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.

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.

 

Privacy…the state of being free from…

Privacy.  Let’s see here, Google my friend, what do you say about privacy?  Ah yes, “the  state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people.”  Dictionary.com says,” The state of being apart from other people or concealed from their view; solitude, seclusion…the state of being free from unwanted or undue intrusion or disturbance in one’s private life or affairs; freedom to be let alone.

However, neither of these definitions included, “unless you have children or pets.” If either of those are a part of your life, you generally have no clue to the meaning of that word, at least, not for many a year.

It began with the dog, you know. He was your dog. Only  three months old but totally bonded to you. You had picked him out of a group of rescues that were up for adoption. He was one of many tiny puppies from a puppy mill and had barely made it out alive. The rescue group came just in time. You adored him and he you. He stayed by your side for everything and you didn’t mind it at all. In fact, you thought it was wonderful.

Recently though you found someone else you adored and invited him over for dinner.  You and your friend were looking forward to a quiet evening on the couch watching movies. You made popcorn, sat down, started the movie and just as the opening scene came on, so did Rover.  Up,on the couch and in between the two of you. If your new friend looked at you or made a motion towards you, the dog gave that look that says, “Just try it.”  Rover just won the key to your private space and he is never going to give it back. You and your friend get through it, everything goes well, friend  becomes your Partner and in doing so  accepts that you, Rover and he  will be a threesome from here on out. Now, “here on out” quickly moves onto, yes, marriage and a baby. Yep, baby. Privacy  is starting to sound like a foreign language at this point. You and Partner often have laughed and questioned if the two of you would ever have any. Meanwhile,  Rover is hot on your heals as you go to get the crying baby from the crib that you just put him in sound asleep. Partner had popped the popcorn, and the opening scene was just beginning, with you, Rover, and Partner all in your respective spots (that’s with Rover in the middle you know) and as soon as your rear end hits the couch the wailing begins again. You bounce, you feed, you cuddle and sing but to no avail. The movie team just became a foursome. Baby on your lap, Rover in the middle, and the popcorn somewhere out of your reach.

Time goes on, the foursome together through it all. Rover whines at the bathroom door, sits by the tub as you take a bath, comes in from outside onto your lap to wipe his dirty feet on your apron and then smiles at you just before he runs to wake the now two-year old from the nap you just put him down for. The rest of the afternoon, Rover on one side, baby hanging on to your strings, you vacuum, dust, do laundry, all the days activities, including those few and far between bathroom breaks when Rover whines and Jr wiggles his fingers under the door saying, “Mommie,  mommie,”

You’ve given up the evening movie and try to work in a bit of news but you aren’t sure whether the police caught the bad guy, the bad guy ran off with the nun, the corner store is having a once in a lifetime sale on police clothing or the nuns are collecting donations for the inmates. All you know is that all those people were somewhere, somehow, involved in that broadcast  but so was Rover and Jr. who both needed a drink of water, a cookie, potty, and had an argument between the two of them about who got the nine by seven piece of baby blanket that had not been shredded through play and use in the two years they both claimed ownership of it.

The years go on and as it always has the privacy you looked for once Rover and Jr were tucked into bed each night escaped you because like clock work the minute you wrapped your arms around each other upon your sliding into bed, you felt the slithering of a little body up through the blankets right between you and heard the whisper of, “I’m cold, can I sleep with you?” as your feet became a pillow for the faithful Rover claiming his spot on the bed. Jr got old enough to handle the night by himself but  Rover took a liking to your feet and never left your bed.

You and partner grew used to the foursome, forgot about privacy, and learned the joys of the togetherness as a family through thick and thin, sickness and health, vacation, school, work, until the word made a comeback during Jr’s “teenage years.” Now the whole world revolved around “privacy.” Can’t I have a little privacy? I’m on my phone, I’m getting dressed, we’re studying, why do you need to know where I’m going, they are just friends, gee what about a little privacy.” You hear it all and wonder where this word came from. It certainly wasn’t one that stirred any remembrance of such a thing. Why, even Rover, knew nothing of what this strange word was about and Rover knew Jr like he knew every hair on his tail, which by the way, had begun to wag rather slowly these days. Rover, still stayed by your side, night time, day time, bath time and yes still even at toilet time. It had gotten to the point you had to stay by his too, especially at toilet time. Privacy wasn’t an issue between the two of you and Partner who welcomed Rover in the middle every chance he got.

Jr had just had his eighteenth birthday and had asked to have a party  just for he and his friends. Would you and Dad let us just have some privacy to play music, dance and have a good time in the basement room and you guys not be in and out like you always were. “We aren’t doing anything, we just want privacy,” he said.  Saddened but understanding, you let him have it.  Even Rover was banned from the festivities, which he had always been a part of, usually getting more than his fair share of attention because of his cute antics that Jr had taught him to do so well over the years.   You and partner and Rover  retired to the couch upstairs to watch a movie and eat popcorn and occasionally listen for the sounds of the party downstairs. It seemed to be going well.

Now, it was two days later, Jr was in his room  on his telephone with a friend, Rover laid on his blanket underneath your chair at the table while you busied yourself preparing dinner. Partner would be home in about fifteen minutes. Dinner just had to be set on the table. This was a good time to take Rover out for his walk. You got your jacket and turned saying, “Come Rover, let’s go boy. Rover?”   Rover didn’t budge. You stood frozen for a moment then rushed to his side. Nothing, no breath, no breathing, nothing. You gathered him in your arms as you sat on the floor. You yelled for Jr. who, although coming to answer your call, responded with, “Geeze mom, can’t you leave a guy alone for a minute? I said I needed some ……his words trailed off into silence.  Partner walked in the back door and they both stopped suddenly, seeing you on floor with Rover in your arms. Partner helped you up. Jr took your other arm trying to help you lift Rover as you rose. Partner supported your shaking body to the couch and helped you sit, still with Rover in your arms.

“Mom, what can I do? How can I help? Mom?”

Partner, took Jr by the elbow, tears in both their eyes, and guided him out of the room. The room with the couch where you had sat with Rover in the middle, almost every night for the past twenty years.

As they left you heard Partner whisper softly, ” There is nothing we can do now Jr., except  give mom and Rover a little,  privacy.”

 

 

Donuts or Simply True Love

Finding something to post about lately hasn’t been easy for me. I’ve not been well and I am not the kind that likes to talk about it much. Posting when you are feeling at your worst, worse than you have ever felt in your life,  is just not acceptable. However, the Doctor finally hit on a medication that helps and I have made a big change for the  better today. I finally was able to tie my own shoes and brush my hair, and I can turn a door knob. These are just a few of the things I’ve been unable to do for quite some time now. Hallelujah for this much. I think we are on the right road now. Tests have been ordered and we will find the root of my problems hopefully soon. In the meantime, I have finally found a little relief.

Now let’s get back to why I really sat down here to write. Since I am feeling so much better I wanted to do something with Steve and since he has wanted to make donuts and donuts sounded good to me, I told him to go ahead and as soon as I finished taking care of the dogs I would be there to help. I have four dogs of my own and babysitting my daughters two for the weekend, so needless to say, it took a few minutes to get them all petted and loved on, fed, put outdoors and back in again with treats for their good deeds and then tucked in for a morning nap all in their respective areas. Wookie and Mo sleep in the guest room where our daughter came home to stay with us just until she could get on her feet a little better, which was supposed to be about three months in her plan of things and its now been about seven but that’s another story in itself so again, back to my original subject of  Steve’s donuts.  After finishing the dogs I mosied on into the kitchen where Steve was hard at it. He already had the dough for the cake donuts in the fridge in a waiting stage and was mixing the dough for some raised donuts which we were going to do maple bars out of. My job was to make the glaze for the cake donuts and the maple icing. I guess this is about where I should tell you, we have never made donuts before. What the heck. We are both good cooks and can follow a recipe, right?  Well, I hadn’t looked at the recipes that Steve had picked or I would have known right from the start that this wouldn’t be some that I would especially like.  Not knowing that, I followed along listening to his instructions to use the additional recipes that went with the donuts we were making. As I put the ingredients to the glaze together, I thought to myself,” I’ve never made glaze like this before. Oh well, time to learn something new.” I went on to the icing and as I got the ingredients all rounded up Steve was ready to cook the cake donuts.  He carefully put them in the hot oil and we both watched them closely to make sure we got them out in the right time.  While I watched him pull each one up out of the oil and placed it on the cooling rack, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. “They look too done.” I said, as nicely as I could.  ” I think we are cooking them to long.”

“Yes, I think maybe you are right,” he replied with a true frown, a look you rarely see on his face.

We tried getting them out of the oil quicker but something still wasn’t right.

“The oil isn’t hot enough.” I told him. “I’m sure of it, it’s just not hot enough.”

We placed the last of the cake donuts on the cake rack and stood staring at them as if they were some strange object dropped in front of us out of no where. I was the one to speak first, breaking the silence, as I picked one up and told my husband.

“Only way to know is to either break it in half and look at the inside or go all the way and just taste it.” I smiled and held it out to him. We both laughed as he took it and, after waiting another minute with one of those, I don’t know about this looks on his face, he took a bite. He chewed, I waited. No comment.  He held it in his hand looking at it then handed it out to me.

“You try it.”

I reached across the island to take it and said,  “Well, what do you think?  “Is it okay?”  “Do you like it?”

“Just try it and tell me what you think.” he replied,  and at that, I laughed, and took a bite.

“Cooked to long in the oil, no, I think the oil just wasn’t hot enough. They taste like the oil.” I said to him.

“That’s what I thought too but it was up to the right temperature so how does that happen? Steve was looking at the temperature dial as he spoke to me. As he looked back up with that frown on his face  I, just as perplexed as he, said quietly,

“Maybe we should check the oil temp with a thermometer, thinking to myself , “why didn’t I think of that before we started cooking.”

As we both suspected the temp was low, the oil wasn’t hot enough, and the donuts soaked up oil as they cooked. Yuck.

I began dipping the donut’s, or “Doughnuts” as they were originally spelled if you want to get particular about it,  in the glaze I had made for them exactly by the directions on the recipe. My thought was it was too thin and so I double dipped hoping for better coverage but still not getting the desired effect. We laughed again.  At least we were having fun, I think partly just because we were both happy that I could take part in something again. It was nice just being together, doing together and enjoying it. It’s hard on a couple who have done almost every thing together for twenty-five years to suddenly have one unable to take part. Not only that, the other one has the responsibility of taking care of you as if you were a child which is just frightening to them, as they think that this could be a permanent situation. Not that either wouldn’t do it for the other but it is still a very frightening thought to both of you.  So you both do what needs to be done, but don’t talk about it much because neither wants to upset the other. However, today was good.  We were together, we laughed a lot just like we always have and it really doesn’t matter about the donuts.  Now, it was time for another taste with the glaze on them.

“You go first,” he said.

I broke off a piece of one and slowly put it in my mouth. I chewed and tasted slowly. I took one more bite, you know, to make sure of my, well, my taste buds I guess, and again chewed slowly as Steve watched and waited.

“Seriously, they still taste like oil and my gosh the glaze is awful but you have to taste too. I did, so you have to,” I blurted out not holding back one bit.

“Okay, okay you don’t have to be so truthful you know. Just give a guy a little break.” all said as he took a bite. “Okay, you are right, that glaze is awful.  I’ve got to get the raised dough out and cut out the other ones. It’s past time.” was his next remark as he quickly got the dough out of the warming oven. Moving swiftly with purpose and speaking not a word he went to his business of rolling the dough and cutting the donuts, placing them carefully on the pan and back into the warming oven to raise for the last time before cooking. Watching the care he took in every step made me happy.  He has always put all his effort into what ever he does and takes pride in his work be it working on the car, building a piece of furniture, making the yard look as if a professional landscaper had been there, or yes, making donuts for the first time.   I got out some ham and eggs. We had worked all morning and hadn’t had anything other than our coffee and a bunch of tastes of some really not so great donuts. It was time for food. Steve cleaned up some of the mess,  I cooked and we sat down at the island to eat.

“I wonder if these are going to turn out any better,” he said looking across the island at me with a smile on his face.

“Probably they will,” I said, and then added quickly, “didn’t this book say they sold these donuts every where and that they were in big demand?  You followed the recipe and have done everything just like they said so why shouldn’t they turn out?”

“Yes, and I followed the other recipe too, didn’t I?”   We ate the rest of our eggs in silence but each of us could see the laughter in the others eyes.

Now we’ll cut some corners here and just tell you, no, these raised ones didn’t turn out as hoped either and to me, they had a funny taste. As I surely must have had one of those looks on my face as I tasted, Steve looked at me and said, ” Well, give it to me straight. What’s the outcome?”

“Well, not raised enough for one, still taste a bit like oil, and then there’s a flavor I just don’t know what it is or how to explain it.  It’s just weird and not a flavor I like for sure.”

“Maybe it’s the mace.”

“Mace! The recipe called for mace? That’s it then because I just don’t like mace or nutmeg.” I said.

“Well then that explains part of your dislike to the other batch because it had nutmeg  in it and I don’t care for either of those myself.” Steve said as I brought the icing over for this new batch.

“Taste this. I don’t like it so see what you think.”                                       scan_20170114-donuts

“Nope, you’re  right”

“Mind if I try a little of my own ideas for maple icing?”

“Nope. You have at it and do what ever you like. Can’t make them any worse.”

So I whipped up a little icing the way I know how, simple and easy, and went back to Steve for another taste test.”

“Go for it babe, put that on them. That’s pretty good icing.” he said and he helped me pour it into a flat bowl for dipping the donuts.”

“Okay, babe. This is it.  One last taste before we toss it all.” he said as I finished the last one. I cut one in half, and we each took a bite. We decided the mace took over all the flavor and they were not good. We’ll let  our daughter Mary, who lives next door, try one in the morning, but we are pretty sure she will be in full agreement with us. However, we also agree that there are probably some little raccoons or squirrels and birds out in our woods that might like the flavor. We also agreed that we’ll just call this a learning experience, neither of us care for nutmeg or mace, and practice makes perfect. So Steve is going to be up early in the morning and will be off to the grocery store to buy another jug of oil. We have everything else all ready to start over and give it another try.  He came in a bit ago, kissed me, and said he was off to bed. I told him I’d be there just as soon as I got my computer shut down, knowing that all the while I had this in mind to write about. I think he knew it too. My minutes sometimes turn into hours and I believe that’s just about how long I’ve been at this. My dog Ziva  is laying faithfully here at my side but has sighed several times in hopes I would say  “let’s go to bed girl” because she won’t go without me. I guess it’s time.

I don’t know if this post was all about donut’s or more about

two people (and a couple or so dogs)

who love each other dearly.    s-s-donut-fun-1-17Either way, it was about fun, laughter, sharing and love.

What is better than that and with that, I’ll say, ” Goodnight folks and I hope I’ll be back tomorrow.”

Daily Prompt: Fish

via Daily Prompt: Fish

What I Know About Fish Would Fit In A Tiny Fish Bowl

Fish…Hmmmm,  to write something I know about fish seems odd but I’m up for this one. First, I am Mom and a Wife. My hobbies are jewelry making, sewing, painting, drawing, gardening, and crafts.I collect antiques and play with my grand kids. I have dogs, have done dog rescue and foster care and trained for fifteen years.  So what I know about fish you could keep in the tiniest of fish bowls. I saw one on the computer several days back. It was beautiful. White all over with a big fan tail and fins that almost appeared to be more like wings. It swam so gracefully through the water giving the impression of an angel. My daughter has fish in a tank and loves them so I sent her the picture. She told me she would love to have one of these but they are a lone fish. They don’t play well with other fish she said so you have to keep them in a bowl by themselves. She added that they look so lonesome and she would feel the need to find it a friend and that would just be a problem for her.

I also know that my dad and brothers fished the salmon derby every year in Port Angeles and one year my brother caught a big enough salmon to win a bicycle and get his picture in the paper with the rest of the kids that won prizes.

Dad would take us to Lake Leland or Lake Mills to fish. Sometimes we would camp. It was a lot of fun and I know we were fishing for trout which was one of my most favorite fish to have for dinner especially if we cooked it over the campfire. If we took them home, mom would cook cornbread and a pot of beans and maybe some fried potatoes to go with the fish. That was a really good dinner. I liked eating the salmon too but, I think because it usually involved the camping, I really liked the trout the best.

About the last thing I can tell you about fish is that Cod makes really good fish and chips. We love to get some fresh Cod, dredge it through the batter (sometimes beer batter) and drop it into the deep fryer. Everyone else like french fries but I like a baked potato with all the trimmings with mine. I also know we can’t get Cod very often but there is a little Bar down the way that serves excellent Fish and Chips and a beer (or something else for those who don’t want a beer) for only eight dollars on Friday nights. Seems like a good deal to me. Now and then we will stop there for dinner after shopping just for the fish. When I don’t have to cook and clean up, yes, that is a good deal.

About the only other thing I can add is I feel that if you aren’t going to use the fish for food, they should be left to the lakes, rivers and oceans. I don’t like sport fishing unless you do the catch and release and then I have to wonder how much trauma is done to the fish and will he survive. The rivers and oceans are being over fished in my opinion and often caught in a manner of which I think is wrong. Limits should be imposed on every one, absolutely every one who fishes and there should be strict enforcement on the number any one fisherman or any group of people as to how many they can catch. This limit should be the same for every person out there that intends to fish.

That pretty much sums up my knowledge, my likes and my dislikes and my opinions about fish and/or fishing. I hope I haven’t bored anyone with this as I am not a Fish Biologist nor do I study Ichthyology. I did catch my share of them on those camping trips though!

Another Post on Finding Time

A subject that I have been seeing a lot about on WP lately is “Finding time to write.”  Most days there is just not enough time in my day to actually sit down and write. Finding time just doesn’t happen. Right now, I have laundry in the dryer waiting for me to get it out, laundry in the washer on hold waiting for me to add to the load because I only brought out part of it, three dogs waiting for a bath which they need desperately, a daughter working on her “first house” which is a twenty-two foot travel trailer that she is remodeling to make herself a tiny home because she can’t find a place to rent that she can afford, who is in and out with questions and ideas running them past me for my input on what she is doing, a wall in the family room waiting to be painted before we finish moving book cases and furniture into a different but more effective arrangement which was mainly brought on because of a desire to make the music room a little more spacious by moving the piano which is waiting to be done yet too. Along with all the above I still have outside things that need to get done before we get any further into the cold season, a jewelry project on hold, two quilts on hold but I finally did get my sewing machine replaced so I can sew again and, and by the way, have two other sewing projects that I’m working on hold because my machine had failed me, one of which is a skirt for me and the other a jacket. Find time to write, no. Take time to write is the only way I can get it done. My daughter and husband are both outside at the moment and I’m sure they would question why I’m sitting here at the computer when there is so much to do,if they were to come in,so this post is going to be “short but sweet” as they say, because they could come in at any moment. The sweet part being that I did sit and I did write. Maybe it’s not too interesting to most but this is the way a day goes around here and I think I hear them coming. Looks like it might be lunch time so I’d better get to it and then get on with the rest of today. Oh yes, and that also means to be cleaned up, looking vibrant and full of energy by five o’clock with dinner over with and the mess cleaned up so we can go to open mike tonight at six. I guess what this post is about is that you may not be able to readily find that special time to write so the only thing to do is “TAKE IT” or it may never happen

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I guess “Multi-Tasking” in this case really isn’t an option. Okay, no, I wouldn’t put my dog in the washer so I think we’ll stay home tonight and skip open mike.  Maybe I can get the dogs bathed and write another post too.

Share your blog! Help Each Other Out – Team Tangible — Tangible Triumph

Awesome idea….reblogged for Team Tangible

 

Article updated on 10/29/16 I post this article randomly on days, reason being because it has helped me gain new viewer’s and followers. If it has helped me, it can and will help you as well. Give it a shot. I recently got 3 emails thanking me for this article. They expressed how their blog […]

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Whew, I can Breath Again!

Some of you may have read my last post and could possibly be waiting to find out how our open mike event went over. We practiced and practiced, then practiced more. We had it all down. We knew our words, and the music. We were feeling good about the whole thing. Having only sung in front of people one time previously, at our Anniversary Party, we were really quite nervous about doing this. What one should keep in mind about open mike is that no one there is a professional, well, at least most of them aren’t. Some of the performers are really good and some just get by. Most are good but not making a living out of it. All in all though, it’s all about having fun. Are you enjoying what you are doing? Can you perform well enough to do it in public? Is the audience enjoying your performance? To all three of these questions we can say a positive yes. We had a great time. We’ve gotten to know most of the crowd that shows up so they were happy to see us try something. We were applauded and welcomed to come back by the “Boss Man” of the event. The audience listened attentively, in spite of the world series being on (without volume) while we sang and seemed to get a kick out of our performance. Will we go back? Probably. It was fun.It’s all about fun, not fame and fortune. It’s about learning. It’s about meeting and working with other performers and developing new skills. For me, it’s about beating fears and anxiety that have plagued me my entire life. I’m pleased with the result. I’m pleased with our effort and the abilities we are developing. It was a good evening.

Along With Writing……Living Our Dreams

My Dad passed away in March 2009.  For as long as I can remember he played the mandolin. Many of those years, as a youngster, I would hop up on the kitchen counter into the  corner where the two came together  and listen to him, my uncles and my aunts play and sing on Saturday nights. Of course, that was after we all took in the Grand Ole Opry program on TV. While all the other kids, and there were a bunch of us, ran off to play I was always hanging out to listen to the music.   I was really quite shy as a youngster and although I wanted so badly to play guitar and sing, I just simply didn’t have the courage to ask anyone to teach me. I loved country music. I loved the twang of it and the songs that spoke of so much about life. I could picture myself on that Grand Ole Opry stage singing my heart out to a Patsy Cline or Kitty Wells song.  Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette  were two more of my favorites. The songs telling stories of such tragic heartache could bring me to almost tears and reached way down deep into my soul pulling at a heartache I had never understood.  I identified with the singer and the songs as if I had been right there during each  and every hopeless love loss or as if I were the bearer of the news that would tear their world apart. Yes, I loved it all. This love stayed with me throughout my life but I never did get a chance to do anything but listen. However, sometimes, if you wait and keep your dreams in your heart, things can change.  About the same time I took up writing, I mean really writing for others to read, I also started singing, out loud.  Like everything else I did, although I sang often, I kept it to myself. I didn’t sing if anyone could hear me or if I even suspected that anyone might be listening.  Now though, music is a part of our lives. We have a “Music Room.”  Well,  sort of music room.  I guess I should fill in a little here with how that came about.  My husband, Steve, has always had guitars but they stood in the closet and it seemed he never had time to play. When we married, between the two of us, we had six kids in the house, his two three of mine, and our grand daughter.  We also had numerous dogs and soon a small farm, with chickens, ducks, sheep, rabbits and oh, so much more through the years. Eventually Steve was working two jobs.  By that time we had switched to horses and all the activities included with them. He called this time of our lives a “study in intensive manure  management.”  Once in a while he would drag one of his guitars out, sit on the edge of the bed and strum some part of some song and then put it away again. He often thought back to the day when, while working at a clothing store, he met Bonny Guitar and was actually offered a chance to go on the  road and play bass with her band. Because of his situation at that time, he wasn’t able to take her up on it. I know he has dreamed of what it would have been like to tour the country and be in a band.  I tried often to encourage him to get his guitar out and play. Still, he played about as often as I sang.  Then, before my Dad passed away, he gave me his mandolin and I had decided I was going to learn to play it.  That idea didn’t last long because my brother came to go through a few things after dad passed and said he  wanted the mandolin. I didn’t argue. Not wanting to make a big deal out of it or cause hard feelings, I gave it to him. But I still wanted to learn and I bought myself another mandolin. So now I had to work at it, no excuses and if I was going to, so I thought, should Steve. Logically, my next thought was,  if we were going to work at it we needed a place to keep our instruments handy. I looked at him one day and said, ” I need some help moving furniture.”  Like he usually did, he pitched right in without question and helped me. Then it dawned on him that I was moving all the dining furniture out of the dining room and into the living room.

“What are you doing?” he finally asked.

“Well, I think we need a place to play our instruments so, I’m making one. Can you and I move the piano by ourselves?”

“Not easily, but we can if it’s not too far.” he replied

So with that we got  the piano moved around the corner and into the dining area. We rearranged the stereo equipment, the record and CD cabinets, and brought in a couple of chairs, the kind you can sit on to play. It was almost done. We brought out the couple of old guitars and stands that we had and sat them among the chairs.

“TA DA!”  I was overjoyed with myself .  Then we actually started playing something every day.  After all we had done, how could we not.

It was shortly after he retired and one day while out and about  we went to the music store as I had picked up a saxophone for our grandson and it needed reeds. Just planning for his future in music, I said to myself. While I was getting the reeds, Steve busied himself looking at guitars. He really wanted a bass. His had been sold long before I came into his life. So I told him, I hadn’t gotten him his retirement gift yet as I wasn’t sure what was best. “What about a bass guitar?” I asked. “What about that “Fender” up there?”

“No, that’s too much money for one guitar.  At my age, I don’t need that expensive guitar but how about this bass over here and then I could get this Telecaster too?”  He was on a role and enjoying this moment to the max.

“Okay with me,” I said

“But I don’t have a bass amp,  so maybe just the Tele  for now.  No bass today. ” he replied quietly, his face showing the disappointment behind his words.

“So how much is an amp? Let’s just do this and get one. I want you to be able to play music. You’ve wanted to all your life and it’s time for you to do something that has been in your heart to do.”

As I was speaking the salesman was rounding up amps for him to choose from and we walked out of that store that day with two very happy men grinning from the purchases made. Steve, thrilled with his retirement gifts and the salesman from the commission he would get for that sale. It should have been a pretty nice one.

We continued  setting up our, so-called, “Music Room”  both of us excited with each new idea. We made wall coverings to put hangers for the instruments on. We found a few more instruments for extremely good prices on some on-line auctions. I ran across a round back mandolin and managed to jump into the auction at the last-minute and get it for almost nothing. Just for fun we purchased an old bugle to add to the atmosphere of the room. Steve cut out music notes which I painted black and white to go with the rest of the decor in and we hung them around the guitars and mandolins. I had taken a picture of Dad’s mandolin which we hung center stage of everything else. Then, we played together, we sang and we were having fun. More guitars, a drum set and some antique instruments came as we developed our interests deeper into the music. The drums were for our grandson and this year he will be able to start lessons.  I also picked up, over several months time, a ukulele for each of us ( that’s six to be exact)  and I  am determined to learn and teach this to the kids too.

Now, earlier I mentioned how things can change.  That change came, for me,  with all these instruments, the room change, and the desire to inspire my husband and grand kids. The real change came, not in our surroundings, but in me.  I have opened more windows in my life. I am letting others see who I really am.  We are now having a jam session at our house on Saturday nights. Friends come over and we play and sing. I’ve started taking mandolin lessons. Steve and I have also recently started going to the Senior Center. At first it was so he could play with the band there. Ah, but then, we sang. Now we go to an open mike on Wednesday nights where Steve has been playing the bass. But this coming week will be different. This coming week we plan to sing. We are almost ready. If my nerves don’t  get the best of me we will do this. Never having been a very open person, dealing with anxiety most of my life, fear of crowds and numerous other things has kept me pretty much in the background of everything going on. But this week….if everything goes right, well, not if, because it’s going to go just fine. Putting  this down on paper, having actually said it out loud, sorta seals the deal, right?  I have to do this. I will do this, and although it’s not the Grand Ole Opry and I certainly cannot compare myself to Patsy or Tammy,  I am singing, out loud and others will be listening. It’s taken many, many  years for me to fulfill this dream but I figure, it’s never to late to do something that has always been in your heart to do. Of course, my suggestion to others would be to find out why you aren’t fulfilling your dream and make some changes while you are young. Had I known the things I know now, I sure would have and who knows, could I have been up there on that stage? I’ll never know but what I do know is I am enjoying myself and being myself. Not only that, other people are liking what I am doing but more important than anything else, I like what I am doing and who I am becoming.

So,

Part of our "Music Room" including the picture of Dads mandolin, hat & clock. My "go to" Mandolin is the white Washburn.

Part of our “Music Room” including the picture of Dads mandolin, hat & clock.   My “go to” Mandolin is the white Washburn.

I’m a little nervous, but anxious for Wednesday to come and see how this all turns out.

Wow, I may not be able to take another breath until it’s over.

 

There is that word staring at me from the top of the page again as if it is just daring me  to put something there. Title, hmmm, what should this one be? Why is it so boldly printed at the top? Why not at the bottom? Far to often I have no  idea what I’m going to write about until my fingers hit the keyboard. From there it seems as if they take on a life of their own, free of me, free of my inadequacies, free of my fears of rejection and humiliation. They type quickly as if racing against my mind to get ahead before I think of some reason not to put thoughts to paper. It’s been a long time again and the notion has been floating in the back of my mind nagging at me to do something.” Just sit down for a minute and it will come to you,” I hear in my head as I’m tending the garden trying to prop up the plants the deer only trampled over rather than eating, of course, only to get to those they obviously love better. The squash, the strawberries and the pumpkin plants all chewed right down to the last few leaves. Maybe, they have time to grow again. The squash still has one flower but hope for the strawberries is all but gone. Still, I fed the beautiful doe and her fawn very well. Why must they smoosh my gladioli and the lilies? Why knock over the frog in the fountain leaving him bottoms up and drowning? Is it because they know that all too soon big dog in the back yard will sound at their presence. She has never been out of that yard or after the deer, but that sound of hers would wake the dead. That is probably my answer right there. The little doe is smart and has connected big dogs boisterous beller to the lights in the kitchen and my presence at the front door. She knows all too soon I will be outside to see what the ears of big dog have heard in the early morning hours even before the birds have started their songs.  She and her fawn must move swiftly to get their breakfast even if it means the death of some of my favorite beauties. Now I’m faced with yet one more question. Which is it that I love more? The sight of the ever so beautiful doe and the amazement I feel in side every time I see her and her youngster along with the excitement of possibly seeing once more the  stout and stately buck that has forbidden me his company except for the one time  when I had emerged from the garage to see him grazing on the front lawn?  All at once our eyes met and we both  froze. He looked me over for a minute then turned and walked off into the woods as if disgusted that I had interrupted his breakfast. I still couldn’t believe that I, totally engrossed in the results of an early morning project, happened upon him standing so proudly not ten feet beyond me. Is it these beautiful wild animals, or, is it the gorgeous flowers  I took so much time to pick out and hours upon hours to plant in my strategically planned out garden plot, which for the first time was really beginning to resemble a true garden, that I love more?  Oh how on earth would one ever choose between the two?  The pleasure that each brings me cannot be measured. Each has its own convincing promise of the joy of future life and beauty around me.  Each moves gracefully  with the breeze across the threshold of my sight and leaves permanent picture embedded in my heart. To choose is impossible so, for now, I will keep my hopes of seeing the buck,  let the little fawn and her mother enjoy my harvest, and while some may be a bit trampled, there are still plenty of flowers blooming all around in my gardens.  I will finish my propping, get my morning coffee and go sit in my rocker on the porch to watch for whatever may come to enjoy my yard with me. Oh, yes, big dog is fed and is napping happily in the early morning sun beating down on her ever so full belly oblivious to anything and everything, for the moment any way.

Now, where was I?  It had something to do with a title. Oh yes, this is the point in my story when it usually comes to me and this one shall be, “In the Eye of the Beholder.”  YepDSCN6344 - Copy, I like that.