Saturday, July 31, 2010

Talk Thursday: Ashes To Ashes - Farewell Merlin the Wind Wand Man

Normally I would said I don’t believe in co incidents. But this week’s topic defeats that line of thought. Thursday morning my world became a little grayer than usually befits an Oregon Coast day in late July. My friend Merlin The Wind Wand Man passed.

A retired fire fighter from Chicago, Dave, and his wife Cathy bought my favorite card/candy/sticker shop about fifteen years ago. Crap, how time flies. Over time we struck up a friendship. I would stop there on an afternoon for a package of my favorite peach hearts, juicy pear jelly bellies, or, oh, yum spiced candy corn – TO.DIE.FOR. and friggin’ hard to find anywhere. Psam was especially happy with the shop because they forever had a fresh canister of Harbo’s raspberry candies. It was a great place to find little things for stocking stuffers, I love you gifts, and kewl stuffed toy animals.

Dave always kept a special collection of naughty greetings cards on the counter and had time to chat. I loved going into their shop and hanging for an hour or so, chatting, catching up, talking about our kids, and gossiping. Our friendship grew, Cathy and I would go walking, Dave would call me to fix his computer, or we’d get together for dinner at their house on the river and watch the latest storm rage off the Pacific and over the Siuslaw.

He first applied for the city’s planning commission and then after years of service, ran for the Florence City Council, he was a practical shoe-in during the election. He battled hip and back problems, compounded by numerous surgeries that put him only in more pain. Through all of it he reported the daily weather tallies for the radio station. Every morning I would make sure I was a wake by 7:20 so I could listen to Dave and Wayne. It was the perfect way to start my morning. If I had an early Saturday shift, or the weather was particularly nasty Dave would make sure he got me all of the weather stats for my listeners. His four minutes on the air were so followed and so popular he began selling charts allowing people to keep their own measurements or track his.

In recent years the surgeries and diabetes took it’s toll and Dave’s health began to decline. This past winter an illness took a serious hit on his health and the decline was present in his voice. Cathy began doing more of the Wind Wand Man duties on the air. And finally two weeks ago Dave and Cathy signed off the airwaves because it was becoming too difficult a task.

Thursday morning my friend, Dave Franzen, known to most everyone in Florence, as Merlin The Wind Wand Man, passed on.

The Eugene Register Guard ran a nice story on him, front of the City Section – I was impressed. Bob (our News Director) wrote a great goodbye to him today. I was fairly successful getting through the lead story in the Noon News, but by the end, before I moved on to items on page two, I was getting choked up and emotion was in my throat and dripping a little from my eyes (not very professional I know – thank heavens it’s radio.) At 12:20 I put Dave’s favorite song into my play list, opened my mic and said goodbye to my friend Dave Franzen and colleague Merlin the Wind Wand Man and then played Oliver’s “Good Morning Starshine.”

I always thought it would be fitting if Mother Nature stormed when Merlin the Wind Wand Man finally left this plan. Instead a little bit of sun broke through the clouds as if to say thank you for the song.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Talk Thursday: Odds and Ends

But really I should call this a lot of bitching...

There are days when depression creeps up on even the most positive soul. And while that may not be my soul I get hit by bummed out bouts, too. At fifty-four I suddenly realized one of the biggest things in my life I miss (besides a bikini bod) is wrapping my arms around my little girl and being the center of her universe (right after chocolate ice cream and playing that is.) I don’t’ begrudge her growing up, it is part of the process; I envy her the same thing I am missing. She is the center of Burp’s universe (right after food and playing that is.) It is a vicious circle that begins and becomes bereft with each generation’s maturity.

Last night my brother called and chatted, whined, talked for an hour. Let me start this by saying, “I’m not a phone person.” I will think about calling my sister, whom I’m close to (in my family’s definition of close), for a week or two before I pick up the phone. This is my baby brother, of whom I am very proud, who just retired as a Sergeant Master Chief after 30 years in the Air Force. Did I mention he’s my baby brother by six years? Our mother spent the money and time to fly back to Georgia for his retirement ceremony, roast, and BBQ. Last night I was “privileged” to hear

1) Why doesn’t mom like my Monster Child? Okay, I call him Monster Child (to family and friends who aren’t my brother and sister in law,) I guess I really should come up with a better internet moniker for him. Monster Moppet? Moppet? That would probably be nicer.

2) He is afraid Mom is becoming forgetful. She forgot that she promised me great great grandfather’s humidor.

There is a long story (but true story) about my double great grandfather being a dollar a year man to a President who started out his adulthood as my double great grandfather’s roommate at Stanford. He was gifted the humidor by the president for his service to his former roommate/friend/president and country. Mom, had once said it was Buddy’s because it mirrored his service to our country. She apparently forgot, not that she’d given it to someone else. Oh, and not that there arent’ TWO, because excuse me, our other double great grandfather (who started American Fucking Express) had a humidor that will be passed down, too. Ach!

She also “forgot” to give Monster, er Moppet a birthday gift. “Hmmm, Buddy, are you sure mom didn’t leave something for Moppet?”

“Well there was this weird thing she did. She got these three water guns for him when she was here.”

Forgetful? Believe me I was a bit ticked at this point. “Buddy, did you stop to consider that Mom gave your son a piece of your childhood?” He didn’t understand. “Don’t you remember having waterfights when we were kids and dad would have the water hose and we’d have buckets, water balloons, water pistols?”


3) Mom is not “doting” (my word not his) on Moppet, doesn’t she like him?

Buddy. Buddy. Buddy. Mom, tries very hard to let you raise your child your way, to not step on toes, interfere, over step your boundaries, or over stay her welcome. To.Not.Be. One.Of.Those.Mother.In.Laws. She treated each of her grandchildren as per the ways that their parents raised them. When she had Psam she knew she could say no, stick her in the corner, smack her hand, or swat her butt. When she was with Pinecone’s two, she respected their boundaries and knew what was expected. When Moppet was running around during one of the ceremonies (I believe it was a roast) my mother took Moppet outside so he could run around and not interrupt the goings on. Yes, they took a five year old to a roast with lots of military people, like colonels, majors, and such. I’m thinking a baby sitter would have been a much better idea. When they went shoe shopping, well I get images of him running everywhere and scaling the shoe racks because isn’t that what every well behaved little boy does? Mom had to walk away and act like nothing was going on.

Ach! Thank you for listening. That’s the tip of the iceberg.

Last weekend for our anniversary Ducky and I went to the casino for dinner. They have this Seafood Buffet that he’d been wanting to try. As our norm I made sure I had an extra twenty per person, because that’s our limit. Kind of like a big person’s pinball machine with out the rollers, flashing lights, clanging bells, and bumpers. Slot machines just aren’t the same. But, strangely we both walked out having paid for dinner and with twelve dollars extra – what’s that all about?

Wednesday we (Bob and Wayne) were suppose to interview Joe Diffie on the air. Bad cell connection. So Thursday they tried again. At the same time we (Bob) are trying to hook up the phone link, an earthquake rattles the Oregon Coast. We (Bob) hangs up on Joe Diffie. I’m rattling earthquake information in Wayne’s face, and he’s having a minor meltdown. When the connection finally happens, Wayne opens his mic and say,

“For those interested, yes we know about the earthquake, no there is no Tsunami warning posted by the National Weather Service. On the line I have with me Joe Diffie ….’

I looked at Bob and said, “Crap now we’ll never get him here for the concert.”

Saturday night Ducky and I are going to the casino to see Joe Diffie. I’m looking forward to it, KCST is sponsoring the concert so the tickets were free. Bob says that when he introduces Joe Diffie at the beginning of the concert he’s going to say,

“And now I present the biggest celebrity I’ve hung up on twice in one day, Joe Diffie.”

I’ll let you know how it goes.

And so you don’t’ think Sunday is boring, Ducky and I have tickets to see Ringo Starr at the Cuthbert Amphitheatre (my favorite concert venue) with Pinecone and her hubby.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Today my friend Natalie is marrying her Birdman. I wish Jeff and Natalie a span of the ages that is full of the love, friendship, companionship, laughter, joy, and hands held that make life the wonderful experience is was meant to be. They will experience all the ups and downs of life together, with hands held, as one.

Congratulations Natalie and Jeff.

Sixteen years ago Ducky and I combined our two families into one. I wouldn't trade a moment of it and pray for 32 years more.

Let there be cake.

To my Ducky,

Thank you for the best years of my life. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you.


Darmn-it I miss that waistline.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Talk Thursday: So I Have To Ask…

What induces a ninety-one year old woman to baby talk… in the middle of a restaurant… or ever for that matter? What?

My grandmother can be a delightful lady; she has much to offer the world and is going strong… at almost ninety-one. But really the baby talk has got to stop. Tonight we had a lovely dinner at Pomodoris, a nice Italian Restaurant that makes to die for Ravioli San Remo, to die for I tell you. After nice little dinner salads (Grandma and I had the Balsamic Vinaigrette) Linda served the ravioli, she came back to the table with the pepper mill and offered fresh pepper grind all the way around. Grandma must have been staring at her shoes totally tuned into her orthopedics, because when Linda asked if we’d like pepper Grandma missed Mom and I waiting and then saying no individually. Linda bid us a fine meal and left us to peace. At which time Grandma, shaking her looking forlorn, in that FUCKING baby voice said, “I wanted some pepper, can’t I have some pepper? It would be so much better with fresh pepper.”

Patience was my only virtue, I think I’m now virtue-less.

Yes, she was happy after the fresh pepper, but it didn’t stop her baby talk.

Shoot me now. Please.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Talk Thursday: Respect In The Morning

Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you he loves you you’re gonna believe them

words of hindsight from twenty-year old Taylor Swift. At least I never had a boy friend break up with me via Tweeter, or text, or whatever it was. Money and celebrity doesn’t buy you truth nor happiness.

It’s a Zen thingie.

At fifteen I was eternally dying for some boy, any boy, to like me. In retrospect I’m pretty shocked that parents (mine and many, many others) put so much stock in virginity. When the reality is they should have worried that I kept my soul and my self-respect. ‘Cause when you’re fifteen you don’t have a heck of a lot to barter with and if you are tall, lanky, and a geek you’re somewhat desperate by fifteen to be like all the other girls. So believe? Yep, hook, line, and sinker.

I gave a lot in that search to be “loved.”

My mother always told me you have to like yourself before someone else truly can. I think I was about twenty-four when I realized I really like who I am. I still like who I am. As I slept my way through my life to this moment it was all about becoming me, experiencing what there is between birth and passing over. I wake up in the morning and I can respect myself wholly. I look in the mirror and I like the person who is looking back. I strive to be honest, kind, and truthful.

There are things about myself that I am trying to change because they compromise the integrity of what I believe. But those changes are part of the journey. I can’t take two steps, three steps back, recreate a “hindsight” embarrassing moment to fix a faux pas, but I can step forward into the person I am becoming and never make those false steps again. A kind of a morphing from he person I was just an action and thought ago.

I am physically monogamist, I am spiritually growing, I am forever changing. And darmn-it I like who I am. If I screw it up, I’ll come back and do it better in the next life.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Talk Thursday: Inspiration


Comes in many forms, unbidden, unseen, and oft times unexpected. I have probably three blogs in a semi form of begun, all inspired by something: heard on the radio; read that enlightened my soul or ignited my ire; a sunset red in the western sky; the stars that rotate nightly, seen or not, over my hot tub. Sadly, my time seems to get eaten up by something other than blogging, for there they sit in stages of unfinished disarray.

My inspiration comes from the people surrounding my work-a-day world. From the thoughts and burdens of people inhabiting this green globe, their hearts poured out in quarts and bushels, a spreading stream of light and shadows sculpted of words that flow conscious across the realms of the internet. I love words, I love stringing them together to paint pictures in English with a serf font.

Inspiration comes in blooms and weeds, of minutes spent in my garden where I turn the earth, remove the weeds, appreciate the flowers that manage to push their way from the earth despite my tending.

Oft times I sit. Blank. Trying to remember the amazing thought I dreamt that hangs just on the edge of my memory, nagging me to death.

Sometimes, Inspiration needs a cattle prod.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Talk Thursday: Breaking Habits

The reality of life is that we are always creating, maintaining, and breaking habits. I’ve broken my share, committed myself to a slew more… probably for the rest of my life. Darn it’s hard to quit food. I burn fast and hard; I burn out fast and hard. With me there is little or no in between. When I burn out there is no going back and that folks is really the pits. I can rattle off a litany of hobbies, crafts, and activities I’ve gotten into, been consumed by, and then dropped like a rock to never look back.

That is the sad story of my sad, sad existence. I miss some of those hobbies (crocheting and stained glass.) I miss some of those habits (body building, surfing, parasailing, darmn I miss hiking.) Damn, I miss being able to wear a bikini.

What I have noticed is that as I age the more in grained in my ways of habit I am. I create habits at work that make my morning flow, my shift changes and I create more habits. When something upsets my flow it is more difficult for me to adjust and over come. I’ve become comfortable and comforted by my habits. And I’ll be darned if I know if that is good or if that is bad.