The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Thursday, June 30, 2016

my pictures taken at Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac Ranch is not a ranch but a public art installation and sculpture in AmarilloTexas, USA. It was created in 1974 by Chip LordHudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm. It consists of what were (when originally installed during 1974) either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line (most notably the birth and death of the defining feature of mid twentieth century Cadillacs: the tailfins) from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.[1]~Wikipedia

Chip Lord and Doug Michels were architects; Marquez was an art student at Tulane University in New OrleansLouisiana. According to Chip Lord, “Ant Farm was founded as an alternative architectural practice, kind of an experiment in an attempt to subvert normal corporate ways of doing architecture.”[2]
According to Marquez, “Chip and I were living in the mountains north of San Francisco, and there was a book meant for kids left in a bar near where we lived. It was called ‘The Look of Cars,’[3]and there was something on the rise and fall of the tail fin. I didn’t have a lot to do, so I just sorta drew it up. I’ve always loved the Cadillacs.”[2]
The group claims to have been given a list of eccentric millionaires in 1972 in San Francisco, identifying Stanley Marsh 3 of Amarillo amongst those who might be able to fund one of their projects and submitted it to him. Marsh's response began "It's going to take me awhile to get used to the idea of the Cadillac Ranch. I'll answer you by April Fool's Day. It's such an irrelevant and silly proposition that I want to give it all my time and attention so I can make a casual judgement of it. ~Wikipedia

Osprey flying over - super cool 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Texas Hill Country ... Sunday drive back from Fredericksburg. BTW ... the shops close at 4 on Sunday (most of them).  We drove over for lunch at my kids favorite German restaurant, mostly for the drive.  I forget to downshift climbing the hills and probably annoy people behind me.  I like that it's 75 thru there.  The jeep loses speed in climb mode but, I haven't figured out how far back to gear down (yet).

Yesterday I met one of my new doctors.  Felt confident that he's a good choice for the upcoming colonoscopy.  First the trip to Denver, then the procedure.  
Someone was saying how cool is it to move to a place where you know no-one and can sorta start over, like an adventure.  Finding the right doctors is probably the most difficult part of that for me.  I do tend to stress a bit about the house situation, but I know I don't really need to.  It's not like we are living in a tent or something.  A good thing about not finding a home quickly is that it has broadened the scope of what we are willing to consider.  I would still love to build a home that is well suited to how we want to use it.  Like ... we don't need many bedrooms, a kitchen that accommodates more than one cook at a time would be great.  Yesterday I was watching a series called "tiny house" or something like that on Netflix.  I'd like a tiny guest house for visitors.  I think that would be a fun experience for guests.  lol ... I'm thinking of my kids' responses to that statement and I just want to add, it's not like you couldn't come inside the big house ... .

Gross?  Cancer is gross.

I think it's pretty neat to be alive during a time when preventative measures are available.  I took those glossy looking pics while I waited in the room for the doctor.  I usually snag my chart from the pocket on the door (which irritates the staff but the dr.s always seem to think it's funny) and read it while I wait.  One doc actually left a post-it note in there which said "hi DeAnn, be right with you".   

I do have something on my mind that I'd like to write about but I'm still thinking about it.  Basically just want to get that first pic saved. V snapped it for me.  She is starting to accidentally say it's really gorgeous over here (in a Southwestern sort of way).  I think she likes it. Pretty soon I'll be teaching her how to drive a stick. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

the pain of becoming unhooked

This morning as I sat on the back porch rocking and sipping coffee, watching the birds and listening to the river flow, I realized that today brings with it a strange confluence of events, rather the byproduct of those events.

Father's Day.  One naturally reflects on their own dad on Father's Day.  My dad liked to fish so, Father's Day usually found us at the coast or, when I was very young, along the river.  I've probably written this before, but even though my memory is full of adventures near  shorelines, I never remember my Dad "keeping" a fish.  We didn't cook them.  They aways survived for a do-over.  I have caught more then one errant fish hook in my day ... those crazy brothers competing on who could make the farthest cast ... so I know exactly what it felt like to have Daddy "unhook" me.  He'd take some pliers out of his tackle box, cut the hook, and slide it on through. Then he'd nudge my trembling lower lip with a knuckle, wipe away a tear with the backside of his hand (presumably cleaner) brushing it back with my bangs, and he'd say something like "All better".  My tetanus shots were always current.  I like the way he didn't make a big deal out of me getting unhooked.  He'd just stop what he was doing and help me out of my predicament. He never said I shoulda been more careful to stay out of the way.  He never said much about it to the boys 'cept maybe something like "look out for your sister" which was something we all heard often.  It was not big deal.  (I note that because my mom definitely woulda brought the drama had she witnessed something like that.)  Easily fixed ... moving on.
As soon as I read that Ray Bradbury excerpt I thought of my dad.  He was a gardener as I said.  He was also just amazingly gifted at leaving a lasting touch.

It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. ~RB

So ... so many life lessons I have  to thank my dad for ... like, whatever the pain of becoming unhooked might be, it's eventually gonna be all better.  As the years have accumulated shaping who I am, and who I am becoming, even I can see I'm like him.  I feel good about that.  I feel good about being able to pour my love into the people around me, my people.

Father's Day.  I used to be easily, and rightly, distracted from thinking of my own father on Father's Day because I was busy helping my children celebrate their dad.  Now that they are adults it's their responsibility to handle special acknowledgements as they best can.  They have a pretty stellar dad themselves.  I think of Tommy today - not in regards to his actual role as a dad, he died with regrets there - but as the way he and I shared memories of our dad over the years after Daddy died.  We probably should have gone fishing together.  I still don't fish, but I'm as good a fishing buddy as one could wish for.  My favorite picture of my younger brother is one taken from a distance where he was standing in the waves at the coast.  He looked exactly like himself and exactly like our dad all at the same instant.  I miss him today.

I guess he's helping Momma blow out some candles in Heaven today if they do such things there.  Today would be her birthday.

I thought of her birthday coming along with Father's Day while I sat out there where I could see the birds and hear the river flow.  I thought about how Tommy would call to tell me how Mom's day went so that when I talked to her I'd have the whole story.  (I put out a couple of new feeders today as a token gift for L ... he is beginning to enjoy seeing the birds on the two feeders I placed outside his home office windows.  He has time to pay attention to stuff like that now.)  As I sat in the rocker, I was thinking about how getting older necessarily brings with it lots of "goodbyes".

Goodbyes are hard on me.

I am thinking about how to make saying goodbye easier for myself.

I fired the Realtor yesterday.  She just wasn't putting any energy in to doing what she said she would do (very basic marketing of my house).  She had a lot of really great excuses, but it was apparent that what I needed her to do wasn't a priority. When you're at the bottom of some one's priority list, I've come to believe they are trying to let you know you don't matter to them and may be over-invested in whatever the relationship is supposed to be.  It was hard to make the decision to "cut her loose".   She was busy with probably legitimately more important things.  I could tell she felt bad about losing the opportunity, - no hard feelings, it just became unsustainable.  I felt bad about letting her know her contributions to getting the house sold weren't cutting it.  It interesting to observe that she was actually relieved, when people know they are letting you down it's a burden.  Life is too short for that, I want her to feel good about where she does and doesn't spend her time.

I've thought I should say "hello" to more people.  By that I mean, I say hello to people all the time, I'm very friendly with superficial relationships ... I just don't like superficial relationships very much.    I'm running out of "my people",  I can feel the vacancies.  

Ah, the interior life of an introvert.  I laugh at myself.  

 River roll on ... .

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I've been dedicating my days to "chillin'".

A couple weeks ago I was getting out of my car in the home depot parking lot.  I wanted to shop for pots for my plants which I'd dug up from my yard.  I wanted to see how they'd do on the back porch here.
I am normally a very laid back person.  Normally, I am very respectful towards the elderly.  It's rare for me to ever raise my voice, I'm pretty soft spoken.  I'm calm.  I like to pay attention to what's going on around me, but I'm one of those people who doesn't comment. I pretend that I believe people are generally doing their best.
As I opened my door and began to get out of my car, an old woman hurried towards me fussing ... she looked like an angry hen ... she seemed to be intent on pecking at me.  What is she saying and is she really even speaking to me I wondered.  As I looked behind me she launched into another tirade ... the hot asphalt seemed to rise up at me as I realized she was indeed talking to me.  "You're not even looking and you've bumped my car!"  You've bumped my car and you don't even care!" "What?" was my very mild reply.  I had not bumped her car.  My car door wasn't even opened to within a foot of her car.  I am invariably careful not to open my door in to another car.  I don't want to ding my paint anymore than I'd want to ding another's paint.  "You did bump my car" she shrieked stepping aggressively closer to me.  I really surprised myself by stretching my 5'9" frame up to about ten feet tall.  "M'man, I absolutely did not touch your car.  YOU need to settle yourself down and look at this." I gestured with my hands showing the foot of distance between my open still open door and her vehicle.  "You did!"  She was so adamant that I wondered if she could possibly believe I actually did bump her car.  I almost wondered if I possibly had done so without noticing.  She was so sure and so clearly upset.  "NO.  I did not touch your car. I am certain that I did not." As she opened her mouth again I said.  "HUSH yourself!  I was looking at her like I do at Sammy when he forgets he is on a lead and nearly pulls my shoulder out of it's socket. My husband was standing there, a quiet witness to the entire ordeal, he hadn't said a word.  I'm actually surprised that she paid him no attention.  As I turned to walk away I glanced at him over the top of the car (he was driving and had done a superb job of parking the car smack dab in the middle of out spot).  He seemed to be as confused about the charge as I was and a bit bemused by how I was handling it.  "Man, I hope she doesn't bang up my car." I said once we were out of her range of hearing.   "What kinda crazy was that?" I asked and he said, "I think she thought you had bumped her car."  He was laughing when I looked up at his face.  I told him I didn't know if I wished I had been a lot nicer or a lot meaner, but somehow what I did say didn't seem to be enough.  Reflecting on it I'd say I still feel about the same.  I wish I had stepped calmly towards her,  I wish I had felt some compassion, she was obviously distraught.  I didn't bump her car, but I did bump her "feelings".  I wish I had let her talk herself out instead of answering back.
I don't know what is going on with me lately but I seem to be stretched a bit thin.  To tell an old woman to hush herself really isn't like me at all.  That little flare of anger doesn't feel right to me.  I don't know how I'd have ideally handled that situation.  Anger isn't what I'd choose if I wasn't just reacting. Anger isn't my usual default.   I don't like to be falsely accused but ... idk.  I think it might have been better to just stand there and let her realize that she was mistaken.
Several nights ago I dreamt that I drove my car right in to murky high water.  I was immediately underwater and I didn't have any idea what to do about it.  In the dream I thought, "Wow, this is how I die ... I die not knowing what to do about it".  The unknowns in life seem to be making me uncharacteristically anxious.
I'm trying to "relax" ... doing morning yoga and reading ... sitting outside early in the morning with coffee ... chillin'.

Spotted while walking Sammy around the neighborhood.  The wobbly fawns are really cute.

And this ... a letter of intent to "retire", and a celebratory drink.

To dream that you drive your car into a body of water or that it rolls into water implies that you are in for an emotional journey. To see a car underwater in your dream points to feelings of regret or sadness over an abandoned goal.

To dream that you are underwater suggests that you are being overcome with emotions and are in over your head regarding some situation.

Your dream of death should usually not be taken literally. Look at the dream death as symbolic of something in your waking life that is changing or ending.

Friday, June 10, 2016

That FB "memories" posting is usually amusing.  Recently a pic from several years ago "popped up" reminding me that I had stopped at the Texas welcome center on I20 on the same day different years.  It seemed so random to be unintentionally in an unusual place on the same day years apart.  It felt like a button on the cloak of time.  Being "welcomed home" is a favorite experience.

This picture popping up this morning took me by surprise.  He is "shushing me", comforting me, though I don't remember it, I can see the strength of a hug there.  I had said "It's still weird to take this type of shot with him missing."  My family was at his house for a quick visit ... we were snapping pictures of our kids in the bluebonnets.  I'm grateful that someone suggested a brother/sister shot of us ... glad to have this one.  The composition does seem to make room for the other brother, and given the exchange that was captured here, when I see this, I invariably see him not there.  This was posted to FB because it was the only picture of Tommy as an adult without the mustache.  It was posted as a way of sharing it with his then wife.  Gosh, life is full of weird.  This one recalled itself today.

I love being alive.

Last night I slept with the window partially open and heard the river flowing.  This morning both cats flew in to the house as soon as the door opened.  They wait there knowing that a can of delight is getting ready to find it's way to their little bowls.  Sunlight is streaming in and Sammy's shadow falls on the floor near my feet.  I think he wonders why the cats get to come in before the first cup of coffee is poured each day.

I've unpacked from the recent "girl's weekend" - so much fun!  We looked at grade school annuals and sat around the pool sipping cocktails and laughing about things both new and old. We began to talk about a day of floating down the Frio.  I feel so very fortunate to have old friends in my life.

Today ... lunch with my eldest son is planned and I've been looking forward to that.  I'm sitting here seeing a lot of different looking birds.  They are attracted to the feeders by the fancier blend of birdseed.  We are so lucky to live in a place that is so accommodating to wildlife.  I even like seeing the lizards strolling along the deck railing.  They look so relaxed stopping to fan out their pink throats.

Later, this afternoon, if there's time, I'm going to an aircraft expo.  I don't know what that's about.  Probably a way to market planes ... it'll be fun for me I think!

And tomorrow, we are driving up to visit C on her day off at the summer camp where she is working.
One of the kids is in Jamaica this week.  She'll come back brown as a cup of my coffee.  So glad she's getting a break from her office.  And later this month I'm making a road trip up to Colorado to spend time with another of our sons.  Five adult children.  I smile sitting here thinking about them.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there. 

It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime." ~ Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

All of the Day Lily "clumps" that were dug up and transported over here in the back of the jeep are thriving.  They are in pots now, fresh soil surrounds the old which clung to the roots.  I didn't know a thing about DayLilies, and certainly next to nothing about gardening in general when we bought our home in Alabama.  I liked the canopy of trees and what looked like a mature landscape to me - outside was my favorite thing about the house when we first found it.  It was an old house and needed a bunch of work.  The yard had been neglected too.  I soon learned that my new neighbors, all at least ten years older than my momma, would help me along.  
Not just with the garden but also with life.  
The previous owner of our house and the lady next door had a bed six feet wide and hundred feet long which was brimming with dallies, irises, shasta daisies and tiny bits of the invasive poison ivy which was quick to take hold anywhere there was dirt.  The bed was the glory of the neighborhood. During the blooming season it wasn't rare for me to look out the window and see folks walking up and down my driveway.  Mrs.Waller, my neighbor, spent a good deal of time tending it and eventually teaching me how to care for it.  She had stakes with names near each of the plants (just the lilies) and traveled all over the South collecting new varieties.  Over the years I became the primary weeder of the bed.  Each Spring I'd dedicate a few days to cleaning it out careful not to disturb the good plants.  Sometimes I'd have to dig up a clump that had some undesirable intertwined in it's roots, but the soil was so good that I could mostly tug the weeds away with very little strain.  At first Mrs. Waller supervised, later she was able to participate only as the waterer, and some evenings I'd look out to see her walking the row on her side of the drive with a small pail for the deadheads.  One year her grandson interspersed the bed with plantings of "mexican sunflower" which he'd dug up while out doing surveying work.  Whatever was in the dirt around those "weeds" soon made a mess of that bed.  She was heartbroken.  I did everything I could short of using poison in the bed to set things back to right.  At some point people who were strangers to me, her gardening buddies from far and wide, came and began to dig up sections of the plants. Before she passed most of her exotic lilies had stopped "coming back" in the Spring.  We had mostly Irises and the apparently more hardy yellow strains of lilies which I divided and moved around to the bare places.  When the house sold the new owners put down RoundUp on their side of the driveway bed.  They were't gardeners and to tell the truth, they weren't very good neighbors! It didn't take anytime at all for the poison to seep in to my side of the bed.  

My parents gardened, their parents gardened, I remember pretty yards at the homes of my great grandparents, probably all my people were gardeners.  I saw myself as someone without a green thumb.  I'd never weeded a bed before Mrs. Waller began to take me in hand. I walked around the backyard with my dad sometimes gathering flowers for the dining room table.  I was a pretty accurate shot with the oranges and other citrus which fell from the trees in our back yard, ammo for backyard games.  Occasionally I was instructed to pick up peaches from the front lawn, but they were bird pecked and yucky to throw ... .  I didn't have any yard work responsibilities.  Should have, but didn't.  Daddy was practically religious about organic gardening ... momma frequently sprayed stuff on the plants after he left for work ... none of us kids ever let out a peep about that.  

Weeding that big bed was a lot of work but I liked it a lot too.  The beauty of the bed seemed like a gift not only to us, but to the neighborhood as well.  I learned a lot of things out there that helped me be a better person in general but more specifically how to better tend to my role as a mother.  Parenting is  like gardening, at least that's how I've come to see it.

This morning the remnants of that bed are in pots on the porch where Sammy can guard them from the deer.  Even if they never get planted back in the ground there's something very right about looking out my window and seeing them bloom.