The Day of the Mysterectomy

For a month I hadn’t slept well (actually it was probably years) which meant I was extremely tired which meant I was rather anticipating that “getting-put-under” moment.  Sleeeeeeeeep.  It was worth going under the knife.

And, of course, I trusted Dr. Garwin.

So I got all gussied up in my hospital gown, hopped into bed, and laid bare my arm for the I.V.  It wasn’t long till I was feeling loose and relaxed, so I inquired of the little nurse if they had put something in the I.V. to relax me.  She just looked at me a little odd and said, “No.”  So I guess it was just the lying down… or the finally “getting-er-done”… or the I-just-can’t-imagine.  Whatever happened during the pre-surgery moments caused me to be so relaxed that I was downright silly.

It wasn’t long till I noticed my pastor and his wife walking down the hall.  I leaned way over the bed so they could see me and yelled, “Hey, you guys, come on in.”  This wasn’t a private room.  It was a long room with lots of beds with people in those beds awaiting various procedures or surgeries.  Jack and Millie had a bit of a surprised look on their faces as they came to the bed.  Maybe I’m not that friendly on a regular basis.  I know I hadn’t been that happy for quite a long time.

It was time to go; the big moment had arrived.  I was wheeled into the after-pre-surgery-pre-surgery room.  This was the room between the super relaxed room and surgery.  The room where they made sure you didn’t remember anything of what was to come.

I liked this room.  I really liked this room.

Sandy, Doc’s great nurse, had arranged with me for her husband who was in nursing school to come in and observe the surgery… as long as he brought me a shake later.  So all the players were there:  Doc, Sandy’s husband (I still don’t know his name), and all the other people who poke, prod, cut, sew, suction, etcetera.

We were shower capped and ready to roll.  I was in relaxation haven.

this soooooooo hurts

this soooooooo hurts

Until the next day.  The day I clicked the little button in my hand hoping it would just keep pumping that pain-relieving medicine into my bloodstream.  I had no idea that day those masochists set it on a timer.

At some point during the day Doc came in to check on me.  She stopped right inside the doorway with this huge grin all over her face.

“What?”

“You don’t remember anything about yesterday, do you?”

“No. What’s so funny?”

“I told them you weren’t going to remember any of that.”

“Any of what?”

“Oh, you were saying all kinds of things.”

“I was?  What was I saying?”

“Wow, this is great stuff!  What is this, man?  I love this stuff.”

I know it sounds like I am an old hippie.  I know how it sounds.

Doc goes on to tell me how they all really enjoyed the show I was putting on; I must be a happy drunk, so to speak.

Last but not least was Sandy’s sweet husband who brought me a shake, a chocolate shake.  Who also enjoyed the show:  the cutting, poking, prodding part and especially the “I love this stuff” part.

It’s still all a big mystery to me though, and truthfully,  I don’t want to know how it’s done, what happens in the surgery room, none of it.  I’m happy with the mystery… especially the mystery of that forget-forever-pre-surgery shot.

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Restoration or Resolution (Part 4)

When I asked her, “Is it Nate?” through her sobs she choked out, “No, it’s Joe.”  My sweet, sweet grandfather-in-law who had taken a bad fall down his basement stairs not more than two weeks before I had taken my own fall into a mental and physical breakdown.  We had shared our sorrow over the deaths of his sister, his daughter, and then his grandson.  We had had plans that winter to go through pictures of family, writing on them who everyone was.  We ate meals together.  Together we had buried Kody, the dog he loved and took with him every day.

I was the one who came to his aid first, opening his door with the key he had given me, to find him lying on the cold basement floor, his head covered in blood.  The emergency number was called, the EMTs arrived, and my little grandfather-in-law was packed off to the hospital as I followed.  Memories bombarded me; the “whys” rolled off my tongue.  “Where were you, God, when I was pleading with you?”  It was soon after that that I, too, fell down the steps of despair.

Joe was dead.  I was devastated.  I had to go home.

When I told my sis that I had to come home, she cried even harder and said, “No, his funeral was two weeks ago.”  “WHAT?”  My mind wasn’t able to wrap around the idea that I had missed it.  Even though he was not recovering from the head injury he had received in the fall, his death from that injury came as a great surprise.  I hadn’t had a chance to say goodbye.  Dar could hear the shock in my voice and feel my confusion.  She cried and explained how they had prayed about whether or not to call the Haglins to come tell me, as they anguished over their decision with other believers, other friends who had walked my journey of despair by my side.  She told me of the difficult, heart-wrenching phone call to the Haglins to get their opinion.  And in the end, as they were led by the Spirit to do, the decision was made to let me heal, to spare me another death, another loss, until I was strong enough to embrace it.

The Lord’s presence was with the two of us that day even though we were miles and miles apart.  His presence enfolded me as I grasped the whole picture, for surely He had orchestrated my stay at the Eagle’s Nest before He called Joe home.  His love for me in the midst of my anger toward Him was a balm on my aching heart, a soothing touch.  Something I didn’t deserve after all the things I had yelled and said to the Ruler and Creator of the universe.  My sister was a puddle of tears and pain as I reached out to her over the phone, telling her I understood and it was the right thing to have done, no matter how difficult it had been.  I explained that I was all right, and I was also ready to come home.  It was time.

(continued)

Restoration or Resolution (Part 3)

Restoration or Resolution (Part 3)

Restoration or Resolution (Part 3)

It’s been awhile, once again, since I’ve been here, back to my little blog, my baby that I have let fly solo after monitoring it daily since it’s birth.  Sometimes multiple times in a day.  Loving the feedback; loving that you guys loved some of my stuff.  And now, here we are, after those long months of getting established, pouring my heart and soul and silliness into it, we go our separate ways most days, turning into weeks.  It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way.  We were supposed to be acknowledged by WordPress as blog of the month or week; Freshly Pressed it’s called.

But, really, our little venture has served its purpose: as a fulfillment for my desire to write (whether that’s good or bad writing) and as a catharsis for my troubled soul, helping me to overcome catastrophic events.  Those events that change a person: our thoughts, actions, feelings, personalities, ability to relate to other people, affecting how we relate to other occurrences in our lives.  It has helped shed some light, hopefully, on the anguish and devastation of mental illness as well as given honor to a good man who died way too young.

reading apronsandappetites

reading apronsandappetites

So to catch you up, all who have just today wondered by or to you good people who follow along in my meager efforts to express myself, you can go back here and here to read the previous blogs on this subject or continue reading.

a beautiful day

a beautiful day

The morning dawned with the beauty and the warmth of springtime.  It was 60 degrees!  What a surprise.  A spring day right smack dab in the middle of January winter, melting the snow and creating a day for the outdoors.  A beautiful day that did not lift the heavy foreboding I had that something was wrong; someone had died.  My fear took hold, choking common sense.  If someone had died, then I would have gotten a call.  Of course, that call would have gone through Paul and Gretel for there were no phones capable of incoming calls nor televisions for aired programs in the housing where guests stayed.  Just peace and quiet.  I could call out on the phone that was there, and I could watch the movies they had for guests’ enjoyment, all G-rated, but there was no intrusion from the outside world to disturb those that stayed in this Eagle’s Nest.

That was also the day after my “send her to Thessalonica” dream.  The day I rebelled against the Lord, telling Him there was no way I was reading the Thessalonians.  He had not helped after all those prayers.  Why should I do what I knew He was asking me to do?  So instead I went for the walk that brought me to His feet, to sit and listen and envision His own pain and sorrow.  The walk that brought comfort and encouragement and strength.  The walk that said, “you can do this; go on back and make that phone call.”  The walk that validated my foreboding that someone had died.  And that someone, I just knew, was my son; the son who had struggled with drug addiction for years.

All day I had walked that 200-acre farm.  There were trails to follow and benches to sit on, ponds to meditate beside, gullies to explore, embankments to climb.  I had taken the map provided and thought I fairly well knew where I was, so when I noticed the storm clouds gathering that afternoon, I wasn’t too worried.  At that point in my exploration I had been walking down an almost dry creek bed with woods on the left and a steep embankment on the right.  I decided if I climbed the embankment, the farm should be right there to my right.  When I finally got to the top, pulling myself up with tree limbs, and looked out over the field, there were no houses in sight.  Just field and woods.

The thunder rumbled and the panic set in.  I scurried back down to the creek bed, thinking that the only thing to do would be to backtrack  my path, those hours worth of walking,  and that I surely would not beat the storm brewing.  My first encounter when I reached the creek bed was a big deer that ran out in front of me followed by a ‘possum.  Where had all those animals been all day?  They hadn’t been around earlier.  Were they as frightened of the storm coming as I was?  Would that cause them to fear me, thus causing them to attack me?  I had heard of how vicious an opossum could be when threatened.  As I stood and looked around, there was wildlife rushing around all over that piece of wooded area.  How would they feel about me barging into their sanctuary as I raced the storm?  And I was filled with dread and fright and uncertainty, knowing I would never beat the storm back to where I was staying.

How far back did the creek go?  Now I couldn’t remember how long I had walked it.  Would it fill quickly if the rain poured?

The storm within me was roiling and brewing more than the storm in the sky until I heard in the small rush of wind the voice speaking within my spirit, “Don’t go the familiar way.  Step out and trust and go forward.”

As I looked up at the embankment and around at the wildlife and creek, I decided that’s what I would do.  I wouldn’t follow the familiar, but I would go forward.  I scrambled back up to the field, and as I stepped out of the woods and into that field, I could see that, yes, there was the farmhouse.  I was right where I thought I had been according to the map.

And I pondered on the walk back to my “home” the lesson God was teaching me.  I thought of all the people I see coming through the court system who fall right back into the familiar path of drugs or alcohol or bad relationships or circle of friends.  I thought of all the children that didn’t want to leave abusive parents because that was “the familiar path,” all they knew.  I thought of the way Christians don’t want to change church services or opinions or routines, staying in the rut that leads down the familiar path.  The scripture in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; and He will direct your path” came to mind.

In my walk with God that day, I knew that my foreboding had been for a real reason, one I dreaded hearing, one subconsciously I had been waiting to happen for a long time.  When I finally called my sister and told her I knew that someone had died, she instantly began crying, sobbing.

(continued)

Restoration or Resolution? (Part 1)

phototake-rm-hives_urticaria_skin_rash

Hives (Urticaria)
© Scott Camazine / Phototake

Many years ago, when my world came crashing down, so did my body.  It very simply gave way to complete and utter exhaustion brought on by the previous trauma and stress and my unsuccessful coping mechanisms.  My whole body broke out in hives from the tip of my head to the bottoms of my feet.  If you have never had hives, I cannot begin to tell you how horrible they are!

The itching was relentless; the wheals raised and nasty; the stress level even higher than it was.  So after a trip to the doctor and a shot, I was hoping for some relief.  None followed since the shot made me so agitated I could do nothing but walk the floors all night long.  A lion caged comes to mind.

The next morning I went back to the doctor, and this time got a shot once again to calm me down.  It did.  Blissfully put me right to sleep.

But I was on the edge of something.  Something that was taking me down fast: grief, heartache, sleep deprivation, working my body to the point of exhaustion in order not to think.  And it was kicking my butt.

That’s when the sister (once again) stepped in and made decisions for me.  She and Terah found the perfect spot for restoration: the Eagle’s Nest.  My favorite scripture is Isaiah 40:31, so when my sister leaned into my face and said, “It’s called the Eagle’s Nest,” I knew I had to go.

On a cold and blustery, snowing day, the two of them took me to this sanctuary and left me.  All alone.  Just me and God.  There were many, many God moments that were supernatural in nature during my stay at the Eagle’s Nest.  After all, God is supernatural.  But one moment in particular that I have pondered on for a decade is the dream in which my future was being discussed.  The general concensus in the dream by whomever was deciding my fate was “Send her to Thessalonica.”

Wikipedia

Wikipedia Panoramic view of Thessalonica with Mount Olympus in the background.

Having been raised in church, I knew that Thessalonica was one of the cities of the New Testament, and I woke up realizing that I should read Thessalonians.  But I was mad at God.  A lot had happened in my life that year and over the previous several years that made me feel as though God had thrown me into the desert alone, to be devoured by elements and circumstances beyond my control.  And apparently His control as well.  There was no way I was going to Thessalonica or anywhere else I felt He was guiding me.

But as is the way with supernatural activity, the God way, I was so drawn to read the books of Thessalonians that there was nothing I could do but sit down and get out my Bible and read.

At that first reading I was overwhelmed with the message that God would restore my family, for my family was in chaos.  And that gave me the hope, I suppose, to continue fighting, continue coming up for air and trying desperately to pull those I loved up with me. But after years filled with disappointments of that restoration, I began to question my interpretation of Thessalonians.

“Had it truly been a message of restoration?”

(to be continued)

The Last Tide

Boohoo… Wail… Sniffle… Boohoo

a pic from last year.

Tomorrow is the sad, sad day.  We don’t even voice it.  Just say, “Tomorrow is it.”

Our last tide is today; our last chance to stand at the end of the earth/dirt/sand before it morphs into ocean; our last walk along sand and shells and dead sea creatures washed ashore.

But there is this piece of us that is excited.  Home.

The Last TideI couldn’t find a pic of our husbands all lined up like the one above, but they are definitely included in Home.

And though we have had a great time eating at Ela’s, The Old Oyster Factory, Skull Creek Boathouse, and even Pizza Hut (which has great thin crust veggie pizzas I might add), and 11th St Dockside, there is a piece of us, a pretty good-sized chunk, that will be glad to have a baloney sandwich on our own porch.

The memories of the families making sand sculptures (this year’s half alligator/half ladybug won the best-according-to-Brenda prize) and young men with their virility screaming at any young gal that walked across their path and the runners/walkers/seashell collectors and the grandmas and grandpas helping each other or playing with their grandkids, and the funny, interesting, just down-right-love-to-watch-them children will sustain me until next year.

I’m going to print out Dar’s Hilton Head Expense sheet and savor the memory of each item.

 

Ah… Walking the Beach

it is sooooo far away

it is sooooo far away

This is what our green-striped home looks like from the ocean edge.  It is a mile walk.  And the reason it is a mile walk is because we dump all our beach stuff as soon as we get on the beach.  Not five feet from the walkway.  And the reason we dump all our stuff not five feet from the walkway is because it’s heavy and cumbersome to drag through that sand even with out nifty beach stroller.  You can see it sitting there beside our “home.”

a close-up

a close-up

Notice on the right of our tent there is an orange, diamond-shaped sign.  That sign is the do-not-disturb-the-loggerhead-eggs warning.  I only wish I could be there when they hatch and start making their way to the ocean.  And even though our little tent was very low to the ground (it kind of kept falling apart on us), it worked great.  Geri only ran into it three times maybe?

The beginning of the walk

The beginning of the walk

There aren’t as many people this year as last year.  Still quite a few in our area of the beach, though.  So the beach walk started out looking like this:  people all over the place. Which. of course, is very cool.  I love it!  Perhaps my favorite are the dads showing their little ones the water for the first time.  The little tykes hang on to their daddy’s legs as they stumble about the waves and uneven sand.  I just don’t see enough of that… daddies with their children.  So it gives me that warm fuzzy.

crowds thin out after a short walk

crowds thin out after a short walk

Walk just a short way down the beach and there are fewer and fewer people.

oh, man, I love this picture

oh, man, I love this picture

I’m sorry.  I just had to throw this really cool picture in here.  I love the beach, and if you do, too, and aren’t here, then I totally apologize for this picture.

loggerhead nests and people nests

loggerhead nests and people nests

I tried to edit the picture above, but couldn’t for whatever reason.  There are several loggerhead nests.  I can’t help thinking how cool it would be to live in one of those houses and watch for the little turtles.  Did I say that already?  Alas.

the shark catch

the shark catch

The line grew tight and the fight was on.  Pulling and reeling in.  Pulling and reeling in.  Finally:

the catch!  a baby shark!!

the catch! a baby shark!!

Hey!!  What’s that hand doing in my glory picture?  Curse this computer!  I tried and tried to edit that stinking hand out of there.  Stinking, yes, because it is the actual hand that caught that big fish.  He was nice enough to let me pretend for a second that I did.  It looked like so much fun when he was reeling it in, and sure enough, when I asked him if it was fun, he looked me straight in the eyes and said with great conviction, “It was fun.”  I was so excited for him.  Good thing his little woman got it all on video.

isn't this just pretty?

isn’t this just pretty?

I couldn’t help myself.  This is just such a neat picture.

seashells by the seashore

seashells by the seashore

So tomorrow is the day for shelling.  Searching for seashells by the seashore.

my awesome beach shoes

my awesome beach shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Grave Caretaker

This past week I have dragged out my fake flowers I’ve been buying throughout the year; collected my tools for making grave flowers; and actually got them on the graves a whole day early.  I am very pleased with myself.

Flowers for James

Flowers for James

the back side

the back side

 

Through the years I have become the flower girl for several people, at least making sure there are flowers on the graves: Dad, Mom, the Wright and Byassee families, and now the Blacks.  Some already have beautiful arrangements on them; some don’t.  So… have flowers, will decorate.  Bags of flowers are thrown in the back of the old Highlander along with the flower arranging paraphernalia, and I’m off.

Flowers for Momma

Flowers for Momma

the back side

the back side

Of course, the real reason for taking care of the graves, for remembering the ones that go before us, started with our service men and women, remembering their sacrifices, their lives.

My dad served in World War II, stationed in Hawaii.  Not a bad gig for a war, especially after the horrible bombing from the Japanese airplanes.  He kept a leather album full of pictures from his time in the war.Dad's Army AlbumHe kept pictures of the scenery, pictures of him and his friends, addresses of his army buddies… well, here are some.

Dad and Combat

Dad and Combat

Dad in Hawaii

Dad in Hawaii

Dad in uniform

Dad in uniform

Some of the pictures I can’t show.  Those guys could get pretty wild on a hot, tropical island.  This next one is just a low-key example of some of the pics those army boys were taking back those many, many years ago.

Dad the Hawaiian girl

Dad the Hawaiian girl

Dad even had pictures in the album of family.  Things that reminded him of home.  Life going on without him.

Dad's brother, Harry Don, with his daughter and wife.

Dad’s brother, Harry Don, with his daughter and wife.

And last but not least, he had pictures of my Mom, someone he came home and married, the woman he loved.

Dad's true love

Dad’s true love

It can be a good thing:  remember those who have gone before.  An enjoyable little escapade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saying Goodbye

Mildred Lee Black

Mildred Lee Black

Steve and I have been busy this year with his mom.  A really neat lady. We’ve been moving her into an assisted living facility, moving her to the hospital, moving her to the nursing home for the one night before we had to move her back to the hospital to say goodbye.  Her family waiting with her day and night as Mildred waited to go home.  A place she was ready to go to, Sweet Beulah Land.  If you haven’t heard the song Sweet Beulah Land by Squire Parsons, go to youtube and find it!!

She had had a major heart attack in 2011 along with some other major heart aches along the way, and the joy was gone.  She still smiled her pretty, contagious smile at times, enjoyed her family, but more and more she was in pain and full of discontent.

Mildred 16 yrs

We had hoped the move to the assisted living facility would help her outlook on life as well as give her the daily help she was needing.  Her sis got her into a good doctor, and we had high hopes of a better quality of life.

One day we got a call that she needed to go the hospital, so Steve and I went over and got her and took her to the hospital.  Everyone loved her.  She charmed the socks right off of all of them with her wit and candor and interest in who they really were.  After all she was a nurse herself.  But really… I think it was that lovely smile that won all their hearts.

Mildred 1951

Mildred 1951

The lung x-ray was hanging in the hub unit of the emergency ward.  We saw the doctor on the phone, viewing the x-ray.  There was a large mass at the bottom.  And then they came in to talk to Mildred, to ask her what kind of life-saving measures she wanted taken if it turned out to be cancer.  They, of course, already knew.  The sweet doctor said, “Mildred, you are a miracle.  I’ve looked at your hospital records, and you had a major heart attack.  You should not be here today.  The fact that you are is a miracle.”

Steve’s little Momma had another heart attack not more than a week later, asking for no life support to be given.  She was a feisty little booger.  Tough.  Fun.  And a number of other descriptions I can’t begin to name!

Sassy Mildred

Suicide: Selfish Action or Despairing Reaction?

a journal

a journal

Odd.  Just this past week I got out my Purpose Driven Life Devotional to use it again, needing to understand life better, trying to wrap my head around our purpose.

And now, ever since Sunday morning at church, when our associate pastor stood before us, the congregation, and told us about Rick Warren’s son committing suicide, I have been heart-sick.  My thoughts and emotions are with their grieving, their unanswered questions of “Could I have done more?”  I have reflected on the long journey they have been taking with their son and his mental illness, the toll it took on their son as well as them for that is what illness does in a family.  Those debilitating illnesses of any kind, those long-term illnesses with a need for long-term help not only affect the sick person but affect the caretakers as well.

The problem with mental illness, deep depression illness for today’s discussion, is the misunderstanding the majority of people have about it.  It’s not something an ill person wants to have.  Those with chronic depression do not want to be sad all the time; they do not want to have to fight every single day of their lives just to feel the slight presence of a “good day.”  They want, as badly as a child wants its Momma when it is scared or hurt, to be “normal,” to be happy, to be able to walk without a cloud of heavy darkness constantly hanging over them.  They would love to be able to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.”

But it’s just not possible sometimes.  Some days they lose the fight they fight every day to live life.  And sometimes when they lose… they commit suicide.  That happens in an instant; that decision.  The pain of sadness hurts, and sometimes it hurts so badly that all one wants to do is just leave.  It is not, as the leader of a visiting singing group at our church had the gall to get up and say before the entire group of people there to worship God, “an act of cowardice.”  No person who commits suicide is a coward.  My heart wants to cry out to God to let this particular man experience the despair of depression.  But the Christ who suffered for me and has sent a part of Himself to live within me fills me with compassion instead; something this man clearly does not have.  And the knowledge that Christ is with us does not keep us from the Dark Abyss; it does not keep us from feeling despair any more than it keeps one from feeling the pain of a broken bone.  But it does, as Rick Warren’s son knew, give us a hope.  And with that hope, those fighting this horrible illness grope along through the darkness of depression; some days victorious; some days just holding their own; some days losing.

It’s the losing days that we, as caretakers or friends or health workers, worry about.  Those are the days we check and double-check the one we love.  But what of the losing day we know nothing about?  That moment in time when the despair is overwhelming, the tiredness of the fight creating such a longing to leave that the sick one does just that:  leaves.  One way or another, but leaves.

It’s been 12 years now since I almost left.  But I remember the day as though it were yesterday.  My grief that evening had doubled: first I grieved the loss of my husband and now the grief over my son as well hit me.  And this particular evening it was just too much grief.  I had to leave; I couldn’t stay.  The thought that my family needed me never entered my mind.  There were no thoughts but one:  I had to leave; I couldn’t bear the pain anymore.   All I could feel was the horrible blackness of despair.  The leaving would not be a cowardly act but an act of one whose thought processes are skewed by the darkness of depression.

As was her nightly ritual at that point in time, my sister called me to check on me.  And as usual I was crying.  We would talk; she would say she was coming down, but I would assure her I would be fine.  And I would rise above the grief and be fine.  But this night was different.  Dar called; I was crying; we talked.  And when she said she was coming down, I continued crying and talking and telling her I would be fine… until I realized I was talking to no one.  I knew she had dropped the phone, got in her car, and was probably speeding way past the legal speed limit to get to me.

My plans to leave had been derailed and I cried that much harder.  I knew that whatever pills I had planned on taking would only be pumped out of my stomach at a hospital; whatever mode of transportation I could think of to leave this world had just been shut down by the fact that my sister was on her way to do whatever she had to do to save me.

And then she walked through the door…

My Harlequin Romance

A few days ago Steve and I received an awesome wedding gift in the mail.  My cousin out in Utah makes cards, and she sent us a whole batch of them… from Christmas and Easter cards to birthday cards.  They are just so cool I had to share them with you.IMG_6925

We received several great gifts on the day we were married, some really neat stuff:  wine from one of the local wineries; Christmas nativity along with sparkling grape juice; a personalized Christmas ornament to commemorate our wedding day; gift certificates; grilling set; a lovely rose bush; a neat plaque about remembering why we got married and love; small urns; cards with great sentiments;

And this:

If only it would have been Brenda Wood instead of Brenda Harlen!!

If only it would have been Brenda Wood instead of Brenda Harlen!!

It’s from my cousin, Sandy.  She knew it was the  perfect gift for us.  It’s so perfect because our romance was so trashy, just like a good Harlequin book.  As a matter of fact, it’s the trashiest romance I have ever had.  For several years Steve and I have been neighbors and have had this trashy connection; but only late last year did it turn into a trashy attraction.

The picture below will explain it better.IMG_6935

Several years ago I decided to clean up my portion of the alley a little bit and hired someone to make a concrete pad for a barrel and compost bin.  It was supposed to have been on my property, but as you can see, my property ends at the fence and most of the pad sits on the property next to me.  So in order to keep peace with my neighbor and not have a fight over the legality of the trash, I have always told anyone who moves into the house next door to use the barrel and compost; I’ll pay the bill.

Steve moved in a few years ago, so on occasion I would see him at the trash site or in his garage a bit to the east of the trash site.  As time passed, he became caretaker of the trash site:  burning when it needed to be burned or got too full.  Worked great!

One rainy, summer, romantic evening as I was taking my trash out to the trash barrel, he asked me out… sort of… more like “You want to sit on your deck and shoot the shyte some night?”  I must have had on make-up.  Normally the conversation was “How’s it going?  I’ll burn that.”  Yes, appalled ecowatchers, we burn here in our rural area.  Unless it’s dry as a bone.  Or trash pickup is the next day.

As shocked as I was, I said sure.  After all, he was really good about keeping the trash all tidy and I may as well be neighborly.   We wound up getting hitched, and last week, when I got the trash bill for January…  I handed it to him.

No need to worry about who owns the trash site anymore.