Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Mr. and Mrs. Wonderful

Mom is in the hospital again. Sunday she called me and asked me to come over because she was feeling faint and was worried about Dad. Not herself, natch. My father has a type of dementia and he will be 85 in November, he is a trifle unsteady on his legs!

I felt it necessary to call her family physician, she was in such pain that I could not bear to stand by and just wring my hands. The Doc told me to call an ambulance and he would meet her at the emergency room. Mom lives on a very well established dead end street. I heard the ambulance heading in our direction...I knew she was going to be very angry with me, but hey, I can handle that. All the neighbors came into their front yards and watched in concerned silence. As soon as they saw it was my Mom and not Dad, they began to head towards our house. I had to announce what was going on from the front porch while my Dad stood behind me watching in his mute helplessness.

They are running tests and I believe they will let her go home today and schedule further tests as an out patient. I hope she just had a virus attack her and knock her flat.

I want to tell you all about Genie. She is a miracle woman. She has been helping my Mom care and tend for my Dad since June. To make a long story short, Omega cried to me one night several months ago, before Genie, that I had to go tell Mom to let Dad go to heaven. That he was in too much pain and he was praying for the Lord to take him and if Mom gave her permission, he would pass on. Omega is the youngest and taking Dad's decline the hardest. My thoughts are this, Dad will go to heaven when God calls him, not a moment before. And I would never never never ask that of my Mom.....Heavens!!! Yet, I understand Omega.

Then Genie came into their lives and my Dad is a new person. She has worked in health care with the elderly since she has been 16 years old. She is a country girl, kind, generous with her love, and the most wonderful companion for Dad every day. He is not ashamed when she tends to him.....She calls him Mr. Wonderful.

Mr. Wonderful can be a handful. Several years ago Mom felt faint and passed out cracking her head open. They kept her in the hospital for observation for several days. I was staying with Dad and went home to change clothes. When I went back, he was GONE!!!!!!!

SO WAS THE CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was PANICKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He had found the keys, driven himself the 10 plus miles into Lexington and parked at the hospital and found her room! All by himself! He was sitting in a chair like the cat who ate the canary! He only forgot his jacket. It was the first time he had driven in years.

You can never give up on anyone. There is no limits to the human spirit.


Saturday, August 28, 2004

Lost in Transition

This morning I was running around the little town I live in racking my brain for something to write about. I hate to think I am experiencing writers block...again! Running has a way of turning into a sort of mantra experience. When I was experiencing a "clean slate" this thought surfaced....people who truly meant something to me and are no longer a part of my life.

It was triggered as I jogged past his parents house. My childhood friend R. His car is backed into their drive way, as if he may jump into it any moment and drive back to Washington State, where he had escaped to many years before. The last time I heard from him was almost three years ago. His name popped up on my caller ID. He did not leave a message, I did not return his call.

He returned home to his parents, a laid off aeronautic engineer. He took a settlement, cashed in his 401-K and headed home after 20 years. He was an alcoholic. He is an alcoholic. He hooked up with another childhood friend of mine, G. And before I knew it I was entertaining the two of them most every night! One crazy absurd night R. turned to me and said, "If G. will not marry you then I will."  I looked from one nut case to the other..."These are my choices? I pass." Neither one has ever forgiven me.

R. was in his parents house, climbed out on the second story roof in a sleeping bag and promptly fell asleep, He rolled off the roof, fell to the ground and broke his back. They said he would never walk again, but he did. In 1997 he walked, with canes, into a funeral of yet another childhood friend of ours who dropped dead from a heart attack at 42.

And G.!!! I have written about G. before. He is a bad influence on me. I'll say no more. He is always there for me when I need him. If I ever need him again, he will be angry with me for awhile, then once again, be my best friend. I miss him the most...but he is the furthest away.

And F. One of my best friends. Lost everything in her life, her family, her home, her mind. Another alcoholic. I've written about her before too. I opened my home to her when she lost hers. The seduction and allure of alcohol and comfort of self medication has all but erased my friend. I see her occasionaly around Lexington.....I quickly run the other way.

C. in Louisville. When I was a young mother with an infant she and I shared apartments all over the Highland Area! We had a major  falling out when I said something.... I would give anything in the world to take it back. Bridget considered her the Wicked Step Mother...We always laughed about that. For many years Bridget had two very strong female influences on her development. I met C. in Murray when we first went to college in the early 70's. She was a good dear friend for many years.

Then there is S. And E. Two people I worked with at a company in Louisville for approximately 10 years! How do we lose touch like this. I loved them. I can not find them now.

People come and go. Leave an  indelible impression on your life and then leave. I miss every one of them. I dare not reach out to the dueling beau's......too complicated now that I am married! (also married a childhood friend...life can be so odd).  But the others, the girls, the women, the sisters.....? Why do we allow something so precious and rare as friendship to become so lost.



Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Post Card from Hell

This past weekend we went to Louisville for the State Fair. Contrary to all my other thousands of entries about my adventures, this one was a little off the bullseye.

It started off with us stuck in traffic for 40 minutes trying to enter the fair grounds. It was a three block trek, for the love of God! It seems all the traffic control people they hired were trained...wait! they were not trained. It was all I could do not to put the car in park and rush out into the intersection and take over for those poor women. Yes, they were women! Hired purposely for this event. I was not a very good citizen and made my way into a turning lane I CREATED.....Thankfully, many followed behind me!

The fair was fun. Spent most our time in the event arena checking out the cow shows, the bunnies and all of the exhibits. There was the most fantastic amateur photography display. I'm thinking of submitting one next year. Black and white.

We stayed at a motel in another area of town. Joe and his daughter spent the late afternoon in the pool while I finished the book The Lovely Bones. It was a terrific read. It is so wonderful to read in a hotel room. No dishes in the sink calling out to you, no tomato bushes that need to be staked, no nagging guilt that you have not driven across town to visit your parents. Wonderful.

Then to a restaurant, which I have decided not to name, but I would love to! We were told the wait for a table would be a half hour and were given a small disc that lit up when your table was ready. We were there for a long time...Longer than a half hour. We sent Joe's daughter to investigate while I sent Joe to the bar. She came back with the message that we were next. Well, we weren't! Now at least I had a glass of wine to keep me occupied. When it was gone, and we were still sitting, I went over and asked. Seems that we had already been seated! I was ticked off! It appears that our pager number was erroneously given to others and we were overlooked. How long would we have to sit there waiting until they noticed? I am in the people pleasing business and this is not the way to treat your customers. We left.

McDonalds......I'll say no more.

When we returned to the hotel room the bathroom was flooded! Not really really bad, but it was in the wall coming from upstairs and puddling the entire bathroom floor. The maintenance man was there in minutes, assessed the situation and asked us if we wanted to move. That would have been too much effort, so we stayed in the room. He brought us plenty of towles to soak it up!

I was awakened at 6am by Joe head butting me. He said I laid there with both my hands covering my forehead, moaning for five minutes. I hate double beds....they are too small.

Other than all that....it was a good week-end.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004


This past week I was on the computer (like always) and there was a knock at the door. An unfamiliar guy was standing on the other side as I cautiously opened the door and said, "Yes...?" and he pointed towards our tree in the front yard, "We're in the neighborhood, from Frankfort, just finished a job in town here and noticed that there tree is dead...About to tear down that wire! We'll take it down for you. We give estimates."

We walked out to under the tree and gazed up at it. "It is pretty dead. My husband has been talking about taking it down. How much"

"Oh, about $250. Shouldn't take us an hour, hour and a half. Do you want us to haul off the wood?"

"I have to wait until my husband comes home and see what he wants to do?'

"When will he be home"

"Any minute now."

"Why don't you just surprise him!"

Three of this brothers climbed out of the parked truck on the road to look at the tree, realizing they had a good possibility on their hands, and were sizing up the situation. We yammered on for awhile and the leader, who sat in the truck the entire time, half in and half out of the window banged on the side and ordered them back in.

"That's our old man".

"He couldn't possibly be your Dad!"

"Nah...He's our cousin."

They left me a card and drove off.

I liked them. I can not tell you why. They were young, proably in their 20's except for the cousin, who was early 40's late 30's maybe. Hard to tell because they were country people, lived hard lives on farms and looked weathered and leathered...At least old Dad did. The brothers were all nice looking in a rough way. Good Lord, the way I like them. Nice on the outside with a hint of danger just under the surface. Reminds me of all my highschool boyfriends.

When Joe arrived home, he thought the price was terrific and that the tree needed to come down and the sooner the better. I called them, and they arrived on the scene in less than 15 minutes.

Joseph slapped on his spikes and safety harness, a belt with the gas powered saw hanging down his side by a rope. He threw the rope around the tree, attached it to his belt/harness and began his journey up the tree. Hence, The Monkey!

The tree began to come down immediately. I stationed myself on the porch and watched the spectacle......As I've said, I'm easily amused. They worked fast, efficient and together. That tree came down quickly limb by limb. He then scrambled down, and began to cut the base of the tree.....TIMBER! Joe was inside and would not look, he just made one comment, "I hope they know what they are doing!"

To my eye it looked like the trunk was going to take down the cable lines....To the house next door. Great drama!!!! I was wrong, the tree fell in slow motion, in a beautiful fluid graceful swoon and landed perfectly on the ground escaping the wires easily.

The four of them descended on the tree and large branches and began to saw them into easy managable pieces.....Most of them, some of the trunk was enormous and remained so.

Philip (frontman/salesman) came to me while I was sitting on the porch. My entire assignment in the whole drama was to bring out bottles of water and minute maid juice blends. I did not want any of them to pass out in the heat with all that exeretion! He sat next to me and asked, or what I thought I head was this, "You got any weed?"   My mouth dropped open in astonishment! "That's a bold request!" I responded wondering if I still sported the look of the counter culture!

"Don't your husband have a weed eater? They usually have gas if they do."

"Oh...weed eater!"

I laughed at my mistake and Philip replied when he caught wind of what I had thought,"Now we don't drink much none  but we do toke up a little."

Joe rounded up some gas for the electric buzz saws and the tree was cut up and stacked in the front yard in readiness for transportation to my parents and their fireplace.

As I said, I'm easily amused and the Monkey Brothers were great entertainment on a hot summer evening.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Things that go Thump in the Night

It makes life interesting to have something to look forward to. Did I say interesting? I mean tolerable! Now that the summer is winding down and fall is upon us, my thoughts turn towards spring and my birthday! Can you believe it? Joe has been on the computer looking up rates for a stay in Key West!!

This is going to be a calm weekend. Nowhere to go, no events have been planned that need to be explored, no parties to attend, no races to run, no bands to chase around, no road trip to Louisville. Sigh. Guess I will have to tackle that pesky attic that has been calling me for about 10 months to clean up. Cripes!

Now next week end is a different story. Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson are having a concert on Friday night (I hope its Friday!!), the Woodland Arts and Crafts Show is all week end, the State Fair is on in Louisville, and we are having a family Birthday celebration on Sunday! All in one week end! It is always like that. Feast or famine. I plan to attend them all!

On a lighter note, I think this house may be haunted. It is not that old, maybe 60 years, but I am not familiar with its history. Maybe something happened here, I don't know. Several months ago I awoke early in the morning (around 430am) to the sound of something in the bed room. In my groggy state, half sleep and half dream, I thought it might be one of the mice that enter our home every once in a while. As I came to a little more, I sensed it above me, making noise on the ceiling. Flying mice! I must have turned on the bed side lamp and HORRORS!!!! a bird was flying around the ceiling in concert with the hanging fan! I leaped out of bed and drew the bed cover over my head as I ran out in panic. A BIRD!! The thing flew towards the window and that was the last I saw as I slammed the door shut behind me. Well, as slammed shut as a 60 year old door can get.

When I calmed down enough to make coffee and think about things...how did that bird get in the house? Maybe its a bat? (we have found a bat in here before)...so I crept back to the room and opened the door with broom in hand to defend myself.....and nothing....nothing.

I have thought about this for several months. Where did it go? Was I dreaming?

Then last night, right as I was falling asleep, in that once again half sleep half dream state, I felt the presence of someone....hovering over me. I felt the pressure of someone, and once again in my dream state thought it was Bridget climbing in bed with me.

Then came to and realized Bridget is now 24, not 4.

Creepy. But not enough to really scare me. Or frighten me. Just make me aware that there is a lot of things I can not explain away.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Much Better Photo


Found this on a web site!  Must have been taken by a professional who did not have a pint sloshing around in the other hand!


The Saw Doctors


This is not the concert I attended, but it sure looks like it.  The Roadie is in the strips and no hair on left.  Omega and I think the one on the right (his back to us) who just stood on a little platform and danced and played the tambourine and sang back up, was their un-employable cousin from Tuam. The family begged them to take him on.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004



My sister Omega and I drove the four hours to a suburb in Columbus Ohio known as Dublin. They have the second largest Irish Festival in the country. It is massive! We purchased the three day pass Friday evening and began to explore the village. We had to park and be shuttled to the event. Parking near to the park was impossible, so the bus was a nice treat.

The Dublin Irish Festival is Music, Food, and Beer. Their are four major stages with various styles of music and dance. The Traditional Irish Music tent at the North entrance was the largest of the four. I think because it appealed to the broadest audience. The food courts were situated everywhere so no one ever went hungry or thirsty!

Omega did not sleep well Friday night and dropped me off early in the morning. I wandered around by myself till mid afternoon. I had a wonderful time. I even found a small musician tent that was so reminiscent of the Music festival in Ennis (Ireland). The musicians were all jamming together. Violins, bodhran, Irish whistles, mandolins playing the traditional Irish music......transported me back to those wonderful pubs Joe and I stumbled into in late May.

The Celtic Rock tent was tucked back in the far end of the park. I had located it on the map of the festival and was determined to find it well before the Saw Doctors took the stage at 10pm that evening.

So, I was there scouting it out at 1:30pm. Low and behold, the band known as TEMPEST was playing. Has anyone in the West Coast heard of this band? They absolutely rocked the tent down. Advertised as Folk music.... I have never heard folk music performed quite that way before . They had the best stage presence I have seen in some time. And the instrumental driving rock defies description.....they were so good, I purchased an album!

When Omega finally arrived, I had staked out an area left of the stage on the grass situated right in front of thearrival area of the musicians. One guy came over the fence and was heading into the crowd, he had a Saw Doctor pass around his neck. I caught his eye and asked  him if any of the Saw Doctors were there yet.....he said, "No, they go on at 10pm"

Guess what, he was a Saw Doctor...I felt like a FOOL!

Omega was put out with him and wanted to shake her fist at him all day Sunday and yell at him "I'll 10 o'clock you!!!".  She thought he was a roadie. HA.


Monday, August 9, 2004



Words fail me. I knew that I love the music and  that the band is famous for its exhilarating shows. I was prepared to have a rollicking wonderful time, but I was totally blown away at just how dynamic, exuberent, tight, how much fun this band was live! I knew it, I felt it. I was not disappointed and then some, and then some and then some.

Omega and I saw them Saturday night at 10pm, the final act on the stage, and then again Sunday afternoon. Both shows were spectacular. Each different due to the diversity of the two crowds. Saturday night being the drinkers and late night rockers. The singing along with the band was more pronounced Saturday, but Sunday there was more energy in the crowd which included a lot of kids. Dancing and singing and just the most wonderful group experience I have had in a long time. Seeing the Saw Doctors is a Happening!

The die hard fans were up front to dance and sing along with the band. Yet, when it was time everyone under the tent was able to sing along with HAY WRAP! How hard is yelling, HAY!! HAY!! The song is delivered in machine gun rapid fire intensity with the Irish accent. But Omega and I both knew when to scream...I mean sing.... "GET THAT WASP OFF MY SANDWICH!" 

I truly wish I could have taken you all with me. Maybe next year.

Its been a while since I have had so much fun.

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Missing A Midsummer Night Run

I'm going to miss the 20th annual running of A Midsummer Night Run.  Isn't that a wonderful name for a 5K race?  As it sometimes occurs, too many things happening on the same weekend.  

I have been running in the Midsummer since 2000.  It was the first race Joe and I ever ran.  I cannot begin to tell you all how it feels to cross finish line the first time.  Euphoric is a good word.  Even thought I feel bad about missing it, I am not ready at all to run  three miles!  I did begin to train again but incurred an injury about a week ago.  I was watching TV and this fitness guru came on and told us how jumping rope burned the same amount of calories in 10 to 15 minutes as running did in a half hour.  Being the big show off that I am, I got out Joe's jump rope and proceeded to show him how I earned the title of  Jump Rope Chmapion in grammar school!  The next morning, getting out of the car.....Jesus, Mary and Joseph! What have I done to my HIP!!!!!!  My pesky right hip was on the disabled list ..... again.  Not the first time I have injured the hip.  As a matter of fact, I thought I had arthritis in that hip and endured years of pain!  Actually it was just a simple joint inflammation cured with ibuprofen!!!   

What I will miss the most will be the little kids vying for the title of Fastest Kid in Lexington.  They have hundreds of kids in various age groups all running the 100 yard dash in heats.  It is so much fun to watch them.  I was positioned close to the street taking pictures when one group, they must have been the five years olds, took off running.  They really have not mastered the concept of competition just yet. They have a tendency to look at each other, wave at the crowd, stop dead in their tracks, or just quit right before the finish line.  Good entertainment.  

One small kid tripped right in front of me!  Fell flat on his face!  He laid there in the prone position with his little face kissing the asphalt.  I believe he was thinking, "If I don't move no one will see me."  Me and the gentlemen next to me went under the crowd restraint  to rush to him.  We rolled him over and he still do not move.  He appeared dazed and humiliated and in "statue" mode.  His father was there in amatter of seconds and picked him up.  That little man was a real trooper, and shed not one tear.   

I'm going to really miss all that.  

I'm going to be in Dublin, Ohio at the Irish Festival!  

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Amusement Park

Hot hot hot.  Why is it that when I go to an amusement park it is so HOT!   I imagine it is all the concrete and so little green foliage to absorb the heat.  This was my first trip to Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.  When I realized this, it surprised me because the park has been around for a long time, since the late 80's.  It always seemed the second destination point after Kings Island, which is only another 45 minutes away from where I live.  

I rode one ride, the giant Ferris Wheel.  It was thrilling to be so high and look out over the park and get my bearings on where everything is situated.  Other than that, we rode nothing.  Not one singe roller coaster, not one single water ride, not one single yell till you think you are going to pass out ride!  The Slingshot looked like the Mother of all rides too.  Two people are strapped into a huge open ball and then virtually snapped up into the air much like a slingshot.  Bungee Jumping in Reverse.

We hung out at the Wave Pool and beat the heat that way.  My buddy from work, Ted, lost his Panama hat on the Ferris Wheel.  It flew into the Wave Pool area.  They were leaving the park as we were headed into the pool area.  We volunteered to retrieve the hat.  And we actually located the hat, upside down under a lawn chair.  When I presented it to Ted yesterday he says, "That's not my hat!"....Oooooppppppsssssssssss!!!!  

The amusement park is aptly named.  Not only in reference to the rides and attractions, but for the people watching. What a slice of Americana parading around in 90 degree weather.  It is fascinating and akin to gawking at a car accident.  Children crying, children carrying on and acting up, frustrated parents, arguments erupting between overheated couples, lovers smooching, teenagers trying to maintain the appearance of coolness on the jerking, jarring rides.  For me, that was the amusement. 

That's when you know, that's when it smacks you in the head..."Oh my God!!! I'm over the Hill!!!" Also, I lost my 35mm.  My small canon point and shoot.  That totally bummed me out.

Sunday, August 1, 2004

The Birthday Story

Today we are once again going to Louisville.  It is Family Day for my company at the Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. Amusement Parks!  Also, I hope Bridget will come along with us, since she loved amusement parks with a passion for many many years.  It is her birthday this Tuesday, she will be 24.  I cannot believe it, but it is true, I was there when it happened.  All these years, this is the first one she is not living a stones throw from me.  And when she was younger, she would wake me up in the middle of the night and want to hear her Birthday story....

Bridget is a true Houstonian, born in Houston.  When I lived there, everyone was from somewhere else, no one could claim Houston as their birth place that I knew.  I was living there because I was unmarried and my Mother sent me there to live with my Aunt.  As it happened, my Aunt and Uncle went to Pennsylvania for the summer leaving me to house sit.  I was a week away from my due date, working at the Holiday Inn Astro Village as a night clerk, and my parents were driving down from Kentucky to be with me for the duration of the birth.  

I woke up on the afternoon of August 2nd with gas!  Not too bad, but bad enough that I called into work.  Then it got worse so I called my Doctor's office and reported my condition.  "Get to the Hospital" they told me, "Have it checked out."   I went next door to the neighbors to let them know I was leaving for the hospital, my parents were due in that day and I wanted them to be on the look out.  They went nuts! She ran around like a crazy woman telling me there was no way I was driving myself to the hospital in LABOR.  LABOR!!!!! I was just having stomach gas.  

So we went, I let them drop me off and I was looked at and Jesus, Mary and Joseph! I was admitted, I was dilating.  It was 10pm, I was hooked up to monitors and the tv was turned on.  Saturday Night Live, Grateful Dead was the band that night.  Then the pain came!  I would see if coming on the monitor they had attached to me.  Waves crashing!  You could see them building up before feeling them!  "Please give me a wash cloth!"  I would place it in my mouth and bear down on it like Tartan in the movies bearing down on tree bark...funny the things that run through your mind at the time, and you remember them 24 years later.  

The Doctor was not working that weekend, it was his turn to be off.  My Doctor had yet to arrive, being this was my first baby, and I had just been admitted.  I had a young nurse from North Carolina with me the entire time, since I was alone with no family.  She was wonderful and commented to me that there were only three of us in labor that night, which was very unusual for the hospital.  That enabled her to never leave my side.  Thank you God, and I really do mean that.  

My pain was such that it was not even registering on the chart! It was shooting off into space.  "Puff puff puff, like you are blowing out a candle. Push, Push, Push."...so I did and North Carolina requested the Nurse in Charge check me in the absence of the Doctor being anywhere!  She checked me and threw down the sheet, "Don't push anymore!  Call the Doctor, get her into Delivery!"  

I had gone from just barely in labor to ready to deliver in three hours!  I had missed the window of opportunity for an epideral and delivered Bridget as natural as you can get. A doctor I had never seen before delivered me.  He had red bushy hair that resembled Bozo the clown under the surgery cap.  At 2:02 am (central daylight savings) I finally found out that they baby I had been carrying for nine months was a 21 inch girl!  I was so certain she was going to be a boy, that I astonished!  

She was so alert from the very beginning.  The highest APGAR the pediatrician ever registered (so he said).  Mom and Dad came in the next morning, Mom was crying! From that day forward to today, she still thinks Bridget was born on the 2nd!

"What are you going to name her?" Mom asked me, "Nicole."...."Oh no no no no no no no...."she murmured with Bridget in her arms, 'This is Bridget, after my grandmother, there has not been a Bridget since."  

And so, that is the story on how Bridget came to be and of how she came to be called Bridget.