A Shoebox House, by Rhonda Phelps

Coming in September:

It’s rare to find a date the organic way. Cyber-dating is the fad of the century, but it wasn’t what I expected when I signed up on Match.com. I had heard raving reviews about people on dating sites nurturing relationships, meeting their match, and pledging marriage. In spite of the online trolls that tried to sabotage the fun, unexpected friendships and romance manifested within a few months.

When sparks started to flow, the world was poised for pleasure and I was entwined in adventure with my internet boyfriend. Picnics, splashing in the rain, and gentle massages accompanied fine wine, succulent grapes and brie cheese. Summer glistened on waterfalls while hiking in the spacious national forests, and the night life hosted fun and friends. The cultural intake from museums, car show’s and live music linked our interests and we formed an indescribable bond. We were embracing life.

One weekend when he came to town, I became flustered and disoriented and everything was going wrong. I was beginning to doubt my rational existence. Two days later I was tossed into a lifeless and foreign world, and my friendships were in jeopardy. I felt like a fool, my spirit was hollow, and I craved answers. Obsessed with redemption, I discovered the truth as it was revealed through a series of real life emails, social media, Messenger logs and hand-written letters.

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You can change the world… one week at a time

(Photo by William Earl Thornton)

This morning I was reflecting on the past week and decided to share  my thoughts.

I have a friend who is a veteran, a Desert Storm survivor. We talk on the phone about once a week and I am always amazed at what he has to say. I usually listen to him, intently, about his experiences and his life today. He talks for a few hours… trying to sort it all out. I fully understand why we should pay more attention to the services provided by our veterans; we should take care of them.

A co-worker was expecting divorce papers after being separated for 6 months, and to his surprize, she told him she wants to work on their marriage instead. He is nervous, and excited about it. It’s a difficult journey, but worth it.

I notice people at the grocery store. Are they happy, sad, angry or numb? Do they smile? Are they unaware of others around them? I wonder what is going on in their lives. The people with frowny faces that smile when they see you in the next isle. The tourists loading up their carts and double-checking to make sure they have everything for their vacation in Big Sky. The people you make a point of avoiding, fearing their negativity will jump into your cart. The focused merchandisers that are frantically restocking the shelves. And I try to pick a lane where the checker seems pleasant, regardless of the length of the line. It’s a joy-killer to get a nasty checker. (Although, I am sure they have a reason for being grouchy.)

My daughter has cystic fibrosis and tried the new miracle drug, Orkambi, a few years ago but the side-effects were too drastic. Last week at her clinic appointment, the doctor prescribed another new drug, similar to the one she tried before, anticipating better results and fewer side-effects. CF is a terminal illness, so you can imagine the joy we experience with the advancing medical technology.

I talk to my my Mom on the phone about once per week, and we text almost every day. My parents are both still alive, and reside in Arizona. They are genuine and I am blessed with their guidance every day.

My son finally dealt with a haunting court situation that has been dragging on for 5 years and has caused him thousands of dollars in bail money, and several months in jail. He is getting a new start, I hope he embraces it.

I talked to a couple of friends who seemed stuck in certain areas of their life; relationships, financial, careers and personal acceptance. I mostly listen and ask questions. I take a turn sharing my quandries, and we usually we both walk away with a new perspective on life, and a rejuvenated sense of acceptance and love.

I dated a man for 4 months last summer, and he disappeared on July 27th. I tracked him down to a jail in Colorado. I wrote him a letter when I found him three weeks later… our letters crossed in the mail. His letter started “I’ve written this letter a thousand times…” Over the  past 7 months we have been corresponding via letters and a few phone calls. My friends ask me how I can be so compassionate towards him. It may be hard to understand, but there is a connection that I can not explain. During these 7 months, I experienced every range of emotion possible from manic highs to clinical depression. With my realistic approach and encouragement, he is on the road to recovery and rehabilitation as he opens up and is able to write about and accept his past. He is up for parole in May.

I am writing a memoir about my experience with this mysterious man, online dating, relationships, acceptance and self-realization. (Blah, blah, blah… I am trying to come up with a unique book description.) My goal is to publish it in June 2018 – “A Shoebox House”.

I attended a workshop sponsored by “9energies” that is dedicated to helping people understand themselves and others. Amazing organization. Bozeman is growing at a rapid rate and since I am a native, I am not always fond of the increase in population. A lady at the workshop shared her feelings about about how wonderful Bozeman was and how much she loves it here. She said she found peace here. It changed my viewpoint and I am thriving in a new perspective.

My 3 dogs are my buddies and my daily saviors. They love me unconditionally and greet me with enthusiasm.

These events are all miracles to me. Many other miracles happened… I am keeping those treasures also.

What happened in your week? Were you paying attention? What were your miracles?

Thank you for reading my post,

Rhonda

 

 

 

A Shoebox House – Online Dating – A Visit to the Adult Store (Part II of II)

I am sharing from my rough draft of my book “A Shoebox House” .  Previously, I posted the Introduction, Embracing Life (Part I and II), and part of a middle chapter – Erotique (Part I).

Follow my blog for more excerpts over the next few weeks. 🙂

Erotique (Part 2 of 2):

“That’s when Lambert, the owner, paraded in our direction, as if he were on a catwalk, and we tried not to stare. His voice was soft and graceful, breaching on femininity, and it confirmed our assumption that we were perfectly safe in this house of ill repute; we definitely would not hear any pick-up lines from him. Lambert politely asked what I was looking for and I pointed at a purple, slightly arched, rabbit attached, vibrator that was hanging on the wall in a box. I told him I didn’t want a “stiff” one.

Image result for romance

He handed us the vibrators on display, showed us how to turn them on, and pranced off to go get more batteries. I felt the shaft of a blue one and it was soft, yet firm, and another one was stiff as a rod. There was an abundance of variety displayed; one was thick, wobbly and a nude tone, and next to it was an elephant dick. Thank goodness I didn’t see any “fists” like I saw at the “Adult Superstore” in Las Vegas a few years ago. I looked over at Olivia and said “touch this”. At first, she looked mortified, but her expression softened and she seemed quite pleased with herself as she extended one finger to touch it. I was proud of her and by the end of our visit she was checking them out like a baseball bat.

Sadly, Lambert didn’t show us how to turn off the humming units, and we weren’t sure if we should set them down so they vibrated and twisted in our hands until he returned. He explained to us, in detail, the purpose of a “rabbit”; which was a feature of the purple model that I was interested in for my future companion. The “rabbit” is the smaller finger-like extension at the base of the vibrator and was designed for a woman’s pleasure. We touched about 15 different vibrators and used our enhance skills of power shopping, sexual finesse, and the process of elimination. There were pink and yellow vibrators, horse-size black and nude dildos, ben-wa-balls, and pink bullets, no larger than my finger. Lambert told us he gave away 200 of the pink bullets at the MSU Career Fair, giving young ladies an option for orgasms and sexual health. As a single woman, I supported the emphasis about not jumping into sex too hastily and getting unnecessary exposure to STD’s. I was impressed with Lambert.

As we went to check out, we notice a man had entered the store. Lambert made a point to stand between us and the other customer, explaining the he did not want any issues with us being “hit on” because it tended to happen with female patrons. I laughed off the subject of creepers and proceeded to relay my experience with the vaginal moisturizers and gels, and my doctor’s prescription. Lambert gave me some highly recommended lubrication and condom samples, and elaborated on how vibrators would help induce a natural biological climate for pleasurable sex. Lambert was a doll to talk with and I made a note to come back and visit the love hutch again sometime. I adored his knit sweater, blue looked good on him.”

(Photo credit: Harris County Public Library)

A Shoebox House – Online Dating – A Visit to the Adult Store (Part I of II)

I am sharing from my rough draft of my book, “A Shoebox House”.  Previously, I posted the Introduction: Embracing Life, Parts I and II.

Follow my blog for more excerpts over the next few weeks.

This is part of a middle chapter – Erotique (Part I)

“Adult stores pique an interest with the masses, but only a few are brave enough to risk public humiliation. What was surprising is that Olivia didn’t bat an eye when she told me “sure”. I explained to her that my doctor gave me a prescription for a vibrator, for health reasons. I was unsure if I should tell her about the other reason, even if we were good friends, because it is very personal; either I was too small or he was too big.

Related image

Erotique is small and sassy and it is amidst some of the finer eating establishments located downtown near Willson Street. The risqué shop is known for its lingerie, sex toys, enhancements, vibrators and lubes and they advertise that relationships should be fun, fresh, and healthy. I used to get a creepy feeling about the place, but the new owner projects a different image, I could feel it. Now, I enjoy the turbulence the shop creates within a hypercritical community.

We drove into the center hub of Bozeman on a Saturday, an experience I try to avoid. I wish I could appreciate the city atmosphere and bask in its glory like some of the big city dwellers. I dreaded finding a parking spot, and I was one of “those” people who didn’t parallel park. The skinny concrete sidewalk is cracked and stained. We walked paralleling the historical brick building and it led us to Erotique’s blacked out door. On the side of the building, above the door, it looked like pink crepe paper was formed into the shape of a very large vagina, or at least that’s what it looked like to me.

I asked Olivia if she was nervous. She turned her beautiful brown eyes towards me, blinking a few times, apparently speechless, because she did not utter a sound. I hesitated before grabbing the door handle, and decided to pull down my sleeve to cover my hand, just in case. I strode into the forbidden cave confidentially with Olivia directly behind me, we were on a mission. I had been in Erotique before and it still looked the same; wire racks and colorful cabinets displayed assorted knick-knacks, and the deep red walls were lined with what-not… and more. The checkout counter was directly ahead and manned by an older gentleman wearing a nicely knit blue sweater. I avoided eye-contact and hastily turned right, which led us to the Great China Wall of vibrators and dildos.

Olivia was at a loss for words, and her eyes were occupied by the variety of sex toys suspended on hooks. We were drawn to a shoulder-height display where a few rubber playmates were exhibited. I turned my head side-ways, and then upright again; and even at a different angle, they were undoubtedly sex toys. I imagined that touching them would be like handling play dough art and pottery clay.”

“Indifferent Deceptions” – Erotique (to be continued)

**** Thank you for reading my post. I welcome your feedback on my writing ****

Peace,

Rhonda

A Shoebox House – Online Dating: Embracing Life – Intro Part II of II

I am sharing from the rough draft of my book, “A Shoebox House”.

Part 2 of the Introduction.

Follow my blog for more excerpts over the next few weeks.

Embracing Life (#2 of 2)

Image result for bozeman hot springs

“I was as much of a groupie as anyone when it came to rounding up the troops for a night out dancing to the “The Max”, a favorite band of many locals in Gallatin and Park County. The Bozeman Hot Springs is within 2 miles of my house, and I frequently worked out at the gym and soaked in the natural hot water. I could easily lose myself in a comedy, sci-fi, or a chick-flick at the big screen at the mall. The long scenic walks and hikes with fellow comrades provided an abundance of entertaining chit-chat and exercise.

Image result for downtown bozeman

The favorite local taverns, bars, and bistros display a variety of cocktails and hors d’oeuvers, and an excursion downtown suggested many opportunities to select the ultimate atmosphere of your choice. Some dwellings are of questionable repute, some are swanky or ritzy, and most have a comfortable air about them. Taking in a play at the theater, or a concert at one of the countless venues, had become a regular occurrence; there was no lack of entertainment.

My life was well designed, I was enthusiastic about starting my new job, and apparently, I was living in one of the most popular places on the continent.”

Next: Erotique (Parts #1 and #2)

****  Thank you for reading my post. I welcome your feedback! ****

Peace,

Rhonda

A Shoebox House – Online Dating: Embracing Life – Intro Part I of II

I am sharing from my rough draft of my book “A Shoebox House”. This is the first part of the introduction….

Follow my blog for more excerpts.

Embracing Life (1 of 2):

“The old two-lane asphalt and dirt roads were well used; agriculture in the surrounding fields was at its peak, and the unblocked mountainous views were phenomenal. I was fortunate to have been raised in a small town in Montana where community was of the essence. As teenagers, we knew all the places we could go hide from our parents, mostly in the forested or private areas; Hyalite Canyon, the Rain Forest, Blueberry Hill, and the Madison River – to name a few. I relied on nature to revive me. The scents of the earth and pine trees were irresistible, and the sound of the rushing rivers and babbling brooks gave me a sense of tranquility.

Sunrise outside of Bozeman.jpg

(Sunrise outside of Bozeman)

2017
I was single, loving life, and embracing it as though there were no tomorrow. I spent most of my free time surrounded by close girlfriends; giggling and throwing parties that included cocktails, murder mystery weekends and anything we could think of to join together in merriment. Mimosa and exquisitely prepared appetizers were often on the menu, we were caught up in making a treasure box of cherished memories.

hiking on log.JPG

(Hiking: Sourdough Canyon, Gallatin County)

Bozeman is a small city in Montana that sprouted into somewhat of a social and cultural web over the past few years. The locals joked about living in “BozeAngeles”, with the hustle-bustle crowds accumulating every month, and the construction was non-stop. Fancy motels, lavish condos, conventional businesses, and a multitude of houses and recreational parks were rising up on every corner.

It created an air of prosperity, metropolis, and technology. Bozeman was changing at a rapid pace.”

Embracing Life Part II (to be continued)

***** Thank you for reading my post! If you have any feedback on my writing, I would be glad to hear it. *****

Peace,
Rhonda