Thursday, August 5, 2010


July 29. "What is more beautiful than a bright morning after rain?" queried May S. Then she went out to shake the heavy water off the drooping phlox. Mary O wrote of fear: "I feel the terror of idleness, like a red thirst." Gladys Taber, "The sky is wonderful in July, it seems deeper and farther off someway than at any other time, a silken, burning blue."
I have listened to "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day", completed "Giant" and read "Intriguing Owls". For a while I felt I had too many irons in the fire. I have also begun a new jigsaw puzzle.
Today I had both Cedar and Marcellus. My plan was to have a tour of local flower gardens but after only one stop they lost interest. So we went to the small play park near the RR tracks.
I learned that there are 19 owl species in the US and Canada. They range in size from the 1.5 oz. Elf to the 4 lb Snowy. The larger the owl the longer it lives. Some large owls survive for 25 years.

July 30. As I sat in Community Rm working on puzzle Pearl came in. She was waiting for a man to remove her old TV. It was broken and she already had a new one. Later I took a quick trip to Grand Rapids to pick up a new printer. Before removing the old one I hooked it up and gave in one last chance before it went to the recycling center. It flew into action and printed several perfect pages! I was dumbstruck! I will return the new one and get a refund.
I finished the puzzle and will pass it on to Gene, Chey's new husband. He's an avid puzzler, too.
Having read "Giant" I must confess that I like the movie better. I prefer seeing the story enacted by Hudson, Taylor and Dean.

July 31. When we visit the park I always hope a train will pass. And one day it did!
On another day Cedar rose from her desk where she was so busy coloring dinosaurs that I thought she was oblivious to all else. She hurried to the window and looked down. "Just as I thought," she announced, "the pigeons are here." She'd heard their noisy arrival. When they left she watched them fly away. "Well, there they go!"
On this last day of July I was looking out at the trees and noticed that the leaves show signs of age. Summer is getting a bit bedraggled and the tattered trees tip their damaged leaves with somber dignity.
Do you remember the winter of 2004-5 when the trees were full of great gray owls from Canada? I was visited at the A-frame several times by owls and was honored to witness their hunting skills. One owl stayed about 3 days. I think she left when all the mice were gone.

Aug 1. "There were also Indian spies, traitors, those who feathered their own nests, sold out, became lovers of the white man's vices." Meridel LeSeuer. The vice they came to love most was GREED. Many tribal leaders are in the grip of greed like a mouse held in the talons of an owl. No matter how they vow to serve their people they soon give in to self-service and enrichment.
May S wrote that when her muse was absent she went to the garden and "by clearing out that bed of perennials almost smothered by weeds, to clear the senses again." If I had a patch of a garden I could have a reliable means of composing my scattered thoughts.
Verlyn K was still complaining about July. It had been 30 days of rain and clouds. "It's been like living under a rhubarb leaf."
Yesterday as I listened to "True Compass" by Edward Kennedy I scrubbed the living room carpet on my hands and knees! I left the fan on and today it is dry as a soda cracker. It does look better, too. When the CD got to the place where Ed K heard that his brother Jack (Pres. Kennedy) had been shot and soon died I burst into weeping. The sudden violent death of a loved one is almost beyond humran endurance andf he would face it again when his brother Bobby was shot. Yes, we are disabled by grief and it is a full time effort to find a reason to go on believing there is still something to live for. Prayer becomes your only ally in the battle to recover your place in life and your dreams of a future without the beloved.
Wallis, Lamaya and I went to North Star Foods today. I felt like Gilbert Grape when he bought the birthday cake at "the other store". A flower vendor stood on the street and I got 5 glads for Lamaya. It was a princess bouquet and will become a cherished memory. Perhaps the vendor, too, will recall the day... and surely the 3 bees buzzing eagerly among the colorful blooms will not forget us for as long as they live.

Aug 2. May S wrote in 1982, "Aug is the dead end of summer... and there is a special silence in the air. The birds do not sing." Gladys Taber journaled, "Our Quiet Garden definitely sags in Aug." Well, it's true nothing can keep blooming the year round. I used to think my mother' could keep her African violets blooming all the time. But I suppose it was an optical illusion or slight of hand trick.
Verlyn K wrote, "But late one night not long ago - one of the most beautiful nights of this summer - a black bear crossed the road just in front of us... We coasted through the vapor trail, and if we could have, we would have smelled it's very bearness." I appreciate this deep awareness he calls bearness. I have heard many a smug odor-free or artificially scented human speak of encounters with bears. They almost always say the bear was a great stink. In my long years as a forest dweller I have come upon my share of bears and never found any unpleasant lingering odor.
Melvin called. My dear old friend Bona-Carol is in hospice. She wants me to spend a few of her last days with her. I leave tomorrow I felt myself being overwhelmed by the terrible news. Then Marlene S called and I shared the news with her. Her calm and caring voice settled all my flutters and cast out any self-doubt.

Aug 3. I had a terrific dream! Almost all the women I know were building something vital. No men were involved in the process but several trusted males supplied our needs. I was the liaison. The first hurdle was discovered upon arrival. It was a convention center. My task was so secret that I had to enter via a hidden entrance. I was given a small map and a torch. Then I was led to a dog kennel and locked inside. I walked along and the kennel became more foul, the roof got so low that I was forced to my hands and knees. Then I found the door out but it was too small! I panicked and began to shout and pound on the tiny door. Then a voice beside me said, "Raise the roof." It was Cinnamon. So I pushed the roof high enough so I could stand but I saw no door. "Push the wall away," said Cinnamon. I did and the whole wall swung open. I walked along until I came to white brick wall. I heard voices above so I began climbing. There were places for my hands to hold and my toes to grip. The wall was slippery with soapy water and bubbles but I made it to the top and rolled into the waiting area. Soon I was called and received a badge. The map and torch were taken and a silent man with an incredibly long arm extended his finger which was 3 feet long to point me in the right direction. As I walked briskly along my clothes, freshly laundered on the wall, dried. When I arrived at the secret site hundreds of women were already there. I found my team and asked, "How did you get here so fast?" Aina W directed my eyes to a small collection of huts where a shuttle service was doing a brisk business. My first thought was to protest the injustice but I had no time to grumble. I was on a true mission. Flo H said every thing was well organized and she gave me a list of things she would need to build the electrical unit. In a quick minute I had everything on the list and presented it to her. Then someone needed wood cut into 1" X 1" strips which I immediately secured. Ann L was in charge but needed an assistant. Kitty showed up and Ann demonstrated how to assemble the strips. Kitty wanted to see a plan. "There is no plan!" Ann said. "Then I want a man to instruct me," Kitty wailed. I said, "Ann knows what she's doing." Ann said, "I've already made 50!" I left for the next station where I saw a man sitting on an overhead beam. He was dressed entirely in black. I shouted that he would have to leave. He shook his head and would not budge. Suddenly Ann M was at my side. "I'll take care of him," she said and swung herself up toward the high roof. Hand over hand she went. I knew she would soon get rid of him so I went on. The next order was for PVC and the man insisted that he deliver it as he knew I could not handle the long dolly. "Nonsense," I huffed as I leaped into the driver's seat and sped away. I woke up before the job was done but I think we were building something for B-C.
A county health representative came with many Qs. It was a 2-hour interview and she will return in 3 weeks. Then Wallis and I were off to Grand Rapids to pay bills and buy food. The Thrift Shop was having a bag sale so I got several Ts for myself and Cedar. I also got her a book of poetry and myself a hardcover copy of "Centennial".
Later I left for B-C's new location. I found Melvin looking haggard and old. He greeted me with a look of relief. B-C woke up and was clearly glad to see me. Melvin said she'd suffered a brain virus, a fever of 107 and a stroke. She is bedridden and sleeps a lot. She has difficulty talking. How strange to see her speechless and inanimate. She still has such pretty skin. With gentle hands I rubbed her feet... feet that carried her to so many places. Idle now with no place to go.

Aug 4. Woke up about 6 and waited for Melvin to make coffee. Beau the basset started pounding the floor with her long tail when she saw me. Two deer graced the yard with their fair beauty.
Marguerite Young wrote of Aug, "... booming with the buzzy bees, the caw of crows, and spinsters numerous as hollyhocks. There was a feeling that any... man might become the subject of American mythology if he went barefoot or left his hat in a cornfield."
Cyndy arrived to bathe and shampoo B-C. She was patient and gracious but I thought of May S book "As I Am So You shall Be".
I had planned to stay with B-C so Melvin could go to an AA mtg but his ride fell thru. My poor B-C was quite unhappy with that news. I kissed her and promised to return. Melvin can call and I can still drive.

Aug 5. Woke up at home in my own bed. My thoughts turned to B-C in the hospital bed in the middle of the living room. Melvin in the recliner at her side. He said he hasn't slept in their bed since she got sick in June.
I called Cedar and asked if she wanted to come over for an ice cream party. You KNOW she said YES. The menu of the afternoon was: root beer floats, cherry pie alamode and ice cream sandwiches. We watched "The Secret Life of Bees". She spent the night. Fell asleep with a plush stuffed dachshund in her arms. It's the one I call Sam. I recently added another homeless puppy to the collection. I call him Little Friendly. Cedar and I talked about how much fun it would be if the 7 puppies were real. We know the velveteen rabbit turned real.