Friday, October 19, 2012

Kevin Nelson @ 10 y/o. Music is with Kevin Nelson in the band At Athens Alone @ 17 y/o


video
Published on Oct 19, 2012 by 
Kevin Nelson @ 10 years old in Gig Harbor, Wa
Song "Lie Much" by: At Athens Alone

Fotos by: Lara Nelson
Video Editor: Windows Movie Maker
Peace & Thanks 4 watching!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lara Nelson ~The Power Within 2005


I found these glass beads in the yard not long after my son was taken to Ecuador.  They were his glass beads and got inspired to take some art shots.  These were lonely, sad and desperate days, but I found hope throughout it all.  This was a good day during a hard time.

I did another version of this that I put up on DeviantArt called "Reaching Out" then I painted it with smudge in Photoshop in some artsy way.

This shot, if I remember correctly (i have the original psd file amongst my 1000's of shots I've collected on my external drives) was only slightly post processed in PhotoShop, by cropping out and putting on a black layer.

All else is a candle, my fist, lighting from a window, the beads and my fist.

I found this today by accident. A second one of my external drives appears to be not working (pc wont recognize it, powers up, but does not show a drive letter).  I had a mini meltdown, cried it out for hours, while trying different usb, power cords, even shaking the damn thing.  I know sounds nuts but what I went through to protect the last vestiges of my son's and my past, documentation on his kidnapping, memories, my writings, work, portfolio, College stuff... and on and on ad infinitum, was a daunting task.

Photographs & memories seem to be what's been the most important things for me to collect, but would lose so much with the constant moving around throughout my life.

Back to the this piece "The Power Within".  Because of the insanity of BS I was going through during my son's abduction, I stopped uploading to DeviantArt and missed this one.  I am loading it first to my blog now, then I will add it later to DeviantArt.

Thank you for checking it out... Peace
Lara Nelson
10/18/2012 ~10:00 pm (pst)
(IDK why i put all that above, but I did)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wrote 7/19/12 (Updated 10/15/12)

The weight of heavy, haunting,
pressure, pushing through my skin,
Rusty nails to put the pieces
on the walls soon crumbling in.

The anxious, bony shivers,
shakes our home into the dark,
The temporary light we get,
soon reduces to just sparks.

Thick is the air we breathe,
Keep still this heavy air,
Living mostly in silent movies,
accustomed to pitied stares.

A life still longing,
for now this our home.
Not left much on this carcass,
just shreds, flesh and bone.

~Lara Nelson



Saturday, September 29, 2012

Off the Cuff...9-29-2012

The sun was still high up in the sky. The sky was very blue, bright with patches of variably shaped clouds. I was looking out of the passenger side window in the front seat of the brown station wagon as we pulled out of the driveway.

My right shoulder felt warm from the sun beaming through the half cracked window.  I remember thinking that my arm was cooking in my "Easy-bake" oven, and was amused by this when we stopped, suddenly just as we pulled out of the driveway of our house on Paco drive.

I think it was my big brother who noticed the wounded woodpecker.  We were now outside of the car looking at the little hurt bird.  My brother said some things to my parents. I can't remember what they were talking about, but I knew it was about that hurt bird.

My brother asked me for my fisher price barn.  It was in the front seat on the floor and I was happy to get it.  

I looked up to James. He had gentle green eyes, like our mother.  He had so many animals in the Paco house.  I wonder what happened to them, looking back in retrospect.

I leaned in and opened my barn. I don't remember why I knew what he was going to use it for, but I emptied out the farm figures, little plastic fences, those rounded wooden people figures with mini plastic golf ball heads, onto the floor of the front seat.  I gave it to James and he carefully lifted the bird and placed him in the top loft of the red toy barn.  I loved him so much at that moment and felt so much warmth that day.

Driving down the highway with my arm ready for a bun and sauce, I placed the barn on the floor. I held the barn in my lap for what seemed a very long time. It was dark, impossible to keep my eyes open, so I bunched up some pink puffy thing, maybe my down jacket and let the sound of the engine lull me to sleep.

When I woke it was morning.  Everyone was talking, i think it was about breakfast.  We pulled into a drive-thru and got a bunch of food in paper bags, steaming with something that smelled like food.  My brother asked me to pass him the barn with the bird and I did carefully.  

The next memory was when my brother, mother and I were helping "Woodstock" (named after Snoopy's yellow, upside-down, flying friend), build her nest.  We stood on the second floor back balcony of our new condo in Santa Cruz.  Woodstock would fly to the wood rail of the balcony and delicately pick up a twig that I, my brother or mom would set there. 

Woodstock would fly back and forth, collecting the twigs.  It was magical and it felt good to assist in making her nest.  I just remember how cool it felt that this tiny little woodpecker trusted us that much. We did this using one twig at a time and over a period of hours or days (I'm not quite sure), Woodstock had her nest in the tree just across the road from the back of our condo.  

I spent many hours on that balcony during that time.  Sometimes there would be the whole family out there, sometimes myself, at times my big brother, or my other brother who was 5 or 6 years younger than James. It was a small balcony.  Not even big enough for a table, maybe one chair, but we all managed to fit out there, together at some point, feeding Woodstock worms or something that woodpeckers eat.  

Not long after that (my mom or brother, dad, not sure) handed me some heavy, black binoculars and I could see the nest! There were little baby birds squawking and Woodstock was putting food in the mouths with her beak.

I'd go out onto the balcony early mornings, as the sun would rise and listen to the "tap tap... tap tap tap" of her knocking her beak into a tree.  I believed it was her and that was good enough for me.  I was 5 and it did not take much to make me all fuzzy inside.

I guess the name "Woodstock" works for both female and male birds.  It would also make a great name for a rock concert.

~LGN 9-29-2012 (now to edit and re-edit and edit and re-edit and edit and re-edit, until done, or sompin' like that)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Off the Cuff...9-25-2012

The day is dark,
the clouds are gray.
The 'Sound of Silence",
begins to play.

She dreams in private,
for few do know,
what's inside,
and will not show.

Too many pieces,
all broken and far apart.
Too many holes to fill a broken heart.
Too many places, too fast and moved too soon,
With each new dynamic, she's viewed more as a loon.

But, the day may rain,
This soothes the pain,
into daydreams she falls.
Her smile is in school today,
he's on his path and on his way.

She dreams of paving the cracks in the roads,
She'll pick up the pieces,
fix, mend and sew,
Mixing and fixing the pain in our souls,
Broken, but better,
for now we both know.
But, he's still a child,
there's much room to grow,
She hopes truly he see's
what she's trying to show.
And he's always shown her,
that love is enough,
that can't be replaced by tales
and a bunch of old stuff.

This kid is so sweet and kind in all this,
it's taught her something more.
He does not care about those "things"
that haunted her before,
He love's to see her laugh and sing,
and this he wants much more.

The rain will come, and may stay dark,
As with the sun it fills her heart.
We've battled, hurt, but come this far,
after the rain, may come the stars.

~LGN 9/25/12 (will edit and re-edit till it makes sense to me)

Friday, September 21, 2012

August 2005 Pic Shoot Day b4 trip. One of my fav's

I kept the green Granny Smith in the freezer for over 8 months, 
until almost the end of the lease was honored.  
I took it out one evening and fell asleep with it. 
In the morning it was brown and mushy 
and I finally had to toss it, but I tossed it
to the trees where my son would practice fly fishing:))

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Farmer's Market Port Orchard

Photobucket
This was sometime in 2008.  
I loved this booth at the farmers market. I could not buy the hat and bag, 
but I was able to get a picture of me wearing them:) 
So unique. I love farmers markets.

Getting through the nights~ Memories of then.....



http://laralearner.deviantart.com/

Though she moves tirelessly towards the light,
the darkest eyes of madness haunts her.
She feels unsteady at this height,
his words of sadness haunts her.

Despair leaks from her thinning lips,
“don’t follow me”, she cries.
She feels the passing of time, that shifts,
then wipes her tear stained eyes.

Angeled over the edge,
Far below, he's calling her.
The lying words behind her, nag,
“One step, one step, go further”.

No, no! she cries aloud,
for she may fall too deep.
She wont listen, for she has found,
She’s better fit to sleep.

The dreams they come, so quick and clear,
Every hour she wakes in sweat with fear.
Nobody's here, his words come again,
"one step, one step and you'll soon be with him.

She begs soon she'll sleep, She'd rather fight monsters,
then listening to madness and it's crap that it offers.
"stop talking to me, your not even there,
your pushing too hard and your stripping me bare,
you want me to fall, you don't even care,
so, shut the hell up and get out here."

Her eyes close again, in an hour she'll wake,
start battling voices, she know must be fake.
She'll fight till she's weak and pass out again.
to wake in an hour and do it again.

~About 11th street house 2007, updated 9/9/2012  LGN~

On 11th street~



Photo project for worth1000.com (toadclipper)
I joined worth1000 March 18, 2005,
5 months before he left to Quito, Ecuador.
http://www.worth1000.com/artists/toadclipper/stats/1 

Misplaced fragments, loss parts of time,
Paced and paced, to calm my mind.
Deep inside I'd look and find,
My hearts still glowing, My soul still shines.

My interest's are going, there falling behind.
Please bring him back, we'll make it this time.
God I will do, in my heart what you say,
even if now, it's here I must stay.

Soon it will be, soon he will scream.
I hear his voice, he's calling for me.
I feel so helpless, I cannot reach him.
Oh god won't this grieving come to an
end.

I waited for so long, but even longer it feels,
Mistakes I was making and nothing felt real.
So, drifting around the room that I rent.
it was so much more fitting then a boat or
a tent.

I needed a home, not much, just a place,
where he could come back and to just touch his face,
his very own room, a town he could live,
growing up knowing all of his friends.

For then I must wait, pacing my eights,
stare into the pictures alone in my head.
patience i'm getting better at this.
i'd Sit still for hours, waiting for bed.
Maybe, just maybe, his life I wont miss.

Soon he is coming, he's bringing the phone,
I can't wait to call him, but at the same time I don't.
I pace and pace and pace with the phone.
Finally dial and nobody's home.
I call and call and finally hear,
his voice that would save me,
yet fill me with tears.

Desperate our talks, so much to say,
Mom can you hear me, listen i'll play"
He'd rock his guitar, and then I would say.
"Kevin, can you hear me" Yes, he would say.
"I love you baby" I love how you play.
The phone starts to break up,
his song fades away. This long distance's daunting,
then the signal is gone. I turned off the phone,
and still heard his song, over and over again in my heart.
I'll keep hearing his song, until he's not far.
Then I will hear every word that he'll sing,
every drum he devours, no more "broken Ring".
(from kevin's song: http://www.reverbnation.com/open_graph/song/14221946)

I kept waiting and waiting kept perfectly still.
Do what he wants, all of his will.
It's not all that bad, He brings me TP,
some food, some coffee, on my ebt.
He had the wheels, I had the heat,
I know it sound silly, but i was the meat.
He was a connection to get him to me.
So, I did what I did, I guess it was need.

Looking back, just a person, who lived in a dream,
but, what I had needed was a friend who would see.
I never lied about the situation I'm in.
But, that did not matter for the love he was in.

I am ashamed.  I gave into this.
I became what he wanted, for spare parts and bits.
The constantly pampering his every sin,
giving in over and over and over again.
 "Oh god how I love you and tears flow with this"
Then, give in to pressure and give him a kiss.

The hospital loonies were just like me,
I'd find ways to get back, so I could be me.
but then finally I soon started to see,
the pounding of pills, was making it harder to see.
This man, dear God, with him I can't see.
a father to Kevin a husband to me?

I left how i could, He tormented my kid,
God, I just got him home,
why'd the hell he do this?
So, I did what I did and I paid a high price,
but, in the end Kevins happy at night.

He was my payee,
my "I thought" my friend.
I did start to love him,
I practiced and studied,
but could not pretend.
The poems I'd wrote him,
I meant at the time,
just trying to make him this in my mind.

I do not hurt or miss any of this.
I now have my son back and am far over this.
Just thought I'd let this out of my head,
so it will stop playing and that scene can end.

~9/9/2012  LGN


Pre-packaged Convenience Food, Can’t Compete With a Home Cooked Meal


Lara Nelson
970032809
English 101 Section: SA
10/12/2003
Example Essay

(update 2012: Back when Kevin was 10 and since he was born, i'd made everything from scratch. This was such a joy for me. There was a time in my life I wanted to be a chef, or own a muffin/espresso wagon in Key West, go to the culinary school of the arts, I do not cook now like I did before. Kevin's much older and he never complains, but I can't wait to cook for him like I did in those days.)

It is seven in the morning, a Monday, and the day is dreary and wet.  Kevin, an 8 year old boy, would rather snuggle up in his heavy, warm comforter than get into the shower.

Dad helps him into the now warm shower after letting the water run for a few minutes.  Kevin starts to fall asleep standing up, the rhythmic pattering of warm water on his skin is now whisking him back into dreamland.

Kevin is now sitting at the table, chanting “I’m hungry, breakfast please!”  Mom comes in with a bowl of cold Cheerios and a glass of cold milk.  “Maaam!” he says in a long drawn out groan.  “Cold Cereal?” he states, disappointedly.  “Yes, little man, I’m sorry, I’m in a hurry and I must get going”, mom said, with a guilty tone.

Kevin did not have a great day at school on this particular Monday.  He felt rushed and not as important as on the days that mom or dad take the time to make him a good home cooked breakfast and chocolate milk.

He had trouble paying attention in class.  He seemed very distracted when the teacher would ask him questions.  When he came home he was cranky and unreasonable with mom and dad.

It is seven in the morning, a Tuesday, and like the day before, dreary and wet.  Kevin’s comforter is his sanctuary, warm and safe.  He hears the shower and pulls the comforter over his head and drifts off to sleep again.  Dad helps him to the shower, speaking in his sweet daddy voice, “Time to get clean, liggle boy”, as he affectionately calls him while helping him into the warm shower.  The mild water beating gently on his skin feels good.  A joyful grin takes over his face slowly as the smell of sausage fills the air.

Kevin is sitting at the table, in his bedroom, watching his favorite morning cartoon chanting, as he does most mornings “I’m hungry, breakfast please!”, but today mom enters the room with a steaming plate of savory sausage links, fluffy scrambled eggs, the eggs topped with his favorite seasonings, crispy wheat toast spread with strawberry jam, and an icy cold glass of chocolate milk.

“Hah hah hah”, he pants like a ravenous wolf, “no acting like puppy”, daddy say’s with a hint of pleasure in his voice.  “It’s just that this is my favorite meal”, Kevin sings with great pleasure.  He gobbles the sausage, laps up the scrambled eggs, munches down the toast and jam, and slurps down the cold chocolate milk.

School went great that Tuesday morning. The teacher said he was very focused on the activities that were assigned to him.  He was in a cheerful mood that entire day.  When he returned home he hung his jacket where it belonged, instead of tossing it on the floor, he asked, politely if he could watch TV and responded gracefully when mom said “not until after you practice your lessons on your guitar”.

Although it may not be convenient or even possible to make a home cooked breakfast, from scratch, every weekday morning, it sure seems worth it, to mom and dad, when they do make the time to do this.  Kevin’s days almost always go by as seamlessly as a young boys day can when he starts his day with good home cooking instead of just a cold bowl of Cherrios.

The Four Dollar A Day Habit


Lara Nelson
970032809
English 101
11/04/2003
Division and Analysis

It seemed that every Monday through Friday, before I made the decision to not do this routine anymore, I would stop by my local coffee shop on my way to work, and wait in a line behind maybe 3 or 4 people, all of us waiting to place a tall, medium, or large espresso coffee drink order.  If the line were longer then 3 or 4 people, I would still wait, even if it meant I would have been late for work.

Even though I had repeated that same routine many times, every Monday through Friday, it still would take me a moment or two to decide on the same coffee drink I would order every weekday: a 20 ounce americano made with Sumatra coffee beans, a half ounce shot of sugar free caramel syrup, foamed skim milk on top, and room for cream.  Why I never wrote this on an index card and recited it to the barista is beyond me.

I did enjoy the atmosphere of the Kimball Espresso Gallery Coffee Shop, on Kimball drive, in Gig Harbor Washington, the old lived-in couches, abstract paintings on the walls by local artists with price tags displayed underneath each one, the mini running water fountains, the local folk music playing, with the artists music cd’s for sale displayed on a rotating stand by the door.  I also enjoyed the aromas of fresh ground Sumatra beans and toasted almonds that filled the air.

It’s not that I could afford the luxury of spending 3 dollars a day plus a 1-dollar tip to the barista, it's just that I felt a sense of privilege as if I were a part of a corporate world of remote laptop computers, Wall Street Journal Newspapers, PC Magazines, intellectual conversation, intelligent music, hot lattes, cappuccinos, and americano coffee drinks.

I enjoyed the luxury of drinking coffee out of a disposable paper cup.  It felt lavishly selfish knowing that I was the first person to drink out of each new cup, a cup that before my lips no other lips had touched, and when the coffee was gone I could just throw the cup away.

I guess at that time this selfish luxury helped compensate my low esteem.   I don’t even think I really enjoyed the coffee shops coffee anymore than if I would have brewed it myself.

"Oh, who am I kidding it could never compare. But, I should not do this, when money is scarce,  and if It gets better, then should know.
I don't need to do this on every "weak" day. Drink expensive, cool coffee, then toss earth away."

I was awed by the 20-ounce recycled paper cup which was inserted into another cup of the same type, then placed in into a brown recycled paper cup holder (to protect hands from the hot contents that was inside), topped with a domed black plastic cap with a hole to insert a straw.

It felt good at that time that I could frivolously spend money just like the people who pulled into the shops parking lot in Jaguars and BMW automobiles, that I was their equal and could live and behave like I believed they did. For a moment I thought this was it what it is.  I never wanted the cars, just the hope to fit in.

The stylish design of the cup and how the hot liquid felt through the cup on my hands had given me comfort, like a warm blanket on a cold day protecting me from the brisk coldness of a world I normally felt unfit to live in, and how when holding and drinking from the cup added to the illusion of acceptance, success and security that I had created for myself.

It seemed a waste to just throw away such a brilliantly engineered cup with all of its parts, but yet it still was thrown away at some point in the day.  I would sometimes refill the cup at work with the free Yuban coffee made for the office employees.  The Yuban coffee did not taste all that bad when I drank it out the elegantly designed paper cup.

I was a student at college who purchased my clothing in thrift shops, my groceries in outlet stores, and yet I was willing to spend 3 dollars plus 1 dollar tip for a cup of coffee every weekday morning, that I could not afford.  I had to ask myself why I was so convinced it was such a luxury to drink coffee out of a paper cup enough to spend such a large amount of money every weekday.

I also asked myself how much money in a year I could save if I were to give up this lavish habit.  I did the calculations and was a bit shocked to discover that I was spending $960 dollars a year!  To some people that may not seem like much money, but to a college student with an 8 year old kid, bills to pay, and living paycheck to paycheck, this was insanity!

Why I did not just buy a bag of Sumatra coffee beans for 10 dollars a pound, grind the beans, and then brew it fresh I did not know then, but I think I know now.  The coffee would have lasted me a month and I could have had a second cup of the same coffee without returning to the coffee shop.

I did and still do have a coffee maker on my desk at my office, but I guess the routine of going to that coffee shop, the smells of the shop, its atmosphere, and that fantastic paper cup, played a huge role in my being compelled to keep up that routine.

The weekday morning ritual was comforting. I was calmed by the repetition of the routine.  I felt for a moment, when buying an overly priced cup of coffee in a fancy paper cup, privileged, like the person who drove up in the Jaguar or BMW, and a sense of control over the ever stressful, unpredictable workday that awaited me.

I believe I may have been addicted to the strength of the espresso which was made by applying 200 lbs of pressure that pumped out perfect one ounce shots of espresso, the consistency of warm honey, of which I would have 2 shots in my americano, from an elegant but forceful looking espresso machine.  I never considered at the time that my coffee habit was not much different then that of a cigarette smoker.   I depended on that coffee to control my mood and give me energy, yet that americano coffee drink, almost always left me feeling jittery, not completely satisfied and craving more.

Was it the caffeine blast, the routine, or the feeling of privilege that compelled me to keep doing, what was for me, an irresponsible practice?
There are certain things that I feel I should be able to control in my life: who I love, how I love, who I spend time with, whether I choose to watch a television program or read a book, and what I eat, so I should be able to control an expensive coffee habit, right?  Sure I could, and I did gain control of this habit.   How I gained that control was not by eliminating the 20-ounce americano forever, but limiting how often I indulged in having it and when I did, I would make it a truly special occasion by bringing my husband and son.

I began a new routine of making coffee at my office in the machine on my desk and decided on getting a brand with only half the caffeine to drink on a more regular basis, as well as a bag of Sumatra beans that I would grind in the five dollar coffee grinder I purchased at a local thrift shop, just before brewing, and I would drink on occasion only, to avoid getting the jitters.  Also, I purchased an elegant custom painted ceramic coffee mug, for nine dollars at the same little coffee shop I bought the pricy americano coffee drinks to drink my coffee in.

Now I brew fresh coffee and enjoy it out of an artfully designed, hand crafted mug every weekday morning, instead of drinking the expensive americano coffee drinks prepared by the barista.  True, I’m still drinking coffee (I never said I wanted to quit), but I feel I took a step in a positive direction making the changes I did.

A one pound bag of Sumatra coffee beans can last me approximately two months at ten dollars a bag and the tin can of coffee with half the caffeine as regular coffee can last me three months at eight dollars a can, adding up to approximately $92 dollars a year, significantly less than what I would spend before I quit the four dollar a day habit! The late arrivals to work, from waiting in the occasional long line at the coffee shop, have ceased as well.

I enjoy my new routine of preparing my own coffee and on the days when I make the Sumatra I put my nose up to the fresh ground beans and smell the rich aroma just before putting it in the coffee filter.  Once and a while I still go to the coffee shop, but now I go with my husband and son on an occasional Saturday or Sunday, my son will have cocoa, my husband a cappuccino, and I always have my usual americano and we all enjoy the cozy, intelligent atmosphere together.

The adjustments I have made in my routine have made me happier in the sense that now I truly do have control over what makes me feel good, when in my old habit I did not really have that control, because I was spending money that I could not afford to spend.  It took a little time to get used to the changes, maybe a week or so, but than I felt just as good in my new routine as I did in my old routine, but this time I was saving money and not feeling wasteful or selfish.

I feel better about myself because I am not wasting money for something I do not need and instead that money can be spent on my family.  I am not late for work anymore, because of the occasional long line at the coffee shop, which I am sure my boss appreciates.  Also, I am drinking less caffeine on a more regular basis and as a result my nerves are calmer.  In all actuality I feel better than I had before, because I don’t have to frivolously spend money to enjoy a good cup of coffee or drink coffee out of a paper cup that will just get thrown away.

(updated  ~9/9/2012 LGN)

~Rollercoaster Hill~ Laurel ave


Lara Nelson
970032809
English 101 Section: SA
10/05/2003
Narrative Essay


It was 1975 on an avenue the kids proudly referred to as “Rollercoaster Hill” where Tara would face her fears and attempt the impossible.  Laurel Avenue was the streets true name, but the name did not suit the streets mountainous structure of highs and lows.

The kids were Tara, Laura, Laura’s brother, Daryl, and Jamie.  Tara was 8 years old with an uncontrollable fuzz of blonde hair and had exactly 29 freckles peppering her nose and upper cheeks.  She grew a new freckle for every one of her father’s birthdays.  “Freckle Face Strawberry” her dad would affectionately call her.  Laura was 9 years old as well, with a flock of soft, burning red hair and a face so covered with freckles; one could barely make out the ivory white skin between the red dots.  Laura’s brother Daryl was 15.  He looked almost identical to Laura, but awkwardly taller, with his hair cut just above his ears; he looked a bit like marionette dangling from the sky with invisible strings holding him up.  Then there was Jamie, shiny blonde hair, flawlessly smooth tan skin, and Laura’s best friend.

Tara and Jamie did not talk much, except for Jamie’s occasional teasing at Tara’s expense.  Jamie and Laura spent most of their time together.  Tara kept to herself mostly and was ignored almost completely by the two girls when they were at school. Sometimes they would appear to nod their heads her way, but Tara was not sure if that was acknowledgement or just a coincidence, or even possibly them acknowledging someone behind her, she could only hope.  It was only on Laurel Avenue, “Rollercoaster Hill”, where Tara was allowed to participate in their activities and be a part of their group.

On most Saturday mornings in Monterey, California, the air felt cold and damp.  The sun would not shine through the fog for hours. Today was no exception.  The cold wet dew glistening on Tara’s bicycle bit her fingertips as she gripped the handlebars.  “This will be the day I do it”, Tara thought to herself, with great anticipation.  “I will ride the monster, TODAY!” she said in a low, but strong voice.  No one was around except for the newspaper girl who was walking while methodically pulling out one newspaper at a time from the canvas sack hanging from her neck, then tossing them onto neighbor’s lawns and front steps.  She did not appear to notice Tara talking to herself; then again, she did not appear to notice Tara at all.

The tomboyish Tara turned her bike to face “Rollercoaster Hill”.  She felt so very small looking up from the bottom of the hill.  Every other attempt to ride the hill the way the other kids would ride it, had always been a complete failure.  She would get to the top of the hill, begin to go down, riding her brakes the entire way, never getting up the courage to lift her feet to the handlebars and let the bike “free ride” down the monstrous hill.

Today would be different.  Today she will earn the kids respect.  Today they will accept her into their group and acknowledge her existence, in school on Monday.
Tara started pushing her bike up the hill, pumping icy air into her lungs.  She could not have possibly rode the bike up that hill, though she had tried before, standing up on the bike, attempting to pump the peddles, but could never get the wheels to turn even once, so pushing it up the hill on foot was the only way to get it up there.  When she reached the top, she gasped for air, she felt a sharp pain shooting through the top of her chest, “That’s a mother of a hill”, she thought to herself.

She stood at the side of her bike for what would seem like an eternity, looking nervously down from the top of the steep hill.  It was amazing that no cars had driven on the street that entire morning, almost as if it were meant to be, the gods were speaking, Tara will ride Rollercoaster Hill and we, the gods, will make sure that no cars squash her during her daring attempt to change the rest of her life.

“Ah Crud, I can’t do it!” she said, in a low voice, through gritted teeth.  She pushed the bike to the sidewalk, laid it down, plopped to the cold damp pavement and moaned quietly under her breath.  “I just need a moment”, she thought.  She rose to her feet, picked up the bike, marched it back into position, hopped on and started going down.  Without a second thought, icy wind whipping through her ears, piercing like needles, waking every available nerve, she lifted her feet, the bike wobbled a bit, but she regained balance, the peddles would spin wildly on their own as if being driven by some uncontrollable force, her feet pressed firmly against the now dry handlebars.  “I’m doing it!” she squealed joyously in her mind, but could not get the words out of her mouth, for her lips were gripped together with excitement and fear.  Before she could even finish and get the scream of complete pleasure out of her mouth, it was over.  Her legs and feet came down from the handle bars and she skid the rear tire to the side like a pro, bringing the bike to a perfect stop.

Panting with excitement, her cheeks red and glowing with pride, she could barely contain herself, she wanted to yell to the world “I Did It!”, but half the world was still sleeping.  Then reality hit her like a blow to the head.  “Ah Crud!” she thought disappointedly.  She was so caught up in the fact that she finally rode “Rollercoaster Hill” the way the other kids did, that she’d just then realized that no one had seen her do it, not even the papergirl, who was long gone by now.

 She pushed her bike to the sidewalk and let it drop with a “clunk” and plopped herself down on the chilly pavement.  Picking a stone out of the front tires crevice, she Gazed up to the top of the hill she had just conquered, she flicked the small stone into the middle of the street and sat in a meditative state for a short while, her mind buzzing, her heart pounding, soaking up her moment of glory.

The kids would not believe what she had just accomplished, if she tried to tell them “they would just laugh”, she thought.  “I could ride it again with them watching, but I don’t think I could handle the teasing, if I blew it” she thought hopelessly to herself.

Tara finally got up after sitting for a short spell, hopped on her bike and rode home.  Mrs. Brewer, Tara’s foster mom, Laura and Daryl’s real mom, had pancakes, hot maple syrup, and cold milk set at the breakfast table.  Jamie was in Tara’s spot at the table. Jamie joined the Brewer’s for breakfast religiously, every Saturday morning.  “Ya snoooze, ya loooze” said Jamie tauntingly.  “I wasn’t snoozing, I was out riding my bike” Tara said with a hint of pride in her voice.  “Where did you go” Mrs. Brewer asked Tara, in a sweet motherly voice.  “Oh, I just followed the newspaper girl around; I wonder if she knew I was watching her?” Tara lied.

Tara was ok with the other kids not knowing that she’d finally conquered “Rollercoaster Hill”.  She knew that she “did it” and that satisfied her for now.

The day finally came where she did ride the hill in front of the other kids, but half way down the hill, the bike began to wobble and she could not regain balance, then the bike barreled, full force, into the curb, the bike bounced off the curb and flew into the air and when it came down, one of the handle bars buried itself under one of her ribs.  The pain was excruciating.  Surprisingly the kids did not laugh.  Daryl ran to her side.  “Good try tiger” he said, helping her to her feet.  “Are you ok?” asked Laura, assisting Daryl in scooping her up from the ground.  Jamie even said something that Tara could barely hear, but sounded like concern.  She didn’t need to go to the hospital, but there was a dull throbbing pain under her rib and she felt nauseous.

A week or so went by and the big bruise under Tara’s rib was yellowing and not hurting so much anymore.  Tara bravely rode the hill again and came to the same perfect stop as she did on that frosty morning when no one saw, but this time the kids did see.  “Right on!” she heard one of the kids yell out, but that was it.  They didn’t cheer and roar as Tara had hoped for and the girls still ignored her when they passed her by at school.  Nothing had really changed.

The hill that had haunted her for so long was now conquered and the other kids saw her conquer it.  They saw her with her feet up on the handle bars flying all the way down to the bottom of “Rollercoaster Hill” without “eating the curb” and for that moment, she felt accepted, part of the group, one of the “Gals”. Tara felt like she could do anything.

Most every Saturday morning after that day, Tara woke up early, got on her bike, and rode that hill like a champ.  She did not need an audience anymore; she just enjoyed the sheer excitement of blazing down that hill with the cold wind slapping her face and numbing her nose.

(updated  ~9/9/2012 LGN)

~Strawberry Freckle~ (updated: 9/30/12)

You and I are masters at getting under our skin,
You have nuggets and i have boulders of memories
we've lived.

We've argued and battled and never gave in,
we could have gave just a little and let the peace in,
We'd have laughed and remembered all the places we'd been,
and would have forgotten all the rips and the tears on our skin.

An onion that's bitter, with layers to shed,
has a center that's brilliant and shinning within.
The ego will peal away, bit by bit,
and each coming day, would get better with this.

An abstract, long journey to get where we're at,
from each home we'd run and never look back.
Your freckled face berry, and one time you said,
with each brand new freckle, one more year
you'd get.

As smart as you are and all the places you've been,
your knowledge, your truths, examine within.
The best and most honest accounts of our lives,
are truly the best ways to open our eyes.

Remember this and try it some time,
when your touching a heart, don't go in blind.
Open yours up, remember the boy,
touch their hearts back, and fill them with joy.

The stories we want are the stories we've lived,
Blistered and twisted, and not just pretend.
You may be surprised with the outcome you'd get,
when you'd sleep at night, you'd dream to no end.

You do have a story, but open your heart.
Speak from the moment when your faith in love starts.
Speak of your past with honest intent,
Sprinkle those ashes, he'll love you for this.
don't leave him alone, under your desk.
Free his ashes, so he can now rest.

"I was a child who ran full of laughter,
I was a child who lived for today.
my eyes full of sunshine,
my heart full of smiles,
I was a child, for a day." *

Carmel, Cara Grey, Tree houses and
James Taylor Ray,
a sketch of a horse in his room where it laid,
A singer, an artist, he'll be this someday.
Yes he's getting older,
but he's still very young,
You are the father and he is your son.

Michael is happy and free from his fears.
He's back to his go-carts, ice hockey, crowd cheers.
Smiling and laughing and cutting it up.
I still can remember when he was young.
He loved to fix things and take them apart,
put them all back together and this is an art.
He could have done this a mortal and filled
those holes in his heart.
I know he still does this as a soul in the stars.

His journey's not over, hes still on his trip,
when he left he was reaching, but terror took him.
So next time we see him, no pain in the way,
we'll tell him we love him every heavenly day.

Nothing is over, this stories not done,
with it's bumps and it's bruises, just missing someone.
Do you think me as bad as the things that you say?
You say that i'm mad, always losing my way.
I'm putting together, to understand my mistakes,
many parts and lost pieces, before it's too late.

What I am doing is connecting the dots,
but the model I'm using, it's timeline has spots.
I'll give all my best to not let my son down,
Not haunt him with channeled, dark deafening sounds.

Los Altos, Santa Cruz, Forest grove, PBBeach
and 17 miles to drive.
The black top popped off at a high racing speed,
Looking out the door window, seemed 10 thousand feet.
My hair went mad, wild and I could not see,
that what scared me the most was right next to me.

Again, as before, her wind-chimes will ring.
She'll open her door and let the sun in.
Peace soon on her side and able to sing,
Remember her voice, soft, tender and sweet?
Remember the night I danced on your feet?
Remember the kumquats on the Paco house tree.
Remember, Dagen, Tyler, Cannabis, and Sati,
Zhivago, Crumpet, and Tuesday my cat?
Remember the "green eggs" and the "cat's big, tall hat?
Rays "Charlie Brown Christmas", the one tree we'd plant,
Big Sur, crawdads and fishing with cheese,
tire swings, laughter and everyone sings,
slept in a tent, or under the trees,
swam down the river, but not too close to the sea.

Take care of each other and inspire to live.
Try hard to keep sober and not over do it.
Meditate in your faith and give love to no end,
then wake up each morning and do it again.
over and over and over again,
till you know nothing else,
but the love that you'll give.

-- LGN written 9/19/12 (updated: 9/30/12)
* Child for a day ~Cat Stevens

Saturday, September 15, 2012

This happened in 2005. I had updated the story later after I had him back.

 

Our story (Kevin and I, Mother and son, Second time I've had a child taken from me by a father from another country....)  in short:

They were to go on vacation to Quito, Ecuador to visit my ex common laws family. They have traveled before and to key west. Within 2 weeks, I get a call from Fernando Lopez, that they are never coming back. there is a huge long story in between all this, but too much to try and fit in here.

He left me with all the debt, 2 cars, 1045.00 month rent with the landlords(they would not let me out of the expensive lease and they knew he took my son. We were not married by law and were both on the lease. They held me to this lease and threatened my good credit if I did not complete the lease. So much more awful stuff over 5 years.

Some of what happened in the first week of the "vacation" they were not to return from.....

When my son was abducted by my ex-common law and taken to Ecuador. I was forced to stay in the duplex by the landlords, due to the lease agreement.  The rent was 1045.00 a month and far beyond my means after Fernando (ex-common law) took my son and left all the debt behind for it to snowball on me.

I remember taking my son Kevin (ten years old at the time) and Fernando to the bus that was to take them to the airport.  When they drove off in the bus, Kevin and I touched hands through the window, just as in the movies, while blowing kisses and mouthing our goodbyes.

They left August 18th 2005 and were supposed to return September 8th .  This is so very ironic, because it reminds me of a song by “Greenday”, “When September Ends”.  This song is now imprinted in my mind for the rest of my life.

I received a phone call from Fernando about a week before they were to return.  I was standing in my sons room, filled with his drawings on the walls, toys laying still on the floor in the same place he left them before they went on this (so called) vacation.

Fernando stated, quite firmly “This is going to be VERY, VERY, hard” then said, “America is not our home anymore”.  I fell to my knees, I begged, said anything  “I love  you”, but at that point i did not anymore. Affection for each other rotted away over the years. but, Fernando let me believe we were best friends and were working things out.

Fernando seemed to me to be a very cold person, void of much feeling.  At least to me that is.  We were never really close and he was very secretive.  I never felt that I ever really knew him.
He claimed I called him ugly, but this I did not do.  He’s not an ugly man.  He must have had an audience, or this I assumed.  He was repeating much of what I said.  So I figured he was not alone when he was telling me all of this.

After he hung up, I was in a panic.  I paced around the now empty, very empty apartment.  Finally I called a friend, who instructed me to call the police right away.  She herself had just gone through a very ugly divorce from a man that was trying to take away her kids.

I did just that.  I called the police.  When the Officer arrived (from the Pierce County Police Dpt.) he listened patiently to my panicked story and regretfully told me there was nothing they could do, because he was taken by his natural father.

Now how did he get my son out of the country?  He had convinced me that Kevin needed to change his last name (the name on his birth certificate) to reflect that of his Ecuadorian grandfathers.  This was because (so he told me) Kevin had a trust fund and would not be able to get to it, if his name reflected that of his Ecuadorian grandmother.

Although I was hesitant and distrustful of this, I went with them to the civic center and helped to change his name from Kevin Anthony Matheus-Nelson, to Kevin Anthony Lopez-Nelson.  I believed that keeping my name as his very last name would help me with any custody issues.

Wow, was I naive. I was not overly concerned that Fernando was trying to kidnap Kevin at this point, but still cautious, worried, but Fernando was all I knew for the 11 years we were together.  We moved constantly, by his request. I would rebel, because I did  not like leaving each new apartment, job, friends, community, each time.  So, like a fool I trusted he really cared about Kevin and I.

I contacted FBI, Missing and exploited children (who did their best to help. I researched and contacted many lawyers that would do pro bono, in vain.  My own boss at the time loaned me his lawyer for a day and he could not help.
Pierce county police could not help (the officer did not even make out a report, said it was because it was the natural father that took him. We were not married and had no decree of custody. Nobody could help me. I did have option to have the father of my son arrested, the person i thought was at the very least my friend, but I did not. I have many reasons for that, that I myself can't completely explain, at least not yet.

I was scared, angry, paranoid, lost, I can only imagine what a freak i appeared to be to anyone who knew me from before.

That's just some of what we went through. We are together again. He's happy and adjusting to life, finally in one spot, not all over the place.  .

It sucks, big time the position he put us in, the lies, the keeping us apart, long extended periods, months, no communication, stories told to my son, different told to me. I'm happy a friend of mine saved the Bcc'd copies of a portion of email correspondence that shows much of how it started, which i hope in some way shows proof of the insanity, for the very least to prove my son and I are not insane.

We are most definitely alone in all this and it felt or feels like it's not taken seriously, and that we may be just whining and to move on, if people only knew they pain and trauma it is to be separated from a deeply loving parent, or a mother from a very bonded, loving, happy child, is absolutely devastating and seems to not just "go away".  Getting someone that can help to actually look at the whole picture, read everything, it's difficult, and I completely understand.

I never had much interest in finances, probably what gets me into trouble.  I was very good at finding work, waitress, hostess, cleaning, etc... then finally got my GED, Then college and 5.5 years of a career and growing.  I thought I was on my way and Fernando managed my college loans (I'm an idiot about this stuff he'd been through this many times before and helped others, like his second wife's son get to college, so I believed he knew what he was doing, i just signed what ever he put in front of me, yeah I know, dumb. I trusted.)

He convinced me to start getting credit cards to build credit (so we could buy a house, my FICA score was getting really good and he is the one that taught me about all this)  He convinced me to keep getting more cards, that this was necessary to build my FICA score, so I would pay less down on a house, lower interest and lower monthly payments, sounded great to me. And more than willing and was working for it.

Things purchased by me on my credit cards, gas, food, bills, gifts for birthdays and holidays (using one card to pay another, he said this is how it's done, i guessed it was, still not sure, don't have good credit anymore) My huge error (and a close friend pointed this out to me, was that I never learned to manage my own money. I could make it just fine, and i am extremely frugal, I shop, thrift stores, grocery outlets and garage sales, I'd never frivolously spent money, apart from things for the family, holidays, occasions  birthdays, stuff like that and even then I would bargain shop (I'm not complaining about that I'm a thrift store junkie:).

My student loans for an Associates degree, from a community college amounting in 26.000 K, How, I did not find this out until after he left, I still don't know.  I was on deferment for a few years, but they don't seem to bother me anymore and were always kind to me, they are the same student loan carrier that Fernando uses.

So, He appeared to be helping to build our dreams (whether we were working as a couple or not, he still led me and others around me, that I know of, to believe that we were together and working on things, that money problems, too much work, school and stress takes a toll on a relationship and to at least stay friends and co parent.  I know we discussed this in college, but then seemed to flow back into this robotic relationship like we were some big happy  family (publicly), but at home separate rooms and no conversation).

I got my son back and I need to get my priorities straight, Health, happiness, bliss, togetherness, and learning the gift of helping others, accepting whats real, and start learning to heal  It's not like were starving.

Kevin and  I stay strong and believe it or not have found happiness and we are bonded again like never before, but this person took the dreams we'd been working for away (or at least they were my dreams, not sure at all what his were). So, we are trying to rebuild.  



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A lyrical Journal entry (a letter to them both) (unsent)

(Written 9/9/2012 completed 9/11/2012)

I know these stories from beginning to end, I've lived them in my head, over and over again. From what I remember and when I began, From constantly moving from each home we ran.

Starting over and over and over again, Only wanting a home where we'd all fit in, Learning, growing, tried not to pretend, Hard working and caring and love to no end.

I tried with both fathers, gave all that I could. I was only ever doing what I understood.

With you both I kept isolated, but you knew this was me, I still do till this day and it's ok, i believe. I focused on improving, learning and growth. You'd both lifted me up, then dangled the rope.

With children involved and a mother in fear, it does not take much for her to shut up and hear. no excuse can I make, but I did not know, your true intentions, i fell for the show.

I know that now i must move on and let go, but one daughters hurting and my sons not yet grown.

You were not the fathers I'd hoped you would be. I tried hard to follow your rules and now I can see. Your rules were for you both and not the kids. My instincts knew better, but alone I live this. over and over and over again, I've been living this movie and it still will not end.

This is not a life one chooses to live, with not many options, at times i'd give in. This time in my life, I learned so much more. I believe what I've learned is helping him soar... I hope next for her, that she soon will see, her heart will re-open, ignite memories.

She then will remember the mother she knew, though years split between us, we always re-grew, came back together and did what we could, I felt reconnected, but long distant's no good.

I don't think the punishments fit my crimes at the time, But, I would soon then agree. Submit to your ideas and stop believing in me. living in crazy, losing my mind, but, I found hope in my children, my heroes pulled me through, so many times and they never knew.

Memories of them would lift me up to the sky till i'd opened my eyes, then realized these children I adore are no longer in my life. Did we deserve this, constant questioning myself, just at times you two haunt me, explain to us, "why wont you tell?"

Both of you changed and rapidly so, but, with you both i had children and both of you know. I would nave never done to you, the things that you did. I always felt I was fair, for the love of our kids.

They are not property, or to be tossed aside. we brought them into this world, And the land you hate paid both rides.

Why'd you return to those countries and stay, From what you'd both said, you'd hated their ways, I'd been to your countries and found things I love, found love in your mothers whom you both think low of, found love in the language, and hoped to fit in, I probably could have, if you'd have both let me in, kept dark from your secrets, to cover your will, isolated at home, learning convenient new skills,

You put not one penny or love into them, They grew in your lies and learned to pretend, One I can finally help and be there for him, the mother he needs so, his life can begin.

Still one lost, hurt, lonely girl, just 25, was with her till 6, I had to try, the rules got so heavy and more kids would've come, with no peso, no fairness, My education begun.

Got her back at 13, just as I knew, he tired of her, and on the plane she flew. and then I was finally with both of my kids, continuing college and stocking the fridge, what was their need to further our pain? I may never know this, still my brain pushes in vain. For now what I do is keep visions of her, sending her love through this big universe.

Although, looking back, and would not want to live it again, I do in my head, for this story wont end. I guess it's ingrained that this is the way, may have some re-learning from those games That you played.

Lara G. Nelson 9/11/12 3:37 pm peace out.....

Stuff I'd like to get back to doing....

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Family Tree (Written in 2007) Michael David Nelson, RIP

RIP Michael David Nelson (my brother) I wrote this in 2009. 

I was living in "hospital housing". It was my own place and where I needed to be at the time. I received a phone call that he passed. Tears were difficult, because i was load

ed on Psychotropic drugs, heavy ones, so much so, that I would forget what year, day, time or if life was real or a dream. I am not on any of that anymore.

I was medicated because of a series of breakdowns when my son was abducted August 18th 2005. My life had been on "hold" until we finally reunited. Still in a bad situation, Kevin and I finally got to a "safehouse" and are on our way to a safe and happy life. These were dark days.

I was starting to connect with Michael not but weeks or a month before. He told me many things, we cried, he apologized for so many things, we both did. We were kids, grown up, trying to make sense of the chaos that it was and was turning into. Peace and understanding, love and truth. What constitutes a family..... I am still learning.


Dark are her roots,
Deep buried pain.
The family tree,
blooms insane.

Her brothers passing,
one leaf fell.
Left blackened blossoms
of a personal hell.

Tortured was his soul at night.
He took the pills to stop the fight.
An accident, they say could be,
but this is not a thought for me.

He wrestled demons from deep inside,
till monsters surfaced and would not hide.

His leaves held on for 46 years.
His blossoms at times were bright.
Holding back acidic tears,
but then gave up the fight.

She too blossoms from this haunted tree.
She too fights the demons.
She too holds back the tears.
She knows what he was feeling.

Dark are her roots,
soon rain will fall,
and nourish this tree,
once and for all.