Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Where do I go now??

Each day seems to fly past even faster than the one before. I know I posted a few times this month but I've only vague recollections of what I wrote. Mom has been sick, in the hospital and is now home. My dearest Gyps is engaged to her prince charming and all her dreams are coming true. Christmas is just around the corner and I'm still trying to figure out what street I'm on.

Despite all the chaos Thanksgiving was truly a day to give thanks for all the blessings of this past year. The dishes are done, turkey is gone and the kids back in school. I guess it's time to find a street sign and determine where I go next.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

William Tell Mom Sayings

The Mouse comes in and tells me I just have to see this... "It sounds exactly like you". I listened, she is so right it's scary. Thanks Mouse!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Keeping the Past Alive

In the fall I ran the fields, climbed the trees and played in the barns. The fruit trees, figs, wild plumbs, apples, persimmons, grapes, pomegranates, quince, pears, black berries and walnuts. A bounty to be shared by all. Wood was cut for winter fires and the sound of saws and ax permeated the crisp cool air.

Winter in the hay loft and rain on the tin roof. Wet and cold and mud. Fire glow from the stove on the ceiling. The smell of Grandma cooking bacon and coffee in the morning on the wood cook stove. Story after story of hard work, battles fought, cattle drives, love, death, joy and sadness. Dinner at the big oak table when all the adults talked about the work done that day and what need doin' tomorrow.

Spring time brought baby calves with big brown eyes, sweet white faces and noses just made to meep, and new baby kittens in the wood shed. Blankets of wild flowers covered the fields and meadows. The new leaves on the trees made arches and canopies over the road that led to enchanted glades where fairies played. My brother and I played cowboys and Indians, knights in armor, gold prospectors and hunted for caves to use as forts at the base of the cliffs. Dreaming of the past was easy because there it was, so close, almost alive.

Summers were brutally hot. Riding fence lines, turning the water in the fields, moving sprinkler pipe, dodging rattlers and dust, everywhere dust. At night we fell asleep to the sounds of rainbirds in the fields, cowbells and mamma cows lowing to their calves. Summer meant watermelons on Thursday afternoons, Ice cream and RC Cola.

It was in early June, the day before my birthday, when they found Grandpa asleep under a walnut tree. His old straw hat pulled down over his face, just taking a rest before supper. Only this time he didn't wake up. The ranch and his dream of it died with him but no one would admit it. They moved on, working cattle, fixing fence, cleaning the ditch and growing kiwis.

Grandma moved to town and new people were brought in to "take care of things". I grew up and moved away. The fabric began to tear, history to fade.

For 25 years they have been holding on. My uncles, my mom, desperately trying stitch together the decaying fabric of a life long gone. The sheds and barns are piles of rubble. The fences down and fields dried and brown. The battle with the blackberries lost. No pasture means no cows, no horses.

Now it's gone, nothing more to be done. The land is safe in the ownership of a government agency. The artifacts destroyed or stolen over the years. The sounds of dogs barking when some one drives down the road. Hoof beats and hollering as cattle are moved past. Squeaking gate hinges and the smell of hay, leather, irrigated fields and cow pies are all just memories.

This started as a short listing of my memories of my Grandfather's California cattle ranch. It has been in my mothers family for I believe five or six generations. This past week it was sold. As my thoughts turned into words on the page I realized my short list of memories has taken on a life of its own. Memories fade over time and lie like the buildings and fences, the land and the people, they are lost. But words can carry on eternal. Written stories can stitch together the failing fabric of our past and create a legacy of remembrance for generations forward.

My children will never see the old wood cook stove, the HUGE fire place with the iron cooking arms that was built out of quarts from the fields around the house, the barns, cattle shoots and roping pens, the paths I rode or the creeks I swam in. Their eyes will never see but they will know the stories, feel the joy and the heart ache that comes from being part of a family that settled a land, loved it and became one with it.

Mamma, for you I promise all that is left now will NOT be lost. It can't be taken, sold or stolen. It will live on forever.

Autunm Sky Fire - Sunrise

To my Newest Reader

02:00 in the morning, really it's 03:00 but we set the clocks back last night, I am awake just enough that I can't get my mind to shut off. A million and one things spin through my head and my first response is hot tea and to write. I wander down to the computer and am greeted my six new mail messages, all comments on my posts.

As I start to read my head clears a little and a bolt of lightning smacks me between they eyes. My newest reader has held a special spot in my life for thirteen years. She fills the world with joy and lightens a room with her contagious smile. The day she was born my world changed forever. I became an aunt, my brother a dad, my parents became grandparents and the world would never be the same. The sun was a little brighter and the world was just a nice place to be.

In the years to follow my brother and his wife would increase the worlds population by two more. Like their older sister they are amazing little bundles of joy, inquiry, wonder and love. Of all the good things my little brother has done these guys are by far his best work.

Thanks for reading Tay and thanks for the courage to comment. You have always been a strong little girl, full of wisdom beyond your years. Now I see you are growing into a power house of a young woman. Don't be afraid to play hard, love big and strive for greatness. If along the way you stumble, and you will, it's okay. You have a family that loves you to pick you up, brush you off and send you back in for the next round. If you do fall and it hurts we are here to hold you. I love you!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Re: Introspection (Fighting Back)

After posting to my blog I venture out to the ones I have been so negligent in reading the past few weeks. I read though Introspection posted by my dearest Gyps. I am cut to the core by her words and feel moved to comment. But, as the comment progresses I see that it's just not enough to share my thought about her post with her... it needs to go further.

How many little girls desperately need to hear "You are amazing, wonderus, strong beyond your belief. You deserve to be safe. Hold my hands, let's go into the darkness and find..." what ever fear they need to face.

The world is full of "little girls" of all ages that have been beaten and broken by sticks, knives, fists, guns and worst of all words. They live their lives in a shadowed land never seeing the vibrancy and colors of life as it's meant to be. They are haunted by the evil that permeates their lives and may very well survive only as the shell of person they could be.

My mom, my husband, my friends, even my kids wonder why I love to fight. Why a kind hearted woman that cries over Kodak commercials would find joy in learning to use strength, skill and a wooden sword to pound on a fence post, a punching bag, a tree, or a heavily armored person?

As women we are taught to love and nurture and when things hurt us we take the blow and don't let anyone see the bruise. My world is full of children that have been broken by people that claim to love them. I look at their scars, let my heart feel their pain, but I'm not allowed to fight back. I hear about the women, girls, sold into slavery, little girls that have their bodies mutilated or are murdered for their families honor but can do nothing to help and only little to bring about change.

So, I fight just to be able to fight. In a safe, contained environment I can let the anger boil over, allow the rage to blast out. When I get a bruise I am proud of it. It hurt and I survived and don't have to be ashamed because I got it fighting back. The fence, the tree, my opponent can be anything from the system, the governments, the abusers or those that would turn a deaf to the screams.

Words are powerful. People, even just one can bring about change but sometimes it just feels good to swing hard and let it connect! Then take a hand and head into the darkness!

Finding Balance

Somewhere along the way I got tangled up in armor, swords, medieval garb, a new pony for grandma and the tribe and a few dozen other things. The more I had to write about the less time I had to write. Now, a month later I find myself with a new tabard of black and red, new armor (new to me anyway), a sword and shield to practice with and a new pony at the Bower.

October was a month jam packed with goodies and joy. Here I am on the first of November wanting to just sit and read the news paper. A few hours maybe and then on to the next project.

Balance is taking a few minutes for a hot soak and to let the Advil permeate the blood stream and take the edge off the bruises before I go looking for the next adventure! Look out November, Tink in on the move!