Thursday, February 27, 2020

ubering ~ WoW

Words for Wednesday is a moveable feast of participants. Each month the prompts ~ words, pictures, themes, or even phrases are provided by someone new. The aim of the words is to encourage us to write. A story, a poem, whatever comes to mind. This month the words will be provided by River on her Drifting Through Life blog.  [and full disclosure ~ I DO NOT have a microphone hidden in my Mom's car.  But she does give her version of Uber rides to her senior friends and considering she is going to be 79 this year with a less than stellar cognitive history after her CO2 scare last year, these are things I would imagine myself saying if she were to drive me even 5 feet down the road]

Things heard on a hidden microphone in my Mom's car while she was Uber driving recently:

"Eyes on the road!  Eyes on the road!"
"What? I am!"
"No, I mean there are literal eyes on the road!"
Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop.
Groan. Gag. Groan.
~*~
Pop.
"Uh-oh."
"Uh-oh, what?!?"
"Oh, nothing.  Just a little thing."
"Little thing?"
"Yes.  Possum."
Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop.
"Family."
~*~
"You don't mind if I put my new Tiffany lamp in the trunk do you?  The box is rather large and there won't be much room for me in the back seat if I don't."
"Hmmm.  Did you say it was a Tiffany?"
"Yes, why?"
"Put it in the backseat.  There is room for you in the trunk."
~*~
Bump.  Thud.  Groan.
"Me?  Why me? Why couldn't I have just said it was a cheap Walmart lamp?"
~*~
"Have you ever seen the movie Boogie Nights?"
"Why?  Are you a fan of Burt Reynolds?"
"No, I was just wondering if Mark Wahlberg used a body double in the final scene."
Groan.  Scribble. Scribble. Scribble.
"Were you making yourself a note to watch it?"
"No, I was making a note to never watch it, and if I accidentally do, to never discuss it with my mother."
~*~
"Um, did you know there was a teapot full of hot tea in the backseat floorboard?"
"Yes.  Is there a problem?"
"Uh, no.  I just wasn't sure if you knew.  I didn't want it to spill or anything."
"Well, since you wanted a ride during my normal teatime, I thought I would just save time and bring it with me.  Could you pour me a cup with a splash of milk, please, and hand me a buttered crumpet?"
"Um, while you are driving?  Don't you need both hands on the wheel?"
"Oh. Perhaps we should just switch places until my teatime is over?"
"If giving me a ride to the emergency room to reattach my severed finger was an inconvenience, mother, I could have called an ambulance."
"Nonsense.  That's what I'm here for.  I'm your mother.  It can't possibly hurt more than it hurt when I was giving birth to you.  I was in labor for 56 hours, you know."
"I do believe that every time you tell me that, you add more hours to how long you were in labor."
"Don't be silly.  You think I don't know what 64 hours of labor felt like?"

TbT ~ Making Choices

We all have choices in life, and sometimes those choices become regrets.  My father died with regrets.  The very last words he ever spoke to me were "I wish we had talked more."  We didn't even have a chance to talk then because the morphine he was on for the pain kept him drifting in and out of consciousness.  We could have talked more when he was healthy, but he made other choices, and so did I, because we didn't know any other way.

While I was struggling to cling to my idea of perfection, I had unreasonable expectations of a family ... relationships ... friendships with people in my life.  Expectations that I didn't verbalize because I just assumed that what I wanted should have made perfect sense to everyone.  I didn't have good examples of what a marriage was like, or what healthy communication was.  I didn't even have a good example of what a family was like.

I wanted a perfect life, and I didn't know what that was.  All I knew was that I didn't have it, and I was willing to do anything to get it.

The problem, however, is that even if I had known what a perfect life, or a perfect marriage, or a perfect husband was ... it would always be something unattainable.  Because we are all human.  We make mistakes.  It is in our nature because it is how we learn and grow.  How many times did we fall down as babies before we learned how to balance and walk?  What would have happened if we had refused to get up after the first time we fell?  or the second?  or the third?

But we do, we get up and brush ourselves off and try again.  Because somehow we know that if we don't, we may regret it.  We learn by baby steps what kind of a life we want, what kind of marriage, what kind of relationships we want ... and we realize that it is in the least perfect moments of life that we find what we were looking for all along.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Thrive

thrive
[THrīv]
VERB

  1. (of a child, animal, or plant) grow or develop well or vigorously.
    "the new baby thrived"

I chose "thrive" as my word for 2020.  For me, it felt like "grow" on steroids.  Something I need this year.  The funny thing is that both times I tried to write "thrive" in my journal, I've misspelled it.  I may need to work on growing my spelling skills.  Or have more coffee before I attempt to connect mental processes with finger dexterity. 
A few weeks ago, my counselor said to me that she didn't think I was happy, and the comment stopped me in my tracks.  Happy?  Unhappy?  I didn't feel one or the other.  I felt numb.  But why?
I have stickers in my journal that say "Choose Happy!" and "Choose Joy!"  If it was that easy, why was it so hard for me to know which one I was?
2019 ended on a hard note for me.  My relationship with my mother was struggling which is why I started counseling.  My marriage was/is struggling.  Winter brought a lot of snow sooner than expected, with colder weather.  I am working from home and inside the house 98% of the time.  Even with my happy light and additional D3 vitamins, I know that my Seasonal Affective Disorder is in full cranky mode.  We (which included our dog, Charlie) have been under spiritual attack in our home, brought in by outside sources.  I spend more time praying for the rapture, any rapture than is probably healthy.  Had it really reached a point where I was just lukewarm about everything?
Happiness is an inside job.  We do, and can, choose to be happy.  We do, and can, choose to be sad, angry, unhappy.  I practice my breathing meditations now when I feel anger or frustration creeping into my thoughts, but is it enough?  I need to identify the moments when I feel happy and what I'm doing at the time.  I need to do more of it.
Bird watching.  Crafts.  Shopping for little surprises for my sisters and nieces.  Decorating.  Creating.
For being an inside job, it seems like my happy is mostly found outside of me.  With my senses.  What I see, what I hear, what I make.
Maybe I should have chosen "Create" as my word for the year.  Create joy.  Create happiness.  It seems to be working better for me than thrive has been so far.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

TbT ~ Hitting Bottom

I've been procrastinating this post for a good 24 hours now.  Not because I was trying to figure out how to make it sound perfect, but because I was trying to figure out which direction I wanted to go in from last week's post.  It would be so much easier to tell you where I am now in my life and give you a quick Cliff Notes version of how I got here.  But that wouldn't be completely honest, and sometimes the reason our journeys are so painful is so when we share them with others, they might be able to relate to the struggle.

How many times do we feel all alone in our lives, especially at times of great challenges?  How many times do we think that we are the only ones who have been through this?  That we are the only ones who feel like this?  We isolate ourselves because we think that no one else will understand, and we isolate ourselves because we feel shame about where we are, and how bad things have gotten.  We are embarrassed and afraid that we will be judged or condemned for our choices or our mistakes.

There will be people who do judge and condemn us because they think they are perfect and better than us.  They will believe that they would have made different choices, and maybe they might have.  But maybe they wouldn't.   We never know how we will face the storm until after it has passed.
It is when we hit bottom that we find out who we really are, and Who is always with us.  There is nothing in life that He has not already faced for us.  Nothing that He does not understand.  No choice we make that He will not walk through with us, or forgive us for.

My bottom came with joblessness, car repossession, fear of foreclosure eviction, anger, hunger, a cancer scare, loss of a cherished pet, walking miles to look for work, depression, being shunned by family and friends, lies, manipulation, shame, and embarrassment.

This is what I learned when I hit bottom...
  • I thought I was alone, but I wasn't. 
  • I thought I had nothing to live for, but I was wrong.  
  • I thought the hurt would never stop, but I healed. 
  • I thought that things would never get better, but they did.  
  • I thought that I could never forgive, and then I realized how much I had been forgiven. 
  • I thought that I could never love, and then I realized how much I was loved.
I was loved and forgiven before I was ever born for sins I never imagine I would do.   The moment I realized that was the moment my life changed forever.   Not just my life changed, but my marriage changed, and my husband changed.  Once I surrendered everything ... I was given everything and more than I ever imagined I would have.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

wandering ~ WoW

Words for Wednesday is a moveable feast of participants. Each month the prompts ~ words, pictures, themes, or even phrases are provided by someone new. The aim of the words is to encourage us to write. A story, a poem, whatever comes to mind. This month the words will be provided by River on her Drifting Through Life blog.

Another week of words suitable for stretching my creative wordsmithing.
That rapturous time of sewing words into a rhyme or story that chills.
"The creature smeared the hot blood across its face,
as it began to snuffle across the dark basement floor looking for another piece of its latest victim."
I place a bookmark in my journal for today's entry,
hungry for another scoop of pecan praline ice cream,
topped with chopped up pieces of a snickers bar.
I start a blog posting of a funny thing that my cats did,
then become distracted by watching the last of the birds at my feeders as twilight sets in.
My brain at times acts like it is part of a small espionage team,
hiding the reason I walked into a room, as I look for some kind of synchronicity
to remind me that ice cream to cool my feisty annoyance was my goal.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

TbT ~ Seek and Ye Shall Find

When you start looking for perfection, you may eventually come to the realization that very little in life that is perfect. Even those things that we label as being perfect, often have flaws in them that we call “unique imperfections” as a way of still keeping that word “perfect” in them still. If you were to really look at the Mona Lisa, you might find a stray brush stroke that seems out of place, but adds to the mystique of her smile. If you looked at the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the imperfect fading and inescapable cracks that have come with time now add a precious awareness of the effort that was spent painting the ceiling and the painstaking methods that Michelangelo took to create an irreplaceable canvas of love. Did he think at the time that it would last as long as it has? Or was he aware of the fragility of life? If he knew that it would last for centuries and be treasured and admired by millions, do you think he might have painted it differently?

As we grow older, we find that our memories of events, people, or things sometimes change because our perception has changed. What we might have called the worst day in our lives when we were 21, will suddenly become the best day, or a “perfect” day when we are 41 or 61. It changes because we can see more of the pieces that fit together in that puzzle of life.

In 2006, five years after the divorce to my abuser, he reached out to tell me that I had been the love of his life and we should have had children together like I had wanted to. This from the man who verbally, emotionally, psychologically and occasionally sexually abused me for almost eleven years before I found the courage and self-esteem to leave him. I had in the early days of our relationship talked about having a child together, but by our second anniversary would pray each month that I wasn’t pregnant. I took my birth control pills religiously because I knew that one day I was going to have to run. I didn’t want any reason for him to hunt me down and kill me as he threatened to do if we ever had children and I tried to leave. While we were together, I never seemed to be able to do anything right. I couldn’t cook. I couldn’t clean. I was too fat. I was ugly. I repulsed him. I was stupid and “a brain sucker would starve to death on your head” (an actual quote of what he would say to me at times). I would be a horrible mother. I read books too fast. I didn’t know how to decorate.

My memories of him never changed, but apparently, his of me did.

When we slow down long enough to look back at how we got here, the road is always so much clearer. Would I change any of those “imperfect” days? No. The pain of those days, the hurt, and the lessons … were all just growing pains to make me who I am today. They prepared me to be this person, right here, right now, to be more compassionate, more understanding, more forgiving, and so far from being perfect that it is what has made me a better wife and a better Christian.

If we spend our days searching for perfection that doesn’t exist, don’t we waste what time we have with those that we love? When we realize that our time on earth is short, will we give ourselves a V-8 smack on the head and say “Gosh darn, I wish I had found that perfect person … had that perfect life … built the perfect house … drove the perfect car….” Or will you think, and pray, “Oh, please forgive me for my wrongs. I wish I had apologized for more, hurt fewer people, loved and forgave more.”

Forgiveness isn’t just ours to receive; it is also something that is ours to give. Love isn’t just ours to receive; it is also something that is ours to give. The two of them are so intertwined that it is impossible to love without forgiving, and impossible to forgive without loving.

When I finally learned that, I was on my face at the bottom of a very dark place in my life. I thought that I had nothing left. I had nothing to take, and nothing to give. I didn’t think I had any reason to go on. I had lost everything that I thought was important in life.

It was only then that I found out what was really important, and what perfect love and forgiveness were.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

drooling ~ WoW

     Words for Wednesday is a moveable feast of participants. Each month the prompts ~ words, pictures, themes, or even phrases are provided by someone new. The aim of the words is to encourage us to write. A story, a poem, whatever comes to mind. This month the words will be provided by River on her Drifting Through Life blog.

I watch the clock as the hour nears,
the thought of hot pizza nearly brings me to tears.

I shift and fidget in my chair,
I'm almost tempted to pull out my hair!

My stomach growls, the doorbell rings,
I jump from my seat as my stomach sings!

Then it happened and was such a sad case
in my hurry to answer, I broke my favorite vase!

That's what I get, for racing down the stairs,
Where I will get another, I'm just unawares!

It was quite unique, made with a chainsaw
A bear in a tutu, with a lace bra!

The derelict that made it was really quite skilled
I have no doubt there isn't anything he couldn't build.

Carving the wood like it was buttery silk
With the creativity of a beautiful quilt.

But what am I saying, what is this bedlam?
Just give me my pizza, hand over the ham!!

Friday, February 7, 2020

TGIF

I love Fridays that are like an impromptu Christmas!
No bills in the mail today, but PACKAGES!!!!
 First was a pair of blue-blocking glasses for my computer work that I hope will both help my (one good) eye and help me to sleep at night.  Found them on Amazon!
 Next was my Work Home Happy subscription box with all kinds of goodies!
 Finally, this super cute card from my brother and his family, and .....
this ADORABLE movie poster for A Dog's Way Home which shall soon be watching me with those sweet puppy eyes from a wall in my office!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

TbT ~ Looking for Love in ALL the Wrong Places

By the time I turned 45 in 2007, I had been married and divorced three times. My child-bearing window in time had been slammed and nailed shut… or more aptly phrased… removed. I was reeling from the death of my Dad, and the unfortunate, dysfunctional family feuds and drama that sometimes accompanies settling an estate. I had decided I was just going to turn into a crazy cat and dog hoarder, and one day when I had failed to show up for work, they would find me dead in my bed with my face chewed off by my cats.

Okay. Maybe that was a little too graphic. 

But I had given up on ever finding the “perfect” man because I realized he just didn’t exist, any more than somewhere out there is a “perfect” woman who hasn’t been nipped, tucked, and botoxed until she had more silicone in her than Silicon Valley.

Instead, I found my comfort in unwisely spending my inheritance by taking two Christmas trips to Europe, flying my Mom and me to Arizona for a family reunion, visiting a cousin in Alaska for a week in the summer and again for the following Christmas. I helped build a house for a local wounded veteran, bought and contributed items to silent auctions raising funds for other veterans, and paid for a Christmas condo on the beach for the same wounded vet and his family as we finished building their home. I donated to dog rescue organizations and the local Humane Society, and sent several large boxes of toys and treats to Military Working Dog teams I sponsored in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I practiced a hundred or more random acts of kindness by paying the bill for a random restaurant table every time I went out to eat … which was two or three times a week.  The wait staff would come to me when they had found someone deserving and it became something that every employee looked forward to.  An elderly couple celebrating their 50th anniversary and the wife had to cut up her husband's food and feed him because of a stroke.  A single mom with three young children celebrating a birthday.  A table of military members having one last night out before half of them deployed.  Two social workers trying to cheer up after a difficult week taking children from abusive parents and putting them in foster care.  Police officers out for lunch.  

I lived large as if I had my own personal money tree or at least a genie in a bottle somewhere.  I was looking for that "perfect" love in money, property, and prestige.  I made a list of qualities that I was looking for in a life mate because I thought that if there truly was a man who could check off everything on that list he would be worth risking my heart again.  But that list was impossible, unattainable, and with unreasonable qualities that I knew no one could ever fill because I had been so hurt and was so afraid to put my heart out there again.  I had decided I would never marry again ... three strikes and I was out of the game.

All of the random acts of kindness, and generous donations I made ... anonymous.  The meals I paid for at the restaurant were under the condition that none of the staff revealed who paid.  The house for the veteran, and the beach condo for Christmas ... anonymous.  I even made sure that I wouldn't be in town for the big reveal in case someone slipped and pointed me out.

In truth though, I was so incredibly lonely.  I was hiding from everyone, and not wanting to hide at all.  I didn't know what to do.  There was a hole in my heart that I didn't know how to fill.  I had finally started to like myself, but I didn't know yet how to love myself.  I wanted so much to love, to be loved, to be in love ... and didn't know what it looked like or what it felt like.

Fortunately for me, there was One who knew what it was and knew what perfect love was.  It would take me losing everything to finally learn what it felt like to be loved.

What I learned, however, from those few years when I thought I had it all was this...
  • The bigger the hole in your heart, the harder it is to fill it with things.  It seemed like the more things I bought, the more I spent on others ... the bigger that hole in me got.  I was like Sisyphus pushing that stone up the hill, only to see it roll back down again.
  • The friends you think you have when you have it all are seldom real friends that you can count on.  They are just there for the ride, for the fun, for the food and when the tide turns and everything is gone ... they will be too.  True friends will be there in the bad as well as the good.  They will be the friends that don't want anything from you at all, the ones who show up after the ride is over, when the sink is filled with dirty dishes, and they will roll up their sleeves and help you wash.
  • The only time money can ever buy love and friendship is if you spend it on a puppy or kitten.  If you want love from someone, start by loving yourself.  If you want friendship from someone, start by being a friend to yourself.  Treat yourself like you want others to treat you.  If you don't love yourself, how will anyone else?  If you aren't your own best friend, how will you know how to be a friend to anyone else?   Take care of yourself first.  My Aunt often tells us ... "Remember what they tell you on every single airplane flight.  Put your own oxygen mask on first, before you help anyone next to you."

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

yawning on WoW ...

     Words for Wednesday is a moveable feast of participants. Each month the prompts ~ words, pictures, themes, or even phrases are provided by someone new. The aim of the words is to encourage us to write. A story, a poem, whatever comes to mind. This month the words will be provided by River on her Drifting Through Life blog.



Weighted blankets help me to sleep.
Oh, wait, that's Charlie! Sneaking up without a peep!

Who is that striding across my back?
Lucy Magillicutty, who thinks I'm a soft nap sack!

I stretch, I twist, I mutter hocus-pocus,
No wonder my morning eyes are so hard to focus!

Sluggishly I make my morning brew,
one heaping scoop, nope, better make it two.

What's this I see in my email box?  A comparative study on sleep that is lost?
I don't need to know more than I already do, into the trash bin it's tossed!

I pull out my prayer notebook and jot down a line,
oh please, Lord, tonight let me sleep just fine!

I love all the fur-kids into my home I did bring,
but at times with my sleep, they're ruining everything!

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Inconceivable! ~ WoW

Words for Wednesday is a moveable feast of participants. Each month the prompts ~ words, pictures, themes, or even phrases are provided by someone new.  The aim of the words is to encourage us to write. A story, a poem, whatever comes to mind. This month the words have been supplied by Mark Koopmans and posted on Elephant Child's blog.    And a frustrating side note... I had the first five words completed the other night and then a glitch happened and I lost it all.  Grrrrr!  It haunted my dreams last night!  I'm wrapping up the past five Wednesdays with a perspective from the female police detective, Angela.

     A knock on Detective Angela Garcia's office door startled her, and she slammed her laptop shut.  It never failed when she was doing something to relax and distract her mind from a case that she was interrupted.  This time she was seriously considering a splurge on a pair of Jimmy Choo Teja Embellished Suede d'Orsay Pumps.  Innocent sounding enough, but if any of the officers under her had seen the hefty $1,195 price tag on them, they might have wondered how she could afford them on a detective's salary.

     Usually, she would surf Instagram for cute kittens or puppies bonking each other on the nose in play.  It was something that would make her laugh, and she was less worried about being found out for watching them than she was for shoe shopping.

     "Yes?  What is it?"
     "You wanted to be notified if we had any new leads, ma'am.  We may have a lead on the killer."
     "Really?  Where did it come from?"
     "One of the veteran officers recalled a case from about 20 years ago that involved some kids.  There had been a history of molestation of the kids for years with various step-fathers, and with the last husband we thought the wife had killed him and then OD'd when she caught him molesting the youngest boy.  She'd had a daughter that committed suicide a few years prior and we think it was just too much for her to deal with after she realized it was happening again."

     A tap on her office door window drew her attention and the officer outside the window lifted a plate with a large slice of lasagne on it.  Angela nodded and the officer opened the door and set the plate on her desk in front of her before backing out and closing the door behind him.  Lasagne.  If there was ever a more perfect food, it was simply inconceivable!

     "So what about that case links it to these three murder victims?"
     "We found evidence of child porn on all three of their computers and there were various complaints and restraining orders against them.  That hysterical ex-wife of the Douglas Avenue victim said that her ex had molested their kids and nearly beat her to death when she confronted him about it.  When she had him arrested, the judge overturned the ruling on the last restraining order and dropped the charges when the wife and kids disappeared and didn't show for court.  Turns out the three of the victims and the judge all knew each other from some support group for adults who had been molested themselves as children."
     "And the link to the old case?"
     "The oldest boy, Peter, always seemed a little off to one of his social workers, and when he aged out of the foster care system they kept in touch occasionally with cards at the holidays just to catch up on his life.  The social worker always encouraged him to find a support group even tho there was never any evidence that he himself had been molested, just the younger kids.  When they exchanged cards this past Christmas, it turns out Peter had come back to the DC area."
     "Do you think the kid is good for it?"
     "Peter's not much of a kid anymore.  Mid-30's now.  In and out of homeless shelters.  Shelters he stayed at kept turning him out and banning him from the premises because he had issues with molesters and pedophiles."
     "Don't we all?"
     "Not like he did.  He got caught one night trying to set fire to the crotch of a man who had a record and who attended one of the meetings the other three victims had attended.  Fortunately for the guy, the fire was extinguished before any serious damage was done."
     "Aren't those meetings supposed to be anonymous?"
     "Not if they are court-ordered."
     "So we've got three dead men, a judge, and a possible suspect who all attended the same meeting for adult survivors of child molestations.  Does it look like the suspect was hunting men who had become molesters after being molested themselves?"
     "Maybe.  The meeting was the only connection between all of them, and we've got nothing that says the suspect was ever molested himself.  The officer who was the first responder to the house he lived in as a kid made a note in the report that there was something suspicious about how step-father died, that he didn't think the wife had killed him but maybe the oldest boy and suggested that the two previous step-fathers should be found and interviewed."
      "Were they?"
      "They were never found.  The wife claimed that they left her and was able to get divorced from them after a time claiming they abandoned her."
      "Any neighbors interviewed about the family situation?"
      "Well, that was a little difficult at the time.  They were living in the south back then, in Louisana and Mississippi, and those areas have their own kind of ebonics that is a mix of Creole, English, and redneck that made it nearly impossible to understand what they were saying unless you speak it yourself."
     "Hmm.  So where is this guy now?"
     "In the morgue."
     "What?!?!"
     "Apparently the last guy that he tried to do his own twisted sense of justice on was more than he bargained for.  A biker that went by the name of Truemellow.  Drove a Harley Dresser and worked as a trucker.  He'd take his bike with him as cargo when he traveled.  We're still trying to figure out everything that happened.  Peter was doing some odd jobs for Marley's Superior Interiors in Arlington, hanging wallpaper.  The two of them met at the meeting, and something he said made Peter suspicious that Truemellow was also an abuser.  There was a fight after the meeting and Peter got stabbed in the heart.  He was dead before he hit the ground."
     "And Truemellow?"
     "Critical but doc thinks he will survive.  We've tracked him back and forth across the country with assaults in nearly every city he made deliveries.  Waiting now on DNA matches from victims and him."
     "Yikes.  What a messy case.  Anything that can confirm that Peter met any of the victims outside of the meeting?"
     "Actually, yes.  An uber driver named Gerald who called in a welfare check on his neighbor.  Said one of his fares was really weird and had stalked him, trapping him in his home for over a week before he felt safe enough to leave.  He confirmed a photo ID of Peter was the guy who had hired him and showed us his fare records that confirmed he dropped Peter off at every murder site."
     "You don't think that the two of them were working together?"
     "No.  This guy had solid alibis with other fares that took him away from the murders long before the corner's times of death for them all.  He said Peter gave him the creeps and so stopped taking his calls.  Peter then showed up at his house wanting to be let in.  The neighbor came over to find out what was going on when he saw Peter snooping around windows, and for whatever reason felt inclined to invite Peter over to his own home."
     "You talk to the neighbor?"
     "When officers broke in the front door after all attempts to contact him for a few days after Gerald's welfare call, they found enough blood for the corner to confirm that there was no way the guy survived whatever happened to him.  But no sign of the guy at all.  The house was just covered in blood, and it didn't look like Peter made any attempt to clean it up.  It looks like he might have actually been staying there for a few days.  Mail and newspapers brought into the house indicate he was there up until the day he died.  The neighbor's car was found outside of the meeting, so Peter must have been using it like it was his own."
     "I guess we should count ourselves lucky that karma has a way of taking care of things on its own.  Well, let me finish this lunch.  Write up your report and let me take a look at it before you finalize it."
     "Yes, ma'am."