Friday, December 30, 2011

The Next Journey

We are on our way to a new year.  A year that we fill with hopes, dreams, passions and successful ideas.  We tuck it tightly under our arm and head out, chin high, eyes clear, looking only forward with no backward regrets or reviews of past failures.  It is a clean slate we have before us with no marks or smears or scratches, yet.  We only see the clear blue of potential and the electricity of energy to meet that potential.  We get another chance.  We forget those embarrassments of ourselves and of others.  We will ignore the obstructions that were placed in our path by others and find a new way around them.  Our shoulders are square and our focus is determined.  This year WILL be better than last year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Rains

What a bitter afternoon this has been.  After a fall of calm and moderate weather the winds have decided to howl and throw biting rain at my windows.  The young oak trees that have held on to the copper leaves now flutter them like mad brown butterflies revving jet engines before taking flight.  If I must be sick, there is nothing more comforting than lying in a cozy bed and watching the cold gray battle from inside.  The wind roars now and again with angry energy to remind me of its power.  The river and sky are both the same angry gray color.

The whole day has been dark gray with copper browns of attached and fallen leaves, and now it is blanketed in wetness adding charcoal shadows.  I think about those who had to go to work, as I once did.  Having to hurry down sidewalks and clutch at coats and scarves as if in some Sherlockian story hoping to make it safely home by the fire by days end.

I almost feel good enough to start a fire in the fireplace this evening.  I want to bide more idle time as I heal.  At least when one is retired, one does not worry about all that is left undone at the office.  I get to worry about several piles of laundry...big deal!

I will have to plan meals tomorrow.  I have had no appetite to speak of for days, just soup and cereal were all that I made, but the bear I am married to is getting better and seems to want real food.  He was going to venture out to shop, but I am sure when he wakes from his nap, the weather will put a figurative and literal damper on that plan.

In actuality the weather is somewhat exciting and I feel no guilt in staying prone to mark its course.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now?

I drove back from daughter's house with a sick husband who toughed it out because he did not want to miss their Christmas.  All three grandchildren were sick with coughs and runny noses, but that did not stop them from enjoying a present-filled Christmas  My granddaughter opened the large box she had seen at my house when she was staying with me last week thinking it was a large fan.  It was fun to see her face when she recognized that it was the Barbie Dream Townhouse.  This thing is perfect example of materialism with food, a light when you open the refrigerator, a noisy shower, and a laptop among 50 other things.   Barbie does live the good life!

When I got back home late on Christmas day, the cold grabbed me by the throat and chest, shook me hard and threw me on to my bed.  I can't even remember if Hubby and I ate anything for dinner!

Last night was a disaster of coughing and this morning I have lost my voice completely.  Oddly enough it bothers Hubby that I can't talk to him and respond to his comments.   I always thought he felt I talked too much.  He tries to cheer me up by spotting a waxwing and a piliated woodpecker in the back yard. When I do not make an attempt to leave my bed he realizes I am really sick.  He is getting better, so now he can wait on me this day.

My chest congestion sometimes sounds like a cat purring and at other times a wheezy bellow.  I hate, hate being sick and am drinking lots and lots of tea, chicken soup, and coffee.  So much for starting on the New Year's list.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Greetings to You and Your Kin

May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.
~Ada V. Hendricks

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Fly--not at all in a Holiday Mode

Just like that aberration in the same-named movie, the fly started annoying with a soft buzz on her right side.  She had just settled down to read before bed.  Cushions had been propped carefully, the comforter tucked across her legs and lap and the book in the perfect halo of the lamp.  The room was cozy and quiet...except for that damned fly.  He was closer now.  She heard the buzz just behind and above her head.  How on earth could one have a fly in the bedroom in the middle of December?  Was this some Superfly that had hung out in the garage in semi-dormant sleep these past weeks just waiting for the door to be held open for the perfect moment so that he could enter this castle of warmth?  This was more than annoying and oddly a little scary.  She felt somewhat powerless.

She turned her head and saw it was a small common house fly as it darted beneath the brass lamp cover and sat so close to the bulb he would certainly fry.  She batted lightly at the lamp with her book and he flew out and away to another part of the room.  She could still hear the annoying buzz and soon it got closer once again, ever annoying and even more scary this time.  Was it going to fly in her hair, her ear, down her pajama top and buzz her to death?

She swung crazily behind her head with the open book and she could hear it once again dancing above her head toward the ceiling.  Maybe it was a little angrier,or was that just her imagination?

Sighing in frustration she knew that turning off her light and turning on the hall light and sitting in the dark would cause him to leave the room in pursuit of a new artificial sun and she could close the door behind him after turning off the hall light.  But her husband would be coming to bed shortly and opening the door and starting this whole war all over again.  She threw off the covers and headed for the laundry room to retrieve that high technology tool, a fly swatter.

When she returned there he sat on the wall as if it was summer sunbathing, just above the glow of the lamp.  She gave him her best shot, which was not good enough, since he darted once again under the brass cover of the lamp.  She prodded somewhat carelessly with the edge of the swatter beside the bulb and then was rewarded with a thwup as something small hit either the back of the mattress, or the pillow, or the floor.  She looked everywhere carefully.  She listened for many minutes for the awakening buzz.  Nothing revealed a fly.  Finally in resignation she carefully crawled back into her bed and renewed her nighttime rituals.  The evening passed without further incident.

In the morning she had forgotten the intruder as she headed to the kitchen for her wake-up coffee.
When she crossed the kitchen floor she noticed a small dot on the warm wood which upon closer inspection was the fly bathing in the light of the kitchen on his back feet up in the air with no modesty at all.  She didn't know whether to be relieved that he met his death or mystified at how and why he died here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Thus far today my birthday has proceeded according to a typical plan.

  1. Last night my granddaughter, who is staying at my house this week, had a horrendous nightmare and then proceeded to come down with a nasty cough the rest of the sleep for me.
  2. This is birthday breakfast at my house in the photo above.  E-Z prep.
  3. Last night hubby asked if by any chance I had purchased the cake candles when I went grocery shopping!
  4. This morning, on my birthday, hubby asked if I had come across the cake mix and candles that he hid!  He can't find  the bag anywhere!  (Don't ask, because I cannot answer your many questions on this.)  I have spent 15 minutes helping him look without luck.
  5. He finally found the bag under his jeans on his bedroom chair.
  6. The first, and thus far only, birthday call I have received by 10:00 A.M. was on my cell and it was from my stockbroker!  
  7. We are eating dinner out (the 3 of us) and I am hoping that the restaurant doesn't burn down today.
  8. My last gift today will probably be a cold from that precious little girl in the photo.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

J'accuse the Jacuzzi

It is like my private pool,
All white and big enough
for two to meet.
It lies alone most days
Waiting for my attention.
I fill it with water that is hotter
than a Japanese geothermal spa.
I enter naked and carefully
To sit not on river rocks
but a textured plastic bed.
The ointments dance with
the watered bubbles of air and
soon I am sitting in
a field of rain-bowed orbs
with burbled sounds
drowning my thoughts.
I am up to my ears in
pinks, yellows, greens and blues.
It is a glittering luxury.
Enough water to quench
the thirst of an Egyptian family
for months.
Enough perfumed balms
to satisfy any Cleopatra.
But I am no beauty.
I study my shell and
find I no longer recognize it.
It is covered in smudges
brown, pink, red and black.
Some smooth and some
like rough sand.
When did I lose my skin?
Did I shed it like some snake
and then step aside or 
did it flake away slowly
like cream-colored wallpaper
disappearing in the air
as I walked?
These days I must contort
like some gymnast
to enter and exit.
Some day I will not
be able to enter my private bath.
My limbs will petrify
ever so slightly but harshly.
I slip beneath the
white foam
and ask for forgiveness
and another day.

(Some may find it interesting that the photo above was originally a lovely sundog I had captured one fall afternoon.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Angry Birds

Fix your face she said.
He wiped the smile away.
She sat on the couch and focused her attention on the re-run.

It was just a squirrel
to run around and around
in her easily distracted mind - he understood.

He sat in the faded chair
by the window and picked
with one arthritic hand at the broken seam in his pants.

Fix your mind he thought.
Her eyes got that far away look.
Today was just like that long ago yesterday.

And it now appears
It will be a repeat of tomorrow.

(Something that came to my mind as I watched an elderly couple in the restaurant.  This is the life we all may dread, but some of us cannot avoid it.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Few Last Words

This will be the last post on my project for a while.   I will try to provide more interesting fodder for my readers on other subjects in future posts.   But I have continued to write on this story...there seems to be endless research that interrupts my every sentence.  Thus far I have researched flora in Australia, bakery goods in Australia, aboriginal names, and more on geology, mining, and mineral values than I will ever put into any book.  But it seems one must be able to swim in the deep waters before heading out to the cleaner parts of the pool.  (Geesh...what a weird analogy.)  Granny was correct in commenting that many have files of well-intentioned stories that seem to be still born.  But I am enjoying this project thus far and setting aside some time each morning to work on it.  It even is competing with my morning light photography of birds!  By the way, I actually sold a photo as a greeting card this week.  It is not about the money CLEARLY...just such a reward that someone wanted to buy a work that I created!  Well, I have to head out as hubby is banging dishes about in the kitchen and the day is well underway.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Project

Is it a good (?) thing that this motivation has continue to stay with me over the days? (If you are in a fog...see two prior posts.)  I am already thinking of how I could keep this story moving forward and more self-motivating...making it into short chapter stories before I weave it into the big picture.  Do I dare make it a New Year's Resolution?  I actually keep most of my resolutions so I do not make them lightly.  Well, time well tell as I usually have a lot of that after the holidays.  Thanks for the motivational comments, and those who did not comment I am taking as a polite but important pass which I must consider.  Enjoy you all.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Beginning

Writing the beginning story post below is like casting a net.  It keeps getting caught on so many rocks and shells and such. I have to research a zillion questions for these two people.  I have to research archaeology, opal mining, visas, Australia, and who knows what else!  So much for following the rule that you should write what you know.  I have the vague outline of a story that came in my sleep, and so, I had to capture it with this start.  The writing is OK, but not as image filled as I would like.  But, you either start writing while the idea is fresh or your wordsmith it into constipation while in gestation. I will work on this and see if it goes anywhere and be sure to let you know...if you want.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Self-imposed Exercise

Amelia had finally made the break.  She was at long last able to set her course for freedom and independence, far from the confines of her parochial small town at the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  This new job was in a remote corner of Australia.  She had scored a job with a mining company whose retrieval of opals had brought it too close to a possible human migration site.  She was going to be one of their required archeologists.  It paid very well, but her real pull was that it was far away from her family in Denver and the work she had been doing there.  It was far away from anything and anyone familiar.  It was a fresh start.  She would be on her own at last.  She needed the independence and the freedom like she needed fresh air and water to keep her spirit from dying of suffocation.

At least, that is what she thought.  As is so often true when we are young, what we want is what we want only until we get it day after day.  The dusty little wooden house that she rented near the town was barren and empty of personality.  She was far from any neighbor, and her late afternoons were filled with too much quiet.  She would take long walks with the strange mangy dog, who somehow captured the name "Mangy", and who had adopted her.  They would wander around the dry fields and down the dusty roads after an early dinner.  And as the days and weeks became months of this pattern, she began to second guess her decision to erase her former life.  For the first time in her life she began to feel a need for company.

She had recently noticed that the seasons were changing and the dry weather was moving on.  The rare passing truck did not stir up its usual tornado of dust as it roared by.  The air on that particular afternoon seemed cleaner due to last night's rain and many of the blossoms of the bumble tree on the hill she was passing had opened spilling their perfume down the field to caress her face.  She looked up and decided to sit in its shade.  Mangy ran on ahead as if anticipating her decision.  As she found a clear place to rest, she noticed a different smell, fragrant like roses.  She had not smelled roses in months and recognized the sweetness immediately.  She turned to her right and just on the other side of the hill in the flat grasses was a small cottage with an arbor covered in pink and white roses.  They were covering the roof tangling carelessly and almost blocked the shadowed doorway.  Behind the house the yard was in the deep shade of several large apple trees.

There were also small beds of other flowers, most still in bud at either side of the front of the small tidy blue house.  What was this out of place in this arid land?  Who spent the time watering and watering to keep this garden alive?  It seemed as if no one was home.  There was no car and no sound.  Mangy had gotten bored resting at her feet and turned to head down the hill toward the house having seen some rodent movement in the shrubs, perhaps.  She sighed as she knew she would have to follow him to keep him from destroying the flower beds in his quest for fun.

He was a smart dog and did not bark but approached his prey quietly like a cat.  He stopped first with his nose at the base of an exotic Sturt pea plant.  It had several of the well recognized and dramatic red blossoms with dark black centers.  Amelia was never unsurprised by the exotic and striking plant life that she encountered on this harsh continent.

She was just about to call Mangy back to her side when a figure appeared beneath the arbor deep in the shadows with only scuffed brown boots showing in the light of the sun.  As the figure moved more into the daylight she saw it was a man in his late 40's or early 50's with a graying beard and sun wrinkled eyes.  He stood in a plain tan shirt and worn denim jeans with his hands in his pockets.  She couldn't help being startled, embarrassed, and somewhat threatened by his sudden presence.  But the flood of emotions did not stop her from quickly and too harshly calling back Mangy.

Mangy paused and then returned to her side as he glanced at the silent man.

"I..I'm so sorry.  My dog and I were attracted to your lovely garden."

The man paused and looked somewhere over her head before saying, "It is not my garden."  His eyes returned to her face with what seemed hesitation.  He remained silent.

"Well, it is lovely.  Not a common sight out here."

He brought his lips together as if to speak and then just seemed to sigh silently as he studied her.

"Well, we enjoyed the view.  Bye."  Amelia clapped her thigh to indicate to Mangy that they were moving on.  They climbed the hill and she only turned back when she had reached the shade of the Bumble tree and the sun was no longer in her eyes.  The quiet man was not standing in the arch of the roses anymore.  He had silently disappeared back into the little blue house.

She kept the strange meeting in her thoughts all the way home.

Monday, December 05, 2011

The Time Before

They once were unique and individual.  Some tall, some short, some medium.  They were thin and fat and muscular and lanky.  Their hair was brown or golden or fiery red.  When they aged the crown of hair on their head reflected the passing of the years by turning silver or white or disappearing entirely.  The purple and green and rainbow were not the crowning colors seen today.  The exaggerated curves were not the norm. 

Most were healthy with clear eyes and quick smiles, although their teeth were not the glowing white they are today.  Skin was not as smooth and tight as they all reflect now.  In earlier times, their skin was common and not covered with sparkling tattoos as it is today.  They talked with voices of all timbre and volume.  Laughter was a cacophony...not the LOL as it is today.

Their health was not so tenuous as it is now.  They weathered the changes of winds and attacks of germs much better with their own genes and immunity in more primitive times.  Now with the decades of use of designer foods and designer medicines, their bodies have evolved to a weakness that insures their extinction in the future.

We saw the future coming, but no one believed.