Posts Tagged: buffalo

The Ride of [My] Life

The year was 1997
I was due to visit “home”
So I hopped on a Greyhound bus

And, set off from Louisiana to New York
On a thirty-two hour trek
A journey where I would meet many folks

I wore ripped jeans
Listened to loud music
Content in my own bubble

All the way up to Birmingham
No one had taken the seat beside me
Feet up; I was relaxed

After a smoke, waiting for the rest to board
I admired the lone empty seat on the bus
It was the one next to me

The door opened and in staggered a greasy bum
I closed my eyes and wished him gone

Pointing at me, the driver said, “There…next to the girl in red”
I huffed as I moved my bag
Trying my best to avoid making eye contact

His stench was repulsive
I held my fingers to my nose
To smell familiarity and prevent vomiting

Finally, in deep darkness, the bus pulled into the next stop
I sat in the very back
Next to a black man with broad shoulders

He shared his story with me
Army experiences, sadness, and despair
He was in the first Gulf War

Then he showed me the marks
The ones he called  “Gulf War Syndrome”
Everyone listened with intent

We continued to talk the whole trip
He offered me his cold, fried chicken
And, to this day I regret not taking a piece

In the early hours
I finally caught some sleep
Soon we were in Ohio

Almost to New York
I grew tired of the bus
Where I mostly missed the use of a real toilet

During the last stretch I spent time
Having my nails painted by a little girl
She couldn’t have been more than five

Her mother blessed me:
“One day you’ll make a great mom!”
Maybe it was a prophecy

For when I would return home from this trip
In a hand-me-down car with my best friend and a boy named Ben
Michael and I conceived our first child in the blue room of our house

That trip somehow defined me
I grew so much from the moment I stepped on that Greyhound bus
It started me off on the ride of my life

Weekly Winners {The Buffalo People Edition}



Day 9 | Kris and Alex

{Visit Flickr for more of my Buffalo Trip pictures and my Project 365}

{Visit Lotus for more Weekly Winners}

Let it snow, yo!

Day 8 | Let it Snow

There’s something to be said for being born and raised in a place like Buffalo.  The winters are long and relentless. Or so it seems.  I never realized it before, but I actually kind of like it. 

With kids, though, it can be a lot of work. Years ago, when ‘ze bigs’ were ‘ze littles’, I remember coming to my parents’ house in Orchard Park from our house in Cheektowaga.  I’d pack up all our essentials, get everyone bundled up like Randy from A Christmas Story, and we’d pile into our old, boxy, green minivan.   I never batted an eyelash at the 20 minute drive on I-90, even if it was snowing or if there as a chance of snow or ice.  That’s because as Buffalonians we are prepared from a ripe age.  We know how to drive in inclement weather.  We pull up our boots, pull on our hats and gloves, take up our scrapers, and we always remember to turn into the spin and pump the brakes!

Peace, yo!

Weekly Winners {MAKfest09 Edition, Part II)

Some of the best memories I have are of being a Macedonian folk dancer.  I danced from the ages of 5-18, and it’s an experience I will always treasure.  Watching these “older” groups really made me wax nostalgic.

Then last night I had the pleasure of being at a “Girl’s Night Out” with some old friends from our church.  We sat around telling stories of our old hall and the times that have passed us by which have led us to now.  It was wonderful.  There was laughter.  There was great food.  There was wine.  There was a sense of calm, as well.  I was honored to be a part of it.   I felt aged, but in a good way.

Looking at these pictures of the dancers just makes me wish for those feelings of butterflies in the belly just before the music started.  The glances that would be passed to the other dancers are etched in my brain and carried in my heart.  Though time changes us, makes us part, or brings us back together, I will always have those special moments.

MAKfest 2009 Photo Set on Flicker

Weekly Winners {MAKfest09 Edition, Part I}

These are all from Friday night at the 19th Annual Macedonian Festival, here at our home church.

I would love to put all of them up here, but can’t possibly.  I suggest you visit my Flickr to see them all.

Part II (Sunday) will be coming up soon.

Our Kum (Godfather) working his butt off, serving food:


You know how I feel about music, right?:


David was mesmerized by all the dancing:


Tato i Mama:


Olivia and Mikey:




David still going ga-ga for the dancing:


He was feeling it:


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