Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Just Walking Each Other Home. . .

  I did not intend to write a blog any time soon, if ever again. However, this blog has evolved over several nights. I think it wants to be written.
  Tommy and I were freshmen in high school.The year was probably 1963. He was sitting behind me in Mrs. Walker's English and Literature class. We were studying Literature at that time. I always had a love for poetry. We were studying the works of Edna St. Vincent Millay. As usual, I was not prepared for class. When we read the poem aloud, I was visibly shocked by how calm the mother talked to her children and in the last line I understood how broken the mother's heart happened to be. I turned around, talking to Tommy about it. Mrs. Walker immediately wanted to know what we were sharing. I told her the truth and how the poem felt like it cut through my heart. She smiled. Mrs. Walker knew I had learned a life lesson about empathy. Tommy and I mentioned this several times in our life together. 

               Lament
   
          Listen children:
          Your father is dead.
          From his old coats
          I'll make you little jackets:
          I'll make you little trousers
          From his old pants.
          There'll be in his pockets
          Things he used to put there,
          Keys and pennies 
          Covered with tobacco;
          Dan shall have the pennies
          To save in his bank.
          Anne shall have the keys
          To make a pretty noise with.
          Life must go on,
          And the dead be forgotten;
          Life must go on,
          Though good men die;
          Anne, eat your breakfast;
          Dan, take your medicine;
          Life must go on;
          I forgot just why.

    Tommy and I often misquoted this poem throughout our life together. He will never be forgotten that is a promise I can make and have made a thousand times or more.          

Monday, March 12, 2018

This Has Been an Odd Week---Even for Us!

 This has been an odd week and for us, that is unusual, because we do odd on a daily basis most weeks.
 The toe to the left is my accident I had on Saturday morning. I was carrying wood into the living room. I was in a hurry to get the wood in the house. Instead of carrying it with both arms, I had one piece in each hand. They were heavy, round and I was not watching what I was doing. As I walked around my recliner, the piece of wood in my left hand slipped out of my grasp and landed full force on my big toe. I dropped to the floor and yelled like a little girl, a very colorful little girl. I woke Tommy up and he thought I had hurt my knees again. One look at the toe and I knew we were going to the emergency room and have my toenail removed. My feet are my Achilles Heel--no pun intended. I cannot stand for anyone to touch my feet; especially grab my big toe. I yell and carry on something terrible when Tommy grabs my toe! When Tommy turns it loose war has been declared. It is all in fun but this time was different. Tommy said we need to go to the emergency room. I played like I didn't hear him. He said it again. This is how he does me when I am trying my best to get him to the emergency room. I know exactly how he feels. I wait for two hours before I decide we need to go to the hospital. Blood is everywhere. We get that mess cleaned up. I don't care how I look. I just want to get this over---without needles. Fat chance of that.
   Tommy is in the bathroom, and I decide to feed Sabella before we go. I hobble out to the garage, fill the dog bowls and look around for a minute. Stuff is knocked over and out of place. I look behind a piece of plywood stacked up and there is the sickest mangiest coyote I have ever seen. We just looked at each other. Neither one of us could run.  He didn't growl or try to move. He stared at me and I stared back. Neither one of us knew what to expect from the other one. I hobble back to the house and yell for Tommy. I tell him to come quick we have a sick coyote in our garage. Tommy looked at me like I had just grown a third ear. Then I grab my camera. Tommy wanted to know why the hell I was taking my camera to to hospital. I told him I wasn't but I wanted to get a photo of the coyote in our garage. Tommy just shook his head. We get the picture and my wazoo in the car and we drive to Fulton to the Emergency Room. I was the only person there and was admitted as soon as I showed my insurance card. Everyone was super nice. We laughed a lot. Humor helps with pain if the situation isn't too serious. In about 30 minutes the toenail was off and I was ready to go home. Tami, Jacy and Logan were waiting for us as we walked out the door. They followed us home and made our day. 
 I am so glad I married Tommy. We fit and belong together. For about two hours Tommy was taking care of me. His appearance changed and he looked like my Tommy again. It was worth loosing a toe nail.  When we got home the coyote was gone. Where I have no clue. How did he move? I have no clue. Maybe it was God showing off--he does that from time to time. It is a gentle reminder that He is in charge and has things under control. I am counting on that fact. The coyote could have been a reminder. I hope he is well wherever he is.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

I Should Have Been Born Two Hundred Years Ago. . Although I Wouldn't Swear to It...

 I am not satisfied with life in general and the world in particular. Big deal--who is? I am sure there are a lot of dead people who would trade places with me in a heartbeat...literally. Very few people I know are satisfied with where they live, their job or lack of a job. Many are worried about their health or the health of a loved one. People are homeless, hungry and desperate. Countries are at war and have been for years. Our children are no longer safe in schools. Anyone can walk in and commit random murder on children just because they want to do this. None of these truths are new. The world has always been a mess and a dangerous place to live. Now we have twenty-four hour a day access to the world we live in on our computers or television. We see the carnage, we hear the people scream and die or scream and kill. It is all right there with a touch of the remote control... in living color.
   Tommy and I were talking about what era we would have liked to have been born in. Tommy said he would have liked to lived when the Pony Express was created. I can see him doing this. I would have wanted to make the wagon train trip to Oregon. Tommy cannot see me doing this but I can. He said I would have been kicked off the train the first time it rained for a week and I had to push the wagon. He has a point. Not a very nice one but he does have a point. I think there could be a distinct possibility this unfortunate incident could have been discussed. However, I would have made the trip. My wagon may have been moved to the end of the line but I would have still made it. Both eras we liked were filled with violence, sickness, Indian attacks, rustlers, robbers and just about anything a person's imagination can create, could have happened. It was as violent then as it is now. Maybe more so. There were no news channels running twenty four hours a day to show the world at its worst
   When I unplug from the world, I calm down and relax for a little while. All the people who lived before us did not need this luxury. They did not know what was going on in every area of the earth. News traveled much slower then if at all. We can know what is going on in China with the flick of a switch.
 Our life span is longer. Most people were wore out, old or dead by the age of forty five. 
   Life breeds life. We live longer and I think we have moments of pure bliss, followed by all Hell breaking loose. The same as all who came before us. This cycle will keep repeating itself until someone finally destroy's us all. What a cheery place to end my thoughts tonight. Sorry about that my friends but I believe this is one of those truths none of us want to hear or see.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

This Week Could Have Been a Scene from an Alfred Hitchcock Movie. . . Day 1

 This has been an insane week. Starting on Monday, the Hounds of Hell began yelping; and they have yet to shut up! Tommy had a doctor's appointment at Boone Hospital. His arrival was 1 p.m. The procedure for endoscopy of his pancreas was scheduled for 1:30. These procedures seldom last more than a couple of hours maximum. We are sitting in the waiting room listening for Tommy's name to be called. 1:30 arrives and leaves. So does 2:30. I become a little antsy. I take a walk and try and find a nurse. Last words Tommy says is, 'don't get in any trouble.' Like I would!. I mosey on back to the patient care area and there is no one in sight. Not one nurse, not one patient, not one janitor. I come back to the waiting room and ask Tommy if he is sure we are at the right place. He is positive we are at the right place. By then two other women have arrived and are in various stages of crying. I ask them if I can help and they said in unison "No, but thank you".  I tell them if they need me I am on the other side of the room divider. Finally, I walk back to our side of the waiting area and Tommy is dozing. I pick up a 2015 magazine and try to find something I haven't already read. It was no use. My mind was far from India and Peru. About this time a nurse comes up to us and asks us to follow her back to the room where we will meet the doctor and he will explain some things to us.    Alright!!!, we are about to get this show on the road. Tommy is given a gown and two hours later the doctor shows up.The doctor said he was running late because of emergencies, but that hopefully, he would be with us soon.  Keep in mind Tommy had been NPO since midnight and he is diabetic. It is close to 4 p.m. We sit in two comfortable chairs and drop off to sleep. I wake up at 5:30 p.m. The parking lot has lost three-fourths of the cars that were parked there earlier in the day. All of the dusk to dawn lights are on. The apartments across the street have a few lights randomly shining. No one is walking around in the houses or the parking lot. I get a creepy feeling something is wrong. That is when I decide to take another walk. Once again there is dead silence. There are no secretaries, no nurses, no doctors, and the janitor still hasn't shown up.I turn and walk down the other hallway. It is as empty as our hallway appears to be. Finally, I reach a room with a light on and there sit the two ladies who were crying earlier. Without thinking I blurt out, "Thank God you are here!! I thought the rapture had happened and we missed it.!!!"  They started laughing and said, "Well, I hope not" One of the ladies informed me her husband was the reason everything was screwed up. He had not eaten anything in three weeks. He could drink fluids but he was in so much pain they brought him to the hospital. Evidentally, he didn't want to come but they told him if he didn't he would die! I sat down with the ladies. Of course, we start talking about our husbands. One of the ladies said," My husband has been so sick and refused to come to the dr. He thought the drive was too far. They live down at the Lake of the Ozarks. She began to cry again. I told her that when mine talked to the doctor he seldom gets anything right. She gave me a knowing laugh. I apologize to her for the remark about the Rapture. She started laughing and said," That is the funniest thing I have heard in weeks! And I desperately needed to laugh. Just wait until I tell our church family about it, everyone will get a good laugh." I bet Tommy and I are on their prayer list. About this time, my stomach growls sounding like a herd of turtles marching across a gravel road. The lady asked me if I had eaten anything. I told her no because he was NPO and I don't like to leave when he is having a procedure done. She said, 'all I have left is an oatmeal cookie. But you can have that. I grabbed it and said,"Thank you", about a million times. It was the best oatmeal cookie Little Debbie had made or I have ever eaten. I heard someone singing sort of and I walked around the corner to see the janitor peeing in the urinal while blasting away on,"Amazing Grace". I tiptoed back and made a slow dash for my room to wait for Tommy. About ten minutes later the janitor pushed his cart down the hall singing,"Thank You, Jesus". By now it has started to rain...as in pouring down hard, heavy rain. I am the designated driver because Tommy will be loopy and I have night blindness. I can't see anything when I drive at night and Tommy will be just this side of drunk. It is raining very hard by the time Tommy is able to leave the hospital. It is after 9 p.m. and an hour drive in good weather. He was not a happy camper with my driving but he really didn't want to walk. We made it home. We needed to get up early the next morning and go back to the VA for a blood draw and another procedure. The dr. ordered a CMP lab work up in two days. Thank God he did. To be continued...

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Pissy Mood of a Blessed Woman. . .

   This lady is in a really pissy mood tonight. Don't let the photo to left fool you. If you saw her this minute, you would wonder how it is possible the happy lady in the photo can be so sad. It was made the same day she started this blog.  The happy lady doesn't know the answer, however, she is sad for sure. She knows life is full of unanswered questions. That is part of being human. We are not built to know the way the story ends. Why would we ever want to know? Few people read the end of a much anticipated book before they read the beginning. If we knew the ending how could we ever enjoy the adventure of the book to its fullest? We couldn't. It is the same truth in being alive. Never take for granted a long amazing drive to destinations unknown. Perhaps if we did, we would no longer value the bits of magic life offers at unusual random times. They would become something ordinary or something we expect or think we deserve. It would be so sad for a moonlight walk on the beach to become mundane. I would hate for kisses to hurt or a hug to cause my loved one to wince in pain. I want many more adventures before we arrive at our final destination. I want to laugh until I cry tears of joy. Most of all, I want Tommy to be well and pain-free.  And that my friend is the one thing I cannot fix.
   

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sometimes I Need to be Near a Large Body of Water. . .

  I do not believe in astrology.  I think it is fun to read at times but that is as far as my belief goes.  According to the stars, I am an Aries, belonging to the fire signs.  Fire does speak to me. I get lost in the beauty of our fire pit and all the stories that leap from the flames. I don't think I ever miss fire. Maybe that is because we use our fire pit so much. I do know that I need to be near a large body of water more often than not.  Today was one of those days.  With that thought in mind, Tommy and I decided to go to Portland and watch the river and walk the trails.  We knew the river should be thawing some by now. The temperatures were in the mid-sixties. Huge chunks of frozen white, blue and brown ice rushed by us as we stood on the banks of the Missouri River. The roar of the rushing water was loud and unrelenting as it rushed past us. It seemed to be in a hurry to reach the Mississippi River.  I know the feeling. As much as I love the Missouri River it will never take the place of the Mississippi River and my love for Columbus, Kentucky. 
    Today, as we stood on the banks of the Missouri River we heard hundreds of geese and ducks across the river. We could barely see them but their voices were loud and proud. They seemed to be enjoying their side of the river as much as we were enjoying our side.  Perhaps the birds felt like we were intruding on their Sunday afternoon.    

                                   
     It was a long shot to take of the birds. I know they are there but I doubt if anyone else can see them.  Looking at this photo is a good memory for us. Tommy and I walked down the Katie Trail, looking for the hidden caves, crevasses and barren cottonwood trees. Without a doubt cottonwood, Aspen, and birch trees with their whitebark contrast among the rest of the dark wooded trees are some of my favorite trees to photograph and paint. When I look at the woods in winter I see life. Several places had green weeds trying to grow. It is too early for them but I give them A for effort. These plants are hardy and have been here a long time. As it is stated in "Jurassic Park", nature will find a way. I believe it does.



   As we walked along I photographed every tree, rock and river shot that caught my attention. I enjoy the ledges and rocks that were carved in the midst of the woods along the river banks to make a road called the Katie Trail. Vehicles are not allowed on it. Bikes, pedestrians, and the remanents of Mother Nature are the only ones allowed to walk the trail. We saw a lot of deer trails leading down to the river. We also saw several caves that looked interesting.  I asked Tommy if he thought any Osage Indians ever lived and loved in these bluff

caves.  You would have thought I had asked if the antichrist was purple!! He said, "For heaven's sake!!!  Where do you get these ideas???" He walked on down the trail laughing. Hmmm, 'they
 ran through my mind as I was walking along and I said the words
out loud,' I thought.  After a lifetime together, you would think he would be used to these random thoughts. Evidently not! I see a story or a painting everywhere I go. I enjoy photographing this knothead I married. At times, he is as big a mystery as the caves I see on the road to Jefferson City. At other times he is as comfortable and familiar as my first taste of coffee in the morning. It was a good day in our corner of the world.  I hope it was for everyone.



                                                                                           

Friday, January 5, 2018

Wanna Get Rid of the Flu...Set the House on Fire...

  Tommy and I have had a rough ten days. We have a case of the flu from Hell, that literally knocked us on our wazoo.
  I missed two of his doctor appointments because I was too sick to go to the VA hospital with him. I have no sense of smell or taste. When coffee tastes off-kilter, I am either sick or pregnant. I pick 'sick' and stayed home again. I had things I needed to do. So with all the strength I had, I drug my sick wazoo off the futon, brought in wood, filled up the stove, washed the dishes and fell out in my recliner, completely exhausted. I picked up James Lee Burke's new novel, "Robicheaux" and began to get lost in one of my favorite characters life.  The bucket of wood I had tried to put in the stove about ten minutes earlier, burst into flames.  In fact, I didn't know we had a fire until I glanced up and the living room was filled with smoke, ditto for the kitchen and the den. By this time my eyes were burning. I moved faster in the next ten minutes than I had all week. I ran to the kitchen to get a big glass of water, dumping it on the blaze. It took 4 or 5 huge glasses of water to douse the flames. Did I mention the flames, were at first, jumping about 18 inches in the air out of the bucket? The flames were facing a wall and between the television and the wood stove. I don't remember how I got the bucket, smoldering wood, and rug out the back door...but I did. I know Miz Vicky was moving on!!
  I was tired, exasperated and filled with 'what ifs.' It seems the what-ifs start as soon as sanity returned. I remember thinking,"what if I had gone back to our bedroom and gone to sleep?" It was a sobering thought. I doubt if I would be writing this blog tonight.