Day 10 If You Could Rid the World of 10 Things

Today’s subject is if I could rid the world of ten things, what would they be.  Every time I thought of something, I thought of a consequence for getting rid of it.  I get rid of disease, there would be too many people in the world.  I get rid of mosquitos, what would the bats eat.  I get rid of rude people, what would the rest of us have to piss and moan about.

After much thought, I decided if God wanted things different, he would change them.  This may sound like a cop out but it’s my cop out.


Day 9 Five of My Passions

I looked up the definition of passions for this post.

– A strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object or concept

– An object of desire or deep interest

– A strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm or desire for anything

Going with those, I picked out what I think are my top 5 passions.  These are not in any order.

1.  Learning.  I love to read about things, everything, anything.  I want to learn, I want to know about all of it.

2.  Humor.  I love to laugh and can’t imagine a life in which I can’t/don’t laugh.  I like to tease.  It might be something I learned to do in a large family.  I like to bring smiles to other people and love to hear a good belly laugh, especially if I made it happen.

3.  Counsel/Advise.  I like to be able to counsel and advise others.  Once again, probably comes from being in a large family and me being the oldest.  Some of my siblings put their guard up if they hear anything that sounds like advice from me, others don’t.  I don’t assume I know everything but I do know a shitload about some things.

4.  To Be Outdoors.  I love it!!  It can change my mood for the day.  The fresh air, the rain, the sunshine, the clouds, the snow, the wind, the cold.  Bring it on, I love it all!

5.  Love.  To love and be loved by one person.

None of these define me but they are a part of my definition.

Day 8 My Dream Job

I  worked  a few jobs in my life.  Some short term, some long.  If I didn’t enjoy what I did, I didn’t do it very long.  I did not go to college and had no skills.  I worked in a few factories, cleaned homes, and when I was 19 I had a short stint working as a cocktail waitress in a club in the Florida Keys (fun).


I spent an hour in a massage parlor during that same time in the Keys.  My first “client”, a large, sweaty, drunk man asked me if I was going to take my top off.  I was told this would probably happen and I could do whatever I wanted.  I thought to myself at the time, “I can do this”.  Nope, I couldn’t!  I abruptly quit.

drunk man

I spent most of my “career” in clerical positions.


I am not working right now, and except for the fact that I don’t have any money coming in, I like it.  My dream job would be something I enjoy doing and  getting paid for it.  I would work for myself and would not put a lot of pressure on me.  I am good with people but don’t necessarily want to be around them.  I love being outside and I love being physical.  With those things in mind, I would say being a photographer of nature, architecture and all things outdoors would fit for my dream job.

Riverreflection8 L

I love to take pictures but don’t know a lot about photography.  That could be a problem, so classes would be necessary.  I think I have a pretty good eye and could make a living at it.  This is all in my dream world though, as in reality, there are too many out there taking pictures with a good eye not making enough money.

Day 7 What is the Hardest Thing I Ever Experienced

Last year I went through a divorce so you would think that would be it.  It was an easy divorce even with the crying and bringing up of the whys.  I left him, so he went through more pain with the divorce experience.  For me the hardest thing I experienced was my 35 year marriage.  Not all 365 days of those 35 years were hard but the ones that were hard, were heartbreaking.  I tried to explain to him, over the phone, the gut wrenching pain he was experiencing, was a familiar feeling as I felt it too many times over the years.

The first 15 were the worst with adultery, physical, emotional and verbal crap.  The next 20 were not as intense but still had a lot of pain.  There were times I would go in the shower, in another room or outside and just sob until I thought my heart would break.

I don’t want to go in to it at this time but I would definitely say those gut wrenching, sad, lonely years were more difficult than the actual divorce and the year that followed.

Day 6 Five Things That Make Me Happy, Right Now

This was an easy one.  I am happy and love life and there are a lot of things that bring a smile to my face.  These are 5 that top my list, right now.  They are not in any particular order.

The Old OneThe Young One

1.   Skyping with my son and 2 granddaughters, ages 4 and 9:

My son sits the girls in front of the computer and leaves the room.  The oldest likes to ask me questions, makes faces at the camera so she can see herself and pretends she can’t hear me.  She thinks she is hilarious.  The 4 year old likes to type, tell me stories so quickly that I don’t understand 75% of what she says and tries to push her sister off the chair they are sharing.    Josh comes back in and intervenes or has them go eat their dinners.  I love to watch the three of them interact.  He is so good with them.  He’s tough and soft and funny and they are both Daddys girls in different ways.

The Dock

2.  Being outside on the dock:

When I moved here 2 years ago, coming out on the dock and writing in my journal was part of my healing process.  It is peaceful and calm out here (yes, I am on the dock as I write this).  We are on a small shallow part of a river and there is a little waterfall across from us.  It’s not directly across but close enough to hear it.  This is probably my favorite place to be.



Kayak on River

3.   Being outdoors:

Now that I am back in Wisconsin I love being outdoors.  I love every season.  I love the cold, the heat, the rain, the snow, the wind.  I love to run and walk the trails and the tree lined roads.  I love to bike those same trails and roads.  With our new toys, I now love to kayak our river.  I love to rake leaves in the fall and spring and shovel snow in the winter.  I don’t like the days I am stuck inside.


4.   Talking with My Michael:

I lived too long with a man who wouldn’t or couldn’t talk to me very long or have deep conversations without anger or frustration taking over.

Now I talk.  I talk all the time.  I talk about everything and anything.  Nothing is taboo.  If you ask My Michael, he may say I talk too much but he is always willing to listen to me and have a conversation.  I tell him my fears, my dreams, my ideas, my feelings on things.  I ask him about his fears, his dreams, his ideas and his feelings on things.  Now let’s remember, he is a guy, a big manly dude.  He doesn’t talk as much as me and although he will answer my questions, he doesn’t just volunteer this information like I do.  He is a very wise and intelligent man.  I love when he finds a subject he likes talking about.  I could listen to him for hours.  When he helps me with my fears and insecurities he is like having a counselor, best friend, pastor and lover all rolled into one.  He is calming and helps me understand the whys.

My Michael w/pipe

5.   My Michael:

I am happy to see him, hear him, touch him, smell him, taste him. I have become a stronger,  more independent woman partly because of him.  I could live without him.  I just don’t want to.

Day 5 Talking to 16 Year Old Me

I’ve been thinking about how to write this one.  It would be easy to just list 10 things I would or should tell a younger me.  The truth is my 16 year old self wouldn’t listen.  I am trying to pinpoint that specific year, not 15, not 17, but 16 year old Debbie.

So here is my attempt to make Debbie listen to me.

Here I am, back at high school.  It’s the fall of 1971 and I am about to have a meeting with my 16 year old self.  I chose a Wednesday morning to talk to her.  On Monday she would’ve been tired and Friday she would’ve had her mind on the weekend.

As she walks into the room I see the long brown hair parted in the middle.  She’s wearing a tight striped T shirt and a pair of hip hugger big belled jeans.  I remember these were my favorite pair.  The style was to have them long and dragging so I had sewn on an extra couple inches of denim to the bottom of the bells.  The ass had big red iron-on patches.  I fell in love with them all over again.

She looks nervous as she doesn’t know who I am.  Do I tell her or wait until she figures out that I am her, 42 years later.  I introduce myself as Deb and ask her to sit down and tell me a few things about herself.  She tells me her name and says she turned 16 in May.  She has a boyfriend and her driver’s license and is a junior.  She is blushing and I know she is uncomfortable talking to me.  I ask her about her family and she says she is the oldest child and has 3 sisters and 3 brothers.  I tell her that I am also the oldest child but that I have 7 younger than me.  I ask her about her boyfriend.  She says his name is Scott and they have been going together for a while and will probably get married someday.  Does she have any dreams of going to college or traveling or anything more than getting married, I asked.  No, not really, she says.  She’s not smart enough to go to college.  She likes to read but sometimes the school work is difficult and sometimes she just doesn’t feel like doing it.  I ask her what she likes to do.  Her response is, I like to party and be with my boyfriend.  I tell her that she reminds me of someone else.  She looks at me and asks who.  I hadn’t expected the conversation to go this way so I had to make up a name quickly.  Her name is Samantha, I say.  They called her Sam for short.  I knew she didn’t know any Samantha’s, so that name worked.  I ask if she would like to hear about her.   Sure, go ahead, she says.  She slumps down in her chair and gets ready to listen.

I tell her Sam had a fun childhood, lots of friends and brothers and sisters.  Then when she was a young teenager her father died.  It was hard even though she wasn’t Daddy’s little girl.  Her whole life was about to change.  Her mother remarried and they moved away from the town she grew up in.  She had to leave her lifelong neighborhood friends, her new school friends, a new boyfriend.  This sucked for her as she was shy and making new friends just scared her.  They made the move and surprisingly Sam found her place in a group of girls.  They weren’t what you would call the popular girls, but they were definitely known around school.  She was an average student and never stood out in any one subject.  She liked math and loved to read.  If she had a problem understanding what was taught to her, she never asked for more.  She was happy to sit in the back and never be noticed.  This continued in high school.  The subject of college never came up and it never crossed her mind.  She wasn’t smart enough.  The only classes she got A’s in were 4 years of typing and a year of photography.

Sam had a boyfriend; he was a year older and got in trouble sometimes.  She seemed to be drawn to those 2 things.  They drank a lot and went to all the good parties. Drinking was their past time and with the drinking came arguments and jealousy and magnified all the insecurities she had.  They broke up and got back together a few times.  She was always heartbroken, he didn’t seem to care.  She kissed his ass, they had sex and it was all good again.  This went on until she was out of school.  They got engaged and unengaged all in the same year.  There were even a couple halfhearted attempts at suicide thrown in there and were probably more a plea for someone to pay attention.

She made a couple treks to the Florida Keys and one to the southwest.  She drank too much and slept with too many guys.  She used them and they used her.  There were a couple guys that got too close and she broke their hearts when she walked away.  She just didn’t care.  She partied, had fun, but always felt alone and lost.  She wasn’t comfortable anywhere.

Sam decided to join the Army after talking with people who were already there.  She went in and was given a job as a truck driver at Fort Stewart, Georgia.  It worked for her.  She had somewhere to go and something to do every day.  Most of the recruits were young and they all partied on the weekends.

In 1976 she started going out with a sergeant in the 101st Airborne Division.  He had a Corvette, money, parents who had a nice home in Virginia with a boat on the ocean they stayed in sometimes.  He was nice, good looking and good to her.   He got too close; she walked away when she met a “bad boy”.  One more broken heart, she didn’t care.

She married the bad boy after dating for 6 months.  Sam got pregnant and they were on their way to being civilians.  He had a temper; she saw it before they even got married when he punched holes in the walls.  It was always a temporary thing and he was so sorry when it was over.  Her parents never fought, she never had to deal with family arguments or conflict.  When conflicts happened in the past she would just walk away.  No walking away now.

They got out of the Army and moved to California, where he was from.  They lived in a shack up in the hills; she dealt with it and made it into a home.  She had a beautiful baby boy and she should’ve been happy.  Soon after baby was born, bad boy changed.  Or had he, maybe it just finally came out.  He hit her when he was mad, the great sex they had before baby, stopped, and he came home later and later after work.  There were other women, drugs and emotional abuse.  She was now the heartbroken one.  He didn’t care, it just annoyed him.

Sam stayed in that marriage for 35 years.  She tried to leave a few times but had no skills and did not want to run back home to her parents.  She was always optimistic and thought she could make it work.  She would change, she would be better, he would love her.  There were a lot of happy times and a lot of sad times over all those years.  In the end it was the lack of love and respect that made her leave for good.  Sam is in her late 50s now and told me if she had 10 things she could tell her 16 year old self they would be:

  1. Talk to your Mom about your life and your feelings
  2. Go to church, get to know Jesus
  3. Do better in school, ask for help
  4. Find a mentor
  5. Go to college
  6. Read about everything, knowledge is power
  7. Don’t drink so much or wait until you’re old enough to handle it or don’t drink, you don’t need it
  8. Be nice to everyone including your siblings
  9. You do not need a man in your life to be complete
  10. You are worthy, you are important, you matter