First off, let me apologize because I’ve fallen behind in my blog and responses and reading other blogs and almost generally everything except work and getting ready for vacation.
I promise to be a lot more interactive over the next few days even though I’ll be on vacation. The one thing I learned on my last vacation is that I still need to write, so maybe I’ve finally become a writer since it seems to be in my blood. So there will be writing! 🙂
There will be more Mouse stories to come. I know I kind of left her there in a desperate situation (poor Mouse is almost always in a desperate situation, which she handles with Snickers; I’m sure there’s a life lesson there, just sayin’) and you may be wondering: what’s next for poor Mouse? (me too 😉 ).
I’m off to North Carolina. First I’ll be visiting the Outer Banks because evidently this Pisces needs her fix of salt air and then off to the western part of the state (and mountains) that I’ve never visited before. I hope to share a lot of photos with you. Then on August 21 I’ll go to South Carolina for the solar eclipse and I’ll share that experience with you as I think it will be really, really cool and I’m looking forward to it. In fact, I’m looking very much forward to the whole vacation.
I hope to pop in later this evening when I arrive at my first destination.
Thank you as always for reading.
My best, Sascha D.
Tomorrow is a travel day but I should be back in minimal (as opposed to full) swing on Thursday.
Did anyone miss me? (Please don’t break my heart and say no.)
I don’t have a lot to share. But I do have some pictures and stories.
Hope you all have been doing well and I can’t wait to catch up.
I apologize for not keeping up with you all but I’ve had a very lazy vacation.
See you very soon.
Sascha (no, no, two weeks of vacation and I still want more) Darlington
PREVIOUS “MOUSE” POSTINGS CAN BE FOUND HERE.
Mouse Takes A Vacation
I didn’t go back to The Compound. After slapping Tom, feeling my heartbeat quicken at his stunned expression, I knew I needed to be somewhere else.
Instead, I went to visit my survivalist Dad in his underground camp in West Virginia. Sure, it was an odd choice given that I could have stayed with my lawyer Mom at her swanky Chevy Chase home, been treated with spa service and butler and cook service. But I think I needed a little crazy in my life to ground me or else I would do all of the crazy and that just wouldn’t do.
There was only one phrase to describe my dad’s reaction: tickled pink. He was worn around the edges. His hands shook a little and he seemed constantly nervous, checking the oaks and tulip trees as though there might be a sniper in them. He even checked my id to make sure it was me, but then added: “But you can fake an id, right?”
“Sure, dad. I do it all the time,” I said.
He chuckled. “That’s my girl.”
He fed me vegetarian chili with a ghost pepper that nearly burned my taste buds. He stopped eating meat after he read about an incident of a cow that had been euthanized and it ended up in the food supply and killed a dog. “What’s to stop it from happening to people?”
“Tell me about yourself,” he said.
“Not much to tell. I’m working for a covert ops group and now I probably have to kill you,” I said.
“You’re kidding, right?”
“About which part?”
“Ha!” he shook his head and ate hearty amounts of the chili. I figured he had an asbestos stomach.
“Are you happy, Dad?” I asked.
He shrugged and looked around. His dog, a funny mix between a Boston Terrier and a miniature Australian Shepherd appeared, wagging her tailless butt and whining. Dad handed her a bit of cornbread, which she eagerly ate.
“Happy enough. You have to guard against being too happy because then the Man wants to take it away from you,” he said.
“Who’s the Man?”
He shrugged. “Others. Everyone’s jealous of other people being happy.”
“Why are you here, Mary Elizabeth?” he asked before biting into a big chunk of cornbread smeared with salty butter.
“I needed to clear my head,” I said.
“And you came here?” Even he knew this was ironic.
“I need to regroup before I do something really stupid.”
“What? What is it that is really stupid?” he asked.
I stared at him a moment because I thought maybe he, of all people, might understand where I was coming from. “I don’t know. I just feel like I’m at a precipice and that there’s a really good chance I’ll fall in. And it makes no sense and I’m not sure of anything.”
“Hmm. Yeah,” he said staring at the walls that made me feel claustrophobic. “You know I used to be a soldier before you were born.”
I waited for him to continue.
“You see things. You see people behave in ways that you think another person should never behave, not toward other people.” He shook his head and looked down at his shoes that have holes in the toes. “You ever read The Heart of Darkness?”
“Sometimes things get just that messed up. Men get just that messed up. Hell, even women.”
He laughed. “Not me. I am messed up, but not Heart of Darkness messed up. You know, it’s not normal to live underground and think the government’s out to get you.”
“So why do you do it?”
He shook his head, averted his eyes from me, and smirked. “Because if it’s not the government, it could be someone else.”
“So why take the risk?”
“Exactly. I guess somewhere inside of that hacker mind you are my daughter.”
“Yeah, but who’s my mother?”
He laughed heartily at that.
I needed just one evening of hearing my dad singing Pete Seeger songs and quoting Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” to feel ready to take on my life again. I worried though, for him, which he laughed off telling me that he had a lady friend, as if that made it all better.
Yesterday, I coincidentally celebrated writing my 200th post and getting my 250th follower. If you had told me last year that I would have had such a milestone, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. I probably also wouldn’t have believed that I had finally started blogging, either. But I have you all to thank. If you hadn’t been willing to read my posts and support me by following, I wouldn’t be writing this. Thank you!
And, I apologize to you all for this week in which I have not been as involved as I normally am. I’m on vacation, which has allowed me to somewhat catch up on some of my outstanding books–and while I hope they are outstanding, I really mean that I have slipped behind in my reading–and hopefully I’ll get more reviews up. Yes! The last book was outstanding! It was Kelley Armstrong’s newest book!
Monday or Tuesday I will share some of my pics and be back to enjoying your posts. In the meantime, thank you again from the bottom of my heart for making this blogging experience just so incredible.
You look forward to it. You plan it. You dream it. You count the days until it comes.
And then, it’s there. You live it. You feast in it. You absorb it.
It’s ecstasy. It’s breathing. It’s life.
And, you wonder how it could go so fast.
Unlike some workdays that stretch into numbing ennui.
Back to the demolition derby: the daily commute.
Back to DC and combustible political rhetoric.
Back to being serviceable.
Dreams of beaches and soft sand and rolling waves that echo in your head, comforting white noise of bliss.