The Blind Traveler August 6, 2020

BlindTravelAs a visually challenged person, I find that I must be aware of where I am and how I will get from one place to the next. I use the feeling in my feet, trailing with my fingertips, my cane , and sighted guides. When traveling with a friend in a car I relax my awareness of where I am. This changed after I received a ride home from dance class. I were taking an adult belly dance class. I was to get a ride with a cab a fellow dancer said to cancel the ride she would take me home.We were laughing and talking all the way to my home. You must understand that I live in a subdivision that has 4 different house types. There is a two level, a Tri-level and a ranch and a Straight across ranch. I live in a straight across ranch. Denise pulled into a drive and told me that the garage door was open. After gathering my things I got and waved good bye before entering the garage.The door into the house was in the correct corner of the garage but as I felt the edge of the door, I realized that the screen was closed and was aluminum . My househad a wood screen door that we seldom closed. I was in the worng house!I hurried out to see if I could catch my friend but she was long gone. I had no clue even what direction my home may be. I had to return to the house to ask an embarrassing question. Where am I and how far is my home? Fortuately for me I was not far from my house about 10 houses away. The neighbor knew me and where my house was and offered to take me home.Since then, I try to know where I am and now I have a smart phone to help me if I am lost again. “Hey Seri, Find my home!”

FeelingsI feel my way through my world.With cane, fingertips and feet,I know where I am,most of the timeBut even an experienced traveler can get distracted,disoriented and lose their way.Then they must bite the bullet,and ask for help.We get by with a little help from our friends.

August 4th 2020 Reflections

Do you See What I See.
I love to take walks in the woods. But ever since I was lost in a woods as a toddler, I prefer to walk with a partner . That partner is my husband or daughter.
As we walk we disturb the fauna . A squirrel will scamper across the path. A bird is singing on a low tree branch or a deer turns his tail flag as he runs away.
To be truthful , I miss many of these animal antics. But when I am asked if I saw this or that movement I hesitate to say what I really see.
One day I had the courage to admit I didn’t see the particular animal . But I went on to inform what exactly I did see.
See that large shape by the tree? It looks like a bear digging for roots. And over there by the split rail fence is a brown shape that is close to a deer trying to decide if he should watch us or run. I also see a branch of a low shrub shaking with a mother bird working on her nest. I was seeing all these things in my mind’s eye.
My husband turned to me and stated that the mind can see better than the naked eye with a little imagination.

Rain distorts the reflection in the pane.
I contemplate my twisted hold on reality.
Memories of the visual world change with age.
reforming like a deck of shuffled cards.
The rain forms tears from heaven.
They water our souls and spirits.
I take a card and see what memory is is on top.
Building a story around the thought.
The fracture is my reality.

July 30, 2020 A Bundle of joy or a Barrel of Monkeys

Today is my daughters 28th birthday. This week I have thought about the many memories I share with my husband on being parents. We found we were expecting when we were our late 30’s. After testing we knew we were having a girl. My husband named her after the woman that delivered our mail. Ruth was a name that was not in either family. The only comment I said was she may have speech problems with the letters r and th. She did. When she outgrew the articulation difficulty, A classmate mentioned she had lost her accent.Ruth was born in a different hospital then we were scheduled at. They suspected heart problems. She was sent by ambulance to University of Michigan. We waited for a call with news. When the doctor was pleased when he said our daughter didn’t have the heart problem that was suspected. She would be kept and have eye surgery for glaucoma. He also mentioned that no baby could scream as loud as she did whenever the ambulance turned on the siren. We went to break her out of the ward. The nurse insisted that Ruth must finish her bottle before discharge. I dumped 3/4ths of the contents and allowed Ruth to suckle on the rest. The nurse signed the discharge papers and we were off with the baby in tow.We were scared of this small bundled. She looked like she could be easily broken.We learned that babies could roll off beds and not be injured. We grew with our daughter as we shared smiles and milestones.Our three person team included John’s mother , Helen. We all looked to her for information and comfort. A age three Ruth stated that Granda was her best friend.Her first word was not Mama or Dada but GaMa.We traveled with Ruth from an early age. Once, she ran away in a crowded terminal. She was so short , we couldn’t see her through the peoples legs. After that she was tethered to her Dad.We took her everywhere we went. At 3 months, She was zipped into her dads jacket as we followed a path in a snowstorm on Mt. Washington.Ruth grew and developed her character . She loved stuffed animals and not dolls. Her favorite stuffed friend was a pink bear named Joey. She couldn’t go to sleep without him. She would put herself to sleep talking to him about her day.Ruth was an artist, singer, writer and poet. she loved Math and Science. She was able to work in both sides of her brain.Now she is a married woman with a career in Bio-statistician. She has a loving beautiful soul. I am so proud of her. With all our love.Mom and Dad
The BirthdayMy mind focuses on the birthbut that was long ago.She has matured and has grown.I still see the girl within,Excited hand shakes begin.I know her and yetI can’t forget.How she feltupon my back.

July 28,2020 Hazardous Waste

In the past week, I know that the mask order is having some effect. There have been over a dozen used masks along the roads and sidewalks . Some may have fallen out of vehicles but they have been discarded after shopping or banking. People are less likely to pick up this waste to dispose of it without protection . This spring there were not the groups cleaning the roadsides in my community. Next year , we will see an abundance of masks along with other wind swept trash.Maybe we could start carrying a disposable gloves to our walk or bike ride. Stop and pick up the masks putting then in a disposable bag. The flora and fauna will appreciate it.If we are wearing masks to protect ourselves and others, The masks could pose a threat if not disposed of properly.Treat the masks as Hazardous waste and dispose of then in your junk bag.
marigolds an amber circle enclose masks

July 23, 2020 Can we afford The Cure?

Our family doctor recommended both my husband and I get inoculations for pneumonia. We stopped at a local drug store . The pharmacist indicated that we were due for a hepatitis vaccination. We decided to get both. Our out of pocket cost was nothing but when we looked at the bill , the cost would have been over 500 Dollars. The pneumonia is a yearly shot. The hepatitis needs a booster in 6 months. These drugs are not new and still they are over 100 dollars each. We are on Medicare and have health insurance. What about the group of the population that have minimal insurance coverage? Will they be able to pay for health?We are awaiting a vaccination for the coronavirus . What do you think a new drug will cost the consumer? It is not likely that it will be a one time inoculation. It likely need boosters every 6months to a year. Will people be able to afford it? Will insurance companies rule the new drug experimental and not reimburse.Many will choose to take their chances . Is our government looking into ways to help most of the population afford the cure? Or are we looking at the few being able to have access and pay for it.
Curecorona virusunder trials nowresults look promisingeach dose can be costly

July 21, 2020 Inner Compass

Inner compassAs I write this story, I am reminded how memory plays a role in where items are in my home. I know that my coffee cup is to the left of my I Pad. My slate and stylus is in the middle of the table and the phone is on the far right wall.As I go navigate through my home , I know where the hallway starts, where the bedrooms are and what is in each.I can feel the tiles of the kitchen floor and know where the pots, pans and food items are located to be a successful cook. When cleaning, I feel the containers and even smell the contents to know if I have grabbed the correct cleaning solution .In my family room, I have my knitting yarns by color in a cabinet. I can easily locate each basket of color to work on a project.I can vacuum rooms by feel and following the room’s walls and working my way into the middle of the floor space.My Dad once closed his eyes to see if he could get around his home of 50 years. He admitted that he couldn’t find his way from his bed to the bathroom without running into furniture or a doorway. He asked how I could maneuver and not run into items.I told him that after trial and error, my inner compass know where most things were located. Just don’t move anything in my world

After I broke my pelvis, I had to relearn to balance and stand. I lost my inner compass. I would take my walker and end up in the living room when I was aiming for the bathroom. I kept running into furniture and walls, like my Dad. I had to count my steps to know if I was down the hall. I counted steps to the kitchen table and to the step down into the family room. Retraining took several weeks and I still have occasional difficulties. I hope that my inner compass returns.
Inner Compass
Do I turn right or left?How many to the bathroom in the middle of the night?In a strange room, can I identify where I am?Sometimes yes, other times no.traveling through my home each day is a new adventure.I put pieces of the puzzle together to fix my broken compass.

July 16, 2020 Beauty of the field

In the past month, there have been several news stories about a four acre plot of perennials planted by a farming family as a living memorial to their deceased family members.The field has become a go to sight for it’s natural beauty. Located between a blueberry field and the country cemetery, it calls locals and others to admire and snap photos.But some of the admirers leave their own mark on the scene. People have driven over graves to get a better view of the field.The local township had to lock the gates of the cemetery to stop the destruction.Now, the sightseers are parking on the road and trespassing into the field to pick flowers and pose for photos.As they walk in the field, they trampled foliage, making trails in the field. The callousness of people for others reminds of the debate over wearing a mask to protect others or not wearing a mask is a persons right. What about the rights of the landowners and the dead that the field is honoring. 
I hope that we as Americans can have consideration for all and not think that an individual’s right outweighs the many.

Beauty in the field By Carol Farnsworth
On the shores of Lake Michigan, in blueberry country,There is a field of color, scents and buzzing bees.4 acres of poppies, bachelor buttons and daisies.Wedged between the ripening berries and a country cemetery holding generations of farmers.The field was planted to honor two family members and as a memorial to the beauty they loved.They are buried in sight of the field, resting in hallowed ground.But the living can’t enjoy the sight without causing destruction.They drive on graves with their cars to get a better photo of the flower field.Even walking through the flowers trampling pathed. I wonder what the dead think of the living and their callousness?Are they pondering eternity?The berries will ripen and drop.The flowers will wilt and spread their seeds.But why can’t man enjoy the sight and the thought that is behind the beauty in the field?

July 14, 2020. Wheat Stacks

Entering a room of a Monet art exhibit, I am surrounded by wheastacks.They differ in amount of light, and season.The effect of using the same outdoor subject to study the minute changes.The 14 pictures gave me a feeling of serenity and calmness.In my poetry, do I give such detail to my subject?Monet painted scenes close to his home. Do I look outside my own door to note the changes that are always occurring?Look to the mundane and see the extraordinary.Let the poetry be the lens to light up an object in your backyard.

A solitary day lily
In the middle of the back hill,a yellow day lily raises it’s petals to the sun.There used to be many more.But animals have eaten them.Only this one brave flower , stands alone.I don’t know what the future holds for it.But it is glorious in the present moment.
Later ,low sun was diffused through a storm cloud.The lily was bathed in a golden glow .As the light fades, so to will the flower.

July 9th, 2020, Two Opposites

Today my parents would have been married. 79 years. Though they loved each other, they were opposites in temperament. My father grew up in a family that had their needs met in the depression. He never wanted for food or pocket money.My mother was one of 6 children. Her parents struggled to make ends meat and put food on the table. My mother tells of one summer being sent to a relative’s farm and being amazed that she could pick and eat vegetables in the garden.Dad couldn’t keep track of money. My mother gave him a 10 dollar bill and a blank check for his wallet. Mom did the books in the home and the store.Dad was outgoing and social. Mom was reserved . She was a good hostess when asked.One anniversary, my Dad bought a boat for a present for Mom. She thought about it and told Dad to take it back.She made sure that all five of her children had their needs met. We used to say that she could squeeze 10 cents from a nickel.She was quiet and kept to herself. But occasionally she would have enough.This happened one summer evening . My brothers and I were brats. We were arguing and fighting. Mom was forced to settle matters and started dinner late. When my Dad came home from work, He teased her “, No dinner? what were you doing all day?” My Mother blew up and informed him just what kind of day she had. Then she turned off the stove and walked out of the house. My Dad was stunned but quickly recovered his senses. He told my oldest brother Bob he was in charge while he went after Mom. We children were scared and very subdued. Dad got in the car to look for his wife. He found her almost 2 blocks away and walking past the Catholic church. He drove slowly matching her pace. He said”Honey, I don’t don’t know what I did but I an sorry…please get in the car.” She stopped and replied”I have had a hard day with the kids and you want to tease about your dinner being late. Don’t ever tease me again.”She got in the car and it was a quiet dinner and evening. We were afraid that we had lost our Mother.Through good years and bad they kept the family and each other together with love , and respect for each other’s differences. Thanks to them, I have learned to do the same with my own family. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Two Will Be As One She was poor.He was not. They pledged their lives for a day.Not knowing what the future held.She was quiet.He was loud.They kept quiet their differences to discuss outside children’s ears.They taught how to have a solid marriage by example.We were blessed to have them as parents.

July 7, 2020 Baby It is Hot Outside

We are starting our second week of plus 90’s.. It is hard to get up early to do outdoor chores in the cool of the day. The humidity level hovers in this cool time in the 70s. The world seems to be slowing down and the conflicts are not limited to the shade. I noted that people driving in air cooled cars are increasing drive by shootings. There were 87 people. shot in Chicago this past weekend 17 died two were children . Some of the children were in their homes and others were in their family’s car. The randomness of the. victims strike me as a shooter playing a video game. Is there a thrill in shooting a gun into a crowd and watching the chaos . The disregard for life of others disturbs me.I wonder what I would do as a blind person? I could tell myself that I would not be in that situation, but did the child asleep in his father’s car ask to be shot? I would probably be a victim. Taking that attitude I would say for the victims,”This is wrong! I have just begun to live my life. What good does your shooting sprees accomplish for the problems in Chicago and other urban areas. The shootings and gun drawing by Police and citizens . Are we so afraid of each other that we must carry a gun? If so it will be a long, hot summer. Please allow cooler heads to lead.

Hot Summer
steamy heat

tempers heat to boil

shots fired,

child down