2009/09/24

Piper Down! Piper Down!

DaGoddess @ 07:18

Gmail seems to be hiccupping at the moment. I had stuff to send out. I cannot do so at the moment. Forgive me.

In the meantime, be prepared. There’s another post later.

Now my sore throat, aching ears, and dizzy head are going back to bed.

Mary Anne

DaGoddess @ 04:00

I never thought I’d have to go to Alaska to find Mike Mulligan’s steam shovel. But I did. I always imagined Popperville was closer to New York.

Mary Anne

2009/09/23

PROMPTuesday #74: A Day in The Life – Simon’s World

DaGoddess @ 04:51

The anti-assignment* begins like this:

Simon was angry. He didn’t understand why everyone was laughing…at him. At least, that’s what he thought. It ruined his song and his dance, which he thought was quite charming. It wasn’t often that he felt like singing and dancing anyway, but when the urge came upon him he figured he should be allowed to let loose. After all, if you can’t bring a little music into the world when you’re 89, when can you?

When he was a younger man, Si (as those closest to him often called him) had performed semi-professionally. He knew all the words to all the popular tunes of the day (and there were many “days” in there), occasionally picking up gigs with the big bands as they landed in town minus a singer. His subtle, but nevertheless strong voice was always true and clear. More than a few women had swooned when he took the stage with his dapper suit, slicked back hair, and his fancy footwork. Only one of those women caught his eye. Dearlie wasn’t the prettiest girl, nor the the best dancer on the floor, but she had a light deep within that would shine when she smiled. More often than not, he escalated his antics onstage just to see that smile. Between sets, he’d mingle, always making an effort to mingle wherever she was.

It took two years of late nights in clubs before Dearlie and Si had their first kiss. It only took another two weeks for them to get married after that. They knew, though. He sang and she appeared. His mingling took him closer and closer to her and they gently flirted, became friends, and before anyone could speculate, it was a done deal.

When Dearlie died three years ago, the light went out of Si’s world. Gone was his love, his light, his life. She was the reason he awoke each morning with a smile on his face and a song in his heart, a spring in his step. There were some mornings, while she was still alive when they’d dance their way to the kitchen, around the table, into the living room, and back to the table, where they’d sing their grace to their food. But when she died, getting up in the morning seemed pointless to Si. His daughter tried to convince him otherwise. So did his grandchildren.

Darlene was much like her mother in that she was not the most beautiful woman in a room, but somehow she still managed to draw attention with her effervescence and general kindness to all she met. She’d asked her parents to move in with her after her divorce under the pretense that she’d feel safer having them with her and the kids; but really, she wanted them close because she saw the gradual decline in their health coming and it just made sense to keep the family together where they could all look out for one another. Darlene knew the kids deserved a chance to observe a true loving relationship gone right.

Tonight: It was one of those family dinner scenes that started off with a little joke that led to another, which led to a song, and that, of course, brought on the dance. The laughter that built from the whole silly exchange was full of love and spontaneity that sometimes happens when all the stars align. But Darlene noticed the change in her father’s demeanor. Just a moment ago, he’d been laughing and having fun, too. Now, there were tears in his eyes and he was beginning to shake. Something was wrong.

“Daddy, honey, what’s wrong? Your stomach hurting from laughing too much?” she asked.

Si’s watery eyes cast a hurt look her way, and he said, “laughing! I wasn’t laughing! I was being laughed at! Apparently none of you appreciate the song my lovely wife loved most in the world; the same song we’d sing each morning as we danced about the kitchen. You were laughing at a stupid old man…”

“Daddy!” “Grandpa!” “No!” came the various cries from the family. “We were laughing because of the jokes you told and the song and dance were perfect! We could imagine you and Grams as if she were here, dancing alongside you.” “We were laughing with you, not at you, Dad!”

Somehow, that’s not how Si remembered it. Mostly. Or were they right? Seemed like he was reading situations wrong more and more often these days. And that made him sad. “I’m sorry, kids. This old man is obviously too far gone to keep up with reality sometimes. I’m going to head off to bed. Good night, my dear ones.” And he started to walk toward his bedroom.

“Not so fast!” his granddaughter Marla said, taking his hand in hers. “Would you mind if I danced you there?”

“I’d love it, Dearli…err…Marla. Thank you. Have I ever told you how much you look like your grandmother? You shine when you smile, you know. That ginger hair of yours is just the same color as hers when she was about your age, too. Are you sure you want to do this? Shouldn’t you be out finding a young man to love you and make you as happy as your grandmother and I made each other?”

“Grandpa, I’ll go out later. Right now I get to spend time with the handsomest singer and dancer in Baltimore. Why would I want to rush through that experience? Can you tell me? No? See? I’m right. Now let’s dance!”

Si reached out his slightly cold, wrinkled, thin, liver-spotted hand and Marla clasped it in her young, warm, flawlessly pale white, unblemished hand, looking up at her grandfather with the sort of adoration and respect you see only between the young and old who understand each other. They began singing Si and Dearlie’s song, dancing lightly about. Darlene instinctively grabbed the camera and took a few photos, knowing all too well that these moments were in short supply. Her father’s test results bore that out all too painfully earlier that morning when Si’s doctor called. Not entirely unexpected at 87, but shocking to a loving family who enjoy one another’s company.

Marla finished the dance and planted a gentle kiss upon her grandfather’s cheek, linked her arm in his, and led him into his room. As she walked back out, she saw the look on her mom’s face and a tear escaped. “More bad news…I can’t do it, Mom. That man deserves some peace, doesn’t he?”

“Shhh, shhh, honey. We’ll talk about it later, when he’s asleep. For now, let’s upload these photos to the computer. I think I got some good ones. For his birthday next month, I want to print out the best and make a book of them, along with all the old photos my mom saved. What do you think?”

Marla hugged her mom tightly, “Brilliant! He’ll love it. And you’ll have to work in the lyrics to their song, you know…”

“Exactly what I was thinking!”

And for the next hour, while the rest of the family cleared the table, mother and daughter worked side-by-side looking through photographs and planning a book for the man who made them laugh and cry and laugh again. Their hero was going to have proof of their love, the love of his family…those physically present and one present in spirit.

In his bedroom, Si combed back his hair after changing into his pajamas, did a little quickstep followed by a ronde de jambe, and then folded himself into bed, taking care to not wrinkle the sheets because it had always bothered Dearlie to have the covers yanked quickly. She wasn’t here, but some habits are formed in love and remain in love. Turning out the light, Si whispered, “I miss you, my love. I miss you. Great family we have here, taking care of us, of me now, but I miss you. I hope you don’t mind if I hang on here a bit longer. I think they need me still. The doctors don’t think I’ll last more than a few months, but I’m here until I know Darlene can manage on her own. I know it’s okay with you, but I have to check anyway. That’s how we’ve always done it, haven’t we? God bless you, my dear. In the morning, we’ll sing and dance some more. I love you.”

In the darkness, he thought he heard her say, “I love you, too.”

* Obviously the real assignment didn’t have anything to do with this or with me. But I did include a computer. So I think I deserve bonus points for working it in on a story of an 89 year old man.

2009/09/22

IHeartFaces Week #37 – Completely Candid

DaGoddess @ 07:07

Since Lost & Found didn’t know I was taking this photo, it qualifies as completely candid. I moved it up from a previous post to submit it to IHeartFaces this week.

I’m also using this for Photo Friday’s “The Face”.

Big Horn Rendezvous

Don’t forget to check out other entries. There’s always something good there!

Decisions

DaGoddess @ 04:00

I’ve been working on something and I’ve created so many versions of it that I’ve lost perspective. This is where you get to play along at home and help out.

Below the fold is the original image with several edited versions, including one at larger size so you can get a better idea of what it looks like. Based on that, I need to know which image you like best.

(more…)

2009/09/21

Monday

DaGoddess @ 22:01

The Big Bang Theory is back. The red cowboy hat with the checked Vans was awesome.

After my delightful P.T. session today(grrrr) and my camera taking a powder yesterday, the show was just what the doctor ordered.

P.S. Dickcissel.

P.P.S. Castle is back, too. Sigh.

2009/09/20

Giant Crunchy Orange Caterpillars

DaGoddess @ 04:00

I made it the store finally this week. I had to pick up some detergent because the clothes were beginning to stand in revolt against their own smell. Fair enough.

I didn’t expect to be attacked by giant crunchy orange caterpillars from a bag though. I’d grabbed a bag of “Great Value” cheesy poofs for a $1. Figured they’d be mildly poofy and cheesy. But these things are HUGE. They’re larger than most carrots. They’re larger than most cigars. They could be the new supersized glow in the dark orange markers the kids take to school! Two were suffient to ease the junk food craving I’d had.

Spent Friday night sick. Sick as a dog. Awoke Saturday a bit foggy but ended up feeling good. Headed down to listen to seven bands, then came home to change and head out to meet up with mountain men, mountain women, mountain children, and narrowly escaped learning a quadrille.

My mom is currently doing well post-op. Long story, but she had an operation similar to the last one I had. She’s coming along. Had a couple scary moments, but is okay at the moment.

Little Dude, however, is just now getting over a weird bout of tonsilitis or something. Again.

Suddenly I feel normal.

It’s not true. It just seems so in comparison.

And now I’m going to pass out and dream a sleepless sleep. Scratch that. Flip it. I’m going to sleep a dreamless sleep.

But I bet there are giant orange caterpillars making an appearance anyway.

2009/09/19

Got Wood?

DaGoddess @ 04:00

I do!

Got Wood?

2009/09/18

Horse Hair and Barbed Wire

DaGoddess @ 04:00

The subtle “J” of the hair on the wire and the little girl in the background…sigh. It’s as if the horse hair signed the photo for me…and that little girl? Once upon a time, I would have loved to have been her.

Horse hair and barbed wire

2009/09/17

Practice, Practice

DaGoddess @ 04:00

One of the photography message boards I read had this great color IQ test. I went temporarily blind after I was done, but that’s beside the point. Take the test and let me know how you did. Artists of all kinds should really try this — it’s a good challenge. I scored a 7.

Now, as a warm up for this weekend, I thought I’d share a few photos from Labor Day weekend.

Big Horn Rendezvous

Big Horn Rendezvous

Big Horn Rendezvous

Big Horn Rendezvous

2009/09/16

Children

DaGoddess @ 07:38

Children are God given reminders that we must sometimes create and use our own echo effect.

Reminders that we must be creative in our approach to tact.

Reminders of the patience on which we must rely when we have absolutely no damn time left for patience.

Reminders…

Yeah.

2009/09/15

Getting My Ass Kicked

DaGoddess @ 02:52

Fourteen and a half hours after PT, I’m still feelin’ it. I got my ass kicked. But, I pushed it. I didn’t even think of shying away from what had to be done.

I only have ten more sessions to reach the point where the insurance company decides I don’t need more therapy (even though I will). I feel like I’m just getting started — just reaching that point where I can jump off and really build the strength I need to be “normal” again.

The QME, my doc, and I all think I’d benefit from more, but that’s not how things work in comp land. Not even close. Just another ass kicking, albeit a different sort. I’ll have to figure out a way to continue what I’m learning on my own.

Funny how you kind of get used to that sort of thing even though you hate it. The ass kicking, that is. It’s weary-making, but it is what it is.

Speaking of weary, I’m off to bed. I’ve been staring at the same photos for several hours and can’t make heads nor tails of them to save my life.

2009/09/14

I Don’t Have a Title

DaGoddess @ 04:00

I don’t know how to even begin titling this. I don’t even know exactly what to say. But really? An elderly bank robber on oxygen eludes everyone? Seriously?

Maybe there’s hope for me yet. I’m not exactly old, but I bet I move a little quicker than this guy.

2009/09/11

Never Forget

DaGoddess @ 04:00

We can never forget. We can never let down our guard or pretend it didn’t happen. It did. 2,996 people died eight years ago. Innocents lost to acts of cowardice and terrorism. Men, women, and children gone in the blink of an eye.

Many of our children were babies or barely more than that when our nation was attacked. Some weren’t even yet conceived. For them, they’ve only known a post-9/11 world. And what do we tell them? Do we focus on politics? Do we just pretend it was only a dream? No and hell, no! To reduce this to politics or to pretend we were not attacked is a grave disservice to those who died on September 11, 2001.

I remember all too well the words spoken by the President just days later:

It is my hope that in the months and years ahead life will return almost to normal. We’ll go back to our lives and routines and that is good.

Even grief recedes with time and grace.

But our resolve must not pass. Each of us will remember what happened that day and to whom it happened. We will remember the moment the news came, where we were and what we were doing.

Some will remember an image of a fire or story or rescue. Some will carry memories of a face and a voice gone forever.

Time has given us the opportunity to heal and to move on with our lives. But it is our duty to never really forget the stark terror that filled our hearts as we watched buildings burn, planes crash, and smoke billow into the heavens. Our lives know peace, but what of the families of those who were killed? They still carry the scars from that day; there will always be a void where a loved one once stood. We must remember with them.

“Since September 11, 2001, an entire generation of young Americans has gained new understanding of the value of freedom and its cost, and duty and its sacrifice.” Do not give up that knowledge, do not give up the ideals of freedom, do not forget. Take a moment to sit with your children and reflect upon the memory of this day and what it meant to you. Remember the feeling of disbelief, the heartache. And remember, too, how you suddenly found comfort in the company of family, neighbors, and even strangers. It is in those moments that we reclaimed America and the American spirit. Do not forget.

“We will not waver, we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail. Peace and freedom will prevail.”

And we will not forget. We may take momentary flights of freedom, but only because we fight for freedom on a daily basis. We do not forget.

Freedom Flight

And a reminder of last year’s post: “Today

2009/09/10

One Last Taste of Summer

DaGoddess @ 04:00

Beautiful swirl

Sweetness

Yummy

It's called watermelon for a reason

A last look

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