This is a fictional story I wrote with my daughter as one of the characters. I hope you enjoy it!


Off I go, I am so excited! Flying out the door, my feet barely have time to catch up with me. I love to play games, especially board games, but no one in my family will play Risk with me. They all think I cheat, just because always win. Every weekend I beg and plead my Mom to play with me. Always to no avail, Mom has the attention span of a gnat. I guess Risk requires too much thinking for her.
Next, I will try to get my little brother to play with me. Unfortunately, Johny does not do anything unless it has it has something to do with high seas adventure. He has this bed I think it was supposed to be a playhouse. The mattress is on top and underneath there are windows and a door. Mom fixed it up to look like a galleon. He loves…

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Off I go, I am so excited! Flying out the door, my feet barely have time to catch up with me. I love to play games, especially board games, but no one in my family will play Risk with me. They all think I cheat, just because always win. Every weekend I beg and plead my Mom to play with me. Always to no avail, Mom has the attention span of a gnat. I guess Risk requires too much thinking for her.
Next, I will try to get my little brother to play with me. Unfortunately, Johny does not do anything unless it has it has something to do with high seas adventure. He has this bed I think it was supposed to be a playhouse. The mattress is on top and underneath there are windows and a door. Mom fixed it up to look like a galleon. He loves to run underneath the bed and yell, “Batten down the hatches lads, storms a coming.” I have to say the kid has a colorful imagination.
If I ask Johny to play the game with me, he runs and hides under his bed. This leaves me with my arms up in the air letting out a sigh of exasperation.
Heading up the block, I go toward my friend Crystals. Our friend Angie is going to pick us up and take us to her church. They are having a board game competition and they have Risk. Our friends David and Chris are meeting us there. David is convinced that no one is better at world domination than he is. I intend to wipe the board with him.
I arrive at Crystal’s and we sit outside on the stairs in front of her apartment and wait for Angie. After fifteen minutes, I am getting a little annoyed. She is never on time! She thinks her organization skills rock, just because she always has a list of everything she needs to do for the day. This is beyond annoying; I have told her repeatedly, you should only have six things on your list. She never listens, she insists on putting twenty to thirty things on her daily list. She then proceeds to try to get them all done. This means she is always running behind, because she runs out of gas! She will say, oh that was on my list for tomorrow, or I could not find my shoe. Barclay, her Maltese, will take off with her shoe thinking it is a chew toy.
After twenty minutes of sitting and waiting, she shows up, coming to a screeching stop. We hop in the car while Angie says, “Sorry guys Barclay took off with my shoe, I meant to get him a chew toy today, see that was number 26 on my list.” She shakes the list for emphasis as she shoves the car into gear and puts the petal to the metal. I hang onto Crystal, as we fly out of the apartment parking lot. “I think he will stop chewing up my stuff if I get him a chew toy.” I roll my eyes at Crystal and say under my breath, “OMG ya think!” Angie glances down at her gas gage, “OH no we are running on fumes,” looking down the street she continues, “I hope we make it to the gas station.” I swear I can feel my blood begin to boil. We get gas and finally we arrive at the church. Chris and David are waiting outside for us. They probably think if they go inside without us they might catch something.
David has a great big grin on his face, “Maria prepare to be conquered,” he yells as we walk through the parking lot. There is NO WAY!! I am the only one who will conquer tonight. “World domination is my game,” I say with a smile.

Two Busses and the Man with the Hat

“See you tomorrow, Virginia,” I yell as I leave class room six.
“See you tomorrow, Sharky. We will try to get some more writing done so we can finish your book,” says my favorite teacher, Virginia Bender. Virginia is like a big sister to me. We have a special connection. I can talk to her about anything and she takes the time to listen. I am so glad I have her as my fourth grade teacher.
My brother, Lloyd is waiting outside of the class for me. Lloyd and I run down the stairs of the old school building, I love the old wood rails all polished with wonderful banisters to slide down when no one is looking.
We attend Seattle’s AEII school program. It is housed in a school called University Heights Elementary. Half of the school is a regular elementary and half is alternative.
Which is a more informal, student led way of teaching and learning. We even have different
schedules so they can keep us apart. The kids on the other side seem to have an attitude problem.
Even though I am a girl, I can hold my own. I have three brothers. Two of my brothers, Phil and Lloyd, twins, are thirteen months younger than I am. My baby brother, Erick, is four years younger. I have to keep Phil and Lloyd from killing him. Lloyd wanted to take him back to the hospital a week after mom came home with him. Loving him has never been a problem for me. He is someone for me to take care of. Being the oldest of four kids, I get the job of making sure we all survive the bus ride through the city to home. I also have to keep them out of trouble during this time.
Two buses and the man with the hat
My mom doesn’t drive. She was involved in a car accident when she was twenty-one; she has no desire to drive a car. Besides she has a bad case of nerves and that doesn’t seem to help. Since Dad works for the Boeing Company during the day, Mom and we kids get everywhere either by bus or legs. That is how I learned that I can get around this whole city with some change.
Anyway when mom enrolled us at AEII, she taught us to get home on the city bus. In the mornings our neighbor Steven’s mom, Faye, gives us a ride. She has two other kids she needs to pick up in another part of the city in the afternoon. Steven rides the bus home with us.
We find Erick sitting up on the old wood railing outside his class. Ed, one of the second grade teachers walks up behind Erick and picks him up. Ed is 6’4” and loves to sneak up and lift the kids up, as if he is weight training. He sets Erick on his feet on the floor, my brother is laughing.
Taking Erick’s hand I set about the task of finding Phil. The playground is usually where I can find him.
Phil’s favorite place is the pipes. They are the drainage kind, big enough that you can sit in. I go out and grab Phil and we are off to the bus stop across the street. The number seven runs every ten minutes. We wait in front of Jack in the Box, which is across the street from our school.
Once on the bus I pay for us and gather all of our transfers, so we can get on our other bus. Our ride downtown takes about fifteen minutes. We always like to sit in the back, especially the boys. They don’t bug other passengers as much when we are in the back. They can be kind of loud. I like to watch out the window as the bus goes down University Way. There are lots of people on the street. There are students, musicians, artists and business people, a lot going on. The boys are busy talking and teasing each other. Erick always sits by me so I can keep an eye on him. He is so cute people always like to try to talk to him. He is in first grade and I don’t want him to get lost.
We take the bus to Third and Pine then walk across the street to our bus stop in front of McDonald’s. The smell of French fries and burgers wafts out of the busy doors. This is a perfect
place for people watching, we see a lot of different people here. Across the street is a big movie theater. They have been playing the same movie for over a year; ‘Deep Throat’ is the title. I have asked mom about it several times but she always blows off my questions. Strange, maybe she doesn’t know what the movie is about. I am not sure about the X rated either, she won’t tell me what that means. We have to wait downtown for half an hour for our connection. I keep track
of the boys while checking out all the people.
Every day there is a young man at the stop, but he never rides the bus. He always wears a suit and a hat. There are girls that come walking up the street to stop and talk to him for a bit and then leave again. Same girls each day, he hangs out in a doorway like he is waiting for them.
There are a lot of strange people at the stop also. Sometimes they will head our way and try to talk to us. I notice the man in the hat is always keeping an eye on us. When someone that makes us uncomfortable comes along and tries to talk to us, the man in the hat will step over and tell them to get lost. They always leave without arguing.
He has a funny accent; it sounds like he is black, even though he is not. He has blonde hair that hangs to his shoulders and blue eyes. He never pays too much attention to us. Just chases away the weirdo’s and makes sure we are cool until our bus gets there.
He makes me feel safe, looking out for us. It is so nice to have someone there to help me take care of my brothers.

On Turning 50

I turned 50 this year, I had been lamenting this turn in decades for the last year. Once it got to be the time I realized this turn is a chance for a new start. It is a chance to start new and look forward to getting the things I have put on hold for so long done. Like starting a blog and writing in it everyday. I look forward to moving on to a new chapter in my life and accomplishing things that I have put on hold for so long.

I took a trip down to Palm Springs for my birthday. It was wonderful to be in the desert and the warmth of the sun for several days. While there I got to go out to Joshua Tree State Park. I was fascinated by the trees, they are shaped sort of like Palm Trees with lots of branches at the top. It made me wonder if that is where Dr. Suess got the idea for Truffula trees. They were really inspiring. The whole area out there is really beautiful.

On our way back we ate at a saloon with really good food and beer. It was set up country like with a great old bar. There were guns that were set up along the wall and it was really neat looking. I am going to add some pictures from my trip. It was a great way to start out a new decade.

The history of the bar.

The history of the bar.

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As I hug his body to mine, my senses go into overdrive. I smell the wonderful mix spice and whiskey as I hold him close. The male scent that I love, I need to have it linger with me when he is no longer there to touch. My senses in hyper now  as I run my fingers over his well muscled body. His lips touching mine send heat throughout my body. A thought sneaks into my brain, I wish this day was not coming to an end. Instantly I try not to waste the last minutes we have together for a long time,Image thinking about this.
I want to get every visual I can in my mind to savor until we see each other once again.
Every touch, smell, feeling and memory shoved into my brain. These will last me until the next time we meet up. I look forward to our time together, when it happens. Our lives are so different we just don’t get time together very often.
When it happens I have to store everything in my mind for when we are apart. I need something to hang onto, something to make me happy until the next day we are together.
Tears run done my cheek as we say goodbye and he crosses the street to board the trolley.
I head up the gray street to head home.
We met in a class on creative writing, I felt an instant connection when he introduced himself. Some people do not believe in a connection between two people from the moment they meet. I have been skeptical up to the moment I met Sean. I felt a jolt the moment I saw him. I guess you could call it ‘Thunderstruck’, a weird feeling like a volt of electricity crossed through my body. Kind of disconcerting for me, I am very open but at times I still have a hard time believing things I cannot see and back up with fact.
Sean and I started hanging out after class, discussing assignments and ideas for projects.
I love to talk to him he brings a whole different world to mine. In a very non-threatening way. Something that I was not used too in my home life. My life partner is very autocratic in his personality. He is always telling me how to do everything. I miss being able to share my opinion and my thoughts without being told that they were not correct.
How I need to fix this and that. It was a welcome change to have someone who listens and does not try to correct me.
He is quick to cheer me up when I am down. Sean seems to know what I am feeling sometimes when I haven’t even figured it out. He is so vibrant and free, I feel alive when I spend time with him. That is something that I have lost along the way of just plodding through life.
Time flies by at the speed of light when we are together. Whether we are silent, talking or just wrapped in each others arms, our times together are some of the best times in my life.
I love to stare into his brown eyes and see if I can read his thoughts. We share our dreams for the future and discuss what holds us back and why. Soul mates we are, I guess. If only things were not so complicated.
Somewhere in my past I came to a time where I just was not comfortable being alone. Sometimes we don’t know what we are looking for and Instead of taking the time to figure it out we just take what comes along and seems to fit okay. You know like one of those puzzle pieces you can get to fit, even though it really doesn’t belong there. I came to a point like that several years back. I was really struggling having gotten out of a career that didn’t meet my needs and now trying to figure out one that would meet my needs. During this time I met my life partner, Darrell. I was at a party and a friend introduced us. We hit it off right away. I enjoyed being around him and we spent a lot of time together. Eventually moving in together, I started to notice there were some differences in our lifestyles. Some of them subtle and some a little disturbing. I
Decided at the time that I could deal with the situation because we were in a getting used to things phase. We have now been together for over ten years. I have kept this situation going because I am comfortable and don’t want to rock the boat and figure everything out
That brings us to the current pickle as I would love to be free to see Sean more and to stretch my wings and experience life on my own terms. Since life is complicated, I am in a state of trying to figure out where I am going and when I am going. I want to leave, but we have built a life together and taking it apart would be painful and complicated. I am torn at this point. Trying to figure out what to do. When to do it and how to do it so it will be less painful for all involved. Like I said life is complicated.
I savor the memories I have of this weekend as I walk up the street and head towards my car. I turn on our music and put the top down as I start the long drive home. I am satisfied for the moment with the memories I have of this time together. I know in the back of my mind the longer it is before we are together again, the harder it will be to keep me going on memories.
I turn out onto the highway and head up the winding road home. Warm sun feeling good.