Recovery Part Deux

Saturday night was devoted to pain pills and anti inflammatories for both Tula and me. Tula could barely walk and I was just sore, from all of the places I’d bumped and scraped against as I was bobbing down the pier side. I was also wrapped in a heating pad. (They are marvelous things, by the way.) And there was a bit of anxiety traveling through the rooms where we were, considering the lost phone, credit cards, driver license, insurance IDs, etc.

And the kid kept saying there was nothing to worry about—she was sure we were going to be able to rescue all. In the morning—Sunday, she went to the hardware store to get some pole extensions and advice on how to make poles longer, attach nets, grabbers, and so on. She came home loaded with search equipment to put together and a huge roll of duct tape. And off we went to the evil-event pier. I was feeling much better—to everyone’s surprise—and was so able to assist in the search. Poles extended into the water and nets dragged along the bottom.

We did the poling for some time, and then some time more. I pulled against the lake water and poked back and forth. I did that for some more time. The kid netted several things, including a nice rod and reel. But no wallet. She netted for yet some time more. And more. Until the futility quite set in, or had set in some time previously. Even though the found rod and reel had encouraged us to continue hoping.

We then made our way to a cell phone store and purchased a new phone for me. Even if I had or would have gotten my phone back, it could not possibly work. And then we went home to talk about guns and shooting. (seriously)

The kid, as notoriously persistent as her mother, was able to get a hold of a scuba diver who would meet her Tuesday morning at the pier. On Monday we went to our respective homes and workplaces. I drove well within the speed limits along the way, not wanting to get pulled over.

Tuesday morning came and went to great success! Yes indeed, the diver eventually found the wallet but could not recover the dog leash. Regardless, we considered that a wrap. Tula will recover and I have recovered. The wallet arrived on Thursday and my kitchen smells like rotten fish—but the cards dried nicely. Oh, and I continued to walk while balancing on a rolling pier for two days.

Recovery—Part One

The trip to visit my daughter—well now. Nothing much went as planned. Some of it I guess, in the general direction. But then.

I arrived in good order albeit later than either of us planned. Nevertheless, the four of us set off for boating on the lake. (The four—2 dogs and 2 people.) And it was a beautiful, a nicely warm and sunny day, but windy. Very windy means lots of waves and rough waters. This didn’t matter much setting out and spending a lovely afternoon aboard. As we were late getting out, most of the docking places (sandy, clear) were taken but we did manage to find a place. Not as lovely as our usual, but the dogs were in delight. As soon as we pulled in, they jumped off in unison. Butts abound!

Sullivan is not as big on swimming as is Tula, who swam and swam to make up for all of the times she couldn’t. Sullivan mostly ran back and forth through the woods. Eyes as bright as the sun, it was difficult to get Tula back in the boat when it was time to go. She was willing to stay there and catch up with us later. She even dug a bed to demonstrate. At last with everyone aboard, we went back to the docks.

Remember that wind? It made it a bit difficult to tie off, but we managed, the kid being an expert at handling it all. Then she took the dogs and went off to get the truck to trailer the boat, and I waited with the boat for their return. The pier was like riding a roller coaster, so I reached out with my right hand to steady myself by holding a brace for the canopy on the boat. I used my right hand as the left side was filled with bottles, dog leash, and phone—in a wallet pack. After a few minutes of bobbing and rolling, I became concerned about my hold on the metal brace, it being not terribly sturdy. Then several things happened at once. Remember that wind? Just as I decided to let go of the brace, the boat moved quite rapidly away from the pier and me, opening up an expanse so that I could not let go. I became a flat reach between the pier with my feet and the boat in my grasp with my right hand

And the boat kept moving, swinging the stern away from it all. And then I took an unplanned dive into the lake—that water between the boat and the dock. Remember my left side and the hand holding the wallet-phone? Sure enough. For some unknown reason, in my haste to hold unto it, I let it go. And there I was, between all of the tied off boats and the pier. I made my way forward, holding onto the pier with my recently emptied left hand while doing some creative form of dog paddle with my right arm while in 20 feet of water. Everything was bobbing.

A fine young man came up and offered to pull me with our hands linked toward land. No pride left whatsoever, I agreed. It took a while, but we made it to where I could touch ground. And as I was making my last little way to the end and a place to sit, I watched my daughter and the dogs walk right past me, faced firmly ahead. Huh, didn’t even say hello.

After a while my daughter gathered enough information from bystanders to find me at the end of the pier. Her words? “I never should have left you alone!” Her volume was mixed with concern and a slightly left-over panic. After all, the boat ascue and no mother, she had a right to more than wonder what had happened to me. And she couldn’t see my little bobble head as she walked past. Credit due: who expects to find their mother in the water below the pier, when you left her quite dry next to the boat? I don’t suppose it helped that someone was telling her not to worry, “she’s okay.” “What? Okay? What do you mean, okay? What happened? Where is she?…”

The notables from that afternoon: the knot from the stern tie-off did not hold, hence the boat’s attempt at an escape from the rear. One wallet-phone and a dog leash in the lake. One dog already showing signs of too much activity in swimming. One very soaked and bedraggled woman walking slightly tilted from too much bobbing.

But wait!…there’s more. The next day the adventure continues—stay tuned. And no photos posted here. Why? The phone camera is in the lake.




I’m eating Twinkies. I haven’t had one since I was a child. And it was rare then, only upon occasion.

Then the mailman’s name was Ray, and the mail was delivered twice a day. When there was a letter he would ring the doorbell or shout through the screen door. If it was a letter from my brother he would persist until someone answered. (My brother was off fighting whichever war we were giving then.) He didn’t have to persist often or long—we always watched for the mail.

There were milkmen who delivered milk in glass bottles and you could hear the bottles clanging in the carrier as he walked to your door. Some people got chocolate milk and we knew the houses they went to.

We played softball in the street in front of my house and quit when the streetlights came on. We had to go home then. If earlier and some other reason to go home, you would hear someone’s father’s whistle. We all knew the different sounds and pitches that belonged to us.

Those nights you could hear the sounds of laughter, and children’s voices, and cicadas calling with the tree toads, and a few birds still visiting. Sometimes you could hear wandering bullfrogs calling for their mates. And crickets. The sound of crickets was the music we fell asleep to. Once in a while you would hear a car go by, and the thump, thump of the tires as they went across the tarred strips.

It was quiet on Sundays, after the morning of ringing church bells. Whole families walked down the streets to the Church, girls wearing dresses and gloves, just like their mothers, men with hats, and suits and ties. Almost everyone went to church and afterward you came home to your big Sunday dinner and the readying for Monday—schoolwork, newspapers, clothes laid out, shoes polished.

We knew all of the neighbors and the houses around our block, and the stories they held. We knew the house where the woman had hung herself in the basement because her husband went out with other women. We knew the house where the poker parties were held on Saturday nights. Sometimes there was a special game on Friday night and you knew because of all the cars parked in the alley.

After supper you had to eat your desert inside, before going out. You couldn’t walk out with a Popsicle unless you had more to give your friends. And you ate your Twinkies inside, or out on the back porch.

stanisław wyspiański (1869-1907), portrait of józio feldman, 1905, pastel (national museum in kraków, poland)

stanisław wyspiański (1869-1907), portrait of józio feldman, 1905, pastel (national museum in kraków, poland)

Rumblings & Grumblings

Reading the New Yorker, you will find an article written by  on October 28, 2018. The article is about Lucetta Scaraffia, the lovely lady we see below and her campaign to have women play a larger role in the Catholic Church. She believes this can happen, and that it can be accomplished from within the Church. There are, in fact, many roles that could be filled by women, not the least of which is that of a Cardinal.

Cardinals, in any case, need not be called by God—only man. “Cardinals are an invention of the Church, to govern itself,” Massimo Faggioli, a professor of theology at Villanova said. So it is that Catholic theology does not mandate that cardinals be ordained.  Theologically speaking, laypeople, including laywomen, can be cardinals. This is how we got the Medici boys as Cardinals and how they (then with voting power) got to elect a Medici papa as Pope. (Think Borgia. Think The Godfather.) It wasn’t until 1917 that the Holy See changed canon law, restricting the cardinalate to the ordained.

Lucetta Scaraffia, posted by the New Yorker

Lucetta Scaraffia Is Trying to Fight Catholic Patriarchy from the Inside

Scaraffia and others are pointing out the differences between actual Church doctrine and Cannon Law. And there are many arguments that ensue around the purpose, intent, and traditions of the Church, not just about what can be done—but what can change—what should change. Yes, this in a Church that is run by men, and men alone in places of authority where women (nuns) are kept in subservient roles and are used to cook and clean for the men. The women serve and the men dictate everything from behavior to law.

I am impressed by the number of women, the newsletters, and the activism. The movement is strong and viable. The goals and hope and logic seem impermeable.

But the changes they covet will not happen.

The Church is run by men.

I have come to believe that women can only truly infiltrate the world of men in politics, in religion, in corporations, when women do not ask of men, but form themselves, and give themselves permission. Why aren’t women dictating? Why aren’t women forming their own enclaves? (Enclave, by the way, is a feminine noun.) Why don’t we say if and when men can join us?

Women have to acquiesce in order to be subjugated. It is women who allow men to rule. There are too many women who are afraid of power, because with it comes great responsibility.

So. In the meantime, the Church will be infiltrated by women who will influence, and maybe change, the Church from within. I just won’t see it in my lifetime.



These photos are from Bob Good Photography, taken at Lawrence Lake near La Crosse.

I look at these, walk down the dock and I can smell the scent of the water and fish, feel the slap-slap movement of the boards, know the calls of the birds skimming the water. For so many years summer life centered on the water and the boathouses there. Beer was kept by being dropped into the cold of the river. (Fish nets put to good use.) Many a beer, many a fish fry. Diving off docks, swimming against the current.

It’s where we lived, it’s where we played and slept. Then you could keep boathouses directly on the river and ours were docked just past and under the big Mississippi bridge that crossed over to Minnesota. When those were gone we were not allowed to replace them. Time moved on, faster than the current and quicker than a walleye jumping for a June bug.

Now these photos below of the lake are for a different story. The one that will be told of lakes and eddies where it’s still okay for the parking of the boats and boathouses. They’re not on the Mississippi; they’re not in the way of the main lane for the big boats, the new business of summer, the new Riverboat Queen.

And so it goes—another bridge built, another song. And I wonder how they keep their beer cold?


Noting Observations Of Yesterday

“Note this before you note my notes, there’s not a note of mine that’s worth the noting.” ~ Much Ado About Nothing ~ Wm. S.

I finally got myself to the swimming pool. The one over in Seven Hills because they are replacing the building in Broadview Heights. I have no idea why I was struggling so to get there. An oversimplified fear of the unknown? A left-over fear from childhood? The one where you go in and do something incredibly wrong within the social norms of that place and are ever after known as the “newone” or names much worse. Ostracized by the fact of not knowing and therefore stupid. Children rarely allow for outside effects and circumstances; they are judges of the now. The right now, in black and white. (Maybe children should be the only juries we have.) That all seems silly to me. And yet—is fear, hidden to the self, why we call ourselves lazy?

But here’s the funny thing, the reason I noted the swimming pool visit: I got a sunburn, and it’s an indoor pool.

After the pool, I went to one of my favorite eating places which is right in front of the community center, Eddie’s Pizzaria. My intention was to get a martini and a salad. Yeah, right. I wasn’t craving pizza and I’m on a semi-successful diet. (Worth noting is that the swimming suit, once a struggle to put on, is now too big.) I managed the part of the intention that involved the martini. For desert I had one of those small fry-pan-looking things filled with a very large and warm chocolate chip cookie garnished with two large scoops of vanilla bean ice cream. It is decadent. deliciously decadent. I left not a crumb behind. This all leads to the subject of Will Power.

Will Power. First cousin to Free Will. If there is such a thing. (Some argument ensues in my mind. If there’s such a thing as my anything at all.) Staying with the subject of Will Power, among many other things there is more than one school of thought. The most recent propaganda espousing the limits of Will Power is the replenishing of same. Namely, Will Power is not strengthened by use, rather is run out by continual use. In order to replenish, one must refrain from all of that use. Just what constitutes over use is unknown. Unfortunately I must have run out of Will Power just after leaving the pool. That’s what I get for using up all that Will Power to get to the pool.

And I don’t know how to replenish this Will Power. Just how long must I refrain from using it? I want to know. Right now I am practicing disuse of Will Power. Wait, wait!…Doesn’t that call for Will Power?




From Notes While Reading & Talking & Eating

He left over and over. Kept leaving, trying on I think, the best tirade, the most emphatic, searching the core, the very essence of leaving. He did that. Yes. Over and over.
I finally left.

I know that I could completely transform my life if only I could live by water.

Trope and meme should be nominated “words for the 21st century.”

Isn’t it annoying when the star of a series is continuously discounted when in all of the previous episodes she’d been right? Just saying.

The One true story of the Myth of The Fall:
It was a grapefruit tree, not an apple tree, nor a pomegranate one. The reason is thus: having eaten of the grapefruit Adam said, Yuck! This is the worst fruit I’ve ever eaten. It is sour. What is this doing in Eden? Eve thus inspired went in search of sugar cane which she was soon to find, being picked in the horror of slaves and migrant workers who could not speak the language of Eden. To therefor sweeten his life and bring Joy to him, she return to Adam and gave it to him thusly: Use this for your Grapefruit and thereafter call it the Gratefruit as it will be sweet and forever palatable by disguising the sourness of life and the fact that a Heaven forever does become a Hell. And so, being easily led and owning a tendency to blame, Adam ate of the sugar from the sugarcane that was to sweeten his Grapefruit. It was thus that he and all of humankind were cast out of Eden (Story sound familiar? Do we know of anyone else being kicked out?) and forever were to be cursed with the black mark of Original Sin, having eaten thereof the Tree of Knowledge of Sugar and being the burden of all things Evil to man. Eve was cursed with the letter T (another myth dispelled—note the play on “spelled”) as a symbol of Temptress, forwhich she—as woman—would forever be branded and mocked for all Eternity. When all she was doing was attempting (tempt?) to please her man by bringing sweetness into his life. (For which she was created, remember?)

This underscores the Heart of the Matter for the whole issue of Responsibility and Free Will and Sin and All Such Things: Having been made by God to be Curious and Psychologically unsound and Rebellious, can mankind then be held responsible? Given 1.) a fair and just God, 2.) a test of obedience, and, 3.) a God-given test, and 4.) the so-named Adam and Eve, knowing everything at the point before Sugar, are fully aware of the consequences and that God will see everything, and 5.) an act of Free Will is undertaken. (By both Eve and Adam, thus eradicating the need for Temptor (Eve) and Victom (Adam) ) And, And, nonetheless allowing that the Evil Deed cannot be transmitted by Eve alone, but can only be Ancestored Sin from Adam. Thus in turn setting free patriarchally descendent patrimony.

Side Question: Is there a single book in the bible written by a woman?

On Friday
at the Three Musketeers where Shirley & I stopped to wait & eat while the dog was being groomed, a man in a Robin Hood hat with a very long feather walked by. He stopped at our booth. He greeted us as goddesses and mother-goddesses. He said to me, I love your glasses. I can see the light shining through them. And I like your hat, I quickly replied. He doffed his hat, gave a deep flourishing bow, and moved on. I thought it was beautiful, magical, and a blessing. Shirley made a face of disgust. This is why I love her. It was a very wonderful day, that day on Friday when we took the dog for her grooming. I lost my glasses and Shirley found them. We contemplated the Dogwood Tree for Mumzie.  Shirley was clever and funny. She was very tired and thinks that her Sister will now love her forever. It is sad to know that that will not happen. Right now the sister’s whole family has filled Shirley’s home.

S also said that the reason my book isn’t selling is because of the title. She maintains that no one likes Fat. Who wants to buy something about Fat? That and I don’t do the marketing which should be done.  She’s right, I don’t market. Not much anyway. My bad. She made me leave a business card in the booth. She also said that the story was dark. Oh dear. I didn’t think it was dark at all so now that will be a question for friends of the book.


Business Card front & back


Book Cover