gridiron

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: gridiron.

This is my son in 2010, grilling.

Cooking off the gridiron.
Trey and friend Otto.

By 2012 the high school team is the Redhawks. My son played football, though he knew I didn’t approve. Too much brain trauma. He was fast or lucky or both and no concussion or broken bones there.

Mundane Monday #194: gull

For Mundane Monday #194, my prompt is gull.

Have you been gulled? Do you see gulls and photograph them? Are you gullible? Do you gull others?

Add your picture or store and tag it Mundane Monday. I will list entries next week. Have a wonderful week and don’t get gulled or fleeced! No one should pull the wool over your eyes!

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From last week, my theme was group.

 

A portrait of Boa Black

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: pet.

This is Miss Boa Black. I am not sure if she is my pet or I am hers.

My daughter picked a kitten from the pound 15 years ago. A few days later I took my son there and handed him Boa. She was tiny, feather soft, and purred the instant we picked her up. The other cat is gone, but Boa is still here. She is really a one person cat and the person is me. She hates it when I pull suitcases out and lately she has been tucking me in at night. She does love the kids but disapproved strongly when they went off to college and only visit erratically.

She still has the softest fur.

reminder

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: timely.

My mother died in 2000 and my father in 2013 and my house is full of art. My mother was a prolific artist and I am working on placing, gifting, cataloging her art. There is rather more than I’d seen. Watercolors and etchings were her most loved, I think, though she did woodcuts, silk screen, oils, pottery and all sorts of crafts.

She did tiny etchings, often 2 by 2 or 2 by 3 inches of fantasy creatures.


Etching of Winged Hare, by Helen Ottaway
Winged Hare by H. Ottaway
etching: Dolphin, by Helen Ottaway
Dolphin, by H. Ottaway

letters

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: letter.

I write a very careful letter to an old friend after my sister dies.

Not right after. 6 years after. Another friend tells me after my sister dies that OF says she will never ever talk to me about my sister. OF doesn’t. I don’t see her much.

I do not ask about it directly for six years.

Suddenly I am sick of it. For one thing, a family member of OF’s dies. OF asks me on the phone to come visit “And we’ll cuddle and talk about my family member.” I thought, how can you ask me to fly and visit and talk about your family member when you have not talked to me about my sister for six years? It brought all the pain back to the surface.

I write a very careful letter thanking OF for all the positive things she has done for me. She has known me since birth. She is a mentor for me as a professional woman. In other areas, no. I also write as a query, is it true that she will never talk to me about my sister?

She does not answer the query. And then tells me that she carries the letter around because it makes her so happy.

I think of the letter as a thank you and goodbye. If you will not speak of my sister to me, it hurts and it has hurt for six years. And I am done. I have been patient to the point of being completely ridiculous.

And I finally approach it directly on the phone, because I hate that branch of the friends and family gossip and triangulation. “Is it true that you will never speak to me about my sister? You haven’t for six years.”

Silence. Then: “I am willing to talk to you about your sister, mother and father, but only the good memories.”

And I say, “No.” I say, “Why don’t you ask me what sort of relationship I want?”

It is hard to leave family systems, even when they are dysfunctional and cruel. There is still love there even if it displayed by triangulation, gossip and mean rumors. It’s a love that is emotionally underdeveloped. We spend a long time trying to change, facing that the love is not loving, deciding that it is worth changing ourselves and leaving. I still love OF but I do not want to be in a relationship where she controls me and silences me. It hurts too much. I am still glad that I sent a letter with all the thanks, which I meant from my heart. And I am glad to say goodbye.

lumber

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: lumber.

Oh, lumber. Lumber from trees, from forests. Forests make me think of old growth. I have gone to the Hoh Rain Forest twice. The first time it was pouring rain so hard that we abandoned the trip and stayed at a motel in Forks. The second time the sun came out and the wet moss covered trees gleamed and the Roosevelt Elk showed up. It was amazing!

Moss in the Hoh Rain Forest, trailing from the branches.
Moss in the Hoh Rain Forest
Walking under giant fallen trees.
Walking under giant fallen trees.
Lichen in the Hoh Rain Forest.
Lichen.

I took all the photographs except the one with me and the kids: my spouse took that one. These are from 2004.