Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gramma and Grandmother

Her name was Sylvia, she was my Mother's mother. I called her Gramma. We had a close bond while I was growing up. Many summers were spent with her, and Grampa, in their home in Tennessee.

Her name was Minne, she was my Father's mother. I never knew her. She died before my Father married. All I have are a few memories he shared.

Summers with Gramma always involved activities. She taught me to crochet one summer. That is a love I still have, a love for yarn. With the simple action of passing down a hobby, she started me on a life long love of fiber arts in all their forms.

I never got to know this other Grandmother. I grew up in the house she and my Grandfather finally settled into four years before her passing. Bits of her surrounded me there. Her rocking chair. Her cookbooks and kithchen utensils. I baked my first brownies with a recipe from one of her books.

My Gramma was always there when I needed her. After Grampa's retirement, they moved back to
Indiana. No more ten hour trips to Tennessee, she was practically around the corner. When I became pregnant at twenty-seven, and was looking at single motherhood, she offered which ever form of assistance I wanted. After I assured her I wanted this child, we dug out the crochet patterns for baby clothes. Giggling over the cute outfits we were going to make.

My other Grandmother didn't get the chance to meet her great-granddaughter. But that child also spent much time in the house where my Grandmother spent the end of her life. She baked her first cake from one of the old cookbooks.

My Gramma was full of fun and mischief. I still miss her, she passed away twenty three years ago. Looking back now, I realize how much more I could have learned.

I have moved back into the house that was my Grandmother's home. She left behind much more than a rocking chair and cookbooks. I have her collection of postcards, dated from the early 1900's until her death in 1952. I have books she read. I have letters from her family. I realize now how much more I can learn.

(This post covered two different prompts this week. WriteOnEdge and MamKat's Writers' Workshop.)

This week we asked you to write about a person from your past…but the story had to include YOU.

We gave you the starting point of “His/her name was _______, and looking back now, I realize….”

Mama’s Losin’ It the prompt I chose was to write my grandmother's story. I wrote little snippets of who they were

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eventually Dawn

This week’s assignment will require the fewest number of words ever: we want you to write a story – your choice of topic – as a tweet.

Soft pastels, muted further by early morning fog, silhouette sleepy pines with the promise of light.
The loneliest night is finally over.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Selfish Pain

This week we asked you to explore your worst memory.

He'd been through so much. Arthritis in his rear legs and hips. His front legs were beginning to show signs also. A neurological problem in his hips made his front legs have to do most of the support. 

He had an ongoing antibiotic resistant ear infection. The odor was awful, sickly sweet and rotten all at once. Ear washes and cocktails of meds. The infection would finally go away, only to return in another month. Along with the ear infection were fleshy growths that bled if he scratched too hard. 

He was fourteen, not young for a dog. Most of his teeth were gone. The problems in his hips meant his tail couldn't speak for him anymore. . The arthritis meds were supplemented with pain pills. He slept more and more. 

One day he refused to take the pills. No matter how we tried to give them. He wasn't tricked by food around them. We couldn't force his jaws open to push them down. As pained and frail as he'd become, his stubborn streak was still strong. 

For two night we were awakened by his barking. I'd go into the other room to see what was bothering him. He'd be gazing past me at something I couldn't see. 

The second night I sat up with him until morning. At 7:30am I made the call. Choking through tears I explained that it was time.  The receptionist at the vet's office was sympathetic, asked if I was sure. I was. The appointment was made. 

It was fast and painless. For him. I knew it was the right thing to do. Selfishness had kept him in pain too long. 

I am a cat person.  But cats have their own agenda. They come and go as they please. 

Ari, my Shih Tzu was often underfoot.  Following me from room to room.  There is still, two years later an empty spot in my heart.  And an empty spot at my feet. 

                     * * * * * * *
It's been two years and i still miss him. We did adopt a troubled dog last year. I try not to compare. It's hard still. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Parallel Paths

The trip home from the Circle of Seven Trees...

They had to leave immediately.  Every moment spent amid the seven trees meant about ten minutes passing in the human world. It seemed small, but became hours quickly.

"I'm going on ahead with Barry, Mother. We'll get home faster."  Lyabet was in a hurry now. "I'll look for you by the oak"

Tam laughed at her daughter, "I'll be waiting when you get there, 'Bet. Just because you slog through earth doesn't mean I do. I could teach you a few tricks there!"

"Another day I think. Right now I'll travel the way I know. And Barry needs to start learning the ways."  Lyabet began let her physical body "thin", she encouraged her young son to do the same.  She felt the air begin to flow through her as her body lightened. Barry followed his mother's example and they began to rise.

"Just stay within my space, Barry, I'll carry you home." She read the breezes like a roadmap. This one lead here, that one there. When a strong gust going her way came close, she melded herself to it.

She loved the air, the feel within her being. The freedom from weight and gravity. Her senses expanded as she became one with the breeze. She could see for miles, heard the musical voices of others of her kind. She felt the wind in her soul.

As she flowed from gust to cloud to summer breeze, she suddenly became aware of another presence in the air. Following her path, sharing her space.


Too late she recognized the presence with her. They were already home.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Your assignment this week was to write about a time when you knew something in your life had to change drastically. We asked you to describe the moment you realized you had to make the decision and to use this as an opportunity to work on “show not tell.”

I wasn't me anymore.  I had shed my likes, my humor, my friends.  I wriggled out of the skin I'd worn all my life to please someone else.  I adjusted my personality to fit what I thought was required.  I lost the most important pieces of myself.  The things that made me me.

When all of that wasn't enough, when the verbal and emotional attacks finally became physical, I knew things needed to change.  The necessary steps were taken, the counseling, the learning on both parts to understand the power and control monster.  Change began to happen. 

It has been an excruciatingly slow process.  Finding the bits and pieces of me that were cast aside, or shelved. Trying to put them back together the way they came out.  The new me, isn't the same as the original.  There are hairline cracks in the surface where some parts were glued in hastily.  A few chips here and there where all the shards weren't found.  Some pieces still linger on shelves, waiting for another step, a better time to be added.

Things have changed, but the scars are still visible.  The trust was broken, I think it will take a bit longer to finish the reassembly.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

turn it

talk talk talk
it's not all about you
imagined or not
do not give you the right
to close your mind
to regress
to cease to function
suck it up
get over it
move on
direct your emotions
into positive action
don't nurture the anger
spend it
on building beauty