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As I walk by I do everything I can to avoid her eye contact on the street. "Please don't look at me. I don't have any money to give you." These thoughts enter my head even on payday.
One day the lady in yellow approached me. She was carrying a large plastic bag. Her smile had only a few teeth, but it was a smile that made you want to smile back. Her appearance was almost grotesque but her eyes told a different story, baby blue, they reflect a hard and tiring life. I saw a fleeting desire for death.
"Honey," she called to me.
"Please don't talk to me," I thought. "I don't have any money to give you."
She stopped in front of me. I had no choice but to look her in the eyes.
"I was at the shelter today," she told me. "They had the most marvelous cakes. They gave me what was left over. Please take one. I can't eat them all."
"You want to give me your food?" I asked, totally astounded. Here I was hoping she didn't ask me for anything and she wanted to give me something.
"You look too skinny," she replied. She is mere skin and bones herself. Looking me directly in the eyes, she continued, "I didn't do anything to them, I swear. You can have three."
She reached into her bag and pulled out three huge sticky rolls. Apparently, she had earlier wrapped them in Burger King napkins. Pulling out a plastic bag from the items she was carrying, she placed them neatly inside for me.
"I can't give you the chocolate ones because the guy who lives under the bridge has children and they'll just love them. Have a good day." She walked away.
I stood there on the sidewalk and felt the sting of tears in my eyes. Everyone walking by was starring at me, maybe because I was crying, maybe because I just took food from a homeless woman. I didn't care what they were looking at.
The lady in yellow's gesture had touched me deep inside. Why do I think I am so much better than her? It is obvious to me now, that I am not.
This is a close up of the candle. I stamped the design on tissue paper and then melted to the candle. You can find out how to do this on Robyn's blog if you are interested. The link is to the left under The Pink Stamper. It is super easy and makes a nice gift.
I only put a picture of this on because I think it is too cute. It is my son's signature. Believe it or not it actually says "Griffin" but he hasn't figured out that it only says Griffin if the letters are in order. LOL
This last picture is a gift I made for my friend, Jean's son to give to his teachers. The popcorn boxes are cut at 51/2 inches on the baby bug and the ribbon is from Locker talk and the apple is from Making the Grade. I filled them with mini hershey bars...YUM. TFL.
A benefit fund has been set up for my cousin's girls, who are only 8 and 4.
Sara sat staring at the text message. Was she going? Could she handle facing all of those people from high school.
Could it really be 15 years? Fifteen years since those days of dread. Oh how she had hated high school. Nothing but mean girls and lying boys. She was certain that her experience there had left her scared for life.
"Maybe I should just go and get it over with," she said out loud, although no one was in the office with her. "Face my fear by looking it straight in the eye."
Sara spent alot of time alone with her thoughts, often in this very room. Working from home and letting life pass her by. Maybe she should go. She always wondered what had happened to him; she'd always wondered if she should have told him.
Reflecting on the choices she made over the course of the last decade and a half were giving her a eadache. Some of those were, indeed, life changing. But is going to your high school reunion really one of those life changing choices?
It could be. Especially, if Michael is there.
What was holding her back. Was it all those memories of heartache and pain? Was the future she had imagined he'd had better than the reality? Was he married? Did he have children? Was knowing better than not?
Sara couldn't bring herself to answer the text and she knew that Dilan wasn't going to let it be. She had been trying to get her mom to find out all of those answers ever since Sara broke down and told her the truth.
The truth. What was the truth? She had a version. She was sure Michael had a version as well. But one thing was very clear, her version wasn't even close to his.
Arty Armadillo was packing his bag;
Arty Armadillo was looking quite sad.
"What’s the matter with you?" asked his sister, Lulu.
"I’m going away, and it’s going to be far,
Peter Opossum was killed by a very large car."
"Cousin Peter? No way--that just can’t be true!
He has a wife and eight kids, who aren’t even two."
"That’s why I am going, it needs to be done.
Barbara Jean and the kids should be here in the sun.
They need to be with us and out of the cold,
safe in Arizona with friends new and old.
I’m leaving right now, the train departs at five;
Tell mama I’ll call her the moment I arrive."
"Be careful, Arty, the temperature can drop quite low;
A Minnesota winter is no place for an Armadillo."
Arty left the train station and his warm state,
And traveled up north to save his cousins their fate;
Nothing could have prepared him for the sight he would bestow;
For Arty was an armadillo who had never seen snow!
When he got off that train and the bitter wind blew;
He knew the experience had happened to few.
Most of his family had never seen a carpet so white;
He knew they would listen to him far into the night.
He called his mama and then Barbara Jean,
Said he would be there in ten or fifteen.
He hiked through the snow in the direction she gave,
In hopes that he’d soon find Peter’s burrow or cave.
The weather was frightful, the snow blew and fell;
Arty knew he had an awesome story to tell.
Barbara Jean let him in and there were hugs all around;
and Arty was out of the cold; safe and sound.
They talked into the night as they remembered the years;
Sharing laughter, joy, happiness and tears.
It took a week to pack up their stuff,
leaving home and moving away is always tough.
With four kids on each back, they returned to the station;
Arizona and a new start was their destination.
The return trip was easy; their problems were few;
Soon they were at mama’s with lots of unpacking to do.
"It’s good to have you back," said Arty’s sister, Lulu.
He gave her a hug and said, "I missed you too."
She asked, "Did you see the carpet of white?"
He told her he did, and they talked through the night.
Arty’s story is amazing, and this we all know,
For he is an Armadillo who’s walked through the snow.
This mosaic of the parade has turned into on of my favorite pages so far. I love how some of the characters are looking directly at me as if they are posing for the picture--especially Mickey right in the center. By using this technique I was able to get 23 pictures on this one page and I really think it sums up the entire parade. Thanks so much for looking.
You can get it on her blog by looking under space man, I believe. She is amazing. I had a little trouble at first figuring how to put it together, but once I saw how she did it, it was easy to figure out. The second is a page featuring Stitch. Currently none of the carts have a Stitch on it so I made a traditional paper piecing from a coloring book page I found of him. I like how he turned out. The space ship is from the paper doll cartridge.
This is of our dinner with Cinderella and crew. I also have pictures of the kids with Drizella, Anastasia and Lady Tremaine, but I'm saving them for the next page. My 9 year old gave me a great title...A trio of trouble. So that will definately be the next page in the book.
Cinderella is cut at 5 inches and Jaq and Gus are cut at 4 inches. Thanks for looking.
Over the weekend my family and I went to an amusement park not far from our house. We had free tickets for media day. YEAH. Small perks but you just have to love them. We even had a catered lunch. It's not everyday you can take your three kids to an amusement park and proudly announce that you only spent about $20.00 all day...that's impressive by any stand point. So here is one of many pics I took...obviously I'm missing. My oldest is playing the role of matriarch in the picture and I have to say it is startling how much she looks like me...LOL
I was sitting at the Detroit Metro Airport waiting for my flight to Boston when I heard that voice. It had been years, almost two decades since I’d heard it, yet I recognized it immediately. Susan Martin.
I turned around and saw her. She was more beautiful than I remembered, if that’s possible. Her auburn hair was cascading over her left shoulder and her blue eyes were bright and full of life.
"Andy is that you?" she asked again.
"Susan?" I said, unable to believe my own eyes.
She hugged me and I stumbled my way through the awkward embrace.
"Why are you in Detroit?" she asked.
I couldn’t think, my mind was racing. Racing back to a time when things were far different between Susan and I. Far different.
"Fog," was all I could say.
Susan laughed. The same rich laugh that haunts my dreams.
"Fog brought you to Detroit. Surely, Detroit has more to offer than fog."
"Oh, business, I mean. I’m waiting for a flight back to Boston. It was delayed by fog. You?"
"My mother lives here now. I was visiting for a weekend -- just the girls. My flight out has been delayed as well." She smiled then and I remembered the last time I saw that smile. I was 22 and completely in love with her. She was elated over being accepted to the University of California at Berkeley. She was making plans for us. Plans that I would be a part of. California. The land of sun, fun, dreams and, who could forget, love. It couldn’t be further than where I had to be.
"I can’t leave the pharmaceutical company, Susie. I just can’t do that right now."
"But Andy, I’ve got to go. I can’t, no make that I won’t, pass up this opportunity."
My chest tightened at the memory. What would have happened if I had taken a chance, if I’d have quit my job and just went with her. Oh, to count the times I’ve wondered that.
"Did you have an enjoyable time? With your mother?" I asked.
"Yes, I did. How long is your delay? Want to get some dinner and catch up?"
I glanced at my watch, stalling for time, time to think. Time to remember.
"Will you write me when I’m away at school?" she asked, so young, so innocent.
"Yes, I will write. This time will go fast. I promise. You shall see." I felt more like a parent than a lover. "We have the rest of our lives ahead of us."
I checked her bags and watched as her flight ascended.
"Dinner sounds great," I said.
Over shrimp and salad she updated me with the abridged version the the last eighteen years.
"I married Craig two summers out of Berkeley. You’d really like him. He’s a lot like you. Maybe a little less driven."
Ah, driven. Blinded by my drive. My drive to succeed, but at what cost. I didn’t keep up with the letters. Soon hers slowed down. She began to realize that my work was the most important thing in my life and she would not take the backseat.
"What about you?" she asked, "Married?"
"Twice, no children and remaining divorced forever."
She laughed again, a sweet sound, completely undescribable. I could actually feel my heart melting.
She opened her purse and pulled out a tiny wallet of photos. All happy people staring at us.
"These are my children, Erika, Danielle, Michael and Nicholas."
She’d always wanted a large family and there they were, smiling at me almost knowingly.
"They are beautiful, like their mother."
She blushed and tried to change the subject. "Still working for ATP Pharmaceuticals?"
"Vice President," I said, not quite as proud as I’d always been.
"That’s great," she said.
We were out of things to say, playing with the food on our plates and the wine in our glasses, when they called my flight.
Again, the awkward embrace.
"Good to see you," I said, "take care of yourself and that family of yours."
"You do the same."
I walked away wondering if we could have made it work had my choices been different. I often wonder if she thinks about me like I think about her, but I didn’t ask and she didn’t say.
Here are the latest LO I made for my Disney Scrapbook. They are actually in reverse order than how I wanted them to appear but I'll try to make the best of it.
Starting on the bottom:
Where the Magic Begins: Of course I have too many pictures of the castle to count so I picked three great shots and a really cute one of my kids for this page. In the pocket are tickets to the park. One day we forgot our pass and they had to give us real ticket stubs; I scooped them right up for my book LOL
The Polynesian Resort: This is the Hawaii themed Disney resort; we stayed here because I couldn't get a value resort for the size of my family. It was a real sacrifice...not! This place is gorgeous! I would stay there again in a heartbeat. The map of the resort I printed from a website. I really like how it turned out. The palm tree is from Doodlecharms.
The volcano pool: This is the actual pool at the resort. The kids LOVED it! The girls were able to go down the slide and jump through the waterfall. We were so busy that there wasn't much time for swimming, but we made the most of it when we got the chance.
Cinderella's Carousel: I didn't have many pictures from this, but I loved the two I had. I made the horses from the Happily Ever After cart as well as the little post I put between them. By cutting the horses out twice I was able to piece together some different colors.
Sword in the stone (1..2...3...pull): My kids really thought they might get this sword out. It was cute to watch. Finally after each tried they tried one last time all together. Guess what...it didn't budge. LOL I made the sword from the Happily Ever After cart as well. I made it that big by manipulating the cut on the design studio software.
Thanks for taking time to look.
- I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some crack...um...I meant some comments.