Category Archives: Life Experience

Things the average person probably goes through at some point

September 11, 2001, I Was Clueless…

I had no idea anything was going on.  I was thirty-five. I was living in Catonsville (near Baltimore) Maryland.  It was a Tuesday.  I was in my usual routine.  I got up at 7:30 am, went to the gym, exercised and got home.  Dillydallied around.  Didn’t turn on any TV, because I usually only had enough time to get to work for 10:00.  I left for work, my mind on the usual things going on in my life, nothing of major substance.

My general daily attitude was:

Life was as usual all over the world – the U.S. had no major problems – some things some people liked, some things some people didn’t like.  Underdeveloped countries were poor and needing assistance.  Other countries way far away were fighting each other… it didn’t impact us, so. . .

I started my car, heading out of my subdivision, and made it the one mile to US Hwy 95 that led to my job.  (Hwy 95  is slso the route to New York).  There was major traffic.   In my usual ignorant stubbornness, I didn’t even bother to turn on the radio to find out what.

I called my job and told them I would be running late.  No one said anything to me about it.  I saw the huge signs across Hwy 95 which carried alerts.  In huge letters it read, DETOUR, AVOID NEW YORK .

I remember saying out loud.  “That’s stupid, nobody’s going to avoid New York!”  (Mind you, I had no idea what had happened.  I smirked all the way to work about the signs, which I saw two more of them.

I arrived at work.  Parked and happy-go-lucky walked in late with the “it’s not my fault I’m late” attitude.  I started seeing clients.  No one said anything.

It wasn’t until close to 12:00 noon that someone told me what had happened, in New York, D.C. and Pennsylvania.   My eyes (which are already big) widened.  I was in total disbelief.

All this time I was indulging in my selfish endeavors and people had been attacked and were fighting for their lives.

I could feel all of  my inner, self-serving thoughts, ideas, and emotions dissipate.  All the petty molehills I had recently made into mountains no longer mattered in this grand scheme of things.

There was no longer me.  There was us.  It happened to us.  To someof us it happened directly, and forever my heart will weep for them, as it did today as I watched the 10 year reunion coverage.  I remember feeling so violated for months after that.  I cried.  I sang the Star Spangled Banner so many times during that period.  I even sang it into my voice mail greeting.

To those whose lives were lost or who were directly affected by the tragic events of that day, please know that others care, and will never forget the bravery  you demonstrated.   I couldn’t reach my hand out to help you, but the sorrow felt in my heart for you  that day changed me  forever into a selfless person caring for the well-being of my fellow Americans and my fellow man.  God blinked for a second, and those evil people took advantage of that.  But God pulled us through.

Thank you for reading.

Dedicated to the Lives that Suffered on September 11, 2001.


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Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Life Experience, Uncategorized


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One Moment. Two Hearts. A Thousand Pieces…

Part II.

I drove towards home in a daze.  I was in a vacuum.  Traffic noises seemed to be an echo  in the distance.  People walking on the sidewalks or crossing the streets were illusions, not innocent fellow human beings worthy of trust.  They would do unto others as they would not like to have done unto them. 

Home would now have a different meaning for me.  It would no longer be a place of reconvening of our bond to each other.  We spent most of our time together, except when we were working.  I had switched to home-based physical therapy.  The separation was vital to our stability.  Joni René’s happiness was a tangible representation of our bond and commitment.  Our family unit was a platform still vital to her well-being.

Thinking of her sent a crescendoing twinge from deep within my chest.  My tongue clamped against my palate to hold me back from bawling where I sat.  The blubbering saliva seeped from the corners of my mouth.  I clutched the steering wheel tightly. 

Oh, Joni René doesn’t deserve this…  None of us deserve this.  We were so immune.  We were doing everything the best way we knew how.

For a moment, I felt sorry for him.  It was as though my loving adorable mate had inevitably become weakened.  He had fallen victim to this highly contagious affliction of people.  My next thought straightened me up from wallowing in my despair.  For how long has he been doing this?   I scanned my memory for all of the tardy evenings he had had lately.  There weren’t many, but there were some for sure.

I had arrived home without realizing it.  I grabbed a tissue to wipe my eyes.  I stayed in my parked car to regain my composure.  I backed out and deliberately parked down the street.    The baby sitter and certainly Joni René should not see me like this.  I took a series of deep breaths as I walked down the sidewalk to the house.

Stay tuned for part III.

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Posted by on April 23, 2011 in Life Experience, Uncategorized


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One moment. Two hearts. A thousand pieces….

A handsome doctor, single, whom a lot of the women staff had been whispering about, asked me out?

I remember the day he came onto the unit.  The handsome neurosurgeon.  He was from the West Indes, but he looked like he was from India.  He was joining the medical staff.  I was just a physical therapist.  Some of his patients would need my services. 

He was very professional and all about doing his job.  He accepted all patients that came to him.  He was confident in everything he did.  He usually had a couple of residents from general surgery working alongside him.  I would briefly see him whenever he was done or between patients in the OR to check on a patient on the floor.  Otherwise, I would see him on morning rounds where he usually waited for my report on how certain patients were doing with rehabilitation.

I’ll always remember the day the department wanted a picture of the neurosurgery staff for the wall in the lounge.  I have always been a bit camera shy, so held back hoping to not get in the picture.  He reached out and beckoned me in next to him.   He was on my right, and gently laid his hand behind my left shoulder.  He kept it there, even after the picture was done as others started dispersing.  He stood there. I felt awkward moving away from him.  Although I felt honored that he embraced me in that way.  I felt valuable to the team.   

He was talking to the camera man, then he finally turned to me. His hand was still on my shoulder.

“These wonderful people are the reason I can do my job well.”  he said, referring to me as one of them.  He had glistening eyes as he took an intimate look into mine.  I stepped back because now that we were facing each other, we were in each other’s personal space, kissing distance.  I envisioned myself in an out-of-body mode, reaching forward and kissing him.  He was strikingly handsome.  His kindness, gentle skill with his hands, and intelligence were all a turn-on for me.  But   I stepped back away.  He immediately dropped his hand. 

The following weeks he continued to being focused on his patients.  He managed to clear a backlog of surgeries waiting almost a year to be done.  The patients’ well-being came before anything else.  There was a day his schedule was full of complicated surgeries.  We were all there well beyond our usual work hours.  I had to help my shift replacement organize the orders for the evening.  It so happened later, we were headed to the parking lot at the same time.  He had a parking spot close to the hospital.  I had one further out.  He called out to me.  I turned, he came trotting forward, holding his briefcase.

“You aren’t going out there in the dark by yourself,” he said.  Then he suggested that I should have called for a security escort.  Again, I felt  awkward, because my car was far into the parking lot.  Here the neurosurgeon was walking me to my car.  I really would have rathered him not.  I was cautious enough and always kept my eyes far into the distance.

“Do you live far?”  he asked.

“No,”  I answered.  “Just five minutes away.”

“I have a thirty minute drive.”  he commented, shaking his head.  “I didn’t realize the traffic would be so congested.  Since it’s night, I’m sure I’ll get there in fifteen.”  he smiled.  I couldn’t focus on what he was saying because I wanted to  hurry and get to my car, plus… what do I do when I get in?…  Do I offer him a ride back to his car?  I hated being in these awkward situations. 

We finally got there.  I went on and offered the ride.  There was no harm in that.  He declined and bid me a nice evening and headed back to his car.  I hesitated starting my car.  I certainly didn’t want to pass him walking.  I waited a couple of minutes, then backed out.  He was almost to his car.  Instead of passing him, I rolled down my window, slowed down, and thanked him again.  He waved and shook his head, saying no problem. 

As luck would have it, that weekend I saw him at the local Barnes and Noble.  He was sitting there in the cafe section reading a newspaper and wearing his glasses low on his nose.  I tapped on his table and waved.  He invited me to sit down.   I couldn’t decline after he shifted some books and magazines he had there onto a chair.  I put down my books then went to the counter to order my coffee. 

It turned out to be a very nice afternoon.  We talked about a lot of things, outside of our work.   Since he wasn’t born in America, he was intrigued with my knowlege of American History.  I was impressed with his thirst for knowlege, and how he knew a little about a lot of things. 

Toward the end, he asked me out on a dinner date.  I was stunned.  A handsome doctor, single, whom a lot of the women staff had been whispering about, asked me out?    I wasn’t even in the top twenty of the beautiful women who had been admiring him.  How did he come to pick me?  Well, he did.  and his interest was real. 

We went out on several dates after that and realized that we got along well with each other.  He was a true gentleman.  One thing,  he never flaunted his money.  He didn’t have a fancy car, or even a fancy home.  He lived in a small condominium that he kept neat and clean, with mainstream furniture and electronics.

Each day, we became more and more connected to each other.  He couldn’t wait to see me, nor I, him.  We kept up with what each other was doing during and after work.  We shared so much.  We became not just a couple in love, but best friends.  We went hiking and sight-seeing together.  We came to care for each other so much  that we wanted to journey through the rest of our lives together.   We had not consummated our relationship and were trying our best to hold off for when it was the right time.   We would cuddle on the sofa as we read or watched television.  The sheer possibilites of us being more intimate was stimulating to my imagination.  It made for an alluring tension.

A year and a half later, he finally proposed.  We had a beautful wedding.  Everyone, including the hospital staff was there to witness our official union into a married couple.  They had witnessed our journey from the beginning.  At work, I would feel a tinge in my heart when I would see him.  We shared ‘I love you’s’, and kissed when ever we parted and rejoined each other. 

Our first year of marriage, I give birth to our beautiful daughter, Joni René . She was the light of our lives.  We made her during times of immense love we had for each other.  We raised her the same way we lived, modestly. 

We didn’t have a large house or large car. We bought basic toys like dolls and kitchen sets for her.   My husband was very big into philanthropy and we donated a great deal to certain charities.  We spent money modestly, secured our futures, and college for Joni René .  We volunteered once a month at the local homeless shelter.

When Joni was eight years old, I had decided to surprise my husband with a birthday dinner.  His secretary phoned me later that afternoon to tell me that he had a late case that day that  would go into the evening hours.  I decided to take  a plate and some wine to his office and we could sit at his desk with two forks and have his birthday dinner together.    I got everything ready, fixed myself up, grabbed our meal and stored it in a soft thermal case, grabbed the bottle of wine, and his birthday gift, and headed to the hospital.

I got to the floor where his office was.  If I had known then what I know now, I would have stopped there and turned around.  The nurses looked at me with secrecy in their eyes.  I thought their eagerness was to see me surprise him.  They didn’t stop me.  I think they wanted to see  drama unfold.  Well, it did to some degree.

I got to his door and opened it, not expecting to see him there.  My jaw dropped.  My hands and arms lost tone so I dropped everything I was holding onto the floor.  The wine bottle shattered.  I felt a sharp sting against my ankle.  My vision became warped but then back into focus. 

There he was leaning against a nurse sitting on his desk.  They were kissing.  His hands were around her back and under her top.

I ran back down the hall to the elevator.  I pushed the down button ferociously.  My mind couldn’t think.  I just had the visual.  My heart wasted no time going into an ache.    I thought I was having a heart attack.  My legs were trembling as I rode down the elevator.  I walked fast and awkwardly down the front entry to the parking lot  My heels were high and I sprained my ankle as I ran to my car.  I got in quickly.  I looked back, and I didn’t see him coming after me.

Stay tuned for Part II…


Posted by on April 22, 2011 in Life Experience, Uncategorized, Writing


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CluTteR, no cure…

CluTteR, no cure…

There’s no cure for clutter.  It is the default condition of anything I own around me.  I think I have it more than the average person.  I know I do.  

Believe it or not, I’m pretty organized.   Any thing I don’t touch for weeks or months, sits neatly in its place. I have a neat closet.  Inside my kitchen cabinets are organized.  I have books organized and stored neatly on shelves.  But the floor, the bed, the bathroom counter, and kitchen counter are all cluttered. 

The problem is, anything I touch on a daily basis looks like it’s been thrown and tossed into its resting place:  clothes, shoes, towels, kitchen stuff,  my car…oh, my car… it is the worst. 

My car:  I hardly worry about being carjacked.  A carjacker would be sidetracked because they wouldn’t be able to get in.  There’s only enough room for the driver, and even in that case, the driver would usually be sitting on something.  The passenger seat and floor are full of mail from the mailbox, magazines, books, lots of stuff.  The backseat and trunk are junked, too.  Well, here look for yourself: 

Uh..theres no room to ride with me...

Im in the process of moving...

I’ve had to constantly  lie to people and tell them I’m in the process of moving.  This is the only thing that relieves the shock from their faces, they then nod, and an “oh, I see..”  comes afterward.

 Once a friend ran up to my car while I was about to drive away to hand me something.  She unknowingly pulled open the passenger door, and junk fell out onto her feet and the street.  I couldn’t stop her in time.  It was very embarrassing.  You’d think after that, I’d straighten it out.  Well, I did,  and within a week or two – back to the default clutter. 

The top of my desk at work is a mess.  But inside the drawers, my papers are organized in hanging folders.  What do you make of that?

All suggestions you’re thinking of right now, I’ve tried.  Believe me.  Okay, well, except counseling.  But I don’t want counseling for this.  I already know the answers:  ‘once across the desk….’; ‘put things away right away’; etc.

  I will  have to work on it like I solved the missing keys problem.  I consistently put them in the same place now whenever I come home.  Problem there, solved.  So.  GoalTomorrow:   I’m going to clean out my car. 

My kitchen:  This one will be next.  Here’s a picture of my kitchen taken about 5 years ago.  It spends 75% of the year like this.  The other 25% it is spotless and bare.  At the moment,  it’s actually reasonably neat.  I just have a few groceries (not food) from weeks ago still sitting on top, so not bad.  For now.

My CluTteRRed Kitchen...Ill clear it at, uh...4:30, no, 4:45.


Posted by on April 17, 2011 in Life Experience, Uncategorized


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Oh, goodness…

I racked my brain trying to think of a good title for my site.  All the obvious ones that popped into my head, had popped into someones-elses-heads first.  (One thing you’ll realize from my posts is I make up my own phrases and words to get my point across- regardless of what Great Grammar Mamar says.)

The word, trance, entered my mind first, because sometimes I do find myself withdrawing out of a trance of thoughts.  It’s like daydreaming, I guess.  My body will become frozen in what ever task I was involved in, and my mind will have taken over.  The trance could be about anything, my book, a review of a conversation, a reflection on a movie I just watched.  But I’ll be in a state of flowing thoughts, one I actually could break out of if I were really made to. 

In this tranced state, my body seems to be rendered powerless.  Perhaps it’s because my brain needs to slurp up all the energy to carry out its function.  It’s as if the battery power of my whole body gets re-routed to my brain.  Once my brain ends the trance, like a switch I can pick back up with what I was doing.  Sometimes I feel like my body is a robot in limbo waiting for remote control from my brain to start back up again.

Anyway, that was off the subject – but that was kind of a tranced moment, there.  What I wanted to talk about was the word, trance and the fact that it’s my title.  After I chose the title and paid $17, I did a google search for ‘daily trance’. I saw sights about trance music.  I don’t want readers to think that this site or I have anything to do with being under the influence of anything.  I saw some other references to ‘the trance.”  and I thought, oh nooo!  That’s not what I mean!

It’s like naming your child Charles Manson, not having known anything about him, and then later doing a  search and realizing– oh nooo!  

No, it’s not that bad.  A better example would be inventing a drink, and naming it Gatorjuice only to find out there’s something out there already very popular called Gatorade. 

No, that’s not a good example either.  Because it has to be two things of different realms.  So how about designing a beautiful pink and white polka dotted outfit to serve on the cover for a new magazine, only to find out that pink and white polka dot outfits are the official colors of a radical group that believes opposite what you do.

Sorta like that.

Oh well, I’m keeping it.  The Daily Trance.  It’s about the mind.  It’s got nothing to do with the music here, so…


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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Life Experience, Uncategorized, Writing


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