Thursday, December 31, 2009

“Once in a Blue Moon”

I distinctly remember waking up on 01-01-00 and immediately searching for the light on my alarm clock. I had got caught up in, but not frantically lost in, the fear of the digital world coming to an end ~ changing all life as we knew it. But I can’t really remember what my next feeling was. Relief? Dismay? There is no doubt about it, I was tentatively looking forward to a change that might really shake things up and point us, as a human species, in a new direction. But it was not to be ….. not at that time.

I am now trying to remember where I was on 01-01-01. I have been playing all week with tumbling the digits around: 01-01-01 vs. 01-01-10. It feels like there might be something important to note here, and if there is, I don’t want to miss it !?!?! I remember sitting in the hot tub with a friend of mine about ten years ago, discussing the lack of professional athletes as “really good” mentors for our children. We decided that the word for the decade should be “Accountability”. Wow, what a concept. I have thought about our conversation so many times through the years. Be accountable, quit making stupid excuses. We all screw up, but it is what we do next that more determines our character. I have been trying to live it and believe me it is not always easy.

On the morning news earlier this week, national economists were calling the last 10 years “the Lost Decade”. And there is no doubt about it, it has been very difficult for many people; some lost their retirement, some lost their homes, others lost their faith.
But I don’t want us to be lost. I want Americans to wake up and become the people that we can be, more self sufficient, not so gullible. And I am certainly not talking about taking up arms and buying ammunition. I am talking about thinking BEFORE we act and then being responsible for the outcome.

So, on this morning of the New Years Eve, what many consider the last day of this decade, take heart. It is a Full Moon, a Blue Moon, as well as a Lunar Eclipse at 12:13 MST; a powerful day. But every day is powerful. Dream your future. Take a deep breath. Remember those people that you would most like to emulate and give thanks for having them in your lives. It is our time ~ we are the leaders we have been waiting for.

And I do believe that having a strong community of friends and family is what will carry us through the hard and difficult times, as well as making the joy and prosperity sweeter !!!!
It always has.
I wish you an outrageously prosperous New Year ~ the best year ever.
And I give thanks for all of my friends.

* annette

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Prose - A Christmas Memory

A Christmas Memory

This was a different Christmas for lots of people. The economy helped to change the face of it. It was more than that though, the majority were into simplicity. So with that cue I decided to give words, especially to family.

As I sat down to write, I started with my grandchildren,, the out-of-towners, because I had to get them in the mail. It opened up a creativity by first comparing them to their totem animals, and the Moon and the Sun.

As Christmas morning rolled around I was awakened by a phone call at seven a.m. It was Zachary, my fifteen year old grandson from Oklahoma. “Pisha”, he said, “I wanted you to know your poem was the best gift I received..” He sounded genuinely grateful. And I was genuinely grateful also. How often does a grandchild express his love for you so deeply? A true treasure.

Monday, December 28, 2009


The New Year is a time to consider how we are living our lives and making our choices. Priorities guide choices, putting our time and energy into what is most important to us. The One is my priority.

Priority means:
1. the state or quality of being earlier in time, occurrence, etc.
2. the right to precede others in order, rank, privilege, etc.; precedence.
3. the right to take precedence in obtaining certain supplies, services, facilities, etc., esp. during a shortage.
4. something given special attention.
5. highest or higher in importance, rank, privilege, etc.: a priority task.

The first principle – the One, Yawah, God, Goddess, Allah , the Source (whatever name we use)-- fits all of these definitions of priority to me.

My connection to the One is my highest priority. This plays out in daily choices by allowing for spiritual practices – meditation, inner journeys, prayer, and service. It means opening up to what comes to me, being grateful, being loving. It means remembering that my ego is not the highest authority, that I am sister to all of creation and treating it accordingly. I must remember the ways to reconnect when I start to believe that I am separate from the One.

My soul is like a waving ray of sun light, unique, yet not separate from it’s Source. It’s on a path that may be reflected, deflected or be absorbed. Shining my soul without diminishing the original light from the Source is a way to meet my priority.

My earth-body is one with the Source as well, in the form of particles, appearing to be separate. In this earth realm it grows old, dies, and decays but does not disappear. It is recycled into the earth realm as matter or energy, feeding back into God-the-particle. Respecting my earth-body is a way to meet my priority.

What is more important, my soul or my body? Where soul begins and body ends is a meaningless question, like asking what is light—a wave or a particle? Each form works in its own way to manifest the One.

This is my priority.

--Terra Rafael

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Another Memorable Christmas

It was just about the time when suspicions about Santa Claus being real began to surface in my awareness. I had an inkling that it was really my parents who would bring the store bought stocking and place it on the foot of my bed during the night. Well, this Christmas Eve I would stay awake and test my theory.

I lived in the corner room of our apartment in New York and so it had windows facing two directions with venetian blinds as coverings. They let in just enough light from the street that I could see in the dark. My bed was in the other corner with the door near the foot of my bed. Between the bed and the door, I had a large doll’s baby carriage. On the wall across from my bed were two closets. The one on the right was my toy closet and the one on the left was for my clothes. However, the clothes closet had a low shelf where my dolls were all lined up. They waited there (unless I was playing with them, which was often) until nighttime. Then they would come alive and enjoy their room until morning, when they would go back to their closet.

So, I forced myself to stay awake that Christmas Eve and, sure enough, the door quietly opened and my mother placed the stocking on my bed. After she left, I turned on the bedside light and examined my stocking. It was the same as every year. There were peppermint pinwheels wrapped in cellophane and activity books and crayons. Those were to keep us occupied until my parents had recovered from an all night gift-wrapping session. Being satisfied that I had uncovered the mystery, turning off the light, I lay down to sleep. In a minute, or so, I heard the unmistakable sound of cellophane being unwrapped. Raising my head, I saw a shadow rise up from the doll carriage at the foot of my bed.

“Who’s there?” I croaked, jumping under the covers and pulling them over my head. Then I heard the patter of tiny feet, going from the carriage, across the room, to the doll closet.

In the morning, when we arrived at the Christmas tree, there was a walking doll, almost as big as me. I am sure, to this day, that she paid me, and all my other dolls, a visit in the middle of the night.

Prema Rose

Saturday, December 26, 2009

If I prayed...

If I prayed, I might say…
Please watch over the people who are dear to me, people who are cold and hungry, who suffer with life.
If I prayed, I might ask that the world turn toward peace in everyone’s heart more quickly.
This all conjures up questions as to whom am I praying? Why do I think there would be a personal interest in my small concerns, and do I think there would be an immediate response just for me?
Yet I do pray, even in the face of those questions, and I do what I can on my end, to help all of that. Whether it’s a list of people who have asked me to pray for them, or those under my care, I remember each one, each morning, before my day begins.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Gift

No one told me this would happen
I did not know I would fall in love this way
At this time in my life

I did not know how deep the ocean
How high the sky

How lovely the light in her eyes
As she looks my way…

Nine years old
And becoming…

My heart is enchanted with love for her...
My granddaughter in candle light
At Christmas

jesse wolfe

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Morning of Christmas Eve

Blue light of pre-dawn snowscape:
Cold, Quiet, Pristine.
Erie light of TV weather forecasts.
Travel today? Ummmm. God speed.
Black tea with honey and milk,
Oatmeal with cranberries and blueberries!
Phone rings, looking out, checking in.
Indoor forecast?
Baking, cutting board, grandma’s apron
Sleepy kitty ~ purring, twitching ~
bedroom pillows on the couch,
fuzzy blanket, Hallmark movies?
Early darkness will settle in.
Chamomile tea and holiday cookies.
Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards All ....
..... still my prayer.

* annette

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why I love my Christmas Tree

Why I love my Christmas tree

The light and warmth it exudes.

The old and ancient bulbs, passed on from

a second cousin whose mother died at 100, several years ago,

used these bulbs on

her tree while growing up.

They connect me to family I didn’t know that well

when I was younger, yet are part of me. So I place them gingerly, these tender

treasures. Their sole purpose to light up my face once a year. Or someone else’s.

They sparkle along with the million or

so lights I pour throughout her branches.

She drinks nectar and shines.

She becomes something bigger than all her parts put together.

She brings more to me than all I place on her.

Bounty beyond.

I truly love her presence in our home.

Maybe she feels this and responds.

Maybe she opens a doorway to

places tucked away inside

and it takes the lights,

sparkle and old ornaments

to open to the quiet beauty only she has

a key to.

Her beauty reaches

me. Reminds me. And I



Monday, December 21, 2009

To Victor On Our Solstice Wedding- 5 Years Ago Today

This is what I hope for with you~
To create a relationship together~
Renewable, sustainable,
In tune with Nature & our inner natures~

~Powered by the simple daily light & breath & warmth of love
~Watered by the wellspring of our faith
~Grounded in the good earth of our shared knowledge & wisdom
~Sheltered in the spacious home of our mutual respect & meditation practice
~Purified by our awareness to be untainted by past hurts or future fears
~Heated by our passion for each other & for life
~Cooled by the freshness of our happiness & laughter
~Fed by our openness to what can grow when we cultivate goodness in our lives
~ And conserved by continual appreciation & gratitude for our good fortune.

--Terra Rafael

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Christmas Wish

Christmas cookies, Christmas cheer,
Christmastime again is here.
Wrap the presents, trim the tree,
Send the cards, and, oh, PARTY!
What a great time to indulge,
No excuses, have some fudge.
Christmas carols, rum eggnog,
Fire up the ole Yule log.
Friends and family gather ‘round
To share the love that we have found.
Within the darkness of the night,
Shines a brilliant Heart of Light.
On this Solstice welcoming
A spring of wishes blossoming,
And hope that Peace will now prevail
As through the year we set our sail.
Fare thee well, trust and believe,
Sweet blessings in your life receive.

Prema Rose

Saturday, December 19, 2009

“Don’t let anything take it away!”
Natalie Goldberg’s words bounce off the inside of my brain. What do I want bad enough that I wouldn’t let anything take away. Where is my passion struck like a match just lit. What juices me up and kicks my adrenaline into gear.

I think through the thinks that in my past would be that torch, that flame that would char my day-to-day interests and consume me. It was always some creative act and nature.

The natural world has spoken to me for many years, whether hiking the Colorado trails, tenting in the Pine Barrens of N.J., or having a conversation with God through the energy of a large turtle in Boonton, North Jersey.

A friend and I had a conversation this morning about conduits and clear channels to hear things through…mine was a good sized turtle in the multi-colored woods of N.J.

Dance was my medium of self-expression during my teens and twenties. I lived to dance. The underground music of the late 50’s and 60’s, the Doo Wop and R&B replaced the ballerina dreaming of the classical music I listened to as a child. Saturday nights I went dancing wherever there was a deejay and some records.

For a period of time, married with kids, walking on the beach was a passionate necessity, yet even then, poetry accompanied me. It had been intermittent since high school, but those beach-walking days really drew it out of me. Sadness was the doorway into my writing then. It would take years for the joy of life to replace that.

I get fires up around causes, the underdog and imbalances. My Aquarian nature is very tuned to those aspects of society. Someone has to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, be they human or otherwise. Into those spaces, I can easily step.

I look at my passion. I look at surrender. They both play an important role with each other. I can take something on with a fervor that could save the world. And I can drop it the next day if I need to.

So even though writing feeds off that fire in me, and I can direct that heat onto the page, it’s also something I could recess to the back burner if I saw the need to focus on something more vital. It does not consume me, but writing feeds me. It is an outlet, a gift, that has always been there. Yet it doesn’t represent all of who I am. Just something I’m invested in doing at this point.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Why I Am Jesse Wolfe

I’d heard stories about her most of my life. How she’d nailed her husband’s clothes to the floor when he wouldn’t pick up after himself, or, when she was caring for her daughter in the hospital, he had an affair with a ‘floozy’ so she kicked him out after she drained their bank accounts and sewed the money into a chair cushion.Those were the days before women could have bank accounts in their own names. She never granted him a divorce and continued to refer to his companion as ‘the floozy’ for the next 52 years although she visited them in Florida regularly. She lived to be ninety-six living in her own home, with the only bathroom on the second floor, until the last nine months of her life.

She was my father’s aunt, my great aunt. Somewhere along life’s path my father and she had had a falling out which resulted in me not getting to know her until she was in her late eighties. I understood after meeting her why she and my father locked horns.

Over the years I was told by some family members that I should really go see her, one favorite cousin, inparticular, really pushed it. Finally I decided to go but I was told I could only stay twenty minutes because she couldn’t handle more than that. I drove the three hours to her house wondering why I was doing this and what I might learn in twenty minutes.

I knocked on the door and was greeted with, “I’ve been waiting for you a long time.” I was on time. I knew I was because I had waited around the corner ten minutes making sure I didn’t come early. I let it pass and gave her the flowers I’d brought.

She made tea. We chit chatted for twenty minutes. Every once in a while she’d throw in a barb about a family member which made me laugh. I felt at ease with her but got up to go in the proscribed twenty minutes. She made a gesture for me to stay seated.

“Did they tell you that you could only stay twenty minutes?” she asked.


She gave me a wicked grin, “Everyone wants to see me because I am old. They think I know something they don’t know. If I don’t like someone then I don’t have to put up with them more than twenty minutes.”

I stayed six hours and we didn’t stop talking. She told me family stories and she gave me a sense who i was in the universe of our family. She was at times impatient, curt, blunt and to the point. She was also psychic. In the course of that first day together she told me that she had heard about me all my life, that she,that she knew I was one of ‘her line’ that she’d been waiting for me to come to her. I believed her for I had been waiting all my life to meet a kindred soul, someone in the family who would get who I was.

I loved her.
I am Jesse Wolfe

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Day After

I am thrilled that our book release party is behind us. And I am ecstatic that it went so well and felt like such an uplifting experience for everyone. People were smiling as they visited with one another and tasted the food that we brought. Then they listened attentively as we read from our new book. We sold books and signed them for our friends. I mean, it went great !!!

However, as we were packing up and loading out after the party I made a wrong move and pulled a muscle in my low back. Oh yeah, I could feel it every time I engaged the clutch as I headed east. Once at home I managed to unload my car, change into something comfortable, throw down a couple of Tylenols, and laid back on the couch with an ice pack strapped to my low back. Done. I was done for this wonderful day.

The next morning I got out of bed, still in a lot of pain. Back to the couch with the ice pack to watch Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood. He put on a good show as usual. I had things planned for Sunday, but one by one I excused myself from each chore. I rarely lay on the couch and watch TV all day, but the Hallmark channel was on and corny holiday movies followed one right after the other.

I started feeling a little bit better later in the afternoon and went outside when the temperature hit 47* to see my horse. I tied her lead rope around her neck and rode bareback around one of my small pastures. My idea was to massage my low back with her four legged stride. I am learning to lift my left knee as she moves forward onto her left front leg. This makes my low back relax in a natural curve and sit deeper on her back. Left. Right. Left. Right. Close my eyes, feel the sun, listen to the birds, and lose myself in her rhythm. When she comes to a stop, I gently ask her to back up. I tap her on the neck and she swings her head that direction; I give her a tiny apple flavored treat. She loves them and I love her.

This is all that I need to do this glorious day after.

* annette

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Each animal leaves his trail exposed in the snow. Impressions left to remind me we have visitors all the time. The snow, a perfect medium for revealing who moved where. I love to look out our upstairs windows, after a fresh snow, where I have a wider view, and see the ribbon-like pathways that wind through the pine trees. I’m always on the look out for a unique one. A footprint that doesn’t look like one of the ones I’m use to. Our foxes are regulars and their size and gait give away there trail easily, as do the deer. The squirrels, smaller but distinct prints, are just as straightforward to identify. Then there is the little mouse, living between two stairs, which I didn’t know about but thanks to his winter explorations I do now. And of course the myriad of bird trails everywhere saying their little feet were exploring for seed.

But the prints I’m always on guard for are the mountain lion’s. It is such an illusive animal. It never fails to fascinate me. Even a hint of its presence brings the power of this animal to full focus. It conjures mystery, authority and intense power, even just with it’s footprints. I found them this last snow. I looked out the kitchen window and noticed the distance between prints was too long for our regulars. And they looked large. I got dressed and headed out for a closer look. As I bent over one I knew it was a mountain lion. There is an overall roundness to them, with a distinct size of three and one half to four inches in both width and length. I love knowing he walked by our home. That he left his impression and not just with his footprints.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Poem - Bodies of Winter You

When the winter is dark and cold outside,
That your Being is not made of frozen crystals.

Your food body is a furnace of metabolizing Life,
Exchanging airs with the plants,
Eating their bodies until your body becomes food too.

Your subtle bodies, constructed of mind and spirit,
Create organizing waves, rhythms of musical inspiration
That your universe can dance to.

Your bliss body is eternally one with Christ,
Pulsating with the joy of the Star of Bethlehem,
Shining brightly even through the longest night.

--Terra Rafael

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Well Done!

So much thought, time and energy,
So much planning and choosing,
So much paying and praying,
Went into this book.

All the doubts and frustration,
The writing and waiting,
The vision and laughter,
That made it so full.

The coming together,
The falling apart,
The co-lab-eration
Contained in the group.

We did it, my sisters,
The party and all!
Well done, many thank yous,
With love from my heart.

Prema Rose

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Today...Our Book Release Party

Please Join Us...

Come celebrate our new book
and have a taste of our stories,
our foods and some wine.

At BookCliff Vineyards Winery
1501 Lee Hill Rd. #17
28th and Lee Hill Rd.
Look for balloons.

Sat. Dec 12. 2-5 PM

Thursday, December 10, 2009


My cousin, Jackie, and I were a majority of two all during elementary school. We sat together on the bus every day coming and going. Our bus driver made sure our seat was saved for us.

We lived in a world all our own. When we got together after being apart there was no need for catch-up because we seemed to know what the other had done. Our spare time together was spent in the woodlands around our homes or riding her father’s enormous white Poland China hogs. We played in the haymow, and ran the trap line with her father in dark winter mornings. We never argued or squabbled. We were “it”. Sometimes, other girls in our class made fun of us but we took no notice because we had each other.

Later, after Jackie had died and gone to heaven and I was getting on the bus that first day of school without her my brother came up and whispered in my ear, “if any of those girls are mean to you just tell me and I’ll beat them up.”

My heart stopped for that instant. I had been living in foggy grief for days. It had not occurred to me what it would be like walking into school facing the other girls. Just me. Alone.

Writing Exercise: An adventure I would like to have

A great adventure I would like to have is horse back riding in Italy with my dear friend Peggy at my side. We will be joined by other “horsey” guys and gals as we explore new and fascinating landscapes. Our horses will be large handsome animals with kind eyes and so forgiving of our riding abilities. We will ride for a week, moving across an Italian province from one bed-and-breakfast to the next. Strapped behind our saddle will be a hearty nutritious lunch snuggled next to our bota bag of wine.

Every evening we will gather with the locals for an evening of story telling. We will recount our daily discoveries and they will tell us of their native history and bawdy stories of their region. The wine will flow; crusty breads will be dipped into meaty stews. And afterwards we will stroll through the village to further capture the essence of each night’s lodging.

As I always say with any new adventure, when you live to tell the story, make it a good one.

* annette

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Me and the Rocks

The last stone I placed in the wall said “Thank You.” I heard it clear as day. It was just a moment but there it was - the stone spoke. I had a sense it spoke for all of them. I’d been laying rocks in a dirt wall for several weeks. Filling in the spaces with small plants and moss. It was a job I was made for. Day after day of finding the right rocks, carrying them home and then fitting them into the wall. A lot like putting a puzzle together. Do your remember doing puzzles and how some times you would get on a roll and get a bunch of pieces right in a row and then other times it could take forever to find one piece that fits? Well it is the same idea here. Some days I would have a flow going that nothing could stop. And it would be hard to quit working those days because it felt too good to find one rock after the other that found its place. There is a feeling when a rock finds its home and I can just tell as my cells say “Yep, he’s home.”

Then there are other days when it can take eight or ten tries (or even more) of different rocks to find the one that works. This is not so fun as a lot of these rocks are heavy and putting them in, taking them out, finding another, try again all takes lots of time and energy. But when you find ‘the one’ it feels so good. I wonder if I’m combining my feelings with the rock’s. They have things to say, to teach, these rocks. I feel lucky, even though they are not the easiest things to move around, that they picked me to move them. Sometimes when I pick one up I wonder “How long since anyone touched you and really appreciated you?” I truly love them.

So as this one rock, the last one to complete the wall found it’s home the satisfaction found was not just mine. And the words that came though were really just an extension of the feelings that we’d both been sharing, day after day, me and the rocks.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Itching

It started after the chemo last week. Benadryl doesn’t seem to want anything to do with it. Barely easing it up.

I’m starting to look at it differently. A shaman I’m working with wants me to look at my anger. My anger? What’s that? Journal, she says, and get into what you are holding onto with your anger.

The anger, of course, the itching is an angry action. One can scratch up an army of angry feelings. In the oddest places, an itch comes forth demanding attention. I’m delayering this anger, bringing it forth, so I can get to the gut of it. So I can bring out ways I bought on this disease in the first place. Onward army, I’m watching and beginning to feel you more. I’ll erase you out of my being yet, so there isn’t an ugly trace of you anywhere, leaving me free and clear and healthy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lounging in the Moonlight

The midnight moonlight was shining in the window, illuminating Cassandra’s nude, voluptuous body. She lounged on her side against woven, textured pillows and the afghan that her grandmother had crocheted for her years ago. Her eyes barely open, she gazed peacefully at the candle burning on the low tea table, just past her feet.

Cassandra wanted to soak in the moonlight, to cool herself on this dreadfully hot evening, with the white light of that full orb. How seldom she allowed herself the animal pleasure of nudity. It wasn’t considered decent. But there was something so satisfying about the feeling of air on all her skin, especially after a day having to wear clothes that covered her from the neck down.

She wondered if she was normal in this. Maybe everyone really liked to be nude, but society taught them to always cover up, even when the temperature made them swoon with heat. If only she lived in one of those primitive lands she’d heard of, where people wore little or no clothes and felt nature touching their every pore.

--Terra Rafael

Sunday, December 6, 2009


A few nights ago, I dreamed that I didn’t have a head. For some reason or other, the surgeons determined that I had to have it removed. It didn’t bother me much and I was more curious than anything. They did a pretty good job except that on part of the top of my neck was sticking up just a little higher to the right of my spine. This disturbed me but I figured that I could live with it. Ah, vanity!

The funny thing was , I could function perfectly well, think , speak, see, and hear. I was normal in all respects except that I couldn’t eat, but that didn’t concern me. I had no desire to.

The reaction to me of other people was most interesting and I, on a perverse level, took amusement in that. It was funny to see the double takes when I was driving my car. Some people got used to seeing me without a head and with others, it was so totally bizarre that they freaked out.

I was observing that, clearly, mind does not reside in the head, that it is all pervasive. I saw that communication takes place, in detail, without the normal apparatus of speech and hearing. I enjoyed the expansiveness that being headless afforded me.

My meditations have been knocking on this awareness, as I have been entering a wholly different state of quiet and relaxation that allows my mind to stop. The instants are becoming more frequent and consistent and there is a physical sensation that accompanies this that I can only describe as a slight buzzing sensation.

I love teaching dreams. They allow me to enter into what I know to be true in a very real experience, even if it is a dream state.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Being in the World, But Not of It...

It's like going into a long tunnel. When you get to the middle, you have shed a good amount of your fake self/ego trips, and are becoming more of your authentic self.

Then the task is to come back to the world, out of the other end of the tunnel, and be able to deal with it.

The whole process may take many years, especially reintegrating into society.

People watching you at either end of the tunnel, have no clue what you are doing, or why you've changed, or why you don't want the same things anymore. You have to get your world legs under you again, and feel out how you are going to be in the world, and not of it. How are you going to protect that authentic self after the excavation process it took to find it.

Some people may judge you by their own criteria of what it means to be on a spiritual path. How it should look. How you should behave, now that you have emerged. Yet it's so different for each person. Yet it's imperative that you bring your new found principles and sense of self into the world so that others may benefit from your work and your insights.


Friday, December 4, 2009

A Winter's Night

I awoke to the sound of the snow
Drumming against the windowpane
The moon called out my name

Dreaming while pulling on boots and wrapper
I opened the door to the magical night
And walked into frozen white

Trees creaking from winter’s art
Sang songs of midnight
Into my open heart


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Over the River and Through the Woods

.... another Thanksgiving memory

People make fun of Kansas and how flat and boring it is; I know, I was one of them. In the last 36 years I have driven thousands of miles between my birth state of Missouri and my adopted Colorado, most of them on Interstate 70 ~ usually just as fast as I could get across. It is kind of scary, but in the past few years, I have begun to enjoy the drive. Kansas has a subtle beauty that I dismissed for years. And especially driving east, the closer one gets to the Missouri border the more rolling and forested the terrain becomes.

But the trip I am thinking about now is when my new husband and I were heading east for Thanksgiving Day dinner with my family at my sister’s house in Springfield, MO. The year was 1992 and the weather conditions were deteriorating by the hour. My son, about nine years old, was asleep in the back seat and my husband was snoring in the seat next to me. I was driving my Honda station wagon, concentrating on the road and listening quietly to the radio. The wind was ferocious, blowing snow across the road and I wondered how thick the ice on the road really was. It is during these times of snow packed roads that a driver begins to realize how “Not Flat” Kansas really is.

It was early afternoon and I was traveling in the right hand lane keeping ample distance between us and the car ahead. Up ahead I started to see brake lights and began to slow down. A semi-truck blew by me on the left and I was wondering what in the heck the driver was thinking. His speed was way beyond what the road conditions dictated. I quickly surveyed my situation. To my right the shoulder of asphalt dropped away, wouldn’t you know it, and in the blizzard conditions I had no idea how steep the drop off was. Where in the heck was the boring flat terrain that I always made fun of?

The semi up ahead of me suddenly slammed on his brakes. I watched his trailer begin to jack-knife across the entire road. For one second I was paralyzed with fear. Gently pumping my brakes I had a nano-second to consider my options. The other cars on the road were well spaced so I was not threatened from the rear. I could steer the Honda over the edge on the right and hope to drive it strait down the embankment, thusly avoiding rolling the car. Or I could aim for his rear tire which was now sliding away from me but appeared to be getting larger by the second. I chose the tire. It was so huge I hoped that I could bounce back off of it. I don’t know if I was swearing, definitely a possibility in this situation, or if my husband just felt the car slowing down, but he came too quickly and yelled out something. Miraculously the semi started drifting to left and into the medium. Still gently pumping the brakes I thought we might have a chance. Like a jockey in the Derby, I gently steered the Honda toward the space that was slowly opening up in front of me on the right hand side of the road. All of a sudden my windshield was covered with pink diesel fuel; as the semi went down into the medium, his gas line had ruptured. Excess energy shot out my fingertips ~ it only happens when I am scared to death. Furiously flipping on the wiper blades I tried to hold the car on what I hoped was “on-track”, but I had absolutely no vision out the slime streaked windshield.

As I braked to a crawl I slowly began to see what was happening. The state patrol had closed the road in front of us at the WaKeeney exit. I joined the slow moving line of vehicles headed to the off ramp. The energy inside our car was explosive. I wanted out of the car; I wanted my feet on the ground! We headed into one of the truck stop restaurants that were available.

A few minutes later we sat in a booth and my heart rate returned to normal. My son started crying quietly, saying he just wanted to see Grandma and Grandpa for Thanksgiving. Personally, I was just thankful to be alive. Bob got up and went over to talk to some truck drivers sitting at another booth. I held my little boy and thanked God for the opportunity to breath in the intoxicating smell of coffee and hamburgers. Bob returned and said he had found out how to travel east for a few miles and get back on the interstate farther down the road. I would have voted “No” but Walker was very excited about the prospect and so we decided to top off the tank and continue our trip.

It was comforting to think that most of our fellow travelers (the smart ones?) were holing up till the interstate opened again so there were would be fewer drivers to compete with. And the really good news is that we drove the rest of the trip with no problems. With Bob behind the wheel now, we headed east, slow but sure.

Over the asphalt and through the storm,
to grandmother’s arms we start.
The Honda is ready, our nerves are now steady,
With gratitude filling our hearts.

* annette.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009



War. More War. Big Business


and who will fight these wars

sons and daughters

who will die or be maimed or

maybe just

have post traumatic stress


War is always ugly.


I can't figure out how it is

possible that we create all

the beautiful things

see nature roar

watch children grow

and believe war fits in this


Is it so hard to imagine another

way to resolve

conflict and make money

Sometimes I think I must be on

the wrong


when did we get it so wrong and

decide to

let the military dictate

a mess

but don't worry because we


have to see it

It is hidden, not for public


but we pay,

we all pay.

It's a sad day.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Prose - A Simple Thanksgiving

It started out with me needing a change of scene. The last few months I have been healing from a cancer diagnosis. A change of scene would be delightful. I wasn’t aware of how much I needed it. My daughters suggested this would be great for me. And where else do I enjoy going than New Mexico. Central to western New Mexico holds a lot of magic and healing energy for me. A friend has a lovely home in the desert, far from most anything, except the square topped peak of the Pedernal.

Another friend agreed to drive down with me, or more appropriately, I with her. It was time to break away from the usual tradition. Leaving on Thanksgiving Day, there was very little traffic. None of us were interested in turkey. None-the-less, we had a great Thanksgiving dinner. Two of our favorites was a mushroom, nuts and short grain brown rice casserole, for melting in the mouth, along with a squash pie with a cranberry glaze. And the treat of a pumpkin pie, for those not too full to partake.

Much resting was enjoyed, a perfect retreat. A little hiking, on my part, plus a fabulous massage.

It was a small and loving Thanksgiving. Just what I needed during this time. Much gratefulness to all who brought me into such a healing space

Thanksgiving Day doesn’t have to be the same, year after year, but whatever our beings need at the moment. What we are most grateful for. I felt so blest.