Thursday, July 24, 2014

War and Peace


I am stunned by the condition of the world. The bombing of innocent Gaza neighborhoods and the shooting of a plane with vacationers is one more thing this week that leaves me disgusted and fearful  about the way the world is tipping.

Is it because we no longer make eye contact with strangers as we use to? (Instead, we are looking at our phones and laptops.) When did we start seeing immigrants as enemies and how can it be that so many want to send so many children back to a very difficult and in some cases tortuous life?

Somehow we've traveled from a belief of abundance to a belief of scarcity. I use the word 'belief' because isn't it true that there is actually enough? 

Ubuntu. I am because we are. 

My 2 cents: if you haven't already, better figure out what you can do to combat bad energy and people doing bad things. We know what things are bad. Consider yourself a part of the new Underground Railroad. We need one another more than ever. 

If you have any ideas about how the world can be more peaceful, I'd love to hear them. 

Love
kj


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Abundant Love

Today, July 19th, is my beloved daughter's birthday. I could not be prouder of her.



To Jessica

Take both eyes, both hands,
My legs and arms, 
Even take the precious German clock
And every special book.

Take my bank account,
All twenty photo albums,
My garden in August
And the miraculous April rain.

Take it all if you can promise. 
I knew in the instant this would be so.
I’m into any burning house,
On to a frigid raft at sea,
I’m ripping the mangled steel with my bare hands.

Anything, anything for this girl.
The edgeless corners of the truest love
And the endless reserve of cavernous protection
Surround this child who lives within and without,
This fantabulous kid with the crack up wit
And the tender expansive heart.

Take it all, whether you are a son-of-a-bitch
Or an evolving angel, 
Whether the cost is temporary or forever,
Take it all to shelter this child
Through every molecular motion and moment. 

Given the chance to love like this, 
The price of my sightless limbless body
And wiped clean barren possessions
Amounts to nothing more than shiny pennies and
And effortless will

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thoughts on Friendship




Mark and I became friends in Erlangen Germany in the early 1970's. I was a counselor at the artillery base where he was stationed and gosh, I liked him and we liked each other. All of us were far from from home so the friendships we formed were deep and important. Mark and I cooked a turkey together for Thanksgiving one year. We worked and laughed together. I was married but he was the kind of guy I always wanted to date: handsome, safe, easy going, fun, smart. I was so glad we were friends.

I don't know why we didn't keep in touch when we returned to the States. Every so often I've tried to find him on Facebook or Google, but for whatever reason only two nights ago did I track him down and learned he had died in 2010.

What a weird sad and familiar feeling. Something seems to be coming round after forty-plus years and it feels so strange. I've been married, divorced, remarried, raised a daughter, built a career, and now I am also writing books and tending gardens and loving grandchildren.

And in the midst of my life now, my past has found me. I've reconnected with neighborhood and high school friends I haven't spoken to while these years have rolled by. I know Facebook has a lot to do with this, but not just. Last year I spent an evening with friends from junior high school including Max, who as a gawky 13 year old I adored and I knew he was out of my league. But that's not what he told me last year. "I would have been interested if I had known you were," he said. I'll be damned.

This has been a year when I am aware of older (versus old). I am aware that I could suddenly die. I don't say that morbidly: I am just aware in a way that my 36 year old daughter is not. JB and I had some trouble lugging out the lawn furniture from the cellar this year, and I know from my hip and back and knee pain that I don't walk with the bounce I've had.

I also view friends differently. I am more and less patient at the same time. Last week the husband of one of my closest friends did something dishonest and manipulative in an attempt to avoid paying us for something that he broke. This was not the first time and I'm finished with him. I'm comfortable with that. I don't like him and so he won't like me. This is no doubt going to affect my friend and I hope we will weather it through. I don't know if I will tell her I worry about her because of him.

Like myself I have friends who are not perfect and do stupid things some times. I'm more tolerant because I understand no one is here to please me. It's better that we each are as much ourselves as possible and with that we make mistakes and do our best. It seems I've recently lost a friend here in the blogs and I have no idea why. Maybe it has nothing to do with me but I accept that. Maybe there's a time and place for friends and often I've found that means not forever. I don't like that fact but I accept it more gracefully than I would have in the past.

Back to my friend Mark. How weird to grieve someone I have not spoken to in forty years and who died four years ago. But I do grieve. How well I remember the fun we had together. I'm thinking I'll call Max in California tonight. And I'm thinking the days ahead are totally up to me. That is both a blessing and a responsibility.  I'm glad to know.

How about you? Any thoughts on this?

Love
kj

P.S. twelve hours after I wrote this Max called me. Out of the blue….

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mish Mssh


Hello and happy summer to those of us lucky enough to finally have warm days and verdant landscapes. This is the view from the public bathrooms at the park next to my house. The photo's been touched up by this iPhone app called Percolator.  


It was a special day for my Mother. We her Family came together for her spotlight tribute at the Linda Manor Nursing Home. She is now 98 years old, lives alertly and vibrantly despite no working memory, and is kind with a great wit. My Mother is a gem.


JB and I took a week's vacation. We headed to Provincetown where, except for two weeks, for most of the summer our new house will be rented. But we had a week there. This is our little yard. I am in awe that this house has happened to us. 1400 square feet one block from the ocean. 


And super cozy. 


I'm gaining confidence in my photography skills, which is a hoot because all I have is a good eye. I know nothing technical except point and shoot. Still, I like this shot: roses from our yard.


JB's lifelong friend from Des Moines Iowa came to visit for a few days. Along with her husband, we had a grand time. JB bought fresh tuna right off the boat and we grilled outside on the deck, ate all our meals there, actually. 




Said friend used to be a synchronized swimmer and didn't hesitate to swim in the chill ocean of Race Point. It was a wonderful beautiful day.


And evening. We walked home from our favorite restaurant, The Mews, and the sky put on quite a show. The light was incredible.



This is JB. I love her dearly. She has had a rough patch this year and we're seeing light at the end of a difficult tunnel. Hopeful good news. 


And finally: feel free to smile if not laugh out loud at this picture of my Mother in her wheelchair and baby Reese in her carrier. There is 97 years difference between them. We are four generations of strong women. Reese arrived after three brothers. I'm ready with the hot pink nail polish I am not allowed to put on the boys. 


I missed all of last summer because of knee surgery and this summer I'm appreciating most days. I need very little paid work these days (a benefit of aging) so I have time to write my book, plant my garden, sip my French Roast coffee, play with my (beloved) grandchildren, enjoy my family and friends, and ponder what I hope for ahead. I hope for a lot ahead. 

love
kj

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Days


Dear All:  (I stole this greeting from a FB friend just today)   :^)

1. I am indeed writing a novel. I try to write at least an hour a day. I'm excited by it. Christine the mother is my favorite character. She has spunk. I am trying to THINK about what I want this story to be, rather than just write and see where the story lands.  Writing is a lot harder than it looks. But sometimes when you write you just glide….


2. I am a little obsessed about these kids really knowing me. I see them and their parents maybe twice a month.  Is that enough? I'm not sure. This is not a good thing to be insecure about. :^( 


3. It's death by chocolate followed by a drunken brawl.


 4. Provincetown is at the very tip of this. At the very very end. Our place is rented out most of the summer. Janet and I have a week there starting Sunday. Turns out it is hard to rent the house because we worry about it. I hope every one there this summer enjoys good energy and happy times.  Starting with the renters there now. Not necessarily reflective of the folks before them...



5. So not being in Provincetown, I am in Western Massachusetts at a time when the growing season is a joy. Now there are fresh strawberries; next come the blueberries and then the peaches and corn and then tomatoes and summer squash. The farm stand is just down the street. This photo is the neighboring small for-real-quaint town of Williamsburg. My favorite is that neon gas station sign. It's old.


 6. I'm not blogging as much because of Facebook. For example, I already posted this photo of the right side of my house on Facebook. I made a comment about those glow-in-the dark stones not glowing in the dark. I don't like that I've said the same thing in two places. And by loyalty and rights, I think the photo deserved to be on my beloved blog first. xo


 7. I had the boys for 31 hours, starting on Wednesday at noon and ending on Thursday at 7 at night. They/we bowled, slurped, rode, got wet, played ball, shopped, ate, colored, read, and chilled. We had a great time. I adore them. Their mom is my Jessica. See # 2 above for  extra insight.


8. There will probably come a time when JB and I will live in Provincetown and not here; all the more reason why I just love looking out at the birds in our birdbath. There are two chunky robins that just splash themselves silly. I slow to a crawl when I watch them. It is very nice.

This is a summary of my last few weeks. I've also returned to work for a time. All in all I'm doing okay.  Not to say I don't ponder my life. How about you?

love
kj 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Wait to Worry


This is almost three year old Logan looking at the world through the New England Aquarium.  You can see the wonder. It's right there. 

This is a good way to see the world. 

I"ve been looking back at my blog, 2007, 2008, when I wrote a lot more poetry than I do now. This one, I must have had a certain way of letting life happen--just going with it. That was a good time even though I suffered from it later. Still, I read this poem tonight and I like what it tells me. 

Relax. In Due Time. Let It Be. Keep It Simple.

I heard this phrase "wait to worry" this month for the first time. It's a good idea. If I wait, it may turn out there is no need for worry. 

So even though this poem is a little gooey, I offer it up as a message to take care of the chores but don't get in the habit of not having fun. 

love
kj

Untitled

The toilet’s fixed
The grasses cut back
The appointment’s made
The snacks are packed.

The taxes aren’t done—
You can’t have it all—
But the trip’s been booked
& the garbage hauled.

The work’s wrapped up
The car’s been serviced
The stoops are painted
& no one’s nervous.

The time got spent
Finally put up the sign
Put the car in reverse
Put aside the divine.

The garden’s weeded
New bulbs on their way
& detoured hearts
Have had their say.

The weight’s been moved
To a straighter line
I might even be
okay to fine.

Still, I’m dealing with less
It’s a good mile wide
I’m trying my best
To put it aside.

I’m familiar with hope
I wear it quite well
But after the finish?
Only time will quite tell




Monday, June 09, 2014

On The Road

I've been on the road and home and on the road again. There is not an accurate chronological order to this post, but I blame that on blogger; well, actually, my arranging these photos incorrectly. But in any case. I've been seeing a lot of wonderful sights... 



…starting in Provincetown with the addition of a wood screen door that I keep swooning over. It is so reassuring that this is beachy Cape Cod. I'm here for a few days by myself to write and organize our house for its summer rentals.


And behind of our house in Ptown, because I am uncharacteristically on the side of the house where a bike rack will go,  I finally notice this darling house. I cannot believe JB and I have a place on this beautiful cape.


Unexpectedly, JB and I are traveling through Boston (Allston) on our way to Maine for the funeral of our friend's father. RIP. At a traffic light is this painted building.


We stop at a rest area in beautiful Maine with purple irises.


 I have lunch with Jessica and get caught up on what the kids are up to. I could listen all day. (This is Logan and Reese; photo taken by Jess)



I bring a new chair to Ptown for the upstairs bedroom. It is a 1950's chair from my parents' basement and JB and I have bought new cushions for it at Target. It looks perfect when I put it here.


When I leave Ptown, I drive along 6A and see either low tide or high tide.


I return to home sweet home here in Western Massachusetts.


Yesterday JB and I go to a very fun wedding in Hartford Connecticut.


And today we drive 90 minutes have lunch and celebrate our niece's 31st birthday.  We end the afternoon back home with soft serve ice cream.


I've left out things like shopping for sheets, mowing the grass, paying some bills, visiting my Mother, and bring out the hammock from the basement.

This is  a little too much action at one time. But it's summer and that means one day of longer sun light feels almost like two. I will slow myself down. I will. But for now I'm happy I'll get a good night's sleep tonight.  I hope for a good summer. I do.

love
kj