Friday, January 14, 2011

My grandfather: the book seller and reader.
For a long time he was the only one in the family who graduated from college.
Here he is working on a work game.
He was a good man.

welcome visit

Daughter one rolled into town this evening.

She is here for a long weekend to do a bit of help dealing with her mother, and to give the old guy (me) something close to a break.

Like most people we have too much stuff.

Educated people have books (education and degrees are not always the same). We have been a reading family for several generations (my grandfather was a book seller). So books pile up.

And blankets.

When we get the down bedroom up and going that will use a few of these blankets, but we have a pile.

And since a granddaughter used to spend a LOT of time here there is all of the minutia that surrounds a preteen girl. The problem is that so much of this has a heart string tied somewhere.

It is not as easy to clear out as it seems.

That is why I asked Daughter One to work with her mother on that one. No one knows how it will go. They could get a lot done and Miriam might be difficult, really stubbornly so.

Often her daughters and granddaughters can charm her better than I.

So we will see.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I am beginning a sabbatical.

There is no short time and no long time. It could last a week it could be a change of a lifetime.

The first weekend of my life found me at church in this town. It has been my town most of that time and this church has been my church.

I devoted massive amounts of work doing an extensive remodel, Miriam did the sign out front as well the stain glass window. I am the third generation of my family to be members, but . . .

So many sermons are like bad TV commercials. Lots of glitz, lots of light and fireworks and that jingle sticks in your mind always, but when it is over you can't remember what it was all about.

For nearly all of my adult life I have been a facilitator of a bible discussion group. It is time to take a break. My hunch is that some will actually welcome my break, others won't. I will probably never know. This group has gone on for almost 20 years.

All of this adds up.

So, this week we are going to visit a neighboring church. I know the guest speaker. Next week we will go to another area church that has a new pastor that I have never heard.

Mostly I need encouragement, not to be reminded of my sins, or to pile more guilt on my poor overworked brain.

Sometimes I ask why, I ask, am I even here?

More than just to take care of Miriam?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

down, a bit more

I went to support group today.

There are people who are having a better time than I am, and there are people who are having a LOT worse.

None of that matters much. Each of us are different as is the way the damned disease affects our loved one.

Daughters commented that their mother had gone down this year, more than any year so far, and I am afraid they are right. And, being human, that scares me big.

Right now I am both bored and terrified. What lies ahead? Can I handle it? Can I do what needs to be done. The answers are not automatic and my love for her is not on the line here, nor is it a guarantee that I will do well.

With government cutbacks for Medicaid, which pays for a lot of the help we get, we caregivers may be more and more on our own.

I find no joy in any of that.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


When horrifying incidents happen I am deeply affected.

I had followed the Jonestown story closely and was impressed with the good that Jones was doing and then Boom it is all over and so many good people died. I am still not over that one.

This week's event was no less startling. These people were doing what should have been enlightening, but it was not.

Naturally we look for who or what to blame, and it is easy to make our conclusions very narrow.

Truth is that we live in an extremely violent society. There are many things that contribute to that reality. So many die in America so senselessly. The Jonestown people trusted too much, yet we do not want to take away trust. The people in Arizona trusted the safety of Safeway, and we don't want to loose that sense of trust either.

Still, there are questions of how can a clearly unbalanced person be allowed to purchase such a deadly weapon, and why do we allow weapons like this that have no possible use but for mass trouble?

I will continue to grieve, and I don't want that to stop either. Even though horrors happen regularly, we can't stop living and hoping and loving.

But, still I am saddened by the needless loss. We traded the freedom of one sad person for the massive contributions (past and future) of others.

We did not get our money's worth, and our freedom was not enhanced.

Monday, January 10, 2011

This tree bears a good crop of pears every year.
The problem is that they are semi worthless.
Grainy winter pear.
Haven't figured many ways to use them, but I keep looking.


I was taught to eat molasses.

My step father was sure we were all going to be anemic and that we needed more iron in our diet. He might have been right on all of that.

There were two diseases that dad considered to be moral failings. One was anemia and the other was diabetes. He was sure that if you ate too much sugar you would catch it like a bad cold.

His beliefs were not far from the accepted norm at the time, but he was a bit stronger about it.

Not that many people like Molasses. But a while back when my brother was here for a visit, I made pancakes (whole wheat -- ground the flour myself) and offered him some syrup that was mostly molasses. “I like Molasses,” he said.

We were not to eat any brand of molasses. “Grandma’s” was forbidden. It was too much like syrup dad said (Hmm) besides it had sulphe r. Both not good to Dad.

But toay as I was looking at the label it said: “Contains no gluten.” I would have thought that was as obvious as it not containing cholesterol, but what do I know?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The creator of this famous strip was a devout christian.
Not the way we talk or believe I fear.

free to live?

This was not a good weekend.

Words have consequences to quote someone wiser. We are free to own, but are we also free to take what is not ours?

Like someone else's life?

I fear for what is left of our freedoms.