Friday, February 14, 2014

For Jerry on Valentine's Day 2014

Walking (with Jerry)

We walked in autumn
under arched canopies of gold and red maples
on a path made from an old rail bed
along the swift moving Schulykill
full from late summer rains.

We walked in spring
on trails trimmed in fern and moss
shaded by Douglas fir and sweet smelling cedar
Jason racing ahead in fits and starts
to dig in the damp dirt of
the secret amber place.

We walked Yosemite in winter
Jason in a carrier on your back
wearing a sky blue knit beanie
eyes round in excitement at the sight
of puffy snowflakes
landing on his tiny hands.

We walked in summer
on high slopes of the Montana Rockies
searching a mountain pass for
whistling marmots and mountain goats
shivering in the cold
despite the bright sun.

We walked many seasons
the sage hills of Laguna
the concrete and glass canyons of Manhattan
the rocky shores of the Pacific in Baja
Vancouver, and Oregon.

We walk hand in hand now
under palms on Coffee Pot Bayou
manatee, dolphin, turtles
rays and egrets keep us company.
We talk of everything and nothing
content with the season
and each other.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Read the Damn Blog!

This blog post is really just for Lisa Adams...I want her to know what I wrote in a comment to Bill Keller's recent editorial in the NYTimes. 

"I am absolutely convinced that neither you nor your wife have sat down and taken the time to actually read Lisa's do it. Grab a cup of coffee and start about two years ago, before her met diagnosis.  Get to know her, then follow her journey. do NOT cherry pick. do not rely on just tweets. READ THE DAMN BLOG. Then come back and read your editorial. and try to tell me it reflects Lisa's opinions or experience.  Because it does not. She would tell you that every person's journey through cancer is unique to themselves and there is NOT one way or a right way to make that journey.  She would agree with you that the "battle" metaphor is is one she NEVER EVER uses...the fact you read it into her experience is from something in you that brings it to the table. I just can't believe that you have compounded Emma's misstatements and misunderstandings with your own. It is a sad day and many, many of us who call ourselves friends of Lisa are sad, angry, and disappointed. You do her a a great disservice at a time when she does not have the energy to combat it. So we will do it for her. "

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Everyone is ready for Christmas Eve including our tiny tree. Merry Christmas all.

Our Christmas celebrations have gotten simpler as the years have gone by. Jason grew up and away. We moved. Mom passed. Some years I still put up the Christmas trees laden with ornaments from Christmas past. But more and more we keep it simple.

Two years ago we met Jason in Montreal and shared a simple tiny tree, wintry snow, and a home cooked meal.

This year we are in Seattle where Jason now lives. It is just the three of us. We rented a small house for the week not far from Jason. It has snowed and rained. It has been sunny and windy. Today is mild with the sun playing peekaboo behind gray clouds fringed with white wispy tendrils.

Over the past few days I've gathered a tiny tree from Trader Joe's to go with the snowmen, elf and penguin I brought from home. Jason bought me the husky ornament from REI and I found the cute kitty at Pottery Barn. The rum bottle is from my friend Kim, the shortbread from Daryl, and the Corgi is from yesterday's tea at the Queen Mary tearoom. Symbols of past and present holidays, good friends, and family.

Today we'll roast e a rack of lamb, sweet potatoes and zuccini, and bake an apple crisp. We'll open a bottle of good wine and toast to our good fortune to be together on Christmas. All under the watchful eyes of a few dogs,a cat, and a penguin.

Merry Christmas all.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Address Book

  This year when I was doing my Christmas cards, Jerry was stuffing the envelopes and I was addressing them.  For years, we have said we should put the addresses in a computer program that will spit out the addresses on labels to save time..  But I’ve never done it.  This year I realized why.
Taking the time to write those names and addresses gives me the time  to remind myself of all the wonderful friends and family that we are blessed with. 
     There is family: old, new, and blended. There are people on the list I’ve known since I was four, Jerry has known since high school and ones who have made us feel welcome and part of a community here in St Pete when we moved here 4 years ago. There are business associates who became friends and neighbors who have stayed neighbors of the heart if not in fact. 
     I’ve decided to stop trying to make the list smaller and instead will revel in the memories that each name brings and shed a few tears for those who no longer have an earthly address.
     So no more grumbling about writer’s cramp and the taste of the envelope glue, instead just remembering and rejoicing. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Jason on the "front porch" of the gnome house of our Issaquah home 1992. Our first snow.

Memories on a Tree

Memories on a Tree
by Annette Baesel      

silver glass
 globe worn thin,
 the oldest, reflects
 the merry years of trees.
 A tiny polka-dotted red ball
replaced the one that fell, broke to
splinters. White lacy snowflakes, first
 ornaments for a bare apartment when a
scrawny Charlie Brown tree was perfect.
A crystal angel nests in the heart of the pine
 blessing lives braided into a single long plait.
 A small green pickle, hidden deep, brings luck
 and laughter.  A round red bell says I Love Grandma,
dangles in its place on a low branch. Etched bronzed
hounds race through the tree scaring the winged black cat
named Mabel. Yellow kayak and oar, sea otter, snowshoes
 speckled blown glass salmon, tokens from a time in rainy cedar
 forests.  Painted glass peonies, amaryllis, iris, reminder of spring
 in four seasons country. Delft Dutch shoe, cable car, sea shell,
cactus in a cowboy hat, Canadian Mountie moose, Peruvian llamas,
 tell tales of journeys far. A simple heart of multicolored beads made
by tiny hands a reminder of early years and mother love.
Regiments of scarlet coated nutcrackers
Santa-hatted Scooby-Doo
oversee the cast of soldiers,
 gnomes,  ballerinas, ponies,
echoes of Christmas past.