Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dust If You Must

We got back yesterday from the Memorial for my friend Georgia who found out she had a terminal brain tumor 3 years ago. It was a fine memorial and I walked away thinking what would Georgia say if she had been here to contribute? Many people had recollections of her and they were all wonderful. They said things like she was brave until the end but I had a different experience of her. She was human until the end. She was not brave. She was confused. She was angry. She was extremely sad. And she was also sometimes brave. It's ok to eulogize her as being brave until the end. I don't have a problem with that. Much. It's a bummer to pass but as Mark Twain said someone has to do it.

So I think I will videotape a short speech before I pass and have those guys play it at my memorial. I want to make a contribution, too. Don't worry. I'll try to be nice.

Life goes on as they say.

I'm going to visit my sister in Colorado. I'm really looking forward to it for a number of reasons. My sister turned out to be a really cool person who I get along with really well. Oh boy. It could have been different but it's not and for that I feel grateful. It's really nice to get along with someone who understands you and your family dynamic. It's really nice to have someone like that who you can talk to about anything and they won't judge you. Yes, I'm really looking forward to being with her. Lucky me.
She also gives me free laser treatments because she's a part time aesthetician. The treatments are a drop in the bucket of wrinkles and brown spots but I'll take whatever I can get. Also the weather is so much better out there. It's in the tolerable high 80s instead of the intolerable low 100s. She likes to do things I like to do. We're going to the best second hand store on the planet. I'm going to tell you what it is and I'm not afraid that you will get all the good stuff. There's plenty there. So here it is. It's Mile High Thrift in Denver. I don't even much look for clothes anywhere else. I see something retail and then I think, no, wait until you get to Mile High.

Then we're going to the Peach Festival and maybe learn how to line dance and walk and talk and walk and talk. Yah. We have fun.
So I'm running around trying to prepare so when Marty's here holding down the fort things won't degrade too badly. Marty is actually quite good at holding up his end of the stick. The house will be clean when I return and I'll not worry one lick about the animals. Maybe I'll worry about the plants because he has that black thumb. So I'll call him once a day and say how are the tomatoes looking? And they'll be fine.

I was out in the horse barn this morning after rounds and noticing the accumulation of dust.

I really wanted to get a rag and then I said no. I thought of my favorite poem.
Dust If You Must
by Rose Milligan

Dust if you must but wouldn't it be better
to paint a picture or write a letter?
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must but there's not much time
with rivers to swim and mountains to climb.
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must but the world's out there
with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
a flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must but bear in mind,
old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go and go you must,
you yourself will make more dust.

So what are you going to do today?


  1. Nothing but good about the dead, huh. I seriously dislike when people do that. Glorify those that died. How wonderful and brave and good they were. By taking away the dead ones' faults, they take away the real person, their face, their identity and thus take away their dignity as well.

    What I am going to do today?
    Have to "take care" of 3 more roosters and not looking forward to it....

    1. I hope it goes better for the roosters sake. Then I also hope it goes better for you. Sorry. Roosters first! :-)

    2. I just "loved" it when everybody got up and said how wonderful my dad was. Ach! He was SO mean to us kids. I wanted to yell out this is such a load of crap. You have no idea. But I didn't. However, in private conversations I told the truth. Street angel, home devil.

    3. Things did not go well, neither for them or me... but things have considerably quieted down in the chicken coop now, so it was worth it. No meat for the freezer though. Local predators and scavengers will have a feast.

  2. 'Dust if you must' must be my motto. I hate dusting, as all my surfaces can atest to.

    When my DH's father died, and he and his brother were in front of the preacher discussing the service, he asked 'Tell me about your dad." The silence was deafening, as they both struggled to find one good thing. They finally decided on "well, it was important to him to be right", which somehow that preacher twisted into "it was important to him to do the right thing." The guys just shook their heads.

  3. Boy, can I relate. I was able to come up with "He made me self reliant. He gave me backbone." He was mean as a snake and we had to get backbone or crumple up into a little ball and wither away. The key was not to get bitter and resentful while we were developing backbone. It's been a life long process. I think I've succeeded for the most part and I have my mother to thank for that. God rest her soul.