Saturday I was babysitting my eight-year-old granddaughter so my daughter and her feller could go throw axes for her birthday. Yeah, for those of you who didn’t know it, that’s a thing now.
Savannah and I were having a wonderful afternoon together. We went to eat then decided to go for a short drive with the top down on the car. We simply took a right turn instead of a left turn and away we went down these beautiful two-lane backroads. We weren’t going fast, just enjoying the drive and talking. It was great, until…
Right in front of us was a car stopped cross ways of the road diagonally. Over on the right shoulder of the road were two men that appeared to be pulling something from a ditch. Stopping, I think great, this is a bad accident and I have to keep my granddaughter from seeing something horrible. I held up my left hand and told her to keep looking at it and no matter what don’t look at anything else. Of course, as with all children, she asked why. I told her to simply do as I said. Turns out I should have told her to put her hands over her little ears.
My first indication this wasn’t what I originally thought it was, was when a white truck had to pull over onto the shoulder of the road and part way into a ditch and went around the black Mitsubishi and went by me with this look of pure outrage. You see, it wasn’t a wreck but a dumb asshole who must have backed out of his driveway where two men were putting in a brick mailbox and he was giving them hell before going on his merry way.
Yes, by this time I had noticed the moron in the little black Mitsubishi, and he waves at me to do the same thing as that four-wheel drive truck had just done. Me, in a small sports car, was supposed to put my life, my granddaughter’s life, and my car in this idiot’s hands to accommodate him.
My response was to point at him and then with my left hand pointed back over my shoulder with my thumb for him to move his ass out of the middle of the road. He did.
He pulled up on me so fast and in such a way to block me and proceeded to call me a dumbass and told me I could have gone around him. Most of you will understand the term body space. Well, in this case he had violated mine with his car about as close as you could get.
I understand that maybe some women would have been intimidated by some large baboon three times their size, but I’m not one of them. Did I feel that my life and more importantly my granddaughter’s life might be in danger? Yes, and I reacted accordingly. I started out by calling him an asshole and asked if he saw my granddaughter in the backseat and was he really stupid enough to think that I was going to take a chance on her safety on his gesture then he was totally mistaken.
Then he really started cursing me and that’s when I sort of lost it. I have had to apologize to my granddaughter numerous times for the things she heard come out of my mouth, but I have to say the asshole didn’t get the last word in. If I could have come out of my car without climbing up and over the side of the car, this guy was so close I’m still surprised he didn’t scratch my car, I would have. You might be three times my size, and you might take me down, but I guarantee you that you will feel the hurt.
The thing is, this guy was a bully. He thought as a woman I would drop my head and go I’m sorry. Fuck you. I’ve never run from a fight and even at my age now I’m not about to start doing so. So, to that asshole in Shelby Forest in the black Mitsubishi, the next time you think you’re some big intimidating man, think again. Also, you might want to rethink picking on women in general because if I run into you in public, I will embarrass you and I won’t have to resort to the language I used Saturday. Oh, this might seem a little childish here and honestly it is, but I have to do this. If I were you, I would go take an anatomy class. Your brain, what little you might ever had, may have sunk to your ass but mine, like most peoples, is still located in my cranium.
When you say a company goes out of its way to take care of its customers, clients, or patients there is one place that takes that to the ultimate extreme.
I have two daughters who work for the same optometry group. One of them spends a great deal of time on the phone because she has a voice and way of handling people that is put to good use. Now this seem like a big deal, but it does bring out the fact that I’m a nut case and likely to make a fool of myself.
Now I’m not the kind of mom who drives her girls crazy at work and try to keep from contacting them at work unless there is a real need. What follows some may or may not think was a necessary call. but it happened.
The daughter who is really good with people on the phone is also a walking, talking encyclopedia of dog care, food, treats, and pretty much anything you want to know about them. We have a three-month-old Black lab. I have been seeing the doctor’s over where my girls work for a while now and I like the doctor I see. He’s a hoot. He is also straight up, no holes bared, no sugar coating when it comes to your eyes. Picture set up so far?
Since my daughter usually calls me regarding anything to do with my eyes and she usually answers the phone I called her the other day about something to do with our new pup. She answered the phone and as usual I call her by some pet name and proceed to ask her about something I had just bought for our new addition. The conversation goes as follows.
“Sweetheart, I just bought such and such for Sophie and now I’m wondering whether or not to give it to her?”
With slight hesitation she comes back with, “Well, did you read the ingredients on the package?”
“Yes, I did. I’m still not sure if it’s a good thing to let her have.”
“Do you want me to look it up for you?”
“Would you please sweetie?”
“Sure, hold on a second.”
This second turned into a couple of minutes but I’m patient. Finally, my daughter gets back on the phone.
“Ma’am, where did you get the treat?” this is not an unusual way for my daughter to address me when she is at work because she thinks it’s funny.
"I got it at so-an-so.”
“Then you should be fine and Ma’am, who am I speaking with?”
Now this is just taking things way too far in my opinion and I’m not thinking it’s cute.
“Your mother, who else do you think you’re talking to?”
At this point my daughter bust out laughing and I’m not getting any happier.
“Mom, everyone in this office has been trying to figure out about this damn dog treat and what to tell you. No one knew who you were.”
“Honey you couldn’t tell it was me when you answered the phone?”
“Mom, I wasn’t the one who answered the phone. So-and-so answered and she has been running around everywhere trying to find out anything from anyone she could to help you with this. They finally said give it to me because I know about these things. I thought I recognized your voice, but I couldn’t even be sure it was you.”
“Oh my God.” At this point I want to crawl under the table but there wasn’t one handy.
“Look the treat is fine for Sophie.” Shortly after we hung up and I didn’t hear from my daughter until later that evening when she got off work. She called.
“Mom, I have to tell you that you gave everyone the biggest laugh today. Phones were ringing all over the office with everyone talking about you calling about a dog treat. When I got off the phone with you, I just yelled out it was you and they understood. We laughed over this one for hours."
I’m not real sure how I should take that but the next time I carry them treats, I do whenever I can, they may all be dog treats.
I’ve often been asked where do my stories come from? It’s funny that a writer friend of mine who is also a horror writer often refers to one of my stories as the scariest thing she ever read. The name of the story is ‘Hidden Within.’ I never quite understood that until today.
My husband and I were talking about some renovating a house we own that the subject of a table came up. It’s an old original Formica and chrome dining set. In great condition. It has been in my hubby’s family for a while. Outside of the fact it doesn’t go with what I want to do in that dinette area, that set has got to go. This is open for debate, there is compromise, this set is going out the door one way or the other. If I have to take an as to the damn thing I will. I hate it.
You might think this has something to do with my decorating style, and actually it does, that doesn’t enter into this. I hate that table. Every time I had to sit down to dinner at that table when my mother-in-law hosted a dinner there and we had to sit at that table I cringed. I did everything in my power to keep my eyes from looking at that instrument of nightmares for me.
Yes, it is something that reminds me of things I never wanted to think about or revisit. Today I did. That table reminds me of my father’s mother and stepfather. To my knowledge the old man was harmless, but he walked with a limp and used a cane. I was terrified of that man. After his death when I was a small child, I had nightmares about him for years. I was told it broke his heart that I was so afraid of him. The sound his limp and that cane made would send me into screaming, crying fits every time I heard him coming through the house.
How bad was that fear? When I was in my thirties, I was having lunch with some friends from work and suddenly from behind me I heard that same sound. I went white as a sheet evidently, tears began to roll down my cheeks, I started shaking, and I had to fight off the almost overpowering urge to crawl under the table we were sitting at and hiding. It scared the crap out of the friends I was sitting with and they thought they were going to have to get me to a hospital.
Yes, it was a man with a limp and a cane; he never had a clue the effect he had on me that day. Can I tell you that I feel like an ass for responding to that man the way I did? It wasn’t something he caused but that fear wasn’t something I caused. This is a memory that goes back to when I was no more than six or seven months old. The poor man died when I was about two and evidently, I never got past that with him.
I was small enough to crawl up under the chair my mom was sitting in and grabbing her leg and holding on for dear life. I think she finally was able to pull me out from under the chair and get me to go to the man, but she didn’t have any luck with that.
The other part of the story was that my father’s mother was sitting at that table when the strongest of those memories come flooding back in on me. That woman I wasn’t just afraid of, I hated her. To this day I can not and will not refer to her as anything other than my father’s mother. She hated me too. She didn’t die until I was about five and the few memories, I have of her are of her being mean and spiteful to me. Actually, it was so bad that my mom and dad did everything they could to keep me away from her and never left me alone with her. She loved my brother, treated them great, but me, that was a whole different ball game.
So yes, I hate that table. I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with the monsters hidden within I’m about to tell you.
Children, like adults, are capable of hating but at early ages we aren’t able mentally or emotionally understand that emotion, especially when it is that strong. I think it also damages out ids. For those of you who might not know what that is a part of our psyche residing in our subconscious where our instincts and impulses reside. We all have one and from that little part of our psyche we can and will create our monsters. I think that is why that story scares her. Somewhere inside her she understands what that story portrays. The monsters inside of ourselves. Don’t think you do? I tell you what, the next time someone really makes you angry stop and think about what is going through your head at that moment. I promise you it won’t be sunshine and roses.
So where do my stories come from? From that dark corner of my psyche that I keep hidden from the world. You know, hidden within.
Last week we lost my husband’s aunt. She was an amazing woman who lived her life her way doing her thing. Intelligent, independent, tough as nails lady who stood maybe a little over five feet tall in her stocking feet and maybe weighed all of 85 pounds. She was the last connection to my husband’s past because she was the last of my husband’s father’s siblings. What goes with her is a lot of the family history leaving my husband with a vast store of knowledge that I hope he will put to paper soon. While attending this amazing lady’s funeral I had something happen that even my husband found a little strange and a bit creepy, I guess. For those of you who have read ‘Blood Lines The Curse,’ you’ll understand shortly.
This extremely lovely older lady walked up to him and asked him if he was Louis Matthews Jr. Of course he is, and with only a few sentences exchanged between them he called me over to meet her. As I have said before, a lot of the stories Buddy has told me over the years helped inspire ‘The Blood Lines Series’ and all these stories are near and dear to me. This lady however was special. There was a couple of people that anytime Buddy talked about them reached out and grabbed my heart in a way I can never explain. There were things that he never could answer about these two individuals so no matter how many times I asked there was a limit to what he knew.
That’s where this lovely woman turns the funeral into something I never expected and left me in tears. This special lady was a descendant of the family these two people came from. She handed me a piece of paper and written on it on was not only her linage but also the linage of the two people I’m talking about. You see they were her relatives. She told me she didn’t know why she felt she had to do this or why she had to come to the viewing, but she knew she did.
So just like Emma met Sue in the church in my book ‘Blood Lines The Curse,’ who helped Emma learn a little of her past through the life of this woman I met this lovely lady in this chapel Saturday who gave me some of the answers I had been looking for. Yes, I cried, I have tears rolling down my cheeks now. Like Emma in my book I was given a gift that goes so far beyond anything you can imagine.
I told this lovely lady I would be writing this, but I would respect her privacy and the privacy of her family so there will be no names given here. I can only tell you that I will cherish that piece of paper she handed to me and know that in writing that book I did the right thing.
So, to this lovely lady, thank you, and God bless you for what you did.
I’ve had a busy couple of weeks. I spent months trying to find the car I really wanted. When I say the car I really wanted; I’m talking make, model, year, and all the little features I wanted on this car. Yes, I’m that damn picky. To be honest, it took almost a year to find the car. There weren’t that many made and damn few of them were shipped to the US and I literally looked all over the US to find this one.
A couple of weeks ago I found the car, went through everything you go through to buy a car, drove over two hundred miles to meet someone who drove my car over four hundred miles to meet me and get the papers signed and me take possession of my darling new baby, yes it is my baby and if you don’t believe me, ask my husband. Came close to losing it before I ever got it home because I ended up having to take a detour to get home that I wasn’t expecting that landed me in the middle of a tornado. That was fun. Oh, the reason for the detour, a forest fire.
I finally I got her home safe and sound and my only problem with it now is trying to keep one of my girls from trying to take it from me. I’ve also got a four-year-old grandson who wouldn’t be above taking the keys to the thing and running off in it should he get the chance. Yes, he is that smart and you have to watch that little munchkin because he is quite ingenious. At times scary.
I haven’t had a lot of time to enjoy my new acquisition because this past week hasn’t exactly been an easy one. That’s another story and doesn’t belong here. It is forthcoming but, not here and not now.
Anyway, tornado and forest fire aside, I have my car and I will let the following picture speak for itself.
Most of us have heard of the old Route 66. Some of us may have even traveled on it. There’s actually still some small piece of the original sections scattered here and there running alongside the newer highways. That’s the thing, the newer highways. Route 66 isn’t the only old highway that has gone in the same direction, into oblivion. The newer roads may even carry the name of the old route, but it isn’t the same.
A lot of you may ask what’s the big deal. Well here’s the big deal. Just like Old Route 66 went the way of history so did a lot of businesses. It didn’t stop there either. You can bet people lost their homes and land if they were sitting in the way of that new highway. It’s called immanent domain and the people who were sitting in the way when someone in the government decided they wanted their property lost their homes.
Why am I bringing this up now? Yesterday I traveled down one of those roads. Highway 64 that runs along the southern part of the state of Tennessee. I’ve made that trip many times. At one time one of the most interesting trips across this state. There were all these neat old places scattered along its sides that made that trip an adventure. It wasn’t just the businesses either. It was the beautiful little homes that sat along the sides of parts of the highway. You see a lot of that road ran between two little ridges, so people had built these little homes, many sitting along a small stream that was just great to see.
The businesses are slowly disappearing, most have already given up the ghost. One in particular broke my heart.
Oh well progress is, what it is, and I guess running along an up and down rock wall lined, four-lane, highway at 80 or 90 miles an hour is far more important. Don’t get me wrong, the speed limit on that highway is 65 but finding people running along it at that speed is pretty much a rarity, even in hurricane strength winds and sheets of rain that totally blind you. Yes, it was that bad yesterday.
Anyway, to the history of that great old road, I salute you and for a while there will be a few of us still left who will remember what you once were. Now you’re just another big ribbon of asphalt.
For those of you who have read Nightmare Express you’ve seen the cover of the book. It features a black semi. I wondered what made me go with that idea and finally it hit me the other day while looking at that book cover. A black semi was the cause of one of the scariest nights of my life.
Years ago, while making a trip to Florida with my baby daughter and my mom we had made it to the panhandle of Florida and Interstate 10. We rain into a storm that was enough to make anyone nervous, but things got worse and I’m not talking about just the storm.
I made the mistake evidently of going around a black semi. It was creeping along, and I do mean creeping, so I went around it. I didn’t do anything aggressive, or at least I don’t think I did. Remember, I still had my baby, who at the time was about thirteen months old, and my mom in the car with me. I’m not stupid and I have always taken being a mom seriously. The thing is, the driver of that truck evidently didn’t like it when I went around him.
Next thing I know that ass was on my ass. He was so close that if I had stepped on my brakes for any reason you could have kissed mine, my mom’s, and most importantly my daughter’s asses goodbye. Yes, he was that close. I thought he was going to simply go around me but that wasn’t the case, he simply stayed on my butt. I put up with this for miles before I decided to speed up in spite of the storm which had gotten worse. He stayed with me. I finally moved over into the other lane, the one where you usually go around someone, and quickly slowed down so he had to pass me. Afterward I got back in the outside lane and stayed there. Now it was also night so that only made things worse as for as the conditions regarding driving. Anyway, I now thought I was OK as for as the situation was concerned. It wasn’t. I passed an exit and sure enough there was that truck sitting on the off ramp, yes it was the same one, and when I passed, he pulled out behind me again. He didn’t run right up on me again, but he stayed behind me. If I sped up any, so did he, if I slowed down, again he did the same. By this time the storm had gotten worse.
I finally decided to take a chance and the next overpass I came to I pulled in under it hoping the storm and the semi would pass us. Neither did unfortunately. The truck pulled over less than fifty feet behind me and sat there. True it could have been the storm that cause him to pull over, but it wasn’t. In spite of the storm I pulled out back into the downpour because my mom was beginning to panic over the truck. She was starting to get Gina upset, who had been angel through this whole trip. The truck pulled out and started following me again. This time he began to pull up closer on my rear as he had before. I was done.
I waited until he was close enough to me so that he couldn’t anticipate and do what I was about to do and once he was close enough, the first exit I came to I swerved at the last minute, no blinkers and no brakes, and took that exit. Yes, I took a chance but at the time I honestly felt it was the only one I had. The sound of that air horn followed me as I made it up to the road I had exited onto. I had no idea where I was, but I managed to figure it out. We managed to make it to our destinations without further incident. The one thing I didn’t do was get back on Interstate 10 that night. Yes, I was a little later getting to where I was going, and by the time I got there the family members we were going to visit were concerned but we got there.
I don’t know what was going through the mind of that truck driver that night, but I know he was up to no good. Don’t get me wrong. The vast majority of the people who drive those things, are good decent people, but like everything else, there are bad apples in every barrel and that bad apple contributed to the most terrifying night of my life. Not only did he put my life at risk that night but the lives of the two people I loved most in the world.
A couple of weeks ago I managed to tare a cornea in my right eye. How this happened I have no clue but let me tell you, it hurt. The other thing it did was make me feel like something out of one of my stories.
I spent almost ten days in the dark creeping around the house avoiding the light. At times I honestly had the urge to walk around doing crazy poses like you see in the movies but that would have required me getting close to some form of illumination. Not happening.
If I ever had the urge to destroy my expensive phone it was during that time. Every time it rang was bad enough but come on people, you want to send me a text message right now? I would have to hold the damn thing sideways to attempt to read the damn thing and as for answering those torturous little messages I’m still not sure what I may have responded with because that was done sideways as well. Hell, I may have threatened people without meaning to, OK maybe I did under the circumstances, but I certainly wouldn’t have put in writing. I’m not that stupid. It is far more likely that what I typed came out looking like some form of gibberish, but I haven’t had the inclination to go back and look. No one seems to be mad at me so maybe I didn’t end up insulting anyone.
Then there is my writing and or doing anything on my laptop. I turned down the brightness as far as I could and still see it and even then, I couldn’t handle the light. Actually, the brightness on my laptop is still turned down and I continue to have trouble being on the damn thing very long.
The one good thing was that they now have eye band-aides. Yeah, that’s what I said. It is like a contact, but it is simply to protect your eye while it heals so it doesn’t make you blow your brains out. I loved it. I could at least blink without wanting to reach up and rip my eye out. If you’ve never torn a cornea you won’t understand that but if you have, you will.
So, I am on the mend, I think. I can at least blink now without the contact band-aide, but I still feel a little rubbing sensation at the outside corner of my eye. I think I need one of those collars they put on dogs because I want to rub that eye constantly and constantly having to stop myself.
I’ve had this happen before, but I know how that one happened. I got slapped in the eye with a limb from a nasty bush while trying to do something nice for a friend. Boy that sounded awful, doing something for a friend in a bush. I was helping trim the damn things and nothing else, the bush that is.
Anyway, I am better, and I can now at least tolerate the light more. Oh, the real insult to the injury was I lost my good sunglasses right at that time. Try tearing your house apart in the dark for a couple of days looking for your prescription sunglasses instead of having to wear the pair you would with contacts which meant if I did leave the house, I left it totally blind. Thank God I didn’t have to do any driving during that time.
We all have one. The places we grew up, where we went to school, the good times and the bad. There’s a place on facebook dedicated to the area of the town I grew up in. It’s funny to see what gets posted there now, not funny ha-ha, but funny in that way that reminds you of what it was like to be a child.
I can remember all kinds of events from my childhood in that area but names and faces, not so much. I see things posted that I remember but I don’t remember the people. That’s kind of sad to me. Of course, I’m also old. That could account for a lot of not remembering the people, but it still doesn’t keep it from bothering me.
I remember some of the trouble I got into. I remember the goose egg not on my head when I had an accident on my brother’s bike, boy did he get into trouble for that one. My dad was extremely old fashion when it came to his daughter. Boys rode bikes, not girls. The flip side of that was I got away with more than my brothers did when it came to my dad. My mom, nope.
I do remember a couple of the kids I hung out with. There were a couple of sisters, one was named Lynn but the young sister, don’t have a clue what her name was. They had a cousin who was a few years younger than us and ended up hanging with her after we got older for a while. When I say old, I mean after three or four years didn’t make that much difference. Everything is relative.
We all grew up, or at least most of us did. Most of us got older, a lot older. Some didn’t. Most of us went on to lead reasonably normal productive lives, some of us didn’t.
The nice thing about childhood is we are often sheltered from the worst the world has to offer, but as we get older, that changes. There are things from my teen years on up that leave devastating scars on our psyches. Things we experience, things we see, things we do. They can all leave an indelible mark on our soul that nothing can remove. These are also the things that make us who we are, good or bad.
Whatever you have experienced in life it is up to you to make your path. It is up to you which one you’ll take. Try not to take the wrong one.
Seriously, I want to know. I’m sitting here wondering how it is that we as human beings don’t go completely bat-shit crazy and lose it.
Look, I’m a fairly intelligent woman even for my years, yes I’m old so get over it, yet almost anything we need, want, or have to do, comes with a set of instructions that I wonder what alien from another planet composes them. I mean, you stuff the square peg in the round hole then turn the round hole upside down and fill it with the enclosed liquid with one hand that is safety locked so you can’t open it while you run around your front yard naked in sub-zero weather. This must all be done during a full moon during a moonless night and don’t let the enclosed four-pound ball roll off your head which must be placed there before you open the original packaging. Say what? And that’s if you just want to take a fucking pill. You want to try and get something major done Lord help you.
At some point people are going to start actually losing it and Heaven help the poor nut jobs who come up with these instructions, because there is going to be a mass murder take place. Actually, I can’t even feel sorry for them because I honestly believe they sit around trying to come up with ways to screw with our heads. This kind of bull-crap is true of almost anything we go to put our hand on or try to do.
Tried putting together a kid’s toy lately? I would be willing to bet I could get for simpler instructions for building a, well I won’t say what here because it might make someone nervous, than the instruction for putting together that bike.
Now here is where it gets worse, yes it does get worse, try going through a contact button on almost anything you have a problem with on the internet. Have you done it lately? If you have, think about it a minute. You don’t just get to go and them supply a simple space for you to type in your problem, issue, or whatever. No, they give you a list of things to choose from that doesn’t even come close to what you need and if you do manage to convey your message you might get a response back really quick that states, we will contact you in less than 48 hours. Hey guys, that bike I just put together exploded and my kid is stuck up in a tree now.
And if you have to make a phone call, God bless you. I will tell you now that it has been nice knowing you because by the time you get past the electronic receptionist and all the bull-crap she or he puts you through you’ll be a skeleton with cobwebs hanging from your bones. Customer service should be renamed ‘It Ain’t Happening Sucker.’
So, I ask again, when is homicide justifiable?
She was definitely a few pieces shy of a complete Erector Set.
"Nice equipment." said Alison.
"Don't I know it."
Would someone please make him stop excreting humanly body fluids?