This road I’m walkin’ on from time to time always leads me home.

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” ~Terry Pratchett

I try to tell Step-daughter: leaving isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She’ll be a senior this year, and although I don’t think she plans to go away to college, I know it is nevertheless her intention to get as far away from Illinois as possible after she graduates. I think she believes–as I once did–that happiness isn’t possible here, that there’s nothing so boring and ugly as the prairie, and that there have to be better, nicer, and smarter people in bigger cities elsewhere in the country. Continue reading “This road I’m walkin’ on from time to time always leads me home.”

On drama, solipsism, kindness, and ridiculous dreams

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~Maya Angelou

Back in the day, I had lots of drama to share with my five or so regular readers. It was young person drama to be sure, but I felt like it was my duty to provide it and to entertain those who’d come to be entertained. Granted, I was performing my show for a very small audience, but they were women of uncommon smarts and valor, and I could rely on them to be with me through thick and thin, and to always be ready with a listening ear and an occasional piece of terrific and hard-won wisdom. Continue reading “On drama, solipsism, kindness, and ridiculous dreams”

It doesn’t matter which side of the tracks you’re from, the train still rolls the same.

Aside from that year when I lived in Las Vegas and was quite certain my soul was dying a little more with every day that passed, there have always been trains in my life.  I spent the first 27 years of my life in a town that was literally named for the Illinois Central Railroad and was founded in that spot because it was a point of convergence on the railroad’s two original branches. Continue reading “It doesn’t matter which side of the tracks you’re from, the train still rolls the same.”

There weren’t torrents of rain or a big flood, but it still feels like a whole new world if you cross your eyes and look at it like one of those 3D drawings.

It’s been 40 days and 40 nights since I smoked a cigarette. I needed to tell you that because it’s something I’m pretty proud of, and I’m trying to practice positive reinforcement with myself. Also, there are other willpower-requiring things I’d like to do now that I’m no longer enslaved by nicotine and unable to draw a clean breath. I’d like to give the whole plant-based eating thing another shot, and I’d like to start walking a few days a week. I’m not going to make any resolutions, but I am going to start doing better. It is, after all, that time of year. It’s also about six months until mandatory swimsuit time, and this year I’d like to not scare people. ascent_a3500-brushedstainless_rightglam-620x620

In an undeniable act of solidarity, my husband has decided to do all of this with me, and believe it or not, he’s as excited as I am about using some of the tax return money (that we might one day receive if The Orange Dude ever decides to stop being a baby and reopen the government) to buy a Vitamix so we can make the wonderful cheese looking stuff that all vegans must have in order to survive without wanting to kill people. Continue reading “There weren’t torrents of rain or a big flood, but it still feels like a whole new world if you cross your eyes and look at it like one of those 3D drawings.”

Dear BJ

Until a few days ago, I hadn’t seen or talked to you since I was a teenager.

Back then, I think, I needed you. You were what I needed when I needed it, and you were in a position that let you be there to chat whenever I sought you out. I don’t remember you saying much or even offering much in the way of advice, but you must have been a good listener or I wouldn’t have felt so comfortable chatting you up and confiding my junior-high-aged problems. Continue reading “Dear BJ”

Favorites, without (specific) explanations

These books are my favorites. They changed who I was or what I thought was beautiful. They gave me insights and things to write on my bathroom mirror. They made me think or ask questions about things I’d never before been curious about. They made me laugh and/or distracted me when I most needed a diversion. Read them if you get the chance. And for the love of god, if you’re judging me on the contents of this list, don’t tell me.

The World According to Garp
A Prayer for Owen Meany
The Cider House Rules
The Great Gatsby
Lonesome Dove
The Secret Life of Bees
Beloved
The Stand
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Eat, Pray, Love
Ready Player One
The Thirteenth Tale