#30 Dear Journal

Dear Journal,

I have to say that the week at camp was a lot of work but so worth it! The kids were really good. We didn’t have our regular class. They were too young to go this year. We had eight – nine year old girls and had two assistants in our cabin, along with Kathy and I. Some of the kids needed meds and others just needed closer supervision but they were much easier than our class of five and six year old. Though every single minute of every single day was filled. But the ratio was two kids per counselor in our cabin so it wasn’t  bad at all. The nights were so fun. All the counselors would get together and have what they called RnR around the campfire.

bonfire2

We took turns where two stayed with the cabin while two of us went to RnR and then the next night we’d switch. Kathy and I ended up volunteering to stay with the cabin more nights and we’d stay up and talk long after  our two assistants would come back. We talked about everything… What she wanted out of life, how she became a Speech Therapist,  what I wanted out of life and my career goals. About her wanting to have a baby, about her marriage, about Jack and I  and then a couple of nights into really getting to know each other, I told her that I was still a virgin and that I was saving myself for marriage. She kind of flipped out. And told me that I needed to go right home and do it. She was joking, but I started thinking a lot about it.

sunshine coach

Jack was right there waiting for me when our bus pulled up. He grabbed me and picked me right up off the ground and swung me around . When he set me down, I caught Kathy smiling at me with a little twinkle in her eye. And I glared at her but smiled. I knew exactly what she was thinking. All the parents of our girls had already been picked up at camp so Kathy and I were free to go as soon as our sleeping bags and suit cases were unloaded. Her husband pulled up and got out. He sure is cute! He is a lawyer. He put her stuff in their MG little sports car and came over and shook Jack’s hand and admired his spitfire. I waved goodbye to Kathy as we both turned in different directions.

hugging jumped up

All the way home, I talked nonstop, about the kids and the activities and about RnR. I told him about how after the first few nights we’d opted to stay in and let our assistants go to most of the RnRs  and then I let him in on  some of  the conversations Kathy and I had about us and Jack just smiled and reached over and held my hand without saying anything. When we got to his apartment his dad was working the swing shift and was not due home for a few more hours and so we went up.

inbed2

I don’t really think that either one of us planned it or thought anything was going to happen that day, but we really missed each other and one thing led to another and  I’d been thinking about what Kathy said and  reasoning with myself ever since our own private RnRs.  I knew that we’d be together forever and so lets just say that Jack should be very happy that I care about Kathy’s opinion so much. He usually gets mad when I put so much value on what other people think but this time I think he was glad. He was so gentle and sweet and I was’nt as scared as I thought I’d be. Afterwards we just kind of lay there in the after glow and ended up falling asleep and almost getting caught.

hugging lying down

Jack was the first to hear his dad pull up in the garage below and just happened to hear the car door slam. Luckily that woke him up out of a deep sleep.  He jumped up and woke me up and we stumbled around getting dressed really fast and and then turned on the TV. It was way  too close that time!

tv watching

 

When Jack took me home, he told me that he wanted to speed up the search for our own place and said that he figured out that he  could afford Five hundred dollars a month! Which is enough to get a little two bedroom house. We looked that next weekend instead of going soaring  and it was so much fun going through apartments and peeking into windows of empty houses. But the next week, I  happened to be driving by a cute neighborhood in Lomita when I found our house! I wrote down the phone number and I can’t wait for Jack to come see it with me!

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#29 On my own

A++

Dear Journal,

It’s been a while since I handed in my last Journal entry to Mrs. Walker but for some reason I am still writing in you. I think that she would be pleased to know that I didn’t quit after she gave me my last A! So I bet when I titled this “On my own” you might have thought that meant Jack and I were no longer together but it is just the opposite and so much has happened.

for rent

We’ve been looking for a place to rent for a while now and trying to fit soaring in, on top of everything else. We both soloed and Jack took home movies of my whole flight.

sail plane tow

Later we showed my dad who had not been very happy about me doing it at all but when he saw the movies he went down to see what it was all about with Jack and me and signed up for lessons. It makes me so happy because he is a workaholic and the people at the glider port are so nice and will be good for him.

I also have signed up for some modeling classes at a school and my mom said that they would pay for half and Jack said that he’d pay for  the other half for my birthday! I am so excited. The classes are every Friday afternoon which I have off from both work and school and still have time to bring Jack  “dinner” on Friday nights. He really was supportive about it. I have learned make up and runway and now we are working on the commericial classes. I have three left and will be done. The school has an agency and they said that if I get pictures and a portfolio they know that they can get me work.

portfolio2

Jack has been so sweet and supportive and it is so funny whenever I drive anywhere he says it turns him on that I can drive a stick shift and that he knows that I can do anything  now that he knows that I taught myself. I told him that he gave me the basics and I just took it from there. I am going away for a week at the end of June with Kathy and our class to summer camp. I can’t wait. Jack wasn’t happy at all when I first told him but he has come around and is going to take me to school the morning that we leave and then pick me up when we come home. The school has Sunshine Coaches that the Variety Club donated to us that we will be driving up there in, and we need to be there by 6AM on that Monday morning and will be back Saturday afternoon.

sunshine coach2

I told Jack that I could just drive myself and leave my car at the school but he insisted that he drop me off and seemed a little hurt thinking that I didn’t want him to bring me. I told him that I just wanted to save him having to get up so early because after all, it is almost an hour away to just get to the school so he is going to have to get up super early but he said that I even suggested that he wouldn’t take me hurt his feelings, so I didn’t argue. I am just happy we didn’t get into a fight over any of it. But I kind of have a feeling that he really doesn’t want me to go.

sad man silloette

Dear Journal #28 Adult Children of Alcoholics

Dear Journal,

I love my new job! The kids are so great! Kathy, the teacher that I am assisting is amazing.

school class

She lives in Newport Beach, right on the water with her gorgeous husband.  John Wayne’s boat is docked just a few boat docks away from their’s.

dock

I have signed up for college at Harbor and am taking a full load at night. I am going to major in Speech Pathology! My dad seemed so proud of me. I was surprised. I didn’t think he cared if I went to college. Jack also said that he was proud too, but he complained when I told him that I have classes every night but Fridays. He didn’t seem too happy about that. So on Friday nights I’ve started to bring him dinner. He is still working at night, at the job my dad got him in the basement of the City Hall and runs the city’s payroll there and then works at Amber Oil a few days a week with his mom (when she shows up.) THAT is another story for another day! But I don’t think that is going to last for too much longer!

The fact that we see each other much less than we used to seems to have helped in one way and yet put more pressure on us in a totally different way. Jack has been talking about looking for a place. It is too hard for us to be alone at his dad’s or at my house and he is really getting more pushy about sex. Even thought I keep telling him that I want to wait until we are married. But I have to admit that we both get pretty carried away at those Friday night breaks.

kiss kiss

Since we are the only ones in the building at night, and there is a lock on the computer room door, Jack usually eats the dinner I bring after I leave and takes his dinner break with me. Maybe it is a little longer than he might normally get if he had the day shift! But his boss told him that as long as he was there in case something went wrong, he didn’t care what he did as long as the work got done. At first it all startes with just  kissing  and then we started messing around a little more each time until we ended up on the office floor!

kissing on the floor

His mom kept bugging me to go to her doctor and so I did get birth control. Liz and I have become good friends but I still find it a little creepy that she talks about sex with me considering it is her son that is the subject. So now I have birth control pills but I’m not taking them because I don’t plan on needing them. There are other things we can do. Which she also talked to me about and I changed the subject. That was way too much information from my boyfriend’s mom! I think she tries to be a parent but I am beginning to realize that she just doesn’t think the same way all the moms I know do.

Liz is different than anyone I have ever known. A few months ago, we went out with her dad and his wife. She was treating them for their anniversary and wanted us to come along to drive. I am not sure what happened but someone said something to tick her off, I think it was her dad. Well, she just flipped out. The thing is, my parents never fight. I just am not used to adults being so crazy. I just wanted to slide under the table. Jack  paid the bill and then wrote down his grandparent’s address for me and told me he’d call a cab and asked if I could stay and go with them and make sure that they got home okay and then have  the driver take me to his mom’s. He handed me a couple twenties and guided his mom out of the door. I just sat there staring at this old couple that I barely knew and started apologizing. I’m not sure why I was apologizing, but I couldn’t help it. They just looked so miserable and helpless. But somehow, I kind of think that this wasn’t their first big scene that they’d experienced with their daughter.

taxi sign

taxi

It is hard for me to look back and remember the details, I think that I have already blocked that night out of my head. Though I am kind of proud that I was able to navigate everyone to the places that we were supposed to be and help Jack. I feel bad for him. He keeps trying to create these normal family times and they always seem to backfire. I think he thought that his mom was doing better. She was on a new medication and showing up to work pretty regularly but she was not supposed to be drinking. I personally don’t think that she can go OUT and not drink. I also think that we shouldn’t have gone to a place that she used to go with Richard.

dancing out

When she ordered that first drink, I saw Jack tense up. By the third drink, I think we both knew that we were in trouble.

drinks

A Poem About Anger

I Fell In Love With Your Pain

hugging couple in the rain

I think in the beginning

Maybe just a little…

 I fell in love with your pain

hugging2

I wanted to hold you inside

 and let you in

to gather you up

 kissing standing up

and help you let go

And now did you know

that you spit a little

arguing couple

when you yell?

Keri London

1974

#27 Steep Hills

Dear Journal,

Catching up again… after some missing pages…

Luckily my Senior Year only had one class  I actually had to physically attend. All  the others were Independent Study Classes like this one or Work Experience that already had given me enough credits to graduate early. I just needed my Government credits and finally recived them! Sooo, I am officially out of School!!!! No ceremonies or anything, though I do have the option of walking with my class. I probably won’t. I just needed my days free. Yaaay! Which is a good thing because I’ve had to spend a lot of time helping Jack deal with his mom. He had a heart to heart with her and found out that she’d been hiding something.  After a lot of crying and not making sense we finally  learned that the reason for her suicide attempt was because Richard moved out.

hospital pic

He signed everything over to Jack’s mom and just wanted out. The note said that he was tired of the fighting.  He left it all, their gorgeous home on Country Road, his family business. He even sold his boat in the Marina and took that money and just left in his jaguar. So far he hasn’t contacted anyone and Liz just kind of flipped out . I’m not sure, he even knows that she was in the hospital. I think that when she realized he was really gone, it made her snap out of her self destructive fog and take control again. She’s been back to work for a while now and sadly had to put her house on the market and we’ve been looking at places for her.

house for sale

We got through Christmas and I’m really looking forward to working at the Speech Center in a few weeks. Which brings me to my next piece of news! Since I will be driving an hour a day to work, Jack and my dad surprised me with a new car for Christmas. Well, new to me.  With Lonnie starting sports, my mom really needed her car more and if you remember me telling you that my dad told me that for my eighteenth birthday he’d match anything I made last summer. We’d been looking for several months past my birthday until Jack found this little Fiat and took my dad to see it. My dad said it was an early Christmas present and wouldn’t take my money! He and Jack went together to buy it and I guess it was this horrible green color when they found it but for my gift,  Jack paid to get it painted Canary Yellow. My favorite color. He was so excited to give it to me and so my dad let him be the one to surprise me with it. I think the whole thing really bonded them.  Jack was so impressed with my dad’s negotiation skills. He kept re-telling me the story over and over again about how they almost walked out and how he was so sure that it was over  until the salesman called them back.  My dad seems to enjoy hearing Jack tell the story too.

yellow fiat

 

The only thing that upset me was that it is a stick shift! My heart kind of fell when I went out and saw that. But I didn’t want to ruin the moment. I actually kind of would have liked to pick out my own car period. Do I sound ungrateful?  I already can feel the tension imagining Jack or my dad for that matter, trying to teach me how to drive it! They both aren’t the most patient teachers. We have been out a few times and Jack yelled at me and told me that I was going to strip the gears. But he makes me so nervous. We had a horrible fight during my last driving lesson. He couldn’t seem to understand why I was having such a hard time catching on since I already could drive but I was freaking out on the hills.

police stopping car

A police man pulled us over and he told me to let him do the talking. But I was in the driver’s seat and the officer was talking to me. It just seemed stupid to stay quiet and let Jack lean over so I told him that I was sorry but I was just learning how to drive a stick and gave him my license. He let me go with a warning but Jack and I traded seats. He yelled at me all the way home. My parents were out of town and we’d planned a nice evening alone. But  we were both in no mood when we pulled into my driveway. He parked my car and screeched off and I ran inside. Sometimes I think I hate him!

spitfite green in rain

The next morning was Saturday and  I woke up at 3 AM and tiptoed down the stairs with my keys. I know that what was scaring me was the traffic and so I figured that at that time of the morning I would be alone on the road and I was. I drove all the way to Manhattan Beach and drove all the way home taking every steep street I could find until I mastered stopping and starting on a hill.  I was so happy when I got home because I knew that I really had gotten the concept down.

steep hills 2

I’d totally forgotten our fight as I ran into the house to answer the phone. I still had my keys in my hand and a big old smile on my face when I heard Jack’s voice ask”Where were you!?! I looked at the time and saw that it was almost 9:30.  I was so happy that I’d learned how to drive and there was nobody at home to tell so I told him,”I taught myself to drive!”