Sunday, May 22, 2016

Maturation on a Slow Simmer

Awestruck by your own uniqueness or amazed at how different everyone else is? Life is a diversity only a God could imagine with each existence as important to that individual as yours is to you. The egocentric never seem to get that.
My friend, Sheri Gaber, a woman far more spiritually advanced than I showed me that as I learned patience and self control, I must learn respect. Thanks, Sheri.
Respect, how it folds back on to itself, if one does not have it for all, you don’t really have it for yourself.
Cripe, I always feel so stupid during epiphany moments when I finally get something, not just intellectually, but really get it at the core. Something so simple had evaded me for so long, duh. Some day I’ll have enough self respect to not feel that way; won’t that be fine!
When we get together with others to trade energy, we leave feeling happier or sadder, or worse angry. I must learn that out of respect for myself, I need to stay away from people whose company I leave feeling worse. Some of those people are the most fun, interesting, well met people I know, but I’ve found I’m happier without them in my life.
Big epiphany moment is realizing that you have an allergy addiction to some people. It boings you over the head, when the sweet tart you enjoyed last night has your eyes swollen in the morning. You had so much fun; you want to do it again, but your eyes are always swollen after. Not good for me, but I just love it; talk about sick! Shit, that sounds like my food allergies where we have another example of not good for me, but do it anyway.

In two weeks my 68th birthday rolls around, so maturity is bound to happen. I’ll keep you posted.     

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Retirement Gone to the Dogs

Retire to the tropics, say so long winter weather; that’s how I planned it. Live on a salad bowl island and travel from there; that was the plan. And if it weren’t for the dog situation, I’d enjoy my retirement in Puerto Rico so much more.
For the first time in my adult life I planned to be dog less. I love dogs, but my life’s plan was to travel. The fates in the form of the Great Recession screwed with that pretty hard, but if I budget I can have a few fine travel experiences. It’s amazing what I’m willing to live without in order to travel.
From the very beginning retirement planning included waiting for a time when our dogs passed from old age. In the mean time we visited our house in Puerto Rico getting accustomed to life on the island.
Dogs began to show up at our door. Cute dogs of differing breeds and sizes wanted a little food, some water. There is no place to take the dog where it will be cared for and not killed, so what does a dog lover do?
Damn, right you feed! You water, you treat, medicate and sterilize; it’s the right thing to do. Dogs came and went before I started counting how much money I’d invested in the flow of animals.
Whoa, I’m on a fixed income, not the retirement I’d planned; there is no room in my budget for a steady stream of dogs. I’ve paid for enough sterilizations and vaccinations that I’m starting to get pissed.  Oddly, it’s more because I get the dogs neutered, healthy, and trained; and then, they disappear. All these missing dogs and no bodies; it doesn’t add up.
So let’s get this straight, according to the law 154 if I feed it, it’s mine. But assholes can drop a dog out of a car window at the bottom of my driveway for me to provide the animal’s rights.
The sheer numbers of dogs that come through here make it impossible for me to ever hope to sterilize, vaccinate, or more than feed.
I can return to the states so I’m not forced to see the dogs in need. But how does that help the dogs?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tripping Down the Path to Contentment

Finding the path from sadness and depression to contentment, that’s so hard. On days when I have something to do I’m good. There’s no more crying during the party for me; tears are brief and more bitter-sweet.
Convincing myself to enjoy the rich texture that is my life because Kirt shared it with me works, when I take the time to remind myself.   Lost in the abyss of alone comes easy.
When I’m with other people, even if the connection is minimal, I feel better than alone. Frequently relief and tranquility greet me at the door after a dose of strangers, but being alone requires self stimulation; what do I do with me?
When Kirt would praise the beautiful flowers surrounding us on our porch, I felt so sweet to please him. I loved doing things for him, with him. Our relationship could be described as dynamic, but there was always love; sometimes more, or not, dynamic.

I am so blessed to have had the ups and downs of love in my life. Perhaps, if I loved myself as much as my husband did, well, who knows? 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Open Letter to My Niece

To my niece,
I am so glad that you write to me. I think we’re having a hard time of it. You must miss Tim and I know I miss Kirt. If I don’t constantly push myself to go out, to be social; I won’t.
The old lady rocking on the porch holds a lifetime of limits in her lap. We’re the common folk of the planet, not children of the rich or famous. The struggles of our lives are written in our bodies.
Your Uncle Kirt used to say, “Every time I see a can of Bush Beans my knees hurt.” Did your mom pick for them? I thought she did. Kirt had a special way about him; his sister adored him, and he her. I didn’t see your mom a real lot, but there was always an easy way between us, when we did.
You were twelve when you first stood out to me. I thought you were smart and had beautiful penmanship; tall and thin with long blonde hair didn’t hurt either.
When I think about my life there’s two ways I can go on it, first, the way I grew up thinking about things, which is I could have done more, had more, been more, in short, what was wrong with it. Mostly, I am just tickled at what a great life I’ve had, hard as shit but worth everyday.
On the porch is not bad or sitting under a tree contemplating passes a day just fine, but last month I pushed myself to go to nighttime jazz concert by myself. At first I felt so scared; it’s not as if my Spanish is good.  I got lost on the way and cursed myself for going, but give me live jazz music for a fine evening and you’ll see a smile into the next day! It was worth it.
Dear niece I don’t know what gives you pleasure, what gives you a big smile, but we need to put doses of it in our lives regularly!

It hurt me to read that you felt like a worthless lump. I’ve been there; it’s not good. HATED IT!!
For me exercise, getting out listening to music, travel, and friends, oh, don’t let me forget being an animal advocate is everything.  It’s not what I had, but there is joy in it.  
Please, do something good for yourself today!


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day to Moms of a Lesser Model

Mother, my mother, this drizzly May morning set aside to honor women, whose uterus has produced, calls me to ponder you.

The duty call made at eight on Saturday, not too late, just in time to say,
 “Happy mother’s day; enjoy your day. You sound tired; I’ll let you go.”
You must have done something right; after all, I still call.

Over the years and beyond the tears we know each other very little and love even less. One of the few stories you ever told me of your life was the one during the Great Depression about getting relief shoes, the girls at school teasing you, and how you would polish those shoes. You hated what you had because it wasn’t enough.
Your mother, my nana, a young widow, dragged her gimpy leg to work as a Walgreen’s waitress in Chicago’s Loop to support her five children. That had to be depressing.
Nana told me her childhood stories of cold Michigan winters, hanging noodles indoors on a clothes line attached at one end to a big stone fireplace in the center of the house, the dishes she learned to cook at her mother’s side.  Nana was the most fervent Catholic I have ever known; she gave definition to the word innocent. 
As the daughter of a deceased Chicago Detective Captain, my mother must have had many eyes on her behavior; until she went to San Francisco to meet the marine she married in WWII.
In all of my years I’ve never met another policeman’s wife as na├»ve as my nana, but during an emergency, like the time I cut my thumb on a butcher knife while drying dishes, she did what had to be done without histrionics, simply matter of fact. A family crisis with yelling and screaming she endured by sitting small and sweet with a dazed expression. Nana never talked about pain or suffering.

Mother never shared more than a detail here or there. She seemed to fear her older brother, Henry, but handsome younger brother, Bobby had her heart.
The Great Depression and World War II must own many screwed up lives; certainly, yours, my mother, is one. The Great Recession has gratuitously given me plenty to be pissed about, so mother I have more empathy than I ever cared to have.  
Because of you I’ve endured great physical and emotional pain, but I absorbed it; all of the family’s rage is dissolved. I let it go.
When you search your body for the pain of a daughter’s anger, mine won’t be there. I’ve struggled to understand and forgive you for most of my adult life. To say the least, you weren’t the mom they write sonnets for, but given your circumstances I believe; well, we do what we do.
To my Grandma, my dad’s mom, Happy Mother’s Day! You are the best!!
To Nana, I loved your stories; thanks for sharing about our family. You are so special.
Aunt Margaret, I know it comes as a shot we’re not as great as we think we are, but please know that you inspired me to greatness. You’ll always be great in my life.
Mom, you had a hard life; mine turned out so much better.
Thanks, I mean that.
God loves us all!! Hip-hip-hooray, have a good day!