About Me

My photo
I am mundane and magical, Silly and serious. I am an underachiever who suspects that someday in the eternities I may yet blossom and even fruit. I am a collector of spirits and essences, a studier of mood and nuance.I have many many faults and yet I've always been loved. I am a good friend, but I will let you go if you so desire. I believe in Somewhen. I laugh easily and cannot often cry, which I know is a Flaw. Like You, I am a work in progess.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

RED, The Disabusement of Pollyanna and A Sweet Ghost Story

I went to see RED with a friend today. I enjoyed the movie very much, There was a time I was rather repulsed by the genre, which I would classify as Savvy Survivalists With Superior Skills Scorning the Societal Status Quo. I was once Pollyanna. I had  in place a well programmed belief system that America was not only benign, but was The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, a place of Liberty and Justice for all.

 Various experiences and events eroded that illusion over the years but it wasn't until my encounter with Meth Lady and The Good Ol Boy Minions that I knew experientially, that America is no such place. My meeting with Meth Lady was of a violent nature. I was proceeding to work at about 35 mph in a straight line when she collided violently and without apparent reduction of speed to the front driver's side of my car. I don't remember being unconcious, but I remember awareness returning so I think I was out. I remember being confused by all the dust inside my car and wondering why it stank. I remember releasing my seatbelt which I did not always wear then. But the paramedics and police who were there VERY quickly (another reason to think I was unconcious) had to turn off my engine. My foot was heavy on the brake and I hurt, especially my arm. The police who came to assist me told me the person who had hit me had inquired how I was, they also told me there were drugs (they mentioned meth) and paraphanalia found in her car and that this was not the first "accident" she had been involved in. They said she was driving on a license that was either suspended or revoked and that she had an insurance slip but that it was undetermined as to whether it was valid.

All this as I was crying in the road wondering what had happened. I remembered seeing her car coming fast in my direction. She wasn't even going to make the entrance of the shopping center she was apparently headed for even had I not been in her path. Indeed her car was far from the entrance and had collided with a palm tree after she hit me. She was standing on the grass smoking and talking on her cell phone. She had NOT been wearing her seatbelt and I saw in her arrest picture that her face was pretty badly lacerated. She WAS arrested and taken to the hospital. I was offered a ride in an ambulance which I declined because I remembered my grandmother's short $900 ride some years before. I knew that I was not at fault but I also knew I couldn't afford an ambulance. I think I was in shock. I didn't have a cell phone so one of the responders let me use his and I called work because Bruce was sleeping and he takes FOREVER to wake up. It's not optional for him. I can't remember if I tried him first but if I did, he didn't answer the phone. So a co-worker came and got me and at my request took me home where I woke Bruce up and told him he needed to take me to the hospital.

It turned out I had a broken wrist and bruises where the seatbelt or the car interior impacted me that turned BLACK. The wrist required surgery and I now have a 2 1/2 - 3" scar on my arm and a screw in my bone. My wrist hurts me to varying degrees and that will probably only worsen over time. I still have memory problems and my even temper is a thing of the past. I actually forgot to mention the memory problems during the binding mediation (which is what my lawyer recommended btw), remembering as Iwas walking out, which struck me as gruesomely funny. The laywer? Well, I contacted a lawyer either that day or the next one. I remember very clearly telling "my" lawyer I wanted to be present for the trial of this woman.

Very long story short:

I did not get to attend the "trial" That occurred within a month of the accident. "My" lawyer was advised of this several months later when I guess he called to find out when it would be scheduled. My assailant did not even have a toxicology test. With a repeat offender who I had heard had been in trouble with drugs since she was in high school and that her problems were apparently bad enough that she lost custody of her child (never confirmed to me, this is just what I heard) But, she is the daughter of a local physician. Go figure! Ain't that convenient?

The woman was convicted on everything she was charged with but the charges were very minimal. Her "sentence" was PROBATION contigent upon her cooperation with the terms of her probation. I asked "my" lawyer why I hadn't been advised of the trial and what my recourse was about this. He said that the prosecutor said he hadn't been aware there was a victim. This, despite a police report that stated erroneously that I had been conveyed to the hospital in an ambulance. So, didn't I have a right to be heard? Nope. And I tried to find a number for the prosecutor in the phone book to vent my outrage. No dice. My lawyer also declined to provide me with contact information. Well. since "my" lawyer told me that her sentence was supposed to be "contingent" on her cooperation with the terms of her probation and since he told me that she a) had fled and had to be captured and forced into rehab...b) had tested dirty for drugs subsequent to her conviction and c) had forged a check, I thought the idea of "compliance" was out the door. But no...None of this affected anything. Had I been at the trial she might have been denied a license for 8 more years than she was (I was not told if her suspension/ revocation was in any way impacted) She had no insurance. So, I had to plead with MY insurance agency for recovery and I feel the settlement was paltry. If I had not carried un/underinsured coverage on my policy I would have gotten nothing. Unless I sued her personally, at which point "my" lawyer said I would doubtless be awarded a judgement (but one that was missing weight due to no toxicology report, etc)  BuT I would be unlikely to actually collect anything. Even though a private search told me this woman apparently makes $41k a year. I found that interesting. And, if her rich parents put a car in her name, as long as it is in her name, they are liable for nothing. My insurance company even declined to try to recoup what they had to put out to me. The whole situation is so rife with either incompetence (which I do not for a second entertain as plausible) or outright corruption that I will never be able to regain any sense of the America I thought I knew. And, when somehing like this happens to you, you begin to hear like and very much worse atrocities that befall others.

So now, movies that encourage caution and even paranoia about government and authority dealings are definitely on my menu of viewing. And I know rich people are out to protect their interests and will do so with brutal consequences to anyone who threatens their wealth. Even to a small degree.

And now, after this cautionary tale I will switch gears to tell you A Sweet Ghost Story. So that we end on a good note and that perhaps we can come away wih the thought that there is an authority that supercedes the temporal manifestations of power.

Something in the movie we went to prompted my friend to tell me of a personal experience. Her husband died a few years ago of cancer and she says that every once in awhile she feels him. Usually when she is in bed for the night she feels a presence like someone is spooning her (I had a similar experience once, but no one on the other side of the Veil I could attribute that to) Her experience is recurrent, though not frequent, and so subtle that she has always wondered if she is imagining it. Well, the other night it was added to. She felt that feeling and said she could actually see part of an arm and white t-shirt which her husband used to wear around the house. She also saw part of the side of a face. As she became more aware her visitor vanished. She mentioned the incident to her daughter who felt it was her mother's husband checking on her and comforting her. I also believe that. And I hope I believe such forever.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Serendipity and "The Ramen Girl"

I am always humbled, amused and impressed by how Spirit works if you (I) am ready for the message. It can, and usually does communicate  to me in the strangest ways!

I had just finished watching What's Eating Gilbert Grape, which I think is a good movie, but not great. I was still a bit restless and thinking about a few things. It was about 9:15 and I thought, well, maybe another movie. I hardly ever watch 2 movies in a night. The Netflix page makes suggestions and my eyes were drawn to the first suggestion offered, a movie called The Ramen Girl. The synopsis sounded a bit, well, bubble gummy, but I thought I was headed for sleep shortly and why not? So I clicked to begin it. I found myself liking it without knowing quite why immediately and I got an inkling that this might be a "spirit to LeAnn" movie when about 20 minutes into it I heard that still small voice whisper that this movie wouldn't really, how can I put it? - do me any good unless I got up and cleaned the bathroom. Right  then. Oh, and take a shower while you're at it, willya?

So, somewhat in perplexity and half thinking I must be bored with this movie if I had to take a break to clean the bathroom, I got up and cleaned the bathroom. I'd left the movie running so when the bathroom and I were all fresh, I thought I'd start the thing over again. So I did. Found I'd missed some of my message that I might have heard even while I was there the first time.

And then I started to laugh when I hit the "Clean" part. That was funny. My inner Observer sent out warm vibes too, in appreciation I think for me having listened before things got that blatant.

I'm wondering if everyone has these types of experiences, where something seems like it was made just for you, that even if someone else came across it , they might experience something very different from what you are experiencing.

I identified pretty strongly with Abby, the Ramen Girl. And I was having some of those strange yet sublime trains of  thought that sometimes go along with the communication of Spirit. I'd try to share a bit that I consciously remember , but I think the telling might seem coarse, and it wasn't at all. For times like those, I remember the scripture, "And Mary kept these things, and pondered them in her heart" which sometimes seems the very best thing you can do.

There were keywords and little nuances of Spirit in this movie that I felt were there just for me. I'm hoping the spirit in the message is filtering deeply into me right now and I think I'll watch the movie again very soon just to see if other good messages present themselves.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Secretariat, and a Few of my Horse Experiences

I just got back from seeing Secretariat with my friend Barbara. She let me pick the movie today and was gracious enough to like it.  I knew I HAD to see it. First off, my passion from very young childhood was horses. I loved them in effigy long before I got to meet any in person. I read any horse story I could find growing up. My father had promised me a horse before I turned 12, but he took me aside after we had moved to a big house in Orange County CA and said it was my decision as to whether our family would get a pool, which everyone would enjoy, or I would get my horse. In any future life I am going to say I want my horse, just so, if you happen to be my dad in some other life, you will know what to expect. I figure if you want the family to also enjoy a pool (and I enjoyed ours very much) you will find a way to make that happen.

Speaking of my dad, another time he called the family all together and said we were going to the local high school track, and that if I could run a mile, he'd go get my horse that day. Now, I've never been a runner. Just thinking about it gives me a stitch in the side. But I chugged out onto the track and began jogging. It didn't take long before I was wheezing. And, being of indomiable spirit in only a few weird things of which running is not one, by the second lap I knew I was going to fail. And I was MAD too. Anyway, I had a lump in my throat and was wheezing and about to give up when my brother jogged up beside me. He told me I couldn't let myself be beaten and he jogged, backwards facing me, muttering "horse....horse" for another half a mile. But apparently it did not suit my father as acceptable ( I WAS going very slowly) and when I saw his face I ran off down the grassy hill, having gotten that wonderful "second wind" people talk about. I actually might have been able to run a mile after that happened. My brother accompanied me and I don't remember what he said but I do remember the absolute pure love he had for me. Shown there as it was in many instances. I don't remember discussing this with my father either. But I didn't get my horse then and never did by his hand.

Yet I loved the creatures. I read about them, drew them, spent time with real ones as I could and dreamed of them. I also followed racing and other equestrian events as much as I could. I think racing is a cruel sport. It ruins many fine young animals who are run too fast or too far and can cripple or kill them. I haven't followed racing in years now, but back when I was young I did because the horse has courage. And they are generous animals. I know some DO "want to win" There really is a "look of eagles"

It was 1973 when Secretariat ran the Triple Crown races. They are for 3 year olds, babies whose bones have not even finished growing. They are gruelling. And those races are 2 weeks apart starting with The Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. Oh, and when I say they horses are 3 year olds, that's not exactly true, as registered thoroughbred racehorses are another year old as of January 1st of each year. I was glued to the tv as soon as coverage for the races came on. I was, as I recall, rooting for Sham. Sham was a beautiful little black horse and I was thinking of Seabiscuit when I saw him. I thought Secretariat was War Admiral and gave my heart to the little guy. I was crushed when Secretariat won the Derby. But by the Preakness it was ok with me if he won, I was dying to see a Triple Crown winner. So Sham or Secretariat...and it was Secretariat!!! By the Belmont I was hoping he would win. I remember watching the race and being disappointed when he broke so fast, he was a come from behinder and at the speed he was going he'd have to burn out! But, he didn't. Even typing this tears come to my eyes remembering that race. He pulled away and the other horses were not even on the screen as he won by an incredible margin, going away. If the race would have been longer I can't even imagine the gap. As it was it was, according to the movie, 31 lengths. 27 lengths stuck in my mind so I am thinking the announcer must have been very emotional at 27 lengths.

Secretariat was a horse with incredible heart. But, my experiences with horses is that they do have incredible hearts. Not often such a will to win though. My horse Ember might have made a good racehorse. She was a thoroughbred, but if she ever had papers they were not extant by the time I got her. She had been a polo pony and she was fast, quick, responsive and VERY competitive. She was also very proud. Thinking back, she was probably not the best choice for me. Much better riders than I could barely sit her rocket like takeoff when you asked for speed. God she loved speed!! And she hated being behind anything! We went on a 3 day trail ride and I was often in front of the leaders who knew where we were going, riding in circles to keep her from going to Timbuctoo! Many people commented on her endurance. She was a shortish horse, about 15.1 hands I'd say, but she out moved Tennessee Walkers when I was holding her to a walk!!

I remember when I first got her, I tried to ride her in a hackamore which is a bridle without a bit, the control is supposed to come via a curb chain that runs under the sensitive jaw. it was like riding a hot rod without brakes!! Riding horses is something best learned I think when one is young. Ember was my second horse and I was probably about 30 and a very beginning rider. After seeing the hackamore wasn't going to cut it I tried a nice thick jointed snaffle bit. I didn't want to hurt her mouth and I knew I did not have "light hands". She ran through the snaffle too. She really did not like to be behind any other horse and she would charge ahead without control. This is not acceptable behavior!!! She also gained the bad habit of doing the occasional Hi Ho Silver rear in which I am sure we were silohuetted against the sky very dramatically. I added the western version of a martingale to her tack and changed the snaffle to a low port curb bit, still thick, and on that we more or less agreed.

On the first day of that 3 day trail ride, I discovered we were going to be up with the leaders. Myfriends' mounts were all much more....relaxed. so I was not with them. I heard a call that there was a rider down. It was one of the founders of the ride, who was pretty ancient. It was thought he'd had a heart attack so they had called in life flight and were stopping the ride until he could be evacuated. I rode Ember over near a little group of pine trees, feeling sure that the helicopter would not come anywhere near us and not wanting to dismount because mounting was problematic for me. She seemed glad of the rest and very calm. I heard the helicopter approaching and it was noisy so I was glad I'd chosen the place I had. Even riding Ember down the streets of Norco could be much more exciting than I planned if a trash truck or mini bike happened by. She had a most distressing habit of leaping directly sideways right TOWARDS whatever it was that she feared. Then it seemed she would come to her senses, she wasn't a bolter thank God. But that initial leap could be terrifying. And I broke many a nail when I had no idea something was about to scare her. Anyway, the noise of the helicopter was increasing dreadfully and I realized with horror it was going to land very near us. It was almost directly overhead!! I sat there expecting the plunging to begin and not for the first time, nor the last Ember surpised me by standing stock still...like helicopters hovered over her every day. It was very amusing. I was so glad! That night I walked her to a river and let her splash a good long time. She LOVED that, to stand in a stream and paw the water up onto her body. You could almost see her glee.

Only once on that ride did she get mad at me, and she whirled in circles till I went flying off her back landing with a suprised "oof!" It was the only time she ever threw me, on purpose. But there was another time where we were on a high scary ridge that was pretty narrow and steep and we had paused at the top to take in the view. Ember was perfectly calm but I felt the saddle slipping sideways and before I knew it I was rolling down amongst the rocks and thorns. Several people leapt from their horses to assist me and there was Ember, standing there looking at me with I swear, a mix of scorn, "I didn't do it" and surprise. I reset her saddle and tightened the cinches and was assisted back aboard and we proceeded quickly, much to my gratitude.

That ride had so many good memories for me! At night you'd secure your horses after feeding them and rubbing them down and come to a chuck wagon dinner at a big bonfire where they had a band play music into the night.

My friend Dean had rigged a shower in his horse trailer just for me, a kind gesture I will never forget.

Likely I will tell more about my horses and about that ride, but this is long enough for now.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Could I Be An Entrepreneur?

I have really been agonizing over going back into the workforce. There is a need for me to to bring in income. It is as stark and as real as anything is, but I have had an overwhelming and nearly incapacitating resistance to working for anyone or being subject to anyone's (mis)management ever again. My last employment was horrifically scarring to me. So, I've been almost in panic mode, wondering if I can make myself suitable to provide good service to someone and be treated reasonably well while making enough money to live on. It seems to be a simple enough proposition, but it hasn't worked out so simply.

Bruce, as I have said before, is being enormously patient. And I appreciate that so much. I think he understands the problems I am going through. He is encouraging me to feel better, to get happier and to do some things around the house. I've even been dragging my heels on that. I think the feeling is akin to, "Well, if I can put myself together enough to get household tasks accomplished then I should be good to go for getting a job. But I'm not, so Wahhhhhh I'm broken and I'm just going to drift in that for awhile." But this is truly an unproductive and self defeating thought. So I am also spending much time being disgusted with myself. 

Today my friend Marilyn texted and asked if I would like to go out on a couple of fun excursions. Marilyn and Debbie have been like the voice of Bambi's father ("Get UP Bambi") and I try to get out with them as much as I can. So I said yes. I even put on make up! Marilyn wanted to see a little business I've also noticed that was created from a renovated house on the main drag of Santa Clara. It's a brick bungalow (I love bungalows) and it is extremely tastefully done. It is so neat and well kept looking and the landscaping includes a lot of rock of different shades and textures. I was impressed with the feel of the place. The offerings are ornamental, and very nice. I was wishing I had some income to dispose of while I was wandering around. The place is called The Garden Sprout. The owner came to ask us if we needed any help. He was attentive but not pushy, and I sincerely complimented him on the spacious, peaceful feeling of the place. You could tell the degree of care he has put into his business. I was thinking, it would be nice to have that level of quality in something I could do.

We went to another business. It had some nice offerings but the quality of spirit was not nearly as serenely detailed. We went on to Best Buys (where I didn't even dare look around much) and then Jimmy John's for lunch. I love their sandwiches.

On the way home I had an idea I have toyed with previously. I thought I might look into starting an errand running business. I have a car. I have a cell phone. I have time. There are many elderly people in town who may like having errands run for them. Some may be unable to drive but have a need to go out. There's a business in town that I have LONG wished I had thought up. It is called Mobile Waiter http://www.mblwaiter.com/. I've watched this business and used this business (quite happily) and it is adding features that I like a lot. It reminded me that being innovative and looking for the niches where I might be able to successfully fit in will be a challenge.

 Marilyn suggested a good service, which would be to be a companion to people who are in assisted living facilities. She suggested that it would be good to offer to just spend time with people who don't have family in town and might enjoy being read to, or playing a game or just chatting awhile. She also suggested simple massage, like hand massage, which would give them physical touch. I like that idea.

So right now I am beginning to investigate what I might do in this area. I'm looking at websites, starting with this one http://www.homebusinesscenter.com/how_to_start/tasks.html and trying to organize my thoughts about how to proceed. I would really like this to work!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


My thoughts today have been like a river; some quiet eddies, some tumultuous racing swifts, but there has been a theme to the thoughts and that is, "What do I value?".

I know I value certain key relationships in my life. I truly hope those people know who they are. This includes the animals in my life, who are very important to me.

 I value the fact that I am approachable to people and people are willing to confide in me. If I have a "purpose" in life I think it may just be to be a friend.

I value that my mind is fairly open and my heart is fairly soft.

I value my computer and the connections it allows me to make to the world.

I value beauty and learning.

I value freedom to be myself.

I value free time.

I was thinking about how I can modify my life to live closer to my values. Not many concrete plans came to mind for this, but I think it's important just to consider the idea and to be aware of how I feel about the activities I engage in.

Bruce came to talk to me this afternoon. For the past 16 months he has been very keenly desirous of a truer path. He wants to know and live by what is lasting and meaningful in life. He is doing things that are really working well for him. Today, he said he feels a need to be more silent and still, and that he wanted me to know what is going on. I support his needs in this.

He said he still needs to act in the world and do what it takes to make a living. I felt a twinge of guilt there because right now I know I am a millstone. Yesterday he said he is willing to try to support us, and that really meant a lot to me. But that would be difficult and maybe not even possible. I do feel very broken and burnt out at the moment. I am sick nearly every day, sometimes for big portions of the day. And I am very tired. But today's trip just to the grocery store tells me I better find a way to make a financial contribution to our home, like it or not.

So, what am I good at that will be of value to others enough that I can do this?

That's likely going to be the subject of my thoughts for awhile.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Apple Tree

I live in a house that my grandmother had built for her retirement. It's on "The Heights" of Santa Clara, and when she moved here there were spectacular vistas. There are still good views, but the neighborhood is now very suburban. My grandmother was interested in, and adept at, many things. One of her primary interests was gardening. She was a master gardener. I actually helped plant her orchard of trees. When I moved here after her death, some had been uprooted for the construction of her Sunroom / Spa room and some had fallen. A HUGE pine fell and broke the peach tree. That peach tree was one of the pleasures of my life. It had THE best peaches I've ever eaten. I used to go out when they were sunwarm and ripe and gather a bunch into my t-shirt while I bit into another as I walked. The sweet peach juice would run down my chin and the taste would explode in my mouth. Best peaches ever! There is a shoot from the stump of the peach tree that I have been cultivating for several years. It bears little peaches but I haven't tried them yet. I'm hoping this will become a full fledged tree. There was also an apple tree, and that tree was my especial friend. When I moved here I was a bit in shock from personal losses and a big (subsequently deemed "bad") decision to quit my job with AT&T for whom I had worked for 22 years. I used to go into the back yard in a robe, lay out a nice thick sleeping bag and a pillow, take off the robe (I had no neighbors in back at the time, the ones on the sides did not seem to come out much and the robe was right there if I heard a sound. ) and just lie under the shifting shade and multitudinous colors of green from the leaves of the apple tree. The earth here is very fine soft red dirt, and it felt good between my toes. The slightest breeze was wonderfully refreshing on my skin. I would stay out there for long stretches enjoying the birds and the pretty light, watching ants go about their business and thinking. It regrounded me. I came to call that tree Dr Apple Tree, and it was far kinder and more deeply healing than any human physician has ever been. It was a beautiful tree when it blossomed! And the smell of the ripe apples could wake me up with a watering mouth. The apples were good too and I had wonderful memories of my grandma's homemade applesauce. Unforunately, my friend the apple tree became sick and we could not save her. So Bruce cut her down when she died and we used her wood for lovely warming fires. I miss that tree!

Trees are important in my life. I feel there have been some that were really good friends of mine. The first major one was special to my brother and me. We named it Toenail because a root looked just like a big toe, complete with nail. Toenail  was a huge pine who lived in the mountains in Crestline Ca on the property of the cabin my family rented for years. Even after the cabin was sold and we no longer went there as a family, my brother and I would occasionally go to see Toenail. The last time I went, on the way home from my brother's dying, I looked and Toenail was gone. I did not think I could be sadder at that time, but I found that I was wrong. Another tree I loved was a big stately pepper tree that grew across the street from my house in Norco. That was a beautiful tree and I liked to sit out front on the porch swing catching the famous 3 o'clock breeze and commune with that tree. The plum tree and the lemon tree at my house were very generous and good, but I didn't love them the way I did that pepper tree.

Sitting near a tree or near a waterfall (like the one in the picture David took at the top of this journal) have always made me feel more alive and calmer at the same time. If there is a waterfall, the mist from it is so refreshing and the tumble of the water is like a song to me. My favorite waterfall, I think, is the Upper Provo Falls. I have many good memories from that place.

My love extends to even fictional trees and I am thinking now of a romance written by a local luthier. It is called The Two Trees and the luthier's name is Kevin Lee Luthier. I've heard him speak a couple of  times and what a fascinating life he has led! He makes the most expensive violins, violas and cellos of any living maker and he mines the ores, makes the paper for the labels even raises the purebred Arabians who provide the hair for the bowstrings! He is a very interesting speaker and does a great impression of Paganinni. The Two Trees in the story are visited by young friends who grow to love one another sitting each under a respective tree, sole to sole as it were. Trees are good for quickening the better impulses.And for the laying down of roots.

So, when I have thoughts I'd like to share with you, I invoke the spirit of Dr Apple Tree who lives on in my heart and I hope that what I write comes from the deep natural heart of me. And speaks to the deep natural heart of you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How I Blew Up A Gas Station

This happened in, I think, 1998, so it's an old story, but I was recently asked to retell it and so I thought I would include it in my journal for all you folks who think YOU have done the stupidest thing you've ever heard of.

When my grandmother died relatives from all over came to her house. I saw relatives I hadn't seen in YEARS, some maybe ever. It was very nice to see them all, but that after death division of property depresses me and so, after a few days, I... decided it was time for me to go home.

At the time my car was a a Suzuki Samurai Sheri and Owen Hogle gave me. It had a soft top and I had to duct tape it back on every couple hundred miles. It was quite the little ceremony. Anyway, I got in Suzuki Q and headed for the Chevron station right at the bottom of the hill to get some gas and duct tape. I was looking forward to getting back to Salt Lake and thinking about all the relatives and memories... I put the gas hose in the car and ran into the store to get the duct tape while the gas pumped. Trying to be considerate, since it was a small station, I hopped in the car and moved it up so if someone came they could use the pump.

Well, I felt a tug on the car and heard a noise, hopped back out and to my horror the gas hose was still attached to my CAR but not to the pump and gas was spilling all over the place. I ran to the pump to try to turn it off but it didn't stop the flow, so I pulled my car up further and then ran into the store to tell them to turn it off. I will never forget the guy at the counter. He was a large Polynesian looking man in a very florid hawaiian shirt. And as I was telling him I heard this terribler FPOOMP! and all the sudden the pumps were engulfed in flame! The Polynesian guy was telling everyone to exit the building and no one was moving because the fire was out there and I, at least, was thinking of the underground tanks.

I was completely numb. Could not believe this was happening, or that I had caused it. I thought we were all going to die. Then I heard sirens as every emergency vehicle in the whole county began arriving. And the local high school is within walking distance and so we were graced with the presence of every single ambulatory teenager in the area.

Then I heard that someone had been hurt. I don't remember anyone being at the other pump when I went in but apparently a lady in a van was. And she was hurt! They brought her in and I was horrified at myself to think of old Laurel and Hardy films where Stan tried baking and found himself covered with white flour, all his hair sticking up and blinking in that way he had.

I later found out that she had been burnt on the hand and was at the hospital for like half an hour but I sure didn't know that then and I was feeling terrible...and grateful and shocked and many more things. As they took the lady away by ambulance I filtered out the door along with everyone else because they had the fire out. The overhead to the pumps was completely melted. it was a disaster. I was humbly grateful to be alive. People were milling about and murmuring and every once in awhile someone would point at me (I remember I was wearing a pink t-shirt) Eventually an older police officer came over to me and asked me what had happened and I told him, as best I could. I remember he said, "Well, you're not under arrest.......... yet" That rather echoed in my mind and more than anything else I wanted my mommy. Well, she was right up the road! What a blessing! So, I call the house and of course someone else answers and I must have blurted out that I had just blown up a gas station and needed to talk with my mom. They brought her to the phone and in less than 5 minutes there she was! Along with various other relatives in attendence that I TRULY wished didn't know were related to such an imbecile.

I called my insurance agent and told them what had happened. And then I just waited. For a long time. Eventually the crowd filtered away and the cop never came back to me, so I assumed I was free to go. I taped up Suzuki Q, said goodbye to my mom and very tenuously started driving the long miles home. It's not a short trip so I had plenty of time to think about everything that had transpired.

I got to my door, which I was VERY glad to see and Miles and Ilona (his little daughter) were sitting there on my good ol familiar burnt orange couch watching tv. I must have looked awful. I started telling Miles the story, and all these looks were passing over his face (and if you remember Miles his expressions were not all that easily readable) At about the time I was describing Stan Laurel he burst out laughing, and so did I (but I was disgusted with myself for it until the laughter just washed it all away).

My insurance company paid the lady $30,000. I have no idea what the gas station paid her (there was supposed to be an emergency shut off valve and apparently it didn't work) Later I got a letter from a lawyer stating that she wanted to sue me for $500,000. I thought, "Wow, good luck with that." I took the letter to my insurance company and I don't know what happened about it further, but it never affected me again. I still think about the lady though.

As I told this story to my friends, I always advised them to always check the hose. I check it multiple times nowadays. Once was awful. Twice would be just too terrible for words. Many tell me they look and think of what happened to me. My friend Debbie switched to Farmer's when she learned they did not raise my insurance rate after the accident.

The next time Miles and I went to St George, Miles rolled down the window as we passed that station and called out "She's baaaackkkk"

Formatting This Blog Should Be Easier!!!!!

I'm frustrated trying to create a look for this new blog. For instance, NO ONE'S face, and certainly not mine, needs to be as big as the picture is on my heading! And, not only can I not figure out how to shrink it, I also cannot figure how how to remove it... so, until inspiration hits or a wiser, html adept person takes pity on me, I seem to be stuck with this format. I don't like it!!! Not at all!!! I think the body of the posts should be more up and center and I truly prefer my blog list, profile information and other "goodies" to be on the side.

Mutter mutter, cuss cuss!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Moving In...

I have very much missed having a public journal. I thought about editing my previous journal to remove information that identified people who preferred not to be identified, and while I would have liked to preserve the history of some of those posts I decided to just start afresh with this journal.

I've quit my job, which had become extremely stressful and of such a negative tenor that I am still suffering health problems and attitudinal problems that necessitated the change. But quitting the job lost, or modified, many relationships that I deeply valued as well as ridding myself of circumstances that I deemed too toxic to allow to continue.

And now there is the scary question of "What's next?"

I just wanted to put a little background on here today and get this journal going. I obviously need to spend some time modifying the look of it! But probably not today.

Anyway, if you happen upon this journal in your internet wanderings and we spent some time together, I am looking forward to the exchange.