Author: Sheri Stewart

living a lie at nautilus teachings

we are born sinners.
living a life of obedience
does not mean
you are without sin
but it does mean
you become very good
at hiding,
not just yourself
not just your voice
but in some cases
double lives…
no one is perfect
and striving to live a life
of perfection
will cause you to be
anxiety ridden
and full of stress…
sher’s body was in overdrive
she had lost so much weight
before the wedding
that her strapless bra
slid down to her
ribbon tied waist
during the ceremony.
before her
they disappeared
into a empty meeting room
peter had apologized for
being too late to stop the wedding
she walked back to her reception
and greeted her mother with
“I was feeling so faint
i sat down in the quiet
for a few minutes,
i think i need to eat..”
no one really noticed she was gone
this made her sad.
sher’s heart was heavy
but she had just
obeyed all the rules
and was now married.
peter had left her with a
long passionate kiss
and said,
“i will see you in a few months
for the sorority weekend?!”
oh, shit!
sher nodded
and then put on her
Mrs. mask for the
very first time.
even thinking about
committing adultery
is a sin.

here she was
married to the wrong man
obeying her parents wishes
in a room of people
who loved her and BHBEG#1…
as she walked towards the table
where BHBEG#1was
she heard the best man
and another groomsmen speaking,
“BHBEG#1 could have done better…”
this hurt her, yes
but she held her head high
and decided
i can
make this work!
a long honeymoon
which was lovely
led them to beginning
a new life
peter still called
they still wrote
he was engaged
and wanted to see her
one last time-
the sorority trip was on
was she  now
going to commit a sin?
as luck would have it
her mom became ill
right before her
‘sorority reunion’
and she did not go.
january came
with another trip to the hospital
and then the diagnosis
giving her 6 months live.
pete wanted to come see her
to hold her
she said no.
he married that spring
and was soon going to be a dad.
sher thought,
‘maybe if i am pregnant
this will give mom a reason
to fight to live…’
she was soon
expecting her first child.
dory was over the moon
was not.

he was not ready
he wanted a better job
to buy a house
save more money…
the time flew by
peter and sher
every now and then
but they were both
starting families
her son was born
her mom was still alive
and life was ok.
worked long hours
making good money
they were building a house
but there just was no like
in the love…
neither one of them
really liked one another
and it was proof
with his absence
be it work
or up north
with his folks…
sher did travel with him
on those weekends north
but soon stopped
as she spent the time
with just her son
while the “boys”
golfed, skied and played cards
the girls were expected
to cook, clean
and chat.
right before sher’s birthday
peter called.
“hey schultz.
i would love to see you…”

‘what about our spouses?’
“they will never know.
i can send you
the sorority letter
we used in the past…
what do you say?
ready for a weekend away?”
for the first time
in a long time
she not only smiled
but butterflies danced
in places that had not
in years…
her mother was having
more bad days than good
but her father still insisted
mom was going to live.
so sher drove
to see peter,
leaving her son
with his dad.
she felt 18 again,
his crooked fingers
and soft hands
traveled to familiar places…
they laughed
and talked…
is what
she wanted,
and missed-
never talked to her
only told her what to do
where to be
what not to do…
the two
this would never
happen again
it was their final goodbye.
as sher packed up to leave
peter held her tight.
“we cannot do this again.
it’s to hurtful to our spouses
and children…”
‘i know…’
they both shed a few tears
then got in their cars
he drove north,
she south.
she stopped at her moms house
only to find out
mom was getting worse.
she said to sher,
“dear heart, come over tomorrow
so we can talk…”
that night the holy spirit
visited sher
the next day
she drove over
opened the front door
and found her mother
unconscious in her bed…
what was running through her head?
is God punishing mom
because of me?

Read More living a lie at nautilus teachings

sexual revolution at nautilus teachings

cheating on a spouse
is a sin,
a deep fissure is formed
between man and woman
of both couples…
if it ends a marriage
children and families
get torn apart suffering
tremendous hurt.
people still cheat.
i cannot tell you why they do
but i can confirm
something is broken
between them.
i do not endorse infidelity
by any means
but when the human heart
mind, body and soul
feel trapped
unable to catch
their breath
always hiding
secrets from them
when love is pushed to
the limits of take it and endure,
or leave it and loose everything
starting from rock bottom
with little or no furniture,
working a shit job just
to put food on the table
people tend to choose
suffering in silence
drugs, gambling, shopping
spreading themselves to thin…
according to the Journal of
Couple and Relationship Therapy,
approximately 50 percent of married women
and 60 percent of married men
will have an extramarital affair
at some time in their marriage.
And since it is unlikely
that the people having affairs
are married to each other
in every case,
the current statistics on the percentage
of married couples who cheat on each other
means that someone is having an affair
in nearly 80 percent of marriages.

now, let’s journey back
to sher.
men controlled her life
the abuse she suffered
as a child
men were pukes,
but they were necessary
to provide for you.
this holds no water today,
but you must take your mindset
back to the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.
inside of her, every definition of man
was a governing bully
who called all the signals
and dominated women…
the men held the purse strings
instructed them what
they could and could not do
all while silencing
the voices
of what they saw
as the duties of a good wife-
women obeyed…
sure women were great
for cooking, cleaning, sewing,
raising the children,
woman abandoned their dreams
let go of wanting
and were resigned to live
the life laid out by their
mothers, grandmothers
and every generation before them…
There was sexual liberation,
which had something to do
with women liberating themselves
in the bedroom, too,
but had as much to do with
loosening norms around sex.
In 1960, half of 19-year-old women
who were unmarried
had not yet had sex.
By the late 1980s,
as Nancy Cohen points out,
two-thirds of all women
had done the deed by age 18.
The year 1972 alone
saw the publication
of such groundbreaking books
as “The Joy of Sex” and “Open Marriage.”

most parents I know
are happy to see their
young adult children
try on several partners
before they marry…
they do not want them
going what they went through
no one tells you when you bring home
this tiny bundle of joy
that in 15-25 years
this cute little
i want to kiss you all over
beauty you created
out of love
will look you in the eyes
and say,
“i hate you…”
nor can parents ever imagine
their adorable little
mini them’s
would step out of the box
they were raised and
not believe in God
get hooked on drugs
and in some cases
never call their parents again…
is why
sher obeyed
is why
she stayed…
the fear she lived in
controlled every aspect of her life
she was raised to believe
women cannot parent alone
women cannot make it alone
women need to shut up
and obey
she had no idea
each and every man
she loved,
which is twisted,
i know
every single one of them
she would one day
come to learn
they were fighting
inner demons,
battling low self worth,
were themselves,
being tormented…
girls were weaker
girls were targets
girls obeyed…
the entire sexual revolution
that was going on in the world
was not going on in sher’s house-
sure dory rebelled a little
by getting a job
working her way to the top
having her own credit cards
buying a car all by herself
not to mention
replacing her fathers
ugly table
with an antique…
and yes,
sher saw all of this
but she also came home
to her mother crying in the darkness
by the phone
or in her bedroom
after being verbally abused
by one of her sons
only to end the day
with hearing her father
tell her mother
she was a bad mom…
how do you process all this
when you go to choose
a life long partner,
do you obey?
do you begin living
a lie while portraying submission?
think about her thoughts.
how at such a young age,
her first love,
was a very good guy
yet she did as she was told
marrying their choice of man
fulfilling the dreams of
the mother she loved so much
who was her best friend
and wanted her daughter
to have everything she did not…
what would you do
if the man you really loved
showed up at your wedding?
take his hand?
have the affair?
how long would you, yourself
have remained imprisoned?
could you,
would you,
have walked away?
I can tell you at the very
moment she saw him
she was not thinking
her first thought
was oh, shit!

Read More sexual revolution at nautilus teachings

the obedient daughter at nautilus teachings

we are all let down
at some point in our lives…
some are tiny,
others are life changers.
Sher found herself all alone.
She found an apartment,
a job,
registered for school
and began a new life.
friends were easy to make
but every party she
went to
everyone was doing drugs,
and since sher did not
herself partake of any drug-
especially after seeing her
two brothers almost
ruin their lives with them,
she found herself
she also was racking up
long distance phone bills
to BHBEG#1
and peter.
Peter was dating
the cousin of his hs sweetheart
but the two of them
still wrote letters
and chatted from
time to time.
Life was moving on.
Sher was in her new place
for only two months when
she landed in the hospital.
her mother flew down
to take care of her for
a few days:
diagnosis-needs to eat and drink water
she was basically down to
105 lbs from 125
nothing interested her.
being with Dory was
like old home week
mom cooked, cleaned
and made sure sher
began a healthy eating plan.
the day Dory flew home
sher walked in and found a letter
her mother had left her
“if there was one thing i wish for you
it was that you had more fun in your life,
you need to laugh…”
love, mom

things with BHBEG#1
were getting serious
over the phone and in letters.
he asked her to move home,
sher obeyed.
it’s hard to break a cycle
you learn since birth
we have to change our mindset
and then accept and embrace
a new way of living…
sher had not done this yet.
she moved home in December
after she finished her semester,
selling everything she could not
pack or box up and ship.
christmas was spent
at BHBEG#1’s
family home-
her first ever away from her parents
and in some ways this made her feel strong-
i can do this
no big deal
sure it will be different
but i can do it!
took sher to dinner
the day after christmas
and popped the question,
“ya know sheri, i love you,
will you be my wife?”
there it was.
another proposal.
she knew her parents loved him
her mother told her
“he is the perfect man for you.
he will give you everything you need.
a house with a white picket fence
membership to the country club
just a good life…”
she nodded her head yes
then barely whispered yes
as he placed the ring upon her finger
her heart raced back to
the chapel
his parents were not ecstatic
because they knew this meant
he would be moving 140 miles south…
her parents were thrilled
because now they could rest easy
knowing their daughter was set for life.
upon arriving home
after hugging her parents
showing them the ring
and a early meal
sher retreated to her room
picked up the phone and called pete.
she filled him in on the events.
his response was
“let’s meet for a long weekend…”
she told BHBEG#1
and her parents
about a fake sorority retreat
then got in her car
and headed up towards God’s country.

this would be the first of many trips
to see her college love
the man she really wanted to marry…
the wedding plans took over her life
with many showers
dress fittings
a month before her wedding
her dad called her
“sher, this is dad.
Listen, mom’s in the hospital
she had a heart attack…”
sher fell to her knees
and cried,
“i’m sorry, Lord. you know i love peter
but i will give him up if you save my mom”
bargaining, sheri, really?!!
mom survived
and on the night before her wedding
late at night,
peter called.
“listen, Schultzy, I’ve been thinking…
i don’t want you to marry him.
what time is your wedding
and where is it at.
i’’m driving down
and picking you up…”
sher packed a bag and barely slept.
she paced back and forth in her
wedding gown
when the pastor came up and asked
“what’g going on sheri?”
she spilled it all.
the pastor put out his hand and said,
“take my hand. i will lead you out
and explain it all to your parents
and BHBEG#1.”
sher paused,
tears were welling up
when her mother entered
“oh, sher, you look beautiful,
you ready?”
she sucked in her breath
looked at the pastor
nodded her head
and said,
‘let’s do this…’
peter had not shown up
the wedding went well
and was beautiful
no sooner had
they arrived at the reception
when a worker tapped her shoulder
“ma’m can i speak to you?”
sher stepped away from the crowd
“there is a ‘pete’ here to see you?”
omg what did i just do?
she quietly excused herself
followed the worker
down a long hallway or two
hand extended
tears in his eyes
“schultz-you look beautiful”
together hand in hand
they left.

Read More the obedient daughter at nautilus teachings

realist/idealist~you pick at nautilus teachings

are you a realist?
a person who accepts a situation as it is and is prepared to deal with it accordingly:
an artist or writer whose style is characterized by the representation of people or things as they actually are:
or are you an idealist?
a person who is guided more by ideals than by practical considerations:
utopian, visionary, wishful thinker, pipe-dreamer, fantasist
sher was a mix of both
although her words written
in her diary were truth
her mouth just would not follow suit
come the end of her freshman year
after enjoying being peters girl
she told him
she just could not marry him
she was too young
and had no idea what she wanted in life…
which in some ways was truth
but her heart knew
the summer arrived
called her up
inviting her to his folks
lake house
and to travel in a motor home
with he and his friends
to a waterski show.
it sounded fun
so she said yes.
her heart still belonged to peter
but this guy was cute and nice
so sher decided
heart breaking or not
she would push on…
was she brave?
not in the slightest.
she was afraid of being alone
and wanted desperately to
be out from under her fathers thumb.
if she were strong
and driven like her mom
was in everything accept
her marriage
sher would have stood up
to her dad
moved to God’s country
and spent a summer trying on
peter and his family-
she will never know.
this will eat at her
for the rest of her life.
has this every happened to you?

living with regret is never recommended
it can ultimately tear you apart inside
in sher’s case
she took her love for peter
sewed it to her soul
and went on with life…
summer was fun! her and
had a fun time.
he was going to be a senior
at his chosen university
and sher would go back
to Carthage
which was in the same city
peter was playing semi pro football.
would she see him?
they had chatted over the summer
long, dreamy conversations
about life, many times
and he still held the key
to her heart.
Sophomore year started out
with her pledging to a sorority
which led her to crazy antics
like stealing pumpkins
with her fellow pledges
from a local farm,
only to be caught
by a very kind police officer
who completely got pledging
so he posed for a pic with them
then took the pumpkins back
and let them off the hook…
of course they dressed in hoodies
with bandanas tied around their faces
dark jeans and boots…
college life was just fun!
sher dated a few more guys.
they were funny and kind
but no one filled peters slot.
one day
“hey schultzy! I have missed you.”
OMG! sher thought she would faint.
she wrapped him up in a huge hug
dragged him in her dorm room
and showed him just how much she missed him!
for the rest of the season
they saw each other whenever he was free.
the holidays loomed
and he was once more off to California
until the end of January.
Sher had chosen to stay home this break
so when he called asking her to pick
him up from the airport
then take him to
the bus station
she gladly and very quickly
said , YES!

the day was snowy and cold.
she would be going back to school
in two days for the spring semester
seeing peter was a nice treat.
they spent the day laughing
loving and hanging out
until it was time for him to catch his bus
back to God’s country.
His plan was to look for a teaching job
find a wife and settle down.
hers was to accept this
grow the fuck up
and move on.
that one day
for those short few hours
were the one of the best times
she had ever shared with him
for once she had taken off
all her masks
and bared the soul of who she really was
to the man she loved.
he agreed,
and told her so in a letter.
she kept writing to BHBEG#1
sometimes they talked on the phone
she talked to peter often
wrote him letters also
and once in a while dated
a few guys just for fun.
Sher decided she needed to leave school
and try on a new one
so the plan was junior year
at the university of tucson, az
said he wanted to go with her
and look for a job
so the two of them set off
in his car,
pulling her tiny car
packed with all her stuff
all the while sher could not
stop thinking about peter,
maybe BHBEG#1is
the one for her?
the night before they were
to pull into AZ
at a small cute hotel
in new mexico
after a long days drive
a great meal and a swim in the pool
sher and BHBEG#1
opened a bottle of champaign
to toast their adventure
only BHBEG#1
“listen, sher, I have been thinking,
i cannot leave my parents
and my home town and move
all the way here.
so i will drop you off and then i am heading home…”
was this what life
was going to throw at her now?
maybe, she thought, life was to be lived alone…

Read More realist/idealist~you pick at nautilus teachings

accepting your weaknesses at nautilus teachings

when you know the
inevitable is going to happen
you might as well just accept it
instead of stressing over it
loosing sleep
and lying.
what if you want to change
the pattern of behavior
you were raised in
to unlearn it
erase from memory
the words
and boundaries
given you
your whole life?
what if
you had not
been given a voice
allowed to make
your own choices
and always been
the good girl?
what then?
when we leave our home
to go away to college
or move out and get a job
we earn the responsibility
of beginning to make our own choices,
good and bad…
this is not an easy task
to accomplish,
especially if it means
putting our own values first.
it doesn’t mean you
necessarily rebel
but for a family of
control freaks
it can certainly appear
this is exactly what you are doing.
sher did not break it off with peter
peter did make the semi pro team
she was going to marry him
and if she had to lie to her parents
that is what she would do…
sher and peter agreed
they wanted a small wedding.
“ya know, schultz, i cannot wait for you
to see God’s country
where i live.
it is so beautiful.
my family is going to love you.”
sher was never worried about fitting in
but she was wondering
could she pack up and leave
just change her life
turn catholic
and let her parents go?
all three of her brothers
had already let her parents down
but they were also all
on the right track now
married with children
and happy.
sher had never rebelled.
never not done what they wanted,
the fact that she was at this school
was proof enough.
somehow she needed to find her voice
she needed strength
and to muster up courage
to go home and talk to her folks
before school let out.

the phone in the hall began to ring
sher ran to pick it up.
“hey sher, it’s dad.
listen mom fell today and broke
her ankle. i need you to come home
this weekend and help out…”
this was her sign.
‘absolutely dad. how’s mom doing?’
“she’s in a cast and hobbling along.
you know your mom
headstrong and stubborn.
i will see you friday night.”
she told peter about her mom.
“hey, why don’t i come home with you?
i can help out your dad if he needs.
i want to meet your parents…”
‘great idea, i will call my dad tomorrow
and let him know.’
she had not told peter
her parents told her to break it off.
what they were asking was unfair.
the next day her friend knocked on her door,
“phone for you. it’s your dad”
‘hey dad! i was just going to call you…’
“sher, mom fell again today and broke her wrist.
she’s a mess…”
‘oh no. well, i will be home friday night dad.
pete is coming with me. he wants to meet you.’
“no. sher i told you to break it off.
you are to young.
you cannot bring him here…”
what would you do?
how strong were you at 18?
could you defy your parents
knowing it would break their hearts?
sher broke the news to peter,
‘hey. my mom fell again and this time broke
her wrist. i need to go home alone this time.
my parents are a mess and my mom
doesn’t want to meet you with a
broken ankle and wrist!’
peter laughed,
“that’s fine. i will meet her in a few weeks…”
‘wow,’ sher thought, ‘that was easy.
he’s so kind.’
traveling home
in a car with no radio
gives you a ton of time to think
and for sher it was 90 minutes
of frustration and worry.
when she entered the house
her mom was asleep with two casts on
her dad was watching television.
‘hey dad…’
her dad got up and gave her a hug and kiss.
“it’s good to have you home.
mom sure misses you.”
the weekend was over in a flash
she did not have a conversation
with them about peter
because saturday night at dinner
her father and mother once more told her
after looking at peters class ring
perched upon her left hand,
“you cannot get married.
you are to young.
we expect you to break it off.”
sher just shook her head
she would never win
sher cried the whole
drive back to campus.
she knew she was too young.
she knew she barely knew peter.
she knew he was her first love.
what she did not know
was how to say no
to her parents.
she had never
stood up to them.
she unpacked her clothes
took a long shower
and poured herself a glass of wine.
then she gathered all her friends
for a night of fun
butt sliding down the hall
ending with pizza and beer
for everyone.
by 11 peter showed up smiling
that handsome face of his
melted her heart.
“hey, how come i wasn’t invited?” he kidded
‘hey, baby,’ sher said, ‘i missed you.’
she stood up
wrapped him in a wet hug
then gave him a kiss.
‘no men allowed, my handsome fiance’,
but i will see you tomorrow!’
then she padded his butt
and off he strolled.
she slid on her butt
down the hallway toward the girls
landing on their feet,
‘well, ladies. tonight we drink,
and tomorrow,
i accept reality…’

Read More accepting your weaknesses at nautilus teachings

defiance or acceptance at nautilus teachings

and then one day
we begin to grow up…
sher was floating
in a mix of candle light
belly kisses
and love…
the funny thing was
they laughed so much
they never really
even finished
but got dressed
and went for a walk.
it was the middle of the night
stars still glistening
more snow had fallen
the world looked new…
their footprints were the first
upon the grass
and the steps
leading to the dimly lit chapel…
peter opened the door
sher stepped inside
“stay here” he whispered
then he walked to the altar
lit a candle
and softly said,
“now look into my eyes
and walk slowly
towards me…”
she was smiling
and excited,
when she reached peter
he set the candle down
took her hands
and spoke,
“schultz, sheri, i love you.
i want you to know this
before God
that i intend to marry you.”
then he got down
on one knee
gazed up at her
and asked,
“will you marry me?”
here sher was-
not yet 19
no idea of what
she wanted to do with her life
in a chapel
89 miles from home
with a gorgeous man
who wants to marry her?
she paused for just
a tiny moment
taking in the cross
the beauty
her faith
this man
then nodded her head
a tear strolling down her cheek
and whispered,
‘oh peter, yes. yes i will marry you.’

hand in hand
they strolled
back to his dorm
and finished
what they started
falling into a deep lovers sleep
never wanting reality
to wake them up…
the next day
she told all her girlfriends
excitement quickly took over
they rushed out and bought
every bridal magazine
grabbed some beer
and settled into sher’s room
to dream together,
‘look at that dress’
‘do you want a spring or fall wedding’
‘where will you live?’
‘are you going to go to school up north?’
it was all mind boggling
but a grin never left her face
around mid day
peter popped over with
flowers and a grin
not to mention his class ring…
in front of all the girls
he once more
got down on bended knee
and proposed –
this time with his class ring!
sher once more said
everyone cheered and the
soon to be newlyweds kissed…
“i gotta run” peter said,
“we are piling in the bus to go workout
with the kenosha cougars,
i’m gonna try out for their team
so i can stay here next year
and be closer to you, schultzy…
i love you. i will come see you when i get home…”
‘awwwwwww’, said all the girls.
he was off and sher knew it was time
to call her parents…
‘what would they say?’ she thought to herself
she was actually dreading the call
but it had to be done.
her parents knew she was dating peter
they knew it was serious
would they chalk it all up to puppy love?
as the phone rang
butterflies danced in sher’s stomach,
‘hey mom, how are you?’
“i’m good dear heart. how is school.
in a few more months you’ll be home!”
‘yeah. about that mom.
i think i am going up to spend
the first part of the summer with
peter and his family…’
“oh. don’t you think it’s a little to soon
to do that? i mean, meet them, yes,
but live in there house?”
sher took a deep breath
and began,
‘oh mom! last night ……’
she unraveled the whole story
while dory was silent.
“what about the other boy?
the one you’ve been writing?
he comes from a good family
and he will be able to provide for you.
This peter is just going to be a teacher,
sher, you must call it off immediately….”
there it was.
the line had been drawn.

‘mom. i love him.’
“sher, this is dad. you cannot marry this guy.
we have not even met him.
break it off.
you are to young…”
‘but dad, i will bring him home.
you will love him.
he has very deep faith
a strong family bond.
he’s wonderful…’
“sheri lynn
you heard what i said
now do it!”
with that,
her dad slammed the phone down
the line went dead
and sher began to cry.
her friends all heard
and were soon wrapping her
up in a big hug.
“it’s ok, schultzy, you can do what
you want. you are an adult…”
“they are just mad…”
“give them time…”
sher looked at the clunky
college ring
just given to her
by the hunky
super sweet
football star.
she thought about
their love
their conversations
how well they fit
she thought about it all.
then she turned to her friends
and said,
‘come on girls, let’s go try on wedding dresses!”

Read More defiance or acceptance at nautilus teachings

losing IT at nautilus teachings

the first time we try
anything new
we begin to grow
from first breath
we are thrust
into this cold
dog eat dog world
turn on any television,
radio station or
sign on to any social media site
and you will hear
about conflict
no one ever agrees
someone always has another opinion
arguing is entertainment…
it’s like in the movie
the Grinch who stole Christmas
when he was talking
about the people of Whoville
celebrating christmas,
“oh the noise, noise, NOISE, NOISE…
sher learned at a very young age
silence was like a
warm chocolate chip cookie
straight from the oven.
her tiny ears
had heard so much hate
felt filthy hands
her parents tremendous pain…
had known and lived
through her own…
so,  lying in the grass
on a crisp fall evening
with a guy
who seemed interested
in her,
who was kind
and funny,
or opening a letter
from another boy
who was curious
about who she was
and liked that she made him smile…
was all new and sher,
for the first time,
felt a type of love
she had never experienced
and it scared her.

the letters from
(blonde haired, blue eyed guy #1!)
arrived ever other week.
this is how they were dating,
exchanging their life stories
in words
through snail mail.
the anticipation of it
kept sher smiling inside,
it’s like meg ryan in you’ve got mail
when she is secretly communicating
with tom hanks via email,

Subject: RE: Brinkley
Date: 9/16/98 7:28:50 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: Shopgirl
To: NY152

I like to start my notes to you as if we’re already in the middle of a conversation. I pretend that we’re the oldest and dearest friends — as opposed to what we actually are, people who don’t know each other’s names and met in a Chat Room where we both claimed we’d never been before.

What will he say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer, I wait impatiently as it boots up. I go on line, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You’ve got mail.

I hear nothing, not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beat of my own heart. I have mail. From you.

this is exactly how sher felt about BHBEG#1
oh, my, melt in your mouth
kiss me again please,
she figured she was
just his flavor of the month
with his being a senior and all
but just like a pair of shoes
you have to try on more
than one pair to see if
it’s the perfect fit
and are comfortable.
she was having fun
performing at all his
home football games
taking long walks
and learning to love.
she knew BHBEG#1
was also dating,
as they had both decided
it was silly not to,
and she knew she would not
see BHBEG#1
until next summer at the earliest…
letters and an occasional
3-10 minute phone call –
depending on how many
quarters she was able
to scrounge up to feed the phone,
would have to do!

The holidays came and went
winter break was a month long,
with graduation requiring you
remain on campus
or do work study off campus
three of your four years.
sher was on campus taking art classes
peter was in california
on a work study for football coaching
when the hall phone rang,
it’s me!
i’m baaaack home.
i am driving to campus tonight,
will you have dinner with me?”
a few hours later
pete was standing at her door
all suntanned
curly hair
crooked fingers
sweater, jeans, boots
and smiling…
he gave her some flowers
and a kiss…
“oh, Schultz! i missed you,
but california was great.
how was your art class?”
they chatted the whole drive
to the pizzeria, while they ate
and drank beer
and all the way back to campus.
the snow was newly fallen
the moon brilliant in the sky
peter threw a snowball
landing straight upon her cheek
a snowball fight
filled with giggles
and ending in
making snow angels
they were soaked
and still smiling as they rose up,
“hey, Schultz…let’s go back to my room
and warm up. i will make you some
hot chocolate…”
she knew.
sher knew
in that instant
was she ready?
she did not know,
but she took his hand
nodded her head
and they walked
up the two flights of steps
into his dark room
as she stood
scared to death
he lit candles
put on soft music
and said,
“i’m going to take a shower
and warm up,
do you want to take one to?”

‘bbbbbb but it’s the boys dorms,
i can’t’
peter grabbed a clean towel
tossed it at her,
“schultzy, i will watch the door
for you…”
‘sure you will,’ she thought…
they walked down the hallway
entered the bathroom
and he was true to his word
she showered alone
wrapped herself in a towel
and dressed in a big
flannel shirt he had left her.
peter entered
and said,
“give me two minutes
then i will meet you
in my room…”
sher nodded
and pretended to leave.
when his shower started
she peaked her head
around to look
‘holy shit,
he is gorgeous …’ she though
then she surpassed a giggle
and thought
‘well, Lord,
if i am to loose my virginity
i guess he will do!’

Read More losing IT at nautilus teachings

remembering first loves at nautilus teachings


first loves,
WOWZA! (mine was 37 yrs ago!)
when your entire life
is controlled
and ordered,
being left off
on campus,
for sher
was like
being in
another country…
she was curious
about every one
and every thing
she saw.
she spent very little time
in her dorm room
because there was a beach
to walk upon
cute boys to talk to
new friends to meet
classes to drop out of
and change to
art, art and more art!
there were movie nights
keg parties
meet and greets
it was unbelievable…
sher knew
no matter what
this would be
the best time
of her life…
she quickly bonded
with a group of girls-
they called themselves
the inseparable seven.
the first week,
she tried out for Pom Pom
and made the squad.
when she put on her
red and white saddle shoes
scrunchy socks
wool skirt and sweater
she felt like an
something she had never felt.
the first day she put on her
uniform, peter was there
watching her walk,
but i like the red shorts better.
wanna grab a pizza tonight?”
‘why is he talking to me?’,
she thought.
‘is it because i am a freshman
and he thinks i am easy?’
sher was very insecure
had no self esteem
and told herself,
‘i will never be used
or harmed again
by any dumb boy,
if he wants a date
and if he wants me
he will have to earn me.’

that night,
they ordered pizza
and went to the commons
to watch the movie,
A star is Born…
all her girlfriends were there
so the boys hung back
as sher and her friend
soaked up the love story on screen.
midway through,
sher got up to go the bathroom
another boy approached her
and said,
“hey you wanna go make out?”
she was stunned
and very mad
so she took her beer
and poured it over the guys head.
peter ran over
grabbed her hand
twirled her around
and planted a kiss on her,
“oh, there you are.
i missed you…”
he stated loud enough for
the guy to hear
but the guy did not give up
he walked over to sher
and poured his beer on her head
and walked out…
sher was embarrassed
and wanted to hide.
peter took off his sweatshirt
gave it to sher
and said,
“come on, let’s get you
to the bathroom
so you can put this on…”
why was he doing this?
she honestly did not trust
any guy
she knew if they were kind
they wanted something
and she was tired
of giving her heart hope.
she came out of the bathroom
still smelling of beer
flush with embarrassment
head hung low,
“hey schultzy!” peter said
“come on, let’s go for a walk…”
the night air was crisp
winter was approaching fast
peter took her hand
as they walked in silence…
“hey, schultz…it’s ok. that guy was a jerk…”
she looked up into his big blue eyes
and her mind drifted for a moment
to the other blue eyed man
she had been writing…
she never knew if she would see him again,
and here peter was in front of her
grinning ear to ear…
whew! she breathed in a huge breath
‘why do you like me, peter ?’
he just smiled,
shook his head
and said,
“schultzy. there is no pressure here.
i want to get to know you.
i don’t know where that will lead.
i am a senior
you are a freshman
but tonight,
it’s just you and me…”
hand in hand they ran
across the grass giggling
he pulled her to the ground
gave her a long kiss
and then said,
“let’s look at the stars while you tell me
about your life so far,
we have all night…”
sher had never had
any man show interest
in her
and as she unfolded
the story of her life
he listened,
asked questions
and squeezed her hand
while looking
not just at the stars
but sometimes in her eyes…
‘oh man,’ she thought
when he walked her back
to her dorm
and kissed her goodnight,
‘he may be a keeper…’
the following day
sher ran to check her mail box…
sure enough a letter
from the first mr blue eyes.
she tore it open
and read his words,
“something about you
makes me smile.
can’t wait to see you again…”
oh boy!
two men
both blonde
blue eyed
sher thought,
‘i am only 18
and i think
i will date them both!’

Read More remembering first loves at nautilus teachings

being good enough at nautilus teachings

do you remember your first
day of college?
i do, like it was yesterday.
i remember how small i felt
i remember being yanked
from my mothers protective arms
i remember standing on the sidewalk
in my walking shorts
knee high socks
ralph lauren polo shirt
with my monogrammed sweater
tied around my neck
preppy handbook in my purse
‘please, don’t leave me…’
i watched my parents
all soaked in tears
drive away
leaving me behind
and then
i was surrounded by
the welcoming team of
happy faces
asking me my name
where i was from
what i was majoring in
which room i was in…
they escorted me up
introduced me to my room mate
then told me,
“we will be by at 5 to pick you up.
wear comfortable clothes…”
sher’s college was small
and sat upon the shore
of Lake Michigan
in Kenosha, WI.
Carthage was private
co-ed, a faith based college
with a beautiful chapel
and comfortable dorms…
it was a busy little campus
filled with,
from what she could see
love, excitement, happiness
they were all
without parents
out from under
their thumbs
not being told
everyday what to do
and not to do…

for the first time
she took a deep breath
put on her shorty red shorts
and teeny tiny white shirt
(her first purchase from the college store)
with scrunchy white socks
and red and white tennies
setting off down the hall
waiting to be picked up
by the welcome committee.
all the girls on the floor
were freshmen
all were buzzing with
and excitement
standing nervously
in the gathering room…
soon boys and girls
all upperclassmen,
burst through the door
telling them
to follow…
like little ducks in a row
they all did exactly as told
and for once,
sher did not mind
following every direction given!
they walked to the gymnasium
were broken up into groups
made huge circles
given a partner
and told
to play the trust game-
you know the one,
where you fall into a persons arms
backwards without even thinking
‘am i safe’
her partner was
of course
a cute as beans boy,
(mr. blue eyes was being forgotten!
at least for this moment!!!)
several other games followed
with the last event being
a barbecue…
they were seated by floor
at huge tables
kegs were tapped
music was loud
faces all smiling
as one by one
they met their floor mates…
afterward a bit of dancing
led to a walk around the campus
at night
with a last stop for ice-cream…

as sher was leaving the commons
a young man
in a yellow hooded sweatshirt
with curly blonde hair
and big blue eyes
smiled at her…
‘hey…what’s your name?’
sher smiled
but said nothing.
her new friend yelled,
“schultzy”, her name is “schultzy”
he smiled.
sher’s heart skipped
10,000 beats
and then he said,
‘i like your shorts.
my name is Peter.
wanna go for a walk?’
what just happened?
did this gorgeous
buff guy just ask
gumby- no tits no ass- me out?
sher smiled
and said,
her first night on campus
as a college freshmen
ended with her first
freshman kiss
in the tiny chapel
before God…
he was a senior,
a football star
from northern wisconsin
he would become
the first man
she ever loved
on her own terms…
but for tonight,
at the age of 18
only 89 miles from home
in a state where
drinking age was 18
unlike Illinois 21
on a small lakefront campus
buzzing with new faces
under the brilliant twinkling stars
holding the hand of
a gorgeous young man
who had the most crooked fingers
she had ever scene
the softest smile
and sweetest voice,
who told her stories
about himself,
his family,
his dreams and
of being in ‘God’s country’
which is what he called
mr. blue eyes faded completely out
of her mind

as she raised her lips
to greet his for a second time,
standing next to
lovers rock
listening to the water crash
upon the shore,
sher let go of rules
of being controlled
of all the hurtful names
she was called
of feeling unloveable
and unwanted…
this guy did not seem crazy
like her hs boyfriend…
she was willing to
take a leap of faith
and allow her heart
to open.
all the while, her brain
was telling her,
‘well at least the landing pad
for your broken heart
is soft sand… because you know
you were told over and over
you are a mistake…’
‘no, no, no’
she cried,
as she lay upon
her soft sheets
alone after
peter walked her home…
‘i am good enough
i will be ok
he is kind…’
soon, sher was fast asleep
dreaming about having wings
knowing this was the
footpath chosen for her
and that maybe it wasn’t her dad
that truly picked it,
but God….

Read More being good enough at nautilus teachings

attempting freedom at nautilus teachings

sher knew her parents loved her
she never understood
why her father could not
really show it
and because he could not
dory was beautifully
wrapped up in
devoting her life
to friends
and family…
her dad worked long hours
laughed with her mom
yelled at her brothers
worked on the house
and in the yard
in so many ways
he was like a normal dad
there just was never
any conversations
sher was being told
what to do
where to go to school
who to date
what to eat,
but mostly
she felt
ignored by him…
so when her mom
made a “date for her”
she once more obeyed…
mr. blue eyes
kept shuffling across
her brain…
how sher was raised was not
nor was it wrong
it is just her truths.
why she felt this way
what she lived through
could not have been changed
because her mother
was never given any power.
she was not allowed to work
or use discipline.
sher believe’s if dory was able
to work and
to use her voice
she’s childhood
as well as that of her three brothers
would have been completely different.

sher looks at her beautiful aunts family
and thinks WOWZA!
now that is what dory wanted.
several years ago sher had a
nice chat with her aunt
about her mom and so many
other wonderful memories.
one of the things she did share
with sher was
she was allowed to discipline
her children.
inside of sher her whole life
was this loud voice screaming
leave me alone
i want to run away.
she planned her escape
many times
stashed money
and always had a bag packed-
even when she was 11.
when mr. blue eyes
entered her life,
sher thought,
‘why not! you only live once
and my mother will never know…’
she sat at the table
learned to play cards
drank cold beer
ate real food
and laughed
all the while her
sat sulking on a chair
with his boring friends.
mr. blue eyes
and sher hit it off right away
soon they had snuck out
and were walking in the muddy grass
to his tent…
after a serious session
of making out
they exchanged numbers
as well as addresses
and left the tent…
her date was standing there
“it’s time to go…”
she followed him to his truck
after nodding goodby to mr. blue eyes.
he was so mad he floored the gas
and the truck sunk in the mud!
soon mr. blue eyes and his whole crew
including sher
were behind the truck pushing
it to hard ground, when
nearly everyone shoving the truck
landed face first in the mud.
soon belly laughter took over.

soon, each person stood up
rinsed themselves with the hose
and changed clothes…
sher’s date stayed in the truck.
mr. blue eyes brought her some dry
sweatpants and sweatshirt.
she changed in the girls tent
hopped in the truck
and began the 30 minute drive
to this guys mother’s house.
sher took a hot shower
and went to bed.
mid way through the night
to be
being her date.
she felt him climb into the bed
she felt him against her
and she knew
this would never happen again.
she rolled over
facing him in the dark…
‘why are you in here?’
“you owe me..
now lay still while i fuck you…”
sher froze.
then she began to cry.
she cried so loud
soon his mother was in her room
as he slid into the closet
trying to hide…
his mother
never got an explanation
from sher as to why she
was crying
but sher fell into
this soft woman’s arms
as if they were her own moms…
the sun rose
she had breakfast
and climbed into the truck with him
for the 2.5 hr dreaded ride home.
he played the music loud the whole way
never said a word
and drove very fast
all the while sher sat
with her head hanging out the window
tiny tears taking flight
in the wind.

when she got home
she jumped out
ran in the house
and took a long hot shower.
soon her mom knocked
on her door,
“hey, sher. i just got off the phone
with…mom…she said you were
crying all night. what happened?”
what she wanted to say was,
‘i met the cutest boy ever
and he gave me his number and address…’
but what she said was,
“i was just tired and had to much beer, mom.”
“oh, are you going to see him again, dear heart?”
“no, mom. i’m tired. love you…”
and with that,
sher rolled over
and pretended to go to sleep.
she would never tell her mom
what almost happened
she would never go on a blind date again
from this day forward
sher was going to make her own decisions
she would be strong
find her voice
become an artist and writer
and marry who she wanted one day…
but for now
her father ruled
her mother obeyed
and sher
like the good daughter,
echoed all she was taught
until the end of august 1980…
‘this may be his choice of school
and i may be registered
in the classes he chose,
but from this day forward
i make my own choices…’
she thought to herself
with a tiny grin
expanding upon her face…

Read More attempting freedom at nautilus teachings