Welcome to my blog Upstate Girl, (a.k.a Follow Your Bliss Part II), I am an independently published author. This blog is all about writing and the stuff that inspires me to write, the joys and obstacles that come along with the writer's life, and my fascination with the psychology of people and what makes them tick...the human condition, as is...and my love for words, playing with them and making sense of them...and I throw in a few photos from my acre of the world just to make things pretty...sometimes there are things I have no words for, only pictures will do.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

When it rains, it pours...no shit.

Discarded No. 1, 8/9/2011

Discarded No. 2, 8/9/2011

Discarded No. 3, 8/9/2011

Discarded No. 4, 8/9/2011

First of all, thank you for your kind comments and emails to me, I really appreciate your wishes and sympathies...it does help in that quiet way, I did receive some sense of buoyancy.from your thoughts.  The month of August has been a very strange period in my life...the loss of my mother was the major, life changing event, and then three weeks later my poor father had an accident at home, breaking his right hip...not a good thing for an 84 year old man to deal with at this point in his life while still suffering from the heart ache of losing the love of his life...but perhaps the nasty irony is, he's now forced to think of himself in a different way. During the days following the funeral, he had been managing all right, being forward thinking, and learning that being alone at home with his new reality...my father is a very contemplative and curious fellow, and yet, has managed to maintain a sweet innocence about life that is very matter of fact. The good news is he made it through the surgery to fix the hip, the surgeon was please with how everything went together, but now the long unknown road to recovery commences. His long term chances are 50-50. His survival will rely on his spirit and the determination to return home...he's made it known that he hates lying around, and he wants to go home...baring complications, I believe he will go home. Now the hard part for me was leaving him to take care of me. Between the crappy FMS flareups and troublesome sciatic nerve pain because of that dang bulge in the L4/L5 disc in my back I'm quite the little pain-ball at the moment...most of it being my own fault for not being good to myself during this difficult time. Thankfully, being my father's daughter, it is my stubborn spirit and determination that will keep me going forward in spite of adversity...


Discarded No. 5, 8/9/2011
The photos are from my parent's yard in Lyons, NY...of all things, their compost heap. These are perhaps the last things that my mother clipped and tossed in there before she passed away... and as of yesterday, the lawn mower man came and has since added grass clippings on top of the discarded flowers from the funeral, of which I did not get to photograph before I left yesterday...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Loss...feeling lost...

My Mother's bed 8/2/2011
 My Mother passed away on August 3rd due to the inter-cranial bleeding from a stroke that put her into a coma on August 2nd, Janie was 80 years old. She got up that morning, made her bed, went about her daily routine until she complained to my father that she didn't feel well, and suddenly she fainted, and never woke up. Although it was very unexpected, I believe she knew her time was coming. She hadn't been ill at the time, she had been doing well since she had a TIA last January, a warning shot over her bow you could say, she had briefly lost her eyesight but gained it back quickly and resumed her life as a folk artist, painting was one of her joys in life. Her doctor was monitoring her and I believe she was due for an appointment in September...although some of us had noticed some forgetfulness and repeating herself during conversations, she seemed to be chugging along fine on her own steam, she was such a lively little lady no one suspected a thing...we knew if she didn't feel good she'd say so because she was a squeaky wheel when things weren't right in her world. My poor father has been left behind, and the rest of her family and friends in shock, who would've thought that she would up and die so suddenly, but yet, this would be the way she'd prefer it...to leave the world while still in motion, she would have made a terrible patient...


A is for Angels...this was in the Comfort Room where she spent her final hours...it was very appropriate as she loved angels.

We buried her on August 9th, and the sky opened up and poured rain almost all day long, it was pretty awful out, and I'm sure Janie would have been ticked off by the "shitty weather" on the day of her funeral.
The flowers from the funeral 8/9/2011
 We brought home the flowers and set them on the front stoop as we unloaded them from the cars, they looked so pretty there we left them as a tribute...
The garden
 This is the house that I grew up in, my father built it...of course with the help of several local craftsmen and laborers...it is a sweet little house, tho' at times I wonder how five of us lived in there without killing each other...I was outside most of the time, a roamer from dawn to dusk...I came home for meals and when the street lights came on...my mother had an iron school bell to call me home with when I was needed...I could hear it from a mile away...if not more. I've been told on more than one occasion this past week how much I resemble our Janie...I am, after all, Laura Jane...what a rebel name...yes, I am my mother's daughter, and there were times we didn't see eye-to-eye, there were times it seemed we couldn't exist in the same space because we were too alike and sometimes that isn't a good thing, but as we've aged we've gotten on better, and I loved calling her up and letting her talk because she was such a treat to listen to, a chip off the old block of her father, Gordon...I'm just the latest version of them both and Great Grandma too, but with a good blend of my father to balance things out just enough so the chip isn't so jagged that I'd miss the block too much...
Impatiens in an enamel coated metal colander, she planted these special this year and was very pleased about how well the flowers were doing in this arrangement...

I saw this the morning after she passed...a sweet little still life in the garden
 
The porch, with all of her things...
Although she's gone, she is everywhere we look in her house. Goodness knows, I will miss her every day for the rest of my life...I've had to "talk" to her a few times to ask her "What did you do with your wedding picture, Mom?" I found it tucked away in a photo album, the frame must've gotten broken...it took only patience to find it, and I found a second copy of it in a paper bag in the hall closet, full of photos from her mother's house after her father died...I am the finder of lost objects, except when it's my own things...(I do find them eventually in the last place I look, just like everybody else.) The photos that I found are treasures that will be comfort to us all...


My mother was a folk artist, she painted many beautiful things, usually on old wooden boxes, boards, bowls, benches, stools, chairs, and other odds n' ends that she'd find...and she won prizes at the New York State Fair. My sister and I will make certain that her entries are delivered this week as scheduled, she would've wanted us to do that...


Her final piece.
This is the last piece she worked on, it is the lid of a picnic basket, featuring historical buildings in our home town Lyons NY where she lived all of her life. All that was left to do is to finish the Wayne County Courthouse, and I've been asked to finish it for her...I couldn't work on it yet, but I will make a special trip home to take care of it...I need a little time to fill the hole left in my life, get back to something resembling "Normal"...and help my siblings settle our father into his new routine without his Janie, this isn't going to be easy, we're playing it by ear, hoping he can stay at home for as long as he wants to and for as long as he's able.