Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday, Turtle doves are cooing

I have no idea what was spent this weekend.  I know we bought a light fixture and a lamp and groceries, but I did not really pay attention to totals and I have not added it up. Close to $200 I am sure.  Need to take a look at that.

     I was able to stock up on many fresh veggies that were on sale this week so we will concentrate on salads and vegetable dishes.  I also purchased 2 lbs of the first strawberries and made fresh strawberry pie.  It was so good.  I had a crust in the freezer so I just pulled it out a thawed it for the shell.  I do not use that red crap they sell in stores for berry pie but make my own just like grandma did and it is worth it. Because it tastes like spring.  Hub's and I had our first meal out on the deck this year.  It was 69 degrees sunny and beautiful.

     We have had such a light winter, and now it officially is spring here.  The turtle doves are cooing out back and Hub's can get them to answer when he calls them.  That is the official sign of the Nez Pierce Indian tribe that spring is here and the salmon are running up the river.  We live one mile off the reservation.  I feel guilty about the weather as most of my blogging friends have had such a horrible long one and it still isn't over for most of you.  Of course the flip side is we face a horrible fire season here without our mountain snow pack.  It is always something.

     I have plenty to do in the next two weeks with the studio and I am planning a trip to my sissies in April.  I feel like my illness in February going right into this play have put me behind.  But I always feel that way when I am busy.   I need to get the Irish performance out of the way so I can concentrate on the Spring recital.  In the mean time life goes on around me and money must be saved, bills paid, and cleaning, cooking, laundry, yard work, work in general.  You know the old grind.

     I must pay the house payment this week, so I need to concentrate on getting the funds for that and other bills.  Isn't life fun?  Like hamster on a wheel turning and turning with a snack thrown in every once in a while to keep us off guard.  Need to get back to my wheel:)    


     Nels Bjorklund tried to stubbornly stay in that period of dream sleep he often encountered early in his mornings.  That point where you think you are asleep but your mind is telling you to wake up.  Usually this type of sleep was disturbed by a sound or a feeling.  The sound was often sharp, something you wanted to avoid, the clanging of a pot against a window sill telling you morning was here, or a feeling, an annoyance. Like a wave of cold air under a blanket, or your bladder stinging you into wakefulness.  Both of these could be ignored if one moved carefully and the sound was not persistent. It was in these few extra moments of sleep that Nels could control his dreams.  He could make them what ever he wanted. His imagination could take over and the noise or shove that was pushing him out of sleep,was of his making, he could choose a happy moment and relive it, today's stubborn dream was of  his father.

     A shove would come and a whisper, "Hurry, get to the barn start the milking if you want to study today with Pastor Holms."   Nels would struggle out from under the covers,carefully trying not to let cold seep in, allowing his three younger brothers a chance at a few more moments of warmth.  For father would be after them in a moment.  Nels had just enough time to get into his shirt, overalls, his tall boots and slip out to the privy.  Then to hurry into the low ceiling kitchen for a hot cup of strong coffee.  His mother would be at the stove, bending down to blow on the coals she was carefully moving from under the red coffee pot.  The light from the stove would show pink/red on her face and her hair not yet neatly twisted would fuzz out into individual sharp ends from the braids she had hurriedly pinned up, it reminded him of an improper angel with a slightly messy halo. As she turned satisfied that her stove would spread out its fire to cook breakfast she took the rag always on her left shoulder and picked up the coffee pot to pour him a cup of the hot liquid.

  Way too hot to drink,  he would cradle it in his hands and blow on it while he held it close to his lips.  He would do this all the way to the barn.  No matter how cold it was, the coffee was  the bit of warmth you held onto.  You held onto it in order to fight the cold knot that was starting to come alive in your lower back.  The knot started by cold that would never leave until spring.  He headed toward the barn lantern that his father had put out earlier.  Father trusted no one with fire outside but himself.  He always was up first to stir up the stove and take the lantern out to the barn. Nels grabbed it off his wrought iron hook and took it into the cow shed.

     Three cows were snuffling and stamping.  Rosa would let out a low mooing sound, she was the smallest of the three milk cows and always the most anxious.  His mother said it was because she was a teenage cow  and they were always pushy about what they wanted. Rosa would come and gratefully put her head between the stanchions to be milked. They held her until she was freed by him.  Cows willingly came to be milked up to the  last few minutes when they felt comfortable then they were done, it was the stanchions that held them until the last of the cream, the best of the cream was stripped out. It was an old cow that was ready for slaughter that did not need the pieces of wood to block her escape during the last of milking. That cow had wisdom, father would say and knew what was inevitable, they would stand forever until slapped on the backside to leave.

     It was warm in the cow shed, you could still see your breath,  the cows were warm and you could lean against them when you milked.  Your  cheek and chest were warm, your hands were warm on the teats and the milk once it came about half way up the pail sent out a cloud of warmth.  Behind you on another stool you had carefully placed your cup of hot coffee.  It did nothing to warm your backside, you just knew it was there and knowing made you warm.

     In between the first and the second cow you drank your coffee.  It was still hot enough to burn going down but "not to take off the skin".  Between the second and third cow you thought about the next cup of coffee waiting for you in the house.  This was his morning, every morning for as long as he could remember. because it is what he wanted to remember.

    Soon some of his younger siblings would join him to carry in the steaming pails of milk, mother would meet them in the tack room to cover the pails of milk with heavy clothes,  they would be left to cool in the unheated portion of the house.  A pitcher of hot water would be ready at the wash stand, and with a hurried slop he and his three younger brothers would wash and rinse.  His sisters were already at the table waiting.  Millie the oldest of the girls was impatient, she was a teenager.  She would purse her lips and look at her brothers in disgust and annoyance until they all settled down for a quick grace and father outlined the days doings.  Millie did not make faces during prayers she was very devout.  Which in turn made Nels feel like making a faces. Instead he just had thoughts, thoughts about how stupid and priggish his sister had become and all the things he would like to do to wipe the continual smirk off her face.

     The clanging shrill noise was becoming a constant irritant now or the pinging in his bladder a steady thrum and he would try to hold onto the dream.  He knew it would fade and go, just one more second or lifetime of moments.  To be able to see his family gathered around the table, mother, father, his seven younger siblings, the stair steps of his life, glowing in the lantern light of early morning.

     This moment the sound could not be ignored.  It was Audra the baby of the lot, shouting her sharp shrill demanding, yell.  The one she used when she knew she was ignored.  Nels sat up in disgust and looked over the two short feet that separated  the boys bunks from the girls bed.  Why couldn't Millie get up with Audra?  She was sleeping right next to her.  The screeching yell had to be going right into her ear.  His wonderful dream was gone, piercing him into reality.  He wasn't sure what made him more angry the fact that Millie did not get up to tend Audra or that Audra was the means of him losing his dream, the dream of the time when he was the pushing teenager and mother and father were there to put his head between the stanchions.  How he longed for the wooden lever that would hold him still while he struggled to be free.  How he ached to hold onto this dream, but every morning it was a sound or a feeling that pulled him from this longed for wooden prison into life.

Okay enough for today.  Should I go on?

Must get busy, work awaits, fun is over.

have a great and productive day!



  1. Love your story BUT would LOVE if you continued with your younger life story you had going before you became very busy.

    1. I am going to have to go back and look at that.....

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  4. YES, you should go on - you have talent my friend!