15 minute posts,  place holder posts,  Slow News Day,  word-driven-blogging

Our stories.

I really don’t have anything to say today, not that that has ever stopped me from rambling…  I’m good at filling up space. I’m good at small talk too. Who says that? Everyone usually says they hate small talk. I just think of it as using small talk to get to big talk. I never use small talk as a shield or fakery. I love being a journalist and I just start asking questions and before I know it there’s a story! Everyone has a story. Even me. Duh. Of course I have a story.

I have a few big stories.

My first big story is that trip I went on with my family and my aunt’s family when I was sixteen and we drove across the country in a rented a 32-food RV called The Executive, which we soon renamed “The Execute,” and we broke down in every state. I’ve probably talked about that before. That was a big deal. It was traumatic. I think I might write a whole memoir about that trip someday.

Then there’s the fornication story and how I left my conservative religious background to be excommunicated twice over until I wised up and decided it just wasn’t for me anymore. I’m still living out that story. It’s a hard one.

Then there’s my divorce story and fleeing to the sticks in a rented U-haul truck, just me and Bug. That was a crazy Thelma and Louise story. And then the traumatic two years after that, living in poverty in a broken down mobile home that I loved so much. Oh, remember that huge backyard and the tomatoes? That was so awesome and yet so scary most of the time because I was so afraid of my neighbors. It taught me so much about poverty. But I escaped and I am so much stronger for it. Sometimes Bug and I talk about those years and I treasure our memories that only we two have.

Then of course there is my love story with Payam. That will always go down in my book as the summer sleeper hit that is still unfolding to this day.

Ho hum. I don’t really want to expand on those stories today. Someday.

Don’t you wish we could go on a long long walk and I could listen to your stories? Can you sum up one of your stories in three sentences in the comments? I know that’s a challenge. I’m curious though!


  • L

    I will read any story you write. I’ve been reading since Bug was born. I always appreciated how you dealt with your divorce on this blog, honest but not negative or disrespectful and always putting Bug first.

  • Geraldine

    I love stories and grew up listening to my grandmother’s stories, never getting tired of them. Stories are an amazing, wonderful way to learn about our world and the people we share it with!
    I have thought about getting a tattoo of an open storybook symbolizing past, current and future stories of my life.

    I have enjoyed your honest stories and writing style for a long time but have never commented.

  • JL

    I’ve been reading your blog for many years. We are very different – I’m older, married for 43 years, grown kids and grandkids, and I live in the country in a smallish town in Texas. But your stories have always resonated with me, and I think you are super creative, which I admire, and I think you are very brave to admit your faults and quirks, and OWN them.

  • Gingermog

    I would love to hear your story about traveling across the US with your family in a RV. I love all your stories though. I remember the days when you lived in the little trailer home, it looked lovely and vintage to me. You were so brave making a new life with Bug on your own. I recall the bathroom floor you painted when you should have been working on a deadline (essential procrastination…) and scary neighbours .

    I believe in what you say about small talk, leading to big talk. I think we are the kind of people who people feel relaxed around and open up I hold a lot of secrets, even strangers. I used to find people opened up to me on train journeys.

    Ooo my own stories where to begin? I love stories, one day I hope I am brave enough, or can tell a story well enough to go to a Moth event, or similar where people can stand up and tell a story. I think we both can tell stories which would empower people, give people hope, go from the lowest depths to rebuilding new lives. Butterflies. Which reminds me there are so many caterpillars, right now lounging on my purple sprouting brocolli like sunbathers on the beach. I spent a good half hour the other day gently picking them up, with a dock leaf and depositing them a distance away in another general leafy area. Who am I kidding, I think they are winning. Every plant I have is looking like swiss cheese. However I cheer myself byt thinking I am helping the U.K. butterfly population. Am I rambling much?

    My stories; how I fought one year to save my mother (from illness) my marriage
    and my home, ultimately loosing everything and learning sometimes how ever hard you work you can’t save a situation. Ending with me traveling to teach in Sri Lanka, mending a broken heart and re discovering my spirit amongst the welcoming people of this tropical island.

    Growing up creative as the youngest in a family of non creative, three times on a Sunday chapel going Welsh Baptist’s, on an island off the top left hand corner of Wales.

    The highs and low’s of living in a beautiful, if ramshackled barn full of cheeky swallows and bathing in a wheel barrow in a green house. Oops still living/writing that one ;) xxx

    • SAJ

      Bathing in a wheel barrow! I have to hear more about that.

      I love our stories. I am so proud of you. Your journey was so difficult and look at you now! heart heart heart emoji!

  • Gingermog

    Boo, my comment didn’t take, our internet is so slowwww today, it probably timed out. I’d resend later. Meanwhile I love all your stories and ramblings, your a gal after my own heart. Meandering takes you to interesting places. :) xx

  • Cathy

    I’ll totally buy your memoirs in 20 years, so please write. :) I have my own divorce story with my own kiddo and a long single mom run and my own Payam Prince Charming as well. I think we have things in common this way and was one of the things that attracts me to your blog, although I’ve been reading since Bug was a wee lil Bug. Plus you’re just a great human and writer and I appreciate your sharing.

  • Paula

    I have a story about leaving the (same) church too. it’s been so long that it feels less of a defining part of my identity now. But still one of my proudest accomplishments is getting free and having a good life full of friends and adventures and a wonderful partner.

  • Carlie B

    I am a long-time reader delurking to share my quick story also. I also grew up in a very conservative religion that is still intertwined with most of my family to this day (funny we would call church “meeting” also although I don’t think it was the same religion) and in my early 20s I left the church but then was also officially “ex-communicated” I had met my (now) husband and his 2 young kids and we fell hard for each other! We became a little family fast, and that decision to follow my heart and mind instead of clinging to a religion I was no longer sure of was the BEST decision i’ve made. Now we’ve weathered so many rough times, blending our family, etc and I get to be a mom to two wonderful young adults and also our firecracker 4 year old.

    This got long but one last thing – its SO hard to unlearn what we were taught growing up. I was raised to “go with the flow” to be super agreeable, etc. Now I value my OWN opinion and thoughts and everyday I remind myself that my feelings, thoughts and ideas MATTER.

    Cheers, love & light!

    • SAJ

      You are right. These things are deep when we learn them when we are little. It’s made me who I am today in some good ways but also in a lot of bad ways and I’m slowly un-learning those things. I still feel guilty about it too. It’s so weird. xo

  • Nina

    Oh your stories are so good, strong and true. Sometimes you look back and ask yourself, Did I really do that?

    Three short sentences that could be expanded into stories of my own.
    1. I walked a mine field every day while pregnant with my first child.
    2. At the Dallas Forth Worth airport, I once spent hours in one terminal waiting for my next flight, completely unaware that my dad, whom I hadn’t seen in years, was at another terminal waiting for his flight.
    3. I had a baby with a birthmark on his leg, on Mother’s Day, three minutes after my friend had her baby who also had a birthmark on his leg.

    Life can be weird sometimes. But oh the stories we get to tell.

  • Elaine C. B.

    (Late to the party but commenting anyway.) Once upon a time I left Active Duty military service to get a Master’s Degree. A year later, I was married and living in Italy.

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