Broke is Broke

My livelihood is dead this week.

Okay, really it's been dead for six weeks.

My beloved external hard drive, Florence, passed away sometime around June 15th.

I could not be saved. I.T. company wants $2,000 to "maybe" try to recover and compartmentalize her innards.

Her brain was just beginning to grow with stories about my dad and his writings. 150 pages of scanned, books, letters and other elements of my father were filling spots within the framework.

What I miss most is Florence's heart, where my dreams were alive. Where books and stories built momentum in words and chapters.  I spend hours, days, probably years on some of the writings in her heart. So much time spent in readying Karl, Alex, John Brown and Adam for the world.  I think Florence and I shared a heart sometimes.

I don't have a lot of value in myself, money or things.  My value is in words and dreams.  It's hard not to be dramatic.

Earlier today I talked to woman about some medical testing and she claimed that $2,000 was all in the day's work for her husband. I wish he could give me one of his days to save some of my years.

200 pages of my dream is gone and it cannot be rebuild. Along with the elements of this Earth, I have changed and cannot duplicate some of the words that started the framework of this book almost ten years ago. It's the only thing that hasn't changed with marriage, birth or death. It held so much of me inside it's plastic walls. Those words were my rock. Erased. My dad. My heart.

What is life without dreams?


I am different

I am different.
Most of the time I feel normal.

  • I have a full time job where I do more than punch keys or stare at a computer screen.
  • I am a wife. My husband is my best friend and that's more important to me than cliche' romantic gestures.
  • Together we have a daughter with a strong will and a big heart. 
  • We live in a nice house and neighborhood where I feel safe and comfortable.
  • I am part of a great legacy of realists and dreamers, where money is minimal but love and family are pinnacle.
This is normal and these things are important, yet around me-people want more.They want a perfect yard with perfectly trimmed rosebushes, or spot free cars.  I have friends with new houses with more bathrooms than family members or friends with brand names clothes, who pay more than "$30 for this shirt".

Only then do I notice the difference. I'm happy when you are silent. When you shut up about things and share stories.  Stop talking about spend money and talk about family.  Listen to what isn't said. Listen to happy kids playing or older siblings laughing.  Or maybe live instead of buying or showing. How about being different.


Traveling Salesmen & Second Chances

I live in a nice neighborhood and I think "No Soliciting Signs" are tacky.  They just don't match my dead lawn and weed-ridden parking strips.
This absent sign makes our house a big target for "those" people to come around. Dave works nights a lot so I get to turn away a lot of pushy, sad, or frustrated people who hate their job.
Over the last three years in this house, we've probably turned away about a hundred people and I'm not exaggerating. I did buy their product once.
When I opened the door, he smiled at me. His smile was crooked and had some old stains, but you could tell there was some recent work done. His head was shaved and his clothes a little loose. If I saw him in a different location, I probably would have assumed he was homeless. Hitched to his belt was the familiar green spray bottle of the traveling salesman.
He kept his smile and kicks the whole conversation off with, "Hello ma'am, my name is Joe. Tell me, do you believe in second chances?"
The pause was long, much longer than I was used to. I almost cried standing there at the front door, talking to salesman. I was going to buy the product and he didn't even need to sell me on it.He went on with some vague story about being a gang-banger and getting shot or something, but the details didn't really matter.
The guy went through the whole routine though, showing me the streak-free shine on my windows and cutting edge clean on my car's front headlight.  He even reverted to calling me "ma" or "mama" as Southern men are wont to do sometimes.
I'm sure he walked down the street calling me some ignorant racist white girl, but he sold the bottle of green cleaner to one person and maybe more.
I've written this post a thousand times in my head and I still don't quite known how to explain my feelings without getting too religious or pushy.
I believe in second chances. Nothing is forever. People make mistakes and sometimes these mistakes are repeated over and over again and over again beyond what seems possible. Like many people, I've made many mistakes. My mistakes are probably different than a lot of people understand. At the time, many people told me to "just stop". For me it wasn't that easy. You know what's great though about that? Screw other people, you'll figure it out on your own. It's your second  chance, your opportunity for change. Life is about action. If you sit idly and listen to all the crap people tell you about what you should do, than you don't ever figure out where you belong.
I think that's what I loved about this traveling salesman's story. Even if it's complete bull-crap, he's out there actively trying to make his life better financially. He's building a second chance of his own with his actions. He claimed the program he was in started as a rehab kinda thing to get him off the streets and then provided him the opportunity to work in sales. I'm sure these people didn't sit him down and say, "Hey, just stop selling drugs. That's it, that's all you need to be successful." He'd probably still be on the streets.
This world needs more understanding, more empowering and more tools. The power of self-reliance can change lives if it's directed in the right way. I believe in Second Chances and crappy liquid detergent from traveling salesmen.