What’s the Plan Phil?

If you watch ABC’s Modern Family you’ve heard Claire say “what’s the plan Phil?” She typically does this when chaos ensues and the world is collapsing around them. ¬†The character Phil Dunphy is the proverbial man with a plan. ¬†He is a likeable optimist, often clueless but big-hearted. ¬†I relate to him as¬†I too am the quintessential optimist (in pessimists clothing). ¬†I have always been a planner. ¬†I cannot even make a simple purchase (groceries for example)¬†without a plan or some sort of list. ¬†My behavior is maddening, even to me. ¬†I envy¬†impulsive people. ¬†People who on a whim or spur of the moment just do something, anything, whatever they want to do when they want to do it. ¬†I dream of one day living in the moment. ¬†Ah to be carefree.

At this stage of my life, despite all the pre-planning, life is spinning away from me. ¬†I have lost all control. ¬†Actually, I know I was never really in control to begin with but everything was orderly at least. ¬†To regain that¬†sense of order, I am reading and writing like never before. ¬†Well, not exactly, this is not new for me. ¬†I am going through a resurgence. ¬†I have always been an avid reader and writing has always been my therapy. ¬†I have spirals full of musings and ramblings going back to grade school. ¬†I don’t remember when/why I quit or¬†cut back but I almost feel like a brand new person taking up with this “stuff” again. ¬†At least my hobbies are legal. That’s a plus.

I am still ¬†in awe and¬†amazed how the world has changed. ¬†Blogging connects me to a whole new universe. ¬†Little 12-year-old Jill could never have imagined she’d have readers from around the globe. ¬†Most are from the good ole USA. ¬†Then others are from the UK, Philippines, Ireland, Australia, Canada, and Bangladesh. Back in the day, I was pretty good at this, I had some mad skills or so I was told but I know in truth that I am¬†such a novice. ¬†Clearly I can tell when I read¬†the work of others. ¬†I am both inspired and taken down a peg … in the best company¬†… grateful to have my little part.

Anyway, today¬†has been brutal, from the introverted thinking too much standpoint. ¬†So that’s all for now. ¬†As always, more to come …

Reading is FUN! And Less Expensive Than Therapy

I’ve read six books in the last three weeks! ¬†Thank you public library. ¬†I love downloading these gems onto my Kindle. ¬†I am a kid in the candy store and my choices are sometimes limited to what’s available now as I wait for the new releases and more popular choices.

In my most recent six-pack, I had a mixture that I will now list for you in the order I read them.  Kind of a preview to see if you might want to read them too. No spoilers because these a high level ramblings and musings.

First: ¬†“It Was Me All Along: A Memoir” by Andie Mitchell. ¬†This real life story¬†pulled at my heart-strings and made me want to be a better person. ¬†Details the struggles of a compulsive eater (for lack of a better explanation). ¬†Touches on relationships with family and friends. ¬†Feelings and insecurities abound that eventually¬†lead to acceptance and healing.

Second: “People I Want to Punch in the Throat …” by Jen Mann. ¬†This collection of stories within each chapter is literally – laugh out loud hilarious. ¬†I recommend you read it just to see what God Bless America and Thongs is all about. If you work in an office setting, you can relate to that chapter. ¬† ¬†If you live in the burbs, have kids and/or a goofy spouse, you¬†can relate to the whole book.

Third: “Confessions of a Sociopath Hiding in Plain Sight” by ME Thomas. ¬†If you send her an email, she’ll tell you her real name and her only ask is that you not tell anyone … let them find out on their own. ¬†I’m too afraid to email her. ¬†I did take away that all socipaths are not necessarily evil.

Fourth: ¬†“Bad Kid” by David Crabb. ¬†I am not sure if this was a real story or fiction. ¬†My guess is most really happened (pictures through out to prove it)¬† but with some names changed therefore appearing fictional at times. ¬†The settings were in San Antonio, New Braunfels and Seguin. ¬†Some of the exploits sounded a little like weekends with the people I ran around with in highschool despite the 10 year age difference. ¬†We are about a decade older than the author . ¬†Truth is the 90s are not all that different from the 80s. ¬†Eventually you grow up or you¬†are sick and tired of being sick and tired. ¬†Either way you change.

Fifth: ¬†“Concussion” by Jean Marie Laskas. ¬†I have not seen the movie and I won’t. ¬†The ending was off but sometimes that happens with Kindle – might not have downloaded correctly. ¬†A very abrupt end with no resolution. ¬†I thought Dr. Omalu had the smoking gun to indict the NFL but that didn’t happen. ¬†This book reminded me of some extremes people go to for football. ¬†When¬†T-spoon was little, he wanted to play Pop Warner football. ¬†Bri had played football himself 7th grade to his junior year. ¬†He was against it. ¬†Said if T¬†still wanted to play in 7th grade ok but this is not a sport for the little guys. ¬†One of T’s friends would put rocks in his pocket to meet the minimum weight requirement needed to play. Another friend was twice as big as almost anyone else on the team so the parents let him play up but older boys. ¬†I am like oh hell NO. ¬†What is wrong with you people??!? ¬†But good lord almighty, their kids were going to PLAY. ¬†Back to the book, lives were ruined. ¬†In my opinion, no amount of money is worth damaging your brain.

Last but certainly not least: “Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea” by Chelsea Handler. I have seen this book forever and passed it by. ¬†I didn’t know¬†much about her beyond the name … a comedienne – raunchy style like maybe a pre Amy Shumer. ¬†I never watched Chelsea Lately¬†when it was on (I think the show has¬†been cancelled). ¬†I saved this book for last since I was not sure I could get through all six books in my three-week window. ¬†I would not have been disappointed¬†if I had not gotten to it before it was¬†automatically returned. ¬†Well I was WRONG. ¬†I almost saved the best for last. ¬†Almost because not every chapter is great but oh my lands, there are two that made me laugh until I was snorting. ¬†Chapter 6 – dining in the dark and Chapter ¬†8 barking up the wrong tree. ¬†Billy Bob thought I lost my mind. ¬†I couldn’t even stop laughing long enough to explain what was so funny. ¬†Laughter truly is the BEST medicine. ¬†Laughter and Ketel One¬†that is ūüôā

The Little Things Make Me Happy

… and this is tiny. ¬†I am a creature of habit AND I hate to shop. ¬†I will wear a pair of shoes until they fall apart rather than shop for new ones. The same goes almost everything in my wardrobe. ¬†I did not always feel this way. ¬†My love of shopping was ruined for me in 2006 but that’s a completely different story for another day.

Any way as we were out and about yesterday, roaming around the Quarry, hatching eggs and killing time; distracting ourselves before today¬†… the day when we had to face the music, I found a new wallet. ¬†My old one was really ratty looking, dirty and worn. ¬†But I could not replace¬†perfection. ¬†I was attached because my wallet had¬†just the right amount of everything – enough spaces for credit cards. ¬†A place for my checkbook. ¬†Yes I still write the occasionally check, only twice a month but still. ¬†A pen holder. ¬†A pocket big enough for stamps and business/appointment cards and then the zipper coin purse. ¬† I do not need a big purse because my wallet will do.

Good thing too because I can’t decide. ¬†Too many choices makes me a deer in the headlights. ¬†For years now, my “purse”¬†has been¬†the Bath and Body Special. ¬†They will have special gift sets in cute bags and Wah La!!¬†the selection is already made for me. ¬†I hang on my “purse” for years and when I need a new “purse” I head to Bath and Body :). ¬†I have had only two such ¬†“purses” in the last 10 years. ¬†Can you spell frugal? ¬†Yes … ¬†J I L L

I had been looking to upgrade for a while now, even had other options in my cart before leaving countless stores without a purchase. ¬†But yesterday, the stars were aligned because I found my exact same wallet at Nordstrom Rack. ¬†What are the odds??? ¬†Like a bazillion to one because my wallet is ancient. ¬†Same brand, color, everything. ¬†AND best part is the price … a steal for the low, low price of $8.97. ¬†And that my friends makes me HAPPY!

As always more to come but first take a look at these beauties ūüôā

IMG_1472
My “purse”

 

IMG_1470
At least I can tell the difference. The zipper no longer closes all the way on the old one and I lose coins because of that.
IMG_1469 (1)
Ain’t she a butte?!? Phonetically speaking

What Summer Reading Has Taught Me

I am like a speed demon, reading as many books as I can this summer of 2016. ¬†To me, a¬†book is good when I can retain the story¬†long after reading the last page. ¬†Years later, I will smile at the memory of certain lines. ¬†The feelings never really leave me either. ¬†I feel like I could be friends with the characters. ¬†I have to be careful because I am easily influenced. ¬†The T-shirt “all my friends are imaginary” is not too far off the mark. ¬†I almost always become the protagonist. ¬†Fighting real or imagined wrongs. And lately I have read some pretty dark stuff. ¬†So I am Bad Jill. ¬†Very very bad! ¬†That’s why reading¬†is escapism. ¬†Always and forever the rule follower, books take me away … they¬†allow me to be someone other than … well to be someone other than me.

I am no quitter.  Even when a book is less than desirable to me, I will continue to read, skimming through even though not fully interested.  I only remember bits and pieces of those stories but they will occupy my subconscious.  I confuse them with other stories but they never leave.  I used to be better at remembering titles and authors but now, forget it.  I guess though, for the really good ones, this is not the case.  I notice there is more fluff out there these days which is why I quite reading for a while.  Some popular authors who shall remain nameless just churn out the crap.  A similar variation of the same Рthe proverbial groundhog day.  But because they are human stories, I am always drawn back in.  What a Sucker!

I say I started this blog to practice writing … to become an author … but that’s not really my dream. ¬†There is no novel inside me waiting to be revealed. ¬†I write to release feelings, purely for myself. ¬†Though I’m not gonna lie, I get a warm fuzzy reading¬†that email which says¬†“so-and-so thought ¬†XYZ was pretty awesome. ¬†You should go see what they’re up to. ¬†Maybe you’ll like their blog as much as they liked yours!”¬†I always follow and I have to admit, wordpress got it right. ¬†PRETTY AWESOME. ¬†I am awed and ah-mazed! ¬†I am immensely enjoying what I’d call my blog-a-verse – indomitable¬†universe of bloggers who are all extraordinary peoples each in their¬†own way. That is all for today. ¬†Muah!

As always, more to come …

They Call Me Jilly Willy

but that name¬†was taken … therefore I am jilywily.wordpress.com

Growing up I always wanted a nickname. ¬†My dislike of my name was no secret. ¬†Sure now it’s ok and I actually like being one of a few Jill’s. ¬†But back in the 70s, I endured all of ¬†the¬†usual teasing – hey Jill where’s Jack, your pail, the hill? ¬†Duh? ¬†no originality. ¬†Of course Jill can be short for Jillian but not in my case. ¬†My mom just liked the name.

Originally I am told that I was going to be called Lori Jill or Bonnie Jill. ¬†Ironically two of my closest friends in highschool were named Lori¬†and Bonnie. ¬†Anyway, the only thing for certain was that Jill was going to be in there somewhere. But then like any good Catholic, my parents had to use¬†a saint’s name which is why¬†I was named Jill Cecilia. ¬†Later Jill Cecilia Sara (my confirmation name was added) and the only reason Paige is not Sara(h) is because Brian’s cousin named his daughter that first. ¬†Of course we could have had our own Sara but that would have been too confusing for the family.

Pony Bony¬†was almost Billy Bob Jr. did not want a namesake even though the middle names would have been different. ¬†I wanted to name our son ¬†Jr and call him Bubba or Bubbie, just like Uncle Bubbie. ¬†I also liked Joshua Caleb but the mother in law ruined that for me. ¬†In fairness,¬†Billy Bob didn’t really like Joshua either. ¬†He always said with a last name like ours, one syllable¬†first names work best. So he became simply Pony.

Belated rat hole alert! ¬†I have wandered off topic …so back to task, MY¬†nickname. ¬†Over the years I have had some – ¬†Jilly Willy was behest upon me by the Smiths’s. ¬†I am called ¬†J Dub, JW, ¬†or Jillster by¬†some ¬†co-workers. ¬†But my earliest nickname,the only one that stuck and was used only by my daddy was Chili.

When I was about 5ish, my parents took a 2nd honeymoon to ¬†Nuevo Laredo. ¬†They came back bearing souvenirs. ¬†Felt sombreros all around, paper flowers and maracas. ¬†My dad picked up a few phrases during the trip (his first language was Czech until he learned English in the first grade). ¬†He always said once you are bilingual, picking up a 3rd or even 4th language becomes easier. ¬†Your brain is trained to convert words. ¬†He knew enough Polish and German to get by and Tex Mex at work. ¬†He was telling us our names in Spanish – Teresita, Luna, Luis, Jaime, Pablo … wait … what about me!! what about meeeeeee???? ¬†And without missing a beat he says why you, your name in Spanish is Chili. ¬†And of course I cried. ¬†It is NOT! you’re making that up. ¬†People eat chili, it’s not a name for people, it is FOOD. ¬†But he stuck to it, yes it is, jilly, willy, chili, they all rhyme, see? ¬†He dried my tears and started calling me¬†Chili.

Many years later almost on his death-bed, he was at Southeast Baptist Hospital and they were getting ready to move him to hospice. ¬†We could only go in to his room a few people¬†at a time. ¬†He was¬†slipping in and out of consciousness. ¬†Mostly out. ¬†I was in the room with my nephew Tim and daddy woke up and looked over to us with those beautiful blue eyes said “oh hi it’s Tim and Chili.” At first, no one believed he spoke to us but he did or we both dreamed it. ¬†I say he DID. And of course I cried.

All this to show just how much names mean. ¬†They say there is no sweeter sound to a person than hearing their own name. ¬†I try to use names in speaking to people. ¬†Not just good morning or hello instead¬†good mornng , Hello . ¬†And that is all. ¬†I gotta work on my closings, cuz I got no more to say ¬†(calling literary license or just bad grammar) Either way … bye for now.

As always, more to come …

Don’t Go, Puhleese, Don’t Go

Today was fun after all! ¬†We did free mini¬†facials – me, Lulu¬†and her sweet friend Corts. ¬†We also¬†met a new friend, our beauty consultant – Sarah. ¬†A little hard selling at the end but that’s how you get places. ¬†Can’t blame a girl for trying. ¬†Though not a complete waste because I did buy product. ¬†When given the choice between skin care and make-up, I always choose¬†skin care. ¬†I’m going to re-start my regime and try a microdermabrasion¬†twice weekly to see if I can unclog my skin and reduce the fine lines and wrinkles. ¬†I realized today¬†that I have been avoiding mirrors – FOR YEARS! it’s been a long time since I stared at my face¬†applying make-up. ¬†I DON’T like it at ALL. ¬†Shocking when I didn’t see a 19-year-old girl staring back at me.

I loved having the girls at the house even if only for two hours. ¬†I miss that. ¬†I really, really do. ¬†Our house was always full of kids, revolving in and out when T was home. ¬†The spa treatment¬†was like a mini day time slumber party. ¬†We talked about school and plans for the fall. ¬†Ugh! It’s about the get real! ¬†And I find myself trying to sabotage¬†things so that baby girl won’t leave me. ¬†Don’t Go, Puhleese, Don’t Go!

Get the basics and live at home. ¬†Two plus two degree plans yield the same outcome – a bachelor’s degree in the end. ¬†I could careless what any holier than thou types think. ¬†There is NOTHING wrong with Alamo Community Colleges. The cost for one, sweet. ¬†I mean since we fall in that bracket that she¬†got zero financial aid, other than the standard loan that’s¬†automatic, the price tag is steep. ¬†If we had not invested in the now defunct TX Tomorrow Fund, she’d have fewer options.

Part of me is glad we are able to help her experience what neither of us ever did and part of me wishes the exact opposite. ¬†Struggle baby, struggle never hurt anybody; at least not long-term. ¬†Struggle creates life lessons, builds character. ¬†Go to Corpus or get a car and go to St. Phillips or Northeast Lakeview? ¬†Ha! ¬†See what I mean, sabotage, dangle the carrot. ¬†She’s not taking the bait though. ¬†She has a plan. ¬†Since 2nd grade, she’s had this EXACT plan. ¬†Almost too late to back out now or she’d regret and always wonder what if?

Controller Jill is going to bow out gracefully, into the wings.  I am nervous, excited and jittery and I know she is experiencing exactly the same things.  Wishing we could freeze time, but ultimately glad that we cannot.  And that is all for now.

As always, more to come.

That My Friends is the Power of (Fill in the Blank)

Picture Faye Dunaway playing Joan Crawford in “Mommy Dearest”. ¬†She has faked an¬†illness, but she is all made up watching the Academy Awards.¬† She has her assistant and children with her ‚Äď surrounding her for morale support.¬† She is pacing, and drinking, and listening, and then she hears it, she WINS! ¬†Fans and paparazzi¬†will be outside her home. ¬†She knows this and has prepared for this moment of glory.¬† She throws open the window sash, goes onto the balcony and gives a speech with grandeur spouting the love of her fans. ¬†I can’t quote the scene because I do not remember the words but I can still FEEL raw emotion. ¬†That my friends is the the power of movies. ¬†All forms of art really. ¬†When done right art makes you FEEL something ‚Ķ something larger than life.

Well that‚Äôs how I feel ‚Ķ this morning … at this moment … Friday 7/22/16 at 10:25 am ‚Ķ I feel jittery,¬†manic, BIG ‚Ķ larger than life. ¬†My day did not start out that way. ¬†This morning, I could not get myself out of bed. ¬†I am nervous, taking a day off work, a mental health day ‚Äď a scheduled mental health day by the way.¬† ¬†Friday ‚Äď to chillax, Monday to get final outcome.¬† Tuesday to resume normalcy or whatever our new normal means.¬† I wanted to stay in my sweet cocoon.¬† In fact, I am half way thinking I might go lie down again.¬† But NO! My cocoon was getting sour.¬† After the briefest thought, mind racing, the decision is made ‚Ķ I ‚Ķ WILL ‚Ķ get ‚Ķ up!¬† I ‚Ķ WILL ‚Ķ power ‚Ķ through!

Is that not the saddest thing you’ve ever heard?  I have to power through.  Which insinuates struggle.  Because living is a struggle.  Self-created true, at least in my case but angst by the boatload surrounds me just the same. Then a funny thing happens as I write this post (funny strange not funny ha-ha) … my angst slowly begins to fade.

Whatever poison invaded my mind overnight is running through my veins and all around my circulatory system affecting my thoughts and finally pouring from my brain to my fingers to the keyboard to this page.  Ah-mazing.  That my friends is the power of written expression.  That my friends is the power of positive thinking.  That my friends is the power within all of us. My wish for you is to find your power too.

For me, power comes from my attitude which is my new drug of choice.¬† I can do really fantastic tricks with my mind, forcing happiness. ¬†How I get to happy is not as important as JUST getting there, by any legal, unharmful ways at my disposal. ¬†Perhaps force is too strong a word though. ¬†Finding just the right verse ‚Äď be it bible or otherwise.¬† Emotionally affects me. I read, I think, I become. ¬†I get to choose and today I choose happiness ‚Äď well happiness at this moment, I cannot guarantee I won‚Äôt slip back before the day is done. In my mind, I keep thinking: It IS what it IS until it ISN‚ÄôT.¬† Worry does nothing to change that.¬† Poof! Like magic.¬† I am calm.¬† I think I‚Äôll go read.

As always, more to come.

I Love My Motley Crew

Not the band though in the 80’s, I probably would have said differently. ¬†Did I tell ya, I have a thing for bad boys? ¬†Ya you betcha, I think I did! ¬†But I am going down a rat hole, so turning around back to the task at hand … is the expression¬†rat hole or rabbit hole?? … I always thought rabbit hole but then in class this past Monday, a page of the text said rat hole … same concept too with picture of a cute little cartoon rat with a shovel flinging dirt as he dug his hole. ¬†What does this have to do with me loving my Motley Crew … de nada so let’s start again.

I left my house at 6:30 am this morning and at 6:45 we were almost in a car wreck.  If we had been the leading car turning onto Lexington instead of the following car, it would have been us.  There but for the grace of God go I, we were only witnesses.  I still keep seeing the image Рso shocked at the car just plowing through a red light.  Makes me stop and think how in the blink of an eye, things can change.

I made it to work and had a productive day despite the start to it. ¬†My chauffeur aka Billy Bob picked me up at 3:30 pm ¬†I am looking forward to reading my¬†book; posting my bible verse challenge and just chilling out. ¬†Before we get home, we get¬†a text from baby girl that T wants us to come over. He told her that he’ll help dad set up the deer lease inquiries. ¬†He also wanted to show us his handiwork – built his first PC from scratch and was pretty pleased with himself. ¬†So sure why not? ¬†We picked up Paige and immediately, off we go to visit our sonshine. We were having a good time until …

a phone call is received and a BUNCH OF STUFF HAPPENS THAT WILL NOT BE REPEATED HERE.  Not my place to say specifics only that we had our second blink of an eye moment this evening.  Again we are just witnesses.  Again I am reminded, in a instant everything can change.

Anyhoo, Pony is looking for a spare car key and talking on the phone more calmly that I have¬†seen him in similar circumstances. ¬†He is just like his momma and we are … well lets just say we are excitable. ¬†There is usually lots of hand gestures and yelling curse words. ¬†Except when you’ve got no choice but to pull it together. ¬†And that’s what he did even as he walked room to room and still can’t find the spare key.

We need a Plan B. РB as in Billy Bob because he is ALWAYS the logical one.

The conversation went something like this:

  • Billy Bob – “we can take you there … to both places. ¬†You don’t need the spare key”
  • Pony¬†– “you’d do that, really??”
  • Billy Bob – “You think we won’t help our first born son? ¬†You’re right. ¬†I changed my mind, ¬†we’re leaving”
  • Then in a lower voice¬†he says “you know we’d do anything for you. And see, you and¬†your mom are not the only sarcastic smart asses in the family”.

So off we go, all four of us. ¬†Me walking ahead to get the car unlocked. ¬†Listening to the three of them talking behind me. ¬†Over my shoulder, ¬†I look back and I see them … my motley crew. ¬†Just idle chit-chat to lighten the mood. ¬†That sound is LOVE. ¬†My heart is melting. ¬†Fast forward, we’ve done all we can do and we part ways. While that feeling of LOVE is etched into my soul.

Driving back down IH35 past¬†the Forum to 410, to Rigsby I realize ¬†we have looped the city. ¬†My 50 something year old eyes can barely see. ¬†I should¬†just get the damn AARP card¬†and no longer drive anywhere, ever, after dark. ¬†We finally rolled in @ 9:30 pm. ¬†Wow that’s a 15 hour day! ¬†Sure doesn’t feel like it though … it feels like the¬†blink of an eye. ¬†Life is full of blink of the eye moments. ¬†I can be sad or I can know that I have found my silver lining. ¬†Even in the bad there is oh so much good. ¬†Tonight I choose to be thankful.

As always, more to come …

Confessions of a Sociopath A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by ME Thomas

Heavy reading this time around but well worth the effort. ¬†I saw this book in an airport bookstore¬†years ago but wouldn’t pay the steep asking price. ¬†Now thanks to my online library, I am reading it¬†for free. ¬† I’m only 27% of the way through, too soon to really give a decent review but a few things have already grabbed my attention. ¬†The possibility that being a sociopath is a good thing intrigues me. ¬†The fact that some of the characteristics of high performing executives are the same as sociopaths is plausible. ¬†Many will disagree with the author¬†but not me. ¬†In 2 years spent working in¬†corporate America (albeit a sheltered version of corporate America), I may have even experienced the effects of a sociopath hiding in plain sight. ¬†Gullible¬†… maybe? ¬†But hook line and sinker I believe¬†this … the world¬†DOES have sociopaths hiding in plain sight. ¬† More than one¬†could ever imagine.

As always, more to come …

They Said It’d Never Last Rewind

Part Zero (since part one and two were already posted out-of-order)

Before they said it’d never last, there is the story of how we met. ¬†Begin at the beginning and proceed in sequential order. ¬†Nice neat and orderly or maybe a tad bit compulsive. ¬†Always! ¬†I hate stories that are out of sequence with flashbacks. ¬†Well I don’t really hate them. ¬†I am just jealous that I am not creative enough to write that way. ¬†Quentin Tarantino is the master as in my all time favorite movie¬†Pulp Fiction. ¬†You heard me right. ¬†Pulp Fiction is right up there with Little Miss Sunshine and Steel Magnolias or Terms of Endearment. ¬†YES I am an enigma! ¬†And I have wandered down a rabbit hole. ¬†Ugh now back to task.

I met Billy Bob for the first time in 1970 something at a Communication Workers of America (CWA) round-up at Comanche Park. ¬†I got to tag along with my bestie Cindi Lou Who. ¬†Her dad and my father in law to be grew up next door to each other, were best friends and eventually worked together. ¬†This work related outing was where our paths first crossed. ¬†Cactus Country was the band that evening but he didn’t ask me to dance ūüė¶ ¬†Heart broken but not really. ¬†I would have danced with anybody – Todd, Ricky, it didn’t have to be Billy Bob and it didn’t matter because the minute the band started they went off to the Salado Creek to go fishing (code for who knows what, but fishing is what they called it). ¬†The next time I saw him again was when he¬†tagged along with his dad to drop off picket signs at Cindi’s house and I just happened to be there. ¬†Just a glimpse through the window but I still remember butterflies. ¬†It’d be a few years before I found him again.

Freshman year I made new friends with girls from St. Benedict’s. ¬†We ran wild and started hanging out with the EC punks. ¬†Bad news for sure and dangerous but I still have a thing for rebellious types. ¬†Bri was everywhere we were … Pizza Hut, Sonic, El Tipco, Lakeside Park, Utotem, The Golden Stallion, Blue Bonnet Palace, St. Hedwig, Calavaras Lake, Walzem Game Room, Galaxy Theater, etc… ¬†We were friends first; lots of stories to tell the kids (or not). ¬†When I say dangerous,¬†I mean literally. ¬†I often wonder how we survived.

No romantic sparks flew until August of 1983. ¬† My dear friend Linda was shipping off to Ft. Dix NJ. ¬†Her parents hosted a going away party for her at none other than Comanche Park¬†(fate?!?, I think so). ¬†When the party ended, we weren’t ready for the night to end. ¬†We were “babysitting” two of our mutual friends (the girl spending the night with me and his friend staying with him). ¬†Somehow we all ended up back at my house. ¬†Billy Bob and I sat in lawn chairs in my front yard eating cantaloupe and talking for hours about¬†EVERYTHING. We had so much in common and what was different was very new and exciting. ¬†I didn’t even get a kiss good night that night but from then on, we saw each other¬†every single day.

Our¬†engagement was ever so romantic … NOT. ¬†We were driving down¬†Southcross at the light at Pecan Valley about¬†to turn right and go up two blocks¬†to Glamis. ¬†I was showing him my¬†parent’s rent house that had just become available. ¬†He said maybe he should move in with me. ¬†I said uh no, I could never do that to my daddy (or mom but mainly my dad). I told Billy Bob that he could visit me anytime but he’d have to leave by 10 pm. ¬†He said well,¬†maybe we should get married then. ¬† I say well ok. sure. ¬†And that was it. ¬†No ring worth six months salary. ¬†No proposal on bended knee. ¬†Non-traditional but so US. ¬†Best split second decision we ever made. ¬†And the rest is history. ¬†No wonder people talked as they sometimes do. ¬†What were we thinking?!?!? ¬†We weren’t. ¬†We were young, in love and we took a leap of faith. ¬†That’s enough rambling for now.

As always, more to come.DSC01081Happy 25th in Seward Alaska, in front of Exit Glacier. The soot¬†is from a volcano that erupted a week before we got there. ¬†The guide said the glacier is self cleaning and would be all blue again soon enough. Maybe we should go back and check that out for ourselves ūüôā