Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Signs, Signs...Everywhere's a Sign

Prompted by a variety of comments on some recent posts, I thought I would share some tidbits on the contemporary Peace Sign.
The Peace Sign was originally designed back in 1958 by Gerald Holtom & was made popular when adopted bythe Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in Great Britain.

It is a combination of the semaphoric symbols for the letters 'N' and 'D' ...meaning Nuclear Disarmament. Semaphoric symbols come from a time before telegraphs when people, particularly the navy, would use flags to communicate at a distance. The letter 'N' would be formed when a person would stand with two flags facing downward out to the sides, kind of like an upside down 'V'. The 'D' would be formed when the two flags would be held straight up and down. Gerald Holtom thought this symbol resembled a person in despair & he fully intended it to resemble the symbol of anarchy (capital A within a circle)

Many have beleived that the symbol ☮ looks like a chicken's foot & suggest that it represents cowardliness.☮
Still more beleive that the circle represents the Earth and that the interior design as an upside down crucifix with broken arms falling towards the ground.
Even others have beleived that it is an upside down rune symbol for Life, thus reversing the meaning to Death.☮
Finally I have heard of those who beleive that the circle represents the world, the center line representing life & death and the two bottom legs representing man balanced in the midst of it all.
It is a symbol perhaps known more universally around the world than any other symbol. It has never been copyrighted/trademarked and can be used by anyone. Today it represents 'peace & love' for most people, despite it's political activist background.

....So Peace & Love To All of You!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

This ThanksGiving is Especially Special

This Thanksgiving I'd like to give special homeage to my dear Mother.
As you can tell from this old torn, stained photograph... she's a natural beauty.
But her beauty is much too deep for any skin to contain.
She knows me unlike any other person, she knows my core and I trust her more than any other living being.

Her love & support is as unconditional as life & death itself.
Her determination could push an oak tree across the front yard.
Her wisdom eases pain & dances with pleasure.
Her strength carries the strongest of the strong through rough times.
Her thoughtfulness inspires family, friends & strangers alike.
Her motivations are good at heart & her own generosity is humbling.
Her sense of humor leaves tears in your eyes.
& her ability to cry without making distorted faces is amazing.
She is so much more than just my Mom, I know...

I know it is Thanksgiving Day coming upon us & not Mothers Day... but I am Thankful! She raised us to know the things she values & value the things we know.

My Dear Sweet Sister Kimbies is on her last round of Chemo today. My Sweet Soulful Sister Singleton is cooking a Turkey dinner, I think for the 1st time, for her kids coming home for the holidays & her new found love. My oldest brother is cooking the Master Turkey dinner for all the divorced, single or lonely folks in his town & Sweet Innocent Chanty Boy was released yesterday from the hospital after a 7 week stay. I am getting ready for the in-laws & really, we just owe so many thanks to our Dear Momma.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Last But Not Least ...Cheating

Last, but not least of the three most popular vices...cheating.
Taxes, tests, partners...just some of the things we cheat on.

Different reasons, different goals & different outcomes if you get busted.

Bypassing discussions of the IRS, I did try to cheat on exam in high school. I labored over my cheat sheet... the size, the contents, where it would be kept. So much info on such a small slip of paper. By the time 5th period rolled around & it was time for the test, I found myself not in need of my cheat sheet. I may not have made an A, but I passed & luckily didn't get busted with my incriminating evidence.

I have never cheated on my partner, nor any fellow before him. I did, once, break up with a boyfriend because I was allowing myself to become seduced by another. I felt terribly guilty through the break up, but quickly got over it when I found out he had been sleeping with another girl for 3 mos.

In college, I found myself amazed & sickened at the number of married men that came on to me. I met them at school, at work, at friends, out & about. Some I knew briefly, some I had known for years. At first, I thought it was just a side effect of being a SLB, then I began to take it very personal. I didn't dress like a sex kitten, didn't act like I was loose, didn't flirt...umm, even with the guys I did, wtf?

So, I opened dialogue with those in pursuit of an affair.
'Interesting, are you saying you'd like to be with me?' (you or perhaps anyone else willing)
'What motivates you, here?' (my ego, self-esteem, power & sex)
'Why me?' (I'll never know if I don't try)
What I found was that the answers were as varied as each man.

One guy, a co-worker, told me it was a numbers game...that if I rejected him, it's cool, some other girl wouldn't...that he'd always cheated on his wife & always would. She'd caught him a couple times & he'd ease back but she'd never leave him.
Some tried to convince me that it was me. That I was so open & honest & easy to talk to... that they didn't feel like they could communicate that way with their spouses. Huh. If it is 80 degrees outside & you get a cold chill, you feel cold, it doesn't mean that it IS just means you feel cold....maybe your getting sick, perhaps you should talk to your wife.
One told me that he was feeling insecure in himself... that he'd felt like he'd gained weight & lost his 'touch.' He wanted to make sure he still had it.
Another told me that it started when women began to come on to him, for the first time in his life. Yep, he grew up, got married & started a family before any woman ever came on to him. He couldn't turn her down & then the whole thing turned into an on-going ego-feeding ritual... always having to replace one mistress with another.
I got to hear it all...about how one fellow felt incompetent because his wife seemed to painlessly juggle so much more than he in life, about how another thought he wife had cheated on him when they dating, about how one felt the kids got all of the attention & he was left to take the trash out & mow the yard, about how there was the work crew & they all did it, about how another never meant to, how he was drunk and how another said it just happened.

All of them admitted to having had previous affairs & all acknowledged that they would probably continue to...I guess I'm not so special as to just make all these men whacked insanely in lust or love with me to make them want to do such things so far removed from their typical character. (duh!)
All of them professed love for their partner.

I beleive they all loved their's just my definition, and probably their spouses, of how one exemplifies love differed.
Somewhere in my studies on the topic, I came across a statistic that I have always clung to. Although stats are always skewed, this one was that an estimated 80% of all marriages that do not result in divorce encounter infidelity at one point or another.

Interesting & least, in my little world.

My parents, whom I love very much & who love each other undoubtedly, have been married over 50 years. When they were younger, my Mother had to deal with my fathers' infidelities a couple few times. It seems that when times were good, he cheated. When they were bad, he drank. It took him 20 years or so to outgrow this & I know that he's grateful that my mother never left him. When I was a young girl, my mom & I would talk about it (I'd beg her to leave him) She'd say his life wasn't so easy either & that she had bigger problems to worry about. As an adult, she tells me how she had to talk to him about his commitments & his family, his children, his choices & about how she did leave 2x before I was born, going to her parents. Her parents lectured her on commitment & sent her back home to work things out. Times have changed, but both my parents are grateful to still have one another.
I was engaged once in my twenties for a very brief spell. I was young & dumb & thought my life was out of a story book. He was young & dumb & thought his life was right out of the soap opera's... cheating on me with 5 or 6 different women. Needless to say, I dumped him & he persued me for another year but I could never go there again. The betrayal shatterd my storybook life & I vowed to never live with my head in the clouds again.
I thought I would never get married.
Serial American reality.
Just before I turned 36, I suddenly found myself getting married. Six months into my marriage, my DH was having affairs. Knee-jerk reaction? Get a Divorce Quick! Anquished over reaction? Get him to acknowledge it, discuss the motivation, the goals, the reasons, the reasons behind the reasons...see if we can work it out, see to it that if we can't that we can both walk away more enlightened & better prepared to have a more healthy relationship next time around. Step one, the hardest step...getting him to admit it, took a year. We've been married 3+ years now.
Had I not had my story book dreams squashed when I was younger, had I not been hit on by so many married men, had I not had a mother, an aunt, a sister, a friend (or few), co-workers & such who'd gone through it themselves, both men & women, handling it their way...I wouldn't have found the way I wanted to handle it. happens.(It's hard)
If one cheats the IRS, they fine you, penalize you & sometimes prosecute you.
If one cheats on an exam, the teacher may fail you & maybe have you suspended or in detention
But if one cheats on their spouse, the reactions are as varied as the reasons.

People leave, they divorce, they sue each other, they argue & become abusive, they become jealous & obsessed, they become insecure & introverted, they lash out with an affair of their own, they brush it under the rug, they even murder... they destroy each other financially, emotionally and/or physically and some of us ...
accept that it has happened, try to understand the hows & whys, work towards not letting it happen again and vow that should it re-occur that somehow both parties will exit the realtionship wiser, stronger & better for it.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Keeping with it....Stealing

Really, I have lived my life learning from the mistakes of others, picking & choosing which mistakes I would make on my own. Sometimes, I think that quality is a girl-thing.
Thievery...unacceptable by many, inevitable to all in one way or another.
My first lesson came from my dear brother and his stealing of my Big Wheel. He got busted & I took note as to the how's and why's....if I ever stole I would do a better job.

Shortly before or shortly thereafter, I accidently stole a piece of gum. My uncle had taken me to the corner store & told me I could pick any candy I wanted off the bottom shelf.
Oh, so many choices...bubble gum, lemon heads, red hots, jaw breakers.
I guess I took too long because the next thing I knew my uncle was walking out the door, calling for me to come along. I quickly made my final choice & ran to the door. When we got home, he told my mother that I stole a piece of gum. I had no clue what he was talking about. My uncle explained how I took too long, so he just paid for his stuff & headed for the door. He didn't know & hadn't paid for the piece of gum I was smacking on. LOL, I thought the mistake was his until Momma drove me back up to the store, made me pay for the gum, explain what I did, apologize to the clerk...and then, she had me pick up trash in the parking lot.

Since then I think I have taken something that wasn't mine two times.

Once in HS, I found a wallet empty except for a public library card. I picked it up & showed it to my friend, telling her I could take it to the library. She laughed, threw the library card away & handed it back to me saying 'screw that... looks like you got a cool new wallet.' And I did have that wallet for years & years. One night it was taken out of my pocketbook along with all of its' contents, which included about 50 cash and some credit cards. The theives got an additional 200 bucks thanks to the plastic. I just ate it. I felt like it was karma kinda coming back to me. That wallet was never really mine and I had always known I was using it on borrowed time.

Then, when I was in my 20's I took an old metal horse from the park. It had broken off its foundation and someone had propped it up by the monkey bars. It was about 2am & as I drove by I thought 'Hey, that'd make for great lawn art.' (What was I thinking?) So I stopped & hurled it into my vehicle. Years later it was stolen from me & again, I was hit with the pangs of guilt because I knew it was never really mine.

As a kid, I read a lot & I remember reading some tale about a kid getting trapped in the Smithsonian overnight & I decided that if I were to ever be a thief, I would do it big-time. I'd wear all black & be all high-tech escaping all kinds of electrical detection devices and I would steal something physically small, but very significant like the Hope Diamond or maybe Elizabeth Taylors' jewelry or something.

Well, I haven't done that & I don't guess that I ever will.

Instead, I just steal time... time, here on the computer, on this blog or elsewhere, up late at night with my dogs, in the woods... when I can, camping with my hubby and soon, down in the Sunshine State with my wonderful, missed family.

Stealing time.

It's like if I don't steal time, it'll steal from me.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Lies of a Third Grader

When I was a little girl (3rd grade) I went through a phase where I told lies. It started with one & grew, grew, grew.
In third grade we moved from the house that we had lived in for years...away from all of my friends, away from the brick road I learned to ride a bike on, away from the lake I learned to swim, float, canoe in, away from the oak trees & orange trees I learned to climb in and away from the banana trees & azalea bushes I learned to kiss under.
We moved into a small cinder block house on a blacktop road in a neighborhood with more houses, more people, more diversity & I developed a lower self esteem (In hindsight, this is what I think) The kids at school & in the neighborhood weren't so accepting of this skinny little blonde who could out run any boy on the block, who could climb trees higher than any monkey in the village & who could care less about barbie dolls & sitting inside with them in their air conditioning to watch TV. In hindsight, I guess they weren't too accepting of our whole crew... they had attitude towards Mom with her ever-changing please-find-me-a-car-that-will-run so that we can drive the neighborhood on trash day to find other peoples' junk to take home, re-do, & then take to the market & sell for cash money, my Sister Singleton with her '57 Chevy & long-haired, barefoot boyfriends, Kimbies with her cigarette smoking social life in the driveway, Curt with his needles & seizures, Chanty Boy with his Mongolian face & enlarged tongue & all that (Curt has Diabetes, Chanty has Down's Syndrome) & skinny little me, wearing Curty's hand-me-downs.
Questions from the kids came...
Why do you wear boys clothes?
Why is your brothers tongue so long?
Why was the ambulance at your house?
Why was your mom's car parked in front of our house?
Why were your sisters riding bikes at like 5 in the morning?
Why don't you watch TV?
Why did you & your Mom take our old broken TV cart when we threw it away?
Why don't you ever have any cookies?
Who were all these people at your house? Why were you all outside until midnight? You mom allows that?!
Why don't you have any real barbies?
What were you wearing?
Why aren't you eating? Can't your parents give your lunch money?
Why aren't you crying yet...crybaby...I said you were white trash, don't you know what that is?
And I had answers, some were true & some were not.
I like boys clothes. He ate too many potato chips when he was little-er. My brother ate a cookie. Her car broke down. They have to go to work at the beanery. I don't like TV, besides we don't have power. We didn't take any TV carts. My mom gives us oranges when we want something sweet...cookies are expensive. They were my sisters friends & we were cooking was a birthday party. I have a real barbie, she just hast has short brown hair. I was wearing my dad's coat, it was cold. Me? No, I'm not hungry. No, I don't know what white trash is & I'm not crying because I don't care. One day I'm going to be a news reporter or an actress.
I told Nana about how I lied about my clothes and about my brothers tongue. She asked me why I lied & I told her that the other kids would make fun of me...playing with me just fine until I no-one could tag me in freeze-tag & then they circle me with taunts & ridicules. I asked her what white trash was & she took me to the mall. She bought me an outfit ... gouchos with a rainbow shirt. She told me that everyone lies sometimes, but that I should be careful because one lie leads to another & they are never quite worth it.
That year for Christmas I got Barbie dolls & Barbie Malls. But none of that mattered, in fact, at Christmas I felt bad, I felt guilty...
That Christmas morning, (really in the wee hours of the night, after everyone had gone to bed) I laid alone on our living room floor and I therapeutically rolled the orange from my stocking in my hands & I stared at the Barbie Doll Mall that Santa had left me & I knew it must have cost a lot of money. I realized it was nothing I wanted at all ... it was what the other kids in the hood thought I should have & being the sucker that I was I thought maybe it would make me more normal. I told my family that I wanted Barbie dolls that year, but I knew when I told them that, that it wasn't true. I told myself that it was what I wanted & I even knew that wasn't true. I wanted to live by the lake, under the trees & by people who accept diabetes, down's syndrome, hippie's & hard-times.
By telling lies to myself, I had manipulated my entire family that Christmas & got just what I asked for.
Gouchos & Barbies didn't change me or the neighborhoods kids' perspectives of me & My World.
By telling the truth, I got picked on some & yes, I got mad but I didn't get sad. They'd call my brother a retard & I'd say 'That's funny retards are supposed to be dumb. He's not dumb, he just has Down's Syndrome...what's you excuse?' I got defiant & I found myself growing less dependent upon other people & even more dependent upon myself. I found myself more accepting of those that were different in ways I didn't understand, even if that difference was that they didn't understand that some people are different from them, physically and otherwise. I found that some people didn't like the truth, it made them uncomfortable and sometimes even scared. I found other people who were intrigued...Some in a morbid way and others for enlightenment. I found that those that didn't like it could leave, there was a place for them somewhere...It just wasn't here with me.
But any which way you slice that cake, in third grade, I found that the truth, while sometimes unfortunate, painful or hurtful, allows for stronger foundations within & that stronger foundations within allow for us to build a greater terrain. I also learned that when you tell lies to yourself, they will overflow to the people who know & love you, they will believe you & that is not always a good thing. Honesty rules.
Thank You To Everyone Who Read & Responded To My Last Secret Post. ILYA.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

For the first time, I was tagged. I wasn't running or hiding or yelling out the names to TV shows and I got tagged! Anne tagged me... with an assignment.

The assignment, as I understood it, was to create something graphical, post a picture of it, then tag two more people.

Here's my's old, so I apologize.
My creativity is stunted, numbed & hard to conjure up right now.

It is my profile pic ... a peace sign made from grape vines pulled out of the side yard. Random peices of vine were painted with metallic acryllic paints & then this little peace sign was weaved. I have had this for about 17 years & it hangs in my bathroom. It is about 20" tall, 12" wide and 3" deep. I love it & remember the day that it was made like it was yesterday. LOL, although I did make this, my sister Singleton is more of the artist than me!

OK, Now I must TAG two people to create some graphic art to post... I tag Vicci (Moon, Stars & Paper) and Doug (The Book of Doug) something big or small, old or new
doesn't really matter, as long as it is created by you!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Kiss

It's OK

Actually, it's Weird.
It's Wild.
It's Silly. & Ridiculous.
It's Fantastic, Inspiring, Awespiring, Ineveitable, Avoidable & Totally Unavoidable.
It is a Kiss...
It is the Thought of a Kiss...
It is a love letter never meant to be sent.
It's a daydr
eam, a hope, a desire... a memory.
It is Perfume behind the knees & Confusion over Absolutely Nothing.

It's the belief in Glass Slippers & always keeping your eyes open in hopes of finding those slippers.
It's the beleif that if you do find them, that your 8M foot will comfortably slide right into those 5 1/2 narrows.

It's the belief in chasing dreams & the understanding that sometimes you have to run, stumble, trip & even fall, to catch a glimpse of what-could-be.

It's the knowledge that sometimes life requires a swift kick in the ass. It's the awareness that the kick may self-inflicted, as our own feet smack our backside when we get up and charge full-throttle forward once again.

It's the belief that life would be a wee bit boring if one didn't incorporate tidbits of fantasies into our daily realities.

And, I still get the butterflies.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Just about anyone who knows me, knows that I sometimes claim to be the child of Sanford, married to Son.

My Mother & hubby have this thing about 'stuff'. They collect it, gather it, bring it home, often smuggling it in. They pile it up, they paint it, they fix it, change it, take it apart and/or forget about it.

They want to keep it, give it to someone or sell it.

Mother fancies herself to be an antiques dealer & my hubby, a handyman. That's when they are out & about. When they are at home, they are the ones that keep bringing 'stuff' home.

My father & I have discussed it many times... The cluttered home, the tripping over piles of stuff, the overflowing storage areas, the feeling of being physically squeezed out.

My mother has so much crystal, that it spills out of her china cabinets, covers the dining room table, the sofa, coffee & end tables, the mantle, the dressers, nightstands & chests. Ah, but the crystal is only the beginning. There is also antique textiles, lamps, pottery, silver, books, baskets, furniture & so on. There is a narrow pathway through the house & everyone must walk single-file.

My husband has saved all of his childhood toys, so there are boxes & boxes of GI Joes, StarWars action figures, Matchbox Cars, Tonka trucks & Little People Villages. He also collects baseball caps, beer bottles, wine boxes & anything with chilli peppers. Being a handyman, he uncovers & removes 'trash' from other people's homes. This is what lead to 7, yes seven, sinks being piled up in our backyard amidst all of his other 'collectibles.' In the backyard, he also has 7 grills, 2 smokers, 5 bicycles, 3 park benches and that's just the beginning. We have 2 extra dining room tables, broken down & laying on their sides in the house. We also have 5 old wooden doors, laying on their sides, in our house. Should someone pay him to replace, repair or remove anything... part or all of it seems to make it home. It makes for clutter, creative storing and about twice a year, massive garage sales.

Working on some Christmas gift projects this week-end, I had to access my bead collection. Elbows to the ground & rump in the air, I took to pulling boxes out from under my bed... boxes of paint, boxes of lace, boxes of thread & I realized something. I too, am a packrat, a collector, a harborer of other peoples scraps & I always have been.

I started collecting wooden cigar boxes, old glass bottles & Matchbox cars(fire trucks specifically) as a kid. As a teen, I started collecting coins, stamps, Zippo lighters & old beaded pocketbooks.

I have cigar boxes from the 50's from Cuba, trunks from the Red Cross during WWII, pill boxes, hat boxes, cardboard boxes, wooden boxes, laquer boxes...boxes of boxes.

I have enough firetrucks to decorate my Christmas tree with them, old pharmaceutical bottles & bottles shaped like fish, coins & stamps from eras gone by, the worlds tiniest die(as in dice) & die made of clay, wood & bone.

I have Zippos from the fifties with poodles on them & zippos with my initials on them. I have seashells galore... each one plucked from the sands for its' own unique qualities & now lost in a blur of abundance.
I have salt & pepper shakers from the 30's, shaped like pigs, people or pieces of art.
I have pottery from Rumrill, McCoy, Roseville & local artists.
I have dragonflies in my garden, in my kitchen & in my bathroom.
I have unbeleivable windchimes. Some are mongolian tuned, some are made out of elephant ears, bamboo, spent bullet casings, spoons & tin cans.
I have heart-shaped rocks & seashells. I have hearts made of glass, marble, stone, concrete, pewter, silver, aluminum, gold, wood, paper....

I am one of them... a Sanford & Son person.
Because I collect smaller items & boxes, my collectibles are stored more appropriately than my Mothers or my dear hubby's.

But I am one of them.

Houses are kind of like glove compartments & pocketbooks. No matter the size, we chunk it full... at least, in my world.

**Additional photo of shopping cart full of wine bottles added after original posting. This photo shows that in fact, we DO have a shopping cart in this house... compliments of DH :). Umm, the buggy was overflowing just a few months ago & yes, those bottles are full! i figure once they're all gone, we can start yoga or something.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Angels Take All Forms...from Fight to Flight

College history books, notepads, writing utensils & myself...all spread across my living room floor. Laying on my side, head propped up by my crooked arm, studying my heart out and suddenly the warmth of a small hand on my shoulder.

I live alone. I have no company. It's a Saturday afternoon in the summer of '95.

I can feel the hand squeeze my shoulder. I stop writing, stop reading & I may have even stopped breathing.
I couldn't turn my head. I wasn't fearful, but I was afraid.

I was afraid that the sensation would stop.
I closed my eyes & could feel love? I opened my eyes. The sensation was still there. Something seemed to be glowing from beyond my field of vision, over & beyond my right shoulder... I was frozen... I closed my eyes & contemplated an attempt? to stop this?
The phone rang & I lurched upward. The warmth was gone. The light was gone.
The phone was still ringing.

I jump up to get it.
'Hi~ It's me. It just happened...just now.'
'What happened? Do you mean...'
'Yes, she told me to call you'
'Ooooohhhh, the fight's over?'

'Yeah, she's gone into flight... '

Twenty years ago, there was Jill.

Suddenly & fatefully, brought into my life by a soul-mate, kindred spirit, friend & beyond all time love of mine... (not to be confused with a lover, lost-love or spouse )

She was a Native American Indian & she, like me, dream traveled. She did it with intent, I did not. She was at peace & I was fighting. She understood, I didn't & I knew it.

She helped to teach me to understand, to beleive, to know & to accept... myself, other people, relationships, strangers, religions, traditions, cultures, actions & reactions, beleifs, desires, objectives, fate, free will...

At 24 she became pregnant with her second child & shortly thereafter she was finally diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.
Fight or flight?

She chose flight, at least for 9 months, despite the doctors' warnings for mother and child. She flew through her preganancy & carried her son full-term ... giving birth to a beautiful baby. Within 72 hours , they removed all or part of eleven different organs.

The fight began.

Over the next three years, she flitted between fight & flight, as life demanded.
She night traveled to visit her brothers & her mother... she had flight. She'd squeeze their toes while they slept or mark a page in a book for them.
She watched, with loving support, as her own mother was eventually diagnosed with the same cancer. Within six months, she stood tall at her mom's funeral & question how she would travel at sleep-travel to her.

She took her children to Disney World. She took cutting edge meds. She ignored the 'skin-head' comments made by those who knew not better. She traveled to Mexico & to the Cancer Center. And she made arrangements.

She made arrangements with me.

She had me promise her.

She told me she would come for me one day very soon...that she would need me to be there for her family. She trusted me, valued me & beleived in me.

In the Summer of 1995, she slept. She rested her eyes. She traveled the places & ages, but with her eyes closed. A Saturday afternoon in the summertime, she opened her eyes...

'Jimmy, it's time'
'Bring me the boys'
'I love you, I always have & always will...I'll always be here...understand you won't get to see me anymore, except in your dreams...but I'll always be watching over you.'
'Take them away'
'Jimmy....thank you, I love you too.'
Are you going right now?
'Yes, It's okay....really, it's good.'
'yeah, call Jack(to get the kids) & the ambulance'
'ok, maybe you should call Paige first'

College history books, notepads, writing utensils & myself...all spread across my living room floor...It's a Saturday afternnon in the summer of 1995