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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Rest in Peace, Little Brother. (In Memories) PT. 1

As the title suggests I just received work my brother passed away a few hours ago.  He has been sick for many years for many reasons.  Today a massive heart attack took him out.  Quickly at least.  So, I thought I'd write down a few random memories.

He was 23 years older than me so I really only knew him as an adult.  I guess my earliest memory of him was when I was about two years old.  I had a new tricycle and he took me up to the top of the Wash Rock hill and let me try to ride down by myself.

Now, the hill was not that steep or that far.  But, it was a dirt road and it was pretty rutted so I did not make it very far until the ruts interrupted my journey.

Somewhere around that same time I remember he, our mother and I wading the creek a little way above the Wash Rock.  I had a little, toy windup submarine.  He was showing me how to use it and it disappeared under the creek bank and was never seen again.

Not long after that we moved to a different house just down from the Spicy Gap on Rte 40 a mile or so inside of Martin County.  He used to whittle wooden rocket for me.  He'd cut a notch up near the front of the rocket then used a knotted string tied to a handle and use that to accelerate the wooden rocket to, what for me was immeasurable heights.  

That was where I first ran into the idea of people dying.  I don't remember who it was but my mother took me to the grave site for the funeral and explained to me when people died they were put in a "bury hole".  

Odd, I don't know what it has to do with my brother but it, somehow, seemed to be worth mentioning.  I think it may fit in this set of memories later, though.

We moved to the Spring Knob forestry tower somewhere around when I was four of five years old.  My memories of that place are much cleared and there are many more of them.  I remember my brother and one or two of his friends walking out on the tower beams on the first flight and jumping off to tumble like a paratrooper hitting the ground.  

I remember one day I got fascinated by the sound of the air hissing out of the car tire and just kept trying it until it stopped.  Only had a small "bicycle pump"  but he pumped it up and  never sad a word that I can recall.

The place we lived was a log cabin.  Had one large room for living and sleeping, a reasonable sized kitchen to the left as one faced the house and one other room kind of propped up with posts as it hung out over the slope of the hill.  There was also a front and a tiny back porch.

I recall one time our mother told me to go wake him up for breakfast.  He slept on a couch in the big room.  So I walked up to him, asleep on the sofa, and punched him as hard as I could in the nose.  Bled like a "stuck pig".  He threatened me when the bleeding stopped but I don't remember him doing anything later.

We had a green nineteen fifty sever Chevy which had been under water in the fifty seven flood.  When I was growing up that was the flood every other flood was judged by.  It was the definition of a lemon.  Always something wrong with it.

One day my father griped he "wished it would just roll over the hill".  Next morning the car was not in the parking place.  It was found a mile or so down the road.  Over the hill.  Three guesses what happened to it.

He quit school when he was sixteen so he could go to Mayo Voc-Tech and graduate before he would be eighteen and the tuition went up.  Stood him in good stead I guess.  He was a diesel mechanic in the Navy.  Became a "Master" mechanic for Ford, Chevy and Chrysler later in life.  Also became a very good welder. He was sent to the Great Lakes for training and immediately got double pneumonia and spent his first several days in the Navy in the hospital.  That was the beginning of all his health issues.

When I was six they sent me to live with my grandparents during the week to go to a little one room school called Preston Gap.  On Friday evenings he'd come to pick me up to take me home for the weekends then bring me back on Sunday evenings.

At that point in time all the roads for miles were dirt or in the creek.  One cold night we had not gotten very far on the rutted, old road when the tires slid in a deep rut and the care got "Center Bound".     He had to get out in freezing weather, jack up the car then find rocks to fill up the ruts under the tires.  Don't remember how long it took him but we made it home that night.


Monday, January 8, 2018

Just a Hill in Spring Time

Just a Hill in Spring Time
==========================================================
A long time ago
I was another person
In another place
A place now gone
Replaced by fading memories.

There was a hill
Behind our house
Where I'd go
To lie in the Sun
In the yellow sedge.

A small space
Among the trees
Open to the sky
Home to one Apple tree
Covered in lovely, white blooms.

A peaceful place
To be alone in body
As well as in my thoughts
just watching the clouds
Drifting like my mind.

I don't think of it often
It was so long ago
I wonder if it is still there
Or has it disappeared
Alongside so many memories.

And when I die,
Will it be gone forever
A fleeting, frozen moment
In time for a kid
Who loved it long ago.




Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve 2017

Anyone who knows me knows I don't care much for holidays and despise Christmas.  Not for what it should be but for what it is.  Anybody with a single iota of historical and/or religious knowledge knows it is completely impossible for Jesus to have been born on December 25th.  Most especially, since like Easter, it would follow the Jewish calendar and vary in dates from year to year.  The holiday which is now known as "Christmas" is an amalgamation of three pagan winter solstice celebration the "church" could not force the "pagans" to stop celebrating.  For a few centuries it was even banned by the church.  Since they could not stomp it out they just co-opted it, gave it a new name and went about their hypocritical business of fleecing the, so called, "Christian" world.

Not that I hate the idea of an honest winter solstice festival at all.  It is just this Christmas thing has no purpose at all except for the profit of retail stores.  I really don't give a shit whether Jesus was born on Christmas or not.  Still, he is NOT "the reason for the season".   He has been turned into a source of revenue for our retailers, for our churches and just about everything other than celebrating the birth of Christ.

No, the reason I despise Christmas if for its dishonesty.  Christmas has become nothing but one big con on gullible people who either do not have the brains or common sense to see it and stop feeding the burden Christmas has placed on the ordinary person. 

We recently sold our home and moved into an apartment in a local "town center" development.  Right now, on Christmas Eve, Traffic is so bad it takes a complete fool to venture out in it unless there is a dire emergency.  And, when I see it my first thought is, "Where the hell is everyone getting all this money?".   Credit cards and, maybe, an advance on their projected tax refund.  And for what? 

Has nothing to do with Jesus, Christianity or any religion at all.  It is simple greed.  Don't believe me?  Ask someone what they got for Christmas and find one, just one, who would say, "A wonderful time with my family celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior".  Just one.  The pretense Christmas has anything to do with Jesus is sickening. 

Take a look at your Christmas bills when they come in and tell me just how much more Jesus would appreciate this greed over donating the same amount of money to those who have real needs at  this time of year.  How many meals for the homeless would that shiny, new 85" TV would provide.  Just how many of your "fellow Christians" would that new $1,000 telephone have helped?  Have any of you at all ever read the bible and paid attention?  Show me one, just ONE, bible verse where Jesus advocated greed.  Seems the Jesus I've read about would have absolutely hated what his, so called, birthday party has become. 

Like the "supposedly 'good' people" Mexico is sending us, I would imagine there are some sincere people who profess to be Christians doing things to truly reflect the teachings of Christ.  Most, however, are, for me, numbered in the criminals and rapists (YOUR president's words) being foisted on us. 

Give it a break people.  Go on and keep driving us all deeper in debt and pretending it is anything other than peer pressure and has anything at all to do with the birth of Christ.  Do whatever you want with your life and money.  Just have the balls to admit why you do it.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Such a Beautiful, December Day

There have been a good number of significant life events since Labor Day.  The place I worked finally kicked me to the curb.  It was not unexpected and I had been planning for it for a couple of years.  Due to my age and health I decided to just go ahead and retire rather than subjecting myself to another long and frustrating job hunt.

We have also sold our house and moved into an apartment.  Also because of age and health.  Neither my wife or myself can really do things like we once could and paying someone else to do them had gotten just too expensive.  We had already priced ourselves out of the neighborhood and had we not sold this fall we would have put more money into the place and then never could have sold it for a decent amount.

We moved here in early November so have been here for over a month.  Finally have everything we are keeping stowed away and everything we can't keep given away, put in the Consignment store or donated to Goodwill.

Everything seems to be "hunky-dory" around here.  So, why can't I work up any interest in today or tomorrow or any tomorrow?   I turned sixty four about ten days ago.  That is not depressing as by now I realize age is just a number and my "real" age is about thirty years more than my "chronological" age.  Today is the nineteenth of December with a temperature of around 73 degrees and bright sunshine.  Sitting here at my PC looking out one of the windows I can see all the traffic, cars and pedestrians and all the Christmas decorations outside.  Never did much care about holidays.  Most especially for fake holidays like Christmas.Maybe that is part of it.  Masses of people flooding the shops spending money that don't have to buy gifts for people they can't stand. 

Maybe that is part of it.  Just so tired of stupid people who are willing, nay eager, to play the fool for the dumbest reasons.  Here we are approaching a holiday celebrating the birth of a child who could not possibly have been born on that date.  We have a child rapist as our President.  He has a fourth grade vocabulary and zero moral standards.  He reminds me of a country song called, "She Only Bitches When She Breathes".  Cheeto-Skin Tiny-Hands only lies when his lips move.  But even when he is not lying personally he has plenty of dumb shits fronting for him.  Guess it is depressing how many people witness this every day and still support the sorry SOB.

Cops murdering members of most every minority with no consequences and the professed Christians who say they are following the teaching of a man of Peace are urging them on.  They spread hatred for anyone without lily white skin, anyone who does not "worship" the same "god" they do and call it Christianity and other things of equal lies.  Somehow they all seem to manage to maintain their own self-righteousness despite all the "laws" Christ taught. 

I suppose it is, somehow, appropriate so many people get financially fleeced for the fake holiday called "Christmas".  Christmas, the Holiday far antedates Christ.  It is just another Winter Solstice celebration the Romans and many others celebrated the "Church" could not force them to give up.  So, they co-opted it, changed the name and said it celebrated Jesus' birth.  I mean, damn, they did  not even change the way it is celebrated.

It is readily apparent people no longer have a preference for the truth in anything.  We have the king of liars as President while we beggar ourselves celebrating a made up holiday and enjoy our hatred of everyone else while claiming to love a man who preached peace and tolerance.  Maybe that is why such a beautiful December day is so depressing to me.  Just keeps reminding me how much I despise hypocrites and stupid people.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Odds and Ends and Things of No Moment

I was passing though the living room today, on the way from the kitchen with my breakfast when I, once again, noticed the picture on our LG, 70", 4K TV which has upscaleing  to make regular HD to "nearly" 4K.  Doggone thing is about an inch thick.  Always makes me thing of my father.  He love his TV.

When and where I grew up, we normally only had one TV station and that depended on which way we pointed the antenna.  We could pick NBC or ABC.  CBS was always a little "iffy".  And, we always needed a "booster".  Attach one part to the antenna and the other to the TV.  It helped a lot but still we had to pick our station.  To change someone (me) had to go to the top of the hill and turn the antenna.

Mostly we just watched NBC.  My parents (both) were devoted to "Another World" and "Days of our Lives".  Growing up I knew more about Rachel and Russ, Cory, all the other men she married or slept with, than the real people around me. (Well, maybe not the female ones) They were few, far between and mostly boring but that is neither here not there.

I just have to wonder what my dad would have thought.  Huge screen, picture quality like looking at a real place and 300 channels.  Pretty big change from a 23" black and white with one channel.

Of course that was when we lived in a  place with electricity.  Then it was zero channels.

I wonder if that is not something which has exacerbated our distancing ourselves from others.  We are so consumed by technology we may have forgotten how to be "just people".




Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Poem I Heard Today

I was out today and heard a poem while listening to NPR.  It was about a dream of one's childhood and a prayer the dream was real.  While my childhood was not the most idyllic there were  times I would happily repeat.  This is inspired by that poem.

Back When
=============================================

Back when I was much younger
In body and mind
We lived way out in the country
Where the only people around
Were my relatives.

I had never fit in
My parents had never allowed me
To fit in
So, I learned to live alone
And, to love being alone

I would not want to re-experience
Most of the days from my childhood
Since there was little there to love
But, there are a few times
Which, somewhat, make up for  it.

Spending hours sitting under
A Hazelnut bush eating ripe Hazelnuts
Finding a Paw Paw tree with ripe fruit
And gorging myself
While hoping some squirrel
Would come along to take them from me.

Times out along with my Beagle
Hunting Rabbits
Or, just being away from home
Being alone was my happy place
Did not have to accomplish anything

Thunder storms with wild wind
An rain tossing the tree limbs
About as if establishing their dominance
While I sat with a small fire
And just enjoyed the show.

I am sure it is why I am so content
On my own
I learned early in my life
Loving anything was a road to heartache
I wonder if that made it impossible for me to love


Friday, August 4, 2017

Thoughts on Memories (my own)

Sitting here listening to Alexa (Amazon.com's voice activated personal "assistant") playing one hit wonders.  I remember all of these songs from when they were hits.  Mostly in the sixties and seventies.

It is well known all kinds of sensory input can trigger memories.  Sights, sounds, smells all can evoke pictures and feelings from the past.  Even things we had completely forgotten.  Perhaps not even then recalling exactly what but just a vague feeling of "being there" before.

I suppose it might be just a function of my childhood so many of the songs I listen to bring up memories which are, mostly, less than pleasant.  Probably, also a reflection of me, I always cared more for the words (lyrics) than the music.  I did enjoy them both but if I loved the words I'd learn to love the music.  If the music was good but I did not like the words I just forgot those songs.

So, what's on the menu for today.  Sixties mostly.  Songs I've mostly forgotten bringing up feelings and memories I've also mostly forgotten.  I can get lost in this music and not realize how much time is passing as I am stuck inside my mind reliving the memories these song evoke.  Heck, a (very) few of them are actually pleasant.

Think I'll put links to some songs from then on youtube.com. Perhaps they might even be around by the time anyone sees this.

Lots have songs they consider to be "anthem" songs.  Songs one relates to more than others for various reasons.  I guess I have many but one common theme of them all would be, I think, somewhat of sadness and loneliness.  Perhaps that is true of all of us.

"Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfuWXRZe9yA

The next one is by Kris Kristoffersen as a tribute to his friend Janis Joplin.  I  love this song.  Played it for my parents one day.  My mother did not understand it all but, much to my surprise, my dad seemed to "get it".

Epitaph(Black and Blue) Kris Kristoffersen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKttwK7Ri7E

Enough for one day.  Memories (and not very good ones) are creeping in.  :)