Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday's Child Is Full Of Woe

Wednesday's child is full of woe.  That is part of an old poem describing attributes of a person defined by the day of the week on which you were born.  The traditions of fortunetelling have been around probably as long as there has been communication.  Don't we all at times want just a brief peek into the future?  Say like when one is attempting to make a life change?  Jobs, marriage, college, moves, or maybe something as simple as grocery shopping?

What are we going to want to eat four days from now?  That depends on a lot of things.  How did Gene's INR read?  More or less vitamin K needed?  Will we need to be at a hospital with Gene's mom or in another state with my mom?  Will we work outside and want only cool, refreshing food or stay inside on a computer and be okay with a hot dish?  I mean, really, a crystal ball would be helpful at the grocery store.

Back to that poem.  The more common modern version according to my fav source, Wikipedia, goes like this:

Monday's child is fair of face.
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
Wednesday's child is full of woe.
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving.
Saturday's child works hard for a living.
But the child that is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

Well, first couple of observations about the poem is it has a strong Christian influence with the Sabbath Day being Sunday.  Next is who the heck do you know that says bonny or blithe?  Per online dictionaries (cause I do not even want to think where the hard copies are hidden right now) bonny means attractive, very pleasant or nice, as in sum or worth.  Blithe is defined with two somewhat opposing meanings. one being without worry and the second being sort of uncaring or ignoring the results of your own actions.  Look here for the Macmillan versions.  I am absolutely certain gay had a different point of reference when this was written.  Just observing!  

So now I have decided to check what day of the week a few of the significant folks in my life were born.  I am operating with the idea that born means exit from the womb.  And there is a neat, online calender for as many years as I wish to check here.

Daddy, March, 1914, Thursday.  Far to go?  Not so much.  Stayed in one county most of his life.
Momma, September, 1918, Wednesday.  Full of woe.  For sure right now.
Margaret, August, 1936, Friday.  She does love and give more than possible at times.
Suzie, April, 1940, Sunday.  She worries but a lot less than in years past.  She is good and genuinely attractive.
Janice, December 1946, Wednesday.  Yes, I am the ultimate sad sack, always with the problems.
Arlene, December, 1954. Saturday.  Have you ever followed her around at her Hallmark job?
Gene, September, 1940, Wednesday.  I married a sad sack!
John Roger, August, 1973, Monday.  I think he is handsome!
Edna Adcock, October, 1914, Monday.  Beautiful young woman.
Brett, June, 2001, Saturday.  He once asked me to take a picture of two hard working men.  He was 4 and digging up the rocks in the backyard path.
Grant, July, 2004, Friday.  He does give really good hugs!
Jack, May, 2006, Friday.  He loves to have fun.

Please, do not feel badly if you are not on the list.  It is that I really need to get something done.  I am just escaping all my worries playing on the computer.  What day were you born?

Woe is me!


  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Light of Faith

The light of faith
can grow dim
during the storms of life.
 
The storms of life
for some are but a
gentle breeze to others.
 
 


Monday, July 29, 2013

July 2013

As I sit in my easy chair I wonder how can it be almost August.  July was a whirlwind of work from the yard in Missouri to Mom's apartments in Texas.  Now back in Missouri the new grass is looking good.  It is young and tender.  We really do not want to walk on it or even mow it as it appears so tender.   

From the sounds of reports on the news existing homes sales are on the decline again, having peaked on May.  Oh, well.  Guess we missed the boat.  Maybe in time the market will improve.  At least things are cleaner.  The yard is in better shape than in a few years.  Next spring the wallpaper in the kitchen will come down as a change is needed there, also.

There is a trailer load of various items from Texas that need to find homes.  Some will be moved to our son's home on our next visit.  Others will replace a few items of mine.  Still others will remain stored till 'the move' happens if it ever does.  There are tubs of pictures and documents to be scanned.  And then there is the 100 year old dish that must be used to serve cranberry sauce.  A candy dish that sat on Mom's coffee table for a couple of decades.  Never mind the areas that are glued back together and a missing foot, I just wanted it.  There is a serger, thread and a myriad of items for some of my friends.

One last item I took was a plastic box with a pair of Mom's gardening gloves, a thimble and a pin cushion tucked inside.  As I noted to my sister as I choked back tears those items represent the essence of our Mom.  The Mom that cared and loved us and flowers.  Not the Mom that had a fuse too short for the rearing of children.  The Mom that would stay up till the wee hours making dresses for us to have for special occasions.

So July will come to a close with us in easy chairs wondering if our son was on either of the trains in Switzerland.  He was to be in Geneva early this week then on to another city in Europe.   He will be forty in August.  And I wonder where the years have gone.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Before And After

Now is a fleeting moment.
Life is before and after.
My yard before:
 
My yard after:

 
 
My now is ever fleeting
from what was to what will be.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday Night Fever



You think on a decently comfortable evening in the Dallas area I would be up for some sort of fun.   After all my hunky husband owned and proudly wore a very wide white paten leather belt and matching heeled shoes back in the 70's.  Extra hunky with the tight fitting poly shirt and leisure suit. 

A very long week of cleaning out Mom's 1950, 60, 70, 80, a couple things from 1990 and one thing purchased in this century has left me, my three sisters and husbands too weary to dance.  The last two days were a garage sale/give away of things not taken by the family.  Since the setting was a retirement community, the buyers were on power chairs, canes and walkers.  Many of the shoppers the last two days were in their forties, fifties and sixties when "the thing" was polyester shirts for the guys.

But, alas, it is no longer the disco 70's for them or us.  It is the age of mid 60's to later mid 70's for three or us sisters and husbands.  The shoppers were mostly 80 to mid 90's in age.  Only the youngest sister still in her 50's is out playing this Saturday night.  And she is playing with her sons, daughter, son on law and grandchildren. 

Saint Gene just brought me a slice of cheesecake and iced coffee.  We're living it up now!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday

As the sun rose last Sunday
We sisters gathered near.
We prayerfully huddled in a small circle
With arms entwined around each other.
The hard work of deciding
What goes to our homes,
To our children or to the trash began.
Boxes were packed and loaded in the cars.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
were the same dance repeated
minus the eldest sister.
In a land that was parched
from lack of food rains,
the heavens opened each day
With cloudbursts, lightening
and thunderstorms.
While the earth stands refreshed
we sisters find our souls parched.
The reading of letters from
the childhoods of our lives
left our emotions weathered.
Windswept, bare, raw.
A card from
Daddy telling Momma
of his deep love was on top of
a xeroxed joke.
Almost as if in the clouds
and storms our Daddy,
Grandma Chandler et al
were saying in a joyous
chorus,  "laugh and celebrate
these lives you have been given. 
And the lives of us who have passed " 
Thursday will find only two sisters
dancing with the last few items.
Treasures and trash to be unearthed
from one last file cabinet.
May the dance be joy-filled!
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dog-tired

Lately I have been wondering about the origins of family, cultural and regional sayings.  "Go with" was not a term with which I was familiar until exposed to Gene's relatives from North Dakota.  Seems this is common in the upper Midwest.  Ya'll gotta know that Texans are always fixin to do something like go over yonder. 

Gene and I would chuckle any time his mom would say she had been looking for us to come visit.  This saying of hers made us think she must have been standing at some window just looking at the road all day.  We would have made no indication we were coming for a short  Sunday visit as we lived only 25 miles away.  Edna would usually have a meal prepared.  Guess she was looking out the kitchen window part of the time.

We were to have left for Texas, what day is this anyway.  The computer calendar says it is Thursday.  Ok, Wednesday we were go to TX.  Then it rained out the entire morning of work in the yard was that Tuesday?  And the other sister in Oklahoma was to go back to TX. on Thursday.  That's today....   But things have really gone sideways with all our plans.  Oklahoma B I L was put in the hospital on Wednesday with a possible blood clot in his lung.  So the clean out of Mom's apartment is falling behind the self imposed schedule as 2 of the 3 have had unforeseen delays.

When we notified the realtors we would be gone for a few days they decided to have another open house on Sunday.  Since we were having one or two lookers a week, we had been working on the back yard.  We removed the gravel  underlayment for two paths.  The gravel and chat were put on existing paths that were needing a new layer of rock.  Part of one flower bed and all of the 'kitchen garden were tilled in with the old walkways.  Gene has now seeded that entire area.

We have taken up the brick walk beside the knot garden.  The brick are now pavers through the center of the knot garden.  Sandstone pavers will fill in the small semicircles on either side of the brick.  The area where the brick paths were previously will simply become mulched areas with small red concrete pavers pulled up from other areas.

The flower bed on the north edge of the knot garden along with a short path have now been removed.  Gene cut down a sizable tree stump in the same area.  Rotted railroad tie retaining timbers were removed.  As we had not planted any veggies this year the garden is now history.  Gene would not take down the compost bins.  The area north of the knot garden is now open, tilled, raked and seeded with grass.  We did keep the bench made from the side boards from Son's 1980's water bed.  The 'legs' are rounds of cedar cut from a friends backyard.  This bench overlooks the newly rebuilt stream for the water garden. 

Remaining flower beds have been trimmed, weeded and will have a layer of mulch applied tomorrow.  That is if we can drag our raggedy, dog-tired bodies out of bed.  We had not even taken time to celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary till tonight after another eight hours of labor in the yard.

And in case you are wondering where dog-tired started just click here.  I'm too tired to write any more. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Last year around September I began to explore blogs.  Somewhere along the way Gretchen's Second Blooming came across my radar.  What a fortunate find.  From her most reads list, so many wonderful blogs have become a part of my reading.  Women and men of all ages have been having input in my life. 



This week Gretchen's Spin Cycle assignment is Summer.  My take on summer is a recycle from last July.  I am too tired to write after several days working in our yard to make it more appealing to potential buyers.  It is hot, hard sweaty, make me ache in too many places gratifying work.  Other takes on summer can be enjoyed by clicking here

Second Blooming

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Summer_in_the_City.jpg
When it gets to be this time of year I always start humming or singing this Loving Spoonful's song, "Summer in the City".  The lyrics pretty much says it all especially in the hot, dry summer.


Summer in the City

The Lovin' Spoonful

(John Sebastian - Mark Sebastian - Steve Boone)

Hot town, summer in the city

Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty

Been down, isn't it a pity

Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city

All around, people looking half dead

Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

But at night it's a different world

Go out and find a girl

Come-on come-on and dance all night

Despite the heat it'll be alright



And babe, don't you know it's a pity

That the days can't be like the nights

In the summer, in the city

In the summer, in the city

Cool town, evening in the city

Dressing so fine and looking so pretty

Cool cat, looking for a kitty

Gonna look in every corner of the city

Till I'm wheezing like a bus stop

Running up the stairs, gonna meet you on the rooftop.


or if you want to listen to the music:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZTtsEihtT8


This was the # 1 song the month I met Gene one hot summer night in August, 1966.  I met him in front of my apartment.  I opened the door to take trash to the complex dumpster and there he stood, Mr. Wonderful with a head full of hair!  I asked if he was Gene.  "Yes" was the reply and I slammed the door.  I had been cleaning house and my hair was not even combed.

Gene was with our mutual friend and my roommate's boyfriend, Alan Frerick.  Gene had stopped to visit Alan who lived in the same apartment complex.  They were discussing if they should knock on the door as Alan had been trying to get Gene and I together for a few weeks.  Guess we sort of lived the lyrics that summer.

Let me make one thing clear, Gene never begged me to dance all night.  Sort of the other way around as I loved to dance.  But we did cruise Spring Valley Road in Richardson in Gene's brand spanking new 1966 Mustang.  We were cool in spite of the heat.

It is still being a hot time in this city and many others this year.  I would bet there are young men and women meeting each other through mutual friends.  Hope they find their special mate during the cool of the evenings.  There is nothing I would trade for my memories of that summer nor my Life's Love that came one August night In the Summer In The City.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

What Was I Thinking!

Do you ever wonder where sayings come from like the "What was I thinking?'  My family has lots of little sayings that add to familiar sayings.  For the Rogers' side the above saying is, "What was I thinking and why did I cut my hair like this?"  If we really mess up a sentence with words out of order or something silly the response is, "Do I have a bat in my mouth?"  Or if someone is exceptionally cranky you can count on someone in the group saying, "It's just like Miss Emma says!"  If you are really wanting something to drink, "Dern it, Clay, I want a root beer!" is something our family knows the meaning.

The 'bat in my mouth' is a result of the sisters Margaret and Suzie making a road trip in a station wagon  with Margaret's three kids.  Margaret's family was, I beleive, relocating from Vancouver, Washington to Houston, Texas.  So that means there was, also, a tank of goldfish being moved in the back of the station wagon.  What were they thinking!

The tales of that trip will arise at various family gatherings.  John's goldfish were sloshed over the back during an all to quick stop.  John was horrified.  Suzie passed gas, bad, smelly gas.  She said John did it.  John was humiliated and horrified.  One night at dinner in a nicer restaurant, Margaret opened her mouth to say something profound we are sure.  Instead a loud, echoing belch filled the quite atmosphere.  This was followed by gales of laughter.  Possibly John was horrified.

But the bat thing.  Back in the early 70's station wagons had AM radios.  FM was beginning to come into its own.  No Sirrus, no tape decks, no CD players, no drop down DVD screens to keep a teen, a tween and a younger sister occupied.  The only kind of touch anything was, "He/She touched me!" delivered in a bloodcurdling scream.  Of course there were the fish in the tank on this particular trip.  The point is there was only the radio and miles and miles of miles and miles from Washington to Texas.  So listening and tuning for stations on a radio was a big form of entertainment.

Sisters came across one hip station to listen to somewhere in Montana, Wyoming or maybe west Texas.  Two DJ's were having fun banter between the songs.  During one of the bantering sessions a DJ thoroughly messes up a sentence.  Immediately he says with an effect of having something in his mouth, "Do I have a bat in my mouth?"  The sisters absolutely broke up, laughing into tears.  Can we say tired of travelling or maybe just easily entertained.  The sisters shared the story along with all the others from the trip.   And the saying stuck along with lots of good memories.

Come to one of our family gatherings sometime.  Most likely someone will either have a bat in their mouth, wonder what they were thinking of ask someone if they are needing a hair cut.  The hair cut story is for another blog.  As a matter of fact if you want, come to Mom's little apartment next week.  The four sisters will be together going through Mom's things.  Sorting through our shared lives, memories and a ton of just junk.  We really would appreciate your help.

Rogers sisters:  Janice, Margaret, Suzie and Arlene enjoying Christmas 2011.

Friday, July 5, 2013

America

The United Methodist Women, a group to which I belong, has a Charter for Racial Justice Club.  Really.  A club within a club.  To belong to this club each unit, as the local chapter of UMW is called, must participate in a series of lessons, activities, outreach and general mixing with a different culture or race.  In May at our unit's annual Spring Fling we had the local Grupo Latinoamericano spokeswoman as our speaker.  By doing this cultural celebration one requirement for the Racial Justice Club was met.  

For the Spring Fling the gym was set up to reflect an enclosed patio as one might see in Latin America.  The "patio walls" were lined with information about Honduras, Nicaragua and Cuba.  These three nations were chosen as our group supports financially in a small way volunteers in mission that go to these countries.  There were "missioners" sitting at each table to share their experiences in these nations.

Some of the missioners went as medical missioners into the mountains of Nicaragua giving medical attention to any and all that came.  Some days over 300 women, children and men were treated.  This group operates through The Rainbow Network.  One comment from a local pulmonologist was how the micro loans to the area for persons starting businesses was making a difference.  Then he commented, "To return year after year and see this one child as his health improves is so fulfilling."

Presentation of keyboard to a young Nicaraguan child.

Unpacking supplies that had been carried from the US.

One of hundreds being helped in Nicaragua

Road to clinic has a few unusual challenges!


Then transporting supplies on a different day after rains is yet another challenge.
Waiting Room, Nicaraguan style.

The Honduras missioners shared their work in rebuilding churches, adding classrooms, and and beginning the building of a conference center.  They shared the effect of seeing children asking for a drink of clean water.  Seeing the joy and the deep faith of these Hondurans.  A people almost destroyed by the Europeans in the 1500 and 1600's.  Stories of a people still struggling to recover from the 1998 hurricane, Mitch.  Three or so years ago several of the ladies at church made puppets and sets for the children of the second poorest nation in this hemisphere.  Two mission trips later the children of the church presented a puppet show using some of these characters.

Puppets for Honduran children during blessing service, 2010.


2012 Honduran work to keep the roof up!
Hand prints in new sidewalk is a must!
Americans working for a common good, 2012.

College group as missioners in Honduras, 2013 starting a new project, a conference center.


Cuba missioners shared how the churches are being allowed into Cuba to rebuild existing, crumbling buildings.  Two dear friends have led these works for about ten years.  They met on the mission trips and the husband proposed to the now wife during one of the mission trips.  Joe tells me that Cuba is considered a second world country.  One church has been rebuilt finally.  The last trip was to a new location.  The missioners have to carry every tool, hammer, saw, etc as they go to Cuba.  And pay the cost of any extra weight.  That is in addition to clothing for themselves.

Pretty sure we know how is giving orders here!

Meal break on the completed portion of the church.

Prep of rebar for columns of church.

Dear friends taking a walk after a hard day's work.


Flour delivery to a nearby bakery.



Yesterday, July 4, was spent doing things the way we wanted.  Even though the dryer was broken, I was still able to do laundry in a modern, air conditioned home.  I did violate the sub division rules by hanging out my laundry on a removable line to dry.  No armed guard showed up to take me away and the neighbors did not even notice.  I asked them as we sat together on the driveway of another neighbor around 10 PM as we have no curfews.  We neighbors had gathered to watch an annual "blowing up of money" as Gene and I call it.  There would be lulls in the action in the sky.  Brian noted that the folks were just making another fireworks run.  Sure enough the action would start up again shortly as there are what seems a fireworks stand on every corner.

Earlier in the afternoon we joined 4 couples at the home of a Vietnam vet.  Four of the five guys and one of the women had served in the armed services.  Three were still battling the results of either direct hits or exposure to agent orange, seeing the carnage or all of the above.  I suppose that is the way to spend the Fourth.  Surrounded by folks that have protected the rights granted by the forefathers as we call that group of rebellious traitors.  The document we call The Declaration of Independence, it occurs to me, is like a seed planted in a soil of dreams.

We in the United States of America have had opportunities others only dream of achieving.  Of course not all in the United States have been a part of "the dream".   I certainly know this.  Ms. Lorge reminded us UMW folks at that luncheon about one thing.  America spreads across two continents and a connecting body known as Central America.  Hondurans, Cubans, Nicaraguans, Mexicans, Brazilians, Canadians, etc, etc. are all living in America.  Think about that and its implications the next time you say, "God Bless America".



For more thoughts and takes on America visit Gretchen at Second Blooming by clicking on this cute little button. 

Second Blooming

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Broken

Broken

Faithful for 29 years
Always willing 
to turn on the heat.
The dryer is broken
beyond repair.

The driver side glass
fell out after years 
of ups and downs.
The glue not holding, broken
Beyond repair.

But these are just things.
Neither heart nor soul.
Just dependable motors
that will no longer 
go.