Made me cry.
How incredible is that to hear that from your twelve-year-old grandson?
Then, he was reading me different parts of the book that he loved.
I am so blessed to have my family. Four kids, fifteen grand-kids and five great-grand-kids.
I dreamed of the farm-house again last night.
When I saw the numbers match the numbers on the ticket in my hand at the end of the 10:00 o’clock news, when I learned that I’d won the lottery, before I even had the money in my hand, before I took the tiny slip of paper to the Lotto office to be sure it was really the single winning ticket for the $90 million dollar jackpot, I threw my cigarettes, a tooth-brush and my Master Card into my purse. I ran out to the driveway, tore open the door of my blindingly yellow Dodge Hemi truck, turned the key, felt the thunder as the engine roared to life and I flew out of the driveway.
I sped to the Tulsa airport, disregarding the speed limit because I was rich now. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t thinking that money made me above the law, but I could definitely afford to pay a speeding ticket.
I parked the truck in the long-term parking lot, ran inside the terminal to the first counter I saw and walked away with a ticket for American Airlines Flight 144 to Boston.
After a take-forever walk through security, I raced down the chintzy red carpet, catching the flight attendant’s attention just before he shut the door.
I was going home. My husband always told me that it wasn’t home anymore, that home was where we lived, in our 1986 trailer home set on two acres of Heaven in Owasso, Oklahoma.
I always said, “You’re right, honey.”
But he wasn’t.
As the many plaques will tell you, home is where your heart is and I had left mine on the cold, wet sand of Plum Island, nesting in the sand dunes I had crawled on before I could walk and then when I was older, I’d left more of me on the hot, sandy beaches of Hampton and Salisbury.
The last pieces I can remember seeing were hidden in the tunnels behind the walls of the farm-house, the tunnels where I had stashed my baby sister, playing quietly with her on the dusty floor so dad wouldn’t find us or hiding with Mom when the bill collectors pounded on our door.
When the wheels came down as we flew over the water of Revere Beach, I held my breath. I didn’t breathe again until the plane’s wheels touched the runway.
As the familiar seat belt ding sounded, everyone rushed to their feet.
I grabbed my purse and I pushed along with the crowd of people who also wanted off the plane, now.
I headed straight for the Avis counter and rented a luxury car with no idea of where I wanted to go or why I had flown eighteen hundred miles on the very day the lottery had blessed (or cursed) my life. All I knew for sure was that I was going to kidnap my Mom out of the nursing home and she was coming with me for one wild ride.
The car almost drove it self as I left the Avis parking lot. I think that the auto pilot of my soul was driving.
I sped along Route 93 with my feet driving and my heart dancing.
Suddenly, I knew where I was going! My urges were taking me back to the farm-house on High Street, to the house that my dad had bought for $8,000.00 only to give it back to the bank several years later.
So many times, I had dreamed of that familiar front door opening to me.
The present owner would throw open the solid white, wooden door with red trim, welcoming me home. The dream varied, probably depending on what I ate before I fell asleep.
Sometimes a woman, sometimes a man, but the answer-er always allowed me to wander down the hallowed halls of my dysfunctional, childhood home. Well, one of many, but the first real house with running water, walls, doors and a roof the rain didn’t ping off.
The farm-house that I’d been forced to leave behind when I was still a young girl.
In my memories, the curtains that my mom had sewn on her push pedal Singer sewing machine still hung in the living room windows.
I remembered the day she’d made them. I remembered the scent of the hot, damp cotton as she’d ironed each panel and hung it. I remembered the look of pride on her face as she stood back and smiled at what she had created.
I’d left a shard of me behind when I’d left that farm-house while taking a fragment from the walls. A sharp; yet, comforting splinter and it was still tucked away safely inside my heart’s vault.
A splinter that led me home, if only in my dreams, over and over.
Somehow the wood and the mortar had become entwined with my soul, an intrinsic puzzle I could not solve.
Finally, I could buy that now declared historic house, no matter the cost.
Panic pulsed through my veins and I asked myself, what am I doing?
Did I think that I could move back to the farm-house and did I think that I could start my life over again?
I guess so because I had dreams when my mind went back there, so I figured my body could too.
If I went back to there, could I go back to then and start my life over and change my now?
Could I hide in the secret tunnels and let time remove the stains and the hurts I had gathered in the years since I had left?
These were the questions searing my brain as I drove toward Billerica, doing forty miles over the speed limit.
I had to buy the house before I went to get Mom.
Money could bring my mom back to her house, the house she’d lost so long ago.
I dreamed of the farm-house again last night.
Sitting on a porch swing
at her country home
I never saw a face
that looked so all alone.
She gazes into space
her eyes are far away
I wonder where she is
she isn’t in today.
I see a little girl
in the woman’s eyes
a hurt and lonely child
I hear her softly cry.
The pain of dreams now lost
the scars that still remain
when I look at her picture
all I can see is pain.
She captures my heart
I want to hold her tight
I run to save the woman
the girl hides in fright.
The girl plagues the present
with all her musty fears
if I could console the girl
I’d end the woman’s tears.
by Jeanne Marie, 1986
Well, the weather lady said there’s a blizzard coming tomorrow. She promised from 5 to 10 inches of snow, so I figured I’d better get out to the store and stock up.
I also figured I might need some fresh air before the snow came and locked me in the house for another two or three days.
My husband and I went to Rite-Aid and l picked out some stuff on clearance. Coffee cups, coffee jars for my sisters and a pretty rug for the kitchen floor. A New Hampshire Live Free or Die tee-shirt for my daughter and a big wash pail for the garage.
Okay, so what else did I need before the big blizzard hits up here in the White Mountains?
We saw some vitamins on clearance and after a lively conversation about who had the worst memory, we picked out two bottles of DHA 600. According to the label, it’s necessary for optimal brain function and we totally agreed we each had room for improvement.
Last, I picked up 2 packs of Marlboros even though I’ve gotten myself down to less than a half a pack a day. You just never know how long you’re going to be stuck in the house after a blizzard.
Our trip’s Grand Finale was a meal at McDonald’s, the only fast food available for miles around and I had a breakfast sandwich for supper.
Luckily, it was delicious, because complaining about your food can be a big problem in a little town.
In fact, I was hoping that the girl didn’t remember me from the last time we went there.
I had ordered a grilled chicken sandwich that I took one bite out of and very quickly returned to the counter girl. I declared it a piece of manufactured something that could not possibly be chicken, politely, but I also shuddered as I declined the offer of replacing it with anything else.
I think the same girl waited on me today and I have to say, she was sweet as anything.
She even brought our food over to the table and made sure my coffee was just right.
So now we are home all tucked in and getting ready to watch a movie.
We didn’t realize until the dogs started to bark at us that we had forgotten to get dog food and an onion for the corned beef dinner that we’re going to cook tomorrow. (We did have enough dog food for tonight.)
Even worse, we forgot Marshmallow. That’s my new addiction and I’m almost out.
I’m not going to say who ate half of it, but that is the person who is going to get dressed tomorrow and go to the store during the blizzard.
He’s very sweet about things like that anyway, maybe because he eats so much Marshmallow.
I’m not sure what love is.
I tried to write what I knew about love and I didn’t come up with a very long list.
So, I’m going to tell you what I do know.
I know what love isn’t and what love doesn’t.
Love is not the flush you get from your head to your toes when you meet someone who sparks your pheromones. Walk away or get burned. That’s lust.
Love is not the tingle you get between your legs when you see Sam Elliott in white briefs. Again, lust.
Love is not orgasm after orgasm. You could get that from a stranger who triggered your pheromones. Lust, again.
Love doesn’t manipulate, control and lie.
Love doesn’t run away emotionally and physically when times are hard.
Love doesn’t throw family or friends away if they screw up.
Love doesn’t hold you down by convincing you that you can’t do anything right, so you might as well give up before you even start.
Love doesn’t bind you in barbed wire because it’s afraid of losing you.
Love doesn’t lock you in because it’s afraid to let you out, afraid that somebody else might tempt you.
Love doesn’t control you by controlling your access to money.
Love doesn’t hit you or slap you.
Love isn’t cruel or verbally abusive.
Love doesn’t make you feel dead inside.
Love doesn’t care if you are pretty or if you have big boobs, gorgeous hair and a tiny waist.
Love doesn’t make you less…
Love doesn’t stand you up.
Love doesn’t break you into a million pieces.
Love isn’t a game of tug and war.
Love doesn’t capture your heart just to break it.
Love isn’t the presents you buy her after you made her cry.
Love doesn’t always last forever.