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

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

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)

 

 

Sunday Report

What a week!  We spent a couple of days cleaning up the travel trailer, returning it to its default appearance and taking out all of our personal items.  When we finished, I was amazed that it looked so brand-new—even smelled new!   We were starting to get cold feet and discussed keeping it, but we figured it probably wouldn’t sell right away, so Thursday we put out the “For Sale” sign.

Thursday just happened to be the 39th birthday of my son, Michael.

my son’s FB profile pic

He worked a long day, so we decided to celebrate on Saturday.

By Friday, we’d had a couple of calls and texts re: the trailer and one lady made an appointment for 5:30pm to tour it.  Well, wouldn’t you know?  The couple bought the trailer, full price..!  We were stunned.  Saturday morning, the gentleman brought us a stack of cash and drove our Retirement Dream out the Driveway.  Crazy, huh?

While Casey was giving the new owner a walk-through and helping him load and hook up, the Jrs. were here for the birthday celebration.  Michael and Jessica ate lunch with us and returned home, leaving the kiddos here to play.

After we took the girls home, Casey and I were feeling a little down…  We walked Memory Lane, casting our mind back to the trips we’d taken, laughing at our mistakes and marveling at how much we learned.

We talked about the places we’ve visited and the places we’d like to go; discussed buying another trailer, too.  I didn’t expect to feel so sad…but then, I didn’t expect it to sell so quickly…

Weirdly enough, yesterday was Derby Day and I had been preparing all week.  I won a little change betting the fillies in the Oaks on Friday, but the Derby always overwhelms me, even in September.  I chose my usual half-the-field, but managed to bet the top two ponies…!

I wore a hat, drank the bourbon, won some money…

but it just made me more nostalgic.

As Summer wanes and Autumn waxes, it seems a proper time to feel sentimental.  We’ve got two “pool days” planned for next week before the temperatures drop, then it’s time to take it down.  Much of the vegetable garden is ready to be pulled up.  Migratory birds are joining our residents at the feeders, a sure sign that it’s time to change.

So that’s what we do, isn’t it?  Gently carrying pieces of our past, we move hopefully into our future…

Peace

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.

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…