Thursday, January 04, 2007


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I found myself a little angry with God this morning. I had one of those rare moments of clarity about my life and was suddenly so pissed this info comes about 20 years too late.

This week is an anniversary of sorts for me. 20 years ago today, I was waking up in the Dallas home of my then boyfriend's mother. I had driven in the day before, had a lovely traditional New Year's Dinner - his mom made sure I found the lucky penny in the cornbread - and hit the town with the man that has become known to my circle of friends as the Jackass.

We were up very early the next day...he was driving me to California. This task wasn't originally meant to be his. It was to be my mother's. But 1985 was yet another dreadful Christmas. It was the last time my mother ever struck me. And in addition to her being so difficult to be around, Christmas was topped off with a family friend getting stabbed to death and my cousin's last attempt at suicide (she lived).

Mother used these events to back out of moving me to California. I really think she believed I would not go if she didn't take me. But she underestimated me. When I suggested the Jackass (she adored him; our dog didn't.... hmmmm), her response was to wonder what the neighbors would think of my traveling across the country and sharing a room with him. I still remember the astonished look on her face when I asked, "How will they know if you don't tell them?"

So 20 years ago today, the Jackass and I set out for Cali. I wanted to be a producer or so I thought back then. It only took me 15 or so years to realize that someone doesn't move that far from home to chase something. No, you move vast distances when you are running from something.

We had a blast driving here. He was the driver, I was the DJ. The car was so loaded down, I couldn't get out without placing a few cases and boxes on the ground beside the passenger door.

I was snoozing as we approached California. He tapped my arm and asked, "You were born in 64 right??"


"Find a 64 coin in your purse. Hurry!"

I dug around a bit and announced, "The best I can do is a 69 penny."

"O.K....Let me think... that's 5 years. O.K. add a nickel."

"Got it."


"Can I ask why I sitting here with six cents in my hand?"

"Just wait."

Moments later, he was pulling the car off to the edge of the highway. We were right in front of the California State Line sign.

"Get out!"


"GET OUT! Come on, hurry. It's cold." He dashed out of the car. I followed.

We jumped the barricade and ran west a few feet. He grabbed my shoulder to keep me from running into California. I straightened up and tried to see whatever it was he was so intent on showing me. It was cold and windy and I really had no clue what we were doing on the side of that highway.

He placed his arm around my shoulder and pulled me closer to him.

"Look at that."

I looked at him questioning his sanity.

"That is California. Everything you've ever dreamed of is going to happen to you there. Everything you ever wanted to be, you will be there. You are home."

I had a huge lump in my throat. He had managed to address all my fears. Would I make it or would I tuck my tail between my legs and head back home? Would I even find a job? Could I just stay there long enough to not embarrass myself?

"Now, lean over and make a wish and place your coins over there."

I did as I was told, dropping my coins in the California sand.

"Now, take something for a memory."

I took a pretty rock. Still have it somewhere.

"Now that you're home, you drive. Let's get out of here. It's COLD!"

I raced back to the car to get out of the wind. As I was jumping the barricade, I realized he wasn't with me. He appeared to be digging in the dirt.

"What are you doing? I yelled.

"Covering up your money."


"You never know when you'll be passing back by and need six cents!"

As I was thinking of this journey and what this man has been through the years in my life, I realized that his driving me here was truly the nicest thing he ever did for me. And I was suddenly dumbstruck with the revelation that this trip, this kindness was his ONLY job in my life.

Couldn't I have gotten this knowledge many, many years ago???

He wasn't the man I was "supposed" to marry. He certainly wasn't worth all the grief and anguish he put me through. He wasn't worthy of my faith or my love. He was only supposed to get me here. And that's just fine. He took me home and now, twenty years later, I finally realize what he was trying to tell me. This is my home. And home feels so good.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations...what a wonderful insight! I spent many years running from my life and moving from one end of the country to the other. Then I met the man who brought me home and as tough as it can be here at times, I also can't imagine living anywhere else. Blessings to you and Miss Mabel!

Linda@VS said...

What a memorable trip to California! That scene should be in a movie, Holly.

I know what you mean about wishing "those moments of clarity" would come sooner, but sometimes I think we don't see things clearly until we're ready for clarity.

In a stress management class I attended one time, the instructor drew a horizontal line across the blackboard. As he told us about events in his life, he put a dot below the line if it was an unpleasant experience and above the line if it was a good one. He connected the dots with lines, making a graph that showed the peaks and valleys representing his life. Then he told us, "Every important lesson I've learned in my life, I've learned below the line."

So maybe your experiences with the Jackass taught you some lessons you'll need someday.

I'm glad you and Mabel made it home safely.

Anonymous said...

Great story. Sounds like the "Jackass" gave you a good start on your new life - he served the purpose he was meant for. People really do come and go in our lives for a reason. Like those poems about leaving prints on our hearts.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I wonder if those six cents are still there?

Anonymous said...

Can I ask what's the deal with the stuff? and how did you find out they stole your stuff?

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Carmon, Yes, the insight is wonderful. I realize how many things I've given up on in my life. You are so lucky to have someone who loves you so and all your animals around you.

Velvet, I've lived such a strange life... believe me there are many scenes that should be in a movie. I think that's why I write. And as strange as my life is... My mother's was moreso...

Jackie, It's taking me a long time to get his nasty prints off my heart. But now that I know, I'm movin' on!

Janet, I posted about Bitacle stealing posts in my Nov. 27, 2006 blog. I have not been hijacked and I think that is due to my constant header on each and every post. If you read the old post, there are links to Little Bald docs which has links to help you figure out if you are being hijacked.

Sunflower Optimism said...

What a story, CH. There is a poem that goes around in email - how people come into our lives for a reason, a season or to stay - and how we should not confuse their purpose in our lives. I guess this guy was in your life for a reason - to help you move.

It is not always easy to discern why people come into our lives - the poem makes you think about it. There was another blog entry on this very subject - it was in Dr. John's link of the day for today. If you can't find it and are interested, let me know and I'll find the link.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Sunflower - I have seen that poem. I do agree, I had his purpose very confused. Now that I have this knowledge, it's really making me examine what ain't workin' any more. Change is in the wind.

Thanks for stopping by.