November 28, 2005

One Special Letter

My mom’s birthday just passed this week. I like to give her lots of extra thought at this time of year anyway, with the holidays and extra activities upon us. This was one of her favorite seasons!

Even though, as I remember her, some of what I write turns out all gushy and tugs at the heartstrings, I believe there’s a purpose for that. I would hate to think that I could recall my mother without getting sentimental. If that happened … I’d feel like something was drastically wrong.

Just because this won’t be a cheery post, understand that I am not sitting in a corner and dwelling on bad things ~ on the contrary ~ I am happy and excited to be able to share some of my feelings about this marvelous woman who helped mold me into the person I am today.

I miss her dearly, but I celebrate her sweetness and kindness and love ~ always.

In keeping with my recent “letters” theme, I wrote one for her.

And hey, wasn’t she pretty?

November 1921- June 1999

Dear Mom

I wasn’t finished knowing you
You left this joy undone
Questions went unanswered
Before you were all gone

I wasn’t finished learning you
So much was left to teach
Like how to finally nail my goals
That seem so out of reach

I wasn’t finished laughing
At your sometimes-silly humor
They say we’ll meet up once again
But that could just be rumor

I wasn’t done relaxing
‘Cause I knew you were so near
I’d call no matter what the time
No matter what my fear

I wasn’t finished watching
While you cooked your tasty food
So I could pass down recipes
The way good daughter’s should

I wasn’t finished asking
About when you were young
There’s much I do not know about
This goddess ~ left unsung

I wasn’t finished getting mad
When we would disagree
Or learning what it took for you
To ‘not’ be mad at me!

I wasn’t done rehearsing
To be the best I could
It took me forty-three long years
To even get half good

I’ll never finish thinking
Of the patience that you had
In all my silly escapades
No matter good or bad

I am not through with hearing
Your voice inside my heart
It’s not enough – it can’t come close
Since we have been apart

I’ll never quite be finished
Wishing you were here
To share my new and joy-filled life
You often said was near

I will not stop my struggle
To understand just how
You left this earth so quickly
When I want you here right now!

I’ll always be your daughter
Although you’ve passed away
This title means the world to me
Until my dying day

Always … Carol

November 23, 2005

Little Letters (Part II)

Dear Mrs. P,

I’m sorry I left you hanging out to dry that night you picked me up to baby-sit for your children. I know how much you and your husband were looking forward to the opera, but when we got to your house and you informed me that all three kids were vomiting all day long with the flu, my phobia kicked in and I just had to beat tracks out of there. I never could handle watching people barf.

I do think you should have been ashamed of yourself for even thinking about leaving those sick kids in the care of a young teenager while you went clear across the harbor to hear music. Even a very young me thought it quite disturbing.

Not-so-fondly … Weary Hag

Dear Father “C” ,

I know you’re dead now but remember that time when you screamed up the church aisle at my sister and me because we had the audacity to light a candle for our sickly grandmother and we didn’t put any money into the tin box? Well your little scene profoundly contradicted everything you ever preached to us on Sundays, not to mention the fact that it left a terribly nasty taste in the mouths of those little girls about your organization for many, many years after. Jerk!

A disgruntled excommunicant … Weary Hag
Dear red-haired nurse,

You were wrong back in 1976 when you told me you were just doing your job. Sitting up with me through the night and chatting with me to take my mind off my anguish when you should have already been home and sleeping was way above and beyond your call of duty. Had I not been so young and unknowing back then, I would have written one heck of a letter of commendation to your superiors … but I couldn’t step beyond myself at the time. Hopefully by now you are long-since retired and enjoying marvelous health and good fortune.

Eternally grateful … Weary Hag
Dear Ira and George Gershwin,

Thanks for all the wonderful music you have added to my life! “Embraceable You” was always a favorite and in fact, became my signature song for a time. Don’t worry … I did you proud.

I often wish I had lived during your era. The only thing I can do to repay you for your wonderful works is to pass on the word that those were the days when lyrics and melody truly seemed married to one another. The good news is that people like Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart, Diana Krall and Queen Latifah are making every attempt to keep all that neat music alive.

Forever thankful … Weary Hag
Dear slouch who stole my tip jar,

I hope you choked on your slippery nipple (cocktail name) that night. You know, I worked very long hours and made excellent money back then – but you couldn’t know that. That money could have meant my next meal for all you knew – you dirtbag.

What goes around comes around. I hope you’ve developed cirrhosis of the liver by now and are left to sit in some lonely, flea-ridden hotel room thinking about all the mean things you’ve done all your life. I’ll be looking for you in hell and I won’t be frail, skinny, OR timid. Just saying.

Ever so sincerely … Weary Hag
Dear Aunt “B”,

I know everyone in the family always thought you were a total loser, bordering on insanity. You were the skeleton in our family closet for years and I just want you to know I feel you got a bum rap. Your siblings were all so much older than you and they simply didn’t appreciate your different and unique approach to things. True, you eventually chose to live in the ferry terminal between jobs, but I think it was no more than a self-fulfilled prophecy on the part of your sibs.

If people tell someone they are a whacked out nutjob all of their life, I think that person might finally start to believe it to be true. I’ve seen pictures and heard stories about you when you were younger and you were quite pretty, shapely, talented and bright. I think your biggest problem was in paying more attention to the family than the voices in your head – which were probably much kinder! Poor you.

Your niece … WH
Dear JB,
Sitting in your classroom and learning Sign Language were some of the happiest moments I can recall. It wasn’t just the learning part, it was the teaching process that you used; that’s what made it such a marvelous challenge! You refused to speak to us from the moment you walked in the room until class ended. You forced us to think, try and fail, and eventually to succeed. How clever.

Of course, after years of non-use, a lot of what I learned escapes me now … but it’s still a bit of a thrill to watch someone “speaking” the language and to be able to glean bits and pieces from what they are signing.

You never let the fact that you played such an important role in the making of “Children of a Lesser God” (and had a bit part in it) get in the way of being such a wonderful teacher and a lovely friend.

With much gratitude … WH
Dear supermarket bagger,

I know you’d rather be out riding your skateboard and I don’t even blame you for that – but since someone is paying you to do a job, could you try to act interested? Pssst … eggs break and bread smushes. These items would be best kept to the top of the bag.

Also, incase you haven’t noticed, (which you did because you give me that ‘oh crap, another old lady’ look every time), I’m 50. From the looks of me, you could probably guess I don’t power lift or run marathons. Could you keep the weight of the bags down to about 30 pounds or so?

Just think of it this way … would you rather get clocked with a lightweight bag or a can-laden one? Because that’s what might happen next time you stand there humming “When I’m Sixty-Four” while bagging my stuff.

Meaning business … WH
Dear blog friends and readers,

In the spirit of the holiday tomorrow, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your kindness, your humor, your inspiration and your encouragement!

Without you it wouldn’t be the same. Oh I would still write because I just can’t help myself, but it would be such a quiet world without all of your wonderful voices in it.

I’m working diligently on getting a book into print. It keeps me busy and off the streets, but it’s also more time consuming than I had realized. Hopefully, when all is said and done I will have more time to interact – which is something I truly look forward to!

In the meantime, know that your posts, your readership and your comments have truly been cherished and I’m ever so grateful!

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow countrymen, and to those in far away places, enjoy the rest of your week!


"There is a calmness to a life lived in Gratitude, a quiet joy" (Ralph H. Blum)

November 19, 2005

The Story ~ According to Hag

In the beginning, Hag created her blog, and the blog was shrouded in darkness with perky red font. The spirit of her friend proclaimed unto her that this would make for tough reading, so she looked upon the blog and said, “Let there be white,” and there was, and it divided the darkness from the light in such a way that it was … better.

She called the darkness “background” and the lightness “font.”

The Hag looked upon the blog and noticed it needed division, so she said, “Let there be an intro and sidebar.” And there was, and all was fine.

Then she realized it needed more substance. And so she said, “Let there be many written words.” And they formed and were satisfactory. She called these her “posts.”

Soon she realized her blog needed an image, and so with her own likeness, she inserted a profile picture. She saw that this was good.

The Weary Hag rested.

Then she saw that she wasn’t really supposed to rest yet, so she got back to the computer to see what else her creation needed.

She looked upon the development and saw that it needed creatures. So she began to journey through the Internet and share comments amongst the throngs … hoping they would come to enjoy her creation as much as she did theirs. And the creatures began to make visits. And she saw that this too was good.

She wanted the creatures to be fruitful and multiply, so she added a blog roll to her sidebar, knowing that they could now enjoy one another, thereby spreading their seeds along the way and coming to know one another as a community. And as she began to see this happen, there was much rejoicing!

Sometimes among the creatures, a beast will happen by, but ‘twas all good and all right and she said to herself, “…the good with the bad and the bad with the good … and this too shall come to pass.” And she was right (with the help of word verification).

And so it came to be – this blog of the Hag’s. There was wordage and diversity and chuckles and sighs. The creatures seemed happy and their seeds begat other seeds, which in turn begat visitors, which then begat comments, which even begat further comments. And she saw this and it was good. And there was MUCH rejoicing!

And in eleven months, she now rested. And she will rest until her next post which will probably be on Tuesday, depending on whether she edits it in time.

~ There is a hidden message within this post. Note the letters in green to read the message ~

November 14, 2005

Little Letters (Part I)

Dear Brown-truck delivery dude,

Thank you for you wonderful service, but could you quit knocking at the door when you’re leaving a package that does not require my signature? I tripped up the stairs the other morning racing to grab my robe because my pajamas had a big tear in the hind section and I thought you were company.

Also, if you could stop announcing where the package was sent from, I would greatly appreciate it. It’s that time of year again when the entire family is busily ordering presents for one another via Internet and catalogs. We like to be surprised on Christmas morning.

Sincerely … Weary Hag


Dear new neighbor,

We don’t mind so much that you invited your life-size, red lacquered, naked female mannequin to your backyard BBQ back in August, but we’re terribly curious as to why you only show up to your new home on Fridays and stay till Saturday evening. We know your old home is only ten miles from here and we’re wondering why you haven’t officially moved into this new one yet.

Oh and when you start using the miter saw out back at eight a.m. on Saturdays, what is it that you’re building and dragging down into the basement? If you could straighten us out on this, we could get on with our nosey lives.

Curiously … WH


Dear Judge,

How come you still get to serve on the bench when you’re about 85 years old and you have to hold paperwork an inch from your eyeballs just to make it out? I don’t get this. And your robe had very bad dandruff around the shoulders, but I guess most people just don’t notice. I noticed, and I found it unsettling. They make some fine products now to remedy this situation. Or … you could retire and give some newcomer a chance on the bench; just a thought.

P.S. When you slur all your words, is that just for effect or have you been sipping Old Grandad in your chambers?

Concerned citizen … Weary Hag


Dear stranger-guy who returned my infant’s pacifier,

How sweet of you to go out of your way with this random act of kindness! You left your hot meal and ran across a cold parking lot just to give to me. I can only imagine that many years earlier, you were some lucky baby’s father and you knew what sort of trauma could ensue after we realized the pacifier was left in the restaurant. You have helped to comfort my little one and this weighs heavily in my book. We still have that pacifier today and whenever I’m feeling extra nostalgic, I look at it and remember your good deed. How I wish there were more people like you in this world.

Gratefully yours … WH


Dear girl who was my roommate in the 70s,

I know you were using my laundry detergent even though we agreed to buy and use our own. I also know your cheesy boyfriend helped himself to my LPs on more than one occasion (despite the fact that I said this was a huge no-no) and never returned several of them. Oh and that time when you said you lost your paycheck and couldn’t cough up your portion of the rent? I saw you cashing the damned thing at the bank the next day. You didn’t put anything past me … and you generally sucked as a roommate. I wouldn’t recommend you to my worst enemy if I had the chance … well, maybe my worst one.

That felt good … Weary Hag

Dear Mailman,

I know you show up every day and always manage to place the mail inside the box, but please don’t expect a money-gift for Christmas. You are a well-paid government employee with superb bennies and pension plan and this is, after all, your job. I used to be a customer service rep and had to take tons of crap from people all day long at work … I never expected (or received) money-gifts from them at Christmastime, and my benefits stunk. If I had lots and lots of money and nobody to spend it on, I might reconsider, but I don’t, so I won’t.

Happy holidays … WH

Dear Billy V,

When you first asked me to be your girlfriend back in fifth grade, I felt kind of flattered. It was a lot of fun hanging out with you on the fire escape after my Girl Scout meeting that Tuesday afternoon, listening to your transistor radio and making fun of the nuns … but I didn’t like that you lit a cigarette. It stunk and you looked like a moron because you didn’t even inhale.

What I would like for the world to know – right here, right now – is that you did NOT feel me up that day and in fact, you didn’t even get within five feet of me the entire time. So why’d you go around telling everybody this stupid story? Liar liar, pants on fire!

Pretty well-disgusted … Weary Hag
Dear Mrs. Tuff,

It was so nice of you to pay my sister five dollars a week to walk your little dog in the afternoons, even though she dragged me along with her every single day. The only problem is, neither of us ever knew what you meant when you used to ask “Did he have a BM?” My sister always said “Yup” but we had no clue what you were referring to. It would have been much better if you just said “Did he take a crap” or something, (we didn’t know BM stood for bowel movement), because at least we could have actually kept an eye out for this. I hope he wasn’t constipated because you used such fancy terminology. That would have been a terrible shame.

Still Concerned … WH


Dear lady who slammed into the rear end of my car at the red light,

I believe I have finally forgiven you for drinking and driving. Everyone told me I should have sued your inebriated ass, but at least you slowed down enough not to kill me. Just thought it was high time you knew that I ended up with whiplash and contusions where my knees bashed into the steering column. I think it was completely stupid of you to try to leave the scene of the accident with all those people standing around.

Back then it wasn’t “the thing to do” to sue people or I could have owned your husband’s beer and soda distribution center. I hope you have since quit drinking … or at least gotten too old by now to get behind the wheel of a car.

P.S. Your wig was way ugly.

Forgivingly … Weary Hag
"It does me good to write a letter which is not a response to a demand, a gratuitous letter, so to speak, which has accumulated in me like the waters of a reservoir." Miller, Henry (1891-1980 American Author)
~SJ is doing very well and is back to work. Thank goodness it was not Mono ... just a random virus. Thank you all, so much, for the well wishes and concern! It's been a tough week.~
Dear Juliabohemian,
Thank you for pointing out the typo in my last letter above. Grrrr I hate when that happens! It is now revised (yes, I'm that sick about spelling errors), but actually, I think it WOULD be kind of neat if someone decided to open a "bear and soda distribution center." People could go to this place, purchase their soda and take care of all the teddy-bear-gift needs for the year. Imagine the vast assortment!
I really do appreciate the correction. Um, do you charge for editing because I could really use those services right about now? *smile*
Sincerely ... WH

November 09, 2005

Still "Running" After All These Years

Hoo boy, this has not been the best of weeks for me. I’ve had to spend money I do not have; I have appointments I’d rather not keep, places to go to that I’d rather avoid, and now, a sick child to mother – just when I feel like being mothered a bit my own self.

Sarah Jane woke up hurting all over. It’s not the flu. I won’t allow that within these walls (wishful and hopeful thinking). It’s just a virus, though we aren’t entirely sure what type. Test results will come back Saturday. It’s nothing horribly serious ~ but when the cub is sick, a hangnail can seem serious.

I would like very much to run away; to pack a little bag with some clean undies and a couple of leftover Halloween candy bars and just go – destination unknown. If this didn’t mean leaving Ed and SJ behind, I wouldn’t be writing right now … more than likely I’d be driving and thinking about how cruel the world can be sometimes.

The thing is … I’ve tried it ~ running away ~ and it didn’t do me much darned good at all.

Once upon a time, back around 1965, a rather young haglet sat scheming on the bed in her tiny room. This young lady had way too much imagination for a little child to handle. She wasn’t sure yet what was lacking in her life, but she did know she wanted to become famous.

She had been to the great city beyond the harbor with her parents and schoolmates, and she decided that she could find a big airport in such a place. She would fly off to … anywhere … where she could become the belle of the ball, the cat’s meow, the crème of the crop, the hag of all hagdom.

And so the young, starry-eyed child broke into her piggy bank and gathered up all of the coins she could fit into a sock. She began to plan her getaway … but decided to drag someone along with her. The prospect of going on such an adventure all alone made the hair on her neck stand up and tingle. She had never been alone.

Her plan was simple. She invited Nettie ~ convincing her that they might see Hollywood, or London, or any of the other places where famous people were ‘made.’

“But how will we become famous?” asked Nettie.
“I don’t know, it’ll just happen … but it’s not going to happen here,” said the haglet with great determination.

The two girls were part of a team of tap dancers and once a week they took their lessons together in a rather seedy part of town. Since the studio was located directly in front of a bus stop, they were allowed to take the bus from home to get there each week – and were picked up (after dark) to come home.

The 'run away plan' involved boarding the bus as usual on tap dancing day, then taking a detour and getting on with their big adventure. They wouldn’t even be missed for at least an hour; a great head start!

They pooled their money and were clever enough to bring chewing gum and a candy bar. Each girl, as part of the scheme, had secretly made a sandwich and tucked it neatly into the small zippered bag next to their tap shoes. And on that day, the bus pulled up and off they went.

They took the bus clear to the ferry terminal, where they knew they could crossover into the great city – but for some reason, they decided to explore their little island a bit more before leaving it. Another bus took them all the way to Tottenville, a small town far, far away (about twelve miles) from their homes on the north shore.

The two little girls had crossed the island. They felt so brave, so clever … so CHILLY. They hadn’t thought about sundown and weather … they were ill-prepared for the November night.

They wandered through the streets of this old and forgotten town, admiring the little shop windows and the newness of the sights around them. They walked through a park, enjoyed their sandwiches and talked about what they would do with all the money they would make when they achieved their fame.

It was during this chat when Nettie dropped the bomb.

“I’ll bet my father has allll his friends out looking for us by now!” she snickered with her mouth full of sandwich.
“Ha ha … yeah … mine too,” the haglet laughed back, “This is so cool!”
“Yeah, but my father’s friends are everywhere … I wonder if we should start keeping an eye out for them,” she said, looking over her shoulder.
“Why? Do you really think they’re going to travel all the way out here to look? Don’t be silly… we could stay here for a month and they wouldn’t think to look here,” said the haglet, quite smugly.

“Well we need to look out for cop cars,” said Nettie.
“Cop cars? Why? They won’t call the cops. We didn’t do anything wrong,” said the haglet.
“Yeah but my dad’s a sargeant in the 1-2 -0 (precinct),” revealed Nettie.
“A COP?” thought the haglet to herself. This was the last thing she expected to hear!

And this was the first time in her very short life that the haglet wanted to strangle someone. But she refrained, and the two picked up their bags and made for the streets.

The night fell quickly ~ quicker in fact, than either of them had ever recalled. They walked, they ran, they snuck about behind trees and shrubs … made their way back to the bus stop and prayed that it was headed for the ferry terminal. Every time they spotted a police cruiser, they ducked out of sight.

The haglet began to get mighty homesick. She thought she was the only one who felt this way until Nettie began to cry.

“This was so stupid,” sobbed Nettie.
“I guess,” the haglet agreed, lowering her head, “I just thought … never mind.”
“I know, me too,” said Nettie.

And the girls made their way once again to the terminal where they jumped on yet another bus, hoping it would head them toward home.

Meanwhile, back at the homesteads … two mothers cried burning tears and thought the worst. When the haglet mom arrived to the dance studio only to have the instructor inform her the girls had never showed up, police were called and an APB (All Points Bulletin) was issued. Two fathers frantically roamed the streets in their cars and on foot, in search of the missing children. Sisters and brothers (except the SS*, I’m sure) who would otherwise argue with and tease their younger siblings, were now distraught and afraid.

Snow began to fall as the girls got off the bus at an unknown intersection (Victory Boulevard and Clove Road) … and they finally caved in and called home. They flipped a coin to see which one had to actually place the call. The haglet lost.

“Um, mommy?” said the haglet, trying to maintain whatever cool she had left in her.
“Nope. It’s SS and YOU ARE IN BIG TROUBLE! HA HA HA …” said the SS of the haglet.

Scrambling sounds could be heard through the line and suddenly the soothing voice of mother was heard …

“Haglet … where ARE you? Are you all right? Oh my GOD” sobbed the mother.
“Mommy, I’m sorry. We’re okay but we’re cold and tired and hungry … can you come get us?” the haglet spoke while choking on crow.
“Read the street signs to me. I’ll be there in a flash … and DON’T MOVE,” said the mother.

It seemed like just seconds till the car pulled up … the familiar Impala with the red-checkered blanket tossed over the seat back. The SS was in the front seat ~ huge grin on her face and hiding a laugh. The girls took the back seat and were ‘spoken to’ all the way home.

Nettie’s mother was at the haglet house when they arrived and they left without much chit-chat. Inside the house, (God it felt so warm and looked so cozy and inviting), hell broke loose.

“Your FATHER is in the city! He’s walking around Battery Park in the snow looking for you!” cried the mother as she removed haglet’s windbreaker and hugged her tightly. “We found a piece of paper in your room with a story about a girl who became famous in Battery Park!” screeched the mother while she clung to the young girl.

“I TOLD you they were okay… I TOLD you she did it on purpose!” chanted the SS as she took the stairs to her room.

“Mom I’m s o r r y … I’m SOOO sorry,” cried the little, not-very-famous haglet.

The rest of that night was a horror for the little one. Father came home in a police car, and neighbors peered out of their windows ~ a common site in a tight knit ‘hood.

There was shouting and embarrassment … there were new rules to follow, there were many new restrictions set into place. There was a very late supper, and then there was a very angry “Now go to bed.”

So the haglet lay in her cozy, warm bed … staring out between the Venetian blinds and recalling her adventure; a mix of excitement, shame and guilt. “Poor daddy,” she thought to herself, “Poor Mommy.”

And the distant foghorns of the ferry that led to the great city lulled her off to sleep.

“You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity” (Thomas Wolfe)

*SS – (Special Sister) refers to haglet’s older sister who was hell bent to try to destroy any semblance of happiness or contentment a young girl could know.

November 05, 2005

A Bird In the Hand ... Sometimes Doesn't Move

Meet Corky. Well, this isn’t really Corky, but he sure does resemble him. This is a Googled parakeet. Corky was my mother’s parakeet.

My daughter and I killed Corky but we didn’t mean to.

I had given my parents this wonderful living-gift about seventeen years ago when they first moved to Connecticut. My mother had always been an avid bird-fan and my father needed something new to complain about, so I figured this would cover both of them as a meaningful Christmas present.

They each took turns enjoying Corky, trying to get him to speak and cleaning out his little cage. Depending upon the outdoor weather, they would move him from one room to another so he’d stay warm and cozy. They did take excellent care of him, and he seemed to thank them very, very often in his high-pitched bird voice.

Corky quickly became a household word over at mom’s place. He stayed quite popular among the younger grandchildren (and me) for a good couple of years. He was a fine bird.

Mom and dad took a short vacation back to the city to visit my sisters who still lived there. They would only be gone for four days or so, and they asked me to take in their mail, feed and let Sam the dog out a few times a day, and take care of Corky. This was never a problem for me because we lived so close and I liked keeping an eye on things for them.

On the day they were due to return, my daughter and I went over early in the morning to vacuum, dust and clean things up so they could come home to a nice neat house. We let Sam the dog out in their obscenely huge backyard, then we started to dust and clean. There really wasn’t a whole lot to do, and my daughter, being about nine years old wasn’t too keen on helping much.

As I walked into the living room, I noticed her standing by Corky’s cage that hung in a corner by near the fireplace. She was talking to him and petting him through the bars.

I returned to the kitchen and started puttering around when I heard a huge crash and scream from the living room. I raced inside, heart pounding, thinking for sure Sarah Jane had somehow hurt herself.

Corky’s cage was on the floor! SJ was standing there crying and looking rather helpless. I’ve never been the type of mom who can maintain her cool during a trauma, so I stood there and yelled “NOOOO!” then ran to the cage.

“Oh my GOD what happened?” I asked.
“I’m sorry mom, I didn’t mean it! I thought Corky might like a ride so I was twirling his cage around and suddenly it fell off the hook!” she cried.
“Oh God oh God!” I not-so-calmly reacted.

Mind you, my parents were now due back in about an hour. Just great.

I didn’t know what to do first. I tried to calm SJ by telling her “He’ll be okay … you didn’t mean it,” but I kind of already knew better. Let’s face it, birds aren’t the strongest creatures in this world.

I crouched down to the cage and looked at Corky and his eyes were open, his head was moving and one of his wings was slightly moving. “Oh excellent,” I thought … “He’s alive!” I picked up the hand-held vacuum and started cleaning up the mess that the fallen cage made – birdseed all over the place, little fluffy feathers …

Then we realized he was stuck between his water bowl and the bars of the cage. Just stuck there. He wasn’t talking either. Hm.

What happened next, I could never explain in a million years, because it makes less sense than Michael Brown being head of FEMA, but I picked up the phone and called my sister in New York.

“Lynn, oh my God SJ and I dropped Corky’s cage and he doesn’t look so good! What do I do?” I hollered into the phone.

I can only imagine the look on my sister’s face at the time, as she said very calmly, “Okay, first thing, calm down… is there blood? Is he dead?”
“Nope. He’s moving. But he looks stuck between his water bowl and the bars,” I answered, catching my breath.
“Well you have to take him out of there and see if he’s okay - do it slowly,” she offered.

I took him out and held him in my hand and let’s just say that he didn’t seem pleased. His head sort of sagged a little and he didn’t make any attempt to get away, to fly, to speak, or anything at all. I was horrified as he gently closed his eyes while I held him … and stopped moving altogether.

I told SJ to tell her aunt that Corky appeared to be dead. She cried her eyes out and told my sister, then handed the phone to me.

“Listen,” Lynn said, “There’s nothing you can do. What happened, happened … but you HAVE to stay calm for SJ’s sake, and you have to do something with him.”
“D O S O M E T H I N G?” I asked in horror.
“Well yes, you’ll have to bury him before they get home. It will be better that way than seeing him dead,” she explained.
“Oh GOD! I can’t bury Corky!” I cried.
“CALM DOWN!” she ordered, “What choice do you have?”

So SJ and I found a small bag and we put him in it and took it out beside the garage. To take her mind off this yucky experience, I had asked her where she thought would be a nice place to bury him. She told me she thought he might like it right under the window of the garage where birds always build a nest every year. I agreed and we started to dig.

While we were digging, my parents pulled into the driveway, smiles on their faces and beaming with joy to be home again. They saw us out there and assumed we were looking at the other bird’s nests.

Like a five year old caught with her hand in the cookie jar, I ran to my mother and said, “Something terrible has happened! We didn’t mean it!” And she looked at me with horror because she assumed something happened to Sam the dog.

I told her quickly that it was Corky and that we killed him, then I quickly changed it to “I killed him” because I could see the look on SJ’s face.

“But how?” mom quietly asked.
“Well, SJ kind of dropped his cage, but he was still moving - then I did the stupidest thing, I vacuumed right near him and I’m sure the noise scared him to death,” I confessed.
“Well I want to see him. Where is he?” mom asked.

I took her to the place where we had started to bury him, but luckily we hadn’t had time to cover him up. She opened the bag, looked in and took him out. Typical of my mother, she had to confirm that the bird was indeed dead and that I hadn’t been mistaken. I say this with great affection, of course.

“He’s dead,” she said, as though she were the first one to say it.
“Yes, he’s dead,” I agreed.

Apologies were made for the remainder of, I think, that YEAR. Mom insisted that it was just his time to go (good job, mom) and dad just let it ride. They kept saying that it wasn’t our fault and that the same thing could have happened while they were sitting right there. Somehow, I just don’t think so! But parents (and grandparents) are so cool about such things.

So SJ came away from this with a lesson in bird cage twirling, as in "DON’T,” and I came away from it feeling more guilty than I had the day I was late for 9 a.m. Mass because I fell and twisted my ankle on the way to church. (trust me, that's some guilt)

Poor Corky. He wasn’t very old (just about seven), but I suppose he lived a good life while here.

Way to go taking care of mom’s house while they went away on vacation! Woo hoo!

"We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words."
Anna Sewell (1820-1878)

November 01, 2005

Random Ruminations

~ I think politics started out as a fun game long, long ago, when men got bored with life and with peace. The game was probably a lot of fun at the time, until someone cheated and cheapened the whole thing, causing the opposing team to seek revenge or to “one-up the other side.” Before long, the game was taken quite seriously and more and more people wanted to play. More rules had to be set in place.

The game became so popular that they had to break up the two teams and create even more of them. Since the game wasn’t all about fun anymore, players started to refer to the teams as “parties” to try and lighten things up a bit. It didn’t work, but the word stuck.

Spectators would enjoy griping about, or rooting for the different teams, but just from the sidelines; some would complain or cheer louder than others. Some people couldn’t even stand the thought of this silly game so they never got involved at all, and were quite content about that.

Eventually players would die but there was always somebody else to take their place.

What everyone failed to realize was that from the beginning, nobody ever really won anything because just when they thought they had, damned if somebody wouldn’t jump in and start playing when they weren’t even invited. The newbies would bring a whole new set of rules and goals. Nobody really knew how to finish the game, so it just kept on going through time; through level after pathetic level – forever.

Pretty stupid game when you think about it.

~ I believe there are two major causes of my current state of overweight; one is the invention of elastic, the other is our country’s class system.

The most noticeable time when my extra 30 pounds starts to really bother me is when I put on clothes that don’t fit me anymore. How terribly uncomfortable! So what happens? I resort to my stretchy clothes… the ones that give when I sit or move about. Now the way I see it, if I didn’t have any stretchy clothes, I’d have no choice but to trim down so I could fit into my regular clothes. Whatever bastard created the stretchy jeans and elastic waist is a cruel, cruel cuss.

Unless of course, I have a whole lot of money and could afford go out and buy more and more clothes in larger sizes, which never really fit right because my legs don’t get taller and my arms stay the same. So I purchase the elastic waist jobbies that fast become my bestest friend. Whoa … now I have room to spare … let’s eat!

If I had even more money, I could hire a personal trainer who would come to my house and force me, little by little, back into shape. But then too, if I had no money at all, I couldn’t afford to eat the type and quantity of food that got me into this mess in the first place. So there you have it. It’s the invention of elastic accompanied by being middle class that made this happen. Drat!

~ This may have been stated in an earlier post but it merits repeating. I don’t believe people should be permitted to marry until they reach forty. I strongly feel that until you have lived on this earth for forty years, though you may know full well what you’re looking for in a life-partner, you cannot fully know what you are looking to avoid and will not be able to tolerate.

I have married people who I just knew with my whole heart and soul were everything I always wanted in a person. Then, as time passed, I came to realize that although they had some fine qualities, and possibly all the qualities I had hoped for, they also possessed qualities that I had absolutely no tolerance for … couldn’t cope with … couldn’t understand … didn’t want to be subjected to – AT ALL. I’m sure they also found the same to be true about me.

It was unfortunate that everything didn’t just jive, but had there been a law in place forbidding us to marry until forty, a lot of heartache would have been spared. I know this.

So aside from looking for a life-mate based on all your wants and desires, you must also consider all the crap that you will not tolerate in your home, your life and possibly in your future children’s lives. I don’t think most people take the time to really mull this over until they have done a lot more living than twenty or thirty years.

In my opinion, when marriages between younger people work out well ~ it’s truly a blessing; consider yourselves quite fortunate. When marriages between over-40 people work out well, it’s a testament that they have used their noggin based on life experience, and used it well.

~ Lastly, I would like to know who “they” are. You know … the “they” that decide what foods are no good, what colors match best, what causes disorders, what cars we should drive, what roads we should travel, what pills we should or shouldn’t take, what faith we should follow, what things to teach our children, what books we ought to read, what should or shouldn’t be considered “art,” what criminals to punish … I could go on forever.

This “they” comes up in so many conversations; we hear it all the time. It should be banned! Unless we can quote someone specifically, we should not be allowed to even use this word. I do it, you do it and you know everyone else has done it.

“They say when the cows are lying down, it’s going to rain”
“They say too many carbs are not good in the diet”
“They say purple and orange don’t work well together”
“They say an aspirin a day keeps the heart attack away”
“They say children are better schooled at home”

The list is endless, but how often do we really get to the bottom of who “they” are? The danger lies in that many people hear these types of statements and take them to heart without so much as questioning how such determinations were ever made or better yet, who made them! Sometimes people live their whole lives based on the decisions made by “they” without ever knowing who they are.

We should all demand citation from now on. Next time you hear someone use the phrase “they say,” stop the speaker in his or her tracks and ask “WHO says?” Whether or not the statement is right or wrong isn’t the issue here … it would just be interesting to observe how many people truly haven’t a clue who they’re quoting.