Sunday, April 28, 2019

So Many Things

Where should I start?  Where should I go?

The President is an idiot and our city's Farmer's Market was selling bananas this weekend.  I ogled a Tesla in Denver this week, only to find out that a Tesla had been parked in our yard this week, as well.  (What?!  Parking a car in my green space?!!)

I did a Southwest road trip last week and the week before: Denver, Santa Fe, Breckenridge, Denver, and home again.  Jigger-jig. Such relaxing fun.  Just me, a car radio, and many memories. 

I drove to Santa Fe to pick up some of my Dad's sculptures from an art gallery which was closing (retiring owner).  The morning I arrived to fetch said sculptures was also very emotional to me: the morning two years ago when Dad passed.  I certainly had not planned this morning.  I spent quite some time packing sculptures and placing them in my station wagon.  All was said and done.  I said my farewells to the gallery owners, who are so kind, and who knew my parents for decades. I embraced the gallery manager, and I her that it was two years ago in the morning, that Dad had passed.  She broke into tears. 

How crystal clear things are, even when one does not want it that way.  Dad lapsed into a coma just around 5:30 pm on Wednesday, and twelve hours later, 5:30 am Thursday, he passed.  I was by his side, as was my sweet, sweet nephew Steve.  I could not have spent that night in the peace that I felt, without sweet and kind Steve looking out for me every hour of that night.   

And here I am, two years out of that sad tunnel.  Dad is gone, and Mom followed him soon after.  My Mother-in-law, in Australia, passed just weeks after my Dad.  My father-in-law, in Australia, followed his love of life too soon as well. 

Four parents.  They taught us so well.  It's one of the "Thanks be to God" prayers  But such a tough experience.   

As for the bananas?  Seriously?  Manhattan, Kansas will not even enjoy home-grown tomatoes until really late June - July.  Shame on the Farmer's Market for allowing bananas, early tomatoes, and other produce.  Seriously?!  Those "farmers" are going to Wal Mart and getting produce which has been grown in Mexico.  Pooh.

So many things. 

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Get a Grip and Brace Up!

This afternoon I pulled up the year 1966 on Wikipedia.  I was six that year, and I have memories of swimming lessons, Brittany Spaniel puppies in the back yard, the boat house on weekends, catching crawdads in the ditch, know: kid things.

Whoa!  1966 was not a happy year.  There was Vietnam (our next door neighbor Gene was in Viet Nam, but his parents waved their patriotic Marine flag, and my parents shielded me from atrocities (as well they should have, in my opinion), and so I was not made aware of overseas confrontations and horrors. 

There were the race riots.  Again, I was living in a Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm life.  Most, if not all, folks living in Pryor Creek were either Caucasian (white) or Indian (Native American).  There were few instances for me or my family to rub elbows with anyone not "of their color". 

I was not privy, at age six, to race riots or war demonstrations. 

And then, 1966 was in the midst of hallucinogenic drugs, particularly LSD.  WHOA! 

So, there were race riots, war demonstrations, and LSD was soon to be made illegal. 

Today, this year, the past two years, have been sort of bleak, from my vantage point on the American horizon.  I don't like the horizon one bit.  I try to be upbeat, I try to see beyond what's bothering a lot of us.  Sometimes, though, I just throw my arms up in despair.

But I have to say, looking back at 1966, when I was just a silly kitten, things must have felt pretty bleak then, too.  I am glad my parents shielded me from the pain and negativity of the world at that moment.

And in my soul-searching this afternoon, I began thinking about America life in the 50s, the 40s. the 30s...and so on.  I think I need to re-visit all the decades of our American history.  I am thinking each decade, and certainly each generation, had its hardships and despairs.  Too, we need to learn from our mistakes. What a young country we are.

And so, I tell myself, "Buck up.  Brace up".   

Sunday, March 24, 2019


Two years ago, family needs found several high school chums back in our hometown of Pryor Creek, Oklahoma.  We got together, had some laughs, and said, "We really need to get together sometime."

Last month, I realized it had been two years since that sentiment was shared.  And we had done nothing to act upon it. 

I secured the family home in the Colorado mountains, sent an email invitation to four high school chums (one of which abhors the word chum, but this is my blog, and I like it.)  Within twelve hours, all had RSVP'd with a hearty YES!  They would come.  Two were to fly in one, lives within the Colorado region, and one wanted to drive up from southern Texas.  I would arrive a few days before the weekend, to get the family home in comfy atmosphere - groceries, etc.

Well.  As I arrived in Denver, chum Sarah called me: "Have you seen the news?!!" 

"No, what's up?"

"There are avalanches closing I-70 between Frisco (our exit) and Vail!"

Uh-oh.  I did a quick re-think of the weekend.  I opted for unplanned Plan B: Take a VRBO in Denver - specifically, the VRBO we had used two years ago for daughter Gillian's wedding weekend.  I knew the house, I knew the neighborhood.  Boom!  Done deal.

What transpired was the most amazing, fun, and laughter-filled weekend.  How did we friends let forty years slip by?  True, we were all separated by geography.  And Senior '78 came way before PCs, email, and smart phones.  (Ouch; I did get a blistering this weekend because I am still carrying a flip phone and do not text.)  But the sweet thing was, that we picked up exactly where we had left off, some of us in high school, and some of us kept up through college.  Lisa & I backpacked through Europe our last year of college - I from Oklahoma State, and she from Georgetown.  Melissa and I kept up through OSU years, and sent a few notes back & forth through my first year at motherhood.  Denise is beautiful, and she organizes two beauty pageants in Oklahoma each year.  She was diagnosed with Parkinson's this year.  What?!  But, true to her teen years, her wit and spice only made us laugh when the Parkinson's reared its head that weekend.  Sarah and I have kept in touch, year in and year out, for fifty-nine years.  Amazing.  Sometimes we are each other's ballast for what life has dealt to us.

Each and every one of these chums (sorry, Sarah), are funny, and smart, and worldly.  Even though Melissa's family lived across the street from us early on, and we were playmates since forever, I did not know that she was adopted until I was an adult.  We caught up sometime after our college years, and I mentioned that to her - that I had no idea she was adopted.  "Trish, how could you not have known?  I'm Native American.  My parents and brother (nine years older) all look Irish!"  I countered that I was #5 child in our family, a towhead among dark brunettes.  Genetics, apparently, never was a thought process in my head.     

What a fun weekend.  That's all I can say.  We are forty years older.  But we still love each other, and celebrate each other.  How sweet is that?


Saturday, March 02, 2019

Something New

That Spouse o' Mine and I went out and bought a house this week. 

Ha!  Not for us - we already have a ca 1887 farmhouse we call home.  AND this is our third home, living in three different college towns.  (And more accurately, we live outside the city limits of said college town.) 

When we were the parents of three concurrent college kids, there was little chance that we would be able to afford to both pay college tuitions (in triplicate) and purchase a student rental home, as so many parents do, in order for their kids to have a place to live beyond a college dorm.  I am not really sure how we financially got those kids through college, but somehow it happened.  It's a blur...

Now, fast-forward about a decade, and we two have some time, and some money.  Not a whopping amount of either, mind you, but enough that we decided to look at student rental investment this past month.

We (that Spouse o' Mine, actually) came upon a cute house not far from the university which looked like it had some potential, if someone (me, apparently?) had enough time and energy to envision its potential. 

So we bought it.  And now, the angst and anxiety.  And now, the excitement and fun.  And now, the Omigoodnesses.  In both directions.

This house was built way after our own 1887 farmhouse.  A contemporary, built in 1920.  Pocket doors.  Brass hardware throughout, which has also been painted over throughout.  (Too many landlords before us have sought the easy way.  Who knows?  Maybe we will, too.)  Leaded glass windows.  Beveled glass front door.  Of course, hardwood floors.

Yes, there are issues - what house has no issues? 

Today I changed the locks, hung a curtain in the front room (it's Fake Patty's Day today; read: lots of drinking and drunk college kids walking down our sidewalk while I worked on switchplates and such), measured all the windows, made notes for new bathroom vanities and more. 

It's a starting point, this weekend.  So many of our friends are landlords in this college town and others, so this is probably a yawn for them.  But for us two, it's a new venture.   

Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

I Do Love Me a Winter

The forecast put folks in their winter panic: Snow!  Snowmageddon!  Ice!  IceTurion!

We're in Kansas.  This weekend's forecast would not have caused a missed heartbeat in Michigan.  Or New England.  Or dear, sweet Madison, Wisconsin, where daughter & SIL Claire & Rich reside.  Last week, they took the -27ยบ with bravado!  That's not wind chill, no sirree: that's actual cold winter.

Our weekend has been cold, and snowy, and I have loved it.  Every time I have ventured out on my XC skis, it's been a joy to my day.  I have come in each time to exclaim that I would love it if I could XC ski every day of our winter.  And note - my skiing has been in a brome pasture, not groomed at all.  The balance and drift of the snow (and brome) has really played a part in balance and lack thereof, sore muscles, lower back complaints, and such.  But, oh!  What fun!!

And you know what?  I have embraced the silence of the snow.  The cardinals, the titmouses, the blue jays, bluebirds, and the sweet sparrows are all out there trying to feed and get moisture. That barred owl and I locked eyes for many a long minute.  I think we were playing Chicken on who would move first.  (He did, but I think it was caused by my sitting down in a snow drift to watch him.  I lost, in retrospect.)

What a wonderful weekend for me.

How about you?

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