not drowning waving

Kim Gamble

Kim Gamble
Location
Australia
Birthday
July 13
Bio
dad, children's books, gardens, the ocean, coffee with a friend.

MY RECENT POSTS

Kim Gamble's Links

New list
No links in this category.
previous posts
NOVEMBER 9, 2010 11:55PM

Truckstop

Rate: 47 Flag

Signors&ritas, no-one is knowing what any of this is, excepting that it's about a few years in lives ...  +  Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill (Milan) to celebrating, & thanking  ... We are much more grateful for your company is it.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Original post :

 Kims Truck Stop w Kate and candle

  ... from an isolated slightly sozzled truck-stop on one of life's back-roads

 Leepin and the Lilliputians  live at Truckstop. Larry on bass.

 Gnome on crowd control. 

 ( needs to be read with the music up so loud you have lean forward to read what others are writing )

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 This bit isn't original : 

 

       

 

       

 

        
 

 

     

 

            IMG_2411 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

truckstop

 

pic 

 

flickr.com

 ..................

 

 

sign, Vinny, Kate pic in Chinese Barnwood frame : l.larry neon p/l  ; 

shelly beach : kimpic    

 

 

                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

 
 
  
Anne Spencer Parry

 

 

 

                                  Ann Spencer Parry 1931 - 1985

 

 Barefoot lovesong, from the incomparable one ...

For Madiba. 29. 6. 2013. 

 

 From Valanga Khosa to anna1liese :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
cannot feel anything Kim
Maybe you should close the comments on this post...
OK, now that's a short poem that works...
I'm not sure if it was almost good.
I hope there is a sequel.
rated ?
Wait... are we playing pirate wimmin again?
Now here's something I don't understand either, pastvoices.

Patrick you are so close, so perceptive.

It was better than that Oryoki and you know it.
Larry it isn't one of those kind of posts.
oh god we are in the most rated feed...
thanks for the smile Kim..no pun intended...
Romantic Poetess,
The sequel will be Are You Done Yet ?

Antoinette this is one screwed-up left-over Piratewimmin left behind in the cabin.
Now a little wobbly at the knees but free.
Honestly, get a room!
Shiral it's the least they could do.

Anna1liese a slant on " All's well, etc."

IQ you too.

Rita what pun ?
Those who receive rainbows may share rainbows. Sharing mine here for strength. Sharing mine here with love.
This is a silly post, I guess. The sort of nervous happiness that arises when someone you care about disappears then reappears.
No good reason, just relief, and an excuse to be an ass.
I'm so glad you get it, ren 7352. I wasn't sure you would.
its 330 am what time is it there?
Nothing silly here. Connecting. Any way we can. Middle of the night. Middle of the day. Early evening. All times one here.
Time to reset the clocks I think. It's really 7.30pm.
It's about the planet, right ?
anna1liese as usual, on spot. Any ideas where to take this ?
I don't smoke, why do I feel like I need a cigarette?
Knowing we may reach a voice we hope to hear and then hearing that voice reply is a gift beyond measure. Both of you have allowed that here. Hard to simply float once the link is made when we wish we could see eyes or hold hands or stand beside or watch one sleep, knowing someone else who cares is there. I may be saying this badly but we are here, Rita. We can't lift this weight away, but perhaps we can just give our love to steady you. You are treasure. Know that we know that and that we feel that. You smiled a while ago. That is treasure too. Know that as you smiled, we smiled too. Meanwhile, we are here.
Not sure about the cigarette. I could make a pot of tea. Half past eight for Kim. Tea might not work for him. Still, the cup would be warm to hold. Always settling, tea.
sounds nice Anna1.....
Thanks anna - I bet everyone's in bed and sleeping draughts of relief and wishing each other sweet dreams. That was a long day.
Rita & IQ may have flagged this but I've yet to hear from an editor but if I do it's in the tags : do I look like I care ?
Weird thing is : I don't even know Rita.
My teapot was a gift from a mom when her son graduated. She said she chose it mostly for the teapot lid. On it perches a butterfly. She said her butterfly had found his wings and learned to fly. Wings don't come easily. Sometimes we aren't quite sure we want them. But when the time is right, they form and lift us up and away. May take a while to feel steady and to find our course. Cup of tea then for settling.
I have a headache just thinking about this. (not really) fun is fun. thanks. (a little lower...) ;}
Don't know what this is all about, but I like it...
Charlie on the off-chance you were still alive I went to your blog - it was fun, thanks.
"Pain is strange. A cat killing a bird, a car accident, a fire.... Pain arrives, BANG, and there it is, it sits on you. It's real. And to anybody watching, you look foolish. Like you've suddenly become an idiot. There's no cure for it unless you know somebody who understands how you feel, and knows how to help."
— Charles ( not Charlie ) Bukowski
crazy Aussie....(smile emoticon here)
This is, like, a semaphor, right? Or maybe a parable, I get the two confused. Either way, it's good to see Rita out and about and hopefully even with a slight grin on her face.
admiring her hatted self again.....

r
still smitten with julie though.
A "slight grin," nan ?
Man it's dribbling down the woman's chin !

cyril you don't mean our H Julie do you ? ( Stands back, gnome-destroying mallet poised over shoulder ...)
That's another simile, I'm assuming, or perhaps an allegory.
Semaphor, parable, simile, allegory ... a semaphor is something you do with Flags, on Boats. "I need a tug," comes to mind ... a parable is more like Jesus and seeds ; whereas a Simile is something being likened to something else, and an Allegory you're supposed to Learn something from. Something profound, even. Should we still be awake by then. I think maybe Rita had the right idea after all, last night - get in the car and drive East, fast.
Really, isn't there just too much information, in general ?
What are we supposed to do with it ? Process it ?
Safe Bet's Amy hates me now. I don't even know what I did wrong.
cyril there's something you should know ....
I think it's "Semaphore" ...but I could be wrong.
Larry he might have been reaching for "metaphor," if not a passing sophomore. Can you communicate, ship-to-ship, using metaphor ?
I want to play Van Morrison singing Comfortably Numb loud now.
i guess i like "comfortably gnome."
I was going with the spelling not the meaning...
python: wuthering heights in semaphor.

*smirk*
Metaphor, that was it! Yes, there's no substitute for a good old-fashioned homophone, or even a decent hominy, to convey meaning which will be largely misconstrued or entirely unnoticed by the masses. I'm reminded of Gulliver's Travels, which I always thought was about a giant dude who was harassed unrelentingly by a lot of tiny but very annoying bastards.
ok I brought out the big guns and it seems semaphore is more acceptable than semaphor in certain countries none of us ever heard of ... alright some other countries too ; ok most of them ; alright all of them ( sheesh ... ) but didn't you think it was funny ( Quick ! What's that over there ?! ) how it turned into ships sending metaphors to each other ?
I mean, the guy on the bridge of the Titanic : " Not to worry, that's just the tip," etc.
I wake up laughing over stuff like that.
I kill myself.
Well what the hell else was Gulliver's Travels about ? And don't try to tell me it was some " devastating social commentary " either. It was a giant dude being harassed by tiny annoying bastards.

Cyril for a little person you sent that way over my head. And I'm real sorry about Julie.
Do gnomes wear pinafores?
Sophomores in pinafores could wake a person up ...
A gnome in a pinafore - that's something you should take up with Stellaa. I forget what this post is about.
Sighing and smiling to see all of this. Gulliver took my little laptop to Mac's Emergency wing for a little while. Tiny Lilliputian connectivity meanwhile. Sighing and smiling now.
Who doesn't like to hang out at the slightly sozzled truck stops? Not me - the back roads have the best scenery.
I don't think I ever feel "sheepish"....
Looks like it worked ann1liese.

consonantsandvowels I agree, and you meet the nicest people too.

This post may not have made a lot of sense to begin with, but I was ( gently ) asked to remove a few things, so I did. Nothing profane, mind you.
what's this about julie?
gnomes wear their metaphors inside out.
Didn't you read the sign: Gnome Loitering
Gnome ore ! I can't stand it I tell you !
I should've gnome better...
I should have listened to you before Larry. I should have closed comments like you said.
IQ I think it started when nan sat down in the truckstop with a good old-fashioned homophobe and ordered a plate of homilies and grits.
Then Cyril the gnome arrived with Larry and the Lilliputians ( I think he's their roadie ) then it all sort of went weird.
Hey, did you see the new post about "feedback"?

Better take a two-by-four with you.
I saw it Larry, but comments were closed ( goodness ! ) - I do remember a gem about feedback being helpful only when it gauges clarity ?
Sort of cuts us right out of the picture don't you think ?
Ya reckon, maybe it's time for a new pair of glasses?

Do you know anything about gnome's genomes?
actually, i'm road manager.
larry's the front man/bassist.
larry's groupies are tattooed and wild.
Gnomegenomes are mainly cement I think. Look, I might be completely wrong about that.
You are the most incredibly thoughtful one. Just thinking out loud here. Just thinking out loud.
Where have the genomes gotten you anyway? Gnomewhere, methinks.
You don't gnome me anymore...
there's gnome place like home, there's gnome place like home Toto....
no moshing on the dancefloor!
gnomebody gnomes the trouble I seeeeen....
Oh, look. They're putting the chairs up on the tables.
they're not even finished playing.
For gnome the bell tolls...
gnome gnomenclature takes a beating here.
Don't mind me I'm just practising my http://open.salon.com/italics.php?cid=915838&is_preview=1
as per nanatehay's instructions. If it works the word italics will appear in italics - if it doesn't work I don't think I'll try again - I don't think italicising comments could ever be worth typing all that other stuff in before and after. But it was kind of nan to try to teach me how it's done.
OK I'm a bit slow no need to laugh.

For anyone else who's interested, try natatehay's quick italics tutorial> right here :

http://open.salon.com/content.php?cid=915838&is_preview=1

Thanks again nan.
gnome need for italics here.
This has become one of those truckstops where people come to practise italics and gnome-puns, or just stare out the window. Not even truckers come here anymore.
It used to be such a nice place ...
truck stops must have become annoying...shame.
Kim: " I tried what you said in your second pm ( thanks for persisting ) - the results are at the end of my Are you there yet post - I'll leave them up for you - Larry and the Gnome did such a good job trashing the thread I didn't think it would matter."

It was trashed before I got here

...and Rita helped.
"It was trashed before I got here."
Um, who made the first comment ... ?

( How do you do bold in comments anyway ? )
uh oh Larry tattled on me. He started it...
You deleted 50% of the comments, which made my comment look like the first...

Sorry Rita...it must have been a different Rita... You know how Kim has a thing for Rita's...

Use a "b" instead of an "i" ...for bold
The fur, alas is real, but perhaps I can be forgiven, because of these two things:
1. it was inherited from my mother who also inherited it,
2. It was Halloween, I don't normally go around decked in it.

And, I keep the minks hanging on a Chinese screen in my house, and occasionally scratch one under it's long-dead chin....and, I have been a vegetarian at certain times in my life. Now OK???
I got dibs on the front seat...
Kim drives on the wrong side of the road Larry.. you can have shotgun..
Does his money have pictures of the queen, too?
LIKE THIS, LAWRENCE ?

That's OK, Michelle - I was just curious.
( What are you doing in a run-down truckstop in the middle of nowhere dressed lke that ? )

Rita, Larry, when people put chairs up on tables - what does it say ?
Do you want it in semaphore ?
Larry let's blow this joint. Hop in the convertible. I hear there is a rainbow around here somewhere...
Good luck with that, Larry. Keep us posted.
( ps. Her husband is Italian ... OK ? )
Some of my best friends are Italian...

I like riding in the winter with the top down.
Good job on the "BOLD FONT"

Have you noticed that your "pal" has culled his archive down to 15 posts?

Why? Because he says so?
Kim you kicked us out.. in the middle of the backroads.. with bandicoots on the loose
Larry I have no idea what he's doing or why - Mark Trost said so works for me like it worked for Mary Lin. At least Mary Lin was upfront about it.
Rita WTF I kicked you out ?!
Some guy staring out the window at a tumbleweed, cold coffee, semaphore flags that say "KEEP DRIVING(thanks Larry) out the front, a Gnome in the restroom and a woman in bling from Florida in a mink - in my line, Rita, you got to know when to fold 'em.
Where is Gnomer Pyle tonight?

On KP duty?
In America putting the chairs up mean the joint is closing, last call. Perhaps in Australia it means time to dance?
Most places in the States are open 24/7...they only put the chairs on the tables to clean the floors.
Larry he freelances on Sunday nights at Stellaas' in her vegetable garden.
Rita chairs up here is both.
I'll dance, if Leepin' knows anything slow.
I hope you dance better than you drive.
Here then.
I dance slow ok - fast I look like an out of control blamange.
It's none of your business.
Tom Waits did the best version of Waltzing Matilda. Maybe I should find it.
You know this place closed hours ago.
Some people are just so sad ...
"blamange" as in pudding or dessert?
OED tells me it's blancmange*, and it's both pudding and dessert.

*white - eat ; anytime
ah.. put some sawdust down..
... just the barlight left on, and a couple slow-shuffling among the chairs on tables to Tom on a crackly jukebox.
Outside Larry and a gnome share a cigarette, stare down the road.
From a darkened corner a Floridean poet in mink & Trost gaze on the two lone figures there, drain their glasses and head toward the door.
put another quarter in..
I don't smoke and I'm certainly not going to put my lips where a gnome's lips were.
I missed you all this weekend...
I missed you too Linnnn. Kim was too busy stacking chairs and flicking the lights to miss anyone...
You didn't miss much Linnnn.
The highlight was the italics tutorial.
Somehow Larry went one further with Bold Italics, but I'm too proud to ask how he did that.
( He says he doesn't smoke, but cartouche passed him something before that interview ... )
See you next Sunday maybe.
Kim, just use both codes. But ... keep them separate.
I see that BBD picked up on my moni(c)ker for mr toast.
Is there a buffet on Sunday?
Like this ?
When it comes to toasted maestros I think Lewinsky is more apt than Moniker.
Yep, the ole Truckstop Special : Homilies & Grits. You might need to think about some new tunes ... something that might keep people from walking out the door, for example ...
Not that you weren't good or anything. I'm not saying that.
Ah, Larry ?
How do you turn the bold thing off ?
ie. It was supposed to just be the first line ...
you need to put the on both codes after section you wanted in bold and italics.
please get rid of the bold... for some reason I have a slight headache..
Hey guys! I wasn't around too much over the last week and I seem to have missed all the shenanigans!

Rita, I've been thinking about you here and there and hoping you were doing okay. I can see you've been keeping some happy company ... and some ... well er... rather dodgy company too!
Lil Kate no time for the blues, Waltzing Matilda's been playing late into the night..
What? Waltzing Matilda!!!!

Oh, come on Kim ... how about we play a little of Men at Work at least? *wanders off singing ....*

Traveling in a fried-out combie
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast
And she said,

"Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover."
Here goes ... ( I'll try both ways )

Sorry about the headache Rita but it is/ loud in here.

Sorry about the headache Rita but it is// loud in here.

Kate is that better ? ( sorry Rita if this is still bold ... )

The neurolinguistics session will commence at the bar as per usual at 8.30 if the instructor can find the place.
Right after the lesson on getting rid of unwanted forward slashes.
YAY!!!!! Much better!

Come on, Rita ... Let's kick up our heels! *goes off singing again ...

"....Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six foot four and full of muscles
I said, "Do you speak-a my language?"
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich
And he said,

"I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder ...."
Mind those forward slashes Kim ... they're sharp little buggers!
Sure Lil Kate, I will not be at the bar at 8:30, no reality at the bar is my mantra...
more sawdust.. Kim looks like it might be another long night at the truck stop, guess Larry can't hang like we thought and the gnome well.. we won't go there...
Kim...I think Kate called you "dodgy"...whatever that is....

I guess you are a Chrysler/Fiat product
It's a leftover term from Dickens' Artful Dodger - and she wasn't referring to me, Larry.
Nope! I wasn't referring to Kim!
"No reality at the bar" sounds like a very good mantra to me, Rita!

Yes, more sawdust would be good Kim .... and perhaps a little Dutch courage ...

What's everyone having?
I'll have one o' them Stella Atois thanks Kate.
( Do these people know what "shout" means, do you think ? )

a Chrysler/Fiat product sounds like the offspring of a Bull Mastiff and a chihahua.
No probs, Kim - one Stella Artois coming up! (I reckon the won't know what a shout is!)


Rita, Larry, Anyone else? It's my shout ...
hell with the headache I'll have a Stella too, thanks for the shout Lil!
this truckstop has livened up quite a bit since Lil Kate has started slumming..
I hope that's not a pointy hat I see comin' around the bend..
YAY, Rita!!!! A Stella coming up for you too!

Pointy hat! Where??? I can't see anything!
Would you happen to have Louis XIII Black Pearl,
served in a warmed snifter?
Oh Larry! This is a truckstop! Do you think they would have the likes of that kind of good stuff here? And if they did ... you reckon this Aussie lass could afford it???? I wish I could ... but ...
Turns out there's a Louis XIII Black Pearl out the back - we were using it in the salads before we stopped doing salads - I'll warm you a snifter while I find some more music ...
Sorry...

Ice cold Corona with a lime, no glass?
And you stopped doing salads because ...?
I invite you to the warm tones of Paul Weller ... any complaints I'm putting Englebert Humperdink back on.
Torn between Cognac and Corona - I've been there, Larry. A difficult spot.
At least we have women tonight.
Style Council! Well ... my toes are a-tappin' anyway!
Turns out truckers don't really like salad. They were just eating it because they thought they had to.
Well, I'm here Kim but where's Rita gone? Last I know is that she fancied she saw a pointy hat coming round the bend...
Ah, I see! A case of REAL men don't eat salad!

I thought it might have been because you couldn't afford to make them anymore because of the cost of salad dressing!
May I be the first to question your taste?
You're going to "look like an out of control blamange" dancing to "Shout to the top".
Like you, Larry, in the Adirondacks or Appallachians or whatever you call them, I live in a place where no-one can see me when I dance.
So whether it's Shout to the Top or You're the Best Thing, whether it's fast or slow, it doesn't alarm the neighbours.
I thought for a truckstop I ought to go the middle-road.
There's a danger the place will fill up with gay truckers though, which wouldn't sit well with nan and his good ole homophobe I suppose. I never thought of that.
Kim looking like an "out of control blamange" .... now THAT I wanna see!
No danger of that, Kate.
I need to go to the PO before it closes - when I get back I'll put on something everyone will love ...
a bold slash may give you a headache.
and that would be "blancmange."
guess french c's can be silent. (?)
neither a homophobe nor a gnomophobe be.
The gnome has come back to the truckstop. And music has become a bit slow and well.. sentimental... a truckstop with a heart... play it again Kim..
Cyril that's enough. Just set back and enjoy some music.
Or I'll throw you out again.
are we closin' the joint again Kim?
Hey, Rita.
I'll still be here, you know cleaning glasses, keeping an eye out for the stragglers.
Thought some Carole King might settle things down.
'Til some fool put on Yothu Yindi ...
I swear I'm gonna get rid of that machine and buy me a Karaoke outfit. That'll bring the truckers back ...
Maybe I'm just dreaming ... things haven't been the same since they put the bypass through.
What's a man gonna do ?
Grab a towel, Rita. Help me with them glasses.
So Far Away again ?
sounds good Kim..didgeridoo is a bit much now..
The Antipodeans have always suffered from a certain amount of demagnetization given their location on the globe, so it's no wonder that this post has appeared. Surprising that it doesn't happen more often really, but all the credit for that is probably due the White Pointers, so fine are they at keeping their Gullivers mindful.
To paraphrase Muddy Waters :
Some people say they don't like the didg.
But they's wrong.
I'm going to find a song for you Ablonde.
And you will sit there watching Michelle and Trost dance, and you will enjoy what I've chosen for you.
No, don't thank me.
It's the least I could do.
Who is this dancing Michelle? Trost? Trost is toast and no one, not even an ionized and over-magnetized Antipodean can force me to read his tripe or watch him dance. Ever.
Then just dance with me, blonding - that was Crowded House's final gig. Rita's got the glasses.
Michelle is a Floridean poet, Trost a sort of I-don't-know, think thoth.
You really need to pay more attention, Ablonde.
So, dance ?
Love me some Crowded House. Do I need glasses? Probably. I would rather snorkel than dance unless the shark bites me then I think shots of rum to kill the pain and barefoot dancing on coral heads would be okay.
any coffee in this truckstop..
I think Kim's dozed off somewhere Rita. Let's help ourselves. I've got time for a quick cuppa ... better make mine tea ... before I head off to bed.
just getting up here Kate, I 'll make some tea, strange dreams last night..hope you don't have any!
Strange dreams? Oh dear.

Not much sleep here last night, and only a little for days actually ... and as it's just gone 11:30pm here, I'm hoping I'll sleep like a baby after this lovely cuppa.
Ah! That was a lovely cuppa Rita! Thanks!

I had better turn in now ... an early start tomorrow for work.
Sorry I wasn't here to make the tea - either I was dancing on coral or with the blonde who was here - hard to tell which. But I'm all wet and it seems something bit me ...
I don't know if I'm cut out to run a truckstop. I like the music but some of the people are a bit odd I reckon.
Thats OK Kim, if you don't remember, it doesn't count. Wrap your foot and have a lie down.
I'm still waiting for that friggen beer. I could of walked to Mexico and back faster. I'm glad I didn't order a salad.
...and "friggen" isn't the name of the beer.
Oh Larry! Where are my manners! I thought Kim was getting you the Cognac! A Corona ...wasn't it? Here you go!
That last I heard, Kim was at the P O licking stamps.
Thank you Lil Kate ...
*singing*
...you always take the weather with you....

=')}
Acksherly I've been colouring in. Colouring in and driving and talking to small children about chickens. Why you shouldn't pick them up if it's been raining and you've got clean-for-school clothes on.
What are we going for the longest blog ever about italics ?
Where did the blonde go ?
Trosty, Michelle ?
Just us then, is it ?
Gilligan's Truckstop.
Drank all my salad dressing, got a customer disgruntled and the Gnome's delirious.
I've got an idea : We all go back to someone else's blog and trash /it/.
my blog's kind of a nightmare right now, it's just so comfortably low brow here, this truckstop, no expectations, just good music and gnome humor.
Hey Rita you want some forward slashes ?
I got heaps.
No thanks Kim, don't do well with things that move forward, I always seem to be taking one step backward..
New song, hoping you like it.
perfect... accompaniment to a wind storm here, whistling through the house. Thank you, never heard him before, excellent guitar. Nice verse below it too..
*singing more*
...don't dream it's over....
*belting refrain*
...to the world where you li-ive....
like that word sozzled.. doesn't need any explanation
Cyril thinks the broom is a karaoke mike.
two *belches* forward shlashes 'n' a rum-n-coke pleez.
don' shtop the kara*belches*oke m'sheen....
What I'm going to do now some of you might consider cruel.
Then, perhaps you've never had to deal with a sozzled Gnome with a broom either.
All I wanted to do was own my own business, you know ?
I thought a truckstop would be good - you know, people, colour, life, etc.
I didn't count on the hours. Or the crazies.
Then the bypass.
So there's a week on the lease.
My wife's got Lumbago, or she went there for a holiday, I can't remember. It hurts, is all I know. And there's a Gnome with a broom. You know ?
That's all right KIm, I'll just sit here a bit and wait for the meteor shower, sozzled gnomes and odd people don't bother me too much. It's quiet here at moonset, a couple of shooting stars just went by. Turn that bar light out.
I'll sit with you a bit Rita. Moonset, shooting stars and waiting for a meteor shower sounds wonderful to me!

Not sure about the sozzled gnome with a broom though!
That makes three of us.
Don't know about you, but I keep putting Tom on.
Again and again, quieter and quieter ...
are we ... normal ? ... do you think ...?
Ever think about that ...?
Playing Tom now ...

Who's to say what's normal? Is there such a thing as being normal?
Reaching out, reaching across, allowing each other to be, to smile, to sing, to dance, to listen, to weep, to run, to come back, to rest, to think, to question, to be heard, to offer tea, to sweep the floor, to put the glasses and the cups away, and then to take the chairs back down as talk goes on and people wander in and out, to be there for ourselves and for each other, to dare to connect, to dare to be.
All of these are what normal ought to be.
NOTICE TO MANAGEMENT
There is something clogging the toilet in stall #2.
Looks to be something purple and conical shaped .
You might want to call a plumber/priest or a trost.
purple? whew! this gnome's hat is scarlet.
*calls in his own people as cleaning crew*
@larry: what's that on your heel?
*singing to his broom handle*
do i lie like a loungeroom lizard....
*singing on*
...or do i sing like a bird released?
Then we're normal.
Except Larry.
And Cyril.
and speak for yourself ye mad pirate!
a hand broom mike. who knew?
*whistles to crowded house tune*
That's the thanks I get ... ( new song, for Cyril ) ... but it's a thankless business, running a truckstop, I knew that before I opened the doors.

Bit of Doors maybe ... Riders on the Storm ... ( it's raining ) - trouble with this joint is no-one ever goes to bed.
Maybe it's got to do with time.
my favorite Crowded House- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-MIH843Y_c
Thanks Julie - I hadn't seen that - love it. So glad they gave dear Paul ( the drummer ) a guitar for the clip.
Embed's disabled on that so I found you one I hope you like as much.
*blushing to his toes*
:sigh:
julie!
oh yes, that is another favorite! I requested that about 3 am on some radio station here about 10 years ago and the dj sighed and didn't give me shit, but obviously wanted to. You know, some bands are timeless. Timeless is never uncool. :p stupid djs, worrying about image at 3am
*smoochies* Troll Boy
@julie: angel, gnomes and trolls don't mix.
kim, this is so excellent. great song!
@julie: gnome smoochies with a wink.
There is a phone call for "troll boy" on line 3.
*breath quickening* *pulse racing* *knees wobbling8
who is it? is it julie?
no...I think it's your wife
*comes to*
i'm not hitched. nor engaged, either.
Someone loves you at scupper's, Cyril.
Just you and me then, Larry.
...
*still wobbly*
what's a scupper?
Forget it Kim...I'm not dancing with you
not one woman for dancing purposes.
@larry: been there. seen that. done that.
*shuffling his deck*
let's make this one 5 card stud.
*deals first hand*
dealer needs a better hand.
*replaces 3 cards*
*peers over his hand at kim and larry*
well, fellas? a buck says i win.
there's gnome crap on these cards ... these cards are marked!
2 bucks says let's see.
I checked out the avatar story Larry - I'd like to see one about the banner.
I say all 3 of us go to stall #2 and see if it's still there.
Before the police get arrive.
I hope your passports are in order.
I might have to fold I think. I hate folding. It's like putting the pick down one stroke from the gold. Every instinct tells me to hold them, but all I've got is this lousy straight ! Ha !
*yawns* my royal flush flushes that.
I'd like to see the rest of the deck, if that's ok.

Something's fishy and it isn't just myriad.
truckstops don't smell the best in the morning do they?
*admiring rita's behatted feminine self*
we cleaned. larry needs a shower.
this os server is weird.
Do you think if I put on some Bach Trost might come bach ?
thanks for tidying up my words, kim.
forget bach. how 'bout johnny cash?
i have it! bruce hornsby.
No Johnny or Connie or Burl or Bruce, but someone you might like ..
cold chisel? nice, that.
you gonna ante up, or what?
Why am I looking after my ex-wife's poodle this week-end ?
What's going on ?
Poodle?
You folks down there, have some strange names for body parts.
If somebody saw this post, and read 2oo+ comments oh I'd better take a look ... I mean, what do you think they'd make of it ?
Waiting for Godot, someone said ... but Larry it's worse than that.
I mean, we can't even write.
Shouldn't we be, you know, discussing philosophy or something ?
Playing cards with a dodgy Gnome ... you know ?
Women get bored with these kinds of places, and I'm looking for a long-term relationship, and not just with my -ex. Or her dog.
A poodle is a dog, Larry. This one's 13 and pretty much incontinent.
I know, I'm a good friend. To a point, is what I'm saying.
I'm just not so sure about anything anymore, you know ?
Like, why's everyone over at Dave Rickert's and not here, is what I'm saying.
@larry, i'll raise you 5 bucks.
kim, ya gonna ante or fold?
uhoh. the poodle's behind the bar again.
Are we here again? this is becoming a hangout.. never heard that song Kim.. keep the music coming and the dog away from my boots,,
Alright see you raise you five.
Not like I'm ever going to win or anything.
"Angel!" (that's the dog's name) "Geddaddathere!"
@rita: your lovely self is welcome to play.
how 'bout some john coltrane?
*whispers* i think larry's asleep again.
Bella's luck - even her dog turned into an alcoholic.
Mornin' Rita. Sleep well ? ( wink )
If you like Cold Chisel click on Khe San at the end - it's our national anthem.
You might remember When The War Is Over from a post a while back.
Kim, what time is it there? here it is evening and I wasn't sleeping, out driving in the country, found myself back here.. .
Don't let the gnome deal, Rita.
Miles and J Coltrane, done. Not exactly truckstop, but I don't see too many trucks stoppin' anyway.
Maybe I should take the "Keep Driving" flags down ...
know you're talking..
thanks for that coltrane, kim.
are you and rita still in?
the kitty's real flush. so, are ya?
I'm still in.
Though I'm wondering : writers mount/mound up. There's so much good stuff to read.
And I love to read, but Sunday mornings don't last all day, and John Blumenthal has heaps of readers - he's not going to miss me,
but sometimes people say Why haven't you read me/commented ? Well there's the time zone thing, people disappearing while I'm sleeping, especially on Spam Weekends, but also there's just the time thing.
I feel as if instead of sitting around listening to music and playing cards I should be More Earnest or something.
Conundrum Open Call. Limited to the truckstop. No prizes.
But screw that.
Deal.
If you lose the poodle to "troll boy", the ex will kill you.
The poodle just lost control of itself by the front door.
Which I wouldn't normally mention.
If it somehow died I could always just go to the pound and get another one the same size.
Conundrum Open Call-wise, what do you do when people you've never heard of pm you about their latest post ?
Do you a. Pour another drink ?
b. Google coelecanths ?
c. Arrange to meet them for coffee ?
d. Report them ?
or e. Ask that your account be closed ?
f.) deal. for pity's sake.
*picks up hand larry just dealt him*
*looks it over*
*winks knowingly at rita in her fine hat*
how's a buck to start?
( wink to Rita )
Let's start with 5.
5 centimeters is less than 2 inches
i see you five and raise you another.
This dog isn't just incontinent ...

Rita I warned you about Cyril. He's a shark in a Norwegian suit.

I've got to open some more windows here ...
yogurt might be of use here.

r
i meant that for the dog.
O. Sorry. I thought you meant I should smear it all over the table.
Well, it is a truckstop, these things happen..
I see you have my favorite Nina song up in the jukebox
MTN of all people, at trig's reminded me - glad you like this one.
Probably we'll need new cards.
Unless you feel like Monopoly ...
any game that tells you to go "directly to jail" might not be good this time in the morning at a truckstop
How did the truckstop metaphor make its way over here so rapidly? And what for the love of St. Mary the Virgin of Guadalupe has been GOING ON over here for the last several days?
Nana, we've been in and out of the truckstop for days now..where ya been..
Ah Rita. Shit. Off in the ditch, me. Always there. How are you doing? Better I hope. You seem to be somewhat better.
well, it's four o'clock in the morning, full moon here, I am in a virtual truckstop in Australian and you're deep in hot sauce... how the hell do you think we are?
Hah! I'm right now searching for a song to link to. I knew where it was once but now it's being obscure...
Here it is, finally:

http://www.cmt.com/videos/gillian-welch/94102/revelator.jhtml
Passing through town again and thought I'd drop in at the truckstop for a quiet drink, some good music and hopefully catch up with some good buddies! I'm pleased to see you here Rita! You sure are a nightowl my friend!

And nana ... Hi there!

Can I buy you guys a drink?
Words:

Darling, remember
When you come to me
I'm the pretender
And not what I'm supposed to be
But who could know if I'm a traitor
Time's the revelator

They caught the Katy
And left me a mule to ride
The fortune lady
Came along, she walked beside
But every word seemed to date her
Time's the revelator
The revelator

Up in the morning
Up and on the ride
I drive into Corning
And all the spindles whine
And every day is getting straighter
Time's the revelator
The revelator

Leaving the valley
and fucking out of sight
I'll go back to Cali
Where I can sleep out every night
And watch the waves and move the fader
Time's the revelator
The revelator

Queen of the fakes and imitators
Time's the revelator
Kate, you incredible sweetheart, drinks are on me!
Thanks Nana, a fav album I haven't listened to in a long while, don't know that I ever read the lyrics but I love that last stanza..her voice is perfect for a 430am listen...
Kate, believe it or not, I am drinking tea in the truckstop, want to feel good for Sunday, supposed to be 60degrees and sunny tomorrow..
Gee, thanks so much nana! I'm chilling a bit so a Brandy and Dry sounds pretty good to me right now!

Rita, you are the wise one! Tea at 4:30am in the morning is usually the way I'd go too ... but, hey, Down Under it's just after 8:30pm!
Sunday sunny and 60 degrees eh? I always have to do a conversion when you guys talk in Fahrenheit ... so 60 degrees is about 15.5 Celsius ... quite mild. My Sunday was cloudy and around 24 degrees C (75 F).
We have our own weathergirl is it ?
Hope you're wearing something slinky there Kate. Let's hear it for the isobars and barometric pressure too ! And more Stella if nan's shouting - I found Gillian but not revelator ( unembeddable ) - thanks for the lyrics ; here's a person I'd never heard of.
Hope you enjoy the one I found - pretty truckstoppy too.
Rita have a clear and lovely Sunday.
I'm into the brandy I think.
Brandy and Dry it is Kate. The temp conversion thing can be a little challenging. Almost as bad is the time; I often need to convert the time here into Sydney time myself; I just add 24 hrs then subtract 9, unless it's daylight savings time here in which case I subtract 10, but soon enough that'll be 11 after 'Stralia changes its own time to something different. Then it'll change back to 1o and eventually 9 again in our spring, your autumn. Why do we gotta have all these time zones and stuff?
Just read Gillian's lyrics - here's someone to follow up on ...

Do you people ( Larry, Gnome, wake up - this concerns you ) realise we've gone over 300 comments on 17 rates ?
On an italics tutorial ? I don't know about you but I feel I've found the answer to something that's always been just beyond my reach.
Hey there Kim! Not too sure I make a good weather girl ... but since they converted to C here all those years ago I get lost when people start talking in F!

Thanks for the drink, nana! Yes, time zones are a real pain!
Enjoying Gillian ... haven't heard her before! Thanks!
Kate the same - thanks nan ; extraordinarily unknown here, but will be brought to light ! I hope I did her justice with Elvis Presley's Blues - love it.

There'll be another italics / forward slash / bold tutorial at 9.30.
Credit cards are fine. And your address, for our records. Thanks.
Kate, it's the globe that gets in the way, all that rock in between this side of the world and yours. I've had dreams before where I was crossing the Pacific on a yacht I commandeered somehow...

And Kim, this is awesome! Elvis Presley's Blues is just so f#@kin...you get it! Wow. Checking out IQ's contribution now...
I couldn't embed yours IQ but this is the same song, sung from Sydney. I know the sound's not as good as yours, but it was an amazing night just the same ...
nana, I dream of crossing the Pacific one day too ... what an adventure! Especially if you've commandeered a yacht my friend!

IQ, Kim ... Mark Knopfler ... wow ... that one was special!

Can I get anyone another drink?
Ah shit IQ. Fuck. This is a song Nat showed me one night. Fuck. The Internet is a strange place. What a beautiful song.
Kate, one over here please. You people are really cool. IQ, whaddaya say we slam dance to some Blondie? (slam dancing is friendlier than it sounds)
By "you people" I mean these people I meet on OS, these folk who wander into the truckstop and sit down, shaking the cold off them and...there's a cat sitting on my neck, hang on.
OK, hot toddies it is! (.... wanders off shaking her head ... catches Kim's eye and says, "Hey Kim, Have you heard of hot toddies before? That's a new one on me!
Kate you heat up some milk and put brandy or whiskey in - I'm going to have get you to look after the bar 'cause it's elevenish here in the pm - when you knock off please don't leave the keys where Cyril can find them ok ? Loving you all from afar, goodnight !
Ah! Thanks Kim! And don't worry 'bout the bar ... she'll be right!Oh and the keys ...yep, for sure! I'm guessing anywhere above knee height should be fine. 'Night Kim ... see you in the morning!

Here you go everyone ... last drinks ... hot toddies all round!
ps. Kate : double-time Sunday night I didn't forget ;-)

Blondie either ...
Nah.... don't worry 'bout the double time, Kim ... What are friends for!
IQ, 'twas the same version, London I guess it is.

The sun is coming up here soon, or it would if the clouds would go away. Gnite Kim, gnite Kate!
IQ, you're in the same hemisphere as me, what do we do when even the Aussies retire? Wait a minute, I forgot, we...SLAM DANCE! Queue up "I Wanna Be Sedated" and get your Doc Martens on, no quarter given nor taken. One two three and go!!
last dance blondie slow nan iq behave, its just a dance ...
I don't think that ren person really got it my friend, I think they were mocking you, thumbing their noses up at you, giving you the ole one eye Willie to your face!!!!!

Damn it man, I think they wanted you but were teasing you just the same!!!!

Pocksuckers!!!! Probably took five of your mops and sold them for crack!! I bet they did!!!

Oh well....

Good story, I like the part about the buffalo!!!

Yeah, it has been a long night of drug taking and girl on donkey action!! Good night sweet prince!!!!
No delicacy!

Twenty, twenty, twenty four hours to go I wanna be sedated
Nothin' to do, no where to go, oh, I wanna be sedated

Just get me to the airport put me on a plane
Hurry, hurry, hurry before I go insane
I can't control my fingers, I can't control my brain
Oh no, oh, oh, oh, oh

Twenty, twenty, twenty four hours to go I wanna be sedated
Nothin' to do, no where to go, oh, I wanna be sedated

Just put me in a wheelchair get me on a plane
Hurry, hurry, hurry before I go insane
I can't control my fingers, I can't control my brain
Oh no, oh, oh, oh, oh

Twenty, twenty, twenty four hours to go I wanna be sedated
Nothin' to do, no where to go, oh, I wanna be sedated

Just put me in a wheelchair, get me to the show
Hurry, hurry, hurry before I go loco
I can't control my fingers, I can't control my toes
Oh no, oh, oh, oh, oh

Twenty, twenty, twenty four hours to go I wanna be sedated
Nothin' to do, no where to go, oh I wanna be sedated

Just put me in a wheelchair, get me to the show
Hurry, hurry, hurry before I go loco
I can't control my fingers, I can't control my toes
Oh no, oh, oh, oh, oh

Bamp bamp, ba bamp, ba bamp bamp, ba bamp, I wanna be sedated
Bamp bamp, ba bamp, ba bamp bamp, ba bamp, I wanna be sedated
Bamp bamp, ba bamp, ba bamp bamp, ba bamp, I wanna be sedated
Bamp bamp, ba bamp, ba bamp bamp, ba bamp, I wanna be sedated
Goodnight all! I've shut down the taps and everything's locked up.

nana/IQ just let yourselves out when you're finished ... And mind Kim now .... Behave, please!

'Night!
Wish I didn't need sleep so much, or I would've loved to have hung out with you all last night! This convo is priceless...
Nah Killem, I gave that up years ago. To be honest though, every now and then I still miss that monkey...
Coelecanths. Sushi grade.
IQ, Knopfler is married as I understand it. Or an English rock star guitar genius or something. I feel the same way about Sarah McLachlan though. There is some irony involved, considering there was no valid reason for the restraining order. I mean, if I wanna lurk in the bushes outside her house what business is it of the government anyway?
Linnn, I would KILL for some coelacanth sushi! You've never eaten raw fish 'til you've had supposedly extinct raw fish.
Sarah McLachlan in the forest?

::THUD::
ghosts, mists, miles...
years or moments between...
friends nonetheless
(if only for a while)
again and still
when remembered
and always
for evermore
in mind and memory

Thanks Kim! Such a lovely perfect montage and reflection! Thanks for planting the seeds of thoughts I will savor with smiles today! (and Thanksgiving week!) ;}
rated and hugging...
So glad I went to bed before Romeo and Juliet, it always makes me cry. iq, I have also thought the same thing about Mark, shame isn't it all the good ones are rock gods?
Don't think I could've slam danced either so, OK maybe some bloody mary's are in order now that the Aussies have gone to bed.
Please hold the milk on my hot toddy.
11 days later ... this post has made it to the "most popular column"
*passed out under the card table after too much malt liquor*
*dreams of having rita hold his hand as they walk under a rainbow*
I don't think I can live with being a gnome's second best Cyril, it just hurts too much, dream on.
Larry, I guess everyone wants a place to go at 3am.. 350 comments!
I need coffee.

You do good truck stop Kim. Great jukebox, fantastic company, and the biscuits-and-gravy are first rate.

I need coffee.

Sometimes I talk too much. That's OK too though.

I need coffee.
*still sleeping, dreaming*

julie.........
@ Tink "I don't think that ren person really got it my friend," I didn't get it ( what ? ) either, but I thought with a blue link & a surname like 7352 he probably knew more than me.
...when the world comes in ...
Hey now.
*singing in his dreams8
don't dream it's over.....
#357.
Where are we going with this new line of thought Brains ?

Notice there's only one spam, ren who I left up to throw Tink.
They must operate on rates not the comment count.
It turns out Kristina Keneally, the Premier of NSW, was born in Ohio.
Married into Tom Keneally's family. He wrote Shindler's Ark, which Steven Spielberg made into Schindler's List.
Tom lives a mere 7 beaches away from me.
If you divide 357 by 51 you get 7.
I know ...
*awakens with a yawn*
say--where's that poodle that was here?


#358
Bella just this minute left with the dog.
Before she left we had a cup of tea ( 4.30 in the pm here ) - acksherly she had a cup of tea. I had a glass of cold white wine ( it was a big day ) and she smiled.
Hey now.
We talked about what's next - moving back to the country - all that entails ... how it will impact ...
Hey now, when the world comes in ... tey come, they come ...
Least I won't have so far to drive to the truckstop every day, there's that.
Think I'll sign another lease.
Paint the walls.
Grow a few flowers out front.
Hire a sushi chef.
See if Anne Cutri wants to start up a Comfort Cafe next door where the North Korean Theme Park was.
Put us back on the map, you know ?
do you need a dishwasher?
Don't worry, the Kim il Jong statue stays.
Think you could handle it ?
Many years of experience... grew up in a house with eleven people, that's a lot of dishes...
Now that the poodle's gone there could be real dog like Max for a truckstop mascot..
Ah, side by side with a sibling, up to your elbows in murky tepid water, listening to your parents tearing each other apart ...
o childhood ... what I'd give ...
Both of you are hired.
We are going to the moon.
At 10.05 trig was on 335 comments.
3 hours later we're at 366 and we have a dog that drinks coffee.
Not that length matters. Just saying.
We're doing it with half the staff.
And no rates.
Kristina said "Hi Kim."
I said "Hi Kris."
They told me that's not what you say to the Premier.
I told them I couldn't think of anything else to say apart from What the ནས་ཡིན། are you doing about the coal mines ?
They shrugged and were awkward.
Any more music, considering the hour ?
I'm here to please.
And beat trig to 400.
2000 is Mars, or Neptune even. We don't need to go that far. All we need to do is beat trig to 400.
I couldn't find Nick Drake for this song - I like this though.
Truckstoppy.
Hey now.
I didn't now Kristina was married into Tom Keneally's family.
Love some more Tom.

Notice I commented all over trig's and we haven't seen him here ?
Not that I'm counting.

Kate I don't know the full story, all I got was "Hi." And a lesson in protocol.
And are you a good learner, Kim? Do you like to follow the rules?
OMG!!!!! Tom DOES look like Larry!!!!!!!
Done, IQ, thanks.

They got rules, Kate ?

I had to lose the Nick Drake person ... too slow to load, and I don't think anyone can cover Nick really ...
This is Ben Hur ! Titanic ! Watership Down ! The remake of Journey to the Centre of the Earth without Max von Sydow or the wombat !
If anyone asks, you brought your own beverages ok ?
Epic for sure! This one will go down in history, Kim.
Better prepare an acceptance speech.
Trig has been officially notified, by pm, that each of us has 12 hours to reach 400.
Starting ... now.
And he's not allowed to get Amy to come 20 times or anything.
It will be a fair contest.
No alters or ring-ins. Genuine comments from genuine people.
No senseless repetition.
OK ?
No senseless repetition? Sure thing! No probs! OK!
Beautiful photos, IQ! And you went walking at 3am?
Hey more Tom, I'll help beat Trig to 400... fell asleep thinking of turgid dishwater..
just come from iq's place, nothing like a truckstop there with fresh snow and magical trees, a big friendly dog too, Kim, you are going to have to work hard to beat that one..
In fairness to trig I deleted some ( thanks Kate ) - and thanks for saying what we were all thinking, IQ. Blo(cough)gwhore - but hey, if you can't sell your body parts at the truckstop, where are you gonna sell them ? Love your mathematics, and Max is probably cuter than the incontinent poodle.
Rita it's tepid.
Hey everyone, Rita's here!

IQ has a lovely place there, doesn't she? Did you get to pat Max? He's adorable!
It's okay to delete, Kim. I thought you might ... it's only fair!

Ah, you're quick Kim! I wondered for a second about 'turgid' ... didn't seem quite right ... but then I let it go!
Jollity in the air, snow on some of the ground, dogs keeping guard, conversation coming and going, reflections shared, music playing: no wonder everyone keeps coming back.
turgid, tepid. Where's the gnome?
The gnome's probably still dreaming about Julie!
Does anyone here sleep ?
Hi anna1liese.
Dangerously close to 400.
trig is not going to be ok about this.
I should confess : I am the Gnome, and Trost, cartouche, nan, Matt Paust and Ablonde as well as Mary Ann Sorrentino and Divorce Bard. Also Lezlie and lorianne. And Linda. Brassawe too.
I know I should have told you all at the beginning, but everything sort of ... escalated, you know ?
At least I'm not Larry.
He can have that gig to himself.
Ah you are a man of many, many talents, Kim!!!! ; )
Kate don't encourage him, his head is big enough..
somehow the gnome disappears when you do Kim.. and he knows about Manly somehow..hmmm.
Ah, and here's the weirdest thing : I am one of you, and none of you know, not even the one who I am, which one of you I am.
Tea, coffee, kool-aid ?
Will doors magically close when the bell rings. Without a certain cafe nearby, a truck stop offers bits of gold.
So you reckon the gnome IS Kim, Rita?
an enigma wrapped in a riddle you are Kim. Hey I remember when you started this post, way back in the good ole days of OS.. it was quite profane, boy didn't we have fun back in those days..
Point me to the Gnome/Manly reference Rita.

Bells ring, and the doors somehow don't close. We need our neighbour.

I am Kent Pitman. Padraic and Variant. I am Joan H, Stellaa, Emma and the person no-one ever reads, ever even clicks on.

I am Patrick Frank ; the love child of Bonnie Russell and scanner.
OK, we get it. It's early here, give us a break, mate. You are now most commented on, on this site Kim.
I am you and you are me and we are all together, except for Angel, because Bella took Angel back to her place.
#406

Are you receiving a commission per post?
Comment or post, Lawrence ?
per comment I get about $2.75.
But you really can't put a price on meaningfulness, isn't it. It isn't about the money.
Angel tells us who you are and that you have a heart of gold, a heart you are not embarrassed to have or to show or to share, a heart that opens a door and pulls out a chair and is able to wait, to listen or just be. It may not be all of who you are, or maybe again, maybe it is.
Hey, What's the deal with your Koala population becoming extinct from Chlamydia?
*now wakeful, suns himself at a window*
*recounts poker winnings*
40, 60, 80, 100...
They're falling out of the trees as we speak, Larry. Thud ! There goes another one.
It's to do with constricting habitat & consequent inbreeding.
Manly was named by our original guv, Arthur Philip, in the late 1700s.
It seems some mussell-gathering convicts transgressed, and Arthur went by rowboat to sort it out. He had three or four soldiers with him as well as the convicts rowing.
When they arrived at what is now Manly Cove ( where the ferry comes in ) they were met by a large party of Cameraigal, armed.
Bennelong ( who used to live where the Opera House is now ) was there and tried to settle things down. Benn was having it off with a Cameraigal woman at the time, which wasn't really ok but he had special priveleges due to his being able to speak English.
Arthur in gubernatorial splendour stood on the beach while an elderly man, his equal, stood shouting at him in a language Arthur couldn't understand.
The elderly guy, clad in nothing but a piece of string around his waist, used his foot to flick both spear and woomera ( a spear-launcher) up to his hands and in one fluid movement sent the spear the twenty yards that separated them, through Arthur's shoulder.
He could have put that spear in Arthur's forehead or his heart if he wanted to, but this was payback, not war.
The guv to his credit told his soldiers to hold fire.
They rowed back to Sydneytown where the spear ( a nasty, shell-tipped thing ) was removed. Peace had been restored.
Guv named the beach Manly, in respect.
The Cameraigal all died of smallpox and measles within 10 years of that encounter.

source : gamblepedia.
does gamblepedia include your own history?
Well, it's official. Your truckstop has garnered more comments than my ill-advised Invasion Of Canada in winter '08 and even more than Cindy Ross's infamous Puddin' Rasslin' Smackdown!
I got to cheer here reading all the comments in two days running here..

Y'all dudes are crazy.
I can't believe you are dealing cards in a truckstop,
on a counter smeared with yogurt,
with a floor full of poodle piss puddles
Drinking and carrousing with the ladies,
running 24/7 over several days
trying to beat the two Kanass brothers
for the most comments
EVER!!
Go Aussies!!
how 'bout another cup of coffee?
I didn't know this was a contest. I've been commenting on both blogs.
Mission, hate to admit it but some Yank woman have been here carousing from the ninth...
What's this about marsupial STDs? And what is IQ talking about up there? Was I singing the other night? I remember Blondie and the Ramones, and steel-toed boots, and slam dancing, but I don't remember singing. Ay caramba.
no worries Larry, I see we were all over there too..
I would of already been carousing right long if I had known where the party with all the men was.
Dammit Rita.
You got 'em all to yourself.
Playing poker with all the kings hid under your hat there on the counter......
this truck stop rules ok
@mission: how's your hat collection?
visited trig's. kim, you outclass him.
No-one outclasses trig, except maybe Eli.

Hi mission.

Nan you had the best night ( since nat ) of your life with IQ. and you don't remember ? What a waste of sin.
Reminds me ...
New song, if I can find it ....
Found it.
Tissues time.
Aww no. not a tear jerker. We already had Romeo and Juliet and Carol King. Can't see it Kim..
oh no Tim Buckley, god he and Jeff look alike..
Can't see what, Rita ?
This man was king.
how 'bout trying on

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMmaSaQ6E5w
better yet--for rita

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co6WMzDOh1o
full moon's over the yardarm.
how 'bout a "stormy weather" with ice?
These pieces are indicative of my work. I do not participate on this site. My blog is at.
Kim, Tim Buckley Surrender..damn. So good. Thanks for that. Had never heard that one. At first the video wasn't showing up here that is what I meant..
Cyril you have good taste in music for a gnome, U2, it was a beautiful day.. back at the truckstop, moon still full..
Gnome wins what? Miles my agave..
I knew a poet here once, a really good poet, who used to drink dark and stormy's a rum drink.. coincidence gnome..
while at APPT. In twelve years there were no complaints. I believe I'm able to help pull this co. out of the present slump given $120 g a year and a car. Well there was one complaint but we settled.
@rita: i like rum when sailing.
no julie. what's a gnome to do?
kim ate all the frog legs. (!)
Alley oops there's points now ?
Have you got one ?
Do you need one ?
What do you use it for ?
This joint has no point.
That's the point.
Alley oops are you thothnagle ?
IQ I'm glad to see you.
If you went to edit and found the sepia click I think we'd all warm up 12 degrees.
It's none of my business, but you could put iq in caps while you're at it.
I mean, most of us know you as IQ already.
Joining you in a cup of tea,
and a song.
Alleyoops needs to know what a reel-to-reel is and what the point of a truckstop has to be.. shame these kids..
kids have little sense of history, rita.
the truck stop's quiet here today......
well, Cyril at 455 comments and 25 videos maybe we wore the place out. The owner seems to have left the place open... the Aussies are sleeping.. Alleyoops doesn't see the point..
Maybe I'll hit the Tim Buckley and have a Stella.
The trouble with 'iq' is it seems like 'ick'....you definitely seem like an IQ !!....PG Tips on over here, snowing outside....
Damn~~!! It takes an hour to scroll down this place.
What kind of truckstop is this??
I need more beer here.
Killian Red Ale.
I cannot believe the comments here. all of you are nuts divine....
wanders off to the fridge....
This isn't a truckstop it's a freakin' nursing home.
Oh I'm just interloping here....nursing home!?
I'm just avoiding my day..... : )
a nursing home for incontinent poodles.
i like your song choices, rita.
ante up, kim.

these new cards of yours suck.
Got a new beer. Nursing home?? WTF does that mean here??
Rita, cut them cards right.
I know they are marked. I see them aces with cut corners.

Where is everyone??
hah! everyone blames the gnome......
*swaps 1 card with the pile*

$1.oo to start.
Okay Gnome.
Here is my $5.00 fer a raise on your bet.

Burp... Made some frozen pizzza here.
Wiped all the yogurt off the counter.
Got my new hat on. Farm All rules here.
i'll see that 5 and raise you a further.

*belches into his heineken*
*suddenly it registers the woman before him has her hat on*
*lifts his eyes from his cards*
*smiles broadly*

rita, more competition for you......
Damn::::
These cards ain't cut right.
I got all four kings here.

I raise the pile $10.00

Where is everyone Gnome?? This place is trashed here.
We need a clean up crew here.
~~~I see that move~~

**winks**

**nods**

^your up dude^
*belches again while chuckling*

straight.

whose cards are these anyway?
Any Caesar Salad today? Fresh.
what th-? these are kim's cards!
there's some in the cooler. help yourself.
>>Shoulda known all along>>>

I see that move to take one from the pile Gnome.
That's cheating.
Take the money....I shoulda known not to play.

*marked cards*
I'm blaming Rita. She dealt these to me.

Is we getting there yet??
anybody up for monopoly?
i'm here. where's there?
*slips some of his winnings into jukebox slot*
*chooses Lyle Lovett's "if i had a boat"*

*helps himself to the bar one more time, XX and lime*
I ain't gonna get there till the beers are all gone.

Cut the deck and deal gnome.

I got more refreshments coming here.
If you had a boat gnome you would have a long paddle to go with it.

**puts in some quarters**

^^The Renegade plays in the background^^

What is your get here dear??
Not my fault Mission, blame the Aussie that owns this joint, I can't even play poker..
This might be another long night..
Kim... wake up sunshine..
Well Rita, this is better than getting patted down at the airport.

*have a beer on me*

*raises a dollar and winks at Gnome*

I'm gonna win this one dammit.
If it takes all night....
i head for frisco with the tide.
and my boat has sails, no oars.
care for a long sail into the sunset?
Tide is up now and you cannot sail for hours Gnome.

You can ante up and play more music.
**winks at Rita**
I see the Aussie has made it thru another night.
Are ya playing here Kim??
high tide's at 8pm.

ya gonna deal?
**got room fer a hound dog, a cat, and me on that boat Gnome??

If you do, I will be happy to sail away.
Anywhere at all right now.
*gasses up moped while jukebox changes its tune*

i'm ready to go anytime now.

*smiles at jukebox-- Shawn Colvin's Venetian Blue*
4 extra bunks down below. you cook?
we take turns doing galley duty.
yeah. I can cook dear.

*packs bag*
*music ain't a bad choice*

*pops quarters in jutebox*

Styx Come Sail Away plays....

deal Gnome...
"... what other's are writing..."

For 2 weeks that was sitting there in the post and not a single one of you chose to tell me about it. I'm not angry I'm just ... disappointed.
I thought we were better than that.
I thought ... I don't know what I thought ... I thought maybe I could ... count on you ...
there's a taco wagon waiting for me.
you like fish tacos? hot wings? ice cream?
**$5. is all I got left*
ante up darlin'

I got a fresh beer here...
time for luggage strapping. moped's out front.

*jingles the keys in midair*
my winnings against your $5----
--- that rita won't care to join us.
# 500, appropriate, because it's about apostrophes.
Cyril "other's" is just wrong - "others" is how it should have been.
If I noticed a piece of parsley stuck between two of your teeth I'd say "Cyril, you've got a piece of parsley there."
We've got help each other out, or we all go to hell together.
I'm counting on you to point out the parsley in my teeth, is what I'm saying.
@ Mission - song for you ( never heard of them, but nice crowd shots )
I think we should all go outside and do a bit of tai chi in the rain.
Then maybe toddies on the house.
This isn't a truckstop.
It's not even a nursing home.
This is an asylum with a bar.
Now you tell me Kim.
^^asylum with a bar^^
Okay. Deal.
Me and the gnome are going sailing and eating fish tacos anyways.

Beer is good tonight.
Cheap pizza, on the other hand, totally sucks....
Kim what are you muttering about? parsley, spam, grammar..?
Cyril, I can't leave, I am the dishwasher here.
If there is a 'nother beer run Rita, please ask someone for some paprer towels.
The john is all f**ked up.

And the Gnome cheats at cards in a SO bad way here.
*using semaphore*
hey! those marked cards were kim's!
well, they took their beer, left the bathroom in shambles, Kim. Kim?
*now with morse code, translated as follows*
you keep a great truck stop.
we'll return!
shhhh iq we thought it best to keep it from Kim, you know these artist types, no telling what he might do..
If i was disappointed about an overlooked apostrophe I am simply appalled by the state of the toilets.
Just because we're mad doesn't mean we can't look after the immediate environment.
The Korean peninsula is going to hell ( O, Insa-dong ... ) but we can keep the toilets clean, surely.
Thanks Cyril.
Don't hurry back.
I'm putting on another song and re-naming the joint.
"Sweethearts." That'll get the truckers back I reckon.
Kim spends all day putting the chairs up on the tables and taking them down.

OCD?
*via ship's radio*
you're still welcome to join us.
*continuing his radio transmission*
return e.t.a. by friday evening, linda's time.
*still via his radio*
we have grog aboard marked "k.g."
hmmmmm...
"Kazakhstan Grade" vodka - good luck with that. Good luck with Mission - don't let her near the Tongans.
Bring my boat back unscratched and toilets cleaned ok ?
Mid- day there. Evening closing in here. Time for a fire in the fireplace just to remind us we can be warm? Warm is the pulse of all that matters. Isn't it? All of us? Wherever we are. Oh. And the moon. Or the sun. Or the wave.
Hi anna1liese.
Read us some Dickens by the fire.
In that chillsome Northern Nick Drakesome Hemisphere there.
*radioing the truckstop again*

we took the gnomenia out.
*via radio still*
your barnacle barge's still in dry dock.
I walked down Insa-dong with a friend in rain like tis.
Every kind of stall you could imagine
and some you never could.
An alley led to the left, there was a restaurant at the end
but to get there on puddles around the places
selling goldfish at night
and coloured lights
it took a long wet time
to the door
opened by the blinding teeth
and we sat on the floor
ignoring the kimchi on our plates and finally
were asked to dance
o, insa-dong.

Completely lost, walking home.
Please don't let it happen again, in Korea.
"this" not tis.
If it happens again, we are complicit. Capiche ?
Just watched a report on the restoration of the RSC in Stratford. Have spoken Shakespeare to my students and my travellers there. Rain and mist and words and wine. Calm and fire and mist and flame. Korea. What are they doing? What are we all doing or helping or locking or freeing. I would start with Dombey and Son. For now. Would you just sit and listen. As tea was poured and shared. And cards were put away to rest and listen and hear and ponder. All of us where we are. Here and here and here. Together. Waves and wind and thoughts and... hope and... help me here.
sounds like a beginning of a good poem Kim.
That, and we'll find ourselves at war with China. Not where any of us want to find ourselves.
Do they intend what we think they intend or are they simply posturing. What games. What games. And if they lose or stop or play another angle. Still I would hope for tea and Dickens and waves and calm. Perhaps always I would wish for tea and Dickens and waves and calm.
Dombey and Son by the fire with warm snifter ... This truckstop is going Tudor with fire, potted palms and Mozart, comfy lounges and famous authors wandering in and out - hey, isn't that Barbara Kingsolver over there, chatting to Margaret Atwood ?
There goes Ian McEwan with his hand on Salman Rushdie's shoulder, and I'm happy here, listening to my friend reading Dickens.
Hey, Rita.
Still raining out.
"... beginning ?..."
It's finished. Done. Polished. Wrapped. Sold. Insa-dong sold.
Share a snifter ?
sure I'll share a snifter, but don't change this place into one of those yuppy establishments, no ferns or snotty authors please. Just the drinker types they know how to talk to the regulars.
A snifter is perfect for tonight. Thinking of the young Paul. Born so old. Born so wise. Not many wanted to know. Or listen. He didn't shout. He didn't moan. He simply knew what he knew. And spoke. Even when no one else would listen. Snifter. Yes. Tonight. As we wait and wonder what world we have made and will find on the morrow.
Authors and musicians and all who think of life. Surround a room with fire and flame and water and wave. As they ponder and listen and wonder and sometimes hope. As glasses pass and voices roll. And tread. And sing toward warmth. And hope and all that is.
" I hear the waves ..."

Rita no ferns, just palms. OK not Mozart, Miles.
And there's nothing snotty about Babs or Maggie.
Maggie this is Rita. Rita, Maggie. ( She hated Oryx but try to be nice ok ? She's a friend from OS )
Or Macca and Sam.
Sam this is Rita. Rita, Sam. ( She hated The Verses but she didn't want to kill you over it )
See ?
We can all get along.
It's so nice here now the Gnome's gone.
Half an hour of barely illuminating reading of comments, and I finally get to add my public comment: Anyone could have written the Flame Trees song, anyone -- anyone with a broken heart. No laughing matter. Thanks for some songs that reminded me of broken hearted people who gather on OS. hahahaha (dying here of laughter)
Don't die Cleo.
Anyone maybe, but it took Don Walker to put it to music.
Cleo read all the comments?

She deserves a free hoagie.
I think she said they were "barely illuminated," or she was reading them by candlelight or something, but what's a hoagie ?
And how slack was trig folding at 380 ?
Larry are you taunting me with hoagie?
Cleo I hope you didn't feel I flipped you lightly.
All of this s..t hurts like hell.
Kim a hoagie is a deli sandwich you can only get in Philadelphia.
Well, it's us in the truckstop again Kim, quiet here now.
So what's in a hoagie ?
Can I make one here ?
I'm about to walk down to the shops before they close - tell me what to get & I'll make a hoagie, Manly-style.
Nah.. you don't want that Kim. It's like a sub, you usea hard Italian roll with olive oil, lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers and deli meat depending on what kind of hoagie it is.. like Italian has proscuitto, provalone cheese, genoa salami... stuff you probably don't eat.
Thanks. Think I'll just go Thai.
All those fancy Italian names ; I'd just make a fool of myself.
Don't forget the gabagool.
Larry you have to be from Philly, I did forget the gabagool, how do you spell that..
Proscuitto is Brusuuuuuut.. hey jeetyet?
Did someone mention Italian pork products? I just happen to have some on me in preparation of a Thanksgiving antipasto. And good crusty Italian bread. Would anyone like a snack? I've got sopressata ( a salami from Calabria; it gets an indulgence from the fact it is made in the same region as my crazy relatives), genoa salami, mortadella, prosciutto, provolone cheese, smoked scamorza cheese, olives, grilled peppers.... that should hold us over. With a nice chianti.....
oh yeah, now you're talking, sopresseta, yes. This sounds like something I would make on the weekends for guests too... chiati..mmm. Much better than turkey.
Why have a turkey when you can have a nice roasted capon. After some antipasti and torellini in broth. And a lasagna on the side. We need a vegetable after all.
Sopressata...yummy

Any Pancetta?
I may not know an awful lot, Antoinette, but a lasagna isn't a vegetable.
Larry -- yup, but the pancetta is in a big chunk. Happy to slice some up.

Kim - well, fine if you're gonna get all technical about it.
May I contribute a song to the juke box? Here's Mustang Sally; it goes great with salami.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfuHgzu1Cjg
Eggplant Lasagna could be considered a vegetable side dish.
18 Ratings

3127 Views

555 Comments
Thanks for the great music Kim; have Gil Scott Heron playing in the background; just wonderful.

I must bid you all a good night for now as I must get home and start cooking; you are most welcome to stop by for a bite. I will leave this plate of antipasto and crusty loaf of bread behind for you all.

This is the best truck stop ever.
There you go Antoinette. Now help me to understand the Wilson Pickett/salami connection, when you're ready.

Larry so 18 people made 555 comments and came back five times each each to see if their comments stuck ?
The rest we can put down to the ones I had to delete maybe.
Don't you want a song Larry ? There's room for one more ...
How about Guy Lombardo and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir ?

Fssst ! ... uh oh, I think I just blew a fuse. You got any sticky tape ?
I used to work in a sticky tape factory - night shift - did I ever tell you about that ? I was a rewinder. It was a skill I acquired that turned out to be completely useless, in later life. But I made a friend there - Ali from Aleppo, Syria.
I wonder whatever happened to Ali.
Happy Thanksgiving, "Ants."
Happy Thanksgiving everyone !

sobs quietly ... we don't have Thanksgiving here ... we must be the most ungrateful people on the planet, after Belgians.
The truck stop never closes, and what a great thing that is. Friends and refreshment and an ever-growing playlist of fantastic music on the jukebox; wow! This is going to be a permanent feature Kim, right? I sure hope so.
Can you load this one up?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM&feature
Hey, hasn't Kim already posted music requests from y'all? :-|
Here is one more:

Leonard Cohen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltkjmqFicxc
Well this is very nice. I'd love to request something, Kim, while requests are being tendered. It is not as Stygian a song as I ordinarily like, but seems to suit my mood this evening:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igxBjFpkUXA
Hi nan,
Maybe I've entered into some violation of the TOS, or youtube - hope not. Door's always open for you. Thanks for kicking in when you did.
Larry there's better versions of that song if you want me to find one, or did you record that ?
I like that, IQ. Wonder how I could embed that but not the other from the same ( London) concert.
I know someone who touched Mark Knopfler, and I know someone who touched Leonard. That makes me kind of famous, right ?
Love the Mark.. beautiful good choice there.. so from all over the USA and across to Australia we are all listening. pretty cool truckstop Kim.
I like the version I gave you. The audio is clear and the mouth harp performance is excellent.
Oh Sorry iq and Canada.. even better..
Maybe you can ask Emily to get this post put on it's own server.
Well...since IQ's and Larry's choices are so cool, double and triple dipping is OK. I guess. Maybe.

Speaking of which, I've got another myself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNqv85coyTw

(lowell george is one of my dead heroes. i don't know why so many of my heroes are dead)



I been warped by the rain, driven by the snow
I'm drunk and dirty, don't ya know,
And I'm still
Willin'

Out on the road late last night,
Seen my pretty Alice in every head light
Alice, Dallas Alice

I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that's ever been made
I've driven the back roads so I wouldn't get weighed

If you give me weed, whites, and wine
And you show me a sign
I'll be willin'
To be movin'

I've been kicked by the wind, robbed by the sleet
Had my head stoved in, but I'm still on my feet
And I'm still
Willin'

Now I smuggled some smokes, and some folks, from Mexico
Baked by the sun, every time I go to Mexico

And I been from Tucson to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah
I've driven every kind of rig that's ever been made
I've driven the back roads so I wouldn't get weighed
And if you give me weed, whites, and wine
And you show me a sign
I'll be willin' to be movin'
Thanks for introducing me to Rob Thomas Drew - the vids are all getting squashed up there at the bottom like OS is trying to tell me something ... and Larry for the Leonard live - I love that song : hair across the pillow like a sleepy golden storm - I'm beside a friend by the water in 1978, just staring, all teared up ...

Emily will listen, but 18 rates don't cut it in Emily-town.

Meanwhile, I threw away the keys. The joint stays open.
Though I noticed Ian & Salman driving a Jaguar rather fast away, after I put on Mustang Sally.
You know ? They can get f----d. Oxfordian twits.
Barbara & Stephen King & Amy Tan have a band - I'll see if I can get them over. Larry on bass. Gnome at the bottom of the deep blue briny ; me & Rita & IQ on the bar.
Michelle & Trosty in the carpark still trying to work out how it all could have gone so far south between them.
Packed it in there somewhere nan, down amongst Leonard & co love some Lowell George ( too much drugs do ya think ?)
Thanks for the lyrics.
"...show me a sign and I'll be willin' to be movin," story of our lives ?
Story of our lives Kim, no question; things were different back then. I wish I'd exercised more discretion when I was younger. Or maybe I don't. Either way, yeah, I used to make multi-video music posts, and the more you add the more squarshed they get. OS has enough room on their servers though, I think. :P
Hahaha! Is it possible discretion is a relative thing?
Though there's no question that a lot of heroin killed Lowell. Fuck:(
Well. The rearview gives us a good idea of what we need to do next. Maybe? That's true on the highway, but possibly it doesn't translate to the big picture. I do know I can't place a price on any of my memories.
I never really knew what discretion was, back in the day. Nor did any of the people I was interested in.
Discreet, indiscreet - that was like : in the back seat or on the bonnet.
Whoops, there I go again.
I learned in my marriage though, how much indiscretion cost my partner.
None of the junk I ever fed into my system hurt as much as I hurt her.
Discretion is the better part of valour ? Still haven't worked that one out, but am trying. Feel free to help me out on that one.
Meantime doing my best to be discrete, and discreet about it.
I don't know though. Discrete can be sad.
Find myself listening to Flame Trees, Romeo&Juliet, Leonard, starin' out the window of a truck stop, you know ?
F--ck we can hurt people, as easy as blink, isn't it.
And be hurt too, IQ, I know.
Then when I've stopped feeling sorry for my own sad ass I'll put on Larry's Stand By Me clip again, and the door will swing open, and in will walk ...
... and in will walk IQ ... wait, you were already here.
... and once inflicted, it can't be taken back.
It can be forgiven, by some generous souls ( like Bella ) but not taken back.
That's the part that cuts me.
And we're all cut, some way.
Forgiveness, isn't it. To move through pain and sadness to in some remarkable love-like way begin all over. And over.
That was Michelle walked in, minus Trost.
'Scuse me I'm just going over to see if I can screw my life up - one last chance, you know ?
But I'll still drive you home.
Unless nan's around.
Beautifully quiet piece that.
Especially if it's still snowing.
My only concern ( for you ) is the look in the first violinists' eyes at the end there.
Turns out Michelle only came in to use the phone. Got a cab back to Florida.
There is nothing worse than hurting other people. That is one of the good reasons to not be around people so much. Plus, *people* tend to freak out when you discharge your firearms. Oi.
Well heck IQ. Those are good questions. I would never advocate solitude. Solitude is only as good as...well, it's the refuge of those who prefer solitude, and of *people* who for whatever reason aren't around a bunch of other humans all the time but apparently prefer it that way.

;-)

We need to go shooting some time; I say that to every one who has never been. Have you ever discharged a firearm? It is fun, and is a good way to get your ya-yas out. Or as Tink might say, "Oh my, yes it is!"
erm...how did I get here? I don't dance and sing quite awfully.
Anyway, just wanted to thank you for a comment on my blog I haven't gotten around to answering.
Is that blood in the water? I wish they wouldn't slaughter the turkeys on the waterfront. It makes a mess and attracts sharks, sharks that enjoy poultry, sharks that sneeze blood tinged snot, sharks that complain about lumps in their gravy.
What Ablonde said. Sharks. Snot. Blood-tinged gravy. It's Thanksgiving for crying out loud.
Got a bit introspective last night, I went to bed early, glad I missed the Leonard, no tears needed before the big cook off. Besides that song stays in my head all day.. making me feel like I am going to lose it.
Don't need that at the big loud Irish Thanksgiving day drama holiday!
Kim, Lil Kate and iq ( Nana, Larry, Antoinette and gnome I assume you will be full) I'll bring back leftovers tonight, do you eat turkey?
Sometimes, somewhere, in the middle of the night or in the middle of the day, a spot is created, perhaps for a totally different reason, but from that reason another reason comes and the shift is allowed. Voices come and voices go, threads of music and conversation shift and flow. When it can, the spot allows silence and thought, pause, connection, moments, hours of safe haven where honesty of the deepest kind finds voice knowing it is all right, will not be mocked or disallowed. Would that all of us have, had known this all of our lives. Perhaps moments and windows like these open when they should or can or will. Moments to pause. Moments to share, to be less alone.

Not a bad day to give thanks for moments and people and voices who listen as well as speak, who feel and hear and reflect and allow. Isn't this really what love is, side by side or shore to shore, middle of the day, middle of the night. Isn't this really what love is, what love can be. Isn't this what helps us breathe.
Rita, turkey would be nice. Thanks.
Ablonde has a way of putting me off breakfast sometimes ... I mean blood-tinged snot sneezing sharks ... Just an orange juice this morning, thanks. And no, I don't believe I'll go for a snorkel either.

AAh, that's a nice mellow tone anna1liese ... I wonder how you spend this day ? Hope it's been good there. Be thankful you didn't have to spend with those Shibr yahoos.

Kate no turkey - we're Australian, remember ? We eat prawns and mandarins.

I just figured out the Wilson Pickett/salami connection - that's awful, Antoinette ;-)

Such a beautiful morning here - I wish Ablonde hadn't said that about the sharks ...
You can put the prawns and mandarins and shark filets away for now Kim. I just got back from dinner with Mom and Trig and Eli and Jay and Rog and Carolyn and Becky and Kerri and Kelly and Brandon and Julie and Kyle and Haley and Braylin, and I brought at least 17 pounds of food home with me. There is honey-baked ham and fried (yes, FRIED) turkey and oyster dressing and mashed potatoes and gravy and egg noodles and sweet potatoes and deviled eggs and assorted casseroles and pecan pie and pumpkin pie and coconut cream pie and red velvet cake and so on and so forth. There is enough for everybody, so grab a plate and don't be shy; there's more food here than I'll be able to eat in a week.
My effing gawd nan - you people know how to eat !

Reading trig's Thanksgiving blog reflections : it says an awful lot about your family, and a lot about your mom, I think, that trig's gone on to Tina's tonight, and you still count her as a friend.
There's Thanksgiving right there.

Glad you had a good day with them, and thanks for sharing the spirit and the food with us nan.
Fried turkey!!!!! OMG ... you have got to be kidding!!!! With OYSTER dressing???? Oh gosh, no thanks! I am going to have to pass in that case!

Prawns and mandarins it is then, Kim!

But the pies and red velvet cake do sound yummy ..... I WOULD like to try those!
Brought some leftovers (it was a BIG potluck) -- I got some capon, smoked turkey, ham, corn pudding, sweet potato pie, pecan pie and chocolate mousse.

We had a fried turkey (along with the capon and ham) -- but not even the bones are left. Kate -- if I should ever find myself on death row, fried turkey is what I would want. Nan's got that right.

Nan- sounds like you put your foot in it.

It was a lovely day with friends, bittersweet without my brother oogling over the food while I cooked, but I have a feeling he was close by.

Kim - regarding salami and Wilson Pickett; no great connection except that I like to listen to something upbeat that I can dance to while I am cooking, and that nothing says upbeat quite like Italian pork products!
Kim-- I just saw your ealier post about figuring out the Pickett/salami selection. Shame on you. My thoughts were completely innocent. At least about THAT ; )
Should it be misconstrued ( and the way I write that's entirely likely )
- Tina is trig's soon to be ex, and her soon to be ex bro-in-law ( nan ) is still on friendly terms with her. That and the fact that trig's at Tina's right now ( gorging for the second time in a day ! ) says a lot about the kind of family their mom raised.

As some other reflections on OS today so clearly say : things can get so otherwise.

Antoinette - I raise a glass to your brother.
Hey Nana, you beat me out with the oyster dressing, my family is so damn white and boring. I am so full. I do have homemade pecan pie and home made apple pie from my mom. time to dance these carbs off. Kim, come on play something to dance to. Sawdust down in the truck stop.
anna1 is always spot on. encapsulating all the good stuff.
iq pecan pie and some Bailey's Irish cream.. hmm
Is Kim aware that when this page loads...The first thing people see is his face on the left and the words "(Australian turkey)" just to the right?

#603
Time to start sorting our your paint brushes darling. Time to start stretching the canvasses and up off the asses. for us all, for us all, but mostly for me, up we go

grab my forearm

up

up

up

indeed
Wish everyone here could just meet for a gentle tea... even when I hope everyone except Kim and Kate are actually sleeping by now. I so very rarely see this hour unless it is as I wake up for the second or the third time.

Still awake cause only just home. Plan A for today was a quiet meal with someone here. Wednesday I sent a Thanksgiving card. For once I heard from several friends. Two messages came from college friends. The other English major at whose table I sat when I first met her possible intended when the fourth at her table was our college history professor, from my childhood parish. Before the two men came, we spoke clearly to each other the subject we could not allow: war and any opinions. Then, of course, we could not avoid. We had a Vietnam wounded vet in our midst and still we spoke of peace and war. I am at that table this very minute with Brian who tried to save his men only to lost part of his esophagus and odd parts of fingers and God knows what else. I am at that table when I first met him. Yesterday. Yesterday I learned from my college friend, that her first love, her husband, had lost his battle with Alzheimers and pneumonia at the first of this month.

Only a few days ago, I learned that a woman who had reached out to me, to me and to so many others before I ever knew her, had learned so recently that cancer was her companion now, one that would take her when it would. She has put her faith in her God and will take no route to anything but hospice and relief of pain. It has metastasized and is taking her. I sat with her on Wednesday. A message came to join in Thanksgiving with her dearest friend who can not take this away from the one we all love. How many people do we know who have followed dance and let dance inform life. Jose Feliciano performed in this country and wanted to know what she thought of what he brought. She came and stayed to tell him what she thought. What a treasure she has been to so many of us.

Today was spent with others who treasure her, who have loved her for so long a time and who hate what is taking her away from all of us. At the very least it allowed a time to be together and speak amongst ourselves of all that she means to all of us. We speak this as others arrive to carve some more... away from her, because money lessens the soul to be a source of cash. So today some of us who love her so gathered to honor her and look forward to ways we will remember her as ... it will be real and not contrived by some who see only dollar signs.

Meanwhile on this holiday of family and love, so many moments of all that has been honored here - voices sharing, speaking, caring, allowing,.... Love. In the end what matters more. I felt this need of giving and receiving as I thought of a woman beginning to face her death, as I heard from a college friend whose husband had had such a long walk to his death, as I remember the last time I saw my mother, to the call I received from my uncle's doctor three years ago, that he was gone, that all was done. This holiday means more than one might see. And yet, despite hopes of life and love, despite realities of death and loss, something remains to call us home.

Read all of this or not. Feel all of this or not. What allows any and all of us to be here is acceptance of being here as we are. As we really are, Breathe now. All is well. Music will help. Voices who speak will help. What are these holidays we share or at the least allow. They are moments when we dare to breathe and pause and reflect and allow. Writing this here in the middle of my night only because I am awake and because I believe I will be safe.
Kim -- I was just awakened by Lola locking my face intently. I had been dreaming of my brother. And I found your lovely message. Thank you.

Dearest Annaliese, I am at a loss for words after reading your beautiful ones, also written in the middle of the night, after being awakened by the intensity of the day. But I can envelop you in a big hug. Life is precious, too short. It seems we must choose between going through it utterly unattached to anyone or anything or go through it with a millions tears to our hearts. I still choose the latter and so do you. So do all of us.
One for you and your friends, anna1liese - not exactly truckstop but what the hey - I thought of her as I read your comment, and thanks.

Ablonde do you think I'll paint again, really ?
Not just Jacqueline and Daniel or Elgar came to mind but Ann across the road, the mother of my friends and a mentor 'til she died in '85.
Just the hospice and the morphine for her, too. Keeping it simple, as I hope I'll have the courage to do, or the acceptance, the maturity to face what has to be faced ; the dignity of calm before all the shining eyes - she went as beautifully as she ever moved among our lives, flicking switches of love and wonder.
The child remembers.
Seasons and seasons of Possible.
Nothing Im or Un about her, like Jacqueline du Pre she took apart her life and showed us how it can be done, this.
anna1liese, the tea is just perfect for me right now ... Ia gentle tea ... beautifully and perfectly said.

Kim the cello concerto too .... perfect ...as I close my eyes, it takes me away .... and I get so lost in it ....
stopping before work this morning, coffee and concerto, very nice. Long day with a lot of sick people...
have a nice sleep or a nice morning depending what part of the universe you are on.
Kim!

the dignity of calm before all the shining eyes - she went as beautifully as she ever moved among our lives, flicking switches of love and wonder.
The child remembers.
Seasons and seasons of Possible.
Nothing Im or Un about her, like Jacqueline du Pre she took apart her life and showed us how it can be done, this.


The perfection of you, and of anna1liese, tonight does takes my breath away ..... what beautiful, beautiful and perfect words ....
Thank you all of you for your words and thoughts. Thank you for hearing and allowing mine.

Antoinette, I thought of you all through yesterday. Quite right. We do choose. All of us.

Kim, Your Ann. Across the road. The dignity of calm. May we all find her courage.

... flicking switches of love and wonder. Seasons and seasons of Possible. She mentored oh so well. Oh so well. All of this, all of this is here in your drawings and in your words: in any way you choose to speak your voice.

Jacqueline and Daniel and Elgar - my heart hugs your heart for this. Thank you.

And at the end, her smile.
She runs the gamut of emotions in that piece doesn't she ?

I first heard Elgar ( & Tubby the Tuba & Peter & the Wolf & Danny Kaye's Hans Christian Anderson ) at Ann's - her three sons and I quickly graduated to the Animals & Rolling Stones when they came along but I never forgot the Elgar mood - winter fireside, trainsets & boardgames.
( Later chemistry sets, bombs, motorcycles and dodgy cars ... boys, eh ? )
Our encounters shape us profoundly, and for those of us who read, we get to encounter the best.
I'm thinking now of Arundhati Roy, over at Inverted Interrobang's latest blog.
I'm also thinking how critical it is that we can, & do love to read.
And how that love can be engendered early, and what a privilege it was to be involved in that side of it all for so long.
No co-incidence that Ann was a children's book author, or that my partner of the last 15 years has been an Anna, another children's book author, or that you, anna1liese, might be reading these words, isn't it.
I am going to try not to be a crazy woman for a moment. If you spend an hour or so thinking and writing in a comment here, perhaps the lesson is that it may go to vapor. It happened this morning and now again. Let me breathe and see if I can call it back again.
Minutes after you posted your last comment, I came back to listen once more to Elgar and Jacqueline. As I did, I saw your words. So much here has been with me through this day. Now your words of your Ann and of reading speak so eloquently to me.

How lucky you were to know her as you grew. How lucky to receive the magic she gave. All of you, your Ann, your Anna, their Kim, all of you who write and draw for children are magic givers, magic bearers, magic sharers. What greater gift to give is there than this.

Yes, about encounters, especially for those of us who love to read. Growing up, I didn't have and Ann, but I could see the library from my window that let me look that far down the street. That library opened the world to me.

What a privilege it was? Will this work you have done not be your work still today or tomorrow. Does it no longer call your name. Such joy you have brought to so many, whoever has been lucky enough to read and share the illustrations you have made.

Coincidence or not, I feel lucky to be the third mentioned here. As this third, I think I know that your Ann would be, is so proud of the Kim you are today and of all the work you have so far done.

A final thought of my own thanks giving, I know how grateful I am that in this past year I have been lucky enough to find you and your work, your drawing and your words. Coincidence, love of reading, thinking - all of it so far and going forward. Yes, I think, it is.
anna1

If you plan on writing a lengthy comment. Write it in Word or another word processing program first. Then you can copy and paste it into the comment box.
We've all been there.
That was the longest comment you've ever made Lawrence.
Ten bucks.
I suggest we all simmer down, put away the firearms, and try to talk this out like reasonable people.
Nothing to add here except it's 3am and I love the cello performance.
Larry, Thanks. Really, thanks.
Anna, you're very welcome.
See ?
This is how easy it is.
anna puts away the cutlery, Larry drops the machete, and we talk.
We are respectful and polite.
Anything Anna may have said about Larry in the past, or anything Larry has said on anna's blog are for now put aside.
They look up, and catch each other's eyes and for a fleeting moment there's ... what ? I think that was a truck going by - I'll just duck out and have a look.
You call so many thoughts from me. Truly I wish we could sit and have tea or whatever it was for the hour or the day, but I would love to simply be there nearby to listen as you think aloud to whoever was there at your bidding. You write your words and worlds open for me. You write your words and I simply must think whether I ever let you know or not. I hope you know that. Honestly I do. Your words speak so well and so much. Do you know? I think this is true for so many here. Just want you to know the power, the cogency of your thoughts, your words, of all you are as you think aloud. And then your drawings. Do you know? Because we do. Whether or not we tell you what we know. Just that. All of that. Is what there is. Ask your girls. I think they would agree. I can only hope that this is something you already know. If you don't, I so wish you could come and talk with me. I so wish we could make you believe the power of the gift you give. Know at least the strength of what you speak to us here. Please hear as we receive the gifts you give to us who hear.

Jacqueline, Daniel, Elgar - yes. And then Kim - in words and in drawings and in all he gives. All he gives. Delete this if you must but only after you hear it for yourself at least the once. Please hear reception of the pearls you share. One need not be a child to hear the gifts you give. One needs only to remember the child one once was for all of your words and all of what you draw to reach in and hold life in the dearest, closest, most intimate place. This is what your words truly do. Hope you know and hope this worries you not at all. It is one of life's greatest gifts. One of life's greatest. Yours. You. I mean this as a gift, not as a burden. And I send this gift with love.
You know what this place needs?

A nice flag flying outside the door.
Larry, it might not be a good idea to poke the bear tonight..
Ta Rita.
Larry can't hear anything but thanks.
In the Leonard song he just liked the way the harp-player's right hand hovered emotionally. He reads though, and can write.
I suppose that must give him solace, late at night.
IQ it's going to be one of those deliberately oblique nights with you is it ? All we need is nanatehay & a firetruck.
Hey, anna1liese,
all I did was leave comments open.
Thanks, but this joint isn't mine, it's yours and anyone else's joint.
It's lovely and sometimes sad to read your reflections, but they're the essence of being here.
No-one can respond adequately to anyone else but we go on talking ; go on dealing the cards and checking the hand we've got and upping that ante or folding for the night knowing these same fools will be here in the morning.
And that's ok.
Morning down under bringing rain and not a little pain.
I don't have a headache, feel only slightly sick, it's more the other kind of, psychic kind of pain not tarot cards or crystal balls ( I've had enough of those for 2 lifetimes maybe 3 ) more a sense of loss.
That that's all.
Which should have been enough and here I'm failing the Ann-test.
I'm not displaying grace I'd rather drink and disappear.
There are 2 more books to do but what if I start either and finish neither - what if all of this past " screaming up behind me " takes away the future - then what ?
What comes after that ?
I had all four aces and I folded.
*making you a cup of coffee and handing you a paintbrush*
get to it
These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day you'll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you'll no longer burn
To be brothers in arms

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I've witnessed your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There's so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun's gone to hell
And the moon's riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it's written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We're fools to make war
On our brothers in arms
*switches it to Money For Nothing and gives Kim a shove over to his canvas*
your coffee is getting cold
Might this be a day for gentle tea and rest. If there were no expectations and no needing to do, what is it you would most want to do, most love to do. Not for anyone else. Only for you.

Sometimes grace is hard to find. It doesn't mean it will never come again. Your words here point in so many directions. I wonder about the two books there are to do. Are they books you want to do. Is there something else more important to you. Something else you wish you could do. I think I hear you feeling several kinds of loss. No kind of loss is easy. All loss, every loss makes us fragile, edgy, empty - even if the loss is not perfectly clear. Is it possible it was time to fold in order to begin again. As for Ann, I wonder would she test or would she reach out hands or arms to support, to comfort, to hold you while you rest and find your way again.
You don't muck around, do you Julie ?
You aren't my sister ... wait ...

anna1liese are you my other sister ? wtf is this some kind of family prank. Yes on every count. "Is it possible it was time to fold in order to begin again." You're not mucking around either, are you.

I say it's time to put on Shout to the Top and dance like the original out-of-control-blancmange and who in hell should care.
Loving you guys.
I go away for a bit, and look what is happening at the truckstop...
I was half in mind - I was half in need,
And as the rain came down - I dropped to my knees and prayed
I said oh heavenly thing - please cleanse my soul,
I’ve seen all on offer and I’m not impressed at all.
I was halfway home - I was half insane,
And every shop window I looked in just looked the same
I said send me a sign to save my life
’cause at this moment in time there is nothing certain in
These day’s of mine

Y’see it’s a frightening thing when it dawns upon you
That I know as much as the day I was born
And though I wasn’t asked (I might as well stay)
And promise myself each and every day - that -

When you’re knocked on your back - an’ your life’s a flop
And when you’re down on the bottom there’s nothing else
But to shout to the top - shout!
What, you thought the joint was going to look after itself ?
well throw down the sawdust...
*ship to shore*
paint a turkey. anything. but start.
Kim the cello is very classy but I think we need to bring the tempo up a bit.. no Beach Boys too saccharine ...
Stay then. Please. Wish I could find words of light to lessen the dark. To pause the rain. And bring warmth. Let me hold for a while all the judgement you name. Can you let it go as I hold and simply breathe free. We go on talking, remember. Meanwhile arms are here to support, comfort, hold, lift in any way they can.
Hey, anna1liese.
I'm ok.
I just rant sometimes - frustrated, angry, sad, sick, tired.
Isn't it.
You know the feeling. Take care of you, and thanks.
You say you rant. I think, I feel that you speak truth more clearly and sharply than ... well, than at least I - even when I try. I can at least listen and try to hear what you mean. Is that what sisters do? It is at least what love is. Wherever you are, whatever you feel, however loudly you need to shout or however softly you need to whisper, the one strongest thread through all your words, all your thoughts, all your feelings, is love. This may not make sense or it may make too much, but for those best able to truly love, life is sometimes so full even when appearing empty that it is hard to live. Even with this, some of us would not breathe if love were not the air.

I do know the feeling. I'll try if you will. Hope this night will bring you rest and peace.
You read my mind Kim, I was thinking of Bowie's Let's Dance but this is very good also.. funny you are like that.
Changed it up Rita - hope you approve.

anna1liese I kept writing - flags and Ferris Wheels, and yes, somehow it can make a person feel better.
Wonderful, that.
Hey Kim, they even call out Austalia and USA in the beginning.. I remember this blast from the past, it was the first days of MTV I think. I think I still have a coat like Bowie's.
Ok chairs back up on the tables.. clear the floor..650 is the number of this comment...truckstop open..
I had a 650cc BSA motorcycle, does that count ?

BSA stands for Birmingham Small Arms - s--t it went fast.

It was red and black with a silver star on the tank.
Did I wear boots and leathers ?
No I wore sandals and board shorts because that's how cool I was. I was halfway between Noosa and Yandina when I thought up the name Mark Trost. By the time I reached Obi Obi Creek I was fully Linda Seccaspina.

Philadelphia PA, Baltimore DC now. All we need is music.
You had me goin' there until you went there..
IF OS CLOSES DOWN (GASP) a) Will we still have the truckstop?
2) will the gnome then have a Facebook page?
3) will you pick me up in board shorts and sandals on the bike?
4) does that mean we will have to go back to (GASP) real life?
If OS folds we are at the mercy of wolves.
Here's my number if you honestly think you'll ever use it, see me or hear from me again : ------*----. Please don't share it with anyone else because I know where you live and I'll track you down.
If OS folds Jupiter will align with Saturn.
If OS folds Leepin' will need to think more seriously about the spare room at his grandmothers'.
If OS folds Kim Jong Um will go ballistic, and Antoinette will have to re-think her Winter wardrobe.
If OS folds Australia will secede from the Pacific leaving New Zealand in charge of the Christmas presents.
Hey now.
What's up with the continual Hey Now?
I agree on alignment of the planets changing but I won't go so far as Antoinette's wardrobe, that's serious business.
We should start an emergency phone chain, just in case. Since you are a day ahead, you will hear first, you call me, I'll call Linda S and Cartouche and they will signal the rest of the crew..
Born Joachim Krauledat he changed his name to John Kay and produced two singles enabling him to move to Australia where he changed his name again, to Kim Gamble, married Bella, had two girls and became a childrens' book illustrator.
Then he started blogging on OS.
Is life not weird enough ?
Hey now - just thought I'd add it to the repertoire, isn't it.
That all sounds complicated, Rita - also you forgot : I already am Linda & cartouche. So I'll know, ok ?
I think probably we should all meet for a fire drill at the bottom of your drive at about six, or whenever the sirens start, and look at the state of the pantry.
After that if weather permits maybe a gondola tour of one of the Lesser Known canals and a poached egg. Also, my name isn't Robert. Please don't call me Robert.
I think I may have the secret for keeping OS safe. As long as there is someone here who hasn't yet listened to every piece of music here, including perhaps those still to come, the truck stop has to stay open. As long as the truck stop stays open, ... well,.... Don't you think?
anna1: good start , that and a secret handshake.
Kim, I knew you were Cartouche, but Linda too? Brilliant. That explains Cartouche's notable absence lately.
Hey Now.
Worked all night on the pantry, ready for inspection.
My mother called me Robert, for years.
My brother's name is David.
I didn't know anyone called Robert except me, and that wasn't even my name. Like I said, it was Joachim, then John K, then Kim.
So where does Robert come from ?
Multiple - personality disorders are one thing but this is a disturbing trend.
Who's Robert ? Where's Wally ?
One more song & I'm done.
Did she really. Robert was my father's name. Not a bad name. Unless it is not really yours.

Honestly, if I had not come here, I'd not have read your words. Your words have, honestly, been the world for me. Silliness perhaps. And yet. And still. This is what is. I wish I could hear all the rest of the conversation. Just that. What is. You have opened a world for me, a world I want to see and know and ... understand. A chair behind your chair. You give so much. I wonder if you know. I wonder if you know. Perhaps I wonder if any of us know. Perhaps I wonder if I know. And yet, somehow, here, I feel safe enough to ask. Safe. Matters. And you. Allow and provide. Safe. Do you know. At least for me. A gift. You give. Just that. Oh. Perfect name you have. For you. I think. Would that I had had a brother. And that that brother had been you. Silliness. Perhaps. Not to me.

As I open all I am, I wonder if I could read something by your Ann. I am so grateful for whatever part she played in all you have created to allow whoever reads your books and sees your pictures to see your world and to ponder as they find their own. Are there greater gifts than these. I doubt it. As I breathe. As I believe. All that really matters most to me. Here. Just here. You draw to you those who dare to breathe. Simply because you do. Simply. Because. It matters to you. It matters also to me. Thank you for all you are and all you give.
anna1liese you're too generous in your comments ; I'm glad we connect.
Ann's books can be found under Pinchgut Press - the name of her partner's publishing co. after a small island in Sydney Harbour.
Marge also has a lot of beautiful poetry there, but for Ann google Ann Spencer Parry and follow the links - there are 11 books in her Land Behind the World series, with a small extract from each there.
They'll all be available to read online in their entirety early next year, I think.
Ann & Marge also did a couple of lovely reflection-type books.
I'm so glad you're interested in this fairly obscure ( but dazzling ) antipodean children's fantasy writer.
Hope you like her as much as I.
So am I glad. Honestly glad. Thanks so much for this. Honestly. Honestly.
You have illustrated some of her books! I feel such treasure here. Sometimes I sense that you feel so low and yet so many times you have lifted me. This moment is one of those. I'll keep looking until I can find them. Such gifts you give. Such a gift you are. I suspect I begin to know who also thought so. At least one who thought so.
Well, of course Larry. Watched part of England's bid for 2018. Good luck with Australia's for 2022. Not long to hear now, I guess.
Bit of a distraction perhaps, for a moment at least.
Hi.
2.20 am here - no news but good luck England !
Then for 22 good luck us !
Good to know you're there waiting too. I think ( after that rather depressing piece I did on flags back there ) sport is the way to go, in terms of global harmony.
I have a feeling the gong will go to the US in '22.
Bet you $ 20 virtual bucks.
Poor England. Not having a good football year. Now '22. You're on. At least this country has awakened to the sport.
... ( 2.43 ) Qatar ??!!
Poor us. Poor Oz. Football in air-conditioning. Qatar. Hope they both do well with what they've just been given.

When I first was in England, I never saw an empty field where someone wasn't playing. At the college, the one language everyone there understood was football. We had a playing field behind the church behind the garden behind the .... When I was on duty certain weekends, I'd walk over to watch them play. There were no differences or tensions on that field regardless of whatever was happening in the world. Everyone wanted to play and everyone wanted to win. More than even winning though was simply the desire to play. How many lessons of all kinds there.
2:52 now. You need to go to bed. Hope you manage some rest.
Thanks. And Qatar being Muslim maybe we'll see some healing begin. At least there'll be no drunkenness in the stands - a first ?
Drunkenness in the stands. Hope you are resting now but have to say when I heard some of the British bid this morning and commentary about having the world come there should they win, I couldn't help remembering scenes we've all tried to push away. Gangs and fighting and people being banned from attending games abroad, being guarded all the while they stayed. One Saturday there was a game. Too many people had been allowed in. All of a sudden there was an enthusiastic rush forward and then ... then ... there was tragedy. All these years later still I see those faces being crushed against a chain link fence. Children's faces. Such unmitigated horror.

It may be different now, but then in the early, mid eighties, working class people and their families could afford to go and watch the games. They could afford the tickets because so little was ever done to update or repair or worry about what might go wrong, about someone at a particular gate looking the other way and letting too many in. Those memories swirled for me as I watched BBC in the middle of my night. Time moves on. Changes have been made.

Your words about the unifying hope of sport has carried me away. That was football as I first knew it. All classes of people joined here when they joined no where else. At the college, I felt passion from people I personally knew. Oddly it was a passion that Americans needed to learn in order to share. Semester by semester the lessons were the same, but because it was sport, everyone stretched so that everyone could be included. Everyone. Inclusion. Ways forward. For us all. We can hope.
Healing, connecting. I hope so. May some of it begin today and find its way to you.

As for Flags, not depressing, I think. Honest, open, real. Followed by a discussion graced with civility Observations of a depressing time unrolling on a scale no one seems able or willing to roll back. Our times are depressing, not your voice or words, I think. Some observations are hard to speak and hard to hear, but I hear a voice willing to say out loud his inner thoughts and then, is willing to wait and listen and allow others to agree or disagree, to be heard and answered and sometimes for clarifications to be made. I hear a voice of civility in discourse. Honest, open, real.

Hope sun and warmth find you today.
"No one stopped to think about the people or how we would survive." Too many truths in this piece. And yet the music finds a way to lift.

And then the world finds moments of connecting.
anna1liese, just us here now - thank you for your words, the contribution you made to this ramshackle joint, the thoughts and feelings you've shared ... who knows we might re-open with a fresh lick of paint in the morning but meantime ... one last song, in memory of recent events in China, Chile and New Zealand - from the same London concert, 1990.
Where are the others who see the world we see. Thank you for this and more, thank you just for being there.
We have some new thoughts, some new music to ponder. You have another straggler here.
Stragglers all perhaps, hoping together for something more.
Back to how catch-22 described it, waiting for Godot.
I hope you're getting some sleep now. We've become ships in the night.
Maybe a tavern down by the sea next time. Some shanties and some tales of other ports afar, hidden treasure and the smell of cloves.
It's been a wild and stormy week downunder - I may have to leave you wonderful folk to it tonight. Lots of love, and don't forget to turn out the lights ;-)
Just watched the video with Maggie G. ; I guess that's why guys play in bands.... very sweet..
Isn't there something about leaving one light on, one candle in the window to help wanderers, stragglers find their way home. Maybe it is an Irish custom. Maybe it allows for calm. And hope. And rest.
Rita if you like Maggie G you've probably seen the movie ?
Stranger Than Fiction - Ferrell plays a tax inspector to her pastry chef - also great roles by Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman.
There's a trailer at the end of the clip above.

Of course, anna1liese - let's keep at least a candle burning, and the lock broke, so why not ?
Some lovely memories in this old place ...
Kim, haven't seen it... will look for it ..
Keep the light in the window and the jukebox going..
Rita! Rita! Where is your hat and where did you go? Tell me, tell me please. Did you know this Santa? Is this the little you?

Was thinking of you in the last clip - the afghan on the sofa. We've been here before.

Keep seeing all these OS death notices. So hope they are wrong. So hope Kerry is right. I see such life here. I lost a classroom because I saw such life. Maybe I am crazy. But what if I am not? Intuition. How dare you teach by intuition. You must leave because you frighten me.

Just thinking here. A tv channel here keeps showing Harry Potter. Part of me needs that. Just now HP and the GOF. What I love best about this film, well one of the parts I love best, is the reference to the spot where I lived. Where they have landed having touched the first port key shows the Seven Sisters. Remember the shingle beach. If you see the film and look at the White Cliffs of Dover - well this and so many other times - if you find the lowest cliff and think one street away, that is where I lived. The house with the green tiled roof. The roof that didn't blow away just after my mother died. I love that I was able to live there. A bit like rainbow bursts. If you look up, they may come to you. If all of this goes away, will both of you still know me. I so hope so and I hope the truck stop or the tavern by the sea will live. I need them. I need the life they give. At least I have loved the life they bring. Do you know. Do you both know. As connected as I feel to the street beyond the lowest cliff, I feel connected here. I am so tired of reading of this site's demise and of what some wish it had been. Perhaps it is the writing teacher in me, but I see so much more than some will see. I see voices speaking and reaching and growing and moving. I see life. Where some are ready to see death. I see such life. Much of the life is here. Right here. Where people speak and people breathe. This is where life is. This. Is. Where. Real. Life. Is. In Drawings. Or in words. This. Is Where. Real life. Is. I am/ was a writing teacher. I have helped so many find themselves in words. I hope this place survives. Voices. Yours. I want never to lose the life you bring. Here because I can find you here. I am everywhere today. Too many places. Too many people. But only because you speak and I care.
Anna1, yes that's a little me on Santa's lap> Poor Woman has urged me to Party Up for Christmas. Your description of your place near Shingle beach sounds so wonderful... I am sure you must miss it terribly. I am hoping upon hope we are not going anywhere here on OS. I feel a bit embarrassed to admit how close I feel to so many here. Sharing all the insomniac nights, our struggles in life and of course all the shenanagins here at the truckstop... Well Anna, we will keep the lights on and keep our hopes up!
Tears fall so quickly here. I think of all of us. I so wish I had colours of a certain Kim here where I live. And yet. I do. I have Joseph and I wish everyone did. I have his friend's Once. And Then. And Now. I hope soon to have The Land Behind The World. How would we know, were we not here - to listen, to speak, to connect around our world. I wish we could really be round a table in this pub or truck stop or kitchen table or... oh yes, a tavern by the sea. I would so.... love that. So... love that. The tales of ports afar, hidden treasure and the smell of cloves. Yes. Yes, please. I so hope to hear the tales you will tell. That all of us may tell.

You, of the down under time, remind me of a world, that here, I could forget. How we need your voice to remind us of what matters, what keeps us connected, what keeps us aware of where we live.

I think, we need each other. I hope we keep each other.

One of my step daughters, the older one, the one who really needed me first, has sent me an Advent calendar that brings my England home to me. I wish I could send it on to you. I first fell in love with this England. I still... love this England.. This England... is... still... the home ... of my heart. The... home.... of... my soul. iq and Rita, send me your e-mail addresses and I will send this calendar of my England off to you. Late though it may be. This is what this is to me. This... and so much more.
anna1: I used to always have an Advent calendar, I went to Catholic school, I loved those and had to keep myself from opening the doors before it was time! Mortal Sin!
Where is our Aussie Philosopher/ Bartender/Disc Jockey on his Sunday morning stroll maybe...?
I strolled from Manly to Manning Road passing many much lesser truckstops, pausing only to re-arrange their semaphore flags, had a lovely lunch with the girls & mom, then hung out on the carpet all afternoon sifting.
Sifting through the things we leave behind When The Time Comes, and wandering in the garden - cuttings of this, cuttings of that.
A sort of hello and goodbye afternoon, still going on, back later.
I'm glad you were here, and thanks whoever put the flowers on the tables.
That was Anna1, garlands of lovely words..
Thinking of you, Kim, sifting on the carpet. Sifting through bits in your hands, sifting through all the memories that come. Time becomes no time as we lose ourselves in all of it. Carpets are the best places for the sifting. They hold us up and give us space. Some space if not enough.

A hello and goodbye afternoon. Long afternoons these. Feelings everywhere, bidden or not. Feeling feelings. Can be exhausting just because. I expect this may be different for you except that you are the storyteller there, I think. The last time I was in the apartment on Adams St, where my father had lived for close to sixty years, I was alone. I needed to be there alone. It needed to be me. I walked one last time into every room. I remembered what I knew of what had happened in each one or what might have done. I knew some of it. I didn't know all but these rooms had held my family's history. Apartment or not, second floor or not, these six rooms had been our home. As the last one there, I acknowledged that and said good-bye, one by one and at the end I locked the door. It gave me a way to walk away. I write these words and make that walk again. It was my way to close that story and it helped. You'll find your own way at Manning Road. You are finding it now. Anyway, am thinking of you.
Advent calendars on their way. Hope all three find their way to you.
I did iq,He looks festive. I'll have a cookie and some egg nog. The calendar is adorable and so thoughtful. The lab looks like one I have only mine is chocolate.
So glad you enjoy the silliness. I keep looking and remembering. Part of me sees Surrey in the scene. Then part of me sees Alfriston, a tiny village near Seaford where I lived and where both the girls are living now. Part of me sees only fantasy and that is all right because that is as much a part of all of this as anything else. I think. Cookies. Eggnog. I might be able to find some hot chocolate, sugar on the side.

Thought about Catholic schools, Rita. God, in Boston, I grew up with Catholic everything and I loved it. I learned in all my schools and in the hospital that women were able to do anything. How many grow up seeing that. No Advent calendars though. I think this is the first one I've had. I love your thoughts about the dogs. I went back and looked again. Have to say it made me smile, the little dog, the Lab.

The hat I see and is that the very beginning of a smile.
Be sure to open the village at least once when it is dark. Moon and stars and falling snow and all the village lights come on. Given that lights come on there by half past three in the afternoon in deep winter, that is the scene I hold in my fantasy. That and the snow globe I always wanted. Oh and snow I don't need to shovel!
I'll need to wait until tomorrow at Manly to download mine but already just the picture on the cover sends me back across the road to Ann's - we never had such a thing here, and there's was magic - the fifties, sixties, no chocolates just wonder behind each window or door, the excitement building to the 25th.
Thank you anna1liese, you just made a young boy's Christmas.
" theirs "- my head is in the garden today.
Should anybody wander in and wonder what we're talking about, we are talking about a special gift of annalieses' which anyone can have access to at Jacqui Lawson's website. Something very special.
And no, IQ, I wasn't a Catholic schoolgirl, myself ;-)
2 more things I love :
Larry in his Santa hat saying : Maybe you should close comments on this post ... ( comment # 1 )
... and ( comment # 700 ) IQ : " oops - ignore the typos."
sniff sniff not girls on Santa's lap, they are quite cute...
Came back to say I hope that one of the windows opens on a summer scene and perhaps a barbecue. Hope all is well for the quiet one.

Funny, I don't remember Advent calendars. I remember Advent wreathes. Didn't we say a prayer each week and light the appropriate candle until all four were lit just before we broke for the holiday. Haven't thought about that in a really long time.

My father used to get up one afternoon a week to come in a taxi to collect me from the nursery school and take me to CCD classes. We weren't always there on time. Not sure now how he paid for the taxi. Something about me or the situation must have struck Sr. Carlina as pretty pathetic or needing care. There was a waiting list of 50 or 100 for a place in the second grade. I wasn't on it, but suddenly they made a place for me to take me in. For some reason, someone reached out and took me in. They broke a rule to help me. Perhaps that is why I have rarely questioned breaking rules if I sensed someone in need. My high school senior English teacher was probably the greatest influence for me, but the one who always kept in touch was my first principal, the one who first hired me. She ... and I didn't always agree but she allowed us all to breathe and grow and expect the best of ourselves and of our girls. After my mother died, she took my mother's place to ask about my health. When I first came back to Boston after my marriage had died, she and my first department chair came to take me out to lunch to make sure for themselves that I was all right. They brought me sheets. Not sure how they knew I'd come home with almost nothing of my own. Social justice? We never even thought about it. It simply was essence, part of everything every day. Lucky we, to have grown up with so much that was so good. Not in your face, bible thumping good. Not ordered or ordained. Just an understanding of the importance of love. At least that is what it meant to me.
Alright Rita, 3 things I love. Of course.
My girls never had the pleasure. Santas scared them. Yours looks like a gentle soul. It's a treasure of a photo.
I am so glad to hear such happiness. Wonder and magic and so many smiles. Thinking of you in the garden there and very happy to hear you smile. Magic!
I don't know why, but I wasn't scared of much as a kid... as you can see by my face...
Anna1: that's the kind of religious people my parents are, they go church all the time but you would never know, they don't talk about it they just have helped many people over the years.
Reading everyone’s words and thinking about a faith that once was mine, that lifted me and kept me safe and gave me air to breathe. I think I made of that Church the church I needed it to be and then when it became so distant, it walked away from me. The soul, we were shown, was a rectangular box spotted with little dots of sin. Something concrete for little ones to grasp. I remember looking at it on the board and thinking not. I was taken into the school to prepare for First Communion. Before that came First Penance. We were seven. We were all sinners. That became very real. I don’t know that I had any real understanding of soul at that moment, but I allowed a window to stay open so I could find it on my own.

When Sister told us that Hell was a place that might await us after death, I remember silently shaking my head to myself and saying no. We don’t need to wait for Hell. We are living in it now. I also knew there were no flames. Walls perhaps, but no flames. I never raised my hand to disagree. I was a good little girl. But I knew she was wrong. I never doubted that.

At some point someone spoke of conscience. We ourselves could tell right from wrong. I have the constant guilt button all once Catholics have, but trusting my own conscience somehow set me free. The greatest blessing was their teaching and challenging us to think. Some of us memorized words before us. Some of us learned to think for ourselves.

Some of our nuns and some of our priests were rebuked for allowing such thinking even in one of the most liberal cities on earth, but they had opened our eyes and set us free. Imagine being rebuked for this when so much else was brushed aside or ignored.

Moments of peace. Moments of peace. So few of those at home. And love. And allowing. And breathing. Being. Allowing. All. Somehow this is what spoke to me then and speaks to me still. Perhaps the sisters and the priests spoke in terms of ideals. There were few ideals in my home unless I brought them home. I rarely spoke of real, but I knew real. Didn’t somehow we all know real.

Wisdom and knowing of childhood. We may not have all of the pieces then and we may not fully understand what we know. But we know. The child we were, allowed that knowing, had no filter to bar the knowing.

Do we sometimes draw or paint or write or look up for clouds or stars or moon or sun to be once more with all we know, all we were, all we are. Is that once wisdom and once knowing the thread that holds us all of our lives, that best allows us wonder and joy and love. Are those moments when our own veils lift, the moments when we best see.

Are these the moments that allow those of us who see to reach out from our innermost child to another child, sometimes even a little child, who needs our eyes to help him or her to see. To see what it is they really see and in this seeing, their own, once our own seeing to be free to feel and love and be.

I listen and I think and I keep coming back to this. Not the church bits really, but the child bits, the love bits, the wonder and the joy bits. And as I do, I think of Ann across the road. Would that every child, every one had someone like Ann. Then, perhaps, all that really matters would be clear and the warmth of love would, could be the world’s foundation. What joy then would fill us all.

Wonder and joy and open arms and open doors and snow globes and windows opening day by day, middle of the day, middle of the night.

Maybe all of my nonsense is Dorchester nonsense. Still part of me wonders if Ann across the road might have understood or if she would have needed no words at all and simply opened her door and let us in to hear a story or watch a window open and witness joy and wonder and love. A Christmas story here somewhere. Joy and wonder and love. Even at a truck stop. At least at this truck stop where all that really matters lives and breathes and smiles.
Sorry. I know it is too long, but you all make me think so much. I thought of making this a separate post but all of it came from here or from another of your posts, Kim. I have been thinking of some of this since at least Crusoe. I can't quite pin it down but somehow I think it means all I am to me. May not mean the same to you. Makes me think of Dickens. Makes me think of the ms. I've sent off to an agent who doesn't really know what to make of it. The ones who know best are the ones who have sat in front of me and whose words have made me know exactly why I have done what I have done. Now, as I try and dream a dream, I write and hope and wonder and while here reading all of your words, I know exactly why I have done all I have done. Rita, I am thinking of words we have shared on another of Kim's pieces: Honor the child. Let me walk that thought through Palestine and any where that needs to hear. Honor the child. I so wish I could meet your Ann and ask her about all of this. Meanwhile, I think of someone I wish I had met even as I meet her here, in your space, where you share some of all that is all of you. All of us as well who hear your words and stay to listen and hear more of what you hear. Something here calls out even as it calls us home. As it calls us, does it call you. Thinking of you as you sort through home and garden and all there is. Still thinking of you as you sort through all you must take home. Thinking of you who have nurtured young women who now tale on their world. Magic, Wonder, Love. And Joy. How lucky we who gather here. How lucky we who hear the voice who speaks so clearly here.
Be careful Anna. Kim might start charging by the word.
No Larry, it's a truckstop, bar, sea shanty, diner, coffee shop...
philosophy is always welcomed and debated, free of charge.
Well, he tried to charge me 10 bucks for a 4 line comment on November 27th.
Since this post has been going on since Nov9th it was here huh? Sorry Larry, I stand corrected.
I don't think you realise how much it costs to keep this place open :

Royalties @ the jukebox ... $ o.05 per play
AlleyOops appearance ... $ 1095.00
Rent ... $ 110.00 pw. ( I know )
Food ... $ 3. 10
Alcohol tax ... $ 22.00
Damages ... $ 3410.00
Candles ... $ 680.00
Plumber ... $ 1280.00
Live appearances ( Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits ) ... $ 100.00 each !
See, it's not like you just open the doors and everything pays for itself, is what I'm saying.
So I had to start charging for comments. $2.75 is a good deal, Larry, you'll find if you shop around.
Bonnie Russell charges $3.00, so does Kathy Riordan.
The cheapest deal from what I've seen is Blumenthal, which would account for his "popularity" - but as you can see, we here aren't going for "popularity"- we're going for quality.
This here is a classy joint.
Talent scouts come here looking for writers. That's one over there in the corner, with the pointy red hat, talking to the guy who looks like Trost.
anna1liese,
If you in one lifetime can overcome the image of soul as a rectangular box spotted with little dots of sin you've done well.
As a child you knew, as children do, that what you were listening to and reality were not the same. It takes a lot, though, to persist in the belief that you, a child, might be right. More right than your teacher.
It takes faith of a different kind. A guileless child's kind.
anna1liese thank you for these thoughts and I'm sure the others feel as humbled as I by the opportunity to listen as they come.
We're a reverential, if at times profane bunch here at the truckstop,
as you know.
If you ever felt like sharing a little of your ms here, let us know.
Meanwhile here's a little something of Ann's :

( On this third level ) the world is a mirror in which we meet only ourselves, only what we have put there. The creator and the creation are one.

A dream is a private myth ;
a myth is a public dream.


ps you know I'm a day ahead on the advent calendar, don't you :-)
Ikew,
I'll do you a deal.
Give us another song, and it's all done.
Larry, I thought of you when this went so long. But shhh! Don't want to do the math!

All of you, thanks for putting up with my Dorchester nonsense. I close my eyes smiling at thoughts of small joy shared. I open them and thoughts are flowing and I need to follow to see where they lead.

There is something here in all of these thoughts I can't yet quite see, but something about them keeps pulling me. There is an energy about them and that tells me something. At least I need to keep looking and thinking to see what it is I see.

Kim, You make me pick up my world time after time to look at it afresh. It is just the way your words speak to me. Thanks for reading these words so closely. Thanks for sharing these words of Ann's with me. I want to float them for a bit and soak them in. As I started to read them, they made me cry. Kinship, I think, of the deepest kind.

Well, if anyone gets to see the next day's treasure first, I am glad it's you! Smiling here.
Winter must be upon us, the wind was howling through my house here in the woods, and yet I slept through till morning, missing the truckstop comings and goings. The truth of the mirror is one I carry with me this morning.
Perhaps, I'll just listen to Leonard and fall back to dreaming...
Leonard and dreaming and the truth of the mirror. Miles and summertime. Sometimes it is simply quiet and sometimes quiet helps.
“... and the world will live as one.” If only this would be our truth today. Here again and dreaming still. If only this dream would finally come true. Today. Dreaming and imagining. Still.
Why did I choose Romeo and Juliet. Oh. My. God.

Aren't we a bit of the world here, at this truck stop, living a bit, as one. Couldn't the world use us as a prototype. Thinking about the ms. Did I really say that out loud. Thinking about the college. Another prototype. Wanting to stretch out my arms and hug all the ones I knew, all the ones who came to me, all the way, up all the stairs, to think they were coming to me for help, when really, they were giving me the world. All the cherubs who have ever come to me, have given me so much more, than ever, I suppose, I was able to give to them. Libya, Egypt, Oman, Jordan, UAE, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey, Spain, Sudan, Palestine, Indonesia (Oh God, Martin and his chess!), Germany, Scotland, England, Zambia, Somalia, India, Bangladesh, so many states from here. All the world could live as one. Could. Once a very long time ago I taught someone from New Zealand. Nikki Kerslake. She called out my name years later one day in a London museum. How many of my cherubs did I meet there, one by one by one. Yes, we could. Yes, we can. Why do we all make it seem so hard. Imagining. And dreaming still.
You didn't choose the truckstop Romeo & Juliet - that was IQ.
Settle. Chamomile tea.
You're all stirred up.
Deep breathing, calm. Look for the centre ; focus on the breaths.
Feel the messages. They're all good tonight. Settle. Love's here.
Maybe some John Lennon Happy Xmas Kim..
In whatever way there is, tonight you are my soul's other half. No words for now. But so many thanks. I feel so heard. And understood.

So many faces and so many stories. One day I will share them with you. You. Will understand. I know.

Chamomile tea and love. How do you know. Don't know what caught me so. My soul's other half. Tonight at least. Trying to breathe. And hear.
Git that man a omelette !
We been some dirty places tonight, jes best don' ask. Settle.
Y'ok now a1 ? Mess o' grits ? Corfee ?
'bout a lamington, mm ?
It's got ham and onions and peppers in it, and maybe some of that white Mexican peasant cheese. With hashbrowns on the side of course. Janie told me once that poutine squeaks when you bite into it, so yeah, some of that too. I'm starving!
I was going to google poutine then I thought, no.
And corfee, definitely, it's freezing 0ut there. What's a lamington? Is that one of those Aussie cakes? Works for me.
How lucky am I to know the lot of you. Denver omelette. And chamomile tea. Who would have thought. Who would have known.
All of this and a look at your sea. Twill do, I think. Twill help at least.
Kim, it's fries and gravy... it's different than poontang.
Poutine is what you get if you have some curds and whey and then take away the whey (hah!). It's apparently served with gravy, though gravy of what is always left sort of vague. Owl flippers? Walrus jowls? God only knows.
Vodka with tomato juice IQ, I'm feeling healthy today. It's got to have Worcestershire sauce in it though, and some celery salt if there's any around.
I'm doing another PO trip into Manly - anyone want anything ?
2.15 pm. lots of speedos and bikinis. Lots of Koreans lapping up the peace ; a few Belgians looking Belgian ; plenty of bright pink Brits ; the odd Saudi, o, there's oprah, etc. Suss looking boat like a floating resort in the bay yesterday - Australia is in the O fever-grip.
Hell with all that - I forgot to say I'm snorkelling, so I'll only have one hand up on the way back.
A lamington is koala thigh fried, dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with dessicated coconut.
I got a feeling I won't recognise the place by the time I get back.
It's not just Canadians. I saw a place in St. Louis a couple m0nths ago that served poutine. I want to hear it squeak!
mmm...koala thigh...tastes like menthol
Danger Will Robinson... Don't eat the Koala. They have AIDS and Chlamydia.
It's amazing such a cute animal could be so disgusting.
it tastes just like chicken..
Is that the National Anthem?
Nah, the anthem is "Waltzin' Matilda." "Tie Me Kangaroo Down" is more like a prayer or something.
We sing Tie Me Kangaroo Down at weddings, funerals, circumcisions, executions - nan's right, it's more like a prayer.
Nana, did you happen to see Norwonk's post, on Palin hunting?
I just now read it, thanks for the tip Larry. To quote:

If your first shot misses completely, you shouldn't be hunting.
If your second shot misses completely, you shouldn't be hunting.
If your third shot misses completely, you shouldn't be hunting.
If your fourth shot misses completely, you shouldn't be hunting.
IF YOUR FIFTH SHOT MISSES COMPLETELY, YOU SHOULD NOT BE FUCKING HUNTING.

Pathetic would be about it. As Norwonk said, people who just blast away at an animal are called cowboys, and it's not meant as a compliment. Now I understand why I haven't watched her show yet.
OK, I don't watch her show because I'd sooner drive an ice pick into my nasal cavity than listen to her voice for more than 45 seconds. But seriously, she can't shoot with a squirt of piss.

And Kim, thanks for backing me on the prayer thing. As I understand it Rolf Harris is three quarters Aborigine.
Worth. "Worth a squirt of piss" is how the expression goes. Or sometimes "worth half a squirt of piss", which is actually more the level of shooting depicted in that video.
I'm not entirely sure but I'd hazard Rolf is about as aboriginal as Queen Elizabeth.
As for "... people who just blast away at an animal are called cowboys, and it's not meant as a compliment," I recall a video where young Eli and his uncle were doing some serious damage to the ants around the targets on a shooting range ... ;-)
This is still going? Holy smokes!
cool song... er anthem.
Rita, "Tie Me Kangaroo Down" is more of a prayer. The Aussie national anthem is "Beds Are Burning" by Midnight Oil.

And IQ, are you suggesting that Sarah Palin should be on anti-psychotics? That sounds like a half-measure to me; a transorbital lobotomy seems more likely to make those noises stop coming out of her mouth.
Agreed. Cowboys herd cattle.
Let's face it, we've gone mad and the cleaner quit.
I heard cattle too, Rita - maybe old man Brown out the back left his gate open.
Then again, maybe we're just starting to hear things.
Like, OS wants to sell the joint.
Believe I'll have me one o' them green ones, with a little ice.
Dropping by to sweep the floor. Can tidy in the kitchen too. Final sadness and waiting in the air here. Our dancer prayed yesterday for angels to come and take her. Can only hope that grace will come for her and let her go. As easily as possible. Spent time here yesterday on my own in that quiet booth in the far corner. Day before I had been quaking for world peace, for someone to stand up for it. Don;t seem to know what anyone is standing for here. Then R&J and so many faces. I came away from them but they have stayed with me - more deeply than I knew. More deeply than I knew. I was meant to live the life I lived in that turret space. Could barely stay still enough to read yesterday, so here to a special place. Gave me words for calm and easier breathing knowing music was there if I needed it. Voices here always that help.

Thought of the book elf yesterday. Could use him here to tidy all the books I seem to have pulled out. Just now as I hear the quiet here, I wonder about the pounding rain there. Was thinking yesterday that Trig might build a studio here, just behind that wall, where the light would be best. Then late, while I waited for a long driving visitor to arrive before making her final visit to the dancing one, I opened my eyes and what did I see but a smiling silent one and words I could, expect I will read again a thousand times. Silent smile, silent space, silent hands, distinctly, uniquely eloquent voice. Grateful for this, for you and for us.
Still imagining. Still dreaming. All the while. Knowing I am not alone. In the calm or in the storm. Hands reaching out here for us all. Enough to make one smile.
Back for a moment from a newly named piece. Managed not to share here yesterday, but coming back from such talk of art, I see again the dancing there. The dancer who is ready to let go is not the only dancing one. The dancing she has done has brought her joy all her life. She doesn't have an art studio in her home though works of her uncle's and of her aunt's hang on so many walls of what was first her parents' home. When her parents died, she changed one room and had a dance floor laid and a wall mirror hung. It wasn't Jose Feliciano who would wait backstage for her. It was Jose Greco. She had studied flamenco in Spain and it has been the passion of her life. She is tired now and has made her peace, but her life has been filled with much joy. All day yesterday as I thought of her, I kept seeing her eyes. Most always they are smiling eyes, eyes filled with the wonder of a child. Can't help wondering as I think and as I write, if we lay out all the threads we see, all that we have known, do they all eventually draw themselves together to show us the ways in which they blend. Blending, connecting, breathing, smiling. Sadness sometimes but also joy - joy in all its colours and joy in all its warmth.
Anna1, life sounds like it has been a heavy journey lately, glad the truckstop has provided some respite.
Kim, not sure what type of drink is green? But I look behind the bar, although the cleaner quit, there 's still plenty to drink.. Lil Kate hasn't been here buying rounds lately and Nana's onto another substance, the gnome is still sailing. tink, tink of the classes.
#of the Glasses (swear I wasn't drinking the green stuff earlier)
Creme de Menthe and Midori are both green.
Have been thinking of you as well, Rita. Hope winter's wind is howling less through your beautiful house in the woods. Hope winds are calming there. Just now here, before my traveler left for her next stop, we talked about rainbows. Just after her sister died, she was driving home from Albuquerque and as she crested a hill, looked up to see a field, a field of rainbows. I watched her as she saw it in her eyes. Must have been fifty rainbows completely covering the field. If only and always we let ourselves look up, I think, all the colors, colours of life are there to keep us company. I think joy is most always there if we can open our eyes and allow it. A rainbow field - a perfect gift from her sister who was a children's librarian. All missings walk with us as one prepares to join them. Rainbows and stories and so much love and holding.
Or are the green ones limes.
Green liquid behind the bar. Rita, I’m with you. Someone has some ‘splaining to do. Larry, this is all your fault. You are all seeing green. So was I to start. All of a sudden I am seeing purple and no, not a rainbow this. Once upon a time in a land of far away, .... Three hundred years ago, our music teacher invited me to visit during the February holiday. She and her husband were going to stay with her in-laws in Vermont. She wanted me to come.

Are you sitting comfortably. Hint: I am typing this in Pages first. At some point she told me that we would be staying in the barn, but there was heating and we’d be all right.


Author’s pause. Remember I grew up in Dorchester, not the poshest part of Boston. Second floor of a triple decker. On the corner. Near the library.

One more thing. Not sure how you hear the sound of “r”. When you say Dorchester, listen to the sound. Now come with me to my world. I hear “r” when I say “r”, but you might think you hear an “h”. So my Dorchester may be your Dohchestah. Are you with me? It’s an Irish/English thing.

Back to Vermont. A four hour drive, the last time I drove innocently through snow and ice. I hadn’t lived in England yet, but when I found this house, it had a name. Glebelands. Had no idea. Was this a Vermont thing? But wait, I see two houses and I do not see anything resembling a barn.

I see my friend and the “barn” is larger than my house. The sheets on the bed were like nothing I had ever seen. Needlepoint initials on perfectly ironed sheets. They were from the in-laws’ honeymooon. I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.

I had the tour and I remember they had a music room. A music room. Her husband had found a kit for a harpsichord and had made it for my friend. Oh my God. Beside it, if I remember correctly, was a violin. His. Yes, I think it was, a violin a certain Stradivari had had some part in. At one point that week they played for me.

At some point a brother-in-law appeared. He had just flown in from New York. He is the one of the purple liqueur. They kept it in the main house just for him.

On the nights we went to the main house for dinner, we were responsible for making martinis. I had heard of them, I think, in a movie or on tv. Our fridge at home had one kind of beer in cans for my father and another kind for my uncle. My mother’s vodka lived on the floor. Have I mentioned Kansas. OK, well, Dorchester.

At the appointed hour, we carried through the snow, the martinis I had been taught how to make and the hors d’oeuvres we’d put together. At our house, if we ever entertained, we had cheese and biscuits and white wine.

I don’t think we were announced, but somehow word made its way upstairs because after brother-in-law had begun to point out certain pieces of art to me, someone’s campaign chest from the 17th century and Josephine’s chair, I heard footsteps on the stairs. Mater appeared in an evening dress with an evening bag on one arm and a gold lame cigarette holder in her hand. Pater wore a smoking jacket. I swear to God. I don’t think my mouth stayed closed for one minute of that night.

Nothing in Dorchester had prepared me for a minute of this. I wanted to be so invisible but I didn’t want to miss anything. At some point we would be having dinner but I hadn’t seen where that would be. Eventually we went to a room where food was laid out and a dinner service was explained to me, just to let me know. The silver does not come back to me except that it was real. The china does. The edges of the china. Gold leaf. Irreplaceable. Ir... replaceable. Just take some of everything and come back into the other room. The other room with sofas and chairs, without a dining room table. Oh my God. By this time, I had no Vermont. I had only Dorchester. I didn’t belong in the remains of a DuPont fortune and furnishings that had been brought back from a two year honeymoon round the world.

My hands were shaking. Part of me wanted to cry and part of me wanted to laugh. Part of me knew only too well that I would be the one to drop and break forever the irreplaceable plate.

OK. There is more, but you get the idea. I do remember the purple liqueur. I didn’t have it and so didn’t need to worry that I would drop it and stain whatever incredibly priceless carpet I was standing on.

Tiny field trip from our bar here. Going back to fold some napkins now.
anna1liese you unfold like an heirloom rose.
What a beautiful tale, beautifully told.
I'm so glad you're writing on Pages first ( Lawrence is useful in his way, isn't he ? ) - this is wonderful.
And you and the brother-in-law ... frisson ?

The other thing is the traveler, and her field of rainbows ... this is all reading like an alternate reality.
This truckstop is turning into a salon.
"This truckstop is turning into a salon"

Salon...where have I heard that name before?
That was #777 Larry.
A very significant number.
I'd be outside mingling, or setting up camp under the bed, if I were you.
Larry, Echoes. Are there echoes.

Kim, I am going to take your words away with me and float them for a while. Thank you. Really. Thanks. Frisson and the brother-in-law. Uh, no. He did try to teach me to waltz. 1-2-3, 1-2 .... It was not a success. His real frisson was with the purple liqueur.

Thank you for not being totally annoyed that I needed to hide away here today and let thoughts wander where they would. You are, I think, the kindest of kind.
Have just returned from Muse's piece, the one I read just before my traveler finally appeared and before we sat up and talked the night away. Of all the comments there, I would think that your words will touch her heart. Her heart needs that touch.

Perhaps all hearts need that touch. All talk here today was of hearts touching hearts. We were all there in Albuquerque for that service for Gayle. The traveler has written of her here. One tiny child who had known her in the library had come because he wanted to speak for the woman who had given him the gift to read, the need to read. And then her father spoke. We had never seen him cry. That day he let all of us reach out and touch his heart. Even our dancer who is/ has been guarded of her heart. I know that's not clear. It is not clear. Still. Still.

This morning as we talked again, I could see Gayle across the room from me, each of us in morning silence, each of us with tea, each of us with journal in hand, honouring the task at hand. So many artists in this family that has adopted me. My traveler told me that our dancer had last night spoken of her aunt for whom she is named and on the wall here is a pencil sketch of her done by the famous artist ... grandfather of the traveler, the grandfather she used her dissertation to try and meet. In writing it, she brought him home to herself and the dancer and the cousin who read and to me, her part-time editor. The dancer was the artist's niece and has long treasured his work. Last time when I was there, sitting beside her and holding her hand, I saw some of his more famous pieces there on her walls because ... she cares.

When I last was there for that/ those services in the mountains of New Mexico, I slept in Gayle's childhood bed. It seemed a blessed gift. In the morning just outside the kitchen window, deer passed, so close I could have reached out and touched them. Then on the day we were meant to leave, someone sent snow. So much snow, we couldn't leave. And so we stayed where we were most needed. And we listened as others who most needed spoke their truths.

Isn't that really what life is all about. Speaking and listening and hearing and caring. Reaching out and holding on. Holding. Holding. In any way we can. Holding. Being. In any way we can. Isn't that really what life is all about.

To that point, someone needs to say out loud that a month ago, a month ago today, someone opened this space to be there, just in case. Being there and reaching out, holding hands and holding souls. Here is life and here is all. Here. Because. Care. Heart. Long ago, I think, I fell in love here. Few may say the words, but many feel the words. Many feel the ... all of it. All of it. As it is and as it comes. Love. Simply, fully, completely. Love. Here. At a truck stop borne of love. Love even if pushed away or aside. Or held away in silence. Love. Here. Call it what you may. Love it is and love is all. I think I heard words of love in your words on your last piece. It sounded as though you have found the work you love and the work you most want to do. For yourself. For your dreams. For your vision. For your heart. Now I wish I could be there, in the chair behind your chair, to see your eyes and hear your heart and to know that you are all ... your all. I so hope that for you. I so hope that for all of you. All. Of you. Wings of love to set you free. Wings of love. Today. For you.
Hey Anna1, the truckstop's month anniversary is here.. Kim was trying to make me laugh that night and he did, actually a lot. And a bad night turned into some fun between a lot of crazy travelers and good music.Maybe Kim will play an anniversary song...
Kim is kangaroo and cockatoo and koala metaphor for anything else in that anthem? Just askin...
Rita, Hear you smiling now and that makes me incredibly glad.
You guys are still here! AND it's a month later! Wow!

Sorry I haven't been around too much ... I've kept meaning to stop by but seem to get caught up in one thing or another. But, gee, I hope you're all well.

I see Kim has you listening to some true blue Aussie songs!
Anna1: I had a patient one day who came in on her 90th birthday and she was just a marvelous woman. I was asking her all sorts of questions as is my way when I meet woman who inspire me, and she had been through so much in her life. When I mentioned this she said "Ah well, is just the Big L" (in other words it's just life] as Kim would say "isn't it?"
Hey Lil where ya been? Kangaroos, cockatoos, koalas, bandicoots it's a crazy world down there isn't it?
Here is a new one from the "maestro" :

"As you know, this post is receiving a tremendously positive reaction on my facebook page. And rightly so.

Its lack of inclusion on the cover as an EP is indicative of all the flaws of OS. Good, solid, relevant writing passed over for the banal & the bilge.

This is an exceptional work Becky. You must (I almost demand it lol) feel pride and a sense of accomplishment that you've written the heart and soul of so many people. You wrote it right.

And Mark R. Trost just said so. Ballsy? Bet your ass. So take my praise to your heart; you've earned it."

Got any barf bags?
What a self indulgent narcissistic ass, how can you write that bilge and actually live with your damn self....
Here is another one"

"Tonight I tip-toed through the graveyard that was OS. And I became saddened by the lowered standards and the substandard work.

And the bullshit that mocks the art and the craft.

And then I read this. This is terrific.

Thank you in restoring my faith in the gift that is writing."
A crazy world for sure! AND we've got ...

Wallabies, bilbies, wombats, emus and goannas too!
Dingoes, bandicoots, bush turkeys, and magpies ... to name a few!
Larry check previous post - Kim's response. My gawd ...
AND we've got

Brush tailed possums, Lyrebirds,
Mallee Fowl, Terns, Flying foxes, Bower Birds
And all sorts of frogs and snakes
Crikey! (A hasty retreat she makes!)
The "comments closed" post ?
All you need is a backward baseball cap.... so Trostlike...
Dear Banal and the Bilge: you comment is Almost good. Because I said so Rita T. Shibr...
Kate to say nothing of
I think lorikeet means small parrot.
What about these though :
kookaburra - it laughs
brolga - it dances
azure kingfisher - fishes
butcherbird - kills, with a beautiful voice
wompoo - coos
satin bowerbird - only collects things that are blue
budgerigar - flocks of thousands
coot - swims beside me
galah - loco
emu - runs
restless flycatcher - cannot sit still
koel - mournful cuckoo
or platypus, or pi ; wobbegongs and wallabies, leatherjackets and Balmain Bugs.
Goodness.
Banal you've chosen well. I don't mind going bilge, but call me Eliza.
Whatever it takes ( hic ) we've got to maintain the standards 'round here.
MRT has laid it out - follow those guidelines and you'll end up in Oblivion, a beautiful little suburb of Peoria. Everyone there is so nice, and there's a book club. Only one book, but still, it's a club.
Ok. Ok. Kim. look I will talk you through this. Hey, take my hand. Ok.
Damn. Bad trip.
Love
Comment 800 makes no sense, which is as it should be.
no don't even think you are there alone just hit the romeo and juliet
we will hear that tune together'''
New song up - haven't heard it yet.
Both of you : sleep. Now.
I think a medal should be struck in your honour IQ, for 700 & 800 & making no sense - it's an achievement no-one will ever take away from you. From a personal point of view I'd like to say how proud I felt, watching that grainy footage, your finger hitting Post This Comment, with the Canadian anthem and the fireworks.
You were incredibly calm, I thought.
What does it say when words will not come. R&J it is then first and then a new one. Want to focus on what is best but feel a bit punctured by the wound of pompous negativity. Air is best to breathe at a truck stop where voices can speak and are always heard.
Oh, iq. Here, listening. Knowing the pain, the emptiness. Sometimes the pain is sharp. Sometimes it is hard to share because it can be hard to hear. Voices want to cheer and lift and though meaning well, they can push away as though the feelings ought not to hurt. I know no words to fill the empty space, but I know the space and I know the hurt. We hurt because we care and because we have so much love to share. It is what most keeps us alive.
When I see your cv of life, I see a heart that has dared to love even as I sense the loss of an original dream. Whatever other feelings came, loss is loss and pain is pain. Mine was not a sociopath, just an angry, angry, angry man. I know the pain I have felt and can only reach out a hand from here and understand at least a bit. And care.

I see someone who has dared to care and dared to try. Maybe the programs or the discipline were ones that once seemed just right and then did not. I see steps forward on your journey, no reasons not to be proud. Easy for me from here, I know, but I am listening and this is some of what I hear. I hear your sadness and your hurt, but I also hear your heart. Always I hear your heart. Always I hear your heart.
Sometimes sleep can bring a healing balm. Perhaps it has found you now for a little while.
Hey iq just keep coming here.. hand on your shoulder tonight....
Hey it's Friday night is this truckstop open or what?
You awake, IQ ?
Keep talking. 41 isn't the end of the line - you know that.
Even if it doesn't involve children of your own your life is all ahead now.
The worst is behind you.
So what if you find yourself in a cyberspace truckstop at 3 am, it's a place to be. Through that door any minute now might walk a stranger who becomes a friend.
It's the nature of truckstops.
By the music you've chosen and the comments you leave all over OS we come to know a beautiful fragile soul with a story.
We grow to love this soul and will do anything we can to nurture her, make her laugh again, run again, and Max - is a joy and a mascot.
You're part of us now sis, sit down and pour your heart out.
No-one's going to find us - we're buried under a mountain of card-playing sailing comments.
As anna1liese knows, it's quiet here. Not even any truckers. Just us.
My friend Kathy had her youngest son at 47, for what it's worth.
He's a gorgeous young guy, too.
True Kim. Now shut up and pour.
sorry... that was rude, I didn't see the other comment... (running away with Tink in the bushes..)
Quiet and safe and gentle folk - all here. Just us.
Sometimes someone here even manages to calm you in a storm. Don't know if he simply reads everyone so well, but no one else has ever noticed a storm of mine before and reached out to try and offer calm. And then calm came. Just saying.
Your friend's son is probably too young for _iq_
Gentle words above, iq. He speaks for us as well. Thought of you and Max this morning, after I listened to the song you chose and came back and read your words. Hoped he managed to snuggle in somewhere. Keeping you calm and keeping you warm. Have been thinking of you since.
anna1, maybe our friend iq is happily out enjoying a frosty Friday night somewhere.. we will listen to some music you and I.
Rita, Lovely listening here.
iq, Peaceful rest tonight.
Thinking of us all.
Larry didn't you ever see The Graduate ?
The pinnacle of my affection is a handwritten note. It’s rare and it’s my gift. I avoid cursive writing with the same ardor I avoid feminist poetry. I have note cards with the word PEACE on the face. And if I send that card, then I consider the recipient as close as family and I wanted to share a piece of my peace with my brethren.
Mark R Trost

Yours is in the mail...
Exactly.
Now if we could find IQ a nice young fellow with a future ...
What about you ?
You look like a nice young fellow ... often ...
We've run into an obstacle.
Larry you're spending too much time in That Place. It can't be good for you. While we appreciate your endeavours we worry for your health.
The comment before last was in response to "plastics," but I guess you figured that out already ... ( sometimes I ask myself ... )
Hours come and hours go. Sometimes we breathe. Sometimes we sigh. Sometimes we hold a glass or pour a cup of gentle tea. Sometimes someone else pours the tea for us and brings to our hands a rounded cup of warmth.

Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes we roar. More often than not we roar for peace. A laying down of unnecessary arms. For arms that are most real are not the arms that fire. Arms that are most real are arms that reach out to hold.

Looked in hours ago when hours here were growing long. Peace and calm were here midst gentle joshing in the air.

In the long hours here a while ago, heard from the traveling one a few words of the dancing one. Mostly sleeping now, but underneath the sheets, her feet begin to wriggle as though still she needs to dance and then her hands lift to make the flamenco moves that accent the dancing of her feet. Made me think of Rita's patient who had such grace about what she saw as the Big L. So much lately makes me think of Ann and further grace and dignity and courage.

And in these moments of such grace, I sense even more clearly all the grace and warmth and love that breathes and lives and gives itself so easily and so gently here. A wisdom and a knowing that for some is lost, for some is never found, and for some is simply the foundation of all they are. Some of the threads these are that have begun to walk with me. From thoughts spoken and shared here. Or not far away.
anna, I'd like to make the tea and bring to you and Rita if I may ... a cup of gentle tea for us to share before I head off to sleep.

It's been a long and troubled year this year ..... but then there is so much to be thankful for ... like the caring, supportive friends that are here on OS and at this truckstop ... such wonderful friends ... a blessing you are.
Thinking of you too, Kate, and all that you are knowing. Perfect gift of tea for us and let me make and hand this cup to you.
Thank you, Anna. Ahhh.... there is nothing more soothing to drink than a perfect cup of tea. It will see me to bed well. And you ... I hope it will mark the start of a good day ... a day filled with cheer and peacefulness.
Is it possible for someone else to know you better than you know yourself. All the tears I've held at bay all day are held at bay no longer. This morning as I wrote here, I didn't even know they were there. I was trying to focus on the joy one may feel even as life is drawing down because that is what seems to be happening. In the background is the first waiting like this for my mother who seemed to have lost all sense of joy. If she had heard this music and these words, she would have felt at home and ready to be done. Hope had gone away for her. I so don't want any of that. For myself or anyone I love. Ever again. I am sorry if some of that is what you heard in this morning's words. I am only really feeling that now. I thought I was describing the joy and caring and gentle lovingness of all the voices who come together here. For in truth that is always what I hear and feel. I didn't mean to draw the sky down. Still the melody of all of this is one that reaches in and doesn't let go. So many of us in tender places here. I didn't mean to block the sun. Forgive me if I did. Hope someone can lift the shades and let the sun back in.
Hey, take care. It's us, remember ?
Have been with this all the night here. Silly I should need to hear your words once more, but there they were. Now Sinead and the words she pared. My heart is so full right now, but in this fullness it can breathe. Always here, my heart can breathe.
I think sometimes now about your Ann. I wish I had been lucky enough for her to live across the road from me. Would that someone would have seen and reached a hand to the little girl doing all she could to hold her world together.

Sometimes I think I fear that no one else will hear what I hear. And then sometimes someone hears what I hear before I hear it myself. And then that someone plays it back for me.
Large storm here last night, torrential rain and howling winds, internet off and on.. I love the new song, Sinead is a favorite, her voice like an instrument.
Peace to my truckstop friends I hope this posts...
What a night you have had. Hope today brings more calm.
"I gave my heart." Gentle whisper of song. All.
I found a better ( complete ) Sinead version. Beautiful. Look.
Where's IQ ? Is IQ OK ?
Are any of us ok ? I'm ok. Are you ok ?
Geese; lots now in the season of brown here.
Your poem unbreakable reminded me of : chevron ; sinead vid.
anna1liese how're you doing ?
thanks, Kim, on the same wavelength here, someone just alerted me to her post earlier. enjoyed the video..
Kim, I have never heard this music before this morning when I saw it here. I have listened to the first version that you left so many times through the day. It speaks everything to me and Sinead's voice is like a prayer.

I am caught in a crazy place between present and past. Because I do, I have written and thought and written and thought and tried to put my mother's life back together again. Often if I write long enough, I can find a way through. It is simply hard not to be able to save someone. I could not save her. Part of me has always wanted not to become the person she was then, locked in anger and bitterness. I could not lift it from her, but it is not mine. It never was. Time now, finally, to allow myself the choices I have made. Long ago, I chose love. And hope. And joy.

There have been generations of pain in my mother's family. My mother could not break away. Someone, somewhere, must have been an Ann for me because somehow despite all that was, I survived what might have destroyed me and closed no door of hope. So, as I wait once more for death to come as I waited so long ago for her, I see acceptance and faith and peace and love. I see choice.

So now, I come back to listen to this music once more, and I find the version you've added and all my heart cries as I watch. It is all so incredibly beautiful and the words, the music, all of it, speak to me as though they were mine. I hear so many truths I know and then the repetitions of words that speak all that I am, all that I hope in the gentlest and softest and purest of whispers. How have you found such a breathtaking version such as this. It begins to lift my soul and hold my heart.

All the words I left this morning feel even more apt now. I may be here all evening listening to this piece and watching the images again and again and again. How do I thank you for a gift like this. As much as I can, I do.
Still tears as I watch and listen to this piece, but different tears if that makes sense. Some weights are lifting for me, I think. Rita, would you see these geese if you looked up this morning. I have seen geese in formations like these in Boston when I've been in just the right spot. In England, in Arundel near the college, I have seen swans take flight. What a sight to see. If only we look up. Some times all times are separate, and sometimes all times are one.

All of what I find most beautiful I can see as I watch this piece. From the geese to the whales. So much that calls my name is here. And then I hear other words - sensitivity, prison, mutual misunderstandings, two separate hearts living in two separate worlds, no sacrifice - all of these before the close. All these words have been mine. Some of these words are mine. Still I choose to give my heart. Otherwise can there be life.

Kim, if for a moment I could hold the world still, I would be able to reach out my arms and hold you and for that moment all worlds would be one. For that moment at least. No boundaries for just this once. Just this one moment, heart to heart. Sometimes, most times, I wonder where I live. I live here, but I live there. When the Chilean miners were being rescued, I lived in a middle space and Tim Wilcox spoke in a voice that brought me home. Home. Where. Hearts living. Separate worlds. Have been there. Have lived there. Still I choose to give my heart. Is there any other way to live. I don't think so. I don't think so. Still believe that there is much life. I thought so.
There is a lot going on, each of us can say that for sure.
The Season brings it upon us, with all of its ribbons and bows, it's difficult to ignore.
But we can focus on the one thing : a child was born.
You, me, Larry.
& thank god we were.
Then grew up and learned to read and write, to teach others how this magic works. To inspire others to make it their own.
It works, it's working. There was an Ann in your life, as you are Ann for countless others, here even. Nothing's going to put it out now - the fire burns and pine cones glow.
We sit around this crazy truckstop hands around our mugs and snifters listening to the words we need to hear tonight and looking at each rosy cheek there's smiles.
Though I can't help laughing, when I look at Larry ...
Here once more as through the night.
Haven't wanted to break the moment.
A child was born.
Holding a mug, floating through your words.
My heart remembers how to breathe once more
and as it breathes, it smiles.
Kindest of the kind.
What a gift you give.
Well, I know this is a truckstop and all but I just wanted to say Anna1, I enjoyed sledding with the dog yesterday and also wrapping gifts so easily today... I am very impatient and hate to wrap, this was a small joy on our advent calendar...
Ribbons and bows. Ribbons and bows.

So glad to be sharing this. When I saw the toboggans on the hill by the church, I was back in another moment when snow came. Must have been a school day because all of a sudden I had Shelley and Julie and all their friends crowded outside my front door. May we come in please. I wish you could hear it as they would say it. In they came and dropped whatever they didn't need. I offered warmth and dry and a toilet should the need arise. They were off in seconds. We did literally live at the foot of Seaford Head and if they were going to have a single chance to slide down the Head in snow, it was now. No sleds or toboggans though. No one had those. This hardly ever happened. They all appeared with something on which to slide and up and down they went. I could see it all from the porch. They were screaming with laughter and you could hear it across much of the town. The closer you get to the Solstice, shorter the day as here. The sun is almost down by half past three, but they made the most of the time they had. Every time I watch the sledding here, I smile. Every child in the town was there. Sometimes I had to pinch myself to believe that I was there. All of it magic.
Anna1, your sledding memory jogged mine, we didn't have sleds either, I do remember being a little embarrassed about it... I think we may have used tin trash can lids (?).. anyway, all the kids in the town would gather at the DeadMan's Hill... it ran into a shallow creek. Good memories..
Ha! iq.. maybe it was trashbags or cardboard.. don't know. I remember many rides in the car like that, the green station wagon. I would be poking someone or giving them the eye not to tell on me...
You giggly guys, I don't know ...
Laughing out loud here iq... we had the threats of I AM PULLING THIS CAR OVER NOW IF YOU DON'T STOP... from mom but one thing was certain.. Dad NEVER pulled over. No matter who threw up or who had to go to the bathroom. Needless to say, there were some fun drives.. lather rinse repeat.. we had seven in the station wagon.. how the hell did they survive..
Glad you liked the Tom, Stellaa, and if you do pass him in the grocery aisle give him a wink, maybe say "Kimbo" - he'll remember ;-)
Been a buzz down here - mad but fun, and some lovely fireside exchanges.
Stellaa, I think that would be one time I might stalk someone, Tom Waits. Just to watch him move. Waltzing Matilda was one of the first truckstop songs for the down under crowd..
Hey iq maybe we should live blog the meteor shower tonight, how far off are we in time zones?
Poor Tom would never know what hit him.. of course we would be ultra cool and quiet..
Kim, where are you, we need a star song, how about Dark Star by CSN?
make yourself useful mate...
Stelaa, did you have a sled? You are all too funny. Was thinking later of what they used. Thought of rubbish bags, but we didn't have them there then. In England anyway. I don't think. I was thinking rubbish tin lids. I remember silver and round.

Back seat dramas. When you are the only one, dramas are different. I always remember the oddest back seat drama. No, not like that. Was it my mom's Impala. I remember lying back against the seat and looking straight up. I could see every star and so much sky. I remember all the wind that blew all over me from the front windows' being opened. I also remember the odd bits of cigarette ash from one of my parents' cylinders blowing back, and if I were lucky, missing me. Never mind. The sound of the wind and so much sky.
Anna1: of course we moon people followed the moon back home, there was a narrow space between the seats of the stationwagon and I would lay in there and watch the moon out the window. (I was too far back for my dad's smoke but everyone did then)
I am EST iq maybe we should live blog it...
I think I created a sister for myself. Only I could see her and her name, she told me, was Mimi. I did always wish I had a brother.
IQ, that pic you're using for an avatar, people walking on the beach under a full moon, is from your first post isn't it? Great photos as I remember, and the moon one was my favorite. For some reason, as far back as I can remember, I've always felt that the moon was my friend.
I guess it makes perfect sense all the moon people who frequent the truckstop late nights and early am's. Just went out to check the sky, cloudy and windy as hell.. brrrrrrr.
iq- I think Max will make an interesting blogger.. dogs have a totally different take on the world, it seems to me. Lay down, sit up, chase a stick.. lay down again. No guilt. No why am I laying down. No my mother was mean, that is why I lay down. Just. Lay Down.
Ok. but a dog's life looks pretty good to me..
Yes, Kim is having pear tarts with Ablonde and arguing with Barbara Someone...
Considering all the nights I spent looking out that window for my mother coming home just after midnight, I don't remember seeing much of the moon. Perhaps it was because I was focused on the road instead. I think I first really noticed the moon in England. Perhaps I noticed so much first in England. When I did the counselling course, I took the bus home afterward. It stopped in the middle of the town and then I walked home. Not many street lights and so for the first time I always hoped for the moon to shine. Especially as I approached the sea front where there would be only the moon to guide me home, it didn't matter how late it was, I always had to stop and watch. All the quiet, gentle reflections of night light on the water. If you didn't really look, you might not even see.

Sometimes, if the moon didn't shine, I had to trust in putting one foot in front of the other and not falling down until I'd made my way home. I've never known anything like that here. So alone. So quiet. Only the sounds of the sea. Even there though, I never saw a falling star and certainly not a meteor shower. Speaking of magic!
Did I just blink. Did rates go back up to 19. Is the moon checking in.
maybe a newcomer to the truckstop: Nana, did you finally rate this truckstop litany? This Howl of a post, this War and Peace of a piece?
It has more characters than a Russian novel. And a great soundtrack.
Kim is, of couse, perfectly off-topic back at my irritating post. He's a master of cutting to the chase, even more so than the average Aussie. But the moon...there is something about it. I used to think it was the halluginogens I took regularly as a youth, but in truth it's something which precedes that, and which I experience every time I walk 0utside and see Her munificence shining down. It sounds corny I know, but moonlight makes me feel good. All of us here at the truckstop need to meet for the summer lunar solstice (?) at some out-of-the-way place in Utah or New South Wales and have ourselves a Burning Woman Lunar Festival.
This War and Peace of a piece. I love you, Rita, and I love this.
I think the sea, the ocean have always been for me what the moon has been for you. Whenever I am near a body of water, I breathe differently. It's as though it is my soul and always there my soul is free.
New South Wales then. I think only one of us has been there. Funny thing about New South Wales. Not sure when I thought of it, but I visited there when I was young. Great Expectations. Dickens, of course. Abel Magwitch of the cemetery scene was arrested and transported there. I have been in love with that story from the first time I read it. Who knew.
What ? Whose ? Where ? Bosoms - me ?
I think I fell asleep in the theological to and fro over there at nan's.
Woke up in the truckstop.
So we're talking about dogs, is it ?
Not your incontinent poodle ; more your coffee drinking hound on a beach, is it. Linnnn's got a meteor-shower post up.I'm in favour of long stretches of sand and dogs.
Ablonde does good dog. Not that I'm necessarily a bosom man.
I like her attitude to food and the canines among us, and the cetaceans. I don't have a dog, or a whale, at the moment, but I remember how lovely they are.
OS has become a kind of shelter.
Tomorrow I expect a nice couple will pause and say "O, we like that one. Doe he draw ? Marvellous. Has he been vaccinated ? Terrific."
The sky was lit
by the splendor of the moon
So powerful
I fell to the ground

Your love
has made me sure

I am ready to forsake
this worldly life
and surrender to the magnificence
of your Being
A dog that draws, perhaps a gray haired Australian mongrel..the best kind are often the stray ones you know..
OK Nana..
just read this..
alright back up to the Bless the Weather.. no moon here, no meteor, just the howling wind...
wish I could uTube it whistling through this house and down the fireplace..
Hey nan,
you've written some poetry before,
but not like that.
F..k nan, post it. With a picture of the moon.
I think you've tumbled to your own game, isn't it.
Poetry in the moonlight. Wind making itself known. Lapping, lapping of the sea upon the sand. Painting finished. For now. Moment to rest and breathe. All is well with all the world. Little dog nudging near.
I stole that moon poem from somewhere on the Interwebz; please tie my head to the side of a hog and roll me around in the mud. Since joining OS, I've deleted several posts of my own that discussed moon light; they were from my previous OS incarnation. The only one that remains goes:

The moon is out and there are these fantastic clouds floating by, gossamer and candyfloss yet solid as stone. Even when people are face to face they're rarely feeling the same thing, but I wish you could be here with me to see these clouds, this moon, to taste this balmy springtime air.

Sadly, I used to be retarded.
The plagiarized one was Rumi, yes. The candyfloss thing, "These Clouds", is still on my blog. I used to have others though, from back when I wrote that kind of thing. It turns out that politics is much safer than moonlight. ;-)
Hey nan,
that one's better, especially if it's yours - here goes :


The moon is out
and there are these fantastic clouds floating by,
gossamer and candyfloss
yet solid as stone.
Even when people are face to face
they're rarely feeling the same thing,
but I wish you could be here with me to see these clouds,
this moon, to taste this balmy springtime air.

What I'd call fine, okay ?
Moonlight and poetry. And friendship. What is better than this.
Nana, guess that would be a dichotomy, blowing things up and then the moon, but you know poets are all madmen anyway (or woman)
(and pardon me for hiding out over here, but most of those people commenting on my blog are smarter than me. it's scary)
Hey Nan, I have a big black coat, you can hide anytime...
Rita, Speaking of poetry. And paintings .... You are a treasure.
OK. 20 now. Even the wind is kicking in.
iq we dumb it down over here, ya know..
Hey, a strange opening in the sky just now, almost like a small clearing on a frozen pond but I can see the stars surrounded by clouds. and of course this crazy wind.. those of you on PST perhaps you can see Geminids..trying now..
Was thinking a little while ago that when you can see enough of it, the sky can be another kind of sea. Living away from the sea now, I often look up and all I see helps.
Oh! Have wondered about December days in Sydney and just now what do I see? Nick Bryant on BBC telling and showing us the Opera House not because of opera, but because Oprah is there. So sorry about the enormous O they seem to have hung in the air there. Here we are talking about skies and I so hope your view is not obscured by such an O. O O O O O!
Doesn't Julia know what international ambassadors she already has right here with you and Kate. Should we ring.
Nana, Post Script: went to bed after not seeing much, although the sky strangely enough opened up a bit, it was %&*@ cold out.
iq: I love that little movie and the soundtrack is beautiful, perfect for the moment.
Skies and moons and evenings, early mornings outside. Near Christmas. Great Expectations. Pip and his convict. Years later we hear of New South Wales. I remember being struck by a kinship with another country that had received English convicts for whom English prisons had no room. Later we learn of the life Magwitch lived there working first as a shepherd and then being gifted by his master which allows him to gift the tiny boy who once had brought him bread and brandy in the early dawn mist of Christmas Day. If not for his life in New South Wales, there would not have been a way for the once convict to thank the orphan child, not a way to help ease his own mind, to soften his and the once child’s hearts allowing a final peace to come.

Skies and moons and evenings and mornings. Near Christmas. A child. Softening. Listening. Sharing.
What you rascals get up to while the antipodes sleeps ...
nice song, IQ, posted.
Rita swore.
anna1liese She's Here ; it's bigger than the Queen.
I am not taking the ferry to town I do not want to see a giant O hanging from the Harbour Bridge.
But I like your reflections on New South Wales via Charlie D.
Those convicts for the crime of stealing half a loaf of bread to feed their family or taking 2 yards of timber built this town, and many stayed. I recommend to you The Secret River, by Kate Jennings - if you can't find it in the library let me know.
5 in the am here, the odd kookaburra chortling out of its dreams, a sunny day ahead - a steamy sunny day - chickens and mystery ; a lady getting older very quickly, cupboards and shelves emptier, a garden going mad and one lone lone lunatic with secateurs going What in the middle. The phone rings but all they want to know is where the drawings are. They're in my head where they'll probably stay, until a path appears okay ? Not okay, no way.
I read Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart a couple of years back, in Africa. Things are definitely falling apart, but not with Chinua's eloquence here.
Where's that nice couple ?
Surely they didn't choose the spaniel ? That spaniel can't even draw.
There's a new building going up in Downtown KC that looks sort of like the Opera House, all shelly-turned-on-their-sides. Have the spaniel send the drawings by parcel post and the kookaburra can chortle out your best wishes. The Earth knows only one deadline.

Rita, it was unearthly freezing here too last night. The warm blanket of clouds went away and the cold flowed down from between the stars, telling us what if feels like on the way to Cygnus X-1 9. Brrrrr.
The earth only knows one deadline.

Call Sue F. at Allen & Unwin and explain that to her for me please.
I'll be in the garden chopping away at things that don't make sense.
It's a bummer of a time to go mad but hey, it's Christmas, who's going to notice ?
I'll call her. Life is in the way and all you know right now. You've been so quiet until mentioning all that is going on for all of us. Most of mine is all past tense. Yours is so much now and all and everywhere. I listen and I see at least some of what you see. I've once been the one trying to sort everything and even then when really I was all there was, others had better ideas of what and when and how I should do what had to be done. If you are like me, and sometimes I think you are, part of who you are is constantly screaming and no one wants to know. If you do speak up, no one wants to hear. And then, on top of all of that, too many feelings are fighting for space. Who am I now. Who am I allowed to be. Who is it that everyone wants me to be. Who is it I want to be. Who is it I am and what is it I truly want. What is it I truly need. Who am I and where am I and why does everyone need part of me. Or none of me.

Don't they know that the drawings have to be in your head until there is some calm, some time, some space. They can not have what you can not give.

Hand me the secateurs. I am not bad with secateurs. I'll do that while you get some air.
Mad Christmas gardening? Mind that you don't whack a toe off with an edging shovel.
Kim, put down the scythe, and sit next to me, I'll pull down a chair. Here's a cold Pinot Gris and a pear sliced in quarters. Nana said it well, only one deadline. Lets relax before we each meet that day. Let's listen to some acoustic guitar.. it's not time to go mad yet.
I am thinking of the connectedness you felt that night of the news. Your mother wants this, or did, but such a change is such a change and it sounds as though it draws energy from her. You can't be there to help with that if so many callers and demanders are drawing yours from you. Perhaps I've been doing that here as well. I was the only but you are the youngest and I can imagine all that is coming to you. And it is not a person or a place or so much else that hasn't been the world for you. Up so early in a heavy heat, I wish I could give you breaths of calm and bring you tea and bring you time. Just for yourself. When I was going through my uncle's things, there was no one else. I could go so far and then all of me began to shake. I gave myself permission to stop, drive to the beach and breathe. It was tiny but it helped. Is there anything you can do for you. If no one else is noticing, let me notice and give you permission to somehow breathe before all of this breaks you. I wish I could come and stand beside you or for at least a few hours take your place. It is not an easy place to be.

A few days ago, someone here helped me to settle and brought me chamomile tea. Breathe, he said. Deep breathing, calm. Look for the center. Focus on the breaths. Settle. Love's here.

Still here and now for you.
The three of you said it ; thank you.
8 am, calming down. Thank you. Goodness.
Nana, it did indeed. Had to Google it. ( i assume you should probably not admit this but it's a truckstop)
Link doesn't compute, Larry. His last up was the one where he explained how we should write.
The giamope deleted his post. It was up for around 4 hours.

He even had a picture (he took the time to make)
of a headstone that read
"0pen salon" "2008-2010"
Thinking of all the love that is here and knowing it is always here. Even when the sky seems dark.
said perfectly iq.
Kim I slithered in after some small troubles tonight.. sorry I missed you.
I believe this truckstop started the night I ran away from home.. and you were trying to get me to smile.. so it's a good ole truckstop to gather in tonight..
A few tears there IQ - I put on some Eddie Vedder to drown them out, spent half an hour chasing "giamope," thanks Larry, and here you guys are again.
What a crazy day.
I'm gonna have a beer and-don't-you-dare-look-at-me-like-that, it's just a beer.
I'll tell you when I'm out of control.
By then you probably won't need to be told.
Needed to come clean, and that felt good. Thanks for being there, you guys.
I remember, Rita - heading East with the top down.
Lookit where you got to.
Even another brand new pome.
Larry 2008-2010 - presumably those were his years ?
What did Eleanor Roosevelt say ? " No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent ..." well, I'm feeling a little "less than" around Trosty and I'm not happy about it. I wish there was a way to make it go away.
I'll finish listening to Eddie - what a voice !
I had no idea this truck stop had grown so, large.
Damn that Trost, pay him never mind! He is a vile man and a revolting writer. A carbuncle on a fetid ass is he.

He's not even been here a year, has he? OS started in 2008, April I think, when it was Beta.
So much love here. So much love here. Hands holding. Arms reaching. Hearts listening. Life held, nurtured, accepted, allowed. Life loved.
Especially in moments and hours like these.
Even in silence, love is here.

Less than t. Corners, edges, only sharpness there. Sharpness and judgment and doors only closed. Deep breath. Deep breath. Walk away and come back here. Beauty and honesty and openness here. Writing and art and wisdom abound. Here. No comparison. None.

Hearts that give. This is where I want to live. Middle of the day. Middle of the night. Kim. In this place that you have built.
Because you care. Because you love. Because you are. Love.
Hi all ...

Kim, you have my deepest respect and admiration friend. That was a tough thing you did today my friend. A tough but very good thing.

We're all here for you. Friends with open hearts ... full of love and support for you. You are a caring, loving and gentle man, Kim. And now it's our turn to return what you give to us. We're all here for you in whatever way you need.
So fill me in : what was Beta ?
I'm November 09. Be gentle with me.
Hey truckstoppers - how is everyone? I come with Christmas cookies and some news. So apparently Trosty is toast. He's left OS - again. Just could not bear to be social; it cheapened his big ass talent.

So now it's just the cool kids. So here's my best of OS christmas assortments: lemon-lime spritz cookie, crescents, pecan tassies, pecan and walnut logs, shortbread. And Portuguse pasteis de nata -- little flaky bowls of custardy goodness.

Any coffee?

And where's Cyril? I miss the gnome.
Antoinette, What morning cheer.

Kim, Thinking of you as your evening draws in. Not sure how long you have before dark. More moving for you? Hard to imagine you away from your window. I hope that it calls your name. Perhaps it is time now, soon for you to find what truly calls you and will keep you well, perhaps more well than you have ever been. I can only imagine all that you are holding in. Perhaps that is why you have felt so full.
I wonder if you could write what you feel or draw what you feel, but perhaps that is what you already do in your journal. May sound a silly thought, but may help you see. Holding on. Letting go. So much changing all at once. What else might help you breathe free. What else might help your spirit dance. I hear such lightness in some of your words and wonder if I hear you dancing a bit away. Here is, I hope, a different space. Quiet. Simple. No masks. At least no masks needed. Hard to listen to so many voices all at once. Be gentle with yourself. Will you try. I do care and I would hold. Others would queue up behind me. Giving heart.
Odd thoughts here.

The tiny dancing one danced on just before midnight here last night. Hopefully the angels she called came to take her home.

Seeing mathematical signs here. Less than. Less than t. Can’t bear to say the name. May I tell you how it hurts my soul that such a thought would cross your mind never mind weigh you down. Last night I said part of what I thought of this. Now I see more or more clearly. Antithesis. Kim = antithesis of t.

t = Corners, edges, only sharpness there. Sharpness and judgment and doors only closed.

Kim = Beauty and honesty and openness here. Writing and art and wisdom abound. Here.

No comparison. None.

t = the person who feels he knows his craft and who tells you that you must learn all his rules because anything else is meaningless. His was the class you would run away not to take. He makes his craft an angry thing.

Kim = the person who feels. Who sees. Who shares through multiple forms of art. Who shares in comments what he hears and adds what might help another stretch or see more.

Kim = the one who shuns for himself the word “artist” yet in the eyes of at least this one lives and breathes and sees and feels and shares pure art. Heart. Art. There is a reason why they rhyme. Passion. Honesty. Always searching. Always seeking truth. Why am I thinking Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh. Passion. Honesty. Always searching. Always seeking truth. Don’t run away or laugh at me.

I understand the creating of words - at least in my own way. For me whatever rules some may see, once learned, must sometimes break if broken with care. I have lived here, where I am now at least, in the world of artists. I think I live with the colour wheel from which one of them taught. I live with finished works, pencil sketches, oils. I also live with practice pieces, beginning pieces, small canvasses on which the male artist tried to capture what he saw so that he could remember when he began the final piece. I wish I could hear her voice and wonder what I might learn. The traveller searched for years to discover the voice and soul of the grandfather artist she had never known. From her search she found gifts for all.

On my own, I would not choose a work of theirs. On my own, I would choose a work of yours.

Kim = heart, soul, passion, fire, courage, honesty, an ability to speak with words in a beautifully unique way, an ability to use his brush to create works in which souls can drown. And then. And then, he can come back to words and draw us in to the way he choreographs the act of his creating his paintings in ways that allow us to see. And feel. And begin to know.

Antithesis, and greater than, more than, all

I know so much else roils for you right now, but if you can let these words reach you, perhaps you can let them in.
Nope, the ass-wipe couldn't stay away for more than 12 hours.

"The other night while I couldn't sleep I listened to the pretenders' version of the tune. And I thought ... "why?" My monosyllabic growl was very nearly kerriganesque.

Anyway. This is terrific writing. It's emotional and evocative. It's sad and yet triumphant. I've read you since I meander to this site in June. Your writing continues to grow. This post rocks.
Mark R Trost

In the words of Joan Rivers, gag me with a spoon...
Thinking of you and wondering how you are.
Have just seen your words next door. I hear hope.
Hi kids - anyone seen the bottle-opener ? ;-)
Hey, Portuguese tarts - what did we do do deserve you, Antoinette ?
I'm loving the Calabrian flavour of your presence.

Anna1liese I'm sorry but grateful for your news - tiny dancer in the sky, a chapter in your life over, but more to be revealed, I'd like to think. Honoured as only you know how. I loved your post.
I think I've got more than a little back-reading here.
Rita wrote a pome about wind which went straight to the top of popularity ( so why's she hangin' out at the truckstop, you gotta wonder ... ) Never seen a poem do that before.

Larry you're becoming obsessed now. Just stop it. Deep breaths. Never heard you cuss before - let's sit down and share this snifter : what's goin' on ?
He came, he hurt, he went. Like thoth. I don't have answers tonight my friend, but nor do I want to see you get chewed up by something we can't control.
If anyone else ever comes here ( I doubt it ) they'll take the message home with them. Some things aren't worth chasing.
But I agree with you.
Baseball bats.
All your words tonight make me smile and help me breathe. Honoured. Oh, I hope so. I meant all of that. All. If you heard that, then my heart is full. And glad.

I'm glad too about Rita's poem. Shows it can happen. Rita has to be here. We need her. Wasn't she the one ....

And then your words turned round by iq. Incredibly special - all of this.
Hi everyone! Kim, you are all such lovely people what else is there to do but bring food and make merry? I guess food is my canvas.
I am very happy a bring a welcome and positive energy -- but could it be my neopolitan energy rather than calabrian. Calabria was my father's side and I have just recently divorced that side of the family. Naples is my mother's side and the side with whom I identify and where I was actually born. My Italian has a bit of a neopolitan twang to it. My neopolitan relatives are also disfunctional but they're not criminals.

The bloom of youth is gone and it is bitterly cold here this evening, so I am off to bed. Have a lovely day Kim. It's going to be alright for you, for all of us.
Neapolitan works for me, Antoinette, but so does Calabria.
I had a close friend from Porto Maratea down south.
Another from Naples - we had a pizza - competition - he and his wife, almost identical margharitas, fine and simple and delicious. 5 kids, 5 adults - Paolo won by 3 ( kids ) votes. How ?
" I put a little sugar in my sauce ..." Wicked smile.
Thanks Antoinette.
Sugar!?!? Wait... did you hear that?
It's all of my female ancestors rolling over in their graves in unison!!
Airport and gatherings over the next few days here. Just know that wherever I am, I will be thinking of you. And sending love.
Post up, now down. Hope you are all right. Keeping your place here warm for you.
Antoinette - Paolo will stop at nothing.

Thinking of you too, a. & hoping for the best.

Sorry I had to take Matt's post down - I felt we were all going under, and it isn't what I wanted.
Sometimes lately I wonder if there are enough tissues in the world. But if we keep holding on to each other, being there for each other, then hopefully, we won't let go and love will hold.
Loving you back tonight.
Hey truckstoppers: missed you all last night, had to get sleep for long day at work today, just getting up to leave now...
My ears were burning, so I thought I better log on....
Antoinette: I agree no sugar...
Anna1, Kim: hey now
Larry: back away from the bad place..
carry on!
Hey everyone, I think this time of year brings tears and tissues and grieiving not just because of Christmas and the people we are missing and how that makes us feel about the persons we have not yet become. We are heading to the death of the season and I think part of the grieiving has to do with mourning those qualties we no longer need before our rebirth appears. Take heart and hold on to hope.

It is snowing like crazy here now. Lola and I intend to spend the day under the covers.

Kim - did not see the post you took down but I hope all will sort itself out.

As for Paolo, well, I must say my female ancestors in general had better tomatoes to work with so I can understand a man's got to do what a man's got to do, My favorite pizza is just tomatoes, olive oil, oregano and anchovies.

And I must come to Larry's defense regarding the Trost. It was I who brought He Who Will not Be Named Up and Larry was just responding to my post. Had not seen his response.

So Larry, Rita, annaliese, iq, Kim and anyone else, send love and hugs today.
A thought keeps coming. I don't want it to go away. Sometimes in the quiet, I come and listen. I come and think. I come and scroll back. I see where we have been and where we are. I see words that appear no more yet are remembered by those who were here.

Dare I say that there is something sacred here, something that time and we do not always allow. Here are gifts that transcend limits of date or year. Here are gifts that might heal the world. Here, we who gather, share words, thoughts, music, silence, time. Time to speak. Time to listen. Not just to hear and walk away, but to listen attentively with all we are. Then time to process. Pause. Time to be alone with ourselves before we respond or speak again. Time to allow another to be alone with him or her self and all that is. Places kept warm and safe and sound. Until another voice speaks here.

Speaks here because there is no void. Here there is resonance. Here there is space to find one's peace. Here, despite whatever storms may rage, we will be helped to breathe and in the breathing, possibly, we will find what we rarely seem to find, possibly, we will find ourselves in the continuing embrace of eyes that see and ears that hear, arms that hold and encourage and lift and share and that aren't afraid to wait.

For here is love and love is all. The gift of every day. Here. Love.
Thinking of us all.
Ooops. I wrote:
"So Larry, Rita, annaliese, iq, Kim and anyone else, send love and hugs today."

Well, that certainly is what I Have been feeling. But what I meant to write was:

So Larry, Rita, annaliese, iq, Kim and anyone else, SENDING love and hugs today!
All hearts given here. All hearts welcomed and received. Prototype for the world. Here. Just us.


And speaking of hearts, Kim, I’ve just sent for Land Behind the World. I need to hear her voice and hold her words. Perhaps I’ll be lucky enough to see the way you saw her world. At least a tiny glimpse.
In between being here and going there. Kim, thinking of you and hoping that if any news should come your way, it will not be hard for you to hear. In any case, we are here - or not very far away.
Hoping the truckstop will be open later, I am at work, had a good day and will be glad to be with the gang...
kind of like Happy Hour... only no free drinks.. :(
pass that salsa, willya?
elf food is all sweet! yecch!

*wipes sticky fondant remnants off back of hand with tablecloth*
y0u want me to deal first?
@larry: whose hat's floppy?
you look suspiciously elfin.
*stroking his own beard*

nah. optical illusion.
If you all want to know how little I know, then you may be surprised that I have avioded this comment stream because I had no idea how to scroll down fast. At least, now I do here.
mission: thanks for the blue corn chips. great with salsa!
Well, I shoulda got a bigger bag. I did not know the time was going to be long while waiting at the truckstop for all the truck drivers to call in and let me know they are up and running....
i say we hold down the fort for kim till he gets back.
Oh Kim will be back soon.. to ornery to be gone long.. we need another song up..Gnome is back..
I want another Stella.... hey Larry, what's MRT doing today?
The maestro is trying to get all his followers to use their real names.

Becky Boop came out of the closet today.

Anyone care for some Kool-Aid?
Potroast's kindle book on amazon is rated #244,842.

Dave Cullen's kindle book is rated #3,846.

Case closed pencil dick.
Hey where are you guys reading this? I am looking can't find, is it FB?
Kim just listened to that song this morning on the way to work, tired as hell with the sun coming up.
Hey hope I don't sound like Potroast...
damn I have to copyright all my bullshit? That will be a lot of work..
well, that was strange there was a song I listened to that I told you about, now gone....
Uh no iq don't think that is what happened..
anyway... it was a good song.
Much activity here for quite a while, but certain voice missing. Hope the missing voice has been all right and just needing a bit of space.
An added song. First. Are you there. Are you all right. Held you with me all day yesterday. Holding still. I so hoped yesterday that if news came, it would be news that would not be hard to hear. Perhaps because my own walls are so low right now, I sense pain. If that is so, I know that you can not really hold another's pain much as you wish you could, but you can hold the other as the world spins round until he is able to breathe. If I am wrong, I would be glad. If not, here is my hand.
For some reason, a rounded cup of hot chocolate, even just the idea of it, would help. It would surround me in warmth through what will be a long day. Familiar helps on days like these and though parts are familiar, parts are not. Last night I would have welcomed someone coming to lead us in ... something, a moment of something. I led three of us to her side for a moment of just being there and giving thanks. Fellow dancers stayed behind to offer a castanet piece for her. Would that they had shared that moment, but grief is grief and it comes as it comes. Trying to hold your words, Antoinette. Maybe tomorrow they'll be easier to see.

Private moments, public hours, then family at the house. Her house. Her parents' home. She will no longer answer the door. Tonight when the last one leaves, the door will open to us no more. An executor will take the key and most all will in time be sold. Those words last night. Touch nothing. Take nothing. No hands of love will sort. Enough. Will there always be new ways to ache. Perhaps the gift of the ache is that it would not hurt had we not loved. Today our dancing one at last will dance free. I see her eyes and they are sparkling. Why so hard then yet to smile.

For today then, one more time, I'll hold words given here of breath and calm and chamomile tea. Once more as always, thinking of us all.

Kim, so quiet. Thinking perhaps of you most of all.
Nana, you get the last of the truckstop coffee... the owner here needs to make a new batch...iq you are bad don't try to hide it under the Canadian so nice label.... Ha! Potroast!
anna1 : although you want the loved one not to suffer, the thought of what that entails can be the worst thing of all, letting go and going on without them.Hand across the table here. Thoughts to you and your loved ones today, it will surely be a long one..
I just popped in to let yall know I have been reading here back and forth as I can.
Anna1, my aunt told me once that if I listened hard enough, I could hear the hum of a butterflies wings.
Thinking of you here dear.
will be back. Got more comments on my latest....
*snoring next to the stove*
*dreams of how he outran an elf en route to the nearest port, then hopped ship as a card shark bound for gnomenia*

*dreams ever more heavily of the strange sights of santa's inane workshop elves cavorting to xmas music*

*dreams of julie's hat next to his own aboardship as they oversee the crew's activity*
DAMN this was some par-tay! SLANTY BOLDS and EVERYTHING!!! Crap, I couldn't even find the Comment Box, man. Looks like Kim's going out with a record here - most comments evah?! Well, good on ya mate.

Pot Roast!!!! bwahhhahahahahahhaaaaaaahhahahhahaa
(is he still around?)(why?)
Where is the truckstop folk??

Good lord. No one is home.......
4 calling birds.............................(etc.).......... and 1011tears of farewell
The truckstop is some great place ... is it not?

You done good, Kim. Real good.
*blows nose honkingly on larry's droopy hat*
Bring any cards with you Cyril??
Deal if you did....
we keep late hours here, everyone is probably snoozing till the bewitching hour..
Cyril, I'll let you do the overseeing as I catnap on a hammock with the sun full in my face and a cool breeze coming in off the ocean.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bKwRW0l-Qk
wake me up when you see dolphins
I just listened to Carol King sing so far away.
I am crying here now.
that is a good song Mission!

adding another water song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQeqmNbA2Hs&feature=related
*aims a shy kiss julie's way*
wake up. i found your dolphins.
*captures the kiss and sends it back*
thank you for the dolphins :)
*blushing from scalp to toetips*
*sighs*
my p-p-pleasure.

=')}
somebody deal.
the cards are in kim's office.
gnomes don't have legs?
only 2 hands tho'--and the bbq's blazing.
no sad hats in the galley when i cook!
Wow - even got the BBQ going !
I fancy a prawn - I think you call them shrimp - The typical Aussie BBQ has to have a slightly off-tune radio, up loud with live cricket commentary : Mitchell's started the run-in hits the pitch and bowls it's short and Wallace steps forward he's swung wide it connects - goes to mid-off there's two runs maybe three ... but wait ! Thompson's come in and he's going to ...
Careful, don't burn the prawns.
Bet you can't wait to come to Australia now ;-)
prawns, steaks, salmon burgers, veggie kabobs, etc.
anybody hungry?
*lays out buffet on counter + large bowl of salad*

those elves kept us alive on sweets. ugh!
*shudders*
DEvein but do not shell the prawns before they go on the fire, that's the trick.
*eats his fill of fresh salmon burgers*
*finishes off one veg kabob and a serving of salad*
*belches into his beard*

*drops off from sheer exhaustion of escaping elvin press gang leader named ervin*

*has nightmares of elf insanity, tossing and turning under his bunk behind the office*

*finally, restful sleep claims him*

*misses everything as a result*
Got any snags on that barbie of yours, Cyril? Plain ol' snag on a sanger and tomato sauce for me please! Yum!
Hey, Cyril ... hey now! Wake up! I was hoping for a ....

Oh never mind! I'll get it myself!
I'll translate Kate for you : she'd like a bbq'd sausage in a sandwich with ketchup - probably onion too - I had one today, Kate, from the Lion's stall at Manly Markets. Was wicked, but yum.
Ablonde you take the head off, don't you ?
thanks for the translation Kim, you have a way of saying everything there with a nickname.. I like that..Lil. I 'll try one..
The Portable Truckstop.. a good name for a post or something.. how about Truckstop for Dummies... I like this incarnation...
I was wondering the same iq... how about Truckstop for the Soul.....
(heavy on the sarcasm)
Hey Kim.. is that you up there? I like the new au naturale' photo.. very warm..
clarification: heavy on sarcasm about the Truckstop for the soul not the avatar....
I want this truckstop to stay open.
I love truckstop for the soul Rita.
That is the way this place feels here.
My soul feels naked this morning.
It is a good feeling for some reason.....
Kim, Rita, iq, Last night so late when finally I came home, I had a quick look here. And saw Home. My head understands all that is there. My heart, though, could only feel ... and loss was hard to hear. A selfish hearing no doubt, but loss seems so here for me that another empty place at the table ... well ... well....

So many ways to say good-bye have been the hallmark of this week. Even here, words begin to fail. So many hearts so full, so many emotions everywhere. Thursday, the travelling one's dad was there and for all the humour he usually brings, for now only shock and pain and a knowing almost too close to know. More knowing about the home we all have known and the rules governing the handing of it to someone not one of us. Harsh it seems to us who loved, but the wishes of the dancing one.

Then services and as we gather now, we are aware as perhaps never before of all the facets that were her life, private, family, public. Such a generous benefactress she was. So many simply wanting to come and thank and remember one last time. To listen as so many individual moments of gratitude were shared. There was wealth, though to those of us who knew her, we hardly had any sense of it - except for the wealth of her undivided attention each and ever time as her eyes held you in her wonder and her love. Private moments, family moments, public moments. At the Institute, a picture on the screen, the young flamenco dancer, the gracious, gentle, loving one who danced as though her heart were on fire. They played a brief slideshow and as we watched picture after picture of this woman we all loved, we saw a steady stream of so many smiles, wonder-filled eyes and never failing love. Afterward, we brought the travelling one back to the home so she could collect her things. Last moments in this home we had known. I knew where I had to be.

The home lies adjacent to a creek and always we looked out at it. Water, for me, of course - an eternal call. Several years ago, the traveler's younger sister and I had walked outside through all the space that rarely felt a human step. We walked round all the curves, down all the steps, to the water's edge. Last night, alone this time, I made that walk again. I made it then for all of us. In the end, we left the travelling one to bid her last good-bye alone. Then all of us waited at another family home for the gathering that would have been the dancing one's call - a night of everyone gathering together and much playing of her beloved dominoes and "42." In a calm moment at evening's end, the travelling one gathered us all. I know what I was not to do, but sometimes, you flex the rules a bit. I found this and brought it here, here, where it needs to be. It was perhaps the oldest of all the sets and had seen the usage of love, a wooden box of dominoes, family treasure at its best, now home again where loving hands will play with it forevermore.

In the end where grieving hearts might have arched and spat and slung, we think a tiny dancing one sent better angels to rouse better selves and helped everyone feel only love. What greater gift. Love.
 
Truckstop for the Soul.

Yes, please. Oh, yes. Oh, please.

Sometimes home lies not within any walls. It lies in hands and arms and hearts, connecting in whatever ways they can. Sometimes home lies most securely in the place where soul meets soul.

It lies in words - spoken, offered ... knowing they will be heard ... in silence ... in thought ... in love ... and with love.

It lies in knowing there is some space where I can be exactly and only who I am, all of who I am, and that, who I am, as I am, will be found to be enough and will be treasured, cherished, honoured even ... if I can allow myself to hear ... and in hearing, allow myself to believe.

Wherever we stand or sit or walk or rest, whatever sounds or landscapes call our name and helps us breathe,
home lies in the act of connecting
of knowing we are not alone
of knowing that there is somewhere safe
for me
for my heart
and for my soul.

Even when I am all alone
and sometimes that is where I need to be,
I best know I am home when
I most easily know, when
I know without having to know
that connecting is round me in
ears that listen
eyes that see
hands that hold and
arms that will wrap round me
and hold and hold and hold
freely to support, never to bind,
never to suffocate or diminish,
only to help me be.

Home lies where there is love, for
Home
Is
Love.
anna1liese: you're breaking this ol' gnome's heart. hey now.
"Soul Food Served 24 Hours a Day"
You lovely words brought tears to this old woman sitting alone Anna1. Yet they are healing ones that wash away grief beyond measure for me and I thank you for them......
Blessed again by beautiful writing, and dominoes, a double treat.
Soul food indeed.
*setting Kims domino set up for a knock-down rube goldbergian bit of panache*
*includes the truck stop furniture in his quest to wow the customers*
*sets up the detonator at a ground zero point near the office*

*official countdown*
5-4-3-2-1!!!
hey now!
anna1, words for the soul indeed. Soul food Twenty four Hours a Day, sounds good especially for us truckstoppers here at 4am..
Dominoes..hmm once won an all night dominoes game on a hillside open air bar on a beautiful island.. had to drink for each round you won. Hmm.
stack em up.
*gulping*
uh-oh.
okay. but no party drinks. elf punch sickened this gnome.
Kim this truckstop has been deserted.. lets have a dance.. I have some celebrating..
Rita ! You're a .... are you going to tell them or will I ?

This calls for champagne ! ( make mine a sparkling mineral water ) and yes ! Whirl you around the room !
Big Smiles ...
rita? wake up. i've got kim's deck.
wanna deal?
Kim, anytime now, just got a call. I like Perrier with some lime..swirl sounds good
what are we celebrating?
*from his boosted post behind the bar*
*decants 3 perriers, one with a twist*
*watches 2 cavorting humans swirling around the dance floor*

*smiles contentedly*
Cyril, it will be a surprise. Of the best kind. When the phone rings.
Well if there celebrating to do, I'll get the pork products out of my trunk. You know my philosphy: "Nothing says hurray lie pork products!!!"
Ed McMahon is calling?
antoinette, tell me there's prosciutto in that trunk!
the joint's alive. time to fire up the barbee!
Cyril -- of course there's prosciutto. And five types of salamis, mortadella, and a nice fresh mozzarella!
*leans on counter with his best charm*
*winks in antoinette's direction*

ever tried wearing a hat?
** leaning in**
Cyril:what do you think I'm carrying my salamis in?
#1066

(sort of norman conquestish)
uh...um....*blushing profusely*

*gulping*
*tugging at his collar*

is it suddenly a little warm in here?
my 1066 comment was foiled into being 1067.
a less eventful year.
probably closer to 1077, although i am related to the witches of benevento....
must be your bewitching charm's genetically charged.

*kisses back of antoinette's hand*
*nearly takes a tumble off his stool behind the counter*
eep!
Good job on the streamers and the coloured lights everyone, and Antoinette with the pork arrangements.
We need a welcome sign over the Nativity scene out front - live cows, genius, Cyril. How much are we paying trig and Bonnie to kneel beside the crib like that all night ?
The crib ... it's missing something ...
Larry did you forget the cigars ? Again ?
Kim: I think I have a provolone we could swaddle for the crib.

Cyril: if only your heart did not belong to Julie....
cigars? not my favorite. a pipe? there's the ticket.

*strikes a match on his belt buckle*
*lights his classic clay pipe*
*regards the rest of the room while puffing*

it needs something.

balloons!
@antoinette: ah, but will the dear lady have this gnome?
Save the provolone for the celebratory feast Antoinette ... is that the phone ?
No, false alarm.
I'm a bit worried about Bonnie and Trig, now that it's snowing ...
and the roof on that manger is just some cardboard Coke cartons taped together ...
I think this calls not for a game of cards, Cyril, but the dominoes ...
:::
:: . . :: :: .. ::: . :::
... your move. Your cheese and your pork are perfect, Antoinette.
Another log on the fire !
All that's missing is anna1 and a phone call.
Was thinking overnight of hours of quiet here. Spent a fair few hours here yesterday looking back at much that was shared. Not a bad place for quiet reading and remembering. Now I find happiness and sharing and beginnings of a feast. Streamers and coloured lights and a Nativity scene. A live Nativity scene! Oh. Perrier and lime. Bliss. And dominoes. A call? Still to come?

Smiles all round. Did I mention bliss. Fireplace crackling. What is that I see in the flames. Snow globe in the background. Chorister singing from his heart. Hearts. Cows drawing close to find warmth. Gorgeous little puppies I wish I could hold.

Sounds of home and warmth and peace and smiles. Happiness. Here. Bliss. Middle of the day. Middle of the night. Happiness felt. Happiness shared. Not much better than this.
Hi anna1, Kim relayed an early bedtime, I am waiting on a granddaughter! all night so far poor girl! will celebrate with the truckstop gang when the good news comes! thanks everyone!
Rita, Early morning tea here. Will think of you as you wait. What a weekend you are having!
hi anna1, I bought some new tea leaves yesterday will have a cup with you, it's called Hunter's Tea and it is made with apple, and cloves.. I also bought a little hand made rocker with a rush back and seat for the new baby when she gets older, what fun!
A handmade rocker. Bliss. Magic. All in one. Love the love and the smiles I hear. Tea tastes even better now.
Rita - oh a baby!!! How wonderful!!! I will be thinking of you all today!!
Sorry I wigged out last -- I woke up in the trunk of my car hugging a provolone.

Cyril -- just what was in that tea you gave me?? Anyway, thank you for the sweet note on my blog.

Annaliese - a tea sounds lovely, I am going to brew a fresh pot. I like my tea with a spoonful of raspberry jam in it.

The Christmas Eve cooking begins.... Today very slowly. There is codfish to soak, spice rubs for the oxtails to mix (a small departure from the traditional Italian fish only Christmas Eve for carnivore friends). It will be full throttle cooking by Wednesday!
gs~
i down arrowed

Brenda Lee was just rockin around the Christmas tree
and now several other songs have come and gone
a n d
my t y p i n g h a s s l o w e d down.
Coffee, ice water, please.
Antoinette, sounds so delicious... I go to the Italian in-laws for the 7 fish extravaganza on Christmas Eve. Lasts all night..
Do you make all the filled cookies? My husband's grandmother who is now 97 used to make the most wonderful fig, jam rolled cookies.
Christmas Eve cooking? 7 fish extravaganza? The first time I experienced Christmas as a feasting day was in England where gifts are given but in whatever ways people could, everyone had a kind of Dickensian feast. Food appeared in the shops that you never saw at any other time of year. Having just practiced the turkey for Thanksgiving, I was ready to tackle that again. My mother-in-law was in charge of the hors d'oeuvres. That was her great pleasure. She was French and I don't know if it is a French custom. There was a special tray only used for this. I remember bits of salmon that you could only buy for Christmas and bits of mackerel. Trying to picture the rest of the tray.
Prawns. I remember prawns. I can see the eyes. :(
Hi Rita, it's funny I had never heard of the feast of the seven fishes until a few years ago. However, we tended to follow my mother's neopolitan traditions plus a few calabrese traditions to please my father (which basically means we had codfish 4 ways plus "zeppole" (fried dough) stuffed with ricotta, anchovies or codfish. Basically by the time we were done, we had at least seven different fish. I've had to modify traditional dishes that were not terribly appreciated by a multicultural and gluten sensitive guest list (linguine with octopus for ex.) . I also stick to "struffoli" (basically tiny fried dough balls covered in honey) because friends always end up bringing desert and it was just too much.

So the menu so far:
Appetizers:
meat and vegetarian samosas (a Mozambican nod)
rissois (shrimp patties) ( a Portuguese nod)
cod fritters
fried smelts
fried calamari

Main course options:
lemon risotto with
salt baked snapper and salmon over bok choy
Mussels in cilantro broth served over crispy bread
Codfish Angel Style (Bacalhau aos Anjos)-basically a Portuguese dish of Codfish in a Cream Sauce (because it was my brother's favorite)
Braised Beef Short Ribs and Oxtails with Mashed Potatoes
Braised fennel and Carrots

Desserts
Gluten free cookies and chocolate pie
Spritz cookies
Struffoli
pumpkin and pecan pie with ice cream

OMG - I hope I have enough food..... ; )

You are all invited of course!!!
antoinette:as long as there are no elves about, i'll be there! ;')}
rita: hope that call comes soon for you!
omg, that sounds so good.. risotto.. hmm. One thing I have never made. Baccala they don't make but calimari in "gravy" on linguini.. mmmmm.
smelts, shrimp.. getting hungry here. not much of a sweet eater but ricotta cheesecake and coffee..
Still waiting here Cyril...
omg, that sounds so good.. risotto.. hmm. One thing I have never made. Baccala they don't make but calimari in "gravy" on linguini.. mmmmm.
smelts, shrimp.. getting hungry here. not much of a sweet eater but ricotta cheesecake and coffee..
Still waiting here Cyril...
*bored by the absence of his friends, builds gnome house out of kim's dominoes*
*wrecks it with a sneeze*
*fixes himself a leftover provolone sandwich using the bar's electric panini machine*
*shuffles his deck*
*plays one hand of solitaire after another while waiting for the stragglers*
rita: is it a firstborn? i hear they can take longer.

*hands her his deck to reshuffle, hopeful of poker-while-u-wait game*
2000 comments!

somebody dance with me! i'm on a roll!
No Tiramisu or pizzelle? or a lone Cannoli?
tiramisu and ricotta cheesecake. also, 3 kinds ice cream.
what'll ya have?
Cyril: This is a progressive neighborhood, thus an elf-free zone.

Rita: the anticipation must be killing you!!
antoinette: whew! one run in with the press gang was enough!

speaking of rita, does anybody have any news?
No news from Rita this end, except to say it was 7.30am and no baby yet after an all-night labour ( I cannot imagine ...
I'm sure we'll hear it here first.
Cyril did they teach math at gnome school ?

Reading your descriptions of Christmas fare makes my mouth water - as it did at Thanksgiving - your line-up Antoinette is incredible ... are you married ? ;-)
Here we'll have cold platters in the shade of the oak out the back - summer salad, potato salad, fruit salad, prawns and ham, chicken ( much to the consternation of Polly Eliza and Topsy ) and white wine and cold beer. Lots of cheer, though - mom, my sister and her son & his partner, my two girls and myself, maybe the occasional neighbour.
After 60 years, this will be our last Christmas on Manning Road.
It's been great.
Yay! I have a granddaughter! at 404 this afternoon! Everyone is well and happy. Lots of dark hair. They are a distance away so I will see her in the morning. thanks all my TS friends for waiting with me.. yes Cyril first born, first grandchild, first greatgrand on each side..
Rita! Oh my! CONGRATULATIONS Grandma!!!!
O my.
Love abounds !
We have a baby for our crib - this must be the inn, I think.