THE LAST PHASE(S) OF SUMMER

“In Summer the song sings itself”:   William Carlos Williams

AT 9 – CAMP

Laying on the slightly grown grass – or weeds – or whatever. Watching the clouds lazily drift over or under each other.

The smell of barbecue chicken or hot dogs or hamburgers on the grill. Corn on the cob, slathered in butter. Fresh tomatoes from Uncle Stanley’s garden. Strawberry shortcake.

Jumping off the dock into the river, as far as we could go, Daring boat rides across the Channel, returning from fishing or a picnic on the Canadian side.

Lazy, lingering days, doing nothing. Dusk comes, to catch fireflies, sing around the campfire, watch the sunset.

Hot, humid nights, trying to sleep, trying to catch a bit of breeze.

AT 19-CAMP

Birds and crickets chirping love songs. Fish dancing with joy. Anticipation of THE WEDDING in August. Sitting on the dock recording all the recipes of Grandma and Momma, even though not knowing how to cook! Writing down notes and lists of what to do to be a good wife.

HOME

Showers, trousseaus, fittings for THE GOWN, planning the trappings of the day. Filtering out the the treasures of my youth, packing boxes to be transported to a new State, a new adventure, a new life.

THE WEDDING – a rainy day but a rainbow at the end

THE HONEYMOON – rainy days, but who cared

THE MOVE – rainy day on the last day of summer, lightning and thunder accompanying us on our journey.

AT 29 – CAMP

Packing up the little ones, all five. Usually a dog and/or a cat, one time a hamster, into a beat-up Country Squire station wagon for two months at the River. Hoping we would survive from the car breaking down, or the parents breaking down from hearing all the verses of 100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall! A long seven hours, but then the view of the Bridge. CAMP.  Thus planting the seeds and nurturing the memories of our sanctuary.

AT 49 – A NEW CAMP

Finally alone, just the two of us. Cruses, travels, new adventures, and a new camp in the woods where children and grandchildren could visit – but go home.

AT 59-79  – THE FALLOW YEARS

Crises, broken dreams, death, transitions, sadnes

AT 79 -CAMP AGAIN

Alone, but not lonely. Lazy summer days, unaccountable to anyone but oneself, projects to be done or not done as seen fit, reading all night if that is the wont, visited by children and grandchidren – and the memory of those long gone who filled my summers with love and joy,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 Days

October14, 1962

I huddled in fear, clutching my two little girls, pregnant with an unborn child that might never see life. Our country was braced for nuclear attack from Russia, stemming from Kennedy’s blockade of Cuba, demanding the nuclear weapons be removed. We were on the brink of nuclear disaster. Would my little ones suffer? Will they grow up?

Helplessness. Hopelessnes, Fear, No Control

September 11, 1911

The Twin Towers desimated by a terrorist attack. The Pentagon attacked and bombed. A plane blown up in Pennsyvannia. What would be next? No communication for days for or from my girls in New York state. Were they safe? My youngest two were with us in Florida – close enough to talk to , to hug, to share our fears.

Helplessness. Hopelessness. Fear. No Control

January 6, 2201

A mob of over 2500 presumably rally to hear the vitriolic President of the United States spew his lies and hatefulness . 777 climb up the steps of the Capitol Building, climb up onto the balconies, climb up a scaffolding erected for the Inauguration in 14 days. They came, it was reported, to protest the ratification of the results of the 2020 electoral college. But there were more sinister reasons afloat. They desecrated this historic building. They trashed offices. They stole memorabilia. They erected a Confederate flag. More, more, more. They terrorized our Congress men and women, and their staffs, and all the workers who were in the building that day. They were thugs, mobsters, terrorists. Five people were dead after this horrendous ordeal

Helplessness, Hopelessnes, Fear, No Control

But our country survives. Our democracy survives. We will survive.

BETWEEN TWO POINTS

Often in our life time, unexpected events happen, unexpected people pop into our lives, unexpected turns present themselves and we scarcely know why. Years ago I was given this poem by an old man who had written this when a new love entered his life. His wife of many years had died after a long illness. He had settled into a new routine. He said he wrote this with surprise – that such a thing could happen to him. He called it BETWEEN TWO POINTS. I call it Serendipity

My life had been well scheduled –

Well planned-;

A simple routine of the straight line

Drawn between two points.

Leading from erupted birth

To cradled death.

Then you came upon the scene

And my course was shattered,

For nowwhere in the pattern of my life

Were you inlaid.

Yet your line with mine converged,

And I was unprepared to elude,

So we met.

And now my life is mottled;

My plan of shortest distance curved.

How dare you wrinkle the surface of my

Smooth plane?

BEREFT

My computer crashed!

No way to connect to my documents. My games could not be played. My music was silent. My dear Facebook friends and my E-mails were uncommunicative. Couldn’t Google. (What kind of name is Google anyway?)

My schedule was askew:

  • Wake
  • Pee, take meds, make Coffee
  • Check Facebook to see who was awake, what was cooking literally and figuratively
  • Check e-mails
  • Check Hay Day and play Phase 10
  • Eat breakfast  at some point in the above
  • Attend to the necessities of the day  – or not
  • Check Hay Day and play Canasta
  • Write in Word for either blog or documents
  • Play Phase 10 – if I won I had to do housework, if I lost I had to play til I won
  • Eat lunch
  • Hurry to  attend activities of the day at the Club House – or if it was bad weather Hay Day or Phase 10
  • Prepare supper
  • Supper/ nightly news/Hay Day/Phase 10 or whatever.

ADDICTED. OBSCENE WASTE OF TIME AND WHATEVER MIND I HAD LEFT.

And God said: Let the screen be broken.

Hence:

  • I’m reading a book or two or three, depending what room I am in
  • I am throwing out stuff, uncluttering, re-organizing my office space and clothes closet
  • I am paying attention to the kitten attacking the cat
  • I would be going outside, or taking a road trip , or having lunch with friends or whatever else might be interesting but its 6 degrees out – snow, ice, wind. Just might take a nap.
  • Working on my genealogy and memoirs

I was held hostage by a laptop that thought it was a terrorist!

But then freedom came in the form of a new laptop.

But I have learned my lesson well – at least for the next few days.Unless I am writing my blog or memoirs or genealogy stuff, I will designate only certain parts of the day for social media, emailing or gaming.

I will not use the computer while I am eating, before sleeping nor will I take it with me to the bathroom to finish a game.

Oh what the heck, life is too short. Phase 10 here I come.





 

A RANDOM THOUGHT

Its funny how a random experience morphs into a blog or a story or a whatever—–.

I was going into Price Chopper the other day walking with my cane. A gentleman was coming out with his walker. We both were almost run over by  a man on his scooter!

We all need insistence. No, that word was intentional. One day my youngest granddaughter and I were watching a program on training dogs for those with special needs.

“Grandma, you need to get one of those.’

“No Hanna, they are only for people who need some kind of help”

Well, Grandma, YOU need insistence!”

To admit that need, to not deny it, is one of the most difficult lessons we must learn. It reeks of dependency, whether we be 38, 78, or 98. Our ego says ‘NO’. We fight it. But it’s there.

I just read a quote which says:
“Let’s face it. In most of life we really are interdependent. We need each other. Staunch independence is an illusion., but dependency isn’t healthy either. The only position of long term strength is interdependence: win/win.                Greg Anderson

I have come to the conclusion that the only way to deal with the dependency issue is to put a spin on it. To be thankful for these aids! To be thankful for those around us who do so many things to make our lives easier. Inspite of our  need for insistence! But Lordy, it is hard!

 

 

I HAVE LEARNED —–

I have learned that birth and death are both journeys into the quiet unknown.

I have learned that my family is the mortar and building blocks which hold me together.

I have learned that love and faith are the cornerstones of a life well-lived.

I have learned that friendship can be fleeting or everlasting.

I have learned that both unspeakable sadness and unbounding joy are transient.

I have learned that happiness is taking the day off, canceling appointments, locking the door, not answering the phone, vegging out, being good to yourself.

I have learned that a burst of energy can lead to all kinds of good things.

I have learned that love comes in many forms, many faces.

I have learned that music soothes my soul, makes my heart sing.

I have learned that cries of anguish, of joy, of despair can bring healing.

I have learned that sun and snow and rain and thunder each have their own beauty.

I have learned that clouds transcend the believable, become magical.

I have learned that my journey is mine alone; that it is a work in progress, that learning continues.

I have learned that birth and death are both journeys into the quiet unknown.

 

 

The River

the-riverPeace I ask of thee, O River

Peace, Peace, Peace

When I learn to live serenely

Cares will cease.

From the hills I gather courage

Vision of the day to be.

Strength to lead and faith to follow.

All are given unto me.

Peace, I ask of thee, O River.

Peace, Peace, Peace

 

This day Mullet Bay is placid, the glassy ripples mesmerizing as we drink our coffee by the shore.

Another day the white caps will be churning. Boats will be bobbing. Storm will be brewing.

Each day a mystery on The River.

The big ships come up and down the channel. The flags – of the United States, Canada, countries from afar – unfurling from their masts, evoking thoughts of adventure and exotic places.

Boats and canoes and kayaks stream in front of us. Some to go fishing, some to pull water skiers, some to paddle peacefully along the shore dreaming, meditating – all to revel in the beauty of The River.

Swimmers at the beach. All shapes and sizes, out for a good time. Some floating on rafts, some dog-paddling, some serious stroking. Children venturing out too far. Squeals of laughter, admonitions from Moms and Lifeguards. Sandcastles and tunnels to China created in the sand. Imprints of little feet as they go to fill their pails.

Sunset comes. Kaleidoscopes of colors as they break through the sky. Awesomeness that takes one’s breath away from the beauty of the heavens.

Nighttime comes. Black and deep. Sounds of the crickets, sounds of the big ships sending their messages up or down, sounds of the lapping waters. Sounds of silence.

The River. The River. The River.

                                                     Peace