Daily Dose- Luck

All my life, without searching, I’ve found 4 leaf clovers. Even 5,6 and 7 leaf clovers, whose luckiness I always wondered about. Is  finding a 6 leaf clover like an external super power, or is it anti – luck? 3 is ordinary, 4 is lucky, more is a rare curse? I once read the chances of finding a 4 leaf clover are 1 in 10,000 , (or was it 100,000?) so what are the odds of my collection of 50+ clovers? And furthermore, who said it was Good luck they bring?



My husband’s second or third tattoo is a little snake accompanied by the words, “Shit Luck.” Have you heard the phrase, “If it wasn’t for bad luck I wouldn’t have any”?

Take, for example, our experience this summer. We finally got our school bus, the long awaited realization of a dream. We ripped out all the seats, put in a bench seat and beds, made the space our home and began round one thousand of our family’s possession purge. (I’ve gotten so much better at this process than when I first tried, nearly 4 years ago, so convinced that I Needed all my things.) My husband hears from a fellow traveler and so he and his road dog (human travel companion) set out in the bus, and I finish up with the road readying and set out a few days later in the car with the kids.

My husband calls me one night as I’m setting up camp in the sultry Kansas evening. The bus broke down, he tells me. He and the fellow he went to pick up walked some 10 miles into town. There’s an issue getting our whale of a vehicle towed. (It’s a short bus, but it never fails to make AAA nervous.) I make the rest of the journey the next day to the place he’s stuck. We wait through the weekend. The owner of the shop where the bus is languishing is kind enough to let us still sleep in our beds on board. Walmart provides bathrooms some yards away. We’re hopeful, exuberant, finally on the road as a family! The heat, nor  the home bum who calls himself Luscifer and has decided our bus is the drinkin spot, can keep us down!

And then we get the news. Despite all the new parts the previous owner put into the bus, he still had the old engine in there. And it’s shot. Toast. No hope. At least 1k for a new one. We call around to find out the price of an engine swap on a beast like this. We’re met with quotes of 5k. That’s ten times what we stole the bus for!

It seems all is lost. The journey is over before it began. But we’re not okay with that. This is our dream! We’ll stick it out, I’ll get a job, we’ll find a place to park where Luscifer doesn’t show up at 7am with dementia patients whose family abandoned them at McDonald’s, leaving them to believe they’re going hitchhiking with bums until police come to respond to noise complaints on said bum and find aforementioned 90 year old lost grandpa.

We drive all over town, asking  everyone with a huge parking lot if we can take up a parking space indefinitely. The churches want nothing to do with us. The shelter can let us park if we pay by the month for a unit inside and sign forms agreeing not to panhandle. The police say it can be parked anywhere, but we can’t sleep in it and it has to be moved every three weeks or if will be ticketed. No one is having it.


Finally we get permission to park in the field next to the dog park, near the river and the big city park,  which includes an intriguing menagerie resulting in the sounds of crying peacocks and donkeys regularly piercing the sizzling summer air. Air which is rife with the biggest mosquitoes any of us have ever seen, so the windows have to tightly closed through sweat drenched nights.

I got a job and we began working towards our goal… Until a timing belt in the car snapped, resulting in several broken heads (this is my girl understanding of the problem. If you’re techanically inclined and I said the wrong thing, hopefully you still get it) and now we have a little Sophie’s Choice on our hands-keep a functioning vehicle, but one we can’t live in, or give up our transportation and keep our sleep space. Ultimately we got a bike, which led to the discovery that North Platte is goat head hell. I think the bike had a total of 7 flat tires before we gave up.

There were other snafus and colorful events and our time in Nebraska resulted in an interesting collection of tales, but in the end it wasn’t the shit luck that won out, even if the car did go for parts at a ridiculously low price ($73), and the bus continued to wilt in a storage lot. For once the police saved the day, including bringing us deer steaks and towing the bus. One officer even made up one third of the team who PUSHED the bus to its place in the lot of despair. They had our backs when the pastor of the Nazarene church tried to tear our family apart for no other reason than our unwillingness to offer up our children’s brains to the church. A colossus of a storm churned through town sometime in July, and missed our broken little house on wheels by one block.


And, in the end, all of our troubles led to new, unforseen circumstances with people who love nothing more than to help us achieve our dreams. So is even “shit luck” just the wrong way of looking at forks in the road, only because we expected spoons? Or is it the mischievous universe’s backhanded compliments?

A seven year old in Washington     D. C. told me it’s bad luck to give them away if you find 4 leaf clovers. I guess I’ll just start holding on to them from now on and see what happens.





Ferrying the Sun

The path of humanity winds through darkness, and all must strive to illuminate the way, that more may find happiness.

If you believe strongly in something, to be true to yourself, it  is your obligation to speak on your beliefs.

I remember sitting on the street one night with my husband, playing music, and one of the older, homeless regulars scampered past, looking at his socks and sandals, muttering about the light. Later in the evening someone stopped him and he said, “I can’t stop now. It’s getting dark; isn’t safe. I must prosper the light. Always prosper the light.” And he scuttled off. At the time I just found it amusing, but I find myself telling that story more and more.

We live in a moral dark age. Everyone simply seeks pleasure and money, and those who can find neither often comfort themselves by spreading their own darkness, snuffing out whatever light they can affect. This is my biggest concern, my soap box, if you  will, because the easily extinguished light, is often that of a child.

I put myself places I never should have been as a result of naivete brought on by a dark upbringing under a rock of fear. I crawled out from under that rock ready to believe in the ultimate light bearing properties of the world and discovered, in fact, I was raised in a pit of seclusion out of my father’s fear, and I met and understood all the dark, leering faces that drove him into hiding.

It’s been a ridiculously long and difficult journey, but I’m in a new place now, where I recognize the need for “prospering my own light,” without hiding in a way that makes illumination impossible. I can’t participate in a world of dusk.  At best it’s fluorescent lighted soul selling, just for the comfort of an elaborate box I do nothing but stare at a tv inside. At worst I perform  whatever selfish action will dull the aching lack of my own light source, whatever form that takes. I’ve seen many, many forms. Most just seek meaningless human contact and intoxication, but we all know misery loves company and the deplorably miserable can be frightfully creative.

I find myself unable to choose any of the templates of adult life I was raised to see as “the options.”  I floundered for a while, being a good little grown up and doing what I was “supposed to do.” I now understand the general unhappiness of the average human being. I deconstructed my reality, my self, am still tearing down my perceptions and it’s like tearing down wallpaper in a room I’ve never left, only to realize the long coated walls are, in fact, windows, and beyond them lies a dazzling view. Do you know how happy you are capable of being? Do you know how thoroughly you could fulfill yourself? It’s so much easier than anyone imagines.

When was the last time you saw a robin wearing a backpack, or a fox snapping strategically angled  photos of itself to make its coat seem to look the best. We preoccupy ourselves with the art of being less animal and cut ourselves off from all the meaningfulness of our lives. All you have to do to be happy is denounce the need for Stuff.

My catchphrase has become, “There’s a reason I live in a bus.” The only way life makes sense to me is apart from your loudly self indulgent society, that prefers to stay silent on all the nasty things lurking, often visibly, beneath the surface. The unhappy world of ignorance and property. Give me glistening forests, exuberant streams, fierce beaches and infinite skies. Give me music, the open road and the other barely civilized human animals who spread light from coast to coast.

I’ve been broken, I’ve torn myself to pieces, I’ve been wrong and dark and silent. And now I can also say I was strong enough to face those truths and reignite my spirit; build myself as a new creature and live a life I can wake up each day, glad to find myself facing.

Hug your children. Listen to them. Get off facebook. Say, “You’re wrong,” fearlessly when it’s needed. Life is beautiful. Live it.