Earth Has No Sorrow that Heaven Can’t Heal………….

I knew, deep in my heart, that it was inevitable.  I have been waiting for weeks, on guard, and prepared, or so I thought.

Two years ago this area was rocked by the murder of a mother of two in scenic Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania.  In broad daylight.  At the Jigger Shop, a restaurant full of children, tourists and wait staff.  The shooter sat at a bench, outside of the parlor, in wait.  His woman had spurned him, and this time he wasn’t about to let her get away.  One bullet.  Killed her instantaneously.  But the perp had another bullet he was saving for himself, and let’s just say-he didn’t miss.

The man who was guilty of this unspeakable crime?  My friend Patrick Derr.  Patrick dated my sister in law.  He was the first person I met when I moved out here, and he was an alcoholic and cocaine addict who abused women when he used.  I remember the first call I received from his wife, Pat had come in drunk as a skunk and wrecked the Christmas tree.  I could hear her child screaming in the background.  I ran to the house and talked to him until he passed out-his wife and child upstairs behind a locked door.  He went on to abuse his next wife, and actually did prison time for almost killing her.  He left behind a mother and two brothers, and I ran into his brother Mike today-living out of his car, no teeth, running from the law.  He had just enough money to pay for his drugs, and after that…………nothing.   Jesse and I were hiking at Middlecreek, and as we pulled into the parking lot, unrecognizable to me, he shouted,

“Hey Michele!  How are you?”

I did not hesitate.  I walked over and hugged him tightly, lost for the words I promised myself I would speak should I see him.  His last words were, “I love you, kiddo.”  I had my head together after the hike, and as I approached the lot I knew exactly what to say:

Mike, I beat this.  I know your pain.  Please turn to Jesus, He loves you-I can help you make a fresh start.

He was gone.  And as I started the jeep I looked where his beat up truck had been, and wept.

 

Son of a Bitch…………….

There was one thing you did not do at 282 Riverview Road in the seventies; or should I say there was something you had better do and that was fill my father’s ice cube trays.  When Steve came home from his travels as a sales engineer for a paper company, he went directly to the freezer, in search of the frozen pearls that would help keep his alcoholic beverage of choice as cold as the Northern Hemisphere.

Of course, as kids and then teenagers, we had absolutely no respect for his wishes, and this would never end well.

“Son of a B I T C H,” was all he had to say and us kids would run in thirty different directions.

“Jesus, Christ, Mary and JOSEPH, what the hell happens to my ice cubes???????  Is it THAT HARD TO FILL A G.D. TRAY WITH WATER AND PUT IT BACK IN THE FREEZER? Mary Lou!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The kids screwed me again……son of a B I T C H!”

For some reason, (pretty sure my dad had laser vision goggles, which he would don as soon as he pulled into the driveway)….he would go from the kitchen, directly upstairs to unpack-and there he would once again become the victim of unspeakable foul play, for he would immediately notice that I, his very own daughter, had borrowed a pair of his socks!!!!!!  This would only serve to further provoke him, and for the life of me I can’t remember why I didn’t wear my own tightie whities.  Were daddy’s tube socks that big of a temptation?  Apparently so, because that scenario wreaked havoc on my weekend plans, ears, and self esteem in general.

Don’t get me wrong, that poor man never bought a thing for himself.  If it weren’t for my mother, he would have walked around in holey shoes, tattered shirts, or, God FORBID, stretched out stockings.  Steve had another quirk, and that was his propensity to find something, anything wrong when we cleaned up the kitchen.  I will never forget the hours I spent in a Bennigan’s, preaching to my sister that dad was not a monster, he loved her and there was absolutely nothing to fear but fear itself.

And so it was, that drunken evening, when my dad said goodnight on the way through the kitchen,   I gave her the nod, like, okay, now tell him you love him.

“I love you dad.”

That’s nice honey.  Don’t forget to load the dishwasher.”

 

The Bucket List…..

I want to be the girl in this video….travelling across the world, uninhibited, throwing caution to the wind.  Chances are, the likelihood of this happening is akin to a camel poking its head through a needle, and then realizing he still has to get his body through it.

I love, love, love to travel.  It’s just that we have no extra moolah, and what we do have goes to silly things like food, vet visits and electric bills.  I don’t have a bucket list in all actuality, but here is a sampling of things I would like to do before I leave this planet:

I would love to go to Ireland, in search of my ancestors.  If I do go to Ireland, I will be tempted to drink an ale with the kin folk-you know, raise up a glass to the country that turned us out-I hear they’re very folksy and welcoming, but let’s face the facts, I would want to live there, or perhaps petrify in one place, sitting at the pub, drinking Guiness, and singing the songs of my people.

Big Sur was a big draw, until I read about Bohemian Grove.  With our luck, we would find the wrong place at the wrong time, and I apologize, but becoming a blood sacrifice for the elite in this world?  Let’s just say I have no time for the big, wooden statue of Baphomet, and I don’t like people telling me what to do.

Hawaii was big on my “list” at one point, and now I see the error of my ways.  The fat faced dictator from HELL has threatened their peace, and I don’t want to spend my whole vacation in an underground bunker.

And lastly, there was Sea World.  Yes, I wanted to ride the dolphins with abandon, you know, be that girl: the one who never stops talking about her relationship with a fifty year old she met out in California, and then you come to find out it was a sea mammal.  No thanks.

So for now?  I’ll stay in this sleepy little town of horse and buggies, biting flies the size of Texas, and more cow manure than you can shake a stick at.

 

Spirit Flight 666, Boarding at Gate Tarmac

Oh my God, for as long as I can remember, my brother and I have been subject to the most incredible indiscretions, abnormalities and absurdities.  Actually, it doesn’t happen that much to my husband and myself anymore (kind of a drag, we had some damn good inappropriate laughter in our day, but lately……….slim pickings.)

That was before my brother came for a visit and regaled us with his hilarious reenactment of a flight he took last Summer on Spirit Airlines.  Of course, my  husband interrupted him with a little ditty I like to call, For Christ’s sake shut your mouth.  I just sat there, smiling uncomfortably, while Dwain told Craig the story of my getting flagged by the stewardesses on our flight out to LA.  Apparently……..one of the gals flagged me so I went to the next stewardess and was served a glass of wine, drama ensued and the two of them almost came to fists and cuffs….don’t remember it, but I do remember the lovely woman I sat next to all the way to LAX was most definitely  not my amigo by the end of the flight.  For all I know I could have thrown up on, cursed out or told the same story 252 times for 6 hours to the poor woman.  I digress.  The following is my brother’s story, told in Michelespeak.

Apparently, last Summer, my brother wanted to save fifty, umm, yes that is $50, by travelling Spirit Airlines.  He brought his daughter and wife across the country, from LA to PA, on what could have been a “pretend” plane.  I am terrified to fly.  I have never flown sober, and as I no longer drink, I will take care of that little problem with a joint and two Ativan.  Trust me.  So, they are at LAX, waiting, as not just once, but myriads of times-they keep delaying the flight and switching gates.  He said it was a harrowing experience, you actually have to go through a security check and there are NO FRILLS.  He and his family were so unhinged, that they trauma bonded with fellow travelers. 

So, they finally get to the final gate (at this point, they are taking a red eye and they have been running back and forth to different gates at different parts of the airport.  If you have been to LAX, you know that’s a shit ton of running.)  They are getting ready to board.  There is no gate, only steps down to the tarmac.  My brother could not believe what he was seeing.  Feeling more and more anxiety, he notices a police car by the plane, but gets distracted by the 1930’s Russian version of a prison air craft.  No lie.  The seats didn’t recline.  Everything was metal.  He said he sighed a huge sigh of relief when he noticed that the flight attendants appeared to be normal people who obviously got trough at least a few of their flights.

And, as my brother begins to calm down, the captain speaks to the passengers:

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, sorry for all of the delay.  I have been sitting in this airport for over two hours.  It appears the safety hatch on the left side of the plane was open, and by the time the authorities checked it out, well, my apologies.  We think we should be okay for the duration……………..”

Helpless, Helpless, Helpless……………

My brother came up to visit yesterday, and it was a gas, man.  We laughed until our stomachs hurt, ate gimongous cheeseburgers and red velvet cupcakes, and had real, quality time together.

I don’t do well with saying goodbye, and I spent most of the day, repeating, Please don’t leave me yet, over and over again in my head.  He stayed for a long time, and when he got ready to leave?  My heart stuck in my throat………….I am sick and tired of goodbyes.  The better your experience, the worse the downer when it’s over.

We walked down to the driveway, and he said, I don’t know what’s going to happen to the family………it broke me.  I don’t have the answers, dear brother.  But this I do know, I will love you with an everlasting love…….it’s hard to put your finger on the emotions you feel, when what’s left of your family drives down the street, on their way to Philadelphia, then LA……..but one of the hardest things?  Learning to let go, and not feel alone, forsaken, misunderstood.

So for now, let’s just say, “see you next time around.”

 

In My System……………

Ladies and gentleman, I am in loveeeee……………………and I owe it all to my brand new, Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Upright.  Sweet baby Jesus I am over the moon and I doubt if I’ll come down from the clouds any time soon.

We are country mice, and we have no squares to spare for things like vacuum cleaners.  However, I have had the same burber carpet for 15 years-and as I’ve been using my in-laws twenty year old Oreck vacuum, complete with holes in the outer bag-for longer than I care to admit-well, I grabbed that Kohl’s 30% off coupon and ran for the jeep before anyone could stop me.  I was a woman on a mission, and nothing, NOTHING I TELL YOU, WOULD GET IN MY WAY.

You want to know about pure hell on earth?  Try living in a small farm house with 6 cats and a golden retriever without a workable vacuum.  If you’re lucky, you won’t lose your freaking mind, and if you’re really lucky?  Well, you won’t be seen cursing a blue streak whilst kicking the shit out of said crap vacuum on your front porch in your skivvies.  True story.  I hate that piece of shit like I hate poison, and I can finally say adios!!!!!!!! you mother effer, you are banned to the land of failed household appliances, forever.

My husband just laid mouse traps, that’s right, mouse traps under my settee and behind my wood stove, as the cats were so afraid of that monstrosity?  They would literally crap their pants-or, crap my floor is more like it.

I have become such a germ phobe that I wear flip flops in my own shower, for crying out loud, after I have scoured it with Clorox.  And God forbid the shower curtain touches me, I wince in disbelief each and every time it happens.

Did I tell you my brother, mon frere, my amigo is coming tomorrow?  I may be a withered nub of nothing when he arrives, but you can bet your sweet ass my house will be clean.