Category Archives: Life

The Strange Case of the Unexpected Tiny House

I’d say that it started as a regular day at school, but it hadn’t. It had been a week since the hurricane, and the aftermath seemed to be the only thing on everyone’s minds. Everyone felt off, but at least we all felt off together.

After class, I turned everything in to the front desk. There, the ladies were giggling. There was a strange new addition to the usual cars parked behind the building. Unable to resist, I headed back there with one of them.

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There, we found a tiny house on wheels. It definitely wasn’t what I had been expecting. No one really knew where it had come from or why it was there. Perhaps it had been parked there so that the buildings would block most of the wind? Perhaps it blew in from somewhere else, like the catfish people found on their porches?

The tiny house on wheels vanished a few days later. No one knows where it went. I like to think it’s off on a new adventure… that doesn’t involve hurricanes.

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Saying Goodbye to a Piece of My Childhood

Plenty of things come and go, and sometimes you don’t realize that something is still there until it’s on the brink of extinction. That was the case with AOL Instant Messenger.

When I was a kid, I already preferred written communication over talking on the phone. That meant that I spent most of my time talking to friends via instant messaging and e-mail. Dial up was still the norm at the beginning, so conversations had to be scheduled and could only last for so long. And Lord forbid your parents were expecting an important call when your friends were expecting you. But AOL Instant Messenger (better known to us as AIM) was our original favorite instant messenger.

For the first few years, it’s how I had most of my conversations with my husband. We would chat for hours if the phone line was free. It was an amusingly stark contrast to when we were in person and hardly talked at all. There are so many memories tied with AIM of him and of conversations with plenty of other friends too.

After a while, we left AIM by the wayside. MSN Messenger ended up taking the top spot, especially when other forms of Internet access became more prevalent and since it included games like checkers and Othello. Most of our other friends dropped off the instant messaging bandwagon completely, but my husband and I still spent quite a bit of time on it, even once we had taken to actually talking in person and sometimes even on the phone.

It’s many years later now, and I didn’t even realize that AOL Instant Messenger was still around. It’s not that I had forgotten about it. I had just moved on and figured that AOL had gone into extinction already. I didn’t realize that they were both still around until my husband found out that AIM is finally going away this December.

It’s strange to think about. It used to be an important part of my daily life. And even though I haven’t touched it in I don’t know how many years, it’s sad to hear that it’s about to go away forever. It’s truly the end of an era.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, my husband and I still frequently use instant messaging. His phone doesn’t get good reception at work, so guess what replaces texting while he’s there.

Did you used to use AOL Instant Messenger? How did you like to talk to your friends when you were growing up?


The Heart of a Hurricane

It took many long hours for the hurricane to make its trek over us. I’m thankful to say that we made it out unscathed (though we were without power for a while). Things are finally starting to return to normal, though it will still be a while for some. As the hours dragged, I wondered how I would capture this experience. As a writer, all that came to mind are words. So here are some snippets of what it was like in the heart of a hurricane. 

Hysteria reverberates through the air.
Shelves and gas pumps empty, fueling fear.
People grow desperate as the eye draws near.
My gas tank and pantry are full.
Should I be more worried?

Covered in a mix of sawdust and mud,
we bolt plywood to the windows
and hope for the best. Tapcons screech,
forcing themselves deep into strong concrete.
Even the baby inside me is restless.
The cat cowers under the bed.
Cold rain pours as we work.
The storm isn’t even here yet.

Darkness.
I reach for the safety of the lantern.
The light brings some comfort as wind
rattles boards and rain pummels exposed windows.
We listen to each gust, breathless. I search
for the cat beneath the table. I want to know
where he is, just in case. I remind
all of us that it’s going to be okay.
Another gust. How fast was that one?
How  many more hours before it passes?

Light finally breaks through the speeding clouds
and we venture outside. The world is surreal.
Leaves blown from bent plants, branches everywhere,
dark spots where shingles should have been,
a lost piece of gutter laying on the sidewalk.
A mangled tree whispers destruction, others lay
where the wind left them. But we are all safe,
and that is what really matters.

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Hello, Hurricane (Irma)

Well, here we are again, sitting on the edge of another hurricane. Needless to say, it’s been a long week and not good for posting schedules.

So as we brace for an enormous storm, here’s the song that’s been on repeat in my head. We saw Switchfoot (one of my favorite bands) a few years ago, and when we did, they said that they wrote this song with my area in mind. For good reason, considering our hurricane track record.

If you don’t hear from me for a little while, it’s just because power/Internet is out. See you on the other side!


Eclipse

Restless eyes glance at the sky
Scanning glowing clouds for the sun
And faithfully approaching moon.
Restlessly watch the clock;
Four hours and 100 miles to go.
Restless to finally stop and watch.

The faithful wait in a quiet park,
cameras and glasses at the ready.
Clouds continue to gather but we hope
that patch of blue sky overhead
will rest over us when the eclipse comes.

Billows of clouds rise between us
Thunder sends its warning
But we wait. 30 more minutes.
Maybe it will clear?

5 minutes to totality.
The clouds grow denser.
I cling to my umbrella.
My dreams are about to
wash away…

4 minutes to totality.
The sun tries to peek
through the thunderhead
but all I see is a glow
in the darkening sky.

3 minutes to totality.
I’m going to enjoy this.
Live with no regrets,
chase the eclipses,
even if it rains.

2 minutes to totality.
The darkness is not
from the clouds.
Crickets begin their song.
They know what’s to come.

1 minute to totality.
Anticipation builds.
The sun is hidden but
even the clouds can’t hide
what’s happening above.

Totality.
The world turns to twilight
Then darker. And darker.
Lost in the shadow,
everything falls quiet.
It takes my breath away.

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Just before our cloudy totality of the 2017 eclipse.


The Next Chapter

Life has been a whirlwind this summer. I’ve felt inconsistent in everything: writing, blogging, planning for the school year, housework… You name it, I feel like I’ve been shortchanging it. But it’s because something else has been taking up my time and energy.

After years of trying, we’re finally having a baby!

Those words still don’t seem quite real, and even the most carefully chosen words could never express how grateful I am. April’s A-Z Challenge: Negative is my story. One that so many other couples share. One filled with heartache and hope. One that has finally reached the next chapter.

Before you worry, this isn’t about to turn into a baby blog. But it does mean I’m planning on a new posting schedule — one I hope to keep up consistently from here on out. So keep an eye out on Tuesdays and Fridays for new posts… and maybe a special one in between here and there.

So, with that said, until Friday!


The Cat Life: Kitty Facepalms

Life with the cat is always an adventure. Now that he’s two and a half, he sometimes is less spunky kitten and more like a teenager. Cats really do have a lot of personality. It’s hilarious.

It can basically be summed up in a picture I took of him the other day…

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Is it really bad when you get a kitty facepalm?

At least I know he still loves me anyways.

Do you have pets? What kinds of personalities do they have? Has your pet ever given you a facepalm too?