Van Duzen River near Carlotta, California.
Monday morning. I have a folder in my external hard drive that is labeled just that, Monday Morning. I’d post a story on blogger and then save it to a file and put it away for safekeeping in this external hard drive. This way, I’d have these stories and comments around to create a legacy. So, long after I’m gone, the words can be printed out and put into a ring binder and the Grandchildren’s children can read about their Grand father and something of his life and his family.
Sometimes I go into that file and reference a title or a subject, look for a picture I posted or just grab one of the older stories and repost it as an archival item. These days, when reading and writing blogposts seems not so much interesting as it was, I entertain the thought of reposting old stories. I used to have a regular Monday morning feature called the Monday Mystery Tour where I would tell travel stories from my past.
I’m sorry. I have a bunch of blogs on my side bar, old friends, people I admire and respect. I don’t go to their blogs these days. I sit and want to write, but I don’t know what to write about. Lately, the exchange has been with just a couple of people. Seems like that’s all I can handle. I'm not looking for pity, I'm just explaining that I'm in a rut. And the rut has lasted a while. I'm trying to get a handle on it, it's just taking a while.
In trying to figure out where I’m suppose to go with my writing, I have come to one sure conclusion. That is, I am changing and my lifestyle is changing. During January and February in years past, I’d be on the road, traveling, headed West usually, making adventure, living life. I’m still living life, but the focus is completely different than in years past. Things have evolved and aren’t like they used to be. That is not a bad thing, it just is.
It was a great run, those traveling years. Working for the motion picture studios, criss-crossing the country, moving equipment, or just taking time between shows to head out to our second home on Humboldt Bay near Eureka, California. Driving cars or moving people from here to there, or just on the road, checking out the American life. I’d take a different road every time, one I hadn’t traveled before. I'd stop in a new to me diner or coffee shop, seeking them out in towns I've never stopped in before. It was great fun and great adventure.
I wrote the stories. Maybe I haven’t told every detail of them all, but I’ve told them. Now, they would be the repetitious banter of an old man, repeating what he said last time you saw him. That old man, that’d be me, would have the same exuberance and enthusiasm, but the story would be old and crusty, used up and not the least bit desirable. That has been happening to me lately by the way. I’ll be talking to a friend and he’ll tell me the same story he told me last time I talked to him. Every once in a while I’ll hear him say, “Did I already tell you this story?”
Then I’ll answer, “I don’t remember how it ends, go on.”
Seems like the more I dream about taking a trip these days, the more impossible it seems to be that it will happen. Money is one culprit, but also the idea that I am needed at home and this is the place that I want to be. Together with my family.
Yesterday, I spent one of the most glorious days I have had in a while. My Grand daughter Lilly stayed over night. Mrs. Spadoman had gone to work. My brother and his wife were here, but were picked up by her daughter and taken to Minnesota to visit relatives. That left me and Yoody, as I call her, a nickname from years ago that stuck.
We had a couple of errands to run. The bank drive-up window, the hardware store, the grocery. We took the slow roads, winding through the Northwestern Wisconsin countryside, looking at the snow laden hills and black tree limbs jutting out into the blue sun lit sky. Sure it was cold, but we were toasty with the heater blasting and the sun warming us through the windshield.
A picture I took early one morning recently, Lilly's silhouette against the backdrop of a gray morning.
We sang and laughed. We told stories. We ate at McDonald’s. I know, corporate thieves, unhealthy and all that. Some days, for a few minutes, it’s not about that. I sacrificed healthy eating and the corporate greediness for a portion of an hour with a child that I love unconditionally, and who loves me. For this day, any place else might not have been the same. She chose the table where we sat.
It was a special day for sure. Yoody went home last night. I’ll be alone today after Mrs. Spadoman goes to work. I think I’ll have an apple run to take care of for the food shelf, but other than that, no plans. I’ll be lonely without Yoody around. I’ll have to think about my Mom, as she is in her last days, down with my sister in Chicago.
It’s not that I didn’t think of Mom yesterday, I did. I just had the edge of the impending loss taken off a bit as Yoody and I were together. Later in the day, I talked with my sister. Earlier, I was with my brother. We all had our thoughts about the situation, and the situation is that we wait. And while we wait, life is going on.
Mom is comfortable and stable for the time being. Her lungs won’t get any better, and we don’t know how long they’ll breathe in the oxygen the machine makes for her from the ambient air in the room. After that, I turned to Yoody. She didn’t know it, but she was giving me solace.
And when I took off my shoes and laid down on the sofa, she came to my side and kissed my forehead and told me she loved me, just as I had done last week when I was with my Mom.