October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

the evening began with gifts all around, from the great pumpkin, thanks to witch hollow for this wonderful halloween treat jar! you do fabulous work!
the great pumpkin sent me a copy of dracula to read later before bed...
james got a sweatshirt with a light up basketball..
he couldn't decide which pirate look to go for...
patrick got a hooded sweatshirt, strange how the great pumpkin knows sizes...
the evening shifted to goldens for dinner
james loves catfish
vegetables and sweet tea...
julie was a trooper as she has been very sick this week
patrick enjoying his usual fare of macaroni and cheese, plus... macaroni and cheese
julie went as a cat...
the religious crowd countered the devils day with points to run to for help in ridding the soul of all this evil...
starting out on the trek...
everyone seemed to be in on the festivities
all the old houses in town looked great decked out for the day
crawl walking out of a tunnel to a porch for treats..
obviously florida fans lived here
too dark to see, yet these guys were very nice
i liked this pumpkin
this is a beautiful place..
mrs. sides home
cutting through their yard
these guys go all out every year
he puts on a great display
every inch of his yard is covered
he dresses as a pirate and sings from his perch all night
what can i say... he just kept following us around...
he must have spent a fortune..
he put an actual car in his yard with this thing behind the wheel, the effect was great
a peaceful moment on a side street
the crowds were big, yet happy
the christiosity countered with a bounce for jesus, lest we all wind up in the pit of hell
james, julie & patrick on the way to the car..
me & julie
patrick just couldn't wait..

my goal throughout the night... the coffee shop.

October 29, 2008

Oh Come On...

Would it really be too much of a hassle for the powers that rule the cosmic forces controlling the universe to just allow me ten to fifteen minutes of a crap free drink to enjoy? I swear it's getting to be quite ridiculous. I can not remember the last time I had a foreign substance free beverage... I do believe it's part of a family curse...

October 27, 2008

Abject Terror

The morning schedule is pretty set & usually follows like this... Julie gets up at a bit before six, I get up at six thirty, Patrick gets up between six and six thirty. Julie leaves at about the same time I get up. Then I get ready and mill around. Most days James is asleep and I have to wake him up at about seven thirty to get him ready for school, he has to be there by eight, so we usually leave for school between seven thirty and seven forty five...

This morning James was awake when I got up, I went in the front room to dig for clothes in the "laundry chair" Patrick was watching tv and James was watching cartoons on the computer while eating microwave biscuits.. James asked me if I was going to take a shower, answering in the affirmative, I headed on.. I was in the bathroom when I heard Patrick tell James goodbye and head out to catch the bus.. I then followed my standard routine and when I was finished with the shower and drying my hair I headed to the bedroom to get dressed. That went normally and I ended as always, sitting on the edge of the bed, putting on my shoes and thinking of the schedule before me for the morning.

I came out of the bedroom to find the computer off, the tv off, the stereo off, (the sound for the tv is run through the stereo since James washed the tv with about half a bottle of Windex & the volume doesn't work) I saw no sign of James, no big deal... he sometimes goes into Patrick's room to watch cartoons & lay on his bed.. so I called for him as I began digging for clothes for him to wear... no answer.. after I got the clothes together and had been calling for him I headed back to Patrick's room & he wasn't there.. then I looked into James room, he wasn't there, I began calling for him, just under panic volume, I walked to the bathroom, our room, he wasn't there, I went back to the bathroom between his room & Patrick's room, he wasn't there, I went outside to look & he wasn't there, sometimes he will go outside to pee if I'm in the bathroom.. now panic began to set in.. I started yelling in earnest for him and began to run from room to room turning over things and looking in hidey holes, no James, no answer, I looked behind all the doors, under the beds, in the shower... no James..

I picked up the phone and began dialing 911 as I kept calling for him, our phone is pretty jacked up from constant dog chewing and you have to keep dialing over & over for it to finally work - repeating the pattern, dial tone ...911...wait..dial tone 911 wait... over & over, the entire time I'm yelling inside & out, flitting from room to room, with visions of him being held in the back of a van, tortured, molested, murdered, lost in the woods, freezing in a creek after a fall, I'm inside, I'm outside, yelling... now screaming, "James, where are you buddy?!??!" I'm beginning to lose it. I can see cops asking questions, crawling all over the house, pointing fingers, I can see no sleep and sickness as I try to live not ever finding out where my son went, rage is mounting, fury - white like none Ive ever known, I'm ready to find who took him and kill them outright with my hands and teeth. I see Julie's face as she looks at me when she gets here.. I run inside, cursing the dogs and the phone, continuing to dial 911, then Julies work, then my moms, my brothers... I can hear nothing except blood rushing through my head and the constant throb of my heart beat, I feel pain in my chest and know I'm beginning to suffer a heart attack, I flash on Patrick & Julie alone, without James or me... I begin to toss furniture around to see if he may be behind something, my chair goes, I'm at a dead run with nothing in my mind except his face dead on a slab somewhere as I i.d. him.. I grabbed the edge of the couch and began to pull it away to see if he had gone back there... & there he is... hiding from me under the table next to the couch.. crouched down with his head in his hands... I stopped cold... he was looking at me with plain fear on his face, he knew he had gone too far. It was plainly written on his face that he was afraid. I sat down, or rather collapsed onto the floor.. I just sat there and stared at him, he stared at me. My rage was so complete and total that I was frozen and fixed, I couldn't move. No matter how I tried my body wouldn't allow it. I could only breathe heavily and look him in the eyes.. he was staring at me, afraid, knowing that he had done wrong. I finally got up and righted my chair, sat down and called him calmly over to begin getting him dressed. I told him in a stern voice, never getting loud, I was still to angry to even think straight, that he will never do that again, that when me or his mother called him, he was to answer immediately. His only reply was a meek "yes sir". I finally got him dressed and headed to the car. I put him in his seat, he never said a word, he just looked at me as if he was about to get the spanking of a lifetime. I stared straight ahead as I drove him to school, he never argued, never said anything. He followed my every direction. Where he would usually play and act like he was sleeping when it came time for him to get out of the car... He hopped out and stood dutifully by, waiting for me to remove his car seat.. and head for the door. He didn't talk, at this point he is usually a nonstop chatter box. He didn't make a sound as we walked down the hall to his classroom. I patted him on the head and told him to be good as I walked back to the office to pay the weeks tuition... drained, spent, exhausted, frazzled... and still so thankful he's alive and yet so angry that it merged itself into my very psyche... swallowed into the fiber of my being and rests now in a deep pit waiting to come out in the form of a stressed based panic attack or full blown cardiac scene, or roll out down my arm to throttle the first person unlucky enough to cross me today...

October 23, 2008

Distance in Time

It's that time of year again. Autumn calls for reflection... damn. This year it came all at once. Instead of the usual creeping menace, it pounced like a cat. There I was... minding my own business when I glanced over and looked at this bible sitting on the book shelf next to me. My father gave me this book many years ago, he handed it off with the story of its travels and historical meaning. My great uncle took this book with him when he was drafted into world war two, rather his mother gave it to him to take for protection. He went over seas on a boat, taking a few weeks to get there and was miserable for the entire trip. He read the bible for comfort, but not the actual books and verses. He told me that what he read were the hand written notes inside, put there by his mother and family members before her. Notes on specific passages they found to be inspirational, or the notices of births and deaths. I always wondered how there could be room for notes because its such a small book, only about three by five inches in size. The string holding it together was ripped from the mattress that he slept on during the cross over trip to England. My dad told me that he carried it with him during the D-day invasion, where he was wounded on a beach, from what I understand he was shot as he carrying another soldier to a make shift aid station.

His mother, Grannie Smith, had what were referred to as visions. Many stories have been told about her prowess at this. My favorite was the tale of my great uncles wounding. She had a vision that a one armed soldier came to their house and told her that he was dead, killed in action. My dad told me that they were all over there one evening and a taxi pulled up. The driver got out and had only one arm, he was wearing a uniform from the taxi company. Grannie Smith then had a fit, screaming, yelling that her son was dead. It took some time for them to get her calmed down. The driver had a telegram from the military and they were afraid to open it, knowing what it meant, yet dad told me that she was beside herself with joy when she found out that he was going to be ok. My cousin that cuts whats left of my hair has told me that there are several people in our family's history that had similar talents with supernatural things of this nature.. I wish I knew who....

As I pondered the origins and travels of the little book, I held it in my hands and thought about the losses of the past year, coupled with the new beginnings and paths that have played out. This year's holiday season promises to be a somber one, Christmas was dad's favorite time of the year.. He certainly had the knack for making the place look like a fifty percent off sale at big lots, I will miss that. That and the tree with so many lights you can actually hear it hum as you walk past... I was there once when they began to take it down and was baffled when the lights were removed... I had thought it was light green or even white in color, imagine my shock when it turned out to be a dark green beautiful tree.. The words he spoke last year have been haunting me for weeks, "I won't be with you next Christmas, I don't want you to forget that this has always been my favorite time of the year, and I want you to remember me when you turn your lights on every year from now on".

Just writing that down was tough, I don't even want to think of Christmas afternoon... I don't believe I will watch "A Christmas Story" this year..

Walking onto the porch and watching the approaching rain and wind through the trees added to the reflective mood as I shifted my thoughts to my grandparents and their crowded little house during the holidays, then to my uncles and aunts that have gone on, their laughter and smiles... Then to people I have known that have drifted away. Then onto people I know now and how I hold them in my heart.. I put the book in my pocket and strolled up the driveway, meandering as I smoked and thinking that I wished it would skip right over to spring...

October 18, 2008

Baja's Red Cross Benefit 2008

much more laid back atmosphere with this show.. ready to go by 10:30
plenty of food & supplies were on hand
julie's display of bubble wands and halloween jewelry was as fine as ever
walking sticks etc prepared by myself
bailey and the bag 'o doughnuts
the red cross benefit was held at baja's - a local bar, restaurant, concert venue, and all around good time emporium..
one of julie's jewelry trees
mrs. lamey, matriarch of the family that owns & runs baja's & one hell of a good cook
her halloween baking can't be beat..
margie, one of the owner operators of baja's, she ran her butt off all day
james and the giant breakfast biscuit
the ouija board
me & kitty, aka fidget, 4'9" and hell on wheels..
one of the ten featured bands getting ready
i slipped into the bar for a pick me up...
aslyn enjoying some food in the restaurant
on the way in to baja's
huge red tail boa constrictor brought up from the pine mountain animal safari
creeped me out, but i touched it...
the red bull girls, i hated the drink, but... well...

baja's opened about a year ago and features excellent food & spirits as well as such groups as mothers finest, the black crows, and many others, you never know who you might run into...
thursday nights feature league beach volley ball, public games on friday
rear view of baja's, beach volley ball, tiki bar, and back entrance to one of he bars
wednesdays are wing & bike nights...
this poor dog came by our booth...
julie's halloween items were very popular
santa ornaments and jewelry...
the wire trees turned out great
a good idea for displaying items
the red bull girls eventually had to go...
a visit from my brother & silas
he really wanted the camera
and i let him catch it!
i love kids...

The show was more of a gathering of friends than anything else, the atmosphere was laid back, the food was good, the weather a bit cool and windy, but it was a pleasant day all around. We would like to thank everyone at Baja's for inviting us out and for the event. They really know how to make you feel welcome. When you are traveling through Newnan, be sure to stop in and check them out, the crab legs are great and the people friendly... For a relaxing night out you just can't beat this place.