Early lights

close up photo of stringlights

Photo by Natasha Fernandez on Pexels.com

I know it is still November and it is time to prepare for Thanksgiving, but this year I want to see lights.

It has been over four years since I lost my late-hubby, Otto Tune, and for the first time in four years colors came back into my life. To be fair when a person goes through grief, depression is part of the process. In my case I couldn’t see colors. It was like the world was shades of gray.

Oh I saw color– I just didn’t see it, if you can make the distinction. That first six months to a year I would look at the birds and wonder why they still sang. The world had ended.

This year I have been noticing how the sun casts pink and orange across the clouds as it says good night. I’ve noticed the different greens in the trees, bushes, and grasses.

It was the same with music. For the first few years every song was a song of loss. Now every song wraps me in sound. I now know depression intimately.

I tend toward anxiety than to depression.

So this year I want lights. The apartment building where I live decided to paint the outside of our building. This has been a great inconvenience because my patio furniture (I gave that to myself as a present last year) had to stay in my house. I promised myself that as soon as painting was done and the patio furniture was outside, then I would set up my tree.

I found a cheap tree on Ebay. When I pulled it out of the box I was a little disappointed. It did look scraggly. When I pulled the branches apart– wire and pvc– I began to see a much fuller tree. So this dark green artificial tree is in the living room where the patio furniture had been.

Even though it is more than two weeks from Thanksgiving, I am going to cover the tree in lights. Each light is a wish and a prayer. I hope that this year will be brighter than the last. I hope that I can pay my bills. I hope even more that I can be happy and maybe experience joy.

***

Now for a  little promotion

Hero of Corsindor 2018-2

Hero of Corsindor is now on Amazon kindle for pre-order.

In the kingdom of Corsindor, the prince is lost, the king is dead, and the queen is holding the reins of government against disloyal nobles. They want a puppet to consolidate their power over the land. The queen has only one ally, who is not human.

There are rumors that the borders have been closed. Plus the long-lost prince, who knows nothing of ruling, is returning. Corsindor is being attacked from within and without by nightstalkers.

Shira, a foundling, trained by the Ahrah, Corsindor’s neighbors, is sent find out the conditions in Corsindor. Warrior and child of another world – her job is to confront the demons and reduce the chaos in the world. Will she survive?

Will she be tempted to take it all?

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Repost Oct 18, 2017: Living in the high desert

Willow Creek Cyn 1975

Shot by Stan Anderson in 1975. I’m on the mustang and I was 14 that year.

This weekend my nephew and my brother were cooking buffalo meat and I was invited for Sunday dinner. My nephew is half-Ute so he has connections with the Ute Tribe in northeastern Utah. It was a surprise when he told me that the area I lived in in the mid 70s was where they had seeded a herd of mountain buffalo.

Even more interesting, that dirt road you see in the picture is now paved. When I lived there we were sixty miles from the nearest town. We grew all of our vegetables and fought the raccoons and coyotes from our plants and animals.

We brought our drinking water in because the wells in the area bubbled up sulfur and smelled like rotten eggs. The place had been hunted so much that the only predators were black bears. We even had hunters come in several times a year to clear the place from bears too. There hadn’t been a wolf seen in decades by that time.

Now they have buffalo, mountain goats, and wolves. They even have wild turkeys. We brought in the turkeys when we moved there. When we left, we left them there.

The reason we were there is that my father had gotten a job as a foreman to run the ranch for the Ute Tribe. We left when they decided to hire one of their own. So yes, I have lived on the reservation even though I am a white woman.

At the time I was there, we washed our clothes in ditches. We boiled our water to take bathes in tubs. We didn’t have electricity although we did haul in propane for our stoves. When the summer days got to hot we would go into the basement to cool off. We slept down there. We didn’t have AC or a lot of the modern conveniences of our neighbors.

I do remember those days with some fondness. Still I won’t do that again. It was too much work and too hard. I had a lot of responsibility for the care and tending of my brothers and sisters. I wanted to be free and run wild.

Still I am quite amused that someone decided to turn that place into a buffalo refuge. Then they paved the road. I can’t get my mind around how someplace so isolated has a paved road. Every spring the road still washes out even with the pavement. I remember times in the spring where I could collect 4-6 inches of mud on my boots when I went out to do the chores.

So I know the reason why farm families have so many kids. I also know why many farm kids want to escape this life. It is tough–tougher than you can imagine.

When I write about the “high desert” I am writing of what I know. The people who come from that environment are hardy and able because they can’t depend on anyone else to save them. It is an unforgiving environment. It is a deadly beauty.

Repost from Jan 8, 2017: Love, loyalty, and grief

Last night when I should have been preparing for bed, I turned on the TV for some mindless noise and on the CW movie channel (33-2), Hachi, a story of an Akita and the man who found him at a train station. The reason I left the movie on as I dressed for bed, tucked in the dog, and played a game on my tablet was because it was a sweet slow story.

A young boy was asked to make a report about a hero in his life so he told about his grandfather’s dog, Hachi. There were no men trying to steal the dog. There were no car chases. In fact it was not my normal movie fare.

However, as I watched the man and dog interact through play. As I watched the dog escort him to the train station and then meet the professor when he got off the train, I started to get invested in the two of them. Yes, I waited for something to happen, but it was so quiet that I didn’t get the dramatic affect until later in the movie.

At this point, I am warning you– I will be revealing plot points–so if you don’t want to know, do not read further–

The professor dies. Hachi waits for him to come home for several years.

How can I explain the affect this part of the movie had on my emotions. The movie went from being a sweet story about a love between a man and his dog to a emotionally charged movie about a dog that waited for a man who would never come home again.

Of course I made the connection between this dog and my own circumstances. I lost a husband from cancer. I know in my mind that I will never see him again in the physical world– only through a few pictures and recordings. However, my emotions even after two years had not reached my thoughts. Last night, I knew through my body that my husband would never come home again.

I am told that it gets easier. I know it gets easier. I don’t get faced with these thoughts every hour of every day like the first year. I actually laughed a few months ago.

How long did I cry? Enough that my sinuses were clogged and I couldn’t breath. Enough that I was numb. Is this a catharsis?

“The movie was based on the real Hachikō, who was born in Ōdate in 1923. After the death of his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno in 1925, Hachikō returned to the Shibuya train station the next day and every day after that for the next nine years until he died in March 1935. A bronze statue of Hachikō is in front of the Shibuya train station in his honor.” Wikipedia

 

A Hint of Blue eyes

winter-1472915_1920

From intographics | Pixabay

I wrapped my coat around me as the temperature hit 41 degrees as I opened my front door and braved the morning to see my new little niece, Victoria.

This was the day when she would be presented to the church and given a name and blessing in the tradition of her family.

The church’s doors were opened and three generations of her family on both her mother and father’s side stood in the foyer. I stood with them to see this baby, who had had a hard start in life.

On the day of her birth, Victoria and her mother were rushed into surgery for an emergency C-section. Victoria’s pulse had stopped. For five heart-wrenching minutes she didn’t breath in the doctor’s arms. As my brother told it on Christmas Eve, his heart sunk to his stomach because he thought that they had lost this little girl.

She cried and his heart began beating again.

Then it was months of feeding her and keeping her safe because she was too small to survive in this whirling cocktail of disease. I understood why her parent’s kept this little one sequestered until she was old enough and strong enough to survive this world.

Her family descended on the church, filling three long wooden pews.  They doubled the attendance in that small church. We watched her being blessed. This little girl had tons of family to support her as she grew into womanhood.

Later I held her and smelled baby and sour milk. Her skin was soft and pink. I cuddled her.

Then she opened her eyes and I saw a hint of blue.

 

Living in the high desert

Willow Creek Cyn 1975

Shot by Stan Anderson in 1975. I’m on the mustang and I was 14 that year.

This weekend my nephew and my brother were cooking buffalo meat and I was invited for Sunday dinner. My nephew is half-Ute so he has connections with the Ute Tribe in northeastern Utah. It was a surprise when he told me that the area I lived in in the mid 70s was where they had seeded a herd of mountain buffalo.

Even more interesting, that dirt road you see in the picture is now paved. When I lived there we were sixty miles from the nearest town. We grew all of our vegetables and fought the raccoons and coyotes from our plants and animals.

We brought our drinking water in because the wells in the area bubbled up sulfur and smelled like rotten eggs. The place had been hunted so much that the only predators were black bears. We even had hunters come in several times a year to clear the place from bears too. There hadn’t been a wolf seen in decades by that time.

Now they have buffalo, mountain goats, and wolves. They even have wild turkeys. We brought in the turkeys when we moved there. When we left, we left them there.

The reason we were there is that my father had gotten a job as a foreman to run the ranch for the Ute Tribe. We left when they decided to hire one of their own. So yes, I have lived on the reservation even though I am a white woman.

At the time I was there, we washed our clothes in ditches. We boiled our water to take bathes in tubs. We didn’t have electricity although we did haul in propane for our stoves. When the summer days got to hot we would go into the basement to cool off. We slept down there. We didn’t have AC or a lot of the modern conveniences of our neighbors.

I do remember those days with some fondness. Still I won’t do that again. It was too much work and too hard. I had a lot of responsibility for the care and tending of my brothers and sisters. I wanted to be free and run wild.

Still I am quite amused that someone decided to turn that place into a buffalo refuge. Then they paved the road. I can’t get my mind around how someplace so isolated has a paved road. Every spring the road still washes out even with the pavement. I remember times in the spring where I could collect 4-6 inches of mud on my boots when I went out to do the chores.

So I know the reason why farm families have so many kids. I also know why many farm kids want to escape this life. It is tough–tougher than you can imagine.

When I write about the “high desert” I am writing of what I know. The people who come from that environment are hardy and able because they can’t depend on anyone else to save them. It is an unforgiving environment. It is a deadly beauty.

Love, loyalty, and grief

Last night when I should have been preparing for bed, I turned on the TV for some mindless noise and on the CW movie channel (33-2), Hachi, a story of an Akita and the man who found him at a train station. The reason I left the movie on as I dressed for bed, tucked in the dog, and played a game on my tablet was because it was a sweet slow story.

A young boy was asked to make a report about a hero in his life so he told about his grandfather’s dog, Hachi. There were no men trying to steal the dog. There were no car chases. In fact it was not my normal movie fare.

However, as I watched the man and dog interact through play. As I watched the dog escort him to the train station and then meet the professor when he got off the train, I started to get invested in the two of them. Yes, I waited for something to happen, but it was so quiet that I didn’t get the dramatic affect until later in the movie.

At this point, I am warning you– I will be revealing plot points–so if you don’t want to know, do not read further–

The professor dies. Hachi waits for him to come home for several years.

How can I explain the affect this part of the movie had on my emotions. The movie went from being a sweet story about a love between a man and his dog to a emotionally charged movie about a dog that waited for a man who would never come home again.

Of course I made the connection between this dog and my own circumstances. I lost a husband from cancer. I know in my mind that I will never see him again in the physical world– only through a few pictures and recordings. However, my emotions even after two years had not reached my thoughts. Last night, I knew through my body that my husband would never come home again.

I am told that it gets easier. I know it gets easier. I don’t get faced with these thoughts every hour of every day like the first year. I actually laughed a few months ago.

How long did I cry? Enough that my sinuses were clogged and I couldn’t breath. Enough that I was numb. Is this a catharsis?

“The movie was based on the real Hachikō, who was born in Ōdate in 1923. After the death of his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno in 1925, Hachikō returned to the Shibuya train station the next day and every day after that for the next nine years until he died in March 1935. A bronze statue of Hachikō is in front of the Shibuya train station in his honor.” Wikipedia

 

Day after Summer Solstice and Strawberry Moon

Lone Tree Full Moon

From Pixabay

 

It was a hot day yesterday about 115 degrees and I was invited to sit in a friend’s pool for a few hours. Yes, I accepted.

The sun baked down on our heads and the only reason I didn’t get a sunburn–I have that light light skin– was because I was in the water and under a tree. It has been a long time since I have sat in a cool pool of water and watched the wasps land to take a drink. My late hubby and I would sit in my brother’s pool many years ago when I was half out of my mind after taking some serious prednisone and chemotherapy. There is something calming about sitting in the water, feeling it lap on your skin, while the air is as hot as an oven. The only thing better is a slight breeze to whip up once in awhile to cool your wet hair.

So we sat in the pool and swapped stories. New friends and old stories. When I was a young girl, my father had a friend who would come every summer to visit us with his family for a couple of days as the sun began to heat up the high desert. We didn’t have a computer or even a TV in the house. So when his friend came, we would sit around a round table, drinking lemonade and eating crackers, and my dad and his friend would swap stories.

Before my father became a hermit, he was in the Navy and was also a door-to-door salesman. I had heard most of my father’s stories. Because we had to make our own entertainment, we would tell or read stories to each other on Sunday evenings. However, his friend had other stories that were more colorful and were not quite fit for children’s ears.

When he would start on the stories, my parents would send us out to play. I would sit quietly in the corner so that they would forget I was there and I would listen. It was then that I gained a yearning to travel and see new places.

I miss the stories. Today, we have so many electronic toys and gadgets. So many of our stories are processed through the same clearing house. We don’t talk to each other any more. We don’t tell each other stories.

There is this push to read to the children. It is a good goal. Maybe a better goal would be to take a night a week and tell stories to your children of your lives and the lives of your parents.

We are all made of stories.