Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

I was hard pressed to find a vintage card sans black cat. I'm partial to them so I won't use them as halloween props. RD

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Looking back upon our decision to move to the Eastern Shore led me to re-read "Patricia Cornwell's Unnatural Exposure". Whatever was I thinking way back then in 1997?

The author got the essence of the location down to a tea. That location was Tangier Island, Virginia. Never heard of it? I'm not surprised. What they speak there is a 'fossilized or remnant of 17th century English'.

Let me tell you this is nigh on to impossible to understand.Bob had clients from this remote place and I went with him on a very few occasions. I am the worst at deciphering dialects or accents. I don't know why but I have always had difficulty understanding so I do alot of smiling and nodding.

Now, back when I thought this was quaint or cute. This is where I wanted to live. The other plus was that Ms. Cromwell spoke about cat food factories dotting the shoreline on the mainland. I had cats, perhaps too many cats and I needed some financial the factories must have an outlet of sorts. These by the way, were fiction. It sounded good and plausible fish, fishing, canning why not?

Now I come to the real crux of my story....many of the folks from Tangier migrated to the big cities of the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland. And they brought their language with them. It seems natural that they moved to places like the Eastern Shore where they had easy access to Tangier by ferry. This ferry runs all summer bringing tourists to and from the island and by request in winter or more likely very seldom.

The inhabitants of Tangier must purchase everything on the mainland. That usually involves a trip to Chrisfield or better yet Salisbury. Same goes for doctors, hospitals you name it...they must travel by plane or ferry. I'm sorry, but this would get very old, very fast.

Now I've given you the background of the strange speech patterns of this area. Bob usually interprets for me ,whispering the question asked of me in my ear. I am catching on but I'll admit our heating and cooling man cannot be understood by me. So although he understands me he chooses not to talk to women, so that pleases both of us.

My daughter is ocassionaly asked to do some clerical or computer work for a friend, which she gladly does. However, this time it comprises fourteen hours of tapes to be transcribed. She has done this many times before....but not by a fossilized 17 century English speaking man.

This is a real conundrum....I've rarely seen her weep but this is so foreign to her she is stumped. I guess all that she can do is make this a family affair....where Bob interprets for her as she types this up. Another day on the farm.

Keep safe,my friends, its rough out there. RD

Friday, October 23, 2009

A word for Thursday

Main Entry: es·trange
Pronunciation: \i-ˈstrānj\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): es·tranged; es·trang·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French estrangir, estranger, from Medieval Latin extraneare, from Latin extraneus strange — more at strange
Date: 15th century

1 : to remove from customary environment or associations
2 : to arouse especially mutual enmity or indifference in where there had formerly been love, affection, or friendliness : alienate

— es·trange·ment \-mənt\ noun

— es·trang·er noun
synonyms estrange, alienate, disaffect mean to cause one to break a bond of affection or loyalty. estrange implies the development of indifference or hostility with consequent separation or divorcement . alienate may or may not suggest separation but always implies loss of affection or interest . disaffect refers especially to those from whom loyalty is expected and stresses the effects (as rebellion or discontent) of alienation without actual separation

This word did not come to mind out of the blue. My daughter, who has been 'estranged' from us for the past six years has suddenly emerged out of the ashes.

I've been taken aback, I am confused. To treat this estrangement as though it was a small matter occurring last week has left me gobsmacked. RD

Monday, October 19, 2009

Got Mail?

Bob celebrated his birthday this past week. He, my dad and Columbus always celebrate together. So, if there are well wishes sent through the post office they always receive them before the date or more likely after. But this year there was only one card in the mailbox. And this was from some business aquaintance who was promoting their October specials.

I'd like to address the problem of letter writing, post cards and other cards sent, just because. When is the last time you received a handwritten heartfelt letter? Mine was at least four years ago. And I do not remember if I sent a reply or not.

Back to Bob's birthday...he got scads of email, ecard type aknowledgements. Does that make up for a real letter or card? I don't think so...yet I do this myself. For convenience, or timeliness? Laziness?

I used to send cards to my whole family. I had the dates written on my calendar days before so I could go out choose an appropriate message and drop it in the mailbox or go to the postal office. No longer on my things to do list. But why?

Let's face it, many of my recipients have passed on. Their children, who are my age, don't send cards. Heck, they don't even send an email. As families decline, so do things that were formerly just plain etiquette.

I always loved walking to the mailbox and receiving a letter or card. Didn't you? Gosh, someone was thinking about me while they were traveling or just sending a note that I was on their mind. It made my day.

The fact remains that an entire industry may well be going by the wayside, or has been eliminated altogether. We chose our statioinery with care, just the right weight of paper and just how to position those all important initials. Of course the paper was vanilla with perhaps a daring dark blue border. I loved going to the stationary shop and leafing through those huge three ring binder books.

Call me old fashioned or just call me old I miss this stuff. Shall we start a letter writing campaign? A post card a month? I think that this is entirely too late to dig up something from the past that by consensus has fallen by the wayside. I just may write a post card or two to myself...reminding me to do some odd job or recollecting some thought. What do you think?

Hope your week is sunny and bright. Watch out for those hunters. RD

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Darkling Thrush.....Thomas Hardy

The Darkling Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

-- Thomas Hardy

Monday, October 12, 2009

You Rest......You Rust

That appears to be the mantra of the osteo arthritis bunch. Of which I am a member. But as I was thinking about it...doesn't that apply to anything? Your mind....use it or lose it. Same premisis in my book of 'isms'. All I am saying it is nothing new. However, it may just be a new treatment for those of us with arthritis.

As I was paging through my animal catalogs I was pleasantly surprised....they have more choices for dogs and cats suffering from this debilitating disease than they do for humans. Should I send for those and hope I get a moment's relief?

I've been active my whole life. Not one to sit down for very long. We have become so disillusioned with tv programming that we just stopped ordering up the cabel offerings, bty that is all we get, we don't have local programming. So I'm not sitting in front of the television set. I still try to keep to my daily routines...with all of these animals what choice do I have?

But I must hurts to move. Sure, some days are worse than others, but there you can you plan ahead? The affected joints move around as well, some days I can't type, others my knees won't allow me to climb the stairs. Take today, for instance, my wrists and thumbs simply scream for some relief.

I have been to five or more physicians in the past ten years and it wasn't until I screamed loud enough that my hip was replaced. By then it was too late to do anything but. I'm not sorry I had this procedure done, I just wish it had been three years earlier and saved me the aggravation and discomfort. Now it is quite evident to me that my knees are in trouble. I'm frustrated because I know from extensive reading on the internet that there are remedies for this condition.

I have mentioned this to two of my physicians and they go on, once again, as though I hadn't said one word. So now I am forced once again to look for someone who willingly takes a proactive position. This is always a royal pain. We have no listed Rheumatoligists...not anywhere in the vicinity of 200 miles.

Now I must tell you I function well, almost pain free, with propoxy. These were prescribed for my daughter, and when I need one she offers. I asked for this medication and the physician got totally out of control because I took something that was not prescribed by her. Actually, it was prescribed by the surgeon I had last year and even more potent meds later on and folks , they work.

I am moving around as best as I can, I exercise by walking my dogs. We have discovered that they enjoy beach walks and that is in my daily plan. I own an exercycle and will resume that when it gets a bit cooler outdoors. But please tell me that I don't have to do all of this without the aid of a pain reliever.

I'm currently looking up every imaginable alternative med that I can. I stay abreast of what's new, what works, and positive feedback if there is any. I'm trying to learn about my disease and finding no help from the medical community at all. They would rather treat a hang nail than what is clearly a problem.

I'll tell you quite honestly....when you hurt from head to toe exercise is not the first thing that springs to mind. How about just making it through the day? Goodness knows....I know there are millions of people suffering with far worse conditions and with far worse prognosis. That does not mean that I should come first , last or inbetween...but there are things out there to make a person's life bearable and productive and they are not forthcoming.

Its harvesting season....they are currently doing all the land around our house...what a dusty business. I'm forced to remain indoors while this is going on. After all it is the 'deadly' soy product. Could be just another Virginia tall tale...who knows, but may as well be safe than sorry. Hope your week is brilliant. RD

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Door.....taken from Clive

The Door

One day you’ll see:
you’ve been knocking on a door
without a house.
You’ve been waiting, shivering, yelling
words of daring and hope.

One day you’ll see:
there is no-one on the other side
except, as ever, the jubilant ocean
that won’t shatter ceramically like a dream
when you and I shatter.

But not yet. Now
you wait outside, watching
the blue arches of mornings
that will break
but are now perfect.

Underneath on tip-toe
pass the faces, speaking to you,
saying ‘you’, ‘you’, ‘you’,
smiling, waving, arriving
in unfailing chronology.

One day you’ll doubt your movements,
you will shudder
at the accuracy of your sudden age.
You will ache for slow beauty
to save you from your quick, quick life.

But not yet. Hope
fills the yawn of time.
Blue surrounds you. Now let’s say
you see a door and knock,
and wait for someone to hear.