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Archive for February, 2012

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Yesterday would have been my father’s 86th birthday.  Every once in a while when I call my mother I get my father’s voice on her answering machine; I’ve gotten to the point in my grief that my heart jumps with a smile instead of it shaking and jarring me. I’m glad my mother hasn’t changed it but I sure wish there was more. What I would give for more. My nephew gave him a tape recorder for his birthday a few years ago so my father could record his stories, but he never used it. I really wish he had.

The old phone message

survives;

I hang on the too short fragment

of your voice,

waiting,

longing for more,

unable to speak.

The silence that follows,

abrupt,

sharp,

final.

Beep.

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I couldn’t resist doing a different take after looking at some other people’s wonderful shots: These were taken a couple of years ago on a trip to Lookout Mountain in Tennessee with Chattanooga below…

And this is how we got there…

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I couldn’t choose one:

Image

Hyacinths-too early!

Image

What do you make of that??

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Regret…in a bottle…in an ashtray…

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It’s snowing lightly out my window today, but it is barely sticking to the ground. It has been an EXTREMELY mild and snow-free winter. Next to my driveway I have bulbs that are coming up (tulips and hyacinths), and in the fall my azalea popped out an extra bloom. It’s a very different year from the last.

This year summer and fall hung together;

Taking turns, day by day,

they held off winter.

Bonded, they confused the hardy plants,

who normally hunkered down and waited

as winter rode through town,

whooping and shooting

like a gun-slinging gang;

they would quietly shiver in the darkness unseen

with their hoarded food until it was safely spring.

This year the azalea let loose a bright flower

amidst its dark purple fall leaves, feeling the change.

This year is different, it seemed to announce,

a premonition of a toothless, gun-less

snow-free winter.

 

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I’m finally reading “Seabiscuit.” (I know, I’m a few years behind.)  When I went to see the movie years ago, everyone I talked to who had read the book said it was a lot better, and they were right. It is very well-written and engrossing, and I’m really enjoying it.

The last remaining horse statue I own...

The last remaining horse statue I own...

Aside from the writing and the history, the book is taking me back to my childhood when I was a typical 8 to 12-year-old girl, obsessed with horses.  I had horse statues and horse toys (the heck with Barbie, I had a wonderful plastic Palomino, complete with removable saddle and bridle).  I read countless library books and saw all the movies about horses: National Velvet, My Friend Flicka, and The Black Stallion, among them.  And I harassed my parents about buying me a horse.  My father (probably to shut me up) told me I had to wait until I was 11. Oh, I took things so literally back then.

On my 11th birthday I went outside searching for my horse—was it in the garage? Not finding it, I went back inside and said, “Dad, I’m 11…where is my horse?”  He said, “They cost too much.” And that was that.  My father rarely disappointed me, but he did that day.  It was only recently I was talking to my mother about it and she told me he really did look into it and discovered that the cost of feeding a horse was way beyond what our large family could afford.

It was probably just as well.  My experience with horses in my life has actually been very limited and not necessarily the best.  I’ve only ridden them a handful of times in my life, including my wedding/honeymoon trip when my husband and I went on a horseback excursion in St Lucia. The horse in front of mine kicked me in the shin out in a rainforest.  By the time we got back to the barn, I had quite an egg on my leg and our wedding was the next day.  It took all afternoon in the cool pool to calm it down and leave just a very small bruise.

Things have a way of working out the way they should.  But I can still admire them from afar as the beautiful animals they are.

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