Deer Grove Fields Dream

I’d arrived at a convention. Hugely crowded. I realized two events were being held simultaneously; one was some sort of military retirement celebration. The other was a writing conference. I was there for the latter.

I arrived alone but soon saw other writers who I knew. We milled and spoke together, trying to grasp where we’re supposed to go. I joked to others about the confluence, as I found the situation mildly humorous. We drifted apart, trying to find where to go. I wanted a place to sit down, wait for the crowd to thin out, and then find where I was to go. I was working on the impression that the military event had ended, and then the writing thing would begin.

I encountered a military person whom I knew slightly. I asked what was going on. He told me that the Chief had retired. Making small talk, I asked, “Oh, where was he stationed last?” “Deer Grove Fields,” the other replied, and departed. I’d never heard of that place and wondered if I’d heard right.

I saw another writing friend. She was wearing a blue skirt and a blue top. She mentioned that she’d met the Chief, describing him as a fascinating person. He’d been stationed at Deer Grove Fields. As we nodded and talked, I realized that she was clearing tables. Apparently she was working there.

Tables were all filled but it was a communal system with strangers sharing tables. Finding a place, I sat. Another writing friend, Jill, a small, older woman with short hair, was at the table. I knew that she’d just won an award for a story she’d written. After congratulating her, I asked what she was working on as I set up my laptop. She told me, “Nothing,” and then said, “Deer Grove Fields.” I realized that’s what the others had said but didn’t understand why she said it now. I assumed she was trying to remember something and when it came to her, she’d said it aloud. Then she said, “That’s where the Chief was assigned.”

The dream ended.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Sunrise was at 7:15 AM on this mildly winter Tuesday. Sunset will come at 5:36 PM in Ashland, Oregon. The temperature has already climbed to 37 degrees F and a high of 55 is anticipated.

Today is February 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases continue to drop in our county. Yesterday, we had only eight. Deaths are scaling back, too, with no new ones reported yesterday. Jackson Country remains in the extreme category, though. People walking along the streets often don’t have masks outside of downtown. Everyone in a store is masked. I haven’t been to a restaurant or other business, so I can’t address them. Vaccinations for those eighty and over begin this week.

I was thinking of 1991 this morning, collateral product to dream reflecting. February of that year, I arrived in my new duty station at Onizuka Air Station in Sunnyvale. I didn’t know that it would be my last duty assignment, that I would decide to retire after a few years. I’d been part of a spy unit in Germany in my previous tour; when the Berlin Wall came down, the mission went away, and the unit was decommissioned. I volunteered to go to the Gulf for that buildup but was denied. I instead rotated back to the states.

Hitting the Bay Area and the United States were new experiences, again. I don’t recall specific music when I arrived in the Bay Area. I remember that it was pouring rain, an end to a drought. Onizuka was a few acres dominated by the Blue Cube in the middle of sprawling aerospace company facilities. I’d gone from working with C-130s to working with satellites. In Onizuka, there was no flight line, a first for my military career; all the platforms I worked with were thousands of miles away in space. There would be no more daily roar of aircraft taking off.

Anyway, I looked up some songs from 1991 as I thought about it. “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak jumped out at me. No special reason; it’s just a reflective song for a reflective moment.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get vaccinated, and look forward. Other times are coming. The one constant is change.

A Snowy Military Dream

My first thought was, no, not another dream of being back in the military.

Didn’t start out like that. First, I was simply running along a dirt road. Ahead was my cousin. He’s taller than me but the same age. Seeing him, I pumped up my speed until I caught him. When I did, I realized that I was wearing shorts and a shirt but I was carrying my pants, and I was bare foot. That made me laugh. I told my cousin, “I think I need to put my pants on.” I stopped and put them on.

Then, there I was in my old camouflage battle dress uniform, heading to work. Another new assignment awaited me in the dream. I looked forward to it and was encountering people along the way, happy to see me there and wishing me luck. It was snowing, and the snow began piling up fast, encouraging me to tell others, “The snow is coming down fast. I better go now.”

I rushed through the snow but the going was increasingly difficult as the snow level climbed over my thighs, to my waist. Brilliant white, the snow was beautiful, though cold. Then I was in, at work, meeting my new team, eager to begin work. I was already seeing things that needed to be changed and started directing action, confident in what I was doing.

A Dream Snippet

I’ve been having many dreams each night. A short source yield three to six dreams a night, so I’m average. Maybe it seems like more because they’re vivid and intense, and I remember a lot of them — or so it seems. Remembering dreams always brings a challenge. Trying to remember them usually causes me to remember more of them, but then I get into this cycle of dreaming more, remembering more, dreaming more, until it seems like I’m taking a lot of conscious time thinking about the dreams. As with everything, a balance must be found and maintained.

I’m just going to highlight a series of scenes from one dream last night. Friends and I had gone to a club. I wasn’t in the military but many military peers were in the dream. They weren’t in the military any longer, either.

We were talking about DJs when we arrived. I’d heard one on the way while in my car, and thought he was great. I learned that he was going to be at the club. That excited me. I wanted to meet and speak with him, if I could. It was late in the afternoon/early in the evening. The club had only opened a short while before. Staff was still setting up. My friends and I were some of the first customers. As we walked about looking for a table, I heard the DJ’s voice. Saying, “Hey, that’s him,” I went to find him.

He and I almost ran into one another, earning me a resentful look from him. I apologized to him but he blew me off. Well, okay. Shrugging that away, I returned to my friends, who had now selected a table. A waitress came around with typewritten menus. Although there were many pages, there wasn’t much on them as offering, one or two items per page, and nothing that called to me. I thought I’d just order an appetizer and a beer.

Asking about what beer was available, I discovered that a young Penny Marshall was my server. My question about what beer was available seemed to upset her. As I preferred dark beers, I asked her what darks were available. Looking sour, she responded, “I’ll check.” Then she turned to take others’ orders.

She suddenly reverted her attention to me. “We have some new Sam Adams in.”

“Oh, okay, I’ll take a Sam Adams Octoberfest, if you have that.”

Penny looked upset again. Her companion — a young Cindy Williams — said to Penny soto voce, “It’s okay, it’s okay.” I was like, WTH? Why is Penny so upset? My friends and I joked about it after she left the table.

Some conversations took place about different topics. Then I was watching some people. Some were previous military I worked with. They were out now. Some were belligerent toward one another. Turning to comment to my friends, I discovered that I was alone at the table. There was silverware, and my beer, but there were gone.

Picking up the silverware and beer, I walked around. Finding that they moved to another table angered me. I tossed the silverware onto the table. It slide across and fell on the floor. That caught their attention. I then put my beer down and set six dollars on the table to pay for it. They were asking, “Something wrong?”

I replied, “Yeah, thanks for telling me you were moving. I appreciate it. I turned around and you were all gone. How did you expect that to make me feel?”

They were sort of chuckling and stammering apologies about pulling a bad prank, but I walked out, deciding that I didn’t need friends like them.

Outside, I entered my car. It was a cool, sunny evening, still early, Putting the top down, I took a drive, enjoying myself as the air flowed over me.

Another Validating Dream

Validating dreams are the best. I’ll provide a synopsis of this one without great detail.

A sharply clear dream, I was (again) a young fellow in the military, taking over a command post. Several people in the dream were people who worked for me. They had multiple problems. I found them immediately, and installed fixes. My spirit throughout this was optimistic and upbeat, a hundred on a hundred point scale. The dream’s only oddity was that the command post vehicle was a circa 1960 Volkswagen Beetle. Low, dark shale, it lacked bumpers but ran fine. One of my first observances was that the CP was lacking parking blocks. I acquired them. They were fixed in place on the ground but the VW was too low, and its chassis would drag over the blocks. Yeah, there wasn’t much connection with reality there. That’s where it all ended.

A Packed Dream

I sorted out all the elements as a catalyst to remembering this convoluted nocturnal offering.

  1. Racing cars from the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  2. The mother of a childhood friend in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  3. The television show Glee.
  4. My sports car that I drove in the 1990s.
  5. Co-workers from the early 2000s.
  6. A book store and change.
  7. The Vietnam war and the Huey gunship.
  8. Walking and driving.
  9. An embarrassing bathroom incident featuring an elderly Robert Duvall doppelganger.
  10. Sending a coded message.

It was a lot to take in. I dreamed this between 6 AM and 7:45, times that I was awoken to let Youngblood (Papi) out and in again. I was the same age, in my forties, throughout the dream.

Let’s begin the madness.

Started in traffic. I was in my black 1993 RX-7 R1. Highway was a undulating, rolling affair of six lanes filled with cars. It could have been El Camino Real along the Peninsula.

I saw bright cars up ahead. After some seconds of watching them accelerate and race through traffic, I decided that those were race cars. Downshifting, I accelerated to catch them, then I passed one; it was a 1966 Ford GT. Catching up with others, I saw a trio of Ford GT40s, then several Porsche 908s, a couple Ferraris, Porsche 917s in Gulf colors, and finally, Mark Donahue’s fabled Sunoco blue Porsche 917/30. Flabbergasted, I speculated, why are all these vintage race cars racing in traffic on a public road? Before I could fully catch them, a traffic light stopped me.

I was no longer in my car, but standing with a crowd of people, waiting for the light to change. It was a sunny day. When the light changed, we started walking forward. We were going up a large hill, paved, six lanes wide (three in each direction). A woman beside me said, “How do they expect us to walk up these hills when we’re not warned about them?” I thought that an odd complaint. Looking back, I realized I was having no problem with the hill, but everyone else was, and all were lagging far behind. Shrugging that off, I kept going.

Almost at the hill top, I turned into my destination, a shopping center. There was a book store that I wanted to visit. Entering, I hurried upstairs and then turned in what I remembered as the way. But it was changed; packed with books and bookshelves, tables and chairs, there were so many people and books that it was hard walking through. I gingerly managed to get through, then turned another corner, and found myself in a deadend.

I heard my name being called. As I wondered why anyone would be calling my name, I looked down and realized that my name was written on the tee shirt I wore. A young woman caught up with me. I recognized her as a co-worker from a company I worked at in the 2000s in Palo Alto.

She was asking me for information about a book. She knew some of the people I used to work with flew Huey Gunships in Vietnam. That baffled me; she didn’t work with any of those people. Also, those people were too young to have flown Hueys in Vietnam. A third man (black) came up, trying also to get through the book store. The three of us decided that there was only one door to take, so we would take it to reach the book store section that we wanted.

As we were about to leave, a black man hailed us. Identifying himself as the store manager, he told us that we couldn’t enter until people had left, because the store was too crowded. While we were talking to him, I looked out the window. Realizing where I was, I decided I would leave the store and approach the part I wanted from the outside. I took off to do so.

Now I was in a bathroom. I needed a bowel movement, so I copped a squat. People were watching me. One resembled an elderly Robert Duvall. Staring at me, he said, “Are you really going to do that here?” Thinking I was on a toilet, I replied, “Sure, why not?”

Then I realized that I was peeing on the floor. As I tried addressing that, I discovered that I was shitting in a urinal.

No, no, no! I was hugely embarrassed and recognized that I made an enormous mess. Well, hopping off the urinal, I found some paper towels and starting cleaning. Robert Duvall mocked me. “You’re going to clean this whole thing?” “Yes,” I answered.

My friends began helping me. As I cleaned piss off the upper walls, I realized that there was no way that I’d made all of this mess. Robert Duvall said the same. But I decided to keep cleaning until it was all clean, which I did with friends’ help. Robert Duvall grudgingly congratulated me on doing the right thing. I felt happy about that. Then my friends and I left.

I was out in a busy, busy place. I realized that a high-ranking military officer was coming here, but it wasn’t safe for him. I had a code that I could use to warn him off, but how would I get the code to him? It had to be surreptitious due to the situation.

I saw that some others were on a Zoom call. He was on that Zoom call, too, on the other end! I could write the code on a card or piece of paper and hold it up. As I worked, putting that all together, I did another assessment. Deciding that the threat had passed and the warning overcome by events, I left.

I was at my friend’s house in Penn Hills, PA. He wasn’t there, but his father was. He was coming down the steps as I was going up. I needed to wash my car. I crept into the house, a little concerned that I didn’t belong there, that I was invading someone’s private space. Upstairs, I found a bucket and soap and started filling the bucket with water at the sink. My friend’s mother (Lois) entered. The kitchen was messy, and another person was in there. I apologized for being there, stammering my way through that. She shrugged. “That’s okay. We’re making smoothies.” She held up two large glasses. Then she talked to the other person, asking him if they’d DVR’d Glee.

That threw me off. Lois had died in the eighties (cancer). Glee didn’t exist when she was alive. Neither did DVRs.

Leaving, I returned to my car (still my black RX-7), and then left to reach the bookstore.

Yeah, the end.

Such Screwy Dreams

My dreams left me laughing and shaking my head. One involved food and family; the second was about military and ID (again) (but with changes).

In the first, my stepfather was there. ‘He and I didn’t get along’ is a loaded understatement. He was a large part of the unhappiest part of my life.

I knew that history in my dream, and even wondered, what’s he doing here. But I tried making nice, and he was being nice. My wife was there (she’d never met him), along with a couple of my sisters, and my mother.

First, weirdly, we — my wife and I — set up a television connection with the net to watch porn. Really. The plan wasn’t mine in the dream, and left me scratching my head, but I did as told. Then, lo, my stepfather and family sat down and turned on that porn. They were all laughing, asking, what’s that?

It was a flat screen TV. Distracting them, I spun it around so they couldn’t see the screw. Then I ran to the bedroom. Lifting the bedskirt, I located switches to change what they could see on the television. Then I dashed back, and turned the television back to them.

As they watched television, my wife and I prepared food for ourselves in the other room. I was having a Philly cheese steak sandwich; she was having a veggie version.

We went outside to eat. The food was on a plate. The house was on a busy corner. Some people passing asked if they could have a sandwich, offering to pay for it. My wife said, “Yes,” while I was like, “What? Don’t we need permits?” She was certain that we didn’t. Well, my wife and I started making and selling the sandwiches. Sales were great. We were happy, and sold them until we ran out of supplies.

The dream ended as my wife laughed, counted cash, and joked about doing it again.

The next dream took on a military spin. We wife and I were in temporary quarters, leaving a base. I think we may have been leaving the military. Well, we’re in bed when the door bangs open. Two guys walk in. I leap out of bed and rush across the room to confront them. I’m not big; they’re a good six inches taller and thirty pounds heavier. But this is the military and I’m a senior NCO, and that’s the power I’m using. I brace them, telling them that this is my room and they have no business being there. They’re disagreeing, saying the rules changed. I haven’t heard about changes, so I don’t give a shit, you know?

But I tell my wife what they told me, that there’s been unspecified changes that shifts our roles. Then I go out to learn more. After a few minutes, I return and tell her, I’ve confirmed what I was told, that it’s changed. Sitting down, we discuss the changes and agree that they were overdue, but that they don’t really matter, because we were done, suggesting we were giving up our military ID cards.

Then we leave with our baggage, and the dream ends.

In both dreams, I notice that it’s about changes. In the first, my relationship with my stepfather changed. Then my wife and I were making food for ourselves, but changed and started making and selling food. In the military dream, of course, there were changes that seem to reference the structure and our roles.

Then again, my dreams are often about change these days.

Friday’s Free-Ranging

  1. Some people still believe COVID-19 is a hoax. Even as they’re hospitalized and intubated, they can’t believe they have COVID-19, according to nurses in several states, because COVID-19 is a hoax. Surreal.
  2. But it’s getting real. For many people, it doesn’t become real until a family member, close friend, or celebrity has it. Well, read the news. Another Pentagon official is positive, and another U.S. senator. Actor Ben Platt was positive. Do a net search and you’ll discover more. NFL teams are experiencing it at an increasing tempo. The Vegas Raiders have at least eight defensive starters on the COVID-19 list. The Steelers have several, while several others passed the protocol and can practice and play again. The Denver Broncos announced, no more fans in the stands after this Sunday. The NFL said that all teams must use intense COVID-19 protocols. That includes masks, distancing, limiting occupancy, and using Zoom for meetings.
  3. The fatality rate and positivity rates are both climbing. A NYTimes article points out that there’s not a single U.S. state or territory where COVID-19 is declining. We now experience over two hundred thousand new case a day, and it’s increasing fast. More governors are ordering mandatory masks, shutting down activities, and limiting gatherings. Except, in South Dakota, of course, home of Sturgis. Although they’re facing the nation’s highest positivity rate and fatality rate, and has become one of the nation’s most intense COVID-19 hotspots, the governor still dismisses taking any actions.
  4. And superspreader events still take place across the nation. As a for instance tale, there was a wedding in Ohio on October 31st. Of eighty-three guests, half are now positive for COVID-19, including the bride and groom. Three of their grandparents tested positive, with two grandparents ending up in the ER. Yeah, I understand that you want a special day for your wedding. It’s a celebration, but c’mon, man, have some sense. They did try, providing masks and hand sanitizer liquid, but as the bride was walking down the aisle, she realized nobody was wearing a mask.
  5. Meanwhile, out in hard-hit El Paso, they’re trying to find workers for the many temporary morgues that they’ve set up. They were using convicts for the job.
  6. Writing continues to entertain and satisfy me, so hurrah for me, right? Yeah, that’s my little ray of sunshine.
  7. Some days, I just cannot write fast enough. A scene takes maybe a minute to enter my head and bloom. Dialogue, setting, action, characters, it’s all there. It takes twenty to thirty minutes to type up such scenes, trying to get all the moments right.
  8. Getting the moments right means finding the words. I often just hammer it out, then return, correcting pacing and tenses, adding and refining details, and aligning the arc. That’s about the only way to put it.
  9. Thanksgiving in the United States is coming upon us, and we’re preparing. It’ll be the two of us at home, a huge break from the last several years. Good friends have been including us in their celebration. It’s always a good time. There will be a Zoom Thanksgiving cocktail party this year. It’s better than nothing, right?
  10. For food, we’re doing an early Sunday morning Trader Joe’s raid. Many options were investigated before deciding on this path. TJ’s ‘vulnerable shoppers’ time begins at 8 AM. We plan to be there by 8:15 with our list in hand.
  11. Contemplating our plans fires Thanksgiving memories. I was in Basic Training in 1974. Fortunately, my Uncle and his family lived nearby. I was authorized to go spend Thanksgiving with them, and watched the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions play. For Wright-Patt in Ohio, in ’75, we drove home and visited with family. When I was serving unaccompanied in the Philippines in 1976, my co-workers invited me to their house, and I had a great time. Paying it back, my wife and I often included single or unaccompanied personnel in our T-day celebrations.
  12. Memories stack up by bases and countries: Onizuka in California, Kadena on Okinawa, Rhein-Main in Germany, Osan in Korea, Randolph in Texas. When we were stationed at Shaw AFB in South Carolina in 1985, we headed north three hundred miles to my wife’s family in WV. A few hundred more miles, and we were at my mother’s place in Pittsburgh, PA. When I retired and we lived in Half Moon Bay, we joined in large Friendsgiving celebrations, just as we’ve mostly done here in Ashland.
  13. All of these places and years are memorable, though; all of them. They were different places, different people, and different experiences, but all enriched my existence.
  14. Need more coffee, as it’s time to write like crazy, at least one more time. Have four scenes circling in my head. Time for them to land on a page. Have a better one, and please wear a mask.

A Mundane Work Dream

In several ways, I deem this one of the strangest dreams I’ve recently experienced. It was literally like I was at work. My team were all there, working for me as in the early days of this century. Like that time, I was explaining some of the things I did and how it was done, instructing others to reduce mystery and increase illumination.

Nothing special. Then I was at home with my wife. I found three areas which were partially repaired. That is, the initial repairs were done, but they needed to be finished. All were regarding the walls where some damages had been inflicted. I called it out to her, asking, “What are we going to do about this? We can’t just leave this like this.”

Next, she and I were cleaning. She vacuumed the carpet with our Hoover upgright while I vacuumed the furniture with the central vac’s brush.

Then, I’d returned to work. It was a new location and I’d forgotten my coffee cup. Oh, no, I didn’t have a coffee cup! What shall I do? It was a joke with me and all my co-workers. I said, “Well, I’ll just use a foam cup (gasp, shudder), or paper, or borrow a cup, or buy a new one.” I set about doing that as a side project while greeting co-workers.

The biggest shock arrived. Lt/Capt Z, who I’d worked with for four years in the military in Germany arrived. He was completely as he was then, in his flight suit, sleeves rolled up. We each asked the other, “What’re you doing here?” We laughed and shook hands, happy to see one another.

Dream end.

I think this dream germinated with nostalgia, a sort of look back by my subconscious to more pleasant and predictable times. The wall repairs section with my wife was interesting. Looks like something is repaired but not finished. Although, the idea next that we’re, ‘cleaning up’ but going about it differently, was striking.

Friday’s Theme Music

You ever think, “Boy, I could use somebody to…” do X? Complete the sentence. Fill in the blank.

I haven’t thought those words in a long time. When I managed people, I often thought that. Juggling resources and priorities was a constant. Not too infrequently, it ended with, “Boy, I could use somebody.”

This came to mind yesterday, after Veteran’s Day in the U.S. As a veteran, I have many veteran friends. Photos of them back in the day rolled into Facebook.

So I was remembering when with some of them. One in particular was an intelligent but withdrawn guy when he worked for me. He seemed like he lacked self-confidence, that he could be a lot more than what he was showing. Another section came to me and said those words, “I could use somebody…”

This guy was the choice. The officer with the need was dubious, but my guy blossomed. From that, you could see the change in him manifest. It was something to behold. Leaving the military after eight years, he went into tech, where his talents and intelligence were applied and rewarded.

The phrase itself, “I could use somebody”, cropped up when I was shopping for cat food during my day out. A woman said that to a store employee. That then triggered a foray into mental writing as I went about my business, creating a scene that I wrote after I returned home, centered on the phrase, “I could use somebody.”

Lot of disparate thinking to reach today’s theme music. But each time the phrase, “use somebody” passed through the mental stream, my strangely wired neurons said, “Playing ‘Use Somebody’ by Kings of Leon, 2008.” So, really, this is about getting a song out of my head. I enjoy Caleb’s enunciation of the phrase in the song. It’s a good song to sing when it hits the radio and you’re alone in the car. Just sayin’.

Have a good one. Wear a mask. Cheers

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