Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rolling down memory lane

Who says one can't go home again.  I do with my annual reunion in my home town of Austin.  It is hard to believe but this trio have been friends for more than sixty years; two of them for more than 66 years.  And we still have such a good time together.  I married following my junior year at UT and the other two married after graduation and we are still married to the same great guys who seem to have a great time together at our annual get togethers.  We bring pictures from high school slumber parties, junior high year books and laugh and giggle and gossip all over again.  Next meeting we have agreed to bring our wedding albums.  We feel so fortunate to still be healthy enough to get together and share our many blessings as we toddle into our elder years. 
We grew up in a post war age...after WWII and before Korea, a time of magic and dreams at the budding stage of women's liberation when the Ladies Home Journal was telling us to wrap ourselves in cellophane to greet our husbands at the door while our college degrees told us that we were fully capable of doing anything we wanted.  We three have rasied families, had careers, have volunteered in our communities, cared for aging or ill parents and have traveled widely on the planet.  We still find each other interesting and wise.  We have traded sodas and cookies for wine and cheese but never have lost our desire for good chocolate (that is a given, right?). 
There was no organ recital of our aches and pains though I know we have them but some honest discussion of our plans and concerns about the last stages of our lives, where we will live, who will care for us and what we would like when we make our transitions to our next life.  How many people do you know that you can have these honest discussions with?  I consider it a mark of friendships with deep roots.  We do go way back...we loved not only our own parents but each others.  I knew their siblings and envied them for having some.  One still has her precious mother alive, now 97.  We tease her about her good genes.
I am so grateful that I grew up in basically the same neighborhood all my life...3 different houses but the same neighborhood and my friends had the same experience.  We had to grow up and move on to experience how the rest of the world lived and worked but we were secure in our sense of self and place no matter where we ended up.  What a gift!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This afternoon my daughter and I took the Spectator bus from the Kemah parking lot to the Extreme Makeover building site. It was teeming with landscapers, contractors frantically trying to get it ready before the family with 12 children return tomorrow afternoon. It is almost scary to think that this house went up, all 6,000 sq ft of it, in a week. Workers were frantically trying to put in the landscaping today following the bull dozer across the yard. Tents were set up on a lot across the street for workers and volunteers. This whole family had been living in two trailers on their property since Hurrican Ike so there is a real need here. The family has four children of their own and 8 adopted kids, several of whom are special needs children. It has been fascinating and what a boon for Kemah as it has brought in good business for restaurants, Wal-Mart and Home Depot much less local contractors. The show should air the middle of March I was told so look for it. It is the biggest house the show has ever built. I would love to see the back yard as evidently they put in some awesome play stuff.
Rain is predicted for later this evening and tomorrow...darn. Some folks are planning to camp out at the site so they can have a front row when the family returns tomorrow. Geez...built so quickly, I pray this house is up to handling another hurricane if heaven forbid we should get another.
Notice the green structure at the back of the trailer obviously ready to go inside when it is time...should be interesting. There are 8 or 9 bedrooms in the house and I don't know how many bathrooms.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mary Karr

My idol, Mary Karr, was in town last night speaking at the Hobby Center to a sold out audience.  She is funny, witty and has an amazing grasp on language and especially metaphor.  I was thrilled to have her sign my copy of Cherry, her wonderful memoir of her adolescent years and probably the best revelation of female teenage sexuality ever.  Nothing is sacred to Mary, few secrets not spread out like lacy underwear for all the world to see.  She is Texas through and through even though she is now living in NYC and teaching at Syracuse University and belongs up there with iconic Texas women like Molly Ivins and Ann Richards.  In the audience were two of her high school teachers from the little town in which she grew up and she honored them for working hard to keep her in school.  I can't wait until her latest book, Lit, arrives and want to collect more of her poetry.  She claims that all Texans speak metaphorically.  God, I wish that were true.  I think my dad came closer to it than my mom who was a stickler for "proper" English.  Metaphors are the spice of life and language and when I asked her if she thinks in metaphors, she answered a definite "Yes."
Someone asked her what she thought it was about the rather grim, derelict part of Texas around Pt. Arthur that has spawned such creative folk as herself, Janis Joplin and Robert Rauschenburg.  Her answer was that in such impoverished surroundings one was forced to create an inner life, one relied on one's own creativity to get through life.  I think she's so right about that.  It makes me sad to see my children and grandchildren rely so much on outside stimuli to be entertained.  My childhood was filled with imaginary games, homemade theater and dramatizations with imaginary characters and costume, drawing, reading and writing stories.  I would like to think that kids are still doing all that and that TV and video games haven't totally taken their place.  Guess time will tell.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Year Intentions

My intentions for the year 2010...hmmm....
to love and be loved
to experience more joy and laughter
to experience wellness and gratitude every day
to give something somehow somewhere to someone every day
to commit to creating, writing and painting
to experience my work growing, developing and supported financially
to clean and clear more crap out of my house and my life
to eat healthy and exercise regularly
to continue to grow into my potential whatever that is and live it OUT LOUD
to travel
to be more patient with myself and others
to honor the wisdom that comes with being an grand old broad and negotiate the rest with dignity and some fashion of success
to have FUN doing it all

Friday, January 08, 2010

From the Daily Om

I gotta tell you...the Universe is listening in. I hadn't anymore written that last blog than this showed up on my Daily Horoscope:

January 8, 2010
Endings as Beginnings
Aries Daily Horoscope
A significant ending in your life could leave you feeling alone today and unsure of what is coming next. You may experience a sense of loss or feel abandoned because a phase of your life has come and gone. Solace can be found in the fact that all beginnings are preceded by endings. Though you may mourn for what has passed, try looking toward the future. You may find that in leaving your past behind, a myriad of opportunities are waiting to be discovered. Consider all that you once dreamt of and ask yourself which of those dreams you might find pleasure in resurrecting today. A fantasy that once tugged at your heartstrings could become a real goal for you.

Viewing an ending or loss as an opportunity for new beginnings can make moving into a new phase of life a more enjoyable experience. Though leaving a valued part of your life behind can sting, the fact that the future is not yet written means that there are infinite possibilities waiting for you. A period where you are encountering obstacles can be the best time to consider altering your course to create the life you desire. The pain that loss can cause can be the motivation that drives you to discover unknown worlds or immerse yourself in new knowledge. Endings are simply transitional periods that prepare us for the unknown. The ending that saddens you today will become the starting point for the next amazing phase of your journey.

This is almost spooky.

Which way and what?

It is time that I get more serious about downsizing but to what and where? I really don't want to own again or at least that is my thought right now. I am tired of maintaining property. I want to call someone else when the faucet leaks and let them deal with scheduling the plumber; I want to call someone when the light goes out on the oven; I want to call someone when the bathroom heater doesn't heat; I want it to be someone else's problem to wrap the pipes when it is twenty degrees outside.
But where to go that will have room for me to paint? An office for my computer? A dining table to hold 8? And a table for sewing? And might I never want to create another assemblagewith all the funky stuff I've collected? A collage with some of the wonderful papers I've saved? And what to do with years of journals, a constant source for poetry and memoir? Stacks of unframed, unsold art work? Robert Genn says in his newsletter to just burn it...ouch! Maybe a giant sale in my house...hmmmm.
A daunting task before me and I know it must be done. Old clothes and shoes are easy to let go but art supplies? Heart-wrenching! Knick-knacks, no problem dumping them...I'll have the memory of where they came from and who gave them to me. But art supplies? Oh dear! Copies of Somerset Studio? Yeah, go through and save the articles. Books I pass on anyway or sell at $5 a box to Half-Price Books. But art supplies? I have enough to open a craft that's a thought but then I would have to look after it and I'm done with looking after stuff. When this husband goes and I love him dearly, that's it. I am so ready to be looked after.
Maybe that is the lesson in aging...that we return to the children we were. Now that's a thought I could live with as I was a happy child with a huge imagination that only wanted to paint, read and play. I could easily return to that and am working on it.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Hippie boots

Waaahoo! I'm so glad I kept these little babies all these years. They are back in style and the envy of my nearly teen granddaughter. Who woulda thunk! I bought these jewels over 20 years ago when I was hanging out in New Mexico a good bit. I fell in love with them the minute I saw them and had to have them. But darn it, here on the Gulf Coast they sit in the closet for a decade waiting until it is cold enough again to wear them. And at last it is that cold...well, cold for here anyway.
Down in the twenties tonight and colder tomorrow night. I love this weather aside from covering the tropical plants and azaleas and the fact that the master bath stays colder than a witch's tits. Saturday I am gonna put on my skinny jeans and my hippie boots with a red sweater and read my poetry at Barnes & Noble...poems from my new up and coming chap book. It tis mostly to get it printed or published. To do either I shall need to either sell some paintings or hock my boots. Let's go for the first.
So what da ya think about these awesome boots? They are even very comfortable.