Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This 'n That!

The Women’s Alliance table at the Littleton Holiday Bazaar sold maybe 30 more of the puppets I make, this in addition to around 30 or so from the Country Fair in early September. I love the day when I am making them and glue on the eyes, and then the nose and they come alive – all these little faces looking at me – waiting to go home to live with someone – they make me smile.

Seems like in the fall, things seem to break down – first I had my car for routine service and chose to be proactive and put a new battery in it rather than wait for one of those sort of fatal days when it would be dead just when I most needed the car.

Then the same week, my 3 little birds went to the birdie doctor (Veterinarian) for a well birdie check and nail trims – we did rather well with this – they were somewhat upset by some of the process but something about all being in it together seemed to make it much less frightening. I even did better with it.

Then without warning – my work computer began continuously rebooting – Struggled some with Safe Mode, got it working only to have it fail again – we did this a couple times and now it is at the Computer doctor – I’m expecting at least a new hard drive – hard to know what else.

This morning I woke up from a dream in which I was trying out for some kind of dance thing – and in my dream I did well and when I finished, I told all who were present that I was 75!! This is amazing because it is my birthday and my 75th birthday at that! I was reminded of my favorite poet who is no longer living amongst us, Ric Masten, who wrote a song now in the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, “Let it be a Dance” –

So let it be a dance we do –
May I have this dance with you?
Through the good times and the bad times, too,
Let it be a dance.

Let a dancing song be heard,
Play the music say the words,
Fill the sky with sailing birds,
Let it be a dance.

(the first 2 verses from Ric Masten’s song – “Let It Be a Dance”)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October Snow 2011

Here’s my little Japanese maple tree the morning after the storm!

Unlike the storm which brought forth the poem “October Snow” the October snow of 2011 was not so poetic. The weight of the snow was so heavy and with leaves still in the trees, it brought down branches all over the state resulting in power failures, some lasting 4-5 days after the storm. The power crews cleared the major power lines but so many streets and even yards had power lines down making it necessary to go street by street and sometimes house by house to restore the power.

New England has really had a year of record-breaking and unprecedented severe weather – tornado, hurricane, rains, and now this storm.

It is always amazing how so often the day after such a storm, the sky can be blue, the clouds fluffy white – unaware of the damage it caused the day before!

Friday, October 28, 2011

October Snow

White mallow frosting on
speckled colored jimmy trees,
October snow.

First snow of the 2011-2012 season - leaves are still in the trees - the poem is from an October snow of years ago when the snow stuck in the trees and one could see bits of color peaking through - as if the colors had been sprinkled on the snow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


There’s a lesson in here somewhere – my washer/dryer (stacked unit) is over 17 years old and beginning to leak and the timer doesn’t work right. I’ve known for maybe a year or more I am going to have to do something but I keep managing somehow to keep it functioning enough to keep up with my laundry. Maybe I could just have it repaired for several hundred dollars but how long will it hold up before something else goes and I want it to last at least 10 more years!! I want a new one but the space in my home where this goes is limited – it’s a 24 x 27” unit and the back door through which the old would be removed and the new brought in is only 27” – not much room for maneuvering. Also I am really uncomfortable having to have workpersons in my home (usually male). But I want a new one. So I go to the store I have chosen and they don’t have to sell me – I know what I want. They have it! They can even deliver it in 3 days!! Yikes!! I’ve got to clear the area out and be ready in only 3 days!

Delivery day comes. The 2 person crew shows up bright and early at 8:30 AM – I am ready. I show them the situation. “They” are 2 young men probably my grandsons’ ages. They are polite, quiet and get to work and in 45 minutes the old is out, the new in and fully installed and they leave.

Order is restored, little to show for over a year of worrying it, chewing on it, pondering it, fearing it. It’s all so easy after it’s done.

Wouldn’t you think this could rub off on future situations? That the anguish and uncertainty I put myself through is unnecessary, not needed? Maybe this time it might take? Maybe?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Update to last post on the Japan Earthquake/Tsunami

Somehow I never got to posting how things were for my son and his family once the information was known. All is well, no damage in the Yokohama area or Tokyo where they are, thank goodness.

There has been all kinds of wild and crazy weather in so many places - Hurricane Irene here, a typhoon in Japan - my son had just barely gotten home when it hit and most trains were stopped until it was over and safe to run them again but all is well for him.

Fall was to have officially begun a few days ago - so what was it doing at 84 degrees today, September 26?? As they say in New England, if you don't like the weather, wait a minute - it will change and change is due even by tomorrow with it a bit cooler - and even more by the weekend. And the leaves are beginning to turn - I used to work on the 8th floor of a building overlooking a river and each day as more colors were added in the trees around the river, the scene was changing as if some artist was out there adding the colors - bit by bit. Yeah - beautiful!

Friday, March 18, 2011

JAPAN – Earthquake/tsunami of 3/11/11

It is hard to write something about this disaster because it is still happening. The devastation created by both has not even begun to be cleared or repaired and there is the additional disaster of the nuclear reactors which were damaged by the quake and the threat of their overheating with escaping radiation. I’m not going to try to go into all of that – it’s there on the web – facts and figures – as well as conflicting reports of dangerousness.

My son, his wife and oldest son live in Japan. At the time of the quake and tsunami, my son was in California for work and his wife alone in their apartment on the 25th floor of their building in Yokohama. Their son has an apartment in Tokyo but I don’t know what floor that is on. The quake could be felt even in Yokohama – the building is new and built to deal with the shaking but things flew off shelves and drawers opened:

25 floors up is pretty high – I’ve been told the elevator stops in a quake – that’s a long hike down or back up if it is ever necessary.

My son returned to his family the Monday after the quake and could not go to work until noon on Tuesday because of rolling blackouts and his office would not have power in the morning. He commented how the traffic lights were out and trying to cross the streets without them was very challenging – the drivers are not used to looking out for pedestrians, among some of the effects.

Meanwhile the news from the US made the risks of the reactors overheating and higher radiation getting out much higher than Japan seemed to see it. I watch and read of all this and wish I could just get all 3 of them out of Japan but I have no way to do that and just watching and waiting is so hard. As I write this, the workers are trying to get power to the reactors but it has not been done yet to know if once they have power the pumps for the cooling water will even work. Allegedly there is low level radiation in Tokyo but not deemed harmful or a health threat.

And all I can do right now is just keep hoping that that is true, that they will be okay, and especially hoping and praying the pumps will work, and the reactors can be cooled and all the thousands of people now homeless and who have lost everything, and especially lost loved ones can be helped in some way. And the men working with the reactors, I think something like 180 of them, they are heroes, for they are giving their lives to try and stop the process taking place.

Meanwhile, there is still devastation in so many other places from other disasters, New Zealand, Pakistan, Chile, Haiti, even from hurricane Katrina which has not been not fully rebuilt or recovered from and others I haven't mentioned.

And I wonder – really wonder – how can people go on killing, having wars, hurting each other – what is so damaged and not okay inside of them that in a world with so many hurting and suffering, they can add to the pain?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Divorce: Finding my Worth

There’s a saying that families only get together for weddings and funerals but that’s not true – there are other times and reasons like special birthdays and graduations, especially of grandkids. It can be really hard if there is a divorce in the mix – you want to have it special and wonderful for the happy celebrations but if the wound never fully healed, each event kind of tears it open a bit so you get to dreading something you should be happily looking forward to. As my ex has chosen to share his ongoing life with 3 other women since the initial devastation that was the end of my time with him, our sons have had to accept each new person in their father’s life and learn to move on when each one no longer was what he wanted. They have done so admirably, determined to keep their connection with their dad and with me, putting up with all the difficulties that go with all this. While I can look at each change as further proof it is my ex with the problem of not being able to sustain a relationship, it has been hard to override my own throw-away status and replacement. The following poem summed it up at one time:

Trade In

He won't lift a finger
To mend a relationship,
Although he'll patch,
nurture and repair
His "$200 special" cars -
While the wrecker
Hauls his wife away,
Replaced by a newer model.

(He used to find cars with 90,000 miles on them which the former owner would part with for only $200. Being skilled and handy, he could usually repair them and thus we had several of these $200 specials at different times but when it came to our marriage, he refused to do any counseling or therapy - no repairs and definitely no nurture.)

So my own struggle has been to find my worth for I felt like a throw-away which, despite much therapy and work and courses and interests, has been a hard feeling to counter.

I finally realized that there is one way in which I matter through it all that no other woman can and that is I am the mother of two wonderful sons and while the other women could bear him additional sons or daughters; our two exist only because of me. All these other women could not be the mother of these two fine men and now the grandmother of 2 fine young grandsons. In terms of worth – this is priceless!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

Go forth and try to start and/or end each day finding something to be grateful for. There are so many – there’s the moment when I uncover my 3 birds and they greet me with birdie chatter – they start each day happy and singing.

Then the fun time of checking e-mails and sites on the computer – finding family and friends there because they are too far away to be here.

Finishing the work I do on time, knowing maybe 20-30 people with health problems now have timely and accurate records in the (ready for this – drum roll please) Electronic Medical Record system, henceforth to be called the EMR.

Delivering the work and picking up more, with brief encounters with other employees of each practice and occasionally a chance to say “hi” to the doctor.

Passing through the medical office building careful to not have doors close on someone coming up or down the stairs behind me or the occasional small child dancing down the hall freely and delightfully – alive – happily alive. And crossing the highway to one more office where there are several crows standing on a snow bank – letting me approach fairly close without fear – how I wished I had some bread with me – maybe next time I’ll think of it – but then maybe it’s not good for them to learn to not fear me.

The drive home – yes – not having to park my butt in someone else’s office for an 8 hour day or whatever the shift – and working at home with my 3 little tiels hanging out in my home office with me. Love it when Ginger chooses to sit on my head and Tori gets on my shoulder singing in my ear – Tori – I can’t hear the dictation when you are loud!!

Meeting a neighbor in the park I live in – a smile, short chit chat – knowing we are all there and all care. And the neighbors – what special people – one across the street using his mighty snow blower to help many of us clear our drives – another who helps pull the snow off her neighbors’ roofs – next door who helps me clear some snow from my roof on his side of my house – it’s a real neighborhood.

And gratitude for the amazing and phenomenal luck that brought 2 young men down my street just when I was out in the yard and they were looking for roofs to shovel before we had damage – at a price I could say yes to – and they did an amazing job – shoveling the roof, the porch roof and then cutting about in half the huge piles of snow previously raked off the roof by me – that stuff was heavy and they finished in an hour.

Actually the list is endless – I suppose in some way even this snow, as endless as it all was and threatening as it was has a gift within it in some way – replenishing aquifers – work for all the plowers and sanders – work for roof shovelers – and even the chance to play for the skiers, snowboarders, tubers, and snowshoers.

And then – tomorrow is another day – and there is sure to be more. But I also know one can get into a dark hole where gratitude is hard to find or see – a friend who is very ill and may not make it – if only we truly believed that there was life in some way after our body dies – and death was not an ending but a beginning – like a graduation into another level of being – then such illness and sadness would be about the loss and the missing of these wonderful special people in our lives but also gratitude that they had moved on to whatever comes next. Some believe there is something, some do not – and mostly we don’t know until it is our turn. Can’t help but think that being born must not feel very good to the baby being born – to go from the lovely comforting womb filled with fluid to being pushed out and then into a world where that fluid is gone, wrapped into a receiving blanket – and all that takes place with a birth – no wonder crying is one of the first utterances we can make. Thus we enter this life. Maybe dying is another kind of birth.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winter Wonderland

The nor’easter of January 12, 2011! This was how it looked by noon after the first shoveling. I think we got close to another foot of snow before it ended with a lot of drifting from the wind. It brings to my mind the many snow thoughts and images from other storms –

There’s that beginning of the snow – the Taste of Winter –

The sky goddess
Sifts frozen crystals
Frosting the world beneath;

I dance with delight
In this confection,
Catching some on my tongue
Now and then.

Driving in the storm we have a different view:

Flakes of snow
Run before the wind
Changing my view
To cartoon dots of winter white
In my head lights.

On ponds we see:

Swirling flakes of snow
Spun by a winter wind
Into holographic sculptures
On a frozen pond,
Like some Star Trek person
Transporting into being.

And the newly created wonderland when it ends:

Soft new snow resting on branches
Collected in nooks and crannies
Like cotton puffs,
With breaks in continuity
Where little birds had landed
Coming and going to the feeders -
And then
The brilliant red of a cardinal
Perched in the bush next to the feeders -
Making this a living Christmas card
In my back yard.

Along with newly designed trees and bushes:

Pussywillow world,
branches tipped with cotton snow,
puffs of winter breath.

And soon the birds of winter with a new dance:

The snow storm shuffle,
With a kind of hop-shuffle step
Created by a sparrow in a snowstorm
Trying to uncover sunflower seed hearts
Hidden by the snow -

And kids come out to play:

Rosy-cheeked muffins
Toddling about,
Red, orange, yellow,
Purple, blue, green
Winter sprouts.

While new flowers grow:

Gloves and mittens sprout
From stairs, in halls, on sidewalks,
Winter hand flowers.