I won’t be there!

I don’t usually take forever to get my clothes on, but today it is early afternoon and I am still in my robe and slippers. A week ago [has it been only a week?] my brother-in-law died. He was 79 and had been in declining health for the last few years. Then a few days later, my cousin died. Peggy and I had re-connected a number of years ago after years of not knowing much about each other. This morning, My baby sister died. that is hard to fathom. She had COPD and didn’t take very good care of herself. She had so many issues with life that none of us could help her with.

I guess I am still in a bit of denial or shock. I wasn’t surprised that my brother-in-law died, just [like all deaths] not prepared. I was not able to attend his funeral.

Now my cousin and sister [they were close to the same age] under 60, that is another story. Not that either one was on speed-dial or even monthly call basis, they will be missed. I was not able to go to either of their funerals, it is a bad time of year and Peggy lived in  California and my sister is in Missouri. I made plans to go to see Peggy in February and my sister in the spring. Those plans have been changed by circumstances.  I did speak to my sister more in the last few months than I had in previous years. She could be difficult and was prone to being angry. I might be able to make her funeral only because our brother is willing to help me get there.

I counted on my fingers this morning, it has been four months since I sat down and wrote anything. I have just not taken the time, and now it seems that is what I need to do.

I hate funerals, and I have always held that I won’t be attending mine. I don’t want to have the funeral the last memory of me.

My problem with funerals? I would like to remember the person on my terms Not the grief stricken, shell shocked faces of all the loved ones. Now, I know that funerals are the time for all family and friends to get together to express their love and commitment, wouldn’t it be better to do that before the death? I wonder if we express our feelings often enough. I know I don’t. It is just too easy to let the opportunity to slip away, and too difficult to just “blurt” it out when there are other things going on. I know of a few professional funeral attenders, they go to any funeral they can get into and put on an appropriately sad face. As soon as possible they rush eagerly to the buffet line usually the first in line. These people worry me.

It isn’t new, in days past people were paid to be mourners. The louder and more pitiful they could be brought them more money. It was a sign of importance to have large funerals with a lot of mourners. I am not sure that practice has changed much except I don’t think they pay mourners anymore.

Life will go on and I will go on. There will just be three more holes in the fiber of my life.


Dust Devil -or- Dirt Tornado....It's Comming!!!

Dust Devil -or- Dirt Tornado….It’s Comming!!! (Photo credit: live w mcs)





















I am just sitting here listening to the wind blow. It is blowing because it is spring and because it is south central Montana. That is just what it does here. We have not had any beneficial precipitation  in this county since ……………… I can’t remember. Some time in early 2012 if my memory serves me.




I just know, I am dusty. My car is dusty inside and out the house is dusty, there is a fine layer of dust laying all over everything. We not able to get enough moisture to feel like the dust will be settled.




NOW THE WIND. While it is blowing the dust all over it is also evaporating what little moisture was there. The wind blows in circles and deposits dust in every nook and cranny.




It is spring, the farmers are starting to farm. Their tractors stir the dust in huge plumes that follow them around the field, or lead them around the field. Depending on the direction the wind chooses to blow.




My family was among the refugees from Oklahoma during the Dust Bowel in the 1930’s. I remember reading about the devastation of the drought, this dust brings that to mind. I was not part of that, but my grandparents were and my father was 5 when they headed out for California with only the clothes on their back and a car piled high with what possessions that didn’t have to be sold and would fit. My recollections are that this time was quietly spoken of, if at all. I came away from childhood with an understanding that having enough food was a privilege. The only thing I have clear memories of the talk of the migration was the fear that was left in my father of starving. That was a huge impact on me, I felt his fear and it imprinted something profound on my brain. Food was never used as a weapon or threat against us and it still makes me crazy when I hear it being used as such. My own children didn’t have to fear going hungry. Their father had a stable job and enough money to provide enough food. Still, I couldn’t threaten them with going without for any kind of offense except wasting food.




It’s funny, in this country of plenty, we have lost the ability to appreciate the lack of things. Oh, we worry about not having a better car, a bigger house or the special new computer program that promises to repair something that isn’t really broken.




There are the ones that are among the ones that our government classifies as poverty stricken. Where they, by misfortune or mistake, have found themselves on the lowest end of the income bracket. There are safety nets in place for this group. They have the option of reaching out for the help they need. Then there are the ones that have “chosen” this lifestyle, due to addiction or mental illness they stay out of the mainstream and out of public programs. Unfortunately there are children that are drug through this and when they are identified they are helped as best we can.




There are people who truly do not “have”.




Who do you know that truly does not have a place to store their things and sleep at night. Who do you know that hasn’t had a meal of anything but flies because their three remaining children had to have the last piece of bread? How many people on your block froze last winter or starved. This is poverty, I have not met anyone like this, they do not live on my block. If they did, I have enough to share. I have an abundance even though I have little money.




This winter when there is 2 feet of snow, there will be no one in my little town that will freeze because of lack of resources. There is an energy share program available, there are shelters, there are families and there are neighbors.There is the Food Stamp program so that no one will go without.  All of this makes us a rich nation.




All of this, because the wind blows. I am stuck inside dusting and thinking. ……………