Sunday Report

It has been my pleasure to have my stay-at-home-life unexpectedly interrupted by a visit from my Aunt Shirley and Cousin Kim,  Aunt Shirley is my mother’s sister, the lone survivor of the nine Eatons.  She has always been my favorite.  Several years back when she was half-mad at me for not coming to see her I was sweet-talking her and told her she was my Favorite aunt.  She retorted “I’m your Only aunt.”

But she was my favorite even back when she had a lot of competition from Aunts Thelma, Clara, Almeda, and Joyce.  After she chastised me, I never again went to Disney without heading over to Melbourne, and I had visited her when we were there to celebrate my birthday in February. She was living alone with significant help from her daughter and home health, and spent her days taking her dog, Leo, out for short walks.

Me and Aunt Shirley, February 25, 2020

Me and Aunt Shirley, 2/25/2020

In late March she fell, cracked her clavicle and twisted her feet in a knot that put her walking days behind her.  She moved in with Kim and was total care for several weeks. During that time she shrunk down to about 100 pounds, had hallucinations, and things were looking bad. They got the hallucinations under control and  started physical therapy.  Increasingly, she wanted to see her “boys” who live up here in Grayville, IL, the town where Shirley grew up, about 40 miles from Sonnystone.  As they worked through the really out-of-it days, she begged more and more to go back “home”.

After a couple of months, Shirley was getting a little more mobile so Kim decided try to get her on a plane and over to Illinois.  They missed the first flight!, turned away at the airport because of some boarding pass fiasco.  The next morning, Shirley woke up and told Kim she was going to die that day.  She got on the phone and called her other four children and told them how bad she felt and that she was going to die.  Well, that got their attention.  Her oldest daughter flew in two days later from Texas and stayed for three days.  Daughter #2, along with her daughter and grandchilren, arranged a caravan from North Carolina to Grayville for the week-end of her visit.

Later that day  for the first time since her fall, Aunt Shirley got herself out of the bed and wheeled herself in to the living room where Kim sat,astounded…  “I thought you were going to die today.”  Shirley laughed and said, “Not Today!”

So Kim, Shirley, and Kim’s children flew into Evansville Thursday, the 11th.  The family had a big party at her grandson’s old Victorian home in Grayville, the porch and lawn filled with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren on a beautiful Saturday.  Everybody got along and nobody got any drunker than usual.  I wasn’t there, but I’m told that at one point Shirley looked around and asked “What are all these people doing here?” and immediately answered herself, “Oh, that’s right, it’s my dying party.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Aunt Shirley came over to spend the night and I was able to see how deep her self-care deficits are (deep).  As she puts it, her feet are frozen.  It takes an act of great will to move them.  Transfers from wheelchair are Work for anyone involved…and scary.  It’s such a Big change from when I saw her just four months ago.  She was still glowing from the Love at the Dying Party…or maybe it was tears from the Farewells as she left Grayville.  I’m glad I got to spend some time with her.

Aunt Shirley at her Dying Party 6/13/2020

So I’m messed up on my schedule for blogging the Sonnystone Saga.  Though I have worked ahead on these articles, I still need to write up several more.  When I do genealogy I end up following more people than I need to and I read the history of the times in which they lived.  Fascinating stuff, but it’s also time-consuming.  Gardening is prioritized over research/writing, as is cooking/eating, so I’m at least a week behind.

Cleaning the house is usually at the bottom of my priorities, but it is Officially Filthy in here, so it has surged to the top…  I’ll get back to the Sonnystone Saga, publishing when I can, as I know you are waiting with bated breath for each installment, all six of you, so don’t despair.  We have 50+ more years to go!  I will put it on a Page soon, so you can read it in the proper order and at your leisure…

It’s a beautiful rainy day and my plants are drenched…

Peace

Sunday Report

What a Week we’ve Experienced… We watched as Americans came out of their homes and onto the streets in Huge numbers to peacefully protest police brutality against African-Americans, calling for changes within the police system.  For a bit there, all we saw  was fire and looting and elected officials called in the National Guard and imposed mandatory curfews.  Hundreds of Thousands of people continued to protest, peacefully, literally Everywhere across our country, Every Day.  Amazing!  Frightening!  Inspiring!

I haven’t been to our town’s protests, but I’m so impressed by how many have turned out.  I’m still leery of Covid — remember that? — so I’ll leave it to the young -uns for now, but I’ll find a way to support this Cause.  We can’t just leave it up to politicians.  It should not be the burden of only the black and brown people.  If we want to see systemic change across the board, then we woke middle-class white people must use whatever we have to continue to Speak Up.

We’re all suffering from Crisis Exhaustion, but Be Strong…

To celebrate the 17th Anniversary of the day we moved into our current abode, I’ve worked up a few posts dealing with the history of the families who lived here, starting in 1846.  It is also the 16th Anniversary of the Blog known as Sonnystone Acres, so I will share some “Best of” posts.  16 years of Blogging?!? Crazy, huh?  Time to celebrate..

Grandie #1 graduates from 8th grade this week — where has the time gone?  I hope when she’s my age there is a much more Just and Safe America.

Peace

 

 

Sunday Sermon

Dear Friends, fellow humans, let our deep pain at the horrible state of our country be expressed as Love — not the romantic, feely-feely love of hallmark cards, but the Agressive, Active Love that can overcome this civil war.  As our cities erupt with fire and anger, let our Love envelope those hurting and those hurt.  Can we look around and see a Way to help those who have been oppressed for 400 years?  Sometimes it’s our very helplessness that can move us to cry out that this racism must end.  I said it, racism, and it’s built in to our culture, wired into our brains, and many white people deny it because it is tribal.

I am a “woke white woman”.  What does that mean?  That means I realized, with horror, that I am a bigot.  The revelation came to me over Ferguson, the sight of Michael Brown lying in the street, dead, while the white police officers figured out their story to justify his murder.  Prior to that I used the usual racist-white-person excuse that I had personally always strived to treat people the same–and I did.  As a nurse, I looked at the illness, the wound, the problem and used the same tactics to heal no matter a person’s color  That much is true.

What I didn’t realize is that I would never be treated the way a black person is.  I understood that I had “gotten away with” stuff that black people would be jailed or killed for.  I saw the kids at the “good” school where I worked treated in two different ways with black kids always suspected and black parents always undermined.  I was sick with grief and guilt.

No amount of whitesplaining made it look any better.  I saw that my parents, my family members were of the bigoted mindset and that they seriously did Not See it–in fact, denied it vigorously.  I saw white people have biracial grandchildren that they loved and helped raise, so they claimed that proved they were not racist….but they still hated the father and the father’s family because their bigotry is so ingrained.  I’m no better than them, though, but I decided at that moment to be aware of my bias, my stupid feeling that this is America so everyone has the same chance–Ha!    Once you see something, you can’t un-see it.  Dr. Martin Luther King said, “An injustice anywhere is an injustice Everywhere.”

The folks rioting and burning have had the knee of the oppressor on their necks for centuries. I can’t say what I would do if I were in their shoes.  I’ll just not judge but Look, Look for a way to Agressively, Actively Love them and not make it in any way about myself.  Dr. Martin Luther King said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

Already I have prayed and prayed hard, sometimes with just tears because I don’t know what to say.  I left my church as I watched them coalesce around a mentally ill man who stoked their bigotry and homophobia, calling him a messiah even though he couldn’t tell you a single Bible story.  Since the pandemic I’ve been able to “attend” a lot of different church services and there are plenty of them who do not preach this and I’m relieved, even invigorated by their sermons.  In particular, I’ve virtually visited a lot of black churches; it’s a different world and one that has informed me about their plight. The scales continue to drop from my eyes and I see some ways I can help them and I will.

The truth about our country is this:  the confederacy won that war.  Though Lee surrendered, they went to Plan B and murdered the president and cabinet members running the country, replacing Lincoln with a Southerner.  We don’t teach that in our history books, the ones that are chosen in Texas; they don’t teach about the laws that were passed to keep these people from being recognized as People. As People!  My mother truly believed that black people had different skeletons and blood than white people…

We know Better.  We can Be Better.

I was out the other day to the grocery store and was astounded to see 95% of the people not wearing masks.  Taking care of each other has been labeled a Liberal thing, a Democrat thing, a Weak thing.  Taking care of each other has become a Weak Thing?  Is that what you believe?  Please.

It’s Pentecost Sunday in the christian church, marking the story of the Holy Spirit coming in like a big wind,  As the disciples preached, everyone in the audience heard the message in his own language because Love is for All of us.  It Woke them Up.  May that same Spirit of Love Wake Us Up today.

Peace.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that…

 Martin Luther King…

Sunday Report

Here we are at day Number Million of the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic and how are ya’ll faring?

Sonnystoners have never been tempted by “normal” and there’s nothing out there that I Need to Do so badly that I would risk my life.  We’ve been caught up in the Seasonal Chores — gardening, cleaning the porches, putting up the pool, mowing between rains — just going with the flow.

The Big Thing that changed for us with the advent of the quarantine was our Plans…plans for traveling, but also plans to be with our New York Family to celebrate #1 Grandie Emma’s Graduation from Eighth Grade.  She will graduate via Virtual ceremony from Town. School on June 10th or so, and I will be present, probably with a better view than I would have if I were there physically.  Emma is just such a Great Kid and I’m not just saying that because I’m her Jojo…her Teachers and fellow Students agree.  I’m so proud that she was chosen to speak at the Town. Graduation…Check this out.

Who knows when or how school will resume in the Fall, but she will be attending Trevor School, a Learning Place that fits her, and welcomes her as a Student Ambassador.  Her wagon is hitched to a star.

Another Plan that changed was our Trip to London for Trooping the Colour and Royal Ascot.  We’d planned to go to Emma’s graduation, then hop a plane for London.  Thanks to the pandemic we did get a credit for our flights without change fees.  The hotel was also non-refundable, but I started a correspondence with The Queen’s Gate to see if they would also give me a credit.  At first they wanted me to schedule a visit before the end of the year.  Air travel and such are still so flux that I asked them to please extend my credit to accommodate a similar trip to what I’d planned.  I told them of my Royal fetish and crush on Prince Charles, moving them allow me to visit anytime before 30 June 2021.  Yay!  We’ll skip the Trooping the Colour since I don’t know When I’ll be comfortable in a crowd that size and will arrive the day after.  I made friends with the concierge and he will help us arrange tours and transport to the Royal Ascot.  Even though I’d planned this trip for that last six months, the New Trip will be Better, I just know.  All’s Well.

 

I went to my hairdresser on Friday and I’m blonde again.  Nails still ratty and ugly, but I’m hesitant to chance my usual salon. I might have to actually do my own for a while…. Casey let me cut his bangs…okay… ..is that the New Normal?  I can live with it.

Peace

Another week? Seems longer…

I’m such a loner.  The “isolation” of this virus hasn’t bothered me a bit.  We Garden at this time of year, starting seeds and breaking up new ground for planting, and that’s just what I’ve been doing.  Other than wearing mask and gloves when I grocery shop at 7am, not much has changed around here.  I sort-of started Spring Cleaning, kind of, which is totally normal for me.  What has bothered me is how Time is Warped right now… Every week seems like a year and the days lumber along slowly — what day is it, again?

I know that many of you are concerned about my daughter.  She and her family are doing well, thank-you.  If you are friends with her on facebook you can see for yourself.  We stay in touch and there’s not much else that can be done right now.  In order to keep a handle on my anxiety, I stop and Practice the Presence more often and that’s a Good Thing.

We had some storms fly through last night and tornadoes touched down about 10 miles from here, both sides of the river, just adding to the Stress on our First Responders.  With All my Heart and Soul, I am sending Love and Strength their way.  The clean-up efforts will only compound the hazard of spreading the virus.  Please stay safe if you are inclined to help, and Bless you for it.

This week I’m starting a series of posts about the “genealogy” of our house and grounds, aka Sonnystone Acres.  We continue to garden and I post at Growing Every Season on Thursdays.  I’ll try to be friendlier over at the facebook, but you can always call or text or email, as well.

Peace

 

 

Learning Patience…or trying to…

Last week seems like a year…

I didn’t realize that the Jose’ fam had been out to see Riverdance on the 13th just before they shut Broadway down.  I asked that Melissa delay her visit until they had been isolated for 2 weeks.  She readily agreed, expressing her concerns for me.  I was wracked with guilt that I had to disappoint her kids, who you know I love beyond words, but I felt it was best for all.

Here in Eville, my daughter-in-law’s trip was cancelled, but I went ahead and had the Jr. girls over to play.  I was thinking that the risk from Evansville was not as great.  It’s true that we’ve not had any tests here until a couple of days ago when there was one person who tested positive, but that’s because we didn’t get any tests until last week.  We are now under Strict quarantine, refusing to let the Jr girls visit, either, but I don’t think that’s making anybody feel better.

The New Yorkers are under SuperStress right now.  Both Melissa and Eric are immunocompromised and Melissa’s job is at risk.  There is no bailout for them, yet the bills have to be paid.  All I can do is continue to send Love and Peace her way and not add to the tension she must be feeling.

My trip to England, scheduled for the Queen’s Birthday celebration in June, will undoubtedly be cancelled.  I’m pretty sure the airline will waive change fees and let me reschedule eventually, but it’s a major disappointment.  Royal Ascot sent my tickets out with a message that they will promptly refund if the meet is called off.  Britain has been super-slow responding to this pandemic so I have just written off the trip until next year…if there is one.  God Save the Queen!  I’d sure like to see her before she checks out.

How dare I whine like this! I feel so guilty about my constant anxiety.  Unfortunately, worry is not rational and many of us who are just fine are still waking up with fear.   Stay Strong, Friends.

To Those of you working essential jobs:  You are the salt of the Earth–Bless you!

We’re all in this together…We are All One…

Peace

P.S. The Garden Blog has been revived.

 

 

A Collective Moment

We’re All feeling it, though some are scared and others defiant.  All of us are affected by the shut-down of schools, libraries, museums.  I still don’t get the run on toilet paper and groceries, but my usual grocery pick-up order from Walmart was cancelled because they ran out of stock.   I made my way down to Schnucks and the IGA today and witnessed for myself the empty shelves.  The workers are somewhat stunned from the long lines and the supply trucks have been diverted to larger stores, so they’re not sure when they’ll be able to restock.  Crazy.

Yes, there have been so many reactions of this pandemic. My heart goes out to the healthcare workers and their families on the front line of this epidemic.  I am so grateful for their selfless service.  Our governor is doing a good job of handling things here in Indiana and I’m hoping that other state governments have stepped up, too.

Life here at Sonnystone has always been a bit like “self-isolation”, so it hasn’t changed much.  Seems to me that it’s a good time to Practice Being Present.  We are fine and so are our loved ones. We are grateful beyond words for our health and wealth.  No dark imaginings, we are distancing from fear or worry. There are books to read, Netflix to watch, music is everywhere.  Right Here, Right Now I breathe in Love and breathe out Peace.  Now Smile.  Really, make yourself Smile…it’ll do you a World of Good.

Since getting back from Florida we’ve planted potatoes, onions, and peas, brought out the over-winters, and started work in the  Peace/Bird Garden.  I’m ready to Revive my Garden Blog this week andsSince you will have a little time on your hands, you’ll want to follow along.

Remember this from “Desiderata”

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams

it is still a Beautiful world.

Be Careful.  Strive to be Happy.

 

Peace, dear Readers

 

Weekly Wrap-up

I would say that this has been the Best Birthday Week Ever, but I’ve had some pretty good Birthday Weeks so I’ll simply say that I’ve had Another Best Birthday Week.  Starting on the 23rd  with the Monorail Crawl (going from the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian to the Contemporary stopping for Rum Drinks and Birthday wishes), and ending up on  the evening of the 28th riding the Rise of the Resistance in Galaxy’s Edge, it has been charmed.

Oh, the weather was cold and windy, but we Laugh in the face of Weather.

While we were in central Florida we visited Aunt Shirley in Melbourne, staying the night with Cousin Kim.  I want to visit them every month or so now, though their weather was no better.

I was thinking about all the different Jos I’ve been–a different person every year celebrating Birthdays 1-67.  Not all of mySelves were Great, but each one brought its own gift.   You couldn’t pay me to be 20 again…but 40 was nice…  Oh, well, she’s in here somewhere..

We cruised on home yesterday, already thinking about going back.  I haven’t gone through all of the pictures of the trip yet, so I’ll do a Travelogue-type post later this week.

Peace

Not much…

The last two weeks have been filled with six dentist appointments, lots of pain meds, several emotional outbursts, and I’m still not done.  What can I say?

My dentist and his assistants are just the best people, though, and I’m so grateful for their professionalism and kindness.  We have worked as a team to get this all done before my Birthday next Sunday.

This coming week Samantha and I will have Our Brrday party before she has her own kidsfest at GattiTown and I have my own celebration at…who knows where?

I hope you’re having more fun than I am…

Peace

Weekly Wrap-up

On Monday we went down to the library to get our passports.  First off, I realized after we got there that I had put my ID in another purse, so we went back home to pick it up and returned.  We had filled out our applications, but my printer had cut part of the bottom off, so they gave us some new ones and we re-filled them.  We wrote out our checks and they commenced to taking pictures.  She managed to get a better-than-my-drivers-license photo in three snaps.  Casey moved to the white wall, took off his glasses and didn’t smile.  They took several snaps, but the printer could not make out a face.  She took some more, still just a ghost picture to the printer.  We carried on for a while, moving him over to another wall, turning off the lights, turning off the flash…he was just a cloud.  Finally we gave up.  She said we’d have to go to a CVS or Walgreens and get one there.

We set out for the nearest CVS where the handsome young man grabbed the camera and found it needed batteries.  He went in search of and came back and said it had to be charged for an hour, sorry.  We went to the next Walgreens where the cashier said they couldn’t help us until 2pm (it was noon).  Onward to another CVS and I’m getting pretty gripey, but whatcha gonna do?  The girl at the CVS was helpful, but she, too, got Ghost!!  It’s called the Santa Claus effect because his beard and hair are so damn white.  I felt like his cheeks and face were red enough to stand out, but…  CVS girl was younger and knew her camera better than the library ladies.  She adjusted a few things and we got a nice picture of a face.  We raced back down to the library and our applications were submitted.  Finally.  It kinda took the fun out of it…

We are planning a trip to London in June.  I’m there to see the Queen and I hope I’ve not waited too long.  If you know me at all, you know I’ve obsessed with the latest Royal Family news.  It has literally sickened me and I don’t want to talk about it and I wish I’d quit thinking about it.  I will tell you more about our London trip as it draws closer, but I’m currently planning a Birthday Week Jaunt to Florida, leaving in 35 days…   One Trip at a Time.

I’m studiously avoiding Any Sort of News and I’ve read three books, written thousands of words, planted my Wardian Case, played the piano, and listened to music. That’s not just to get my mind off the State of the World Today, but also to keep my anxiety down about an upcoming Root Canal.  Fun, huh?  I dread it with the worst dread of dreads.  I have duties with Olivia and Samantha this week, so I put it off until the 29th.  These little pains are coming way too often to suit me.

The diversion of the bird garden has lived up to my expectations, though I’ve no pictures to show for it.  Our suets are especially popular with the hairy and downy woodpeckers.  We watch chickadees, tufted titmice, wrens, cardinals galore, and a couple of indigo buntings.  We have a warm-water birdbath that they all flock to.  It’s a joy.

Because I had so many appointments last week I didn’t get much done over at the Ancestry Blog and what I did write I am completely re-writing.  We’re to the Revolutionary War, a conflict I always found boring.  It’s much more interesting now that I realize they were fighting right on our ancestors’ land and that many of the Patriots were neighbors.  I love the research, but it doesn’t get the writing done.

 As I slog through all these Patriots, I don’t lose sight of the fact that there were 600,000 human beings being held as slaves in 1776, and hundreds to thousands were owned by Casey’s and my ancestors (yes, even the Maynes had slaves and they sure didn’t free them).  The Founding Fathers saw fit to count them as 5/8 human, as possessions.

I confess to white woman guilt.  I believe the best we can do is Right Now: Love Your Neighbor as Yourself, and Forgive Everybody (including yourself).  The Obamas made MLK Day into a Day of Service to Others.  It’s a Good way to celebrate Dr. King’s Life.

Peace