Bonesy's Blahg

My Big Fat Gypsy Dreaming

Is there a gypsy dress code?

Specifically, if I become a gypsy, would I have to start wearing lots of jangly jewelry & creamy bright blue eye shadow?

Can you make trade-offs?  I mean, I might be okay with the fake gold & Mimi make-up…as long as I don’t have to learn to play the finger castanets, wear colorful skirts, or come up with elaborate ways to con people out of their money.

I’m really not all that imaginative, plus I get super paranoid when I’m running a con & act all coked-up.  (Minus the coke, of course.)

Here’s the thing…

I’m a little frustrated.  I’m a hair over 40, stuck in a high-stress, dead end job, up to my eyeballs in debt, and my youngest kid just left for college.

Is this my mid-life crisis?

Maybe.  Realistically, not many people live beyond 80, so I am technically at mid-life.

It all started last spring.  I was on the way home from an outing with friends when I got a flat tire.  I pulled into the nearest gas station & called Kid4 to come pick me up.  I got out of the car & stood under a dim, flickering street light, pondering the life choices that led me to this place. (Mostly why I needed to be the drunkest person in the room, yet didn’t go rub the head of the midget playing bongos.)

While I was working on my issues, I saw it:

A big ol’ ugly Winnebago for sale in the lot across the street.

Big. Ugly. Winnebago.

But it got me to thinking…

In that semi-drunk, wild-eyed moment, that run-down, rickety Winnebago  looked like freedom.

Giant, boxy, bald-tired, shag carpeted, olive green trimmed freedom.

And since then, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of chucking all of my crap and becoming a vagabond.

I want to surround myself with beauty, not things.

I want to seek out new adventures & kitschy roadside attractions, stumbling across them as I roll.

I want to meet new people, characters, and personalities.

I want to wake up one morning & be all “Eh… I’d like to see Montana.”

I want to be put out to pasture, but have the entire continent be my pasture.

(Yes, I am aware that pastures are filled with animals, crap, & allergens.)

Obviously, this is not something that can happen overnight.  There are logistics to figure out, like how to get my husband to go along with my craziness & how we would support ourselves.  (He didn’t like my suggestion of him standing in a Walmart parking lot with a sign all day while I write. Killjoy.)

So I didn’t buy the Winnebago. But I am still trying to find something that will fit into our budget and our driveway.

And, I’ve committed myself to doing one thing per day to achieve this dream.  It could be something as small as perusing Craigslist, or packing a box to donate, or shopping for my new gypsy jewels.  The point is to do SOMETHING to bring my dreams closer to reality.  One small thing is all it takes.

One thing…and a Winnebago.

September 29, 2016 Posted by | Confession, Family, Friends, Kids, People, Travel, Work | Leave a comment

How I Spent My BlahgCation

In my last post, I mentioned the need to get hot before my daughter deleted my fan club. I mean, I didn’t REALLY think she would delete my fan club. Could she? WOULD SHE? Answer: SHE WOULD.  Apparently we are now at critical mass. If we were using that goofy scale that Prez Bush came up with to determine terrorist threats, I would be at code red.  In case you forgot, RED AIN’T GOOD!

Anyway, so I got a message from Kid1 the other day, who essentially demanded I get this blog going again.  Then HE made a threat to take down my fan club, blah blah blah, something about his career, blah blah blah…

Honestly, I’m not sure if he’s even an admin of the club.  So that feels like an empty threat at best.

My point to all of this is my audience is comprised mostly of my spawn & they can’t brag about their mama if their mama doesn’t get off her ass & give them something to brag about!

End result?  You get a long overdue blog post.  AND I GET TO KEEP MY FAN CLUB for a little bit longer!  Win-win!!

The truth is, my life has been stupid busy since the last time you’ve heard from me!  We had 2 weddings this year, so my kid levels have jumped up to a Duggar-like 6!  I NOW HAVE SIX KIDS!!!  Luckily they’re all old enough that I don’t have to change any diapers or remind them to keep their hands out of their mouths.  I mean, usually.

Kid3 married his college love two days after they graduated  in Virginia . This meant a road trip.  The hubby had been keeping a crazy work schedule since the beginning of the year & I am always on the prowl for adventure, so we made a vacation out of it.  Vacation, followed by big-ass party?  YES, PLEASE!  We spent a few days alone on the road, reminding one another why we don’t make more road trips…then rented a working farm to call home base with the family in VA.  Actually, a farm probably wasn’t my best choice. Birds freak me out, so the free range chickens that swarmed my car was a flock of noisy nightmare.  Also, it was 45 minutes of hairpin, dirt-road hell to get to any type of civilization & they have bears there.   So there’s that.

IMG_2486

The end result?  I got an awesome new daughter & all I had to give up was a little of my pride by running from chickens.

Next up in the Bonesy family drama-rama?  Kid1 deployed. DEPLOYED!  That’s when they take the beautiful baby that was once connected to you by actual tissue & blood flow… and deposit him on the other side of the planet.

At this point,  I MAY have spent a few days drinking away my feelings, hiding out from society & sobbing into the fur of a Golden Retriever.

It’s my process.

But then I had to sober up & snap out of it.  Kid2 got married at the end of August!

Deployment meant Kid #1 couldn’t be in town for his little sister’s wedding, so I fixed that for her.

Picture by Cannon Candids Photography

I found a company online that made a Flat Kid1 & got it to me just in time for the wedding.

I can honestly say that I did not flash anyone at Kid2’s reception, though she probably would have thought that was AWESOME!  I did host a vodka closet, do a little ghost hunting, & pass around a Mason jar of  ‘shine, though.

I mean, don’t even pretend like you didn’t do that stuff at your wedding.

Mixed into all of that other stuff, Kid4 transferred schools & moved away.

(Cue the feelings-drinking music again, please.)

We have no major life events on the horizon, so now I’m back to looking for other outlets for my ADD and a new excuse to open a bottle of vodka.  Trevor appreciates the lack of snot in his fur, though.

Trevor[1]

 

September 11, 2016 Posted by | Family, Kids, Love, Marriage, Travel | Leave a comment

Show Me

So, here we are more than a month after my last post.  Again.  I’m hoping this isn’t a trend. It’s not like I had a tornado ravage my home, leaving me unable to post.  Nope, I have no excuses or reasons.  I just wasn’t writing.  And, apparently, that actually matters to some people!  WHO KNEW?!!?

Thanks, Mecca, for the nudge.  Looks like I needed it.

So, speaking of tornadoes, I’m starting to wonder if Fate took the term “Show-Me State” as a challenge.

Seriously… Missouri?!  Why pick on Missouri?  I’ve been through that state & I’m here to tell ya, there is not much there.

(So wrong…but as I wrote that, my first thought was “Even less now.”  *sigh*  I don’t mean to be mean, it’s just how my brain works!)

So, there’s not much in Missouri… other than the Nicest People On The Planet.  Yes, that’s an official title.  On two separate occasions, I have been at my most ridiculously low point…and both times I was found & bailed out by Missourians.  Okay, not officially “bailed out.”  That just sounds bad.

Let me explain.

Many years ago, when my husband got out of the military, we decided to head home to the Midwest.  (In retrospect, WTF were we thinking?! We lived in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA at the time!)  We had a toddler, a newborn, & an Australian Shepherd puppy, so we bought an RV from an old surfer dude to make the trip.  A friend tagged along, driving the UHaul that held all of our belongings.

(BTW, somewhere in Southern California is an aging surfer still waiting for his last $100.  I hope he’s not sitting by the mailbox.)

About a day & a half into the trip, the baby got sick.  There I was trapped in a rickety old RV with an attention-starved toddler, a crying baby, a hyperactive puppy, and a husband trying to keep his shit together and his gypsy train on the road.

All I can say is, it’s a good thing they were all cute.  There may have been a moment or three when I looked at them all with a narrowed eye, considering which was least good looking…and would fit easiest through the drafty crank windows.

Well, apparently my raging stress levels were creating an energy storm felt in surrounding vehicles.  (Either that, or the screams coming from our surfer wagon made it more of a rolling house of horrors.)

At the next gas stop, Jimmy (the friend) suspiciously offered to take Saxon (my puppy, not my toddler or my baby) in the truck with him.

Two hours later, the RV filled with smoke.  The problem is, the front windows were open…and the fire was in an engine compartment right behind the passenger seat.  So the fresh air was fanning the flames & blowing the smoke into the back of the rig.  Since my back was turned & I can’t smell, it took a while to notice.  By the time we pulled over, there was significant damage to the engine & smoke billowing out the windows.  Jimmy pulled over 50 yards or so ahead of us & ran back to help.

That’s when Saxon jumped out the window, into traffic on a busy highway.

The first time he was hit, it was a glancing blow that knocked him down and a few feet to the side.

He got up, limping but determined to make it back to us.

The second hit threw him into the air, and he landed with a thud in the next lane.

He got up again, and tried hobbling toward us, one leg dangling and his head down.

He was hit a third time before Jimmy ran into traffic and scooped Saxon up.  He died on the side of the road, just inside the Missouri border.

They managed to jerry-rig the engine compartment together, which worked long enough to get us into Rolla, MO.  There, we found a run-down motel with two vacancies, just as a monsoon rain opened up on us.  Did I mention this was in October?  So, it was cold.  And our motel room had no heat.

The baby got sick, the RV caught on fire, the dog died, the toddler watched it, and we were stuck in the middle of nowhere, in monsoon rains, in mid-fall, with no heat.

Yeah, that’s just about rock bottom right there.

In the morning, we walked to a diner next to the motel.  It was a Sunday, and most everything was closed.  After hearing us tell our story to the waitress, someone offered to take my husband to a parts store that he knew was open.  Another stranger hooked him up with a garage willing to open up and lend him the tools needed to fix the RV.  Someone else bought our breakfast.  When we were still there at lunch, the diner covered that cost.

We left Rolla that evening with a newfound appreciation for small-town life and Missourians, in particular.

And then… just a few years ago, Missouri came through for me again.

I took the kids to Tennessee with my sister’s family.  We spent a week there, doing the typical family vacation stuff.  On the final day, we split up.  Kim headed home with her family while I took my kids up Clingman’s Dome.  The goal was to make it to the highest point in the Smokies before heading home ourselves.  We made our way slowly up the mountain, sporadically getting out to hike or check out the view.

Just before we got to the top, the truck started to overheat.

And slow down.

I haven’t been up many mountains.  But I assume most mountains are like Clingman’s Dome… lots of sheer drops and rock walls, but not so many pull-offs.

Just before my truck rolled to a complete stop, a pull-off appeared around the bend.  I got out & put the hood up (not that I’d know what to do once I was under there).  That’s when I noticed the heavy stream of reddish-brown fluid running under the truck and down the mountain.  I had blown the transmission seal (or something).  The point was… there was NO way I was going to make it the rest of the way up that mountain.  I had the kids get out and move away from the truck while I tried to put it in gear, hoping to turn it around and coast back down.  Only when I put it in drive, it rolled backward, just inches from the edge of a several hundred-foot drop.

At this point, we still thought this was funny.

That’s when I had my meltdown.  The kids got back in the truck, as I went behind it to lose my shit & make some frantic calls for help.

By now, we had been stuck for nearly an hour, watching cars from every state (including my own) drive past my steaming vehicle.  I got some stares, a few dirty looks… but not one of those drivers would pull over to help a mom & 4 kids.  (Okay, other than a guy from Florida, who took Kid1 to the ranger station at the top of the dome to call for a tow truck.)

Not surprisingly, the first car with a Missouri plate DID pull over.  The couple offered to take us down the mountain, but I had to stay and wait for the tow.  Instead, since I knew we wouldn’t all fit into the tow truck, they took my sons down the mountain and into Gatlinburg.  They dropped them off in town, where they met up with my sister (who had been 2 hours away, but had turned around to help me figure out what the hell to do next).  They handed us a few bottles of water, and what was left of their box of granola bars to hold us over.  I was also given a sheet of notebook paper with their names, vehicle make & model, license plate number, and places of employment.  The wife explained that they had kids, too, so she would feel better knowing that I was comfortable with the people I was turning my sons over to.

See?! NICEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD!

Five freezing hours later (BIG temperature difference at the top of that mountain!), the tow truck arrived.  We squeezed into the cab of the truck, Kid2 awkwardly in the middle (where the driver had to reach between her knees to shift gears), and Kid4 on my lap.   45 minutes later, he dropped us off at his “station,” a small garage in a nearby town, and we slowly made our way back into Gatlinburg via a long and convoluted series of trolley rides.

By the time we met back up with my sons (and sister’s family), we were exhausted and drenched from the rain that had opened up as soon as we stepped off the first trolley.  We checked into the last open room in town, a dive motel with two beds.

There were 10 of us.

We abandoned my SUV, heading home the next day in a rental.

And the Missourians who helped us get off that mountain?  I got a call from them a few days later.  They wanted to see if we made it home okay, or if we might need a ride.  No mention of how MY state was in the exact opposite direction of Missouri.

I don’t know that any of the MO peeps that have come through for me have been directly affected by the recent tornadoes and flooding.  All I know is that if the tables were turned & I needed help, MO peeps would be there.

So, I’m asking MY peeps to be there for them.

Please click http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/05/23/joplin.how.to.help/index.html?hpt=T2 .  There you’ll find a listing of the various ways to help the Joplin, MO recovery.

They’d do it for you.

June 7, 2011 Posted by | Family, Friends, Kids, People, Travel | 4 Comments

   

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