Sturm und drang. So throw me a donut.

Monday, April 29, 2013


What passes for spring in south Texas is a real learning experience. I could whine about how it's not like Washington and how much I miss having four seasons and low humidity; not to mention real mountains and the Pacific ocean just a few hours away from my old home...but I won't. I was told recently that to really appreciate Texas, I have to look at the ground.

Flower name unknown. I will have to get a wildflower book.

Right now, it is mild and there has been enough rain for the grass to turn green and the wildflowers to bloom. When I moved here last August, it was HOT, dry and brown. Only the trees had green leaves outside of the irrigated landscapes. Just a few weeks ago, the edges of the highways were just sprouting green and then boom! the wildflowers bloomed. 

Wildflowers are hopeless optimists. Every year they bloom and spread their seeds.
I used to live in a house on a hillside overlooking a tulip bulb farm in Washington. The first year I lived there, I was mesmerized with gazing over the explosion of yellows, reds and oranges from my deck. Sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee and my dogs on a Saturday morning, as the sun rose over the mountains to the east and flooded the tulip fields with soft, spring sun, was like a living vision of Monet. The heavy green of the woods, the purple and white foxgloves springing up on tall stalks and bursting with conical blooms, blooming blackberry vines, wild rose bushes, buttercups, daisies...and then on the valley floor row after row of vibrant colors. Doesn't everyone live like this?

I like to take blurry pictures with good form and play with them. Holding flowers up against the sky can show different details.  

I will have to look down, take my time and learn to appreciate subtler things. And learn to appreciate different things, like cotton fields and live oak trees. Trees that don't shed their leaves in the fall are disorienting... is looking down and seeing a cactus in bloom. The cactuses are fat and colorful from all the rain and cool weather. I can imagine them all thinking what a good deal this is as they store up water against the long, hot summer; like I have stored up my memories of a cooler, gentler place.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


I say ... and you think ... ?  This is a game from LunaNina that uses free association with words to have a little fun. Try it!
  1. Pork :: Bacon bacon bacon! Is there anything better than bacon?! I know, it's almost a cliche to love bacon...but I LOVE BACON.
  2. Work :: The necessary evil that pays the bills. I'm still looking for a job that doesn't feel like a job, that doesn't degenerate into a five-days-a-week obligation where I watch the clock sit at     2 p.m. for an eternity every afternoon. Don't get me wrong; I'm grateful and happy to have a job...I'd just like something better eventually.
  1. International :: If only I had a current passport.
  2. Board :: of directors? silly? Oh, no, that would be bored. Diving board, running board, skate board...
  3. Idea :: Yes. I have one. I'm saving it for tomorrow.
  4. Spinning :: In circles. Life is like that sometimes.
  5. Relations :: People I don't live near anymore. Maybe a few of them will visit...but Texas is a looong way from just about everywhere else in the U.S.
  6. Dresser :: I regret buying oak dressers for my bedroom. Beautiful but so heavy when we move.
  7. Poster :: Girl for inappropriate language today. Shit. I forgot to throw in another load of laundry...
  8. Inappropriate :: Saying shit. Or saying "shit."

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A little something

My father passed away on March 3rd, twenty six days before my 44th birthday. We were not close and we had not had a meaningful conversation in at least a decade. All sorts of stupid things got in the way and now all those things are completely meaningless. Now I have a mother who is trying to figure out what to do with the rest of her life since she no  longer has someone to take care of and share a home with. Will she finally reach out to me and salvage something of our relationship?

I should have demanded that my parents put aside all the junk and just be parents and grandparents. Regardless of what happened in the past, I was willing to just let things be and at least pretend things were okay enough to have a relationship with me, my husband and our children.

I think by saying that it was nothing personal to myself is a lie. I think by saying get over it is useless. And I think continuing to feel like I, as an adult, should just let the past be the past is both mature and myself.

I once had a professor in a writing class tell me that my mother was emotionally abusive. No one has ever said that to me. Is it true? That's the real question now that I'm left with the parent around whom all the mess of my feelings revolve.


In June of 2012, my father went to his doctor because of a sharp and unrelenting pain in his back. My father had a large aortic aneurysm that just happened to be pressing on a bundle of nerves. Surgery was scheduled for that afternoon and the aneurysm was fixed. However, my father caught a strep infection in the hospital. Before the infections was detected and treated, it attacked his heart and lungs and caused congestive heart failure. Well, that's the short explanation; throw in 30 years of smoking, too. This was a chain of horrible events that came out of nowhere. It would have been much kinder to just die of a burst aneurysm.

My husband and I went to visit my father in the hospital. It had been over ten years since I'd seen my parents, and it was awful, painful and awkward. What I saw was a stranger who sounded like my father but didn't look like the man I remembered. When I saw him make familiar gestures and use familiar phrases, it was both comforting and unreal. What I saw was a skeleton and a ghost of what my father had been. He had lost so much weight and looked so fragile and afraid in that hospital bed that it was hard for me to connect that physical person with my memories of my father.

Congestive heart failure is a terrible thing to endure. Slowly drowning is an unfathomably cruel fate. My father's death took nine months. Sorting out my regrets, my memories, and where I go from here will take much longer.