Sunday, January 31, 2010

Where the River Ends II

Spoiler alert: if you haven't read this book and want to - don't read any further.

The St. Mary's River is pivotal in this novel. It winds thru the story and is used as a metaphor in many different ways. So here's the end. Doss and his friend Bob had released Abbie's ashes where the river ends and they are talking. The first voice speaking is Doss.

...time does heal. Not like we think it does, and not like we would - from the front - but more from the back or side or someplace we can't see it coming. It bubbles up beneath and rises all around. All of a sudden I dried my eyes long enough to look up, look beyond myself, and discovered my pain had become the sinew that held me together. I stood on the bank, stared out across the vast epicenter of me and faced a choice - do I risk the river? So I (figuratively) cut the water, paddled out of my own black hole and discovered that the river was not one but many and like it or not, they all merge. Each turn, each bend, led to something beautiful, something whole, something worth remembering... And there in that river, I found the glue that connected the pieces of me.

Bob(He is a former priest who did some time for various "infractions" commited while serving his parish.) waved his hand back across the river. "After I got out of jail, I wanted a place to hide. Some place with no past. A short time later, I bumped into Gus and he befriended me. And unlike others, he didn't hold me against me. I asked him why and he told me something I've yet to forget. He said, "Once this water hits the ocean the sun lifts it up and collects it in clouds until they get full enough, the wind blows, nudges them back over land, where they empty themselves across the continent."


"The River never ends."

We climbed in the plane, Bob taxied, if you can call it that, and then he took off...

And so the story ends. Bob & Doss flying thru the air. Freeing themselves to find beauty and purpose in the life that was left to them.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Just Having a "Little Moment"


Trying to figure out how to spell a word. Grab my trusty Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (copyright 1975.) Old faithful. I've had it for - ahem, a year or two. As The Youngest so blithely announced the other day...Mom, I don't know if that dictionary will do you any good. I don't think they had that word back then.  Grrrrrrrr. Smart alec.


I'm flipping thru the pages. 'Cause, like, you know, if you don't know how to spell it you're seldom going to turn directly to it. My eyes kind of widen, because I'm turning pages rather fast, but wait. That illustration. What????

Dictionary Porn?

Oh, I see.

Skunk cabbage.

Snicker. Snicker.

Okay class, let's see if the old dictionary has "phallic symbol" in it....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Monster is Back

Do you know how hard it is to type with one hand? Yeah. Monster is back. She stealthily moves up to the window sill, along the top of the book case and then one paw tentatively touches my shoulder...Can she "sneak" onto my chest without me noticing? Ahhhh. Success. She buries her nose into the front of my shirt. Apparently nothing spells home quite like the hit she gets of downey/tide/almond bath soap and whatever other unique body odors I possess. The left paw slowly creeps up around my neck.

Ummmm, no.

The claws - remember? Nothing gets you booted off the island faster than the claws. I pull her paw down. She gazes at me thru half closed eyes as if to say, "It was worth a try."

I have one arm curved under her to keep her from falling off. So she rolls onto her back, all four legs waving in the air. Then a paw swipes at the hand punching letters on the keyboard.

Imagine - a spare hand  that's not devoted to her.

The nerve.

Humans take forever to train.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


" not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. The the performance of your task will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle."

                                                                     -Thomas S. Monson

Monday, January 18, 2010

Where The River Ends

Chris, friend/co-worker, is a big reader and a fan of Charles Martin. He's written 6 novels and the last one Where The River Ends is one she loaned me. It follows a man and his wife and the blurb describes it as: a chronicle of their love-filled, tragedy tinged journey and a bond that transcends all. If it were a movie, The Farm Boy, would immediately dismiss it as a chick flick and walk off. He misses a lot doing that... Anyway as they fight her breast cancer Doss notices that when he takes Abbie in for chemo that most of the women are there alone. Few have their husbands with them. Some men, of course, are at work or watching the kids but many are just - gone...for good. That "thru sickness and health" thing never jelled for them. It makes him mad...

"Why? Where are they?" He wants to know. Abbie answers, "Well, when you married a face, or a pair of boobs or maybe just a shapely figure - when those are gone, are the men."

While he has no plans to leave Abbie, further on in the book he talks about time and perspective and the difficulty of staying the course...

Riddled with fear, sadness and stress, our imaginations run wild like they did when we were kids and the monsters camped out in the closets. What's worse, we listen like Captain Hook, haunted by the ticking of the clock. Cancer-free moments are the exception, not the norm. We have progressed from beating it, to living with just living. I have become more defensive in posture, building walls to insulate us from the bad news. Because there's always more. Life and death are always on our mind. Idle thinking is no longer idle. I wanted so badly to think in future tense, to talk about summer movies, buy two tickets to the next Superbowl, plant a garden, put off something, schedule an appointment to get her teeth cleaned, plan a vacation, but then would find myself standing in the produce aisle and asking myself, Should I buy green bananas?


Thought provoking. Sad. But also a love story. Be prepared to cry.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Drink Milk

The Youngest went on his first ever goose hunt last Saturday. Brought home a goose. Totally jacked. Anyway, Sunday it was marinating in the frig. Monday it went into the smoker for jerky...

Overall not bad but - still had that "goosey. gamey. aftertaste." Left me kind of wanting to ask, "where's the beef?" (I so don't have a problem w/eating domesticated farm animals). Then the kid tells the story of a man we know who, several years back, went hunting and shot a gander. Another goose circled in distress, finally landing and refused to leave the body... of her dead mate.  So he shot her too, buried them together and never hunted again. Mind you this sad story was being told as I'm chewing on the jerky.


Boy, that will put you off your feed. You know, few things on earth would be safe from me if my children were starving. But they're not and I'm not...

I think it was Will Roger's who said: "It's not necessary to know what you're eating exactly, but it can be imperative to know what it was".

Please make the jerky go away.