Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Election Day.

I didn’t expect to get emotional when I voted this morning, but as I pulled up to the National Guard Armory, I thought of my Grandma Rosie.

Grandma Rosie was born in 1919 – “same as the root beer,” I always say – one year before women got the right to vote.

She LOVED politics. In her prime, if you walked into her house and the TV was on, it was usually on one of three channels: the country music channel, whatever channel was showing the Dale Earnhardt race, or C-SPAN.  Oh my lord, how she loved C-SPAN.  Not CNN – that was too flashy – but C-SPAN, because it was meatier and more in-depth.  She’d have it on all day, listening to congressional hearings, arguing back at the politicians she didn’t agree with and cheering on the ones she liked.  She was a voracious, curious reader and devoured Book TV on the weekends – I don’t think I ever once left her house without her asking me “what have you been reading lately?” and offering me some recently-acquired political biography waiting by the back door.  (I still have some of those on my bookshelf today.) 

She loved to talk politics, too, sometimes to the point where I think she drove some of her old lady friends a little nuts. But it was always something that me & my brothers would talk about with her – we paid more attention to that stuff than most kids, I think, watching the nightly news with our folks and reading the copies of Time & Newsweek littered around the kitchen at home.  She was fun to argue with.

Grandma Rosie loved Bill & Hillary Clinton.  She saw them as champions of the poor, the disenfranchised, the “people like us.”  In her eyes, they could do virtually no wrong – and when they did manage to mess something up, like all people (and politicians) do, she’d get frustrated with them like they were her own kids (“they’re better than that!”). 

Today, Grandma Rosie is 97 years old and lives at a nursing home here in town. She has dementia and has no idea what year it is, or that it’s November, or that it’s Election Day, or that Hillary’s running, or that we may very well elect the first woman President ever today.  After two years of listening to people yell at each other on the internet about the election, there’s a part of me that envies that.  :-)    But I thought of her the whole time as I colored in the dot next to Hillary’s name, fed my ballot into the magic ballot-counter box, stuck an “I Voted” sticker to my shirt and headed out to my car.  I like to think that somewhere, wherever that part of her mind has flown, she is well aware of what’s going on, and god help me if I’d voted for the other guy.  This one’s for you, Grandma.

Grandma Rosie in an Earnhardt frenzy, 1992.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

With the squirrels & birds.


We buried Flannery today out at my folks' house, which was sad...but kind of cathartic, too. She's near the house, back amongst the trees she spent the majority of her life watching from her window perch (she sat in the one behind the clotheslines practically 24/7). The squirrels, foxes, deer and birds she loved to watch will continue to run & fly around her...in the spring, maybe we'll plant a tree above her to keep them even closer.

Being that they live in the woods, my dad wanted to be sure that nothing disturbs her...hence, the heavy metal "high voltage" door covering her resting place. Given how many hours Flannery spent hiding in her lifetime, this seems fitting in a way, and I like to think she would've had a sense of humor about it.

And being that we're Midwestern, afterwards my mom said we had to have a funeral dinner. We had two of Flannery's favorites - chicken & mashed potatoes - and we shared a little with Toivo, too.

Thank you to everyone for their kind words over the past few days...your sweetness has been appreciated so very much. I know many of you have been through this before, and your gentle words and understanding have been enormously helpful. Thank you for not making me feel silly for being so sad about a cat.

Wherever she is, Flannery's okay. I'll be okay, too. My house is a little quieter and lonelier without her, but it probably won't stay that way for too long.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Fat little badger.

Flannery died tonight.

Whatever it was, it was fast and sudden. She was about sixteen years old and although she'd been slowing down over the last year or so, she had a good run and was herself - her sweet, shy, special self - until the very end.  She's back at my parents' house now, where she'll be buried out in the woods that she spent countless hours watching from her window perch for all those years. She'll finally be close to the squirrels.

I will always be grateful that she went at home, where she was safe & warm and there were no scary things like car rides or barking dogs or veterinarians or strangers to make her want to hide. There's nowhere else she would've rather been.

I'll also always be grateful for the day just over thirteen years ago when she picked me out at the animal shelter in Helena - because really, she did pick me.  You go into this knowing this day will come, and it sucks, it really does, but I wouldn't change a thing.

Thanks for everything, my fat little badger. I'm gonna miss you so much.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Police blotter.

Sunday, 3:32 A.M.:
Officer flagged down about a man sleeping in a tree.

Monday: Caller reported a cow at English Lake boat landing. The cow had a tag on it, and caller said he thought he knew who the cow belonged to. Update: Clam Lake Junction called and reported that the cow was about six miles east of Clam Lake, northbound, and "going at a good clip." Officer searched the area and no cow was seen. Update: another driver who came from Clam Lake reported that he hadn't seen the speedy cow. No cow located. Case unfounded.

Tuesday, 1:11 P.M.: Two intoxicated subjects went into the grocery store to buy a box of wine. Neither had a working credit card, so they tried to get the clerk to pay for the wine, but that was not going to happen. Subjects walked out with the box of wine and promised to come back with a check.

Wednesday: Caller reports that his neighbor's cows trashed his garden.

Thursday: Report of a man sitting on a bench making rude comments to everyone that walks past him.

Friday, 8:10 A.M.:  Animal control attempted to get ahold of a loose dog on East 3rd Street. Update: unsuccessful in dog capture; dog was a black lab with keen powers of animal control avoidance.

Saturday, 9:44 A.M.:  Graffiti to outhouse.

Sunday: Caller reported two chainsaws in his living room and had no idea where they came from.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Police blotter.

Thursday: Delivery driver reports a silver four-door car stopped on the road and two individuals got out and ran off really quickly toward the “Christmas Store.”

Friday: Officer out assisting a turtle to cross the highway.

Friday: Caller reports she has seen the stolen golf cart.

Saturday: 911 call that ended with a male speaking with dispatch saying that he’s getting married and he has to go. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

O, Holy Night.

Okay, so I got a little sidetracked this year and never got the Christmas trim out of the garage. Oops.  But never fear - thanks to the creatures that live on my desk at work (plus a 25-cent Jesus from the Bargain Hut), the nativity tradition lives on.

Monday, October 13, 2014

What's making me happy this week.

Apparently, this came out almost two years ago, but I just heard it for the first time at Zombie Prom on campus over the weekend.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Police blotter.

Sunday, 2:17 P.M.: Caller dialed 911 and wanted to make a doctor's appointment. Dispatch explained that 911 does not schedule doctor's appointments.

Monday, 2:35 P.M.: Caller reports another driver is “generally being bad at driving.”

Tuesday, 7:26 P.M.:  Report that neighbor is burning something stinky again.

Thursday, 4:47 P.M.: Man called 911, telling dispatch information about his Publisher’s Clearinghouse entry that had a deadline on that day. When asked what his emergency was, he told dispatch the ID# for his entry and that he doesn’t have a phone and was calling from AmericInn. When asked if he was trying to call Publisher’s Clearinghouse, he told dispatch he was at home and gave a phone number. When dispatch attempted to call that number, it went to a fax machine. Update: wife arrived at AmericInn to pick up caller.

Friday: Surveillance stated that people were reporting lots of smoke around Legendary Waters Casino. EMS and fire department standing by until smoke can be located. Fire chief reported he could see smoke from the casino and would send units. Update: fire chief reported that the smoke was coming from a campfire at the campground next to the casino.

Saturday, 5:03 A.M.: Caller says neighbor is wandering around outside of his apartment without pants on. He says there is an electrical issue with his door. Update: there is not, he locked himself out.