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Saturday, April 15, 2023

I hate cliches.

Such as spring is a time of renewal. Death is a reminder of life. Plants are needy little bastards that need light and water.

But often, cliches are such because they are true.

In two different instances in the last couple weeks, friends have given me plants. Useful ones, the kind you can eat rather than those you can look at. (They are useful, too, but less so to a fat guy.)

Sitting at one of my watering holes a couple weeks ago, a woman named Kat and I were talking about gardens. She and her wife put in a huge patch and grow everything from the usual tomatoes to kohlrabi. (Side note: What the hell is that?) I asked if I could rent some space from them and she kindly offered that if I come out to weed, I can take what I want. Well, as a divorced older guy, I don't need much. So I'll get exercise, vitamin D and an armful of free healthy veg. What a deal. Then Kat brought in a basil sprout I promptly killed. Turns out you can't keep a plant in a car when its 17 below. She kindly gave me a second and given I spend most of my time at work, I brought it there. It's thriving.

Not much later, my neighbor appeared at my door one evening. Understand, I'm an older fat guy so I had unbuttoned my pants. I furiously belted myself and answered the door. Carl had a pepper plant and a card for me. He and his wife had purchased a Catholic mass for my mother, to be celebrated in June as a mass of resurrection. My mom would have loved it. I'll join them at 8:30 a.m. some Thursday morning.

Now the pepper sits next to my basil plant, where I can pay attention, setting them in the sun and watering them every other day. And, this is key for a perennial plant killer, colleagues can look over my shoulder to ensure the plants thrive and survive.

Death, life, renewal, resurrection.

It's all real, whether my stubbornly empirical philosophy likes it or not.

Peace unto Ukraine and peace and renewal unto you my brothers and sisters.

Friday, April 7, 2023

The parents of Kid -- my ex-wife and I -- have formed a new reaction we might trademark: the laugh/cry.

That's how we respond the first time we see video of any of Kid's new comedy sketches on YouTube. We have to laugh because it's hysterical. Yet we have to cry because it's hard to believe that creative writer/actor could once be held in one hand.

I distinctly remember the first time I made a face to get her to laugh and that served as a drug to me. Those little toothless gums bared and a sincere belly laugh. Best thing ever.

Kid was enticed to go into comedy by many family members, not me because I wanted her to do anything with which she was happy so her major didn't matter. That she is who is blows me away, a strong, touch chick who is smarter and better than me. That's also a cry prompt. Understand, while she's a comedian, I'm a smart ass.

Then she's funny, damnit. Now it's her job to make dad laugh.

Here's clip and the conceit is when national-style politicking seeps down to the political race for second-grade class president:

Student Body President - YouTube

I hope you laugh. You don't even need to cry. We have you covered.

Peace unto Ukraine and peace and laughter unto also of you my brothers and sisters.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

 "And I'll give you some medicine for your face," the nurse said Wednesday.

That's blunt enough.

She was talking about rosacea, a skin condition that causes a red face among other ailments. I had to laugh while she was curious about my laughter. 

"I guess that is a funny thing to say," she finally said.

What a better way to lead off my 400th blog post?

I received a terribly sweet note Wednesday from a family friend -- along with a nice check -- who noted she's followed the blog since my Indiana days. It seems so long ago on some days and at other times it feels like yesterday.

My visit to the doctor -- for my face and other issues -- reminded me of my complicated trip. I couldn't tell them the name of my last provider. Nor could I remember any of the last three doctors or institutions that have all worked hard to keep me upright.

"Why do you move around so often?" one nurse asked.

Survival perhaps.

And here I am, Hayward, Wisconsin, sitting at a friend's bar, washing down some Leinenkugel's while blogging on my day off.

As difficult as many parts of this trip have been, it's turned out well. I've made many new friends in the last two years, I've seen many old friends, I was able to be around for mom's final years and also could attend a recent ceremony for my brother out a native school on the reservation, where he has donated his-handmade toy homes for the children.

I'm reminded it's all about perspective. This morning on my Buddhist phone app, there's a quote from the Dalai Lama: "Just one small positive thought in the morning an change your whole day."

To which I responded, "Well hello, Dalai!"

Four hundred blog posts and at least one thousand stupid jokes.

Thanks for reading, friends. I'll see you on the 401st post.

Peace unto Ukraine and peace and medicine for your faces my brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

I have struggled, my readers.

I had thought, knowing mom's death was nigh, it wouldn't be as bad as when my dad died suddenly in 1984.

I was wrong.

In the time since the last blog entry, getting out of bed feels like climbing a mountain. Uninterested in eating, I force myself to choke down something, anything. Too often that's been some bar food. 

Strangely I've had no issues drinking. Numbness abides.

I found myself just going through the motions for everything else. Only what must be done gets done. Thus the blog hasn't been updated since mid-March. I promise I'll work on that because people keep reading. For someone who pretends to be a writer, a waiting audience has been a gift. 

So I took off today through the weekend and this morning I went to a clinic to get my first primary care giver in years and made positive movement in my life. It felt good.

My blood pressure was sky high to the point the nurse took it twice. The second score was higher, which, like golf, is not the way winning is measured.

But I'm getting meds today and I've made progress in my first day off.

A nurse did try and pull blood but only sausage gravy came out. Is that bad? Thankfully, I always carry biscuits with me so we shared a lovely snack.

It should be noted, after editing tens of thousands of obituaries over 30 years, I've grown concerned my age is nearing the ages of the dead.

At least I'll get 10 percent of my obit, per my contract. Well, I won't get it. Kid will.

But let's postpone that.

Peace unto Ukraine and peace and progress unto all of you my brothers and sisters.