Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Mrs. Carnell

Second grade. She was my teacher. I didn’t understand Mrs. Carnell which gave her a mysteriousness that a second grade mind could do wonders with. I don’t remember her ever being mean; being mean would have made more sense to me. She took on the persona of being connected to the dark spiritual world. I imagined her concocting brews and potions after school hours to use on bad little kids; therefore I was angelic to escape her spells.

My memories of her were always in black with a Bible close at hand. Bible/dark spiritual world?? I was seven for goodness sake, the contradiction made it all the more eerie. She wore black lace up shoes with a boot look to them and support hose. A very matronly woman to say the least.

I remember her emotional nature. Very stern until one of her students crossed the line; then she would begin to cry as she tried to drive her point home of the importance of good behavior. Looking back I believe that teaching was a real passion for her. This made controlling her emotions difficult at times. She also had difficulty controlling the number of times we had to write our spelling words weekly. Jimmy Gunnels and I would race to see who would finish first. The end result was the same; a very sore hand from writing. Every student that passed her class is a good speller to this day. It’s incredible.

In high school I began having a dream; a recurring dream. In the beginning it was a nightmare; eventually I could talk myself out of the fear and focus on the details of it after having it several times. While sleeping, a pair of black lace up shoes with a boot look to them would walk into my room… no person… just shoes; inching closer and closer to me. I instantly knew whom they belonged to. My closet door would open and close; items move around in my room. Then the closet door remained open… instead of a wall enclosing the closet there was an opening to the backyard. The black shoes walked to my bed and a broom floated into my hand. My only means of escape from the shoes was to make a run for it through the closet opening. I ran holding tight to the broom as the shoes followed me. I felt a weightlessness and looked down at my feet—-they were no longer on the ground… I was flying. I abruptly woke up shivering.

I continued to have this dream on a consistent basis. In time I realized that the black shoes never once tried to hurt me. I no longer had a dread of the black shoes. The shoes became familiar to me and I would talk to them as though Mrs. Carnell was standing before me. The flying became incredible; stealing my stomach as I would swoop through the air.

Maybe those black lace up shoes were never chasing or threatening me; maybe they were coaxing me to FLY. Could that have been Mrs. Carnell’s intent way back in the second grade, but being misunderstood got in the way? I like to think so anyway.

Fly Away From Here

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Those Ole Windows…

Windows. Three floor to ceiling windows. Side by side. Overlooking a peaceful pond; slightly unkept. A majestic tree on the bank strapped with a wooden slat swing that echoed with laughter from soaring.

Windows with a view of a crystal blue sky; marshmallow clouds; storms brewing; birds in flight; starry skies. I wonder what they were to the rest of the household?? Just windows… I don’t know.

For me it was the only place in the house where I was not alone; even if I was home alone. I visited these windows several times a day; on my knees—-always in awe of the endless sky. I talked and prayed and felt I was being listened to. I would always say, “If you hear me; just give me a sign.” A bird would fly over the pond and out of sight every time.

I laughed, cried, begged, cussed, asked why, and said thank you in front of those ole windows. I was weak and I was strong there. I found a picture of them the other day and realized how many pages of my life they were on. Page after page there was time I spent in front of them.

The house sold a few months ago and I went there for the last time. In the front door; straight up the stairs; and into the bedroom with those ole windows. I felt the tears begin to roll down my face as I gazed at the peaceful pond and majestic tree. My daughter asked why I was crying… “Because this is where I came everyday and prayed for us all.”

Now they belong to someone else; maybe they need them more than I did. In any case I hope they take the time to stop and gaze through the glass at what’s on the other side… beauty, tranquility, and a page in the book of their life.

When I Look To The Sky

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Chasing the Elusive

Chasing is in our nature… practiced at a very young age. Remember the childhood games of tag? The adrenaline flowing through your body as you ran from the chaser; the intense desire to tag a playmate in order to become one of the group again instead of the lone pursuer.

As we grow into adulthood the chase continues while the prey evolves with age. Sometimes we chase the tangible; other times the elusive. Chasing the tangible is acceptable and can easily be backed up by logic. When we capture our tangible prey there is instant gratification and reward. Jobs, homes, vehicles, partners, children…we can easily relive the chase and capture in our minds.

The elusive chase is different. It combines two childhood games… tag as well as hide and seek. Instead of running full speed ahead, the chase is cautious and unpredictable. The elusive has no logic to the masses; only to each individual chaser. Instant gratification and reward is replaced by skepticism.

There’s a difference between the illusive and the elusive. The illusive is a form of an illusion; something not real but has the ability to be seen if it’s the vision of choice in your mind. This is what I call a dream chaser. We all chase dreams… as we should. The elusive is very real; dodging, disappearing, out running us. Many times we are scorned for this chase.

As I grow older I realize the significance of chasing the elusive. Seeking dreams fulfills the wants in life; capturing the elusive fulfills the needs. The inability to articulate this chase or back it up with logic is irrelevant to me. For you see…I’ve felt it; seen it; touched it… only to blink and have it elude me again. The capture will be complete when wisdom guides me there and adrenaline is replaced with peace.

Dream On

Monday, May 19, 2008

Closing And Opening

All of my life I have had my own ‘golden rule” I guess you could say. No one ever sat me down and said, “now Gaye, never close a door or bad things will happen. Or worse. It will make you a bad person”. Instead I took lessons on loyalty and unconditional love and applied them to doors opening and closing. In my mind it meant one thing and one thing only—-never close a door. It’s the equivalent to giving up; turning one’s back on a person or situation. I recently discovered the truth about doors.

Doors are meant to be opened and closed. Why else would they be mounted on hinges? I don’t determine IF a door is closed; only WHEN it is closed. If one has done all that they can do to improve a situation that remains sour; or is consistently hurt then it is time to close the door. No good is coming of either of those scenarios and won’t. For miserable people seek to make others miserable; and hurt people hurt people. You become part of their vicious cycle that goes nowhere; running in place in a sense.

Doors don’t have to be closed with stomping feet, loud voices, and a super-sized slamming that rocks the foundation. Instead they can be closed with compassion and wishes of all things good. Bitterness may continue to exist; but it doesn’t have to be yours. Of course there’s disappointment; especially if you put your heart and soul in it. But relationships of any type have to be nurtured by both parties.

To open a door requires reaching out; reaching towards the handle or knob. Moving forward to pass through its opening. No guarantees. Pass through carrying lessons learned never abandoning the concept of loyalty and unconditional love that is reciprocated.

There are so many open doors still ajar in my life. It’s time to close them; with quiet compassion. Reaching forward and knowing I did all I could possibly do. It is a shame though… don’t you think?

Open Your Eyes
Alter Bridge

Friday, May 16, 2008


Listening to music; looking through the archives of my writings over the past few years… I expected to see a pattern, reason, rhyme, or logic… there was none. My highs and lows were sporadic, unreasonable, rambling, and excessive. I suppose they still are.

One day I claimed to discover answers; the next day I proclaimed there were none. Strong then weak; angry only to become humbled; always searching. There was one consistency… believing that the answers (if they exist) would be found in my past… my home. For the most part I don’t believe this anymore.

Yes, I needed the reconnection to home to rediscover my true self… but that’s where it should’ve ended. I jumped head first into my past not wanting to let go… it was comforting. The woman that swore she had wasted more than enough of her life was again wasting her life. Reconnecting to my past has been a rewarding experience; it’s also been a painful one. Pain I could’ve done without if I had only loosened my grip long enough to look ahead. Examining the here and now would’ve been a good idea too. Isn’t it amazing the power a comfort zone can have over one’s life?

Today I have new questions to add to the existing ones… still no answers. I realize now that I make it too easy for people to walk in and out of my life. I’m beginning to have the courage to end this ridiculous cycle. It’s such a relief to let go of negative people… but at the same time letting go in any fashion is hard for me… it makes me feel as though I’m abandoning or betraying someone. The process has begun and is ongoing with the hardest ones yet to be released. It’s coming though; I can feel it… the feeling?… nausea with a touch of empowerment.

Archives… my past… in written word. This way it can’t be denied; forgotten; or sugar coated. I still find comfort in my River; am drawn to bridges; have yet to become like a deciduous tree; am directionally challenged; and don’t claim to be strong. I manage to get through the day… only to begin another.

What I want lies straight ahead; yet the road keeps winding. Some people love winding roads… the thrill… speed. Not me. Winding roads make me dizzy and my stomach churns. Funny thing… archives have the same effect on me.

Far Behind

Monday, September 25, 2006


Last week I could count on one hand how many hours I slept the entire seven nights. Just for the record; I am a very patient person… just for the record; this past weekend I was NOT!
I work 40 hours in 3 days with 8 teenage girls in a therapeutic foster home. I’m Ms. Easygoing Gaye; they can’t ruffle my feathers. At least they can’t ruffle Ms. Easygoing Gaye; but they sure as hell can ruffle the feathers of Ms. Sleep Deprived Gaye. I’m ashamed…

The new girl made me want to claw my eyeballs out. How many freakin’ times do I have to repeat the freakin’ menu… and yes YOU have to eat what’s on it… and NO it’s not going to change if you ask me 14 trillion more times. Good Grief!!!! I wanted to do something creative with that damn menu but I was too tired to be creative. At one point I found myself trying to get in the last word with her… I never do that!… And hell she was winning for crying out loud!

I CAN cook; I HATE to cook. So sleep deprived Gaye got to cook every meal all weekend for 10 people. I come from a small family damn it! I tried to be clever and wait my co-worker out to see if she would go in the kitchen and start the meals… just ONE. No such luck… Groceries!!! Sleep deprived Gaye got to go pick those up at Campus… crates, boxes, ice chests full of food… a weekly massive undertaking. Lucky me!

It gets better! I was hand picked to take 4 of the girls shopping at Target. This was AFTER cooking 2 meals, catching up on paperwork from the day before, picking up after the messy girlies all day (I’m not supposed to do that but I’m a rebel!), and dealing with "new girl". OH!!! By the way!!! New girl calls me Ms. Gayle… not because she doesn’t know my name, but because she doesn’t LIKE the other word (Gaye). Sleep deprived Gaye wanted to call her a name; and so I did; her name… darn it!

Just in case you think this is exaggerated or that I was the only one that was nuts that day consider this… one of the other girls walked over and plopped down beside me while I was counting backwards from a zillion to calm down and whispered to me, "I need a xanax!" I said, "WHAT??" She said, "I mean it. That girl is driving me crazy!" We both laughed.

Okay, back to Target… if they take $100.00 they want to spend $110.00. I can’t let any of them out of my sight… 4 teenage girls… all different sizes… different interests… shopping together… FUN! The checkout line is unbelievably exciting. It’s always exhilarating to wonder if the people behind you in line are going to shove their carts up your ass because the girls have more items in their carts than they have money. So they stand there; hold up the line; and decide what they want to put back… it’s a group discussion you see… they value the opinion of their peers.

Finally Sunday arrived and I was all psyched up when I got to work… just 15 more hours and I’ll be off for 4 days… HEAVEN… well it was heaven while it lasted. A co-worker needed me to come in early for her Monday morning for a few hours and then I received the added bonus of having to go to Training all Monday afternoon.

I’m hoping for good sleep between now and Friday because Ms. Gayle has got to be at the top of her game; I’m gonna win this time "new girl"! Insomnia… sigh~~~~

Sleepy Time Time--Cream

Monday, September 11, 2006

Her Mansion In The Sky

My Grandma Fox was a unique woman. She was a tiny red-head with a fair complexion , and not so grandmotherly ways. That’s not a bad thing by any means. She was true to herself; feisty; vivacious; social. I never once saw her in a bad mood, a frown, or complaining. Cooking was foreign to her; in other words… don’t eat it!

Grandma Fox had a life… a life of her own… a life that she enjoyed to the fullest. She had a circle of devoted friends that stayed on the road traveling from Bingo parlor to Bingo parlor. The woman was addicted. She also had a knack for winning… and that meant the grandkids got some of that good ole money.

Grandma also played cards weekly… for money of course… and she just loved the taste of beer… only for the taste mind you!

Her and my Grandpa divorced after my Dad got married to my mother. From that time on she lived with her dad and sister until they both died; then she lived alone until she entered the nursing home—it was short-lived due to her death.

Grandma never spanked her four kids; this petite woman carried them around on her hip until their feet would drag the ground. As far as the spanking goes… well, HER kids never needed it… so there! This woman was fixated on Lawrence Welk! I swear it was on her tv every time I went to her house; she must have had a secret crush on him.

She never asked for anything. Always minded her own business. Let our family function the way we chose to function without getting involved. Grandma loved babies; and they loved her. Everything they did was grand; even when they would be getting a little rowdy.

She started suffering mini strokes which affected her memory. She knew what was going on and would get frustrated when she couldn’t remember… she tried so hard. This is when her voice; the voice she had always chosen to remain silent emerged… it emerged in song. At the nursing home she would sing LOUD in her room. Of course the grouches complained, but that didn’t stop her because she couldn’t remember… the memory loss came in handy there! We thought it was funny.

Staff loved her. She was so cooperative… wanted to do everything just right for them. Before she went to the nursing home she would tell me about her "mansion in the sky" and how very beautiful it was going to be. "He promised me you know", she would say. "I know Grandma; it’s going to be everything you’ve ever dreamed of." Once in the nursing home she would repeat over and over while she was sitting in her wheelchair… "Is this where I’m supposed to be? Am I in the right place?’

At her funeral a beautiful memorial was read that was written by one of her daughters. It ended with…"yes Mom, you’re where you’re supposed to be… you’re in exactly the right place… your mansion in the sky. We love you."

I miss you Grandma Fox; I love you so much… Happy Birthday!

Not A Day Goes By--Lonestar