An Open Letter To Donald Trump From Some Angry Women.

Drifting Through

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Dear Mr. Trump… can I call you Mr. Trump? Is that ok? I want you to be happy, that’s very important to me.

Before I get started, let me say this letter isn’t from all women. The Trumpettes surely won’t approve of this message. But this is from most women.

We see right through you. We have all known you at some point. Your ways are not unfamiliar to us. We see through you because we’ve been dealing with you our whole lives.

We heard you call women pigs. And disgusting. And stupid. And bimbos.

We watched as you called a former Ms. Universe “Ms. Piggy” and then spent four days continuing to insult her.

We see your weakness. Your lust for attention at any cost, your need to denigrate women. We see all of it. And we’re mad.

Yes. We’re mad. And fired up. And here’s the thing about us……

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Playing Dead

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It was Saturday. It had been a busy work week; the kind that feels like two weeks. I was dead tired and was lying on my couch, attempting to totally disconnect from the pressures that were piling on. I call this technique; “Playing Dead.”

I could hear my neighbor calling her dog like she always does shortly after she get’s home and then lets him out. “Raymond, Raymond.” Our yards are very close together.

I heard her shriek his name. I’d not heard that tone before. I got up. I could see her dashing around, madly swinging a kitchen broom and jumping frantically. I stuck my head out the door and asked her if she needed help.

This would require more substantial clothing than the summer dress I was wearing. I quickly pulled on pants, long-sleeved shirt, and cowboy boots. I keep these stored by the door. Life occasionally demands protective measures.

I grabbed a can of black pepper and one of chili powder. Prepare to do battle. I had to separate her dog from this intruder. I’d learned this tactic when I had a dog that was regularly attacked by the neighborhood bully-dog.

I ran over and dumped the cans into the face of her dog. His jaws were locked on a possum. Immediately, the dog had to sneeze. I had to reach in and grab the possum away from him. And stay away from both sets of sharp, wet teeth.

I timed it just right. I plunged my right hand into the flying fur balls and came out with the possum. It was either dead or half dead; it was a possum, so I really couldn’t tell.

She grabbed her bleeding little terrier and ran into her house. I could hear her sobbing.

I found an empty potting-soil bag on her deck and a shovel. She’d been out in her yard gardening lately. I shoveled the body of the possum into the bag. I knew where her garbage can was. I knew when it would be emptied next. We’re neighbors. She was still weeping.

Though she is younger than I am, she is a widow. Through her tears, she tells me: It was her anniversary and she was still grieving.  A few years ago, she and her husband had been away on vacation celebrating their anniversary when he suddenly became ill and quickly died.

I was genuinely concerned and listening to her but I was very distracted. I could hear something coming from the garbage can. It sounded like scratching, and then a thump.

At least now, her dog was safe in the house with her. I made up an excuse, so I could depart after I poured her some tea and suggested that she take a shower to get all of the various bloods off of her.When I was able to say good bye and go check on the sound emanating from the garbage can; the can was on its side.

Right up the road, I could see a potting-soil-bag possum scampering up the road.  That cunning marsupial was free. Fooled me; he’d just been playing dead.

Hard to Undo

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I’m a regular person. I’m not extraordinary. Recently, I was genuinely asked a number of questions about unbelievable things; things I have supposedly done or been responsible for doing. It’s difficult to put them in any rational order. Let me clarify a few things that have apparently been alleged about me.

I am not a witch. I confess, I have acted and/or looked rather witch-like at certain times. Sorry. I have no magical powers, know zero spells and cannot fly; with or without a broom. I’ve never even owned a cat. I’m allergic. If I was a witch, could I please be Samantha’s zany mom, from 1960’s TV land; “Bewitched?”

I never drowned children in my toilet and then buried them in the woods. Once after a painfully awful miscarriage, I had to bury my tiny, little pre-term baby. A wee thread of very sad truth but nothing close to what is/was real. Some poor, lost soul probably watched too many episodes of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

I did not kill my dad. Yes, I was in the same room when he died. He had terminal cancer. My astrological sign is Cancer but that does not mean I cause cancer. It’s tough to keep locating this thin thread of truth.

I didn’t assume my mom’s identity. I was named after her. I’ve had the same name since I was born. I didn’t take her credit card and whisk my family away on an exotic vacation. I did go see my dear friends in Hawaii. I flew there after first visiting with my West Coast kids. True, I did charge my ticket on a credit card. Fact, it was my very own credit card.  A few wispy bits of truth but nowhere near reality.

I did not make my children stay out till 2 a.m. Once, when one of my teens asked to stay out past midnight curfew, I agreed to let them stay out till 2. Quickly, the teen no longer wanted to stay out that late. Teen’s Quote; “All you do after midnight is clean up your friends puke.” I shared this personal history. It was twisted was so far from the truth, it’s nearly impossible to identify the original thread.

To those who know the flesh and bones me or merely me via this blog, I hope this reminds us all to honor the power of words. These exchanges happened. Damages done by false words are hard to undo.

Heartburn

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My friend with the burned 100 acres just called me back. I’d left him a message. I was checking in on him. He sounded horribly low. He’d been on the phone. His dad had called to let him know that his 41 year old cousin’s cancer appears unstoppable; go say goodbye.

I know my friend because of his cousin. His cousin was the last man I lived with. We had one of those truly magical relationships. One thousand lovely days of being cherished.

For reasons that are too complex to explain; we methodically and deliberately moved far apart. He went home to his big sky; Montana. Eventually, he married and had the family he so deeply longed for. He has two very young sons and a wife he adores.

We agreed to cease our communication. But because of my friendship with his cousin, I know about his life; his marriage, his sons and tragically now, about his battle with cancer.

Our age difference made me fear what our future would hold. But it the end, it would not have mattered. Cancer has robbed him of his future. It’s robbed many people that I loved.

This past week of spreading ashes amongst ashes left me with a weary heart. But the latest news of this disease’s destruction of another dearly loved being has given me heartburn.

Still Standing

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Today, I went up to the top of Jumbo mountain to scatter ashes;
half of my mom’s, half of my brother’s and all of my great aunt’s.

More than a dozen members of our family traipsed faithfully up the steep, rocky road to honor their final wishes. It was intense. One badly rolled ankle and a few serious high altitude headaches later, we are still standing. I am grateful.

Yesterday, I was asked by a dear friend to accompany him to view the remains of his property following the Cold Springs wildfire. Many memorable moments in my life were spent there.

Was it a coincidence that I was back in town to spread the ashes of dear family members when he asked me to go along with him to witness what remained?

I stood by his side. In every direction, all we could see were ashes of the scorched earth. I stood very quiet and very still; long enough for the moon to grow larger.

In the moonlight I saw it.  Standing alone, among the skeletons of the pines was a single wild currant bush. She was badly charred but not enough to kill her. I walked over and I broke off the tip of a branch. There was life in her. I waved my friend over and showed him. He needed to see what was still alive. I needed to show him.

I am grateful that I was here. I am grateful for what is still standing.

Please Stay Alive

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“Well that was a crazy day! Glad we’re all still alive. Wow…” (Emmit Hoyl, Timberline Fire Authority, Colorado.) I’m honored to know this brave, young man. Our families celebrated many special occasions. I’m grateful to Emmit and to all first responders who selflessly battle wildfires. Living in the mountains comes with the assumed risk of wildfire.

Yesterday afternoon, I got a text  from a friend in Boulder. It showed a huge black mushroom cloud of smoke climbing high into the sky, directly behind the hillside by my beloved mountain house. It’s the hillside I gazed out at every day for over twenty years.

Immediately, I called my brother. He lives in my house. We’d just spoken earlier that day. Our family will be meeting my house Saturday to head over to Jumbo mountain to spread half of our mother’s and brother’s ashes. He was proudly sharing how perfectly beautiful everything looked in preparation for the gathering.

He was napping. I woke him. He walked over to the kitchen and looked at the hillside. He said, “We’re F***ed!” (He’s not easily upset by anything.ever.) That was not his voice.

I felt sick. A giant wave of sadness washed over me; more regrets than a normal life time can hold. I asked him to take a few things from my closet and the mantel; if he had time.

Fortunately, the fire has not burned any closer. It is still not contained. Who knows what today holds. The 10 p.m. update from the Boulder Office of Emergency Management, said “More than 250 responders will be working overnight. More firefighters will be arriving Sunday.”

Why am I crying as I write this? I don’t want people to die. Please stay alive.

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N Word

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My kids were raised in a tiny mountain town in Colorado. I’d bring them to the Gulf Coast to visit yearly. One visit, we ran into one of Dad’s old friends. I’d known this man when I was growing up but he’d never met my children. (These two were 5 and 3 at the time.)

He and I did the quick catch-up. He asked the 5 year old “What’s it like to live up in the mountains? ” or some version of a grown-up trying to chat with little kids.

(We’d just had a mountain lion pacing in our driveway the day before we were to leave for our annual trip. It was big and my little kids were playing outside. I quietly told them to slowly walk backwards to me. I was as scared as I’d ever been at this point. The mountain lion stopped pacing. It did not advance towards them. They calmly walked backwards to me. The length of the driveway seemed forever that day. All ended well.)

My 5 year old innocently replied to Dad’s friend that we’d just had a mountain lion in our yard. His immediate response was “It’s better than having a nigger sneaking around your yard.” Excitedly my two year old loudly asked: “What’s a nigger??? It is bigger than a mountain lion? Is it bigger than a T-Rex?”

The man stared at me. His face turned pale. His eyes got wide. He questioned me, “Seriously, your kids don’t know what that word means?” Embarrassed for all of us, my dad said, “No, these kids truly have no idea what you are talking about. Want to tell them?” After an awkward moment, we exchanged an uncomfortable goodbye.

Dad told them that the man had been robbed recently and he was probably still worried about being robbed again. Fear made his brain not use his words right.

Quickly, I assured the kids that they didn’t need to worry about a T-Rex coming into the yard; remember the T-Rex is extinct.  Gently, I explained that the word was only used by people who did not know the right words to use. That this man had probably just forgotten the right word. Our family doesn’t use that word, ever. It is never the right word.

We intentionally avoided assigning color to the word. Dad and I had both heard people of all color use the N word with one another. The N word is a word that kids will add to their vocabulary if they hear it. If they hear it; teach them not to use it. Make the word extinct.

Mother May I ?

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Step away from the war-torn edges, of the holes in your once brave heart.
Walk away from the lifeless ledges, till you’re ready for this slippery part.

Just south of that final, last layer; in your really, not-empty chest;
Waits another secret chamber, are you uber ready for the rest?

Youth makes us much too eager. Pride makes us be too bold.
It takes hard-times to fully grasp, the truths you were quietly told.

It’s more than flesh you desire, more than a warmish hand to hold.

Hearts bought and set with gemstones, bound in rings of high-dollar gold,
Come wrapped in paper promises; fitted sheets that just won’t fold.

They leave an empty hollow, a hunger for a simpler road.

Can skin explode when hearts implode?

Is the fantasy storybook hero – just a yellow-bellied, horny toad?

Turn away from lies and false hopes toward a future that’s actually true.
Let the next path be the right path. Get going, find what’s real for you.

Take this time to try and figure; just whose life you want to hold.
The only things that truly matter, cannot be bartered or sold.

Now you’ve been told; don’t make me scold. Please break the mold.

Salvation

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My ‘Mountain House’ is listed on a vacation rental site. Since the upstairs is a single, separate room (my bedroom) and I’m not there often, I listed it almost two years ago. A corner of the bedroom is separated by a 3/4 wall into a bathroom area; sink, toilet, shower. It is functional, not luxurious.

The listing states this. It’s basic, no frills. Locals call this “mountain style.” I think of this home as my salvation.

My track record for this endeavor is awful. Every single episode has been a trauma/drama. A year ago, I let a person stay. He ended up taking $1200 cash out of my roommate’s pocket. (My roommate had draped his jeans over the chair outside the downstairs bathroom to grab a quick shower before he paid his laborer’s. The cash was in his pocket.) The money was eventually returned. The guest admitted he took it.

It was a costly lesson that left a scar. I spent a year saying “No” to requests. (In order to keep my Vacation Rental Status with the county, I maintain it as such.)
But on Friday night I said yes. It too has turned turned into another ridiculous experience.

I just got a notification from the host site that the guest was requesting a refund. It turns out that he was there with his mom. Apparently, she was expecting a much higher level of linens. I will refund the money. And laugh.

I’ve saved her review as a Screen Shot on my iPhone to remind me to say NO! My favorite part is the description of the bed linens; “Like something from the Salvation Army, or worse.” I hope this makes you laugh.

Laughing at myself is my true salvation.