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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

It’s the ocean today and the ocean tomorrow and this beach has a carousel. And beach rhymes with peach and you know I love peaches.

My kids are too old to ride the “Flying Horses” carousel, but we are going with a friend who has a 6-year old. Perfect.

This carousel claims to be the oldest of its kind in the US. These types of claims are made all over New England. Oldest this and first that and most, richest, prettiest, best. Who knows? I’m just happy to be here.

The carousel horses are hand-carved and their tails are made of real horse hair.

My mother called me yesterday in a panic that we might be caught in the upcoming hurricane. I see it’s not expected in New England until Sunday, but the predictions for NYC on Saturday are dire. I don’t mean to be flippant, but I have a hard time getting in a tizzy over these kinds of things (still, I’ll kick myself if we have a flooded basement over the weekend). Here in the motel, we have full cable and the weather people are falling all over themselves. It must be nice for them to have a story to sink their teeth into, but it’s pretty shocking how bad TV culture (and by extension, our country’s) is.

Thankful then that I don’t watch TV (for the last few years, not that I never have and not that I didn’t used to love it).

The waves were huge today, a bit beyond my comfort level, but the water was refreshing. Strange clouds and a spot of rain in the late afternoon, not sunny like in the photo below. I love being at the ocean and I’m grateful to live close (enough).

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A little late today….

I may have hinted at it and I may be repeating myself, but I am grateful for my family and home and for living in Western MA. Nothing like a trip, which included 700+ miles on the road and about 1000 miles in the air, to remind me of what I love and of my many blessings.

Back in Ohio, I was able to catch up with many friends who I hadn’t seen in a lot of years. I attended my 30-year HS reunion in Sylvania. It was strange and surreal and heartening and fun, a blast and really groovy overall.

Really grateful to be sober.

While in Kent, I visited my friend who owns and runs a frame shop. I bought a couple of black squirrel glasses, poked around her new space. Back in the day, I had many things framed by her (when I used to earn a buck and could afford it). She is the best framer I know and runs one of the best businesses in town. Unbeknownst to me, another friend of mine was cutting mats in the basement of the shop right then, so I got to see her as well. What a fabulous surprise.

I got to visit an old roomie of mine, finally see his house and meet his kids (though I met the oldest when she was a baby). He played the tabla for me right next to the newly-created pond that he built for his wife. It was all just so good.

I miss my old life because of those folks.

What else? I attended a wake, unplanned, that. I did get to see my friend from New Mexico who I hadn’t seen, we calculated, in about 17 years. Despite the circumstance, her mother’s death, it was great to be able to see her.

Back in Sylvania, I had the great fortune to stay and hang out with one of my oldest friends. I can’t put into words what that all meant to me. The overarching feelings are just these, gratitude and love.

You know Judy Collins’ does the Sandy Denny song “Who Knows Where the Time Goes,” right? You could play that right now. Or you could listen to this:

Lastly, and more fun than a barrel of monkeys, is that I got to do something I’d wanted to do since I turned 40 and that was a nude photo shoot. A friend of mine recently got a new camera and I volunteered to be a body for her. As it turned out, I wasn’t naked for a lot of it, and Kathy wisely brought some different draping fabrics. She is the professional after all.

This was another full-circle experience because this friend was an attendant and photographer (pre-digital!) at both of my daughters’ births. I am now at the other end of my fertility and she took photos of me again. It was a great experience–educational, fun, and empowering. Not as empowering as having a baby without drugs, but less painful and more fun. For the most part, I wasn’t even naked, just wrapped in gauzy Greek goddess fabrics.

Now go out and get to your next HS reunion and don’t be afraid of getting naked when you’re old! ‘Kay?


photo: ©kgfarthing2011

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Oops. I’m being anal retentive, but I meant Right in Time as far as the Lucinda Williams song that I cited in the last Thankful Thursday.

Also, I think I exaggerated the whole thing about day light and sundown in the Ohio v. New England thing. Embellished maybe? I do think the sun is almost the same between the 2 places, but certainly not quite. Here’s another tidbit to add to my defense: a friend who moved from Connecticut to the Pioneer Valley said she’d never seen clouds sit like they do in the Valley, just hang and hover all day. Maybe the sun thing is a similar phenomenon.

That’s all. Off to see my friend, walk on campus to see what they have done to the May 4 Memorial, and to see some black squirrels.*

*I looked for links to Kent State’s website on the topic, but thought the better of linking. I encourage you to do your own information-gathering on that incredible time in America.

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Seems like a contradiction in terms, I know, but I am grateful for Ohio

Sun still present at 8:55 pm, sky just turning its oranges and pinks. (New England? By the end of our ride Monday at 8:20 pm, sky almost pitch).

Sun is somehow higher in the sky and less harsh on the eyes as it goes down here. I wish the sky was this high and bright in the Pioneer Valley without the intense sundown/glare. It’s something I’ve never gotten used to in New England. Why is it different between the 2 places? Amherst is only slightly farther north but quite a bit farther east, does this explain it? Oh hell’s bells, why don’t I just google it? No, that yielded no fruit. Help me.

I know Ohio is farther west in the Eastern Standard Time zone, so I get the clock part. But the quality of the sun is also different. I can hardly wait ’til the morning when the sun comes up later than usual. Ironic, isn’t it?

Once at the racetrack in Cleveland, we met a boy named “Sundown.” I’m not kidding. I bet that was 27 years ago. I thought I might name a boy Sundown some day.

Taco Tonto’s

Talking to my great friend, Sheila, on the phone in the parking lot of the Stow Target.

Walking into Taco Tonto’s and seeing 2 people I know well enough to remember all sorts of little details about even though I haven’t seen or spoken with either of them in over 11 years. One is the son of a woman who was at Annie’s birth, almost 13 years ago, and who was also part of the “older kids” component in Violet’s first (and only) play group. Wow.

Kent, beautiful Kent

The blues in Kent, nothing like feeling blue in Kent. Nothing.

Kent, my home for 19 years

My old house on N. Willow St. I drove into town, straight from the airport in Cleveland and pulled right up to the house, got out of the car, walked up to the door and rang the bell. Nobody home. New sign above the garage, the garden beds not looking terribly spiffy (where has all the coreopsis gone?), and some of the brick-work patio all busted up. Still, that is the house where my babies were born and it always will be. Labored there in many ways (“Here I have worked, labored a while,” Christian’s Farewell, Sacred Harp #347).

I suspect this has something to do with ale, but maybe it’s their last name. Do they rent or own? I’ll be knocking on that door again later.

When I left the car rental at Cleveland-Hopkins, I completely ignored the GPS and with no map was able to navigate after 11 years (yes, I’ve been back and driven around, but not out that way and not much with me behind the wheel). God that felt good. I was excited just to recognize I-480 and to remember to go East.

I was thinking of posting about sex toys and air travel, but there’s really no need. Apparently, you can pack sex toys into your luggage without embarrassment. No alarms went off, nobody pulled anything out and waved it around in front of everyone. Like Lucinda Williams said when she was intro-ing The Way You Move, “Nobody got hurt.”

I think it’s funny that sex toys are called marital aids (hey, that’s what O’Brien calls them), but maybe this can help explain.

The name of the guy who drove me from the parking lot to the terminal at Windsor Locks? Pierce Pearce. I am not kidding. He looked like Prop Joe from The Wire. Maybe it was Pearce Pierce. I didn’t write it down. Dang.

Look what I looked up this morning. Interesting, hunh?

Susun Weed says the best cure for menopausal women who have low sex drive is 7 orgasms per week. That’s her prescription. She says you can have them all in one day or one a day. Is she just fucking with us on this?

Yes, I love Kent. But there has always been the residual clash between town and University. Literally and symbolically, this has been the fight between establishment and the counter-culture. May 4 was a culmination. The town still bears it. Jerry’s Diner has been razed, but also the entire lot behind it. Gone, nothing, nada. The hardware store, Gone. Unbelievable. That’s why you can get the blues so easily here. Heart and no heart. When a place has this much heart, for some reason, it’s also easy to rip parts of it out. Right, Chrissy? (Oh, hell, I have to apologize. Sometimes that link has an ad; sometimes not. See what the fuss is all about? They are taking over).

I have a poem at home by an old Kent poet, Jake Leed, and the line I remember is

I’ve chipped away a Clark’s gas station

I lent out the little book that poem was in and I never got it back. If anyone out there has it, send me a copy. I’ll pay shipping.

The Clark gas station is still there, on S. Water St. Unbelievable.

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Thankful for getting invited to our friends’ place way up north in Maine.

We didn’t see any moose on the drive in (daytime) and maybe we won’t see any on the way home, but it’s exciting just to know they are around.

It’s been 9 years since we have been up here and now that we’re here, we wonder why we couldn’t make it work sooner.

There’s a lovely breeze blowing across the porch of the Main Hall, the loons are calling, the water is lapping all around, and the best darn wind chimes are joining in as well. I hear the water hitting the 100-year old rowboat.

It feels like late summer, but it’s just early August. That’s what happens in New England; moreso the farther east or north you get. The sun sets by about 8:30, much earlier than where I grew up in Michigan and Ohio (since they are toward the farther western reach of this time zone) and evening temperatures start to dip.

It’s enough to be grateful for. Really good people, one of my oldest friends and a couple of her kids, good food, fresh air.

Here you can see a photo of the last remnant of my birthday cake, which was given to me last Friday (because it was the best opportunity to have one with the 4 of us all together even though my bday was a couple of weeks ago). I didn’t plan this, but here is how the last of the cake was cut. Except for the water spot on my lens which is plainly visible, this is as good as it gets:

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Good, happy, and amazing things this week:

Gogol Bordello

Seeing a band with Hubby

Dancing

Two of the broad, flat farm fields that we passed on the way to my daughter’s school this morning. There must have been a thousand robins in the low grasses. No kidding, a thousand. I am not a huge fan of robins but this was almost other-worldly. A strange sight, but peaceful and rhythmic in its way. I think they were all pulling up worms.

Certainly the brightest spot these last few days was talking to my great friend Stacey, a friend I have known since at least 6th Grade.

The only reason I came upon Gogol Bordello was because of several references that Stacey made to them on Facebook over the last year or so. This led to my further investigation and desire to see them live.

Stacey had read my Music Monday post this week and yet I reiterated my sad saga, the story of passing Eugene Hutz in the street and not saying so much as “hello.”

At one point in the conversation, she asked me what it was like outside on that day and I said, “Oh, it was pretty warm.”

“What’s warm?”

“Around 50, you know, maybe 52.”

And she let out a rip-roaring laugh. She lives in Miami, F-L-A, and you know, it didn’t even occur to me until she laughed what 50 degrees could mean to someone from warmer climes.

Of course, that is only the tiniest glimpse into our hour-long phone conversation. Every time I have spoken with her over the last two years, I get in some deep laughs. It is this kind of connection with women in my life that carries me as I age, as we age, as our parents whither and sometimes die, as our skin gets closer and closer to the ground, and as we weather the unpredictable, and literal, ebbs and flows of uterine blood.

My contact with Stacey was the “sweet refreshing show’r” of my week and I have been drinking it in every day since. Yassou, Stacey!

A follow up: Last week, I asked for suggestions for a new name for Thursday’s posts. You can read those in the comments from that day, but for the sake of ease, I will summarize:

A Better Day Than Yesterday (I quite like this one and am keeping it under consideration, or some variation thereon).

Big Honking Marital Aids (maybe a bit too silly for the purposes of a Thursday post, but “marital aids” could make a guest appearance here on occasion; you never know)

Also, I cobbled together something like “Take that thing out of your ear” from Pam’s comment. As sweet as it sounds, I don’t think it would adequately point in the direction of things for which I am grateful.

For now, I am sticking with “Thankful Thursday” as the moniker.

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