Friday, February 25, 2011

Weak Ends

When I was young but old enough, my weekends usually began on a Thursday and lingered into Monday afternoon.  The work week, though admittedly much shorter for me per my previous statement, always seemed unbearably long and excruciatingly boring.  I yearned for the excitement and freedom that was synonymous with weekends. 

Looking back on those times, my weekdays consisted of making plans, arranging transportation and picking out clothes for the coming weekend.  The work week would be a blur of tediousness and the thought of it would leave me with an ache in the pit of my stomach, wondering if this monotony would forever be my lot in life.  The weekends being my only solace, the only sustenance in my life.  (I was quite fatalistic back then)

I would stay out until dawn, drinking and dancing and when the sun broke into the fun, it was time to head home, change into daytime wear and go to the lake or the mountains or the desert for the day.  At sunset, we would head home and change once again for another round of the debauchery which comes when youthful desires and the first tastes of freedom are combined in a cocktail more potent than anything available at any club or bar.  This went on nonstop until the work week returned.  There was no recovery day, no need for rest, just a never ending cycle of sensation.

I had lost the dreams of childhood, both for a successful career and for making a difference in the world.  My goals had become much easier to obtain.  A good buzz, a good dance club, and good friends to enjoy it with.  I had good intentions initially but my first night out blew those intentions right out of the water, leaving them lying on the shore, not even twitching unless you watched them very, very closely.  You know what they say, "Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell."

I wonder how my Girls will meet the world.  That time is approaching rapidly, causing night sweats and sudden panic whenever that reality decides to come bubbling to the surface of my consciousness.  I have tried to teach them as much as I can but the fear for their futures paralyzes me.  When I tell my Mom how I'm feeling, she reminds me that all a parent can do is give their children the tools they need to succeed, hope for the best and make sure to lay out a safety net, just in case. 

Upon reflection, I realize they will probably do a better job of it then I did.  I'm pretty sure I survived by sheer luck or a very diligent guardian angel.  I'm certainly not the same person I was in my twenties and though I can look upon my former self with fondness, I don't want that life back and I don't imagine she would much care for mine. 

These days, my weekends are much more tame and my biggest desire is to try to work in a nap at some point in the next couple of days.  Strangely, this doesn't bother me in the least.  My life contains a rhythm, a melody composed by myself and the people I love.  It's not the life I dreamed of in my childhood, my teens or even into my twenties but it's my song and I sing it with gratitude.

Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011



She lays in bed, eyes closed and listens to the leaky faucet in the bathroom.  It's a familiar sound that has been going on for years.  Every morning for around ten to fifteen minutes, that faucet will slowly drip and then suddenly, it will just stop.  She's never bothered to fix it.


It's early and the sun is beginning to peek though the bedroom window.  It's rays gingerly reaching across the dresser, over the carpet and climbing up to her bed.  She can feel the gentle warming of her blankets and eventually, her face.  She closes her eyes tighter knowing the light will shine too brightly once it reaches her line of sight.  She meant to get a black out shade for that window but just never got around to it.


Later in the day, the sun will stretch its beams fully into the room, causing the temperature to rise and making the air too stuffy for comfort.  She thinks once again about having a ceiling fan installed but that's all it is, just a thought.


She opens her eyes.  The sound of that leaky faucet has been her wake up call for as long as she can remember, whispering dawn's arrival in her ear each day.  Once the dripping stops, she knows it's time to rise.  She squints as the sunlight flashes in her eyes and quickly sits up to place herself back in the shadows and allow her sight to adjust.  I really should do something about that window.

creak creak.

creak creak.

The floorboards sound their protest as she walks across them.  In her mind, she likes to think the sounds are an echo of her own reluctance to greet the day, rather than a reflection of their age and condition.  Not likely to fix those anyway.

pop pop pop pop

Her joints make their opinions known as well as she bends to pick up her robe which has slid off the foot of the bed and onto the floor.  They appear to be even more reluctant to greet this day than she is.  The pain, a screaming reminder that she should make that appointment to see the rheumotologist.  She will...later.


Her bedroom door slowly swings open on hinges badly in need of oil.  One more thing she hasn't managed to get to yet.  At the edge of the partially open door, just below the doorknob, a small hand has curled into view.  Following that hand, a round face appears, with chubby cheeks and big brown eyes that peer at her from under a tangled mass of long dark hair.  She holds out her arms to her daughter.

thump thump thump thump thump

The child runs into the room and leaps into her mother's arms.  Their embrace contains everything they are for just a brief moment and then they tumble to the bed, accompanied by kisses and giggles.  Now, she is ready to face the day.


Not a true sound, just a release of pent up air.  The source of the sound is unclear but if someone were to be looking at the house from the street at that exact moment, they might have noticed that the sagging awning seemed a little straighter and the dingy paint seemed a little brighter, if just for a brief moment.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Remember how I told you I was writing a Guest Post?

This is the first time anyone has asked me to do anything like that so please go read it. 

Laughing My Abs Off  - Family Food Fondness

I really hope you enjoy it and check out sherilin's blog.

It's the post I wrote that got me thinking of my last post Camping: Doggy Style.

More stuff soon...but not today.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Camping: Doggy Style

A long long time ago, I was nine years old.  I lived in Lake Havasu City, AZ and I was a brand new member of my local Girls Scout troop.  I was a Brownie for a minute when I lived in Florida but that was even further back in time and I'm not sure they had even invented memories yet - this little reference is for my Girls who consider my 40 years to be absolutely ancient.

We came to the States from Thailand when I was around three years old and there were many things we had to learn the hard way or the embarrassing way.  I will be guest posting at another blog soon with an example of the hard way but this particular incident falls into the latter category.

My troop leader sent us all home one day with information on a two week camping trip in northern California and a few of my friends were planning to go.  I begged my mom to let me go and she finally said yes.  I was so excited when I got to our Scout meeting the following week, my hands clenching the permission forms and a check for the trip.  

By the time I found out that none of my friends were going to be able to go, I had already turned everything in to the troop leader.  I was extremely shy and didn't say anything at the meeting and by the time I got home, I had decided to go on the trip anyway.  It was definitely better than admitting to my mom that I had no interest in camping and had only wanted to go to be with my friends.  I just kept my mouth shut and things moved forward.

About three weeks before camp, I was sent home with a list of mandatory items to pack as well as some additional items suggested by the camp counselors.  Needless to say, my mom immediately discarded the suggested items list as a scheme to make her spend extra money.  This was a notion my mom apparently adopted regarding America's capitalist society back when she was growing up in Thailand.  Either that, or she was just very very cheap fiscally conscientious. 

We were left with a basic list of necessities which were pretty easy to acquire until we came to an item that left us at a complete loss: a mess kit.  A. Mess. Kit.  No matter how many times we tried the words on our lips, the meaning eluded us.  We were thinking it must have had something to do with personal grooming but we couldn't figure out what.  Shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, washcloth...those items were already on the list. 

Finally, my mom contacted the parent of another scout and discovered that a mess kit was "for eating with while camping".   This is how my mom explained it to me when she ended the call.  I suspect that since the call lasted about ten minutes that there was a more detailed description provided but this is what my mom got out of the conversation.

That weekend, we headed out to our local Kmart (no Walmarts or Targets back in medieval times) to go pick up this elusive mess kit.  My mom found a store clerk who advised her that they didn't sell mess kits. The clerk suggested we try a cafeteria style tray and my mom put it in the shopping cart and continued to look around the store. 

She stopped in an aisle with deep plastic bowls in a multitude of colors.  I stood there quietly and unhappily since I really wanted to have a mess kit like the other kids would even though I still really had no idea what it was.  My mom showed me a bright yellow bowl (yellow was one of my favorite colors at the time) and told me she thought this would be much prettier than the ugly tin cafeteria tray we had in the cart.  Plus it only cost a dollar and the cafeteria tray was five dollars. 

Even at nine, I knew there was no point in trying to debate my mom when an 80% savings was thrown into the mix.  Besides, I wasn't getting a mess kit either way so what difference would it make.  We went home; me feeling resigned and my mom feeling great.  She loves a bargain.


The first day at camp was great.  We were assigned our cabins and we ate dinner in the mess hall.  Wait, mess hall...mess kit, now I get it.  I became fast friends with my cabin mates.  We spent half the night talking and giggling and the other half screaming and hiding, mostly due to the spooky stories we eagerly whispered into the dark.  At least until one of the counselors came in to shush us so we could get some rest before the big camp out the next day.

We packed up our gear, including our mess kits and headed out on a long hike to our campsite.  When we got there, we sang songs and talked while the food was cooking.  When it was time to eat, everybody pulled out their mess kits.  I noticed that some of the girls had brought those tin cafeteria trays but I was the only one sporting a bright yellow plastic bowl.   I was also the only one who had no utensils.  This wasn't a big problem for the hot dogs but the baked beans were a bitch and a half.  I resorted to tipping the bowl into my mouth in order to get to the beans.

After the meal, we were sent to a designated area to clean our dishes and that's when I noticed something that changed my entire camping experience.  I had turned the bowl over and there was the label still stuck to the bottom of my bowl.  It was a picture of a big cartoon dog with a bib wrapped around his neck.  A bowl (my bowl) was set in front of him and the label read:  Doggy Dining.  Underneath that, in case I tried to convince myself otherwise, it read: Dog Bowl...

My mom had sent me to camp for two weeks with a bunch of girls I didn't know and in order to save four bucks, she decided to have me eat out of a dog bowl.  I could feel my face flush red.  I picked at the label until there was nothing left but some torn paper backing and a couple sticky spots with some grayish little glue clumps. 

Needless to say, I tried to avoid all campfire meals for the rest of my stay.  It was bad enough that I had to eat out of a dog bowl but without my own utensils, I kept picturing myself with my face in the dog bowl and my pig tails flopping at the sides of my head and well, it was just too much for me.  I mean, even the cartoon dog on the label was depicted holding a fork and knife.

When I came home and told my mom about my discovery, she wasn't surprised.  She told me that she had chosen the dog bowl on purpose so it wouldn't go to waste when I came back.  Apparently, our little cockapoo, Winnie, needed a new bowl anyway.

That's my cheapskate fiscally responsible mom for you. 

Gotta lover her...right?

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Not much is going on today.  It's quiet at the office and I am bored to tears.  I dream of going somewhere.  Anywhere, really.  How about here?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tagged by Miss Nikki? Who could ask for anything more?

Guess what?  I was tagged.  I didn't even know what that meant but since I was tagged by one of my favorite bloggers ever, Miss Nikki at My Cyber House Rules, I went straight to work.  If you haven't been to her blog, GO!  What are you waiting for?  Can't you read?  Her Cyber House Rules!  What?  Did you think that was just a creative title?  I'll see you when you get back.

If I have this correct, I need to answer an extremely large number of questions and than proceed to tag four fellow bloggers and I guess let them know they're it.  So, in case you really don't want to go through every question with me (I'm not all that interesting, except to myself: I find myself fascinating but I don't really get out much) just to find out whose been tagged, here's a list of four fantastic and far more interesting bloggers than I:

SherilinR at laughing my abs off  (real life, only funnier and more entertaining)

Vinny at as vinny cs it (he is my blogging hero)

Tim Riley at life of riles  (I like his take on things)

Shopgirl at A Blessing A Day (her positive outlook balances my cynicism)

Anyway, here are the questions:

1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals, or are they members of your family?
Pets?  Members of the family?  Those are my babies, well, except for my German Shepard who is so obviously my Baby, my Boyfriend (platonically speaking, I'm not that kind of blogger), and my Bodyguard.  Let's just call him Triple B.

2. If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?

Anything?  I wish Triple B were human (huh, maybe it I am that kind of blogger).  Honestly, I know most people are very socially responsible or ethereally pure with this question but what I want the most is to become an obscenely successful writer.

3. What is the one thing most hated by you?

People who are socially responsible and ethereally pure...not really, I think what I hate the most is stupidity, especially those who can't admit they're stupid.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Start my own publishing company, for the whole successful writer dream.  I would also spend a lot of time travelling...everywhere, with my entourage, including Triple B.

5. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?

The truth?  Yummy food, a good book, a glass of wine, Triple B (duh), or a stupid joke delivered by my Hubby (can't have the Hubby feeling threatened by Triple B)

6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?

It's definitely more blessed to love someone but it's easier to be loved by someone as long as it's not some kind of wierd stalker type love but that story's for another day...

7. What is your bedtime routine?

I let the dogs out, drink some water, pee, lock up the house, set the alarm, remind my oldest to feed the cats, turn up the heat or A/C, straighten out Triple B's bedding, brush my teeth and climb into bed.  Sometimes I read a little first but nothing too good or I will stay up all night.  I'm a book junkie and tend to read several books at once, going through five to seven books a week.

8. If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your partner?
I met my Hubby though my friend's boyfriend who was living with him but we didn't really get together until he was planning to move out of town and I was going to take over his lease.  I had with me, my two girls and their Nanny, Carl (he liked to refer to himself as their Nanny and the girls got a kick out of it).  We got to know each other while sharing the same living space, found out we had the same views on life and were headed in the same direction so we decided to travel it together.  He asked the girls for my hand in marriage and they helped him propose.  How could you say no to that?

9. If you could watch a creative person in the act of the creative process, who would it be?

If I could watch from inside their brain, it would have to be an author but if I have to watch them the conventional way, I guess it would have to be a sculptor.  A lump of clay...a work of art?  Certainly beyond my creative capability.

10. What kinds of books do you read?

I read everything:  romance, suspense, sci-fi, horror, biographies, self-help, historical, my girls diaries (just kidding, I do NOT want to know that stuff).  I read bumper stickers, clothing labels (although I rarely follow the handling instructions), the backs of shampoo bottles, it doesn't matter.  If you write it, I will read.

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?

I guess by looking in the mirror ten years from now? 
I don't know what will happen in the next ten years and I've learned to live with that.

12. What’s your fear?

Bugs...eeeeeewwwww!!!!  Other than that, it used to be failure, now it's the fear that my Girls are afraid of failure.  After all, they picked up my fear of bugs...eeeeeewwwww!!!!

13. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to visit outer space?

Why, do they have better junk food in outer space?

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married, but poor?
I've been married and poor and it's not so bad...but if I'm going to be single, I would much rather be rich.  Poor is more fun when you have someone to share it with.

15. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Pee and take the dogs out to pee.  Peeing should be the first thing everyone does, shouldn't it?  If not, I wouldn't recommend  sharing a bed with that particular person.

16. If you could change one thing about your spouse/partner what would it be?
His family?  Just kidding, I would change his clothes but alas, 'tis not to be.  Of course, I'm not willing to walk around the house in hot pants or booty shorts either so I guess we're even.

17. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?

Halle Berry? Catherine Zeta Jones? Oh wait, would I still be myself?  Well, then I wouldn't really need to change my name unless I end up on the run or something.  (changing my middle name would be amusing so I could say things like, "Danger?  Please.  Danger is my middle name."

18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?

I could probably forgive but since I don't currently have amnesia, I really don't think I could forget.  I mean, isn't that a little bit of an unrealistic expectation?

19. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?

Toast with honey and butter (but I would definitely need a cup of hot tea with milk and sugar added)

Whew!  Finally, I'm done.  Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Romancing the Stoned

I was reading a post yesterday: Calling People Names - "Her First Love" and it got me thinking...was I that naive, that careless with my own heart back then?  The answer to that is a definitive...YES.  That post was a real and gritty story of the abusing of a young heart.  This is so much less than that but it is mine to tell.

I believed in the idea of love as all-consuming, all-powerful, and beyond my control.  My heart was untried and fearless.  It beat strongly and purely, having yet to endure a single romantic scar.  I could feel it's need to love and oddly, it's need to suffer.  (A little trip to the therapist might be in order as a result of my little retrospective.)  It was a constant demand echoing within me and all around me.  I was a fourteen year old girl.  I was supposed to have a steady boyfriend.  I was supposed to argue with my parents about him and stand up for true love against all odds...right?

Not surprisingly, I soon found a boy that stirred my heart and captured my imagination.  He was sixteen and his parents never seemed to be around.  I met him at the park with one of my friends and a couple of his.  We ended up at his house. 

He kept an electric guitar slung over his shoulder and he liked to paint in abstract bursts of color all over his walls and ceiling.  He barely spoke and when he did, it was comprised of maybe two to three words, never a complete sentence.  He was always focused on something else.  Something none of us could see but him.  Needless to say, my fourteen year old heart trembled before him.

He was the most tragically romantic creature I had ever laid eyes on in real life.  He would look at me with his flashing dark eyes from behind his long black hair and I would freeze in place.  Each time he took my hand or kissed my lips, I would imagine myself more alive, more real, as if I had been in a holding pattern waiting for his touch.

It was wonderful.  It was tedious.

We never talked.  As I mentioned before, he rarely said anything at all.  He wasn't interested in hanging out with friends, double-dating, going to the movies.  He wasn't really interested in anything.  The only time we saw each other was when I went to his house or met him at the park.  What had seemed so darkly mysterious was starting to become just a pain in the ass.  But I was young and he was my pain in the ass.  Plus, love was all about torment and tragedy.  I mean, look at Romeo and Juliet.  Look at Luke and Laura. (Many of you may not get that reference, which not only reveals my age but the fact that I used to watch General Hospital.)

I proudly wore my suffering like a badge of honor.  I was the envy of my friends.  Mostly due to the wonderfully imaginative details of our "secret trysts" that I would dole out to them the way my mom used to hand out Popsicles to us on a hot summer day.

Eventually, our love just fizzled out.  There was no big break up.  No tears.  Just a loss of interest on my part.  I don't imagine his interest was ever truly piqued in the first place.  I was the one trying to win his attention, he already had mine.  It just got boring after a while and there were just so many other boys around.  So I moved on to the next boy and to tell you the truth, I'm not sure he ever even knew I was gone.

A couple years later, I ran into him and realized that the dreamy look in his eye was definitely the glassy-eyed stare of a major drug addict-not the dark glimpses of a tortured and talented soul.  I also realized that my romantic devotion to him was a lot like my maternal devotion to my first baby doll.  A relationship with a lot of posturing and imagination but in reality, just a game.

In the end, the experience taught me nothing about life, love or relationships... 

It did however, teach me about french kisses and hickeys, so I guess it had it's uses after all.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

strangeRS MEETINGs

Everyone has been in awkward situations with strangers at one time or another in their lives.  I've found myself in too many of them to count but that might just be me.

Example One:

I always respond to people talking into their bluetooths (blueteeth?).  It doesn't matter to me in the least that this person is a complete stranger.  Apparently, I just assume everyone, even strangers, feel the need to speak with me. 

Me:  "Clearly, when God made me, he was showing off"  (I don't really feel this way but based on the frequency of these incidents in my day to day life, some part of me really does believe this.)

Usually Occasionally, it will take a few back and forth responses before I realize they aren't speaking to me.  I bet you think I would find this embarrassing, right?  Nope.  Instead, I am able to deem them inferior in some way for having the bluetooth in the first place.  Then I walk away irritated with them for being too self-absorbed.

Example Two:

This particular incident occurred a few weeks ago and backs my theory that complete strangers really DO feel the need to speak with me.

Me:  "Well, here I am.  What were your other two wishes?"  (I don't really believe this about myself but sometimes, when I reflect on past events, I wonder.)

I'm in the grocery store and luckily I have not been distracted by any bluetooth shoppers. An older lady walks up to me.  (She wasn't old.  Just older than me and I enjoy pointing that out, whenever possible.)

Older Lady:  "Hi, Laura! (big hug). I haven't seen you in forever! (cheek kisses).  You have really changed."

Me: "Um, I'm not Laura."

Older Lady:  "What?  Oh my goodness, you even changed your name!"

Me:  "Did the voices in your head tell you to come talk to me?"  (I didn't say that to her.  I didn't say anything.  I just started to back away instead.  I mean, she seemed like a nice enough person.  She was kind of like a candy bar: half sweet / half nuts.)


This is normal for me.  Strangers really DO want to talk to me.  That lady wasn't crazy.  She was just an unsuspecting pawn in the stranger / me circle.  Her being off her "meds" only made her more susceptible than most, that's all.

Example Three:

The drunken guy trying to get lucky at a table full of women.  This scenario is pretty common and I would imagine it is an international phenomenon, transcending borders more fluidly than a pandemic originating at the Olympics.

In my world, the guy would sway over to our table, ogling us with his bloodshot eyes, not in a "you're looking fine" kind of way but more in a "you'll do" kind of way and begin whatever jumbled pick up line he would be able to string together in his pickled brain. 

His eyes would connect with mine and he would say, "When I saw you from across the room, I stumbled and hit my head on the I'm going to need your information for insurance reasons."

With my luck, he would turn out to be an attorney during his more lucid phases so I scramble for a solution.  Maybe this is his way of getting lucky but it won't work on me ("I'm a married woman", I say in relief righteous honor of my marital vows).  But, maybe I could convince one of my friends that he might be worth pursuing.

Me:  "Come on, Tracy.  Just look at him.  He MUST have a nice personality and you know, at this time of night, handsome is only a light switch away."

Surprisingly, she didn't go for it.


Friday, February 4, 2011


The back door was open just enough for her to squeeze through.  That was strange.  It was usually closed.  She looked into the kitchen and realized the dining table was gone.  Some of the cabinets were left open as well.

She went into the living room and found it empty.  Everything was gone, even the curtains she loved so much.  Where was everyone?  Gone.

She went through the house and discovered there was nothing left except a couple of empty boxes and some crumpled newspaper.  They had abandoned her.  She wasn't really surprised.  She had even prepared herself for it.

Back in the living room, she sat down right where the coffee table had been.  She closed her eyes and pictured it as it was.  With the sectional couch bordering it on two sides and the glow of the television set flickering images across the varnish.  The surface of it was covered with a scattering of loose papers and magazines.  Crisscrossing that were a few remote controls assigned to the electronic devices connected to the TV by a tangle of wires and cables.  She looked over and noticed a white cable coming out of the wall, waiting to connect to something that was no longer there.

Much like her.

She fought back the surge of panic bubbling up inside her and took a deep breath.  She was hurting, which was unexpected.  She had kept herself distant, never letting any of them touch her heart.  Dignity and pride were her prized possessions.  She remained independent and cold, allowing them to serve her but only at her convenience, as though it were their privilege, not hers.  Gratitude, humility, affection were all strangers to her and as she sat there in this empty house, she felt justified in her actions.

But somehow, they had still managed to hurt her.  She had always remained separate, apart from them.  She had thought of herself as alone all this time but this feeling strangling her with such ferocity, this was loneliness.  There was an anguished wail coming from somewhere in the house, it was getting louder and she was shocked to discover that it was coming from her.  A cry, a moan.

Had they even spared a fleeting thought for her?  It didn't seem likely.

Feeling so tired suddenly, she curled up on the floor right in the middle of the room and slept.


The six year old little girl hopped out of the van as soon as it stopped and ran towards the house.  Her father got out of the driver's seat and followed behind.  Both carried identical expressions, a combination of worry and hope. 

As the father unlocked the front door for the final time, he sent a small prayer up to heaven and turned the knob.  The little girl shot through the door and let out a high pitched squeal.  The father stepped in quickly just as his daughter turned around, showing him the cat she had cradled in her arms.

"See Daddy, I told you Muffin wouldn't leave us", the little girl said as she giggled and cuddled the cat closer in her arms.

"I'm so glad you came back Muffin.  We thought you were gone."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Scars and all

When she first became aware of her own existence, she was so tiny and fragile.  She was completely dependent upon her Growers to care for her.  She would never have survived on her own, in the wild.  She wasn't created with that streak of independence that would have allowed her the freedom to be alone.  She was too weak.

So, as she continued to grow, she waited for whatever her destiny would be.  Contented and Patient.

Once she was fully grown, with only a few tiny scars within her rings, she caught the eye of a new caretaker and off she went.  Unfortunately, this new caretaker wasn't capable of providing the nourishment needed for her to flourish and grow properly.  She barely survived this dark time and in the end, she found herself returning to her Growers in order to recover from the wounds she suffered at his hands. 

Eventually, she felt strong again, though the scars she now carried were larger and deeper, they still weren't that easy to see.  Unless she chose to show them.

She was different than before.  She shied away when others looked her way for too long.  She was frightened of the damage they could do if she opened herself to them.  She subtly curled up her branches and turned down her leaves, giving the appearance of sickness so they would seek out something better for their gardens. 

Again, she waited for her destiny to find her.  Resigned and Weary.

And then, a new caretaker arrived.  He wouldn't move on as the others had done and even asked to see her scars.  She finally showed him and he tenderly touched them and he awakened her heart.  He cared for her as she sat in her Growers' garden and he was gentle and sincere and she finally stretched out her branches and spread her leaves wide.  For him, she let the sunshine fill her and she was elated.  Once again, she arrived in a new garden.

Her joy knew no bounds and as the years passed, her roots grew deeper within his garden's soil.  But things change.  Her caretaker became too busy with the care of other gardens.  He no longer had time to care for her as well.  He would stop by and water her and feed her but he never stayed with her anymore. 

She was different than before.  Her branches drooped tiredly from the weight of her foliage and she could no longer hide her old scars, they were grooved too deeply into her bark.  The newer scars leaving their own trails of damage along her trunk, a trunk whose ability to heal was declining each day.  She new her scars wouldn't diminish as they used to, leaving only a shadow of what they were.  Those scars would just have to remain there for everyone to see.

She was different than before.  She could take sustenance from the earth, she could absorb life from the sun, she could drink water though her outstretched roots and she could survive even the most severe of elements.  She was older, wiser, stronger than before. 

But still, she waited.  Mourning the loss of something that was never really there.  She grieved and her anger churned.  The caretaker didn't notice.  He had other gardens to tend and didn't see the weeds growing in hers. 

And she waited...until she stopped.  She realized she didn't want to wait on destiny to find her.  The fleeting pain of ripping up her roots and re-planting herself in a garden of her own creation would be better than the never-ending pain of indifference and unacknowledged injury that she was feeling now.

So she made a decision.  She would seek the freedom she had once feared so much.  She would be her own caretaker.  She would live in the wild and she would flourish, unleashed and unbound, on her own...scars and all.