Scenic Route: West Texas Sunrises

I (thankfully) am not one of those people who thinks the world begins and ends with Texas. Don’t get me wrong, I love living here. And I love a whole lotta the people who live here with me! I just don’t buy into the whole everything’s-better-in-Texas bit. Go eat some huevos rancheros at the La Fonda in Santa Fe. Then let’s talk about how “everything’s better in Texas.”

ANYWAY, the point of this…

Lubbock, TX | Jan. 2014

Lubbock, TX | Jan. 2014

Check out that sunrise, folks. Pretty hard to beat the ones in West Texas. I may not be an everything’s-better-in-Texas kind of person, but I’m gonna jump on the sunrises-are-prettier-in-West-Texas-than-any-other-part-of-Texas bandwagon.

The sunsets around here are equally impressive, so if even the thought of being awake this early makes you feel violent, maybe try to carve out an evening instead of a morning. Whatever tickles your fancy, folks.

“The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.” –Psalm 65:8

Scenic Route: Best Part of West Texas

Alpine. Marfa. Big Bend.

Music. To. My. Ears.

I LOVE this part of west Texas. Sometimes when I’m feeling blue about living so far from some of my closest friends (who are surrounded by lakes, rivers, trees, hills, etc.‚Ķjerks), I take a little trip two and a halfish hours southwest, and all is right with the world.

cathedralmountain2222

How can you not love this?! This is a shot of Cathedral Mountain, taken about 20 miles outside of Alpine (courtesy of Hugh Macleod over at gapingvoid). Desert beauty, y’all. Soak it in.

OK, moving on. A few weekends ago, Spence and I treated my parents and sister to a weekend in Alpine while the Artwalk was going on. I know. Laugh it up. My dad at an “artwalk.” What’s even better about the whole deal, is that the trip was mainly for him. Spence and I were so overwhelmed by everything he and my mom did for our wedding, we wanted to do something for each of them to show our appreciation. Mom got an iPad mini. Dad got a trip to Alpine. He just really loves art, you guys. JK. He really doesn’t (at least not the kind(s) we encountered on this trip). The grande finale, both nights, was a concert. Night 1: Billy Joe Shaver. Night 2: Ray Wylie Hubbard. Now it all makes sense, right? Dad has wanted to see both of these guys play for several years. When the saster discovered they’d be in Alpine the same weekend, we knew it was exactly what we would do for him. Spence and I booked rooms and told the fam to pack their bags.

The day we left, a winter storm started to hit. So we hightailed it out of town immediately. We were not interested in being stuck in Midland when we had a weekend getaway to Alpine on the books. Nosireebob. I don’t actually have any pics of this because 1) who wants to go outside in an ice storm?! and 2) I just don’t. Sorry.

You know what I do have pics of, though?

This.

Anthony Ray Write Band

Best instrument EVER.

Best instrument EVER.

Oh yeah, then there’s this guy. Do you know him? No. Take a closer look.

Mr. Billy Joe Shaver, in the flesh

Mr. Billy Joe Shaver, in the flesh

He is old. He is a little batty. He is still arguably one of the best songwriters who’s ever walked the earth. He is Billy Joe Shaver. And he’s hilarious.

He just stands on stage, singing his clever songs, and manages to throw in some hilarious one-liners while he’s doing it.

Dad ate it up. I wanted to test out the photo-snapping capabilities of Alice’s new iPad mini, so I snuck this pic while Dad was craning to get a better look at BJS. As you can see,

Fun for everyone!

Fun for everyone!

everyone enjoyed the show.

It was a blast to sit and listen to him play and sing.

photo 3

Saturday began the art portion of the trip. Read: Dad sat in his truck while Alice, Jen, Spencer and me braved the ice to check out some hippie vendors. He said he heard us say at breakfast that we wanted him to drive us around town and show us all his old stomping grounds. To be fair, we did say that. But we also said we would like to check out the artwalk goodies first. He (apparently) did not catch that part, and ended up sitting in some parking lot while the rest of us slid around Main Street (Holland, actually) Alpine checking out the artists. I found some amazing jewelry, and Mom and Jen found a whole boatload of Pendleton blankets. Then, when we left the blankets behind [except for a few ūüėČ ] and headed toward the truck, we found this dude.

!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!

This, my friends, is a bonafide gypsy wagon. We spoke with the owner, who told us it’s a 40s model body (I don’t know proper vehicle terminology‚Ķmuh bad) with a ’57(ish) motor/engine thingy. Translation: it’s awesome. And I want it. gw_hiney Inside that there door lies the coolest home-on-wheels you’ve ever seen. inside gw¬†No, it’s not tricked out with a flat screen, nav system, etc., but it has a wood burning oven, a gas stove and some groovy floral curtains! Check out that interior! I immediately started having visions of weekend getaways to the Big Bend area, TX hill country‚Ķanywhere within driving distance that we could park, sleep, explore and be cool in our new g-wagon. photo 4-2Spence, was not quite as enthusiastic. (He actually checked the price tag before dreaming. Such is our relationship!) He eventually talked me out of it and we moved on.photo 1-3¬†This is my mom, my sister and me with some “Santa’s sleigh” contraption¬†that had been rigged up for the parade (which was cancelled. Thanks, ice). It’s kinda funny, but then there’s that super creepy looking dude over my left shoulder. What is that?? I honestly didn’t notice him until just right now. Weird.

Moving on.

We spent the afternoon driving around with Dad, letting him show us a few of the dozens of places he and his buddies wreaked havoc during their glory days. One was the trailer house where he lived (which has been replaced by a newer, not-quite-so-updated trailer house), one was the old arena where they practiced and hosted the SRSU rodeo (also doesn’t exist any longer), another was the graveyard where two of his friends managed to hog tie him and leave him for dead (that actually still exists)‚Ķthe stories of their shenanigans were every bit as hilarious and irreverent as I always imagined. Dad has never been one to show much (read: any) emotion. But the older we’ve grown, the mushier he’s become. I love it. It’s especially fun on trips like this, because you can actually see the happiness in his eyes and on his face when he thinks back to what are probably some of the most fun memories of his life (post my birth, of course). We drove around looking for “the best Mexican food place in town” (which, surprisingly and disappointingly, isn’t there anymore either), walked through the Museum of the Big Bend, and just enjoyed being together. We were also saving up our energy for that night. It was Ray Wylie time, after all.

These concerts were supposed to be outside on a big lawn, but again, Icetober hit, and everything that could be moved indoors, was. There is randomly an empty hardware building on the main drag in Alpine, called the Foxworth Building.foxworth¬†It’s even more awesome on the inside than on the outside. You enter through the door under the “weathered” awning (see what I did there?), and it is literally, exactly what you would imagine when you think about stepping inside an old, empty hardware store. The floors are sawdusty, and they roped off a little cubby hole in the back to sell beer. They threw up a stage right in that front corner. I’m telling you, the artwalk people had to scramble to get everything rearranged after the ice storm hit, and they did a damn good job. I seriously think the concerts were cooler because of the ambiance of this building. It was loud, for sure. But it was awesome. Plus, it was an ideal floor for dancing. And dancing, there was.

Now I have some bad news.

Ray Wylie Hubbard didn’t happen <insert sad wails>. He flew into Midland sometime Saturday, but was stuck there because of dadgum Icetober. (Seriously so thankful we left when we did, or we would have missed ALL of this!) Of course, the organizers didn’t spread that word around until it was time for him to come on stage (this wasn’t their first rodeo). I felt bad for the guys who they asked to play in his place. The emcee got up and made the announcement and we all made that audible, so sad “awwwww.”
Then the emcee was like, “But give it up for these guys who already played yesterday!!”
Sigh. Jen, Spence and me had already seen RWH live last summer, but poor Daddio was pretty bummed. He was a good sport, though, and hung out to humor “the other guys.”

The next day (Sunday) we all woke up and packed to head home. Oh, but wait. It’s still Icetober. We ended being iced in, so we extended our rooms for another night and set out to see what Alpine is like on a Sunday. As you might imagine, it’s pretty dead. Sunday in Icetober equalled us eating lunch at the same Mexican food joint as everyone else in town, stopping at Alco for some essentials (undergarments and board games), then heading to The Holland Hotel. They were open for business (read: full bar, kitchen that makes snacks, heated), so we stopped in and spent the afternoon playing Farkle and cards. It was actually pretty awesome.

The temps started to rise overnight, and by the time we woke up Monday morning, the ice was melted and we could head home (sad face). The trip was such a success. Even though one of our main attractions didn’t pan out, we still got to experience a little taste of Dad’s college life (I’m positive a little taste is all we could handle), eat some amazing food, sit in the most totally awesome gypsy wagon I’ve ever seen, and spend days together as a family. It was the perfect way to thank my sweet daddy for everything he did to make our wedding the most perfect day of my life.

No matter where you live, I encourage you to visit the Big Bend area. Marfa, Alpine, Fort Davis, Terlingua — they all have their own, distinct charm. No matter the personalities in your family, there is something to make everyone happy in this little piece of the world!

Pit Stop: Street Pizza

Guys. I love pizza. A lot. Like, I could eat it every day. I’m not exaggerating, either. Sometimes Spence will ask me what I feel like eating, and I always suggest different places, but they’re places I know have awesome pizza. So it sounds like I’m suggesting a lot of different kinds of food‚Ķ”Yeah, Schlotzsky’s sounds delish. But so does Luigi’s. Ugh, I don’t know–you pick.”‚Ķbut really, I’m picking places where I know I can get a legit pizza. I don’t think he has caught on to me yet, mainly because I had to take a brief hiatus while I was prepping for the wedding.

So today, while I was running errands at lunch, the stars aligned and I saw this

*imagine the sound movies make when the heavens open*

*imagine the sound movies make when the heavens open*

Holy Street Pizza, Batman! I have seen hot dog carts. I have seen taco trucks. I have NEVER seen a pizzamobile in Midland!

Never mind that I am trying desperately to get back to my pre-wedding/honeymoon diet. I was on my way to Smiling Moose for my guilt-free Greek(ish) salad when I turned out of the post office parking lot and saw her. I knew immediately my good eating for the day was shot. Guys. This was a street vendor making PIZZA. On the sidewalk. Listening to Kings of Leon. Tell me you wouldn’t drop everything (including, apparently, all self-discipline and will power) and go order one of her pizzas. Of course you would! And that’s what I did.

street pizza prep

It was amazing to watch her. She keeps the dough in individual resealable plastic bags in her portable cooler. She just whips one out when you’re finally able to decide what kind of pizza you want. She loads it up with toppings, then sticks it in that there PORTABLE brick oven for a few minutes.

can you see it in there, getting all crispy and delicious?!

can you see it in there, getting all crispy and delicious?!

When it comes out, it is a gooey, delicious masterpiece.

Clearly I couldn’t wait to get into it, because I was halfway through the first piece

aaaahhhh sooooooo gooooooood!

aaaahhhh sooooooo gooooooood!

before I remembered I needed to take an “after” pic to show you guys how beautiful it was. Sorry not sorry. My appetite comes before MAPsQuest. That is just something you’ll have to learn to live with.

You can find the pie queen here, or like her on Facebook! She posts her location every day, that way you can find her. Now go get your pizza on! And tell her ‘thank you’ for helping make Midland a bit more fun (and yummy)!

Pit Stop: Kentucky Appreciation Weekend

I love Kentucky. I went to school at Western and those three years were easily three of the most important of my life. The people I met are some of my favorite in the whole world. Kentucky is maybe my favorite state….don’t tell New Mexico!

Anyway, I recently (and accidentally) experienced my first ever¬†Kentucky Appreciation Weekend. It started with plans for my friend Joey’s and my 2nd Kentucky Derby party here in Midland.

Derby Party Hosts

We had so much fun planning and coming up with ways to beat what we did last year–which wasn’t terribly difficult since last year we were in a tiny venue with an even tinier budget.

First Ever Kentucky Derby Party – 2011

But before I get to this year’s party, I think it’s essential to know what kicked off the weekend of Kentucky…

Fourth & Last Annual Kentucky Chili Derby

Fourth & Last Annual Kentucky Chili Derby

Back in the ’80’s, my boss–who was a landman at the time–organized a chili cook-off the same weekend as the Kentucky Derby for three years in a row. He called them the First/Second/Third & Last Annual Kentucky Chili Derbies. This year–26 years later–he put together the 4th & Last Annual Kentucky Chili Derby and six teams from our office competed for the title. The pictures above are of Team White Lightening. We dressed up in our best Kentucky Hillbilly garb, drank homemade moonshine hooch out of mason jars and made bourbon chili. We didn’t win anything except the pie-eating contest, but we had a dang good time! All the other teams told us our chili was easily the best, but alas, the judges didn’t agree. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

That was Friday. Cutoff shirts, boots, overalls with no shirts, moonshine hooch.

This was Saturday.

That’s better!

Snazzy

      

Don’t we clean up well?! We rented out a lounge and set up a backdrop…

…and all the girls adorned fancy hats and dress; the guys sported seersucker suits and suspenders. We served Kentucky Hot Browns and mint julep punch (I’m sad I didn’t get any pictures of that!).

  

We had a wonderful day. My horse won (I stupidly didn’t bet any money on him, but I picked him nonetheless!) and I had a wonderful time celebrating the most fun event of the year and my favorite state (commonwealth, really) in the Union.

Cheers to My Old Kentucky Home!

The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home,
‘Tis summer, the people are gay;
The corn-top’s ripe and the meadow’s in the bloom,
While the birds make music all the day.
The young folks roll on the little cabin floor,
All merry, all happy and bright;
By ‘n’ by Hard Times comes a-knocking at the door,
Then my old Kentucky home, goodnight.
 
Weep no more my lady
Oh! weep no more today!
We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home,
For the Old Kentucky Home far away.

Pit Stop: Faith & Wisdom Sermon Notes

Faith & Wisdom, James Pt. 3

Review:
I.      Faith is not a matter of more or less but rather a matter of a sufficient object.

II.     Faith is my place of trust, confidence and identity because of the object of my faith rather than the quantity.

III.    Wisdom is a God-centered view of life, my identity, circumstances and situation, born out of a secure faith relationship with God through Christ, that leads me to God-centered gratitude, understanding, response and reaction.

The reality of wisdom for the follower of Jesus:
I.      Wisdom is fully accessible (Proverbs 8:1-5; 9:1-6)
II.     Wisdom is the source of leadership, greater ideals, goals, ambitions and even creativity (Proverbs 8:6, 14-16, 22-30)
III.    Wisdom is truth and clarity (Proverbs 8:7-9)
IV. ¬† ¬† Wisdom holds greater value than ‚Äúsilver / gold‚ÄĚ or any material possession (Proverbs 8:10-11, 18-19)
V.      Wisdom directs its rejoicing and praise towards God the Father (Proverbs 8:30-31)
VI.     Wisdom is blessing, life and favor (Proverbs 8:32-35; 9:10-12)
VII.    To ignore wisdom is a very dangerous choice (Proverbs 8:36; 9:13-18)

Ultimately, wisdom is the understanding, application, and living out of more of Jesus and less of me in every sphere of life
(John 3:30; 1 Corinthians 1:22-24, 30, 2:7; Colossians 2:1-3)

What now?
1.      Pray (Ephesians 1:17; I John 5:14)
2.      Pursue (Colossians 3:16; 2 Timothy 3:15)
3.      Press on (Colossians 4:5; James 3:13-18; Philippians 3:12ff.)

As Christians, we realize that our ‚Äúdoing‚ÄĚ things never gains God‚Äôs favor, but it is a joyful response empowered by the Holy Spirit of all that God has done for each of us in the Gospel.

My notes:
Scriptures never say to ask for more faith.
We struggle because we pray and pray and pray, and God doesn’t do what we ask. But we’re praying for faith and not paying attn. to what God is doing for us. We have all the faith we need. He wants us to know that if our foundation is on Him, that’s enough. Trials strip away the other things we’ve put our faith in. You’re told to pray for wisdom. Wisdom is seeing things the way his sees them as responding accordingly.
What defines you is what you trust in the most.

Stop: Wisdom

2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Those who doubt should not think they will receive anything from the Lord; 8 they are double-minded and unstable in all they do. 9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation–since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. 12 Blessed are those who are under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each of you is tempted when you are dragged away by your own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” —James 1:2-18, TNIV


This scripture is one that just keeps coming up. It’s casually mentioned in conversation, stumbled upon in study and taught from the pulpit on the days I can stomach church. This scripture is all up in my business. It’s in my face. IT WILL NOT GO AWAY, haha. The first time it came up was more than a year ago. I endured a sort of trial and I “passed.” I did the honorable thing. But the situation needed to be revealed to someone. And I was worried about what that someone would think. As I drove home, tears streaming down my face, I prayed and asked God to give me the strength to tell what needed to be told, even though I had done right. Let me pause for a sec and say that I haven’t ever heard from God. He’s not like, “Hey, Mags–say ‘this’.” I feel urgings and read things in study that direct me, but never have I audibly heard the voice of God (which is totally fine, because that would completely freak me out. Plus, I’m not sure if I think God really has an audible voice…but that’s another blog post altogether!) <– rambling again…
However, on this day, God gave me James 1:12. It popped in my head and I knew it was God calming my heart.
That’s where I made my mistake–I thought I had it figured it out. It was so easy! I could just ask, and *boom* there it was! A little more than a year later, I would learn there’s more to it.

My first few steps out of the wreckage were more like angry stomps. I was just plain pissed at God. I saw the drunk-driving debacle coming; well, not the entirety of it, but I saw early signs. As soon as I did, I started praying:
“Take these feelings away. They’re not cool or okay or what I want. Get them out of here.”
Then I waited. Feelings didn’t go anywhere. They stayed about the same, so it wasn’t getting worse, but it also wasn’t getting better. I kept praying, because “Blessed are those who are under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life…” But it wasn’t working. No matter what I asked for, things weren’t changing. So I started looking for physical ways out. I applied for tons of jobs. Finally, I got an interview in one of my most favorite places in the world–Nashville. Things started falling into place a bit. I really hit it off with the hiring manager and soon I was flying out for an interview; and they were paying the tab, so I felt like my chances were pretty good. But I didn’t get it. I was disappointed, but more so, I was worried. I needed to get out. At this point, I wasn’t praying about it much. I was just looking for a way out. I threw myself into the job search, landed another interview with the Nashville bunch, and didn’t get it, either. Now I was mad. Had I not prayed? Had I not asked for the feelings to go away? Had I not made efforts to get out? Then the whole thing spiraled out of control; the conversation(s), the confessions, the “drunken driving” fiasco. By the time we’d cratered into the bar ditch, I was flat-out livid. I lived livid for some time. Sometimes I’m still there. But I’m coming out of it because of this particular scripture. There’s a preacher in town who’s been preaching on it, and the last time I went, this is what he said (these are sermon notes, along with some of my own that day. I urge y’all to look it all up yourselves).

Remember when I said I trusted him so completely that I jumped in the passenger seat and continued along the bumpy ride, despite my head’s earlier advice? Yeah. That is the most real example I have of placing complete faith in something/someone. I, myself, talked to others (long before all of this) about things/people in which their faith was placed. I cautioned against it; said those things/people could not handle that faith-weight. I warned them those things would eventually crumble before them, because the only thing designed to hold that much faith-weight is God. But there I went, putting complete faith in someone who could not bear that weight.

Now I know what happens when that crumbles. It usually drags you down along with it. A willing participant in the drunken driving, everything crumbled around me and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I just sat, lifeless and numb, as my life caved in and my heart ripped into millions of pieces. I’ve mentioned my “first responders” in other posts. They surrounded me with love and grace, and carried me when I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. They were my God-sent miracle workers. I will spend another post telling you how wonderful they are; for now, just know they were the first to start pulling me up and helping me find this lesson.

I should never have quit praying about it when I wasn’t getting the answers I wanted and expected (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24). My faith in God taking care of me was smaller than my faith in this person. I let myself falsely believe I was on my own. It was absolutely bigger than me, though. Because the second I let myself believe that, was when my feelings took over and ruled against the truth. The truth was (and still is, I suppose) that this was not for me. This was not what I’d been waiting for. I became convinced it was, because I was trying to fight evil all by myself. I had shut God out; I was mad and didn’t need his help (there’s that whole independent/don’t need anyone’s help thing). And clearly, I lost. It overtook me — us.

I’m still in the middle of the lesson. I’m not even close to knowing what all I need to know from all of this. I’m trying, though, and I feel like wisdom is a relevant place to start. If nothing else, I now know how to keep myself from falling into a dangerous “ride” again. For now, that’s enough. I’m welcoming the lessons, and praying they come with far less bruising and scars.

As always, thanks for taking this journey with me.

Stop: Hit & Run

Have you ever been tricked; just plain duped? I swear, it happens to me all the time! I am crazy gullible. If you say something in the right tone at the right time I will probably buy it–no matter how ridiculous it is. Ask my family–especially my Uncle Bob. He is constantly tricking me into believing outrageous stuff.

Have you ever been involved in a hit-and-run accident? I haven’t, but I feel sure I know precisely what that feeling is like. At first you’re shocked.
Wait…what just happened??
Then you move to worry/fear (or some variation in that family of feelings).
What am I going to do? How will I fix this?
Then comes anger.
Really?! REALLY?! Who does that?? @&*#$!
I’m not entirely sure what comes after that (I’ll keep you posted), but my guess is you start processing next steps and figuring out what to do to remedy the issue.

I have been tricked. Someone did a hit-and-run on my heart. There’s no ugly physical damage (most days) like with an automobile accident, but trust me, said heart is totaled. It skidded into the bar ditch, rolled, flipped, caught on fire and burned up. Also unlike a car wreck, it didn’t play out quickly. It dragged. On and on, and on, and on, and on, and………………

Until recently I was sure the “hit-and-runner” (this title is so fitting) was like those who drive off and feel like crap, but their fear is bigger than their feeling of remorse, so they keep driving. However, some insight proved I was, in fact, wrong. There. I said it. Those of you who know me (well or not) know I’m rarely wrong *insert sarcastic comment here*. But it has happened. My hit-and-runner is most definitely guilty of DWI. When I first saw those billboards on I-20 with the guy posing for a mug shot with the caption, “It’s ok…I’m good to drive,” I realized that was the mentality of my perp (I love cop-talk). He was sure he was good to drive. He knew what he was doing, the full scope of the damage that could (and would) be done, how far he had to go to reach his destination, what stops to make along the way. He was aware of all of it. And he was fine. He swore. Now his face is on that damn billboard every time I drive by. He was most definitely NOT okay to drive. But he said it so convincingly! He was earnest and solid in his seemingly sober state. My heart was in desperate need of another one that understood it and wanted to take care of it. It had yet to encounter one that knew how or was willing to do it. Initially, my heart head was resistant. It saw past the beer goggles, so to speak. It was like your friend at the party who’s actually sober and says, “Whoa. I feel like that’s a terrible idea. Look at him. He’s definitely not okay to drive.”
Then, in my heart’s buzzed state, it replied, “Aw no, he’s fine. See? He’s walking straight. He’s not slurring. He’s got this.”
We all know how that story ends. It ended just like that. It ripped my world (along with dozens of others’) into little, bitty pieces.

Unfortunately, I took him up on his offer to drive me home. I had so much trust and faith in him that I was sure he would take good care of me. After enough of his coaxing (“…if I were drunk, could I do ‘this’?”) I was super excited to have found that heart I needed so badly. Here it was! Maybe it wasn’t shiny and new — it was a little battered and bruised — but it was perfect for me; just what I wanted and needed. So I jumped in the passenger seat and tried to enjoy the ride. My heart is accustomed to bumpy rides. It’s been on quite a few over the years. So when this one was bumpy from the beginning I thought nothing of it. Anyway, it wasn’t the driver who was causing the uncomfortableness of the ride; it was all the damn potholes, rocks and ruts in the road. There was roadblock after roadblock but we breezed through them (more confirmation of his sobriety). But after a while, we began to lose control. We were making unsafe decisions…pulling out in front of people, running red lights…it was starting to feel like he wasn’t behind the wheel anymore. I peered closely at him. He looked smashed–just plain hammered. But he kept saying he was okay, and we promised we would let each other know if we weren’t. So I trusted him. Then he crashed. I already explained what that looked like, so I won’t go there again. Miraculously, we both walked away from it. We crawled from the wreckage and went our separate ways.

I’m still mending. And it’s slow. But I have some of the best caregivers out there. They don’t fill me with empty words and they don’t try to force-fix me. They get that this path was through uncharted territory; none of them have been here and they don’t try to pretend they have. They’re just here. They make me laugh, let me cry and give me things to throw when I need to break something.

I survived my hit-and-run. It’s not without bumps and bruises, but I’m alive. Welcome to my journey out of the wreckage.