Tag Archives: life

It Was Like This


There was a lot I was going to get done this afternoon after church.

I was going to write thank you notes to all the lovely people whogave us wedding gifts. I have a long list of people to thank, and the more I can get done the quicker I can, the better things will be.

I was also going to try an read a little. I love reading, and I never have time to sit down and read something that isn’t an email. I have a really long list of books I’ve read a few chapters from and had to set aside because of school. School is coming again, and even though I’ll only be taking one class, I know life will find ways of being busy and I won’t get to read anymore. Unless it’s for class.

I also wanted to write in my journal, which I haven’t touched since the night before the wedding. There’s a lot that needs recording (such as how the wedding went) but I haven’t had a moment to sit down and record all of those important memories.

But you see, it rained. It was Sunday afternoon, and it rained. A gentle, grey, cool rain that fell lullingly on the roof, on the grass, on the road outside my parent’s house where we were spending the afternoon.

I was forced to nap. I promised myself I would only sleep for thirty minutes, but I was in the coolest and greyest corner of the house, and my stomach was pleasently full, and there was the rain steadily drumming…

I had no choice but to sleep for two hours.

I’m sorry.




I had forgotten how long the first week after a vacation can be.

I had forgotten how quickly it feels as if last week was a year ago, or a dream.

Yet I was away long enough that my legs and lungs forgot how to run, and retraining myself back to a 5K, though it took less time than I thought it would, seemed very, very long. Retraining myself for yoga after weeks of not doing so much as a downward facing dog, was embarrassingly challenging.

My legs and arms ache a little from the effort.

My head wasn’t used to thinking about my job. I had to reteach myself the jargon and relearn where we keep everything in the file system. And that’s probably why my head hurts as much as it does.

It’s Friday. And that’s a beautiful thing.

But it took its sweet time getting here.

Organized Chaos


Our apartment is hilariously tiny.

Imagine one slightly oversized hotel room. Now put a wall with one door down the middle. Slap a kitchenette on the back wall of one half and a closet and a closet-sized bathroom back to back on the back wall of the other half.

This glorious little box is our home.

Figuring out where to put things is a bit of a riddle. Thankfully, the closet is large for a closet, so our default answer for “where do we put this” is “the closet…somewhere.” Our large-ish closet is now not only our clothes closet, but also our linen closet, our utilities closet, our laundry closet, and remote storage for things that won’t fit in the kitchen.

Because space is so tight, it’s taken a while for things to filter into their proper places. There’s quite a bit under the bed (in boxes, of course, not haphazardly thrown), and there are still stacks of random items on the floor (which are constantly tripped over). What we want hung on the walls is sitting by the baseboards, waiting for us to have time to hang them, and a lot of our decor is plopped unstrategically around the apartment, waiting for the day when all the essentials will find a home so the aesthetics can settle into place.

I finally carved a path to my desk today. I arranged items on the desk into neat little piles for later sorting. If the desk can look clean, then there’s hope.

And I am quite content.



It’s not that I’m still in vacation mode, because I’m not. Two weeks away was enough relaxation (sort of) and I’m not really all that tired (okay, that was a lie. I’m tired.)

My boss warned me that this would happen. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, he kept telling me how it took him and his wife months to recover from the whole matrimonial experience. They went to bed at eight every night because they couldn’t stay awake any longer. He told me that no matter how long I was away, I would still come back tired.

I’m not sure what’s wrong with me. I slept 8-12 hours every night of our trip. I’m still getting close to seven hours every night, yet I’m ready for a nap by 9:00 AM.

Maybe it’s because I’m at work all day, followed by unpacking and organizing the apartment at night, as well as spending the evenings sorting out banking things and other tedious adult matters. And then I sleep, get up, and do it all over again.

I’m glad to be back, but I still wish there was more sleep involved.

Perks of Having a Husband (At Least, Perks of Having MY Husband)

  1. He’s good at surprises.
  2. He enjoys cooking. And the resulting meals are delicious.
  3. He has more experience doing laundry than I do.
  4. Free hugs.
  5. He’s handy with computers. And numbers. And I’m not.
  6. He comes with a Netflix account and a Spotify account.
  7. He carefully selects the music he’ll have playing when I get home.
  8. He’s good at installing or dismantling things, like taking down shower doors and replacing them with a shower curtain.
  9. He also enjoys sleeping with the AC going full blast and a fan on.
  10. He helps me write blog posts.



I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I feel any different, now that I’m married. This question has come to me from both people who are married or people who have never been married. It seems that there’s a universal assumption that being married “feels different” from being unmarried, as if something about matrimony changes people at a cellular level.

I have an increasing number of married friends. Every week, more of my friends end up married, and all of them have weighed in on this feeling (sometimes because I asked). Suddenly, I’m married, which is something I never thought would happen. Yet it has.

Yet, aside from surprise and delight, I feel no different from the Risabella Rambler of three weeks ago. I feel exactly the same.

Exactly the same, but more so. Not an ounce less than what I was before, yet somehow the essential pieces of myself have become amplified. I am more myself than I have ever been before. I do not feel shackled; I feel absolutely free.

No, I do not feel different. AB and I talked about this, and he doesn’t feel any different either. We both feel very much ourselves. More comfortable, more us, than we have ever been. We are finally where we belong, so what we feel is contentment and peace and wholeness.

Yet I felt content and peaceful and whole before marriage as well. Just not to this degree.

Nothing has changed. Everything has changed.

It’s quite a paradox.



It’s hot.

It’s hot in the middle of the night.

It’s hot in the car when the air conditioner at full blast.

It’s hot underneath just the sheets while wearing shorts.

It’s hot under a fan in the dark with the crickets droning on outside the shut-tight window.

It’s far too hot to sleep. But hot enough to make you sleepy.

And fall cannot get here soon enough.

An Announcement


Hello, friends.

It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down and written a real post. A real, honest-to-goodness, put my fingers to a keyboard and write something post.

I haven’t actually touched a computer in two weeks, except for the purpose of watching a movie. My writing brain has been completely shut off.

Well, not shut off. I’m always observing. Always inventing imaginary scenarios. Always making mental notes and taking mental photographs.

There’s been a lot of pictures taken, recently, with bright colors and vivid resolution.

Everything about my life has changed. Even my name has changed.

This blog is about to change.

Perhaps I should say that this blog has been changing. For some time. It’s evolved with me. This blog has seen me through some of my darkest days, as well as some of my brightest. I have not missed a post for almost four years. That’s the entire length of a college career.

In fifteen days, The Risible Rambler will reach its fourth birthday. This blog has served its purpose. It has kept me (and hopefully, my beloved readers) laughing and thinking for four long and beautiful years.

It is time for The Risible Rambler to retire.

Now, by retire” I do not mean “cease to exist or function.” Not at all. That is not what retirement means. Just ask anyone who’s retired. They still exist, and they still have adventures, and they still do wonderful and influential things. Retirement just means a change in focus.

I will still post to The Risible Rambler. I will probably post about the hilarities of married life or write about changes in life or humorous happenings. This will also remain my default blog for fiction and poetry. But I will no longer post daily. I will post once or twice a week, tops.

I made this decision many months ago. I discovered new passions and new areas of interest that my fingers want to write about and my mind wants to research. I want to write a blog that will turn into a book–hopefully the kind of book that might change some lives, or at least some minds. This new blog will be a blog with purpose. It will take more effort and concentration than I am able to give to this one. It will require a different appearance, stronger internet presence, and more intentional focus.

I wouldn’t force that kind of restriction on The Risible Rambler. Not for the world.

So in fifteen days, I will start a new blog. Please follow me there. I’ll need you all more than ever.

Risabella Rambler will ramble on as she always has. But she has more to say than ever before. And she’ll need a new place to throw her words into the air and hope they’ll catch the wind.

Short Story 12


“Sam,” I continued, blathering, “thank you. Thank you for treating me like a human being. Thank you for staying yourself.”

“You’re welcome.” His eyebrows creased inwards and upwards at the bridge of his nose, as they always do when he asks a question. “Lunch tomorrow?”


“Alright. See you then. Goodnight!”


I wrote it all in my journal so I wouldn’t forget.

And no, I hadn’t recovered yet. My journey had only just started. But at least I knew I wasn’t alone. I had Sam. And I had hope.

“We’re after the same rainbow’s end,

            Waiting ‘round the bend,

            My huckleberry friend,

            Moon River,

            And me.”

Short Story 11


We had gone together to see The Mikado, which was performed in the largest campus theater. We were standing outside my dorm, surrounded by crowds of students flocking back to their rooms for the night or lingering on the sidewalk like we were. It was March and the air was already sticky. Our conversation flitted all over the theater we’d left behind, going over every detail of what we’d seen and heard.

There was a pause. I don’t remember this pause, but Sam assured me recently that there was indeed a long pause, and for him it was then or never.

“I really like you,” he blurted. “Just so you know.”

I heard glass shatter.

“Is that alright with you?”  he asked.

“I…I don’t know.” Everything I ever wanted to say to him crowded into my mind at once, trampling any clear answer I could have given. “I don’t know how I feel about you.” I took a deep breath. “The last boy wasn’t…wasn’t very nice. I’m nervous about trying a relationship again. I’m terrified.”

He shrugged and calmly said, “Don’t worry about it.”

“I’m sorry.”

“No, don’t worry about it. There’s no rush. No deadlines. I’m happy enough just being your friend.” He checked himself. “We are still friends, right?”

“Of course we are.”

“Well, good.”

Short Story 10


He had never explicitly said that he liked me. Sure, he’d sent me chocolate and a Valentine’s package and had asked me to join him for every campus function. But he never said he liked me. We were in an odd limbo between friendship and the potential for more.

I was happy to stay there. As long as he remained silent, our friendship was safe from complication.  The moment he voiced his feelings for me would be the moment the friendship would end.

Besides, I didn’t think he had the courage to say anything. I had known so many of his kind—intelligent and sweet, but too afraid to speak up about how they felt or what their intentions were.

Short Story 9


“That song always makes me picture myself alone,” I said. “Myself, in a long dress, standing beside the water and above it, with a bustling party behind me that I’m attending but no longer interests me.”

“No, I’ve never seen it that way,” he said with a gentle shake of his head, his eyes looking past me towards something impossibly beautiful that I couldn’t see. “When I hear ‘Moon River,’ I always see myself and someone else adrift on a raft, floating down the river to where the moon touches the horizon line, off on some adventure.”

The conversation shifted after that. I let it. I didn’t want an opportunity to share the other part of my imaginary river scene. I couldn’t muster the bravery to say that I’d always imagined someone emerging from the throng behind me, separating himself from the music long enough to put his arm around my shoulder and ask me to dance.

Short Story 8


So if I didn’t want to be in a relationship and he clearly did, why did I keep talking to him?

I asked myself the same question. I asked myself that question every time we went to lunch or dinner or the campus game room for a round of UNO. Because I asked, I had to know the answer. We shared a strangely beautiful friendship, and he didn’t ask anything more of me than that. I felt that if I walked away, I’d be walking away from the most priceless possession I had. If he asked to hang out, I rarely said “no.”

“Not bad,” he said, after I won a round or two. The game room was mostly empty with only a few clusters of people sitting at the scattered tables and chairs. It was a Tuesday, which meant most people were doing homework. Not us. Not until later.

“I learned the how to play in Croatia,” I explained. “The kids over there are crazy about this game. They play mean.”

“They trained you well.” He kept his face straight, but there was something at the corners of his mouth and the center of his mouth that suggested a smile was soon to follow, even if it didn’t. Sometimes I think I went places with him just to see if the smile would actually happen, which it did often, but only in bursts, like spotting the sun on a cloudy day.

“Play again?” I asked.

“Actually, I’m a little thirsty. Would you like something?”

Five minutes later, we were in a campus eatery. He had an orange juice and I had a cup of decaf. We talked about movies, music, and stories about our childhoods. Those were the supporting pillars of all our conversations. We would wander off to related topics, but we’d always come back to those three.

“You know the song ‘Moon River’?”

I shook myself mentally. I wasn’t sure what he had said immediately before that. I had gotten lost in his mannerisms: the tilt of his head, the crisp enunciation of his ts, the way he gestured with his wrists and elbows instead of his hands and arms, so freely, so uninhibited.

“Yes. I adore that song. I could listen to Sinatra forever.”

“It’s hard for me to pick a favorite song, but if I were to pick just one, I’d claim ‘Moon River.’ I have a lot of happy memories connected to that song.”

“I’ve always wondered what the song is actually describing, though,” I said, looking intently at my cup of coffee. It was hard to look at him when I spoke. It was easy enough to watch him when he told me stories, but the moment I opened my mouth I felt like a fool. “Who is the ‘huckleberry friend’? The river itself, or someone else the song doesn’t mention directly?”

“I always saw three figures,” he replied. “When I hear the song, I see the singer, the river, and the beloved beside him.”

“The beloved”? Not be-loved, two syllables, but a three-syllable be-love-ed? People still talk that way? Now that he said it, it seemed perfect. Not “the girl” or “the guy” but an all-inclusive “the beloved,” the person the song is really about.