Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Sunrise always marks a new day


I've been trying to get this one written for several days now. Four days but it seems longer. Lots of life stuff keeps popping up and that's okay. This is, after all, life.

When I opened the blog this morning to have a go at writing I noticed that blooger has stamped out the work-around to legacy blooger. I'm hoping I can find a way to get back to it but I realize that even a work-around will be a temporary fix.

I've been looking around in another free(ish) blog thingamajigger and it looks as though it's a workable interface. Steep learning curve and the problem of migrating my feces over to a new place. Thinking, thinking, thinking. Not always a good thing.

In the meantime I have a post to write.

And as I wrote (most of) the following and tried to insert videos and images I noted that this platform sucks donkey dicks. "Learn to code" is supposed to be an insult to people like me who have no idea how the magic is done. But neither, it seems, do the people at grugel. I wonder if they feel slighted. I doubt it. At least no more slighted than I feel.

Bitch, bitch, bitch...


It's very smoky here this morning, but that's an autumn thing.

The other side of autumn, which you may have glimpsed in the forgoing images, is that on this October 7 the morning is achingly, breathtakingly beautiful.The look and sound and feel and smell and taste of the thing is something I'd love to be able to share. The sun is warm-warm-warm and when I went walkabout was driving air temps up from high 30's into low 60's. As sunlight warmed the ground air currents began to flow, moving smoke away from here and toward more deserving areas. Heh.

WTF is Tommy looking for?

There are a lot of fires around and that's a fact. Contrary to the certain knowledge of those who have outsourced cognition to the tee-vee/infotainment metroplex, the fires are no one's fault. It's been quite a dry year, and late-summer/autumn is the time of year when nature happens to provide a lot of fuel in the form of dried grasses and leaves and needles and other decomposing detritus.

Some kind soul...

...left the little painted rock message behind in the cornerstone of the old courthouse
Nature provides plenty of ignition sources too, in the form of lightning and ape-lizards going about their lives. Many ape-lizards are proximate causes of ignition, mostly via careless stupidity but occasionally due to malicious intent. Maliciously set fires are a crime in every sense of the word, but they are also a consequence of the masses of ape-lizards out there who are trying to exist in a representative democracy where they've turned their brains completely over to the holy tee-vee. Those firetruckers bear their own special burden of responsibility. At the same time and on a co-equal basis those ape-lizards who can and do actually think for themselves bear an their own burden of responsibility. Me included. In the land of "all men created equal" and sovereign liberty, we're all in this together.
Here there be harvester ants not marching also.

Limber Pine cone

Blue Spruce cone, which is not of course a pinecone.

To keep things in proper and real-world scale, context, and perspective, there are always big fires this time of year, and there will always be big fires this time of year. Until the next glaciation anyway. These aren't the worst fires of all time, either. They are simply the most propagandized fires of all time. Just as wuhandromeda is the most propagandized flu bug of all time.

Skinny shadow has to show off...

That little white dot thingy is the moon.

It's no good blaming any "side" and no good blaming the tee-vee/infotainment metroplex, either. In this land monkey see-monkey do can run out of control. Since none of us can own and operate our fellow merkins, what should we do?

Last hollyhock bloom of the season. She loved hollyhocks.

The rest of the blooms are seed pods now.

Probably concentrate on doing the best things for the best reasons to the best of our ability. It'll take a lot of individual effort, so most merkins will say firetruck it. So what? Either figure out best things and best reasons and then bust your ass as best you can, or don't.

To take the sting out of the rant, how 'bout a very long video?

And perhaps a shorter video of something similar?


As I write this (Tuesday) it is the morning of the day I will receive a second round of targeted lumbar spine injections for to ease the pain and other neurological symptoms of spondylotic radiculopathy.

Over the last two weeks the radiculopathy has returned with a vengeance. The pain has been severe; a solid and constant five on the zero-to-ten scale, soaring to eights and nines at times. The left sided dropfoot is back.

I've been coping via stretching and good uphill hiking and running. This gets blood flowing through thee affected areas which reduces inflammation. The exercise also makes the rest of my body feel better. Perhaps most importantly, working out washes pain toxins from my heart and soul. Gallumping along in nature's autumnal beauty is a metaphysical experience.


And now it's later (on Tuesday) and I'm back from the injections. Everything went well and my pain has been switched off. Hopefully I'll have a bit longer-lasting relief this time.

My biggest worry this morning was that I'd be an emotional train wreck. Last time Allie was with me and it was a beautiful day. This time no Allie, and I could have crashed into a lot of miserable self pity. I did not; my brother in law Drew was my driver (for some reason I need a driver following spine injections -- wtf? lol) and he helped keep me out of my memory morass.
Another thing happened that helped. The nurses (a different team this time) were all atwitter with my deep shirt-off summer tan and the amazing state of my old guy fitness and physique. It was all in good natured fun and I laughed some genuine laughs. I have a feeling Allie was rolling her eyes and laughing right along.


I've worried that writing about my sweet, crazy-beautiful, Alexzandra here; that her death and my navigation through the awfulness of grief, was in part dropping an unfair burden on you kind readers.

I still worry about that, but several of you have commented that you find my descriptions of the journey thought provoking and perhaps even helpful. I've also received several back channel coms of appreciation. Part of why I share these things is self-therapy and unburdening, and that's a fact. But I also hope my story can be helpful to some readers, and indeed this appears to be the case.

Be of good cheer, kind readers, the awfulness is easing.

Something happened during the night of September 29. When I woke on September 30, I woke to a new and fresh okayness. Somehow the tiles of grief had arranged themselves into a mosaic of acceptance. The path forward, a rocky trail leading out of the mire of shock and loss and disaster, suddenly appears to be navigable.

I am still crushed. I will never not be crushed. But now I can believe -- really believe -- in hope. The future -- unknown as it is -- no longer looks like a morass to be endured but a place for serious livin'.

Eight weeks have gone by. Two months. Sixty impossible days of existing without her voice, her touch, her glance, her loving smile. I thought those things were gone from me forever, but they are not. Reality is reality. Memory is part of reality. She is alive in my memory, alive so long as I draw breath. This is as it should be. Perhaps my sense of okayness stems from accepting reality as it is, and accepting memory as enough. It has to be enough, and it is.

She walks with me in my dreams as well, and that's an unexpected joy. At first I feared those dreams, for on waking the realization of her death was crushing. But the dreams are sweet. Why are they sweet? I don't know. But I do know that she whispered "sweet dreams" to me each night, and when we were apart she texted "sweet dreams." Coincidence? I think not.

Okayness stems also from what we had and have still. The unconditional love we shared was something remarkable and beautiful. It may have been quite a rare thing. I know it was in my life; it only came to me more than six decades into the living of the thing. The blessing of our love, our gift to each other, is far more than enough. I wanted more, She wanted more, we both wanted more. Naturally. But what we had was more than enough.


Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.


  1. I love the quality of the light in October, it softens everything.

    Seems that it's softened your pain a bit. That's a good thing.

    1. I do too. Sun angle/path/axial tilt is the same as April but the light is somehow different. Especially when weather conditions are pleasant, which is never a guarantee in October. Or April. Or any of the other months! ;-)

      Something is changing. I've never trod this path before; it's all new and strange and I'm on a journey of discovery. Has the pain softened? I'm still finding out. One step at a time I guess.

      Thanks Chris.

  2. I think Fall is my favorite time of year. Even neighborhood plants that were just "green" all Summer have exploded with color. It's their reminder to us to not forget their beauty while they sleep.

    Someone far wiser than I once wrote "Time Heals All Wounds", and it's true. Unfortunately they didn't address the H3LL you go through during that time, so sometimes the words are small comfort.

    Good the hear the shots went well. When my hip acted up early this year it got me all befuddled. There were times I had to hobble, and hit about an "8" to me on the pain-o-meter, so I understand your hurt. The Doc said I could get a cortesone shot, but it only helped about 40% of the time, and yes, it hurt. I went with PT and Naproxen, and now I'm back to being able to walk the dog.

    Hung in there.....

    1. It's a beautiful time of the year, and every year it echoes previous autumns but behave in its own unique fashion. Sometimes the change is hard and abrupt, sometimes soft and gentle. Usually somewhere in between.

      I know intellectually that time provides something resembling healing for wounds of the heart. On the one hand it will be interesting to see -- in an intellectual way -- how this plays out for me over time. As far as the hell of the experience, yeah, that's a fitting word to use. I've been really smashed before. There was no way the me who did my navy job could have avoided that. So much loss, so many fine friends and shipmates gone in an instant. But losing my Alexzandra took me right down into the deepest depths of the hell of loss. I'm climbing back into functionality and I've got real, important, and vital purpose. I'll be okay. For certain values of okay. God won't let it be too hard, and he will protect me from my own ability to make it too hard. But it sucks and it will suck as long as I keep drawing breath. Part of life though.

      This getting old pain sucks too. But it's also a sign that I'm still alive, and the way I deal with it is a challenge to continued livin', so that's good. Story I tell myself anyway... ;-)

      Thanks drjim