Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Time travel

Where did the month go?

There's been a:

 *graduation - from preschool - and a trip to the Magic House
*visits from family to meet the baby
*a hospitalization - for a baby, always concerning - 
but, luckily with a good outcome and no need for further visits.
*surgery - cataract removal
*a trip to Michigan
and the usual summer life of gardening, reading
and creating small pieces of 'art' which keeps me off the streets 
and out of stores.

I've completed months of physical therapy, 
with an improvement in mobility and decreased pain,
for which I'm VERY grateful.

Life might, in fact, be getting 'nearly' back to normal
after a full year of me being a professional patient!

I'm going to let pictures speak for themselves.


 

OK, so academics might not be his strong suit!
ALL graduations are tedious affairs, even baby ones.

I even found 3 Petosky stones "in the wild" - 
the state stone AND ancient fossils.
 My home away from home.
and my hosts and partners in crime.
What would a road trip be without a roadside attraction?










It's summer; it's hot;
political nonsense still roils around and sucks WAAYY too much oxygen
out of our system.

I still have decorative vestiges around from a more innocent time,
and saying "It's complicated" doesn't begin to do my feelings justice.

But that's where I'm leaving it for now.
Well, sort of.
If you need me, 
I'll be in the garden trying to keep the jungle from winning!

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

WTH?

What part of a well regulated militia was the shooter
in an elementary school in Texas yesterday?
 
Or in Buffalo 
in a supermarket last week?

That criteria is, after all, what the second amendment calls for:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,
the right of the people to keep and bear arms
shall not be infringed."

But apparently its ok for
 predominantly white males to infringe the hell out of all women
in every state
by telling them what to do with their uterus's?
Never mind that it takes a males participation to put a product of conception
in said uterus...
let's not pay attention to that biological fact though. 

Again, predominantly male
Legislators pass bills that, in effect,
state any pissed off, mentally unbalanced person who wants a gun
can buy one (in TX) with NO waiting time, lessons or background checks.
And, they can carry them anywhere - with no restrictions (MO). 

WTH??

A good friend who died a decade ago,
WAAYY before those of us who loved him 
were ready to say Good bye
believed that as we age, we HAVE to think the world around us
is going to hell in a hand basket;
if we didn't, we'd never be prepared to relinquish our spot on earth.
 
It's easier to die if you think there's more to gain there is to lose.

Maybe, Andy...
but for those of us who are still here and struggling
for some understanding and sanity,
for those of us who have grandchildren heading off to school 
and are terrified 
there will come a day when they might not make it home,
this country is SO far off the mark as to be
unrecognizable.

I was playing with paper earlier this week,
doing a piece that honored the indigenous children who died,
or went missing,
when they were kidnapped by the government 
and sent to residential schools throughout the United States 
and Canada.
 
So, its not like an atrocity within schools 
hasn't ever happened before.

The regularity though with which it happens is heartbreaking.
 
Yesterday, I found a beautiful vintage image of a young girl that I knew
I would use in some project, 
at some point.
 
Today, during a Zoom meeting,
as thoughts of the children and their families in TX were swirling 
in my head,
I used a metallic alcohol marker to turn her hat 
into an aura -
and then used a pin to create points of light
when held up to a window or light source.
How can it be alright that, as a nation,
we're allowing so many children to be killed
by weapons?
 
Generally at the hands of an unstable male.

What in the name of all that's holy are we doing to ourselves -
and to our future?

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Hard Choices

 There is so much that is beautiful about a St Louis spring -
 and, given that reality,
 I'm always surprised that my first inclination 
as the temperature rise
 is to head to the basement
for another round of Swedish death cleaning.
But this is the third year it's happened, 
so it's officially 'a thing'.
This year, the process led to finding a planter I bought about 20 years ago.
I loved the conch shell and 'siren' figure 
but could never get a good grip on what to plant in it -
and, after the first blush of infatuation wore off,
I thought the concrete and 'gems' that a previous owner put around the base,
was just too gaudy to have her out on a permanent basis.
 
Now that succulents are a big thing,
it seemed to be perfect timing for bringing it out again
and, after a quick trip to the local nursery,
she was all set -
and I LOVE it!

The young salesgirl at the nursery told me the planter was "FLY" -
I'm going to assume that's a good thing.

 

Not all discoveries were as much fun.
 
Tucked away in a corner of a closet was a box from my mothers house.
This was a total surprise since my mother has been dead for 10+ years
and she was in a nursing home with dementia 
for nearly 11 years before she died.
 
Inside, I discovered her high school yearbook, diplomas from high school,
college and her masters program;
as well as a stack of her journals with daily entries for 50 years of her life.;
along with a stack of letters written to her by my father
while he was overseas during WW2.

There were also 4 records he made of him singing some of their favorite songs
and playing a "Boogie Woogie" on the piano.
I had no idea there had been such things and,
while his 19 yr old voice sounded nothing like the 'fathers voice' that I knew,
it was a sweet find that I know my mother must have loved.
I also discovered an autographed picture of Frank Sinatra,
so her love of "crooners" was a lifelong preference.
As I was reading my mothers journals, 
what wasn't included felt as important as what had been written down.
 
If I wanted to know what nights my brother had Boy Scout meetings, 
or the exact date I fell in the river at Hacklebarney State Park, 
I could have found that information.
 
There was, however, no mention of my fathers suicide attempt, 
my sisters suicide attempt,
midnight searches throughout the house 
looking for my fathers stash of alcohol, 
rides to motels where my mother believed my father was seeing someone else, etc.
 
It was at that point in her narrative
 that I realized how profoundly this was HER story, 
not mine, 
and no one had any reason to read it decades later.
 
So I shredded it - 
with the song "Burn" from Hamilton - 
playing on an endless loop in my head.
I will probably use her diplomas, along with all of mine, in collage work.
I threw her yearbook away.

I also realized I was no longer willing to be the custodian of 37 photo albums,
going back to my grandmothers era - 
up until and including all of mine.
 
My sons were/are both good looking men;
they were darling babies.
But NO ONE needs 27 pictures of the same child 
getting a bath in the kitchen sink, 
despite what my husband and I obviously thought at the time.

So, I'm going through albums, page by page;
saving the images I want for collage work
or for the albums I will make for each one of my sons,
shredding other images  
and putting pictures that only pertain to my siblings in individual boxes 
which I will mail to them -
with no return address.

I haven't seen my sister since the day of my mothers funeral.
My brother has been in more frequent, but still sporadic, contact
and I'm fairly sure I have the correct address for him.
 
They can use, discard, ruminate and re-think 
their history within our family as they see fit.
 
A good friend of mine who is a confirmed genealogist
was appalled that I would even consider discarding so much 
family history.
 
Maybe, at another point in my life, I would share her concern.
Right now however it feels like an unburdening,
a release of an oppressive weight I'm not interested in carrying any longer -
and that feels good.
I'm content with the decision I made.
 
PS: the records my dad made will be sent to my brother and his son.
My nephew is the spitting image of my father 
and he's excited to have something of his that's so special;
plus he works in the recording industry 
so the historical significance of this find is doubly appealing to him.
Good decision, indeed.
 
 


Friday, May 6, 2022

New life; another reason to celebrate

 The past month has been life altering - 
in all the right ways.

What more can I say than 
welcome Emma.
We're delighted you're here.
At this age, they change SO much every day.

She's remarkably 'chill'
and big brother has been adjusting to sharing his world, 
his parents and his grandparents,
surprisingly well.

It's been a wonderful month -
at least for me -
since I'm not dealing with sleep deprivation and midnight feedings.
Cuddling and enjoying a newborn -
with none of the responsibility for full time care  -
is a major perk of being a grandparent, right?