Category Archives: memories

Gravity, Interrupted.

Prompted by an excellent piece by my good friend and author, Harry Ramble, I wish to share a short countenance that is stored in my memory as one of the first dates I had with PD.

PD’s father owned a camp a couple of hours from here.  It was in a beautiful and secluded wooded area and would make an excellent place to invite a beautiful woman for a nice weekend escape and PD, being no dummy, did that very thing.  And I accepted.

New to this whole “camp” scenario, I didn’t know that the propane tanks which enable cooking and heating inside the camp would be stored in a shed off to the edge of the property, probly about  twenty feet from the camp itself. C’mon. I was a city girl long before I became a country girl… At any rate, the shed had been built amid a blind of pine trees.  Very. Tall. Pine. Trees.  It was dark in the shed. I don’t remember if there was electricity in there, but I stood outside under the pines while PD unlocked the padlock on the door of the shed and stepped inside.  I was to find out later that the loud whooshing sound I heard was from the air escaping the tank when he opened the valve to turn on the propane.  It was quite startling since I did not expect the noise.  AND it was loud. Evidently the squirrel in the tree must have been at least as startled as I was because, mid-whoosh, he dove straight down out of the tree  like a furry gray torpedo  and landed  directly on my head for a second or two… his tiny paws scrambling around in my hair to get his footing long enough to dive yet again.  This time, to the ground and he shot off into the woods, most likely to a backwoods version of Urgi-Care to have a full cardio work-up to make sure he wasn’t having a heart attack. Me? I would never relax outside the confines of my own home, ever again.

Maybe a better title for this post may have been “Squirrel, Interrupted…”

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Life and Aging

So I’ve become preoccupied with the whole concept of aging.  But mostly how unfair it is.  It occurs to me that in this instance, Life and Aging can be used interchangeably.

I keep thinking of my parents when they were young.  How they fell in love, how their lives unfolded and how innocent they started out.  There was no way they could have known that they would have six children or the allowances and sacrifices they would be required to make.  Both of them came from very poor families and decided that their kids would not do without as they did.  That, in itself is a rather daunting undertaking.

I think when we look at our parents, we forget that they were much like we are at one time. Most likely they had a lot of the same feelings and desires and fears.  When I look at myself and wonder how I got this old, I realize now that they must have done the same thing.  It seems so unfair to me that Life has robbed them, not only of their youth and innocence but their vitality and abilities to take care of themselves, and then, finally, their lives themselves. It seems so senseless.  I try to concentrate on the good memories, the happy times and the fact that the world is a better place for them having been here.  But when I think of how short a time we’re given on this Earth to accomplish something, it seems kind of cruel to me.

I think I’m about to embark on the angry stage of Grief.

My Mom and Dad

This is my mom and dad, the couple standing. I’m pretty sure that’s not Lee Harvey Oswald in the foreground. The pic is circa 1954.

SAD HERE TODAY

You may have heard about PD’s little buddy, Broken Foot here or on my facebook page.

Early this past summer he called me outside to see a bunny in our backyard.  There I saw this little guy.  He had some trouble hopping and we decided that his right back paw had been broken at some time and never healed correctly. It’s not obvious in this photo but he also had part of his left ear missing.  Such a lot of turmoil he must have endured in his short little life.

Over the course of the summer, PD would throw carrots to him from a safe distance and we would watch him nibble them.  After a couple of weeks, he would show up several times during the day.  PD began keeping carrots in a plastic container just for the bunny and would shake them when he would go outside and after a time, the bunny would come close to the house for his daily treats.  PD started to call him Broken Foot.  As time went on, Broken Foot would come closer and closer until we could sit at our picnic table and he would merrily chomp down his treats a few feet away,  not afraid at all.

Neighborhood cats made us nervous a lot of the time.  There were two that we’d see now and then and were never sure if they were strays or if they belonged to someone.  A certain black one would show up at night and when we would see Broken Foot the next day we would feel relief, knowing that he had avoided a tangle with the cat.

Then one day another bunny showed up in our yard. Shortly after it became commonplace to see this bunny and Broken Foot playing together.  We decided it was a she and that she was BF’s girlfriend.  She was not as fearless and never came so close for carrots.

Nature being what it is,  a short time passed and PD called me out one day to show me a little nest covered with grass and bunny fur with five teeny tiny bunnies nestled inside.  PD had very nearly run over it with the lawn mower.  We were both excited for the Foot family and looked forward to watching them grow.  And we felt honored that they chose the relative safety of our yard to raise a family.

Sadly, the next day PD buried what was left of the babies after a cat had found the nest.  We grieved for Broken Foot and his Lady.

Time went on and Broken Foot grew to the size you see here.

Then late in October, Broken Foot didn’t show up and for two weeks, PD and I nervously watched along the road in front of our house expecting to see a little brown mound, figuring that he’d maybe run in front of a passing car.  We would see the Lady from time to time but she would be alone.

Then one cold snowy night, PD was looking out the back door and I was busy. I heard him rustling around and then I heard the door close.  I went to investigate and I found PD in the yard, with carrots welcoming Broken Foot back.  There was pure joy in his voice and I could tell how happy he was to see him.

BF took up residence first under the utility shed in the back yard.  PD would make sure the entrance to his hole was clear of snow and ice.  Lately with the cold, cold temperatures, he’s been living under our back porch.

Today when I came home from work, PD greeted me with the sad news that he’d found Broken Foot’s broken little body under our porch when he was putting a sled away that we’d decorated for Christmas with a wreath and bow.  He said it was obvious that he’d tangled with a cat, finally.  And lost.  He buried him in a special place.

You were a tough little bunny and you found a place in our hearts.  I hope there are no kitties where you are now.  XO

 

 

WHIZZ BANG POW

So here I sit, slightly dizzy and trying to wrap my head around the fact that it is July 31, 2010.  The Summer is roughly two-thirds behind us and that just boggles my mind.  I plodded and scraped and shivered through a taxing Winter with it firmly planted in my mind that if I could just survive it there would be a glorious Summer full of fun and sun waiting for me as my reward.

Summer finally arrived and it’s slipping through my fingers like mercury.

We’ve just (barely) survived a couple weeks of sweltering humidity on top of 80-90 degree temperatures that demanded, pretty much, staying inside taking advantage of the AC and constantly whirring fans which totally get on my last nerve. I detest them.  Now today, finally, it seems the humidity has left us and I was actually able to sit comfortably on my porch and enjoy my morning coffee with the birds and flowers.  That is one of my Life’s Favorite Pastimes.

So, God willing, here is how I’m hoping to spend what’s left of my precious Summer~

Next weekend I plan to travel back to my hometown to spend the weekend with my BFF Kate, who’s been my BFF since the first grade. The County Fair will be going on and we will OD ourselves on it as we have together, more years than not since we became BFFs.  Added bonus~ late-night catching up on what’s new with each other and reliving great memories.  Kate can make me laugh like nobody else and there are always tears and sore laugh muscles involved.  Yes, I am looking forward to that like crazy.

Later this month brings our Family Reunion. Not your normal reunion. I think you have to have a normal family in order to have a normal reunion… ; ) But we camp at our family park at my father’s homestead and it lasts for three days for some of us.  And we have such a hella good time that 3 days is usually not enough.  Yeah, I have some truly great relatives.  We have made some awesome memories over the years.  I cherish those times when so many of the people I love so very much are all in one place.

Next month my Godson is getting married. It promises to be a wonderful celebration with family and friends. The added bonus is that it will be something to look forward to instead of mourning the end of the Summer for me.

I found out yesterday that one of my favorite bands of all time, Yeasayer, will be in concert the end of September near me.  I will be able to check off an item on my Bucket List if I can go, and I intend to.

So, being that the first couple months of the Summer have flown by, filled up with a bunch of crap that I’m not even going to go into here, I’m hell-bent on spending what’s left with some fun stuff to make up for the other. Maybe somehow Time will magically slow down and this dizzy feeling will go away.

YEARNING FOR THE SIMPLE

This weekend’s project is cleaning out and organizing the attic.  I’ve put it off for way too long.  In the interest of feeling more in control of  my life as well as looking forward at the prospect of my children resenting me after I’m gone, I decided it was TIME.

As I was rooting through “the Kids’ Corner,” I found myself rapt in memories of times long ago, good memories.  Memories of a simpler time.  Looking at special baby clothes that I’d saved made me hungry to hold a baby.  Not just any baby, but one of mine.  Michael and Jennifer were two of the World’s Greatest Babies.  Both were beautiful beyond imagination and joys to take care of.  Sure there were fussy times and scary times as there are with all babies.  But looking back, I’m beyond positive that I would do it all again.   Of course, times were different then.  There were not so many conveniences.  There were no vibrating baby chairs that would lull the baby to sleep while Mama took care of other things.  There were no microwaves to heat bottles.  There were disposable diapers but I was as stubborn then as I am now.  (And environmentally conscious too)  but real diapers didn’t work well for me and my babies each had the wicked diaper rashes as proof.  I caved in the interest of my children’s bums and used the cursed all-absorbent land-filling disposables.

But back to my thoughts of simpler times.  How did everything get so complicated in a span of just 20-30 years?  Everything has become so specialized.  Used to be if you were going to cook something, you just did it.  You grabbed a pan and turned on the stove.  Now there are tons of different kinds of cookware depending on if you’re grilling, nuking, using a convection oven, toaster oven, whatever.  It’s become a big old circus.  And yet so many of us opt for grabbing something out of the freezer, throwing a paper towel over it and blasting the living shit out of it in a microwave.  That includes vitamins, enzymes and all the other things that are supposed to be in food.  All in the interest of saving time.  And ultimately starving our bodies of much-needed stuff like nutrients.

Do you remember when soap was soap?  It was something you washed with.  Now when something needs cleaned, your choices are endless.  You have bath and shower gels, body bars, pump sprays, scrubs, liquids, lotions, beads, oils, scented, unscented, emollients, exfoliators, with and without sunscreen, vitamin-enriched, organic, yadda badda bing. I could go on but I won’t.

Used to be if you had a headache, you simply took a freakin’ aspirin.  Now, omigawd, by the time you decide what to take, either your headache is a) gone or b) has escalated to migraine level which necessitates a whole ‘nother kind of pain reliever with about a gazillion other options.

Yeah well, I was just taking a break from the attic thing and needed to let some thoughts out.  Back to the sifting and sorting.  Anyone interested in six large boxes of slightly used stuffed animals?

AWAY FOR A DAY

Not that anyone was expecting me to post or anything but I actually did have plans to post the rest of the week.  You see, we got so far ahead at work (hard to believe, I know) that I am temporarily off overtime hours.  For the rest of the week, as it stands now.

And one of the first things I thought of doing with those two plus extra hours a day, was actually sitting down here and pretending it was like old times.

But then something came up and this will probly be all you’re gonna get.

My mom called me this afternoon to share the sad news that her sister, my aunt, had died this morning.  As accustomed as I have become the past several months to hearing bad news, I was not prepared at all for this.

My mom has two sisters and as they have aged, I’ve gotten in the habit of thinking of them as The Golden Girls.  While none of the three particularly resemble Rose or Blanche or Dorothy, their collective personalities are as entertaining and delightful.  I have not been in the same room with the three of them for years but the memories I have of them together are precious to me.   There was never a dull moment or a lapse in laughter when they were together.

One of these days I will post a picture of them and a story or two to go with it.

PD and I will be driving back to my hometown on Thursday to pay our respects and share some necessary Family love.  I need to put my time in at work tomorrow and then finish packing for Thursday.  See ya later, ‘gators.

Prayers appreciated for my uncle, my cousin, the grand daughters, my mom and my other aunt.  Thank you.

DAD’S PLANT (Part 2)

So yeah, I’ve had the plant since my dad died April of 1998. It was the only plant from the dish garden that survived so I was very careful about tending to it. In fact, when we would go to the family park each year for our family reunion, PD fills up jugs with water from the creek there and I would use that to water it each and every Saturday morning. My dad probly played in that creek or fished in it and I figured he might appreciate some of that “down home food” for the plant. I got to the point that I would be devastated if anything happened to the plant so I tried numerous times to take cuttings, hoping they would root and I’d have a “back up” if anything ever happened to it. It took me all this time but I now have two full-sized plants and a baby that I’m tending with love and care.
The really cool thing about this plant… All of a sudden one day after I’d had it for awhile, it bloomed. Little wee tiny white flowers. I don’t remember how long the blooms lasted the first few times. But after a time, I noticed that there was no pattern to when it would bloom. After another time, I noticed that it would bloom when there was something good going on in the family, such as when a baby was born or a marriage, different milestones in the family. I started to interpret the flowers as Dad’s way of saying to me “This is good.” After a few years, I got used to it and could predict when I could start watching for the flowers. You can understand, I think, why the plants have come to be so important to me.
I have a cousin who grew fascinated with the plant a while back when I told her that it bloomed right before she told us she was expecting. A couple of years later when she found herself once again in a family way, she would call me from time to time to see what Dad was “saying.” As it so happened, she called one day and I reported that the plant was indeed in bloom but I was amazed this time, to see that the flowers were not white, but lavender. She laughed and told me she knew why. When I asked how she could know such a thing, she told me that she had painted the baby’s nursery lavender that morning. So of course, the next time I see her, I’m gifting her with the baby plant. I know she’ll appreciate it and take good care of it. And I think Dad would like that.
dadplantH_09
There have been times that my mom was struggling with health issues or some other type of stress. I love to be able to tell her that the plants are blooming and that Dad is saying “Don’t worry, everything will be fine.”
I’m sure there are those out there who may be skeptical about this kind of communication I have with my Dad. But I don’t care, it’s between him and me and that’s all that matters.
It’s Saturday morning, time to go water the plants. : )

DAD’S PLANT (Part 1)

I have been meaning to share this with you for a few years now. I imagine that you’re wondering why it’s taken me so long and why I’ve finally decided to give it up… I have to admit that it’s kind of personal, that’s part of the reason I haven’t written about it. The other reason is that, well, it may be kind of hard to believe. But I think you know me well enough by now to know that I wouldn’t lie to you and that it’s perfectly normal for me to have weirdness.

This story is about a plant.  Which has since become three plants.  If my dream comes true, that number could grow to a whole terrarium of plants.  

“Where did this plant come from and why is it special? you may be asking by now.

When my father died in April 1998, many wonderful people sent beautiful flower arrangements and dish gardens, as people are wont to do when someone dies.  A few days after the funeral, me mum was divvying up the plants to assorted family members.  I became the owner of a beautiful and large dish garden.

The only surviving plant member from that dish garden has been with me for 11 years now.  That fact in itself is incredible, considering that my thumbs are not only not green, but utterly colorless.

A couple of years ago I finally was successful at (what is the word?)  Propagating? [ Whatever it is called when you make one plant into two and they are both alive and well.]  The main reason I did this is because I become totally terrified at the idea of the plant ever dying and I figured if there were two instead of one, my chances of saving at least one of two were way better than if I only had one and killed it.

I lovingly refer to the plant(s) as “Dad’s Plant(s)…”  for two reasons.  One, if it weren’t for my dad, I wouldn’t have the thing(s), and two, because I have never found out what the real name of the plant is.  It’s not because I can’t look it up or even that I’ve tried, because I haven’t.  I’m weird that way, some things are just not important to me.   Due to the amount of explaining that will be necessary for you to understand how important these plants have become to me, I will show you what they look like now and continue with the story another day.  If you know what family this plant belongs to, feel free to tell me.  I will be impressed.  I’ll probly forget two minutes after I go away from this page, but I will be impressed, nonetheless.

Here they are, the original (top) and then he and his brother for your thoughtful consideration:

Original Plant

Plants One and Two

NOTHING COMES

I wrote a lengthy post in my head last night when I couldn’t get to sleep due to being all stuffed up and slightly achy.  Guess what?  This morning I can’t even remember what the subject was.

But while I have your attention, I’ll tell you this. I’m considering getting my old blog put into book form.  Just because I can.  I was reading some of it last night and it’s so much better than this one.  I should be ashamed of myself for not giving this blog the tender loving care and time that I invested in the old one.  Just goes to show you, I’m getting lazier and less prolific in my old age.

Off to start my day.  Yay.