872

872: landline, Newton Falls.

Nah, can’t be… no one has called me from that tiny speck on the map in over 14 years ago. Who would call me? I don’t know anyone there.

I was greeted by silence, so I repeated my hello and waited for the caller to speak. Ticktock, thirteen seconds of silence followed by a soft click. Whoa.

Wrong number? Nah, they would have said something… asked for someone by name or apologized for accidentally dialing as that’s what older people with landline telephones tend to do.

Every pore of my being feels that call was not accidental.

I did the reverse lookup thing: unfamiliar names at an unfamiliar address. Then I started googling for newspaper obits, anything that might bring my old friend back to visit anyone in Newton Falls. Stray thought: maybe I’m on some old contact list… nah, the caller would have said something.

I googled his name anyway. Sigh of relief: no obit, no death notices, assume he’s still breathing.

Oh, he’s got a new Facebook page… cats, art, links to his old blog posts… he’s in a relationship, nice photo, big smiles. Good, that makes me smile.

Hey, maybe he got his shit together, got over his fear of Ohio, came to visit his family, maybe just maybe… one can only hope his most elusive dreams have come true.

Little clue: that’s what old friends DO… always hope and wish the best for you.

Friday launched an odd weekend as other phone calls and messages made me the bearer of bad news… I had to let my dad know someone was in hospice, then later call back to let him know that she died. I had to pass news on to a cousin, let her know that the elderly relative she asked about now has cancer and he was recently moved to a nursing home. And no, she cannot have first “dibbies” on his private plane as it has done been sold. Couldn’t help but smile passing on that tidbit… hold onto your memories kiddo, that’s all you get. Want a plane? Go buy your own.

Saturday started with a call jarring me from sleep in the wee hours. It was a niece in dire need of immediate assistance. I’m a disabled non-driver so all I could do was relay the message. A sister texted just before dawn to let me know that she had stepped in to do what needed done. It’s not the best solution, so there were calls and tears flying all weekend. Those old aunties can be bitchy witches.

Sorry, I’m not a fairy godmother. My magic wand is a wooden spoon. It can stir love into food, encourage ornery children to “straighten up and fly right” (ye gads, my mama’s words), but it cannot wave away the consequences of bad decisions.

Can I have a phone free Monday… just turn that thing off and hide from the world?

Oh hell no… the first call came at 5:14am and left me wide awake. I got up, made coffee, played solitaire, got into a Facebook conversation, and ate a cold chicken sandwich for breakfast. Welcome to Monday. I really should go back to bed.

Thanks for reading! Artwork is a postcard size colored pencil drawing.

Holiday & Hybernation

wpid-IMG_20140104_085441.jpgI have provisions:  milk, bread, beads, coffee, cigs, pencils, cereal, etc.   It is January.  And it is frigid  COLD here in Ohio.  The sunlight pouring through my windows is deceptive.   As I write, it is only 10 degrees Fahrenheit out there, but it feels like minus 4.  The day will warm up, but the bitter is coming.  Bing weather predicts Tuesday as the worst with a minus 14 at 8AM, then warming up to flat zero by 6PM.  Of course, that is subject to change.  Every time I glance at the weather predictions, the numbers seem to have shifted slightly.  I don’t think they really know enough to accurately predict by hour so many days ahead.

Anyway, I don’t do bitter cold well.  My bones lock up and nerves complain, so I am just going to hibernate until the weather breaks.   I will leave my apartment, but I am not leaving this building unless it becomes absolutely necessary.

So, how was your holidays?  Happy New Years, and all that jazz.

I had a good holiday.

We had a little Christmas Eve gathering with the grandchildren at my place, then I went down to Salem with the Xman.   We hung out at his new house for awhile.   It is not exactly new anymore, just new to me as I hadn’t seen it before.  He moved there after his house burned down in 2012.  With his permission, I snapped a photo of this old photo to post on Facebook with an “anyone remember these boys” just for grins, as children of two of the young men in the old photograph have children on my friend’s list.  

Left to right, the late Buck Brown, the Xman, and Billy Joe Van Cooney.

Left to right, the late Buck Brown, the Xman, and Billy Joe Van Cooney.

It’s a bad photo, but considering it is a photo of a photo that survived a fire… not bad at all.

I like this photo because it shows all three of them together. I don’t know what year this photo was taken, might have been a year or so before or even that same summer; it is hard to tell trying to base time by the Xman’s balding pattern. Bill moved to Holmes County years ago and Buck died two… no, it’s been three years now.

One of the reasons I posted it was because I wanted my daughter to see her dad as he was when I met him. Kids should get a glimpse of time before them, to see their father as just a boy hanging out with his friends.

I stayed a couple nights at my sister’s house, spent Christmas day visiting with family who lives in and around Salem, and celebrated New Year’s Eve at First Night Youngstown.  (I gave the spare badge to a neighbor who was planning on going and had yet to buy his ticket.)   At midnight, I was already home snuggled in my bed so if what you do at midnight influences the coming year, I should get plenty of rest in 2014.

If I have any resolutions for this year, it will be to make smaller art again…  here is a cell phone photo of the drawing I chopped down to 5×7 and finished on New Year’s Day.  There is a story behind the Two Faced woman, but I shall tell you that another day… a case of life infiltrating art.

Two Faced

Two Faced