Changing How it Turned Out - Melody Cryns

We live in a lovely little home amid trees and flowers with a garden, slightly unkempt in front. The house looks like an English cottage – it’s the house I passed by almost every day those few months we lived in San Jose near the Rose Garden neighborhood. But the house isn’t in San Jose – no, it’s right by the beach in Santa Cruz. We can walk to the beach with the harbor and the lighthouse.

My mother, who thankfully quit smoking when she was younger, is still around and comes to visit often. Megan invites her lovely friends over. She’s almost finished with high school and is graduating at almost the top of her class. My older kids are all very successful and happy, well adjusted young adults. I am making a living as a teacher and a writer, and I’m not stressed out about work at all. Every day I walk down to the beach with my ukulele and the dog and let her play in the waves – and I play my uke on the beach, sometimes alone and sometimes with all of my uke playing friends.

We make trips to San Francisco often, and usually stay at the Seal Rock Inn which overlooks the Cliff House and Land’s End – or we stay at Melissa’s house in Twin Peaks. I always travel down Highway 1 to get to San Francisco because who’s in a hurry?

Although I do have to teach at certain times, I’m pretty much free to do what I want and go wherever I want – I can always make ukulele jam get togethers and acoustic jams, and of course, there’s always time to sit and write.

If I want to take a nap in the middle of the day, I do it – lying down on a hammock in my lovely backyard.

Of course, I have a wonderful dependable car that never causes any problems at all – a BMW that gets me to where I want to go in no time at all, a zippy little car with all the bells and whistles anyone could want. Sweet car!

I’ve already published a book and another one is coming out soon. I’ve got it made in the shade, oh yeah! I’m going on a book tour soon with my ukulele so I can play music, sing and read from my writings. Life is really good – there’s always someone at the house to take care of the animals, and my daughter is so incredibly responsible. I trust her totally and completely. Oh and how can I forget my wonderful, hot loving boyfriend who is always there for me? He even travels with me and pays his own way and everything!


As I sit here and listen to Beatles music, I smile – thinking of how my life could have been, wondering if I truly would have changed the path if I could have.

I live in a one-bedroom apartment in Sunnyvale off El Camino with my incorrigible 18-year-old daughter Megan. She needs to get her act together and finish high school – and get a job of course. Our little dog likes to bark at everyone that walks by our apartment, and I had to leave her alone today because Megan’s off gallivanting around in Monterey, or Santa Cruz – not sure where. And she doesn’t want to come home. Not that I blame her, but still.

My little car overheated on the way to Sacramento for no apparent reason and the last time we lived in a house was when we lived in Oregon – but it was a sort of run-down house on a cul-de-sac just outside Salem, Oregon.

Mom passed away back in 1997 when the older kids were teenagers and Megan was only four, right before I fled from Oregon and moved back down to California with all of my kids – driving a piece of crap old Chevy Cavalier car that my son’s friend had given us – that was after the last car had broken down before that one.

We ended up having to move several times to dodge the high rents in the San Francisco Bay Area, and one time just because there were too many teenagers hanging around my place. There were always too many teenagers hanging around my place.

Now here I sit listening to Beatles music, wondering where Megan is and if Jen will be okay – that’s Jeremy’s girlfriend. She was so stressed out about the pregnancy and moving that she went on disability and she’s having a rough time. Now that my older daughter Melissa is getting a job, will she be able to start paying me back? Will she be able to pay off that bail bond I still get phone calls for because apparently they have my name and number?