Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The road less traveled by...

EDIT: Lower Mesa Falls, Idaho, being graced by the presence of a Renee Biertempfel fairy. Photo taken July 2003.
Age is just a number.
That's what I used to say.  And I believed it...that is, until Sam and I transplanted just under one hundred seedlings last month.  Oye!!  That is back-breaking work; bending, stooping, squating, then standing again.  My knees and my back did a fine job of bringing my little theory under the critical light of reality, LOL.   A week later I was at it again, planting another one hundred seedlings that will be transplanted into the farm next year. But, there's got to be a better way!
We spent the weekend at the cabin.  The snow is gone, the weather is warming and if the sun stays out, wild mushroom season will be here soon. I am wringing my hands in anticipation.  There was much to see last weekend.  And I took my camera, as always. To capture the moments, and to share the essence of my mountain retreat, with all of you.
Front door welcome 
Every bunnies welcome!!! A macro view of the welcome sign hanging by the cabin front door. 

Spring song and dance
Two wood peckers engage in a spring song and dance atop a snag just outside our door.

Weathered days past
A long abandoned cabin, hidden in a thick explanse of trees, stands in silent testimony of Idaho history. Many have speculated about the history of this cabin, but the piles of rusted tin cans shrewn throughout the surrounding grounds gives rise to the possibility that this site was probably not a homestead, but rather served as a stop over for packers delivering supplies from Lewiston to the gold miners in Pierce.

Window to the past
Window to the past.

Time forgot
Some other time.

Evening rest

Back home, the neighborhood hunter takes dinner to go. That's one critter I won't have to deal with.
"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the road less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference."
-- Robert Frost

New York to Paris the Google Way!

Go to Google Maps
Click on 'Get directions' tab
From New York, New York
To Paris, France
And read line # 23



Thursday, April 5, 2007

An Eye to the Future

Time is a lot of the things people say that God is. There's the preexisting, and having no end. There's the notion of being all powerful--because nothing can stand against time, can it? Not mountains, not armies.
And time is, of course, all-healing. Give anything enough time, and everything is taken care of; all pain encompassed, all hardship erased, all loss subsumed.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Remember, man, thou art dust; and unto dust thou shalt return.
And if Time is anything akin to God, I suppose that Memory must be the Devil.
Gabaldon, Diana. (2005) A breath of snow and ashes. New York; Random House.
And so this is how Diana opens the sixth book in her Outlander series.  If the rest of the book is anything like the prologue, I didna think I'll be disappointed.  The only bad thing about reading Diana's books is the way her characters rub off on me; after a while I start talking like a Scot, using words like wee, bairn, kent, didna. Or maybe it's all a precursor to the Scottish Highland Games we'll attend in July.  :)  Either way, I am ready, willing, and able. 

Awakened from a long winter sleep, our contorted filbert reaches up toward the sky with renewed energy.
We just got back from delivering Dilynn's Easter basket to her, she had to sample everything before we left. I packed it with two baby animal books, a Beatrice Potter DVD collection, Dora the Explorer no-spill bubble blower (with Boots the monkey), M & M's, Reese's, Kisses, Pepperidge Farms Goldfish, Mini-pringles, and Marpoles (marshmellows).  We left her on a bit of a sugar rush.  Ah well, that's my job as Granma.

I've a bit of a dilemna and the answer, on the surface, should be easy.  But it's not.  I'm stuck betwix a promise I made to my father on his death bed, and giving someone hope.  How can that be?  In the days just before my father's lucidity slipped away, we had a conversation; a brief dialogue that I am inextricably bound to.

It was just the two of us in his hospital room, a simple quiet moment and I was watching him sleep while a thousand memories flowed seamlessly through my mind...and my heart wondered about the thousand and one memories of my life I'd face without him.  He woke, cringing from the pain inflicted by the cancer growing in the bones of his now fraile body.  I watched, feeling helpless, wholly unable to stop the wretched jolts that sublimated his spirit and brought tears to my eyes. If only I could ease his pain. Overcome by the look in his eyes, I announced to him my plan to support the American Cancer Society; even if they could no longer help him, they could still help another.

No.  Don't waste your money he told me.

It's not a waste.

Honey...keep your money.  You need it more than they do.

But I want to help them find a cure.

He turned away from me, this man who for years fought his battle so bravely, who refused to accept his illness as a death sentance and chose to live with vigor without burdening those he loved with his hardship.  He turned away and slowly told me they will never find a cure. Doctor's make too much money off people with cancer. Finding a cure would cut off the flow to their pockets.

I was silenced, because deep down inside I knew he was right. But...with or without a cure, the Society serves a purpose for the patients and their families.

He turned back to me with a look of profound intensity. Keep your money. You need it more. Do something for yourself.  Just promise me you will never donate your hard earned money to any cancer charity.


Honey, promise me.


Promise me.


Our eyes met.

I promise.

Three days later he was gone.

And now I find myself looking back on that day and the promise I made, grappling with my conscience (a promise is a promise, but a death bed promise...well, that is sacred ground).

Last year a co-worker's father was diagnosed. And I've recently learned the close associate of a couple of friends is ill.  The call to support the fight for a cure has been voiced.  I hear it, I recognize it. And I hear my father's words as well as mine.

It's true then, Memory must be the Devil.



"Beauty can't amuse you, but brainwork...reading, writing, thinking...can."

~ Helen Gurley Brown

Beauty inspires us but it is the active imagination that keeps us going. Be sure you spend as much time on your mind as you do on your looks.