Pain is not a one size fits all thing. It is a crushing stab along my lower back that cripples me, makes me limp, makes it hard to get in and out of bed. It is a jolt of fear when the man who smears … Continue reading Pain
I am ashamed to be white. It was nothing I earned. Nothing I chose.
Nothing I deserved.
But I am white, so I can freely breathe
Black people did not choose even to be here.
They were stolen from home and packed in ships so tight they could hardly breathe.
They were bought and sold like dogs, and their families torn apart so they could hardly breathe.
They were hung from trees and lamposts until they could not breathe.
They were held on the ground by the knees of white men until they could not breathe.
Their only sin was the amount of pigment in their skin.
Now I am finding it hard to breathe.
-Linda M. Langer, May 29, 2020
When I was in Catholic high school, taught by Benedictine nuns, I was chosen, with my bff KB and assorted other female classmates, to take part in a bizarre event called A Benedictine Weekend. We were chosen, I think, in the mistaken belief that we … Continue reading Lost Weekend
my country tis of thee
babies and toddlers
a house I loved
so much I more…bees, trees,
It was the butt end of the dustbowl, and my newly married parents decided to try farming. Actually it was my father who longed to farm.
My mother gave it a try because she was in love.
It was doomed at the starting line.
My mother was a town girl. Raising banty chickens, the onery little bastards of the barnyard, did not warm one cockle of my mother’s heart. They attacked her legs when she left the house to pump water.
Her sister Lucille visited often, and the two of them devised an unlikely plan of defense involving a broom. When they went outside for water, the banty roosters attacked. Lucille screamed, dropped the broom, abandoned my mother and fled to the protection of the house.
There was other livestock. Pigs were mentioned. Maybe a milk cow or two.
My mom became pregnant with me on the farm. She longed even more for town, where there were double cousins abounding. The farm, if not in the middle of nowhere, was within a stone’s throw.
It wasn’t all bitter herbs and banty chickens. Sometimes my parents listened to the radio while cuddling side by side on the couch. Dad,in later years, said this activity was “very rheumatic.”
One day my mother, heavily pregnant, fell while my dad was out working, She was still on the floor when my dad came back to the house. That must have been terrifying for them, and gave my mom one more reason to hate the farm.
When the war began, the great doomed farm adventure ended. But even into old age, my dad tended an enormous garden. His tomatoes were legendary. And every month, an issue of The Farm Journal was delivered to the house.
I am absolutely positive my mom never read a word of it
let’s talk muscle spasms. The kind that bring you to your knees, make you cry out, and tease you by letting you have a second of peace, only to strike you in the back like the death of a thousand cuts.
That’s pretty much where I have been since late yesterday afternoon.
always intended to be four-footed creatures. But somewhere one of us , wanting to show off, handed his beer to a buddy , said “watch this” and stood up on two legs.
That was the start of it all. My pain scale of 10 muscle spasms.
My back is saying “ SEE, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FUCK AROUND WITH MOTHER NATURE?”
Last night, with my wonderful husband’s help, I staggered into an urgent care office. After two vicodin, a pain injection, a muscle relaxant a steroid shot,
And two Ambien, I was still in around a 4 pain level. I went to sleep.
Frankly, when I woke up this morning, I was surprised. Not out of pain, just surprised I was still alive.
The doctor said it could take up to five days to resolve. Well, I’m resolved to hang around to be there when it does.
Mother Nature holds grudges.
TUNE IN TOMORROW FOR HER CLIMATE CHANGE GRUDGE. IT’s a dandy
Just to get it out there how we roll on the night before the new year begins, I’m going to share with you the most tempestuous example of our hedonistic rollage.
It started about ten p.m. We were scantily clad. We climbed into bed eagerly, both of us reaching for the mixed sampler box of cookies my sister had sent us for Christmas. We ripped off the wrappings with abandon, pushing away random family cats who had come to watch.
The wrappings slid to the floor as we gazed on the overly generous quantity of high end cookies. A perfect single serving size.
For some time, we had been discussing the purchase of a grandfather clock. And so, for the first and last time in our lives, we turned on The Home Shopping Network. We had read they were featuring grandfather clocks that night,
Indeed, it was true! And not sclocky ones, either. As we munched our way eagerly through row after row of cookies, we lost all track of time. We were treated to one beautiful clock after another, their lovely chimes in tune with our frenzied cookie munching.
Then we saw it. It was what we had been looking for! My husband fumbled for his credit card, got it, ordered that beautiful timepiece, and it was ours at the exact moment we finished the cookies!
We were satiated.
We turned out the bedside lamp and held each other.
I can’t remember who said it first, but we knew it had to be said.
“Is our ceiling tall enough?”
We threw off the covers, and in our state of disarray and deshabille, we raced into the living room. I don’t know where it came from, but my husband had a metal tape measure in his hand. We both trembled as he reeled the tape upward. Would it fit?
Yes indeed, it would fit.
We returned to the bedroom, both of us scantily clad. My husband’s briefs had a hole in them. We had never loved each other more.
And that, my friends, is how we rolled on that New Year’s Eve. And it wasn’t even midnight yet.
When you are young, nobody tells you that aging is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. At a time when you are the weakest, the upkeep gets wilder. You drag around an accumulation of physicians, and illnesses come at you like you’re driving the wrong … Continue reading Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
I’ve been ill. I had a spontaneous kidney bleed in April. Was in the hospital for a week.
Seems like I’ve been fighting my way back to some semblance of health ever since. I think I may be getting there.
I am 76. My mother died when she was 76. Something about that has just about driven me mad. Of course, Donald Trump hasn’t helped.
Yesterday, I made soup! Doesn’t sound like much. But it was hopeful soup. It filled the house with loving smells that made it feel like someone was home,
And I think I am
When we first moved to St. Louis, we lived in a duplex with two tiers of concrete steps leading up to it. Killer stairs.
My friends KB and Mike came to visit with their three impossibly small children. Bridgid may have been nearly four. Jennie was two. Stephen was a babe in arms.
I can’t remember what else happened that weekend. We may have taken in the Zoo. Dined out. Drove around to look at this as yet unexplored brick city.
One thing I remember vividly. Mike put on a performance of dexterity and bravery that defied his well-known and humorously scorned thin ankles.
The family was packing up to leave. KB was at the back of the duplex, and was thus spared the mom-killing horror of what was about to happen.
But I had a front row box seat.
Bridgid, older toddler that she was, had made her way to the sidewalk, holding tightly to the railing. Michael, holding the baby in a handled infant seat, was watching Bridgid, but had not noticed Jennie edging toward the top step.
I had no stopwatch, of course, but I would estimate that this entire event took less than a second. I think it would make a great Olympic Event: The Dad Throwing Himself off the Grassy Knoll Holding a Baby in a Handled Carrier to Save the Life of a Two-year Old Who Missed That First Step and Was Falling To Her Death.
Because that’s exactly what happened. In one death-defying leap, Michael landed, caught Jennie by the arm without dropping the baby, and returned to the top of the grassy knoll. Even tiny Bridgid was impressed, her mouth open in amazement.
At that precise moment, KB strolled to the front of the condo, took in the sight of me with my hand on my heart, trying to put in back down in my chest after it had leapt into my mouth; Michael sweating like he’d run a marathon; Jennie ‘s little tear-stained face ; and, finally, Bridgid frozen in time in open-mouthed amazement.
KB said casually, “What’s goin’ on?”
We never told her.
But I have never, never, underestimated what a good dad will do for his kids.