Sunday Report 11/15/2020

The sound of the wind,, like a distant train, woke me this morning. It didn’t wake me Up, but rather woke me Down, with the plaintive refrain of the Son Volt song, “Windfall” stuck in my brain:

“Both feet on the floor, two hands on the wheel, May the wind take your troubles away…”

It’s still stuck there, though I’ve been piddling around here for hours trying to cheer myself up.

Went for a physical exam this week and was thrilled to find that I’m in excellent shape for an old broad. Had the grandkids over on Wednesday, took them to Barnes & Noble on Saturday and that’s always Fun. So what’s my problem? Could it be that Mars is in retrograde right now? Or is it the shift in barometric pressures with all this Weather?

The relief that I experienced just after the election dissipated as my focus went back to the pandemic. The compassion I feel for nurses and healthcare workers is overwhelming me. The Indiana Department of Health has kept me on their list for call-outs, and I got a notice the other day that many of our hospitals are in dire need and requesting volunteers. I’m way too far from my hospital days and would be more of a hindrance than a help, but I feel guilty. My heart is heavy with the suffering.

But then, we all know people now who have had Covid and have not gotten sick. Their message is, hey it’s not that bad. The fact that we’re able to treat the infection better now, especially if you have access to $100,000 therapies, seems to embolden some, as well. It looks rather hopeless — not for me, because I wear a mask; not for the folks refusing to wear a mask, because they don’t care; but for the hospitals and nursing homes and the people who need care and the folks who provide it. I am fervently praying for them.

My son-in-law, Eric, buried his beloved mother on Saturday up in Indy, that swamp of corona. Sonya Torres Jose’ was a Wonderful Woman and I was proud to be her friend. She had been ill for a while, finally passed on November 2. She was a widow for nearly 20 years, and I know her boys are comforted to think of her and their Dad together again, dancing in heaven.

While I worried about Eric traveling, there’s the cognitive dissonance from planning a trip during this time… We’re going to Disney World to celebrate Casey’s birthday, leaving the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Disney is doing a great job of enforcing their mask and social distancing guidelines and it’s seriously the Only Place I feel safe to visit…

The Wind is still huffing puffing like the Big Bad Wolf, sending the dried leaves swirling like cyclones across the garden, as the sun peeps in and out from behind the scurrying clouds. There’s a cozy book-chair waiting for me to curl up and work my way through my “To Read” list.

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer, and I promise I’ll snap out of it soon, but that’s the way I’m feeling this second Sunday in November…

Now and then it keeps you running
It never seems to die
The trail’s spent with fear
Not enough living on the outside
Never seem to get far enough
Staying in between the lines
Hold on to what you can
Waiting for the end
Not knowing when

May the wind take your troubles away
May the wind take your troubles away
Both feet on the floor, two hands on the wheel,
May the wind take your troubles away
Trying to make it far enough, to the next time zone
Few and far between past the midnight hour
Never feel alone, you’re really not alone

from “Windfall” by Son Volt…

Peace

Sunday Report 11/8/2020

I will never forget how I felt four years ago: a sense of doom permeated my perspective. My post-election blog post attempted to put a good light on the situation, urging us all to come together. I had to take it down, as within 24 hours, the tweets that were to dominate our news for the next four years were proof to me that we truly were doomed. By the time of his inauguration, it was clear to me that he is mentally ill. I joined groups, held signs, got blocked by family and friends, made new friends. It didn’t stop his erratic, self-serving, lying behavior; in fact, it only triggered him to more retribution on anyone who wanted him out of office…(now we know it was about 76million of us).

A friend posted something on FB just after the 2016 election that stuck with me. He said, if you’re waking up every morning feeling sick, now you know how the rest of us felt every morning for eight years of Obama.

That friend is now taking his turn waking up every morning feeling sick and I feel for him, sending Love. However, Joe Biden is not going to launch retaliatory, vengeful, or hostile acts or pursue a personal vendetta against those who are feeling doomed right now. I promise.

“To make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies.

We are not enemies. “

President-Elect Joe Biden

I have tried my best to avoid politics on this blog, partly because I don’t write that kind of report well, and partly because I know my readers don’t all share my political persuasions. But in every one of these moments when you have to Stand for Something, I have Stood for Peace. I pray for Peace in the World, across the planet, throughout the Universe; peace for every human being. I work prayerfully for Peace in my heart and soul, hoping that it may be contagious.

My sincere hope is that Americans can reconcile, find some common ground. Maybe that ground is closer than we thought…Check out this article…

Whatever-happens-next-Americans-are-pretty-sure-they-want-to-be-stoned-when-it-does

While we stood still, the breezes through the trees sent the leaves rustling to the ground in heaps of colour. The sun has been brilliant, the skies blue, and the temperatures warm, so I’ve been outside enjoying. Stay Strong, dear friends.

Peace

Sunday Report 11/1/2020

Breaking News! We have bought a van, a 2012 Ford E150 conversion van. She’s beautiful and I’ve named her Goldie…guess what color she is? She was previously owned by a Farmer out on the Westside who kept careful maintenance and only drove it 39,180 miles!!! We had her here yesterday while the Jr. girls were visiting and Casey did a complete inspection, finding Nothing wrong.

The girls enjoyed a ride in it when we drove them home, then Casey and I proceeded to haggle with the owner’s surrogate, a super guy who wore a mask. We met halfway between his price and our offer, so we are very satisfied. Since banks had closed, we agreed to meet up Monday to exchange the cash for the check we gave him.

I didn’t take any pictures, dang it! I was going to use the ones that were on the FB Marketplace listing, but it’s already been taken down and I could only download this one…

After the experience with the Old Vans in Paducah, I changed my whole perspective and started thinking Newer, less miles; I also got my heart set on a high top. We did an inventory of our needs – comfortable, good stereo, a lay-down bed for overnight stays on longer trips, storage, room for personalization.

I kept looking at craigslist, FB marketplace, and various other online spots, checking about once a week. Looking within a radius of 150 miles of Eville (Indy, Louisville, St. Louise, and Nashville) there were ludicrous listings to make us laugh… Goldie was only on the market for a day when I saw her and the opportunity was a no-brainer…I’m so grateful when I’m able to manifest… We will Definitely do some day-trippin’ this week.

In the meantime, I’m trying to stay calm: deep breaths, mellow music, cooking a nice meal, and writing. Goldie is a nice distraction from the election noise. I’m weary of being told to Vote. We have always voted day-of, though I love the early voting option.

I expect that the Election Drama will be going on for a spell. Is Anybody enjoying this? Good on you, then, but it’s making me bilious. I’ll bravely be soldiering on, though, with some Extra Editions of The News to cover Election Week… Thanks for Reading!

Peace

Sunday Report 10-25-20

Just got off the phone with my daughter. They’re doing fine, thanks. I told her I was struggling to write a blog post and that it feels like a deadline, which it is. She commented that she can tell when I’m writing against the deadline; it’s a few words and a picture. Being my daughter, she also let me know that my writing is always good, but sometimes great; not every column can be Pulitzer Prize material.

I’m a little disappointed that I’m so transparent, but she’s right. I try to plan out each week’s report in my head by Saturday night. On Sunday morning I sit down and write it up in a couple of hours. Yeah, if there’s not a topic or idea in my head to start with, as frequently happens, it takes three or four hours of staring and writing and deleting and finally putting up a few words and some pictures.

So here it is…

The Daytrip got rained out, but we spent some time walking in our own woods, the one we call Solla Sollew…on the banks of the River Wahoo…

The Jrs. were here Saturday… I love this picture of Samantha laughing…

Peace

Sunday Report

It’s been a quiet week here at Sonnystone Acres. The Autumn weather is invigorating and I’m still cleaning up in the gardens, so I’ve soaked it up. I’m just a smidge away from saying we’re done with the Home winterizing, and glad of it.

Early voting starts at our libraries this week, so we’ll be there having our say, earning the right to complain later. Hope you’ll be planning to find a spot in line, too.

Since there’s not much to report, it seems like a good day to share a re-run of the video I made of Camp Sonnystone 2020. Put on your dancing shoes and take the Theme to Heart: We’re All in This Together!

Wear a Mask to Vote!

Peace

r

Sunday Report

We’re having such pleasant weather around the Acres. Down in the woodlands, the leaves are a mix of green, gold, and red. The buckeye tree in our side yard is always the first to drop its leaves, while the tulip poplars, maples, and birches take their time, giving us a nice show. The Dogwood trees are full of berries — I should say “were”; I watched as a flock of birds completely obliterated them in one feeding.

Last year my Peace/Bird garden was only a dream…here’s a pic from October 2019 and one from this year…

I’ve been annoyed and exasperated by Passwords… Mr. Google broke into my Browsing to announce that something like 16 of my passwords had been breached. They took me to the “Manage Passwords” page where I spent most of last evening.

First of all, Mr. Google wants to recognize my face, my fingerprint, my voice — all for My security, of course — but then still expects me to use a password, pin, and secret word of the day to access my own account. I confess, I use the same old password for most sites, but don’t fuss at me; they’re not sites where I allow my $$ info to be stored. My actual $$ accounts have individual passwords that seem Strong to me because I can actually Remember them and I Don’t let Mr. Google store them for me.

The others are a mess, though. Goog has kept Every Damn Password I ever used and lectures me about their weakness and overuse. So I sulkily changed what was Urgent, but it will take me a couple more Hours to actually Fix. In the meantime, they won’t keep me logged in to Anything — even google — and it’s a pain in the ass. This is why I never wanted any appliances with computer parts — can you imagine if the refrigerator suddenly required a log-in every time I opened it?

But it could be worse—remember dial-up?

Speaking of Worse, my new neighbors to the North moved in six months ago and I’m not saying They, the actual humans that are my neighbors, are worse then the previous owners, but… They brought in a Forest Grinder machine that Eats trees and shrubs and decimated their back acres, destroying the habitat of birds, deer, insects, critters of all sorts. The sound of it breaking and ripping the trees was dreadful and has greatly upset me. All along the north property line is barren and open down to the dirt. He did leave some larger trees, though and it looks better now that leaves are falling. Still, I grieve the displacement of the residents and feel like we have to make more room for them. Casey’s not too keen on planting trees down in the meadow, so I’m still thinking…

My genealogy research heated up this week when I discovered some 18th-century legal squabbling over a Last Will & Testament — some things never change. It’s always fun to find your ancestors’ names in a History Book, too, especially when it’s so unexpected. I had No Idea our family was so closely connected to Posey County. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow…

Peace…

Sunday Report

Wow, did I choose a great time to retreat and refresh last week or what? Throughout what I Thought was going to be the most stressful part of the week — the debate — I was placidly reading, meditating/praying, conversing with like-minded Friends, and eating vegetable soup. Okay, my daughter did text during the boxing match…err, I mean, debate, that one of the participants (I won’t tell you which, but she referred to him as “he”) is a dick, but that only brought a chuckle.

By Wednesday evening when I turned my computer back on, I was feeling strong. Good thing, huh? But, hey, You didn’t click on this blog to read about all the Shit that has gone down since then. Wear a Mask, People!

I’ve got a problem today with WordPress, my blogging platform. They have changed the editing format twice in the 10 years I’ve been with them, but they never Forced me to switch from what they call the Classic. This morning, here I am unable to use the Classic and am faced with a whole new way to do things. I object. Here’s where my old-person-syndrome kicks in — “We liked it that way!” Still, the old way worked fine. It’s going to take me a long while before I figure out this new way, but in the meantime I’ve got to study and practice and make mistakes that delete half my work…

The Jr. girls were here for their Saturday Playdate with JoJo and we brought out the Puppet Theatre.

That’s all for now, dear Readers. I hope I can get this WordPress problem figured out…I don’t want blogging to become a Chore…but this new stuff is made for writers who want to make $$$. I’m not averse to making money (feel free to send me some), but that’s hardly my goal. I am so frustrated!!! It just took me ten minutes to figure out how to add the above picture and five minutes to figure out how to center the text below… but somehow centered this paragraph! I have spent an hour on posting this and haven’t really Written Anything! Arrgh…I’m going to need another retreat Very Soon…

Peace

Sunday Report

My words are not flowing this week, I fear.  It’s Just that there’s No News. The week has been mundane, though filled with Appointments, grandkids, harvesting and the associated chopping, writing, reading, the occasional shower…just the everyday-life kind of stuff.

It’s that stuff, the ordinary, that brings the most Joy, though.  I am so grateful to have each day that is given to me.  As the daylight hours wane, I’ve felt the tug to soak each one with wonder and to feel the tilt and rotation and revolution of this orb we call Earth.

Too often my equilibrium is shaken by the intrusion of the World; in creeps Fear.  You can’t stop it by pretending it’s not there — believe me, I’ve tried.   I remember The First thing I learned in Nursing School back in 1971, written on the blackboard at the front of a room full of freshly-starched student nurses, “Man Fears the Unknown”…

That jarring phrase has kindled my compassion throughout the years, helping me to understand that all of us are fearful, even when we aren’t overtly feeling Afraid.  Anxiety sets into our necks and shoulders, digs out a hole that must be fed by some numbing agent like food or wine, scrambles our thinking, makes us irritable, makes us sad.

It’s that damn Unknown…  But what if we did know?  Would that make us feel more or less stressed?  Well, We Don’t Know.  The Unknown is part of Living as a Human.  It’s Everywhere.

I am Sure, though, that the antidote to Fear is Gratitude and its sidekick, Joy.  Sometimes, though, I have to jump-start my Hope and let Fear know this:  I am not in control, but neither are You.  To that end, I’m planning a retreat this week to still my mind and prepare for the coming onslaught we’re calling the election.  Retreating can be a valuable time to Refresh and Renew the Spirit, letting go of negativity and making room for positivity.  The plan is to start Monday at sundown, finish Wednesday at sundown.  I’ll study and pray with my Gurus, try some new healthy recipes, walk a new path, adopt a new perspective, and toss fear back into the lizard brain where it belongs… I hope,…but who knows?

I’m so grateful for this opportunity to Rise Above the noise and confusion sliming through the Streaming Universe… I hope I can go 48 hours without a fix of fear…

Peace

Sunday Report

Our youngest granddaughter started Kindergarten last month, not in the Usual way, though, as not much is Usual these days.  She’s thrilled, though, to be virtually attending and excitedly told me about getting 100% on her quizzes.  Today Casey is helping her with her school project: identifying trees by their leaves.

Trees are vital. As the biggest plants on the planet, they give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilize the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife. They also provide us with the materials for tools and shelter.

We’ve got a lot of trees, several tree-identification books, and Grandpa already knows which are which around the house.  It’s perfect weather for tromping around the grounds, though the colors haven’t changed yet.

It’s a familiar Autumn school assignment, one that I remember doing back in First Grade at James Whitcomb Riley elementary school with my teacher, Miss Prokes.  I recall both of my children carefully gathering leaves for their lesson and we helped Olivia complete the same nearly seven years ago. This is probably the last time we’ll have a kinder to guide into the complexities of nature and how each of us is part of the whole, but my children and grandchildren are all aware that my Motto is “We are All One”, even trees, plants, and critters.


I was already dreading the chaos that is going to come with the election this year and now I shudder to think of how the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is going to cause further disputes.  She was/is one of my Heroes.  May her Memory Be a Blessing…

This poem puts into beautiful verse how I, and many of you, are feeling about the loss of RBG…

WHEN GREAT TREES FALL
by Maya Angelou…

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

Peace

Sunday Report

I guess that nostalgia got to me…last week I was in a bit of a funk.  I went off on a tangent of thought and decided that we needed to buy a full-size van, something like the one we’d owned back in the 90s: a 1987 Ford Econoline 150 that was the scene of many good times. I pictured us throwing a tent in the back, loading up a cooler, and hitting the road.  I jumped right into the rabbit-hole that is the FB marketplace and searched out a couple of contenders, newer and more up-to-date, and messaged the owners. I figured it was a good sign that they were available, though 87 miles away in Paducah, Kentucky.

We were looking for a day-trip anyway, so off we set early Friday morning.  We stopped in Madisonville to pick up cash, sure we’d be making a purchase.

Of the two that I found, I felt the first one was the obvious choice with less miles, a new transmission, brakes, tires.  The owner was a mechanic, which I felt was an advantage, and the vehicle could be viewed at his Auto Repair Shop.

The van was out front of the garage when we arrived and we looked it over.  There were some flaws that weren’t mentioned in the ad, but hey.  Up in the auto bay, a guy spotted us from under a car and grabbed a rag to wipe his hands.  We asked for “Mike”; he was “Mike”.  He went to get the keys and as he brought them to us, he pulled a Marlboro 100 out of the pack in his pocket and placed one in his mouth, where it remained…  He never lit it, but he proceeded to talk with this cigarette dangling and bobbing with every word.  I was fascinated, watching the ciggie move as he spoke, impressed with the guy’s lip flexibility.  I couldn’t really understand what he was saying, but he was talking to Casey, not me.

As we opened up the doors to the van…what a sight to see…there were greasy smears of black on the carpet with a toolbox sitting in the center of the floor; other mechanical items were piled on the seats.  There were floor mats thrown under the passenger seat that were way too big and nearly fell out when I opened the door.  A large baby seat sat like a throne on the back bench seat with a play station laying beside it.  Clothes were hanging from a rack in the back…  I felt like I had walked into the guy’s bedroom.

We climbed in to take it for a drive and just as we were backing out, the owner, unlit-smoke still hanging from his lips, ran back out and stopped us.  Leaning in the driver-side window, he mumbled something I didn’t catch to Casey and pointed to something between the front seats…his gun.  Casey handed him the revolver and the guy contorted a smile, Marlboro to one side now, and said, “I take it everywhere I go.”

Uh, not really, buddy.  If your business were robbed while you were working, your gun would be in the freaking car, idiot.  We drove to a shady spot and said, WTF?  It didn’t even run that well, kind of rough, and so we returned it to the shop.  The owner, now cig-free, shrugged and said, I’ll just keep driving it…  Then why did you run an Ad to Sell it, dolt?

We were more surprised than disappointed, and since we were in the vicinity, I sent a message to another van-owner who lived about 30 miles away in Golconda, IL, a little town that is kind of on our way home.  That van had an impressive FB marketplace ad with lots of pictures.  It was newer, less miles, more bells and whistles, but the owner was very candid about the rust along the running boards. I’d ruled out looking at it because the owner’s asking price was Firm.  How can you deal with someone with a Firm price?  But we were there, so I figured we’d check it out…

“We’re in the area and would like to look at your van. Is it still available?”  I messaged.  The reply:  “You can come by if you want.  It needs a battery and new brakelines and is not driveable.”

Whaa????   What about that Firm price? What the aitch is wrong with people???

We really don’t need a van, you know.   I was just wishing for the Way Things Were; thinking about the days when our old van was full of boy scouts every month (who left a smell of dirty-socks); remembering the family all piled in and heading out on vacations to Shenandoah or South Dakota, or Disney World; picturing when it was “just us” camping at Harmonie and Lincoln State Parks.

Back in the Present, we just shook our heads and steered the Minivan toward Eville, returning via a scenic Southern Illinois route. We tooled along the backroads and enjoyed the conversation and the silence, two old people with a bag of cash, trying to buy back the past…  You live and learn, eh?

Peace

P.S.  Before the pandemic, I took the Jr girls to the mall every Saturday.  Yesterday, eight months after our last visit, we returned…(of course we wore masks inside, though many around here still don’t)