This Day

This day will leave without a whisper of intrigue,
nor did a ray of sun that shines brightly make it all better.
It is like if Momma wasn’t around to make the pinched finger feel better.

This day brings the darkness for the night unless the moon visits.
Yet, that blackness in the night is something akin to a mystery book,
you read, you wonder, you think and remain in the gloom of not knowing?

This day can bring every emotion to everyone that lives.
Imagine just how many emotions there are that affect you and me.
If you have too many then off to the psychiatrist you go.

This day brings the hope of a better tomorrow as salve for today,
yet think if you need a salve for the wrongs then have you ever been right.
Salves are like handing a child a piece of candy, once chewed its gone.

This day that we live isn’t just our day,  it is a day for everyone you know
and even for the people you may not know or even those you do not want know.
Regardless, it is a day where we should remember that to judge early isn’t good.

This day even makes me question why is it a day I need to be open to you,
or if it is someone else they may spin tales to get me to be open to them.
If I hold on and repeat silently “NO” and latch down my tongue I am safe.

This day is a day that I could be run over by a runaway car and lie bleeding
when suddenly someone comes running and it is you who I wish that it wasn’t.
Regardless, I am cared for, watched over for more bleeding and together we wait.

This day as we wait within the dimming light I realize how wrong I had been.
If he had not stopped, then would the rest of those that passed by be just like me?
This day becomes a time to thank, to remember, and a time to begin a change.

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Names, How Many for You!!

The day was still young and while sitting on the edge of the bed I thought how given names often become secondary to the person.  You start out with a single given name, possibly with a middle name.  The surname is usually the father’s last name unless there has been some problem.  It’s the given name that becomes a name that changes and often is hated or it is lost under the guise of the first letter of the given name something like F. Eugene and so on.

Wow, I just hid my first name from you.  You will know shortly all  the names I have! 

I would like anyone who is reading this post to help me write  another post by giving me your first name and a list of your nicknames.  If you do not wish your information used in any manner  don’t fill in the questionnaire.   I promise the information you give me will be scrambled with other information.

My information that I will submit will be:

Given Name

Francis

My great grandfather’s given name was the same as mine,  My father’s middle name was the same.

Nicknames:

  • Buzz:  1st nickname given to me by my Father.  He said I always buzzed during diaper changes!  For many this name still is used.
  • Buzzy:  My aunt added the “y”.  Don’t know why!  My Mother followed suit using it.
  • Franny Gene:  As I grew older my aunt started using this and lasted with her for years.
  • Francis Eugene:  Only used by my Mother when I had done something she didn’t like.
  • Sonny:  from my father in my teen years
  • Frank:  1st night in the dorm at CIA the coordinator took roll and called Frank, no one answered so I finally did.  That was in 1965 and it still is here!  Now for official documents and travel I need to use my given name!
  • Frankie:  From M
  • Crimafice:   From M. since I have hammer toes!
  • Brudder:  When I write to my sister it is Dear Seeeeeeeester and when I close it’s der Brudder.

 

DO NOT FORGET TO HIT THE SUBMIT BUTTON AFTER YOU FILL THE FORM

Please feel comfortable doing this for me.  Your information will come directly to me.  I will be the only one to see it.  If you have a name you wish not to appear publicly just tell me not to publish it.  

Let’s see who will beat the number of names I have!!

I know this is crazy, but I hope you will join in!!  Thank you!!

Days of Storm

 

Must a storm be linked to  black clouds producing torrential rains,  or the chaos a hurricane’s storm surge and high waves as they bring destruction and even more frightful are missile war heads carrying disease or gas that will destroy entire cities in moments.

Imagine the storm produced when one day you chat with someone close to you and the next day learn it was their own hand that caused their death. In the aftermath, a storm of grief has no limit. The living suffer and the grief has no cure; grief can only be lessened by the years that pass and yet at the singular glance of  a trigger can return the agony.

As you sit at the bedside of a family member a wrenching moment arrives when you realize how quiet that special person is  Suddenly, grief hits you up along side your head and a storm begins to rage at you defying logic because you stiffly sit and wait for another breath. When a breath doesn’t come you know and  within a short time you begin a term of anguish that never ends; it subsides only until you see a trigger and in a flash your feelings  return and for the moment and you feel it never left.

Whichever storm strikes it will bring damage to your heart, your life and will never let the effect allow you to be peaceful!

 

On a winter night–

 

FullSizeRender

The Old Farm House Watercolor 2016

 

This is the house I grew up in on a farm in Eastern Iowa. The house sat in the middle of the farm and in the winter when snow and wind came together and made a blizzard its effect covered the entire farm with banks of the snow that came right up to the house. Sometimes, the banks grew to over four or five feet.  

At Christmas, frost was always on the outside of the windows and inside my mother hung colorful lights that warmed the night when you saw them from a distance. In the parlor, a large tree stood like a king that ruled over our Christmas.

The colorful gifts lay under the tree with bright bows on Christmas Eve enticing me, as a young child, to open them earlier.  If I had opened one of the gifts I knew I would pay a dear price for my thoughtless action.  Instead, waiting, took an enormous toll on my youthful patience.  I couldn’t wait until all the presents were handed out so that I could rip the paper off mine. As I got older I realized ripping off all the paper and ribbon was a little disrespectful of whoever took the time and love to wrap them so nicely.

Just after the presents were open my father began his ritual of holding an enormous  black trash bag with his hook and picking up the trash with his hand.  As he did his job  my mother ran to the kitchen and set out beautiful platters of fruitcake, decorated cookies, and candy she had made. All of the goodies were stored the same each year.  That hall was as cold as any freezer.   I loved that they were there so that I could take a taste of each sweet morsel  before Christmas Eve.

Later that night my mother, sister, aunt and I were taken to Midnight mass by my father. Once at the church, he let us out of the car and then returned later to pick us up.  

The late night made us all sleepy and when we arrived home we quickly got in bed with dreams of the big Christmas Dinner we would have on Christmas Day. As I looked at the photo of the house used in this a painting that I made for my sister, I find it records not just the house but includes all the memories of Christmas’ and other holidays that were momentous to me.

I hope each of you had a great Christmas and soon you will greet the New Year in and I wish you the best in 2019.  Thanks for your visits to read my stories during the year.

To Prowl and Rule

 

This is a story, one that can be enjoyed by any age, although, two types of readers will definitely like it.  Even though it may read like fiction, most of the story is true and is about one of our cats that is devoted to M.  She believes our home is her castle and all her attention is for him alone!  She isn’t very fond of me and tolerates my existenence!  She has an incredible vocabulary and when she wants something there is little to question what it is.  Her eyes are also very expressive and you feel what she thinks.  She is “Blackie” and as long as she lives our house will be her empire!.

During the long night, I prowl through the house repeatedly by first looking out the windowed door, then sometimes resting on the stairs or climbing up to the bedroom and stretching out on the corner of the bed or a laying on my chair by the door to the room.  Boredom gets to me so instead of yawning I get up and go down the hall and stop at the big scratchboard for a minute before I go back to the glass door.  Peering out,  I see the moon and beyond the landscape of the yard.  It is what lures me;  there are fresh odors to sniff as I find them outside, wire fences to climb over and pals to join as they wait for me across the street.  Ah, we had such happy plans for tonight.  Hopefully, I will be lucky and join the troop.

Last week, one very early morning, Mr. F. came down the stairway,  turned on the light in the little bathroom, got the ground coffee out of the pantry and moved to the corner of the kitchen where the coffee pot is.  I sat tall on my haunches and coyly tipped my head a bit;  looking at him with my big beckoning eyes.   I am always thinking up a new technique to have him notice that I  want out, I thought,  “Put on your sweet look and open your big green eyes wide, tilt your head and he may melt.”  It worked, he moved toward me and then his hand grabbed the doorknob while the other hand reached for the door lock.  I tip my head back, while touching his leg, to make sure he will turn the knob; he turns the knob and I dash out past him.

As I hurtled across the threshold I suddenly thought, “Slow down, keep a little energy because you have to climb up the link fence if you want to meet everyone.  A bit of a pant and I made it to the top of the fence.  Now I only need to walk on the rail for a couple of feet and I can jump down and run over to my pals.  The three of them are characters, one older than me that loves being grumpy, the second one is my age and picky and the third is so young with so much energy, yet he has a lack of brain power!

At the intersection, it is best to be cautious when crossing the street (the cars race fast in both directions and they wouldn’t mind running over me).  I look both ways, take a deep breath and run as fast (or as M would say waddle as fast as I can).  Once across I breathe easier and the four of us are together.  First, we want to go down 15th street to 13th and make a quick stop at the Alchemist to see if they have some goodies we can snatch at the back door.  Then, there’s Valero.  Maybe a bit of empanada will be there.  Every time my wonderful, compassionate, sweet owner, “M”  worries that I am gaining weight and wonders how I gain  I say, “Well it’s these little escapades that do me in.”  The truth is, fat or thin I enjoy every little treat I find.

Before it gets any later I have to get back to the yard.   If I stay out too long Mr. F. will not let me out again.  Just before I get to the glass door I start calling out so he knows I am in the yard.  He has good ears and can hear me.  Yep, I see movement and it’s him.  The door opens and quickly I run past him and up the stairway to the corner of the bed.    I’ll stay down at the foot of the bed til “M” gets up.   The mattress feels so good and I quickly close my eyes.

The ritual for the morning following breakfast is:  When “M”  heads for the stairway I run before him so I am in his office before he can get there.  If he doesn’t head toward the stairway and lingers I must go to the 2nd floor,  jump up and sit on the banister and call out loudly until he comes.  No matter what, I have him trained and he will come soon enough!!

As M. arrives in his office I quickly jump to the top of his desk.  Every once in a while papers fly.  It’s more important for me to be on the desktop, centered and sprawled so I have his undivided attention to comb me, rather than have him worrying about any mess I make.  The problem is that he needs to keep his desk organized so he can remember what to do.  Pity he doesn’t think to ask for my help!  I have often used the keyboard at night and am very adept at turning on the computer.  After my combing, until later afternoon,  is my nap time.  I have a few corners of the house I go into so that I am not found nor have my sleep interrupted.  If I didn’t sleep then my night prowling would not be as much fun if I were tired.

Each day I believe I should have a treat around three o’clock.  The other one that is similar to me (well she is cute, younger but certainly not as smart as me),  seems to think she is equal to me and always follows me for our treat.   “M” is very slow at getting out the snack, so I prod him a little with a few loud calls.  If he doesn’t snap to it then it’s time to do two things:  We stare at him, sitting on our haunches and I let out a very tuff call.  Gets him to move every time.   Usually, there is so little food he gives us for the treat,  and because it is a tiny amount I feel the routine must be repeated around five p.m.  I hear him questioning why we think we should need a treat in another two hours.  The answer is simple, “We deserve it, we are very beautiful to look at and above all if he doesn’t give us a little nibble we have the ability to become quite a bother to him.

It’s that time of day to rest, watch a bit of television, and be ready for another short escapade with my friends.  Hey, you want to come along??

The Destined Path


Threshold
Heat transformed Nylon     1999

In my old blog, Within Crepusculum, my main objective was to understand the path that all life takes to reach its final destination.  Crepusculum (the ancient word for twilight) is the word I use during the time in life when changes occur leaving you less capable maintaining your life and it becomes necessary for someone else to help you with decisions and care.  This need, even though warranted, takes much of your independence and leaves you unsettled.

Even though I am not at that place, I often think about it and know a timeless journey begins one day and it will lead me through the twilight of life and on to the last darkness.  Many years ago I made a sculpture (the one above) that I named “Threshold” which metaphorically if the place where, without awareness, you cross and a journey begins.  The path may have unstable inclines and uncontrollable downward slides, its surface littered with stones along representing each physical or mental problem you have or will have before you take the last breath.  It is a season, one that can never be ignored, refused not changed and leaves no choice of day or time.

Sometimes the stone’s represent what becomes to difficult to handle in life.  Once M. said to me that the difference in aging between people is how ambulatory each is.  Hindered movements offer far less freedom and it impedes how your muscles continue to work.  A second major difference is the “mind”.  There are many forms of dementia other than Alzheimer’s and many find that their ability to process is less as they age and find that it is simply a part of growing older.  Regardless of the cause, it becomes worrisome to yourself and your family when you tell them it is difficult to deal with your finances or health issues.  When this happens the differences of how we age shows remarkably.

Every day I stand at the top of the stairs and hesitate.  I know if I am careless I will invite an accident.  Any misguided step can bring more pain to my knees and back.  These problems, including my lungs, are the many stones strewn on my path.  A “newer stone”, one that comes to me when in thought is a comparison of my life and my parent’s life at the same age.  My father retired farming a one hundred sixty acre farm when he was my current age.  Similarly, my mother moved to Arizona with me, lived on her own and enjoyed every day while living in an active retirement village.  No matter what, each year I become less tolerant of dealing with what was, what is and what will be.   

I rue the day that my next surgery will be.  The surgery is usually tolerable.  It is the therapy that follows.  I realize, now, that I must decide how long and how intense the therapy will be.  I have paid a dear price doing more than I should during the extensive required sessions.

When I compare the future to how I am today and then compare it to the recent past I am poignantly aware I am not the same as I was.  Regardless, I will not let go of the sparkle of iridescent colors of life until I must.  There will be a day I realize that medically there is nothing left that a Doctor can do   Then, I will be ready to move on down the destined path.

Today I Sing To You

 

I now sing softly to myself as I did when I knelt by your bed leaning forward into your ear so that you could hear.  More often than not you responded to me when you heard my own lyrics to “You Are My Sunshine.”  The words were intended just for you and carried the love I felt for you and to say that you were special to me.  At times you squeezed my hand and I knew you understood.

My mother died today at about the same time that it is now.  The memory of that day and night still ring clearly and makes we question how the past nine years have passed so quickly.  I think of her often and wish that I was as strong as she was in her life and even stronger during her final journey.  I held her closely to me.  It was difficult for each of us to let go.  And then the moment came and everything was so quiet.

Today, right now I softly sing, “You are My Sunshine.”