Random Monday stuff

December 08, 2008 by barbara

garry wiigarry wiibarbara writes

Much as I love chickadees, even I am growing weary of the Thanksgiving photo, now stale as dried-out stuffing. Or something. Metaphors have taken a break, too, it seems.

What to say? Well, for starters, brother Garry went home yesterday after a month-long stay with me following surgery. As some of you may recall, Garry is my little brother -- and also an adult with mental retardation. A sweeter guy you cannot possibly imagine. At least, he is when he's with me. He gets a kick out grinning while telling folks, "Mess with me and you mess with my sister!" Thus is a fierce, hypervigilant advocate pigeon-holed. *g*

Apparently Garry has some cranky moments at home with his roommate, but then so did I. You, too? Here's how we decided to deal with it. Read on, Macduff.

We decided Garry has a very cranky evil twin named Harry. We further decided that I would keep Harry here and that I would trot him out to the old boarded-up doghouse in the backyard, where he can just cool his snarky heels until he can behave. On a cold and snowy Minnesota day, that seems like the perfect place for self-storage of one's alter-ego.

And did I mention that Garry (the good twin) is a demon wii bowler? Crikey! He waxed me almost every time, and I'm no slouch. We both stink at tennis, golf and baseball, and I'm no fan of boxing, virtual or otherwise.

So my bowling buddy has left, and now it's time for me to turn my attention back to adjusting to the loss of David in a very real way at what feels like the worst possible time of year. Worst, unless I figure out how to mitigate against that. New twists on old traditions. I'm hoping my grands might be available to help me decorate a bit. Just a bit. David and I scaled back a lot last year as he was just beginning his radiation and chemo regimen and pretty much felt like crap.

But that was then and this is now.

Someone mentioned to me earlier today that it's only (only?) 43 days until the White House door slams on Dubya's biker butt. That's a good thing to focus on (on which to focus), eh? Which reminds me of a T-shirt I saw recently. Text on it reads: "I am the grammarian about whom your mother warned you."

Anyway, the political landscape has shifted mightily whilst this household was rooted in dying and death, followed by illness and recovery. The names are different, but the snarling goes on. I suggest doghouses for every one who misbehaves. Picture row upon row of doghouses on the Capitol Mall in D.C.

Which brings to mind Karl Rove's naughty list. That makes me laugh. If Rove lists in print everyone who had an issue with Bush, it will take volumes to accomplish that. But then there will be something to fill the empty shelves of the Bush Library, won't there?!

Okay. Enough raging river of consciousness stuff for today. I keep thinking I'm back and then I'm not. It is the way of things, I guess. So just in case, Happy Ground Hog Day!

Posted in


susan | December 8, 2008 - 11:34pm

Aw Babs, so glad one of us got the go-power to write. Can't say where I went exactly, but it was far away and peaceful. No, not physical travel, but just drifting about, and maybe feeling no urgency to write because a competent and articulate and extremely intelligent adult is now in charge of our country. He's not just the president-elect, he's the acting president, and thank god for that. Watching him assemble his team is like lying naked in a soaking rain after eight years of draught. Or any of the other cliches that have to do with soothing relief after extreme pain.
I know some folks are unhappy with some of his choices -- notably the Rubin/Summers thing -- but I'm still in my post-election snow globe of bliss, and I say he's earned the right to choose whomever (get that grammarian?) he wants and I don't care if that's Babar the elephant king. Well, ix-nay on the elephant.
There were other things that got in the way of writing, notably Thanksgiving, and then a 15th anniversary to-do put on by "my" non-profit, WATCH, and at the last minute all four kids (and the six week old twins) came home for it because air fares plummeted along with everything else. (And because it was honoring moi meme)
Now it's quiet, and I'm so glad to find you here again Barb. I'm hoping that your children and grandchildren and dear brother are in plentiful supply to comfort you through this ho-ho festive season.


Poet (not verified) | December 10, 2008 - 12:55am


How about Eyore the donkey, Winnie the Pooh's pal?


The healing of wounds takes time--throwing yourself into caring for others is a very feminine response to the black dog of depression. (Guys quite often lash out in anger at irrelevent things for instance.)

I personally subscribe to the ocean wave theory of involvement with our emotional state. The pain and suffering come as much, if not more, from our resistance to it as the proximate cause that started it.

Think of it like being in the ocean at a beach. Wave after wave comes along and you have a choice to make--either let yourself be lifted and carried by the waves or dig your toes into the disolving sand beneath your feet and stand your ground.

If you do the former and go along for the ride it can be exhilerating, unsettling, and you soon discover that it takes you to places different than where you started. If you do the latter, you remain in familiar territory and quickly find out how tiring standing your ground can be.

Whichever choice you make, know that the waves of emotion (it's also like the ever-changing weather) come suddenly and then go as suddenly as they came. Dwelling on their memory dsitracts you from what is next. This can be either or both good and bad. The only permanence is impermanence.

Your kids are grown, your life mate is gone, and now, undistracted by your lifetime of service to others, you must choose your response minute by minute.

May you never forget that as inpenetrably empty as the familliar seasons of this coming year will be without David, your life is not through and further adventures await. Whatever choice you make, may the cleansing waves of emotion wash you thoroughly of the grime of grief and the stain of sadness.

Consider getting (if you don't already have it) some full-spectrum lighting to help compensate for this very dark time of year. One site that sells such products is:



barbara says (not verified) | December 10, 2008 - 4:36pm


"Watching him assemble his team is like lying naked in a soaking rain after eight years of draught." Must confess that's an image that sailed right on by. Good one, though!


It does, indeed, come (and go) in waves. I have spent countless hours logging boulder butt reverie on Minnesota's North Shore. Our inland sea. Much of the time, the waves are relatively benign. Lovely to listen to at bedtime.

Sometimes, though, those waves become so powerful that it's literally necessary to back away from the big lake to avoid being drenched and/or dragged off the boulder into the drink.

Haven't quite figured out how that fits my current situation, but I'm pretty darn sure it does. One of the things I must do in the unnamed but relatively foreseeable future is to get myself back to big water, which really is my soul home.

Task at hand: Figure out how to make wherever I am my soul home. A very wise woman once said, "I am rooted in the earth and wherever I am is home." There is no small amount of power in that. Linked somehow to living fully in the now. I have never been very good at that. David was. I need to study up on my recollections/hunches about how he did that.

Thanks so much for checking in.


Poet (not verified) | December 10, 2008 - 7:15pm

When you truly need it, the understanding will come.


paul miller (not verified) | December 12, 2008 - 9:05am

very, very sorry to hear about David
Paul M


barbara says (not verified) | December 12, 2008 - 7:25pm

Paul, thanks much. It's a very painful time.