What A Ride

Lights In the Distance. . .

Walks’ Outdate – 12 Days and Counting

By Steven Maisenbacher

Walks On The Grass

Well my friends this is gonna be the last edition from me until after I’m out and able to start writing again. I figure a few days ought to see me to having the wherewithal. Smile.  At that time I’ll be telling ya all about my trials and tribulations, and experiences as I work through all the challenges ahead. I’ll be writing down what I’m thinking, feeling and doing, and how I’m getting it done.

In these final days, I won’t just abandon you; I want you to understand that I’ll be wound up tighter than a sweat lodge drum, a million thoughts an hour and like 5 or 6 coming into focus at a time, all those pre-release need to do’s, want to do’s, have to do’s and grudgingly will do’s as well. I have bombarded my cellie with questions by the dozen. I can’t tell you how many times he has told me I will have all the answers to any questions in the palm of my hand once I get a phone but still he continues to answer my every dumb query: Can the phone play the radio thru the speaker if I want it to?  Is there a way to make my phone into an alarm clock? What’s a virtual assistant and how do I get one?  

See, all the stuff you take for granted is about to be new and uncharted territory for me, so I’m busy as all get along. Like just a few minutes ago I finished addressing a box of stuff I want to keep so I will be mailing it to myself the day before I leave, but if I go to the mail room AFTER lunch to mail it, then it won’t leave till the next day’s mail or on the same day as me, so that’s pretty smart. I was gonna mail it to my brother’s house but then I realized that would have been too much of a hassle. Then he would have had to make a trip into town with it to bring it to me at the halfway house which is on the 2nd floor above a separate a substance abuse re-hab place with lots of clients.

So it’s all coming down to the wire and I was thinking this morning I have way less time left to serve than I have served as punishment for incident reports I have gotten throughout the years. To me that seems crazy, and everything is awhirl for me right now. As the days go by it seems like they are slow and fast at the same time. Slow because I want to get more info in my head on some of the things I expect to encounter, or things I just think of it and a few questions I know won’t be able to be answered till just before I leave. Last week I got my actual travel itinerary and it feels good to know exactly what to expect.

ITINERARY: Birmingham, AL to Springfield, IL – Est. 21 hours total
Aug 30: Arr. B’ham bus station early in day (with sack lunch)
6-hour wait in B’ham to catch evening bus (bringing a book to read and extra water)
Arr. Memphis middle of the night (3-hour layover - bringing snacks)
Wee hours to St. Louis (1-hour layover in AM)
Aug 31: Arrive Springfield, IL 12:30 pm 
Catch a cab to HWH Arrive by 1:30 pm 
Also included: Cash for three $7 meals and gratuities (Are they kidding me? BOP fantasy land)
Will wear gv'mt issue Dickies and a polo shirt (will forego the tacky fake patent leather shoes and wear my comfy old Nikes)
Will carry all medications, testing supplies and Insulin for PM & AM
Will bring my walker w/seat and cane 
Will carry my most valued/sacred possessions in pocket or small bag
Will donate everything else to an old friend if I get the chance to meet up with him and/or my cellie. 

So from now thru the first week of September at least, I’m going to be preparing for my actual release. After that I’m sure Sings will have plenty to edit and post on my behalf so that those of you who have been faithful readers, dropping in weekly can continue to see what kinda antics or rigamarole is astir. I just want to say thank you for being interested in me and my story. I don’t know all your names right off the top but I have seen them from time to time when Sings relays your messages, and responses. They mean a whole lot.

It’s truly touching that you find time out of your days, your lives, to connect with me. It means something because I can tell you, it isn’t money or material things that mean anything for real; what really matters is time and how you spend it and who you spend it with. That is meaningful, believe me and just knowing that each of you spends some of  your time with me is wonderful. For this I thank each and every one of you. Once my circumstances change and I’m able to visit the website and Facebook, maybe I will be able to speak directly, answer questions or whatnot, but I’m not gonna count my chickens ahead of hatching. Like I always tell Sings, I’ll burn that bridge when I cross it, so I won’t have to go back and do it again. Smile.

And one last note, last night I had a long conversation with Booger. I explained to him what’s about to happen and told him he could come with me on the bus if he wants. As usual, he called me Daddy-O and told me he’d think about it… but I know he isn’t about to miss out on an adventure! You know for so many years Booger was as much a part of me as my arms or legs, so I let him know that I would never abandon him because he was there for me when I needed him most, when I was down and hurting. Booger has been disappearing a lot lately, running off chasing the prison cat or whatever, still sometimes he shows up to let me know he’ll be around if I need him too.

Sort of  like all of you who have all been there with your kind words and your thoughtful critiques and opinions, you never abandoned me, and I won’t do it to you. My circumstances will be changing but I want to take you and this with me and I will be here for you in any way I am able. In the meantime, please pray for others and be kind; one random act of kindness can make a huge difference in someone’s life. I promise you this is so. As for me, I’m gonna keep pushing… Hey! try this out, go listen to REO Speedwagon’s song, “Keep Pushing On.” Heck, I think I’ll go get my mp3 player and take my own advice… Have the bestest kind of day…….talk with ya soon, very-very soon…smiles as big as possible…

Published by Edna Peirce Dixon

I am an 80-something elder, a child of the great depression and WWII. I have lived a good life doing all the ordinary things valued by women of my generation. Through it all, I have also been a seeker, an outsider by nature, never quite "at home" in any group, but always looking through cracks in the fences of life, questioning, challenging, learning, trying to make sense of the world and its conventions. A registered nurse by profession, I am a lifelong student with a love of writing and interests in history and genealogy. In my golden years, just when I was starting to wonder what I was going to do with the rest of my life, some unexpected things happened that led me down new and unfamiliar paths. I’ve since learned it took a lifetime of experiences to prepare me for the new challenges and opportunities to come. The lessons these new challenges bring comprise the magic elixir that keep me seeking, keep me aware, keep me vital.

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