Archive | October, 2006

Why You Should Never Turn Your Back On A Redhead

Growing up we had a Persian cat named Mittens.

My mother (the nurse) allowed Mittens to breed every now and then so my brother and I could watch the birth of kittens. I think this was some sort of sick effort on her part to make sure we never had sex. We then were made to care for the kittens before selling them or giving them away to a good home.

I  hated the last part,  since I felt we should just be able to keep them all.

One of those times, Mittens had a new batch of kittens that were housed in a 5-foot bin in the garage. My father built them a special home so they couldn’t get out unless someone was there to watch over them.    My father built the bin in such a way that Mittens could climb out, but the kittens remained there unless we removed them.

They were about four weeks old at this point.

During this same period, my mother and father temporarily gave up use of the garage for my brother and his friends to build their massive train city. About once a year they would gather their train tracks to our garage and set up this huge landscape of train tracks, stations, houses, trees, cars, dirt and about 5,000 army men.

They spent weeks getting their landscape perfect. They would then plan a date for when they would destroy it in one big pretend battle scene from World War II.

This particular week my brother was on restriction for hanging my dolls by their necks in my bedroom. He used to love to torture me by messing with my dolls.

He was number one on my “people to get even with” short list.

When he wasn’t doing all the chores assigned to him for his restriction, he was putting the finishing touches on the landscape in the garage for the battle day with his friends. He had a plan for the Saturday after he was let off restriction to gather his friends and bring them back to do battle. He had been looking forward to it for weeks.

I didn’t have much time to get even.

Don’t ask me where my mother and father were at this time, because I have no idea. But one day I quietly moved passed the kitchen like a lion stalking her prey. With the precision of a bank robber, I slowly opened the back door to sneak into the garage. Every inch of the floor was covered with cars, trucks, trees, rocks, dirt, train tracks, bridges, and a long 6 foot train set sitting ready at the station.

It was perfection.

In the background I can hear the tiny quiet meows of eight furry, fluffy kittens. I maneuver my way over to the bin and push an old chair up against the high wall. I stand on the chair and reach over to scoop up one kitten at a time, and then I gently release each them on the floor of the garage. Now mind you, the garage door is closed.

Shortly, all eight kittens are out of the bin. As I slowly exit back into the house, I turn to view the kittens. One was already sitting on a train, another had a tree in her mouth, and a third was beginning to bat at a line of soldiers, scattering them across the floor under my father’s work bench.

I crept back into the house un-noticed.

About two hours later there was all this yelling in the garage. My brother was having a fit over the fact the kittens somehow got out of the bin. I guess they did a pretty good job at destroying his train country. I never went to look, as I was afraid I would some how give away the fact that it was me who let them out.

My mother and father scratched their heads trying to figure out how the kittens were able to get out of such a tall box.

I never told my part of this story until we were well into our 30s.

You should never mess with a redhead.

Today a friend sent me a link to the following YouTube video:

Yep.  This is how boys are when you trust them with your stuff.

You men never change.

Until next time -

C

http://www.aweekofthelifeofaredhead.com

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How I Found My Way Back To Writing

One day in 1998, after my father’s death I found myself suddenly angry at the bizarre nature of funerals and death in America.

I poured out my heart in an English paper, describing the ritual of picking out my father’s coffin. I saw the irony in picking out something my father was going to be buried in like one might choose a prom gown or a new car. My English teacher wrote in the corner of this paper, “I have never read anything that touched me like this story. I cried. You have a gift, please share it.”

And that was it. Words began to gush, revealing my anger, bitterness, sadness and loneliness onto the lined pages of my journal.  The writer in my was born.

Then my mother and I had a fight. The kind of fight two heart broken females have when one is a teenager and the other is the parent. I moved out in one day. I packed everything into my car and just drove off. I burned the journal and stopped writing.

I stopped writing for 18 years.

Fast forward to 1997 when a funny thing happened at work. I was given a laptop computer and access to the Internet. I was to test software and how a loan officer might use the Internet. Once home, like a chocolate addict given the keys to Sees, I used my computer as a magic carpet and flew all over the world exploring events and cultures I only imagined. (who cares what a loan officer uses it for).

One night, while quietly reading about Ireland and Gaelic language, my very first Instant Message popped up on the computer screen. It made this great little sound . . . like a bird whistling.

I almost dropped the laptop;  it startled me so.

Suddenly there I was, writing from my lap in our little cottage home. Writing to people live – in real time. I love the back and forth banter between two people in an instant message. It is a writer’s paradise. We are most at home when typing a conversation, rather than delivering it in person. The ability to write to new found friends over the Internet gave me the strength to leave an unhappy marriage.

I became sick with Hashimoto’s somewhere around 2002 and went through a particularly rough period in my life. One day, while lying in bed I came across the opportunity to begin this blog. I had so many thoughts running through my head screaming at me to be written down. Without even thinking, I naturally followed the steps to create a blog and dove head first into writing.

I was back.

It was very difficult at first, like stretching a new muscle. But over time it evolved into the flow of a person’s life story.

Maybe not everything, but an idea of what my life is like.

Then the emails began. People writing to me about their thyroid problems, opening up and sharing very private, painful experiences. Experiences I can all too well relate. Suddenly I was surrounded by kindred spirits.

And calling myself a writer again.

Until next time -

C

http://www.aweekinthelifeofaredhead.com

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