Monday, February 28, 2005


Yesterday Poo-Poo, his youngest daughter and myself made the journey to Newport to move him back home yesterday. The furniture and household things we have been accumulating over the past three months were packed up in the U-Haul. Some of the furniture we placed close to the dumpsters, letting those know it was up for grabs. Actually, that was a stroke of genius for the grateful receiptent helped us shuffle the remaining stuff into the U-Haul.

It took about two hours to clean it out. Poo-Poo and Poo-Poo Jr. took off for home and I headed to some of my favorite spots in Cincinnati and surrounding area...for the last time.

I surprised myself with the sadness I felt. We had arrived with Winter and were leaving with the beginnings of spring. I was growing very fond of my weekends there and was looking forward to the beauty and adventure that the warmer weather was surely to bring.

I went to Trader Joes' and stocked up on Two Buck Chuck, scones, pinapple slasa, pizza dough, chocholate covered bing cherries.

I went to Party Supply which is open at 11am Sunday morning. I loved to waslk down the aisle of beers. So tempting and mind boggling. The cave was the cold vault full of wonderful beer. The flavor rum selection was fabulous. I will most certainly miss the Party Supply.

I ended up my shopping spree with a trip to Superior Candy and Nuts. Candy sound by the pound. This was the first stop every week end for my step daughter and I to get our $2.99 bag of treats. Everything from jaw breakers to salt water taffy. I purchased the ceremonial last bags for each of us. I also purchased a pound of liquorish assorts! The very very hard to find delights that I love maybe a little too much. Last time I found them was in a shop in Galway.

I have become very attached to the area. I beleive it had a lot to do with it being a major metropolis. I am going to miss so much.

Driving into the valley of the Ohio river rounding the big hill on I-75, you come around and the city of Cincinnati is laid out in front of you like a crown jewel. At night time, this view will take you breat away with its beauty.

There are seven bridges that span the Ohio River into Kentucky. Each one has a demonstative name attached. The Suspension Bridge, the Mac Bridge, the Purple People Bridge. I loved to photograph them and will miss thier mystic and dreaminess that they always opened up in me.

I'll miss the walks I took and the great source for picture taking. Covington crossed the little bridge and became Newport, which merged into Bellview which became Dayton (KY). Everyone a small and interesting cluster of old establishments saved from the early frointiers day.

The Levee with the Newport Aquarium and the multitude of fancy restuaraunts and shops. The actual levee with the wonderful Riverfront area for walking, tossing rocks into the Ohio, the veterans park, the restaurants on the river, the runnig track. The barges, the abondoned boats on the ground wrapped in blue vinyl balnket for the winter.

I'll miss the bars that were everywhere and I did not have nearly enough time to visit all the ones I wanted. The SOuthgate House will be a source of fond memories.

ANd then the minor things that you always take for granted. The Biggs hyper mart! The produce selection was fabulous! The public radio stations, one out of Batavia Oh which played the most off the wall stuff! Polka music, old Big Band Sounds, Celtic music, and old Cowboy music! The DJ's were grandma's & grandpa's sharing their record collections! I will miss that very much.

I'll miss most off the the wonder of anticipation. It was an area that anything could happen. Of color and excitement and people coming and going.

It was a good three months.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


All over the small two lane roads through out our rural areas you will encounter these ghostly reminders that when you least expect it something goes terribly wrong.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I do it for the comments

I seem to be loosing my audience in AOL Journals. Don't know why. Seems the alerts are on the blink and maybe that is some of the reason. I got bored with my Addicted to Love series, maybe they did too. I realize I will never know. I have been through this before, a flux in my readership. We all know we do it for the comments.

My hit meter seems to be off too. I posted to Photo Friday which usually gives me 100 or so hits and nothing. So very odd! I received two comments and the meter did not move! What is up with that. Very frustrating to an insecure neurotic like me.

I do not write often about work. Today we are having a market tour. Since I have this new territory, wouldn't you know it, the tour is in my area! Rats. I have not spent much time there leaving it to Daniel to clean, find the out of dates, report infractions to me. Daniel had been great. I would have died without him. I must tip my hat to Jeff for his inspiration to have Daniel help out. Of course, Jeff's arse is on the line too.

I wanted a new job, new challenges, new experiences...well I have them. Just not the way I expected. This new territory is making me work! I hate it! Ha! Seriously, it is a lot of work and I had hopelessly lost at times. Thank God I have seven years experience at this job! I am so totally unorganized that I am desperately re-inventing my lazy self.

Added to every thing that is going on at work, Joe drops the bomb that he is being transferred to Ft. Wayne. I am very excited about the prospect of moving. New surroundings and experiences. The exhilaration is offset by Mom and Dad, the reality of moving an entire household at one time....I have never been so under the gun before...and transferring. What if I can't? Then, the competition is there...and maybe I need to find the job of my dreams for the remainder of my working career....Writing, journalism.

Maybe people are not reading me anymore....but it certainly isn't because my life is boring!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Addicted to Love (part XIX)

I attended my 20th High School reunion during the summer months. I discovered one amazing thing. All the women looked great, better, young still and I recognized every one. But the guys! Holy mackerel! Guess that is one of natures little jokes on us. The women age at a slower pace. This could be our excessive use of anti aging products. It seems the guys just don't care. But as we near our golden years, the guys look better. (Shelley Winters....Sean Connery....?)

I knew C.K. during those four years of hell known as high school. He was definitely one of the cool kid crowd. To be a gold member of that group, you came from Christ the King Grammar School. And he did. He was a college professor in a state far, far away. Taught economics of all things! He was recovering from a break up of a long term relationship and very vulnerable. It was not that I felt sorry for him, it was that I was so lonely! He is a terrific guy, funny, smart, stable, attentive and best of all his family owned a flower business in Lexington. I was awash in roses and beautiful exotic flowers for months.

All my platonic relationships come to the same conclusion. Give it up, or bust up. The good thing about most my romances of this sort, is that the guy usually is married within six months! C.K. found a stunningly beautiful woman from Brazil teaching Spanish at the college! I went to the wedding!

Loneliness is an subtle destroyer. It creeps up on you slowly and with little warning you are yearning for something that seems so unattainable. I went to the movies with Bridget, and a couple with two children were sitting several rows ahead of us. They settled down in their seats and he causally put his arm around her seat.

My heart was in my throat and I was fighting back the tears. Will I ever be touched by someone I love ever again? How long must I wait for a kiss that blows my mind. Will I ever have someone throw their arm around me and touch their head to mine? Is it my fate to never have passion in my share my life?

I remember seeing a commercial on tv about a business called Match Makers. I made an appointment and signed up! She was so enthused to have me as a client! "They will eat you alive!" she told me.

This is how it went. Every month you were sent in the mail approximately 10 "matches" which included their name and address. That was it! No rhyme or reason to it. I think she just tossed the names up in the air and when ever they fell that was were matched up.

I was contacted by a guy named Butch. I met him at a restaurant in Lexington. "Meet for lunch" she had advised me, "That way it is less awkward to get away."

So, how do you do it. I always told them I had short hair and I would wear a flower of some sort.....

Butch...what can I say about my first experience! He was drop dead gorgeous. I was thinking he was worth every penny of the exorbitant amount that car salesmen turned Match Maker coerced out of me.

He was fresh off a break up, on the rebound and very distracted. There was to be no second date. At least I got a nice lunch out of the deal. The only thing we had in common was that we both picked off the red onion rings from our salads and placed them on the side of the plate.

It was a good and bad start. I told myself to stop being so superficial and shallow. He was a jerk. Albeit a handsome jerk, but a jerk all the same. A drop dead gorgeous jerk, but a jerk.

I'd wait for the next batch of mail.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Platonic relationships.

Remember the scene in the movie when Harry tells Sally there is no such thing, that the guy is always hoping, and just playing along. How many of us have been there? It is always a shock when the gauntlet is thrown down. Or sneaked in through the side door. I think Harry was right that it is genetically impossible for a man to accept the realities of a platonic friendship. It is an oxymoron in their view. Yet on the other hand, it is quite possible for a woman to be very happy and content in just this scenario.

I know I was. I have had many such relationships in my spinsterhood...I mean madienhood. I received my training as a Little Sister. My longest relationship has been with JBS. I met him while living with Cathy, he was a friend of her fiance. JBS lived in Florida and would come up for Derby. I don't think I have ever met anyone I laugh with more than him. When Bridget was four years old we decided to go on a road trip to Somerset Kentucky. We got lost. We were sitting on the side of the road, in the middle of the night, he looks at me and says, "Another fine mess you have gotten us into." I just cracked up!

Then there is Gregg. He was a childhood friend that I ran into upon returning home in the 1990's. We had numerous adventures over the years including the 1996 UK NCAA Championship happening in downtown Lexington, the 1997 UK NCAA runner-up incident in downtown Lexington, the Frankfort stories, the Kessler stories, the star gazing on the side of US 60 late one night, the Ty goes on forever. He has helped me move several times, he has held my hand several times, and he has let me cry on his shoulder many times.

The list is rather long and I think I might be embarrassed to actually list the ones that have been a part of my life throughout the years.

The truth of things is this, I have met some very wonderful guys in my life. Why I chose to fall for the moody, angry, dangerous types is the cross I had to carry for a long time.

One night I was entertaining two of my childhood pals, Gregg and Reginald. By entertaining I really mean they just dropped in and hung around watching tv because they had no where else better to be!

Reginald looks at me and says, "If Gregg won't marry you, I will!"

"These are my choices?" I asked in horror!

Gregg was offended and stomped off. "The offer stands" Reginald assured me.

Ain't love grand!
I got the blues for you

I shelled out the $39 dollars yesterday to receive a gold membership for Why? So I could email Cathy and tell her how much I missed and loved her. That rat! She read my email and has not written back. Maybe I need to give her more time to think about it.

20 years is a long time to be mad at someone. Ican't do it. But I do remember that she had not spoken to her sister in years and years for marrying a Catholic! lol! So why should I expect better treatment.

Alas, dear Cathy, I do miss you...the good times I remember. The bad I have honestly forgotten.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I immersed myself into attending night classes at the University of Louisville. I was accounting clerk by day, student by night, and mother by the seat of my pants. Every business degree required that you complete a calculus class! My first attempt at the subject resulted with me dropping the class and enrolling for a rudimentary algebra class during the summer break.

I was very prepared to tackle the calculus class that fall. As a matter of fact I had surprised myself by having a knack for algebra. Who would have ever believed it? Certainly not my high school algebra teacher nor my tutor! I was a miserable student then, but somehow I had blossomed into a deductive reasoning fool.

When I entered the classroom for my second try at calculus, I was amazed to find the most attractive very young man was teaching the class. In other words, he was a babe!

He passed out a test to gage our algebraic abilities. I handed mine in first, 100% It was on....every test he gave, it seemed he composed it for me, to see if he could find a problem that I could not solve. It was a great class for me. A terrific challenge.

The evening of the final exam finally arrived. I took my time completing the test, going over every question, competing both the extra credits. I was bidding my time until everyone else had handed in their papers then I made my move.

We walked outside together as I told him how much I enjoyed his class, and what a great teacher he was, so inspirational. He asked me if I would like to go to The Cardinal Inn for a beer. Would I?!!!!

I am not sure how long we sat and talked. I do remember we talked about my amazing mathematical gift! And what a joy I was to have as a student. Afterwards, he walked me to my car and as I turned to say goodnight he grabbed me and laid on me the most wonderful and memorable kiss that there ever was! He said, "I've wanted to do that for a long time." and then, "I'll call you."

I waited and waited and waited. I finally gave up hope. He never did. Call me. I thought my magical mathematical powers were irresistible! I was crushed.

The next semester I saw him driving on campus. Along side him in the front seat was a woman. Our eyes met. His eyes said it all. I nodded and he smiled.

And that is all I have to say about calculus.

I felt very lucky to land a job working in a corporate office. The CFO happened to be my brothers SIL...but you take what you are given and make the best out of it. The office consisted of five women in the beginning. As the company grew, so did the office. We moved several times and finally landed in the large house on Shelbyville Rd which we immediately began to renovate. I remember those days like it was yesterday, when in reality it was 20 years ago.

The ten years I spent working as an accounting clerk made me realize one very important thing, I did not want to push a pencil for another moment. The best thing I received form working at the office was the intense encouragement to remain in school and get that degree. They made it very easy to leave early etc. etc. etc.

I went into the business school after cleaning up my transcript! (imagine that!) I loved school, which was a revelation for me. I suppose as one matures those things that were once a minor irritant suddenly become a great source of pleasure and self accomplishments take on whole new meanings.

I loved to learn. And I was good at it. I found that sacrificing weekends to study for exams was easy. What else did I have to do? Bridget and I settled into a small apartment in Hikes Point, closer to work and I enrolled her into a Catholic elementary school that was in the neighborhood.

Monday, February 14, 2005


I was so homesick living in Texas. I met some very nice people, had an interesting job in the hotel business, had been to Gilley's several times (!)(Had the obligatory bumper sticker for years), met a handsome Latino named Stephan, yet I longed for home. Why is it that Kentuckians and Texans always call their place of birth "home"?

And so I went home. I landed in Louisville because of a job opportunity. I was able to stay with my brother and his wife for several months till I was able to get my feet underneath myself. My dear friend I had met at Murray, Cathy, also lived in Louisville and graciously offered to share an apartment with me and my one year old daughter. We found a place in the Highland Area of town, right off Bardstown Rd. in one of the classic old 1920 homes that are subdivided into apartments. We had the whole second story. A balcony on the front of the house and a wooden porch on the back. Five caveronerous rooms with a tiny kitchen and a small room for a nursery off of my bedroom. All hardwood floors and build in bookcase. One is hard pressed to find anything other than hardwood floors in the Highlands. All in all, we lived in three different yet similar apartments around bardstown Road in the years we roomed together.

Not to self....Never share an apartment with a best friend, it can strain the friendship.

Bridget was growing and was a handful at times. I was working full time, taking evening classes at the University of Louisville and trying to be a good mother to Bridget.

The trouble began innocently enough. Cathy is a very attractive woman, and very smart. She is witty, articulate, sarcastic, caustic and so much fun to be around. Men are drawn to her. Yet, Cathy has a dark side too. I can see her now, bored, chewing her finger nails and holding court with her many men. They came in droves.

When she was finished with them for some ungodly reason, they would turn their sights on me. Not everyone, but enough of them where Cathy became annoyed. We had a big blow up about it and I pleaded innocent! How in the world can I be held responsible for them! It was kind of funny, they would call Cathy and ask if they were allowed to ask me out. She would say, "Do what you want" and then not talk to me.

Actually I was not an innocent. I had very few opportunities to meet people outside of the classroom. My work was in an office with all women! Very difficult to meet anyone. I liked Mark, and we went out for several months. Then I liked Tom, we went out for several months. Then Dennis. He called right after Cathy yelled at me, and all I could do was laugh, because this one I really liked!

Cathy threw her arms up in the air and gave up! Dennis was not a potential boyfriend for Cathy, but an old pal who had been on the road playing drums for a band for years. He had just quit the bad and returned home (home as in Kentucky) for good. Does it get any better than this, a musician with beautiful long curly brown hair. A German Catholic from a big family!

But, he found Jesus and cut all his hair off! Is this the effect I have on men now? I was stunned and the romance fell apart. Then Cathy and I fell apart. She was able to purchase a home and was moving. I was about to be put out on the street. To tell the truth, I had some very hard feelings about it and left angry. In a way, so was she.

Again, someone left my life who had been a huge part of it for OVER 14 YEARS! She was there all freshman year in Murray, dancing up a storm Down South. She was there for all the John years, and there to help me put my life back together. She was there for everything for so many years and then she vanishes.

I have tried to find her. I want to find her especially now that I am immersed in this history, because it is also her history in so many ways.

In December Bridget and I went to the building she use to work in. That office was no longer housed there, but we were given directions to the new location. Once there, Bridget took over and told the security lady all about Cathy and how we were looking for her.....but to no avail. No one we asked had any knowledge or memory of this woman.

Her parents no longer line in the South End of Louisville. Her ex-fiance has had no contact with her either over the past decade.

I am so ashamed looking back that I wanted a boyfriend that could possible turn into a husband that I disregarded the best and closest friend I ever had. You can not replace people. As I have grown older I hope I have learned to be gentler with those I love.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Not Drinking can be Hazardous to your Health

I have given up alcohol for Lent. This is really going to be a big sacrifice. I love coconut rum, and since several of the brands are offering rebates, I have discovered the wide wide world of flavored runs. Stopping the madness is not going to be fun. Yet, as a sacrifice for Lent, I can do it.

Last night Poo-Poo and I go out on the town in Newport. Well, we go out in a tiny spot of the town in Newport. Big Joe Duskin, a mainstay on the Cincinnati Blues circuit, was playing at the Big Blue Fish in the Levee. It was a celebration for his 84th Birthday.

Sounded like a good time, so I drove up yesterday evening for the event. The bar was packed yet we managed to find a spare chair in the back behind the room divider of tropical plants. I was able to see the stage by kneeling on the chair. To say he was terrific would be an understatement. We stayed for one set and then decided to go across the street to Southgate House to see it Straw Boss was playing.

To get across the street, one must cross about six lanes of traffic. One of the oncoming lanes leads to the ramp to cross one of the many bridges over the Ohio...the Mac Bridget I think. We look up to the traffic light, which is about 20 yards away. The light is red and the cars are all revering their engines waiting for the green.

"We can make it to the middle." Poo-Poo says to me as he begins to dart across the street.

I look at the traffic to gage whether I should risk it when I absentmindedly walk off the curb not realizing it. Down I go right on my knees! My reflexes are swift and I was able to get my hand out in front of my as I slammed face first into the concrete.

I was only aware that I was on the ground in front of a qucikly approaching wall of impatient lights! Poo-Poo helps me up..."Walk it off! Walk it off!" he instructs me as if I am a football player.

I am really stunned and in semi-shock. I could only think I WAS ABSOLUTELY SOBER! It is too dangerous for me, being Irish! I need alcohol in my system or the earth is rotating off its axis!

I'm certain everyone in traffic who witnessed the spectacle thought I was drunk. A drunk falling in the street. How crazy is that!

Poo-Poo and I have laughed and laughed about it since. My right wrist is slightly sprained ....jeez.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


My car was on the blink so I took a bus downtown to the Planned Parenthood building. I knew I was pregnant, actually I feared I was pregnant. I was uninsured and marrying Mike was quite out of the question....I probably would have under the circumstances, but he was not the marrying kind.

It was positive. I was stunned. I had feared the worst and now it was confirmed. I climbed on the bus in a fog and stumbled into a seat. I did not know what to do. Then the cloud lifted and I was suddenly so thrilled, so happy, so exhilarated and full of joy! I turned to the elderly lady sitting beside me, "I just found out I am going to have a baby!"...."Well, imagine that! That's wonderful!"

Mike did not have the same reaction. He was adamant that I have an abortion. He listed his reasons. Some valid, some selfish, some mean.

I scheduled one. And then waited for the day to arrive in a funk.

The night before it was to take place, I was watching mindless TV. Little House on the prairie. The older sister had married and somehow lost her eyesight. Somehow her cabin caught on fire. Because of her blindness she could not find her baby. She was dragged out of the burning structure and was screaming, "MY BABY MY BABY MY BABY"........I was so torn up that even today I am crying writing this.

God talks to us in whispers and sometimes he bangs us on the back of the head. I cancelled the appointment and found the courage to tell my parents naturally thinking it would kill them.

I told Dad first because Mom was at one of her many meeting that evening. He took it in stride. When Mom came home he told her, "Mary's going to have a baby." and mom looked at me and said, "I knew it was a matter of time." and that was that!

No death, no crying, no accusations, no guilt. Just loving acceptance.

It was the toughest decision I thought I was going to have to make. But I was wrong. I went to Houston to live with an Aunt and Uncle for the duration of the presence and God sent Fr. Steffes to guide me along this chosen path. Fr. Steffes was a priest from my grammar school in KY. What he was going 1200 miles in Houston for me? Just a miracle. He helped me decide whether to give Bridget up for Adoption or the Alternative, which was to straighten out my life and accept responsibility of which I had no idea.

That was the hardest decision. And I know I made the selfish choice. I have never loved anyone as fiercely and unconditionally and with such careless abandon as I love my daughter Bridget.

Even though I thought I was going to die giving birth to her.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I am so busy writing the ADDICTED TO LOVE series that I am totally ignoring The Wonderful World Of Mary. Lost in the past. Not really a good place to be, but enlighening. I am realizing things that perhaps I was just too involved to see clearly before. Like John had a depression problem. I guess that is easy for me to say, throw out there 30 years later. It could have a lot of validity to it.

Another thing is this. I love Joe. John is gone.

And so, a very long chapter of my life is over, finally.

I have been having a hard time writing about it. I have stripped it down to its bear bones and then let my heart tell the story. This is why I began to blog. It took over a year to get to the point where I was prepared enough, had enough practice to begin.

Gary of GVP's Way sent me an email yesterday telling me how much he loves my Addicted to Love series. That if I polish it up and submit it to some publishers he is certain that I will find a taker. Can you believe it? Someone to pay me to write! It is too good to be true. I know what I would do, I'd freeze. I'd get writers block.

But it is so sweet.

Thursday night I will go to Newport and Joe and I will go see Big Joe Durbin at the Fish Bone at the Levee. Should be great fun. I have to work the next day, so really should not matter anyway, I am giving up liquor of Lent!

HA! We shall see. I'm drinking all the liquor in the house so I will not be tempted. I have abandoned the diet and have convinced myself I will begin running. HA.

I returned home.

I was inconsolable, withdrawn, and cried all the the shower, brushing my teeth , driving the car, peeling an apple. I could not sleep, the pain was so over powering it denied me escape into dream land. No one ever suffered as severely as I. It transcended the heart, and made my whole being ache.

It could not continue forever. It would have killed me. I could very easily have died of a broken heart. Eventually I came out of it....a little. Enough to continue with life, even though I felt the excitement, the pleasure and sweetness of living was gone forever.

One of my childhood friends had moved home also. She and her husband were divorcing (it was a shot gun wedding) and returning with a one year old child. We rented an apartment in Lexington and tried to figure out how to support ourselves.

And we decided to become cocktail waitresses! (That is another entire "series" in itself) and life began to gain some of the luster and shine that it had lost for many months.

Then we began to go the Disco Bars. Greenstreets, the Library ,and Stingle's were our main spots to shake our groove things. But the most fun, the biggest disco palace with its pink marble and brass bar, the mirrored wall, the minimal seating (all dancing) and the rolling fog....was Johnny Angels! Then the after hour club, The Circus! Desperate dancing, rolling smoke from the cigarettes, and BYOB, We danced and danced and danced. Maybe I danced my heart back to health..

Though my heart was on the mend, I had not yet reached the understanding that I needed to forgive myself. No, the good Catholic girl had not been granted the redemption she sought, so the punishment must continue.

Bring me a man who was nice, clean cut, responsible, gainfully employed, fairly level headed and I scoffed! Not "bad" enough for me. I needed danger! I needed risky, hot, formidable, deadly.

And I found him! Oh boy did I find him!

Out of all the wonderful, delightful men that I could have formed some shot at .of a normal future with...I choose the most menacing of them all. As life seems to always have a twisted sense of humor he is the only one I still see and talk to often.

Bridget's Dad

How to describe a broken heart? I was certain no one ever had one broken as badly as mine. I was inconsolable, withdrawn, and cried all the time...In the shower, brushing my teeth , driving the car, peeling an apple. I could not sleep, the pain was so over powering it denied me the escape into dream land. No one ever suffered as I did. It transcended the heart, and made my whole being ache.

It could not continue forever. It would have killed me. I could have very easily died of a broken heart. Eventually I came out of it....A little.

Little enough to continue with life, even though I knew the excitement and sweetness of life was gone forever.

One of my childhood friends had moved back home also. She was divorcing her husband (it was a shot gun wedding) and returning home with a one year old. We rented an apartment in Lexington and tried to figure out how to support ourselves.

And we decided to become cocktail waitresses! (That is another entire "series" in itself)and life began to gain some of the luster and shine that it had lost for many months.

Then we began to hit the Disco Bars on our days off.

My heart was on the mend and I was dancing...dancing...dancing!

There were many very nice men that I met. Really, I know that sounds odd, hanging out and working in bars,but it is the truth. I dated a very nice muscian, Jim, who had played electric bass in a jazz band at night, did art framing by day. He was too nice for me.

Because even though my heart was on the mend, I had not yet the understanding that I had to forgive myself for my screwing up. No, the good Catholic girl had not been granted the redemption she sought, so the punishment must continue.

Bring me a man who was responsible, had gainful employment, fairly level headed and I scoffed! Not "bad" enough for me. I needed danger!

And I found him! Oh boy did I find him!

Out of all the wonderful, delightful men I could have had some chance of a future with...I choose the most surly of them all. And ironic as life always tends to be, he is the only one I still have lots and lots of communication with.

Bridget's Dad.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The First Love Stays With You Forever

I have had a ghost visiting me all week. He has been with me everyday, every minute holding out a key for me to accept. It opens a huge wooden door that will allow me to enter into this beautiful garden. A perfumed garden of memories. Along side the fragrant flowers lies the truth.

I hesitated all week. I was comfortable living with my reality of the events, of my reality of how things were. I'm not sure if I was ready to let go of the sugar coated, butterfly and popsicle fantasies that I held close to my heart for thirty years.

I had a pile of letters he had written to me for over the years we were together and circumstances dictated we be apart. I could not touch them until yesterday, and they were as revealing as I feared, as I knew they would be. I could only read two of the many.

I was an immature young girl ill prepared and unaware of what I was into, what I had. I had everything I ever wanted, everything I ever dreamed about, wished for. And I blew it.

I was self-centered, arrorgant, and inconsiderate. Not all the time...but my insecurities over rode everything. Today, a damn bulb goes off over my head I thought...."Oh....Hell". Oh boy. God forgive me. John forgive me. Though I am certain he did a long time ago. When I met him, he had just emerged from a self inflicted "dropping out". How could I not realize....(I was really just a dummy)...about depression?

We were together for over two years. We were very, very close. And I did something very stupid. Then, being the good Catholic School Girl, I had to confess to him.

And that was that.

I was in a Service Merchandise in Louisville one afternoon seven years after the break-up. And there he was. I had not seen him in that period of time. I remember exactly what I was wearing, a beautiful white wool dress from Neimon Marcus in Houston. I had long hair (again) but my room mate had just given me a perm (this was the big hair ear of the '80's now) and it looked pretty good, except for the right side, it was kind of frizzy. I saw him. He was on the other side of the store, but I knew instantly it was him. I was in line and I turned to the woman behind me, "How does my hair look?" I asked, she looked kind of startled but then told me to tuck the right side behind my ear. I left the line, my heart pounding so loud that I heard it in my ears.

I just stood next to him. He turned. It was suspended in time, just looking at each other. The we hugged.

We went out into the parking lot and talked. I told him all about Bridget......that is all I remember, she was four years old.

"I love you" I said as we parted.

"I love you" he said.

When the phone book came out the next year, his number was gone.

Friday, February 04, 2005


It was a wonderful time, it was a tumultuous time. It was a season of change for me. We shared a farm house with John's best friend, Tuck way way way out in the country side. Eventually we found a samll apartment in town and left. Days later Tuck was busted for growing ....well, let's say an unconventional garden!

We talked about getting married...eloping, but I was an ardent feminist at the time and thought marriage was unnecessary and actully a form of indenturment! I consented to getting married when we were ready to have children!

Memories from so long ago have a surreal quality that surrounds them. They are distorted and adjusted to conform with our fragile psyches. And our fantasies become reality as the years glide along.

I burned all my journals from that time. From before that time, and after. Only my sophomore year "Bible" survived. So, my recollections are the highlights, and the highlows. I never throw anything away (I just burn stuff) and I managed to find all his letters to me, including the letter he sent that made my friend cry. I am unable to read them. I just have them in a pile on the bed, they are emitting a very heavy aoura, but I just can not, not right now. Beginning this series, I just jumped in and now I find myself in a very deep retrospection mode.

Anyway..............I found an account that I had written many years later, actually a tally of events and I share some of the (*ahem*) safer ones with you.

John walking through the door at 1201 Main St, unexpected and looking for a
place to spend the night. He had hitched hiked from Arizonia and had slept
under a bridge in TN until he was finally picked up.

Driving to his friends wedding in Oleans, NY. After the wedding, him asking
me to marry him.

The first time he asked me to marry him we were sitting in front of Tuck's
farm house in the middle of the night, just sitting in the VW and he asked me
to elope...right them, right now! (I should have!)

Going to a fire tower at the Land Between the Lakes and laying on the ground
in the black night and gazing at the stars.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


It was a wonderful time, it was a tumultuous time. We lived on a farm with John's friend Tucker for a short time before finding out own small place. We left just in time, as Tucker got in trouble with the law for growing a ...well let us say, an unconventional type of garden. I worked again at the Ken Lake Lodge for the summer months. Nothing had changed, every thing had changed.

We talked about getting married, but I was going through a feminist stage and though marriage was equal to a slow death. I sugested that we should marry when we were ready to have children.

Oh it was wonderful. The best part about it all was the security I felt knowing he loved me and I loved him. In time I pushed that feeling into something known as "taking for granted". I was so young, and actually so immature emotionaly.

John was a part owner in a bar in Paducah called the Great Western Music Company. We moved to Paducah, once again to a farm way out in the country. There are many stories I can tell about city girl on the farm, but I won't. Suffice it to say, it strained our relationship at times. Everything from the lost beloved dog to being snowed in for a week. The furnace going out and heating with a pot bellied stove. My goodness, that monster was called a "Warm Morning". An ironic name, I do not recall ever having a warm morning with that hunk of cast iron.

I became so close to him. He would say it was if we had been together in a previous life. He was my best friend, my confidant, my sharer of dreams, my mentor, my equal, my teacher. We were together for close to

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


24 hours later I was on I-40 heading west with John, and two other guys. The adventure of my life in more ways than one.

Destination: Tucson! I had never been further west than Memphis! When I use my minds eye and remember that journey, it is the huge, endless blue sky I see. The long trip made in a Volkswagen Beetle, the color that was not really red and not really orange. I did not know how to drive a standard shift, so I was exempt from any driving duties. I was able to just watch the country side change and become so different from anything I was familiar with, I may as well been on the moon.

As most things in life, it happened when I least expected it. I feel in love with John on that trip. I remember the moment. We were doing the tourist thing, riding horses on a desert path. While I was watching him handle his horse with such ease and authority something inside of me shifted. He looked so beautiful, so handsome. I just fell. I fell in love with someone I had known for a year!

It was incredible. The emotion was not a crush, not an infatuation. The sensation had nothing to do with longing, nor looking for someone to complete me. It was a sweeping tenderness and a free fall. As if I had taken a step off the cliffs of safety and into the glorious unknown. It was as wonderful as I dreamed it would be. When I looked at him, my heart beat faster. I was stunned, caught completely off guard, and deliriously happy.

After several weeks in Tucson, we came home to Murray and moved in together.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Time I ran away from home

I returned to school in the fall. I did not return to dorm life, but rented a room on 206 Main street, affectionately known as "the ghetto". There were five rooms, and I occupied the front Florida room. The house was very old, very large, it may have been the garden room at one time. My buddy, K.K., another little sister from the frat, was to board there also......she bailed out on me. I never told my mother that I was the only girl living with four guys! And I very definitely did not tell her one of them was the Bootlegger! (He did not carry out his business from this location....Thank God).

It was a good school year for me. I did relatively well in all my subjects and had a very active social life living with the Bolio's. (the name I affectionately called all my roommates and the hundreds of people who went in and out of the house on a weekly basis).

The school year wound down and suddenly it was May. Naturally, there had to be a huge party to celebrate the conclusion of another year. It was held on a farm secluded deep in the country side of Marshall County where we poised no threat to civilization.

Ironically enough, I went to the party with the Redneck. (I am semi startled when rounding up all these pictures how often he appeared! Then again, he was a frat brother.)As soon as we got there, he ditched me on the spot for this bosomy siren! I was humiliated and hurt and did the best I could not to have the entire party ruined because of his actions.

I found a spot on the porch, close to the keg of beer when HE found me. In spite my apprehensions and misgivings,I was very happy to see him. He had been gone a very long time. That afternoon he was my knight in shining helping me save face.

He was back from Arizona for a short stay. So short that they were leaving to head west the next day.

Hesitently, he asked if I wanted to go along..............