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Friday, February 5, 2016

February 5, 2016
Rewind…I wrote on Thursday morning and hit the wrong key
and erased it as I jumped to grab my notebook
and head into the world. Later, I will get back… later.
The day was  about a fabulous truck
 that was so long it extended over the driveway
 in a fabulous townhome community
and nixed the choice of the fabulous couple.
And then there was the letter my mother
wrote in 1958 when I was in college about
how Fred’s mother befriended her, this newcomer from a
very small town in Virginia.
And then seeing Fred and his wife, sweethearts in high school,
 that evening, at a gathering of the class of ’57 MPHS
 and telling him about the letter
and thanking him, fifty-eight years later.
Opening the letter from Roads Scholar
updating information on my 77th birthday gift
 to myself in July: “we will go to the Blue Lagoon
 in Iceland on Day 1.”
Then receiving a text at dinner at Shun Lee
with classmates, an offer presented for the home
I have listed off Rea Road.
And not lastly, gathering all the documents
 I now need for tomorrow’s meeting to try to sell
 the family crypts we held at Sharon Mausoleum
 now empty. We scattered their ashes on a hillside
next to the forest where we lived in Virginia.
Happier times for them.
What we know, it is the small pieces
 that make the whole and each is treasured.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February 3, 2016
My promise is to write every day.
But here it is, mid-morning and I am scrambling to do the basics
 before I head out. This also includes doing homework for Spanish II through
CPCC at the Myers Park High School campus in the evenings,
Wednesday 7-9 p.m. Today is Wednesday.
 I took longer doing the work because it drew me in.
Some of the attraction is another language,
 romantic one at that, and the different words play with the mind.
My mind drifts a bit with a small coupling like “media noches, es media noches.” The day the era ends, the media noches, the midnight,
 half day, half night, sliced- apart- yesterday-today,
 tomorrow and last week. The trace is gone. 
The grueling upheaval in Matthews on Fullwood
 torments my spirit. I keep driving through it, back and forth.

 And I can hear the chanting in deep cells
 in the crevices of my brain, memory.
Footsteps heal to the smooth grade of erasure,
another corner lost to the future, the hour,
 the meaning of this, what is lost, what is found,
what becomes and what has gone.
 Traces of earth moving machines,
our whole history, dirt turns, gone the burrow,
 gone the blind, down the nest, crushed the eggs,
 smashed the snakes, gone the frogs,
 the turtles, the worms, the beetles, the seeds,
 the babes, the old, gone.
The largest, oldest trees, sprawling limbs and huge branches
 bore the leaves that sheltered cows and chickens,
supported clothes lines and fresh smelling laundry,
provided circles for children to play around, swings to fly,
lovers to kiss, and olden, wood to burn for winters night.
Gone. So much of our village gone.
I am here to see it go, feel the change and maybe follow
 before my heart breaks
 or I clang my sword and hammer type
 to print to sing the song Media Noches.

Monday, February 1, 2016

 I asked her “how?”

She said it took her about ten years. When she knew of a want, a need or a love for something,
she would make it so.
 I packed.
We moved to the nursing home and settled in.
Soon John died. She followed within days.
Rita tended, and watched, planned and acted, spoke and listened, received and gave.
She made sending things on,
seeing other folks happy and pleased with her
offerings a part of going forward.
And you know after a while, it is or can be joyful.
You might come to love this path, feel and act younger, appreciate what you have and had even more, review memories, read old love letters and savor
 this very life by letting go. 
She gave me the gift of learning to let go with grace. She taught me care and appreciation for what we have, who is in our care. She showed me how to listen to another and how to behave as life brings its gift. Each passage is so,
each layers the other.
I try to figure out what to say to the Baby Boomers some twenty years younger than I, that this might be the time, to craft the language so they hear themselves say, “sending on, giving to, making sure”…being as thoughtful giving as in getting…we are stewards. Rita's gift…the surprise and wonder, unwrapping, opening, removing, trying on or trying out, using, using a lot, not using, forgetting, storing, finding, wonder, using, remembering that morning, deciding now, passing on. A prayer perhaps.
From the wise woman and fine neighbor and good friend,
my spirit guide, Rita Adams, thank you.

I listen. Smiling.

 Thinking to myself about Rita Adams,
 the wonderful neighbor who taught me
 that lesson befo
re I even started.
 Rita was one of the wisdom teachers in my life. And hers were not lectures or long descriptions of how to or when to, they were simple guides.
 I could see Rita’s wisdom in the way she lived her life,
they way she cared for her husband,
her home, her garden, and sometimes me.
And we did not see each other often
 and when we did, it was short, poignant, sweet, a gift.
I would leave fresh flowers on her doorstep
 ( from my flower stand on Morehead Street where
 I sold flowers every Friday and Saturday
for three years, rain snow or sleet…and sometimes
 had flowers left over) and she would
 leave cookies on my porch.

She called one day to ask if I would help her take
some things to the nursing home where she was moving
to be with John,
he suffered from Alzheimer’s and she cared for him at home until her eyesight failed immeasurably .When I walked in their home it was almost empty. Just a couple of chairs, a bed, a few dishes, two cups, two bowls…everything was gone.
The most important things were before me:
what I could not see.
 I asked her “how?”
( continued)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

I promised myself I would write every day.
 It will have to be in the morning somehow.
 Here is why: Saturday was market day, breakfast with Mary, 
more market, home to get ready for an Open House, to tend 
my sweet companion, Eve, and off to real estate and it went
 on until I came home, fed the dog and crashed. 

Because, no sooner did I drive up to the elegant townhome
 I have on the market off Rea Road,
 you know the one with the fabulous and exotic gardens 
with fountains and palms, yes, that one, "they" came. 
They came and came and came. Like a gentle tide in
 the early morning, a yawning sea breaking day, a hungry child,
 they came, the Baby Boomers. 
They are out. They have been out, leaving camp, packing up,
and heading out to new territory. 
Some have settled in their Masters on Main and are travelling. 
Some have settled down and tending their health, nursing a spouse, 
becoming the nanny or meeting the oneness of being single again, 
of widowhood. Whatever. 
They are making themselves known. And some are precious. 
They wore me out yesterday. You see, they are, the wave that came my way,
 just starting to think about “scaling down”. I sense excitement and trepidation,
 here they are after 20-30-40+ years in a home
 they are about to leave.
 “What do we do with all the stuff?"
 They say that with eyes wide, hands spread
 out or down with palms open or clenched, 
both a smile and a grimace…the words echo,
 “All the stuff!”
(More tomorrow or later tonight so I stay on schedule.
How I learned to embrace "letting go" from a woman far wiser
than I will ever be.