Let there be Light!!

Daylight Savings Time! Whooohoooooo!!! Oh, boy! I wait for this weekend for months. On the Sunday we go back to Standard time is when the waiting begins.

My psyche needs light. Lots and lots of light. I need to revel in it, bath in the sunlight as it streams in my front french doors, sink into my red chair in the corner of my living room that is stuck in a wide-bodied sunbeam. Light is the food for my spirit.

I have a dog, a Lhasa Apso named Yuri, who feels just like me. He has been climbing up on the red park bench out on the patio that has a sunbeam that visits it every day the sun is out. He lays down, closes his eyes, sighs a big heavy sigh and takes a short sun-snooze. My other dog, a Bhudda-bodied Schnoodle named Pepper, just streches out on the warm tiles on the patio, belly flat on the tile, back feet streched out behind him, puts his head in his paws and naps.

I have been know to actually sit out there myself, surrounded by contentedly napping dogs, turn my face up to the sun and just aborb its warmth and light. There must be an ancestor of mine who was a Sun Worshiper.

Light, the stuff that the universe itself cannot do without. Warmth and light…….building blocks of all things that move and breathe and have being. Like Bob Marley so elequently put to music, “life did not begin in a refridgerator, it began in an incubator” warm, cozy, full of the light of love.

So my time is now here. The time of warmth, of days getting longer and warmer, of spring flowers following the sun as it travels across the sky each day, of the cold icicle feet of winter to be shod with the sandals of summer.

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Summer’s Symphony

Rain

heavy, globulous drops

pelting the earth

bouncing back up from solid groud

streaking sidways

angling into porches and carports

bombarting

tin roofs echoing the drops

rumblings

marching across dark skies

gutter gushes

a counter to the booms

each drop having a note of its own

in rains summer symphony

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The Land of Nodding Off

Source: The Land of Nodding Off

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The Land of Nodding Off

It is a quiet Sunday afternoon here in the Land of Nodding Off; there is little traffic, not any sort of noisy anything, no one is out walking for it is too hot to be out.  In fact it is so quiet the car sounds from the street sound like they are right in front of my house.  There is a pall of somnolence that seems to be trapping every breathing mammal in its grip. My two dogs are sleeping so deep they ae snoring, and our little house guest who is much younger than they is sleeping so hard his little noise is hanging of the front of the chair.

This whole atmosphere reminds me of when I was a small girl and Sunday afternoons were set aside for rest. I would spread the funnies out on the floor and read every comic in them. Not so much understanding them all, but enjoying the colors contained in the pictures and the characters. I still save the funnies for last, for I am convinced they are the best part of the whole Sunday paper.

How our world needs Sundays rest!  Imagine now if you can: no stores open, no blasting Captains of Capitalism shouting at us to get down here now it’s an Only Sunday Sale!  No need to leap up out of bed before the sun gets up to crowd into the hours all the fun one can pack into them, for tomorrow work comes roaring back.  Being able to have a cup of coffee on the front porch in nerve and muscle relaxing calm and quiet. To be able to take the time to actually hear the birds joyfully singing about the new day that is still fresh and clean and full of promise.

There was the getting to church on time, to be sure on Sunday mornings. And at the age I was speading the funnies on the living room in the afternoon, Sunday morinings could be fraught with contention. My oldest brother could never quite get himself together at the proper time to be able to walk out to the car fully dressed for church.  Every Sunday morning, he came flying down the front steps, holding his dress pants up with one hand, his shirt and tie and shoes and socks streaming out behind him like his flag of standard, bellering to Mom “not to leave him”.  He always rode in the back seat by the window that was shattered and cracked with veins of glass.  He was the last one in the car, he got the seat no one else wanted.  Mom let Mike and I ride in the front to keep us out of the line of his ire.    

Once Church and Sunday School was over and our “good clothes” were changed into everyday ones, we could pretty much do whatever we wished as long at it was at home and was a quiet endeavor.  We tried playing Rummy sometimes, but the competition became so fierce with the accusations of cheating flying about at the top of our voices that card playing was banished to any day but Sunday. Mostly we read, funnies, library books, whatever we could get our hands on.  Well, all of expect Edwin, he would sort of wander off into places unknown only to come back just before Sunday dinner.  A mystery he was.

Some Sundays, if it was a “good” movie, we would go to the Beecham Theatre downtown Orlando.  I remember seeing such great movies there, those 50’s ones that were always so fantastic to a small girl.  We saw “The Sands of Iwo Jima” there, in the Lodges in the Balcony! I remember standing up and shouting “that’s my Daddy” when John Wayne charged up the beach.  My Dad got me some candy for that. Those Sundays at the movies were always so special, we didn’t go home first to change clothes, but we were admonished not to get them dirty or else.  I can still conjour up my white maryjanes sort of shinning in the dark theatre. It was all very magical.

Other Sundays we had very special company, the Pastor and his wife were coming to have dinner with us! Another instance where we were told to change clothes but not into everyday ones; nice ones, clean most definatley and to put our “manners” on with them. It was always chicken, always. Sometimes fried, sometimes baked, but always chicken And mashed potatoes and gravy, with corn and biscuits.  And desert!!

It seems it was an unwritten fact that the families of the church would “have the Pastor and his wife and family” to dinner on a sort of rotation.  Because the Lutheran Church we went to was fairly large for its time, our turn didn’t come up too often.  When I converted to the Catholic Faith, that idea that the faithful would take turns feeding the pastor seemed to have stuck with me.  I had both of the assoiciate priests to dinner with my boys and I.  Memories of those dinners still bring a smile to me face.  I still think of asking the priests at my parish now to dinner.  To me it is a blessing to be able to sit down and have a meal with God’s chosen ones.

The clock has circled around enough times now, it is time to feed DaBoys and their house guest Oreo. Time to finish out this day of rest. Time to bestir myself to get the necessities completed for this day. A couple of after supper walks. A bit of treats afterward, then a settling in to watch some great programs on PBS.

Here’s nodding at you! 

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Midnight Spa.

Pepper sits up, looks over his shoulder at Mom sleeping at the top of the bed with Yuri curled up right next to head.  ‘She shouldn’t let him sleep that close to her, really’, he thinks as he jumps down on the stool by the bed. He looks back at the two on the bed that make his personal pack complete as they snooze on into the night.

He pads down the hall, does one quick turn around the living room into the kitchen, stopping for a quick slurp of water before heading back down the hall to the bathroom. ‘Nice dogs don’t need those harsh lights, eh’. Paws on the side of the tub, he jumps into the tub, turns on the water a trickle,and jumps out. He opens the cupboard under the right sink, goes almost halfway in, backing back out with a small cloth bag in his mouth.

Jumping into the tub again, he carefully lays the bag on the side out of the water. He pulls open the string and snuffles his nose into it pulling out a tiny white plastic bottle,opens it up and picks it up in his mouth and gently shakes a few drops under the tickle of water. Pullng a small book, some Benfranklin eyeglasses and a small white fluffy towel out of the bag, he puts the now empty bag on the floor outside the tub.  Pep settles against the  back of the tub, picks up the glasses and the book and sighs.  

Yuri wakes up to the sound of chuckles. He slowly gets up, jumps down on the stool and heads down the hall. He pushes his nose into the bathroom.  “Pep, keep it down man, Mom might hear you”, he whispers.

Pep looks up over the top of the book at Yuri, “Sorry, it is just so funny. You ought to read this too, Bro. It is written so very well, great sublties.”

Yuri came farther in the room, hopped up on the toilet and said, “You know I am a fan of Tolstoy, not A. A. Milne.  Though I do like that Tigger fellow, I could be a fast friend of his!”

“Ooo, sshhhhh.” putting his paw to his mouth. ” Hold on, be right back.” He jumped down, walked down the hall. Pep heard him pad across the carpet in the bedroom then heard his nails on hall floor. “It’s ok, she just turned over. You know that hip of hers is really hurting her. We should do someting.”

“Dogs don’t do hips”. Pep said as he pulled the lever down to let the water out. “Yuri, we are here to sit, cuddle and get her outside for walks. We do that really well. And, of course, to eat the cookies she gets for us. It makes her feel good to give them to us.”

Hopping out of the tub, he shook himself quickly and rolled in the towel on the floor.

“Hey!!! You got me wet!!!” Yuri woofed.

Chuckling, Pepper carefully put the things back into the little bag, and popped it back into the cupboard.  “Let’s go back to bed, Mom needs our cuddles.”

The two of them went back into the bedroom, leaped up on the stool and carefully onto the bed. Pep on the bottom, Yuri right next to Mom’s head. The looked at each other with a tiny smile, then settled into sleep.

Next morning, sitting next to Mom on the couch, she leaned over him, sniffed him and said, “Pep, how do you always smell so good! Do you have a spa somewhere?”

He opened his eyes a slit, looked at Yuri on the floor next to couch and smiled that little Pep smile. Yuri snuggled deeper into the rug with his own conspirtory smile.

 

 

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From Chaos comes Beauty

I am in the midst of decidely chaotic turmoil in my Little Tin House here in sunny Florida.  You see, my kitchen is being remodeled, fixed, upgraded and generally transformed into beautiful.  I hav…

Source: From Chaos comes Beauty

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From Chaos comes Beauty

I am in the midst of decidely chaotic turmoil in my Little Tin House here in sunny Florida.  You see, my kitchen is being remodeled, fixed, upgraded and generally transformed into beautiful.  I have been living with no hot water in it for a couple of months now; the plumbing was tired, the sink was a 70’s gold and generally the whole of it was just so very done with being the kitchen it started out as something like forty years ago.   The process is almost painful at times.  Full of surprises, redos, rethinks, and all manner and form of course corrections. It is a paraox in this life we have here on this earth that to make beautiful we most times need to make a fine mess.  In order to make something so much better than what is there, we have to demolish what is there. 

It sounds like the process of living to me. In order to improve, to go forward, to keep getting better and better we have to make a bit of a mess.  It also reminds me of the passage in Genesis where God made order from chaos.  It isn’t the stirring up, the removing that we use to build; it is the putting it back together. We use pieces from the old, we use new, shinny parts, we blend them together to create a new look, a new life.

I am sitting here at my sweet French desk, with Pepper snoozing on the couch and Yuri watching over the back of the house, listening to bumps and thumps and colorful words eminating from my kitchen. This process of rebuilding the material of the kitchen is fraught with unseen speed bumps that must be navigated. Just like life itself.

O the bumps I have crawled over! O the constant rebuilding I have done! I know that I will not be finished with this building and rebuilding until my last breath on this earth.  Sometimes it is so very, very painful to see the life I thought was pretty well done and set demolished and redone.  It is a one minute at a time sort of existance when one is the middle of a rebuilding project. Some things just cannot be hurried and pushed and proded into what you want. Sometimes the best move is not any movement at all.

Three years ago the remodel of my life began.  Born from life mistakes, fed by taking the wrong path and ignoring the signposts,  I faced the truth that I had to remove my self from the place where the temptation to attempt to force the path into my assumption of where it would lead.  The only way to start the remodel was to leave where I had been for fifty-four years and start from scratch at some other terra firma. So, I prayed for God’s guidance and the ears to hear him, packed up my Flock of Boxes, my two small dogs, and set off for a new land.

He took me across this great country on a road trip with my Cousin Jan that I will never, ever forget. It was for the two of us the Great American Road Trip . With two small dogs, a car packed to gills, and a lose agenda we set off toward the rising sun. We have been talking about it ever since. Joys of seeing where our common ancestors touched down on their treck to the setting sun; peril with deer and Jeeps; silliness with two small dogs and covered bridges and Eiffel Towers. Memories that will forever be etched into my heart.

But that was not the end, not in the place I thought. God was not ready for me to set down roots again. Just like Abraham of old, I had more traveling and more lessons to be learned. From Ohio to Florida, where there was some remnents of roots of my own still hanging on. To a brand new town. To a brand new life, with some of the elements of the old life, those that were best and the most priceless. To a place where I could slowly and carefully put down roots and join with those waiting for my return to be nurtured once more.

The men have quite for the day; one to golf, one to great his girlfriend in from the west for a nice visit. There is a new dishwasher, a new sink (with hot water!!), a new counter top and a promise of more to come in the kitchen. Just like God does, the men do their work with care, with caution and course corrections where needed. The new kitchen will be a wondrous place for me to cook and bake and pass through and just look at.

And so will be this new life God is fashioning for me. I will always miss the best parts of the former life I had in California; missing my family and friends the most. I will still go back for visits every year or so, for their company is the best gift. At the same time I will continue to nurture, to support, to learn and to grow in this new place and the new life God is fashioning from pieces of the old and brand new shinning things.

From chaos comes beauty.

 

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Pepper and his Fence Buddy Have Discourses on Life

Pepper walked up to the fence, peered though the wire at his big friend Kujo. “How are you today my huge pal?” he asked the St. Bernard next door.

“Oh, ok except for this ol’ hip of mine that just pains me so.” Kujo anwsered. “What about you my Little Professor?”

Pepper huffed and shuffled his feat before he plopped himelf down, laying his front feet out in front of him. “LIttle? Only next to you, my Leviathan friend!”

Kujo just smiled. “So, what is on the agenda today, Prof?”

“I thing something is up with the People. There has been an awful lot of talking and walking and going through the gates. It has me a bit worried, you know. Last time that happened Yuri and I had to get into that iron cage with wheels for almost forever.”

“Well, did they get out those boxes with handles? They do that when they go away for a long, long space. I remember when I was just a young whipersnapper…”

“Kujo! Stay focused!  Oh, dear, he is off in one of his rememberences again.” Pepper put his head in his paws and sighed.

“Whoooohaaaaaaa!” bellowed Yuri as he flew past the fence, waking up Pepper and stopping Kujo in mid memory. “What’s up dudes???”  as he skidded into the fence scrunching up his whole side into the fence so little tuffs of his long, fluffy, white fur poked through. “Hey, Kuj, how’s things?”

“Yuri!! For Pete’s sake! Slow Down” barked Pepper. “Kujo and I were have a discusiion here about what the People are doing. This is serious. We need to be ready in case we might be needed. Please, sit down and help us figure this out”

“Now Prof, He is just enthusiastic” smiled Kujo, “Yuri, have you seen anything that seems odd to you? Proff thinks they are going to pack us into that thing outside the fence and go”.

“GO!” I Love GO!!” burfed Yuri with a leap over Pepper. He raced arond the concrete faster and faster, barking,”GO, GO, GO”.

“Well, now he is useless!” grumped Pepper.

“Oh, don’t get your collar in a knot there Prof, he’ll stop in a few minuets. He always runs down after a bit”. Kujo chuckled.

“Well, he just doesn’t take this seriously, he never takes anything seriously.” Pepper snroted.

“So, back to the problem. Pepper, did they bring the boxes with handles down stairs?” Kujo asked.

“Well, I didn’t see those. But…look there they go again!” Pepper sniffed as he flipped his nose toward the gate.

Kujo started chuckling so hard he had to sit down hard. “Ohohoh Prof!! I think I know what is goind on.”  But before he could finish Captian Gibbs came bounding down the back steps.

“Did you all SMELL THAT!!!!! IT’S BACON!!  SOME BODY IS COOKING BACON! OOOOOO I LOVE BACON!! ” Gibbs chortalled.

Yuri put his head way back so he could get a deep sniff. ” Wow! Oh yea! BACON!!!”

Pepper stood up, lifted his nose as far into the breeze as he could get it. Was that…oh yes..yes it is…BACON! He turned to tell Kujo as the big guy put his front feet on the top of the fence and threw his head back and closed his eyes. “No need, he got it” Pep muttered to himself.

Kujo said with his eyes still closed. “There is going to be a big feast.  We dogs need to stay close to the People.  There is always special things for dogs when there is a feast. Oh my Little Professor, this is what all the gate opening and closing and activity inside in leading to.  A feast for People and for dogs.”

“So very much better that riding in that box with wheels!”  Pep burfed, ” All right everybody, all dogs must be on high alert for any tidbit that might appear within our range.  Yuri, you take the big patio table; Gibbs you’ve got the kitchen door to tell us what is coming outside; Kujo, can you hang out next to the screen door on your side so you can tell us what is coming over so we can reconoiter?”

“You got it little Proff.” Kujo trotted off to flop down in a flurry of dust at the perfect spot just out of range of the screendoor. Z

Pepper went up to the back door and began his very best whinny little cry. It was his best Momma call. And there she was, openning the door for him. Yuri came tearing across the patio and skidded into the sunroom to crash into Pepper and Gibbs.  “For pity sakes, Yuri, Slow Down!!! grumbled Pepper shaking his dignity off.

So, the Backyard Gang went on watch. Gibbs was stationed to the big side of the kitchen door, Pepper was in the door way fromt the dining room to the kitchen, Yrui sat under the kitchen table and Kujo watched his door.  By the time the food was ready to serve the dogs had their dish picked out. Of course anything with bacon was on everyones menu, but so was the rib bones, the chicken and even some of those carrots that Pepper never took his eyes off.

That evening, after the food was put away, the four dogs had a sleepy talk at their favorite rondeveau spot at the fence. No talking tonight, just happy dogs smiling at each other over a job well done.

Kujo whispered to his Little Professor, “G’night Prof.  Happy Bacon Dreams.Pepper smiled back with a heavy, satisfied smile.

“Come on boys, time to come in” Pepper heard his Mom call. “Lets go boys”.

Yuri, as usual, raced in first, Gibbs tumbling after with Pepper coming up behind with all the dignity he could muster with his Oh-so-full waddle. He turned at the top step just as Kujo looked over. The two buds raised their chins at each other, turned and went to their oh so welcome beds.

 

 

 

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