17 August 2018

Thanks. Victory For the Back To School Fund

The Back To School Fund

Looks like we will have reached the goal for the Soccer Team Back To School Fund by morning, we passed $600 today and I expect some more contributions in my P.O. Box (P.O.  Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y.,  12816) tomorrow morning.

THANK YOU, Army OF Good!

I am sure we will get to the $700 we need to buy the right clothes and school supplies for the members of the team who are entering high school in a week. Monday, the team is going to Ramblewild In Massachusetts to climb up into the trees.

Then, two more youth retreat afternoons at the Powell House Youth and Retreat Center.

Then, a day at the Great Escape Amusement Park in Lake George.

A great summer for these kids, heading for a new soccer season and a great Fall. Thanks so much.

If anyone is moved to help this team, you can send you contributions to the Gus Fund, c/o Jon Katz, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., or via Paypal, jon@bedlamfarm.com. We will use every penny we get to help these children successfully acclimate to America.

And we need every penny we can get.

Posted in General

Emma’s Got A New Dog

Emma's Got A New Dog

My daughter Emma got a new dog yesterday, along with her daughter Robin and husband Jay. The dog doesn't really have a name yet – the rescue group took her out of Kentucky and Emma now has her in their apartment in Brooklyn.

The rescue group knows absolutely nothing about her or where she came from. First evening is expectedly rocky, the dog is freaking out in the crate, peeing in the hallways, trying to figure things out.

They think she is part Lab, I see a bit of that in  her head and eyes, and she has the outlines of German Shepherd's nose.

Robin, my granddaughter loves the dog, and I told Emma the dog would have the family trained in a matter of weeks, I think she is sweet looking, and Emma says that is what she's like.

Emma called me several times for advice, and I felt like a useful father, something I don't often get to feel. Emma is very competent and manages her life well and independently. That's what I always wanted.

I have never wanted Emma to be enmeshed in my life, I don't want her to be responsible for me or take care of me, I don't want her to ever be my caregiver, I want her to live her own life freely and fully. That is just what she is doing.

Sometimes I feel like I'm crazy wanting that, everywhere around me, people are deeply involved in the lives of their parents, surrendering much of their lives when they get sick. This is both noble and fortunate for so many, but it's not what I want for her or for me.

Emma does consult with me on dog matters, at least at first,  and her dog Pearl  came from my farm in West Hebron. I gave Emma my crate training speech and we talked about housebreaking and getting through the first few nights. It will be an interesting time with a two-year-old in the apartment, i told her to take the long view and imagine calm and cuddling down the road.

The dog has mischief and wisdom in her eyes.

I love the look of this dog, Emma has good instincts and they will all figure it out. She is thinking of coming up here with the dog for a few days, It must be a little hairy, it takes a lot for Emma to get out of Brooklyn and into the country.

If all else fails, I'll get down there. Does this mean I have a granddog? Sounds a bit strange to me.

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To A Funeral

To A Funeral

I am grateful to Ed and Carol Gulley, we each put up with the creative craziness of the other.

Ed loved being photographed, any time, any day, anywhere. Carol never likes being photographed, but she grits her teeth and puts up with it, because she has to take photos herself now for her blog, the Bejosh Farm Journal and also perhaps because she knew it was what her farmer wanted.

We'll see how accommodating she is now that he is gone.

Visiting them in the late winter, I said I wanted to do an "American Gothic" kind of picture with them, pitchforks and all, and Carol got a pitchfork and  Ed grabbed one of his iron flowers. It was vintage Gulleys.

Carol always went along, but you can see a kind of tightness in her face in the photos, whereas Ed always looked as if he just fell off of Mt. Rushmore. Carol is reluctant celebrity, Ed was a born ham.

The photo reminds me that we each  stretched ourselves sometimes on behalf of the other, an important quality in a friendship. I had pretty much decided I wasn't going to Ed's funeral this Saturday, something was pulling me away from it.

I've written a lot about Ed and his sickness and death was draining for me, although so much less so for me than for Carol and for his children and grand-children. I just didn't want to go, perhaps I was just filled up with images of Ed lying in that bed, dying more and more, day by day. I'm not sure.

I also didn't feel as if I was needed there. Hundreds of people loved Ed, and many of them will be at the funeral. Most knew him longer than I did, and what could I really add to what they knew and felt?

I have a habit of thinking I am not really needed anywhere, an old habit that often ends up being a prophecy that comes true. Carol and the members of her family let me know that they understood if I couldn't come, no pressure, but they let me know that I was needed and that it did matter.

Carol had asked me earlier if I wished to read something, and I said no.

Then (Ed and I were friends for a reason, my ego began to itch, I love being in front of an audience just as much as he did) and I thought of something I would actually like to read at Ed's funeral service.

Podiums are my friend.

So there it is, I am going. If Ed is flying with the angels, then it was only natural for my better angels to check in with me, and say, yo, I think they would really like it if you came. So go.

Nuff said. And I can read from my own writing, nothing shabby about that.

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Ethereal Beauty: Floating In The Birdbath

Ethereal Beauty

A gift from the birdbath. I've never seen this color before. I wonder if I could paint it.

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Flower In The Birdbath

Flower In The Birdbath

Flowers die very well, and this flower ended up in our Blue Birdbath, either it was blown there or placed there by a woodland elf, the kind who make potholders and quilts. The flower has been  under water for a day or two, lots of storms here, and there is a brooding beauty to her, a color I have not seen before and captured by my hardy and faithful 100 mm. lens.

My birdbath is an art enabler.

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