Julie in Michigan

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Monday, August 15, 2011

She had flowers in her hair

The bride was beautiful with her blond hair brimming with flower petals. Her long trailing white wedding gown was accented with pale pink and lavender tie-dye, prominent in the train. The bride and groom both glowed from the prevalence of sweetness in the air.

A bounty of natural foods complimented the barbecued brisket, with a variety of colorful salads brimming with the locally grown produce which is being harvested aplenty this summer in Michigan. Sugar cookies shaped like mari-leaves were tie-dyed to match the guests.

Everyone had smiles on their faces and harmony in their hearts, fellowship was in the air, sharing and caring.

The ceremony proceeded flawlessly with hand-written vows and spectators galore, all holding digital cameras and smart phones. Without the technology, we could have been arriving in Volkswagon vans and using Instamatic cameras. Attendees were asked to wear tie-dye and bring a pot-luck dish. Most complied with the request and those that didn’t were colorful in alternative fashion!

Sitting at the long dining table of smiling faces in the most colorful attire, sharing the natural bounty, I thought for a moment I had been transported back to the sixties. It was the epitome of hippidome.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I didn’t leave Texas yet, I’m still here in Abilene. I think there is some kind of weird psychic energy about this place that magnetizes those that step into its bounds and holds us… not uncomfortably as much as uncommonly. Dallas held me for a long time with a great social life, although it gave me plenty of room to leave and return with much travel in between. Lake Orion in Michigan definitely held me by its unique charm and beauty. Southwest Michigan retains a silver thread of connection with friendships and home to many of my worldly treasures. But, here I am, still in Abilene.

When I arrived at the end of February, I was ill. I don’t get sick very often and I really couldn’t tell you what was wrong with me this winter, other than symptoms, the overriding one being that I just couldn’t get my energy back. Dallas had finally allowed the doors to close behind me and left me free to explore other regions for a new home. I know not everyone opens the door to change as much as I do, but its part of my nature.

So, I’ve been here four months. Many things have come together for me and life is promising much sweetness. True, the times they are achanging and much turbulence is visible in the world. But I think the final votes haven’t been cast and the winds could still blow in a different direction. I’m going to remain hopeful. In the meantime, life is good.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

This too shall pass~

I left my home in Michigan just before my 30th birthday. I had been planning the move for six months. I loaded my Ford Mustang with everything I thought I’d need to setup a home for two children and myself. I was heading to Texas for the first time in my life. I’d been reading the classifieds, print at that time, which had been sent to me by my brother who was already there – in Houston. I was going to Dallas. I had interviews ready for my arrival and a friend who had been there for only a few months herself.

I was leaving my Mother and it was breaking her heart that I was going and taking my children with me. She had helped take care of those children since their births as I worked and went to school with hopes of a career in computers.

I don’t know if you watched the HBO series Six Feet Under or not, but it was one of my favorites. All five seasons are available by DVD. Many episodes are memorable and I’ve watched all five seasons from start to finish again in addition to the original. The seasonal finale brought everything to together and as I watched it the first time, my reaction is still the same to watch it today, the tears stream down my face.

The series begins with the death of the father and every episode begins with a death. The family run business is a funeral home which the two sons take over running after their father's passing. The story line includes the arrangements of the deceased and the interactions and relationships of the family as they all live upstairs over the funeral home.

Unlike many televised series, starring members of the family and friends die during the series. They do not disappear from the show, rather we know they are dead and they remain visible at times to various family members and occasionally speak to some.

The series finale features Claire leaving home to pursue a career in New York, as she drives across the desert the future flashes as the next 80 years pass and all members of the family age and die. We all have but a temporary interlude here. The final vision for each is a visual of a loved one who has already gone on to the other side.

I have always identified with Claire in this last episode as I left Michigan 30 years ago, driving for three days to arrive in Dallas where I created a life and career. My children grew and married and created families of their own and now great grandchildren. While I was gone, time passed and many of the loved ones I left behind aged and left this world.

Two years ago I returned to Michigan to bury one of the more significant ones, my ex-husband. I stayed to go through his home and clean up and finish all his worldly business. I found parts of myself that I had left behind that had been treasured by him in those years. I wondered many times as I went through his belongings what my life would have been like if I’d stayed. With great sadness, I knew that for my own personal growth I had made the right decision.

Now, I am in Texas, preparing to leave to go west. Plans were made while I was finishing in Michigan, I’d said good bye for a while to my family there and stopped in Texas to visit my daughter. I thought it would be a short visit but it turned into three months. She and her husband had been having some difficulties and were considering whether to stay together to finish raising their four sons or to split their family now. This place in Texas is well suited for them to complete their job and I think they’ve decided to work it out. My job here is done although I could stay; it’s not a place that’s well suited to me.

A week from Monday I will be packed and heading off on another thousand mile journey across the country to place I’ve never been. Hopes and dreams packed along with my clothes, I’m traveling solo and I know that as I leave to pursue a life in another new city, time will pass; my daughter and her family will grow and go their own ways. I won’t be here to see it. There will be visits but not the same as Sunday get-togethers.

I watched the season finale again today and the tears stream down my eyes as I once again identify with Claire driving across the desert, leaving her family behind, pursuing a new life apart from them, and knowing that those that passed are waiting for me on the other side.

Watch it~

Be ready with your kleenex!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why Vegas?

Marc is already in Vegas. We’ve been planning to live in the same city at the same time for awhile. He’s a family member that I met about ten years ago for the first time. As you can guess we’re part of a large family, spread out across the US.

Marc’s an Artist and he’s currently working as a Tatoo Apprentice in Vegas. He’s airbrushed t-shirts for Disney and Knotts Berry Farm, murals and motorcycles. How does that tie-in with what I do? Anybody's guess and the sky is the limit. I know a little, and sometimes more, about a lot of things.

I’m going with an open mind. I truly love the nitpickyness of programming – I was a COBOL programmer in a former life and now I do websites and blog. We’ll see what happens as I get ready to depart Abilene and head west.

If you’re wondering how I ended up in Abilene, I’ll tell you that I only came for a visit since my daughter and her family are here, but she wanted me to stay. I think she was actually just going through a challenging time and it looks like that all got settled down and she and her husband are going to work things out.

I’ve been here for about 3 months and that’s long enough for me to know that I won’t get into any trouble here in Abilene and that’s just a little too peaceful for me. I spent that last two years in my home state of Michigan and before that lets just say, Dallas primarily with temporary contracts in states from Alaska to Florida.

I plan to keep you posted as I get ready to leave here in about ten days. Lots of last minute preparations and planning for the unknown.

Countdown to Vegas

I’m in Abilene, TX, preparing to leave in about ten days. I’ll be heading for Las Vegas for the first time. I’m not a gambler nor a drinker so we’ll see what other trouble I can get into.