Vroom Vroom

Today, I went to my mom’s house to bring some salmon for dinner for my grandparents (who are still there due to hurricane damage at their home in farther-east Texas), and to hang out with them and with my mom. Where I am house-sitting is about an hour away from my mom’s house. I have express permission to drive the Vespa (which was, essentially, a copy of mine only a few weeks after I bought mine) and the Porsche, because, “It’s the cheapest car we own.”

Take that in for a second, will you?

Anyway, it’s a 1999 Porsche 911, a little car made for speed and spectacular performance. I drove it (with the owner in the passenger seat) once years ago when he first bought this particular one, and he had me go up in the highway and experience the sheer speed the engine can produce. I remember noticing that we were going 96 miles per hour despite my having had no idea we were much above even 60mph – I had told him at the time that the car just felt comfortable there, like it was made to go that speed more so than any other speed. He agreed with me, and then gave me a breakdown on why that felt to be the case. It was a really cool experience for me.

Today, I own a 2002 Hyundai Accent GL with crank windows and a 2013 Vespa 300GTS (that’s 300cc). The Hyundai is mostly a rainy day and grocery store car, as the engine can really only handle light use and short distances. The Vespa is, well, a Vespa. It can go 88mph with me driving it, but it isn’t made to do that very often or on the regular – it is really made to go 50-ish on the regular, possibly a bit more. Neither of these vehicles is anything like a Porsche. Nor was the 2011 Toyota Prius I recently drove for a while while a friend was out of the country – that one even less so, really.

And so, fast-forward back to today, when I fired up – and I use those words on purpose, because, boy, does it sound like someone just lit a massive fire when that engine roars to life! – this Porsche 911. It kind of made me nervous just to get the thing out of the one-car garage door (of a four-car garage, of course), I felt like I might blast a hole in something every time I even touched the gas. (Plus, with the age, the gear shifter was a little wonky to figure out at first, having to pull it way to the side for first gear, and even more way to the side for reverse, I was nervous of going the wrong direction straight into the concrete in front of me!) I had to run a quick errand first, and so experienced the world of growling beasts that are the low speeds of such a vehicle… I felt like I was going to break down just about everything that I passed, that engine was so strong and rough with its constant dull roar and slight explosion at every press of the gas pedal.

But I got over it after that short errand, and I took the dog for a quick little neighborhood ride before I headed out. I was told she absolutely loves it, and she even snuck out the gate while I was checking things over before leaving, and she climbed halfway in the driver door, despite my telling her to come back inside the yard. It was actually quite comical, so I couldn’t resist. I had considered doing it, anyway, but didn’t want to be running any later in my plans than I already was. When she so pathetically tried to crawl into the car, I had to go ahead with the original plan to take her for a ride.

Thus, the following… and no, I have no real explanation but that I imagine she might have been escaping the sunlight… the top and the windows were all down, and she knew it…

So, there’s that…

After I dropped her back off at the house, and gave her a treat as my departing gift, I headed out to my mom’s house. To start the trip, there is a quick stint of about six or so exits on the highway, before exiting for a ground-level Highway with a million stoplights and a surprisingly low speed limit for something called a state highway… anyway…

As I turned onto the feeder and headed the long road to the ramp onto the highway, I began really to feel the car’s power. I used to drive a new Volkswagen Jetta, manual, and was in love with the German engineering and the smoothness and classic-ness of the engine and steering and everything-to-do-with-driving of it. When I rented a new Volkswagen Beetle a few years ago, I was reminded of that fabulous engineering. Today, climbing up onto that highway ramp and overpass, my whole body reacted with memory and nostalgia at this experience of yet another classic case of stellar engineering. When the car felt like it was in its ‘chill space’, as I call the average vehicle’s 45mph feeling, we were going 85.

I might have gone a bit faster than that for a while, but I wasn’t paying attention to the speed anymore. I was feeling throughout my whole body the tingling sensation of memory combined with satisfaction and fulfillment. This is how a car should feel, I found myself thinking. This is a car.

And I meant it.

The top was down, the wind was blowing in just that way around, and I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling and laughing aloud, hard. I actually thought for a second, Wouldn’t it be silly if I cried right now? And then I noticed how my thoughts spoke without analyzing fully the situation… within seconds of having the thought, I noticed tears in my eyes. And not from the wind. I agreed with my thought, that it was silly, but I allowed the expression to be true and easy, and dove into my experience.

Driving this little car just felt right for me. It surprised me, but I could see that, now that I was trying on the idea, I truly want to make having one of these in my life happen – I want to have one of these 911s one day, to drive on the regular, wherever I may want to go in it. She is calling me, and I can finally hear it…

Vroom Vroom…

Post-a-day 2020

Achy Faith

My body has been sore the past several days, and I am extremely grateful for it.

I have finally begun to do exercises again, thanks to my having reached out to a friend for help with accountability and support, and her acceptance of the request… It seems only fitting, because we used to go to the gym together in the first place, before everything closed, and then she moved.

Now, for the time being, anyway, neither of us is in Houston.

But we work out st the same time together, she at 5:30pm after work, and I at 4:30pm, the time I used to attend in-person classes…, and it works, because she is on the East coast now, so we actually exercise at the exact same time.

It still sucks to be paying for a gym membership to a gym that medicine and society tell me not to attend, but I would rather be safe than yelled at or blamed or sorry (or, even, sick)…, so, I stay away from the one place I ever really feel called to be on a daily basis, the one place I miss most…

But I am, at last, doing workouts at home again, using the workouts the owner originally made for us back when the gym closed for a while, and everyone had to work out at home together.

So, I could technically just cancel my membership, and do these workouts on repeat for the rest of my life, if I wanted… but I don’t want to do that.

I am using this gym’s workouts, even if they are old, and so I will maintain my membership.

It feels absurd, but right – I have thought on it many times, and I feel incredibly uncomfortable at the idea of canceling my membership…, so, I have let it go – I’ll stay a member and just suck it up… something about this will balance out, and it all will be beautiful and perfect.

I have faith in this.

P.S. A family friend – he’s our personal car and motorcycle expert – wants me to buy this great quality vehicle off of him, since they never use it anymore… it’s a Porsche Cayenne… what on Earth???… So, I might be upgrading from an old, crank window, semi-falling-apart Hyundai Accent, that was ranked as being worth $245 two and a half years ago on Kelley Blue Book, and that is not very reliable beyond an easy ten- or fifteen-minute drive… to a Porsche… Woah

Post-a-day 2020

Today

Today, I had delicious food and beverage, provided by my cousin.

I was upgraded for free to a rental car that was more than double the price of what I reserved, and is much nicer and fancier and comfier.

And the guy gave me an extra 5% discount for a hassle I had in picking up the car (some locations are closed, and the reservation said that someone would be in touch, if I needed to go to a difference location, but no one got in touch to tell me to go to a different location. So, we showed up and found a son in the door, which indicated what nearby location was open, and we went there instead.).

It is a Jeep, and I am excited.

And the plates remind me of a good friend of mine!

And I started my period today, and day two is the day on which I have to go to the bathroom somewhat constantly…, so that was a bit of irony for me, – I had wanted to be past day two by the time I arrived to my brother’s house, you see – but it’ll be okay.

Also, I have to stop for an hour at nine in the morning to tutor somewhere that has good cell service… aka a real city.

My options are 2:45, 4:16, and 5:50 away (hours:minutes)… so, we’ll see what happens with my bathroom breaks overnight tonight, and that will determine if I leave for the farther-away locations, or just the nearest one… :/

Anyway… off to sleep now!!

Wish me safe and happy travels for tomorrow! πŸ˜‰ ❀

Post-a-day 2020

Oklahoma, OK

And so the adventure has begun…

I had a bit of a cry fest this morning, on the phone with my mom, after I asked her to help me clear my mental space, and prepare myself fully for this whole trip.

I couldn’t handle the packing and all, and hadn’t yet started almost any of it, because the sheer volume of what all needed to be done to be gone for three plus weeks was really starting to stress me out… and I had only determined this the day beforehand, and gotten home late that night, after sitting and waiting for hours at one place, and then sitting in absurd traffic that supported the unfortunate and extreme unconsciousness on which our country tends to run, for another couple hours.

And I needs to leave home by 1pm.

So, I was stressed in terms of packing, to say the least.

Add to that my intense stress that has had me feel such an urge and almost-need to take this road trip ok the first place…, and we have some rather intense and almost incomprehensible levels and quantities of stress… it’s no wonder I was asking for help.

But, I used a lot of tissues, and I cleaned out my sinuses really well, and, though my mom went on tangents at times, the clearing really helped me to clear the space for myself, and get to work… and not just get to work, but get to work excited about it all.

And I left well after one… more like 2:35pm…

But I am here.

And I am happy to be here.

And my cousin is happy to have me here.

And I am going to sleep now.

Goodnight. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2020

Two discoveries

The other day, I was sharing how I love doing photography for people… that we meet up and go have fun and take some wonderful photos…, and that it really happens like that, that we always go out and have fun…

And I found that interesting… I hadn’t considered it before then, but I realized how true it was.

Every time I go out and do photos with someone for him/her we have fun.

And, as it happens, we end up with some pretty, stellar photos… however, that is not my point tonight.

It is the fun that matters most right now.

I love that it is a sort of adventure, and that it is always fun for us both.

Today, after having completed an afternoon of running around with someone, doing photos of a vehicle, I reflected on the time we’d had together.

And I found that it was fun.

Wow… it really is true that we always have fun whenever I go out to do photos with someone… Cool

πŸ˜€

It was lovely to discover.

Another wonderful discovery of today happened about twenty minutes ago…

I have known the voice, and I knew what song has had me know it so well in my life, but I couldn’t have said the owner of the voice… but, when a different song from that usual one came on – iPod playing connected to the speakers again…. I really want to make that even more regular, now that I have started it… anyway – I went to find out whose voice it was.

I know I love his voice and style, so I wanted to be able to listen to it more.

Turns out it was James Taylor.

So, I love James Taylor music.

πŸ™‚

And I will listen to much of it in the near future.

πŸ˜€

Goodnight. πŸ˜€

P.S. Today was National Tongue Twister Day, so I read my mom (over the phone) one of my favorite books from childhood, Fox in Sox by Dr. Seuss…, and it was lovely and funny for the both of us. πŸ˜€

Post-a-day 2019

Prayers of Gratitude

I have been thinking lately more and more about prayers of gratitude.

In my daily e-mails, one mentioned a short while back how we are always quick to flood the universe with our prayers in times of need – Oh, please help me with this – but that we often miss out on the opportunity to express prayers of gratitude – Thank you for the flowers, the air, the people around me…, for my life, my health, my home, my hearing…, for that act of kindness shown to me, for my ability to show love just now, for my ability to accept love from myself And others

And so, I have been somewhat focusing on prayers of gratitude lately.

Tonight, as I drive myself the remainder of my journey home, I was delighted and relieved that my prayers were clear and of gratitude:

Thank you for showing me safely but clearly to trust myself.

Thank you for putting someone behind me who cares so much and is helping to take care of me.

Thank you for keeping me safe.

Thank you for putting someone behind me who stopped and was paying attention.

Thank you for helping me do what needed to be done.

Thank you for keeping us both – the bike and me – safe, despite our scratches.

Thank you that we received only scratches.

Thank you for the love that is following me right now.

Thank you for letting this terrifying event be in such safe, love-filled circumstances.

Thank you for keeping me alive and well, both for my sake, and for hers.

And for those in my life.

Thank you for my life.

There likely were others in there, too, but that was the main flow of my thoughts (along with the occasional, Man that was ….::hefty-shaky exhale…).

I am grateful for the angel who was driving behind me, and who, though she repeatedly expressed that she didn’t know what to do to help, did exactly what was needed to help – and, aside from all of the conscious efforts to help, her attentiveness quite definitely assured my safety.

Had she not been the one behind me, someone paying attention, I might not be here right now… it was a simple and small accident, but her attentiveness kept it so.

Thank you, God.

And thank you, R.

P.S. All my gear took perfect care of me – I rolled probably three times, without ever touching anything with my head, and lots of parts of me hurt right now, but my skin looks impeccable, because my clothes did exactly what they were worn to do… (minus one tiny spot that, through the jeans, still broke the skin and bled a little bit, but it is a tiny spot that looks more like I tripped and scraped my knee than that I fell around 30-35mph and went rolling across the road)…

P.P.S. Icing has been helping with pain and swelling, and the hot shower just now helped immensely with the pain everywhere.

P.P.P.S. And no, I was not on my phone – not at all… I am just glad that the girl behind me was not on her phone.

Post-a-day 2019

Story-time

Staring at the ceiling, slumped backward over the sofa cushion that had been knocked onto the floor at some unknown time in the evening, Ch—- inhales sharply, and releases in a heavy sigh…, “Man…, I wanna do something!” he declares.

“Like what?” responds C—, only half interested in his little brother’s response.

“I don’ know…. just something….”

M—- chuckles from his spot in a chair across the room, resuming his tossing of a Hacky Sack into the air over and over again with the same hand, having abandoned actually standing and kicking it around in the air half an hour earlier… Ch—- always says this.

“It’s not like we can actually go anywhere, anyway, Ch—,” M— reminds him, “seeing as how it’s already nine o’clock and all, and your parents have gone to bed.”

Ch—- is silent for a moment, reflecting, ignoring M—‘s comment.

“I wanna go swimming,” Ch—- says, “That’s what I wanna do: go swimming.

Let’s go swimming, you guys!”

“In which pool exactly?… None are open and, in case you forgot, we don’t have a pool,” C— calmly reminds him.

Silence.

M— speaks up, “Swimming actually would be pretty nice right now.. zI could totally go for a swim.”

Baffled, C— regards him, eyebrows scrunched together, raised.

What?” asks M—, defensively, “I’m just saying I’m not against the idea.”

“Again, where would we be doing this swimming? Nowhere is open.”

“Too bad we don’t live near the ocean – the beach is always open!” Ch— chimes in, somewhat passively.

Silence…

C— turns to look at M—, then slowly tilts his head to one side, eyebrows raised…

M— regards C—, questioning at first, and then raises his eyebrows in recognition, drops the sides of his lips, and raises a shoulder, as if to say, ‘Why not?’

“Whadda you say?” asks C— to M—.

Ch— sits up suddenly, looking back and forth between the two older boys, jaw dropping in disbelief.

M—- smiles.

“Let’s do this,” declares C—-.

The three jump up, and each rushes to grab a few items, including the keys, use a bathroom, eat a quick snack before moving silently and stealthily toward the minivan that is parked in the driveway – their mother’s minivan and the only vehicle C— has started driving since getting his license recently.

An hour later, the trio find themselves on the Galveston beach, Ch— frolicking gaily in the sand at the water’s edge, while the other two take another hit on their unsophisticated and uncaring palates.

Ch— and M— share a drink or two, but they forbid C— from drinking – he is still driving them home later, and even the stupidity of the youth has its limits when dealing with genuinely smart and somewhat self-aware teenage boys.

By three a.m., they are careening back toward Houston, searching for a gas station with a vacuum to clean out C— and Ch—‘s mom’s minivan – it is filled with sand, though no one quite remembers when or how it all got in there – the haze of the fun was kind of in the way for them.

Eventually, they find it, and somehow manage to clean the minivan up really well, returning it to its nighttime place in the driveway.

Finally back home, the boys head silently into the back of the house, and lapse into total unconsciousness in the form of sleep.

It is five a.m.

At seven, their mom wakes up, and heads off to work, leaving the boys to their usual sleeping in routine, unconcerned.

When, after a week, no parent has mentioned anything, the boys begin to believe fully that they actually away with it.

And, somehow, they did

Post-a-day 2019

Wakey-Wakey

Some days, your body just takes over, and, if you’ve been taking really great care of it, it does this responsibly.

Today, I missed three alarms.

I still made it to school on time, but just barely.

You see, for the fifth day in a row, I was scheduled to get up just after 4am this morning.

At that time, I was scheduled to go downstairs and eat my first breakfast, then participate in the first part of the morning meditation that would be happening, starting at 4:30am, and then, with an extra backup alarm to make sure I leave in time, ride my bicycle down the road to the gym for a 5:30-6:30am workout.

I then would return home, shower, eat a second breakfast, now post-workout, and head off, with prompting from my third alarm, to school at about 7:05am.

This, of course, did not happen.

I awakened at 3:15am, in desperate need of a potty break.

I went downstairs and used the bathroom, then came back up to bed, grateful that I had another 45 minutes to sleep, and I passed out again.

I eventually opened my eyes to find some sunlight shining through my skylight curtain, and I panicked.

I jumped up and checked the time: 7:02am.

I threw on my clothes as fast as possible, and rushed downstairs.

I managed a basic breakfast smoothie, did my teeth-cleaning routine and used the bathroom, all in a borderline frenzy that was somehow calm, too – I kept my head about me, but I moved as quickly as I could manage effectively and safely.

Fortunately, the weather was expected to be rainy in the afternoon, so I was already planning to drive my car to work, which is significantly faster than taking my non-highway route with the scooter.

Phew!

I somehow arrived to school, used the bathroom, let the kids into class, swapped out what I’d brought to school with what I’d needed for class from my office, and greeted students before the bell rang for class to begin…

By the grace if God, I suppose… by my name.. πŸ˜› πŸ™‚

And… it was a wonderful day.

Surprise Photo Op!

“Do you happen to have your camera with you?…”

“Actually, I do… I was just saying I’m about to go get it out of the car, because I didn’t mean to leave it out there, with the heat.”

God sent the camera with me, though I’d brought it on accident, and God delivered a wonderful photo opportunity to me.

They were extremely grateful, I had loads of fun taking the pictures – turns out I really do like photographing events, as I’d always suspected (they just need to be interesting and fun events, is all).

And then… the photo turned out great already, and, with a little touching up, they now look spec-tac-ular(!).

And that is objectively so, not merely my opinion – fact-based statement, that is and was… the photos are amazing. πŸ˜›

So, I am truly beginning to feel like a genuine and good photographer, worth people’s hiring and even paying loads of money to me to produce photos for them… I’m not the best, but that’s just a yet. πŸ˜‰

For now, however, I can feel and see objectively improvement in my photography as a whole and in specific areas every photo shoot.

And it feels amazing.

Thank you, God, for the steps forward on this beautiful path I now explore.

πŸ€—πŸ™πŸͺ

Post-a-day 2019

10,000 Steps

Some days, you rent a red 2013 beetle and, after spending four hours straight tutoring, drive two hours out of town to visit your cousin, who is in from… somewhere, anyway…, and you find yourself walking the neighborhood in the middle of the night together (even though you have to leave before seven the next morning), because you only reached 5,000 steps (of your required daily 10,000) in all of your tutoring and driving, and you find yourself, as you listen to Norah Jones to compare it with the Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys similar songs your cousin was playing on the piano, chuckling silently and inwardly at the silliness of the whole situation (including the part where you technically have two other vehicles sitting back at home right now), also wondering how that morning wake-up is going to go…

Oh, no… that, again, is justΒ my some days… in particular, my today… πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019