Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kathy Mattea, 2

and just for the record, his FB post from that night, approximately that time, reads, "can you say awkward situation. I am going to need a couple margaritas."

Kathy Mattea

I find that songs sometimes pop in my head after a life event, or non event. Sometimes it's funny, or not, but always something that seems like it's similar to the situation. Maybe it's from a musical, maybe it's from a favorite c.d., or maybe it will be one line of script from a show or movie that will haunt me until I track it down on imdb.com

In the case of the guy I saw a few nights ago, it's a Kathy Mattea song. The lyrics have been a gentle hum in the back of my mind, reminding me just how much I love MyFella. It's like Kathy herself is whispering to me. Though she's got the story a wee bit wrong. He didn't leave "before I had the chance to let him know." More like we broke up - again. And I certainly haven't sat around wondering him about him like the writer of this song. The part that resonates with me is near the ending. "I saw the one I used to love when I went out today. I said hello,I met his wife, then I was on my way. It may be luck, it may be fate. It may be God's design. I only know it's no mistake that I'm yours and you are mine."

I think Kathy and I could be friends, if only she knew me. In the meantime, I'll take the song. Here's the lyrics to the song:

There was someone I used to love
A long, long time ago
He found someone before I had
The chance to let him know

And every time I tried to get
My heart to close that door
I'd only think about what could have been
And only love him more

I told a friend how sad I was
The fate was so unfair
This perfect love that could have never been
My heart would never share

Not till summer came and went
Did her advice rig true
When I found out my heart was meant
To fall in love with you

We never know what could have been
But looking back we see
What could have been and never
Was never meant to be

I saw the one I used to love
When I went out today
I said hello, I met his wife
Then I was on my way

It may be luck, it may be fate
It may be God's design
I only know it's no mistake
I'm yours and you are mine

We never know what could have been
But looking back we see
What could have been but never was
Was never meant to be

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hauling Hay

Hauling Hay

It seems appropriate to tell you about the experience of hauling hay, since it is the foundation of my 2 year long campaign to own my own horse.

As you know, his family’s rule was “If you own a horse, then you help to haul hay.” Hauling hay was an annual event, kind of late in the summer, when the hay was gathered (bought with sweat) and moved by flatbed trailer to their home and barn. Enough would be gathered to see them through the coming year.

Up until recently, it involved going to a cousin's farm land and assisting him in baling his hay to sell. In exchange, the family got all they needed for their horses.

When the date was set, everyone with a horse was told, and they showed up prepared to watch as an older relative drives a tractor with big rakes that fluffed already cut grass (that's really all hay is, certain strains of grass allowed to grow long). Then another relative drives another tractor that has a hay baler attached to it. This ancient device is fascinating to me. It works entirely on simple mechanics driven by a shaft attached to the tractor. It sucks hay up, pushes and packs it into a rectangle, wraps baling twine around it, then spits it out the other end. It has a rhythmic sound, keeping a beat and going smooth and strong. If the timing gets off, any one within ear shot can tell in a second.

And then comes a truck pulling a flat bed trailer with a bunch of relatives walking along behind the truck, grabbing the hay bales and tossing them onto the flatbed, on which other relatives are standing and stacking the hay bales. Done this way, it takes a whole bunch of relatives, but is much more economical than buying it. Hence the "all relatives that own a horse" rule.

I've partaken in this ritual twice. Once I lucked out and got to drive the truck. I was given the choice of tasks by MyFella’s brother, and not owning a horse, I didn't see the need to do manual labor. The second time, we were called on short notice and the "all" part didn't show up. I ended up teaching a 10 year old girl how to drive her father’s truck and I was one walking behind the truck, picking up hay bales and tossing them on the flatbed. I don't think I was as upset as MyFella feared I was, but I was extremely annoyed at the absence of the "all." But I believe I was fed a steak dinner that night at a restaurant that sits overlooking the Tennessee River with plate glass windows. It's a beautiful sight, and nothing makes me happy like a good meal.

I should admit that I feared grabbing a hay bale with a snake wrapped up in it. I’m not sure if his brother had warned me of such a thing to be safe, or just to scare the city boy. Either way, my eyes scanned each bale before grabbing it.

Add in Southern humidity, 100 degree heat, long sleeved clothes to keep from scratching yourselves with the hay and being eaten up by chiggers, and you’ve got the experience where the closest thing to relief comes in the form of an ice chest that some relative remembered to stock before the task begins. That, my friends, is “hauling hay.”
*Early on in our relationship, long before I had been to his home or ridden on a horse, MyFella cancelled (last minute) a weekend date with me to haul hay. I was none too happy about it, and called the one person in the world I knew who had a horse, and told her I needed her to talk me down. I explained the whole situation, and she said, "Hay is expensive. Let this one go." So I did.

Favorite Customer

I'm having trouble deciding which customer this week was my favorite.

Was it the girl in her summery, flowing dress that smelled of moth balls?

Was it the guy whose breath smelled and wanted to argue with me about changes on his bill, when he had made them after his last billing date?

Was it the guy who just couldn't grasp that the contract goes to each line, and kind of kept repeating himself over and over?

Or maybe the old lady who gave us a phone that had been chewed on by her dogs, and still had dog slobber?

No. I'm going with the girl that walked in wearing white athletic socks and no shoes. She said her feet had gotten hot in her rain boots. Now that's a winner.

"when my world was small"

I knew he had returned to the area, but only through friends. It had been years since I had seen him, years since I had any contact with him, and years since I had cared for any contact. We had long ago gone our separate ways.

And then there was a FB friend request. I ignored it for the longest time. Then a mutual friend said, "When will you accept it?" And I said, "Why would I? We're not friends." She didn't understand, and some people never do. I don't go back. It's not my way. Not to high school reunions, not to old places of employment, and certainly not back to being friends with an ex. It just makes no sense to me.

I've laughed and told people, "I was a lousy boyfriend, mostly because I had never dated, so I didn't know how to be a boyfriend. He was a lousy boyfriend because, well, he was a lousy boyfriend."

And someone would say, "But you loved each other" and I would reply, "In the best way we knew how, we did." Breaking up wasn't hard to do. In fact, we did it regularly, constantly, almost like clockwork. The only thing we did better than breaking up was getting back together.

And then finally, one time, we stopped. And that was years ago.

And out of the blue, there he was last night. Maybe 5 feet away, and just as many years. Had I not known he had moved back, I might not have realized it was him without a second look. I shook his hand. I said hello. I made idle, pleasant chit chat. And then he walked away and I moved on.

Pretty much just like it happened years ago.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bluetooth Devices

I know they're supposed to be safer than talking without them and being distracted. But wearing one without being on a call just makes people look like Uhura waiting to take orders from Captain Kirk.

Hometown Anxiety

I don't know why it happens. But it does. Every time.

This most recent trip to my hometown, I had plans to spend the day, spend the night, and part of the next day. And yet, 3 hours after a pleasant visit with my parents, I was aching to drive back home. I was aching to get out of town before the sun went down and the streets were dark. I was aching to make it back to the bright lights.

I actually left their house and drove probably close to twenty minutes up the highway before I stopped, turned around and went back. I have no idea why. But it happens every time.


Jamie is going to the local hospital today for a cat-scan and ultrasound. He's been telling the ladies at his skill center that he needs to go to the hospital, and Monday night he went to bed early and told MyFella that he hurt. MyFella had noticed that he seemed to be favoring his left side a little, not wanting to use his left arm as much.

So they scheduled an appointment locally with their care provider, who scheduled these tests for today. From there, we'll see if we need to go back to Vanderbilt or whatever.

As MyFella was telling me this, I couldn't help recall the scene in Star Trek: The Search for Spock, when the renewed body of Spock is returned to Vulcan. Spock's friends had done so much to find him, so much to save him. They had sabotaged one ship, stolen another, crossed space and fought with enemies to retrive their friend. They had found him, and taken him home, and near the end of the perilous journey had to climb up a mountain and ask a stranger for help. They had to ask the stranger to save their friend. Spock's father had to ask the priestess for help. And in those words belied a weakness of the father for his son, a father who was portrayed as the pillar of strength, who knew no fear, who controlled every emotion and every thought. But for his son, he would betray his own thoughts.

It's much the same way I feel about Jamie. I don't care what the procedure is, I don't care where we have to take him. I would climb Mount Seleya for him. I just want him well.

"What you seek has not been done since ages past, and then only in legend. Your request is not logical."
"Forgive me, T'Lar. My logic is uncertain where my son is concerned."

- T'Lar and Sarek, on the request of fal-tor-pan for Spock

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rusty . . .

Events such as that make thoughts run through my head before I can control them, before I can count them. They're just there.

The young man sitting a row behind, the mother frustrated, the father seemingly lost in his own concerns.

I really don't know anything, from one aisle over and one row down.

But I know it made me feel. I don't know exactly how it made me feel. I think the English language fails us, fails me, sometimes. But it made me feel. And it lingers with me just a little bit even now.


He was sitting alone on a short aisle of chairs, the seats-fold-down-kind found in most auditorium type areas. He was young, but I couldn't narrow down an age. Just young in that beautiful way that people look when you, the looker, have passed into your 40's. Blonde hair and a lean body. He could have been anywhere between 16 and twenty something.

One row ahead of him and several seats over were three other people, by appearances a father, mother and adult son. This young man was also hard to define by age. His eyes didn't seem to focus on anything. Perhaps blind, or perhaps he looks at everything? His torso rocking back and forth constantly in his chair, his arms seeming to flail in the air. Perhaps to the beat of a tune only he could hear.

The father left his seat for a few minutes, and in that time I saw a moment of frustration in the mother's face. His rocking must be never ending, his arms forever in the air.

And then I noticed the jaw lines, the shape of the two noses. The young man on the aisle by himself, and the other, were brothers. There was no mistaking it.

I leaned over to my right, close to Jamie, and said the same words I've said to him many times before. "I love you so very much. You are my best friend and I love you."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sarah Ferguson

I miss the Sarah Ferguson had that pizzazz and style. And the good sense to have kept this hat off her daughter in public.