Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Bringing The Ocean To The Desert
July 13, 2017

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Artwork I just finished.

Oh Lordy, Let There Be No Tapes
June 12, 2017

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I wake up to birds outside screaming because I’m late. Usually I’m outside on the patio by now taking in the morning-glory of life. So I move my unresponsive legs off the bed hoping to find the floor and Eberhard says, “Careful, careful”. I make my way to the bathroom to relieve myself. All goes well except for the thoughts that start running through my head as memories from last night start to float past me. I get to the sink to wash my hands and lo and behold there’s a huge zit on my upper lip between my nose and mouth. What? Who gets this at 68? Last week it was one on my nose. God hates me.

I make coffee (I only have one cup a day, but I love it in the morning) and I make my way out to the patio to take in life for the day. I’m naked. Not a pretty site, but I’m protected (and so is the world) by an 8 foot wall around me. The birds start laughing at me in great furor. I am not my usual self, ready to take a moment to meditate. Instead I have these flashbacks….”oh my God, did I do that?” Jeff (karaoke man) why didn’t you stop me?” And Bobby,  you were suppose to keep me in check….. you even said to others that “I was never the same after my mild stroke.”

The evening was enlightening. We started out by meeting friends and their family relatives visiting from Georgia. It’s our ‘solving the world’s problems’ (Trump, etc.) get together that we have occasionally on a Sunday. Of course we discuss the delicate matters over a few glasses of wine. It was a very interesting perspective, not one we were accustomed to, as we tried to figure out why people are attracted to Trump, and why they can believe his rhetoric. We surmised, part of it was education, another part was environment and what they see around them, but mostly it was what people don’t see as they view their lives from  a finite perspective. In conclusion we decided “not to worry”…..this too will pass.

Dancing in front of the karaoke singers was just part of it. There was the bus ride from our beginning location to the karaoke bar. We got the whole bus to ‘rock’. Everyone got off at our stop and the bus driver was relieved, just hoping for a few more silent moments until his shift finished. Still, I remember Jeff encouraging myself and Bobby to sing. Not a nice picture or sound for that matter. Everyone run……run for your lives.

In conclusion, at some point in time, we all need a little release on whatever level makes us comfortable.  Just look at the TV in this moment. Trump, is surrounded by his cabinet in their absorbent moment of self-aggrandizement.  This is their moment of release.

True or False?

A Thought
June 2, 2017

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You can never change what a person believes. You can only change how they see love.

A Tribute
May 28, 2017

Wendy

 

Wendy never really understood this world. Somehow it escaped her. She was always trying to accept what she couldn’t decipher.

From her early age on, she was different. It wasn’t just her choice of clothes or her haircut, it was how she expressed what she came into contact with. Probably the one gift she was given to share with the world, she missed out on, but only because she couldn’t understand why it was given to her. It was such a mesmerizing voice when in song.

At the age of six she became very ill one day. During those days, doctors would make house visits. Many unanswered calls and a no-show from the doctor left her with a final scream and then, pale white and limp on the sofa. Mom and us kids carried her unresponsive body to the car and mom drove her to emergency. Many hours later, mom returned, worn out and distraught. Wendy’s appendix had burst and because of complications and blood transfusions, she would be hospital bound for over a month. She was never really the same after that episode. It was surmised much later in her life that one of those transfusions was tainted and gave her an ailment which she fought for the rest of her life.

She did have happy times and relationships and she was loved. These all faded with time and lately, in her last days there seemed to be a hidden message in the letters she sent me and a look that reminded me of when I visit my mother-in-law at the nursing home. The look and feeling  that says “Someone hold me”, “Someone help me”, “Someone love me”.

The circumstances surrounding her death are still under investigation. There is a video tape of her outside her apartment at 11:00pm taking all of her clothes off  and reports of a naked woman running around the complex. Somewhere between then and early morning when a jogger found her body in the nearby stream, no one knows what happened. She had been on new medications and maybe there was an adverse reaction. Yesterday, the coroner and detectives were with my other sister who lives next door to Wendy in the same building. Until the autopsy and toxicology reports are back we won’t know what truly happened. They said this could take up to two weeks. Her apartment has been sealed until they establish the cause of death.

Deep down, I feel this was Wendy’s freedom call. As sad and as hurt as I feel, I am also happy for her freedom from pain.

On the patio this morning as I listened to the birds, all of a sudden there came a complete silence. This moment is for you Wendy. If I never said it enough while you were here, “I love you”.

Aren’t We Just Our Own Worst Enemy?
May 7, 2017

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We have our life. We live it. It’s ours. We claim it and we hold it dear. We think it’s ‘right’ or ‘just’ or ‘believable’, maybe even ‘memorable’. But we hold it hostage to ‘change’.

We hear things, see things, and even know things, but still we hold back from transforming into who we truly are. Why can’t we be like a flower that grows, a bee that makes honey, or a sea that ebbs and flows? Having the ‘knowing’ that lifts us to where we should be.

We live our life in an endless treadmill of mediocrity without purpose while our minds eat us up on all levels.

Our purpose here is to have some form of purpose. If you can’t think of any purpose you were here for, you must choose something that takes your mind away from ‘yourself’.

Don’t make it difficult. It can be as simple as saying “My purpose is to love as much as I can”.

Something this simple will change you and the world.

We are all here to carry out some purpose. Stop thinking about ‘yourself’ and ‘your life’, your problems’, etc… ‘Yourself’ will always be there.

Your ‘love’ is what is truly needed.

 

Two Words
March 21, 2017

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“Help me”!

I was standing next to the nurses station as I turned to look from where the words came. Behind me, leaning against the corner stood a tall woman. With a stylish haircut and pajamas covered by a bath robe, she stared into my eyes with such deep penetration and pain, I could feel it in my stomach. That accompanied by the sound she used to convey her pain made everyone around the room, look in her direction. A nurse immediately went and placed her in a wheel chair.

My husband and I were here to admit his mother into a skilled nursing facility. For the past eight years, until this time she had been living with us. Recently diagnosed with moderate Alzheimer’s and the difficulty we’d been experiencing in keeping her safe and healthy, her doctor had recommended we place her under nursing care.

The decision had been fractious and frustrating. Much more personally for my husband. We admitted that the past few years with her had been much more difficult than when she first moved in with us. Unable to accept any guidance from us, she became increasingly angry, resistant to help and now, distant, to the point where she shut us out of her room daily except for meals and her multiple cups of tea. Coupled with her lapses in memory, anorexia issues, and habitual nervous rubbing of her face and hands, we felt challenged constantly. We would wake up each day and wonder what complexities we would face. She was not happy and we were not happy.

The nurses at the facility arranged for a smooth transition from us admitting her, out of sight, and getting her acquainted with her room and surroundings. At an appropriate time, the nurses asked us to leave, and to entrust the rest to them.

I’m sure, that all aspects of this transition with everyone involved brought many emotions to the forefront. We experienced depression, guilt, loss and they are ongoing and will be for a while. I’m sure the mother experienced similar, along with anger, frustration and even hate.

Reflections of our lives and what brought us to this point are universal in nature. Somewhere in each of us there is a part of us that is crying out.

“Help me”!.

 

Beginning of………
February 3, 2017

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Fear without Knowing
January 21, 2017

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So, I’m coming around the corner to go to the boy’s room and there are two people waiting in line. The first person is standing  about four feet from the restroom doors. The second person is standing sixteen feet from the restroom doors. A line is forming, but neither of these two people move forward to take up the distance in the line.

What keeps them from moving forward?

Is this a sign of the times?

Is their fear of moving forward greater than their need to release?

One person comes out of the left side restroom and the first person takes his place. But, the second person in line refuses to move forward, even though the line behind him is forming quickly and reaching out the exit doors of the building. Finally, the second restroom becomes available and the person ahead of me moves to take his position inside the restroom. I immediately take up the lax in space of close to twenty feet and wait for the next restroom to become available.

If fear is this obvious in a nondescript environment, what does it say about the county under Trump?

Are we going to be governed by our small but innate fear of ‘not knowing’, or fear of ‘who we are’ as a replacement for I AM?

Move forward! Take a stand! Be who you were meant to BE!

Homeless……..part 3
January 16, 2017

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Since I couldn’t afford rent and utilities, I gathered up the few possessions I had and moved them into the basement office of Beans and Barley. I was homeless. I didn’t want to admit failure to my family or friends, so I said nothing about my move.

Thankfully, the restaurant had some resources I could use. The staff room was equipped with a washer and dryer (we did our own linens) and a shower. As for storing my clothes and belongings, I came up with an inventive plan to keep them out of sight. Underneath the front stairway which led to the public restrooms, there was an access panel for the underbelly of the stairs.

The front part of the restaurant was heated by hot water radiators which were part of the main building boiler system. During construction it was determined that there wasn’t enough flow to the radiators to provide heat in our area, so a booster pump was installed to push the hot water through our system. The pump and its manual switch were located underneath the front stairway. The pump had to be turned on every winter. This area would be my new closet. I placed clothes hooks on each of the stairs and hung my clothes there. My sleeping bag and pillow fit nicely also. Each night, after the staff had left, ( I would leave with them and walk around the block and then come back), I unscrewed the panel, took my sleeping bag and pillow, set it on the floor of the office and went to sleep. In the morning, I would put everything back and re-screw the panel back in place. The staff always wondered how I beat them to work every day.

I lived like this for a couple of years. The good part was that I learned lots. Eighteen hour days became the norm and I put my heart and soul into the place. There were still bad periods before things began to turn around. Creditors called at all hours and it was difficult to do cooking when the phone never stopped ringing. One day it was so bad, I called the phone company and had the phone removed, (phones weren’t un-pluggable at this time) and a pay phone put in, which had an unlisted number. Finally, some peace! I could still call out when necessary, but I stopped being harassed.

Strangely enough, this action helped the business. It alluded to customers that we didn’t need a phone for business. It made us more popular. This, plus the fact that the food and service was immensely improved put the restaurant on the road to recovery.

By the way, I paid off the loan before it’s due date and never missed a payment.

 

Homeless….part 2
January 14, 2017

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So, I got the loan and I was happy for the moment. Moments pass. Reality set in. By the time I had paid for the contractors to make the place into a restaurant, there was the other incidentals: equipment, food to start up, money for wages, taxes and overhead.

By the end of construction, I had managed to pay for everything except the food which I needed to open. I ordered the food and wrote the checks with absolutely no money in the bank. The bank manager calls me and asks me to come down to discuss the situation. I appear and he tells me he is going to bounce the checks which I had written for the food and supplies. So I said (with my back against the wall) “Go ahead, but all the money that’s invested will be lost”. I had no choice. Pay them or I won’t open, and there will be nothing to recover.” He paid the checks. I was left with an overdraft.

First business was brisk and it covered the checks that I had written. It was new and everyone had heard about the place through word of mouth. Everyone came to try it out.

Well, aren’t they sorry now. Inconsistency, badly cooked food from people who should have known better and canned beans. Business dropped off faster than the recession killed jobs.

After I fired all the cooks and took over, there was not much choice. The few people that visited the premises were new and hadn’t heard of the happenings. I was down to one server and myself. And she turned out to be an alcoholic that stole booze from the storage cabinets in the basement. Not pleasant as she tried to keep on her feet, serving customers. Duh!

Frustrated, I terminated her, hired a new person who cared and we had two to go forward with enthusiasm. At this time I was living above the restaurant in a single apartment for $110./month. No furniture, just a sleeping bag, a lamp, a few pans to cook food with, and a pillow. My meals were consistent. Pan fried potatoes and two fried eggs. It’s still one of my favorite meals when I’m feeling out of sorts. The income from the restaurant was not enough to sustain this. So I gave it up and came to the conclusion, I only had one resort.

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