Dream a Little Dream

I’ve never bought into the idea that dreams are the flatulence of our waking lives–the byproduct of our brains trying to process all the stimuli that bombarded us throughout the previous day. I’ve always had a far more romantic interpretation of dreams–perhaps because I have a phenomenal dream life. Here’s what I experienced a couple nights ago:

I was in my apartment (not my apartment as it actually is, but as it essentially is–which is to say, a shit-hole dump that I’m not actually sure is suitable for habitation) and I heard the pounding of a hammer on the other side of the kitchen door. I angrily opened the door to see what all the noise was about and there before me was my landlord ecstatic to present to me an entirely new kitchen! It was exquisite! Tons of counter space, lots of gorgeous cabinets, regular sized appliances, a huge island in the middle, and tons of light and air. (It was also, true to dreamscape form, in a courtyard shared by all my neighbors’ kitchens. The architecture was exquisite, all of us at different vertical offsets, private yet not. And two sets of the neighbors had just finished cooking dinner–both chicken!)

My reaction? I didn’t just cry. I sobbed. I sobbed and I sobbed and I sobbed and I sobbed. I was fighting to get air to my lungs and I couldn’t stand upright and my hands wouldn’t leave my face and I had snot running everywhere. I was so grateful.

I was experiencing the dream directly through my “eyes” while also watching the scene from behind at a short distance. And from both points of view I was surprised by my own reaction.

I’m choosing to interpret this dream on a few different levels while still being open to other possibilities. First of all, there was the catharsis of the sobbing. Just because it happened in the dream state doesn’t mean I didn’t experience the relief. I woke up feeling profoundly better than when I had fallen asleep the night before. On a very literal level, I took it to mean that it’s time to find a new living situation. And on a more etheric level I recognized it as a commentary on my recent lack of self care (both physically, as with making poor food choices and not exercising, and emotionally, as with obsessively trying to figure out all the things I did wrong in my last dating-ish encounter).

And then the dream got even more amazing: I woke up within the dream and realized that I’d been dreaming. And then I woke up in “real life” and realized I’d just been dreaming that I was dreaming. Like Russian nesting dolls, I was playing with the fabric of reality.

Good thing I have a great boss who doesn’t wonder why I sometimes roll into work at a ridiculously late hour…”Why was I late? Ummm….” 😉

The Night I Unexpectedly Fell in Love with a Porn Star

So perhaps yesterday’s post made people a bit squirmy. It certainly didn’t offer much sunlight. So tonight, fresh off the table of the Chinese reflexology/massage place I love so much, I desire to write about something that was really fun and totally unexpected: the night I met (and fell head over heals for) a porn star.

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to ignite a debate about porn.
If porn offends you, well…okay. That has nothing to do with this.
I’m sharing a great experience I had. End of story.

This might have been a couple years ago. I was at Eden (a lesbian restaurant/bar in Denver) with my girlfriend at the time (let’s call her Cruela) and her friend. To set the scene: I’m 12 to 15 years younger than both of the women I’m with and they’re both a little…ummm…uptight and judgmental. We had just started playing pool when a young pierced and tatted lesbian came over to ask if we’d met Ryan Keely yet. She could tell by the blank looks on our faces that we needed a little more information. “She’s a lesbian porn star! She’s only EVER done girl-on-girl porn!” Cruela and her friend turned away completely unimpressed and uninterested. Me, being the eager puppy dog I am most of the time, thought, “Cool! I’ve never met a porn star! Why not?!”

And as I walked over I realized I was THE ONLY person in line—I had her FULL attention. While she signed my photo I did what I always do when I meet someone new: I put on my interviewer hat. I can’t remember how the conversation started but in no time we were embroiled in this fascinating (to me) discussion about her life as a porn star. Here’s some of what I learned:

  • Sites like pornhub.com (which Wikipedia describes as a “free, ad-supported video sharing website and the largest porn site on the internet”) are destroying the porn industry. Here’s how (also from Wikipedia):

Copyright infringement claims: In 2010, Mansef Inc. and Interhub, the owners of Pornhub, were sued by the copyright holding company of the pornographic film production company Pink Visual, Ventura Content, for the copyright infringement of 95 videos on websites, including Pornhub, Keezmovies, Extremetube, and Tube8. According to Ventura Content the 45 videos were streamed “tens of millions of times” and they claimed the piracy threatened the “entire adult entertainment industry.” Porn 2.0 sites such as these are seen as posing notable competition for paid pornographic websites and traditional magazine and DVD-based pornography.

  • Porn stars only get paid a flat fee for each performance. This shocked me! I guess I assumed that actors were paid a flat fee plus royalties based on sales. Nope. One time payment per performance.
  • Ryan lives on a very tight budget (which I have mad respect for).
  • She had hopes of acting, then directing, then producing, then owning her own studio. That dream was heaving its final gasps as we spoke because of how the internet had already changed the game of porn. At a very young age (she was maybe 28?) she was already being faced with reinventing herself and rethinking her career goals. I just googled her and her tag line says, “Host, Presenter, Sex Expert, Writer, Model.”
  • She is articulate and intelligent.
  • She’s from Seattle.
  • She has never done straight porn. She will never do straight porn. She is a lesbian and she loves fucking women. Not many women stand their ground this way within the industry.
  • When I asked her if she had favorite women to perform with, she lit up and started listing the names of women she’d recently done smoldering-hot scenes with. None of the names meant anything to me but that was irrelevant—anyone that lit up about what they’re talking about…that’s sexy.
  • My favorite quote: “I fuck women…on camera…for a living. It’s intense!
    "To Erin XOXO Ryan Keely" (Had to fold it in order to keep it with me the rest of the night--tragedy.)

    “To Erin XOXO Ryan Keely” (Proof it wasn’t just a dream.)

After about five minutes of animated discussion (she was clearly not used to having intelligent conversation at events like this), I started to feel energetic darts being thrown at my back and I noticed Ryan distractedly looking over my left shoulder at something. I wasn’t at all surprised to follow her gaze to a gorgeous woman leaning against the wall projecting bulldog “she’s mine, bitch” energy. Ha ha! As if! As if this nerd bird girl with her little interviewer hat on and homeless-girl clothes could pose a threat! Regardless, clearly I had exceeded my fan-girl time limit and it was time to close the interview.

I walked back to the pool table and my girlfriend made a comment about how amazing it is that I can talk to anyone (thus sorta’ complimenting me and totally insulting Ryan). I expected that from her and didn’t even care; I was on cloud 9. A woman that sexy and that fun to talk to?! Yes, please!!

About 20 minutes later I was dancing with Cruela (her friend had gone home) when I looked up the stairs just in time to lock eyes with Ryan. She was scoping out the scene and preparing for something. I noticed her observing me with my date (I might have mentioned to her that I was dating a much older and somewhat uptight woman) and I was beyond thrilled at the recognition!

And then…the music changed and there came Ryan descending the stairs in her incredibly sexy clothes (that’s the best my memory can do at this point–leather pants for sure, tall heels). She then picked a volunteer audience member (the woman known around Denver as Big Red) to sit in a chair on stage and receive a lap dance. Although I could barely peel my eyes off Ryan, I was curious to see Cruela’s reaction. She was mesmerized, jaw practically on the floor… and I was vindicated.

Ryan (left) with her BFF. Just as sexy in a t-shirt and no makeup. Pure gorgeous.

She’s Just Not That Into You

I’m starting to notice a theme as I look back at previous blog titles and see that last November I wrote a post called “The Art of Getting Dumped.” That was certainly an attention-grabbing title! The title for today I borrowed from the movie He’s Just Not That Into You, which I haven’t seen but which a friend mentioned recently when I was describing my then-current dating situation.

“Situation” is a good way to describe it. In hindsight here’s the best I can piece together to explain what happened: We were on totally different pages. Imagine a book with those incomprehensibly thin pages with gold trim on the edges. The book is 10,000 pages long and she’s on page 23 and I’m on page 6,459. How well do you think that worked? I was courting her, as full-court press as a broke girl can manage, and she was…well, she was being my friend. Yes, my friends, another one bites the dust!

Dating is a giant mirror. Hell, it’s a room of mirrors—some distorted to make objects seem smaller or larger than they really are, some offering disturbingly accurate reflections, and some that must be two-way mirrors because even the producers of the Bachelorette couldn’t write this shit (someone should be enjoying the drama!).

What I’ve seen in my last couple “Yay I got past three dates!” dating experiences is this: I must hate myself. How else can I explain getting so attached to women who are either repulsed by me (as in the case of Girl #0) or are simply lukewarm (as in the case of Girl #6)? Or wait…maybe I’m just lacking proper perspective! If I keep inching across the spectrum, heartache by heartache, in the direction I’m currently headed, I might theoretically land on reciprocal enamorment.

“But grasshopper,” you say, “you will not find someone to love you until you first love yourself.” And so tonight I do two things:

1) I light a candle in gratitude for Girl #6 and everything I learned from her. I also with that candle send a little energetic ripple into the universe to wish that Leo metal monkey a very Happy Birthday tomorrow. May we both have learned something from our short dance together.

2) I embark on a bit of light reading just in case my self-loathing theory is true: Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself. If there were ever a title to make people across from you on the bus uncomfortable…this is it!

Running for the Moon

As some of you know, I’m training for a 50-mile run in D.C. in June. Couch-to-50-miles, baby! Go big or go home!

I don’t tell everyone about this crazy adventure because usually the reaction I get comes in slow motion: Huge googly eyes and the question emanating slowly and widely from a seemingly huge mouth: “Wwwwhhhyyyyyy would you do thaaaat?!!!”

The superficial answer: “My friend Noreen in D.C. is turning 50 this year and she wants to do something BIG to commemorate the event–so a friend and I agreed to run the 50 miles with her.” The slightly deeper answer: “I felt completely stuck in my life last October when I first heard the proposition and I knew I needed to do something HUGE to shake myself out of it.” The deepest answer: “It’s the hero’s journey.” And the truth: “The answer reveals itself little by little every day.”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned though, it’s the truth of the saying, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” (Credited to Norman Vincent Peale according to the wisdom of the interwebs.) Last November when I started running (completely out of shape and 40 pounds overweight), I sustained injury after injury for a few months–all various forms of tendonitis. And it was winter so the sunlight was scarce and I appreciated being able to run under the cover of darkness. I liked that nobody could see me hefting my body through space with an expression of panting anguish on my face. It also felt like I owned the night (isn’t that a song?).

Fast forward to early March when suddenly I started saying things like, “Oh, this weekend was a short run. It was only 14 miles.” ONLY 14 miles? Who had I become that running just over a half marathon was a short run?!

And then Katie and I made our own marathon in mid April (the Lawson-Symons First Annual “Jesus Take the Wheel” Marathon). We chose 26.2 miles of the Highline Canal and we invited friends and family to support us by running with us or bringing us water or just cheering us on. It was ALL amazing. Not having to lug pounds of water on my back was much appreciated. And having company was a brilliant distraction from the fact that we were running so far (though I missed most of the talking because I couldn’t hear much over the sound of my own breathing).

And now, we’re about to raise the bar a little higher by doing a 50K (roughly 31 miles) on May 3. Katie has some nagging injuries to contend with and I have a slightly nagging mind to contend with, but we’ll have the companionship of a couple of friends and, as always, we’ll have each other.

On this birthday eve I send huge love and gratitude to Noreen for inspiring me to shoot for the stars. And I look forward to spending my birthday evening with Katie, the woman who inspires me during every run to keep going…even when I’m over it.

 

 

 

The Art of Dating from One Who Knows Not

(Originally published November 20, 2013)

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Now that I’ve recently dated three incredibly different women I can speak as the seasoned pro I am. Dating is a TRIP! It’s actually a pretty fun thing. And honestly, I’ve had amazing luck in the finding (but not keeping) of great women. Lesbian book group, the well-intentioned setup by friends, the online dating avenue–each of these has worked for me.

My best friend Michelle and I went through a recent(ish) phase of reading books about dating and watching shows like The Millionaire Matchmaker and…dare I type it for all to see?…the Bachelor/ette. We laugh our asses off (to the dismay of her surly teenager) and we’ve also learned a lot. Here’s a small sample:

1) You do it until you don’t have to anymore (assuming you’re looking for a long-term relationship). (Sex columnist Dan Savage often says something to this effect, though I’m totally butchering it.)

2) It’s a miracle that two people might come together at just the right time, in just the right place, in just the right “head space,” with just the right mix of animals and flexibility to be able to make room for each other.

3) If you tend to take things personally, date and date and date and don’t stop until you realize that it’s a waste of time to take things personally (refer back to #2 for a reminder of just some of the things that can keep two people apart).

4) There are those who believe you must have a list of everything you’re looking for in your perfect partner. This is total crap! The flip side of the “perfect” list is the “dealbreaker” list, which gets created by default. I have a feeling my woman #1 bailed under the cover of darkness because something I said hit her “dealbreaker” button. This is what it’s like to date these people: <Head hiding behind upraised arms as if that’ll protect against the oncoming asteroid> “No whammies, no whammies, no whammies… Oh, WHAMMIE!” And yet if you manage to circumvent the dealbreaker landmines like the psychic ninja you are, guess what? You’ve become NO LONGER YOU (bwawawa…you lost–please play again.).

5. So what’s the listmaker to do in the event there’s a smidgeon of truth to #4? Well, I don’t know. I don’t make lists. But I might suggest that you inquire about whether someone’s energy, someone’s very being, is expansive for you. Does this person expand your sense of possibility? Your sense of adventure? Your sense of humor? Your sense of childlike wonder and joy? Do you giggle or smile or emit beams of light when you think of/receive a text from this person? Is this person a contribution to your life? And are you having a blast being a contribution to theirs?

6. No matter how well-intentioned we all are, very few of us know exactly what we desire at any given moment. Dating is a way to clarify the confusion…at the expense of others (LOL!). If we’re all playing the same game, though, and nobody takes it personally, it’s all good!

7. The real reason I’m having no luck in love is because of this discrepancy:

The photo hanging on the wall beside my bed of what I desire:

And the actual reality (the indentation on the upper right side is from Chester, my cat):

It’s all about Feng Shui, people! And mine has gone awry! All I need to do is throw another pillow on my bed and I’ll have my woman in no time!

The Art of Getting Dumped

(Originally published November 18, 2013)

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I started dating for the first time (in my life) about two months ago. My track record tells all: I’m 0 for 3. I think that’s pretty impressive for only two short months.

To say I got “dumped” is a bit of hyperbole because I only hung out with each woman two or three times. (We all know I love my hyperbole. If I ever got a tattoo it would be in honor of hyperbole–but could it ever be big enough to truly represent?)

Today I got the death knell from #3. As with the others, I knew it was over well before I received text message confirmation.

These are the actual texts I received from each (no hyperbole):

#1: “I think I’m too stressed out about work and life to be in the head space to date you. I’m really sorry that I crossed the kissing line before I figured that out because it must be confusing.” (Editorial note: Because I’m just too simple to possibly understand?)

#2: “I do enjoy your company. I just don’t have time or energy for anything serious right now. I can tell that’s what you want. My career has to be top priority. I would like to be friends.”

#3: “I’m sorry, but I’m not in a place to date, I’m just not there. You are awesome and I hope that we can remain friends.”

Interesting how the language gets nicer from 1 to 3. #1 implies that she needs to be in a particular “head space” to date ME. #3 is much more tactful by leaving off the YOU (as in, “I’m not in a place to date YOU”). It’s a subtle thing that makes a huge difference. The third is also kind enough to throw a bone of “you are awesome,” which might as well not be there because my brain skims right over that part (see commentary about hyperbole above).

And as for being friends…that’s sweet and totally ridiculous. Not gonna’ happen. People are too busy to hang with who they REALLY want to hang with (especially if kids are involved), let alone someone they had to dump. It’s probably a lesbian survival skill we learn early: It’s a small community (we’re bound to run into each other at Second Friday sometime)…better to keep the peace.

I don’t know if my skin is thick enough to keep dating, but it has been a great learning experience. I realize that I do read energy pretty well and although I don’t (want to) trust my knowing most of the time, I do end up being pretty right on.

#1 was all in, 100% full-court press (which I learned I don’t like) and then just as quickly she was gone. I perceived her energy literally swoosh out of my life, and then the next day came the text.

#2 was very helpful in pointing out that I give a million signals indicating that I’m looking for something serious. That’s helpful feedback. And pretty spot-on. I’m clearly not a casual dater.

#3 is the one I’m most sad about. But it’s nothing that taking a couple extra naps, throwing a temper tantrum in my head, and writing a blog post can’t fix. I’ll keep on keeping on, as I always do. And hell, I’ve got this little 50-mile run to prepare for. That should keep me busy.

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Important Takeaways:

Dumper: Do it via text and leave out any reference to “head space” and not being in a place to date “YOU.” Be sure to offer the consolation prize of friendship.

Dumpee: Disregard anything nice the dumper said–they’re saying it to make themselves feel better. Oops, that’s the temper tantrum talking. Let it talk and wail and then sleep it off. Then wake up and get on with your life. Getting dumped offers huge lessons. I find it illuminates everything I’m unhappy with in my life. The last 3 dumpings have pointed a neon arrow at my job. MUST find a new job. Okay, got it. Thanks, dumpers. Oh, and I need an entirely new wardrobe. But I already knew that.

The Injury Portion of the Training Process May Now Conclude

(Originally published November 17, 2013)

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Last Sunday (11/10/13) I started training for a 50-mile run in June 2014 (in D.C.).

“That’s crazy!” you say? Well, yes, it is. It’s totally effing batshit insane and I’m doing it!

Discussion came up in Mexico about it because my friend Noreen turns 50 in 2014 and chose this 50-mile run to commemorate the milestone. Immediately Amy jumped on board, and not long behind her Katie put her name into the hat. I was only convinced after Noreen explained that she’ll be doing it by running 20 minutes, walking 5; running 20, walking 5…Sounds benign, right? Until you multiply that by 12 hours!

Amy, Katie, and I live in the same town so we’ll be able to train together. Noreen is in D.C., so we’ll be sharing inspiration with her via Facebook and email.

Last Sunday I ran about 3 miles with Amy and Katie. It was actually really fun because we were talking the whole time. Then I got home and noticed that my entire body had seized up. It was like being in a body cast. This tightness led to me injuring my lower back at the grocery store (while carrying/dropping/juggling three gallon bottles of water). Awesome. And my left knee was locked up from the traumatic injury it sustained when I jumped into a body of water in Mexico and hit my knee on a boulder at the bottom (imagine hitting your funny bone and then multiply that by 10).

So I spent Monday night at Lake Steam Baths, soaking in the hot tub, sweating in the steam rooms, and profusely thanking Patti-the-massage-therapist for releasing me from my body cast. This intervention allowed me to recover full functioning in my legs, but by back was still tweaking. For most of last week it took 20 seconds to stand fully upright after being in a seated position. I looked like I was 80 and I was honestly scared for my back.

The good news is that my back is feeling better by the day (it’s about 90% recovered right now) and I’ve hired a coach to help me successfully reach the goal of running 50 miles by June.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about my experience with the coach and how it illuminated for me why my first attempt at running almost totally crippled me.

Grandma Called!

(Originally published November 9, 2013)

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I heard from Grandma last night! I was with friends at the Gregory Alan Isakov concert downtown (he was playing with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra) and right before the show I turned my phone off. To give you some context, my phone has a history of NOT turning itself off (I can’t tell you how many flights I’ve been on during which my phone was “powering down” from takeoff to landing). To ensure that my phone was completely off, I even went to the effort of sliding off the back panel and removing and replacing the battery.

Sometime during the first half of the concert I became aware of a vibration in my pocket and then…I HEARD it ringing!! OMG!! I reached into my pocket and quickly silenced it, confused as hell about how it could have possib…ly … rung … “Grandma!!”

My friend Amy was witness to this because she was sitting on the phone-ringing side of me (Michelle, on my left, was unaware of any of this). Amy was fairly mortified for me and commented that perhaps my ringing phone would make it onto Gregory’s album (he was recording this concert to release as a live album). I whispered that I had FOR SURE turned my phone off!

I asked for it. And Grandma, probably with a little help from a scheming Grandpa, delivered the sign I’d been asking for. Not convinced it was her? What if I tell you that my phone showed no missed call?!

And then, at intermission, I realized that my brother and his wife were sitting IN THE ROW BEHIND US. What are the odds of that? Seriously. I love this shit.

I have no doubt it was Grandma. And I’m sure this is when it’s pretty fun to have an eccentric granddaughter who believes crazy-ass shit. I took a moment to tell her in my head, “Hi, Grandma! Thanks for the sign! I love you!” and then I went back to enjoying the concert.

And when thinking about it today while lounging too long in bed, a song popped into my head: “I just called to say I love you” by Stevie Wonder. Perfectly fitting for the occasion, I’d say. Clearly Grandma is just as potent on the other side as she was on this side.

Quiet Mind, Full Heart, Huge Smile

(Originally published November 6, 2013)

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Wow, I don’t even know where to begin. I just spent a wonderful evening with a really fun woman named Jennifer. We had not ONE moment of awkwardness. We were so overflowing with things to talk about that I don’t think either of us finished one train of thought before shooting off on three others.

And in the land of “It’s a Small World,” I discovered about an hour into the conversation that she knows one of my favorite people in all the world: Katie!

In another small-world moment, she asked if I’d ever done acupuncture and if I’d been to Pin and Tonic, a community acupuncture center in Denver. I said, “I can’t even believe you just mentioned that place! A) Katie goes there! (and yes, I speak in a and b bullet points) and, B) It’s on my list of things to do this week to call them to set up an appointment!”

I love how things we need to hear will be told to us repeatedly from so many different directions. Those who pay attention will notice this all the time — “Whoa, that’s the third mention of Alaska in one day–perhaps I need to start planning a trip to Alaska” (shout out to you, Di!). Life becomes way more fun when we start paying attention. It’s kinda’ like the movie Slum Dog Millionaire–we’re always being provided the answer we need before the question is even asked.

But that’s a little deep for me right now. It was bedtime about an hour ago…and I just want to enjoy this buzz…

 

Bye, Grandma! I love you!

(Originally published November 5, 2013)

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My grandmother passed away this morning. I’m not exactly sure how old she was (those details tend to escape me) but somehow she just kept getting cuter the older she got. She hadn’t had teeth in years but that didn’t stop her from eating whatever she wanted to eat. Steak? No problem! She must have had gums of steel.

This was my dad’s mom. Have any of you heard your dad cry? Yeah, it’s completely heartbreaking. I broke into pieces when my dad called today and said, “Well…(in a way too high-spirited/high-pitched way that gave away the fact that he was bracing himself against the wave of anguish rushing up his throat from his chest), I have bad news.” <Voice cracks> “We lost Grandma this morning.”

I was at work and walking out of the office so I could talk/cry in private (you know, in the parking lot). On the way out I exchanged a look with my co-worker Rann that told her everything she needed to know. My previously inappropriate comment to my boss about why I had to interrupt our meeting to answer the phone was really the truth: “I need to take this. My dad never calls. I have a feeling it’s about dead Grandma.” (If you know me, you know this is a classic example of my sense of humor. If you don’t know me, you think I’m an A-hole. Eh. Grandma knew I was funny A-hole.)

I just talked to my brother. We reminisced about the picture-perfect grandparent experience we were privileged to have. It’s not that they spoiled us with stuff or even all that much physical affection (that I remember). It was that they lived in an amazing house on an amazing property and my brother and I got to play at their house all the time. And I mean play. Like the kind kids used to be able to do before helicopter parents were invented.

The property was a wonderland for us. There was a little forested part of the back yard where we could play hide and seek in the woods and (my brother’s words) “walk through spider webs and stuff.” There was also a huge garden area–with actual rows of crops, not just little raised beds. There was a tiny stream that ran through the property with a couple of little bridges that Ryan and I would pretend to fish off of. There were grape vines (I might be lying about that…) and tons of strawberries. And the flowers?! Holy cow! I seem to remember that my Grandpa was the flower expert and my Grandma was the food grower. It’s entirely possible I have that backwards, though. There wasn’t a bald spot in that yard–every square inch was filled with nature in its glory. It was little kid paradise.

The house itself had HUGE picture windows overlooking the yard (did I mention that my grandfather built the house?). Grandma and Grandpa each had a reclining chair–and woe were we to be sitting in Grandpa’s chair when it was his time to sit in his chair! He came off so imposing and so scary–and yet we also knew he was just pretending not to be the softy he really was. Grandma called the couch the “daveneau” (a word I can’t even find on Dictionary.com). Imagine being tiny and trying to figure out what the heck a daveneau is!

The basement of the house was a little bit scary, but also fascinating. There was one entire closet filled with just my grandma’s square-dancing dresses–what seemed like HUNDREDS of them! There was a storage room that housed a little personal full-body steamer that a taller person could sit in, close themselves into, and have only their head showing out the top. It was an odd contraption and it reliably (like 100% reliably) housed a spider.

I could go on and on, but you get the point. These were two amazingly cool people that I was lucky enough to have as Grandma and Grandpa all these years. My dad’s broken heart for sure breaks mine…but really I feel like the little kid in Cocoon (if you remember that movie). At the end of the movie (spoiler alert!) he waves to his grandparents as they leave Earth to go learn new things from the aliens. He’s the only one who really knows what’s going on and while he’s sad to be losing them from his day-to-day reality, he knows they’re going on to do something cooler than he can even imagine.

And that’s how I feel about Grandma. She’s been wanting to be free of her body for a few years now–wanting to rejoin Grandpa and their son Kerry (my uncle), who passed a couple years ago. She talked about it all the time: “I just want to be with Grandpa and Kerry again, I just want to be with Grandpa and Kerry again…”

I’m totally the kid in Cocoon: I have tears in my eyes and a huge smile on my face as I imagine (and can feel in my body) the pure joy that surely accompanied Grandma’s reunion with Grandpa and Uncle Kerry. I stand to the side looking through the chaos of sadness that surrounds me and I say under my breath, “Yeah, Grandma! You go, Girl!”

Here’s a picture so you have a visual (a little fuzzy, but the best I can do right now):

I love you, Grandma. I’m happy for you. Please send me a sign that you made it alright.