This is for Debbie Kim~ she knows why

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The One that got Away~ Final Installment # 21

The phone jolted me awake. I had been in a dead sleep when the annoying ringing had begun. I struggled to see the clock. One o'clock! I looked over for Lonnie; his side of the bed empty. My heart quickened with fear. No good news ever came at this time of night. Cobwebs filled my head, my thoughts fuzzy and confused.

On ring eight I picked up the receiver, speech slurred with sleep; mind racing with fear.
"Hello?" "Lonnie?"
Lonnie's voice on the other end. "Yeah, it's me." What a relief! "Are you alright?" My voice shook.
"I can't find the house. I'm sure I've passed it. I may be a mile or so down our road. I'm not sure."
Hot fear washed over me for the second time that night. "What do you mean you can't find our house? What's wrong with you?! I thought of my Dad becoming lost on his way home from the farm. A road he had traveled since he was ten. Seventy-three years he had traveled that route. Then one day, with no warning, he couldn't find his house.
Suddenly I was wide awake, remembering the evening. Remembering Lonnie calling me to say not to wait up. He had left San Antonio late, would be very late getting home. He had missed the snow. Most of it anyway. We had spoken just a moment and I agreed to go to bed and not wait for him. He seemed fine during that conversation, just tired. What had happened to him in the last five hours? On our road and couldn't find our house? This certainly did not sound good.
"Have you lost your mind?!" I shouted into the phone. " What is wrong with you! Tell me!"
The fall had left me forgetful, easily confused. After thirty years of tending to household finances, I could no longer stay on top of things. Lonnie had taken that chore over the day all cell phones and electricity were disconnected. Lord, we both couldn't be weak minded!! My heart pounded wildly; the racing sound filling my ears.
Finally, he answered. " It's this fog!! I have never seen anything like it!! I've been fighting it for miles! Have you not looked out a window?!! Turn the big outdoor lights on! (they were on.) You are gonna have to stand at the end of our drive or something. I think I've missed the house again!!"
I turned on every outside light on the place. Walked to the picture window, pulled the curtains back and could not believe my eyes! My truck, pulled all the way up to front garage, was gone! Swallowed in the fog. I could see nothing!! Freezing fog! This was freezing fog!! I had grown up on the Chesapeake Bay, then spent two years on the Texas coast. I knew fog. I had been blessed to spend a week on the Oregon coast. Watching the giant grey wall roll in off of the Pacific. So large, so thick, some evenings I was certain I would be swallowed, lost forever in the damp, grey mist. I had never witnessed anything like this!
"Put your lights on bright so I can see you. When you reach the mouth of our drive, I'll tell you to turn." The thought of standing outside in the frigid cold held no appeal. Lonnie agreed to try this method.
Soon enough the lights of his truck pierced the gray wall. "Turn, turn, turn, now!" Barely missing the roadside mailbox, he cut the truck sharply, kinda hitting the drive; enough to make it down the long driveway, rolling toward the garage. Whew!! So thankful he was home and safe.
He unloaded his luggage, dropped it in the middle of the living room floor, made his way to bed and collapsed. Asleep and snoring before I could say a word. He looked soooooo exhausted. I had no idea how long he had fought this fog, how many miles, but it had to have been a miserable trip home. Again, simply thankful he made it home.
I crawled back into bed, pulled all covers up over my body and fell back into a hard sleep.

At 3:30 Flash woke me, whining. This happened to be my cue to rise from the warmth of my bed to take him out. I swear the basset had the bladder of a pea! I felt low level aggravation building within me. I did not look forward to leaving the warmth of the bed. However, I didn't want to deal with the results should I refuse to take him outdoors. When we were going through house training his nickname had become Flash Flood, with good reason. His whining was becoming more frantic. Best get up and head outside.
I pulled on layers of clothes, grabbed my coat, slid my feet into boots, grabbed gloves then searched for a leash. All the while complaining to Flash. He answered with a hardy wag of his whip like tail. Oh, who was I kidding? This dog knew I would walk through fire for him. I believe all animals know when they are dearly loved.
Remembered where I had left the leash, rigged him up and out the door we shot.
We walked outside into the freezing fog; my first experience with this type of weather.

This was the same night I experienced ice crystals. The night the crystals floated and danced all about me. The night my camera had not been at the ready. The same night I frantically scrambled to capture that perfect shot. The night my Dad's voice rang in my ears. The long night the perfect shot had been lost. It was the one that got away!

Whether aliens or light and ice crystals, I had not felt that drive or single mindedness since I closed my business. The sheer challenge of chasing that perfect shot!! The overall "rightness" of the entire experience. While I missed the shot, the sheer excitement which filled me was staggering!

The visit to Jan's had played a major part in my shift within.
The move from the town I loved, the death of my Dad and ensuing legal battle and finally the accident. All of these events, compressed in a relatively short period of time, had taken a toll on me.
Being with Jan, who knew me so well, loved me as only she could, had been healing. Jan accepted me, flaws and all. Reminded me to laugh at myself. Sweet Jan, who took the time to help me remember who I used to be. She made me believe not all of the best parts of me were lost. To have the courage to return to living in wonder. All these gifts given freely and unknowingly. All while we talked, giggled and cried surrounded by the love we shared for the other.
Jan, horrified to learn I had stopped writing years ago. I felt I had nothing worthwhile to say any longer. I argued this point but to no avail.
Jan, who believed in me when I could not believe in myself. Who reminded me writing had once been a part of my soul. Silly Jan, setting up a blog for me and telling me,"now write!"

Now, because I had been with Jan just a few days earlier, I could look at the last two years as a blessing. I had been given the time and opportunity to explore writing, just refused to see it.
With the healing of my body, I had been blessed with the time to return to the two activities I loved most as a young person; writing and riding.

Somehow over the last two years I had lost my way. The overwhelming grief of losing my Dad. The anguish of the following lawsuit. The fall from the gray horse, causing physical pain and frustration due to my newly limited lifestyle. All of these events had made a profound impact on my very core. Yes, I had lost my way.

Until now. I had missed my shot, true. Clearly, that shot was never meant to be captured. I had been pulled outside for other reasons.
I turned toward the house once more to visit the beauty of the tree, light and freezing fog. Within seconds this story came to me. Almost instantaneously, this long tale shot through me and was written before I made it to the front porch. Most all of these 21 installments flooded out of me in a matter of a few days. I knew the title, themes, characters before I found the warmth of my home. This story, while true, came from a place not of me. It wrote itself.

I understood fully I was the one that got away. And on a cold night in February, lost in self doubt and freezing fog, searching for that perfect shot, I rediscovered myself instead.


Epilogue
Several weeks ago Maggie and I got lost, I mean lost! in the Grasslands. I had intended to ride maybe a couple of hours. Instead, I was in the saddle almost seven hours! We slid down steep sandy slopes, swam through many deep water crossings, climbed up steep rocky inclines and found ourselves in dark, cool woods. The day was magical.
I thank God for the profound physical and spiritual healing I have undergone.
For those of you who have stayed with me through this long tale, may God bless you as well.
Thank you for helping me feel I do have something to say. Stay tuned. Many stories to come and many many blessings I wish to share. ~ with love~ TB


7 comments:

debianne May 27, 2010 at 12:53 PM  

Isaiah 43:19
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

"Silly Jan?" Ha...I say silly you!!! She was RIGHT! It's been there all along, just waiting until the timing was right for you to tell your story!

I'm hooked...and I'm right there with Jan, waiting for the "next and the next and the next" because I'm greedy for your words!
love ya.

Janera May 27, 2010 at 2:34 PM  

I'm humbled and overjoyed, all at once. Mostly, though, I'm just glad you're writing.

See, I told you. LOL

Sharon Brumfield May 27, 2010 at 5:07 PM  

Girl.....it has been my pleasure!
I have so enjoyed your story....each and every word of it.
It captured my mind and heart...and gave me a sweet look into another sisters heart.
I look forward to more stories.
Anyway....you can't leave you just got a makeover!.;)
Hope you have a great weekend.
Next time you get lost....take your camera!:) We would love to see the pictures.

Cheryl Ann May 27, 2010 at 7:45 PM  

Terri, I LOVE your new layout! I'm envious!

Rising Rainbow May 27, 2010 at 8:24 PM  

I suspected this was where you were going. Guess that's because we're kindred spirits of some king. I sure know what it's like to be lost......and to find myself.

LOL at you saying you're heading for bed after reading my blog. Sometimes when I write what I've been up to it makes me tired too!

I appreciate good horses of all breeds so I've enjoyed my time with the Morgan horses but they will never win me away from the Arabians. if you ever go down that road, I hope it's with one from me. It would be pretty cool to have that kind of connection.

Can't wait to see where your next story leads.

MiKael

donna baker May 27, 2010 at 10:22 PM  

Terri, I haven't read all your installments, so I'm trying to fill in. But it seems all is going well and we have much in common. First and most, our animals. I've always loved horses and want one so bad now. I had a quarterhorse growing up and rode bareback all the time. My fondest memories. My winkies are my kids since the other ones left home and I love them dearly. I would also love to get a pony for my grandchildren now. Trail rides...nothing better in my book.

Midlife Mom May 28, 2010 at 3:46 AM  

What a wonderful story! Your unique way with words is a pleasure to read! Glad you found your way back and the stories are being written! Love your new make over!!!

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Wife, mom, sister, friend, seeker, mystic

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