Hi! I’m returning back to the land of audio with my latest podcast that is a tiny taste of TV shows I’m currently watching. My time away has certainly been lengthy, and I’m coming back with a variety of subjects to talk about and share with you.
I’m digging that the show is similar to Monk, but definitely suited for a more adult audience. The sweet little chihuahua Will rescues is darling and is honestly one of the draws of the show for me. The series is based off of Karin Slaughter’s New York Times best selling “Will Trent” book series that I will be checking out. Have you read the books? What are you thoughts on the show?
Stop what you are doing and RUN to watch Inside Man. The BBC has done it again with a magical mix of drama and mystery that will keep you riveted for four episodes. The end comes too soon, as watching David Tennant and Stanley Tucci is a treat in and of itself. These two talented actors make for a combination that keeps one on the edge of the seat. RUN…watch… report back on what you think.
The last episode of Season 3 was certainly a bombshell. Do you believe Cami? I think our favorite secret keeper has grown her nose a bit with this story. I can’t wait for the next season. Will it be the last?
What are you watching this Winter? I’d love to hear your recommendations and view your list of favorites!
Thanks for listening and reading, and I look forward to hearing from you!
National Popcorn Day is a great excuse to enjoy your own popcorn at home with little expense and great fun. I do love popcorn. As a child, it always felt like such a treat, especially when we would buy a “self-contained stove-top popping pan” from Jiffy Pop. We would watch it pop, the foil balloon of popcorn expanding and sizzling. Of course, as a vegan, I haven’t had that product in years, as they have milk derivatives in their products. That’s okay, the sweet memory is there.
I have a vintage air popper that I use, but I find myself avoiding it because the blower is quite loud, and I don’t enjoy the sound. I started purchasing small, individual bags of popped corn from Costco, but the new price increases have made me avoid putting it in my cart.
Popcorn is too delicious of a snack to abandon! The low-calorie snack is a great treat throughout the day. Determined to find a solution, I started searching for an answer to my popcorn dilemma.
I took a leap and ordered the Mueller Premium Microwave Popcorn Popper, 3 Quart Capacity Popcorn Maker, Borosilicate Glass, with a 3-in-1 Silicone Lid.
I was drawn to the popper because it is glass, has a silicone lid for measuring kernels and melting a variety of additional items to help flavor the popcorn, but this microwave cooker doesn’t need any additional oils or flavors to make the popcorn. It is a simple design with promising results based on the reviews. It is in a charming red color (they seem to have a happy yellow now) and is dishwasher safe, too.
I needed some popcorn, so I ordered a 3 lb. bag of Anthony’s Organic Yellow Popcorn Kernels, 3 lb, (Gluten Free and Non GMO).
I was apprehensive, but foraged ahead with my goal of having yummy popcorn without additional packaging waste and extra expense. The first batch was not ideal. I followed the instructions and most of my popcorn didn’t pop. The second time, I extended the cooking time and it got better, but not great. The third time, I set the microwave to five minutes and watched as the entire bowl cooked up. It didn’t need the full five minutes, but it was close. Since that successful time, I’ve tried other brands of popcorn and can attest that the cooking times have been all over the board. Some have needed a swift three minutes, and others need a bit longer. My advice is simply to experiment and standby as the popcorn is in the microwave. Nobody likes burnt popcorn.
The popcorn has been delicious. While you don’t need any additional oil to make the popcorn pop, I plop a little organic coconut oil in the bowl before I measure out and dump my kernels. I put a pat of vegan butter in the top of the lid to melt as it pops, and I frequently experiment with a variety of spices and salts when the popcorn is completed. I have yet to try chocolates or other sweet mixtures. I do like a healthy dusting of nutritional yeast.
Clean-up is a snap, and whether you keep it on the counter or tuck it away, it looks attractive.
Here is the refined coconut oil, butter, and nutritional yeast that I use:
Do you feed the birds in your yard? I love supplying them with additional nutrients to help them through the days that seem colder and hotter than ever. I’m blessed to have a wide range of birds that visit and happily partake in the food.
While I was healing from surgeries last year, I found it peaceful to watch the birds visit. I installed two feeder poles and a feeder with a solar light.
I was very excited for this first pole, but I find the attached bowls are not ideal for me. They would be better if they twisted where they attached to the pole to make it easy to dump out debris or dirty water. They don’t do this, and it therefore makes for a very messy clean-up. All is not lost, I still use the pole for my hummingbird feeders. I love the bird design, and it is made well.
This bird feeder is busier than my hometown mall when I was a teenager. Every bird loves visiting it, especially cardinals, blue jays, morning doves, and the nuthatch. The nuthatch population in my yard is large, and they will come perch on it as I fill it. Unafraid of their human, the little birds hop around the feeder eating, hanging upside with ease. The solar powered light was beautiful while it lasted, and while they did supply an extra lid, “in case the other quit” as they stated, both lids did quit early on. It is a beautiful light when it works. But again, the light was simply an added benefit of the item, and it by no means makes the feeder obsolete without the light.
Finally, this is my favorite feeder pole. The feeder above is hanging from this pole on my back deck. The arms swivel so I can bring the feeder in and out as I like, and the bird and leaves are sweet decorative touches.
The birds who visit my yard are sweet visitors, and I hope to make a place for them that is safe and stocked with their needs. I’d hate to imagine life without birds! Here are a few birds I’ve painted with watercolors.
I wasn’t able to locate my mug online, but this cute one is certain to please the cardinal lover. 🙂
Happy National Spaghetti Day! Lovers of pasta unite for a day of celebration for the skinny noodles that have been, for many of us, a favorite meal since childhood. Spaghetti is one of the rare foods that I can eat cold or hot, and it always seems better the second day.
To celebrate the day, I wanted to make a recipe I haven’t tried before, and a quick search returned Vegan Bolognese with Impossible Meat by The Carrot Underground. The recipe is hearty and delicious. Don’t miss a step or overthink the ingredients! Two cups per veggie may seem like a lot, but it is well worth it. The addition of the veggie stock adds a layer of depth to the flavor, and I substituted red wine vinegar for the red wine. If you don’t like Impossible Meat, substitute it with TVP or another tasty option. This is a fulfilling recipe for your weekly table, and it will certainly score at any potluck event. Everyone will walk away with a content belly.
That stack of VHS tapes that I’ve moved thousands of miles in my lifetime are decaying and in need of digital conversion, and I desperately want to see what memories are trapped inside them. Every year I swear I’m going to get the movies off the VHS tapes, but something always happens that prevents that from happening. I did a little research and discovered that there are a number of companies providing this service, but I liked the packages offered from iMemories and chose them.
Choosing a company to send your precious and private memories is no small task. It can make you feel like a tangled pile of emotions and fears. Even after I carefully researched and selected iMemories, I feared that sending my VHS tapes would mean that I’d never see them again. I also have some private moments on these tapes that I really wasn’t comfortable sending to a company, but if I wanted them digitized, I had to just shut down the voice in my head and move forward with the process. It is really hard to take that step, and if it takes you a little longer to feel comfortable, remember that you can take time to get comfortable, or at least accept that it is a necessary step, as I don’t know that one can be truly comfortable with the process of sending such precious and private items to complete strangers with no face.
In your online account, you’ll find iMemories updates on your order status as your payment and items move along the queue. I was happy to be able to check on the order without needing to call anyone and follow-up. I never felt that I was in the dark about their process or wondering when everything would be done.
When They Receive Your Items – Notification and Payment Due
Once they receive your box of memories, they will send you an email asking you to log into your account and review the items and pay for your order. As you can see, they list the item they received from you, what conversion method is being used, and what label you have on the item. When I sent my VHS tapes to them, they were running a sale, but I had a better coupon for 30% off! As you can see in the order summary, I sent in 29 VHS tapes! The shipping charge is the return of the VHS tapes to me.
Updates Throughout the Process Push the Darkness Away
Here is a video I made before sending off my tapes:
How’d it go?
The tapes were returned to me just as they were sent out, with no issues or problems along the way. I was ecstatic to see my videos loaded on my online account, and I quickly started watching them. Most I hadn’t seen in a very long time! The videos are wonderful. There are some places I think a tweak of the tracking would have helped, but I can’t complain. I have my memories preserved, and it is well worth it. The ability to share with others and make a screenshot photo is a huge plus for me.
Check out my update about how the process went, and I walk you through the phone app and the desktop experience. Let me know if you have used the service and what your experience was like. Get those memories preserved!
Twenty-five years ago, buying tickets to Walt Disney World consisted of showing up at the gate and purchasing a ticket. It was simple, and it didn’t require much more effort than having money in the bank to afford them. Now, thanks to our new normal that includes living with COVID among us, buying tickets to visit Disney World is a little more complicated than the last time I did it in 1996.
2020 & the Dawn of the Park Reservation System
Prior to the March 12, 2020 closure of Walt Disney World, the park reservation system did not exist. Once the park reopened in July, it was necessary to implement new COVID-19 restrictions and procedures to ensure that park employees and visitors were able to safely enjoy the park. Part of the new normal included face protections (masks), social distancing rules in the ride queues as well as on the rides, and limits to the number of attendees in the parks. Now, for one to enter one of the four parks at Walt Disney World, both a park reservation and valid ticket (or pass) for the same park on the same date is required. And heads up, the limited availability of park reservations means that you should make your theme park reservations IMMEDIATELY after purchasing your admission tickets. Don’t push it into the “do it later” pile and end up without a park reservation.
Below is an example from the Disney site that shows the desired search result: green means all parks available.
You’ve got the green light for dates, and now you’ll need to get your tickets. You have many options when buying tickets. You can purchase direct from Disney, you can go through a travel agent, and there are a number of websites that sell tickets, too. Don’t forget your local banks, credit unions, shopping clubs, and possibly insurance companies. Check out their website or give a call to inquire if they sell tickets. Discount tickets are everywhere, but vet the sources before spending your money. You’ll really need to do your homework when researching ticket vendors. Read reviews of those services and sites. I did a lot of research and happily landed at Undercover Tourist.
The Undercover Tourist site is user friendly, and there is no delay between ordering tickets and receiving communication from them, whether it be receiving an emailed receipt or the confirmation of the purchase of your tickets. For example, I received an email with a receipt at 1:30 and had my ticket ID numbers emailed to me at 1:36. They do not charge any hidden fees, tax is included in the price, and your actual tickets are mailed to you with free shipping! You will receive an email with the actual ticket ID numbers that will allow you to immediately go into the Disney phone app and reserve your park preferences! I was seriously nervous about plopping down $1,500 for the tickets to an unknown source, but the online reviews were all extremely positive. They were also running a great promotion that discounted the purchase an additional $30.
The Undercover Tourist offers a refund policy. Per their site, “Your confidence in purchasing takes priority, which is why we offer a 90-day Return Policy and use common sense and fair practices when dealing with your cancellations & refunds. If you believe you are eligible for a refund, please contact us for further shipping instructions. Once tickets have been received and verified by Undercover Tourist, we will issue a refund back to the initial form of payment according to the terms below within 15 business days.”
Our plan was to visit Disney for four days, providing one day per park. Undercover Tourist featured a promotion for a 4-Day ticket with an extra day at a great rate, so we chose for that option, giving us five days at the park.
Note that this is a 5 day ticket! Tax is included and that is a nearly $100 savings (see below)! The online promotion made it an easy option to pick up an extra day!
When price comparing, check out the daily price of the ticket at the Disney site. The price will vary based upon time of year, day of week, and what ticket option you are selecting (park hopper, water park admissions, etc…). My party will consist of three adults, and we wanted four days in the park with the park hopper option without any water park visits. It works out that we are traveling when tickets appear to be less expensive, and that really helps the budget restrictions. The more days you add to your visit, the cheaper tickets are per day!
Let’s check out the Disney site. As you can see, tickets per day are $106, for a total of $527.39 per person before tax.
After tax, the total came to $1685.04. Also note, the tickets at Walt Disney World are not refundable. They do offer free shipping on your actual tickets mailed via USPS, or you can opt to receive the tickets via email and use that email when you reach the park.
4-Day Disney Theme Park Ticket with Park Hopper® Option – with Extra Day – ADULT $529.82 per person (and tax is included in that price), but after the $30 promo discount (and applying $10 of the discount to each ticket), that brought the tickets per person down to $519.82! Five days at $104 per day!
At the Disney site, the 5-Day Disney Theme Park Ticket with Park Hopper® Option -ADULT $527.39 per ticket (before tax) and after tax, $561.08 per person. Five days at $112.22 per day.
Undercover Tourist came out ahead for atotal savings of $125.58versus purchasing the tickets at Disney. I’m excited to have the option of an extra day, especially if we need extra time to fit in the rides we are really hoping to experience, like Rise of the Resistance.
Remember, your savings experience may vary. You may find a greater discount when you are combining on-site lodging with your admission tickets. Different coupons and promos may be offered at Undercover Tourist, too. For the purposes of my trip, and as a general guidance, I am encouraging everyone to evaluate the options that exist and scoop up the best deals that will help you create the memorable trip you desire.
Have a frugal ticket purchase tip? Let me know!
Disclaimer: I became an affiliate for Undercover Tourist after I used the service and wanted to share them as a resource.
Come along with me as I plan my vacation to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida! It will be frugal, it will be fun, and it will be in September 2021! I haven’t had a vacation since 2004. Seventeen years! I think I’m overdue for some relaxation and fun at the Most Magical Place on Earth* and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.
* while I love Disney World, I consider the most magical place on earth to be Asheville, NC.
The cute cups you see photographed are from TJMaxx. 🙂 I’m not a diehard collector of all things Disney, but this is a big trip for me, and I want to have fun counting down to the event as well as attending it.
Thank you, AllTrue (previously Causebox) for introducing me to DIFF blue light technology glasses. They were an option to choose from as an item in my SPRING 2021 AllTrue subscription box. I didn’t choose them, but they were available for purchase in the add-on market and thought I would try them out. You can check out the unboxing video below.
I initially thought they were a gimmick and the latest fad that everyone professes they need to have before they forget the glasses in a few months in the back of the junk drawer. My few weeks in these glasses has proven beyond beneficial, and I can honestly report that they are 100% necessary if you work on a computer or use your phone a lot. If you need to find out why blue light is worrying, here is a great article from UC Davis.
The lenses have a slight yellow to them that warms up the online page. It is much more comfortable for my eyes. I notice a difference in eye strain when I’m watching tv as well. In a chat with their online customer service, they stated the lenses are 30% blue light blocking.
Bottom line: While I don’t have a method to measure what blue light is reaching my eye, I believe they truly help protect your eyes from the harmful blue light emitted from your digital screens that is contributing to your eye strain. I believe this because my eyes just feel better when I’m wearing them and they feel worse when I’m not. That’s easy math for me, and I’m a convert.
I’m wearing size medium, measurements for the glasses are 48 – 21 – 145, they are unisex with scratch resistant nylon lenses and the frame is a hand cut acetate. Additional bonus points, if something happens to the lenses or I just need another pair of glasses, they can be fitted with prescription lenses!
I love that DIFF is giving back with every purchase we make with them! “Every pair of DIFF glasses sold helps to provide the gift of sight to someone in need through eye exams, glasses, medicine, and surgery. To date, we’ve donated over 1.5 MILLION pairs of glasses worldwide — and that’s just the beginning of it.”
You can also purchase the glasses at Amazon. They would make a perfect gift for the writer in your life!
Some links on my site are part of affiliate programs, and if you click on them or make a purchase from the link, I may make a few pennies.
In a month, he will be gone from this Earth for a year. For me, you died today, the moment I saw your obituary. Until we know someone has died, they live in this forever alive bubble that gives us false belief that we could see them again one day. Until we can’t.
I started writing this a month ago. It has taken me that long to navigate my feelings and discover how I wanted to express the sense of loss I feel. Writing is the way in which I do that, and this is the platform I have to express it upon. This is my goodbye to my first puppy love. I don’t use that term as a negative. Quite the opposite, as I use it with reverence. We had a fantastic love that consisted of loving one another for who they were. I use puppy as a term of youth, not to say we didn’t have true feelings.
I had slept so soundly, in a way that I hadn’t slept in twenty years. I woke up remembering I had dreamed of Jason. It was a vivid dream that felt so real, as though he had been right in front of me. In my dream, we were on a park bench, surrounded by fall foliage of incredible colors. I asked him why we were meeting here, and he said because he knew I liked it. He then looked at me, smiled from his eyes, and told me to look him up. I asked what he meant, and he told me to look him up. I woke up, feeling incredibly rested and happy. I’d certainly not gone to bed expecting to dream of him, but what a nice visit we had in my dream.
Later that day, I felt a pull on my mind, hearing his voice instructing me to look him up. I quickly felt all the joy I’d experienced earlier leave me. The first return on the internet search was his obituary, dated 2020.
I could never stay mad at him. He made jokes about his mistakes and made sure you quickly replaced anger with laughter. He was pure sunlight to me. Bright blonde hair and blue eyes that never made me want to stop gazing into them. I was a serious student who thrived on teacher approval, and he was the class clown who didn’t care for school and was often punished with spankings or whoopings, as we called it, with a wooden paddle, for failing to complete his homework or talking in class. Corporal punishment was alive and well in Tennessee in the ’80s.
We were boyfriend and girlfriend from the sixth to the eighth grade. My father thought Jason could do no wrong. Truth be told, Jason was very similar to my father in personality, but his spirit was more sensitive and gentle. Jason worked hard in the fields in the summer, and my father liked that. He also liked the way Jason made me smile. “If he makes my daughter smile like that, he can’t be too bad.”
He was everything I didn’t have in my life. He was steady and dependable. He loved me openly and without judgement. He had lived in the same town his whole life and knew he would die there, too. I was a wandering leaf, blowing in the wind, never staying in one place long enough to call it home. I had learned to be independent and quiet. He lived life out loud, dancing when the spirit struck him, and always finding a moment to be tender with affection. I’d never experienced anything like him.
Our differences made us great friends and the points where we touched and overlapped made us always seek one another out. I have so many fun stories of my time with him, but ultimately, the greatest moment we shared was the time we had to say goodbye.
My life was tumultuous at best, and in my thirteen years on the planet, I had learned that the rug was always waiting to be pulled out from under me. It had happened many times before, but this time, I was completely caught off guard. It was early November, and everyone was preparing plans for Thanksgiving and school break. When I got home that day, my mother opened the door to tell me that I needed to start packing, as my father had left us, we were evicted, and we were going to Arkansas to see my half-sister who I hadn’t seen since I was three.
We had been evicted before. My father had left us before. I’d moved around a lot. The difference was, this time I was connected to someone that made me want to never move again. I wasn’t crazy about the small town in Tennessee, but I was crazy about that boy, and the thought of leaving him made this time hurt way worse than all the times before.
My mother moved about in a frenzied state, calling U-Haul to get a truck, smoking cigarette after cigarette as though it gave her body fuel. She paused long enough to tell me how embarrassed she was because the cop who served the eviction notice was Jason’s Uncle. He knew of me and had been very kind to her. I wanted to disappear. I knew this small town would soon be craving more information and making up stories to fill in the gaps. The story was simple–my father was poor at money management and frequently found himself in need of financial support from his mother. He’d run off to her open arms while my mother and I cleaned up the mess he left behind. I’ve never publicly said any of this, as it was always drilled into me that my life should be a secret, and no one should know what happened in our home. It isn’t easy to write.
Jason called me later that night, and I listened to him tell me about school and what he was looking forward to over break. I just wanted to listen to him. He noticed how quiet I was and asked what was wrong. I honestly cannot remember if I told him then or the next morning before school that I was leaving. I have an extraordinarily good memory, but this moment is blank for me. I can only remember hurting and feeling like I needed to protect him from the pain I was about to inflict.
The next day at school, I had to alert my teachers about my move. I wanted to leave the school as quietly as possible. I didn’t like to attract attention when I exited a school. I didn’t like to attract attention at all, but being the perpetual “new girl” as frequently as I was, it was unavoidable. I didn’t plan on telling anyone about my move until a nice boy in my class commented that I seemed so sad that day. I was always the happy girl, and people notice when you aren’t smiling. We were in the hallway, between classes, and I told him. I figured I didn’t have anything to lose. He was a friend, but not someone I was very close with or knew well. His face fell and he started to cry. I hadn’t experienced this before, as I usually wasn’t around when people discovered I was no longer at the school. He hugged me, and I started to cry. We drew a lot of attention and word quickly reached Jason that I was hugging a boy and crying. He came to me immediately, and soon there were a number of students hugging the three of us. It was a profound moment for me. I truly felt that I would be missed, and I hadn’t experienced that before.
Jason was in a very quiet mood. He wasn’t speaking to anyone, and friends reported to me throughout the day that he was crying off and on in classes. I had wanted to avoid this. I felt so badly for his pain, and I didn’t know how to ease it. This was my last day at school, and I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to be with Jason, but I didn’t want to talk about what happened or why I was moving. It was not a topic I was allowed to speak about. It didn’t really matter; I was a kid and my parents told me what to do and when to do it. I was leaving, and that was it.
That night, as we were preparing to leave Tennessee, Jason’s mother invited me and my mother over so that we could have dinner and and say goodbye. I don’t know what magic Mrs. B. said to my mother, but it worked, and soon my mother and I were at their home. We all visited for a bit, but Jason was more than ready to get outside and speak to me in private.
Jason lived atop a mountain and it was very cold on this November evening. The sun was already down, and the clear night meant it was a perfect night for stargazing. We talked about what happens next, and he spoke to me in the softest, gentlest way that my confused and broken heart needed. I had no idea what was in store for me in the coming weeks, and he knew that I was putting on the strongest front that I could muster. He held my hand so tightly and told me that he loved me and would never let me go. He wanted a plan for communication and he gave directives on the need for phone calls. His mother would periodically poke her head out to check on us, making sure we hadn’t frozen to death.
We held hands, looking at the stars, astounded by their beauty, knowing that no matter where we were, the stars were going to always shine on us, creating a connection between us. He turned on a nearby radio and “Groovy Kind of Love,” by Phil Collins started playing. It was our song. I’d never had a song with a boy before. We held each other as we swayed to the music. A barn kitten crawled up the exterior of my pants and tried to nestle between us. He removed her, placing her on the ground with instruction that he needed nothing between us. The swirl of sadness and gratefulness for the moment were overwhelming to me. I never wanted the night to end. I was scared as to what would happen to me next, unprepared for the future that had no plan.
Jason pushed my hair out of my face and kissed me. It was my first adult kiss. My breath was taken away, and I felt like I was in a movie. We paused long enough for him to look me in the eye and smile in that charming and silly way that made my heart accelerate. “No matter what happens, baby. I’ll always be here for you,” he said.
Jason and I would write and call one another over the next year. He always wanted to know when I was coming back. “When are you coming home?” he would ask. I’d say that it wasn’t home for me anymore, and he’d say that wasn’t true. When we talked, it was as if I had never moved. He kept me updated on his work, school, and friends. He wanted to know what was going on with me, and it was difficult for me to talk about my home life, so I didn’t. I knew that if he really knew what was happening, he would be angry at his inability to make things better for me. He truly was someone who wanted to make things the best they could be for those he loved. I knew I wasn’t moving back to Tennessee while I lived at home, and I had no desire to move back when I went to college. I knew that the best thing to do was to let him move on. I stopped calling as often, and he followed suit. I hadn’t heard from him in few months, and out of the blue, there he was. “Hey, baby.”
He’d just gotten in from a baseball game and wanted to know what was new. I was angry with him for calling. I told him that I was trying to get over him. “Well, good thing I called. You aren’t supposed to get over me,” he replied. I could hear the smile in his voice. Knowing I’d probably never see that smile again hit me harder than I was prepared to acknowledge. We quarreled. He didn’t understand why I wasn’t over the moon to talk to him. I told him I just needed to close that door. I stressed how important it was for us to be realistic. He grew angry at my distance and he asked if I wanted to talk to him again. I said no. We both hung up the phone saturated in anger and sadness. I really missed him, but I knew I’d never return to his world, so it was easier to let go. I didn’t really have a choice.
Fast forward to my first year in college, and I called him. His father answered the phone, and we talked for a bit, as he was happy to hear from me. He passed the phone to his wife, and we spent time catching up and laughing about old times. She was remorseful that I’d never moved back and expressed that Jason would be so happy to talk to me. She kept stressing that if I had stayed things would have been different for everyone, but she didn’t elaborate. Jason would need to call me back, as he was at work.
I’d busied myself after that call and wasn’t sure if I’d hear from him, but true to his mom’s word, he rang. I didn’t have Caller ID, so when I picked up the phone, I did so blindly. I said hello and heard him smile before he said, “Hey! Hey, it’s Jason! Mom said you called! I can’t believe you called…” and he took off talking a mile a minute. Years melted away, and we were two kids laughing and catching up. He grew serious when I asked him what his Mom meant about things being different. He explained he was about to become a father.
I smiled. Jason had wanted kids since we were in the sixth grade. I know that sounds odd, but he always looked forward to being a dad. The details of his saga didn’t matter, for I knew he would do the right thing by the mom and the child. We talked about my being at college and how, by all measures, our paths were going as planned.
We both expressed how we’d missed the other over the years, and he asked if I’d ever “found another blonde haired, blue-eyed boy” to replace him. Nope. Never had. He was pleased at that. We spoke about the letters from each other we had kept (letters I still have). We ended the conversation with laughter, and I could feel his love and friendship as though no time had ever come between us. It was the last time I ever spoke to him. I would go on to see his brother and have communication with him for a bit, but I never spoke to Jason again.
When I discovered that Jason had died, the ice cold reality that I’d never have the opportunity to have the chance to see him, either by plan or circumstance, hit me on a level I couldn’t have expected. People we’ve not seen in a period of time live in a realm of possibility. We might get together one day. We might run into one another one day. When they die, that moment will never happen. Never. The finality of that is a harsh lesson to hold in your heart. I suddenly realized that I had hoped to see him one day and discover how it all turned out. Death destroys hope.
I’ve always been in love with the stars, but I find myself looking up and smiling at the energy I believe was added to the universe on the moment of his death. He is infinitely beautiful and a guiding light. His energy exists in the stars now.
Jason, I’m grateful for having known you. I’m honored to have been loved by you and to have had the opportunity to love you. I hope you had more days of joy and laughter than you ever had of sorrow. Thank you for being the boy who taught me that I didn’t have to fear the love or touch of another. Thank you for always making me feel beautiful and giving me the gift of your smile and supportive ear. Thank you for running to my defense when you felt I’d been harmed, and thank you for never hurting me. My sweet, groovy kind of love, thank you for seeing me. May you rest in peace and love.
I recently had the pleasure of attending an online painting class, and this is the result. It really couldn’t have been more perfect.
I’d love to see you at the Girls Shopping Network Vendor and Lifestyle Show in Mooresville, North Carolina!
Come out and pick up a signed paperback of Manual Exposure and my handmade items: embroidered hoops, original coffee mug designs, Cozy to Go! cup wraps, earrings, necklaces, greeting cards, key fobs, and more! Mother’s Day (May 14, 2017) is just around the corner, and Bushnell Unscripted Handmade items make wonderful gifts.
See you there! Look for my banner!
March 18, 2017
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
In the Old Burlington Mill
Merino’s Furniture & Design
This event will have a separate entrance – look for signs!