Sunday, August 28, 2011

Acedia? Really?

     Just finished listening to Acedia and Me by Kathleen Norris.  Never heard of acedia, and it’s been around literally for ages. A malady of sorts afflicting solitaries like monks and hermits. It was considered a precursor to one of the 7 deadly sins - sloth. It’s a spiritual sloth.
     What attracted me to it? The blurb mentioned daily boredom, so I immediately downloaded it and listened to it all this week. While I hate to admit I am ever bored (I choose to do nothing), that choice is what drew me to this. Depression, ennui, nothingness all try to be wrapped up into one big ball. But she really had a number of similarities in her life that related to me. Phrases like "Why bother making the bed, it will only need to be unmade later tonight". The lack of even body hygiene was mentioned, shaving, brushing teeth, showering become chores to avoid.  Why Bother and Who Cares are common. The desire to avoid repetition was a real kicker to me because I couldn’t figure out why I avoided doing things, stacking materials, constructing quilt blocks differently…not following the same routine. I had recently been puzzled about this and then all of a sudden this author gives it a name - acedia. So how do I separate this from just depression? The latter is a chemical imbalance and acedia is a choice. But if I go back to Wayne Dywer’s Excuses Begone, the act of choice and attitude can change DNA and brain function. SO does that mean that someone's bipolar disorder could have been a choice? Could depression be a choice?
     I remember after my hysterectomy I was a basket case and in my mind I kept hearing “Suzy, snap out of this! You are better than this,” and I chose to ignore it. I wanted to be depressed. Even though I hated it, it was my choice.  Maybe I was trying to punish outside forces in my life - Wayne, our financial circumstances, work…instead of looking inside of myself and realizing it was all on me. The comment about Norris hating the woman she sat next to because her jaw kept popping as she ate. But aren’t autistic people wired to react to outside disturbances like that? Do they have a choice?
     Boy this is really big to me. I have been trying to figure out how I can continue to work, tutor, exercise, meet friends, and still feel incomplete, I sit and watch mindless TV, while avoiding quilting and reading and writing. - those things I claim to love doing. I seem to crave having a schedule but avoid repetition.
     So, what do you think? Has anyone else heard of this or relate to it?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Suzanne's "Bible"

 I am a collector of quotations. For more than 30 years I placed a quotation in the blackboard for students to write about or discuss.  To narrow down to a few "to live by" may be impossible but here goes: I have at this moment 8 phrases that I want to center around my life.  I have to keep reminding myself that this is what is important. I don’t always understand them all, and sometimes the meaning changes or reveals something different about me or the world around me.  Ironically, most are bible verses.  I wonder what quotes you might have for your "Bible."

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
I struggle with my faith all the time, especially when Chris died and my sense of “feeling him near me” was lost. I grew up with a lot of faith, yet I do recall asking many times as a youngster for a “sign” from God which never came. To keep my faith I had to re-invent. Re-write my idea of who God was.  I don’t think I am angry with Him, because I don’t think he controls us or our actions. Free will, you know. But I do have faith that if we live our lives in honor of those we have lost, in the end, we will have peace in our hearts. Peace - Faith is there a connection to these two things?
Love never fails. Beloved, let us love one another. (1 John 4:7)
My love for Wayne comes to the forefront. Because it is the hardest to do. Not because of who Wayne is, not at all. But more in the fact that on a day to day, moment to moment basis, loving another person all the time is a challenge. A mother usually has an unconditional love for her children. That’s usually a given. But the commitment to love another person for a lifetime takes strength, flexibility, forgiveness, forgetfulness, and kindness. That is love to me, and with those in place, love will not fail.
Whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. (Phillipians 4:8)
I have to work at this one all the time. So many bad reports are out there in the news, on others’ lips, in the actions we see… it’s easy to fall into complaining about them, gossiping about the bad things people do, or griping about the injustices that befall us. I revert to my mother’s adage “Chew your tongue to hamburger.”  But that is only half the battle. I need to verbalize the praises.
In all things, do unto others as you would have others do unto you. (Mathew 7:12)
The old Golden Rule we learned as children - too perfect to leave out.
The Truth of the Lord endures forever. Hold fast the truth. (Psalm 117:2) or  To thine own self be true. (Shakespeare)
Save this for another day… I’m not sure if truth has a finite definition. One man’s truth can be another man’s lie. But this  “truth of the Lord” - not sure what it is. Another thought I just heard again last night… “I didn’t lie, the truth changed.”
 There is a right time for everything: A time to be born, a time to die; a time to sow ; a time to reap; a time to kill; a time to heal; a time to destroy; a time to rebuild; a time to cry, a time to laugh; a time grieve, a time to laugh; a time for scattering stones, a time to gather stones; a time to hug, a time to not hug; a time to find, a time to lose; a time for keeping, a time for throwing away; a time to tear, a time to repair; a time to be quiet, a time to speak up; a time for loving, a time for hating; a time for war, a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
We just don’t always know or can judge what the right time is. It will take a lifetime to get it right.
We have to let go of the life we planned to start living the life waiting for us. (Joseph Campbell)
This is a kick me in the face kind of realization. As a young and stupid adult, I thought that  if I was well grounded and follow a strong path, then I would have a good life. The bumps, potholes, and black holes  in the road of my journey have rattled my teeth and shaken my chassis to the core. I can either dump the truck or find a way to get back on the road - whether it is finding the right tools, newer parts, or a good mechanic.  The road will always be there, the type of auto is not important. It’s who you are with, and the attitude you have - Happiness is a mode of transportation, not a destination.
Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging. (Joseph Campbell)
This is a lifelong lesson that I have heard many times, many ways, but one that I have repeated to the kids in their short lives when things are tough. Another way we’ve worded it is “that which does not kill you makes you stronger.” No matter how you say it, we have to power within ourselves to overcome any trouble that comes our way. I resist this one because it sort of goes against the Christian philosophy that we need Christ to pick us up when we are overwhelmed. In my studies of the lost scriptures - the Gnostic Bible, the former is a core thought, but was left out of the New Testaments by who knows.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Choice

 His foot ached, but he knew by the itch that it was healing, and he released the pain from his mind.  If only he could release all pain that way.  The Coach had taught him that pain trick playing football last fall, and he couldn't remember how many times he had put it to use.  Coach had helped in so many ways since he took him in last year.  He owed a lot to Coach.
   But this summer he felt a pull to go see her. Getting that job in Hadley's Ice House last month was a stroke of luck. If he had only not slipped and cut his foot so badly.  He would have to use his thinking as well as what little money he had earned.  Jumping on the freight train in the Lubbock backlot, he had spent five days avoiding the patrols and catching bits of food until he made  it to Georgia.
Now, sharing a meal of rabbit and canned beans with a "trav'ling man" he had to figure a way to get to Lakeland, Florida.  Shifting his sixteen-year-old boy/man frame on the hard ground, itch and ache pushed to the back of his mind, Max mulled over the old hobo's warning..." don't you git caught hitchhiking here in Georgia now, boy. They'll slap yall on a chain-gang 'fore ya knowd what hit ya."
Later, while the old  man slept, Max pulled off his shoe, unwrapped his foot, pulling the few dollars he had between the bandages and glanced at the healing gash that stretched across the tender arch.  In the dim light of the glowing coals, he counted out six five dollar bills and three ones.   He wanted to save most of it to buy a suit, but maybe he could squeeze out enough to get a bus ticket, too.  With his mind eased a bit, he wrapped up the money and the foot as carefully as a skilled doctor, and stretched out to get a few hours of sleep before daybreak.
    Walking up the old wooden steps and on to the white Southern porch, Max proudly brushed off his new khaki turn-ups and straightened the cotton argyle sweater over his old shirt.  Even with the bus ticket, new pants and sweater he had managed to still have four dollars and thirty-three cents.
     The twisting door chime felt cold to his fingers and echoed a chilling shrill in his ears. Standing tall in the shade of the giant magnolia tree, he waited.
Her familiar step on the wooden floorboards replaced the chime's screeching echo.  Two whole years and he could still identify her short, quick step.
    "Hi,   Mom!"
     A  look of surprise, love and confusion crowded her prim lady-like features before the recognition registered.  The screen  door flew open. The pale crepe-soft cheek caressed the tanned,  peach-fuzzy face.  Embracing her last child, she closed her eyes to soak in the touch that she could only remember as her own hand on her own cheek. Hold tight.       Her arms felt the newly emerged  muscles in his back and shoulders.  Pulling him to arms length she spoke through her tears,   "Oh,  son, you've grown so much.   How did you get here?"
    "By  bus, Momma.  Surprised?"
    "Well, yes.I just didn't expect you to come all this way."
    Embarrassed  by  her smothering perusal,  the  uncomfortable heat outside  was beginning to rub on his collar and  he  sought for something else to say,  "How's  Poppa Copeland?"
    Her soft pillow body stiffened, "Fine.  But he  really doesn't know people when he sees them.   Sometimes  he  still thinks  I'm a little girl,  or even your Grammy Copeland.   His tirades are pretty fierce and then he'll  just float off into some far off place  and I just let him be. But, here now, come on in.  It's  hotter'nblazes out there."
    Unsteadily,  Max  entered  the  house,  the screen door snapping shut behind him as Susan led her  son to the kitchen.  Pulling out a chair from the center table she invited him to sit.  "Would  you like  some  lemonade? The ice man just  left. Want  some chipped  ice,  too?   Feeling a quick jab on the sole of his foot, Max accepted with a polite,  "Yes'M."  As she busied herself  making the drink, an air of uncomfortable silence hung over the kitchen like frosty frozen air.
     "Momma,   when do you think you might be coming back?"
     The graying tendrils, escaping the hair combs hid her eyes.
     "Son, I'd really like to, but Poppa's just not well enough for me to leave.   He needs me."
His teeth  bit his retorting remark on his tongue, tasting the bitterness in his mouth rather  than hearing it. "Well, do you think I could stay awhile?  School doesn't start for six  more weeks?"
     "Well, I'll ask Poppa, son. We'll see what he says, OK?"
From the upstairs Max and his mother heard the roar of  Poppa's voice booming his demand for attention.
"Susie, who's down  there?  I hear voices.  Who's in my house?"
Susan gave her son a fearful look and without excusing herself pulled away from the table to make her way up the stairs to her father's room.Max heard the voices exchanging booming demands and meek explanations...
    "Who is that man down there?  .Is he coming to take you away? 1 told you, NO suitors in this house...don't you give me your lip, child. Susie, you get him outta here, or I'll take the situation into my own hands, do you hear?
    Although the voices were mutely mingled in conflicting anger and beseeching submission, Max clearly heard the continual click and spin of a gun
He jumped in horror at the  sound, but the protective instinct sent him through the unfamiliar hallway to the foot of the stairs.  He could  see his mother slowly backing out of the upstairs bedroom soothingly crooning, "OK, Poppa.  I'll tell him. I'll  tell him."
     She turned to face her son at the bottom of the stairs and her descending steps made the floor boards emit faint screams of rejection as he anticipated her words. She stopped on the center step, as if she had lost her direction.  An attempted glance to her son fell to the comfort of the icy blue carpet on the steps. "Max, he's not well. He just doesn't know who you are.  I don't know how to get through to him."  Her eyes drifted up to the continual faint click-spin above their heads.  She turned back to her son, but the confusing indecision forced her eyes downward.
    Max could sense the  same failing fear a half life ago when Daddy died, everyone else grown up, moved away. He and mom left so alone, so destitute.  Buck up, Rut. It's your move, he  told himself.  "Mom, I think I'd better go."
     Relinquishing a deep, weary breath, Susan nodded releasing more than a sigh, "Do you have bus fare?"
    "Sure, Mom, I'll be fine. You know I will."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Inquire Within

   I was sifting through a few journal entries this morning and found this "Author Unknown"  piece that I want to share.  Too many times we are trapped in wondering how to fill our days productively or wish for things we can't have.  I liked this analogy, and I hope you do too.  If you know who might have written this, please let me know. Have a wonderful day on your journey.

If, as Herod, we fill our lives with things, and again with things; if we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have time to make the slow, long journey across the desert as did the Magi?  Or sit and watch the stars as did the shepherds? Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary?  For within each of us there is a desert to travel. A star to discover. And a being within ourselves to bring to life. ~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

You Can't Get Away from It!

Okay, I just need a moment to vent a little.

      You just can't get away from the lack of money. It’s only those with it, who say money isn’t everything. Oh, I know it isn’t either, but it seems every time I turn around, the issue of its absence in my life rears its ugly head. We will have to survive on my tiny retirement, and we definitely are quite frugal in our lives, yet broken hot water heaters, balding tires, and kids who also seem to have the same affliction need help. And then the case of the IRS coming after me, albeit mistaken (or is it really stolen) identities where collection agencies send demanding letters threatening to ruin you if you don’t fork over $147,000.(eventually resolved, but still!!)
       The constant bargain hunting, coupon clipping, “want vs. need” cutting keeps me in the know that lack of money is ever present. And the news on TV…same thing. Every evening report has something about the economy slump, bottom out jobs, and stock droppings. They shovel out this crap into our living rooms every day. It’s almost as bad as the national mindset that growing old is a mortal sin, and no one should have sagging skin, graying hair, age spots. Of course that mindset just feeds the NoMoney Monster because that all costs, too. The news is just the tip of the iceberg. When it goes to commercial, the screen is flooded with advertisements for high priced prescriptions, perfect hair shampoo, ageless skin creams or discreetly buying your Depends through the mail. And to make it worse, that “beauty industry” has not slowed down meaning that even those without money will give up anything else to keep their tresses highlighted and their nails polished. And heaven forbid that people find out that the Baby Boomers need to hide their bladder incontinence.
   Magazines, community newspapers, flyers stuck in your front door all harp for services, and products to improve your face, your house, or your yellowing teeth. Very few things are regarding the necessities of life, only the extras. And the extras are what has to be cut out when you don’t have the money. You can’t get away from it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Angel Sister

     "Hey! That's my baby spoon!" I didn't give you permission to use it!" I demanded.
     "Oh, I'm not hurting it.  Besides, aren't you a little old to be worrying about your baby spoon?"
     "Well, don't you think you're a little old to be using it?"  And with that futile attempt as a last word, I stomped off to the solace of my room to mope about one more of the ten-thousand-plus confrontations my sister and I had exchanged for most of our speaking lives.
     Try as she might, poor Mom never could keep us from locking horns over just about any detail of the tiniest proportions.  I always dubiously regarded her comments about God blessing me with a little sister like Janie, so I would have someone to play with.  Surely it must have been a cruel joke to have to unwillingly share my room, my clothes, my privileges, even my boyfriends with this "playmate."   Nothing was too small to argue about.
     But this was really a tiny thing.  A miniature silver baby spoon given to me at birth.  Janie's was with in reach and pretty, too, with a daisy on the handle, that represented a secret symbol we only knew as special to Mom.  But, mine spoke of a legacy, a heritage because of its resemblance to a traditional southern pattern, Old Master's that the "well-established" Southern lady inherited at the time of her "well-established" marriage.  The tiny handle's exquisite curves of filagree and flowers grew even richer and more precious as I grew.
     It's not uncommon for sisters to engage in the age old custom of power play, but Janie seemed to be born for the part. She was constantly pursuing any nerve that would send me into a selfish rage, whittling me into "The Whiny One" and she as "The Innocent Angel."   And only hours later to silently assault me with that incessant, victorious gleam in her eye and devilish grin.
     Reflectively, I'd have to admit her faults were not all necessarily created by her own hand.  She must have inherited the gene of  a recreational food trimmer from our darling dad.  The biggest problem with her desire to snack,. was that she hated to get caught because she would then be the brunt of her sibling's "fat blimp" jokes - a detestable event to be sure.  To justify her snacking, she wouldn't dish out a full serving of ice cream or pudding or custard.  She would only take "just a bite,"  or trim the pie "just a little."  To add insult to injury, she would use the smallest spoon available and quickly drop the spoon into the sink to avoid being caught in the act.  This continued throughout our teenage years - much to the dismay of me finding my precious spoon soiled and thoughtlessly cast aside.
     Mom would try to calm my silly melodramatic rages by saying, "Now, don't sweat the little things, Suzy.  Sisters are more precious than any spoon."
     "Yeah, right, Mom," I would mumble, trying to avoid any more of her "Love Thy Sister" speech.  Deep down I knew she was right.  All her guidance and support had not all gone down the drain.  Janie and I had both developed a strong sense of love for God and demonstrated that love daily with those around us.   We had been hospital volunteers and Vacation Bible School teachers and never hesitated to help anyone in need. We even helped each other with shared chores or homework on rare occasions...until...
      One sad and predictable evening when Janie and I were cleaning up the kitchen after dinner.  The sink was piled with the evening's cast-offs of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green salad.  Bones, celery stalks, potato and carrot peelings littered and covered the the sink; dishes scattered from one end of the counter to the other.
     Of course, we were practicing our usual sisterly encounter of cooperative activity.  The events of  a not so successful school day seemed to pile in on the rest of the sink's slop.  Once again she had gotten the upper hand. This time by clinching a date with a boy I had had my eyes on for weeks.  We were exchanging barbs left and right as the dishes were being piled on the left after the garbage ad been scraped into the right side to eventually be demolished by the disposal. Finally, the dishes were in the dishwasher, and Janie flipped the switch to the disposal.   The sickening gut-wrenching sound of metal chewing metal invaded our ears. .  Simultaneously we reached for the switch to silence the assault. Giving Janie one of my famous "killer" scowls, I gingerly placed my hand into the bowels of the sink, slipping past crushed carrots, limp lettuce, and mashed mush to touch the interloper of the disposal.  My fingers wrapped around the intruder, and I let the sink relinquish its slimy hold on me.  I first noted the recognition, not with my eyes, but at that spot inside  that grabs your stomach at the worst possible place and sends a stinging shock throughout your intestines.  The shattered vision of my feeding my darling future child with my very own heirloom had just been reduced to a jagged mass of silver-black.
     "You really did it this time!" I shrieked and stormed out of the kitchen, not even looking back to see if triumph or remorse had registered on her face.  Her careless and selfish ways had finally rendered me incapable of forgiveness.  It was another notch carved into the wormwood of my heart.  It would be a long time before I knew I would tolerate Janie for more than absolutely necessary.
     A couple of years later on my twentieth birthday, the simple family celebration became a turning point in our relationship.  It would be the building block that would eventually help us cling to each other during our parents' deaths and our trials and tribulations of marriage and motherhood.  The family had gathered for what would beone of the few last times all five of us would be together.  After opening the usual materialistic gifts for a college girl, I came to the last present.  Inside a simple little box, cushioned by a haphazardly folded tissue, lay a tiny silver angel, with her tiny chin pointing up and blowing a tiny trumpet...a declaration of joy and love.  In her art class, Janie had molded this precious creation from the silver of that long forgotten spoon.
     Somehow it wasn't so tiny anymore.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"Being Good"

     Growing up in my family was a blessing. I knew it then, and I know it now.  I incorporated a few "Be Good" philosophies in raising my own children, even if I may have wobbled a bit. The first "Be Good" I can remember is "keep your hands to yourself."  The "don't touch" rule was true at home with my siblings, as well as any store we visited.  It kept us from engaging in any kind of physical battle or touching  fragile objects that could easily be bumped in the store aisles.  If my own kids were following me into the store, I trained them to hold their hands together in front of them as they walked.  Much to my sister's and daughter's aggravation,  I instinctively hold that stance to this day as I go into a department store.
     Another "Be Good" memory was to "use your 6-inch voice."  This was evidently an utter failure in passing to the next generation as my delicate charges use football field voices.  It was no help to live in the country with neighbors safely living at a distance of a mile or so. And, it was also at their disadvantage to have a hearing impaired mother.
     The strongest "Be Good" advice I recall was "keep your name good" and "make me proud."  If I was ever in doubt of making the right choice, these words echoed in my brain.  That didn't mean I always made right choices, but I  was not left with a guilt-ridden conscience, but a feeling of pride that I was better than that bad choice.  I knew I had something to live up to.  Has this filtered into my own kids? I like to hope so --even if it not to the intense degree that I feel.  At least I know I am still very proud of my children and can only hope they continue to live their lives searching for their own conscience to guide them with maybe a little bit of their mom's voice humming in the background.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Zen-ful Acts

      The Zen of Anything? What do I know of Zen?  I've read Pirsig's The Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance and The Zen of Writing by Ray Bradbury. During a doubtful time in my life, I read The Zen Teachings of Jesus by Kenneth Leong which helped me re-accept my Supreme Power.
     Query: What does a Zen Buddhist monk carrying a yolk of water pails do when he becomes enlightened?
     Answer: He puts the yolk down for a minute and feels the full import of the moment, then picks up his yolk and continues on his journey.
     So there you have it.. Just about all I know about Zen in less than 100 words.  Intrinsically, I want to be more Zen-like. It seems so peaceful, unencumbered.  As I have aged, it is becoming more evident in my thinking, but not necessarily in my actions. Or is it?
     How about my Zen of Housekeeping?   I think I've been living this zen-ful act for ages.  Nothing has to be in perfect order, because I have already imagined it in my mind. Life goes on, and I don't have to obsess over the dirty dishes in the sink or the third or fourth layer of dust.  The obvious mess is really in my mind.  Whatever is on the kitchen counter is not as important as my outlook. So now I am enlightened by this new Zen of Housekeeping, and will ponder, as I fill the sink with opalescent sudsy water. Ah, Tranquility abides.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Disastrous Mission

Okay, not so disastrous but certainly an eye opener for us. April 15th. Tax time. Instead of using the $200 accountant, Wayne decided to do our taxes himself. It was just a day or two before he was to take off for AZ for his yearly cowboy ride, and taxes were not high on his priority list. I absolutely hate thinking about doing them, and I wanted to scream and whine and nag at Wayne to get them done. I don’t because I don’t want him to tell me to do them myself, so I stay contained.
       Finally, he’s finished. We write the shared exorbitant checks, sign the documents, and stuff it in the envelope. Signed, sealed, and stamped. Without changing out of our in-house grubby attire of sweats and flipflops, we head for the car to get to the post office. It’s only around 6:30pm, shouldn’t be too big of a crowd. We’re wrong. The post office is about 8 miles from our house. The line of cars started about 2 miles from the post office. Impatient as usual, I suggested that I take the envelope and run to the building rather than wait any longer. Surely I can run there faster than this snail train was going. We take about a half of a second to decide how we will do this. A half a second got us to the point of Wayne getting out to take the wheel while I run up to the PO; nothing about where we will meet up after the delivery. Shoot, we’ve been married 30+ years, we read each other’s minds, right? Wrong!
      We do a Chinese fire drill at the next light, and I sprint over to the PO a block away. Drop the envelope into the slot inside and snicker that we beat the crowd. On to the corner to meet Wayne…
      Only, he’s not there.
      Why didn’t I pick up my cell phone before we left? Well, I’ll walk on to the next corner where there is a street light. Surely he will see me there, and I have a good view of all the places he could be. I wait. I watch. My expertise of car identification kicks in. (read sarcasm here). I’ve had my Subaru for 4 years, and it’s nothing more than a “silver car” among the masses. Expertise, my eye! Did you know that ¾ of Highlands Ranch residents drive “silver cars”?! This is no good, I can’t just stand here; I’ve got to move. Surely he didn’t go into the PO parking lot. That was what we were trying to avoid in the first place. Going “around the block” covers a park, a driving range, and a big apartment complex. It would take him quite a while to do that, and again, the traffic was bumper to bumper. No he must have gone straight through the light, and maybe to the catty-cornered shopping center. I start a jog over to Walgreens. Not only do I have no cell phone, but I don’t have a purse, identification, or money. Maybe someone will let me borrow their phone. I get to the store and ask the clerk if I can use the phone. “Sure, what’s the number?”
      “Uhh… I can’t remember.”  My god!! Speed dial is the Devil!! I can only remember his business number, and I know he doesn’t have that phone with him. I go through mental contortions trying to remember the number. The clerk gives up and leaves me alone trying to recall his private line. I’m beginning to read everyone's mind? Is this woman all there?  Wait! I think I know Stephanie’s number. Punch in the numbers…voicemail. I leave a weirder than weird message that I am lost at Walgreens and I can’t find Dad. So, now what? I can’t just stand inside, I’ve got to be visible at least.
       By this time it is almost 8 o’clock and getting dark. I cross back over to the PO corner where the line of cars are still snaking (at a steady pace, mind you) through the parking lot and dropping off the confounded envelopes at the drive through lane. A couple of employees are there picking them up to make the line go quicker. If we had only been a little more patient, we would have been through the line and home eating supper by now. A patrolman is nearby and sees me walking up. How am I possibly going to sound coherent? I feel so utterly stupid. Through his genial conversation, he is obviously checking me out. He suggests that I go to the back of the building to check out the parking lot back there. I thank him and go off to see if that’s where Wayne might have stopped, thinking all the while that he would not be there, and besides I really didn’t want to wander around a dark parking lot alone at this hour…stupid cop!
      As I am walking back on the sidewalk, Wayne beeps the horn, and I climb in. He’s frustrated; I’m more on the verge of frightened, but relieved that the ordeal is over. He had gone into the parking lot and had even walked around looking for me. How we missed each other was really hard to believe. We just were not in sync. As for wishing I could remember his number, little good it would have done… he didn’t have his phone either. So we silently drove home vowing to never do that again. What exactly is “that” needs a little clarification. Never leave home without your cell phone? Communicate a little more clearly? Actually my “that” is to be a bit more patient and things will probably go smoother.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What is the Candy in Your Life?

      Any one with a conscience or a family  can be afflicted with the malady of melodrama, so today I just want to sugar coat the moment with a little sweetness. Besides I'm craving a bit of chocolate, and I want to think of how I can fill my day with smooth and creamy tidbits.
      I will call my sister who may be drowning in her own overload of melodrama, and we will have a nutty conversation about times when we were little and revel in the fact that her memories vary so much from mine. But we see that as a double treat of sweet because we now share two memories.
      If I am in need of satisfying a craving, I'll go upstairs to my quilt room and sift, sort, pile, and organize my luscious stash of material. Delightful, rich, mesmerizing colors of fruity greens, yellows, reds, and oranges as well as deep chocolaty browns and nougat tans. The desire to create something will always help those endorphins.
      If the sun is shining and it's not too hot or too windy, I'll visit another candy store outside in the soil.  When the over-indulgent clematis needs cutting back, I will pull, tug and chew off the errant vines and transplant a milder, softer ground cover. Dig in the soil, delve in the soul.
      Ah, I am satisfied!