When Heaven Becomes Hell or Something Like That

When Heaven Becomes Hell or Something Like That

I have always had an addictive personality I think. Put more positively I guess I would have to say I am passionate. That sounds better!

As a child I read and read and read and that is one passion that remains today.  Back then it was the dreaded Uncle Arthur’s bedtime stories previously mentioned in No! No! Please No More Bedtime Stories!, Trixie Belden, anything by Pearl S. Buck..well the list is endless.

Lately I have blogged on some of my current favs which includes Stephenie Meyer and the whole Twilight thing.  The first I even knew about this series was the six o’clock news sometime ago, which showed a bunch of tweenies lined up to see the first movie.  The minute vampires were mentioned I shut the set off and muttered at great length to myself about the disgusting situation of the world and it’s youth and how no good could come out of the downward spiral society was on.  

That Christmas my daughter-in-law gave me…yup..the first Twilight book.  

So came my Cullen passion and it has not abated.  I have every book including The Short life of Bree Tanner.  I have on my desk top the leaked copy of Midnight Sun which Meyer posted since it was already out there and chose not to finish.  The books are filled with anticipation, mystery and myth.  Her character development is intense and in depth. The set has been a reread again and again seeking out what was said before that hinted at something explained two novels later.

Now my last two weekends have been reading marathons, barely poking my head out of the book, never mind the door.  So today I took myself in hand and sternly made myself go for a walk.  Fresh air – well as fresh as it can be – no books, no iPad, just a good old fashioned walk. No coffee shop because that meant reading and sipping.

I ended up at a mall, and not being a shopper I still entered and practiced the art of browsing, like normal people do, and bookstores were not allowed.  I strolled the whole mall and decided I needed something from Wal-Mart.

For the life of me I can’t remember what it was because as soon as I stepped in the door something unknown took over and stupefied me, and forced me, I swear, to approach a large table with BOOKS.  I could see it coming and reached way down deep, where pure grit resides, to prepare myself.  Why I could handle this.  I would look but not touch.  I would be master of  these insane urges for words, stories, poems, toilet cleaning instructions, anything.

Then I muttered a groan of agony mixed with a liberal dose of the ecstatic.  Before me lay the twilight saga: the official illustrated guide.  The first fifty-five pages are all about how Meyer came to write the story.  A total of five hundred and forty-three pages of history and detail of every character in the series.  I mean EVERY character!

I forced myself to visit my aunt for tea as planned, even though the book in the bag sang to me like a siren.  I forced myself to visit with my sister this evening,  when she arrived as invited, thinking please please just let me look at it. I even made time to read your blogs but now! Now as midnight approaches I am free to look.  

I have made myself promise it would be just a wee peek and I have every confidence that in a short time I can put it down, close the cover, have a normal night sleep, rise in the morning at a decent hour, clean my house, perhaps solve a world problem or two and then treat myself to this delicious demon of addiction.  I am sure I can.  I am. Sure.

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You-will-never-touch-our-children-again!!

Wizard

So screamed Mrs. Weasley as she took out the evil Bellatrix.  Yup I have spent another weekend lost in a story.

 
This time it was a reread of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  A reread of six hundred and seven pages that I just could not put down.  Again.  J.K. Rowling does have a way with words.
 
So at almost 1 a.m. I am ready to call it a day.
Regardless of your opinion of Wizards et al any story where right overcomes wrong is exhilarating.
 
What I like about Rowling is that her characters are not perfect – not black and white.  The best have a dark side to overcome and the worst have a chance at redemption.  And who you think is good is often not and vice versa.  And no one lives a life without some regret.
 
Now I wonder what I should read in bed to fall asleep?
I think I so have to get a life. 
Dancing would be nice. 

The Masters and Harry Potter

WizardryThe Ball
 
 
 
 
 

The Masters and Harry Potter
 
I wonder where the golfers are? I am a passionate golfer. No, I must correct that – I am passionate about golf. Not overly good but love the game, playing and watching. I think golf is the only sport I watch on TV on a regular basis. It would probably do my game some good if I watched women, but it is the men I most enjoy. Take that how you will.
 
This year’s Masters was one of the most exciting, sit on the edge of your seat, I have seen. Every year is exciting but this one more so. The game and the leads can change in the blink of an eye.
 
It almost looked like Tiger might pull out of his slump, but he just didn’t make it although he is still a crowd favorite. At one point I think there were ten players as co-lead. Then a nice young South African Charl Schwartzel took the day. I expected to see some blogs on it but did not.
 
Then yesterday the movie, The Deathly Hallows part 1 came out on cable. I missed it when it hit the theaters so made a little party of pizza and wine and Harry. Special thanks to my sister who had already seen it twice for joining me and pretending it was her first time!
 
So thanks to that green jacket and the wizarding world I have had a pretty good week!

What I Lack….

What I Lack

This was the only choice for me in this challenge.  Mostly because what I lack is so overwhelming.  It all comes down to one thing.  And that one thing is the source of all lackness.

If we lack confidence it is because of IT.
If we lack money it is because of IT.
If we lack happiness it is because of IT.
If we lack beauty it is because of IT.
If we lack peace within it is because of IT.
If we lack wisdom it is because of IT.

I have had IT sporadically but because it comes and goes and I can never hang on to IT I seek IT.  But obviously not with fervor or I would have IT all the time.
I love IT when I have IT.  I hate IT when I don’t.
When I don’t have IT I can never figure a way to get IT.
IT just seems to show up and I revel in the wonderfulness.

Nuts…..if only I could figure IT out?
You can’t beat Willpower!

The Woman on the Train and What is Wrong with Enlightenment

Peace

The Woman on the Train and What is Wrong with Enlightenment

Last year I travelled to Toronto by train every day for three days. The first morning I chatted with a woman, not the one in the title, but a very nice gal who was a teacher doing some work for the Ministry of Education.  She was fascinating and we clicked.  Going home that evening I saw her again at the train station and we picked up our conversation from the morning.  This went on each of the three days.

When I got to the station at the end of the third day I did not see my friend right away so chatted with a pleasant woman while we waited for the boarding call.  The woman said she had been to a hospital in the city for an appointment.  I didn’t pry into her health issues and she talked a bit about her life.  There was something very strange about her, an aura, a radiating peace.  She appeared to be smiling even when she wasn’t, speaking softly but with great power and at the same time seeming amazingly humble.  I was in awe just looking at her and could not understand why.  I felt for some reason I was in the presence of greatness but could not give it definition.

I spotted my friend further down the queue and knew she would be looking for me so I excused myself even though I did not want to move.  Shaking my head in puzzlement I went to join my friend.

On the train this strange woman was sitting by herself in one of those sets of seats where four face each other.  I asked if we could join her.  We three chatted about nothing in particular.  Then this strange woman looked at me -into me-and told me her story quietly.  And all else ceased to exist.

She said her appointment had been to assess her status.  She said that her mother and two sisters had died of cardiomyopathy (a deadly heart condition).  It was genetic.  I whispered to her, “And you have it too?”
She nodded.  The only cure was a heart transplant but it could not be done until a certain point had been reached in her condition.  I knew from experience that often when patients reached that point their condition often worsened and they died before a heart came available.  And still she radiated joy and incredible peace.

My friend and I got off the train before that woman’s stop.  As we walked away, my friend asked if this condition was serious.  I told her that the woman is walking with death.

I think of her often and feel I was blessed to have been in her company.

Enlightenment – and finding it has been on my mind for a long time. I have read some things that made sense but I also read a book on enlightenment that just didn’t feel right.  It calls for us to wake up in the the morning and start jumping and yelling YES! YES!  It says that to be financially rich have friends gather around and shower us with money, literally. It said a few things that perplexed me.  It might come to your mind that I am frequently perplexed.

But then the thought came to me recently………the woman on the train was true enlightenment.  She was one with God, the universe or whatever our centre is.  No yelling.  No jumping.  Just incredible peace and joy and love and gentleness and humility.

I don’t know if I will ever see that kind of thing again.  I just know that for a short time I was closer to purity than I have ever been.  And I am humbled.

Now What Did I do with That Body?

Yes I lost a body. Well I didn’t exactly lose it myself. I just didn’t know where it was.
 
A few decades ago (I love being old enough to talk in decades), I was an evening supervisor of a hospital. It was a great job. In those days staffing was stabilized and when we were busy we worked like crazy. When things slowed down so did we. Nowadays as soon as there is a dip in activity nurses are redirected so they always function at peak levels. There is no restorative period and this leads to exhaustion, depression and a general dissatisfaction.
The only exception to this is still critical care areas where the one to one ratio still exists.
 
Most of the employees were happy then, regardless of what went on in their personal lives, and the evening shift in particular seemed that way. My job was to make rounds, act as a resource, teach and mentor. It was a pleasure to go to work!
 
We had a procedure, of course, for when a patient died. The doctor was called in to pronounce, the nurses contacted the family and confirmed arrangements such as which funeral home.
 
One evening a family doctor was called for such an event. He was an old country doc from a little village outside the city, and most of his patients were of his generation. These were people he took on when a fresh new GP forty years previously. And they all aged together. And they were friends.
 
He phoned the family and promised to stop by their house on the way home. He also told me he wanted to get the funeral home details. It was a sad time as he was also grieving a friend, but it also was heart warming and I agreed.
 
About an hour later I got a call from switchboard saying the funeral home staff had arrived to pick up the deceased. About an hour after that they called again to inform me the death certificate had been left behind. So I head up to the floor to ask the nurse the name off the Home. She didn’t know and neither did other staff or switchboard or the orderlies or the gardener. There was no gardener. But no one knew.
 
One cannot proceed with a funeral without a certificate. One cannot proceed with anything!
 
Well I’m figuring I am a pretty smart cookie. After all I am the boss. Think Chris. Think. So I pull out the yellow pages and start calling funeral homes. After the first dozen calls I realized two things: this wasn’t going to be so easy, and the ever kind compassionate soft voiced Directors of such establishments aren’t so pleasant when the business isn’t theirs.
 
Finally I completed the list with no success. I tried outside the city – no luck.
I tried calling the doc but he wasn’t home and did not carry a pager.
 
There was only one call left to make and it had to be done carefully and tactfully.
 
I called the family.
 
Introducing myself I gave my condolences and talked about things that the patient had said during his hospitalization and asked where he would be resting. They were so glad for my call and after a chat gave the info I needed.
 
It was a Home forty miles away!
 
Everything got done. And I learned that when a family does not come to hospital following the death of a loved one, to give them a call. It was a rough way to discover that the care we deliver goes beyond the confines of any hospital.

I Have a Dream…I mean..

Mr. Shatner

I Have a Dream….. I mean ….

I had a dream. And it is unusual for me to remember my dreams and I realized that in the deepest dark of night. So I argued with myself about waking up just a little to write it down. It took a bit of persuading as I like my slumbers and hate disturbing them but finally I convinced myself.

This is what I wrote verbatim….
I had a
dream
bombs
Melbourne St.
William Shatner
Armaey. (don’t even ask..I have no idea)
tears
unknown
son
funygSOL
daughter
Jane
Allens
Mum
(arrow drawn to the word) secrecy
drive way
driveway
u were a nurse right?
did you ever have to take care of soldiers in the fields
by taking your clothes off

I am not sure I will write down anything again whilst in the land of nod. The worst of it is I remember dreaming of other things that were more interesting but I simply would not listen to me when I needed to get up again to write it down.

AND the dream was going quite well with a very nice looking chap when all of a sudden I looked up and he had turned into a lecherous William Shatner who wanted to talk me into disrobing!

Nuts. Could have been the cold I had, or the soup or even the licorice. All I know is that the man of my dreams evolved into one not so much of my dreams.

Have you ever tried writing down midnight thoughts and actually been able to read them the next day? Or, since I am seeking info, how many dream of Mr. Shatner? Not that that is a bad thing. I quite like him as an actor. He does do lechery very well.
 

In Bed with Clive

Where I would rather be with Clive.

Usually when I feel a cold coming on I take ColdFx and it never comes to fruition.  I did not do that this week.

Now I have a cold.  Probably the first in several years.  So I hiked off to the store, stocked up on soup, the aformentioned med, and red licorice.  As a nurse I know red licorice heals all.  Well, I figured it would help my scratchy throat.  Its too bad everything is tasteless today.  But I have persisted.  After all the saying is feed a cold, starve a fever.  I hope I did not get that backwards? Cause I have been feeding.

When I was in shopping I came across Clive just begging to come home with me.  How could I resist?  I had already decided to spend the day resting and while he never fails to raise my interest I find him also comforting.

Truth be told it is not Clive himself who draws my interest but Juan.  Juan Cabillaro.  So I have spent the afternoon and early evening with these two charming men.

Thank you Clive Cussler and your hero in The Silent Sea for making my day better.

PS Now you really did not believe for even a minute that it could be anything except a really good book?

Some Swim with the Fishes

Fishes

Some Swim with The Fishes

I swim with a small group of elderly folk. Now before some of you youngsters out there start to roll your eyes and chuckle, these guys are like twenty and thirty years older than I.

I am fortunate to live in a lovely building that has a large indoor pool, gym, sauna, hot tub..well you get the idea. And every morning I swim. Okay, okay..since I have come to love y’all I’ll tell the truth. I swim four or five times a week. But in my mind I swim every day.

When I started the morning thing I met a couple in their eighties who ARE there every morning. He swims leisurely and she walks around the pool. (they also hit the gym in the afternoon.)  Then comes an even older lady who exercises in the water doing stretches. The topper is a gal in her nineties who comes in with her walker. She is amazing. She does LAPS! And not just one or two but again and again. They are all an inspiration to me. And an education.

I find out when Asparagus is on sale, what market has the best sales, who is running for local government, what is making our country great and who not to vote for. I also find out an amazing amount of local gossip.

I have been in this building for four years and barely know my neighbors. This quiet little group tell me every time there has been a plumbing problem, exactly how a robbery took place, who is getting married, who is getting unmarried, well everything imaginable.

They also give me advice. I’m a kid to them. And I lap it up. They have raised families, fought in wars, immigrated, and survived cancer, death of loved ones and aging.

They are truly inspiring and it is an honor to be welcomed into their group.

Their knowledge is a little spooky though. They never ask me personal questions and I never say much but I just have this feeling they know everything.

Judith at growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com did a nice piece on
Chronology vs Biology. She is fairly new having just started her blog in March. If you get a chance please stop by and welcome her!

If You Really Knew Me…I Took an Old Friend Down Tonight

Flurries fly but I persist in believing spring is here!
It’s Thursday and time for Mama’s Losin It Writing Prompts. My choice is – If you really knew me, you would know that…..

You would know that I get hooked on books. Or more accurately hooked on words. That leads to a lot of rereading of phrases, paragraphs or the whole book. I think I may have an addictive personality.

Any way the old friend I took down was not someone I demolished in any way as the title suggested, but an old book I pull down from the shelf  now and then.

One of my addictions from about twenty odd years ago is Dean Koontz. The book tonight is a fav and it was published way back in ’88 called Lightning.
This book not for it’s first line but for the gripping tale he tells. Good suspense although the first line is pretty good.

I mention first lines because I am a sucker for them. Charles Dickens, my absolute hero was best at it. Who could forget the first line in …A Tale of Two Cities….”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch …”

Of course that story also had the most memorable last line also…”It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a …”

But for me and Mr. Koontz possibly, the best first line was in a book called Winter Moon and the line is… “Death was driving an emerald green Lexus.”

In my dreams that’s the way I want to start a book. With a line so gripping you have no choice but to dive in filled with excitement and anticipation. (Anticipation is another addiction). sigh…soon I will have no secrets from you!

Oh and just for your information I do tend to fall for any good line – but that would be another blog!

Any favorite line out there you would like to share?
 

There are no facts, only interpretations. – Friedrich Nietzsche. The truth I think that validates everything you have to say.

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