"Watch your heads, and sit down over there," said Grandma, motioning to a large trunk beneath the musty slants of the attic eaves. And then the storytelling began....

Antiques were folded into dusty boxes around us, their significance left unlabelled but for Grandma's remembering tales. I listened to the stories of my ancestors from the keepers of their treasures in that damp, dark haven where history and the future came together. And during those childhood hours in the attic, I would hear my calling—the.eternal quest for stories told and untold. I answer it still.
Musty smells and mothballs will take me there again, sitting on a box in my memory, enraptured. I hear knockin' on the attic as voices in my head—whispery phrases that need a turn, stories aching to be told, or simply memories wanting another moment of my time. When I hear that knockin', I know there's a voice to be heard and a story to be told. So, be careful on the ladder, watch your head on that beam, and have a seat on that trunk over there. Lean in, for I have some tales to share...

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Stalker Overtakes 42-year-old Woman

     That’s it. I am So over 42. I have "sucked out all the marrow of life" from this one, my friends.  So I must bid it farewell. Adieu, 42! Adieu!
     It’s official. I am trying on 43. Let’s see if another year manages to slow me down. In fact, I dare it to try. Watch out world. I’m coming to get some more of ya…gathering wisdom, experience, friends, and memories as I charge into my future, weilding my sword. Chasing dreams, disrupting things, and laughing all the way. It’s what I do. In fact, let me share an excerpt from a book I once wrote, the beginning of an early version of my memoir:
     "I was pushed out of my momma ass backwards and screaming, three and a half weeks late. I've been giving Momma trouble ever since. I didn't mean to, most of the time anyway. I suppose I just got right down to the business of stampeding my way through  life. Some might say that's the natural order of things, a girl giving her mother worry. Looking back at my life, I'm not so sure. It seems my little sister never gave Momma a moment's cause for concern. Nope. The first meeting of Momma and me seemed a pretty good indication of the dynamics our relationship would entail. I don't mean to imply that our relationship was difficult or problematic. Momma would certainly never complain or suggest such turmoil between us. I just know that I challenged her, I frightened her, and I wore down her immense patience. Like any self-important child, I took my momma's presence for granted. I fully expected her compassion, forgiveness, and total devotion as simple extensions of who I am.
     Momma would be the first to tell you that I have screamed my way through life. It's one of her favorite stories about the kind of child I was. "She always screamed, never cried," Momma would say to people..."
     Yup. I think that sums me up pretty well...still.  
     While 42 was a blast, I've outgrown it. It’s faded, stained in spots, and to be honest, a little tattered around the edges. I admit it was cozy, a comfortable place to settle for awhile. But I’m a Gemini, and comfortable is usually about the time I start getting nervous. Jittery, ya know? Lately, I have started fidgeting and wondering and daydreaming. The truth is, I’m getting bored, and that is the Worst Kind of State to find one’s self in. Ask any Gemini.
     So, it’s goodbye to the weight I lost, the bad habits I picked up, and that people that didn't stick around to see what I might come up with next. See ya in the next life, Sleep-I-missed-while-having-Fun and the smooth cheeks my wrinkles have landed on. I’ll catch you soon enough, Mischievous Words that eluded me and then I’ll trap you in a pretty sentence. And you sneaky Gray Hairs that keep popping up on my scalp? There’s always another box of red dye on the nearest Walmart shelf to take care of the likes of you!
     I’m on to other things. New Things. Of course, I’ll keep some of the stuff 42-and-under introduced me to. Everyone must keep their loveys about. It’s important to surround yourself with the things and people that make you feel good, challenge you in positive ways, and keep life interesting. So, I’m packing up things like the words that fell into place, the moments that inspired me, Beer Fridays, those shoulders that supported me, and my gigantic basket of vitamins. (Go ahead and laugh, young ‘uns. Your day will come.) I’ll continue to cavort with wine, the neighbors, the children that show up on my doorstep each morning, and the beautiful people who home-deliver me coffee on a rough day. I’ll continue to send out my manuscript and hope to agents, drink my fiber twice a day, and eat maple syrup on eggs. And of course, I can’t move forward without my Peeps. I love my People. The journey is only worth it when shared with them.
     But I’ll also find new dreams to chase, words to tame, and ideas to consider. I’ll accept invitations that come my way, throw parties of my own, and celebrate the important moments of the people I care about. I will apply for Canadian citizenship, meet people, and do whatever I can to help others and/or lighten their loads in any way I am able. I will continue to take Pole Dance Level 4 (and move on to levels 5+), not because I think it makes me look sexy (trust me, I do NOT!), but because it makes me feel sexy, vibrant, and more alive, plus it challenges me to step outside of my comfort zone. And who cares if everyone else in the class is 23 years and under? They may have youth, flexibility, and flat stomachs, but I have hardheadedness, nothing to lose, and the ability to laugh my ass off—even at myself. I will conquer that combination move and split spin!
     This year I will write another book, drive more tractors, wear a hot pink bikini, chill out in my swing, and travel to a new frontier. There will be banana liqueur. There will be lots of laughter.
     And damn it, 43, there will be dancing!!!

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