Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Intimations of Life Without Christmas

Silly me! Christmas is almost here, and other than a few ornaments and what was handy in some boxes in the closet, this is what it will be this year.
I got a viral infection that has wasted a whole week and almost wasted me. It started with a small headache and loosing my voice. It turned into a monster that wouldn't let me breath and coughing that almost did me in. By yesterday I said "I give." and went to the hospital in Elk Grove to see my doctor. I started running a fever.
I wrote this poem for him....although I didn't take it with me, so he didn't actually see it.

Please Doctor.... Make me well

Christmas is a coming.
I've got so much to do...
The cookies need some baking 

and all the gifts bought too.
I can't be sick much longer. 
It's not the time of year.
I haven't finished anything. 

Please kick me in the rear.
Give me all the medicine

that you know will make me well.
Because the season is coming fast 

and, Oh, I feel like Hell.
Just one magic potion

to make my body right.
Just one magic potion 

to let me see the light.
I promise I will write a letter,

with cookies, to your boss,
And tell them you're the best darn "doc"

in the whole entire Hosp'.

(OK, that last line is kind of lame. I will work on it.)
The Prospector drove this wretched person down to her appt. The doctor listened, poked and did some tests and sent me home with antibiotics, Codeine cough medicine and Albuterol inhaler. He told me that I shouldn't have waited so long to come in. I was borderline. (I've known that for years.)
Today I feel...... better. Kind of.
Silly me. I thought I wasn't going to get better. It's hard to be positive when you can't breath.
I have this small thought inside that is getting larger, as I grow older. It's like a window with old distorted glass. I'm looking into it and I see my reflection. Behind me is my mother. She couldn't breath either.
At some point in our lives we see this reflection of what lies ahead... and it's so scary we can't even say it's name.
I'm so glad Christmas is coming..... Maybe it will snow.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Places that make me pause for thought

If you're lucky, once in a lifetime, you will live somewhere that makes your heart sing. For me the little town of Volcano, CA. does this.
This is the quintessential little town. It's north of Pine Grove and east of Sutter Creek in an old gold mining area. There are 100 (oops! I guess 3 more people move into town) folks in this charming town and it's at the 2053 ft. elevation. It snows here but usually not enough to shut down transportation in and out. Please go to this Amador County site for more information.
This is the St. George Hotel. It's the biggest building in town and, although we've never stayed there, we have eaten there many times. It's just a beautiful old hotel and is the first building that you see as you drive into town. It's for sale, if you're interested.
I think this is the most wonderful Saloon. It's attached to the hotel and is one of the "hot" spots in town.
All the buildings are old and most are made of stone because of the fires and because they have an abundance of rock in the area.
We lived here for 3 years before we built a house down near Jackson. We lived a few miles above the town off of  a road called Shakeridge, on the way to the famous Daffodil Hill.
It was a beautiful place to live and if we had not already bought this land that we live on now we would be living up there somewhere. Every time I drive up into this area I feel like I'm coming back to a very special place. It has been 12 years since we left, but I can still see Rosie (an old timer who lived in town)  waving from the bench out in front of the little grocery store on Main Street. She was the one woman welcoming committee in town. She's gone now, but I'm sure her ghost is still walking around town somewhere.
Saturday was my Birthday. I have decided to make as little of this as possible. It seems to work better than celebrating with cakes and gatherings. So, I had accepted an invitation from a friend that still lives on Shakeridge to go to a Christmas Luncheon with her above Pine Grove at her church. I picked her up at her house which needs to be on a house and garden tour. It's so charming.
"J" is a very humble woman who would never want to show off, but I think it's one of the most charming homes I've ever seen. The dog adds to the ambiance and greets everyone like a long lost friend.
I lust for that potting shed in J's backyard. They bought it at Lowes and they added some gingerbread to it and painted it... and put a deck around it. Oh be still my beating heart. I love this little shed.

We packed up some food and drove back to Pine Grove and to the church.
The Luncheon was lovely. "J" had decorated her own table, one of seven, for the luncheon.  She made little gingerbread ornaments for everyone at her table and  invited other ladies to sit with us.
Mind you, I don't go to church very often and this is a very heavy bible centered church so I was waiting for lightening to strike when I walked into the front part of the church...... but lo and behold, nothing happen. I guess God knows my heart is in the right place ( this is the "closet catholic" speaking from somewhere.)  and all the questions and good investigative study I've done on this subject have been considered by him... her...this eminent, infinite light of the universe. I've been told that I have an intellectual syndrome about religion. That I need to just let go and have faith. Well..... That's a different, very long, post for another time.
Just the fact that all these women accepted me with handshakes and smiles..... and the fact that lightening didn't strike me, tells me that no matter what the outcome of my search, there is good in most everyone and that most folks who have THE ANSWER seems to be very accepting of those who don't.
I had a great time and the food was wonderful. In the end, I was given a small book called Our Daily Bread....
This little book brought back memories of my Grandmother who would always give me one to read when I visited her in Napa.  Sometimes she would send them to me with a note about God and how I should always be aware of a higher power that loved me. To this day I believe that all the beauty in this world and what my Grandma and my Mom taught me about nature and life, is a big part of what this eminent light is that we call God. It's has to do with knowing you're not alone in this world and it has to do with love.... unconditional love. I get it! I think the rest is about togetherness and confirmation and the need for sharing the belief that someone came here to save us from our sins. This is where I come to the intersection with all the red lights. I love the feeling of religion, and the music, and the celebrations, but when it comes right down to it I think there are still some pieces of the puzzle missing and, like a lot of other choices in life, I accept what makes this life, here on earth, more palatable.... not blindly but with much thought. This will all come to a show down or maybe just dust to dust..... some day in the near future. I'm not sure what will happen. Maybe I will be commended for my doubt.
If not, I'm going to have a lot of explaining to do.....

I had a wonderful time at the luncheon and then I drove my friend back to her house, said Merry Christmas to some of the locals.....
drove back through Volcano.......
....... into Pine Grove and down to Jackson.
I was tired. The Prospector had planned on taking me out to dinner but we decided to go out on Sunday evening instead, so I curled up with my knitting and listening to the rain outside and felt very safe.
Life can be so wonderful sometimes.
Today I'm home with a cold. I knew it was coming. It least I don't have to go to work anymore. I remember days when I did and how awful it was to call in sick when so much had to be done. The children would have to deal with a substitute and their routine would be changed. We are all special children and we all deal with changes in our routine. Life does that. I'm taking my medicine and resting a lot. I'm so fortunate to be a part of my own life.... trying to understand what all of THIS means and having the fortitude to keep reaching and asking questions.
In my heart I know that William Carlos Williams was right when he said...
"so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
Life is as complicated and as simple as that......
p.s. Please no long comments on religion..... just short and to the point. But please do comment. I know I have opened a can of worms here but I'm not asking for help or arguments. Peace to you all.....