Waiting…

Twice I have tried writing about this. Twice I stopped before I got to the point of my blog. Those of you who have read “Waiting” and “The Clock Ticks Loudly but The Hands Aren’t Moving” will note that I have combined the two posts here. I will once again try to tell this story. If you have read  my  “About” introduction,  you know that most of my posts are about my life.  Most everything I write are true facts. I don’t want to sound as if I am complaining, or as one might say, whining, looking for sympathy but what follows are just the facts and my feelings as this all unfolds, This story doesn’t have an ending yet so if you are interested in following to the end, be patient. It will come, eventually.  There is an ending or an outcome to every story in one’s life, not always what we want or hope for, pray for, but each story does  come to an end. Here, we have two intertwined stories taking place at the same time and both include plenty of hopes and prayers and yes, patience.

I’ll begin here back at the beginning of “Waiting” so that you can put everything in order and perspective.

Nov. 15, 2016

Its been about three months since Detective Marc called to tell me that they had found his cabin burned to the ground. They had only gone to check because one of the townspeople reported that he hadn’t been seen around town since September. He too was familiar with the man know to most only  as the mountain man  and had noted that he hadn’t seen him on his bike around town for quite some time. There was no sign of him at the cabin. A week later Detective Mark called to say they had taken the cadaver dogs up to the cabin and again nothing. There was no body. I gave a small sigh of relief. Now, he was just missing again.

We rarely knew where he was or what he was doing. Nothing about how or where he lived or if he had family. Now and then, usually with many years between times, he would just show up either at my other brothers house or at Mom or Dad’s, on the doorstep with a backpack in hand. We had come to expect this from him. This time though, it had been too long. We tried to locate him when Dad got sick, having no luck at all.  Dad died, without him there. I was sick at heart for this fact. That was 2009. Then in 2013 he still had not been located. We tried. Mom was sick. Early in 14 she too passed without seeing him again.

After that I just gave up on him for a while. It seemed impossible to locate him. But as each year drew close to December, his birthday and Christmas, I’d found myself praying that he was on one of his cross-country bike trips headed home. This was the time he would have shown up, the time of year when he had shown up previously.  Every year my heart sank when he didn’t come.

Yesterday, startled out of my deep thoughts into reality,  I stiffened as I looked at the number and picked up the ringing phone.

“Hello Detective. Do you have any news?”

“Sandy. We found a body.”

It had been nineteen years since we’d seen him but the tears unexpectedly came swiftly as Detective Marc said those words.  It was 1998 but it felt like only yesterday that he sat on my couch looking out the window as we spoke of trivial matters. I still don’t know if my tears were  because,  if this “body” is him,  he’ll never sit there again, we’ll never talk again ,trivial matters or otherwise, or,  if they were partly caused because I had only just let myself fully understand the depth of  the report from my Doctor,  which began with words like spinal cord, surgery,  immediately, and every other statement that  followed  spoke of “severe,” such as severe impingement and severe deterioration more words like be careful, no falls, no lifting, one wrong move,  wheelchair, for the rest of your life. That is where my thoughts were when I picked up the phone. Now, nothing was making sense and I was feeling totally nauseous. I heard he detectives voice repeating those words . A body, they had found a body. Not too far from where his cabin had been. There was no way to tell if it was him. They would need a DNA sample from me to get a match to see if it was  him. I agreed of course, said goodbye to Detective Marc, and  ran to the bath room and vomited. I saw my older brothers face, as I knew it, then pictured me in a wheel chair and vomited again,  as the reality of why they needed the DNA set in. Still in much of a daze, I made my way back through the house, headed for the back door to call my husband in and try to tell him about the call. Stopping to hold on to the fireplace mantle for a minute hoping the dizziness would pass, I looked up at the old clock. The one that was much older than myself or my brother. The one that Dad had given me as his years were leaving him just as they were leaving Grandpa when he gave the clock to Dad. I remembered him saying that if I ever saw my brother again, the clock was supposed to have been his. That’s what grandpa had wanted.  The clock, as if set to do so at that precise moment chimed the three o,clock hour.

“You stupid clock. I should throw you in the trash.” I grumbled as I ever so slowly moved on to find Steve.   The clock hadn’t run for years. The hands never moved, yet, everyday, it would chime at the three o’clock hour.  At that moment, it was as if time was standing still whilst the old clock on the mantel stood yelling profanities at me with each strike and each slow step I took. My three felt like thirty.

Now, I am waiting. Waiting to get DNA results. Is the body they have found that of my missing brother? I probably won’t know until towards the end of the month. I had talked to the Coroner and he told me it took two months to get results back. That will be around the twenty-third. Everyday is torture. The not knowing almost drives one crazy. I haven’t seen him for so long but still, he is my brother and if this is him I will die myself a little more inside. My heart is aching and pleading with me to just hold on.  Along with that I wait too to find out when I will be having surgery. The physical pain that has plagued me for so many years finally has an answer. Well, at least part of it. Some of it is just there and always will be. That’s another story. However, the back pain that I had resolved to be a part of my forever life, now has a possible fix. I took a fall last September and have been going down hill ever since. Problems that had been there for what seems like forever increased to a point of needing a MRI. The answers that came with that procedure were hard to believe. It’ll take a couple of surgeries but the possibilities without the surgery are not an option. Already, my hands feel like clubs because of the nerve damage. It is difficult to write (type) so I have done little of it.  However, I, like many of you, use writing as an outlet. Writing is my salvation. Writing eases the pain and takes away the time that moves so slowly. I haven’t been able to say these words let alone put them on paper. I didn’t know how. I haven’t shared any of his with anyone except my family. I finally decided it was time to write again.  So this is it. This is why my life is in a holding pattern.  All this is why no one has heard from me, why life stands still, and why my heart and my stomach just wrench with complete pain and fear. Fear of the unknown can so completely render a persons whole being incapable of functioning in a normal manner.   So now,  I just wait for the insurance to give authorization and the paper work to all be in order. I wait for the surgeons call to set a date and,  of most importance,  I wait for the next call from Detective Marc.  That should be only a couple of days away at this point. The twenty-third they said. We should hear something by the twenty-third.

Waiting…………..yes absolutely,  waiting………..is pure hell.

 

The Odd Couple

This morning, I’m pulling from my files a short story written back in 2012, which I have included in my , unpublished as of yet book, “A Little Bit of Me.” It is a book, mostly written for my children, about my life. It includes poems, most of which tell a story, short stories, pictures, and some drawing and art work. I’m hoping, now to have the book published someday. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this short, but true, story about a cat and dog that were truly a blessing to our lives as they supplied endless hours of entertainment and love to us.

The Odd Couple

The Siamese cat and the Rottweiler dog don’t seem like a very probable pair.  Frankie, the cat, likened herself to a princes, extraordinary, noble and certain that mousing was beneath her. She appeared to think she ruled the house and we, including the dogs, were just her attendants. In her case, I believe this assumption, was mostly true.

Blossom was a one hundred and thirty pound dog engaging and delightful in disposition. Her immense, resplendent, brown eyes engulfed your senses and turned even the strongest of men into adoring, belly rubbing, playmates. Loving every one and every thing, this robust girl didn’t have an unkind bone in her body. Her only resolution in life was to please.

One early spring morning while sitting in my easy chair reading, Blossom at my side, I noticed Frankie saunter into the room. As usual, she held her head high, but for some reason appeared to be extra dignified that day.  She paraded, gingerly over to Blossom, rubbing gently from Blossom’s shoulder to her hip and back again, purring quite loudly. She repeated the action once more. Suddenly, I heard a very sassy meooow, then another and another as she looked at the dog with her intense, piercing, blue eyes. Blossom hadn’t been paying any attention, but now, she was sitting upright and taking notice, as was I. The cat sassed urgently and this time rubbed under Blossoms chin. With that, Frankie retreated slightly, meowed insistently, raised a paw with claws extended and slapped Blossom fiercely across the nose. She then meowed once more and rubbed Blossom’s chin. Blossom shook her head portraying a look of what seemed to be sheer amazement and I’ll be darned if she didn’t begin bathing Frankie right then and there. After a few minutes, Blossom hesitated slightly, as if contemplating her progress, and likely anticipating permission to cease. Instantly, here it came again. A meow so sassy you’d be taken aback to hear it. Without hesitation, Blossom returned to bathing the cat. Frankie was luxuriating immensely in the whole bathing process, only shifting positions occasionally, to allow Blossom the ability to wash every inch of her. This went on for nearly a half an hour until Frankie was visibly wet. Finally, she arose, sporting what appeared to be a satisfied smile, meowed softly and yes, even pleasantly, rubbed Blossoms chin and without further adieu, pranced away. From that day forward this became a daily ritual between the two of them. Frankie would approach Blossom, rub her gently, and Blossom would respond immediately to the cats wishes, without the sassing or the slap, of course. The two of them shared many other encounters and rituals during their time together. This is but one or their stories.

August, 2012The odd couple picture

Older, But Not Old Yet!

Just a note on daily life around here. Of course by now, if you are following my blog, you have realized that life at our house is usually not what one would call normal for most people. There is always something happening. Lately, it has been very challenging. So to update you, first, let me tell you that my husband Steve, having had open heart surgery, a four-way by pass, in January,  is doing well since he had the “by pass of the by pass” a couple of weeks ago. He is still getting quite tired in the afternoons  but has had no pain or problems.

For the moment, the focus has been on me. We’re dealing with a couple of health problems but are slowly ruling out the horrid possibilities and aiming at finding a simple answer to all. In the meantime, I’m hanging in there and doing it fairly well. Patience is not my strong point. One thing to understand is that Steve and I are not young anymore.

For those of you in that “beginning to show your age” group of older but not old seniors, like we are,  I’m here to tell you some days just aren’t fun. How do you feel when you get here? Well, last week, I felt my physical age and my mental age were in sync and I was ready for anything. I wasn’t in that “older generation” group but felt more like maybe a forty something. How wonderful it is to get up feeling great. The birds singing, the sun shining, wild life roaming in the yard and you sitting with your coffee on the patio watching it all while figuring out your work plan for the day. Eagerness overwhelms you. Before your second cup, you’ve pulled out your garden tools, gloves, a sun hat and have it ready to go in your garden wagon. Your dear spouse brings you another cup of coffee and together you plot  your day. Then, you actually accomplish what you set out to do.

Now, it’s a week later, the sun still shines, the birds still sing, and all else described above is still in play. But, your bones hurt, your muscles are stiff and aching and your mind is just kind of floating in oblivion. You want to do something but the energy just won’t come. You go back in, wash your face again, have another cup of coffee but this time,  you doze off in your chair. The dogs wake you because they want to go outside and you failed to take care of that when you were up and moving earlier. You feel like you are at least a hundred years old and thank God, it is finally ten am and you can take a little nap.

Yes, it changes that fast, and faster. Sometimes it changes like that from day to day, or morning to evening. I know there are so many of you that know exactly what I am talking about. You too, know about set backs. You have been witness to what stress does for you. You’ve learned how to handle most problems but some days it takes so long to get them handled. Yes, you know where I’m at.  So at this point you are praying for last week to return. And it will. Well, not actually, but the feeling will return.

Yes, we all have these days. It’s all about now, how you deal with it. I’m trying to learn, still, one day at a time. How long have I been working on that lesson? More years than I want to say but since I have admitted to being in that senior group you know it’s a fairly large number. Will I learn. Probably not but I’ll never give up trying.  I tend to work under the premise that if you feel good today, get it done today. I try to pace myself but often find I’m working harder than I should be, longer than I should be, and not asking for help when I need it. I always have a number of projects going. Right now, for instance, I’m plotting, planning and puttering in my, someday it will be beautiful, garden area. I’ve laid out where my little shed will be, some of the beds are in, and I’m collecting. There are windows, watering cans. boards, garden figurines, old tools, pots and planters. I’ll be so ready when the building gets built. I’m actively looking for free building materials every chance I get. I’ve had a little old door for at least ten years that will be my front door to the shed. There are two wicker chairs and a table in my storage shed that need to be painted and the seats recovered that will be just darling in the covered sitting area. We have to have a covered sitting area because we have so much rain here. I have light fixtures for outside that I picked up at a yard sale years ago, knowing that someday I’d find a place for them. They are tarnished brown and green and I love them. That is my main day time activity right now but as I come in for the evening, my paints are ready and waiting for me. I’ve been working on flags. I love what I call “Americana” stuff. My flags are made out of recycled materials. Steve cuts the boards and wire, then I paint. I have several other things I’m making under that category too. I’m also sewing. Right now, baby things. I’ve made the cutest, most darling little booties you ever saw. They will go with a dress, coat and probably a bonnet. This particular outfit is all in lavender and white and is newborn size.  I’m trying to learn to play mandolin and have dedicated one half hour every evening for practice.We have a “Jam Session” at our house twice a month for any friends that want to come. We play and sing and just have a good time. We have (Steve plays)guitars , and drums, which our grand son andgrand daughter both play. For Jam night, they get a real work out from our friend Johnny. Anyone who wants can sing. There are other instruments for anyone who can play. Oh, we aren’t really what you’d call talented or even really good. But, we have fun. We share stories and music and good times. This time is important to us as it’s very relaxed and spent with friends. It is down time uncomplicated with worries. It is necessary to have down time  if you want to stay sane. We are also still, and will be for a long time, working at remodeling, on a zero budget, our kitchen. I won’t even get into the plans for the back yard. So I guess you have figured out that the way I handle this getting older stuff is by staying busy. Moving, planning, thinking and doing almost constantly. This, I hope, will help keep me a viable, active, person. Possibly this will keep my mind from getting slow and stale. I often find myself laughing at my attempts before moving on to a better way. Humor, I use it generously. I have many things to accomplish and not so many years left to do it. The last thing I will mention at this time, but certainly not least in importance, of those things is my writing. I’m now trying something I’ve never tried to do in my writing. I stated that I write from memories and experience on my front page. I’ve never done fiction. My stories are short and my writing is simple. But, I decided to try writing a story, maybe a book and yes fiction. I didn’t exactly decide to do it, it just happened one evening. I was thinking about writing about some things that happened with myself and a couple of friends from high school back in those high  school days. The thought grew into more and now I’ve completed chapter one. I hope there will be more.  I’m also hoping to leave behind when my time comes to leave this physical world, worth while information, knowledge, humor, joy and the desire in others to live, love, and create. Do something important for yourself. Make your life important to others. Share your talents, thoughts and feelings with the world. Never say never. Always say can, not can’t. Keep doing, don’t stop. Most of all, believe in yourself and never stop believing. Make today worth while, because you never know when there won’t be a tomorrow and just ask yourself, seriously,…….will I be remembered? This is what keeps this older, but not old yet, lady on the move, reaching for one more day and one more accomplishment.

My Flag, 7-4-15

My Flag, 7-4-15

Forever is A Long Way Off

ForeverSeveral days ago I posted a short post which I had titled, “A Poem, A Prayer.”  That was exactly what it was. Prayers for my husband. He had open heart surgery the end of January. It was a four-way bypass. It failed. On Friday last week he was taken to the ER by ambulance. I prayed, our family prayed, our friends prayed. He has a twenty-six year history with Heart Disease. He’s had the same cardiologist that entire time.  He’s also had somewhere in the neighborhood of six angiograms, five angioplasties, and he’s  up to nine stents in his heart and one in his groin. Now we can add the bypass and the bypass failure to that. We were told, “He’s running out of options.” by the doctors. However, for now, once again he’s back in good repair. Thank God.  The Doctor’s went back in doing a double cath. One in each groin. The upper portion of the bypass is what had failed. During the time that he spent, recuperating from it, some of the medications he had been required to take, helped clear out some of the arteries that had been blocked.. The Doctors decided to bypass the bypass.  By putting in three stents they were able to use one of these arteries to go around the back of the heart, joining into the lower portion of the bypass which was still working. They also opened up another artery that had previously been completely blocked. It was a long surgery, over four hours. but that had been expected. Not expected was the complications afterward. Immediately following, the cath site on the left wouldn’t stop bleeding. Applying a pressure bandage seemed to be helping, so they decide to leave it on a while. Steve got visitors. Some of his buddies from the plant that he used to work at.  They talked, going over numerous old stories about when they had worked together, fishing trips  and riding their motorcycles, Steve’s blood pressure was slowly, gradually, climbing. I don’t know if it was from the fun and the stories or just what. The nurse came in to check vitals. Blood pressure was up, and he was running a fever. Then she checked his cath sites. Now, he was bleeding on the right side, a lot. There was a sudden flurry of action and soon six nurses were surrounding and working on him. They were able to stop the bleeding and avoided another emergency. Ahhh, we could relax again. The rest of that evening went well. The morning though, brought forth other problems. New medications presented new reactions. Reactions indicating an allergic response. Ants, he was seeing ants. Crawling up the walls, all around him, up his legs and across his bed. Tubes, huge tubes were threatening to fall upon him. His sheets had ever-changing colors and textures. Thankfully, he was aware enough to know  he was experiencing hallucinations. Another medication was administered to counteract the first one. Finally, all was well. He was stable. Now the problem was me. I had hit the stage of total exhaustion. I had been on my way back to the hospital.  Overwhelming tiredness came over me and I simply could not drive. I called my daughter. She came from work to take me the rest of the way. We waited with Steve for answers most of the afternoon and had been there much longer than we expected we would be, with all the complications. She had to get home.I still didn’t feel safe to drive. They still didn’t want to let Steve go. He needed to be watched longer. We made arrangements with his friend, Johnny, to come get him after John got off work. That allowed me to leave with our daughter. I went home, called Steve to check in, and crashed. Six thirty p.m. rolled around and Steve was walking in the door. That’s what woke me. What a day. What a week. I thank God it’s over. I thank God for the end results. Steve is good. We are both getting rested. All is well and will soon be back to normal. Well, as normal as it ever gets around here. Our life has always been anything but normal but the Lord has watched over us well, getting us through the difficult and the even more difficult times. We  have learned to keep a sense of humor. We have learned about survival. We have learned true, absolute love. Together we can handle anything and we will. Me and Steve and God. Our faith in each other and God is what keeps us going.

Why have I shared this story with all of you? Because it’s real. It’s real feelings, real emotions, real happenings. It’s the un-ordinary part of an ordinary life. Also to share with you the miracles that are being made in the medical world. Every time something has happened with Steve’s heart, we hear about new methods, new findings in heart care, new medicines. And every day we are witnessing miracles being granted by God. Through his help and the doctors we have once again moved forward, gotten through a really difficult procedure and an extremely stressful event.  It’s something that many of you may have been through and many more of you might have yet to go through. It’s just a brief description of how a problem was laid upon us and how we dealt with it. How about you. How would you cope? How would a face, “You’re running out of options?” We choose faith. Faith in each other. Faith in God. Faith in prayer and faith in our friends. Sometimes getting through something like this is just knowing that someone else has been there before you.  I, as I had been many times before this, was filled with fear. Fear of loosing him.  Our life together, I felt, was not near over yet. He promised me, twenty-four years ago that, if I would marry him, he’d give me forever.  Forever, is still, a long way off. I pushed the fear away with prayer.  Relief came. I knew, deep in my heart, I knew, all would be fine.  Still, I prayed more, our family and friends prayed with me.  I hope you have taken a moment to think about what you would do in an emergency situation. How would you handle a health set back. Do you have options set in place to handle emergencies. I know we need to recoup now. We need to get funds set aside again for health affairs. We need to plan what kind of spiritual needs we will call upon if there is a next time. We need to have plans in place so that we are not taken by surprise.  I hope you all are planning your own defense for a bad situation, no matter what it may be. To be prepared is to be in control. Take that control now and prepare. Remember too, to include God in your preparations. No one can help you more than he.

I’ve Been Published !

WOW !  Look, I'm "PUBLISHED"

WOW ! Look, I’m “PUBLISHED”

It was just our little local newspaper, The Key Peninsula News, consisting of twenty four-pages and the Poetry Corner is on page twenty-two. Nothing big, nothing elaborate. Nothing too great.

Yeah…..like, that’s a bunch of  malarkey and if you know me you understand all that was said out of modesty but it’s time to let modesty take a back seat and shout it out to who ever wants to hear. “I’VE BEEN PUBLISHED!” It was my poem, “My Great-Grandfather’s House.” I like that one myself. It has a lot of meaning to me.  So I’m very happy they chose to publish it.

I’ve just sent in another one. It won’t have the possibility to be published before August as this is just a monthly paper. Also, since there are probably plenty of others sending in, I don’t believe I stand a chance to be published two months in a row. I will post this one on Word Press later today. Right now, I’m off to take my grandsons shoes to him. First things first and the child has outgrown every thing except this pair that he left here on the 4th and his slippers. They are all headed out to do something special today and I guess, the little guy needs some shoes. Grammie to the rescue…again.

Once again though,before I go, just so you realize it clearly, I am totally ecstatic  about my poem hitting the paper. Published is published, right. It has inspired me to keep going. Sometimes, as a writer, I do get discouraged thinking, “Why would anyone want to read what I have to say?” Then I have to stop and take a look at my work. Realizing, it is unique to me, no one else will have had that same experience, in that same way, I push on. Maybe, my experience will be useful to someone. Maybe, it will inspire, bring comfort or joy, or maybe it will be just what they needed to hear on that particular day. I always hope for the best outcome for myself and my readers. Some will like my work and some won’t. To some, I am probably too simple. They look for more meaning behind the words. Usually, my words say exactly what I want said in a very simple way. Sometimes, I write like I talk. Being from a southern back ground, you may hear a little drawl in a few of my posts or see a little slang. You may see some words cut short as for instance, “darling” might end up, “darlin” but that is how I speak, unless I’m at a high falutin’ shindig for something where I need to be proper .  Okay, it’s not correct and I know it’s not correct so why do I let myself do it. Because, that’s me. That’s how I grew up. That’s just the way I am. No, I’m not lazy. That’s what people who know me expect me to sound like. If I were to change my ways after all these years, they’d think me ill. In fact, once I did just that, changed my way to conform, and friends soon started asking what happened. They clearly stated they wanted the “old” Sandy back. So I have quit trying to disguise myself in my ordinary daily life saving the “proper Me” for the “proper” place.  No one seems to have a problem with that. This turned out to be a longer post than I intended. To close, I hope you all will rejoice with me in my moment of glory. Maybe later today, lift a glass of wine and say, “Here’s to our fellow published writer, Sandy, for her achievement.” Just chuckling a little to myself here and basking in the “feeling good” moment. Here’s hoping you all have a glorious day, and I raise my glass to all of you saying, “If it hasn’t happened yet, it will. Hang in there and keep writing. Your day will come.” Now, I’m off to deliver shoes.

Hero’s, Honky Tonks and Hassocks

It’s getting late. Almost time to get ready for bed. Willie Nelson is playing on the stereo “Living in the Promised Land.” I don’t know about you but I love Willie. He’s been a little  bit of everything in his life, a singer, actor, had his own television show, he’s fought the government and he’s raised money for farmers through the “Farm Aid Program.” He, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash were all part of the original “Outlaws of Country Music.” In the beginning this group became known as this because there was a change taking place in country music excluding  much of the honky-tonk styling that had been so predominant through the years. Willie and the rest felt they weren’t going to be told by the record producers what kind of music they could play. I know many of you think he was just a drinking, drug doing, hippie, who traveled the country in a bus singing wherever he happened to stop. Who know’s, I don’t know him personally, but I kinda of see him as a hero. He stood up for what he believed in and he helped where he felt help was needed. For me personally, I think he’s a heck of a singer. Right now “You Are Always on MY Mind is playing. A very lovely song indeed.  Yep, I love to listen to Willie. Not only are so many of his songs just soothing to listen to, many of them tell a story. Stories we should take to heart and listen to the words. Okay, enough I guess. I didn’t start this post to talk about Willie. It’s just that this is a wonderful album and I’m enjoying it very much. Steve is asleep in his chair and the house is quiet except for the stereo. But as long as we are on the subject of musicians, most of you already have figured out that music is a big part of my life. Oh my, “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” one of my very favorites. Oh, um, well, what can I say? Music, I love all kinds of music. Country/Western, Jazz, Blues, Gospel, and of course Rock-n-Roll and lets not forget Rock-a-Billy. Steve and I were just talking the other night about how so many of the the really great artists from our generation have and are passing on. It’s like telling a member of your family goodbye. I grew up watching Grand-Ole-Opry on Saturday evening.  Me, stretched out on my big, pea-green hassock and enjoying every minute, not about to go on and play like the other kids. My cousins would come inside, tugging at me and pleading,“Come on, let’s go play hide and seek. It’s dark now, it’ll be lots of fun.” But I was too enthralled with Chet (Atkins), Johnny (Cash), the Carters, George and Tammy, Even ole Tennessee Ernie Ford. Then there was Hank Snow, Bill Anderson, Porter Wagner and Dolly. Lynn Anderson, Kitty Wells and one of my favorites, Patsy Cline. Mel Tillis and Ferlin Husky. Yes, those are just some of the great ones, but one I don’t want to leave out was good ole Hank Williams, another of my very, very favorites. I could go on but you all get the idea and probably don’t remember a lot of these names anyway. It was another time. A great time. After the Opry my Dad, and my Uncles would all get out their instruments and commence to playin’.  My Aunt Bonnie would sing and I’d perch myself up on the kitchen counter in the corner so I had a perfect view of all of them. I so much wanted to join in. I wanted to sing and sing and sing. But, I was too shy. I loved it but I guess it wasn’t enough to bring me out of the quiet place I lived. But I’ll never forget those nights, the Opry, my family and the good times we had when we all got together. My dad played mandolin, Uncle Arbie, guitar, Tony, Guitar, and Uncle Homer, I think had a banjo. It was a lively bunch full of fun, laughter and music that would last half through the night.  Mom and my aunts would have to pack us kids off to bed as we got too tired to get there ourselves but we argued all the way. Especially me. I just didn’t want to miss a minute of it. How unbelievably awesome it would be to be able to go back to even just one of those nights, jump off that counter and join in with the group, singing my heart out. Of course, that can’t be done in real life but, in my mind, we’re all on a stage together, the music is flowing loud and freely, and the audience is loving it. Oh, and remember that big,pea- green, hassock that I mentioned above, well, I still have it. I had asked my folks to save it for me, evidently when I was young, and by golly, they did. It was funny day when we were moving them from that house, the house I grew up in and where they had lived for fifty-six years, and Steve crawled out of the attic asking, ” Do we really have to get this thing down from here?” I replied, “What thing?” “Well, climb up here and take a look.” he answered, still looking a bit dismayed. ” It’s so big, and heavy, and ugly.” I climbed on the ladder and made my up to the attic opening in the ceiling and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I laughed, then told him, We most certainly do. I can’t believe they saved that thing for me. You bet I’m taking it.” I climbed back down still laughing and Steve made his way back to get the hassock. I think I heard a little grumbling  as he went. Something that sounded kind of like, “Oh brother, what I don’t do….and then all I heard was the shuffling of that huge old stool and a few more groans.  Yes,  I still have the hassock. I don’t know what I’ll ever do with it. Right now it’s in the garage but one of these days I’ll find a spot for it.

Yep, here it is. Stuffed in with a bunch of other old stuff from the past. Someday, I'll make a place for it. Maybe recover it first though. Not a big fan of Pea-green.

Yep, here it is. Stuffed in with a bunch of other old stuff from the past. Someday, I’ll make a place for it. Maybe recover it first though. Not a big fan of Pea-green.

My Great Grampa’s House

My Great Grandfathers Homestead.  Butler,Oklahoma 1899

My Great Grandfathers Homestead.     Butler,Oklahoma   1899

My Great Grampa’s house is made of gold

least that’s how it seems to me

this first time I see it

it ages one hundred three.

No one occupies it any more

there are no curtains to be found

the windows and the doors are gone

 the floor is the dirt on the ground.

I imagine Great Grampa

and Great Gramma too

all the kids running around

they had them quite a brood.

Charlie was the third born

when grown up he became

my Grampa even though

I never knew his name.

He was my momma’s papa

this part is sad to say

I didn’t know her either

she died before my second birthday.

That part of my family is gone

my momma and grandparents too

 I wish I could have know them all

but wish is all I can do.

I have conversations

with  made up memories in my mind

 I hope I get to visit them

at the Butler Cemetery one more time.

But standing here and looking at this house

It doesn’t look so old

I have no memories to connect to it

so the house itself is gold.

We’re, “Settin’ The Woods on Fire”

006

Steve, Guitarist (Bass and lead ) (oh yes, and sometimes humorist!)

Wow! We had a really good evening tonight. We actually made progress, learned new stuff, managed to put it all together, and enjoyed ourselves while doing so.

I guess I’m a little ahead of myself here and should explain a bit. I think I’ve mentioned that we do a Jam Session at our house a couple of times a month. Tonight was one of those nights. There were only four of us tonight.  Steve on guitar, Johnny on drums, Linda was finding her way on key board and I, well, I try to sing. I’m not really that good at it but then again, none of us are experts, in fact, we’re barely beginners.  We are learning and it’s all just for fun anyway. Tonight though, we did better than usual. We’ve almost learned a whole song. Now, to get it down so that we can do it without all the bug-a-boos that are haunting us.

We had picked a song done by the Tractors, called, “Settin’ the Woods on fire.” I don’t know how many of you are familiar with music by the Tractors. They are a Country Rock Band out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. A loosely associated group of musicians, headed by guitarist Steve Ripley, they play a lively bunch of songs, which include, “The Tulsa Shuffle, Baby Likes to Rock It, I’ve had Enough, Badly Bent, just to name a few from their debut album released in 1994. This album became the fastest selling debut album from a country group to go platinum.

Now like I said, we aren’t really what you’d call musicians at this time, but we have guitars, drums, keyboard, piano, mandolins, a fiddle, a sax, tambourines, a few other odds and ends instruments lying around. Plus we have speakers, amps, and microphones. So we’re set up to have a good time and that is exactly what we accomplished tonight.

For the next two weeks we will practice what we learned and who knows, maybe we’ll be “professionals” when we get back together. Yeah, like that happens. Pro isn’t our goal. Learning, sharing, and fun is. So if you’re interested in those kind of things, gee, give us a call, and you too could be a part of this exciting attempt to achieve resounding musical ability, with the possibility of down home fun and festivities but not excluding the possibility a fantastic future. Yes, that’s right. Sometimes goals change. You could be very musically inclined. Just think, your name could be in headlines somewhere ahead in your future. (My philosophy: Never be without a dream of greatness.)

Until then, practice on and have a good time folks because that’s what its all about.

He Could Be on a Bike Ride

Tomorrow, Monday, June 19, the beginning of another possibly long week. A week that for me, at the moment, consists of Monday through Friday as those are the days professional offices are in and open. I wait Monday through Friday to hear some kind of news. If you have been following my posts at all you will know that I still wait to find out whether or not the remains found off the road not far from a small town close to Boulder, Colorado are those of my older brother. I’ve been waiting since  November 2016 to find out. Last week I found out the Labs in Texas  didn’t start processing the DNA samples until May 27th. I guess they process in the order they come in. However, a very nice young lady promised me she would call the bi-weekly now. Our hope is that the lab in Texas will tire of hearing from us and get it done.

Every day I awake with him on my mind. Is he dead? Or is he just off on one of his long get-aways on his bike and will turn up somewhere, sometime. He is seventy-one now and it seems those rides should not be so long. His cabin did burn down though, and who knows, he could have just picked up and moved on settling in another small town somewhere just as he did before.  No one would know him and he would be able to just start over again, no questions, doing odd jobs to survive and get him started. It seems strange to me that he could cut all ties with family, all family. The last time I saw him was December, 1998. I’m his sister for Peat’s sake. How does he not wonder about me. I guess probably he does not wonder about anything anymore. I, in spite of my goings on, believe this body to be him. I don’t want to believe that but I do. But I must wait until I get the DNA results to know for sure. Tomorrow ….

More Than Just a Stiff Neck

I promised more with this post, the one that was said to be for yesterday but isn’t showing up until possibly tomorrow, however, I don’t know how much more I can fill in tonight. Again its late and I’ve had a very full day. We’ve been working on getting new bank accounts and it seems that isn’t the easiest thing to get done. We froze all of ours several days ago, Monday I think, because my computer had been hacked. The hacker had everything and it really knocked me for a loop. I did get everything shut down before he could get into my bank accounts and get any money but just knowing that he has been here is scary. My dear son-in-law who is a genius when it comes to computers, backed up all  my files and wiped my computer clean, then restored my programs with new virus protection. I can count on him to take care of all my computer, phone, television and so forth problems. He’s wonderful with all that. I did recently find out though that plants are another story. I’ve lost a few here and there while he’s in the learning process but I’m having so much fun watching the joy on his face as he learns about life in the country and what is a plant versus what is weeds, and that if the tractor breaks while he is driving, it isn’t necessarily his fault as tractors have a way of breaking no matter who the driver is, just when a part is worn, it’s worn and unless you catch it before it breaks, well, you aren’t in the hot seat, you just help fix it again. Back to banking, we only got one of our accounts dealt with and our medications picked up from the drugstore before I wore out, the bank having taken almost all afternoon. I wear out easily these days since I had the neck surgery I mentioned in previous posts. That happened on May 5 and went incredibly well. My neurosurgeon I think I may have posted before is the best the West Coast has to offer. He did his job well.  A week after returning home from the hospital, I fell during the night. I must have stepped wrong but managed to get my husbands attention and he got me back to bed. Now if I’d only stayed there. Instead, I arose again, went in the bathroom and for some reason, whether I passed out or just what, I fell against a small stool, a potted plant and a large wardrobe which, next time I saw it it still sat crocked from me falling against it. I was lucky it didn’t fall on me. It has since been moved from the bathroom, however, the next time I saw it was a week later because I ended up in an ambulance and back at the hospital. Not only was I in bad, really bad, shape from the fall, I was worried I’d done something to my new surgery. I didn’t. After x-rays the Dr assured me all the screws were right where he put hem. I was really banged up though and even weaker after the fall than I had been after the surgery. I spent another week in the hospital. Now, May was not a good month for me, as after being home not quite a week again, having had our daughter and our other son-in-law out for lunch, and we were all sitting around talking, her and I about crochet, when I started having chest pain. Actually, I’d been having it quite a while and had quietly gone in, taken some antacid medicine and continued on, but it just got worse and worse when my daughter noticed I was having a problem. She called my other daughter who lives next door, they took my blood pressure, which of course was high, and since I’d had an aspirin that morning they gave me a nitro-tablet. First one didn’t help but the pain went away with the second one. I was fine the rest of the day but promised the girls I’d call the Dr.  Long story short, it was Friday, I called, The Dr wanted to see me. They did an EKG ,which was showing some difference from the last one I had done and back to the hospital we went. Another week full of tests ruling out every thing they could think of and here I am again back home. I’m slow, I still have somewhat of a balance problem, and still have pain from the falls and surgery, which by the way, I had my six-week check up yesterday and all is fine,  but I will be spending another seven weeks in my cervical collar,  I can take it off for a few minutes when I’m just sitting and I’m sure there won’t be anything to make me jump up. My husband says that’s impossible but I think I can manage.  He thinks he was being funny, but I’m not convinced. I got to see my x-rays yesterday and I was shocked. I had no idea the extent of this. I understood they were doing work on C2 to T1 and that was a lot but I didn’t realize exactly what that meant. Now I do. I’ll leave you with those pictures which clearly show the two rows with six screws in each.  I’m still at a loss for words when viewing these.

 

Daily, Well maybe…

When I first started writing my blog it was because I had figured I wrote everyday anyway so why not share some of it with others. I thought I had things others would be interested in and maybe sometimes I might even help some one with something through my words and insight. So off I went on my journey down the “Daily” blog road and at the first turn hit a wall. It was that word. DAILY. DAILY. All of a sudden there was nothing to write about DAILY. What? It was easy before I committed to it. Now, suddenly, my life was boring, my mind was blank and I felt like a fool. How could this happen. My career as a blogger was done. I no longer could write any thing let alone something someone else might be interested in. I put away my thoughts of  becoming awe inspiring through my wisdom with words. A week went by. I was bored. A friend called. The pen by the phone seemed to navigate to my fingers as we talked. I scribbled, I drew trees, then buildings then mountains as we carried on our conversation and made plans for lunch the following day. I hung up the phone and went back to my computer. I thought anyone who can conquer mountains while planning lunch can surly write a blog. I began writing and the words came easily. They didn’t come out in a blog daily but I felt if I just left that word out of the equation I’d do just fine. So folks daily I’m not but I hope when I add something new to my pages you will get something out of what I write. Of late, I have written nothing again. When I follow up this post, you’ll understand. but for now, it’s late, I’m tired and I’m headed for bed because you see, its my blog, I can finish anytime I want, write as much or as little as I want and get back to you on my time frame. So any of you others out there that feel intimidated by that little word, daily, or feel you are obligated to anyone but yourself when doing your blog, relax. Just relax, enjoy your writing and it will come to you. Have a wordless day? They will flow like a river tomorrow. I’ll say good night now and I hope you all will return tomorrow. My silence has had many pages.

Gumption

Positive.  Positive outlook. Positive attitude. Positive is something that anyone who knows me would swear on the bible that I am. Everyone who knows me knows that I believe almost anything can be dealt with if you bring a positive attitude into the equation right from the start. Most see me as a happy person, with goals, with spirit, and a loving, generous, soul that would do anything for anyone. I pretty much see myself that way too.
Lately though, the challenges have been plenty. I have shared many of those challenges here in my writing. Well, to be honest I have actually, opened myself up and let everything out.  I was pretty overwhelmed with everything that was going on at first. I’m still a bit dazed by much of it but I decided the only thing I can do is put one foot in front of the other every step of the way with a smile and a positive attitude and know that I am doing the best that can be expected of me and by me. In the end I will know I faced it all with courage. I won’t have let any of those who look up to me down by giving in to the negative thoughts that can take hold if you let them and most of all I won’t have let myself down. I know that getting through what is still yet to come I will need that courage and the positive attitude. If I were telling one of my children how to do this I’d be saying, “You’ve got to have gumption.” Yep, it all can be summed up in one word. Gumption. Me…of course I’ve got it. Always have and always will.

A Little Less Zip Please

via Daily Prompt: Zip

In the springtime of yesteryear

many a day would zip right by

nearly everything was ecstatically good

I felt but for a pair of wings I could lift myself and  fly

Now and again one of those days would come

when everything was boring and slow, plainly just a drag

I’d be thinking to myself  this is  so extremely  dumb

how’d my life go from tremendous and cool to undeniably bad

But now that fall has come into my life

the day zips by before I’ve barely slipped from beneath my covers

it’s fair to say I’ve had a change of heart

and now I’m wishing for more  slow, boring days like those others

I no longer dream of being the best

achieving everything as great and before my brothers

and the things that used to be a drag

are now favorites amongst my druthers

Life As I Live It

A brief recap for those unaware of the situations in my life at the moment. I just posted, “Waiting” Waiting…and to read that post will answer any question you might have. I’ll try to do the thing about connecting this post to that one but I’m not sure I have any idea as to how to do it.

However, part of the wait is over. I got a call from the Neurosurgeon’s office today and I finally have a date.  I’m happy, although still very apprehensive, to say the surgery is scheduled for May 5. The surgery will be to put screws in four of the vertebra in my neck. Numbers  two, three, four, and five are quite severely effected, pinching my spine, irritating, rubbing and deteriorating  the sheath which should be surrounding it but is severely compromised at this time.   This has been going on for evidently a long period of time but despite my complaints to Dr’s along the way no effort has really been made to correct the situation. Actually, I knew I had degenerative disk disease but had no idea this was taking place in my neck and in my lower back. That will require another surgery down the road. I also had no idea that at some time in my life I had fractured my low back. I have had pain for as long as I can remember so guessing when that might have happened would be useless.  Add arthritis to what I have just explained and you have a pretty good picture of what has been going on.  Oh, no, wait, …I don’t believe I ever mentioned the fact that I also have Fibromyalgia.

I was going on with things doing most of my usual activities the best I could do them until I fell out in my yard late last September.  Who knew, what I thought to be a simple “Ooops, that was clumsy of me,” fall down pretty much on my face, and then up again without too much effort, would turn into the months of agony that I have gone through. Then, about a month later, I turned around while vacuuming to retrieve some cord, lost my balance and fell again. Just another “Oops,” but this one did require my husbands help in getting up. It was after this that my doctor decided things needed to be looked into. Two falls in a months time didn’t set well with him. Tests were begun and over the next couple of months I took two more falls. This was not a usual thing for me. At this time besides the surgery I have orders for an x-ray on my shoulder and my elbow due to the last fall at which time I also jarred something in my vision causing double and triple vision. I had to get new glasses with a prism in them to try to pull my sight back to normal. Now, like I was saying, simple falls, nothing to be alarmed about, or so I thought. I am now using a cane and sometimes a walker. I’m not allowed to do any vacuuming, reaching, lifting or walking in my yard. I don’t drive partly due to taking medications and partly because I don’t trust myself to be fully capable and aware.

I am not old. Never thought of myself as old and did fairly good at taking care of most things in my life including gardening, walking, playing with my dogs and grandkids, and doing all the household chores. Now, I can do very little.

I guess this is where I say to you, one reason for this detailed post on these injuries, is don’t ignore these kind of things if they start happening in your life as you move gracefully into your later years. Also, if you have a physician that does not take these complaints seriously, find a new one.

I honestly believed everyone had pain, lived with pain, dealt with it and that I was just being a whiner until today, when a friend told me she didn’t have any pain to deal with. I said, “You must have something, somewhere.” She replied with a definite , NO. That is really a concept  I find hard to believe.

Not as briefly as I had figured on, that is my update on life in general around here for me. Hopefully, by Monday, I will get an answer on the DNA results. I don’t know how I’m going to handle that one if it is a positive match. All I can do at this point is continued prayer and prepare for my upcoming procedure. One good note on this is that all my girls will be here for this.  I am thankful for that.

 

Note:  Well, how about that. Adding the “link” up above in my post worked. I guess you can learn something new everyday if you just give it a try.

Daily Prompt

I WAS TOTALLY FLABBERGASTED TO LEARN THAT MY EARLY CHILDHOOD HAD BEEN AN EXERCISE IN ABSTRACT EXISTENCE PERFORMED BY AN ENTIRE COMMUNITY. HOW COULD IT BE THAT EVERYONE KNEW WHAT LYE BEYOND THE DARK CURTAIN HANGING JUST BEYOND MY REACH AND STILL, NOT A SOUL LET  A SLIVER OF LIGHT SLIP THROUGH THE TINY CRACKS OF THE CURTAIN AS THEY PEEKED WITH CURIOSITY TO SEE THE CHILD THAT BEEN PLUCKED FROM THE DEVASTATING SCENE WHICH IN REALITY HAD BEEN ACTUALLY OBSERVED BY VERY FEW OF THEM.

The Clock Ticks Loudly But The Hands Aren’t Moving

(cont. from 2-16-2017)

 

It has been nineteen years since we’ve seen him but the tears unexpectedly came swiftly as Detective Marc said those words. It felt like only yesterday that he sat on my couch looking out the window as we spoke of trivial matters. I still don’t know if my tears were  because if this “body” is him,  he’ll never sit there again, we’ll never talk again ,trivial matters or otherwise, or if they are partially caused because I hadn’t let myself fully understand the depth of  the report from my Doctor, until today, which began with words like spinal cord, surgery,  immediately, and every other statement that  followed  spoke of “severe,” such as severe impingement and sever deterioration. Since getting the MRI report back and since Detective Marc called, my head has been in a fog. Nothing is making sense and I’m feeling totally nauseous.   It’s as if time is standing still while the old clock on the mantel is yelling profanities at me with every strike.