via Daily Prompt: Enlighten

Here I sit feeling a day late and a dollar short, not very enlightened as I sit in the predawn darkness. I’m operating on less than two hour’s sleep, and the young one will be up in less than two hours. It’s downright soggy out here. I’m sitting on my back stoop, which is also soggy. Thank goodness for an endless supply of towels in this house. At least my pants aren’t soggy. See? There’s always something to be thankful for!

Before anyone starts wondering about my sleeping habits, let me enlighten all of you. I work in healthcare. Lots of us keep funny hours. Really funny hours. I’m not sure what my neighbors thought of me when the kids and I first moved to this small town. It did get back to me that folks were paying attention to my comings and goings, and were very relieved to assume my attire meant I was out doing something respectable. Perhaps we should all keep a set of scrubs handy to change into when we’ve been up to less respectable deeds. I mean, really, is that all it takes? Who knew it could be so easy to stay gone for 13 hours and reappear in the wee hours of the morning with hair that rivals Medusa’s and not scare the neighbors? Scrubs! Go buy a pair if you don’t already own some. They also come in handy for getting out of speeding tickets. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

Living in this tiny town has been enlightening, to say the least. And I’m certain that I’ve not been fully indoctrinated yet. I’ve not been here for every season yet. I hale from a town that has professional sports teams. I thought people there loved their sports. Let me enlighten you, no one loves sports more than people surrounded by corn and soybeans. And I mean high school sports. These kids are practically famous! I’m not sure I could have handled the pressure. I’m not even kidding. It’s my dirty secret that I don’t understand the game, and my only motivations for going are the concession stand and and the socialization. I used to believe that I couldn’t possibly be the only one, but then I realized that I am indeed the only person who doesn’t wear the school colors to every game. I really need to go shopping. I’m about to blow my cover.

You see, I’m realizing there are no secrets in a small town. I went out to lunch with a friend the other day. The next day at work, a coworker who lives in the next town over asked how lunch was. WHAT????? Is she psychic? Is she a stalker? No, neither, as far as I know. You see, my small town is bigger than her small town. Mind you, not Starbuck’s big, but we do have a wonderful little local coffee shop in my town. My coworker drove in for some coffee, recognized my friend, and asked where I was. Running late. Seems the only place I can make it to on time is work. And that’s if I don’t get stuck behind a tractor in a no passing zone.

I know why my neighbor and her boyfriend aren’t speaking. I was enlightened by another neighbor. It’s all because of the north side of my house. I had no idea my northern exterior holds such power. I’m aware that it is in need of a power washing. It was in need of a power washing when I bought the house. I just haven’t gotten to it yet. It was on my to do list. Now it’s on two other neighbor’s to do list. All in an effort to restore harmony. See, my next door neighbor really doesn’t care about my northern exterior. Her boyfriend does, and now they aren’t speaking because he didn’t consider my single motherhood and strange work hours when he decided to complain about my lack of power washing. Hell hath no fury as that of a woman who raised two children as a single mother and didn’t have time for power washing while she was doing it. Yep, he hit her hot button. Her kids might be grown, she might be retired, but she didn’t forget the years that came before. The good people of my community will be power washing my house in an effort to get those two speaking again. It’s really not about me or my house at this point. It might be about enlightenment.







It’s Simple, Stupid

Several months ago, my life splintered. I was forced to re-evaluate nearly every facet of what I’d become used to.

I lost my Grandma in February. She was not just Grandma, she was one of my best friends, and perhaps my biggest cheerleader. Toward the end, she wasn’t always the Grandma I’d always known, a brain tumor was weaving it’s way through her being. But she had some good days peppered in. Simply good days that we could really talk. I miss those days.

Shortly after losing her, my second marriage came to a screeching halt. There was a clink of a cell door behind him, the slamming shut of our book of life together by me, and the crying of our child keeping me awake through the night.

My garden out back went to seed as I muddled my way through the wreckage of so much in such a short time. I lost physical weight as I carried the emotional weight. I moved from my historic home in one state to a newer house in a different state. One I can maintain mostly in my own. I cut ties with many people who had claimed to love me, but could no longer love me after I slammed the book shut. The weight got lighter. It’s simple.

Yesterday was one of the best days I’ve had since the upending if the life I was used to. It’s simple.

I started my day packing lunch for my son. We talked as I packed it, him asking if my new tattoo of Grandma’s signature hurt, and me telling him it is healing. His crying is now gone, replaced by sounds of him laughing as he roars through the neighborhood that is surrounded by farms. He is healing too.

Before I dropped my daughter of at work, I went to the local coffee shop, sat outside with a friend, held a puppy for a stranger as she went inside to order, then had a tiny gathering on my patio as my new chicken coop was assembled in the corner of my tiny yard. It was enough to make me want to bake brownies. So I did. And I got lighter. It’s simple.

My kitchen table was full last night. Full of food, laughter, and parts of my standby tribe members mingling with the the new.

I’m gaining my footing again. I’m planning next year’s garden, healing, and writing some new pages as I listen to the whir of a farmer’s grain dryer. It’s simple.


Hello Ladies,

I’m often told that I should write a book. As much as I enjoy reading them, that seems a rather lofty goal. But I do actually enjoy writing. Way more than I enjoy cleaning the house. So here we are. I’ve decided that I’d like to expand my lovely tribe of women to include others who may not have a tribe yet, or who, like me want to grow the tribe. Hop on in. Ignore the laundry. Bet it will still be there in the morning. Mine will be. I’m going to ignore it too. And I’m going to ignore it until tomorrow night. When it has really had time to multiply while I’m at work. I might think about it while I’m there. I might not. Hopefully not.

So, a little bit about me. Three kids, two divorces, blah, blah, blah. Yep. Not good at the man choosing. But I have really hilarious kids and really good friends and family. Some for several years, some fairly new. You’ll hear more about them later. Some of them give me pretty good material. Its ok for us to laugh at stuff. Just be nice about it. You’re safe here! Sometimes things are funny, even things we’ve been taught not to laugh at. I’ll go first. For instance, about 6 weeks ago when I decided to buy a BBQ grill in a box because the assembled version didn’t fit in my car. The act of me and 2 store clerks trying to fit that monster in the backseat of my car as my 10 year old shouted encouragement to all of us is story all its own, but not as good as the infamous assembly. After I cartwheeled that 80 pound box from my car to the backyard I sat and looked at the box for a few weeks. It was like that thing was taunting me. So I decided to unpack it. Can’t be that hard to assemble, right? WRONG!!! No directions. Ok, Google them. Problem solved. Ha! I’m not sure what kind of sadist wrote those instructions. I don’t want that person in my tribe. Two days later, I finally had the thing fully assembled. Firebox backwards. I used it anyway. The grill has a name. Not a nice one. I threatened to burn my college degrees in the backwards firebox because they were useless. Kids laughed. For a minute. Then they ran in the house. They probably laughed more once they were safely inside, away from me and the grill with a bad name. Welcome again to my tribe, unless you were the person that wrote those instructions.