Friday, June 1, 2012

Standing inside the fire sometimes gets hot...

Is that a dead mouse?  Is it the septic?  Is it a dog fart?  Is it a gas leak?  Whhhhhaaaaatttt is it?  These thought occupy my early waking mind.  Not a pleasant way to return to consciousness.  Life in a trailer – even as sweet a trailer as Flame is not without its challenges.  Upon early morning investigation, we still don’t know.  We have eliminated dog fart and gas leak.  The dogs did fart but now they are outside and the smell remains.  The holding tank shouldn’t be full – yet seems to be burping.  A dead mouse, well that’s instant karma in our war against rodents.  Did we wound one with our modern trap that took revenge by limping away and dying in some crevice?  We don’t know.

A little chilly still to sit outside and write, so I breathe through my mouth as I type and hope my essential oil diffuser will pour enough lavender into the air supply to save my soul.  You know how odor sneaks in anyway?  It’s doing that now.  It occurs as a small threat to our peace of mind.  David has removed himself by taking the garbage and recycling to the “curb” and I attempt to hold my breath.  Could be a rough day in Flame.  Have I mentioned that life is not dull?  It’s not.  Really, it never has been, but it certainly isn’t lately.  Regardless of the stank, mornings are still my best time.  Later in the day, my fatigue sets in and my mood is often erratic.  Yesterday I likened it to a chronic and very bad case of PMS.  David now says he understands what PMS feels like, and ladies, I believe he does.  Thin-skinned, thrown by the slightest curve ball, excessively sensitive, unpredictably dark – and very very tired, these are my constant companions.  After our systems being on high-rev for so long, it’s no wonder we are feeling the stress hangover.  I pray for physical resilience and for that which makes us stronger not to kill us later. 

We cycle through our PMS symptoms separately then sometimes clash against each other.  Sometimes we are lucky and one is in an up swing when the other is down.  In these times we are able to provide momentary doses of love and patience.  Enough, it seems, to not kill each other in this small space and to continue walking down this path hand and hand.  Last night, we went to Edie’s.  A former and beloved neighbor, a year ago she said sad goodbyes to her dream house which is now in a pile of rubble.  A brilliant architect and a dear friend of the family from whom we bought our house, there couldn’t be a better choice of partner in designing our next rendition of “home”.  On the way over to her place, running late of course, we attempted to talk details of things that might normally be “fun”.  Our plans for our August trip to the Bahamas, the finishing of David’s man-cave.  All roads lead to upset and we pulled in the driveway attempting not to hate each other.  You married or long-time coupled people know the type of hate I am talking about.  In one moment, love is present and the next a vile level of despising that overtakes all senses and makes you want a divorce on the spot.  Fortunately, we know this comes and goes and is heightened under stress so we sat through it, didn’t say anything we couldn’t take back and returned to neutral.  Edie greeted us with love in her eyes and bear hugs and sat us down at her dining room table to a spread of delectable snacks.  The best guacamole ever with large chunks of cilantro, which we ate the healthy way on sliced veggies.  Prosciutto, goat cheese and spicy jam, which we piled on whole grain bread slices.  You would have thought we hadn’t eaten since the fire.  We gulped it down enjoying every morsel while pulling out our computers and beginning the show and tell process of our budding ‘dream home part duex’.  “We want something like this, but smaller.  We want a wall of windows, but in our budget.  We want a gourmet kitchen, but trailer size.  We want…” Encouragingly infused, Edie contributed her well-oiled wisdom.  Pretty soon our frowns turned to grins as we imagined a future.  After 3 hours in her patient presence, we bid adieu and headed back to Flame.  There are many hurdles between these initial notions and a finished product.  There will be compromises to make along the way, potential downsizing from small to smaller, letting go of some finishes in favor of our modest budget – and a team is taking shape. 

David just pulled back in the driveway and it’s time to investigate the stank further especially before our moods darken to match the growing odor.  I harken to the olden days and all the stank they had to live with.  Bodies covered in perfumes to hide the rank, what must have floated through the air on a regular basis from human waste and decay to who knows what.  To them it was normal, to us spoiled modern peeps, it is barbaric.  We will start with the obvious and clear out the storage tank.  Fortunately our fruitful trip to Camping World also fetched some septic deodorizers along with our extra holding tank.  I have my humor at the moment so will bring my husband more coffee, pat his head, feed the dogs and attempt to lighten what could feel dark.  Later, when my mood shifts, I may call you screaming.  I may demand a refund from this wild merry go-round called life.  I certainly may file a complaint.  I may want to sink into the muck and plead Uncle.  I may want to check in to a 5-star hotel and never return.  Or I may take a birdbath, put on my party clothes and head to Boulder, Colorado to see my favorite band sing my favorite songs and bask in the summer air with a thousand other Face fans.  While there, I may pretend for a moment that my life is “normal” as I sit in the crowd with a group of many others who are pretending the same thing.  We will sing together at the top of our lungs and thank God that these 6 men found each other and choose to continue preforming through rain, snow, sleet and hail so while in their presence we can remember what is good about the world. 

I have registered my requests for my favorite songs.  It is almost guaranteed that they will play most of them in the 3-hour concert.  So, to further launch this morning in the right direction, let’s channel the fabulous Forest Kelly as he croons Garth Brook’s ‘Standing Outside the Fire’ an oh-so appropriate ode to the life I am living. 

Sing with me?

We call them cool
Those hearts that have no scars to show
The ones that never do let go
And risk it the tables being turned

We call them fools
Who have to dance within the flame
Who chance the sorrow and the shame
That always come with getting burned

But you got to be tough when consumed by desire
'Cause it's not enough just to stand outside the fire
We call them strong
Those who can face this world alone
Who seem to get by on their own
Those who will never take the fall

We call them weak
Who are unable to resist
The slightest chance love might exist
And for that forsake it all

They're so hell bent on giving, walking a wire
Convinced it's not living if you stand outside the fire

Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire

There's this love that is burning
Deep in my soul
Constantly yearning to get out of control
Wanting to fly higher and higher
I can't abide standing outside the fire


  1. Bless you, Kristen. And your sweet husband. You epitomize one of the lessons I try to teach the teens: invulnerable vs. invincible. Yes, sometimes life can HURT me, but life can never BEAT me.

    You know sometimes when I sing at the top of MY lungs, it's not to dodge, forget, or pretend - sometimes I do it to stare adversity in the face and flip it the bird. "You talkin' to ME? That the best you GOT???"

    Or to quote another one of my faves that we do:
    "Play it loud, raise your voice, shout it out."

    love and hugs - Mark

    1. Ohhhhh I love this comment!!!!! So much that I am going to re-post it on my FB page as well as saving it FOREVER!!!!

      Bless you right back, Mister Megibow!