Saturday, May 28, 2011

Where were you?

There are certain days that one remembers always.  People remember anniversaries of great events, horrendous events, and glorious events.  Examples are endless:  the wedding day, the assassination of JFK, or just about anything where the images, sounds, and smells are forever ingrained in our computer-like brain.

In fact, someone can ask you, “What were you doing when you heard the news about the assassination of John F. Kennedy?”  Most of us who were cognizant at the time can call up that moment with clarity and emotion.  For me, I was sitting in my 7th grade classroom, when the principal walked in and told us.  The room was cold and silent.  Then a boy turned in his chair, and it squeaked.  Another boy laughed.  We looked at each other, and then looked down quickly.  I didn’t know what to do with my hands, or where I should look.  Yes, a frozen photograph with sensory sound.

Robert Peck (in glasses)
I remember what I was doing on May 19, 1997.  It was five o’clock in the afternoon, and I had just gotten home from school.  There was a ‘to-do’ list running wildly in my head, and I was pulling dinner together.  The phone rang and I answered it, with the list still occupying my attention.

It was my parents.  I immediately sat down, and felt a chill creep over me from my head down to my toes.  I started to shiver.  “Yes?”  I answered. 
Easter 1959; Robert (glasses)

“Robert is gone,” my father’s voice sounded tired, stretched tight.
“This afternoon, two hours ago,” my mother filled in from another phone.  “It happened quickly.”  Mom’s voice was flat and without any light.

Robert & Cheryl, 1970
“I’ve got to go.  I need to make arrangements.”  I hung up.  I didn’t want to know how, for his death had been fast approaching, and the days passed while we held our collective breaths.  “Any day now,” was what my folks said every day when I called to ask “How’s Robert today?”

Uncle Robert with my Mary, 1985
Robert is my brother, and was born in January 1951; I was born in December 1951, and we were 10.5 months apart.  We were always close, and the attachment we felt stretched across countries, was always fresh and strong.  He discovered he had a brain tumor, an angioplastic astrocytoma, or a multiform glioma., in August 1995.  He had a dangerous surgery in early September 1995.  Robert lived nearly 21 months following his diagnosis.

Robert at Mom's kitchen table on the farm
So, today, I write this in Robert’s memory, for I know what I was doing when the phone call came.
Dad, Robert, brother Don, and my husband John
This is being posted on Memorial Day weekend, a time for families to remember departed loved ones, and to honor deceased veterans.  I needed to write this and breathe it out onto paper. I think of my brother Robert every single day, and I miss him dearly.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's Gonna Happen!

“It’s gonna happen!”  Truer words have never been spoken, and certainly never by an 18 month old brilliant little girl. 

Bright Eyes started talking very early; in fact, she was barely ten months old when she turned to her parents and asked, “Where BAH go?”  BAH was her word for “pacifier” or “binky”.  They blinked a few times and told her that bah was by the TV.  She turned, saw it, and picked it up.

Since then, Bright Eyes has been a talking machine, able to hold her own with just about any adult. Her pediatrician says he’s never encountered such a verbally gifted child, I write with my ample chest inflated in humble pride.

It's gonna happen.
When Bright Eyes was 18 months old, her father was settled in the rocking chair, playing with my daughter's Game Boy ™  while watching Bright Eyes and the newborn Sunshine.  Bright Eyes looked up from putting all her stuffed animals down for naps, shook her head, and told him that “…Mama doesn’t like it when you play with her toys.  You’re gonna get in trouble.” 

Daddy was taken aback, and told her that Mama would not mind if he played with the Game Boy.  But Bright Eyes was not impressed.  She didn’t even look up at him.  “You’re gonna get in trouble,” and then she sighed.  “It’s gonna happen!”

Apparently, Bright Eyes had learned this lesson, and heard that phrase many times before.  She was simply sharing this bit of wisdom she had amassed in her one-and-a-half years of life.
One way, my way!

Now, whenever there is a possibility of negative outcome, that is our own catch phrase, “It’s gonna happen.”  When we need a good laugh after dropping a plate of spaghetti on the carpet, we say, “It’s gonna happen.”  When Sunshine and Bright Eyes are standing eye to eye, and there is blood in the air, I tell them, “It’s gonna happen” and the battle scales down. 

You can borrow this phrase if you want. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Price of Dependability

all photos courtesy of Bing.Com
Today I am typing with my right index finger taped to its best friend, the middle finger.  The MF is longer, feeling no pain, and has a nice fingernail.  I am certain that, if fingers had miniature brains, it would have been thinking smug thoughts until today.

The right index finger (RIF) has always carried the brunt of the hand’s work, and the nail has always broken easily.  RIF was always the one to volunteer for scraping off tape that would not release its cling to the wall.  RIF was also dependable in untying knots in shoelaces.  In fact, RIF and LIF were the CFO’s when it comes to all things “Hand”.

Today, RIF woke up and hurt like the dickens.  I do not know what happened, but somehow I think it got sprained during a very demanding week, during which the LIF and the RIF were putting in overtime in their CFO jobs.  But, then, these two digits were always over-achievers.  Between all my writing, piano playing, cooking, vegetable dicing, and plant maintenance, they never get a break.

Such a little boo-boo
A Joint Service Medal--no kidding.
The LIF had to have two surgeries in 2010, and it was a real trooper.  Never complained, followed restrictions put up with the pain—man, that digit should get a silver star.  After all, it was injured in the line of duty.  I was walking with my granddaughter, Sunshine, and LIF was instrumental in holding onto that sweet little three-year old hand.  When Sunshine and I tripped over something, LIF did all it could to pull Sunshine up, to keep her from slamming into the asphalt.  When it came my turn to hit the road (heh, heh), LIF led the rest of the hand in an effort to keep me from serious injury.  Together, the RIF and the LIF tried, but I was still knocked out cold.

Coming out of the foggy knock-out, it was obvious that the tendon of the first joint had “blown out”.  The LIF endured two surgeries in order to make it functional, although the first joint has a metal screw fusing it in place.  LIF feels the cold badly, but it is one strong soldier, so to speak.

They like each other now.
Meanwhile, RIF is taped to MF, snuggly.  The two are not getting along very well.  The number of typos is astronomical.  If RIF is still having pain in a few days, it will have to see my hand doctor, who is so very handsome.  I won’t mind the trip, and I think RIF will be fine with that.

This current injury happened in St. Louis, MO.  Reference "Stupid Things I have done:  #347" for scintillating details of this senseless injury.  Both fingers are doing nicely, thanks for your kind thoughts.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I do! I do!

All photos via Bing.Com
It is the season of the brides coming up.  June traditionally became the month for weddings centuries ago when life revolved around agriculture.  Spring planting was done; it would be hay mowing time in a few weeks.  Also, any bride who soon found herself with child in July or August wouldn’t give birth until April or May, which gave the newborn infant the best weather for surviving the newborn stage.  Also, I think there may have been some druid connection, but that is pure speculation on my part.

Oh, to be young and in love!
In fact, my niece Sarah is getting married in a week.  The wedding will be on the beach just south of Santa Barbara, and it will be beautiful, because they are in love, and they are both beautiful people.  We are looking forward to the wedding, seeing our relatives, dancing on the beach, and watching the carousing of the young adults.  Our carousing days ended a while ago, and we will head back to the hotel for free HBO. 

Should I be asked (and I doubt I will), I have some excellent advice for the couple.  This is year #39 for us, and boy have we learned a lot in those 39 years.  So, for brides or young married couples everywhere, here is some worthy advice:

This was to good to pass up.
1.  The behaviors you found most entertaining, amusing, and attractive when you first met will soon become the most irritating.  In fact, as the years go by, and those ‘cute things’ don’t change as you think they should, you will start snapping at him/her about those ‘behaviors/habits’.

2.  Basically, both spouses are innately slobs.  Yes, yes, you are.  You were allowed to be that way by your mother who enabled you by picking up for you OR you became that way when you were living on your own.  Get over yourselves, and discuss your expectations.  What is acceptable?  What is not?  Hint:  Taking off your socks and flapping them around in the living room is really the height of disgusting.  Don’t do it.
Even Kate has to deal with it.
She is someone's mother.

3.  No one’s mother is allowed to come by without at least an hour’s notice.  A whole hour, not ten minutes.  Showing up is forbidden.  No, don’t let them guilt you into allowing them to break this rule.  Yes, they will have to deal with it.
We all need a shoulder to cry on.
  4.The best shoulder to cry on is that of your spouse, not your best friend or your parents.  What you and your beloved share is between you two, and you two only.  No one needs to know about the crappy stuff that happens, and no one should ever have that information to spread around.  It gets to be like manure:  the more that gets spread around, the more it stinks. There is a proviso here:  If any spouse discovers that the other spouse is abusive, controlling, or manipulative, get help!  Seek professional intervention, and inform your family of your needs.  No one has to put up with this in a marriage, ever. 
It is what is.

5.  What you really want to have at the end of your life is to hold the hands of the person who wears your wedding ring.  Those are the hands that held you, helped you, loved you, and walked through life with you.   Hopefully, both of your hands will be old, age-spotted, and gnarly.  And you, the bride, should be wearing one big hunkin’ diamond.

Whether you agree with me, well, that is up for debate.  If you want more advice, you know where to find me.  I’ll be here.  

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I come to the garden alone...

In search of my mother's garden, I found my own. -Alice Walker, American writer

This quote I found on a fellow blogger’s site, “A Country Farmhouse”. The quote was
beneath a tender photo of three generations. If you know the site, then you know how
lovely the photos are, taken by the author. I hope she won’t mind that I am using this
In a literal sense, my mother’s garden was exactly that: a garden. It was an acre of
courtesy of Mom's garden
strawberries, tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, lettuce, radishes, onions, and…well, you get the idea. We did constant battle with weeds. In fact, it was daily battle. I would start hoeing the potatoes, and by the time I finished the many, oh so many rows, it was time
to start again at the beginning. Picking the vegetables were the same process: pick the ripe tomatoes one day, and go back the next day to find a whole new crop. Green beans, again the same.

I can’t say it was a lovely garden, but it was well-laid out, nurtured, and used. The food harvested was canned or frozen, or stored in a cool dark place for use through the winter.  The summer that used to stretch long and lazy when I was young changed. It was now a
from perfection
summer of gardening, canning, making jam, and mowing the lawn. Repeatedly.  It does sound like I am complaining, but I am not. During those days where my mother and I hunched over, searching under the strawberry runners for ripe berries, we talked.

She told me stories about her life, I asked questions. It was probably the only time that my brothers and father were far away from us, so we could talk about anything we wanted.

It was also a time when both my grandmothers would get together in our big farmhouse kitchen, and we would all work at the steaming hot process of canning. I usually got the job of running the cooked tomatoes through the ricer with a wooden pestle.  The boiling
from  "It was a fierce summer day
juice splattered my arms with red dots. At first, I complained, but Mom replied, “You’re fine. Keep going.” That was my mother’s response for many complaints for my entire growing up years. Thick hot tomato sauce was poured into the rows of scalded quart Mason jars, and placed in a boiling water bath. At the end of the day, while we cleaned up the kitchen, jars lined up on the table, ready for winter’s chili and vegetable soups, thick stews, and goulash.

These canning days filled the kitchen with stories from my grandmothers, about their own canning days with their mothers and grandmothers. There would be canning horror stories, canning disasters, and canning triumphs.
Lemon tree next to St. Francis
Oranges in January
My own garden is modest, to say the least. Living in a dry desert climate, we have to
water every plant, if we want it to be green instead of withered up brown. We have
fruit trees that produce lemons, oranges, limes, and grapefruits. We give them away as
fast as we can, keeping only what we two can use. The geraniums are bountiful in size,
Lavender in Winter
all colors. The lavender grows and spreads out, enticing honey bees. We have some
My roses
roses, ‘Cecil Burgess roses’ I think is their name. They fill the air with intense rose scent, almost thick enough to eat.

I will never have my mother’s garden, but I have found my own.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Closures and Openings

courtesy of Bing.Com Free Photos

One of the saddest things to see is an “OUT of BUSINESS” sign on the window of a store I have shopped in many times.  It used to be something normal, such as the owners moving out of state, or the owner wants to retire.  Now, the sign is about some action anonymously hidden.

Even worse are the “Clearance!  All Must Go!”, along with “Store Closing!  Everything 20% off.!” Then the percentage number slowly slides higher…30%...50%...70%.  The signs are on the windows for such a long time, that I become immune to their invitation.  Then, suddenly, the store is closed, and paper covers the insides of the once gleaming glass walls.
Courtesy of free photos

I suppose that puts me in the highly-sensitive category (HSP), where I empathize with the hopes and plans of the owners when they first started the business.  When sales were high, the owners and the employees must have joked with each other between customers, had donuts in the staff lounge, and good coffee.  As the percentage signs went up, the air must have darkened inside, broken only by the buzzing fluorescent bulbs high over the sales floor.  There probably was no laughter, no conviviality.  The employees must have glared at each other, wondering who will be next to go.  No donuts, no coffee, and they must have raced each other to the door to get home, to look for another job.
This was someone's home.

Everyone has to go through a closure of some sort in their lives.  It is important to remember the following:
Closure of any kind is a cruel animal, which can prey on anyone.   Just don’t let that animal eat away at you, and make you forget how wonderful you are, how marvelously loved you are, and how tomorrow will provide something for you.  Closure of a love, of a life, of an opportunity, of…any kind can take away something, but you can gain more by letting that closure silently retreat behind you.
Hope springs eternal!

Some day soon, the paper will be peeled off the windows, and new lights will turn on inside those stores.  Someone with a dream and a hope will jump in with both feet to create a place that customers will want to visit, and find many things to buy.  That is when the sign on the door will read OPEN and Come on in!.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

thecontemplativecat: Blog Tag! You're It!

thecontemplativecat: Blog Tag! You're It!

Blog Tag! You're It!

My blog friend Lisa, from "Diary of a Square Toothed Girl", tagged me, and now I am tagging three people whose names are listed below.  Here is the badge and you better watch out ... someone else is gonna get tagged too!!

Lisa, from Diary of a Square Toothed Girl, tagged me, so I had to answer the following questions.  THEN I have to tag three other bloggers!   These are great questions, by the way, and made me think, which is what I like to do.

If you could go back in time and relive one moment, what would it be?
I would go back to the birth of my first baby, and hold her more.  Her delivery was so drawn out, and I ended up having a C-section.  They wouldn’t let me hold her for 36 hours.  Now, I would storm the nursery and insist that I hold my precious little girl.

If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?
I would go back to highschool, senior year.  I said some hurtful and hateful things to a childhood friend.  I can still see his face, and I can’t apologize to him now.  He was killed in a car accident 32 years ago.

What movie/tv character do you most resemble in personality?
I resemble the character played by Julie Waters in “Mamma Mia”.  She also plays Mrs. Weasley in “Harry Potter”. I am that person as well.  Watch out Bellatrix.

If you could push one person off a cliff and get away with it who would it be?
I don’t think I could do that.  Murder isn’t in me, unless I am protecting a loved one.

Name one habit you want to change in yourself.
I don’t listen to God’s voice enough.  You know that still voice that you hear when your life is in tune with His will.  I need to stay “tuned in”.

Describe yourself in one word.

Describe the person who named you in this meme in one word.
I see Lisa as a strong, determined young woman, who feels things deeply.  She uses writing to make sense of this world, to bring light into dark spaces.

Why do you blog?  Answer in one sentence.
I blog to get perspective on life; it helps me process all the good and bad that happens.

Name at least 3 people to send this memo to and inform them.
  1. Erin Kane Spock
  2. Ann Best
  3. Siv Maria

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Best Mother's Day EVER!

Another way to spend Mother’s Day, I asked once.  Our babies were now in their 30s, so there would be no warm Sunday cuddles, or homemade cards, still wet and dripping glue.  No more little kisses on my face, and heart-felt, "I love you, Mommy!"  No, it was now just my husband and me.

Forget about the obligatory cards and flowers.  No more breakfasts in bed—they never worked out anyway, since I was the one who had to change the sheets after the orange juice spilled.  Sunday Brunch?  Oh, heavens, no.  So when my husband asked what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day 2010, I said…well, some other things, but the jest of the conversation is that I wanted to do something different.

A week later, my husband handed me a brochure, and a confirmation email, telling us that we had been accepted for a free sailing trip from Long Beach, CA, to Catalina Island.  I must admit that I believed my husband had really scored big on creativity.  He is a creative man, but much of the time, when I open a present, I am puzzled by his thought processes. 

Wear layers, we were told. 
What do I pack?  Will there be a dress-up night?  No, he said, just bring these things, and he handed me a list:
The incredible crew of CIMI Tole Mour
Bring a change of warm clothing, shoes with rubber soles, a bathing suit, a rain-jacket, sunscreen, a hat, a towel, sleeping bag, and pillow. 

This was not a pleasure cruise.  It was a tall-ship with three masts, rigging—the whole package of 19th century traveling. Hosted by the Catalina Island Marine Institute, we were going to travel across the ocean, powered by the wind on the sails.

Rigging, anyone?  I didn't climb to the Crow's Nest.

 Mizzen mast?  Ballentine knots?  Make fast?  Super fast?  Go portside.  Go starboard.  Swab the poop deck (oh, yeah).  All of it and more, it was real and we got to do it.  This cruise was for teachers, showing what students would be doing aboard if they went for two, three, five or more days.
Every single crew member were dedicated trained marine scientists and sailors.  Their depth of knowledge amazed me.  Their respect for life humbled me. Their care for their crew/passengers was genuine.  This crew was what every human being should be.

Leaving Long Beach, CA

Inside the galley, also used for education and classes

Approaching Catalina Island
Racing dolphins
During our 24 hours aboard, we hoisted sails, heaved-ho,  sang clean sailing shanties, learned about the native sea life, snorkeled, climbed out over the bow and watched dolphins race the boat. The meals prepared in a tiny kitchen were of gourmet quality.  We ate like starving sailors, and slept soundly.  We even threw up occasionally, until we got our sea legs.  Some never got their legs, so there were buckets at the ready, with a crew mate anticipating that certain look that comes over the face in pre-vomit stage.

We stood at the wheel, with the captain by the side.  Climbing out on the rigging to the bowsprit, we could look down into the ocean and feel awed by God's creation.
The trip ended too quickly, and we disembarked, vaguely feeling like we had  left a family member behind.  
If you ever get a chance to do this, don't hesitate.  
Give up the champagne brunch, and 'live large'.

 "I must go down to the sea again..."  I think I understand a little more what the poet meant by this.
Go to the links below for some great photos and info!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sunshine and Theology 101

Sunshine:  Theology 101
After I pick up Sunshine from Gateway Christian Preschool, we always have lunch together.

Having lunch with Sunshine is always an interesting event, even if it involves copious amounts of pbj, milk, and applesauce.  All it takes is a simple question, and her vast wealth of knowledge and opinions come flooding out like gold coins from Scrooge McDuck’s vault.

All I have to ask, “What did you learn at school today?”

Just before Easter, Sunshine’s eyes brightened at that question, and without missing a bite of pbj, or a drop of the jam from the oozy edges, Sunshine told me.  “I learned all about Jesus.  And, Grandma, did you know…” 

She paused for a swig of 2% milk, and to allow me to mop off her face.  “Did you know that Jesus gotted nailed to a cross?  That’s a thing that has two pieces of wood that make a small ‘t’.  The bad Romans (Where did she hear about them, I wondered.) took big nails, Grandma, really big nails.”  She spread her hands about a foot apart.  “And then they hammered them through Jesus’ hands, really hard.  Right through Jesus’ hands.”

Her wide blue eyes made contact with my green eyes, to make sure I understood what she said.  Oh, I understood.  I could feel His bones breaking, and the blood dripping onto the wood.  My green eyes became misty with tears.

With casual care, Sunshine licked off the strawberry jam that she had squeezed out from the bread, on purpose.  She likes to do that, and I don’t blame her; so do I.

“Then they stood the cross up like this,” Sunshine demonstrated with her yellow IKEA plastic spoon, “and dropped it in a hole like this.”  She brought down the spoon hard into the bowl of applesauce.  “That woulda really hurted, you know.”

Again her eyes looked deeply into mine, checking for understanding just like any good teacher would.  Oh, I understood how the cross would have hit the ground with a vibrating thud, and how this would have shook Christ’s body with waves of pain.  My eyes blinked at hers several times.

She told me the whole story, event by event, while I remained very still, listening and watching as my almost 5 year old granddaughter explained salvation to me.  “Miss Kenny gived us each a paper cross we color on, and I decided to color my cross like a sunset.”  I looked confused, I suppose, for now she patiently explained her ideas as if I were only 4 years old. 

“You see, Grandma, the red is for the Blood of Jesus, which He gave away so we can see Him in Heaven.  Then the orange is for the sunset when Jesus died.”  Another bite of pbj, and the last swallow of milk.  “Can I have some more milk, Grandma?”  Without missing a beat while I automatically poured the milk into her pink IKEA cup, Sunshine lowered her voice to a whisper.  “Then I used yellow.  You know why I used yellow?” 

I shook my head, for at this point I didn’t want to or couldn’t talk.  “Well, the yellow is for sunrise, when Jesus got up out of His grave.  That meaned that He wasn’t dead anymore, that He was alive!”  She slammed her hand on the table.  “There!  See!  Jesus is alive!”

With the last bite of pbj, and the last swipe of the spoon around the bowl of applesauce, Sunshine finished up.  “Then I colored around the cross in blue, ‘cause Jesus went up to Heaven, and He’s waiting there for all of us.”  She gazed into my eyes and asked, “Grandma, why are you crying?  This is good news, not bad.  Jesus is alive!”

I pulled her into my lap and wrapped my arms around her.  Sunshine wiped her gooey face into my tee-shirt, and filled me with her warmth.  Yes, He’s alive, Sunshine.

Susan Kane
April 27, 2011

This is a re-post from six years ago.  I had forgotten about until I checked comments in Hold for Moderation section.  Sunshine is now eleven, my height, with the same blue eyes.  And she still knows what Jesus did for us.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Stupid Things I Have Done: #347

In case you are thinking that this number is an over-the-span-of-my life number, it is not.  I rack up the numbers to 1000, and then I start the cycle over again.  I haven’t kept track of the number of 1000s that have accumulated.  It didn’t seem feasible, and certainly not something I want to have locked in my memory, over and over.

This time the episode of stupidity occurred in St. Louis, Missouri.  It must be stated before admitting to this act, that I was in an altered state of mind, and may not have been totally responsible for a lapse in judgment.

No, not that type of altered state which some of you may be conjuring in your own minds.  My husband John, son JK, daughter Christina, and Myself had come from distant points in the U.S. to Illinois; my mother was dying, and we were there to say good-bye to her, and then bury her.  We spent untold hours in her home, looking for photographs and nostalgic items that had value only to us. 

We drove down to St. Louis the day before our flights back to our home.  Only a few hours remained in the afternoon, so JK suggested we visit a museum he had heard about:  The City Museum.  It sounded good, going to a quiet museum, looking at old photos, bones of bison, reading about local heroes, and such.  Quiet, calm, meditative—it sounded good to me.

With directions, we drove into a desperate part of St. Louis.  It once had been a thriving industrial area, where all sorts of goods were made, and then shipped out on train or along the Mississippi River to parts unknown.  Shoes, buttons, linens, lace—you name it, and it was once a product made there.  There were big brick buildings, maybe ten stories or more, with blank dusty windows lined up blindly on the walls.  Most were now silent, excepting this one building now converted to a museum: The City Museum.

It wasn’t what I expected.  Some brilliant artist/architect with massive money and effort had transformed this rectangular brick block into an amazing play ground, inside and out.  He used repurposed industrial materials, tons of gears and marbles, old rollers, and whatever else you can think up.  From these, he fashioned a fantasy land in which a full size white whale with gaping mouth silently invited exploration.  Dinosaurs, tunnels made from industrial rebar, child-sized caves and slides wove in and out on each other.  Just when one might think he was lost, an employee stood sentry, keeping vigilance on this miraculous castle. 

So, you might ask, “What did you do that was so stupid?”  This:  We climbed up a wildly winding staircase, from which different landings extended to floor waiting for more exploration.  But, we stayed on the staircase, going up and up, until we climbed ten stories.  Now, I was fine with this climb.  No problem going up, but my knees hate the climbing down. 

When we reached the tenth floor, we were at our destination:  the slick steel slide down seven stories.  It was a tube, with open rebar curved over the top, and the steel inviting ones’ buttocks to take a chance.  Here is where the stupidity part happened. 

Deep inside, I heard the caution voice, but I said, “Heck, why not?  Why not, indeed?”  So, when my turn came, I sat my own buttocks on the slide and let go. 

The slide was slick and it was fast.  Instinctively my hands tried to grab onto the rebar sides, and I caught a finger on each hand.  Not caught, but snagged, and I immediately pulled my hands onto my chest.  Then, my buttocks were going up the left side on a right curve, so my right foot instinctively reached out to slow my descent.  The rubber sole heel held a moment too long, and my right leg torqued, twisting my right ankle and causing my knee to complain in silent but insistent throbs.

I immediately gave into the slide’s will, crossing my feet, and lying down, “Slide, Slide, do what you will.”  When I reached the bottom, my laughing grown children were there to pull me up and away from my husband, who came down with his tennis shoes smoking, after using them as brakes all the way down.  Not really, but it is a fitting image.

That night, I iced my ankle and knee, discovering that I had friction burns on both elbows, and a red streak on my back, where my shirt had ridden up along the wild ride.  Since that day, I have dealt with different pains in my fingers, knee, and ankle.  Yes, #347, I was stupid, but it was worth it, every bit of it.

Susan Kane
Stupid things: #347
April 13, 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011

Reflections of the A-Z Blogfest

Mirror, mirror (courtesy of
A reflection typically is what one sees when looking into a mirror, or a shiny surface.  Looking at this past month, I have observed:
*  Discipline—creating and planning, then writing on an almost daily basis required me to adhere to a deadline. Forethought and having a notepad & pen was necessary at all times.
*  Introspection—looking into myself, and pondering how to approach an assignment differently each day.  Questioning myself about what I wanted the reader to experience was always in front of me.
*  Variety—I like humor, I can be dark, I like to turn ideas over and relate them to something else totally opposite.  I like narrative, I like dialogue.  I like to see God in all the events I observe. This allowed me to explore all those ‘likes’.
Summarizing, this was a great experience, demanding and gritty at times.  I grew as a writer.
This was a daunting task for the A-Z team.  Thank you for your diligence, craziness, and encouragement.  Go to the following link for more reflections: