Thursday, September 18, 2014

A World of Woes

Labor Day. The Bravada died at 237,000 miles. We waited four hours for a wrecker. Usually AAA is great. This day we were west of Batesville. A wrecker company called from Tupelo. Where we were? They were at Pear Rd. Never heard of it. I let AAA know that hauler would be driving 200 miles. They found one closer. When they unloaded it, Buckshot jumped out of the car. The two young men jumped out of the hauler to help round him up. JB left my door open and quietly rode around the lot until Buckshot jumped in. He'll go anywhere with Dad.

The Bravada rests quietly in our backyard. But all has not been well in the neighborhood. Last Thursday night, a pack of four large dogs mangled our housecat. Schatzie had his claws and was street smart, but he was no match for a pack of jaws. Our neighbors heard the ruckus and ran to the door. He shooed them away and found Schatzie unable to move. He quietly left him at our front door. It grieves me we didn't hear it. Fri.morning Dad heard him. Something wasn't right. He always came to the side door. He couldn't move his back legs. There were three wounds on his sides. I laid on the floor with him and gently stroked him until we could get him to the vet.

Schatzie had a puncture wound where a dog had bitten him over his back and two more wounds. Per Dr. Landess, he has had other mangled cats brought in. "The dogs are packing." Schatzie would be paralyzed, He was the gentlest, quietest kitty for the eleven years we had him. I can't write this without tears. I held him when Doc put him to sleep.

Schatzie was a rescue kitty from the Omaha Humane Society in NE. When Krysia went to find another cat, Schatzie adopted her. He didn't ask for much. Science Diet soft chicken cat food was his favorite, and occasionally tuna. Give him a scratch, a brushing, and a quiet, secret place to nap, and he was happy. He often curled up on a kitchen chair.

Memorial Day 2012, Buckshot alerted me to black cat on the drive. I thought it was just a stray. Buckshot knew something was wrong. It was the first time I heard him bark and growl. I looked and it was a panther with his sights on Schatzie. I opened the back door and Schatzie shot in. He rewarded Buckshot by leaving him a little catfood on his plate every day.

Madchen is our other Maine Coon Mix from the same Humane Society. Schatzie was black and tan. She is orange with a white ruff, about 20 lbs. and looks like a Norwegian Snow Cat. It was love at first sight. They snuggled together and groomed each other. I saw her put her paw across his back and lick out his ear. He squirmed, but she held him tight. Yes, she was the bossy one. Now she's the lonely one that sleeps close to me.

We buried Schatzie overlooking the Mississippi River, and left a sizeable rock to mark his grave.

I wrote a letter to the editor of the Press Register in Clarksdale. The vet said other people had brought in dog-mangled cats. "They're packing," he said referring to the dogs. The neighbor ID'd two of them we're familiar with. I wrote that we are concerned for other small or leashed animals, children and adults. We have a lot of runners and walkers in town. We hope the dogs are caught and taken to the Shelter. Madchen doesn't go out at night anymore, neither does Buckshot leashed. We look around before we leave the house.

I ache for Schatzie. Maybe we were supposed to sleep through it. We might have run out and been mangled, too. So much for life in Clarksdale, MS where we have more than gangs to worry about.

2014 Red Convertible Travel Series

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Her Heart Was Aimed Towards Me

     There wasn't a time in my life when I didn't know the Miners family. Bill and I were Cradle Roll babies at the First Presbyterian Church. We graduated from high school the same year. Leonard plowed Nadine's garden and brought them fresh fall mushrooms. Over the decades, plates of cookies, garden produce and other goodies were delivered back and forth. Our support for one another is without end.
     Intelligent and well read, they knew Shakespeare as if he were their next door neighbor. They studied and conversed about everything and anything. 
     Nancy is the last of the living. The rest are as near as her next thought. She said, "We genuinely liked each other. We had different ideas. We debated, but we didn't fight. We were always there for each other."
     "When I was small and overly shy, I was invited to a neighbor girl's birthday party. Two other friends were there, but they wouldn't talk to me. I guess they already knew each other. I stood at a distance. The phone rang. The Birthday girl handed it to me.
     "Nancy, are you having a good time?" Mom asked.
     She couldn't see my head shake. "No," I whispered into the phone.
     "My heart is aimed towards you, Honey. It will be okay."
     I broke out in a smile. Mom, the foundation of everlasting arms took time to check on me. Her love is the kind that is there all the time, goes all the way, always, all ways. No conditions. No clock. No yardstick. No count-it-out. All loving you for you. Carried all the way 100%.
     "Thank you for thinking of me." I hung up confident I could fit in, and I did.

8-23-14 Red Convertible Travel Series  



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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Dear Robin Williams,

Thank you for your contribution to life. You touched many hearts with your wit and wisdom, and will continue to do so. You could be counted on to entertain and at the same time, inspire. I love your movies and interviews and you.

By now I suspect you know you have changed form, but your life has not skipped a beat. I do not judge you. I wish you Grace and Peace.

My family has first-hand experience with the thief Parkinsons. It was a minimal tremor in the beginning. Grandma reached for a glass of water and knocked it over. One accident was nothing. But they happened more often. Broken dishes. Dropped silverware and knives. She cut herself more often. When the head shaking started, she lost her spark. The thief held her hostage and tightened the noose on her independence. Depression moved in and overtook her from time to time. She went from a vibrant, hard working woman to being dependent. 

Grandma Mae, my namesake, could no longer live alone. Unable to coordinate a spoon or hold a glass, she lived with my parents and with us. We hand fed her. Applesauce was her favorite. She liked to go for a slow ride. We took her. Her food had to be chopped fine. A survivor of Quinsy, but it left pockets in her throat that caused choking.

She died with P more than ten years later. We lost her twice. Once when the disease advanced and when she died, but we were grateful she was out of P's grip. 

Robin you will always be a part of us. Love connects hearts 

Whole Wheat love,


P.S.I didn't make this heart. It was in the loaf I bought.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Ruland Junction Toy Train Museum

 Tracks run all the way
around the room
see them in action

I have never seen
so much
 toy train memorabilia
in on place

Grandpa Williamson 
would be in
hog heaven

Father, Big Ed Ruland
Sons, Wayne and Gary
have collected for decades
it's for us, 
the visitor,
to enjoy now.

Corner of 12th & Walnut Sts.
Heber Springs, AR 72543
Fri, Sat, Sun
Adults $5
Kids under 13 $2.50
Group tours by appt.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

I give you my heart

I didn't do this. 
I found it.
Another heart 
in a mysterious place.
Peanut butter will stick
forget the jelly

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Sassafras Anyone

This is a Sassafras branch. An Arkansas man with Indian ancestry walked into the woods and brought it back for us. Notice the three kinds of leaves on a single stem, right to left: the mitten, three pointed leaf and a single leaf. Repeat. Repeat.
I have a sassafras twig in my purse. It reminds me of old Western movies where a youngster comes in and can’t order liquor. “I’ll have a sassafras, please.” It gives root beer its flavor.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

How to Tree a Boat

“Do you want to go fishing?” man-of-the-house asks.

Not really. I can do without a gazillion mosquitoes and humidity so thick it soaks through my everything. Welcome to the Deep South. I groan and try to think of an acceptable excuse: I’m sick; I have a deadline; I have someplace to go. Guilt overrides. You should spend time together. What if this is your last day? But I’m a Lucille Ball-type klutz.

To say I am not water savvy is an understatement. Our last jaunt, I tilted the boat within a fraction of dumping us into DeSoto Lake. I didn't hand him the right gear. I couldn't get over the seats without stumbling. And the list goes on. I was so inept I earned, “The most failures” award.

He keeps trying. “Bring your book. I’ll put in a lawn chair for you.
Buckshot, let’s go." The guys are off to the truck. Buckshot follows two steps behind at the exact same pace. He’ll even wait to eat when he does, no matter how late in the day it is. They give and receive love and loyalty.

I did what I did not want to do. I got into the truck with that something-dreadful-will-happen-feeling in my gut. Buckshot rode shotgun while I clutched my coveted bag of mosquito repellent, reading material, paper, and pens. I prayed. I prayed hoping I would have a sufficient balance in my “prayed ahead” account.

Scene 2: At a bar pit, small lake, the m-o-t-h says “Mules were the muscle used to haul the earth out to build the dam. The MS River gladly filled them in.” He hands me the boat rope. “Don’t let it get away.

I worry I’ll mess up.

The shallow water is carpeted inches thick with green algae. He backs the boat trailer into the lake, but the boat won’t float off. The rear wheels of the truck are submerged a good 18”. He wades in over his knees and shoves. The boat moves enough to float. “Don’t let it get away."

My stomach is traveling to my throat. My mouth is dry. I'm sweating bullets.

The 16 year-old Bravada eases up the bank. The stern turns toward the bank. I am powerless. “STOP!!!!” He can't hear me over the motor. The trailer wheel catches the boat and shoves it up on the bank. It will take two men to extract it from the trees and launch it.

I'm sick I wasn't prayed up. 

He thinks he’s home free, gets out, and sees the damage. He turns his back on the situation and does a perfect and sincere Philo Bedo imitation, "Why me Lord."

Upset beyond words, he glares at me. “Why didn't you let go of the rope? I could have waded out and caught it.”

2014 Red Convertible Travel Series

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Thoughts for Fathers for Father's Day

Kinds of fathers 
loving, kind, 
happy, strong, 
weak, mean

Their childhood
molded them 
What will Baby 

The father holds his newborn
Speechless, overcome with joy
the responsibility seems staggering
I can't do this 

In his arms their bond is forged
deep, everlasting
Protectiveness rises in him
Gentleness flows from him

Baby trusts him
asleep in his arms
He memorizes baby's lashes,
the all-over scent of Johnson's

Child of my heart
You are the new and improved version
of your mother and I
Be all you can be

Father's option
a choice of the reputation
he gives his child
to live up to

The process is subtle
Not just Father's words,
his thoughts, too
Baby believes he's right

Whatever is thought or said
by the bed of a sleeping child,
he or she will become

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