A return home

Last Friday I returned to my home-state of Michigan to attend my 20th high school reunion. I flew out of SW Florida as the hurricane was approaching Daytona Beach and watched news coverage from the airport. If you looked outside of its floor to ceiling windows you would have seen less wind and rain than a typical day during our rainy season, which is just wrapping up here.

Now I am back in Florida, back at my computer with cold Cuban coffee and listening to one of my favorite Detroit radio stations online, a station I was stunned to discover is still broadcasting (and as awesome as ever!). I listened to it while driving my made-in-Detroit rental car north on U.S. 23, fighting the familiar traffic that flees north on weekends, all while soaking in the beauty of a Michigan fall day with its grey clouds, blue sky, and bright sun peaking through to light up trees that were just starting to turn yellow and red.

Michigan in October

So much filled me with joy this weekend. Seeing friends who knew before I could read or write. Friends who saw me exactly for who I was in the way that only five-year-olds can. We swapped stories. We mused about what ever happened to this person or that who moved away in elementary school never to be heard from again. We tried to remember the name of our elementary school secretary (she was very much called a secretary then), and then finally remembered. (It was Dorothy.)

Mitten-State Love

The weekend closed with me sitting in a Detroit terminal eating a coney dog and Better Made chips, reading a copy of the Freep, the Detroit paper. I took a picture of these objects, that is how happy I was to have them in front of me. The only way to top it would have been to wash it all down with a Vernors pop. (And yes it is pop, not soda.)

There are other things I want to write about but can only do so in my journal. As I stood with a friend who has known me since I was five we nodded heads talking about how hard and complicated home can get when you are very much a grown adult. I thought about this as I stood in the local neighborhood market, staring at the back entrance where it used to house rental VHS cassettes, and then possibly DVDS, swapped now for shelves that sell craft beer. The butcher department still smelled of fish but strangers walked the small, neat aisles.

driving on US 23 in Michigan

As I drove south to the Detroit airport for my return flight, I found myself glancing at the Michigan highway ditches, half-expecting to see egrets hunting for fish instead of the goldenrods that were in bloom. Now I am home. Florida-home. Discussing the hurricane that has passed. Eating leftover take-out Caribbean food. But I am listening to the Detroit radio station, now available online, still as awesome as ever. And it turns out that U.S. 23, the road that leads to home in mid-Michigan, also goes all the way south to Florida, too.


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It was a SARAH kind of day

Where to begin! I have so many stories to tell and I haven’t posted in a few days, so there is a log jam. Must get words on paper!

First, I want to share that it is October 1st, and I have been called to write about BREAST CANCER PREVENTION. I am going to brew up some creative projects related to this topic, so STAY TUNED!

Secondly, I am possibly in the works to collaborate on a project for a pregnancy loss awareness event. Because guess what folks….October is also pregnancy loss and infant loss awareness month! So much to be aware of, am I right? Ha! Just poking fun at myself. I think awareness is a good thing, but I think speaking our truth is even more important because it is what ultimately connects us to others. I hope to speak my truth on this as well and more to come on what I have up my sleeve.

Thirdly, I had a really funny day yesterday. Epic.

It was a SARAH DAY.

What is a Sarah day? Well, I am Sarah. And there are things that only I am capable of. I have a knack for finding myself in absurd situations and it might have to do with the fact that I am known for being a bit, what is the word….flaky? Head in the clouds?  I have learned to laugh about this part of my personality. I AM OWNING UP TO IT.

 

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Let me set the scene.

Act 1. Sarah registers with Southwest Airlines with her full name – maiden and married name both. Her Rodham Clinton name, if you will. Sarah racks up points with her favorite airline.

Act 2. Sarah moves to Florida and goes to get a new driver’s license. They say, oh we cannot take your OLD license with your Rodham Clinton name nonsense as proof that you are who you say you are! Show us your social security card with your FULL NAME. Sarah says, well you see I technically never changed my name with the federal government (as if) and they say, well tough cookies. You are going to be listed as your MAIDEN NAME because bureaucracy.

Act 3. Sarah books flight with Southwest. They force her to use her Rodham Clinton name. Which now no longer matches her license. Sarah is pulled aside by TSA and interregated. Where are you going? Why would you CHOOSE to fly to Ohio? You have been married nine years and never changed your name? FULL PAT DOWN LADY. FULL. PAT. DOWN.

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Act 4. Nine years after marriage, Sarah supposes it is time to officially change her name with Social Security to her Rodham Clinton last name. The social security admin office is oddly efficient. The customer service guy teaches her daughter how to give the “OK” sign underwater while scuba-diving. This is her new favorite thing. He laughs at the stained marriage certificate with its envelope falling apart. Nine years huh? You laugh. Everybody laughs. THE CARD IS CHANGED. VICTORY IS SARAH’S.

Act 4. Sarah goes to DMV. Final step within reach…a card that matches her valued Southwest Airlines account. Because for real that is what created this cascade of events that should have been prevented nine years ago. I digress. Sarah has her picture taken but is sad she didn’t do her eyebrows because you see she was on her way to get them waxed and tinted after the DMV appointment. Man her photo looks bad without her eyebrows done. She considers how people are barely staying alive in Syria and she is worrying about her eyebrows.

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Act 5. Almost there. SO. CLOSE. Sarah gets out her wallet to pay. The woman is scanning the documents into the computer–and stops. Where is the seal on your marriage certificate. What seal? Further inspection shows that Sarah has been using (successfully, mind you! With DMV offices in other states! With the Social Goddamn Security Administration) the certificate from the DAY of her marriage, the one that lasts 24 hours, the one the officiant signed, and was supposedly filed by said officiant with the appropriate agency.

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The woman at the DMV says she has never seen this in her entire life of working at the DMV. You say, what, there are not other Sarahs in the world??

She says no honey, get your shit together.

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Sarah says I AM TRYING!! I AM REALLY TRYING.

Sarah leaves empty handed. She calls her husband and tells him, oh by the way maybe we are not officially married? HAHAHAHAHA. He laughs. She laughs. First ten years just a test run! We will “renew our vows” but actually really get married this time! HAHAHAHAHAHA.

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Act 6. Sarah pays exorbitant amount of money to have final marriage certificate sent via certified fast mail. Sarah is unable to speak to a human to verify that it ACTUALLY EXISTS.

Act 7. Sarah’s sister leaves her a message and deadpans, Sarah, this wouldn’t happen to anybody but you. Really. 

 

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LISTEN YOU ALL. THE INTERWEBS TELL ME THIS:

After your wedding, it is the responsibility of the person who performed your wedding ceremony to make sure the license is recorded with the county where you were married. Generally, a few weeks after your wedding, you will receive your marriage certificate in the mail. (EDITOR’S NOTE: I NEVER DID I SWEAR! OR I LOST IT. THAT IS POSSIBLE TOO.) That said, even if the officiant fails to file the marriage certificate, the two are usually still considered married.

Still legit y’all. Not living in sin! Not the parents of a child born out of wedlock!

CARRY ON. NOTHING TO SEE HERE.JUST ANOTHER SARAH DAY.

(P.S. My husband just chimed in, “I’d still marry you again!” Me too, hon. Me too.)

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I would ask if you could relate but I am pretty sure no, you can’t. Nope. Nobody can relate to this nonsense. Y’all got your names changed and put your paperwork in a safe like a month after you got married. I know you did. That is ok. We can still be friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alternate Realities

Today, my dishwasher that has been on the fritz was repaired quickly and painlessly and–get this--it was covered under warranty. And the repair person replaced the motherboard “just in case” and again, let me repeat, this was all fixed free of charge.

And then later in the day I called about a medical bill that I’ve been trying to get resolved and the woman told me that not only did they just receive payment from the insurance company (finally) but it turns out they owe me a credit. Yes that’s right, the medical establishment is cutting me a check. 

This is some twilight-zone alternate-reality stuff right here all right.