What a nice couple of weeks it’s been here. Not too much going on ‘shakedown’ wise, and beautiful weather to boot! Last weekend some good pals and I had a really delicious tuna salad for ‘Sunday ‘brunch with the girls’ (well, every Sunday is ‘Sunday brunch with the girls’ here) and a relaxing day off today. For lunch we had a very good pasta salad with some (real – not canned) fresh veggies. Heaven. Then they went and served us a huge piece of super sweet watermelon – my favorite, YUM! Dinner was a large fresh chef salad with, fresh veggies. OH I’m feeling spoiled! Guess I can’t complain about our (normal) lack of fresh veggies THIS week J
This has been a couple of weeks when I am GLAD that there are many (nice) women here. Sometimes the back biting that women tend to participate in really gets to me, then they go and show their caring, fun, nurturing sides and it’s all good. We had a side splitting time sitting at the morning table this morning. I won’t even mention one of the main subjects…you can take a guess or two. Hey, our OTHER subject was how to help the world; it’s not ALL about that other one.
Then we had more laughs when we sat around the Native American circle this afternoon; those gals were a real hoot. Most of the ladies are over 50 years old, and of course once again you can guess the main subject. Women are really good at sharing their feelings – good or bad. I guess the good ultimately outweighs the bad – especially if you are choosy with whom you hang around with.
After dinner I laid down on a bench near the trees and vacillated between watching the clouds swirl into patterns of rabbits and butterflies, alligators and monster insects, and closing my eyes and just feeling the breeze on my cheeks and listening to the birds calling to their lovers. I recalled a time I went to an outdoor jazz concert in Sedona Arizona, and it felt like I was back there…the weather, or something about it overall. The memory made me feel all warm and fuzzy and happy. I didn’t move from my fantasy Sedona for 40 minutes.
Soon after I headed out to watch the local firework displays. You can see about 3 medium size shows from this prison. It was fun; everyone taking their chairs outside and hooting and cheering. The shows weren’t THAT impressive, but it was still fun.
When they called yard recall, and we all ran inside, all the girls were singing the “Star Spangled Banner” as they rushed like a wave of ants swarming, trying to secure a shower stall for themselves. There are about 18 stalls – and 150+ women! It was hilarious. It was a ‘prison’ moment I won’t soon forget…
This holiday is about celebrating our freedom. I will be celebrating MY personal freedom next year, when I get released to the half-way house in September. It’s a little scary really, not knowing what it will be like…how much ‘fall out’ I may still face. Since I decided to stay and face the music, I have to do just that; and I’m afraid that maybe the fat lady hasn’t sung quite yet.
I just hope that whatever we all face on the outside, we’re learning to face it with honesty and dignity. That’s all we can do. I never realized I would be one of the inmates a little nervous about getting her ‘date’ (to leave). This is a shock to me. We’re all human, and it’s a rather big, scary world out there if you’re a convicted felon…with potential enemies that you made, fair and square. It’s also weird to be starting over AGAIN, at 58 years old…with basically nothing (material) to your name (not even your name is good!). Guess I’ll join the majority on this one. I’m grateful however to have SOMETHING to my name…a desire to improve myself, compassion, a strong work ethic and a hope to make the world a little better place – somehow.
I will be celebrating many other women’s freedom in the meantime, as they leave here to start new lives. I am grateful for the freedoms I still have – that no one can take away. And for THAT, I celebrate the 4th of July wholeheartedly – partying with my ‘prison pals’ !