Friday, August 29, 2014

Ponders & Google



It's a weighty decision whether to chin up to the violence and sadness in the world where buildings and people are blown up or to retreat to the sight of my grandfather's birdbath just outside my kitchen window where I watch all these birds splash their mornings away. Yes I know I can do both and I do. But it's still about what I let into my head and my consciousness and how that then affects the energy I give and receive.

I keep up with the news. Lately I'm likely to write a check or a letter or both in support of the values I believe in. Thanks to Facebook and Utube, I am well more sensitive to the plight of animals and thanks to my age, I am well more able to make choices about my time and efforts.

I am knee deep into writing a novel that will span forty years and god knows how many people. I have 30,000 words done which on average is a third of the length required by publishers. Unlike my first book, there will be back stories and places as characters. The back stories and dates require research and I like that even though plugging it all in accurately and orderly confuses the heck out of me. 

It's the end of August and the air says it's Fall already. I've returned to work until early next spring. I will return to Provincetown in two days after a season of rentals and I'm glad for that. I am laying pavers around my garden here at # 9 and that is such a 'concrete' act it tickles me.

Meanwhile, are you like me? Do you google every day? Multiple times a day? It makes me laugh to think of the index cards I would bring to the library before there was Google; how I would organize my homework and assignments with those index cards and how I would then type each word from the cards onto my typewriter.  Now, I sit at my desk or on my couch and I research the world. I'm doing a lot of research for my novel but also for things small and large that give thanks for my life. This week on Google: 

1. Gay legal employment issues in 2001

2. How a seventeen year old would enter the Sisters of Mercy to become a Nun

3. How to bleach a weathered wood fence

4. The significance of 1969 (JFK, MLK, Bobby Kennedy)

5.  Inexpensive wood enclosed outdoor showers

6. Stand up tents from LL Bean

7. Ordering a copy of 'Patty Jane's House of Curl"

8. What can I give 5 year old Drew and 7 year old Ryan for their first day of school?

9. Researching Meniere's Disease

10. WTF with Iraq, Ukraine, and ISIS

What are the last two things you've googled? I and everyone here would love to know :^)

love love
kj


Sunday, August 03, 2014

Close to Heaven


It meant a lot to me, this week's vacation in Provincetown with my family, and I hoped it would feel like a real vacation for each of us. I hoped it would go well. 

Turned out to be one of best times ever. JB, my daughter Jess, sil Mike, their four kids ages 1 through 7, and a fantastic mother-in-law named Pat--nine of us in all--fit perfectly into our little house by the sea and together and apart we each had enough of everything good. 


 It's a beautiful place--Provincetown. We are located one block from the beach and we walked that block so easily every day. Some days we went to the little beach, some to the wacky Provincetown Inn pool, other times visiting Auntie Heather's family in her nearby motel pool. 

The kids looked for hermit crabs and shells and sea glass and in the company of at least one adult, waded and swam over their heads. 
ryan and drew

We had the most perfect weather.


There was posing in front of murals depicting ptown's early years.


And mid mornings swims and again after afternoon naps. 

reese turns one 
logan
We filled the kiddie shark pool on our deck. 


And sprawled out in the sand.


Floated on crocodiles.


 I cannot describe my deep joy knowing my daughter is happy and loved and so blessed with a wonderful husband and these great precious children.


We collected shells


And drew pictures


We caught some minnows and caught some light


We giggled over lobster rolls and fried clams and fries and chicken tenders


and….hahahaha…I'll let this photo speak for itself.

I'm exhausted. 

And jubilant. 

It might have been my best vacation ever. It was all I hoped for.

Thank you, universe. Thank you so much.

love
kj

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