The sea was wild, sassy. Tide high. Moon full. We took my sister’s ashes to Loblolly Cove where the rocks offered an initial perch, the sea a final wash.
We watched and waited for the wave that would offer the last rinse. They teased us, the waves, licking one side of the rock where her ashes lay, then the other. After a while, medium-sized wave crashed and it looked like it had taken all the ashes at first. But it hadn’t.
We watched and waited some more. Finally, I approached with a plastic bin to scoop water onto the rock. And wouldn’t you know, wasn’t it just perfect, that the biggest wave of the day arrived as I stood there, drenching me head to toe and washing the last of my sister away in a dramatic rush of foam.
Of course it was her. I laughed. “Hello, Noreen!”
As we walked back to the car, I noticed how much of the sediment in the rocks looked like human cremation remains.
K: “We all come from the same stuff.”
Finn discovered how tasty crab shells left behind by gulls were and made the return slower than it might have been otherwise.
And as always, I grabbed a token.
Now the token sits where her ashes used to be, in front of one of her favorite totems.
Today, the WordPress platform resists uploads, spins its refusal in ways I’ve never seen, forcing me to insert, and then insert again, all while wondering what the f@*k is going on.
To that I also say, “Hello, sister!”
May she be at peace. May I be at peace. May we all be at peace.
Anyone who camps knows how even the most pedestrian meal is enhanced to a near-miraculous degree after a day in the wilderness. It happens all the time. “How can a bowl of pasta with canned sauce and chopped zucchini taste so good,” you wonder. And yet it does.
The visit to Salem was tense and then tenser. We didn’t manage to capture the cat. The aide had to leave a full hour earlier than expected. Plans had to be abandoned, limitations accepted. But before we got there, a fair amount of hostility was expressed. I spent a lot of time walking around the building, sort of wishing I smoked.
My sister blamed her temper on a transiting Mars / natal Sun conjunction and pretty much everything else on me.
She kept telling me to sit down and to stop moving. I kept suggesting that it might be time to put some pants on. The aide cleaned the kitchen. Then the bathroom.
My wish to get something done collided with my sister’s refusal to move. It’s often this way.
It’s a kind of wilderness, really — and I think it made the salad I made after getting home taste ridiculously good.
With the sweet, candy-like beets, the smooth and creamy avocado, plus a little goat cheese, chopped scallion, sliced radish and a handful of micro greens, it was beyond delicious.
Recipe (you hardly need one!)
1 large beet, roasted, peeled and diced*
1/2 scallion chopped, including white end
1 radish, sliced thin
1 1/2 Tbs goat cheese
Handful of micro greens
Dress with a tangy mustard vinaigrette (loaded with garlic).
* if you stow beets, post-roasting, in their foil wrappers in a large, unsealed zip lock bag, be very careful carrying the bag to the cutting board unless you want your kitchen to resemble a crime scene!
I’m in bed and it’s dark and still raining. Click and glow — the phone in my hand. First up, a hilarious take on Halloween candy, the kind of diversion one hopes for and almost never finds in one’s merry traipsing across social media.
Tap, tap. Next up: an article about how scanning social media first thing in the morning rots your brain. I kid you not.
Click and down goes the phone — I’m no fool! — but carefully, having dropped it enough to have those spider web cracks typical of millennial devices (makes me feel young!).I listen to the rain. Under the covers, I stretch my hips.
Unfortunately, NPR’s on. Oh great, trump will prevent Obama’s student debtor protections from becoming law, because — why? Because we all want our young to be victims of predatory lending – of course we do! Certainly, Betsy DeVos does.Another kind of poison — the inescapable toxic cloud of indecency that is the news. It’s harder to click off. There’s no getting away from it. Not really.
I jog while Nozema-ing my face in the dark — as if it might make me live longer or at least, render my jeans a decent fit again. I don’t feel like a millenial now.
Descending the stairs for coffee and the day’s official start, it’s still dark. I cover the stove and microwave LCD clocks with post-it notes — their glare offends. Okay, leave me alone.
Then, it’s down to business — a vigorous editing session and then an almost-hour-long-walk with the dog in the rain.
Home to a ‘call me back, it’s important’ message on the landline.
Turns out, all I have to do is set a firm deadline to call forth the Gorgon of my sister’s need (did you know the three Gorgons were sisters? I’ll be Medusa! She can be one of the ones nobody’s heard of).
Okay, it’s really serious, having to do with ignored notices from MAHealth, cut offs looming, documentation required (um, two weeks ago?). Even a 1% contribution to medical costs — heck, even a 1% contribution to her DRUG costs — would savage my sister’s finances (or upset the apple cart of my brother’s help — equally catastrophic).
But, wait – what’s happening? No clenching of the jaw. No pleading (her) or heaving of big, resentful sighs (me). What’s changed? Is it the reduction in her meds, restoring mental alacrity and energy? Is it me, ferociously resolved not to be sideswiped by another’s need?
Whatever it is, I’ll take it. She’s handling it (seems to be?) — late, but handling it. I’m laudatory about that, only mentioning the lapsed deadline two (or was it three?) times.
Imagine having no car, needing a walker, owning no real estate, no stocks or bonds, having no savings, no credit or debit card, and paying rent that consumes 75% of a meager income, barely leaving enough for utilities (and certainly not enough for food) and then having to prove one’s poverty to the powers that be.
I’ll blame this on trump. What state wouldn’t want to clear its health insurance rolls of riff-raff in light of all the uncertainty that has so vindictively been inserted into the arena?
Shake your head and note: this personal thread substantiates the earlier point about trump being an all-pervasive toxic cloud.
But I’ll end with this — ‘Flake’ should be the new ‘fleek’ (not that I EVER got what that meant — in spite of some effort, mind). It should be a thing and a good thing — as in “the man spoke with the strength of his convictions. He ‘flaked’ in front of the entire Senate Chamber.”