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Rumilluminations Dec. 2018 - Jan. 2019
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Wed, December 05 2018 - 8:49 pm



January 20, 2019
Madison IN

True confession - I pled guilty in a Facebook comment to having an online diary and mentioned my blahg. This one. It's not really a diary, just a bunch of different writings.

The meme that inspired my spurious confession said we get mad when nobody reads our stuff. Really, though, how many people really have an online diary?

If I did that my family would kill me.

I did seem to get an uptick of hits after I made that comment, though, and what did I have to offer? A poem.

My apologies to anyone offended by my misrepresentation.

Not abject ones, though. You have allowed me to introduce myself. Please visit again!

Feel free to descend deep into the caverns below. The key word is at the bottom of the menu: more.


January 17, 2019
Madison, IN

My poor tree

Hidden in the cloud

Doesn't branch into the sun.

It has no running sap, just

Sere electronicity.

A rainfall would not

Feed, but kill it.

The leaves of my poor tree

Are not made at all of pulp that breathes

Into the air you breathe.

In fact, they cannot breathe at all.

In fact, it has no leaves at all,

My poor tree.

It is a would-be.




January 15, 2019
Madison IN

Today I went to the library and saw Carl Hiasson's Hoot in audio book form. I don't know if we have the equipment to listen to it, but I wouldn't anyway. If I tried I would just fall asleep and it would just keep prattling on. I would lose my place and go crazy trying to find it again.

The book wasn't on the premises in print from.

I wonder. Is there a gizmo that could hook up to me and automatically turn the recording off if I fell asleep?

I might actually use that!

Somebody, please invent that - unless, of course it has already been invented.


January 14, 2019
Madison, IN

This morning I thought I heard geese above me and thought, "That's odd, maybe they have a different call when they are flying above the clouds."

It was only when the flock came down below the clouds and I could see them distantly that my auditory memory kicked in and I realized that they were sandhill cranes. Exciting! There must have been thirty or forty of them.

I hoped they would land by the river so I could get a closer look but they flew off to the Southeast.


January 13, 2019
Madison, IN

I have been reading Coming of Age in Mississippi and find out I could have read about working in a chicken processing factory in 1968 instead of reading the Gabriel Thompson account from when - the nineties? Now I feel like comparing the two descriptions to see how much the experience changed from the late fifties. Except I might be too lazy to get the Thompson book. Both books are worth reading. Since I do not buy everything I read and if I do tend to give books away, comparing texts is not so simple as reaching up to a bookshelf.

Anne Moodys autobiographical account reports her birth name as being Essie Mae. This is interesting to me because I was called Essie (middle name May) until I hit third grade after a move from California to Indiana. My new teacher insisted upon calling me Esther in spite of my druthers, and perhaps it was all for the best. It made me realize that my life would change whether I wanted it to or not. Life has a way of doing that.

(So does the world of electronic editing. Since for some reason some of my symbols are coming out in code instead of the desired punctuation, it looks as if I will not be using contractions, quote marks, or apostrophes when I write from my IPad. Oh, well!)



January 12, 2019
Madison IN

Snow today! Finally! I went on a pretty good walk, and my partner started talking about Florida. Ha ha ha ha!

Well, the future - that's something else unseen.



January 9, 2019
Madison, IN

Why have I never heard Trump called the AntiPresident? He is obviously trying to destroy the government and does not care about our citizens.


January 1, 2019
Madison IN

Happy New Year!

I am greeting you from my new device which is a first, because I had forgotten the address of my own administration page.

Last night we managed to stay awake until midnight for the first time in literally decades!

Awake for the entry into the New Year.

Learning new techniques for new devices already.

Gee, maybe I had better get dressed.



December 31, 2018
Madison IN

Since it's the last day of the year I simply HAVE to say goodbye to 2018!

Goodbye to the year during which the President is doing his best to chew up the government and regurgitate it into the open beaks of the exceedingly rich.

Goodbye to the plague of the bedbugs - hopefully forever!

Goodbye to the year in which acquaintances and a business or two have cheated my partner and me worse than we have been cheated for decades.

Farewell to my sweaters except for the little woolen vest and a luxurious spacious sweater jacket given to me by my sister which have escaped the fate of:

Three little turtlenecks (pink, lavender and black) of lambswool and Angora)  which I purchased over ten years ago for 75% off (ten dollars each). They served beautifully as the base layer when the high temperature of the day was in the twenties.

Farewell also to another two dark pullovers and two collared cashmere cardigans (pink and black) also handed down from my sisters.

Farewell (sob) to two cashmere zippered hoodies which I purchased myself on sale and with the help of LLBean coupons.

Farewell to the brown sweater I paid full price for from J Crew which looked Ugly off and Fantastic on. That sweater was so valuable to me that I sewed leather patches on the elbows ten years ago when they developed holes. Maybe it went into the trash instead of the cleaners because it was fraying at the cuffs.

Adieu to my warmest, most expensive like-new sweater (a grey Irish fisherman's sweater (hand-knitted)) which admittedly did nothing for my looks but was oh so warm in damp climates!

And last but not least, goodbye to my newest lost sweater, another simple wool hoodie I bought on sale probably eleven years ago.

These have survived as many as three moves with me and comprised my collection of twenty-one years. I used them every winter. They helped me brave the elements for brisk freezing walks and snowy storms.

The year 2018 ate them up. Maybe I'll have to eat my words in 2019, but since they have been in the possession of the dry-cleaners for two and one-half months now it doesn't seem likely.

Farewell to two leather jackets belonging to my partner and me which have been in the maw of the cleaners for even longer. I still have hopes for their return!

Farewell to my bicycle (probably my last) which has gone the way of half a dozen others, spirited away with no recompense.

At least we have escaped with our lives. Many other wonderful and younger people have not. But perhaps I speak too soon. 2018 still has another five hours to grind us under its heel.

Oh, yes. I'm making a New Year's resolution:

Next year I will be more grateful.



December 29, 2018
Madison IN

Today I took a walk up the Heritage Trail and although I went up to the grounds of the correctional institute (over the river and up through the woods) I saw no animal wildlife at all.

Instead I'll regale you with a story I just heard yesterday from my daughter, who got it second-hand from a family friend of long standing who lived in the environs of Tesuque, New Mexico for decades.

According to him, he had hired a contractor to help him with some building work, and the contractor told this tale in the first person:

The contractor resided at least part of the year in a place in the woods. One day as he was walking the dogs, they encountered a bear and the dogs treed it. Our hero decided to get his rifle and headed off for home. All of a sudden his dogs tore past him. He knew instantly what that meant, but before he could even turn around the bear was upon him and grabbed his thigh in its jaws.

They thrashed down a bank in chaos while the bear's victim reached for his handgun, struggling to shoot the bear without shooting himself. He succeeded, but was then unable to move. Luckily the dogs managed to alert someone to help, and a helicopter came to his rescue.

The only problem was, the rescuers could not loosen the bear's deathgrip on its prey's thigh. They had to cut off the massive ursine head to get the contractor into the helicopter and he was admitted to the ER cum bear head.

Amazingly enough, he didn't lose his leg or his ability to walk.

Today I told my ninety-something friend the tale and the first words out of us mouth were, "Do you think it's true?"

Well, that is another matter.




December 20, 2018
Madison IN

Christmas is coming, the lights are in the park! The Bicentennial Park that is, on Vaughan between West Street and Poplar.

In a time when fewer people seem to be lighting up their yards, these lights are a joy to behold - brilliant at night and pastel in the gray dawn. Sometimes they are not all on, so I can't guarantee that you will see them at their best, but they are a great destination for a hike - which let's face us, most of us need.

Christmas is coming, the geese look about the same as always to me. Are they still protected? Nah, just kidding. The most deadly weapon I have ever wielded is a fly swatter. We might just eat Chinese food, for a change!

Christmas is coming, and so is the shortest day of the year. Yay, Winter Solstice! For a long time after the light begins to come back, we cannot really perceive it. This is where belief comes in. Psychologically, belief makes all the difference.

Yes! There is light after darkness - in a day and in the year.



December 17, 2018
Madison, IN

Yesterday we went to Richwood on the River for an open house. I thought it was probably an old home museum and took a few dollars to donate even though the open house was advertised on Facebook as free.

No! Richwood is an old plantation about as far south of the Ohio River as we are north - an easy stroll - and is a bed and breakfast establishment. I would love to go there for a family reunion or a wedding and linger awhile, looking at a different view. What would be very cool would be to take a steamboat river trip, land at the closest possible landing, then take a horse- or mule-drawn carriage to the door.

Alas! It is on Highway 36 (1233 to be exact, in Milton, Kentucky) which isn't exactly a dirt road. It would be really ideal to just pull up in a boat and walk up to the mansion.

As we were touring the house we walked through the kitchen, which had several shelves full of teapots (our collection is down to half a dozen small ones - which come to think of it, is perfect for a group of people who all want a different kind of tea! Come to think of it, we have more variety of teas than we have teapots!) A young woman opening packages of. Ookies (Well, that's my clumsy thumbs for you - can you guess what that was supposed to say?) picked up on my comments and talked about their collection of old teacups, which they use to serve their guests. She seemed to be one of the proprietors, and perfect for the hospitality industry.

I liked her. Maybe I'll see if I can walk over there some day and have a chat while gazing over the Ohio River or the green fields and woods behind the property and planning a fun time for all the descendants of my great grandfather whose family floated down the river on a barge to Madison.

Oh well, a crone (as one man of my acquaintance suggested I self-identify) can still dream.



December 12, 2018
Madison, IN

We used to feel that our Presidents were above breaking the law.

Our current President feels he is above the law, so the law is irrelevant.



December 11, 2018
Madison, IN

The other day I was coming through the woods down the Heritage Trail and heard a screech and immediately turned toward the sound, expecting to see a bear or maybe a wild cat. I was definitely feeling defensive. A deer scrambled up from the ground and ran away. No other wildlife in sight.

Maybe, I thought, the deer was the screeched. When I went home I looked up the alarm cry of a deer on the Internet. It sounded almost exactly like what I had heard in the woods.

What do you know. I was the one who had startled the poor deer from its drowsy afternoon rest.

I was the scary predator!



December 5, 2018
Madison, IN

...but if I had been able to write on my site on December 1 I would have written about a wonderful little gem of a museum in Butler, Pennsylvania which had Chinese and Japanese carvings unlike any I have ever seen before.

Some of these are huge! Their substance is varied - jade, rose quartz, ivory (from before it was legislated contraband.) Others are tiny and intricate.

The Maridon Museum deserved more time than we had for it, because we also had a wedding to attend - our reason for being in Butler. The wedding was highly unusual - and distinguished by the groom singing to his bride as she walked toward him for the ceremony. That was a very romantic gesture!

December 2 we were to celebrate a birthday, but the birthday (grown) girl was sick! Alas, we were not able to paint the town of Pittsburgh red this year after all. Since she felt better the next day

December 3, we met in Harmony, Pennsylvania - founded by the same religious sect that subsequently founded New Harmony on the Wabash River in Indiana! which Joseph and I have visited in the past.

There is a wonderful bakery kitty-corner from the museum on Main which had some of the best puff pastry I have had in decades. I just looked up the bakery - it is probably the Lagerhaus Bakery - ask to see the wine cellar!

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