Sunday News

I for one miss the old days. Back when the news was simply news. Those times when I received a stack of carefully printed pages rolled and delivered by thoughtful hands to the entrance of my drive. It was a delicious part of my day on those rain smattered Sundays. Mornings when I could arise with no place to be. Awaken my soul slowly to the new dawn. Gently push the dogs off the bed and crawl from beneath warm covers as the sunrise starts to brighten a  world still quiet from nighttime’s slumber. Enveloped by that pre dawn silence I’d go, wiping  the sleep from my eyes as I wandered to the kitchen to fill the pot with cold fresh water pumped directly from the well. The headiness of the coffee a sensual pleasure as I added a heaping scoop of rich sumptuous grounds to my old but faithful percolator. The enjoyment found in the simple routine of pulling open the back door and setting my dogs free to inspect the perimeters of the yard proper . Allowing them to take care of any business they’d withheld during the night. At this point I’d judge the possibilities of the day. No cell phones to check. No gaging the number of approving likes I might have received on a photo I’d shared before I drifted away into sleeps embrace the night before. Just myself , a pack of romping dogs bounding out to check the most immediate fence line and nature in all her fresh awakening glory.

Once the coffee was prepped I’d grab whatever outer garment was closest at hand, slide my bare feet into yesterday’s mud encrusted boots and head outside as well. I truly relished my stroll down the long drive to obtain that trusted old friend, my newspaper. No checking of machines illuminated  brightly with messages from worrisome souls near and far. Just me and a pack of dew wet dogs taking the first steps into the new day to obtain the news of the past. The clacking of the now leafless tree branches  and the refreshing wind whipped rain drops were my background. Wood smoke wafting up the valley on the breeze let me know the neighbors were awake as well. No posts were needed of their breakfast preparations to let me know this important fact all the while demanding a reactive emoticon. The towering pines would put off their brisk scent clearing my head as I walked. Not those odors emanating from a plugged in warmer complete with manufactured fragrance of my choice, but the reality of rich damp earth and a vibrant aroma of pine needles rich with sap. It’s my belief that this head clearing bit of exercise simply increased the flavor of my coffee on these late fall mornings when I allowed my every sense to awaken in its own time.

That Newspaper was there, cast expertly in the gravel wash next to the ruts left by many an ingress and egress into the drive. Damp and darkened by moisture from the misty morn, that rolled tube of salient information awaited my gentle touch to coax forth the words within its pages. I’d retrieve the rubber banded roll from its resting place, reassure my accompanying dogs that it was indeed not a stick awaiting a toss and amble back up the drive. A symphony of chirping birds serenaded my journey along with the far-off cries of a crow somewhere in the forest announcing a newly found breakfast bounty. Carrying the paper gently in my hands I’d take in the glory of all that was tangible while hungering for my hot rich cup of coffee. Imagine my luck at not having a machine to reboot?

Back in my kitchen the paper was laid next to fireplace to dry as the silver percolator now installed upon the range began to bubble. The essence of drying newspaper mingling with the pungent odor of fresh coffee is reminiscent to me of hope. Hope the coffee will jolt my neurons into the maximum amount of action and hope that the words printed upon that delicate parchment will be well thought out and informative. Words well executed and fat with information that will allow me to form my own thoughts. Statements and sentiments to savor while drawing on my ownlifes experiences and knowledge of history. Words placed to be perused and pondered, allowing me to gain my own conclusions and form my own opinions . No instant pulsing headline accompanied by an earnest, yet dissatisfied or down right upset picture of the poster accompanied by a hashtag and a link. All blasting at me like a white-hot prod demanding an instant  response. Not something to subtly ponder  or a band of prose to ruminate about during my morning as I collect the fresh eggs from beneath the chickens in their warm   safe coupe. But a leading statement encouraging me to read to respond not to consider. A response that if given, could mean my day would be exalted into the glorious realms of high approval by people I’d never met or cast into the bowels of disapproval hell by, once again, people I’d never met.

But those days of fragrant papers and gentle light have faded. Information comes at me in a million pinpoints of light like the theater version of jumping to hyperspace. I often wonder if my thoughts are truly my own or some Pavlovian response generated without care nor consideration. Quite possibly the latter although I do guard my conscience. As my computer announces an incoming proclamation I hear Sampson, the oldest of my dogs baying out a warning. A peek out the backdoor, coffee cup warming my hand against the day’s chill, reveals he has located a threatening and ominous appearing pine cone. He circles the beast, ruff up. Closes in, takes a sniff and does what in the language of dogs comes natural. He lifts his back leg and drowns it in a steaming golden river. Behind me on the table the computer re-informs me of my message. I look at Sampson  now joyously bounding off towards the forest, smile to myself, head back into my warm kitchen , walk to the table and press the power button to off. Now let’s be honest, I’m just not that tall. But Sampson’s solution did cross my mind.


First Day of Fall

The first day of Fall and it seems like just yesterday I was tearing off my pantyhose in the bathroom at my office and kicking out of my work wardrobe. I’d have  slid myself  into a well worn pair of cutoffs with a soft cotton t shirt and headed out of the city.  The traffic would be terrible as usual, bumper to bumper, as I was rolled down that road to freedom with my a/c blasting on high. I’d recall watching the computer screen fade to black as I switched it off with a “Thank you Lord, this week is done”.

It takes me a good hour to come clear of the city and hit the wide open country side; another just to arrive in the low country. But even if it’s hotter that Hades on the worst day, I’d always pop open the sunroof and roll down the windows just to bathe in that pungent low country air. Yeah, I know its 2017 and I’m a woman now in her mid fifties. I should be getting my nails manicured and awaiting details of grandchildren near and afar. But old dogs don’t like new tricks and I’m pretty much an old dog at this stage, plus I never slowed my roll enough to pop out the first kid, so if a grandchild showed up it would be hell holy miracle. As for the nails, my destination held no future or purpose for a fancy shaping and a fresh coat of polish. I was doing as I’ve always done and heading to the horses . Those gentle beings of peace and power I’d enjoyed in solidarity with many like minded women across the nation, oh give me a break, around the world for as long as my memory serves.  13690803_1037510816324545_5437322099073137052_n

Now I know many of my business compatriots tend to think a lady of my advanced age and obvious sophistication would be delicately sipping chardonnay and discussing the latest fashions on a patio overlooking a vibrant cityscape on a Friday night. Wrong. A lady of my advanced age and sophistication is whipping her car in to a country convenience store to pick up a twelve pack of beer and two of those she will not delicately sip, but she will slam back as she walks barefoot through the pasture to catch her fat horse.  Once beer two has been chugged the lady of advanced age and now possibly dubious sophistication will feel pretty darn confident that she can just climb on her horse bareback and ride it back to the barn to be saddled. The story might sound a bit better if she rode the fields in a daring manner and  bareback. But a lady of advanced age needs the saddle bags for the rest of the twelve pack.

Now all that being said, there’s possibly nothing better on this earth as I see it than being out under the sky with a summer slick horse between my legs, the sounds of the cicadas singing in the treetops and a cold beer in my hand. Out on this rich black earth I’ve watched the corn go from tender sprouts to giant stalks waving high above my head. I’ve seen a million fireflies dance in the forest that lines the riverbanks and the thick Junes bugs dance in the grasslands . I’ve raced many a storm home across the pastures with lightning cracking across the skies and thunder roaring in the distance. Though I consider this land blessed it often  seems like a million degrees with a hundred percent humidity out in these rich Carolina fields. Even with the cooling of the evening hours sweat still rolls down your chest and drips from your legs. My sassy steed always has a slick sheen of perspiration across her glossy  coat after a day in the sun. The slightest breeze is the most sacred of gifts and from that one is instantly reminded the smallest of things truly count. By this time  I’ve watched the lily pads in the ponds go from vibrant circles of green cast upon the blue black canvas of the water, to green circles with brilliant blooms of pink and white. Crops have sprung to life, kissed the skies for a brief time and fallen to the harvest as rode the edges of their domain  on many a sultry Friday night.  But just like the days in that shimmering summer sun have etched a few more lines upon my face and freckles upon my skin. The memories of those dusky rides have will forever remain the core of my being and that which carries me when the nights become long and the days become short.


So on this first day of Fall as the seasons meld into one another and Summer recedes into the past, this lady of advanced age who gives not a whit about sophistication is still going to shed her panty hose at five o’clock, pick up a twelve pack and head for the horses. Yes, she’ll slam two down on the way to catch her fat horse , she’ll look at the leaves just starting to turn with the first blush of Fall and she’ll decide not to ride in bareback this time , but to enjoy the stroll.12295308_903397193069242_7256518864315359349_n


This day more than that, or more than those which had come before. I  loathed the thought of leaving. I preferred it back here in my realm of giant oaks and slowly moving waters. The trill of the crow in a far off treetop, the song of the cicada heralding in another day and the  softness of the moist sea air as it caressed my skin are the music to which I dance. The partitions between the times are thin here on the creek. One can hear the jingling of the coach horses harness of many moon times ago as easily as the croaks of the bullfrog on the waters edge today. It’s that proclivity I have to drift between the worlds past and those of now that is and always has been my fiercest addiction.

Nature with all her free wheeling souls has put no boundaries upon time and each of her loyal subjects lives with out fear of  a certain hour of the day. This is far more than I can attest to my fellow beings in the human world. That would be , according to a certain blue jay, why their ability to swing between realms is nominal or non existent. Now on this thick Sunday morning one must take the rantings of such a vivacious bird into hard account. Nature holds tight to her own and allows them gifts that humankind has long since left behind, yet covets with all their being. I tossed a large hunk of heavily buttered , strawberry jam laden bread his way, a reward for his insight and also his compassion for he knew I was one of the few that prowled the corridors of time and that I hated the return to the clocks. Those devices humanity had engineered to propel them ahead in hopes of attaining more power and control. Yet, they had lost the magic of history  along with the songs of the past , not the chorus mind you, but the gentle whispers of life. My Jay floated down from the moss laden branch upon which he held court and proceeded to pick apart his tasty offering.

The black brackish waters of the creek off to the side of  my porch, the place that was my haven, where I allowed myself the treat of drifting, had started to ripple. A signal that what had been a thick fat vein of water was starting a return to the sea. The Jay finished his morsel giving me the head tilted, bright eyed glance that I expected from such a delightful fellow. We both knew well the mothers heartbeat and that not far from our lush forest eyrie the tide was receding from the lands. Out on the beaches  waves would be starting to crash and roil as the sea pulled back . A lover slowly withdrawing what had been a long life giving kiss to the coasts of this rich landscape. There would be a scurry in the depths as the fishes raced back towards the big waters so as not to be trapped and vulnerable in the deceiving eddy pools left behind as the waters retreated. The deep creek dwellers would be awakening to begin their  search for the mornings repast on the soon to be exposed banks of thick black plough mud. I  shivered to my core as my modern humanity induced nature reminded me that it would soon be time to leave my idle for that restraining world of walls I so resented. Yet I so needed for the laws of this time said I must if I cared continue my existence. s1

My Jay gave a leap catching the air with one flap of his wings and returned to the branch where a free Blue Jay could look down upon an enslaved human. The glisten in his eyes intimated to me his amusement for it seemed  so many humans thought they were so smart . As  I met his eyes the harness of the coach horses jungled with the restless stamping of their feet and then faded into the heavy thud of the car trunk being closed. It was time, the snake that was the highway would soon embrace me in its venomous grip and the poison of the walled times would begin it steady debilitating drip into my veins. The bullfrog on the bank silenced what had been his steady croak, the crow’s trilling had subsided when the waters of the creek had begun their outflow to the sea and there on a gentle Sunday morning , myself and the Blue Jay locked eyes for not a moment in time, but for a moment in many.  You’re right I said to him as I rose to leave. Its time to flee the walls of steel, cement and millisecond’s. Its time to drift through the many prisms that are the realms and dance with the worlds within, take succor from the magic lost in history and engineer the catapult that breaks through the prison walls.   Yes, the highway is today, but tomorrow with be a soft dirt path. s3

Roses to run for….


What the heck has happened to the Kentucky Derby? The Run for the Roses? My Old Kentucky Home? Where are those folks that prayed over a blue grass field on a cold January day as a new foal tested its legs on the winter hard ground? A smile of understanding on their faces as legs new to this world found their strength and gave flight to the babe across grasses green. Where are those who live and breathe the scent of fresh pine shavings and horse sweat as the summer heat swelters in across the pastures? They struggle, they budget and they do without, yet they embrace the passion of something deeply encoded in their DNA and keep going even though the odds are long. All I’ve seen today is some sort of detached Red Carpet Gala. Who’s wearing who’s what and who’s with who. Where are those who mucked the stalls and mowed the fields, cutting back here and there in hopes that young colt they’d been raising could run for greatness? But Oh look Boink Boink has on Givenchy!

Well to be honest I’ll tell you where they are, or to be more correct where we are. We’ll be the tired lady who’s pulled a 60 hour week in a world we detest, but the one who does it with a smile because it allows us to be here. No not sipping champagne and hoping to be the next viral hashtag of the moment. But here, here in the seedy sale barns and desolate kill pens that are located all over this land. We won’t be dining on Lobster or winking at Billionaires. We will be cracking that ninety nine cent can of Vienna Sausages and watching the kill buyer. Yes, if we’ve got to wink, we might and yes, if we’ve got to do more, well, we may. But somewhere this side of a Lady on TV with more names than a Hanoverian Warmblood Stud who’s telling us the pedigree of her billion dollar bet. We will be the ones with our hearts caught in our throats as a beat up, half-starved relative of Hanoverian ladies billion dollar bet stumbles into the auction lot. We will hope and pray. Sometimes we’ll remember the payday loan place we passed a while back, add, subtract and calculate that we’ll have the money the pull the beaten soul from this hell. Somewhere in the back ground we’ll hear the semis rumble as they fire their engines and get ready for long, cold, waterless, hungry, journey to the north. We will smell the diesel, our blood will run cold. A journey that will carry the beat up, half-starved gray filly a relative of the fancy ladies bet, north to have a bolt shot through her head. Dead or not even quite, she’ll be chopped, minced and packed. Brilliant eyes will shine no longer, a gallant heart will beat no more and hooves will never again find their flight across the grassy green earth. But oh look, Edna Farquar Mills Helms Rosenburg Jones is wearing a daringly short skirt at age 78. Who’s it by?

The winds will blow, the kill buyers will shout and the scared filly will run up and down a 20 ft lot. Miles away surrounded in glory and grandeur a well attired man will smile to himself as he places his money on a colt. More money than the lady in sale barn has ever known. He does it simply because he likes the dam’s name. The same dam that gave life and nurture to the terrified filly now shuddering under the vicious crack of the sellers whip as she runs back and forth with nowhere to go. The well attired man sends a text to his well-heeled buddies to take the gamble on the colt upon which he’s laid his thousands. At the same moment the tired lady places a post on Facebook to her friends begging for money, if she just had enough she can save the gallant gray filly. The filly, it’s in her eyes, she has fire, and she deserves a chance. The whip cracks again and the scared filly runs.

A busy café in downtown Manhattan. The place to see and be seen. Two wealthy businessmen dine on filet mignon, sucking down gin and tonics. They both grasp their phones as the incoming texts vibrate the table. Their well attired boss at the Derby just gave them a line on a horse encouraging them to place a wager. The waitress at the bar, waiting on another round of gin & tonics, cringes at their stares and checks her phone. She sees the post, a wild eyed gray filly scared to death, in a kill pen in Montana, a lady she’s never met, but has followed her threads needs money. She’s trying to save the starved terrified filly. She loads the drinks on the tray and heads back to the businessmen. They are not so busy texting that they forget to ogle her. She smiles to herself, here you go girl, maybe I won’t ever run free, but by God in Heaven, you will. She smiles at them and leans in close as she serves their libations. She cannot stand their eyes upon her, nothing more than an item for their play, but she sees the filly spinning in the kill lot, hears the crack of the whip and decides her path. The men smile as their phones go off once again, the well attired man informs them of the windfall. The bet he made on the horse by simply the name of the dam had paid off. They smiled, polished off their drinks, asked for her number which she gave and left her a more than generous tip. In busy café in downtown Manhattan a waitress makes a call.

The lady at the sale barn cold and exhausted raises her hand, offering her last dollars in a final plea to save gray filly terrified for her life. It’s not enough, her world spins. Her phone vibrates, a girl in New York who she’s never met has the balance, and she’s sending it now. She places the bid, the filly turns sharp in the far corner of the pen and crumples to her knees as the whip licks her sweat tendered flesh. Time stands still as the words “Sold” echo across the pen. They did it, one tired lady, one fed up waitress and somewhere unbeknownst to him, a well attired man, saved a filly to run free another day. Oh but did you hear? Instagram sensation Lula broke a seventeen thousand dollar heel coming back from the paddocks and had a wardrobe malfunction.

So what have they done to our Derby? But more than that, what have they done to our horses and to us? In any case a well-dressed Billionaire has just decided to go into the horse business deciding to follow a certain mare’s bloodline. A waitress in Manhattan has just packed her car, picked up her last check and is rolling for Montana. One exhausted lady is kicked back in her pick up eating the last can of Vienna Sausages with a tired gray filly munching hay happily in her two horse trailer and damn they taste good. The woman with more names than a Hanoverian stud? She doesn’t give a crap, but hey neither do we.


Funny how they  failed to sense us. How they did not see us coming ,nor felt our heartbeat. How they ignored us. Those who did not dance in the light but stoked the fires that made it shine. Yet they did not. So we watched, we worked, lived, loved, laughed and waited. Oh yes, they ate the costly roe of the sturgeon and drank the gilded bubbles born of the chalk hills. But we were always there. A grease stained paper bag of biscuits on a wood smoke scented morning, full of heart and sustained with passion written in our souls since birth. Yet today they scream, shrill and penetrating. How did we? How could we? Don’t we see? Well my dears. Yes, yes we did. We saw very clearly and very well.

After time upon time of being told “who we were” what we felt and how we should think. The people of this great Country cocked their heads to the side and said “We know who we are, But who are you?” You’re alien to us, you who dictate from your pedestals who we should be. Allow me to clarify in the most explicit of ways exactly who we are.

We are the young girl in her twenties, slathering on lotion so her legs will be soft in her first apartment. A simple place she can call her own, no it’s not much, but it’s cozy. It’s enough for her to have time with the man she loves. A space to find herself and find out if the blue jeaned, flannel draped fella she’s felt a connection with will be able to take it to the next level. Not a whole lot, marriage, children .Maybe their futures will hold more, but for her a small place full of love will be enough.

We are the mechanic on a hot August afternoon, sweat stung eyes, aching back, looking for the 5 o’clock hour when he gets his pay check. Hoping there’s enough left over after the bills are silenced for a thick grilled steak and few cold beers. A gentle rub with a work worn hand on the silk soft head of his youngest as he watches the sun set over the valley and he finds the strength to go another week.

We are the second generation rancher who’s felt the drought coming and dug a pond in the corner pasture for his cattle to refresh themselves and drink, only be told by some wall eyed hippopotamus in Birkenstocks from the EPA that this is not his right. He gently bows his head, looks toward his rangeland and returns the rafts he bought for his children to the store.

We are the young girl whose horse,( which had been her wings she was young) colicked on a trail ride one July morn. Her joy of just making the cheerleading squad at the local high school shattered by the harshness of reality. A young one whose tears flowed, for her family had not the money for the vet to save him. (Fear not for, magic is reachable and I tapped the well, she kept her friend.)

We are the people of this big, great, once free land that know exactly who “We are” So when we receive the checks for our hours of labor, see the dollars, be they many or few, each and all in its effect, seized and utilized to our detriment, we rear like a stallion on the mesa and strike out.

We are not you in the concrete towers, we are man and metal, worn and beaten. We know a good dinner after church on Sunday, the hugs of a child, and the hope of each and every sunrise. So no, you did not see us coming, but we heard a clarion call loud and clear. A man for whom we’d have paid no attention reached out to us, a man from, yes, a gilded tower. But a man in the truest sense of the word. A man with the foibles of his existence, yet a leader with nobility, fire and brilliance. He had all in all the definition of kings and towers, but he looked through his window and saw us. The sweating mechanic, the love struck woman hope for the future blazing brilliantly, the farmer letting his ranchland run dry, and yes the hopeful cheerleader who learned that magic was real that day in the hot Carolina pines.15826343_1186917394717219_5263238553884853353_n

So as the Year of Our Lord 2017 comes upon us, we have been returned to the light. Hopefully mankind returns to freedom. The future is on the shoulders of the individual for we are not a collective and the power that emanates from each and every free choice is the one and the all. Unity of fragments verse the pulsating existence of one. Run the numbers. But I have great hope for your future. Please Make America Great Again, kill the parasites and cauterize the wound for this mage is tired and there are fish to feed in another realm.