whispers,  “Frankie, do you want me to tuck you in, mi little bambino?” With a wicked smile, she winks at Angelina.

Relieved, Angelina giggles under the covers. Embarrassed, Papa turns his back on both of them. She watches her father’s shoulders jiggle from contained laughter.

In the morning the perfume lingers in the air enmeshed with the morning coffee. “Did you sleep well?” Nonni asks as everyone gathers, a tad grumpy, in the kitchen.  “No, Ma, we did not sleep well.” Geo mumbles as he kisses her cheek, “but we smell good.”

Angelina drinks her mini coffee mug and escapes out the back door to fine Nero. He sits, tail wagging, waiting for her. Reassured, she climbs on his back and gives his thick black fur a tight hug  as they romp in the yard.  “Want to play fetch Nero?” She hops off, finds a rock that fits her tiny hand and tosses it as far as she can over the back hedge out of the yard and into the wheat field. Nero runs to find it while she runs and hides. He always finds her. Always.

She did have to scold him when he unexpectedly began to growl and bare his brackish teeth. Angelina looked to see if the wolves had snuck back  into the yard again, but it was only Zia Lita catching chickens for dinner.

“Nero, basta!” Angelina scolds. He looks at her, teeth hidden again and licks her face.  Angelina watches Zia Lita chase the chickens around the yard. She isn’t very good at it. She looks like one of the headless chickens herself, skinny legs and all.

Lita’s loosened hair frames her face and her rosy cheeks glisten in the morning sun. She finally manages to snatch a chicken and swings it under her arm while holding its neck tight in her other hand. She sees Angelina smiling at her while Nero licks her cherub face. With heartbreaking sadness she gazes at Angelina and for a moment Angelina thinks Zia Lita is going to smile, just a little.

“Do you want help with the chickens?” Angelina asks. This is not her favorite chore, but she is good with holding the chickens down while someone chops off their head. But, she has to keep a close eye on Nero. He loves to chase the headless ones. Nonni says he has a taste for blood and will eat them raw.

Zia Lita hesitates. She looks at Angelina then at Nero. She shakes her head no. Zia Lita walks back to the house with the chicken legs kicking up a fuss under her arm pit. She looks back quickly at Angelina and the hint of a smile is gone. She looks like she does now. Constipated.

It doesn’t help that Zia Lita always wears black. Mama says she is in mourning. Angelina looks across the table at Zia Lita and decides that mourning is not a good place to be.

“Francesco, slap your insolent child!” Spit crosses the table as she speaks to Papa.

Papa protectively leans over Angelina and rests his lips on her head. He breathes her in, stroking her long wavy brown hair spilling down her small back.

Angelina turns and cups her fathers face in her tiny hands and speaks close to his lips. His mustache tickles her, but she does not giggle. She looks deep into his soft brown eyes. His lopsided smile and his crooked nose warms her heart. Earnestly she whispers loudly, “Papa, don’t listen to the witch. She mean. Even Nero don’t like her.”

The early evening breeze stills and the leaves from the mulberry trees encircling the yard dangle silent. The horses, chickens and roosters remain quiet. The frogs cease croaking in the garden ditch. The smell of the fresh cut hay hang stagnant in the air while the sun droops low in the sky.

In the awkward silence Angelina hears something. A muffled sound? A whimper? Releasing Papa’s face she searches the table. No, it is not a whimper. It is her uncles and Poppy smoldering in laughter. Their large napkins muzzle their mouths. Their eyes dance as they look at Angelina adoringly.

“Well he doesn’t?” She says giggling.

Disappointed, Nonni tsks her sharply. She is not smiling or laughing and neither are the other women. Mama, on the other side of Papa frowns at her too. But her eyes are soft. That is a good sign.

Nonni elbows Poppy. He shrugs, but Nonni firmly nudges again and clearly nods toward her. Reluctantly Poppy stands up and clears his throat.

“About time someone puts that child in her place!”Lita hisses.

He glances impatiently at Lita. She closes her mouth in a pout. His eyes shift to Angelina.  “Angelina, Zia Lita is not a witch. She is Zio Domi’s wife. She family. We take care of family. You need show her respect. You say sorry to her.”

Francesco interrupts his father. “Pa, she is just a child. She didn’t mean-”

Poppy raises his rough calloused hand to silence him.

The back door opens and Zio Domi bursts into the backyard.

“Domi! Where you been? You late for supper!” Nonni scolds.

Relieved, Poppy sits back down and winks at Angelina.

“I know Ma, I know!” He greets everyone with a nod. Dominique kisses Nonni’s cheek. Civilly, he kisses Zia Lita’s cheek. She bristles and looks away.

Affectionately he jabs his brothers as he walks around the table. He stops behind Angelina lifting her into his arms. She tries to avoid his day-old beard, but he rubs it against her cheek laughing. His hat doesn’t hide his dandruff peppered curly gray hair and it certainly does not hide the smell of it. Angelina covers her nose. Zia Lita’s eyes slice the air between them.

Domi ignores his wife. “How is our little angel tonight?”

“Good except Zia Lita is angry with me.”

Dominique laughs and loudly whispers to her.“Is she? Well, she’s always angry at me.”

“You need Nonni’s perfume.”

Zio Domi laughs, “Are you saying that I smell like a wolf?”

“No. You smell worse.”

“Nothing new there.” Geo chimes in.

Dominique places Angelina back in her chair with a pinch of her cheek and a wink. “I see. Well, before I bath,” He turns to Poppy and Nonni D. “I have news, important news.”

Angelina crawls into Papa’s lap. Dominique stands behind Papa with his vest open and his dusty shirt top button undone. He takes off his hat and circles the brim in both hands. He smiles crookedly. “I have found our little brother a position.”Domi announces.

Angelina watches Zia Lita smile. It isn’t a happy smile. She hears the gasps, yells and claps of the brothers and their wives.  Dominique’s hands stop circling the hat brim. Angelina feels Papa’s arms stiffen around her. He has a strange look on his face. So does Mama.

Mama closes her eyes and flexes her jaw. Her hands clench in her lap. Her eyes and mouth open, like a puppet. Papa reaches under the table and squeezes Mama’s hand tightly. That closes Mama’s mouth. Anxious, Angelina  looks up at Mama sitting very rigid. She lifts her shoulders back and holds her head high. Angelina does the same. Mama’s big brown eyes are dark and half closed. Angelina hears her quick intake of air.

“Francesco has a position, Domi. He is overseer at this farm, the D’Agostino farm. He work this farm just as you and the others do, maybe more.  This farm belongs to the family. Why you decide, Domi. What gives you the right to decide who goes, who stays?” Mama’s unwavering voice fills the air.

Dominique defensively squeezes Papa’s soldier with one hand and  stammers, “As the oldest son it is my responsibility. The farm is our life. We all need to make sacrifices to make sure it stays in the family.”

Zia Lita nods her head in agreement with Domi and adds, “It is not your place to question business, Rosaria.”

Luigi, Papa’s third brother speaks to Mama gently. “Rosaria, Franco will explain to you. Franko, haven’t’ you told her about the tax increase?

“What needs to be explained.  It’s in the papers, on the streets. She knows.  She understands. She just don’t like it. Too bad.  Franco is the youngest.  The decision is made.” Zia Lita concludes coldly.

“Who decide Lita? Who? You?” Mama argues.

“Enough. It is done. Domi, tell us about the position. Will he make enough to help pay the taxes?”  Zio Gio impatiently asks.

Mama’s lips go thin. Her eyes go small. She glares at Papa and nods for him to say something.

“Yes, as the mill manager he will make enough to help with the taxes.”Dominique answers with pride.

“The silk mill?” Minna hesitantly asks.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Mina. The silk mill brings in their own managers and besides D’Agostino’s do not work for the them.” Geo asserts.

Papa shrugs Dominique’s hands from his shoulders. “Then which mill needs a manager?” He questions. Papa suspiciously looks up at Dominique and asks, “Exactly which mill would seek managers outside their own family?”

Domi nervously walks around the table and sits next to Zia Lita.

“Domi, which mill?” Poppy asks.

“The flour mill…. in Montalto Uffugo.”Dominique responds. Those around the table gasp.

“MontaltoUffugo! You crazy Domi. My baby not going to Montalto Uffugo! That too far away. Over the mountains. You killing me. There no family there. You split the family apart! They can’t go all alone. Who help with the babies?”Nonni D starts to wail. The women get up to comfort her.

“What’s his salary?” ZioUgenio asks.

“We will discuss that with Franco, later.” Domi says coldly.

“When does start?”Luigi asks.

“They want him immediately. Domi responds.

“When they leave?” Zia Lita asks.

“Franko and I will leave tomorrow to make arrangements.” Domi answers her.

Nonni D mumbles through her sobs, “Rosaria can’t travel. I not see my new grandbaby!” She wails as if she is at a funeral.

Frightened, Angelina looks at the family.

“Mama, why can’t Nonni see the baby?”

“Because we are moving far away.”

“Why? Why can’t we stay here with the family?” Angelina begins to panic.

Papa looks at Domi and Lita. Disgusted he talks through his teeth. “Gratzi Domi, look what you have done. Are you happy now Lita?” He turns and pulls Angelina on his lap. “Angelina, bambina, it will be fine. It’ll be an adventure. Maybe we get to go on a big boat on the ocean.“

“Si, Angelina, you, me and Papa, we start a new life. No one knows us and we owe nothing to no one.” Mama turns her glare at Domi. His sad eyes reveal his heavy heart and shame flushes his cheeks.

Zia Lita smirks at Angelina, Papa and Mama. “Papa, why the witch…why Zia Lita smile now?”

“Some people feel less pain when others feel more.”  Mama says sorrowfully, slowly rising to clear the table. She leans back to stretch her small protruding stomach that extends out toward Zia Lita. Zia Lita stops smiling.

Nonni D dabs her eyes and orders, “Rosaria, sit. Sit. You no need do dishes tonight.”The aunts grab the dishes and haul them to the back porch and the large aluminum tub.

The brothers, lean toward Dominique. They pepper him with whispered questions.

Mama looks at Papa and nods toward the house. Papa nods back. He whispers to Angelina, “Come, let’s take a walk.” She takes Papa’s hand and follows Mama on the stone path toward the houses back door.

“Franko, you and I go tomorrow to make arrangements.” Yells Zio Domi. Papa ignores him. “Did you hear me Franko?” Zio Domi yells again. “We have to leave early. Pa, tell him.”

Angelina turns back and sees Poppy. His crushed face looks older and so tired. Angelina releases Papa’s hand and runs to Poppy.

“Poppy, I sorry. Don’t be sad. I not call her a witch no more. Don’t make us leave.”

To be continued….
18
Aug

To Be Read

by Pamela in Writing

I write.

I am not read.

So, I am going to do something. It requires a vulnerability that I have chosen not to explore or expose.

chapter 1I am sure there will be many who will scoff and scorn, but I have finally reached that moment in life where I have decided to just do it come what may. Maybe I will grow up and not care. Maybe I will discover that I am not good at it or maybe, just maybe I will recover the ability that I believe I once had. I would like that very much

I accept the fact that I have thin skin. I know I will be hurt. I know I will be criticized. I know there will be days where I will kick myself for posting the latest page before it has time to “ferment”.

I know many will take pleasure in finding all my spelling errors and grammatically incorrect sentences. I know I do. I also know that those mistakes can take the reader right out of the story. They take me right out, but maybe I will get better.

And every day I choose to be brave enough, I hope that someone may smile or cry or think or remember and feel something good and true for themselves.

And if not that, then maybe my throwing care to the wind will breeze past your window and encourage you to expose your under belly come what may.

But that is not why I am doing this. And if you don’t get that, maybe someday you will.

I will do this.

Because, I write.

 

 

10
Jul

An Old Business, A New Start

by Pamela in Reminesse

Rem singleWhen I began this company almost 10 years ago, I wanted to name it reminisce. Unfortunately at the time, that business and domain name was already taken. I stewed over that until Ben came up with the name Reminesse, the essence of remembering. I liked it then and I still do. Thanks Ben!

Now, I am marketing it more heavily. When I talk to people about what I do I can often see the wheels begin to turn. They begin to think of moments in their lives that they wished they had documented. And I gently tell them it is not too late.

Some clients are older. They are the fun ones. They look at their photo albums and they start telling the stores of their life. Their eyes sparkle remembering. The moments come back and so do the feelings. It is a wonder to witness. Then when they watch the moments of their lives right before them on their own TV, they smile and often cry.

There are so many opportunities in documenting lives and stories. Sometimes, the story is happening right now. A birth, a birthday, a vacation, a family reunion, a graduation, a special trip, a wedding, an anniversary, and even funerals are all moments that can be documented.

So take a moment and take a picture.

Reminesse, a place that remembers.

9
Oct

Curiosity is Not Courage

by Pamela in Random

AnHutTrialI’ve been writing. And I’ve come to understand the importance of writing every day. You loose the flow of writing in the absence of the daily current.   I don’t know. Maybe that’s a good thing, but in re-reading it, the story feels choppy right now, kind of like learning how to drive a stick shift. You’ve got to get the feel of it and even then, sometimes you stall. I know eventually it’ll smooth out, but right now it feels choppy.

I have been re-writing a story that keeps haunting me. Sometimes I can’t stand the not knowing. I have to open the basement door and face the dark. I inch forward  grasping for the unseen string to pull the light on. Sometimes I find it and sometimes I bump into unknown things. Let’s not confuse curiosity with courage. They are definitely not the same thing.

It was necessary, this re-writing. I’m in search of a truth. And as I finished the second draft, I discovered that the question was completely different than what I once thought the question was. Perhaps what changed is me and that is now reflected in the story. Or maybe what has occurred in my life has opened up my mind to realize what the story really was about. Again, I don’t know. All I know is that it feels right. The question feels right.

What is the question? Hmmm. It is not a new question. It is about courage. Having the courage to do what your heart tells you to do or accept the fact that you won’t and live with it.  Either way is painful. Either way you have to let go of something that you are or thought you were. Either way you feel more alone.  The main character gave up her country, her extended family, her comforts and her security  to obtain the freedom to live as she wanted among others of like mind. It all seemed so liberating, but it soon became apparent that she was more imprisoned in her safe haven then she had ever been before. She tried to succumb. She really did. But she could not deny the lie of it all. She finally knew she couldn’t live with herself if she stayed. She walked away from what she thought she wanted, and found what she was really searching for.

It did not end well. But she ended well.

And as a result of her courage, we live in the land of the free and home of the brave. Ironic, isn’t it?

15
Jul

Pride and Prejudice

by Pamela in Family, Random

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.47.02 PMSaturday Ciera and I watched Pride and Prejudice for her birthday. Me and my girls kind of like that movie.

It went along with what I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. This thing called love. And I readily admit I am a little slow on the uptake so forgive me., but….

My thoughts begin with this body concept. How easily influenced I am (won’t throw everyone in my little sink hole).  But frankly my dear I have to justify to myself why it is ok to let go of what I once looked like and acknowledge I will never look like again. Of course maybe I never looked all that good to begin with! Anyhow…

An old friend told his wife to stop obsessing about what she looked like. “You should just enjoy who you are because you will never look this good again.” He was wrong. She did look “good” again and still does! (Reverse psychology?  I don’t think he’s that smart.)

I digress.

I believe that this body is just a shell to protect something more fragile than my inner organs.  I’m not talking spiritual…ok, maybe I am.

I believe my body houses and protects a most extraordinary essence, a soul, my soul.  But the older I get the more I believe that it is protecting it from something much more than physical harm. It is shielding it from emotional and spiritual trauma. Perhaps some are able to be vulnerable and trust that love can and will embrace the intangible asset, your soul, but I know I don’t.

So when I watch pride and prejudice and I witness a love that, at least to me, is the epitome of the sharing of souls, my heart breaks just a little. My body has become a prison. It has a life sentence of solitary confinement. And I concede that I am the guard, with the key, hidden away where I can’t even find it.

I don’t know why I am that way.  I have trust issues. And with societies obsession and distraction on body image, I think everyone does.

Vulnerability is the most precious gift. The body melts away not with a touch of a hand, but with the acceptance of another’s heart. A soul exposed, in the light of love, recognizes perfection in oneself.

17
May

Health Care Reform

I do not even try to pretend to understand the political issues being bantered back and forth between parties, families and friends.  Everyone is so heated and convinced that the “other side” means harm to our freedoms and country. With all the noise and rhetoric, I feel I am not getting an objective point of view. So I try to expose myself to both sides and hopefully I can get a sense of what is real.
Next week the firm is sponsoring an event that will try to explain the consequences of the reform to small and medium sized business owners. It should be interesting. One of the perks of the job. Getting an education.

Health Care Reform Seminar

11
Apr

I’m Sorry…

head hitI realize I’m a little slow on the uptake. I actually believe what everyone says to me. It is later, as I begin to dissect the conversation that I realize something does not ring true.  Or sometimes you have to hit me over the head.

Take for instance, apologies.  It took me years to realize that the rare apologies I occasionally received were not apologies at all. And it wasn’t that I figured that out all by myself.

There are times in life, no matter who you are; that people will say or do something that is wrong, hurtful, selfish, or mean.

Please don’t Eleanor Roosevelt me.  I am not as tough as she and never will be. I do not give anyone permission to hurt my feelings, but occasionally it occurs. Some choose to attribute my hurt feelings to hormones, chocolate or the weather. I blame it on people being thoughtless and cruel. It happens. And as a result, being human, it affects me.  That is what is true for me.

And to be clear, I am not innocent in the hurting of feelings department.  I have had to extend my apology to those I wronged. It was difficult. I felt humiliated, but at the end of it all, the relationship was stronger and ironically so was I.

But the hitting me over the head occurred one night in the distant past. After explaining my hurt feelings to an offender I said, “Don’t you think you should say you are sorry?” The offender laughed. I was told quiet clearly that I had never received an apology and frankly never would. I begged to differ. I pointed out the few times I received one and quoted the dialogue back to refresh memories.

This was answered again with laughter.

“What I said was, ‘I’m sorry you feel bad about what I said or did. ”

I sat there stunned. Then I laughed. I mean really, how very clever. Carefully chosen words that never did and never would admit fault, sorrow or contrition.

The consequences fell back on me.

I guess it could be worse.  I mean to never receive any sort of apology at all might be worse.  And I can tell you from personal experience I think it feels worse.  It kind of makes me feel discounted and just not worth the effort or maybe the relationship is not worth the effort.  Where’s Eleanor when you need her?

For those of you who choose to get defensive or angry or choose to take this all personally…

I am sorry you feel bad about what I wrote.

See, I can be clever too.

17
Jan

Driving Miss Crazy

by Pamela in Family, Random

keysI am teaching my daughter to drive.  She has not been in a hurry, but last month I heard about a really disturbing incident.

I heard about a young girl who went to work. Her boss left an important work element (the life giving clipboard) at a local large warehouse store we shall call the big S. The employer was frantic because she did not have time to get this most important lifeblood of her business. So quite naturally she asked her young employee if she drove. The reported response was, “not legally.”

The employer handed this unlicensed, unpermitted, employee the keys.

“But, I don’t have my license or permit.”

“I don’t care. Go get the clipboard. We need it and I don’t have time!”

So the employee, with all her knowledge, experience and confidence gained from driving around the church parking lot one whole time time for 15 minutes, jumped into the big ton truck and proceeded to drive the 2.25 miles to the Big S.

Of course she arrived without incident. After all, teen-agers are invincible.

But now she was faced with a terrifying situation.  She did not know what to do. I mean who would? Probably the excitement of being on “the road again,” or for the first time did not leave much thought to all the ramifications of this assignment.  Driving to the warehouse was no problem, but without, you know, actual driving experiences plus the added responsibility of getting that clipboard, she never even considered the entire picture which included … parking.

PARKING!

Driving through “the back roads” through stoplights and stop signs without a permit or license or experience did not cause her any anxiety, fear or trepidation, but parking?  What’s a girl to do? She knew she was in some serious trouble.

cautionFrantically she circled the parking lot. She tried to park it but the “stupid” truck was just too big! Good thing she has such good common sense! After thinking it through she recognized her limitations and her options.

She made a plan. She began the execution of the plan. She drove to the front entrance of the warehouse, leaped out, entered the store, requested the clipboard and returned successful to the truck waiting idly by.  Brilliant! Wasn’t she smart!

She drove happily back to work proud of her accomplishment and her quick thinking to solve such a terrifying and insurmountable problem.

So,  after hearing this story, I slowly sank to the floor and requested that she do the same. I calmly explained to my daughter how utterly stupid and irresponsible this girl was for risking her life, the life of others, for breaking the law, for jeopardizing  so very much for a, a, …. clipboard! I made her promise that she would never be so irresponsible. And that if someone asked her to do something illegal she needed to have the strength of character to say no!

I decided right then and there that was not going to happen to my daughter.  To prevent such immature and irresponsible and flagrant acts against the law, reason and good sense I insisted she get her permit the very next Monday.

Surprisingly she drives really well.. except for parking.

12
Jan

Want to Get There

by Pamela in Random

On one of my computer screens I have a picture of a road that disappears into tuly fog.

It reminds me of traveling to the mountains. Sometimes, not very often, we became shrouded in tuly fog.  It was thick and clearly dangerous for travelers. My father would slow down and dim the headlights that reflected back at us. Sometimes I thought we should turn off our lights and let the self-illuminated fog light our way. I was taught that we needed to be concerned with what we were going toward, but also what lay behind us as well. The rear red lights would tell others, “we are here.”

Traveling cautiously forward, we became quiet, the radio was turned off, our eyes widened and our ears listened as we concentrated and stared into…nothing.

It was a relief when the fog began to dissipate into wisps and eventually we could see our way again.

January feels like that to me sometimes. The year lays ahead and I anticipate it optimistically. I have a map, a plan, but sometimes…life happens.

No matter how I chart the future and envision the road and gaze into the distance, I cannot know what lies ahead. I nervously glance behind to see if I am alone or is someone careening toward me reminding me of where I’ve been.

I could pull over and watch others and sometimes I do. I acknowledge that I learn a ton watching how others do things. Eventually though I need to be brave and get back on the road. I am not satisfied being a spectator. The purpose of observing was to learn so I could do.  Staying too long risks dependency on what others know and eventually depreciates me.

I could follow someone else closely or travel together and I have. Safety in numbers you know, but eventually they turn or stop or lag.  I have enjoyed the companionship, but eventually I feel angry, frustrated and less than. I get lost.

Tuly Fog ClearingThe fog will clear.  I will see where I need to go and I will see where I have been. A moment of reprieve and of relief. I feel safe to move ahead. The feeling is…light, a little unfamiliar and maybe even awkward, but the way is there, present and possible.

January. Resolutions. Hopes. Dreams. Expectations.

The fog will embrace me again. It always does.

I know it’s about the journey. I know I will doubt my decisions. I will doubt my intentions. I will doubt my abilities, but it won’t matter.  I’ll get as far as I can today one step at a time because…

I really want to get there, wherever my there is.

 

 

 

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