Monday, September 17, 2012


I was a lucky kid.  I didn't have too many chores, mainly I believe, because my Mom was not only very kind, but I think she preferred getting things done in a timely manner and to a standard that was acceptable to her.  It would take me hours just to wash the dinner dishes and I could see that my lackadaisicalness would cause her some anxiety.  On most of my dish washing occasions, she would politely offer to "finish up" for me, and I of course, would happily oblige.  She couldn't relax until these things were done and frankly, I was just way too slow at accomplishing these tasks.

I would be assigned fairly simple chores, like setting the table for dinner for instance.  I mean really, how much time could that take someone?  And what could you really do wrong, put the utensils on the wrong side of the plate, drop a glass on the way from the cabinet to the table?  Luckily we didn't have too many of these mishaps.

But there were a couple of chores that I always hated, and yes, I am using the word "hated" ~ they were anything to do with making a salad (there is something about washing and drying lettuce that doesn't agree with me) or the most dreaded of all chores, and the one thing I couldn't stand to hear my mother say, was, "honey, could you shred the cheese?"  The Jaws theme song starts right now.

I would hear those words and my insides would start to tremble, a coating of fear washed over my entire being.  The Grater?  I don't remember letting on how scared I truly was.  Oh, that sharp, bladed instrument, designed to shred and make bleed anything that entered it's line of fire, any knuckle that got in it's way.   It was like being asked to make some sort of human sacrifice. You knew for sure that it was going to happen.   Like when a Chinese daughter would cut a piece of their own flesh, mix it with tea or soup, and then give it to her sick mother to drink as a symbol of total sacrifice, love and respect.  It was a lot like that.  I knew in my heart that I would soon be shedding blood, giving more of myself than I wanted to, but not for my mother's health, instead, it was in the name of "dinner" ~ enchiladas or lasagna.

On those nights when our dinner menu consisted of a "cheese" entree, I would usually excuse myself before the grater made it's way out of the cabinet, feigning a need to use the bathroom.  I would stay in there for 30 minutes or so, or at least until I thought the coast was clear and that my mother had gone ahead and done all the prep work herself.  That would leave me to just finish up, placing the napkins on the table or the salt and pepper.  Wow, I was really a big help!

But then came the greatest of all inventions, rating right up there with the  GPS, the iPhone, dishwashers and microwaves.  Pre-shredded cheese!  Who ever it was that thought up the idea of pre-shredded cheese was absolutely brilliant.  Now helping prepare dinner doesn't have to cause panic attacks in young people everywhere, just rip open the bag of shredded cheese, pour the bagged salad into a bowl, and viola, Bob's your uncle.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Out Loud

One day there was a man lost at sea, holding on to only a life preserver, and he kept praying to God to help him, to save him in his time of need!
Well, a helicopter came by, and dropped a basket down into the water, but the man called to them "I am waiting on GOD to come down and save me! Thanks anyways!" came a boat that threw out a life raft, and the man said the same thing to the Captain of THAT boat...he was waiting for God himself to come down and save him...
The man finally drowned
When he got to heaven, he asked God "Why did you forsake me? Why did you let me drown?"
God replied "For cryin out loud I sent you a helicopter with a basket, a boat and a life raft!
What ELSE were you waiting FOR?

Remember this story about the fisherman stranded at sea waiting to be rescued?

I had been waiting for some kind of sign, some form of rescue. And now when I look back, I realize heaven or hell had sent me many of them. They just weren't the signs I wanted to see.  In life, we get so caught up in the drama, the gossip, the noise, that we sometimes don't see "signs" as "signs" - or at least not signs that are intended to target us, our very own personal email from the heavens.  And if we do recognize them as a some kind of sign, how do we know for sure how to read each sign, which signs mean stop, which mean use caution, which mean "make a quick U-turn"?

After I had been in my serious live-in relationship for over a year, little lies, little betrayals began to surface (not on their own of course, that was with me doing hard labor digging). They were not full on red lights, more like the school bus yellow caution lights, causing me to slow down but not completely step on the brakes. I just trusted that there was no oncoming traffic, and if there was, I was hoping that the injuries I incurred would be limited to soft tissue.

Then in mid-June of 2011, with what I thought was the ultimate betrayal by my sweetheart of the last five years, my sister in law said to me, "Be thankful this happened. This is a major sign. If you had any doubts and were considering patching up the tears in this relationship, think again. This happened for a reason" And she was right. But as right as she was, I was still wearing a heart in denial, hoping she was a little bit wrong.

A couple of months went by, the signs became mere road bumps in the highway of life, barely visible in my rear view mirror. But then another huge rock slide was just around the bend, a sign that could not be ignored, one that I would crash head on into. A betrayal so big that if I was to ignore this sign I should be committed ~ either to a mental institution, because there would be no doubt that I was insane, or even possibly prison, because it would be criminal to let someone get away with this "crime".   I would have been nothing less than an accomplice.

So back and forth, in my head, what to do, what do do. I needed to get out, get out of my house, out of my town, out of my own head. Do I move away from my life of the past 2 decades? Do I pack it all up and call it a day,  a good 21 year run?  Hard to leave a place that you have considered home for so long, the longest I've ever lived anywhere, to go off to a place full of uncertainty. I hate to admit it, but I don't have the fearlessness I did in my younger years. I was always known as the one that would try just about anything, move across country, without a job or a second thought. And everyone who knew me would say, "Oh well, that's Kim."

So one night I was praying. Yes, me praying. To anyone that might hear. To the angels, to the stars, to God.  Please give me some kind of sign. I need to know where to go, what to do. Please light the way, present me with some sort of opportunity, something to move on for. And then it hit me, as if the sign I had received in June wasn't enough. I was hit  the following September with a sign that flattened me like the road kill of  a mac truck.  It was like, "here ya go, stupid".  What in the hell did I want?  Obviously more than a sign, I wanted someone to come and read them for me and then take the necessary action.  I basically just wanted to go into a comatose state and let someone else decipher all of these messages.

But life doesn't work that way.  We are the masters of own house, the keeper of the keys.  And whether we like it or not, the work that needs to be done, needs to be done by us.  So, if you are having trouble reading any of the messages you are receiving, not sure exactly what the "sign" is saying,  enlist the help of one of your very literate friends (or sisters work great as well) to come over and read them for you.  Out loud.

No country for old men (or women)