On Facebook

Every day

on facebook

I want to post how sad I am

and that I cry

in the night

I would like to talk about the pain that closes off my throat

but instead I write about the weather

It’s sunny today!

Sigh, rain again.

or maybe something about the fog.

Never mentioning the fog in my brain

or the rain of tears

that tempers the raging fire

my maddness has become.

I have become adept

at hiding.

Careful that no one should see

the crazy hanging out of me

like the tatty lace hem of a none too clean slip

peeping from beneath a more respectable garment

too hastily donned.

I cannot tell you where it hurts

or why

or even that it hurts at all

lest I explode, or begin to cry and never stop

dissolving myself into a puddle

So I tell you I am fine

because there is nothing else

for me to say.


What Do You Do All Day?

I get up, tea in hand

and go check on life

in my parents house.

Is it progressing?


or just stagnating in a recliner?

I go back out

surfeited on Gunsmoke and old movies

and weed-eat or clean the porch

then go back

to my little nest

in a travel trailer

not worthy of living in the house

and make more tea

and try to write

and then go back in

for a dose of news

mixed with Andy Griffith

my mother complains of my father

my father complains about the water bill

my brother flits about

raving and raging

his mental illness so long ago accepted

his behavior seems normal to them

someone competent must live here

but there are days

I regret

having volunteered


Goverment Paperwork


Caffine fueled

Madness ruled

A frenzy of activity


In nothing much.

The Saint

I know someone who, under the guise of selflessness, manipulates everyone into doing as she wishes. Her “duties” to other people keep her from having to do anything about her own life, or lack thereof. She has “given up her life” to care for her elderly mother. I suspect there was not much life to give up. By doing whatever anyone else wants she never has to decide what she wants, let alone act on it. Going out to eat? You pick the restaurant. Planning a meal? You choose the entrée. Going shopping? Watching tv? You decide where, pick the show, what do YOU like? Of course, if you choose wrongly (ie something she actually doesn’t want or like) she will instantly develop an allergy or supply a logical reason why this cannot work out. It doesn’t seem to matter how nonsensical her “logical reason” is. Pointing out a fallacy will just produce more “logical reasons”. Not because SHE cares of course. SHE wants you to do what YOU want, it’s just that there happens to be some overriding principle of the universe that will be compromised of things are done that way. It’s not because she doesn’t want to. Oh no, it’s just that the store is closed today, the restaurant will be very crowded at that time, the tv station doesn’t come in, that food has started giving her terrible belly pain and uncontrollable gas, none of these things are in her power to alleviate you see. She is very sorry. Please pick something else. It takes awhile, but one eventually learns the acceptable alternatives.

No detail is too small to escape control. While putatively seeing after your comfort and “trying to plan her day” (around yours, of course) she attempts to control your every move up to and including when other people in the dwelling shower. You are, of course, asked when it is that you would like to shower. After you state what time that is (or guess, as most of us do) there will always and forever be some reason why that is an inconvenient time. There will be laundry going and horses to feed and places to go and a hundred other reasons. By and by you will figure out that she wants you to shower at night before you go to bed. It is truly passive/aggressive behavior raised to an art form. Before you decide I am an idiot for putting up with all this, let me say, it is my job. I am a paid care-giver for her elderly mother. When she is hostess to others, after exhaustive inquiries about what and when these poor souls eat, she will go to great (and very visible) effort to turn out extremely mediocre meals at slightly inconvenient times. She tries very hard you see. And make no mistake, you are meant to see. Her siblings are convinced that she tries very hard to please others.

She has a “social anxiety disorder”. It prevents her from driving on freeways, dealing with strangers or paperwork, cleaning the house, allowing others to clean the house, visiting relatives, handling new situations, flying and any other thing she doesn’t really care for. Decisions are impossible to make. The choosing of a paint color is too weighty. What if you choose wrong? Projects can almost never be completed. The fear of imperfect execution is paralyzing. None of this bothers her enough for her to take medication. She has some. She took it for a year, during which her symptoms improved so dramatically as to almost vanish. Now if you bring it up she maintains she is taking her meds and would not care to be without them. The bottle that she waves about to make her point is a 30 day supply. It was last filled 6 months ago, according to the date on the bottle. There are still pills in it.

I feel sorry for her, even though her imprisonment is self-inflicted. I wonder what happened, why she believes she should not be allowed freedom. Then I think, perhaps this is the life she wants. Safe and limited, with clear boundaries, complete control of the other members of her family and points given for selfless sainthood. I think it is easier than pushing herself to deal with the outside world and its uncontrollable vagaries. To try is risky. It might invite failure. Better a safe world, however foreshortened it is. I feel pity….and on bad days, a mild, benign disgust. And conflict, because all that said, I truly like this woman. She is bright and funny and caring and cheerful. I just wish she’d take her medicine!

Reba Lenore’s Riff

It’s here again. The tenth of August. Every year I think, “maybe next year it will just fly by and I won’t notice”. Every year that turns out to be untrue. On this day 23 years ago, some of my dreams died, some of my hopes died, some of my joy died. On this day 23 years ago all of my innocence died and I began learning the true nature of pain.
Maybe next year I won’t notice.

August Hot

August hot is unrelenting. There is no remission. It never, no never, not ever, cools off. Nighttime lows tend to be over 75 degrees. By the time it cools off to something under 85, it’s midnight. You have to get up and go outside at least an hour before actual daylight to do any real outdoor work. It’s 88 degrees by 8:30am. By 10 am everyone who’s livelihood does not depend on their presence outside has removed themselves to the air-conditioning. Even the animals go into hiding. The dogs that fill the yard where I work (only 4 of them, but they are large) disappear under the house. Last week I saw 2 of them, on separate occasions, for about 30 seconds each. The goats only came up out of the woods once.Those poor souls who must remain outside to earn their living have retreated to some shady place and draped themselves over a cooler of Gatorade. No one’s boss expects them to do anything out there except try not to die. I once told my sister that anyone with sense tried to get away from where I live during the last month of true summer.
 Despite this, or maybe because of it, the south is not rife with expressions about the heat. That one about it being “hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk”? That’s for yankees. Southerners are not about to be outside fooling around with a bunch of eggs. Especially not trying to fry them on the sidewalk, knowing you’re not going to scrape them up and eat them or anything. Only crazy people would be doing that. Southerners are inside with the a/c turned up, reclining under the ceiling fan, drinking something iced. Down here the only thing you are likely to hear is, “WhoooEEEE, it’s HOT!” said by someone as they come back inside to lounge under the ceiling fan, “yep” is the standard reply. I think the theory is that talking about it just produces more hot air. Hot air never cooled anyone off. At least not hot air moving at a merely conversational speed.
 The world seems to be about evenly split between those who must know what the thermometer says and those who would really rather not. I belong to the latter camp. It never seems to make me feel any cooler to know exactly how high the mercury has risen and it frequently makes me feel worse. For some reason my brain never imagines it is much over 90, and 95 seems to be the limit of my imagination. So when someone informs me that it is, in fact, 102 degrees with a heat index of 107, I am suddenly 12 degrees hotter than I was before. It isn’t helpful. The people who seek that information usually claim to be waiting until the temperature reaches “x” to perform some activity, however, the number selected for “x” seems designed to preclude said activity until the middle of the night, by which time the seeker will be safely asleep under the ceiling fan, with the a/c cranked up to “frostbite”.
 Those of us that don’t plan our activities around arbitrary numbers know that if you must do stuff outside, early is best. For example, I go outside in the morning, about 6:30 (I have a friend that does this at 5:30, but I just can’t make it then) in the morning and water my plants. If any weeding happens, it happens then. Mostly weeding is judged to be something that can wait until a later date. If, for some reason (like pure, unadulterated laziness) I did not get up at 6:30 am, I will venture out in the evening dusk, half and hour before full dark, covered in bug spray, and perform the duties I neglected earlier in the day. I’m pretty sure that this activity pattern is where the idea, so common in literature, of the “sleepy, southern town, baking in the noonday sun, nothing moving but one yellow dog laying in the middle of the street” was born. Neither the dog nor the writer were from anywhere around here, or the dog would’ve been under the house and the writer would’ve been inside under the ceiling fan with everyone else, having done all the necessary chores before the sun got up.

Frog Kissing

Recently I spent some time on an internet dating site. I do this to myself every so often. It is my penance for being lonely. I came away with some advice for the fellas on these sites. First of all, since I can’t see you, spelling counts. When you write that little note, pause long enough to check and make sure that at least most of the words are correctly spelled. Particularly words of 7 letters or less. Otherwise I am left wondering who you hired to write your profile and where exactly it was that you went to school. Oh, and please include something in the way of content. If you have written two notes and have only typed 9 words, you are not including enough content. I understand typing is hard, but so is having a conversation all by myself, and NOT conversing with myself is the goal here anyway!

Secondly, when you find a picture of yourself, make sure it has been taken within the decade. The CURRENT decade. It also might be a good idea if you are not wearing a white underwear t-shirt or a ‘wife beater’ tank, unless of course those look good on you. In the over 50 set though, that doesn’t happen as often as you think, and the idea that you are sitting around in your underwear lurking on the computer is not as appealing as you have been led to believe. Oh, and that sideways head shot of you lying down making ‘soulful’ eyes? It makes us snicker. Not in a nice way either. And if you have 25 pictures of yourself lying around? Edit them down man! Anything more than 5 or so just looks weird.

Sadly, I think my current adventure on the dating site is nearly at a close. So far the most interesting conversation I have had is with a man who had posted a very angry profile. I ran across it while scanning the site and for whatever reason, paused long enough to take him to task for it. I wondered why he was looking for a woman since he didn’t seem to like us very much. He actually answered me (imagine my surprise!) and explained who he was angry with and why. Articulately no less! Then he removed the angry profile and replaced it with a nice one. We wrote back and forth a couple of times, but live too far apart to date. Sigh. I know perseverance is supposed to be the key to endeavours of this sort, but I can only stand it for about a week and then it is 3-6 months before I can bear to return. So I reckon my chronically single status is not yet endangered.

Are You Serious?

Seriously. The recent holiday and my preceding vacation spent in the company of my grands have given me cause to seriously wonder about the fate of the word ‘seriously’. It seems to be in serious crisis. Seriously. All the serious youngsters are seriously stressing the poor overworked word out. Seriously. I can’t believe that you seriously don’t know how serious the situation is for poor old serious. It’s really serious. Seriously. Are you seriously asking me to define the seriousness of the serious situation? Seriously? I mean, be serious. Seriously.
I am seriously glad I got that out of my system. It was becoming serious. Seriously.

Life’s Rug

Some one asked me today, how one reconciles the idea of God with tragedy, particularly tragedy that takes the lives of children. I get asked this every so often, even by those who do not know my history. So I’m writing down what I think once and for all and forever after this I will refer the asker to this piece of writing. THIS is what I think.
First of all I believe that everyone’s life has a purpose, that there is a particular point to your existence. Each of us is necessary to the whole. Once you have made you contribution to the pattern, you are outta here. There is no room on the stage for those who are just hanging about. The Greeks believed in the existence of the three fates, Clotho, who collected the wool, Lachesis, who spun the thread, and Atropos who cut it when it reached it’s end. The Celts called them, The Maiden, The Mother and The Crone and gave them similar jobs. I think it’s like the threads they are creating are being used to weave one of those fancy oriental carpets. Each thread contributes to the pattern, weaving in and out with the other threads. Some are longer, some are shorter, but eventually they all reach the point where they must be knotted, or the pattern will suffer. Sometimes the brightest threads are the shortest. Sometimes there are a bunch of threads that all look pretty much the same. All are needed though, to make the rug. Once a thread has been knotted, you must cut it. There is no longer a place for it in the pattern.
We cannot see the pattern from our place in the warf and weave, we are too close to the rug. Sometimes we are gifted with a moment of insight, lifted briefly above ourselves so that we get a glimpse of the beautiful whole before being plunged back into the mundane. Those moments are the hand of God, guiding the weaving. We will not see the full beauty of this tapestry until we pass from this world. The perspective is wrong.

Bad Mood

TV sucks

I have no bucks

my mood is bleak

to no one, I speak

I don’t want ice cream

I can’t sleep and dream

my spirit is surpassing weak.

There’s nothing to do

my day’s turned to pooh

So I while away hours

taking pictures of flowers

and find myself smiling, ’tis true!

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