so, I ventured to the Paris Street Market yesterday, just to see what I could see. One booth had beautiful, hand made quilts…old, with soft fabrics and neat stitches…at incredibly reasonable prices. Sometimes you find old quilts priced as though the vendor hand stitched them herself, paying herself by the number of stitches. Ugh. But, these were lovely, and nicely priced. I could not resist a wedding ring with a neat, blue star in the center of each ring – perfect stitches making the white muslin backing beautiful, too. We talked a bit, Judy, the vendor, and her husband, and I. I’ll check in again next month to see if the perfect Dresden plate is still available.
Then, hugging my new quilt, I passed a few booths of neat stuff, until I came upon a small collection of odd bits laid out on a neat old wood ironing board, and a couple small tables – no flags, no flash, no fancy. The vendor, Paulette, was sleeping under her umbrella. I wanted her four foot, wooden, long handled tool box, $35. I had to wake her. We chatted about the day, and her tool box; how we remembered way back when everyone wanted a wooden trunk to line with pretty wall paper to use as our coffee tables. You cannot give them away, now, says Paulette. I can see that. No, she didn’t take credit cards, so I walked to the theatre ATM, and returned for the box. She sold it to me for less – I knew she would…we’d chatted, y’know. And she ALMOST talked me into an Indian brass, cylinder, portable coffee grinder…why I could grind my own coffee on the train and make that incredibly strong coffee they make in India while on my way to work. I resisted. My way to work is but down the hall…but it was cool, and might make a good Christmas gift.
Feels good to get out amongst people; chat a bit, chuckle and laugh a bit… not too much, mind you…I don’t care all that much, nor do they… for a while, earlier this year, after B died, I guess I was hit with one of those Peggy Lee “is that all there is” moments… and I know such moments will hit again, now and then…but I tire of grief, don’t you? tire of staring at the wall, only partly listening to others? Yeah…at some point, you just gotta get up again… hit a flea market…for no good reason…
My word, her whisper startled me!
as did the closeness of her eyes magnified by my readers!
“I simply have to share this with you, ” words breathed in utter confidence.
I nod, trying to place her.
“I love to crochet…and I love all the crochet magazines, not just this one I’m holding.”
I cannot back up since we are so close to the counter…
“Well, it is the same every month, every month, in every magazine, see?
She holds it open to me, tapered fingers sliding down the spine,
“See?” dark eyes boring holes in mine.
I see it!
Someone has torn out an entire section of an article!
Someone has had the nerve to rip apart a library magazine, stealing the patterns, no doubt about it. Slight panic…I dart a look back into her eyes, trying to remember if I had done it. Then I remembered I don’t crochet, so…
“I’m going to tell this librarian over here right now. I’m going to tell her.”
slowly inched away, gathered my books, then hurried out the door, barely waiting for the automatic door to open… I do not know which librarian she nabbed.
“Ma’am,” she whispered, “I love to crochet…”
we were three,
my sisters and me,
’til Ruth died,
and I was left to be
whatever I am without them
A scholarship fundraiser
A nod to International Women’s Day
A collection of poems and excerpts from books
Read by their poets and authors
As delicious as that first bite of a well seasoned filet
Juice running onto the plate
With the promise that every last bite
Will be just as fully satisfying.
March 10, 2106
(on the first time I entered Arapahoe Community College, instead of simply driving by, and finding my future amongst writers and readers and even musicians. Life is good.)
I was reminded of this by another’s blog this morning.
*** *** ***
A beautiful little crab apple was planted out back.
She bloomed bright pink each May.
Heavy, Spring snow broke her one year,
But, determined to keep her, I trimmed her back,
and she continued on,
though without as much enthusiasm as before.
I patted her trunk and whispered,”looking good,”
Each time I mowed the lawn.
Three springs ago, seven years after she broke, she bloomed with complete abandon;
Beautiful and bright on every branch.
I couldn’t help myself.
I took out my sheers to bring the blooms inside.
Just as I snipped that perfect branch, the entire top of the tree tipped towards me,
then fell to the lawn…
and the perfect tree died.
I’ve not replaced her.
rJo Herman 1/31/16
I saw it
while driving up I-25
in the morning traffic
there to the west
below white peaks…
Purple Mountain’s Majesty
* Dad and his B-52 crew on Alert, living at the Alert Shack two weeks every month – sometimes families were allowed to visit and share a Sunday lunch…not every Sunday though
* Dad and crew flying 24 hour missions to Russia –
* something about a Chrome Dome…something to do with those 24 hour missions and Russia (Wikipedia explains it so: Bombers loitered near points outside the Soviet Union to provide rapid first strike or retaliation capability in case of nuclear war) I always imagined it like a cover over the earth, and Dad flew to its edge
* the “red phone”
* Dad’s big flight helmet with a sun shield, and he wore these two little plastic discs around his neck. He told us that Santa could speak to us through them…sometime later someone told me they were radiation detectors, to tell if he’d been contaminated somehow
* Everyone at Mass praying for God to stop the spread of Communism every day before class (2nd grade – 6th grade), and on Sundays
* All the kids at school wearing dog tags with our names and addresses
* People building bomb shelters (we didn’t)
* Being told that if the Russians bombed America, we would be amongst the first to be bombed because there were missile sites all around the base, and the Russians would want to take out the missiles and the B-52s first. We were proud to be that “important.”
* Practicing for a nuclear blast…all families on base had to have a stockpile of water, canned foods sufficient for at least two weeks; everyone was told to stay inside (though we kids would sneak out after the AP (Air Police) vehicles drove down the block – it was a game to hide from them)
Have you ever seen a fully loaded B-52 fly over with its vast, heavy wings? Have you ever imagined what it is like for that giant airplane, loaded with nuclear bombs, to refuel below another giant airplane (tanker), so close that one miscalculation could explode them both.
Once one of the 52s exploded on base (Walker AFB, NM). The blast blew out all the windows in our base school. One of the Airmen who was killed had been our Sunday school teacher. The power of that explosion was stunning. Imagine the power of a nuclear bomb…
The world knew the destruction of the Atomic Bomb. There was no reason to believe it could not, would not happen again. It was, and is, a real threat.
I am curious to see how this textbook presents it. The very question to describe real vs. perceived threats makes me think the authors are skeptics. Perception is reality…threat of death by bombs was very real when I was a kid.