Friday, August 15, 2008

Time lapse of the Perseid meteor shower


Secret Garden - The promise

Debussy Clair de Lune

Claire de Lune by Enigma

This piece of music was shared with me some time ago. I didn't really know that something like this could touch me so deep. For a while I had thought I had lost it like somany others things in my life I thought I had lost.

Claire de Lune by Enigma

When I heard this beautiful music I fell in love with it. It touched my soul and everytime I hear it I will always remember the first time it was shared with me and the special moments that was shared. And the way you touched my heart with music....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I give up ok .....enough is just enough.....

Have you ever had one of those dreams where the faster you run the closer what ever is chasing you gets?
Have you ever felt like your sitting in a dark room and you can't see it but you know there is something watching you?
Have you ever been afraid to take a deep breath because you think it might get stuck inside and it would be the last?
Have you ever really felt like you were born at the wrong time and who ever and what ever decided to put you here on this earth put you here as a joke?
Have you ever been so tired of everything going wrong no matter what you do that your just ready to throw your hands up and say "That's it I just can't take it any more I give up?"

All my life I have been the so called fixer....
I guess what I should say is that ever since I was a child I can remember her asking me "What do you think we should do?"
My mother use to do that when I was a child. She married a this man when I was maybe 4yrs old. Things should have been wonderful in our house like everyone else. But our house was never normal or fine or anything like the so called perfect home everyone grew up in at that time.
I had two older sister's that their father died when they were very young and I mean my oldest sister was maybe 11 or 12 yrs of age.
My mother was I will admit it a very selfish female always looking for some man to take care of her. My father well let's say it like this he was a phantom. If I didn't know where kids came from I would have swore that I was found under a rock or something....LOL...
I never knew him and as of this day I still don't. So as far as a father figure goes I really don't know what one is really like.
When my mother's so called second husband came along she was well taken by him. That I'll never understand.
He so called sweep her off her feet in her eyes but what was really happening was what little bit of life I had as a child was just about to go to hell.
The signs weren't there visible as of yet but they were there looking back now at it. He drank and had his moods. But the moods didn't get worse until after the second child she gave him arrived.
When Roseanne was born I remember he was happy after she came home. This was his child and would soon turn to be the favorite in the whole liter. And I call it a liter well because I am not sure if their was any love from her to me when I pulled my first breath of life. And maybe if she would have realized it then that she wouldn't receive any money or anything because of me maybe she would have just given me to someone that would have really wanted a special child like me.
My step father was around 5'8" or 5'9" very white hair but it was because he had white hair at an early age. All of his family seemed to have white hair at a early age.
He just came in and took over was the way it felt to a very young child.
By the time Linda was born which wasn't very long after Roseanne was maybe a couple of years his true self was out a bit more and I started learning what fear was.
Unless you have lived in a family where one or the other parent was an alcoholic and abusive then you wouldn't understand what I am saying.
The memories of a wonderful child hood that should have been mine never came not to say they would have any way. But I never had a choice or maybe even a chance.
I remember watching kids my age having fun with there families and doing things on the weekends, holidays what ever the case maybe but that wasn't what my family was like.
Well he became more and more in control of the home and the drinking got worse and I use to sit outside in that stupid little play house I had and look up at the full moon and ask him why me? Stupid I know but who else was I to ask their was no one to listen or even understand what was going on in this child's brain.
I would sometimes sit there and cry to my self just wanting to disappear from this place that cause me so much pain.
PAIN: Now that's a word that I am very familiar with. And believe me when I say this also "I knew when something good ever happened I knew that there would be a price I would have to pay some where down the road." The so called phrase has always stuck into my head from a childhood that there is no turning back to correct or to just smooth over. "Laugh today cry tomorrow...."
This is what I lived by for many years and still today I catch my self saying it and wondering what will be the price that I will have to pay now? Be happy for a little while and pay dearly tomorrow....LOL...

Going threw this as a child you learn either to fight back or run or just sit back and hope your hiding place can't be found. When he would get drunk and come home we use to have to hide. His temper was always off the chain and maybe it wasn't all because of being drunk. I think she had some help to put him in the moods sometime. Either something she said before he left or when he returned. Either way it was never a pretty sight at our house. Broken glass every where doors busted off the hinges and even broken. Windows smashed hell it always looked like some one just came in and trashed the place looking for something to steal... We never could have anyone stay over because you never knew when the shit would hit the fan to speak and we would have to make our run for it to the woods or where ever we could get to.
The house I grew up in was a scary place. You never heard the words "I love you". At least I never heard them. You never knew what to expect from one day to the next. And it was a given that on the weekends or holidays there would be no one at home. We would be at my Aunts house and we meaning me and my two little sister's. My oldest sister decided to get married at the age of 17 to get out of the house. Her and my mother well lets say I'll save that story for another time but they still don't talk very much to each other and when she refers to our mother she Say's "So how's your mother doing" in and outside way. My sister between the oldest and me had enough and she decided to go live with my Aunt in Lakeland and go to school.
So there were only three.... I was now the oldest and I had responsibility put on me that I really should have never had. It's kind of hard being 7 or 8 and your mother sitting you down on the bed and asking you "What do you think we should do?"
If I had a dollar for every time those Fraze's were said to me wow... Those words even as today I can never escape from. I hear them from everyone I know and even some I really don't know. "What do you think I should do, What do you think we should do?" Sometime just the simple words of "What do you think" gives me shivers up my spine. These has been some powerful words in my life that have and more than likely never go away. But again another saying is "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" well there is a thing such as a slow death you know. And I have been living it for 46 yrs now.
I grew up with memories of spending Christmas in a hotel in another town having a large bag of crystal burgers to share with my younger sister's. Going out of town with my mother and sisters to the old movie house or drive-in to just be out of the house when he got home or be some where it would be safe till he passed out. Some times that took days.
And forbid it for us to go to sleep in the one bed that I had to share with the two younger girls. And he come home..... She would grab up the two younger ones and I was left to figure out what I was suppose to do.... Yeah that's when I use to sleep heavy something I learned threw my life not to do that any more. Always be on your guard and be listening out for what every may come at you. I am a very light sleeper today because of this shit and all I can say is THANK YOU.....
There is nothing like being a sleep in a sound deep sleep and getting yanked out of the bed by some drunk man yelling and screaming at the top of his lungs "Where in the hell is your mother at?" "Get in there and wash those dishes your mother left in the sink." and he would sit there and watch me stand on that wooden crate and wash the few glasses and 1 or 2 plates. Then while still tipping that can of beer or glass of booze he would look at me and tell me to "Go fine that fucking whore mother of yours." Wow something every 8yr old child wants to experience right? Yeah right.

And that was calm comparing to the times where he threw his pocket knife at me because I decide to run away from him another time she decided to leave me sleeping and he came in. But this is the big one. He had her in the corner between the two rooms slapping her around and breaking things. I got up and ran down the hall and yelled leave my mom alone. This was done so my one little sister could run out the back door and over to the next doors house to call the police. Well that didn't work to good. He turned around and grab me up by the neck of my shirt and lifted me up off of my feet and turned to throw me on the couch and by that time she had grabbed the younger one that was left and out the back door she ran.

Oh yeah leaving me there once again. But this time he was more angry than I had ever seen him and he put his hand in his pocket and pulled it out. It was bright and shiny. His gun and today I can't tell you why it didn't go off when the trigger was pulled. All I know is it gave me enough time to run. Never in my life did I wish for someone to be dead. Never in my life did I ever ask like I ask then "why was I put here on this earth for".
Time after time the fights would be bad and it was like no one really cared what was happening. No one wanted to get involved because they all knew what he was....

The fights would be so intense that sometimes it would look like war, war 3 hit our house. And that was after we returned when the smoke cleared. And when it was all over I was the one who had to help clean it up in the end.
I just never knew what peace was in the years of my child hood until maybe I was 14yrs old when he finally died from cancer and even then I didn't feel any freedom.

These memories I have carried around inside of me forever and I could never let them out because I always felt like I was being judged on the type of person I was. And really the type of person I was never came from my mother (who never told me she loved me until I was 36th yrs old), father (because I never knew him at all and for all I ever knew didn't give two shits about me any way), step father (well he was an alcoholic and he was just so I'm not sure I can find a word to describe him). So this is kind of hard for me to share this with the so called world. I have only shared these feelings with one good friend of mine before now. And I just don't understand what happened to trigger this as I was trying to figure out what to put here in this so called blog that really is nothing but my emotions put on stage to be so called judge by others any way.

And maybe trying to explain to the world that no matter what all the crap I have been through all my life I still had the feeling deep inside that one day just one day I would have my chance at happiness if for nothing else because of all the pain and heart break I went threw already in my life.
Well yeah fat chance right I would be more luckier to win the lottery and I don't even play....LOL...
I guess what goes threw my brain and believe me there are many things that shuffle threw it. Is the one question that I shouldn't say out loud..... "What did I ever do to get all of this?"
I suppose I should say that even though the monster died in my life it hasn't been the end. There has always been many monsters in my life. And lets not leave out the ghost and demons that torment my brain. But they all belong to me. And I guess in the end when the lights dim for that final time then and only then will they finally let me rest and leave me be.
"I am my own worse enemy" and that is a fact to this day. No one could ever judge me any more than I do my self.
I have tried to be that kind of person that says "Tomorrow will be another day to get things right and have something in my life."
Well I can say I have watched the sun go down and then see it come up to only get yet another disappointment. I have had some one say get out of that town you live in and go some where and start over. Well I have left this town four times and really why should I run any more? It really doesn't matter where you go if you aren't so called blessed with it your not going to get it.

It doesn't matter where you go you can't run away from the demons or from who you really are. I don't pretend to be something I am not. I'm just me simple and that's it... I never take from any one, I never ask for anything, and I never expect anything. I do it on my own and if I can't then I don't need it.
And to expect anything from anyone well that's yet another no, no. I have learned the hard way if you expect something from someone well all you are doing is setting your self up for disappointment and hurt. So just don't do it.

And that is my rules to this day. Don't ask for anything, don't expect anything and never let any one see your soft spot. Because if they ever find it then for sure you will be hurt...
Happiness you say??? There have been few times of happiness in my life. When my daughters were born. And let's say the cycle changed there. I always told them I loved them and I showed them. They had a different life than I did.
Watching and being there when my grand children were born was another happy time.
Now that my children have grown up and my grand kids are growing up I find my life has taken on this empty void.
I know you are thinking get involved with things going on in your neighborhood or something in that giving back to the world thing....
It doesn't work like that. How can you give something that you don't have or better yet how can you give something that the world has taken away from you in the very beginning.
So to all these perfect families out there that you have these family get togetherness or you do all these family things. Well you are the special ones in the end. Do you realize that??
And your thinking what about my kids now? Well they are all grown up and into there own lives. Yeah I do things with them but only when they have the time.
And the circle has come full once again. I am just as alone now as I was when I was a child and still I have no answer to the questions.
Now in stead of running off to the woods or crossing the tracks to find a secret place I go to the beach and watch the families there and wish I had what they had. I sit at home alone and wish I had that special someone to come through the door and share their day with me. To hold me when I feel scared and to wipe away my tears when I am hurt. To lay next to me at night and hold me tight close to them.
In stead of all of this I sit alone once again and wonder when is it going to be my time of happiness.
I guess there are just people like me in the world that will never see that kind of happiness. That were never meant to know what happiness is.
I have this thing that plays over and over in my head at times. This commercial I once saw that just stuck in my head. This old couple walking in the park holding hands and you hear the announcer talking about love lasting forever and you see this young couple walking behind them holding hands and as they reach the old couple the let go of each other hands and walk around the old couple and once around them they take each others hand again. She looks back and sees the old couple smile and then they smile at each other and you hear the announcer say diamonds are for ever like love is.... This I will never feel and yeas diamonds are forever but is love really forever???
The truth is nothing is forever except for pain. It lives on and never goes away.
And all the stories you hear growing up about happily ever after. Just another fairy tale to make you believe in something that isn't really there. Just a false wish and empty hopes. Something we all fight for but do we really ever find it.
I have had a few friends that have been married for years and I mean years 15 to 20 years plus. If they were honest to answer this question what would it be???
Are you truly happy??
They can lie to everyone around them but they can't lie to them selves or maybe they can. But are they really happy??
No they are not. There only happy with what they have created for them selves. The comfort zone to speak of.
So what is worse the being alone and being unhappy or beginning with someone that your not happy with? Tough answer that no one will ever answer or even think about.
So do what I do. Do the best you can with what you have.
Stay as busy as you can not to think of it. Hope at the end of the day your so tried that when you lay down to sleep that you fall asleep and don't dream of what you don't have. And that the night as cold as it is no matter what the temperature out side is goes as fast as it can so you can start it all over again.
Then one day it comes a final rest where you don't think, worry, feel or anything that you have felt over the years that have just maybe been all a mistake, a bad dream, or oh yes the worse joke ever played on you for the enjoyment of what ever makes this life here move forward.......
Enjoy what you have. Because there is always someone out there that would give anything to have what you have....

Monday, August 11, 2008

St. Lawrence's Tears A Show of Lights

To all my friends that know how I love the night skies and what wonderful and awesome things that happen up there that most everyone takes for granted.
Between 1:30 am and 6 am Tuesday morning there will be a wonderful Meteor shower in the shies above us.

I have heard this will be the best time to see the awesome works of mother nature. You won’t even need those binoculars to see this.

All you will need is a lawn chair or a blanket. Being where I live there isn’t many city lights so it should be wonderful. However those of you that live where there are so many city lights try and find a dark space to watch them.
Look towards the northeast sky for the show. If you have a special person share it with them. There is nothing like watching a wonderful show like this to share and make some wonderful memories with.

This meteor shower is called Perseid meteor shower. It’s an annual occurrence when the Earth’s rotation takes us through the field of comet debris.
Specks of dust from the Swift-Tuttle Comet will pelt the Earth’s atmosphere at 132,000 mph. This will cause neon-looking light streaks which we know as meteors. Because these streaks will be visible near the constellation Perseus the event is called “The Perseid Meteor Shower”.

So if the weather is great this should be a very awesome show this year.

History of this meteor shower:
The historians tell us that the Romans martyred a Christian deacon named Laurentius in August the year 258 AD by cooking him alive on a outdoor iron stove called a gridiron.

It was during this torture that Laurentius was to have cried out in anguish and pain. After he died his family and few friends that remained there prepared to carry his body away. As they carried the body they noticed a number of bright streaks falling through the sky.

They took this as a miracle and believed that the bright streaks were the fiery tears of Laurentius falling from the heavens.
For centuries after that August night, people all over the world have continued to marvel at the sight of this wonderful event. (St. Lawrence’s Tears)

Comet Swift-Tuttle- Made it’s most recent appearance nearly a dozen years ago in December of 1992. It’s orbit is what they call highly elongated. Taking roughly 130 years to make one trip around the Sun.

For several years before and after it’s 1992 return, the Perseids were a far more prolific shower. Appearing to produce brief outburst of as many as several hundred meteors per hour.

Many of which were dazzlingly bright and spectacular. The most likely reason was that the Perseids parent comet was itself passing through the inner solar system and that the streams of Perseid meteoroids in the comet’s vicinity were larger and more thickly clumped together.

However in recent years with the comet now far back out in space Perseid activity has apparently returned to normal.
However two well known meteor astronomers suggest that the 2004 Perseid’s may yet provide some surprises.

It is believed that this year the Earth will pass through a trail of debris shed by Comet Swift-Tuttle. The closest that the Earth will come to the center of this debris trail will be around 123,000 miles.

The closest approach should be 4:50 ET and could last about 40 minutes or so favoring observers in Eastern Europe, the eastern part of North Africa eastward to central Russia.

Well I hope you my friends enjoy this wonderful and awesome show of lights. This isn’t something that can be bought or sold.
It’s a gift from nature.
So share this gift with someone you love and share the fire in the skies……..

Sorry I broke away from my other stories but I just wanted to share this with all of you.

Friday, August 8, 2008

My Grandfathers House Part 2

I guess until I can figure out what is going on here I will wait until the end to post pictures of the following stories.
I really don't realize just how graph I get into describing the things I see as I write. So what takes some a few lines to tell you something takes me many inputs. So please bare with me as I tell you this story.
I hope you enjoy it.

So let me tell you of the layout of this wonderful home. There is this city block that sits between 6th street and now what they call 7th street. The side my grandfather house sat on was 6th street and his yard went from that side of the street all the way down half of the city block to the other side street next to the woods.
On the back side of the block there was three houses. My uncle Perry’s in town house which I don’t remember to much about him other than he was in the war and he ended up with MS and was in a wheelchair. And finally he passed away. Then there was the house I grew up in. A small two bedroom one bath small living room and a kitchen built where the garage use to be.
Then next to our house was my aunt Kate’s house. Then at the end was my aunt Maybelline’s house. Now that you have the layout of the block and you now know it was all family.

On the 6th street side the front of the block where the house sat was covered by large oak trees that went maybe half way of the block. There was a cement walk way that came from the road side up to the house. The front of the house had a very large screened in porch.
On the porch sat two wooden rocking chairs and a few metal chairs painted green with cushions on the sets. The windows that faced the porch where ones that pushed up with screens on the outside.
As you walked threw the wooden door and entered the living room to the right was my grandfather and grandmother’s bedroom. A very large rod iron bed sat in the doorway with a thick hand quilted quilt which made the bed and another one folded at the end of the bed. The pillows were made of feathers. To the right side of the room was a vanity table made of wood with a large oval mirror.
On the vanity was my grandmother brass container that she kept her hair from her brush and her bar of soap which was lye. And yes she made their bath soap in a big cast iron pot. Two bottles of perfume a box of powder her paddle brush and her comb. A tin box which she put her hair pins in. On the left side of the room was two large dresser drawers with hand made doilies and small trinkets that sat on top. There were two windows on the side and one at the front facing the street.

The living room was long but not that large. It had a kerosene burning heater at the one side and the smoke stack going out the side of the house. The heater was large and the tank that held the fluid was on the side of the house with copper lines that ran into the house to the heater. On the wall side was a big old comfortable green corduroy chair and couch. Various pictures hung on the wall with were all black and white.
Across from the front door was an entrance into the dinning room as you walked in to the right side was a bedroom which contained a bed and a dresser ect.
To the left was a large dinner table which wasn’t used unless there was something big going on. Just pass the table to the left was another bed room with a large bed and dresser and ect in there.
And against the wall facing the table was a large chins cabinet where the good china was kept and other important breakable things.
Further down the hall to the right was a small hallway which went into the restroom. Small but efficient.

To the left was a large kitchen with cabinets of canned jelly’s and pickled beets, jars of tomatoes and other homemade canned veggies and jams. Large cans of flour, sugar baking powder the basic stuff for cooking lard. A table with four wooden chairs a cast iron stove that burned wood a small gas stove a sink and a small fridge. Two windows to the left side of the house.
At the back of the house was the screen door and a wooden door. As you step out the back to the left as you take the three steps down was a large wooden rain barrel that sat at the corner of the house where the rain would run off into the barrel.
To the right was that stupid playhouse and the barns and chicken coops and the stable where the horses were. Also to the right side of the house about 500 ft or so was two large honey bee hives.

Now when my grandfather would take the honey I would watch him. He would smoke them then remove one slide at a time and cut the wax square of honey and replace the slide. My grandmother use to cut the honey comb and put it into a jar along with filling it with honey. It was very sweet honey. I recall at times when he would cut a large piece of the wax and hand it to me and I would chew on it for what seemed like forever and you could taste the sweet honey.
Once the taste was gone I would put the wax in my pocket until I got home and put the was in a jar for safe keeping.

To the left side about 100ft from the rain barrel was the old iron hand pump. It took forever to get the water going and I mean a lot of pumping the handle up and down before the ice cold water would run out from the spout. Then there was a old iron swing that maybe three people could sit on.
Now in the back part of my grandfathers yard he had trees. Grapefruit, orange, tangerine, huckleberry trees covered the back. Large fir trees mixed with oaks and a few of those flower trees that had the flower that would remind you of a powder puff they were red. So now you know the lay out of my grandfathers house I can go back to the story at hand…….

I can remember it as if it was yesterday. The day I saw my grandfather cry. Never before did I ever see this strong man shed a tear before. He either smiled or once in a while I would see him confused or angry. It was a cloudy day at the start the smell of rain was for sure. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. Coffee was brewing on the stove and everyone was sitting around the table in the kitchen quite and with sadness on their faces.

My grandfather was up early and out side feeding up the animals and just walking around. I could only think now as I recall this time what he was thinking. And even now it is only an assumption.
Maybe he was thinking of his long life with her. Maybe he was thinking of the time they first met and fell in love. All of their ups and downs their happiness and sadness. Maybe he was thinking of their old home on the river where he drove the river boat down threw the turns all day and how it made him feel when he docked it and got off to walk back to the house.
Walking in to see her in the kitchen cooking over an old cast iron wood burning stove. Standing their with her hair up and her apron on. Maybe he was thinking of the times she gave birth to each and every child she gave birth to. The joys they must have shared during those times. And the two times they must have held each other and cried when two of their children passed away at birth. Who knows what he was thinking at this time I was only a child and at the time all I could see was my grandfather sad and lost.

I wanted to do nothing but run up to him and put my arms around him and tell him I loved him and I would do what I could to make him smile again. But all I did was stand their and watch him and listen to him cry silently. To approach him now would do nothing but make things worse or at least that would be what I thought at the time.
So I just sat their quietly and watched. After a while he walked slowly back towards the house. He had his old worn hankie in his hand and when he brought it up to wipe the tears from his eyes I noticed how his hands had aged even older than they were days ago. His face had new age lines that seemed deeper than before. His bright eyes were dark and empty and very cold.
He seemed so tired and worn out almost like he himself had given up life. That’s when I knew the light that once burned there had burned out. When grandma passed his life was over now he was just a body going threw the motions.

As he walked up to the back screen door I walked up and took him by the hand. Not saying a word I just took his hand and followed him into the kitchen. My aunts just sat around the table drinking their coffee.
I remember one of them turning and asking him if he wanted some breakfast or coffee. He just shook his head and took his gray felt hat off of his head and walked slowly to the living room holding the hat cradled inside his arms.
I went into the kitchen and the quite that was present was cold. Then in their low voices they whispered about the viewing this afternoon who would carry him up their and who would stay with him until this was all over. Every ones life wouldn’t get back to normal for a while.

Everyone slowly started coming to the house and it started filling up with adults people that I hadn’t seen in a while.
My uncle Marvin and his 7th wife (their was a joke always about him being the male version of Liz Taylor) he was a navy man and he came up from Miami where he was stationed at.
Aunt Jane with her husband and all of her five children from Fort Pierce.
Aunt Kate and her husband and her five kids (which her baby was Tammy and she lived with there with my grand parents).
Maybelline and her husband (even as a child he gave me the creeps one day I may go into detail about this man) and her two boys they came from Lakeland.
Now since Perry passed his wife wouldn’t come until the day of the funeral with her five kids. They lived out west of town down at the end of Mitchell road in what we called the real woods. Only because it was so far out of town and there were no lights it was just simple country. (That’s yet another wonderful exciting story I may share in time).
Now Priscilla and her husband would not appear (they both were killed many years before in Fort Pierce in what was always said to be a murder suicide if it was or if something else happen no one would ever know the truth then and still to this day. And any of her eleven children would not show either.
My mother would be there because we lived on the backside of the block and counting me five girls. That makes my count earlier way off count with the grand kids. (Wow 31 grand children).

The house was full of relatives now and my grandfather sat on the edge of the bed which was my grandmother’s side his hand gently caressing the quilt on the bed that my grandmother had made. Lost deep in his thoughts with no emotions to show what he was thinking at the time. Everyone was running around getting together things needed so everyone could head off to the funeral home.
I stood in the doorway and watched him with sad eyes and heart. I remember him looking up at me and saying “Child what’s wrong?” All I could do was put my head down and walk over to him and hug him tight.
Recalling my childhood memory now when I hugged him his body seemed so frail and thin under the cloths he wore. His monstrous arms so old but gentle wrapped around me and I pressed my head against his frail chest his heart seemed to be slow and tired. He hugged me for a brief minute or two and then looked at me and told me to go see if everyone was ready.
That was the last time I would talk to him really until sometime after the funeral was done and over.

Everyone started leaving to go over to the funeral home all the families got in their cars. My grandfather rode with my uncle Marvin. I assume that all the parents instructed all of us kids that this was not a place to play games we were to be on our best behavior.
I remember getting out of the car and taking my sister Bonnie’s hand and walked up the path to the place that you went to when you died.
The chapel was small and as you walked in so many people stood around and it was the smell that caught me right off from the start. Stale and old it made my stomach feel sick. We walked down the small isle to take our sit only after we went to the very front to see what was in the long gray box in the front with so many flowers around it.
The sweet smell was getting stronger and it was almost sicken to me I looked around to see if any one else may be smelling the same thing but it was only me. I walked very slow holding Bonnie’s hand I just knew I didn’t want to go look inside that box.
With the whispers of everyone saying “she looks so peaceful” I knew who was in that box and I really didn’t want to look in it. She would be there and she would be mad and I would be the one that got the yelling or the look and I really didn’t want to have to look at her. But as sister’s goes all she did was yank my hand and tell me it’s alright just walk up to her you don’t have to look just close your eyes it will be fast. So I closed my eyes and let her more or less lead me up to the gray box. We stopped it seemed like forever standing there.
I kept repeating in my head “let’s go now just turn and walk that’s all you have to do. I don’t want to open my eyes if I don’t see her I will be alright”. Well for what seemed like hours I couldn’t squeeze my eyes any tighter and then I felt a hand on my shoulder and my mother was standing there you could hear her light soft crying.
I couldn’t keep my eyes closed any more when see said doesn’t she look so wonderful. My eyes flew open and I felt the tightness in my chest as I looked at this old lady that laid in the gray box. She looked like my grandmother but their was something that just wasn’t right about her.
I expected for her to sit up and point her finger at me and tell me that I had been the worse grandchild she had. All of the voice from the times when her and m aunts in the kitchen started going threw my head. She’s nothing but a little bastard child, she’ll never amount to anything, all she ever does is run off to the woods and hides one day one of those hobo’s is going to grab her and she’ll be gone. Well Sylvia really didn’t need to have an more kids after Bonnie. Look at what she has now a drunk for a 2nd husband and on and on they went in my head.
I could see her smile on her face getting wider as if she was enjoying all of those times I listened to them all when I wasn’t suppose to be listening.

I took my hand and reached over to force her to let go of my hand and we turned to walk away. There he sat in the front row facing the sicken flowers and the gray box which held his love of his life.
My aunt Jane sat at his right side next to him then there was aunt Kate next to her at the end of the bench to the right.
On the left side of him was my cousin Tammy pulled up so close to him like she was holding on for dear life.
Then sat my aunt Maybelline then my mother sat down next to them and my uncle Marvin sat at the end of the bench.
All the children that were still alive sat in the very front row looking at their mother laying there along with the most special grandchild.
The next row was my uncle Bill he is married to my aunt Kate and their five and then my uncle Marvin’s wife Viola (what a name and I know this isn’t right and I may go to hell for thinking it then and saying it now…. But… she was so fat and she smelled really bad always letting gas out and being proud of it by saying “excuse me” and smiling) and then my uncle Franklin he’s married to my aunt Maybelline and their two boys.
Aunt Jane’s husband Buddy sat on the next bench with their kids and then their was Susie and Bonnie with me. Behind us was Marlene who was married to my uncle Perry who died sometime back and her children. Now my aunt Priscilla and uncle Ray were dead many years also only a few handful of their children arrived and sat behind us.

As the people walked in and up the isle to gaze at her for moments before they looked at the followers as if they were looking to make sure their flowers were their and to see where they were placed. (A question that I never really understood the big deal. Is there any certain protocol of where and who’s flowers are to be put where and who decides who’s flowers are more important than someone else is????)
I know it sounds like a stupid question and you figure by now I would know the answer to that stupid question at the age of 46 but I really don’t come to think of it. It’s amazing what comes to you when you start recalling old memories and feelings…….

Alright never mind lets get back to where I was. Oh the people checking out the flowers and the names on the cards…..LOL…… As they would finish they would walk over and hug and whisper something to my grandfather and then move either to the left or the right to shake everyone else hand and move along never really looking beyond that second bench as if anything behind their didn’t count.

Finally I manage to get free from my sister and escape the sicken death and flower smell. Out the front door which standing there was this man that look as if he was a body guard or something. He smelled also of flowers and death and some stinky cologne.
He held the door as I went threw and his only remark was “don’t get into anything”. Now let’s see your not just telling a 8 or 9 yr old kid but a tomboy not to get into any thing??? Yeah right!
I really didn’t want to go near the joint I just wanted to get as far as I could away from the smell and wait for my favorite cousins to come out. And it wasn’t long after I was out free then came Rocky, Bobby, Perry Jr, Vernon (I know what your thinking already about the name. But his father named him that after my grandfather. “Vernon Sylvester Arnold” ) We called him a funnier name though. “Booboo” told you …LOL….
Okay stop laughing ok. His father’s full name was Perry Sylvester Arnold rest in peace uncle…….
Ok by the time my favorite cousins had broke out we were all planning on going back to the house and getting out of the church cloths they had made us wear. So my cousins got their change of cloths out of the cars they had came in. Everyone would end back up at my grandfathers house anyway.
And the block we lived on was only maybe seven blocks at the most. Small town everyone knows everyone and truthfully we were all related to just about everyone in town any ways. And you have to remember at this time it was what 1970 - 1971 crime wasn’t really heard of that much back then. People slept with their windows open for the cool night air.
No one ever locked their doors. Hell we would sleep out on my grandfather front porch sometimes. The so called good old days……

Well we just took off walking towards the house it would be a while before everyone started to head back. All of those people standing around talking of what use to be and this and that. All those old people hugging everyone.
I just couldn’t bare the thought of being hugged by any of them old bodies and being pinched on the cheek or even worse than that all together. Them talking about me and my ligament life. Who cared really didn’t they have something else to talk about other than my mother having me and all that crap.

So the escape was in the works. We would get to my grandfather house every one would change I would go threw the back cross the alleyway into the back door of my house and change cloths and out before my step father would know I had been there. Escape such a sweet word to such a small child.
I never really felt like I really belonged to any place or any one. I was the middle child of five girls. And to top that I didn’t know anything about my father. Nothing!!!

By the time I got in and changed into my hand me down jeans that was a little over my ankles and a shirt my tennis shoes I was out the back door meeting the rest of the group in the backyard.
The we were down and out the back gate in the alleyway and we all were off towards the woods to play in the area we all hung out when we finally got together at my block. Out of the small group I was the youngest but I was always up to hang out with them as much as I could when ever I could.

We reached the wooded area and in the trees. We all sit down and everyone started talking about everything going on. We just hung out there not doing much just kind of in our own little world.
Besides the sun was setting and it would be starting to get dark soon and everyone would be at my grandfathers house eating and sitting around talking of their lives to each other as if they were talking to a stranger about something that was amazing.
The kids would be out side in their little groups of who was who in the hen picking order. The special kids and the older kids that kind of thing. By the time we got back food was out and everyone had a plate eating and talking. I just stood there watching and taking things in.
The adults were in the kitchen and in the dinning room some were in the living room. The older kids were on the porch talking among their selves. I just sat on the ground under the oak tree watching and listening to all their boastful talking.
It was as if I wasn’t apart of this large family at all. No one noticed I was there.
Night time came and everyone started leaving that had houses in our town. The ones that lived out of town would split up there kids to stay with this one or that one and the direct family the daughters and son of my grandfather would choose their room at my grandfathers house that would accommodate and start settling in for the night. The next day was going to be the big day.
Putting my grandmother to rest in the so called families cemetery out at Fort Bassanger. Me I just walked threw the back yard to the house.
Once I got home it was only my mother and my sister Bonnie there. I just went to my room that I shared with at the time Bonnie.
Roseanne very young was Jack’s favorite (my stepfather) and she always slept with her father and because Linda was a baby and she slept with my mother.

That morning came early and I was up and out the back door before anyone in the house was even awake yet. Out through the back gate and across the alleyway into my grandfathers back yard I went.
He was in the barn getting the feed for the horses ready. I came up behind him and asked him if I could help him he just smiled at me and handed me one of the buckets of feed.
I walked beside him watching his feet move not wanting to look up at his sad eyes. Then we fed the horses and went back to the barn.
Getting the feed for the chickens I asked him if I could help collect the eggs. All he said was “do you think you can get them without breaking any of the eggs?” I was happy for at least that moment because I knew I could do that if nothing else.
So with the reply of yes he handed me the wire pail and as he fed the chickens I went in the coop to collect all the eggs.
Once all the animals were fed we started back to the house together. Going threw the back door you could get the smell of breakfast cooking. There they were all the aunts in there cooking.
Pancakes, fried potatoes, biscuits, gravy, bacon and sausage. One of my aunts took the basket of eggs and rinsed them before she started cracking them to make scramble eggs for everyone. All my grandfather did was get a cup of coffee and he headed out to the front porch to sit in his chair.
Once everyone had gathered and ate then it was time to start getting ready for the final thing.
“The funeral.”

Monday, August 4, 2008

Playhouse and Grandmother

I have some wonderful pictures to go with this post how ever due to technical difficulty ..... Oh crap they just will not up load for some stupid reason. So when I find out what is wrong I will come back in and up load the pictures ..... Sorry, ever just have that feeling that something is just going to screw you up sometimes??? Well that about what it is today.. Anything that can go wrong will kind of thing... Oh well.....

So here goes this will be in two parts .......... Once again sorry for no pictures.......

I have been told that my mind is like a filing cabinet …lol…
Everything I have seen and heard through my life has been filed in special order so that one day when I do decide to sit down and write things out they will there waiting.

Well I thought I would pull one of those drawers open and share yet another childhood memory with you. Something that hasn’t seen the light in a while….lol…

I have shared already about playing hooky with my friends and tracking over the railroad tracks to go fishing and just goofing off the whole day.

So hear is yet another one that maybe after you read it you can look back to your childhood and remember someone older in your life that made a special imprint into your life with a laugh or something special..

My grandmother was one of those ladies that wore the old round lens wire glasses. She never cut her hair and it was always up in a bun on the top of her head.
The only time I every seen it down was at night before she went to bed and she would sit at her vanity on this stool and brush her long grayish colored hair what seemed like a million times to me at the time.

She had a brass container that had a lid that after she got done brushing her hair she would remove the hair from her brush and put it safely in until the next morning when she would use the hair as some kind of natural tie to hold her hair together before she pinned it into a bun.

She would wear these flannel gowns at night with long sleeves. In the morning she would get up and change into one of her many flower printed dresses. The kind that was made of linen very thing and cool.

Always with a full slip and the dresses always buttoned up the front with the same color buttons as the flowers in the dress or just plain white.

She would wear stockings all the time. Not pantyhose stockings that looked as if they were a hundred years old and the would be held up by these black elastic bands and she would roll them until you couldn’t see the band until they were right above the knee. Well you never seen that because the dress was just below the knee.

She wore flat shoes that tied up with laces and they were either the basic black, or tan. I don’t remember if there were any other colors and I never seen her in a pair of high heels in my life.

Her dress always had two pockets in the shirt part that seem to be never ending and she would always have her hanky a very soft linen with the dainty thread work around the edges and something always in the corner maybe and initial or a flower.

She also had this little change purse that she kept with her just in case she needed something from the store she wouldn’t have to go to her hiding place or ask my grandfather for it. Typical female always hiding a stash somewhere …lol…

She also had what she called her gum pack. I don’t really know what it was because she never gave me any of it to chew.

In the other pocket she carried a small tin can of powdered snuff. I can remember the name as if it was yesterday.
Beechnut it’s label was white and it either had orange or peach writing or white with green writing on it.
Other than the writing I really don’t know what the difference was.

Thinking about it I can almost smell the powdery substance now. Very smooth with a hint of dusty qualities to it. And if you inhaled it well lets say it would make your nose burn and you would sneeze your head off.

Now to me she wasn’t the little old grandma that when you came to her house she had milk and cookies waiting along with the smelly hugs and kisses. That wasn’t her at all.

Now my grandfather he was maybe 6 ft. tall. Slender but his frame was strong. Always a button up thin cotton shirt with a undershirt. The work pants that was either gray, brown or green and a small thin belt he wore.
The reason I remember the belt is because I got a few spankings with it from time to time not much though. He wore a straw cowboy hat around the house when he was at home to work in but when he went up town he had a gray felt one he wore.

His hair was full but kept short and trimmed often. He also had the snuff that my grandmother dipped and always a small block of chewing tobacco he kept in his pocket which he would take his knife and cut a square off to chew.

His hands were large but worn from all the hard work he had done all his life. But they were genital at times also when he would hold your hand or rub your hair when he was trying to tell you something.

He had a smile that would make you feel safe and smile back. He was a very good man and he always tried to be fare at all times.

I loved my grandfather and always enjoyed being around him and watching him and at times when I did get to stay over sometimes I would get up when everyone was in bed and I would try his work boots on. They were so large.

Now I wasn’t the favorite grandchild at all. There were only three of the out of 16 of us. My cousin Tammy from one of their daughters {please forgive you shouldn’t talk ill of the dead my Aunt passed many years ago.}
And Arby and Arland from their other daughter that lived in Lakeland at the time. These were the special kids why who knows….

Tammy always got what she wanted. A playhouse was built and let me tell you my play house that I have talked about to me it was the a great place.
However to be compared to her playhouse it was nothing but a bunch of three board propped up next to each other and another board thrown on top of it where the simple thing as a breeze would blow it down…. Makes you think of the three little pigs and the wolf that blew there house down …lol…

Her playhouse was maybe 500 feet square. Windows that opened and closed on hinges and locks. A front door with a small window in front and a brass door knob. The lock on the door was on the outside and it was one of those hinge locks that you needed a key padlock to lock it.
It had electricity in there so she could play as long as she wanted in there.
There was a play stove, sink, cabinets to put the play dishes in and pots. All the things you would have to have to play house. There were shelves on the walls where all the dolls and stuff animals sat safe.
And a very large wooden toy box with other types of toys to play with. Everything a little girl would ever want. And still she remained selfish.

My grandfather built this playhouse with his own two hands. He was always a gentle man. I recall how tall he always stood his worn body at the age of 76.
When my grandmother was living he was always very quite you never heard them become angry with each other. I remember she would be up at the crack of dawn and making his breakfast and then he would get up and after he would go out side and do this morning chores with the animals.

There was a large tree in the back yard like a Mulberry tree. On the weekends I use to go over and to walk into my grandmothers kitchen was like walking into a room with so many smells going on at a time.

She was always cooking something good. She would give us these little tin buckets and we would climb into the tree and pick the berries. Well what ones we didn’t eat. Most of the time we would come down and have blue/purple stains around our mouth and all over our hands.

The berries she would wash and cook down into a cobbler with thick sweet juices. After dinner we would get a bowl of this still steaming and fresh cold cream poured on the top to cool it down some before we ate it. It never cooled it completely and some bites would be hotter than others but it was very good.

She was a very good cook. My grandfather would kill a old chicken that couldn’t lay eggs any more and she would make homemade chicken and dumplings. As I said she wasn’t the kind of grandmother that was into making all her grandchildren happy just the select few.

She was always short with me and to the point I can’t really remember ever seeing her smile or treating me like I was a special child. And to play in the playhouse I had to have permission from my cousin to go threw the doors. She was very cold to me at times.

And at the time I really didn’t realize the tension between her and my mother. But she was my grandmother bottom line and the memories she gave to me was not of hugs and smiles and pleasant things.
They were of scolding and little remarks that hurt deep that would never be forgot.

When the day my grandmother passed away that day was a very ugly day. I can see it clear in my head as if it were yesterday. She had a headache all day and late afternoon she went to lay on the bed.
My grandfather paced back and worth with worry in his eyes. I can remember the worried look in his eyes almost as if you could see the life some how slipping away from him.

His strong features and jaw line seemed to be tense. The wrinkles showed more in his face. He walked back and forth walking in and out of the room you could hear him say ‘Bell are you feeling any better?”
All I could hear her say to him was “my head is killing me Sylvester will you get this kid off my bed”. And he got my cousin Tammy by the arm and pulled her off the bed. She was crying calling out to my grandmother.

My mother walked in and called her dad. When he walked out of the bedroom they whispered back and forth and the next thing there was an ambulance pulling into the front part of the house.

The ambulances then weren’t like the ones we have now with the square frame and lots of room in the back. The ambulances then was shaped like the Hurst from a funeral home. Long and no room really other than to slide a gritty from the back and slide it back in and one person to sit as the other drove.

They were all dressed in white from the uniform. I remember them putting her on the bed with wheels and strapping her in and rolling her to their vehicle with the one red light bubble on top of the roof.

Turning to my mother and my grandfather saying something and then pulling out from under the shade of the big oak trees that covered the front part of the yard all the way up to the house from the edge of the road.
Before too long the house starting feeling up with Aunts and other people everyone doing there part to get things settled into place. My grandfather left with someone I don’t really know who carried him. But that was the last time I saw my grandmother alive.

A few days in the hospital she had a massive stroke and passed away.
That was a very sad day a large part of my grandfathers life passed away also. When I saw him again he had aged so much he had a look in his eyes I had never seen there before. Loss of his heart…..

He was very quite and his eyes didn’t raise high enough to look you in the eyes. My thoughts were he didn’t want us to see the tears in his eyes. It had been five days since he left to go see my grandmother. Where was she I thought to my self no one really said anything of her.

So when all the adults started coming in from where they lived I knew something was going on.

My grandfather still got up early that morning and went to do his chores feeding the horses and the chickens. My aunts were in the kitchen fixing coffee and sitting at the table everyone was in tears.

I stood in the small hallway listening to them talk. What was he going to do now she was gone? She was gone?? Where did she go I thought to myself. I was confused and my Aunt said well we are going to have to make the arrangements sometime today. And what about dad what are we going to do about him?

I was only 8 or 9 yrs old and I didn’t realize what was going on. So I slid pass the kitchen door to the back door which was made of wood and screen with a eye and hook that latched the door closed.
I pushed the door open softly to make sure no one would hear the squeak from the hinges.

Once out the door I walked pass the play house it seemed empty and abandoned in the morning light. Over close to the wood pile which was only a few feet away from the barn which he kept his farm tools in and the big tin garbage cans which held horse feed in one and corn in the other. He had to large buckets that hung from two big rusty nails at the door.

You could smell the molasses from the feed can so strong and sweet. The door was pushed all the way open and I could see him standing there putting feed in the buckets for the horses.

I watched him for a while as he walked out and turned towards the horse pin to feed them. When he started around the corner coming back he walked into the barn and hung the buckets up and took a tin can and filled it with the corn. He then started walking to the chicken pin.

They must had 50 or 60 chickens all fat and healthy. And one big old white rooster which you knew was the boss of the coop and then a young red rooster. He pulled open the wire door to the coop and walked in and I could hear his voice lightly calling the chickens. Here chick, chick as he scatted the corn to the ground and then took the rest and poured into the wooden troth.

After he finished feeding up the chickens he walked to where the wire basket hung and took it off the hook. Then he walked into the chicken house. I knew what he was doing collecting the eggs. Sometimes there would be 4 maybe 5 dozen of eggs collected in 2 days.

The laying hens was very good. Some would be left in the nest so the could be hatched for more little chicks. He then came out of the hen house with maybe a dozen and a half of eggs.

Closing the coop door and hooking it I watched him walk towards the barn and put the tin bucket back in and close the door and head to the house. He was so quite today.
Most of the time you could hear him humming some old song or something. But not today. It was as if he was lost some where else.
He took the eggs to the back door and said something and one of my aunts came to the door and took the eggs into the house.

He then walked over to the hand pump. A iron hand pump well that you had to always prime with some water out of the rain barrel at the corner of the house. He pushed the iron handle up and down about a half a dozen times before the water came rushing out and running into a bucket.

I finally found enough courage to walk up to him and I remember looking into his eyes. They seemed so empty and cold.
I remember reaching out and taking him by the hand and smiling up at him and something like “Grandpa are you ok?” came from my mouth. He tried to smile at me and whispered yes. I looked at him and then I knew something was wrong. “Grandpa where’s grandma is she coming home soon?’

All he could do was look at me with a half smile and told me “Your grandma is not coming home child. She has gone to see the angles. And a single tear fell from one of his eyes and rolled down a cross his cheek. All I could do was wrap my arms around his legs and hug him as hard as I could and tell him “I love you grandpa.”

I remember him placing his hand on my head and petting me and saying everything would be fine.

That was when I learned about death for the very first time in my life. And after my grandmother was laid to rest things was never the same any more at the house.
He was different more quite and when he walked he kind of drug him self. I didn’t know until later in my life that when you have been with someone for so many years like that well over 50 yrs when one passes the other some how passes a part of them with that person.

When all was done that’s when I started running away from home early in the mornings. Going threw the alleyway crossing the back yard to the back door of my grandfathers house to the back door to have grilled cheese and hot tea with him every morning.

Well that’s another yet another file to pull from another day. I hope you enjoyed the story. This story is in memory of my grandmother “Bell Arnold one tough old cookie. And my grandfather Sylvester Arnold a very wonderful kind man” I do love you both and I hope you did find each other some where on the other side…… Rest in peace.........