Filling Holes

My dog, Max is slowing down as a result of aging. It’s difficult to watch. He wants to go on long walks, but it no longer is the best course of action.

I suppose Max’s aging reminds me of my own mortality. For dogs it happens at a much faster pace.

This past week, I communicated with someone from my past. It was someone, from almost fifty years ago, when we served at the same airbase in Germany.

Due to the end of the Cold War, the air base is no longer there. Our shared experiences were only memories–although pleasant ones.  Sometimes it’s nice to fill-in holes from my past.

Fifty years are a long time. There were a lot of life changes for both of us. I wondered what my friend thought about, after being contacted by someone, out of the blue, after fifty years.

This came about because of his name being on a social media site, of which, I am also a member.  On my part, there was no intent to invade privacy in any way.  Although, social media, by definition, puts private matters on the web for all to see.

Farmer Waves

Simple raised palms

Arms out pickup windows

Two fingers raised from

Truck steering wheels

Subtle, friendly gestures

One farmer to another

Techniques not important

Tanned arms hung out

Driver’s side windows

Hands, with palms down

Lowered to approaching

Farmers–meant short

Friendly conversations

Patience requested

They’d stop, talk awhile

Then, move on

From Where the Kudzu Grows

Friendships or acquaintances?  God grant me the wisdom to distinguish between the two.

They came and went over the years.  Names, places, remembered in bits and pieces.

Things I thought would last–didn’t.  Things never expected to last, persevered.

Was the glass half-full or half-empty?  Who cared?  In either case, the glass was not full, and was less than adequate.

Her beauty slapped me in the face–hard as a dead fish.  Covered in a kudzu gown, with roots that still dripped dirt. Beauty an illusion that came from within.  Reality never knocked–always let itself in.

Moral Superiority/Hidden Battles

It was there. Just write it down, said my conscience.

The revelation came on the evening news.  “Poor people were poor because they didn’t save enough money.”

Old, burned out hippies answered phone banks.  Guys named Randy, Scott, or John, their long gray hair pulled back into pony tails–tied with bandanas.  Uniform of the day was themed Hawaiian, from the looks of their rainbow, printed shirts

“Hungry, need food, out of work!”  Signs were on every street corner.  What good were laws prohibiting panhandlers?

Pity those poor Southern Californians with brown or gravelled lawns, Dwight mused, as he applied lawn fertilizer to lush, green grass.  Wouldn’t want to live like that.

What were their names?  Moved out in the middle of the night; too proud to tell anyone their money was gone.  It wasn’t like that when Old Man Burgess lived there.

Just across the street, resided a pretty young blonde woman, her daughter, and boyfriend.  It turned out they were fugitives from the law; wanted for murder in another state.

Ashley and Jade, embarrassed pre-teens, crouched down in the battered, faded blue, family minivan.  If this were living–they’d just as soon be dead.  Their mom, Mary, sat in silence–stifled tears.  Tom, silent patriarch, drove on in darkness.  Destination: Somewhere, where no one knew their names.

James, moved out after losing his job with a well-known delivery service.  In a fit of anger, pulled the siding off the utility shed–formerly his.  His pet cat, left behind, in the melee sat on the front porch.  Kindly neighbors kept the kitty fed.

Compelling monster movies, billowed into things too scary to watch.  Egos, pride, shed instead of blood.  Did families, friends, disavow friendships during hard times?   No, they stood by through inevitable successes or failures.

Hidden battles are fought every day.  I ask for your good thoughts and prayers.  My brother from a different mother, best man at my wedding, continues to battle cancer.  We served together in the Air Force many years ago.

IT FELT LIKE FREEDOM

The first outing to the Base Exchange snack bar during Air Force basic training.

Four guys sat at a table sipping Cokes–singing falsetto at the top of their lungs to the Supremes and Diana Ross’s “Some Day We’ll Be Together,”

I didn’t have a girlfriend left behind.

It still felt good.  It felt like freedom.

 

–Image, http://www.musicstack.com/