Sunday, December 21, 2014
11:30 Sunday morning in CULLODEN (Hurricane) is a sunny 40 F. DALLAS and CAROL have done the hospital daily routine for DALLAS' Toe and taken in church in CAROL's neighborhood. I'm dog sitting for Buddy. Would rather be at SALLY's church, where I have been many times welcomed. Being some 25 miles distant, however, is too far to walk in daylight...the Mud River Road being narrow winding without a side berm to escape passing vehicles.
Yesterday, attended DALLAS' Seventh Day Adventist church at East Pea Ridge, where we enjoyed an after-service Christmas Dinner/Lunch...visiting with old friends who have lived at some distant past in or near my birthplace, SEATTLE, Washington State.
Last evening, attended the local CULLODEN OPRY Christmas Dance and Dinner with some 200 local folks. BETTY was there with her acclaimed Fruit Jello Dessert. Was appeased by BETTY accepting to dance with me during the entire 7 to 11 PM evening. BETTY made convincingly clear that we remain close friends...but no chance for future co-habitation. My foolishness in reacting to her..."..we do it my way...(and)...I told you I needed help and time to find 'TRUST' "... by packing my bag (for the third time ). Calling my bluff, BETTY drove me back to DALLAS' home with vehement anger ending our short relationship.
On the Eastern side of the OHIO RIVER and bounded by the ancient ALLEGHENY MOUNTAINS, the Northern end of which continue into Arctic wastes of SCANDINAVIA (EUROPE), lie the hills and valleys of WEST VIRGINIA. In this rugged countryside live the folks with whom I have resided since arriving late October 2014. Accepted with open arms by one and all, I quickly learned that
knowing one meant becoming known to a far reaching community of family and friends. Up and down the hidden HOLLOWS (Hollers - Valleys) leading to delightful small villages and large towns - cities, actions and utterances one moment became common knowledge seemingly moments later.
Fiercely proud and protective of generations of life in the forested hills and valleys, newcomers are welcomed with lyrical - near musical - local dialect smilingly ignoring traditional "good" grammar, accusing visitors speaking with strong difficult-to-understand foreign accents. One listens closely and heeds body language to "get it"; so as not to be misunderstood...or to misunderstand.
I confess to shirking my goal to blog (share) that which I see, hear, and learn. My quick invitation and absorption into intimate personal and family life completely overwhelmed me. Not that I feel need to apologize...but the adoration, intimacy and pleasures of the moment leaped to become my first priority. In difference to those who have become dear to me, restraint in sharing details has been paramount.
* * * * * * * * * * *
...and so, SAM and ME are once again alone.
We hold this place and these people close to our heart. I have been granted a special gift to be welcomed, loved, and cherished...a gift rare for one so old, so unknown, and so desperate to be accepted.
I know not what lies before SAM and ME. It is our hope that our pride in those who have received and taken us in... is reciprocal.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Friday, December 19, 2014: SAM and ME are once again back in the home of Dallas Lovejoy, in the town of HURRICANE, West Virginia. Significant events have occurred including the slamming and locking of the gates on my dancing partner, Sally, (by Claude, long-time lover and jailer) and new dancing partner, Betty, who's invitation that I take up residence with her in her home in SAND POINT, Ohio, removed me from circulation for a bit.
Well, I'm back. Dallas has a delightful new girlfriend, Carol, who has moved in to become his Care Giver for the next six weeks - at the minimum - while Dallas goes through daily hospital treatments to treat the infected toe bone of his left foot. Lucky for me, Dallas has welcomed me back to my old room and Carol and I have seemingly found comfy places in our new-found small family.
My co-habitation with Betty (@ $500.00 per month) turned out to be an immediate challenge for both of us. Living alone for years, each of us became somewhat fixed in how things should be done. With Betty in the $$ driver seat, boiling down to ...we'll do it my way or NO way. Stupidly, I packed my bag one time too many, finding myself on the outside looking in. I walked some 27,000 miles to find Betty to hold my hand...and to be held in her arms. I blew it. I simply forgot that it takes time...MUCH time...to earn TRUST...and WHEN IN ROME DO AS THE ROMANS DO.
In two days WINTER arrives. Cold Wet (SNOWY) Days will be upon this corner of West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky on Christmas Eve.,,four days from today. As much as I deeply appreciate Dallas' generosity, I would accept an invitation to return to being the FLY in Betty's WEB.
In the mean time, I will accompany Dallas and Carol to MILTON's Friday night dance as well as the Saturday night dance here in CULLODEN (A bedroom community for the city of HURRICANE, West Virginia).
Riding with Dallas in his HONDA to a family dinner with his Sister in Law, FLORA, living near the Mud River Dam and Park some 40 miles South West of HURRICANE, West Virginia.
FLORA's home sits astride one of the steep West Virginia hills.
Dallas - center - and SALLY - Top right - in Sally's family church. I have been prohibited from phoning Sally (by Claude), but discovered her alone at church, where we shared a moment. No further contact has been with my former dance partner.
MILTON VFW POST, where Dallas and I enjoyed a Dinner honering America's military veterans.
Mud River Road on the way to FLORA's home near Mud River Dam and Park.
Looking back North from Flora's home.
Dallas about to announce our "early" arrival for dinner.
Dallas, and Flora with her Son, "BUTCH" and his "Significant Other", SALINA.
SALINA and Daughter (with Butch), KYIA.
SARAH, 14 year old Daughter of Salina, from her prior marriage.
DALLAS at the Reunion of the CNR Railroad...I was kindly invited.
Yes, we do like pics of old barns.
Today, Friday December 19, 2014, HURRICANE Senior Citizens held their Christmas Luncheon. Dallas rushed from his morning hospital appointment to pick me up - at his home - so we could enjoy the moment. The Mayor and his staff were present - with gifts for each Senior - and remained to dine with us. THANK YOU for your thoughtfulness. WENDY's Restaurant was also present to serve the sit-down lunch
Based on individual income, donations are suggested...ranging from $1.50 to $4.00 or so. Visitors are always welcome at the Senior Center events. ALL communities in and around the Tri-State area of West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky have similar Senior Centers. Dancing Class for SALLY and ME was at the HUNTINGTON, West Virginia Senior Center.
DALLAS and CAROL ...
Director JOY. Hyper Active, JOY has melded a fun friendly active group of seniors.
Senior Center Kitchen, where all meals are prepared and served. Near 75 Meals On Wheels are also prepared in this kitchen for Seniors unable to get to the Center.
HURRICANE Mayor EDWARDS and staff, who came bearing gifts and joined for our Christmas Lunch.
PUTNAM COUNTY SHERIFF passing out gifts.
TIM, WENDY's Restaurant Staff, who served Seniors and honored guests at the HURRICANE Senior Center Christmas Luncheon.
...and this is Dinner...Baked Honey HAM, cold PASTA SALAD, Butter STRING BEANS, DINNER ROLL, and Yummy APPLE PIE...with Coffee, Tea - Hot and Iced - Milk and Water...
...Not to forget the daily tray of fresh Donuts and Sweet Pastries..
* * * * * * * * * *
In truth, my two months here in the Tri-State has been filled with unforgettable moments and unforgettable new friends. No less than five times I have been welcomed with..."...sent in answer to my prayers..."...a humbling yet confusing message. I fear I have failed in some eyes, including my own. I am not at all certain what has been expected of me. I even stood before SALLY's Church Members asking for guidance.
Try as I might, I come up short...still, liking myself and begging those dear to me to try doing the same for themselves.
Yes, I am miserable ...but determined....
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Must once again apologize for the unfortunate absence of our blog update for the past many days. My computer was attacked by multiple virus - probably for visiting sites not recommended -, causing me to ship it back to my computer guru, Darrel, owner of The Virus Buster, in Bellingham, Washington. Received the computer back yesterday, working like a new machine. Darrel may be reached at 360-676-7501.
I have, in recent days, moved to the home of Betty M., a "fixer upper" in transition, where I have lent my hand and back to help with finishing touches. Still, I am watching over Dallas, who, though fighting off some recurring medical events, is pleased to have cold weather arrive shortly after "we" completed essential outdoor projects.
Have only limited walking opportunity in recent weeks.
Me? Am of sound body, mind, and spirit. Others may question that statement, but my take is the important one.
Flu is making the rounds here in the Tri-State (Ohio-Kentucky-West Virginia) region. Expect my good health will protect me from catching anything...Last Flu Shot was back in 1963. Have given my body the job of warding off transgressors. So far, So good.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Yesterday I posted - and took down - my work of the past four days. That which follows is dedicated to SALLY WOODALL CARSON, recreating the deleted update of yesterday... adding pics and comments of Halloween night and Sunday morning after.
As this blog is about SAM and ME, I sometimes take a bit of license, including rarely revealed emotions I live with. I try valiantly to share that which I find surrounding our odyssey of the past nearly five years. Truth and accuracy...short of criticism and personal feelings...are an important part of that. Finding myself in powerful moments of intimacy, I become a bit confused, causing me to take a step back to gain a better perspective .
This blog update is the result of one such moment.
I am told by more than one that my presence is not accidental. Some tell me that their prayers have been answered by my arrival. That is heady stuff for anyone. I, not particularly devoted to GOD and religion, am particularly overwhelmed by Sally, her family and friends, as well as many community members who have swept me into their arms - physically and emotionally - ... I plead innocence ! ...and yet ...
...emotions I try to hide are leaking out.
I do not know how I fit into this story...and cannot see where it is leading me. I know I adore and FEAR for Sally. I know I stand close by willingly as she embarks on a journey with her lover, CLAUD, who in my presence and in the presence of Halloween Dance revelers - friends all, apologized ("I'm Sorry, Bruce..."), proceeding to publicly plead to Sally standing before him that he is dying from the return of CANCER, asking for her complete devotion to be at his side as he battles for his life.
Sally stepped to CLAUD's side, dismissing friends, family, ...and myself.
Weeping at the romance and devotion of the moment...stunned with the other witnesses, I applaud Sally for standing by her Man, extend strength and understanding to CLAUD, and wonder at the drama...of which I am a small but affected part.
...and with that, once again...
... please say HELLO to SALLY WOODALL CARSON...one of the finest persons I have known.
Home of DALLAS LOVEJOY, who has asked me to share his home for this winter before continuing with SAM on our walk into history.
A derelict barn upon which Sally's family, neighbors and friends live and love in reflected devotion to their beloved West Virginia.
Sally's family church.
Sally's home - foreground - and the home of her beloved Daughter, SUZY, - background -.
Please say HELLO to SUZY, Daughter of SALLY.
From the moment of first meeting, Suzy has been my instant friend and confident.
Please say HELLO to ANNA, Daughter of SUZY and Grand Daughter to Sally.
ANNA and her Mom, SUZY are about to take me for a four-wheel Drive through their extensive property and beyond.
Donkey pets of ANNA and Sister JAKLYNN.
ANNA opening the gate to BUFFALO MOUNTAIN RIDGE Trail.
...where one can see forever.
WOODALL FAMILY CEMETERY.
Seems many West Virginia Families have their own Family Cemetery.
CHERRY LANE Road, passing through the valley, home to Sally, Suzy, and other family members.
Home of MARY, Kin to Sally's CLAUD.
Please say HELLO to LANI, Daughter to PAT...both close friends to Sally.
The home of PAT, some 5 miles North of the city of HURRICANE, West Virginia.
Arrival of another wagon load of Trick or Treat'rs arriving at PAT's. Sally and I enjoyed Pat's dinner invitation at her country home .
Trick or Treat'rs off to the next Hollow (sounds like: Holler) Home for more Trick or Treat revelry.
Pat's front yard creek which regularly floods her home and property.
Sally dancing with my friend DALLAS on Saturday evening...my last to see Sally.
Sally and Dallas...
Pat....Sally's dear friend, with whom Sally and I enjoyed pre-Halloween Dinner.
Pat's Daughter, Lani.
Sally and Pat at Saturday's Halloween Dance.
Sally, Pat, Lani, Anna, Jaklynn and little friend at Halloween Dance.
Anna and little Sister, Jaklynn ... at the dance.
My friend, DALLAS.
Please say HELLO to JIMMIE, Sally's near constant weekly companion.
Jimmie had recent hip surgery, recovering over many weeks under Sally's personal -at her home - attention. Raising eyebrows, CLAUD is still vehement and unforgiving for Sally's night and day nursing ministrations.
Forgiveness is not one of Claud's strong points, appearing to prefer control, accusations and stalking of Sally 24/7...reason for my FEAR for her. Claud's begging for in-kind attention is, to many, suspect.
Anna photographed wearing my Halloween costume headpiece and mask.
Sally and another of her many admirers.
Sunday Morning in Church.
Sally and Son RONNIE stand in the back row next to friend SHERRIE.
Girlfriend SHERRI and Son RONNIE.
Arrangements are in place for Ronnie and Sherri to give me a ride to church next Sunday. Normally, Sally gives me a ride, but...well, we all know how that goes...we must be patient...
Brucie Baby finding out what "left in the lurch " means.
GOD's house, as for the final time, Sally drove me away.
Actually she and I are OK. Sally has embarked on a mission that excludes our dancing and friendship.
WE SHALL SEE ...