Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fried Green Tomatoes

I woke up really early Tuesday since Mom had an 8:30 doctors appointment. It took forever. I hate when you show up on time for a doctors appointment and the doctor isn't there yet and you have to wait for them. When I managed North Charleston Internal, Dr. Eads did that all the time and I felt so bad for the patients because they had to wait so long. It's quite irritating on both ends.

Mom had another appointment this afternoon and instead of waiting with her I went to the Hamlets subdivision around the corner where I did a cache the other day. There was a sign that said "5 minute walk to to Crowfield ruins." Again, if you really know me, you know that I love historic places and any kind of abandoned structures. I decided to take the 5 minute walk to the ruins which actually was more like a 15 minute walk one way. It's hot in Charleston and I was wearing jeans and a black t-shirt - ugh. Before I went to the ruins I walked back to the lake. There was a really nice dock and a lake with a sign that said "Please do not feed or aggravate the alligators!" Ahhh, to be back in South Carolina! You never see signs that warn you to not aggravate the alligators in Dayton!

After taking a couple of pictures, I followed the path to the Crowfield Ruins which ended up being in the middle of the Hamlets subdivision golf course. Gee, that was nice of them to not over-develop the land and leave the ruins for people to enjoy... they could have built a million-dollar house on the property, after all! The whole thing was pretty anti-climactic. I think it was because while I was enjoying the ruins, I had to deal with golfers, which took away from the experience. I went back to pick Mom up, who had been waiting. Seems that podiatrists are much faster at seeing patients than opthamologists!

I asked my Mom is she wanted to drive by the Commissary to see if we could spot Traci's car. Mom said it was a green Subaru. We drove around and didn't see it. I decided to drive through Traci's apartment complex. I spotted a green Saturn and Mom said "Oh yeah... it's a Saturn, not a Subaru!" Ugh. I told Mom to stay in the car while I made nice with Traci since I knew that she would just bitch and it would get ugly. I walked up to the quad of apartments and knocked on the first door. Traci answered and looked really surprised to see me! We had a long talk about Mom and I told her that I didn't want to move back to South Carolina just yet and that we all have an obligation to help Mom. I told Traci that she is the reason Mom doesn't have a car and that I didn't give a crap that Mom was a pain in the ass, completely negative or a mega-bitch... she has an obligation!

I told her to suck it up and devote one afternoon to Mom for errands and appointments. I also told her that she needs to get a phone of some sort for communication. In the middle of me talking to Traci, Mom walked up - Ugh! I turned to her and said "I told you to stay in the car!" I felt like I was dealing with a child!! I suppose she doesn't understand how much she pisses people off and how much we resent her negativity at times! I told Traci that even if she didn't do it out of love, she needs to do it because it's what Dad would have wanted her to do... Hopefully that will work and I won't have to come back like this again! Mom told me this morning that Traci called after two months of being MIA - so far so good!

Later in the the day Mark called me and said he wanted to go geocaching. I met him at his house and we set off for the first cache at West Ashley Park. The cache was almost a quarter of a mile from the parking lot. When we got out of the car, the first thing we noticed was another alligator sign. We crossed the bridge and headed off on a trail. We actually found the cache with no problem... I was actually looking more for snakes than the cache again! We headed back to the car and started to drive off when I noticed that the next closest cache was 2 tenths of a mile away... close! We parked the car and headed off on a trail. I had started to get dark and by the time we were a good ways into the woods it was really dark! I took my flashlight out of my bag so we could see where we were going (actually it was more for snakes!) The cache said it was dead to the left of us, where there was no trail. Mark decided to go through the weeds (while doing a snake dance) and he said he could see another path. I was wearing shorts so I was very cautious about going in the weeds. Mark told me to run, so I did... sort of. When I got to Mark he said "oh, it's not a path." I could have killed him because we were standing in a VERY swampy area. We decided to go forward since we had come this far already. It was so swampy!

When I say swamp, I really mean swamp... like in the movies, kind of swamp. There is weird noises... things splashing in the water... mist rising from the water... mosquitos - the whole deal! Mark kept telling me "Pam, please be careful about what you are stepping on, especially near the water!" That, of course, freaked me out totally! We got within 70 feet from the cache, which was located in the middle of a dense wooded area. Mark decided to go in, with the only flashlight, leaving me on a alone. I stood on the trail, next to the swamp water doing a smaller version of my famous snake dance. Since Mark had already seen one snake on this particular cache, I just knew it's snake friends were waiting nearby to bite me. I started to become really uncomfortable because it was so dark. I started to wonder how Adrienne Barbeau managed to survive in the the swamp without getting eaten by snakes and gators. I called out to Mark several times to come back - I was done with this cache! He finally came back and we headed out. It was soooo dark! I was in the front with the flashlight and again, Mark was in the back scaring the hell out of me. He kept saying that because it was dark, it wasn't the snakes he was worried about... it was the gators. OMFG! I was freaked out. It was near hysteria! I was cussing at Mark and telling him he was buying me dinner for this! He told me "I hope you don't bring Justin caching if you are always this mean!" Ha!

We finally made it out of the swamp without being eaten by critters. Who the hell puts a cache in a swamp?? Mark and I decided that we deserved Andolini's since we had survived the worst cache ever! Andolini's is my favorite pizza on this earth. There is no equal in pizza as far as I am concerned, so I was in heaven.... dirty, stinky and sweaty... but in heaven!

Yesterday I did errands with the Mom and then went downtown. I stopped at Bob Ellis Shoes to see Troy and he invited me over his house. He said he was making fried green tomatoes, which I had never had. I told him that I would meet him around 7pm at his house. I walked around downtown and took a bunch of pictures - mostly in the Unitarian, St. Philips and Circular Congregation Church cemeteries. I miss Charleston in that way... I love walking the streets of this city. I originally intended to go to Morris Island, but it had been raining all morning and I really didn't want to hang on the beach in the rain - I'm not sure if I will have time to do that tomorrow, which is sad.

I headed home to change clothes then headed to Troy's, who lives in James Island. His apartment is awesome with two screened in porches and an amazing view of the river. Troy made fried green tomates, as promised. It was Paula Deen's recipe (who doesn't love Paula Deen?) We sat and chatted all night and watched TV. We watched a bizarre documentary about a crocodile name Gustave who eats African villagers and we watched Dateline about the slutty teacher who slept with her student. I was waiting for the rain to let up before I headed home - I hate driving in the rain!

Today I arrived at Mom's at 10am since she had an appointment. I asked her where the appointment was and she said "West Ashley". I asked her where in West Ashley and she didn't know. This is what frustrates me! She tried to call Lois, who didn't answer. I ended up calling the doctors office who said she didn't have an appointment today - it was on October 20th. I did an amazing job at biting my tongue and not bitching. Instead of the doctor, we ran errands... craft store, cemetery, etc. Jonathan called me while we were out and wants me to meet him in Orangeburg at 5:30, which is where I am headed now.

So much to little time.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Pluff Mud

I still have not located my little sister.

I have tried calling her at the commissary, where she works, but I think her shift is overnight and they don't answer the phone at that time. I think I might write a note and leave it for her asking her to call me. I only have a couple of days left to find her before I leave. Not that it will do much good, I'm sure!

Mom is about the same as always. A bundle of joy to be around. I came this morning to bring her to her eye doctor appointment. After the appointment I asked her if she wanted to do something. I suggested all sorts of fun things and all she did was sit there and shake her head no. She said she just wanted to go home... negative, negative, negative. She is now, where she always is, asleep on the couch. I suppose I can't force her to go out and enjoy life. I am trying to not let it drain me but I'm not so good at that.

I took a break from Mom this weekend and did some stuff for myself. On Saturday I was invited to a dinner party given by my ex-boyfriend, Jonathan, in Bamberg. I dated Jonathan about 20 years ago. We were just kids. He was a bit older than me and was attending the College of Charleston while I was in high school. My parent's would get so mad at me because I would leave Friday night and not return until Sunday evening. I had a boyfriend that had an apartment downtown and I was rebellious... what did they expect? I was a bad kid. I am not sure why we broke up but I am sure we just drifted apart. I didn't have a car and he eventually moved to Canada to attend the University of Montreal. We kept in touch sporadically. Before Saturday, the last time I saw him was when he had his opening at the City Gallery around 8 or 9 years ago.

On the way to Jonathan's, which is an hour drive, I spoke with Kat who said "Hey! I've been meaning to ask you something... I hear you are fucking a guy!?" Well, well, well... It took the cesspool long enough to network! I told her "No (not that it's anyone's business), I am not fucking a guy, but I am dating one." I asked her how she heard and she said someone told M.D. and M.D. approached her and said "So, I hear you turned your last girlfriend straight?!" Nice.

I have met M.D. once and it was for 5 minutes and it was dark. I could not pick her out in a line up so why are people reporting to her what the fuck is going on in my life?? I was wondering how long it would take before I was questioned about it. I asked Kat how people knew and she said it was something that I posted in a MySpace bulletin. I knew immediately what it was. It was the bulletin I posted called "20 on 3" where you answered questions about your top 3 friends. The question was "Is this person your boyfriend/girlfriend" and I think I answered the question, pertaining to Justin, as "I have no idea what is going on there!" or something to that effect. Don't think for a moment that I didn't know EXACTLY what I was posting in my bulletins and blogs. Don't think for a moment that I didn't know that the cesspool would eventually catch wind of things and run with it. With that being said, the only people that have access to my blogs and bulletins are people on my friends list... and very few of those people are involved in the cesspool so it's not so hard to narrow the gossips down to a few. It seems that the people that bitch about the evils of the cesspool at very much the center of the cesspool, themselves.

I make no apologies, I will not label myself and I am doing what makes me happy. It is what it is.


I arrived at Jonathan's around 4pm. When I pulled up he was walking out of the house with Estella, the most precocious and adorable 3 and a half year-old that I have ever met! It was so good seeing him after all of these years. He looked the same, just a little older. I was trying to remember what I looked like the last time he saw me. I think my hair was longer and I weighed more - blech. He said that he had to go to the Piggly Wiggly and asked me if I would watch Estella. We had fun while he was gone. She was all over the place. We played on the swings, played croquet, played with blocks, played go fish... all in a half hour! I really need to have one of these! Shortly after Jonathan returned the first of the other dinner guests arrived. His name was Robert and I believe he was one of the music professors at State. He was smart, well traveled and it was very hard to get a word in edgewise with him as he was quite a manipulator of conversation! We sat and chatted while Jonathan prepared dinner. I played with Estella during most of the conversation. Soon, the other guests arrived - both art professors, I think. During dinner I kept thinking to myself "what the hell am I doing in the middle of all of this... I wish Justin was here!" He's a mix of both worlds and would have fit in nicely. Being that Robert was the manipulator of conversation he spoke the most during dinner about opera's, castrato's and music in general. It would have been fun to pick the other's brains about art, but that just wasn't happening with Robert there.

After dinner, cake and ice cream (it was Jonathan's birthday) the other guests left and Jonathan and I sat on the porch of his huge victorian house and chatted. It was nice to finally be able to talk with just the two of us... oh! and Estella. Earlier Estella had given me a tour of the house, which is massive. Jonathan asked me if I remembered the portrait that he painted of me. I had totally forgotten about it since it was so long ago. He said it was in the guest bedroom but I never actually got to see it that night since it wasn't part of Estella's grand tour. I can barely tell you what it looks like, just that it's Picasso-esque. It's kind of nice knowing there is a painting of me hanging in someone's house, especially an ex-boyfriend's!

It was getting late and Estella was wound up from all the sugar she had. I helped Jonathan clean up and decided to head home. I was wishing that I lived closer because I sensed he could really use a loyal friend to lean on during his custody battle and separation. I feel so bad for what he is going through. I promised him that I would see him again before I left so we made plans to get together on Thursday... no children or babbling dinner guests - just two old friends! Jonathan and Estella walked me to my car and with a kiss, I was off on my way to Charleston.

Yesterday I decided to do some caching. I had a bunch of Kat's travel bugs to drop off and I wanted to make sure that I did that before I left South Carolina, plus it was a much needed distraction from the stress of being around my mother. I hadn't been downtown yet and I have been here for a week! The first cache I did was in a Charleston park. I am so surprised at the lack of cache's on the peninsula! There are a couple of micro's and a couple of virtuals but that's about it. Also, the micro's aren't even that clever, which is a bummer. I think these Carolina cacher's need to take a trip to Piqua, Ohio and do a couple of Pinewood Ave's cache's to see how difficult a micro can be! I called Mark because he wanted to cache to prove to his co-workers that caching is not a myth but he was unavailable. I left him a message to call me if he was interested in going. He finally called me on my last couple of cache's right when I was heading to the beach again. I told him that I would meet him on the Mt. Pleasant side of the Ravenel Bridge.

The first cache we did was on a nature trail near Patriots Point. Jesus God, the Spiders!! They were so freakin' big and they were everywhere! I don't think you really understand... you know 50 cent pieces? Well, these spiders were BIGGER! And the damn mosquito's! I already had a ton of bug spray on but they didn't care! Little bastards! I had so many bites on me. When we were in the woods Mark started beating me because I had them all over. I may have bruises from the beating, but I think it was worth it. On the way back on the trail, Mark yelled "Snake!" and I looked where he was pointing. I was a cottonmouth. Ugh. It slithered in front of us and into the creek. I was surprised at how calm I was. Normally I would be peeing my pants and fainting - in no particular order! Well, there were other cache's to be had so we continued on through the massive spider lair.

We drove out to Sullivan's Island to do a couple cache's out there. Ahhhh, the ocean! You know if I could bottle the smell of the sea air... I cannot even describe to you the feeling it gives me. You know those stupid survey's that we all fill out where it asks your hometown? Well, being a Navy brat I never know how to answer those. The ocean is my home. That's where I grew up. It's what I know. The salt air on my face overwhelms me to the point of tears. Samantha and I had a conversation the other night about the ocean. She said that she didn't know anyone that has never seen the ocean and I told her that I know people in Illinois and Ohio that have never seen the ocean... Can you imagine? Can you imagine growing up inland and then in your thirties you see the ocean for the first time? That blows me away. My Grandmother never saw the ocean until we moved to Virginia in 1971. Wow. We have a picture of the first time she stepped foot in the water. I grew up with the ocean in my backyard so I can't remember my thoughts the first time I saw it. When I see the ocean now it still takes my breath away. I just can't imagine how it must feel to see it for the first time as an adult.

Speaking of snakes...

So there we were... Caching on the beach - Mark was navigating (big mistake!) so we ended up walking WAY out of the way to the next cache. He made us walk over the sand dunes (which is illegal). I was bitching the whole way there about how I could not believe that the cache owner wanted us to walk on the dunes and how I was going to write a note about how walking on the dunes was bad... yadda, yadda. Mark yelled "snake!" but I didn't see it this time, thank God. We got closer to the cache... lo and behold an actual footbridge that we should have taken on the other side of the lighthouse to avoid the dunes. I knew I should have navigated!!

I was dirty, sweaty and smelled like bug spray and needed to take a shower desperately before the Violent Femmes show. I drove like a mad-woman home, jumped in the shower and got dressed quickly. Samantha was already dressed when I arrived. We left the house around 8 and went to the Plex, which is an old movie theater turned into a concert hall. There were a billion people there. We looked around for Devin since he was covering it for the paper. We finally caught up with him and planted ourselves to wait for the show to start. It was a weird crowd. Lots of younger people and a lot of people my age. I started to get a really bad headache because of the horrible ventilation system. The smoke was awful. Devin told me that they are trying to ban smoking in bars and I am all for that. My eyes were stinging and my sinuses were acting up - I could not breathe, the air was so bad.

The opening musician was awful. He sang and played the banjo and it offended my ears. I tried to get Devin to put that in his article for the paper but I think he scrapped the idea. After waiting a REALLY long time the Femmes finally came on and put on an awesome show. I stood there in the back of the venue and watched the show... watched the people. It was weird hearing those anthems of my teen years live! During "Add it up" I sat there thinking, here are four people (Me, Devin, Samantha and Devin's friend, Tim) that are true fans of the Violent Femmes... I wondered if seeing them live for the first time had the same effect on them as it did me? Their music totally brings me back 20 years - listening to the Femmes in Carol's car... driving around Charleston on hot and humid summer nights... downtown parties... warm beer. Was it really that long ago??

Devin asked me if I wanted to do something after the show. I most definitely did want to spend time with him but I didn't have my car and and the smoke really had messed with my sinuses. I had the worst headache and I felt like crap. I gave him a kiss goodbye and said I would call him later. Samantha and I were hungry so we stopped at Alex's on the way home. OMG! Alex's was closed!! That was the first time in 20 years that I have seen Alex's closed - WTF!? We went to Waffle House instead. Justin was in Indiana spending time with his family for his birthday. He sent me a text message saying he would be on the road for the next couple of hours while driving home, so I called him and we talked for a while before I went to bed. He told me that his family had a place set for me at the table. Ummm... what? That made me a bit nervous and freaked out. Apparently they asked several questions about me. I'm not one that normally gets nervous when meeting family, so why now? We are going to a paranormal conference next weekend in Louisville and Justin informed me that I will be meeting his brother and possibly his sister at dinner that night.

I think I have to throw up.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Yesterday's plan was to run a couple of errands with Mom. After getting dressed I headed out and decided to do a cache on the way to her house. It was in the Hamlets in Crowfield subdivision. I have decided that South Carolina cache's are much more treacherous than Ohio's because of the marsh, humidity and all things swampy. There are many more snakes, spiders and critters here. They are everywhere! This particular cache was in a bush, but I swear the whole bush was covered in spider webs. I had to knock some down just to reach my hand in to grab the cache. It held nothing exciting and everything was damp. bummer.

I got to Mom's and she was complaining about being up all night with an upset stomach. The day before she complained that she was up all night with restless legs and cramps. Wouldn't you know that the two medicines that Dr. Eads stopped were the Immodium and Quinine. I asked her why she didn't just take them if she was suffering since she still had portions of the prescription left and she said "well, he took me off of them!" Any normal person would have just taken it and called the doctor and said "I need these!" but not her. She's the worlds biggest martyr, which I have no tolerance for. I told her that I would call Dr. Eads and have him refill the Rx's but she said no. Whatever. I ended up going to CVS for some OTC Immodium. She said that she wasn't in the mood to go anywhere so I hung out a bit.

Mom was in a very weird mood. When I came to Charleston, I told her that I would like one of Great Grandma's handmade quilts. I really thought my Mom would do her normal bitching, but she said "okay, which one?" I nearly fell on the floor from shock! Mom has always had this bizarre thought that she would leave all of her belongings to us... no only her belongings, but things she inherited from both Nana and Grandma. When Nana died she really didn't inherit a lot. What she did inherit, she kept, which is understandable. When Grandma died Mom got a bunch of jewelery, pictures and other odds and ends. When Great Grandma died, Mom inherited all of her quilting things since she was the only one who quilted.

When Grandma died I asked Mom for some photos or jewelery, after all, I was the first-born grandchild. Mom said we could each pick ONE piece of jewelry and that's it. The rest was going into storage until she died. I chose a cameo pin which I have with me always. I was really pissed because I thought it was not her legacy to leave - it was Grandma's and we should be able to enjoy her things for as long as possible. They weren't doing anyone any good sitting in a box waiting for Mom to die. This was Mom's plan... leave the kids as much as possible so we will all be eternally greatful for this wonderful inheritance. Whatever.

A long time ago I told my Mom that I really didn't want anything and I meant it. I was just disgusted at everyone's behavior when Grandma died. People were fighting over furniture and who got what. It was disgusting. It's a fucking chafing dish - get over it!


After many discussion about the ridiculousness of the situation, Mom decided that she wanted to give me her Blue Willow china that was her Mother's. This was many years ago that she decided this, and I told her I didn't want it. I eventually (as "Hot Missy" would say) "put it in a bubble and blew it away"... I got over it and just accepted it for the gift that it was. When Dad died, before I moved, I told my Mother that I wanted his yearbooks from high school and his backgammon board. She was fine with that. Surprisingly enough, she also gave me an old German prayer book that he inherited from Great Grandma's side of the family. I think I got that since I am so into genealogy.

There is a point to this story, I swear.

So, yesterday Mom started going through her china cabinet and started pulling out all of this glassware and kept asking me if I wanted it. This was antique glassware that she inherited from Grandma, Nana, Great Nana... you name it. Also, some glass that Dad brought back from Italy years ago and a copper tea (I think) set from the Middle East. She told me to pack it up before Janine came home. She told me that she was afraid it would end up in the wrong hands (either of my sisters) and it would not be cared for. She also gave me an old pottery bowl of Nana's, a summer quilt that was made by my maternal Great Great Grandmother and an antique box full of greeting cards that were give to Nana and Grandpa when they were married, had children or for their anniversaries.

Isn't all this strange?

She was sitting there giving me all of this stuff that she cherished and I kept thinking.... "who are you, and where's my Mother??" I was also thinking about the possibility of her planning her demise. I mean, why would she be giving all of this stuff that was so important to her? She keeps bringing me stuff. I really think she is planning to die. She will never get over my father and she is just letting all of her ailments take over her body without even trying to get better. I just have a feeling that my next trip to Charleston will be for her funeral. I was up in the attic yesterday looking around and suddenly felt overwhelmed. What in the hell would we do with all of this stuff that she has stored everywhere. Her house is a craft and artist lovers wet dream! Dad and I used to joke that when she died we would just put a cash register at the door and people could just shop through her painting and craft supplies since most of it still had price tags on it!

After being bombarded with all of this I decided to leave and have some much needed cache-therapy. I only did a couple because it started raining (damn hurricane's). I got a big scrape on my leg and was bleeding everywhere. I think I looked more for snakes than I did for the cache's! The rain was coming down pretty hard so I decided to call it a day. When I was in traffic I happened to look over and I was in front of the cemetery where Dad is buried. I did a u-turn and pulled in. I walked up the hill to the veterans section. I walked down the row where he is and at first I didn't see his grave. I thought to myself, gee, maybe I was imagining the whole thing and he really isn't dead! No such luck. There he was... still dead. I started crying and then got mad at myself for doing so. I mean, it's really not doing any good to cry. It won't change anything. He isn't coming back. Put it in the bubble, right Missy?

I stood there remembering the day we buried him. My Grandfather kept looking up the hill trying to see what they were doing as far as putting the casket in the ground. From where the service was you could not see the actual grave. It was kind of sick because the guys with the bulldozers were sitting there waiting for the family to leave. How fucked up is that? Here we are mourning the loss of Dad and they are sitting there having a smoke and watching the festivities... waiting to push the dirt in the hole. I asked my Grandfather if he wanted me to walk up the hill with him and he said yes. We walked over to the grave and his casket was six feet under. Big mistake looking at that. It has never left me and the thought of my Dad being in a box under the earth fucks with me every day. Someone later told me that when they were lowering him into the ground they dropped the casket and it popped open. Lovely. Thank God we don't follow the Southern tradition of watching the casket being lowered.

It was raining hard and I was soaking wet. I didn't want to be there anymore. I needed ice cream. I went to Cold Stone, which is evil and bad and got the same thing I always get. Justin later told me that I need to venture out of getting the same old thing and try something new. I told him that I need to stop eating it, period! I think I have gained 10 pounds since I arrived in Charleston. I need to go on a hike or something. Samantha called me and met me at Cold Stone. She was on her way home and I told her I would see her there. I was sad and feeling pretty lonely so I took my time going back to her house.

When I got there, Samantha and I chatted a bit about life, love, relationships, family, etc. She's a good friend. I called Jonathan to confirm plans for Saturday. He filled me on what was happening with his wife and daughter - poor guy. I think out of everyone I know, I am most looking forward to seeing him. Over the last twenty years we have seen each other just a handful of times, the last being about 9 years ago. It will be nice to give him a hug and kiss again. He told me that William will be there, which is wonderful. I haven't seen William in probably 20 years! Since I was 16 or 17! Yikes! We were all so different back then! It will be so good seeing them both - and I finally get to meet Estella, Jonathan's 3 1/2 year old daughter! I am sure baby-envy will ensue thereafter.

Back to business...

Today I came to pick up Mom since she said she had an appointment with the foot doctor at 10am. We drove to the doctors and they were not even at that location any longer. I went into one of the offices and asked where they relocated and they said a few doors down. We drove around for twenty minutes and finally found the office, which was closed. Mom apparently had the wrong doctor, wrong place, wrong date and wrong time! I was really mad. We drove back home and got her notebook with her appointments in it and when she went in the bank I called all the doctors listed to confirm appointments. The appointment she had today was with a totally different doctor at 11:30am - not 10am! I was livid. I kept asking her why she didn't write ALL the information about the appointments down instead of the doctors name and the time... why didn't she write down the day the appointment was, as well? She just sat there and didn't say anything, which REALLY made me mad. I told her that I came down to help her but all she is doing is resisting. I told her that she used to handle everything when Dad was out to sea... kids, all household things, school, finances... EVERYTHING! I asked her what happened to that person?? I told her that there are millions of people that lose loved ones and millions of people with ailments... she is the only one responsible for her life and if she is giving up then let me know because I will not put myself through that. If she wants help, then I am here, but I can't help her if she sits there in silence. She didn't say much, just that she wanted something to drink and to go home to take a nap.

Yep, it was a fun morning.

Justin's right. I need ocean therapy!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Chucktown Revisited

It's my third day in Charleston.


Half of me misses this damn city and the other half wants to get back in the car and hit the highway! I have so much of a past here and I keep looking over my shoulder thinking it's sneaking up on me. Nothing bad, mind you... just twenty years of memories of a person I no longer am... a kid making stupid choices, having bad relationships all the while trying to figure out who I am and where I was going. I suppose it was just the path I was supposed to take to realize the person I am today. I look at the faces when we are around town thinking I will recognize someone eventually. That never happens in Dayton. Of course I run into the occasional acquaintance in Ohio but it's not like here... my past is everywhere.

Damn... I do love this place and I miss my friends terribly. It's humid. I forgot how humid it is here. Forget wearing normal clothes during the summer. The less clothing, the better in this town.

The task at hand is to help my Mom out post-angioplasty surgery, which she had last Friday. Work gave me a bit of a hassle about FMLA. They wanted to mail me a certified packet in the mail with the FMLA papers in it. I had already downloaded them and faxed them to Dr. Eads to fill out. I told the billing director, Tonia, that there was nothing about FMLA that she could tell me that I didn't already know. I have been to countless training sessions on OSHA, FMLA, HIPAA... you name it! I could teach it if I had to! I did my part by having Dr. Eads fill out the paperwork. Tonia told me that she would fax it to HR in Columbus and get back to me. This was on Thursday and on Friday she didn't come in... so I left on Sunday. We'll see what happens when I return in a couple of weeks when I return to work. I know the law and I also know that Dr. Eads will provide me with whatever paperwork I need.

I arrived late Sunday night. The drive was long - I think it's just that I am getting older. I was a bit lonely on the road since my iPod died in Tennessee somewhere. My cigarette lighter doesn't work so I can't use the charger - I really need to get that fixed. I actually had to listen to CD's ~gasp!~ I did a couple of cache's in Tennessee and Kentucky, which was fun and broke up the monotony of the drive.

When I arrived in town, I stopped by my Mom's house to check on her and give her a couple of painting palette items that I had gotten for her over the past couple of months. She's an artist and collects anything with a painting palette on it. She belongs to a painting club and likes to show off her painting palette booty to the painting "yenta's". The competitiveness of the yenta's is quite humorous. They get all bitchy when she has something new and they always say "where'd you get that?? Pam??" Since she rarely goes anywhere, it usually it from me.

After a brief visit I went to Samantha's, where I am staying while here. Her house is so cute. I kind of felt ashamed since her decorating ability far exceeds mine. I gave myself the excuse that she own her home and I just rent my apartment so do I really want to invest in canopy beds and frilly things just yet?? It's definitely cute, though. Maybe if I had more money, my very own Vern Yip could do bit more with my apartment. We will have to work on that when IKEA opens. Take note, Vern!

Since Monday was a holiday I decided to hang with friends. I had plans to do some caching with Mark and eventually hook up with Devin. Well, Devin ended up pulling his back so he was laid up. I was really looking forward to meeting Nigel... hopefully next week! I never heard from Mark on Monday so I decided to go to California Dreaming with Samantha and Jackie. It was wonderful, as usual. After lunch Samantha decided to torture me by taking me to the Tanger outlet mall. I hate shopping. I am most definitely the kind of person that hates malls. If I need shoes, or a specific item of clothing, I go to the store, get it and then leave. There is no browsing or going from store to store! Now, if you bring me to an Antique or thrift store that is a whole other story!! I could stay in those for hours!

The shopping torture lasted until I complained. I mean, it was an outside outlet mall... it's Charleston and it's humid. I was cranky about all the hot and humid shopping so we left and went to Panera - Charleston's first Panera, I think. I got a much needed latte. This Panera sucked. There were hardly any baked goods on display - quite sad since they are setting the example for what Panera is. After that we headed to Samantha's Mom's for a visit.

Tuesday I picked up Mom and went on several errands that she had to run and then we had lunch. I had a meeting with Dr. Eads at 4pm to go over Mom's meds. He took her off a bunch and typed me a list of the meds he wanted her to stay on. It was good seeing Holly, Dr. Eads and Cathy again. The office has really grown - I miss working there.

I called Mark on the way home and we set up dinner plans for that night. I went home and Samantha and I changed clothes and headed out for Mark's. It was sooooo good seeing him after so many years! We went to the Voodoo Lounge for dinner, drinks and conversation. It was good to catch up with Mark. Karaoke started at 9pm and we tried our hardest to get Samantha to sing but she wouldn't. I reminded her that she sang 'La Isla Bonita' in front of all of Goose Creek High School but that didn't do the trick. She hates it when I bring that up. I was good since I was driving and had only one drink. They both had to work the next morning so we left around 10pm and made plans to go dancing Friday night.

Justin finally called on the way home - it was pouring rain and I was trying to drive so he chatted with Samantha a bit. He told me we sounded exactly alike, which I think is amusing. I miss talking to him before I go to bed each night. He had left his phone at work the night before so he could not call me and last night his phone was dying from not being charged since he left in the office overnight. It's difficult being him, I suppose :) We had a lovely night on Saturday. He picked me up and we drove to Xenia for dinner... some typical mexican restaurant where everything was too salty. We drove out to Blue Jacket to see 'Legend of Sleepy Hollow'. It was one of the strangest productions that I have ever seen! It was 'Legend' as a comedy. It was an ampitheater with no stage... actually the land was the stage - hills and all. Kind of hard to describe. After the show we went to Cold Stone Creamery. I think there is only one Cold Stone in Charleston, which is sad - you would think there would be more since Charleston and the suburbs have become the mecca of commercialization. He brought me home and we said goodbye for the next two weeks, with me being as patient as ever. sigh.

I am typing this in my Mom's dining room sitting next to my rowdy nieces and nephew who are talking about the MySpace "freak test" - I am scared since they are so young. I am thinking to myself that my kids will be so different. Mom and I are getting ready to head out for dinner and more errands.

The adventure continues...