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Welcome

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Make yourself at home. Put your feet up. Grab your favorite beverage and prepare to enjoy the reads.
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Friday

Cemetary

Today, I drove into parking lot at my doctor's office which overlooks the cemetary. I've always thought it odd his office should be located there where patients can have the visual reminder. I felt just a tinge of irony until I saw several people walking the paths wearing Ipods or just talking with one another, a guy on a bike.

The juxtaposition of the very much living with the very far gone away threw me back in time... sitting in the car with friends driving through to the end where the pond was, throwing stones and munching on treats.

Still, even the boys wanted to make sure we got back to the car and out of there before the sun went down. No one made jokes or poked fun at one another for feeling squeamish, it was just an unspoken understanding that it was time to leave.

Thursday

Across the Room

Many times 
I've looked across 
the crowd
you were there,
eyes anticipating,
smiling.
I want to be held
supported by you,
caressed, kissed, 
and cherished by you.
But we are not free.

Some part of me 
wants to fall in love
madly, romantically smitten,
you are in my mind
with that quirky grin.
Your eyes light up
when you talk to me
I want you to take me in your arms.
the intensity of our warmth 
illuminates the room.
everyone nearby basks in it
without knowing the source.

I play with my fantasy
never tell you what's on my mind.
Reality doesn't hurt so much,
knowing we can't be together.
I'm happy for now, 
walking with you
on garden pathways, 
arm in arm
in my thoughts.
And so I pretend 
you love me as we sit 
holding hands 
across a table
in a dimly lit restaurant,
candlelight dancing in our hearts.
Like the couple on the dance floor,
music guides our movements
and my body responds to yours...
It's not like we really know each other.
Having talked occasionally, 
laughing together

I wish that you 
think of me, too:
and fantasize.
I may not live up to your dreams 
nor you to mine.
The sound of your voice 
triggers an energy that excites me,
Then I remember the dream, 
so sensual, so alive!
Were you dreaming it too?
Oh, but it was good!

© Elizabeth Munroz
1989

Sunday

Bad Blood

Covering the seed of my memories,
she is buried at the bottom of my heart,
where the blood has turned brown like dark rich humus;
the baby girl I gave away.
I have watered the soil with my tears of regret
all these eons, as she has grown.

She is big enough now.
I cannot keep her buried anymore,
my thoughts of her possess me.
she is breaking through,
fresh and new, like a newborn
my memory of her stares at me.
I hold her in my arms, softly cooing.

But the years have passed, 
reality faces me.
a full-grown woman stands before me.
she challenges me,

Why did you give me away?"

"Why didn't you want me?"

"Wasn't I good enough for you?"

"Why did you keep the others born to you?"

She spits out her bitterness.
"I have spent all my life feeling like a bad seed!

There are no tears to quench her now,
only anger jetting forth from her body
hitting me in waves.
She's got a lot of ammunition
I shrink from the power of it.
unable to reach out, hold her, comfort her.
My hopes dashed that we might be friends.

Now, I am buried at the bottom of her rage,
weighted down, held back, unable to explain.
She walks away and leaves me for dead,
buried at the bottom of her heart.

But the time will come when I shall emerge
from the dark rich humus of old blood covering me.
I will bloom into her thoughts,
and she shall seek me out, the mother she didn't want,
and she'll be surprised that I am young no longer
but, old and gray and haggard.

Addle-brained, I shall blankly stare at her,
the discarded mother in the nursing home.
Who are you? I'll say.
I don't know you!
What do you want?
Go away!

We will have spent our lives estranged

Saturday

Dreaming the Dead

My best friend Patrick
came to visit me
the night
mumps had taken him away.
I didn't understand the dream
until Billy
announced it on the playground
other kids calling him a liar
but I knew

Then Lee,
still in his drunken stupor
two weeks after he careened
into the house at the end of Coomer Rd.
his football helmet rolling across the floor
winter never leaving that corner
every time I passed by

Professor Harvenstein
who I didn't even know
hanging upside down
on the fence
of the 405 freeway
shaking me awake
"tell Arthur, tell Jaime
it's in the bowl"
I timidly told the Chair
the message seemed so urgent
He apologized later for his anger
learning it was true

Grandpa Frank
three thousand miles away
came night after night
said nothing
we sat on the couch watching
birds outside the window
him adjusting the strap on his
prosthetic leg
I would have thought
he wouldn't need it anymore

Auntie Ione
in broad daylight
tore the cross off the mirror
and threw it in the street
I laughed so hard
I cried
She said she would give a sign

Linda
my best friend in the whole world
surprised me
walking arm in arm with Elvis
in his white suit
happier than I'd ever seen her
now that he was more than
a poster on her wall

Dad, in that red flannel shirt
from the 1970's
walking down the hall
of the nursing home
where Mom grieved
He smiled, young again
hugging me
all those engineering instruments
sticking out his pocket
as always
I only saw him that one time

Until the weeks after Mom died.
Grandpa and Dad
stood in the doorway of her room
Me, confused
"She hasn't figured out yet
she's free to go"

and those ancestors
only learning who they were
through the Tioga County
Historical Museum
their pictures hanging on the wall

But, My Darling Keli
the one who owned
the rhythm of my heart
taking with her
a piece of my soul
never

Friday

Child Writing

I've written all my life in some form or another, not realizing there was something I could "do" with my writing for quite some time. It wasn't until my daughter, in her teen years. let me know she was intimidated by my writing skills that I wondered why she had such feelings, a perfect A student, who wrote very well and was literally a genius.

From that time I began to share my writing with friends, and went back to college taking courses getting a few A's myself. The rewards encouraged me to continue writing, mostly memoir and family history with a scattering of poetry and children's stories. Some have been tossed, and some are filed away in boxes in a closet.

Only recently have I stepped out of the mold of my self imposed writing, and started to make efforts to submit my work. I'm receiving tutelage from two local Santa Cruz authors. I don't feel serious with them yet, only the sense that rubbing elbows might bring me some luck. University of Santa Cruz has an opportunity where Seniors (read: old people like me) can attend classes under their Lifelong Learners program. So, that's another big step I'm taking. Hopefully, I will get into the class of our local Poet Laureate and get more elbow rubbing.

What set me on this enjoyment of writing started many years ago when my sixth grade teacher asked me to help her with the school annual literary magazine. It was a conglomeration of poems, stories and artwork submitted by third to sixth grade students. It was a big production. We were very proud of it.

Mrs Rae taught me how to type up the stencils in preparations for the mimeograph machine which, thank heavens, she wouldn't let me use. I was a terrible typist, probably ten words a minute, and made many mistakes. She patiently showed me how to fill them in with correction fluid. I hated doing this, and eventually she let me off the hook.

Having been exposed to the other children's submissions, I decided I could write as well as anyone else and produced what I considered an epic poem. It used up a whole page, and Mrs Rae was full of praise. I wish I still had it, or at least a copy of the 70th Street School Banner with my poem in it. I wrote completely in rhyme an experience based upon "What I Did Last Summer".  I had an infestation of bees set up housekeeping in my bedroom. I don't remember anything I wrote except how I managed to fancifully describe myself as sitting like a Buddha in order to be still until the bees moved on and I could get away. 




Rain, Tree, Wind

Rain arrives
with gifts for tree.
Clear moist spheres
embrace branches,
cling to buds,
then fall away
with farewell kisses.

Rain loves tree.
Tree loves rain,
drinks moisture
deep into roots,
satiated.
Rain is spent

Rain has two lovers,
tree and wind.
Discovery hastens jealousy.
Anxious branches sway,
whip the ground, and each other.
Musical instruments clang,
a cacophony of chimes gone sour.

Wind, rain,
grow silent,
disappear.

Birds flutter,
land upon small injuries
their feet mending,
stimulating, massaging.
Tree offers hidden water
held in crevices.

Birds dance, chatter,
offer solace,
healing songs.
Birds love tree.
Tree loves birds.

Thursday

MESSY BOOKSHELF READING HABITS

One of my friends, a Philosopher/Physicist and author of String Theory for Dummies, Andrew Jones, made a statement at the turn of the year that surprised me. He kept track of all the books he read in 2009. Fifty books.

Does that surprise you? It surprised me. That's a book a week with a two week respite. Andrew did this while researching, writing and publishing his book as well as keeping up several blogs.

Andrew got me thinking. How many books did I read in 2009? I never kept track. I am what I consider a heavy reader. Or perhaps I would be more of a heavy reader if I didn't watch the occasional television program or spend so much time on the computer.

When one enters my home, the first view of the room is the opposite wall. I have no furniture located there, except for my bookshelf adorned with a triangular aquarium, which I've decorated with a lovely china musical lady, some smooth stones scattered on the bottom and a living plant. The books on the shelves below distracted from the harmony of the view, I thought after viewing Brian's bookshelf. So, for the sake of aesthetics, I arranged the shelf with all white books. What a difference!

Now, one might say, "How ridiculous!" How ridiculous, indeed! What happens to the Library of Congress method, Dewey Decimal System? How can one find a certain title or author if not organized properly? I truly have to face reality. In my home, on my bookshelves such forms of organization have gone the wayside for a long time. Why? Two reasons. One is that when I am in the midst of reading a book and I am interrupted I have a tendency to set it on the nearest shelf to find it later. Since I read more than one book at a time, this already sets things apart. I don't always remember what books I was reading and nothing is more frustrating for me to forget the title I was reading and poke through my shelves trying to remind myself. Admittedly this is a fault of my failing memory, or is it just that I'm busy with so many things, I can't keep my mind focus (and organized)!

The second reason is, I already do not use the normal system for setting books upon shelves because of differences in size. If I arrange them by author for example. One book might be thin and short, and the book that fits next to it might be large and thick. The little books get lost on the shelves and I forget they exist. Another memory issue problem. Darn it! So, I generally have organized my books by size.

Oh, I forgot, there is a third reason. I have more books than I do shelf room, so they are not always in upright position. One can put more books on a shelf if one sets them in a stack sideways. I wish I had more bookshelves. In fact I wish my walls were covered with bookshelves. Like the library in Hearst Castle. I fell in love with that room the moment I saw it. I also wondered if Mr. Randolf William Hearst had ever read all those books. I would be surprised if he did. But, if Andrew Jones can read fifty books in one year, perhaps....

Back to the bookshelf with the triangular terrarium. I put all white books on those shelves. It draws the visitors eyes directly to it the moment they walk in the door. The terrarium is much more noticeable, too. I believe it is pleasing to see. After all, it is the most organized bookshelf in the house. I think it makes a nice impression and the mixed up order of the rest of my living room, whatever it may be on the day a visitor arrives, is not so obvious. I do get a lot of comments. "Oh, I didn't know you had a terrarium. How pretty that is." Then the second look goes automatically to the rest of my book collection.

Occasionally a visitor will go directly to my bookshelves to take a look at my collection. Start reading the titles, make comments on them. However, my son (pictured above, reading) came to visit the other day. With his eyes roving my shelves, he suddenly informed me that I had several of his books. They were loaners I was supposed to return to him. Some I had read. Some I had not. I should have kept them together, so I would have finished them all, and returned them in a timely manner. But, there he was pulling books from my shelves. He was not being rude. No. there were a few he had promised to others and a few he wanted to read again. A few he left on my shelves with the promise I would read and return soon. Darn! Why didn't I pull them off the shelves and set them aside? Because I have no place special to put them. I need more bookshelves, and less decorative items about the house!

Thinking about Andrew's fifty books again and a discussion I had with my book group leader, Abbie, who keeps track of every book she ever read and provides a little review for each one in the hopes of providing her granddaughter a great list to choose from when she is of an age to become interested in books, I decided to go through my shelves and familiarized myself with what is sitting there. They have been begging me for a long time to individually acknowledge them. I have felt them nudging me every time I walk by. Or was that my own subconscious pull telling me to put down that vacuum or dusting rag and read a book!

Last night I went through the bookshelf in my back bedroom, what I call my spare room. I also call it the kitty room, as that is where they are gathered together when I have to close them in. It is also my black cat's favorite resting space. Surprisingly they respect my bookshelves. I am not sure how long I sat there on my little stool writing down the titles and authors, but I do know that my back grew cold and when I stood up, my legs were stiff. But, it was nice to discover some of the titles I have read, and the satisfaction of remembering the stories and facts locked inside. It was also nice to recognize the titles I had bought for various reasons and remember why I had found them intriguing. This encourages me to carry a few more off to bed!

Wednesday

Nightgown - poem

Doesn't matter which one it is.
If only we could wear them all the time.
Kids wear their pajama bottoms everywhere.
Why not we?

Oh, not a flimsy thing,
not from some sexy catalog.
I'm talking red plaid flannel
pink flower jersey, winter fleece.
 
I wear them all the time
at home, in comfort.
Just don't come visit unexpectedly,
for I am clad in nightgown.

It saves on washing clothes.
Did you know?
It saves electricity.
It keeps my footprint green.

It's my best comfort,
my best friend,
my nightgown,
my lazybones, nightgown.

Tuesday

Late Birthday

My father would have been 95 years old on Sunday.
I thought about it for a moment, then blocked my mind.
"Don't go there," I told myself, "it will hurt."
Daddy's gone.


He's been gone five years now.
He was sure he would live to 120
So sure...
We were all convinced
if anyone could do it, Dad could.
He had faith.
Dad could do anything he put his mind to.
He broke his hip and claimed never having pain,
Just a little bit he said. No need for pain pills, 
Then passed out when the nurse
helped him to stand.
I was there.
He didn't even grit his teeth.

But, life has a way of twisting up our plans,
dashing our dreams, changing our outlook.
Life has a way of doing things
differently than we expected.
Expectations lead to disappointment.
The best made plans of mice and men...
and all that.



Today I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis.
Dad had it.
He grew shorter and shorter,
until I was taller than he.
Now, I'm told
all I need is an IV
every three months
and that will take care of it.

If only Dad had known.


Monday

I Love Lemon in My Tea

I have a lemon tree growing in my front yard, that produces the most delicious lemons. These are a special breed of lemons called Meyer lemons. Aren't the blossoms lovely? The fragrance is intoxicating.

I love lemon in my tea. That's why I planted the tree! I am seldom without lemons. Sometimes I have so many, I need to squeeze them all and put them in a jar in the refrigerator. Some say to put them in ice cube trays, but then the resulting ice cube would be too much a dose of lemon for my individual 20 ounce tea cup. I mean mug. I have a collection of the most wonderful dainty porcelain and china tea cups, but only bring them out when friends come over. My tea pot only holds four cups, so my mug is for when I am by myself and can guzzle to my heart's content.

According to sources, adding a squeeze of lemon juice to black tea clears the liquid. It changes from a dark, opaque brown to a transparent deep red-orange in a matter of seconds.

The reaction makes the tea lose not just the brown color but also the astringency, so strong black tea can be made more drinkable this way - especially with the addition of a little sweetener to take the edge off the flavor.


Lemon tea made this way remains flavorful at any temperature, and recipes for iced tea often call for the addition of lemon. Incidentally, orange juice is also acid enough to remove most of the tea's astringency, as well as sweetening it; it sounds weird, but it's actually pretty good. Some call this Russian Tea.

Lemons are so good for us, and are used in many ways. One of most people's favorite way to ingest lemons is through homemade lemonade, or lemonade iced tea, also known as an Arnold Palmer, named after the golfer who enjoyed his tea made half and half with lemonade. The latest offerings in restaurants have been raspberry or strawberry flavored iced tea. But, I don't care for them. I only drink hot tea when I go out. Apparently bacteria and mold can build up in restaurant containers. I just wish one thing. When I go out and order tea, I wish the lemon accompanying my cup would be more than a half slice. When I have asked for a wedge, I always get a surprised look. So few people drink tea, it is not understood that you cannot easily squeeze the juice out of a slice.

Wednesday

What is fear?


I sense much fear in you. 

Fear is the path to the dark side.

Fear attracts the fearful.
Fear leads to anger.
Anger leads to hate.
Hate leads to suffering
~~~Yoda


Tuesday

A world without music would be half a world...


Listening to Ed Kihm play his 12 string guitar brings tears to my eyes and softens the hurting places in my heart. He has magic fingers that dance in unison with the strings. Or are the strings dancing for him because they come alive at his touch? That's it! He is a Music Magician! How else can I explain my appreciation? If I were his neighbor I would be eavesdropping on his practice sessions!

This Spanish classical piece was written by Isaac Albéniz i Pascua (1860-1909). It's name is Leyenda (Legend) and was originally created for piano. But, the way Ed Kihm plays it on his guitar, I can't help but think Albeniz would approve.



My laptop has lousy sound, so I use my ear phones. Listening to it in the piano form, I find that turning the volume up high gives an incredible visceral physiological effect, that any "raver" would enjoy. For me, Listening to the piano rendition produces the equivalent of a "Vulcan Mind Meld". You can download a free midi file and listen to the piano version of Leyenda here

Hypnotic....

Ecstatic...

Exciting...

*SIGH!*

"A world without music would be half a world."
Elizabeth Munroz

~~~~~~~~~
Photograph is a location in Pacific Grove, California

Monday

A Message for Mom

Dear Mom,

Happy Mothers Day!  I love you very much and I am grateful to be your daughter…you are always there for me.

The other day…I was not in a good mood and you told me, while I was going to dance, that I look like a ballerina…It really made my day.., AND that I… I was your hero…. It brought tears to my eyes…. Love you… and you’re my hero!

From your loving daughter,

(Perform 4 Life)



~~~~~~~~~~~
Note: This letter to Mom is from my other grand daughter, twin of the "Adorkable" who wrote a poem about mothers which I posted the other day.

Sunday

To his wife on Mother's Day

A friend who has been following my blog was inspired by Heather's letter to her daughter, Charli and asked me to publish this:

Buttercup,

Friday, I brought you flowers. You were happy and put them in a vase and displayed them on the table. I forgot that you wanted something alive, something that would not die. So, I went to the garden shop and bought two rose bushes. Last night I went out and planted them. One is red and one is white. One represents the passion you have brought to my life. One is the pure love you have given our son. These will never die.

When you were about to give birth to our son, you cursed me up and down for getting you pregnant. I was confused. Hadn't we both planned on this? But, now we can laugh about it. You were in such pain. I couldn't believe how you could get through that. It was then I knew why women have the babies and not the men. You are so strong. I could never handle it. Not just the pain, but the changes your beautiful body went through.

You got up night after night and fed the baby while I selfishly slept. You were so tired in the daytime. Finally, I got the hint, bringing the baby to you. So glad I did. There is nothing more awe inspiring than to watch the mother of your child nursing him. I fell in love with you all over again. I couldn't help myself. Do you remember?

You've guided our son, watched over him, taught him how to be independent when I felt inadequate. I don't know how you managed when I was away. You held down the fort, took care of finances when things were tough. You dealt with insurance and doctors when our son was sick. Things I would be hard put to handle. I can't tell you how much that meant to me to see how competent you were handling all that. I'm sorry I never told you that when you had so much burden and felt insecure.

Now our son has grown into a man. It amazes me how you are with the grandkids, the patience you show them when you are not feeling energetic, and the love and encouragement you give them.

And when you went back to work and became a business woman, you made such progress moving up the ladder of success, I was, and still am so proud of you.

Those times when we disagreed and you became that fierce strong willed woman sometimes overwhelmed me, I admit. I didn't know how to handle it. And when you let me have my way, it's funny, but I cherish it all. I'm so glad we stayed together through those rocky times. It's been well worth growing wiser together through them.

I don't know how to say Happy Mother's Day in a way that has enough words to express how I feel, but I hope this will be okay. I've never been the romantic type you craved. I've always had a hard time putting my feelings into words. I wish I could have been better at it when you needed me to.

Remember when we first fell in love and I said I would shout it from the rooftops? You laughed at my cliche. Of course, I didn't do it. But, maybe this is a way. Here it is, not the rooftop, but publicly online for the world to see. I hope you know the admiration I have for the best mother and grandmother I know.

Love,

Your Macho Man

~~~~~~~~

Photo of baby was taken by the parents. Others, by me.

Saturday

Written by My Grand Daughter


Mothers are like soldiers.

They are the underdog in the house.

Yet they are always there to protect you.

They are always watching

and making the right choices.

Like a soldier loves his country,

a mother loves her family.

<Adorkable>



~~~~~~~~~~

Please note: Photograph is of my sister's dog and is not a mother.

Friday

A Letter from Mommy



Dear Charli,


You are 8.


You do not get to have a teenage size attitude, yet.


You talk back, and you get time out because you are still a little girl.


♥ ,


Mom



~~~~~~
A letter my grand daughter-in-law, Heather Masley, wrote to my great grand-daughter, Charli, yesterday.
Photos taken by other family member.

Thursday

What's a Mother to do?

What's a mother to do? When her first born babe dies at birth... When her kid swallows bleach... or overdoses on aspirin? When her 9 year old son has an ulcer, her little girl goes down to the river and falls into the water?

In that last case, she takes a branch from the willow tree and whups her wet kid on the back of the legs all the way down the middle of the street... all the way home.

She is not to be blamed. She didn't know any better. It was the way she was raised, and disciplining a child was common practice back 60 years ago. People did not call social services for such an act. It was the way things were. She never thought twice about it. She had been so worried when her little one could not be found. She had been horrified when she discovered a boy bringing the wet child home explaining what happened. As she chased her kid with the willow switch the fear and terror chased her as well. And she sobbed as did her child.

What's a mother to do, when her kids steal apples from the farmer's orchard? Or flowers from the next door neighbor's garden or items from the five and dime store? She makes the child return the stolen goods, admit the crime in shame and apologize. That one really works well because of the humiliation factor. The lesson in honesty needs no willow whip.

What's a mother do do when her teen refuses to help out with family chores, when defiance, rolling of eyes, slamming of doors, swear words muttered intending to hurt are the behaviours she has to deal with? Mother is at her wits end and doesn't know what to do but question herself, question her mothering skills, wonder what when wrong, fear for her children that they will turn out all right.

What's a mother to do when her children inherit the same disease she has? At first she denies the possibility until it is so obvious it can no longer be ignored. She irrationally blames herself for passing this disease on to her children. She carries her guilt like a heavy sack of coal on her back, especially because they suffer pain and social stigma because of it.  How could she have prevented this from happening? Not having any kids? There was no birth control back in those days. Though the children know she is not to blame, she carries that shame the whole of her life, no matter how much they reassure her.

What's a mother to do when her kids get married too young, have babies too young, divorce so quickly? What's a mother to do when she discovers that her hereditary condition is the cause of her grown up child's cancer. She privately cries and prays all the while believing God doesn't hear her. She sits in anguish day after day feeling helpless while her child lies there. Lot's of things were different back then. You didn't tell anyone about the "C" word. People thought it was contagious. You became isolated and alone without the support and love of your community. You most certainly did not question the decisions and behaviors of the doctors and nurses back then.

Oh, this is not one of those lovely overdone tributes to Mother's Day. Is it? What Hallmark card would sell such a message?

What can those children do when they grow up, but look back on their childhoods and understand the value through having children of their own and see just how challenging it is to raise a child. They can only look back in wonder and awe when they realize mother had so many children to take care of. How had she managed? How had she kept the house clean, the laundry done? How did she have energy to cook meals and welcome her husband home? How did she do all that and still work part-time labor intensive jobs over the years?

Please don't get me wrong. There's a whole lot I have left out. The good stuff and the really good stuff and the sublime stuff. But, that's for another day.

She said, "You will always be my children, no matter how old you are. When, I'm 80 and you're in your fifties, you will still be my children. I shall worry about you, pray for you, hope the best for you and love you forever."

Wednesday

A Memory of Mom


Shortly before Christmas my sister called to tell me, one of the counselors Mom had seen in therapy was walking down the hall of the nursing home. Suzan asked her if she was going in to see Mom. She said, no, it wasn't her normal appointment day. Suzan told her that Hospice had been called in and Mom was dying. So the counselor, turned around and came back.

Suzan roused Mom "Tammy is here to see you Mom."

Mom looked at Tammy with an odd look on her face, and said, "Oh, I feel butterfly..."

Thinking she meant her tummy was bothering her, Tammy asked, "Do you feel butterflies in your stomach?"

Mom replied, "No… I feel like... I AM a butterfly."

From that point on Mom said nothing further, nothing pronounceable. She could only respond with a mild attempt to vocalize with one syllable... “um”.

A day later my sister said, "The oddest thing happened today! Even though we have this cold weather, as I was entering the house, a little orange butterfly flew around me. Then a little yellow one, too, and they both fluttered away.

A few days later, Mom fluttered away, too.







~~~~~~
Note: Photo was taken the following July.

Tuesday

My Father's Mother


Mary Dean was proud of her sons. She had two little boys die to childhood illnesses that children recover from these days. But, she still had James, Oliver, and two-year-old Phillip. She was a fun loving, ambitious mother, often leaving the housework sit in order to enjoy life and teach her sons about the great wonderful, world beyond their small community of Kinzua, Pennsylvania. People marveled at her high energy and her ability to help and encourage others as well as raise her boys with integrity.
   
Springtime 1929, Mary wrote a letter to her friend Hazel who lived in Salamanca, NY about how much the rain had washed out the dirt roads, and how beautiful the heliotrope blooming. Mary also wasn’t feeling very good that spring.  Suffering from her monthly cramps, she tried to ride the waves of pain, until it was realized that something more serious was happening. 

Since the roads were impassable, Mary and her husband, Frank, took the train into Warren to get her to the hospital. Emergency surgery was performed first thing the following morning. They didn't do surgeries at night time back then. But, it was too late and too early.  Too late, in that her appendix had already burst and infection had set in.  Too early, in that Penicillin had not yet been invented. Jessie Mary Evans Deane died that day. I never met her, but I feel like she has been an ever constant presence in my life.

Sunday

My Personal Opinion

I think we are often lead, but do not always follow. Like a mother walking down the road with her child, there reaches a point where she has to let go and let the child walk without being clinging and fearful.


The child might get distracted by the pretty seashells along the way and hang back while mother stands aside and watches. She wants the child to follow, but also allows the child to explore the world, and then... oh no! the child has been scratched by a thorn! Why wasn't mother there to prevent it? But, she is watching and cares and wants the to learn what to value and what to be careful of. Sometimes we just have to learn the hard way to take care of ourselves, knowing that mother is not too far away.


I think that we have a path in life to take, like if you were to travel from Belgium to Spain. There are a lot of things to see on the way, a lot of interesting signs that say turn left at the corner and go down that road and you will see the amazing beach.


And so we go on those side roads, knowing we have a goal to reach, and maybe we have a flat tire or the car needs repair, but yes, we do gain something from our experience, and so ultimately we get back on the path.  I think there are so many signs along the way where we are diverted and gain experiences both painful and enjoyable and it is all part of what we do to grow.


I think the tragedies in our lives are part of the path. Sometimes we stumble a lot on those rocky paths. I look at depression as my going down a steep path with rocks in the way. And so, all I can do is hang on and try to keep myself balanced and composed as best as possible while I am sliding down, sometimes falling down. And at the bottom, there is my old friend, my old enemy... Depression. It's like walking through mud, so it is difficult to get back on the path to the original goal. We could just curl up in the mud and die, or we can keep trudging through it until we can find a foot hold to start climbing up again. It's very hard to climb upward on a steep path, but it sure does strengthen us.

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I took the first three photos at Capitola, California and the fourth one in my own backyard. Destiny is collecting seeds from the dried poppies.

Calla Lilies in My Garden


I find white flowers very difficult to capture.
These are Calla Lilies


Taken February 17 this year.


Taken December 27 2002


Taken February 17 this year