Memorial Day, 2017

Busy week, this last one, full of people I love.  Between babysitting, elder-sitting, and good, old friends, I haven’t had time to do much more than maintenance.  I’m way behind on my reading challenge because I didn’t have the challenge book with me at Cades Cove and started reading another, so now I’m finishing up two.

Many confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day.  The former is for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives for their country in military service, the latter for all those who served.  No one in my mom or dad’s family has died in combat, but for the millions of lives cut short by war, it is good to take time to pause and reflect with prayers or meditations of remembrance and thanksgiving for all we, the living, have in this wonderful country.

I remember when we called this Decoration Day and we would go with my great-grandmother in Southern Illinois to walk around dozens (it seemed) of cemeteries littered with Maynes and Kinkades.  Casey and I made our way through most of the old cemeteries at one time or another in the last 20 years, but the weather isn’t always co-operative.   This year would have given us a beautiful day to re-enact the trip, but we chose to stay put, doing mostly nothing.

Casey’s working on putting up our little pool and the week ahead looks sunny.  We are leaving next week, flying to NYC for Eliza’s kindergarten graduation/party and both girls will be dancing Irish at their school’s

Ceili  –  ˈkālē/

a social event at which there is Scottish or Irish folk music and singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling.

Both PawPaw and I are going, and this will be the first time he has seen the girls dance in person, so we are All excited.

Till then, we’ll be laying around the shack, watching the garden grow.  Well, I will. I can’t keep track of Casey, but he’ll be doing something helpful, I’m sure.

Peace

 

 

epiphany…

we-are-loved

Epiphany is one of the oldest Christian feasts. It was celebrated since the end of the second century, before the Christmas holiday was established. Like other Christian seasons, the church appropriated Epiphany from an old pagan festival. As early as 1996 BCE, the Egyptians celebrated the winter solstice (which then occurred on January 6) with a tribute to Aeon, the Virgin. It is important to note that the holiday was established prior to the Gregorian calendar’s introduction.

Let’s add a little Meaning to the day and commemorate all those epiphanies that have led us here, right now.  Let’s drink to the Illuminating Revelations, Glimpses of the True Nature of Life, the Simple Intuitive Grasps of Truth that have led us to This Moment.   Some of our epiphanies were the result of a fall, or a failure, a betrayal, or loss.   Some of our epiphanies were at the top of the mountain, under a green canopy of forest, or watching waves crash on the shore.  Some were while we gazed into the eyes of newborn baby, held an Aged One’s hand, or listened to the minor fall and major lift of Music. Remember, honor, and celebrate All that has brought us to This Now, This Epiphany…

believe-in-your-epiphanies

Peace

Wishes

We’ve had a wood-burning fireplace for 30 years, and about 20 years ago we began adding sage (from my garden) to our first fire of the season.  I believe burning sage and smudging clears the air of negative energy, a sort of spiritual house-cleaning as I’ve heard it called.  It’s just a little ritual of the seasons that has become a tradition.

Three years ago I read an article about Yule logs and adapted it to our First Fire Ritual.  We find a barkless log and write our wishes on it–Peace, Love, Joy–all that good stuff, and personal wishes, as well.  Then we put it into the fire, cover it with the sage, and wait for our wildest dreams to come true.  While there is still no Peace on Earth, we keep sending our wishes up to the universe for consideration.   This year, we asked the grandkids to tell us Their Wishes so we could write them on the Log:  Emma-place at oireachtas; Eliza-no homework and live at Disney; Olivia-pretty teeth (she’s getting braces in January);  and for Samantha we figured she wishes she could Be a Big Girl, too…

Temps are going down to 21 tonight…time to put another log on the fire…

dsc_0030

Peace.

Best of Sonnystone: 2011

While I take a break from blogging, every Sunday I will dredge up the Past, digging deep to find the most popular posts from each year since The News has been published.

Always nice to take a walk down Memory Lane…shall we?

Born at the Right Time…January 22, 2011

Eric: The Epilogue

I guess it will always be the Year-that-Eric-got-cancer, and it’s been a long rough-patch.  The days since March, 2015 have been fraught with temptation to fear, piled with prayers for mercy and healing, and full of gratitude as friends have shared our woes and lightened the burden.

Eric is Now (as of 6/23) not Just Cancer-Free, but Officially Finished with All his treatments.  That’s 17 rounds of chemotherapy, a rare adult who made it through All of the prescribed infusions.   That’s one surgery to remove 3 rays of his left foot with associated wound-healing complications.  That’s one bout of Sepsis following the final chemo treatment.  That’s 25 radiation treatments, burning his foot till it resembled Peking Duck and temporarily putting him back on crutches.  That’s about enough, isn’t it?

I want to use all of my eloquence to describe my son-in-law, but superlatives sound so shallow:  fantastic father!  great husband!  caring friend!   He is all of that and always has been, but adding !cancer survivor! misses the truth.  He was determined, often grimly, motivated by his daughters to stand up to whatever the cure required.  It has made him a deeper, stronger soul…

I’m reminded of these verses from the poem, Invictus by William Ernest Henley:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

I really think a celebration is in order.  Let’s get it started this Independence Day weekend—set off a bottle rocket, or light a sparkler, or maybe even throw one of those cherry bombs in Eric’s Honor.  Toast him with your favorite beverage!

You Really are a Rockstar, Eric! You did it!  It’s Over!  You are so loved and admired!

4/21/16

4/21/16

Week-end Wrap-up

hippie warrior

I got up really early yesterday morning and sweated out in the garden for a couple of hours before I stopped for a break.  Cooling off in the a/c, I turned on the radio to listen to my Sunday-morning broadcasts on NPR.  That’s when I heard the news about the massacre in Orlando.  Stunned and sickened, I broke down and cried.  I’m crying now, too, because those victims were my brothers and sisters, even the killer and his family are my brothers and sisters, and I share their grief, anguish and their anger.

I am not a democrat.  I am not a republican.  I am not christian, muslim, jew, or hindu.  I am not who you say I am, and I can’t be summed up with demographics.

My testimony is that I am a human being.  Human–I have a body, a body that will die.  Being–I have a spirit–a soul that will always be.   My spirit, my being, is Exactly the same as yours and “theirs” and all the Beings who are gone, all the beings who are to come.  Our bodies and our “lives” look different, but We Are All The Same Spirit, chips off the old block, you could say.  That block is Love, which requires Forgiveness,  which is the only path to Peace.  (the members/families of Emanuel AME  demonstrated that most poignantly)

I keep praying for that moment when we all come together in love, but this terror keeps us afraid of each other, and fear is the opposite of Love.    Don’t give in to it, friends.    Keep Peace in your heart.

And in the end, we were all just

humans,

drunk on the idea

that love,

only love,

could heal

our brokenness…

……c. poindexter…

Group Hug

It was many moons ago, early Christmas morning…  Casey had gotten called in to work as an unexpectedly heavy snow fell.  I was unable to go back to sleep after he left, so I got up and had a cup of coffee and watched the fat, fluffy,  flakes falling softly, outlining the landscape outside…  At about 6am, a couple cups of coffee under my belt, I piled into the car and drove carefully up the street to my mom and dad’s house, where the lights were blazing and the two of them were about the business of making Christmas.  (my kids were past Santa, and of an age where they could easily have slept all day)

Inside Mom and Daddy’s house, the oven was warm, the tree was lit, Christmas music from the local fogey channel was playing softly.  I joined right in, peeling potatoes, chopping celery, stopping for ciggie breaks and conversation.  I don’t remember what we talked about, or whether it was a ham or turkey, (though probably it was ham with that weird sauce she used to fix).  I don’t even remember what year it was, just that it was happy.

As I went to leave, a couple of hours later, Mom said, “I think this is how Christmas is supposed to be”.  and I laughed and said, “I do, too”.  Daddy was standing over by the door, and he put his arms out and said, “Group Hug”.  Mom and I fell into him, all of us holding onto each other and squeezing;  I said, “I love you guys” and Mom said, “Love you, too, Jody” and Daddy said, “Love”…   We all laughed as we un-hugged, (and Daddy pulled my ears) and I went out to my car warm and mellow.

The snow had stopped, leaving the world looking like a Currier & Ives Christmas card.

currier-and-ives-3

(currier & ives, in case you never heard of them)

Quietly, I drove the short distance back, full of the love from that hug, wondering at the beauty of the snow-covered world, feeling like I owned it.

That hug still warms me today. Daddy’s been gone 18 years, Mom 13, but that memory is like a movie I watch again and again, as real as my dreams.   There is no group here to hug today, but very soon we will all be together and there will be some mega-hugging going on.

Till then, do me a favor, will you?  Have yourself a merry Group-Hug today;  hold each other tight.  Give your loved ones a memory that will warm them 20+ years later.

Merry Christmas, friends.  Have a happy.