Kids…

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I was stuck on a mountain top about maybe three weeks ago.  I was stuck for 2.5 days. While coming down off the mountain there were a lot of people assisting–it’s amazing how many there were.  I got messages from a sheriff, who informed me that he’d been talking to two of my kids.  Two of them sent me messages of love.

Unfortunately, I have decided that those kids don’t have a clue what love is.  They know what control is.  They know how to say what should be said at the particular moment.  But, they have no clue what real love is.  Which I find weird.  My oldest got up at my wedding and read 1 Corinthians 4-13.  Not that said child would accept this as a definition, but her mother would and since the mother is writing this that’s all that matters:

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Now, having defined what I might refer to as a definition of “perfect love” or at least something to strive for.

When I got home from the mountain–there were two things that I heard right away.  My 26 year old son made arrangements for his drug dealer to move in, take over payments, and this guaranteed a roof over his head.  He told at least one of his sisters that they could “visit”.  That takes some nerve considering that we were not even declared dead yet, and were missing all of 2.5 days.  Don’t consider me dead until I’ve been missing at least a week, I know how to survive.

The other story I came home to was that my oldest, 33 years old, had decided that she was the oldest next of kin to my (ex) husband and that she would be handling all the affairs (his and mine).  She obviously totally missed the fact that her father has three living sisters, a brother, and a living mother.  She also missed the fact that she was NEVER our intended or even our chosen person for handling our affairs–else we would have told her where the OFFICIAL paperwork was.  There were so many assumptions on her part, including the fact that she said any court would turn over the paperwork that we had filed….  Anyway, she informed the younger two kids that they would be paying her rent.  This story came over across from the two youngest and the story came across the exact same way from both kids.  When you get a story being told the exact same way by two different people, then you can figure it’s true.  At least that is what I figure.

I told this story at my women’s group, and on my facebook, and to a lot of other people.  Everyone one that I trust my true feelings with all reacted the same: “Well you know the truth about how they feel about you now.  It sounds like you need to take care of business.”  Only one of the older children was smart enough to keep her mouth shut.  My adopted child–is the brightest and most honest of the three oldest.

But, you know, it was my youngest who was waiting by the door when I got home.  It was her who filed the missing person’s reports, it was her who coordinated everything.  It was her who took it all in, and listened.  Not only was she at the door when we got home, but it was obvious that she had been in tears— there had been lot’s and lot’s of tears.  She didn’t make deals with any others out in the world, she simply did her best to keep things together to help the authorities— I told her yesterday, that if I should die tomorrow, I know she’s going to be ok.  No matter how young she wants to play her cards (she’s 18 and not quite out of high school), the truth is that she can survive rough times without me now.  That is a comforting thought for me.  Though a mom is never done…. for all intents and purposes, it means I did my job, and I did it well.   She managed to personify what I call love… she kept hopes up that mom was returning, she helped to lay out the groundwork needed to help authorities find me.  She gave it all she had, and she didn’t care about who was going to get what.

I’m not sure I can blame my older two for who they have become. The youngest of those two (the 26 year old) has had very little time with his biological father, and yet, he is his father all over again.  They both are just their biological father reincarnations–yup, yup, the guy who asked me to sleep with his sister.  I can see they can’t help the genetic mess they inherited, but I can also draw the line.  This is where I get off….

Two days after coming home off the mountain, I informed my son that his ‘father’ (adopted) was going to be his payee.  That is all I said. I did not explain anything, I did not go on…I simply said it as if it were a matter of fact, because it was.  I certainly did not expect the temper tantrum that we all got.  And I will be honest, so much was going on with this particular kid that I’m not sure I’ve teased it all right but, I got onto Facebook to see the remark:  “If I’m going to be treated like an animal, I’m going to act like an animal.”  Immediately, I took that as a threat.  No one was treating him like an animal.  The kid asked no questions, not even “what will change if dad is my payee?”  Next thing I know a friend of his is coming to me letting me know that he threatened to burn our house down.  Really? We could have died up on that mountain and you are supposedly glad we are home, but you are going to burn our house down?  It might not be worth much to anyone else, but for me it’s home!!  Maybe I could have ignored it, had he not already started a fire in our home (in a closet) a few years back.  I confronted him about that threat, which of course he denied.  I told him he needed to just leave the property.  Then came, of course, “mom go to the doctor with me so I can figure out what the threat was, how was I manipulating? ”  It’s all DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, get a book and read it.  I divorced your biological father over this crap, and I’m not going there again.  Figure it out, I’m not going to the doctor with you.

The son was moved out in less than a week.  But the next day after his friend told me of the threat, the friends car had a screw driver or something punched through is oil filter, and three belts were broke in that same day.  The son denied it, and then turned around and admitted it to his step-mother.  What I do not know is did he do it because his friend ‘snitched’ over threatening the burn the house down, or did he do it because he didn’t want the friend to “snitch” about what happened to the Jeep.  Either way—it’s nuts.

This 26 year old son, decided that we would die unless he went out and searched for me, NOW.  This 26 year old son is a non-licensed FELON who has NEVER had permission to drive anything of mine, or his father’s.   And yet the neighbor saw him and his friend drive the Jeep off the property.  When it was brought back we did not know it, but they had done major damage to it.

It just got out of the shop yesterday.  The bill came to $1800.00.  The rear end had a LOT of metal in it, and the spider gears were missing multiple teeth.  The bulk of the charges were from rebuilding that.  The transmission was full of water and the note on the bill says that happens when a vehicle has sat in water for  a couple of days.  And even though the transmission has been flushed and new fluids put in, it does not go into first gear on it’s own.  It now needs to go to a transmission shop, which will likely cost another 2K.  One child, two days=4K of damage.

The truth of the matter was that in about two more days we probably could have driven our car off that mountain.  We were never in any real danger.  We both know about ourselves and our bodies   We both are quite aware that we are survivors and what our two oldest children voiced and did was totally uncalled for, and inappropriate.

The guys (son and friend) still have not yet told us the truth about the Jeep. Their story is that they got into a pothole in Myrtle Creek and that it was so deep that the Jeep had to be winched out.  Right?!  You have a bridge to sell me too, right?

Parents might look stupid to all you young people out there.  But, the stupidity, usually is more like a “blind love.”  More than likely no one in the world is going to forgive you more than your parents will.   You can do some really stupid stuff–if no one else will forgive you, usually your parents will.  But, just a piece of advice, don’t take it for granted just in case.

But, parents are human too.  Their patience does wear out.  Some parents wear out before others….some are very, very long suffering.  Where ever it is that I fell on the continuum, the bottom line is that I have drawn my lines in the sand with my kids.
The oldest two biological kids are just shit out of luck.  I’m done being patient.

I’m tired of the violence, I’m tired of the manipulation, I’m tired of the baiting. I’m tired of the games that I never took as ‘games’.   I’m tired of dealing with all the ‘red flags’.  I’m living my life, and I’m spending their inheritance.  I promise you two, that no matter how much is left when I die—there will be NONE left for you.

And yes, every single house payment we make is money in the bank for the youngest. But, she was there!    She will never get an interest rate as low as the one we have now. It will be my honor to hand it down to someone who will respect the land itself and what it meant to us.

My adopted one—I’m no mind reader. I have no idea what she wants from me.  I’m really dangerously close to saying the same thing to her.  I’m tired of kids thinking they can ask anything thing they want of me, and expect it.  I’m tired of being bullied by all of them. I’m just tired.

And I’m sick of being sorry about being tired.  Therefore, no more apologies.  I am a good person, hell, I’m a GREAT person.  I am generous, warm, thoughtful, empathetic, sympathetic, and compassionate.  But from now on, I am #1 with me!

Clyde let me know that he’s known me for 13 or 14 years now and has never known me to be manipulative.  I’m honest, I have patience, I’m a survivor, I love to laugh…  I’m doing what I do best from here on out.  I would have loved to included you kids. But at this point, I don’t feel like you are even in my sphere of greatness.  Sorry, but you do not measure up.  And you know, only YOU can fix that.

“Float like a ButterflySting Like a Bee.”  –Muhammad Ali

So, the message is,  that parents run out of gas.  They get tired. They do reach the point where your shit just doesn’t cut it anymore.  If you do not want your words coming back to bite you in the ass, then consider not saying them at all.

What being stuck in the snow does for one’s sense of humor…

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

To Whom It May Concern,

My husband and I had the bad luck of having to stay in our car and ‘survive’ in the snow atop a mountain this week.  This ‘survival’ mode only lasted for two and a half days.

We arrived Sunday afternoon to only around 2-3 inches of snow after changing our flat tire.  Our low riding 4×4 Subaru Outback Legacy ™ got caught on a very small snow drift.  We used our poor dog’s blanket to try and get traction and get out, but alas our Subaru ™ was unable to use the Bratz ™ blanket.

We were unable to even dig our car out using simple Snapple bottles ™ where the bottom had been cut off in order to dig our way out.  I promise, I kid you not!!!

We decided to make ourselves comfortable and stay the first night.  We’d passed trucks coming from the other direction, we were sure we were safe.  Soon, the snow began to fall!  It just went on and on and on.  It continued to fall even more.  The next morning we were probably buried in a foot of snow.  At this point, we became acutely aware that we were probably in trouble.

I remembered that we had told our friend, a manager at Burger King ™ in the nearby town of Canyonville, Oregon that we were going to take photos at South Umpqua Falls and so I wasn’t much worried at all.  Well, at least for a while.  I was glad that I had even made sure to pack the extra ketchup packet from our food and stash it away in my pocket.  Burger King ™ uses Heinz™ brand you know!!

Well, that next day under a foot of snow. We had to figure out how to survive.  It’s sad but it’s true, that I learned the hard way that Eberhard’s ™ Ice Cream buckets are not only good for storing away dry dog food for long trips, but they also make very good toilets!  I have to admit that Kirkland paper towels make excellent toilet paper in a pinch.

We were soon thirsty and realized we’d be drinking melted snow. So we cut the bottoms out of an Aquafina water bottle.  The bottle became a very good snow scooper for letting the snow melt in (leave the lid on, turn upside down and it will stand in your drink stand), hence providing refreshing and life giving (no name brand, generic) water.

After our first night in the forest, I have to admit that my stomach began to feel a little pained. I started to be concerned about what we would eat.  I knew my husband had a small, two shot American Arms™ 410/45 Long Colt Derringer on his body, and so I prayed for a bunny to hop by. Then I remembered we had no way to start a fire, and so, I realized that more than likely lunch would be the Kirkland ™ Lamb & Rice dog food so highly recommended by our dogs vets over at DCLVS in Roseburg, Oregon.   So, defeated, and emotional eaters, we began to consume very small samples of the food.  We drank a lot of the generic water.

The first full day out there we tore up the upholstery on our front seats.  One seat provided us a bag in which to place both of our feet.  I have an inherited foot condition that makes it quite painful to walk.  That condition along with arthritis in my feet, and bad circulation kept my feet pretty cold.  So, my life partner told me to take off my wet socks, and place my feet in the upholstered bag with his so that he could transfer heat from his feet to mine.  I’ll tell you, there is no brand name for that kind of love!

The other front seat upholstery was cut open and placed over our legs like a blanket.  Atop of that was a liner bought to protect the car from our dog, Jake and all the hair he loses during his daily activities.  These along with our jackets (Bear Ridge ™ and REI ™)  made perfect layers and we only needed to run the engine full of gas from our local 76 ™ station in Tricity, Oregon every three or  four hours.  BTW, we did fill up before we left!

The first full day turned into the 2nd night, and probably another foot of snow fell.  We could barely get our car door open to dispose of bodily fluids, or to scoop new snow cones for drinking.  Egads!  By now, we really, really knew we were in trouble.   I spied the ketchup placed in the middle console and realized that it had a pal from Kentucky Fried Chicken™ a small container of Honey Mustard.  I asked my husband which he preferred and I shared with him the idea of a true gourmet dinner.  Fine dining at its best.  He refused my offer, I really don’t know why.  We ate more plain Kirkland ™ Lamb & Rice chow and drank lot’s and lot’s of generic (God freely given complete with dirt) water.  That day I also looked at a friend’s book that I needed to return, “Roberts Rules” copyright 1923, it looked like fire fodder to me.  But, alas, I remembered again, we had no matches! I was sad indeed.

The 2nd full day came and we were up with the sunrise.  Just like the day before we were having very deep and realistic conversations about if we were going to die. We were trying to figure out just how in the world, we could get someone’s attention. As with the day before, every time we started the engine we turned on our Duro ™ cell phone, and dialed 911, to no avail.  At the same time, we turned on our Vastfire ™ GPS, and pinged the minimum of four satellites each time.

I began to talk about how sad I would be if I died and my mother got the last word in our little tiff.  My husband offered very kindly to walk to find a soul who might remedy our situation.  He’d offered at least twice before.  The problem was now; I didn’t feel the need to disapprove of this very scary proposition.  I was facing being alone possibly in the dark; you know a whole other night.  I didn’t like that! After all, the night has always been a very scary place to be for me!

Since I had just approved of him walking away from me he decided to leave before I had a change of disposition.  It was early morn when he doubled up the Kirkland ™ paper towels, and placed them atop his head, sandwiched under a Dixie™ paper plate.  As he composed his hat to protect his head from the rain (yes, I said rain), I used a Bic ™ pen to write our names, health issues, and ages to help our eventual helpers to help us, the ones in need!  We just happened to have clips bought from Staples™ to pin those plates to the trees—  “Help Please, Clyde & Peggy Snyder, Heart Problems, HBP, Diabetic, 55, & 53!”

He emptied his camera case of its precious equipment, and he opened his package of doggie doo doo plastic bags—inside one of them we placed important cargo, three handfuls of Kirkland ™ Lamb & Rice.  Inside the camera case it went, along with the plates, clips, earphones (ear warmth—ok, ok, noise reduction) and the GPS.  He affixed a black plastic bag from Nick’s in Tricity (where the Snapple ™ & a 2 liter Pepsi ™ came from of course!) atop his head!

Alas the man kissed me! He promised he’d come back.  He left down road, I could not look back.  Being the emotional eater that I am, I started to look for breakfast… I spied that damn Kirkland ™ dog food and I tried not to puke.  My hand went for the bucket, and I grabbed quite a few, and I wondered how in the world I could make the crap go down oh, so smooth. I remembered the Heinz ™ ketchup and I grabbed it right up.  I slashed it open with a steak knife, and I dipped my first bite!  OMG, Glorious dog food. Kirkland ™, the BEST!!!

That was about 9ish in the morning the time that the man left me.  So, I’d consumed that damned dog food by a good 9:30—o’ clock.  I wrapped myself up in my foot bag, my blanket, and my dog liner for warmth. I used the car seat insulation for a pillow of course.  I folded up the Department of BLM, Oregon State Map ™, it was plastic coated and provided some insulation between my head and the window back west. I stared out the window and watched snow melt on down.  I noticed that the melting ice created a kaleidoscope of beauty of greys and white.  I thanked God for sharing his art with me.  I studied the artwork for hours it seemed….suddenly I was waking from a long winter’s sleep, but it was only 11 in the morning and I was too cold to sleep.

I turned on the engine; I still have ½ a tank. I ran it only for 10 minutes so that I could try and make it last at least a week.  Being the emotional eater than I am, I was convinced that I was starving….and I put in my hand.  Oh, glorious dog food, I tried not to puke I dipped it in honey mustard, and found out it was sad seconds to the ketchup. Just sayin’.

I had nothing more to do. My job it seemed was to survive so that I could live and see my man tomorrow. I didn’t want anymore of that Kirkland ™ lamb and rice!  All wrapped up again, I looked outside; I saw a little bent over man.  His bones were made of limbs of a tree, he wore a snow sombero, snow cape, and snow pants. I was pretty sure by this time I was getting a little delirious- I got out the Bic ™ pen and paper wrote down the time, my activities, and the time since my man left.  My little tree all wrapped up in snow clothes talked me to sleep and stayed with me for at least two hours. I turned on the engine at 2:30, I turned it off at 2:55.  At 3:00 I noted it had been about 6 hours, I prayed that I’d see or hear

Someone, anyone, in less than an hour.

At 3:15 – I noted two crosses on the window, God holding us in his arms, leaving us in his Grace, sending his message that we were indeed safe.  I looked again, and there the crosses still stood, a husband and wife, arms intertwined facing the world.  Thank you God for sending the message.  I am still alive and I will live… I just need patience…

I wanted to stay in this world.

I settled back down, and I wrapped myself up.  I told myself that soon, I was sure I’d see a real person.  Soon my eyes were closed, there was really nothing else to do….I felt the cold air hit my pretty warm face.

I told myself… that I was worth the fight.

I honored myself a beautiful woman, loved with delight.

I remembered that #shepersisted—and I knew that I, too, was at least that good.

The thoughts swirled and swirled inside my head, and when I heard that beautiful young man….

“Clyde… Is that you..??”  “Clyde….am I mad??”

“No ma’am, I’m Ryan, I work for the United States Forest Department”

Oh MY GOD! I’d just seen my first ANGEL!!

This angel, handsome was he, he checked my fuel and assured me I could run my engine freely.  Instructions were to keep warm and wait, he had sent off for help, I only needed patience for perhaps, 2 hours.  Best of all he’d seen my wonderful husband and HE WAS OKAY.

The very first tears fell… happy was I.  But, it didn’t take long for me to mop up my mess, I still had at least 2 hours to wait.  I checked the time at least every 15 minutes it seemed, I looked at the Kirkland™ Lamb & Rice and promised not to eat it! And I was pretty much done with that dirty damned bucket!

Pretty much two hours later, along came two more very handsome angels named Ken and Kehoe, Jr. I have to admit my eyes were on fire, I met so many young, handsome angels—I simply could not believe my luck, surely I was in HEAVAN.  I will never forget how hard they worked to force the little vehicle down the path.  At the bottom was Ryan’s Forest Ranger partner to drive me on by, to an ambulance for checking vitals.  The men there too, delighted mine visions—Tiller paramedics will never be forgotten.  We passed so many people; I could not believe what I saw.  Trucks and trucks from the Douglas County Sherriff, and Search and Rescue, too. We stopped a couple of times so my chariot driver to speak to a few, the men outside were full of smiles—I was really happy too.  My driver offered me nibbles of carrots, peppers, and broccoli, but I thought it was his lunch, and he looked so perfect and healthy, surely he worked hard, and needed nourishment…I could not take his lunch.  How did all these parents do it, raise so many perfectly shaped men?!  Oh I could barely take it, they were all very sweet, considerate young men. Might I say here and now, that I take it all back, there are out there, somewhere, quite a few REALLY GOOD MEN.

Next stop we met Kehoe, Sr. and a nice lady with a cookie and coffee.  I don’t like coffee and yet it turned out that it was manna from heaven!!  I was dropped off at the ambulance, my husband was there, my blood sugars were perfect, I remembered the name of YOUR F****** PRESIDENT!  My heart rate was a little fast, we discussed our options, and I said I want to go home and take my medicine.

Jerry came by and we got in to his truck.  He took us both home, back to Tricity…to my babies, my heaven.  We showered; we shaved, brushed our teeth—called his mother.  Called my sister.  Posted to Facebook—one little message.  Laid down in the most comfortable bed on earth, held my man, thanked him profusely, and said thank heavens.

I’m warm, I am dry, I’m fed, and I’m happy.  I know who I am, what I need, what I can share, what I love…  My kids, my husband, my family, my friends, those beautiful angels who showed up by the dozens…  I am thankful to all, and offer to share my bear hugs from Jesus…
I was released March 10, 2017—from a hell created by myself and reborn new, beautiful, and sweet.

I hope you never have to live through such days, but if you do….just focus on what is really important to you.  I promise you’ll make it and come out more beautiful too!!!

Dear Costco—what do you think?? My poor dog is missing some food from his bowl! Do you send out coupons that Jake might appreciate?  I hope you don’t mind indulging his master’s silly old wife!!

Sincerely, Peggy A. Rowe-Snyder

The Cost of being “famous”

One last thought for today. Kind of interesting, I guess….. Our street goes into a cross street and they make a “T” where they come together. We were turning onto our street, bringing the car home. The guy who was on our street, watched us turn on, and then made a U turn in the “T” and followed us and went by really slow past our drive way. He went up the road, turned around and went by again, looking…. on the phone… I can just imagine it….”Dude, I found where those people stuck on the mountain lives….” Geez! And I think this why? I walked into a store yesterday in south Roseburg. (Southgate) Cashier looks at me…. and then loudly (and remember I’m 1/2 deaf, so if I say it’s loud)…. “How’d you like it up there on that mountain top? Bet you were scared shitless!! God sure had his hand on you didn’t he?” He never waited for an answer… he ASSUMED he knew…. Bet, I wasn’t scared shitless!!! Not most the time anyhow. LOL