I'm sort of in the process of just working on what is speaking to me at a particular moment. That's very common for me right now. --Bruce Springsteen, January 9th, 2014

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

“Grampa’s Lap”

This has been a REALLY LONG month. First, I battled the flu, despite getting my ineffective shot. Then—as soon as I was no longer sick, or contagious—I devoted at least three weeks toward recovery from that nasty viral infection. I hip swayed/danced/cut loose to Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan every single day. I chased my nieces, Opal, and Amethyst through a huge playground called ‘Ninja Park’. I repeatedly descended the stairs at church on Sundays in an effort to literally get out of breath. {We do not have a basement…. My family and I reside in our one-level home}!! You know, sort of like respiratory physical therapy? I did anything I could to rebuild the strength in my lungs!! But then, on Saturday, March 23rd, I caught a chest cold. Now? I have been suffering from asthma attacks again. Now? I have been trying to breathe. Now? I have been basically fighting to stay alive. Thank God for modern medication, because I do have an Albuterol inhaler!! It feels like I took one step up forward and two steps back. But, compared to the flu, the common cold is a walk in the park!! Meanwhile? I will ‘keep on keepin’ on like a bird that flew’, to quote Bob Dylan!! Peace out, Mary Lou

I have been missing my Grampa, who lost his long and arduous battle with various cancers, a lot lately. Is it because March 19th marked three years since he passed away? I do not know. Has the fact that some dear and close friends of ours who have recently been walking down the road of losing their Husband/Dad/Grandpa to cancer hit home emotionally for me? I do not know. Either way, I have been missing Grampa. I composed this poem several years ago, {long before he ever suffered from cancer}, and, to this day, I wish that I showed it to him. Sigh…. I was making up my own rules and experimenting back then as a poetess. This poem kind of sucks…. But the sentiment is absolutely sincere!! As a girl growing up, I used to say that Grampa’s lap was ‘comfortable’ whenever I sat on it…. Hence my inspiration for this poem….

“Grampa’s Lap”

Edited by Kara Kent!!

I sat on Grampa’s lap;
As his arms enwrapped;
Around me;
With love, and safety;
Now I’m grown up;
Decades have passed;
But memories last;
As I sat on Grampa’s lap;
His arms enwrapped;
Around me.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

“Killing Off Myself”

Something profound occurred to me in 2017…. I changed my alias, and I became Mary Lou!! I cannot explain why…. But it feels as though Raelyn and Mary Lou aren’t even the same people…. Like Raelyn is a part of my past, a part of another Life, a part of my twenties!! Truth be told? I no longer want to be an author whose fictional stories are published, and sold in bookstores!! Why? I may not be living my dream, but I am living out my minuscule calling!! That is so much better!! More on my calling—Lord willing—later!! What’s in a name? Everything!! Mary Lou—according to my baby name book—means ‘blessed’, and blessed I most certainly am!! I highly recommend that everybody change their alias, {or their name}, from time to time!! It can be Life changing!!

Yes, yes, I did infuse my old self, {Raelyn’s}, thoughts, feelings, and emotions into Hannah Louise!! Why? Because doing so helped me better relate to her!! How so? See, Raelyn created this fictional character, which means that she ‘played’ Hannah Louise within her heart, within her soul, and within her head while I, {Raelyn}, wrote ‘Killing Off Myself’!!

Suicide—to this day—remains somewhat of a taboo issue. It shouldn’t be. On August 11th, 2014, a ‘celebrity suicide’ occurred which saddened the world at large, and eternally shook my core. Beloved Hollywood actor, Robin Williams, hung himself at age sixty-three. Suicide—to this day—remains somewhat of a taboo issue. It shouldn’t be. Why? Because,—tragically—Robin Williams is dead. Suicide—to this day—remains somewhat of a taboo issue. It shouldn’t be. Why? Because, my Great Uncle John—who used to endearingly call me ‘sweetheart’ with an East Coast-like accent—is dead. Suicide—to this day—remains somewhat of a taboo issue. It shouldn’t be. Why? Because,—in a cruel irony—even Project Semicolon founder Amy Bleuel committed suicide on March 24th, 2017, at age thirty-one. Suicide—to this day—remains somewhat of a taboo issue. It shouldn’t be. If suicide was not somewhat of a taboo issue, then would Robin Williams still be alive today, acting in movies, making everybody laugh, sharing with the world his God-given talents, abilities, and gifts? I cannot help but wonder….

Roughly two years before I, {Mary Lou}, wrote ‘Bob The Weiner Dog’—which involves Hannah Louise’s childhood—I, {Raelyn}, created Hannah Louise’s future, and wrote ‘Killing Off Myself’ in 2016. Wow. Maybe I am ‘brilliant’, after all…. Here is Volume Two of ‘Dragonfly Lake’!! 

“Killing Off Myself”

Edited By Kara Kent!!

Dragonfly Lake. This is an incredibly beauteous, woodland, beatific place where my parents, my younger brother, Jeremy Michael, and I used to drive toward every single Summer as our faithful vacation spot. I remember a rocky area on the side of the road which served as my visual landmark that we were almost there to case our perfect campsite location…. At last…. Everyone’s favorite, most preferred spot had its very own private view of Dragonfly Lake!! Sometimes we were lucky enough to stay at that particular campsite…. Sometimes, it was already taken. As soon as Mom and Dad set up our large family-sized tent, I remember stretching my legs, running freely around vacant spots, exploring, trying to find ‘Bigfoot’s Cabin’, an ‘abandoned’ log cabin. I could never get lost on Dragonfly Lake’s campgrounds, for I had every single area memorized by heart!! Whether it be a few old-fashioned looking water hand pumps. Or stuffy, germ-infested, human waste-smelling outhouses. Whether it be the wooden dock which leads to Dragonfly Lake.

I definitely knew my way around!!

I am grown now, a thirty-year old adult. I suffer from Depression {which is self-diagnosed}, and ever since I was eighteen years old, I’ve frequently felt like an incredible mistake, as though God Himself had a lapse in judgment the very second He created me. The very moment I was conceived. The very second God carried my preborn little Life to full term. The very minute He let me live. I could have been a miscarriage. Many pregnancies end in that fashion. I could have been stillborn. Many babies are. ‘Why wasn’t I?’ I have frequently asked myself. If I said that none of those empty, negative, thoughts, feelings, and emotions have never crossed my mind? I would be lying. If I said that those empty, negative, thoughts, feelings, and emotions ever completely disappear? I would be lying.

For, like a ‘demon’, they continuously resurface themselves, they repeatedly haunt me.

Lately, this seemingly never-ending, palpable darkness of Depression has enveloped my heart and soul, leaving me feeling like I am an incredible burden who is merely taking up space. I’m just a grain of sand on the beach, just another star in our nighttime skies. Depression has made me feel like an incredible, cosmic, worthless failure whose Life will never amount to anything. Ever. Jeremy Michael is a handsome, intelligent, beautiful, successful pediatrician. I envy that. Why? Because each, and every one of my Lifelong dreams, ambitions, and aspirations—such as being an author—are a delusional lie. They’re shattered like broken liquor bottles on city streets. Ever since I graduated from High School—and to this day—my thick head has been filled to its rim with hard, difficult, still-unanswered questions. ‘Who am I? What is my calling in this Life? Do I even have one? Why am I here?’ These are common queries which I believe nearly every single human being asks themselves time and time again. But my case has always felt different somehow. For Depression long ago convinced me that I will never become anything important and meaningful. Ever.

I just want to be somebody, anything…. Is that so wrong?!

When I suffer from Depression, it always has been—based on my own description—a ‘high functioning’ case. I never, ever sleep hour, after hour, after hour away burrowed beneath warm, cozy blankets. No, I always leave the house, drive places, and go out. I’m not a crier, so when I suffer from Depression, I seldom ever sob. Instead…. I become a brooding, moody, irritable, agitated, edgy, angry jerk who has an incredibly bad attitude and is curt with her words. Ask Mom. Ask Dad. Ask Jeremy Michael. They will tell you the truth about my mood swings which only worsen when I suffer from Depression. Ask dear friends. They will tell you the truth about me.

When I suffer from Depression, I turn into an irritating and contemptible person.

Metaphorically speaking? I am like a mighty volcano. I can hold emotional, mental issues that are eating away at my heart, that are eating away at my soul, that are eating away at my insides, for several months. When I suffer from Depression, I always put on ‘brave’, ‘strong’, ‘courageous’ acts which show that—on the outside—I’m absolutely fine. But, deep down within, I am dying emotionally and mentally. However. Eventually, I erupt in anger, I explode in tears. For this mighty volcano has blown its top. When I suffer from Depression, I never lose interest in particular hobbies or activities that I enjoy—such as writing—for example. Why? Because I’ve always fought hard to keep doing the things that I love when I’m suffering from Depression!! Why? Because this is the one thing that Depression is not going to steal from me!! My happiness? Take it. My zeal and zest for Life? Take them. My will to live? Take it. But steal from me my love for writing—the only ability, talent, and gift that I can do and do well—as an artist?!

Absolutely not!!

My symptoms of Depression are definitely real. They’re not imaginary. For my self-diagnosed symptoms of Depression are convincing to me. They’re very, very, very valid. Aside from aforementioned issues of irritability? When I suffer from Depression, I experience persistent sad or ‘empty’ feelings. Aside from aforementioned issues of feeling worthless? When I suffer from Depression, I experience guiltiness. I feel utterly helpless. When I suffer from Depression, depending on my mood, I either overeat, I binge on nothing but chocolate, or I skip meals altogether. I—this natural-born optimist—experiences feelings of hopelessness, and pessimism. When I suffer from Depression, I always struggle with insomnia issues…. I either routinely awaken during the ungodly hours of five A.M….. Or I stay up way past midnight writing, because I do not want tomorrow to come. Which, I realize is illogical, delusional, unhealthy thinking, but thoughts, feelings, and emotions are thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

The human mind can be such a complicated instrument, especially when it is broken….

In correlation to my insomnia…. Routinely awakening during the ungodly hours of five A.M….. Sometimes staying up way past midnight…. I have even recently uncharacteristically randomly awoken around one A.M., as I lie in the pitch black darkness, just thinking, thinking, thinking. When I suffer from Depression, I obviously feel fatigued, and I experience a decreased energy level. Well…. Whenever I am not getting at least eight hours of sleep, my muscles, joints, and body always feel achy. To contradict those issues with insomnia? When I suffer from Depression, I frequently feel overwhelmingly mentally, and emotionally restless, like I have millions of tasks to accomplish, but very little time.

Such as writing fictional stories which will never, ever, become published, or sold in bookstores, for instance.

Now, I am the loner type—like many of my own characters who I’ve created, like Tony Stark/Iron Man—and when I suffer from Depression, {or if I’m struggling through yet another emotional, tearful mood swing}, I always pull away from those who love me, such as Mom, Dad, and Jeremy Michael. Or dear, wonderful, close friends. I mentally drop off of the face of the planet, meanwhile emotionally running from complex thoughts, feelings, and issues which are eating at me. That or I always ‘deal with it’…. Facing my Depression and issues head on…. All alone.

Because, nobody—myself included—wants to deal with any of it.

Although I’ve never attempted suicide, {such as pointing a gun against my temples, but having it misfire, for example}, when I was eighteen years old, I did battle constant, daily, hourly, second-to-second suicidal thoughts. Or so it seemed. I wanted more than anything to die. My mind contained various excuses which pointed toward reasons why I should no longer live. Yet, I fought—hard—against each and every suicidal thought. It was around that time when I acquired a little skill that I call ‘mental martial arts’. Which is sort of like the real deal, sans any physical, muscle-aching, shiner-earning pain. It’s mental jujitsu, and by now, I have definitely earned a black belt!! Hasn’t nearly everybody at some point throughout this brutal, beautiful Life, {this cruel world}, needed to employ a ‘tool’ for overcoming these thoughts, those feelings, these emotions—whether they are real or imaginary—yet all the same intense? While I’ve suffered from Depression time and time again throughout my adult Life, I would never—if memory serves me right—battle constant, daily, hourly, second-to-second suicidal thoughts ever again.

Until recently.

Metaphorically speaking? My emotions and feelings play me like an electric guitar, strumming away every single thought. They never truly stop, quit, or give up. For the ‘demons’ of Depression continuously lurk. These emotions and feelings may, or may not, be valid. But when I am vulnerable, they turn up their amp, thus playing me louder. Every thought, every feeling, and every emotion. As with many martial arts, you have an opponent. An opponent who wants more than anything to knock you down. In my case, ‘his’ name, obviously, is Depression. ‘He’ can defeat you until you’re rendered utterly defenseless. This is what Depression always does to me. ‘He’ causes emotional bruises, mental black eyes, and a psychological bloody nose. When I suffer from Depression, this ongoing, cosmic, palpable darkness—this dungeon, this prison cell—consumes my every thought.

I am always repeatedly knocked down.

Depending on what mood I am in, sometimes these suicidal thoughts are periodic, sometimes they’re frequent. Aside from aforementioned issues of thinking, and saying aloud that I am a cosmic, worthless, failure whose Life will never—ever—amount to anything? Lately, my ‘warning signs’ are—based on thorough research—thinking that this world would be better off without me in it. Everybody {Mom, Dad, Jeremy Michael, dear friends}, would simply move on…. Right? Aside from aforementioned issues of insomnia, deep sadness, binging on nothing but chocolate, or skipping meals? Lately, I have experienced countless sudden switches from being very sad, to being very calm, or appearing to be happy…. Like one extreme, never-ending mood swing. Aside from aforementioned issues of battling constant, daily, hourly, second-to-second suicidal thoughts? Lately, I am always thinking about death, or dying. To further complicate matters emotionally and mentally—as an artist—I’m a tragedian who frequently kills off her own characters in tragic deaths.

Which, I have gotten real good at.

Versatile musician, Bruce Springsteen has a profound, wise, true, straight-from-the-heart-and-soul quotation…. ‘If you don’t start unpacking your baggage, it gets heavier as you move along. The weight becomes impossible to carry, and it can get pretty messy.’ Now? As my Depression has gradually worsened, as my personal baggage has grown heavier, impossible to carry, and very heavy indeed…. While these twelve years-long, never-shut-up thoughts, feelings, emotions of being a cosmic, worthless failure whose Life will never—ever—amount to anything get seemingly much more amplified…. As these suicidal thoughts become even more frequent…. While my Lifelong dreams, ambitions, and aspirations are a lie…. I am now going to kill myself. But first, I have one final place to visit before I commit suicide. Dragonfly Lake. First, I have one final thing to experience before I kill myself. Camping. It is my one, and only ‘bucket list’ checkmark. Staying at Dragonfly Lake’s incredibly beauteous, woodland, beatific campsite.

Check.

So, I packed several bags. I threw everything—clothes, blankets, food, water, lemon lime soda, journals, pens, books, firewood, recycled newspaper, camping gear, chocolate for binging on—into the bed of my ‘old’ yellow and white-painted Chevrolet pickup truck. I was all alone this time. Mom and Dad lived together in their ‘empty nest’. Jeremy Michael resided alone as a single man. I drove toward Dragonfly Lake. I had a plan. After spending all week at Dragonfly Lake—reading the Bible, getting right with God, and seeking forgiveness after walking away from Him several years ago—I was going to drown myself in Dragonfly Lake’s sometimes warm, sometimes freezing cold waters. I also had a date of when I’d commit suicide. Friday, August 13th, 2016. But first, God needed to show me the wonders of His creation!! For several consecutive days, I spied a female deer, wandering aimlessly and cautiously through Dragonfly Lake’s campgrounds!!

I quietly followed her until she disappeared into the woods!!

It felt as though God was sending me a message, loud and clear. That I should not commit suicide. For there is far too much Life to witness, enjoy, and live!! Right here, on Earth!! Like the incredibly breathtaking, mighty, often snow-covered Mt. Einstein. Or an owl that I heard hooting at midnight as I lie wide awake, thinking, thinking, thinking. Like Dragonfly Lake. Yes, it felt as though God was sending me a message loud and clear. That Heaven isn’t quite ready to welcome me Home, not yet!! So I should put one foot in front of the other, and keep breathing!! Because, to quote Bruce Springsteen from his song, ‘Badlands’…. ‘For the ones who had a notion, a notion deep inside; That it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive….

But my mind was already made up, and even God—or Bruce—could not change it.

My weeklong stay at Dragonfly Lake was nearing a close. It would soon be time for me to leave. And finally, Friday, August 13th arrived. The date of when I planned to commit suicide. Wow…. I was actually going to do it. I would finally—after all these years—make the ultimate call, and end my Life. Forever. I left a long, emotional, heart-wrenching suicide note on the driver’s seat in my ‘old’ yellow and white-painted 1970’s Chevrolet pickup truck. Either forest rangers, fellow campers, police detectives, Mom, Dad, or Jeremy Michael will discover it—eventually—after I am dead, long gone.

On twain pieces of journal paper—my heart pounding, my hands trembling—I wrote these words….

Dear Mom, Dad, and Jeremy Michael….
I have spent a good twelve years of this existence {from age eighteen to thirty}, privately, quietly, mightily battling self-diagnosed Depression, and feeling like I’m a cosmic, worthless failure whose Life will never—ever—amount to anything. Twelve years. I am not good enough. I’m my own worst enemy. And I am tired of this seemingly never-ending internal battle. Yes, these complex thoughts, feelings, and emotions come and go, come and go. But they always return to haunt me. And I am just…. Tired. The reasons why I have kept persevering, the reasons why I’ve continuously battled complex thoughts, feelings, emotions, Depression—and suicidal thoughts—is because…. Well…. I have also spent a good twelve years of this existence profoundly contemplating suicide. The pros, the cons, the positives, the negatives. Committing suicide—as judgmental as this is going to sound—feels like a selfish act. Why? Because even the loneliest person on this cruel planet—even the world’s biggest failure—has someone who loves them, and who will grieve his or her death. That being mentioned? I am sorry for ending my Life in this fashion. Mom, Dad, and Jeremy Michael…. I know that you will grieve my death. But you’ll also move on!! For this Life—this brutal, beautiful world—will be better off without me in it, anyway. Killing myself—as judgmental as this is going to sound—also feels like quitting…. Like giving up…. On Life. Why? Because—ultimately—it is giving up on Life. And I am no quitter. I’m a fighter. So, all this time—all these years—I have fought. Hard. Until now. Good-bye. I will close this letter with one cosmic question…. ‘Why does Life have to be so damn hard?!’ {Sorry Mom, I am swearing}.
Love, Hannah Louise

Very early in the morning—as Dragonfly Lake’s sleepy woods, and campgrounds surrounded me—I quietly hiked down toward its ‘beach’. This was before sunrise at 6:00 A.M.  Dragonfly Lake’s woods were dark, so I carried my flashlight. Crows cawed noisily and fellow campers’ dogs barked loudly. I hiked that dirt path…. This time, I wore a t-shirt, bra, blue jeans, panties, socks, and tennis shoes. I did not need my swimming suit. Nobody but me was on Dragonfly Lake’s ‘beach’ at this ungodly hour. I shone my bright flashlight around this beauteous, woodland, beatific place, and I breathed in God’s canvas painting scenery…. An incredibly breathtaking snow-covered Mt. Einstein. Green towering trees. A full moon illuminating an ebony black sky, and shining its beams against Dragonfly Lake. I smiled.

It was all the beauty that I could take in before I took my own Life.

“God, I have not been the best daughter to You,” I whispered as I looked Heavenward, “I’ve abandoned my Faith. I have walked away from You. I left my church congregation. I stopped reading Your Word, the Bible. I have lived a sinful Life. I mean…. I have not prayed so much in my entire Life as I have this past week. And I am so sorry. Please forgive me. I know that murder is a sin, and if I commit suicide, then I’ll be killing someone. But please accept me into Heaven, anyway. I am so, so, so, so, so sorry.”

Metaphorically speaking? I am a ‘surfer’ in Life’s frequently cosmic—but sometimes minuscule—uncharted ‘waters’. I have been for twelve long years. But when I suffer from Depression, an incredibly dangerous ‘hurricane surf’ of a ‘wave’ comes my way. I have learned how to take the ‘board’, and ‘ride’ Life’s cosmic uncharted waters. Which, I’ve gotten real good at. For I have twain choices. ‘Ride’ Life’s treacherous ‘surf waters’…. Or ‘drown’. That is my ultimatum. For it’s a ‘do-or-die’ situation emotionally and mentally. So, all these years, I have chosen to ‘surf’ Life’s cosmic, uncharted ‘waters’. Until now. Because today, I am going to drown myself. Literally.

Which is ironic, I know.

Wet, hot, tears streamed down my cheeks as I stepped into Dragonfly Lake’s freezing cold waters. I felt like screaming. It took all the willpower that I had, but I held it in. Screaming would have shot straight through Dragonfly Lake’s sleepy woods. And awaken all of the campers? No, screaming would have given away my plan. Step, by step, by step, I slowly walked deeper, and deeper, and deeper into the waters. My heart pounded hard. But I kept on walking. My knees shook. But I kept on walking. My entire body trembled. But I kept on walking. Dragonfly Lake’s still waters rose higher, and higher, and higher against my body. Past those shaking knees of mine. Up to my waist. Past my breasts. Then, I sunk down into Dragonfly Lake’s frightening drop-off. It happened so fast. My entire body soon became completely submerged into Dragonfly Lake’s waters.

Within minutes, I was dead.

The very moment when I exhaled my last breath, Heaven’s skies opened up, and were illuminated in a brilliant, beautiful, radiant pink-colored sunrise. God’s beauteous, woodland, beatific canvas painting called Dragonfly Lake was just glowing with light. It shone upon a snow-covered Mt. Einstein. The sunrise illuminated green towering trees. It reflected upon Dragonfly Lake’s waters. Even though I am Lifeless now, that brilliant, beautiful, radiant pink-colored sunrise felt very spiritual!! For it was God’s loving forgiving Arms welcoming me Home!! To Heaven!! At last, I was free from Depression’s mighty grasp, and every single emotional mental pain which continuously ate at my heart, ate at my soul, ate at my mind!! Delivered!! At last, I was liberated from my ‘demons’!!

Filled with new Life now, I can hear God’s angels singing….


Thursday, January 3, 2019

“Dragonfly Lake”

Note…. This in an autobiographical story!! Well, other than the fact that I actually have three siblings, and not just one brother like Hannah Louise does!! This story is an outtake from 2016!! It was created during my first disappearance…. Also known as The River Challenge!! However. It was also, like, twain separate fictional stories, so I broke them up into Volume One, and Volume Two!! Oh. My. Goodness…. The parallels between Hannah Louise’s Life in ‘Bob The Wiener Dog’ {do you remember that lengthy fictional story?}, and in ‘Dragonfly Lake’ are absolutely uncanny…. Wow.

“Dragonfly Lake”

Edited By Kara Kent!!

Dragonfly Lake. This is an incredibly beauteous, woodland, beatific place where my parents, my younger brother, Jeremy Michael, and I used to drive toward every single Summer as our faithful vacation spot. I remember a rocky area on the side of the road which served as my visual landmark that we were almost there to case our perfect campsite location…. At last…. Everyone’s favorite, most preferred spot had its very own private view of Dragonfly Lake!! Sometimes we were lucky enough to stay at that particular campsite…. Sometimes, it was already taken. As soon as Mom and Dad set up our large family-sized tent, I remember stretching my legs, running freely around vacant spots, exploring, trying to find ‘Bigfoot’s Cabin’, an ‘abandoned’ log cabin. I could never get lost on Dragonfly Lake’s campgrounds, for I had every single area memorized by heart!! Whether it be a few old-fashioned looking water hand pumps. Or stuffy, germ-infested, human waste-smelling outhouses. Whether it be the wooden dock which leads to Dragonfly Lake.

I definitely knew my way around!!
Hannah Louise!! Jeremy Michael!!” I remember hearing our names being called.
It was always Dad.
Yeah?” I remember hollering back at the top of my vocal chords.
“Where are you?” I remember Dad asking in his low, deep tone of voice.
“I am over here, at ‘Bigfoot’s Cabin’!!” I would more than likely shout back.
“So am I!!” I remember Jeremy Michael always saying.
“Well, come back to our campsite!!” I remember Dad saying, “It is time for dinner!!”
Alright!!” I remember hollering back, “I am coming!!”
I remember running as fast as my skinny seven-year old legs could go.
Hey!!” I remember Jeremy Michael always saying, “Wait for me!!”
Come on, Jeremy Michael!!” I remember shouting at the top of my vocal chords.
Ssshhh….” I remember Dad hushing my naturally boisterous voice which always shot straight through Dragonfly Lake’s still woods and campgrounds, “Be quiet!!”
I remember I would always turn around and wait for Jeremy Michael to catch up with me.
He ran as fast as his shorter five-year old legs could go.
At our campsite, I remember Mom would build us a warm, cozy fire, its hot red-orange sparks flying, smoke filling the evening air, and perfuming my bight ginger-colored hair. For dinner that night, we were going to roast hotdogs!! I remember always making mine as black as coal, its juicy meat within well-done. Later that night, we would roast marshmallows for s’mores!! Yum!! I remember absolutely loving my sticky, sweet, sugary, graham cracker/chocolate/marshmallow sandwich!! Unlike the hotdogs, I never roasted them until they were black as coal, just tan. I remember eating as many s’mores as I could get away with until Mom told me that I’d had enough. Can I help it if I have a sweet tooth?! I remember the black smoke from our fire pit somehow always blowing toward where I was sitting. I would move my chair…. Only to have the smoke follow me, anyway!! Ugh.
I remember my eyes would soon sting, and I’d be coughing.
“The smoke likes you!!” I remember Mom always saying, “It means you’re sweet!! That is what they say!!”
Why?!” I remember saying as I repeatedly coughed, wheezed and gasped for air, “The smoke’s not after you, Dad, or Jeremy Michael!!”
Yes, it is!!” I remember either Jeremy Michael, Mom, or Dad always saying.
Soon, it would be time for bed. Already?! I remember Jeremy Michael and I would brush our teeth, then we’d walk toward a stinky outhouse with either Mom or Dad while carrying bright flashlights in the starlit pitch black darkness. Once everyone returned back to our campsite? I remember Jeremy Michael and I immediately putting our pajamas on. Then Mom tucked us into warm, cozy sleeping bags. I remember that we lay on the hard ground, but I did not mind at all!! Mom and Dad were allowed to stay up a little while longer than us, as they stoked our crackling, popping fire, talked quietly, or read books underneath flashlights, as crickets chirped noisily.
I remember falling asleep to those comforting sounds.
I awoke early every single morning during our camping trips at Dragonfly Lake…. Ready for my day, ready for an adventure. What aroused me around five in the morning every single day? Was it crows cawing noisily, in search of leftover food, and garbage? Maybe. Was it fellow campers’ dogs barking, their sound echoing through Dragonfly Lake’s sleepy woods, and campgrounds? Sometimes. Was it Dad—always the very first one up—chopping wood, and building a warm, cozy fire? Probably. Either way….?
I remember those were the comforting sounds that woke me up!!
Depending on our plans? I remember riding either my scooter, or my bicycle around the paved street loop—over, and over, and over—alongside Jeremy Michael!! Depending on our plans? I remember Mom, Dad, Jeremy Michael, and I would all hike a long trail together which lead to an incredibly breathtakingly beautiful view of Dragonfly Lake!! Depending on our plans? I remember Mom, Dad, Jeremy Michael, and I would play card games or board games for several hours!! Depending on our plans? I remember Mom, Dad, Jeremy Michael, and I would all drive toward Sky Blue Lake, another incredibly beauteous, woodland, beatific place which has unusually crystal clear water!!
Whatever our plans were, there was always pesky, blood-sucking mosquitoes.
As with weather conditions everywhere, I remember it could be unpredictable at Dragonfly Lake. Sometimes, we would experience pouring down rain which hit our tent in large drops. I remember once the weather was so miserably freezing cold that Mom, Dad, Jeremy Michael, and I actually drove home earlier than originally planned. We have experienced a hailstorm, its icy pellets hitting our tent like bullets. But usually, I remember enjoying days, and days, and days of endless welcoming, warm August sunshine!! Although, I never minded the seemingly indecisive weather conditions!! I remember it always felt like a fun adventure!! Ah, weather!!
This is just the chance you take for vacationing outdoors!!
At Dragonfly Lake, I remember that there was a short hike down toward its campground’s little ‘beach’. I walked that dirt path—while wearing nothing but my swimming suit—with Mom, Dad, and Jeremy Michael. I could never get lost hiking down toward Dragonfly Lake’s ‘beach’!! For I could walk it in my sleep!! At Dragonfly Lake’s little ‘beach’, I remember I can witness an incredibly breathtaking view of the mighty, often snow-covered Mt. Einstein!! Green, towering trees surrounded this beauteous, woodland, beatific place like it was a canvas painting by God Himself!! In the far off distance, I remember spying sailboats, their white triangular shape all I could see from miles away on Dragonfly Lake’s waters. Dad carried our bright yellow blow-up raft down to its ‘beach’. There, he would row Mom, Dad, Jeremy Michael, and I out toward Dragonfly Lake’s deep ends!! I remember pretending that I can swim—which I cannot—by walking into its sometimes warm, sometimes freezing cold waters!! There would always be long-bodied, blue-colored dragonflies hovering over the lake’s ‘shore’, hence this beautiful, serene place’s name!!
My heart, soul, and mind have countless fond memories at that campsite!!
To Be Continued….




Thursday, December 27, 2018

“Law-Breakin’, Rule-Breakin’ Elf”

{This is a conversation that I had with my nine-year old second cousin—and her Mama, Teira—on Christmas Eve….}

“{Kids} aren’t supposed to touch The Elf on the Shelf, but {my five-year old niece, Opal} loves playing with {Sweet Tooth}, so he’s a rebel!!” I said.

“Yeah, I accidentally touched {Trixie}, so we’re a little worried that {our gender neutral Elf on the Shelf} won’t make it back to the North Pole tonight….” said Teira.

“If I remember correctly, the book did not say that grownups can’t touch Elves on the Shelf,” I stated, “It said that children can’t touch him {or them}!!” I said.

“See?” Teira said to her fretting little girl, “{Trixie is} fine!!”

“I read somewhere Online that if {children} touch The Elf on the Shelf, then cinnamon will {bring back} their magic!!” I told my second cousin, “I don’t know if that means lay the elf in cinnamon, or…. That’d be kinda messy!! But {I read that} cinnamon works!!”

So by now, you have ‘met’ Sweet Tooth, my chocolate addicted, and sugar-obsessed Elf on the Shelf!! {Read previous poem!!} When I mentioned that Sweet Tooth has an incredibly huge personality for a little guy…. Well…. I will let Volume Two of my poems about Sweet Tooth explain!! Peace out, Mary Lou
P.S. For those who do not celebrate Christmas, happy Hanukah {which ended on December 10th}, happy Winter Solstice {which occurred on December 21st}, happy Kwanzaa, and, of course, happy New Year!!
Note…. I had a plan. I was going to have this poem written—and posted—on Christmas Day. But I struggled with cosmic Writer’s Block!! Needless to say, Volume Two of my poems about Sweet Tooth was not lifting up off of the ground!! Then, on Christmas morning, I awoke at an ungodly hour with excitement within my heart, chocolate within my system, and the first verse within my soul!! I had a liftoff!! It took me three days—apparently, my Creative Powers work best in the mornings when I am composing poems—who knew?

“Law-Breakin’, Rule-Breakin’ Elf

Written by Mary Lou…. Edited by Kara Kent!!

There are important, and strict, laws;
Which were written by Santa Claus;
If I’m a North Pole citizen;
Then I can’t be touched by children;
Or I will lose all my magic;
And I can’t return to St. Nick;
But Opal loves playing with me;
She’s touched my hat, arms, and belly;
I am a law-breakin’, biker jacket-wearin’, motorcycle-ridin’ rebel!!
These are particular rules;
That I was taught in Elf School;
I can’t speak to anybody;
Not Opal, not little Bobby;
But these are children who seem nice;
I gave Opal some good advice;
‘Obey Mom and Dad on one take’;
Do not be ‘bad for badness sake’;
I am a rule-breakin’, biker jacket-wearin’, motorcycle-ridin’ rebel!!
Yes, there are significant laws;
Which were written by Santa Claus;
Christmas Eve, I can’t be here;
To ‘the Boss’, I reappear;
In Mary’s bedroom, I will stay;
And stay until New Year’s Day;
To the North Pole, I can’t go back;
I’ve been shunned from my Scout Elf pack;
I am a law-breakin’, rule-breakin’, biker jacket-wearin’, motorcycle-ridin’ rebel!!

Monday, December 24, 2018

“Sweet Tooth”

After seeing an Elf on the Shelf at a local antique shop last year {and wanting him, but talking myself out of it}, I caved, and I bought an Elf on the Shelf this Christmas!! His name is Sweet Tooth {although my youngest brother, Michael—who has Down syndrome—refers to him as Elvis, because that was what I originally planned to call him}!! Why did I name my Elf on the Shelf Sweet Tooth? Because, let's face it…. Nearly everybody possesses a cosmic sweet tooth during Christmastime!! Cookies!! Candy!! The chocolate molds in an advent calendar!! Also, I had just watched Elf before ‘adopting’ Sweet Tooth {well…. I have not registered my elf Online}, and Buddy possessed a cosmic sweet tooth!! ‘Is there sugar in syrup? I love sugar!’…. Sweet Tooth is, like, the most adorable ‘little person’ with his impish smile, his watchful cheery blue eyes, and his rosy cheeks!! He actually has an incredibly huge personality for a little guy!! Happy Christmas Eve!! Peace out, Mary Lou
PS. For those who do not celebrate Christmas, happy Hanukah, happy Winter Solstice, and happy Kwanzaa!!

“Sweet Tooth”

Written by Mary Lou…. Edited by Kara Kent!!

I tell Santa Claus who’s naughty or nice;
But I have one bad, yet important, vice;
I love sugar, that is so not an act;
I stole your almond bark, it’s a fact;
Don’t let my cheery blue eyes fool you;
I licked your candy cane, it is true;
Don’t let my impish smile fool you;
I love chocolate crinkle cookies, I do;
No, don’t let my rosy cheeks fool you;
Yes, I have an addiction through and through;
I love all Christmas cookies, that’s the truth;
For I’m an elf, and my name is Sweet Tooth!!
I am here to spread some Christmas Spirit;
I ate the advent calendar’s chocolates;
Ah, I love fudge, peppermint bark, toffee….
Rich steaming hot chocolate is my coffee;
Cookies, sugar, candy, what do I care;
Give me peanut clusters, I’ll be there;
Molasses cookies, molasses cookies;
Give me, give me, give me, give me, give me;
I know that ‘Christmas calories don’t count’;
So, I’ll stay slim, my pounds will not mount;
I love all Christmas candy, that’s the truth;
For I’m an elf, and my name is Sweet Tooth!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

“Nativity Poem”

Alright, now it is time for me to get a little bit personal. I have felt very lost as an artist this year. Not creatively…. Because, to quote Bob Dylan from his song, ‘Maggie’s Farm’, ‘I’ve got a head full of ideas that are drivin’ me insane’!! That is ‘my’ line {which describes me absolutely perfectly as an artist}, a song lyric that was written and recorded before my time!! I haven’t felt very lost because I do not know who I am as an artist…. Although I’ve been there, done that. Yes, I have travelled that potholed road before. I do indeed know who I am…. I’m a writer, an artist who ‘paints pictures’ with words!! That is my calling!! However. I have not quite been bold enough to exercise my ‘voice’ on this little Blog which doesn’t ever get any comments. Why? Because, all I have wanted to do throughout 2018 is create new fictional stories. For me…. Not for my Blogging Friends, Readers, and Followers. That is only one reason which explains why I have disappeared from ‘Minuscule is good!’ so frequently this year. But, 2019 is literally two weeks away, and I have some promises to keep with myself, God has plans for me…. Peace out, Mary Lou
P.S. For those who do not celebrate Christmas, happy Hanukah, happy Winter Solstice, and happy Kwanzaa!!

Note…. This poem was never titled. Is that because I could not come up with a name for it? Was I feeling artistic, so I intentionally didn’t title this poem? To this day, I haven’t a clue!! This is most likely my most posted poem, so longtime Blogging Friends, Readers, and Followers have already probably read it….

Written by Me!!

An angel came to Mary;
Said you’re having a Baby!
And she was shocked by his news;
But God’s found favor in you.
Joseph had lots of doubts;
Now their plans won’t work out;
Then an angel came in his sleep;
This wonderful wife you should keep!
Soon they had to move away;
Since the couple couldn’t stay;
They left their old town;
For Bethlehem renown.
Suddenly, a feeling;
Our Baby is coming;
But every room was full;
Except for this stable!
Some poor shepherds watched sheep nearby;
When an angel flew from the skies;
While scaring them badly;
He told of the Baby!
And a host came, announcing;
Glory to God, Newborn King!!