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All he wanted in life was to be the warrior. As a little boy, Ted played Cowboys and Indians and ran around his suburban backyard wearing a makeshift loin cloth, smudges of war paint on his face and slaying the white man with his bow and arrow. Most little boys growing up in the 50's and 60's emulated John Wayne, their western hero but not Ted. He was always the Indian, the mighty warrior and let all the boys in the neighborhood know it. As an adult he's still pretending he's the chief, he can't let go.
Almost everyone remembers where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. I've heard countless stories from friends who were in grade school and getting the announcement that the president had been shot. A nun in a Catholic school broke down crying in front of a roomful of children while they sat perfectly still in their wooden desks, watching and waiting. A young mother with her newborn infant sitting on the front porch sobbing, trying to console her baby at the same time. The vivid stories, the details of the moment are etched in our memories forever.
He was by far the most fastidious person I've ever known. Wrapped up in old thoughts and ideas that he can't or won't let go of. If he had the insight into his psyche he could see that he's just protecting himself. I would gently tell him "to loosen up, try to relax, don't be so critical." As we spent more time together he opened up about his childhood. The abusive, alcoholic father and his manic, pill popping mother. It explains part of his behaviour. Today I know that you can't change other people only yourself.
I honestly had no reaction when I heard Osama Bin Laden was murdered. Nor was I elated like so many Americans who gathered and chanted like they were celebrating a Super Bowl championship. Earlier that night I was on the phone with a dear friend, a man I've known for twenty years who is dying from pancreatic cancer. Although heavily medicated he was angelic on the phone and told me "I love you." I started to cry knowing of his courageous battle he's been fighting the past nine months. I am grateful for the opportunity to love this man, forever.
Sonia thought she could predict the future. Her job with the law firm as a para-legal was satisfying and even though the workload was frantic at times this was everything she wanted in a career. Plus she respected her boss which in the business of law was practically unheard of. Just this year she had put an offer for a one bedroom condo at the renovated Bell Tower Landing in town and would be moving in later that summer. But that all changed when the new client entered the office, his face she recognized immediately.
Some time ago I heard the author Sherman Alexi talk about the new technology of Kindles and what it means for published authors. In so many words if there are no actual printed books they won't fill the shelves in our local bookstores, at which the authors won't have to promote them with a press tour. I've seen small, independent bookstores close due to lack of book sales and the demise of the institutions is heartbreaking. On-line purchases are still on the rise and the Kindle and others like it will continue to increase. I still prefer real books.
We drove down the street where I spent the first three years of my life. My parents had just picked me up from the airport and I asked if we could drive by and see the old house. This was the first home they purchased in 1954 and proceeded to have five children but they outgrew it fast. The houses that line these streets seem so tiny but we finally stop at the one with the burgundy trim. It has been bought and sold numerous times since that first purchase and it is well cared for. It is solid.
I'm visiting for Mother's Day and she's taking a nap. After church and brunch my mother is exhausted. She tires easily and needs to rest throughout the day. I think the different medications make her sleepy. How can the body function properly with so many drugs but I keep my mouth shut. My dad and I take a short walk around these cookie cutter, ranch style condos. Everything is perfect and in place. The American flags are proudly displayed on every home. This is their generation and they love their country. It is still Mother's Day.
What makes anyone succeed in life? Is it courage, self-will, determination? Nothing stands in our way except ourselves. Despite that it's easier to blame others for our failures and setbacks. Our parents, siblings, teachers, schools, jobs or the government. Heck, why not point the finger at everyone else and say "they have the problem?" Don't sit and wish for the life you've always dreamed of. Stop complaining and blaming others because those tapes get old. It takes courage to change but what do have to lose? Once you start you'll never look back.
Tammy along her best friend Samantha sat smoking their Virginia Slims cigarettes and waited. She glanced at the clock above the door and the ceremony was supposed to start in ten minutes. She needed to calm her nerves to relax. She didn't want to start biting her fingernails, why ruin a perfectly good manicure. The smoke billowed in the room and she stubbed the last of her cigarette. If Keith was running late because of traffic that was understandable. But if he was hungover she'd be disappointed. This was her day, her wedding, the man forever.
I got out of the car on West 6th St. and looked around. Most people were gone for work but the few men standing on the street looked bored. I walked up to them with my camera and they figured I was with some government agency, maybe immigration. But this morning I came with my parents and I was looking at the first house my 82 year old Dad was born in. It still stands in the old part of downtown, the working class neighborhood of one of Americas midwestern cities. I photograph this old house.
He's exhausted these days after a full day of work. I can't imagine trying to teach a roomful of thirty, fourteen year olds but he's managing to do it. These students don't want to be there. They'd rather be home sleeping, playing video games, being on the internet or texting their cell phones. He notices they can't concentrate on their lessons, many are flunking and most can't even put a sentence together. The education system is old and outdated. These kids deserve something better and it's up to us to change it. This is the next generation.
Another religious zealot/group has decided that next Saturday, May 21st is the day of Rapture. I wonder who made the decision? At least YTK had to do with the internal clocks on computers hitting the year 2000. But nothing happened then and what exactly will happen next Saturday? I just laughed when I read in the paper, a retired man started a service in 2009 to rescue your pets when the Rapture comes. For a $135.00 fee your pet will be picked up by a saved individual and cared for after you don't make it.
She belches like a longshoreman. Not that she rude or unladylike. She just likes to belch and doesn't hide it. If she's comfortable around the person she'll belch. Some people have said "she's disgusting or how can you do that as a woman?" What's the big deal? In some cultures belching after a meal is a sign of thanking the host for good food. She knew someone who belched saying the ABC's. Now that's pure talent. She could practice and probably do that but right now she just likes a deep, from the belly belch.
He was home and ready to die. He had slowly wasted to a man of 130 pounds and was too weak from the various cocktails of morphine and other sedatives to numb the pain. I called Friday morning around 10:00am. The hospice nurse answered the phone. She gave him the phone and he said hello. This time I didn't cry. I told him I loved him. He handed the receiver back to her. She said "I've just given him an IV of morphine and you might want to call back later today." He died surrounded by his friends.
I'm not superstitious but when things start coming to me in three's then I pay attention. I feel as though God is telling me something and I'm open to the message. Within a week I've had two different signs of studying Buddhism. From one book "An Introduction to Buddhism" the chapter on, "Meditation on Loving Kindness" or Metta reads.
"May I be happy! May I free from hatred!"
"May I be free from ill-will! May I be free from grief!"
And it goes on with more quotes. This is a good sign for me.
I've driven across the United States two different times in my early 20's and if gas wasn't so expensive now I'd do it again. Not everyone has the time or ability but I'm glad I was able to do it.
In 1983 I left Los Angeles and headed back East in my 1980 Ford Escort. Packed with boxes I ventured across the country and eventually landed in Cincinnati, Ohio where I crashed on a friend's couch for a few months. I had the promise of a new beginning, a future of hopes and dreams and my life ahead of me.
Today is the birthday of one of my nephews. He turns nineteen and even though he lives in another state I'm still connected to him by FB. The last I saw him was two years ago on my sister's birthday and he was still in high school. Now, he's finishing up another year of college and learning everything that interests him. He's writing and playing music, sings in two choirs, works a part-time job and loves his life. He comes from a large family and is close to his siblings and extended family. I love his spirit.
Yesterday, I was thinking about a pet parakeet our family had while I was little. We also had a black and white cat named Tammy. The parakeet bounced around his cage and I loved that bird. So did the cat. When I was eight years old my family had a big clam bake feast one summer and the parakeet flew out of his cage and landed in a bowl of clam broth sitting on the kitchen counter. It died soon after and I was devastated. The green parakeet was named Butchie and since then I never got another pet bird.
There are so many experiences and true life stories that I could write about, I feel I would never have to make anything up. What my memory is doing is reliving the past fifty one years and with this daily exercise of 100 words I'm writing again. Journal keeping is not the same though I've filled many notebooks over the years. I've probably downloaded thousands upon thousands of conversations, interactions and life experiences and until recently I'm writing them down on this site. We all have something to say and what better way to express it with no agenda.
They strolled in and took a seat at one end of the bar. I was sitting at the booth with my back against the wall to get the full view of the evening and this was early, just after 8:00pm. Both were beautifully made up women in their 30's; one blonde with pouffy hair, the other brunette. Tight, skinny jeans with platform wedge shoes and brightly colored toes because it almost feels like summer has arrived. This was a Saturday night and they were sure to look their best in order to have a good time.
Over the weekend I got to hear Congressman Dennis Kucinich speak at Seattle's Green Festival. He was the main speaker for the afternoon and his words were so inspirational. "We've been given an Eden and we need to be responsible." He spoke about being "the stewards of the land and we need a call for human unity." I couldn't write down notes fast enough but I was impressed at his conviction about helping the planet and we're all responsible to heal it. I wish more politicians could have the same vision and stop the greed. I will support Kucinich.
I noticed her over a year ago walking on the side of the road. She was on the heavy side but her bulky rain coat hid her size. I knew she was serious about walking because she'd be out there throughout the cold, rainy months. Now after a year of walking this woman has changed her body. She was sitting in front of me at the local community theater and she has dropped four to five sizes. Without the bulky rain coat I hardly recognized her but she looked fabulous. We should all be so determined to be healthier.
I live in a small community, kind of like Peyton Place where everyone knows each others business. Over the past few months I've heard of five different couples divorcing and most have been married well over ten years, some have children. It makes me wonder how relationships can work at all? I've watched some of these couples in public and from my point of view I thought they had a solid marriage. All relationships are challenging yet something has to hold them together. Trust, faith, respect, love, friendship, honor are needed as the foundation for a healthy marriage.
Years ago, when I lived in San Francisco, I befriended a homeless man who set up camp at the same location on Market Street. It took him a number of interactions before he spoke to him. His intense blue eyes, looked up from behind the scruffy beard and ratty clothes. I never judged him or thought less of him. He scavenged things around the city then sold them throughout the day. I paid him $20.00 for an envelope of old photos many of which were from the opening celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge on May 27, 1937.
She had her own stool at the bar. Some years ago someone had a small bronze plaque made etched with her name on it. All the regulars knew by 5:30pm she come strolling in; you moved if you were sitting in her seat. She drank a rum and coke but the bartender poured mostly coke. At ninety years old she still maintained her routine. She owned her store on the same street in the same town. Hours of business were set. Open at 11:00am and close by 5:00pm. She was an icon and will be sadly missed.
As kids were squealed while running behind the industrial truck as they sprayed for mosquitoes in our suburban midwestern town. We were naive, plain stupid to chase the truck as vapor sprays of DDT were released into the air. I don't recall my parents telling us not to chase the truck. What were they thinking? Clearly, no one was but luckily, the government finally banned the use of DDT in the early 1970's. I wasn't alone in breathing toxic fumes on a hot muggy evening. Every kid on my street was out playing, we thought it was fun.
I've gotten way behind on writing 100 words the past three days. I didn't go anywhere for the Memorial Day weekend. A staycation for me and mostly trying to catch up on work and visiting some friends while my husband is spending the long weekend with his family. Because of our work I spent the earlier part of the month seeing my parents and now he's with his. I missed not being with them all but happy not to travel by plane this weekend. He had the flight from hell and got stuck in Chicago then Miami and finally Virginia.
The weather forcast says more rain is coming this week and I can't stand it anymore. The pattern has been one nice day of sun then the next few days of rain. There hasn't been any consecutive days in a row of good weather. Crappy, cool days of rain, rain, rain. I know it doesn't do much to complain about weather. It is what it is but come on...
Maybe this is "the rapture?" Five months of living in hell before the next big day of October 21st. The cynic in me lives on, thank god for that.
I'm typing away as the television is on in the other room. Listening to the Today Show without seeing the images. President Obama visiting Joplin, Missouri after the devasting tornado. A power outage for residents in Southern Michigan after high winds hit the state on Sunday. Along with Chicago's O'hare Airport had over four hundred flights cancelled due to bad weather yesterday. Today, extreme weather temperatures on the East Coast which officially starts the summer off. We could all benefit from summer like temperatures. After all today is Memorial Day and bbq's aren't much fun in the cold rain.
We weren't looking for trouble but as bored junior high girls we were looking for fun. Since we didn't have our drivers license we had to get rides from our parents, walk or ride our bikes. But a few times we stuck out our thumbs and hitchhiked. I doubt our parents ever knew. She would of been grounded if her parents found out. They were strict and she was always getting in trouble, usually by something I caused. We lived in a safe suburban neighborhood and the mall was only a few miles away. I know now we were lucky.
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