Saturday, December 30, 2006

Resolution...

Start new
again.
This night.
Each day.
Resolve
this moment.
Step up.
Move on.
Now.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bye, Bye Holidays...

...except for New Year's Eve, and that's a piece of cake.

Christmas here was quiet but lovely.
I spent the day reading a book that I got from a friend. IM'd with my brother in Utah and a high school friend in Ohio. Then multiple phone calls from other sibs and a couple of old friends. Reading bunches of blogs, of course. And, reading and responding to several e-mails from other friends.

No direct human contact all day, but still lots of communicating with lots of people I care about. Warm and fuzzy feelings.
Not bad at all.

So, now that's all done and I can get back to normal.
Wait... I'm not normal. I don't like normal.
I don't want to be normal.

I think I need more coffee to ponder this a bit.
Perhaps a bit of the Dalwhinnie I bought myself for Christmas.
Oh, yeah... that sounds like a much better idea.





p.s. I almost forgot to mention what I did the day after Christmas...

I got to meet a blogger. In person!
My first real in person blogger meeting...
Scott, of When The Smoke Clears, is a gentleman
of the Nth degree. Charming, intelligent, fascinating, wonderful sense of humor.
We spent over an hour chatting, but the time really flew.
Thank you, Scott, for making time for me during your vacation.
I truly hope we get to meet again.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas...

I hadn't planned on doing a holiday post, but...

I just spent several hours visiting all my favorite blogs. Yes, hours.
You folks have no idea how you lift me, inspire me, make me smile and cry.
Thank you all for that.

When I got to Valerie's blog, I lost it... big time.
I have tussled with religion, faith... all of that... my whole life.
But, that doesn't mean the words of those who believe are lost on me.

I want to share what she posted... words from Nelson Mandela...

Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we
are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you NOT to be?
You are a child of God; your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel
insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone, and as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear our presence
automatically liberates others.





We all have lights to shine, don't we?
I want to thank all of you for shining yours on me.

Merry Christmas, my friends.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Try Harder...

"Folks will try harder to keep from losing something
they think they have,
than they will work to get something
they think they really want."


Berry Connell, July 2006

The Old Gazebo...

Winter. Late afternoon.
The beach is empty. The air is grey-blue.
The ocean is grey-silver, scattered with foamy white waves.

At the high-tide mark is a long wooden, railed walkway leading to
an old gazebo perched on top of the highest dune.
Inside the gazebo is a picnic table with benches.

Under the table is a pair of small deck shoes.
Between the shoes is an empty styrofoam coffee cup.

The most interesting thing is on the table. An open book.
The pages on the left are flapping lightly with the breeze.
The pages on the right are clipped together by a pen.
They struggle to move with the wind..

On that first page on the right is a single handwritten line.
In the most delicate and precise penmanship. It says...


"I am going home."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Strength Is Needed...



Please offer prayers, warm thoughts and peace
to this good man and his family.

You Don't Know Me...

I should have been an actress, getting paid to pretend.

The "black dog" is haunting me again and I am doubting my strength to repel his advances this time. Doubting, even, my desire to care.

I am tired of myself. Indeed, do I even know myself?
Do I really want to?

Outward appearance reflects strong... survivor. Inside, I know differently.
I hide. I barricade and retreat. The walls around me grow thicker.
I will let no one inside. Ever.
They would be disappointed and leave quickly. My image tarnished.
My self shamed.

In a post from February 8, a commenter left these words:

"though we struggle to become what we know we are...
we sometimes act to confirm what we believe we are.
choose."

I have read her words hundreds of times since.
What I continue to struggle with is figuring out the difference... or, perhaps, accepting the difference... between what I know and what I believe I am.
They seem to overlap. Confusion reigns. And, I don't particularly like the specifics of either, anyway.

Depression chips away at life. The reasons can be elusive, even non-existant.
That probably does not make sense to many people. Especially those who confuse clinical depression with self-pity, whining, pouting.

I do not have... I have not had... a bad life.
Still, the shadows creep over me at times.
Like now.

Offered advice has included, "Just get up and do what you have to do!".
Depression short-circuits that command.

Will this mood pass, as the many others have?
Probably.
Will I be a better or different person when this finally fades away?
Probably not.

Swirling within myself.
Sounds selfish.
Feels selfish.
Breeds anger.
Waste of time.
Waste of oxygen.

You don't know me.
Most times...

...I don't want to know myself.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Night Launch...

Living in Florida affords me the opportunity to witness some truly beautiful moments.
This past Saturday evening was one.

There was a NASA shuttle launched from the Cape at 8:47 p.m.

Watching a shuttle launch in the daytime is undoubtedly impressive.
Seeing it when your world is wrapped in darkness, under cover of a starlit sky, is breathtaking.

My vantage point this time was a long, wooden dock that extended several yards into the Halifax River.

Looking southeast that night, everything was a shadow or a silhouette.
Expansive oak trees shared the riverbank with tall palm trees. Condominiums were sentries, higher than the trees.

Cars were parked along the edge of the road and in the small picnic area beside the river. People came in droves, from those cars, to gather as close to the river as possible, looking for an unobstructed skyward view.
We were lemming-like in our march to the edge.

Keeping track of the time and listening to portable radios, several in the crowd loudly announced the take-off.
You could feel everyone holding their breath.
The tension... anticipation... waiting for the white glow to be visible from some sixty miles south of us.

It took two or three minutes before the light began to show.
The crowd pointed as one and announced to all,
"There! There it is!" Applauding. Cheering. Whistling.
The brilliant white light crawled across the horizon before it began its upward mushrooming spread. Slowly.

The clouds began to glow.
From the bottom center of the sky-horizon
a white beacon emerged. The giant candle struggled upward, then leaned slightly east, toward our left... higher.
Ever. Slowly. Higher.
Half-way up our window view of the sky... the shuttle seemed to shift to a higher gear... moving steadily faster. Moving higher and faster, leaving a long, bright streak behind it.

It outran the mushroom glow.
It slid into the black velvet cover over earth.
The yellow fire from the boosters marked its progress upward. Until, as star-tiny specs, they were released and fell softly.
Fading sparklers.

Some of us lingered.
Straining to see one more glimpse before turning away.
Wishing a safe journey to the brave souls travelling so far.

Wishing even harder, for a safe return home.

Monday, December 11, 2006

What If...

Would it have been
better left unsaid.

Would it have been
better left unseen.

To have never
heard your voice.

To have never
felt your touch.

Regrets?
...never.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Lame...

Sorry for not doing anything here in a while.
I have an idea brewing. Hopefully, it will be ready tomorrow.

I appreciate all of you who keep checking for a pulse.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Microscopic Welder...

I read the title of this post and cringe.
Where was my brain the day I wrote that in my profile??

Yes, I am a welder. NO... I am not microscopic. Sheesh.
I will leave it as written in the hope that it will keep me humble.

Some folks have asked that I include some personal info on my blog, so I thought this might be a good place to start... what I do for a living.

I work for a manufacturing company in Florida. I weld... under a microscope.
The engineers also call this type of welding metal fusion. GTAW.
It isn't like the type of welding you see done in a body shop, although I wouldn't mind knowing how to do that too.

One department makes bellows and seals for companies that make machines that make computer chips.
However, the department I work for primarily makes bellows and seals for the aerospace industry. I take great pride in the jobs that I work on. Why?
Because most of the aerospace jobs are critical components in assemblies that can affect the life and safety of the people who use them.

Examples:

We make fuel drains for Lockheed and other customers. Needed for in-flight fueling of military jets.
We make components that are part of the pilot ejection system.
Yet another, a bellow for the PAC-3.
Fluid accumulators for NASA shuttles... they change urine into potable water.
Then, there is part of the assembly that controls the wing flaps on commercial jets.
Another assembly that is part of the fire detection system in the cargo areas of commercial jets.
One of our newest customers is a major oil rig manufacturer.

The job I work on most often is part of the system that signals when the oxygen mask drops out of the ceiling of a jet and dangles in front of your face. It's called an air breather valve.
This bellow assembly is made of stainless steel. The parts I weld... under a microscope... are a mere .0015" thick. The inside diameter is less than half an inch across, the outside diameter is less than one inch across. Thus... the need for the microscope. And, precision and dexterity.

The thickest material we weld is a mere .009" thick. Other than the hardware, which might be from 1/8" to 1/4" thick, that gets welded to the bellows.
Did I mention that paper is about .003" thick?

I've been doing this job for eleven years.

I've had other jobs in other areas of manufacturing, to include... metal stamping, plastic injection molding, quality control, emergency first aid (because my first college major was nursing), CNC operator for the bolt carrier for the M-16, and tester of electronic detectors.
Four different companies over a twenty-three year period.

I also spent nine years working for the local chapter of the National Safety Council.
I started as a part-time instructor (because my major ended up being education). I taught five different driver improvement classes. Oh, yeah... the ones everyone loves to attend when their license is suspended or, right after getting a traffic ticket or a DUI... and a special class for senior citizens so they can get an insurance discount.
After four years of teaching, I was hired as a department manager for traffic and occupational safety. I got to hire and train other instructors, among a gazillion other things.

I've also waitressed, tended bar, worked at a country club and... one year of subbing at a high school. The one job in my life that I liked the least?
I wrote obituaries for the local newspaper.
It wasn't the job itself that I disliked. It was the people working at the paper. Some of the most cold-hearted and egotistical humans with whom I've ever had to associate.

I was working there the day the first shuttle blew up. I was on the beachside that day and witnessed it. A horrible sight. When I got to work that afternoon... a mere two hours after the tragedy... people at the paper were already making jokes! I don't think I stayed more than another month after that.

Manufacturing has been a major component of the economy of this country... forever.
Unfortunately, that has been changing drastically.
It has been a major economic component of almost half my life.
My father was a machinist for Goodyear for 31 years. He wanted me to go to college so I wouldn't spend my life in a factory, like he did.
I graduated from college in 1974, and still ended up in manufacturing.
I'm not sorry.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

More good words to share...

This one is from Ron... a most wonderful teller of true stories.
He promises the ending soon... take a tissue with you.



One of the first blogs I ever read, and Lee was one of my first commenters.
Go visit him, too. Another kind heart in our crazy world.



Actually, take the time to visit all the blogs on my sidebar... every one of them is worth your time. Enjoy.

Sears has the right idea...

I found this over at Curmudgeonisms this morning.

He checked it out with Snopes.... and got a nice response by e-mail from Sears.
I may go shopping today!




...thanks, Dave.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Your Choice...

Take me
or leave me,
simple as
that.

Nothing
will change here,
done with all
that.

It's good
or it isn't,
make up your
mind.

Life goes
too quickly to
navigate
blind.

You can
sit on the bench,
wait for the next
bus.

There's more
where this came from,
if perfection you must
lust.

Just try
to remember,
while drooling on
candy.

That aged
wine you passed by,
was probably
dandy.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Dear You,

Stop forgetting that I am your friend!
There is no agenda here. No debt owed for caring.
Just want us to share laughter and tears as they come.

Don't hide. Reach out from your darkness.
I'm here.

Love,
Me

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Always and Forever...

Remind me again of
the whispered promise.

Eternal, forever
all the tomorrows.

Can a promise be kept as
time goes by?

Do words from then mean
the same today?

Do hearts change as
truths unveil?

As lives change does
love change along?

Do we promise forever but
hope for tomorrow?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mom's Good Boy...

When Michael brought him home he was only six weeks old and already bigger than a football. His chest was so big that my hands could not wrap around it.

I didn't want another dog. Our last one had just died a few months before and, with five cats in the house, we really didn't need another animal.

Michael had started a new job on the night shift. He didn't want me to be alone while he was at work. And, I had a second job teaching for the local Safety Council, which meant that I came home after 10 p.m. two or three nights a week. So, when he saw a sign in the neighborhood that said "Free Puppies", he stopped to look at them and came home with Corky.

I picked up the puppy and he immediately snuggled his face in my neck. I put him on my lap and he let out a long, loud sigh and fell asleep. That's all it took. We had a new dog.

And, even better... he was housebroken in less than twenty-four hours!
I kid you not.

For the next sixteen years Corky was my protector. He made me feel safe.
Especially after Michael committed suicide and I decided to continue living in the house.
For the nine years since then, I always knew he would be waiting at the gate for me whenever I got home. And, he followed me down the driveway to the gate every morning as I left for work.
I can still hear his nails clicking on the concrete. He was Mom's Good Boy.

He didn't really start to show signs of aging until a couple of years ago. I noticed his eyes getting cloudy from cataracts... cold weather seemed to make his hips stiff... and he wasn't quite as quick to react to little noises.
But, he still patrolled and guarded... and made me feel safe.

This weekend, old age finally took its toll. Corky died.
It wasn't easy for either of us.


Truth...


I helped him die.


I got home from work Saturday afternoon and headed to the garage to give him his dinner.
He hadn't been waiting for me in the driveway. He wasn't in the garage or his dog house.
I walked out of the garage and saw him lying in the back yard. He was breathing hard.

I called to him, but he didn't get up. I walked to him.
He was limp and panting. I got a bottle of water and let him drink from my cupped hand.
Don't know how long he had been there. Completely limp. Got his quilt from the garage. Tugged it under him until I could use it to drag him back into the garage. I sat with him. Petted him.
And cried.

He drank more water. Ate a bit of canned food. Seemed to be sleeping. I went in the house.
Crying.
Left a message at the vet's office. But, he was too heavy for me to pick up to go anywhere.

Walked out the back door. Corky was standing at the water bowl! I went to him. He wagged his tail. He walked back to the garage to his food bowl. Ate a little. Curled up on his quilt.

It was late. I went to bed. Slept fitfully. Bad dreams.

Sunday, late morning. I hear a dog barking. Moaning.
Outside, I find Corky behind the garage. Give him more water from my hand. He is limp again.
Panting. Stomach seems to be convulsing. Moaning dammit I don't know what to do his bowels have left a puddle beneath him he's in pain goddammit he won't take any more water I'm sorry Corky tell me what to do I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry why can't I help him my poor old puppy I keep petting him crying crying wait pills left over from my back in the bedroom where is that damn bottle there it won't open why won't the lid let go nail file cutting the bottle shit not working finally lid off wait sleeping pills maybe two of those will help him back outside take the pills Corky take the pills open your mouth please Mom wants to help the pain go away here take some more water swallow the pills don't spit them out brush off the sand open your mouth for me please more water good boy good boy swallow good boy crying crying on my knees petting his head kissing his nose it will get better soon breathing slower are you sleeping breathing easier oh damn let him rest easy no more pain.

I stand up. Walk to my car. Drive to a park on the river.
Crying.
Call a friend. Talk a while. Say good-bye I have to check on my dog.

Home.
Corky? Behind the garage. He is still. Not moving. I kneel beside him.
Crying.
He is cold. Rigor mortis already.

Find a shovel. Sugar sand. Hole keeps caving in. Digging digging digging.
Quilt in the hole. His grave. Drag him to the hole. Fold the quilt around him. Pet him one last time. No more pain. No more pain. I'm sorry. Sorry. Sorry my old puppy.
Sand is heavy in the shovel. Cover him. Cover him with the sand. More sand. Done.


I can't breathe...

It hurts too much.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Survey Results... Bumpin' Uglies

I know, I know... I am a slacker.

27 of you contributed.
Here are all the submissions... Drum roll, please...

Sparrow (this girl is impressive!) : horizontal mambo, makin' bacon, doing the wild thing, humping, going at it, jumping your bones, balling, pounditation, shagging, schtupping, riding the pink pony, riding the dolphin, makin' whoopie, boinking, boffing, mattress olympics, canoodling, playing hide the salami (pepperoni, slim jim).

Aspergantus (not bad, either) : wettin' the pencil, stump grinding, probing the clam, riding the subway, dipping the pen in the ink well, letting the boys loose.

Mark: doing the big nasty.

Walrilla (might have to ask him for some specifics on this!) : makin' the beast with two backs.

Bob: bumping fuzz, the brillo shining the pot.

Lee: fuckitation (from his wife), snuggies and pumpies, (and, from his parental perspective) getting dressed, taking a nap, taking a shower, I'may akednay.

LL (MUCH milder than I expected) : having carnal knowledge, knowing in the Biblical way, porking.

Sgt Hook and Jimbo : knockin' boots.

Hannelie (from Australia) : Nooki.

Anonymous (I'm thinking this is Eric, 'cause of the famous ellipses) : ...servicing the machine...

Loria (BigBadWolf's wife) : clean the pipes out, making whoopie, doing the nasty, getting some excercise.

BigBadWolf (Loria's hubby) : the horizontal mambo, bed aerobics, doin' the nasty, gettin' freaky, gettin' some, push-ups with a payoff, slap and tickle, a roll in the hay.

Dave : let's get kinky, screwin'.

Nea : shag the beaver, love making.

Freddie : wanna play?, rock me to sleep.

Velociman (I have to do his full statement here...) : Well, if it's with a fat person it's corpulation.

James Hooker : stump grinding.

Desert Cat : dancing in the sheets, washing machine, roll in the hay, doin' the horizontal bop, making a little magic, having a quickie, rocking and rolling.

Anon (no idea who this is) : hide the pickle.

Valerie (she really went to town) : getting my cylinder honed, staff inspection, getting down, how about a friendly poke?, baby OH baby, shake the dew off the tent, I'm naked!, will you roast my weinie?, let me lick your magic mushroom, fool around, watching the submarine races, a little hanky-panky, free mustache ride, tickle the peanut, magic carpet ride, you show me yours I'll show you mine, wanna get laid?

Boneman (heh... kind of appropriate) : gettin' some, doon' it, spoonin' fronts, belly bumpin', mixin' up the jam, searchin' fer bees in a honey pot.

and, last but not least...

Alan (from Scotland, and I have to include his full statement also) : there simply is no substitute for fucking, in my opinion...

Of course, the title... Bumpin' Uglies... was my entry, but I just thought of one more...
afternoon delight... mmm mmmm.

This was way fun... and, I want to thank everyone for participating. Ya'll are great!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Please, go visit...

Sgt. Hook... look and listen... moving images and a beautiful song.


and take a look at Berry's newest painting... here.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Empty Heart...

a world unknown
time unspent
a love unused
lost
wasted
gone

A Curious Revelation...

I have never been in love.
And... no one has ever been in love with me.

Curiously, this does not make me sad.

I don't think I am alone in this. Most people settle. I did.
I married the first man who asked me... because I thought I might
never be asked again.
The marriage lasted nineteen long years and ended badly.
There cannot be love where there is no respect.

Heh... right now the jukebox is playing
the Eagles "Victim of Love".

But, you cannot be a victim of something that
does not exist to you.
Wishing does not make it happen.

Life goes on.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Beautiful weather...

...are you there because the weather is beautiful?
Or, is the weather beautiful because you are there?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bumpin' Uglies....

...alrighty, then.

In an attempt to lighten the mood a bit, let's take a survey...

What words or phrases do you use, or have heard, when you are talking about
....um, you know... doing "it". Having sex. The title of this post is going to be my only contribution. The rest of you need to leave your entries... ha, a pun... in the comment box, or send them to me in an e-mail. I will post everything you submit in a few days. Everything.

OK,... let the fun begin!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It is what it is...

That pretty much explains my blog and me too.

I've had conversations with many of you who read my blog, including some who do not comment here. There seems to be some concern because what I write is perceived to be nothing but depressing.

I prefer to think of it as... R & R... reflective and reminiscent. Not to mention that a few things are totally fictional.

Yes, I do fight depression. This year, however, has been the best... as far as mood is concerned...
for me, in a very long time. I think this blog has helped enormously. And, I love it when anyone leaves a comment. I'm wondering now, if some do not leave comments because something here has made them uncomfortable. I don't expect all comments to be nothing but praise. If you have a criticism or question... feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box. Or e-mail me.
I can handle it.

I love to laugh, and I do... a lot. That has been a surprise for some. I have a great sense of humor. People laugh a lot when they communicate with me. Sometimes, for hours.

I wish I could write on demand. But, my brain doesn't seem to work that way. What shows up here is mostly unplanned. Most of it requires a lot of tweaking before I post it. Some things just write themselves as I sit here at the keyboard. More of that would be nice.

This was never meant to be a journal of my daily life. It is meant to be a creative outlet. It is, without apology, often hit or miss. I have no schedule... no deadlines... no assignments. Being, what I see as, that rigid with myself would be counterproductive for me. Yes, I have some rebelliousness towards demands and strict schedules. One of many issues for me. I don't want to make myself feel obligated to perform a specific quantity or content. I want to like what I leave here. When I do post here, it is because something has risen to the surface and practically kicks me in the head... or heart.

My words here do not necessarily reflect my mood at the moment. Not always. Sometimes, yes.
Pondering is what I do. Note my blog title. Pondering is good.

I guess I should get back to the point: I am not trying to be depressing here. But, what is here is part of me. It's what I have to offer right now.
It could change. Or not.

I hope this helps some of you relax and enjoy. And, leave comments.
Me, I am what I am.
My blog, it is what it is.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sing, Minstrel....

Play my heart strings.
Strum the words
from my soul.
Cry with me.
Make me brave.
Dance with me
along the shore.
Your music is such comfort
as another's arms would be.
No other knows what I know,
save for thee.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Don't read this....

I saw a look on your face, as we were saying good-night, that made me stop and wonder. Or, was I hoping?

I could feel you looking at me before I turned to you.
I felt your eyes pulling me towards you.

Your face was soft, gentle, caring... and questioning.
You seemed to be focusing so very intently... on me.
You didn't move. And, neither did I.

I hesitated, then smiled at you.
Your gaze continued to absorb me.
I felt warm. I wanted to move closer. I didn't.

I wanted... but, I was gripped by fear.
Afraid of misunderstanding that look on your face.
Afraid of being rejected.
Looking foolish. Being embarrassed.

It had been a long day. Perhaps you were simply tired.

I said, "Goodnight.", turned and walked away.

Will I ever know what I really saw?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Quick Thank You...

to all my readers who participated in the Baby Bane Birthday celebration.

I received a very touching e-mail thank you from the young Marine. He said, in part:

"wow Thanks,
I got your package today, thank you very much, I really appreciate everything.
It's kind of funny, a lot of Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen get packages from strangers everyday because there are massive support groups out there to take care of them. I have the Bane Brigade, a group of dedicated women, to take care of me. I am far more blessed than anyone else out here for it. I can't thank you all enough. It's funny, we have almost everything we need to live out here, but it's hard to live without that outreach from home. Anyway, you got me, I'm Bane's son. You are awesome. Thank you."

Ya see, folks? Nice does matter.
I don't want to forget to say my own thank you to Wendy, of Curses and Chrome, for letting all of us participate in making the young Marine smile. Wendy, you are awesome!


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Still here, still breathin'...

I stand barefoot by the ocean's edge, my feet sinking slowly, being sucked beneath the surface of the cool, wet sand.
I am planted there.

Head tilted back... watching Mother Nature's lightshow, I see
enormous mounds of gray cotton batting clouds, only momentarily visible as they are back-lit by silent, random flashbulbs.

The low breeze around me is suddenly cooler.
The sand wrapping my feet is now warmer than the air.

I stretch my arms out as far as they will reach just as the first drum rolls of thunder pound my ears.
Slightly swaying with the breeze, I can feel the deep vibration moving through me... around me... and away.

Being the tallest object on the beach in a thunderstorm and living to write about it... priceless!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Belong...

the triangular peg
in the oblong hole.

the third wheel
on a two-wheeled bike.

the dandelion
in a vase of roses.

a vulture
in a flock of peacocks.

a deaf-mute
in the Sunday choir.

the News at 4
I don't fit in.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Church Picnic...

The summer after fifth grade, we moved from our house in Uniontown, Ohio to the farm in Portage County. It was shortly after that move that my mom found the church she wanted us to attend... St. Michael's Byzantine Catholic Church.
In Akron, twenty-five miles from the farm. No more than ten miles from Uniontown. Oh, well. Long drives to get where you needed/wanted to be were not uncommon for our family.

Mom was born in Czechoslovakia, when it was still known as Austria-Hungary.
In her eyes, the Roman Catholics just didn't do it right.
St. Michael's was the church where the four of us kids (the youngest having not yet been born) finally took our first communions. On the same day. After having completed catechism and learning to "go to confession".

St. Michael's had, among seemingly hundreds of other social events and celebrations, an annual church picnic. The church owned property at the edge of another town not far away. This piece of land was a hill, at the top of which was the church cemetary. At the bottom of the hill, in the back, was the pavillion for the picnics. The pavillion was a huge, roofed-over concrete slab with benches along the outer edges. I remember large trees surrounding the entire piece of property, so the pavillion was nicely shaded.

The first picnic we attended there, I remember sitting beside my dad on one of the benches, listening to a local polka band and watching people dance. Dad loved music, but his sense of rhythm... or more appropriately, his lack of... kept him off the dance floor most of the time. So, I kept him company while people whirled, twirled, glided and bounced past us.
Mom was one of the dancers.

I could see Dad following Mom with his eyes, watching her graceful movements as she and her dancing partner... an older woman from the church... circled 'round and 'round the dance floor. I could tell that he would have liked to have been her partner in the dance. His gaze never left her face.

After she passed us several times, smiling at us while she danced, I heard Dad let out a long sigh. I turned to look at him, and heard him say so very quietly, "Isn't she beautiful?"
That was the first time I saw love and passion reflected in a person's face.
In that moment, he saw only her. The love of his life.

Not long after that time, their marriage started to fall apart.
But they never divorced, and he took care of her as she was dying from cancer.
I like to think that he never stopped thinking she was beautiful.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Tale of BeauVoirGlass....

Once upon a time, way down south, in the Sunshine State... there was a woman
who talked to herself... a lot. And, daydreamed... a lot. And was depressed... a lot.

One day, while this woman was at work, a very techno-savvy friend told her about this fascinating new medium that was becoming very popular for expressing individual opinions, creative expression and communicating with bazillions of people all over the world. It was called the inter net. And, in that inter net, was an even newer world called the blogosphere. This woman's friend told her to go to the blogosphere and read. Her friend told her this because she knew the woman loved to read, loved to write and was depressed.
The friend said, "Do this. I think you will like it."

The woman went to visit blogland. She read many blogs. Soon, she wanted a blog of her own. She read the directions. She followed the directions. Soon she was asked, in the directions, to give a name for her blog address. The woman pondered.
"Eureka!" she exclaimed. "I will use the same name as my screen name. It will be easy for me to remember because it has a special meaning for me."

And, then the woman pondered something else. She pondered how so many men could have their own blogs. Having a blog of one's own required following directions. Men do not follow directions. The woman started to get a headache and stopped pondering what could not be answered.

Instead, the woman reflected on Beau Voir and BeauVoirGlass.
Beau Voir is French for "beautiful view" or "beautiful to see". It was the name given to the home of the Confederate President, Jefferson Davis. This magnificent home sits facing the Gulf of Mexico, in Mississippi. Indeed, it has a "beautiful view" and the home itself is "beautiful to see".

The woman continued to ponder. And smile. She remembered, from several years ago, another fascinating medium... television. She remembered seeing an artist making beautiful designs on glass. The designs were made by etching. Etching is done by using a strong air compressor to force a gritty substance, like sand, through an air brush gun. The sand "etches" the glass, leaving a cloudy surface on... or around... the design the artist puts on the glass. It makes the glass very beautiful.

While watching this glass artist, the woman suddenly said, "Eureka!" (The woman likes that word.) "I want to learn to etch glass. I have many ideas. I will start by etching a design on this old jalousie window, right here in my living room."

But, alas, the woman had no air compressor. No air brush gun. And, worst of all, because she was poor at this time, she had no money to buy these things.

The woman decided to find an artist to help her. She looked in the telephone book. She found a name and picked up her telephone... yet another wonderful piece of technology! She called the artist and related her exciting idea... and her sad plight... to him. The artist pondered only a moment. He said, to the woman, "Visit my workshop. I will tell you how to make the stencils for your design. Then you can apply the design you wish to have on your window and I will etch the design for you at a most reasonable cost." The woman smiled and agreed.

The woman followed the artist's directions. (Men like to give directions.)

Two weeks later, the woman had completed the stencil design on the window. She then took the thirteen panes of glass from the jalousie window to the artist. He etched the glass. The artist was very impressed with the etched design. He encouraged the woman to make more designs.

The woman went home and practiced making more designs with the stencils.
But, she became sad because she still could not afford to buy the compressor and air brush gun. She had to do other things first.

Suddenly, the woman had an idea that made her smile. She decided that she would choose a name for the etching business she hoped to have one day. She would choose the name "BeauVoirGlass" because her designs would be "beautiful to see".
The name would remind her of her dream to create things of beauty that would please many people as they gazed upon them in their own beautiful homes.

The End.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Baby Bane

There is a lady blogger http://cursesandchrome.blogspot.com who spends large amounts of her time making sure lots of our deployed troops know they are remembered by folks back home.
Right now, she is putting together a birthday package for one of her favorites, named in the title of this post.
This young Marine is on his second tour, and also happens to be a son of another blogger http://banedad.blogspot.com .

Wendy, of Curses and Chrome fame, has said that anyone who would like to include a birthday card and good wishes for Baby Bane can send it to her post office box and she will happily include it in the package she will be sending. She needs to have the cards in her hands no later than October 10.

I'm thinking, if my dear readers also send cards, this Marine will have a birthday that could keep him smiling for quite a while.

You can mail your card directly to her at :

Baby Bane
P. O. Box 583
Rockford, IL 61105

Remember, it needs to be to her no later than October 10.
Thank you, in advance, to any of you who are willing to send good wishes to this young man.

Well?...



You wanna be a sandspur in your next life, dontcha?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Legacy...

"We write, in part, the words we need to read."
Rebecca McClanahan, Write Your Heart Out


My words are my children,
nurtured from conception to maturity,
from thought to page.
They are what (all) I have to leave behind,
to let someone know I was here.
The mark I leave.
One proof of my life's worth.
They talk back to me, make me laugh.
They explain me, comfort me, as I grow old.

Huh?...

I don't see much point in talking with someone
if you are not going to pay attention to what they say.
Might as well talk to yourself.

Why...

If the bad people of the world comprise only a small percentage of the population, why do they make such an impact on our lives?...

Pain demands our attention.
It disrupts our lives.
Comfort is what we take for granted.
We don't appreciate comfort, love, peace...
until they are replaced by pain.

Change...

I sat in the sun today, and did not perspire.
Autumn is coming.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dumpster Diving...

In my driveway sits a big, green dumpster. Empty.
It was delivered today. It is rented for a month.

I will now begin purging my house and garage.
After twenty years at this address, it is time to get rid of the trash, the excess and the unwanted.

A few things will be donated to charities.
A few things will be sold.
Comparatively little will be allowed to clutter my life.

Two antique bookcases will stay, and a few antique chairs and rockers.
Computer. Television. Stereo. Books, music, movies.
Some clothes. One bed. One dresser. New dishes, still in the box.
Family photos. Art work. Sewing machine.

I will finally have clean, empty space.
Space in which to move easily in order to finish work that has needed doing for a long time.

A blank canvas.
A clean slate.
Room to breathe.

I feel better already.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Blog List....

I was finally able to add links to other blogs on my side-bar.
Hoping my dear readers will enjoy perusing them.

All credit is due to Boneman (walking on alligators).
... thank you, Berry for your patient tutoring!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

hide.....

slip quietly through the day
sit back among the vines
find a corner in the dark
make a pillow of the leaves
disturb no other's path
let shadow comfort thee

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I Know What You Need...

If I hear one more person say to me, or anyone,
"You need a man in your life." I may have to scream.
For a long time.
Then it usually follows with the statement, "We are social creatures. We're not meant to be alone."
Commence my second scream.

Life is full of trade-offs.
Some we choose. Some are bitch-slapped across our face.
I believe we should appreciate and make do with what we have. Be it long, polished fingernails or short, pink dicks.

If I don't have one significant male in my life,
does this mean, according to them, that I'm doing something wrong?
That my life is less than what it should/could be, according to them?
They would say, "Yes". I am saying, "No".

This does not mean I am anti permanent coupling. It would please me greatly to share a happy life. And, I don't expect perfect. I don't live in Wonderland anymore.

However. Having survived rather well this far (with a man and without), I believe, with every ounce of strength in my being, that I have every right and a very definite obligation to my now-treasured self, to be picky. Selective, as it were.
Shut up, any of you who are saying, "Oh yeah. Now she's looking for Ritchie Rich! She wants an easy life."

I've managed that area satisfactorily on my own.
Survived. Maintained. Recovered. Thank you.
If you can't or won't do that for yourself, get away from me.
I don't need to be a rescuer and I don't need to be rescued.
I am already complete. So are you, even if you don't know it.

I have more to lose now than I did thirty years ago.
So do most men.
I know what I want now more than I did thirty years ago.
So do most men.

At this point in my life, it's about attitude, intelligence and sex. Good sex.
And, a man much younger than myself would not be a serious candidate for a slot on the "Possibly Permanent" list. They are in a different stage of life.
Been there. Done that. Not interested in re-living that phase again.

Settled? Comfortable with himself? Content with his life?
He goes to the head of the class.

Slow and easy. Slow and steady. Slow and smart.
This time, let's make it worth both our whiles.


Then again........ a nice fuck-buddy...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Passion...

He took his time, moving slowly, outlining her body with the touch of a long-time lover.
He knew exactly what he wanted to give her.

He let his memory take control. There was no detail of her that escaped his eyes.
Or his hands.

His light, soft strokes followed the familiar, round curve of her wide hips, only half covered
by the white sheet that draped lazily over the edge of the bed.

He gently brushed the ends of her sun-streaked hair, just barely covering the back of her neck,
almost touching her shoulder.

He outlined the rise of her full breast. One light stroke made the nipple erect.
He felt her familiar form take shape under his hand.

He stood up and stepped back.
He gazed intently at the canvas, satisfied and spent.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Suicide is not painless...

The truth is that there are people who want to die.
No amount of love, logic, reason or money will make them happy in life.
Wish them well. Let them die.
Move on with your own life..
Don't let them take you with them.



March 14, 1951 - August 9, 1997

You're dead. Go away.
Bastard.

Friday, August 18, 2006

alone...

dark room
at noon.

full bed
empty.

soft pillow
of pain.

arms reaching
nothing.

cold chill
in summer.

shudder
of warm.

silent scream
dry tears.

gone but
still here.

last memory
first thought.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Before You...

There's something else
I'm meant to do
before I spend
my time with you.

Complete myself
with no regret
for missing what
I don't have yet.

It's up to me,
reassembled,
edges smoothed
and chains untangled.

It isn't selfish
that I'm being.
The purge, the clean
allows my breathing.

So, let me be
for just a while.
Live your life
and let me smile.

The day will come,
not far away,
I'll offer free
my heart away.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Bubba...

Bubba is my cat.
He's fuzzy, round
and fat.

He purrs so loud
I always know
exactly where he's at.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

From Behind the Curtain...

In writing this, I put into words what might never be said out loud.

This is me speaking now, in real time, to all of you who have read this blog of mine. This is a very sincere thank-you to everyone who has read what I have written. Many of you are bloggers and many are friends and family who do not blog.

The recent increase in comments is due mostly to bloggers who have been kind enough to visit here after my leaving a comment on their blog. Some have said they found me just by chance or accident. Several have gone so far as to mention me in one of their posts, and even add me to their own side-bar with other blogs they read and recommend. I am flattered and honored.

Being the techno-challenged blonde that I am, it will probably take more time
for me to decipher and use the link and blog roll "thingies". When I do, I intend
to use them to further show my appreciation.

Not everyone who reads here leaves comments. Many of those who do not still let me know they were here via e mail... and for those I know personally... through phone calls, instant messaging and in-person conversations. I savor all your feedback, no matter what form it takes. Even those of you who read here without my knowing it deserve a thank-you.

I appreciate the time all of you spend here.

That's it for now. I know you are all busy people.
I will end this with a quote from one of my favorite blogs:
"Back to our regular scheduled programming." You know who you are.

Prayer...


Mom? Hi, it's me.
Mom, would you help me?

I know you've been watching and worrying. I'm sorry, Mom. I know I waited a long time. I've been trying to do it all myself, but I can't. I need you to help me.

Tell me, Mom. What was your secret? How did you keep it together all those years? You and Dad raised five kids. Provided everything we needed and most of what we wanted every day. All I have now is me, and I'm not doing half -OK, one quarter- of what I should be doing. My house is a disaster and I am a mess. I'm going backwards fast.

I'm getting older faster too. Time is flying. Just like you said it would happen. A middle-aged baby boomer worrying a lot about her future. Hell, worrying a lot about tomorrow! Everyone else is doing pretty well with their lives. It's just your oldest here who's floundering.

Did it help to have kids? Did we somehow give you more reason to to keep going, fight harder? I never told you how scared I was to have kids. For a long time, I just expected that they would happen for me . You know, husband and family would be my life too. After I got married was when the fear showed up. I couldn't see how any kids I might have would have the life I did with you and Dad. I was afraid to give them less. I didn't want them to have a bad life. Was I wrong? Again?

I miss you, Mom. I think about you a lot. If you were still here, you would be 82. How old are you, where you are? Did you stay the same age or did you get to go back to where you wanted to be? Is your hair still gray or is it raven and full of curls again? I know your eyes still have that twinkle. That never left, even when you got sick. Do you still feel pain? Do you get tired? I wish, I hope, I pray that everything, wherever you are, is beautiful and good. Just like you.

Is there any way you can talk to me now? I promise to listen this time.

Amen.

p. s. I know you know this, but I want to say it: I love you.
Always have. Always will.

Amen, again.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Lunch at 7-11....

Thirty minutes isn't much time for lunch. Unless you're organized enough to pack something from home, which she isn't.

Walking quickly up the sidewalk toward the convenience store entrance, she sees a small, dirty figure of a man. He speaks quietly, but clearly, "Excuse me, ma'am...
could you spare something? A dollar or two for food?"

She stops and looks directly at his eyes. Not red or glassy, but definitely tired.
Most times she puts off these requests by saying she has no cash, and then just walks on. This time, she reaches into her purse and says, "Let me see what I have." Only a ten dollar bill and some piddly change. She sighs, takes out the bill, folds it and hands it to him. "Here ya go. Hope it helps some."

Before she can turn away, he says softly, "Thank you, ma'am. You're very kind."

She thinks to herself, "No, I'm not. And I have no idea why I'm doing this."
To him she says, "Take care." She watches him smile at her shyly.....or is it embarrassment?...... and slowly walk towards the fast-food place next door.

The summer heat and humidity is smothering today, but she notices that he is dressed in heavy, old jeans and what looks like a couple of long sleeved shirts.
His long, dark hair is flattened to his head with sweat. He walks hunched over, head down. More like a man in his late seventies, even though after seeing his face, this man couldn't be more than somewhere in his forties. She also notices that he is not carrying anything ....... no backpack, no duffle bag..... not even a garbage bag with whatever possessions he might still have.

She takes one step forward and calls to him, "Hey....wait!"
Walking cautiously towards each other, she asks him, "Where are you from?"

"Ohio, ma'am. Hope to get back there someday."

"Do you have anybody there? Family or friends?", she asks him, while asking herself, "What the hell are you doing??"

"So, you'd have someone to take you in for a while?"

"Coupla friends. Most of my family, what's left of them, gave up on me a while back."

"Do you know a phone number to get hold of your friends?"

He backs up a step. "I know the number that worked about six months ago."

Fumbling in her purse, she finally pulls out a plastic card.
"Listen, this is a phone card I bought for a stupid reason not too long ago. I don't need it. You go get something to eat and then call your friends. I have errands to run after work, but will you meet me back here at six o'clock?"

He just stares at her, not moving.

"Yeah, I know" she says, "..this isn't making much sense to me either. If your friends are still there for you, we'll work something out....... What town in Ohio
would you be heading to, anyway?"

"Akron."

"Okay..... so, meet me here at six.......and don't use up all the minutes on that card. You might need some for later."

She headed back to her car, already late for work, and wondering if she had enough change in her purse to get a soda from the machine in the employee lounge.

For the next three and a half hours her thoughts bounced around in her head like a pinball machine. Finally, she found a scrap of paper and began making a list:
shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, disposable razors, comb, vienna sausage, beef sticks, chips, crackers, cookies, water....... that was for WalMart. The next list was for Goodwill......some clothes and, hopefully, a small suitcase.

He was sitting at the end of the sidewalk, out of the sun, when she drove into the parking lot. She got out of the car and waved..... and then looked around self-consciously to see if anyone had noticed. He stood up as she got out of her car, but did not approach.

"Did you talk to your friends?"

"Yes, ma'am..... one of them. I told him I might call back later. Was that OK?"

"Definitely. I called the bus station. You can head out of here tomorrow morning if you still want."

"Yes, I still want......but, how much is the ticket going to cost? And.......I don't understand why....... why you're doing this."

"Don't worry about the ticket. And, as far as why I'm doing this....... I'm not sure I know either.......... Let's go get your ticket."

Being a tourist town in the Sunshine State, it had plenty of motels. After they left the bus station, she didn't have to drive far before pulling into the parking lot of a small one. She already rented the room and had the key, so she pulled in front of the room and turned off the engine. He didn't get out of the car immediately. He sat there, in the front seat, and stared at her.

"By the way, my name is Sam." he said.

"My name is Jane."

Neither of them moved to shake hands. They both got out of the car. She went to the back of the car to gather the packages from shopping. She handed him the key
to the room.

Once inside the room, she deposited the packages on the bed and turned on the air conditioning unit. He stood in the middle of the room, looking like he might bolt for the door.

"Okay, Sam....... this is my plan.....tell me what you think. I'm gonna go get us some sandwiches or something for dinner. While I'm gone, you can shower and then call your friend. Let him know what time you'll be getting off the bus in Akron. There are clean clothes in this bag and bathroom stuff in the other one.
Oh, ......is there something special you'd like to have for dinner?"

"I'm not picky, Jane. Anything is fine."

"I know, but is there something you haven't had in a long time that you'd really like?"

"Well........I haven't had a pizza in about a year."

"Great......pizza it is..... I'll be back in about an hour."

When she returned to the motel, the sun was setting. It was still hot and humid.
She hoped the a/c was working in the room.

He opened the door when she knocked. The a/c was working fine and he had the television on. She almost didn't recognize him. He was now clean-shaven and seemed to be standing straighter than before. She saw him smile for the first time.
And she smiled back.

She handed him the pizza and he smiled even wider. She also brought cigarettes, cold beer and two salads. They organized everything on the small table beside the bed and sat down opposite each other. That's when she noticed his eyes...... full of tears.

They ate slowly, without talking, for several minutes. Finally, he sat back in the chair and grinned and rubbed his stomach and let out a big sigh.

"There's more beer ya know, Sam. Don't let it get warm."

"Will you have another one with me, Jane? ....Please?"

"Sure. Thank you."

Their conversation began slowly. She asked him about his life before here. He began telling his story. He had had a life not really much different than many others. A stint in the military after high school. Two or three different jobs after that. Fell in love and got married. Got a job he really loved as a machinist in a factory. Life was good for a while. Then the bad stuff started piling up.

He said because he made good money, he and his wife spent good money. Their debt grew......and about the time they realized they were getting in too deep, his job changed. The economy took a nose-dive. His hours were cut back. He and his wife began having trouble keeping up with the bills, and they began arguing...... a lot. He started selling off some of the big toys..... jet skis, boat, and finally the '67 Mustang he spent three years rebuilding. It wasn't enough.

When he finally lost his job completely because the plant shut down, his wife left him. He put the house up for sale, but no one wanted to pay what was left on the loan.......let alone enough for any kind of profit. The bank finally foreclosed.

He moved back in with his parents and then his wife filed for divorce. Unemployment ran out and there were no job prospects in the area. He met a guy in a local bar who was getting ready to travel south. He invited Sam to come along...get a new start in a new place. Their first night in Florida, they celebrated by getting drunk on the beach. When Sam woke up in the motel room the next day, his new friend was gone. And so was all the money Sam had in the world.

The motel finally kicked him out when he couldn't pay the bill. He began living on the streets. He knew friends and family back home were having their own rough times, so he never considered going back or asking them for help. That was more than four years ago.

She asked him, "So, what makes you want to go back now?"

"This isn't home. It isn't where I want to be. And, no matter what I have to do to make a life back there, I'll do it. I just want to go home."

She stood up, took her keys out of her purse and said, "I need to get home and feed my critters and get some sleep. I'll take you to the bus station in the morning."

"Jane, if there is ever any way I can pay you back for all this............"

"No, Sam..........", she had to leave her words unfinished. The lump in her throat kept her from saying any more.

The next morning, through the motel room window, he saw her car pull up in front of the room. He picked up his backpack, dropped the key on the dresser and opened the door just as she was ready to knock. They smiled at each other and walked to her car.

They found the bus he needed to start his trip home. It was almost time to board.

Sam looked at her and asked, "You never did tell me why you are doing this."

Her voice was barely audible when she finally started to speak. He watched her face closely and saw her struggle to explain.
"Well, Sam....... I know what it feels like to be stuck in a place you don't want to be." Her chin started to quiver and her throat tightened. "I know what it feels like to be alone. I've been too stupid and too stubborn to do anything about me. But, for some reason that I can't begin to understand, I knew I had to do what I could for you. There may not be any sense to it, but that's all I know to say."

A harsh, nasal voice came through the speakers announcing the boarding of the bus. He put down his backpack and put his arms around this total stranger and
hugged her tighter than anyone he had ever hugged in his life. They stood clinging to each other until the final boarding announcement wedged them apart.

"Jane....... I hope you make it home someday too."

"Be well, Sam. Goodbye."

She did not turn to look back as she walked to the parking lot. When she finally found herself in her car, her face twisted in pain. Her whole body shook as her sobs echoed in her ears.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Our kiss....


softly
slowly
explore my lips with yours.

gently
deeply
make my every breath your own.

truly
sweetly
linger long, and longer still.

simply
completely
encircle me with you.

Friday, June 23, 2006

My Father's Eyes.....

Robert Franklin Climes was only 69 years old when he died in December 1990.
Much too young. His eyes were a clear, light blue that crinkled at the corners and reflected his smile. I remember seeing those blue eyes cry only three times.

The first time I saw him shed tears was at his mother's funeral. He was wearing a dark gray suit. I was twelve years old. I watched him walk up to her open casket after the service at the funeral home. He stood with his hands folded, looking down at her thin, frail form for what seemed like a long time. I saw him lean slowly towards her and kiss her cold lips lightly. When he straightened up and turned to walk away, I saw the tears running down his face. I remember the shocking realization that he was saying good-bye to his mother, which was much worse somehow, than my losing my grandmother. We drove to the cemetary for the graveside service, and since it was November in Ohio, stood in the cold, wind and snow as her casket was lowered into her grave.

The second time I saw my father cry was a few years later. We had an old sable and white collie named Clipper. Dad built a dog house, on stilts, with a ramp that led to the opening. It was winter again and the snow had drifted to the bottom of Clipper's house. The snowbanks were packed solid around the dog house because
old Clipper would lay on top of them in the sun. All of us in the family would try to convince Dad to bring the dog in from the cold during many winter nights. On the rare occasion that he agreed, he would only allow poor Clipper to stay in for a few minutes before he would tell us that he had to go back out. His reasoning was that the dog would get used to being inside and make him less tolerant of the cold. We never agreed, but Dad always won.

One day that winter, I was looking out the kitchen door, watching Clipper lying on top of a snow bank, when I noticed a red stain on the snow under him. I called to Dad, saying that I thought Clipper was bleeding. Dad came to the door and said, "Yes, he has a tumor and is probably trying to relieve the pressure." I became furious and demanded to know why Dad didn't take him to the vet. I ranted for several minutes about how the dog was suffering and it wasn't right to just let him go on like that. Dad never said a word. He got his coat and hat from the closet. Then I saw him get his shotgun. He walked out the door, unhooked Clipper's chain from the dog house and began to lead him through the back yard, across the field behind the house and into the woods at the back of our farm. I silently watched them disappear in the trees. Then I heard the loud BOOM. Several minutes later, I saw Dad walking slowly, head bent, alone. When he opened the back door, I saw the tears on his face. He still didn't say a word, but put the gun away and took off his coat and hat. I was speechless. I felt responsible. We never talked about that day or the dog again.

The third and last time I saw my father cry I was eighteen years old. I was going to college. Dad wanted me to commute to classes at the university. It was only twenty-five miles from home, and he was still working as a machinist for Goodyear, in Akron, the same city in which the college was located. He said I could arrange my classes so that I could ride in with him every morning and he would pick me up at the end of the day to bring me home. I balked. I wanted to live in one of the dorms. I wanted to experience all of college, not just, as it seemed to me, bits and pieces.

I used every piece of logic and practicality I could come up with to win my case...
my classes wouldn't always jive with his work schedule......what if I needed to use the library......how would I ever make any friends......and on and on. He told me that his main concern was that I was still naive and gullible. I trusted people too much. I would let people influence me. I was appalled. I'd been told my entire life how "mature" I was for my age, and now I was hearing my father say I was naive.
I actually had the gumption to threaten not to go to school at all if I couldn't live in the dorm. Dad said he wanted me to go to college so I wouldn't spend my life working in a factory, like he did. I stubbornly refused any compromise. To my surprise, he relented.

The day came when I was to leave home for Freshman Orientation. It was a family affair. The station wagon was loaded with my suitcases, both of my brothers, both of my sisters, Mom, Dad and me. After a quiet half hour drive, we arrived at Spanton Hall and began unloading the car. We found my room on the fourth floor and met my roommate. We began saying happy good-byes......after all, I would probably go home most weekends, and Mom had already told me I would be picked up for church even on the weekends I didn't make it home.

My roommate had politely left the room when my family started leaving. They all headed towards the elevator in the hall, but I didn't see Dad with them. I turned and saw my dad behind me, still in my new room, looking around. Then he turned and looked at me and I saw his chin quivering slightly and his eyes filling with tears. He gave me a long, crushing hug. A kiss on the cheek. No words. He walked out of my room and got on the elevator.

That first night in the dorm, I missed them all. Only twenty-five miles away. And I missed my dad the most that night. I never did tell him he was right. I was naive. And I never forgot his tears.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Common Thread.....

You don't have to
know me
to read my mind.

You don't have to
be here
to feel the same.

Here or there.
You or I.
Our common thread
weaves all as one.

Gone...

Tell me something.
I don't want to.

Answer me.
You can't make me.

You're being stubborn.
Just being me.

You're wasting time.
It's my time.

I'm leaving.
You were never here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Late For Work....

Thursday 7:30 a.m.
"Did she call in?"
"Not yet."

9:00 a.m.
"Has anyone heard from her?"
"No one said anything so far."

11:30 a.m.
"Someone should call her."
"I don't know her number."
"She might be in the book."

12:30 p.m.
"No answer, but I left a message."
"Has she been depressed again?"
"I thought she was doing really well."

3:00 p.m.
"Does she even think about how much we worry?!"
"Wonder if she's even home?"

Friday 7:00 a.m.
"Wonder if we'll see her today?"
"She can't have much vacation time left!"

8:00 a.m.
"I'm gonna call her house again."

8:05 a.m.
"Damn. No answer. I left another message."
"Does anyone know her cell phone number?"

11:30 a.m.
"Boss said he left two messages."
"She's gonna get fired this time."
"Does anyone know where she lives?"
"Even if she's home, her dog wouldn't let anyone in."

1:00 p.m.
"This is ridiculous! Where could she be?"

Saturday

Sunday

Monday 7:00 a.m.
"She never works Saturdays."
"Wonder if she's coming in today?"

12:00 Noon
"Local News reports a woman was found......"




Note from author: Fear not dear friends. This is fiction.
It is not an indication of my current state of mind.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I miss sanity.....

I'm having...... moments.
Slipping away
from time to time.
Being drawn or reaching?
If I leave tonight,
is there somewhere else to go,
Beyond this breath?


My last clear memories of......anything clear....... end right after high school.
Up until the summer after graduation, there were no overwhelming thoughts.
Life was simple, easy, fun. It was an adventure, not a chore. Life was looking forward, expecting dreams to come true. Learning anything and everything was
one of the biggest pleasures to be had.

I was not spoiled or pampered. I was expected to succeed in all things, especially in school. I did that........ and enjoyed the process.
I was expected to be a good girl, daughter, student, person. I liked being all those things.

I never felt that I was being pushed or pressured. I never felt that too much was expected of me. The only stress I remember was what I put on myself..... mostly because I was, and still am, a procrastinator. Almost everything was done at the last minute, but because those things almost always worked out well, I never saw any harm in my approach. It left lots of time for extra-curricular activities and reading and......... whatever.

Life made sense. There was a reason for being. And things were supposed to continue in that vein....... forever.

I remember hearing, and believing, that we could be or do anything. The only reqirement was working hard enough to see those dreams and wishes realized.
I thought I was spending my life doing just that. Good education, good work ethics, honesty....... basic life values. Never expecting anything for free. You only deserve what you work for..... what you earn.
But that was fine, because then you had reason to be proud of what your efforts brought to you. Hard work and good deeds were supposed to bring........ rewards, satisfaction, happiness, peace, contentment.

The first eighteen years seem like a charmed existence. There were sorrows and sadness, too, though......... people I loved got sick and died. Some were killed in tragic accidents. Many were taken away much too young. Many suffered way too much. Those things were not hidden from me. We were expected to be a part of that element of life also. Caring for sick family members and friends....... being there for them through...... not just until, the end. And then, doing what was needed for the family and friends left behind. Giving comfort to those in need for as long as they needed comfort and assistance was never questioned or resented, it just was.

But those terrible days made me aware....... even as a self-focused teenager.... that life was to be appreciated. I knew there would be no guarantees of a long life, and that it was important to pay attention to all the wonders around me. I grew up grateful, thankful for the life I was living. And, I was always concerned about those who had so much less, suffered so much more. I made plans to do something in my life that would let me help others.

First I chose nursing for my life career. Later, it became education. Noble occupations, both.

Nursing became my first failure. My first taste of fear, disappointment, shame.
While pulling away from that perceived bad choice, I found myself floundering in panic. Quitting school completely was not an option, in my mind, so I began searching for another avenue. Choosing education seemed very logical, especially since my youngest sibling is handicapped. Choosing special education as a career
to help others made perfect sense. Once again I was on my way to "making the world better."

Reality bites...... especially when you take it too seriously. It is much easier and much more pleasant to maintain a small fantasy life. The problem with that?......
I was never able to figure out how to balance fantasy and reality. Reality seems to be necessary for existing in life........... Fantasy seems to be necessary for being happy in life. Cinderella is a fairy tale. And it ends just when reality begins for the rest of us.

So now the self-doubt begins in earnest. Will this second choice be a success?
Or am I fooling myself again and heading for another failure?
I can feel the fear swelling ........taking over my entire being. Gears are jamming.
My brain seems to be shutting down. BUT WHY?

What happened to my intellect? My energy? My motivation? My sense?
Life requires work. So, do it!
Was I somehow losing belief in myself? Was I now doubting everything I had believed in myself because of ONE mistake, ONE disappointment? What happened....... what was so terrible....... that I gave up on life? Was I so, so weak that I could not recover and reclaim my ambition? Could one simple blip in my life make me nose-dive from achiever to loser? Apparently, it could....... and did.

That was the beginning of the fog that became my life. Struggle, give up, run away. Repeat the process......... over....... and over. What a waste.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Muse....

Talk to me.
Make me smile.
Remind me that you care.

Believe in me.
Reach out to me.
Don't let me slip away.

You warm my heart,
free my fears,
bring light where there was dark.

Walk with me.
Breathe with me.
Share dreams and wish on stars.

Tell me no
while smiling yes.
Then dare me to live more!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Who...


Who are you, looking
at me now?
Before today,
an embellished image.
Don't ever say it doesn't
matter, how we look.
Lying hurts.
Yeah, I thought so.
Bye.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mood.......

There's a foul mood brewing.
Another mood,
and I am slipping.
Another mood, so familiar,
yet I missed the early whispers
that become the booming voices.
Anger boiling, words erupting,
roaring through my head.
The undertow of anguish,
like a heavy garment, wraps me,
weighs me down, entraps me.
Drags me, gasping, to the bottom.

Untitled.......

I am a fat woman in a bathing suit, lying on the beach.
If I can keep my eyes closed, I can pretend I am alone
and no one can see me...........
I'm starting to sizzle, like bacon in a hot skillet, so I
quickly flop over and display my creamy-white
back half to the sun.........
How's that for an image to fall asleep with?

Pleasant dreams!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Sleep, Sweet Sleep (My way, my time)


It has been years, comprised of many, many, many long nights, miserable mornings and angry days since I have had any semblance of a good (normal) night's sleep.

To say sleep has eluded me is not quite accurate, because there were those nights that sometimes folded into days, that I slept...... and slept and slept.
There is more than one kind of sleep, you know. Not all are restful or peaceful. Not rejuvenating. Not healing. Not even welcome, as contradictory as that may sound.

Sleep has controlled my life in such a way that I had no control of my life.
It has been such an issue that sleep, in a very strange, tentacled way, has caused much concern, chagrin, anger, worry and even sadness for my friends, family, neighbors, doctors, co-workers and perhaps most of all, my employers.
I have been asked by ALL....... "Are you in pain?" ".........depressed?"
".........staying up too late?" "...........worrying about something?" ,and even, read this one carefully, "Are you sure you're just not being REBELLIOUS?" That's right. Maybe I was making myself miserable and risking my JOB on purpose!
Unfortunately, my brain was so frazzled at times that I even considered that a possibility myself.

I tried medication of all types, meditation, vitamins, herbs, teas, MDs, counselors, reading, not reading, music, relaxation tapes....... and on and on. And over and over again.

All this while, way back in the very dark recesses of my brain, my heart, my soul....
was a very faint, timid voice saying "My way, my time." No other clues, no other advice. Just......."My way, my time." Mostly, this only added to my frustration, because all I could think, in response, was "But HOW......and WHEN??"

Well, it feels like it is happening now.
And, I cannot begin to explain or understand. All I know is that for the past week, there has been peace, calm and sweet, sweet sleep. And all I am doing is accepting it, embracing it and rejoicing in it. Letting it be.
Letting it happen. No analysing. No diagnosing.
It is here, and I am glad.

My way, my time........ opening my soul, my self. Allowing my self to appear and to be. The balance is already there and it cannot be forced, teased or shamed into appearing. Open myself and let it rise to my conscious, as it will, as it should, as it wants. Let loose of everything in order to gain my self. Release and discover.

When I die, I hope someone remembers "My way, my time."
There is nothing to explain, nothing to understand.
Only smile, and know.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Breathe....

Learn, let go.
Remember, to forget.
Revisit, say good-by.
Breathe and live again.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

that isn't me.......

What you see,
that isn't me.
Looks can be deceiving.

A moment close
is not enough,
to analyse the being.

A ghost of me,
you'll sometimes see,
slip in 'twixt sigh and tremble.

I'm in the voice,
behind the eyes.
The shadows shift and change.

Their eyes can fool
those near to me.
Perception each created.

A smile, a laugh,
that isn't me.
Perception my creation.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Name.........

Signature.
Sign/Nature.
Sign of Nature.
Sign of Being.
Sign of Existence..........
your name.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Charleston...........

Driving to Charleston, S.C. tomorrow to meet my two best friends from high school....... going to celebrate my 55th birthday............ the only downside is that my sister was supposed to join us...
but her job has other ideas......... This is my first trip to Charleston........ and my soul tells me it is going to be one great weekend! ........not coming back until Monday night..........

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Excerpts......

Found two poems I wrote in a second journal about six years ago..........

We Didn't Get To Dance

Soft and smooth
like silk and satin.

We found the fit,
we knew the rythm.

One slow dance
would have been so nice.

After all this time
we still missed the chance - to dance.

****************************************************

From Me

Within myself
a struggle neverending.
Too much of love
and fear of some day ending.
Joy and grief
do feed and starve each other.
In balance
could one be without the other?

Dorothy Parker..........

Browsing through a journal I started shortly after leaving Michael....... came across this poem I copied written by Dorothy Parker.........

Indian Summer

In youth, it was a way I had
To do my best to please
And change, with every passing lad,
To suit his theories.
But now I know the things I know,
And do the things I do;
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Goodbye Therapist #3.........

Well, this is getting very tiring.......... the new therapist was going to be great...... and then, the day of the second session with her....... she informs me that she is severing ties with the insurance plan I have through my employer........ end of therapy!........... I have been thinking for several days about the best route to follow........ I am dreading the idea of starting with someone new..again......... Beginning to feel like a broken record........repeating the same info and never getting past the intro......... So........ my thought is now to keep working on myself.. but do the work by myself........ perhaps with the assistance of the self-help section at the local Barnes&Nobles.........or, maybe not. My mood has actually been very upbeat.....positive......... and I think I can continue on this healing journey all by myself.......... so there!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Beautiful view............

One of the most beautiful places I have ever been........ Beauvoir....... the last home of Jefferson Davis........ was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina last year. I viewed the web site today.......... brought to tears by the photos showing the devastation......... comparing the before and after. This beautiful landmark was one of the last good memories I have of Michael and I together..... and I am glad I can remember this good time with him. I am able now....... after more than eight years since his suicide...... to thank him for this and many other memories. I can credit him...... because of his love of southern history..... for showing me and helping me learn much that I might have never experienced otherwise. Together, we explored much of Florida and parts of the South....... not the usual tourist spots, but the small towns ..........small museums........places not advertised on billboards along the interstates......... Of course, Beauvoir is famous and was advertised.......... but, we didn't visit it just as tourists........ we explored it and fell in love with it because we lived in the South......... members of this special community that is part of the entire history of our country. I especially remember walking through the museum at Beauvoir.......... turning a corner..... and seeing a most beautiful quilt hanging on the wall in a display case........ Immediately, tears began to run down my face......... reading that this quilt had been given to a family member serving in the Confederate Army........ something to comfort and protect him........ remind him that he was loved and missed. The quilt had survived the war......... and obviously beyond......... but the soldier had been killed in battle. Having studied quilt making and its history in this country....... I could not help but be deeply touched by the amount of work...... time.... detail....... and love.......... required to create something so beautiful and precious. Knowing that there was very little that could be provided to the soldiers.... on either side..... that could do much to ease their hardships, seemed to grab my heart. Months and sometimes years with no communication......... very little news other than word of mouth........ occasional postings in town........ agonizingly few and far between. This old southern home........ then museum....... represents so much of the life struggles and sacrifices of the time. Compare that time to present day and any of us should be in awe of human strength....... ingenuity........ character. So, this is something Michael has left me with...... a little knowledge and much appreciation for life as it was......... and, as it turns out now......... appreciation for my life as it is......... in part, because of him. I can finally say thank you.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Therapist #3........

Still here.....still breathing........ready to take another swing at this depression analysis shit. Although, I must admit........... this therapist....Debra........seems very efficient..... quick to ask a lot of questions and bundle the (my) answers into a format that seems to be giving her a large platform from which to work .......... She said she is fine with my reluctance to use another medication at this time........... I would like to work on myself ........unaltered.......at least for now....... I told her I would be "cooperative" about trying a new med later if it felt like it would be in my best interest........... Yes......I am stubborn......and prideful.....but, dammit........help me understand myself first!.......... then we can talk drugs, if needed. Today, in my first session with her, I felt a bit ...........pummelled.......with questions.........almost to the point of wondering ....what the hell happened??.............. Overwhelmed by her rapid-fire approach......but still impressed with the amount of material touched on and collated.......... I like her professional demeanor....... personable, but not condescending....... not sickeningly sweet......... very matter of fact........ and, definitely not a doomsayer......... In other words......... no reason to think all of "this" cannot be worked with.......... worked through....explained...understood.......... and then, move the fuck on! That, I guess, is what I really want ...........to shed the paralysis and begin to take the steps I want to take..........and have the ability to take........... to put my life together and feel proud of who I am and what I do with my life. This is going to require putting aside the fear of honestly looking at myself........... from all angles.......... honestly........... honestly.............. honestly....ohshit! Deep breath.............. I have a homework assignment for our next session........ in two weeks............ I am supposed to think about the "negative cognitive messages" that dominate my thinking .......... She says when these messages become too strong for me to quiet them in my head..... that is the beginning...or precursor......... to an episode of depression. Debra says I need to identify these negative messages that nag me........... keep me from sleeping......... make me angry.......... and depress me............. Apparently, this will be our launching point.......... I am going to have to tell her that the first negative message I hear most often is........ what a disappointment I am.....and have been........... to myself............ and, in my mind......... to others. Fear of failing again.......... and, thus, another disappointment....... is, I think, what keeps me paralyzed............ therefore, not doing ANYTHING ........and the vicious cycle continues.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Felix

Yesterday, at work, I was planning on writing on a very different subject than my old, black cat......Felix. .........He was the second oldest of the five critters who let me share this house since my husband's death in 1997.........Pissy, at nearly 20 years of age, passed away a few months ago....lying in bed beside me..... Felix, two weeks younger, died while I was at work ........... I found him after coming home from the grocery store. It had been raining non-stop since the night before..... and, by the time I got home last night, it was also thundering and lightening...... so I waited until very late to bury him beside Pissy......... when the lightening subsided. Felix was, by far, the most sensitive of the bunch......... he could be easily intimidated by the others........ and looked to me for protection and comfort......... Sometimes that was irritating, because it seemed that if he could have attached himself permanently to my side, he would have gladly done so.......... He had big, yellow eyes that often looked sad to me......and, often I would catch him simply sitting and staring blankly...... at nothing. My husband used to joke that Felix fit the saying "The lights are on, but nobody's home.".............I used to agree with that, but now I think........ maybe he was pondering........ and maybe I look that way when I am doing the same........ What would a cat like Felix ponder about?......... I can only project human suggestions.......... did he wonder why he had a step-child type of relationship with the other animals in the house?...... did he care?............ Did he wonder about the possibilities of another kind of cat-life?......... Was he happy or at least content with the existence he experienced here?......... For anyone who does not feel emotionally attached to pets or animals of any kind.......... this pondering on my part probably seems foolish....... perhaps even pathetic........... But, I do care about what kind of life my pets have with me.... And...dear Felix.......... I hope you knew how much I loved you and how many tears I am shedding at your leaving............ I miss you, little boy....Mom loves you.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Poem............


I owe no explanation of myself.
I do not owe defense
For who I am
For what I do
For why I think the way I do.
I am the way I am.
I think like me
I talk like me
I act the way I do
Because, I found, denying me
Betrays my heart, my breath.

Sleepless in Daytona.......

I understand the need the human body has for regular, peaceful sleep............ so, why doesn't my body cooperate?............ I have tried pills, meditation, relaxation tapes, no caffeine........ etc...... etc
.........etc ............Sometimes something works for a while............... but I have yet to find the magic,
reliable formula............ And then, of course, the anticipation as bedtime approaches probably doesn't work in my favor............. hmmmmm....... There is one thing I have not been able to try....
.......... sex........... I vaguely remember how good that felt...... and how the deep and peaceful sleep that followed seemed to be the perfect ending..........sweet memories.......distant memories
...No, this isn't loneliness......... this is a serious hormone imbalance!........ based on deprivation...... I saw a screen name in a chat room once... "Lakanookie"............ wonder if that was a pitiful plea for sleep? ............or just a pitiful plea for attention?........... and Please, if anyone reads this and thinks I am pleading and is tempted to respond with an offer........... do not......... Remember, I am simply pondering here .............sorting out thoughts .........Kind of like doing a disk clean-up and then defragmenting...... Ah, yes............. I am fragmented........ scattered......... not compacted.
Instead of functioning efficiently.......... I am being disconnected ....... booted.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Overload........

In my recent state of desperation to resolve the inner conflicts created by myself..... I have once again overwhelmed myself.............. In contradiction to the theme of my last entry in this journal
............I caught myself reaching towards multiple avenues........... hoping to find one solution that will fit me............ one answer, one light, one relief.............. I have complicated simplicity.
I found myself skimming the surface in order to glimpse and grab.......... leaving no time for absorption.... digestion......... much less understanding and resolution...........
Balance and peace are already within me.............. My error is, perhaps, in attempting to force the awareness........... instead of allowing my awareness to accept their rise to the surface.
Instead of clutching.......... which restricts, smothers and rejects.......... release, open and allow the flow to buoy me......... carry me along with it............. Merge with life....... rejoin the whole......
See myself as one grain of sand on the beach......... instead of a solitary mini-universe.
Not just reconnect............... rejoin.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

the Compass, not the Clock......

Direction..........not speed.......... so, what is wrong with plodding, as long as you are making progress?........... not a damn thing, say I!......... we have become so immersed in things happening in .........the speed of light.........speed of sound......
a nanosecond ...........instant gratification.......And then what?... collapse?
Our body...........our soul..........our whole being ......deserves calm attention.........
thoughtfulness...... and more attention... So, when I am told by some alleged professionals in the field that every episode of depression.......... is worse than the last ..........and if I don't take their advice and "fix" myself according to their directions.......... my life will be doomed................I say, among other things, "Bah Humbug!" ...........Here is what I think about me and my "situation"............ I think
that every episode is a healing step forward ...and not a relapse backward........ I am believing that my spirit is letting me know it is time to do more work on myself.....and I see that as a good thing because ....it means that I am healthy enough to continue this journey.........It means that I am strong enough to face
another challenge .......that I will conquer, endure and transcend........... I am going to stop fighting against myself because........... that is a step in recognizing myself as I am now............ and that is the opportunity to discover and appreciate what and who I already am........... and recognize how far I have come....... and be happy with myself for that much............and happier, still, to know that I can move even farther along MY path.........