Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Has it Really Been Seven Years?

Seven years seems like such a long time....and yet, August 20th 2007 feels, in many ways, like yesterday.  That's the day I watched my husband walk out the front door with a gun in his hand and didn't get there in time to stop him from bracing the butt of it against a tree and the barrel against his temple and pulling the trigger.

He was the love of my life.  We met in 1984, when he directed his first show at Sam Bass.  It was my second show, and a friendship developed that continued through my divorce, his divorce and our subsequent (separate) love lives, until one day, late in 1997, when it became something else entirely.  At that point, I had known for several years that I loved him, but had given it up as a lost cause.

He asked me to marry him two years later, and we planned a June wedding.  "How about June 11," he said.  It was his mother's and grandmother's wedding day.  I didn't really care what day would be our anniversary, so plans ensued.  We had a lovely little wedding.

His mother died three years after that, and he sort of lost focus.  While I was waiting for him to regain it, he sank into ill health and depression, and, as a result, I am a widow.

No, I am not "over it."  I will never be "over it," but I have accepted it and I realize that I am grateful for what I had.

I am no longer mourning.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Depression. It's a Disease

In eight days, it will be seven years since Jim killed himself.

Yesterday, one of his favourite actors did the same thing.

There may be only a couple of hundred people who remember Jim...people he touched and influenced in his life.  Students.  Friends.  Co-workers.  Family.  Me.  There are millions mourning and speculating about Robin Williams.  And some of them are crying, "Coward!"  I did that when Jim died.  I guess it is, in a way, a measure of my journey down the road to forgiveness that I no longer feel that way.  I now recognize that depression is not a moral failing, it is a disease.

So, when stupid what's-his-name on FOX called out Robin Williams for cowardice, I was appalled at his ignorance.  

Depression is not something that can be cured with a hug, or a hundred "likes" or a smile, or a song, or a pill.  It's not something a person can pull himself out of or joke his way out of or sing, or run, or walk himself out of.  It is a deep, black pit that sucks in everything, to the point where the victim can see nothing else.  Suggesting that a victim "reach out" for help just tells everyone that you have really no clue what depression is all about.  To the victim, there is nothing to reach out with, or to, or from.  There is just the pit.  All the beauty of the world, of life, is gone and nothing remains except the pain.

I wish I could have helped Jim.  I wish someone could have helped Robin.  I hope others who suffer from this disease can be helped.

I am very sad, today, like thousands of others.

Monday, August 04, 2014


Our trip home was relatively uneventful.  A visit with friends in Indianapolis, and a drive from there in the pouring rain all the way to the Red River.

We had to forego Chicago and Milwaukee in the interest of fiduciary responsibility.  As it was, we arrived home with a quarter tank of gas and $3.59 overdrawn at the bank.

Aidan is a wonderful travel companion and navigator.  I hope we get a chance to take another trip!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Prentice, Wisconsin

Population, 660.  Big tubs of petunias on every downtown street corner, courtesy of the Lions Club.  Prentice has a lumber mill.  In the past, it has had a tanning plant and a creamery.

Here's the school.  There are several surrounding tiny towns whose kids come here to school.

Here are several shots I got just wandering around town.  There is a lovely little creek that runs through it.  I bet it's prime skating in winter.  There are streets designated as snowmobile and ATV routes.

There is also a bunny. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Picture post.  Words are superfluous.

Well, except for the part about being pulled over by the police for having a busted taillight, but it's all good.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Place in Arkansas

Took this picture outside the Museum of Automobiles, which sits on top of Petit Jean Mountain in central Arkansas.  The place was built in 1964 and houses a nice collection of cars, from the beginning of cars up to the one seen above.  The 1964 1/2 Mustang is one of my favourite cars EVER, but there were a lot of other awesome cars there.  Aidan wanted a toy, and selected a puzzle consisting of two horseshoes chained together with a ring around the chain.  He solved it in about 3 minutes, but hey.

Then, we went here:

This is the overlook at Petit Jean Mountain, where Arkansas is truly on display.  Yes, that truly is The Teen, frolicking on a cliff with nary a guardrail in sight.  C'mon...if there had been, he would have climbed over it.  And, yes, I still have him.  He did not fall off and become impaled on the wrought iron around the supposed grave of Petit Jean:

Lovely little pointy bits on that!  And, holy cow, whodathunkit--this valley contains a river:

The Arkansas River, to be precise.  If you have a really good eye, you might could spot the pontoon plane that buzzed us while we were standing on said guard-rail-free cliff and then swooped down to land on the river.

Some people should never have pilots' licenses!

On to St Louis tomorrow!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

On the Road Again

Well, Dearly Beloved, we have done Travels with Brendan, and Travels Alone.  Now we are doing Travels with Aidan.

I have let the CDs get all dirty, so they skip.  Poop.  Still, we might wind up with Aidan listening to his phone music with earbuds an me exploring the local country stations.

We made it to Arkadelphia yesterday, stopping early because tired.  Arkansas is really beautiful, with miles and miles of trees.  I know we have trees in Texas, but not as many.  Most of Texas looks like trees were planted as windbreaks, not cleared to plant fields.

We are alternating between highways and back roads.  Aidan has taken to navigating as if he were born to it.  He seems to adapt to my happy-go-lucky travel style.  Missed an exit?  Oh, well...we'll take the next one.  Missed a stop I want to make?  Oh well, we will catch it on the way back.

At this point, I'm not sure we will follow the same route home, but hey.  Very flexible and fluid, here.

Today, we are going to visit some points of interest around Little Rock...a car museum and a submarine.  Pictures will ensue!