Thursday, December 30, 2010

Here We Are Again

At the end of every year, I look over my calendars, pictures, reliving just what it was that happened in the past year, thinking on what plans I can make for next. Each year is always a gift and a wonder, 2010 was no different.

Traveling good times close to home and far away to the Yucatan. That was just my first cold winter time trip to a warm sunny place. Next month, to Thailand. Almost there....

Holidays, birthdays, and just good old days with friends and family.

Peyton's first baby steps.

Slowly learning to live with increased stress at work.

Fun loving days on the Wine Train, Hot Air Ballooning, visits to the City. Several exciting visits from new couch surfer friends and pals from near and far.

Happily, more healthy days than not. Good to have family moving in, to share my time at home. Warm and smiling camp days in the hills with EHC.

Saddest time: Bobby leaving this world. Never my heart.

Bliss and wonder at the DeYoung and the SF MOMA. Bigger than all of us - fundraiser, family time in Sonoma.

Anthony Bourdain... in person.

This is the best part. After looking at all these good times, I was looking for my budget planning stuff, it's somewhere in this computer, I'm sure of it. I did a desktop search, search phrase: BUDGET PLANNING BOOK. This is just a portion of what I got!! Think someone’s trying to tell me something?? LOL

---Cheap Travel all over the world
you can make your budget as a simple trip .. 12 pm I am planning a trip to South America .. aircraft.and same applies to booking ,book ahead as much as possible. also

---Quit your job and travel! Digest for Group: Properties Charity City Budget City Election City .. Oldetowne Parades Planning &Code Planning .. FY12 Grant Funding Gaithersburg Book Festival Announces Short Story. [CS digest] Cheap Travel all over the world.

---bulk of my budget unless i hitchhike which .. many pennies as i can as well! my budget is tight and i want to get probably .. MOUNTAINS. Get some book first, with CDs. [CS digest] Travelers. i'm on somewhat of a tight budget. i'm looking for another. Hello I am also planning the same. I have never .. find a match first book ur tickets and use...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Do I have a Family?

Crawling into bed, pillows and blankets wrapping me to slumber, my mind's eye story-telling the day. Holidays, excitement, joy, loneliness for too many.

He asks me, "Do I have a family? I don't even know anymore if they are alive or dead." No information in his records. Just a bunch of words telling a story of defeat, wandering pain, his own nowhere man-ness. I want to send him a package from his family so he will think he has one. But I don't. My role in his life, his one and only life, is to support him, teach him, reign him in when need be, assure his safety in this place he calls prison, we call hospital.

Tossing and turning, thoughts of our sad wandering minstrel, just smart enough to know how sick he is. Day after day, drawings and songs, stories to the King. He breaks my heart, so young, so forlorn, so much wanting to be well, to make a life for himself.

So I drink to me. I drink to my health. And theirs. Let's salute all these poor souls. One day, long ago, a sweet little babe was born to a village full of smiles and love. Somewhere along the way, doubt showed up, pain flowered and suffering took over.

So we try to soften the blows. A birthday cake. Christmas stockings filled with little treats: top ramen, candy canes, hot chocolate packets. Buy a pizza. Show another movie. Feel my own compassion. Show it. Smile again. Love someone. Anyone.

And go to sleep at the end of the day in my nice warm bed.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Eagles "Lyin' Eyes playing on the radio, softening my heart, as I called Lynda, to hear that "Kathy, we lost him. Bobby died Wednesday morning in his sleep. It was very peaceful, it really was. He had the most blissful look on his face."

Well, Bobby lived a life of bliss. Courageous, loving, funny, always curious, living to listen, to learn, keeping his notes on life. That beautiful smile, the twinkle in his eyes will linger forever in my heart. To the last minute, thinking so much of his lovely wife and family as he moved to the next chapter in his own life. I miss that I didn't get to see him tomorrow, wrapping up a basket of 'special' brownies that he was so looking forward to nibbling.

Tahoe in June was to be our last visit. Those few days were such a blessing. Lynda, Bobby, Michael, Mr. P. and me, talking, reading, living in the silence, in the beauty of a wonderful world, oh, and eating at the Chinese restaurant. A short interlude that put the icing on the cake of our lifetime of memories. So many years, so many, many years. I miss him so.

Bobby knew the art of living and dying. Such a good man. Thank you, Bobby. Thank you for being here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rainy Leaves

Walking home, I couldn't get her out of my mind. I'd never even seen her. But I know her. We all know her. Close to retirement, her son killed in a car wreck two years ago. Fifty four years old, raising her grand-daughter because her daughter is unable to do so.

All I see now is her broken body, laying in the rain, bleeding and soiled, the breath taken from her by one mentally ill patient with a long history of violence and assault.

Outside, cold and rainy, first rainfall of the season. Still daylight. The Officer didn't have a hard time finding her. Dead and soiled, bleeding and wet.

More police officers joined in. Administrators. Crying staff, shocked patients.

Begging for more security, more safety on the units. For the vulnerable patients, the really sick ones who are dependent on us for everything from their food to the bed they sleep in. Safety for the workers. Patients and workers who are assaulted on a DAILY basis at this place of healing. The place we come to serve, to work an honest day for an honest day's pay.

We grieve with our glass of wine, our quiet conversation, our shock and dismay. We pick up our quiet resolve and walk in circles. We mourn for Donna. For ourselves. For a system, made up of people, real human beings. A system failed.

Raindrops, a steady chorus from the sky, flatten the leaves that fell from that giant oak. Wet, brown, orange, yellow, scattered across the lawn and over the asphalt. Leaves of rain. Tears of pain.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Four Walls II: Destination...Or Hallucination?


It's funny to me that the one paragraph that was my last thought, an after-thought, really, is what keeps me daydreaming on my bike ride this morning. Comments from readers and friends spurring me on in my thinking, my processing, my feeling. Two men in my life who mean much to me responded to my writing. Their responses were quite different. I'm mulling over their words, his words, his words, and his/his thoughts, perspective, feelings. Suddenly it is so clear to me.

I remember a day in San Francisco a few years ago. Sitting back in the apartment, windows open to the brisk autumn evening fog. Listening to the sounds of a concert in the park. I remember thinking "Oh, I should go to that concert, they're right there!". The music rippling through the breeze and into my heart. I relaxed into the love, my soul whispering, "Oh, my gosh, it was such a joy." The memories warmed me as a blanket wrapping itself around me. I was there again. I lay back listening to the faint sounds drifting across the fields, soaring over the lake, music, the joyful cheering, friends and lovers cover the ground enthralled with the music. "Incredible." Slowly, sneaking into my head, crawling under the surface, "I don't HAVE to do go there. Just because I've done it before, just because it was lovely then." I already live in the memory, the love of all the other times.

This morning, I think I recognize that in my longing for a partner, a lover. Really, my true love came to me more than once, in different packaging. We dream, we love, we sing, we dance, we shed tears together and laugh at the possibilities. Each moment, every touch, the tiny-est hush of love. "Oh, yes, that was wonderful. It is."

My one true love is with me always, each and every one of them. Each different as night and day. I don't need to keep looking for it, him, or him, or... The love is mine to keep.

My life now is such that I could almost explode from the love that surrounds me, holds me, lifts me up. No need to go looking for it. I shake my head in disbelief that I would walk right past it.

I wouldn't, couldn't fly with a dove. I shouldn't, mustn't, bypass my love. It's right in my fingers, in so many flavors I could scream.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Four Walls


"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." John Lennon

I've had few years of living by myself. Each and every one wonderful, filled with warmth, happily dancing through skies dotted with lyrical life lessons. Living within four walls. Peace and quiet. Happy laughter, joy, tears, beginnings and endings. Marriage and partnerships, yes, have been a big part of my life. History lessons. After a while, 'the children' grew up, sprouted their own wings and flew off to their dream-scapes. I sung the joy in the watching.

Very soon, through a series of changes, I will have family living within these four walls again. I find myself full of such joyful anticipation in their company, each of us leaning on our love, strength and patience as our walls no doubt fill with expansion.

Coming down the pike is a good lesson in interdependence vs independence. Society has encouraged independence for such a long time. As I look at it with wiser heart and older vision, I think we're missing out. The stories that each of us share every day, the generations melding together in daily life. Not just on a holiday weekend that is quickly over and done with, arms filled with goodbyes 'til the next time.

As a friend so accurately put it, bringing the tribe together, even for a short time, paints such a smile on my only slightly wrinkled face. I can't wait to enjoy each and every minute we have together. And yet, I'm already planning my own travel again, giving them space, gaining my own.

And Yes, I must admit, I still long for that one true love who wants to spend the rest of his life with me. Because of who I am. Because we love and treasure the company of one another. Fun, passionate, philosophical, kind, patient. The one who will do anything to have me around. So far, that guy has eluded me.

Oooohhhh, I think I see a new headline, I hear the walls bursting open...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dinner Dancing

The evening ends, brightly blooming into night. Exhausted, excited all scrunched up. How can we be so tired and have so much to say and have so little energy left for which to wrap up? Life is a million moments racing through our day.

Loving tunes young women and old sing out with every sweet breath as they sigh at the full moon. The moon. I belongs to every set of eyes in the universe. You. Me. Her. Him. Them. Us. Pain eats at me when I think of the simplicity of it all. And how terribly sad it is that so many don't see it. I understand love. And peace. And I understand when it's missing from our life, and the world that wraps us up in it.

Hoping. and running. laying and rolling. skipping. riding. loving. love-ing. loving with every bit of your heart. comes so naturally. to me. to you.

Thoughts fleeing. write about work. write about life. write about love. write about broken hearts. broken dreams. rainbows. a cool river in the heat of the day. a tire-swing rolling out across the rippling coolness and dropping me right into the current.

Fear, longing, anticipation. Joy. Love. Excitement. Happiness. wet. dry. sober. drunk. high. alive. alive. alive. alove. a-love. alone.

Painful. Again. Why? Why not? travel to foreign lands. Afghanistan. Thailand. Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentina. Cuba. philippines. Coventry. Adana. Liege. NYC. Aspen. Perth. seaside, mountain streams, snow covered peaks.

laying my head down for the dreams I never know.

The nothing. the whole ball of wax.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's one of those things

. . . . . .






T'was a summer day
in July

Matthew Paul Stephens took his life.

He slayed the dragon.

Gone for good.
Over the ridge
To never be seen again.

Who would have guessed?

The young ones lose
Their Father

She loses
A friend.

What does it matter?

Now it all matters.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I Wish I Wasn't So Hungry...

Once upon a time, a European wing-ged creature settled here, first detected in 2009. Not stopped, this little European grape moth causes rot. Big problem here in wine country.

Tonight - beautiful evening, sitting and reading on the porch as the sun settled down, moving aside to make way for the growing moon, almost to its fullest. I walk in-doors, relaxing with a little chemical romance. And here I sit, a little high on my throne, thinking back to another day, another time and another European wing-ged creature.

The one I'm thinking of now is the one who flies across whole continents and oceans in a steel carriage, walks upright. He quickly sweeps beneath and carries you away off your feet.

He was here and then he was gone. Away. Near. Now. Far Away.

One part of me feels as if I never really met him, and the other feels as if we've never been apart.

For the peace and joy of it, I'll take the second part. Part 2. Better than the very first and never at the end. Beginnings come early and often. There's always another chance to begin, and to keep beginning.

A never-ending story.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's a Perfect World

Thank goodness for the differences in people. I learn so much about my own self by observing how others do the similar job I might be doing, how they talk with others and how we interact. Someone who always has to be first and in charge, is not me. I know I am capable of amazing feats, every day miracles, and knowing that gives me the freedom to just do it, without proclaiming to everyone that I can do it. They just see me do it. They want to praise me. For what? Doing what comes naturally? It wasn't always natural. There were plenty of barriers for me to get through, self-made ones, too. That's another post, I think.

Back to the differences in people. It gives me great pause to go to that zen-like center of myself, take a quiet breath when I'm feeling like yelling, be-little-ing or criticizing. I can't know what is going on is someone else's mind, why they do what they do. I only can learn, and know what I do and what I think.

Life to me is not about perfection, we're all perfect to begin with.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Okay, I will, I will

'They' tell me that if I want to be a writer, then I have to write. Where to start? Do you really care that I'm tired, worn out and don't even feel like writing. But I write anyway because I've made a commitment to myself to do this.

So here I am, sitting with a laptop, not on my lap, but over my thighs, because I'm stretched out here on this twin size bed. It's not even my bed. It is here for me to use while I do my volunteer nurse time at a summer camp. Funny thing, several years ago, I was looking at ways to do summer camp nursing, and never made it happen. Then three years ago, when I wasn't even entertaining the thought any longer, this summer camp proposal comes to me. It was three more years before the whole connection dawned on me. It's fun and I think my friends envy me doing this. Some of them even say, "Oh, that's no nice, I'd like to do something like that." They don't.

Then my son is surprised that I'm going onto our 'social networking' site. I guess since I'm out in the woods, peaceful, quiet, relaxing, he thinks I'm cut off from the rest of the world. Not me. I cut myself off when I choose. Often day after day after day.

My goal really, for this week, is to find some time to swim laps in the pool here, NOT when the pool is full of little wonderful laughing, noisy children. I think I may have found the solution tonight at dinner. 'turns out the lifeguard is the same nice guy whose leg I saved last year after he had several spider bites. They became infected, I sent him to the local hospital. He reminded me of that tonight at dinner and THEN we talked about swimming.

So tomorrow, Tuesday, 5:30 pm, I may just find myself swimming a few laps before dinner. Tune in to find out