Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Few Things I've Done

I’ve taken the leap!

I’ve decided to try my first writing prompt for Mama Kat’s Almost World Famous Writing Workshop.

Luckily, this prompt doesn’t get me shaking as much as others, so it may be the perfect start.

One side note before I start: this list will be edited since both my mother and my daughter read my blog.

Without further ado….

22 Things I’ve Done in My Life

1. Hid in the bushes of my school in Kindergarten when my mom was late picking me up.  I was afraid I would be kidnapped.

2. Almost kidnapped in third grade walking home from school.  (I guess I had given up on Mom in my mature years).  A van pulled up beside me and a man got out and started walking toward me.  I took off running down our alley and a bamboo shoot went up my thumb nail while I frantically tried to open our gate.  I heard the van door shut and speed off.

3. Learned to drive on the back roads in the Piney Woods of East Texas at the tender age of 11.  And, yes, I drove my aunt around town for many years before I received my license at 18…but you didn’t hear that from me!

4. Wrote a secret, on-going soap opera throughout middle school and high school.  I even had set and costume design planned out the entire time.

5. Went to a fantastic high school.  I attended the Arts Magnet high school in downtown Dallas.  We didn’t dance on the tables like they did in “Fame,” but I did walk the halls with Erica Badu, get stoned with jazz-great Roy Hargrove, and acted in a play with Elizabeth Mitchell from “Lost” and “V.”  I loved high school!

6. Had a mad man at my front door.  He was trying to get in the house with a knife.  I was 15 and terrified.  Thank God for neighbors and the cops!

7. Belly laughed many times with my best friend through high school and my twenties.  We actually recorded ourselves one night and then played it back.  We ended up on the floor laughing at ourselves laughing.   Does that even make sense?  At one point it became completely silent; we were laughing so hard we couldn't get any sound out, only gasps for breath - both on the tape and while we were listening.  I love it when you can laugh yourself into silence! 

8. Fell into the fountain still wearing my maid of honor dress after my sister’s wedding.  Yes, alcohol was involved.

9. “Acted” in the Video of the Year for 1989.  I was in Don Henley’s “The End of the Innocence” video, which was filmed in the Dallas area.  My one, solitary scene was filmed at Union Station downtown.  In case you’re dying of curiosity, here’s a link to the video on Yahoo! Music.  You know you wanna see it!  That’s me as The Bride at 3:47.  I was 19, skinny, and had high aspirations of making it big. *sigh*

10. Had my hair butchered onstage by an “internationally known hairstylist.”  Yeah-right.  Internationally known for crap!  I will say that my own hair stylist managed to turn it into something really cute, but it was the shortest I had ever been.     

11. Learned sign language so I could date a cute deaf guy.  Turned out he was a pedophile.  That pretty much sums up my pre-Pat dating life.

12. Started my period on my wedding day. *sigh*

13. Been on David Letterman.  Not as a guest, though  Pat and I scored free tickets to be in the audience.  When we watched the show that night, there we were when the camera scanned the audience:  I was laughing and Pat shot his arms up in the air to be seen.  It worked!

14. Watched my husband play for thousands at Jazz Fest in New Orleans several times.  I got that old-time, pre-marriage butterfly feeling watching the crowd go nuts after his guitar solos.

15. Met Clint Eastwood at the Monterey Jazz Festival.  He was there to interview a woman Pat played in a band with.  Mr. Eastwood was so gracious and made sure I was included in the conversation. 

16. Performed with my husband twice a week for the last three years. 

17. Stayed at two “haunted” hotels and managed to scare the crap out of myself both times.  (A story may be coming on Halloween.  Mwah!)

18. Took a leap of faith and left a torturous work environment without knowing I had a net to catch me.  It was exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.

19. Lost a baby in utero.

20. Gave birth to three extraordinary people who have changed my life for the better.

21. Gave birth to one of those three extraordinary people without drugs.  Believe me, I wanted the drugs!  She just came too fast.

22. Married a man that actually gets me (most of the time), allows me to be really immature and goofy (and frankly dives right on in there with me), and has learned to work around my many moods (and there are a lot).  Oh yes!  And we make beautiful music together. *blush*

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Savannah's First Concert

Two tickets to see Taylor Swift in concert...


Cost to park at Cowboys Stadium....


Cost to see Savannah's face when Taylor Swift steps onstage....


It was a very good girl's night out!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Eleven Years

On this day eleven years ago, early in the morning, I was driving to east Texas with Savannah, then 20 months old, in the backseat. My sister Valarie had called a few minutes after six to tell me our father had died after a hard battle with bone cancer.

We knew it was inevitable he would be gone soon, I just wasn't ready for it to be that soon. I had just left his house 36 hours before. He had suddenly seemed to be getting a second wind. Wanting to eat and laugh, trying to get up from his bed, a hospital bed placed in his den so he could be with his family. We now know that was the surge of energy terminally ill patients get before they die. It can last for one hour, two days, or two weeks. I wish I would have known.

Today, eleven years later - hard to believe - I still find myself grieving. All day I've been quick to grow angry, cry, or feel overwhelmed. Dustin Hoffman once said you never get over the loss of a parent. I couldn't agree more. It seems strange that my three kids will never know their Grandpa Ralph and just how much he would have loved them.....does love them.

But as the day draws to an end, I want to remember the good things,

not the drive I had to take that morning,

or selecting his casket,

or walking away from the gravesite.

I want to remember his hugs.

How he smelled of saw dust and sweat when he came in from his workshop.

How he ate his fries with a fork.

And hearing him say, "Pass the sugar, Sugar."