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.