Category Archives: Life

The Great Escape


A week ago I just got in the car, gassed up, and left town. I had no idea where I was going. I had no plans. I had no one telling me to stay or question my motives. But what I did have was this overwhelming and driving need for something unplanned.

So, I packed a weekend bag, finger foods, a case of water, phone charger, and a few camping supplies (just in case I decided to “rough it”). You see, I may have been on the verge of a momentary mid-life crisis, but hey – I’m not lacking in cognitive fore planning even if this was a spontaneous, fly by the seat of your pants escape.

And there you have it. Me, my thoughts, and my beetle hit the road heading north. At first, I considered making the trek to the beach. Sand in my toes. Salt breeze kisses on my skin. Sun on my…”WAIT! What the hell are you thinking?! SUN? Absolutely NOT!” My recently 2nd degree blistered and burned legs screamed at me making me reconsider that weekend option and thus the idea to head north…to parts unknown.

I spent the early noonish hours traversing ‘cross the Georgian countryside. Look at a Georgia map and you’ll get the feeling that moonshine had a lot to do with off the beaten trail routes ’cause not a single road leads straight any place. Needless to say, the drive was peaceful, serene, and as I took in the landscape and scenery, my thoughts bounced from this, that, and the other. I still had no idea where I was headed. I just knew that I wasn’t really in a city mood and since my legs strongly opposed the sunny beach idea, I figured I’d just continue driving until I ended up some place interesting. Interesting, hu? The irony is finally setting my sights on Bristol, TN for a surprise visit to my sister (less than 2 hours away) only to find that she was literally moving back to Florida that same night. Haha! No joking. True story. You see – that little asshole, Murphy and I have been at odds for years and whenever he feels neglected, this is the shit he pulls. Well, Murphy – I’ve got news for you. Sister or no, I’m not turning around. And I didn’t. And Murphy got left in my beetle dust.

My final destination? I ended up in The Great Smokey Mountains. The drive was insane but the sights were beyond beautiful. I needed this drive. I needed to feel free and to sort things out in my head. I needed to recognize that there’s still so much out there that I haven’t explored and not just physical explorations but also personal ones. And more importantly, I needed the time to refresh and renew my personal drive. To step out from the mask of complacency and really take an introspective look at my life and where I want to be. I came to the understanding that we all make mistakes but life is ultimately what we make of it. It’s ok to go off road and take in the sights along the way but eventually, even if it’s the long way, find a way to stay driven towards your goals.

Moral: Sometimes when life has you feeling boxed in…claustrophobic…you need an unplanned, great escape in order to put it all back into perspective.


The Day I Lost “IT”


This is a Chick #3 original. For her summer lit project, she was instructed to pick from 3 prompts and write an essay which is due right in the middle of summer break. Originally none of the prompts appealed to her because they all seemed sappy or emotional and she’s not really the kind of kid who enjoys writing about emotional things…unless, of course, there’s a little bit of dark humor attached. She ultimately chose the prompt stating she needed to write about something important she lost but still struggled with the idea of writing about loss. Anyway since she is visiting grandpa and Anna for the summer, she had roughly 2 weeks to write this 750 word essay but instead, she sloughed about, moped, and whined about it for almost a full week until I mentioned an incredibly hysterical incident where she lost her temper. By the time I came home from work, this is what she had written. I hope you enjoy… ~S.


The Day I Lost “IT”

A certain person cannot hold onto the raging fire of Hell within themselves after taking a beating after beating …after beating from a low life, such as a rotten sibling. It has to come out eventually. And in this case, there was an explosion. I know what you’re going to say,” Aren’t all siblings troublesome?” I would answer a simple “yes”, but that would not even suffice to the situation. This brings it to a whole new level. It’s no longer picking and bickering that results in wearing a “get along shirt”, but to the level of taking belongings and antagonizing each other to the point of breaking. Sounds like fun, right? Well, not when you’re on the receiving end and you can’t do anything to stop or prevent it from happening. As the youngest sister of three, being the target was easier than standing up for myself. However, one can only take so much before snapping and losing “IT”, while taking a baby stroller to a once beloved sister. Oh wait, we’re getting off topic. We’ll get there.

One day, out of the blue, the wretched queen of sibling misery showed up with her posse of guards. Surrounded and petrified, I stood there with a shy demeanor and clutched my stuffed dog, Oreo. As if me fearfully clutching the dog wasn’t signal enough, the queen attacked. While her guards held me in place, Oreo was plucked from my arms faster than I could scream bloody murder. I violently fought to get him back by thrashing around in her-not-so-majesty’s guards’ grasp and managed to squirm my way out of their mealy mitts, getting closer to the queen. As I advanced slowly, the queen glowered furiously and summoned her guards again. Mid stride, the queen threw Oreo to her left and from there, Oreo was a flurry of motion as he was thrown all around like a football game taking up action on the field. Seeing that the game of toss became monkey in the middle and that there was no chance of me intercepting my Oreo-ball, the queen and one of her guards, hightailed it out of there with Oreo in tow. Instantly, my mind concocted vengeful scenarios and I hoped at least one of them would pan out so I could retrieve my companion. I bolted from my spot. Speeding up on them, I tried to conceal myself within the crowd around. As I peered around a clump of passing people, determination painted itself on my face like war paint going into battle. In that moment, the queen stood alone and a chance popped up like a notification on a cell phone. Seeing my opportunity while the queen’s back was turned, I prepared to bulldoze right into her but instead, I stopped dead in my tracks. There to my left, laying a few feet away, sat a glorious toy baby stroller. I knew there was a possibility the queen would move while I retrieved my weapon, so I moved hastily. Time slowed as I swooped down to fetch the baby stroller and then with lightning speed, sped up as I swung at the queen with pent up anger for everything she ever did to me that brought misery. Pain, frustration, and anger flew through me in an instant. Remembering every tortured moment fueled me even further to keep smacking, bashing, and smacking, and more bashing until I was forced to cease fire by a passing adult.

The moments following this episode consisted of me being detained in the “Think Tank” to reflect on my hate crime but instead, I hugged Oreo and felt victorious. Later, when I was released, I sauntered up to the wretched queen and with the most crazed expression I could muster up, I hissed, “Now you know what happens when you mess with me. Want to try again?” Her face went white in terror while she profusely shook her head, “No”.

Being a fairly laid back person, it takes a lot of button pushing for me to get that angry and that was definitely the day I lost “IT”. I don’t enjoy getting mad but the incident marked a positive turning point in my relationship with my sister. She still aggravates me but in some way she also respects me more. And if she ever thinks she wants to take me on again, all I have to ask is, “baby stroller?”

~ O.


90 Years: Can We Ever Make Up For Lost Time?

This past July was my grandmother’s 90th birthday and I was so happy we were able to make the drive from Georgia to Pennsylvania for this special occasion. It was a short and sweet visit but the time spent there, no matter how long, always leaves me longing for home – a home I haven’t been a part of since I was 6 years old but miss dearly.

I can still remember the day mom crammed us into that tiny car. It reminded me of a circus clown car because it literally breathed a sigh of relief when the doors opened and everyone spilled out. Funny how I can remember that uncomfortable trip, sitting all pretzel legged and humped over as we drove from Pennsylvania down the coast to Melbourne, Florida. Our new home.

We never went back. And the family we were torn from became memories of another lifetime. Connections were severed by anger and control. We had no voice. We had no power. We were pawns in an adult game. Yet we were the ones who lost.

I can still feel the hurt and confusion from being whisked away to a hotel so we couldn’t visit with grandma and grandpa. What had we done and why were we being punished?

The years ebbed on. Life went on. And for every beginning there is a heart breaking end.

I was 16 and in the hospital the last time I spoke with my grandpa. Cancer took him before I was old enough to escape from my personal tormenter.

The years of abstinence make it difficult to feel like I have a place in that old life. I’ve missed so much and I see those who are absorbed in it. Who live it. Breathe it everyday. And then there are those who were welcomed back and wonder if I, too, could ever find my way home again.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Today Was a Good Day

Today Was a Good Day

Mesh Gallery

90 Years & Always Young at Heart: My Grandmother’s 90th Birthday.


I’m not thrilled with this photo gallery. Not being an iPhone user, it is extremely limited and the computer based program is also restricting certain functions. I am unable to label each picture and I can not embed the gallery. I can only provide the link. This gallery may be very useful once it is user friendly to all types of devices. I like the idea that you can select which gallery you want to share and continually add to it if needed. Other programs do not limit viewing once you share. For instance, if you share a gallery in Flickr, the author’s other galleries can also be viewed. Mesh may be better for sharing personal galleries that you don’t want others to view but for the intention of blogging, I really don’t see the point.

Addition: My gallery title isn’t viewable and I don’t like the pictures resize based on the device size being used. There’s no way to tell prior to the resizing what part of the picture will be viewable. Instagram resizes pictures, also. However, you’re aware of the re sizing and can choose how to crop the picture. Thus allowing the author to have complete control. Again, not very happy with this viewer.

More: The link will embed in my Facebook, though.


Today Was a Good Day

Ode to the Livy Bug

Originally written on The W(H)INE Monologue – Nov. 3. 2013



Livy Bug is definitely a one of a kind. Unique doesn’t even have a good leg to stand on next to her because she outshines it all on her own. This child has so many layers of personality that they all take a life of their own and without them, my world would be boring and dull.
She’s an Uptown Girl with The Moves Like Jagger. She’s an all around Super Freak with the soul of Jungle Boogie. This Girl will She Bop you and Drop a Bomb on you. She’s anything but Everyday People. She’s got Heart and Soul, the ability to make you Imagine, Dream, Question, and Laugh Till You Cry. She was my Gift of Light sent When I needed An Angel the most. She’s my Outrageous, Funny Girl who can Make Me SmileEven When the Sun Don’t Shine.
She’s my Livy Bug.

They say the Lord works in mysterious ways and that here is always a purpose for every action taking place in our lives. We just don’t know what that purpose is or which path to take. I suppose there are signs all around us, pointing us in some sort of glory bound direction but then free will comes along with the desire for adventure and off we go on the “Road Not Taken” ~ William Pritchard

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”…

I chose the Road Not Taken or less traveled or whatever you want to call it and am better for it. However, the trip along that gnarled, knotty, and off beaten road was anything less than desirable. It was shadowed and dark. Devoid of light. And often scary with it’s unforeseen monsters. There were times I regretted taking such an obscure road and would have kicked myself righteously in my own ass had I the ability to do so. I often wished I could turn back but that isn’t how it works. You can’t turn back. You can only go forward and as in the Choose Your Own Adventure books, you can either deliberately or impulsively weight out your next steps.
My road began after meeting this tall, funny guy at a local beach club. As a surprise to me and other recently unattached friend, my other friend thought I was a fantastic idea to rent a limo and go out on the town. The four of us hit the road. Made a few stops here and there and soon enough ended up out on Melbourne Beach where the clubs seemed strung together by a thread of sand dunes and sea oats.
I wasn’t really feeling the party scene. So, as the two married woman danced and gathered a crowd, me and the other recently dumped friend sat, enjoying our drinks and we were quite content to do so. The evening lagged on and sometime close to shutting down the whole scene my danceaholic friend announces she’s made a few friends. Good Lord! Of course she made friends. This place was nothing but a meat market and I just wanted to go home. I made my way over to her swarmy group of boy toy friends, politely said hello and headed for the limo. We no sooner had climbed in, when the bromance squad appeared out of nowhere. Apparently, our limo hosting fool had “suggested” we give the gentlemen a ride home. “Are you effing kidding me?!” Was all I could manage to get out before they dog piled into the limo, staking claim to my left and right hip. I glared at her as she roared with laughter. Needless to say, we dropped the boys off at their own homes and I thankfully managed to climb into my own bed…alone.
Over the next few weeks I ended up with an enamored suitor who ended up being a wolf or whore in sheep clothing. Both are very fitting. It didn’t take me long to compile a list of “why this isn’t right” notes that went from two-timing asshole to drugged out of your mind woman beater but as Murphy would have it, I ended pregnant even though we were both protected. Sign #1? I never refer to Liv as a mistake. She is the one that was meant to happen because she surely should not have been conceived but was. Becoming recently single with a 6 and 1 year old, I contemplated giving Liv up for adoption and much to my surprise was wholeheartedly supported by my family to do so. And then the accident happened. I was 5 months pregnant, on my way to the police station in my 92 fast back Mustang, had the girls with me, and hydroplaned doing 30 miles an hour, airborne into an oncoming car. The driver to driver impact, caused my seat to unbolt from the floorboard pushing my chest into the steering wheel that I was gripping so I hard I literally bent it in half, the seatbelt to give way ripping across my chest and right cheek, jammed my left knee between the door and air vent, ripped open my right knee from being thrust into the dash board, and crushed my right foot to the floor board by the engine that was pushed through the fire wall. My ankle was shattered and my heal bones dislocated. Thankfully, the girls only received a few minor injuries. Sassy had a broken collar bone and Allie had some bruising. As I lost control of the car, I remember asking Allie if they were seat belted in and then told them to hang on. It all happened in slow motion. I could see the Mustang next to me turning right, the median with a few palm trees, the damn water on the road glistening in the Florida sun, and the cranberry red car coming from the other direction. Like a pool shot, I played it out in my head and knew there was no way of avoiding the singular oncoming car. And we hit.
Mustang guy was standing at my door asking me if he could take the kids through a window. I remember telling him “No. Wait for help” and I calmly continued to talk to the girls. I was pinned in my tiny metal cubicle and couldn’t freely turn to see them but knew I needed to stay calm. The paramedics arrived. Some funny woman asked me if I always drove so close to my steering wheel. I looked down and realized that my steering wheel looked like a taco and it was pressing into my chest. I managed a mirthful grin, told her I was 5’9″ and 5 months pregnant. She went to the other side of the car and helped the girls out the window. She told me they looked fine but would need to check them out to make sure. Kids out of car – check. Kids ok – check. Sheila stuck in car – check. Time to pass out from the pain – check. When I woke, I could here Sassy – you can ALWAYS hear Sassy – screaming because they were trying to secure her collar bone. Man, that kid can scream. The next 45 minutes were spent on cutting me out of my car. The impact had literally shifted every bit of the car body causing it to ripple and overlap. I wasn’t just pinned by the seat and steering wheel, engine on my foot, and knees spread eagle in the dash and door. I was also locked inside the damn crumpled metal box. The rest is a blur and I only remember bits and pieces of the time I spent in the emergency room and recovery from surgery. Somehow, though all the mangled mess and bruising, the only part of my body unharmed, was my stomach and unborn Livy Bug. Sign #2?
You see, it was this accident that helped me see she was MEANT to be and that she has a PURPOSE. Some days that purpose is to drive me bat shit crazy with her never ceasing arsenal of questions. Other times, that purpose is to make me stop and think about her depth of understanding and wisdom beyond her years. Sometimes, her purpose is just to envelope me and others in her sincere joy and fun loving attitude.
Whatever that purpose may be, I am happy to have the opportunity to laugh my ass off everyday with this kid…and hope she never changes so that she may Bless others as she has me.

You came to me in a time of need. You were my olive branch during a very dark time in my life. You are my Olivia – Livy Bug.

~ SE