Living the Sky Life


Russ and I visited a friend in Leesburg last night. We got some good dog time in with my friend’s dog. She is a year younger than Cracker was, and is now fifteen. They were good friends at the barn. My friend is going through the same routine with her dog now that I did with Cracker—all of the many medications required; helping her down the stairs; speaking louder and making herself more visible to a dog that is getting both more deaf and blind. When we greeted her, in her excitement at seeing old friends, she dug through her box of toys until she found the ball she wanted and enticed us to roll the ball for her.

There is nothing better than an old dog.

As we were getting ready to leave the house, I asked Russ if he brought a coat, since we had ours on and he didn’t.

Remember, I said I had to go back and get it?

Oh. So you don’t have it.

I told you I had to go back and get it. Don’t you remember?

Yes. So you do have it??

You were there. You saw me put it in the car.

(I do not remember any of this whatsoever).

Oh yeah…that’s right…So is it in the car now??

He’s clearly exasperated.

No, it’s not in the car….

Ok, so where is it?

Huffing, with his hands in his pockets.

I. Have. It. Here.

There is an awkward silence between the three of us standing there.

(This is the moment when you are thankful to be the third wheel in a group).

So….Are you going to go get it?? And put it on…Before we leave?



I’m mid-sentence and Russ interrupts me.

You have something in your teeth.


I try to fish it out with my tongue.

Here, he said, picking up a plastic fork. Let me get it for you.

I. Am. Horrified.

We…are…in…a…R-E-S-T-A-U-R-A-N-T. NO!!!!

So what? he said, as the fork headed straight to my mouth.

I backed up in my chair.

Oh. My. God. Are you kidding me?

Here. Let me get that for you.

And just like that, he did.

With a plastic fork.

In a restaurant.

If that isn’t true love, I don’t know what is.


The three of us went to the 3rd Annual Chad Dukes Veteran’s Day Jamboree last night at the Tally Ho Theatre. (That sentence is a mouthful and one you just can’t make up). It was a benefit event for Stop Soldier Suicide.

We had dinner in town before, and luckily, my friend was in the bathroom when ‘The Fork Incident’ went down. At least she was spared the embarrassment of the oral spelunking performed tableside. When we left, we stashed our leftover boxes under some bushes in front of a small, commercial building on the way to the show.

You have to love a small town for that!

The event had two opening bands before the headliner started—Matt Woods, and The Wrinkle Neck Mules. They were a mixture of country, rock, folk and bluegrass. Both bands were awesome and played for a couple hours between them. By the time the feature band got on stage, we were three beers deep, which is about two too many for me (and my friend!). We left to grab some hangover grub, before things got ugly, and headed home.

Yep, that surely is a sign of the times, leaving before the feature band starts.

(And only three beers? Didn’t see that coming twenty years ago….)

(That’s why they call me Rockstar.)


I wasn’t planning to shower before leaving Leesburg, but we had enough time, despite our early departure, so I did. I walked downstairs and Russ screwed up his face in a grimace.

You’re wearing the same clothes as yesterday?? Ewww….

Umm, YESSS. Seriously, what is the big deal?

Russ just shook his head, his face still crumpled up in disgust.

Yeah, but I took a shower, so I’m good.

So…you put dirty clothes on a clean body??

(Duh, MOTO).

 Umm, YESSS…

Russ shook his head.

You’re like a giant contradiction sometimes. Did you know that??


Actually, I did know that.

We get in the car and it’s not five seconds before Russ says, Ewww, don’t you smell that?

Smell what?

You’re clothes?

What about my clothes?

They stink!

No they don’t!

Have you smelled them?

So I did.

And they didn’t… to me anyway.

I swear to God. I’m going to start calling you Batman! Seriously! You have some weird, supersonic hearing and smelling super-power that other normal humans don’t have, did you know that?? You weirdo!!

We were headed to Bob and Edith’s, but Russ decided he really wanted a Bloody Mary with breakfast, so we changed course mid-route. We ended up at The Silver Diner because they have a bar. (If you don’t know about Bob and Edith’s, you’re welcome). The nice thing about being a party of two is you are usually seated right away. The hostess walked us down to a row of two-tops against the wall. Russ sat down, and immediately noticed the arctic blast blowing directly onto him.

What the fuck? Its 35-degrees and they have the AC on full blast! You’ve got to be kidding me!

I switched places with him to feel what he was talking about. We eventually moved one table over where it was slightly better, but I couldn’t help notice everyone who was sitting on the side of the table against the wall had their puffer coats and vests on, and everyone sitting across from them, on my side, didn’t. We looked like individuals from two different hemispheres meeting at the equator with the tables between us.

Once we ordered our food, I caught Russ staring at me.

I stared back.

What are you looking at?

He kept staring until he got a little smirk on his face. Then I knew.

Ok, don’t say it.

Momentary silence.

It’s like you have a third eye.

Seriously?? I knew you were going to say that! Thanks a lot!

The restless, hungry kids around us took our minds off the North Star on my forehead.

Hey, you didn’t order your Bloody Mary.

I can’t! he says clearly flustered.

 I’m going into hypothermia over here! I can’t even drink my water!

I laugh at this confession.

You just had to go and switch it up, and go somewhere else, didn’t you?

You said you wanted a Bloody Mary!!


We could be eating at Bob and Edith’s right now instead of sitting in an icebox.


We ate like NASCAR drivers and left before Russ went full popsicle on me.

Walking out the door, Russ started shaking his head.

You women and your eyes.

What do you mean?

All that shit you do to them.

I knew where he was headed with this, as I saw the group heading in, as we headed out.

I played his silly game.

What do you mean?

He starts gesticulating wildly at his face with both hands.

You know? All of that stuff you do with your eyebrows, painting them on, and tweezing them into a thin line…and all your fake eyelashes that take up your whole face. Why do you do that?

I don’t do that…

Ok…well…you don’t, but a lot of women do! Don’t they know? Guys only care about tits and ass. It’s like ‘Are you a tits man or an ass man?’

I knew better than to try and deconstruct this rhetorical question.

Russ turned to face me and threw his arms up in exasperation.

Have you ever heard someone say ‘I’m an eye guy!’

I was laughing too hard to point out that women probably do these things for their own self-esteem and satisfaction, and not for others, even men.

What flabbergasts Russ about it all of these “improvements” is the person starts to no longer resembles the person.

But as a woman, I know that I am constantly striving to improve myself physically, and it takes up way too much space in my head. More than it should. And the fact is every woman has different ideas on what constitutes beautiful.

Just like art.

Even if there are a few services that are trendy at the moment…..

I gave Russ a moment to settle down.

Well, you have beautiful eyes, I said. So you don’t have to worry about any of that.

Boom. Drop the mic.


Peering out the window I asked, How long has that crane been there?

Ohhh…I’d say a few months.


Why do you ask?

Oh, I was just wondering…

What he didn’t say:

Because you just noticed it today, right?!

What I didn’t say:

And you expect me to notice if you grabbed your jacket?!?

Do you even know me??

Sometimes true love is saying nothing at all.






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