Friday’s Wandering Thoughts

Mom was always home, the location which held his heart. Though she moved several times since he left home when he was fifteen and ended up living with his father, just returned from military service in Germany.

Keeping up with Mom was a challenge. New locations, new husbands, boyfriends, new jobs. She went back to school, got her GED. It’d been her secret that she hadn’t graduated high school. Then, nursing school, and the nursing profession, which she loved. By then she was in her late forties. She finally gained the independence sought, and bought a home for herself.

Keeping up for many years was cards, letters, phone calls. He only heard from her on holidays and birthdays. He initiated all else. Then email became popular. Now it’s text messages. Through it all she was the same but changed.

As was he.

Another Dead Person Dream

Last night’s dream had a special guest, a stepfather who died years after Mom divorced him. He’s father to two of my sisters. An addicted gambler, he lived in a room in a church, given to him with a small stipend for being the church caretaker, in the years before his death, forced to go there after the factory where he worked on a baking assembly line was shut down.

I always felt sorry for him and said so to my half-sisters, his daughters. One snapped, “I love him but he was very stupid and made bad decisions. He never learned from anything that he did.”

Hearing her say that shocked me, although it had been my opinion of him. All that is background to the dream, along with the note that I’ve had about six dreams featuring dead people in 2023. This is George’s first appearance.

To the dream.

I was visiting Mom at her house. She and I and everyone present were decades younger than RL. George, the deceased stepfather, was there, planning to go on a trip. His presence surprised me; I knew he was dead and I knew that he and Mom were divorced, but there he was.

‘There’ was a half-finished house. I couldn’t fully grasp what was done, as it wasn’t consistent in the dream. George mostly emerged from the bathroom and was in the kitchen when I encountered him. One oddity about the unfinished house was that the yard outside of it was covered in white carpeting. Sometimes a part of the yard was set up as a room, carpet on the floor, trees around it.

My two little sisters, George’s daughters, were there, young teenagers. George didn’t like me and was showing it. I was making comments to Mom. When I did, George would correct me. He’s right, I would realize, astonished. I was wrong and he was right.

I poured myself a glass of red wine and drank it, repeating that two more times. When I checked the bottle, it was still full. I chortled to myself, I’m going to keep this bottle, and took it with me.

George emerged from the bathroom. I tried being polite with him, asking, where are you going? How long will you be away? He gave me mean looks, refusing to answer, walking up the stairs to the kitchen. which didn’t have any walls.

Going outside with my bottle of wine, I met my youngest sister by a table. A single glass was on top of the table. As I spoke with her about George’s surprising intelligence, I poured wine into the glass. I completely missed the glass! Red wine made a huge stain on the white carpet.

Horror struck me. Oh, my god, what was I going to do? My sister was anxious about it, too. We threw glances back at the house and warned one another, Mom better not find out.

I went back to the house. George was about to leave. I told him to have a good journey and to stay safe. He departed without replying.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Tuesday’s note has been plucked, time for us to get up and f —

Yes, it’s Tuesday, January 17, 2023, for those scoring at home. Sunrise here was a minute later and the setting part will be a minute or two later. Slow change is taking place. It’s not really change, of course, except if you look at it with a very narrow aperture. That’s how I view many things taking place in the world today. They’re not really changes, they’re shift back to what they were, following an old orbit of thought. But the orbit will keep going and then we’ll again see the orbit’s other side.

Of course, it’s not exactly the same today as it was last year at this time of year. Nor is it the same as ten or a hundred years ago, despite what it seems. Small, but permanent shifts are found by studying the underlying details affecting the planet’s orbit. In the case of Earth’s days, we know its rotation is slowing. We know the average temperature is climbing, oxygen levels are dropping, and we know these temperature and oxygen results are being affected by human activity. We know days will become longer with the slower rotation and hotter with the slowing rotation. We know the sun is slowly cooling. We know our orbit is decaying and days will grow hotter as we edge toward the sun. We know that methane gases and diminishing glaciers will affect these outcomes. And some of us apparently know that the Earth is flat, and we’re kept from knowing the full truth about it by evil forces who don’t want us to know the truth for their own gain.

We also know that today is 3 degrees Celsius at the mo’, but it’ll climb to 48 degrees Fahrenheit here in Ashlandia. Sunshine has kicked into a satisfactory blaze. Actually, we know that the sun blazes along the same way all the time but clouds, axis tilts, weather pressure, and the Earth’s orbit defines our daily experience. We chose to express it along traditional lines that keep us at the center.

Conversing with Mom remains concerning. She prefers texting over talking on the phone. Her responses are about her many medical problems — heart, lungs, back, eyes, teeth, digestion, balance — upcoming appointments, and what is hurting where and what’s been tried and failed. Tres depressing to continue witnessing her decline and her fight against it. She wants to be there for her grandchildren, but her quality of life continues sliding down a hill, and it’s getting steeper.

After reading of more political contentions, more shootings and deaths, more murders and protests, The Neurons dialed up Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ 1978 cover of “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding” in the morning mental music stream. I enjoy his vocal style for this, but the song also display a pop sound from an earlier era. It’s upbeat tempo is a pleasant salve for rising depression and frustration.

Hope you have a grand day and you make it your way, and I’m not talking about McDonald’s, either. Stay positive. Yes, I dropped the negative test aspect of my daily encouragement to me and you. You’ll probably test negative one of these days but if you the right luck and medical assistance, there’s a hopeful chance you’ll emerged with your health intact.

Okay, I need coffee. Here’s Elvis and the band. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

A colorless, empty sky drips on us. Friday, 12/30/2022 — 30/12/2022, if you will — has come in from the wild.

Three songs share the rotation in the morning mental music stream. I don’t know if the dream caused it, but they were regurgitated out of memory when I started thinking about the dream. Mom and two of my sisters featured in the dream about crosswalk safety and clogged sinks.

But, first, daylight commenced at 7:39 when light slowly gained influence behind the cloud lid over the valley. Rain was falling and the furnace’s warm air passed against me like a friendly animal waiting for attention. Daylight’s end is expected at 4:48 PM. We’re sitting at 42 F and the day has a lofty goal of 46 F in mind. Between light, rain, and temperature — and my activities of reading, writing, cleaning, plus the usual bio needs for human and felines — it’s a narrowly defined day. Getting ready for the big 2022 send-off. What do you think, will 2023 be a better year? I think another average year is in store. With averages, it’s different for each of us, innit?

Led Zeppelin kicked off its residence in the morning mental music stream with “Whole Lotta Love” from good old 1969. It wasn’t long as the dream elements arose for inspection that Gerry Rafferty began “Baker Street”, a song he released in 1978. The musical trio was completed with Loggins and Messina, “Your Mama Don’t Dance”, 1972. An interesting grouping of sounds, artists, and years. Don’t know the connection to the dream. Maybe one isn’t there. Perhaps Les Neurons just said, “Boy, I really like this song.” Or maybe something embedded in the environment, noted by the senses, ordered, “Play this song.”

Well, Rafferty with “Baker Street” is playing loudest and most frequently, so that’ll be the day’s theme music. “Light in your head and dead on your feet, well another crazy day,” and so on.

Stay positive if you can — I know it can be hard and varies for each of us — and test negative, if you can. Got any New Year’s Eve plans? I do, starting a cuppa coffee, a little flavor of normalcy for another rainy winter day. Cheers

A Weird Car Trip Dream

Friends and I were awakening from sleep in a darkly cluttered place. Three or four others were there, including one friend from RL forty years ago. The others were dream friends but not anyone from this RL. As the sun rose, an old stage, perhaps once part of a high school but now outside, gained substance.

We talked about news while sitting up, rubbing sleep out of our faces, and stretching. One was complaining that people didn’t understand the news and headlines. Someone suggested that we should do plays where we would just read headlines and stories and then explain them. Sounded good to me. Someone else said that we needed to clean the area up but I asked why because the stage with its clutter and junk seemed like a meta statement about our world. As this conversation went on, the sun rose, daylight came up, papers were dropped off on the stage and people became walking past. We’d been rolling up our sleeping bags, putting other shirts on, and making coffee. Now one guy picked up a newspaper and started reading it aloud. People going past stopped to listen.

I went down steps, out the back, and met my cousin. He and I went off to collect our clothing, which was somewhere else, because we needed to get ready to go. He kept talking about what he was going to wear and asking my opinion of his ideas, but I wasn’t deeply invested in that and didn’t respond much. Reaching a building, we went upstairs and found our open suitcases. This wasn’t the clothes we wanted; that was at Mom’s house, my cousin thought, suggesting that we go there. I told my wife where we were going. She decided to come with us.

We entered a large white vehicle with a thick black stripe down each side. The inside was flat and wide, with a thin, gray carpet on the floor. Windows were on every side, giving great visibility. Some gray folding chairs were set up in it in the front, but we would need more. I set up some chairs that I found, dubbing one in the second row by the window as ‘mine’. Two people were already seated in the front row, where three chairs were set up. One of those was my SIL, who was waiting to leave as well, which startled me. For some reason, I didn’t expect her there.

My cousin had disappeared, and so had my wife. I went out to Mom’s home and found the clothes which I wanted, and put on a green shirt to wear while I traveled. Going back outside I saw cars pulling up and parking on the lush green lawn. “They’re not going to like that,” I told others several times, talking about the people who lived in this housing area. “They’re proud of their lawn. They should move their cars before they’re found.”

Everyone ignored me. I found my cousin back inside Mom’s house. Mom was talking to him as he complained that his clothes weren’t there. I looked and discovered that the suitcase holding his clothes had been emptied. I told him that he would just need to go in what he was wearing, which really upset him.

I returned to the white car. Nobody had set up any more chairs. The driver was present, adjusting his folding chair as a seat, along with my SIL, who was still in her seat. My wife was in the seat which I’d designated for myself. I complained about that with her; she ignored me. Exasperated, I set up another chair behind my SIL. I asked her where she was going, and she answered, “The same place as you.”

I responded, “I’m going back to school.”

She answered, “So am I.”

The car rocked with movement. Going to a window and looking out, I discovered that the car was tall and much larger than expected. We seemed to be twenty feet off the ground. I didn’t know how that was possible.

Dreams ends as the car moves forward with me looking out the window and others talking behind me.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Wednesday came calling. I agreed to meet, have some coffee, see where the day drives us.

Thinking of the snowstorm that hit the northeastern U.S. Probably hit Canada, too, but when the U.S. is involved, news of other countries is often crowded out in my realm. Photos and videos are ripe click bait the last few days as stories about the snow’s depth piled up. Some people claim in comments, that’s Photoshop. It wasn’t that bad. Everything is questioned.

Misty damp gray dresses Wednesday here. It’s the day before Thanksgiving in the U.S., November 23, 2022. 38 F, with a shy sun and smirking clouds that hold the sky. The high temperature will be 52 F. For the record, sunrise and set are 7:11 AM and 7:43 PM.

Catching up on Mom news. I text her every morning. It’s about making her feel better. She changed bedspreads, washed the old stuff, put it in the storage bag and then into the closet. Live-in boyfriend helped. He’s 92, damn good shape. She meets with her doctor today to discuss her latest issue, the yokenella regensburgei. No growth after the five-day colony test. Nothing there. So. What to do, the doctors are debating. She meets with them today.

The Neurons have “Hypnotized” by Fleetwood Mac in the MMMS (TM pending). Not about being hypnotized, but the sentiment taken from the opening verses about the same old story. Reading news, déjà vu rakes the senses. I’ve been here before, not too long ago. The day is comfortable, but is that safe?

Other than that, preparing for our now almost traditional friendsgiving celebration. Spouse does almost all of our contribution. We’re being simple this year. I’ve prepared things in the past so we would both take something, but this year, she drew back and said, “I’m just doing deviled eggs and a cheese and cracker spread. We’ll also take a nice bottle of wine.” She’s in charge, so I replied, “Okay.” Be about eighteen people there, all vaxxed. Most have also had COVID. It’s at a farmhouse in the country. Hope it’s a clear night there, as I love standing in that empty space by their house, considering the stars.

Coffee is ready so Wednesday and I will have a cup, see what shakes out. Stay positive, test negative. Here’s the music. It’s Fleetwood Mac with Bob Welch. Bob wrote the song.


Thursday’s Theme Music

The autumn sky is doing an awesome impersonation of summer. Scanning down to the trees, snow still caps the mountains. Further down and we see the autumn leaves on trees. Then, lower, comes the hard frost. Looks can deceive unless you take in the full picture.

It’s 32 F now and feels like 30 but no fear, it’ll soon be 40, then keep going until it summits 49. Then we’ll ride back down into the cold valley for the night.

Sunrise heralded this gorgeous, clear, cold sky at 6:55 AM. The other end of the stick will come at 4:54 PM. This is Thursday, November 10, 2022.

My beer gang meet last night and discussed election results and other news, along with the books by Mary Roach. We also had two guests as teachers. We gave them $600 to fund three more microscopes, continuing our funding of their hands-on workshops. Last year, we gave them six, so they now will have nine. The teachers do a joint curriculum of biology and social students of their third and fourth grade classes. They also loan the microscopes to other classes. Next week, the high school robotic team will come in and pitch to them. We plan to donate $500 to them, as we have for several years. We’re also addressing a donation to ScienceWorks to support a new project for them, providing students with hands-on project management experience. For this year, we’ve donated $2500 to the causes, all from donations collected each week when we have beer. We’ve donated over $35,000 in the ten years we’ve been doing this, all to support STEM at all levels, which is being expanded to STEAM.

The outside weather (yes, tell me where else it would be?) reminds The Neurons of my high school years. Jump out of bed early, kick it to clean up and dress, then out to catch the 7 AM bus as the sun is rising. Cold, hard ground covered with ice and frost thrived in the shadow. Foot stamping and hands in pockets are rampant while the sun drags itself over the hills and trees, shifting from apricots to gold to white sunshine. Daylight pulls in just as the bus reaches the school after its six-mile run with all its stops.

That ground cements the memory, pulling up a 1973 out of memory’s rear end. “Cindy Incidentally” by Faces, which was soon Rod Steward and Faces, and then — well, you know. Rock history is heavy with bands that formed and then dissolved, whether they succeeded or not. I always enjoyed Faces and was dismayed that the album with “Cindy Incidentally” was on was their final. Rod went on to huge success, fluidly shifting toward a disco style during his lengthy solo career. But I liked the Faces’s bluesy sound. Oh, well. Change, right?

The specific lyrics which gave The Neurons the idea for this song was that piece that goes, “And your local papers run out of news.” That’s due to our conversation while imbibing our beer that we don’t have a local newspaper. It’s gone under after going through ownership changes. Nor is there a daily paper for neighboring cities. We depend on the net and broadcast media.

In late-breaking news, Mom has returned to the hospital. She has pain in her appendix’s region. Ironically, she was scheduled for a Saturday CT to ensure her appendix is healed. It was perforated back in early September, contributing extensively to her medical melodrama. Fingers crossed that the tough old broad — her term for herself — will pull through again.

Stay positive and test negative. We have music coming up, and coffee has arrived. Have a most excellent day. Cheers

A Mom Dream

I was visiting Mom’s place. She was younger than RL, more aligned with the mom known throughout most of my adulthood.

I was younger, but my sisters were their current agents. Their children were present, too, contemporary as adults to me.

Visiting Mom’s place was a process of exploring because she’d moved. On the bottom floor, décor in shades of gray, black, and white dominated. The building was long and wide. I went outside to check out her backyard. I discovered trimmed trees organized in rows. I wondered if they were fruit trees and looked for evidence of that but found nothing conclusive. While I was looking, I inadvertently broke off one branch. Embarrassed, I didn’t want to be caught and looked around for somewhere to hide the branch. Looking up, I saw Mom watching me and smiling from a window above.

I went back in. As I walked through this floor, I realized it wasn’t a house but an apartment building, and I was in the lobby. My sisters and her children arrived, and then their children’s friends. We started having drinks. Many of the children were talking about the Lockheed C5 Galaxy, a huge transport plane. A dream news story said only two or three remained. Some foreign government was quoted as saying that they wanted the aircraft but the U.S. wouldn’t give them up. Some of the children suggested that if they were the other government, they would steal them. I went into a pedantic explanation about security and how that would be difficult because C5s were labeled ‘Priority A’. I suggested that if the C5s were stolen, the U.S. would probably shoot them down so that others couldn’t have them.

We went outside, to the building’s front after this conversation, where the party expanded, becoming louder, concerning me about disturbing the building’s residents. People proposed going to other places. I said that I would need to change.

Then Mom called down to me on the intercom. I answered it. She was asking me if I could go get something for her, but I couldn’t understand what she was saying because her voice was very weak through the intercom. Others came over to help interpret what Mom asked for. I thought she was saying that she wanted some pills like the ones I’d gotten for her before, and that they were available at a store or locker in the building’s rear, but I couldn’t fully comprehend what she meant.

That’s where the dream ended.  

A Short Mom Dream

Snow had fallen but now a sun blazed in the sky, transforming roads into slushy paths. All very picturesque, though. I was inside the house, waiting for Mom to return with my sisters. As usual, I hid from them when they first came in, springing out and surprising them, making them laugh.

We were busy with a multitude of things simultaneously. I went out and walked on the slushy asphalt, testing my footing. It all seemed safe.

A sister called my name from the house door, telling me that Mom wanted my help. When I went in, Mom was struggling with papers and stuff on a table. “Help me figure out my transportation, Michael,” she said. “I need to know who to call and where I need to go when I need to go somewhere.”

Sisters were in the mess, reading things. I picked up a few items and realized after reading that she only needed to go two places to catch transportation. So I marked the phone with bold black letters and began explaining things to her.

She immediately began firing protests back. “But what if I want to — “

I kept explaining that it could all be done with what I’d figured out. Press the 1 one the phone where I’d marked it to go to these places. Press the two for these places. The telephone numbers were programmed into the phone. Then she just needed to go to the place corresponding to the one or the two to be picked up. 1’s pickup spot was her house, so she didn’t even need to leave.

We went on in that vein for a few minutes before the dream ended.

It reminded me so much of being home last month and helping Mom figure out her medications.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Early dark thirty. Far before the sun’s scheduled arrival after seven. I’m waiting for my sister to pick me up and convey me to the airport. I’m always depending on my family and their kindness. She is one of the best.

It’s Tuesday, October, 11, 2022, exactly, without planning, one month since my arrival in Pittsburgh. Mom was in the hospital when I arrived, fighting COVID as it attacked her heart, lungs, and everything else it could lash out at. Nurses told my sisters it was very possible that Mom may not survive. It was one of the worst COVID cases they’d seen since the pandemic’s start for that hospital staff. Besides COVID and fluid in her heart and lungs, her appendix had a perforation and was pouring poisonous material into her body. Her pacemaker was only functioning at 20%. Things looked ugly.

She fought back and came out of it. Now she’s home, recovering, rehabbing, and I’m going home. She is struggling with bouncing blood pressure with a diastolic dropping below 100 too often. She’s on meds to promote good blood flow, keep her blood pressure at a healthy level by lowering it because of what she endured in the hospital, when it was skyrocketing. Now they’re backing those meds off, readjusting them, but her blood pressure is erratic. That’s a concern.

Other than that, she’s recovering her strength and balance, eating well, and so on.

My work here isn’t done but life dictates other needs, so, here I go, back across the country, back home.

It’s a travel day, in the car for thirty minutes, airport for two hours, aircraft for five plus, another hour in another airport, another two hours in a second aircraft, then in a car to reach home, an eleven-hour trip. That’s much better than the pioneers, and not as hazardous.

I feel like a little bit of a basketcase dealing with Mom as I hear her tell me one thing and bend her words so it doesn’t seem as bad when she’s dealing with her medicos and my sisters. Irritating as hell to be honest; makes me feel like an unreliable witness. But alas, these things are not within my control, so I let them go like the air from my lungs.

However, The Neurons jumped all over those feelings, dumping “Basketcase” by Green Day into the morning mental music stream (trademark pending – not really, but it feels like it should be added). So here we go.

My ride is here. Stay pos and test neg. I’ll try to do the same. Here we go. I’ll have coffee at the airport, thanks. Cheers

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