In this bit of shattering memory I have changed the name of the man who I married to be X. The man I married the one who never married me.

I had been married since 1998, it was now 2001, and I was pregnant with my fourth child, my husband said he wanted to have five children. He said he waited his whole life to have a family. He had through years spent with two other wives; he said they never wanted children.

I was wife number three, looking back now I should have known something was off about all that perfection I was presented with when we met. I did not realize the way he asked me questions and then somehow had stories to fain similarities. Looking back now, I see that when he told me my son and I were his “dream come true,” he meant what he said one hundred percent, just not in the way I heard it. He said he waited his whole life and been through two childless marries before asking me to marry him. We had a new home in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA; we were there no longer than six months when, for some reason, X decided we had to move to Colorado. Colorado is where he lived with his second wife. This shouldn’t have be a problem, right? Colorado was a large state, right? We moved immediately to Colorado, and I got pregnant with my third child in Colorado. I had a beautiful daughter, his parents stayed with us for her birth, and I recall his mother telling me she saw her son mistreating my first son Daniel. She said he was treating him like his dad treated him. I asked her to explain, and she said he was just not being nice. She seemed to regret bringing it up. Maybe she was unwilling to say what she saw; I will never know as we were never friends.

In Colorado, I remember my youngest son’s pregnancy the most. One weekend just two weeks before I was due to give birth, I was outside cleaning horse stalls and feeding horses. For some reason, X came out to likely complain about the children in the house; he could not stand being with them very long. I was out in a paddock, and he showed up behind me.

He had nothing to say or offer to what I was doing. I thought this was a perfect opportunity to make a special request, something I had asked for in the past, but he ignored it. I asked if it would be possible for the next two weeks at least until I gave birth if he could stop meeting with his girlfriend. He said no, of course, then in shock, I slid between two pipe panel-rails to go back to the house and check on my children, since he had left them unattended. I was in such shock I forgot how huge I was, so heavily pregnant and my son had to move to accommodate my sliding through the fence.

This is one of those moments that has been burned on my memory in vivid detail. I actually said, “Since I will be giving birth soon, do ya think you can stop seeing your girlfriend at least until I give birth?” That part comes back sometimes with a hollow squishy uncomfortable feeling. When I recall his response, that is when I feel the stabbing feeling, it feels like a knife that has been perfectly dulled to cause a slow-rolling ache one that lasts longer than a sharp stab. His exact words were, “No she is my friend, so I will have her if I want to.”

Fast forward to the hospital giving birth; for some reason, I had to have a Pitocin drip. My labor was malfunctioning and weak, so the staff at the hospital explained I needed a boost to make sure I gave birth quickly enough, so the baby was not harmed. I don’t know why I had dysfunctional labor, but I do recall X sitting in his chair by the window, checking his pager and smiling, often. I know he was not receiving coded messages from his family because the only family I had he refused to speak to and his family he spoke to on the phone. There was someone else who he seemed to enjoy very much while I was in labor with his child.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with a pager technology, a pager was a far cry from the smartphone of today we take for granted. The first pagers were capable of receiving numbers and producing a signal to alert the owner to a request for them to call whatever number back. This capability morphed into an ability to receive texts.

X had a model that came with a booklet providing special codes so he could receive coded messages. He also had a palm pilot so he could send and receive messages. That labor I spent looking to my right at my husband almost nonstop watching him communicating with someone else. It was not until the doctor came in and drew his attention away from “someone else” that he put his devices away. At that point, everything went blurry, I was in pain, and although I was giving birth, I don’t think that is what hurt the most. I can’t be sure because I was focused on making sure I did my job as a mom and delivered my son, but the pain this time the overall ache was far worse than with my other children, I think something set in, finally.

I was thankful my children’s Godmother was able to watch my three for my birth, and I could not help but think that if she was unable to watch them for the birth of my last child than they would be left at home alone with their father while he hit up a magazine stand with me occupied in the hospital.

This is what I remember now; back then, I did not realize what man I was married to. Back then, I knew he had a girlfriend, actually, it was three separate ones that I knew of as well as his second ex- wife. I found out later than he moved us to live next door to where his second wife lived. In hindsight, I supposed I should have asked why he had to move to such a specific area, but it did not occur to me at the time.

My stay in the hospital with my new baby son was minimal. I was excited to go home and greet my children and show them their new baby brother. I always adored the idea of being a mom; that was my dream come true. Sadly, my husband chose to be our nightmare.

He drove my son, and I home from the hospital the day after he was born, it was around eleven in the morning when we drove up. He left immediately to retrieve my other three children. I remember thinking this was bizarre, but I remember thinking maybe he was going to get me a gift, maybe some

flowers to show that he appreciated the work the pregnancy took. He did tell me how he planned to treat me with kindness and love and how he would massage my feet and help me, I was still waiting for those things but maybe, flowerers, after all, I was in the hospital, and surely he would think of flowers.

He left I went in and lay on our bed with our new son and fed him, relaxed and rested. He returned with my children in what felt like moments.

As they were coming into the house, I collected their new baby brother and took him into the living room so they could see him. I wrapped him in a blanket that was given to me as a gift, but for some reason, I did not know who gave us the gift. After sometime between a half an hour to an hour, I hear a vehicle pull into the driveway.

The car was one I did not recognize, but X was excited and ran out the door. It was a woman he invited her to my home. I recognized her. It was a woman from his work the one he spent his time with, the time he stole from his family. He invited his girlfriend to our home within hours of my giving birth, just after I came home from the hospital. What I remember the most the sensations are burned on my soul, we somehow were outside as she was leaving. I stood alone, holding my son in that blanket, that white blanket. I watched X and his girlfriend talking and enjoying their conversation fully, they talked so close together; you just could not ignore what they were to each other. There to this day and in my face, he made sure I knew he had been intimate and more than once. It looked like she was doing her best to imitate a cat in heat rubbing up against him, cackling and giggling, and he enjoyed it fully. To this day, I still hate that blanket that was wrapped around my son, that was the last day I saw that blanket, it seemed to vanish almost instantly.

I remember thinking the kids Godmother told me he had issues; she told me he lied; she told me I should be careful. I could not believe I actually defended him to her.


My son Daniel

He told me that if I did not “get on the stick” and “soon” that I would have to consider a hysterectomy as the only option. 

I was only twenty-five years old. I worked hard and had not planned for this to be an option now.  I ran my own business’. I had an art gallery and a small printing business.  I worked every day, my daily routine flashing through my head.  Finally, the words actually leave my mouth.  I work every day, I am no longer in a relationship, and I am not ready to have a baby.  What other options are there?  Doctor Finnigan stared at me, waiting for a respectable pause and answered, there are none really. 

“If you want to have children, ever you better plan on it soon.”

I walked out of his office with slips of paper that ordered me to go to other offices to get my blood drawn, to schedule surgery and one that explained why I needed to find a way to have a baby or be childless.  

I was single because I had broken off a five and a half year relationship with a man who finally had told me he did not want children, and I knew I always did want children.  I felt this was the deal-breaker, so I went my own way. 

I did not feel it was right to have a child in a home where they may learn they were not wanted and wished for by both parents.  It was about a year ago now that I told Steve, I needed to leave because deep down, I knew I would never be happy without children.  He asked me to stay and said we could work it out somehow, but I felt at that point it was him giving in to a child like I was holding my ground for a favorite movie or restaurant.  

It took me exactly the amount if the time to consider my choice in leaving Steve as it took for me to reach my Toyota 4-runner.  Like a zombie, I opened the door and climbed inside.  I went to the first of my errands before going to work. I needed my blood drawn and results needed to return before my scheduled surgery the day before my twenty-sixth birthday.  

I showed up at the art gallery a bit out of sorts I am guessing the situation was showing on my face as my employees seemed concerned.  Each asked if I was ok, feeling well.  I decided to call a meeting and locked the door after placing a “be right back in 15 minutes” sign on the door.  

“Ok, here is the scoop, I am going in for a simple surgery on the eighteenth and will be out for a few days”.

I explained it was supposed to be a simple process where the surgeon pumps your stomach up with gas like a bloated frog, cuts a small hole in your belly button.  Through the small hole, the doctor will insert a hose with a camera to find renegade bits of tissue that has somehow gotten lost; its, “not a bid deal, really.” I say.

I see one of my friends at the door as we are finishing up with the gallery business and excuse myself to let him in.  I tell Daniel to hold on. I was just finishing up a meeting.  HE agreed and started playing with a kinetic sculpture that was designed to be fine and frivolous with brightly colored cartoon characters of cowboys and Indians on horseback rocking back and forth.

“Ok Guys,” I say, “any questions or comments? “

There was in unison a unanimous sigh of relief and a no, we are all good, and with that, I said: “good, let’s get back to it.”

Daniel walked over and asked what the meeting was about; he said: “it seemed kind of heavy.” I told him about the doctor appointment I had and that I was faced with some decisions.  

Daniel cocked his head to one side, squinted, and said: “why?”  “What is the big deal, what is the problem?” “Just go to a bar and BOOM, their problem solved.” 

“What,” I say, “I am not going to a bar to find some guy to donate, gross.” 

“Why?” “Why won’t you go to a bar and get it over with?” Instead of explaining every detail to Daniel and going down a path, I really did not feel comfortable with him, I just looked at him and rolled my eyes.  

Daniel just stared at me with a deadpan look, until he could not hold it any longer then burst out into a laughter that was way too loud for the gallery to be discrete.  He then proceeded to giggle and laugh nervously for what seemed far too long.  

After he collected himself, he said, “why don’t you find a friend to help you out?”

“I don’t know, maybe because its kinda creepy, oh yea, hey, I need a stud service, please.” Daniel looked at me and said, “I am your friend.” Then let out a never-ending smile. 

I responded to that smile, trying to object to his suggestion that he was a friend I may be able to lean on for this special favor.  I said but, “I would need to find a man who had hair kind of like mine, skin tone and all I would not want this child to wonder where they came from. “I explained I would need to know that he understood this child is my choice, and whoever helped me in that area would not be required to raise or stick around either of us.    

These are the things I thought about when my twenty-four-year-old son and I found his father.  We had agreed to go our separate ways for eighteen years and even signed an agreement.  That agreement to stay apart even as friends is why I still hold onto guilt after all these years.  This is what I thought about when my son, Daniels’s father, asked me what I named his son.

I named my son Daniel, after a friend, who gave me the best gift of my life.  This is what I thought about when Daniel said, “I have been writing and sending letters for years.”

I never received a single letter; I was thinking about what could have been in all those letters when Daniel told me, “If I knew then what I know now,” things would been different.  


Three Congenial Nannies

It was a warm San Diego night, and the ladies had just left the Hard Rock Cafe heading down the sidewalk to the Greener Pasture, a new pub hot spot. The ladies giggled as they walked three-wide with elbows locking and steps clicking in stride. They were excited and had heard it was a great place to meet people. 

Just before the end of the block, the girls cross the street just under the sign that says, “Gaslamp.” “Wow,” Nina said, “that stretches across the whole street.” “It looks like an old bridge,” said Nonie.” Nina, Nonie, and Nancy started across the street and made it to the door.   The girls cued up and went inside. The bar was full, so the only option was to slide into a booth that looked well used for this evening, and wait for service. 

Nina became fed up with the wait first and said, “hold on, let me give it a try,” she heads for the bar, determined to find some room to squeeze in along the bar to get noticed and some service. Nina stood barely five foot two did not make much of a presence; she pushed her way through as best she could but found herself about twenty feet from the bartender and out of shouting range due to all noise. Just as she was about to give up a single beer appeared in front of her, floating like a holy vision, she took it. Nina saw the bartenders; they were still working on the tequila lime shooters and surrounded by customers demanding orders. She scanned the room, looking to find where the beer came from. Bingo, a man, is sitting in front of her to the right.  He looked like he was in his thirties, overweight, and had a bushy unkempt beard.

The man nodded to Nina to signify he had been the one who sent the beer, embarrassed she pushed her way back to the table and sat down. Nina said, “this was all I got, and some guy bought it. Ya know how we were just joking around about beards that make men look like a cross between Bigfoot and a billy goat.” This was bought by a huge billy goat beard man over there to the right sitting at the bar.” 

Nonie says, “Ok, that’s it. I’ll try now”. Nonie was taller, five feet five, and she was wearing two-inch heels tonight, pushing her way through the crowd. Again bounced back by the excited customers packed around the bartender. Suddenly a beer appeared just in front of her. She took it. She looked for the bearded man to thank him, she looked right and left, she was discombobulated and could not remember where Nina said he was so without thanking anyone she sat back down with the beer. 

This time Nancy said, “Great,” she rose up to acquire her drink. She was a good five foot eight even without the almost four-inch heels she wore tonight. People seem to part for her and her blonde hair. She made it to the bar but still some distance from away from the bartender. She scooted down the bar to the right and made it to the Bearded man. He was sitting there with a fresh beer for her. 

He introduced himself as Bill, and it took all her self control to avoid laughing out loud, and she did not want to explain where laughing came from, so she had to control herself. He introduced her to his two friends, also sitting at the bar; they were far smaller than he was, and each sported a smaller version of the facial hair display. He said, get your friends, bring them over. Bill then got off his stool and offered it to Nancy. Bill jumped back on his stool as Nancy turned and made her way back to the table. 

Come on, let’s go! Confused, her friends scooted out of their seats. Nancy grabbed each of them by their wrists and dragged them to Bill. He smiled; his friends smiled; there was no point in a conversation because the noise in the bar was outrageous. Bill jumped off his stool and gave it to Nancy. Then he gestured for the others to give their seats to Nina and Nonie. The three men backed up and waved with larger than life smiles turned and left the bar, the girls never saw them again.  

The end.


Hi my name is Jedda

Hi, my name is Jedda Hi, my name is Jedda, it means hi my name is pretty in the language of my Grandfather and his Grandfather before him. We are people who came from the Dreamtime, and the Dreamtime was way back so far back; it is a place we can see only in our dreams.
To me, my Grandfather is Pop; this is what I call him. Pop has told me that language the only one has been spoken for so long there is no way to measure the number of years. I do like the idea that someone has to say I am pretty when they call me, but honestly, I am not sure why that is my name. I do not know why it was given to me or who picked it.
I am no more pretty than my best friend, Kierra, and her name does not mean pretty. I like to call her Sis instead of Kierra. I want her name to be Jedda; also, maybe if her name was Jedda, people would quit calling her “Creamy” or “Half,” “Half-Cast,” sometimes we are both called “Abo.” This is supposed to be a bad thing when white people call you “Abo,” but when we are both called Abo, it means we are both the same and sisters in this life together.
When we went to school, we were picked on because we were too dark or too light. Sis has blue eyes and light hair. People say her father was white; we are both Aboriginal; we are always the wrong color.
In the sun, sometimes Sis’ skin will burn, I do never burn, I get darker. My hair is always the same, but in the sun, my Sis’ hair will turn as gold as dry grass in the bush. Kierra and I are so close we are like sisters; that is why I call her Sis.
Today is special, Jedda is sitting in her chair impatiently waiting for Pop while she taps her feet together, tap tap clap, tap tap clap. In walks Pop, it’s early, yet he is not fully
awake. “ready for breakfast?” he asks. I jump off my chair and slide it under the table, peeking at to see if he sees me trying to be careful. I grab a loaf of white bread off the counter and hold it like a rabbit by the ears and let it spin open. When the loaf of bread stops spinning, I undo the twisty tie quick like in one go, “ta-da.”
I say, presenting to Pop the opened loaf. Pop takes two slices and places them in the toaster. I carefully squeeze the air out of the bread bag and put the bread on the counter and tie the bag again.
I go to the old refrigerator to find that, to my surprise, the door shelf has a butter dish. I take the butter dish and put it on the table. I grab the step stool to get something in the cabinet that is too tall for me to reach. I step up on the counter and get a dark brown jar with a yellow lid, the word VEGEMITE written across the label of the jar in bold red letters. Jedda jumps down to the floor. After today no more using the stool to get back down from the tall cabinet after today. Pop is cooking some eggs in the cast iron skillet; he used butter for today’s eggs. It must be a special day, “no fat today” I think, “it is a butter kind of a day today. “Together they sit eating breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast with butter and Vegemite. You don’t need to salt your eggs when you spread Vegemite it is very salty but good.
Pop says to Jedda, today is a special day for a special birthday girl, so let’s get your Sis and go for a walk. At the kitchen table, Jedda squirmed in her chair put her fork down, scooted over to the edge of her chair she was just about to shoot off her chair to run to the door when Pop said “after you eat your breakfast” “can we have Sis over for breakfast?” Jedda asked.
Kierra lives in a small brick house like Jedda and her Pop, but Sis lived with her Mum, her father was gone since before Sis could walk. Kierra’s father was a white-fella, and that is all Jedda knew about him. Sis or her Mum never talked about the man who was Sis’ father. Well, almost never, the one day when her Mum said he was Kierra’s father so Sis would be able to go to school, to university do what she wanted and never have to explain she was an aboriginal it was so the world would treat her nice.
When I asked Sis’ Mum, what about me? What will happen to me? Her Mum reached over and gave me a big hug and said you are beautiful, Jedda, both my? The girls are beautiful. Now go outside and play.
These are the things Jedda thought about as she walked to Kierra’s home, briskly walking across the dirt patched lawn to the front door. She thought about what Sis’ mom would do all day if she and Kierra went walking with Pop.
Jedda hesitated then bounced on each of the two steps like they were great cliffs, and she was a huge giant who could leap the giant obstacles with ease. She thought, “I would never be old; I won’t allow it.” When people grow old, they seem to go sour; they spoil and turn dark no matter what color they begin as. You are old is when I will always be a kid, I will always bounce across huge cliffs when walking along a path. Jedda walked up the steps to Sis’ house, she opened the screen door, put her hand up to knock. The door opened with a screeching creaking sound. Sis’ Mum and Sis were standing there, clapping their hands together. “Happy Birthday,” they both said so excited for Jedda it was her birthday.
Jedda was turning twelve years old today, and no birthday would be complete without her best friend by her side celebrating with her.
Kierra’s Mum said, “ok Kierra is all ready to go, you guys have fun, and be nice to your Pop today he is getting old!”. Kierra reached behind the door and grabbed her bag as well as a small box with bright hair ribbons tied around the box. The box looked like it was decorated for something special. The paper and ribbons had been used many times before. The girls used the same ribbon and paper for the last couple of years. For as long as the girls knew how hard things like this were so hard to come by. Special Birthday gifts were always appreciated. The care of the wrapping paper and the ribbon the girls shared had now become a favorite tradition. They took pride in how carefully each took the wrap off their gifts.
Today is going to be such a good day, the day when my Pop will take Sis and me out for a walk on the red track. We will be walking all day, but we hit the bush within minutes.
We will learn real “Abo” things, we will learn the things we have not been taught before today. We learn about things that are good and things that are not good. It is always a good day when we are outside even in the summertime like now; when the sand is so hot, it can burn your feet. I like to walk with Sis. We take the same steps; we lock our elbows we listen and giggle a lot. When it is hot out, we play a hide and go seek game with the sun racing under gum trees and bramble bush. Any shade is a safe spot. I made this game because my Sis burns in the sun if she is out in it too long. I think we will always play these games. When we play these first games, we made up when we were little; we are the happiest always.



The red-backpack lay near the daffodils, the black strap stretched just enough to gently touch the two tiny mushrooms growing under the flower.


Her mom named her Daffodil after her mom’s favorite flower, sometimes she wished mom’s favorite flower was named Amber or Kate. Most of the time, she wanted another name, maybe a normal name, a little girl’s name, not one meant for a flower. Maybe if she had a different name things would be easier.  

The other girls in the class liked to make jokes about her name, and the boys, for that matter they teased, sang songs and danced around pretending to grow flowers out of their heads sometimes. That started after their teacher decided to play that movie “Daisy Head,” in class. Now the only name that seemed worse than Daffodil was Daisy.  

Sometimes Daffodil wondered why the other children did not pick on how much her name sounded like her favorite cartoon character. The little black duck from the Saturday morning cartoons. She thought that it would be more fun to watch her classmates act like that duck getting frustrated, stomping, and even stuttering. She would have much preferred to be called Daffy. Daffy, Daffy she was singing in her head, Daffy never laffys. She does not like taffy. She was testing out the potential for her new imaginary name to be used against her by her classmates. Oh no, Daffy has gassy, oh no, that was worse than the plants growing out of kid’s heads. She made a mental note to hide all her drawings of the little black duck deep in her special red-backpack, to keep them safe.

Daffodil may not like to be called after the flower her mom loved the most, but she does love to play in the flowerbed full of them. Once she and her best friend Jenny pretended they were both horses pulling a princess carriage along the path next to the flower bed, this game was best with the yellow flowers. That was the game where they kept trotting along the path, and they would stop at each end of the path, pawing the ground, making horse sounds and then sneak a quick bite of a flower or grass nearby. Of all the games Daffodil played with her namesake flowers, she liked the one where she and Jenny played “Tea” where the little flowers were the best cups and saucers. You had to play this with the white and yellow flowers because they looked the most like cups and saucers. This was also a game that could be played alone if she was alone, and she was almost always alone.  

Sometimes along the creek was the best place to play. There were willows, the trees that seemed to grow like very very tall grass, the willows were like a tiny jungle with little paths winding through them, and wow they smelled wonderful.  

When Jenny and Daffodil went exploring in the willows along the edges of the creek, they always found families of mushrooms. Mushrooms always grew in what looked like families. There were the tall parent mushrooms, tiny baby mushrooms, and of course, what seemed like older siblings and maybe aunts and uncle mushrooms. Once the girls picked two whole families of mushrooms and made a mushroom stew. 

When the stew was made, Daffodil and Jenny sat under the huge oak tree, pretending to eat a special wild mushroom stew, and they even served some for their future children, one of whom would be named Daffodil. 


Walking Home

I am in Mr. McFarland’s class at my desk sitting in my plastic chair, waiting for the three o’clock bell to ring. This is everyone else’s favorite bell of the day, and it is my least favorite. This bell signifies the end of the school day and time to go home for the day.
I try watching the clock because I had heard a watched the clock moved slower, the second hands still seem to be going around at the same pace, and I can see the minute hand jerk along.
I do not want to go home, school has always been my salvation, the place where I had friends, a place where meals were served, and dangers I have grown accustomed to within my home did not exist. School was a safe place.
Now it’s over, three o’clock and there goes the bell. I decided to lag behind in the classroom, collecting my things from inside my desk cubby. I can’t just make quick work of it, I have to do everything monumentally slowly. I have to make sure I spend more than ten minutes here, I know I can spend another ten on the way out in the girl’s restroom, and if I walk real slow to the front of the school, I am sure to miss the bus. I have learned if I am at least twenty two minutes late for the bus, it will leave without me. There are others who need to get home, others who want to be home. If I miss the bus I have to walk home, and it is almost two whole miles.
Now I am dropping my things into my beloved bright red backpack. The stapler I swiped from my mom so that I could make paper airplanes with weighted wings during class. I had learned to use the staples to ad weight to make the airplanes fly certain ways. Next, my twin acorn, I had found one day on my way home. The cap to it looked just like a figure eight, like the figure eight in the “School House Rock” video, the video that says eight is a magic number. Based on this logic as a bonafide kid, I decided that acorn and its cap were both magic. I can’t forget my stubby pencil, it was sharpened down near the metal, almost no paint left on it and with almost the whole eraser left too that was the best if you could sharpen a pencil down to the metal and still have the whole eraser left. I also have the famous double tip pencil. You somehow get these often enough by breaking the metal eraser part off a new pencil and sharpening both ends. The advantages to possessing these pencils were many; it afforded more trips to the pencil sharpener during class and served as a nice conversation piece, a point of pride. The last thing I have to put in my backpack is a large gum eraser I use it when I draw during class. The best thing about this eraser is it makes me feel like I am an artist.
The clock says 3:12 I have not taken long enough. The janitor will be making his rounds soon to kick out any kids, not with parents from the classrooms. I have to make a switch to the girls restroom I will be safe in there for a while. I walk to the door, carefully only peeking out into the hall from a distance. Slowly I edge my feet closer to the doorway, leaning back still not quite ready to go through that door. I hear a squeaking cart and footsteps up by the cafeteria, Uh oh its the janitor making his rounds! I peak out and look both ways. The cost is clear and hide to the right away from both the footsteps and cart. After so many escapes, I just knew one day the cart will catch me before that janitor does. Yes! Safety I made it to the girls bathroom. I am safe. Here I can go through the library book I have, and if I get really desperate, I can look at my science book again. I never made it to my science book I had both my side of the mountain and the first boxcar children to read. I started with my side of the mountain, and it kept me entertained more than long enough to miss the bus. When I left the bathroom, the busses were all gone, the cars were almost all gone, and I saw almost no one. This was exactly what I was hoping for.
I could walk across the lawn, but instead, I walk the long way around the sidewalk to the edge of the parking lot then step down on the asphalt. Off we go… most of my walk home is on a dirt path that goes right along with the small-town road. I have memorized many interesting places along the trail, there is one place where it looks like there was once a home and they had planted some very fine flowers, daffodils grow every year, and another place where asparagus grows, this I eat when it grows I pick it raw and snack on my way home. There is a haunted house on the way home, complete with broken windows, and we all know there are ghosts. My favorite place on the way to or from home is the double oak tree. It starts with one trunk but splits into two and each half curves, so in ended up kinda looking like two pieces of elbow macaroni with branches or maybe deer horns. If you walk up to the tree and stand between the two halves looking through, if the light hits the trees just right, if you hold your head just so you can see the landscape change and twist, shimmer, and shine, you can see your hopes and dreams in that tree. I am not the only one who has wished and watched the visions on the other side. To this day, not a single person has walked through to the other side of that tree where their dreams become real. One day someone will just have to do that. One day I know it will be me.