Sassea Sails



August 2018

A Capricious Phenomena

Grief, that capricious phenomena that accompanies loss can be maddening. Interestingly the lonliness that is expected in the wee hours of the night evade me. I sleep soundly. I wake to a day of anticipated activity. Some mornings I need to coax myself more than others to get out of bed. When the sleeping bag seems velcroed to my pajamas  I ask myself “Why am I feeling badly?” My answer is always the same, because I’m like a fish in a bowl, swirling around with nowhere to go, a ship without a rudder.  I insist on maintaining a healthy lifestyle for fear of wilting into death’s demise. The bottom line is I can’t have what I want – dam-it!

A tantrum starts. Abruptly it ends, like the squalling of a two-year old without an audience. My legs cross over each other until my limbs slide off the side of the bed. As my feet reach the floor I scoot my torso to an upright position. Gaining my balance I saunter to the bathroom. When my business is done, I turn on the hot water. While it warms up I lather the soap in my hands, scrunch up my face muscles then ease the washcloth into the sink. When it is sopping wet I lean over and relish the warmth of the water on my awakening eyes. Using Ron’s favorite drying towel I lay it across my face while it soaks up the droplets from my forehead and cheeks. Thoughts of Danny’s smile emerge. Confused by the dichotomy of grieving for Ron and Dan an invisible dam slows my air flow until I gasp.

Standing in the dark, peering in the mirror, I decide my hair needs brushing. Harshly at first as if shooing the grief from my mind, I lean my head downward. I stroke from the nape of my neck up over the crown of my head and down on my forehead.With each stroke of the stiff bristled brush I coax myself into a better frame of mind.

Grief is supposed to hurt, it’s good to cry I remind myself. My counselor and my sister tell me my behavior is normal. I grab the wall for balance, turn on my phone and begin my morning exercises. It’s a combination of meditation and yoga. My self-imposed rule is to be physically fit, make our bed and get dressed for the day before unlocking my bedroom door to enter the living room.

As I step into the main living area I feel awake, ready to concoct my morning apple cider vinegar potion used to wash down my vitamins. Then, I fill Ron’s tea kettle with water and set it on the burner to boil. I stroll to the piano and practice my three song repertoire until the familiar whistle calls. With coffee in hand I saunter up what we call our stairway to heaven. It leads to the loft. There I muster my mind to write. It is a struggle. Looking out at the stability of the Spanish Peaks I recall what it was like when Danny knocked on heaven’s door. Similarly my current struggle with grief persists. My fight to breath air into Ron’s lungs and Danny’s years before Ron, is relived. Failing again to convince myself I did all I could to revive them, I manage to type a few words. On a good day I perfect a sentence. One f—– sentence; that’s it, one sentence a day. How will I get a book written at this pace? When will the pain stop? Do I even want it to stop?

My thoughts are like a runaway freight train speeding out of control until a dose of reality slams my hand on my desk to stop the madness. My face tightens, my nose runs, and my eyes squint so hard the tears welling up inside are unable to escape. A sob squeaks out. I stop breathing. The involuntary respiratory system takes over.  Slowly I regain my wits, stand up, and walk back downstairs.

        Thank goodness my family, friends tolerate my moodiness, , , 



I Believe

          It was about two hours after I arose from a tumultuous night’s sleep when I sent a text to Norine, a new found friend here in SOCO (Southern Colorado). A few days ago we talked about sharing a home-made pizza. I wanted to confirm the plan. Her reply included a reminder for me to go water the sunflowers she taught me to germinate, then plant.

About two weeks ago, under Norine’s guidance, I began the process of germinating sunflowers seeds I bought for feeding the birds. A week later 20 little plants emerged from the dry dusty dirt where I planted them. Keeping a watchful eye, I continued to water them in the morning sun and the evening sky. Two days ago I was sadly surprised. With an angered curiosity I studied the area where the healthy looking green sprouts werethriving just a day before. That’s right I said where the sprouts were. Overnight they disappeared. Gone.

Using what Ron called my Sherlock Holmes detective skills I bent down to examine every inch of the dirt within a 3-yard radius. “Who ate my sunflowers?” I whispered out loud. Two indentations about 4 inches wide were noted. Each indent had loose dirt pushed to one side. There weren’t  any claw like features ruling out the possibility of a bear. I wasn’t sure if those were my prints from previous days when I was tending my seedlings. Still, I was dismayed.

When Norine stopped by later that afternoon for a tea sipping visit, I lamented about how the baby sunflower seeds sprouted then began to peek up through the dirt. I shared my joy of experiencing the miracle of growing flowers from seed to the disappointment of another example of life’s bitter sweetness. To soothe my soul we turned our thoughts to the belief that nature follows the little fish get eaten by the big fish theory. Still, I want to know who ate or stole the seedlings. How dare????

As this sunny Sunday progressed my consternation over the demise of my sunflowers erupted into a pleasant surprise. After Norine reminded me to do my morning watering I almost believed in God, or Jesus, or something. Just as I do every morning I filled my red watering can and strolled down the driveway. I stopped to say good morning to my garden size ‘Train that Could.’ Pausing to primp up the petunias growing in the coal car I said a silent prayer thanking mother nature for blessing me with this awesome 4 acres in a high plains desert far from the sea life I am still passionate about.

Moving along in body and spirit, I tilted my head toward the eastern sky, I swear I thought I saw a miracle. I couldn’t believe my eyes. How did I not see this sunflower growing? How can a sunflower go from its germinated shell, to 3 feet high overnight? WTF, , ,

Reminding myself to exhale I came to my senses when I was overcome with another uncontrollable bout of tears. Without further thought I garnered my sadness and appreciation, then, sauntered back to the house.  Inside I rolled out Bob’s Gluten Free Pizza Dough, put some Michael Martin Murphy tunes on my i- phone, cranked up my Bose speaker, and climbed what Ron and I call our home’s stairway to heaven, kissed his picture, and wrote this for my blog.

Late in the Day

Does anyone know who wrote and/or recorded this song? It reminds me of a ballad by Loretta Lynn or Patsy Cline or maybe even Willie Nelson.  The words in italics are my version.

Late in the day, When the shadows start to play

On our back door and up and down this mountain way.

I think back on the times, with our hands entwined

We sat talking low, late in the day.

It seems I was lucky to know, you were a good thing from the start

            Still you slipped through my fingers, the price we had to pay

Now on my own, doing the best I can each day

Now I’m alone without a plan, late in the day

Now I pour tea, without any ice

Put my feet up, close my eyes

Try hard to listen to what our heartsmight say

Try to find the rhyme that will take us back in time

And be with togetheranywhere, late in the day.

As I look out over top, of the houses and Spanish Peaks

As the sun sets, and another day winds down

My life is till the same, My heart can’t hide the pain

And my lips still call your name, late in the day.

My life is still the same

My heart can’t hide the pain

And my lips still call your name, late in the day.




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