It’s my turn

It’s my turn to be old.

I’ve already had a turn at being young, being a teen (I extended that a bit), being twenty something, thirty something and forty when I thought I was old.

My grandfather and my grandmother had their turn with dignity.

My mother’s turn was short (age 68).

My father gave up his turn (suicide at age 37)

Now that it’s my turn to be old, I want to take advantage of all the older ‘adult experiences.’

Like a midday nap.  Like grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Like seeking my self that has been created over the years. Like getting to know my inner child.

Some activities I don’t enjoy, but I acknowledge that they come with the territory and I intend to experience them and grow.

Life enlarged prostate. Like aches and pains. Like ten pillls in the morning and ten pills in the evening. Like obesity and diabetes. Like limited walking, hiking, running abilities.

Slowly I am becoming disabled, in body, in mind, in vision.

But that’s ok.

My body is the one mostly feeling the age.

My heart is large and full of love.

My mind is seeking new ways to discover, like meditation, like quiet time, like turning off the television which hadn’t been invented when I was young.

My spirit soars with the eagles, as Chief Dan George says in “Little Big Man,”

I take one day at a time, and the days fly by, months come and go as I focus on today.

It’s my turn, my last turn, and I want to do it right. My children are watching and I want them to know they have nothing to fear when it’s their turn.

Soon I will experience old age.

I will be more disabled, more spiritual, more medicated and older. Who knows how old; who cares?

So I’m here for you if you need me to love you, to pray for you, to sit with you, to offer unsolicited advice.

I’m here with my wife of almost 45 years. Our marriage is old too.  We like it; we like that we’re together and with children yet.

So if you live in the young world, have faith, you too can have your turn.

Your get to have a turn at being old.

– Small town boy

The cyclist and the biker

The cyclist and the biker went into a bar,

And the cyclist ordered a fruit smoothie, the biker a beer.

Said the cyclist, “I ride for miles and miles.”

The biker replied, “So do I.”

The cyclist said, “I’m building muscles and lungs.”

The biker nodded.

The biker said, “How long does it take you to reach the coast?”

Cyclist, “It takes as long as it takes, no more and no less.”

Biker, “WTF does that mean?”

C, “Well less time than to ride the STP (Seattle to Portland) and more than my regular six mile loop around the airport.

C, “BTW, WHY DO YOU RIDE THAT BIG EXPENSIVE, polluting hog?”

B, “You need not shout;  I’m not hard of hearing. I ride with my friends in the club around the state and across country,”

C, “Hmm, so do I. But you make so much noise!”

B, “You’re the one shouting. Loud pipes save lives.”

B, “Do you ride with friends? Or do you ride alone?”

C, “Well, both. BTW. What is that denim vest with the patches all about?”

B, “Those are my colors. My club patches. The rest are ride or rally patches. This one is for a fallen rider. What are your bright clothes trying to tell me?”

C, “These are my colors, I guess. One tyvek jacket is for my club and the others are rides.”

B, “Isn’t it dangerous riding on the side of the road?”

C, “Yes, it’s why I wear bright colors. How do you keep safe on the road?”

B, “I ride in numbers. We have signals to tell each other when we change kanes, go over railroad tracks, or see something in the road.”

C, ” So do we.”

B,”Well my friends are here; it’s time to ride. Nice talking with you. Be safe.”

C, “You too. Thanks.”

B, “For what?”

C: “For sharing the ride.”

The biker left; the cyclist finished his smoothly and went out to ride his bike, but sadly it had been stolen.”

And So he walked home.

The walker next to him said, “So, where’s your bike?”

– Small town boy

I’m in no mood!

For: cable news people,

Political promises,

Rain and dark skies,

Skateboards indoors,

Racism,

Xenophobes,

Mysogenists,

Bigotry,

Homophobia,

Doubt,

Anxiety,

Loneliness,

Child abuse,

Sex abuse,

Mental abuse,

Ignorance,

False idols,

False friends,

Extravigance,

Hyperbole,

False hope,

Doubtful future,

Unknown future,

Death,

Rudeness,

Anger,

Hopelessness,

Helplessness,

And bad moods,

In me.

What? You say you love me? Well I love you too.

Now I’m in the mood for love, baby.

Simply because your near me.

I’m in the mood for love.

Forget the list above,

Give me a hug.

– Small town boy

Oh my God!

OMG is used too often these days in texts and facebook.

I have come to that place in my life where I must examine

What it means to me, what it wants of me, what I have to say about it.

If talking about God bothers you, stop here.

If you have the same quandry living in your head, continue.

God recently has been spending a lot of time with me, the Holy Spirit that is.

He has become real for me. I named him Jeff, presumptuous as that might be.

I start each day by saying hello and repeating the names on my prayer list.

Names of my family, names of those with disabilities, those with cancer, and the new lady at church last week (I told her I would keep her in my prayers.)

My prayers are more like conversations, “Good morning; how are. You today?”

And “I celebrate that I met my Greatgrandson yesterday. I ask that you watch over my cousin in Vietnam this week. How about them Cubs? ”

And then I open myself up to what He has planned for today.

I purge my mind, my heart, my body, and my spirit, clearing junk out like the new app on my new cell phone cleans junk out of its memory, so as to power up the work it must do.

Then I simply state that I am open to what the day brings, good and. bad.

All of this is a result of my spiritual path that is a result of my new church that encourages direct involvement instead of mediated involvement through someone else.

So He and I have figured this way of dealing with each other.

And I have to say I like it.

I’m only telling you this because it’s true, for me. Really, really true, as true as my sweet dog Tawny.

But you have to figure out your way. I suggest some alone time, prayer and meditation, but whatever works for you.

When you are ready.

He is ready.

He loves you, and I do too.

– Small town boy

Winter is filled with geese and frogs

I know, it’s not winter yet, but it feels like it today.

The wind is blowing, scattered showers, and dark skies.

Leaves are falling, some leaves have already fallen, gynkos are in the midst of leaf drop.

As I walk my red golden retriever, Tawny, around the park in an effort to stop sitting around, we hear frogs and geese.

Frogs are loud though they are small and my dog is confused, especially in the backyard. to bark or not to bark?

I think they take turns. Frogs then geese and then frogs again.

Geese fly over the house in their gaggling style, each encouraging the other; each calling out their position in the Vee, as they fly from Ankeny Wildlife Refuge in the west to Findlay Wildlife Refuge in the south and Basket Slough Wildlife Refuge in the north. Grass, new, fresh, and succulent is everywhere. Scaregooses do little to prevent their settling into a field and gobbling grass.

There are twenty little birds in the dying birch in my backyard, waiting for me to go back inside so they can feed at the bird feeder uninterrupted. Their songs are sweet and cheerful, finches and juncos mostly.

Little tree frogs croak to attract females and discourage males, yes?

But do they sing to each other, geese and frogs?

Is there something the frog wants to say to the geese flying overhead?

What would a goose tell the frog on the ground, safe in my backyard?

“Winter is coming!”

The frog tells the geese to get out of the sky and find a safe warm place to be for the winter. The goose says, “You need to get out more often.”

The goose tells the frog that there is lots to eat in the field next door, but frogs are not interested in grass, fresh or no.

Many other conversations go on in my backyard and in the park across the street, but I don’t have access to them.

But I hear the message that winter is coming, and go inside and wonder 

If there will be snow this winter?

My dog says, “What is snow?”

– Small town boy

Respite

“There’s no rest for the wicked,

And the righteous don’t need any.” Said a cook at the  Rawah Dude Ranch where I was working for the summer in 1963; she was from Omaha, Nebraska.

Respite in my world means giving someone a break in their lives when adversity strikes.

We adopted three grandchildren in 1992 in Portland, and our friends provided respite.

Kara babysat so we could go out.

Jerome and Mary babysat so we could go out. 

Trudy babysat so that we could take a break from our chosen children.

thank you. I love you still.

Now we have three great grandchildren living with us here in Corvallis.

The mother of two of them is in Portland trying to put her life together.

The new mother of the 1 month old, and the father,

Are upstairs in the bedroom with our new greatgrandson, Ja’niyus..

We are happy for them.

Although we promised not to take on ‘greats’ after adopting ‘grands,’ the children were irresistible.

And someone needed to intercede on behalf of their schooling, and they are  doing so well, learning Spanish, anatomy, reading, math, and becoming socialized with the other students. They in in school at this moment while I write and my wife makes soup.

Now, there is little respite.

Oh wait, yes, we do have respite. Respite by a new neighbor!

When Gretchen moved into our neighborhood in Willamette Landing subdivision, from Colorado Springs,

With her two children who were the same age as ours,

She was a blessing from God, no shit.

She is someone for my wife to talk to, she takes our kids and  we take hers. She drops by for coffee or to talk about gardening.  We love Gretchen.

My wife went to the doctor complaining about lack of energy, lack of sleep, and lack of time.

The doctor proscribed more Zoloft, a one hour nap each day, and three days at the beach.

We have a good doctor.

When we adopted the three grandchildren, it was tough.

I said if what your doing isn’t difficult, you are not doing it right.

I still say so.

We thought we were  old then. We are older now.

It is in God’s hands.

I’m neither wicked nor righteous, so

I think I’ll go lie down.

thanks for listening, I love you.

– Small town boy


– 

I’m at a loss for words

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Where did all my words go?

I haven’t been using them, bit of a dry spell I’m afraid.

But someone has scared them, embarrassed them, misused them,

With lies, lies, lies pretending they are just hyperbole.

Apparently words are offended by this and are on strike.

They want to go back to a better time,

When a man’s word was his bond,

When my word meant something,

When, if I gave my word, you could depend on it.

Words left because everyone on cable news ‘spinned’ them

Any which way, each side’s surrogates spininning and spinning and spinning

Untill all the words got dizzy and lost their way.

Now where are they?

I think we need to  encourage  them a bit,

Use small simple words at first,

Like love, hope, and charity.

Then we can work up to larger words, if we treat them with  respect,

Like caring, sharing, and brotherhood.

See, my words are coming back,

They are right here for you  to know

that I love you.

I mean it.

You have my word.

-Small town boy


this was a gift of cupcakes from my muslim neighbors, whom I love.

November Rose

The rose of November is the prettiest, the sweetest rose,

The one I love the most.

I have lived with her a while now,

From when she was a bud, through her summer years,

Among the other roses who have by this time given up in fear of the oncoming winter.

And yet, my rose younger gets,

And holds the baby roses on her knee and fills them with love,

And grows younger by association.

I would not cut this November rose and put her in a vase to show her beauty,

Because her beauty is evident daily in her garden of green and brown.

From where does she come this miracle of nature?

From North Dakota where the winters are cold and harsh;

No wonder she thrives on this moderate climate of the Willamette valley.

Though truth be told, she’d rather be at the beach.

Her birthday is November 25, my November Rose.

– Small town boy