Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Arrival


Swerving, weaving, racing, speeding
Tires popping on gravel.
Dizzy Drunk in the backseat
Gripping, grabbing, groping
Wipers slapping, water dripping
Engine ticking like the wombclock.
Tidalwaves of pain slamming my shore.
Pushing, panting, pressure.
A small cry: wailing, wobbly, weak.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My father's hands


His big knobby knuckles, greasy and dirty splayed out fingernails. Lava soap with pumice and an old timer's knife were his only manicure tools. Hands that could race cars and fixed trains and could weld and make something out of nothing. Bloody scrapes with flaps of skin pulled back and old grease filled cuts were no big deal. Those hands seemed too big for his small size. Hands that held my hand. Hands that tickled my knee and hands that helped with math. Hands that frightened me, hands that sometimes hurt my mother. Hands that gripped a whiskey bottle. Hands that petted a bird and dogs. Hands that could build or rebuild anything. Hands that broke the table in half and hands that gently picked up my children. Hands that could caress and hands that could hurt.
Later, sparkling clean fingernails and liver spots and and a growing tremor and restlessness. Hands in deep pockets jingling keys. Hands that wrung against each other and hands that held his head in despair. Hands that took the keys and drove away. Hands that gripped a gun. Hands that took his life.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Some things I am truly afraid of


This one is fairly easy..one thing comes to mind that I get a total body reaction to and that is arachnids. AkA spiders. Consider the spider. It is as close to an alien on earth as we will ever see. Eight legs,not six like a normal insectoid. This creature has 5 or more eyes placed randomly around its "head". A large bulbous abdomen and all that freaking hair sprouting out from the whole thing. They can be fast or slow, spin around and face you before LEAPING at you. Then there is the fang things. Hideous. And all that is just the OUTSIDE. Inside the spider, a creepy factoid is that its stomach is somehow between its brain. It sucks up the poor victims juices and it goes past its brain, into a weird spider stomach. I think they poop from their mouths, too. Its just too much for me to wrap my mind around, yet I am literally fascinated with them. Its like a bad car wreck, you don't want to look, but you do it anyway. I will look them up, especially the huge ones, those Arkansas tarantulas, and the camel spiders of Iraq...I love getting the hooblie wooblies. Or you may know them as the heebie jeebies. I get all icked out and have to quit looking. But then I will go back and look again and again, what's up with that??

Clowns are another creepy thing. I think I used to like them, but as I grew older, their creep-a-zoid factor became very apparent to me. O.K, let's review. Grown men painting their faces in various grimaces and wearing big baggy pants, in order to hang out with little kids. That grease paint can't hide what is evil in their minds. Well, at least that's what the adult "me" says. The little kid "me" says, chill out, it's ok, he loves little kids. I wonder which one of me is right?

Another thing I am terrified of, is public speaking. I had no idea I had stage fright until I took a communications class in college. I have always been the class clown and funny guy in groups of people I know or am comfortable with. But make me stand up and try to be serious and focused and I start to feel like Im about to throw up. Or bolt and run. I was shocked and surprized to learn this about myself.

Lastly, I am afraid of deep water. I am a very insecure swimmer and was thrown in a pool before I could swim, and that affected me in a way that will probably stay with me forever.

So, spiders, public speaking and deep water are my terrors. What are yours?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Journeys and soujorns and pilgrimages.


"A pilgrimage is a journey to a place where the human soul encounters the sacred. Churches, cathedrals, shrines, temples, mosques, holy cities, these are spaces designed to ritually separate the sacred from the mundane. They are known and felt as centers and sources of spiritual power, charged with an energy that can redeem human life. These places moor the drifting human community. They are the bridge between heaven and earth, the still point on which rest both time and eternity." This exerpt was taken out of the book, Writing from Life.
I really like this definition but it is followed with this:
"But because cathedrals, temples, and the like are seats of political power and because patriarchal religions have refused to all owe women to participate, in that power, many women and men have begun to seek their own holy places, some celebrate the holy places of the earth, mountains, deserts, rivers, groves of ancient trees"

Groves of ancient trees in the Avenue of the Giants in northern California. I can't really tell you what I felt standing in that forest of ancient coastal redwood trees in Northern California. There is a sense of awe and wonder. Of God and spirit.
You feel very small there. You feel a real sense of timelessness. You know these are living beings you know they are not dead or "just trees".
There is something there for every sense. The smell is indescribible, and stirred something wild in my heart. You must touch them, you must weep for the ones who have fallen, and taken their grove mates down with them. They stand very close together because they are family. Sometimes, when one falls, several fall. The rangers say they have never seen one fall, for they fall in private. But they can hear it.
There is a hush when you walk through their groves. While walking amongst these giants, you know there is a bigger design than you can imagine. These sentinels of the earth, they sprout new trees up high in their branches. They provide homes for many animals and insects, and lichens.
You can leave behind your mundane worries and concerns here. Nothing matters but the trees.
Breathe deeply the scent of the sequoia.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lexie AKA the wildest ride of my life.


29 years ago today, and around about this time of day, I was getting highly pissed off because the nurses at the "hospital" where we landed would not bring my brand new baby girl to my room. Instead, I had to get my sore and tore up ass out of bed, hobble down to the little "isolation" room and nurse her every hour or so. Oh, and I had to take my own pillow to put into the hard plastic chair they so graciously put there for me. I called the beautiful doctor who was supposed to help me deliver her in a hospital 25 minutes up the road, and I bitched and howled and cried.
Ok, I must stop here and tell you that I had a major thing for this doctor who was so caring, so tender and knew all the right things to say. He was fresh from school, a brand new family doctor and he was built like a lumberjack, had hands the size of baseball mitts and a black beard and long hair and a pot belly. But I would have been his for the asking. He was the sweetest, gentlest doctor I have ever known, and I have known tons of docs.
Ok, back to the story of Lex.
So I was sobbing into the phone to my sweet doctor, and he said, "I will call you back." So just a few minutes later, he called and said that I should get my baby and go home, and come to see him tommorrow morning. He teased me and asked me "You couldn't wait for a few miles so I could deliever her?"
You see, she was my second child. My son, who was and is 21 months older than her, was many hours of hard labor getting here, and he put me through the ringer and just was stubborn as hell about escaping the womb. I expected tha same from her. She, on the other hand, was in a huge ass hurry, and still is. What I thought was an upset stomach, turned out to be labor pain. But did the young dumb me ever wake up enough to consider it? The answer to that is no. So by 8 am I woke up to see my husband off to work and figured it out. By then, the pain was coming on about every 15 minutes. So I called my doc and he told us to meet him at his office in the next town in 1 hour. So i got my whale-like self out of the bed, walked to my dresser and BAM! The heavy duty labor started. I immediately knew I didn't have an hour. As we would find out later, I didn't have but about 15 minutes.
We got about halfway down the steps when my water broke as we headed to our Volkswagon Bug, (i know you are asking yourself VOLKSWAGON????) When my neighbor across the street came to get our small son, told her husband to take me in their CAMERO (also has a small back seat.) I told them to take me to the closest hospital, which turned out to be just up the hill and a few streets over, but the problem was it was a Community hospital, and more like a nursing home than a hospital. Every bump we went over her head popped out a little more and by the time we pulled up into the parking lot, she was crowning. For those who are not familiar with childbirth, this means the top of her head was popping in and out. I also was still wearing my underwear.
So we screeched to a halt in front of this "hospital" and h e ran in to get help, as my husband was trying to get me to do all that Lamaze we had learned to keep from having my baby in that Camero. I believe my neighbor was about to have a stroke but he was able to stick his head in for a close up of my crotch and exclaim "the baby is coming" and then he disappeared to get help. There is a lull in my memory here, but then I remember someone bringing a wheelchair and I just laughed hysterically. Like I could sit up, or even move, at that point.
So finally some doctor, I think, showed up and stuck his head in the car and just told me to go ahead and push because she was nearly out anyway. I have never heard any sweeter words. One or two big pushes later, she slithered out of me and into the waiting hands of the doctors and they ran inside the hospital with her and then somehow I was put on a stretcher and wheeled into a room to get my vagina looked at some more. They declared me to be ok, and wheeled me into a room with one other lady who had HER baby in the room with her. When I asked if I could have my baby now, please, I was told NO. My baby was born "outside hospital conditions" and was "contaminated" and in "isolation" and that I would have to go to her.
So that brings us back to the beginning of this little tale. To make a long story short, or a short story long, I took her home the same day she was born, in the little wicker basket my friends had bought for her, and we celebrated her together with our friends. She is a wonderful woman now with 2 kids of her own, and I am proud to say she is my daughter. She was in a hurry then, and is still in a hurry today. But she gets that from me, I guess.
A little side story. A few weeks after the happy occasion, my neighbor who drove us to the hospital said something was stinking up his car and maybe I left some placenta in there. I was horribly embarrassed and had no idea what to say to this.
After another week or so he came over and told me he had found the source of the smell, and it was some old bait he had in the trunk of his car and not placenta.
Thank God for that.
So that is the story of how Lex came into the world. Every year I have to retell that story to her 10 year old daughter.

Now You know.
Happy birthday Lex. I love you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stuffy Nose and Dust ...Achoo!!


I have waged war on my motes-turned-dunes of dust. Dog hair and dust is taking over and finding their way into my nostrils. My eyeballs even feel swole up. When I talk it sounds like its coming from somebody else way off somewhere and at the same time my ears are like wide open but muffled.
I really try to keep up with all of these offending things that make us sniffle and snuffle, wheeze and sneeze.
I used to have to take allergy shots as a kid. They used this thing that I envisioned looking like a old car cigarette lighter (remember those? You pop it in and it popped back out when it was all red and hot.) Anyway, they used that thing on my back to see what I was 'lergic to. Turns out, Im allergic to every thing that floats, spores, seeds, weeds, flowers, walks of four legs or even THINKS about shedding, pollenating or folliculating. I kind of got over it when I grew up, but every now and then, it gets pretty dusty around here and I am reminded.
I don't know how we got along without some things. Take, for instance Swiffer Mop and Swiffer Duster. Talk about AWESUM.... I would not go back to that old string mop now if it sent me a bouquet of flowers AND a Mercedes Benz. That Swiffer Juice that you spray out is the best crap in the world. I hope they never stop making it. The duster is amazing because you can throw it away, full of dust. AND my cat likes it. Yes, I said cat. For some reason, she doesn't bother me too much. But I think she probably adds to the build up and sends me over the edge of 'LergicLand.
But i don't put her in my face and inhale either...LOL..
The other thing I don't think I can do without is my electric screwdriver. I distinctly remember putting up curtains with my mother, using the old timey kind and my arms cramping up and the hardware being loose and falling down, then you get mad and put the curtains up anyway and they fall down or sag........and you arms are so tired you can not do anything about it. I will never be without my electric operated screwdriver. Well, I say electric but really its battery powered. Same thing to me. No wrenching and twisting and reaching up at the same time. Just aim and squeeze.....bRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRT. Yer done.
Im done.

Keep blogging and slogging...........................

What do you hope is around the next bend in the road?


Good Morning! I have been absent from my blog for long enough!! I am going to do a mass posting...starting with the One Minute Writer prompt noted above....Then I will move on to more hopefully entertaining topics. Some time or other today, I will clean my house.

What do I hope is around the next bend in the road, eh? . Good question. Since this past year has gone by, I have realized many things about myself and my relationship with my children and other family. I still do not have the good 20/20 vision of it yet, but I'm getting the basics. Here is what I have learned, in a nutshell.
1. Things are not always as they appear to be. (learned)
2. Don't expect anything and you won't be disappointed. (learned)
3. You can only change yourself and how you react to things. (learned)
4. You cannot change anyone else. (learned)
5. Control is just an optical illusion (learned)
6. Life moves fast. Don't waste time on regrets.(still working on it.)
7. Hold your true friends close and do not neglect them. (working on it)
8. Get rid of negative people and drama. (working hard on it)
9. Do what you have always wanted to do, don't put it off. (will work on it..LOL)
10. Money ain't everything, but it sure does help. (always working on it)
11. Grandchildren change everything.

So in saying all of that...I hope that the next bend in the road brings some positive things for my children, some good luck and fortune. I hope it brings me the courage I need to do what I must do to cut them loose to make their own way. I hope the next bend in the road holds for us all good health and that our country makes a rebound and the economy gets better. I hope the next bend in the road is smooth sailing and clear skies and happiness and health for everyone.