The Final Sunday Report

Last week I spent some time staring at the campfire and contemplating. Something inside me kept saying “I’m done” in a loop. I’d been feeling my age lately and this year’s Camp Sonnystone really brought it home as I cope with my grandies growing up in what seems the blink of an eye. But there’s no reason to think that I’m done, not at all; with so many good times to look forward to and our health still strong, I couldn’t justify that sort of morbid thinking. So I examined it more closely, listened more intently.

This blog means so much to me; it is the Chronicle of my Life. Including the defunct blog, for the last 16 years it has witnessed the birth of all my grandchildren and my evolution as a JoJo. Through two organist jobs, two nursing jobs, Christmases, Birthdays, Camps, and plenty of Disney Trips we’ve watched the grandies grow. But there were also lots of topics; I did interviews, reviewed every “Best Motion Picture” Oscar winner, went through my CD collection with comments, occasionally talked politics, often talked about Peace. There were some deaths, as well: Aunts Thelma, Almeda, and Shirley; Uncle Jr; my friends, NuNu, Lois, Chuck, and Beaver. I’ve taken you on lots of trips with us, kept you apprised of what’s growing in the garden, what birds are at the feeder, and sometimes just blathered.

Even though I upgraded my WP account, I have now very nearly filled up all the allotted media space for Sonnystone and for the garden blog, Growing Every Season, which I started around the same time. At first I thought I would do a whole lot of work to download and delete old posts, but I kept putting it off. The next upgrade costs quite a bit more money and is more for a monetized blog. I believe the voice that was saying “I’m done” meant that I’m done with this particular blog and the obligation that I feel to keep it going.

To give The News a proper send-off, I compiled a video of photos. In order to not make it an hour long, I concentrated on just the people, then had to pare it down more to mostly grandies growing up. The music that I chose is poignant; Over the Rainbow and Wonderful World by Iz, the wonderful Hawaiian artist. He speaks in one part, almost unintelligible, but he’s using two Hawaiian words: “kuleana” has multiple meanings, including “land divisions”, but represents your space or spirit; “pono” which means “to make correct” or “to make good”. So what he means is that kuleana pono is an “automatic plan”, that if you make your space, your spirit good, “stuff” is just waiting to come to you, waiting until you are ready.

It makes me kind of anxious to think of not blogging every week, so I remind myself that I’ll still be keeping up the ancestry blog, and our trips will still be recorded over at the travel blog. The fact is I need to let go and open my mind up to new things, especially regarding my writing. By letting go, I will open up my spirit for some of that “stuff” that has just been waiting until I’m ready.

Thank-you for following along with me. I have truly enjoyed your company. Now I’m taking one long look back, then turning out the light, closing the door behind me.

Peace

Sunday Report 8-8-2021

There is nowhere else I’d rather be than with my grandkids, so the last two weeks have been heaven. As usual, Camp Sonnystone 2021 was a rousing success. Our Word was Believe, and our Theme was Rainbows. We ate well, swam a lot, painted, made suncatchers, sang, danced, laughed and had a few tears just to keep it real. My daughter has been making regular posts to FB, but for my WP followers, here’s a few pictures.

I’m just beginning to work on a video and hope to share that with you next week.

Peace

Camp Sonnystone 2020: The Movie version…

What a Wonderful two weeks it has been!  Let’s all get Together (wearing masks and social distancing, of course) and Save the World for our grandchildren.  They are soo worth it.

Come on, people!  Smile on your brothers and sisters! 

Everybody Get Together and Love One Another right Now!  Right Now…

‘Cause We’re All in this Together…

Peace

Sunday Report

It’s Closing Day of Camp Sonnystone 2020 and I’m preparing a feast of summer foods. It seems like I’ve not taken enough pictures, so when the Jrs arrive we’ll go into a frenzy of snapping pics for this year’s Movie.

Like All of 2020, it’s been a different kind of camp– No field trips, No restaurants, No visiting or visitors, just a lot of pool-time, dancing, painting, playing, and relaxing.  Eliza is a Donut Bank Fiend, so most days began with a drive-through there for coffee and sweets — especially the free cookies that she Loves.  The Jr. kids have been here every other day and we’ve had dinner from every fast-food place in town, plus a few carry-out restaurants.  We’ve had plenty of ice cream to keep us cool in this record-breaking heat and humidity.

The New Yorkers have been in school every morning Mon-Fri and I’ve sat in to read “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” with Eliza, as well as “Stamped” with Emma.  They’ve also continued to practice their Irish Dance on the Dance Floor Pawpaw set up for them.

Our Theme this year is Together and our Theme Song is “We’re All in this Together” from Disney’s High School Musical.  Emma studied the choreography and taught it to the her sister and cousins…and me.  Wait ’til you see my moves…

Eric drove back to NYC two weeks ago and returned yesterday evening.  During those two weeks,  Evansville’s Covid-19 cases have quadrupled from 250 to over 1,000 and the mayor is begging people to wear a mask.  Please.

The Jose’ Fam will head home tomorrow, leaving me to my memories… The Quiet is always deafening after they are gone…  This year’s video will be Great, if I do say so myself, and I’ll share as soon as it is complete.

Peace

This Girl

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Emma Magnolia Mayne Jose graduates from 8th grade today.  Emma’s my first grand-daughter, my #1 who Named me Jojo.  I am so proud of all she has accomplished in her 14 years. We’re tuning into the Town School ceremony via livestream, buckets of tissues nearby, to listen to her speak.  I’m so glad we could attend in this way, but I’d rather be in NYC…

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Coincidentally, Ten years ago today I posted my first blog on “The News from Sonnystone Acres”.   I started the blog “Sonnystone Acres” in June, 2004. I can’t access those stories anymore, though I did find about four years of them.  It’s cringeworthy stuff, but I liked blogging.  In 2010 I came across the free WordPress site and started the garden blog, Growing Every Season.  The platform was so much easier to use that I re-started The News to chronicle my life– good thing, too, since we often have to go to the blog to remember when we went where, or what year something happened, so it’s now essential.

Anyway, the first blog post on The News brought along my following of about 12 people.  I had just returned from a trip to NYC to visit with Emma..  It is All Emma, 4 years old, radiating charm…  I adore this girl…

All together now?

Thank-you for following me!  I want to tell you all about my recent trip to NYC………

Sunday morning tap class:

Melissa sang beautifully at a recital that afternoon (tears from Mom) and we supped at Maz before she went off to sing a Mass.  Eric, Em, and I stopped by Merrion Square for a short snort, then grabbed the car, picked up Mel and we went down to the HighLine.  Remember when I went there in November?  It sure looks different now with all the plants in bloom.  I took tons of pictures of the flora and fauna, but you’ll have to check those out over at the garden blog.   Here’s some people pix:

From there we walked to Bill’s for a coldass beer.  It is this kind of backdrop that makes me feel like I’m on a movie set when I’m walking the streets of New York.

The next day, we took Emma to school and ran some errands.  After school, she and her buddies (and her mom’s buddies) went over to the park and play, play, played:

 

On Tuesday, the City opened up all the museums along Museum Mile for free, closing off the streets for an Art Fair.  As we arrived, lo and behold, there was de la Vega, an artist I have long revered (I have 2 t-shirts, that’s how much I revere him) chalking his art from 103rd down to 80-something where the Met is:

Emma picked up a piece of his chalk (he carried a bagful, and would hand it to the kids or leave it to be picked up when he finished) and began to do her own art all the way down the street (until her chalk was gone):

The finale was a sneak preview of  the St. Joseph end-of-school Show, to be presented next week, but kindly practiced on stage just for a visiting Grandma…thanks to Andermanis….

The songs were great and not your usual kids song, and the best: All You Need is LOVE.  As they stressed the LOVE, they put their hands in the air…..I love Emma’s school.  I love her whole life, actually, and it’s so fun to watch and be a part of it!!

Peace

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Sunday Report

My son-in-law, Eric the Super Dad, cancer Survivor, started experiencing pain in his right lower abdominal quadrant last week.  They live in New York City, you know, so there was much consternation.  As the pain steadily worsened over a couple of days, he zoomed into a CityMD and was directed to the hospital….  The Hospital…in New York City.  Eric’s cancer had been treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering and some of their Good Friends work there and they could have presented there.  However, Melissa’s Crohn’s Disease has been treated at Mt. Sinai and since this was obviously a GI problem, they decided to go there.  You’ve no doubt seen scenes of overwhelmed doctors and nurses battling against the virus that has inundated the building

The had to take an Uber through the Belly of the Beast and by the time they got to the entrance, Eric could hardly walk.  At the metal detector just inside, Melissa had to leave him.  She walked the mile back to their apartment and she and her daughters held each other tight.  And she called me.  As usual, I was ready to fly to her side.  As usual, there would be nothing I could do to help.  And as always, I wanted them to Be Here under my wings where I could Protect them, but that is deluded thinking.

Right away Eric was tested for coronavirus.  By the time it came back negative, his appendix had burst.  Thank-you, Lord, he was where he needed to be.  Melissa’s surgeon, the Amazing Dr. Ky from Sesame Street, showed up to take care of Eric and the very angry appendix and he was whisked to surgery.  I am so thankful that it was Dr. Ky and I know that it made Eric feel more confident.  Last report he would be heading back home soon.

While our media has seemed to emphasize the polarization of our country regarding these stay-at-home orders and seems to delight in scaring us as we watch the California beaches fill up and the Michigan protesters scream their ignorance at healthcare workers, I’d like to point out that in NYC they’re unified, determined to do whatever it takes to win against this formidable foe.  Every evening at 7pm the New Yorkers appear at their windows to Clap for the Carers.  They Know that these are People, their neighbors and friends and loved ones who are impossible to replace and they’re not going to be sacrificed for any amount of money.  Fact is, as a Blue State, even their stimulus checks have been held up, but they’re tough and they’ll make it.  Even with their stupid mayor, they look to each other for strength and keep their children closely guarded.  I Love You, New Yorkers!

So I’m a little weepy these days.  I just give in to it.  Looking Directly at my Fears, I can give myself the Compassion that I extend to Others.  Hell, yeah, we’re all scared.  We spend a lot of time cheering ourselves up, and that’s fine, but don’t be afraid to Feel the Helplessness that is inevitable in a time such as this.  My Dad did not tolerate tears and I still feel that childhood conditioning that crying is a sign of weakness.  Wrong-o, Dad; Crying is a sign of Humanity.  I plead Human.

And the Dreams…ever since we started isolating I have had vivid dreams that involve many dead people: Mom, Dad, my cousin Janice, my ex-husband, and my great-grandmother. There’s almost always a Baby, too.  Every one of the dreams ends up with me Lost and running around trying to find my way to someplace that I just can’t find. Once I had run all up and down the streets asking for directions and they were all wrong. Finally I found a couple sleeping in a doorway; the guy looked like Shaggy from Scooby-doo and the gal looked suspiciously like a young Me, wearing a fascinator.  They woke up and pointed out that the Door was right behind me. I turned and there it was; I woke up.

In the dream Last night I was trying to drive a sheriff’s car to rescue someone.  When I sat in the driver’s seat I couldn’t see out the windshield. I fiddled with the seat controls, squishing myself into the steering wheel and laying the seat back until I finally found the control that lifted me up above the dashboard and I could see  through the windshield to drive.  I took off and made it back to a room where Casey was sleeping and I crawled into bed to sleep, then woke up.

I’ve wasted so much Time worrying over things that just don’t matter and I’m grateful that I see that now.  I’ve tried to live up to some sort of expectation of Life while not seeing what’s right in front of me.  I hope this new-found clarity lasts.  I pray that All of Us can See over the steering wheel and find our way Home to our Hearts where our Loved Ones are held tight and safe.

Remember, it’s okay to melt down.  Know This: You are Not Alone…

from Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim…

 We Are All One.

Peace

 

 

 

First Post

I have had the most Wonderful Holiday Season, culminating with a surprise visit from the Jose’ Fam and my Entire Family being together right here at the Acres.  It was exquisitely peaceful and loving.

Whilst basking in the Joy of my family, I didn’t realize for a day that our country had started a war, assassinating another country’s leader, acting as if the USA has some sort of moral superiority to judge and attack any other country (or religion) it doesn’t like.  This sort of verbal aggression is to be expected from the bully that is president right now, but to Start A War…and don’t kid yourself, we are now at war…in order to distract from his corruption is pure evil.

I pray for the people in the Middle East who have been abandoned and assaulted by our country.  I pray for our own people who are going to die paying for this sick man’s ego games.  I pray for all of us as we wander around in this dangerous world.

As I have studied history and its wars, I have found that there is no winner, that in fact Everyone Loses. I would be against war even if the other side had started it.  I believe we are all the same and those who fail to see every human as their brother or sister are blinded by their own fear.   I pray that Love can pierce their blindness and wake them.

Remember: we’re All just walking each other Home…(Ram Dass)

Peace

Monday’s News

The Rain was unrelenting this morning, and I woke up to a Sonnystone Acres shrouded with drab drab.

But there’s a Bright Spot on my calendar, bright enough to dispel the Any gloom:  The New York City Girls and their Mother will be Arriving on August 4!!  Melissa will be staying until the 7th; Emma and Eliza will stay until I take them back to NYC on the 14th.

Because Olivia has to start school on the 7th, we’ll do an abbreviated Camp Sonnystone from 8/4-8/6.  We still haven’t decided on a Theme, but we’ll brainstorm once we’re all together. I haven’t seen Emma and Eliza since March at Disney, so I am Ready to give them some hugs and have them hang out with me.

I should probably insert the brag here that the Girls are Rocking the Irish Dance World.  Just last week Emma got her first 1st in champion level and Eliza got three 3rds in her new prelim level.

I am weaning myself off of Ancestry in prep for the Visit.  I am to a place of blogging the ancestors where I need to start a new line of research on several grandmothers’ families which will take weeks.  It’s hard to stop, though!  Check out my latest post great-great-grandparents Leander and Emma Mayne ,

Livvy, Sam, and I went back to the Zoo to visit the Budgies last week… I really love those Parakeets, but you have to be patient.  I have the Jr girls for a day this week and I wouldn’t be surprised if we went Again…and of course we’ll take the New Yorkers. when they are here.

I’ve got to open up the upstairs and get the rooms ready, but not much else.  I can hardly wait! I’m horrible at doing countdowns — does today count — but I think it’s about 12 more days..!

Peace

Weekly Wrap-up

Monday morning Olivia and Samantha came to stay for three nights!  It was like a mini-Camp Sonnystone:  we painted birdhouses and signs, went to the zoo, played games, swam, and had ice cream every night before bed!

I had the best time with the girls.  I hope they can stay with us every time their mom has to go out of town for work.

The rains have been quite rainy, so we waited until today to head up to New Harmony for their annual antiques fest. A lot of the outside vendors had not even set up due to rain and the usual crowds were non-existent, but we were there.

I’m still getting caught up with the info that my distant Mayne cousin mailed me.  It is intriguing.  My goal is to get some blogging done over at All My Ancestors this week…  But I have some musings to share with my fellow Sonnystoners, too, so expect a tick-up in posts as we creep on toward summer…  Hope you’re having fun!

Peace

The Late Wrap-up

It was a full week last week…  My #2 grandie, Olivia Mayne Casey, was promoted from elementary school last Wednesday.  She was the picture of poise as she gave an excellent speech.  She received several Awards for her participation in extracurriculars, and was chose to have her picture hang on the “Wall of Fame” for her performance in Language Arts.  She looked beautiful…..

Between pounding rains, we brought up the trailer and set it up just outside our back door, ready to be used as a kind of summer house.  Inspired, I pulled out the cushions of the banquette and went crazy buying throw cushions (BOGO 1/2 off at Big Lots) and voila!

By Friday we were able to put up the pool, though the windy rains continued to intermittently pass by…

Saturday was the Shannon’s School of Dance Recital.  This was Olivia’s 7th performance and she did a perfect job…it may be her last, as well, and she went out in style.  She has chosen to d/c the dance during the 6th grade year while she gets the hang of Middle School and their extracurricular offerings.  She says she may go back, and I agreed — the first dance was performed by “old” students at Shannon’s (where were you, Melissa?) who tapped to 42nd Street and it made me want to buckle up my tap shoes and join the fun. (sorry about the quality of the pictures, but the lights…)

The dance recital is always a looong one, so we took Samantha home with us during the intermission and she slept over with us.  She and I sleep together in my bed, putting Grandpa off to the couch…  We picked up Olivia the next morning and the three of us hit up IGA for some fried chicken and other picnic fixins.  Michael and Jessica arrived for lunch and the Indy 500 was on the TV all day.  There was a cloudburst, so no swimming, but we played games and sang songs…

I have been feeling extremely emotional and anxious about nothing, compounded by thinking too much about the past…which has passed…and I know better…but it was 22 years ago last week that Dad died, my grandkids are growing up waay too fast, to say nothing of my children being middle-aged so what does that make me…

This getting old shit is getting old…

So I felt all the feels, but walked them away at the cemetery after I put a fresh arrangement on Mom & Dad’s mausoleum.  Memorial Day is a party at the graveyard and a little bit of sunshine and smiling did me a world of good.

It’s going to be a wonderful summer vacay with the Jr. girls,,,I’m planning weekly adventures and the sky’s the limit on the fun we can muster up.   I’m not sure when the Jose’ girls will visit, but they will!

In the meantime, there’s plenty of work to do around the Acres…right after I sit a spell on the front porch swing…

Peace