Meanwhile, 5 states over...

So this is happening...

Indeed, I am moving from Georgia-lina to San Antonio. A move has been on the horizon for a while. Well. More than a "while"; in fact, I'm not sure the word "horizon" may be used when the "while" can be numbered in years. I'd not have thought I would need a catalyst past my grandparents both passing, but it appears I did/do. The push out of mired & miserable happened last week and so I'm off. I'm effing off.

I feel like I should be terrified, but I'm not. Things should feel chaotic and uncertain, but they don't. And I should be overwhelmed by the sheer number of to-do's and details, but I'm not (yet). The fact that I feel only positive energy leads me to the conclusion that "shoulds" don't always apply, and in this instance - the shoulds have been shucked like corn. Or an oyster. It's going to be an intense change, but moving forward - mindfully - is going to kick some ass. It will be wildly challenging, but ass-kicking just the same. 

Once settled, I'll let you know (1) how the social work job market is faring in SA for those who are not bilingual (yet), (2) if my husband is on one of the two USAF bases there (aim high), and (3) how it feels to see my beloved parents - Dad and Maggie - more than once a year. And I'll be seeing them quite a bit as they have generously and graciously offered shelter (in their brand new home, no less) as I get my feet set.

I can't tell you when I last felt optimistic - and I do now. I ache for a life of substance rather than empty calories. Ache, I tell you...in what now feels like the best way.

Praying for strength, guidance, and continued momentum. L-et-s-g-o, LET'S GO!!

Comments make me happy. Do it. 

(You may have to scroll down a bit to see the comment section; if not visible, please refresh the page. Working on a fix!)

Great big bowls of love.. ~ A


Request & Dedication - Liar, Liar

Dear Casey,

You know how you can have a song with someone, yes? ...Right...your show is more or less dedicated to the concept.  

Since I was 15 or 16 I've had a song with a boyfriend from that time [period], and because the "relationship" has continued in various (and wildly unhealthy) forms over the past 21 years, we've collected enough music for a soundtrack. (21 years...? That's an entire person-who-can-drink long. I've no idea how that happened.) 

This guy - who, for the purpose of this letter (and in the interest of accuracy), we'll call Liar, Liar - was my first love. I thought I might think differently of it/him later in life, but even still - having experienced other relationships, he remains my first true love. (My apologies for the gooey use of the word "true"; there was no way around it.) I wish I could explain the relationship - if only for my own benefit. 

Liar, Liar's particular magic - is actually magic. He disappears and reappears every 2-3 years - like clockwork. ..Like clocks that measure time specifically in 24-36 month spans. It's really quite impressive. It's also insane. (I trust there's no need to review the definition of insanity.) While social media has certainly made his biennial popping-out-of-the-woodwork easier, he maintained it prior to Facebook - prior to Myspace and Classmates, even. This is no easy task as I just might be a nomad. 

He's reappeared recently - figuratively (e-mail, text, phone). I haven't seen him and have no plans to do so. I'm the girl here, Casey, and I [admittedly] act like one when it comes to him - a stupid girl. I respond to the e-mail, the phone call, the carrier pigeon. I contribute - and that's on me. Initially, it was simply hard not to.. I was always drawn back toward him. That first-love bullshit had a hold on me, on my heart, and so I responded. Each time, it ended badly. And each *next* time, he worked hard to convince me he had changed - grown. There were [routinely] 3-4 hour conversations each night...conversations turned speeches, one bumper-sticker shy of a campaign. Inevitably, we would circle back to our teenage love and reflect on our story - and I'd be willing to try again. Because I can be an idiot. Once you know the difference though, it's not making the same mistake twice or three times - it's a choice. A bad choice, a poor decision. 

I'm content to say that this time is different. The first-love hold is no longer there and if I talk to him, it's because I want to. It turns out though that if I don't engage, he behaves quite differently (profound, Amanda). It's liberating - to be able to take it or leave it. Even better, to have no real interest. And it's nice to not feel stupid...falling for the same song and dance (he's a good dancer) and then punishing myself for having done so - again. In the grand scheme, the relationship is an important one. It has shaped a few things for me and though, like college, it took me much longer than it should have...I did learn quite a lot. 

Our on-again/off-again soundtrack of 21 years has some great music from the 90's, some excellent slow-dance songs, a little Blue October, and some other songs that made sense for us, even if we didn't. I'm terribly sentimental, so I'll keep the soundtrack. In a box. We have a new song though and if he ever reads this (erm...hears your show), then I suppose he'll know about it too.

Casey, please play I Never Knew You by the Avett Brothers for Liar, Liar - who I'll always care about, but never need to see again.


(Pardon the poor video - the album is a bit new and there isn't anything better posted. Yet.)

Comments make me happy. Do it. Great big bowls of love.. ~ A


Randomanda....the telling of time.

While this blog (I still dislike that word) continues to be a work in progress in relation to the overall format, and also to the old posts [many of which] I'm still reverting to draft form because they no longer flow with my current current...I've decided to change things up a little. The first bit, you're used to: Randomanda. The second bit will be called (and later explained): A Little Bertie Told Me. The third: Request & Dedication. And the fourth...I haven't quite settled on a name for yet. The content will have more weight (not as heavy as lead, or metal), and more depth (but not quite a well). And as film once did, I trust it will develop over time. 

Randomanda...the telling of time.
(Photo credit: http://www.cafepress.com/+question-mark+clocks?page=5)

My cell phone died today (read: lost all charge). It's uncharacteristic of me to let this happen, but it did...I did. And so there I sat and there I waited. In a cold, clock-less doctor's office. Aside from having no iPhone entertainment (a tragic first-world problem), I had no idea what time it was or how long I'd been waiting. I'd been seen, had an x-ray, a neb treatment, but still there was time - vats of it. To occupy myself, I began to compare the room to a casino; it seemed a reasonable simile, as well as an activity that might low-light my autistic attribute of counting metal objects or ceiling tiles. I'm not sure I've been inside of a casino (maybe once), but I understand there are no clocks...so there's that (one). Being in a doctor's office - amongst all the sick folk - I figured I was close to playing roulette (two). There were no slot machines, but there was indeed a container with a type of slot (if you will) for depositing contaminated sharps. Close enough (three). As it's been said gambling is a rush, a visit to the doctor is often enough to elevate ones pulse and blood-pressure (four). And (five) there are shot-sized cups nearby; the liquid collected inside is not the nectar one typically seeks in effort to obtain a buzz, but the cups count.

They are both a gamble (doctors - some, not all -and casinos). And similar to the way people are plied to stay and spend more money with free steak dinners - a very cute, very charming, and very married resident - did generously offer me his phone charger for the duration of my stay. 

The outcome? No whammies!! Wait. No. Um, double 7s and a cherry? (I don't know the lingo.) Double bronchitis, leaning toward, but not yet pneumonia. Bronchitis and I have an annual date, though it's not usually bilateral. I'm not worried though; +Kim has promised me one of her lungs should both of mine fail. 

Comments make me happy.  Do it. If you want to, I mean.  

Great big bowls of love..  ~ A



I should think I'd like to have this for when my ball isn't round. It doesn't exactly have edges, but sometimes it won't roll. 

Equally, but separately interested in this one...

Or this one. I like the idea of them both, the 5 year idea.   


It's something..

(Photo credit: mpsaz.org)

I think about writing - often. And when I come here to begin, I scroll through my unfinished, drafted posts and eventually lose interest or mental energy. Today, I'm ignoring all the posts I've not finished - especially the ones where I've no idea where I was going or any hint of a handle on the point I was trying to make. Admittedly though, I haven't deleted the drafted fragments. They may be brilliant.

A friend of mine recently shared with me that she had written something and will soon be published. Amazing news! I'm thrilled for her. While telling me her news, she also shared that the reason she pursued her writing was because of something I said to her once. ...That if she was truly interested, she should explore it and at least give it a shot. I vaguely remember the conversation (it was years ago), but it sounds like something I would say (and mean) - and I'm happy for her that I did. It's surprising sometimes...the that things that stay with a person.    

My heart is soft like mashed potatoes; my friend's dedicated words made me tear up. I do that. It also made me think; I do that sometimes as well. -- I don't write in the hopes that I'll be published. I'd be lying though, if I said I didn't want to be read - at least in this venue. In truth, I'm not sure why I write. And in reality, I haven't been doing much of it. But for reasons I've not yet been able to align my mind with, I'm encouraged from all directions to write. I'm not fishing for help in understanding this, I'm saying I'm not there yet. I'm also writing.  

Act 1, Scene 2
I attended a Diversity Summit this past Friday and for the first time (pardon the cliche speak) - in a long time - I felt I was somewhere I was supposed to be; somewhere that made sense. I listened to genuinely inspired and passionate people speak. I was extended new analogies for concepts I'm quite familiar with - causing/allowing the boundaries & borders already established in my brain to expand; I love that. There was food throughout the day; good food, as conference food goes. And I could have eaten or not, and still been more nourished than I've been in years. The sessions I attended, the people I met (among them - a Paralympic gold medalist), and words I ingested - fed me. Dramatic? A bit. But if you know the whole (more recent) story, it's not unreasonable or even flowery. 

In truth, I was hungry. I am hungry. But I wasn't mistaking Waffle House fare for fine dining simply out of that hunger. The Diversity Summit was good. Really good. And that, along with the words from my soon-to-be-published-friend (which are now acting as unintended reciprocal encouragement), have done...something. The trick to that something, is to not let it fall away as weeks and months pass; it too has to be fed. Grown. At the same time, in the grand scheme, the conference was only 1 day out of 1000. There is so much out there (again with the cliches), and it's beckoning like hell.

Soledad O'Brien was the last speaker of the day. She referred briefly to the Starfish Story; a simple metaphor that spoke to me on at least two levels. But I'll get to that...

In the meantime, check out The Art of Perception with/by Amy Herman. Brilliant. 


A friend of mine from high school posted this [on Facebook] a few weeks ago, and then another (very dear friend - regardless of the severe time and distance between us) posted it today. 

Rather than sharing on Facebook, I want to post it here - not only because it's awe-inspiring and some amazing work by God - but because It stunned me mute. It's also a holy-shit-moment in contrast to my post just below about Grandmama. I can't imagine...but I bet she can ♥. 

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.


Mourning the loss, celebrating the life...

Tomorrow will mark a month, one month. I don't need to hear "she's in a better place". She is, I know that, and am genuinely thankful for it. I would never wish a single moment more of suffering only to keep her in my world. And I don't wish things to be different - I believe they are as they should be. Still I miss her every minute and with every fiber, cell, and particle I own.   

This is what I created to be shown at her service; thanks to my dear friend, Wayne, for helping me with the process and creating (with repeated and earnest effort) an extended version to include music from her funeral and two additional songs...just because I wanted them there :). 


Hen's Teeth

(Photo found on Google: http://tinyurl.com/cluckingbrood)

I mentioned previously that I was invited to co-author a collaborative blog: Hen's Teeth. I was asked by Nance - a friend who is also the mother of (stay with me) a girl (Paula) who was my dear friend when I attended Socastee High in Myrtle Beach. The Air Force life granted many gifts, and the M family (Nance, Bill, Paula, Marc, and Snickers) was/is certainly one them. I like to think of Nance as a mentor, despite the fact I've been somewhat of an absent student. She writes with eloquence, wisdom, wit, heart, and conviction. More importantly (to and for me), she is loving, supportive, and willing to push me when she sees fit. Back to the ladies...  I'm honored to be a part of this brood of hens, and find them each to be uniquely lovely. The About tab explains the concept of the blog perfectly.

Late and last to the game, I have finally posted over there (How's my hair?).  If you are so inclined, please click over and take a look around - we would love to have you! If you dig something you read, please leave a comment (!)...we adore them and it's the only way we know you (specifically) were there! Otherwise, you may lurk (Nance's word) at your leisure.



I began a post last Saturday about my grandmother - about how she was doing, and what had been taking place over the last few weeks. I intend to complete that post (soon), shifting it into a before & after. The 'after' is now necessary as she left us yesterday morning just before 2:45am. 

 ~ Martha Elizabeth ~ 

I know and understand there is joy and grace to be found in her finally being relieved of her suffering and of the life that was ultimately no life at all. I know she is now with her mother whom she has missed deeply and intensely since her passing, and I believe she is now free from all illness, pain, and worry. Intellectually, I know these things. Emotionally, I'm not there. There is no right or wrong place to be; we each grieve differently. Where I am now...is not past the point of her being gone..not past counting days and hours. When I drove by the nursing home yesterday evening at 8:40pm, I could only think that I had been with her at that exact time the day before. ...She was just there. 

In the space I'm in right now, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that we knew it was coming, or that it was inevitable. I'm calm in one moment and fall spectacularly and uncontrollably to sobbing pieces the next. She has been a constant in my life and has filled more space in my heart than I can survey. Her role has been more than that of a grandmother which is so difficult to measure/express personally, because she was such a special grandmother to all of us - I wasn't alone in receiving that incredible gift. 

Last week I was nearly yelling at God; I slammed my hand on my steering wheel and cried out loud wanting to understand why she was here and suffering. And now He's taken her.. She's at peace, she's whole, walking, and well. I should be beeping the horn and shouting in thanksgiving, finding comfort in resolution. 
Instead, I find difficult to breathe and my heart is shattered. 

I added a tag cloud out of curiosity; it's to right of this post → somewhere over there. No surprise. Even in the life of my writing, she has been the main character. And because there is *life* in my writing, my first task was to compose her obituary. Contradictory? Not really. It is an announcement of her death, but a statement about her lifeThere are letters to various caretakers at NHC to follow, but for the moment, I'm here. Not the most consistent writer in the Land of Blog, but beginning this very personal process... 
Learning how to live without her. 


Speaking of which...

"What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him." ~ Galileo Galilei

"Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it." 
~ Michel de Montaigne

"Actions lie louder than words." ~ Carolyn Wells

And from Robert Frost...

The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose. 
But the theory now goes
That the apple's a rose,
And the pear is, and so's
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only know
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose--
But were always a rose.

Lastly, cutting from an e-mail...and quoting my dear friend, Shauntice:

"Love is not supposed to be confusing, angry, hurtful, and it certainly isn't unsure." 

She was spot on with everything she wrote in the e-mail that contained that sentence, which for me, was quotable.  Love will be sure, for sure.  

Always a Rose