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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Silent Moments

Blog Hop #10—Silent Moments

Three o’clock in the afternoon.  Ahhhhh, three o’clock in the afternoon.  It’s summertime and the sound of children’s laughter fills the air.  The family directly across the street has six children under the age of 10.  To the east of that house, they have three children roughly the same age.  Between the two houses they have three electric jeeps, two electric Barbie cars and more bicycles and tricycles than the average Toys-R-Us.  The whine of those electric jeeps and cars is as incessant as the hum of the cassias, just ten times louder, and not in the distance, and not accompanied by crying.

Three o’clock in the afternoon. Down the block live the older kids, preteens.  The oldest got his first set of drums last week.  He doesn’t have the rhythm down yet, but at least he tries.  When his younger brother is allowed to bang-on-the-drums-all-day….for hours on end….unrythmicly…loud….

Three o’clock in the afternoon.  The gardeners at the nearby condominium complex have ceased the mowing/blowing/back hoeing/cutting/chopping for the day. You can hear the various motors hissing to a halt.  Glad to be turned off and allowed to cool down for a while.
Three o’clock in the afternoon.  I enjoy the noisy hub-bub of urban life.  I adore hearing the laughter of children.  I do tend to snicker when certain ones get their boo-boos.  I even admire the imagination I get to witness and sometimes join in with.  I am allowed a little voyeurism to help me remember the joy of my own youth.  Watching the neighborhood children grow is an honor I wouldn’t want to miss.

Three o’clock in the afternoon.  Only the occasional fly or bird passes me by.  A hush falls into the neighborhood. I sit on the back deck with the umbrella opened up.  It doesn’t matter if the sun beats on me.  I relish this hour.  This is the hour the littlest ones have been put down for a nap and the older kids are inside spending their own quality time with Mom.  I get to reflect on the day’s activities and ponder tomorrow’s weather.  These are my silent moments. My favorite time of the day. 

A Snippet From My Grandmother’s Life

GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #14: GROWING WILD (w/Picture!)

Blanche scanned the terrain.  No sign of any dangerous wildlife.  No bears and no wolves, yet.  Traveling the path to the best blueberries, ringing the lake could prove to be dangerous.  The berries growing along the lakeshore were the most plump and juiciest berries around.  She did have her reputation to uphold.  She was known for her blueberry pies and jams.  Because she found the best patch around, and she wouldn’t share the location with the other women in town. Those snobby biddies didn’t deserve it.  Those snobby biddies, who shunned her. 

Blanche Dickie had met Haudy Mahan ten years previous.  She had been happily married with three strong thriving children.  Peter Dickie, her first husband, died during the winter of 1924.  Caught in a snow storm while out hunting, he had simply frozen to death.  Haudy, named for the nick-name of his father Henery Mahan, had also been married at the time.  Haudy had been raised in the west.  Henery, Haudy’s father,  was one of the immigrants who worked building the rail lines.  Haudy was a bit older than Blanche.  He and his wife, Morningstar, had six children of their own.  Sadly, Morningstar had died in childbirth the previous year. “God has truly brought us together”, Blanche thought.  Life is too difficult, in the west, for a woman on her own. 

A buzzing bee brought Blanche back to the present.  She scanned the terrain again.  Still safe enough to pick the berries.  Making noise to frighten away everything she could, she hummed aloud.  Blanche could help but notice the view.  This year the colors seemed more vibrant.  This year the air seemed a little more invigorating.  This year she was carrying her fourth child, Haudy’s seventh, and their third.  This year was proving to be a very good year.  If I have a girl-child, I will name her Norma Jean.  The baby kicked at this notion. Thirteen children, a baker’s dozen.

Haudy was a good man.  He was kind to his children, and hers.  He was generous with the food he brought home and appreciated the hard work she put into her gardening.  He would help her, from time to time, with hoeing and keeping the animals out of her patch.  Sometimes, she thought, it was difficult having Indians as step-children. 

The children lived in two worlds.  Haudy’s children didn’t seem to mind her as their new step-mother since they spent most of their time within the tribe.  Haudy’s children didn’t seem to notice her much at all.  Sometimes, when they were being especially naughty, they would speak their native “tongue” in front of her.  This was only mildly irritating until they pulled that stunt in front of those snobby biddies in town.  That was unacceptable.  She and her children have paid the price.  Shunned at the market, gossiped about behind hands, and the children beaten by bullies almost daily.  She would show them, she would win the prize for best pie at the fair again.  She had won the past four years running, having the blue ribbons to prove it. 

Blanche scanned the terrain again.  It still appeared safe to be in the berry patch.  Blanche enjoyed picking the berries.  This time alone gave her time to think.  Time away from the two room thatched roof hut they all shared. Time away from the children to plan for the future or revisit the past. Lately, she had been planning the future for the future was beginning to seem brighter. Except for those old snobby biddies in town.
Haudy had just taken a job as a lineman on the pipe line.  Finally, they would have enough money coming in to make repairs to their home.  Finally, they would be able to buy shoes for all of the children.  Finally, they could start to save some money.  Finally, they could begin to look to the future with more than just hope.  That will show those snobby biddies in town.

Blanche and Haudy lived in their small two room shack, with thirteen children, for another ten years.  Most years my mother, Norma Jean, did not have shoes.  It was during the time which came to be known as the Great Depression.  Blanche, Haudy and five of the thirteen children moved to Michigan to seek their fortune working for Henry Ford, the great inventor and businessman. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Family for Pinocchio Granny's Goulash # 21 Picture only 140 Words or Less

 “Oh Pinocchio”,  Geppetto sighed aloud.  Pinocchio’s latest attempt at creating a family lay sprawled across a wooden chair.  Featureless, the marionette’s presence was disturbing to Geppetto.  It reminded him, again, of Pinocchio’s deepest wish.  A wish Geppetto had no ability to grant.

Geppetto had been making prosthetics for the returning military recruits when Pinocchio determined there should be “more like him”.  Geppetto could hear Pinocchio’s squeal as he began to formulate the idea of “creating” a family.

 Pinocchio didn’t like being different.  He didn’t appreciate the stares he received as he walked down the street.  Pinocchio wanted to fit in, become invisible in a crowd, simply to be like “everyone else”. 
Geppetto sighed again.  Pinocchio just doesn’t realize that different isn’t bad, it is unique!  Special! Wondrous!  And especially, a gift. 

Thoughts on Trust

GBE 2: Blog On
WEEK #13 (8-14-11 to 8-20-11):   TRUST

Let’s face it.  We all trust, it actually comes rather easily.  Trust is a basic instinct relying on other members of the tribe to do their part for the continuance of us all. Trust creates the community. To my mind, there are two basic types of trust; outward and inward.


 As a child, we trust our parents will care for us.  As a parent we trust our children to the school system to become educated.  As a grandparent trusting we have instilled the proper tribal lore for our children to raise the next generation.

Consciously trusting other to do our bidding, assist us, or totally take over whatever task we have in mine. The act of consciously trusting of others; I trust you to get it done, I trust you to be honest, I trust you to whatever.  Giving over responsibility. 

We are trusting of other’s whether it is conscious or subconscious; I trust the brakes won’t fail, I trust the dishwasher won’t overflow; I trust the furnace will turn on automatically during the winter.  These are outward reliance’s.  Relying on other people or things to do what they intend.  We trust our friends to be forthright and open with us, or we trust those same people to conceal hurtful things from us.


The most difficult trust is trusting in ourselves.  Self reliance.  The ability to continue onward without assistance.  Believing in oneself.  This particular trust ebbs and flows.  To trust oneself, one must also care about themselves.  This is a vacillating conundrum.   I trust myself to be good to myself.  I trust myself to take care of myself.  I trust myself to be trustworthy.  Then that niggling voice of negativity weighs in and for a while I no longer trust myself and cede over responsibility to others.  Inward trust is an ongoing battle. I strive to be the best I can be at all times and under any circumstance. 

I trust I will be gracious even in the face of offensiveness.  I trust I will be conscious of other people’s feelings before I open my mouth. I trust I will not thrust my vision on those who would rather not participate.  I trust I will be forthright with those I care most deeply about.  I trust myself to show good judgment above all else.   I trust I will try to use my ears twice as much as my mouth.

Trust is a base instinct.  Trust is the woven pattern that creates a community.  

Saturday, August 13, 2011


 Grandma’s Goulash
Week #2 Picture and a Word :  Oblivious


When I joined the Special Service Squad, I never imagined I would be in this position! Small town America, dressed like this, walking in a parade. 

My first assignment for protecting the Governor, and I’m dressed with hoop skirts, of all things.  Check the check the crowd”.  My gaze zigzags.

This clown pestering me is gonna get him knocked off that little motorbike”, thinking.  I may do something he is going to regret  Smile, don’t blow your cover. 

Perhaps if I appear oblivious to his presence…I unclench my fist. He’s not “one of us”, therefore he must either be a dimwitted local or up to no good.  I decide to let him stay on his bike, for now.  That makeup, I can’t actually see his face.

Walking in the parade just ahead of the Governor.  Smile, don’t blow the cover

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pebbles in the Sand

The Writers Post #9 Picture and a word

Pebbles in the Sand

They began their nascent rise as every other day, those discarded emotions laying like pebbles on the beach, arose to taunt him. Some small and smooth, others large and rough. The “pebbles” were there for the taking. Anyone could pick up that small package of discarded “stone” which holds the baggage another finally lay down.

The colors hold the secret to the burdens held within each “pebble”. Finally laid down by one tortured soul, to be found and treasured by another. Carrying the baggage held within, the stones can and do grow as the sentiment held within is nurtured. Or diminishing to merely a grain of sand with release and acceptance.

As the Keeper/Protector, he walks along the beach on patrol. Contemplating the significance of each pebble. Has humanity finally grown enough to abandon the isle to the cosmos? The piles of woe didn’t seem to be getting larger. Will he be able to move on? The eons he has protected the island from humanities prying eyes and deep curiosity has taken its toll on him. He contemplates the significance of each pebble again.

Red holding unknown fear and feelings of incompetence, the last holder gaining confidence and self reliance. Gold relating to sexuality whether lost, embraced, or simply acknowledged. Blue tones denoting the inability to express ideas and feeling, finally tossed aside to be able to speak their minds and join in the conversations. White…ah white, those emotions towards one’s deity abandoned. Not many white pebbles, for this pure unselfish emotion is the connection to other humanities. It is the cosmic link to the unconscious subconscious. Not many toss this one away and it is the strongest draw to the youth who study the stones on the beach. Black, those dark external, vengeful emotions. It’s good to see so many of those strewn on the beach. Hate, jealousy, revenge, lust….all gathered into a stone…luckily for the previous owner, discarded.

The Gods, in their wisdom, crafted the island to capture these overcome emotional stumbling blocks. Far from the populace, these redeemed emotions would stifle the once bearer no more. He was the protector, charged with ensuring no prying eyes actually saw the resting place of discarded personal baggage. He continues his patrol awaiting his own release.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rings to Remind Us


He glanced at the rings on the end table. Smooth so as not to snag anything, gold not to tarnish or easily lose the inscriptions, identical to remind him of their bond. It had been six months and still he mourned. It had been six months and still he was sad.

What would the kids say, when they came for their visit? To find those two silly rings still laying on the end table, a daily reminder of his loss. They would think him a silly, sentimental old fool. Too set in his ways to move on with the world. They would think him lax in the mind to leave gold rings laying on the end table, but that kept them close. A daily reminder of days gone by, the good times.

Theirs was a shared passion for anything outdoors, especially duck hunting. Crouched in that old blind at the water’s edge, awaiting daylight and the chance at roast duckling for dinner, just a few butterflies in their stomachs anticipating the right opportunity. It would be cold, but neither minded after all they had each other’s companionship. He wouldn’t open the coffee thermos until well after dawn, to ensure the good meal at the end of the day. It was worth it, they had each other for company and to keep the cold at bay.

He had the rings made especially for her, with duck hunting in mind. Those rings said everything anyone ever needed to know. She had been the only lady in his life for over fifteen years. She kept him thoughtful of others and kind even unto those he did not know. She was still as fit as any of the youngsters out there, and with far more heart. She had passed away in front of the evening’s fire after a very successful day in the blind. Sheila was the best black lab he had ever had the pleasure to hunt with.

He glanced at the rings on the end table. Smooth so as not to snag anything in the marsh, gold not to tarnish or easily lose the inscriptions of her licensing, identical to remind him of their bond. It had been six months and still he mourned. It had been six months and still he was sad.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bugs and the End of the World....

The other evening, as the rain came down, the fireflies scurried under the protection of our large maple tree. With the light flickering it almost appeared to be a Christmas Tree. It made me wonder…don’t they short out? Who lights them?

This morning, in the glow of the street lights, I stumbled into the kitchen without turning on an interior light, to make coffee. Apparently, a crumb had fallen onto the kitchen floor. The mass of sugar ants sticking to the bottom of my feet, made that perfectly clear. After searching for my glasses, I bent close to find out exactly what they were after. One small quarter of an inch crumb of doughnut, the scary part was that next to it was a splash of coffee! Heaven help us if the ants take a liking not only to sugar but to caffeine! It made me wonder…do they have my house “bugged” to detect when a crumb is dropped? Terrorists or government?

A friend of mine dropped off some freshly picked from her garden vegetables. Luscious tomatoes and firm crisp beans. Both green and yellow beans! After cleaning them, I set the least ripe tomatoes in the kitchen window. Extremely shortly thereafter I had a fruit fly. It has been terrorizing me at my computer. I took the garbage out. I bleached the counters and floors in the kitchen. I even scrubbed and bleached the sink. Normally, I can pick a fly out of the air left handed….not this little devil! It zigs and zags at just the right second so that I snatch up only air. It made me wonder….where are the fruit flies when you don’t have fruits and vegetables out? Are they in collusion with the ants? Is my house under scrutiny by some satellite dish utilized by the insect world?

Is this what the Inca’s were thinking? The end of the world as WE know it? I had been under the impression that the “web” Nostradamus spoke of was the internet….I think it has to do with spiders….I think they are after me…..and I think they plan to RETAKE the world!