I’m just a soul whose intentions are good…oh lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.
(Not written by, but made tearfully famous by Eric Burden in 1965)

Changes. They’re harder when we get older but are often worth the struggle. I just got back from a week in CT, my home state. A family member I hadn’t spoken to in 20 years called because she needed me. I did not hang up on her, I got on a plane. A highly emotional reconciliation and physically demanding visit followed. It was wonderful. I have been telling people all my life I have no family but now that has changed, and a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. She had me ROFL when she said, in all earnestness, “well you know you come from a long line of over-reacters.” Ha ha, like you don’t? I laughed so hard I fell off the couch.

I spent the week ‘unplugged,’ my first since the beginning of the computer age. No email, no google, no Trayvon, no bitter news to keep me in a constant state of agitation. (First thing I read when I got back though was this unholy alliance between Hollywood and Washington. It’s always been there, but this spectacle splashed all over front pages everywhere makes me sick in a whole new way—two professional groups of liars teaming up, a powerful fusing of the sordid with the corrupt. America, running on a currency of lies and coverups is now one big hateful reality show. Incontinent conservatives, please stop! You’re HELPING him!) But my hiatus was freeing, and had begun before I left. Too ashamed to dispense my moody posts, too involved in my own demise to comment on others. I apologize to my friends for neglecting you, but I do not sparkle with wit and humor, I crackle with confrontation and cynicism.  My friend Harry from The Fool Folds his Arms had these wise words:  I sometimes wonder if the Internet was invented to keep people occupied and passive while the powerful continue to chip away at what little they don’t control already. Well put Harry.

When I got home I learned of two shocking deaths here in AZ. The first was an older woman I adored, cancer. It happened fast and I didn’t know and I still can’t believe it.

The second was the untimely death of a young man whom I had struck from my life because of his cruelty toward his animals. I grew to hate him. I will not miss him but I am not glad he is gone. Like wishing for revolution and getting it, then cowering as the new regime inflicts more aggression and brutality than the last, I can’t know what will replace him. His (very nice) family is dumping the house cheap. Is it wrong of me to feel in my heart it’s about to get worse? No, it is merely experience speaking for me—I can’t unknow the past. Does the deletion of a selfish person add balance to the world? Absolutely not. It doesn’t work that way.

Here are a few pictures from around town this week.

I tried to research this bird but could not be sure what it is. Can anyone help? Saw him along the San Pedro River.

We don’t get many bluebirds in my neighborhood so this was a treat. He hung around for a few days and now he’s gone. But the exotic orioles are beginning to arrive, and they too, are just passing through. Time to buy oranges. The swallows are back and rebuilding their porch light nest with great dedication and style.

Funny young pigeon watching me at a customer’s house. I was so flattered how close he let me come to him.

These new solar panels in the historical part of town have got everyone’s panties in a twist. Irate letters to the local papers abound…’the town wouldn’t let me put a carport in because it wasn’t historical!’ and ‘why didn’t you make them put the panels IN BACK OF the inn?’ etc., etc. Now I learn they are selling the power generated from these back to the power company. What do you think?

Look familiar? Although not the exact model as “Christine,” they used several models in the movie and this ’59 Plymouth Savoy was one of them. I love the flag on the antenna. Don’t see many American flags around here.


29 responses to “Unplugged

  1. The tail fins still leave me bemused.

    • Hi expat, but aren’t they lovely. Vintage cars are very popular here and they don’t even take unleaded gas, I think you have to add something. I hope people keep caring for these works of art forever.

  2. Hey Debrushka – glad you had the reunion in CT and I can see it was good for you. I too was revolted by the Washington-Hollywood bash, so much so that I probably will skip voting this year. It really doesn’t matter who is in, they all suck. It’s up to us to tend our own gardens and care for our little portion of the world and try as much as possible to shut the rest out. Wonderful bird pix.

    • Hey there Ann, how are you? I fear many voters will skip out this year too. This has been the most confounding election year in my lifetime, or at least since I started paying attention. What a mess. You’re right about tending our own gardens…it may be all we have left.

  3. Hi Debra,

    I think your bird is a Juvenile (1st Year) Red-tailed Hawk (Intermediate Morph). Hard to be sure without seeing the breast as well, but that’s my best guess.

    Glad you have a good reconnection with your family member.

    • Hi Josie, thanks for the heads-up. I have a hard time identifying the raptors–they rarely pose, and often their markings are similar. Perhaps it’s easier to identify by flight shapes and patterns?

  4. Oh you over reactor you. That was funny.

    Glad to hear you got outta Dodge and trip home was personally rewarding.
    And it was good to read the words and thoughts of the ‘cowgirl’ once again. Welcome back.

    • Hi Hudson, thanks and good to hear from you too. Are your subscriptions in order now? Everyone seems kind of quiet. A collective time-out?

      • You know it does seem that many decided to take time off or just pursue life ‘out of doors’, who knows. For myself, I NUKED BPC Blog. So now am building it back from scratch. Construct, Deconstruct, Reconstruct. Will re-subscribe you when things are functional, as the next kick at the can will have a new address.

        • Well no wonder nothing’s come through. Hope you’ll be able to integrate older posts, such gems among them.

          The loudest people on the blogosphere right now seem to be the politically-crazed and the exotic vacation takers. Meh. We poor folks who just want to connect with our personal frustrations are submerged in silence, like we’re all waiting for the apocalypse. Everything’s cyclic, I guess…or not.

  5. this is a fine bit of writing, partly because some of the ruminations sing the truth to me.

    • Thank you Carl, and I know which parts. We write to reach others and seek answers that do not exist. Mostly I need a slap, but I’m picky about who I take my slaps from.

      • None of us need any more slaps! We just need a bit more love!

        • I don’t know. Maybe when feeling asphyxiated with adversity the slap—or the love—has to come from within. I can beat myself up with the best of them but don’t know where the love is hiding, or why I should have it.

  6. I’m glad you had the opportunity to reconcile with a family member.

    Regarding the solar panels, my message would be “get used to them.”

  7. Why does it bother me?

    Debra, gorgeous pictures. I have a huge affection for pigeons. They are such friendly birds. It is a shame they have a reputation as flying rats! The solar panel thing is great. If we could install them on all roofs the planet would be a slightly cleaner place. (Although I will confess I have no knowledge of how they are produced, but surely it can’t be as bad as oil production?) I have no problem with them being attached the top Big Ben in London if it meant that the hold these corrupt oil based nations have over us was lessened. The human rights in those places are disgusting. Have you been following the Rupert Murdoch / News of the World / UK Government stories? I hope the USA destroys that company.

    • Hi Mrs. Gary! Thanks, I love pigeons too. They wait in parking lots for scraps of food and it’s a pleasure to toss them little pieces—so bold they’ll come right up to your car. Resourceful and smart, like crows. You’re right of course about the panels. Big Ben, that’s funny. There sure is a lot of griping down in town—they claim they’re green but hate having panels on the street, they complain about the cell service but hate the towers. And don’t get me started on the number of plastic water bottles they toss. I’ll buy a new one and refill it and use it for months! Water bottles are so wrong! Ay, hypocrisy, perhaps we’re all guilty of it in one way or another. I keep seeing Murdoch in the news but haven’t been following. Time to read about it, thanks.

      • Why does it bother me?

        The water bottle thing gets me too. I am obsessive about recycling to the point that Mr Gary, leaves rubbish on the kitchen counter so I can sort through it, I don’t know that I am entirely convinced by the green movement, I just think waste is wrong. But people moaning about solar panels and cell phone towers are idiots, they are also the idiots who complain about big trucks and lorries and then moan when something is out of stock in a shop. Because goods just materialize by magic! The Murdoch thing is unending in the UK news. Some of the stuff his people have done in the name of a story… Hacking a dead child’s mobile phone, and giving hope to her parents that she was alive when ‘she’ deleted some of her messages to make room for new ones. It is gross. Read up on it, it’ll make your blood boil.

        • Ha ha Mrs. Gary, you got it. People have to be willing to make sacrifices (US politics, anyone?) for any kind of change to happen. Arizona doesn’t even require recycling! I’m amazed by this. And why oh why does everything come in plastic containers and packaging now? Garbage garbage garbage everywhere!

          You know, my blood is already at a constant simmer…

          • Why does it bother me?

            Our local super market started selling easter eggs without all of the boxes this year… small moves…

  8. We all need to go electronic free Debra, at least occasionally. When I do I feel liberated, although I do miss the connection I have with some people. Finding family, especially those who we have become disconnected, is pretty special. Although it isn’t absolutely necessary it is nice to hold on to some roots.

    As you know, I think you write beautifully. Straight from the heart. Shooting verbage from the hip is so refreshing. I am lucky to have found you on the world wide web.

    • Thank you Bill for your kind words and for your patience. It’s hard sometimes not to be torn between connecting with fine and like-minded and supportive writers…and throwing the damn computer out the window.

      I never cared about roots when I was younger but now they have become important. Do I have relatives in Czechoslovakia or Russia? Probably. What were my grandparents lives like and what hell drove them here? I know nothing, but I’m going to find out. Thank you again.

  9. Your headliner got me thinking: “I’m just a soul whose intentions are good…oh lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.” I can relate to that totally. Perhaps a little soul searching is in order. You are an artist #1 and have you abandoned your art to go with the flow. It may not pay the rent but going there and may give you peace of mind. Just a thought is all. Trying to find balance in our lives is difficult.

    • Hi Virginia, it’s becoming impossible to find balance unless you have money for diversions that take your mind of the woes of the world. I know so many people have terrible lives but that’s no consolation. Yes, go with the flow, that’s about all you can do, with good deeds along the way. Thanks for writing.

  10. Have to agree with Ann’s thoughts, ” It really doesn’t matter who is in, they all suck”. Same thing here in Canada. Politician types are all cut from the same cloth & I think there are few, if any exceptions. Why is it so hard for the majority of people to understand that. Know what you mean by the waste. People are soooooo gullible. This plastic water bottle nonsense is another classic example of that. So glad we went with solar power on our Motorhome years ago. It has kept us out of all the crowded electronic RV Parks. I’ve never thought a lot about my ancestry but have noticed lately it has been creeping into my mind more often. I would love to find out my ancestors were from another Planet. I would like that:)) Now, how’s that for a slice of reality……..

    • Hi Al, the water bottles are particularly annoying because those are the exact people all fussy about what they eat and keeping hydrated and going organic and blah blah blah. Then I clean their houses and see water bottles bought by the case, left all over the house half-empty, and filling garbage cans. Recycling is not a law here but you can put them in separate place at the dump. Why not just refill one bottle? It’s so much easier. As you know we can’t drink the water here but there are water machines everywhere and there’s always Brita. We’ve talked about this before, about what people do in private that defies their public persona.

      LOL that’s funny—imagine tracing your ancestry and finding within a few generations it drops off the face of the earth…you never know!

  11. How wonderful that you made contact with family again! As the old saying goes, the difference between one and none is infinite. My best friend and I both are only children with no children and no parents. She has one cousin who’s quite old and stricken with such severe dementia she doesn’t recognize my friend any longer. I have a few cousins who are mostly in their right minds, but they’re pretty busy and several states away. My friend and I often laugh about how mad we’re going to be at whichever one of us dies first.

    Your words about the unplugging are wise. Garbage in, garbage out, as they said at the beginning of this internet age. Most people today have never heard that, or have forgotten it. I love the internet – it’s filled with little treasures. There’s also a whole lot of garbage, and I don’t participate.

    As a matter of fact, I just stopped following a blogger I’ve followed for years after he published a screed against those with whom he disagrees politically. He assured his readers he didn’t care one whit for their opinions. His says his blog is not going to be a free speech zone, opposing viewpoints aren’t welcome, and anyone who doesn’t agree with him can start their own damned blog. Well, all righty, then. 😉

    Me? I’m happy living pretty much paycheck to paycheck, keeping my fingers crossed against disaster and tapping on my little keyboard. I go to work, pet my cat, and avoid the nasty, the angry and the boring whenever possible. I do good where I can, and don’t worry about doing what I can’t. Well…. I worry a little, but I don’t let it keep me up at night.

    Love your bird pics, too. We have those little red finches and the red-tail, but bluebirds only cruise through on their way to somewhere. Your house, I guess!

    • Hello Linda, I always wished I was an only child, siblings can be terrible bullies, and as with all bullying, it often goes unreported.

      It’s easy enough to write off an unpleasant blogger, why I’ve done it hundreds of times. Though we are always looking to learn, that doesn’t mean we need to be loyal to closeminded louts. To attract and affirm only what we want to hear is the way of the internet now, pressuring us to aggressively choose sides. It’s such a mystery why anyone would want this, we should resist rather than embrace this awful trend.

      I miss the instant research when away from the internet, but I sure didn’t miss the news, and actually have been trying to avoid it.

      You’ve found the magic balance we’re all reaching for! Ha ha the nasty, the angry and the boring, the NABs! Well I guess I can be all those things, then I avoid myself!

      I think those little bluebirds bring joy wherever they go. I had customers back in CT who kept track of them and their babies, provided special worms for them, and generally just luxuriated in their presence.

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