Old Idealist

January 15th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Today is Martin Luther King Day. There is always a lot of programming devoted to honoring his memory and of course there is a lot of repetitiveness. Sometimes I start to feel annoyed that I am missing my regular programming, and then I start to listen. And I am always drawn in by his charismatic style, and I inevitably begin to feel energized when I hear the I Have a Dream speech.

It’s good to remember the efforts of all of those who carried on the movement after his assassination; to hear the inspiring speeches of Jesse Jackson and Barbara Jordan, among others. It’s good to remember all the energy surrounding the movement and to remember that so much really was accomplished. Not only as a direct result of King’s vision, but also as a result of many people great and small, hearing the message and taking up the banner for social justice and peace. It’s good to remember when I was young and my friends and I were also out there marching for equality and for peace and justice.

For we can never be reminded too often about this country’s long history of marginalizing others and of the difficult and ongoing struggle to right these wrongs of discrimination because of color, gender or sexual orientation.

So, I listen to the memorials and speeches and I stop being annoyed that I am missing my usual programming and I can just be an old idealist with hope that someday we will all really hear Kings message, and that one day we will finally learn to treat all people with the respect they deserve.

Finally…a Holiday Celebration

January 5th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

‘Twas the night before Christmas…I don’t think so. But it is the night before my family holiday celebration.

I’m not crazy about its being this late, but at least it is happening. Finally.

Way too late in the season to have a tree up, or anything like that. So I just stuffed everything into the fireplace opening and plopped an old Santa figure on a table. The stockings look nice hung up though. Actually it’s not at all bad for a make do sort of thing.

I’m sure the kids will be fine with it. The older ones are way too old to buy into the Santa myth. And the baby is 7 months. It is nothing more to her than a bunch of pretty colors and an opportunity to eat some nice paper and ribbons.

It was also too late to find a turkey at a decent price. I should have gone out right after Christmas and foraged for one n sale, but there was not room in my freezer to store it. We decided to have boneless pork roast since all the same turkey fixings also go great with pork. My granddaughter dubbed it “pork log” a few years ago. No, it is not because it’s tough and overcooked, thank you very much. Rather, because it kind of looks like a log when it’s cooked. So we’ll pretend it’s a Yule log.

I’m sure we will all have a good time, in spite of the late date.

Insomniac

January 4th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Couldn’t sleep tonight so I got up about an hour ago to surf the web. I figure that eventually I’ll get tired and bored and sleep will return. Might as well post to the blog while I am at it.

I couldn’t sleep mainly because I started thinking about my son’s dog. Daughter in law called me on New Year’s day to tell me that his dog had gotten out and been hit by a car New Year’s Eve. The stupid, probably drunk, driver did not even stop to see if the dog was still alive or to call them to let them know their dog was injured. The next morning some other, kinder stranger stopped and called to tell them that their dog was dead.

They are devastated, of course. And I feel very bad for them. It brings up my own memories of lost pets and how bad it all feels. Pets are like family, sometimes nicer than some family members, actually. It’s tough loosing a beloved pet. There is really nothing I can do, though. I told them to think of their dog as being reincarnated as the hit and run driver’s worst nightmare. Oddly, that thought gave my son some solace.

As if that’s not enough of a bad start to the New Year, my other son’s car was stolen out of a parking lot while they were at a movie.

I hope things start improving.

I don’t like how this year is beginning.

Fresh Start

January 2nd, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

After the big push to clean up the studio, we were on a roll so on New Year’s Day we also cleaned up the apartment. Gotta take advantage of the mood. Not to mention that our family…ummm..Christmas celebration…can you call it that this late?…will be at our place on Saturday.

So we’ll be making a fresh start going into the New Year. No excuses not to get right down to work next week. And I am going to try to keep blogging. 55 entries is a good start, and blogger is a lot easier than doing your own html.

Today we had the older grand daughters, 14 and 16, over and went to a movie, Night At the Museum, After that we then rented two other movies, American Dreamz and Little Miss Sunshine.All that adds up to a movie marathon which is just about to end.

Tomorrow, after they go home it will be Christmas shopping….or whatever it is when it is this late. Maybe Twelfth Night or Epiphany? Are they both the same? I’ve forgotten. Festivus will do.

Anyhow, it will be a busy week.

A Song For The Papaya

January 1st, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

2006 was most significant in that it brought the miracle of the birth of my newest grand daughter, who I will refer to here as The Papaya here.

New Years Eve we baby sat for her for the first time she’s been away from her parents overnight. She was a delight, aside from a tiny fuss over going to bed, and once she was asleep she slept from 8:00 PM until 8:30 AM when I went in to check on her to make sure she was OK. And she was fine, of course, just playing with her toys and happy as a lark. I never saw a baby who wakes up in the morning with no crying.

I’ve written about her here before in a few Granny Blog entries. I do child care for her a couple times a week, which I am happy to do in the short term, until my daughter secures a place in her preferred day care. She’s such a good tempered baby, and easily satisfied most of the time, so it makes it easy to have her around.

One thing the Papaya loves is music, and she loves to have someone sing to her. So even though I am always flat, and really can barely carry a tune, I always sing to her when I feed her.

I thought a lot about what I would sing to her. I wanted a song which would be associated specifically with me which would give her comfort.

My mother died in 1994. As adults, we did not have an ideal relationship by any means. As a matter of fact, as soon as I started to become independent in any real way, our troubles began. But I do have good memories of her when I was a tiny child; as long as I was dependent on her, things were fine, she was a great baby mother. She would sing and rock me to sleep. Later, when I was a little older, if I was sick, I would often ask her to sing to me. So now, in memory, these are the moments with her that I try to focus on, not the bad times.

Another thing my mother was good at was being a gramma. She loved her grandchildren and, later, her great grandchildren, and she doted on them when she was with them. She had a little bit of extra special feeling for my daughter, I think, since she was her namesake. So I know my mother would have been especially happy to have known the Papaya, and, of course, she would have adored her.

So when I chose my special song for the Papaya, I decided to choose the song I most loved for my mother to sing to me. I wanted to sing it to her as a sort of legacy from my mother, as a way of remembering her great grandmother. And that song was Redwing, lyrics below. It’s a totally non politically correct song about an Indian maid pining away for her warrior who has died in battle far away. I know, I know. But I can’t change what my mother sang or what my favorite was. And I will explain to the baby when she is older why I chose that particular song because of how much I loved having it sung to me.

So, every time I feed her I sing Redwing to her, and she has already come to expect it. She looks at me while she is sucking on her bottle and after a minute or two, she grabs my lips and squeezes them until I start to sing, and she stares at me while I am singing. And when I come to the chorus she stops sucking and grins a huge grin and milk dribbles down her chin. I can almost die from love every single time. And sometimes I tell her about my mom, and I cry a little because she will never know her. But I am already convinced that she will never forget the song sung to her by her gramma from her great gramma.

For 2007, may we leave the bad behind in the past,take the good forward into the present and look toward the future for new understanding.

REDWING (as my mother sang it)

There once was an Indian maid
A shy little prairie maid
Who sang alay, a love song gay
While on the plains she whiled away the day
She loved her warrior bold
This shy little maid of old
But brave and gay he rode one day
To battle far away.

(Chorus)
Now the moon shines bright on pretty Redwing
The night bird’s crying, the breeze is sighing.
Far away beneath the stars, her brave is sleeping,
And Redwing’s weeping her heart away.

She watched for him day and night
She kept the camp fire bright
And under the sky each night she would lie
And dream about his coming by and by
But when all the braves returned
The heart of Redwing yearned
For far far away her warrior gay
Fell bravely in the fray

(Chorus)

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