Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Friday, October 3, 2014

Things Change............

Fender (Fenn) our new addition.
August 2014
After I lost my sweet dog Lily, I was pretty certain that I would not go down that road again.  I said to anyone who would listen, "No more dogs, I can't stand the heartache when they leave us all too soon."  "I still have Gabby, I don't want another dog."  "Besides, it ties us down."

My wonderful hubby and I were planning a trip, being gone for almost two weeks and having an elderly dog at home means we must have a house sitter.  Although my wonderful daughter said she would stay, I know it is not easy to give up two weeks of time in our house.

Days before we were to leave, my sweet daughter, sends me a text that one of her Facebook friends has a Yorkie that she needs to give to a good home.  I have always been a softy for the terrier types of dogs and Yorkie's seemed to be my focus.  Although they cost more than I am willing to spend to buy one.

I tell my lovely daughter that I just wasn't interested, then she sends a picture.  Of course, I'm melting a little.  Then she tells me, "He is a year old and free!"  Then I tell here that I have never been interested in little boy dogs, they tend to lift their leg on everything.  I tell wonderful hubby about all of this and he says to me, "How high can a five pound dog lift his leg?"  Seriously, he is not helping me stay strong about not getting another dog!

Then my darling daughter says, let me find out where the dog is located and maybe you can just go look at him.  "Okay, I'll think about it" I say.  Still thinking about packing for vacation, not getting a little dog.  She sends me another text, guess where they live?  Right in my home town!  She is sure that is a sign!!!

So I went to look at Little Boy Dog, my heart smiled on him, he was so cute, although timid.  I ask the "Mom" why she was letting him go.  She has two other big dogs, he wasn't getting the attention he needed, the kids were going back to school and so was she, he deserved a home with more attention.  He is neutered, house trained, cage trained and too darn cute.  The question that would be the deal breaker, "Could you keep him two more weeks, until we get back from vacation?"  "Not a problem." she said.

The rest is history, we now own a sweet little boy dog named Fender (from a Disney movie).  He is sweet, likes to snuggle, loves Gabby (and Gabby likes him), comes when called and is thriving in our house.  Looks like darling sweet daughter will be house
sitting in the future.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lily, My Dog Friend

Lily, sweetness and love covered in curly hair.
It happened quite by accident, the idea of a little house dog.  We always had outside (barn) dogs and they were always big.  They roamed our yard and pasture freely, chased balls and slept in the flowerbeds.  They were wonderful.  A house dog was a different story AND a little dog was unheard of on our farm!  The reason for this decision was because I wanted some company, our children were leaving the nest, too busy for mom and I needed to still be that mom, so our Lily came to be with us in November 1996.  She was mostly poodle but pronounced a Yorkie/Poo when we went to look at her.  Dark gray mostly curly hair and floppy ears, I was in love the moment I saw her cuteness.

On Monday, June 2, 2014 our journey together on this earth ended.  I called to the loved critters that left before her, the horses and Jessie who left us last summer, I ask them all to gather and greet her.  I could see her washing Jessie's face, something our lab finally resigned herself to enjoy.  Lily was always the mother in our dog family.  
Lily and Gabby going for a ride.

I spent my last hours with Lily, offering choice bits of bacon, loving and hugging on her.  Wanting to protect her and keep her with me always, and yet knowing it was becoming more and more difficult for her to manage.  

She lived a great life here in this family, she was my constant companion, she got to go for rides in the car, she loved camping with us and the horses.  When camping, she always knew when it was time for bed and we would find her in the middle of our sleeping bags, ready for the night.  She played with toys and stole dropped baby booties for attention.  She went to the barn when we fed horses, always looking for dropped horse feed and somehow managed to avoid horse feet that stomped flies.  She loved stealing hoof trimmings when the farrier was trimming feet, only to vomit them up hours later in the house.  I loved her happy little trot down the sidewalk, it was as if she had springs in her legs.  She had one litter of three puppies, we kept one, Gabby and she is sixteen now.  She and Gabby were a good team, they did everything together.

Lily learned a few little tricks, she could sit and beg, we all thought that was adorable and of course she was rewarded for that.  She and all my dogs were taught to sit and stay, one Christmas Card we had seven dogs posing with little Santa hats on that I'd made, they all would sit and stay for me, it was so fun capturing this picture.  Guest dogs included Midnight and Butchie.............  sadly the only one left is our little Gabby girl.

It is difficult to factor the right time to let her go, her dignity and grace are considered.  She wasn't happy, she would get lost in once familiar places, she would wait for me to rescue her, help her outside and back inside, to find the water dish, to serve her a tempting meal where she slept.  Cleaning up accidents and keeping her beds soft and clean.  I did it with compassion and love and yes, sometimes even with frustration.  But I loved her with all my heart and will miss her always.

Lily, 1996 -2014
She is buried near the studio, a special area that I can see from the house or the porch at the studio.  A stack of prayer stones, Hostas planted and a little wind chime. 

Postscript:   After placing the prayer stones and attending to other details, beside the stones I found a small grey feather.  I felt it was a gift from her and acknowledged it with a tear.  This entire summer, everywhere I go, I find small grey feathers.........   She and I are are still connected.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I have reached the age of Medicare.  

It is rather traumatic, it comes with certain images of an older person.  My mind has protected me from believing that I would ever be an person that was that old.  When did it happen?  Did I fall asleep and dream this age, how could have all these years gone by without me noticing?

Oh, I admit, my body has shown me the reality of my life, my knees are new, my eyes have had cataracts repaired, my hair is getting grey and I have distinct wrinkles on my face.  All of these things still did not prepare me for getting my Medicare card.  I was shocked, felt a weight in the pit of my stomach and put the card on the bottom of a pile of things to worry about later.  It didn't go away.  My 65th Birthday has come and gone.
Cynthia DeRemer McDonald, the uncut version,
no makeup, grey hair and a smile
of happiness.

I need to change the way I am thinking about all of this, I need to turn this into a positive thing or I will sit in a rocking chair and just get older.  Today I will share the most wonderful things living this life, of 65 years, has blessed me with.

I grew up in a time of innocence, two party phone lines, bicycles were horses, I lived in the country and loved being outside.  I had animals to teach me responsibility, I grew up with a brother and sister as my playmates, I went to a small school and came from a class of 55 graduating seniors.  I learned that if I did something wrong there were consequences, I was spanked when I was young and grounded as a teen.  I learned to respect elders and listen to adults even if I didn't agree.

I loved my donkey and horse above all, had a really hard time sharing them as they were suppose to be for all the kids in the family.  I learned to drive a stick shift Dodge Dart, white with red interior.  I loved playing hide an seek with the neighbor kids after dark in the summer.  I loved the smell of dairy cows, fresh cut hay and corn tasseling in August.  I loved skating on the pond in winter, being pulled on a sled when it snowed behind a jeep on country roads and I remember cutting wood for our wood furnace.  

I love my friends from high school and am thrilled we are all still in contact today.  I loved being in 4-H for thirteen years, it is where I met my wonderful husband.  I loved 4-H camp every summer and the county fair.  This was my social life growing up!

I fell in love and married the most wonderful man in the world and we have spent 45 years being married this June.  We had three wonderful children and now six wonderful grandchildren.  I believe that while raising children my life started picking up speed.  Meanwhile I continued to ride horses, that obsession never changed or wavered.

I was a stay at home mom until the children were older, then worked awhile here or there, never really knowing what it was I wanted to be when I grew up.  All the while I was growing up, I was gathering knowledge and hoarding it away until at the age of fifty, I decided I wanted to become an "Artist".   I began to put all my knowledge into creating gourd art and taking my art to shows around Ohio and Indiana.

Because of gourds and my desire to sell to the world and a little stumble in my path, I became immersed in the culture of the indigenous American people.  My life changed again, I began to play the Native American flute.  That single event exploded with the journey of new friends and learning and following the red road. 

The latest journey has been finding my birth father and his second family.  My fathers passing has left a deep loss in my soul and the blessing was finding my DeRemer family and connecting the circle of my life and my family history.  Their love and acceptance has been an overwhelming experience.

My adventuresome life has continued, I have no horses to ride now, but we do have the most wonderful Harley Trike Motorcycle.  The need to travel and explore has never left me, my age has never taken that away, I am loving life to the fullest and feel very blessed!

So I guess when I finally got to the end of this page and know today I am sixty five, I have lived a life of learning, adventures, gratitude, and most of all love.  It isn't so bad being this age, I do everything I want to do, I live each moment with gratitude and I remain open to the next wonderful thing to come my way!  

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Ghost Boxers..........

The Ghost Boxers

They come into the same arena,
the one that always unites them. 
They are very familiar with one another, 
and yet know nothing of who each other really is.
They are family by blood, 
strangers in the ring,
ghosts to one another.

The ghost boxers have been at it for 
twenty years, one superior to the other.
Is it because of age and knowledge or
because the less superior one feels
obedience and respect to the older boxer and
becomes the lesser opponent by default?

In the beginning it was hurtful, the
words that bruised the lesser opponent, 
leaving scars to last a lifetime.
The longer the boxing goes on, the more
blurred the reason for the battle.
Who did this, who said that, selective hearing and 
reading between the lines.

Now, time has passed and the ghost boxers have met again,
this time they hardly recognize one another.
Both older, both wiser, they circle the ring.
Avoidance is their dance of choice now.
The hate has taken its tole, the old and superior one
seems small and fragile.  
The less superior has grown a spirit that is strong
and steady and is ready to leave the fighting behind.

There is no going back, there is no salve to repair the
years of scars.  The superior one only dwells in the past,
the less superior sees only the future.
There is no middle ground.

Nothing has changed, they circle the ring, a dance
of ghost boxers ready to duck and step away from
the punches.
Neither are winners, 
Both are losers.

No sorrow, no apology, no effort to make amends, 
the battle has come to a draw.
All they really have now is how they wished it could have been. 

Cynthia DeRemer McDonald, 2013

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Notebooks

I love to write things down, writing gives me a way to organize my thoughts, helps me to remember an experience, a feeling and often it is my way to truly express my heartfelt thoughts. 

So I started purchasing steno pads, they are easy to carry around, I can take out a page if I've changed my mind, I can make a grocery list, write a poem, "practice" a letter I want to send to someone special, record a dream or even to monitor my Bluebird boxes.

I try keeping one at the computer, jotting down something important, a recipe, or vital information about our families history from, a quote, an address I don't want to forget or even a phone number.  The problem comes when I take it to the other room to transfer the information into my address book or the kitchen to try the recipe.  

The one I use for Bluebird monitoring goes with me in the field, where I record what is happening in each of the twenty something boxes once a week.   I often find myself also taking notes about weather, butterflies, flowers blooming or crops in the field, or I might be inspired to write a poem.

I have a notebook for dreams, I am amazed at the dreams I have had and nearly forgotten, until I read it in this little steno pad.  I take it to share with my wonderful hubby and it gets mixed up with another notebook that belongs by the computer.  Now I have dreams written in the notebook with quotes and recipes from beside the computer.

I also do travel journals, in these notebooks.  I can go back to the first trip I took to Texas and read the heart wrenching account of my experience there, the family I met for the first time in my entire life.  Then I will have some poetry related to that visit.  A couple years later will be another account of a trip we took to Texas and rode motorcycles.  Then suddenly in this notebook there is my sales made at an art show...........  seriously?    

Now I am going through these notebook, looking for my information on art sales because I must report my Ohio Sales Tax!   It's like looking for a needle in a haystack and I only did three shows this year!  Not only that, I find myself lost in my writings, crying, laughing and remembering special times, special people and wishing I was more organized.

My real question today is, "Do I just start fresh with brand new notebooks?"  or  "do I continue in my old notebooks, filling in the blank pages with my random, meandering thoughts and ideas?"  I always want to be organized and it seems to always elude me.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Losing A Part Of My Past

You probably know how sentimental I tend to be, if you read my blogs.  I struggle with changing times, not wanting to forget the past, my need to remember things that are a part of me and who I am today.

A couple years ago I learned that someone new purchased the home my family lived in for most of my life.  A place we called Hidden Acres, nestled in the woods and built by my step-father and my mother.  Shaded by trees, off the road a quarter of a mile, and it was a home to my parents, my sister and my brother and me.  The entire open back basement was the living quarters in the beginning and then slowly but surely the split level was built and then the upstairs was added on.

There I learned to play in the woods, climb trees, ride bikes, take care of our animals and grow up thinking that everyone wore sweatshirts most to the summer.  I shared a room with my sister for years and eventually we had our own bedrooms when the upstairs was built.  I had wonderful slumber parties with my friends in the big room up-stairs, it was where my brother recovered from a broken leg and for a couple years it was even a pre-school classroom.  More memories there that I can possibly take time to acknowledge.

Two years ago was the first time I'd visited our old home in over thirty years.  I still lived just a field away from the house I grew up in.  One day I went exploring,  I walked around, marveling at the changes.  Trees were bigger, the chicken houses gone, a big ugly garage had been built that distorted the view of the house when you drove up the long lane.   I took pictures and reached back in my memory and enjoyed the innocence of growing up in the 50's and 60's.  I took my girls and my grandchildren to see the house I grew up in.   

The house had been abandon by the third owners, they just couldn't take care of it properly, it was pretty much a hoarding mess.  They picked up and left everything.  Vandals broke windows and animals called it home.  And then the most recent owners started cleaning it up, hoping to restore it to it's original beauty.  But living in a woods and trees growing close to the house caused damage to the foundation, the expense of fixing it would be great.  So it sat empty another year.

It was decided, the house must come down.  My parents sweat and labor of so many years was going to be destroyed in a day.   I had sense enough to ask about the two old doors I remember going in and out of all those years.  Those heavy old handmade doors my step-Dad made, were solid wood, bolts holding it together, and black hardware hinges.  A very small part of the solid and well built house we called home. There were two such doors that stood the test of years and I ask if I could have them.  

I came home one Saturday night and found them leaning against a wall in our barn, the only part left of the home we grew up in. Yes, sometimes it is just hard to lose something that held so many memories.