Friday, November 30, 2012

It Comes Out of Left Field

Jim Boatman, George Cunyus, Charlie Young, Philip Miller, Ralph Shank, Jim Thurmond, Al Pedersen, on the day of Philip's ordination at Central Christian Church in Dallas.  (I'm guessing 1973)
When my first husband died a friend told my daughter that her grief would come to her out of left field. It would get less over the years, last a shorter time, and it would take her by surprise at times. 

I am a FB friend with the pastor in the center of this picture. This is his ordination photo, in about 1973. He posted it on FB tonight and there they are, men who mattered in my life as I grew up. 

Jim Boatman, lower left, probably my dad's best friend, surrogate father to me, dear friend. Al Peterson, lower right, father to a good high school friend. And center back, my dad, looking just like I know him. These three men at least had no idea of the internet, FB or any other modern technology. And yet, here they are. And I am crying. Because even after all these years, it came at me out of left field, surprised me and made me remember with tears of both sadness and joy the really good times these days represent. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

In Praise of Puttering

My 12-hour non-drowsy antihistamine was just that. It probably contained something to keep me awake and it did. So I lay there without sleep for a long time. Then I got up. And I puttered around. Not sure where the word comes from but I certainly know it when I do it. I emptied the dishwasher. I prepared my computer bag for the trip to Reno this morning, remembering to put in my banana and peanuts for mid-afternoon. I moved some things around. I read a paper that was lying on the counter. I puttered. And then I went back to bed. Didn’t sleep but felt a lot better having puttered around for a bit. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Apple Sauce

These apples may be the very best apples I have ever had with which to make apple sauce. They are so red and ripe that my apple sauce is red in color and needing very little sugar. These come from the librarian at Michelle's school who evidently has an orchard full of them and she gives them away. And Michelle gave her three bags full to me. They are crisp and delicious for eating and so yummy when made into apple sauce. I knew I was working hard but didn't realize how hungry I was for lunch until I was ready to eat the entire bowl of still warm sauce when I tasted it for sugar. Had to stop after that batch and have lunch. As I said when I posted apple sauce earlier in the year, I wish this blog had an aroma key so you could inhale the richness that envelops my kitchen. Lovely. 

Monday, November 26, 2012


A blog I read made me think of the shifting tide of friendships. L is the first person who comes to mind of course. That friendship has lasted a life time and it doesn’t matter how often or how seldom we connect. We are always there for the other. We call or email and start in the moment just like we were on the phone an hour ago. I call and say I need you and she comes. She calls and says I need you and I go. She is there. I am here. We are ~ and that is all that matters. 

For three years way back when, J was my best friend in the town where we lived. She knew more about me than anyone else including my husband or family. And I knew the same about her. We clicked within days of meeting each other and for three years and a number after we moved, we knew each other. Today, I am not even sure if she lives in the same place. I have been to the town and not found out. Regrets? I don’t know. I know I would love to see her again, visit, catch up and I guess there is something in me that trusts what we had ergo, I could have it again . . . maybe. 

D was my first real love. And then I married someone else - my second real love - and D and I didn’t hear a word from each other for 14 years. Then we reconnected. And have been very special friends ever since. He has known, respected and been a friend to both my husbands. I am a friend to his wife whom I think is a delightful woman. I have been in their home several times. They have supported me and my family through hard times and fun ones. We email occasionally. Once in a great while, he comments on my blog. And in spite of the interesting shift and spaces in between, I know that I can call and he (or they) will be there for me. 

Special friends. Interesting shifts. Gratitude for what they were, are and will be. ~ with blessings

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving, 2012

It was a rather skewed Thanksgiving. Interesting to say the least. Having been really sick and almost canceling the party, I am glad I didn’t. Had an “I’m not well yet” meltdown early Thanksgiving morning but after good conversation and the air was cleared, it was a delightful day. Friends arrived at 3 laden with good food. Dean had put on a turkey to smoke about 8 am. Michelle and I made dressing and she put a turkey in the oven about 10:30. At 4:30 we had a feast: turkey, dressing, gravy, two kinds of potatoes, green beans with mushrooms, pearl onion au gratin, a veggie tray, and all topped off with pecan pie, pumpkin pie, ice cream, or whipped cream. Michelle made the pies and she and Marc roast their own pumpkins so their pies are Excellent.

As dinner started I took a picture of the table. Do you know those “weird family picture” web sites? This one might qualify. Friend was frowning, Dean had his mouth open asking a question. Another friend had antlers of light sprouting from his head from the lamp behind him. And we thought the two guys biting into their turkey legs were going to be the weird ones. So much for posting that. 

Delightful to watch and participate in: the 28 year old engaging the 10 year old about trumpet playing and music - as if the 10 year old was 20. Grands made turkey place cards for the tables. Lots of food left over. Lots of family and friends to take it home. Leftovers for lunch today were as good as the original. Always happens that way. So much to be thankful for. Feeling blessed and happy and glad to be alive. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Different Perspective

My gym is my physical therapy office and it is in an old building and we are to move across the parking lot into a larger, remodeled building. There have been permitting issues however as there always are in Tahoe. So we are still in the old building. The roof leaks. Stop gap measures haven’t really been working and the melting snow or rain has been pouring down a post. Paint has peeled. Mold has formed. Riding the  bike right in front of that wall the other day, I could smell it.

 Some of us began to complain that we come there to get healthy, Not to get sick. They covered the mold with plastic. Last night the receptionist called to say the office would be closed today and maybe Monday because of the building. First time I have ever been told to stay away from gym in order to improve my health. Time to get that final permit signed and delivered. We need to move!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans' Day, 2012

Veterans’ Day. We have them in the family. Many families do. They are no longer grizzled old men who fought the Battle of the Bulge or even at Busan (Pusan). These are young men and women whose memories are of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait  and Afghanistan. They may be veterans’ of one deployment knowing that another lies ahead. They too have seen horrors we do not even dream. All of them, old and grey, young and returning, home for good from whatever job they were assigned, they are all heroes. They have all said Yes to the call of country and been willing to stand between evil and the triumph of good assuring the latter to the best of their ability. God bless them all. They have our eternal gratitude. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Thanksgiving Thought

There are some Things that are blessings. Any list of thanksgiving on my part always starts with clean sheets, indoor plumbing and anesthetic. What prompts this blog this morning though are my birds that sail in lovely formation across the blue wall over my mantle. They were a personally chosen Christmas gift out of a catalogue about 3 years ago. I love them. I don’t often pay them a lot of attention. They are in the periphery of my vision whenever I am in the living room. This morning however as I lay back in my chair feeling yucky, I looked up at them and was blessed. Whatever angle, whatever the shadows they cast, whenever I pay attention, they are lovely. They continue to be just exactly what is needed in that place. They are a blessing and I appreciate them and am grateful for them. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Election Reflection ~

I remember Meredith’s first chance to vote and she was sick and contagious. She was So disappointed. I commented on that to a friend who was a poll official and he said, bring her up and I will bring the ballot out to her. I had to help her into the car, brought her to the parking lot, Cliff came out with the ballot and while we chatted over the top of the car, she voted in her very first presidential election.

We have three grandchildren who are of voting age for the first time this election. I did my Mama Susan thing and sent an email extolling the vote. This is such a Privilege we have in this country. And even here among free people, women and blacks had to fight and struggle to obtain that right and privilege. I remember the first free election in South Africa and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in his red robes, Dancing around the box into which he placed his vote. He would start to put it in, raise it up again, smile and dance some more. Over and over. Sheer Joy on his face. 

When we have been through this kind of election (and there may not be any other kind), when the rhetoric has been mean-spirited and ugly, when names have been called, when issues have been ignored and questions not answered and we are Just Plain Tired of Politicians, it would be So Easy to say, why bother? Why should I vote? Why does it matter? 

Why? Because you Can! 

After all of this, next Wednesday morning, whomever is elected will be “our” president, however we ourselves voted. And we will spend the next four years exercising our right and privilege to complain and criticize our government until we to go the polls and do it all over again. 
Forget politics for a little while and enjoy the Vote.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Healing Process

I had a virus. A nasty 24 hour virus. Woke practically 24 hours to the minute from its start to know it was over and I would be fine. I still have no energy and every little thing I do saps it. And so I am finding healing warmth and staying there. I am dressed in layers. I wrapped my self in blankets in my chair in the corner this morning. I ate hot soup for lunch. I sat in ~ and napped in ~ a very warm corner of the window seat with the sun pouring through the windows. Even in these few moments that I have moved from there, I feel the need to return. To be warm again. To feel the healing power of the sun against my back. Once in a while, even a butterfly needs to fold her wings and retreat to the warmth of the cocoon before emerging again as her energetic, strong self. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

All Saints Day

There was once a little boy who attended a church that had magnificent stained glass windows depicting the lives of Jesus, the Disciples and other prominent scriptural figures. One day in Sunday School they were asked if they knew who the saints were. His response: they are the ones who let the light in. 

I love that story. Today is All Saints Day and I have enjoyed all day reflecting on some of the saints who have let the light into my life. 

My Daddy: I was raised by a giant
Jim: whose dilemma as a black man in the south in the late 40s raised my awareness even though I had to file away what I had learned
Larry: whose life and being taught me we were all God’s children
E.C.: who took a teenager’s crisis of faith seriously and blessed me with his answer
Mary Louise: my mother in the faith
Martin Luther King, Jr
Rosa Parks
Aunt Lalah: who taught me the gift of hospitality
“Miss Ilene”: in whose love and faith the children of our church were raised
Mother Teresa
Pastors I have known and loved: Wally, Topper, David
Husbands and daughters: who, in the midst of living together, have found moments of blessing and grace, love and joy that have opened my eyes and let the light into my life. 

Thank you all ~ and so many more ~ for your presence throughout my days and being.