20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


Dreams, Like Wine, Need Time To Age


Vicar (Photo credit: Nick Kidd) A Man Who Isn’t Afraid to Dream!!!

So, I was strolling through the internet this evening, really rather bored, but trying to keep my hyper-vigilant brain from worrying to death over the fact that my husband has been on his motorcycle for 5 hours on a trip, and hasn’t called me even once to let me know he’s alive, and I came across this little nugget of delight:

Vicar Quits To Become Elvis Presley Impersonator

And it got me thinking about dreams. I may be mistaken, but I think it is safe to say that everyone in the world has had at least one dream while growing up. Of course, depending on where you come from, the dreams would vary drastically. I imagine if you are starving in a hut in a third world country, getting enough food to live to puberty would be a common dream. However, in America, the dreams are probably a little bigger and less life-sustaining. For me, when I was little, I dreamed of being an architect. My favorite uncle,  The Master Debater and All Around Most Awesome Uncle Ever, my Uncle John, gave me some of the tools an architect would use, and I spent endless hours designing fantastic mansions. Then, after a relatively small amount of time, I realized that I just kept designing the same mansion over and over again, and the luster wore off the dream. Well, that and the amount of math involved…So, I moved on to other dreams (tap dancer, stand-up comedian, Comparative Religion Professor), but the only other one that ever stuck was to be a writer.

In my family, there are several excellent, published writers, and even more just as excellent, unpublished writers. What is really cool about this dream, though, is that we all write different genres, and none of us write with the same kind of “voice”. For instance, my brother writes about his church ministry and how he and some other financially strapped guys were able to build a church from scratch. Yes, he and I have the same sense of humor, but our interests couldn’t be further apart and our approaches to life are spectacularly different. My mother wrote many, many romance novels. They are actually really clever, well written, and juicy… but have you ever read a graphic love scene written by your mom? :(   I can barely read a romance novel, much less one written by my mom, and to write one…I am not that gifted. Romantic I am not! I have an  aunt who writes young adult books, including some kind of strange book that lets you make decisions throughout the whole thing, which then changes the ending. Witty and interesting, but beyond my abilities…..And another aunt that wrote science fiction back in the 60’s and 70’s. I was told that one of her books was made into a story for some drama series back then, but I’ve forgotten all the details. Strange that our interests never once seemed to cross over with the number of writers in this family, but so far, that is the way it has all turned out.

I blew off my dream to write most of my adult life. I’d written a couple of fiction books as a teenager, but I cringe to even speak of them. They were horrible. I just figured that my writing career would go the way of my architect career…no where. I just didn’t have the imagination one would need to create a believable story.

So, I lived my life, married, had a family (not in that order), and worked my little accounting jobs and all but forgot my childhood dream.

Then, I set up my blog, and I started writing about stuff I was interested in, or things I felt I wanted to share about myself, and boom! The dream came back to life like Snow White being kissed by Prince Charming! And you know what? It occurs to me that I am now in a better position to be a writer because I’ve lived a whole life. I’ve endured this circus show called life, and now I actually have something to say. I have something I can write about from the heart, and with real honesty and conviction. The dying embers of the flame of hope have been fanned into a roaring bonfire, and for the first time since I was a little girl, I have a real dream to work towards!

And vicars who quit their jobs to become Elvis Presley impersonators serve as a MASSIVE inspiration to me…Thank you, Vicar! You are my hero.

You are the wind beneath my wings… :)

I just think we never get too old to dream, and we should go for it!!! What is your dream??

— Bird


How Being a Coward Has Ruined My Day Today

So, today I find myself on the horns of a dilemma of my own making once again. The back story on this one is necessary, so bear with me, if you will.

After the divorce of my parents when I was around 6, my father’s family, through no

image via nndb.com

choice of their own, basically were removed from my life, and stayed that way until my early adulthood, when I happened to see one of my aunts giving an interview on the Sally Jesse Raphael show, which included a news clip of a reporter interviewing my father on a rather bizarre, yet somewhat humorous incident that she had been involved in. (Oh, yes. One day there will be a post on this one…lol. But not today.. :-) ). Audra had been visiting, so she can attest to my brain exploding in my livingroom…But, I digress.

The relationships between family members on my mother’s side of the family can be complicated and tricky, and I, for one, have never been all that relaxed with any of them. History in that family had taught me to be ever so careful with any thing that I said or did, because they could — and were — often misunderstood or misinterpreted by fellow family members, and never erred on the positive side for me.

And even though I’d discovered my father’s family again, my life was hectic with my three toddlers and my quest for self-identity, and they faded out again, through really no fault of their own. My father would pop back into my life at varying points, but life would take over again, and before you knew it, a lot of time would pass and I’d have lost touch with him again…

Recently, because I hadn’t heard from my dad in quite a while, I tracked him down using Ancestry.com. He likes to stay off the grid, so that was no easy feat, but being his own mini-me, I was able to track him down…And enter my Aunt C.

I guess because I didn’t have to deal with this side of the family, it was easy for me to put them all on a pedestal. Fairy tales are easy to believe until you’ve lived a month with Snow White, and you realize that she can be moody and cranky, as well as lovely and kind. And I’m sure the feeling went the other way too, as I have some quirks that annoy people around me, too.

Here’s the one that started my present pickle. I don’t usually check my voicemail on my cell phone. I, at this very moment, have 32 unheard voice messages, and I have absolutely no intention of listening to them, ever. This has annoyed everyone in my life, at some point or another, but I don’t want to change. I just figure if it is really important, you’ll call back. Or, if I’m expecting a phone call that I have missed, I’ll call you back. Don’t care about messages.

Well, of course, Aunt C didn’t know this about me. About two months ago, while riding on the motorcycle, I missed a couple of phone calls from her. I was in the middle of no where, so I decided to call her back later, when I got home. A LOT of hours later, when I did finally make it home and settled, I broke my cardinal rule, and actually listened to her messages. At first, they were kind. Then, they got kind of stern; lastly, they were offended and somewhat rude, like she figured I was ignoring her specifically because I didn’t love her anymore. That freaked me out.

Because of the tense, complicated relationships on Mom‘s side of the family, I sincerely didn’t want to be in even minor family feuds on my Dad‘s side. And I had inadvertently launched one. My reaction — hide. I’m not usually a coward, so I am having a hard time understanding why I can’t pick up the phone! I see that it is her calling me, and I just can’t think of some good excuse for ignoring her calls all this time. Nor do I want to tell her the truth, either. I’m kind of stuck.

I did tell my Dad when this was first starting, and he said not to take her personally, that she does this with everyone in the family. He simply didn’t care one way or another whether I ever call her again, but I do. This is not a characteristic in myself that I’m liking much.

For some reason, I still can’t shake that dread that I may have to face the fact that if I’m going to truly embrace, and be embraced, by my father’s side of the family, I’m going to have to deal with this kind of crap. Families just have these moments. Ugh.

I’m not there yet at the moment, and now that I’ve been hitting “ignore” on my phone for months now, I’m making my mess into a hurricane-sized problem. I guess today, I’m going to have to bite the bullet and call her and take the butt-chewing I know I deserve for being a little weenie these last few months…Bummer. Wish me luck!

— Bird


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