Echoes Trailer

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Country at Heart

Country at Heart

I always love to visit the city,

Where I can find most anything,

But I was born in the mountains,

Where each breeze seems to sing.

Some call it Mountain Fever,

Some say it's just insane,

I love to drink the mountain air,

Love to taste the summer rain.

I believe John Denver had it right,

"Almost Heaven" is what I see,

I can act sophisticated,

But country roots run deep in me.

I head to the city to dance a while,

Maybe walk on a marble floor,

Kick off my shoes when I head home,

I'll be country until I breathe no more.

© Dianna Doles-Petry


Monday, March 14, 2011

When Friends Divorce

When “happily ever after” ceases to exist and two people realize it is time to end a marriage it involves far more than just the couple making the decision. Family members are often expected to take sides and sometimes friends back away from both parties because they don’t want to be forced to choose a side. True friends realize what a devastating time of change this is for the couple and try to be there for both the soon to be ex-husband and the soon to be ex-wife.

Just the word “divorce” can cause a panic attack in most people. Women tend to visualize a future life of loneliness for them and a life of frolicking like a stud in a field of mares for the man. A man often equates a divorce to losing his home, his family, his bank account, and his place in the community while the woman moves on to a life of jet-setting and choosing her next conquest. One friend who recently went through a divorce told me, “I started out with nothing and I still got most of it.”

In reality, a person facing divorce is facing being alone for the first time in quite a while, many years in some cases. No matter what the reasons are for deciding to end the marriage, it is not easy to do things on your own that you normally did with another person. People going through the divorce process need someone to talk to, someone to cry with, and someone to help them vent when they feel anger building to the boiling point.

My late aunt used to tell me, “If you can’t see the bright side of life then maybe you ought to polish the dull side.” With that in mind I am trying to help a good friend through a divorce by helping her navigate through this period of change in her life. She is very sensitive right now and indecisive about a lot of things. She still thinks in terms of “we.” I was so proud of her this weekend when she finally placed the term “ex” in front of husband because that means she is finally accepting the hand life has dealt her to play. Until a few days ago she was telling me this situation was really just nothing more than a storm in a teacup. She was sure it would blow over and life as she had known it would resume.

My role as a friend is to be supportive during this very emotionally charged transition. When my friend just wants to be alone I try to honor her wish. I try not to push her too hard about doing things but at the same time, I cannot allow her to sit alone too long or let her own life become stagnate. I know she needs time to sort out her feelings, her affairs, and her plans for the future. I have made myself available to help out around her house as she needs me, to listen to her when she needs to talk, and most of all to comfort her when she is feeling like a failure.

I’ve also been trying very hard not to take sides. I’ve been friends with both of these people for a long period of time and I’ve watched them drift away from each other with one financial crisis after the other and the loss of beloved family members. I hold my thoughts and opinions to myself as much as possible because it is up to both parties in this marriage to decide what choices they want to make for their lives. It is difficult though, because the husband in this case has already moved on and started to rebuild his life before his wife has had time to really absorb the idea of not being married anymore.

My biggest fear in trying to be a good friend to all of the parties involved is that I will make mistakes along the way. I don’t want to say anything that offends the people dealing with this situation and I always try to remember how scary this time is for my friends.

Divorce is a bit like being trapped indoors during a snowstorm. You can view the snow from your window and feel cut off from the world. You can’t see roads, you don’t see birds, and you have no idea when the snow will stop falling. You’re cut off from the world. It’s just you and storm. You can succumb to the storm or take refuge in the snowy blanketed earth to find a place of serenity.

Life is all about choices: to marry, whether or not to have children, what type of career to follow, how to divide the chores, whether to have a pet, and even whether to rent an apartment to buy a home. Every choice we make has a direct impact on how our lives will play out. Sometimes just allowing your friend to reflect on choices made in the past and listening to the history of the marriage can help to clarify the confusion and anguish left by the breakdown of the marriage.

So, I’ll be a good friend and listen when my friend wants to talk about her husband. “He came in here to get some of his things and he ran around like his feet was on fire and his backside was catching up!” We’ll giggle sometimes, share sad moments at times, and I will always encourage her to find her wings again because I know she can soar once she gets some wind beneath those wings.

Dianna Doles-Petry

© March 14, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

House Sitting

The night was just settling in when I pulled into the gravel driveway of my friend’s house. She was going to be out of town a few days and I had volunteered to make sure her beloved pets, Hershey and Mr. Jiggles, were cared for until she returned home. It was a task that should have been as easy as sliding off a greasy log.

I pushed the front door open and was greeted by the two little yapping dogs as they barked and jumped in circles at my feet as if they were performing a rain dance. I took turns petting each of the dogs before filling their food bowl with dry dog food. Hershey took a few bites of the food and then headed toward the water bowl. I followed closely behind him to add fresh water to the bowl.

The water bowl had been moved to a small bathroom before my friend had left town. If the dogs knocked the bowl over in there it wouldn’t hurt anything. I made sure to add fresh water to the bowl every day so I had seen this bathroom several times.

As I reached down to pick up the stainless steel bowl to fill it with fresh water, Hershey moved around in the bathroom. I didn’t pay much attention to him since there wasn’t anything there he could damage. When I bent over to place the full bowl of water on the floor, I caught a glimpse of movement from the corner of my eye.

Now normally when a woman says she wants to be equal to a man she is just being nice but tonight I will confess to having a few fleeting seconds of wishing I was a half-drunken man feeling like I was ten feet tall and bullet proof when I thought I saw a huge flying spider heading in my general direction! It doesn’t take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep but I surely should have seen a spider that big hanging around in a bathroom the size of an ordinary outhouse!

I felt the screams coming from my throat before I heard them. Poor Hershey tried to run past me and I started to fall backwards out of the bathroom and into a small hallway. I remember closing my eyes and cupping my hands over them. I swallowed hard, my mouth and throat felt dry. I gathered my courage and peeked into the bathroom through trembling fingers so I could at least see where the spider was so I could try to fend off his attack.

As I looked into the bathroom, I felt like I was out in the middle of a tornado with an umbrella. My face had to be as red as an overdrawn bank account. What I had thought was a woman eating spider the size of Texas turned out to be a purple octopus body massager. Apparently the dog had picked it up and tossed it while I was filling up his water bowl.

I swear, sometimes I think my antenna just doesn’t pick up all the channels. From now on when I agree to do any house sitting, I’m going to check the place over for insects, pets, possible intruders, and all personal massaging devices! A girl can never be too careful you know!

© Dianna Doles-Petry