Thursday, November 27, 2014

like a good neighbor

Cousin Mo pulled off our Thanksgiving gathering today and our doorman was none other than Curtis their fellow resident. I've seen him many times but we've never been formally introduced until today. We visited and unloaded food until everybody their bearings and then Ron said the blessing over four generations of my family. Can you say "thankful?" Indeed I am. The three remaining elders were gathered at the table and we fixed their plates out of respect and necessity. Since I was working this was a perfect plan even though it was the first of several stops for the rest of their clan. We were blessed with a slow day at the sawmill and enjoyed the slower pace. Like..a lot. Everybody is just about worn out with the hustle and bustle. Several are planning on hitting the stores at the appointed hours for "doorbuster" specials like the eight 100 buck TVs at WalMart. Count them, eight. They'll be gone before the door shuts the first time. That is not my idea of fun.

I stopped by the mayor's house (of Samaria Bend) to give her a B12 injection which is a job I've inherited since her old friend Sally died. Every time I walk into her cozy little home and hug those bones I know that it's all got a purpose and the plan is there. At 92, she is the oldest living resident of this farm with my parents right on her heels and Gerald right behind them. At one time my Ky cousin and her family lived in the house that is being remodeled now and I'll never forget her walking out of my yard and into the field years later bawling her eyes out in order to let go of the memories. Her only granddaughter was at lunch today and I swear this child is a carbon copy of Deb at that age. Sweet as pie and so are the others. Boys will be boys but their daddies keep 'em toned down on the rowdy. I couldn't take my eyes off her most of the time and felt a spiritual bond with her that promises to carry on. One day, she'll remember me as Aunt Poopie.

We got the Cadi fixed and BG is out rounding up stuff for dinner number two with the Boogs family. It's good to be a two car family again. I gazed out over Mozella's land from her home on the hill and remembered years upon years of Forked Deer backwater creeping toward Samaria Bend Road and often over it like in the famous back to back spring floods. I found myself telling once again about the scariest moment of my entire life which was riding in the back of a crackhead's pickup truck through the mud and water and getting slung around like a doll. There was a baby in the back seat, by the way. I was ready to jump and told BG so when we suddenly hit pavement. You can't make this shit up. I'm thankful for so much these days because my priorities have changed from struggling for survival to trusting Big Ernie to take care of it. And that is what faith is all about.

^j^

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

#ferguson

Happy Thanksgiving Eve to all y'all and your mama'n'them! Since I don't watch television like...at all...I had to depend on the innerwebs to keep me posted on the violent protests across our great nation over the death of Michael Brown and his killer's acquittal by a grand jury with (so they say) a first year law student as prosecutor. Now I am inclusive to a fault but I fail to see where the militarization of our local police by the government has a damn thing to do with killing poor Afroamerican kids being shot by cops who are scared to death of their jobs. Or maybe it does, I don't know. One thing I know for damn sure is that looting and rioting never solved a freakin' thing and this comes from one who witnessed a lot of protests against the Vietnam war and our alternative lifestyle, us hippies. Kent State comes to mind. Everybody involved was white on white and these students were killed because of their political views in the course of non-violent protest. Now THAT is bullshit.

Our country was a hot mess then because somebody made a shitload of money by sending our soldiers (drafted) to a foreign country because of the threat of "communist" power. Maybe I'm simple but I don't understand how that's not what we've done with selling our souls to them for electronics and well made cars. They have manufacturing plants in our countries employing workers in Smalltown USA who crank 'em out with less carbon spewing into the atmosphere than ever. Well, except for all you soccer moms with the ridiculously huge SUVs. We picked up the pulley for BG's Cadi today and Little Robert is set to put it on in spite of all the grief she's gotten from the shop foreman. We busted up in AutoZone and ran into none other than Mr. Van Zandt at his side job. His MIL is 86 and drives a Cadillac too. You should have seen us out there in the rain at Triple T taking phone pics of all those pulleys.

Please stop the violence. It doesn't matter if it's fires and looting or shooting by fucked up kids who never had a chance. The availability of firearms is a disgrace to all of those who have been killed with them. Before you bring up knives, I will refer you to the epic failure of our mental health system and how sometimes people suffer such pain that they just need somebody to make a difference, one life at a time. Yes, racism still exists and it's not all about not being white but intolerance of different lifestyles. Shaming is something Jesus definitely never did in my book. I'm thankful for this outlet to express my soul and appreciate every single soul who's along for the ride. Love ya...mean it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

traditions

There have been several in my family that are always observed, one of which all of our family sitting together for a Thanksgiving meal or Christmas breakfast prayed over by my Daddy before we hit the kitchen. Mom is one to make the occasion special so there's usually holiday themed napkins and centerpieces plus her specialties in the old farm dishes that my brother will inherit. Always, deviled eggs and asparagus casserole. Dressing and turkey..no ham. The rest varies but it's always good. Christmas consists of cheese grits, scrambled eggs and bacon and sausage plus biscuits. No gravy...ever. When we were kids she always made cinnamon rolls for early snack while we enjoyed Santa. Later the serious cooking began. As the years have passed we have taken over more and more of those traditional meals but always in HER kitchen and seated at THEIR table. Not this time.

The care facility is already decorated for Christmas since they had their dinner last week. The cute admissions girl was on a ladder trying to straighten the lobby tree when I passed through yesterday. There is nothing like traversing the halls of a place like that to make you pace yourself and give the residents and staff space to do what they do. BG has headed to the place where the Cadi was parked two or three weeks ago to try to get to the guy who said he would fix it for her. Carpooling has been a necessity that we're both tired of. Even though the Cadi guzzles gas, it gets her from here to there and back and I miss my (trusty old) Camry. You can hear it coming half a mile away but it does the job. I was shocked to find out today that the accident I thought happened in February was actually in December of last year, the one that tore my shoulder in half. I was way off on my recollections but then it's been a crazy year and one in which I've often not even known my own name much less what I had for lunch. It is what it is and I own that. Just had a chat with mom's occupational therapist about the plan to get her on the road to home in a week or two. We shall see if that's in the stars.

We stopped by Kroger to pick up my allergy meds this afternoon and everybody looked all business and on a mission to cook Thanksgiving dinner. There were several obvious out of towners wandering around looking all citified in the parking lot of a small town grocery store. It sits across the highway from Wallyhell which I haven't visited in many years, nor will I ever again. It's not worth the hassle and guilt on my conscience for their work practice to fight the crowds for 20 cents off.

Gobble gobble!

Monday, November 24, 2014

home for christmas

Today was mama's umpteenth visit with the ortho doc and she's still confined to wearing the brace on that broken leg. According to today's most recent x-ray technology the fracture isn't healed which isn't surprising considering she's 81 and never liked milk. I feel her on that one...i can't stand it unless it's chocolate or boiled custard. The visit was short and sweet and thank goodness it wasn't raining this time. There was a young family sitting across the waiting room with two cute little girls arranging seats for their family. As we were leaving Cody wheeled Mom out and I asked the Timberlake lookin' daddy to get the door for us. He then proceeded to put the wheelchair in my backseat and I told him he was today's hero. Indeed.

In true catering diva fashion, my cousin has arranged for us to have Thanksgiving at the the home where the Reaves sisters live for now. She has introduced me to the residents and staff and I'm quite impressed with their mad skills in the rehab department. Plus it's just a hop skip and jump from the sawmill and I'll be working. Surely nobody will require a blood transfusion at the particular time when my family is gathering. Hmm. 5% of the population folks. Closed on Thanksgiving but providing blood for those in need year around. The American Red Cross is one collection agency that should never have been in the business considering their history with regulatory violations years ago. Community blood centers do it in a much more efficient manner and share when there's a need. Lifeblood of Memphis attempts to provide for all the bloody trauma that is Metro Memphis and imports a large portion. Roll up your sleeves, people.

We have Boogs while his mama works and he's waiting for TT's special supper and a bath while his big sister sits with hair color on her head in the kitchen. Never again for this old gal. Gray is the new sexy, if you know what I mean. My poor friend Cari had her dressing made and hauled it in a crock pot to school today only to have the damn thing turn over in her car on the way. I've done it...I swear.

Today I am thankful for the peace that comes from knowing that prayers are answered and Big Ernie is good.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

rain rain go away

I had the distinctly humbling experience of sharing an umbrella with my father on this rainy eggs and doughnuts day. It was barely raining when we went in to eat and pouring by the time we got to the home to visit Mama. They called yesterday to say that she's on antibiotics now and has a skin tear which is not unusual for her. We sat at the booth next to my high school biochemistry teacher/JFK conspiracy theory expert and he and Daddy talked football the entire time which was fun even for me. They went through the history of the SEC and Big 10 several times, including the Manning legacy that started with Archie Who? at Ole Miss. I can tell that I am becoming an elder like them because I still know what they're talking about. Mom was sitting in her wheelchair with her leg propped on the bed when we rolled in. Daddy was reading the church bulletin to her when I got back from parking and texting. She asked what was going on in Dyersburg and we both said "not a thing" which is mostly true. Our front page news lately has been the pedophile who has a dog chained to his camper and won't give it up for adoption.

I noticed that the handyman and his guy were adding quite a bit to their piles in the yard where the crazy people no longer live. You would not believe how much shit, literally...was in that house. It was built around the time mine was, around 1918 but is in much worse shape due to years of neglect. The view, however, is to die for and somebody will pay big bucks to stay there if they get it looking decent. I shudder to think about the life those kids lived under that roof. Bobby said about a year ago he went for a plumbing job and was met at the door by a pitbull guarding Jenny. She walked through dog poop across roaches on the floor and plopped back on the couch when he got in. It was the quickest job he ever did!

The Hughen family lived there when I was a kid and many more since them. Shirley and Tiko...Robert Miller the mighty coyote killer. My brother. BG and her friends. It's been around the block and there is still spray paint on the basement wall where they created graffiti as kids. There are two fireplaces which I would die for, but not sure the chimney is up to code. The entire bathroom is gutted which is okay because it was never big enough anyway. One former tenant called it the "little bathroom house."

So the holiday season is upon us and everywhere I go people ask if I'm "ready for Christmas." Meaning have I shopped til I dropped and spent money I don't have on things that people don't need. No I have not, nor will I. Black Friday is just another work day for me and so is Thanksgiving. I'm doing it for the time and a half so I can get some propane. Maybe. Hopefully.

Osar and Ryder always follow me down to the grands' house and they were still there when I brought daddy home, both of them soaking wet and thinking they were gonna lay on MY bed. NOT! I love 'em, but. Sam and Sophie don't like getting wet so much so they've stayed curled up all morning while the odd couple roamed.

Other than that? I got nothing. Keep the faith ^j^

Saturday, November 22, 2014

love you forever, like you for always

...as long as you're living your baby I'll be. That book crossed my mind as I sit here with tears just a streaming. Mama hasn't eaten in days because it "all tastes the same" so I stopped by Java for her favorites this morning after my financial planning session. She was resting her eyes when I came in and I sat beside her on the bed as she tasted fresh chicken salad, fruit and tea. That she had to force herself to eat it makes me very sad. Anorexia is not just for skinny teenagers ya' know. Miss Smiley roommate sat there behind us and carried on until her daughter came. Then she called her by the wrong child's name. Mom insisted I take the leftovers for us and I was headed out sobbing when I ran into Aunt Granny parked at a table for lunch. She hadn't seen mom for several days so I wheeled her and the leftovers back to my mother's bedside where they shared the bounty of being Reaves sisters.

Daddy checked in to see if I was available for church duty tomorrow because we've all forgotten when I work and when I don't. Thanks to the prayers of a lot of warriors things have eased up on the finances for a few days so that I don't walk around with my jaw clenched 24/7. TMJ syndrome has never been very kind to me as a clencher, gum chewer and ice chomper. It may sound like Pollyanna, but I feel the love being sent our way and that's what is keeping me in enough faith to let the spirit work. I'm gonna' rest for awhile.

The miracles that have happened this year are abundant and evident now that we are past the crisis point of trying to keep the whole circus going. BG is working hard and looking well in spite of a sore tailbone and frequent allergy flares. Daddy is fine as long as he's got a TV and the neighbors would call us if the house is on fire...hell they would save him! James Frank could break down that door in a heartbeat. I noticed a FB post by one of my friends that a couple she knows had lost everything in fire and I had to wonder what the heck that's like. No tangible history, other than what's up in the great cloud of internet. I hope ISIS doesn't kill the web...we'd all be screwed.

My mother always told me that if I ever put her in a home where they make you wear bunny ears for a group picture she would haunt me forever. I think holiday ears are optional where she is so maybe I'm still her favorite daughter.

^j^

Friday, November 21, 2014

if i were a rich man

I remember my grandmother playing the soundtrack from Fiddler during my childhood on an honest to goodness turntable which was big stuff during the 60s. She knew every word to that song and all the others that were popular in shows of that era. Uncle Jim did community theater productions of several including Oklahoma, South Pacific and The Sound of Music. I never acted in one but loved watching the hustle and bustle of putting together a performance. This is the very same man who took me and Ky cuz to the falling down county jail to see the inmates so we wouldn't want to end up there. He was spontaneous like that and I loved it. Where my own daddy found joy in sports and bowling, Jimbo put all his spare time into more music and remodeling houses. The one on St John is where Deb came running down the stairs and didn't stop at the glass storm door. Lots of blood and stitches.

The Troys lived a few houses down and we could walk to elementary school from there. Down the street is a house on a shady corner that belonged to Mama's friend Doris's family while the Reaves bunch lived on Pate Street along with Mrs. Norman and her crew of boys. Luigi stuck a broom in mom's bicycle just to watch her fall. What a mean one! One of the richest businessmen in town lived on the corner. There was a poorer section to the east and the railroad runs under a bridge that now carries the rich ones to school and the suburbs in their parents' ridiculously expensive gas guzzling vehicles. Some things never change.

I'm on the other side of those tracks and have been for about 10 years. My husband told me when he left I could never afford it on my own and he was right about that. It is what it is, but I've had a helluva' lot of fun just living my life on this hill. Nobody can take that away from me. My friend Kenneth lost his mother recently and shared a state sponsored advance directive than be used as a simple tool for decision making when it comes to end of life care. He pointed out that nobody ever really THINKS they're gonna die because everybody keeps saying "Don't give up!!" Sometimes you're just tired of the fight and I appreciate the lesson that working in a hospital has given me on dying well and otherwise.

Doctors are so freakin' full of themselves like they're the only ones who want to "help people." Now it's all about managed care with big insurance and giant corporations teaming up to see what type of a plan they can work with this or that one on contract. We lost two in the last year and they were brought back full force by our outgoing administrator. He's cute as a bug with a great personality and will be missed. However, I'm looking forward to a majority female leadership team. Time for a change. My college classmate Gaye is an administrator in East Tennessee that just built a new facility. The trick to transitioning is to recognize the stages of care you can provide and live within the boundaries of realistic possibility. Long ago, a packed courtroom on the square in Dyer County met with their commissioners over the sale of our locally run facility. So we were sold in a competition between two large not for profit groups who wanted to nail down the Highway 51 corridor to Memphis metro. Not long after Baptist got whacked down and Methodist University stands kinda' sorta' proudly. You see their vision went from "We know what a miracle you are" to "transplant center. It sounds like a bad John Grisham novel.

So that's how I got from there to here, sitting in a cold house but not SOO cold today (50s) thank you sweet baby jeebus. I'm working on finances and just got a friendly reminder from everybody that I owe that they know today is payday and I'm afraid to even look at what I have left. Just one day of knowing that it's nothing that won't wait makes me feel better about life. After work I walked over to see my mama and she was halfway snoozing by the fan with her birthday balloons, flowers and cookies nearby. Her eyes popped open when she sensed my presence so I sat on the bed with her and chatted while her roommate smiled at us. Poor lady sets off the bed alarm every 30 minutes.

Healthcare is a human right and to be treated with dignity at the end of life is what J would do. Not whacking somebody's head off on camera or shooting a bunch of innocents in a sectarian battle that has always been thus and so. I refuse to believe in a God who wants that for us when it could all be as simple as putting down the weapons of war and approaching a common table. Extremists of any sort have way too much power with the sheeple.

TGIF and thank you Big Ernie for this day ^j^