Welcome to Ken’s World!

July 13, 2015

Absolutely wonderful visit with my husband Kenny and our dear long time friends Lisa and Gary on Saturday. The visit was so easy – it was like it always is the many times we have gotten together. As is often the case with close friends, we were all entertained by short trips into “Ken’s World.” In Ken’s World, normal rules don’t apply. The rules are all made up by Ken and they can – and do – change at any time! One of the many things I love about him!

So, Ken has decided now that I got a pay raise and am earning “so much money,” I need to “live within my means.” That is what he has been doing for the past several months so why shouldn’t I? Actually I probably could, although I would not be nearly as happy – definitely fewer avocados! But he raised an interesting point as his “Ken’s World” pronouncements usually do! Until six months ago, I was the one who was in charge of our finances. And prior to my checking into Taft Federal Prison Camp, one of the planning steps we took is I gave Ken full financial power of attorney (gasp!). It’s been really weird going from running all of our finances to having zero control. It’s like I don’t exist! Fortunately Ken has really stepped up and done a great job managing our finances. Now I can just kick back when I get out! Haha (just kidding Kenny!)

In order for the next foray into Ken’s World to make sense, I need to explain “count.” It will come as no surprise that prisons need to count inmates at regular intervals to make sure we are all still here. Everyone learned more about that with the recent escapes from upstate NY. Well, one of the counts we have is Saturdays, Sundays and holidays at 10:30 am. And this of course includes the inmates who are in visitation at that time. That is really the only actual glimpse people who visit me get of “prison life.” And everyone is invariably startled when the CO (corrections officer) flicks the lights on and off at 10:30 and all the inmates pop up to be counted. This was Lisa and Gary’s second visit and Gary’s first question was, “when’s count?” (He’s German – he likes structure). So after count on Saturday, Kenny announced that after I am released, in order to facilitate my re-entry into civilian life, he will continue “count.” At the appropriate times, he will yell, “stand for count!” Then he and Tito Puente will walk by and Kenny will say, “One!” and then walk to the other end of our trailer and yell, “clear!” Isn’t he sweet??? He also said he would get me a locker where he would store treats that I could buy from the “Bertwell Commissary.” But, again, I would have to live within my means. Hopefully by then I will be earning a bit more than 29 cents per hour and thus be able to afford cashews for my locker rather than the almonds and peanuts we have here! Ah, I love the trips into Ken’s World!

Actually, because it was such a wonderful visit, my re-entry back into the “yard” from the visiting room was tough. When hugging everyone goodbye, I didn’t want to let go – especially of Kenny. I tried to do a little reading but I had to take a nap because I was so emotionally drained. But it was more than worth it! And I have two more visits coming up this weekend – my brother and his family (hopefully including Dani and Aaron!) and my dear long time friend Vicki (whom I call La Victoria!). Life is good!

Finally, today marks six months since I arrived to federal prison. Time has really gone by fast and that is a GOOD thing!

All my best!

David

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