Archive for the ‘stories’ Category

A wise chew…

I was not in the nieghbor's garbage Mom!I knew I didn’t have much time left when I spotted it on her sparkling clean desk.  A pen was lying on top of it.  I’d seen her use it many times crossing off things she thought she needed to do.

As soon as she left, I’d inspected the place.  I had to search more than usual after all those hours she spent cleaning, but there were still a few things I could chew. 

There were some shoes, one of which smelled pretty good and a tennis ball that I had hidden under the sofa months earlier.

It had to be something different this time.  Something that would definitely make her stop and think. 

She had worked and worked and worked.  I had waited and waited and waited!

I put my front legs on the chair and swept the list off the table with my muzzle.  Perfect!

I thought for a second, maybe two, was it going to be a good chew?  How would I know if I didn’t try?

More importantly than a good chew, I had to save my human mistress from a time warp of never-ending indoor chores!

I would have to choose my chew wisely.  I can get away with just about anything.   She loves me a whole bunch! 

As far as things to chew, it was rather tasteless and boring, but that didn’t stop me.

I chewed the paper into as many pieces as possible.  I spit out the remains, which created a tidy, but easily visible thick pile on the floor.

I didn’t have time to jump up in my chair when I heard the car pulling into the driveway.  I lied down, pretending to be asleep.

She opened the door carrying as many groceries as she could.  She was always doing more than she should.  She put the bags on the counter and shut the door.

“Hi Free! I’m finally home,” she said.

I didn’t move. I waited.

“What are you doing lying there like that?” she asked.  She put away the groceries.  Normally, I would have greeted her at the door.

She walked over to check on me.  She looked around to see if I had damaged anything.  I’ve had to in the past to get her attention, but not in a long time and only as a last resort.

Finally, she spotted my work.  She picked up a few pieces of the paper.  What had been words were now little blotches of ink.

She looked perplexed.  She glanced at her tidy little desk and then back to the floor.  Leaning over, she inspected the small pieces of paper again.

She’s a little slow, but she soon realized that it was true.

Of all the things to chew, it was her list if things to do!

I saw a glitter in her eyes.  She gave me a great hug and started laughing.

Right away she grabbed my collar and even though I’m Free, she put me on a leash.

She says this protects me from the Momma bear who recently became our neighbor.  I’m not afraid of bears like she is, but I admit my powerlessness over my highly sensitive olfaction, as well as my penchant for stealing neighbor-dog toys.

“You’re a funny dog Free,” she said as we set out for our walk to the grassy meadow where I graze and she relaxes on the wide flat rock with a view of the sunset.  “I sure do love you,” she tells me in a way that makes me know I did the right thing.

I am Free.  I’m teaching my human mistress to be a little more like me.

In Memory of Free. “A happy dog” she was always called.

She Lived and Loved from 1993—2006, Forever in my heart and memories.

Taken from my journal, Lessons from Free, May 8, 2006.

Thanks for visiting Dogkisses’s blog!

MEMETASTIC BLOG AWARD

I was recently given the MeMetastic blog award!  This award is a fun guessing game for my readers.  Read on…

A fun guessing game for readers!

The award was given to me from Deb, at DorkyDeb.com.

THANKS DEB!  I think 🙂

Once you receive the award you must do a few things:

  • You must proudly display the award in a post.
  • You must list 5 things about yourself and 4 of the 5 must be BOLD FACE LIES.
    (your readers must guess which one is the truth)
  • And you must then pass this prestigious award on, to 5 deserving bloggers.

Below are my five stories.  The five blogs I chose are listed at the bottom of the page.

Remember, only one story is the whole truth!

1) I was confined to a wheel chair, as a result of a childhood bone disease when I was a toddler.  The doctors told my mother I might never walk again.  I hated that chair!  My brother, who is ten years older than I am, used to take me and my little chair on wheels to the top of our steep road, which was deep in the mountains.   My two older sisters would stand at the top of the road, holding my chair, with me in it of course, until my brother made it to the bottom.  He would count to some number, which was their clue to let me go.  I would fly down that mountain in my little chair!  It was great fun!  The best I can remember, my brother always caught me.  My mother didn’t mind this game.  I wasn’t happy the day I put my foot on the floor and was able to walk again because I had to give up my little flying chair.

2) When I was fifteen I skipped school one day.  It was the first time I had ever done anything like that.  In fact, I never broke rules.  I was always trying to be the perfect student.  Anyway, it was raining that day.  I was driving my boyfriend’s truck.  My brother saw the truck.  He began chasing it because he didn’t like my boyfriend.  The road was curvy, but lucky for us, I had learned to drive several years earlier.  I was wearing a pair of, “Candies,” which was a style of high heel shoes popular in the ’70’s.  The heel got caught under the gas pedal.  We both wrecked.  I drove straight into a brick building at 80 mph.  My brother’s car slid into the building too.  The truck I was driving only had a small dent in the corner and I didn’t have a scratch on me.  My boyfriend had serious cuts and bruises.  My brother had to have nine stitches and it totaled his car.   I realized my brother must have done that out of love, so I stopped dating the guy and never saw him again.

3) I have an authentic Mile High Club button, which I had a great time earning.  A professor at a college I attended was also a pilot and ask me if I wanted to go flying.  Sure I told him.   He told me how he had always wanted the button, but never knew a woman brave enough to help him earn it.  I was young and daring!  In order to get the button and become a member of this club, we had to put the airplane in the hanger a mile high in the air, which we did, but not without turbulence.  The plane nose-dived.  I wasn’t the least bit afraid.  I thought it was great fun!  Shortly afterward we were flying normally again.  The professor, whom I obviously had great confidence in, couldn’t believe I didn’t get scared.  “I trusted you knew what you were doing,” I told him.  “I do, but I lost control of the plane.  We nosed-dived!”  he exclaimed.  “We did what?” I asked him.  “We are very lucky,” he added.

4) I love Comic Sans, Oprah and Dr. Phil!

5) I got caught speeding when I was 20 years old.  I had driven my dad’s car to a city an hour away.  It was raining hard and I had decided to see how fast I could make it back home.  I pulled over when I saw the blue lights, rolled down the window about two inches, just enough so I could talk to the officer without getting wet.  The officer asked if I’d been drinking.  I told him all about the wonderful drinks I’d enjoyed earlier.  He said he clocked me at 124 mph.  He and four other officers had chased me for five miles.  I laughed and told him that wasn’t a very long time at that speed.  I went to jail, lost my license and my father didn’t speak to me for a several months.  I learned some important lessons and never drove like that again.

Which story do you think is entirely true?

The Five blogs I chose as recipients!

Seeking Equilibrium

Jessie causing a calamity

Autoimmunemaven’s blog

planetjan

licoriceroot

You can visit the MeMetastic Hop to add your name to the list of recipients of this fantastic award.

I’ve heard that I’ll be hunted down by the creator of this award, pronounced meem-tastic, if I do not correctly follow the instructions.  I’m scared!

I hope you enjoyed my stories.  I also hope you will leave a guess in the comments, as to which one you believe is the whole truth!

Thanks for visiting Dogkisses’s blog!

Michelle.

When the truth doesn’t matter

my dad had the best story to tell

home

There was a chest in the corner of the upstairs second bedroom, which is where the photo of the pretty woman from France was.  The bedroom was a holograph of the past.  Nobody slept there anymore and the same crocheted quilt with big colorful flowers on it seemed to have always decorated the bed.

Once in a while, with enough pestering from me, either my grandmother or dad would go up stairs with me where we would sit together on the bed beside the wooden chest.  They would open it and let me choose an item for a story.   Stories that I never tired of.   Stories that connected me to them and us to our ancestors.

My grandmother had lost a daughter to cancer and the room held the memories of her in framed pictures, her jewelry and pieces of her favorite clothes hanging in open view from hooks on the old wooden walls.

One story I liked for my dad to tell me was about how I was named.

“Let me see the woman from France,” I would ask my dad.  He would let me hold the picture, while he told me the story.

“She was beautiful,” he would say.

He would start with talking about being in the Army.  He was a cook and sometimes I think he wanted more interesting stories than he had actually lived.

“Her name was Mechelle,” he would say, trying to make it sound French, which I loved.

“I gave you a beautiful name because you’re a beautiful girl,” he told me.  I was happy he thought I was beautiful.  This was back in the day before we stopped talking to girls about their looks and instead started telling them their smart, which I think is a good progression.  At the same time, I don’t think I was damaged by my father’s innocent compliments.

Of course I asked him once if he loved her and if he thought she was more beautiful than my mother.  He nearly cried.  He cried easily.  I’m a lot like him.

“Oh no,” he said with great emotion.   “Your mother is the only woman I’ve ever loved and the most beautiful woman in the world.”  I believed him and I still do.

“I knew her before I married your mother,” he would remind me.

“Did you ever kiss her?” I remember asking him.  He would smile, as if he was a ladies man and say jokingly, “Maybe once.  The women couldn’t say no to me when I was in uniform.”

I never believed he kissed her and I’m sure that’s exactly how he wanted it.

My mom recently told me that my dad made up this story about the woman in France and about naming me.

“But what about the picture?” I asked her.

“There ain’t no tellin’ where he got that from,” she said.  “He could have picked that up at the dime store,” she added.

I don’t think so!

I knew, even as I believed my dad loved only my mother, that this photo was important to him.

My mother tells me that I was, “supposed to have been a boy and was already named Michael.”   She had been a little too sure of herself.

She said her reason for naming me Michelle is that it was easy to change the name Michael.  A very boring reason right?

I’m going to stick to my dad’s story, which also included telling me he always knew I would be a girl, which is exactly what he wanted.

And did he sing the Beatles to me?  You bet he did!

In loving memory of my dad and his stories of adventure, real or imagined.

The Elusive Fence

“Everything God creates is good, and God made sex, so therefore, sex, when done well, is divine.” Amy Wolf

“I’m a FenceSitter,” I told him, as I was finishing, rather nervously, my third glass of water. Our eyes met but I’m not so quick when it comes to what I suspect is fairly easily discernible to most folks.  I’m usually the last person in a group, besides one of my sisters, to get a joke.  People’s witty remarks come slowly to me.  I think way too much.  Our conversation continued without my having taken note of an elusive imploring look in his eyes.

“What do you mean?” he asked as he sat there,  seemingly content and happy in one of the handmade chair-stools at the large wooden table in his kitchen.

“Sometimes I don’t know what to do,” and I told him a little about what being a FenceSitter means to me.  I also told him the story behind the wonderful image.  He still hadn’t said anything as to the irony of what I was describing to him.

He grabbed another beer.  “Just do whatever you want to do,” he said with an ease of mind that may accompany a carefree lifestyle with minimal responsibilities.

I needed to decide, I thought.  In reality, I’d already decided on what I was going to do with my evening.  The navy blue shirt he was still pulling over his head when I opened my door felt like a sudden hard rain that comes while you’re driving,  causing you to pull over to the side and wait.

“I guess I don’t know what I want,” I responded.  I looked at the drawings on the large table, along with initials and short sentences.  I imagined the people who had sat there most likely inspired by alcohol, the main source of which being Pabst Blue Ribbon and much of the time, Johnny Cash’s music.

“Well, that’s no good.  Let me get you another glass of water,” he said.   His apartment was quieter than usual for a weekend.  He said his roommate was gone.  I asked if he had plans for the evening.

“Nope,” he said, without any hint about what he might like to do or wished he could do, which was a part of my acute but temporary dilemma.  Another part was that when I’d sat down at his table and told him I was on my way out for the evening, he’d said, “You look nice.”  I’d never seen the look on his face that I saw in that moment.   His eyes had only traveled from my hair and face to the crisscrossed straps of my summer dress.  “Very nice,”  he politely added.  He reminded me of a cowboy in an old western movie when he nodded his head in a slight way giving me the impression that his compliment was genuine.   I needed more water.

“I can’t believe I’m this age,” I finally said, as I finished another glass of water with about twenty more minutes behind me.

He smiled.  “Are you saying making decisions doesn’t get any easier when you get older?” he asked.

“Exactly,” I said.  I was no longer sitting but had stood up, taking hold of my handbag and keys, even though it didn’t change the way I felt.   “I mean it ought to be easier by now.  I should know what I want.”  I realized that making decisions were much easier for me when I was younger.  I don’t know when things changed.  I guess when I got sick.

I do know one thing I want and that is to feel good.  I’m tired of being sick and damn tired of pain.  I’m really really tired of it.  I’m tired of feeling like life is passing me by because I’m too weak and fatigued to do the things I wish I could do.  I’m also tired of being indecisive and unsure of myself — sort of unfamiliar in my skin.

“Sometimes being a FenceSitter is hard,” I told him.  Time was passing quickly and I was counting every minute by the clock on his stove.

“Right now you’re sitting at a fence,” he said.   He’d told me earlier that he had built the table out of fence posts.  “How does that feel?” he asked with a  smile on his face.

I finally got it!  My new acquaintance is a FenceBuilder and I was sitting at the FenceTable talking about being a FenceSitter!. I laughed, but only slightly.  I was a little embarrassed that I hadn’t gotten this already.  I was also a bit taken by the irony.

“It feels pretty good,” I responded, and it did, except for my decision-making dilemma that I was creating on my own.  Nature had indeed slowed me down, but things had cleared enough so that I could have moved on towards my original destination.   Instead, I drank more water.  There were many things going on in my mind at once.

My age, being sick all the time, feeling like I’d lost so much time to grief, and last year, to an emotional trauma.  I wanted to live but that was why I’d made an earlier engagement.

“Help me out here,” I asked the FenceBuilder.   “I’m really too tired to drive,” I remarked.  I was sick.  It was true.  In fact, I was barely getting around but felt I’d go crazy if I didn’t get out and away from my home for a while.  I’d been in the bed most of the day with nausea and fatigue.  It had been a bad day.

“Ahh, you’re not too sick,” he responded, and he smiled.  He didn’t believe me.  I could tell.  I saw no use in trying to explain what fibromyalgia or CFS is like.  I did make an attempt at what felt like defending myself.

“I woke up sick.  I really don’t feel good.”

“Then why did you make a plan to go out?”

People don’t understand chronic sickness, surely not when they can’t see it, and even more surely, when the sick person is freshly showered and dressed up a little.  Looking good and being sick don’t mix well in the minds of those who’ve never experienced an everyday battle with illness.

“I just wanted to get out for a while,” I said.  We talked more and I drank more water.  I didn’t know what to make of the feelings I was having.  I wanted to keep my plans, kind of.  I think I wanted my cake and to eat it too, but I wasn’t sure that was the only dynamic happening.  I felt like if I was continuing to sit there with this man, that possibly that was exactly what I really wanted to do.

I honestly didn’t feel like driving by that time and quickly approaching was guilt about getting sidetracked, even if Mother Nature did have a little something to do with it.  The rest was up to me, like keeping my agreements with people, which is important to me.

As the minutes passed we continued enjoying each others company.  I told him the story of me having had two tick-borne illnesses.  I told him I’d been struck with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after the second one, which was Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever that had lasted over a month before a doctor finally prescribed medication.  “I lost a lot of weight,” I said.  “I barely weighed a hundred pounds.”

“Well you can’t weigh too much more than that now,” he remarked. I realized he was right.  “I carry more than that around on both my shoulders every day,” and he laughed.

Mother Nature again!  I had a hot flash.  He got me another glass of water.  Now I was thinking about his arms and shoulders.  There had been many times I’d seen him arriving home in the heat after a long day of work without his shirt on.  Sometimes I’d wondered if it had been for my benefit but I always brushed it off.  I did however flirt with the young man.

Men flirt with younger women all the time.  Men date younger women all the time.   I’ve never flirted much, but I feel like time isn’t necessarily on my side.  If I’m ever going to know what it feels like to flirt, then I figure I better get to it, so I have, a couple of times.  It felt safe and I must admit, it was fun.  I had no clue that the FenceBuilder might feel the same way I was feeling when I’d seen him cleaning out his truck or meandering around in his yard without his shirt on.  Well, maybe I did have some clues.

I was trying to get more clues by the fourth or fifth glass of water I drank while I sat at the fence-table.  “Well, now I have more things to think about in making my decision, or rather, changing a decision at the last moment,” I said followed by a deep breath I felt like I needed.

“Like what?” he asked, seemingly naive but now, I realize, he most certainly was not.

“Well,  imagining you slinging around hundreds of pounds on your shoulders doesn’t help matters.”

He smiled.  I excused myself.  I needed fresh air.  I had to think about canceling my plans.  I felt pretty bad about it but time had gotten away from me and I guess, I simply couldn’t walk away from the desire to go back to see the FenceBuilder.

I made a phone call changing my plans.  I made a brief trip home discovering a plate of fresh pasta with herbs and chicken in my refrigerator.  A neighbor had cooked it for me and left it while I had been out.  I was starving.  I ate it immediately.  I felt better.  I thought I’d made the right decision.

Arriving back at the FenceTable I accepted a beer, which is pretty unusual for me, but I had a feeling the rest of the evening would be an unusual experience.

I think the FenceBuilder may have used my pain to get closer to my body, but I’m not going to hold it against him.  “Does your shoulders or back hurt?” he asked.

“My entire body hurts when it hurts,” I responded and quickly added, “although it does settle in my shoulders.”

“Would you like a massage?”

I never say yes to this!  “Yes, I would,” I said.

Stress had filled several consecutive days.  Financial worries had been making me nauseated but also disturbing me were my deep concerns about my son.

He has an ACT team who doesn’t do shit and this makes me mad, and stressed!  I am a mother — not a social worker, a doctor, a therapist, a money manager, which are all treatment services the ACT team claims to be providing for my son.  I’ve been doing their job for the best of a year.

After massaging my shoulders,  he casually sat back down in his chair.  Smiling he asked me what I wanted as he opened another beer.

I didn’t think much about my stress for the next twenty-four hours, other than I might pay a price in fatigue and pain.  Much fun was had.  There was nothing confusing about that.

As I write, still fatigued, I’m reminded of my wonderful meeting with a Morgan horse named Candy.  I knew I’d pay a price in pain for the fun lesson I had with her.   My body feels about the same today as it did two days after my lesson with her and I learned some things too.

Riding a horse gives me joy for several weeks afterward.  Horses are good medicine for depression.  I had great fun with the FenceBuilder, but unlike my time riding horses in which I always feel an emotional connection, I was left with somewhat of a wanting feeling.

Something was missing.  I realized it was in my heart.

I missed my best friend who is on another vacation.   I longed for his company all day.  I longed for a feeling of being connected.  I took my younger dog for an early evening walk to a nearby natural butterfly garden.

I thought about how I was feeling.  Embrace this wanting I feel. Know it and feel it. So I did.  It was not such an easy feeling to sit with.

Returning home I snuggled up close to my canine companions.  They are my best friends.  Their sweet eyes revealed their loyalty and love.  I rubbed their soft fur.

Lying in my living room, brightened only by a colorful hanging lamp I recently installed, I saw the light flickering on my cell phone.  My dear friend had sent me a wonderful long text message, which he’d never done before.  He usually emails from his trips away.  His text felt more intimate than the emails.  He shared interesting little details of his trip.  Little things that made such a huge impact on me.  This soothed some the wanting in my heart.

I realized as I embraced the feeling, that I have some really good people in my life.  People who understand I live with pain and sickness.  Not dozens of people, but a few, which is enough.  I was reminded of how much I love these friends.

I learned too that part of why I enjoy riding horses is that they sense how I feel and this is a wonderful connection.   I actually communicated on an emotional level much more with the Morgan, Candy, than I did with the handsome FenceBuilder.

I learned too that FenceBuilders are indeed strong.  I have no doubt in my mind that the man can carry two or three times my weight over his shoulders.

As to being a FenceSitter, well, maybe the years ahead of me will change this some, maybe.  For a short time I was free, like butterflies on a sunny summer day.  As to my decision to return to the handsome FenceBuilder’s FenceTable, accepting a shoulder massage, which I had strongly suspected would lead to more, I have no regrets.



Romance, after the Narcissist

Milano, Italy

Image via Wikipedia

“I can give you a better kiss than the one I gave you before,” he said, flirting with me over the phone.  Our lips had touched gently and briefly as a parting gesture the week before.

“You can,” I responded.  It was partly a question and a little flirting back.

“You bet I can,” he said and that was pretty much it for me.   His confidence gave me butterflies and weakened my knees a bit.   I was shaving my legs within the hour, so I knew.

I was also using some lovely citrus body scrub, along with Neutrogena’s Sesame oil, both products having been gifts from the narcissist I had a relationship with, if you call what we had a relationship.  I had one, but I have no clue what he had other than a private little party in his mind.

I was glad to be using these products again.  I’ve used the sesame oil since I first discovered it in the early 1980’s, but love has a way of pinning itself to little things in a romance.

The place you first made-love or food that you enjoyed together remind you of what is gone when the romance is over.  The bottle of sesame oil had worked its way into my memories and this is something I love about writing.  Just now as I type, I realize that the narcissist never knew how to make use of his gift.  He knew how to give gifts but he did not know about sweet romance.  If he had known, the body of sesame oil would have been empty a long time ago.

Maybe the most difficult part of letting go and moving on after ending a romantic relationship are the reminders that come when you attempt to be sexual with a new partner, even something as slight as flirting can cause you to remember.  Plus, the aftermath of a relationship with a narcissist carries unique problems.  Many people are severely mentally and emotionally traumatized by the experience.  I was.

I mentioned to a couple I know that I was ready to date evoking instant match-making ideas in the woman.

I liked their friend the first time I met him and we later had an evening alone together, the time of which was fun and easy.  He was confident but didn’t seem arrogant.  When he said he could give me a better kiss I thought well, he sounds like a man who knows what he has to offer and it sounded alright with me.

Do I trust my radar?  No.  Not now.  I don’t yet trust any feelings of attraction .  A relationship with a severe narcissist left me with a large dose of cautiousness about people’s intentions or sincerity that I’ve never known before.

I refuse to stop living though.  I’m too young to give up on love or romance.  I think anyone living is too young.  Plus, its Spring and what a wonderful time to be like the French and take a new lover.   I either read that in a book once or saw it in a movie where a French woman said, “I’ll think I’ll take a lover for the Spring.”

This is what I was thinking about as I poured oil on my legs and then used a nice lotion afterward.

I did contemplate my actions.  At least the man is honest about his wish to, “give me a better kiss,” I thought, but there are conflicting feelings.  We don’t seem to have that much in common.   He doesn’t have a dog.  I must admit I wonder about people who don’t have dogs.  As I rubbed the lotion on my legs I thought hey, I’m not trying to mate for life here.  I’m not a bird.  I’m only human.

I thought about being in my forties.  I remembered a wonderful psychiatric nurse I once met.  She was an intelligent woman who had traveled the world in her forties.  I was struggling with the aftermath of an unhealthy relationship then too.  I’ve met two severe narcissists in my life.  I loved both of them and I ended both relationships.  They were about 13 years apart.  I never thought after the first one I’d ever go through anything like that again but all narcissists are not created equally.  The two I have known both did have charming ways, passion and intelligence but they were very different types of people.

The subject of sex came up.  That’s another part of a relationship with a narcissist.  There are usually problems around this.

“If you think you enjoy sex now,” she told me, “just wait ’til your in your forties.  You have a lot to look forward to in life,” and she went on to tell me how she had divorced a man, very much like the one I had known, when she was in her forties.  I was in my early thirties then.  She told me about her leaving and going off to Europe for two years where she, “enjoyed several lovers,” while she was there.  It sounded dreamy but hopeful. 

“I had an absolutely wonderful time,” she went on, “and then I met the man I would marry.  He moved here and we have a wonderful marriage.  You can have this too,” she told me, “but you must leave this place to have it.”

I was in a hospital for depression.  I’d only been there one night and it was clear to me and this head nurse that I was in the wrong place.  The psychiatrist disliked me so much after meeting me only once, he said he was glad to see me go, which was early the next morning.   That nurse had prepared my discharge papers after our conversation the night before.

The woman planted a seed in my brain.  I may not get to go to Europe for two years, but I swear I don’t want to make it to 50 and say dang, I forgot to enjoy those 40’s.

What if he surprises me I wondered?  Honestly, I wondered if the man could not only give me a kiss but if he could rock my world.  Shake me into a new reality.  Give me new thoughts and memories of romance.

I have grieved.  I have hurt.  I have seen many days when I didn’t want it to get dark.  I just didn’t.  The nights of the past winter seemed each one to last forever.

I want to take a lover for the Spring.  I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

The kiss drew me in and I found myself swept away into romance.  I have a new memory now.  I have a new and sweet experience.  The soft kiss lasted as long as the winter nights had.

I’m not out of the woods.   I doubt I’ll be like the woman in the novel or the movie, or the nurse in Europe.  I have to learn my boundaries.  I have to learn again, to trust myself.

I remain human.  I remain a woman.  I remain imperfect.  I remain cautious.