yesterday at this time 20:18…

yesterday at this time…buggs and i were on foot walking. we were walking laps and with each lap, the sky changed. the combination of the clouds, the howling winds, and the historic backdrop worked together to create some highly dramatic photos.

here are the photos that we took yesterday at this time 20:18…

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irony…

so, buggs and i went for a drive the other day and we saw a sign that said, “cemetery” and had an arrow pointing eastward. ever since s***h and i were in digital photography class at wsu-v, whenever i see a cemetery…i generally stop, drive-in, and explore looking for the unusual and unexpected.

s***h and i used to do this often. we had a night photography assignment once and we went into an old vancouver (washington) cemetery and shot. it was exciting and fun and spooky. we never knew what we were going to encounter. it was interesting to go to school the next day and see what we had captured.

i remember staring at my computer screen one day and taking in a phenomenal image of a headstone surrounded by radiant, glowing, orange light. i was both surprised and fascinated. the light seemed to be emanating from the grave and behind it…through the tree line. it was amazing.

i have photographed cemeteries in washington, idaho, montana, nevada, iowa, and oklahoma. every cemetery is different and holds it’s own mysteries. i always feel as if i am drawn there for a reason, as if there is something there that i need to see and photograph. as i go, i feel kindred spirits all around me.

this particular day, buggs and i were drawn to the lawnview cemetery in cordell, oklahoma. we drove through stopping to photograph points of interest. three quarters of the way through, i found what it was that i was supposed to see and i let out a chuckle. i reveled in it’s dark irony…it’s fantastic.

our second journey, part eightteen photos…yellowstone national park, mt…

our second journey, part seventeen…big sky, mt to yellowstone national park…

as i mentioned before, the snow started coming down in big sky. it was very beautiful and added a little something to the already breathtaking landscape. i was a little worried about the driving conditions going up and coming down from the passes. the snow i was fine driving in…it was the ice that i worried about.

the temperature began dropping as we approached yellowstone national park. my car’s temperature gauge flashed “icy” over and over. i continued to stop and take photos along the way. i used common sense and exercised great caution. i thought about my roommate, j***y, who was terrified of me driving through bad weather and chuckled.

i passed the sign that said yellowstone national park. i was overcome with the glorious and curious wonders of the autumnal landscape. everything seemed so surreal to me…i couldn’t believe that i was there…i was actually fucking there!! and, i did it myself…with a companionship provided by my co-pilot buggs and my co-co-pilot j**s.

i felt like i was in a dream state. everywhere i stopped, i got out and walked. i shot photos and gathered interesting stones from each location. when i got back to the car…i put the stone in buggs’ poop bags with a piece of paper that noted the location. i decided that i would be like a penguin and gather stones to present to a mate.

my mind was full of competing thoughts. i was so excited. i just wished that i had had a special human with me to enjoy the adventure. i remembered what someone important to me once said and, at the time she was right. she told me that she would probably build-up resentment over time, because i was too unhealthy to keep up with her.

it was a bittersweet thought. bitter because she was never able to see me hike and climb and explore. sweet because i could walk far and fast, hike, climb, carry. i was fucking proud of myself and my progress. i just wished that she would have been present to experience me walking further and faster and being able to keep up.

hahaha…as my mom would say, “if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”

more tomorrow…

boom…

without realizing or planning it…i have planted little, ticking, time bombs all around me…both online and in real life. no, i am not talking about literal bombs that destroy physically. i am talking about figurative bombs that trigger emotionally.

this morning, i was texting with j**s and i received a facebook notification. it told me that i had a memory from two years ago. normally, i don’t click and look, but for some reason i did today. i clicked and found a photo that i had taken two years ago today.

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i am guessing most people would not have given it a second thought, but me, i can’t stop thinking about it. these little bombs come in the form of photos, texts, emails, music, quotes, symbols, numbers, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, surroundings, and activities.

they trigger me emotionally and take me right back to that place, person, or thing. i remember exactly where i was and what i was thinking, feeling, and doing. i remember every little detail of every little thing. once i am triggered, i have a hard time turning it all off.

i had traveled to gillette, wyoming for a second, third, and fourth date. i got this room at a nice hotel for $45 on priceline. i remember calling and letting my date know that i had arrived. then i scurried madly around my room trying to get ready.

this whole thing was brand new to me…driving at all…(since I really didn’t do too much of that when i was with my ex) being out and about independently (since i had been with my ex for almost 10 years)…and dating…it had been at least 10 years since i had dated anyone.

at the time, i was much heavier. i was weak and in pretty poor health. i couldn’t walk even 1/10 of a mile without stopping and everytime i went up a flight of stairs…i was left doubled over, while huffing and puffing. my date, a nurse was terrified for me.

no one had expected anything of me in years and apparently, i expected nothing from myself as well. the previous 8 years or so…i lived with my ex and self soothed with food, while blowing up like a blimp, getting more and more unhealthy…waiting to die.

by the time my date arrived, i was exhausted, sweating profusely, and breathless. i was quite the prize!! thinking back, i don’t even know how i got this woman to go out with me in the first place or why after seeing me on the first date, she invited me for more.

there was a knock on my door. my stomach flip-flopped and my heart felt like it may explode. i opened the door and in bounded an exuberant, firey soul…she embraced me with a big hug and kissed me on the cheek. she was excited to see me. i was shocked.

she was wearing a poncho and jeans with some kind of lace-up moccasins. when we hugged, i smelled patchouli and something spicy. an obvious beauty with long brown hair and smoldering brown eyes. i stood there on sensory overload, absorbing her energy.

she came to take me back to her place. i wasn’t wearing shoes but had socks on. i had two pairs of slip-on vans on the floor, but i was a little shaky. she asked me which pair i wanted i went back and forth a few times. she picked up the black pair and slid them on my feet.

she drove us over to her place where her son was waiting. we got there and sat down to watch a “hunger games” movie. i don’t remember which one because i fell asleep within minutes and snored the whole time. i woke up when fingers ran through my hair.

she took me back to my hotel and we sat comfortably on the couch. her legs were over my lap and i rubbed her ankle, while she showed me the video of her best friend’s wedding. (***and oh my god…in this very moment…2024 of 03.11.2018…i have just come to a realization.***) i remember doing exactly what i had done on our first date, what i had done on the phone once that i regret, and what i did at our brunch together. i kept telling her something like, “you know, you can go now. you do not have to stay here on my account.” fuck…i am a douchebag and an asshole!! and now, i absolutely don’t know why, but she kissed me with her lips that tasted like coconut chapstick. i did not deserve that.

and with that brand new revelation, this ticking, time bomb has exploded, and left my mind working overtime and my heart with a new hole in it…

…boom…

our second journey, part sixteen, short story and photos…gallatin gateway, mt to big sky, mt…

i have lived in montana and driven through it, but i have never gone south from bozeman. i am so glad that i decided to go back to nevada using that route. i will say that everything that i saw in bozeman and after…and all the way through idaho was completely breathtaking.

it was fall and all of the brilliant colors of change were reflected in the constantly changing landscape…red, orange, rust, yellow, plum, magenta. i soaked every ounce of it in…knowing full well that i was headed back to the dull desert.

i kept finding these wonderful places along the way to stop and take photos…and as i did i shared them with my co-co-pilot j**s…who was also stuck out in the land of intense heat and cockroaches. and, i shared them with my roommate, j***y, who was from sweden and missed forests and nature.

gallatin gateway was basically the entrance to yellowstone national park…somewhere that i had never been and my dad always promised to take me to. the gallatin river runs alongside the road through the valley and pass. it’s beautiful with it’s little waterfalls and emerald green water.

the gallatin river inn and rv park was a super fun, kitschy place to stop and walk around and take photos. they had signs everywhere. i loved, “slow the hell down.” the river ran alongside the rv spots and it looked like a great place to camp. buggs was enamored of a giant sunflower that danced and swayed in the wind.

i had to stop and pulled over in front of the lazy t4 ranch. it was an absolutely gorgeous spread of land, with trees, fields, and rolling hills. the ranch houses were big and impressive, but it was the gate and mailboxes that i really liked. it began snowing there in big sky and buggs and i got back on the road and kept moving.

more tomorrow…

our second journey, part fifteen photos…gallatin gateway, mt…