Violet Tears

Today was a sad day as well as a celebration. We lost one of our beloved choir members a little while ago very unexpectedly. She was an amazing person. So loved by so many. She went in for what was to be an easy procedure and had a stroke in the recovery period after the surgery. She was a member of our church choir with me. A soprano. She had a beautiful spirit and she really loved my daughter. At times I can still hear her voice. She had a certain way of looking over her glasses and asking me, “where’s my girl?” She called my daughter HER girl. I was more than happy to share my child with her.
Even now it is so hard to believe she is gone. She is though. I will always miss her dearly.
A few words that came to me this morning as I was getting ready for her memorial service today.

Violets fell from her eyes in a stream of flowing sadness. Her soul cried out in purple and lilac and blue. She had crossed the gossamer veil into invisibility. Only memories that cut to the quick remain. Memories, vivid now and tangible, that will eventually fade to sepia, with curled edges and forgotten dates. Death and Angels come shrouded in beautiful purple drapes but they follow us with aged, sepia eyes knowing this is the final goodbye.

violets

Left of Center

Angles a’jangle and elbows akimbo,
eyes and limbs askew.
A hem hanging down and a tilt-a-wheel hat,
defined all life that he knew.

Life was a cobblestone complete with a trip
On each and every third stone.
Storms with gale force winds was all he had ever known.

The wind whipped his umbrella backwards.
Rain danced familiarly on his head.
Life was left of center with elusive bits of brightness.
They sparkled in the labyrinth of his head.
—-
This bit of poetry sums up this week perfectly. It was full of unexpected things.

 

Reflections on Labor Day

This Labor Day was very laid back.  I had all sorts of good  intentions and mental  lists made but they were all  for naught.  The weekend ended up being quite a disorganized one.  Laundry did not get done.  Vacuuming did not get done,  Pulling out the recipe book and cooking every meal/over the 3 day weekend did nit get done either,

I rested over the weekend. I actually took naps to help catch up on some of my sleep deprivation.  I can tell a difference today.  Not so sleepy during the day.  I cooked some and ate out some.  That pile of laundry never got done  Instead I went gnome hunting with my daughter in Hampton Park.

Last week one of my coworkers was running in Hampton Park.  He saw a couple holding a gnome and reading a piece of paper, looking very puzzled.  He ran on. Then he saw a gnome tucked into a flower bed.  He ran on.  He passed the couple again walking with their gnome.  He passed the gnome in the flower bed again.  He passed that gnome three times and then he stopped and picked up the gnome.

Attached to the gnome was a note and entire backstory.  His name was Jolly and he needed a new home.  His nickname was Lee  and his favorite foods were popcorn and root beer.  After I told my daughter this tale we had to go gnome hunting.  And so we did. For two hours we looked. We did not find a gnome but it was the adventure of trying to find one that my daughter liked.

The only other wild and crazy thing I did was watch the Starbucks live feed for the birthing of pumpkin   spice latte.  It was a great marketing ploy, Fun too!  That was my weekend.  Fluid and unordered.

New Uses for Old Haunted Places

jailI read an article in the newspaper that the Old City Jail is in the process of being remodeled and turned into an office building.  That seems incredibly sad to me.  It is in the hands of a developer who is on the trail  of getting permission to do this.

How can this be?  This is Charleston’s most haunted building.  It is a place ripe with African American history for our region. Why can’t it be restored and preserved as an historical site.  It needs museum status. For this building to become an office building would be a travesty.

The jail, which was operational from 1802 until 1939, was the place were 10,000 people died from diseases, execution or injury.  There was a lot of injury.  It was the time of slavery in the south.  Some of our most famous and crazy prisoners were housed there.  Lavinia Fisher and her husband were there.  She was our first female serial killer.  She and husband used poison and a bed of stakes to kill their victims. Denmark Vessey and black soldiers were housed there.

And did I say already that it is haunted? The ghost of Lavinia Fisher is supposed to be there. People claimed to have seen her and heard her speak!  Things move, people see shadows moving, the rattling of chains can be heard and people on tour have been touched or scratched by unseen things.  There is a local tour company that gives a tour there. I have always wanted to go and but it off thinking they would be doing that tour forever.  I guess I really need to book it… and soon.  Progress waits for no man.

When I think about it being haunted, who would want to work there?  I do not think I would. I do want to go, take the tour and take pictures. I hope to get some interesting ghost pictures!  The souls of 10,000 were lost there.  It is not a place to go daily.  It is a place to pay homage to the dead.

 

Book Review: The Lioness of Morocco #amreading

51tgke+oUQL._SS300_I really loved this book by Julia Drosten.   I was wondering at first but it drew me right in. I am an adventurer so the Moroccan setting  and historical elements were right up my alley. I grew to really love and identify with all the characters. I just hate that it took so long for Sibylla and Andre to get together. There were a few awkward time jumps early on but the story line and back stories filled in the gaps. It was a story of the strength of women being able to overcome adversity and the lengths a mother will go to protect her children. It was a love story old as time that lasted a lifetime. It was also one in which good writing let us know that sexual things were happening without being course or vulgar. Very good book! Adventure, love, villains and culture all rolled into one great story!

Sunday Breeze

The day was sticky and warm with summer licking at the heels of spring.
Licking at its heels in an effort to push spring out before the birthing of spring flowers was complete.
The windows were down yet the wind outside was warm and fetid.
It lacked the slight hint of salt found near the local marshes.
It lacked the coolness that caressed my cheek as it blew in off the harbor.
It lacked the earthy perfume of pluff mud so frequently fraganting the low country air.
With the forward motion of the car, came the backwards motion of my hair.
Slicked back by the wind and removing any hint of curls, the wind blew through it like water running through a colander.
My car was not a convertible but if you closed your eyes and held your head just right, you could also think you were in one.
I sped my way to water.
I sped my way to the sea.
I sped my way to sea breezes, the only thing to comfort me.
I jumped out into a wind that was cooling and fresh.
The roar was constant in my ears at it blew in off the sea.
Sweat dried leaving salty patches on my skin.
The day ebbed and the sky grew dim.
The wind still blew and I basked in it.
Basked until I grew cold and wanted to go in.
Yet, I stayed and took the blowing wind in.
I stayed till the moon smiled at me.
I stayed till the goosebumps went away and my skin cooled to the touch.
I stayed till I memorized the sound of the wind in my ears.
I will need to sleep tonight, to relive the evening cool.
To relive the wind sweetly kissing my cheeks with faint wisps of salty brine.
My eyes will close and I will be adrift on waves of cool breezes.

A Week of Covfefe! #covfefe #amwriting

This week has been a doozy.  First of all I bracket it all with the new word that has swept the entire world…covfefe.  I needed this word and I’m glad it now exists through the ignorance of our president.  It fits so many things and can be applied in so may ways.

My Memorial Day weekend was low key.  Just what I needed.  I did make it to one Piccolo Spoleto event.  It was awesome.  It was the night performance in the Organ Recital Series.  Bach and Vivaldi….you can’t go wrong with my favorite classical composers.  Other outings were planned but did not materialize.  In its stead I stayed home and rested, cooked and clean up a bit. I also read books.  I finished four books over the weekend.   Sometimes staying home is the better option and it felt good.

Covfefe in all its infinite glory was released upon the world in a late night, rambling tweet.  I have tried to used it almost daily and it is always the right fit.  When I heard about the fact that the new administration has not named people for permanent positons for the head of FEMA or the NWS, I was just a little livid.  We live on the coast and hurricane season has officially started for our state.  If we have a major storm I can only see a trump disaster of covfefe proportions.

A small joy in my attempts at creativity has happened at work.  Two of my pictures of indigenous Mayan Indians that I took when I was in Guatemala were chosen to be part of an art exhibit called Face Off.  Seeing your work as part of a juried show is filled with glittery, happy covfefe!

When life is rolling along all of a sudden things can turn on a dime.  We go word that one of our students at work passed away.  Tragic for a young life to be silenced forever.  Prayers for that family and the friends who knew him.  That was a load of covfefe!

Then the whole Kathy Griffin bloody mask picture happened.  It sure has been a lot of to do about nothing.  Where was all the outrage and hate toward the people who did the same and even worse to President Obama?  Such double standards.

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You would think that covfefe was enough for one week.  NOOOooooo,  It was not!  We all learned that our country is now one of three countries who are not part of caring for our planet.  We  have been removed from the Paris Climate Accord.  No real reason.  Regardless of the words said, it seems the actions indicate that everything that Obama tried to do, trump is trying to undo.  His legacy will not be one of doing great things for America.  Instead it will be simply trying to undercut all things his predecessor did due to jealousy and racism.  That is no legacy.  America is now the laughing stock of the world.  Pure covfefe.

Comedy has marked the week as well.  It started off with lots of versions of the rompers for men.  What a craze!  I’ve seen rompers for gansta’ men, country men, medical professionals and others.  Just crazy.  Today I saw the next new thing for men.  Lace shorts!  Really!  No manly man will wear these.  This is just covfefe in its’ purest form.

lace

I just can’t.  Each day there is more covfefe.  I keep thinking that Washington will calm down and that what happened yesterday or the day before can  in no way be topped. I am wrong every time! Each day is a brand new day for Covfefe!

Book Review: The Vines #amreading #amwriting

vines

The Vines by Christopher Rice was quite a story. #amreading #amwriting #writerslife It was a yarn that stretched over centuries. When I think of all the horror books I have read there were similarities to others, like children of the Corn, The Plant and others. It was entertaining. It did keep my attention and the surprise at the end is the very last line. I will not give it away but it was a surprise! Nice ending , all tied up with a bow!

A Day in Contrast

What is Mother’s Day when you have a narcissistic, toxic parent?  It is not a pleasant day.  Growing up it was never pleasant.  Presents could be rejected as soon as you present them.  Cards and gifts remain unopened as they were deemed unworthy or not good enough.  It was not a pleasant day.  *Just an FYI, this did not just apply to Mother’s Day but all holidays involving presents.  Years ago I gave up on cards after being told for many years they were unwanted.  Still I bought them as it was the right thing to do.  My final straw was in 2007.  My card was rejected again.  They usually were left unopened on the coffee table with the other cards she opened from her favorite child or grandkids.

At that time I was not working and had little income so I had gone to Barnes and Nobel and picked out the best card I could find.  It cost me $8.00.  My thoughts were, if I cannot buy a big gift, then get the best card money could buy.  I did have money enough for a $25.00 gift certificate at a local salon where she got her brows done.  That gift card to this day has never been used.  $25.00 wasted.  That was the last time I threw money away.

When I became a parent that was never acknowledged. In fact, I was told repeatedly that she was the mother, the head of the family.  So Mother’s Days were her days.  That did not sit well with me at all.  I figured something like that would be happening but the very first mothers day I was expecting something.  After all, my child almost did not make it into this world, coming early at 7 months.  I had to move in with my parents for a little while because my child was so small and needed me to be there all the time. So,  I was not working for a while after she was born.

Nothing.  Not even a verbal recognition.  I realized what was happening so I went to the outside garden and clipped a few flowers and put then in a glass jar in my room.  It was a little gift to me.  My toxic parent did not like that…that I had clipped the flowers for my Mother’s Day.  I was with my parents because my husband and I were separated.  He decided he did not want a family anymore so nothing came from him either.  Regardless I was hoping he would do something.  I did confront him about that…no card. no acknowledgment my very first Mother’s Day. Nothing from anyone. It was a hard day and I tried to keep those feelings inside.  I” vowed that in the future they were be about me even if I had to treat myself to something.  That has worked well.  I have no expectations to be remembered on special days by anyone except my child.

Joy comes in the morning.  Joy in Mother’s Day came when my daughter became old enough to recognize me as her mother.  My joy comes from her.  I have cherished every hand made card, store bought card, gift and adventures we have gone on for Mother’s Day.  We have a wonderful time every year.  Today was no different.  I have been under the weather for the past 4 days..I lost my voice…cough…cold.  So today my plans to go out and do something did not happen.

My daughter made a wonderful, thoughtful video for me today.  It is about 7 minutes long and I had all the tears.  She told me all the things that make me a wonderful mother.  She even had examples from when she was a wee lass.  She makes me so proud and lets me know that I am special in her life and I have made a difference.  She recognizes the sacrifices I have made as her mother.  And those sacrifices have been so worth it!  Happy Mother’s Day to all.  It is very possible to keep the toxic people out of your life on special days.  They are not worthy of your time.  Do not let them steal one more minute of happiness from your soul!

Not all parents are good parents and we cannot pick which type we end up with.  If we have the toxic parent, set boundaries when you are strong enough to do so even if it means totally removing that person from your life.  Life it too short to be dealing with that drama and insanity.  Joy comes in the morning. Do not let anyone steal yours.

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