Tag Archives: Life

More Guts Than Brains

Today represents a significant day for me and Chick #3. One year ago today, we successfully navigated from SW Georgia, over the West Virginian mountains, in and out of tight-fitting spaces, and safely arrived in NW Pennsylvania – all while driving a beastly 26 foot truck and hauling my little VW Beetle. I still remember the knot in my stomach when I picked up the moving truck from the local Home Depot. My mind raced and for a minute, I sat frozen behind the wheel thinking, “How in the Hell am I going to drive this monster truck through the mountains?!” For the first time in my life, I felt fear gripping intimidation and I questioned whether I had the fortitude to actually complete this mission. My brain and gut both called for a white flag. “Throw in the towel. What were you thinking? This is CRAZY!” While my thoughts argued back and forth, I sat silently, taking in the magnitude of the situation before me. And then I slowly turned the key in the ignition.

I’ve always been a jump with both feet kind of person and that philosophy helped guide me from point A to point Z. Without it, I’m certain I would have jumped ship right after getting the truck and tow stuck in the middle of the dead of night in an almost impossible situation that took nearly an hour to maneuver. And if it not that night, then most definitely the next morning when it was quite evident that monster trucks can not make 90 degree turns while clearing football out-of-towners who have their butt end’s sticking too far out of their parking space. That little morning escapade became the spectator sport of the day with all eyes on me as I backed and pulled, backed and pulled, backed and pulled for about 45 minutes so as not to damage the unclaimed SUV blocking my exit. Seriously. The owner never did show face and yet against all odds and with a little perseverance, I snaked that 26 footer and tow between the unmanned SUV and dumpster completely unscathed. Hey mister guy pretending to rummage through your trunk, thank you for giving me the thumbs -up, you got this encouragement I needed at just the right time.

Yes. I received the quick-learner permit on how to unstuck the biggest ride I’ve ever driven and after the third mishap, I’d say I’m a pro at larger than life Houdini escape tricks. But that wasn’t the worst part of the trek. Nor were the blind, idiot drivers. Hellooo! Very HUGE and very, VERY YELLOW wall on wheels driving here!! Nope. None of that made me call it quits but tackling windy, mountain highways with a big-butt truck almost did me in. I’ve driven that route many times and in a little beetle bug, hugging the twists and turns is amateur play. I love the roller coaster ride! But, cruisin’ the highway in a titanic, yellow submarine is anything but amateur. That feat requires serious mad skills. Needless to say, three, stomach-ulcerated and white-knuckled hen clawed days later, I successfully docked that beast like a boss in my new front yard.

And so here we are 365 days later; laughing about an adventure that was never on my bucket list of things to accomplish. Would I choose to repeat that trip? Maybe. But Am I happy I did it? Absolutely!

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