Addict · Bloggess · Childhood · Life · Life story · Mother · schools · students · Uncategorized

Schools in America…

The coffee is brewing as I clack on these keys and I can hear a few sounds stirring from the chicken coop. I love the fact that the chicken run is right outside my bedroom window and I have no screen, it also allows for Hermes my big fat cat to jump in through the middle of the night at his leisure and snuggle with me. Hermes the cat has gone from a farm cat, to a city cat and now an alley cat and he still loves me. I am not sure if he loves all the sounds that come with the fast paced area we now live in, however he has adjusted with time. He knows to stay away from the dogs that we share a home with- he is so smart, I wish the chickens learned that too. I had to clip some wings to ensure the ladies did not fly over the fence again- I have eight hens- four young girls and four just a month or two older. No one has lost their life yet and no one is laying either, however that will change with time as well. The street is just a few houses away, it is a rather busy street and in the wee hours of the morning when I rise I can hear just a few cars swoosh by. The sound I love the most is the train. I prefer the silence mostly- birds, chickens and the coffee brewing. But if I had to hear different, the sounds of the train take me back to a time when all I could do was dream of what life was like. Life is good now. Life will always be good as long as I’m floating on this earth. I digress as usual.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of doing what I love to do most for my organization- I went to school. As part of my “Other Duties as Required” I get to deliver lifesaving programs to students in California schools in hopes that students gain some valuable information to make better choices for their futures. The information delivered varies on the grant-funding that I also have the privilege of honing my skills on, yes one of those other duties still. I love what I do.

As I was wrapping up yesterday’s program and thanking the students for their participation while asking the proverbial questions attempting to invoke some last minute thoughts before my departure as I gathered up my end of presentation evaluations- the overhead speakers came on- lockdown. Teachers we are on lockdown and please implement lockdown procedures. I looked around as the entire room shifted.

The teacher who I had been with, who was just laughing with me for all the technical issues we had for the day involving the incompatibilities with our equipment (she was a Mac user and I am not), rushed to the door and grabbed a cover which she then slipped over the window while she hit the lights. In moments she had directed us all into an adjoining room. I had been in the production room for the day, cameras and a make shift studio where the students practiced their media skills creating the school weekly news. The adjoining room was what seemed like the editing room, computers and cabinets everywhere with extra lighting stands lined against the back wall.

Doors were shut and all cabinets were immediately opened. The cabinets were tall free standing against the whole wall for optimal storage of all the equipment we were surrounded with. We were told to get on the floor and be quiet- the lights were off remember and in the back room there were no windows. It was dark. Just then the intercom went off again- lockdown, this is not a drill, and then there was nothing but silence.

As the teacher looked at me from across the dark room I could see all the high school kids I had just been joking with before while I tried to keep them involved with the presentation on their phones. All you could see was the dim lights that came from the windows of the outside room that penetrated the glass that separated the rooms and the lights from phones. I just sat there.

I will not exaggerate whatsoever on the time that passed- well over ten minutes. Ten minutes without another sound. The thoughts that race through your head. Seriously! This is it? This is how I go? What’s happening outside? What’s going on? Where are my kids? What will I do? All of that happened in moments. I chose not to send a text to the family group chat, I chose not to panic anyone. I did get one of those random texts from a long ago high school friend myself at that time. So I did respond to him about the current situation of events as he was sending short videos of his ride. I let him know they would have to be watched later- I was busy. Would later come?

At roughly eight minutes into our sequestered event there was a loud bang that echoed through the wall I was against. On the other side of that wall was the longest hall that I had walked down to gain entrance into the class that I was in. Where did the sound come from? Was it in the room with us? I couldn’t tell, I really couldn’t. The teacher whispered asking if one of us made that sound and the student nearest to me apologized. He had inadvertently leaned against something that fell from the wall and that was the bang. I looked at him through the darkness and laughed as I told him how much he scared me. We were immediately hushed.

Minutes later the intercom came on again- lockdown over. Other words were said but I really had no clue what they were. I got up, listened to the teacher apologize for keeping me so long after the day had ended and I left. Walking out the classroom door was eerie. That long hall was empty. The can from the janitor who cleans up at the end of the day with all the brooms and bags was just sitting lonely in the middle of nothing. As I kept walking and hit the corridor doors I entered the main enclosed campus area that led to the outside area. The students were everywhere and the chatter was endless.IMG_5654

I still don’t know what happened, I am not a news watcher. Was it even news worthy? The police were outside, but they were outside when I entered for the day. It is commonplace for police to be at schools today unfortunately – I know because I am constantly in school. So funny because when I was a student myself I was never in school. It just wasn’t my thing.

Well as I made my way to the parking lot I passed groups of students sharing how they were scared. How they were texting their parents how much they loved them. No one knew what was happening outside as we were locked down inside. Where had all the football players and outside students been rushed to? I heard students talking about how they were shut indoors, in the office and in classrooms. I kept walking to the lot. Parents were already there. Many I am sure had been there to pick up kids and just got swept up in the moments.

The moments no one thinks about when you wake in the morning, when you get ready for the day. When you try to figure out what outfit you will wear or what you will do in the evening when you get home. When you make your plans for the dreams you want in life that swirl around in your head.

Sitting in my car in that lot I finally texted my family. It was frightening. I let them know where I was and what happened and of course that I was OK. I turned the key on the ignition and I left. I shed a few tears on the way in amazement. This is what school is like today. This is what life is like today in schools all across America.

My hats off to that teacher, to the administration and to all schools across the US of A. They had knew and it was obvious they had practiced and been prepared for such an event. Do we pay them enough for this? Is this part of the job description today of teacher’s across America? Does this fall under “Other Duties as Required?” It does today.

The Chicken LadyIMG_5655

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Dillon Beach

I remember when I was young coming to Dillon Beach the first time with friends. A boyfriend in fact. A group of couples camping, I was maybe 14. Then we came often alone. Then I came often alone- after I’d run away. This place has always held a piece of my heart. Wasted youth.

Oh the parties we had on the beach, the bonfires and fun. To be so young and so in love with life; in love with him too. I remember. I still had so many hopes and dreams- school, friends, family and travel. I was 13 when I met him and almost 16 when I left him; when I left the life that I knew.

I met John on my 13th birthday in fact at the kegger my 20 year old boyfriend and I were throwing at my house. Good times. My mother had left for the evening- intentionally so I could have the party. My uncle had furnished a few extra bottles of booze; pre-mixed Long Island Ice Tea, Meyers Rum and of course my fave Southern Comfort. Yes times were different.

Bobby Scott was the older boyfriend who I would leave shortly after my birthday. I’d been in love with him since maybe the age of 9; the local charmer from Arden Manor. He used to have all the girls swooning at the swimming pool- he was a diver from the high board. Bobby was always sweet to us though and threw everyone off his shoulders into the water. He died a few years back from a broken heart in his addiction.

If you would have said I would grow up to be an addict when I was a kid- no one would have believed you. I didn’t even know what an addict was. I did though, grow up to be an addict. Yes through the choices I made I chose using over everything until I found a new way to live.

I remember coming to this beach about 8 years ago with my family and as my kids played in the ocean I laid back and shed a lot of tears for the life that I chose. How did that happen? I knew exactly when- when I ran and left him. I would not stop running for years. Sure I came up for air sometimes, but those wee brief moments never lasted long.

It was an argument with Mom that sparked it. John and her were close, close enough for her to write letters all over the state of California helping him get on with the California Department of Forestry. However this argument led to a threatening of police intervention and having him arrested for statutory rape. The man I had been with for years. The man I planned a whole lot of my life with, her too. The man that I convinced to let me terminate the child I was carrying. I wanted to wait.

His mother took that real hard, so did John. Something was different in me though. I was already using more than anyone knew and had witnessed too much. The secrets were already there. The things that I had been subjected too and seen at a young age would already mold my thinking- for years to come.

After the argument I went to John, he knew, she had already been to his work. His words, let me shower and we can go together to talk to her, we will work it out and it will all be ok. Of course I said ok. He jumped in the shower, I yelled in I was going to the corner for a pack of smokes- I never returned. Ever to him.

My sense of protection was all I had for so long. Warped I might add. I was not protected when I was young so all I had was the code that I would create- what meant something to me. To leave at all costs and protect them from her and her would eventually become me.

Well right now my grandchildren are stirring and I must get breakfast started. So far it’s ice cream and cocoa until I create a masterpiece for my family. We are at the beach house at Dillon Beach. I’ve shed a few tears this morning alone before anyone woke as I looked out the bay window clacking this out on my phone sipping my coffee in between.

I have an incredible life. I know the choices that I made have led me to the life that I have today and I appreciate it so much. I’ve learned from that little girl, I’m still learning from that little girl. The more I write the more she heals. So I will continue to write, I will continue to heal and I will continue to love my life!

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A Chang In Seasons….

This little ditty was written a year ago today, September 3, 2016. In my attempt to capture my previous reflections I am pleased that the social media site I use frequently assists me in this endeavor-Facebook.  I’m not sure how much longer I will use this site, for me I sometimes feel I am just about done with it. However Facebook allows me to connect with people all around the world with a certain circle I run with, so for now I stay. I will always stay in that circle though either way- no matter what. 

Just one more side note, it’s actually a Sunday now but I will not change the text. I am at my little beach house again, as I always am at this time  of year. I’m with different people- it’s a different season in so many ways. I’m still blossoming. 

Saturday Morning with Coffee and Chickens
A change in season’s is just what I needed…  
I love the fall, it is my absolute favorite season out of the four. It calls for sweaters in the mornings, good coffee, a drive up the mountain to Apple Hill, or maybe even the ocean. I love the ocean when it’s cold out. 

The tides, just like the leaves falling, remind me that everything keeps changing. I am learning as I get older, to just roll with it too. There are no guarantees, I would like to think there are though. Is that just me?

If we are lucky, we keep going, growing, learning, and living. The past, my past, was just but a few moments strung together that lasted a little longer than the average day. What’s funny though is, I can look at it now as a season. Those seasons of my life are long gone, they hold memories, some good, and yes some bad. They have taught me a few things that I will take with me on my journey though, thankfully.

Fall is here, it’s my favorite and I am just going to enjoy this season of my life! 

The Chicken Lady