The Required Life

Too young to retire, too old to keep going on this way. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

It used to be, a man knew what was right and what was wrong. Not now. Now, the world he’d always known seems to be lost. The world today is a scary place. Families can’t afford to feed themselves. Students are shot inside their classrooms. Police officers are constantly under attack. Children are kidnapped from their bedrooms. Masked men wield knives killing hundreds of innocents. How did any of this happen? It isn’t right.

Slamming his hands down on the arms of his recliner, Griffin could feel his anger burn through him as he flipped off the news. Anger was his constant companion these days. And who could blame him? He’d done what he was supposed to. He’d done what was expected. He’d been dedicated to his job. Faithful to his wife. He’d raised good girls. He’d done what was required. Hadn’t he? His whole life he’d given everything to everyone. And what good had it done? Where had it gotten him?

Fired. Downsized after thirty-six years with the company. His boss had talked and talked trying to explain. None of it had registered. He’d been in a state of shock. Only one thing made it through, he’d been fired. He was no longer wanted. No longer needed. Just like that. Griffin was put out to pasture at fifty-nine years old.

Remembering, Griffin felt his chest tighten. The humiliation. The embarrassment. He’d thought the hardest thing he’d ever have to do was to tell his wife. He’d been so ashamed. Griffin hated disappointing his Annie. He should have known better. Annie hadn’t blinked an eye. She didn’t ask him what happened. Didn’t ask him what he’d done wrong. She didn’t ask how they were going to survive. Annie had wrapped her arms around him offering him the quiet comfort she knew he desperately needed. Annie was a rock. Buoyed by his wife’s love and strength, Griffin set out determined to bounce back. After all, he had the knowledge, the experience and he enjoyed hard work. He would land on his feet. Everything would turn out for the best.

He’d been wrong – so wrong. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months into a year. Being out of work for more than a year with no prospects in sight, Griffin was losing hope. He had done everything he could think of. He’d taken everyone’s advice. He’d sent out resumes, reached out to all of his contacts, applied for positions outside his field. He had no pride. Griffin just wanted to work.

Early on, his oldest girl told him getting the interview was half the battle. Not for him. Oh, he’d been on plenty of interviews. Getting the interview was easy. Landing the job was another story. The man he was on paper didn’t quite compute with the man he was in person. Griffin’s work history and reputation made for a strong resume. The man on paper with the stellar work history and glowing references was a treasure, a mechanical genius everyone wanted and needed. The man on paper was their ticket to driving a company to the next level on efficiency and productivity. The frail-looking old man standing before them didn’t compute. The man standing before them didn’t look like he could competently drive a car let alone build a processing plant from the ground up. He could see the doubt in their eyes and hear it in their voices. How was a man his age going to have enough strength and energy to do the job they needed him to do.

They didn’t realize how capable he was. He was getting older, but he still had a strong mind with the same knowledge and understanding on how to troubleshoot any mechanical system. Problem was no one wanted to take a chance to see what he was able to do. They all wanted someone young, strong, and experienced. Griffin could have told them it doesn’t work that way skill, knowledge, and experience is earned. It’s built over time. Not that they would’ve listened to him. Interview after interview brought rejection after rejection. Griffin got to where he couldn’t take it anymore. Every time he got an interview, his hope would surge only to be squashed when they chose someone else. One of the managers interviewing him went so far as to ask him how he was going to manage getting up and down on his knees to work on their machines. Rude. Cocky. Arrogant. Griffin had to bite the inside of his cheek until he tasted his own blood while assuring the young man he was in great shape, and nothing ever held him back.

Truth be told, Griffin actually liked working. As a kid, he’d spent every free moment at the wrecking yard down the road from his house learning from an early age everything there was to know about cars. Griffin quickly learned how to tear down an engine and build it back up again. By the time he was sixteen he was a well-respected mechanic working at Walt’s Automotive. Over the years, he had graduated from car mechanics to plant mechanics and operations. He could build or rebuild almost anything he had a mind to. Using his knowledge and his skills, he’d went to work for a major company in the agricultural industry. The company took advantage of Griffin’s knowledge and skills sending him all over to help build new plants from the ground up and to troubleshoot plants with poor productivity. Griffin knew his knowledge and skills were unparalleled, and he’d been proud to of his work.

Gripping the arms of his old recliner, Griffin felt the pressure building. His chest tightening. This burning rage was consuming him. What was he expected to do? Was he really expected to spend the rest of his days sitting in his old recliner waiting to wither and die? Griffin was sick of sitting around with nothing to do but stare at the television. He’d worked so hard his whole life. Now this is what he was reduced to. Sitting in his living room all day with nothing to do but stare at the television, stare at his wife, stare at the four walls of his living room. It used to be he loved coming home after a long day at work kicking back and relaxing in his recliner. Annie had wanted to throw it away many a time over the years, but Griffin had always put up a fight. Now he hated the thing. Griffin felt the tightness spreading across his chest as he realized he’d been sentenced to a life of imprisonment in the chair he’d loved, and there was nothing he could do about it. Maybe this was his punishment for not letting his wife throw the chair out years ago.

A bang at the front door brought him back from his dark consuming thoughts. Weighed down with grocery bags, his wife struggling under her load. Scurrying to help, Griffin took the bags from Annie glad to have his wife home. Smiling her thanks, Annie shut the door with her foot following Griffin. into the kitchen. Moving with an easy grace that comes from years of living with someone, they began putting away the groceries. Griffin felt the pressure and the tension ease as he worked side by side with his wife. He didn’t know how he’d gotten so lucky. Her and the girls kept him going.

“How was your day?” Annie asked as she tucked the milk into the fridge.

“Same as yesterday and same as the day before and same as the day before that. Sitting around here all day with nothing to do. How was yours?” Griffin gruffly asked his wife.

Nervously, Annie bit her lip. She’d really been hoping today would be a good day for her husband. Good days for Griffin were harder and harder to come by these days. She’d needed today to be a good day, so tonight would go easier. No such luck. Annie promised herself she would wait until they sat down to dinner before broaching the subject she’d been mulling over for the last couple of months. Annie had stacked the cards in her favor with tonight’s dinner. Griffin loved a good steak. She was hoping a good meal would help him relax making him more receptive to hear what she had to say.

“It was good. Real good. I bought a couple of steaks. Picked up some veggies from the farmer’s market. I thought you could grill for us and I will make us a nice salad.”

Taking the steaks, Griffin slammed the kitchen door shut behind him heading out to the patio to fire up the grill. Wincing at the slamming of the kitchen door, Annie watched her husband work through the window as she prepared the salad. She thought about the last year. Griffin was such a good man – a good husband and a good father. They had built a good life together. Loosing his job had been such a blow. So much of who Griffin was had been wrapped up in his career. The last year hadn’t helped. Interview after interview after interview sent him spiraling further and further inward. Now, more often than not he was sullen, distant, and angry.

She had tried to help, but nothing she did seemed to bring him any comfort. Hopefully, this time will be different. The shock had been immediate when he’d came home and told her. She couldn’t quite believe it. Fired. All these years, Griffin had always been his company’s go-to-guy. The man every one relied on to troubleshoot and fix anything from mechanical malfunctions to productivity issues. Griffin had been so devoted to the company. Being let go so suddenly after all those years had been a devastating blow. Annie knew Griffin didn’t need her adding to the pain and the pressure of his loss with her worries and fears, so she’d done everything she could to offer only comfort and support.

When Griffin lost his job, Annie had no doubt that he’d find work. It was just a temporary setback. Griffin would be fine. They’d be fine. He was a hard worker. He had knowledge, skills, and experience. Ultimately, none of that had mattered. No one wanted to hire a man his age. It was all so ridiculous. Her husband was so willing and so capable of working, but no one would risk hiring an old man. It’d been a little over a year. A year of watching the man she loved turn into this bitter angry creature. A year of living with false hope. A year spent walking on egg shells. Annie could feel Griffin’s anger and resentment like it was a living breathing thing that had taken up residency in their home and in their marriage. She couldn’t take it anymore. After a year of living this way, she was done. She just had to tell Griffin. Steeling her resolve, Annie began to move about her kitchen with renewed focus.

Warm and inviting, Annie’s kitchen was designed for someone who loves to cook and made for large families who come together to eat. While Griffin favored the living room and his recliner, Annie was at home in her kitchen. They stopped using the dinning room after the girls grew up and moved out preferring to take their meals sitting side by side at the island or at the small kitchen table. Smoothing a wrinkle from the cream colored table cloth, Annie decided they would eat at the table tonight.

Sitting across the table from the man she’d spent the last thirty-two years with, Annie took a deep breath before taking the plunge. “Griffin?”

“Hmm?” Focused on the steak in front of him, Griffin didn’t glance up from his plate.

“I’m retiring at the end of this month.” Immediately, she had his full attention. His dinner forgotten.

“What happened?” Griffin demanded anger and worry prominent in his voice.

“Nothing happened. I’m fine. Everything is fine. It’s just time, that’s all.” Annie quickly reassured him.

“What do you mean its time? You’re only fifty-four. People don’t retire at fifty-four. You’re too young. People don’t just decide to retire out of the blue. Something had to have happened. What happened today?”

Taking another deep breath, Annie forged ahead. “Nothing happened. You know I love my work. I’m just ready to slow down. We’ve always talked about taking the motor home out of storage and traveling across the United States when we got older. Well, I think now is the perfect time. I’m ready to go. I want us to go and do this while we still can.”

“What are you talking about? We can’t just go gallivanting off on whim. We have responsibilities. I’m not retired. I have been killing myself looking for a job. What has gotten into you ?”

“First of all, this isn’t a whim. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now. It is the perfect time to go. Second of all, why kill yourself when you don’t have to? You’ve worked hard your whole life, so why not enjoy yourself now? Not a lot of people have an opportunity like this. We have the money, we’re both relatively healthy, and we have the time. Now, is the perfect time for us to do this.”

Annie held her breath waiting. Griffin remained unnervingly quiet. Unable to bear the pain of Griffin’s silence, Annie softly sighed. “I love you. I want to do this with you. I need you to do this with me, but if you don’t want to. If you can’t do this with me then I’ll try to understand, but I’m still going to go. I know this last year has been incredibly hard, but it shouldn’t define who we are or the life we’ve built together. I want us to take advantage of the opportunity life has handed us. I want us to play late into the night and sleep in until noon. I want to read all the books I’ve never gotten to read because work, kids, and responsibilities always had to come first. I want to dip my toes in the ocean while we walk hand in hand along the beach. I want to explore and travel the world with you. I want to enjoy having you all to myself.”

Griffin didn’t trust himself to talk. Playing it all over in his mind, he felt the tightness squeeze his chest into a vice. She was going to go, with or without him. He’d lost his job. Now he was loosing his Annie.

Standing up, Annie moved to stand behind her husband sliding her arms around his shoulders. Leaning down, she kissed the top of his head. “Hon, I love you. I want you with me. I need you with me. We can do this. We should do this. Just think about it. Take some time and think about it.”

Griffin sat at the kitchen table long after Annie went up to bed. Playing it all over in his mind, he rubbed absently at his chest trying to ease the burning pain. Too young to retire, too old to keep going on this way. Hadn’t he been thinking that very thing this afternoon? Could he give up the hunt and just retire? No more resumes. No more interviews. No more waiting for a job offer that never comes.

He’d lost his job. He didn’t want to loose his Annie. She was going with or without him. Griffin had lived with his wife long enough to know when she’s serious.

So ridiculous. Annie couldn’t find her way out of a paper sack. How was she going to navigate her way around the highways when she was in a panic because she didn’t know where she was at? Her vision wasn’t what it used to be and she had a hard time seeing at night. She would be limited to driving only during the daylight hours. She really did need him. Smiling, Griffin felt the burning in his chest ease as he headed upstairs to find his wife.

Daily Prompt: Burn

Books: My Not So Secret Love

books and carMy not so secret love affair began when I was just a girl.

Short stories, diaries, articles, quotes, novels, poems, journals, monologues, plays, blogs, letters – Style and form are irrelevant. I love them all.

Dick and Jane | See Addison learn how to read.

I didn’t always have this deep abiding love.

Times are different now than they were then. Now a days, attending preschool is normal and often expected, but it wasn’t when I was a child. A child’s education didn’t begin until kindergarten, but education was important to my parents. They wanted to give me and my sister every advantage. Enrolling me in preschool, they hoped to start my education off on the right foot. And it did. Preschool taught me everything a kindergartner needed to know.

My school didn’t quite know what to make of me and my advanced knowledge. Worried that I’d languish about and be bored in kindergarten, the teachers recommended I skip kindergarten and start the first grade. Hesitantly, my parents agreed.

Sadly, this leap seemed to halt any progress I’d made. Struggling through the first grade, I quickly fell behind the other students. Seeing my frustration, Mom took matters into her own hands. Every day after school, she’d sit me down at our Formica kitchen table, and we’d read out of her old Dick and Jane books.

I hated every agonizing moment. It was my own torturous hell. The last thing I wanted to do after a long day of school was more work. No, I wanted to be set free to run and play and eat cherry flavored Popsicles. Instead, I was forced to sit side by side with Mom reading about Dick, Jane, and their dog Spot.

Delving into the pages of a story, I live a thousand lives.dr seuss

Attending a tea party with queens and kings, I sip on tea and sample sweet cakes. Crouched down in a corn field, I silently pray that I’m not discovered. Slicing through the warm waters of the Caribbean, I swim among the fishes. Heartbroken, I’m wracked with gut-wrenching sobs at the sudden death of my mom. Journeying to the farthest lands, I camp out under the stars and desert moon. Tying on an apron, I learn how to make candy from snow. Hanging upside down from a tree branch, I hold court with my friends, discussing the true meaning of friendship.

If only I’d known the wonderful world reading would open for me, maybe I wouldn’t have put up such a fuss to learn.

Isn’t a library supposed to be available for everyone?library

I’m at the high school with my two of my best friends. We are in middle school now, but we’ll be starting high school next year. We thought it would be fun to sneak into the school to see what it is like before we start attending here. Walking along the hall, we come to the library. It is twice the size of our school library. I’m in awe. There are so many books. Books run from floor to ceiling along all the walls and the seats are plush. Selecting a book from the stacks, I sink into a plush chair and begin to read. My friends aren’t as impressed. Quietly talking and giggling, they soon attract the attention of the librarian. We are asked to leave. Sadly, I put my book away, promising to come back another day.

Fun in the sundandelion

Summer stretches out before me. Holed up in my room, I’m surrounded by piles of books. Now that it is summer, I’m free to spend every waking moment with my nose buried in a book. Long after I’m supposed to be asleep, I use a flashlight and read late into the night.

My Mom helped me replenish my stockpile of books by regularly taking me to used book stores, second hand stores, and the library.

Spending so much time inside, I began to grow pale. Watching this go on day after day, my dad implores me to go outside and get some sunshine. Not a reader himself, he has a hard time understanding my fascination with books. One day, he finally had enough. Picking me up, he deposited me outside. Locking me out of the house, he told me I could come back after I’d spent the afternoon getting some sun.

Pounding on the front door, I beg for him to let me in. He stands firm. I need the Vitamin D. Finally, I give up, and ask him to at least let me have the book, I was reading. A few minutes go by…before he opens a window tossing my book out to me. Happy again, I snatch it up before he can change his mind. Heading off, I find a soft grassy area in our backyard before loosing myself back in my book.

My not so secret love affair began when I was just a girl.

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaning Days

mom-funny-quoteSaturdays often remind me of my childhood. This beautiful Saturday morning is no different. Growing up, Saturdays were cleaning days.

Like most families, it took both my parents working to make ends meet. Dad would work day shift and mom would work nights. They alternated their work shifts, so we wouldn’t have to be with a sitter for an extended period of time. My Mom would drop us off at the babysitter’s house before heading on to work. About an hour later, Dad would pick us up before taking us home again. My parents always put me and my sister first.

On this beautiful Saturday, I’m reminded of these earlier days. I had a wonderful childhood.

What I hated – what I could have done without was our Saturday cleaning days.

On cleaning days, our loving home became a war zone. Dirt and mess and chaos were the enemy. It was my Mom’s personal mission to eliminate and destroy any filth that may have built up during the week. Nothing was safe from inspection and her Saturday cleaning regime – she cleaned under furniture, scoured the fridge, washed curtains, scrubbed walls, shampooed rugs, organized closets, and went through every bedroom.

These Saturdays were a day of trouble for me and my sister. It never failed, our bedrooms were never up to par. Truth be told, we were sloppy. It’s almost as if we delighted in creating chaos.Thinking back, I remember a few of our worst infractions – a raw egg cracked open and left to dry on my sister’s plastic kitchen stove, every toy and book we owned torn out littering the floor of our bedroom leaving anyone entering or exiting our room the distinct pleasure of taking their life in their own hands, walls decorated with drawings in bright colors of crayon, a broken closet bar rod that we used to swing on.

It wasn’t until I became older that I began to learn. Cleaning my room while Mom was busy systematically scouring the rest of the house cooled her wrath. It kept me out of my Mom’s hair and saved me a scolding or a restriction. Being a kid, my room was never quite up to her standards, but my efforts helped.

I tried sharing this trick with my little sister. Although, she never quite learned. Her and Mom would continue to war over the sheer disaster that was her room.

Saturday cleaning days were the bane of my existence. However, I must admit there was no better feeling than the one I would get after we’d weathered the storm of a cleaning day. After the day was done and the house was sparkling clean, I’d be filled with a sense of calm relief. I’d lay in my fresh laundered bed listening to the sounds of my quiet house, happy to be done with another cleaning day. As I would slowly drift off to sleep, I’d think about what Sunday would hold. Sundays were our family’s fun day.

House, work, kids, and marriage – my Mom juggled it all. Dad was always there too, but Mom ran our ship. To this day, I don’t know how she managed it all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlimited Possibilities

 

 

imageWe have nothing to do, nowhere to go. The empty afternoon offers unlimited possibilities. The day beckons to us, inviting us to explore. Hopping in the car, we set off to find an adventure.

A slight breeze offers relief against the powerful Florida sun, making the afternoon pleasantly comfortable. Munching on our packed lunch beneath a picnic shelter, we’ve decided to spend today at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa, Florida. The park promises to fill our empty afternoon with beautiful scenery and amazing wildlife.

Taking advantage of the complimentary boat ride, we glide along Pepper Creek in a pontoon boat. Listening to the Park Ranger’s informative introduction, I take in the beauty of the park. It is breathtaking.

Purchased in 1940, this fifty acre park has actually been a popular attraction since the early 1900s, when trains would stop allowing passengers to enjoy the view of Homosassa Spring. Over the years this beautiful natural park was used to house trained exotic animals that were used on television shows and in movies.  However, animal education, understanding, and compassion have since changed how the park manages captive wildlife. A participant in Manatee rescue and rehabilitation, the park has helped rescue and rehabilitate more than forty injured manatees in the span of thirty years.

Exploring the park, we saw manatees swimming, stunning wildlife at the zoo, met an artist, rode a pontoon boat, and learned little something about animal rescue and rehabilitation.

What started out as an empty afternoon ended in a beautiful adventure.

 

Daily Prompt

Perfection in a Bowl

 

 

PhoRarely captured, perfection is fleeting. Few and far between, perfect moments leave a lasting impression.

It has been nearly ten years, but I remember the afternoon perfectly. It was soggy. Rain had surged in making for a wet, damp day. This was nothing new or unexpected. Washington State averages 147 days of rainfall a year.

Josh and I were work friends. We were as tight as any two work friends could be. It had been a crazy day, and we were in need of a break. Grabbing lunch was the perfect opportunity. Josh wanted Pho. He was coming down with a cold, and hoped the soup would help ward off his cold before it really set in. I’d never heard of Pho, but I was up for an adventure.

As luck would have it, the restaurant wasn’t too far from work. Walking through the door, we were greeted by delicious aromas. Sitting down, we were served tea and water as we looked over the menu.

Knowing what he wanted, Josh put his menu aside. Looking over the selections, I felt my apprehensions grow. I was starving, but nothing captured my attention. Seeing my struggle, Josh urged me to just have what he was getting. He assured me I would love it. Nodding in agreement, I warned him it had better be good. I was starving. He laughed, and told me not to worry. He ordered us each a bowl of chicken Pho and an appetizer of spring rolls to share.

The spring rolls came first. The translucent paper thin skin of the roll showcased large plump shrimp, glass noodles, and slivers of cabbage. They were delicious. Although, I must admit I didn’t care for the peanut sauce accompanying them. It was too sweet for my liking. Preferring a little spice, I dipped mine in a little Sriracha sauce. While we ate our spring rolls, the waiter brought us a platter of Pho garnishments: lime wedges, fresh jalapeno slices, bean sprouts, and Thai basil. The rest of our lunch took no time at all, and soon the waiter set before us two large bowls brimming with a scrumptious broth, meaty hunks of chicken, and rice noodles.

Unsure of what to do, I watched my friend. Adding the garnishments to his soup, Josh told me everyone has their own preferences for Pho. This being my first time, I thought it best if I simply try it his way. Copying him, I squeeze one of the limes releasing the juice into my broth, float two fresh jalapeno slices into my soup,  before topping it off with several bean sprouts. He warns me that the jalapeno’s will heat up my soup. Not as brave as him, I forgo the chopsticks. Only on our lunch break, I didn’t want to slop Pho down the front of my suit.

Spooning up a bit of broth, I took my first taste and find perfection. Perfection in a bowl of Pho.

Daily Prompt

Seeking Solitude

TypeWriter ImageThe outside world looms larger than life. The television blares. People talk and laugh. A car alarm sounds off. A dog barks.It is in moments like these when I struggle. All, I want is a moment of quiet where I can become lost within my own mind, focus on my thoughts, and capture the story running through the recesses of my mind.

Quieting my exterior, I immerse myself in my writing. Pounding away at the keyboard, I have somehow effectively managed to remove myself from the life happening around me.

It’s time. I am ready to converse and laugh, but the silence is deafening. My world is quiet. Everyone around me seems to be submersed in their own activities. Restless, I prowl about. Like a precocious two year old, I want to throw a fit and harass my family into paying attention to me.

It’s a fine line to walk. As a traveler and a writer, I have a need to experience life. I have a need to – feel the wind on my face,  experience the stifling muggy heat of Virginia, smell the dank mustiness of an earthy farm, hear the story of the woman who works at the five and dime store, suffer through the agony of defeat, wade in the waves crashing against the pristine white shores of the sandy Florida beaches, laugh until I cry, navigate my way along the hustling city streets of New York, and to be overwhelmed with gratitude. I have a need to do it all, to see it all, to experience it all.

I’ve had enough. Bursting at the seams, I’m ready to implode. My body needs rest and my mind needs relief. Armed with my laptop, I squire away. I’ll be better once I spend the next few hours, days, or possibly weeks pounding away at the keyboard.

Daily Prompt

 

 

Liebster Award

Liebster Award3

Thank You for the Nomination:

I’d like to sincerely thank Mom and Me Publishing for nominating my blog. Please take a moment to check out their amazing blog: Mom and Me Publishing. This mom and daughter duo are a lively, creative, and funny writing team that offer beautiful insight. 

The Official Rules of the Liebster Award 2016

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.

  • Display the award on your blog – by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a widget.

  • Write a 150-300 word post about your favorite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.

  • Provide 10 random facts about yourself (optional).

  • Nominate 5-11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have less than 200 followers (*You can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets readers know this information.)

  • List these rules in your post.

  • Answer the 11 questions you were asked by the blogger who nominated you.

  • Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer when they post their nomination. 

  • Inform the people/blogs that you nominated them for a Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post.

A Blog I Like Reading: 

Hill Top Heaven is a creative and imaginative blog written by Cathy Holdsworth. Cathy has a zest for life which is powerfully portrayed in her blog posts. She uses her blog to explore her passion for life, travel, food, decorating, and writing. I happened to stumble upon Hill Top Heaven by chance, but it immediately captured my attention. Cathy’s perspective on life and her travels continue to draw me in.

While I enjoy Cathy’s travel adventures, I think my favorite post in her blog is ‘The Painting – A Short Story.’ This short story transported me into the marriage of Frank and his wife. This story brought me to the verge of tears. Year after year, this wife endured endless abuse at the hands of her husband. Using her imagination, she escaped by jumping into a Monet landscape. In this landscape she was everything she’d ever hoped to be – young, beautiful, and loved. One day, her dream came true. She finally escaped her husband, and found her hard earned happiness.

10 Random Facts About Myself:

  1. I’m a traveler who explores the United States in my 34 ft RV, I have affectionately nicknamed The Beast.

  2. I’m a mom who homeschool/roadschools.

  3. I’m short – only five foot.

  4. I love coffee, and I tend to be cranky without my morning cup.

  5. I’m afraid of heights, but I love to fly.

  6. Like most bloggers and writers, I love to read.

  7. I’ve never milked a cow, but eventually I will.

  8. I hate bananas.

  9. I absolutely adore New York City.

  10. I love listening to loud music while driving.

 I Nominate the Following Blogs:

Answers to the 11 Questions I was Asked:

  1. What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
    • My favorite books are autobiographies which have been defined as authentic texts. I love reading about other people’s lives and experiences.
  2. Coffee, Tea, or neither?
    • Coffee – Definitely coffee.
  3. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
    • I prefer dogs. I have a Beagle and a Scottish Terrier.
  4. What’s one of the most moving experiences you’ve had?
    • The most moving experience I’ve had is giving birth.
  5. What makes you whole-heartedly happy?
    • Traveling – I love traveling.
  6. What book turned you into a “reader”? Or- What book has had the most impact on you?
    • I can’t name a specific book, but there are two authors that strongly impacted my love for reading: Dorothy Allison and Maya Angelou.
  7. What is your day like?
    • My average day depends on whether or not we are traveling. On travel days – I wake early, rush to get ready, and hit the road. On non-travel days – I sleep late, wake, explore my surroundings, and write.
  8. Briefly, describe yourself.
    • Writer. Blogger. Traveler. Mom. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Reader. Amateur Photographer.
  9. Why did you create your blog?
    • I was inspired by Casey Neistat, a YouTube Blogger. He started his vlog to constantly be creating and honing his craft. I loved this concept, and knew my writing would benefit from the same.
  10. Do you have a suggestion for us fellow bloggers on how to promote our page?
    • My only advice would be to read other blogs and interact with other bloggers. I also use social media to promote my page.
  11. Which tag do you search the most?
    • Travel and Life – are my two favorite tags.

Questions to Answer:

    1. What is your favorite place in the world?

    2. Why did you begin blogging?

    3. What is the worst nightmare?

    4. What is your overall strategy with your blog?

    5. What is your best memory?

    6. What was the scariest moment you’ve ever experienced.

    7. What is your favorite food?

    8. Who inspires you?

    9. What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog? 

    10. What is your favorite quote?

    11. Where do you find inspiration for your blog?