I Know What You Did Last Summer

Well, it wasn’t quite summer, more like late spring, May 15th to be exact. It was an early Saturday morning, the morning of my daughter’s 12th birthday, we set out to the eastern end of Long Island, a healthy hour and half drive. The birthday girl and I headed on our venture because I had some loose ends to square away for work and didn’t want to leave her alone on her special day. Our plan was to get work done quick and then off to explore the quaint coastal towns with lunch and ice cream.

If you have ever been to the very end of Long Island, then you already know it is as if you traveled into another state. Farmlands with the lone house littered here and there, so very different from the suburbs of clustered population just a few towns over. It was while driving on a dirt road, we first saw him. A brown furry creature navigating his crossing. My initial reaction was to brake as we locked eyes through the glass windshield of my little sedan. When I hesitated, so did he, when I accelerated, he scurried forward. A few long seconds of negotiation took place until we both ultimately decided to just go for it. That dreadful moment I felt and heard a thump. My daughter and I screamed in horror, looking at each other in disbelief. Immediately I pulled over to assess the damage I have done to this creature. Panic took over as I realized that I in fact hit an animal.

When I got out to the car and crept closer to see if anything can be done, it was apparent that he was dead. I thought it could be a cat, fearing I have hurt someone’s pet, visualizing a family waiting by their front door for their fur baby that would never return with no explanation, but this wasn’t a cat. It was larger than a squirrel, a rabbit and a chipmunk. What is it?

My daughter and I went from the lone drivers on a dirt road, to a group on spectators pulling over and questioning me on what happened. What did I do? They all wanted to know. I rambled, “It was an accident. I swear. I have never hit anything in my life!” The looks from the car window, the front lawn screamed at me in disapproval. As if to say How dare you trespass on our land and hurt our creatures! Murderer! One woman hopped out of her pick-up truck and began examining the animal with her bare hands! Reaching in its groin area for a pulse. I would have thought the squished body and ejected eyeball was a dead giveaway (err no pun in intended). She identified the animal as a groundhog and declared him dead. A groundhog. I have never seen a groundhog before. I mean sure, every February on television and all, but not in real life. He was sort of bigger than I would expect a groundhog to be. I had no clue we even had groundhogs on Long Island. Well, we do, and now one less thanks to me.

The examiner lady soon brought me a box from her truck with a towel on the bottom of it. Yup, she works for an animal sanctuary and just has these things on hand in the back of her truck. She told me I need to take it with me to a wildlife sanctuary with specific instructions. “What? No, don’t we just call the town to pick it up?” I don’t mean to be insensitive here, but why I am going to drive a dead animal to a sanctuary? What is going on? The woman, ignoring me, placed the groundhog in the box and proceeded to go to my car. I suggest if she works there or volunteers, then she can bring it. I am not driving around with a dead groundhog in my car!!!

“It is the least you can do” she snaps at me placing the box in the back of my car.

I am explaining the story to my husband over the phone, my daughter is keeping a close watch on the box, just in case he springs out and attacks us and I am driving. I am driving with me, my birthday girl and Chester. We felt it would be appropriate to name him at this point, if he was going to get in the car with us.

We took him to his final resting place. We were terrified, saddened, guilty but also a touch of humor. Like, how did we get here? The day really got away from us at some point. My daughter thought it would be nice to say a few words, so we joined hands. I apologized for hitting him, I sent love and condolences to his groundhog family and wished him well in the afterlife.

So there, now you know. You know what I did last Spring. You know about my pal Chester, the groundhog.

Dedicated to Chester ?/?/??-05/21/2021

Burning My Money

I enjoy burning my money. I more than enjoy it, I love it. I love everything about it from beginning to end.

The moment I get a notification on my phone or a reminder in the mail the excitement begins. I carve out time in my schedule to be alone, grab my keys and just short of run to my car. The anticipation builds as I pause at each stop sign and stop at every red light. Although it would appear I am driving, I am actually transforming into a forensic accountant, reviewing a mental ledger of expenditures and expenses. I can make pasta an extra night this week and save some money there. The cable bill isn’t really due until the 27th, so I can pull from the budget there. All until I pull into a parking spot. The time has come. The heavy door swings open, providing a warm greeting paired with a stiff punch to the face of fragrance. I know I am in the right place.

My curiosities are peaking as I take in the new inventory. Each item neatly stacked, and color coordinated, appeasing my OCD tendencies. So many vibrantly colored jars adorned with beautiful metalic lids enticing me to open and take whiff. Will it be sweet? Savory? Light and airy? The bigger mystery, which ones will come home with me? What will I be in the mood for?

Why does the ritual to burn money bring me so much joy? Well, not actually burning money, but spending money on glass jars of wax and burning that. Well, not just wax, infused waxed. But not just infused wax, special infused wax. Wax with creative combinations of essential oils and spices. Wax so powerful it can evoke moods and feelings from within and burning that. Why? Why do I love this so much?

I do. I love everything about the process. I love reading the creative names and silly puns. I love the beautiful packaging, with solid, soothing colors or vibrant florals. I love the acknowledgement of holidays with scary black cats and pumpkins or striped candy canes and snowmen dancing about. I love testing out each scent, allowing my nose to take the lead with a deep inhale.

I love the placing them on their special shelf in my home, aligning them just right. I love dropping them in their holder for the first burn, the most important, allowing the wax to pool evenly. I love trimming the wicks and igniting them again and again. Setting them off to fill each room with a unique aroma, Mahogony Teak, White Pumpkin, Frosted Pine or Clean Linen. I love the twinkle of the amber flame and the shadows cast on the walls, the ambiance, the setting, the aesthetic.

And when my husband gets a glimpse of the bank statements, I love that I only need a one-word rebuttal.

FIREWORKS!

I love burning my money.

I Am Back

I am back! Am I? Well . . . I would like to be back. It’s been so long since I have drained my brain on paper (or keyboard), and it definitely feels necessary to me as a person to write. However, I feel rusty like the Tin Man, my knuckles squeaking and whining with each letter I press. Where is Dorothy with that oil can?

I poured some coffee and pulled up a chair to spend some time with my old self this morning. Reading through old posts of a mother isolated with her babies, in a financial hardship and desperately seeking for more. Each post had helped me become more accepting, patient and grateful as I wrote them. I miss her. I miss the woman who had an awareness and hopefulness. Her problems seem so simple now. Funny how that is. I suppose it shows growth and maturity for me as I stand today, and still at times, I miss that part of the journey.

Since I left, many of my problems were solved or improved. However, as I got everything I was wanting, I lost so much that I had. Life has been happening to me. I am just in for the ride with its unpredictable twists and turns and the frightening darkness and drops. I lost my armor of gratitude and mindfulness I once had. I now often get caught up in the conversation of my thoughts. Hearing the worrying and complaining all day. The insults and the reminders of what went wrong. So here I am, back to writing, back to vomiting it all up, the ugly that has been poisoning me. I am back to reminding myself who I am with all that I have. Back to getting into the driver’s seat of my life. Back to seeking the answers. Back to the uncertainty I have felt before, with new confidence that I have lived through difficult times. Reminding myself the woman from my past lives within. Reminding myself that I am strong. I am resilient. Reminding myself that I am a writer. So here I am. Back to writing.

I am Back!

Writing in the Rain

It is a summer evening in July. I snuck out from the children to sit on the front porch. One of my favorite places to be. Sporadic droplets of cool water prickle my skin. A light drizzle isn’t enough to shoo me away from listening to the birds chirp, watch the kittens pounce across the way and observe the clouds pass me by at a turtles pace.

Although its no Facebook, opening a window to the very exciting world of others. A view that can seem taunting. “Na-na-na-boo-boo. I’m having more fun than you.” The only action interrupting me are the cars that cruise by. Reminding me of when I was a child, sitting on my aunts lap counting the cars that passed or guessing which color might whiz by next.

An orange balloon rises above the trees. Must have broken free from a party or set free from a child’s grip. Either way, free and floating, being carried by the winds. I keep my eye one it until it is swallowed up by the clouds. Up, up and away.

Buzzing sounds of cicadas echo and break the silence. They are loud and persistent, as men can be.

Summer is in full bloom on Long Island, as we are as far in as we are out. My evening may not be exciting, yet its my definition of being happy. This is peace.

I Blinked – by Lisa Osma

I am honored to have one of my posts featured on the Kindness Blog. I am proud to be among the many who believe in the power of love and kindness! I love this blog because at the end of a long day, it gives me hope! ❤ 🙂 Stay kind and pass along a smile today 🙂

Kindness Blog

stages of growth - humansI BLINKED . . .

I blinked. . .

When I opened my eyes I was responsible for four precious human beings.

As they sit, all in a row, they look like an image of a life cycle you would find in a magazine; infant, baby, toddler and pre-schooler. One charming little boy followed by the three beautiful, graceful little girls adorned in pink with large bows atop of their silky hair. During this time I was on my feet all hours of the night and desperately trying to keep up throughout the day.

I grew weary, filled with exhaustion, until my eyes felt so heavy, I blinked . . .

When I opened my eyes the eldest two children were standing tall, with their sacks slung on their backs, waving their small hands bye bye as they lift their foot on the step of the long, yellow painted bus…

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