This Man

He sees good where I see bad, beauty where I see not.

He saw me before I saw him.

He can fix anything, solve anything, even if it’s something he’s never done before. He says I exaggerate but I don’t. Need proof? There are too many stories to tell that prove this but I swear, when the zombie apocalypse hits, he’s the one you’re going to want by your side.

He does laundry and dishes and vacuums and is a better cook than me. Well, let me qualify that. He would vacuum if I let him near the vacuum. He’s hard on them.

He’s notoriously accident-prone.

Everyone who has ever been in contact with him believes in what we call ‘Art Karma’. Meaning, if anything can go wrong when he’s in the vicinity, it will. It’s become a bit of a family joke.

He’s tough and masculine and manly…and gets teary watching movies or commercials about dogs in shelters. He’s also not threatened by things other men can be. When I introduced him to a good friend who had a huge crush on him (male) his response later was to tell me it was rather flattering. Our yard is full of his roses.

His musical taste is a bit out there for most people. VNV Nation. Chrom. Assemblage 23. Blutengel. Mind In A Box. AFI. Agent Side Grinder. Empathy Test. But he also likes Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Tannahill Weavers, and Kitaro.

He is a big reader like me and like our son. Books are like old friends for him, so he keeps his favorites and re-reads them, just like I do. The Harry Potter series. The Expanse series. Tolkien. Anything by Heinlein. Any book I recommend. Any book lying around when he wants to read. And if I am reading near him, he likes to hold my hand.

You might not think it looking at that tough exterior, but he’s a soft romantic underneath. I’m not talking flowers here, which wouldn’t appeal to me anyway. It’s in all the little things he does that show how aware he is of what makes me happy, or what I might need. A quick example is when I went through radiation. Some of you know this story, but I had roughly a 45 minute window after getting zapped before vomiting started. Just about long enough to get home if traffic was light. I’d run in the house headed straight for the toilet…and a kneeling pad would be there waiting.

When my heart is broken, when my grief is soul-killing, he holds me and heals me.

And no one else can make me laugh until tears come.

This man. So grateful to the universe for helping him to sneak up on me when I wasn’t looking. I don’t deserve him. And he’s going to be so embarrassed by this post. Little does he know what I’m doing while he’s in the other room reading…


We all do things that help us feel in control of our lives. Some are tiny habits we may not even be aware of. One of the ways I feel in control is having plans in place. When I was little, these plans consisted of ways I would keep my younger siblings safe. I’ve mentioned this before in other blog posts.

When I was nine years old I had a plan in place to protect the siblings from the birds, for example. I would cram us into this tiny half-bathroom we had because there were no windows. I could put rolled up towels at the base of the door so nothing could come underneath. We’d have a toilet and water from the sink. We’d be safe.

Nine years old.

I had plans for what I would do when volcanoes erupted in my back yard, when dinosaurs came up over the horizon, when the atom bomb fell, and if a day came when mom and dad never came home.

These days my plans are a little more realistic. I’ve finally reached the age where I’m pretty sure dinosaurs aren’t going to come back and eat us.

This need to have plans in place slides over into a need to have a full pantry, like I’ve also mentioned here before. I need to feel stocked up.

Social media over the past few years has become difficult for me. It seems like there is so much hatred out there, and like people have been given a free pass to say whatever they want behind the computer screen.

To save my sanity, I started filling my social media with posts from groups I joined. I am a member now in groups about birds and rocks and foraging and canning and earthquakes and crocheting and…you get the idea.

I joined a group about stocking up and that one has turned out to be a mistake.

First, there’s a fine line between being prepared and being paranoid. Between being stocked up and being a hoarder.

Second, there’s a moral debate between how much one stocks up. Do you plan on feeding just your family, or do you hope to be able to help your community?

Third, there is a level of paranoia (unless you’re a serious pepper and then it’s not paranoia at all). Some people post photos of their lovely pantries and others will jump on them for using their real name, showing everyone what they have, and even listing the areas they live, saying that they make themselves targets for when the shit hits the fan.

And fourth, I realized this group starts me spiraling out of control. I see what others are doing to be prepared and that low-level panic deep inside begins to stir.

Flour! Oh my god, I only have one bag. These people are buying cans of grain to make their own flower, or growing grains, because when it gets bad, how will you bake bread when your single bag of flour runs out? I NEED cans of grains!

Medical supplies, five-gallon buckets of dehydrated meals, how to dig out a root cellar to keep things cold when there’s no refrigeration, salt and alcohol to barter with…

All these posts make me feel woefully unprepared, at risk, scared, and worried.

Here’s the thing. In reality, we’re fine. My brain knows that. We’re fine.

But that little child afraid of dinosaurs is down there frantic because there is no plan.

So what is my plan?

I’m quitting that stocking up group.

I’ve learned it’s not a match for me because instead of giving me great ideas, it’s giving me nightmares.

I’m going to qualify that statement though. One of the siblings I protected from erupting volcanoes is also in the same group. I told her she has to be my spy. I want her to pass on to me the good ideas. That way I can still benefit from the group without having nightmares.

Otherwise my poor husband is going to have to start digging out that root cellar.


There are so many times when I am blown away by another’s gift with words. Where I just have to pause and breathe, and take in the beauty of something that touches, so honestly, the author’s emotions. Sometimes it’s not even the words themselves, but the power those words have to also resonate with us.

With permission from the author, Amy Jones, here are some of those words, shared from her blog, Into the Deep. I don’t know Ms. Jones and I never knew her son, Caleb. But I respect her honesty in these words and her strength in being able to write them. And I speak Caleb’s name here on purpose, so that we remember. Please click on the link below to read her blog post.