Thursday, September 20, 2012

Shake it out

The amazing Florence.

Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues strong
It's always darkest before the dawn

And I've been a fool and I've been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I'm always dragging that horse around

And our love is pastured such a mournful sound
Tonight I'm gonna bury that horse in the ground
So I like to keep my issues strong
But it's always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out...

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Frances Ensor Benedict

Our beloved grandmother passed away on Sunday, after 94 years on this earth. She was an amazing woman, a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who was an enthusiastic democrat in a decidedly red state. Sharp as a whip, she had a wicked sense of humor. And the most beautiful, soft and melodic voice that I could listen to for hours. She was a true Tennessee lass and would occasionally have a Jack Daniels; Which she would generously share, as told by my cousin Gordon who witnessed her give a thimble-full to a stunned bird after it flew into her picture window--causing it to then fly into her chimney. Clearly a little too much Jack! 

She was my first pen-pal, a practice we continued for nearly 25 years until she couldn't really write letters anymore because she had a hard time seeing. Though I continued our tradition, simply writing bigger in hope that even if she couldn't read it, the steady stream of letters and postcards would keep her updated on our goings-on and let her know I was thinking of her, even though I was far away.

She loved family and was passionate about genealogy, spending years researching both the Ensors and Benedicts, even making pilgrimages to England to visit graveyards and hunting down lost records. Five years ago when she moved herself from her home in Cookeville, Tennessee to a retirement home, she hosted our last family reunion blow-out and handed post-it notes to everyone, instructing us to put our names on anything we wanted to take home with us. She had already moved what she would be keeping to her new home, and wanted the family to take the rest before it was donated to charity. I asked for two things: my grandfather's pipe (though Grandma B. wasn't entirely sure if it was my grandfather's or her father's-- but either way, I was happy for the heirloom); and a delicate, hand-painted teacup and saucer that my Grandmother and Grandfather won playing Bingo on their first date when she was 15. A few weeks later, a very heavy box arrived at my apartment in Chicago, carefully addressed in my grandmother's beautiful handwriting. Upon opening it, I found a much loved cast iron skillet. My grandma knew how much I loved to cook, and likely thought that every happy home needed a traditional skillet. Made all the more special knowing it was one that she had cooked with. There was a card, but no note. I guess she just thought that I needed it. :)

I know that I am extremely blessed that I have lived most of my life with doting grandparents. To know the unconditional love of a grandparent as a child is a privilege. To know your grandparent as an adult is an absolute gift.

I love you Grandma B. 

Frances Ensor Benedict
May 16, 1918-September 2, 2012

With Aunty Mikie

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Elderly woman at a counter in a small town

One of my favorite sad songs.
I seem to recognize your face
Haunting, familiar, yet i can't seem to place it
Cannot find the candle of thought to light your name
Lifetimes are catching up with me
All these changes taking place, i wish i'd seen the place
But no one's ever taken me
Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away... 
Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away... 
I swear i recognize your breath
Memories like fingerprints are slowly raising
Me, you wouldn't recall, for i'm not my former
It's hard when, you're stuck upon the shelf
I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate
Perhaps that's what no one wants to see
I just want to scream...hello...
My god it's been so long, never dreamed you'd return
But now here you are, and here i am
Hearts and thoughts they fade...away...
Hearts and thoughts they fade...away...
Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away...
Hearts and thoughts they fade...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

High Juice

It seems that after 4 years, I'm still learning the native language. I was in the grocery store looking for juice concentrate (here referred to as squash-- yeah, don't get me started). I wanted 100% juice (none of those fillers for this house), which proved impossible to find. So I settled for the normal stuff until stumbling upons what in this country is called "High Juice." High meaning, lots-o-juice, apparently. It's still only 50% juice but hey, at least it's high.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Planning and decorating

I've been busily planning layout of our new house's "great room" (combined kitchen/dining/living room) in the new house:

We have a lot of things that will more than fill the place (despite having a lot more room), but there are some basics that we need to fill in-- like sofas (I HATE our current one, so it's staying) and a DINING ROOM TABLE! Hurray!! In all my adult life I've never had a place big enough for a dining room table. (Okay-- that's not exactly true; but I've never had one just the same.) So I'm happily pinning tables and chairs to go in our converted stables. I'm also currently obsessed with this:

I have an eye on it for the guest room/TV room.

Now, let's just hope the move doesn't fall through too...