#62 YOU CAN’T HAVE ME NOW

praying man B&w

I am lost in your shadow

as I bathe in your tears.

You can’t have me now

so stop following me here!

future past present signs

I won’t be charmed

by your pleas and your sighs.

For my tears have cleared

the sight in my eyes.

You captured my heart

like  birds who fly into their cages.

bird cage

your words were like whispers

upon old folded pages.

folded page A

Your love haunted me

until I finally gave in,

But it was too late for us,

for… we began at the end.

Keri London

1977

#40 Tinsel and Tears

Christmas tree on top of car

Dear Journal,

Mrs. Walker would not be happy with the way I am keeping up with you! I am so sorry that I am doing catch up again.

So lets see…. How to catch you up….

Oh yes! You should see our little house! It is so cute! Jack put up Christmas light right after Thanksgiving and we got the perfect little tree for our front bay window! Speaking of…. While we were driving down the street with the tree tied to the top of our car this guy in a big truck kept flashing his lights at us. At first Jack thought that maybe the tree was not tied right and was falling off,  so he pulled over and come to find out it was Larry, Jack’s friend from High School who lives behind the gates in Rolling Hills now. He followed us home and helped Jack bring the tree inside and then he invites us to his house and we followed him there and he gave us this amazing tour. His house was so big we had to use a golf cart to see it all! He has the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen. He kind of looks like one of those Prince’s in the Disney movies!

When we were riding around, I sat in the middle of Jack and Larry and Larry put his arm around me. Jack didn’t  even seem to notice. He usually is so jealous! Anyway, I didn’t like it. It really bothered me.  Maybeeee,  because I was worried that Jack would be upset but then it bothered me that Jack didn’t seem to even notice or care that Larry was kind of all over me. (He has since come over a few times when Jack hasn’t been there which I will save to tell you about  on another day!)

You should see his house. He lives  in the pool house which is twice as big as our house! They have a maid’s quarters in the main house which is also bigger than our house! Along with tennis courts horse stables and like I said a pool! Crazy!

Christmas tree branches

 

Later that week, I kept bugging Jack to go with me to buy ornaments. He just gave me money and told me to go buy “whatever” I wanted while he took Larry soaring. I was so hurt. We only had one day off together last weekend. At least he put the lights on the tree but I decorated it all by myself. I remember my mom doing that a lot and it made me so sad, I cried.  When Jack came home he raved about  how perfect it was, but I really had it “in my head” very differently. When he saw how upset I was he started tickling me and kissing me and we ended up making love under the Christmas tree with the fire going. But it still seems to me that he really didn’t understand why I was upset. At least he didn’t get upset back. Usually when I get mad at him he doesn’t know how to handle it and just gets offended and it starts a fight. So maybe things are changing a little.

kissing on the floor

The Thursday before Christmas Vacation started, Jack told me that he wanted to go Christmas shopping for his sister and his mom. They are talking again and his mom invited us over to her new apartment for Christmas dinner. So we will do Christmas Eve at my parent’s house and then Christmas morning at our house and then go over Christmas afternoon at Liz’s. Jack has been in such a good mood since he made these plans. I am so happy for him. We went shopping last weekend and got his mom this beautiful gold cross with a diamond chip in it and a Bible. And we also got Rachel a Bible. We had their names engraved on both of them. Jack also got his sister a sweater that I helped him pick out. I haven’t seen him this happy for a long time.

#32 The letters

old letters

 

 

Dear Journal,

Settling into our little house has been such fun. Though when we first rented the place we’d discussed possibly talking to our landlord about maybe leasing it with an option to buy. But Jack has since discovered that there is something not right about the foundation. Either it doesn’t have one all together or there’s something really wrong with it. All that I know is that when I serve our soup, it leans to one side! But it’s okay. We just laugh about it. Though Jack says he wouldn’t be laughing if we’d bought the place. But I do love it!

eating soup

There are these lovely built in dressers in each of the two bedrooms and in our bedroom, which must have been meant to be the masterbedroom it is  much more elaborately made, built right beneath the two windows facing the front of the house. It has two little cubby drawers on top of each side of the dresser that are darling. And as I was papering the drawers with liners I pulled them all the way out to make it easier to measure and  and I discovered these amazing letters tied up with a stained old pink satin ribbon.

letters tied with a pink ribbon

The post mark says that they were written in 1941 to 1944 and then they just abruptly stopped. It sounds as if they were from an older man and woman who’d been each other’s first loves and then bumped into each other years later. I can imagine them in my head and they have sent pictures back and forth but for the most part they are very discreet. From what I have gathered in what I have read so far, they both were married and raised families. It sounds as if he is free. His wife may have died. I am not sure yet. Maybe some of the later letters will say. But she sounds to still be married and not very happily. She sounds so sad and yet happy to have found him again.

 

forties pic hugging

 

I’ve been reading them to Jack and he thinks it is cute the way that I can’t help but cry when I read them, they just are so sad.  I made him promise that would never happen to us and that we would never end up like that and just lose touch. I cried when I made him promise. It was weird. I’d never felt that feeling of panick before and the crying just wasn’t tears. It was the sobbing, the I can’t catch my breath till I get a headache kind of crying. Jack was really sweet and just kept promising and rubbing my back and pushing back my hair from my face and telling me he promised. I have become very invested in their story and think about them a lot and wonder whatever happened. He never wrote a return address on the outside of his envelopes. I only have his letters to her and so I have to just guess what she might have said to him first. Though in the end of 1944 there are a few unmailed letters that she wrote.  They started…”My dearest C”  and all of “Cs” letters were addressed to Annie Madison at this VERY address! He’d start each letter… To my sweet little Annie and end each one, Love Always, C. I can’t help but wonder why she never sent those last letters.

 

WRITER BLACK AND WHITE

 

At first the letters sounded formal and happy to have found each other. C was on a business trip and Annie had just finished lunch with friends. They hugged because they talked about that hug a lot in later letters. And exchanged addresses. And then the letters began. There are 83 in all and I am only through 34 of them. Now as I read more, they are much less formal and beginning to sound like they have always loved each other. They have begun to stroll down memory lane and it is fun to follow them through memories of their first dates and kisses and I am trying to keep them all in order.

letters

 

I know that I could have sat down and read them all in one sitting but I wanted to make it a special thing between Jack and me. I like to wait until he is there so that I can read them to him too. He listens sweetly and tells me to wait for him before I read ahead though I’m not really sure he cares like I do. Though he does make a big point to tell me to wait for him. Probably because he knows that  I am so wound up inside about lost loves by the time I finish each letter that it makes me not want to take ours  for granted. Though I already told you that I jumped way ahead and read Annie’s last few letters and I’m not sorry that I did. It made me understand it all better and made me feel this weird connection with her.

reading letterssss

 

 

#31 Moving IN

 

diary writer

 

Dear Journal,

I am forever saying that I am sorry to you now aren’t I? I seem to be saying that a lot lately. But anywaaaay,  I KNOW that I have neglected you once again. It seems as if weeks go by in-between my entries and I have no excuses. And then I try to be really good about  remembering to keep you up to date and  after a few nights of filling pages, I get so busy again and just lose momnentum. So I am forever tying to catch you up. Now lets see…. I finally spent the weekend with Laurie at her dorms and we had a blast. Jack wasn’t too happy about it but I really needed a break. Now that I have given in, he knows that he has nothing to worry about! I mean of course I would never have gone that far if I hadn’t expected “forever” so he knows that I’m not going anywhere and that I have a feeling that he feels more secure. But even still, I’m not sure why it is always so hard for him to understand that I need my space and yet can still love him? Anyway we had a blast. Her roomate was home for the weekend so we had the room to ourselves and we caught up and shopped and ate out a LOT and saw a couple movies. It was so fun and felt like old times.

girls shopping

The biggest news that I have to tell you is that we found a place!! I think that I might have told you about it last time. Well, we got it. When I drove by, it was this little blue craftman’s style house that had a bunch of kid’s toys out in front. It was so perfect. When the landlord told me that we had to wait to see it, I just thought I’d die waiting. The family had just been transfered to Kentucky and weren’t moving out until the following week. But when we were  finally  able t0 coordinate our schedules Jack and I met the landlord there who’d was just finishing up painting and we signed the lease that day!

IMAG0750951307538737969

 

 

And Oh my it is wonderful! It has a wonderful bay window and wood burning fireplace and built in Shelves in every room. The master bedroom has a wall to wall built in dresser that was made with such detail and beveled glass cupboards. The bathroom has a wonderful footed bathtub and out in back there is this darling work shed that even has a great work bench just waiting for all of Jack’s many projects that I can’t wait for him to start!

shedshed inside

 

 

 

Since then we have been moving in. Well, Jack has. He says that it is our house but of course I still go home at night. But I am there when he gets home from work or sometimes when he wakes up! Depending on the day. We both have keys and he has let me shop for and arrange  the furniture however I like. It has been so fun papering the cupboards with contact paper and buying dishes and towels because he needed just about everything right down to a laundry basket.

contact-paper-2shelves empty

 

The other day I was out gardening in the back yard and met the most wonderful neighbors. Jess and Louise said that they are in the process of looking for a farm in Missouri where they’d like to retire and said that they are back and forth sometimes.

garden

I’d cleared a lot of weeds out of the backyard and started a Victory Garden and they raved about it and  invited me over for iced tea so I washed my hands and went around to the front where they welcomed me on their wrap around porch with swing and all! Oh and they have the cutest little puppy named Mopsy and she really does look like a little black mop. I think that their house may even be more charming than ours. They have three bedrooms and each one has a big brass bed in it with Amish Patchwork Quilts on each one! Their kitchen has been updated but to the year that the house was built in the early 1920s. They have the most amazing bay windows with built in window seats that I want Jack to see so he can try to duplicate in our little front bay window!

porch swing

Jack came home and my car was out front and when I was no where to be found, he was pretty upset and was waiting for me when I came back through the gate. He said that I left the house “wide opened” which I didn’t. And I told him that I could see pretty much everything from their dining room window. Which didn’t make him happy either. “So they can see right into our house?” “Not really, well yeah kinda.” I  had to tell him in case he ever went over there and saw for himself!

Jack brooded for a while. And went out to work in his shed but by the time I’d made dinner and called him back in, he seemed to have snapped out of it. and we ended up having a good night.

I promise that I’ll be back tomorrow to catch you up some more!

K

 

 

 

#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!

#15 Journal Entry Soaring Lessons

Dear Journal,

When Jack and I pulled up to the Glider Port in Lake Elsinore about an hour later, he was ecstatic.  He was so happy and I love seeing him that way. We walked around looking at all the fiberglass planes that they called mosquitoes and watched tow planes pulling up gliders which was a lot different than the radio controlled planes that we saw being manuevered by a control. These planes had no engine! As we watched the planes that pulled the gliders up, it was crazy to realize that no motor was holding them up in the sky but the air and the knowledge of where to fly to find the right kind of air to make them go up. It all made me kind of dizzy!

sailplane fuselage

On our way there Jack told me that he read all about Sail Planes  in a National Geographic when he was just a little boy and that he’d always dreamt of flying in one.  When we got out of the car, his expression was so cute. He looked like a little boy who’d just discovered Santa’s workshop at the North Pole! As I walked around, the planes he went inside the little trailer to get information. When he came back he had two time slots for us to go up.

 

I was so surprised he got me one too and I have to admit a little nervous. And It was expensive! I told him that it was okay, I would have fun just watching him go up, but he insisted and said that we were “A team!” And that he wouldn’t go if I didn’t. Well, how could I ruin his fun? And I must say that it was so cool! First Jack went up and I thought he was going to burst from the sheer joy he was feeling. When he landed and the pilot popped open the plexiglass top I knew he was sold.

sailplane lessons

 

He watched as I climbed in and they had to put sand bags in to weigh me down so that the plane would weigh enough. Glen my pilot, explained about how to pull the red knob to release the tow plane’s line and then let me pull it! I watched as the tow plane swooped below us and the instructor showed me how to read the altitude and how to find thermals that would keep us up without an engine. I remembered watching the birds and felt like one. It was so incredible.

sail plane

 

As we landed, Glen pointed out the chalk landing line and then the line we were to roll out to and let me do it. He said that I was a natural. When we landed, Jack was right there waiting for me and and told me that he’d signed us both up for lessons. I asked him “No Jack” I told him it was too expensive. But he said again, that we were a team and he wouldn’t do it without me.

sailplane open cockpit

 

On the way home he was so excited. I don’t think that I ever saw him so worked up in a good way. We stopped at a little Drive-In  near Corona and ordered deep friend burritos and rootbeer freezes and talked and laughed all the way home. I was so happy. Summer is just a few weeks away and my mom and little brother Lonnie are going to my grandparent’s in Seattle. I talked my parents into letting me stay home. It is my last summer before I graduate and I wanted to stay home with Jack. Of course I didn’t tell them that.

My cousin Annie has a job this summer working at a photo place and I knew that it would be boring without her. My grandparents sold their dear old home by Lake Washington a couple of years ago and moved to a modular home on Whidbee Island. I cried for days when I’d heard the news. But someday I am going to buy it back! Everyone can just wait and see! Anyway, I am staying home and my dad has a few business trips planned so I will stay at Laurie’s. It’s going to be the best summer ever!

goodbye hug

When we got back home, it was late and I had school the next day so Jack just took me back to my car.We had so much to look forward to. He held me so tight it almost hurt. He kissed me hard. I almost felt as if we were one in that moment. All of our thoughts and plans and dreams and our bodies all seemed to flow together Now when we kiss, I am not sure how to explain it. At times I feel he wants me to be his girlfriend but at other times I feel he just wants to be loved and nurtured in a maternal kind of way, as if he is trying to make me fill all the holes in his life. Sometimes I want to hold on and make all his old pain go away and sometimes I just want to run away myself because he needs so much and it just scares me. Even signing up for all of those lessons seems like a commitment that I’m not sure that I am all that ready for.

Journal Entry #7

Dear Journal,

Oh I must say that I have never felt this way. I feel as if I am walking around in an absolute fog. Every thought I have comes out like poetry. I never thought that I could feel this way. I am head over heels in love. Though I think that I make absolutely no sense at all! My mind is is fuzzy and I feel as if I am on some drug that won’t let me come down! Not that I want to!  But I do have finals coming up and I need to study. Oh my!

doodling on desk

 

I find myself doodling his name and trying to smell him on my skin,  and to memorize how he feels on my finger tips. His voice causes a thousand goose bumps to pour over me like a warm bath. I feel as if I am walking  inches above the ground. I must say that I am rather annoyed with myself. Where in the world has my brain gone?! I demand to know!