Monthly Archives: December 2014

Slight Pause

I’d had a blog post planned and almost completely written, when last night I received news that one of my friends died on Tuesday. He had cancer that he wouldn’t get treated (he tried a couple of times, but couldn’t hack it through all the rounds of chemo) so it wasn’t like it completely blindsided me, but it was still pretty disheartening. He made it longer than doctors predicted. His boyfriend has apparently deactivated the facebook account already, so now all the pictures of him, his comments, our conversations are completely gone. I have a few texts and his phone number, that’s all (which probably doesn’t work anymore, if the facebook is already gone). It’s like his presence is completely scrubbed from existence. I feel … uncomfortably numb, if I may alter a Pink Floyd song title.

I’m trying my best to not let this drag me down into a fit of depression. This weekend, I have some things to take care of, and I may do some additional writing, but I’m not planning on posting anything until next week at the earliest.

Namaste, and blessed be.

Childhood Homes – Part 3

The third move of my childhood had us in the North-central portion of Wisconsin, namely the Wausau area. We initially moved into a rental home in the city of Wausau, then out to a house in a rural area of Mosinee, and then back into the city of Wausau before we left the area for good (my mother excluded, as she returned after leaving my father).

We moved in January of 1999, and it was bitterly cold, but my father apparently just didn’t want to waste any time in leaving. He was never very specific in why he wanted to leave and give up the role of pastor. In fact, my mother begged him to stay as she loved the area we’d been in, but to no avail. His mind was made up and could not be changed.

The rental house was the same house I detailed a little in this post. The attic was nice and spacious and we also had an unfinished basement. The porch area was small, but it was very nicely decorated. I actually have a little trouble sometimes differentiating between our rental house in Wausau and the house that we ended up moving into after Mosinee, as they were right next to each other and were actually owned by the same man. The rental house faced Emerson St, though, so the whole living room/entryway was different, as the other house actually sat on the corner and faced Weston Ave. In the first house, my bedroom was on the first floor and I had windows facing the backyard and our future house. I used to have a daybed, but that was actually a lot of trouble as far as making the bed went, so my parents later got me just a plain ol’ regular bed. I still had trouble remembering to make the bed, but at least it was easier when my parents nagged me about it. 😛 The first floor bathroom, I can’t really remember, and I think I might be getting it mixed up with the other house. They really were pretty similar!

That house also had another first for me: hardwood floors! The only other houses I’d lived in previously had some sort of carpet. I was homeschooled at that point, and I did the videos from Pensacola Christian Academy. Oh my gods, I remember some of those videos were recorded as far back as 1989 … when I was but 2 years old! The curriculum hadn’t really changed though, which as I look back and think on it, is kind of sad. Certainly they weren’t ALL that old, but I think the newest video was recorded in 1997, and they tended to run from 1991-1993. I watched the lessons in the living room and did my work at a set up there.

We ended up moving not even a year later … September of 1999, maybe? I can’t quite remember. My school area then changed up a couple of times while I was there. I think it was initially upstairs in the study, but then it changed to downstairs in the finished basement in my dad’s study, as it was quieter and there were less distractions. I was only thus homeschooled the rest of sixth grade, and then seventh and eighth grade. From my freshman to my junior year, I attended a very small Christian school.

The house in Mosinee was in a rural area. We had a pretty large backyard that included a sand volleyball court and a pool (which we rarely used, because it was above ground, there was no heater, and with no heater it was very cold!). We ended up adding a storage shed in the back of the property, and I remember very vividly helping my father set up the steel beams and handing him materials so he could put together the metal building. It was a pretty easy operation, overall. Later on, we also expanded the bathroom into the old pantry for the kitchen, and then moved the sink countertop from a long counter running along the center of the kitchen (that made the kitchen extremely small and was incredibly impractical) and put it against the actual wall so it was just a wide and open space. We also expanded the garage into a three car garage before I started driving (I can’t remember if it was originally a one or two car setup). Of course, it wasn’t long after we did all of the remodeling that we ended up moving. 😛

We spent the most time in the house in Mosinee. I think my parents liked it because it was a little out of the way, sort of in the country like they’d been used to in Georgia. A big difference though, besides the fact that we weren’t as remote as in Georgia, was that the yard was a lot easier to mow, so we had to keep it kept up. At the house in McDonough, besides being remote, we were at the foot of a hill that made especially our front yard very uneven and almost impossible to properly mow. We had a lot of tree coverage, though, so the grass didn’t grow too much. In Mosinee, though, we didn’t have a lot of trees and it was pretty open, so the grass grew rather well.

For mowing we used a riding lawnmower, because of the size of the yards, and to clean up afterward, we had an attachment that we hooked onto a four-wheeler that we ran to get up all the clippings. Funny, I remember my mother usually mowed the lawn. My father rarely did it, citing allergies … however, as long as I can remember, my mother’s allergies were more sensitive and severe than my father’s allergies. He was probably just a baby. Or lazy. Or both. I’m convinced he has some narcissistic qualities, if not a full-blown disorder, so an inability to see beyond his own problems is par for the course, and I think he only gets worse as he gets older. I remember wondering about the whole allergy thing as a teenager. If it was that obvious to me, even as fully entrenched in our family and naive as I was then, I wonder how many other things slipped under my radar? My guess is quite a bit.

Anyway, sometimes I was allowed to run the four-wheeler to pick up the clippings. I had to wear a breathing apparatus and I couldn’t go too fast, but it was a lot of fun. Hot, sweaty, fun work. I might think it more of a chore nowadays, but when the novelty is all shiny and new, it’s hard to see past it. 🙂

There was also a very large field in the back of our house that was owned by a family down the way. They didn’t mind if we rode our four wheelers (or drove our Ford Ranger around … which I did several times before I got my license and thoroughly enjoyed it!) around in it. It was just an unkempt field. Beyond it was woods. A few trails. Some hunting spots. I used to like to walk around (when it wasn’t hunting season) back there. I sometimes have dreams about walking back there and going even further, like there was something beyond that I never discovered (the furthermost trail I found terminated in a lake, so not sure what would be past it!).

When we moved back into Wausau, we were back in the same area as before, since our house was right next to the rental place we’d had. It was previously lived in by an older couple, and the woman moved out after her husband died. It also had wood floors, which were quite lovely. Before we moved in, we added on to the garage to make it a three car and finished the basement. My room was the basement room, which was quite nice as I was a senior in high school and it was like having a little apartment. When walking into the kitchen entrance, one could just go down the basement steps and into my room, bypassing the entire house. I even had a bathroom in there and I set up a TV and later my ps2 there. The only thing I was lacking was a refrigerator and a microwave; I would have been good to go! Of course, my parents would have rarely seen me. 😛

By that point, I was homeschooling for the last time in my school career, but I was doing it via a state-wide charter school, which was new for us. They gave us Mac iBook G4’s to use for school (that we unfortunately had to return at the end of the school year) and thus began my relationship with Apple products. I’ve loved them ever since. I set up the laptop on a table in my room, and after the laptop was returned, I set up my desktop computer there and even bought and put together a desk for it (an accomplishment I was quite proud of).

My maternal grandmother lived with us for a spell while we were in Wisconsin. She was actually moved in when we were still in Mosinee (and she was given my room, and I was relegated to a space in my father’s downstairs study, which he rarely used … I didn’t mind, though, it actually afforded me more privacy and gave me more of an escape). She was a hateful, manipulative old woman, and she pulled most of her shenanigans in the second Wausau house. I think my mother just wanted to try to mend things with her and help her one last time, but she ultimately proved that she was beyond help. She was schizophrenic, likely bipolar, a pathological liar and master manipulator. She was a dark cloud that hung around us at the end, but once she was gone, it was like a brand new day.

This was one area that I actually thought would be hard to leave, and it was probably harder than most because my most influential growing-up years were spent there. I met my bestest best friend in the whole wide world (who is quite literally my psychological twin), so that was probably the hardest part, leaving her behind. It’s actually where I would consider “home” to be; above the other places of my childhood, that is where I would really point to as my hometown. It’s also the place I pretty much know the best, navigation-wise (I don’t quite count International Falls as it was so small, it was hard to get lost!). When I was driving there to my mother’s house (well, to the Wal-Mart in Rib Mountain to meet her) when moving from Ohio, I kept thinking about driving “home”. So even my subconscious agrees with me, apparently.

Stay tuned for the house saga! The next entry on homes will be a bit bumpy, as after our family moved to Pennsylvania, things got a bit rocky for me for a while. The memories are a lot more vivid, for the most part, but I feel it’s still good to document them for the future.

And so far on our current place … there’s a few issues here and there, but mostly, fiance and I are glad to be out of my brother’s house and on our own. 🙂 Our cat, Inara, is still adjusting, but she’s much better than the super clingy mess she was at first. One day at a time.

The Joys of Moving

Fiance and I have now moved into an apartment, as of the 1st. I have been lagging pretty hard since then, so I haven’t found much motivation to write. I also sustained a concussion on the Saturday before the move, so it made things extra difficult both with the move and the recovery afterwards. Maybe it was the concussion, but it seems like this was the most difficult move I was involved in. Obviously I had little to do with my family’s first couple of moves, as I was little, but the more we moved, the more I started doing. The first time I did a move solo was in 2007. I was just turning 20 and moving out of my parents house, because the controlling nature of my parents (read: my father) was causing me far too much stress. I did a “big” move, moving all of the vital, important pieces to my apartment in Zelienople, but since my parents were still in the house in Evans City, I was free to take my time gathering the smaller, non-essential items. It was pretty stress-free and about as great a move as moving can get. The move after that was hurried and haphazard. I was being evicted and I had a limited time in which to move. Of course, my boyfriend at the time did nothing as far as pre-packing went, so the move took the whole day of throwing random shit in bags and what boxes we had and shuffling it to a storage unit a friend was lending us space in and also to the camper trailer that we would be living in. We had several friends helping us, though, so even then it didn’t seem so bad, it was just overwhelming and stressful because of the events surrounding it. My next move was fairly similar to my first solo move. We had found a duplex trailer for rent and since we had no hard and fast timeline to adhere to, we were able to take our time. My boyfriend at the time actually wanted to delay moving in, but I pressured him because I really didn’t want to spend one more night of having to navigate a driveway and two flights of stairs just to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. We stayed in that duplex trailer for a nice chunk of time until my father finally offered to help us. The deal was he would move us out to where he was in Ohio and would pay our rent while I went to college and my boyfriend either worked or went to college (which, he essentially ended up doing neither) to help us get on our feet. We spent our first night in that apartment on October 31st, 2011. We had taken most of our stuff via my father’s truck, but we had left a mattress and sofa, intending to come back for it. However, by the time my father was able to drive us out there a couple of days later (our car was totaled by that point), the mattress was in the landlord’s truck and the sofa was left in the duplex and a new tenant was already there. We let him keep the sofa (he said he didn’t have a bed … which, if that’s the case, I have to wonder why the landlord didn’t just let him keep the damn mattress, but the landlord was a fucktarded drunk). Anyway, it was no harm no foul for us, as we were able to find free furniture to supplement us. By that time, we had lost the storage unit we’d rented because, as I think I’ve mentioned before, my boyfriend was somehow averse to paying bills. I didn’t even get a chance to get some cherished things from the storage unit as same boyfriend was an idiot and lost the damn key. There are some things I truly regret losing as a result, but there’s nothing I can really do about it now but be grateful for what I was able to rescue before the key was lost. The last move before this one was very harried, but it was pretty simple. I had just broken up with my boyfriend two weeks prior. We were having to move anyway because the landlords we had were wanting to raise our rent to something we couldn’t afford when the lease was up at the end of the month, so I decided to act on my brother’s offer to move me out to the Twin Cities area. It was as last minute as you can get without it occurring in the same day. I finalized and came to terms with my decision on a Thursday night. That Friday – my last payday before the end of the month – I gave my notice at work. I cashed my paycheck and spent that night packing. I packed all day Saturday and ran a few needed errands. My father mercifully sent me some money to help fund my cross-country trip. That night I packed up my car with as much as I could fit into it. I barely slept, between nerves and my new kitten wanting to play with me. I think I got about four hours sleep total, maybe. At that point, I’d last eaten some ramen on Friday night. I woke up early Sunday morning, drove to the closest Wal-Mart with an auto center for an oil change, and then set off. My last thought (and facebook status) before I left the parking lot was a quote from Pirates of the Caribbean: “Bring me that horizon.” I spent almost all of Ohio in crying jags. Heartbroken at what had only just happened. Overwhelmed at what I was currently doing. Scared as to what was going to happen in the future. I knew that it was the best choice I could make, but it was still extremely stressful, and I’d been so busy trying to get everything done that I hadn’t had any time to process my breakup of a six year relationship. Through Indiana and Illinois, I started feeling better. Having crossed state lines, I was feeling more accomplished and excited at the prospect of a new life. Once I crossed over into Wisconsin, however, the reality of only having about four hours of sleep started to set in. I also hadn’t eaten yet that day, as my cat started fussing up a storm whenever I stopped for too long, so any rest stops were as quick as possible. I had drank a couple of energy drinks, but they made me have to use the bathroom too much, so I resorted to dragging on my e-cigarette. The last 100 miles to my mum’s house in Wisconsin, I swear I was constantly taking drags on it. It likely saved my life, giving me the little boosts I needed to keep going. We had agreed to meet at the Wal-Mart in Rib Mountain, a place and area I was infinitely familiar with as we’d spent quite a bit of time in the area. However, by that time, I was so tired, I honestly couldn’t tell if I was pulling off at the right exit or not, but I figured I could always pull into a parking lot and call my mother and just tell her where I was and to come get me. Fortunately, my instincts were correct, and I took the right exit. I paced outside my car, jumping around and trying to wake myself up. Since my mother had a new house that was somewhat difficult to get to, she wisely decided to just meet me. Bless her, she brought my stepdad, so I was able to hand my keys over to him to drive my car as I truly didn’t feel safe behind the wheel. Bless her for also stopping at a Taco Bell and buying food for me. Tacos and burritos never tasted so good before. I ended up spending several days at her house, just resting and recuperating from the whole ordeal. That Friday morning, I drove the three and a half hours to the Twin Cities area to avoid the Labor Day holiday traffic, and I stayed in that house until the beginning of this month. While that experience was very difficult and draining, I’d actually say this last move was the worst I’ve had so far. My fiance and I didn’t have anyone to help us with the move, so we packed up what we could here and there, but there was still various and a sundry little things that we couldn’t do anything with until the day of the move. That morning, we walked over the Uhaul place and picked up the truck, deposited my portion of the rent money in his bank account, and then loaded up the truck. The big stuff was actually the easier part at that point, it was getting all the little things put in bags and boxes and getting them on the truck that took the longest. Once at the apartment, it was almost the opposite that was true, and the little things were much easier to haul up the flight of stairs to the second story apartment. The memory foam mattress was the worst thing we struggled with. And the lightheadedness and headaches I kept getting from the concussion were not helping, either. We got everything done, however, and we were both so glad we had the next day off. The day after, though, we both had to go back to work, and I think that’s what made it the worst: the feeling of little respite before getting back into the normal schedule of things. At least with the previous move, I had no job to get to at that point, so I could take my time to recuperate before being thrust into a schedule. Most of the major things have been unpacked so far, most of what remains is just clothes, which need to be sorted. Joy. I’m hoping to get in on that this weekend. Hopefully. 😛