Mel gets witchy

My interest in all things Celtic has led to my attending a series of talks presented by a local Wiccan group. So far they've been interesting, and the people who attend these types of get-togethers are delightfully eccentric. 

I attended the group's Imbolc celebration last month. The weather was sunny and I was pleasantly amazed to run into a distant friend. I had seen little of her since moving from my house two years ago, and here she was checking out crystals and Tarot decks. I'm pleased we've reconnected.

Seeing the Tarot decks and readings reminded me of someone I met once through the Married but Looking website two or three years ago. I think he was an attorney. I confess I did fancy him.

He carried a Tarot deck that was missing one card, which was something I found a bit odd - do they work without a card? We never met again as he said he "wasn't ready". I interpreted this as "I think I can do better than you, but let's see who else is out there first". Now I'd kind of like to pick his brains about the Tarot deck but I doubt they're available to pick. And I deserted the Married but Looking sites a long time ago.


Time to move

Over the past few months, I've had this increasing hunch that it is time for me to make a major move. There's nothing wrong with my job (except for the salary) and I am not miserable. But I"m tired of where I am, and I'm tired of being a blue person in a red state (in other words, a liberal in a neo-conservative state).

Ever since I went to Chicago last November I've been thinking I should move there.  California is also tempting, but Chicago has the stronger pull. Although California weather is idyllic and worth the awful cost of living, Chicago has the architecture, culture, and atmosphere I'd been looking for. 

(No, not trying to get near Cincinnati* - he would still be two states away.)

Also, I had a lengthy dream last Saturday morning. I had decided to return to college. Most of the dream was about my moving into a very strange dormitory/residence hall. Since I hadn't put in a room reservation, I ended up in a room so small that I ony had a bed the width of a church pew. But I had brought three cats, which were allowed, and a lot of other students had brought cats as well. Of course they all kept escaping outdoors and we kept having to bring them back indoors.

I also had an odd little date with the VP at work who has taken over from my former empty suit boss. (No NSFW content, sorry.) And my mother showed up in the dream for a little while but I can't remember why.

At the end of the dream, I realize it's Sunday and I begin to panic. I suddenly realize I need to be in the office Monday morning. It's like I had forgotten about my job for long enough to move into a college dorm, only to think "I can't do this! I have a job!". The dream ended about here. I never find out if I went to class or the office the next day.

For the next few months I'll be clearing out my mother's house so it can be sold. My younger brother doesn't want to stay, even though I offered to help him get a mortgage and buy out his siblings. And I am on a campaign to rehome more cats. I've bumped up my marketing efforts and they are having results. 

Lastly, I have decided to buy another vehicle. My poor Z3 is falling apart and has no less than 290,000 miles on the speedo. I'm leaning toward a Nissan Frontier or similar.

* See Key to Characters at right.



a depressing sort of freedom

During the past years, I postponed some activities because I needed to be near my mother. Some probably deserved postponement - like buying another motorcycle. (I'm still postponing this.) But now we all know that some things don't postpone well, like long distance relationships.

I'm not backtracking and claiming the relationship with Cincinnati* didn't work out solely because I was committed to caregiving. But I recently read an article that explained my feelings for him.

The Atlantic recently published an article about people who meet online, fall for each other, but for one reason or another don't meet for months or even years. One section that included an interview with a Reddit moderator explained what happens with others. It sort of happened to me as well. 

"I guess people on online dating sites know what they’re looking for, but these people in nevermet relationships aren’t really looking for love online,” the /r/LongDistance moderator tells me.  “Then one day they realize they love the person they’ve been talking to online. It’s a weird mindset to be in.”

This isn't exactly what happened, but close enough.


After meeting on FB in 2011, I finally met Cincinnati for dinner in either late 2013 or early 2014. He wasn't what I thought he'd be like. On FB he was always smiling, jokey, boyishly romantic. In person he was serious, looked serious. He was shy and didn't smile much. But these major differences in his FB and real-time persona didn't put me off; instead, they intrigued me.

But almost immediately after our dinner, I lost my job on a Tuesday and my mother fell and broke her hip three days later. And my ability to pursue this relationship took a major dive. I had to put my emotions on hold.

By the time I finally made it back to him last November - well, you know more about it than you probably want to know. (The shoes I accidentally left under his bed are still in Ohio, unless he threw them out. I hope not; they were pricey Donald Pliners.)

I still think our lack of communications played a big part in killing this relationship, but lack of time did as well.

But this hasn't been on my mind nearly as much as something else: relocation.

I want to leave Texas, and I hope I'll be able to do this before 2018 ends. Chicago and Los Angeles are on the shortlist, but this could change.

* See Key to Characters at right.


after the funeral

I arranged a simple graveside service for my mother, which was held two days ago. The sun was out and it was a warm day - about 70F - although the wind was up. 

More people attended that I had expected, including a friend who I'd known since I was 10 years old. We had a big falling-out about 15 years ago and hadn't spoken since, but since she had always been fond of my mother, I had a mutual friend tell her about the funeral. Now she's a Facebook friend, which means it's going to be difficult to de-activate the page again. I had only activated Facebook to tell people who lived near my parents' businesses that my mother was gone.

I did send Cincinnati* a short email telling him my mother had died. I didn't make small talk; it was just an announcement.  He read it almost immediately (I used a hidden mail tracker) but did not respond. He must really hate me to act in such a cold manner.

I was the last to leave the funeral. To me, death is not totally real until you not only see a casket lowered into the grave, but you hear those first clods of dirt fall on the casket. And this is what made me cry.

* See Key to Characters at right.


four weeks. two days.

My mother died last night.

I went to see her after work, having missed visiting her Monday evening because of working late. I was upset from the minute I walked in, as she was nothing like the previous visit of two days ago. She was having dreadful trouble breathing, even with the oxygen tubing (aka nasal cannula) and her mouth was bleeding a bit.

At first I thought the pnuemonia was the cause, but the hospice nurse said that she was so ill that she couldn't swallow properly and couldn't keep liquids from going into her lungs. The aspiration was also affecting her oxygen levels.

Because of this, the doctor had taken her off food and limited her intake to ice chips. She kept begging me to bring her a drink of water but all I could do was give her stupid little spoonfuls of ice chips (plus water when nobody was looking). I had brought her some banana pudding as I knew she really liked it, but I couldn't give it to her. 

She kept coughing and it sounded awful; somewhere between pneumonia and tuberculosis. She kept telling me she couldn't breathe.  So I asked the nurse what we could do. She said that she would increase my mother's oxygen when she got the okay from the doctor. I asked why we couldn't just crank up the level, and she told me that oxygen is considered a drug, and that nurses aren't allowed to increase it without a prescription. (I'm not kidding.)

I watched the oxygen monitor numbers keep dipping to below 80, but no doctor's order arrived. I waited and waited, but still nothing, and my mother kept saying she couldn't breathe. So I finally reached behind her bed and cranked up the oxygen.  It took a few minutes but she began to look better, and the coughing subsided.

Eventually she asked me to adjust the bed so she wasn't sitting up any more. I asked her if she wanted to rest a while and she said yes. She said that I needed to get home and have some dinner.

Less than two hours later, the hospital called to tell me she was gone.