But then I remember how desperate I was to get out of Colorado. I was living with a drug dealer and although he wasn't an unkind person, he had what, to be kind, I shall call quirks. He had a very good business going on and finally the cops were catching up to him. We had been warned that a sheriff's car had been parked down the street for a few nights running, watching cars come and go. So there was that. And I had lost any affection I might have had for the drug dealer. I had only moved in with him because my old roommmate, a girl I truly did like so much, had told me that my depression was too hard to live with and so she was moving in with someone else.
I do not blame her.
And this guy asked me to move in with him and so I did and at least he had a heated waterbed and I tolerated the constant playing of the Greatful Dead on his stereo for awhile but then things just got too much for me to handle and I had that sweet time with the boy in Winter Haven over Christmas break and he'd said those fateful words- If you hate Denver, you can move to Tallahassee and live with me.
At that time in my life I was looking constantly for a man to protect me, to love me, to give me reason to live. It really was that simple. And so his words were heaven sent to my ears and I quit school and waited for the snow to melt enough for me to get the fuck out of Dodge and the drug dealer found a new girlfriend who looked startlingly like me and somehow we all shared the same apartment for awhile and a boy who was a friend of the drug dealer's truly was an angel and he babysat me, in a way, making sure that I was okay and when I finally packed up and left he was there in the early morning to wish me well and he gave me a few joints and off I went.
I have no idea what that boy's name was and I cannot remember what he looked like but he was just pure sweet and I am grateful for him.
I do want to write more about that time in my life, and I will. And that's a beginning or perhaps Part Two if we're to be honest. I think that the drug dealer is dead now and I heard that he was indeed arrested. I escaped that situation by the skin of my teeth and I am grateful for that too. My life would certainly not be what it is now if I had been busted, put in jail, had had to deal with my parents and bail money and lawyers and, and, and...
No. Just thank you Lord Jesus no.
All of this is probably why there was very little that any of my children did (that I knew about, at least and I know all I want to know, thank-you-very-much) made me completely crazy. Mostly my kids were good and some of them were beyond good but you know teenagers. I was able to be honest with them and talk to them about things coming not from a judgmental or preachy or freaked-out place but from a place of knowing exactly what it was like and also knowing that I went through it, I survived, and grew up and became their mama and a fairly upstanding citizen. There were even things that I went through or did that I am glad I went through and did. Illegal things, perhaps. Outrageous things. Dangerous things, even. Maybe. I am who I am because of those experiences and for me, because I started having children fairly early, the years of those experiences were short.
But I've often said that having my babies saved my life and this is true. Not just because being a mother made me step back in more caution and become responsible, which it did, but because the recurring depressions may well have had vastly different outcomes.
As a mother I not only had to be responsible, I had to be alive.
And today was a day I was glad I was alive. Because the weather forecast called for rain all day, Lily and I decided to go to Monticello and see Terez at the library and do our thing there. Which we did. Terez was glad to see us and we were glad to see him. Maggie played on the computers.
After that she played in the book room, putting stuffed animals in chairs and giving them books to read. I offered over and over to read books to her but she was too busy pretending.
Lily and I checked out books and then we went to Wag the Dog which was filled with new treasures. Maggie got a baby doll- quite possibly the ugliest baby doll I've ever seen mostly because it has an umbilicus which looked unlike any umbilicus I've ever seen on a human baby. Or animal baby either, for that matter. Didn't bother Magnolia though. She loves her new baby.
I found a precious little plate and bowl with this pattern on them.
Mary had a little lamb. Could that be more perfect? Wouldn't it make a darling tattoo?
And a blue-gray linen tablecloth whose weight when I picked it up felt like pure goodness in my hands and which has a crocheted lace border around the edges.
It is hard to describe my love for things like this. They are beautiful to me in a way that I can't explain. Here it is on my back porch table.
We found Maggie tap shoes and Lily got her a dress.
So a very good day at the thrift store.
And then on to lunch we went and it was actually cool enough to sit outside and Maggie played with the blocks, keeping her baby nearby at all times.
Oh, I can't wait for the Weatherfords to get back so that August and Levon can help build too. We had delicious lunches and then we drove back to Lloyd where Maggie got to play a little bit with her new carriage which she likes very much.
When we walked into the house she said, "Mer, I love your house," and later on when she was sitting on my toilet she looked around at my bathroom with its pictures of the madonna and the baby shoes on the window frame and the mish-mash of rugs and the jewelry hanging off an old mirror and all of the stuff of it and she asked, "Who decorated your house?"
Which made me laugh.
A three-year old who asks who decorated a house?
"I did," I told her. "Except that Boppy decorated most of the Glen Den." That's where the deer heads and fishing trophies are. And beer steins collected in Europe when he played ball there and the TV and the toys and so forth.
She nodded sagely. This all made sense to her. And then it was time to help her wipe her little bottom and she rested her head on my thighs as children do when you help them with their pottying and I thought of all of the times that those thighs have had children's heads resting on them while I wiped their butts and it felt right.
How can I not be glad I moved from Colorado to Tallahassee? It has all led to this.
It's raining. It's not burning-up hot. I'm cooking field peas I grew in the garden my husband and I tend.
Time to make the rest of our supper.
it's amazing all the living we survived living through, isn't it. <3ReplyDelete
It certainly is. If I have a guardian angel, he/she is worn the fuck flat out.Delete
It will be nice to have the other little ones back, and see how many shovels have accrued to little Levon.ReplyDelete
I know! After Jessie sending me a lot of pictures with Levon looking at books, I texted her that he really seems to love books. She answered, "Only if they have shovels or tractors in them."Delete
indeed how could you not be glad, what a life, eh? Exhausting if we really live it, which we have, i think.ReplyDelete
Absolutely. And I think of dear Keith who always says, "I'm glad to be here tonight. I'm glad to be anywhere!"Delete
What a sweet soul little miss Maggie is. She and her Mer are lucky to have one another.ReplyDelete
We are! I can't wait to see what that little woman baby does.Delete
I think being a mother helped me survive depression as well, because it's not just my life.ReplyDelete
I grew up so sheltered. I didn't know anything about drugs. I knew about alcoholics because I babysat my sister's kids while my brother in law drank. Good times. I was a quiet kid who wouldn't say boo and didn't even get drunk until a few months before my eighteenth birthday. I don't understand drugs. I get not wanting to feel but to risk the addictions that go with drugs, that I don't get. And I know drug addicts don't start out as drug addicts but it scares me. I know what my personality is like and it would be far too easy for me I think. So I haven't tried.
Well, I've tried weed but as an adult and I don't really care for it. I seem to have touched on a sore spot. Sorry, I'm rambling. Hope you have a lovely day tomorrow:)
Well, most of the drugs I did in those days did not deaden anything but indeed, enhanced and revealed them. Marijuana, LSD, mescaline. Not drugs that you could really get addicted to. And I am grateful beyond measure for some of the insights I gained through them.Delete
My brain just scares me. It already does weird shit to me:)Delete
You've had such a grand life, and I am so privileged and happy that you're telling it.ReplyDelete
I have a million stories. I feel lucky to be alive to tell them.Delete
For some reason, “fairly upstanding citizen” cracked me up!!!ReplyDelete
Girl- YOU know what I'm talking about!Delete
I predict that someone will live to regret the tap shoes.ReplyDelete
I think that she is going to need them in her new dance classes. But you may well be right.Delete
Your past deserves telling and I think that it is some what healing writing the words and reliving the past for a few moments in time. I am so very glad that you left Colorado and have the life you have now. I am happy to have met you as well.ReplyDelete
Maggie is a pure beam of sunshine. How beautiful she is and smart as well. Watching your grandbabies grow and learn is really beautiful and then you share those moments with your readers is really special.
I have a granddaughter that is the light of my life but her mom asked me not to post pictures of her on the internet for her safety and I have honored that wish. Tho I would love to post and write thousands of stories of her.
Instead I do digital scrapbooking. It helps with my depression and anxiety and I have beautiful pages that I send to her mom and she frames them or puts them in an album for her.
Have a wonderful weekend... Beth
I try to be very respectful with the pictures I post and would never post anything that my children would not approve. If I am not sure, I ask them but mostly I fall on the side of caution. But I understand your daughter's feelings and they should be respected.Delete
Another lovely, reflective post that I very much enjoyed reading. I wonder what happens in The Glen Den or is it one of those places about which a fellow might say, "What happens in The Glen Den stays in The Glen Den"?ReplyDelete
Well, since the toys are in there, you can rest easy knowing that nothing that needs to be kept to itself happens there. Trust me.Delete
Okay. Maybe once. Or twice. Other than that, never.
all the steps and decisions and choices that lead us to where we are. how different would our lives be if we had made a different choice or decision. I think about that a lot. what if I had chosen a different college? what if I hadn't married the rat bastard? what if I hadn't talked Marc into quitting his job and work with me? I'm sitting pretty good right now in my life but man, I sure went through a lot of shit to get here.ReplyDelete
I have the same thoughts but it's all a moot point, isn't it? We chose what we chose, we did what we did and here we are now.Delete
Perhaps in another parallel universe, however...
And yeah, we did go through some shit, didn't we? Some lessons are hard to learn.
Beautiful, honest post. More of us should write as honestly about that time.ReplyDelete
I wish we would, Colette.Delete
I loved reading your bite of history here Mary and that table cloth is gorgeous and as you know I too would have collected the plate and bowl and I already have the tattoo. One of the best things about living more is how we collect stories inside ourselves how we become our own history books. Thank you.ReplyDelete
It's true, Rebecca! All of that! I recognized your tattoo immediately on that pretty plate and bowl. And oh, how you would love this tablecloth. What IS it about real, true fibers woven into cloth that makes them feel so good?Delete
Between the two of us, I think we could fill a small library full of history books. Perhaps we should think about that.
Well now that I’ve proposed to you I think it is definitely in the cards for us 💍❤️Delete
We would need a house husband who took care of us so that we could spend all of our time giggling and writing stories about our "olden days."Delete
I have a lifelong fascination with thinking about how small decisions and events change the course of our lives. I don't get anxious thinking about it thankfully - I just think about how happy I am with the life I have and wonder how it would be different if this or that had happened differently.ReplyDelete
Me too, Jill. But as I said to Ellen, it now is what it now is. And yet- it could have been so very, very different.Delete
I love those stories of your past. It is amazing how little decisions here and there could throw our lives onto an entirely different course. I definitely look back at a few moments like that, although maybe not as dramatic as yours!ReplyDelete
I love the "Mary Had a Little Lamb" pattern and YES -- it would make an amazing tattoo.
I also love that Florida dish towel hanging over the table on your back porch. Fabulous!
Glad you had such a great thrift store day. :)
I've had a few dramatic moments and that's the truth. Some of them so dramatic that I still don't dare to speak of them...Delete
Isn't that the sweetest little design?
Lis gave me that dish towel. Of course.
I thought of you at Wag the Dog. Next time- we'll go there!