Who’d a thunk I’d be this old this soon? Ya’ll know it, if you’re anywhere near my age, that inside there’s still the same curious spirit, present ever since I can remember. The body..meh…but it still works, saggier and slower, but still able.
Words cannot express my gratitude for my life, for every day that was and is, and for the Presence that guides me from this Now to the next. So many wonderful people have helped me, so many kind people have seen me through, many of them no longer here, many still out there, still listening. Thanks from the depths of my soul to all, even the folks who stepped over me, turned their backs and walked away. That, too, was for good. Thanks to my kids, and their kids, who cover me with Love even when we’re apart. Thanks for a happy marriage and a husband who is my Best Friend. There’s all the material stuff–beautiful home, travel trailer, enough money to pay the bills, manicures, pedicures, and shopping. I truly appreciate it All…
Here’s the Birthday Poem for this year, by Dorianne Laux…chosen last week…
by Dorianne Laux
Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don’t regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the livingroom couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You’ve walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax. Don’t bother remembering
any of it. Let’s stop here, under the lit sign
on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.
“Antilamentation” by Dorianne Laux from The Book of Men. © W.W. Norton & Company, 2011. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
I love that one, but this morning’s was appropriate, too…by Kirsten Dierking…
by Kirsten Dierking
All this time,
the life you were
supposed to live
has been rising around you
like the walls of a house
designed with warm
As if you had actually
planned it that way.
As if you had
stacked up bricks
and built by mistake
a lucky star.
“Lucky” by Kirsten Dierking from Northern Oracle. © Spout Press, 2007. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
Yes, 64 is a little like that…No regrets, plus a lucky star…
We took advantage of our ability to spontaneously up-and-go last week-end. Friday was a warm, sunny day and the weatherman predicted the same for Saturday and Sunday, only warmer! and 20% chance of rain. I ditched my plans, packed some clothes, and fixed some foil dinners. Casey uncovered the camper, hitched it up, and off we went to nearby Harmonie State Park. The trailer has been winterized since November, which means the water lines have anti-freeze in them, but there’s no water hook-ups at Harmonie (or damn few) anyway.
As we pulled into the campground, there was a new (seasonal) sign: No restrooms available after this point. That meant, in short, no using the bathhouses. Hmmm….no water, no bathhouses…no toothbrushing or handwashing…roughing it…
We had a nice evening and woke up to thick clouds and drizzles that eventually turned into an all-day, steady rain. The predicted highs in the sixties? Ha! It got up to about 54.
We salvaged the day on Sunday, though, and hiked, cooked bacon/eggs over the campfire and had those foil dinners.
This was Wink’s first outing in the camper. In fact, I don’t think he has been in a car since he was neutered. Casey’s been taking him outside for “walks” on a leash in preparation. We got a nice-size cage, brought along treats, and loaded up the litter box. He did great! He mewed quite a bit, but let up after the first 15 miles. Once in the camper, he found a hiding spot and was skittish at first. He sniffed around and explored the camper (he’d never been in it) and decided it was okay by the second day. When we drove home, he barely made a sound.
We came back Monday and brought Olivia and Samantha over to play. It was a beautiful day, like the one they told me it would be on Saturday. My birthday-week plans are skewered now, so I guess we’ll have to party into next week-end.
It’s birthday week! I turn 64 on Thursday, so let’s start the party!
I have had some stellar birthdays, and 2005 was a particularly eventful celebration. These blog posts are from the Original Sonnystone Acres. It was a primitive platform and I was a primitive writer. I did not use caps. I did not use paragraphs. Sorry, I don’t know what I was thinking. I don’t know if I even owned the Nikon yet, but I remember I had to upload pictures to Fickr and then transfer them to the post. I had nil choice of themes. I loved blogging from the first, though, and you must admit, I have evolved…
Step into the Way-Back machine…
February 18, 2005
february needed a boost, so i was born…. it is my custom to observe Birthday Week. The Celebration kicks off tomorrow when the husband and i head south to music city tn for what is becoming a birthday tradition: the grand ole opry. during january and february the opry is broadcast at the Ryman Auditorium. as i was glancing at upcoming guests, i saw one of my all-time faves: Emmylou harris. her first album, with “one of these days”, is a well-worn treasure in my life. i had almost forgotten the first time i “met” her live and in person: i was married to a no-good (but charming) rascal and was working a lot at the steakhouse while he babysat young moon. one day in february, Marshall Tucker Band was scheduled to perform in our homeburg. while i was at work, mr. B loaded up moon and went over to the local holiday inn where he boldly proceeded to knock on the door of one of the band members and introduce himself and his daughter. the whole group fell all over her, naturally. i had to work the night they were in evansville, so he got us tickets to their performance in nashville a couple of days later—my Birthday. when we went to nashville we had backstage passes (got to drink their beer and eat their chips). Emmylou was their opening act and we got to meet her! and charlie daniels, tommy & toy. we watched the first part of the show from backstage, so in a way i’ve never “seen” emmylou perform– but i’ll see her tomorrow night, along with vince gill, nasvhille bluegrass band, the whites, etc, etc: at the Grand Ole Opry.
February 20, 2005
who-oo-o-oo-ewh!!! or however you spell it. we got lost going over to the botanical gardens, so we went downtown to eat first. driving down broadway in nashville i was attracted to a really clever neon sign featuring pigs with wings…after parking we walked down to jack’s bbq. the sign on the door said something like “the only thing smoking in jack’s had better be the meat” and upon stepping into the place i was high on the smell of the smoking pork shoulder that permeated the wood floors and ceilings.
i am sorry to report that i did not try all of the sauces, but can testify that the vinegar-based pepper-spiced sauce brought me to tears. we went to the botanical gardens after eating, but i will wait for another post with that story.
we ended up downtown around 6:pm and made our way beer-by-beer through dives such as bluegrass inn, second fiddle, the stage, and finally landed at Robert’s Western World.
Sadly, I don’t remember the name of this band, but they were inspiring. they evoked images of my daddy with their menu of 1960’s to 1980’s country music: merle haggard, ray price, buck owens, johnny paycheck songs; titles like “goin’ down the road feeling bad” “is it cold in here, or is that you?”, “rollin in my sweet baby’s arms”, “the only daddy that’ll walk the line”, and an instrumental of “ghost riders in the sky” that left me convinced that there are fourteenhundredandthirtyfour guitar pickers in nashville that can play better than any other guitar picker anywhere. after an hour and a half of them, the opry was pretty tame, but Emmylou hosted her half-hour and included “get up, john”, one of my favorite bill monroe numbers. it’s a mandolin-dominated song and she couldn’t help but dance, but my picture of her dancing was distorted. she introduced vince gill, he played one song and she came back and sang with him an old gospel song…sweet harmony.
February 23, 2005
i am safely ensconced with my lovely daughter, her handsome husband, and their two precocious kittens. my birthday-day began this a.m. with a walk to and through central park to experience “the gates”:
while you may have seen many pictures, there is not a good way to explain this phenomena. i’ll be going back and work on some sort of adjectives. we walked and walked, had a nice lunch at a place called “nectar”–omelette, for those who are keeping track of menu choices. we went into the metropolitan museum to see a romare bearden exhibit (great, but small), then walked through the whole moden art section and i just loved it. we stopped at several museum shops on the way back to the apt and bought a hat from a street vendor. the temperatures got up to 40 or so; moon’s cheeks froze, but my skin is too dry to freeze. tonight we had a lovely dinner at cafe turino in greenwich village (spinach cheese ravioli for me). we were only blocks from the Village Vanguard, but opted not to wait around for the 11pm show…
walked over to the magnolia bakery for cupcakes….we put a candle in one just for me! i spoke to husband and he’s out taking care of highways…eville’s supposed to get 1-3 inches of snow; around here, they’re predicting 1-2″ in the morning and 2-4″ tomorrow evening. oh, moon gave me a gift of The Little Prince (among other things) and i can’t explain the effect of this little book. i plan to re-read it for deeper messages….so much for the birthday-day, but the week is not over yet. on to the opera!!
If I didn’t have these wonderful week-ends in February and March to volunteer at the Orchid Escape, I would curl up in a ball and hibernate for winter…
Mesker Park Zoo and Botanical Garden works with our Master Gardeners Program and Evansville Orchid Society to present an orchid display extraordinaire every winter. Within the Zoo Grounds is Amazonia, a 20,000 square foot “greenhouse” that replicates the beauty and diversity of the South American rain forest. Palms soar to the 45-foot tall roof and create a lush tropical setting. Howler Monkeys and Toucans welcome visitors to their treetop homes. Tapirs and other exotic creatures wait around each bend in the trail that leads past a waterfall, across a bridge, winding down to the indoor-outdoor habitat of a pair of jaguars. It is a perfect setting to pack in orchids of many varieties. Many are grown there at the zoo; others have been flown in from Hawaii. Along with some moss art, bromeliads, anthurium, and a gorgeous bird-of-paradise, it’s a great place to hang out on the week-ends.
The show opened last Saturday and I was out there on Sunday morning. It is even More Lush this year—you Must drop by for a stroll…
The Moss-Men were so cool. We had the paddler last year, but the birdwatcher is new…
The best show of all, of course, are the orchids themselves…
Shed your winter blahs with a stroll through Amazonia, open 7 days a week, with the Orchid Escape going through March. I hope I see you there!
Attention, Readers! Are you wondering what to read next?
My favorite used-book store, Better World Books, put out an interesting 2017 Reading Challenge. Instead of them assigning you some books to read, you pick your own from their prompt. They started the first of the year, so they are well ahead of us, but we could start now and see how many of the 25 challenges we complete before the end of the year..! I have tried to link you to the list, but the best I can do is to link you to the blog and you’ll have to dig a little for it here
Let’s get started! I’m headed to the library to choose a book to fulfill the first challenge:
Read a food memoir…
Ideas? Suggestions? What are You going to read?
February is short because we just can’t take another day of it. Just starting the month makes me chomp at the bit for March and Spring. However…there were a Lot of Great people born in February and each of them needs proper celebrating; the super bowl halftime show is this weekend; and Mardi gras makes a late appearance on the 28th. Today has been a pretty slow start, though…Dullsville.
We babysat Samantha yesterday…she wanted nothing to do with letting me take a picture…
Around sunset I headed over to UE for an interfaith rally to show support for our Muslim brothers and sisters. There is no anger at these rallies, there is hope. We don’t chant hateful sayings, we pray together. We sing songs like Everybody get Together. The pastor, the rabbi, and the imam speak of our sacred duty to take care of each other. We smile at each other. Away from the arguments and rants on the tv and social media, it was so comforting to stand quietly and pray that Love will Overcome fear and hate.