Forgiveness, Compassion, Grace

I relaise the above are ‘church’ words. They are more than that, though. They are life words. I remember, ages ago, when Strider was in grade school and the kids were being taught ‘life skills’. Some of the things they were supposed to do included being kind, gentle, patient, and many more. He was surprised that they were learning ‘church’ things in public school. I told him it didn’t matter where he was or what he believed, being kind and compassionate and gentle and forgiving and patient and gracious were all things a person needed to exist as a human.

If you google (where would our world be today without google??) grade school life skill lessons, you find things like a kindness game where you smile at 10 people or tell someone something nice about them and games where you pass along a kindness. In Tillmook, during the month of February, you can participate in an Act in Kindness Day to honor a wonderful family. It truly doesn’t matter who you are to learn to act with generosity and compassion and to be pleasant. I’ve always been drawn to words said by Elwood P. Dowd in the wonderful movie, ‘Harvey’.

Without forgiveness and compassion and love, what is there left to hang on to? I know there is a lot of hate running amok today and in my own background. I had some damn scary dads when I was a kid. I forgave them in my adult years and I’m glad I did. They never knew me as an adult, but those months under their roofs shaped parts of me. A few lessons were a benefit, others not so much. But, I forgave those dads for terrifying the small girl made overly responsible by age 9. Mom was harder to forgive and I’m still angry with her, yet, I know why she was so awful and I can only forgive her and hope to never be like that. I know those dads that drank and beat up mom and whipped my bare bottom bright red were not lovable and perhaps some might think they were unforgivable. Time has softened those memories and I can forgive. I will never ever forget. I am human and humans don’t forget (ok, I have forgotten many things. Usually things like where I parked or put my glasses and what temperature to cook something at after looking at it seconds ago). But, with compassion and forgiveness, those awful things are in the past and I can move on. I am not going to keep those horrid memories alive to haunt me and hurt me even now. I’m glad those dads are not in my life anymore, I’m thankful I’m not a woman who grew up in households of such fear. But, I can see how alcohol made them the way they were. There is probably more, but drinking is what I recall most as a little.

Two dear friends helped me see how (and it is a long story, so this is just the gleanings from their care for me) not forgiving can be born of anger and hurt and of fear. A young friend of mine shared some of her thoughts on forgiveness that made little sense to me, so I asked two others for assistance. They were a lovely help. This post was born of their help. (thank you, Rhapsody and RLS!)

Like the word snow in Alaskan native tongues, there are many kinds of love. I tend to focus on a few Greek words Eros and Agape and Storge. Philia is one I know, but don’t talk about as often as sex, friends, and family. I went to a Bible college, so Greek is my natural point of view. I have grown beyond Greek and see many more now. However, those loves all harken back to life skills. Skills we should use and practice every day.

Forgiveness, compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, graciousness, sharing, respecting, giving, responsibility, honesty, and friendship.

Left Behind-long post!

I didn’t realise how I left any readers hanging. I’m sorry. The lady did eventually arrive from the thrift store..mostly. She came and was planning to come back and couldn’t. I had to leave the organ for someone else to take care of for me! I did get rid of the rest of mom’s ashes. (Strider said I should have captioned them, ‘So long, and thanks for all the fish!’ They are the cloud in the middle photo) And then we reached the rest of the weekend.

Since my last post, I’ve returned to the Lower 48 and left my soul behind. I have been constantly busy to tears, absolutely confused, and frustrated. However, there have been a few amusing incidents here and there!

Those last days up north, I spent doing errands and cleaning. I managed to visit one set of friends and completely missed out on another since I didn’t do laundry (the last two times I had, this friend was busy). I packed dirty clothes in plastic bags to bring back! I took an old computer in to be taken apart and destroyed, I purchased a new set of shoes (since I couldn’t get a tattoo or anything that took time, I got Alaskan footwear! These are deck shoes or cuff boots), unloaded a ton of stuff from the shop at the hazardous waste day at the landfill, and saw this moose. Sunday was busy, but I did make sure to do visiting.

My last day out north was horrid. I am so glad I did my Sunday evening visit, but it made Monday both harder and easier. I also finally realized why my sister didn’t help me like the neighbors. My sister ‘wasn’t going to get anything out of it’, so it wasn’t her responsibility to help me do something she’d not have a gain from. I do give her a portion of the cash I make from selling things, but legally, the house is in my name.

At any rate, Monday I was in tears most of the day because I had so much to do, I cleaned the shop and the garage and the upstairs, and was absolutely aching with pain in my body and in my soul. I left the house mostly done, but not done like it should have been. That night I stayed with a friend and cried the whole way into my teddy bear. Until I spied the moose off the side of the road on a certain bend in the road. Then, I was less bawling and more just tears. The lady was a blessed friend who had driven me north last fall. I used her shower and a most amazing bed that was right next to a giant window without curtains overlooking trees and the inlet. Granted, it was pitch black out, but I could hear the wind and the water and see stars above me when I looked up! There was also an interesting piece of décor. I was decidedly startled when I turned off the lights! The lady is fairly religious, so I had no clue why a glowing creepy thing was in the room. Once I turned on the light again, I laughed and had to take photos! I also got a recipe for a cookie she calls ‘Princess cookies’. (cookies based on a recipe from Disneyland) They are quite good!

The next day I was driven to ANC. Driven is right! Get in the rig and go. I could barely move when we finally stopped at the place I was being dropped off at! I spent the day with another friend and we went to jewelry stores. I learned a great deal, didn’t make much cash, but the education was priceless. The lovely watch I asked mom for before she died was worth a great deal more than I was told by the person who wanted to buy it from me for 250-300$. (like a couple of thousand dollars more!) The disturbing necklace and earrings were amazing. The painted puffins are on fossilized walrus teeth about 300 years old!!!

We walked near a manmade lake and saw ducks and folks fishing. Later, I went to stay with an old friend. One I’ve had since my parents moved up the Peninsula. I had eggplant lasagna, bread dipped in vinegar and oil, and did my best to ignore the ridiculous arguments between the POTUS and his running mate. I also stayed in a huge bed I wasn’t sure I could get into adjacent to an interesting bathroom!

The next day we went to the airport and one of the persons boarding had kids and all kinds of animals, including a snake! The poor thing was in one of those plastic shoeboxes. I’m not sure where it went. I didn’t care, I was too upset about leaving Alaska.

I had a great seatmate. He absolutely understood my distress. He said he doesn’t understand how his family doesn’t want to move back, he does and will as soon as he can! I cried and cried and was so glad for a mask. No one could see my face, just the tears caught by the edge of the fabric on the mask, and I was turned to the window.

In Seattle, I discovered one of the dearest young persons ever sitting across from me in the waiting area. To be fair, she’s now an adult, but I’ll never forget the tiny three year old elegantly sitting down in a circle during preschool, swinging her blonde hair around, and insisting she was having a ‘bad hair day’. She texted her mom to say ‘You’ll never guess who is on my flight!’ Her mom texted back, ‘Russell Wilson?’ and the little lady went dark! So funny!! Her mom was very surprised, we’ve not seen each other in years and we live just miles apart! Little Bear picked me up and then we went shopping for meals for the rest of the week. I wasn’t thrilled with leftover pizza again (that was what I’d been eating in AK!). I washed my clothes and made cookies and am pretty much back in the normal ordinary swing of things, hanging out alone for the most part!

So, next post will be all Oregon.

An Unusual Few Days

This last week was full of sunshine and crazy fun, new experiences. Unfortunately, my camera didn’t record dates properly and photos I know I took on Wednesday say they were taken on Thursday! (sunsets!) So, this will be a long post full of pictures and whatnot!

Moose. I was outside taking a break with a book (I realized the old leaky boat turned  upside-down makes a great place to recline and sun. Uncomfortable, but that means I won’t stay too long! It needs a mat.), when I heard crunching and munchings and stomping in the brush. I didn’t see anything, but eventually was able to find a cow and a calf. Except, there were two calves! I laughed when I caught her from behind. There are a lot of little bugs out and about and I’m really glad they were with the moose and not me! Later, I went out in the kayak and got wet. Getting wet is all a part of kayaks, but I really don’t like the paddle dripping on my books! I always put the bag I take out inside a plastic one. It is always nervousing, though. I took lots of photos, I’ll share most of those later. I need to get a few more reflections. I was fortunate the batteries in the camera were dying. The Craftsman called while I was out there and I told him I’d call back when I got to the house. (too many people around the lake now to chat from the water. You can hear EVERYTHING!) We chatted about 20 min or so. It was still light out, so I remembered I wanted to take a picture of this outrageous mushroom that I’ve seen in a lot of FB photos from Alaskans. Many turn red with the white blobs. This one was more orange. I also discovered it opens up, turns white, and looks awful as it ages! Not sure what it is, other than colorful!

Wednesday was….Well, good and crazy good and annoying!  TnT had texted he wanted me to meet with one of his female friends for drinks and perhaps visit his house. (I was excited about this. I knew his house was near the water and I had some items of his I needed to return—he’d loaned me a fire pit thing to burn papers) Before that, I had errands I wanted to do. I purchased a lovely new chain for an amethyst I was given. I got new panties because when I do wear them, I like them to be nice and most of mine are looking not so! And my sister called. She was outside Walmart with Pippi. I then told her I was planning on having some folks deliver the things she wanted to her house on Monday. She got a bit shirty with me. She was working on moving them, she had a line on a covered trailer, she’d come out on Monday herself. I reminded her that she was getting Princess Sunday. Princess would need to rest Monday. She told me I shouldn’t have to pay for delivery and finally agreed to the plan. I dashed to the library, got another text from TnT, and realized he and his friend were living together in his amazing house. I was a bit startled, but still had to get him the things in my rig.

We met and I liked her. (I was still disappointed I’d not been told about her. Being the other woman is ok, but it is nice to know you are!) The two of us went to their house in my rig, we decided we could have been friends for the last two months! He went to pick up pizza. She amended them with other ingredients and I was impressed. I’d not had artichokes on pizza before. She gave me one of her cookbooks. (you can purchase it on Amazon). Dinner was accompanied by a pink wine, laughter, music, filtered weed, eventually the sunset, and, much later, a giant bed. (Most of this was virgin ground. I enjoyed it all. I know there is a great deal of controversy about weed, I’ve used CBD oil, and was startled by a side effect of the harder version. My neuropathy, shoulder pain, and neck pain was almost nonexistent! I stopped taking a good portion of the prescribed Gabapentin for the neuropathy because it made me sleepy. A few breaths of the weed worked one hundred percent better.)

I liked the pink bubbles so much, I bought some of my own after I left the next morning. I also purchased a fun spritzer that was weight watchers! The coolest part of that beverage is it is made in a city near the one I have residence in. The maker is from New Zealand and his other wines are made there or in CA. Crazy fun! I even bought myself flowers to remind me of the magical few hours I spent with friends. I added a few groceries to my list and have a mostly full fridge, too! Or I did!

OK. I’ll need to write the next part in a different post. This is too long! It makes me laugh to think about the other, so it deserves its own, anyway!!!

Difficult Thankfuls

I have two friends with the same name. One is a bit older than me and is one of the wisest, kindest, get her done kind of souls. The other is younger than me by a bit, also kind, will do things, but is definitely different! They were both here on the same day at different times this week. The first one has helped in this house from early 2017. The other worked in the hospital when we were there in fall of ’16. The former Jewel took photos of a couple of pieces of furniture (ones mom bought in late ’15 and barely used.). One is a lift top coffee table that is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen and if my sister saw it, she’d want it in a second. Mom kept things on it, but thankfully, never used the lift part or the inside drawers. She paid 695$ for it. It has worn edges and a mark on the top from something. The other item is a 1900$ queen hide a bed that is heather in color and pristine. It has been used probably 5 weeks as a bed. Maybe a bit more. Her dad is moving to a new house and he wanted newer furniture. I might be able to get a quarter of the cost, maybe. It will be tons more than if my sister took it, though!

The second Jewel came and talked to me for over an hour about ‘what are you going to do with this?’ “I can’t believe how much stuff your mom had.’ ‘Have you checked with the bookstores in town to get rid of these books?’ ‘Have you asked K if she can help you get rid of these?’ ‘What will you do with this stuff?’ And on and on, almost cyclic. We went out for dinner, got back to the house, and proceeded to move some stuff around. (“You know, your sister really needs to come and get the things she wants. If she does that and other people get things, you will start to see how much more room there is.”) Jewel 1 also said my sister needs to get her stuff, she also told me I need to stand up to her and stop being so giving. I laughed. Jewel 2 made me laugh, too. She kept looking in cupboards to see what was left, opening up containers of food on the counter (I need to put those in the fridge!), and suggesting how I could offload things.  Not many boundaries on Jewel 2.

Anyway, Jewel 2 is supposed to be here this afternoon to help me and I stayed awake quite a while last night tossing around. I think I have a better plan. We’ll see how it pans out. I want to do a lot of outside stuff and the sky right now is clear..on the left! Jewel 2 drove over 180 miles to help me, she has her own agenda, and is constantly telling me how she can help.

She was here. Her help was phenomenal. I did offer her usage of the shower -she’s staying in a dry cabin. No water at all, except it is on a lake. I did remind her it had to be a short shower, she thinks she’ll be ok. (she’ll be glad to get back to her condo!) We moved a ton of boxes to the shed where I can have people look through them. (I had a low glucose and had to stop, she muttered to herself the entire time she was working. I laughed. She seems like the kind who needs someone to talk to, even if it is herself!) We moved the free standing closet from my room and accidentally marked the beautiful linoleum when it slipped from our hands. We drove to town and back to deliver some stuff to donate. We packed up some dishes for her to get rid of in a larger city where more people might find a use for them. All in all, it was nice. Difficult, but nice. I finally had to start saying to her questions, ‘I don’t know.’ She kept telling me she did trash runs every day cuz there was so much she needed to get rid of in her dad’s house after he died. I do have a great deal of empty boxes and such, once I get those gone, it will make a lot more space.

It is a stunning evening and I’ll make dinner and work in the basement. I sort of want to visit the beach, too. I probably should do the Inlet. Tomorrow is Friday and if it is nice, the shore will be packed! Some people are messy and I prefer not being around those sorts. (I did head to the water, no photos, though, these are from during the week.)

In other news, my cell phone has been very wonky, the internet is odd. I need to buy more sunflower seed. The rain earlier this week looked like glitter on the lake, but it didn’t photograph well! And the clouds tonight look like giant lavender scraps of cotton balls stretched out on the blue and pale pink sky.

Many hands

When life throws you lemons, make lemonade. ‘When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty’ and those chips burn (most of that particular thought was from Podman, I added the burning part). When life is rocking and rolling, it is disco time. (wait, is rock and roll disco???) The last days have been a blessing and I will be, and am, thankful.

Jake has been busy with deworming goats. She says it is her daughter’s science task for home school, but says both of their brains are fried with the math of weight to meds ratio. I complain a lot about my sister (as if no one noticed!), I’ve still not seen her and I think I mentioned I got a phone call. So, at least she knows I’m here at the house. (It appears the kid’s microscope isn’t working and Jake wondered if there was one here. The kid also broke her telescope when she dropped it and the ipad when she belly flopped on it on the bed...)

It doesn’t matter much. I’ll manage with people of my own. TnT brought me that burger the other night. Then, the next night Jukebox Kid drove down. He took a van load of things for the boxes and will come down later with tools and vehicle to haul them back to his place. I only pray he’ll use them and not just store them. He said he will, but I shouldn’t care. If he has the money, wants to spend it on jukeboxes, it is his choice! (he did say it was fascinating how little tubes could make things work. This made me laugh, his world has always been numbers and computer chips!) I was pretty tired when he left. It was difficult getting rid of dad’s boxes and music. When Dad died, Mom shoved his stuff to the back of her life and let rodents get into them. It made me so sad. I’m glad someone will care for his things once again.

 I was supposed to do laundry Thursday, but am glad I didn’t. Although, I’d have been home by the time I got a call from the Woodcutter. He said he had some free time and would help haul stuff to the dump. For two and a half hours he helped collect, tear apart, and load up stuff scattered around the yard. I was able to get into the old greenhouse (he wants to bring out tools to take it down. It is in terrible shape, but I’ll wait til it is totally empty before removal. It is a filthy cozy tiny space!) and decided to call the friend of mom’s who is learning about planting. She came out and took a lot of things and will bring her spouse and others out tomorrow to take more stuff. (I hope!) So, I collected most of the rocks in the old greenhouse, hauled them down to the lake, and dumped them in! The edge of the lake is marshy mushy gick and I think a few rocks will help it out a bit. Or they will just sink down and never reappear again!!! I didn’t do the ones in the shop. I was too tired. (I did scare the golden eye young. There seem to be two and they are getting very good sized! Maybe we’ll get at least one that will fly away in the fall.) I’m not entirely sure dumping rocks from the inlet (or wherever) in the lake was correct, but I only put in a few shells by accident. I didn’t want to put the rocks in the drive, it will most likely get torn up again when the house is purchased. Eventually. Mom’s shells are in the flower beds. I’m sure those will get torn up, too. At least the shells will help the soil. At least, I assume they will!!! I only kept a couple of rocks and the three ol, from the inlet, glass floats and one of the boxes used for fish eggs when I worked for the Japanese in the egg room. (the box might have been mom’s, she worked in many canneries!)

So, all in all, the last few days have been pretty positive. The craziest thing is the dent is so tiny, it is barely noticeable. The Woodcutter mentioned the worst part of this job is how when you get rid of things, there is always something underneath. I think Podman once said something similar!! (He actually called me this morning. I wasn’t very communicative, I get so tired and have a hard time going to sleep and later waking up!) I keep hoping I’ll get to the bottom soon. Please?

The best part is finding pinks blooming from seeds I tossed out!! (they are pinks cuz the edges look like they’ve been clipped with a pinking shears)

Last Day of March

Recently, one of my friends from college posted on FB that the temps in Las Angeles were 40 degrees and the world was going crazy. One of her friends then shared that it was 40 degrees where she lived and agreed the world was going crazy, adding to her post the comment that ‘chem trails were hurting the world also’. My friend responded, “Are they still doing that? Wow!”

In a world of misinformation and agreed to confusion, I’ve been reading. Fiction isn’t supposed to be factual and is often much easier to swallow. I’m anticipating the above comment by my friend’s friend was probably about jet emissions. I opted not to ask, I’ve learned sometimes asking simple questions can provide volatile answers. Especially on Facebook!

Spring is attempting to get a foothold here in the PNW. However, tonight we are anticipating snow. I’ve not been outside much at all. I think I managed to contract a flu bug. My chest hurts, I’ve a sore throat, I’m incredibly grumpy (although, that might just be me!!),  my tummy has ached and been upset for the last few days, and now there are other, more undesirable, signs of such a bodily visitor. I get a few things done in the day, but quickly lose momentum and need to sleep.

The Covid Pandemic hasn’t changed much in this area. After the first part of March when our town had two of the only few positive virus tests in the county, all has been fairly normal. Schools are closed, but kids are out and about with adults. My family hasn’t had any loss of work, thankfully, and I spend my days cooking and cleaning and reading. The guys are busy in the shop (Little Bear has decided to learn how to make aluminum castings or something like that. He’s enjoying himself!) and The Craftsman is working on the ancient Sears rototiller to get it ready for use. (it is a mechanical product that has survived many modern tools, it is good the kid is learning to make things from molds. He might need to replace rototiller and Farmall parts someday, that are all but obsolete!) I’m thinking a real garden might be a good idea this next season.

I’m supposed to leave for the north in 18 days. It isn’t looking very promising. I want to cry (Actually, I find myself wanting to crawl into bed and cry often! I have once or twice. But, mostly cuz I’m grumpy. Not cuz I am worried about the house or getting home.). If I can get up there, I will. There are still 18 days til my tickets are good.

I’ve been reading and following blogs via my email, I hope to get up enough ‘oomph’ to actually respond this week. There are have been many an interesting story or poem shared. Beautiful encouraging thoughts and fun bits and pieces. I do appreciate my socially distant friends!

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A year later-

I was pretty apprehensive about Sunday. My sister and I were taking mum’s ashes down the inlet and well, yeah! Many people sent prayers and covered me with care and love. It was absolutely beautiful and I thank those on WP who did this for me.

Sunday morning, I got a text from Jake asking me to meet her in a park. Not at her house. I was confused, but did so. It appeared Gigman wanted to sing to his MiL for one last time (I’m pretty sure mum didn’t like his voice!) before we went and scattered her ashes. I had NO idea he was going with us. (I was fortunate I’d made up 3 bags of ashes and one bag I made little peat pellets into ash holders for Pippi cuz ashes gross her out a bit. Except Jake told me the poppy seeds I used were invasive. So, those didn’t get planted til I got home).  I was actually glad Gigman went. I think it annoyed Jake, but we found a lot of the same sorts of things funny and laughed about them. Anyway, we were looking for a cemetery to put the rest of dad’s ashes with his mom and missed the first exit, thankfully it had a loop. We never did find our Grams. We aren’t even sure she’s in that cemetery, Gigman scattered dad’s ashes anyway. Then, we went down to Homer. The tide was out, that meant mom’s ashes would settle into the muck and get picked up later. Perfect.

 

They also decided they wanted to eat at mom’s favorite place, I reminded them it was fairly expensive, but they said it would be ok. (I meant to pay for my dinner, but got sidetracked by going outside) I’d asked Pippi to take photos of me scattering mum’s ashes and showed her how to use the camera. Except, I told her to press the silver button..I should have said to DEPRESS the silver button. She was excited that she’d taken several and didn’t get a single one. I laughed. (OK. Depress means press harder when it seems it should mean to unpress something. Oh dear, then we get to repress, which doesn’t mean at all what it sounds like it should.) At any rate, it was an entirely amicable event. Probably one of the best times I’ve had with that family.

Monday was slightly irritating, so I was glad Sunday went so well. Jake is a managing sort. Sunday, when we were choosing meals, she asked her daughter what she felt like eating and named off menu items. (Pippi is almost 16 years old!!!!!) When the girl’s burger arrived, Jake asked if she wanted it cut. I defended Pippi and my niece ate more for dinner than she has in ages (because Jake says Pippi doesn’t eat very much). So, Monday Jake calls me. It appears the oldest, Princess, has shingles. I commented that it unfortunately happens when a person has a low immune system. Which got her defensive because her daughter is as healthy as she can be (she wears the same size as her 15 and a half year old sister). Then, she went on to say that Princess wanted Mommy time and wasn’t feeling good and couldn’t get a hold of her all day on Sunday. So, once again mom got in the way of her family. I got mad at that. (I even said a bad word!!!) I replied that Princess is 30 years old, you guys talk every day, she knew you were doing something you will never get to do again, she has been married for at least 10 years and has a husband. And a cat and a dog. She could certainly be ok for the 6 hours you were busy with mom. (I wanted to say, ‘I know this is a horrible disease, but don’t complain about mom when I’ve been doing stuff by myself for the last month and more.’ I refrained.) I was glad I wasn’t seeing them for a while. She did invite me over for dinner Tuesday after I posted that morning how odd I felt on the ever sharing FB, but thankfully I was doing something else. (she said it was one of mom’s favorite dinners. I had no idea mom liked dinners at my sister’s.)

Tuesday. Mum’s been gone an entire year. Her hairdresser (who also spoke at mom’s service) came with me to a different portion of the inlet to scatter a few more ashes. She also prayed with me and reminded me that I was the favorite child. (apparently people tell hairdressers everything!!!) I knew mom ‘liked’ me the most, it is why I was allowed to live with her.(Jake is not an easy sister, I can imagine she wasn’t an easy daughter!) I’m still tired and ready to cry from too much.  I am going to try to distance myself from everything for a day or so. Leave the house and my sister and Oregon. I’d say I was looking forward to it, but I’m only thinking it is a good idea at this moment. I wanted to leave Wednesday. Any time much later, I won’t have the chance!

Except when I was speaking to The Craftsman about mum’s car, he reminded me it’s been a while since the oil was checked. So, I will look at that tomorrow and top it if needed and hope it doesn’t need anything else. Living with a mechanic, I don’t think of these things. Sometimes I think I’m not as responsible as I believe I am.

Raindrops are Falling on my Head

This is another favorite song from a while ago. If I remember the movie correctly, it was one of the first ones to romanticize bad guys. As a teen, I fell in love with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, carefully mentally editing those scenes where they shot people who bled graphically! (in the photo below, raindrops weren’t falling at that moment, but you can tell from the sparkles on the fireweed that they had been falling!)

Mum’s SABLE (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy) sale has been completed. There was a good sized crew of amazing women (and a few men) who helped this all come together. I woke Saturday night wondering if it was really done! I must admit, I’ve been second guessing some of the things I did (like NOT putting the expensive priced knitting kits with the regular yarn. I am certain they walked off in bags of ‘choose your own price’.). And with the rain, I was worried about the fabric and remnants of the stash, left under tarps in trucks til Monday morning. (The latter was done by the nice people who came to get it for a second hand store.) Yet, it isn’t my responsibility any longer and I have other things I need to do! As for the yarn, as a friend said, ‘People come to these sorts of events for steals.’ (So, I reckon a few got some, like the pick up full of bags of yarn!!!)

At 9 am, the doors opened and those queued outside came in and quietly packed up bags and bags and bags of crafting supplies. Some paid generously and others didn’t. I’m sure it all evened out (it was a donation sort of payment thing, except for those few things I knew had worth). It was odd the women with fancy nails, very nice clothing, and blinged out handbags were less open handed than others who dressed like ordinary folk. I’m glad it is done. Now, I can get to the real part of the house and it is so cool my bedroom echoes!!

When things were being unpacked before the sale, the ladies found some super awesome things and gave them to me. An Eskimo yo-yo (not made overseas!), some more of a ceramic chess set mum made that is in the shop of the garage (why it was in crafting stuff, one can only imagine!), and a million unfinished projects. I only cried a couple of times. Once when a nice lady offered to finish up a project and take the aprons to the Oncology centers (mum had been making them for the nurses, but didn’t count right. Now, the places have been partially restaffed, but it was a beautiful thing to choose to do). The first time was when a man came in with his wife and said to me, ‘I worked with your dad, he was a good man.’ I left the table and ran after him to talk about dad for a minute.

There were so many stories told to me about mum. (One lady I sincerely hope remembers to friend me on FB.) I’d mentioned I wanted to take mum to Homer and she was surprised mum had never been. I amended my comment and said, ‘Oh, we started there in the 70’s, but mum wanted to go back the last couple of years and we didn’t.’ The woman was very surprised cuz SHE lived in the same town at the same time we did and hadn’t known. I told her mum was pretty closemouthed about her early years in AK. We talked about where we’d lived and places we both remembered. Then, I mentioned we’d lived in an area of town that was pretty remote with my third dad. Her face was shocked. ‘Your mom was married to that B..….’ She paused. ‘Man? He was one of the scariest guys in out there! We were told to stay away from his place!’ I laughed and agreed, but she was floored.

One question that I realized the answer to Sunday morning in the shower was this. Q: ‘Why don’t you do any of these things.’ It dawned on me that I did not do the same sorts of crafts that mom did because she was so critical. Jake had trouble with that, I wasn’t going to even go there. So, I didn’t. She could guilt me for many things, but she couldn’t criticize me for my knitting or crocheting or sewing. Although, she did often say it wasn’t right I didn’t do it because if I did I could help her. (insert mega eye roll!)

These next weeks will be more difficult. I need to get the line dug up (or should I just keep having it cleaned out, expensive band aid?), talk to someone about buying it (gods, I do NOT want to do that…), and sort for the sale of more personal things. I also need to stop whining! If I get too horrible, please pull me up shorter than I already am. (thank you!)

I’ll close with a moose playing peekaboo last week! (I wasn’t THAT close–)

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While out

I really have been able to get outside now and then. Mostly to drive from the house to town and back. However, I was texting Ms. Monster (she may be in her cookie jar, but my view is much better!) about getting out  more. Then, she felt I was being disparaging about a certain bull moose hanging around the house. So, I am posting a couple of photos of the horrible looking moose. (If it was at all possible, I’d take a brush to the creature and feed it up on grains!) So, since I took the photos with the camera and not the cell phone, I am sharing this way. He was across the road and since I’m a smart lady, I used my telephoto capabilities. (He definitely wasn’t impressed with my watching him, either!) So, my dear Ms. Monster, here is a frightfully sad Bullwinkle!!! (note: I love that lady and she’s a darn good wordsmith, too!)

 

I also was able to experience my first shaking since arriving back north early Memorial Day morning. I had turned over in bed and noticed it shaking. I wasn’t sure if it was vertigo or something else. I was sleeping with my bear and he is NOT one to make the bed shake!  Then, I heard the wind chimes in the living room. (Many Alaskans keep wind chimes inside as earthquake notifications.) It didn’t last very long and I went back to sleep to the sound of quieting chimes.

I’ve managed to find half of the paperwork I need, so I’m making progress of sorts. I was sad her church could only give me records from the last three years. (it appears the treasurer changed programs or computers or something and lost most of her records) I’m not even sure the work I’m doing will make a dent in her debt, but I’ll find out in a week. No matter, as I told Ms. Monster, at least I have great views from where I’m working on the living room floor!

I did realise, too, that Gaz was right. The chicken breast I purchased and cooked (I admit, I cooked it too long. I even forgot my tea and it was truly tepid!) had a too dry mouth feel. I should have gotten thighs. I’ll crumble it up for my salads.

My sister gave me some goat cheese the other day. It was very crumbly and tasted a little of lemons. (she made it) I don’t think I want any more, but I’m not going to post the photo I took on FB. She’ll interrogate me on how I ate it. (on salad with chopped ham pieces and a lot of regular cheese. I did add seasonings. I don’t put dressing on salads. Ever. Naked all the way!)  I think I’ll share that picture here!

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And I will leave you with another shot I took. This was later than the moose ones, it is after 1045 pm on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. (I needed some large envelopes to hold mom’s receipts, so went to town shopping. I should have gotten ice cream, but I was too stingy!)  There was a break in the rain clouds, letting the mountains peek through!

 

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In The Garden

Thirty minutes in my garden on the cusp of Good Friday. It was warm outside, I wore my long jacket anyway. The dew was already thick on the grass, soaking my socks through my garden shoes. The moonlight illuminated the yard, I only used the flash I was carrying to scout for Moses. (He found me and later took up most of the bench with his back to me cuz I didn’t want him on my lap!

I sat down and stared into the sky. Wispy clouds were moving quickly across the moon. It was odd, the earth, where I was, was calm. Not a speck of wind. In the heavens it looked busy. Almost like the moon couldn’t decide which gauze would look best this night.

I started to think about friends and mom and what I was going to do. I prayed for my friends. I talked to God. I’m often tired and my body is not the one I had two years ago. (It definitely needs something!) I cried to Him about how all the decisions were in my hands. He overcame the world, but my worn fraying thread of life is still made up of my own choices. The moon bathed me in gentle light as tears flowed down my cheeks. I felt so alone. I’m always alone. 

I listened to the water constantly filling the pond from itself and felt it was me. I listened to the frogs nearby and the busy night on the city roads (it was just after midnight ). I looked at the moon perfectly framed in darkened branches with new leaves on the chokecherry tree (I hope The Craftsman doesn’t clip those branches!) and grew thankful. I remembered a poem I taught the boys eons ago, quietly repeating it aloud once again. “I see the moon, the moon sees me. God bless the moon and God bless me.’ 

I smiled and asked for blessings and peace and rest and healing for different friends across my lifeline. A college friend is dying on hospice, Becky is in chemo, another Canadian friend is also battling a carcinoma. My roommate from Canada posted the church her dad pastored in for decades had lost an elder in a church shooting. Other friends have lost family members and are hurting. More friends just hurt, both physically and in their souls. I prayed for them and for you. I sat there crying and remembered songs. Random tunes from church and the radio. The song ‘I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses….He walks with me and He talks with me..’ was followed by ‘Speaking words of wisdom, let it be. Let it be.’ I breathed deeply and closed my weeping eyes. ‘Let it be.’ Not, ‘what will be, will be’. But, simply, ‘Let. It. Be.’ 

I scrubbed my cheeks with a soggy tissue. Nothing was really resolved. I was still like the pond that needs a thorough cleaning, but the pump had been. So, the water was now moving freely. It was still recycling from itself, but it was doing what needed to be done for now. I went and stood on the bridge over the pond. I looked at the moon from this different perspective, wondering. Moses joined me, waiting. Eventually, we walked across the wet yard to go back inside.

Thirty minutes in my garden in moonlight during the first minutes of Good Friday. Not a long time, but it was enough. It’s time to let go of ‘Que Sera, Sera’ and ‘Let it be.’

  (Although, I will always adore Doris Day!