Thursday, November 24, 2011

Random thinkin

I used to think a lot and then do a lot to change and affect the world...traveled the world. Had a voice. Applied my creative nature. Then, I tired of the bureaucracy and the banging of my head on the wall.

So, I did what I do when things don't seem right and changed direction..

It is quite sedentary, and thus I am with my thoughts on my own a good deal of the time.

I think too much and have since I learned language and to think. It's innate. Writers know. You write because you are a writer and it presses on your brain unless you get it out, even if it's late night, alcohol foggy blah,'s just cathartic and maybe later will make a bit of sense that can be salvaged and worked, or not. Doesn't much matter.

This is why I love to ride my horses out in the woods. Active meditation. Head goes quiet and the universe is simple and clearly beautiful. It's a being in the moment...and it brings a feeling of natural alignment and a knowing, it's all you watch your horses ears rotate, each on their own, and their knowing before you do...and you become the horse for a minute or an hour..and you learn intuitive knowing and being instead of always doing.



Nothing plaguing me, like how off center this world seems at most times.

I wonder if others think too much.  I envy those who don't think about much at all except an inkling of what passed through my active mind.

I am happy enough. I just care a lot. About a lot.

And so, it's late and I'm not sleeping. I'm thinking again. And writing hoping it may help me feel a bit more calm.

It does some.

And then Craig Ferguson. He has the right idea. Laughter and showing how ludicrous it all is...and that entertains me..and gives me a break from my over serious thoughts...

Ok then.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Real Simple Love: An Article I Wrote

An article I wrote for Real Simple Magazine...

              REAL SIMPLE LOVE

Ask a young child a deep question and the answer will be unfiltered, clear, poignant, and often amusing. Want to understand pure, unconditional love? Spend time with a horse.

As a small girl, I spent summers on the shores of Lake Michigan. I would leave the house barefoot in the early morning to swim, play, visit other people's cottages, eat cookies, explore the woods while sucking on freshly picked sassafrass root. It was back in the days when children could be more free without so much worry, before kids pictures began appearing on milk cartons. Each child was watched by every family. Someone always knew where you were and where you'd been and what you'd been doing.

One “all summer in a day” kind of day, the timeless kind that children know and adults have forgotten, I happened across a horse inside a corral. I was maybe 4 and the horse seemed very big, but I wasn't afraid.

The horse's eyes calmed my fears as he slowly strode towards my tiny hand squeezed through the fence slats, palm up, fingers open. For the first time I felt the velvet of a horse's nose, the warm lick of his tongue, the breath from his widened nostrils which is how horses "know" someone. Scent. We both stood perfectly still, eye to eye. To this day, looking into a horse's eye, I feel like I can see into the depths of the universe, no hyperbole. I learned what love meant that day without question. Real, simple love.

I began bringing him apples and carrots and sugar cubes. To this day I do not know whose horse it was. In my child's mind, it was my horse, my secret friend and my first love. Oh, how I loved him..his nicker, the way he came to me, the way I could trust him--this big, gentle, magical creature.

Horses intuitively know and can express feelings. They nurture, heal, comfort, and challenge. They teach patience, trust, awareness,courage, loyalty and have a natural willingness to please. There is no need for spoken words. It is like an elderly couple who have been together long enough to sit in their rockers on the front porch without saying anything; just a look brings understanding and a knowing the love will remain a constant in a world of uncertainty.

I am a retired teacher now and own two horses of my own: Grace and Chance. The names tell you a lot about who they are. I love them and they love me. No childhood disillusionment. This love holds true to this day, without question. Real simple love filled with great depth, heart, joy and an appreciation for understanding what it really means.

Virginia S. Little, Ph.D., Transformative Learning and Change in Human Systems

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Time to write; More fun than painting walls or listening to automated phone messages

Rainy days. Good for curling up under a blanket by a blazing fire. Read, snack, cuddle, and I'll leave the rest to your imaginative minds. Weather doesn't phase me much. I go with it. It's not like I can change it. 3" of rain in two days. Whoosh. Raining hammer handles and pitchforks. Rivers flooding the banks. Makes me happy to be safe and warm and dry and yeah, blessed. Glad I cut and stacked wood a week ago. Just in time. Have some already weathered to burn now. And got the pesky tree down that was making it very difficult to back in my 53 ft. rig, truck and 4 horse trailer, down my 100 yard driveway. Took out some rocks and branches now and again. Left tracks in neighbor's lawn..nothing major but you'd think so. Only way I can get the angle right to back up. Tricky, that, fifth wheel hitches and backing up long rigs.

Ok, just blathering. I ate all the cookie packages for the trick or treaters. Guess I'm the wicked witch this year and will pretend not to be home. My drive is so long and dark and back in the woodsies where the ghoulies live, I don't get many kids anyways.

Good treats tho!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Flying, dying, laughing, living...always thinkin...

It's sad but the Ph.D. terminal degree, called thus cause the process while enriching, nearly kills you, stopped me from writing and reading for quite awhile. Average completion time, 7 years. Most of this is spent trying to translate into scientifically sound and hopefully creative and passionate language-- a mind map of your inner workings. How you know what you know and where your ideas come from and how you manifest them and what's it mean and why should anyone care?  Create new knowledge and make it credible and written well enough to cause a rise in the breath and heart and mind of the readers.

Funny how life unfolds, and sometimes not funny at all. Life's challenging. I can't say it any clearer than that. Suicides of beautifully talented, 24 year old girls who don't even know what life tastes like yet, horse accidents and learning to fly 15 feet up and back out of a trailer...the flying was a whoosh, the landing, well, not so much. Horses don't like to be confined and when facing an exit, one must move quickly out of the way. 1200 pounds with a thrust from back haunches to front feet off the ground...well, it's not something you're gonna stop. So you fly and luckily I still bounce pretty well evidently. Coulda busted my neck but didn't. And I'm not selling my horses, mother..I sold my motorcycle cause my brother died on one, but I'm keeping the horses. I'm grown and will die one day, somehow. I'm not looking forward to it, but I'm not running from it either. I like living my life, fully.

My mare, Grace, has a stifle wound. That's a horse's knee. I don't know if she'll recover and she's my heart..cantering on her with a red-tail hawk flying above you, or deer on the ridge, or elk in the distance, well, it's just plain beyond words.

It's all about heart and feeling it rise to your throat. And loving every second.

My friend says when I die, it'll say on my headstone, "I got things to do!"  Can't keep a good girl down..less she's dead I guess and then, well, I figure I'll get better at flyin.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Compose a the beginning of the solstice

So, going to Chicago with a schoolfriend from elementary..known her since she was in pigtails and I was in halter tops and ripped jeans and barefoot, a brattin kid. I was best friends with her older sister. She always told on us cause we didn't want her hanging round. Funny how life turns out. We are now fast friends and I no longer see her sister...long story. Love her but...

VIP comp. tickets to Jonny Lang, a great blues artist if you don't know of him, at the House of Blues with a private opera balcony seating with curtains and a private waitress, or maybe a cute waiter. Looking down on the fray and sittin in comfort and jammin to some good music...and laughing and drinking and frolicking and dancin in place, I'm certain.

Lots of time ridin the train into the "Big City" for remembering the old days and catching up on the "new" news. we only live 20 miles apart and love each other but she's been being a mom, a bank teller and a wife and life happens. Haven't seen her in a couple years. Haven't been to Chicago in as long and adore it as a "city." The architecture alone is amazing, the history, the venues, the choices..the views.
The House of Blues was designed after the Opera House in Prague. I have been there as well, drinking and dancing the polka with a room full of beer drinking, thumping men who didn't speak a lick of English. Paper and drawings and laughter worked well enough. And music and dancin. Workin class men. It was just after they opened the border to foreign tourists...and we were young, pretty American girls. We had us a time. But the art inside that building, one of the first in Europe and one of the only ones not to be obliterated during WWII with bombs. The architecture and style. And House of Blues has caught it perfectly. It's fabulous. Like a mini trip to Prague...which I hear is now the mecca for artists and poets and musicians of the "New Age". I'd like the be "New Age" rather than "Old Age" perhaps but it's all good. Let em have their day, I say.
It's fun to watch and be through the confusing parts.

We're staying at The Drake, only cause I got an amazing value on it and taking the train in. My grandparents took me there first as a little baby girl so many fond memories there as well..and great, I mean the BEST clam chowder ever and homemade cheese rolls.

Might ride the ferris wheel over Lake Michigan. Never done that one.

It IS a ride, and seeing my dad sick and my mom not well and so on...and friends too..well, it makes one feel really, truly blessed.

Happy Summer's Day to all . Have all Summer in a Day...and enjoy it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Long time no write

It's rare but sometimes I feel I have nothing to say. So much has been said about everything already, spewed more like. Bin Laden? My favorite is Mark Twain's quote: "I do not celebrate anyone's death but have read a few obituaries with pleasure." I got no pleasure from any of it. It is the world off its centre. Evil and terror and people's demise. Not nice.

The Royal Wedding. Pretty and exciting in the midst of ugly.

Family. They are aging and not well. Mom turned 81 the other day. Wasn't feeling well so had to cancel dinner. And she didn't want her Kindle. Thought it would be light and bright and easy to hold and read. She has always been an avid reader. Her response: "I don't read anymore." This from a woman who taught me to read and has read 4 books a week since I've been old enough to realize how much she reads and knows. It was one of her joys. I think life is escaping her. No passion left for it. Happens. Not fun to talk or write about though. Just sad.

Relationships? Best friend is moving away. She is tthe one with the grandson I would go see on a down day and he would run out and swing up in my arms before I reached the door in excitement. I taught him to build snowmen and ride flying saucers down hills and yes, how to read. They will be gone in less than 2 weeks. It's good for her as she lost her job after 25 years and is lucky enough to have found a great new one, in Atlanta, where her daughter and grandchildren now are. But....I will soo miss her presence. No matter the adversity, she always, always looked up and has faith and a positive nature I've never witnessed in anyone in my lifetime. She inspires me....and has taught me so much.

Boyfriends? Nah. Have a new friend I am enjoying time with when we find time. Mostly I find myself wanting to be alone and having to force myself to be social. I am quiet and rather closed. Unusual for me in springtime but it is what it is and I do not pretend. No sense in it. I like who he is. I just don't feel much spirit in me in that sense right now but maybe that will change with time. I don't know why. So don't ask.

Today I received such a beautifully moving gift from Tasmania. A photo taken by a dear friend and former co-teacher of his son on the beach called Childhood's End. It's fabulous in composition and style and it moved me to tears. How I would love to see him and his family again. It's so far to Tasmania. I don't fly well anymore. Maybe one day.....Such a special friend and I have not the words to express what this gift meant to me and will for my lifetime.

I walk my dog. I relish in the brief beauty of flowering spring trees and gardens and the return the GREEN after the dark of winter. I ride, I ride, I ride. It is what heals my spirit, always.

So there it is. Too many words for nothing much to say.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Life moves on with the seasons...

So, it goes, day by day. You find out someone has cancer and won't live to see the flowers bloom and so as you ride your horse through the woods, it is especially sweet and treasured, heightened. You live day by day...carpets get cleaned, dog walked, gardens tended, brush cleared, food cooked, elders looked after, sleep blessed when it comes uninterupted by worries. You wake to a cacophony of spring birdsong and are grateful for your dog's nuzzling, your horses' ways of knowing and teaching and lifelong friends and students whoare alive and come to stay with you now and again. And that's enough.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My fellow Americans: More than a FB soundbyte post

Ok, preface. I too have been sucked into the vortex and pass no judgment on anyone.

Americans have been conditioned to spend more than they have and to believe in consumerism and that money equals happiness. We are spoiled, arrogant, empirialist and feel we are entitled and have bought into some obscene idea of democracy that doesn't and hasn't existed for ages.

I watch as people spend waaay too much for Christmas, a holiday I used to love and not just cause of presents, but family and the smell of fresh pine and homemade gifts or none.

Then they stress. The new TV was grand and everybody was happy for a nanosecond. Maybe a new car will fix it...

And then comes tax season and insurance payments and all the bills.

And everybody flips out.

It has been this way for as long as I have been alive. I cannot remember when i last got money back. I am ok with paying to live in a country that used to be one I recognized as humane.

But really, is the SAME every year. it is built in cultural. It is fish in water who cannot transition to a new way of being where everything isn't quite so easy....yet still more privileged than most.

Be grateful. Listen to the birds in the morning if they don't annoy you cause of a hangover or if you're not a morning person.

find something, anything, to be happy about.

Or  you are just plain missing all of it....everything that matters.
Pay your taxes and live and love and shut the hell up and be grateful.

Says me.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rodeo Ridin

Beautiful spring day today. Rode both my horses and my big boy, Chance, behaved better than any prior spring season. Of course, he was full of spring and oats and wanted to pace and move out, so I let him. He pulls his head down and up and I let him till he gets it out of his system. He prances and dances and I laugh. He is a much better horse than he used to be. He still plays with his antics but he respects me and it's mutual, so we get on just fine. I don't have to "cowboy" him. I just have to let him be him and I'm no longer afraid of him and he knows it so we just have fun. I stop him and he stands there, looks backwards and sideways at me until I lean forward slightly and off he goes again. It so makes me laugh.

The funniest part was my mare. She is generally the most docile, slow moving horse ever. Duh, duh, duh, duh...down the trail. Usually being the keyword. Today she had to follow two paced Icelandics. They are gaited and move at a good clip, especially in spring. Their pace is Gracie's lope. She rodeod all the way down the trail. Never seen her do that before. Twist, buck, turn. ears back, head shaking back and forth. I was bareback but don't come unseated. I have my balance after all these years. It just makes me laugh. But it was a bit of a ride and I'll be a bit sore tomorrow, I figure. Good. Like moving my body. Love being outside. Love riding most of all, without being bundled up like a Muslim woman.

Grand day. Good ride with good friends.

And then raked the yard with my dog, Rodeo, out with me. She stayed out of the street even when another dog ran over and across. Good dog. Love her too. Love my animals. They are so much more fun than people sometimes....especially people who pop you in the mouth and give you a fat lip...hahaha. YOU know who you are!!!

ANNNNDDDD..tomorrow, it's spose to snow again. Ok then. That's ok. It's nearly over. My flower bulbs are showing above frozen ground. So, it's close...and I'm happy enough.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kids, kites, bikes and life

So, I helped a 4 year old ride a two wheel bike for the first time and get up after he scraped his knees and ride again. Then we flew a kite. Then he fell asleep with one leg up and was snoring. Children are an elixir to me. They bring pure joy, truly. Maybe cause I don't have my own but I find them real magic and they cure my soul which breaks when I hear "oh yeah, btw, we're staying in Libya and Afghanistan". No shit? I want to shoot the tv. It won't help..but kids, horses, dog, kites and bikes and near spring offer some hope...some. I worry about the children. What have we done? How stupid can we be, really?

But happy is what this post is meant to be, mainly cause of this precious boy...
he was snoring when i took this picture. Toooo funny!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring, nearly...

Did you happen to see the SUPERMOON? It rose orange and red and I happened to be at the oceanside by happenstance. As big as a flying saucer, that moon. Stunning. Wow factor. Bigger even than in England when I saw the lunar eclipse out my window at the YMCA and stayed awake all night to stare at it past the trains which passed directly by my window and shook the bed. Pretty magical, sites like that.

Had a good visit with my father. Went to my first baseball game with him. Only boys went to baseball games when I was amall. What a cheat. We only went for one inning and it was St. Patrick's Day so they were playing the Pogues over the loud speakers. Bonus. And it was the LAST inning so we had the stadium nearly to ourselves and just watched the kids clamour to get their balls (baseballs) signed by the players and such. Nice moment with my dad.

Most memorable moment? I leaned over and kissed his cheek. "I got really lucky, Dad, to have you as a father. You made me life possible."

"Well, you've been a good daughter."

My mouth hung open. My eyes watered. My father had never said anything remotely like this to me.
And I will hang on it for the rest of my life.
He only has a 20 percent chance of recovery.
But he's still alive and well, I cherish every minute I have with him, despite our difficulties through the years.

I love him so.
It's spring, nearly. New birth this way buds, birds returning, air maybe warming some day soon, gardening and yes, riding, riding, riding.
I must rob my piggy bank. I only got 3/4ths a tank for $75 the other day. This is going to severely cut down my travels with my horses as when I'm hauling I only get 8 mpg.

But wander and wonder I will. It is who I am.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Ice, Ireland and Illness

Was off to Ireland on  Monday. Tickets purchased 6 months ago. The day finally arrived to fly away to my favorite place to see friends' new babies and grandbabies and to tap my toes to the Miko Russell music fest craic.  The morning was covered by three inches of ice. Airport closed. Couldn't get out for a week and well, had to be back before then. Got all my money back, or most of it, after haggling for nearly said week.

The day my trip was cancelled, I learned my father has a terminal kidney 10 that night. Strangely I had a dream the night before about being in a hospital, seeing cancer cells that were these strange black bugs eating away at cells under a microscope. So I knew...somehow. I always have these kinds of visions before these things happen. Wrote a poem about my brother's death a month before he died. First line, I wish it was someone I didn't know outside of a newspaper report. Last line: But it's my brother.

So, will be going to see my dad. I won't have much time with him because of well, better not even go there.

But I will be able to hug him and maybe play our favorite claw game where you try to pick up stuffed toys from a rigged machine. I have the top game, having picked up three toys in one lift once. it's just something my dad and I do. And we also play Backgammon and use the doubling cube and gamble. I taught him to play and even if he only has a million to one chance of winning, he will accept the cube. Thus, I usually win some big extra cash and get a lot of giggles out of it.  He calls me a lucky shit. I am. I have my dad still.

It's been a bit of a tough go. But I did get a DVD of He Died with a Felafel in his Hand and will watch it soon on my first 43 inch flatscreen TV purchased with saved money from canceled trip. And I will laugh, I am certain. It's a big flippin tv, I'll say that. Go big and then go home!

Anyways, i was a bit down about not getting to go to Ireland and then I was reminded about what really, really matters. The people you love most....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

shoot the geek squad...

Ok, so there's a lot of folks who own computers but are clueless as to how to fix them or get free shareware and thus pay out the nose for such people as Best Buy's Geeker Squad who simply rob and steal from unknowing people. I hate that kind of lowlife corporate bottom feeding. And I need a t-shirt that says, "No, I will not fix your computer, nor save you from whatever plagues you in your life, or any of it." But I do.

My friend just got laid off her job of 25 years from Pfizer. Because she was so good at what she did, is a leader, had worked her way up, had streamlined processes and got herself too much pay and so, hurrah for America, canned. Not to mention she is raising her grandchildren toddlers now because her kid makes babies but is not man enough to care for them. Children having children. I'd like to cut some of their nuts or put a permanent condom on them, or worse than that.

Anyway, friend is trying like hell to get another job before financial crisis hits that looms quickly. Computer is only a year old and "geek squad" tells her she needs to spend $200 for this's and that's to fix it. Get real. She could nearly buy a new laptop for that. So I went and fixed it and installed free viralware and got her Office and Word open shareware and so on.

"How'd you do that?" Common question and it takes too long to show and explain. I used to be a teacher. I no longer have as much patience as I used to. It wasn't real high in the first place. I don't particularly like fixing computers but it gives me satisfaction to thwart the geeks who steal from unknowing innocents and also keeps me from going ballistic and opening fire in some corporate fkn store....

End rant...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Some days you just gotta laugh...

Really though, that should be everyday, but it doesn't always feel that way or happen so easily. Today I went and got paint for my kitchen cabinets. It's wicked cold and so, one does indoor projects. Seemed a fine idea. Old oak cabinets..add some color to the center makeover. Get home and start painting and it's bright mint green, like chocolate chip mint ice cream, instead of kelly green which would match the stained glass window. So, I just think, maybe when it dries? Nope. It's still mint. I can't help but laugh. I cannot even go down there without cringing. It could make me frustrated or mad. It just makes me laugh.

Then my pup ate another pair of my cowgirl boots. Yet another. She knows better. They were old but not a good thing. I cannot afford new boots which is why I have old boots. But they are just boots. Of course she found out quickly, again, that this is a very bad thing to do.

But I wasn't upset. Just a part of my day.

Some days I can roll with whatever comes.
Others it isn't so easy.
Not sure what defines that or makes it so.
But glad I could laugh today and will take that for what it is.

It's simple. No reason to get your shorts in a knot over everyday "stuff". I mean, really.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Books I Want to Write...

I've had a few books in my head for some time. One is a compilation of the teacher articles I wrote for Billings Gazette here on my blog in 2009. They are one page lesson plans which could last a day or a week or a month. They would be good grouped into sections with tear outs for subs or for teachers who needed a lesson plan that keeps kids' attention. They are fun and students respond well to them. I used them enough times to know.  Title: Teaching Ideas for a Dull or Rainy Day, perhaps.

Another I'm considering is a commentary on online communications, Facebook in particular. I think it could be a much better forum design. I notice and observe how people use it and communicate. And my PhD surrounded this topic so could draw some from that. Facebook, Smacebook. 

Another would be a novel based loosely on life events of mine. I flew on my own the first time at age 8. I traveled to Europe at 13. I attended military school and private girls' schools with kids like Christy Pabst of the Beer family, and Dorothy Lay of the potato chips, and The Cover Girl, who was fat.. I have been a wanderer and teacher and writer and adventurer for all my life. I was locked away in a ward in Chicago at own private version that closely parallels Girl Interrupted or Cuckoo's or a combination. I taught overseas. I ride horses and climb mountains and do just about anything adventurous. I just don't have the thread of it all in my head it unfolds. Life is messy. It's like trying to make a snowman out of snow that won't stick together.

I like to write. I write for myself right now. I would like to write and have a goal of making something from it.

I have also co-written poetic dramas with my students in the past and that was some of the most powerful writing. That's another possibility. Screenplay. I can visualize those...clearly.

So, of course, I'll continue to think on it some more and then one day, I will do it.
Or so I believe.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

From Pillar to Post...

Some days in winter reflect and are a direct and natural extension of the endless grey and cold. One becomes inert, reads books, watches films, sleeps, doesn't want to get out of bed in the dark of dawn's brisk awakening. If on the next day the sun rises and the sky is clear ice blue, one propels forward, feeling pressed and guilty for the lackadaisical loss of the day before, or days.

Floors get cleaned of salt and water marks. Waxing on hands and knees, wiping away the slush of winter creeping in the doorways on pup's paws and snowy boots. Lots of shoveling until there becomes nowhere to put it anymore and the trash bin is in the street past the piles too high to see over. The dog disappears in it, bouncing and happy and I am just cold trying to keep her from running across the street or off into the woods herding deer. Also tire of being shut in by the oppression of the coldest winter since 1917 and this is only month 2 of 5.

I teach a 3 year old to build his first snowman. He comes in with visible breaths, drinks hot chocolate and falls asleep.

I fix mom's computer and another friend's on the way, which ends up taking 3 hours but hey, I get to visit and assist..and get homemade veggie soup..and I'm outta the house.

Get paint samples. Buy toys that are light, inexpensive, educational and fun for Irish kids I will meet and hug for the first time when I travel soon across the Big Pond. Ah Eire..I have missed you. And there will be a music fest and good craic and good times for all of us friends who have been apart too long. And the crashing sea...

So it goes.

I'd like it to be more level..less harried some days; less inert on others.

But attitude, happenstance, grey or blue skies, health of friends, family and self, dogs and doctors appointments disallow one to choose..and surprises are always thrown in, just for interest..of course.

It's a good ride.
Even if it's not always on my horses.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

She's not dead, yet...

My brother died at 26, some 30 plus years ago. I learned then that no matter how hard you try to hold the memories, they fade. Only certain images, flashpoints, remain. No telling what they'll be. I remember his laugh. I sound like him sometimes and hear him in my own expressions. I remember his eyes, deep and sometimes menacing, as older brothers can be. But I know, it doesn't matter how hard you hold on, the realness of their being slips away, piece by piece, year by year. And it doesn't get easier. People who tell you that lie. Yes, it changes...acceptance becomes necessary. But it isn't easier; it's only different.

I learned yesterday I am to loes a very close friend. Soon. I am already trying to stash memories like a squirrel preparing for a long, cold winter.

And so, I will record some of those memories here so they will remain for a time.

I was 18 the first time we met through a mutual friend.I had few friends in Tucson, having just moved there for college. I took her a handmade Easter basket and hid in in her garden.  She never forgot it and was delighted. We were instant doesn't happen very often.

She took me to Apache Lake to ski for the first time. She could ski and rip a rooster tail so far, I was amazed. I never learned to ski on a single ski. She looked great in her bikini and she fed me and taught me the ropes of "the lake". We slept in the desert sand. Temps at noon peaked over 100. I climbed under my truck in the dirt for shade. Eventually we figured out a black bag hanging up for warm shower water. We were young and the heat and dirt didn't bother us. We laughed, a lot.

The last time I was there I commented on her ruby and diamond ring, shaped in a heart. She was born on Valentine's Day. She took it off and handed it to me. She's far from rich but would give me anything. I tried to give it back but she wouldn't hear of it. She bought herself another one that's identical and we both wear them every day. I gave her a claddagh ring the next time I was there. Love, friendship and loyalty reign.

One of her favorite expressions is: "Doncha know?" She got it from another friend who died of cancer a couple years back, an old beau of mine.

So many friends gone...and to be gone. Fuck.

She always made great Italian food and could cook any wild game and make it delicious. Her husband is a big game hunter and has dead animals all over the walls. We laughed about that....

Her husband will say, "You're a fruit cake, but you're MY fruitcake." He loves her so. I feel so for him.

She gave birth to her son in Lake Tahoe. I taught him to read. Helped him learn to swim. Housed him the first time he left home in San Diego. He now has his own daughter and he is still like a son to me. I could cry for him...and will.

She and I went to an 1800's New Year's Eve party a couple years ago at the lake. She was Pocohantas and i was Miss Kitty. We danced and drank and watched the moon rise above the mountains.

In the morning. we got up before anyone else and the lake was like we'd never seen it in all those years. Glass, to the point you couldn't tell where the horizon started or ended or where land divided from sky. Here's a picture...and if you turn it sideways,  it becomes an alligator.
I love her so.

She is in hospital to be sent home. Nothing they can do.

I will see her soon. And I know she will live in the tiny caves of the mountains along with the peeny, teenie, weenie little Indians who live there that she used to tell all visitors about. And past that horizon, into the nothingness and all of everything.

And one day, I will join her there. Here...

Monday, January 17, 2011

When somedays become THIS day....

I was far away from home, knew few people, and did not have money to be home for Christmas. Mary Irene Bagolini, aka Mib or Mibbie, befriended me and I was not alone that year, nor ever again in regards to a true friend.

She is a master of stained glass art and I have examples of her work all over my house. She tried to teach me, but I did not have her skill. She took me to Apache Lake, which is to this day, one of my favored places for spiritual renewal and carousing and walking bars without spilling a drink or ashtray while being barely able to walk at all after a long day of water skiing and tipping one after the other in the hot Arizona sunshine.

Her son calls me his second mom. He lived with me in San Diego as a roommate and taught me to make manicottis.

She was Italian all through. And at the lake there is a mountain with a big M carved into it which we have all come to know as Mibbie Mountain.

Today she learned she would not live for another year and could barely speak to me and certainly will not remember it. So our someday we'll go to Italy will never happen. And someday became this day today. There will be only memories now.

Someday I will never see her again..but I will never forget how she made me laugh, made me feel loved in her presence, and how Christmas will always hold her spirit in my heart...

I am saddened but blessed. This was the last time we will ever go to the lake together, taken last summer.