Random, yes

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I have spent the last few days thinking of things I should/could write about, but I can’t seem to get this brain to cooperate cohesively.  The random thoughts are like a slide projector with a few seconds before each new thought pops up.  So I will warn you now, this is going to be a random ride.

Maybe my brain took its leave while  loading that last truck of belongings to bring to Texas and saying goodbye to our home of 31 years.  That was a real tear jerker, let me tell you.  The day we were leaving, the purple iris was in full bloom; I hope Iris likes it here as much as Rose does.  Here is where I was going to insert a cool picture of Rose, but it was too big.  Imagine a big, red blooming rose, please.

Maybe it was Matthew and I catching wicked colds after battling the weather when we left Texas and again as we tried to get everything in the storage unit.  Maybe the #$%^@ storage unit caused my brain to go on strike because it was closed (storage place; not my brain) and the security code wouldn’t work…never fear, a nice young man came by to get something and his top secret code wouldn’t work either; so he wiggled under the fence.  That was much better than Matthew’s idea of driving the U-Haul through the gate.  Makes me wonder about security though.  But wouldn’t that have made a great photo to put here of Matthew plowing through?

Maybe it’s the excitement of having our last walk through of our home in New Braunfels tomorrow!!!  Yes, our.  It’s a big honking house and we:  me, Matthew, Andrea, Jaryd, Jillie, Hannah, Atticus, Abigail, Elsie, Nessie and Ogopogo are buying a house!  Did I mention it has a hot tub?!  We get the keys on Thursday!  Here are my boys:

I am so lucky!  Jaryd said he was giving me 20,000 hugs when we got back…we’re almost there.

Sleeping on a futon in the living room of Matthew’s apartment with Jillie since before Thanksgiving is wearing thin.  I love her so much, but, Jillie, please, must you sleep in the middle?  I will insert photo next of us so you can see just what I mean.  Atticus the Catticus does sleep on top of me most nights and Abigail was at the foot probably.  And, yes, I did hand stitch that quilt!

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Looks cozier than it is, and yes, it is by the front door; so every time someone goes in or out, locks their car…or really anything…the girls are on high alert.  I don’t think apartment dwellers sleep at night.  I am not made for apartment dwelling.

Next week I will go back to Arkansas, flying this time because 12 hours down and 12 hours back by myself is way too much me time.  I will see friends and family I wasn’t able to get to last time, go for my first cancer checkup after the summer’s radiation treatment and spend time with my Dad.  The anniversary of Paul’s death is also next week and, really, I think this paragraph is what is causing my thoughts to be screwy and memory to be out of whack.  But, after this trip, my year of firsts will be over.  I made it through birthdays, holidays, packing and giving away stuff, and going back to oncologist.  Whatever happens next will happen and I’m going to do my best to laugh through it all.

Lastly, because I know you are dying to know, I will tell you I am still on my crusade to change the minds of the masses and get all doggy poop scooped!  I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up.  What is happening in this country now with dog poop; especially at apartment buildings, is outrageous!

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Thanks for reading my ramblings…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happenstance and Heroes

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I met the most incredible young man last week.  Moving brings with it a list of things that must be done that seems endless.   I had to call the internet and cable companies to schedule cancellation of my services. I called cable because it was the first number I found.  David was the customer service person who just happened to answer my call, and  I was so glad he did,  He started asking me questions…oh, you really are making a move, he said.  Yes, and I explained.  I asked where he was…Los Angeles.  He was a Marine, but decided to leave it after eight years and California was where he landed and thought he would give it a try.  He said the weather is nice all the time, but….  I said it seems like it would be a bit artificial and he agreed and said he misses the changing seasons and his family in South Carolina.  He told me he had made the decision to move back home in March and work with his Dad in their lumber business.  

Then the reason for my call…yes, he said it could be disconnected a week from Monday…and I remarked, wonderful!  Matthew and I can watch The Walking Dead Sunday night!  He said he had never gotten into it, but his nephew back home, who calls him every other day, loves it.  Evidently, something having to do with the show is done there, and I said you have to take him back something!!  I could feel him smiling on the phone!  He is flying his nephew to LA in January to go to a Walking Dead convention/thingie!  I told him that is so cool!!  Again, I could feel the smile!

I forgot to mention that David’s youngest brother, his nephew’s Dad, had died of a heart attack.  David is this young man’s best buddy and stepped up to the plate and is there for him after the loss of his Dad.  Yeah, pretty cool guy.

We finished my business, he told me NOOOOO, I don’t have to get on the roof to take the dish down! and before we said goodbye and I wished him all the best and to have a blast in January, he said the sweetest and kindest thing to me.  He said he could tell by my voice, personality and attitude that everything will be just fine.  How can I argue with my new friend, the veteran who, in my mind, is a super hero?

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Cha-cha-cha-changes

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My story is not unique.  Things happen, changes are or have to be made, and if you are lucky, you go with it.  That is what I’m doing, what I’ve been trying to do.  Matthew (my favorite and only son) and Andrea (soon to be wife) started encouraging me this summer while I was with them in Texas to move down there.  To be closer to my family.  I still have my 81 year old Dad to consider who is in the early+ stages of dementia.  My brother, Mickey, and I think that Dad, who doesn’t need to be living alone, should move to Little Rock, closer to Mickey and Rita and all the grandkids and great grandkids.  But this is a man who doesn’t like to get out of his safe zone and I know it isn’t going to be easy.  He has assured me it will be okay.  

Then there is the house that I/we’ve lived in since 1984.  I lucked out on my realtor, he is a sweetheart and he knows I don’t know diddly about any of this.  We inherited the house from Paul’s Grandmother; so I have never bought or sold a house before and never thought I would be doing so, or at least not making these decisions, without Paul.  There is a more than likely buyer and I have to get it all packed and ready to be out by, probably, the third week of November.

You accumulate a lot of stuff; even though I have been making regular trips to the Veteran’s Drop Box, Goodwill and the City Landfill (lost 450 pounds of attic accumulation that day).  My kitchen is full of vintage Fiesta and Lusterware from the 1940’s that Paul and I collected over our 32 years together.  The bookshelves are packed, the cds took up one whole room and I haven’t even begun to go through the albums.  I worked in the College of Fine Arts for 35 years and my walls are full of paintings, prints and photographs; each with a story of where and when we got it and why we thought it needed to come home with us. 

Carolyn, my lifesaving friend, came over today and, instead of getting her doctorate in music history, should be getting it in organization.  She says we can do this and I believe her.  🙂  She made a list and a schedule of packing for me for the week and got me on track.  🙂  I needed that!, I needed someone to smack me and give me some direction!

I can’t buy a house til I sell mine; so the plan is to move us (me, Jillie, Hannah, Atticus and Abigail) to Matthew’s apartment, rent a storage place and get busy looking.  It will be a fun adventure once I get everything down there.

It’s looking a little wHierd, the empty cabinets, closets and overall mess, but progress is being made and that is good.

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To be continued….

Chance meetings

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The plane was running late to leave Albany and I began to worry that we wouldn’t make our connection in Atlanta on time.  It was getting late. Finally we were allowed on the plane where we sat for what seemed too long.  I was by the window.

Then a young man came and sat by me and he seemed a bit anxious, fussing with his watch, his glasses.  He was neatly dressed and very polite, and soon, we began our two hour trek through the night sky.  Evan was headed to Fort Benning for training.  I asked how he’d made the decision and he said he’d been thinking about it for two years; he wants to work in the field of Intelligence.  We were soon watching the dark clouds go by and talking about many things including dogs…they had lost theirs recently and he wanted to know how you decide to get another.  I told him the ones who had passed will forever be in my heart and memory, but I can’t imagine my life without dogs.  He also confided that his Mom had just begun radiation treatment for breast cancer and I told him about my recent experience and answered his questions.  We laughed and talked about the places he could visit when he is given some time off and can rent a car.  New Orleans was at the top of his list.

It was nice and I felt like we made a connection in that two hours.  We wished each other well and said our goodbyes.  I hope Evan from Albany has a good life.

The Sandman

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I’ve been having some trouble sleeping, and when Jillie woke up early this morning to go outside, it took a while for The Sandman….

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to let me doze off again.  So I began thinking about dreams.

I don’t remember them often, but when I do, I sense they are like a Technicolor movie.  Dreaming with special effects and computer generated characters just isn’t my thing.  

The dreams I love the most are the ones where you awake and it’s so real you feel you’re still there.  You are in THAT place, the room, the smells <like Grandma Nellie’s kitchen) and you are that age again.  That person you miss so deeply is still there, that fun time with family or friends is still happening….history has come alive.  

Nightmares, eh, I don’t like so much and The Sandman has been letting those in my noggin more lately than the dreamy dreams.  But, I have hope those have about run their course and I can get back to those good dreams; waking up happy and ready for anything!

 

Are You My Friend?

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A couple of weeks ago, I posted on my personal Facebook page something to the effect of…if I haven’t talked to you in a long while; if the only thing we have in common are spotted dogs, fruit stripe gum and a book club at the beginning of the internets, I think it’s time we break up.  I certainly didn’t intend for people to comment but they did.  Turns out, that helped me know who was reading.

My problem with this form of social media is that now everybody is my friend.  Mark Zuckerberg turned a perfectly good word into one which has less meaning.  A friend, to me, is someone with whom I care about, talk to or see regularly, knows at least some of my history and I know theirs.  People write messages and respond to things that they don’t know anything about and they are mean. I don’t understand it at all.  Since I posted the above, I look through my…okay, “friends” list every few days and continue to become less friendly.  it’s much more pleasant for me now.  I hate to see such a fine emotional attachment turned into a word that simply means, I know your cousin’s friend’s aunt…friend me?  After my stuff, I found that, even as much as I looked forward to reading the Bedlam Farm posts, I avoided getting on FB because I didn’t want to have to skim through all the crap.
Maybe I’m being grumpy.  I hope not.  That wouldn’t make me a very good friend, would it?   

 

Contentment

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Taking Jillie to walk the trails around the San Marcos River is one of my favorite things; so after my radiation treatment was finished, we headed farther south to get some rest and do some thinking and walking.  It is such a beautiful and serene place; just what I needed.

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Our trek starts down a long winding path that will eventually take us by the playground, running path, under one bridge and later walking across two bridges where we stop to try to see the turtles.  On the long stretch before we go under the bridge, there are some picnic tables and that’s where we met Jose.  After hearing my “good morning!” he always responded and proceeded to tell me the day’s weather report.  Oh, he’d say, it’s going to be 110 today!  One day last week, I decided to stop and say more and I am so glad I did.    A genuinely happy fellow, he laughed as he told me about being a young man in the 60s in California.  He said, “I was angry and mixed up and then I joined the hippies and got happy!”  <<Big Smile>> as he told me about smoking weed and loving everyone.  He says I don’t do that no more; meaning the weed, but I got the sense that he is still loving everyone.  He had been to San Marcos long ago and fell in love with the river and the area and when he was able to retire two years ago from the garlic factory, he made a beeline for Texas.  Every day he walks until he gets tired and sits at one of the tables to watch his river.   He says with another smile, “I leave when it  gets too hot or I get too hungry”.  He teaches children how to play guitar, trumpet and a little harmonica and every Sunday he goes dancing…he loves to waltz and salsa.  

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I got a hug and when I come back, he says he’ll be there!  I think Jose has found the contentment that I am searching for…good for you, Jose!