Mother’s Day Reflections

Today is a day full of reflection for me. A day when I won’t get to celebrate something I wish I could because it’s been ripped from my grasp. While others are praising their mom’s for doing a great job…I am contemplating what I don’t have with my own.

I have never once heard the verbal words from either of my parent’s that they loved me. I was never allowed to snuggle into my mother’s lap when I was a kid. I was called names, made fun of and shoved away. I always swore I would be a better mom than that. Those opportunities were taken against my will in 2006. Today for me isn’t a day of celebration about my  mother or being a mom. I don’t get that chance. Instead today is about burying the hatred for manipulation, abuse and loneliness.

Mother’s Day for me is about letting go of the past and moving forward to a new day. Not all of the people in the world have been fortunate enough to have the perfect situation and upbringing. Some of us don’t have Mothers who supported us into our own personal growth. We didn’t have Mothers who hugged us through our failures or gently wiped our tears of despair.

That doesn’t mean that we aren’t thinking about all that could have been. Can we change it? Nope, we can’t because it’s not us that needs to change. Some mothers (and fathers too) just aren’t model, idealistic parents. Some just don’t want to be and other’s aren’t given the chance.

To those that are struggling today with not being given that chance, keep this in mind. Out there somewhere in the Universe, no matter what religion (if any) you are, someone in the big wide complex dimension of what we call Life, hears what is in your heart. Even if you don’t speak it through you lips or put ink to paper, I have faith that a higher power listens. Someday, somehow the world will right itself within your corner and you will get the chance to vocalize those thoughts within your head and heart. It might only be through blog pages or it could just be through a diary but someday, somewhere you will have the chance to share the hurt, pain and sadness. It’s why I’m writing this now.

Don’t be ashamed of situations out of your control. We need to learn to express, cope and move on. Know that you are not alone. There are more of us that do not celebrate Mother’s Day than you can imagine. Be fearless, speak your heart and hold nothing back. Let the offenders of wrong-doing wallow in their own self-pity because someday, you will still be standing strong surrounded by those you love while others will be alone and empty. Know that you are expressing yourself to get out from behind the walls of hurt and betrayal. Know that there is NOTHING wrong with you, unless you let someone else control your thoughts and your destiny. The power is yours! Say ENOUGH, express to the world the hurt and pain inside yourself.

Most of all, KNOW that you are LOVED by others just because of SHARED pain, heartache and tragedy. Wrap yourself in the smiles and laughter of friends. Surround yourself in the happy!

To all you Mom’s out there: Never take for granted the opportunity to show your love. Never pass on a hug. Show your children every chance you get to show them how much of your heart they hold.

The Tomboy Within

Growing up, I always used to joke that I was my father’s only son. From as early in my life as I can remember, my daddy used to take me hunting and fishing. We spent so much time together as I grew up, he became my best friend. I love my daddy very much. I don’t get to see him anymore due to circumstances and choices that are out of my control but I will never forget our time together and all the lessons he taught me. Being my father’s “tomboy”, I learned to not only hunt and fish but to work on cars, get greasy and spin wrenches. Since my dad drove race cars for years, I learned the ins and outs of mechanics and car set ups. I know how to change my own oil, brake pads and even to change tires. These are life lessons that have helped me out on more than one occasion. Parts departments hate to see me coming. Service stations have threatened to have me thrown out of building when they couldn’t admit fault, especially to a girl. It’s actually kind of comical after the fact…but during situations like that, it makes my blood boil. I’ve had people try to fit me into a box of a proper, well-behaved lady. That box doesn’t fit…AT ALL! I am my father’s only son. I swear like a trucker. I like to drink beer. I hang with the “boys” more than I do the ladies. I don’t sit through gossip over morning tea. I work just as hard, if not harder than a lot of men I know. I like to go throw a little mud from the tires on my truck. I like going fishing and hunting. I like shooting guns and bows for competitive sport (and have even gotten myself a couple of trophies for it too). I like four-wheeling. I like being a grease monkey and fixing things. I go at my own pace. I like wearing blue jeans, t-shirts and baseball caps. I would rather be sitting on the tailgate of a pickup in the middle of a field looking up at the stars or watching a bonfire than sitting in some fancy restaurant enjoying a chef prepared meal. I am a burger and french fries kind of girl.

The "real" me in my ball cap in the pasture with cattle.

The “real” me in my ball cap in the pasture with cattle.

On another note, I do “clean-up” rather well. The difference is so startling that even my own neighbors and family members hardly know it’s me. Until I talk that is. I have a rather unique voice with strains of accents I have no idea the origination of. I was bred and born in upstate NY but I have a southern accent on some words while others have a Canadian accent. I’ve had lots of people ask me where I’m from…even when I grew up the next town over. I’m not really a traveler either. I’ve been to South Carolina once. The eastern sea board once. Canada once. It’s just the strange mess of who I am. A mix of a little bit of everything. It makes me that much more unique. Fishing has been a relative constant in my life. An obsession that I have carried on my shoulders, lacking a few short years here and there, that has given me so much peace in my life. I remember fishing with my daddy when I was really little and him showing me how to bait my own hook. After I became a pro at catching fish, he taught me how to take the fish off the hook too. I think it was more for him than me because he wasn’t getting a chance to fish himself. But, needless to say, I can do it myself. Something a ton of women I know refuse to do. Over the years, I have been so obsessed with fishing that when I worked as an account representative for a printing company, I would take lunch breaks in my long skirt and all to go fly fishing for trout along the banks of creek. You should have seen the looks I would get as I wrapped the back of my skirt up between my legs to tuck the hem into my waistband and proceed to done my hip waders. Many years ago, I discovered something that combines two loves of my life…fishing and art. I learned how to tie flies! I even had a small business for a while making and selling flies for fishing. I even did classes for local youths to learn to tie their own flies and then I would teach them how to fly fish too. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I haven’t tied flies in years and I am hoping to find some time soon. I still have some old ones in my box that I broke out on this last Sunday. Still managed to land me a bunch of panfish with the old standby. Life is good when I hear the gear whip of a fly line. Life is even better fighting a panfish on a nearly 8 ft. fly rod. Here’s my favorite image from Sunday…a flashback stonefly nymph in the mouth of a hand-sized panfish caught along the bank of the farm pond. Oh yes. Life was very good.

One of my favorite fishing for panfish!

One of my favorite things…fly fishing for panfish!

I’ll leave you for now. I’ll update more soon. Until then, I want to leave you with one small thing. NEVER under estimate a female, woman or girl. You don’t know what kind of background they may have. 🙂

Strength of the storm

Back in 2008 when I was struggling with the loss of family members and a new diagnoses of Multiple Sclerosis, I watched a storm develop over my home…these are the words that came to mind.

Photo taken as a storm receded and the sunshine blessed us with it’s presence.

In the inner recesses of my mind, there is no light. 
There is no way out. No way to start over. 
No way to control the inner blackness that surrounds me like storm clouds.
Emptiness. Loneliness. Sadness.

These are the emotions I feel. 
My existence here seems so small and unimportant. 
I have lost nearly everything that I hold near and dear to my heart. 
I am but a shadow of my former self. 
Earth shattering and heart breaking events seem to swirl around me like clouds of the impending and unrelenting storm that keeps whirling around my body and soul.

The pain is like the driving rain that falls from the sky. 
The loneliness blows at my soul like the winds of a tornado. 
My utter sadness that goes to my core is like the lightning bolts that shoot from the sky. 
Ominous clouds, strong winds, driving sheets of rain and bolts of lightning;the center of my existence.

I stand in the center of it all. 
Still fighting, still struggling against it all. 
Feet planted firmly apart on the ground. Arms slightly raised, palms up at my sides. 
Head tilted back with my face lifted. My breathing is calm and deep. 
I am absorbing the strength and ferocity of the storm, becoming one with the pure unadultered power of nature. 

One lone tree stands in the background. 
Barren and leafless, it spreads out its branches like the fingers of death and destruction. 
It fights my soul to gain control of nature’s prowess. 
Dark and menacing as the storm and grown from Mother Nature herself, 
this tree should be over powering me yet, for some reason we stand in compatible silence with the noise and roar of the storm blowing around us.

I will not be defeated. I am who I was put here to be. 
I am here to prove a point to all those I come in contact with. I am at peace. 
I have found serenity. I am strong. 
No one can not chop me down like the old dead tree. 
No one can not strike me with lightning to split me in half.  
No one can blow me apart with their winds. No one can not knock me down. 

The driving rains toughens my skin. 
The winds only make me gnarled and twisted, in turn making me stronger. 
The lightning only charges my conviction.  
The ominous clouds only serve to make me blind to what I need to see. 
The rumble of thunder deafens me to hear only what I am suppose to listen to.

I stand in the center of it all. 
Still fighting, still struggling against it all. 
Feet planted firmly apart. Arms slightly raised, palms up. 
Face lifted while my head is tilted back. My breathing is calm and deep. 
I AM the storm that has strength and fury. 
I am at one with the power of nature. 

You fight as you continue to gain connection as you dig into her inner ground soul and as you touch her skies with your fingertips. 
You challenge her at every turn but, she is stronger willed that you are and she controls your destiny. 
You are that barren, leafless tree that someone will chop down. 
You can be struck by lightning and split in half. 
You can be blown apart by the howling winds of destruction. 
You can be knocked down and you will. 

I stand in the center of it all. 
Still fighting, still struggling against it all. 
Feet planted firmly apart. Arms slightly raised, palms up. 
Face lifted while my head is tilted back. My breathing is calm and deep. 
I AM the storm that has strength and fury. 
I am at one with the strength of the storm.

I have found my strength within, I pray that you can find the same in yourself. Gather strength from the struggles. Empower and embrace your inner storm.

Exciting Week

Lots has been going on around the farm. I’ve been spending some time working on the stuff for my “life transition” but have also taken some time out with friends to do the things I love to do. On the 1st, it was opening morning of turkey season, and one of the people I enjoy spending time with on a regular basis came up to go hunting. I don’t hunt with a gun anymore…but I take my camera instead.

Chris got himself all set up in a blind in an area the two of us have been seeing three big tom turkeys every morning between 7 and 7:30 am. I worked on farm chores and did a little reading for a bit. He was texting messages back and forth. He was impatiently waiting for the turkeys to come in. Encouraging him to just sit tight was almost comical.

I decided to go for a little walk. Suddenly I heard a boom shortly followed by another boom. Not a minute later a text comes through. Where are you? Get up here with your camera! He’s beautiful.

I managed to make it to the top of the hill to where he was, finding a bunch of feathers on the ground about 50 yards from his blind and an empty blind. No bird. No Chris. He had carried the thing across 20 acres to his truck. Must be he didn’t want it to get away.

When he pulls up with his truck, he has the biggest smile on his face and is bouncing around like Tigger in the Winnie the Pooh cartoon. His smile and excitement was contagious. I couldn’t stop grinning as I listened to him recall the tail of a bird coming in from the wrong direction. Aiming and knocking the bird down and upon retrieval, it jumping up and trying to run away. I am sitting here with a dopy grin recalling how excited he was.

By the way, this was his first tom turkey and it was a beautiful bird. I remember how awesome that feels and what kind of adrenaline rush it is to get something like that. It’s a major sense of a job well done. I love that feeling but I think being able to just share it meant more to me than it would have if I had shot the bird myself.

My friend Chris with his first tom turkey

My friend Chris with his first tom turkey

I am so thankful that I got to be here and share the experience. It means more to me than words can describe. Being around Chris has shown me that there are so many things in life that I really enjoy doing and have let go of them to try to be something I’m not. I am a country girl who likes hunting with the “boys”, fishing, shooting, bow hunting, spending time in the woods, and I am an all around Outdoors Woman. I can’t change that. It’s stitched into the fiber of my being.

A word of advise to everyone: Don’t ever try to fit into a box someone else has built for you. It rarely fits and is suffocating. Break free, be yourself and someday the right one will come along and fully understand who YOU are, not what they want you to be. I am so fortunate to have awesome friends who are there for me and have supported me 110%, no matter what I have chosen to do or be. And friends like Chris, who know without saying, all the things that really make me the person I am and kick me in the butt when I try to be something different.

Sounds kind of strange doesn’t it? My 31 year old male friend kicking a 38 year old female’s ass into shape to be who she really is. Damn kids anyhow! All joking aside, he is special and it means so much that he has been my friend through one of the most difficult things in my life. For that, I will be forever grateful.

Now….time for me to do some fishing! Something I have done in three years! But time to get back to it…cause it’s just who I am!

You got it…that’s me from about 3 years ago! Bass fishing with a flyrod, earbuds in, rocking out the fishing experience!