Posts Tagged ‘God’

Witness

Posted: January 18, 2011 in Just Me
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hi!!! It's Leese!! I should be sleeping!!!

Something’s been weighing on my mind lately …

I’ve been keeping this blog for a little over two years and y’know, reading over it I realized that as much as things stayed the same, there are things that have changed.

Well, okay.. one thing.

Me.

And really, that’s to be expected. People grow .. people change.. circumstances and situation form different thinking patterns, etc. etc. etc.

You know.. the book of my life is open :: hello!! do you READ this blog?? :: .. I don’t hold on to the past and there’s very, very little that I regret. My experiences have made me who I am and I kind of dig me. Not everybody does.. I can be an “acquired” taste *cough cough* but that’s cool. I don’t like everybody either. But I don’t let them get under my skin.

Agree to disagree and call it a day.

One thing I noticed though, it that I’ve only recently began expressing my faith on here. How much I rely on it.. how much it gives me comfort.. how much it sees me through my hard times.

And yknow, I understand that not everyone shares that.. and again, that’s cool. I recently told someone who has zero belief in anything and made a comment about losing friends and family because of it that I never abandoned someone because they don’t share the same believes as me. It’s not my style.. not how I was raised.. not what my faith tolerates.

I also understand that my faith in God and Jesus Christ confuses some people.

If I were a REAL Christian, I wouldn’t watch reality shows

If I were a REAL Christian, I wouldn’t drop the F Bomb

If I were a REAL Christian, I wouldn’t wear green and tie my shoelaces in a weird way.

Ridiculous, right?

I am a child of God and stand behind his shield but I am also a sinner. I don’t deserve His redemption.. I don’t deserve the sacrifice of Christ’s blood. It is only through His love that I am forgiven. And I don’t take that lightly .. I am not the be all and end of Christians. I make mistakes, I ask for forgiveness. I receive it.

Ok..

That’s a little more wordy then I wanted it to be but it’s almost 3am.. I’m wide awake.. and it’s finally quiet in the house so just bear with me a little, ok?

At any rate.. I just felt the need to tell my story. To let you know how I came to this place in my life. Many of you already know it but for the newbies, I wanted to let y’all in on the secret!! LoL!

I was always left of center as a kid. I have an older brother.. the “golden” child.. and believe me, he was a hard act to follow. Not because he was so great and wonderful but because my parents had lost a number of babies before having him.. and when he was an infant he became very sick and almost died. His prognosis wasn’t good.. if he lived past 5, he would be mentally challenged.

Only by the grace of God, he wasn’t. He went on to become very successful in his chosen career.. married a nephrologist and had a beautiful son. His path :: other then his childhood illness :: was relatively smooth.

I'm a complete and utter goofball

Mine? The complete opposite.

Now, I’m going to say something that might get some people’s knickers in a twist but remember: my feelings and emotions are valid. You don’t have to agree.. only to accept.

I don’t want to give the impression that my parents didn’t love me.. they did. Just not the same as my brother.  There wasn’t necessarily a fairness, if you know what I mean. I did have it better then most. I lived with both my parents, there were really no dysfunction except for what I created in my mind.. and they provided for me the best they could but I always felt that there was “something” missing.. that I wasn’t good enough.. or wasn’t accomplished enough.. or didn’t have the right job or go to the right college..

What I think I’m trying to say is that they didn’t expect as much from me as they did from my brother.. and that’s just as bad, if not worse, then expecting too much.

And so I sought that love in all the wrong places.. mainly my first husband, the Spawn From Satan’s Ass.

If I loved myself as much as I do now, he would have just been a blip on my love-radar. But I didn’t and he wasn’t.. in fact, he played a HUGE part in putting on the path to salvation.

Believe me, if he knew that he’d be cursing up a storm because that LAST thing he’d want to give me is something good! LoL!

The abuse.. disguised as control.. disguised as love.. started within the first month. There were sooo many flags and neon arrows that my too low self esteem didn’t recognize. He distanced me from my family and my friends. Neither of whom were fond of him.. surprise surprise.

I’m not going to go into the Four Horseman of Abuse that I suffered when with him. We were together for 18 years before we divorced so there was A LOT of it .. I’m not going to go into the cutting either.. because that’s not the focus of this post.

I just want you to flash back to 1993.

At the time, me and the Spawn From Satan’s Ass were living together.

I don’t remember the exact circumstance, but one day he turned on the radio to a Christian station and there was a guy on there doing a Bible study.

Being raised Catholic and enduring 12 years of Catholic school, I couldn’t remember a time when reading the Bible was encouraged. So like everything new that I get interested in, I jumped right in.

The Spawn, on the other hand, had proclaimed a different religious affiliation almost every week. He was always “something”.. except what he really needed to be. But more on that later.

So this became the only radio station that we listened to and that would have been okay if it wasn’t for the fact that the man doing the Bible study truly believed that the world was going to end in 1994. He did all this research and connected all these dots and even wrote a book proclaiming that Christ would return in September 1994. He even had a date but I forgot it.

Now, I did learn in my youth that God said that we wouldn’t know the time of Christ’s return but that didn’t seem to phase this dude or The Spawn.. September was IT.

And The Spawn, fearing for his eternal salvation, insisted we get married. I didn’t want to get married.. honestly, I was afraid of what my family would think. But I was more afraid of him.. so down to the JOP we went. On March 24th, 1994.

Right under the wire.

Of course, Christ didn’t come back in 1994.. and The Spawn’s interest in anything to do with Christianity waned. But mine didn’t.

Something lit inside me.. some spark.. something deep down started to emerge. I knew I wasn’t living my life right.. knew that there was more.. way more..  but I was still in my spiritual infancy.

The Spawn was one of those, “… if there’s a God, I’d hit the lottery” kind of people. There were things that happened during our marriage that he felt would have put us on easy street if there were a God and when they didn’t come to pass, he would get angry and take that anger out on me.

It was hard. Beyond hard. But I stayed. Why? Well, pick your favorite. I didn’t believe in divorce.. I didn’t want to hear the “I told you so” .. I felt sorry for him.. the list goes on.

During those years, I started praying more.

I started relying on God more.

I started to recognize that I was not alone.. even in the closet where I huddled, scared and crying and afraid for my life.. I was not alone.

When he had me committed to a psych ward because I started to fight back in defense and to him, that meant that I was out of my freakin’  mind.. I was not alone.

When I was forced to listen to him telling me how ugly I was.. how fat I was.. how no one else would want me.. how I was disgusting.. how no one liked me.. I was not alone.

And that gave me strength.

Knowing that I could get through whatever was thrown at me gave me strength and strengthened my faith.

It took me a few more years before I left.

By that time, there was no recognizable relationship left.. The Spawn had completely fallen into his alcohol-induced psychosis and lived in the world made up in his head… the world where I was the reason for every single bad thing to ever happen in his life and everything that would happen in his life.

I used to say that even Tsunami’s in Indonesia were my fault because that’s how he made things seem.

Leaving opened up a whole other can of worms for me .. and my mother and grandmother. He stalked.. he terrorized.. he broke into their homes to leave letters for me .. he used Bella as an emotional hostage.. it was horrible and cruel and seemed like it was never going to end.

But it did .. and not only did God see me through this, he had a light at the other end and that was Chief.

Look.. I know I complain a lot about him.. I know that I’ve expressed doubts about his feelings for me .. and I am so sorry if I’ve given you the wrong impression of him.

Sometimes when I’m upset or mad or hurt, I blog about it. It’s a way for me to sort out my feelings but sometimes the post are knee-jerk and I really need to start calming down and sorting through the emotions before jumping on my laptop.

My bad.

Anyway.. so I meet Chief and did ever meet some one and know that he was THE ONE?

Within the first hour, I knew. I just did.

But what really confirmed it for me was HIS faith. He wass raised Pentecostal but because of his trials and tribulations, he became a deeply devoted and committed to reading the Bible .. understanding God’s word and living his life as a testament.

Honestly, he should be a preacher. He is soo passionate when he talks about Jesus’ salvation and used every opportunity in our store to witness. He’s is much bolder then I am. But even though he can recite chapter and verse and I can’t, we each have our way and that’s ok.

He has shown me the how I deserve to be treated.. he has made me comfortable in my own skin and let’s me be me. In fact, he celebrates me. I don’t have to pretend to be something I’m not or be afraid to disagree with him or challenge him.

And it wasn’t chance that brought us together. it wasn’t coincidence.

It was God.

Because God knew I needed someone that would not only love me, but to be my guide.. to help me walk my path and remind me of who is leading me when I feel overcome with doubt and burdened with worry.

He’s the calm.

There have been sooo many instances in my life where God’s hand has been on me. So many instances where He knew so much better then I.

I trust that now..

I am still me.. wacky.. left of center.. silly.. open minded.. and with an open heart.

But I am a better me .. and trying to be even more so.

 

 

You know.. I have a habit of saying that I need to get paid to live my life.

I’m serious.

A check would really, really, REALLY be helpful right now!

Anyway.. ok.. so…

Reality Check.

The real kind.

WARNING: Nothing you are about to read is made up. I can assure you that I am not sitting up in my double king sized bed surrounded by over spoiled lap dogs and tons of pillows getting annoyed by my assistant who keeps bursting into my sanctuary to take calls from various people listed on the Who’s Who of The World.

I so wish.

Anyway..

So we’re home from our road trip and I’m absolutely dreading Tuesday. Why? Because Tuesday is when my bank processes every transaction from the weekend. And even though I’ve been literally squeaking because I am very, very cautious when spending money since we closed the store we completely had to trash my account because of the Road Trip.

I was due for an unemployment check on Wednesday.. but it’s the next to the last one so this was NOT a good time to trash the finances. Necessary, of course. Even though we didn’t spend anything we absolutely didn’t have to.. we still spent more then we thought we would.

Still, I didn’t think it was going to be ALL that bad.. I thought that we were covered because I wrote a check for the $191.00 title/tag fee for Consuela. Remember I said that I could float that because by the time it was deposited it wouldn’t clear until Wednesday when my unemployment came in?

Yea.

No.

When I dared enough to take a peek at my account online, the check had already cleared. What? Wait… WHAT?

I know for a fact that my bank doesn’t have a local branch but  I guess the notary had some type of electronic gizmo that processes checks the same way one would process credit or debit cards. I know they exist and really, in this day and age why wouldn’t you have a gizmo like that when you accept checks?

So now my account was going to get hit with way more over draft charges then I originally thought and at 35.00 a pop, I’d be lucky if I was going to be able to remain in the black when my UC check came in.

Mind you.. I am not pointing blame at anybody else or playing a violin. I take full responsibility for the things that I did to make my account a mess… I just didn’t realize how much of a mess. Fact is, after all was said and done, I had around 400.00 after my UC came through.

Ok.. so not sooo bad, right?

Honestly, it wouldn’t be except that upon returning home from the road trip I found out that I had to pay the 128.00 cable bill before the 14th to avoid shut-off. I have to keep this current for 2 reasons.. one, Bubba and the whole cyber school thing and two, we are going to need service when we move and if I keep the bill current then there isn’t an issue with just changing the address.

I also received a 3 day shut off notice for the water. That’s 124.00.

So ok.. I’m not exactly jumping through hoops here but you know, at least I have enough to pay the cable and water and we’ll just have to make due because really, what ELSE is there to do?

And then I receive a call from my landlord.

I still owe him 675.00 for December’s rent and have told him that he will get that money. I’m not trying to beat him out of it or skip town or whatever. I may not have it RIGHT NOW but I filed my tax return so I will be getting a little something back (I had requested taxes taken from my UC) .. and Chief will be getting a nice return back but we can’t file his until the end of the month because the IRS hasn’t released one of the forms he needs yet.

He asked me where we were moving and I told him, honestly, I didn’t know. My fragile house of cards had collapsed and the only thing that I could do was leave it up to God. He asked if we would have to stay in the house another month. I told him that I still owed him money for December .. how could I do that?

Then he busts out with ‘.. and for January.”

Wait.

WHAT?

Apparently, the money that had been put up front when Chief had moved into this place was 1st month and 2 months security. This was NOT the information Chief gave me.. he told me that he put up 1st month / Last month / security.

Mind you, he got this house before I was ever in the picture and truthfully, I’m sure HE wasn’t the one who handled the transaction.. only signed where he was told to..

So now we owe our land lord ANOTHER 1400.00 for January and he told me he’d give me a call sometime next week to come see the house. Wonderful.

And it’s all getting a little too much for me to shoulder.

When I said that our little fragile house of cards had fallen, I wasn’t kidding and I wasn’t trying to get sympathy. It’s exactly the way it is.

The end of the month is fast approaching and we have no where to go.

West Virginia may be a probability somewhere in the future but it isn’t now. Even if the property was flat, it’s going to take more money then we’re going to have to build a foundation, finish paying off the double wide and paying to move it from where it’s at to where it’s going to go.

I ask you.. what the HELL were we thinking??

I’ll ask you again just for the effect.. WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING???

This whole journey from the day we closed the store has been nothing but us putting out money for places and things that never panned out..

And it’s more then a little discouraging .. especially because we are no closer to finding a place to move only now we have a lot less money to do it with..

It’s making my head spin.. keeping me up at night and doing things to my innards that are better left undiscussed.

Year ago.. when I was a kid.. there was a tele-movie on one night about a woman who found herself homeless. She did everything “right” in her life but I think her house caught on fire and for some reason it wasn’t insured or whatever .. that quick, she found herself homeless and it scared the hell out of me .. the thought that things could change in the snap of a finger ..

I thought about the movie (I think it starred Christine Laihti) in the middle of the night recently and it was all I can do to make the waterfalls keep from drenching my pillow.

Do I have the option of moving back in with my mom or with my brother? Of course.. I do have a way. “I” have a way.. but that would mean leaving my family .. and as much as I feel like I want to leave them sometimes, I really don’t.. and I wouldn’t.. not in these circumstances.

The boys could go with the Crack Whore.. no biggie. But my main concern is the dogs and cats. My mother would freak and my sister in law is high allergic. The other option is to move Conseula back to PA and possibly put it on my brother in laws property until we can get our shit together.

So I worry.. worry hard.. count down the minutes until we have to leave this house.. and then what?

Dunno .. but I do have faith.

As ridiculous as it may sound to those of you that don’t .. I know that God will take care of us and put us where we need to be when we need to be there. And while He does provide, no one said it would be easy ..

I’m going to get into this in another post because I want to make sure that I can string the right words together but if you know me personally or been in contact with me since we got back from the Restoring Honor rall ythen you know that it has had a profound effect on me.

I wasn’t sure whether I was just amped up or if the feelings I had in my heart were in fact, life altering.

I had some time to really think about things and you know, I really believe that God puts us where we are for a reason and there’s a reason why I’m sitting right here, on this bed, in this house typing this right now.

Don’t worry.. not going to get all Bible thumpin’ on you but every one who reads this blog knows the frustrations I’ve been having with my step-kids and my husband’s sever lack of parenting.

And while I was thinking about how absent God is in this families life, even though sometimes my Pentecostal Evangelist husband can be a “God Snob” and I have a deep seated faith.. the lack of focus and dedication has eroded what little foundation this family had.

So the other night I basically told Chief what was in my heart.. because even if you sugar coat it a little, the truth does indeed set one free. It removes the burdens on one’s heart.. lifts the mantle from your shoulders and brakes the chains that bind.

Sorry.. was that a little preachy? Don’t mean it to be… but it’s rrrreeaaallly early and the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet.

Anyway.. I told him that his kids are drifting away and that he may be tired.. he may not want to be near them.. he may not want to deal with  their bickering or fighting but he HAD to.. HE was their father and they have never needed him more then they do now. I suggested that we start the day with a morning family prayer. He might not want to.. they might grumble.. but it was something that had to be done. I told him that we needed to start bringing them to church and that HE needed to spend more time with them.

I don’t know why it touched his heart this time.. I’ve said this all before (except for the prayer part) and that night at dinner we had a conversation with them over dinner.

We talked about personal responsibility and having integrity and a strong character and that he would wake them up before work in the morning and we would start off with a prayer and hopefully it would open the door to them having their own relationship with God. That we were a family and each person has a role in this family and we’re responsible for each other and well.. just all kinds of stuff that I’m going to omit.. not because they aren’t important but I just want to get to the point of the post.

You’re thanking me.. I know!

Anyway.. the Crack Whore hasn’t sent Child Support all summer and with all the other bills and (No Longer) Weeds fines that I promised to pay money was really really tight. So I let the kids know that the Crack Whore was going to have to get their school stuff. And she did.. she took Bubba on Monday night and Spaz last night. I don’t know what she bought them and I really don’t care because it dawned on me what my role is in this family and why I’m here.

I found my place.

The boys have a father. They have a mother. I don’t have to be either. I shouldn’t be either. It became SO crystal clear that my role here is not to be a parental figure but to make HIM a better father and to make HER be a mother. Not just the buy-whatever-you-want-because-I’m-better-then-your-father “mother” but the leaving early from work because the kid is sick  mother.. the parent teacher conference mother.. the I-need-money-for-a-field-trip mother.

Before Saturday, I was like, yknow what? She’s going to pay child support one way or the other.. either through the court or by default. SHE can deal with the bullshit they get into at school and how in about three weeks Bubba is going to start not doing homework again and fucking up in school. If questioned by her, my answer was going to be that I provide the roof.. the water.. the electricity and the food. And I’m going to be honest in saying that it wasn’t without malice that I thought that. I was pissed off.. I was angry.. I was weary and frustrated and all those negative words.

After Saturday, it dawned on me that although I have a responsibility to some extent to these kids I can’t keep putting their well being on MY shoulders. They had them.. it’s their cross to bear, so to speak. Mine name won’t be on the contact cards. I won’t be emailing teachers and hounding the kids about homework.

I’ve been fighting the wrong fight.. and maybe that’s why it hasn’t been going my way.

So last night at dinner, Spaz asked me if I was going to drive him to school. He is going to a different one this year.. one that’s closer to our  house so he already knew that he would be walking daily ( he could have ridden his bike if he hadn’t been lazy and left it on the side of the house in stead of bringing it inside and it was stolen ) but it was the first day and I guess he had the butterflies.

So I told him no. I wasn’t driving him but maybe he can call the Crack Whore and see if she can drive him in. At first he said that he couldn’t because she went into work early. Because I don’t believe in coincidences, I know that her calling right at that moment was divine intervention.

He asked her and at first she said that she couldn’t but then further into the conversation she said that she would. Chief listened to everything but never said a word to me.. not even when we ran to the supermarket after dinner. I thought about bringing it up but refrained. There really was nothing to say.

And when we came back from the supermarket and Bubba still hadn’t washed his ice cream bowl after being asked twice, I asked him again and went ahead and did other things.

Around 10pm, Spaz went to bed and I mentioned to Chief that Bubba’s mess was STILL on the kitchen counter. He left the bedroom to say something to him and when he came back he said that Spaz had did them. When? Because I just saw them. He said that Spaz “.. just did them”.

Ok.

So I waited about 15 minutes.. went into the kitchen and washed all the dishes that “.. Spaz just did”.

I came back into the bedroom and said, “.. just so you know? I just did the dishes.”

He didn’t respond and it dawned on me that I am Mrs. Livingstone. You know her. The nanny from The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father?

I’m the maid.. the cook.. the laundry czar.

And I’m okay with that because that means I’m not the chauffer, the referee, the parent to kids that aren’t mine. I’m the ball boy who stepped up to home plate thinking I could hit a home run but struck out instead and that’s fine. I’ll leave the swinging to the players who signed up for the job and go back to my rightful place.

It may mean that when the pressure gets put on the boys parents that my marriage may fail.. it may prove my suspicions that my husband’s was looking for SOMEbody, not necessarily ME so that he wouldn’t have to deal with raising his kids.. but whatever the truths surface.. it will be the truth and while the truth does hurt.. it also sets you free.

But I’m at peace with all that.. just as I’m at peace with finally finding my rightful place.

It will be interesting if nothing else!!

You guys may need to grab a pot of coffee or energy bar or something because this might be a long one!!

So back in February when I booked our hotel, I thought that the rally was going to start late morning and finish in the early afternoon .. or I thought it was going to be an all day thing.. or I thought something. I don’t actually remember because it was back in February but I KNOW I didn’t KNOW that the rally was only from 10am to 1pm..

I also didn’t know THEN that Chief wanted to leave on Friday night after I close the shop.

He’s worse then a kid at Christmas because when he gets excited about something his tail wags worse then a puppy’s.

There was no living with him if we didn’t drive down Friday night so fine.. it didn’t matter that we didn’t have a room for Friday and even if there happened to be one little room available ( which there wasn’t ) we wouldn’t have been able to afford it anyway.. But being the industrious man that he is *cough* he figured we would just pack a cooler and sleep in the back of the wagon.

Not as bad as it sounds.. We’ve done that before when we used to do flea markets so ok. I was down with that. It’s an adventure right? A one in a lifetime kinda thing? RIGHT???

So he packs a cooler with waters and juices and stuff to eat and snack on and is bouncy off the walls to CAN. WE. JUST. GET. GOING. ALREADY??? so much so that we forgot his better sneakers and my other sandals and a few other things that really did turn out to be minor but we did remember the toilet paper!!

We had been scrambling all day so you know.. we forgot to eat again and wound up driving through McDonald’s at around 8pm and then we were on our way to DC.

One thing I should tell you about Chief .. you know that saying WWJD? What Would Jesus Do? Yea.. well.. I say WWCS .. What Would Chief Spend? .. because he doesn’t like  paying one penny more then what he thinks something is worth. It’s a pain in the ass for someone who is just like “… just pay it already!!!!”

That would be me.

So when setting the TomTom, there is a question that comes up asking if you want to avoid toll roads. It’s preset to AVOID TOLL ROADS because the cheap son of a bitch I’m married too can’t part with the 15 cent or 40 cent or OH! MY! GOD! NOT 1.10!!!!!! to get on and off the turnpike!

I really DON’T  mind most times because MOST times I’m not driving at night. I hate driving anywhere at night where I’m not familiar because things look differently at night and I don’t see that well. Nice, right?

The first time we got off 95 it wasn’t so bad. We were basically put on a pike that was well lit and I only had two turns to make before getting back on the highway.

But the second time… OMG.. the SECOND time had us driving thru some of the seediest sections of Baltimore late on a Friday night. Now, I’m from Philly originally so there are very few things that will make my chin hit my knees but let me tell you.. yea.. I got re-educated!!

Next time I’m definitely digging under the seat for change to stay on the highway!!

We’re only not even 3 hours outside of Washington so the idea (I refuse to say plan) was to get there around 11, find a place to park the car.. sleep for a few hours.. eat something and then head to The Mall for the rally. Even with the little detour we were on target but that what? Where were we going to park? The hotel we had reservations at charged 42.00 to park even IF you were a guest so that left that out and EVERYTHING in DC is grossly expensive.

Chief wanted to just park on the street but I told him he was out of his fucking mind because there was NO WAY in HELL that I was going to sleep in the car on a street in another city where I didn’t know if it was legal or not.. just wasn’t going to happen. So we drove around and drove around and drove around until we finally found a parking garage that was not only OPEN but had a sign that said $10 Flat Rate.

So we drive in and guess what?

It was an UNDERGROUND parking garage.. I’m thinking it was definitely the third level of Dante’s Inferno because it was soooo freakin’ hot so add that to the exhaustion setting in and it wasn’t a good recipe. So Chief suggests we take a walk down to The Mall.. check things out and maybe find an open air garage where we can move the car to.

I should have known then that he wouldn’t waste the 10 bucks he paid for parking .. but I really wasn’t thinking.. so I set the TomTom to take us to the Lincoln Memorial. One thing that I didn’t consider… the route that popped up was the route we would need to DRIVE to get to the Memorial.. not WALK.

The red arrow is where we were parked.. the blue line is the route we took to get to the Mall. Go ahead. Call us idiots! We deserve it!!

By the time we get to the Memorial we were exhausted and our feet were KILLING us. Neither of us had proper shoes because.. oh.. um.. Tweedle DumbAss couldn’t WAIT to get on the road!!! We plopped ourselves under a tree with the intent of getting some winks. There were maybe about 500 people already there.. WAY more prepared then we were. They  had blankets and pillows and coolers and flashlights and entertainment and coffee!!

We just had a bottle of water and my handbag!!!

I ask Chief if he wants to walk back and get out cooler and stuff and he looked at me like I was NUTS. His feet had started to get really bad blisters.. my feet were feeling the walk too but at least my sneakers were a little bit better then his shoes.

Trying to do ANYTHING even resembling a nap was impossible. Personally, I can’t lay out on grass without thinking of that cable “Monsters Within” and being petrified of Bot Flies laying eggs in my ears. Impossible, I know but did you ever SEE that show??

Chief didn’t have any problems falling asleep but he gave me implicit instructions to wake him up as soon as he started snoring. Which he did.. in the first five minutes.. and every five minutes after he fell back asleep so that was usless.

After a while, a guy named George from California joined us. He came by himself, leaving his wife and kids in Cali because it wasn’t financially possible for them all to come. He was almost as bad off as we were but at least he had the good sense to bring an umbrella!! So we talked and shared and laughed and then we were joined by three ladies from Boston.

THEY were prepared. They had blankets and a cooler and again, we talked and shared and laughed.

Then the four woman from Ohio came.. and then the people from Delaware and Central PA. It was like having a family reunion with strangers.. only they didn’t feel like strangers. Everyone shared what they had with each other and someone even gave us their extra beach blanket to sit on.

Around 4am, we were DYING from caffeine withdrawal. If anything, y’all should know by now that me and Chief ALWAYS have a cup of coffee in our hands and the last cup we had had was like.. six hours prior. So George from Cali pulled out his iphone and used an App to find the nearest Dunkin’ Dounts.

According to his iPhone, the DD was less then a mile away and should only take about 15 minutes to get there.

Oh!! No fucking sweat!!!

Chief was reluctant to go because his feet were hurting so much.. you KNOW the man is hurting if he doI wesn’t want to go for coffee. I told him that I would go on my own.. it wasn’t that far and who cares if it was 4am.. there were so many people milling around the streets of DC that I didn’t think it was an issue. George from Cali didn’t want me to go by myself either but I was like, Please!! I’m from South Philly!!!

In the end, Chief came with. I’m still not sure if he was worried about me OR about getting a hot cup of coffee. I studied George’s iPhone map and knew exactly where we needed to go. Easy, right?

Um..

Have I introduced myself to you yet??

The Black Arrow is where Dunkin Donut's was SUPPOSE to be.. the Star? That's were a vending truck was. The purple path is what we walked going TO and the purple path is coming back

We walked WELL past where the Dunkin’ Donuts was pinned on the iPhone map and nothing.. we walked further.. nothing.. we asked security guards and other people.. NOTHING!!

When we first passed the vending truck, Chief wanted to get coffee there but I was like “… NOOOOOOO!!! I want a CHEDDAR BAGEL TWIST!!!” and so this man who loves me forged ahead on broken feet while I trailed behind swearing that my ass better raise 2 inches with all this uphill walking.

When we figured out that the damn iPhone app was wrong, we made our way back but took another street hoping that maybe the pin had been in the wrong place and we would see the purple and orange glow of their sign.

Nothing.

So we made our way back to the vending truck.. which was deserted when we first passed.. to find a line wrapped half way around the corner.

So we waited and got four cups of coffee ( literally the size of a demi cup).. 2 soft pretzels (which were so hot that it made you believe that they were fresh until you unwrapped the tin foil that was literally STUCK to it and found that they weren’t fresh.. they were stale and just stuck on a steam table to keep them soft until the unsuspecting customer bought it and let the air hit it. I may have broken a tooth trying to gnaw away at it.) .. and 1 skinny grey thing that they SWORE was a hotdog.

Total was 17.50

I kid you not.

We made it back to our spot through hoards of people screaming WHERE DID YOU GET COFFEE?????????????? and settled back in with our new found family.

When I tell you EVERYBODY was friendly… EVERYBODY was polite.. people were sincerely interested in each other.. where they were from.. what they did for a living.. what brought us all here. It was nothing short of amazing.

If you were there, then you know the feeling.. the vibe.. the spirit.. or whatever it is you want to call it that seemed to just hover in the air. I really have no words to describe it.

The people who took buses in started arriving around 7 and they kept on coming.. and coming.. and coming.. we literally watched the whole mall fill up as far as we could see.

By the time the rally started at 10, you could forget about your squatting rights. There was just way too many people with no where to go. And even when our little area became standing room only .. there was no way you could plop on the grass anymore.. and the sun started heating everyone.. people were still mindful of who was standing around them.

One older guy broke through our little group complaining that he felt like he was going to faint. He must have been in his early 80’s. He was there with his daughter who looked to be in her 60’s and she was in a virtual panic. Bottles of water came out from every direction.. someone offered him their lawn chair.. a young guy came through saying that he was studying to be a nurse and how could he help. No one was obnoxious.. no one pushed back.. no one was annoyed even though the rally had already started and people were straining their necks to see the stage or the jumbo-trons.

The speakers were amazing… the message was inspiring.. and even though I’m not going to go into the whole Martin Luther King, Jr. controversy here, I can tell you from someone who was in the thick of it.. that there was nothing said other then committing ourselves to the core principals of Faith, Hope and Charity.

After it was over, people started to leave and believe me.. if you’ve ever left a sports stadium after a game.. imagine that crowd times 10. But there was no pushing or rushing or shoving. Everybody just.. well.. walked.

Our adrenaline started to deplete.. coupled with sore feet, aching bodies, exhaustion, no food or anything to drink. We felt like shit! But we couldn’t do anything walk (again) to find the garage where our car was.

Do you know who Quasimoto is? The Hunchback of Notre Dame?

That was us.

No lie.

All we needed to do was start yelling SANCTUARY!!! as we walked. We looked like two broken down cowboy hunchbacks after a really bad rodeo.

And of course.. we couldn’t figure out how to get to the damn garage.. because if Washington is anything it’s badly planned!! LOL!!

The path we took to get back to the damn parking garage!

So we walked.. and walked.. and walked.. and walked.

And we walked some more.

I think we only stopped once.. across the street from the White House’s Rose Garden but it wasn’t because we wanted to SEE it.. we just didn’t want to collapse in front of it!!

But starting to walk again only made our feet feel worse so we plugged on and on and on until I saw the blinding glow of the Golden Arches.

I told Chief we should go into McDonald’s and ask them for directions. He said he didn’t realize how hungry he was until I pointeen d out the Mickey Dee’s. So we dragged ourselves in.. ordered food.. and then had to CLIMB A FLIGHT OF STAIRS to the seating area. The looks on our faces when we found that our were probably priceless.

But we forged through and sat.. taking off our shoes so that our feet could rest on the cold ceramic tile.

OMG I know what heaven is now!!!

We finished eating and still had about 8 or 9 long.. long.. LONG blocks to go.

Finally we made it to the car and if you ever hear me make fun of my wagon again, please knock me upside the head!! We sat in the wagon and just melted.

But the journey isn’t over yet.. because NOW we had to drive to the hotel which was about 8 blocks away ( actually it was ohsoclose to the McDonald’s we were at ) and before Chief could even THINK about the 42 bucks to park at the hotel, I told him that there was no way in God’s green earth that I was walking anywhere other then to an elevator.

He had the good sense not to argue.

So we got to the hotel and checked in.. made our way up to the room which had a bed that was made from a cloud.

No.. in all seriousness, it was a really nice room with really, REALLY good sheets and pillows and feather top mattress.

He just peeled off his clothes and fell out.. I wanted to take a shower first but then I did the same damn thing.

I don’t remember anything until about midnight when I woke up to Chief staring at me. “.. I’m hungry” he said jumping up and down like a freakin’ monkey in a cage.

My WTF???? expression made him tell me that it was a hotel room bed so of course you had to jump around on it like a freakin’ monkey in a cage.

I was hungry too.

All the sandwiches, potato salad and lunch meat we had brought didn’t hold up to being in the trunk of a hot car in the basement of a parking garage over night and the one bag of potato chips and Welch’s White Grape Peach bottle wasn’t going to cut it. It was too late for room service and neither of us could even dream of walking anywhere so what to do? Go back to sleep, of course.

One thing I need to mention here is that we stayed at the Capital Hilton. I made the reservation and paid for the room via Obitz so I really didn’t know what I was getting into. First of all.. there was no free WiFi. They charged 15.99 a night to access it. Everything on their menu was OBSCENELY priced. Like.. 9.75 for a bowl of oatmeal. 22.00 for a hamburger. 7.50 for a cup of coffee. I hadn’t realized that this was a dignitary hotel and that generally the people that stay there could care less how much anything was. Plus, it was an international menu.

So back to sleep we went and when we got up the next morning, we decided that it was just better off checking out then waiting.. hungry.. until noon. I did.. at one point.. BEG Chief to order room service because I was beyond starving but even I couldn’t justify spending that much money on something that we weren’t even going to be able to split.

So at 8am we checked out and made our way home.. finding yet another McDonald’s where we had breakfast.

I swear I have NEVER eaten McDonald’s so much in my  life!!!

Because it was early.. we had nothing but time in front of us so we made our way back ( again detouring through the seedier side of Baltimore and even continuing the tradition of turning the wrong way down a one way street because of the TomTom ).. we stopped at a fantastic reststop on I95 that was  ( and had bad coffee ) .. found an unbelievable flea market in Nottingham, PA that was in an old barn and had really neat stuff.. we drove the back roads through Maryland.. over the Conowingo Dam.. may have found a place to move to in Darlington.. wondered at Havre De Grace.. checked out used RVs ( come on.. you have to agree that we need one! ) .. drove through a covered bridge and wound up spending a few hours sitting on a rock and hanging our feet in Brandywine Creek watching people drift by on inner tubes with their dogs swimming along side of them.

We finally made it home feeling that after not really doing anything this summer.. doing EVERYTHING.

It was probably the best weekend I’ve had in a long time.. even with the blisters and aches and everything else doing all that with my best friend was awesome.

You know..

I really have no idea why some many people get pissed off by this phrase. They seem to think its some sort of a cop out.. or that you don’t want to put an effort into whatever circumstance is leading you to say it.

Dunno..

Me? I live by that saying because I have learned the very hard way that you cannot control destiny and you can’t stress over thing you can’t change.

Ok.. sometimes I do stress over things I can’t change.. but the important thing is I know that I shouldn’t.

I may not always talk like it.. but I have a strong faith in God.

Don’t know why that upsets some people so much .. but again, that’s one of the things I can’t change so I don’t worry about it.

So here’s the reason for this post..

About a month ago, Cheif and I were driving through another borough and we saw a FOR RENT sign on a really sweet house. It’s a twin, which we weren’t too thrilled with, but it had a front porch .. a two tier deck in the back.. sat in front of a a dense tree line and was across from the creek. Completely picturesque.

So we called the number and left a message. It was a Sunday so we really didn’t expect to reach anyone.

The following morning, my cell phone rings but I didn’t recognize the number so I didn’t answer it. Bad habit, I know.. but when you have a 12 year old who uses your phone number to sign up for services on the internet because he thinks he’s getting a free Playstation or XBox I think I’m a little bit justified.

But then something about the number looked familiar. So I called it back and told the man that answered that I received a call from this number but was not left a voice mail.

He said that the number showed up on HIS caller ID and then it clicked that it was about the house. He told me to call another number to speak to the guy who was showing the house. I did and we made a date to have a looksy.

The house was just as amazing inside as out .. I particularly fell in love with the loft that was in the master bedroom. It has central air.. a laundry room on the first floor and all other kinds of things. They wanted 1400.00 a month.. which is what we are paying now and what we’re looking to NOT pay anymore. BUT it is a better school district and the owners WERE looking for long term tenants. The guy showing us the house said that he may be able to get us the house for around 1300.00 if we were willing to commit to a 5 year lease.

Now, that’s a long time but considering that Spaz still has 5 or 6 years left in school, I was fine with it.

Then the hard part came.. the application.

When you own your own business, it’s kind of hard to prove your income. Especially since ours is a relatively new business and we told draw actual pay checks. Also, we don’t use credit. I explained that both our credits tanked after our divorces and he was fine with it. In speaking to him, we found out that he was also a Christian of deep faith and him and Chief talked and gave witness and all that while I was getting eaten up by mosquitoes.

We left and I felt surprisingly ok. Not anxious.. not impatient.. it’s going to be what it’s going to be.

The following day I received a call from their office and the woman I spoke to just wanted to go over a few things on our application. I told her that I would be able to fax her over our tax returns for income verification and that regardless of whether it was a yes or a no, I needed to know by the  end of the month at the earliest or beginning of the month at the latest because I would need to give my current landlord 30 days notice.

She said that, for her, it was a go.. she just had to let the owner give his ok.

We got excited but when I emailed her the tax forms, I asked her to email me back saying that we had the house so that there were no misunderstandings.

I didn’t hear back from that day and the nothing the next day and I started to panic. This was around the time that Weed got arrested and I was trying to figure out where we were going to get an additional 1400.00 for the security deposit.. and I didn’t want to start off things in a bad way with the new landlord.

So driving home from my mom’s the second night we hadn’t heard anything about the house, I had such pressure on my chest about the whole money situation that I told Chief that I was going to back out. He lives by the credo that God will provide for him.. I believe that also, but I happen to think that God wants you to be a little proactive and A LOT responsible.

So I emailed the woman the next day and told her that there was a recent personal situation that occured the day before that may or may not impact our financial status and that I didn’t think it was responsible to sign a new lease just in case our finances were impacted.

I then emailed the guy and explained further about the problems with Weed.. that he had been arrested again and that this time, we may have to have to take him in. Doing that would mean that the new house would be too small and that we would be spending more for utilities and food, etc.

I may have used Weed as an excuse but I wanted to cover our bases and not look like screw up. To me, I think it came across as two people who were fiscally responsible.

I never heard from the woman, but did hear from the guy. He wrote me and told me that he had a friend who specialized in kids like Weed and perhaps we could get him involved in this program.

And that was that. Nothing more on the house.

Fast foward to about two weeks ago and out of the blue, the guy called Chief at the store and asked him why we had backed out. Chief was honest with him about Weed. Funny, because I never told Chief that I had emailed the guy and explained that his son was a junkie fuck up. But yknow.. the truth is always the best road to travel.

The guy said that they were having trouble finding renters for the house for one reason or another and the owner kept referring back to us and why we didn’t want it. He then asked Chief if he would be willing to rent the house for 1250.oo a month.

OMG!! Are you KIDDING me??

So Chief.. all nonchalant.. said yea. Of course. So the guy said he would talk to the owner again and to have faith.

Didn’t hear anything else about it and every once in a while the thought would cross my mind but again .. it is what it is.

Today, Chief let me sleep late so I didn’t get to the store until 11. When I walked in there was a guy standing there talking to Chief. He said HI LEESE! HOW ARE YOU! .. and honestly, I didn’t know who the hell he was. So I said FINE and went about my business and then it hit.

It’s the GUY.. the one who showed us the house.

He said he stopped by because he  lost our number.. and that the house still isn’t rented. The owner, apparently, is a little unsure about whether to rent it to us because he can’t pull a credit history on us. So I think he stopped by to make sure what we said was on the up and up.

I told him that we weren’t actively looking at other houses and when / if the owner makes up his mind he’ll know where to find us. So it still looks like the house is on the table but again, I refuse to get my hopes up about it or make plans about it or not about it or whatever because I can’t make this guy change his mind. I can’t make him take a leap of faith and I can’t move in to a house until it’s meant for me to move in it.

Thinking that way is really a huge burden off one’s shoulders..

So who knows.. we might be moving out of chatteau ghetto soon!!