Thursday, January 31, 2008

Talk Thursday - My First Memory

No fence bordered the yard of brown dirt that surrounded the Olive tree. No brick outlined flowerbeds where no junipers grew. The parkways held only leafless elms trees, one per each lot. The house was a plain yellow. Not butter yellow, nor lemon yellow, but something pastel and springy in thought, with fake white fixtures that were reminiscent of shutters. Artsy fartsy fake shutters, so popular on tract ranch style homes in the late fifties. The roof over the front step was supported by a white post adorned with the numbers 12021, leading to a plain and multi-windowed door with no curtains.

My father pulled the Buick into the driveway that curved, from the street to the garage, past the front step. From my car seat I could see between my parents to the house and the woman washing the windows. A tall black woman whose stepladder was punching holes into the earth and slowly sinking under her weight. Her gray uniform stretched and rippled over her back as her arm polished the plate glass window of the empty house. We sat there watching, quiet, intent. Only Dale fussed in his sleep, gently cradled my mother’s arms.

I don’t remember getting out of the car, maybe we didn’t. That time.

Days later we did, moving our meager possessions and hand me down furniture in to our new home. Soon a split rail fence would border green lawns. Roses, fed a healthy diet of Spanish mackerel and sea bass, would climb the cyclone fence in the back yard under the Chinese Elm, and flowerbeds would be bordered in brick to seemingly hold back the junipers that my mother planted. Dale and I would be joined by Denise within the year, one Sunday morning she would fall down on that front step splitting her forehead and needing stitches. Dee would be followed by Darryl, who would for years be known as Buddy. I would get my fingers smashed between the car door and the fence when Dale decided he wanted to drive, at age four.

I never knew her name, she worked for a cleaning company hired by the contractor (I assume,) but she has always been my first memory.


I want to thank Jake for the topic, she ran it earlier this month, from Chapter 28 in the Maass workbook: Setting and Psychology of Place.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Snow Days

When it snows in Western Oregon industry and travel comes to a screeching halt. Good snow days don’t happen often in my part of the world. And for Ducky it means a whole change of routine. Ducky works in a truck stop some 80 miles away from heaven, in the Goshin Vortex. We don’t get to see a lot of each other, when it snows we see each other even less. Translation: We won’t get to see each other for days.

As a concession to age and a need for sustainable, refreshing, REM sleep he stays “in town” at his sister’s house twice a week. On occasion weather and road conditions will require him to leave early or stay in extra. It saves on his nerve and cuts down on the potential for road injury and accident. A major winter storm, or in truth a series of storms, struck Western Oregon starting last Thursday. This had been preceeded by a series of cold weather fronts the weekend before. Ergo, he left home on two consecutive Sundays to keep from having to travel 126 in the ice, snow, and dark. I’m sure my friends Peggy and Natalie are laughing their collective asses off about right now, living in Colorado and Utah respectively they deal with snow on a seasonal basis each year. Dry snow. Quite different than the slushy, wet, soon to be frozen over hell on ice we get.

But I digress. Sunday to avoid the approaching weather related insane commute Ducky left for the Goshin Vortex early. Stopped in Veneta to play with the snow with his sister and bro-in-law, before going to his other sister’s for the night.

His commute Monday morning from west Eugene to work was a bit hazardous (but shorter) with icy roads complicated by inept drivers, specifically one trucker who had it out for both my Zuzu and my Ducky. But my husband the every paranoid, err, I mean very cautious driver and avoided any contact with said truck, guardrail, or ditch and made it to work with only a case of shredded nerves.

Three hours into work with the route trailer unloaded, tires inventoried, sweeping done, boredom was beginning to set in and there wasn’t a semi in sight. Seemingly all traffic on I-5 had been taken care of by a lone jack knifed trucker near Salem. Translation: No truck traffic for quite a while. What is a man to do?

My husband has a very playful side to him. I’m sure, very sure, his sneaky little fingers were heavy on the instigating side in the turn of events at the truck stop of the Goshin Vortex. While I wasn’t there when it all went down, I spent the rest of my day with the mental image of several snow frisky, middle age Baby Boomer men taking on a slightly younger Gen X crowd in a snowball fight. I understand sides held true for several minutes before it became an icy snowball free for all with no winners in sight. This just goes to show he can bitch about the biting cold when he has to work in it, but just like your child who can stand in the chilly ocean water for hours on end without complaint, put men in the midst of snow, & war and joy will surely ensue.

Who says Snow Days are for kids?


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Talk Thursday - Love Made Visible

Love Is

Love is not seen,
Love is all seeing.
Blind to the faults
Suffers the way of the world
The bend of the heart,
And the want of the head.

Love is not a physical body,
Love lightens the body,
Making the heart beat faster
The head swim in wonder
The feet skip in glory
And hands entwine at touch.

Love is not a sense,
Love is an onslaught against the senses
Making birds sing sweeter
Bees buzz louder
Amusing both heart and head
Days kissed by the sun.

Love breathes not itself
Yet Love is the breathe of life
Lightening the huff to a sigh
Quickening the sigh to a pant
Softening the cry to a moan
Evoking awes of delight.

Love is not a space
Nor is love a place
But it fills the soul
Answers the heart
Makes us whole
And leaves us lonely when its gone.

Love is
divinely unique,
a joyous,
act of faith.

© Calista Cates – Stanturf 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ji-Hacked Talk Thursday

Do you have those moments when your tongue over rides the sanity of your brain? Constantly, right? Because I know there is no way I can be alone in this.

For years I (cluelessly) said Police of Chiefs, Pa-tography, and (oh this one is special) Siuslaw Pioneer Museum (for those of you outside of Western Oregon, it is Sigh-U-slaw Pio-neer Mu-se-um) I think I continually mangled it for years something like, Siuslaw Piner Musum – who knows. Worse, I was continually aware of the blunder in my enunciation, began fearing having to say it once, let alone on air several times each day. I often combine words to make up the new Cele-Lexicon, sans the definitions because I usually can’t remember what I was trying to say.

One poor man gets his name mangled by me each and every May. Now you would think Lukens would be easy to say, Lu-kens. But oooh no, I always say, Luck-ins. Mangle my name and I will laugh, it’s pretty common to mangle my name, but for others I understand it’s painful.

Dealing with a client this afternoon, a long time client, I totally screwed up the name of the client’s business AND the name of their event (that part didn’t bother me quite so much. I said “cun-fluence” instead of “KON-fluence,) but Winchester Bay Reedsport Chamber of Commerce, well that part was just all wrong.

In radio you get to mangle names every day, it’s not like the week’s latest releases come with phonetic spelling. Example: Colbie is pretty straight forward, but Callait? I’m told it’s pronounced Ca-lay, it can’t be French because then it would be spelt Calais. WTF? Abenaa? Please, anyone. Chantal Kreviazuk? I had one the other day I adored, Ombya (it’s pronounced ohm-by-ya, I love the ohm-by part it hums, so African.) I use to love to roll names off my tongue, try it… Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeine (nasty guy, great name) Fran├žois Mitterand, and some of those Russian names, wow. Now I can say Houshmanzada, Haloti Nada, and Polumalu, but Kreviazuk? C’mon. And how the heck should I know that Botti was pronounced Body? Those silly Brazilians. Who would name their child Dido? Wasn’t Dweezil bad enough?

It reminds of the time when my husband and I were at a gathering. I (strangely was telling a story – not a good thing) referred to my husband as Bob. For the record not his name. Just as fast Bill turned and said, “No, Bob divorced you.” And so did Bill in the long run. I’m thinking my faux pas wasn’t the cause, just a symptom. No more B’s for me, I changed letters when I married Ducky.

Tangle-tongued (to match my feet)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The MeMe Faery Tagged MEME in Randomness!!

Ten things about yourself:
1. Name: Celebrindal but I shortened it to Cele, it’s just more personable, er maybe that is just easier to say. Kell, because most people think it’s sellebrindal…NOT
2. Birthday: I’m a left over sweetheart
3. Where do you live: In heaven commonly referred to as the middle of the Oregon Coast
4. Right or Left handed: right, but God gave me two hands…one is useless
5. Favorite color: Green (back up favorite color is cinnamon)
6. Favorite sport: It use to be surfing. Now it is watching college tightends. That’s not illegal is it?
7. Biggest Fear: God you don’t know me do you? SNAKES
8. Status: single, married, singled, married, single, married
9. Do you have a crush on someone? Yes, my husband

Your last....
1. Cigarette: December 1st, 1996. I had set the date as my goal to quit and knew if I didn’t that time I never would. Please quit. Please.
2. Beverage: Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice Tea (have bags will travel)
3. Kiss: This morning when Ducky went to work
4. Hug: Kimberley hugged me today because she thought I needed a booster hug
5. Movie seen: I think it was Second Hand Lions. Great movie.
6. CD played: Amy Winehouse
7. Song listened to: last song on my shift today, Goodnight Moon, Shiveree
Last song in my truck, Back To Black, Amy Winehouse
8. Bubble bath: hmmm last? It’s been a while ago. I reserve baths for when I’m sick and really depressed, or amazingly cold.
9. Time you cried: You’re assuming I’m not at the moment. The day before my dad died.

Eight Have-You-Ever's:
1. Dated one of your best friends or wanted to?
No2. Skinny dipped: Duh, yeah.
3. Kissed somebody and regretted it: Oh mi GAWD YES
4. Liked someone you knew you couldn't have: Well of course, that was my entire high school experience.
5. Been overseas: Yes
6. Dressed in costume: Yes
7. Been drunk: Three times, I never wish to do it again.
8. Run away: Actually no, I was never even truly tempted.

Two Things That You Want To Be When You Grow Up:
1. Me
2. Loved
Lucky me, I must be grown up – Thank God.

I tag Jazzy, Phoenix, and Tewkes.

2008: The Year of Walking Dangerously

2007 was barely a warmed over memory when I came to the realization that 2008 was going to be a painful year, on and not just any year, no, it’s a leap year and a nine year to boot. My last nine year was 1999 and I taunted fate by flying on a nine day in a nine month. I was ever so bold. But nine karma is coming back to haunt me

My colourful Romanesque nose is still tender if touched just right. The mauves have paled into nonexistence, but the greens and yellows still persist. But why wait until the damage is healed is what I say. Why put off tempting disaster, strike while the iron is hot. And I didn’t even have to think about it. I know better than walking on my beautiful wood floor with my shoes on, but it had been a while since I’d fallen to the floor writhing in pain, because I’m challenged by walking flat-footed.

Friday night I arrived home to a cold house, 56 degrees indoors does not a cozy evening make. Ducky was in a hot shower basking in the glory of scalding water when I came home. I placed our highly expensive halibut fish n’ chips on the counter and set about to build a fire in the woodstove. Arlo was jumping all over me for attention, two inches off my heels as I chopped and gathered up my kindling, his ever present bulk being pushed out of the way so I could cut the wood, lay the fire, start the fire, “Sheesh Arlo, back off.”

I soon had flickering flames leaping up from around the kindling; the fire grew in the woodstove. Ducky had just walked into the living room as I walked from the new room. I have no idea what I was talking about, probably the greetings of the evening between us, chatter about Halibut fish n’ chips that cost an arm and a leg and your first born child, all I know is I never made my destination. Suddenly my foot slid out from underneath me and I landed, close to face down, with my left fist wrapped around the fire starter shoving my underwire as far into my ribs as humanly possible without bringing around death. Mammograms do not cause this much pain or discolourment.

Arlo was upon me in a flash licking my face; Ducky was once again berating me for wearing “those damn boots.” I laid in pain barely breathing. Gathering my courage I forced myself to roll over, checked my nose, and shoved the dog OUT OF MY FACE saying, “It wasn’t my shoes, there is water on the floor.”

When you come home from work, and your dog is all happy to see you, stop and give your loving dog a pet, a hug, and a good doggy treat. If you don’t your retaliatory pisser will jump up and pee on your futon, which will run on to the floor and you will slide your banana boat size boot through it and land on the floor writhing in pain.

My nose is just about free of colour. Only a slight bump remains on top of the ridge where I am doing my darnedest to grow a Cher inspired nose. But my boob, oy, my left boob has pain that will not be denied. A mottled purplish bruise has sprung up like X marking the spot, and Ducky is swearing I am days away from that walker, but now a seat with safety belt is being threatened along with the training wheels.

Anyone want a retaliatory pisser?


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Grace Under Foot

The only person surprised was me, my mother knew from my early days that I am graceless. Really, she is often heard calling me “Grace.” It’s amazing I did so well in dance as a child and teen.

An avid horse person in my formative years I could often be seen falling off. Ice-skating, I was the kid whose finger was cut by a blade of the couple Ice Dancing behind me. Yes, I fell in front of them and she ran over my finger. The whole nonevent could have been avoided by 1) someone telling me how to turn and 2) just keeping me off the ice in the first place. And because no one listens to that mumbo jumbo about looking both ways before bolting across the street, I’m the kid on the block who got run over by a car (and I mean laying on the ground looking at the oil pan run over) and by no means think I do things half assed the driver was a cop. Poor guy. Really what is more important: Looking both ways? Or Soups on?

So there is the evidence of a problem that has not gotten better with age, but only become more pronounced. Ducky often offers to get me a walker with training wheels for my next birthday. Give me a new pair of shoes and I’ll fall all over you.

Now as strange as it may sound this habit of falling is compounded by the fact I’m eternally in the dark. My eyes have always been light sensitive and my night vision (though not what it use to be) is excellent. But not right after I turn of the lights. So you can imagine the walls I don’t see immediately post lights out.

Monday night I was so tired I rushed brushing and rinsing. I turned off the light as I stepped out of the bathroom entry, paused just long enough to release the girls from bondage, and turned back into the bathroom to place my bra on the counter. It never made it that far. I never saw the doorjamb that ran in to my already Romanesque nose.

I distinctly remember a sharp click sounding, resounding, and later pounding the pain through my face. But it is a memory in after thought, because all I could do is hold the sides of my nose in an attempt to pressure the pain away and not cry. When I could finally move out of my crouch to turn the light on again. I found no blood pouring from my nose, only a slight chunk missing from below the bridge of my nose and a purple knot. For all the pain I endured the darn thing should be broken.

Remember how Cher had that awesome nose with the bump on the ridge (you know before she fixed it and ruined her looks?) Well add a black bruise and you get a full mental image, well except Cher’s stunningly beautiful and doesn’t have saggy girls.

In pain,

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Talk Thursday – How I Make The World A Better Place

Butcher, baker, candlestick maker – when I grow up I want to be a Playboy Bunny. Awe, the dreams and wants of a five-year, how did that become so complicated with growth? Why? These and many other burning questions are want of answers by the thinking minds bogged in desperate contemplation. And it’s all in the search to make our own indelible impression on the inhabitants of this spinning blue orb we call home.

There is nothing especially wonderful about me. There is nothing special except my willingness to learn, to grow, to change. To give what I bring to this earth happens one person at a time. While my voice may touch thousands each day, my heart, mind, and soul only touch one at any given time, or a few if I’m particularly shiny at that moment. If I am gifted, it is in the arts of listening, acceptance, and logic.

My father said, shortly before his death, something that let me know I’d made a difference in his life. In speaking about his Hispanic nurse (and the Hispanic portion of this discussion was the point) he said, “See it just proves you have to take each person; one by one on their own merit.”

In my ‘tweens, teens, and early twenties my father and I often argued hatreds, prejudice, politics, and religion. My stance was accepting each on their own merit; his was judging a man by the tint of his skin. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my father dearly, he was an amazing and brilliant man, but he’d always had that flaw; a flaw that disappeared before my eyes. I don’t think I’m responsible for this, it is my mother who raised me to be the way I am, but I think between the two of us we helped my father see below the skin to a person’s heart.

Our personal strength lays in our self-belief and worth. I do not think I am greater than the whole; I am a tool of the whole, a cog along the gears of life. The world will not quit spinning when I pass from this plane to the next. Maybe even a tear won’t fall when I am gone. But my poetry will remain, possibly even a memory of my kindness, or an annoyance at my logical attitude.

My measure won’t be in deeds done, but maybe in grace and words said. What I bring to this world is belief, grace, even some bitchiness (I am a female, c’mon) and my ability to honor people for themselves and cherish their warts. To listen to them and hear them. To touch each of them inside their need, to help chase away some of the shadows, or at least share the areas between black and white with them, and give them a piece of my heart. Sing it Janis.

I’m not changing the world; I’m just mutating humanity a single cell at a time.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Snow Ho

Decidedly frosty air greeted those mourning the loss of my brother in law Saturday as we gathered to say a final farewell. The drive from Florence was on wet pavement, no snow was in the area. As we hit West 11th grainy rain began splatting on the windshield, but nothing I could really call snow.

In a move of mercy the mortuary held the service inside, instead of a graveside as originally intended. Final viewings were held before and after Pastor Gary gave a nice hour long service. I don’t believe in viewings and have to say I was surprised when Ducky chose to stay to see his brother’s shell one last time before they closed the lid on the coffin. It was a decidedly un-Ducky moment. Members from Gwynn’s crew had driven from Portland for the service and rather than gather for food at my SIL’s, the Asian part of the contingency stayed to watch Gwynn’s burial (watching the burial is part of their culture.) Some people found this rather odd, I’m sure the Asian contingency found family members taking one last look, tucking notes, cards, and whatnots into Gwynn’s casket strange, too. I sure as shit do, but then that is just my belief.

The air outside was cold and biting to say the least and drive home began wet. But as we drove from Veneta to Noti (pronounced No-Tie) the grainy splats turned into small snow flakes, as we rose up over Badger Mountain (elevation 796 feet – I know mountain is a very liberal application lacking the necessary four feet to be called mountain) by the time we hit Walton three miles later the little snow flakes had turned in to beautiful fluffy flakes, and we were stuck for an hour as tow truck after tow truck had to unstick idiots who don’t know you have to drive faster than 10mph or you slide down the inclines of banked turns and become stuck in the ditch idiots. Snow birds go back to Arizona….please. For an hour we watched the flakes grow from large fluffy flakes to dish size flakes to floating sheets of flakes. It was quiet, religious beauty. Total serenity for me broken by Ducky’s phone calls to his sisters (who chose to follow us after the first phone call of snow in Veneta) for discussion on the value and nature of snow, flakes, and stuck in the ditch idiots. It really was a lovely afternoon and would have been made perfect by good sex, but we were in bucket seats with a mile long line of cars before and after us in line. No snow in Florence. OH HO, Hum. Sad is me.

Until this morning that is when I woke up to this.

Strangely enough NOAA lifted their snow advisory this morning for everything north of the Lane County Line. Maybe I should send them this picture.

True the Lane County line is 15 miles south of me, but well, it’s still south of me.

Ducky went out early to go see the snow on the beach, but all he came back with was a wet snowball and lots of threats.

Happy Snow Sunday. Okay, Happy Sunday Morning Snow, because the rain will start momentarily and it will be soggy again. Thank Heavens I like sog.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Talk Thursday – In The Shadows of My Mind I See…

In corners deep the shadows sleep, memories in safekeeping. To be taken out and stroked, memories polished with love and care, sharpened with growth and knowledge, softened by passion and time.

In those corners the shadows keep the childhood days gone by. Of my joyous youth, carefree and light, sunshiny puddles to color everyday bright, splashing and plashing against the rigors of life chasing darkness and sorrow away.

The corner shadows of my mind keep the ones I love a treasure sweet. The constant path traced from heart to soul, soul to head, and head to heart. Golden slumbers in the shadows my sweet loved ones await me. Their nearness ever a comfort, bringing ease to my heart, calm to my thoughts, and peace in my soul.

The shadows sleep in the corners deep tired from the way of the world. Nooks and crannies heaped in thought, lessons learned, lovers spurned, and wounds both young and old. Sleeping wrongs forgotten long, never to wakened in their resolved. Lovers lost in heart-rending pain, crusted over with wont and woe, ever tender to the touch, replaced by those much better.

In corners deep the shadows keep the essence of me. My soul was built in the universe on memories, measured in time against the experiences of today and of yesterday and the promise of tomorrows, sweet or sad and still yet to come.