Comforter is warm,
motivation is missing.
Books instead of work.
Comforter is warm,
motivation is missing.
Books instead of work.
Jeff and I began our adventure early Sunday morning at a friend’s house in Cincinnati. Our first leg of the trip was to Falls of the Ohio State Park in Clarksville, IN http://www.fallsoftheohio.org/index.html . It was a beautiful park, but a bit intimidating with signs a sirens to warn you of rising water. There were some of the largest fossils I’ve ever seen, but it was incredibly hot, especially out on the rock beds. We perused the gift shop in the visitor’s center and then set out for lunch.
Vietnam Kitchen in Louisville, Ky http://www.vietnamkitchen.net/ was our noodle peddler of choice. The staff was friendly, the dining room was clean, and the food was delightful. They were also a favorite of some famous not-so-locals whose pictures are hanging inside, but you’ll have to go visit yourself to find out who.
After lunch we were ready to go set up our campsite before finding some local attractions, but it was HOT outside and only getting hotter. In fact, it was 119 degrees Fahrenheit with the heat index! And ragweed season was in full swing, as an allergy sufferer, an air conditioned hotel (preferably with a pool) was in order. However, finding a hotel within 300 miles that had any availability was proving difficult. One that was en route even more so. We lucked out in Shepherdsville, Ky and found a Super 8 with one room left and at a reasonable rate. There was a pool, but it was temporarily out of order. That was no biggie as it forced us to get out and comb the surrounding area for entertainment after a brief rest in the A/C.
We found a magical place less than a mile from the hotel called Kart Kountry http://gokartkountry.com/ . It was a hillbilly wonderland. They of course had go-carts but also an arcade, bumper boats, mini golf, and BATTING CAGES! Bumper boats were up first. Each boat was equipped with two joysticks, one controlling the motor, and one controlling the squirt gun. In addition to drenching or ramming your friends (read: enemies) you could also crash into poolside targets to activate water cannons. We got off this ride soaked. Next, I watched the guys race each other on a 1.5 mile track on go-carts that reached twenty-eight mph. Well, I watched for one lap, then I ran off to the batting cages. I had not been to batting cages for thirteen years. The guys caught up with me forty-eight pitches later and took a few swings too. We closed it down cracking balls until the machine shut off.
Now back at the hotel, Jeff (determined to use his jetboil camp stove on this trip) went down to the parking lot to grill sausages for dinner. Fast-forward to forty-five minutes later where we sat eating sausages while Jeff retold his account of parking lot grilling. Apparently, it gets you free beer from other hotel patrons who mistake you for a homeless guy.
Monday morning we woke up and rushed breakfast trying to beat all the other hotel patrons who were also headed south for the path of totality. They had matching 2017 eclipse t-shirts and had packed their cars the night before. Clearly, we were out of our league. So, we filled our cooler one tiny bucket at a time in hotel break room and hit the road. We were headed for Lost River Caves where we would arrive before they open, guaranteeing our seats on the first boat out. When we rolled up the parking lot was already full with a line out the door. Of course everyone else had the same brilliant idea we had. We did manage to get on the first tour though, barely.
After a nice walk through the woods and a forty-five minute cave boat ride we changed clothes back at the car and were south-bound for Gallatin, Tn. Our final destination was a private park that the college had rented out just for the eclipse. There were about 25-30 people in the park. This made for a perfectly relaxed viewing opportunity. Some of the students had rigged telescopes to view the eclipse and put a sheet down to see the crescents projected through the tree leaves:
All in all it was a fantastic trip that I will never forget. Do not let someone hassle you about driving hundreds of miles to get totality. It really does make all the difference, even between just 90-100%. Take the time to go big or go home. It’s a sight many people will never experience personally. And when the interstate turns into a parking lot for twelve hours after it’s all over-go see a movie (or nap through it). Ours was Spiderman: Homecoming. What a great adventure.
I have always kept a dream journal, but recently decided to start a new series of posts here just for that purpose. I’d like to share because sometimes they can get pretty weird and my hope is that readers will be encouraged to share their own dreams in return. Or, someone’s comment might cause me to analyze something in a dream that I had previously overlooked. Given the topic, expect the posts in this series to be sporadic.
My eyes popped open in the middle of the night and I had the urge to climb out of bed and go outside. It was a warm, moonless night and I headed straight through the woods down to the river. When my feet struck sandy shores I slipped my skin as well as my clothes, and let everything fall into a heap on the bank. I glided into the water in my true form and I felt like I had done this a thousand times before. The night was so dark I couldn’t find my reflection in the water and when I would try to hold my hand up in front of my face I couldn’t see anything; although I could feel myself raising my arm. Deep in the back of my mind a small voice was freaking out because I could not see myself, but it was drowned out by a compulsion to look for something I needed or was missing, though I had no idea what it was. I continued to wade through the water reaching up under tree roots and diving below the surface to flip rocks-and then I woke up.
Everything gets worse before it gets better, or so I’m told-constantly. Then it gets worse still. One day, I find myself no longer being hopeful about anything and I stop looking for emotional support from anyone besides my dog. I quit trusting people or relying on anyone but myself because I absolutely cannot allow myself to be put in a situation where I might be let down for the umpteenth time. I swear off dating in general-and especially redheads.
And then I meet a guy. We both like terrible movies and adventuring and I start hanging out with him all the time because I just genuinely enjoy his company and it’s great because there is no romance, no expectations, and everything is easy. So easy, that I finally let my guard down and he doesn’t even disappoint. Even my bitch catdog likes him, and she hates everyone. And then I have to call my sister and explain that I have fallen for a guy not long after I swore them all off, and he’s a redhead even.
What is this feeling? I can serve the public all day and see the absolute worst side of humanity and still not want to watch the world burn. I think I’m happy, but I’m afraid to admit it because then it might be taken away. Stupid superstitious, Appalachian roots.
2016 was the end of twelve long years of being told who I am and how I feel. I should have never altered my behavior, my likes and dislikes, my diet, my hobbies, or anything at all, for someone else. Especially my significant other. Anyone deserving of being in my life should be happy with me just as I am, like my close friends and family are.
There were so many red flags, even when we were still dating, but I was seventeen and lacked the necessary relationship experience to realize how serious they were. I just thought everyone has issues and no relationship is perfect. I should just accept these problems and make the necessary changes to avoid arguing about them.
The problem was, I was the only one making changes. In the beginning, I could convince myself that this was my choice. After all, I didn’t want to argue all the time and this was the only solution, right? Not so much. I was unhappy all the time and began to resent my husband. The changes I was making weren’t things that would better me as a person. It wasn’t as though I was an alcoholic who needed to quit drinking, or a shopaholic who needed to quit spending. My changes were things that in the beginning seemed like not a big deal, but after a while were maddening. Nothing I did was what I wanted to be doing and nothing I wanted to be doing could be done without an argument. I had literally become a stranger in my own life and when I found ways to let myself out and be who I was, he found a way to put a stop to it.
The easiest way for me to let myself out was to hang out with family or friends. They encouraged me to be myself and, when I was the person he wanted me to be, all I got was friends and family asking me what was wrong. That quickly turned into me not going out with friends or family as much to avoid grief from him. When I started having friends over to our house instead, he was downright mean to them until no one would come over anymore. Everyone quit coming over and I stopped going out. Except for the gym. That was a matter of health and I was going. End of discussion. There was no way he could guilt me or manipulate into not taking care of myself. And, I could have friends at the gym with no drama.
In May of 2016 my pappaw died alone in a hospital bed in Texas. He had lived his life in such a way that no one could get close to him and eventually people quit trying until there was no one left, not even his own family. He had no one to blame but himself and I’m sure over the years he realized he was unhappy this way and those were probably the times he tried to reach out. I decided when pappaw died that I couldn’t keep living my life for someone else anymore. I was tired of being unhappy, I wanted my friends and family around, and I didn’t want to die alone and full of regret. That’s when I decided it was time to quit daydreaming about ending my marriage and actually do it.
I think being a child of divorce myself I prolonged my suffering because I’d rather see myself suffer the marriage than my kids suffer the divorce. But as the kids got older it became clear that they were suffering regardless because both parents were always unhappy. So, I filed for divorce in July of 2016 and I’m not divorced yet, but I am closer than I have ever been. The kids are adjusting well, all things considered, and I am being true to myself for the first time in my adult life. It’s all worth the wait to take back my name and my life.
There are three kinds of laundry:
2. Still clean.
On my way into work today the light came on in my car indicating that it was time for an oil change. This is something that I can do myself now, but I did not come out of high school knowing how to do so. However, I did come out of high school owning and driving a car, so I think it should take priority over the multiple hours lost to pep rallies and talent shows. In fact, here are a few more life lessons that would’ve been useful to have learned in school, whether on my behalf or someone else’s (looking at you mouth-breathers standing too close in grocery line) :
I’m aware that not all schools are created equal. For example, I know there are some schools that have started letting students grow and tend gardens. Please share from your own personal experience other things you think would’ve been better learned in school; before you needed it.
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