Three of a Kind…Saving the Worst for Last

A friend said, after reading my first two posts, “Remind me never to marry and divorce you.” It was a funny comment, but spoke to something that I’m afraid will come across in this three-parter that I don’t want to convey. As will become apparent after reading the full post here, I’ve made terrible choices about relationships. It can be argued my judgement was greatly influenced by circumstances in my young life, but that happens to everyone. I’m not a victim. I’m not out for revenge. I need to unburden myself. That’s what I want to make clear.


For the 16 year-old girl who faced the large group of her “friends” standing in the band hall door one afternoon after school as she walked out to the parking lot, the humiliation was stunning. One by one they began to applaud as the girl made her way to a familiar vehicle, one the group hadn’t seen on campus for a few days. With the clapping came whistles and whoops and mean, ugly words thrown at her as she got into the driver’s seat and slammed the door on the noise. They wouldn’t see the tears that were stinging her eyes or know of the pain their actions that day caused her if there was any way to avoid it.

It had started innocently enough, even if she was his student. He spent extra time helping her learn marching steps for the halftime shows and chose her for his office assistant. She was a good student, and competent, so she did a great job helping to keep the music library in order and organize school papers for him. There were always at least a couple of girls appointed each year to do these type of tasks for the band directors.

The girl had come into this school district two years previously from a larger district in an adjacent big city. It was tough to start high school as the new kid, but being in band helped break the ice. Lots of time was spent together during the summer learning marching drills and practicing music for halftime shows. Still, most of the other kids had come up through elementary and middle school together and had been friends for years. The girl felt left out sometimes.

The Fall of 1980 was the girl’s junior year of high school. She was unhappy at home for lots of reasons. Her mother, a stern and unloving person, had just remarried again. The girl’s father had died of very aggressive cancer when she was only eight years-old. Shortly after, her mother forced the girl and her older sister to start attending an evangelical church, which the girl hated. It wasn’t because she hated church, it was because the lessons they taught about God there were so scary and unloving. Her mother made sure they went to church twice on Sundays and every Wednesday and any other time the door was open. The mother met two of her future husbands at the church, too. Generally, the girl had a very miserable home life.

As his office helper, the girl saw him every morning before school to help get ready for band rehearsal. She was allowed a place in one of his office filing cabinet drawers to put her things for safe keeping while working. One day in her drawer, she found a greeting card with her name on it and recognized the handwriting to be his. It crossed her mind that it was odd, but it was exciting, too. Opening it, she found a “Thank You” card for doing some big filing job in the music library the week before and also a coupon for a free something at a local burger place. The weird thing was, though, there were other people who helped with the project in the music library and they didn’t get anything. She felt very special for being singled out.

As the weeks and months went on, more cards and notes showed up in the girl’s drawer, and small gifts, too. She started writing back to answer his questions and comments, always being careful to not let anyone see her leave anything for him. Anytime they could hang around together at a band event, they would. He often drove one of the buses on football game trips and she’d always sign up to sit right behind the driver’s seat. He’d talk in his notes about the “precious cargo” he was hauling on the bus. It again made the girl feel really special that she was important to someone. The other kids teased her about being his pet and the girl tried to ignore them.

In their writing to each other, the girl learned that he was unhappy at home, too. He was married and had two kids. His wife was also a teacher, but she wasn’t a very kind or thoughtful person according to him, and didn’t love him as a wife should. The girl was very naive about adult relationships, but she thought she knew what he was talking about. She thought his wife must not be a loving person, because he was certainly very nice to the girl.

In September of 1981, Barry Manilow played at Reunion Arena in Dallas. Several of the girl’s friends had decided to go and arranged to carpool to the concert. He was also going, but alone. He suggested the girl go over to Dallas with one of her friends, but come back to Ft. Worth with him. She knew this was a big step, the first time they would be alone together. She had lots of worries, but she agreed to the plan. She trusted him to keep her safe. She was honest with her friends at the concert about who was driving her home, but she didn’t tell her mother.

Going straight home was not his plan. They sat in the parking lot at Reunion for a while and he pulled out a cooler with Cokes and a bottle of rum and two plastic cups. The girl was trying to be so cool about the whole thing because she didn’t want her nerves to show. The thrill of being alone with him and having alcohol for the first time was all so risky, but really exciting. After drinking and talking a while, he kissed her on the mouth. The girl had previously had such limited tactile affection in her life that any touch made her so greedy for more. They made out and drank for a while longer. Of course, the girl became drunk. Of course, he was ready to take advantage of that.

The room was as cheap as a Motel 6 can be and so was Larry Harrison. When he went to the front desk to rent the room, he parked the car around the corner from the office so the clerk couldn’t see me in the car. He wanted to only pay the single room rate, but the clerk followed him out and caught him in his lie and he had to go back and pay for a double. At least he didn’t go cheap on the condoms. Larry Harrison, assistant band director at Castleberry High School in River Oaks, Texas, repeatedly raped Carol Porter, a 17 year-old student of his, in a cheap motel after getting her drunk.

The plan was to take me back to the band hall that night to pick up my car which had been left there when I met my friends to go to the concert. However, when we got there my car was gone. Larry Harrison drove me home instead. When we got to my house, all the lights were out, my car was locked inside the garage, and all my clothes and other belongings were strewn across the front lawn. No one would answer the door when I knocked. The screen door was locked, so I couldn’t use my key to get in. I had been kicked out of my house by my mother.

We gathered my stuff from the lawn and put it in the back seat of his car. Knowing I couldn’t go home with him because of his family, he took me to a motel and rented a room for me and then he went home. I was so scared and alone. He went home to try to figure out what to do and make it look like nothing had happened. Larry Harrison didn’t tell his wife that he had just raped a student. He didn’t tell her that the girl’s mother knew what happened. He didn’t tell her that friends of the girl knew she had been with him. He didn’t tell her that her world was about to explode.

Larry Harrison went to his job as assistant band director of Castleberry High School the next day for the last time. By the time he showed up for work, my mother had been in the principal’s office for an hour already. W.O. Barnes was respected by everyone in the district for his leadership, but my principal failed me and the children who would later be under Larry Harrison‘s supervision in band halls across Texas. He was allowed to quit his job with no mention of the crime he committed involving me on his employment record. He was allowed to quietly pack is office and disappear without anyone knowing the truth. He was allowed to keep his teaching credentials so that he would continue to teach band class to other under-age girls and boys who might also become his prey.

For the girl walking to the familiar car in the high school parking lot a few days afterward, the world had turned upside down. I was still staying in the motel, but now Larry Harrison had moved in there, too, because his wife had kicked him out of their home. I had been planning to graduate early, in January 1982, so that I could start  working full-time and take classes at the local junior college. To do that, however, I had to get back to school and finish. Since I didn’t have my own car to drive, I had to drive his. Even though I parked it in an inconspicuous place, it stood out to those who knew it to be his.

Word had spread through the band that it was my fault Larry Harrison was no longer there. Before long, everybody in the school seemed to know what had happened. Kids can be really cruel if peer pressure is strong and their conscience isn’t stronger. I was unmercifully ridiculed, teased, bullied, threatened and tormented.

Some might wonder where my mother was throughout this time. When she had come to see the principal, she wasn’t just there to accuse Larry Harrison of an improper relationship with me. She also accused me of encouraging him. It was a month before I was allowed to return home and only then with the understanding that I would be expected to move out permanently on my 18th birthday in January. I’m sure this was because she knew she’d be breaking the law to turn out a minor. I wasn’t allowed to eat any meals with her and her husband-at-the-time. I was never to step foot in her church again (which was certainly fine by me). Money I needed for clothing or anything other than food at home had to be earned by me at my part-time job at Stripling & Cox department store.

There’s more to the story. Ultimately, though, the bloom fell off the rose and I was dumped by Larry Harrison. He went to Vegas to try to be a great trumpet player in a casino band and failed. He then came back to Texas and started working for the Fort Worth ISD, eventually becoming the band director at Paschal High School.

I went to college and never fully dealt with the shame and remorse the scandal had caused me. I’ve lived with those feelings my entire life until this day because I’ve never told the story or named my rapist. Perhaps the women recently coming forward to share their experiences with a beloved Hollywood celebrity helped get me to this place. I only hope my previous inability to name Larry Harrison as my rapist didn’t allow him to prey upon any other young, naive and trusting students.


Three of a Kind, Part Deux

Scooter and Henry 2005

Something about Oregon had always felt so enticing to me, even though before moving here I had never even visited. Perhaps it was all those unbearably hot summers in Texas, sweltering in high school and college band camp. Or, most likely, it was the same wanderlust that took me to Vermont and New York earlier in my life. Whatever it was, when I realized it was time to leave California, I knew it would be for the Pacific Northwest.

When I moved to Santa Rosa, CA, from Texas, after #1 and I parted, I had planned to make it my new home for a long time. Boy, did I go into that with blinders on! Unless you’ve got a wagon-load of money with you when coming over the Sierras, you won’t last long on a single person’s wages in The Gold State. Eureka, indeed. It was decided at the last-minute that the job I had been promised before moving was to go unfilled. I was terrified, my money was quickly dwindling and I had no friends or family around me for support. My sweet Scooter and darling Henry (photo above) had made the move with me, too, and they needed me. Enter #2.

He-who-will-become-my-second ex-husband and I met because of our shared love of horses. There was nothing I enjoyed more on the ranch back in Texas than riding horseback while gathering cattle for a workday or moving them from one pasture to another. I loved grooming the ranch horses, their smell, feeding them, talking to them and just watching them socialize with each other. People with an affinity for equines just want to be with them all the time and that was definitely true for me once I got the horse bug. So, meeting someone who shared that, and was much more knowledgeable than me about them, was a great start at filling the gaping void that was inside me from having left my home state.

Before long, I was able to get my petsitting business started up and add boarding to the services offered. #2 had very generously offered to let me use his home for my work and our relationship was on an easy path. I remember telling friends that he was treating me like a queen and how different it was to be with someone who truly valued me as an equal in all things.

Our home, a very old farmhouse, was built directly adjacent to an old lumber mill which was being redeveloped into a new home community. There was no telling what had been buried in the land at the mill and heavy excavation had to be done to clean the building site to meet environmental standards. Our home was owned by the same person who owned the mill site and it was part of the sale, so once we found out we had to move we began debating about staying in California or moving elsewhere.

#2’s family is close. They’re Italian…enough said, I think. There’s Mom, who is a 92 year-old lovely, fiery little woman. He also has an older brother and a son and daughter. All of them live around the San Francisco Bay area or within a couple of hours away. So, he wanted to stay close enough to drive home within a day. After much debate, and heavy lobbying from me, we chose to move to Portland, OR, to get away from the crazy real estate market in California and to take advantage of Portland’s reputation of being America’s top dog town. For several years the city had been chosen in an line-up of US places where residents spend more on their pets than anywhere else. Our research made it clear this was a great place to launch our full-time dog boarding and daycare venture.

Lovely pet people started showing up almost immediately after we set up shop. Our business flourished from my nearly 20 years’ experience and knowledge in pet care and #2’s skill in turning the old property he bought for us into a proper doggy retreat. We worked well as a team and played our strengths and weaknesses off one another. Eventually, knowing we would since shortly after meeting, we got married.

For a few years things bumped along nicely…work, a little vacation now and then, #2 traveling down to California to see his family frequently, meeting new dogs and their people. Throughout this time, my disease was beginning to make itself know, though. Unexplained pain, lethargy, falls, confusion. We had great insurance through Kaiser Permanente and I used all the resources there to try to figure out what was going on.

Finally, in May 2012, I got my diagnosis of autoimmune disease. It was a real blow, as you can imagine.

A subtle change had started to take place in our marriage relationship while I was experiencing my early disease problems. I noticed the shift especially after one of #2’s trips to California, where he had stayed with friends in the town we had lived in before moving north. When he returned home, he seemed distant and preoccupied, but he couldn’t tell me if anything was bothering him.

These friends he visited had been close with him and his second wife for many, many years. #2 always referred to them as his best friends, together with another couple from the same town. The husband of the couple had an accident and his leg was injured very badly, to the point that he was bedridden for months, from what #2 told me. He was, naturally, very depressed about his injury, too. #2 visited them every time he went to California, he said, to try to cheer up his friend.

After I got my diagnosis, then began a  process lasting several months over the summer of trying different medications to figure out which would help the symptoms and perhaps stop the disease progression. I spent the majority of my time in bed because of medication side effects, fatigue, pain and my own depression during that time. I helped with the business as much as I could, but I wasn’t anywhere near the fully functioning partner I had always tried to be previously. #2 was pivotal in keeping our business and home going during this time and I tried to remember to thank him for his extra work. I knew he was exhausted from having so much on his plate.

Sometimes #2 would go to my many doctor’s appointments with me, but more often he needed to be at home due to business. When he came along, he seemed understanding and supportive while we spoke with my doctors. At home, he’d encourage me to take it easy and rest as much as possible while he worked. This always caused me a lot of guilt, but my body just would not cooperate with any other activity.

As the summer wore on, #2’s attitude began to deteriorate further and he became more distant and, now, argumentative with me. I’d been noticing that he was spending more time on the computer and also going outside to talk on the phone. When he’d help me get out of bed or to the bathroom, he handled me roughly and rarely spent time with me anymore. Then, the yelling started and quickly escalated. I was already an emotional mess from all that was happening to me physically. This new wrinkle in the marriage was quickly putting me over the edge.

It will come as no shock to anyone reading this that #2 was planning to leave me. What may come as a surprise is that he had been conniving to do so for months with the wife of his bed ridden best friend. I found the proof one day when I unexpectedly sat down at his computer to pay a couple of bills and found his Facebook messenger open. It revealed a very long conversation, the gist of which being, “If only we didn’t have to be caretakers to these people (our spouses), we could be together.”

So, now I knew the problem: the vows he made to me at our marriage were only lip service. “In sickness and in health” had a different meaning to him than everyone else on the planet. Integrity and strength of character were missing in this husband, too.

I didn’t confront him with my new information. I wanted to keep my own counsel and think about what my options were. I was a very sick woman. I was living in a house which he owned, not both of us together. I jointly owned a business with him. If we split up, how would I be able to work enough to afford the really expensive health insurance we had, among everything else?

The proverbial ish finally hit the fan on Thanksgiving Day 2012. We had a house full of boarding dogs, I was ill from trying out yet another medication (over the summer and early fall, I had tried five meds to stop my disease progression, all of which had made me either extremely nauseous or break out in hives), and #2 was itching for an argument. In the course of telling me how worthless I was for not being able to work and that I was a bitch, he said he wanted to go back home to California for good because he didn’t want to take care of a sick wife for the rest of his life.

Even though I had known we were likely to separate, the slap in the face from hearing my own husband tell me he no longer cared enough about me as a human being to honor his word and help me through the darkest part of my life was nearly palpable. I remember I was standing by the kitchen sink when he said this to me and I think I actually reeled backward.

Fast forward a few weeks. #2 has moved out of the house to live in the driveway in the travel trailer I purchased for us with money from my mother’s estate. He continues to work the dog business while I try to pull myself together enough and begin to formulate a plan for what I’ll do once he leaves. My health is still not good, but the latest medicine my doctor tries on me seems to be working better than any of the others and has alleviated a bit of the pain and fatigue.  During this time, I discover that #2 hasn’t paid the mortgage for several months while I had been so ill and not tending to the finances. The mortgage is in default, of course, and Bank of America wants their money. Where is it? No answer from #2. Foreclosure begins.

He finally leaves for good during the winter. By this time, I’m taking handfuls of prescription pills every day to be able to keep up with the business. Luckily, my dear dog clients have stood by me during the upheaval. He tells some of them goodbye and that he’s going to California “for a while to look after Mother because her health is getting worse”. My clients aren’t stupid and they know he’s leaving me. It’s actually sort of the same thing he tells me, that he’s going to live with his mom because of her health. I’m not stupid, either.

Long story short, he’s now living full-time with the wife of his ex-best friend. I assume he’s the ex-best friend. I wouldn’t think they could remain friends while my husband is brazenly adulterating with his wife. #2 has yet to file for divorce from me. That’s probably because he doesn’t want the courts or IRS to know that he has money stashed away which could be used to pay toward the $300K judgement against him from Bank of America for the mortgage default or to pay me spousal support. He continues to claim he doesn’t have a job or money when I contact him to ask for help while I’m in such dire need.

So, call out number two:  David F. Miller of Cloverdale, CA. (503-970-0704;; Facebook). The examples of personal integrity, honesty and respectability you and Marni Thompson Ojeda are providing to the children and grandchildren of your various marriages  are simply outstanding. The parents of the children in your daycare, Mrs. Ojeda, must also feel very fortunate to have you model such virtues to their kids. David, the time will come when you can no longer flee your responsibilities as you’ve demonstrated your entire life. Your dear mother will one day, fortunately, have a rest from bailing you out after you’ve created mess after mess for yourself. Grow up, claim responsibility, get a job, pay your debts and stop hiding. At 59 years old, that shouldn’t be hard to do. 

Three of a Kind, Part 1

Blog 1

Cool picture, huh? It was the start of our lives together and what a place to start it… New Zealand! We were both well into our 30s and my groom had a complicated family arrangement, so we decided not to have a traditional wedding in Texas. Instead, we planned a month-long excursion to NZ with ceremony at the cathedral in Christchurch. Everything was first class, too…chauffeur driven Bentley to the church, bagpiper to escort us down the aisle, bells ringing in the tower, even Asian tourists taking happy snaps of us as if we were celebrities. And after the wedding, punting on the River Avon (picture above), complete with rose petals strewn on us as our punter gently guided our boat under a lovely footbridge. We were off to an ideal beginning after each of us finally found the person who would understand, accept and support us throughout our life.

Yeah, nothing ever works that way, really.

I’m here today to call out an ex-husband. Total disclosure….I’ve almost had two of those now. The second one will show up next in this three-part series. But first, number 1…numero uno…l’ une.

#1 and I started out fine. We loved each other and settled in well to married life without too many problems, just the normal things newly-married and those who have lived alone most of their lives run into. Having no family myself, I latched onto his very welcoming family greedily, becoming particularly close to his mom and older brother. His mom’s family had a very large ranch in Texas and it was there that we tried to center our lives. Although we didn’t live on the ranch, only about 10 miles away, #1 made it a priority of his time to be on the ranch every day. Nobody could blame him, either. It is one of the most beautiful undeveloped and intact family spreads in the area. I was welcomed by his mom (ranch co-owner with her sister, and whom I always referred to as Barbra Stanwyck in The Big Valley when describing her to others) as an up-and-coming cowgirl apprentice and the future for us looked really solid.

Imagine my surprise the day after Valentine’s Day, not quite three years after we married, when #1 said he was leaving me, but “it has nothing to do with you”. That’s the only explanation I ever got.

Fast forward a while. The divorce was amicable, although I was given only six weeks to get out of our home and very little money. I had nothing but my very fledgling pet sitting business and old car when we married. He had the resources of owning the house we lived in and and other property, plus family to help him. I was so heartbroken by our divorce, but not only the breaking apart of our lives together, but losing the close bond I had grown with his mom and brother, too. In all the time during our separation, #1 remained resolute that he would not discuss the reason for wanting out. It was always, “it has nothing to do with you”. I quizzed him about there being another woman, being gay or bi-sexual, being pressured by his father, whose second wife no one got along well with and whom I had had a couple of run-ins with, too. Each time there was the same non-answer, “it has nothing to do with you”.

So, I did what any cowgirl does, I went West. I landed in northern California and restarted. It was a low time in my life and I knew staying in Texas would only bring me down further, but it was h-e-double-hockey-sticks hard to leave my dear home state. After a few years in NorCal, I moved to Oregon, my home now.

Now we get to the present time, where things are definitely a little more complicated for the ol’ cowgirl. To continue the ranchy theme, I’ve been through a couple or three rodeos and done got busted up a little. That’s life, though, right? You get knocked off your horse, get up and brush off, then get right back on and keep riding. But, there are definitely times in life when you just can’t make it on your own anymore no matter how hard you want to and try to. I’m at that point.

Friends, I’m broke and sick. A few years ago, I was told I have an autoimmune disease that’ll make me tired, painful and dependent on others for the rest of my life. But, it won’t kill me! Woo-hoo. At least, not in the sense that the obituary will read, “she died from an autoimmune disease”. With my illness, it’s probably going to be my heart or lungs that give out, but that won’t happen for years down the road, after I’m in a wheelchair with crumpled up hands, feet and muscles that won’t work any other part of my body. Oh, and the tired and painful part is like TIRED AND PAINFUL.  It’s a fatigue so consuming no one can describe it and an intense pain that leaves you breathless at its severity.

I’m not angry about it. There’s a genetic component to it and I got it from my mother. Everybody gets handed something in their genetic code and this is my present. But, the stinker about this disease is that there’s no cure and everyone who has it has it differently than the next person and each day is a new parade. Today, I might be able to take a shower. That might be the last time I do for another 10 days because I won’t be able to stand that long again.

So, as this thing goes, there are peaks and valleys and summer 2014 brought a very, very low valley for me. I had significant disease activity, which has made working as much as I used to impossible. For those who don’t know me, dogs are my business. It used to not be unusual for me to have up to 10 extra dogs around my house, apart from my own cherished three, at any time. I was on my feet a lot, cleaning, playing with, cleaning, feeding, cleaning, caring for…Those days have sadly disappeared for me and, with them, my income. In consultation with my doctor, I have applied for Social Security Disability.

I bet at this point you’re wondering why I told you all that about #1. Well, it seems that for the nearly three years we were married, he somehow forgot to file our income tax returns, even though each year at tax time I asked him if it was being done. Each time I asked, I got an affirmative answer and “don’t worry about it”. Being the trusting spouse I was (why did I have reason to doubt him?), I stupidly didn’t realize I was supposed to sign the return, too.  So, when I spoke to the Social Security Administration recently about my disability application, they told me I would be denied benefits because I don’t have enough credits to qualify and the reason I don’t is because there is no income for me for those tax years #1 and I were married.

Readers, this is a terrible blow. This denial means that for the remainder of my life, I won’t be allowed to receive benefits that all working people pay into during their productive years. I started working at 16, as many of you did (or even earlier), but yet that won’t count because the credits have to be earned within a certain, more recent time period. Further, this denial means I won’t be able to qualify for Medicare to help me with my medical costs. Retirement age for me to receive those benefits is another 15 years away. This is a crisis.

I contacted #1 regarding the missing tax returns. He ignored me for three days. Now, what you have to know about him is that he’s basically become as rich as Midas. Through his mother’s careful stewardship of the ranch, the family is making b-i-g bank on royalties from natural gas drilling there. I mean, his income is in the hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars per year range now. Not bad for a guy who lived off his mother’s charity and his wife’s pet sitting business while we were married.

In my email to him about the taxes, I am not proud to admit that I begged for his help. As I said, I’m broke and sick and that is a dreadful and terrifying combo for a single person with limited close friends and no family. I spilled my guts to him about how dire my situation is and told him that within weeks I would be homeless, have my vehicle repossessed, my phone turned off, and lose my pets if I can’t find help. I further asked what remedy he had made for those tax years that were keeping me from qualifying for disability benefits. Here is the reply I received…

“Carol, I am sorry you are going through tough times …. I have never wished you ill will, but I don’t know where you got this notion that I have such “resources” …. our relationship is long over, and I am in no position to offer you any such financial assistance, and that will not change …. you sound as if you are going through challenging times, and I wish you all the luck in the world, but you will have to look towards the many ministries that might be able to help, or state resources, or perhaps your “other” ex-husband, but not me ….”

Yeah, I thought it was pretty condescending and arrogant, too.

As a strong conservative Christian, as he always has claimed to be, it’s really fresh that he suggests I look to others to fix the problem he created for me. And, as for where I got the notion that he has resources, that’s not hard to calculate using information from the website of the Railroad Commission of Texas, the oversight agency for natural gas drilling in the state. I also knew what was being negotiated in the drilling contracts before I left the family.

More than anything, though, what gives one person the right to just be an ass to another for the sake of being an ass?

So, here’s the call out that I promised way back up there (this has become a longer first post than I imagined…): Christopher Cornwall of Cresson, TX, (817-713-0964, Executive Realty, Facebook,…be sure to show him some love if you feel like it) you lack character and integrity, son. Apparently, I wasn’t the first to notice this, either. Do you know that people ridicule you for your incessant arrogance? Do you care that others know you wouldn’t have amounted to a hill of beans without your mom always bailing you out? How does it feel to be alone with your money as your only comfort, besides your dogs, at 52? You ever wonder what it would be like to have a true friend you don’t automatically assume is with you just for your assets?  Oh, and for heaven’s sake, stop adjusting your crotch. It’s uncomfortable for everybody around you and I know for a fact there’s not enough there to be constantly out of place.

I may not have internet access for much longer (that’s one of the bills I can’t pay right now), but I hope I’ll be able to continue this series with #2 next time. He’s also a piece of work and left me shortly after I got sick. Thanks for your time and attention. Sorry I got so long winded. Love to you all.  ~C