22 August 2015

Home

In the one room were four generations of people my mother loved-Sons, Daughters, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren, Nieces and Nephews and her Sister and Brother. Each generation represented all the parts of her life, from her childhood to her respected position as Elder.  Each of us stood there with their own memories, each trying to let her know we'd bring her home. Or at least, help her to the door.  When she took her last breath of this world's air, we were stunned, even though we'd expected it.

A month ago, I was in and out of the hospital room where my mother was struggling to come home.  I'd called my sisters and brothers, my father and a couple cousins.  We'd all gathered to make decisions. I'd not wanted to have to make decisions any more.  I wanted someone else to take charge.  So glad my sons were with me.  No questions, no pressure, just offering their love and support.

The following days were mostly a blur.  Time warps.  Yeah, those now have a different meaning, at least for me.  Today, tonight and tomorrow will be the first time I've been alone for longer than a few hours.  36 hours? Perhaps 48?  Time enough to sort through my own feelings, my own memories and pick myself up to continue on the path I'm meant to travel.

There's music playing, Mom's favorite, Hank Williams.  Soon, I'll put others on and remember when we'd sit and listen, sometimes turning the music up so loud my son asked if we were having fun since he could hear it all the way out to the road.  Teehee.  Least it wasn't at no 3 in the morning.

We've sorted through her things, putting them in piles.  Yeah, I'd often complained about her pack-rat ways, mostly cause it was hard to clean,  a process sometimes hard to accomplish.  We each had our own way of cleaning.  Mine wasn't the easiest for her to watch.  I knew she'd have to leave the room because she had to bite her tongue.  The kitchen ended up being the only room I'd clean, least the external surfaces.  She would tell me "Looks good" when I was finished and she'd come back to sit in her spot.

When she'd clean, I tried not to hover, especially the past few months.  I'd try to find something else to do.  I was glad when she'd go take her ol' lady nap.  Then I'd check over the dishes, look in the cupboards to find where she'd put things. Find the stuff I used mostly.  You'd think since we were the same height, things would be easy to find.  Not so.

You may be asking yourself why I didn't get my own house if we had to bite our tongues.  The answer to that question is so complex, it'd take years to sort out.  The best way to describe it would be that we'd come to accept each other as women and to respect each other's ways.  We had a give and take relationship once we understood each other's strengths and weaknesses.  And this wasn't something I could understand until I went through the same sort of things with my own sons.  We'd come to understand that we needed each other in this three generation household, four when the great grandchildren would visit.  And we found a way to make it work.

She'd only lived off the reservation for one three month period, then returned to stay.  It was important to her that everyone had a home to return to when they got tired of their travels out and about.  In a subliminal way, I understood that she wanted me to do the same.  I tried to "pass the buck" and told her to give the house to my sons.  When she gave me the look, I said "My sons will take care of their mother."  That was enough for her.

When my sister called and told us we'd better get down there, we finished the setup that now wouldn't be used.  My mom knew that we'd gotten the house ready for her to come home.  And that was enough for me.  

10 August 2015

My Mother, Marjorie "Marge" Holmes

Today is the first time I've posted on any of my blogs for quite some time. My mother, who's been the subject of many of my posts, started her journey to the Spirit World on 23 July 2015.  Over the winter and early spring, my mother has been the subject of much prayers and good thoughts. We laid her to rest on 28 July 2015, near her sisters who journeyed on before her.

I've been updating my blogs for a blogger type book, you know the business side of writing, when she became more fragile.  Not that she ever was the sort of woman to admit she needed help. Oh, I watched her over the past few months. Then in February, I decided to get her garden going.  That was our last project together.  There's still a few projects I'd like to finish.

One of them is repainting the house, inside.  I'd tried to have her paint the house in any color she wanted.  However, it was white and would remain white.  "You can paint it any color you want, do whatever you want.  After I'm gone." when I'd pressed her about the color.  So, I will repaint the house, her bedroom, in her favorite colors. The rest of the house will be in my favorite colors.  Seeing's how my son thinks the world of his mother and will allow me to run his house the way I see fit.  Heh heh.

She sorted through her clothes, donating many for the local Boys and Girls Club fundraiser.  Still a few clothes, jackets and other odds and ends were set aside for her grandson's fundraising efforts for his trip to France next year.  Those will be delivered, preferably, picked up.

Then, in April, after I'd been elected Secretary for the Elder's Committee, she happily started sewing again.  She dragged out her fabric, cleared the kitchen counter and set up her sewing machine.  Yesterday, I was looking for something and tried to pick up two squares I thought had fallen from the pile she'd made.  It was still in the machine, waiting for her to add another set of blocks.  It's still there.  At least til we finish clearing out the rest of her things.  Then her granddaughter has said she will finish the blankets.  These last two blankets will be kept in the family.  We will donate sewing of our own making in her memory for the Elder fundraising.

I will revise the books I wrote.  She was so proud of my writing.  She even contributed some ideas and that particular book will be dedicated to her when it is finally published. She was happy when I finally got to attend a Writer's Conference.

I have so many memories of her.  I am grateful for the years I lived with her.  At my sons insistence of course.  Together, they decided that Grandma's was where they wanted to live.  And so we have.

Marjorie Alice Holmes 1936-2015

10 September 2014

Summertime, where are you?

I know it has been an extremely long time since I posted.  And it has been a full summer.  In fact, we've been discussing that very thing.  "Where did the summer go?"  I, myself, am not sure.  Brings to mind that old song about looking around and it's gone?  Not going to look it up cause one gets the idea.  Hah! Broke down and looked.  After a couple seconds using the wrong keywords, the song suddenly popped into my head.  "Paved paradise and put up a parking lot."  Well, that really wasn't the point of this.  It was the "turning around and its gone" part.

Much plotting, planning and scheduling has been happening in my little corner of this big beautiful world.  Did the NaNoWriMo event in July.  Happily, I had finished the last of the story and was setting up my stories on JukePop Serials.  I say happily because on the last day of the month, my PC Doc warned me that my hard drive was in imminent danger of crashing.

Was on the edge of Panic City, about to zip around there for a while when I came to a full, screeching stop right at the verge of the parking lot. Yep, the one I usually get lost in.  Remembered those good guys in the white hats who are so very helpful when it comes to things like computers.

Did some research, checked out the various items recommended.  Course I knew in the back of my mind that it was futile.  My faithful 'puter was in danger of crashing.  How did I know this?  Why, from previous experience, of course.  I've had three or four computers crash, which those of my faithful, loyal readers have known since they've kept up with my ramblings.

Thinking on it, my 'puter had been slow, achy and groaning.  Like any mother and father knows, kids get this whiny sound in their voices when they are getting sick.  It sets off the alarm nerve that runs up and down the spine to settle in the heart region where one hopes that it is a false alarm.  Well, it wasn't.  At least, I wasn't going to take any chances.  I had too much of Niiganabiik's World set up, stories waiting for the revision, editing and beta reader stage.

First things first, I got an external drive and backed up my whole computer.  Was going to set it up so that I only had what I really wanted.  Nah. didn't happen.  Still have the three to four copies of the same pictures that happened each time my backup thingy went haywire and didn't listen to the instructions I had given it.  Much memory those things take.  Filled up an 80G external drive in no time at all.  Ratted, dratted...Ahah!  Enter the 1T hard drive thing.

Second, shopped around looking for a hard drive.  Again, I didn't use the right keywords.  Knew I could get the same size drive but wanted to see if I could add a larger drive.  Aachk.  Gave up looking as everything pointed to Panic City.  Particularly, when I restarted my 'puter after one of the interminable updates after the news broke about the largest security breach in history.  I'd been avoiding restarts and shut downs as I didn't want anything happening.  Well, you're right.  My screen was doing the happy dance.  After several seconds of breath holding, it settled down when it noticed my face turning pinkish with fear.  I quickly ordered the second hard drive I'd looked at.  Turned out I didn't have enough money stashed away to order the 1T drive.  Then I shut off the computer, thus ending my chance to reorganize my files before the big move.  Hehheh.

Checked with the local good guys to see if they'd install the new drive.  Apparently, I didn't make myself clear.  Let this be a lesson to writers every where.  One needs to be clear when one doesn't have the luxury of an editor to help.  I'd only asked for them to install the hard drive,  Nothing  more, nothing less.  I waited a week or so after notifying the local good guy of the drive's arrival.  So, I turned to the ex-local good guy.  Well, actually, he was standing around and I complained.  Whined more like, about how I wished he was still being the local good guy.  Gave him the particulars and he said he'd help after verifying that all I wanted was the installation of the drive.

Now, I'm happily updating, installing and setting up my 'puter just the way I want it.  Of course, I can now take a bit of a breather.  Whereupon, I noticed the weather is rainy, it's a bit chilly out and the leaves aren't green.  There's a spot of color here and there, informing me that summer is over and I must leave out the winter coat that I'd planned on stashing sometime after it warmed up.

24 June 2014

IT Guy, where are you?

Just spent an agonizing hour checking out why I couldn't get on the net.  With a break for lunch down to the Migizi Room for a light lunch where I won a bag from the Fitness Center. Prior to leaving, I'd frantically left a message for the IT guy to help me decipher what the heck a network adapter was and why it wasn't working.  Well.  No answering phone call, so I debated whether or not to call my former trusty IT guy, who is now the trusty IT guy at the Radio station.  Hmmph.

Then, my ride for the luncheon doings arrived and I happily rode down there, leaving the vexing problem of network cable unplugged, plugged, unplugged.  What the heck is a network cable?  That question I promptly left to figure itself out.

Upon my arrival back home, an hour or so later, I checked.  Still, no internet, no brownies around to magically fix my network adapter cable or even leave me a note letting me know what I was looking for.  Luckily for me, my brother had given me a ride home from Father's where I was trying to hunt down the red bag that was mysteriously missing for days upon days.  That red bag contains a machine that I've been looking for since about the middle of April.  Man, it's already the middle of June.  Two months?  Time is surely not anywhere near those black holes where I hear time slows down to a snail's pace.  Or even slower than a snail.

There we were, sitting in the living room, looking at the type of bag he and his kids were supposed to be looking for.  On the day I found out where that red bag was, I didn't have time to go get it.  Thought it'd be okay since I'd told my father that it was mine.  He'd put a red bag on the trunk of the other car in his garage.  And of course, we were on our way out of state.  So, after how many trips did I make to his house to log him in to his computer?  And how many did he make to our house for fry bread and other goodies?  How many times did I take him to town?  Well.

Come to find out, Father had told my brother he didn't want that bag there anymore and so Brother took it and now it has gone on it's merry way around the world, the galaxy.  Maybe even, daring the black hole to gobble it up.  Where is it?  In the midst of discussing this vexing problem, the other vexing problem leapt out of the dark shadows where it had been lurking, waiting for it's chance to further vex me.

As I stated before, luckily, brother had given me the ride home.  Because he helped me solve the question of what a network cable is.  We'd taken out the ethernet cable, switched it around and he, naturally, plugged it back in in a different spot.  Yay.  I did a few cartwheels and am now dancing around my room, the hall, the living room. With only an occasional break to wonder about the mysterious red bag's whereabouts.

Now, you may be asking yourselves this?  Why in the world doesn't she know what a network adapter is, what a network cable is?  Well, when I come upon such vexations, my first impulse nowadays is to jump on the net, Google it, and failing that, get in touch with the support people who are no longer so happy to get calls from me as my computer is close to 4 years old and I had neglected to pay for the support after the warranty runs out.  Being as it was the network connection that was out, I could not get on the net.  I know, I tried.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I actually hit the Chrome button, hoping the brownies had some magic left and it would connect long enough for me to find out what I needed to know.

And no, I didn't use my son's computer, even I'd gone to check if he could get on the net.  Why?  Because I didn't want to suffer through the beady eye phase when he discovered that I'd messed up his settings.  Never fails, when I try to use his computer, I very carefully try not to hit the wrong button.  And I do.  Thus, the beady eye.  Though lately, it might just be edging closer to the evil eye.

29 March 2014

Winter Blahs Part II

Winter is fast closing in on my imaginary world.  When it is cold, blowing snow, sleet, hail and wobbling treetops dangerously close to falling over, snapping off dead branches, I can usually escape to my imaginary world.  The one where my stories take place in seasons the complete opposite of the ones in reality.  Howsomeever, the past few weeks have brought those worlds in danger of collision.

Methinks it started the fifth day of losing the same level on the dreaded CC on that seventh favorite haunt and now it's close to six weeks later.  Am I obstinate or what?  Or is it persistence?  Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, the way I go back to that same game.  Addicted?  Nah, couldn't be that.

I tell myself I won't play today, that game is just trying to get me to buy those expensive little helpers and I can beat that game.  However, I think it might be that thing got stuck in one of those time loops or space warps that keeps sending me back to the same point.  Lost most of the carefully hoarded helps I won on that daily bonus thingy.  Uses to get many lives and moves from friends.  Now that has dwindled to just a few per day.  Oh well, might just try to play one more time.  This might just be the lucky day.

On another note, the storm's aftermath yesterday caused me to post a rant over on the twitter site.  With so many people stuck indoors, the dreaded perfume pervades the air.  On top of the "Non-toxic" cleaners used for floors, walls and ceilings alongside the air filtering/cleaning systems.  Clean Indoor Air Act?  Hmm.  Must ponder that one.  Ended with a headache which intensified the ache in my toe which I severely strained also at the beginning of this March madness.  Of course, the nutty drivers from the day before doubled yesterday making driving extremely dangerous.  Sure was glad to get back in the neighborhood where I only had to watch for those darn wawashkeshe, deer.

Stopped by the store to let son and sis know I was home safely only to find out there was a bit of excitement in the village.  A bear, a big one, has woken up and is prowling around looking to assuage its winter-long hunger.  Oh my. That bear sanctuary is only a few miles from here and of course it doesn't open til after the bears have settled into their summer routines.  Fall and spring can be pretty dangerous, what with people feeding those wild animals.

Hm.  Methinks it's a good thing Camp NaNoWriMo is only two days and some odd hours away.  Might be safer for me to go back to that imaginary world where I can slay my dragons, befriend bears, and turn aside the winds with a flick of my wrist. Or is it?

*Edited the title.  Been so long I forgot I already used the aforementioned title.