Monday, May 24, 2010

Brutality of travel

Just to let you know what it took for me to get from Korea to Oklahoma, I am laying out my travel itinerary.

Saturday May 22
12:00noon 20 minute cab ride from base to Gunsan bus terminal

12:30pm 3 hour bus ride from Gunsan to Seoul bus terminal (which is the size of a smaller airport!)

3:30pm 30 minute cab ride from Seoul bus terminal to Dragon Hill Lodge

Sunday May 23
7:00am wake up .... this would be 5:00pm Saturday evening CDT

8:30am 1 hour bus ride from Dragon Hill Lodge to Seoul Incheon airport.

9:30am check in at the airline, get through security and wait for my 12:10pm flight

12:10pm 3 hour flight to Tokyo

5:00pm 10 hour turbulent flight to Los Angeles (this arrives into Los Angeles at 3:00pm Sunday afternoon PDT)

5:00pm After almost missing my connection in spite of a 2 hour connection time, I make my 3 hour flight to Oklahoma City arriving at 5:40 pm Sunday afternoon.

So after more than 24 hours of traveling I have made it back to the town where I grew up right outside of Oklahoma City. My voice has come and gone several times over this trip.

Mary, Danica, and Brendon

Mary, Danica, and Brendon

Mary and Erik

Me and my critter, Brendon!!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I came to the hard decision to leave Korea and head back to the states.  I have decided to go back to the states and stay with my son, Brendon and his roommate (and my extra kid) Erik.   Plus I am close by my parents, sister, nieces, friends, etc.  I know that I have been in a terribly dark place for a couple of weeks now.  So off I go to play with a bunch of 21 year olds and to get back to blogging, writing and taking pictures!! IMG_0508 The Yellow Sea off the coast at Gunsan.  The seawall has these stacks of giant concrete “jacks.”

NEXT ORDER of BUSINESS!!! I have let one birthday slip by me and another birthday is upon me!!!
My adorable niece, Kaitlyn turned 15 on May 12th and her mom, my sister, Tammy, has a birthday today May 21st.
I would like to take a moment to tell you a story.  My family is from Oklahoma City, it’s where I grew up and I still consider it home even though I am globe trotting currently.   My sister was eight months pregnant with Kaitlyn and having some complications in her pregnancy.  My brother-in-law was a Deputy Sherriff and working at the courthouse downtown.  It was April 19, 1995.  The courthouse is located right next door to the Alfred P. Murrah building.  The site of the devastating bombing.  The phone lines were immediately jammed and I was the first person my sister could actually reach by phone.  Even though, I was working I raced to be by her side because we didn’t know her husband’s status due to all the confusion.  I couldn’t imagine not being right by her side, I couldn’t imagine what she was going thru not knowing about her husband.  She was also trying to remain calm due to her delicate condition.  It was in those moments of not knowing and feeling hopeless and helpless that I realized just how blessed I was to have a sister.  I had someone that I can always cling to if I should need to.  Even now though we are miles apart, we usually talk daily and are very involved in each other’s lives.  I am grateful to say that my family came through that horrific event unscathed.  My brother-in-law was fine, just doing his duty amidst the chaos.  My niece was born healthy and happy a few short weeks later. Fifteen years have passed since that day and it has left a permanent scar on my hometown. I know families that lost loved ones, lost their children and it breaks my heart.  But I can also say that it taught me to appreciate my family and my loved ones more!
Kaitlyn, Happy 15th Birthday girly!! Ta, Happy Birthday!! I miss you both and will be home soon!!! Dinner is on me..we will let Kaitlyn pick! I love you both very very very much! Due to my travel status I am sad to admit that I do not have pictures readily available so I will make an effort take some and put them up ASAP!!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Back on the map………

So you’ve noticed that I’ve been sporadic at best lately.  Well, I told you that I had an awful visit with that bad boyfriend ‘Pain.’  What’s worse than a bad boyfriend on an extended visit? His Mother!! Yep, this time the jerk brought his mom ‘Depression!’ She’s the type that would be the world’s worst Mother-in-law if you were stupid enough to marry the jerk.  So in an attempt to keep myself sane I armed myself!!!
This looks like a pile of stuff and truthfully it is.  However I will explain it all to you! During the darkest moment, my computer (located on the bottom of this stack) died.  Ok, it didn’t really die but I could only get it to boot in safe mode!! ACK!!! I cannot survive without my computer.  I called Toshiba. They said it sounds like a motherboard issue.  You’ve got to be kidding right?!?! This will be the second motherboard in less than a year that I have killed!
Luckily I was able to get a huge brand new Dell to play with until I am able to get my Toshiba fixed.

IMG_0299Now, where were we….oh yes! Other depression necessities.  Cosmo, I don’t think this needs any explanation. My Wii because I can’t stand or sit for long periods.  It keeps me entertained doing both.  DVD Movies, tv shows because American TV programming is weak at best.  However, it is worse in Korea, if you can believe that! Lidoderm patches!! I want to kiss the man that invented these things.  My base tour book, so that I could dream about the tours that I can take when I feel better.  I canceled two during my abyss. ‘Harold’ a great read written by a friend, who mentioned me during his radio interview.  This was the highlight of my abyss.  Then my crowning glory on the top of that stack my new Dell!!
IMG_0317 So I wake today in a slighty brighter world.  Ponytail holders, blankets and sweats have given way to a long hot showers complete with razor usage!!!  I am starting to think that maybe I can find my way out of this. Oh my, I do believe that was a positive thought!  Watch out Pain and Depression!! I do believe I hear my curb calling you! After the shower, it’s time for some ME time.  Great lotion, make up, hair and even a pedicure!  How can you not love fun toenail polish?1?!? I have even traded my adored Lady Gaga for a few tunes that wouldn’t typically be on my playlist. I have friend to thank for some fresh music! Yep…I’ll be back soon!!! Now the trash man just needs to pick up the trash on my curb quick, it’s getting smelly!


Swirling Mixture of Confusion.........

So the past week or so has really taken its toll on me. I have been left wandering in the midst of nowhere with no map or compass to guide me. Just after our fake attack, my back really began to hurt. So I nursed it back to help and it is not completely pain free but I can at least walk across the floor with out falling to my knees in pain. Being stuck inside for so long do to the attack and then my back has left me wide up for the depression to come roaring back to life. Kick in a little lack of activity due to above reasons and one can eaily find themselves lost in the middle of nowhere with no way out.

This is my truth. I am depressed because I am in pain. I am in pain because being depressed makes me more mindful of my aches. I have checked on several occasions and I am certain that I am miserable. But I find myself not knowing how to find my way back out of the forest this time. It's almost like I would rather sit here and stew in my own misery, rather than working at making it better. It has become quite easy for me to fault in everything and everyone. The girl who normally wears rose colored glasses is no more in her place a gothic shell of who I was before.

Then to make matters just a bit worse, it seems that the motherboard on my laptop has probably gone bad. So I now much pack up my computer and send it unto Toshiba. Thank God it is still under waranty.

I am trying to claw my way back to the surface but I am not sure I can.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kieron Connolly………

Every now and again, someone comes into your life at the right time and for the right reasons.  They manage to say the words that you need to hear, when you are capable of hearing them. The Irish writer, Kieron Connolly, has been one of these brilliant people in my life.  I adored the prospect of being able to read a book and discuss its contents with the author.  There was an ease to our friendship that allowed me to completely speak my truth about the what I had discovered in the pages of his books.  If my commentary on his books were completely off base, the poise with which he carries himself allowed him to accept my opinion as honest interpretation of his works. 
I personally find that Kieron’s writing is more than words on the surface of pages in a novel.  It digs deeper into how wounded, broken people discover their own redeeming humanity. It also reminds me that all of us are subject to the failings of human nature.  We all do or have done things which we wish we shouldn’t have.  At the least, there are things that we were too afraid to do that we wish we should have.   Glorious mistakes Kieron called them today, as he found himself the guest of an Irish radio program. 
When one stops to take stock in their own life they will discover that, typically, they have learned a great deal more from their mistakes.   Getting it right teaches us nothing.  We learn quickest by trying and failing.  Heaven knows I have made my fair share of mistakes and I am nowhere near done making them either.  It doesn’t matter how many tries it takes for me to get it right.  I only need to get it right once for it to count.  Kieron thank you for sharing with us, with the world, your marvelous view of what a twisted, wreck humanity can be.   For it is through that mess, that we are able to find our own comfort in being ok with who we are. 
Kieron, I am blessed to have found not only compassion in your words; but faith through our friendship. Thank you for being brilliant and telling the truth about us, as humans. 
Kieron Connolly’s latest book “Harold” is available at Jillbeck Books.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

An attack and that boyfriend……

I know it has been a while since I posted.  My strong apologies. That bad boyfriend, Pain, came for an unannounced visit and he overstayed his welcome.  I ran away with him and we stayed in seclusion, just the two of us.  I must admit, I did drugs with him.  He made me want to do drugs.  The kind of drugs that make one unable to make sense of the world.  Instead of attempting to ignore his visit, I succumbed to his charms and he consumed my life.  I am starting again to see that he is unwelcome and that I must, once again, break his heart.  Its a task I must do in order to reclaim the life that I once had.
During his visit, I got to experience something terribly interesting.  It would also be very humorous if it wasn’t interrupting time with my boyfriend, Pain.  I knew that we would be subject to military exercises or drills over here.  There is just nothing that can prepare you for a situation such as this. It started out easily enough.  On Monday while scurrying down the hall,  I ran smack into a battle ready airman complete with gun!  So that is not terribly unusual living on a military installation. But Tuesday morning all the fun began.  Oh and what fun it was!! I had just woken when the air raid sirens began to wail.   The obligatory message was pumped through the loudspeakers indicating that this was a drill and various other details.  Then soon, the sound of fake bombs.  Yep, fake bombs.   Now I will also explain that we live very close to the runway so we get to hear the inevitable roar of jet engines coming and going.  Combine the planes with this new fake assault and it’s enough to make one go quite mad.  Another interesting factor to add to all this, I was not allowed to leave the dorm without first donning protective gear.  And since I had no protective gear; alas, I went nowhere.  Thank God for the internet and a library with stocked with free movie rentals. I was able to entertain myself inside with very little problems. 
I have managed to escape from the our fake assault; but this feeling of angst has truly been following me.  I can’t quite seem to shake it, who knows.  In due time, this too shall pass.