Thursday, January 8, 2015

It is four a.m. and I am awake, again and blogging on a space where I didn't think I'd ever blog again and where I may never blog again, but one never knows. 

Quite a few things have occurred since my last post.
I lived in Delaware and worked in Maryland for six months. During that time I visited many State Capitols, saw two Frank Lloyd Wright houses, visited my mom's cousin Eric in Pennsylvania, traveled and saw many different things, went to NYC multiple times and flew my sons into  NYC (LaGuardia) where we spent a few nights before taking the bus back to Newark and then driving home via Washington, D.C..

Last March, during a lull in work and during spring break, Ray and I drove to Moab, Utah for hiking and bicycling. It was a wonderful get away. Upon my return I packed and drove to Phoenix where the first thing I did was hike the Cholla Trail. In Arizona I ended up living in Scottsdale. I loved Scottsdale, loved the place where I lived, enjoyed my work and got a little bit of confidence back (thanks to the wonderful charge nurses, co-workers, managers and others who believed in me)...but in the end it wasn't home.

In August I returned.
Life has changed and I have learned many things and perhaps, I too have changed.

Take care with whatever you do and know that what others think of you is never as important as what you think of yourself.

Monday, August 5, 2013

strange comforts

This past weekend I drove to the farm, not to work but to attend the wedding of a school-friend's daughter. I have known her (the mother of the bride) since grade-school. There are four of us that go back...well, forty-five years in our friendships. We grew up together. Married or didn't marry directly out of high school. Went to college. Traveled the world. Lived in different countries. And ended up back here. Home.

The day after the wedding was overcast, dreary and I had purposely little to do, so drove up to Tina and Tracy's house. They live in a large, one might say, sprawling ranch house on a piece of small, neat acreage. Tracy and I sat in the living room watching back to back episodes of Duck Dynasty while Tina put together what would be their supper. They were having guests and invited me to stay, "Nah...but thanks!" I said, "Mom's expecting me back." And she was.
The rain fell steadily while we watched Duck Dynasty, making our own commentary. Periodically I would wander into the kitchen and talk with my old friend before returning to the living room to visit with her husband and play with her lap dog.
Tina is one of those women, gorgeous, always gorgeous, still gorgeous with blown out blonde hair, thin-thin, not an ounce of fat. The plus is that she is and has always been a good friend. When my father died there they were, Tina, Lila and Kathy, at the visitation, near the casket. If it had not been for them I would not have been able to walk into the visitation area. Their presence helped keep my mind off why we were there.

As the afternoon wore on, the rain ceased and so we got up and went out to the area where they keep goats. My whole reason for the visit, really, was to see the goats, to ask questions, to get some answers. The goats were separated, the mothers from the kids. The mothers were in a pen on the left, the kids were on the right, and in their own smaller fenced off area were two males. One which was to be sold and the other, well apparently, the new breeder.
We walked through a dirt floored, metal barn and stepped out under an overhang. There, on either side of us were the goats. Strewn about, under the overhang, was straw, put there for the goats to lay on, although they seemed just as comfortable on the roof of a smaller building. One goat put her front "feet" on a gait and stretched toward us as if to say, "Hello".
The goats had names. Most had names. They were breeding and selling and moving them. "Why goats?" I asked. "Because I don't have enough acreage for cows." Tracy said. "Hm"..I responded before launching into five hundred and one questions on goats.
As we talked the smells of livestock in a barn, reminders of youth, reached out to comfort me.

Monday, July 22, 2013

a return home

The drive back to St. Louis took two days from Brownsville with a quick overnight in Corpus, then a stop the next day in San Antonio and lunch in Austin (Texas, of course). We drove as long and as far as we could that first full day. Don had said that he would come down and help me drive back...ergh. No. Thank you anyway. Instead I flew my older sister down from the 'Lou, picked her up at the small airport in Harlingen (sp?) and then drove out to the Island, that would be South Padre, where we ate a wonderful lunch before driving north to one of my favorite beach access points. The day was gray and windy. We walked barefoot from the car and picked up shells.

The drive across North Texas, through Dallas and up into Oklahoma passed without much drama. The RV got pretty darn good gas mileage and always started. It was late when we stopped that second night. The sun had set, it was dark and we were both tired. Once we found a good, and cheap (!) little park, somewhere north of Dallas, we pulled in and I set up camp. Setting up camp for an RV takes no time. After that we settled in and began the next day's drive before the camp office opened. I put the cash owed into an envelope and off we went.

Miles and miles can go by without much notice, lunch was late and taken in Joplin, at Panera. How lovely it was to finally reach the outskirts, the southern reaches, of the suburbs of St. Louis. There was still light in the sky when I pulled the RV into my younger sister's driveway to park, for a long, long time...


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Random cousin pics

Lawrence, so cute, five years old (Art's).
Stewart. Ten(?). Loves to golf. Works hard at school. (Art's)

Hallie. Mom of Gennie. Sig-other, John. Bargain shopper. (Linda's)
Adam. Mechanic. Very knowledgeable. (Linda's)

Audrey (l.), runner, swimmer,  fashionista(Art's) . Ellie (r.) gymnast, loves crafting, loves dolls  Amanda.)

l-r. Karen, English, teacher, married to Brian. Newlyweds/ Victoria. Works at Cheddar's. Loves music and nature. (Brain's). / Hallie (see above).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Old In-Laws (August 2012)

I love my ex-in laws and feel fortunate to still have the chance to see them and visit with them occaisionally.
Before Dylan left for Guam we swung through for a quick visit with Berneice and Paul (the kid's grandparents, of course) in Troy, Mo.

Elliot in his car seat.

The boys and their dad.

Ray with full-on bed-head.
Dylan with Grandma and Grandpa Koenig

"I love my boys"...and they love her.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Re-visiting August

August 5, 2012 The family got together.
Mom and Rose drove over from St. Joseph. Five hours.
Art and Linda and Brian along with his new wife and his three youngest children were there along with other nieces and nephews of varying ages.
It was before Dylan flew to Guam.
We fixed spare ribs and many, many vegetarian dishes..or, I fixed many dishes. Linda brought a fruit salad and everyone else showed up. Which was the requisite.
It was Dylan's going away party.

Hallie, Karen, Victoria

Two nieces and a new sister-in-law!

Genevieve on the tramp-o-line!
the group in Amanda and Clayton's back yard
Elliot and Gennie on the trampoline

l-r Aaron, Nathan, Dylan

Cousins, cousins..

two youngest sons and their grandmother

The day ended beautifully. My favorite pic of Ray and Dylan...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fort Worth and the show...

On Friday I drove to Fort Worth for a show and
checked into a downtown hotel..

The place was older, a little down-in-the-mouth, but inexpensive and clean.

The showers had fantastic water pressure and abundant hot water, which felt great after the drive.

The hotel was an easy walk to the Bass Performance Hall. If you have never been there let me just tell you that it is something.

Throughout the Hall there are architectural gestures to older Fort Worth and to the many Art Deco buildings.

It is lovely and...
the place was decked out for Christmas

(one of the many Christmas trees)

Before the performance and after picking up my ticket, I walked into the Barnes and Noble across the street and enjoyed a read on the second floor, which led to a book purchase, a latte and the killing of some time.
How can you kill time and not injure eternity?...Ah easily, with a good book.

an unfortunately fuzzy picture..I blame the camera AND my poor skills :)
The show on Friday was Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain, talking!...sigh...
it was wonderful. I thought it was wonderful, but then I think they are both. just. marvelous.
Once they left the stage, the house lights went up. The audience stood up en-masse and like cattle, exited the auditorium.

The beauty of staying at a downtown hotel is that you can wander (walk casually) back to the hotel room,  taking pictures of the already hung Christmas lights, before changing into night-clothes and settling in bed for a good read and sleep.
zzzzzz. The end to a nearly perfect day!