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Rated: 13+ · Book · Experience · #940786
What's on my mind....
It's just me, Marie, trying it again in 2009
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February 3, 2006 at 11:26pm
February 3, 2006 at 11:26pm
I spent the better part of yesterday in the emergency room. I was sent there from work by my doctor who, when I related to her my symptoms, wanted to rule out the more serious possibilities. What was wrong turned out to not be life-threatening, but spending time in the ER is a prime opportunity to observe and to reflect upon things that might otherwise go unnoticed or be taken for granted.

Waiting is inevitable when you're in emergency for something that doesn't require immediate attention, so patience gets a good workout. With my symptoms, I wasn't made to wait an excessively long time before I was taken to the back to be seen.

Upon arrival, though, I had to give my life history to a young girl who informed me that she used to attend the middle school where I now teach. Yes, I was even made to say where I am employed as a precursor to seeing a doctor. Being a rather private person by nature, it was uncomfortable revealing the details of my life to someone I didn't know.

In the ER, curiosity and imagination are also exercised pretty well. Before I was taken to the back, I spent a decent amount of the time in the waiting room, people watching, wondering why the others were there. Were they really sick or were they faking? Was what they had really an emergency, or were they there because they didn't have a doctor to see for that cold or that ache? Were they waiting out front for someone being seen in the back? Had they come in only to find out that they had something that was not going to allow them to come back out?

Had I?

There were about fifteen people waiting, of several nationalities, and most of them women. An older couple who sat over in the corner in the row of chairs underneath the TV, talked quietly with each other. The man was in a wheelchair that had a small green oxygen tank attached to it. A white plastic tube led from the tank and was clipped to his nose. They didn't hear their last name being called several times, not even when it was announced twice over the intercom. Finally, the young blonde receptionist with the ponytail had to come for them personally. She spoke pleasantly to them, telling them that they needed to sit closer to the desk so that they could better hear.

A young black girl in a black leather jacker, jeans, and black leather boot shoes curled up in a chair on the end of one row. She had her head on her arm, and I thought she was asleep, but closer inspection revealed that she was leaned over, talking on a cell phone.

There was another woman, an older lady with artificially blonde hair, who was taking care of an active, quietly talkative little girl. From their conversation, the woman was the girl's grandmother, and it appeared they were waiting for the girl's mother, who was in the back.

A small, leathery black man in rusty pants and boots was seated two chairs over from me. I got the impression that he was nervous about something. He was tightly clutching in his hands some papers he had rolled into a slim, tight cylinder. He kept getting up and going to the desk. Finally, just as the door to the back opened, and my name was called, someone from Social Services came down to speak with him. He smiled at the lady, shook her hand, and seemed very relieved to see her.

In my approximately 7X7 curtain-walled "room", there was one of those gurney beds with a back that adjusts to allow you to sit up or lie down flat. I chose to sit up so that I could write in the journal I had brought with me. Thankfully, the gurney-bed was well-padded, so it was at least comfortable. After a while, I had to use my jacket over my legs. They don't give you any covers and it was drafty back there. Although it wasn't all that cold, for some reason, my feet, hands and ears were freezing.

The smell of hospitals is unsettling to me. It's a mixture of clean, hypoallergenic linen, bleach, antiseptics, and some other smell-a forced, sweet smell meant to cover up the scent of what human bodies do when they're sick.

I needed to go to the bathroom when I first got back there, but then I heard the woman in the next room come back and report to someone in there with her that "it" was "coming out of both ends". Whichever end it was coming out of, I didn't want to be inhaling behind her, so I held onto what I had a while longer to give the restroom a chance to air out.

It was hard to concentrate back there while I waited for someone to come talk with me. I closed the curtains to keep strangers from looking in as they passed by. For some reason that seemed highly invasive to me. But with the curtains closed, the sounds of everything around me seemed amplified. I could hear the details of people's conversations. I could hear the employees talking about who was on break and who was due for one.

A couple was smack-kissing two rooms down; the man had a serious southern drawl. No word uttered from his lips had less than two syllables, and he talked very loud, every other word a mild curse word.He would lower his voice some for those. Even though I never lay eyes on him, I knew that he was there because he had cut himself, would eventually need a skin graft to fix it, and he didn't want "no tay-et-ness shaw-it" (tetanus shot). The doctor made him take one anyway.

In the time that I was there, three people came and went in the room right next to mine.(I had the end room.) Every time the doctor came in to give the person the discharge instructions, it was as if he was talking to me. I wasn't trying to listen, but there was absolutely no privacy. That last woman had a cyst on her ovary and a nodule in her breast that she was advised to have checked out via mammogram. She had undergone a hysterectomy some time back, and they couldn't find her appendix (Is that how it's spelled when you're talking about a part of the body?) on the xray they took of her, even though she swore she still had one.

When you're back there in ER, with something wrong with you and waiting to be seen by the doctor, your mortality and the fact that you are essentially alone in this world kind of smack you in the face. I wasn't frightened; I don't scare easily, but it did make me reflect on a lot of things.

I had to have an MRI, one of those tests where they slide you into this tube and images are made of your entire body. Some people freak out when taking this test. It's very noisy, and I imagine for some, it's like being entombed.

I've had it done more than once, so I was familiar with the procedure and have my own technique for coping. From the time the table starts sliding into the tube, I keep my eyes closed, so I have no idea what it looks like inside the tube, how close the confines are, nothing. I just take the test and think of other things. Yesterday, I thought about my family, my sons, my husband, and for some reason, my late Aunt Minnie. Despite the bizarre series of bangs and pings the machine makes as it does its thing, I think I might have fallen asleep in there.

I'm so glad that what was wrong with me didn't need a whole lot of privacy when it was time for the doctor to deliver my instuctions to me. I was given the name and number of another doctor to see, and the advice to take aspirin rather than ibruprophen to cut down on the inflammation in my shoulder and neck. As he spoke to me, the doctor smelled strongly of tacos, and I could see that he was talking around the remnants of it. Somehow that detracted from his professionalism; I wanted him to hurry with what he was saying so that I could be done with him and the situation.

When I left the hosptial, some seven hours after I went in, it was dark outside, drizzling, and it had turned cool. I zipped the jacket I had on and pulled the hood up on my head and walked out to my car. I have to make an appointment to see the doctor for what's going on with me; I got no real resolution for my problems, but I was grateful to able to go back home, get a bath, and climb over into my own bed.
Some of those people down there with me in the Emergency Room yesterday did not get off so easily.

January 31, 2006 at 8:05pm
January 31, 2006 at 8:05pm



I got to work this morning and sat down to have my cup of coffee after getting my lesson together, the work on the board, and my materials organized. I opened up the news, and the first thing I read was that Mrs. King had passed away.

It is the end of an era; a changing of the guard. I don't think they make people like her any more.

As a child of Dr. and Mrs. King's generation, I have been life-long witness to the advances those who came before me worked so hard and gave their lives to achieve. She and others of her time truly accomplished some marvelous things in their time here on earth.

Now it is up to all of us to ensure that what was so bravely begun is not eroded by self-centered complacency. Contrary to the belief of some, the struggle is not over. We, meaning people of all nationalities, all around the world, still have a long way to go

Well done, Mrs. King. Please rest in the comfort of knowing that you are appreciated and will be long remembered as a woman of immeasurable strength and quiet dignity.

January 29, 2006 at 9:07pm
January 29, 2006 at 9:07pm
Today was a pretty good day. Nothing spectacular happened, it was just one of those kind of days that I enjoy. The weather was pleasant, sunny and warm like spring even though it's still January. By noon, we didn't even need the jackets that we brought out with us.

We had a late breakfast at Denny's, after trying the Golden Corral and two I-Hops, finding them overflowing into the parking lots. I had French toast, bacon, and coffee. They were delicious.

We left Denny's and went to Walmart. Walmart has become our place to hang out. We often go with no particular purpose, but we develop one once we get there. Today, we picked up a few things we didn't really need, but that would make our lives a bit easier.

From there we came home. He went downstairs and I went up. For most of the afternoon, he did his thing, and I did mine. He watched sports on TV and I wrote until I got hungry again and went down to check on him. It turned out that neither of us was starving. I was really trying to stave off my late afternoon sugar drop which sends me like a slave to the cookie or candy jar. We ended up going to Panda Express and picking up carry-out. I had prepared ravioli, but hadn't cooked it yet. We decided to put that in the fridge and save it for tomorrow when after work I won't feel like cooking or going out to eat.

I've had my bath and I'm as limp as a noodle. I'm no good for anything else. I'm sitting here on the side of the bed, thinking of the things in which I take joy. I thought I'd jot them down. Here goes: (no particular order)

quiet moments
a sudden barrel laugh
good company
juicy gossip
a story well told
tear-jerker movies
my empty nest
peace of mind
piece of mind
barbecue (thanks Chris)
warm breezes
writing about all of it

January 28, 2006 at 10:41pm
January 28, 2006 at 10:41pm
I haven't made an entry in a couple of days, but it wasn't entirely my fault. There was some glitch going on with my laptop that wouldn't allow me to open this site to get into my blog. That's only an excuse, of course. I could have gone across the hall to the PC, but that would have been too much like right.

Besides, I like writing these things while I sit up in bed. I do my best thinking after a hot bath, and while sitting up on the side of the bed, just chillin'.

Not too much happened while I was away, at least not anything upon which I can comment. I am happy for the weekend. The little darlings I get up to go and hang out with every day were in rare form this past week. I needed the break.

Even though I'm not sick physically, I'm tempted to call off on Monday and take a mental health day. I'm mentally drained, and I hate Mondays. The work week should start on Tuesday and be four days rather than five. By Friday, I'm only going through the motions, and after Friday evening and Saturday, I spend the latter part of Sunday dreading the following Monday.

Oh well, I've been told about wishing my life away, so I guess I should leave that line of thought.

I joined a bowling league last week to give myself an outlet that wasn't work or writing related. Before moving to Georgia, I was a serious bowler: two or three leagues a week, jackpots, tournaments, the whole shot. Until last Saturday, it had been five years since I picked up a ball.

Considering that, I didn't do too badly. I shot a 184 the first game, fell apart the second game- 101, and rolled a 204 the third. I'm paying for it, though. Despite having soaked in a tub of hot water, my left knee feels as if someone is twisting it into a knot. The shin beneath it is actually sore to the touch. You can bet I'm going to have myself on that treadmill tomorrow. I do believe I have been on the side of this bed a bit too long.
January 25, 2006 at 8:52pm
January 25, 2006 at 8:52pm
I thought about my grandmother today.

She passed away in April of 2004, and I don't think about her as often now as I did in that first year.

She was my mother's mother, and she had lived a long, rich life. I had the priviledge of having her in mine for a lot longer than most people get to enjoy their grandmothers.

That wasn't my grandmother who lived down south. That one died before I was born. This grandmother was the one whose house to which we could walk. She was the grandmother that babysat us after school, the one who worked in the dry cleaners at the end of our street, the one who when we tapped on the window as we passed by the shop would smile and wave at us as she worked at pressing people's clothes.

She was the grandmother with the starlight mints in the candy jar which was where we headed as soon as we entered her house. She was there at our recitals and programs. She was at our graduations and right up front at our weddings.

It was my grandmother who was there at the hospital when I woke. At the break of day, she was there even before my mother could get there, to see me when my third son was born via Ceasarian section (also the third one).

It was my grandmother who taught me to sing, "Mama may have, Papa may have, but God bless the child who's got his own". We would sing backup together for Lady Day who sung lead on the stereo in the living room. My grandmother was proud of me for holding fast to those lyrics in my life, just as she strived to do throughout hers.

As far back as I can remember, my grandmother had always been a sharp dresser. And she was so funny; even after glaucoma robbed her of her eyesight, she was still concerned about her appearance. We laugh now thinking about how after helping her to get dressed to go out or for company, her constant question to us would be, "How do I look?" She couldn't see herself, but it was important to her that she look good to others.

In the end, although I knew I would miss her, I didn't regret my grandmother moving on; she was tired. At 91, her strong spirit and her alert mind were being held hostage and being stifled by her failing body. I think when her time came, she really wanted go, so she lie down on her bed, "Stretched out", as she put it for an afternoon nap, and slept on away from here, headed for a higher plane.

I'm sure that now she's somewhere telling stories and making other people laugh, having a good old time, and making everybody feel good, just as she did when she was here.

It's been nearly two years but I still miss her naughty chuckle. I miss her out-of-the-blue comments catching me off guard, and having my reactions tickle her to no end. I miss calling her up on the phone with the latest gossip. I miss having her phone me, just to "check on me". Every now and then I still catch myself reaching for the phone to call her up. But then it dawns on me that she is no longer at that number, and that another family now resides in that small, neat house on Pacific Avenue.

Today as I sat in staff meeting, I suddenly thought of my grandmother. I found myself teetering on the brink of that empty hole that hasn't quite filled in yet, the one her leaving me made in my heart.

I love you, Big Mom. Take care.
January 24, 2006 at 6:44pm
January 24, 2006 at 6:44pm

So now, it seems, the kids can't even go to daycare without worrying about a classmate shooting them.

That's pretty bad. Nobody is safe anywhere any more.

When will people learn that if there is a gun in the home it is imperative that small children 1.) not be aware of its presence in the home, 2.) that it be put in a place where there is no chance at all of any child getting a hand on it? It's been said so many times, and yet kids keep getting hurt at the hand of other kids.

Guns have always been fascinating to little boys, just as they are to the big ones. But in the times in which we live, where guns have become synonomous with power rather than with hunting and survival, it is imperative that greater care be taken to keep guns and children separate from one another.

People claim that they have guns in their homes for protection. I am willing to bet that there are more cases on record of guns being a problem than there are of them being an effective deterrent or source of protection in the home. Although we resided in an area where most people probably had guns- and needed them-when we were raising our children, as a parent of three sons, I didn't want one. I couldn't take the risk. Kids ramble, and they are ingenious in doing so. Sometimes no matter how well you think something is put up, a kid can find it and get into it if so inclined. I didn't want a gun to be what one of my children got into. I didn't want a mistake to be made.

The mother of the little boy who did the shooting, I'm certain, had no idea that her child was carrying something in his backpack that would change his life, her and her husband's lives, and the lives of so many others. I am sure that the mother of the little girl who was shot had no idea that she was dropping the baby off to be faced with that horror and pain. When the owner of that daycare unlocked the doors of the facility this morning, I know that she didn't have an inkling that her day would turn out as it did.

The father has been arrested for leaving the gun where the kid could get it. I was surprised to see that he was 56. Way, way old enough to know better.

The thing of it is, though, he should feel blessed; it could have been a whole lot worse.

Will daycare backpacks now have to be searched? Is it time to install metal detectors at the doors of daycare centers? Probably not. But it is time that we become more responsible about what we let our children see, and about what we do around our children. It is also time that we pay more attention to what our children are doing.

January 22, 2006 at 11:30pm
January 22, 2006 at 11:30pm
The prompt I picked up out of the pile today was:
Make a list of what pleases you all for yourself

I thought I'd share, so here goes, in no particular order; I wrote what came to me as it came to me:

Red licorice, my favorite is Twizzlers strawberry
A good cup of coffee the first thing in the morning
Being by myself, able to write without fear of interruption
Doing what I want to do, when I want to do it
The color black
Hart to Hart, once the TV show, now the DVD's
The internet
My computers, especially the laptop
Knowing that my mother is as close as the telephone and my father as close as "send"
Writing the series that I'm currently writing
Talking about writing with others who enjoy writing
My hair
Female vocalists with rich, lower register voices or excellent timbre, ala Barbra Streisand, Sarah Vaughn, Judy Garland, Anita Baker, Ella
Male vocalists; Luther Van Dross, Will Downing, Frank Sinatra come to mind. Have to sound confident,mellow, and very sexy
Tart, sweet tasting things
Sleeping in or getting up way before everyone else in the house
Staying up late into the night after everyone else is asleep
Working with beads, stringing them into something lovely and interesting
Bright, warm colors; lime or avocado green, persimmon, yellow
Laughing until I cry
Watching little children when they don't know anyone is watching
Good eyes
A genuine smile
An intelligent boy who doesn't mind exposing the fact that he's intelligent
Long drives through picturesque places, the more historic, the better
The smell of the furnace when its turned on for the first time in the fall
Remembering and/or talking about the fascinating people who crossed my life, and have since passed on
Sitting out on the deck on an early June day before the searing heat of Georgia Julys and Augusts, drinking sweet tea with lemon and writing in my journal with Anita Baker or somebody crooning on the CD player
When all is right in my world

I like to write these kinds of lists. It's interesting to see what things I said that I preferred today when I look at it again a year from now.

January 21, 2006 at 9:43pm
January 21, 2006 at 9:43pm
Tonight I went bowling for the first time in five years. Before moving from Michigan to Georgia in '99, I bowled at least twice a week for years.

I have been here for five years, and the only friends I have made are people at work. Those friendships are very good ones, though, that extend outside of work. The only places I go are to work, shopping, for long drives sometimes, and the occasional trip home to Michigan or to other places. As of this past November, I have had an empty nest after twenty-six years of child rearing. With just my husband and I, working schedules that don't always line up, the house is quiet and my time is my own. The scary part of all of that is, I like it like that. I enjoy my own company immensely.

But of late, I've been thinking that even though I'm never lonely, it might not be all that healthy to be this isolated. When the other operator in the hair salon mentioned earlier this year that she bowled, I casually mentioned to her to let me know when a league started up, and that I might consider joining.

Well, true to her word, she remembered. Today when I went into the shop to drop something off for my hairdresser, the other operator let me know that a league in which she was planning to bowl was starting tonight.

All day I wrestled with the idea of going or not going. I had no reason not to go, but I was so used to doing absolutely nothing on my Saturdays off. Around four-thirty, I made up my mind to go. I needed to be there by six.

I went down to the garage and got out my bowling bag. It was covered in dust and dog hair, as our Max makes the garage her home. I had to spray it down with some orange cleaner and wipe it down in order to make it look presentable. Since it had been zipped closed all that time, the contents, to my delight my shoes and the balls (It's a double bag.) had been hermetically preserved. After cleaning the outside of the bag, my equipment was in order, and I was good to go.

I fear, though, that I neglected to inform my left knee and hip of what I was planning to do. Both of them had the screaming meemies all evening. I wound up bowling decently for one who hadn't done it in forever, but I am paying the price. A hot bath and two Aleeves later, I'm feeling a bit better, but it's clear that my body has been doing something it hasn't done in a while.

And evidently needed to do.

Despite my pain, I feel good. I did something that got me moving, and it's something I enjoy. The people were pleasant, and it was good being back on the lanes. I'm going back next week. At six oclock on Saturday evenings, I can be found in the bowling alley.
January 20, 2006 at 11:45pm
January 20, 2006 at 11:45pm

I have been asleep most of the evening, ever since I got home from dinner after work with the girls at O'Charley's and then I took that hot bath to unwind.

For a four-day week, it's surely been a long one. It's bad when all day Wednesday, you're thinking it's Thursday You're getting by, taking comfort and strength in the mistaken notion that the next day will be Friday, only to have someone come along and correct your calendar.

Talk about the truth hurting.

My sense of commitment (and my physical system) woke me around 11:30 this evening, nudging me back to consciousness, whispering to me that that I hadn't lived up to my daily obligation. So here I am writing that I don't have anything much to write about.

But I did write.
January 19, 2006 at 10:41pm
January 19, 2006 at 10:41pm

{c}Man Accused Of Sexually Explicit Talk With "Teen"
It seems people never learn. I guess the thought is, "There are so many people out here on the internet, they'll never catch me."

This is another case of a man using the internet and a chat room to solicit sex from an underage girl. They just showed his picture on the news. I had already read a couple of articles online about it. He is white-haired, quite non-threatening to the eye. He owns a cleaners, and the people who know him said that they never would have suspected him of doing something like that.

He also has two very young children of his own, I think they were reported to be a boy and a girl, aged five and seven. He was corresponding with what he thought was a thirteen-year-old girl, but in reality, it was an undercover agent posing as a young girl.

The agent said that the man made contact with the girl/agent, and the talk quickly turned to sex, even though he thought it was a young girl to whom he was speaking. He allegedly sent her a picture of his private parts. Then he sent her a picture of his two kids.

I shudder to think what the reason for that was. What was the correlation?

When the undercover agents raided the cleaners where the guy worked, they found him on the computer, on the internet, looking at porn.

Computers are marvelous things. They have made the world a bit smaller and a lot more interesting. We have so much information right at our fingertips. We are able to correspond with people we might never have met in real life. Through my writing, I have met all kinds of people and have developed a few genuine friendships with people with whom I might not have otherwise come into contact. But there is a lot that is harmful out there, too. Just as we can get on the internet and reach out, there are others who are using it to troll for victims. There are also those who have the capability of looking in to see what is being done with that computer. That has been proven time and time again.

It seems as if every day somebody is on the news, looking stupid, after getting caught trying to lure children for sex. How does one recover from that kind of public shame? What kind of damage does that do to the family and loved ones of that individual? Social Services is looking into the lives of the children of the man in the above article. I think that's wise since he's sending their pictures out onto the internet like that and under those circumstances. There's no telling....

I think that people have the right to do what they want in the privacy of their own homes or establishments as long as what they do doesn't hurt anyone else or infringe upon the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of anyone else. If a person wants to look at porn on the internet, it's their right, but like drugs, that stuff is addicting. Also like drugs, for some people, they need more and more stimulation as the addiction grows. I believe these are the ones who use the internet as a means to feed their sick needs.

Parents, watch your children. Put that computer in a central area of the house, not in the bedroom. Closely monitor what your kids do on the internet. They need to steer clear of chat rooms. Even the ones geared to kids can get pretty raunchy. As a teacher, I can attest to some of the stuff that gets started on the internet coming right on up into the school with the kids. And watch your kids around adults. Don't blindly trust anyone with them. The most harmless looking someone could be the one to change your child's life forever or to snuff it out completely.

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