Friday, April 29, 2011

Where Have I Been?

My childhood friend, Diane, her father had given me a little wine crate. As a pre-teen this was a wonderful treasure; or more like a wonderful treasure chest. I’m not sure I had to think about what I would do with the wooden crate, I actually think I just knew what to do with it. My dad had some left over wood stain which I painted on the crate. I had discovered an old print of an owl and a quote. I burned around the edges of the print and then decoupage it onto the top of my new treasure chest.  So profound is the quote on the chest that I had memorized it way back then. It’s this quote which best describes my absence from Keeping It So Simple.
“There once was an owl who lived in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard
Now why can’t we all be like this wise old bird.”

The cancellation of the Las Vegas house five hours prior to its close, did knock me back a bit. I had sealed the memories of this house and had resolution in the sell; so having it back in my lap in such way lead me to cry for three days, which added to my time away.
Also, although it is important for me to do this blogspot, it’s hard to expose so much of myself by sharing my writing. Not that I’m writing anything of great significance or hidden secrets, sharing on a blogspot puts ‘me’ out there, to be read, viewed, commented on, or not commented on. And sometimes, for someone who is a little insecure like me, it gets kind of risky, a bit scary.
It’s funny when you discover something about yourself; something you’ve done for a long time but never took notice of. Then, one day, out of the blue, you clearly notice it and it strikes wonderment within you and you say, “Why am I doing that?” This is what happened to me recently; I discovered that I tend to ramble, blabber, blah blah blah, on and on and not just with people; God only knows how long I’ve done it with people; but the real discovery occurred here, at home, alone and I found myself randomly blabbering to myself, to Cadbury, to BabyCat, to the walls…uggg I blabber. Why, I wondered; and I thought maybe it’s because if I keep on blabbering people, or Cadbury, or BabyCat, or I won’t notice what it is I’m missing.Even as I’m writing this, I know my ramblings have gone on long before I lost my legs, because I have just recalled a memory from back when Jeff and I first started dating.
Oh, one of those wonderful memories which can be recalled so very clearly, like it was just yesterday. It was after dark, he had just picked me up for a date. We were in his Chevy pickup truck with the bench seat. I always got in on his side and sat in the center, right next to him (isn’t that just so damn cute). I had plopped off my shoes and tucked my feet up under my right side; my left arm stretched up on the back of his seat so my hand came around to rest on his left shoulder. Comfortably sitting with him, I was just talking away, talk, talk, talk (not to be confused with blah, blah, blah). The glow from the street lights was rhythmically casting into the cab of the truck as we drove west on Vegas Drive. From one of the lights I noticed he was smiling to himself. “Why are you smiling? I’m not saying anything funny.”
“I know you’re not; I just know whenever I pick you up I won’t be saying anything for the first 30 minutes or so,” he sweetly said.
Well, there I have it, I must have always been a blabber, rambler and I probably always will be, to some extent anyway. This talkitiveness is the main thing that has kept me from Keeping It So Simple. It's time for me to see and listen more. Not so much with my eyes and ears but with my intuition. We all are innately intuitive; life somehow has a way of nudging us away from intuition and relying more on reason or it pushes us right into 'thinking' we have so much to say and in my case I just blah, blah, blah. Why is this?
For me, on this my 49th year journey, it is imperative that I rediscover my intuition, to be fully enliven by intuitions possibilities. This is why I had to join a BIG Fearless Painting Tribe. My BIG 6 week adventure is over but my intuitive painting possibilities are only beginning. I will have much to write about BIG but if you’re at all interested you can find information here at Go and check it out, I think you’ll like it.
I have also been led to seek yoga. I have been curious for so long if I could even do yoga without legs. But, finally I was brave enough (bravery is part of BIG) and came across a yoga studio in Cedar and although this is very new to me I must say yoga is like being reacquainted with a long lost friend. I am so enjoying this new adventure and it too is tapping into my intuitiveness. Yoga will provide much for me to write about but if you’re interested, I encourage you to research yoga for yourself. My study is beginning here but information is widely available if you look.
There are two other things which will be providing events to write about as well as tapping into my intuition and enriching my 49th year. One, is bike riding (yes it’s really a trike but you know how I feel about that). Yesterday, my American Hero friend, Travis, and now also known as my ‘bike coach/trainer’ came out and picked me up and we went for a ride. I was way, way, way slow but the good news is I never felt like I would pop a lung and my arms didn’t fatigue out. I thought we’d only gone about 5 miles; come to find out it was 11; yes, 11 whole, wonderful, ok slow on my part, but invigorating miles.
The other thing I’m doing is planting. It is finally planting season and I have increased my box gardens from 2 to 6. Recently, I have been out pulling weeds, a lot of weeds as well as doing some planting. Let me tell you Mother Earth has much to say, well I’m sure I will be telling you soon, but I hope you go out and listen her; get to know Mother Earth all over again.
Oh, yes, and BabyCat has provided a few silly things for me to write about as well. I don’t think he will be aiding my intuitiveness, but you never know.
My goodness, now see, I am a blabber, rambler, blah blah blah; this long post proves it (as if any proof was needed). But I am also beginning to see and to listen. After all these years, I am ready to grasp the quote on my treasure chest. I am ready to become like that wise old bird and fill the chest with intuitive treasures.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Keeping it so Simple

Inspired by the 5 kids I was blessed to "grow up" with. You all are amazing young adults. Thanks for allowing me to be the "mom" but you all taught me so much more. This is a simple but heartfelt and meaningful expression of that (you can't tell but there's glitter in those wings).
I love you Morgan, Heather, Christopher, Dillon, Garth
" two three like a bird I sing cause you've given me the most beautiful set of wings..."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wacky, Wondrous, Whatever Wednesday #4

Something about living in the country, I'm starting to like country music. My Heather introduced me to this song last weekend, I'm loving it! At the end, when the children sing, well, I think it's just too dagblasted cute. This morning I asked, "What trips us up, like a vinyl record stuck in the same place turning & turning, just pick up the needle Jules, clean off the albumn and let the music play..." And that's just what I did.
Sing, Dance, Laugh, Play
go on get a little Wacky, Wondrous, Whatever
but remember to keep it so simple

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

BabyCat Adventure

After letting BabyCat out early this morning, I snuggled back under the covers to finish ‘rising and shining’. My dozed state was abruptly interrupted by the hoot n howl n screams of a cat fight. Jumping up, I leaped into my wheelchair and flew out the door. “BabyCat, BabyCat…” I cried out.
There, tucked up in the old plum tree was BabyCat. His fur was all puffed up and his cute cat body huffed in and out with intense breathing. The other cat, startled, scampered off across the back yard. The cats have an uncanny resemblance, they’re about the same age and same size, both are black and white tuxedo marked felines. BabyCat, of course, is by far more handsome and the other is definitely a feral cat who had the upper hand, or paw in this battle.
It took several minutes to coax BabyCat out of the tree. Once descended, he strutted his tough cat stuff around like he had had full control of the situation. But his mad dash into the house let me know his heart was secretly glad I came to the rescue.
I wondered what must have gone through BabyCat’s tiny cat mind. Maybe he thought FeralCat would be his friend, after all he was so very much like him. However, to his surprise, FeralCat wanted nothing to do with him except be cruel. Or, was it BabyCat who instigated the confrontation? Maybe FeralCat wanted to know if BabyCat would share his cat snacks, and BabyCat rudely refused. Either way FeralCat was to BabyCat the uninvited trespasser who got the best of BabyCat, sending him to seek a place of safety.
Later, while taking the trash out, I saw BabyCat out across the back yard. “BabyCat, get over here, FeralCat’s going to get you again, BabyCat!” I heard a little meow next to me. To my surprise, BabyCat came running home from the opposite direction. I can’t believe I confused the two; yes, they are so similar.

How often have I been feral, delivering cruel and harsh words, actions, or poor energy from tainted thoughts? Have I sent others away, their hearts seeking a place of safety? If I’ve done this any of you, please let me know, I owe you a sincere apology.
I know I have been feral to myself. Self inflicted cruel and harsh words, thoughts and neglectful actions have sent my heart scampering up, tucking in, hiding out, seeking a safer place. On this, my 49th year journey, it must stop, no more FeralCat fights with self, I will shoo FeralCat out across the yard.
As I’m thinking this out, I notice BabyCat in front of the mirror door. I watched him watch himself. He was playing with his reflection, then he pinned his ears back and a little growl rumbled out from his purr. He arched his back, puffed his fur, rolled onto his side and began batting at his reflection.
Maybe the similarities, the reflection, even the cat spat have more to offer then just a morning adventure. The two may have much to learn about and from each other then BabyCat and I know. I’m sure as Spring evolves into Summer the two will meet up again, as it appears they ‘share’ turf. The question will be, can they co-exisit on the same acre, can they learn not to send their furred up puffing hearts up a tree or across the back yard; can I?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Simple Sunday Reminder

Looking out from my back porch this morning I notice how the recent dusting of Spring snow accentuates the burned trees. The mountain behind my home had succumb to an out of control wild fire about a year and a half ago. Its reminder shall remain for years and years. However, prior to this Spring strom, Winter's snow had receeded and revealed the wonder of undergrowth. The charded mountain side has welcoming greens popping up. What a beautiful thing to focus on, the new life, but today my focus seems to remain on the burned trees. They resemble used match sticks stuck into a scarred side. Every now and then I see a small patch of trees which some how avoided the scorching invader. I wonder if those who survived ask why or simply say, "whew." Maybe those who didn't survive are the ones who ask why or shout, "you damn lucky ones." Or, does nature have a knowing, a hope, a faith, a trust that its great Mother Nature, its great God will and is renewing, restoring, reincarnating. I look down upon my own scarred, missing body and asked myself, "do I have a knowing, a hope, a faith, a trust?"

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
Albert Einstein

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sister, Remember When...

A few days ago my youngest daughter posted to my oldest daughter, “You’re the bestest sister EVER!”  What a sweet blessing for a mom to see; as a sister, what a sweet reminder.
“A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.”
 Marian C. Garretty
“Sibling relationships - and 80 percent of Americans have at least one - outlast marriages, survive the death of parents, resurface after quarrels that would sink any friendship.  They flourish in a thousand incarnations of closeness and distance, warmth, loyalty and distrust.”
Erica E. Goode

When one sibling says to the other, “Remember when…” it becomes an invocation of clandestine moments shared by a sacred sect known as siblings; a reeling journey to days gone by. Some, which seemed so hideous then, now become quite hilarious.
Sister, remember when I ‘kinda’ out grew my little mini piano and my Dr. Seuss book collection so I gave them to you? You thought I was giving you my ‘junk’ when actually I was giving you ‘treasures’. Several months later, while I was babysitting the neighbor’s kids, they brought out a stack of Dr. Seuss books for me to read. “Where did you get these?” I asked.
“Your sister gave them to us and she gave us this piano too.”
I’d like those back as well as my Barbie’s, please. Remember when you took my Barbie’s over to your friends house? You knew you’d have them back before I would notice them even gone; after all I no longer played with them. It was months later when I looked in my Barbie box did I find one with her hair wacked off and the other; the one with the pull string in the back of her neck which made her talk, she was missing a limb. Her leg had been chewed off by your best friend’s dog (maybe that was an omen) along with her pink flower shaped plastic pull attached to the string which made her talk.
Oh, it was all probably a bit of unconscious pay back. When you were really little, remember when I wanted to ‘style’ your hair? You had such fine, baby hair. I tied it up in rags knowing it would come out so beautiful. When I went to untie the rags I discovered I had actually tied your fine hair into little knots. I had to keep covering your mouth each time you were going to cry when I ‘accidentally’ pulled your hair while brushing out the knots; gosh there were a lot of knots. Finally, you bit my hand which made me ‘accidentally’ rip out a tuff of hair (yes it left a bald spot) then I bopped you on the head with the brush. Oh man, you took off crying then and I ended up in so much trouble. However, neither you nor I learned our lesson. I ‘styled’ your hair several times after that, each time with similar results. I believe its sisters like me which inspired the hair styling mannequin head toy. Yeah, they never went screaming to Mom when things got a little ouchy.
Remember when you used to chase me around the house with the fly swatter? I hated that! One time I locked you in the garage and you took a hammer of Dad’s and started ‘hammering’ down the door. Mom and Dad weren’t very happy when they got home.
They also weren’t happy when they found out that you and I wanted to be like Mary Poppins. We knew our little umbrellas had magical powers which would make us fly. It was all okay until I decided since jumping up and down from the ground wasn’t sending us in flight that we should do it from the car roof. I told you to climb up on to the top of the car roof so you could go first. This is when Dad got a bit upset, yeah, who knew he’d walk out when I said,  “Jump, it’s okay you have my umbrella, I’m sure you’ll fly.”
Speaking of Mary Poppins; do you remember your huge, zebra striped, bag as large as and as full as Mary Poppins’ carpet bag? After I got home from the hospital, Jeff knew I’d need help at the house. When we were thinking of who we could employ, there was only one person I wanted; it was you, sis; who else? Anyway, one day, after we got all the kids to school we decided to go on a shopping adventure; one of our first; you, me, my wheelchair. When we got home, we decided to pile all the bags including your Mary Poppins bag on my lap and you’d push me up to the house. I was piled so high, I couldn’t see, and you thought it would be fun to run with me. Oh, and fun it was, whoo hoo, really, until we hit a bump in the yard. Yikes, all the bags flew off my lap; all the contents of the bags, which were once on my lap, flew out; including your Mary Poppins bag along with it’s unbelievable amount of contents. Then I flew out of my wheelchair (where’s the umbrella when you need it). Once we knew I wasn’t bleeding, I laughed until I cried and you cried until you laughed. There we were, both of us in tears, sprawled out in my front yard along with the contents of five grocery bags and your amazingly full zebra striped carpet bag. Neighbors drove by waving bearing one of those odd smiles, as if to say under their breath, “It’s the crazy sisters at the Frehner’s again, just smile and wave.”
I remember when, one day I was having such a hard time with the loss of my legs and the struggle to figure out my new way of life. I looked up at you from my wheelchair, not having to say anything and you responded, “It’s okay sis, you can cry and I’ll hug you.” And you did just that. There have been many times in my life I’ve had to reflect on that moment; I’ve needed know it’s okay to cry and you’d be there to hug me through.
Do you remember the day you said to me, “If I knew this was going to happen to you, I’d been a lot nicer to you growing up.”
And I said, “If I knew this was going to happen to me, I’d be a lot nicer to you too.”
The day of Jeff’s funeral, you brought your flask of Jack and a box of Princess Disney tissues. I never told you, but I remember when we were little, Mom and Dad took us to Disneyland, I didn’t want to hold your little hand there, but this particular day, Jeff’s funeral, I was grateful for your hand to hold; for your hand which held the box of Princess Disney tissues and offered a shot of Jack.
You held my hand and helped me walk into the first big social affair after Jeff’s passing. We held each other’s hand through Grandma and Grandpa’s funerals.
I remember when I would hold your hand and not let go, even when you tugged hard to pull away, as we walked down Jones Boulevard on summer evenings to meet Dad at the bus stop. I remember holding your as we gathered around Dad’s hospital bed and prayed; we held hands while he took his last breath and we held hands throughout Dad’s funeral.
We’ve defended each other fiercely, even if it was against one of our own children or husbands. And we defended each other’s children and husbands even when they may have been in the wrong. We were there for the birth of our children, we were there for long visits to emergency rooms, we were there, even when we weren’t there.
We’ve been through loves, losses, marriages, divorces, births, deaths, celebrations, tears, laughter, dogs, cats, kids, husbands, graduations, whew, we’ve been through together and together we will go through. We will have many more ‘remember when’s’. We are sisters, as different as we are, sisters we will remain.
I love you more than you could ever imagine and I know you love me; even when we don’t much like each other.  We have always created magic together and probably always will. When I hold your hand I am holding the hand of a goddess. I know your tender heart, your strong will, your amazing spirit; I know your potential. We carry each other’s secrets and will take them with us when we cross over. However, I can’t imagine crossing over without having your hand to hold or at least your umbrella, or your flask of Jack, or a box of Princess Disney tissues. I do know when we’re both on the other side we will still be sisters and we’ll have many more, “Remember when’s…?”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wondrous, Wacky, Whatever Wednesday #3

This Wednesday seems like it’s going to go from wondrous to wacky and hopefully back again. If you know me or have read any of my posts you might get the sense that my thought process goes kind of wacky on occasion. I attribute this to life’s ability to easily distract me. It, life, draws me to be more and more curiousor and curiousor.

Even with a Spring chill in the air I needed to go outside and take in the morning. The way the sun beams reached up over Kolob’s fingers and pierced the low lying clouds filled me with such wonder. The snow upon the surrounding mountains is receding so much more quickly now. There has been a hint Spring may deliver another snow shower by Saturday but for now the sky appears to be conjuring up an April shower for later.

Trees beginning to burst with fresh new Spring greens; early blossoms popping out in yellow, white, and pink; perennials which seemed to have given into the dead of Winter, are now silently rupturing the earth. It’s all confirmation of the promise which I knew laid below, rested and renewed through all of Winter’s passion.

There’s such stillness to the morning. I could hear the nearby streams as the melting snow from on high rushed towards its destination. The avifauna added their sounds; the gobble of wild turkeys, knocking of a hungry wood pecker, roosters wake up call, a variety of song birds, and sensuous coos from a couple of dove. Even a few bumble bees hummed about in the chill seeking Spring’s sweet nectar. The sounds all came together like a well orchestrated concert of which I am glad I had front row tickets to.

The concert reminded me of an album I had; humm I wondered, do I also have it on CD? I had to check. Yes, sure enough I do have Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants on CD. Now, I will be adding more obscure music on my beloved IPod.

Here is where things went a little wacky this morning…

I began to shuffle through my IPod identifying some obscure tunes such as Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Paul & Mary, One Tin Soldier by the Original Caste, Downtown by Petula Clark. Oh, there are others; all of which strike a memory for me, like A White Sport Coat did about my dad in the previous post.

Then I came across Juice Newton’s Angel of the Morning; how ‘80’s can we get; and I started to laugh. When this song came out, for some weird reason I thought she said, “…just touch my feet…”

“That’s just dumb, Jules,” I thought to myself. “Why would anyone just touch feet before they leave?” I continue to converse with myself, “I know! It was a premonition! Yes, a premonition you must have had back in the ‘80’s before losing your feet; and more; in the ‘90’s.” Such reasoning, I know.

Alright, if you’re not laughing or rolling your eyes yet, the next song which came up was Johnny Cash Daddy Sang Bass. In this song I always thought he sang, “…momma sang dinner…”

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has done such a silly thing to a song. Haven’t we all made a funny, wacky, mistake in a song and often thought nothing about it at the time. Then, when the ‘truth’ is revealed the light goes on. For me, not only did the light go on but I was so relieved to know that he “…just touched my cheek before you leave me, dar…ar…lin’…”

May your Wednesday be wondrous and wacky too.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dad 8/2/36 - 4/3/06

It was a bit astonishing three weeks after Jeff passed away to receive a phone call from my dad’s doctor. She told me not to worry, but she felt he needed to be admitted into the hospital for observation. She also felt he’d be out and back home within a week. “If you put my dad in the hospital,” I said quite defiantly, “he won’t go back home.” Again, she made an effort to curb my concerns, reiterating it was my recent hospital experience and loss of Jeff which was founding my fears. She then put my dad on the phone.
“Julie,” he said straight forwardly then cleared his throat, “I want to do this, I think it will be okay.”
A long silent pause lingered over the connection before I responded, “Okay, if this is what you want, I’ll see you at the hospital.”
“It’s alright, I understand if you don’t want to go there,” my dad said with concern.
“No, I’m okay, I’ll be there, I love you.”
Within two weeks of being admitted into the hospital for ‘observation’ of a cold, (he had a blood disease which affected the formation of white blood cells), he was sent to hospice where, within a week, he passed away. I don’t know the words to express what it was like to bury my husband and within six weeks bury my dad. It’s not so much about me and what I felt but what I felt along with what my family felt as well. I don’t know the words, maybe it’s enough, well it is enough, to say, “We felt.”
It’s been five years ago today that my dad crossed over. While I have many stories about Dad and his passing to share along this my 49th year journey, I feel more compelled to just keep it so simple. As I was contemplating Dad, it dawned on me I don’t know his favorites. You know, his favorite meal, he loved good food; his favorite vacation; his favorite color, I think it’s camel tan, yes I’m certain of this. I even think he created the color’s name, camel tan.
What was his favorite ice cream? I think peach. Why peach I wondered; because he liked peaches or because he had a puppy named Peaches? One of my favorite photographs of my dad is an old black and white taken when he was a boy. He was all dressed up standing next the kitchen table. Sitting in the chair at the head of the table was his dog Peaches. It was her birthday, and even though they were poor, Dad’s mom made sure Peaches had a birthday party and there, in the photo with Dad, Peaches, and the kitchen table, there was a plate. On the plate, placed before Peaches, was a raw hamburger patty complete with a birthday candle proudly standing a top. This sweet photo reminds me, my dad was a boy, a boy who had a dog named Peaches.
What about Dad’s favorite song? Gosh, I don’t know. Is this terrible? I began to recall as a child knowing there was music playing on our turn table. I used to like to look at the album covers my parents had. As I was thinking of this, one album cover, Marty Robbins’ Gunfighters Ballad, stuck out in my mind, but the Marty Robbins’ song I recall hearing wasn’t on this album, the song is ‘A White Sport Coat’. Oh yes, I had to down load it. I’m sure I’ll be playing it over and over again today.
As I just listened to it once more, I reflected on Thursday evenings with my dad. Thursday was Dad’s payday. He’d come home from work and he and I would climb into our white, 2 door, 1966 Oldsmobile F-85, 3-speed on the floor, V-8, did I even know at the time what the hell all that was beyond just knowing Dad and now I thought it was the coolest car ever, especially when he told me I would get this car when I turned 16. He cashed his pay check at Wonder World and he’d let me buy a 45 record. Oh, how big I felt as a pre-teen who just got a little suitcase style record player. One Thursday while at Wonder World he let me scan the make-up isle, by myself. I found a perfume I really needed to have, Confetti and a Pet Rock. Dad, firmly said, “No” to the Pet Rock but allowed me to get the Confetti perfume; whoo hoo.
An image of my dad which is forever impressed in my mind is one day, while I was in the hospital, I woke to see him sitting next to my bed. He was weeping. I don’t recall having seen him weep before this moment. I managed to smile at him, grateful he was there, and the thought occurred to me that if my daddy here, on this earth, loves me so very much to weep this way for his daughter, how much more does my heavenly daddy love me.
Also impressed in my mind is the sound of my dad’s laugh. He had the cutest darn little laugh; it wasn’t a giggle it was more like a snicker, but a fun one. And the times my dad would just start to laugh uncontrollably, well you didn’t need to know what he was laughing at to start laughing too. His laugh, this fun little snicker he had, was just infectious.
Oh yeah, stories, lots and lots of stories; but today I will keep it so simple. Maybe you can too; think of your dad, what is or was his favorite ice cream, his favorite song. Take a moment to give thanks and send out a little love heart beat to your dad, maybe, if your dad is here in this realm, give him a call, say, “Hey, Dad, I love you.” Just do it! And remember to keep it so simple.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wisteria, a Few After Thoughts

After writing this I had a few after thoughts. The first makes me giggle as I’m writing the memory. One summery evening while riding my burnt orange 10 speed bike, I decided to get a small coke Slurpee. My balance had gotten so good riding the burnt orange bike that I could peddle, sitting upright, without my hands on the handle bars. Gosh, that felt so good, I even said one day while my mom was out watering the grass, “Look mom, no hands!”
Okay, let’s just get it out before I proceed with the Slurpee story…Now I say, “Look mom, no feet!” Sick amputee humor, but it does crack a smile, right.
Now that I rode without my hands, riding with the small treat was no problem. Once I had the Slurpee, I remember getting all situated on my 10 speed, feeling free and really quite cool, figuratively and literally, in my little shorts, tank top, truth be known I may have been barefoot too as I often was, sipping a cold, yummie, Slurpee. I went to turn a corner, which I could do without my hands except I’d learned my lesson a few weeks back to hold on because in those days there were little gutter slits in the intersections and they always had slippery slime in them. Much to my dismay the slits would grab my back tire and burnt orange would slide out from under me, tossing me into the slime. So, wanting to remain ‘cool’ and upright, I knew I’d have to grab a hold of the handle bars to take this turn. Silly, silly girl I went to hold my Slurpee between my teeth but I didn’t bite on the Slurpee cup, no, I bit the straw which wasn’t then and never is attached to the cup. While, I remained upright, I was far from remaining ‘cool’ as my Slurpee landed in the slimy gutter below and the lonely straw stuck out of my mouth between my clinched teeth.  
The other after thought is a dream I had a few nights ago. In this dream I recall having a wisteria growing in my house, this house, the house I live in now. I looked up the meaning of wisteria: welcoming, steadfastness, playfulness, illumination of higher self; the flower says, “I cling to thee”; and wisteria oil invokes good vibrations. Humm, I believe I have wisteria oil. Let me know if you want some, I’ll share it with you too!


Isn’t if funny how one thought leads to another which leads to another and so on, then back in some roundabout way to a previous thought? Well, this is what happened Friday morning while I was out on a bike ride; actually it’s a trike, a hand peddled three wheeled squatty trike, but I like to call it a ‘bike’ because it sounds more athletic than a trike which sounds more kid like and in reality the way this trike sits is sort of like a Big Wheel which was once what all the cool kids had; so my point, why I call it a ‘bike’, because I’m riding for an athletic, conditioning purpose opposed to being a cool kinda kid.
My first stop along this funny train of thought occurred while transferring from my wheelchair to the ‘bike’. For some reason I recalled my 10 speed bike. Now, I might not have been a cool kid with a Big Wheel but as a young teen I did have a way cool, burnt orange 10 speed bike, that was a bit too tall for my 5’ self. My feet never could touch the ground without me doing an odd little lean and slide off the seat all the while being very careful to watch my balance and the center bar. This was a ‘boys’ 10 speed bike so the center bar went straight from the seat to the handle bar area; not a ‘girls’ 10 speed with a curved center bar. I chuckled as I thought how the ‘bike’ I have now sits maybe 6” from the ground and my feet still can’t touch the ground.
As I got myself fastened in the ‘bike’ and started to ride, I wondered whatever happened to the burnt orange 10 speed bike. Oh the miles and miles that bike and I covered. We rode all over the stomping grounds of my youth, and beyond. One street I really liked to ride along was called Wisteria Lane. I had no idea, at the time, what a Wisteria was but whatever it was, I knew it was enchanting. On this ‘enchanted’ street there was a little house which reminded me of a gingerbread house. It had a white picket fence, big full trees, lots of flowers, and all kinds of treasures in the yard. I always wondered what the inside of the house looked like and I imagined it different each time I passed by. I could see myself living in this house, knowing it was even more magical on the inside than the out. To me it was the perfect little house situated perfectly on the most perfect street, Wisteria Lane.
The thought of Wisteria Lane, lead me to the thought of my Las Vegas house which has just sold and hopefully will close in the next week or so. Now, I suppose my thought could have gotten hung up with the idea of selling the house 50% below what it cost us to buy the land, build the house, put the landscape and pool in 10 years ago. But no, thank goodness, my thought went to the one thing I may miss the most; a little climbing wisteria vine outside my bedroom window. Though it yet has to bloom, it came from great stock. This vine was started from a pod which I had taken from the house we previously lived in. I nurtured the little pod, loved it through season after season until he was big enough to be planted in the ground. I would often tell the new spout how beautiful and strong its mother was. With my final visit to this house, I wish I would have taken my picture with the little, climbing, brave, wisteria vine.
Where else would this little wisteria vine lead me but to its mother plant. Everyone has a home they lived in that seemed to be choicest of all. You know what I mean; the home you run to in your dreams where you felt the safest, most welcomed, and comfortable. Besides the house I grew up in, this is the house, the first house Jeff and I made our family home. One spring day in the early ‘90’s, Jeff decided he wanted to plant a wisteria outside the front door. (By now I knew what a wisteria was; just not sure I’d ever seen one in bloom.) Our front door faced dead west and I kept thinking the Las Vegas summer was going to roast the poor vine, but Jeff was certain the front door was the perfect place to plant it. Much to my surprise it not only survived its first summer at the front door but it thrived. Come the following spring I was able to behold the beauty of a blooming wisteria. She exploded with many voluptuous, lavender colored, fragrant, clusters dripping down from her vine. Everyone who came to the front door would linger within her midst. Her beauty, fragrance, and touch were inviting and welcoming. Once autumn arrived and she lost her foliage, Jeff decided to prune her back. Oh it was painful to watch, I thought for sure this would be the end of our beautiful climbing vine but the next spring she came back even greater than the previous. This went on year after year. The last time my grandma came to visit, I had to draw her out of an intoxicated wisteria trance. I have no idea how long she was standing under the blooming vine. But I will forever recall how beautiful she looked standing there, framed by the wisteria's tendrils, her eyes closed, a delicate smile on her petite face, big black bees busily humming and dancing about her, the grand purple flower clusters mingling in her salt and pepper hair; absolute beauty.
The first spring after we sold, needing to see her in bloom, I drove to our old house. I was shocked, heartbroken, and burst into tears when I saw the new homeowners had ripped her out. Why? Okay, so she tended to get a bit unruly and messy, but why would anyone rip out such splendor? I sat there crying in disbelief for several minutes. I had to call Jeff…yes, Jeff, this is where my thought lead to next. Peddling my ‘bike’ back towards home I decided to turn into the cemetery. Once I arrived near the resting place of Jeff’s mortal body, I rolled off the ‘bike’ and crawled to his side. Closing my eyes, I sat there, taking in the morning, feeling the grass below me, smelling the scents of spring, I even thought I detected a faint wisteria scent wafting through the breeze. I listened to the whispers and had conversation with Jeff, we parted with a hug and I promised a wisteria would be the first thing I planted this season. As I was scooting back to the ‘bike’ I noticed, just beyond his head stone, a cluster of dandelions…