A Day For Fathers

Today is Father’s Day

I wish my husband Happy Father’s Day, proud of the men I am so thankful for, that he helped our sons become.

I wish my oldest son Happy Father’s Day, proud of the father he is to his own sons who will one day be Fathers in their own right.

I wish my brothers Happy Father’s Day, expressing my love and pride in the sons and daughters they have all helped raise into wonderful human beings.

But, they are not my Father.

They are Fathers to others.

I want my own Father.

I miss my Father.

I cry for him when no one is looking.

I long for stolen moments with him, when no one is paying attention.

I wish for one more Father’s Day with him.

I wish for one more moment with him.

One more dirt road.

One more fishing trip.

One more lesson on how to do it right the first time

“Measure twice, cut once”

I wish for one more chance to tell him I love him.

I wish for one more chance to tell him I need him.

I wish for one more chance…

to show him I am…

…his daughter.

But I’m out of chances.

My only option is to say, here and now, to the ghost of the most important man in my life…

I love you Dad and I wish you were here.

But the bittersweet of Father’s Day is tempered with the happy thoughts and wishes of birth…for my Mother.

Today she turns 77.

She’s seen a lot, been through a lot, has a lot to be proud of, and thankful for…especially proving that you are never too old to take a chance.

I am so proud of the woman she is.  Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother…

W O M A N

Happy Birthday Mom

The day is yours, the love is yours…

We are yours….Always

HooK LiNe and SinKer

Though I know spring is right around the corner, and I look forward to the rebirth of nature’s bounty and for some of you, the births of new little ones who’ll soon be pitter-pattering on your hearts can’t come soon enough…I just can’t help but bitch about this particular time change; and never more this year than any other.

I don’t know what it is.

It’s not the extra daylight surely.  Who doesn’t like the normalcy of waking up in the light and going to sleep when it’s dark?

It’s not the rain because I’ve never minded a good ol’ rainy day.  I love them actually.

Who wouldn’t, knowing this beauty below, from a year ago, is drinking it up so it can make another grand entrance?

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That said though, It just feels, to me, that the spring daylight savings robs more of the day than it gives.

When I wake in the morning, it feels too late.

When I retire at night, it feels too early.

When I think about lunch, it’s too close to dinner.

When I think about dinner, it’s too soon after lunch.

Feeling this way, you’d think the fall time change would make me feel the opposite…

Up too early; to bed too late; starving by lunch; when the hell is dinner.

Right?

But no…I feel none of that.  And frankly, I don’t remember the spring change feeling this intense before either.

I keep asking myself “What the hell is it this year that makes me feel so irritable about it all?”

And then it hits me.  Or at least, I think it does.

Along with all I do look forward to in the spring, now, there are things I know I’ll never see or do or feel again.

At least, not in the same way.

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I’ll never see the joy on his face when the ice has retreated enough for us to take poles in hand and put lines to water, hoping for enough perch for dinner or, at the very least, stories grand enough for everyone to swallow…

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We’ll never walk the rocky path through the woods, looking for that one spot that offers the perfect balance of flat rock and branch-free air, to sit and cast a line (not to mention a hearty tree trunk to hide behind for those necessary times).

Or a high, flat bank, on which to perch a chair to jerk a perch.

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I’ll never feel the strong surety of his hands as he takes the ‘big’ one off my line because I jumped instead of jerked, so that fish swallowed it all…

HooK Line and SinKer

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I’ll never see him begin another spring outing as the 5’7″ man he was, only to end the day coming in at a cool 5’11” from the mud cake that grew on the bottom of his shoes; we, full anticipation for the tall tales about big fish, that we willingly swallowed…

HooK Line and SinKer

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I know the memories of these times are what are important.

I know too, that when the fall arrives, there will be even more that will make me miss him even more.

The scores of memories of him saying “Let’s take this road, there’s a great barn you need to see!”

Those are the ones that will make me weep first and smile again…after a time.

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Those times, though as forever behind me as they are in the rear-view above, will always be the happiest times we shared.

But I also know and will remember well, that when next the boys lower the boat to kiss the Clyde one misty morning, he will be there.

He’s probably there now…waiting…for the ice to break, the fish to come up for air, and us kids to show up with all we need, to keep the traditions going and the memories fresh.

He’ll be there.

And we’ll be there.

Ready to take it all…

HooK  Line  and  SinKer.

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yabba-D.A.B.D.A.-doo the numbers

The five stages of grief

1.  Denial

2.  Anger

3.  Bargaining

4.  Depression

5.  Acceptance


1

There has been no denial…

…there was no doubt death was coming

2

There has been anger…

…but it’s an exhausting emotion

3

There was a little bargaining…

…too close to self-blaming to be tolerated for long

4

There is depression…

…that ‘happy memory’ thief that sneaks into your heart in the dark

5

There will be acceptance…

…a state of being both wanted and feared at the same time


Remembering the good times, the happy times, is not hard
there are so very many of them

Remembering I am not alone is not easy
until I hear the sadness in the voice on the other end of the phone

Remembering he is gone takes the joy out of the day
until I remember too, how much of him is left within me

Forgetting that he lived and loved and was loved in return is not an option
especially when remembering his legacy to all of us was 

Live like it’s your last day
Love like it’s your last chance
Regret Nothing

Roy E George


The Epilogue

The service is done

The tears shed

Ashes placed

His final bed

Pride in my family

Not the least of which, Mom

Who honored my father

With dignified Calm

Standing Room Only

His life well represented

Laughter the keystone

Not a life being lamented

Notes to be written

Soups to be made

We dreaded the after

But we’re no longer afraid

Of the space that is empty

His body departed

‘Cause his spirit is present

We are each lighter hearted

Remember my laughter

Remember my smile…

Remember my loving

Remember my style

I’ll forever be with you

To navigate the way

As you journey forward

I will help lead the way

You’ll never be alone

Nor should you feel sorrow

I’m forever in today

As I’ll always be tomorrow

Okay Dad…we’ll remember

One stop on the memory train

I read a post today that transported me

That happens quite often doesn’t it?

To all of us?

We’ll hear a tune drifting out the open windows of a passing car and no longer are we standing on a hot sidewalk in line at the ATM, but magically taken to an ‘out of school for the summer’ beach trip with our best girlfriends, laughing and flirting while sand filled our shorts and Sun-In made us all one shade of blonde or another.

Or we’ll catch a smell in the air that immediately takes us back.  Maybe to a warm and tiny kitchen in the back of a house shared with the post office; where a grandmother is frying donuts in a big cast iron pot and where too, the back porch isn’t just a place to take off your muddy boots before tramping into Gram’s small but tidy nook…but a place where Gramp sits grinding fresh horseradish, tears rolling down his stubbled cheeks as easily as the sweat pours off his shiny bald knob.

And there are times, we’ll read something, like Tink’s post today, that’s like peeking into that too-long forgotten toy box in your mind’s attic…the one where you keep all your found treasures and best memories of childhood…waiting for a day like today.

Sometimes, these trips down memory lane can cover us in a cloak of sorrow or pain, bringing us back to a time and place we’d rather not go back to, for one reason or another.

Other times, happily I think most times, the places we go in our mind are…

…the places we want to be and in the company of people we want to be with.

This is where I went today, when the toy box opened…with thoughts of long candy counters and a shop owner with the patience God gives older folk…

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It sits there still, where it always did.

Across the road from my where my grandparent’s lived, and up two from where I did.

One of two one-room shops in our town of less than…

where one holds the memories of a barrels of chocolate drops, returning bottles for a penny, wood smoke, and men laughing.

while the other is made of children’s dares and double dares to see who’ll go buy the ice cream from the ‘mean old lady’ behind the counter.

And this is who joined me in today’s trip…Gramp in his engineer’s cap and Gram looking the same as everyday I can remember.

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And though this is where they are now…

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Their permanent home is here…always here…

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I thank Tink and her Crazy Train for the ride today.  It was welcome and reminded me that I have enough in my heart and my mind to get me through whatever life wants to throw my way.

And maybe someday, when he’s older or I’m gone, this one will hear or see or smell something, some small thing, that will take him back to a time when he knew he was cherished.

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On The Road Again

It’s official…we’re on the road again.

Tradin’ in

‘Ya can’t get theyah from heeyah’ 

for

‘Ya’ll come back now, y’hear?’

The Green Mountains of Vermont, the land of my birth…to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Before the snow flies and on the wings of the snow birds, we’ll be gone.

Naturally, this meant another foray into the wild green yonder of this place I love, to capture as much of her as I can before heading out.

A week from now we’ll be ‘down there’, looking for a home.

If we are successful, in 3 weeks time, I’ll be an Old Dame in The Old Dominion and the other half will be, ummm, well?

Old

I invite you to share my last Vermont Drive By of the Season and look forward to sharing my new home with you

(as soon as I find one)

R

Five and Twenty

Five & Twenty years today

What seems like only yesterday

You made our family whole that day

Baby Matthew

Second born & second son

But unique you are, second to none

Matthew the Light

You favor both your Dad and Me

Your brother? Lord, you two are like peas

Gramp? Ha, have you seen your ears?

With lobes like that you could fly, I fear

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Your nose though, even I must admit

Raised an eyebrow or two (whose nose is it?)

Not Dad’s, nor mine, and not your brother’s

Not Father’s Grand nor Grand Mother’s

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But we’ll leave the nose, we’ll just call it yours

‘Cause it fits that face we so adore

To celebrate this special day at hand

Our babe, our boy, our teen, our young man

Matthew

You’ve made our lives rich with love and laughter

We share your hopes, the dreams you’re after

You were just a boy when you left and began

The next leg of your journey toward becoming a man

Matt at the North Pole

But you found your life, your love – your way

Thousands and thousands of miles away

It’s never easy to watch your kids go

When you are a father, this too you will know

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But we couldn’t be more proud of you, our dear son

For the courage you’ve shown, the battles you’ve won

You’ve proven your mettle, your strength, your grit

You did it alone (mostly?) (a bit?)

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As you keep moving forward, new challenges will come

But our faith in you grows with each passing sun

Though, an old soul you have, there is plenty of time

To live for the moment, those moments sublime

Matt at Alyeska

We know you do and you always will

Without taking for granted the glorious thrill

That life has to offer to you who are willing

To live what they feel, and feel life fulfilling

Promises? Never. You’ll learn as you go

That heartache and pain are a part of the show

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Our best wish for you is to live ‘no regrets’

The more fully lived, the better life gets

We know the depths of compassion you hold

Your empathy, compassion, and emotions are bold

Matt at Portage Glacier

This day of your birth, this twenty and five

Is as miraculous now as the day you arrived

We love you dear Matthew, with all that we’ve got

(Your present’s in the mail…oops…I forgot)

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Sorry honey
Didn’t anyone ever tell you?
25 is the Poetry year
We Love you 😉

A Day Out with Superman and Lois – Part II

For some New England states, the lack of development makes for an inconvenient truth…there is a high price for beauty. Of all the states that make up New England, Vermont pays a higher price for its pristine vistas and unspoiled landscapes, than do the others. That’s not a scientific fact, but as one who has lived and/or worked in all of them, I feel confident in my opinion.

Seasonal tourism has become the bread and butter of a state (formerly?) known as The Dairy State. However, that said, it’s still not enough to make up for what this state has lost, what it once was, and still pay for what this state now is…an entitlement state with a tax bill to prove it.

You couldn’t drive a mile without passing a flourishing dairy farm; their rich pastures dotted with the familiar black and white of the Holstein, just to name one of the breeds that carved cow paths through much of the landscape of its history.

Nearly every generation of my family, leading up to but excluding mine, was raised or worked on, a family dairy farm.

The sights we see today, or in our case, the sights Supe and I captured yesterday, are now the norm.

Neglect may come to mind…but it goes much deeper.

Neglect suggests a choice.

Being a farmer is a choice.

Losing a farm is not.

And this doesn’t just happen here, it happens all over our country. But here is where I live, and here is where I love, and here is where I weep, for the loss of the American dream, one field, one barn, one beautiful bovine at a time.

I’m glad this day of Reflection with Supe resulted in the following photographs, for amid the not so subtle colors that draw the throngs of leaf-peepers, there are also signs of the times.

And please, don’t get me wrong, not all the photos of yesterday are sad reminders.  Some are of the wondrous sites that bring these people from thousands of miles away.  The commentary only addresses those photos that evoke a sense of loss for days gone, livelihoods lost, to government’s well intended (?) intervention.

These signs are everywhere.

And knowing his roots as a farm boy, I also know it’s never easy for him to see what is an all too common sight today.

I wanted him to know that I see what once was when I point my camera in the direction of a falling down ruin of a barn, or the overgrown and gone to seed fields that once produced food for the masses, four-legged and two-legged alike.

I wanted him to understand that the photos I take are not just a sad reminder of the times. Nor are they just a snapshot of the foreseeable future.

They are, for me and I hope for him, as much a tribute to the rich history and grass roots past that he cherishes and I’ll never let die.

I wanted him to come away from our day of Reflection knowing I see and feel, the depth of what’s lost and that I’ll never take life, or family values, for granted.

So, here, Part II of A Day Out with Superman and Lois:

The High Price of Low Progress
~♥~
For Dad
~♥~

(and for you Dad, we’ll start with some to make you smile)

See? You are smiling right? :)

See?
You are smiling right?
🙂

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I’ll end with a Patch
A Pumpkin Patch
Pick one…it’s YOURS!