Monthly Archives: August 2009

Everything You Need to Know, You Learn in Kindergarten

“Hey Mom! D’you wanna know about the song we sing in Ms. Picco’s class?”

“well, of course I do. Tell me all about it”

*clears throat. begins singing*

“Sit down, sit down, everybody sit down…”

*smiles. sniffs. continues. with hand gestures.*

“Not on the ceiling, not on the door, not on people…”

*trails off… pauses.”

“Does it finish with ‘on the floor’ baby?”

“Um… oh, yah…’ but on the floor!'”

*laughs*

“Mom?”

“Yes, love?”

“D’you know what it says in the song?”

*begins again*

“Sit down, sit down, everybody sit down.
Not on the ceiling, not on the door, not on people’s butts,
on the floor!”

*laughs maniacally*

“It says that Mom. It says that really. It really, really does.”

*no reply. Mom can’t stop snorting*

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Defining Moments

I have no recollection of a first meet. But I can imagine the impression ran along the lines of the impressions that remain.  He was an old man, by my 20 year old standards, nearer to his 70th birthday than any other. Graying hair, wizened  tanned skin, well worn lines of worry, happiness, angst, love, knowledge worn in pathways on his face. His eyes sparkled, that’s surely true.  His clothing was that of the retired gentleman rancher, his current passion. Plaid shirt, tatty denims, manure caked shoes, a hat on his head. Not a stetson as you might imagine, but a stained and worn baseball cap. Perhaps his wife complained of farm smell or dirty shoe tracks, but me, I found it charming indeed. Here was a man who knew the power of a hard day’s work, the strength of character that comes from following through, the joy of having a passionate hobby. 

This man I would soon learn to call Grandpa.

My husband’s father’s father was a reserved and quiet man. Making assumptions now I might call him an introvert. He kept his thoughts in his head but his words, once spoken, were always kind.

I have great memories of him.

Such as the road trip he and I took from Southern Utah to the northern parts of the state. I don’t remember much about the reasons why we climbed into a car together but I do remember the hours of conversation on the road. We spoke about love and family, about music, about  life and loss. His loss in particular was a running thread in our exchange, shuttling back and forth our impressions and stories of remembrance of his wife, Lucille, who had just weeks before said her goodbyes and slipped away from him into death. The words and memories creating pictures, he weaved the tales seamlessly together as we listened to cassette tapes in the car stereo of her favorite music.  20-something me and 60-something him laughed and cried together over tales of the woman he loved and I barely knew. 20 years on now I recognize my own loss in losing her so early. My path into education may well have been coached along by this long time, caring, well-adored school teacher whom Grandpa loved to distraction.

There is also the moment in time when a calf born early on a cold Utah  Christmas eve day caught the eye and attention of this compassionate man. As he rallied the team of grandkids and son to try and save this newborn, it was impossible to miss the love he had for his hobby and for this creature of earth. This rescue mission included a trip home in the back of the pickup to warm the calf up in a bath. We petted and patted and worked to warm the body of  Grandpa’s baby so he could take her back to the mother at the ranch. He called her Eve.

Past the ranching, there were other passions. A deep need and desire to trace the roots of his family back to the beginning of time; a love to travel the world and share his faith with others; a project to visit  each of the cities holding the temples of his religion which he held dear.  And through it all, all these 20-something years I’ve known  him, all the 90-something years of his life, I believe there was one motivating passion which fueled his every move.

And at the heart of it, that’s all there is.

Love.

We lost a gentleman today, true to his core, a gentle man.

I love you, Grandpa.

I remember you.

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Under the Wire

If I were to confess here my all-time favorite  blogs I read, or perhaps my favorite bloggers, or better yet, my favorite people in the world you would find a recurring entry on each list.  She keeps vigil at My Mommy’s Place. Her name is Leslie. She’s not just an amazing writer, an exceptional mother, a caring friend, and a fantastic human being, she is also a most skilled haiku writer. Can that be verb-ified? She’s a haikuer par excellence. Seriously, no kidding. I’ve never known anyone who can convey as much in so few syllables. 

Leslie runs a  contest a couple of times each year called The Haiku Buckaroo wherein she invites bloggers and non-bloggers  alike to get their haiku on with her and enter the competition for the title.

If you’ve spent anytime reading me at the old place, you know I like to haiku too. You’ll also remember that I’ve been vying for that winning title every. damn. time. she. runs. this. contest.

So, I can’t let this opportunity pass without throwing my mish-mash of 17 syllables in.  Because, seriously, I want that mug.

If you’re at all inclined (Brillig, I KNOW you want a piece of this) then hurry, hurry, hurry and enter too. You’ll find details at the ever lovely, vivacious, talented, wonderfully sexy, totally terrific Leslie’s blog. But don’t take my word for it that she’s all that, go read her and see for yourself. You’ll be a fan. (but, uh, not her #1 fan, because that’s me)

Trust me on this.

 
*****
It’s not forgetting
more like misremembering
Pay speeding ticket!
******
Little hands in paint
Drop cloths like Pollack paintings
Color for his room
*****
my old memories;
not misty water colored
but precious. crisp. fresh.
*****
there is a something
unamed, unearthly, unknown
connecting us here
*****
He can count to ten
and onward to seventeen
but fourteen’s said twice
*****
match made in heaven
teenager plus new x-box
true love forever
*****
Re-patriating-
this country no longer mine
was I gone too long?
*****
I adore my man
He tells me he adores me
I like that in him
*****
Haiku for contest
I am drumming my fingers
and counting it out
*****
Bright in my garden
the nightly dancing faeries
fireflies alight

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The Road Totally Traveled

I’ve never had much of a musical style. To say eclectic would be the  closest thing to accurate in describing my tastes. And my collection? Across the spectrum. Don’t be sad, that even includes country tunes and artists. As a teenager I was a throwback in my musical choices, listening almost solely to the artists whose hits preceded my day by at least a decade if not two. Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Joan Baez, Chris Williamson. These are among those who shaped my thoughts and wooed my troubled teenage mind. I get funny looks from friends and others when they sing out the songs that everyone of my age group seems to know and have fond memories of (including knowing all the words) when I am stopped short of being able to name the artist, let alone the tune. But ask me to sing the entire flipside of the Tapestry album and I am totally there.

This is not to say I am a complete misfit to my generation. I can identify now with what plays on “classics” radio and am upping my game by keeping up with the taste and style of two in-house teenagers.  I am not wholly a lost cause but here it should be stated that the oldies are still my goodies. Even the forgotten oldies like this that I tripped across the other day (Yes, whilst googling myself). I giggled with happy memories of hanging with the boy that loved this band then looked up lyrics and giggled again. It’s a bit of an anthem for this return of ours, not entirely poetically accurate, but still worthy of relating and posting. And really, for the launch back to Music Monday hosted by Soccer Mom in Denial, could it get any better than having a song with the same title as my blog? I ask you.

And now I share.

 

I’ve been gone so long
I’ve lost count of the years
Well, I sang some sad songs,
Oh yes, and cried some bad tears

Look out! I’m comin’
Whoa, yeah

I’m runnin’,
Findin’ my way back home
I’m findin’ my way back home
Well, Ive had it for now,
Livin’ on the road
Ooh, yeah
Ooh, yeah
RUSH: Finding My Way

Words and music by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson 19freakin’75

More Music Monday posts can be played by clicking here.

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