The Meaning of It All
by ANN ULRICH MILLER
© 2015 (all rights reserved)
An article from the October 2015 issue of THE STAR BEACON.
Back to Colorado
By the time you’re reading this, Star Beacon and company will be on
the road back to Colorado.
That's right, we are returning home.
After 17 months in Washington state, we are reclaiming the snow and cold, the sunshine and blue skies, the magpies and mule deer, and those snow-capped Rocky mountains that call to us.
Moving to Forks, Wash., was not a mistake. Actually, we enjoyed our time there. We tried to find our niche in the rainforest, but obviously, it wasn't meant to be. I must admit, it was an experience living 12 miles from the rugged Pacific coast and having green grass on our lawn year round. There's no argument that this portion of the Pacific Northwest is lush and alluring. The whole area is incredibly beautiful.
If I did not bond with the area, I have no one to blame but myself. Since moving to Forks, I did not feel like getting out and making myself a part of the community. Instead, I buried myself in work.
Introspection can be a good thing. I'm amazed that in a year's time Earth Star has produced six titles -- that's a record, by the way, for my little publishing company. We also began the Wisp newsletter, as if I didn't have enough things to do, in addition to looking for homes or land to buy.
Some things are just not meant to be. But that doesn't mean the experience was a disaster. Perspective can be a fantastic learning tool. We are ready to go back to the state we love. I know of some old friends who moved away who have also decided to return to Colorado.
What does all this mean? Well, either I've got gypsy blood and just cannot settle down … or I had to have confirmation that Spirit wants me back in Colorado. I'm not sure yet why, but at this point I don't need a reason. Besides all of the friends I miss, we have family there, and I know a 7-year-old who is tickled that his Grandma Ann is coming home.
Speaking of family, in August, I flew home to Wisconsin to attend my high school class reunion (45th) and a family gathering. Since Stepping Forth, my high school memoir, came out last spring, this was an opportune time to promote the book. I am happy to say that I sold all of the copies I had brought with me, and then some.
Hound from Hell?
While in Wisconsin, I had a few lessons in store. First, I was a nervous wreck, worrying about going to the reunion and meeting people from my past. I was not used to socializing. Actually, after I'd made the reservations for the trip, I wanted to back out, but my airfare was nonrefundable.
My sister let me have the use of her "doggy limo" (a Dodge SUV) and I drove it from Janesville up to Madison on the busy interstate. Friday, I arrived a little early -- in the middle of a rainstorm -- parked, and called a friend, who was excited to hear from me.
She suggested I spend the night at her house so that I wouldn't have to drive back to Janesville that night. I agreed to go to her house on Madison's east side after the party at Tully's on Monona Drive.
It was great to meet my best friend, Kathy from Green Bay, at the reunion, and to mingle with many other classmates. I actually stayed longer than I'd intended and visited with a lot of people. I felt empowered.
Next, I drove over to see Marcia (not her real name). It was drizzling when I pulled the doggy limo up in front of her house. Right away, she saw me and waved to me from her driveway. I could hear a dog barking and realized it was Marcia's new puppy, "LeRoy."
The puppy, unfortunately, would not stop barking at me. Marcia had a terrible time getting him under control as we fought our way to the back door and into Marcia's crowded house. Her roommate was asleep downstairs in her basement, and LeRoy continued to bark at me, his eyes glazed with rage, his jaws snapping at me. Marcia tried to restrain him and laughed it off, telling me he was "not yet socialized." This puppy, a beagle/border collie mix, was 8 months old and she could not control him.
She explained how she had gotten the dog from a friend who couldn’t keep him. He was cute, maybe ... if he hadn't been so vicious! I was appalled that my friend did not have the ability to make her puppy behave and that he just continued to snap and bark at me after I tried to make friends. She had to hold onto him or he'd charge at me. It hurt my feelings because I love animals and I had never had an animal react to me in such a way.
I wanted to stay up and chat because I was still wired from the social event earlier, but Marcia insisted it was time for bed. She showed me into the spare bedroom, which was as crowded as the rest of the rooms in her home, then closed my door after bidding me goodnight.
I wasn't comfortable. The place was not too inviting and it felt creepy in that room. I decided to keep all my clothes on as I lay on the bed. I wrote in my journal and tried to read, but my mind was spinning ... and then I remembered I hadn’t brushed my teeth or removed my makeup for the night.
But ... when I opened the bedroom door to step into the bathroom -- which was right next door -- Marcia's dog howled, lunged at me, and began attacking me. I could see this wasn't going to be easy. Peering out the crack, I could see Marcia in the next bedroom, already asleep and unresponsive to her puppy's disruptive barking. I assumed she had been drinking and had passed out, which might explain why she wanted me to go to bed instead of staying up to chat.
After I finally managed to slip into the bathroom -- the puppy unrelenting with his vicious barking -- I went back to my room and suddenly burst into tears. I felt humiliated and trapped. I could sense untoward spirits in Marcia's house. There was no way I could get any sleep... and now I was tired.
I knew that it was probably rude, but still sobbing, I collected my things and then gathered up the nerve to flee the house. LeRoy howled and barked when I opened the door. I had to swing my backpack in front of me as I fought him off on my way through Marcia's house to the door. I had only one thought ... to get out of there before that wild animal bit a chunk out of me.
It was drizzling as I succeeded at slipping out the door without letting the puppy out. He continued to bark from inside, and I wondered how her roommate put up with that.
When I got safely inside the doggy limo, I immediately emailed Marcia that I had left, saying that I couldn’t sleep and was stressed out. Then I texted my sister in Janesville and told her I was returning to her house. Laurie texted back, telling me to drive safely. (She probably thought I had been drinking, which I hadn't.)
It took about 40 minutes to get to Janesville, but then I couldn't remember which exit I was supposed to take. Soon I was disoriented and could not find the right road to get to Laurie's house. I think I drove around for the next 30 minutes, trying to get my bearings, and then pulled over and decided to initiate the GPS app on my smartphone. (I hadn't used it yet.) Once it gave me a fix, it guided me to my destination and I climbed into my bed in Laurie’s guest room ... at 3 AM!
So what was the meaning of all this? Why did Marcia's dog hate me? I've always been an animal lover and never had come across anything like this before. Well, after giving it some thought, the only thing I could think of was that there were spirits in Marcia's house that did not want me there, and the dog may have been possessed, to the point where it saw my Light and reacted accordingly.
I almost didn't go back to Madison on Saturday night for the reunion party at the Bourbon Street Lounge. But I did. Again, it was a test of empowerment for me. And even without my best friend Kathy there that evening, I had the time of my life mingling with so many people. I was truly glad I had gone... and had not chickened out because of the puppy incident or my misgivings about socializing in general.
So now we are going to live in Colorado again, and I vow that I won't be the recluse I've been for the past year and a half. Spreading the Light is what we lightworkers do, and perhaps I've kept mine to myself too long, which could be why the puppy reacted in that way. By the way, to this day I am sure my friend Marcia still has no clue what really happened ... and I'm not about to tell her.
My newest book!
This month, Earth Star is publishing the fifth young adult mystery in the Annette Vetter Adventure series, In the Shadow of the Tower. The story takes place in Ravensville, Wisconsin ... and a very special Christmas is in store for Annette.
Pre-orders are being taken now! Send $9.95 plus $3.00 for shipping ($12.95 total) to Earth Star, 515 Hickory Ridge, Bayfield CO 81122. This book has been the most fun for me so far.
Ann Ulrich Miller’s memoir, Stepping Forth, An American Girl Coming of Age in the ’60s, delves into her adolescent years ('60s and '70s) in Monona, Wisconsin, when she was a "teen with an attitude" learning about the Meaning of It All. You can order the book from Amazon or send $19.00 postpaid for an autographed copy: Earth Star, 515 Hickory Ridge, Bayfield CO 81122. AnnUlrichMiller.com
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