In My Corner

I watch the lightening strike,

outside my window as the thunder rumbles by.

The rain makes the sound of a 1990’s New Age album

put out by Windam Hill.

The only thing that breaks up the beauty

is the siren of an ambulance racing down Plymouth Street

and I’m reminded of where I am.

In my corner studio, freshly painted with the windows open

and me sitting here in the dark with a candle burning bright.

One Step at a Time

I am the Volunteer Coordinator for our bike team that rides in the West Michigan Breakaway Ride for Multiple Sclerosis. This is a title that took me several years to settle into. When my Mother passed away in 1993, I participated in one more local MS Walk before I made the choice to ignore the MS Society and any event it had to offer. I had no interest in being a part of something that would remind me on a regular basis that this was a disease that took Mom away from me. I was angry, furious actually. This was not supposed to happen to the lady that taught me how to swim and climb a tree. She had three kids and a husband who still needed her and this disease could go “suck it” for all I cared. I never had a chance to know her as an adult. I only had her through my teen years, riddled with angst. My brother was only ten when she passed and my sister only fourteen. I would often feel guilty for being the oldest and knowing her longer.

My husband spent another several years gently persuading me to join him at one of the rides. He completely understood my hesitation and never pushed too hard. In the Spring of 2001, I quit smoking and that summer, I climbed Sleeping Bear Dunes all the way to Lake Michigan. I felt amazing and was looking for another kind of physical challenge. The baby step I took that year was the first of a very large step taken later. I had my daughter in the Spring of 2002 and wanted to lose the baby weight that never wants to go away. My husband and I would often discuss the love I had for riding my bike everywhere in my youth and it was then that I made the choice to become active with the MS Society again. That Christmas, I received a stationary bike that I would use to train during the winter, along with a homemade certificate stating I would receive a new bike in the spring and the registration fee was taken care of for the MS150.

I was a rider for three years before I found out that Wisconsin was having their inaugural fifty mile Challenge Walk in October of 2008. I  made the walk my new physical challenge and decided to head up our volunteer team for the Bike MS event. I don’t think that anyone ever truly realizes how far fifty miles is until they walk it. It was one of the most difficult and rewarding challenges I’ve ever faced and I’ve gone back to do it every autumn. This September will be my sixth year.

There is nothing in this world that will bring my Mom back. However, she continues to fuel me. She was a tough cookie. Faithful and stubborn. She was always looking for the next big thing that was going to cure her of the disease, some of which my Dad had to talk her out of because he knew they were gimmicks. With the memory of her battle, I have been given the opportunity to meet and become friends with some of the most amazing people a girl could ever find. Others with MS and those that support them, walk for them, ride for them, run for them, and fight for them. The same disease that surrounded my childhood in such a negative way has helped me through my adulthood in a very positive way. It has cut me open, torn out my heart only to help me heal all over again. I have watched so many people struggle with this disease. I have seen the heartache it causes and the triumph on the faces of those that have just concurred their greatest fear. Whether that be to get on a bike, climb a hill, or simply stand up out of their wheelchair. I have seen the look on a persons face when their legs begin to give out and the stubbornness that gives them the strength to continue or to listen to their body as they decide to sit down. I have allowed tears to stream down my cheeks at candlelight vigils during the Challenge Walks, yelled at the sky, run arm in arm across finish lines, and felt the pain of walking in bad shoes for twenty plus miles. I realize that not everything in life has to be a cause. I also know that some of us have it better than others. I have an outstanding family, terrific kids, a loving husband, and fabulous friends. I believe in spreading the wealth. My wealth happens to be love, a lot of sweat, a loud voice to cheer people on, and two legs that still work. I have been told time and time again how my Mother would be so proud. The truth is I don’t see it that way, for I am the one who is proud to be her daughter.

A Single Step

Time, schedules, parental obligations, life can often get in the way of being with those we hold dear.  I am not perfect.  I often don’t realize how much time has slipped by me until I recognize the changing of the seasons.  I am also overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed with life and the many directions it can take.  Although I cherish my friends and loved ones, is it selfish of me to wish to start fresh in a new town in a new state?  Sometimes it’s daunting being in a place where everyone knows your name.  I would love to be a wombat and curl up into a ball.  To be a child that places her hands over her eyes and believes that no one can see her.  To drown out the noise and chaos.  To be a writer in my own little world and watch reality disappear in a torrent of emotions as my fingers skim across the keys of my Dell.  There is a delight in knowing that there is no one to impress but oneself when silence is your best friend.  I am a social creature, but being a hermit has its appeal.  I am constantly surrounded by people.  I often stay up late at night just to enjoy the absence of voices, the hum of the refrigerator, the sound of my children breathing deep as they dream.  The scent of sandalwood incense fills the air, the candles are lit, a cup of tea is sitting on the table and I am one with myself.

I find that I don’t mind my own company.  One must understand themselves if they are to understand others.   “But the tigers come at night, with their voices soft as thunder, as they tear your hope apart and they turn your dreams to shame”.  Although these lyrics were not written in the context in which I’m writing them, I can’t help but feel connected to them regardless.  I feel a bit of shame in my desire to close myself off from everyone.  I may dream of it so strongly at times that I ache with the need to get away.  I can hear the tigers screaming at me to wake up and face the world.  They remind me of my love for the people in my life and I would never be able to handle a hermits life.  So, for now I will continue to stay up late at night and enjoy the sounds of my house and the people in it.  I will peak into the rooms of my children before heading up to bed to curl up next to the warm man that I’m married too and hope that the tigers decide to let me dream of clouds and waterfalls instead of the dark thunder of their voices.  I will take deep breaths and smile more.  I will try to concern myself less with what others think and more of what I think of myself.  I realize that this is easier said than done, but I’m optimistic.  I am sensitive to others and their opinions of me.  I can’t seem to help it, it’s who I am, but I know that their opinion is only a small portion of the big picture and I need to start thinking more of myself, for I’m a pretty fucking fantastic person.  I’m loving, sassy and kind.  I give outstanding hugs and damn it, I’m a good listener regardless of how much I talk.  I am unsure of myself, but am courageous despite that flaw and I hunger for what is next for ” a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.

Oh the Times, they are a Changin

Recently there was an article in the New York Times about where Barnes and Noble is going. Are they going to fall apart in a similar fashion to Borders?


Oh the things I come across and don’t post about. This is one of them. I had this in my reserve.  : ) Discuss

The Time Sucker Known as IMDB

So, last night I went to bed at a fantastic time, woke up feeling relaxed and ready to go today. Pushed the child out the door to school and promptly sat my ass down and started looking up things on IMDB. I had heard about a few movies coming out and wanted to check out the trailers for them.  I ended up putting The Greatest, The Other Woman, HannaLimitless, and Middle of Nowhere on my need to see list and then realized that 2 1/2 hours have gone by.  Now it’s onto bigger and better things, like deciding where I’d like to finally go to school. Yes, after almost 18 years, Steph is going to have a chance to buy new pencils and notebooks and maybe even a new backpack. If I’m really good maybe I’ll even get some new clothes.  I’ll keep you posted on this new adventure as it unfolds. Right now I need to figure out if I should go to GRCC, Davenport, or University of Phoenix.

I’m still fighting off this stupid cold, but its strength seems to be weakening.  Here’s to getting healthy. May the customers at work tonight be few and far between so I can sniffle in silence and kick out some returns.  On that note, I leave you with one of the latest Mike Bookseller Comics. Enjoy!