Paris Is Calling

The magical city of light is calling me. At least that’s how I would like to think about it. In reality it matters not to Paris if I ever set foot on her streets. But it matters to me. So tonight I sip French wine, study metro lines, and repeat basic French phrases over and over… enjoying the sound of the foreign words spilling out of my mouth with some accuracy.

I’ve always been good at repeating accents fairly well. It’s the remembering of the meaning of what I’m saying that is the problem. I get focused on the sound. The lyrical quality of the vowels and consonants. And I’m lost to all else.

But I shall have to focus.

Because Paris is calling. And I will traipsing down her streets within the next month.

Oui! I am answering the call!



A Letter to One Far Away

Dear you,

Is there anything quite as old fashioned as a pen and paper letter? As I thought about writing you I considered purchasing some fine stationary that would be more fitting of this traditional method of communication. But as you can see, I didn’t. A humble lined legal pas will have to suffice for now.

So what does one talk about in a pen and paper letter. I confess, I’m so accustomed to the instant feedback of a modern age that it feels odd. There’s a level of trust to this. I have to trust that you’ll understand my meaning because it will be weeks before you could ask and I then respond. I suppose it’s more like pouring out a stream of thought with the knowledge of a willing audience waiting at the other end.  Continue reading

Italy made me cry

Marian Green:

Maybe it’s because I have my own trip abroad coming up, but this piece touched me deeply.

Originally posted on rougedmount:

The first time I glimpsed Italy was through the porthole window as I sat on an airplane, as we started the final descent on the approach into Rome. Tears immediately welled in my eyes and my throat burned with the emotions I felt, and was surprised by, as I did not expect to have them. Someone passed me some tissues. I’m not sure if it was my seat companion or an attendant, as I never turned my head when they tapped my shoulder and reached in front of me, so I could take them.

I saw majestic mountains that had been landscaped into order with the tiers a thousands of years of cultivation brings. Massive forests in shades of olive hues, all planted in orderly fashion with property delineations evident from my aerial view. Sienna buildings situated in the middle of massive emerald lawns, tiny outbuildings and stoned garden walls…

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I’m Worried About a Reader

It is no secret that WordPress is all about community. That is one of the reasons we love it so much. But because of the nature of this digital world and the anonymous style many of us have, when one goes silent it’s difficult to know why. 

Did the person just get busy, need some space, or… something worse. 

So my friends, I’m worried about someone. And I’m sure I’ll be embarrassing the snot out of him for posting this, but I’m risking that because he is such a kind soul. He is a familiar commenter on many of our blogs even though he, himself chooses to not blog. So Nick, if you’re reading this, let a girl know you’re alive, ok? 

And if anyone else out there has news, I would be thankful if you’d let me know. 

Love and hugs to you all,


Pictures Men Have Painted for Me

I walk alone in the night, sweat from the heat and exercise beading up on my back, arms, neck, and under my breasts. I look up at the inky sky and see a streak of light slice the star-sprinkled darkness. And I’m reminded of a story a man told. One where high in the mountains the stars fell around him, the air so thin he swore he could hear the crackling as they burnt up in the atmosphere.

And then I’m reminded of other stories. Pictures men have painted for me with their words. A horseback ride through the desert. A herd of giant kangaroos surrounded in a misty morning fog. A lake of snowy ice surrounded by a silent forest. A bohemian shelter in a Grecian cave.

These pictures. I cherish them. For always.

Sometimes I do things backwards

I’m approaching a birthday that puts me very close to the mid 30 mark. And I think I’m regressing. Doing things backwards. You see, I came home from work today, took off my jeans, my black top, and my bra. I tossed on a tee (no bra) and some basketball shorts. I petted the cat. I snacked. I poured myself a glass of red wine. I began watching How I Met Your Mother (season 1). 

Now, I’m down an entire bottle of red wine. And some pop corn. And 9 episodes of HIMYM season 1. WTH???? I’m not f*ing 28?!??!?  

Yet I’m acting like it. 

But damn.  The buzz feels good. Like a warm hug from large muscular arms. Like legs that resemble tree trunks gripping my waist. Like… No… Not quite that good. But the buzz makes me long for it. Want it. Crave it. 

So let’s drink to the buzz. 

The End – The Australian: Chapter 17

It had been almost a year since I gave into the temptation to email Ian. So why, the urge hit me so hard the other day, I don’t know. But, instead of sending an email that I didn’t expect a response to, I did the next best thing. While sitting at my office desk, I googled him.

The fourth result down held his full name. And something more…

It held the day of his death.

Time slowed.

Ian is dead. Ian is dead. Ian is dead. That phrase ran through my shocked brain over and over. Continue reading

Goodbye – The Australian: Chapter 16

Ian drove us to the airport the next morning, a heavy silence filling the car. I felt like a shell of the woman I had been when I had flown across the country just two days prior. The hopelessness was a bleak darkness, a pit with no end.

Back home, I just went through the motions. Routine and responsibilities kept me from spending day after day in bed. Ian wasn’t able to completely cut off contact. But the few notes I received via email were short, and unsatisfying.

And then I began to write. Continue reading

Stolen Hours – The Australian: Chapter 15

My flight took off and landed without delay. I had called in sick to work on my way to the airport, doing my best to sound at death’s door, when in reality my heart was singing and full of life. The plan was for Ian to pick me up at the airport and I fully expected him to be there waiting for me as soon as I walked out of the terminal.

He wasn’t.

The minutes ticked by. I repeatedly checked my watch. Ten, fifteen, then twenty excruciating minutes passed. And then I saw him walking up. He wore a white shirt tucked into dark denim jeans and as our eyes met, his adorable lopsided grin lit up his face.

“You came,” I sighed into his chest as he held me. Continue reading

Taking Flight – The Australian: Chapter 14

“I’ve never been so happy and so sad at the same time in all my life,” I told my best friend.

She had listened to me talk nonstop about meeting Ian, about making love with Ian, about Ian’s flower sending abilities and about how sure I was that Ian was my soul mate for days. The consummate friend, she had commiserated with me tirelessly. And now she offered some advice.

“Go see him,” she said abruptly as I was lamenting his departure for Australia in the next few days.

“What?” I replied, dumbly.

“Go see him. Before he’s out of the country,” she explained.

“You mean like tomorrow?”


I don’t know why I hadn’t already thought about dropping everything and flying to see him before he left the country. I was ready to quit my job and move to Australia if he asked, so this would be small in comparison. But most of all I wanted the chance to be in his arms again, to feel his breath on my body, to know for sure that what I had experienced, felt, believed was real.

“Oh my gosh. I could make this happen,” I said, disbelief rapidly dispersing. Continue reading

Daydreams and Bouquets – The Australian: Chapter 13

The morning of February 14th I drove to work bleary eyed but happy. Ian and I had video chatted long into the night. His looks of longing and whispered I love yous had left my heart full even though the future was still as clear as a foggy morning in the Appalachian foothills, somewhere among the mist I felt hope.

Phones rang, paper scattered, and the general scurry of activity surrounded me. It all seemed a blur. None of it touched me. I was elsewhere, living in the future in my daydream. It was a place where Ian and I would get home from work around the same time. He, an avid cook would be preparing our meal while I tinkered on a rich sounding upright piano nearby. Our eyes would meet and sparkle, because we knew we had beat the fates and made a life together.

“Marian, there’s a delivery for you.” Continue reading

Lies and Alibis – The Australian: Chapter 12

-New part begins now-

Gripping the steering wheel, heart full of hope and confusion I drove towards home. Regan, the man I had been with for years and was planning to marry would be waiting. I had just met and fallen in love with my soulmate and I had to return to the arms of another.

The darkness engulfed me as I made the long journey to my cottage’s driveway. Home at last I pulled into the garage and sat there for a moment. Four days ago I left on what was supposed to be a simple research trip. I had returned a different woman.

Was what had happened real? Already I was questioning.

The door opened and my clueless fiance came out to help bring in my luggage. He had no way of knowing my heart was heavier than all my bags combined. Continue reading