And a good time..

..was had by all, especially the graduating student who can now get some quality sleeping-in! On our way to DTW airport, presently, then btk (back to keyboard)! Will TTYL!

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Noels

He or she came bounding out of the tree cover alongside the road. A young buck, or perhaps a doe. Charged right across both lanes as if.. as if it were his or hers, and of course, it was!

It’s getting cold, so their hides are darkening, perhaps with thicker fur. She wasn’t sure where they go in winter, but they were starting to go there at 4 p.m. these days! She’d seen two grazing out back of the workplace, and now this unwitting daredevil!

She wished, like all those other times of losing her breath, that someone else saw it. Usually, however, whenever someone else sees the awe-inspiring, they must speak of it. Immediately. Why can’t they just hold their breath, or perhaps just sigh, and let awe have its moment? Two moments, if it were up to her.

They used to walk across the way, over on the other side of the river. There was a bit of a clearing through a few stands of trees, and it was likely where some went to drink of a night, or fish of an afternoon — it was so trampled down — but it now provided a view that took in both up and down the river.

She’d weeks before seen ducks sheltering there in the little cove. Mallards. Very young, or perhaps all mallards seem young to her. She’d seen two of the lovebirds, perhaps their parents, dropping into the water from a tree trunk on late spring mornings. Again, she stayed as quiet as a mallard, and saw her fill: until she saw happy or at least industrious vees silently parting the dark water.

Later that summer, she brought him over to see them one eve, but before they could get to the trample-spot, he’d found a tree he liked. He marveled at it aloud, slapped it, stared it up and down, and then they continued to where there would now be no ducks, no fish, no turtles, no beavers, no muskrats, and no gliding heron close enough to hear in wingspeak, “It is dusk here in Paradise.” Perhaps dragonflies don’t have hearing or fear, for one remained (unless her memory is more kind than she herself is).

He had shout-laughed after looking up and down the river, “Well! It appears to be Duckless Cove!” Coincidence, surely, that the mallards never returned. Or perhaps she just doesn’t look over there anymore. There doesn’t seem a point. She brought her grandson numerous times, for he, like his uncle, can be shh’d for a visual treat, but it has indeed become Duckless Cove. In the afternoons, though, there are birds. Birds and woods enough for two.

Today, both she and her son heard it — a high-pitched whistle. A kid somewhere? A cat? She has noticed the distinct absence of both little kids and cats around. Her son was coming in from another room and saw her turn off the exhaust fan. “You heard it, too?”

They went looking in the yards and toward the river for someone or something in trouble, but saw nothing. A few moments later, just as he came up from doing laundry and she was standing by the deck door wondering what it had been, brown bold wings flew past her face low across the deck and went riverward. “A hawk!” they said at the same time! “Yes!” It had been so long since they’d last heard him or her. Many months.

Blessed.

Grumpy and thankless on many counts, yes, and deeply worried on many fronts, but she is blessed. Doubly, for someone else saw it with held breath and instant wonder — perhaps like that of poor shepherds marveling at a baby’s cry in a cold stable — and began living new again, even if for a moment.

It might just be enough.

 

 


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Emmanuel

It’s the Church season of Advent. A lot like Lent, preparation-wise — something I’d lost sight of, except around the edges of all the seemingly urgent Christmas crazy.

How I get sucked into that, and yet so little into the coming of Christ, I cannot fathom. It’s like I need to be told, too, to get me behind Him, for I’m thinking like man, not God.

Every year, what I truly desire to do is give very hard-earned money to the Shriners for kids, and to St. Jude’s for kids, and to Casa Juan Diego for everyone there, and to Fr. Marvelous and his fellow contemplatives way too far away.

This year, I’d like to add migrants. And I can, though not financially.

I got to thinking (and then Googling) about the religion of Central Americans. Well, of course it’s mostly Roman Catholic. Why else would they be so easily abused en masse, so dismissible as real people?

They have the face of Christ. Like suffering children, like suffering priests.

So, I have adopted, in my heart, a migrant family to pray for throughout Advent. My house itself is full, but the inn of the heart need not be. Need never be. I will indeed put myself behind Thee, Lord, for I am a sinful woman, but I know you will see this family. Their faces remind You of Your mother’s, and of Your foster-father’s, and of Your friends’. When You looked in a mirror, You saw all faces but Yours.

Come, Lord Jesus. Change me.

 

 

 

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But Boanerges know what they do

I woke up woundable

Didn’t realize it until

I lay there face down

In the mud of hatred

Ever-fresh as the Jews’

If not for Jesus’ throes

Innumerable

Indescribable

But nameable

There–

In place of all haters–

I would avenge His

Deepest lacerations

And His mother’s

I, too, would hate

Yes, a good reminder

And never welcomed.

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Hmm, what’s this button do…

Good heavens, it’s a ‘blog button!! Do I still blog??  🙂

Where does the time go? Where does the musing go?

Where did my sadness go? Yes, that has been a visitor. For real reasons, but I am also put in mind of how one US humorist described it (I’ll paraphrase), “O, all the horrible things in my life — that didn’t actually happen..”

It’s winter, or at least it was, so that means a double whammy (or quintuple, but who’s counting?) of inner inventorying. I’m the Lord’s daughter, and Mary’s, and the Church’s, and my mother’s. Thankfully, they all have beloved-offspring-blinded eyes and hearts — but I KNOW what they’re thinking. 🙂  Hence, the inventory result: Shape up!!

Until then, I’ve forcibly been appreciating the little things. One of them is odd, of course. I park under a certain tree at the afternoon bus stop. It is just up the street from the house, here, but the kids’ backpacks each weigh more than I do, and you know who gets to carry both bags the moment the kids step off the bus. As I sat there waiting for the inevitable a couple of days ago, I must’ve parked directly under a bird, because my windshield got decorated. It landed, though, in a perfectly square shape. How does that happen?

Yesterday, there was more than one bird — and apparently somewhere in the neighborhood, there is an abundance of berried bushes, but there were no squares nor even parallelograms to marvel over.

The water over the dam (heh) is something I roll down the window for, and slow the car to hear well. It’s one of the friendliest “Hello”s I get every day. Stunning visuals, too, both the rushing water, the still and reflective feeder-water, and the boated shore on the other side. I am so going to miss all that, soon.

As I passed by the farm yard yesterday, I lost my quiet and my cow-sadness, because one of the cows (cattle?) was trying to keep up with my car for a moment — I nearly waved at him. A few more of them were standing in the shade of the trees very near the road. I shouted, “Hi! Oh, hi!” Pathetic. I either need to get a life or my kids need to get some pets into their households. (Not birds. I have enough of those.)

Yesterday, somewhere around the edges of that daughterly inventorying that turns one a whiter shade of pale, His silent but sure word came into my mind. I attribute it to Him exclusively, because it was Authoritative. It dispels sadness and fear. It renders every other voice mute.

Also unlike me, it was full of love.

The Word, which seems to me is always Intended for more than one (where it’s possible) seemed a you-go-for-it; a you-can-do; an I’ve got your back:

 

“Begin anew. I said so.”

 

I will. I can. I believe. (You, too.)  ❤


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(Most) things bright and beautiful*..

I’ve just had an omelet with cheddar melted in the center, expertly cooked in one of Emeril’s stout little pans, served with cracked pepper and half of a toasted and buttered English muffin, there on the edge of the giant platter (DH went dish-shopping without me; I haven’t voiced it, but I believe pioneers may have used similar dishware, weighting down the wagons). The other buttered half, bearing a respectable layer of signature seedless raspberry jam, awaits in the pantry.

You expect me to hop into the Bentley and head uptown, now, right? Ah, close..

Fat-free egg mixture in a carton is more the reality, as is 1/2 a slice of Velveeta (1.5g fat); someone left an Emeril pan at Goodwill (imagine!), and there’s always a grinder of black peppercorns here ever since I realized they taste incredibly good; the *butter* is, rather, devastatingly, almost-fat-free margarine spritz; and indeed, Trappist monks made the always-fat-free jam (God bless them!).

I have no pantry, though I have had — in the third-floor walkup, which was on the ground floor, keeping us close to demented pigeons. Don’t think for a minute that they’re a stupid bird; they know exactly which room you’re sitting in, and have no qualms about hopping up from the dank, mossy alley to peer in and remind you that it’s always pigeon-feeding time. I’m glad I did not know Stephen King at the time, but of course, I’d seen Hitchcock’s The Birds..

Presently (despite much dithering with a built-in carpenter), orange countertop — to match the historic Congoleum flooring — abounds in the 24-cabinet kitchen. If it had a pantry, it would be there, too. As a matter of fact, the builders or addition-builders were so fond of the countertop, they also lined the walls of the downstairs half-bathroom with it, which some tenant covered over with gray and green swan-studded wallpaper. Someone once here, perhaps the swan-folk — I fear to ever meet them — decided royal blue would make a wonderful trim paint color for the windows, in between panes of the windows, the undercabinet of the sink, and a door. It went so nicely with the sculptured avocado green rug, I was loath to disturb it. Mightily. Gustily disturb it.

(Ever try pounding a nail through freshly de-swan’d countertop? No? Good. Don’t — the wall will crack.)

The Bentley is real, though.

No, it’s not.

My trusty steed is like many other cars here — a little red bunny rabbit — except probably only mine has a dog-feces’d shoe in the trunk, which I keep forgetting to bring to the back yard to restore/burn/bury. Suffice it to say someone in this immediate area walks a pal from the Mesozoic Era. They were (will again be?) my favorite shoes, of course.

This morn, I read someone whose writing, I thought, reminded me of a blend between Dorothy Parker and Edgar Allen Poe. Hence, I re-read Ms. Parker’s short story, “Big Blonde” and for the first time, read of Mr. Poe’s mysterious end. (And of all the tragedies that preceded it, that poor soul!) It was certainly not the blend I’d originally thought it might be, and it wouldn’t have been a compliment to my admired writer at all to mention the other writers — other than to say as always, “Excellent writing!”

What talent surrounds us.

Between writings, musings, tales of grand-/parenting of furry-/kids, greener living, news commentary, poetry, photography, painting, reviews, wine-tasting, farming, ranching, cooking, music, travel, sewing, languages, humor, contemplation, prayer, love-ing near and far, sailing, etc., I am astounded anew every morning, just by logging into WordPress and clicking on my Reader.

It’s an awesome deterrent to housecleaning and/or to heading uptown in the Bentley with hopes of removing a problem-shoe later today. And… it makes me smile, think, sigh, nod and get up off this chair.

Thank you, on all counts. ❤

 

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Well!

It seems fairly early into Sunday day for all this, but my pre-Mass heart is already toggled by WordPress bloggers. So far today, I’ve learned of America’s first martyr, I’ve been reminded of the bells of home, my hope has suddenly swung upward, and I have been prepared for renewal by a crocus. And I know there will be even more marveling later!

Sometimes, I cannot think it’s just me being goofy. Sometimes, I know for a fact that you people are wonderful. (Why are you way over there??) Someday, on some Glorious hillside, we will sit side-by-side and chat about what a gift you all were in our shared human life.

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Novembers

This is the last Saturday of November 2018! We should do something to celebrate it! “What,” you ask? I don’t know — I was hoping you’d think of something, ’cause I’d just go with one ancient impromptu-ish plan or the other: Have tea in little ceramic bowls around the coffee table while sitting on the floor, perhaps in kimonos.  Or, were it a rainy day especially (though it IS cold enough to keep us inside), chew up marshmallows to the ceiling-sticking point and see whose stayed up there the longest. There were prizes. Marshmallows, I think. (Fortunately, it was a rented apartment, but I may have reverted to it here once or twice…)  Wow. It’s been too long…

It was at least less labor-intensive than what my friend Sylvia did. The cause was celebratory wine but the reason for it remains vague. She came out of their room one eve, her husband said, and had painted her chest in the form of, let’s say, two bulls-eyes. It was Sylvia, so he wasn’t shocked. (Syl re-established Cleopatra’s eye makeup, occasionally pretended to request assistance in a foreign language with strangers, and always wore her jet black hair in a towering beehive — until later in life, when she changed it to a super-permed angular bob a la some character in Gary Larson’s The Far Side. She’s probably added the harlequin eyeglasses by now.)

Guess who taught me to crochet? I know — that makes no sense! Syl would know what to do today.

Had a wondrous conversation with my two eldest last night in group text. About Nam, of all things. No doubt because of a recent Veterans Day (and JFK’s black day so closely on its heels) on which both these veterans had to work, as did I and another daughter. Son started it with an url to documentary/interview footage. It blew him away that the war in Vietnam was such a “sh*t-show” for us. My opinion is that all warring is that, no matter who, no matter when.

Daughter was astounded to learn that we treated the returnees so badly (“especially since they’d been drafted, were there against their will, and were so blindsided by lies”).  I got a chance to mention both Veterans For Peace and Antiwar.com and that we still do treat them like lepers. Some live in the woods up this way, and I only know that because some other vets and friends of vets are building them little houses, which made the local news. I also got a chance to mention Senator Bob Smith’s relatively unsupported crusade, twice, to get some of our guys and/or some of their remains back (fruitlessly), and how we were asked to turn in our POW/MIA bracelets at the visiting Wall, if I remember clearly, which is where I noted that “Lt. JG Wayne Wolfkeil” was still listed in the book (as COL, and, in another record as Major) of the unfound/unreturned servicepeople decades later.

Daughter wondered if there was anything in her Midwest area she might do for Nam vets. There could well be, but if not, I told her I think they might say to help the new war-ravaged vets via something like Wounded Warriors.org. We signed off, saying we’d remember the Nam vets in prayer, wherever they are. We will.

Well, it’s 9:10 a.m. on the last Saturday in November. It’s just me, daughter, and a Syl-like 2-year old. Hence, we’ll skip the tea in little bowls, and though I just threw away a million stale marshmallows, we’ll think of something. 🙂 Or the toddler will..

Hope you’re having a marvelous morn!

Peace.


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Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s one of the 100 or so days every year that I’m thankful to not live on a boat! We’ll reach a “high” of 18°F today, if we all behave.

Lots of cooking about to happen here, now (lots of prep for days before)!

One of my ever strong thankfuls is for the Created world’s Planned beauty. There are sights our human eyes have beheld that can’t even come across in the arts, almost as if — or exactly as if — they have too Personal a content to be able to let mere words enter. Like viewing a newborn, only less so.

Two days ago, it was a dark-sky day, so, already the winter wonderlandness was stunning — fresh snow adhered to every branch, bud and blade and every bit of the earth’s surface, except for the dark water of ponds.

I slowed the car this late-darkening afternoon for the upcoming pond view.. there was by then, and remained all eve, a low bank of puffy white clouds above the snow-studded everything ringing the midnight-hued pond and its islands..

I could form no words. I gasped, shook my head, and said to Him in Gasparian, “Oh, that.. that right there.. oh!” And it made me cry for a second!

I’m wishing you all such a moment, if not also turkey, 6 of which, by the way, I saw strolling around someone’s rural yard yesterday! And that made me laugh! I wish you that sort of mirth as well.

And.. I thank you, too.


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A crunch underfoot, and the week that was

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I spent a little of last night trying to get anything to work on Facebook — feed, settings, opening photos, but I knew it wasn’t entirely my Google-less phone’s fault when the feed didn’t work and that something had been changed on Facebook’s end. I figured it out this morn, but I tire of figuring out things. Hence, when the new WP editor becomes mandatory, I may give up the textual ghost and just edit pages and pages of verse for posthumous publication. (“Did you know Mom wrote poetry??” Surely, it will go well.)

Until then, there is now. Today. It’s all we ever really have, so…

Still doing the Christmas crazy-thing, here (almost done, almost done!), there’s a new faucet set in the kitchen (Wolfgang would approve, hence, it looks out of place but works just fine), and there was a 2-hour school delay from snow, back a few days when I had more marbles.

This coming week there are 3 days off from school, one of which I’ll be covering, more snow/cold coming, and a trip out of state for one of us. The rest of us will do the turkey thing, here. There will be at least 7 of us and perhaps the fellow from the halfway house.

Usually, I just want to not do the traditional at all, i.e., “Look, let’s get bagels and head down to the pier/park and commune with the other-living, there. (I’d have made a really good wino.) Let’s go breathe in salt air and shout, ‘Thank You!’ and feed the ‘gulls and..”  No? It’s always, “Heck, no,” actually. Turkey-daughter assures me she would crash the soup kitchen for a turkey dinner. We don’t want that.

Things that stood out for me: The water over the dam. The lead-up to it runs across the land, and although the water was absolutely crashing over the edge, the flat part seemed as still and smooth as a mirror. Its darkness was outlined in snow and the trees were perfectly reflected in it. Stunning! And, coming back from a school delivery, I came upon the cutest snow-pawprints in the whole world near the pumpkins on the front steps. They made me laugh. Later, grandson and I spotted even tinier ones which looked just like cat-pawprints in miniature, but were most likely made by the gray squirrels’ cousin, the red.

In the midst of a country with fires (and firings) of every kind taking people down, one has to count one’s blessings. It’s funnier to say in posts that I don’t, but I certainly do. Every Thursday that isn’t hungry or woeful is reason for a Thanksgiving feast. Every day that’s warm inside and has a private bed at the end of labors that matter only in the long run, is a thankable-to-Him-and-others day. Every Sunday is a show-up-to-thank-Him day.

I am tremendously blessed. I wish everyone was. They won’t be, unless I do my thing towards that. Unless we all do our thing towards that.

We are family. God bless us, every one.

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