Odds and Ends No. 26


What do you do when the day has
gone by so fast you only have
fifteen minutes to post before you

have to do the next thing? That is
me this very minute. I’m typing
like a madman! The time since my

last post was full, no complaints
but all the neat things I thought
I’d write about, I’ve forgotten. Like,

the time before my last walk, I
looked at my phone for my end
time only to realize I forgot what

time I started my walk. Few people
say hello. I’m not racing anyone.
Keeping time adds stress to an

otherwise sweet walk (painful at
times, but sweet). Seven minutes
to go. Still have to get my boots on

and fill my water bottles. After
EMDR this week, I started writing
a poem about being “dismissed.”

Too serious a revelation; too serious
a topic to write about in one sit down.
Three minutes to go. My parents

totally dismissed me; they set me up
to be in second place my whole life.
Good thing God didn’t agree with

them. I could probably write a book
with the title “Life on the Back Burner.”
But I won’t. One minute left. This

birthday, it is more important for me
to remember that God has given me
life for another year and that is a gift.

Glorious thing that God sees me
differently than my parents (and
others) have treated me. His love for

me tells me I’m in first place; in his
eyes I’m living life on the front burner
(from here on out). Two minutes after!

Severe child abuse and continued
abuse by others created this mess
otherwise known as my life, but

God will heal it all. The best part of
my life is still ahead. Time to walk.
Dinner out tonight. I can say with

almost certainty that I will celebrate
this day with my “a few times a year”
martini up with Absolut and olives.

Odds and Ends No. 18


My second cup of coffee was on
the edge of sweet and tan. Not
quite right, but I’m drinking it

anyway. Taste buds are off or
something. First cup was fine
with hazelnut, but this second

cup is blah. Or am I blah this
morning and the coffee is fine?
I’m thinking it isn’t the coffee.

I’ll need all the courage coffee
can muster as I have to call
Medicare about a denied claim

last May. It is too early in the
morning for a Medicare rant.
Let’s move on. Actually, the

day moved on without me
making that call. It will come.
and so did the next day. Today,

at the car repair again. Her car is
making a noise. Coffee still didn’t
taste right. So, I tried a cup black

sitting here waiting. Medications
have an impact on taste. If you
asked me the flavor of my coffee,

I’d say, “Metallic.” He called me
out to the shop to show me the
culprit. The noise was coming

from a bad bearing in the timing
belt pulley. AND, (big “and” here)
the timing belt is shot. Well, we

got 133,000 miles out of it. It is
time. Could have been worse; it
could have quit while driving.

Timing is everything. She called
as I was talking with him about
the belt. We agreed; got to get

it fixed. So, the shop owner gave
me a ride home. Lunch is past.
I had a hot cup of metallic tea.

Nothing tastes right. I looked up
the Blue Book value on her car.
Don’t ask! I thought as I got

older, I’d have fewer questions,
and life experience would bring
some answers to life’s hard

questions. Not so. It seems I have
more questions and fewer answers;
ask more and know less. Well,

tomorrow evening is my brain MRI.
Maybe I’ll know more. It is going on
four; I’m getting chilled. Coffee that

tastes like coffee would be good. Now
to get back to writing my book. I’ve
had enough car and coffee adventures

for today. True, things could be better.
But that doesn’t mean I stop hoping
or dreaming. God keeps his word and

his promises. Big dreams are good.
A little hazelnut and a little hope go a
long way. Lord, keep up the good work.

Odds and Ends No. 13


I have to apologize for yesterday’s rant.
The doc wasn’t doing anything wrong.
As it turns out, the form with scary text

is a Medicare requirement. So she said,
“Sign and file is all.” I signed it. The doc
was amazing. Brain MRI and Nerve Test

are next. You know that FMS from 1984;
the doc says the diagnosis was wrong.
And he explained why. Makes sense.

After we chatted for an hour for my initial
appointment and he rubber hammered
me and poked me with needles all over,

he said there is some neuropathy going
on! A sign of hope, a sign of resolution
ahead. He studied my history and wants

to study more and get all the prior test
results and input. I’ll see him again in
March after this new series of tests.

I was so hopeful when I left his office, I
turned up Tina Charles in the car louder
than normal (for me). The bass was

making the doors shake! Then I went
to my EMDR session. Moving ahead
there as well. I celebrated this small

glimmer of hope with chicken fried
rice on my way back home. Read my
book on World War II. I get tired of my

war; nice to read about other wars
other than my own. She called me to
tell me she is going from work to other

meetings and will be home late. Looks
like I’ll catch up on Dark Matter. She
loved going back to our old coffee this

morning. Maxwell House is it! She was
in heaven. Works for me. Cheap Chinese
was late; so dinner for me will be popcorn

and Netflix. I’m always amazed that no
matter how down I am, God sneaks in a
little hope along the way. I’m so tired of

pain. I don’t think I’ve had a good night’s
sleep since 1983! Good things are on the
way. Maybe good sleep; maybe healing.

Odds and Ends No. 8


I’m taking a break drinking a comforting
cup of Irish Breakfast tea at 16:16. Mug,
actually. And a few crackers with PB to

hold me until later. First time I sat down
today. It started this morning. Well, more
accurately, it didn’t start; that was the

problem. She looked sweet as can be at
a moderate bling level racing to the door
to get to work. I saw the garage door go

up. No car pulling out. I heard the door
open. “It won’t start.” I walked out in my
bathrobe and confirmed. “It won’t start.”

She took my car to work. After I shaved,
dressed, and was as fully awake as
possible for me these days, I tried the

car again. Tick, tick, tick, nothing. Called
our mechanic. We had a new starter last
summer. And new battery in 2015. The

Arizona desert is tough on batteries. I had
until mid to late afternoon to continue to
write. As it was, I continued to fight my

electronic computer wars! Exasperated in
that the mind map files that were fine in
Windows wouldn’t work in Linux.

Same software on both platforms. Every
detail about my book is laid out in a mind
map. I could use something else. Like my

brain. I fiddled around until noon. Time to
have lunch. I could eat the two ends of my
bread or eat her healthy sprouted bread.

I don’t know why, but when I think of her
bread, I think of Brillo pads. I used the two
ends. Two slices of bologna, one slice of

ultrathin Pepper Jack, spicy brown mustard,
three radishes, three green olives, and
another cup of Irish breakfast tea. Three

cookies, too! I read a few psalms to relax
then continued to read my Christmas gift.
Today I’m reading about the World War II
battle for Okinawa. I put my Michener tome

on hold for this fast read. Michener can
wait. I returned from Okinawa to my desk
to write. Flipped pages here and there, then

before I knew it, she was home. Car time.
Tried to jump it. No luck. Tick, tick. Dead.
The mechanic shop said. “Could be the

battery. But it could be the alternator or the
starter.” I was trying to avoid a tow charge
the day before payday. (Trying to avoid any

charge before tomorrow! Tea cup is empty.)
They are 20 miles away; rush hour is soon.
“If I bring the battery in, could you test it for

me.” They could. Now to get the battery out.
I found them in the bottom of my toolbox;
those metric sockets I’ve used only once or

twice since I bought them. I put the battery
in the trunk and carried it in when I got there.
He said, “Voltage is bad; dead cell.” I asked,

“How about the warranty?” His boyish face
looked up from the computer, “Expired last
month.” (That figures!) “Okay, how much?”

I was floored after he told me. I knew I could
do better, but I’d probably use the price
difference in gasoline. He added, “Plus, your

account shows a twenty-dollar credit!” As I
put the new battery into the trunk, it hit me.
The charge went through, but I forgot that

the account was low! Thank God for smart
phones. My account was showing a zero
balance. Yipes! I did a fast transfer. My

transfer and battery purchase were in electronic
la-la-land. I held my breath and checked the
balance again. I won! God is good. I was only a

penny short! God is never short. His resources
cannot be fathomed or measured. Thank you
Lord for your constant provision. Nurse called

a bit ago to tell me, “All the blood tests are
good; and the scan showed benign nodules
we’ll check again in six months.” See, God

has always provided for me. He’s got my back.
Thank you, Lord, for life another day. Blessed
is His Holy Name. (And I’m back in Windows.)

Mostly Minutiae No. 15


It is 19:45 hrs. First time on my PC
today. Very busy day. After a quick
one cup of coffee breakfast, out
the door in rush hour to the airport.

Fifty minutes on the 17 to the 10
and we were there. Parked where
I always park on level two. We
walked in. Major construction. So,
we followed the maze of arrows.

Grand kids arrived at the exit oddly
on level four. Now 09:30 hrs. Kids
hungry cause it is past lunch time
at home (their home).

How does Thai sound? So I turned
east on the 202 instead of west. We
got to our favorite Thai place in no
time. But they don’t open for another
hour. Back up plan.

They are both cross-fit type athletic
health nuts who crave In-N-Out Burger
when they visit us. Google says 1.6 mi
away. In-N-Out loved it that they flew
in from Kentucky for burgers!

(I can’t believe I’m doing this at 10:30
in the morning!) I had a double with
onions, fries, a Coke, and three chili
peppers on the side. Hot peppers
that fry your brain. So good.

What is good after hot? Simple. Cold.
“Google, yogurt near me.” A yogurt
shop less than two miles away.
(Early lunch for a change. So what?)

I have a one o’clock appointment. So,
I have to get them home then get back
out the door. My first EMDR session
for childhood trauma.

Both kids fell asleep in the back seat.
About two miles from home, I turn on
my CD. Tina Charles, “I Love to Love.”
I crank it up. They awaken politely
amused.

I have to get back out the door in
seven minutes. This time down 67th
to the 101 to Tatum and south of Bell.

Made it. EMDR is remarkable and my
counselor is a master. We’ve had eight
sessions in preparation. This is it! This
is no Polar Express. A different ride.

The brain reveals details of the
childhood abuse I never knew existed.
My brain shows me things that were far
worse than I could have imagined.

Horrible things that I now need to know
to heal from trauma sixty years ago.
My counselor restored calm.

(I look forward to more EMDR; and
the healing to come.)

Then she called. I met her at the
grocery. At home, the kids were taking
college exams online. I made dinner.
Good to have them here. They ran out
for coffee and errands. We cleaned up.

That was the day. It is now 20:35 hrs.
I’m ending it with you. I want to make
sure you know that life is good.

Because God is good even when bad
things happen we do not fully
understand.

Mostly Minutiae No. 9


It has only been an hour since
sunrise. It took me longer than
usual to choke down my
vitamins and pills.

I hate taking them. Or maybe
it is because I have to consume
more water than I want to drink.

So long in fact that the coffee
turned off while I was swallowing
and gulping. But I wasn’t going
to waste a drop of Wally coffee.

If it is Wally, it is Friday. Matzo
yesterday, so toasted bagel with
chive cheese for me today.

She told me how restful she finds
the Christmas Window to be with
its electronic falling snow and
relaxing Christmas instrumentals.

“I’m not taking the job,” I told her,
“I can’t take their money if I can’t
give them over 100%. Can’t do it.”

Work day for her. She is wearing
her new pendant, sweet as can be.

“Have a great day, my dear; you
look lovely. Oh my what a lovely
pendant, where did you get that?”

“I got it for my anniversary,” she
smiled and pointed. (She loves Or
Paz; I know what she loves. Sweet
game we play. I always ask her.)

Then she flew out the door as I
sipped from my cup of cooling
Wally at my laptop still wearing
my heavy robe.

(I’ll have to get dressed earlier
next week when the grand kids
come. Maybe not.)

Does coffee have a Coffee-mate
saturation point? I think I found it,
as some wouldn’t dissolve off of
the spoon.

Health still not right but at least
I can still write. God is good. I get
to write another day.

[Author note: My apologies, I forgot to add the #31daypoem tag until just now on No. 8 and No. 9 (12/09, 21:14)]