Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wednesday's Words...

[I am linking with the Elephant's Child for Words for Wednesday tonight]

The boat ride had been a sudden decision, and she had to rush to get ready. She had been under such stress the past week that she really hadn't wanted to leave so early, but the quirky weather was perfect for the first time in several weeks and who knew when it would be this nice again?

Just the day before, a violent rain storm had come up that had caused several rivers to flood over the roads. Yellow signs warning of the danger had been posted, but the winds had been so tenacious that many had blown over, and the warnings went unseen.

The day had been beautiful and warm for the most part, but there had been spots along the bay shore where the air seemed to suddenly chill, and she had been glad to have brought along a jacket.  He had fished for a while, letting the evening wind push the boat closer to shore, and at one point thought he had hooked a large fish but lost it.

She had been napping in the bow of the boat, listening to the wind in the trees and the birds. Occasionally the water would gurgle under the boat and waves would slap against the sides. She realized suddenly that the wind had stopped, and the birds had gone silent. She opened her eyes and could see him standing with his back to her at the back of the boat, watching his line. She started to call out to him, to ask if he was alright when she heard a sound under the boat that sounded like a man laughing. She held her breath for a moment, listening intently for the water, the wind, or the birds. Anything that would sound like it wasn't her imagination playing tricks on her. He turned and looked at her, and for a brief second his face seemed to change into someone she didn't know. The air turned cold and she shivered and reached for her jacket again.

The moment was broken by the sound of a larger boat approaching, and the wake of it rocked their smaller boat. The wind blew loudly in the trees, and she heard several ravens calling to each other. She shook her head and sat up. She must have been dreaming it all. She always did have nightmares when she slept on her back.

It was nightfall before she had a chance to look at the pictures from the day, and she sighed as she thought about what an odd day it had been.

A small spot in one of the pictures from the bay caught her eye. What was that? She looked over the series of pictures in which it appeared. In the first photo, it appeared faint and weak, a miniature oval just at the water's edge, almost seeming to be both in and out of the water.

The Orb seemed to move up and down in the series of four photos, but when she looked at her camera, there was no spot on the lens, nor was the Orb in any of the other twenty or more pictures she had taken that day.  She had heard that Orbs were often spirits that visited or haunted a place, and she wondered if there had been a life lost in that particular spot.  Perhaps it was a fisherman who came back to visit the site of his greatest catch.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Nancy Drew

Image Source: A Random Google Search
I have a day job now that mentally exhausts me. Don't get that wrong. I love my job with a Nancy Drew-ish fascination. I even like my bosses - both the two and four-legged ones. The hours are great, and the flexibility is rare. I can even walk to work now if I want to when the weather stops being cold, snowy, wet, or muddy (which may be only for a few weeks in late summer, but hey, I can dream).

I spend my day doing quality assurance on background checks. Which in plain English means that I spend my day looking at the worst of the worst to make sure they aren't our client's hope for the best of the best.

I review criminal records trying to verify names, birthdays and addresses to match or exclude a subject. Sometimes I have 601 records to scroll through trying NOT to find a link to a subject. I see traffic offenses, like speeding, running red lights or parking (don't ever have a parking meter violation in Minnesota! Bam! Misdemeanor!).

But I also see charges like animal abuse, child abuse, rape, and murder. I see repeat offenders who spend years in prison, get out, do it again, and again, and again. Like a twisted version of Groundhog Day.

I also search the National Sexual Offender Registry, hoping to NOT find a match with the subject's name, but having to scroll through all those with the same or similar names, or AKAs.

Just when I think I've seen the worst, up pops the face of a 15 year old boy or a 40-something woman, grinning at the camera as if they think being labeled a sex offender for the rest of their life is funny. Or as if whatever it was they did to get on the list was something to laugh about, and wouldn't leave their victim with hidden scars that might never heal or nightmares that would never go away.

I've known for a long time that I'm especially sensitive to the emotions of others, and just looking at some of these crimes and profiles can suck the joy right out of me. I get home at the end of the day emotionally exhausted, mentally tired, and overwhelmed with sadness for humanity. I think of broken lives, broken families, and broken hearts.

I wish we could buy a home in the middle of a thousand acres and build a barbed wire topped brick wall around it all. To be able to live totally off the grid, growing or raising our own food and away from society, yet at the same time, I'm longing for friendship. I miss having a close girl friend to laugh with ~ the Sara or Maureen kind of friend that I used to work with.  I want to write another book, but don't want it to be as dark as the world makes me feel at times. I know that some of the things I have seen in the past four years here will make their way into the pages.

Most days I can reset my emotions with mindless games on Facebook, scrolling through travel pictures of Germany on Instagram day-dreaming about going again, crafts, journal prayers, reading about angels that change lives, and playing tug-of-war with Charlie or cat & mouse with Lucy. I nap more than I used to, call my mom, and hug my husband.

I'm grateful for the big things in my life, the little things, and everything in-between. I'm also grateful for the things no longer in my life, the losses, the changes, and the lessons.

Life is short and precious. Cherish it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Words for Wednesday

Participating this week with The Elephant's Child and Words for Wednesday.
Image Source: The Elephant's Child/Words for Wednesday
She watched his reflection in the window of the boat as it glided across the water with an agile grace that was surprisingly smooth against the consistent blast of winds from the north. It was the first day of summer, and the two of them had been eager to go fishing and leave the stress of the last few months behind them on the shore.

He turned to look at her and she saw his lips moving, but could not hear what he was saying over the cacophony of waves slamming against the sides of the boat. He pointed behind her, and she turned to watch as eagles dipped in and out between the waves, coming up with salmon heavy in their talons. As she watched, an eagle that had missed its mark dove talons first at another carrying a large salmon, desire apparent in its flirt with danger to steal away the catch.

She held her breath as they fought in the air, both tumbling towards the water before they parted and flew in different directions. Empty talons, the only winner in this battle was the salmon.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

April's lessons

 Baby chicks and ducklings are the best mood lifter.

 Watching the sun set is the best way to relax after a frustrating day.
 Spring does come.