Category Archives: My Favorites
My First Experience
I vividly remember the first time I shot a gun. It was in England, lakeside, and I got to say “pull!”. To my utter delight, I actually hit a clay pigeon. FIRST. TIME. OUT!
I was so proud. Not only was I unharmed by the recoil, but, I actually hit a target in the air!
Well, not hooked, but, I enjoyed the experience.
I’ve always had respect for guns.
Always believed that I should need to know how to take one apart, keep it clean, keep it safe from others should I ever possess one.
I didn’t own one so, I didn’t have the opportunity to practice that.
A little background here
After my first opportunity to learn how to handle a firearm, it was pretty much my last, other than a BB or pellet gun.
When school shootings and mass public shootings started to become prevalent, I was angry.
“Who needs that kind of fire power?????!!!”
“If you can’t hunt without an assault rifle, you have no business hunting!”
“The right to bear arms didn’t factor in the progress of weapons!”
“No one has business having assault weapons if they’re not in the military or law enforcement!”
“Of course they’re mentally ill! No one ‘mentally healthy’ would do such a thing!”
“Why are there no laws to stop people who shouldn’t have guns??”
“Keep them away from kids!!!!!!”
What is still true to me
People with violent pasts and/or mental illness should not have access to a machine that can mow down a mass of people.
(Do Not Compare Knife Attacks To Guns! Apples and oranges. Yes, if someone has an intention of hurting/killing people, they WILL find a way. However, someone with a knife can be taken down with minimal casualties and a much larger survival rate than someone who has just fired upon a crowd with a gun. Although, yeah, they have access to vehicles, which, can’t be contained and have also taken mass amount of people out in a single swipe. Look, I’m still working this out in my head.)
Keep your firearms away from children! Lock them up! (Not the children.)
And yeah, if you need ‘rapid fire’ to take down something to eat, probably you shouldn’t be putting them through torture trying to do so with a single shot. (Hypocritical animal lover here … I eat meat, yet, there is no way I could shoot an animal. I OWN that hypocrisy.)
What I did
It was always a plan to learn how to operate a firearm responsibly. What you see above is me, in a pathetic stance and loose-handed using the .38 special .
After that, we moved onto other weapons. I was eager.
My husband actually got frustrated with me – and rightfully so.
He was trying to teach me about a particular piece I had ZERO experience with and it was a LOT of information. Too much for me.
After all, I was there to have fun and shoot!!
He was right, and I didn’t get to ‘play’ with the gun (well, after a discussion, I did get to later).
I deserved that scolding!
Yet, there were several guns, and I had already learned a few things about them (as much as I could) – there is SO much to learn! All so different.
Is the safety on?
Is it off?
Is it racked?
Is it clear?
Are you sure it’s clear?
Why are you sure it’s clear?
I should mention that his friend had been low key training me for a while with a revolver.
I would eject the clip (magazine) and check the chamber. Reload, do again. Repeat.
Going to digress again.
My husband told me several times that day, “You have to know this! If he kills me, you have to kill him!”
Me: “Well, wait … what did you do?”
Not so funny to my husband, but I got a few other laughs.
After I earned the trust back
I felt a lot better with this weapon.
If my back was against the wall in my outer perimeter, I would feel more secure holding and firing this than the .38 special. I had ZERO talent at aim with the .38. I need to practice.
Racking was hard at first, but, worth it.
This is why I need to learn how to clean/oil etc. Make that maneuver seamless.
My favorite however … and I was as shocked as you will be!
The weapon I had been the most against.
I had more control, better aim and it felt more comfortable in my hand.
We own over 2 acres. Should people be in the outer-perimeter that I mentioned earlier, with bad intentions, I would be useless with a .38. And, I for sure wouldn’t deter them. (Although, honestly, after that first shot it rang my bell!!! BIG time. Yes, I’m still talking about the .38, which, is why you see me wearing the ear protection afterwards.)
Here, in all it’s glory, is the honor to RESPECT and fire the AR 15.
I have so much to learn
I truly do.
I would love to be in a position to master all of these weapons.
I have such respect, always have.
I love that everyone with me was encouraging, patient, and responsible.
You should know that we hike a lot. At one point in time, we had to leave immediately because bullets were whizzing past out heads. Literally. It was terrifying.
The spot we were practicing shooting was no where near hikers or homes. We were between TWO huge buffers of dirt. No person was at risk. (Well, if you count me pointing the gun down there was one.)
I also would like to make a personal point.
While I respect and will always maintain the right to bear arms … tangent again … here ARE my bare arms after that day lol!
Bottom line, the only person I hurt in anyway was myself (and maybe my honey’s feelings with my joke). And that’s a learning curve.
I want to be a responsible gun user.
I have learned that AR originated from Armalite Rifle.
I have learned that I was willing to stop, accept help, and only proceed when the environment was safe.
And, as for that AR – I’m not mad at it. I’m mad that awful people have ruined it’s reputation.
P.S. If there was one thing I COULD change? (Other than being called a ‘snowflake’) The whole, ‘Red Dot’ means ‘go’ is SO confusing! We’re hardwired with the traffic light scenario. I was thrown off a lot with that. Safety on, is green. Safety OFF? Red.
Well, it was a long week. And, I reached out a few times and many posts were not posted.
I’ll start with this so you may understand my absence.
And in the words of Mr. Gump. That’s all I have to say about that.
The weekend she passed … here’s what I was doing.
A hike to Richardson Ranch. This was the beginning of our adventure. A friends dog stayed with me, probably because she knew I was the weakest link.
The ‘noose tree’ – We found it like that a long time ago. I truly hope it wasn’t used for it’s intention. I truly hope it was designed to haul folks out of the dirt road.
Part Three: I explore Richardsons’ Ranch.
Moved on from there and …
Then this happened. You know, they say ‘Don’t hike alone’ for a reason. You could sprain an ankle, be struck by a snake, lose yourself. Which, in this case, happened. The lose yourself part.
We got home.
One more thing. I’m watching ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and the doctor is telling John, “You can’t reason your way out of this!”. Almost verbatim to my doctor telling me “You can’t smart your way out of this.” Meaning, the anxiety.
But, I’ve made so much progress.
I can drive home.
I can drive to work.
I still do the rituals – my OCD is not going to leave me soon, but will.
I ask myself, things like: How many times have you HIT a coyote?
How many times have you been in a crash?
How many times has a steer or rock fell off of the pass onto the road (yes, I thought about those things.)
I used logic, even while panicking.
I still acknowledge the unknown, as well as the very known – every cross on that road I take twice a day – but, now I make things practical in my head.
I don’t know what my friend went through in her last days, but I’m betting she didn’t see a light. I’m betting no phone call or visit would have changed her state of mind.
I am here.
I want to be here.
I am making strives without medicinal help.
And – Bye for NOW.
Just to tie things up in a bow for those of you who didn’t notice – the enlightened versions went in the same direction (Notice the karma scarf and her outfit).
He has the ‘Karma Scarf’ on and she has her enlightened ‘I had a drink thrown on me’ outfit on.
The other two versions of her are passing her by going backwards out of the tunnel, whilst, they are going in. Together.
This is the first Sunday I haven’t had to go to the laundromat. My laundry basket was a third full, and, I was not going to muse a load and spend money on that.
Friday, I heard so many songs that resonated with me – the most important being, “Turn the Page” via Metallica.
I found myself lost in the lyrics and substantiating it with my anxiety disorder. Let’s walk through this.
I get up.
I take my meds.
I take my dog outside.
I come inside.
I feed all pets. (Butters plus my fish and Nic’s that he left)
I bathe and dress.
I take Butters out again, because she never goes the first time.
I watch some news.
I walk Butters again – just in case. Also, fix my lunch.
I walk out leaving cartoons on for my dog and say “gimme kisses and smisses”
Every. Single. Day.
Turn the page.
It’s fucking Groundhogs day!
But, I’m also diagnosed agoraphobic and have severe anxitey and panic disorder.
I have some comfort in repeated things.
I feel safe driving to work, being there, driving home.
I feel safe driving to the store – then … BOOM!
I’m lucky if I get through the shopping.
This might be too much information, but, if I’m helping just ONE person, I’m glad to share – my issue when I leave my house is like … Stomach flu. I get INSTANT tummy troubles. It manifests itself physically.
So, I hear this song on Friday on my way home. And it’s this.
I got this … Um, feel or glow or understanding the way I understood it. I KNOW obviously what he’s talking about. But, it SO resonated.
“You can think about the woman or the girls you knewthe night before”
For sure. Me. Knowing me. What I’m capable of being and who I am today. Who I used to be.
“But your thoughts will soon be wandering the way they always do.”
“When you’re riding sixteen hours and there’s nothing much to do, and you don’t feel much like ridin’ you just wish the trip was through.”
I’ve had those moments too. Wanting, just … To be done.
“There I am, on the road again.”
There’s only so many places I can go. I am terrified on big traffic highways. My anxiety comes on and I can’t breathe, can’t see, can’t feel my limbs. It’s serious.
Also speaks to my daily drive to work, which I CAN do. But the repedeance is bonkers.
“There I am up on stage.”
Yup. With a mask and a smile and a positive attitude.
Me with makeup:
Me, with nothing but Chapstick.
“Out there in the spotlight, you’re a million miles away. Every ounce of energy you try to give away. As the sweat pours out your body, like the music that you play”
And, again, I’m exhausted every. Single. Day. I am. And I know the source.
And people that say “Anxitey” or “Depression” isn’t real, seriously need to talk to THEIR doctors about it.
“GET OVER IT”
“IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD!”
Let me take that route.
“Later in that evening, as you lie awake in bed, with the echoes from the amplifiers ringin” in your head, you smoke the day’s last cigarette remembering what she said.”
Me: you’re leaving? But wait …
Me: I love you so much
Nic: May Neptune watch over your soul
Nic: May Neptune watch over your soul
Me: (internally) Wtf?
Me: (out loud) ok (followed by massive sobs and ugly crying noises)
Nic: bye for now
It all happened too quickly. Can I get a do over? Please.
(My status on Friday, the 6th of January.)
I knew it was going to hurt. I had no clue how much.
Considering the state of me the day before, work told me to please take the day if needed. I knew as I arrived home Thursday that it would be needed.
To pull closer to your home, only to see your child’s car surrounded by cases and ‘I’m going away’ items well, let’s just say I was sobbing by the time I had put the car into neutral and pulled my emergency brake.
This was it.
The last night.
I walked, wet cheeked, into a home I had shared with him since High School.
Suitcases and vacuum sealed bags lay about the living room and kitchen. His bedroom littered with debris from a lifetime together.
This was really happening.
I stood, purse in hand – unable to stop the tears.
The following morning was a blur.
After watching him drive off – I entered the house (no longer feeling like a home) and broke.
Into a thousand pieces.
I cried myself to sleep.
I cried some more.
I finally found the strength to enter ‘his room’.
And wished I hadn’t.
I grabbed a pillow abandoned on his unmade bed. Inhaled deeply and returned to bed with it. I clutched it so tightly.
And slept again.
In between the crying and the sleeping was the worrying – he was after all, embarking on a 27 hour trip across country.
Physically navigating terrain he’d never navigated before.
Just as I was emotionally.
It’s been 5 days since he left.
My dog, Butters has been out of sorts.
I’ve been trying to be ‘chipper’ at work. Albeit, quite unsuccessfully on Monday. I had made it through the entire day – catching up, slammed.
I was crunching year-end numbers just as I was informed the copy machine was acting up.
“I can only focus on one thing … I’ll call the copy people in a minute.”
A boss responded, “No, finish what you’re doing, don’t worry.”
And, out of my mouth?
“But if I don’t call now, Nic won’t come!!”
Our copy guy’s name is Christian.
Freudian slip led to tears.
They continued to fall as I stayed a little late and got everything done while everyone trod about me on eggshells.
Another jarring moment was yesterday. Nic had told me he would send photographs of where he was (having, obviously, safely arrived at his destination.)
I followed up and his response was:
“I haven’t been home yet. Lol I’ve. Been out all day”
Wasn’t ready for that sentence.
Not ‘our’ home.
And I’m going to have to get used to that.
I’m told repeatedly by people with the best intentions that his flight from the nest is a testament to my successful raising of him.
But I’m still trying to accept that. And, it’s hard. And it hurts.
However, I’m also very proud of him for taking such a ginormous step and embarking on a new chapter of his life.
For following his heart (literally, he left to be with his girlfriend of over three years.)
For bravely starting from scratch in a place he’s only visited a couple of times, and accepting the challenge to ‘adult’.
I’ll always be here for him.
I’ll always miss him.
And perhaps most importantly, always love him enough to let go.