Friday, July 22, 2016

Watering Sticks........

How many times have you ever bought or received a flowering plant as a gift?  It's in full bloom, the flowers are at their peak.  Sometimes we enjoy them while they are looking good and put the effort in to keep them alive.  Other times due to our lack of interest they shrivel and die due to neglect.

Love and Relationships are very much like this.  As single people, our eye is captured by someone in bloom and we gravitate toward their beauty and fragrance.  We spend time and put in the effort to water and feed them, but eventually the bloom withers and dies.  Is the plant dead? No, but what attracted us to the plant is no longer visible. 

Those that are truly committed continue to take care of the plant, knowing that in time it will bloom again.  They know that care and attention will make the plant grow stronger and mature and it will put out even more blooms than each time before. 

One of the worst things a person could do in a relationship is neglect the basic necessities to sustain it.  Care and attention.   Sometimes when the neglect has gone on for awhile you are able to salvage what remains.  You dig in and really give it your all, and deep down there still life there nestled within the dirt just waiting for what it needs to bloom once again.

Other times, the neglect has gone on too long and no matter how much you try to water and feed the dead looking stick, it will forever be just that, a dead stick.

If you're lucky enough to have someone trust you with their heart, remember that even when it's  not visible, the bloom is there.  Don't neglect the life within.  Even when it just looks like a stick, continue to water and give it attention and soon it will bloom again.......



Monday, April 11, 2016

Talking Turkey



A couple of weeks ago I received the privilege of an invite to tag along on opening weekend of Turkey Season with The Man.

(I don't know why I've come to refer to him as The Man on my social media, I think it's because I desire to selfishly keep him to myself for as long as possible.)

I'd never been hunting before, fishing lots of times, but hunting no, so getting to go was kinda a big deal for me.  Much like having a baby, I didn't know what to expect and got far more than I anticipated out of the experience.

I knew The Man was skilled, I had seen the photo's of his kills.  What I didn't know was how knowledgeable he was and dedicated to learning as much as he could about his prey.  I also didn't realize how much this handsome and funny man appreciated the beauty and solitude that surrounded him each time he made his way onto the property he hunted on.  He 'd told me before how he loved it there, but to see it was something else altogether.

I've laughingly written a fb post about my weekend in the woods with the spider climbing toward my face and the joy (no joy) of finding a tick traversing it's way up the small of my back, but I saved the good stuff for here.  The real stuff.

I'd forgotten just how awesome it can be to simply sit in silence away from everything.  Sitting on the ground among the trees, pondering your surroundings.  Being still and silent.  Did you realize you can see light years away when you're still and silent?  You can feel the tree's breathing around you.

Going into the woods before dawn, before the creatures you recognize by sound are awake (I'm sure there were many awake, I just wasn't privy to it) makes you hyper aware of the type of walker that you are.  The Man and I are similar walkers in the woods, both of us careful where we step, mindful not to make noise.  He of course is much better at being in those woods than I am, and if there was a way to make his living hunting I am sure he would be all over it.

I wondered if I was going to be able to be still.  It didn't take me long to realize it was very easy, yet very hard at the same time.  You get so caught up in everything around you.  As the sun comes up, it slowly reveals so many layers of color and textures to the things we dismiss with a glance every day.

The sparkle of dew on the thousands of patches of spider webs on the ground looked like spun sugar glinting in the light.  The dew captured in the curve of a leaf, a tiny bubble that for all we know contains galaxies upon galaxies of life.  You get caught up in seeing it all, the hard part is not reaching out to touch, but instead to be invisible.

The Man told me turkey's have very keen eyesight and will immediately know if something looks out of place.  They are creatures of habit and are very familiar with their surroundings, so it is imperative to blend in.  I've never blended in in my life, so needless to say, I relied upon The Man to help me accomplish that task.  He made sure I was covered head to toe so as not to give myself away while at the same time he made sure that I was comfortable.  I would like to say he did this because he was being thoughtful and caring, but it was much more than that.

The Man knew that if I was not properly concealed, the chances of our seeing, much less killing our prey was gonna be zilch.  He wanted more than that, he wanted me to be able to see things from his angle.....literally.  There I was on the ground beside him, leaning against a tree, sitting on the cushion he provided so that I could remain as comfortable as possible, and at the same time I was able to see 180' easily.

I have to tell you if the only time you've seen a turkey is either on the side of the road as you go zipping by, or in November when you're in the grocery store shopping for Thanksgiving, then you've missed out.

As children we are given a coloring sheet in school and use our black, brown, blue and red crayons to color our birds.  Oh, how wrong we were.  Their feathers contain a hundred shades of brown alone, and the texture of their skin along their neck and head could never hope to be captured with a simple crayola.  If you want to see one up close, you'd better be able to lure him like a Siren's song luring a sailor to the rocks, they are wily creatures.

To sit and hear The Man call to them, and then hear them respond, I realized just how closely he sounded to the real bird.  This was very awesome indeed.  

The practice that goes into that is inspiring.  The desire to perfect that skill must drive him in the same way humor drives me to write.  You cannot help it, but nothing will do until you give it your time and attention.  You work it into your spare moments, your daily commute, and when you cut your grass. It was an incredible thing to witness.

Walking through the woods reminding me of all the things I'd forgotten I loved as a small kid when playing outside.  Of how strong nature can be when left to do it's thing.

A Young tree growing up and into a barbed wire fence,  covering the wire in layers of bark and pulling it up with it as it grows, the moss growing on the northernish side, hairy to the touch, has you reaching out to see if it really feels the way it looks.  

I see it and wonder what does it feel like to the tree to have that embedded into it's flesh.  Does it feel the tug of the wires or do the layers of overgrown bark coat the discomfort much like a grain of sand becomes a pearl inside an oyster.

The tiny leaves unfurling at the tip of each branch marking springtime, like little pointy fans at the fingertips of a tall and slender woman.  The sound of birds and squirrels skittering along in the piles of leaves all around become so common you almost don't hear them anymore.

Such a fantastic way to spend time, I can see why he is so passionate about it.  I know that all the sights and sounds sent my thoughts in a million directions, so many times I wanted to type a note in my phone about what I saw for future reference although it seemed sacrilegious to even have a phone out there to begin with.

The seasons change so very quickly even though it seems the time between the cold ones and the hot ones run at a snails pace when we are in the midst of them.  Cherish them all, don't just look at your surroundings, but see what is around you.

Be still. I promise you won't be disappointed when you take the time to appreciate all that you see.....

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Boogie Fever


Today I received this text from my oldest daughter Alex:

She is so used to my responses by now I'm shocked she even tells me anything anymore.

Alex, my oldest, the one who oozes maternal instinct.  The girl that everyone wanted to babysit their kids.  The babysitter of all babysitters who actually played with the kids she babysat.  They all loved her, and kids everywhere still love her.  It's amazing this child is actually the fruit of my loins.

Don't get me wrong, I love my children.  My children and the kids of a few close friends.  Your run o' the mill running amok in the grocery isle child, not so much.  I'm sure I will love my grandchildren...surely.

I don't think Alex truly understands the lifestyle change that occurs when a baby is brought home from the hospital.  Think about it, if you knew then what you know now....I'm just saying.  Hey Alex, peruse this list and reconsider now.....before it's too late ;-)

Things to consider before throwing caution to the wind and contraceptives out the window:

1.  Sleep:  Is it your friend or are you an insomniac?  If it's the latter, a baby will be a sure fire cure.  I can remember my mom always being strict about bedtime.  She would have been doing me a better favor teaching me how to stay awake for hours on end rather than trying to get me to get 8 hours sleep 7 days a week.

2.  Sex:  Do you have a voracious libido?  Hell, do you sex on the regular at all?  Let's call "regular" for childless couples 5-7 times a week.

If so, think twice, because as the Mom in the equation, not only will you be tired from every two hour feedings that first few weeks your hormones are shooting you the bird every chance they get, and you don't want to do anything but pass out anywhere you can and get a shower in peace.

Most of dad's favorite girl parts on mom will be sore, swollen or both.  She doesn't even want him to look at them hard.  Sad, but true.  The key is to get back to "getting busy" as soon as possible cause that kid is here to stay. 

Once your child gets older and is sleeping all night, they will have somehow gotten it into their little cherub heads that they need to sleep with mommy and daddy.....they're scared or sick with a tummy ache or insert plausible excuse here. 

It's a trick, don't fall for it.  They just want to take up every square inch of your king size bed while somehow simultaneously lying directly on top of you with one of their feet shoved in your mouth and the other in your arm pit.

When they are finally sleeping in their own beds the "snick" of your bedroom door closing and locking is like a silent alarm alerting them to come and pound on your door because God forbid anyone derive any pleasure that does not include them.

On those rare occasions when you forget to lock the door be prepared to stop (whatever it is you will tell your child you are doing) abruptly and act normally when you see your child leaning on the edge of your bed, chin propped in hands, and closely observing your performance.

3.  Snacks/Candy:  Do you enjoy the occasional (nightly)  snack cake, bowl of ice cream or sleeve of cookies?  Well, if you're wanting a kid you better learn to start liking the goodies nobody likes so you'll always have something to munch on.

You think I'm kidding?  The first time you slink past you child with a funny hitch to your gait because you are transporting contraband stuffed down the front of your pants to eat in the confines of your locked bathroom we'll see who's kidding.  Best learn to like prunes or fig newtons now so it won't be such a shock to your system.

I thought I had mine outsmarted when I started eating dark chocolate and then M & M came out with dark chocolate candies and the kids took a hankering to them.  There's just no winning.

4.  Your Stuff:  Buyer Beware!  The nanosecond a child crosses the threshold, "We just can't have nice things anymore" will become your mantra.  I'm certain this is how second hand stores came about.  Who wants to fork over their hard earned cash on furnishings that are just gonna end up with a red Kool Aid vomit stain or magic marker spots on it anyway?  Just cut out the middle man and purchase your items with a little wear and tear as part of the deal.  It will be less painful that way.

As your child grows older, and more (or less) responsible, they start to "borrow" your things.  Just go ahead and kiss your stuff goodbye.  It makes for less frustration in the long run.  You will discover that your children will have quite the champagne taste for things. Girls will sniff out your most expensive clothes, makeup and earrings and boys will use (lose) only the finest tools Craftsman has to offer.

So, what I am trying to say is this:  All the above is true.  Every syllable.  If you've managed for any length of time to dodge the baby bullet, bob and weave by golly, bob and weave!

If you just can't stand it, and nothing will do until you have a whole passel of youngin's running underfoot, then go for the gusto.  I had two myself and depending on the day of the week they are either the best thing that ever happened to me or the dumbest thing I ever let get out of hand.

Do what you want, everybody is gonna judge you anyway, so please add kids to the equation, and Sister Bertha Better Than You can tell you how you need to raise them.

Be sure to ignore her though.  They're your kids, you know whats best for them, unless you decide what's best is taking them to a bar or strip club.  If that's the case, then I would say; So you're the dumb-ass they had to make the sign for....

Alex, I know you're chomping at the bit to have babies, so here's to boogies, bad diapers and sleepless nights.  May the odds be ever in your favor......