Tomorrow is Yesterday part 10

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So this is how I spent my time in Texas. I would do my schoolwork and then meet the Alice and Matthew when they got done with school. We all did our homework together and then we made dinner for my dad together. They loved making food with me, and both Mrs. Kathryn and my dad had an endless supply of desserts. I made sure my dad did not eat junk food. I felt like I was ten years older. Here I had two young children and took care of my absent-minded father. I laughed at the silliness of the situation. I actually was ten years older. I tried not to spend too much time thinking about the intricacy of coming back to fix my mistakes. I sometimes found myself reminiscing the last ten years that I was now reliving. Three months went by quickly and happily. The emotion was new to me and I reveled in it. I think my father took noticed of my joyful moods. I knew he had never seen me so satisfied with life. For ten years I had lived in the shadow bad relationships. The time came too quickly to go back to Virginia. I debated about staying with my dad in Dallas but I had a plan and I wanted to follow through with it.

****

“Why, Jessica? You just got back. Are you not going to train anymore? You know your students have been calling.” My mother complained. I had just told her that I was going to Florida for the summer. I would spend the summer in No Name Key just south of Key West.

“Mother,” I began. “I have already decided. And who has been calling? I told everyone I was taking a year off?” I was confused to who was calling. I had sent my students to my friends at other stables. I had worked everything out and “tied up” my lose ends. I spent a lot of time working out the details. I knew all of my students had been taken care of.

“I don’t remember his name but, Jessica, you can not go!”

“Don’t worry. I’ll be back in August when college starts. I am leaving for Florida Monday.” I did not stay to hear her complain. I went up to my room to unpack and repack. I was so excited about going to Florida. I was still curious about who she was talking about. Who would have called me? I had taken care of my students and told my few friends that I was going to be gone. They were used to me traveling around. I tried to travel with my dad as much as possible. Since I was home schooled I did not need to worry about missing class. My school followed me wherever I went. As I was thought about being a high school graduate my phone rang interrupting my thoughts.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Jessie Baby! What’s happening?” Sam said. I was surprised to hear from him.

“Sup, How did you know I was home?”

“I didn’t but Michael said you were going to be home in May. So I thought I would try ya. How was the big T?” I was speechless for a moment with shock. Michael was looking for me? Why? I told him…

“Oh! Umm… well I am back only for a few days. How was…school?” I really did not know what to say. I was angry with Michael. Didn’t he realize how hard it was to talk to him? I could not understand why he did not leave me alone. Sam and I talked about trivial things. He wanted to know everything about Texas and where I was going. I told him about the Alice and Matthew. Sam was excited that I could cook now. He made me promise to cook for him the next day. I told him about Florida and my plans of sunny days and sandy beaches. He was intrigued about my need to spend my summer living it up. He was convinced I was going to spend every night in a club partying it up. I assured him I was going to spend every minute as possible in the water, night and day. With great mistrust in his voice he agreed with me.

“Really, Sam, what do you think I am going to do?”

“I don’t know Jess. Who spends time in Florida’s water? Its all about the Miami night clubs!”

“Silly, I am not going to Miami. I’m going to No Name Key. It is so much better.”

So I spent the rest of the evening explaining why the beach is better then the nightclubs. I promised to find Sam the biggest conch shell I could find. We both laughed and I disconnected the line a lot happier about my trip.

****

I had spent my remaining days in the stables. The pain I felt losing my horse was quickly replace with renewed love. I was so happy she was well. Perhaps in this timeline she will live a full life. I, at least, was going to try. I was half way to Florida in the car that I knew my parents would get me for graduation. This time I knew a lot more about cars then I did ten years ago and I would not blow any head gaskets. Traffic was light and I was making very good time. I had spent last night sleeping in my car. I remember I used to sleep in my back seat instead of going home. It was my own place away from everything that troubled me. It was a wonderful feeling. I spent the last few hours watching the landscaping change from pine trees to palm ferns. I noticed the humidity grow and at one rest stop I changed into lighter clothes. I had been to Florida before and was always surprised how the surroundings felt like a sand dune with house build on the sides. I knew people would build anywhere no matter how harsh the environment.

After a lifetime I came to my destination. I did feel like a lifetime had passed me by. I had spent so many years dreaming about being in Florida. I invested so time in something that never happened. I was tired of life and I wasn’t even middle aged. It was crazy how life flowed. For me it flowed backward and erased so much pain. I knew that I would never been able to deserve what happen. Happiest that I never knew filled me up over welling from my heart. My chest swelled and I was elated. Elated… I now truly knew what that word meant. I feel like I was floating and the world finally was bright and sunny. Everything was colorful and bright. The feeling hit me a few miles south of Miami and I knew this is where I was suppose to be ten years ago. The last few hundred miles disappeared with out time moving. I was finally in a place I had dreamed about for over ten years.

****

No Name Key was so low in elevation that you feel that the world was truly passing you by. “Island time” had new meaning here. Everyone took pride in living on a spit of land in the beautiful Caribbean. I drove down Main Street looking for the beach and taking in the culture. Toward the end of the street I found what I was looking for. No Name Key was unusually forested. It was probably the only thing that kept the island from being washed away. I turned left onto a side road that went into a dense stand of trees. I found a place to park and got out stretch. I left my shoes in the car and took in the warmth that seemed to radiate from me. I followed a trail that was marbled with shade to the edge of the water. About fifty feet from the water the trees ended and the land dropped a few feet down to the beach. The beach was pure white in the midday sun. A breeze ruffled my hair like a long lost friend tussling my hair. I smiled and tried to see farther then the horizon. It was perfect. I had daydreamed about being in this exact spot. My stomach growled and reminded me that I had been in the car most of the day. I walked back to the car to grab some cash then walked to town. I was looking for a hole-in-the-wall, native restaurant. This is where I will find a place to do some under-the-table work. About a mile from where I parked I found exactly what I was looking for.

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Weekend Camping

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Well sorry I have been quiet again. But I have a good reason. I was out camping in the Headwaters of the Mississippi river! We kayaked Itasca Lake with is where the Mississippi stems from. Then we played around in the river. It is a very humble beginning for a river. Water only knee deep and only a few steps wide. It is hard to imagine that this little stream become one of the most prominent rivers in the United States. It has carried life for a fifth of the states. The Mighty Mississippi is justly called. Its minute beginnings is an encouragement to us all. We all start somewhere. With baby steps. Over time with the right encouragements, tributaries, you can touch lives of many. I hope that we call can become so great. You can see the webcam of the river here.

So when I booked for this camping trip, on Google I saw a lake that I wanted to camp at. It was called Rice Lake… on Google. Well when I called to make a reservation—yes you can make a reservation for a camp site. Yes, I agree that’s silly. But I digress. After making a wrong reservation and the next day frantically trying to change it to something that was correct. The lake that I knew we could camp at was Itasca. I thought it would be fun to kayak there. So with some research on the internet I saw some camp sites that looked ok. However, but a black and white line drawing is hard to go by. I called to change things around  the few sites that I wanted were already reserved. So I was left with a site I really didn’t look up.  I guessed it would be ok since we would be out kayaking and fishing etc. The week or so before the weekend we were leaving I was watching the weather and praying to whoever would listen that the weather would be nice. About 3 days before we were to leave there were tornados and heavy rain over the whole state. I was hoping that it would blow through and would be gone.

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Day of the trip was partly sunny. The drive was easy going and fairly uneventful. The only hiccup was that the firewood providers in the area were not at the addresses I pulled off the campsite website. I was so frustrated. I was worried that firewood at the campsite would be super expensive. I was frustrated that the state was so strict about where firewood would come. I completely understand what they are trying to do but come on! The address that I wrote down for the park would not pull up in my GPS so we had to do it old school. PAPER MAPS!!! Yes I still carry them. It is crazy how far off the beaten path the park is. I would felt we were leaving civilization, which is good. We finally make it to the Main Forest Road. It was beautiful. The registration was easy and the firewood wasn’t too expensive. The drive to the actual site was way back in the woods. Last row, backed up to the woods. It was perfect. Parked my truck and was able to set up without issue. Drove around and explored. Made dinner on the grill and s’mores on the fire. Drank a lot.

Breakfast was made over the fire and was fabulous. It was windy but we kayaked the East Arm and fished a little bit. Coming back in was tough against the wind. I actually had waves breaking over my bow. We might of grown some muscles and got some awesome weird tan lines. The wind was up and the sun was out we tried to take a nap but it didn’t work. In the afternoon we went back to the river to take evening pictures but saw the lake was as smooth as glass. We went for a evening paddle and was beautiful kayaking as the stars came out. itasca.JPG

The next day was still windy and sore from the prior day and sleeping on the ground we decided to explore by vehicle. Around midday we headed back home. We stopped at Wal-Mart because it’s the only one in 100 miles. We found a little gem of a restaurant about 30 minutes from camp. Very fancy food with big words that tasted oh so yummy! Got home to water standing in the yard and branches down all over. Guess it was a good weekend to get away.

 

Another part of Tomorrow is Yesterday to come soon!

Tomorrow is Yesterday 9

Gosh we got to be getting close to the end right? LOL

 

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The plane landed hard and quickly taxied to the gate. I was stiff from sleeping sitting up. I got up and followed my dad out down the narrow isle of the plane. I dragged my feet as we made it toward the baggage claim. I gathered my two suitcases full of my meager possessions. Almost everything else I had given a way. My sister had wonderful time going through my giveaways and doubled her wardrobe. She now needed my old room to have room for her new treasures. Goodwill also was very appreciative to my donations.

My father’s company had rented us a two-bedroom apartment that was close to his work and the airport. The area also provided great cliental for grocery stores and other shops. This was perfect for me I would be able to walk to any store that I needed. I spent a few days looking for work at these stores but there was not much work for a horse trainer. About two weeks after moving to Dallas I went back to the apartment somewhat dejected after a rather long day of trying to find work. Walking up the stairs toward my apartment I ran into my neighbor. Mrs. Kathryn was our only neighbor. The way the apartment building was designed each floor had two units. This way the only walls that were common were the kitchen walls. It was the best way to keep from annoying the neighbors. She was a sweet middle-age single mom. She worked at the hospital as a med tech. I liked her and she had always been kind to me so I baby-sat for her on occasion. I would spend some time helping her with the kids homework and making dinner while my dad spend long hours at work.  I saw her just above me on the landing carrying groceries.

“Hello Mrs. Kathryn,” I called politely. She turned to look at who called her. I could tell immediately that something was wrong. Her eyes were puffy and her face was drawn with worry.

“Oh. What’s wrong?” I said rushing to her side.

“Its nothing…” She sobbed and broke down. I grabbed the bags of groceries and helped her to her door. She mumbled thanks and let me into her apartment. I carried her purchases to the kitchen. I began to take the items out and place them on the counter.

“Please tell me Mrs. Kathryn. I will help if I can.” I let her open up on her own. I fumbled through the kitchen and put the items away. Mrs. Kathryn, in a trance, helped me put things away. She seemed comforted by the menial task of putting things away. I slowly watch the tension release.

“Thank you Jessica. You are such a sweet girl. If I didn’t know better I’d say you were a grandmother. Your patience reminds me of my grandmother. She was so kind.” After a moment she continued. “I just found out that I am getting a different shift and there is not daycare that late. I do not know what to do…”She trailed off looking like she would start crying again. I knew that the stress must be immense to be a single mom in Dallas or anywhere for that matter.

“Well that’s kind of perfect actually. I have spent all week looking for a job that will work around my school schedule. How ‘bout I baby-sit for you?” I was excited that I could possibly have an income. I knew things were fitting into place. I knew this was exactly what I had been waiting for. I had baby-sat the children a few times on the weekends to give Mrs. Kathryn time to run errands. The children were wonderful. I would be hard pressed to find another five and seven year old who was as well behaved.

“Really? I never thought about that. That… well that would be perfect. But, of course, I would have to talk to your dad. That would be perfect. Oh! Jessica you are a Godsend. What would I do with out you?” Mrs. Kathryn immediately livened up. She began busying herself to make dinner, as the children would be home from school soon. I reminded her that I was leaving in May and this was only short-term fix. She assured me that this would give her time to find the right alternative.

 

Tomorrow is Yesterday 8

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Michael stood somewhat awestruck in front of me. I knew he did not believe a word and probably thought I was crazy now. Maybe he was right; maybe I was crazy. I looked up at his beautiful green eyes and wanted to cry. Instead I smiled and reached up to place my hand on his cheek. I leaned in and kissed his cheek and whispered in his ear.

“The sex was awesome!” I whispered. I smiled as I withdrew. As I turned to leave I handed him a picture. The picture was of us on a beach in Hawaii. It was taken six months before we broke up. It was one of my favorites. On the back was written in his mother’s hand “Michael and Jessica, Sunset Beach, Hawaii.” I walked back to my car feeling tired. I felt like I had run a race. I was almost to my car when I remembered a warning I meant to give him.

“Oh hey, when you move out take Rascal with you. She’ll go crazy mad if you leave her behind.” Rascal was Michael’s dog. She was a wonderful Pit Bull. I loved her dearly but when Michael and I moved into an apartment we could not take her. She went a little crazy not having Michael around to play with. She ended up attacking another dog and because she was a Pit Bull they put her down. It broke Michael’s heart. I smiled at the wonderful memories that only I would have of s and with a last glance I got in the car and drove away.

****

I had promised my mother that I would stay on top of my schoolwork. I promised her that I would be back in May. Then I would go to college in the fall at the local community college. These were all part of my plan and I knew they were promises I could keep. I stared out the window of the plane as we crossed over the Appalachian Mountains. I was excited. I haven’t been to Texas in years. My grandparents lived in south Texas. We used to visit but then stopped the more my dad traveled. We stopped doing a lot of things once my dad started working more, I thought sadly. I sighed and let the drone of the engines lull me to sleep. Little did I know as I slept Fate was playing with my plans. Fate was twisting things just ever so slightly.

Michael was curious about my speech and the picture I left him. He, for reasons beyond his own, did not believe I was crazy. He actually believed me and wanted to know what actually happened. On one hand Michael was grateful for me trying to be noble and spare him the trouble I told him I would cause. On the other hand he knew I was someone he loved or would have loved. In the picture that I had left with him he knew that he loved me and I, him. Michael wanted to find out why.

“Is Jessica there?” Michael asked.

“No she is not? Who is this? Are you one of her lessons?” My mother’s voice was polite and wondering. She knew I had notified all my students that I would not be at the stables for a few months. The statement from my mother confused Michael. He knew very little about me. He had spent two weeks trying to figure out how I was. It was a by chance that he found me, or my number at least. I was home schooled so I did not have many friends in the city but of the few I did who would guess they would run into Michael but one day while sitting at outside of the public high school the most interesting thing happened.

            “Whatcha got there, Mikey?” Sam asked. He was one of my closest friends.

            “Oh, Nothing just a picture.” He showed Sam the picture and Sam’s eyes grew big.

            “Since when did you and Jessica go together?” Sam asked incredulously.

            “What! You know her? No, we aren’t going together.” Michael replied excitedly. He questioned Sam about me and for my number. Sam was very forth coming with some of the information on me but did not tell Michael that I had left.

“Ummm… No my cousin is a student…ah is she in?” Michael stumbled. He should of asked Sam for more information. Michael was very nervous to talk to me but he wanted to know what happened.

“No she left with her father for Texas. I am sorry I thought she told everyone she was leaving and would be back in May.” My mother replied.

“Oh… my cousin did not tell me…well… ah… thank you.” Michael stammered still unsettled about the whole situation. So I would not be back until May. He would wait.

End of the Week!

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Long week. I am working this weird shift 10-6. I hate it. The sun gets up at 4 or so. That is way too early for me but the birds get going around 630. They are so loud. I had one this morning that I swear hung out at my window for 2 hours until I got up. So instead up getting up and going to work I have to fight with the birds and my cats saying it’s a great day to be out. I end up being more tired because I fought that last few hours before I actually get up. I have been having breakfast with my new mouser. He is awesome but tends to be a little bitey in the morning but only with me. Sigh mornings.

Then work has been busy. Lots of people moving around for the summer. I have no problem with most people that I meet. Except the idiots. I swear if you are asked a question don’t assume that they mean something different than the actual question asked. I had to make my inquires so ridiculously stupid sounding not to confuse people. Sigh again. Some of my co-workers chaps my ass. However, that’s probably par for the course for any work place. Luckily I have some great people I work with and that makes my day a lot better.

Looking forward to my camping trip toward the end of the month. My roommate and I are going to kayak the headwaters of the Mississippi. We are also going to make some awesome grill/ campfire foods. I hope to take some awesome pictures. I will be posting them when I get a chance. Just been a long week with late nights and a lot going on. So glad I only have one more 10-6 shift then going to 8-4. That way I should be up with the birds.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Long awaited Part 7

Sorry guys I have been without internet for the last week and then a bit of depression set in. I hate those days that I just can’t function. Its the weather. Maybe.

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“Father please! I won’t be any trouble. I just can’t stay here right now. Please. “ I begged over the phone. I pleaded my case and I knew he would give into my demands. Daddy always gave into my pleas. I smiled. He told me that he would talk to mother about it and let me know. I knew that was a yes. Excitement ran through my veins and I looked around my room and marveled at all the things that I had given up over the years. It would make picking out the things I wanted to keep that much easier. I had already lived without most of this stuff.

I packed my clothes and the little personal items I wanted to keep. I surprised my mother that I gave away all my childish things. I told her that my sister could have my room. That was another surprise for I had been very protective of my room. Told my mother that there was no point in it being empty if I was living with dad. I felt the subtle change from my parents. They looked at me from the corner of their eyes; they watched me behind my back. I knew they were slightly worried about my mental state. I also knew they were happy that I was going in a more productive path. I still had one more thing I had to do. I was nervous.

****

I drove my mother’s Dodge Charger downtown. It was a small town not far from the capital. We had the draw of country without the draw back being in the country. I threaded my way downtown. I turned down a familiar street that I realized I have never been down—not for another three years. I smiled at the silliness of if. I parked at the edge of the road in front of a huge historic home. It had large pillar and a yard only big enough to have some edging around the structure. It looked so out of place. I was very anxious now as I got out of the car. I hesitatively walked to the front door and quietly knocked. After a moment I heard the chain being removed and the door crack open.

“Umm…Hello Mrs. Sheppard. Ah… Is Michael in?” My heart broke as I looked at her. She had been so good, too good to me. The love she had shown me during the three years Michael and I dated was totally undeserved and unconditional. She was my real mother. I almost broke down there, knowing she would never know how grateful I was of her love and kindness. Mrs. Sheppard nodded, smiled, and turned in to holler for him.

“Won’t you come in Miss…?” She asked

“Jessica. And no Mrs. Sheppard I will wait here. I promise not to be but a moment with Michael. Thank you.” My thanks could not portray my full appreciation. Just then Michael’s footsteps caught my attention and I saw him. Memories of three years came flooding back all at once. There had been some good times and some bad and towards the end they were all bad times. I sighed.

“Hey Michael,” I said like he would know me but a flash of confusion clouded his face. I knew I had to make it quick. Mrs. Sheppard the wonderful woman that she was instinctively left the doorway for us. I motioned Michael outside.

“Hi…I know you don’t know me but I have something important to tell you.” I was not sure what to say really or if he would believe me but I had to try.

“This is going so sound pretty crazy but please hear me out. I am…well I am from the future and…now wait until I finish. I know this is crazy but we date for three years but because of my…ummm…stupidity I destroy our relationship and you. You were always too good for me and you were so wonderful. I just wanted to say ‘sorry’ for all the trouble I caused and I am so happy that…” I trailed off. I had just changed the happy times we would have had but I knew this way was better. Toward the end of our relationship the damage Thomas had done was destroying my mental health. George Barnard Shaw said, “If you begin by sacrificing yourself for those you love you will end by hating those to whom you have sacrificed yourself.” It was so true. I was scared to stand against him and it made me hate him and all men. I was always angry and scared and attacked everyone around me. Michael got the majority of my outbursts. He, loyally, stuck by me longer then I would have. At our three-year mark I added the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. I accused my wonderful Michael of cheating on me. I knew he was not but I blew up anyways. I yelled and scream and he weathered my storm with dignity. Afterwards he came to me and said that he could not live like this and was leaving. It tore me apart.