Golden Lucy's Spiral Journal

Going on 87...Savoring and Surviving the Senior Years

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Tragedy and Reality

I usually enjoy making people laugh but there wasn't much to laugh about today. I'm not talking about world affairs or politics, though Lord knows there's nothing funny about any of that either. Today was a serious, life-and-death day right here at home. Murphy was killed.

True, Murph was "only " a dog but since moving to live with my family I realize something I never understood before. Animals can be just as much part of the family fabric as the human members. Since I never had a pet I didn't grasp that reality. But now I do.

Murph was Auntie Tobi's little white dog. Tobi already owned Lulu, a small white Eskie. When Tobi saw Murphy at the pound she knew she just had to make it a matched pair. Soon everybody at the dog park recognized Tobi and "the girls." But his afternoon Murph lunged into the street and was hit by a motorcycle. She died instantly.

Tobi took it terribly hard. She was adopted herself and both those parents are gone. She is childess and unmarried as well. None of these circumstances are inherently sad or bad and Tobi is a happy, grateful person. However, her pets are truly family to her in every way. And, because she is truly family to us, I share her loss very personally.

This morning Tobi forwarded an email she received from a coworker. I think the message is profound and worth repeating because it's not just about pets. It's about life---all the loving and losing and learning.

"...I am so, so, so sorry that your poor baby died today. But you are not alone. I do understand. I had one beloved dog put down at the end of her life and it still breaks my heart years later. But you know,sometimes I "see" her in the car with me. She rides inthe front seat beside me. She comes when I call her, always. She knows when I need a sympathetic ear and loving eyes gazing at me.

It's never happened to me with any other of my dogs. But that's Greta. Always loving and giving. If you sit quietly in your car after you have settled down a bit, call Murphy to sit beside you. Maybe you will "see"her there as I see my sweet Greta..."

I hope that my loved ones can same the same of me.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

George W, Why Shouldn't I Drive?

This morning, as I was readying myself for a trip to the market, I studied my face in the bathroom mirror for a moment. Normally I rather like the familiar old roadmap. But this morning I saw a storm a'brewing. I looked mad. Mad---and really frustrated. But why not? I'd been listening to the morning news and discovered the price of gas had risen yet again!

Even at my tender age I'm still a pretty good driver. I enjoy the rather longish drive to Walmart to save a bit of money on my purchases---and up to now it's been worth it to make the trip. However, with gas topping three bucks a gallon the economics have become problematic.

For example, I love sweet potatoes and Walmart sells them for $.71 a pound. Should I go instead to the nearby King Soopers and pay $1.49 a pound? Hummmm...the cost of driving through traffic against saving $.78 cents a pound. By the time I figure it all out gas will probably have gone up again.

I realize there are many reasons that the rising price of gas may wash out to be a good thing for our society. However, I deeply resent the fact I'm trying to be a more mindful consumer at a time when gas company corporate profits and compensations are going through the roof. I resent it even more when our Kissy-Face Decider-in-Chief stands chanting his mantra, "We're doing everything we possibly can to remedy the situation." Yeah, right. Just like with everything else.

Well, I'm off to fill my tank. When I fork over the money at the station I won't be simply stewing about the price of gas. I'll be lamenting what I see as just another imposition on me and the freedom of the ever-shrinking middle class. I hope something good comes out of the sky-rocketing cost of gas but you'll pardon me if I slam the door on my way out!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Uff Da! More Norwegians!

I hope none of you object to one more "fun" picture. This one turned up today when Carole and I were trying to organize things in our office. When I heard Carole squeal I held my breath for a moment. One can never be sure what that kind thing means here in the Donn Dimension.

Carole turned to me holding a dusty frame with am ancient-looking sepia print.

"Look Ma!," she exclaimed. "This is one of Carol's pictures." I nodded, "That's nice dear," I said, trying to be agreeable--though I certainly couldn't see what all the commotion was about.

To make a long story short my Carole had found a long-lost glass-plate negative print made for her by one of her oldest and dearest friends. The other Carol is also a MN Norske and an artist/photographer. Many years ago artist Carol found a crate of glass negatives in the haymow of an old barn in Black Duck, MN. She printed several of the most interesting pictures as a gift for my Carole. The shot above is my Carole's particular favorite.

Both Carol(e)s believe the photos were taken around the turn of the last century. The little pioneer girl, dressed in her Sunday best is holding a tiny apple-head kitten. MamaCat is nearby. Can you see her? (Enlarging the print will help.)

Note the log cabin and gigantic cabbage plants---without Miracle Gro, yet! The other glass plate prints are fascinating as well---especially a wonderful shot of two Scandinavian immigrant hunters striding through the North Woods shouldering a big black bear slung between them on a tree branch. What wonderful pieces of Americana.

PS: The photo of the two Carol(e)s caused so many problems with the template for me that I removed it---for the moment. Jack just likes to "fix" things for me---not tell me sloooowly how to do it myself. It's a coding problem I know and I'll be danged if I'm not going to fix it myself. I'm also going to try to see if Carole can find the hunters and bear print. I'll post both one way or another. (I was going to add "if it kills me," but decided that might not be such a great idea.)