MY STORY 2000 to 2010

Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, August 27, 2011

 Hardly touched on all the details of my life, but I don't want to bore the hell out of my readers. Perhaps I will recall stories now that I am caught up. Life passes by so quickly, it feels like each blink of my eye, time passed. In reality it has, making each blink of my eye count is the hard part.
The new millennium starts with a very happy life and at 45 years old I still feel 25. I am in fantastic shape, tanned and tight. A great husband and a great family. I am surrounded by love and it makes waking up every morning a new adventure. Still out on the boat every chance we get and heading to Bimini as often as possible, which is a lot.
My customers understood that if the day was good, I would not be working, but fishing instead. The routine for my life was far from routine, but exciting and always happy. This was the year that I became grandma for the second time. I so enjoyed my granddaughter, the excitement of another would be twice as grand.
My husband and I had this 3 bedroom house, so it didn't bother us to take in a couple of room-mates. My son and my nephew. It was good for the guys to have each other, they watched sports together and it all seemed to be harmony for the most part. Now there was even more people to go out on the boat and have fun with.
Another year passed when I came home to find my husband standing in the middle of the house looking around as if a tornado had hit. Our wonderful happy home had been violated, someone had broken in and taken anything they could carry, destroying and throwing things everywhere. The things they took, really didn't matter except for the watch my now sick mother had just given me. We did recover about two thirds of our belongings, but none of that seemed to matter. It was the sick feeling I had that someone had violated my home. Someone came in and destroyed the comfort and warm feeling a home has.  The thieves were caught and convicted, but it was too late to change anything. The only way to protect ourselves from this happening again would be to get a big dog. That is what we did, a 110 pound bull mastiff, named Scooby, and his partner Baby, who is still around.
In the meantime I was battling with the thought of loosing my mother. Her diagnosis was bleak, and my last visit with her I knew would be the absolute last. Remembering the drive home from visiting mom, my brother and I talking about not ever seeing her again. The horrible truth was what had happened. A few days later I had lost my wonderful mother and confidant. I was so lucky to have Steve and my brother close by. I don't know how I could possibly pick myself back up alone. Every time I picked up the telephone I had to remember that my mother was no longer there to answer my daily phone calls. She was not there to answer my crazy questions and give me those famous recipes. It was as if I lost a leg or an arm or both. My brother gave me a couple weeks to morn, when he grabbed me by the arm and said he would take me to work himself if I didn't get moving. This is when I began to start my life again. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't miss her and sometimes I look at her beautiful face on my wall and tears fall down my cheeks. I miss her so much. I do know that she watches over me. I would hear mom call me in the weeks and months after she died, she has a very strong spirit. She was watching over the whole family and the spooky things that happened only prove it. She told me before she died that she would always watch over all of us.
Life moves on as always, even though there are hiccups along the way.
Things were becoming different in my marriage, we were fighting, over things that did not make sense, Steve also began drinking after 6 years of sobriety. I didn't really understand what was happening.
Now, my nephew is moving on to his own place and not so long afterward my daughter moves in, after a drama in her life, then again that is her story to tell. I had both my kids with me, now not as parent and child, but as best friends, unconditionally. A couple of little children running around was adorable too. Steve and the kids had a very special relationship, he was so good with them. Like a warm cuddly Santa would be.
It was a full house on weekends, when his children would visit. Yet things were tense, Steve would have more and more out bursts of anger, that I simply could not understand. The drinking getting worse and worse, he drank until he passed out.
My children moving out and getting their very own home, just a couple of blocks away. My son finding a woman to love and my daughter dating and having a good time. We got together for another fishing trip, all went well, until we arrived home and Steve and I had a argument over who was going to clean the fish. Which is always me, I walked to the kitchen and he followed me, still angry he pushes me through a glass door. My son grabbed Steve and stopped him, that was when I began packing my bags and boxes, moving myself to the spare bedroom. My kids kept a real close eye on me after that and would come by often. My boxes packed and piled up in the living room I was ready to leave. Steve looked at me and said not to bother he wasn't going to live much longer anyway. I thought he was tying to get me to forgive him, I was not willing to go through another relationship with violence. Things got calmer and once again back on the boat, this time to Bimini with my daughter as a passenger.
We had a great time, fishing and visiting friends, but it was time to go home. Suddenly Steve pulls back on the throttle of the boat in the middle of the Bimini channel. He says to us, "this is where I want my ashes sprinkled", I replied with, "yeah, yeah, lets go, its late". I didn't have another thought about it. Was I just not paying attention to the signs, or how would I know or think about what would happen next.
Three days later, Steve was having problems breathing, so I took him to the hospital. Numerous tests and one doctor after another, they finally have a diagnosis for Steve. What I thought was horrible heart burn was so much more. The doctors stood in the room explaining all the medical terms, which didn't mean anything, the words that stuck in my head was "30 days to live". Oh my, are you kidding, he is only 47 years old. In all this horror the only thing he worried about was if I would be alright. Steve tried all the treatments and without fail he passed in the same time, with or without chemo. I know that the chemo ruined his chance for quality last days. How could anyone think it would be good to take those last days and squander them with doctors and treatments. I waited with him, holding his hand, hours passed and I would never let go, until he did. I could feel the minute that he moved on, I reached over and took his ring with me holding it close to my heart.
I don't know how I got home, I was so dazed. I had lost my mother and husband in less than a year. By the time I arrived at home my sister was there to help with all the arrangements, she knew exactly what to do. My brother was there with my children also. Everything happened so quickly, I just wanted time to morn. Steve had wished for a party and cremation, and that is what he got. You don't know how many friends you have until someone passes away. Steve born on the 4th of July, dies on St. Patrick's Day, a man celebrated. The party was fantastic, all his friends telling stories and making me feel loved. They made me think about all the fantastic adventures we had on the motorcycle and the boat, and they told me stories of how much he loved me. What could be a better tribute to my soul mate.
My sadness abruptly interrupted by his x-wife, who kept calling for child support checks and wanting half of everything in the name of his children. I had to fight and claw my way through the children and family examinations and the financial turmoil. I never got to morn the passing of my husband, a year had past when I finally got a chance to honor him properly. I started remembering the things he talked about, one of which was where he wanted his ashes spread. I got the whole family together, which was by now my son and his pregnant wife, my pregnant daughter and the two grandchildren. We spent a week in Bimini and spread his ashes in a special private moment, first flower petals to mark the spot, and each of us spreading a piece of him where he wanted to be.
It wasn't all of him that went to Bimini that day, he always wanted to be close to me, so he also requested that I put his ashes into the boat compass, to always act as my guide. After that the boat would always steer directly to Bimini, as strange as that sounds, I have witnesses.
 He also talked about going to Australia, so I saved some of his ashes for just that thing. I plastered pictures of him all over the walls of the house, so I could always be reminded of his smile.
My son moved away with his wife and my daughter and her two children now living with me, things were easy. I wasn't alone, the kids made life so happy, because that is all they knew.
The year had not ended when I was gifted with two more grandchildren. Exactly nine months after the passing of my husband, we all have different ways to morn. Another year had passed when I decided it was time to fulfill my dream, and take my husband with me. Even though he was inside a baggy tucked into my bra. I was headed to Australia. The trip of a life time.  My outback adventure, Strapped on my backpack and jumped on a plane.
My first stop was New Zealand in September 2003. I jumped off the Sky Tower in Auckland and traveled the countryside, taking in all its beauty. Then it was off to Australia--Sydney, Tasmania, Ayers Rock and the Olga's, Alice Springs and the Mac Donnell Ranges. I also traveled to Darwin in the Northern Territory, where I rented a car and drove for days seeing the wonders of the Outback.
In Queensland, my final destination, I drove the coastline and went diving on the Great Barrier Reef, which became the final resting place for my husband's ashes. It was the adventure of a lifetime--and beyond. I never felt alone or scared as long as Steve was with me. A month of wonders and unforgettable visions.
I wanted to share some adventure with my father after my adventure and we traveled to Bimini for a week or so and he now knew what I found fascinating on the islands. Except for the boat ride back, Dad had a great time.
2005, June was my trip to East Africa, 20 days with my sister-in-lawn. Boy I thought Australia was fantastic. Here is a collection of some of my stories. Sky Tower Jump ,Serengeti, Monkey BusinessPee Pee Dance
2006 came and it was time for another trip. I told my Dad I was considering a trip to Costa Rica, on the plane we went, sight seeing and fishing up tons of sailfish. Another fantastic adventure.
Now it was time for me to do a little something different, something to improve my health and give my grandsons something to do with me. I had put on a bit of weight and my vanity got the best of me, I had to do something to break up the hum drum days that were passing me by.
I took up Tae Kwon Do, I shopped around looking at various schools, peeking through windows while the students worked out. I finally found a school that looked good to me. I went in and talked to the people inside, at the same time asking about my grandsons. They told me to come back the next day and just give it a try. That is what I did, and am now and forever in love with my new family. I starting loosing those extra pounds and in no time at all I was competing in tournaments. Met some fantastic people making life long friends. I accomplished State Champion two years in a row, but on my last tournament I got hurt, bad. I shredded my hamstring and destroyed my knees. I continued to take classes, my abilities were diminished, I was in pain, knees wrapped in bandages. I love karate so much I just couldn't leave. My whole family was participating at this point. My son and daughter, my two grandsons, granddaughter and myself. We were all obsessed with this activity.
Then the big  set back, the economy, I could no longer afford to continue to pay for the tuition to continue. My friends at the school just couldn't stand to see me stop before getting my black belt. I disappointed my family, because we all had to quit now. My karate family was relentless, I made arrangements to clean the school to pay for my tuition, which was what happened and I got my Black Belt, with pride. I could no longer endure the pain in my knees and had to drop out. All the things I did to stay in shape I couldn't do, no more karate or spinning classes. I could hardly walk anymore.
My finances were depleted and I had to cut the budget to make ends meet, I had to accept help from friends and family, it was a time that I was at my lowest. I gained 40 or 50 pounds, now still struggling with. Thank goodness I still had work, things were very much at their lowest level and the stress of my daughter and her family living with me was too much to bear. I know it was because I was unhappy, it had nothing to do with her. I love my children so much and now I felt like I let them down again.
Time as always passes and I had to make decisions that would help me get back on my feet. Like always I had to start all over again. I should be an expert by now, wouldn't you think? I snapped out of my depression and began to do things I could physically handle, which wasn't much. I had to get over how I felt about myself. I was determined to get back in touch with friends, join a social group and learn how to be a middle aged woman. I actually had to slow down. Things happen and I just have to enjoy the special love I have for the people in my life, for without them I would simply be alone.
I have so much more to talk about, but for now I would call this the highlights and I will be better about telling my story. For each life is special in it's own way, I can say that I could disappear from this life and have no regrets. My life has been fantastic and I look forward to more.
After seeing my story in print, I realize that life travels in cycles, with ups and downs, just like the earth we live on. Mountains are made only to crash into the sea, it makes a person realize that change is part of everything around us.

MY STORY 90's to 2000's

Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, August 27, 2011

Still living in Key Largo, on the sailboat alone. I found a friend who was kind enough to hide my boat behind his house on a little canal. I was tiring of the live aboard life and moved into a little apartment. I was not alone for long, the man I kicked off the boat, continued to look for me and with the help of his girlfriend's car he located my boat, by driving down every single street. He waited and waited until I showed up there to check on the boat. He begged to be forgiven and said that "Things would be different". Can you believe I actually bought that story. So, I let him move back on the boat. He though we would be together again, I didn't mention to him that I was no longer living on the boat, that I had my own apartment. He stayed on the boat, just waiting for me to come home. He finally found me again at my job. He seemed to want forgiveness, but the relationship was damaged to say the least. We worked together as a couple and moved into another place on the water after getting kicked out of my apartment because of his dog, who trashed the place. The dog was suppose to be a replacement for "Charm" my beautiful springer spaniel, but it was nothing but a nightmare. This dog broke everything, and escaped from the apartment to find me, crossing the highway to do it. I had to give the little guy credit, he was determined.
Now living in a little efficiency on the bay, it was a great view, with no one to bother me. Except that dog, he broke everything in the new apartment. I can't say what happened to him after that, I just don't remember. Things were going great, my boyfriend was working and the money made life so much easier. Things were good, so we moved again, to a place on the water where I bought a little power boat, called the "Little C". Everyday after work we would go out with friends and the kids, who were there a lot now, we would water ski, swim, fish and just have a great time. I thought things were great, I was happy, my daughter had moved back to live with me and I enjoyed her there. My boyfriend didn't exactly care for my daughter and was constantly giving her a hard time. As far as priorities go, the daughter and the son are #1, not the cheating boyfriend.
Life was great, worked on the water, played on the water, everything was again perfect. Too bad it never lasts. Out of a job again, the boyfriend and I begin fighting constantly, I was tired of carrying the load. It just didn't seem worth it. Our arguments got more violent, I thought that he might give me a punch or two. Well, now I already learned this lesson, no one, I mean no one was going to lay a finger on me again. He was sharpening the fishing knives when he went into a rage and punched the wall, I just figured I was next. As he began to approach me I grabbed one of the knives and began swinging it. If your wondering what happened after that, I got a nice slice in. It just seems funny that when men get hurt, they turn into big babies, and he called me crazy and left the house for awhile. Never did he try that again, and things calmed down a bit. I had to get a second job to pick up the slack and pay his way, once again.
I came home one day and saw him cleaning sheets, I was too tired for confrontations at that point, so I let it go, what guy cleans sheets, come on!
My sister called me and said she had stopped by and saw a girl and my boyfriend going out on my boat. Now that is crossing the line! Still not in the mood for confrontation I let it go, but finally he pushed one of my buttons while I was driving down the road. I got so angry that I pulled the car over and told him to get out. I don't know what came over me, but when he walked in front of the car, I put it in drive and hit him. I felt good, I didn't kill him or anything like that. I do think that I got my message across. Shortly after that I found out that the girl was one of my married friends, so I threw him out. I don't know why, but I was devastated. I cried and cried, I just thought that my fun lifestyle was over and I was just tired of all the failed relationships. Seven years together and now time to start over again. The first thing I had to do was move again, so he couldn't find me. On my road to recovery I thought I would have to do something radical, so I went sky-diving. It somehow gave me a new prospective, my daughter floated down from the sky right after me.
My daughter and I got a great little place together, further down the keys. I began dating and not worrying about relationships, just having fun and living the Keys life. Now working at Chica Lodge in Islamorada as a scuba instructor making the big bucks. Lots of money to do what I wanted. Which, of course, that meant I was going to Bimini, Bahamas every few weeks. Living in the Keys and going to the Bahamas, almost where I want to be. My son was working summers at the lodge and having a great time too. It was nice to have my kids with me and enjoying the fun in the sun along side me.
The whole dive staff took off once to go with us to Bimini, we went diving and swimming with wild dolphins. Drinking and getting stupid, no problems!
Work was great and I decided that I would like to become a boat Captain. I went to Sea School and studied, day and night, while collecting documentation for my license. The boat captain at the dive shop where I worked would let me practice driving the boat when we had dive trips, so that I could get the experience. I thought it would be great to stop messing with customers, pulling up anchors and just enjoy the prestige of being "The Captain". I went down to the Coast Guard station and took my test, failing the first test by 2 questions. I took my re-test and passed, February 16th 1993, the same day I operated my first charter as a real captain. I was so pleased at my accomplishment. I was free and now had a way to earn more money. But things weren't so perfect at work. I had always got along with the boss, he was a great man, he could invent just about anything. He spent most of his time working with the parasail boat, but almost everyday he would invite the staff for an after work drink. His wife began to treat me with disdain, I didn't understand it and tried to talk with her. It didn't get me anywhere, she thought that I wanted her husband, he was a great guy, but he was and would always be just a good friend. Words were passed back and forth and I no longer worked there.
I didn't worry, I started working as an independent, scuba instructor slash captain. When the season was good I was making tons of money. I had another job working at a restaurant for the off season. It gave me plenty of time to play on my boat. I was out with my daughter and friends constantly, probably a little everyday. Things were once again good.
Then the stalking began. The X that I thought I was finally finished with, begins to start calling. He was still living in the Keys with his new girlfriend, who was waiting for her divorce to be final. I didn't know what to think about his calls. I continued my life and went out on several dates, once while sitting at a restaurant with my date I saw my X looking through the window of the restaurant. I excused myself for a minute, not letting my date know what was going on, and went to talk to the X. I could tell that he wasn't exactly happy about his decision, but I sent him away and continued my evening. It didn't end though, he would show up at my home, when he knew I was there alone. How he found me I don't know, he should have been a detective.
I couldn't help thinking that this would be a great opportunity to get my revenge. I began an affair with him, we would get together at odd times, while his girlfriend was at work. I think she suspected something, which was my plan after all. The both of them moved to Miami, perhaps his girlfriend, who was now his wife thought that would help keep him away from me. I didn't care one way or another, I only had the affair to exact my revenge and execute what I call "Squatters Rights". I considered this arrangement to be perfect, I dated who I wanted and had the best of the man that I no longer had to support. It was all going so well, until his wife began calling my house every time he was over my place. It got annoying and yet satisfying. I would just hand the phone over to him. He was so busted and I didn't care.
Working as a freelance captain, I got a pretty steady position driving a boat in N. Key Largo at a dive center. I worked mostly from the dock, but every other week was pay day. I got a call from the dive shop, from one of the other captains, he told me that my X's wife had been working at the same place as me, just waiting for a confrontation. I didn't see any reason to disappoint her, and I went to the dive shop for that confrontation. Words were exchanged and the crew disappeared to the back room to ease drop. All I know is that she never showed up again in the Keys. The affair didn't end there, like she had hoped. Now she was very hormonal, since she was pregnant, and my ultimate revenge was when she was having their son and he was in my bed when she called. The affair continued and he would even bring his new baby to meet with me.
I had some short term relationships, but nothing lasted because they would always run into my stalker. I decided that I was going to look for another place to live. My daughter had moved to Orlando and she said that it was great fun. So, I left my apartment with some friends while I took a look at the Orlando scene. I decided that I would move. Returning home to pack up and sign the lease over to the guys staying at my house, ending my now miserable existence in the Keys. The quality of men in great decline.
I got a great apartment, I had money in the bank, but it wouldn't last forever. I looked for work, which was almost impossible. Had to switch occupations at that point and enter the fascinating restaurant industry. I missed the Keys so much, I would go there almost every weekend. Still having some contact with my stalker. I think our last meeting was in a town near Orlando where my stalker was now living, is that just a coincidence, who knows.
I enjoyed the night life of Orlando, and met this great guy. He was 6'5" and 12 years younger. We seemed to really hit it off. He was a great guy and had a job. My daughter liked him and told me that I had to change my ways. I knew exactly what she meant, no more cheating. So, I took her advice and could focus more on the relationship at hand. We dated for a about 6 months, and I was ready to make a move. I was an expert at moving by now. He wanted to be closer to his family, so we moved now to Bonita Beach on the West Coast of Florida. It was in the middle between my kids and beloved Keys.
There it was moving day, the truck pulled out front of our cute little apartment near the water, boyfriend off at work that he secured before we moved. I was walking boxes to the apartment when a frantic little old lady stops me. She told me that her boyfriend, which is my next door neighbor, was not answering any of her calls. She wanted me to go inside her boyfriends apartment to see if he was home. I couldn't help feeling bad for her, she was in such a panic. She handed me her key, I opened the door and she stayed behind me. I looked around the apartment and didn't see him, so I went toward the bedroom and saw him laying in the bed. He appeared to be sleeping, I just stood there, not knowing exactly what to do. The little old lady, pushed me toward him and told me to shake him, since he wasn't answering our shouts. I approached him and shook him, he was stiff and his arms rose into the air as I moved him. Behind me the little old lady screamed and became hysterical. I don't know this lady but I didn't want another death on my hands. I had to make the phone calls to the fire department and police and even had to call her family members. With all the commotion the land lady appeared and said that someone else had already died in that apartment, but told me not to worry because no one had died in my apartment. Oh what a relief, ugh! Is this one of those signs that I should not ignore?
My funds beyond depleted, even though I was lucky enough to get a transfer from the Orlando restaurant to the Ft. Myers one. The hours were not enough, so I got another restaurant job, different shifts. Still had time for recreation some how. I was never afraid of work, always did what I had to.
Life was fun, the beach close by, it was different, but something was missing. I had somehow lost myself. I felt isolated and only had friends while at work. It was time to find myself, such a corney concept, but it is true. It was time to do something with adventure.  
The plans now set in motion to hike the Appalachian Trail. I have lived in flat Florida almost all my life and now going to test my stamina in the mountains. We did practice runs, and hiked with full backpacks. Began planning and doing research. Boxing up food drops and making the final plans, stuff in storage, contact information and itinerary. It was time to leave, we made our way after finalizing plans with my parents, to get to friends in Georgia, where they would drive us to the trail head in Amicalola Falls, Georgia. Pictures of Appalachian Adventure. Here among the mountains is where I celebrated my 40th birthday.
The whole story of the adventure is far too long to begin here, all I can say is that I found myself indeed. I gained much more than confidence and self respect. I found my limitations, which was my knees, and this is what ended my adventure on the trail, only after about 600 miles of hiking. Not ready to return to Florida I worked on a farm in Long Island, which was hard work and cold. When I looked out the window one morning and saw snow, I knew it was time to return home, which was where? The only thing I will miss is fishing for Blue Fish on the shore line and eating fresh vegatables off the vine.
Returning to Florida, awaiting the birth of my new grandchild, we stayed at my parents house while looking for a place to live. My mother let me know that this man that I had spent so much time with was not her favorite, she told me that he was a user. I had not really noticed at that time, but what she said stuck in my head and made me more observant. There was a lot of bad feelings at my parents home and he went to Naples to be with his family while we were looking for a place to live.
Finally found an apartment within our budget, I was re-hired at my old restarant job. I was really focused and worked hard to get some small promotions. I really went back to work to get insurance to fix my knee. Another surgery under my belt. I continued work and had become a trainer for francise operators. I trained brothers who were opening their own store in Naples. They were so impressed with me that they recruited me and a couple of my friends to troubleshoot and get the new store running smooth. I was finally in managemnt, thinking I would have to work less on the line, but what a mistake that was. I was working and on call all the time, but the money was great. I was doing so well that I was ready to buy another boat. My boyfriend was working at a marina at the time and I found a boat that I loved. I named her the "IN 2 DEEP". That was the beginning of trouble in paradise once again. My boyfriend at the time thought it would be just fine to lend it out, when I wasn't around. Mistake! That wasn't the only problem we had. I think once I turned 40 that things between us had began to fall apart. I didn't know about it, but later found out that he could no longer endure our age differences. This was the last time that I wanted to hear, "I would never marry you anyway". Like, I was good enough for all the other benifts. It was mutual and ended after 4 years and many miles. No regrets, I got something out of the realtionship and learned more lessons. I never wanted to get in his way of finding what he always said was a majical moment between two people. It sounded like a fairy tale to me. We remained friends and I am happy to say that this year he will be married to his soul mate.
The first order of business was to get the boat to Miami, where my brother became my partner in the boat. It was a very interesting trip across the west coast of Florida. Then my brother brought his trailer and we packed up my apartment and moved to his house. Not without leaving my mattress in the middle of the road outside of the apartment complex. We laughed so hard when it flew off the trailer, we didn't go back for it.
My brother and I were both single and really enjoyed our life together, my most recent X would visit and then it was when I realized that what my mother had told me about him being a user was very true. I don't think he even knew it, but now he has made a living out of it. Hey, why not! Whatever works!
I got back in touch with my best friend for life, he was so happy to see me, but now a different man. He was married, but we had more than sex together. I asked if I could hang out and meet some friends. He said that he had a great guy that could use a companion too. I wasn't looking for anything serious, since I just broke up with the other guy a matter of a month earlier.
This new guy, was different, he was my age, imagine that, but the younger guy thing wasn't working so the only thing to do was to try something different. We began a casual relationship, coffee dates, stock car races, after all he was seeing someone else anyway. A really fun guy, we would take motorcycle trips all over the place, believe me it was hard to get back on one, since my accident. But Steve drove different, he believed that if you drive like your invisible you will survivie. I began to trust him like no other, with my life. I still felt like I was cursed though, when it came to relationships.
In the meantime, my brother and I went out on the boat, with friends, every week until we finally killed the engine on the boat. But, we had plenty of fish in the box all the time. I was becoming more distracted with Steve. My parents came for a visit and I introduced my parents to Steve. Steve was around all the time, even though we had only dating about a month or two. The guys went outside to do guy things, which left me and my mother to talking. She told me that she liked Steve, which was one of the biggest surprises of my life. My mother never liked anyone I was dating. I told her that I didn't have much hope and that I had raised my standards far too high to comprimise any longer. I enjoyed being roommates with my brother far too much to be concerned. My mother looked down at my finger and noticed that I was wearing my grandmothers old wedding ring. She pointed at the ring and told me the reason I couldn't find love was because of the ring, "It is cursed", she told me. She went on to tell me the story of the marriage between her mother and father and how it was arranged. I was so moved by the story that I took off the ring. I had been wearing the ring since my last divorce, maybe there was something to what she had to say.
I put the ring away and didn't give it a thought, until Steve asked me to marry him a few days later. I accepted his proposal, since it was made for no other reason than love. This fairy tale that I thought was ridiculous had happened to me. I was so excited that I called my X to tell him, thought he should know, since I gave him such a hard time about finding soul mates. He was really hurt, because we had just broken up and now I would be married less than 3 months later.
First order of business was to find a place to live, and I was determined that we start new and fresh. I wasn't moving in his trailer, did that already. House shopping was next, we found a home only after seeing tons of houses, this one seem to fit, didn't need any work to move in. The only problem was that we couldn't move in until 8 months after closing. We waited it out at my brothers house, which put a clink in our relationsip, but it would never be ruined by an outsider.
Moved in our new house just before Thanksgiving 1998, and the whole family was there for the celebration. I just couldn't bear to get a job working for someone else, so I took over my sister-in-laws cleaning business. Which is still paying the bills to this day. We lived a comfortable life. Two peas in a pod.
One day while in the back yard I was looking at my boat, with tears in my eyes, because I didn't have a working engine. It was something that gave me that great feeling and Steve had always wanted to go boating. It was one of those dreams that he wanted to fulfill. He grabbed me by the arm and put me in the car, without a word he took me to the marine store and purchased an engine for the boat. From that day on we were out on the boat every single week. We loaded up the boat with friends and fish. Steve told me that he never had so much fun as when we were out on the boat. We began making trips to Bimini, even would kidnap our guests and just drive there to have a beer. Sometimes we would spend the night, it was a dream, everybody in Bimini knew us by name. All of the time thinking I have finally found the man of my dreams. He loved everything I did, our only problem was his X, but she lived far enough away not to bother us too much. The begining of a new millenium upon us. Life was just perfect once again. I can't think of a time that I was happier in a relationship. Not a care in the world, I had everything I wanted, supplied by my wonderful husband.

MY STORY 80's TO 90's

Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Now 25 years old and living what I thought was a dream life, this decade goes from wonderful to tragic in such a short time and back again.
Taking numerous trips to the Bahamas, life was like a dream, taking more scuba classes and the kids couldn't stay out of the water. At a very young age the kids were drenched in the island life. Still enjoying my life at home in the country with all my animals, even though I was still living in a trailer it didn't much seem to bother any of us. I worked hard and things were good. Then one day while home alone, I suffered a HORROR that only a few could recover from.
That was just the beginning, the time came when that uneasy feeling about the motorcycle became my nightmare. Driving down a country road only going 35 mph, not a soul on the road. We approached an intersection, where we saw a car stopped, I don't know how it happened but in a split second I was laying on the ground with paramedics cutting my clothing off of me. I only remember small clips of the accident. I remember the impact, then flying through the air toward the windshield, where I saw two small children sitting in the front seat, just before my face hit and broke the windshield. I don't remember the ride to the hospital, I was only aware briefly when I saw a drill going through my leg under my knee. I remember hearing voices and they were saying that I didn't have much of a chance, and if I did live, I probably wouldn't be able to walk normally again. I am not certain to this day on how many bones I broke, but some that were broken was my femur in two places, my ribs, my pelvis in two place, I got hairline fractures of my vertebrae in my neck and of course my head. Which explains quite a bit, doesn't it?
I didn't really feel any pain, but I imagine it was the worst time of my children's life. They were so young and being tossed from family member to family member. I don't know to this day how long I was in the hospital, I never figured it out. I woke once more in the first hospital I was staying at and recall being all alone in an upright position. I couldn't talk, because there was a tube down my throat. I was alert enough at that point to pull the tubes from my stomach and nose and all the IVs out of my arms. Then I don't remember anything again until I was being transferred to another hospital, my mother telling me that an orderly was taking advantage of me, so my husband and I were transferred to another hospital. I remember laying motionless on a bed my husband in the bed on the right of me. The nurses coming in every 4 hours hanging whole blood and giving me injections of morphine every couple of hours. I don't wonder why that part of my stay was such a blur. I was high as a kite and fully addicted to drugs at that point.
My leg had been in traction and now the surgeons were going to put my leg together with a rod. After the surgery the staff came in and put this giant concrete cast on my leg. I know that I let them know of my disapproval, but they didn't listen. After they left I don't know how, but I got out of the bed, screaming in agony and washed the cast off in the shower. They finally fitted me with a fiberglass cast, that came on and off. I survived the internal injuries on sheer stubbornness, with the help of a ton of blood they gave me. I couldn't do anything for what seemed to be months. Just sitting in a chair was agony. There was no physical therapy or any rehabilitation. They finally began reducing the medication and I began to have a conscious life at the hospital. I was really ready to get out and start my life again. I felt like I had missed so much. I felt cheated and I lost all faith in any kind of God. This should have been the best years of my life, the perfect years, but now they are gone. I am crippled and a burden to my family, I can't even bathe myself.
Finally released from the hospital, I was at my parents house, where my mother gave me therapy and took care of me. I don't remember where my kids were or if I had seen them. I don't remember getting visitors, at home or at the hospital. I felt good enough to go back to my home in the country and resume my life, except that things would be very different. I would sometimes go blind in the middle of driving down the road. I even tried to overdose on pain pills and the only thing that got me, was a trip to the shrink.
I knew at this point that I had to do something to get my mind right. So, I told my shrink that I would be in charge of my own therapy. I remembered how I felt when I was in the Bahamas before the accident. As soon as possible I booked a flight to Bimini. I arrived there all alone, and booked dive trips and met men that made me feel good. I was still on crutches, but managed to do everything I wanted to do. My husband would call my hotel and I kept telling him I needed a couple more days, I took a weekend away and ended up gone for a month. Because of the uneasy feeling I had about the motorcycle in the first place I told my husband that if he ever got me in an accident on the motorcycle I would divorce him. After a mere four years of marriage that is exactly what I did. Not that I was the perfect wife to either husband, I was always finding other men to make me feel good. I didn't get caught, but I think I wanted to. I did everything I could to make myself feel wanted or needed, even if it was for just the night. Since my first husband I always had my back-up man that always made me feel good, even though he had a girl friend, we would still continue this affair for years to come, I think this was the only man that was truly my friend. My life long friend.
It seems that things would improve at this point but that isn't exactly what happened. I had money from the sale of husband #1 house and husband # 2 house, plus the insurance settlement from the accident. I bought my own house in West Homestead. Sounds like a fresh start doesn't it! After spending my windfall on cars and furniture and just junk. I never really got over the need for pain killers either and by this time I was a full fledged cocaine addict. It didn't make my life better or mask the horrible feeling I had. I was still unable to walk without crutches, and I was fighting the feeling of not being able to function normally.
Things went from bad to worse, as time passed, even though I was in my own new home, walking without crutches.The drugs were starting to run my life. My life long friend would come over from time to time while the kids were at school, he worried about me. One time he brought over a friend of his and he came over while I was in the SHOWER, that is where we began our relationship. He was a good looking guy. We seemed to be a perfect fit for each other. I was dating about 18 guys at that time and made a effort to make him my exclusive boyfriend.
On the weekends the kids were at their fathers house, giving me the opportunity to have a little adult fun. Me and my new boyfriend would go to Naples, the Keys and travel to fun places. We took off once to the Cayman Islands for some fun in the sun. We found beaches without a soul in sight, we could take off our clothes and be one with the sea. I even made a live starfish bathing suit.
I took another trip with the kids to Spanish Wells, Bahamas and re-established my old friendships, which included my dolphin friend, who was named after me, "MC". Each time I visited a particular reef, she would be there, even if I was inside the local cave, she would make clicks and squeaks, I would look up and see her looking through the entrance of the cave wanting me to go play with her. My dolphin and me were about the same size, it was a very strange relationship, but awesome, maybe she was a relative from a past life. Visiting year after year she was always there and would find me. If I was anywhere near the water I was happy. If I went anywhere it had to have water.
My funds pretty much depleted, my drug use down to a minimum, only because I was happy after being in the island that I loved. I had to begin working and work I did, I had 2 to 3 jobs at a time. I was not spending time with my children. I tried to work mid-nights so that I could spend time with kids and boyfriend. I was becoming unhappy again.
It was time for me to go back to surgery to get the steel rod taken out of my leg. I was scheduled for surgery the next day, when I got a phone call from Spanish Wells, Bahamas. The dive operation over in the islands asked if I would like to go to work there. I couldn't possibly say no, because I never pass up an opportunity. Especially since this was my dream, to live in another country, the Bahamas! I went in for surgery and in recovery the doctor indicated he wanted me to stay over night, I jumped up off the bed and said that I wasn't staying. I jumped on a plane and was working the very next day as a dive guide in the Bahamas.
My kids were at their Dad's house and my boyfriend I left behind taking care of my house. My life was just perfect. I did have one little accident, when I fell out of the truck carrying the scuba tanks back to the shop. I was riding in the back of the truck, holding the tanks so they wouldn't slip out, a bump in the road and a couple of tanks knocked me off my feet and I fell out of the truck onto the road, splitting my stitched wide open. I just sat in the middle of the road bleeding. Now what, no doctors on the island. My friends manged to find a medic and he did a great job putting me back together. I was back in the water the next day.
I had my own little apartment, and worked hard, I dove everyday and even had a boyfriend that lived on a sailboat there. Things were great until I got a phone call from my boyfriend at home, he was going to leave me if I didn't come and get him. I flew home on my day off and we both jumped back on a plane to the island. I didn't realize that they could not stand him, and I was fired after a couple of weeks. It was hard anyway balancing the two boyfriends on a tiny island. I missed the island and regretted my decision to bring him over, even more when I found out he had another girl friend. Like I had a right to say anything.
My life on the island was so wonderful, I swam, I dove, the gang camped on different deserted islands around the area, we sunk an airplane and made an artificial reef. I got to play with my dolphin, MC. The life I dreamed about and still dream about now, was over.
My relationship was different after that, I became very depressed, I began taking the drugs again, it became so bad that I had another accident on my bicycle, that shattered my elbow and I had to have surgery again. At this point it was time to permanently give my children up, it wasn't fair to them to watch my destruction.
 My boyfriend brought my good friend over for an intervention. I think I realized what I was doing, but I had to get away from everything I had known to clean myself up. The bills were getting behind and I was so close to foreclosure. I sold everything I had, with the last couple of thousand dollars in the bank, I bought a sailboat and headed away from all the drug connections in Miami and Homestead. I didn't know anyone but my boyfriend and my animals.
Living on a  27 foot sailboat, in the Florida Keys, with 2 dogs, 2 parrots and 2 cats was a challenge to say the least. It was the closest thing to the life that I had enjoyed in the Bahamas. I was so secluded on the boat that getting clean and sober was much easier than staying where I was. Living off the land didn't seem so hard, I got a job working at a little road side restaurant at the Jewfish Creek Bridge. It was enough money to buy the little things that I needed. The kids would come down on the weekends and we would sail, they had a great time. It was like a vacation for them.
My boyfriend would go away from time to time to visit his family and my kids would come for the summer. We would fish for dinner and enjoy everyday together.
I began to re-establish my life. I saved what little money I made to take scuba classes to become an instructor and get out of the kitchen at the road-side diner. Living on the sailboat was rough on my pets, first my little parrot was swept away in a storm, then my dwarf Macaw was killed by an osprey, had to give one of my dogs away because he grew to over 80 pounds. One of my cats simply didn't like sailing and ran away, the other stuck it out for awhile but eventually moved out. The final animal was my precious Charm, a springer spaniel that had been with me for awhile. She loved the water and was always jumping off during sailing excursions, we always went back for her. One day she went for a swim and never came back, we later found her body in the den of a crocodile.
I finally got my scuba instructor certification and began the hunt for a new job. Also moving the boat from its current location, closer to my job. I was at a little marina on the bay. I enjoyed my new occupation and the money was pretty good. Life on the boat was just great, like being on vacation all the time, until I began working so much I had no more time to sail. My boyfriend couldn't seem to keep a job and it put a lot of pressure on me to make more money. He spent his days just having fun and cheating on me. I even had to buy him marijuana to keep him happy. Something had to give. I really didn't care so much that he was cheating unless it interfered with our time together. I wasn't exactly the best of girlfriends, I had an affair or two myself. It was just the kind of relationship we had.
I really got sick of it when a girls father came by the boat to find him and told me his daughter was pregnant. I picked up anchor and threw all his stuff off the boat and put it in the dingy. I sailed away to a new location that I thought he couldn't find me. He was with a new girl now and I was doing my thing. He never stopped looking for me though, but I didn't know that. I continued working and having fun without him, never stopping to look back.

MY STORY 70's to 80's

Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, August 20, 2011

This decade takes me through the beginning of adulthood. The really scary part of life, a place even though great was full of decisions that actually made a difference in my life. The last couple of years of High School just ahead of me. Everything was changing, I didn't have to deal with bully's because the social structure had changed. I had joined the long hair group, the "hippies", I would quietly sneak off to parks and the beach, no one the wiser. Always enjoying recreational herbs and such, back then everything was organic, we were going green and didn't even know it. The age of love, peace and all that was upon us, yet we fought the institution, which had to include our parents. Anyone who wanted us to conform to their ideas was the enemy. Which also changed my family dynamic, I no longer wanted to hang out with the parents, even though I had fun, we were growing apart. Surging toward  individual directions, what ever that might be. One thing back then was the mind-set, we didn't think about making huge amounts of money and becoming successful, our goal was so much simpler than that, we worked toward a life of happiness. Everybody loved everybody. I guess we were too high to be anything but happy and hormonal.
My last couple of years of High School was on the work program, I worked at the Tropical Horse Race Track, as a hot walker and the afternoon was school time. Still made plenty of time for friends, my girl friends and I would compete for the cute guys and make bets on who would get them. I saw this one guy with black hair all the way down to his ass, he rode a motorcycle. I bet the girls that he would be my boyfriend by the end of the week. Well, I won the bet and we began dating. We had so much fun, riding around and going to parties, hanging out in tree-houses, going to Coconut Grove and hitch-hiking everywhere else.
Free love and all that happened, and thus pregnancy arose from that. We were in love and were married after a year of dating, soon enough so that the wedding dress didn't have a big bump in it. My parents were very supportive and my new in-laws were very strange to me. They didn't really speak good English, family had immigrated from Bogota, Colombia. After that summer it was time to go back to school, but my mind really wasn't into it, I was full of excitement and anticipation of my new little life growing inside of me. There wasn't really a lot of girls pregnant in High School in the 70's, I think I was the only one in my school. I was married though, some teachers didn't respect that I had the freedom to say and do what I wanted, they disapproved of my condition and made my last year miserable. Which lead me to drop out with only a half a credit in Government left to take. I didn't care, I was so big, sitting all day at a tight desk just wasn't the thing I wanted to do. The last year of High School now over, sitting in the bleachers watching my husband get his diploma, there I was with my beautiful new daughter. The world was mine, there was nothing that could complete my life more than that moment. Except, now what the hell do I do! Living life day after day, still hanging out with friends when we could. We were stuck living with in-laws and our first order of business was to get our own apartment. My husband was working and soon we moved to our own little apartment in Sweetwater, just off Flagler St. As the years passed we were just a normal young couple.
After time things became difficult, never understanding what we were arguing about. My husband would come home and smack me around. The first time it happened I just remember standing there taking it. I ended up with a bloody nose and a black eye. Things got better for awhile and we moved on to our own home. My husband worked hard, even though we struggled things were alright for the young couple. I thought that I would love to have another child, I enjoyed every minute with my little girl. We spent our time at the pool and doing things without compromising. Perhaps too young to know better, or perhaps we were just growing up together. She was my world, my daughter, the only one who really loved me, how would it be to have another such love. Without consulting my husband, I stopped taking the "Pill", and was pregnant in just a couple of weeks. My husband was stressed out all the time lately, working and going to school, with no tolerance toward me. There would be no perfect time to tell him that I was pregnant, so I just blurted it out. He left the house only to come back and stick a gun in my face. I learned then to stand up and be strong. I didn't want to be afraid of anything, so I just threw him out.
After the birth of his son, my husband was just the perfect person, but that time would be short lived. The slapping around continued, but I fought back by throwing dishes and squirting him down in the house with the garden hose. I was at the end of my rope with the abuse and was determined to do something about it. One night while he lay asleep in the bed, I straddled him and clenched my fists together, I punched him square in the face at least three times. It was a whole different story when he was the one looking in the mirror at his bloody face. He never touched me again, after that, the only draw back was that my young children saw everything, perhaps too young to know what was going on, it still had an adverse effect on them forever.
Four years of our marriage had passed and on a camping trip I found out that my husband preferred men to women, things just weren't the same. We were still in love and thought that we should stay together for the sake of the children, bad mistake. I went on with my life, we took turns going out and watching the kids, we lived separate lives. Frustration was building until we finally called it quits after another three years.
I began working a job and made another bet about getting a guy. It was my boss, before the divorce was complete my new man and I were making a trip cross-country in his pick-up truck. My family took care of the kids while I was off exploring the country.
Our trip was not without problems, my new man brought his best friend, which I couldn't stand. I should have jumped on a bus and went home, but I was so excited about all the beautiful scenes and different landscape, I couldn't bare to leave this adventure full of freedom and excitement. As we began crossing from state to state things were fun, when arriving at the Grand Canyon and his friend said how good I would look at the bottom of the canyon, left a real sour tone from that point on. The rest of the trip was full or arguments until we finally got rid of him somewhere in Arizona. I think the first time I left the country, was when crossed the border to Mexico for a little shopping trip. I also got to visit my long lost sister who was living there at the time. An opportunity to have someone on my side. The whole trip was designed for us to find a place to live that would make me happier, a place that would be better than South Florida. Found a place in Washington state and stayed for awhile, thinking that it might be the place, but after days full of cloudy weather and rain, I only wanted to get the hell out. Good thing I did, because Mt. Saint Helen's blew its top 3 days after I left (May 1980). I caught transportation out of there alone, the important reason was to get home in time for my divorce. After visiting almost every state, I admitted to myself that there wasn't one more suited to my lifestyle than good ole Florida. After a fun year of dating, I was married at the Coral Castle to husband #2. The marriage started out with a couple of problems, first at the wedding when my purse was robbed and all my important documents gone. A crazy rush to replace them for the Honeymoon to Aruba. All the indications I ignored, I even got sick as a dog in Aruba and nearly died from poison. Not paying attention to Karma.
We moved out to the Redlands, because he had big ideas, businesses and big houses, you know the type. The only thing wrong with that is he didn't earn the money he brought home, and always put things off  and off and off..
I was in the prime of my life, I had lots, a had my own pony, 2 great Danes, and numerous exotic pets. That was my happiness, my kids loved living in the country, driving around their ATVs all over the tomato fields. Then came the motorcycle, I had a bad feeling about this thing since day one. As an adventurer I thought that this feeling was not normal for me. Still, every time I got on that thing I just felt uneasy.
We began to travel, we went to and island in the Bahamas, called Spanish Wells, what fond memories me and my children have there. Always delaying the flight home, to take a scuba class or just have one more day of fun. My husband did some business there in the landscape department, so we would again have an opportunity to travel back to the Bahamas. I made so many friends there, and so did the kids, they had their own place to hang out. I never really had to watch them, after all, where could they go on an island!
I guess I found  the place in the world that I loved the most, the islands of the Bahamas. The people were just amazing, the freedom and the fresh air was beyond comprehension. I was surrounded by the beautiful sea.

MY STORY 60's to 70's

Written by Captain Mary on Friday, August 19, 2011

Growing up was so easy up to this point, still in Elementary School. This was the time when a little girl begins to turn into  women and thus start to get into trouble. Our family dynamic was to take numerous trips, since Dad worked for the airline we got to travel to Boston, constantly, at least 4 times a year. Without parents hovering over us, we had a great time. We still had family vacations and they almost always consisted of camping, somewhere in Florida, my fathers absolutely favorite place.
 No family would be complete without household pets. We were a pretty standard family in that department, with the pet dog, her name was Suzie, she was a hairy, Chihuahua mix. I also had fish and my favorite pet ever was my duck, Pasqua (Easter in Italian). I got her in Boston, as a little duckling and she lived in that bucket that we swam in. I had her for years, Pasqua gave us a fresh duck egg everyday. I don't know how long ducks live but she was the love of my young life.
I got sick and was put in the hospital, for tubes in the ears, tonsillectomy and removal of my adenoids. I remember my mom getting me a purse, it was a yellow duck, which I immediately vomited on. After the giant trauma of my hospital stay, which seemed like weeks, was over I came home and ran to the back yard to see my Pasqua. I searched the entire yard, her nest and everywhere calling her name. I went into the house and my mother told me they had taken her to the duck pond at the hospital where I was staying, where she could play with all the other ducks. To this day I don't think that I ever got over it. Years later, the truth about my precious duck came to life, but only when my parents thought I was old enough to handle it (in my 20's). She had simply passed away. I tried to replace her, with a Mallard duckling that I captured at a lake, but it just wasn't the same as my Pasqua.
Each decade had so many memories, it is hard to pick out the most memorable ones. From sibling rivalry to undying bondage, my sisters and I were like peas in a pod and so different at the same time. I grew up mostly hanging out with my sister June. Cheryl was the one in the family always at the swim meets and athletic challenges. Although we all played sports, Cheryl carried it more into Junior High than we did. Charles at this time was more of an annoyance, because baby-sitting was interrupting our social life.
We all belonged to the after school program at the park, from Archery, to Soccer, it was the Cerase girls who had to be the best at everything. That competitive nature still exists today.
I remember the first time I saw my mother cry. November 22, 1963 just after noon. How could I possibly remember that day. Well, if you search that day in history you will find that JFK was assassinated, live on TV right in front of my mother and me. I know I cried that day, but I don't think it was because of JFK, it was because I had seen another side of my mother that I never wanted to see again. It was a day that I knew I was no longer locked in this perfect little world that I had grown so fond of. There was so much more to the world than I ever could imagine. I know that this day was a turning point in my life and perhaps one for many people.
My mom was always my protector, the family rock so to speak. I recall a story about a little girl that had broken her arm. First let me say that as my sisters and I grew older the house got a bit louder, my parents seem to be always arguing and it was always about us. Of course, I didn't like it much, but it seems to be what Italian's do best, "Loud Voices". Back to the broken arm, it was a regular day at the homestead, the day winding down and as always we had to pick up after our little brother who was basically allowed to run like a wild animal, not as if anyone could have stopped him anyway. I went to get his tricycle out of the front yard to bring it in and by some freak accident I flipped over the thing and broke my arm. A whole bunch of witnesses and stunned faces, snatched me up and drug me to the hospital kicking and screaming. Not because I was in pain, but because I was certain nothing was wrong, "I could move my fingers". Despite my objection I now was fitted with a cast, all this happened before the master arrived home. Tucked in bed but not asleep yet I recall the conversation that evening.
My Dad arrived home and my Mom welcomed him, it was late and Dad was exhausted. She started the conversation on an even tone, knowing that my Dad would completely freak if one of his princesses was ever hurt, she used this great tactic on him. She started out with "Charlie, I heard this story on TV today and I want to get your opinion on it", so Dad sat down while Mom went on to tell the story. She said, "The story is about a little girl who broke her arm, and when her father got home from work that day he yelled and screamed at everybody". My mom continued the story making certain that by the end of the tale Dad had to feel so sorry for the little girl because her father was a brute. At the end of that fantastic story and Dad's sympathy for the little girl at its height she said "By the way, Mary broke her arm". I don't have to tell you how that story ended, as you might have guessed there was no yelling at the little girl with the broken arm. Instead, Dad came into my room embraced me and gave me a kiss on the forehead.
Stories about my mom were probably the most memorable of all. Her favorite holiday was April Fool's Day. I fondly remember her in the kitchen the night before preparing to get Dad. Once she got a sponge, in those days they were large and hard and yellow. She carefully sliced a sponge really thin, putting in a sandwich, with the rest of the lunch meat. Dad always took his lunch and never remembered the holiday. Many a lunches had sponge cheese, chocolate covered soap, plastic Hersey bars, the menu was endless. The joke was always on Dad.
Don't think for a minute that Dad didn't get even. Dad loved the yard and he was always building it up with sand, spreading and making the lawn lush and green. In the meantime while spreading the sand one day, Dad was constantly coming in the house for refreshments, leaving Mom pissed off. Mom was always a clean freak and Dad just kept it up until Mom finally snapped and started screaming at him. He walked out the door just like the other dozen times that day, but the next time he came in the house he had a plan. Mom had just finished sweeping up the sand for what she thought was the last time, when the door opened and on the end of the wheel barrow was Dad. Without uttering a single word, the wheel barrow full of sand entered the living room, Dad simply tipped it up and all the sand piled in the middle of the living room. I could only remember holding back my laughter. Dad said, "Now you have something to complain about!" I stood there wondering what was going to happen next and I guess Mom could not contain herself any longer, she bust out into laughter too. I realize that my parents were absolutely nuts. Maybe its hereditary!
 So many things happened before I became 15, I can't remember them all. I began dating, that is the puppy stuff. I think I had sex for the first time, but I don't recall it happening. Hanging out with the wrong people and experimenting with drugs and alcohol lead me to wake one afternoon in an unknown location, with my clothing on the floor. I will probably never know what happened that day. But at least I wasn't traumatized, because I don't remember a thing.
I had always felt like an outcast while in Jr. High, never had the right clothing, didn't act like a girly girl, not one of the cool girls, but I did have a big mouth. I even ran for Student Council President. Still looking for that attention. I always found school boring and my grades reflected my disappointment in school. I was clever enough to know how much work I had to do to pass to the next year. I wanted something different out of my life and education didn't seem like it was the transport to get there. My attitude toward school was probably brought on from all the bullying that went on year after year. Ignoring it became harder and harder and the way to handle it was unknown to me. This was the first time I had considered suicide, I know if I had these thoughts in the current times, I am certain that I would not be here today to talk about it (designer drugs and all). I got over that feeling, but I did know that I could no longer tolerate the bully's. I don't think that I really thought through the process, but I decided the only way to stop these girls from making fun of my clothes and making me feel like I wasn't worth anything because I wasn't like them was to kick their ass. I knew that these girls had to walk home the same way I did, so I lay in wait and as they passed, I jumped out of my hiding place and began to kick their ass, making certain that I tore those fancy designer clothes right off their bodies. I never had another problem with the bully's, because after that, the word got out,(without cell phones) that I was no longer going to tolerate them. Sticks and stones, hell no! I don't know now if that was a mistake or not. I would probably never know, but what made my life miserable was no longer in existence.
It was the time of Rock and Roll music. Also the time in history that there was love and peace. Everybody wanted to be an individual. The more torn the jeans the better, the more skin showing the better. Long hair was everywhere, boys and girls would compete for the longest hair. Head bands and tie dye. What a great time, a time to learn and love for the first time. Experiment and try everything for the first time. I made a plan to do as much as I could and the goal was to never get caught by my parents. I think that I accomplished my goal at the time. I still do everything I can, but now I see things as opportunities that should never be passed up, because it will only lead to regret. I think this part of my life was just the beginning of my adventures.
Now it was the middle of High School and another transition of my life begins. My time line after this become very vague and confused, on my next series of MY STORY!

MY STORY 50's to 60's

Written by Captain Mary on Thursday, August 18, 2011

I constantly get asked to tell the story of my life, it seems to me that this would be the interesting way to do it. I can write a story at a time and perhaps it will end up with my entire life on paper.
Where do I start? I should probably start at the beginning and perhaps my sisters and brother will chime in too, trigger our memories!
This story starts in the 1950's, a fantastic time in history. The story begins in Boston, Massachusetts, where two young people met and fell in love. Those young people at the time had no idea what was in store. My father while dating another girl, fell head over heels in love with my soon to be mom. The story starts here. Sock hops, skating on lakes, young men with their pack of cigarettes rolled up in their t-shirt sleeve and DA haircuts. The young women with poodle skirts, just think about the movie "Grease", that's the time that I was born. My father and mother, wanted a different life and they picked up roots and headed to South Florida. A definite change of climates from the New England weather they both grew up in.
I think when I was born in Miami, there was only one hospital, the original Jackson Memorial Hospital, at the time of my birth we were living downtown.
I don't know what happened and perhaps Dad could fill in the blanks, but our new small family moved back to Massachusetts. In no time at all I had two sisters, in the meantime my father got a job working for Eastern Airlines, (remember them?) and transferred back to Miami. There, after a couple of moves we were in our very own home, which was purchased for $11,000. About the price of a really used car nowadays.
I don't remember very much of that time, but I do remember being very happy and loved.
Some of the special moments I remember is the things that Dad made for us and the simple things Mom would do. We loved our back-yard and spent all day there. I remember our yard before there was grass growing. Dad got us a swing-set, what group of little girls wouldn't love that. As the summer months grew warmer, we spent our time in the sprinkler and a big metal bucket, that, I think my mom used as her mop bucket. All I know is that I could fit in it perfectly for years, my sisters and I would take turns. We had such great tans, that sometimes we would have to sit at the back of the bus. It amazes me that, that kind of discrimination even existed in the 1950's. Anyway, Dad decided that we really couldn't learn to swim in the bucket, as much fun as it was, so he began building a swimming pool, it was made from a few levels of concrete blocks, sealed and painted this crazy lime green. We spent all day in the pool, where we learned to swim underwater and I think that is when I fell in love with water. The love of the water is still my strongest love.
My Dad brought home a roller coaster once, even though we only borrowed it for a short time, it was a very lasting memory, because it was so fun. There was no seat belts or safety rails. It was like a giant roller skate, that we would put at the top of a ladder, jump on and slide down the rails. The ride was only the size of a large slide, but it was so much fun.
Life was so simple then, all I had to do was have fun and be loved. I must admit that my childhood was very happy. As time past and we grew older, Dad was home less, because he had to work more, to give us the things every child would dream of. I don't really recall much about stuff, but I do remember driving down Tamiami Trail (8Th Street) for our day of fishing with Dad. We never knew what we were going to catch, from crawdads to turtles, it just didn't matter. All I can remember is my sisters laughing and my Dad standing over us with his arms crossed and his beautiful bright smile as we were casting our cane poles into the muddy swamp of the Everglades. When we were lucky enough to catch some fish I remember my mom's face when Dad pulled out his stringer of fish, a smile and maybe a sigh about who was going to clean those fish. Dad always did the fish cleaning. I remember always having some kind of boat parked on the side of the house, but our days of fishing passed.
As we got older it was time to begin school, I remember things that happened in school and probably never told anyone. My favorite time was "Show and Tell", I was the one kid who could make up some fascinating stories, about forts under my bed and drinking vinegar, I made up so much stuff, I can't even remember where the story began, I just kept talking because I couldn't move away from all the attention. I remember once talking so long that I peed in front of the whole class. I think that was the begining of my story telling, while most of my stories are true, I make certain that they are somewhat interesting. I just loved to be the center of attention. I was always the class clown, I am certain that doesn't really come as a surprise to anyone, but to let you know I was born that way.
As I became more independant and now my sisters was going to school with me, it was our time to walk home by ourselves. Common place in most families, when it was my kids turn to do the same I remember what my mom did with us. Mom started walking us to school, so that we would learn the way and then meeting us after school to do more practice. She made a point that we were to stay on this path, because she had eyes everywhere. As we knew from experience, this statement was very accurate. There was once or twice that we stopped and would jump in the canal for a swim, when we got home, the eyes knew what we had done, because Mom was following us just out of view. Many years later I found out that even though my mom trusted our judgement, she knew that we were still kids, and our urges to deviate were far too strong to resist. All this preparation was for a good reason, mom was pregnant and needed us to be less dependent on her.
We had a new addition to the house, kind of like a puppy, but worse behaved. We got a new brother, a special and unexpected surprise. He immediately became the king, I must admit we all worshiped him, I still do to this day. Even though I am 10 years older than my brother, he is my big brother at heart.
Upon the arrival of my brother, the household routine was transformed and rearranged, for this young man was a tornado. As a baby, Charles was full of smiles, he not only woke with them, but his smiles were contagious. It didn't matter what he did, good or bad, no one in the family could help laughing or smiling at his escapade's. Even when he painted the walls above his crib with his own poop. The family dynamic seemed complete, if it was even possible to be more happy, we were. Life passed and days went by turning into years. If I could choose when to go back in time, I would choose this part of my life, I felt safe and loved. I never had to make a decision, and I never made a mistake that took a toll on any ones life.


Written by Captain Mary on Friday, August 05, 2011

I have a very old dog, Baby is her name. She is a constant worry for me, lately she has developed tumors, which I have managed, now her whole body has a terrible skin condition. I constantly brush and manage it the best I can, but she is around 14 years old and these things are common in old girls. Baby is always happy, she still eats like a pig and plays like a puppy.
The other day I put out a bone with a hole in the middle that I bought from the grocery store. My morning was a rush, I had a meeting and when I went to do a check on the critters, I noticed Baby was pawing at her water bowl. I thought it deserved a closer look, at much to my surprise, she had somehow got the bone with a hole in it, locked onto her lower jaw. Now poor Baby can't eat or drink, and I have an appointment that I can't miss. I got out some tools to see if I could get it off of her. With all my effort, the bone was over a half inch thick and impossible to break. What do I do now, do I saw it off of her face? How will I mange to remove the bone without hurting Baby? Time running out and using the dremmel tool, I failed.
Off to my appointment, thinking the whole time on how to get that thing off of her. Then it donned on me, that my son had bought this cutting drill, that should do the trick. I turned it on and it was far too powerful for me to put it next to the face of my precious companion, that has been with me for years. Again, I considered another option, take the bit that is on this powerful machine and put it on a dremmel tool.
Poor Baby in the meantime is struggling with the bone on her jaw and her gums and chin are swelling, now I have no room to put my fingers underneath to protect her face from the power tool.
I don't want you to think that I messed up my pooch,  I came up with a way to protect her, I slipped a butter knife under the bone, protecting her face, then I threw a towel over her eyes to protect them.
I began cutting away at the bone, being careful to keep her calm and not letting my hand slip. It seem like it took forever, but with out much more effort I cut the bone away from her precious face.
Dogs are like little kids, things that you think are safe, somehow manage to become a unexpected danger. I must admit, this almost beats the time I went Cat Fishing.


Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Have you ever driven down the street and seen someones name on a street sign. Well, of course you have, I never really thought about it until today. A friend asked me to help her because she was hosting an event at her home, because a sign was being dedicated to her father.
The morning started with the plans for getting the refreshments and decorations on the tables. Across the street from a distance I watched as my friends along with community leaders gathered for the unveiling of the new sign. Lots of people joined in the celebration of Clyde Binson.
At the event I asked some of the guests questions about the dedication and found that the community had to go through application processes and city council meetings. Not everyone was approved for this honor, but Clyde was a community leader in his time and he is loved to this day.
I could only think of how much pride his family and friends felt to look up at the new sign, dedicated to a man who silently made a difference in his community. For years to come people will look up and wonder for generations to come and perhaps his legacy will never end. I know that each time I pass that street sign and see his name above the street I will remember what he meant to the community. Even though I never had the honor of meeting him, I do value my friendship with his daughter and if he was half as wonderful as she is then the honor is all mine.