Night Time is the Hardest

Since my young Marine deployed to the Middle East a few months ago, I’ve worked especially hard to stay busy. I fill my days with activity, most of it worthy, or at least pleasurable to me. A typical week is filled with meetings, political events, dance lessons, committee meetings, dance classes, doctor’s appointments, political rallies, and dance parties.

When I get home, I work. I write a lot of stuff that I won’t show anyone yet. I set up or plan more meetings. I practice dancing. I do a huge amount of research every day. And I’m in the process of figuring out a way to get paid for some of this. I spend hours researching and writing.

But then it gets late. And my eyes get tired of staring at the computer screen. And the only stuff on TV is stupid or boring. And my back hurts from sitting too long. That’s when I realize how tired I am.

So I shut down the computer after finding some place to end where I can pick it up easily tomorrow. I turn off the television, and stand up to stretch.

That’s when it happens.

I start to think.

No one said that being a MoM* was easy. I knew when my son joined the Marine Corps that there would be difficult days ahead. Having been born and raised in a military family, I knew the days would be long and hard. It’s just different when it is your dad who is gone and when it is your son who is gone. The years between the two experiences make a difference, too. I didn’t know as much when dad was in Southeast Asia. Sadly, I know way too much now about the Middle East.

So I think.

Some nights I go outside and pace my long driveway. I’ve learned that, if you look carefully enough, and long enough, you can see the occasional meteorite. You notice that stars actually come in a variety of colors – red, blue, white, orange. I look at the moon and watch it pass through each phase of the month. Because I live at approximately the same latitude as that in which my Marine is located, I imagine that the night sky looked the same that evening in both places, just several hours apart from each other. I wonder if he looked up at the moon and thought about home.

And when my sadness starts seeping from my eyes, I go back inside my quiet house. There is a difference between quiet and peaceful. This is the former; it’s just quiet. I wonder if I was right to turn off my computer – maybe I should work a while longer. But my tired eyes say no, so I head to my bedroom.

Lying in my bed is no different. I turn on the diffuser and fill my room with lavender in hopes of relaxing enough to sleep. I read something that will keep my focus, but not important enough to matter the next day if I don’t remember it. In desperation, I reach for my cell phone to play solitaire, or watch music videos – anything to make me stop thinking.

Night time is the hardest.


~Temerity Dowell



*Mom of a Marine


Spider Webs and Memories

There is a large spider in the window beside my front door. She has constructed a greatly intricate web across the window pane just to the left of the door. Needless to say, when I’ve had to go outside, I’ve either used the back door, or stepped well to the right side of the front door, giving the spider a large berth.

I have a very rational fear of spiders. Ever since I was told that “the average human swallows three spiders in their sleep every year,” I’ve been afraid of them.* The meme’s you see on social media outlets regarding a fear of spiders were written about me. I actually HAVE done 30 minutes of aerobic exercise in two minutes after stepping into a spider’s web, and the thought of using a flame thrower to destroy a spider on the living room floor originated with me.

In the interest of avoiding an insurance claim, an exterminator visits my home every month. Every month! He sprays every crevice and cranny on every floor. The first time he stopped by, he saw a large spider, similar to the one I have this year, on the back porch and assured me that he would get rid of it, too. I stopped him! That spider would remain there until the cold winter would end his life naturally.

When my children were young, I read aloud to them the delightful children’s book “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White. It was the first of many that we would read together. While we only read it once, it would affect many things in our lives, including how we deal with spiders that create such detailed webs where we can safely enjoy their beauty.

Through many years, my sons and I have admired the handiwork of these creatures. We’ve watched moths, flies, and gnats land perilously in the webs, only to be surrounded quickly with more webbing so that the spider could end their life painlessly and gain nourishment from the insects. We’ve watched them spinning the web with perfectly straight lines, magically spaced with the exact same distance between each row. We’ve stood for hours in the doorway, safely inside, watching these mysterious arachnids work to create a web. It was a joy to get up in the morning and see it dripping with dew drops in the sunlight. Beautiful!

No, the spiders outside of my home live completely free from human harm. Unlike their indoor neighbors, they have no reason to fear my wrath, or even a heavy shoe, machete, gun, flame thrower, or exterminator. They live in peace.

My sons no longer live at my home. Both are serving our nation in faraway places. I wonder if, somehow, they might find a spider, at a safe distance, and watch her skillfully work to construct a web just as I watched the one here.

Sometimes it’s the little things that can evoke such memories. Little things – like spiders.


~Temerity Dowell


*For the record, the average human does NOT swallow three spiders while sleeping. Not every year, not ever! This is a lie! A myth!!

If we can save 1 child…

A couple of days ago, I woke up uncharacteristically early (to say I’m not a morning person is the understatement of the year) and immediately reached for my cell phone. I normally do not do this, but that day, I was glad I did. In the very early hours that morning, a friend had learned that his infant grandson had to be taken to the hospital. This precious baby is only a couple of months old, and his due date has yet to arrive. He was quite premature. As of this writing, his life hangs in the balance.

The meme in the photo above was posted on several social media pages yesterday. It clearly indicates that President Obama (yes, I did just throw up as I typed that) is concerned about saving the lives of children. “If I can save just one child’s life…” he opines. Of course, his means of saving that one life is via unconstitutional executive orders calling for strict gun control. Somehow, he must have missed the memo about the inability of a weapon to fire itself without benefit of human hands.

Our Dear Leader also seems unconcerned with the lives of over 1 million children who died last year at the hands of abortionists across the nation. One is forced to assume that the life lost in an abortion was unnecessary or lacked value while the life of a child lost to “gun violence” is a devastating blow to all of humanity.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans now have “free” healthcare. People who have never had access to good healthcare before now have to pay exorbitant fees because they cannot afford any healthcare at all. Once your insurance limits are reached, you are on your own in the event of a medical crisis.

This is the position that my friend’s grandson is in now. Due to the premature arrival of their baby, the insurance limits for their family have been reached. Earlier today, the hospital was prepared to send this infant home with no monitor on him to make sure he continued to breathe. It was only when he stopped breathing again that they decided to reexamine him and are now keeping him at the hospital for continued monitoring of his condition. The parents can’t afford this hospital stay, but they also cannot afford a home monitor. At least at the hospital, they will know if he stops breathing in the middle of the night.

This leads me to wonder, does President Obama care that his healthcare plan actually does little to help people or save lives? We already know he doesn’t care about those lives taken in an abortion. But heaven forbid anyone have a handgun to protect their own life.


~Temerity Dowell

PS. This family would certainly appreciate your prayers for their sweet grandson!