SoCS: and the hits just keep on coming…

No, this is, unfortunately, not going to be a post about what’s on the Top 40.

I have been scarce/non-existent here at Top of JC’s Mind for the last week because my 96-year-old dad, known here as Paco, fell in his assisted living unit last Saturday. B and I had visited him in the 1-1:30 visiting slot, but he fell about 3:00. We think he was in the kitchenette but aren’t sure. Although he hit the floor pretty hard, he managed to get himself up and over to the couch where he called for help.

He has had a few falls before, but he hit much harder this time. His left side took the force of the fall. He was sent by ambulance to the local hospital where the extent of his injuries was revealed and he was admitted with a bump and cut on his head – luckily no concussion – bruises and contusion on his left arm and elbow, deep bruising on his left hip – luckily no break – a cracked left rib, and two wing fractures of back vertebrae.

The fall, pain, unfamiliar surroundings, etc. also worsened his cognitive condition. Paco already is suffering from dementia and this fall completely unmoored him. On Wednesday, he was stable enough to transfer to a rehab unit. We are hoping that his cognition will improve as he heals and gets stronger. It’s a much calmer and more stable environment than being in the hospital.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day in the United States and it’s hard because we won’t be able to see Paco as visiting in the rehab facility is extremely limited.

The other hit that our family is trying to absorb is that we just got word that a member of our extended family has been diagnosed with metastatic cancer. She is only thirty. She is strong and fighting but everyone is devastated.

And the hits just keep on coming…

*****
Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “hat/het/hit/hot/hut.” Join us! Find out more here: https://lindaghill.com/2021/06/18/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-19-2021/

SoCS: October

October is one of my favorite months.

Part of the reason is that I was born in October. My birthday is the fourth, which also happens to be the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, who has become increasingly important to me spiritually over the years.

Growing up In New England, I always appreciated the beauty of October. It is the month when the leaves turn colors. Because our forests are mixed, there are red, orange, yellow, and russet leaves, punctuated with the deep greens of evergreens. I am lucky to still live in the Northeastern United States so our autumn foliage is still similar.

The last two Octobers I have  been back in my home area for early October with the Boiler House Poets in residency at MASS MoCA. Being back at that time of year is even more special as it has coincided with the annual Fall Foliage Festival. I have even written a poem about it.

Of course, October ends with Halloween. I admit that it is not one of my favorite holidays, but October 31st is special for another reason. It is my elder sister’s birthday and so another reason to celebrate the crisp, beautiful month of October.
*****
The prompt this week was a word beginning with “oc.” Join us for Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday and/or Just Jot It January! Find out more here:
https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/19/the-friday-reminder-for-socs-jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-20th-2018/

SoCS: Work in or out?

As usual, there is a lot of work to do.

The question is – do I work in or out?

We had a cold, wet snap this past week, so the autumn leaves have largely fallen from the tress onto the back lawn, so I could go out and rake and haul leaves to the curb.

On the other hand, we are trying to get the house in some semblance of order and I have lots of things in the den to go through.

It’s probably best to stop stream of consciousness-ing and get to work.

Maybe I will decide in or out while I eat lunch! 😉
*****

Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is in/out. Join us! Find out how here: https://lindaghill.com/2016/10/28/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-2916/ .  Also, check out Linda’s ebook! Purchase links here! 

Fall foliage

For some great photos of fall leaves in Colorado with a bonus science lesson about the colors of aspen leaves, follow this link to Steph’s blog,  Partial Ellipsis of the Sun. Steph always has a great mix of science, photographs, and wordplay, so you should definitely visit and follow her!

Poems: Binghamton Poetry Project fall 2015 anthology

This evening, the Binghamton Poetry Project will be having their fall reading event – without me. I did want to share these poems which are my contribution to the fall 2015 anthology. All three poems are by Joanne Corey.

Timeline
          inspiration: Hayden Carruth

So, of course, today,
when I have somewhere
to be, my early morning
appointment runs late,
Riverside Drive is still
under construction,
like it was last year,
with detours still in place,
the parking garages
are falling apart,
partially blocked off
to avoid cars and motorcycles
getting crushed
like in the collapse
at Wilson this summer,
and the meters are only two hours
and I need more time.
Don’t I always need more time?
I park on Oak
where there are no meters
and walk
as quickly as possible
to the Downtown Center
to learn about climate change
and how bubbles in cores
of Antarctic ice
tell us the CO2 concentration
of the atmosphere
800,000 years ago.
My Fitbit vibrates to let me
know I’ve reached my step goal.
It’s not even ten o’clock.

*****

fall
          inspiration: Robert Lax

wind
blows
golden
fall
leaves

golden
wind
blows

leaves
fall

leaves
fall

leaves
fall

fall
wind
blows

golden
leaves

golden
leaves

golden
leaves

fall

fall

fall

fall

fall

fall

fall

 

 

fall
leaves

*****

process

the word
       phrase
       image
       thought
       memory

appears

refuses to leave

expands

runs through waking
                         walking
                         chores
                         driving
                         dreams
for hours
       days
       weeks

coalesces into lines
                          stanzas
                          poem

demands to be written

relinquishes some specifics
                                   details
                                   facts

creates space for mystery
                                the reader
                                truth

Third of a Century

B and I were not able be together for our 33rd anniversary in June, so we decided to take a few days away for our 33-and-a-third anniversary, also known as a third of a century anniversary. Well, not really known as that, but humor me…

We took a lovely drive to Lenox, Massachusetts. I had thought that the foliage might be past peak as we travelled north, but it was not. While there are patches where the leaves are down, for the most part there is still a lovely mix of red, yellow, orange, and green, both from evergreens and from trees that have not changed.

We are just back from a lovely dinner at Alta and I thought I’d share a couple of photos from Lenox.  This is the view from our balcony:

view from our balcony

This is from our walk before dinner, just down the street from Alta.
Lenox MA

Fall-ing

As some of you know, this fall has been rough, as we deal with myriad health issues with one of the family elders.  (In truth, the fall had a bit of a rough run-up as we dealt with both of my parents having their own medical issues, but things are going much better with them now.)

I have been doing much to-ing and fro-ing and have needed to grab little snatches of consolation, comfort, and beauty as I can find them. I was grateful for the unusually vibrant fall foliage this year, beginning early with the first peaks of gold among the green of the hillsides and ending with our neighbors vivid red Japanese maple.

 Even after all the leaves had fallen, I continued to marvel at the white chrysanthemum on our front porch. I had originally bought the plant from the grocery store to clip some blossoms to fill in for some wilted flowers in a Christmas centerpiece almost three years ago. I had managed to keep it alive indoors and it offered a blossom here and there, but this spring, I asked my husband to re-pot it and put it outdoors.  To my surprise, it flourished and offered hardy white blossoms that withstood several hard frosts until the snows came.

With the cold weather, we started to put out birdseed and suet in our feeders and I delight in catching glimpses of chickadees, jays, finches, woodpeckers, juncos,  tufted titmouse, cardinals, and nuthatches enjoying the food.

The best gift of the fall was the visit of both of our daughters and our son-in-law for Thanksgiving.  I am still holding in my mind the picture of us around the Thanksgiving table with the three grandparents.  We were too busy eating and enjoying each others’ company for photo ops, but here is a photo our older daughter took of her spouse and sister tending to the birdfeeders in the snow. Larry, who grew up in London, was relishing in the eight inches of snow we received. Now living in Hawai’i, he was not used to that much snow at once!

Still, despite my best efforts, I have recently had a bit of a crash. Last Friday, I spent hours working on a letter that I plan to send in lieu of holiday cards this year. I needed to recap the year and finally cried over a lot of the difficulties that I had been powering through because I had to keep going for those who were depending on me.

I thought I had gotten the melancholy out of my system until I was sitting next to my parents in church Sunday morning. The handbell choir and adult choir were both participating, which was emotional for reasons I wrote about here.  The First Sunday of Advent, I had been in church with my daughters and son-in-law all singing beside me. On this Second Sunday, the handbell choir was processing and the choir and assembly were singing “Christ, Circle Round Us”, a setting of the “O” antiphons by Dan Schutte, and my daughters weren’t there to join in. I started crying and barely sang the hymn, even though I love it. I had my face turned away from my mom, hoping she wouldn’t see my tears. I found out later, she was also emotional, thinking back to all the years she had heard her granddaughters singing and ringing in church.

Like the autumn leaves, sometimes tears need to fall, too.

Mytwosentences 83

A beautiful photo and thought on a cold November morning.

Mytwosentences

image

The grandparents had a comfy cozy home filled with generations of family who had come to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of an endearing duo that always made time for each other.
As gathered guests patiently waited, the elder twain took their love on that daily walk which was a cherished time to trade soft kisses and secretly enjoy a special togetherness found rustling with the leaves.
(Photo: Edward Roads)

Written by Edward Roads

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