Nanny Crocker

June 29, 2009 at 10:02 pm (Crazy Shit, General, Nate)

Well, as you know, when I’m trying to make myself feel better, I cook, more often, I bake.

Yesterday I got a wild hair and decided to make crab stuffed mushrooms. Word to the wise, use a lot of spices. They were fabulous!  I used cream cheese in the filling, next time though, I’d like to try a different recipe.  It was enough for dinner for two nights. So, economical as well.

I then decided I wanted something sweet. Its almost that time of the month and I’ma cravin’. I don’t have a lot of baking goods in my house so I had to choose something that I already had the ingredients for.  I finally found a recipe for cinnamon bundt cake. I love cinnamon and it included walnuts, which I like. However, I didn’t have walnuts, so I used pecans, and I love pecans – almost as much as peaches.

And because I’m a little ADD and because I had set things down on the recipe, I kind of missed the fact that the cinnamon/sugar mixture was to go between batter layers and I just added cinnamon to the whole batter.  Instead of a cinnamon swirl bundt cake, I have a pecan cinnamon bundt cake.

Its delish. Nate says so as well, and he’s not much of  nut eater, and although he likes cinnamon, he doesn’t love cinnamon, but he loves Mama’s bundt cake.  I thought that the pecans gave it a nice flavor and he said it gave it a nice crunchiness.

We just had some, warm from the oven, with butter and cold milk. YUM. Nate was also impressed that my bundt didn’t stick and came out PERFECT.

In other news, I talked to Nate’s uncle’s girlfriend today. She had called and left a message wanting our address so she could send Nate a card for his birthday. She had left a message to start with and part of it referenced that they knew what was going on with Jeff and they fully understood.

I guess they would since they’ve lived next door to him for as long as Nate’s been on this Earth. She said they missed Nate and she said, “I always had a good time with Nate. He was never a bit of trouble.”  Nate’s very close to their daughter, who is just 18 months younger. I know he spent a lot of time there.

I don’t trust her much. Over 13 years, you learn. I let Nate know that I’d talked to her and gotten his cousin’s cellphone number. He shrugged. Other than his sister, he’s pretty much against anything having to do with the paternal side of his family. His uncle is an alcoholic too, although a different type than Jeff, but still an alcoholic.  His other uncle is a drug addict and I don’t know much about the one that lives out of state but I’ve heard he’s an alcoholic too.

There are eight grandchildren in the family (the eldest doesn’t have any children), and none of them have the same mother.  Honestly, I always thought that was a little bizarre.  Nate is the only one that does not carry his father’ s last name.

Things are probably going to roll by the end of the week. I’ll keep you updated.

I’m going to go meditate now.

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Gobble… Gobble

June 28, 2009 at 11:42 am (Nate, Relationships, Work)

Yeah, I know its not time for Thanksgiving and one rarely hears of 4th of July turkey, however, this just may be the year.  See, I have this ginormous turkey in my freezer. I think I got it either from T-Bird or Cam’s parents because either they didn’t have room for it, or, they couldn’t cook it. Frankly, I don’t have room for it!

So, either I pass this bird on to my mother who will then complain that she either has no room for it, or, its too big to cook for the family and I will hear about it until Thanksgiving and end up bringing home two weeks worth of leftovers in November, or I can cook the dang bird for 4th of July family meal at the restaurant and call it a day.

This bird is so big, I bet I could feed day and evening shift! Okay, it only looks big in my freezer. Its almost 14 lbs. I’ll have to borrow a pan to roast it in. I don’t have one big enough anymore. Then again, it maybe be in the “OMG, I forgot all of these kitchen things outside after the fire” box beside of my house. I’m pretty afraid to look in it.

So, because cooking makes me happy, remember, I did a lot of cooking after the fire, I’m going to make *drumstickroll please* roast turkey with a cranberry orange glaze and a wine-simmered fruit stuffing.  Because, seriously, you can’t have too many fruits with your turkey.

And if you’re wondering where Nanner gets her delish recipes, well, look no further than Butterball.

In other news, Nate made it home safe and sound from his overnight camping and whitewater adventure. He said he was the first one tossed from the boat and he spent the rest of his time making sure that didn’t happen again. He also said they played spotlight etc. I’m really glad he took the trip and got to have some fun without it involving me. He needs that.

I woke up at 3 this morning and he and Cam were already asleep. Must mean that my Bubba was tired. Normally I run them to bed when the sun is rising.

I slept a long time last night. I feel pretty good this morning. Lex and I had a falling out, mainly because I’m pretty numb, we don’t communicate well, and… I’m not happy about how he treats me. Not that he’s mean or anything, he’s just, I don’t even know how to describe it. He has his own issues with me, and I know I have plenty.  Its just not going to work out, even on a short term basis. I’m not broken up about it.

So, time to figure out breakfast and I need some coffee. Happy Sunday.

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Oh Boy

June 25, 2009 at 12:50 am (AZ, Nate, Relationships)

I just posted about how it seems that Nate has grown an inch overnight. That’s not the only ways that he’s growing. He’s becoming more self-assured and is speaking out more about how he feels and what he wants.

He’s been pushing to stay by himself while I work.  You can imagine that every bad thought goes through my mind, when in actuality, Nate is a pretty responsible young man, with a good head on his shoulders. Remember, it was Nate who ran to the neighbor’s house and had them call 911 when the house was on fire, then ran down the street to the fire department.

My real problem with Nate staying alone is that I’m afraid he will be lonely. He just laughs at me. I can remember my first experiences with staying alone, or with just my brother around, which is the same as being alone. It was awesome. Although I had chores to do, it was really awesome not having my parents there to bother me. Nate and I get along great, that’s not the problem, but, he is getting to that age.

In two weeks, he’ll be 13. A teenager. My baby, a teenager!

As I told Kenju, he’s growing up so fast it hurts my feelings. And not just his height, but his mind and maturity are finally catching up to his size 9 1/2 foot.  For the past two weeks, since our last counseling session, it seems as though he’s matured two years.

He asked to be allowed to go on the overnight rafting trip with his camp group this year. Last year I felt he was too young and this year, I really can’t say no. If I’m encouraging him to become more of his own person and articulate his thoughts and feelings, then I also feel as though I have to let him go in other ways as well. I have to show that I trust him to do the right things and be the person I’ve taught him to be.

I’m terrified. Simply terrified.

It gives me a new appreciation for what my parents went through when they allowed me to go to Germany for a year. How terrifying that must have been for them, even though I was an extremely intelligent, articulate, mature young woman for my age. I’m quaking in my shoes over an overnight trip, and they let me go for a year. Of course, I wasn’t on the verge of 13, I was on the verge of 18. And its an overnight camping trip, not Germany.

And its not like Nate hasn’t spent the night away from me… with my family, and his family, and trusted friends.

The good news is that Rosie and I are going to The Sound of Music Sing-A-Long Friday evening. I’m dressing in my new dress and heels and going as The Baroness Von Schraeder. It is summertime and I’m not fond of dressing as a nun in 90* heat. I’m looking forward to throwing popcorn, hissing at Nazis and booing the actual Baroness. I wish I could mack out my outfit a bit more but I’m kind of broke.

Lex also said he would spend time with me Friday. I’ve warned him that I’m still in numb mode. He said that was okay and we could just snuggle. What a mensch.

Oh, and AZ did call back. He told me he’d like to have lunch with me soon. I’m not sure why, I wasn’t rude enough to ask. I cried later though. I hope he asks why I’ve basically dropped out of his life.  I really, really do because I’m ready to tell him.

Okay, its my bed time.

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Growth

June 24, 2009 at 8:59 am (Alice in Chains, AZ, Crazy Shit, Friends, International Travel, Nate)

I just finished hugging my child. I asked him, “Did you grow an inch last night?” Flat footed, he’s almost looking me in the eye. Wasn’t it just yesterday that he still had to look up to me?  For right now, he still does look up to me, even if we’re seeing eye to eye.

I’m tired. I was up until about 3 a.m. this morning, finishing my court summary. It came in handy. My alarm was set for 7:30. I slept okay, just not long enough. My back is really hurting from being hunched over typing. It was hurting before, think I slept the wrong way.

I got a rockin’ pair of red shoes to go with my new dress thanks to a friend. I put on some vintage Sarah Convetry pearls and looked like a 50’s housewife. Not so much with the shoes on as they are two inch stilleto peep toes. At least retro is in.  

I went to the memorial service this morning. I was doing pretty good until the decedent’s brother got up to speak. I’ve had many conversations with him and I’m just very, very fond of the entire family, as I was his brother. When his voice broke, my heart broke right along with it.

I then went to the restaurant and had lunch. I didn’t eat much as I was starting to get the nervous stomach. Outside of that, I was oddly calm. No shaky hands or feelings like I was going to throw up. I got choked up on the stand when I talked about Nate not wanting to attend his great-uncle’s service because his dad would be there.  I was emotional, but to the point, not given to hysterics or theatrics. Just the facts, ma’am.

It was scary.  

It turned out okay. We’re going back in five weeks, but I have a feeling we’ll be back before then.

I talked to AZ. He had called when I was in the shower yesterday and Nate forgot to tell me.  I’m so numb and shut down I must sound like a drone. I feel the numbness taking me over and I both welcome it and hate it.

Its a survival mechanism, which I figured out long before my counselor told me. If not, I’d be drooling puddles from a drug-induced stupor in a straight jacket.  As my meds wear off in the evenings, because I’m still on the starting dose, I chain smoke.

Wasn’t I talking about AZ? Yeah, not much to report. He just wanted to know how things were going and I told him. Didn’t get a chance to ask him before he had to go, said he would call me back, which I doubt, and I don’t care. Odd though that I thought about calling him on Sunday and he called yesterday.

My life, the life of odd.

Listening to a little Jerry. Just Boggy Depot, Degradation Trip is not as soothing and I’m not really in the mood to reach in and start pulling thorns out of my soul so I’ll be laying off the Alice tonight.

One bizarre note, I was instructed not to take Nate out of the country, as he and I both have passports. Ha, obviously they haven’t priced tickets to Europe lately. But seriously, I was like WHAT THE FUCK! His attorney said that Jeff was afraid if things didn’t go my way that I may try to secret Nate off to a foreign country. LMFAO!  

I think I could disappear far easier in the good ole U. S. of A.  However, I don’t believe in running away, I believe in standing and fighting.

And I forgot to post this last night, so Good Morning Bloggers.

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Pain

June 22, 2009 at 9:39 am (Crazy Shit, Friends)

Yesterday was just a painful day.

On Saturday, a recent high school graduate was killed in a car accident.  He was 19 years old and was to begin basic training at the Air Force Academy this week.

Yesterday I was reading our catering sheet and found that an acquaintance of mine had passed away. He was 48. I know his family pretty well. His father and brother especially.

Then there was my situation.

Three fathers spent Father’s Day without their sons.

It was just painful and not something I can escape. So, in addition to the hearing tomorrow, I’ll also be attending a memorial service. Happy days.

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September the 29th

June 21, 2009 at 12:09 am (Alice in Chains, Crazy Shit, Music)

I am taking the day off from work. The new Alice in Chains CD “Black Gives Way to Blue” is being released on this date. Well, it is a Tuesday… that seems a strange day but I’m okay with it.

Alice has also released a teaser trailer for their new video to the first single, “A Looking In View,” which features an amazing riff by my favorite guitarist, Jerry Cantrell.  Although I’m wondering, who releases a “teaser trailer” for their new video? I guess the answer to that would be Alice.  Yes, I expect you to watch it.  18 seconds, watch it!

I do love that riff!  Yes!

I do need something to look forward to. I can’t wait for the new music, can’t wait for the new lyrics. Just can’t wait.

I woke up at 6:30 in the “a” of the “m,” anxious and thinking about Jeff. Can you think of worse way to wake up? Jeebus Christos. I’m sure you can think of worse ways to wake up, but for me, that’s about the worst way for me to wake up, barring the death of my son, nuclear holocaust, or another house fire, yep, that’s the worst way to wake up.

Since I’m going to court, I’ve taken to summarizing the entries from my blog which have been about Jeff, starting in January of 2006. One particular entry made me laugh out loud. It was when I was discussing that Jeff’s girlfriend had accused he and I of having an affair and I stated that she must have mistaken the “look of love” for the look of “I wish I was vomiting Drano out of my nose” when dealing with her little ray of sunshine.

Nate also had a dream about his dad, again. This time, Nate took over the phone duties, because his dream was about his dad calling him. He said it was pretty bizarre and didn’t remember much about what was said. Ah, yes, the phone dreams.

Can we talk about Alice again? I’m not stupid, I know they’re my escape. The music from “It Ain’t Like That” from Facelift reminds me of the new music. I really love Facelift.  Rignt now though, I’m on the “Nightrain.” Nate is spending the night with his sister, so, I figured even though I have to work tomorrow that this is my opportunity to have a few beers.

I’m giving up alcohol for the greater good in a short period of time, less than a month, at least for a period of time, so… CHEERS! while I can still drink.

Did I tell you the new Alice in Chains CD will be out September 29th?  Yeah.

I talked to Kevin’s cousin. I told him how much I still miss Kevin and how he could make me laugh like no one else could. He didn’t have much to say. Somtimes I feel like I’m the only one who remembers.

I almost called AZ today. I thought better of it.

I’ve been doing searches for property/houses/farms in Northern Texas and Arizona. I’m not sure why, since I’ve never been to Northern Texas. It has become quite apparent though that all I can afford a piece of scrub in Centralwestern Arizona. I’ve seen some nice places. Can’t afford any of them, but nice places.

I’m kind of restless. Poor Chico, he follows me from place to place. Its taken me hours, a six pack, and a pack of cigarettes to write this. I’m no further along than I was before.

September 29th. I can’t wait. Just wish I could afford to go to Germany to see them and my host family.

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Hello

June 17, 2009 at 7:27 pm (Chico, Crazy Shit, My Travels, Nate)

I really didn’t have a better title, so that’s it.

I got some meds yesterday. My beloved Wellbutrin, how I have missed thee.  Since its very difficult for me to talk about certain things these days without bawling, I was happy that my counselors could get me into see a doctor. She was a bit odd and at times I felt like I was a science experiment gone horribly wrong, but otherwise, it was okay.

The meds are expensive, so I may switch from the extended release to the ones you have to remember to take twice a day. They are much cheaper.

I got Jeff’s answer to my petition. He hired a lawyer, so I had to get a lawyer. The answer was actually exactly what I expected, but nicer. Beth had asked about Father’s Day. Let’s just say, Jeff won’t be getting a card this year, although I offered to buy one.

Chico is rotten and just like a baby. You know how babies throw their rattles in the floor and then you pick it up for them. Yeah, Chico does the same thing with his squeaky bear. Although, unlike a baby, Chico is fully able to get off my lap, get the bear, and get back up, he just won’t because he’s spoiled.

Remember last year Nate, Cam, Danlel and myself went to Hiddenite, NC to dig in the emerald mine?  Well, Nate and I are going again tomorrow, just the two of us. I’m trying to decide whether to leave butt-ass early and come home early, or leave later and come home later.

I like the idea of getting there early, but four a.m. just hurts my feelings.  I’m sure four a.m. would hurt Nate’s feelings as well, but, he’s not driving so he can sleep all he wants on the four hour trip there.  I’m pretty excited to just be getting the hell out of here and spending the day digging in the dirt and the creek with my youngin’.

I got some of that Purex 3-in-1 detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets. I’m trying it out right now. I’ll let you know how it works.

I guess I should go out and muck out the car a bit. I believe, although I’m not certain, that our treasures from our last trip to Hiddenite are still under the front seat. That just sort of became their “place.” I’m taking something better than a plastic bag this time. I just finished some butter, so I’m going to use the butter tub. Hopefully it will be full of VALUABLE gems this time around.  Regardless, we’ll have fun.

So, have a great evening and a great Thursday. (We’re off from counseling this week.)

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First Time

June 14, 2009 at 1:15 am (Family, Nate)

I received a call from Jeff about 40 minutes ago to let Nate and I know that his uncle had passed away. I had my phone on vibrate and didn’t hear it, but did see where he had left a message. I wouldn’t have answered it anyway. At about the same time I heard Nate’s phone ring and it was his sister. So about the same time I was listening to the phone mail, Nate came in the room to tell me that Jeff’s mom had called Danlel and told her that Vic had passed away.

Jeff said in the voicemail that there would be a private family viewing later in the week and we were welcome to come but understood if we did not.

I asked Nate if he had heard the voicemail (I had put it on speakerphone) and if he wanted to attend. He asked if there was going to be a public viewing and I said I didn’t know as Vic was originally from Boston, had moved to Maryland, and now lived here. I wasn’t certain if his first wife had died or if they had divorced, or even where he wished to be buried.

Nate said that if it was just going to be family then no, he did not want to go. I paraphrased what he said, “If its just family then you don’t want to go?” He said, “No, because my dad will be there and I don’t want to see him. If its public then, yeah, of course I want to go.”

That’s the first time that Nate has said that he didn’t want to see his dad. And not only did he say it, he said it with such finality and maturity in his voice, it was… I really can’t even find the words.

Nate and I were both misty-eyed talking about Uncle Vic (he was in his early 90’s, had Alzheimers, and had had a stroke around the first part of April) but Nate patted me on the back and said, “Anyway, Uncle Vic’s in a better place, right?”  I assured him he was and he walked out of the room.

I thought of what I could say to Nate about saying good-bye and being there for the family, but… I didn’t. As he sits on the threshold of 13, having passed the seventh grade (Gott sei dank!), and in the interest of breaking old habits of my own, I said nothing. And I won’t.

Unfortunately, Nate is an old hand at death. I heard him counseling his sister after a young lady she went to high school with, and had known since grade school, died. He said, “At first, you’re going to be in shock and kinda numb, then its going to hit you, and you’re going to cry a lot.” That reminds me of what my counselor said about children who are abused. She said that you hear a lot of horror stories but a lot of abused children grow into very compassionate and caring adults.

My son is very compassionate and I’m sure he feels his own sorrow about Vic’s passing and his family’s sadness. However, he also made it pretty clear, he wasn’t offering himself up as any kind of sacrifice. At this time, Nate and his sister have made the decision to not just sever ties with their father, but with an entire branch of their family, including a younger cousin that both were close to.

It is sad in so many ways.

On a brighter note, having passed seventh grade by the skin of his teeth, and perhaps not happy with the nail-biting which has taken place since the last day of school, my son says he’s going to do much better next year and was very receptive to the idea of us studying WV History over the summer to give him a leg up on his class and the Golden Horseshoe Test. He was less enthusiastic about reading “Rocket Boys” because he said he had already seen the movie.

I said, “But the book is better and you’re going to have to read it for WV Studies next year anyway.”  He sighed and then declined, stating he would rather not ruin any surprises. I did look up some WV history books online and we’ll hit BooksbytheMillion or a local bookstore to find one. I’ll take what I can get.

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Thursdays

June 6, 2009 at 9:47 am (AZ, Black Stone Cherry, Chico, Memories, Nate, Relationships, The House, Work, Writing)

Are when Nate and I see our respective counselors. I like both of our counselors.  They’ve given me a lot of insight and hope into our situation but that doesn’t mean its fun getting there. It never is.

Nate is very open to counseling but the things they have coaxed out of him so far are disheartening. Disheartening for a parent who cannot see into the mind of their 12 year old and find all of the feelings they have stuffed down inside of it and the realization that we have so far to go.

Having been through counseling before, and being in counseling now, I know how much it hurts to dig shit up, to face it, and to deal with it appropriately. My heart aches for my son.

Nate and I both learned, over a period of time, not to express any emotion in front of Jeff. To do so, opened us both up to ridicule. Nate maintains that facade and he maintains that facade emotionally as well. He doesn’t talk about his father but I know he’s still there, in the back of his mind.

While Nate can maintain that facade while he is awake, he cannot when he sleeps.  Although his father’s name was not mentioned, I could tell the counseling started roiling the bottom of Nate’s pond. It wasn’t unusual for Nate to talk in his sleep and wet the bed after an episode with his father.

Thursday night, after he went to bed, right about the time he hit REM, I could hear him start chattering. I’ve heard him say “no” and “quit” and “stop” but for the most part, its mumbling. I had a very hard time getting to sleep myself, as my mind just refuses to shut up, hence the doctor’s appointment on the 16th. Somewhere around 3 a.m. I was jolted awake by Nate yelling and as the fog in my mind cleared, I heard him mumbling again.

A short time later, Chico woke me with his whine/bark asking to be let into my bed. As I reached over the side of my bed, I heard Nate say, “Don’t pick him up, ” from the bathroom across from my bedroom. I did anyway and Nate asked where some clean underwear were and I heard him rummaging around in the dark, then he entered my room, I thought to retrieve Chico, but he laid down at the foot of my bed and went to sleep.

I had a dream later that morning about Jeff calling. I heard his ringtone and actually answered the phone. The conversation was benign, almost surreal. I don’t remember much of it, but remembered thinking in the dream that he didn’t ask about Nate. Not surprising, the interpretation for talking on a phone in a dream is that you need to confront issues you are trying to avoid, and to speak to someone you know, means that you need to confront that person.

I figured that out as soon as I woke up. Didn’t really need an interpretation.

I talked to my counselor about the other events in my life, separate from Jeff, that I’ve had to deal with, especially in the last two and a half years, starting with Kevin’s suicide in November of 2006, AZ’s engagement in December and, of course, the housefire. She asked, “How did you put one foot in front of the other?”

I answered, “Nate… and… that’s just how I am.”  At least, that’s what I choked out between sobs.

She gave me, ha ha, writing assignments to be completed as we move through the process. She said, of course, that blogging and journaling is an excellent way to express my feelings. I had read on one of the news services that therapists were assigning patients to start blogs. Oh boy, I can’t wait!  (Laugh, that was supposed to be funny.)

That reminds me of David Bowie (Jareth) from the movie, Labyrinth. If you haven’t seen it, he would say something mean around the little trolls and then he would say, “Well, laugh.” Then they would all laugh with him.

Nate’s grades, really not a laughing matter. He’ll either fail the 7th grade, or he may have to attend summer school. I’m prepared for either. His counselor has some theories about his poor school performance and what we can do about that. When I picked  him up from school on Thursday, they were in the middle of their awards assembly.

When he came out I lightly asked him if he had gotten an award for the most days spent in lunch detention. He smiled and then I said I was sorry and he said, “No, that was actually pretty funny, M.”  He said a little later, “I would like to get an award.” We talked about goals and that this year is over and there isn’t anything he can do about it now, so, he needs to look towards next year and about what he can do to achieve his goal of getting an award, for something, and not the most days spent in lunch detention.

I mentioned, as I have before, The Golden Horseshoe Test, which is given each year to WV 8th grade students to test their knowledge of WV History and I told him that he would be reading “Rocket Boys/October Sky” in conjunction with WV Studies. I told him I make sure we made it down to the October Sky Festival and help him study for the test.

Then I said, let’s just get through the next couple of days…

The weather is also no laughing matter. Its 58 degrees outside and I have my furnace on. ITS JUNE 6TH FOR FUCK’S SAKE!!! Oh, its Troy’s birthday. Happy Birthday Troy!!! Its also Chris Robertson’s birthday (from Black Stone Cherry). Happy Birthday Chris!!!

I’m not working today, but I’m still working. I’m catering a tea party for 10 five year olds and their mothers. Yes, I know, its five year olds, ten of them, and their mothers, but I need the money and its only three hours… I look to the fact that I found a BEAUTIFUL dress at a local department store that fits not only waist but my bosoms as well. This, this an anamoly and I have to capitalize on that.

So is my life today.

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Brushes

June 4, 2009 at 2:23 am (Friends, General, Memories, My Travels, Work)

Sometimes things are just right down interesting at the restaurant. We do get to have our little brushes with celebrity although not on the noise level of Chelsea Clinton visiting. However, Rosie served one of the Osmond clan and a former child star on Sunday night. She was the daughter on “Give Me A Break” with Nell Carter, so you can Google that if you wish.

On MondayI had my own brush and probably was the only one in the restaurant who would have given two shits that it was this particular man who found his way into my section.  He was an older gentleman and one that I was fairly certain I had met before. However, as we all know, putting a finger on that particular memory can be daunting.

He was a huge cut-up and kept making me laugh and I kept wondering who the hell he was. As I made another pass, I noticed he had laid his business card on the table and I read his name – Roy Lee Cooke.

Because I’m shy, I slammed my ass in the booth across from him, next to one of his lunch companions and asked, “Where are you from?”

He grinned and said, “MACKDowell County.”  (McDowell, for the rest of us.)

I smiled and said, “You’re a rocket boy.”

He smiled and nodded. See, I knew I had met him before, probably 9 or 10 years earlier at the annual October Sky Festival in Coalwood, WV. He asked about my trip there and I reminded him that was the year is was blue cold and Homer Hickam’s press agent or some such gent had gotten a little too close to the kerosene heater and set himself on fire.

I told him how saddened I was to lose my signed “October Sky” copy in my housefire and he said, “Well, come on down, we’ll get you another one. I’ll even get the dead one’s signature for you.”  OMG! He was referring to Sherman Siers, who passed away in the mid 70’s. The gentleman sitting with Roy Lee asked how he planned on doing that.

Roy Lee said, “Because I’ll sign for him!” 

No, it probably wasn’t polite to laugh, but I did anyway. He gave me his business card and extracted a promise from me to return to Coalwood for this year’s festival. Since Nate will be simultaneously reading “October Sky” and taking WV Studies next year, it will be a very educational trip for him. He swears he remembers going to Coalwood, but, I’m not quite sure and besides, he was only three or four at the time.

I haven’t read “October Sky” for a few years, probably two, since I made a habit of picking it up and reading it to remind myself that when you have a dream,  a few friends willing to pick you up, dust you off, and get in trouble with you, it doesn’t matter where you’re from or your circumstances, you can achieve great things.

The annual October Sky Festival is on October 3rd this year, so make your travel plans now. I would be happy to provide an escort to Coalwood, which is somewhere between BFE and the end of the Earth.  Just to give you an idea of how far out it really is, the nearest point from Coalwood to an Interstate is 40 miles.

If you’d like to make a weekend of it, we could head down Highway 16 and across 83, through the town named after my forefathers, and over to Jolo and The Church of the Lord Jesus, one of the few Pentacostal churches in America where they speak in tongues, drink poison, and handle snakes.

We could also visit War, WV, the southern-most incorporated city in WV. It has 15 churches and 1,000 residents and since only about 40 % of the population attends, well, that’s about 26 people per service. Hey, no line at the baptismal, unless of course they’re a particular kind of Baptist that only believes in baptizing in the river.

My grandparents believed that you could only be baptized in the river, until they got a baptismal at the church. I guess ya gotta have a backup plan.  If you feel enough spirit to be layed out in the Coal River in January, well, have at it.

Anyway, back to Coalwood. Also in the vicinity is the Berwind Wildlife Management Area, perfect for campers, fishermen, hikers, and hunters.

And that’s about all there is. So, mark your calendars, pack the Dramamine (if you don’t know what a switchback is, you’ll learn), and join me in Coalwood on October 3rd.

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