Exploring the Human Condition: altered states of consciousness

Posts tagged ‘redemption’

Betrayal by a Stranger

I guess every one you know has lost someone. That journey started for me when I was a teenager and my Pa-Pa died. By the time you get to be my age, you tend to lose count. The worst was losing my mom. Not long after followed my dad. Never had any kids, and I was divorced nineteen years sgo. Just found out that he died too, this April. In between all of this, more than a few animals I loved did leave me. It’s a stark, scary feeling, this being so alone. People want to give me drugs, all kinds of advice on what I should do. It’s all good, only this is my journey now. My time to remember. One technique I use when I hit that wall, when you can’t breathe, and the knot in your throat feels like a baseball. I imagine a beautiful white Craftsman Bungalow, with red pillars on the front porch, nandenas large and bushy on every side, same old porch swing my Pa-Pa swung me in right after I was born. Of course, now, it’s hardly the same. My dad painted over all of it with some God-awful brown paint, and my pathetic alcoholic brother keeps the doors locked and hardly seems to care. All the beautiful plants and flowers my grandmother planted and loved are gone. Sycamores gone, no sign of the Mimosa tree we all climbed in as kids. Even my grandmother’s red spider lillies disappeared. But in my mind, there is another place. As much Heaven to me as it gets. The amazing white frame house my Pa-Pa built sits high on top of the hill, and the two old rock driveways that go up beside the house are still there. I see my mama’s ferns all green and bushy all over the front porch. I can even smell the frothy bubbles of Palmolive dish soap in the kitchen sink. But no longer do my grandparents live there alone. It’s a busy place again, just like when they were young. Only new people are welcome and happy there, like my friend Brenda, who died in a car crash years sgo, and little Lori, who had scoliosis, and ended her life before surgery one bright morning. All the old folks, family and friends they loved are hanging around again. My mom is there, with one of her pretty dresses on, and her curly hair all soft and nice. My Daddy likes to sit out on the big concrete steps up front, and play his guitar. And even my husband Charlie is there now. He fixes everything. And works on cars again. He rebuilt my Pa-Pa’s old garage out back, under the huge black walnut tree, and never loses his tools anymore. But the best part are the animals that live here. From the littliest kitten I had to say goodbye to at such an early age, the beautiful pair of Siamese cats I loved so much, Pepe the skunk, Lucy, the dachshund, Barney, the border collie, Mew-Mew, Elmo, Beau, Mirabelle, so many other kitties i loved, all there, on the front porch, playing in the yard. The Mimosa tree is there again, all green with magenta blooms, and the tall sycamores grace the side yard once again like giant soldiers. When I am tired or sad, I can go sit in Pa-Pa’s sleeping porch, and play with Petey, the parakeet, and smell my grandfather’s cherry tobacco. Even my old dog Lizzie is there, and she hangs out with Mama now. Paleface, Tigger One and Tigger Two, Cleo too, all play in the soft green grass. And my Guardian protector, old Bruno, lays beside my grandma’s spider lillies. Everyone’s there, and the front door, even the back door, they are always open. And I don’t have to be so sad, or miss them all so much. I can invite anyone I want to come over, and they do. What helps me most, is to think that one day, however it comes, I will have angel escort right back to this blessed house, on the hill, where everyone waits for me. And at Christmas, the lights go up, and they make pecan pies, and hang the stockings again for Santa. My life was full once, and one day it will be again. And nobody will ever tell me different. However hard or challenging life seems now, whenever it just gets to be too much, I have a place I can go. I don’t need drugs, or counseling, or a room in some cement building. I just need trees, and squirrels, red birds and chickens. And I have all that. Abigale, my little rat terrier, raised as a pup since 2000, is still right here beside me. And I tell her about this place all the time. We have a good place to go, no matter what happens here. Anyone can do this, have a happy place to go. The sun shines there, every day. The old truck starts right up, and nobody has to drink or act ugly. Only goodness and mercy live here. In my heart. And nobody can take that away from me. 💜💚💛💚💜💙💜💙

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The Neighbor’s Revenge

The continuing saga of saving the farm continues.  The new family came out yesterday evening so the wife could walk the property next door before they make a decision.  Of course, I am desensitized to the amount of work it needs, but I am sure she was overwhelmed.  Luckily as she mentioned, she has four sons!  And a very strong capable husband who loves them so clearly.  

I was just working in the yard, watering plants, the usual when they got here.  She had her youngest baby wrapped up in a soft blue sheet affair, I would call a papoose holder…  ?  I don’t know, never had kids…  I heard the older boys running about, I heard laughing, silliness, and when they did surface again about a half hour later, they had good looks on their faces, and the dad looked a little hopeful, a little intense.  I know he really wants it.  

So the next step he said, was he wanted to go next door and meet the neighbor lady who has the dog-bite lien on the property.  His hope was to try and negotiate her down some.  It wasn’t gonna happen.  I knew that.  I also knew that she was most likely to say any number of ludicrous and defamatory remarks about me and my roommate, basically fabrications and gossip.  And she did.  But he didn’t tell me that when he called back this morning.  He just said that his wife was no longer interested, because of that neighbor woman.  Evidently she was extremely rude, which I expected, and being an honest man, of course he started off the conversation with her saying that he was interested in buying the land.  And since that was her intent from day one, I am sure she was livid.  Oddly, I don’t even think she cared about getting that $1600 anymore.  She must have been dancing on the ceiling over there at the thought of me going into default and losing the property completely.  Her one big chance to do what she wanted to do all along.  

Of course Joel is a good person and he would not say everything she said.  Not even worth repeating.  I hoped that by me telling him my story and by not being like her, by being more quiet and respectful, he could easily judge for himself who to give credibility to.  But she succeeded in upsetting his wife and his exact words on the phone earlier was “She’s just not interested anymore.  She’s afraid of that woman being next door, possibly causing us trouble at every turn.”  So it was up to me to convince him that she couldn’t.  If he gets a County Certified Septic system put in place over there, and he says that is his intention, and he re-fences everything carefully, so that when he gets a dog, which is his hope, his dog won’t disturb or frighten the poor thing, then she’s got NOTHING!  I made him an offer to compensate for this situation.  We had originally agreed that we would share labor and cost of building a privacy fence between us.  He mentioned that several times.  The other mean neighbors, the lady in question here, they never offered to help in those expenses, and I shouldered the whole fence I built there, and that her family enjoys as well.  No sharing there.  

But I offered to take in all the expense to privacy fence between me and him, so that he could concentrate first on privacy-fencing the eastern-most side, namely her and her very strange middle-school teacher husband.  That might have been the deciding factor. Good move on my part.  He also got concerned when we discussed the horse situation again.  He was thinking lawsuit I could tell, as he said what if I was with “his” horse and something happened, as it often does with horses, and I got upset and sued him.  So since I am legally cogent, I immediately offered to sign a Waiver of all Liability in that regard and any other regard really, because honestly, I don’t sue neighbors.  It’s just wrong.  Neighbors should be able to speak civilly to each other.  My take anyway.  

And in private I also explained to Joel that I have no heirs.  I have no one to give this property to, in case I make an unexpected departure sometime.  I told him that what i wanted to do after all this real estate wrangling was over, was to make out my will leaving this bigger side of the farm over here, to him.  Now my roommate would be hugely upset if he heard this, but it’s my decision.  And that is my decision.  This man is basically saving me from untold misery and regret, blaming myself for failures.  Plus when I heard his children laughing and being happy next door, it made my heart sing.  It sounded like angels to me.  Maybe they are….

But mean old crabby-appleton and her husband did their best to skew the deal.  You’d think they’d be happy to be getting their money back finally, and that her husband would have put a muzzle on her in order to get his money, but evidently, he wasn’t even present or speaking during the conversation through her screen door.  She didn’t even invite them in.  Very rude, unnecessarily.  How did a girl like me, who loves to visit and talk, I’m from East Texas for crying out loud, ever end up next door to a woman from near Woodstock that is so closed off, scheming, bitter and just plain nasty to be around ever end up as my next door neighbor.  I told Joel that wherever they go, there will always be crazy neighbors.  He said, yes, he had brought that up to his wife as well.

So by the end of the phone conversation we had, he had said twice, that yes, okay, we would go ahead and move forward on the deal.  He is going to help me go pay off these taxes this week, a week earlier than the deadline of the county for foreclosure.  YEE!!!

Doing the happy dance.  Doing the dance of joy…  Now I will have a HUGE buffer between me and her, and all the four-wheeler noise, and 4 boys tearing the place apart, dogs barking, even shooting at targets, all that will sound like a heavenly chorus to me…  haha Perhaps it is very snide of me, but come on, I get to have some fun here, right?  That old battle-ax deserves whatever comes her way, that’s how I see it.  She once said they planned to only live there for ten years and then sell out and move.  So I told Joel that, and told him we only have to just hold out, cause it’s already been eight years I think.  We will all still be here long after they are gone.  Another YEE!  

So I am going to put together a really professional outfit, and do my hair, and get my makeup all ready, and I suspect he will be calling soon, like tonight or tomorrow to tell me when he’s coming to get me, so we can drive over to Bastrop to the title company and sign papers to get this started as soon as possible.  All I have to do in the meantime is to call down to the County Clerk and see if she can tell me if the survey metes and bounds for these two sections are filed along with the deeds so we don’t have to do another survey. If that happens, it will totally wipe out any leftover monies because I will have to help pay for it, as it would involve both lots.  And it wouldn’t be cheap.  Surveys cost a lot of money, to me anyway.  At least $2,000 if it hasn’t gone up in the past six or seven years.

But really now, Joel has given me his word, twice.  And I’ve had to make some concessions, and I can tell he is all business when it comes to the money.  He feels his offer is fair.  Honestly, if he had just said let me clear up all the taxes and the lien and if anything is left, I will let you know, I would have said “fine.”  But if we can get through all this and save the farm from foreclosure and finally get free from the dragon-lady, it will be so worth it to me.  Maybe I won’t need to be depressed anymore, or stressed out to the max. Maybe the Angels will see fit to let me relax for a while, and enjoy doing some of the things I’m just crazy about.  And if that happens, then everything I ever hoped for and dreamed of, will have come true.  I could not be happier or more lucky.  And I am down on my knees morning and night to thank the powers that be, for their very tender mercy towards me in this situation.  I thank God for it all. And if my mom or dad, or any other of my relatives that have passed had anything to do with all this, then I will be very very happy to thank them one day…  haha

So poo-poo on the Neighbor’s Revenge.  Whatever she said, didn’t work.  She’s over there spitting venom again, so now we have to be extra careful to keep our gate locked, keep the dogs inside at all times, in fact my daily walk with Biscuit might even have to change and we might have to start walking the sandy backroad instead of the nice easy to travel on main road.  Funniest thing to me, is that I would have never wanted 4 boys and a big cowboy Dad whooping it up in that tiny area next door, it’s almost an acre and a half, but I think what sealed the deal with the beautiful old sandy carriage road behind us here, so it didn’t matter that Roy sold it anyway.  

I wish I could just go over there and sit down with her and apologize again to her for her pain and suffering, present her with the check myself.  But that’s not going to happen, and I still fear she will launch some new attack to mess me up in this deal.  But instead of thinking the worst, I’m just going to be happy, and when I get back from the title company and the papers have been signed and money has changed hands, I am going to be SOOOO happy and relieved, and when the new kids on the block start coming around and clearing land, cutting trees, moving in rv’s, and buying new chickens and working to build a 6 foot privacy fence on her side, I will just be sitting over here with my music going, happy as a lark.  Now I can start to write the book I’ve wanting to write for years.  

Everything looks like a win-win for everyone, but maybe the poor sad lady over there and her very odd husband.  But isn’t that how it works?  When you’re a mean person, you attract negative situations.  And when you are a sweetheart like me, hehe, well, I’m feeling very into children and four-wheelers and cowboys these days…  Just remember, you might not always get what you want, but if you try real hard…  la la la,  “you get what you need.”   🙂

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Finally… I can breathe again…

It’s impossible to know how your life will turn out. As you go down the road, you can make plans, and choose certain paths… you hope for the best, and you work hard. And when difficult, even terrible things happen, it’s really not at all about the problem, or the obstacle, no matter how dire or hopeless it might seem. It’s all about how you react to it. It’s all about what you do about it. How you do it. How realistic you can be. How flexible and open to new ideas you can be. How willing you are to give and give and then still give some more. That’s what matters.

I haven’t seen two dimes to rub together in longer than I care to think on. I’ve given up all the modern American obsessions years ago, to live a simple, very basic life. I’ve always loved the Earth and gardening, growing things and flowers, I just never had the time to do a good job at it, because I had to work, and work every day very long hours, driving the long commutes back and forth, like so many, to pay for my place, for my dream. I had a great grandfather, but nobody provided for me. When I turned 18 and graduated, it was pretty much Adios Amiga! Good luck and all that…

I didn’t have the brains and the determination to be a true professional, mostly I didn’t have the discipline. A woman I met recently was hell-bent on defining everything in terms of her version of Astrology… or should I say “Ass-trology.” I know that’s very mean… sorry… (like on SNL: “sorry”) haha I believe in the stars and I know they direct and chart our very existence. But I don’t bring up astrology first thing when I meet someone… good grief, it’s 2014, and we’ve progressed somewhat since 1970 I think…

Anyway, for some reason, my fingers have always had an innate connection directly to my brain and whatever I have ever wanted to do, whether for fun or profit, I could do with my hands, or well, my fingers to be specific… I play the piano and I type really fast, without thinking about either one… Typing paid my rent, playing the piano has filled my soul and made this life very special indeed… feels like a gift from God actually…

But my homelife as a kid was never stable or easy, there was always tension in the home, many times abuse of varying degrees, and lots of dysfunction coming from the parents, which translated directly into lots of dysfunction in my brother, bless his heart, who has never recovered from it all… So my one dream as a girl growing up, was to one day have a home, like a small piece of land, with a house on it, that I could own, and love, where there would never be a harsh word, or fear or unhappiness, where animals and people alike could come and share good times and serenity. Live in peace.

Well this year I turned 59. And I think I have all the ducks in a row, after a very huge WAKE-UP call just this past week or so… it was 50/50 lose it all or hope for a miracle… Well, the miracle came, it’s not a windfall by any means, but I earned it, and now I’m sharing it back… one friend I love very much said once when he helped me out in a desperate time, just to pay it forward, that was all he asked. He had faith in me, that one day my life would turn around again, and things would sort themselves out properly. And they did.

This amazing summer of 2014 could be the end of struggling, and the beginning of only good things from now on. So good in fact, that I can start to think about writing on my other blog “In the Life and Mind of an Artist” and maybe even get started on my projects I’ve had to put aside for so long… To the young man who recently said to me, “Sew? Really? You haven’t sewed in years, why would you even want to start that now…” Like it was completely ridiculous to him. Well, son, I hate to tell you, but tell a woman she can’t do something, and she will do it come hell or high water… you’ll learn… Another supposedly “good” friend of mine, although usually being supportive on the surface, was always the one to remind me about “money” when it came to another dream of mine, which is to ride again, to have a horse again. Now I’d like to tell her to her face that it doesn’t take winning the lottery or even getting a huge settlement for an accident that should never have happened… What it takes is planning, financial strategies, a good heart, and a lot of help from upstairs… 🙂

Life is good at the Little Ranch, Summer 2014 Arnie at one year...

Life is good at the Little Ranch, Summer 2014
Arnie at one year…

This summer, after a couple of weeks of 24/7 stress for days, I see light at the end of the tunnel, finally, and I can blog now, and take pics with my great digital camera I love so much now… (took me a while to adjust, cause I’m older–haha) I can play my keyboard, maybe even get something I can use professionally now, and with any luck at all, all the things I’ve dreamed of doing can happen now. I won’t just have my safe home, but I’ll be helping a lot of other people in the bargain… just wait and see… this is my second chance, and I won’t be wasting it!

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