Posts Tagged ‘#family’

Years ago we would have conversations with our daughters about sex, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and the rest. My wife would say, ‘back in our day we did not have to worry about dying from having sex’.

Now, with COVID-19 leading the pack, I can remember a time when we did not have to worry about dying from shaking hands……..

When my wife and I purchased our first, and only home about thirty years ago, the adjacent property included irregular strips, pieces, an access road and a very old overgrown field. Over the years we cleared some of the vacant land next to our house. We built fire pits further and further out in the ‘wilderness’. It was mostly brush , grapevine and honeysuckle.

We didn’t use any equipment other than hand tools more sophisticated than pick ax and shovel. Each year we cleared more land to the side of our house of the brush and undergrowth. We had been doing this for a couple of years and noticed a huge tree we had not even seen before. It had towered over everything but through past decades the brush and small trees had provided a path for the insidious grapevine. As it does to anything above ground, the grapevine climbs anything it can and then covers it with a blanket of leaves. Each year the plants and trees try to grow new sprouts and shoots but are caught in a strangle-hold by the vines. Eventually the trees can’t bend down enough and break into pieces and soon die looking like a rounded skeleton. The smaller trees were already dead or damaged beyond hope. We managed to save more than we thought possible and we were determined to save the huge cotton-wood tree that was already entangled in vines spreading through the lower branches.

The neighbors thought we were nuts. Then a company came and bought the land we had cleared of debris and undergrowth and the rest of the surrounding wooded area. Years and years went by and they did nothing with the land. We spoke with the owners and told them that if they ever sell the land we would like to be the first offer. We also mentioned our clearing and using of the property and they were fine with that. We continued.

Over the course of our time here we have purchased all the pieces of what used to be abandoned property. Not much total, but a jig-saw of ‘odds and ends’ surrounding the neighborhood we made it our home! My posts often refer to feeding wildlife animals and birds in our tiny sanctuary. A number of neighbors share in the maintenance and care of this land now.

We have owned all the property pieces for a few years and have been trying to get it surveyed. It took them two years after signing the contract but finally the surveyors came out and tagged all the properties including our original house and land. When I came home from work there were orange flags everywhere along our side of the street and throughout the woods. We even discovered one neighbor’s fence was actually in our yard.

I was so thrilled and for the first time I walked every inch of land knowing what was our property. With that lengthy introduction I want to share a poem I wrote after that walk. Thanks again for your visits, and I hope this will be a great New Year for all!

The Border” (C) MSK 1-22-2020

Orange flags everywhere but only where
We are
They disappear through the ages and few
Return

Moving, shifting, season upon season upon
Buried
No concerns no doubting they never change
Waiting

I’ve just walked every inch of our border
Cut or cured, with muscle and bone
We laughed loud and worked harder
But we didn’t have to do it alone

Standing for generations before we embraced it
Mighty
Ruins become playgrounds, wilderness a haven
Our home

I’ve just walked every inch of our border
Cut or cured, with muscle and bone
We laughed loud and worked harder
But we didn’t have to do it alone

What’s yours is yours thanks for giving back what
Is mine
Fires burned, pumpkins were carved by many
Good night

Moving, shifting, season upon season upon
Buried
No concerns no doubting they never change
Waiting

Sunset in Pleasant Ridge Ohio
The ‘leaves’ on the left tree are actually birds.

Playing in the snow

Or climbing in the trees

Not sure which is the more

Important of these.

Siblings came but soon

The family was gone.

Hard to know what pain

Would be felt later on.

Safe and secure I

Always knew I was loved.

Learned hard lessons ’cause

I pulled instead of shoved.

          Everything is everyone

          Everyone is everything.

          We all start the journey

          From the place of our birth

          But going to heaven or hell

          Just brings us back to Earth.

Singing and writing

Playing in a great band

Gave me more than life           

I hope you understand.

Truth may be out there

But answers never are.

That was the last time I prayed

Or wished upon a star.

                                 

We all start the journey

          From the place of our birth

          But going to heaven or hell

          Just brings us back to Earth.

The day my kids were born

I was fundamentally changed.

Nothing I wouldn’t do

So life could be arranged

That’s another thing

That didn’t work as planned.

It ripped away everything

I still hope you understand.       

We all start the journey

          From the place of our birth

          But going to heaven or hell

          Simply brings us back to Earth.

Depression is a friend

Feeding on personal loss.

I’m told it comes down to “42”

But sure their fingers were crossed.

From here nothing matters

Save friendship, love and trust.

What more could you possibly need

When everything turns to dust?

What more could you possibly need

When everything turns to dust?

My recent post was about a tree in my neighbor’s yard that has been dead for a while and a large part of it fell into my garage.

It looks worse from the inside!

Our daughter lives a few houses away. A different neighbor’s tree fell and landed on her car and took out the steps to her deck. We are lucky no one was hurt. It was a perfect time for a bad thing to happen!

She had just parked 15 minutes ago! The neighbor’s cat thought this was a great resting place.

My wife and I have a communication problem. Over the years we have managed to keep this from being a marriage problem. I am sure it would have driven other couples crazy.

I have a really bad habit of mixing pro-nouns; names, cities, sports teams. To give you an idea, I would call up my wife and say, “… pick me up at Home Depot when you are done”. She would call and say, “where are you”?

“I am waiting for you outside”, would be my reply. ……… she would then ask if I meant Home Depot or Lowe’s ……. yep. This is where I mess up all the time. I might say it with confidence, but I use the wrong proper name way too often. I am at Lowe’s.

My wife interchanges nouns. She will ask me to hand her the book. After a few seconds she gets impatient and wonders if I am listening to her. Again, but louder, she will ask me to hand her the book. I have scoured the immediate area and see no book. I will ask her if she means the glass and she will say, “that’s what I asked for”.

This does not happen all the time or we would be dead already. But it happens often.

I translate for her; she translates for me.

I post about my past and what I see in the present. I post what I have done and I try to post what I feel. That is what we all want to read: feelings. Experiences. Humor and all the rest.

I have learned a lot. I have forgotten way too much. I regret little but would like to change the past if I could. But I learn.

I mentioned I have been in Management of Sales – Service – Marketing for decades. A post or two will jab at bosses and managers that knew nothing and the ones that were great. One of the worst managers I ever had taught me the most. He mentioned that he had to change the way he thought about many things. His mother was struggling to live and suffering for a long long time. He would visit her regularly and help where he could; no matter how inconvenient.

Eventually, he began to talk in terms of ‘having to see his mother’, of responsibility and burden. He told a number of us that it wasn’t until he realized this might be the last time he could talk and laugh and remember with his mother, that everything changed. He did not HAVE to visit his mother, he was given another chance to. Every one became precious.

As a member of a fitness gyms over the years, I took Yoga, Pilates, and martial arts training. I tried for years to meditate as suggested by all. I simply cannot stop my mind and concentrate on nothing. My brain does not shut off at night when I want to go to sleep. I could not focus long enough. Then a fill-in Yoga instructor that was not very good at all suggested that the idea is not to block all thoughts and make your mind blank……

But as thoughts and ideas come acknowledge them – and then let them go. “I know you are there and I will think about you later” kind of a thing.

Great advice from the places I would expect it the least.

This is a continued story and will make more sense if you start with the first post: https://midimike.com/2019/01/25/a-long-road-with-an-end-in-sight/.

The next post can be found here: https://midimike.com/2019/02/01/the-long-road-behind-continued/

I would never see these new friends again. I was a kid to them and although I had smoked marijuana for a long time, I had never gotten stoned. (I recall hearing a debate people were having years ago and someone mentioned that doctors should not prescribe pain killers for chronic pain because people would become addicted. The counter was that people did not feel the euphoric effects; it barely countered the constant state of pain. That is probably a crude analogy, but I knew others would laugh or be silly or energetic after smoking. I just felt ‘normal’ or calm).

Where young boys I knew wanted to get crazy drunk or party in other ways, I had the carry-over from my experience with medications and did not want to feel jelloed out, drunk or not in control.

For the first time I actually got ‘hi’. From that moment on I would feel the effects of smoking pot. I now understood why some of my good friends would smoke. There seemed to be additional benefits for me. Win – Win.

Symptoms slowly change as we get older. Early on I had forced myself into paying attention to my allergies. I watched what I ate and drank… What materials I was near… Where there any pets around?… Avoid dramatic changes in temperature, dust, exertion, perfumes, hairspray………………… carpet or drapes in my bedroom. Clean. Dust-free. That alone made me an unusual kid LOL. Eventually I could control the most basic triggers. I reduced the number of attacks and hospital visits. It also reduced the number of places I could go and feel comfortable. I could rarely visit with friends or relatives at their place and tried to avoid events or invitations if one of the many sources of my allergies could be present. Thinking just now, this might be an early influence that pushes me toward being introverted and wanting the life of a hermit. I thought it was 40 years of dealing with the general public in a sales/customer service role. Who knew?

The road has changed and the path is clearer. Now, where do we go next?

To be continued once more.

Original by MSK

Over the last few years I have focused on recording and releasing songs I have written. Among these songs are a few co-authored works where portions of the music, lyrics or arrangement were inspired by friends in a core group of writers.

On my new Cover Tune Tuesdays series, I wanted to record songs that were written by people in that core group. (A lot of these songs also benefited from a little help from our friends, LOL) The first in this series is a song written by my brother David. He has been referenced here a number of times. This is a song of his called “The Magic Goes Away

I played his Martin six string guitar for this one. It is a delight to play and sounds great. I sing my harmony parts so the melody will be in the ear of the author! I added drum loops and used the computer for the bass guitar and strings sounds.

“The Magic Goes Away”

Though the feeling’s here to stay. The Magic Goes Away. As the method in our madness is exposed. Still there’s newness in the air. A warmth, a certain flair. And the knowledge that our hearts will not be closed.

We can’t say that it won’t end. It’s not in us to pretend. But at last the masquerades have all been played. There’s a quiet, hopeful sound. In the way that our hearts pound. It’s you and I, at last we’re on our way.

Though the feeling’s here to stay. The Magic Goes Away. As if we’d loved each other once before. Come and hold me once again. My lover, and my friend. As old magic gets replaced by something more.

It’s that newness in the air. A warmth, a certain flair. And the knowledge that our hearts will not be closed.

by Charles David Kennedy

Last week I returned home from a short visit with my daughter and her family.

Last month I turned 65 and quit my labor intensive warehouse job.

Last year I enrolled in Medicare.

I am a procrastinator.  I rationalize my symptoms.  I laugh at me looking for a way to postpone trivial things all the time.

A lot of conditions are starting to be classified and quantified and turned into another annoying sound bite.  Dyslexia, obsessive compulsion and attention deficit disorders, anxiety, being introverted and living with depression are just part of the long list. When I was growing up and entering grade school no one talked about these things.  Few could diagnose and some treatments were still in the future.  At least I now know what some of the things I have been dealing with all my life are called, lol. 

Evidently there wasn’t anything extreme or I would be dead or in a prison somewhere or in an alcoholic state of bliss.  (IYou – Them)  Just enough to make IYT ‘odd’.  Just enough so IYT know we are different.  IYT literally see things differently than the other school mates and friends.  IYT understand things from a different point of view.  Where others find life fun, IYT see nothing but challenges and embarrassments.

It is funny growing older and learning of medical conditions over the years on the news and go, “OH!  That’s what I have!”  Of course, I procrastinate.

But back to rationalizations.

You have heard of Spring Cleaning.  Every season you get everything out and dust it off.  Some you decide to keep and some memorabilia is lucky to find another home.  Even if it is only for the hope of being uncovered again in the future.  Now think of that process in decades.  Other than family and friends, what have you accumulated over all the years that is truly worth anything?

I have an old photo in a frame of my late sister and her husband.  It needs a new home.  For days it has been sitting on my desk.  I see it every day.  I procrastinate.  I feel moods change whenever I look at the photo.  I wait.  I need to find the right place for it.

I am sure it will be obvious                                 in the future. 

                                                                                            ©   MSK 11/27/2018

It is difficult to live in a world

Where those in power commit as many crimes in the name of faith as the poor in the name of survival.  The powerful might be among the poor in church but they don’t cross paths in the prisons or become enslaved in debt. 

It is difficult to live in a world

Built on privilege and inherited blessings that can last through the ages. Maybe at some point your ancestors did something right and earned – or stole – the fortunes you rely on.  It is frightening to think how that power can be wielded with malice.  If absolute power corrupts absolutely, imagine the impact of guaranteed absolute power your entire life.

It is difficult to live in a world

That allows greed and profit to drive one amazing creature after the other to extinction.  Not so far away now there is a real possibility we will create mankind’s own doom.  Weapons are easily financed.  The world quickly filled with needy and desperate people living in cities of ash and poisoned air, but we will be the rulers of it all.

It is difficult to live in a world

You can only survive by closing your eyes and pretending ignorance is bliss.  Knowledge is spreading and more accessible but even at this rate there is no way to keep up with propaganda, lies and distortions manufactured so easily today.  Trust no one.  Believe no one.  Agree with no one.  The powerful have won again, and will be rulers of it all.