Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Sept 29. It began raining this morning but the drops didn't knock the leaves down. So we will have good color for a few more days.
Gladys Taber offers her autumnal words, "As summer wanes, we cherish every mild dreamy day. I love the soft blue haze. I know summer still walks the lanes, but the frosty slipper of autumn is just behind."
"...order is a gift that allows me to save time and live deeper beyond the physical world." The wisdom of Beth Waterhouse from her essay "Home".
Ellie and Karen came today and we lunched at Shelly's. We also had dessert! We enjoyed a wonderful conversation about race and education. the ice cream was good, too.
Sept 30. Oh, what a miserable day... so far. Woke up with an awful headache that just got worse. Took a pain pill and 2 glasses of water. Did not rest well and got up at 9:30 AM and began vomiting. Even after the water was up and out I was still heaving about every hour. I didn't drink anymore but still retching at 2 PM. Soon I must go get Cedar off the bus... so i hope I can perk up. My head feels better. I don't want Cedar to get sick. Must enforce handwashing rule.
I was in bed all day. As Buddy Holly sang, "Misery. Oh, misery. What's gonna become of me?"
Gloria brought me supper plate of rice and chicken but I couldn't eat it. Cedar got a brownie. I had 2 more vomitiing episodes. To bed early. Got up at 1"21 AM and took a hot bath. I knew I had turned the corner!


Sept 28. When I showed Cedar the post card Ann M sent from Iceland, she became quite interested in the beautiful puffin. We have a paper cutout puffin in the bathroom so she recognized the bird at once. Then we began a puffin hunt via the internet and visited Machias Seal Island. Yes, it is true! The voice of the puffin sounds like a chain saw!
"All this I do inside me, in the huge court of my memory. There I have by me the sky, the earth, the sea, and all things in them which I have been able to perceive... There too I encounter myself..." St. Augustine.
We went to the Student Success Community Alliance at the Wendigo Golf Course Lodge near Grand Rapids. Justice was one of the three student speakers, all of them boys. Chelsea Annette also spoke and I got her autograph. She's a young writer from White Earth and has just published a children's book entitled "Discovering the Little Brother". I have not seen it but how exciting her success is for all of us! I also want to say that Windigo was a brutal giant who abducted children and ate them. I wondered if anyone thought of that when the lodge was selected to host the event. I thought of the school system devouring our children.
On the 24th, Marianne and I dressed B-C. Melvin selected the clothes and we put them on for her. I'd never dressed the body of a deceased loved one. I'm glad for the opportunity now. I would like to be dressed for burial or cremation by the tender hands of those who love me.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Sept 26. I sit in the flat with my second cup of coffee and watch the leaves turn to gold. Below the tall trees the bright green lawn is littered with the leaves of summer-gone. Just now a tattered leaf has released its grasp and fluttered to the waiting earth.
I wonder if I have come to the place where I must practice joy but spend the rest of my days learning to die.
May S wrote on Sat. 9-25-1982, "The autumn of life is also a matter of saying farewell, but... I do not feel I am saying farewell yet but only beginning again, as it used to be when school started."
Gladys Taber wrote of teaching, "it has to deal with the countries of the mind which are always difficult, unpredictable and illimitable." The poetess Kate Green suggests, "Live out your ecstasy on earth amid the flaking patio stones, the boarded-up back door and the rusty car." From her poem "Don't Make Your Life too Beautiful".
A pain has begun in the left side of my face. It seems my jaw doesn't fit together as it should. After all these years the bones have gone astray.
Sept 27. On Sunday May S had a book signing. "It was exciting to arrive at the lovely old public library in Portsmouth (designed by Bullfinch) and, long before 4 o'clock, see people waiting." How gratifying for her to have loyal fans full of expectation. Eager to see her, hear her read, purchase a book and secure her autograph.
Gladys T had just enjoyed a line storm. "After the storm, the world is polished and shining. The light is so golden, we feel we have never seen the sun before."
Wallis and I off to GR. I dropped stuff at the Thrift Shop and bought a lamp. I also purchased a punch needle and hope to teach Cedar a new craft.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Sept 24. Early this morning I was asleep when someone entered my room, leaned over me and whispered, "Brandon is here." I struggled to open my eyes but saw no one. However, the room was full of a pale blue mist. The voice was feminine and a feeling of extreme love flooded around me. I smiled myself bakc to sleep. I believe it was B-C come to say goodbye and to let me know Brandon had been on hand to meet her. I am sure she had a delightful reunion with her beloved father, too.
Then it was that Melvin called to tell me that B-C had gone to the other side about 4:30 AM. Quickly I made arrangements for Cedar and left to see B-C before she was removed to Duluth where she would be cremated.
I stopped in Bemidji for food, flowers and a very chocolate cake. When I arrived at Melvin's Marianne S was already there and had a turkey in the oven. I prepared dressing and yams and got them into the oven. She made mashed potatoes. Then Betty came and she made wonderful gravy. We'd put an assortment of finger foods on the table for early arrivals. B-C was still in the hospital bed in the living room. Marianne, Betty and I were enjoying ourslves so much I half expected B-C to turn her head and join the conversation. Other mourners began arriving and the house was soon full. Mark, the hospice chaplin led us in a brief bedside service. He spoke of B-C's period of transition. You know how a word can stop your mental faculties from advancing... well I got hung up on that word and began thinking about all of us being in a period of transition at all times and beyond time... maybe even before time. So I don't know where Mark's comments took him.
Afterwards he invited others to speak. I told about the time B-C and I decided to go camping in the Black Hills. We got to Isabelle SD and were driving into a dark and furious storm so we decided to find shelter. We went to gas station for snacks and a trucker began following her around. We left without him but I always teased her about Big Bad Billy Beer Belly as I called him. The story got a good chuckle from Melvin. It broke the ice and a couple of others spoke.
Brandon and B-C enjoyed a special friendship. When he was 13 he got yard work jobs and with his wages he took us out for lunch. Can you just see it? A young teenage boy escorting two mature women to lunch and taking the bill. Well he was a wonderful lad!
Sept 25. The mascot election did not take place. I'll post an apology and see what Cedar wants to do.
When I got home yesterday the mail contained a large flat envelope. Inside was a garden kneeling pad and a plastic sleeve for my library card. I was a prize winner in the 2010 Mail-a -Book adult summer reading program!
I tried to watch a late movie as I was unable to sleep last night. But could not focus on the complex tale it told. The title "Rock the Cradle" was about a relationship between art and politics. I'll view it again when my thoughts are less fractured.
Yesterday May S wrote, "Sun after four days of blessed rain - fresh warm air, wet grass and every plant and bush and tree refreshed. I drove Home alone yesterday. the car was full of memories. I endured several episodes of weeping. The trees are getting ready for winter but I had difficulty trying to appreciate the beauty of autumn. In about a month we will have been five years without our precious Brandon and now B-C has left us, too.
Gladys Taber said that "September is a nostalgic month." And so it is.
Wallis and I to GR library today and I got some poetry. Afterwards we worked in the garden. Then I had supper. Pearl called me down for a game of Skip-Bo. I won the first game and Evelyn won the second.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Sept 21. Cedar and I are still organizing for our very local election. Today we discussed election rules and she came up with some cute ones. She was so serious I could not even smile. We posted the list of ten for residents and visitors to read and appreciate. #1. there will be no pushing and shoving for ballots.
My pile of letters will soon be answered. Today I am mending my lap desk. It had along crack across it for several months. I feel it would have endured. However, Cedar sat on it and finished it off.I have put it together with Gorilla Glue, the adhesive miracle.
Well as Mark Twain may have said, "Surprise sometimes arrives unexpectedly."
Sept 22. The ballot box is ready, the voter registration prepared and ballots (12) have been hand printed.
I must also get fruit fly invasion in hand.
Verlyn K wrote, "Labor is both a trap and a liberation, servitude and release..."
From John Keats: "Old Meg she was a gipsy, And lived upon the moors; Her bed was the brown heath turf, And her house was out of doors."
It is a long affectionate collection of words and in my journal (Undated) I have written a response. "Oh, I can see her! Walking up the heathered hill. Her red cloak flapping around her. She raised that old brown hand to greet me and smiled a broken grin. 'Good day to you, Old Meg,' I whispered. Then she and the hill are gone and I am home alone. Rain is tapping on the rain drums, Sam is sleeping at my slippered feet and long-ago Meg sits down to 'stare full hard' at the rising moon."
Sept 23. Yesterday 1982 May S had written "ten or more letters in the morning..." My stack of mail is still waiting for attention! She said "it is the wild piles that make me feel wild and disorderly." I know that feeling well. I am neglecting friends who are watching their mail for a few words from me.
Robert Burns, "Near by arose a mansion fine The seat of many a muse divine; Not rustic muses such as mine." I know my muses are not the high browed, well endowed, sophisticated muses that occupied the mansion in Burns' poem.
Wendell Berry wrote of Port William... "it had a beginning that was forgotten and an end that was unknown." I might almost say that of myself but I have heard much of my beginnings from my father.

Monday, September 20, 2010


In this dream Wallis and I were walking on a city street looking for Cedar. "Don't go that way," Wallis said, "you'll end up at Target." So I went behind her but was unable to keep up. When I could no longer see her I stopped and looked back. Cedar was walking toward me. "I'm thirsty," she said. We went into a crowded cafe but could not get water. As we passed a small tea room a woman in exotic attire called to me. "Anne! It's me, Marilyn." I did not recognize her but she gave us water. When we left the place we stepped into a dry and dusty land. Our hands were full. In my left hand I held strange coins and in the right a small trowel. Cedar had the same. "We'll bury them in different places so they will be hard to find," I told her. I chose downhill and she went up. When I returned to where we'd separated I waited for Cedar. She came running and shouting, "A lion!" I saw two ceramic lions hanging in a leafless tree. Then I saw a real lion rise up out of the earth and began to stalk us. We hurried to the cafe but it was abandoned. I put Cedar in a glass cabinet and stood near. The lion came and clawed the door open. I pushed him away from the cabinet but I knew I could not protect Cedar. Just then the door opened and about ten kids came in and walked past us. The lion lost interest in us and began to stalk the others. I got Cedar out of the cabinet and we hurried away in the opposite direction.
Edgar Guest, "That earth has no glory that's greater than this: That little old man whom the children will miss."
Cedar and I have begun an election process in the building. Today we posted the names of candidates for position of official Deer Crest Manor Pet Mascot. Hershey the cat and Coco the small dog. The ballots will be cast on Friday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Sept 18. I don't know how I got my dates so mixed up. But I will leave it as it is in memory of entering my seventh decade.
On this day 1982 May S paused to celebrate the aster of which she mentioned several. But I also read Edgar Guest and he celebrated Lemon Pie! "And we smack our lips in pleasure O'er joy no coin can buy, And we down the golden treasure Which is known as lemon pie." Guest also wrote a personal note to me, "When I get big and old and gray I'm going to spend my time in play." Thanks to Cedar I have reason to play and someone to play with, too.
Yesterday, while Wallis shopped, I went to Subway for lunch. I had left home on a breakfast of two cups of coffee. As I sat alone with my sandwich I thought, "This is no fun." What would make it fun? I imagined Myrna coming to sit with me. How we'd laugh! Then I envisioned David M and Skip T entering. Now that's a party! I felt myself smiling like an idiot.
Today I gave the flat a really good cleaning. We are having a building inspection this week.
Ann and Roberto must be in Iceland now.
Geezis spent the night and in the AM she washed the dishes for me.
Sept 19. May S had been thinking about love and hate. She had put them into two categories, public and private. She called religion "the great divider".
Jane Austen had written a sad lamentation for Marianne in "Sense and Sensibility". It concerned leaving her happy childhood home. "Dear, dear Norland! When shall I cease to regret you! When learn to feel a home elsewhere! Oh! Happy house... (and) ye well-known trees."
On Fri Wallis and I went to the $ store in GR and tried on mood rings. It turned deep blue on her. I put one on my left hand, it turned purple. Then I moved it to my right hand and it turned green. I asked the clerk what that meant. She said she didn't know as most people don't put it on both hands. I bought a hematite bracelet with angels all around.
Tonight Pearl invited Evelyn and I to supper. It was delicious! Then she dished up dessert and I carried a treat to everyone in the building. It sure was fun!
Then they taught me a game called Skip-Bo and I won! That was fun, too.
I told Pearl she could not be a nun or a saint but she could be a member of the Angel Federation of America and I put the angel bracelet on her right wrist. She appeared quite pleased.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Today Cedar and I began our first chapter book! We are reading "Stuart Little". In a very few pages we came upon great wisdom. We learned that no one can look into a mouse's ear without laughing. Melanie joined us at the corner bus stop and we had a lovely chat. We stood saturated by the morning sky. I showed her how to make a giant shadow bug.
Wallis and I went to the rummage at St Mary's and enjoyed it very much.
After school Cedar and I played three hands of old maid and I lost twice. She said, "You're an old maid and I'm going to marry Elvis!"
Tonight I watched "Bright Star" on Netflix. I held the poetry collection of John Keats in my lap. Angeline gave me the book after we had seen the movie together in Toulouse.
JOHN KEATS. "When I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain... then on the shore Of the wide world I stand alone, and think Till love and fame to nothingness do sink."
Keats's bright star was Fanny Brawne.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


"Imagination reflects heavenly truth." C.S. Lewis.
The magic mailbox was full of delightful notes and cards again!
I took animal flashcards to bus stop. But Cedar no longer finds them much of a challenge. So I added a new twist. She must tell me one true fact about each animal before she can claim a point. I must say it slowed us down quite a bit. After school we are going to play Old Maid with one of my three decks of Elvis playing cards. We are also discussing our Halloween costumes. I will become Mortesia Addams.
Marlene and I went to Shelly's for pie and coffee. We chatted away an hour over two plates smeared with blueberry and pie crust crumbs. Our cups were kept full and the coffee warm.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


May S tells us that the two greatest human qualities are courage and imagination.
My goodness! I stuck my nose into a book entitled "Homemade" and couldn't get it out. What a wonderful collection of ideas... so useful and economical, too.
Cedar and I waited for the bus under a single umbrella today. I must get one for her so she can be more independent. She enjoyed the tapping of rain on the taut fabric. We explored the gutter and rain drain and watched bubbles form and burst in the lively puddles.
I stayed in the Community Room while the laundry was washed, rinsed and dried. I worked on the puzzle. Connie came in for a few minutes. This is the first time she has visited me. The mailbox was bursting with goodies!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Sept 14. May S, "I am more aware than usual of the long rhythm of the seasons, and the recurring events become more precious as they structure the larger design of life itself..." Gladys Taber had gone on a drive "along a golden country road." Verlyn K enjoyed the chatter of a flock of blackbirds that had settled in a big cottonwood. Yesterday I saw a maple tree in full red! Even the goldfinch is changing color. they are losing their bright light goldness and see more creamy vanilla buff. I think most of the humming birds are gone... following the flowers south. At this time on a nicely chilled morning with a light drizzle and a dripping eave I think of mother baking bread. It was in those days she cooked with wood. It was my pleasure to fill the wood box every night and bring water for the reservoir and the big tea kettle. On Saturday I filled the wash tub twice and helped with the day long process of cleaning clothes and sheets and such. We washed them and we rinsed them and hung them out to dry. they had to be ironed, too.
Sept 15. The car has two new tires on the front end. I feel so much better and so does Cedar. She was too sick for school so I took her to the garage. We carried 4 books to read while we waited. Then we went to Cenex so she could vacuum the car. She knows the drill and goes quickly through the car with the long hose sucking up dirt.
We went to GR, too. We hit 2 second hand stores and paid the phone bill. We also went to Walgreen's. I got her vitamins to help her fight infection.
I ran into a woman who remembered me from H.S. Sue Daniels. She said she graduated a year before me. I don't know how she recognized me. When I see myself in the mirror I often say, "Who is that old woman?"
Barry Manilow almost had me in tears today when he sang "All the Time."

Monday, September 13, 2010


Sept 13. What a strange dream! It was about old truth being defeated and buried by new truth. It was about the rediscovery of old truth and the battle to hide it. It was a long dream full of mist and genderless voices. I was told that old truth had a healing method based on a 10 point triangle. I was only told the first point because if one failed in this none of the remaining points could be activated. Then I was determined to expose this truth for the good of humankind. But I was out-shouted, ridiculed and threatened. Then Dar K said she knew this truth and had been healed by it. She would testify of her personal experience with this knowledge. Then everyone would have the same opportunity to be healed as she had. But when she tried to speak she was shouted at, ridiculed and silenced. We were at a loss. I woke up quite disturbed and shaken.
This morning Cedar and I took chalk out to draw our morning shadows. It took a whole stick of pink chalk to make her enormous shadow so we decided to save the blue stick for her PM shadow. She could not believe the difference. Not only was her PM shadow quite short but it was behind her!
I told Cedar that my neighbor Gloria had to leave her French poodle behind with her family in Ohio when she moved north. So Cedar decided to give Gloria our toy poodle. Gloria was so pleased! She hugged Cedar and named the tiny dog Mikey.
"For we can settle back at night and live again the joys we knew And taste once more the old delight of days when all our skies were blue." Edgar Albert Guest.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


We had a fish fry at Annie's. It was a harvest feast or thanksgiving and also we celebrated Wallis' achievements. Later I took a bag of fish over to Marlene. I stayed to visit for awhile and on my return saw the lady who helped Cedar and I make a six legged shadow bug. We waved and smiled our greetings across the wide street.
Ended the weekend with a movie: "There's no Business Like Show Business".

Saturday, September 11, 2010


9-11. I wanted to do something special and decided to call Myrna at White Earth. Left a message and she called back in five minutes. We talked for 2 hours. Then I watched "Last Flight Home". BentProp Project team searches for MIAs from WWII. Of course they only recover remains as nothing more is left. But they also recover history and give survivors a sense of the person hood of the deceased. It is a restoration of a lost family member. I recommend this informative documentary. It is well done... tasteful... sensitive and emotionally moving.
I dreamed I was playing paper dolls with someone. We were both paper and wore paper clothes. We dressed each other in garish attire and laughed at the results. Then we became real and ran about in our hats and gowns screaming and laughing. At last we ran away together. I woke up wondering who the other child was. I decided it was my dear departed friend Elsie Mooers.
Today the girl who delivers the Manny Shopper fell down the stairs! I heard a woman scream and looked out the window. Then I heard a weeping woman begging for help. I opened the door to find her sprawled on the landing. Gloria came out, too. I sat on the step to hold the woman upright. Gloria called ambulance and Ed brought water. Soon the ambulance came and took her away. A couple hours later another young woman came to thank us for our kindness and tell us the fallen one had torn ligaments in left ankle. Ouch!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Sept 4. I left home with Annie and kids at 6:30 AM. Returned at 10 PM. A long day of ceremony, feasting and fellowship. It was a small gathering and Lila was painfully disappointed but it was such a perfect blend of relationships and personalities that I found the balance exciting. It went well and I think the purpose Lila envisioned for the ceremony and beyond was off to a good start.
Discovered that I had lost my debit card, EBT card, $20 and photo of Brandon. Yipes!
Sept 5. Ann M Called from Ely. She had been to the wedding of Dar's daughter. She, Roberto and Kitty would stop when they reached Deer River. Hooray! Sunday visitors! Before they arrived Pearl called and invited me down for cake and coffee. I put a note on my door directing Ann to apt 4 and left. When the wedding trio knocked on Pearl's door I was quick to let them in and introduce everyone. We had a nice visit then the 4 of us went to the Sportsman Cafe for supper. We had another lovely time and shared much laughter. They returned me to the manor. Both Pearl and Evelyn hope they will come again. "You have such nice and interesting friends," they told me.
Roberto hadn't seen the flat before and gave my abode his approval. I really appreciated his good opinion as he has an artistic eye for color and design. He also looked at my photos and declared my father to be "very handsome".
Reported loss of cards.
Sept 6. Oh, what a beautiful dream and everyone was with me but I didn't know that at first. It began that I was alone in a huge kitchen. Great quantities of food covered every surface. I felt I was in a hurry as I prepared a large bowl of cole slaw. In a wink Ann M was with me and said, "I'll finish that. They're waiting for you in the garden." so i walked out into an incredible garden that seemed to go on and on. It was silent and the people had their backs to me. The first person outside the door was a man with rather long hair. He wore a white suit and no shoes. I thought it was John Lennon. So I said, "Hello, John." The man turned. It was John Trudell. He held a small bell in one hand and few flowers in the other. He put his hands together and bowed to me. then he rang the chime and everyone became vocal and animated. I saw Aina W. She smiled sweetly and held her arms out to indicate the people with her. I knew they were her loved ones. They stood together as for a family portrait and all of them greeted me with loving smiles. Just then Beth W tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, "Cash is inside and she needs help." So I went back into the house. Cash was trying to fit into a frock that was just too big for her. Quickly I cut it into pieces and sewed it back together. It was perfect. Cash gave me a big smile and hurried to the garden. I was aware of smell of food and turned to find myself in the kitchen again. Ruth Austin was at the stove cooking. I was surprised to see her. "I didn't know you could cook," I said stupidly. "I have prize winning recipes and blue ribbons for my food preparation," she told me. When I woke up I could smell Gloria's breakfast in the next flat.
I wish you could have seen that beautiful garden filled with joyful people. We must do this again some day in a dream come true.
Sept 7. First day of school! The wind is moving at 25 MPH. Cedar came at 6:10 AM. She had two pieces of toast and laid down on the settee for more sleep. The trees are pleased to have such a nice wind for dancing. But I suppose the rice is falling. I saw a monarch yesterday. The hazel nuts are all packed away by the thrifty squirrels. The high bush cranberries are ripe but I can't get out to pick as my car is still lame.
It rained all night with thunder and a light show. The storm moved across the sky at a crawl, growling and grumbling all the while.
Sept 8. After spending much time trying to figure myself out of my financial dilemma I went to bed prepared for bad dreams. Then I dreamed I was washing dishes in my tiny kitchen when my Aunt Gerry breezed in, got a towel and began drying the dishes in the rack. She was young with short curly hair. She wore black slacks and a leopard print sweater (she always liked dots on her clothes). After a moment she announced, "I finally graduated. I have my doctorate." I was quite surprised as as she had never seemed interested in higher education. "In what field?" I asked. She stared at me with a deep intensity and said, "Seeology." "Well, now I suppose you'll get a really good job," I offered. "No," she told me. "I want to stay home and raise my babies." Then she folded the towel until it was the size of a cracker and left. I was soon awake but spent some minutes thinking about my favorite aunt who had died suddenly leaving 3 small children behind.
Sept 9. When Cedar and I waited at the bus stop we saw our tall dark shadows together. So we danced and flapped our arms and laughed. Then she stood in my shadow and we became an enormous bug. I saw a lady hurrying along and invited her to join us. "Would you like to help us make a six legged bug?" I asked. she was quick to join her shadow with ours and soon we were creeping along like a real bug! We had a wonderful time being a bug.
Sept 10. As we waited for the bus today a medi-copter came over us. Cedar wanted to watch it land so she ran to the last car parked near the emergency door at the hospital. She was excited to see the big machine coming down. But soon the bus was at our stop and she was carried away.
Wallis and I went to the food shelf today.
Sept 11. Today I took four books to the bus stop and we sat on the curb reading. I had just completed book two when the bus arrived.
Today I had lunch with a spoon in one hand and a Robert Burns collection of poems and songs in the other. How it used to annoy my mother when I read at the table.
This morning I dreamed that Justice and Tommy D came. I let them in and they jumped into my bed! I got upset and demanded that they get their dirty selves out of my bed at once. Justice leaped out and stood at attention. Tommy refused to obey so I grabbed his arm, jerked him off the bed and slammed him to the floor. "Okay! Let's eat," Annie called. As we entered the kitchen the curtains caught on fire. Annie pulled them down with a fork. Then the wall caught on fire. Now she was crying and pulling her hair. I told her to throw water on it but she didn't want to make a mess. So I got water and put the fire out. Then the table burst into flames and I put that out, too. I woke up before anymore fires got started!


Sept 1. Alarm! Alarm! I just heard a gaggle of geese flying over. Couldn't see them as the trees still dominate this window. I heard that handsome blue crested bird announce that he had arrived. "Jay! Jay!" he screamed.
I played my Fats Domino collection today. It almost made me cry. I danced to him in HS. My 2 best partners were girls. Bing and Simone. They both died of lupus. Simone before 25 and Bing before 35. What a killer. What a heartache. But oh, the power of a song. Cedar is asleep on the settee but this old music bathes her in melody. Will she remember this on some far off day? Will grief tug at her heart and will she think of me and how I have loved her?
I worked on stamps again.
Sept 2. The rain called me awake and I listened as it tapped the leaves in the trees beyond my open window. Soon I was asleep and ready to dream.
I was following a woman in a purple coat but lost her in a crowd of people wearing blue coats. As I stood at a loss as to what I should do I was approached by the woman and she was wearing a blue coat. She did not speak until I gave her a coded sentence. I thought it was a quote from Abe Lincoln but I don't remember the words. Then she smiled and said, "Follow me." She took me to a small pub-like cafe that was not doing much business. I saw a purple coat hanging on a hook. "Put it on," she told me. When I did it turned blue. "This is your new uniform. It goes with the job. It changes color when we are excited about our work." "What is our work?" I wanted to know. "We remember," she said. "Some of us have to remember. The electronic empire will crash. The books are already disappearing. Someone will have to remember." "What do you remember?" I asked. Her smile disappeared. "The holocaust. Everyday I put on my purple coat and go to the library. As I get close to the library my coat turns blue and I know I'm ready. I think it is changed by body heat." She turned to leave. "When will I see you?" I asked. "Tomorrow. There will be a new quote so you can find others who remember." Suddenly she was gone and I turned to find the blond Man From Uncle standing near me. He wore a blue coat and quoted Lincoln. We sat at a small table near a dusty window. "My name is Don Dell Leon. They call me The Lion." Then the walls of the pub turned into an illustration and I tumbled off the page. I was sitting on the floor in the flat. Cedar was on the settee with a book open on her lap. "Look, Grandma," she shouted. "It's a picture of The Lion." I got up to see him disappearing from the page. I was soon awake.
When I told Cedar about the dream I asked her if she knew The Lion. "Yes," she said. "He was a dream that came true."
"This is your moment." Unk.
Sept 3. May Sarton would visit an island in 1982. "Monhegan begins to seem like the moon. It will rain, they say, but I don't care. It is an adventure and the wind is rising in my sails."
I completed the cougar puzzle last night. What a beautiful creature. All the while he watched me as i completed his head first. Such eyes! So intelligent. So sensitive.
Yesterday i started cutting out my Mary Engelbriet collection of paper dolls. Cedar really enjoyed dressing the tiny figures. She was so careful with them. I gave her a Wizard of Oz box to keep them in and fashioned envelopes for them from gift wrap.
Feeling flushed and feverish. Made swamp tea sweetened with maple syrup. Sat in a soda and Epsom's salt bath. Drank green tea.
Getting ready for Wiping of the Tears tomorrow.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Aug 28. Today I turned myself wholeheartedly to the Lizzie Garden Quilt. Ann M brought the Chinese gold fabric that was a chair cover and it will go on the back of the quilt.
But first... a party. Little Cecelia is four now and we celebrated the happy event at Tom and Missy's home on the Ms. river. We all had a good time.
Lila asked for a Wiping of the Tears Ceremony so I must begin to pray and get myself ready. Annie said she will help and so will Missy.
Aug 29. In my dream I was waking up in something that was moving. I could see through the open sky lights. The sky was blue and bright. The tops of the buildings were charming and colorful. I didn't know where I was so I sat up to see if I could ask someone. It seemed I had been asleep in the back of a dimly lit bus. My sister Shirley was standing nearby. We were both quite young. She told me we had to meet Annie and we should hurry. "We don't want to leave her alone too long," she said. "Oh, Annie can take care of herself all right," I told her. We stepped off the bus and into the sunny street. No one was there. The town was deserted. The bus sped away.
I have been watching "Home; a stunning visual portrayal of Earth". It is the story of our journey toward environmental collapse. However, it ends in hope. Glenn Close, the narrator urges us to work together for a better future for all. Not just the wealthy.
Later I listened to the soundtrack "Out of Africa". After all these years it remains a favorite.
I once dreamed that Elvis P was waiting for me at a cabin next to the Winnie Store in Bena. I knew it was just a dream but just in case it was a dream come true... I drove 20 miles to peek into the window of an empty cabin. But I never pass the place without glancing in that direction.
"The moon in the window seems to have drifted out of a love poem I used to know by heart." Billy Collins.
Aug 30. I recovered my $1 chair with a piece of tiger print upholstery from Ann M. It does look like something from the jungle room at Graceland.
After supper I put on my Hawaiian garden dress and watched Elvis in "Blue Hawaii." I was having a good time until the bar brawl. Elvis had a fight in nearly every one of his movies. I don't know why.
Aug 31. The deer flies are gone! The flickers are active, the monarch's are gathering for their great migration and many cars are adorned with rice boats.
I hear a blue jay but can't see it. A hairy woodpecker made a brief visit, too. "Peek, peek," she called.
Cedar and I had French toast and chocolate malted milk for breakfast. Then we made a sticker story with the tiny pictures from old mail labels. It was great. Gloria brought us each a piece of cake. I also read several story books and a collection of poems by Sara Teasdale which Cedar enjoyed very much!
Annie came to get us and we all went to meet Cedar's first grade teacher. Then we went to Shelly's for supper.
Earlier in the day I'd gotten out my old stamp album. I hadn't opened since before Brandon's death by murder. I still saved stamps in a bag but didn't put them in the album. In the bag I found four tiny photos that Brandon had taken with his mini camera. I made them into magnets and now they are on the refrigerator. I see them several times a day.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Aug 25. Cedar spent the night and woke up early. Too early for me. We talked about fairies and explored many issues that must confront such wee ones. Then we slept again and woke up late. We had a quick breakfast and then we were off to Wallis' to get Marcellus. She had a medical appointment in GR so I entertained the two children... or did they entertain me? First we went to the small playground. After an our we went to King's Court so they could play on the big stuff. Cedar was able to cross the hand over hand hangers without falling off. It was her first time! Then she did it three more times. Hooray! After that we went to the store and got stuff for lunch and came to the flat to eat. They played with my puppy collection. I saw it was time to return Marcellus but we had to stop at a Church rummage on the way. When we finally got there Wallis was sitting outside because I had her key! She decided to rummage, too. So away we went! I got Cedar and Marc each a real basketball for being good kids. They were @$1.
Aug 26. I was awakened by a dream. I'd received a post card from the other side. The image was a collection of portraits from the life of my cousin Chuck Robertson. Each picture was the size of a postage stamp. I saw Chuck in can and gown, his Air Force uniform, a family sitting with Gaye and the two boys, and one of his mother, Fanny. In the center was a square filled with gold leaf. there was writing on the back but no stamp. I don't remember what the message was but I do recall a small broken circle in the upper right corner. the paper was glossy and smooth on that side and picture side was matte. As I wondered why Chuck would write to me I began to experience discomfort in my chest. Not pain but a feeling of fullness. So I got up and sat in the rocker. The window was full of moonlight. As I considered the dream more closely I realized that three of the portraits were less focused and the one of Fanny was more sharp. I saw her bright eyes and happy smile. Perhaps he was showing me the gold of his earth journey and the vital role his mother played. I remembered how pleased cousin Chuck had been when I named one of my children after him. I have a photo over my pc that includes Chuck, my sister, my mother and myself. It was taken in front of my maternal grandparent's house at Redby. Chuck is eating an orange.
Still in a struggle to remove 35 ink spots from the carpets. I'll keep working on reducing them before Dale sees them. He'll be up here on the 1st to collect rent. But at the moment I am sitting in the midst of the dancing rainbows as the window crystals turn and spin in the breeze.
I washed Cinnamon's car blanket today. I still keep his collar and leash in the trunk of the car. It takes a long time to say good bye to such a true and loyal friend. I'm going to sew up the blanket as it is quite ragged.
Today Cedar and I went to Cenex so she could vacuum the car. She had a ball. Laura F arrived from Florida today. Annie brought her over for a visit. After they left Peg G came knocking. We had a lovely visit and she gave me a story stone from Annie Ned Creek in Alaska.
Aug 27. Peg also left other gifts: home made cookies, tea bags and a book by Velma Wallis, "Raising Ourselves".
Last night I watched the movie "Australia". It told a bit of how half caste children called Creamies were taken from their aboriginal mothers. In this story the Catholics provided homes for them on Mission Island. In the end a caption explained that this is no longer the case. Apparently child abduction became illegal in 1973. The gov. of Australia has now apologized for their misconduct. I was going to get the sewing machine out when the phone rang. It was Marlene S. We talked for an hour. I had not cooled my ear when the phone rang again. It was Wallis. After our goodbye the phone was screaming again. It was Angeline from France. She's going to Greece and asked if I'd been a good girl. I said, "I'd like to be bad but I don't know how." So she promised, "A good girl will get a gift from Greece." Then I played my Ella Fitzgerald collection. Wow! She is so smooth.


Aug 16. I dreamed Cedar and I went to Spain in a small bus. It was a quick trip but we were inspired by the beauty of the sea and the mountains. We had a fine dinner at a quaint cafe and started back. The bus stopped and out the window I saw a bald man. He carried a coat and an umbrella. He was smoking a cigarette in a long black holder. He got on the bus and came to Cedar and me, "Madame," he said raising his eyebrows to the top of his head and lowering his lips. "I should like to paint your beautiful granddaughter." He gave me his card and left. I gave the card to Cedar and she put it into her wallet. As she looked out the window she sighed and whispered, "No white spots." The bald man waved at her by raising his arm and twirling his wrist.
Cedar had been so fascinated by a single crystal in the window that I decided to hang six more. Tiny spots of rainbow colored lights crawled blissfully over the dreamy walls and dazzled the floor. .. and me. Oh, how they will greet Cedar and how she will laugh.
Aug 17. Woke up with pain and swelling in right ankle. I suppose that's old Arthur I. Dez claiming another part of my anatomy.
Well, I had coffee with Etta James today. No one sings "At Last" like that lady.
I'm reading my autographed copy of Bonfire by Connie Wanek. This AM I got a good laugh from her poem about a pig that took a CPR class, pg 42. She also wrote of a fox in autumn who "vanished into the copper-colored undergrowth as into a magician's sleeve."
Cedar is painting wonder stones and I am getting ready for my mammogram. Pearl will watch her while I'm gone.
The gold finches are doing the duck and dive. We had a Shrek Dance Party then we went to get Wallis for supper at the Community Cafe.
After Annie came for Cedar I started going through old files. I had three stacks: toss, archive and file. Two of the drawers are so bent that they are nearly impossible to open. I will have to discard them... Brandon painted them for me. He chose the color, too. Yellow as a goldfinch.
Aug 18. A brief shower caused a wonderful interaction of rain drops and leaves in the nearby trees. Two hummingbirds flitted about in the green crowns. I named them Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor.
Cedar and I were working on a puzzle in the Comm. Rm when Gloria stopped in to visit. While we chatted Cedar tipped a chair over on herself and got a nosebleed.
Aug 19. Marvin Staples mother, Sharon, died of a drug overdose today. Marvin is the young man who murdered Brandon. Marvin's grandmother Leona Fineday was one of my mother's best friends. Now he is quite alone in the world.
Cedar found a dead toad so we had a burial ritual for him. We both spoke over his tiny grave.
Aug 20. I dreamed I got a job at a zoo! One of my duties was to close the zoo at the end of the day. I was given a long knife and using the dull side I walked along an underground corridor hitting the concrete ridge that went on and on. I wanted to hurry the process so I ran. As I struck the ridge I heard a loud clunk clunk. At one point I heard a soft plop sound so I stopped and looked up. A cartoon alligator stared down at me. He was upset at being struck and I would have apologized but I was unable to speak. He began snapping his jaws and clicking his teeth. Then he tumbled down and charged at me. I held out the knife and he ran into it. Now he was really mad and began biting my feet. But because he was a cartoon he had paper teeth and did me no harm. I put my hands around his nose and jaw to hold his mouth shut so I could think and he clawed at me with his paper nails. I decided to run back to the entrance. I was very fast! I released him and zipped away. But the entrance was closed by a tall fence. I climbed to the top but couldn't go over because my dress was caught and my legs were tangled in the skirt. I called for help and soon the alligator arrived. He looked up at me and asked, "What kind of a get up are you wearing?" I told him it was a dress. "Why are you wearing a dress?" "Because I'm a woman," I shouted, "and women wear dresses!" At that I woke up.
Melanie and I went to the New China Buffet for a birthday dinner with Justice, 16, and friends. Lyn LaPointe was there, too. Wallis rode back with us.
Aug 21. Awake early to find fog scarfs tangled in the trees. Except for the train all is quiet. The train blasted 24 loud warnings as it careened along the iron rails.
May S. didn't write today but on the 18th, 1982, she had time to think about relationships. "...we all have illusions about what we give each other, and we rarely realize that receiving is also giving."
Today I went to get my extra tire and it is gone! I was so disgusted by the discovery that I nearly wept. I feel almost overwhelmed by circumstances beyond my control. It is as if a gang of invisible bullies are targeting me. How frustrating.
A beautiful moon is looking in on me. Oh, I can't let her waste such wonder on a soul without grace. I will rise on my tip toes and kiss her shining face.
Aug 22. Began reading "Wuthering Heights" and could not put it down.
The VFW brought us a picnic lunch and I thought we'd eat together. But everyone took their meals back to their rooms. So... I did, too. Wallis helped me carry the metal file cabinets out to the dumpster.
Aug 23. On Sat. I baked a meat loaf of ground turkey which I flavored with salsa. It was not too bad. I'm listening to "American Buffalo; in search of a lost icon" by Steven Rinella. His narrative is peppered with interesting bits of history and spiced with subtle sarcasm.
Aug 24. This buffalo story includes the slaughter of many millions of these majestic animals. I find it shocking and depressing. I have learned a lot about bones. Yes, after the hides were taken the carcasses were abandoned. Then the bones became a commodity that could be sold to various industries. Including the finest bone china. So armies of bone pickers were soon employed. After the bones were gone those industries fell into "financial crisis".
As the sun rises and the early rosy glow falls on the tree crowns beyond my window it is clear that the leaves are plagued with fungus. Still they are so thick I can see very little sky. When the leaves fall this window will be full of sky and birds.
Ann, Karen and Ellie came. We had an ink mishap in the corridor and spent about an hour trying to clean it up. Then we went to get Cedar and had a picnic on Annie's deck. Ellie had a meeting so returned to Crosby. The rest of us went to the Lost Forty. We walked the trail, about a mile. We saw many mushrooms... some were new to me. It was a beautiful mile. When we got there the birds were singing... later it was very quiet but for the wind in the tops of the old virgin pine forest. On our return we saw a doe and two spotted fawns. It was a lovely day to close journal number 7 of the 7th decade.


Aug 6. Cedar is still asleep in the nest she made on the floor last night. She wanted to do it without help and so she did. Justice is in Canada visiting his Mohawk father and brother. The goldfinches are dressing up the trees. How they sparkle in the early sun!
When I was with B-C I saw the old B-C rise up and sparkle for a few dazzling moments. Then drop suddenly away. Her eyelids closed, and her hands fell into her lap.
After breakfast Cedar and I went out and found two wonder stones. Then we went to the park She played with an unknown girl and later with a boy named Sam. I read and tanned my sandal lined feet. Then we returned to the flat for lunch. We watched "Peter Pan" the play, not the movie. Wow! a real stage play.
Then I made us each a wig out of some old blue cheer leader pom poms and took photos. Later we enjoyed a root beer float and waited for Annie as I read story or two. Had supper at Shelly's with Wallis and Michael then watched "Wuthering Heights".
Aug 7. Internet not working! But I saw a lovely leather back turtle swimming across the sky. The birds are usually quiet during the day but their small voices created a splendid choir to accompany Ned Spurlock in his rendition of "Unforgettable". They never sing along with Bobby Darin, Dusty Springfield or Elvis!
I think it is a wonderful luxury to turn over in the bed. B-C cannot turn herself anymore.
Aug 8. Went out to Annie's to feed, water and release the animals. Had breakfast at noon!
Mae Sarton wrote of her friend Eve, 83, "...for whom flowers, birds and raccoons and skunks who come every night to be fed after dark are the most rewarding joys." They had been friends for 53 years! Oh, what a long history they shared.
Yeats was dreaming of bees and beans when he penned, "I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made, Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee, And live alone in the bee-loud glade." Gladys Taber thought that was too many beans for Yeats. She imagined that the wee fairy folk gathered in the glade at night to pluck and eat the beans. Now I can imagine all those fluttering fairies being gas propelled and jettisoned in the sky.
Wallis called to tell me about the big storm at the Mish Pow-wow. Her tent had an inside pool and her bedding got wet. But she was laughing!
Aug 9. Awakened to a nice fog. How quiet it is at this seaside port. I put on the music of Smokey Robinson and he poured himself into the room.
I had a terrific dream. It began with a knock on the door. I opened the door and saw a very tall man wearing a doctor jacket. It was the kind Richard Chamberlain wore when he was Dr Killdare so I trusted him at once and let him in. He carried a blue box and a tennis racket. "I'm here to test the air quality in your home," he told me. He put his stuff on the table and began writing on a chart. He wrote "Aug 29-30, nearly midnight." "Are you late?" I asked. "Oh, no. I always come early." He attached the racket to the blue box with a very fine wire and proceeded to wave the racket in the air. The box purred. "Should you do the bathroom?" I wondered. I thought he'd find better data in there. He declined with a disgusted sneer, "I'd have to charge extra for that. But I'll do the bedroom for nothing." As he swept the bedroom air I wondered if the air wasn't the same as the living room. He turned to me with a lurid smile, "Now I will know your secrets and your dreams." He began with a chuckle of laughter at my apparent dismay. Then he roared with hideous glee. "What's so funny?" I wanted to know. "Pollen," he replied. Then I recognized him. It was Vincent Price!
Evelyn joined Pearl and me in the Community Room today. They complimented my pretty dress. "You look just like a gypsy," Evelyn said. "Well, I'm leaving on the next caravan," I told her. She added, "I see you in a red wagon pulled by a white horse." You know? I saw it, too. The happy horse wore a pretty bonnet.
Aug 10. What a dream! I was in a car with Deegan and got a marriage proposal. I declined the offer several times but the persistent young man kept presenting reasons why it would be good for both of us. He had a long list and nothing swayed me until he said, "You'd have your own house and yard and garden." There I hesitated and he slipped a ring on my finger. "I made it myself," he told me. It was a charming silver band with a large uncut diamond. "Who will give me away" I asked. A voice from the back muttered, "I will." I turned to see Justice. "Good," said Deegan and started driving."Where are we going?" I asked. "White Earth." When he stopped to pee in the woods Justice asked, "Grandma, are you happy?" "No, not at all." "Well, let's go home!" Just then another car pulled up. The driver was Elaine Miles from Northern Exposure. "Got a problem?" she shouted. "We're going to Deer River and we need a ride," I shouted back at her. "I can get you to Oak Point. We're going to a party out there." She had another woman in the car. All during the ride the ring had been trying to get off my finger and now it fell onto the seat. I put it on the dash for Deegan to find and we got into Marilyn's car and sped away. Before we got to Oak Point Elaine had to pick up two friends. They were a lovable young couple but very overweight. The car was crowded and I started talking about heart disease. Then we were at Oak Point and got out at John's. I was going to ask him to take us to Deer River but he opened the door nude, screamed and ran away. Justice looked at me and said, "We'll have to walk." So that is what we did and I was home in time to wake up in my own bed.
Aug 11. I dreamed I was a MASH nurse going home. I was packing quickly. Then I turned and saw about seven young children sitting on my cot... watching me in silence. Then a man small and old stepped between us. "What about the children?" he asked. Apparently they were my responsibility. "I'll take then with me." He shook his head and smiled. I could hear the chopper coming for me. He said, "You could stay." I shook my head. He left and the children followed him out. Now I could hear rain on the tent and Wallis came in laughing. "Oh, boy! what a storm." My tent is wet and my bed, too. Can I stay with you?" The door opened and a small girl slipped inside. She wore an old hat. a transparent rain coat and shoes. Wallis scooped her up. "She's so cold!" she said. I started to unpack. "I have a dry t-shirt she can wear for a dress. I have socks, too."
Before I went to bed I had been thinking, "If children could name their heroes... who would they choose?" I was even wondering how I could help them discover the heroes in their lives. There must be heroes in Deer River. But I'm only interested in what the children think.
I wrote a note to Pearl and put it on her door. "Pearl lives on the bottom floor, I make my nest above. She said she always hated cats until she fell in love."
Aug 12. Yesterday Cyndy came to help me prepare a living will. What an exhausting hour. In early afternoon I went and got Cedar and Geezis for an ice cream party. I made banana splits.
Today Cedar wanted to come over and I made her a chocolate malt. Then we made two masks. After that we watched "Extraordinary Animal Behavior" and went to Community Cafe with Wallis.
In PM I went to Bemidji with Melanie for Jim Northrup's lecture at BSU Ind. Ctr. I ran into lots of old friends and Pat took my picture with Jim. On our return we a saw a strange formation of bright clouds.
Aug 13. To clinic for blood work. Cedar and I made more masks. I still can't get internet.
In PM I watched "A Patch of Blue". I'd seen it long ago but had forgotten the details. Sidney Poitier was perfect... of course.
Aug 14. I am revisiting the poems of Larry Schug.
On Thursday I discovered that my left front tire is falling apart. Without the internet I feel isolated... and now... no car.
Aug 15. I'm listening to "The Few" by Alex Kershaw. It's about the American fliers who fought in the Battle of Britain. The US was neutral and it was against the law for US citizens to fight for a foreign cause. It's been a quiet Sunday but for the trees... now they toss and twist.