Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Thoughts

   Trying not to get sucked into the hype over the Casey Anthony trial. You know, the one in Florida with the mother who didn't call 911 for a month when her daughter disappeared? With the defense lawyer who's trying to blame Casey's father and saying that the kid drowned in the swimming pool? Puh-leeze.....
    Nondescript Memorial Day here. I want to remember my mother at the piano, my father in the kitchen, and my three grandparents drinking egg nog. I don't visit graves. They're all at a considerable distance. We went out to lunch, The Spouse played with his tractor, and Oakley and I played fetch. I'd rather have people remember me by staying in the moment and enjoying life. I also have directed a friend who's a retired lawyer to have John Prine's "Please Don't Bury Me" played at the after party thrown by the people who knew me best.
    So. What do I want for lunch today? I'm craving peanut butter. I have some lovely Kashi microwavable meals. Oakley will have kibble and a little yogurt. He's doubled in weight since he came home in February.
    Life goes on.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Random Rainy Sunday Thoughts

    If a cat always lands on her feet, and toast always lands buttered side down, what happens if you butter a cat?
    Just had a green sky t-storm pass through. Why we weren't on the t-storm warning I'll never know.
    Oakley's going to be nine months old tomorrow. Brittany and Beagle. And Lab and Great Pyr. Let's call him an Aquataine hound and have done with it. The cute, it makes me squee, likely adult weight of 70 pounds or not.
    Feeling the time warp. I go to Meijer's, a Michigan-based chain where we did most of our shopping when I was a kid. Timelessness. Am I in my teens, am I in college, am I somewhere in the jungle of mid-life? It all blends together as I look at t-shirts.
    Trying to convince The Spouse that Oakley wants a cat for his birthday. Pet ownership would teach him responsibility. The Spouse gives me The Look.
     Let's do this: Palin and Bachmann in '12. We'd have a few years of chaos, but it would get better from there. Our foremothers fought for them? Lady have mercy on us.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Life Happens

  So I'm poking in my notifications on Facebook this morning. Mrs. R. had laser surgery on her eye yesterday. She's doing well, joking about the beams coming out of her butt. LOL. Get to a comment from someone saying that they're praying for her.  In her response, she told him that was kind of him, but that her daughter in law, S. needs the prayers.
    Uh, oh.
    Mrs. R's son J and I have known each other since we were in kindergarten. She and my mom were the PTA at our elementary school. We'd recently reconnected through the mixed blessing of Facebook. That was the good news. I clicked over to his page. The bad news: his wife S. had been diagnosed with cancer about 18 months ago. She'd been doing a great job of living with it until the last week. Suddenly, she started sleeping 20 hours a day. Hospice has been called in. Maybe, maybe a month, but no one is holding their breath. 
    I just lost it. For S's impending departure and not getting to know her better; for J and his agony and the weight of single parenthood getting ready to land on his shoulders; for their three daughters at the ages where a girl needs her mom to explain the intricacies of womanhood. 
     S is the same age as my own mother was when she went on to the next world, somewhere around the 50 mark. A very different set of circumstances: my mom's heart could no longer bear the weight of her sorrows and just broke. J and family have known that S's crossing was a real possibility for a long time. No easier, though, when it actually happens.
     Longterm, all will be well. Mrs. R and a cadre of other friends' moms stepped up and did what they could to fill the bleeding gap. The girls have her for their grandma, and two standup aunts in J's sisters. J has a wide support net, one big enough to keep him from falling as he walks the valley of his grief for his soul mate. It will take time, but there comes the day when you realize that you're still here and still breathing and that life has been going on and the time to go along with it has arrived.
    So for now we wait. We lift prayers for the best, we light candles for a peaceful leavetaking. Cruelly ironic that this happens the weekend when so much blossoms into the full swing of life. 
    But all seasons change, and some more unexpectedly than others. It it what it is, life happening as it does on its own terms. 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Nine Days and Counting, or Not

    Oakley and I found a new-to-us trail at a local forest preserve. It's the right length for an eight month old puppy to drag walk his guardian and be relatively calm afterwards. In between pulling sticks and dandelions from his jaws rested moments of unity with the natural world, moments of eye contact with does, the scent of pines warmed by the sun, the soft haze in the sky.
    Home again. Checked Facebook, and saw several links to stories about the new date of the end of the world, May 21, 2011. At least that's how the people at a small fundamentalist radio network see it.
     I hate to tell them this, but Jesus was supposed to return when I was in college. Living some 20 miles from a military base with nukes makes it a bit easier to believe, and when one of your roommates goes to a church into prophesies, well, at the least it makes you wonder.
     Wonder I did, indeed. We had Reagan baiting the then USSR, throwing Cold War rhetoric over the fence like so many Molitov cocktails. At the time, I first thought, "screw school; if I die, I'm dying by the lake." I still got through with a B average. And got mixed up with a manipulative, needy, emotionally abusive piece of work because I was so scared of dying without a man in my life. And went for a time to a church in the denomination of my childhood with a pastor who was kinky for end-of-time theology.
   The Spouse is of a very different religious background than me. The pastor acted as if I had become engaged to a child molester or worse when I asked if he'd be willing to perform the service. I knew that my leave taking from conventional religion had arrived.
    It's taken a lot of time to undo the damage and not have a cold thread of dread crawl through me when natural disasters or wars break out. One of my Facebook comrades observed that the people who believe in this prophecy must be pretty miserable if they want to just walk away from everything, or get swept up by a greater force.
     How much damage is being done by this escape hatch fantasy? Not just in terms of giving up on life on this side, but to relationships?
     I know that there are two people out there whom I hurt deeply by getting involved with the above-mentioned piece of work, and "I'm sorry" doesn't begin to cover it.
    Time and nature are the great healers, for me, anyway. After spring will come summer, et al. And then the ball will keep rolling along.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Random Wednesday Thoughts

   Wednesday. Hump Day. No real insight. Just random midweek thoughts.
    The White House declines release of pics from Osama bin Ladin's demise Sunday night. Too gruesome. Very well, then. What do you call images of Sadam Hussain getting hanged, or the abuse of Abu Ghrab POW's?
     Raise our property taxes if you must, but have it go towards the teachers or roads or to protect open land. People in Europe get along just fine without cheerleading and football, and maybe we should do the same. The Spouse is upstairs having a chat with someone at the superintendent's office.
     Nice, but chilly out there. At least we have the sun. Try to keep the noise to a minimum so that it won't get scared and run off.
     Have you tried Magnum bars? One of my friends who lives in the UK was nice enough to tell me about them. It won't change your life, but it will get you out of yourself for a few minutes.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Has Anything Really Changed?

     Osama bin Laden was taken out by US forces last night. They went into a compound, engaged in a firefight, and that was it. It's almost anticlimactic after 9.5  years of chasing him.
     The first we heard of it, or that I heard, came as Oakley and I went to the park for our morning constitutional. The drive time team played the clip of President Obama announcing the death over and over again between songs. I switched to NPR, unsure if I'd heard correctly. Yes, a team of Navy SEALS entered the compound and took bin Laden out after a fire fight. The story broke rather late last night when we'd called it a day and headed off to dream peacefully.
    So now what? Are we going to bring everyone home? Has the world suddenly become one of apple pie and picket fences? I doubt it.
    Bin Laden was not a nice person and needed to be held accountable for his actions, true. I hope that this brings some closure for people impacted by 9/11. But is it ever appropriate to celebrate the death of a person, no matter how evil his actions, by acting as if a football team scored a touchdown?