Sunday, February 22, 2009

Photo for Bear Essentials

This photo was added late.
Fred's 2 Grandmothers with Ed's Bear.

And the caption on the back. Enjoy. It made me think the thoughts that led to Bear Essentials.

Edward's Bear
Me and a friend of mine from Michigan
We had fun all dressed
up in Overalls and
hunting coats and guns.

Bear Essentials

Bear Essentials
by Mary E. Gerdt

Bear Essentials, The market's down,
We hope for more as we gripe and frown,
And wonder where all our money went,
That we know could have been better spent.

Bear essentials, They are big beasts,
Slow to move, quick to feast,
Oily, slippery lovable pets,
They turn on you, they cause regrets,

Of staying long when you should have gone short,
Of thinking fighting bear is a simple sport,
Because bears lay around until in a start,
They rear up and bite you and tear you apart.

They might sleep in winter but are known to awake,
Be careful it's not of you they partake.

Bear essentials, supply and demand
and fear makes the market,
Hang in if you can.

Bear essentials, the beast will need rest,
Then bring on the bull,
Get us out of this mess!

Best wishes on you portfolio. Hey, who robbed it anyway?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Postcards from the edge

We read Meandering in South America and was thrilled at the graphic imagery Mariah detailed as she saw literally the pit of Hell. The sulfur smell was a nice touch as well as the play by play. I felt like I was there! Thanks Mariah!
Then I found this blog that is special fun:
A wonderfully sharing woman who has images of the old postcards of yesteryear.
They are fun to just peruse and appreciate the playful artwork.
Do you remember buying postcards wherever you went and sent them home for a message, a cancelled stamp with the town and the town's symbols?
And bought a few for local pictures? We have sent some postcards, but certainly not like I did when younger. I still like to have a few from an area we visit to remember a special time. The early 1900 postcards were often like a substitute for phone, email or blackberries. Slow, very slow. Still effective in sending a message with just a few words and the energy expended by picking out the right card and the right words while you are dashing around new surroundings. Blogs are the postcards of yesteryear. The pictures, energy and messages here, I hope, will extend far into the future like the 100 year old postcards.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Abraham Lincoln's birthday

There I stood in the fourth grade, my brownie camera loaded with film. Clicking pictures with excitement. Our class took a long bus ride to Springfield Illinois to the museum and state house. The brownie camera photos etched in my mind, the paper versions long lost to childish neglect. Pictures of us each holding what we bought at the museum store.
Looking at all the Lincoln memorobilia. We always had a life-sized bust of Lincoln at school. I used to run my hands over his face and head. I liked the way the smooth stone felt.
Every classroom in Illinois had Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy pictures up on the wall. I would just stand and stare up at them. Wonderment would be a good word, or Awe. Now he is 200 years old. Born in a remote cabin. Hard work, persistence and some luck I suppose brought him to be one of the all time great presidents and icon for little schoolgirls like myself.
Much older now, I also think his war changed my life in subtle or not so subtle ripples. My mother telling of my great great great grandfather who died in the battle of Shiloh, one of the bloodiest battles of the civil war. I wondered how he died. From a lead ball, infected wound, or dysentery? He likely spoke broken English and bohemian. His wife had a hard time getting widow's pension because they had changed his name to Green from Myrtengren. Eventually, Mom said, she got $5 a month for her and her 4 children. Mom still carried the pain of memories passed down about a war that left a new immigrant widow to fend for her and her 4 children. Part of me wondered how the pain could pass through the generations to my Mom. That is how war is. The pain is so severe and deep that it trickles down until later generations may wonder what was the big deal? Mothers tell children of the sorrow. loss and pain, hoping the children will make peace when they see war coming. With tears mothers send their sons and daughters to wars praying someday it will come to an end and that someone will remember their sacrifice. Men know war can be an inevitable struggle to right what can be terribly wrong.
But the war makes all suffer and the memory is important so as to prevent future war if we can.
I am sure that Lincoln, too, suffered through the war with ambivalent feelings of a man sending thousands to die for a cause he believed was worth the destruction.
Mom, I hope I got all the details right.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Virgil Caine

We were delighted to be co-co-adopters of a female golden eagle named Virgil Caine.

Her name is special to us as we are serious Levon Helm fans who think Virgil resembles Levon a little.

We watch her progress thanks to and friends who sent us our adoption papers as a special gift.

She undoubtedly flies very near here on her annual migration and we will be watching for her this year. I think she probably flies past Levon Helm's place in Woodstock as well, traveling up the Hudson eating trout and up the Champlain Valley eating salmon and ducks and then up the Seaway to the Bay of Fundi.
Wish her luck.
Just many parents. No weaning. No custody battle. She's on her own already and has the perfect lifestyle following the nice weather from the Virginia highlands to Nova Scotia and back.
We think of you often, Virgil Caine

Friday, February 6, 2009

Notes on Plain as the Sky

Date: Eve of 2010.
Did you think we would make it? Did you think it would be like this? How is it anyway? Are you eating? Going really without? If you are not managing essential needs, seek help at your local Medicaid office. If you are eating and managing basics, be grateful. Conserve and pray for better days.

Notes on Plain as the sky.
Authors must all still have notes with scribbles, doodles, even with computers and weird looking accesories kids and some adults are hypnotized by. Thankfully I am not connected to the blackberry.
Here are my notes that I never wrote down.
The plain sky is because we have been doing old jigsaw puzzles and the sky is the bear. The worst was the Big Ben Clipper ships with huge sky and square edged pieces. With objects on the ground having colors, shapes and features, the sky can look plain at times. I like to think of clear summer days like the one in the photo. Blues and soft whites.
The light on the snow is plain. Simple light. The snow is a little glazed which makes the reflection sharper, more concentrated.
When I was shoulder height to my oldest brother David, we stood outside in the yard on 128 E. High. He shined a light up in the sky and had me do it. He said, "The light will go across the universe and someday in a long time, it will come back to you." He is now a successful and talented scientist whom I will always admire. Perhaps as much for him giving me hope and something to ponder as anything else. The rest of the poem: the thoughts of what might be and what is to many. And what do you think the light means? I leave that for you to ponder.
Mary Gerdt February 2009