It’s Raining

When it rains, it pours. I had my second chance yesterday and it went well for all those of you who were sitting by in suspense from my last post. So yay! Which now just means I’m moving again! Yup. I think this is the 6th real move I’ve had since I started this blog! :O. Might’ve had more. Hmm. I move a lot. And it never fails that when I do, the weather wants to welcome me with some insane amount of awful storminess. 

When I first moved to Florida: hurricane! Texas: hurricane/tornados! Rhode Island – granted that was only supposed to be for 3 months, but ended up being closer to 9: blizzard!  California: RAIN. OK, I know rain isn’t a huge deal. But it was San Diego. It doesn’t rain there! But it did when I showed up! Hawaii: typhoon warnings. South Carolina: hurricane! So in my journey to New York, why wouldn’t it have a massive downpour the entire drive with threats of hail and other craziness! 

Rain isn’t terrible though. Not always. Thirteen years ago (pretty sure to the day today, actually), my brother and dad were upstate hiking and a dog ran into the car they had just run into (it was their car, not some random stranger’s) because it started raining.   There was only one other car in the lot and as soon as the dog got in their car, those people drove away. And from this, we had a dog. Ice puppy! He was only 3 or 4 months old at the time.  And he was a non barking dog! So naturally when my dad and brother got home, they woke me up to tell me the epic news. 

I had begged to have a dog for forever. We lived across the street from a pet store and every day on the way home from school, we’d have to stop and look at the dogs that were in the window. There was a golden retriever (I decided his name was Rex) who I HAD to have. But now we had this brindle puppy. Oh yeah. And Mom wasn’t allowed to know! :O. We lived in an apartment. In hindsight, not a whole lot of room for a dog. But I wasn’t thinking about that. 
We hid Ice in my brothers room for almost 3 days. When my mom came home from work one day, she demanded to know if there was a dog in the house. Whoops. So she goes to the room and of course Ice sees a new person and is excited and jumps up on her to greet her. She’s horrified. “He’s not even a cute dog!” She exclaimed in rage. His paws may have been a little wet and she was in her clothes from work still. And most people aren’t crazy about a 30 pound dog jumping on them.  She was irate. She wanted nothing to do with him. We simply had to get rid of him. 

About a week went by and it was clear Ice wasn’t going anywhere. My mom decided she would finally take him out for a walk. And of course on the last block before returning home, he sat down on the corner and refused to move. My mom was pulling him and trying to get him to move and of course,he was just smiling away, content as could be on the street corner. Mom was outraged. Refused to ever take him out again. But of course, Ice grew on her.  A few years later, my brother wanted to take Ice to Florida for the summer. Mom’s response: “You can’t take my dog!”  

Ice was part of the family. Sadly, he had to go to sleep the other day.  As we’ve been telling people, they’ve been amazing reminding us of all the good times we’ve had with Ice.  He had a great life – over 13 years of awesomeness! As my first dog, he was the best. Happy, protective when needed, and always ready to head outside, I hope the ultimate dog park is everything and more to keep him the smiling, best dog ever. 

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Transported

Facebook has that nifty feature that allows you to see your memories ‘on this day’.  I have mixed feelings about seeing some of my old posts, but overall, I think it’s pretty cool.  Apparently, a year ago today, I added a new post to this wonderful blog and so I decided to go back and read it.  The interesting thing about reading things I’ve written is that I can literally be transported to that moment in time when I was writing it.  It seems like yesterday and all the thoughts and emotions and ideas that I had in the moment of writing those words come flooding back.  Last week I stumbled upon some of the stories I started writing when I was living in Germany and felt the same rush of thoughts, even if the words I was reading had nothing to do with anything else going on at the time.  I guess it’s comparable to when you hear a certain song and can think of the first time you heard it or the time you and your bestie rocked out to it on that epic road trip or whatever.  Same thing for my writing.

So I was transported back to a year ago.  Pretty crazy how much has changed since then.  I’ve traveled across the Pacific Ocean since then, moved from Hawaii to California, drove across the country to move back to the East Coast not too long after that, dove between continental shelves, drove the perimeter of Iceland, cruised on the Baltic Sea, and started going back to school.  Yeah, I’ve been meaning to update this thing for a while.  The same thing happened when I started reading stories from over 5 years ago now.  Some days, I can’t fathom how it has been that long.  Part of me is curious to go back to reading some of the stuff from here when I first started this thing IN NEW ZEALAND!  In 2011!!!  :O  How is that possible?!

Anyway, I really have no exciting things to write about on this topic other than I was transported to the past and it made me excited (and sad and happy and all those other things) and so I wanted to share.  And of course the pledge to update more frequently.  But we all know I’m pretty unreliable in that area.  So.  Happy Wednesday!  Hakuna Matata!

Here’s to you, Sandman

A year ago today,  I lost a friend who has helped me become the person I am today.   I’ve written about him before, under the name “John.”  I knew today was going to be difficult, but I didn’t realize how much.  The events leading up to this week haven’t helped either.  On Tuesday night,  I completely lost it.  For a good two hours, I bawled my eyes out about him.  I am extremely thankful I was not alone during that time.  I don’t know how I could have made it through.  I was finally calmed down enough to watch a video one of our friends made around 2 AM.  It’s an amazing tribute to him.   And then I watched the other videos she made over and over and looked through pictures.  John will live on forever through my memories,  these videos,  and the many,  many pictures we have.

I’ve tried to figure it out for the better part of this year.  Why?  You had everything going for you.  Through all the pictures and videos and in my memory,  I can’t find a single time that you were not smiling or laughing.  You were so full of life. But then I remember the other things. I try to forget it. I wasn’t in the same city as you and it was simply because of that that we didn’t talk as much. Not because there were serious problems. That couldn’t be it. You left us on a day where nothing was wrong. From how it was described to me, you had a good day. She doesn’t know it yet (although obviously she does by reading this), but today Rummy has finally helped me understand why.  At least part of it.

I still think I should have done more. I’m sick to my stomach sometimes because when I did get back to school, you were already back home. You had dropped out. We had discussed that we wouldn’t be surprised if you weren’t with us for much longer. And then Rummy texted me, no more than three months later, to tell me you weren’t. We didn’t do anything. We knew it was coming and we didn’t help you. Well, we were surprised. When we talked about it, it was never your choice. At least not in my mind. In my mind, you were caught up in a bad shootout or you were hit by a car or anything else. But it wasn’t your decision to end things.

I talked to you eleven days earlier. It was Easter and you told me you were with your family and things were going well. I saved your texts from that day for as long as I could. And then somehow they got deleted during an update. I had locked them and I was so upset when I saw they were no longer there. I think that’s why I was mad at you for so long after I found out, though. You told me things were good. You seemed like you were getting back to your old self. Maybe I just wanted that to be the truth. I don’t know. I wonder about it a lot.

Even if you were ready,  I wasn’t. I know that’s selfish. But I miss you.  I miss our random conversations about everything and anything.  I miss getting random texts from you and the bizarre phone calls and facebook messages we would swap when I was homesick in Germany or sad in New Zealand. Even though I was thousands of miles away,  you were always there for me and always had the right thing to say.   You helped me more than I ever let on and I wish I could tell you how much of a difference you did make because I didn’t when I should have and had the chance to.

In the last month, two of the people I’m close to have told me they’ve considered ending things. It’s really made me think of you. I don’t know what to say to them. I wish I could talk to you to see if anything would have made you change your mind. I will always wonder if I could have done anything to help you. I don’t want to lose more people, especially the way I lost you. I know you would have the right words if you were still here. You always did. And then there were the times you had the, well, not so appropriate conversations.

I will never forget the morning we ran into the our professor and his wife and you insisted they come with us in your quest to find a nude beach. And when you couldn’t find one,  you made one yourself. AND you got the others to join you! I never thought I’d say this, but I preferred the Speedo!  I remember the day you got it (and convinced the other guys to get them too) for one Euro!  You were so excited.  “It’s Europe!  You have to do as the Europeans do.  And they don’t wear anything but these!”  Only you.

I’ll always remember the conversation we had in Florence that went on for hours and hours and it was just you and me.  “Mom” was really mad at you that night and I thought she hated ME because we were gone for so long but you assured me that that wasn’t the case and for whatever reason, I believed you.  You were right.  Although, you failed to mention that you told her that you had been telling me all of her secrets, which is why she was mad.  Not to mention untrue! I learned so much about you that night.  I’m glad you shared as much as you did – it helps me understand some of the things you were struggling with last year I think.  You were dealt a difficult hand.

I’ll never forget the night Mother Goose and I were in the loft in your room and you went crazy because One or Two wasn’t there as well. And then you forgot we were there after stumbling down those insane stairs and you started dancing in the dark that awkward/amusing dance you did until White Knight and Circle came in and you suddenly stopped because no one could see you dancing as such.  Not to mention your other dancing, which thanks to a decent memory and Rummy’s all too revealing videos, I will always envision it whenever I hear Alors on Dance or see plaid, thanks to your obsession with those shemaghs!

I will never be able to forget (ok, White Knight helps bring this one up as often as he can too) the night you poured me “a” shot, filling an entire solo cup with straight vodka. Thanks for that. But you’ll be happy to know I’ve never had a better shot poured for me than from that night and that was entirely due to you. I may have developed a reputation among some people about pouring all too generous shots for them, but you, my friend, were the master.  And that I’ve never met anyone who could be as coherent as you after getting Jewish.  Although a friend of mine does develop a similar laugh to yours after a few shots- how appropriate.

Some graffiti the Sandman found picture worthy

Some graffiti the Sandman found picture worthy

I’ll always remember trying to sneak you into the hostel when you didn’t bring your passport to Switzerland and your only concern was that I wasn’t getting enough pictures of the graffiti everywhere!  It didn’t even come close to phasing you that you were in a foreign country without any legal ID, all because Mother Goose told you it wasn’t necessary. You even tried convincing the lady at the desk that it wasn’t important because it was Switzerland! And then when all was said and done, you and I went for that walk up ALL those stairs and that really steep hill because you wanted to be a part of the natural beauty surrounding us instead of in the man-made contraption that wasn’t free. And the staircase to nowhere!

Italy and my life wouldn’t have been the same without you and now that you’re gone, there is a void that can’t be filled.  I know you’re with me when I need you to be though. When I flew to Albany, I knew you were sitting in that empty seat next to me with your arm around me watching the clouds with me. I know that’s weird, but I also know you understand it even if the rest of my readers think I need psychiatric help.  I know you were also there on your birthday when I had a shot just for you, on what should have been your 21st.  I will always love you.  I will always think about you and the amazing times we had together.  I wish you were still here, but I know you are now in a better place and watching down on us, happy.  And really, that’s all that matters.