Just ran across something that I wrote on September 13, 2016.  It’s a diary of almost every thought that went through my head on that date.   I think I was trying to get a grasp of how my mind functioned in a typical day.

“Need to get new iron.  Need to get gas.  Need to pick up film.  Need to clean out the fridge and go to the grocery store.  But first need to make inventory and check online for coupons.  Need to scrape paint off everything!  (The previous owners of our house did a LOUSY job of painting! Every surface seems to be peeling!)  Eeyore (one of our dogs) needs Heart worm treatment.  We all need eye doctor appointments.  Need to make arrangements for Z’s birthday!  And then call Mom back!  Need to start making weekly & monthly goals to focus on priorities like making money! With studio, blog, etc.!!  Need to get it up and running!! Especially before holidays! Need to look up how to clean garden tools, how to tell if dry beans have gone bad, if bleach is really necessary to kill germs in laundry – especially when it’s being washed in hot water.

What happens to your body when you go without showering for more than two days ?(remembering article I saw and meant to read).  Need to read those books on how the computer works.  I’m too tech illiterate.  Hating how stupid it makes me feel and how it handicaps me in so many ways.  Really need to take dogs for walks!!

Need to get moving.  What should I clean first before plumber gets here? Floors, guest bath where he’ll be working.  What do I do with dogs while he’s here? Really need to train them to behave better!  Need to weed front garden.  Need to edge lawn.  J. needs to show me how that damn weed eater works!!  Seems we can never get one that works properly, doesn’t break!  Need to mop!! Clean bathrooms!! Clean dining table and get all those papers under control!  Really need to establish some sort of routine!!

Mr. Robot.

Stop writing and get moving!  NO COMPUTER!!  Have to leave at 3 to pick up boys from school.  Need to get back into gym.  Need to get blood work done before I meet with Dr. G. again.  Should I quit drinking so much coffee??

Fish Oil tablets – need to get some.  Need to get back into gym.  Need to make more coffee. Shit!! Stop! Move it!! Wasting time!!

Wonder when I’ll hear back from that person who contacted me about genealogy?  Stop! Go!  Clean up before he (the plumber) gets here! Or you’ll be standing here writing ALL DAY!! (which is why it’s hard for me to blog because I’m always afraid I’ll be in front of the computer all day.  Need I remind myself I already tend to do that with Facebook and Lumosity.  No wonder I’m such a mess…)  Not like I don’t have a million things that need doing!!

Plumber’s gonna get here and I’ll be embarrassed about the house.  Random anxious thought: “What if he attacks me because I’m alone?!?”  Hello – we have 5 (count ’em, FIVE!!) dogs!!  Get a grip!  You’ve watched too much TV in your lifetime.  Too many bad and scary stories.  STOP.

When am I gonna get around to organizing Mom and Dad’s photos like I said – promised! – I would.  I can tell Mom feels resigned that it won’t be for awhile.  Doesn’t believe me when I say I will. Sad that I can’t blame her.  When am I gonna organize our own??  The stuff on the computer needs help too!  Thousands of pics!! Society…. All these pictures now in digital memory… Can’t even fathom the numbers…

Maybe I should just walk around with voice memo turned on so I don’t lose an idea?? or just to see where my mind goes??…

What if it was a mistake to submit a sample to the genetic testing site?? Or answer their research questions?  What if there’s repercussions in the future?  Thinking of sci-fi stories/movies… Might make an interesting story or post.  Gotta think more about this later.  I’VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING AROUND HERE!!

Not gonna answer the landline. Always some damn telemarketer.  How much longer does Greta (one of our cats) have?? 😦

Eeyore needs Heartworm treatment.

Go vacuum, dammit!

Is this thought pattern typical of most people? Is it normal? Mind goes from big topics to truly little mundane ones….Dusting to Death to Politics to Groceries to….. ALL DAY LONG.

Been wondering why I’m pretty much in the same place I was 15 years ago…Minus boobs and ovaries!

Oh, yeah, there’s THAT.

Which makes me go on another tangent! Back to THIS one!: Brother-in-law said, “You’ll be in the same place 5 years from now”.  Arrogant asshole he was then. Better now because he’s pretty much happier now.  But dammit, 15 years later and STILL facing same issues!!

Except I know now that I most definitely don’t want to die.  Or feel like dying.  I want to live!


Back to the same questions I’ve had most my life.  So I need to figure out what’s been keeping me back.  ADD diagnosis explains a LOT from back when….

SHIT – writing again when I need to CLEAN…which is part of my 15 year block!!

Why, WHY, can’t males put things in trash cans?? Really?? Band-aid strip covers all over guest bath floor – thanks to my son.

My son.  What am I going to do to help my son???

Really want to replace the crusty old fixtures in the guest bath.  Shit.  Really want to completely update and fix all the bathrooms but we’re in debt!!

And WTH are we doing planning for ANY kind of vacation for next summer??  We are essentially BROKE.  Seriously.  When you are in debt, you are POOR!! YOU HAVE NO MONEY!!

Should I get Greta more intravenous fluids?? At this point will it really make a difference for her?  I feel bad looking at her.  Poor girl.  But she’s lived a long time. Love that cat. Should have continued fluids? She hates getting poked with that needle…

Looking at sagging-in-the-middle, beaten up, outdated kitchen…So many things need to be fixed in this house.  Doors.  Floors down to concrete now. Thanks to herd of dogs and cats.  Paint peeling on all the cabinets too easily – way too easily! Mad at previous owners now.

Wow.  I actually can get a lot of stuff done when I get moving!  I remember one blogger who said “motivation follows movement” was her motto when she felt especially stuck. Yes.  Nike’s “Just Do It”, Shia LeBoeuf’s “Just Do It!”   Clichéd or whatever, there may actually be some science behind it.  Once I started physically moving around , I somehow managed to take care of several things around the house.  My brain quit running around all over the place and just thought about the task at hand.  I’ve always been able to tolerate repetitive tasks; like, sorting, creating or finding patterns, knitting, doing one component of a project over and over, pulling weeds… It seems like it calms my mind down somehow.  I really need to get back into that whole “mindfulness” thing that Dr. C. introduced me to.   I wish I could teach it to the rest of my family.  Would help if I practiced it more first, right?

But, once I sit for a moment, like now, I look around and run into wondering if it only FEELS like I got a lot done?? Was it really a lot for the amount of time it took?? 11:30 to 12:48 – what did I do?? Cleaned computers and dining and kitchen tables, vacuumed kitchen and laundry room, washed and dried 2 wine glasses, scooped cat litter, mopped kitchen and laundry room, wiped down washing machine and dryer – something had been spilled or splashed on the doors.  Wait – I did do stuff before plumber got here – so 10:00 until 11:30 cleaned guest bathroom, washed 2 loads of cat beds, vacuumed living room, loaded dishwasher, took out recycling, took stuff to studio that belonged out there.  Is that really “a lot”??

And now, of course, I feel like kicking back because things look “better” and look…The plumber has left! Woohoo!! New shiny clean toilet!!! Still have 2 more to replace. Sigh.

On a roll.  Need to keep going.

Need to look up if Borax powder is harmful to plants.  Also, if one can mix Borax with Vinegar?  Lots of plant pots and need to clean out so I can finally plant in them.  Too many plants on patio that are suffering right now.  Really need to walk dogs.  But it’s so damn hot outside!!  Can’t believe that so many people still don’t believe that our planet is in serious trouble!! What is it going to be like for my grandchildren?  I sometimes think that I should just tell my kids NOT to have kids in the future because I envision even worse misery.  In which case, I probably don’t need to save any of their baby stuff.  Phooey.

Need to redo flower bed in back.  Get cinder blocks instead and move those moss rocks to the front.

Can’t I call it a day and go do something more interesting??  Or am I using all this as an excuse to avoid doing  the things that I keep  saying I really want to do? ( Why would I do that?)  Or do I just not really want to do them?  I’m confused now!  Shit!  Need to get gas before 3 p.m.!

Fuck going to the grocery store.  I’m so tired of running errands.  I just really want a day or two in which I don’t have to go anywhere, get interrupted, see anyone….

But what will  I make for dinner?
I’m tired.
Looks like it might rain.
Always Sisyphus.
Can’t think that way again….
Paralyzes me.
Have I become the classic bored housewife??

Lots of people tell me I should get work now that the kids are older.  But there’s lots of reasons that I don’t really want to do that:  1) I actually DON’T enjoy working with or servicing others (unless it’s actually work that provides something immediately to someone in a really dire situation – like the homeless, the poor, the abused, the disadvantaged…)  I probably should have gone into social work all those years ago in college.  What stopped me?  Oh, yeah.  Depression.  Low self-esteem.  Feeling worthless and stupid. Not feeling qualified at all.

Makes me think about my meltdown  yesterday and thoughts about how I’m still feeling “un-credentialed”….at 50!!  For instance, Mom and old issues with her.  Too much in my head again.  Have always been.  As far back as I can remember.  No wonder I don’t get stuff done.  It’s so crowded in here it’s hard as hell to find my way out!!

It’s like there’s all these folders in my head and you open one and there are more sub-folders and these have their own….I can only imagine that everyone’s mind works this way?  And what’s with this compulsion to spit my thoughts out everywhere? I’ve always felt it.

Man, I’d really like to make a painting of these clouds.

Crap! I have thoughts even as I write these thoughts!

Muddled mind.  Crammed mind.  Has always bugged me, annoyed me.  At some point, it always gets to overload and a grey steel wall slams closed down.

Tell me – do we all jump from thought to thought like this?

Jumping spiders.

Just stopped to fill tank up with gas on way to get boys and I was approached by little middle-eastern ? man with head closely shaved, wearing blue jacket, earphones hanging from sides of his head, shorts, clean white socks, tennis shoes, holding a bottle out towards me.  At first didn’t hear him say “for you” like a sommelier presenting a bottle of wine.  “Excuse me?”  He says it again.  Very seriously.  Find myself blurting “I don’t want it”, then “Thank you though!”.  Weird that he didn’t offer it to the white haired lady who got off the bus.  Wonder what’s going on in his mind?  Further on, wondering what that yellow police pylon was doing in the middle of the road between lanes on neighborhood street?  Shouldn’t text OR write while driving!  Behind a student driver – Z is going to be driving soon too!

Mr. Robot – talks to “You” – Just realized I’ve always done that too.  Love this song – The Church “Under the Milky Way”.  Do we all talk to “You”? Do we all have a “You” in our heads?  Am I going to get there on time?  Who am I talking to, writing all this down, scribbling away? Am I only one who analyzes their thoughts once they start paying close attention to them? Can’t be.  Is this “navel gazing”? Yeah. Pretty much. More like “noggin gazing” though.  Stupid.

Don’t think I’ve ever heard this Ramones song: “Howling at the Moon”.  People called them Punk, but they only looked that way to me.  They sounded  – I’m going to be vilified here – more like 50’s doo-wop reworked.  C’mon! “Sha-la-la-la-la”?!  “Oh baby! Oh baby!” ?

Yay! “Burning Down the House” now! Much better.  But flashes me back to basement store of my UWMadison dorm building. Room mate and I in the aisles dancing around underneath neon cigarette signs.  Heads bobbing.

Thoroughly enjoy talking politics with kids. They are far more civilized about it than adults.

Ahh. So nice to walk back into a clean tidy home – too bad that it’s only part of the house. Facing the dreaded bathrooms – UGH.

Weird. Since coming home my mind has been so much quieter.  Granted, I vegged out a bit playing Lumosity games.  The other hour was spent focusing solely on searching places to consider for Z’s birthday brunch.  Got hungry.  Went to kitchen and pulled my salad out of the fridge and thought of nothing else but eating it.  And calling my mom back since she left me a text.  And really nothing else.  Like all the workers went home for the day and closed up shop.  Just doing what I’m doing in the moment.  Eating.  Looking out the window.  Hearing Louis C.K. on J’s iPad and son playing a video game on the TV.  Watching the sun set and birds fly across the sky.

Still need to clean bathrooms.  Feeling strong urge for a glass of wine.  Fighting it because I think part of the reason I was crying at the drop of a pin was because I was approaching the limit of wine intake and it was messing with my meds.

Fed dogs. Fed cats. Got J. to help me with the computer. Now getting caught up with scanning old family photos onto computer.  (Did this and Ancestry.com tree until 3 a.m. with breaks for scooping litter and doing dishes).”

Making yourself write down every thought throughout the day actually seems to slow your thoughts down.  Sort of.
Some practice “stream of consciousness” writing.  I mean, I suppose that’s what this was….I can’t fathom sitting down and doing it as a regular practice though because it seems like it would be too hard to keep up pace! Just writing and writing and writing…… scurrying and scurrying to catch every thought.  And when I’m faced with doing something as an “assignment”, like this, with the overwhelming task of capturing EVERY thought in writing, my mind can often just go deer-in-the-headlights blank.

Probably why I’m not a writer.
Like I’d wanted to be every since I was twelve.
Probably why I’m not an artist….
Like I’ve also always wanted to be.
Too many thoughts, too many ideas, too much jumping around in my brain, too much conditioning to be a “responsible daughter, friend, wife, mother, woman, adult”, too much that overwhelms until I just freeze.  And have a breakdown.
And start all over again.


A Vow of Silence

I’ve been thinking about taking a vow of silence.  Just for a day or two. Or a week.

I just get tired of noise sometimes.  Especially when it’s emanating from my own self.
And the visual noise around me is not helping whatsoever. I need to turn it off.

I don’t want to talk today for sure.
The explosion of last night, coupled with a little bit of a hangover, has sapped my usual yappity, yappity.

The only problem is that I will be amongst people today.  Namely my parents.
We are going to be spending the entire day together at the hospital, as we usually do when my father has his chemo appointments.
I don’t mind that.  In fact, I want to be there for both of them.

But today I don’t think I can handle any questions about things that I have and have not done, talk about things that are or are not happening, report on progress that is or isn’t being made in regards to my personal life.  “Have you spoken to H.?  Why haven’t you called him? You know that Z.s Spring Break is right around the corner! H. might not be there to see her!”  “Have you sent an email to A. and D.? Really, you need to do that!!” (Coupled with the usual look of extreme disappointment and dismay and complete befuddlement).  “How is J.?? Is he feeling any better?” “Did you get the paperwork in for I’s school admissions? Did you find out how much financial assistance you can qualify for?” “Is the furniture I gave you still holding up? You still aren’t letting the animals up on it, right???” (Um. They’ve been getting up on it since we got it and despite the fact that we try to keep them off, we’ve failed….).  “Have you got the website up yet?” “When are you going to do that?” (At this point, probably never….) “Are you paying off your debt?” “What’s been going on?”…..

I don’t want to talk. I just need to rest my brain. I need some peace.

Issue: Anger Management

No one likes feeling trapped. No one. What I hate is feeling trapped in my own body and mind when experiencing stress. It’s visceral. It’s all-encompassing. And I hate that I haven’t learned how to control it.  I’m terrible at it.  I endure it and endure it and plod along and ignore it until I can’t…..and then BOOM! I physically feel like I cannot hold it in anymore, despite the fact that I REALLY NEED TO.  I’m too much of an open book.  And I hate that about myself.  I may even hate myself for writing all of this.  I will definitely hate myself for it.

There’s lots of things I hate that I can’t escape, like OTHER PEOPLE.  Like MYSELF.

I hate living in a world with Type A, over-achieving, controlling, overly scheduled, equally stressed out people.  I hate living in a world with people who expect that their way is the best way.  That we should ALL be on the same page, with the same ambitions, with the same expectations, with the same timetables, with the same definitions of what is acceptable…..

I hate other people’s definition of success and feeling forced into it.  I hate other people making their problems (their “quest for success”, their logistics problems, their goals, their expectations, their first world problems)… MY problems.  I guess I’m pretty damn selfish that way.  I hate schedules. I hate deadlines. I HATE TIME.  Time and I have a terrible relationship.

Actually, Time and I wouldn’t have such a fucking problem if OTHER PEOPLE WERE NOT INVOLVED.

And sometimes it gets to me so much that I need to slam things.  Seriously….I NEED a physical outlet for the energy that’s been held in so long that it NEEDS to go somewhere.  I know that calming down is the best thing.  I know that breathing is the best thing.  I’m all for that!  Only, I can’t seem to do that on a consistent basis. And I hate that.  I hate that I can’t practice what I preach.

(Yes, there are lots of capital letters in this post.  I’m trying to calm myself with wine – probably not the best way – and Ravi Shankar on my headphones and pounding the keyboard instead of pounding anything else, because I’ve done enough of pounding doors and eardrums with my outrage this evening….)

But what my body feels like doing is running and running and running until I’m alone in the wilderness; punching and punching and punching until I can’t anymore; screaming until my lungs give out and the veins in my neck rupture.  Over the past two years I’ve finally come to an understanding why some depressed people cut themselves.  I am TERRIBLE at handling stress.

My father once told me that when he gets angry, he LITERALLY sees red.  He used to be a door and cabinet slammer too.

The very first psychiatrist I ever went to told me that depression is actually anger turned inwards.  I can see that.

I hate the fact that my personal stresses are nothing compared to other people’s stresses and yet I’M STRESSED!  I hate feeling like I’m so spoiled compared to others on this planet and yet I’m STRESSED! WE ALL ARE.  And that stresses me out too!

My father has an incurable cancer.  My husband is severely depressed.  My son has ADHD and Anxiety.  And SO DO I.  The special school for my son that we gave up everything to move across town for is having an extreme trust issues in regards to health of the student body and financial management.  Our country is being led by the worst ignoramus EVER.  There are terrible injustices going on in this world.  All the life forms on the entire planet are endangered….including US!  My daughter just wants a “normal” teen-hood (enough said….she’s a teenager….). We have severe financial difficulties (who doesn’t besides the really wealthy?). My own depression and anxiety and “mother guilt” are constantly jumping around in the background, while I am constantly trying to hold it at bay.  My house is a HUGE MESS and I know that this sounds so trivial, but it aggravates me to no end (I can’t list the details because…. I just can’t ….-it just contributes to my depression).. Our pets desperately need more attention, I can’t find anything around here when I need it and…..and…..and…..and…….
Everything feels so fucking hopeless and out of control.

So. The LAST thing I needed this evening was a text from another stressed out mom; a Type-A, more efficient than me, more organized than me, more involved than me, in my mind BETTER than me mother, letting me know, in very passive-aggressive terms, what unreliable FLAKES my family are in planning and being on time.  Letting me know that she holds grudges.  Letting me know that we SCREWED UP before and therefore she no longer trusts us.  And I get how she feels, actually!

And this anger and frustration and self-loathing and irritation had nowhere else to go than OUT.
And that does my family NO GOOD.  And I’m A MOM.  And therefore, it is MY FAULT.

I’m not good at being an “adult”.
I’ve got a HUGE problem.
And I need to find a safe outlet, because I feel like it’s all on my shoulders. MINE.



It’s In My Head

At 3 a.m. Sunday morning, I sprang awake with one fully formed thought in my mind:  Maybe I actually am crazy!

Other words quickly followed: delusional, flaky, insane…

A massive pressurized feeling of having been up until this very moment completely divorced from Reality, lost in a temporal world of my own making, floating along in another plane of existence, burst through my chest.  My family and friends have observed this ditziness in me, especially of late, and they have been tolerating me out of love and concern! That’s what’s really going on!

I managed to shove it all away, placate myself that I was just having a moment of self-doubt; that Depression was struggling to gain a foothold again by pulling me down into its’ endless burrow of negativity and self-hatred.  I closed my eyes and burrowed into my pillow instead.

When I awoke again, I went about my day attending to the usual mundane things that somehow exalt themselves with meaning. Things that I had imbued with grand importance:  Cleaning and organizing and planning and “nesting” and creating a schedule and cleaning some more; a training program,  if you will,  for getting my shit together once and for all; to get things prepared for my Master Plan of becoming a Creative Entrepreneur (to use a fancy-pants term for “artist who can help support her family”).

I couldn’t help thinking to myself in the following days that I was, truth be told, feeling a bit manic lately.  I wrote some of it away to being off one of my meds. But my mind has been all over the place with hopes and dreams and plans and schemes and determination and “keeping positive” and a stubborn willfulness that things are going to work out the way I want them to.  I’ve been feeling restless, impatient, hopeful.  I’ve been doing things with a hyper-focus and a strange stream of energy; all while putting other things on the back burner (where they smolder with a threat to break out into a fire).  I’ve been thinking and planning and doing for “all the things!”

But today, that feeling I had Sunday night at 3 a.m. is prying open my mental space again, siphoning out my optimism, gassing panic into it’s place….

I’ve become suspicious of myself.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/suspicious/”>Suspicious</a&gt;

The Underbelly of It All

My father is dying.

I know that we are all dying minute by minute, despite what we’d like to think.

But, my father is without a doubt, dying. He is 77 years old.
I guess he’s within the median range for males within the U.S.
Doesn’t matter to me, though.  The statistics offer no comfort.

He has mesothelioma. Peritoneal Mesothelioma.
There is no cure.

My dad is dying.
It’s the undercurrent to everything right now.

I keep feeling a catch in my chest whenever I confront this fact.
I know that I have friends and family who have been through this.
I know that my husband, my parents, my friends and my cousins know what this is like.

It doesn’t change the pain.
It doesn’t change the facts.

It doesn’t make it any easier.

And they know this. Unfortunately, they know this.

On Work – #1

Was just thinking this evening as I was driving to the airport around midnight to pick up my daughter and some friends:  If someone were to pay me a decent wage to pick up all the trash around Houston, I would gladly do it.

In order for me to work productively and to enjoy what I do for a living, I need to feel invested somehow.

I hate all the trash I see as I drive around our city.  I often think about getting a reflective, colorful, vest and a spear of some sort and getting all this trash off the road ways and medians.

In fact, I came up with a great plan once upon a time for the city to help out the homeless population here by giving them jobs that they could redeem for cash or other services, by picking up trash.

These are the things I muse upon.

Don’t know if they would be practical. Don’t know if they could possibly come to fruition.

All I know is that this evening, given the choice between a job as a bank teller, or a cashier at a Fiesta Food Market, or a even a dog walker (and I love dogs!!) …..I would prefer to pick up trash by the side of the road.  And I would be proud to do it.

The Languages of Love

Naw. I’m not talking about romantic love here.  I’m still mulling over the whole friendship subject.

I have a friend who is pretty much in my category.  She told me once, “If you make friends with me, you’re stuck with me for the rest of your life. Seriously!”
So one afternoon, she came over for a rare visit to my house and we were talking about everything under the sun – as I am wont to do (I get it from my dad, I think) – and she mentioned an article that she had just read about the different ways that people communicate without using words.  The article apparently used the example of people who bring food to others.  “It’s their language of love!”, my friend explained.  People who grew up with family who expressed their love and appreciation through the baking of cookies and cakes, who made family members their favorite meals to please them, who would buy an ice cream cone to cheer up someone who’d had a bad day, who would bring them soup when they were sick or would bring a casserole after a funeral – those are the people who ingrained these acts into their communication of love.  I think that many, many, if not most, families had this type of habit in their homes and carry on that tradition.  Let’s face it, food is a universal subject that has endless meanings the world ’round.  Using food to comfort or to aid or to celebrate is a normal human tendency.

Then there are those who express their love and affection with money.  They may come from a culture where the more gold you bestow upon someone, the more it shows you cherish them and want them to be prosperous and respected.  They may come from a family whose parents would buy them as much as they could to make them happy or comfortable.  This isn’t necessarily a bad sort of way to show love, but if you are never able to give a hug or to express love with words in addition to material things, then…. well,  I can see where that would lead to many problems.  We happen to have a member of our family quite like that.  Only, the money and gifts come along with caveats and the hugs have only recently come into play and those are very awkward indeed.  And, inadvertently, this person has made all communication with them centered around money this way.  The grandchildren, when younger, associated this person with things.  “Oh look! They’re here!! What did they get us??”  Hello, Santa.  (You can see, I’m sure, how unhealthy this is to a relationship, yes?)

Some families have always been more physical in showing their affection.  They are constantly touching or doing something physical together.  Rough housing, bonding over sports, lots of hugs and kisses, holding hands or being arm in arm, exercising together in some way.  So, with friends, it’s pretty much the same.  I think most families have this element in their language with each other.  At least, I hope they would.

My own family, though, as I was growing up, didn’t show love through food, or money.  The physical, yes. We were/are huggers and kissers.  We talk a lot.  But, my family mostly has shown how much they care for you by being there when you are in some sort of bind, be it physical or emotional.  My dad once told me about how my grandfather, his own father, would be willing to put himself into debt to help out someone he loved.  And trust me, my father’s family was poor to begin with!  He said that my grandfather, and my grandmother too, especially if it involved children, would, if you were in some sort of trouble, do everything in their power to get you out of it.

My dad has certainly carried on this tradition.  If there is some sort of conundrum, he will think ceaselessly about it until he’s found some way to solve it and help you out with it.  It doesn’t matter if you are states away.  He was the one that his friends and family  – as well as my mom’s – would call at midnight to discuss things and my dad never turned down a call.  He would stay on that phone until the wee hours of the morning.  Sometimes, I’d wake up and I could hear him in the kitchen on the phone with someone…laughing with or reassuring them or sympathizing with them in some way.  He’s still like that.

My parents once took in a friend of my mom’s and allowed her to live with them when she was in a troubling situation.  She lived with them for months.  They took in my cousin when he needed a place to crash.   They’ve done that for several family members at one time or another.  In fact, when my cousin and his brother were little and in a pretty bad family situation, my parents discussed adopting both of them from my uncle and aunt.  They didn’t end up doing it because my father’s mother decided she wanted to.

Once, while I was in college, my parents flew a dog I’d managed to rescue down from Wisconsin to Texas.  They kept him, despite the fact that he was a troubled dog.  Distances were nothing to my father. Maybe he got it from his days in surveying in the Pacific Northwest or from his time in the Air Force.  When he was dating my mom, he would drive miles across Oregon to see her, and miles back after taking her out.

So, I guess my own style of friendship was written by my folks.  I won’t bring you food.  I won’t shower you with gifts.  I’m not gonna exercise or go muddin’ in the woods with you (look it up. I think it’s mostly a Southern thing).  BUT,  if your car breaks down in the middle of the night outside the city limits and no one else can come – call me.  If your dog runs off in the middle of a freakish storm, I’ll jump in my car and go driving through it to canvass the neighborhood with you.  That’s my language of love.