Posted by: didyouseethis | December 21, 2014

The Longest Night Of The Year 2014

It is the longest night of the year.  I have had thoughts of this on my mind now for weeks.  Once upon a time it was a happy thought.  Here it is, the longest night.  Tomorrow the days will grow longer.  The lengthening days bringing spring/summer closer.  “Sweet Summertime” as Bob Seger would sing.

But no more.  I still do look forward to the lengthening days and the coming of spring.  But overriding those thoughts tonight are thoughts of the past decade.  10 years of change.

21 December 2004.  Mosul, Iraq.  10 years.  Many families were irreparably altered that day.  For our family…well…we got serious about supporting our military.  We made friends and lost friends in these 10 years.

21 December 2010.  DH had surgery confirming what we already knew.  It was cancer.  (So much for “World Class Care“.)  We spent that longest night in the excellent care of Metro Health.  DH was still pretty angry with me for the permissions I had given the docs.  He pretty quickly came to realize they were necessary and “forgave” me.  Four years ago tonight I sat at his bedside and while he dozed I read.  It’s always fascinated me the things that stand out at times like that.  I remember going through his bookmarks on the Mac…reading his daily reads.  News and politics and gun blogs.  That night I read William the Coroner’s post on the longest night of the year.  And…as I’ve mentioned before,  neither DH or William the Coroner would live to see the next Solstice.

So very much is gone that was so very important to me during these last 10 years.  DH is gone.  Home is gone.  Lots of “stuff” is gone.  Friends are gone.  But…some things remain….“Strength in what remains…”  The Daughter, The Boy, The Grandson…they fill me with a joy that sometimes takes my breath away.

The song says “let the candle burn all night”.  10 years ago tonight I went out into the Memory Garden and lit the first candle for the Soldiers lost in Mosul.  Every night since, a candle has burned for our military….for family…for friends…for peace.  Though the Memory Garden is gone the candle still burns all night ….though now it is an electric candle in a small window.

And while I no longer have seven Christmas trees to light this darkest night…I apparently have…

…something that resembles hope.

I stopped everything I intended to do last night…and built…this….

2014 Book Tree

The candles (real or electric) burn for the past, the present and the future  Tomorrow I will welcome back the light.



Longest Night of the Year

They say that spring will come again–
No one knows exactly when.
Still the suns a long lost friend
On the longest night of the year.

We stare into the firelight
While December beats outside
Where the darkest hearts reside
On the longest night of the year

So keep me safe and hold me tight
Let the candle burn all night
Tomorrow welcome back the night
It was longest night of the year

I used to think the world was small
Bright and shining like a ball
Seems I don’t know much at all
On the longest night of the year

We press our faces to the glass
And see our little lives go past
Wave to shadows that we cast
On the longest night of the year

So keep me safe and hold me tight,
Let the candle burn all night,
Tomorrow welcome back the light.
Twas the longest night of the year

Make a vow when Solstice comes:
To find the Light in everyone
Keep the faith and bang the drum
On the longest night of the year

So keep me safe and hold me tight,
Let the candle burn all night,
Tomorrow welcome back the light.
Twas the longest night of the year

So keep me safe and hold me tight,
Let the candle burn all night,
Tomorrow welcome back the light.
After the longest night of the year

Read more: Mary Chapin Carpenter – The Longest Night Of The Year Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Posted by: didyouseethis | November 30, 2014

The Way Out Is The Way Through

(This was originally written at the beginning of September.  Why I left it sitting ing drafts all this time….I can’t say.  But I am happy to have found it today.)


My day arranged itself so I was in the neighborhood of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word Labyrinth.  It is a Chartres Labyrinth that has always brought me great joy and peace to walk.

Incarnate Word Labyrinth 2

Monday was no exception.  The sun was shining warm and summery but it was comfortable and breezy in the shade of the trees surrounding the labyrinth.  I walk and say my rosary and try to let go of everyday stresses.  When I reach the “heart” of Chartres I take three deep breaths and thank God for all that is in my life.  The good and the bad.  Then…I turn and begin the journey out.

“The way through is the way out”.   I first read that in a book by Thomas Tryon.  I believe it is truth.  Many people see the labyrinth as a metaphor of life.  On this day I felt a connection to my own labyrinth that is lost to me…but instead of great sorrow…I felt a kind of joy.

Memory Garden Labyrinth

Bill Whittle talked about not letting politics become the be all and end all of your life.  To not let it burn you out (Andrew Breitbart).  I tried to find the Stratosphere Lounge where he talked about it but so far no luck.  He said when he’s stressed…closes his eyes and imagines his most perfect beach.  When the world gets to you…stop…and go to your perfect beach.

This is my beach.

So often these days I find myself thinking….and sometimes saying out loud…”I don’t want to be here.”  Sad to say….it’s an awful lot of the places I must be

For now, this is where I want to be…find a place I want to be.

It connects me to a place….state of mind I’ve thought lost to me forever.



Posted by: didyouseethis | November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Gratitude

WHAT IF… woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?

We decided to try a new tradition today. Instead of the stress of a huge dinner and house full of people…..WE WENT TO THE ZOO! It was wonderful.



For this day and this family I thank God.

Love, Mom & Amma



Posted by: didyouseethis | October 3, 2014

Home Sweet Home The House That Built Me

Home Sweet Home The House That Built Me

Looking through a magazine this afternoon I came across a quote that stopped me in my tracks because I knew it belonged with the painting my father did of the house he dreamed of building.  He did build that house.  It pretty much looked just like he dreamed it.  It was our family home for 64 years until (long story short) I lost it.  I will always be connected to it.  It still speaks to me in my dreams and tells me stories.  It teaches me lessons about loss and love and grief and regret.  I move on…and forward…and dream.

Love, Mom

Posted by: didyouseethis | July 24, 2014

Epiphany 1 and 2

*Wordpress has decided to make the first part of this post one big paragraph and will not let me change it.  Bah.
Confession time:  I am not a cat person.  There…I’ve said it.
Cat F you
I think it started Monday when I went to the big Labyrinth ( trying to write a post…but I keep distracting myself).  Sometime that evening I thought about when Karma cat came to live with us.  The Boy had broken his ankle…had surgery…plates and screws…and drugs.  A “friend” of his brought/snuck Karma in and she never left.  That was 2002.  Six months later Zen cat came to live with us (some relative of Karma’s….her mom was a slut cat).  Zen died in January 2006.  (Things might be different if that hadn’t happened.)  A few months after that The Daughter brought Calvin and Hobbes home.
So…it’s 12 years later.  Calvin’s dead. DH is  dead.  (Things might be different there too.)  Leo’s approach may work for a lot of things.  But I have faked it but not made it.  I don’t hate cats like I used to.  I can even appreciate some amount of cuteness factor.  But if someone came to the door and promised to give Hobbes a great life and all the kitty crack he could devour….he’d be gone as soon as I could  catch him and get him into the carrier.  He does not help my BP.  He bites me.  He does not snuggle.  He tracks litter all over my room.  Everything I own is covered in hair.  Hell, he even “pushes *Little Cat down the stairs.)  (I totally don’t blame him for that.)  He’s an asshole.  To a certain extent I admire him for that…he’s his own cat.  But he gives me very little pleasure and a whole lot of stress.
*The cat owned by the person I am living with for the time being.
I am not a cat person.   I realized quite a while ago that while I love dogs….I was not meant to have one….and probably not a cat either.  Nothing good has ever come of our having any kind of an animal.That was epiphany 1.  Kind of a relief.
Epiphany 2
I find myself saying over and over….mantralike….”I don’t want to be here.”  Name a place…I probably don’t want to be there.So…Monday…while sitting on the lovely English garden bench at the Labyrinth.  The thought came to me…”I WANT to be here”.   And that started a four day train of thought.

My new mantra is…”I want to be somewhere I want to be.”

Long time ago…somewhere read…”What you believe becomes your world”.

So….I believe…maybe….kind of…possibly….there could be…

somewhere I want to  be.

Maybe I will find it before I am too senile to recognize it.

Posted by: didyouseethis | July 5, 2014

4th of July…Made in America!

I saw this at American Digest…gave me goosebumps.

Happy 4th…on the 5th!


Posted by: didyouseethis | June 21, 2014

The Longest Day Of The Year & Omar Vizquel

The longest night of the year will now always make me think of DH and Metro and William the Coroner.  I was just sitting here thinking that it is the longest day of the year.  What memory is triggered at that thought?  Not one specific memory….just warm summer evenings, fireflies, sitting in the garden or the garage listening to the ball game.

That was then.  This is now.  There is no garden or garage to sit in, no DH to scream at first pitch swings.   The Boy and The Daughter are out on their own.   On this longest day of the year I hurried from work to be able to watch Omar Vizquel be inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame.  (One day soon….it’s going to be Cooperstown.)  There they were, Grover,  Sandy Alomar, Carlos Baerga, Kenny Lofton, Charlie Nagy….and Omar. (Wonder where Albert Belle was?)

Bless The Daughter for texting with me through the whole thing.  I was actually glad that I couldn’t be at the Jake(yes, I still think of it as the Jake)…I would have embarrassed myself blubbering through the entire thing.  The Daughter and I talk about having “the feels”….a surge of emotion…this was the feels all right.  Summers all through the 90’s.  Playoffs, The World Series…DH living and breathing Indians baseball.  The years of our family living Major League.

But…now…there is this…

The Boys

The little one who told his Mama, The Daughter, as he gave her a tissue for her “feels”,  “You’ll see your Papa again in Heaven.”  (That mistiness in your eyes…that’s the “feels”.)

Life is still good.

Mom & Amma

The Tribe lost tonight’s game to Detroit 5-4 in 10….life is still good.



Posted by: didyouseethis | June 17, 2014


I have neglected this blog badly over the last three years.  There have been so many changes.  So many things I’ve had no idea how to deal with….and truth be told….still don’t.  I have found myself wasting way too much time on Facebook.  Originally,  I signed up there just to keep up with what The Daughter and The Boy were doing after they moved out.  Funny pictures, amusing anecdotes…that kind of thing.

Then…I “moved out”.  The nest was not only empty…but gone.  While I have a roof over my head…and I am very much thankful for it…it is not HOME.  Many of my treasures are in storage.  While I know they are just things…they are sentimental memories of what was HOME.  There is “comfort in place” I read somewhere a long time ago.  I need that comfort.

Someone told me a week or so ago that I needed to “embrace more of the things I used to”.  I took it to mean….”be more like myself”. I will never be the exact person I used to be…the experiences of the last few years makes that impossible.  I need/want to move forward…I just have to figure out how.

I found this video sitting in a draft of a post that never got written.  Finding it…made me think about embracing those things I used to enjoy.

So very fortunate that I got to hear Janis at Public Auditorium in 1969. (Along with the second incarnation of Blood, Sweat and Tears …I much preferred the first.)

I love this song.  I’ve always found great comfort in it.  The more things change…the more they stay the same.


Posted by: didyouseethis | March 28, 2014


Tomorrow night between 8:30 and 9:30 there will be people sitting in the dark “celebrating” Earth Hour…supposedly bringing attention to the problems of the planet and the global warming/cooling/climate change crap.

On the other hand….there will also be people TURNING ON THE LIGHTS. People celebrating humankind’s achievements. They are the achievers/imaginers/creators. Turning on the lights and thinking how to move mankind forward to greater achievement. These are the people I will be standing with. I REFUSE TO SIT IN THE DARK.

Even the year DH was so sick and everything in our lives was spinning out of control…we turned on the lights.  I am so glad that we did because the next day, Sunday, the end began for real.  But before that all happened  we rocked out to LET’S SEE HOW FAR WE’VE COME.

Mom & Amma

Posted by: didyouseethis | March 25, 2014


Today is Tolkien Reading Day….here is my reading.

I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door.

Love, Mom & Amma

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