This, whatever it is..

Last night after writing, I felt restless.

I had an inability to focus and no desire to do so.

I left home.

I walked out the door and drove off without telling anyone I was going.

I drove aimlessly for an hour. I am drawn to places where I once was happy, but are lost to me now. I drive to the house I used to live in when we were first married, to my grandma’s house, or to the sailing club devoid of boats for the winter. Last night I drove by Lisa’s old house. I glanced as I passed and saw children playing inside. I drove along our old running route. Then I drove aimlessly after that.

I had a conversation with God while I drove. Why weren’t you there for us back then God? Why weren’t you there for me? Where are you now? But I didn’t receive an answer. I entertained the thought that he was never there. Maybe there is no God. I don’t know if I believe or trust anymore. My faith is held intact by a small string.

Paul was worried when I got back home. He forced me to talk to him when I would rather stare off into space, be alone, or attack him so he would stay away. I felt flooded with despair. It threatened to drown me. What is my purpose? Why am I even here?

The sadness was relentless, but I fell into an exhausted sleep only to awake hours later from a horrifying nightmare. I dreamed that I went back in time. There was a horrific lightening storm like one I never saw before. The lightening burned holes in the ground and tried to pull me into it. I had no way to protect anyone. My kids were in it while they were younger, I found my little brothers, and relatives that are long gone now. I couldn’t protect anyone and had trouble finding them.

I awoke in absolute terror. I wrapped myself tightly in my blankets to try to feel safe. But the feelings of terror surrounded me for another half an hour. I got up for awhile, unable to sleep. Then I fell back into a restless sleep for the rest of the night.

I awoke feeling nervous and afraid, like an intruder was in the house. I felt jumpy. I know the feelings weren’t true. I was alone, and no one was there..

The memories keep rushing back. Images ricochet through my mind..Sounds echo through my head… I hear the laughter of children on the playground… I hear them mocking Matt.. I watch as Matt kicks the girl at the roller rink.. I hear her screams and her dad’s angry yell.. I walk through the playground with Matt and his therapist trying to see if the laughter of the children will trigger a meltdown to try to help him somehow stop..I hear the cats cry..I hear a music box and Aunt Grace talking..I hear the laughter of Uncle Harold..

The images and sounds haunt my mind. Whispers of memory. Distorted, out of focus, yet somehow real, remembered faintly.

Then I realized that I was back home. I am feeling the way that I felt back then. The anger, the depression, the fear, the insomnia, the nightmares..

Paul said that maybe I should take some time off to rest. But I am going to work…I am following my regular exercise routine…and I am grasping onto my little string of faith..

If I let go, I will surely drown…


Lost things/prohibited items

It has been two days since Angel has gone away.

I no longer have anger, that has dissipated into a sadness of emptiness..

I decided to make a list of all of the things taken away. Most were directly related to Matt, some indirectly.. I thought that maybe then you would understand why I feel this way.. No one understands.. Maybe my younger brothers.. But these things are too painful to talk about.

The items on this list are things that were taken away, some things forever and some just for a little while.

Things taken away/prohibited items:

  1. Christmas trees
  2. Candles (only allowed on birthday cakes)
  3. Perfume
  4. Hair spray
  5. Nail polish
  6. Anything scented, such as shampoo or lotion.
  7. Tooth paste, for awhile we were only allowed to brush our teeth by dipping our brush into peroxide then baking soda.
  8. House pets
  9. House plants
  10. Cleaning products
  11. Auto exhaust, the cars had to be parked at the bottom of the driveway so the fumes would not come into the house. All clothes items with exhaust fumes had to be removed before entering. All windows needed to be closed if the wind was blowing exhaust fumes towards the house from the road. Following semis was prohibited on the highway.
  12. We got rid of our wood furnace because it was too toxic
  13. Curtains; curtains contain formaldehyde. The curtains were removed and replaced by old blankets.
  14. My dolls, they were taken away for a semester in grade school because I couldn’t focus and got bad grades.
  15. Dairy products, Matt’s food was separated from ours and we were not allowed to eat his. We generally didn’t have snacks, sweets, or foods with artificial colors (anything unhealthy) in the house.
  16. Napkins, they make Matt gag.
  17. Lawn mowers, for a time we had to use a non-gas push mower because of exhaust fumes.
  18. School, we were home schooled for 3 years when Matt’s behavior was too violent to attend school. He had a teacher come to our house.
  19. All childhood friendships.
  20. The ability to relax and feel safe.
  21. Time and attention.
  22. Getting my medical needs met. Matt’s needs were more urgent and important. He required hospital stays, doctor trips to specialists across and out of our home state, which brought on a lot of medical expenses.
  23. Family vacations, technically I never lost this because we never had this.
  24. The use of pesticides of any kind. We were not allowed to wear bug spray. The use of wasp spray was strongly discouraged. The local farmers were told to call us an hour before spraying their fields. After they called, we had an hour to pack our bags and head up north or to grandmas to hide out for a couple of days. If they didn’t call before spraying, we would lock down our house for 2 days or until it rained. Rain purified the air from chemicals.
  25. Going out to eat as a family, I don’t remember this ever happening.
  26. Having both parents attend events because someone had to stay behind and care for Matt.
  27. The freedom to live like a regular teen. I spent my time as a caregiver. I even gave my brother showers.
  28. Permanent markers, glue, stains, and paint.
  29. Bleach, fabric softener, and dryer sheets. I had to scrub my brothers dirty socks in vinegar or lye.
  30. Anything new, new items had to gas out their fumes before being allowed in the house. We also had to run an air purifier and sometimes Matt needed to wear a charcoal mask if there were still toxins in the air.
  31. Newspapers, they had to gas out before coming into the house.
  32. Pipes, my dad used to smoke a pipe in the 70’s every once in awhile. That was no longer allowed.
  33. Teflon coated pots and pans.
  34. Strong emotions, that set Matt off.
  35. The ironing of clothes.
  36. Toys or plastics with toxic scents.
  37. Sometimes we would leave to go somewhere, then have to turn around and come back home because Matt would have a meltdown.
  38. I had to drop out of a play I was in because Matt was in the hospital.
  39. Having my boomboxes destroyed.

Then there were other things…things not easily categorized. Sometimes Matt would run away from home. He would run off into the woods and we couldn’t find him. He would hurt himself and hurt us. We have bled and were bruised. He turned on the water faucets and flooded the house. He kept my brothers up at night and sometimes slept all day. He would have uncontrollable fits of rage.

People called Matt demon possessed..

That is why I hated my life. I wanted to be normal, boring even..

Is there anyone out there who understands?? Anyone at all? I didn’t think so. I feel so all alone.

There are just some demons that can’t be outrun.

I can never look back and consider anything about my childhood normal. Looking back is painful. I avoid telling people about this part of my life..

Why am I telling you?

I want someone to understand my tears.

But more than anything, I would love to erase it all and pretend none of this ever happened.

A blue Christmas…


Last night I decorated my new real blue Christmas tree…alone.

I felt such a loss after Angel left to go back to college. Year after year, we decorated the Christmas tree together. I really missed having her here this year. I didn’t tell her that though. There are so many kids dropping out to be closer to home. We both know she is right where she needs to be.

My other two children were not interested in decorating the tree with me. Just this last weekend Arabella said that she didn’t think her teenage self would like me very much. Bayley was over and Alex wanted to spend time with her. The last thing I wanted was to force the kids to spend time with me. I want them to want to.

I wanted for just a second to put them into my world growing up. I wanted them to realize how important this tradition is to me. But I protect them from all of that.

The holidays sometimes does crazy things to my head. 

The next thing I know, I am back home. Mom and I are baking cookies for Santa. There is a tree with glimmering lights. There were Cabbage Patch dolls hidden in wrapping paper under the tree. 

Then just like that, everything I had was gone.

Mom said that Matt couldn’t tolerate Christmas trees, real or fake. Everything stopped. We no longer had Christmas trees in the house. We no longer put out cookies for Santa. We no longer decorated with lights or candles. That was no longer allowed. What used to be magical and fun turned cold and desolate. It became a season of despair for me. 

Thankfully, my grandma always had us over on Christmas Day. I never cared that her trees were less than perfect. She always cut her own tree from her backyard. I was happy there. Except for the year that my mom told her that she could no longer have a tree because Matt was allergic. My grandma decorated the wall with bows that year. I was so angry.

Last night I put my head in my hands and cried. A part of me will forever be broken.

I wanted my kids to understand what having a tree means to me because I never had it. I did have it at one time, but it was taken away. I wonder if my younger brothers even remember a time when we had a Christmas tree in the house. Perhaps I will ask them. Maybe it is better if they don’t remember.

Last night I felt so much anger and despair. If my mom were to call, I wouldn’t answer the phone. It is not fair to her to be angry about something that happened 30 years ago. It’s not her fault that Matt is autistic. The whole situation was unfair to all involved.

I want to help other special needs families learn from my experiences, but I feel so much rage. It hurts to reach out. My mind goes absolutely haywire this time of year with anger, depression, and anxiety. I can’t seem to control it. I can’t seem to escape the memories. So many years have past now, but it still hurts when I pick at the scars.

Why did you take everything away from me? Did you think that taking our Christmas traditions away from us would make Matt any less autistic? It was not like he broke out in hives and had trouble breathing. I needed this to help get through the dark days. I needed some light. But my needs got ignored. The funny thing is, Matt wasn’t any more or less violent without the tree. It didn’t matter either way to him, but it did to the rest of us

I’m sorry, I didn’t intend for my post to be this way. I was going to post a picture of my lovely blue tree. This post was going to be light and fluffy like the snow we don’t have on the ground outside. I didn’t think that I would respond this way. This time I didn’t brush the feelings away. I let myself grieve. Sometimes I wish my kids would understand that the things they take for granted as normal were never normal for me. 

I am not usually an emotional person. I am usually cool, calm, and detached from feelings. I don’t want to live in that cold emotionless void anymore. I want to feel now even if it hurts. I am stronger now, strong enough to handle this.

Thanks for listening to me. It really helps me feel better. 

Over the river and through the woods


Yesterday morning I awoke with a feeling of trepidation. I think I was nervous. I wasn’t sure what to expect..

I drove over the river (or I should say over the railroad tracks, I’ve never seen so many tracks crossing the highway anywhere else) and through the deep dark woods of WI to take the kids to see grandma (my mother-in-law Martha). She didn’t make it over for Thanksgivng. In fact, she has gotten to the point where she is no longer eating much more than applesauce. 

For years, my son Alex and my husband Paul joined Paul’s stepdad Darryl to hunt. For the last couple of years, Martha would come to my house and spend the weekend playing cards, working puzzles, and watching movies. But she is too sick to go anywhere now. She has stage 4 terminal cancer. The chemo stopped working and the cancer has spread. The guys have been visiting her the last couple of weekends, but I haven’t had the chance to visit for awhile. I felt that it was important to take Angel out to see her while she was home from college for a few days. Will it be the last time?

I was afraid. Afraid of what I would find. Paul has been coming home upset from his time spent there. He didn’t know why. Then after awhile, he said that it was horrible seeing his mother die.

So I was afraid. My stomach felt upset. Would she be in great pain? Would she forget my name like the last time I visited. It’s hard to see someone who was once so vibrant and full of life fade away. She lost over 50 lbs and is just skin and bones. Her hair is starting to grow back in a brown patch of fuzz, so different from her black curly long hair she once had. Her gait is slow, she aged 20 years in a year. 

She was happy to see us. 

I was able to sneak away for awhile to see the deer stands. In all these years, I have never seen where they hunt.  In all those years, they only got one buck. To think just this last week we awoke to find a deer delivered to the end of our driveway, but the meat was not salvageable.  
Regardless, if they don’t bring back a buck, every year they bring back a Christmas tree. 

I had to show you a picture of Alex and Paul at Alex’s tree stand. 

Our visit with Martha went better than the girls and I expected. Martha is such an unrealistic optimist that I think she makes herself feel better. She kept talking about the day that she will get better and be able to come over to visit. That day will never come, but maybe it is better that she believes it.  It was nice to see her so upbeat and not have to see her suffer. The thought of watching a loved one suffer is unbearable.

Thanksgiving break is officially over now. Today I dropped Angel off to catch her carpool for the 4 hour drive back to school. It was strange to see her go back again with her suitcase full. I don’t always like my new reality, but I have learned to accept it. If only I could stop time for just a few seconds…

I dropped Angel off and came home to a glorious blue Christmas tree. I am excited for the beginning of the next holiday season. A time of hope and light. A time of such intense busyness that I forget all of my troubles.. 

I am going to decorate my tree tonight..

Post party impression

Did everyone survive Thanksgiving? I made it through…

All of the hours spent cleaning, cooking, and doing dishes…then…BOOM….the whole shebang is over just like that. I feel so wiped out. Maybe it’s just the tryptophan from the turkey..

The holiday went well. We didn’t discuss politics, although oddly enough, it is something we all agree upon. 

Practically everyone who came over had special diets. My daughter Angel is a vegetarian now. She called me a couple of days ago from college saying that she needed to go to the dentist while she was home. She said that her gums were streaked, painful, and bleeding. The college nurse said that she needed a new toothbrush. Being the worry wart mom I am, I figured out she had a B12 deficiency from being a vegetarian. 

After she started taking B12, her symptoms went away. My dad saw her take the B12 and asked her if she was taking birth control pills. Some things never change. Not funny, dad, not funny…

My son Alex doesn’t eat vegetables. Nothing green ever touches his lips. 

My mom has new allergies. She can’t have black pepper, parsley, or cinnamon. Do you think I am kidding? I did make a special cinnamon free cherry pie for her, but I heard it wasn’t as good as the one with cinnamon. 

My autistic brother Matt is gluten and dairy free. He also has allergies to all foods that start with the letters B and S or so it seems. The list changes rather often, so I never know what to do and feel stupid for asking.

Alex brought his girlfriend Bayley over for Thanksgiving for the first time. I wondered if Alex warned her about my family. Did he tell her of grandpa’s crude jokes? Or Matt’s propensity to fart and belch loudly while at the table? This time it seemed like Matt ate beans for a week straight before his visit. Then he urinated on the bathroom floor. All of this is completely normal, but rather uncomfortable for a first time visitor.

I was thankful that my mom brought food and helped me dry dishes. She did drive me a little batty when she talked about how my brother Luke is so much healthier than me. Did you know that Luke stopped eating out of Teflon pans? He is practically a vegan now. When he does eat meat, it is never red and is always cage free. He only eats whole foods that are organic. He has the cholesterol level of a 14 year old. Maybe if I was more like Luke, I wouldn’t need to take Prilosec twice a day because that causes kidney damage. How would I like dialysis? I wouldn’t need dialysis someday if I am more like Luke. My gosh, what if I was a couch potato chip eating smoker? 

Maybe I should just give Luke all of my medals…

Did you know that running is bad for me as well?? My mom said that my varicose veins will get worse. It is just not healthy. My mother-in-law also said that running was bad. Just look what happened to her brother. The running killed him. He ran 5 miles every day and smoked 2 packs of cigarettes. Must have been the running!

Ahh, I try to be as healthy as I can be and let the rest go. I hate to say it, but none of us will get out of here alive. In my lifetime, I have seen healthy people get cancer and unhealthy people live a long life in good health. I am not going to make myself completely miserable by worrying about the damn Teflon. People already give me crap about running marathons. My neighbor even said that running wasn’t healthy as I ran by his house one day. He hollered out to me while he was outside smoking a cigarette. 

I just don’t get it! How can people think running is unhealthy??  

Let the holiday season begin!  

Happy Thanksgiving!!

It wasn’t too long ago that I finished the 30 day writing challenge. Really, I told you everything there was to tell about myself and then some. What more is there to blog about? 

It was nice having a preset topic to write about every day. It has been an adjustment just thinking of what to say. To think that I wrote almost every day for a year and a half. Where did I come up with all of my ideas??

But I did miss writing about the day to day adventures. Oh, I have a few good stories to tell you about things that happened over the 30 day challenge that I missed writing about. But I’ll save those for another day.

Yesterday Angel came home from college for Thanksgiving break. Today my 2 daughters and I spent the last 4 hours in the kitchen. All we have to show for it is 2 cherry pies, 3 dozen deviled eggs, and a large stack of dirty dishes. And it is almost time to make supper! How did women do this everyday?? I suppose not everyday was Thanksgiving.

We are having a small crew this year…Just ten people…our family of 5 plus Angel’s boyfriend and Alex’s girlfriend, my mom, dad, and Matt. 

I would’ve had Alex bake today too. He is good in the kitchen. But he is spending the day with his girlfriend. They have been going out for 6 months as of today. Angel and her boyfriend have been together 3 years as of this month as well. They both picked good choices…no matter what ends up happening…I am thankful I am not worried about them dating horrible people…

Really, there is so much to be thankful for…things I take for granted…

I have a wonderful husband, 3 great kids, a good job, a warm house, food on the table, and so many blessings…

I am thankful for you…taking the time to get to know me..

Okay, enough of being all mushy! 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Opening the Door..


This past weekend, I visited the beautiful Door County located in the thumb of Wisconsin. I even broke some of my rules…

Namely, I was spontaneous. My mom asked me to spend the weekend with her and two of her siblings and their spouses. Less than a weeks notice is spontaneous for me. I did have other plans, like going through my endless pictures to delete them from my server that I almost crashed and cleaning the house for Thanksgiving. But I did blog earlier about needing to put my relationships above cleaning, so I packed my bags and went.

We had a great time away…we played the game Loaded Questions. Great game! We stayed at a large house right on Lake Michigan. The picture above was taken from the front yard. One of the questions asked during the game was what everyone would do on a whim. Most answers involved travel or jumping nude into the lake. Well, except for my mom who answered that she would have a cup of coffee. Hhmm, sad! I don’t take after her… Ha ha ha.

I was tempted to jump into the lake. They had a hot tub near the lake and when I got overheated I was tempted to jump right in. It looked so inviting, despite the cold and all of the empty beaches.

Saturday morning we awoke to the first snow flurries of the season. It was cold and windy. It was so windy at home that trees fell down on power lines and cars. We braved the cold to head out to the winery that morning (where I broke one of my rules). Aunt Jan said that it was too early to drink wine, but she changed her mind. Aunt Jan is usually the one in charge, so we followed her lead. At 10:45 AM, we were sampling wine. Hey, it’s noon somewhere, right?

I ended up buying 5 lbs of pitted tart cherries to make my homemade Thanksgiving pies and a bottle of Summer Breeze wine. They bottle it under the name White Christmas in the winter, but I couldn’t resist the picture of the sailboat on the summer label.


The above picture is why we don’t go sailing on Lake Michigan or the bay in the winter. It can be pretty vicious, which is why all of the sailors took their boats out of the water last month. No one wants to be on the water under these conditions. Just think of what happened to the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior in the gales of November. Great! Now I am humming the Gordon Lightfoot song!

As I was inching my way along the dock to take this picture, an older gentleman screamed out to me “No further!” People have drowned when waves like this have crashed into the dock knocking them over into and under the water. But I didn’t even get close.

We had a great time in Door County and in case you were wondering, I was able to get my house cleaned too!

Oh deer!


I awoke this morning to find a doe in the dead center of my driveway. 

I knew it was going to be an interesting day.

It certainly wasn’t what I meant when I said bring me the dough…Hmmm..

Why my driveway? Why!!?! We got a few strange looks… Some idiot probably hit it at bar time and left it in our driveway.. Geez…

I took advantage of the sad situation by having a photo shoot. I was happy that she seemed to be out of her misery quickly.

Do you notice anything peculiar about this picture? Besides the obvious of having a deer blocking my driveway. I mean, really?? How often does something like that happen??

In this picture, I am wearing a sleeveless shirt and shorts……in the middle of November! It has been a warm fall. It feels more like September than November. Yesterday I saw someone mowing their lawn in shorts! I only had to use the treadmill once this season and that was because it was pouring out. I usually start running on the treadmill in the beginning of October when the first flurries start to fall. 

It has been a great season for running and biking. I see so much wildlife on my journeys. Sometimes I sing to the cows as I breeze by. I am goofy like that. 

One of the craziest times on my bike happened last week the day after Election Day. I don’t know if I was suffering from a total sleep hangover or what. My whole route seemed ominous. The eerie silence was broken by the howling of a large pack of dogs in the distance. I always wondered what to do about dogs on my road bike. Do I try to outrun them and possibly end up somehow tripping over them at high speeds or stop and let myself get mauled? Jury is still out on that one.. I did see a huge dog on that day. It’s owner was dragging behind him on a leash. I wondered if it would be the day he would break away. Thankfully not!

Then there was noise coming from the railroad tracks. It set off a donkey that started braying loudly. I think I ride on the zoo route. I’ve seen horses, donkeys, alpacas, roosters, deer, skunks, squirrels, cats, and a plethora of dogs. 

Anyway, back to the story..I got to the railroad tracks and noticed they were doing some sort of repairs. There was a backhoe on the tracks coming towards me at a fast clip. WTH?? Who has the right of way? Who yields?? I wish I would have worried about all of the possibilities because I didn’t know..

That day I also noticed all of the Trump signs flapping in the wind. It struck me that I didn’t see any Hillary signs along my routes. How strange that our state turned from a blue state to a red state. I remember just a few years back when my route was filled with Recall Walker signs. (Our state had a recall vote to recall our governor which didn’t go through). My neighbor was one of the few that had a ‘I stand with Walker’ sign. Someone dumped a jar full of nails in his driveway that year. Who knows, maybe someone would’ve dumped nails in his yard if he put a Hillary sign out this year…People here can be a little strange. It’s the long winters.

Talking about winter, I heard that this long wonderful warm spell is coming to a grinding halt this weekend just in time for the opening of deer hunting season. We will have strong winds and snow. YES, SNOW! We haven’t even had a flurry yet…Today I even got tan lines from running…

Good bye, summer! Hello, winter! Oh deer!

Give it a tri!?!!

Last week I ran into Anna, an acquaintance of mine that completed the Ironman this year. She said that if she could do, so could I.

Anna had quite a few obstacles in her way to complete the Ironman. She injured her leg which made it nearly impossible for her to run over a few miles without pain. She had to take a lot of time off of training to get back on her feet again. She also has a demanding full-time job which required her to travel a lot and took up a lot of her training time. She is in her mid 40’s with 2 children. She didn’t feel prepared. She had a severe panic attack during the competition while she was surrounded by people in the water. She was tempted to give up, but didn’t.

Anna made it through, she persevered. One of the saddest parts of her competition was that she did not have the loving support of her family. Her husband stayed at home, not because he had other things to do but because he didn’t want to go. She only had a few friends accompany her, but not just for her since our mutual friend Cori competed too.

Despite the obstacles, Anna succeeded. Why can’t I??

Really, why can’t I??

I never saw myself competing in the full Iron, but Anna really made me reconsider.

Maybe I should have a new goal to complete the full Iron by 45. Then I could get my first tattoo, an Ironman insignia.

Thanks Anna for motivating me!

I am terrified, but I really want to give this a tri!

**One thing I’ve always wondered is what Ironmen do after the big event is over (since they literally invested years into the sport). I asked Anna and Cori what was next on their list. Neither seemed to know. Anna said that Ironman recovery wasn’t all that bad. But she also said that she wanted to take some time to heal. Cori said that she would do whatever. I really don’t understand, but maybe someday I will.**


I didn’t hit a deer, but…

Can you believe that I live in Wisconsin and never hit a deer?? I probably shouldn’t have said that, now I am doomed..I remember as a kid riding up north with Aunt Grace. She always said, “I wonder if we will see a deer?” It never failed that one would pop out of the woods after those words were spoken.

I didn’t hit a deer this past month, but I almost got hit by a car while out running. I was very angry and it prompted me to rant on Facebook about running etiquette for drivers. Seriously! After that post, the people that know me have given me a wider berth and do a lot of waving.

I also was the victim of road rage. There was a guy at the stop sign across from me. He was going straight and I was turning left. I waited for awhile and he didn’t make a move, so I started to head into the intersection. It was at that point that he floored it around me. I slammed on my brakes while he accelerated squealing tires, literally burning rubber, and spewing up rocks that scarred my car and scared me.

In both situations, I didn’t have time to respond. I didn’t honk my horn, give them the finger, or get a good description of the vehicle.

Then I hit a raccoon. This wasn’t just an ordinary raccoon either. It was the size of a small horse or large dog. It looked like it had been hitting up the Halloween candy big time, like REALLY BIG time. It left the front end of my car hanging on the ground and me having to come up with lies, more lies, something I am not good at doing.

Why would I lie? The dark evening that I hit the raccoon, I was picking up my daughter from a car pool. Angel had a day off of school and wanted to come home to surprise everyone. Paul was out of town for business and would come home to see our daughter unexpectedly there. I was the only one that knew of these plans. So I had no explanation for being out that night when I said I was going to be home all evening.

So here I was with a smashed front end that ended up costing over $1,000 in damages. That kind of excitement was hard to mask during a quiet uneventful evening spent at home.

My daughter received a ride home from the mother of a girl that she used to be friends with. This girl almost dropped out of college because she thought that the music program was too competitive and blamed it on my daughter. So the 4 hour ride included glares from the mom and awkward silence.

But apparently the long, uncomfortable ride home was worth it for Angel to surprise the family. It was pretty exciting to see everyone’s reaction. It was the first time she was home since she left for college.

Yesterday, I got my car fixed. I never would’ve guessed that a raccoon could do so much damage. Afterwards, I took a little detour and wandered through the garage to watch the mechanics work on vehicles. I knew I shouldn’t have been there. I felt like I was sneaking through the surgical department, but no one kicked me out. In situations like those, it is always smart to play the dumb blonde card.

My little adventure did cost me though. I ended up going out the wrong door and spent the next half hour wandering around the huge parking lot looking for my car. Embarrassingly enough, I had to ask for help finding my vehicle. I thought I would have to buy a new vehicle from the lot to get back home. Hey, it was starting to get cold out.

Being in the garage gave me a brief second of nostalgia for the old family auto business. I love the smell of garages, gasoline, and rubber tires (not burning ones though). It brought back childhood memories of my grandma ringing up the antique till, the rows of tires for sale, and Uncle Harold working on the cars. That is all gone now.. They are all gone now..

I am such a sentimental sap.. I picture them forever working there in my head..They are breathing, living on a faded out film that continuously loops through my head..they always look the same and wear the same clothes..

What can I say? It makes me happy, yet so sad.

Anyway, my car is up and running now. Let’s just hope I don’t hit a deer!