Saturday, December 24, 2022

 I have read mine and a few other people's share of the gossip of Harry and Meghan in the wake of Queen Elizabeth's passing. Apparently Camilla snorted her tea when Harry suggested family counseling. The story made me realize a lot of the news of the royal family are sheer fabrications. Not that I haven't snorted some tea. It just happens so rarely as you mature. And who would have shared that tidbit? If you are having a royal family row, you really need to be able to trust the help that are within earshot.

Harry is following the path of many second and third sons who moved to North America to make a life of their own. Sadly, feeding the best bits to the first born and leaving nothing to the second and third born is unfair. I can see why such a book would sell. It is the sort of book that you would snort your tea when you consider the wisdom of writing it. 

There is a sadness to family problems. Everyone who has any family has them. In my income level, people air their dirty laundry on Facebook or Twitter for free.. I've never read any of the royal  biographies unless you count the Beatles. If I had a better memory you would be impressed with what information I have uncovered about the Fab Four. 

Long ago I had a friend who came from a prominent family. According to her, no one had mental illness, no one was an alcoholic, no one was developmentally delayed. No one had packed the family up to move with that night's dinner a live chicken being held in a paper bag on grandma's knee.. Her family was indeed exceptional. Everyone was a professional with college degrees. 

In Georgia, most of the people of Scottish descent are related. When they settled Georgia, the Scots had like 15 children and those 15 children had their 15. Eventually, it was hard to avoid a cousin. Anyone new to the region had a suitor. This friend had an aunt that did geneology. We were there connected to her. In the back of my mind, I thought loudly, well you just did not know your family well enough. I am kin to some wonderful accomplished people with feet of clay. 

My mother passed in her sleep in the early morning hours of December 24th, I can understand why King Charles was particular who came to the death of Queen Elizabeth. There is no handbook in how to handle death, grief or confusion about what you should or should not do.  Being a monarch does not shield you from death and it's processes. There are some things best left unshared. 

Usually my mother was rather quiet as she conversed with all of us living and dead. It was like dreaming out loud. Mom had stopped eating about two weeks ago. But she loved her ice water. I woke up around 3:30 am and realized there had been no request for ice water. At first I thought she was sleeping. I got up to check her. As much as I knew what had happened, there is disbelief. I sat down before rechecking my mother. Initially I was going to wait until daybreak to call hospice. Our well had frozen and I needed to hook up the heater in the well house. 

At 5:30 am I called hospice for the on call nurse to come out and pronounce my mother dead. I woke up my siblings and they gathered before the nurse came. There was some tears. We are having a hard freeze like most of the rest of the country. My dad passed during an unusual snow and hard freeze on December 18, 2000. My sister had a birthday yesterday and I suspect that is what my mother had waited on.

By daybreak. My mother had been pronounced dead. I helped the nurse get my mother cleaned up. As the nurse tied up details with paperwork, I went outside to put a heater in my well house. The nurse told me goodbye in the backyard. The funeral home would be by within an hour. After my mother was taken, I checked the well house. The well did not unthaw until the afternoon. It could have been earlier. I went to sleep after cooking dinner. We did not have water until after I woke up around 4 PM.                                                                                                                                                    

For Harry and Meghan, it is not that their trials and tribulations are unimportant. It is more that they have been blessed with a lot in their lives. They are in the right country. Personally, I think it would be really cool for Archie or Lillibet to grow up to become President or Secretary of State and their first cousin be King. I was disappointed to read there is a conspiracy theory connected to that. Some folks know how to ruin all of the fun. 

When I was a child, I was glad Prince Charles was not married. After reading the blue book of fairy tales, the red book of fairy tales and the green book of fairy tales in second grade it was a very real possibilty that he would marry me. The original fairy tales could be much darker stories than what Disney sells. In the original story of the Little Mermaid, the Little Mermaid is turned to sea foam. As ridiculous as the idea that a young American girl would grow up and marry the future King of England was. You would think the ominous nature of some of fairy tales would have given me caution. 

One thing I plan to do after my mother's funeral is to write down as many of her stories she has shared with me during my life. The title tenatively is, "Have I told you how I met my husband." I don't plan to publish it. These are ordinary stories of an ordinary life. We all have stories. Some of them more tragic than others.

Then I will tackle an inept person who gets carried away with conspiracy theories in one of the stories I have been working on. . 

Conspiracy theories are darker than fairy tales.The conspiracy theories I have heard have more plot holes and are a bit more far fetched than the average fairy tale. I always have more ideas on stories than I could really write or anyone could write. But a conspiracy spoof parady or a character that gets real excited over a conspiracy theory. Have him (you know a woman would not be that stupid "Ha" just kidding) go on a Don Quixote type mission inspired by his theory. Then, he does something really good accidentally and the conspiracy theory falls to dust by the conclusion. 

Meanwhile, have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah. Yule, Bodhi,  Dimwali this December holiday season brings. The New Year is nigh.


Saturday, December 10, 2022

 It is late October and the morning air feels crisp and bright. I always let the wildflowers (weeds) grow tall along my drive way to enjoy the false foxglove, golden rod, rabbit tobacco, wild daisies, dog fennel and sedge grass in bloom. The goldenrod is fading and the false foxglove is going to seed. Nearby I hear dogs barking. My dogs pay them no mind.  A rifle is fired; hunting season is here. 

The deer hang out on my property during hunting season. We did not get any muscadine grapes this year. A doe and her twins ate them all. They were so dang efficient. I grew enough for the wildlife and me. But not enough for that doe and her children. I'll mow a wee bit this month and the turkeys will hang out when turkey season begins. 

We have a large buck that grazes in my yard. When my chihuahua mixes come out. He doesn't stop or look up. When he sees me, he continues. But when my bulldog comes with me, he skips out of sight. One time two of my dogs cornered a deer. Both dogs suffered a great deal of boxing. One had to stay indoors for about a week to convalesce . Apparently, it was horrible. 

I feel a bit jealous when I look at Japanese gardens and landscapes. They are so immaculate. We have very little of that. Calloway gardens are nearby and I don't go there as often as I could. I get very few stretches of time. I do plan to make a plan to go. We live in a warm humid climate for the most part. I use the months of November to February to try to keep my small piece of woodland under control close to my house. The rest of my yard is fairly wild. I used to keep a nice path mowed.

I don't like the idea of zoos. What the big pity is that some endangered animals still exist because of zoos. I decided to do a quick web search and there were many animals of which I had not heard of that no longer existed in the wild. The one I found the most interesting was the wild horse. It was not an ancestor  but more of a cousin of the domesticated horse. The wild horses in North America are actually feral domesticated horses. 

The wild horse which is called the Przewalskis horse is threatened with extinction. It's numbers were decimated in that hunters hunted them for food and with rifles, they hunted them too well. They are using zoo stocks of the horse to reintroduce these creatures to China, Mongolia, and Kyzakhstan.  More Info:

Deer were reintroduced in many states including Georgia. They were overhunted until their numbers were very low around 1925. The reintroduction began in 1925 when there might have been about 20,000. In 1975, the population of white tailed deer was about 250,000. 

My mom used to like to see her dad leave with a rifle. They would be eating meat that night. My favorite story is how her dad brought home a turtle and her mom butchered and cooked it. People were so resourceful. My mom was born in 1930. When I told her about deer being reintroduced, she said that made sense in that she did not remember them in her Northeast Alabama childhood.

My mother started leaving this world on November 2nd. Dementia reared it's head. One night it is just a very tiny black kitten. Another night I had to throw an evil man out of the bedroom. I open the door to the bedroom and order him out. The normally obedient dogs just look at me from their beds. Hospice has begun. I've met the charge nurse. Tomorrow is her first follow up. A social worker and a chaplain came this past Monday. I'm very grateful. I had promised my mom that she no longer had to go to the hospital or meet with any doctors. About a week ago, she asked for a bag of corn chips which she munched as the rest of us gathered in her room ate our snacks. It was a small and final moment. Now she sips a bit of water late in the evening and no longer eats. 

My family has been very lucky. Sarah, the younger sister of my childhood friend has been coming and helping us out with sitting with my mother. People give me much more credit than I deserve for my caregiving. I truly am losing my best friend in life. I've had my clashes with my mother and it is damn difficult to take care of an elderly parent. .When dementia settles in, it is vicious. Add to that, like your siblings, your mother knows how to push your buttons. One night I look over at her and she is giving me a look which is not friendly. In her hand is a bank envelop. I looked in the envelop several days later, It is about six hundred dollars. I've had control of my mother's money for over twenty years. 

I have resented having to take care of my mother and handicapped siblings at times. In later years, I have learned it was a privilege. Now that my mother is in the process of passing, I'm surprised to know my taking care of my mother was more from having a deep relationship with her and not so much as my duty to my mother. While Sarah was watching my mother, I took my siblings to the nail salon and then to eat Chinese food. We had five dogs in the car. While riding in the car, I had to tell them to be prepared mentally for our mother passing. We may witness some unpleasant things. 

The suddenness has been crushing and the not knowing how this will playout leaves me stunned. You hold out hope and then you just look at what is going to happen no matter what. When the nurse spoke of a natural death, I winced. Walking down my driveway at twilight, the moon was rising full and orange. It was truly a beautiful sight. You would think in your grief that the world would be quiet and disappear from view.

Today, my widowed mother asked me about what my father wanted. From what she has said to many, clearly my father was what she loved most in life. During her first hospital stay this month, a nurse came in and asked her how she was feeling. My mother replied, "Have I told you how I met my husband?" All the stories are going with her. 92 years is a heck of a life to live. There is never enough time, eh?  


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