Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31

Sometime in the early morning hours of the day that would be New Year's Eve 2005, I woke up from a dream that had already vanished, leaving behind only two words: CRASH CART.

I went back to sleep.


Hours later, the day started like any other Saturday. The normal part lasted only until 8:37. Then my dad called, frantic: my mom had fallen, hitting her head, and he needed me right away. I arrived at his house just as the ambulance took her to the emergency room. My dad and I followed in the car; as we turned the first corner he said: I thought she was dead.

She was dead before lunch.

When we caught up with her at the hospital, she was still slightly aware of what was going on. I found a cloth and washed dried blood from her hands and her right elbow. I told her that I'd bought a green silk jacket with my Christmas gift card. She said the backboard hurt her neck.

By the time I had almost started to resign myself to the idea that this might be more than just a few hours at the ER, the doctor had moved her into the trauma room, and the nurses were working swiftly, grimly, not making eye contact with us.

I slipped her wedding rings from her finger.

When the doctors started saying things like "no significant hope for recovery," I'd started making calls, to my husband, my sister, the pastor: the plates of the earth were shifting, ever so slightly, causing great earthquakes as I became the adult in charge.

Before anyone else could arrive, my dad was saying "great fear of nursing homes" and, finally, "we have to let her go." Family arrived, nurses withdrew, the chaplain appeared. As she slipped away from us, as softly as a whisper, we stood around her bed, holding her and each other. My father's tears dropped to her dying face, the last rites of his love for her.

And it was over. I scanned the room, and my eyes fell on a red cabinet on the other side. The sign over it said: CRASH CART.


Those first ragged months of grieving were harder than I could have believed. Almost anything would trigger a flood of grief, but the hardest of these were the ones that sneaked in and kicked me before I knew what was about to happen.

A Bruce Cockburn song with the line "if I fall down and die without saying goodbye" reduced me to tears for the rest of the day.

A passing thought about appropriate mother's day gifts stabbed me in the gut.

Thinking about my dad going shopping, alone, to buy my birthday present was so sad that I barely made it through dinner.

For so long, everything held the hidden dangers of learning how to be motherless. But one day, that song didn't make me cry.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 30

I was looking at the clouds while I was driving home tonight, thinking that these are winter clouds - they never look like this in the summer.

Alcove Avenue
Lubbock, Texas

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 29

Look! I am learning how to use PhotoShop!! Don't you think it is about time?

Lubbock, Texas

Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28

Seriously - this snow has completely overstayed its welcome.

US 82 and Milwaukee Avenue
Lubbock, Texas

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December 27

Someone built a snowman* on the lawn at Christ Lutheran Church, and crowned him with a chunk of an icicle and a couple of sticks from a nearby live oak tree.

Indiana Avenue
Lubbock, Texas

* If you believe it was a snow-woman, please change "him" to "her." Likewise, if you believe it to be a gender neutral snow-person, please change "him" to "it." If you think the entire snow-man-woman-person situation tends to anthropomorphize what is actually just a pile of snow, then delete all references to people and pronouns. Thank you.

Friday, December 25, 2009

December 25

Giant (for Texas) icicles on the eaves of the house. I really like how the long one on the right has that wavy pattern frozen right into it.

Lubbock, Texas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 24

Snow caught in the chain-link fence at the City of Lubbock cemetery.

Lubbock, Texas

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 23

A line of hay bales along US 385, just south of Levelland.

Hockley County, Texas

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22

A big ol' hunk of wood that has been turned (in the wood-working sense) into a bowl.

Lubbock, Texas

(Sorry for using such a technical term - I am referring to "big ol' hunk of wood" - but I would hate to dumb down today's comments.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21

In a twist on the popular game, these animals gathered at the park to play Goose-Goose-Duck.

Levelland, Texas

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20

The dryer at the drive-through car wash. And water spots on the window.

Lubbock, Texas

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18

About a million lights on a liveoak tree. (Or, is it "live oak"? Or, "live-oak"?)

Lubbock, Texas

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17

A store window display that reminds me of what we used to do for entertainment when I was a kid - we'd go to the shopping centers, either Caprock or Monterey, and look at what was in the windows. At Christmas, we'd drive all the way downtown to look at the Christmas display at Dunlap's. (The two-story window on the northeast side where they put the Christmas tree is now the main entrance to the Chamber of Commerce and the space is full of maps and so forth. It's not even CLOSE to warranting a trip downtown.)

Also - this makes me sound really, really old! It's not as bad as you think - we didn't hitch up a team of mules to Pa's wagon to make the trip downtown. Nope. We just took the Studebaker.

Lubbock, Texas

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16

I guess if you are going to hang a tire on the buried utilities sign, the classy thing to do is to use a white sidewall. Right?

FM 2378 and FM 1585
Hockley County, Texas

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14

Do you think I am REALLY that good with a camera that I can make it look as though this were taken from the middle of a highway?

Surely I wouldn't have taken a picture while I was driving?

FM 1585
Hockley County, Texas

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9

This old farmhouse is marks the half-way point on my drive to work.

It's abandonded. The windows are broken out, and on the east side, a hunk of a sun-whitened flaps through the hole that used to have glass.

Hockley County, Texas

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 8

A vase, and some books.

But you probably figured that out on your own.

Lubbock, Texas

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7

Look! My computer came back - and it works!

Lubbock, Texas

December 6

The felt-and-sequin Christmas tree on my girlhood Christmas stocking. My mom made it for me, and it even has my name spelled out in silver sequins. All of the sequins are held on with tiny beads.

Guess that stocking's pushing 50 years old now - not that I am revealing my age or anything!

Lubbock, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

December 5

Three ceramic mixing bowls that live next to the clock and lamp that were featured on November 27.

Lubbock, Texas

December 4

I just don't think I can add anything to this....

Littlefield, Texas

December 3

This was the first time I put up a Christmas tree since 2005. My mom died that year, quite suddenly, on New Year's Eve and I just hadn't felt like decorating.

It was harder than I thought it would be. When I opened the boxes of ornaments, I kept thinking that the last time I'd opened them, my mom had been alive. But that was the easy part: when I unpacked the Christmas stockings, I cried to think how much my mom would have loved to make a stocking for Hannah, my granddaughter who was born in 2007.

Lubbock, Texas

December 2

A little group of farm buildings on the outskirts of Wolfforth.

Wolfforth, Texas

December 1

A door and its reflection on a cold, wet day.

Southland, Texas

November 30

A nice little scene on the outskirts of Plains, Texas.

(When we were little, my mom, sister, and I drove to Plains to meet up with my dad, who was doing some sort of an engineering project over there. My sister was three or four and was very upset when she didn't see PLANES there. And that's how she learned to not always trust what you think you hear.)

Highway 214
Yoakum County, Texas

November 29


I have specific pens assigned to specific journals. And not just pens - fountain pens.

And if that isn't bad enough, the pen for the journal on the right always (always!) has purple ink in in.

Obsessive? Not me.

Lubbock, Texas

November 28

An anchor bolt at the gazebo at Yellowhouse Canyon. The deck under the gazebo is finished, the Adirondack chairs are assembled - and for the first time, I wrote a journal entry from the canyon.

Yellowhouse Canyon, Texas

November 27

A new sofa, a new-ish lamp, and old-ish table, and an old clock.

Lubbock, Texas

November 26

The crystals on a candle holder that I found on my way home from South Dakota - we stopped for lunch in Chadron, Nebraska, and I found this treasure.

I like Chadron.

Lubbock, Texas

November 25

A bowl of apples on their way to becoming a Thanksgiving pie.

Lubbock, Texas

November 24

This is the very lonely vent on my laptop mat - the computer is taking a little bit of a vacation to get repaired....

Lubbock, Texas

November 23

If you like the letter L, this is a great town. Nearly as good as going to Wales, to visit Llangollen.

This is the Lobo Lanes, in Levelland.

Levelland, Texas

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Where have I been, part 3

Computer: Still sick.

Solution: Ship to Apple for repairs

Me: Still taking photos, but without computer (and PhotoShop) that's as far as it goes.

Blog: Will get caught up as soon as the computer returns.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where have I been part 2

It doesn't make any sense, but it looks as though the logic board (what ever that means) has gone out on my laptop. And my local Mac guy can't fix it, but he is nice enough to take it to Dallas to the Apple store. And we hope the geniuses there can get it working again.

My Mac guy says logic boards "hardly ever" go bad, so I am one lucky girl, aren't I?

At any rate - don't worry: I am still taking photos every day and as I can find computers with PhotoShop that I can use (and hopefully not ruin MORE logic boards) I will be posting.

Thanks for your patience, and maybe it won't be too long before I get a computer back.

Lubbock, Texas

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November 22

A building at the mostly abandoned White River Retreat.

White River Lake, Texas

November 21

A couple of nice rocking chairs on the porch of the lake house where I spent the weekend.

White River Lake, Texas

November 20

Poor games - they just have to sit in this tall stack in the closet. No one plays anymore.

Lubbock, Texas

Where have I been???

Bad news on the computer front: perhaps it is H1N1, or something else like a crashed hard drive. But my computer is down.

The computer guy just came and took it away to run diagnostics, asking me as he left, "Is it still under warranty?"

Oh no.

But I have been taking photos, so as soon as I have a computer again, I will post them all.

Maybe that will be later this afternoon.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 19

A silver building along the highway out of town.

US 385,
near Levelland, Texas

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November 18

Sometimes I just can't understand the way my mind works.

Tonight is a good example. I stopped at the shoe store and looked around for a while And, then, really from just out of nowhere, I started thinking about a Steve Martin book from the late 1970s.

The book: Cruel Shoes.

Weird, huh?

Lubbock, Texas