Here I am today, October 23, 2009, looking back on myself in my journal when I was 29, now 29 years later! I do not feel one single bit wiser — just far more skeptical. I also want to know at this point in my life what would it have been like to have been loved in a stable home and family so that a person leaves home and enters adulthood having a self, knowing who that self is, and LOVING that self? Do those people ever know how good they have it? Or do they take it all completely for granted?
(I began a Greyhound 30-day road trip on this date – alone, left the girls with my husband/their dad.)
February 17, 1981
On bus — leaving Fargo [North Dakota] heading into Moorhead [in Minnesota] — past the golden arches and down familiar 8th street heading south over interstate to a stop light. And another stop light. Moving on, Moorhead is growing all over the farmland. And then it’s flat charcoal colored fields – flat – littered with grain stubble and small piles of gravel and puddles.
A nice quiet solitude I can feel already — looking for images coming together like sunlight and steel. Midnight we’ll reach Omaha.
My daughter cried as I left — may her sky be sunny again shortly.
This land is so flat!
Breckinridge — NAPA dealer auto parts. Weathered houses. Square brick school. Worn-out buildings no one bothered to patch. John Deere implement. Tools of the land. The fox motel FOR SALE by Red River realtors. People in Mercury-Lincoln, day-glo orange parkas. White haired lady dressed in red and grey and black, helped off the bus into a Kuebla sport hat man’s pickup. The day-glo orange parka man got into a day-glo lime green pickup and drove away. And still the bus waits.
Avocado Music City Toyota pulls in and the gum smacking lady in the gold Whapeton School of Science windbreaker gets on. The avocado truck leaves and we back up and pull out heading south. We are all pitifully equally human.
We stopped at Ortonville at 4 for supper. Ate with an 86 year old woman who plans to go to Alaska next summer. She says if she were 20 years younger she’d move there tomorrow.
We just entered South Dakota. There’s more contour to the land – some beef cattle. Soil is lighter brown and rockier.
I remember taking the Greyhound from Rhode Island to Virginia to see Pat when I got out of the Navy. Traffic was crazy around NY city and the bus driver just whipped in and out of it.
I wonder why I balk at the “ordinary” life. All these people who remain living, working, dying in small-town USA. How do they cope? Each one of us is so common. We are special and unique and imperfect. Some are angry, some are naturally acceptant. Like this 86 year old lady Olga, married 72 years and her husband died last Christmas Eve. “It was meant to be so,” she said firmly and positively.
Wednesday February 18, 1981
Decided to go to Ashland [Oregon] instead of Fort Collins to see John. Lots of flat country and even here at the mountains treeless plains and brown hills — short mountains. Been doing some reading in The Greening of America about the “new” generation (written in 1970). Talks about level of consciousness. I feel I have compromised a great deal just to get along in conservative Glyndon. I feel unsure of who and what I really am — something like a sagebrush blowing here and there —
Thursday, February 19, 1981 8:30 AM
Caught my 5 minute connection in Reno and now headed north toward Ashland. I felt sad and lonely to leave my 2-day old friends and head off on another leg of this journey. I am looking forward to seeing John and wonder if Dave is there yet. I feel I need time to visit with John alone and his family, but trust God to have things arranged his way.
Went through mountains by Ogden, Utah during the night last night, but as the moon was full had some nice silhouettes. There are hills and mountains here, but NO trees and lots of sagebrush. As the sun rose this morning a huge full moon was setting — nice.
Already now 5 miles north of Reno I see trees on the hills. Just dots here and there, but maybe they’ll be more. We’re now in California.
Began raining 10 miles out of Alturas and here it is snowing. Giant blobby wet flakes that disappear into water when they hit the ground.
4 PM Thursday — Heading toward Ashland from Klamath. Finally after all these cross-country miles I got to see a good snow flurry although even here there’s no build-up. The trees here are pine and beautiful as the bus moves through this hilly area. I also liked the area directly south of Klamath on the highway. Lots of livestock and even in neighborhoods there were sheep, ponies and cattle.
Now the snow has stopped up here and the sun is breaking through the clouds and the trees. The bus is whipping through here so fast it’s hard to see and the windows are really dirty.
Lots of fresh tree cuts here — logging. It’s sad we use so much of everything. I wish I had a photographic memory so I could retain the image of these tall, majestic trees, but that impression would come as one spent time hre among them. I’m glad I cam this route.
February 21, 1981
Just called Pat.s folks and nobody answered. Don’t know how to get a hold of them if they’re staying at the lake. Went to the park today with John – really nice. Been wondering if there’s some way to combine Indian Studies and conservation.
Feeling pretty restless today. Leaving tomorrow. Wondering about direction for future — dreams — hopes — goals — seeing mid-west in contrast, comparison to west. Hard being so alienated from counter-culture – life style values somewhat at odds with mid-west. Little understanding there of cottage industry — alternative lifestyles. Crazy —
February 22, 1981
Have a head ache today – pretty bad – hope it goes away or I’ll have to get TyLeool or something. Just returned from doing laundry. Will have to pack up again here pretty soon. Beautiful warm day. Noticed in the super market — “hippie” lady and daughter — almost look like another race — stand out as such.
(went to visit my first ex-husband’s (who was my first love) parents)
That old love
like a cotton hammock
revisited years later
there in the rain and sun
nothing left but shreds
like our hearts
of those few short
intense experiences together.
I don’t remember
this road at all
It’s so bumpy
whatever comes our here
is hard to say
Here the leaves are all green
and the creek is flowing
mildly — foot bridges move between you and I
though slower than I
Moss coated fence posts
close to each other
as if whispering secrets
together in a frozen
march up the hill.
I’ve returned again
after all these years
she says so little
he says more
when he’s drinking
after heart surgery
4 weeks ago.
The road is narrowing now
maybe becoming more familiar
(When I was a child mom packed us up and headed down valley floor jeep trails looking for their ends and Cindy and I wondered on the way why the bell sounded tinkle and the creek sounded bubbly and stones — )
we’re at petrified forest road
petrified like his heart
after he electrified mine
and I let him
and my tears wet this road traveling, linking memories of you past to present.
But our culture says (and common sense) “that love lies chopped on a damp wet ground. If the wood’s good, dry it out and burn it. If not, let it lay and rot
[I crossed out soft and rotten and mossy and leave it}
and there’s grape orchards
T stakes in neat rows
like antenaes or soldiers
and lovely little trees blooming white
And there’s some people who live
in these hills and are probably fine. until death visits THEIR door!
and the blooming trees
in spite of it all.
Was there ever any hope? Why must all my talking be so siLeot and so hopeless?
We’re at Napa County – Calestoca
and he says (in the past) he’s so happy with her. I wonder — A neat old man with an eagle feather in his hat just got off the bus — It’s still here — so still — not a breath of air moving.
Pat and I could have been happy in a place like this. I have to stop blaming myself. The illness — my illness of alcoholism and also his illness together with mine sent everything spinning off into space. And even now at 29 I am still so restless — like something in my life feels out of place and I don’t know what — or why — and I’m riding on bus #1919. Accept the things I cannot change — so — maybe Pat and I could have raised a family here in California by Santa Rosa/Clearlake.
It’s an old white haired lady’s house. Wind chimes, abalone, clay and still
no music until time brings
another wind new direction
brings a sure awareness
that wind chimes
are wind chimes
even with no wind
and no chiming
God is my wind
and I am His chime.
February 24, 1981 Tuesday
Called Heath’s from Smith’s here at Clearlake and having traveler’s checks sent to Redwood City bus station. Will be heading there tomorrow — hope Ann drives.
I probably need to dump some of these feelings of hurt and rejection on my non-acceptance ten years later on what happened back there with Pat and I. I cannot change the past, so I have to accept it. Put together what is in the present. Ann told me today that Kay is in Charlie’s will. I felt glad for her, but wondered why Ann said something about Pat not taking care of his family, so Charlie wanted to.
February 25, 1981 Wednesday
Rode with A & C back to their place in Redwood City today. Down freeway #80 — what an incredible number of cars and people. I’d forgotten how many, but in the 6 1/2 years since I loved here there has been a lot of building and changes. Beautiful blooming trees, bushes and flowers. Everything green though not even 60 degrees. Looks like summer here in the middle of the winter. Strange, but somehow I still have a part of me that is a California person, but also a part of me that didn’t allow me to rest comfortably in this life-style of noise pollution and so many people.
I’m sure much more aware of how powerful my addiction to cigarettes is when I stay with people who do not smoke. I am terribly short of breath and the craving is crazy. I had a dream last night that I quit.
I’ve been thinking today about love; what is it and how does it affect human beings. In [alcoholism] treatment they tell us what a meaningful relationship is and what it involves. I never had those things with Pat, especially as I see now how totally warped things were because of my addiction and abuse of chemicals. I had no patience to let things change and take shape on their own, but rather took drugs, came up with “insights” and did things that affected my life and relationships drastically and irreversibly. If I had not left the duplex in Sacramento [fall 1971] and had the strength to wait for Pat’s return, or even the patience to work things out once he did get back — but, no — off to Ohio I went.
Why is it so important that I be able to believe Pat loved me once? Rejection is still a hard ting for me and yet I continue to set myself up for it. I am afraid of the present until it rests in the past at which point I can see the direction everything took and then feel the feelings — like the heavy heart I can still feel when I look back and still see I loved Pat and how sick we both were and wonder why I can’t let go and go on in the present and set meaningful goals for the future.
Careers are still a big question for me: forestry – wildlife biologist, conservation, ecology, recreation, forestry, landscape architect, architect, engineer, sign-painter, artist, writer, designer. Am I any further along in this area?
God, help me to be willing to accept all things that happen to me in my life as part of Your Will. Help me to change, and also to accept myself for who and what I am. I need to work better in interpersonal relationships with my doors and windows open to new, fresh breezes rather than trying to close everything up and stifle the spirit. Please remove my short-comings and give me a constant, strong faith in You.
February 26, 1981
Don’t feel ready to head to Santa Cruz tomorrow. Feel guilty Suzi is waiting there for me but hope she’s OK with me coming Saturday and then being on my way. Wrote Roxy long letter and hope she feels up for answering. Have to do laundry yet and pack and would like to see Bern and Mark yet before I go. Got traveler’s checks today. Yes, I do feel love yet for Pat, and it must be OK because I’m me and I’m worth it.
February 27, 1981
Called and talked to Leo and the girls. feel depressed, looking for answers and finding none. I wonder if there’s something biologically wrong with me that could be causing this frustration and depression.
(I called Leo back later and cried a bit, but felt like I touched down again with my reality. Talked to Jim and Casey, too, which was something.)
Also talked this evening to Ann [my es mother-in-law]. Took some risks this time in doing what I needed to do to break through with her on a feeling level and communicate. I feel confident and glad many things are no longer up in the air and I felt our love mutually.
March 1, 1981 Sunday
[Ocean Beach by San Diego is where I met Pat and fell in love when I was 18, conceived my oldest daughter, lived while pregnant with her and when I delivered her. It was her first home. I also met the friends here from Fargo, ND where I eventually moved with my daughter when she was a year and a half old, June of 1972.]
Here I am on the balcony of my motel room in Ocean Beach. I can see the ocean breaking on the beach. It’s been pouring rain in torrents so there is no horizon and the force of the water from the sky beats the waves flat. They say last week was in the 80’s and beautiful, and that I should have been here a week earlier. I’m just glad I am here, and if it’s meant to rain, let it rain. God knows far more than I about such things as oceans and rain and time and love and friendships.
Ocean Beach, like everything else, has changed. They’ve built apartments and brought in the people and the cars. The little house at 5025 1/2 Lotus Street where I first brought Kay home is still there; owned I’m sure, by someone else as Mrs. Evert has probably long since passed away.
The jets still roar over from the west — over the ocean into land. The rock jetty has been demolished except for a few feet of rock, and a much larger one built a bit to the north.
In watching the rain slanting down from heaven to earth if feels like tears — crying, cleansing. I long to walk where the shore meets the sea, and go out on the pier and get something to eat, but it is very wet out, and I’m glad the timing got me here to this balcony.
The waves breaking white on the shore know no time, or hurt or loss. They continue as they are moved in a rhythm unbroken by my 10 years’ absence. I remember walking that beach with Pat that first night — to the very edge of solid earth. It was very dark and I could not see the water, only hear its force and feel its weight within its sound. We sat there for hours. He pulled a joint out of his yellow T-shirt pocket and offered me a hit. I’d never seen it before, but did not tell him that. I declined. He smoked two. I remember how I enjoyed being with him. It’s funny, I remember the sun, but never the rain in February. I don’t remember it ever raining when I was stationed here.
I used to go to motels with Pat a lot then, (and later with Don, which I feel ashamed about. Pat I loved, but Don I didn’t.) Possibly that’s where I had trouble going with Leo to a motel as it brought memories of those days once we were there. I knew those feelings were there that night at the Ramada, too, and was not honest and able to talk to Leo about them.
I’m going to lay here a bit and take a nap and hope the rain will cease when I wake up.
(There is no comparing Leo and Pat — I don’t ever intend to do that — just bringing my past up-to-date with me now and hope to let it go.)
— I was Sage for so long — Sage – Sage – Sage – Sage.
Pat kenw me and married me as Sage. It wasn’t until Linda Eidsmoe came into his life that I took back my real name of Linda, as if that would have made the slightest difference to Pat. But that is the reason I stopped using Sage.
I used to call Pat from these phone booths when he was in Newport News, Virginia. I used a charge card 3 from Betty and we’d talk for hours, pay phone to pay phone. He must have cared enough to make the arrangements to talk to me, and to follow through and be there. Boy, I put myself through some emotional hell waiting so many months for him to accept me and the baby I was carrying. Perhaps my remaining feelings for him will be there always like the waves on the shore, as long as there’s a shore and as long as there’s an ocean those waves will always be breaking. And I still feel those waves of wonder and hurt and joy and pain breaking over my heart now and then as a result of what happened to me those 11 years past. I was so intense, and I had a lot of courage to find Pat on the ship [USS Enterprise air craft carrier] in Newport News and to tell him of his child. I did a lot of things back then alone with little if any fear. And look where it led me. All those months of patience and it must not have been meant to be. I was a pretty sick, unmanageable person!!!
[2009 Linda: Note the AA 12-step lingo, I was only 3 months out of an inpatient 7-week alcoholism treatment program at the time of this Greyhound trip.]
Did Pat ever love me 1/2 as much as Leo loves me now? (Perhaps it’s only a question of “karma” working out).
Spent most of the day outside on the beach. Got up from nap at 1 PM. Ate lunch and walked out on the pier. Watched the sunset and walked barefoot in the water. Neat feeling having the water moving out from under my feet — washes sand out from under my heels. Today is today and in this 24 hours my higher power let me come back to the ocean.
I feel 10 years of my past merge into me as I walked past my old spots. I remember sitting on the beach all those months I carried my baby Kay inside me.
I was just thinking — I wonder what it would be like to live somewhere in Arizona where climate was better and there weren’t so many people and then we could come to the ocean occasionally.
[2009 Linda: I’ve been living in southeastern Arizona for 10 years now, and not once have I had the resources or the opportunity to make it back there to the ocean.]
I hope God knows I’m trying to grow. I am trying to grow spiritually and I’m sober today with his help.
March 2, 1981
Good morning — The sky is starting to lighten up a bit. I went to bed probably around 7 last night and slept well. It rained so hard last night I woke up a couple of times from the noise. I also noticed yesterday evening there are times here when a jet flies overhead almost every 2 or 3 minutes. They’re noisier than trains and they didn’t overly bother me when I lived here so I must have accepted them then.
I want to get to the bus station before 9 this morning as the camera is in there and I don’t want anyone else taking it out. I still haven’t had my wake up call so it must be around 6 AM.
March 2 continued about 6L30 PM
I’m on the bus heading to Las Vegas and should arrive about 8:30. Mixed feelings as to how I’ll be received there with no forewarning of arrival. I thought of Jackie in Ocean Beach as yesterday I saw a woman taking movies of her kids who looked a lot like her with glasses and long straight hair.
I’ve been reading more of John’s journal and inspired me to put some things down here.
I am amazed to continually find myself aware that others may be watching me and my feelings of self-consciousness. I can’t put my finger exactly on specific examples right now but know that 10 years ago I was not very concerned about what anyone much thought of me.
So many feelings on general dis-ease of living in today’s world from many people that I meet. It does not pay to be “dooms-day” oriented or full of fear on what can and may happen on this planet between now and the year 2000.
It was hard to turn my back and walk away from the ocean this morning. There is something special to me about being on a sandy beach — to walk where the ocean’s water laps the shore. It’s like being on the edge of the world — in a special place where time and worry and responsibility vanish. A sense of belonging to a natural pattern — where all senses are open to receiving and being one. I almost feel I am the sea — that I merge with the sea — that its power and breadth are so massive and so much larger than me — that it’s OK to be a human being — that mysterious entity — collection of atoms and molecules and minerals within which is ME — no other exactly like me — and yet so many so similar as are the individual drops of the sea — the sea.
I took a city bus past Balboa Hospital, and hope the picture I took comes out as I’d like Kay to see it. No big deal, I suppose as I’ve not seen the hospital where I was born for many years. [2009: I didn’t know I’d ever seen the hospital I was born in again — it is no longer a hospital now, Queen of Angels in Los Angeles.]
An interesting black man in the San Diego bus depot yesterday morning talked about how he believes a child’s spiritual forces begin to collect physically in the location where a child is conceived and attach themselves to the infant at birth. He feels that if the mother moves to give birth somewhere other than where she conceived that these spiritual forces do not make the connection and the child goes the rest of its life without the protection and guidance of these forces. He had been conceived in California and was born in Iowa, I think, and feels he has experienced this loss. Made me think of charlie Smith as he told me he was conceived in Ireland and born in San Francisco.
I wonder why I seem to be of such a restless spirit — as Charlie says, like the Irish Itinerant. I find stimulation is movement in physical, geographical space which almost feels to me to correspond to travel in time, which we seem to do as the seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and years go by. I especially felt it walking the sidewalks in Ocean Beach, eating breakfast in O.B.’s Jack-in-the-Box restaurant, going by my old house, walking the pier, riding the city buses, sitting on the beach — felt like I was drawing myself into myself somehow — collecting my energies I seemed to have left there. I could think there this time of the changes — being aware of Baha’u’llah and God’s presence, of Leo and Ramona — and yet so many things started for me there — meeting Pat and Betty and Jackie and Kathy — and everything that’s passed from that point to this including the birth of my oldest daughter. taking account, accepting forgiveness, getting honest with myself, watching and feeling myself acting and reacting and taking responsibility for myself.
It all has something to do with making choices and decisions. How many times I’ve done this in the past without being aware of the fact that I was. There’s a different feeling as I come out of the fog of my using [drugs] past and into what I hpe is the light of trying to live a more spiritual life according to God’s will. This is hard for me as I tend to be a perfectionist — judging myself and giving up too easily when it comes to putting the past together in the present and feeling O.K. about things and continuing on.
I feel there’s something about Glyndon — about where we and I are there that does not feel comfortable. Maybe it’s as Leo said on the phone the other night — we’re ready for a change which entails a decision which must be made confident of guidance from our Higher Power.
Also, before I left Ocean Beach this morning as the sun rose a rainbow appeared over the ocean — just like one appeared the morning we left the homestead [after our 1978 visit there]. I thank you, God, for being my Friend and for showing me the way to healing. As Lorraine Ramberg counseled me: “Be patient, God isn’t finished with you yet!”
March 3, 1981 Monday
Sure feels good to be at Jackie’s house. A long fairly expensive cab fare, but worth it. The sun is shining and it is really warm and beautiful out here. Feels like late June in Fargo.
Been thinking of some options for when I get home. I feel I’m ready — we’re ready to move from Glyndon, but not sure where to. In talking with Jackie she feels God’s will is meant as a spiritual guideline, but that there’s no real “Voice speaking from the sky” that booms out directions for change and decision — that we are left on our own to make these choices.
When I get home I could do work on the dining room, but even thinking about then can take me from the here and now — so — the goal setting is valid and a good direction to start.
Physically my body needs more activity to be healthy.
Something I am noticing about myself: I know what I like. — especially in clothes and shoes — where I can pick out what I like very quickly and know it’s what I want. I know what I don’t like in furniture and houses, too (most everything I don’t care for). I wonder why I have trouble applying this ability to career, course of study, profession.
March 3, 1981 PM (bed time)
Ate simple and good food at Smith’s. Ate spicy food today and drank coffee and felt the acid in my body. I am pretty sure I would notice a change if I cut way down on sugra, no caffeine, quit smoking, found some kind of phsycal, outdoor work. I’d like to even be a flag-woman on a road crew, or something out doors this summer.
Also thought today about a sociology degree as I could finish by BA and get a masters in time it would take to start over. Maybe research —
March 4, 1981 Wednesday
Will stay here at Jackie’s another day. I called Cindy and she’s pregnant. I felt anger and jealousy over this as I am not seemingly able to conceive another child. It also feels hurting to me.
Mother has me thinking again as a result of her letters and sickness. I may have to let go and tell her I feel she needs professional help and that I cannot hear more grom her. I feel hurt over this, but might find it hard to do.
I have a cold today and can’t deny it. Also don’t like my weight and flab on bottom and hips. Ideally, I’d like to stop smoking, drinking coffee, eating sugar, cut calories, and start a decent exercise program to get my body back into shape.
March 5, 1981 Thursday
Can get a high from sugar as for my extra weight and cigarettes it must relate to my compulsive personality and should be able to be conquered using the emotional tools I’ve learned in treatment and AA — Buddy system and meetings, reaching out for each other, food diary – when you eat and how you are feeling, cover areas never looked at before, not eating for normal reasons, are body is fabulous, get off your own back and natural mechanisms take over. Dr. Rader’s NO DIE for permanent weight loss.
March 6, 1981 Friday
Our bus going to Safford just left Phoenix. Little boy behind me is talking: “I’d like to have an ax. I’d like to know if an ax could cut a cloud. Oh, look, the clouds are moving. The clouds are kissing in the air in Arizona.”
March 6, 1981 PM
[I don’t even remember how many years it had been since I had last seen Cindy before this trip. I don’t think we had seen one another since our childhood.]
I’m at Cindy’s and do not feel real comfortable. I feel defensive and like I’m ready to leave soon and go to Kathy’s. I don’t like not being able to smoke around here anywhere.
I also felt more love and acceptance at Jackie’s and would feel more at Kathy’s. Why? (Please, God, help me deal with these feelings and know what they are.)
I feel inadequate — like Cindy has it all together and does not know me or where I’m coming from. There’s fear here — like she reminds me of mom somehow.
The children so far have been good and are very quiet. It feels strange to be here in person, like I’m much more vulnerable than on the phone. Defensiveness and an unreal feeling like the time isn’t right, but not sure — maybe fear of getting close to her or fear that it is impossible. Feelings of wanting to run. Didn’t meet Gary yet and I am tired.
Somehow Cindy doesn’t feel real, like things are too easy for her and yet I know they can’t be. Also afraid of a disagreement and afraid to be myself, or unable to or something. I feel like a sinner, inadequate and a doubter because I don’t feel as confident and realized as she does. Perhaps the ole guilt coming in. I don’t need either guilt or fear, nor do I need to feel intimidated. “I am a strong and responsible woman.” And I am OK and I will trust God and act “as if.” Good night —
March 7, 1981 Saturday 12:50 AM
I wnet to AA tonight and they gave me a neat little token for the 12th step work I’ve done on this trip. It was very sweet and kind of them and I needed it.
I met and went to coffee with Mitsy — and I feel good. We talked a long time and interesting ideas, thoughts, feelings. I realize a great character defect of mine is jealousy.
I also realized a big problem-creating thing for me is the great fear I carry around I may have projected onto my relationship with my higher power and that I am afraid of Him and that blocks LOVE.
I also realized I want to and am ready to go home, not because I have to, but because I want to. Will need to talk to Cindy.
Idea from Mitsy. I believe: (in order to believe I must not believe) = acceptance and eliminates Yin and Yang — fear — “everything I do I do for me”
I am not in competition with my sister. God gives no one more than they can bear. I must love myself and not fear myself.
March 8, 1981 Sunday AM
Leo and girls called me today and I’m glad. Cindy and family are at church and I was trying to bake bread and put in 1/2 cup too much oil and ran out of flour. I need to ask Cindy if there’s some way we can go out together without children to visit as when kids are around she seems to be a mother and that’s it. I sure don’t know her at all. Leo says I need to talk feelings with her, even if she doesn’t need/like it. I don’t feel we’re communicating.
A beautiful sunny day today though a bit of a cool breeze. Last night a lady told me to check out Prescott, AZ as a possible place to live. Maybe I can go through there on way home.
Also ideas on alcoholics: An alcoholic takes the first drink of their life and that’s it. A non-alcoholic does and it doesn’t matter. Also Mitsy told me it’s like we AAs are living in a room with a deadly snake and it will be near us all our days and we must learn how to live around it — our disease = snake.
Leo said there may be a painting job for me when I get home.
Things felt much better today. Gary took us out to eat, very good and generous. Tomorrow we may go to Pop-eye with kids. Today I laid in the sun and if felt VERY good. Thank you God.
March 9, 1981 Monday
Good day today. Cindy and I went to Chamber of Commerce and got some info on Arizona. Then I watched children while she and Gary went to Farm. I laid in sun. We went to Popeye and then Cindy sowed me photo albums.
Things in my corner are really a mess. Dave called Gary from Ashland and said he’d be down in 2 days.
I read in Sugar Blues today. I sure do eat sugar. Ick!
I’m missing family — but OK here —
[I have a whole page in the journal with Arizona town contacts and information — including Bisbee, Arizona — which I find interesting as I moved here 19 years later without ever remembering I knew before then that the town existed. Maybe no matter what decisions I would have made in my lifetime, I still would have ended up HERE!]
Went to visit Mitsy tonight for 3 hours. Cindy and family went to Church. Pretty cool and cloudy today. Thought about “have to’s” and their origin. And the problem they create and knowing they come from my childhood and also that I CHOOSE and must take responsibility for myself.
Cindy is going to Tucson tomorrow and I’m going. We’ll spend the night at Gary’s folks. Sunday will go to Grand Canyon and Monday and leave for home Monday night or Tuesday AM.
Will take one day at a time and should be fun. Plan to pick up some cactus at Stuckey’s. If reasonable enough maybe one for all family members. Leo – bolo tie. [2009 note: Reading that last part actually created a ‘fond’ memory feeling about Leo — the first time that has happened in nearly 25 years. ]
March 11, 1981 Wednesday
I had a strange dream last night. I was in a room with someone and we were looking out a window across a valley when suddenly what appeared to be the sea a great distance away began to rise. It just rose like the water level in a glass when liquid is being poured in. This mass of water came very fast and flooded everything and soon completely swallowed the building we were in. The person in the room ran out the door and I could hear them getting carried away, but the door shut and no water came in the room. I wondered why the pressure of the water did not cave in the walls and then realized they must have been built strong enough for such a happening as this.
I struggled inside with the knowledge it was inevitable that I would have to face that water and my death, wondering how it would feel and knowing others were experiencing it. I decided to wait in my room as I knew there was enough oxygen to last awhile, and that’s what I did.
[2009 note: In most translations, water would represent the unconscious. Looking back at this now, being twice the age I was when this dream came to me and I wrote these words down, I wonder about these tiny new baby steps I was trying so hard to take into the new world of ‘recovery’. I had no idea, no idea consciously whatsoever about the vastness of the abuse I had suffered as a child at the hands of my monster Borderline mother. What an unconscious ocean of trauma existed outside the walls of the ‘room’ of safety and functionality I had managed to construct for my young adult self! What potential there was for being flooded and overwhelmed with my own buried unknown history of trauma and terrible abuse. Yet in life, as in this dream, I evidently had an inner wisdom coupled with an ability to maintain myself within ‘reason’ in spite of the vast pressure of this unconscious and potentially deadly ocean of trauma history. In both my life and in my dream, I simply continued to endure.]
later this same day
Arrived Tucson later than planned as had trouble with the radiator. I bought Alice [my then current mother-in-law] a spoon — Alaskan and post cards.
It is strange to be in Tucson, not real at all. Last time I was here there was that awful, unjustified fight and it hurt a lot.
[2009 note: When I brought my daughter to visit my parents there in 1972 and things went terribly – mother threw one of her infamous fits. Among other things, she accused me of flying all the way from Fargo, North Dakota to her house in Tucson, Arizona to use her bathtub to bathe my 2-year-old daughter in. My father did not stand up for me or my daughter. He arranged to sneak us out of the house and bought me an early return plane ticket to get us out of his home. My daughter and I literally escaped there in the middle of the night. It was so strange that I saw the demon in her eyes again, and I was as terrified of her as I was when I was a little, tiny girl.]
I’m having trouble with that cracked tooth. I hope it holds out for awhile yet. I am afraid of dentists and pain.
I’m missing Leo and less than a week to go. Watched the kids awhile again today. I sure like Gary. He’s a neat person.
I just realized Leo will be leaving very shortly after I get home. I’d almost rather go home early rather than go to the Grand Canyon.
March 12, 1981 Thursday
Cindy took me to the Desert Museum today and it was really nice. [2009 note: I have no memory of ever having gone there.] It began to rain so we left and stopped at a rock place where I found rocks for the girls. I spent $24 there and figured $20 of it was from Smiths. This evening after we ate at Sambos, Cindy and I and Faith went to the mall where I wanted to find a gift for Leo. I ended up buying him some books which we could have gotten probably in town but here is fine.
Wrote post cards today and plan to send St. Patrick’s Day card to Smith’s. Am getting homesick, but also feeling hurt and sadness at leaving Cindy’s. Won’t be going to the Grand Canyon. Would be neat if Leo and I and Cindy and Gary could go camp there sometime. I’d sure like her to meet my family now somehow.
March 13, 1981 Friday
Here it is another Friday the 13th. We’re still in Tucson. It’s 1:30 PM and we’re waiting for Gary to come back. He went to visit a friend at the hospital and then we’ll head back to Safford, I guess and hope the car makes it. I’m sure not too good at getting around as I get really restless. Spent 2 hours on the chaise lounge in the sun but felt longer time there I’d be burned. And yet I’m out here again now. The kids get pretty noisy and I have a hard time with that. Cindy says her patience has grown with every child and she’s used to it.
I was thinking about my dream of the flood and wondered if it had something to do with acceptance — instead of panicking and rushing out the door I sat and accepted where I was.
Mitsy asked me the other night how I was with my sexuality. I said “fine,” but wonder if I do accept the seductive, sexual, physical sensation part of myself. Do I see that as a “weak” part of myself or the vulnerable side I hide and protect? Is it something I’ve tried to control like my feelings?
I do feel attracted to design. Not necessarily to painting. I’ve been fascinated by bell-shaped wind chimes and almost bought Leo one yesterday made of pottery except it was mass-produced with design stamped in. Otherwise, I liked it a lot. If we moved to town I and maybe the girls could take classes at Clara Barton.
Cindy liked the Mandalas we saw — very simple woven roving for $55. She’d like one natural with some blue. I’d like a supplier for large wooden hoops.
I dreamt about Pat last night. I remember sitting and talking to him with my hand on his knee. Maybe the dream was showing me how much I need to be a friend to myself.
I’d like to take a summer course in design and/or drafting but also would like to work. Maybe there is something I can do with my weaving — finish shawl on loom. Perhaps make more of the simple weavings on table loom with roving but need another way to hang them.
Mitsy also feels there is no real test of IQ because most important element — creativity — can never be measured and non-use of creativity by one who has it is what can drive them nuts.
[2009 note: That’s an interesting statement — then and now!]
same day, 10:30 PM
Well, we made it to Safford with lots of water added to car. Want to call Leo but will do so tomorrow. Would like to know when he needs to leave for the cities.
Cindy loaned me a neat Christian book on marriage. Gary says Leo needs to deduct his labor costs from the gross profit and we would show a net loss.
Neat to have a sun burn in March again.
Still feeling sorry for myself living in Fargo-Moorhead area — also anger (prejudice – hate?) towards Mormons. Roxy sent letter today – neat.
March 14, 1981 Saturday
Called Leo last night and he called today. Cindy says Gary is going to contract a house in Safford for his dad and will hire someone to build it. Both Leo and I are really confused as far as selling our house and where will we go from there. He thinks we should build a passive solar house in Fargo-Moorhead area and sell that and by that time construction should be opening and we could move elsewhere. He says he has nothing against the southwest, but then WERE? There must be a way to research and investigate spots to move to.
I feel very antsy and restless today and would like to leave at 2:20 today and get on the road. The bus station is closed and I missed their call back this AM as I was talking to Leoanrd. Hope they open by 1:30.
–went to look at the lots and took some pictures of the land and distance from mountains and town. Cindy took me to greenhouse where I bought some cactus and hope they make it. Some ideas maybe on how Cindy and I are alike — she knows what she likes and dislikes (uses the word hate)
She remembers the craziness of her senior year of high school and how bad it was and felt like I have memories of bad times. She likes to talk, although I haven’t seen too much of that side. She believes people can and should have 5 acres and aim at self-sufficiency. She has worked to learn what she knows (animals) as I’ve worked to learn weaving. She also seems really pleased that I showed her the cardboard weaving and will teach the kids at Bible Camp. She knows she doesn’t want to live in Alaska. She likes the year-round growing season here. Can grow fruit and nut trees. If she had her way as at some points in the past she’d ride horse 15 hours per week. She loves the out-of-doors and says the summer days are beautiful.
She has (unlike me) a very high tolerance level with children and their arguing – fussing – noise — Unlike me (so far) she can do and doesn’t mind hard physical labor and says it wouldn’t take me too long to get into shape. Her lungs aren’t as well developed as she’d like even though her muscles are strong.
She is very committed to her church and seems to find all friends she needs there. She has a strong faith and I feel mine less strong right now as far as Baha’i community life and activities are concerned. She used to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day her senior year and Gary did to and they both quit although Gary really likes coffee and Cindy can take it or leave it and usually leaves it.
It’s too bad in a way (though God knows best) that I have my period and there’s no chance of being fertile to take advantage of stored sperm when I get home. I wonder if I were to have another baby if that would make as big a difference tome and my life as I think it would. [2009 note: We had been trying for over four years to have another baby.]
Disappointed to hear today all Kay’s grades went down. I want her to know it is her responsibility to take school seriously and not mine or her Dad’s.
Time for bed and I leave tomorrow.
Gary sure spends a lot of time in the office with his computer. He wants (plans) to move it to the trailer at the farm and I wonder how that will work out.
It’s interesting that Cindy does not like the grey in her hair and wants to tint it. Also shaves even though she would rather not because Gary says it bothers other people.
I just thought again of my “flooding water” dream in relation to the evening prayer and being ‘immersed in the sea “of God’s mercy.
March 15, 1981 10:30 AM
Cindy and family are at church and I’m all packed and ready to go (hit the road again.) I have the oddest things packed — carob chips and rocks, yeast and want ads, old books and cactus, a clay pot and lots of used film.
I was thinking this morning as I took my bath that it seems my new involvement in AA has become a channel for “spreading the word” about Chemical Dependency, which I have done on this trip….I feel things are back to first base with me on my spirituality trying to realize deep within myself how forgiveness for “sins” and the love of God works for me. How to feel my feelings and live with them. The literature in the Baha’i Faith is so extensive, and though I know the laws and try to organize my life by them — I’m not doing so well with the prayers, etc.
Sometimes I feel scared and worried that these are indeed the last days and that if I were a good Baha’i I would have no other priority but to pray for opportunities to teach the Faith. And yet we do live in this day-to-day reality world and must try to function unmanageably in it. Our life is an example to others — Private life and inner character? — I feel I need to be careful to own my anger and use it constructively and not use it against other people, but not hold it in and destroy myself either.
It’s interesting that I still don’t as yet know myself well enough to know what type of work I should be doing. Evidently I need to try some things out to see if something fits. What can a person do with design — especially in a small town setting? It always seems to come around to “freelance” but if I need the form and structure of working for someone else how is that gong to work? I feeling anxious to see what type of summer classes will be available but worried about costs of gas and sitters even for that.
Maybe if Leo and I can build in FM area a passive solar house and sell it there would be a non-direct way of making money.
Money – Money – Money
What a crazy set up — it’s worth less and less as things constantly get more and more costly —
Well, here I still am in Safford. Dave called 30 minutes before I was leaving on the bus and said he was in Tucson and could I please wait another day to leave as he really wanted to see me. So I called Leo and told him I’m not coming into Fargo until Wednesday. I could tell he was disappointed but accepted and I’m glad I stayed as had tour of the hog barns, too.
Cindy and I talked about raising children and what we can do to bring learning into the home.
1. take an interest in the child
2. spend time “learning” with them
3. help them to develop good attitudes about responsibility
5. talk to them and show we care
I see I need to parent as I WANT to and not because I should or have to. Very possibly I can give Kay and Ramona things that no one else can because I AM their mother and I choose to be a good mother.
Beautiful ring around the moon tonight as I sat on the step and talked to Dave. I told him it was a sign.
John is thinking about going on anabuse. I hope he deals with the problems of his drinking and continues to go to AA.
I hope I’ll choose to go to Wednesday night AA even though it’s my first evening home because I need to go.
Perhaps could stay in Glyndon one more year and then move directly to five acres in the southwe4st and have a horse especially for Kay.
Hope to leave tomorrow at 2.
March 16, 1981 Monday
Well, here I am on the bus again. Third bus since Safford and on the way to Albuquerque. At least this one is not crowded and there’s room to move around. It doesn’t look like I’ll get a dinner stop, but ate some corn chips (very salty), a protein bar, and an orange.
Cindy drove me to the bus station and David was ready to leave hitchhiking to Texas for a peyote trip. That kid sure lives in a world of his own of weapons, bums, always moving, not working. He seems to look more like John the older he gets – 6’4″ and 185 pounds. Doesn’t seem to have changed at all in the 2 years since I’ve seen him. Says John told him I said he’d told the kids in Glyndon about Leo’s and my pot plants, and Dave seemed to really need to say he didn’t and even asked if that’s why we don’t write him anymore. It was good to see him and say hello and even get a picture or 2. It was also neat to have 3 of us kids together as that’s rare. Last time it was Steve, Sharon and I in Edmonton. [2009 note: I have no memory of that, when?]
I really see Cindy and Gary as beautiful people. They both are very hard workers, serious Christians, good parents, open to talk and very tolerant.
In talking to Leo on the phone yesterday when I called to tell him I was staying an extra day to see Dave, he seemed almost angry in his comments of how I’d wait to see my brother and he wouldn’t just as he’d wait to see his brother and I wouldn’t. I felt his comment was barbed and not all that fair and I let my feelings be hurt. Leo sees A LOT more of his brothers and sister than I ever do, and in the 6 1/2 years we’ve been married I also have spent a lot of my time with them, too. Just in going to Minneapolis next week and working at Lee’s he’ll see more of them and Leoore’s than I’ve seen of my family in YEARS!
Possibly he has resentments about me being on this trip — I know I have resentments sometimes about his relatives.
I’ve been thinking these last 2 days that if we ever moved to the southwest Leo would miss his fishing — especially if we moved somewhere like Safford. I have a map of Arizona I think that shows where the fishing is and we’d have to try to move somewhere near a fishing spot.
I can tell that writing things down has really helped me solidify some of myself on this trip. It’s taking the illusive and forming it into something tangible like taking a picture and putting something on film.
I’m trying to be honest with what I write and use this to capture passing feelings and thoughts. I can see that I have choices in this — what I write, how much, when.
It’s kind of funny how I just saw that I almost feel like a bLeod of half Cindy and half Dave. Once acceptant, patient, dedicated — the other restless, self-centered, impulsive.
I’m very glad I got to have a copy of this article on Cindy and Gary.
Cindy seems to have determination. They pay $10,000 per week on feed alone. They actually owe $600,000.
March 18, 1981 7 AM, Sioux Falls
Been on crowded buses all the way and a passenger behind me was drinking and kept most of the bus awake until 3 AM. I stay on this bus to Fargo now and hope I keep two seats here.
I sat next to a neat lady last night with children my age. She recommended that I keep at a “diary” even when I get home. I had some things to write last night, but forgot most of them. I wanted to go to AA tonight but as I’ll only be home 2 hours when it’s time to leave maybe I can go to open AA on Sunday or something.
One thing I was thinking last night is that last fall when I went into treatment I was looking for insights. When I decided to go on this trip I felt I needed perspective. Thinking about the next goal = solutions. Change myself. This is a hard part I feel, requires help from God especially and courage, too.
It’s clear and sunny here today. Not too warm, but not as grey and cloudy as Cheyenne and not snowing.
I need to go to the dentist and am scared. Also, my one “baby” tooth needs to come out pretty soon as it’s getting real loose.
I sure didn’t find that “perfect” place. There’s something bad about every place. Even here I’m seeing more deciduous trees than for many, many miles.
look into her clear blue eyes
in the distance
her eyes speak
of oceans, prairies
siLeot blue mountains
of softly soothing waterfalls
It is surprising me at how nervous I feel the closer I get to home. I feel “expectations” closing in and feel my tendency to want to retreat into my “have to” negative attitude.
Things that I tend to worry over like the dentist, weaving mandala for Cindy, where do I get a hoop? Fleece, I want the fleece I ordered from Wendy and fear a repeat of last year where for some reason I never got them and I don’t know why. 20th therapist appointment, driving again, gas prices, concern for my parenting, facing Alice – I feel nervous, going to Ramona’s school, going to Kay’s school.
Maybe I fear those things that tend to bring my “bad attitudes” into focus. I see this as something from my childhood I need to work on a lot for myself as the negative feelings keep me from acceptance and serenity.
Being back in the flatland has put me in touch with negative feelings. Being more specific, I realize something about farmland bothers me and yet I know how familiar it is to me. Flat laid-out fields, a group of trees, a house, barn and silo and then more of the same. Sameness bothers me, or rather I allow it to bother me. Monotony in all forms and guises has always been hard. I guess I don’t see we’ll ever have a farm like these, or that I’d want one, so I tend to feel as an outside spectator — not fitting in.
Except for the mountains, the desert is pretty monotonous.
I see Leo’s profession of carpentry and economy here as limiting. If we moved out of the farm country more into woods there would be less work here than where we are, further to drive, and still the long, usually cold winters and short growing season.
If we moved south Leo could grow walnut trees and Christmas trees. There is building further south and mountains, but idea of living in the desert bothers me and also possible shortage of water, snakes, and extreme heat. One would want to choose a place where evenings cooled off and there was available water.
Possibly tear out lathe and plaster in Ramona’s room?
By trying to THINK of solutions I will not find them. Only by NOT thinking and resting in my Higher Power —
My pain is caused by my own wrong viewpoint of things. My idealism clashes with what is.
Any time I think of something and have bad feelings, if I look at the feelings and let them go by I will see they are not me. [2009 note: Boy, I sure don’t believe THAT 29 years later!]
We must face things consciously to be free of them — HONESTLY!
Higher hints come when we have courage to face our false hopes and abandon them.
“Forget everything but self-advancement.”
“Make self-discovery my daily hobby.”
Do not complain, criticize or condemn.
find my true self
cast off my false self
change is never a loss; it is simply change
don’t fear to be without an immediate solution!
[2009 note: I exhaust myself reading all this!! What a load!]
March 19, 1981 Thursday
Yesterday’s homecoming was beautiful. Leo is beautiful. Kay is beautiful. Ramona is beautiful. I am beautiful. Little Bear was even glad to see me.
Leo gave me a beautiful necklace of gold, and it has a little diamond on it and is very precious. It is the first diamond I’ve ever had.
I didn’t wake up ’til 8:30 today and I could feel guilt and a sense of failure and fear that I lose my structure at home and am not as motivated as I “SHOULD” be. After 50 hours on the bus I think I am tired. My right eye was all matted today. I sure hope it’s not pink eye.
It’s different havign Ramona gone to school this morning. At Cindy’s there were 2 little ones running around and playing together and 3 when Faith’s home in the afternoon.
I feel immobilized today. There are things I know I could be doing, housework, etc, putting my things away. I feel lonely. It’s very quiet in the house here. I’m smoking lots of cigarettes. I feel tired and somewhat depressed.
I feel like I’m ready for a change — a move — but I don’t know wny. I’m tired of all the stuff in this house — the books we don’t read, things sitting around.
Well, I just did some crying and then talked to Barb.
The whole point of this trip and the last 5 months has been to be honest with myself and find out who and what I am and what I want. My self-defenses are down today, I know I do not want to live in Glyndon. I don’t know much else at this point but that I feel I’m in a box here and I need to get out.