Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Wow! This is the view of the Polebarn (the one I actually live in!) and as you can see the snow we received this last weekend was significant! These pictures were taken by "Q", my boyfriend on Saturday, March 3, 2007, with my digital camera.
This is the view from the front part of the polebarn. This door doesn't get used in the winter, too much cold air coming in so we put plastic over it. My son, Alex, decided to "walk through" the snow up to the door. It came up over his waist, and he is about 6 feet tall. The car bumper you see on the left is his car.
We spent 2 days holed up in here and I loved every minute of it! We just sat around watching movies and television and just hung out together! I made Tater Tot Hotdish and it was sooooo nice to just slow things down and not have to rush and hurry to get somewhere or worry about being late or traffic! It was even better when "Q", my boyfriend, came home because then all of us were home safe and sound. I was hoping we would get a "snow day". I guess I should be careful what I wish for, huh? :)

Mrs. Fliginger wrote back!!!

I could not believe my eyes when I saw the email in my Inbox. I clicked on it and started to cry. It was her!! She wrote me back!! Suddenly, the years have seemed to melt away and I can still remember her strawberry-blonde hair, her glasses, her voice. Wow! Talk about a time warp! But I am glad that I was able to contact her and let her know how she helped me through the most difficult time of my life.

I guess the real reason I chose to seek her out now is that my son is graduating from high school in June and seeing him go through all of the things as a senior compare in contrast to what I was going through at his age, and THANK GOD!! He doesn't have any of that to deal with!!

I have received a few emails since she first replied back and I have replied to her. It still feels funny to call her by her first name, it seems disrespectful to me, even though I am no longer a student! Does that make any sense at all? Anyway, she stopped over for a visit to the Polebarn here and said I "write well." Again, with the crying. She was a tough teacher. I was a writer with an "attitude." I had been told by all of my former English teachers that I was an excellent writer and I would do great and wonderful things, and blah, blah, blah. I have to confess, I used that to get some special favors for grades and other things, and they let me slide by with a lot of stuff! Not Mrs. Fliginger. She basically looked me in the eye and said, "You think you're a writer? Prove it!" I had to work my tail off and she didn't let me slide with anything. My point? I got knocked off my pedestal, and I became a better person, AND a better writer!

Sometimes the greatest lessons come from the toughest teachers!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Mrs. Fliginger, I thank you.

I recently decided it was time I contacted my old English and Speech teacher, Mrs. Fliginger. I had to find her first, but thanks to the marvels of modern technology, I found her via the Internet and a Google search led me to Harvey, North Dakota. Ironically, her husband is named Harvey. I haven't seen her since I was a senior at Garrison High School, in Garrison, North Dakota, where I had a different name (Michelle, my middle name), and a very different life. She had an impact on me and did something nobody else was able to do at that time in my life. She came back from maternity leave, after having her daughter, Diana, and noticed that I was not myself. That was an understatement. I was messed up.

At that time in my life, my parents were separated, heading for what I knew would be a long and drawn out divorce. The scandal was all over the small town and to make matters worse, it was being played out as I sat in English class everyday at the house across the street. SHE lived over there. The person my father was having an affair with, and I could see his pickup truck sitting in the driveway, then leaving. The truth had come out in February, and sometime that spring, Mrs. Fliginger had come back and saw me in my miserable state. She kept me back after class. She asked me, "What's up with you?" I tearfully related the horrible events that had transpired in her absence and she listened and then asked me if it would be ok to refer me to the school counselor. I nodded. I couldn't keep this to myself any more. I was planning on suicide. I had the whole thing worked out, it just seemed like the more I wanted to do it, and the times I actually was going to do it, something would come up and I couldn't ever get it done. I was severely depressed. I did anything and everything to stay away from home. I signed up for paper staff as editor, and I sucked at it, but it kept me from going home. I was in Band, like I had been all through school, and I signed up for Speech Team, and I sucked at that too, but hey, it beat going home! I was also working at the local hospital, but there was no relief there either, because SHE worked there and was down in the break room each day to stare me down, daring me to say something, before I would go to wash dishes in the kitchen. I just ignored her as best as I could, but I would often break down in tears on my breaks.

Anyway, I ended up going to the counselor, relating the whole horrible nightmare that was my life at that time. I also had my friends, my best friend at that time was Carol, and without her to keep my mind off of what was happening, I would have ended up in a rubber room or worse, a coffin, if I wouldn't have gotten the help I needed.

I survived, and later the thoughts of suicide went out the door, and I moved around a bit before I ended up in my current home, "The Polebarn", and I don't regret a single thing I went through. Why??? My parents would not have reconciled, my father would not have sobered up, and my family would not have become as strong as it is now. I know for certain, I would not be the person I am today, doing the things I have always wanted to do, and living this glorious life I have always wanted to live. My son would not be here, my current BF (the love of my life 12 years and counting) would not be in my life, and I would not be excited about graduating to the next phase of my life, as a mother, a writer, an artist, a human being. I have found my bliss, now I just need to make some money at it!

But first, I had to thank you, Mrs. Fliginger, from saving me from myself.