The Gardens - In the Beginning

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Flashback


I've always thought adversity and heartache, burdens and misfortunes; mingled with gladness and comfort, good fortune and self-indulgence were the abstracts in life that made it all so darn super interesting…even though at times our destiny, as it unfolds, makes us want to run for our lives to the nearest exit.

Friendships, pseudo-friendships, trust, misplaced trust, believing, questioning, speculations that are sometimes obvious, other times invisible, coupled with logic, instincts, and luck…all that pretty much determines our successes and our failures, determines whether we are losers or winners…labels we sometimes attach to ourselves, but mostly to others.

Am I a success?  I’d like to think so, but it all depends on how one chooses to look at the individual and the whole.  I've had tremendous successes and I've had miserable failures.  It’s all by-products of a life lived to the max.  We can be fatalistic or we can be optimistic at how we view our lives unabridged.  Chose positive!  The other choice just leads down the wrong road to the wrong destination in a bad way.

A beautiful day as I look out my window, a day for tinkering in the gardens and relaxing on the swing with fond memories drifting through my thoughts.



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Million Little Thoughts

What if…




What if I had played it safer, would I have been all I could be?  What if I had played it chancier, would I have been all I could be?

What if I had learned to make decisions earlier in life, if I had made better choices in the beginning…would I be happier?

What if when I lost I hadn’t lost the lesson so much?

What if when I look back I could actually enjoy it a second time around?

What if I could just look forward instead of always glancing backwards…what if, what if, what if…?

I worry if I look back one more time at the complications that follow me, at least in my head, I’ll turn to a pillar of salt.  My head spins forwards and backwards a lot these days.  Maybe I should watch The Exorcist and take a few pointers, or wait…did that really have any kind of good ending?



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ms. Butterfinger Trippytoes - Mistress of the Gardens






I wish,
I wish,
I wish,

no rain would fall on my garden ground
until all the grass was mown down
and
weeds heaped in a dreadfully high mound 
and
every plant was pronounced fit and sound
and
.
.
.




Phooey!
Shuck-ems!
Pfft!
Kaput!
.
.
.

Silly me
.
.
.
by then all that could be seen
of my once-upon-a-time leafy green
would be a Sahara desert scene
cause I'm stuck on impossible dreams
a master of disaster in jeans
















WHAT!
.
.
.
well sell me down the river,
stab me in the back,
bite my dagnabbit hand
.
.
.
the thesaurus is bluntly unkind
to us mismanagers of our fingers
entering into that cute little search box
the
word
klutz
.
.
.
and
I
am 
a
moronic
imbecilic
nincompoopie
ignoramus
of
loser
whose
a
yokel
numskull 
hayseed
half-wit
simpleton
.
.
.
I'm going to pretend
I don't know how
this collection
of
concrete disaster
showed up
in
my
driveway




Kitty loves me
and
that's good enough.


Charlotte


Thomas


Casey




Austin
























Jamie











Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Iraq - Balancing on the Razor's Edge


He tells me to not believe everything I see on the news, but things are happening there that are difficult to leave on the doorstep.  His 'To Go' bag is ready, has been since he arrived, and he's next to an airfield...he doesn't see a problem.  He was told he had to have PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) armor, and since a container full was waiting to be destroyed, he custom fitted himself with two sets; one for the work site and one for his living quarters.

He thinks when he tells me all this that I won't worry anymore.  The worry really started the moment his plane left Nashville on its way to Atlanta, then Dubai, then another to Baghdad; but he's an adventurer wanting the freedom to fly to the moon if need be.  I settle for what's left...bits and pieces of a relationship spent mostly alone, while (as he calls it) my Rambo ready man chooses to live on the razor's edge for another year.

He's at the BDSC (Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center) next to the Baghdad International Airport.  It's about one third what it used to be when the U.S. military occupied the area.  It's been nicknamed Slum Dog Millionaire by those who live and work there.   The other compound is the BEC (Baghdad Embassy Compound).  It is referred to as Downton Abby by those who live and work at the BDSC.

His living quarters have a bed with a thick mattress, fridge, big closet, big double desk, night stand and book case.  Compared to other places he has stayed this is extremely good and he's happy.  There's a gym and the DFAC (dining facility) is the same as when the U.S. military occupied the area, although they are no longer allowed to call it a DFAC because that is a U.S. military term and use of those terms is no longer allowed by the Iraq government.

If he wants the email service the embassy sponsors he's charged $60 a month.  The PX was taken over by a store called Taylor's.  Taylor's has an expensive  liquor department, a huge change from the military days.  His first week: A small thin bath mat $15.00, air freshener $8.00, bath towel $17.00, tooth paste $15.00.  He tries to buy from the local shop that is much more affordable.   He still has no mail service, so he cannot order online or ask for anything to be shipped to him.  If he can't buy it there locally, he's out of luck, and he pays the Iraq government 10% of his salary for the privilege of all of the above.

The Baghdad Embassy Compound grounds resemble a college campus with all the amenities anyone could wish for; yet, because they walk while he can cruise his short compound in a vehicle the embassy Pilates group, the party goers, and the club joiners tell him he has it so-o-o-o much better.  Yes sir, yes sir...three bags full.  

Phone calls are uninformative...he jokes he'd have to do me in if he said more...ha-ha-ha...laugh, I thought I would.  Secrecy...I'm not amused. He did let me know that after weeks of complaining about the snow storm reception on his only form of entertainment, he was enlightened by the repair people to the fact that the exiting contractors who lost the contract sabotaged some of the electronic equipment including his.

Despite all this drama he actually likes the job and is proud of what he has accomplished in transitioning the previous operation into the first current operation of its kind.  Vague, isn't it :)  Cleaning up the previous contractors mess, establishing an accountability system, writing and implementing policy, coming up with efficient ways to accomplish the job...almost everything he did himself, by himself.  He should be proud of his accomplishments...I am.

He labels it all a learning experience - gungho verses laid back and confused.  He confides that all his years of working in those areas made most of it child's play, but it has impressed the hell out of those he works under.  Remembering his conversations of the pressures he was experiencing to create a well oiled machine out of chaos; I'd say his drop in the bucket was more like flood waters breaching the top of the dam walls.  I'm so filled with wonder at the man he truly is, and I'm never letting go of him...ever.





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