Hey There Bud

I bumped into an old friend today

hanging around the Dogwood tree.

We’ve been separated for months

seems like years.

The air between us had grown chilly

my colorful world turned gray

until today..when the wind sent an urgent whisper..

Psssst..over here”

Oh, hey Bud..I’ve missed you terribly.

An embarrassing tear of relief  quickly brushed away.

We go through this every year..I never left..you did…

you toss your spirit and hope out with the Christmas leftovers.

I always come back..when will you learn?”

Never, I think.

Thank God, my Bud is back.

 

 

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Skinny Bitch

Back off people..I’ve got a loaded lunchbox, weighted with fiber and I’m not afraid to beat you unconscious with it. 

Some of you may recall that I embarked on my weight loss junket nearly 5 weeks ago..yes, I said “junket”..because if one of you asks me how my “journey” is going ..so help me God, I will water board you with this bucket of water that I am constantly slurping from. 

Save your healing white light and calming vibes too.. cause I got a fire burning in my belly that I intend to stoke into a raging inferno..you might want to step back or burn baby burn.

The Skinny Bitch has entered the building.

The scale is going down, down, down..today’s numbers were very encouraging, a new set of ten to battle..good for me. I am winning this battle.  This has gotten personal, between me and my spare tire, whose air I have been slowly deflating, week after week. Party after party, walking away from the cake, the wine, Mom’s potato salad.  Die fat die..you killer of health, energy and cute outfits. Go straight to hell.

This week saw that turning point, the one where people comment..all day long. Some compliment, which is nice.  They examine my food in the break room…getting old. They criticize..which is bad. “you’ll never keep that weight off”  “diets don’t work”..or my favorite..”don’t let your face get too skinny..women our age don’t look good …” 

AAAAAAH!  Shield your eyes people from the horror of my shrinking,aging face, because I am not able to control the reduction locations of my body..I have many pounds to go to bid adieu to the spare tire and the junk in the trunk. So if my head looks like that guy from “Beetlejuice” when I’m done..oh, well..hope you can hold down your lunch if you are forced to eat across the table from me. 

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Sister Hannah Doesn’t Think You’re A Slut

It was no accident  that I found myself hiking to my holy place today, the old stone convent in the forest. When I feel this now familiar pull to the woods, I answer the call, there’s a reason I tell myself.

Perhaps “Prince”, the  white deer will pop out of a shrub, as he did weeks ago, just a few feet from me, as if to say “you rang?”..I would have been grateful to see him today..he makes it easy to believe the angels are close, and I needed a chat with the angels today. I waited patiently for him along with a bossy flock of geese who seemed to be saying..”Mr. Prince is not seeing anyone today, move your sorry ass along..hooooonk!”

Disappointed, but not done..I hiked over to Sister Hannah’s Angel Garden.  Sister Hannah created a garden in the hillside and encourages visitors to place an angel , meditate and pray, and..I discovered today.. maybe leave her a message in the  notebook she has placed in the mailbox there.  

The notebook is  nearly full with messages of gratitude to  Sister  Hannah for creating this lovely place, desperate requests to pray for their sick loved ones, notes from children who simply wanted to say “I love you”. Some just left drawings, from sophisticated sketches of angels to abstract drawings. One teenage girl, Sarah, left an especially angst-filled message..she sounded troubled and tortured..friendships, boyfriends, body image..she wrote that everyone thinks she’s a “slut”…right there in Sister Hannah’s sweet little angel garden book. I was aghast for Sister..imagining her resting her shovel against a bench, wiping her brow, and reaching in  her mailbox only to find a trashy message from a kid with no manners.

Sister Hannah responded..in  perfect penmanship, of course.  A message of support and love and compassion from an old nun. She told Sarah she was beautiful and worthy, and most importantly, “you are not a slut”.  A later message from Sarah was one of heartfelt thanks ..the support from Sister’s response had possibly stopped a contemplated suicide..she just needed to know someone cared. 

I left a couple of tears in that garden of saints and sinners today..along with my first message in Sister Hannah’s notebook. I wanted her to know that it took me 50 years to appreciate the lives of these selfless women, and i am sorry for that.  That my heart sings at the thought of possessing even a small amount of their faith and devotion.  That I am grateful for even the hope of peace and calm that their existence offers the world. 

It was a really good day.
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Irish Angel

                                                                                 “And it’s Brennan on the moor, Brennan on the moor

                                                                                  Bold, brave and undaunted was young Brennan on the moor!”- author unknown

 

Today my Euro-mutt blood only runs green, ’tis St. Patrick’s Day!  Celebrating my Irish heritage was always a year round tradition, as a child I cut my teeth on my father’s Clancy Brothers albums, belting out songs whose choruses sang of women slugging men in barroom brawls, and drunken funeral wakes where the ” deceased” rise up from their caskets after someone spills whiskey on the body. I loved listening to my Dad sing along, and would watch astonished when he wilted to “Danny Boy”, but quickly recover to “Jug of Punch”.  My Greats were straight up Irish, the Caseys’ and Sullivans’ came over on the boat and handed down a love of  the Motherland’s traditions, music, arguing and the drink.  Many years later I married a man from good Irish Oulahan stock, and the band played on.

Boy, did it play. Joe and I played for the first nine years of our marriage..no kids for us.  We took off from work on St. Paddy’s every year, and joined the revelers in the city, taking up residence on  bar stools and belting out the tunes from my childhood that I knew so well. We declared it our favorite day of the year, a high holy day, always observed.( It still shocks me when people ask me “when is St. Patrick’s Day?”..I have to restrain a desire to punch the blasphemer in the jaw. Seriously?  People are very different, no doubt.) 

One hot, July day in that ninth year, while we were walking our Irish- named Labs, Clancy and Bailey, the subject of children came up..or the lack of children came up.  Why weren’t we trying..we weren’t getting any younger..we both loved children..should we?  Standing in the middle of the street that day, we decided we were happy, nothing was missing from our lives…we’d be the cool Aunt and Uncle instead, with money to burn.  We shook on it..promised no regrets,,and started talking about all the cool stuff we’d buy..bigger home..a boat. The Irish angels laughed…for as were swearing our devotion to a childless marriage, they had already sent Brennan to us..something a quick test would confirm two weeks later to two stunned parents to be.

Oh..right..that June night at the ballpark…the Orioles hit a Grand Slam..the celebration until the wee hours…a shooting star, the first I had ever seen…an Irish angel dispatched…well, actually two angels.

Early in a pregnancy already risky due to a murky genetic blood thingy..I rushed off to the Dr., knowing I was losing the baby..only to find out then that there were actually two microscopic souls in there..and one had apparently taken a relocation offer..the Dr’s called it “Vanishing Twin Syndrome”..but I knew the angels had other plans for him. So on I trudged through the nine months, March 14th was given as the due date, but I knew that I’d never last that long, and I had forbidden my fetus to arrive on the 17th..that day was off limits.  How could I live with the fact that my child would be searching the bars every year on his birthday, hoping his parents would come home so he could blow out his little candles? Yikes.

March 14th came and went until I awoke in the wee hours of St. Patrick’s Day in my swimming pool..I mean my bed, cramping, and in complete denial.  I called my Dr. and said “oh, it couldn’t be..maybe I wet the bed”  He calmly asked me if I had been wetting the bed…well, no..but I wasn’t having a baby today.  He suggested I go to the hospital. “oh, ok..but I’m sure it’s nothing”…

I learned on that incredibly magical day that the miracle of childbirth wasn’t that I was handed a tiny human at the end, but that I had received a simultaneous brain transplant. With McAllistrum’s March filling the room from our DVD player, he was placed in my arms, my Irish angel, beautiful boy. 

Today, Brennan is 15 ..and I am proud to say he has never had to look for us on his birthday. We wouldn’t be anywhere else but with this  young man.  Many have tried to figure him out, stick a label somewhere..he always defies the logic. This half-Irish Mom has lots of labels for him…gentle, kind, smart, funny, loyal and brave.  Happy Birthday Sweet B., you changed my life, I’m so glad you did.ImageImage

 

 

Let Me Be

Aside

Don’t pave me over

Or pour your concrete

In my heart

where seeds are taking root.

Don’t erect your ugly steel beams

In my soul

where a garden lies dormant

About to burst.

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Thoughts In The Woods

Hiking in the forest hours ahead of the storm with my love and the Labs yesterday, I thought of the ridiculous racing of time that brought us to this “alone” place again. Sure, there are still two very dependent,, unemployed, young teenage boys at home, but a slow drip of unrelenting change has spilled over.  Suddenly. we can leave the house, (after the expected “uh..maybe next time”” in response to our offer to join us) with a mostly safe assumption that the house will not burn down.  It was all true, every word of sage advice given to me ten years ago..the “don’t blink, you’ll miss it”  kind of warning that new parents can’t quite grasp whilst wrestling with the Diaper Genie and defiant toddlers. 

It’s back to me and Joe again and two dogs, hitting the trail.  Funny how natural it all feels..Thank God. 

Because..there was that other bit of advice given by anyone who has ever penned a “How To” book on parenting…that nugget about making time for your relationship, make a date night, surprise your spouse wearing nothing but bubble wrap- or something like that. Yeah…not so much.

Work was the name of the game, often tag teaming each other as we flew in and out, sharing all responsibilities.  I’ll drop the kids off..you pick them up..I’m on call this weekend..see you Monday, etc.. We, like most middle class folks, did this not as a choice, but as necessity..mouths to feed, a home to heat..such is life. (Our babies were loved to the moon and I like to think that our boys are the better for having parents who blurred the traditional roles..Dad cooks, cleans and folds laundry. To their future wives- you’re welcome.) A rare night away together was a “Have we met?” moment, but always worked out beautifully after the awkward introductions were out of the way..and maybe some clothing..*wink*. 

So, hiking along and humming “Alone Again.. Naturally” (because I always have a cheesy 70’s tune playing in the background of my thoughts..I have no idea why.) and following Joe and the dogs single file on a slippery, hilly trail yesterday, I felt real joy. We are pulling up strong, together. When he reached back to instinctively grab my hand in his strong, reassuring one at the more treacherous spots, I sent a silent prayer of thanks to the ether…looks like we made it.

Oh, no…Barry Manilow playing now…S*&t!Image

 

Take That Jack!

I will not accept your icy wrath another day

Or your sickly gray complexion

Bleech…take your leave

Blow away.

I know what you hate

In your waning days

Green, sparkly toes

Pink tulips in a vase

HA!

Your bully heart’s icy blue blood

beating slower every day

my ear to your chest

A last gasp from your lips

A smile from mine.

My lady words have all been lost

Hey! Fungu!  Jack Frost.

toes and tulips