Thursday, January 31, 2013

I've been contemplating how memories can invade the mind, How they can dredge up thoughts that have been buried for years? How one small smell or sight or sound can drag me so quickly back between those intervening years and have me stand at that memory's door?
Thoughts of my wife have seemed to be prevalent. She passed away nearly ten years ago from ovarian cancer, Ovarian cancer is a silent killer. As a nurse, I still review her last years to see if I missed any symptoms. Anything that I should have noticed to have her seek treatment before it was so far gone.
The first year after her death. I was in a world of confusion. I walked and talked, but it was like a plodding from day to day.I went to work. ate, slept, and back to work.The only interlude that I can remember was my son's wedding.
My wife died in March and my son and his fiancee had their wedding planned for August. I argued they should continue. My wife had been looking forward to the wedding.
With some difficulty, I can recall packing, buying tickets, and herding my mother-in-law and daughter to the airport to fly to Phoenix. The wedding and reception sped by in slow motion.
For the first year and beyond, I had to constantly remind myself that my wife had died. I would wake and the bed would be empty and cold, but in my dreams she would come to me and be alive. She would totally convince me someone had told lies and she was still here. I would wake and expect to see her beside me and when she wasn't...?
It was almost madness. I didn't know what to believe.
When I was truly awake, I would think of something I wanted to tell her. I would stop. I tell people this need was like having a gaping hole in the living room floor. I would start to cross and come to a stop suddenly at the edge to keep from falling into it.
I was slowly coming out of this funk, when the next year, my mother-in-law died. It was so hard. She was one of my best friends.
In march of the following year, my mother died. It was the same day as my wife's death. It was on that morbid anniversary that she succombed to the ravages of Altzheimer's disease. It had claimed her mind, long before it took her body.
The past has a way of reaching into the present and stirring memories.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Another warm day, what a blessing. It is a relief from the frigid temperatures of the past week. Isn't it nice that we can revel in the "climate change" that Al Gore and some fake data scientists have conceived to make people want to buy into carbon taxes. It's just a way for the governments to push their hands into the workers pockets.
More and more true scientists are speaking out against this fable. There was a time when grape vines grew the North Atlantic's islands and we still have polar bears. Strange isn't it. Mankind wasn't as "polluting" then and yet we still had warming. It is cyclical. The sun warms and cools and so does the Earth that receives that energy.
I can remember as a child being greeted by the older folk when we would visit. They would say, "Come in and make yourself t'home." This is why I wrote the following.

One day I shall see that Heavenly place
When on this world, I shall no longer roam.
I shall see Christ, my Savior's shining face.
He'll say, "Come in and make yourself to home."
No more a tired stranger a wandering
In desert sand or by the ocean's foam,
But be welcomed by the Eternal King
With a, "Come in and make yourself to home."
A pilgrim journeying with weray feet,
No longer I'll walk this Earth's rocky loam,
But at Heaven's golden gate, Christ I'll meet,
He'll say, "Come in and make yourself to home."
One day my feet shall walk on golden street,
That has God described in His Bible tome.
In those glorious mansions, Christ shaell greet,
Bidding, "Come in and make yourself to home."

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

As I reflect on the problems, friends, and joy that I have had over the years woeking at the hospital, I cannot believe how quickly those years have flown by. Many of those days as I lived them seemed to drag and as though they would never end.
I have gone back to the hospital to finish some paper work and syop by after I've had some testing. It is so much different now. The hospital hasn't changed that much I am sure. I haven't changed that much, other than to feel less stressed, but that day to day connection has severed and it will never be restored. A supervisor is so deeply involved in the day to day operation of the hospital, it becomes just like a spider web, woven inside of us. A web that supports and feeds us, but it also traps us. The strands of that web have been broken. That makes me feel like a stranger in a place where I had worked for almost thirty-seven years.

My weary feet ache and my old joints creak.
My voice has gained huskiness when I speak.
My eyes need glasses to help the see.
It's hard to rise from bended knee.
My ears still hear, ut in muffled tones.
My teeth in a glass, spend time alone.
My bladder won't leave me alone at night.
My whiskers thicker and have become white.
I've never been slender or svelt.
Now suspenders sometimes replace my belt.
The older I get, the older I feel.
I may have lost strength, but retain the skill.
Ideas still spark from this elder's brain
I think have managed to stay quite sane.
Youngster, make each second of each day count.
Each person has only a set amount.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The computer was not co-operating this mornig, so I didn't post my normal rise and shine diary. I did some shopping with my daughter today. No sunshine, but no frigid temperatures either. I did do some writing this morning and polished some old writings that I have stored. I also found in my down time, that my filing system was not a system at all, but a chaotic tucking away of papers. I did sort and file them away in a better system. Now if I am searching for something, I now hava a general idea where it is hiding.
The following is a rewrite of an earlier poem.

Friends are like an old pair of shoed.
They are comfortaable to have.
Friendship is like a soothing balm.
Just like a cool, comforting salve.
Friendships blossom as strangeness dies
And the genuine smiles appear.
What touches you still touces me
And wipes away each tear.
Friends are like steaming bowls of soup.
They give nourishmenat to my soul.
True friends are like a compass true.
They will help guide you to your goal.
Friends, like roses, need tender care
Helping to prune away the thorn.
A friend can polis other friends
Until the rough is smooth and worn.
Friend, you shape me as I shape you
Like water flowing over rock.
Your thoughts and ny thought changes us
To evaluate and take stock.
What more can I say my dear friend?
We have formed this wonderful bond.
Ties that even time cannot sever
Though we know not what lies beyond.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Laast night was remarkable. It was so beautiful.I went outside to clean my driveway and found myself enjoying it more than I normally do.
The moon was full and bright. It made it easier to see what I was sweeping iinto piles. Then I came to an area untouched before by my, brooms, my shovels, or the state snow plows. I had to stop and stare. THe moonlight on the new fallen snow glistened. I don't think I have ever seen snow so beautiful, rich , and fresh looking.
As I stood there leaning on my broom and looking at the light dance from the snow crystals, a far off sound floated through the silent night sky. From several mile away came the sound of a locomotive"s whistle. It reminded me of my childhood, resting in my bed and hearing the same sounds before I would nod off to sleep. A neighbor's hound bayed several times echoing the engine's plaintive call.
The cold night wind stirred me into moving from this magical spot. All of the same things surrounded me, yet it all seemed so different transformed somehow by the bright moonlight and the white sparkling snow.
I wrote this after coming back inside. It may be a bit rough. I haven't had time to polish it for you.

It was so beautiful tonight.
Full moon sharing its brilliant light.
The virgin snow lay soft and pure,
Beckoning with untouched allure.
Soft curves entice so inviting.
They sparkle in moon's bright lighting.
Unspoiled by the touch of men
It stirs yearnings from deep within.
Lustings rise to savor this prize
Dazzling lights slowly hypnotize.
Sounds and smells start to pull at me
Tugging back to reality.
The driveway remains unfinished.
My work is still undiminished.
I move and return to the task.
'Twas magic. What more could I ask?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Yesterday was a bit of a disappointment. I was to have gone to my second writers group meeting and it snowed, about three inches of the white stuff. The roads became more and more slippery and the snow kept falling. My anticipation for the meeting was snuffed out by the falling snow.
 My daughter and I cleaned the drive about eight o'clock last night, so hopefully we can get out should there be an emergency. Many times I think that PennDot pays someone to watch my drive and when I have finished (or almost finished) they radio the snow plow driver and warns them that I need more snow. Amid the rumble of the plow and amber flashing lights, they yellow beast lumbers closer and closer, trailing a white cloud of snow. The snow is tossed eight feet into my drive and the process begins again.
We are snug and warm. I love my wood burner. For the most part, it heats my home except cold, windy days, then the oil burner kicks in for assistance.
The following is an excerpt from the pages of something I am writing that I hope to pass on the memories of my nursing career.

Jill ws a manager of the medical/surgical floors in our hospital. She was always cold. Walking into her office was just a few degrees below a blast furnace. The office was a converted old patient room and had an attached bethroom. (The bathroom she kept as warm as a sauna.)
One winter morning I was coming in to work as a nursing supervisor, I noticed huge icicles hanging on the eaves of the roof. Jill hadn't arrived yet. I went into her office and shut off the heater in the bathroom. Going back outshde, I broke off the thickest icicle I could reach and carried it back into her office. The icicle was nearly five fet long and its base almost ten inches thick.
I stuck the base into the commode, trying to get it to rise out of the water to stand erect, but I could not get it to stand alone. I had to lean it to the side, the icicle's tip resting against the wall. Closing the bathroom door, I left her office.
A short while later, she strolled into the supervisor's office. She was still laughing and said, "You've had your fun, now kindly remove that icicle from my bathroom." She didn't need to ask. She knew who had placed it there.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The hardest three years of my life occurred almost ten years ago. The death of my wife 24, March 2003 was preceded by almost a month of her feeling ill with symptoms of an upper respiratory system infection, laryngitis, cough, and some shortness of breath. She became so short of breath, I forced her to go to be evaluated. Ten days later she had passed. The ovarian cancer had silently filled her with its far reaching tentacles. There was no organ in her body that wan't touched.
Everything progressed so rapidly, it was hard for our family to comprehend what was was happening. It was hard on us all, but the blessing in this was, my wife did not have to suffer the prolonged pain and agony that accompanies many of the deaths from cancer.
There was a glimmer of joy in 2003, my son and his fiancee wed in August of that year. They had wanted to delay the ceremony, but my wifef had been looking forward to it and I said "No." All the planning was done and my wife would not have wanted them to delay. It was all I could do to get myself, my younger daughter, and my mother-in-law to Cottonwood, Arizone that year.
My mother-in-law was my best friend. I think the death of her daughter changed something inside of her and she died the next year as well as a nephew. Their deaths so close to my wife's death reopened many wounds.
Now the third year. On the same day, 24, March 2005 my mother died. It was a coincidence, but what can I say. It happened. I amost wanted to give up, but my kids were still there and they were in as much pain as I was. I couldn't cause any more grief. My mother suffered from Alzheimer's disease. I guess I should say the family suffered. She hadn't known what was happening for almost four years. The only thing different between Satan and Alzheimer's is Alzheimer's steals the person's mind and soul for only a short time and not for eternity.

Just to let you know that I care.
I sought you out to share your grief.
It was my desire to be there,
Hopefully to give some relief.
It doesn't take much to share tears,
Or lending strength and giving heart.
As we travel throughout the years
It takes some time in a small part.
There's caring behind the intent
Of an embrace or a gentle touch.
Only a little time is spent.
It costs little, but means so much.
When you lighten another's load,
The tender bonds of friendship grow.
Remember, no matter which road
Is walked, there's friends who care, you know.
In drying tears from someones face,
Comforting by holding a hand,
Calming when loneliness would chase,
Helps each other to understand.
Oft friendship grows in subtle way
With just a smile or but a wave.
Though tmes swiftly goes, your friends stay
And will remember what you gave.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January 24th It's snowing. Who would have guessed? The older I get, the less I enjoy the snow.I shouldn't sat that is completely true. Now that I have retired the "hate" has throttled back to a hearty dislike.
When I worked, I would struggle to keep my drive open. Sometimes I would shovel it out two or three times in a day. (My daughter often helps.) Now I shovel just to be sure I can get out if an emergency arises.
I don't hate the snow when it floats down as much as when it is cold, windy, and blowing. I can remember actually enjoying it not too many years ago. It ws night time, it was so quiet, I could hear the snow flakes falling all around me. Everything was peaceful and still. The mood onlt interrupted by the occasional passing of a car.

It was with great surprise,
I woke to see the snow.
Transformed landscapes now show
Beneath clear cobalt skies.
Each thing looks clean and new.
With their blanket of white'
They sparkle in the light
"Neath skies of royal blue.
Drifts look like meringue pie.
Sun shines and red birds sing
Bright hued beauty takes wing
Beneath cornflower sky.
Bells peal in far off spire.
Chicadees gather 'round
Seek seeds on weeds now browned
'Neath skies of bright sapphire.
Timid steps of a doe
Mar meadows smooth surface.
Dainty steps made with grace
'Neath skies of indigo.
Soft sounds of little boys
With sleds on nearby hill
Playing in winter's chill
Beneath skies of turquoise.
Winter winds may chap us
Yet go outside we dare
Snowy moments we share
'Neath bright skies of lapis.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I am still trying to settle into my retirement and have no routine as of yet. (Other than the computer, but that is even at odd times.)
I joined a writers group. I really enjoyed it. After my first meeting, I felt like a kid after his first date. I didn't want to wait until the next time. I started planning the next day.
The group is named the Beanery Writers group and meets in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. It has an on line publication "Beanery Online Literary Magazine".
Jut like the approach of Christmas day, my anticipation grows as the next meeting date grows closer. What can I say. The people that I have met aspire to write their thoughts and creativity for others to share.
I once said, "The difference between a brave person and just a regular person, is the courage to write down thoughts for others to read, share, enjoy, or criticize. I am proud to know these brave people.
They write in all genres, from the factual to fantasy to the fantastic.
I learned how to make knotted quilts from my mother-in-law and have made several for my grandchildren. I worte this poem after I had made a quilt for one of them who lives in Amarillo.

Dear little one, this gift is to kep you snug
And warm when I am not there to give a hug.
Each stitch that was sewn, each knot that was tied
Were placed with care and my love tucked inside.
Snuggled 'neath this quilt, safe from all that harms
Is like you're held in strong and loving arms.
A gift like this from Grandpa mayseem odd
But know I love you as off to sleep you nod.
Little one, I'm wanting to hold you tight
Rock you, tuck you in, and kiss you good night.
If you are sad and start to shed a tear
Hold this quilt and think Grandpa is near.
It's not hard to love a wee one like you
Until we meet, this quilt will have to do.
Love Pappy

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

About me and other abnormal thoughts

Just a few lines from a retired R. N. who is continuing to write, but now have an outlet for my ideas. I hope that you will find something that interests you or amuses you.
Other than high school, my whole life has revolved around the health care profession.
In the Navy I was a corpsman. Although I was active duty during the Vietnam conflict, I did not have to fight as did some of my friends.
I went to college on my GI bill and received my Bachelor's degree in nursing.
I have worked at the same hospital for almost thirty-seven years, twenty-eight of them as a nursing supervisor.
I am attempting to compile the anecdotes from my life into a journal/novel/book to share with others, but to at least write them down for my children and their children.
On occasion I will post an anecdote, a poem, some Haiku, or whatever else strikes my fancy to share.
The following is a ditty that came to mind after hearing a joke about the wisemen and seeing a manger scene in front of a local firehall.

A pastor once said to an old fireman friend
"In your Nativity, what did you intend?
It was beautiful. The stable all aglow,
But there is one thing that I must treuly know.
Whatever your reasons, I'm sure they're sincere,
But why were the wisemen dressed in firemen's gear?"

The old fireman looked at the the young preacher boy
And said, "I'll tell ya'." with a smile almost coy.
"Ya' mus' not have read yer Bible like ya' should
Or this mystery ya' would have understood.
Don't ya' recall readin'" as he mussed his har.
"That thse three wisemen had just come from a far."