Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Unique Us

November 27, 2011

I’ve been remiss in my blogging duties this November. It’s not for lack of things to say. No, it’s more because I can barely move these days.

Remember those lovely pictures of the October 29, 2011, freak snow I posted? Remember all the damage to my beautiful trees? Scroll on down in the blog to see them. Anyway, SOMEONE had to clean up all that mess and that someone was me. My honey has a debilitating neuropathy from the two years of chemotherapy it took to save his life and suffice it to say that, physically, he’s not a lot of help. (Yes, you’re correct - he’s just FULL of ADVICE on how to do things, which he offers freely.)

Thankfully, the bulk of the work is finished. Last weekend we finally cut our way through all the downed limbs behind the shed to loop a heavy logging chain between the sizeable branch that fell on the shed and our trusty Chevy Silverado. It took a few tries, but the branch finally slid off the roof. To my relief, the shingles on the shed roof are intact.

If you’re one of those people who wonder why in the hell the world needs four-wheel drive pickups, live on a mountain for a year without one, baby. I dare ya.

It’s been a lot of hard, physical work this past month, and I’m not twenty any longer. All the brush, limbs and branches that fell needed to be cut, dragged, stacked to be split for firewood next fall, or burned. It’s been great to get outside, and who doesn’t like sitting beside a roaring fire watching brush burn? Believe me, after getting the brush to the burn ring, it was wonderful to sit a spell and rest by the fire.

As exhausting as the work has been, I have an enormous sense of accomplishment. I’m pathetically pleased this old girl hasn’t lost her country living survival skills. The sore muscles and stiffs joints have convinced me I need yoga, or at least some sort of stretching routine.

There’s a harmony in the blending all the facets of ourselves into the whole person. I’m a country girl, born and bred, but I can put on a beaded dress and enjoy an evening with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra. I am woman, wife, daughter, friend. I’m an administrative assistant and a writer. I like rock music and I sing hymns. I won’t talk on a cell phone in my car, but I’ve never met a speed limit I didn’t exceed.

Thanksgiving weekend is a time to remember to give thanks. Family and friends come together to share good food and good times. We take stock of our blessings, and we share with others who are in need. The season of Advent begins and we set our thoughts to gift giving, and to that end many go shopping.

I am thankful for my health and for all people in my life. But I think I am most grateful for all the contradictions that make me who I am. I look forward and make gift-giving plans knowing that no Christmas trinket ever given will be more than what each of us has already received.

We are each unique in this universe, and that is quite a gift to be thankful for.

KC Kendricks
website at: http://www.kckendricks.comblog: http://www.kckendricks.blogspot.comTwitter: list at:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Days to Minutes; Minutes to Memories

November 8, 2011

November 8th comes around every year whether I want it to or not. The day brings myriad memories to my door, complete with the accompanying emotions. Some years I’m weepy, which I don’t like since I’m not really a “girly-girl.”  Some years I’m weepy because the memories are about something stupid and I can’t stop giggling. I don’t like that for the same reason. Too girly.

Then there are the years when I’ve been too numb with fear for the losses of the future to deal with the losses of the past. I’ve lived through too many of those in the last decade as my partner battled for his life against the same disease that took my father.

This year, as I mark the twenty-eighth anniversary of my father’s death, I’m struck by the fact that in two weeks, I will have lived on this earth longer than he did. It’s a very strange feeling.

My father is still close to me in memory. I can pause and recall the ups - and downs - of the father/daughter relationship. I wish I hadn’t taken him for granted, but who knew he’d leave us when he was still a young man. I remember my grandfather saying it wasn’t fair that a young man should be taken when there he was, an old, dried up man, still alive. My grandfather lived another twenty-two years beyond my father, but that’s for another day.

Are my memories clear? They are. Do I remember some events as they really happened? I do hope so, but I will not discount the passing of time applying a rosy hue to them. I can accept that because it’s not as if I can strip it off now that it's on. 

So what do I remember this November 8th?
  • Dad always had a camera pointed at someone - so no one could get a picture of him. (But I did.)
  • Being told I could NOT keep the stray dog that wandered in - and him suggesting we name her Reba. (So I did.)
  • Dad slipping me a twenty before my first official date with a boy who had a car - and he let me keep it when I got home safely. 
  • Me and Dad crashing into the wall at the skating rink and laughing too hard to get to our feet. (I finally taught him to skate.)
  • Riding in the Mack truck with him - and learning to drive it.
  • Dad standing on the roof of my 1969 Camaro to cut a tree limb that hung over the driveway. (You can guess my screeching reaction.)
  • Being Dad’s “remote control” for the television. (Every kid was one, back in the day.)
  • Never Coke, always Pepsi, unless there was Royal Crown Cola to be had.

Dad was a handsome man in a Daniel Boone/Fess Parker/Davy Crockett sort of way. A six feet tall, blue-eyed, broad-shouldered American truck driving man. He had presence in a room, but of all the things I remember about Dad, it’s his quiet sense of humor I miss the most.  He understood that just because you have to take something seriously doesn’t mean it’s not funny.  Of all the things he taught me, I hope that’s the lesson I learned best.

See you again someday, Daddy. Save me a seat.