Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Want To Read More?

I sat at the bar by myself.

I hadn’t ever done it before. I was alone in the tavern, trying to look as if I was comfortable with my elbows awkwardly resting over the lip to the thick, sticky bar. 

The bartender tossed his towel over his shoulder and leaned toward me. 

“What can I get you?”

“Pinot Grigio.”

I always get Pinot Grigio. 

He brought my glass without much fanfare and set it down.

“Anyone joining you?”

 I laughed out loud in my mind, but instead I blurted, “My divorce was just finalized.”

As I said the words, a thousand thoughts raced through my head. I had wondered how the moment would feel, hoped there would be more relief than sadness, imagined being excited rather than dreading what my life would be like. I was a thirty year old, single mom. Holy shit.

I felt every feeling. 

I must have been saying everything out loud without even realizing it, and when I snapped out of it, the poor bartender was just standing there looking at me, like he wanted to be sad for me but couldn’t help laughing.

What the hell had I told him?

Damned wine. 

Whatever it was, I had blabbed more than I probably should have over glass number two. 

I decided to finish up my very cliched, post divorce bar scene and thanked the “keep” for listening.

“You’re going to be fine.” He said. “You’re a funny girl.”


I hopped off the stool and headed out. I immediately tripped on the cobble stone street, but recovered before completely face planting. My life was mine to live. Decisions were mine to make.

I looked up and noticed the sign right away.



Saturday, June 22, 2013

This Comes As No Surprise

What? You actually thought for a second that I was done? That crazy things stopped happening?


No way.

And yesterday was the perfect example of "a day in the life."

What IS interesting, is that what happened yesterday really didn't shock me. Nothing around here really does, anymore. I am starting to accept that there is just something a little, well, "different" about our life. MY life.

It started early yesterday morning, as I was getting the two little ones ready for a fishing trip with their "Bup." Over the bickering about matching socks, the dog barking at the dancing reflection on the wall from the swimming pool water, the phone ringing and the passing traffic, I heard the crying.

Like many moms, I believe I have bionic hearing. I hear the slightest sniffle in the middle of the night. I wake from a sound sleep the second my kids feet hit the floor early in the morning, no matter how quiet they are. I.hear.everything.

But this sound was loud, and constant, and sad.

This sound was coming from an animal that sounded like hurt and fear and everything bad.

I walked outside to try to figure out where it was coming from. In my pajamas and mismatched flip flops, I walked down to the road.

I live on a very busy road, and the traffic is loud and fast. Especially on weekday mornings. But I had to try to see what was making this horrible noise. I'm no stranger to rescuing wildlife...well, small wildlife, that is. And I KNOW that I often act without REALLY thinking about what I'm doing. I wasn't planning on saving any screaming forest creatures in my jammies, but I would do what I had to do and suffer the consequences.

I crossed the road and paced alongside the trees and the brush, trying to see the source of this crying.

You see, the view from my front window is "The Forest." If you look directly across the road it looks like the fricken willy-wacks. I never thought about how strange that is until yesterday.

I peered into the trees and the "puckah-brush."

I could hear it, but I could not for the life of me see it.

Passers-by must have concluded that I was some poor, crazy woman who had lost her way. In her pjs and flip flops, talking to herself, walking along a busy road early in the morning.

Who cares.

I was on a mission.

My dad came to pick up the kids and I asked him for help. He heard the noise, too. It really was alarming.

We both walked across the road and searched into the woods.

Was it in a tree? Was it a fox "mimicking" a cat?

A bird?

A plane?

He determined there was really nothing we could do.

He took the kids fishing.

I was not giving up.

I turned to my peeps on FACEBOOK. They NEVER fail to advise.

For it was FACEBOOK that gave me answers when a CHUKAR PARTRIDGE graced my backyard.

It was FACEBOOK when my beloved Casey passed away, that offered endless love and support. Look at FB how you want, but it really does bail you out in a pinch.

I told my little story about the noise across the road, and sure enough, the advice board lit up:

A Fox. Get inside. A fawn. Call the Police. Call the Wildlife Preserve. A porcupine? A beagle?

As much as I hated to call the police for a non-emergency, I had to start somewhere.

Apparently we have an animal control officer, but he deals with domestic animals, not wildlife, and at this point I was fairly certain this had to be wild.

My poor husband called.

This man had no idea that when he married me, he was marrying koo-koo.

Last week he got a text from me, "Bear in the Backyard."

Oh, did I forget to mention that a black bear showed up one morning a couple of weeks ago? OOps. Sorry.

Yes. A bear in the backyard while I was cleaning the pool.

No biggie.

Anyway, I was telling Chris about the noise, how LOUD it was, and I was feeling helpless.

He said he would call his friend who is a game warden.

A few minutes later, he called back.

"Are you dressed?"


"Well, you probably should get dressed because one of the wardens from "NorthWoods Law" is coming to the house."

"Shut up."

"I'm serious."

My husband, the jokester.

While I DID believe that someone from the Warden Service was coming, I DID NOT believe it was someone from a TV show.

I threw on my favorite old grey sweatshirt.

I found a matching flip flop.

I returned to my post on the side of the road.

That sound. It was so loud. I was relieved that it was still happening when the guy showed up. It would have been like going to the doctors for a pain in the ass, but when you get to your appointment the pain is gone...

When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a game warden's truck...and Kris MacCabe from NorthWoods Law.


Are you kidding me?

Did I brush my teeth?

Not yet.


Oh, well, such is my life of a wild-life rescuer.

For a second...I mean a SECOND I forgot about the struggling creature so desperately in need of help.

For one split minute, I tried to remember if I had a bra on or not.


Ok. Back to business.

We both walked to the side of the road.

The noise seemed even louder.

"That's weird." He stated.

"Thank Goodness you think so."

He started down the brush covered bank.

"Will you come down and save me if I yell?" He joked.

"I'll have to go change my shoes."

("I'll have to go change my shoes?" THAT'S ALL I COULD COME UP WITH? I felt like Baby on Dirty Dancing when she said, "I carried the watermelon.")

I could still see him as he made his way into the woods.

In less than a minute, I heard him exclaim, "NO WAY!"

What the heck was it? Would he carry a fawn out? Was it a baby bear cub?

"It's a tiny kitten!"

And he emerged from the brush and sticks and rocks with the tiniest, cutest grey kitten.

THAT was making that noise?

We were both surprised.

REALLY surprised.

Of course then the troops came running out of the house to see the result of my frantic search.

A cat.

Now, let's get back to FACEBOOK for a minute. A few weeks ago, I put a status on that declared my dislike for cats. It was meant to be a private joke, but I quickly realized that it just came across as looking bitchy, and many of my friends and family are cat lovers.

I have never "loved" cats. I don't mind them. I love dogs. I don't love orange juice, either, but I would drink it if I was dying of thirst, you know?

So, back to the kitten.

He handed me the tiny thing and i have to admit. I felt an instant connection. I was the only one who heard this mini-lion. Do you think that he was in that spot, in front of Crazy Road, for a reason?

I do.

I needed a little lesson.

He needed my bionic ears, and everything that comes with them.

After chatting with the TV STAR, and having a few pictures with the kids and the cat and the cool Game Warden Truck, the excitement died down.

I needed to get back to work, AND figure out what to do with this tiny creature who had been through a horrific ordeal.

I wanted to keep him.

I couldn't keep him.

I could have brought him to a shelter.

I could NOT bring him to a shelter.

He happily drank some milk and ate some mushed up tuna.(Thank Goodness for Tom and Jerry, I had no idea what to feed a kitten)!

He fell asleep on Nick.

We fell in love.

Leo, our enormous Golden Retriever kind of liked him, too.

But with allergies and working and living next to the busy road, our busy lives and such, Crazy Road was not the best place for him.

I have a new friend that offered a home right away, and after working out a time and place, and promises of a long, love filled cat life, she became the owner of my rescu-ee.

He pooped on the backseat of my car on the way to deliver him, but I didn't even care.

Poop, shmoop.

He is going to have a great life with cat-lovers.

I was pretty drained last night, and admittedly, I missed the darned little thing.

But I knew I had done the right thing.

Today I am going to try to bury my head in the sand, and avoid any crazy what-so-ever.

Oh, who am I kidding.

I will again encounter some kind of mischief.

And it will come as no surprise.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

How Trash Bags Changed My Life

It's not just me, you know.

Everyone has a little crazy in their life.

And my life would NEVER be as fun and crazy without my kids, my family and my friends.

This all started because I NEEDED TO BUY TRASH BAGS.

Remember the story "Not In The Cards?"

If you don't, feel free to read it..if you don't want to read it, here is a brief synopsis:

I do not usually buy greeting cards. The pressure to find the perfect card, like MY SISTER ALWAYS does, is almost unbearable. AND I like to think that I convey to my family and friends on a daily basis, exactly how much I love them, treasure them, and wish them days full of joy EVERY Day.

Not just on birthdays, Mother's, Father's, Grandparents, Cousin's, Sibling's Days, Because You Have The Sniffles, Valentine's, or You've Had An Ingrown Toenail Removed, You Are Trading In Your Vehicle, but everyday.  You get my point? There are cards now for EVERYTHING. And my amazing sister will always find it. Not even because she is looking, per se. Just because she is the "Card Whisperer."

I love you, Katie.

An so as my Dad's birthday came upon us, I felt the pressure build once again.

It's not that I don't WANT to buy cards...although the asking price of $4.99( US) AND the added struggle to find the envelope that it fits into can literally put a frugal, fragile card-buying-phobe right over the freaking's just...well...overwhelming, looking up a the walls and walls of "What Is A..."

And of course, the fear of my usual reaction of having to urgently find a rest room mid-selection.

And so, the day before his birthday, I really wasn't even THINKING about a card when I entered the grocery store to buy trashbags.

Milk. Cereal. Bread. check. check. check. ( I mean, there WAS ANOTHER DOOMSDAY WEATHER FORECAST)..

And as I approached the last of the aisles, I happened to look up at the dangling announcement overhead..."SEASONAL, PAPER GOODS, GREETING CARDS."

Did I have to pee? Nope.

I had yet to break a sweat.

I turned my cart and forged my way down the aisle.


Here we go. Deep breath. One more pee check.


Now, what happened next was really nothing short of a miracle.

"What Age Does Girl Stop Needing Her Dad?"

I slowly picked the card from its slot.

Opened it...praying that the inside had the right answer, and not some crazy musical rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings..."

Let's just say, it was perfect. AND the right envelope was actually behind it.


I did the cha-cha right there in Hannaford.

Oh, but now...I couldn't just get him one from me, My hubby and kids would want to be included, too.

I was feeling good.

I once again browsed up a few rows and once again...could it be?


One from "Both of Us."

It was perfect. Not sappy. And literally sounded like something I would tell my Dad. And it was pretty...but not in a rainbow and sunrise kind of way. It was simple and classy.


And now one from the kids, always pretty easy, and I was off!

The streak was OVER.

I had found what I thought to have not just one...BUT THREE good, solid cards.

I crossed over to the wine aisle.

This would have to be celebrated!

Where didn't I go? To the trash bag aisle. That's where.

So really, why is this so significant? Read on...

I called my sister to tell her the news. I wanted her to be proud of me.


"Katie, you will not believe what I did today!"


"I BOUGHT CARDS!!!!!!!" I sang and yelled.

We celebrated together!!!!! I KNEW she would be shocked and proud.

I breathlessly told her about the first card.

She was quiet.


"Well," she started..."That is a good one, but I don't think any card is better than the one that I bought."


I believed her.

"What does it say?" I asked, already defeated.

"It says, 'To one of us you're dad, To the other you are..."

"FATHER IN LAW!!!!!!!!" I finished with her.


It was the same card that I bought from Chris and me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was screaming with joy!!!

She was in shock.

I had purchased the same card as the QUEEEEEENOFCARDBUYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had arrived.


Now this little competition is really all in fun. And honestly, it really isn't competition. It's just kind of like if I was an actress in a movie for the first time, and beat Meryl Streep for an Oscar. Or at the least, Tied.

I'm still not over it.

Moving on....

So on the day of my my Dad's actual birthday, we were supposed to meet for dinner.

I had a million little errands to run beforehand, and time was of the essence.

You see, in my excitement about finding the cards, I forgot trash bags at the store.

I know, mind boggling. But there is a lot of trash here at Crazy Road.

I also told my friend that I would stop by her house so that I could pick up this special shampoo that she picked up for me...(SHE is a hairdresser).

She is also one of those friends that when we start gabbing it is hard to stop. So today, I had to preface my visit by saying, " I absolutely cannot stay. I have to get to the store before dinner."

"Perfect," she said, "I am doing a perm so just come down and pick it up."

So a little later than I planned, I arrived at her house.

I walked in, and the house was unusually quiet.


I went downstairs to where her salon is...

No one.


I went back upstairs and called out again.

And what happened next was crazy!!!

She came around the corner, pale, breathless...holding a bloody towel...

"My have to come and help!!!"

What the @#$%?!

Had there been a murder? Had there been a cat/client/perm fiasco? Was I being asked to help clean up a crime scene? Was I going to make it to the store to buy trashbags?

She grabbed my hand and dragged me behind her...




I walked into her little girl's room to see her kids, a lady on her knees with her perm-rodded head wrapped in plastic, and a cat. And two teeny-tiny-baby-kitties.


"What do I do?" She was absolutely in shock.

"You didn't know she was PREGNANT?"


None of us knew what to do.

Except for her amazingly smart 4 Year old, who promptly fetched some plastic gloves for her mom.

We all just sat around Miley, the mom-cat. Wondering what would happen next.

"Oh my God, Look. She Is Going To Have Another One!" My friend said, and I have to rinse her!" (Referring to her client, as shocked and surprised as anyone.)

"How do you know?" I asked.

"Look at her eyes!"

I felt queasy. The room started to spin. I grabbed my friend, and the stranger perming next to me.

Now, I am not a "cat-person." I don't dislike them, but I am definitely a dog-person. I am definitely NOT a birth expert. Well, at least seeing it from the other end. Of anyone or anything.

And then, it happened.

The cat's eyes closed in pain, her belly started contracting...

Should I grab my shampoo and run?

And then she let out a noise, that in any language, cat, dog, or human, could only indicate the pain of child birth.

Then all by herself, with no doctors or meds or pacing partners...she delivered two more kittens.


The three of us human moms all sat around her, encouraging her, amazed at this creature, feeling love and admiration for her and her babies. Life is so amazing.

I guess I do like cats.

Well, needless to say, I DID make it to the store, and to dinner, and then home to homework and showers and bedtime and everything routine...but my life had changed a little bit...

At the end of the night, I opened the box of trash bags.

They were the wrong ones.

Thanks For Reading.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

No Eye Deer

Its the punchline to one of my favorite jokes.

I'll get to that later.

Well, it has been over a year since I last wrote...and in the last few months it seems to have been missed.

"When are you going to blog again?"

I have been asked in the grocery store. At weddings. At funerals. At work. Crazy, huh?

And though my usual response was, "soon," really, in my head I was really thinking..."I have no idea."

Its not that funny,crazy, bloggable events haven't occurred here in the past year, but I have just been so busy! Busy with work, with schedules, Words With Friends, oh... and those darned kids!!

No Eye Deer.

I heard this joke again.

It suddenly came to me...

Things I had no idea about...

I guess the biggest change has come with the growth of my children.

Especially Nick.

Nick turned 14 last month.

Nick has grown taller and more handsome with every minute. I mean, have you seen the kid? He is playing hockey for the Portland Junior Pirates. He is an honor student in the eighth grade. He has a...hmpf...girlfriend.

In the months leading up to Christmas, Nick started asking about wearing contact lenses. "It really makes sense, Mom, all my friends have them."

Oh, great. The "ALL MY FRIENDS" reasoning...I am very familiar with this tactic. It wasn't too long ago that I used it...


But I did some checking, and, sure enough...many of his friends DO have contact lenses.

Ugh. REALLY? I for one cannot touch, talk about, look into, or even read news articles about...EYEBALLS.

I cannot "pull down your eyelid" to see if there is an eyelash. Mine or Yours.

I will suffer with any foreign object in my eye before I let anyone near it. I will let it stay in there forever. I will. I can look at brains, guts and broken bones.

But I don't handle eyeball related issues.

PLUS, this is a child, I mean, young man, who I still have to remind to brush his teeth! (Sorry Nick. I know you read this, but it is true).

I can't be responsible for lost lenses, reaching into his head to retrieve one..or...two...I mean, I've heard horror stories.

I can't help him put them in or take them out.

Sissy? ABSOLUTLEY. But just like I will never go camping, drink an "Irish Car Bomb," or dye my hair red again, I know what I will do, and what I WILL NEVER DO.

But alas, Between Nick and EVERY man in his life, I was swayed to make him an appointment. Of course I would be the one taking him...

I could not stress to him enough that he had to be 100 Percent responsible for the maintenence of contact lenses, and he accepted the challenge.

We went to the eye doctor, and before I knew it, the assistant was beckoning me to have me watch him "practice."


He was sitting at a mirror with the lenses. The lady was telling him to "pull down your lids like this..."

I felt my knees start to buckle.

The room started to spin.


I had to sit down.

Nick started laughing.

The lady looked worried.

I figured, since Nick was so much like me in other ways, he would surely pass out when he had to touch his own eyeball..


He got them in like a champ.


"Now practice taking them out."

AHA! Here we go. This will turn the tide...

AAAAAND, they were out.

He was so proud.

I had no idea he would be able to do it.

No idea.

And so we had contacts.

He looked different without his glasses. He looked so...grown.up.


The height, The deep voice. The texting with his "girlfriend." I had no idea what being a mom to a teenage boy would feel like.

I mean, wasn't it just last week he was in OshKosh coveralls and mini workboots?

Wasn't it just yesterday that he was in the tub and asked me what his, ahem, private parts were and I told him..."marbles?"

So he came downstairs the day after he got the contacts, and stood at the bottom of the stairs.
A head taller than me now.

I looked at him and noticed he had something on his face around his mouth.

HEE!HEE! "See?" I thought. "He IS still my baby!"

"Nick, go wash your face. You have something on your mouth."

"No I don't." He argued in his man voice.

'Yes, you DO!"

"NO I DON..."


He came back down and said, "Mom. I don't have anything on my face."

"For Crying Out Loud!" I walked over and licked my my grandparents used to wipe off what I thought was wipable...

Upon closer observation, I got right up under his nose...

It wasn't dirt. Or chocolate.

it was...

A MUSTACHE!!!!!!!!!

Dear God.

I staggered backwards and almost fell over the dog.

"Mom, it's been there for a while." He said calmly. And HE PATTED ME ON THE HEAD.

Are you kidding me?

When did THIS happen?

I am so not ready!!

But he sure is. And what an amazing kid he has become. He has made me so proud. I had no idea how proud I could be.

We are all doing well. My children still make me laugh every day. I still witness crazy things in my work travels, and with some new ventures as well. I will let you know...

So many things have happened...and now that I am back to writing, I will keep you all posted..

But for now, I just want to say, Thanks. I had no idea how many of you really enjoyed reading this.

I had no idea how much I missed it...

What do you call a deer with no eyes?
No Eye Deer.
What do you call a deer with no eyes and no legs?
Still No Eye Deer.

Tyler would call that "UnAppropiate."

I call it funny.

Thanks For Reading.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

World War Flu

It hit without warning
From nowhere it came
Into our life
Some "bug" with no name
It first struck poor Tyler
From the backseat I heard,
"Mom, I've a tummy ache!"
And then, not a word.
I tried to hurry, really I did!
But he couldn't make it.
My poor, poor sick kid.
All over the backseat.
The window. The door.
We hurried him inside.
On the stairs. On the floor.
Disgusting. Gross. Oh, What a mess!
My poor little baby boy.
In Gastric Distress.
Hour by hour.
Up all night.
We were defenseless.
No strength to fight
The next day he seemed
like he felt a bit better,
But Mama and Daddy were
under the Weather
While Tyler slept away the day
The "bug" decided to have it's way
With Daddy, the tough guy, never sick, you see~
"Ugh. Now MY stomach is bothering me!"
As I looked at his face, a pale shade of green,
I knew it was over.
You know what I mean?
I raced to get towels. A bucket or can.
Something to help out my now sick, sick man.
He would never make it
Up two flights of stairs
Then I heard what sounded like fighting grizzly bears.
I came 'round the corner, ready to gag,
To find my poor husband
Wretching into a DOG FOOD BAG.
"Oh, My Goodness! Honey! Oh, My!"
Then I laughed so hard I started to cry.
A Dog Food Bag!
"Its the first thing I saw." He said as he~
Explained how he had tried to spare me
The gruesome, yucky task of cleaning
The effects of this "bug" that wasn't weaning.
When he crawled back into bed, I knew.
We were in for
The next day it hit Ty again.
He wouldn't eat or play~
The doctor said he would be fine
In another day
And so he was, but then that night
I knew MY belly wasn't right
"Oh, no. Oh, Please."
But prayers don't work
To keep away this buggy jerk.
So I camped out on the bathroom floor
With chills and aches down to the core.
"Mommy, Mommy! You okay?"
"Nope. I'm not. Sorry to say."
Then all day I laid in bed,
No work, No food, just full of dread.
For there is just too much to do!
I don't have TIME
So Mr. Gastric-Ent-Whatever,
I'm done with all your tricks:
Just get on in your MAC TRUCK,
and take your ton-of-bricks~
That you used to take us down
4 whole days ago,
I'm using everything I've got
To fight you off, you know.
Lysol. Bleach. and 409.
My house will sparkle clean.
And you are SURE not welcome back,
You are awful, nasty and mean.
Now we are a little tired,
A little achey still
But World War Flu is over
And It didn't break our will!
So sorry if this grossed you out,
But this is part of life,
And now I hope that my wonderful
can FORGIVE his giggling wife!


Thanks For Reading!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Pass, The Grass, The Stranger With Class

Danielle Peart~This one's for you!

It's time to buckle up again, Crazy Road Travelers. This one gets a little twisty.
So, just yesterday, I got a note from a very special young lady, Danielle, reprimanding me, in a sense, for not updating the blog. And it does bother me, when I don't have anything REALLY good to write about. I mean, crazy things are always happening, but it's really just more of the same:

-My hilarious kids and the things they say...
-Encounters with wild(and not so wild)life on a daily basis...i.e. a head-on collision with mating dragon flies with my brand new car, coming across a dead chicken in the middle of the road while I was running, baby frogs, etc...
-The fruitcakes I run into in local retail establishments

etc, etc, etc...

I even asked my son if he could think of something funny that I could write about. He is always laughing at something I've done...

But even HE shook his head no, and went back to his nano-pod-dsd-esp thing.

So what happened today hit me like a TON OF BRICKS.

This story really starts last May.

I was on my way home from Farmington on Route 133.

Of course, I found myself in back of this little jerk-car, going no faster than 20 mph.

Not that I was in a major rush, but after traveling halfway home in back of her, and a line of cars in back of me, I had pretty much had it. As soon as the opportunity presented itself, I pulled around to pass.

And I NEVER pass cars unless it is absolutely crucial.

Well of course, In a complete "just-my-luck" moment, the little bee-atch sped up, forcing me to speed up to get by her. Going down hill. As the speed limit changed.


The blue lights came on.


I watched in my mirror as he spun around.

(I am not going to say what I really want to say about this, and some of you reading this can already assume what I really want to say about this, but I'm not going to say it. I'm going to think it REALLY hard).

I mean, come on. A soccer mom in an SUV, and he turned on me like he had just spotted one of the ten most wanted. (I had to say that). I had already properly pulled over.

So, being a cop's wife, I remembered all of the stories he has told me about the mouthy, disrespectful people that he has dealt with. As pissed as I was, I knew not to say anything. Not to try to plead my case. Just be polite, and him my license, registration and insurance, and wait. And wait. And f&*^%ing wait.

When he came back to my window, he actually sounded a bit sorry, as he explained he was aware I was making a safe pass, and that we were on a decline, and that my record was squeaky clean. Then handed me a ticket. Something to the tune of $215.


I was shaking mad. Now I had to go home and explain to my husband how I got nailed with a ticket. But I planned on fighting it. I had my ducks in a row for this one.

I'll skip the part about telling my wasn't pretty...and not because he was mad at me...and some of you reading this know why he was especially mad. But anyway...

Shortly after I got home, Chris had left to run some errands...the phone rang.

On the caller i.d: JAY POLICE DEPARTMENT.


I answered and here is what I heard:

"This is (insert officers name here). I just issued you a summons for..."

Yes. I remember. It was fifteen minutes ago....

"Well," he continued, "the gentleman who was in back of you today came into the station and filled out a statement. He said that the vehicle you were attempting to pass was going well under the speed limit and..."

And he basically stated word for word what had happened.

"Who was it?" I asked, absolutely stunned.

"It was some Fed-Ex driver. So go ahead and rip up that ticket." He told me.

"Are you kidding me? Are you serious?" This kind of thing happens in insurance commercials, or on "Touched by an Angel" re-runs. NOT to this kid.

A stranger doing something completely unwarranted for the good of someone else.


Now, I could have blogged about this, I guess, back when it happened. But life got in the way, and as months passed, I really didn't think about it too much, except for when I see people flying by my house at ridiculous rates of speed, or when I see people driving like maniacs and passing 7 cars at a time on a turn, and wonder...

If I actually saw what this mysterious Fed-Ex driver saw, would I go way out of my way to find the local Police Station and fill out a statement?

You know what? I just might.

Now, fast forward, Wayne's World style to the present day.

This morning I had a meeting in Farmington, Maine.

Just minutes from my home, I traveled Route 133 to my destination.

A new HYDROPONICS store.

I know, I know. But they really do show people how to grow indoor gardens!

It's the wave of the future!

So ironically, my first appointment with this new business was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but was re-scheduled for today...

At 11am, I had just started learning about cloning female plants and flood and drain systems, when the door opened.

"I have some stuff here out want it in or out?" The Fed-Ex guy asked.

He started chatting with the owner of the store for a minute...and I flashed back to that day in May..."some Fed-Ex guy came in and filled out a statement..." What were the chances....?

"Excuse me," I interrupted..."Is Farmington your usual territory?"

He looked at me and turned totally red. (Awwww).
"Ah, well, actually, no. I only work here one Friday every month."

"Oh." I said.

"I know this sounds crazy, but are you familiar with Route 133?" I pressed.

"Yeah? I'm from Auburn, so I take it back from here to Jay..." He looked like he was starting to put together the pieces.

I think he realized it before I even asked.

"Are you the Fed-Ex guy that went to the Jay Police Station and gave a state..."

"I AM!!!I AM!" He cried.


Now we were both practically dancing around this poor growers business, like we were the ones who just, well, took part of the harvest!

The store owner was even excited.

This was such an unbelievable meeting! Never in a million years did I expect to EVER meet the person who went out of his way to help me, a perfect stranger.

He went on to say he always wondered what happened, if I got a ticket, if his random act of kindness helped at all...

It did, I assured him. It SO did!

We chatted for a few more minutes, re-telling to the now sleepy hydroponics dude the minute by minute account of "The Pass," feeling like we were old war buddies reunited.

What were the chances that I would be in the hydroponics store, at the exact time the good Samaritan delivered to a business that wasn't even his usual area?

"It's cosmic." My boss said when I finished telling him this story.

It absolutely is.

Just this week I watched the movie, "The Adjustment Bureau." (A great movie, BTW).

In a nutshell, it's all about how we are all on a plan, and everything we encounter, everything that happens, every person we meet, is for a reason.

Today just re-affirmed what an amazingly small world it is. And no matter where we are in the universe, it is where we are supposed to be.

I got his name and address.

He's got a gift certificate and a thank you note coming from Crazy Road.

(But no thank-you card. I just won't do that).

So...If you ever think about doing something that just might make a positive difference in someones life, do it.

You never know where it could lead you.

Thanks for Reading.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Not In The Cards

Cardophobia~n. the absolute fear and dislike of greeting cards and/or the selection of these cards. adj~cardophobic: having cardophobia.

I am a cardophobe.

Welcome to my admission...My rant, if you will, about my feelings on the GREETING CARD.

I am blessed to have an amazing, loving, affectionate family. I also have thoughtful, caring friends. These people in my life have an amazing ability to present, on-time, even, the perfect greeting card for every.single.occasion.

These lovely folded notes of love and gratitude find their way into my home, my mailbox, my fireplace mantle, and are lined up almost on a weekly basis, depending on who's birthday it is, who in my family is being celebrated, who might be feeling under the weather, who had their haircut, who needed a "hug across the miles."

My mom and sister are the true culprits for my illness.

My amazing mother has ALWAYS been a card giver. She usually pre-plans her month and has a stack of cards on her shelf in the kitchen, all filled out, some in envelopes, already addressed and stamped, ready to go to the recipient. (Don't even get me started on her uncanny gift-wrapping ability, that just might send me to the e.r.)

Then there is my sister, who can find the MOST perfectly worded, humorous card, sometimes "just for fun," or because "she couldn't resist," and sends it days before the actual event. The pressure that I feel to live up to the card-giving-bar is sometimes insurmountable.

This pressure had led me to, at times, forgoing the card giving altogether. And that led to what my mother says, has ruined the card-buying/giving experience for her. Well, at least when she tries to buy cards for me.

I tried for years to find the perfect cards for my parents, grandparents, sister and friends. On Mother's Day, Father's Day, birthdays, anniversaries, you name it...

After years of buying cards that started...

"For my Mother, On her Birthday..."

"Today and every day..."


So not what I would really say, face to face, to tell the people that I love that...well...I love them! And I appreciate them!

But I would stand in front of the imposing card walls, going cross-eyed from reading hundreds of cards, getting lame from reaching up and bending down, getting more and more frustrated as I would finally find a decent card, but no envelope to fit. Or I realize I bought the same card the year before...Or my sister probably had...And inevitably I would have to pee, or worse, and I am left racing out of the store, irritated, sweating, and...cardless.

I'm not so mushy that I want to represent my feelings with gold, scrolled lettering with a picture of a stream in the forest at sunset...

But not so "insensitive" that I would select a card that tells someone else that THEY are the lucky ones for knowing me, or having me for a child/sister, or tell them that "although I WANTED to give them the perfect gift...blahblahblah...Here's your [bleeping] card..."



People buy these?

And yet, I have stood in mobs of people, on the Saturday before Mother or Father's Day, doing the dance of card selection, almost getting into rumbles with people who go for the same card that I want, watching some people pass through the crowd and reach over, and without even opening the thing, pluck their greeting from the millions of greetings and go on their merry way. You stand in the line of strangers, quietly reading, replacing, reading, replacing...some people sniffing with emotion, others chuckling, moving wordlessly, without direction from anyone, from section to section...feeling the pressure as the person beside you finds "the one," and proudly leaves the group of forlorn searchers...the card-dance

I mean, the whole industry is really quite a racket.

Now there are cards with music that plays when you open them.

I heard Willie Nelson.

I heard the Wiggles.

I heard bodily functions blurting upon opening some.

Some are mushy.

Some are religious.

Some are kind of funny.

None say "BUP" or "NANNY," but some say, "POPPA" or "GAGGA." If you don't call your grandmother one of these terms of endearment, you're SOL and have to settle for "Grandmother...You're The Best!" Or you have to re-design the front with a sharpie to ensure proper address...

And let's chat about the prices...

At 5 or 6 bucks a pop, If you are lucky enough to be surrounded by Mom's, Dad's and Grad's, you had better start an account to save for greeting cards alone!

This past Father's Day was one for the books...

My sister sent the.funniest.card. She sent it two weeks in advance. It would be impossible to match.

With this little gem, that had been proudly displayed for days before the actual holiday, in the back of my mind, I started on my quest for a card.

Now, anyone who knows me knows how much my dad means to my whole family. I could go on and on about how much we love him. How much he does for us. Helps us. Brings happiness to us. How much we admire him...

He knows it, too.


Because I tell him so.

I tried to find a card in the grocery store.

No luck.

I knew I had to do it, and there was just one more option...


I hate to even say it out loud.

But I went in like I was going into battle.

I could feel the pressure mounting. I could hear the crowd humming like a swarm of bees around the corner..

There they were.

I promptly turned around and headed for the rest room.

Like a child forced to "pee before you go," I knew that without extra pressure, I may be able to quickly find the perfect card.

I was facing my phobia head-on.

The crowd had thinned a bit, and although the rows and rows and rows and rows were disheveled, with just a few stragglers, I felt my odds were decent...

"For My Father, With Love...Today and Always..."


"You'll Always Be My Hero..."

True, but played "Wind Beneath My Wings..."when I opened it.


"From Both of Us..."

Maybe...but that one was like, seven dollars! Plus, it had rainbows or something on it...

This was insane.

I thought about calling him and reading a few over the phone.

I finally found one, that was nice. It wasn't funny, like my sister's. It wasn't too mushy.

It had a picture of a fly-fisherman on it.


I was exhausted.

I am not out to destroy Hallmark.

I am not wishing to ruin the experience for all of you "perfect card finders."

I am simply stating my phobia.

I admire people that promptly pick and send the perfect messages.

It's not that I wouldn't spend ten dollars if I found, by chance, the perfect card.

But I have yet to find one.

What I will promise is that I will continue to tell people in my life how much I love them. How much I admire them, appreciate them. Wish them well on new jobs, wish them health. I will pick up the phone and congratulate new parents.

I am not banning the greeting card ritual, per say.

Just taking a break for a while.

Mom, Dad, Kate, Grammy and Chris~I love you. You really all are "The Wind Beneath My Wings."

My name is Kristen, and I am a cardophobe.

Thanks For Reading.