Friday, May 25, 2012


New Polaroid in Words

If you could have seen me the past couple of days you would notice that my nose is buried in a book. I wish I could read faster take speed reading advice and skip words, skim along and absorb the gist but I can not.  I read aloud every word in my head. It's a terrible habit I can not break, each word echoing in my imagination.

I have discovered Ellen Gilchrist and I am ashamed that I had to wait so long to come across her on the library shelves. I just thank God the shelves are crowded with her bounty. I devoured "Nora Jane" first, not really enthralled at first but as each page came alive in my head I became totally hooked and could not put it down reading it way into the wee dark hours of the night.

The second one I snatched off the shelf is "NET OF JEWELS" which I have only torn myself away from to write this short Polaroid because I must return to college days in the mid 1950's and a girl named Rhoda.

So, picture this, I am outside (my favorite reading spot next to being propped up in bed....) in the shade (the light is fantastic) my feet resting up on the bags of garden soil next to the pallet I am going to create a masterpiece with next to the assortment of herbs and nursery flowers with a glass of classic sweet tea with lemon at my hand as I turn page after page wishing it would never end.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cosmic Countdown

A Day in a Word Polaroid

As I zoomed down the road putting space between my car and the family home base, I realized that I had not taken a picture of the front door as I had planned.

So much for my Polaroid of that day. I realized that I am not very good at this, or I am loosing my mind. Probably a little bit of both. So I will have to paint a picture in words, that which the camera would not, could not capture,  as I left a little bit of myself behind.

Actually not a little bit, a huge part of me. 

My Mom was sitting at the kitchen table, a worn down version of my fantastic go getter Mother. She had her walker at the ready, dressed up this day as she was to have visitors in a short time. She will stay propped up in her "electric chair" watching the news, the rosary at 1030 (maybe 930), going thru and writing  her correspondence as she is old school and unwilling to conquer the newfangled invention of the computer. She is a avid Thoroughbred enthusiast and stays in contact with all her racing and breeding buddies from her Blood Horse and Keeneland days. She has her telephone at her elbow, which rings all day with her friends keeping an "eye" on her and her needs.   She keeps a journal of her days. Perhaps she will write a letter to the editor of the local paper, the regional paper or if she is in a mind set,Time magazine. She did have a letter published during the 1970's when she took some Big Wig Economist to task over his belittling of stay at home Mom's. She contradicted him, with solid back up evidence, that at home Mothering is THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB OF ALL! (ahead of her time! A semi-feminist who disagreed with anything that contradicted The Church) Sorting  thru her stamps in anticipation of her monthly stamp club meeting with the elementary kids at St. Leo's. She has been turning kids on to stamp collecting  for close to 40 years now. She will not hesitate to name drop some of her Star Stamp Collectors who have gone on to become the pillars of society not only in the small part of the world she adopted as home (being a bona fide New Yorker) but those who have spread their wings into the larger stage of the outside world. 

She is who I left behind, content and happy with her life as it has settled into a soft routine since my Dad passed away.

As I back out of the drive way I look to the front door and see the spirit of my Dad, his ghost, the image of him forever imprinted on my heart, standing at the screen watching me leave. Waving a small good-bye, settling his hands clasped behind his back, as was his familiar stance. I always waved and threw kisses to him.

This is my Polaroid of the day.


Monday, May 14, 2012

A Life in Polaroids

Yesterday I had this terrific idea to offset my boring life. I would document every monotonous day with a snap shot courtesy of my temperamental smart phone.

As luck would have it, I would have taken a picture of the "home made" peppermint ice cream we were served at the Bucket. Due to it  being Mothers Day and us having to work and all. Usually the busiest day of the year, next to Thanksgiving in the restaurant biz.  Due to the color, most the staff was referring to it as  "Pepto Bismol" ice cream. Which was funny. 

As I was saying, as luck would have it, my phone was in another room and not nesting in my pocket so I missed my opportunity to gross you all out.

There will be other times.

And then Sinbad walks into our Bucket.

I see him and I walk around him and then I think to myself, "that looks like Sinbad." So I go to one of the cashiers and say, "He looks like Sinbad doesn't he?" and she agrees. He is on his phone, tall with red hair, very short, white runners, loose fitting clothes with an an animal print scarf laying casually over right shoulder. 

It was the scarf that  gave it away.

A very quiet riot detonated within moments. He was cool about it, letting people take his picture and then they sat him very quickly.

Everyone forgot about the Pepto Bismol ice cream.

Dang, I wish I had my phone to document my boring life.
I am getting my cracker barrel on at horn lake near south have. Now if you don't know what state this is....Well then it wasn't for you :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Getting My Hands Dirty

The Beginning May 8th
How long has it been? The last time I put my hands into some soil must have been spring of 2009 as I weeded my rose  garden in Indiana preparing to move yet again to a remote part of Kentucky. The lilac bush I had planted the year before was in bloom, the roses were doing well and the tulips had come and gone leaving me with a feeling as stripped and spent as their bare stalks, testaments to what once was and what shall rise again.

I was not going to go another summer without some fresh home grown by me tomatoes. And some eggplant and peppers thrown in. I have to find another area for the butternut, yellow and zucchini squash I love. The local Home Depot did not have these plants available so I will have to seek out a feed store. Lucky me.

Truly, lucky me.

I am also looking for a confederate jasmine plant.

My herbs sit waiting also. Sweet basil, peppermint (gotta have mint juleps, baby!) parsley some patchouli if I can find it.

The sun on my back, my hands filthy as I shunned gardening gloves this time around, my mind emptying of all the recent worries, traumas and dilemmas the day presented replaced by a humming of my soul, a melody that is ever present on the edges of my conscious, shoved to the last locked attic of my being let out only in times like this day, when it is calm and peaceful and stress has packed her bags.

Friday, May 04, 2012

The Bank Robbery

Last night I was told, “The older you become the more self absorbed you are!” This is added to a cache of “The older you become….”  allegations  that has come with more frequency as he changes and seems more needy and reliant on me!

First it was, “You’re mean!”

Then it became, “You are becoming intolerant!”

A few moments later I left the room, not in a huff, but under the pretense of having no interest in the Military Channel and the sudden urgency of cleaning up the kitchen before turning in for the night.

In all honesty I needed to mull over the accusation in private to test it’s validly. Was I really becoming more self absorbed? Or was it the fall out of his bad day?  A bad day triggers my reaction, which is to retreat and not  run the risk of stumbling in front of the Freight Train. He may see it as self absorbed but I know it as self preservation.

Yet, the remark had zapped me and the stinger hurt. Was I really becoming more self absorbed? Intolerant? Mean? Maybe so.

The other night one of the “girls” I work with told me she was diabetic. Since I am beginning to think I am diabetic I asked her how it came about.

I expected something along the lines of simplicity such as, “On an annual check –up” . What I got was a 10 minute history about her Dental office job, pissing some foreigner off, drinking a coca-cola, having a four pound tumor, the Doctor weighing 300 pounds and throwing back his head and laughing,  one of the blood clots bursting and soaking a chair……..I had to stop her there as I was beginning to get squeamish and the answer to my question was not even on the horizon yet! 

What was so bizarre about the whole thing was the entire time I was listening I barely heard her above the buzzing in my head. I was listening to an entirely different conversation presented to me by my sister in law about witnessing a bank robbery while eating at a restaurant across the street. “I had the roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy. Not as good as mine, I swear they use instant. X had the salmon. I think he is dieting. I ate some of it, it was pretty good. I looked out the window and said ‘X is that your bank being robbed?’. X said, ‘No Mama that’s just the police making a deposit.’ And I said, ‘it sure looks like they have their guns pulled’ and X said, ‘ My eye sight is better than yours and I don’t see any guns’ . Then we asked to talk to the chef and ……..”

No one can be more ponderous than that. Or so I thought until I  listened to the lumbering diabetic story thanking my lucky stars when she began to include blood so I could bow out before passing out. Literally.

So maybe, in all honestly, Joe is right. As we change as we grow older. Sometime for the better , sometimes not.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


My parents set exemplary examples for their children. The major standout, among many, was their generosity to others. It was not uncommon to have a bag of onions or a sack of potatoes laid at our back porch from the family that lived behind us. My Mom was always helping them out of a bind.

My sister had the brilliant idea of asking everyone invited to my parents 50th wedding anniversary to write some tribute or memory to be included in a large book she gave to them at the party. I was brought to tears reading the many letters of thanks for their benevolence and how they managed to change lives with their kindness.

Some of the best advice my Mom ever gave me was this, "Only lend money when you understand you are giving it away." 

I have a soft heart. I remember once asking my Mom what attributes she would assign to all us kids. Not that I remember what she said about the rest, but I have reflected ever since her assessment that I am the most compassionate of the lot.

When I am trapped at bottom of an off ramp within striking distance of a man (usually always a man) holding a sign stating "Have not eaten - please help" or “Will work for Food.” I will, most times, dig change from my ashtray and hand it over with this request, “Please do not buy alcohol with this” and one time, out of nowhere I handed over a $5 with this unsolicited advice, “Help Yourself!” I have no idea what came from! It just came roaring out of me from somewhere deep that also made me hand over that $5. 

The coolest person I know is my brother in law, K. You know about coolness, some intangible essence that lays on the surface. Cannot be defined, cannot be duplicated, nor can it be imitated. It is or it isn’t. K has it. My sister Omega told the story how K. gives away all their cash to these Down on Their Luck Vagabonds and tells her, “Omega, you never know who really needs it!”

It helps me accept the irresistible urge to give. I guess it is Divine Intervention.

And so, when I met this young couple who so eagerly wanted to rent our home in Indiana last fall and I was so eager to rent it, I shooed away my reservations and decided to give them a break and lease the house to them.

I have paid for my kindness and tender heart ever since. Bounced checks, unanswered text messages, tears (mine and theirs), late rent payments, no rent payments, registered letters and demands for payment have finally culminated into them telling me they are going to vacate the property!

So I sit here both relieved and alarmed – the usual. I just hope I find another Professor or another Mexican that pays on time and keeps me from having a nervous breakdown. 

Cheers from K