Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


It has been a gray and rainy day, but not the kind of day that made me feel gloomy.  But rather a day that I welcomed the gift of rain.  We were 6 and a half inches behind for the year, and pollen has coated everything.  I mean everything, inside the house, outside the house, on the car, in the car, coating all of us in a fine yellow dust clogging our sinuses.  Everyone has walked around breathing through their mouths, struggling with headaches and clogged or runny sinuses, or sometimes alternating between the two.  And the dryness has turned our yards and woods into kindling and given an unhealthy jaundice about our dry lizard like skin.  OK, maybe I exaggerate, but honestly, not by much, or maybe I am just describing myself, and there I can tell you that I am not exaggerating.

But today it rained, that slow soaking rain.  We will not make up the deficit this week, but the pollen has been washed down into pools covered in films of yellow and people seemed to walk around the office today looking up and at each other for the first time in what seems weeks.  Weeks of glorious sunshine and infinite blue skies.  And they will be back, but the rain was welcomed today.

And as I ran around the office this morning putting out fire after fire of problems and concerns and deadlines, I thought how can anyone have their hair on fire with all this rain?  But they did.  I scurried here and there completing one task after another that was not on my to do list.    

Tomorrow I will have another full day trying to get to that to do list, but maybe I will make some headway.

Today was also the spaghetti luncheon at our Bureau.  There were half a dozen different types of sauces from traditional style with meatballs to an oddly green colored spinach Alfredo that I chose because it was the only one I knew for sure had no meat in it.  It was actually quiet delicious with a bit of spice from some cayenne pepper that was a surprise, but I did enjoy it despite the richness.....and color.  I can't even come up with something even close to the color it was because I don't believe I have ever seen that green before.  But like I said, I enjoyed the flavor very much.  It was one of the loveliest luncheons I have ever been too.  There were salads and breads and spaghetti with the different sauces and 3 types of cake.  I made a plate for my friend Bob.  It only had cake on it, a slice of each flavor.  I felt guilty not taking him any spaghetti, there was more then plenty for anyone interested, but I was so busy this morning that I came to the luncheon late myself and was not able to reach him before I went down.  I did offer to bring him some spaghetti and salad, but he just smiled and said the cakes were plenty.  And they were tasty.  I had a piece of Ms Paige's almond pound cake.  And I have to say it might be one of the two best pieces of pound cake I ever put in my mouth.  My mother made an amazing pound cake.  It had that lovely crust all around a moist soft rich buttery cake in the middle, but Mother's was a bit heavy, and not by accident, but by intent.  It was a very old fashioned family recipe and was meant to be heavy and substantial.  Sometimes Mother would make a more modern or at least a different version of the pound cake and it was very much like Paige's, and yes, as good.  But Mother preferred the heavier pound cake, tradition and all.   And Mother's pound cake was vanilla flavor not almond and I do enjoy both.  And breaking off that first piece of Ms Paige's today and almost hearing the crunch of the perfect crust and then seeing that gorgeous butter yellow color of the inside made me think of my Mother and how lucky I was to have her.  She was a wonderful cook, and to this day one of my most dearest and favorite friends.  Yes, I am quite lucky.

After work I drove to the travel agent and finished booking the trip to Europe with Dad.  I paid the reservation payment, so it is set.  Bill did a great job booking the trip making sure that we had plenty of time between flights and that we do not to leave at an ungodly hour from anywhere.  We will only be spending 3 - 4 days in any place, but I am happy that Daddy will get to see all of his friends again.  That will be special.  And we will get to go and see Mother's monument outside the park, and then go to the children's library named for Mother and Daddy.  Connections to people and places.  How very special to have the parents I did.  People who traveled around the world making friends that have lasted for decades.  People who have shared births and deaths, who speak languages that neither Dad or I are fluent in.  People who love my father, and because I am his daughter, they love me.  And they will spoil us and fuss over us because Dad is old and I have cancer, and it will be so very good to hug them.  To hug the tall and athletic Sjaak and his sweet and beautiful wife, Karin.  To grab hold of their tall gorgeous three daughters and look up at their sweet faces.  To wrap my arms around Luis and Josafina and hopefully get to meet Ana's boy friend and Luis Jr's wife.  To go out to dinner with Alfonso, the photographer and Pedro, the wine maker, oh and others whose names will be back on my tongue when I see them again.  Then on to Barcarotta where there are just too many people to name.  Warm special people who will celebrate my father as a hero.  It will be a hard trip, but it will be so worth it.  To see how happy my father will be with these people who think so highly of him.  Yes, sometimes it is good to be reminded that our parents are people who other people like and want to see him and toast him.  And Dad is enough of a Copernicus to love every minute, and why not.

So my taxes are done and the trip is booked, and it has rained soaking in to the ground around my plants.  The rain has washed all my flowers off the azealas bushes leaving flowered skirts surrounding a bodice of spring green.  You can hear the plants sigh with relief and the birds playful in soaked feathers showing the soft undercoat of down.  It is as glorious as the blue sunshine filled skies of last week.  Just gentler.

Rehearsal went fine last night, we did not get as much done as we would have if Judy was there, but we had fun and got Scene 4 blocked and rehearsed.  Now the play is blocked.  We will have to make adjustments as rehearsals continue and then when the stage goes down and we start rehearsing on that we will see how realistic our 12X12 stage really is.  The next step is for the actors to get all their lines memorized so that they are "off book".  Then the real fun begins.  Now with their hands free and eyes raised from the page they will start to act more out of character then as an actor and they will interact with each other and their voices will grow stronger and project to the back of the room.  They will dance the dance of those who love to become someone else for a few hours standing up in front of an audience eager to laugh and be challenged to discover "whodoneit".

Peep update.  I am now talking to them in that chirping whisping noise that calms their peeps.  The noise that a mama chicken would say to her babies when it comes time to settle in for the evening.  They move as one stretching out then grouping up as they run from one end of the tub to the other.  They are growing so fast I am not sure that I will be able to keep them in the tub as long as I would like.  This weekend I will have to start prepping their coop.

Larry update.  I have still not heard from the crematorium about when we can pick him up.  But we have set an unofficial date of May 21 for his memorial at Osgood Point in Gulfport.  I will give out more details as they develop.  It is still hard to talk about him being gone.  Sometimes it is easier to just hold the pain in your heart and know that with each beat, hopefully the pain will subside.  Missing him will not.  And that is OK.  

Cancer update.  I took my first new chemo pill.  This is 100 mg instead of 150 mg.  Today was not a bad day for the side effects.  I actually ate lunch and dinner without having to run for porcelain.  That is how it is some days.  Some days, I feel normal.  Other days, the reality of cancer never leaves me.  But I am learning each day to be more focused on life and living then on dying.  I talked to someone else today that has lung cancer.  They are just starting this journey.  His attitude is wonderful and I so wish that I could do or say something to him that would make everything ok.  But I have to tell you of all the people I have met with cancer, he is doing it right.  He is thinking things through.  His loving wife and partner is 100% behind him and she is focused on being there for him.  I hope they both realize that as hard as it is for him to have cancer.  I think it will actually be harder on her because she has to watch him have cancer.  He has to live with it, but that gives him power over this disease, the ability and desire to live.  She can only be supportive, she has no power to take this away from her love.  And that is so hard.  But they are a good team, and they will be fine.  And they have friends, and he has it more together then I think I have after a year, and he has just begun this journey.  He has already taught me so much.   I hope I can do as much for him sometime.  

And that is all for now.  it is late.  And I have a long day tomorrow with work and rehearsals.  I can take a nap when I get home from work.  And then it will be Friday and a weekend with no commitments except rehearsal.  I can sew or garden, or well, I suppose I could clean the house, hmm, or maybe paint a bee skip on the side of the barn.  Or I could just sit on the porch and read a book.  I do have the perfect life, and I do appreciate all the gifts I have been given, and yes, that still includes this cancer.


  1. And you are one of the gifts of my life.
    Thank-you, Kathleen, from the bottom of my heart.

  2. Hi Kathleen - I was reading over at Ms Moon's about your trip to Spain and had to come over and check in. I'm just back from a short trip to Madrid. Thought you might need some travel tips, but it looks like you have a good and full itinerary planned and a lot of friends to visit.

    The Spanish make the best friends! No matter how long you've been away, you can just pick up the friendship right where you left off. I know you will have a good time there with your Dad. Where all are you going?

    Bisous N2

  3. I am glad that you have booked your trip. It will be nice to spend that time with your dad.