O is for Ocean

OIt all started with our road trip to Myrtle Beach, SC, by way of Shreveport and Atlanta. We headed out around midnight and stopped at 5am to gamble for a few hours at the casino in Shreveport. After a free breakfast buffet, we took our winnings and got back on the highway. We hit Atlanta just as the morning rush hour was starting and we got lost as we cruised around looking for the Fulton County Stadium so Brian, an avid and almost maniacal baseball fan, could say he’d seen the stadium where the Atlanta Braves won the 1995 World Series.  

We finally reached Myrtle Beach. We settled in to our ocean front room, showered and, because we’d been on the road for two days, crashed hard. The next morning we got up early and hit the beach.

Brian had never been to an east coast beach and it had been years since I’d been in Myrtle Beach. The day welcomed us with sunshine and balmy breezes and the ocean waves beckoned us with promises of fun and adventure. We goofed around in the water for quite a while then both of us got quiet and we just laid back and let the water wash over us, yielding to the push and pull of the waves.  

There’s something so enchanting about the ocean water and the weightlessness that you feel as the waves lift and transport you. Brian says being in the ocean water feels like God has his arms around him.

I don’t know how much time had passed as I floated, scanning the expansive horizon and the far off waves, which glittered like diamonds in the sun’s beams. I turned to say something to Brian and was immediately overwhelmed to see how far I was from the shore. At the time I hadn’t realized it, but I was about 1/8th of a mile away from the shoreline, a little more than the length of two football fields. I started to panic, and the more I panicked, the farther out the waves took me. I yelled to Brian. He hadn’t noticed how far out I had drifted either. He could see the fear in my face and hear it in my voice. He kept telling me, “Just go with the waves. When the wave comes in, swim into it and let it bring you closer. I’m coming to get you. Just stay calm.”

It seemed like forever before he finally got to me. But he did and as soon as I fell into his arms I felt safe. I knew he’d bring me all the way back in. And he did. Just in time for a big wave to swipe the glasses off his face! Then it was my turn to rescue him. I took him by the hand and led him back to our hotel; he couldn’t see even mere inches in front of him. Of course it was the weekend and we had to wait until Monday morning to go see an optician and get him a new pair of glasses. 

It was definitely a vacation where we learned the formidability of the great ocean and we both came away with deep reverence for its power.

The respect which I had always held for the ocean deepened to an awe of its tremendous deception. The ocean is a world foreign to the one that I’ve so self-confidently navigated on land. It moves to its own rules and is merciful to none. What happened to me sounds like such a tiny little incident in comparison to what others have experienced in the great depths of the ocean blue, but it was enough for me to admit complete inferiority and bow down to its great might. It also gave me trepidation to enter its world again. I may walk a short distance into the salt water but I’m way more comfortable sitting on the shore and admiring it from afar…

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Tell me your ocean stories…

Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. Photos by Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.

N is for Napping

N

 

 

 

Well, I was going to do my N post about my New Deck,

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but who really cares about that besides me? So then I was trying to figure out what N word I wanted to write about when in fact all I really wanted to do was take a NAP. Well, there ya go.

There’s always a lot of napping going on around here. I enjoy taking a good nap like anyone else, but there are a few here who have turned it into an art form. Take a look:

 So, take yourself a little break from the A-Z Challenge and grab a good nap! That’s what I’m doing. See ya on the flip side…

Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.

M is for Monte Carlo

MI CAN’T DRIVE 55 – A Love Affair with My Monte Carlo©

My first car: a ’71 Monte Carlo. A 350 4-barrel dual exhaust blue beauty that could do zero to sixty in 4.9 seconds. Always washed and waxed, the wheels shined and the black hard-top glistened. The neighborhood cop dubbed me “the Blue Streak.” He told me once that he could always hear me coming (who couldn’t?) but just as he’d look up, he’d catch only a glimpse of sky-blue as I sped past and never quite managed to stop for the stop sign at the end of his street.

1971 Monte Carlo120-watt Jensen speakers blasted shades of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult. Iconic tunes blended with the haze of purple microdot, orange sunshine or the rainbow-color blotter of the day, accented of course by the sweet aroma of Colombian Gold.

rolling papers - E-Z Wider 1-1/2

A pack of EZ Widers rolling papers was always strategically wedged under the 8-track cartridge. It was the burnouts’ solution to control the ‘waah-waah’ drag of overplayed warped tape.

 

Nestled in the crook of the ashtray would be my favorite head-shop find: the Jimmy Carter roach clip. Our political declarations – or lack of them – spoke volumes as we passed around “Mr. Jimmy,” as he fondly became known… that presidential roach clip with a handily crafted resin peanut on the end, and liberally carved into it those famous Jimmy Carter lips and toothy grin.

With carefree spirits we’d cruise to various neighborhoods, making the rounds to support our friends and their garage bands.

We’d bar-hop nightly, jumping across county lines to catch the latest last-call. And we’d always make a final stop for breakfast at Sambo’s or Denny’s before rolling home at dawn.

The summer days were spent moving from party to party at Oppenheim Park: sitting atop weathered picnic tables, passing joints and vintage Power Hittersharing bottles of Mad Dog 20/20 MD 20/20 Pure Grape Wine  (how  ever did we drink that stuff??) while cases of Labatt’s Blue and six-packs of Miller ponies sat icing in the back of someone’s van.

We’d pass the cold months sitting parked in some dark lot, bundled up and huddled, with the Chevy’s heat blasting to assuage the bitter sub-zero temperatures of Buffalo winters. We’d trip and we’d smoke and we’d drink while we laughed and played and flirted and philosophized, listening to tracks of The Guess Who, Van Halen, AC/DC and Aerosmith.

And on those rare days when I wanted to be alone, my Monte Carlo satisfied my introspection. She and I would take to the wide open highway, barreling along aimlessly. Or we’d wind through back country roads, a joint in hand Vintage roach stone - marijuana leafand a chilled bottle of wine tucked in between the seats, usually not knowing quite where we’d end up…just content to be rolling.

Well, the seasons, they turned into years, and the years into decades and my Monte Carlo is long gone. But that car lives on forever in my heart. She was an extension of me, part of my identity really, somehow inextricably linked to my very soul. No doubt when friends look back on days gone by and happen to think of me, my Monte Carlo will spring to mind as well because, after all, she was so much a part of me. How I miss that car!

Tell me about your first car: Did you love it? Hate it? What memories does it hold for you?

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 Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.

L is for Limerick

LLimerick defined: a humorous rhyming poem of five lines. More specifically, Lines one, two and five should have between seven and ten syllables and rhyme with each other. Lines three and four should have between five and seven syllables and rhyme with each other.

The origin of the term is obscure, but a group of poets in County Limerick, Ireland, wrote limericks in Irish in the 18th century. The first collections in English date from c. 1820. Among the most famous are those in Edward Lear‘s Book of Nonsense (1846).

Here’s my feeble attempt at a limerick. Since I used to own a bar I thought I’d try one that might reflect a typical day there. Almost successful, but I went over by ONE syllable. It made me crazy and I finally gave up. I’ll call this “Limerick Plus One”  shamrock: dark green with lime highlight

There once was a woman who owned a bar

Patrons would come from near and far

Inside for jokes, out for tokes

Add beer for brawls and crazy folks.

Kapow! Thwack! Now that’s going to leave a scar.

So yeah, limericks? Ain’t my thang…

How about you? Give it a shot and share your limericks here in the comment section!

shamrock: dark green with lime highlight

 

Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.

K is for Kiss

KHow I used to long for your kiss. Your soft lips knew how to speak to my body. Your kiss ignited my soul and set my heart ablaze. kissWe fell in love, though we knew we shouldn’t. All the hours and days and nights spent together turned the heat up on our love, especially those nights in front of the fireplace, the sultry sounds of Motown playing in the background and our love smoldering in the hot embers of our passion.

We knew this couldn’t last, but we were in too deep. The more time we spent together, the harder it got to be apart. We were hooked. And it was so amazing. It scared the shit out of both of us because no way could this last. It was too good to be true.

 

pencil sketch: You're the Best by Naleme

“You’re the Best” by Naleme (c2012-2014)

You used to joke when we’d be out somewhere that people could see us together and know immediately that we weren’t married because we were so happy! That was probably a true statement. We were, after all, living a fantasy. But God, it was an incredible whirlwind. 

 

And then reality hit. Like an unanticipated tornado. I’ll never forget that night. You paged me, I pulled over to use a pay phone on the side of a downtown street. It was misting rain but I didn’t care. I dialed and you picked up the phone. I think you started the conversation with “I’m sorry” and I knew. I felt a pit in my stomach. My hands were shaking. And as if on cue, the rain started to pound harder, just like my heart.

“Why?”

You said you had tried, but when you told them you were leaving your kids cried and begged you to stay. And you said you owed it to them to stay. You had to at least try to make your marriage work.

“So this is it?” I asked.

“Yes.”

I started to cry. I could hear the anguish in your voice. I know you heard the devastation in mine. The rain poured on me and I don’t know which was coming down harder, it or my tears. Alone in the Rain gif (http://i514.photobucket.com/albums/t350/anthonymuthu2008/AloneinteRain.gif) I stood at the phone booth, crying into the phone, while raindrops splattered down around me, just like my world at that moment. I heard you softly say, “I’m sorry” and then you gently placed the phone down on the receiver. I stood there holding the phone to my ear, the rain washing the salty tears from my face, listening to pellets of water pinging off the metal booth and the stinging sound of the dial tone as the finality sunk in. It was almost cinematic, that scene.

I heard you broke your sobriety after that night. And for that I’m so very sorry. I’m sorry for all of it. What a horrible path we chose to walk together, the whole torrid affair. Five lives crushed. I pray for forgiveness in one breath and yet in another I’m remembering that first time. I know it’s you who calls me and hangs up sometimes. I can tell by how gently the phone hangs up. It’s okay. I think of you too. Maybe in another life.

A few legitimate relationships later and I’ve found that I’m much happier alone. I decided I actually hate being in love. Love fucks with my head too much. And that messes with my peace of mind. And that is something I simply can’t tolerate anymore. No way. Peace and freedom – they’re everything to me now.

Although I miss your amazing kiss, the ones I get now are of a whole other kind…and they’re ones that keep me sane. These kisses are way better for me. My heart has never been more full. I guess God forgave me after all.  

dog giving a kiss

-A kiss from Cleo  (me & Cleo 2013)

Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.