Every summer, Izzy visits her grandparents in Oregon and her co-ogha in Scotland. She couldn’t be more excited! Sometimes they fly in an airplane, sometimes they drive.
“co-ogha means “cousin” in Scottish-Gaelic.” [co-ohwa]
In Oregon, Grandma and Grandpa wait for them as mom and dad pull up to their driveway. They drove almost twenty hours to their beach house with a yard.
Every morning, Grandpa takes Izzy for a walk along the beach for sand dollars.
When the visit is over, Grandma and Grandpa tell her, “We love you!”
In Scotland, Izzy’s co-ogha takes the train to meet the family at the airport. They all ride on the train back to the village, where her cousin lives in a cottage with Izzy’s aunt.
Every morning, Izzy’s aunt cooks what’s called a Scottish breakfast. At the end of the trip, Izzy’s aunt and cousin give her a big hug.
Mar sin leibh an-drasta means “goodbye/bye for now” [mah sheen leaf on-draw-sta]
“Mar sin leibh an-drasta!” they say. “Bye for now.”
It was finally Halloween! Rilee pulled on her princess outfit and went outside. Before she got too far, she spotted something.
“Oh no,” said Rilee. “Jaxson isn’t ready!”
“You can’t go trick-or-treating without him!” said Mom.
Rilee looked for his pirate costume pieces: a sword, eyepatch, and hat.
Just then, Jaxson flew past Rilee and landed on the couch.
“I know!” said Rilee. She ran up the stairs as fast as she could then opened up his treasure chest. “There you aaarrrr, little eyepatch,” said Rilee, giggling.
Then she noticed the pile of his clothes on the floor move, and her dog Larry jumped out. Larry was chewing on Jaxson’s toy sword.
“Hey, I need me saber, matey,” said Rilee. “Now all that’s left is the hat.”
Rilee ran downstairs. Her other dog, Brian, nudged her leg.
“I know! I saw it outside in the backyard on the chair.” She ran outside and grabbed the pirate hat.
“Did you find all three pieces?” asked Mom.
“YEP! said Rilee. “We’re ready to go trick-or-treating, now.”
Monster. Medical Marijuana. Music videos playing on YouTube. Nice, right? The average night of this writer is being stuck in a vicious cycle of feast or famine. What are they doing? They’re sitting, there, at their desk. A ring light they once purchased for “better videos” for TikTok stands on top of a bookshelf, next to the desktop tower. Dual monitors. The monitor on the right is playing on fullscreen music videos from a custom playlist. On the left, they’re writing…well…trying to write a short story but they keep starting over. Attention is broken at the end of each video. They’re a cheapskate and don’t pay for YouTube Premium so they wait for the 5-seconds to go by before skipping the ad. Annoying sometimes, really. Oh, the ads. Yes.
This writer is a pantser. They don’t plan ahead. That is one of their greatest weaknesses which they try to tell themself is also their greatest strength. Is it really, though? Other writers pass them by; they delay. It is said you should never compare yourself to others but this writer? This writer is responsible for their own depression. Mostly. It seems when they learn more about their recent diagnoses, the more their executive dysfunction roots in.
They want to own a bookstore someday. Can you believe it? Travel, too. That’s what they also want more of in their life. It was on a Saturday when they reached out asking about as many travel tips as possible. Hours. Hours went by before we hung up the phone. I’ve known them for their entire life so believe me when I say something seems different. Maybe…off. Who am I to judge what they do with their life? They’ve lived a tragically beautiful life up to this point.
Before we hung up, this traveling writer I always envisioned them as…
What is it I’m doing?
Let’s get back to their story. Yes?
The music? Often influences their writing. It helps them. They’re staring at the mouse icon sitting static over a random piece of text. Tap, tap. Tapping their thumbs on the desk. Remember when I said they often create their own depression? Right now, this writer is sitting there at their desk listening to the music, wishing the song was about them – or at the very least them being the one singing the song. Some words flow. A break. Some more words follow once again. It all sounds like a bunch of gibberish if you ask me. Again, distracted by the end of a music video. They’re back. And they’re waiting. Blank once again?
It kills me more being unable to reach out during their darkest moments.
Excuse me. Apologies.
They’re staring at the book resting on their right. It’s a book they purchased years before. It is better to write gibberish than nothing at all. Isn’t that also a quote from Jodi Picoult? Oh, yes. “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” Well, at least they have some kind of writing going.
Another distraction. Not so much of a distraction, really. It is after all about their daughter. It’s a text.
Her fever broke, the text reads. Deep sigh of relief.
For us, both, really.
Their words begin flowing down the screen, even if it is gibberish. They’re feeling empowered now that the weight of their daughters’ illness is slightly falling off their shoulders.
It’s such a wonderful thing witnessing them writing a story about a traveler who finds all the experiences they’ve craved their entire life throughout the travelers’ destinations. It is a story they often keep coming back to. Like a treasure hunt, it has felt like for them. They’ve suffered through enough apathy. In 2010, they once said maybe traveling across Europe will open their eyes a little more.
Perhaps they’ll also find their reason for opening their heart once more, too.