Wooden Castles

Daily Inkling Prompt: Backtracking
You return to your hometown or community after five years of being away. Give us a rundown as you rediscover things place-by-place with new eyes.” Continue reading “Wooden Castles”

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Dream Journal 1/7/19 | Thanksgiving Wedding Robbery

I was visiting my family in Maine for Thanksgiving, and was staying in my step father’s mom’s old house. Continue reading “Dream Journal 1/7/19 | Thanksgiving Wedding Robbery”

Mom’s Visit | The Final Day

Liam was barefoot, and as I placed him down on the grass, I remembered that he has never walked barefoot on grass, or sand. It only took him a few minutes of funny walking to get used to the it, and enjoy it… but he definitely did not care for the feeling of sand between his toes.

[You can read about Days 0-1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, Day 5 here, and Day 6 here.]

Hello, friends. Yesterday was my mom’s final day visiting with us, though her plane doesn’t actually leave Illinois for another 3 hours or so. It was a very mixed day. I felt really on edge, and anxious, from the time I woke up, to the moment we said our goodbyes. I tried so hard to make it a good day, but it felt like my mom and I were butting heads more often than not, and it created a lot of tension.

Kyle worked from 10-6 yesterday, so it was another day of just my mom, Liam, and I. Liam has been in quite the mood for the last couple days, including yesterday, which resulted in an early nap, which I was hoping to avoid doing, since we were going out to eat that night, and I didn’t want him being fussy. Ah, life with toddlers. Everything revolves around them.

My mom came over just after lunch, and we left in search of local garage sales, since there are signs littering the entire town. After over an hour of driving around, which was pretty quiet and uneventful, and not seeing anything of interest, we decided to drive to the mall so that Liam could play a bit before dinner. I stopped by Sears to see Kyle, but was told that he had just gone to lunch. I asked his co-worker if she could get him for me really quickly, as there wasn’t a single person in the store, and she was just standing at the register, but she told me she wasn’t allowed to (which is bullshit). Since I don’t have minutes on my phone, I couldn’t text him to tell him we were there, so we left, and hoped that he would be there when we came back through.

My mom bought me a late lunch at my favorite spot in the mall, and I shared a delicious, pretzel bread turkey sandwich with Liam, who already eaten lunch, but always insists on eating everything in sight. We also went into Maurice’s to scope out the huge clearance sale they were having. My mom tried to buy me every single article of clothing that I touched, not I kept telling her not to. She was not happy about that.

When we got to the play area, it was empty. I ran around with Liam for a while, but he was being naughty, and kept running out into the open mall, and I had to chase after him. There is a ramp and some stairs right outside of the play area, and he always runs toward them, which is frustrating and exhausting. My mom sat at the opposite end of the play area, taking videos and pictures the entire time. As we were going to leave, I asked her if I could see them to send some to myself, but she told me that she had deleted all of them, because none came out.

Well, okay then…

We left the play area, and my mom insisted on going into the mall bookstore to look at children’s books and puzzles for Liam. I saw so many books that I wanted to get for him, but I let my pride and my bad attitude take charge, and wouldn’t let my mom get any of them for him.

I don’t know why. I really don’t. I wanted them, he wanted them, and she wanted to buy them. I said no. What is wrong with me? Ugh.

I headed to the bathroom to change Liam, and my mom disappeared. When I came out, I was stopped by a young couple with a tiny baby, and we chatted a bit about babies and whatnot, before I went back to Sears. Luckily, Kyle was there this time, and he gave me the details on our dinner plans for the night. We were to meet his mom and step father at Applebee’s at 5:30, which was an hour from that point, and then he would be meeting us there at 6:00, after he got off work. I gave him a hug and kiss, and he got some cuddles from Liam, and I went back out to meet my mom and let her know what was happening.

Since we had an hour to kill, we decided to head to a local park that I had been to before, but had never visited the playground. It is a massive plot of land, with a cute lake, a bunch of walking trails, and a large playground, lined with sand, and surrounded by grass and trees. It is a beautiful park, and I wish we lived closer. Liam was barefoot, and as I placed him down on the grass, I remembered that he has never walked barefoot on grass, or sand. It only took him a few minutes of funny walking to get used to the it, and enjoy it… but he definitely did not care for the feeling of sand between his toes. It was funny.

There was another mom there, and she had two little ones with her, a toddler boy, and a tiny infant. Her son was about 2.5, and he watched us closely from the picnic area while Liam was on the swing. My mom sat herself beneath a tree, and watched us from a distance. She didn’t have much interest in playing until the end of our playground adventure. After nearly 15 minutes on the swing, we decided to explore the rest of the large playground, and the other little boy joined us! Rather than telling you about it, here are some pictures I took!

So that was fun!

We left the park around 5:20 and headed to meet Kyle’s mom and step father at Applebee’s. They were already there when we pulled up, and we sat in a large corner booth, and ordered our appetizers and entrees without Kyle, since he would be joining us a bit later. I ordered the Southwest Steak and Black Bean Soup, as well as the Crispy Cheddar Bacon Potatoes, for myself, and the kid’s Chicken Grillers and broccoli for Liam. It was all super delicious. I forget what Kyle’s meal was called, I think it was one of those “Build Your Own” things, but he got sweet potato fries, a steak, and some seriously amazing looking mac ‘n cheese.

It was a nice dinner. My mom and Candace politely went back and forth over who would pay the bill, as I expected, but they settled on splitting it evenly, which I also expected. We then gathered in the parking lot to put Liam’s car seat back into our Lincoln (it’s been in my mom’s rental all week), chat about some upcoming family events, and say our goodbyes.

There were hugs, and thank yous, and my mom cried.

And then it was over. She leaves tonight, and though her plane doesn’t leave for 3 hours still, and she has been sitting at the airport for 2 hours, she did not want to come by today. I’m okay with that. I had a nice week, and it was honestly good to see her, and for her to meet Liam, but I am completely drained. I don’t know when I will see her again, but I do know that I am happy to have things go back to normal around here. We definitely work better with a thousand, or more, miles between us.

I have a few other blogs I need to write, but I don’t know when that will happen. I need rest. I need to recharge.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Dream Journal 4/18/16 | Medieval

Liam and I were visiting family up in Maine, and we were staying at my mom’s boyfriend’s mother’s house. Liam and I were staying in her split level house, while everyone else was staying in the obscene large mansion that she had casually built onto her old split level. I was sitting in the dining room, Liam on my lap, talking to a few family members, when I started feeling tired, and curled up on the floor with Liam. Everyone kept on talking, and I fell asleep.

I opened my eyes and it was morning. I could hear whispering, and turned to see my mom’s boyfriend’s son, and his girlfriend, staring at me from the hallway. I was still lying on the kitchen floor. They were wearing nothing but towels, and they hurried past me, through the kitchen, and out the door, without a word. I stood up, and suddenly started to panic, because Liam was not with me. I ran around the house calling his name, but he wasn’t there. I entered the mansion part of the house through a massive, iron gate on the other side of the living room, and tried to find someone to help me look for him. Several family members saw me running from room to room, but none of them offered to help, and just ignored me.

I found my mom, and her boyfriend’s mother, sitting at a long dining table in a great hall, and asked them if they had seen him. My mom told me that the only available bed was in the attic, so they locked him up there. I started crying and ran to find the attic. Upon reaching the room, I found it empty, and I screamed dramatically. I opened a door on the other side of the room, and was suddenly on a rocky beach. A few yards away sat Liam, kicking his feet in the shallow, ocean water. I ran and scooped him up, squeezing him against me, sobbing, while he playfully tried to push me away.

I went back inside, and found all of the family members sitting at the large, dining table now. I started shouting about how awful, and irresponsible it was for them to leave him alone in the attic, especially when there was (freaky magical) access to the beach. They all just stared at me, and my mom’s boyfriend’s mother laughed and told me to stop being so overprotective. I was livid. I put Liam down and grabbed a chair, chucking it forcefully at her head. It crashed against the table, and everyone started screaming and running away.

I grabbed one of the chair legs, stuck the end into the nearby fireplace, and threw the flaming torch into the scattering crowd. One of the family members called me a monster, and she threw a mug at me, but it missed and shattered on the ground. Liam started crying, and I picked him up, calmly walking out of the large room, while everyone kept shouting fearfully.

We walked back to the split level part of the house, and walked out the door. I checked each of the dozen cars parked in the driveway for an unlocked door, and ended up stealing a black sports car. I drove the car to a nearby park, we got out, and started heading toward a nearby swing set.

And then I woke up.

Dream Journal 3/31/16

[Since I’ve been so busy being glued to the couch with my sick, clingy toddler lately, I haven’t had any time to type out the dreams from my dream journal. I finally have a few minutes today, so here is dream 3 of 3.]

Kyle, Liam, and I were driving to Canopy Lake Park in Maine, and we were lost. I was telling Kyle to ask for directions, because the GPS on his phone was acting up, but we ended up finding our exit and following a bunch of signs to get to the park. The parking lot was completely empty, and I asked Kyle if they were even open, but he assured me that they were.

There was no one stationed at the gate, so we just walked right in, and headed for the first ride we saw, which was a teacup ride. There were no people in the park, but we didn’t seem to notice or care. Kyle kept complaining about how sunny it was. The gate to the teacup ride was locked, and Liam started to cry. We decided that we would spend some time at the large wave pool instead, but when we got there, there was no water in the pool. We found a large hose, and put it in the pool, and filled it up ourselves, even though we couldn’t get the waves to work. The water was crystal clear, and it looked like a tropical beach, with the bottom of the pool covered in white sand.

A woman showed up at the pool and waved at us enthusiastically. She was the only other person in the park besides us. She took off all of her clothes and jumped into the pool completely naked. Just then, a group of 6 or 7 little kids, which I assumed were with her, came running out of the locker room, and jumped into the pool after her. There were now several beach balls being thrown around, and we kept getting splashed, so we got out of the pool. Kyle was angry, and was cussing up a storm, complaining about the woman. We did a lap around the park, but there were still only a few other people there, and none of them were employees.

After walking for a long time, we came across a large archway, with a “Zoo” sign, and Liam starting jumping up and down and cheering. We walked down the path to the zoo, which descended into a thick, green rain forest. There were brightly colored birds, terrifyingly large bugs, and pterodactyls everywhere. I had a large camera around my neck, and was taking pictures of everything that we passed.

There was another group up ahead of us with several children, and they were all screaming about something that was going to get them…

And then I woke up.