Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Hard Day's Work

There is nothing better for the body
and the head and the soul and the spirit
like a good day of hard physical work.
Hallelujah! I give thanks for the good feeling
I have today.

We spent the weekend scrubbing and rubbing
and sweeping and mopping
and spiffin' up
in order to welcome the advent
of a cooler Florida.

Let us give thanks, my fellow Floridians.
You know how over the hot weather we are.
Only a Floridian can really get this.
We look forward to evenings in which
we might don a light wrap.

We give thanks to days in which
our t-shirts don't end up sticking to our backs
from just hauling the garbage can to the road.
We give thanks that instead of feeling we need three showers per day
we know that one will do.

Dan and I are into beautifying our porch.
It is time to open the whole back house and breath in the outdoor part of life.
It is now time to be out more than to be in.
I am keeping a mattress on the porch,
so that I can sleep out there with Patti and Maggy and lil' Bea.

We are currently installing
a thirty-two jet spa on the porch.
Dan has been changing out 110's to 220's
and digging up my garden- drats!
And I have been happy today because a hard day of work feels great.

All clean and shiny.

 An old screen door insert I found for two bucks. It was rusty and icky, so I spray painted it. Now it is happy again.

 Good-bye my lovely caladiums. See you next spring.

The park that just happens to be our backyard.

October, sweet, sweet October

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Fair Lady Autumn Evening in 1990

The Silver Meteor from an old postcard I have
Click to see larger. It is worth it!

I remember a night,
an autumn night in a small southern town.
I am sitting on a blanket on the grass
listening to an orchestra
perform old show tunes.

Refrains from My Fair Lady fill this crisp
oh- so- welcome October evening air.
The cool night signals a respite
 from the hot and soggy days
of the long Florida summer.

Adjacent to the band shell 
are the  tracks
on which the Silver Meteor
still makes a daily run.
Now the sky is punctuated by a few early stars.

Suddenly loud rumbling accompanied by harsh light
drones out the orchestra.
The musicians continue to play.
But this train not the orchestra has taken command-
of us who wait on the ground in the dark.

 Bearing down hard and casting its thunder,
the train's high beams  catch us unaware
as though to mock our very reverie.
With a pounding hiss the train disappears into the night.
We take pause, and our attention returns to the music.

A few days later  my mother is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
That night I lie in bed beside my husband; I do not sleep.
 I recall the barreling train from the other night.
I wonder if I  rewrite the evening and leave the train part out
if I can make the news about Mom go away too.

Years pass, and losses mount.
I will come to understand that the train and the orchestra
move together in a rather exquisite harmony.
And I will learn that it is best to make peace
with trains that arrive in the night.

Friday, October 5, 2012

When Trouble Comes a Callin'

When Trouble comes a callin',
We must do our proudest best
To tell it to mind its business.
And to remember that we are the ones
Who call the shots!

We should yell 
at the top of our lungs
We will remind ourselves
That we have the strength 
to make it through.

We will believe in beauty.
We will believe in love.
We will believe in music, good books and high thoughts.
We will remember that things are always changing.
And we will take comfort in that thought.

One of my fave 50's gals.
"Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams"
Cogi Grant

The view from the bedroom. I have a park that we call a backyard- right in the city!

I play music most of the day.
Music is my drug of choice.
All she wants to do is dance.

And who in the hell said an older woman
can't wear long hair- Bah, me in "I kiss my cat on the mouth t-shirt".

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Friend Rheba

Last night I talked with Rheba
I have never met her.
We became friends over the phone.
She is eighty-four

I met her last April
when I was frightened about a health issue, and a friend suggested
that I call his Aunt Rheba in Tennessee.
That is how it started

I needed to talk to a woman
who was a lot older than me.
I needed someone to tell me
that everything would be all right.

And  in way she did.
Mainly, she talks, and I listen.
I have listened since that first time
to the story of her life.

When we started up our friendship,
she was living with her little dog Buffy.
She baked pies from her wheelchair,
 and a friend took her to Walmart once a week.

Rheba's condition declined
over the summer months.
One day she told me that she did not think 
she would be going to Walmart anymore.

By August she is in the hospital
She lives there for a few weeks.
Today she is in a nursing home.
She is happy that it does not smell.

A few months back she said that
if she had to give up her Buffy 
and move to a home it would kill her.
But it didn't.

She does not complain, but she does need
to talk.
Last night she asked me if all her talk scared me.
It doesn't. 

Her curiosity about what's coming next is what keeps her going.
She makes little jokes about her circumstances. 
Last night she said that it was kind of scary
not to have an older person to turn to.

I told her I understood.
But right now I have her.
And she has herself.
And maybe that's the most important thing.

At the end of each phone call she tells me she loves me.
I tell her me too.
She says she feels as though she has known me all of her life.
Sometimes friendship occurs in the most unexpected way.

Ilya Schor 1941

Amelin Albin