Sunday, July 30, 2017

A different set of problems

We turned in our Service Dog in Training in February. We had him for 18 months, then he has spent the last six months in "Advanced Training" - or "Olympic Training" as I like to call it.

Training. Working hard. Learning skills and tasks to help someone who can't do the things he has been training in helping them to do.

The last two weeks, he spends "rotating" to different people who might need his help.

He didn't find his match this time.

Meaning, he will stay at 'Olympic Training' for one more 'semester'  - another three months.

OR at anytime, he can come back here.

He might not have it in him.

Either way he wins.

He goes on to be a service dog. OR he comes home, he turns into a "dog"

He's no longer allowed in restaurants, on airplanes, etc.

HOWEVER, he is allowed:

  • on  the bed
  • out of his kennel
  • to dog parks
  • to become a hunting dog
  • to become a snuggling dog
  • to do things that well, dogs get to do.
Which brings us to......

  • He now knows how to open doors, 
  • Turn on light switches
  • Open drawers
  • Fetch your slippers and beer......
Former puppy raisers whom have told me they had their "service dog in training returned" - well, you come home (they no longer have to stay in the kennel if you don't want them too) - and all the lights are on.


The door from the family room to the garage is open. The lid to the dog food container is open and empty.

They know how to do all these things.

If he doesn't make this program, he will be a really good "therapy" dog to someone. Don't we all need a different 'set' of problems?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Going offline

I arrived on the mainland ten days ago.

Making it now a couple of days without crying, but making it all the same.

When I think of my island time, it's a time I can't even describe to anyone. I actually don't mind working there - working my corporate job - as it allows me the release I need from the real world.

But, back here? Here in the world of structure, order, shoes, and schedules....Work is something I loathe. It's a chore - a much needed chore, like cleaning the bathroom. No one likes to clean the bathroom, butt someone has to clean......

We've passed the anniversary of the first child's death - rapidly approaching the second. Rapidly approaching a time in my life I wish would have been something different.

One day.

There will be a summer camp.

A flip phone

Some flip flops

I won't even know what a computer was supposed to do......

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sand in my shoe

A natural pearl begins its life inside an oyster's shell when an intruder, such as a grain of sand or bit of floating food, slips in between one of the two shells of the oyster, a type of mollusk, and the protective layer that covers the mollusk's organs, called the mantle.
In order to protect itself from irritation, the oyster will quickly begin covering the uninvited visitor with layers of nacre — the mineral substance that fashions the mollusk's shells. Layer upon layer of nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, coat the grain of sand until the iridescent gem is formed.
Cultured pearls are made in the same way. The only difference is that instead of accidental circumstances, a "pearl farmer" embeds a grain of sand into the mollusk.

Oh Peter, Oh Peter Pan - all this time, I had hope you would grow into the "pearl" I knew you would become. However, not all grains of sand turn into pearls.

Sometimes, you have to empty your shoe of all that sand.

Only then, can you find an already formed pearl.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Camp Counselor

For the most part, I have tried to stay out of the teenagers way.

Made suggessions. Let Duncan make suggestions based on his memories here. Given my opinion - heck, I even told them to hitchhike a couple of times.

One of the best weeks of my life.

One of the boys, his parents arrived on the 4th, they alll went fishing on the 5th - caught a 100 pound tuna, two ono's weighing about 30 pounds each.

These here are good boys.

Everyone should have to go to summer camp.

Even a camp of introverts - they could all go do their own thing at their own time, but be here together.

I received the ULTIMATE compliment from one of the kids. As I'm dropping them all off at the airport. He says to me, "Life changing week. Mahalo".

I nearly cried. Actually, I cried the whole way home from the airport.

THEN, the boys post a picture on Instagram, telling me thank you.

My heart was so full, I thought it might actually burst.

Oh Hawaiii, you could have sent me a letter telling me to get over here.

There was an old poem I remember someone reading me while I was at camp many years ago.

I don't remember it all, but what I do remember:

Being a counselor is the closest thing to celebrity status that I will ever achieve. I'm exhausted. Worn out - in the best possible way. Happier than I can ever remember. At the same time thinking "what the hell was I thinking" - I loved my little life....... Oh, that's right. With tears in my eyes I say to anyone whom will listen.

"See you next year"

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Damn you Kona

Right at that moment. You know the place between sleeping and awake.

Not quite awake. Yet not sound asleep either.

The moment between dreaming and real life.

So close.

I was kinda ready to go back to Denver.

It was a rough year last year. I so realized what a good community I have in Denver. My "support" system. The people whom have helped "raise" me.

I miss them.

Then you send me, a friend of mine's dad - a friend (Laurel - not her dad) we have traveled all over the world together. Dad went paddling with me. Twice. He's a widower.  He met me for the parade and fireworks. (I left him sitting next to a friend of mine from paddle club - she's a widow).

I went to volunteer at the kids race (canoe club earned money for us volunteering), just before the parade.

Then all the boys and girls are at Humpy's - they were awesome. We all sat and had pizza. After the fireworks.

All of us. Lily's dad, his girlfriend, his cousin, all the kids. One of the kids parents arrived last night too.

My friends dad said several times "This is a place you could get used to."

Oh, you have no idea......

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Dear Lily

Dear Lily,

My sweet daughter from another mother. What can I say?

What can I say to the beautiful young woman I have known since you were "a girl".

A girl I talked into wearing a hula outfit to meet her "brothers". "Brothers" none of us knew you had at the time.

A daughter I will love like no other - as YOU were "loaned" to me.

You have a mom and a dad. But the "Souls" of the world thought we should connect. 

And am I SOOOO glad.

You bring me joy. You make my heart smile. And the guilt I feel for breaking your heart is something I will always have to bare.

In my little world, I didn't break your heart until a few weeks ago. Before that, it was on your dad. 

But, what I realized in these last few days.......

We (meaning you and I) aren't going any place in life without each other. 


I LOVE how you tell the story of how we all meet. Your Uncle Barney, Me, Your Dad, You, Trudee, The girls, then the boys.
"It was love at first sight"

I soooo remember you standing there saying those words. Looking at your dad and I. With all the hopes and dreams a 12 year old can muster.

I believed it too. I still do believe it.

Only, we had the souls misaligned.

For you see my dear girl, it was your soul speaking to mine. "It was love at first sight".

Life sometimes has a way of tarnishing things, but not this one. This is one promise I can keep.

It was our souls (meaning you and me) whom were meant to meet.

Your summer mama forever.

Olive Juice,


(my sweet girl, I know. This isn't the ending you wanted. But I CAN promise you, this one is forever....)

The Sirens

One of the first books I picked up this summer was entitled "The Sirens".

It sounded like a mermaid book to me. Only half way through, I relized it was teen-lit and also about a whole different subject.

I had never heard of "Sirens" - completely different than mermaids. They were/are sirens.

Maybe instead of dying, my "siren" let me come to shore.