Click on picture to read Chaco's poems

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Life's a Circle

Family ties and my hometown
Like old friends newly found
Roads the same but now fresh ground
Sights anew but familiar sounds
Roots here too but freedom bound
Guess I'll walk again downtown
Wharfs and alleys I must pound
On the trail just like the hound
Something lost and something found
Looking forward yet turned around
Inside out and upside down
Pressing down a thorny crown
The inner smile now a frown
Oh! To be again that clown!
Life's a circle, round and round


Monday, September 20, 2010

Lonely Ranch Road

Scattered my love above a lonely ranch road
Like a promise made and a debt still owed
Released to the winds by two she loved
Free to fly on like the spanish dove
High above that broken heart ranch
High above the tamarack branch
Looking down she will see him ride out
On his favorite mount, the cowboy scout
To check on the fences, the corn and the cows
To check on the water, the field and the plow
If you look in the morning or late in the eve
When the sun is still rising or setting with ease
You will sometimes see them both on that ridge
Between this life and that across a far bridge
One flies to the east on a strong steady wing
One rides to the west where the cowboys still sing

For Sheila and Greg - two truest loves leaving two broken hearts - you both are loved more than ever and will never be forgotten. Please watch over us both!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little--but not too long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared
Miss me--but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone. It's all a part of the Master's plan
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss Me - But Let me Go!
--unknown                      aafe+10

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Feeling like a stray dog....

So many mixed emotions from visiting Mikey and Greg's ranch in Liberal, Kansas I cannot write anything at this time. Extreme happiness, extreme sadness, extreme gratefulness......don't know quite where to begin so I will leave it for a future date and sign off with this Robert  Frost poem and leave it at that.  aafe+10

Where had I heard this wind before
Change like this to a deeper roar?
What would it take my standing there for,
Holding open a restive door,
Looking downhill to a frothy shore?
Summer was past and day was past.
Somber clouds in the west were massed.
Out in the porch's sagging floor
Leaves got up in a coil and hissed,
Blindly struck at my knee and missed.
Something sinister in the tone
Told me my secret must be known:
Word I was in the house alone
Somehow must have gotten abroad,
Word I was in my life alone,
Word I had no one left but God

-Robert Frost

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Off to see the Wizard! <-----click on title to go to OZ

Tomorrow we head out to Liberal, Kansas to visit Mikey and Greg's ranch and farm. This will be a sad reunion. Last Christmas as we all got ready to leave WE CARE HOUSE we all thought we would be back to see each other again. Sheila and I headed off to the Everglades and Mikey abd Greg went home to the ranch after being at WE CARE for almost a year! Little did we know that we would never all meet again. Greg died at home in April. Sheila and I planed to go up and visit them but never made it happen. We both felt terrible about that! Now Sheila is gone and I will go and visit Mikey and see Greg's grave alone. As I was packing things up to take up there I felt overwhelmed with regret, sadness and even anger because Sheila was always right beside me as we packed for a trip. To think of her not there, packing and getting into Farkus for the road trip with me was more than depressing! I put in a CD while I packed and the second song was Neils Young's Harvest Moon! That became our song over the years and I had to go outside and walk around for awhile before I was OK. These weeks without her have not gotten any easier. Mikey and Shane her son and Cody her grandson are harvesting thousands of acres of corn right now and Mikey is helping on the tractor right along with them. I hope that when I get there they have plenty of hard work for me to keep busy at! Mikey and Sheila were very close for the short time we lived together at WE CARE and I am bringing Sheila's little frog candlestick holders that I bought her when we first started going out together. I can think of no one who Sheila would more like to have them, and she would be happy they found a real home. She would not part with them even though we have lived a gypsy lifestyle the last few years! They always reminded me of the whimsical statues of kids playing that we found and she posed with at parks and playgrounds all over the country. All I know is that I have to get away for awhile, stay  busy and figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I am hoping visiting Mikey and helping out on the ranch for a short time will start me in the right direction. I am also bringing her some of her and Greg's belongings left behind at WE CARE last year. After this trip, its a bus ride to New England, a car trip to Michigan and a 2000 mile walk in the spring. If that can't get me back on track, there is no hope.

Sheila dear I miss you more than I have words to say, this is by far our toughest trail with me lagging far behind you! Please give me the strength to see it to the end, and as Bones says in one of his songs, "please grant me safe passage!"  I love you-aafe+10

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The jungle, the rock quarry and the haunted forest!

Yesterday I met Rhonda and the kids and after we all had McDonald's pancakes we headed out to Home Depot to get some potting soil. peat moss and pots to repot several plants. When we got there the kids noticed the giant kiddy shopping carts with big plastic cars and dual steering wheels behind the big regular shopping basket. Of course we had to take one for a test ride and as Rhonda talked peat moss and azeallas with the lady in the garden section we went off on an anventure. The kids loved it as we "drove" through the jungle ducking all the ferns and hanging baskets and the stone turtles and frogs in the garden center. We then headed for the rock quarry where they keep all the decorative stone and paving blocks before we got the nerve up to head into the haunted forest, the big grove of potted fruit trees and twenty foot shade trees.The kids squealed as the haunted apple trees "threw rotten apples at us" and Jane had to duck a few times to avoid being hit by one! When we escaped from the haunted forest we headed back inside to the "north pole" in the airconditioning and the cart did a few donuts as we hit several "ice patches"! The kids just couldnt get enough "donuts" so they had to pratice their driving skills with several more before we left for the electrical lighting section where all the lit lights on the ceiling became the stars and moon at night! By this time they were hungry and we stopped by the display of outdoor grills and had some barbeque chicken legs "right off the grill"! After "eating" we had to head back into the jungle and the heat to find Mom. She was still talking with the garden lady and we had to load up the peat moss, new pots and potting soil. It was tough leaving the adventures behind but it was now time to go shopping for some new sneakers for Mazie!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Truely Brave Marine...Semper Fi Pete!

   Saturday I went to see Pete, a friend and fellow Marine who I have failed to stay in touch with for at least a decade. A DECADE! Where did the time go? What was so important to neglect this friendship all these years. Marines are not supposed to act like this. Marines ALWAYS take care of their own! On this score I have been a miserable failure. All I can do now is make sure this does not continue. I have to admit if Pete was not battling cancer I may not have taken the time to see him even now. That is a the sad truth. What does that say about me as a friend, a person? I also have to admit that if I hadn't just lost Sheila, the complete and total love of my life, that I also would still be thinking only of myself and not have even made the effort to stay in touch. I must really re-examine what I thought was important in life. All that matters in life is Family and Friends! There is, in the end....nothing else! I can only go forward from here. I will stay in touch and see Pete and Carla more often. I am praying Pete wins this battle with cancer. I know first hand the absolulte fear, uncertainty and sometimes hopelessness of that hell on earth that is cancer! 
    We met at the Warbirds Air Show and it was just wonderful to see Pete and Carla after so long. They were doing volunteer work in the museum and the concession stand during the air show. We talked of old times, Marine times and these terrible cancer times. I filled them in on Sheila and our fantastic years together and of our adventures. I was wishing so much that they could have got to know her! I met their son Marshall who is going into the Air Force soon. He seemed to be a great young man, squared away and very bright. He will do fantastic in the Air Force and I wish him all the best! Carla's sister Teresa also came out to visit and it was just great to see her again after an even  longer period of time lost! Carla and Teresa are sisters to Jody, another Marine that Pete and I served with in the Corps! It was like being with friends who I have seen constantly all these years! I felt at ease with them all from the start and we walked aimlessly among all the old warbirds and talked and reminised. They will never know how much that meant to me, especially now. I have been feeling so lost and directionless without Sheila and though no one will ever fill her place, at least I  know there are still people I can lean on from time to time and help me through this! The kindness of family, friends (old and not so old) and even strangers that I have just met at church have kept me from just falling completely apart. I do not have the words to express the love and graditude I feel toward them all. I used to think I never needed anyone's help but I have found that I am no more than a scared little boy since losing Sheila. I wish I had her strength! I feel she is still showing me the way! I just have remember to listen for her.....and she will be there!  



Friday, September 3, 2010

Just trying to push on....

The night has a thousand eyes, And the day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies, With the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes, And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies, When love is done.

                               -Francis W. Bourdillon

Today I got up early and did my pushups and headed to McDonald's for some caffine and the internet connection. Some of the regular seniors are starting to greet me when I find a seat. THAT scares me! I have to get away...soon! I made plans yesterday to go up to Kansas and visit Mikey and Greg and see their ranch and maybe, hopefully I can help them out  with some chores or something. I feel the need to do hard phyical work of some kind. Some soreness, blisters and back breaking  work would take my mind off the real pain, at least for awhile! Speaking of pushups, I told Mikey that since the night Sheila passed away I have been doing pushups in Greg's memory every night before going to sleep. He always did his pushups, even when he was hardly able to get around due to the radiation and chemo. I thought if he could do that every night , what the hell is wrong with me? So I have been doing them every night since.  I have also started doing them in the morning when I get up just for myself. I have to keep active if I am going to get through this. I have discovered that you can't feel sorry for yourself while doing push ups! Tomorrow I plan to go to Lancaster, Texas to the Warbird Air Show to see Pete, a Marine Corps buddy I have not seen in years. He is currently going through radiation and chemo for esophageal cancer and he and his wife are volunteering at the airshow. It will be good to see them again even though they are now fighting this terrible thing. I am just trying to stay very busy and not think too much about my own pain of missing Sheila. She will always be with me and I don't want that ever to change. I just have to learn how to live with myself and remember all the, unbelievable times and places we shared! I will love her always for many reasons but mostly for showing me how to live, enjoy life and become a much better person.                                     aafe+10

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Just marking time......

Today I brought Farkus the F'ing Focus in to find out what all the new noises were coming from under the hood.  I was hoping it was just wheel bearings or something fairly minor. No luck. After hoofing it up to the nearest McDonald's to wait the verdict, they called after two hours and said all they could find was all the motor mounts were shot and the engine was tilting heavily when the gas was applied. They could get it fixed today but it would be at least 960 dollars! As much as I would like to live without a vehicle it is just not possible, at least not while in Dallas. I promised under my breath that Farkus would be given a Viking funeral one day on the side of some loney highway! I told them to fix it. Then I left McD's and started walking south toward Cowboy Stadium. What to do all day, on foot, in almost 100 degree weather while Farkus tried and succeeded to rob me blind? I walked along the road while impatient people in six lanes of traffic honked and cursed each other in a big damn hurry to get to the next light. I sucked in exhaust fumes as I walked through the light while big mouthed bikers with loud exhausts tried to convince themselves more than anyone else that they were the real deal. Their big fat bellies and bingo wing arms flapping in the wind as they rode off said otherwise! It was hot, I was in a foul mood and I was missing Sheila so much it felt like falling into a deep dark well. I walked a few miles then noticed a Half Price Bookstore we used to visit. I was walking in an area of town where we had stayed in between trips and passing all those familiar places just made me miss her more. I went inside to cool off and kill some time. I browsed all the travel, history, nature and literature shelves and imagined she was looking at all the fiction novels that she loved to read. I got bored, angry or both, I still can't tell which and went back out into the heat. Headed south again I wandered right in front of Cowboy Stadium and thought what an immense catherdral to that egomaniac Jerry Jones. To think of all the homes people were forced out of to build that monstrosity, just to see a bunch of ignorant unmoral (for the most part) millionaires play a game there and all the lemmings that flock there to worship them, well I wiil not type in all the explatives here! I was hoping some of Sheila's good nature and tolerance would find me about now. I continued in the heat to Walmart to cool off again and maybe get a cold drink. I walked aimlessly through the store then just left without a drink. My mood was getting worse. "THIS JUST SUCKS! THIS JUST SUCKS!!" Mikeys words for how she still felt four months after losing Greg was ringing in my ears. I agreed with her. THIS JUST F'ING SUCKS!!!  I started back north toward City Garage even though I knew the car was not even close to being ready. It was really hot now and my heavy daypack was stuck to my back like a giant gluestick!  Another mile or so and I dropped into a Taco we used to go to. I ordered two one dollar burritos and a senior cold drink (they are free) and felt a little better at "gaming" the system for a lousy dollar drink. I got out our bottle of Tabasco brand hot sauce that we got at Avery Island on our last road trip when we toured the Tabasco factory. We always had it in our daypack and it helps when you live off the value menus! After eating quicky, not  liking eating alone now, I left and continued north with heavy traffic right alongside me. So here it is 3:35PM and I am back at the McDonald's I started at early this morning and writing this. I am now thinking if this is what it will be like when I hike north in the spring with Sheila's ashes.......I am in deep, deep trouble! THIS SUCKS!