Another Day Another Daydream

I dream. I eat. I breathe. I hope and pray. I love. And I daydream.

Looking out the window I see the clouds which hold the triggers for the dreams, past present and future. I can drift backwards through the seasons and the years to find the seeds of today in those occurrences which through good or bad times shaped and molded the person I was becoming. Moving ahead through decades I recall highlights and lowlights and some no-lights. It’s odd to see the dreams I had as my younger self who still lives within me, pushing, pressing, trying to get out and have another chance. She looks at me with hurt in her eyes, silently blaming me for missing out on all of her dreams, as though I asked for us to be struck down.

Now I am back here and now. The clouds still float by changing shape with every wind, winds too harsh for me but producing gentle beauty. But dreams are not daydreams, and the past yields lessons and memories, not daydreams.

I watch the clouds and travel with them to another land. I’m a star, an actress of untold depth who is not diminished by aging but rather increases in making her audiences believe in her character. The imaginings travel the world, doing good works, changing the face of the future through her passion and eloquence.

I float above the clouds as I run to a marathon, feeling the breeze on my sweating body and welcoming its cooling touch as I press on toward the finish line with one hand pressed to my chest, feeling the pounding of my heart and the rasping breath against my ribs. I win.

I remember watching ballet, then beginning to dance alone or with a partner. Again I have the sensation of flying, and using every muscle to its maximum. Exhilarated,  I then choreograph and star in a great ballet. I take my bows, accepting the adulation of the crowds as my due.

A moment later the dream is lost as my eyes catch sight of a hawk soaring above, looking for prey. How down to earth can it get? Just like that the real world is back. It’s time to work my way up from the recliner and into the bedroom to lie down and sleep. Perhaps I will dream of flying, or singing, or riding, or being young and clever with lost friends and family at hand. Maybe…


It was the day after Christmas and all through my house

Not a creature was stirring, not a cat, not a mouse

The dog was all settled with me in my bed

And visions of family danced in my head.

The house had been full, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day,

Adults sharing gifts, children at play.

Then came the next day, all quiet and calm

Which to my twitchy soul should have been a great balm.

Instead a great weight fell, rimmed with a dark border

I call the Post Christmas Depressive Disorder.

I’m better today, though, I’m pleased to say.

Two beautiful children are coming to stay.

TV and popcorn and a kiss and a hug

We snuggle together like bugs in rug.

And then tomorrow all through this bright house

Adults and children, maybe even a mouse.

After they leave there returns the dark border

I call the Post Children Depressive Disorder.

Denise A. Carr

October 14, 2013

As I write today’s date I realize the beautiful month of October is almost half over. Right now the sun is shining, the trees are ranging from green to yellow to orange to red. The breeze is tickling the trees and bringing them to the dance. With grace and beauty they bow and sway to an unheard music. I am content to watch for hours, but I already started to post. I’ll finish this and gaze out of the window some more.

Look at the year. 2013. Something that as I child I could not see ever coming. I lived in the fifties and sixties of the twentieth century, and the twenty-first was beyond my comprehension. Needless to say I’ve lived for several decades since, but those years, the formative years, established a frame of reference for which I have yet to find a cure. Even now I’m a little astonished to see the two thousands show up on my newspaper and my checks, although I am the one that wrote the date.

I have been married almost twice as long as I was single, but if distracted I may find I’m writing my maiden name. I was happy to change names at the time, for the new name fit better on the checks, and was easier to say. Still, there are moments of surprise at the new name. How can it be the new name when it’s been here so long? Thirty-nine and a half years.

My kids were born in the seventies and eighties, and I still think of them as ‘the kids.’ My kid brothers were born in the sixties, and I call them ‘the boys’ and probably will when they’re in their sixties. The grandchildren? They are my babies. Sorry about that, little ones.  It’s amazing how they can make me smile when they aren’t even here.

The sun is still shining, the breeze has become a wind, and the dance is more like a jive than a waltz. I have to stop now. October is calling.


When we first got internet access In 2000, I was very timid about everything. I found some newsgroups about the health issues I was enduring and read long enough to know I wanted to be a part of them but needed an email account. Should I put my real name out there? Will it make things weird? Am I neurotic?

So I opted for using a screen name. Advice from family members ranged from “whatever you want it to be” to “make it about what you like to do.”  Well, I didn’t do much anymore as my body had done me wrong and I spent more time on the computer than on the couch and more time on the couch than in bed. I would still like to do a lot things, but I no longer could.

Finally the right offspring came through. She thought about it for a minute. She was old enough to really remember when I was busy. I wrote music, conducted some choirs, sang in church choir etc. And with my other hand I raised the five children I birthed.

Need I say more? Melodymom.  Ta-da!

The End.

Ashes to Joy

Every day when I wake I feel sorrow and pain.

With my feet on the floor I struggle to gain

Enough strength to force this body upright.

Going through the motions, first steps are taken

Slowly, so slowly, the cobwebs are shaken,

Darkness recedes from strengthening light.

Things of yesterday have not all been burned

In the fire, nor have they all been turned

To ashes. Some now glow as the refiner’s gold.

Joy’s hands reach in with warmth and start

To touch and heal this tired heart

With songs of praise both new and old.

God is Love.

Inside Out

I am sitting in my chair, laptop atop my lap, dog curled up, also on my lap, close enough to work as an armrest. The temperature has cooled down and a breeze gently comes through the screen window, for which I am very grateful. My body is like a rare and delicate flower needing a coolhouse as opposed to a hothouse where I am wilted and grumpy. I also need sunlight. I am aware of how many times I use the words “me” and “my” and “I” as “I” talk about “my” opinions, observations, and wisdom.  “I” am sort of kidding. It is all about “me.”

Sometimes I feel like I’m on the outside looking in. I’m fairly certain most people have suffered that loneliness, heaviness, belief that they don’t belong. Most of the time though I am on the inside looking out. In a literal sense I sit in the living room looking out at the streets and scenery and flying things.

The street I live on starts just out of my normal view. I don’t know my neighbors but I see their cars passing, first leaving then returning later. Thanks to tinted windows and the angle of vision I don’t know the faces in the cars and only know which driveways are home to a couple of the vehicles. The cars turn right at the end of my little street to go down a few blocks on the downhill slope to another street that offers a left or right choice. In the winter I have a clear view of the hill. In the summer pieces of pavement are hidden by leafy deciduous trees in all shapes, sizes and shades of green so the cars play an involuntary game of Peek-a-Boo as they come and go.

The scenery is far better than the pavement and cars for soothing and calm and sometimes awe. Though I am unable to name the trees other than nonsense names like Griselda Mae and Jones, I am still amazed by the variety and change. I rarely tire of watching them bow and sway with the passing breeze, their changing colors both spring and fall, and the awe-inspiring storms bending the vulnerable trees to their will, breaking even the strongest, changing the shape of the weakest and leaving in their wake a testimony to the magnificence of the wind and storm.

I also, from the inside looking out, am diverted by the flying things. The birds come first on the list of things in the sky. Spring and fall the geese and ducks and many smaller birds clutter the sky in flocks and squawks, in formations and with direction, hundreds flying together with no obvious order and a few playing leap-frog as they travel from tree to tree. The sizes vary from flock to flock, the colors vary from bird to bird and season to season. Some fly smoothly, their bodies seeming to travel in a straight line. Some rise and fall with the beating of their wings and have to fly extra distance because of that rise and fall.  I find them fascinating.

And clouds! Varied, ever-changing, hanging in layers above me.  I have a view in my room, too, and often watch them spread across the sky, the layers moving independently, the sun playing with the colors by making some cast shadows on others revealing the separations, the heights and the depths.

There are also airplanes day and night. I enjoy watching the holding patterns of the big planes headed for the big airport on the nights where there are especially long delays. They also play peek-a-boo, first hiding in the clouds, then popping out again farther west or now heading north. Small airplanes fly immediately overhead aiming for the small airport. And then there are those various aircraft going home to JBLM (Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the local army and air force base).

Sometimes, when the family is all together here for occasions like birthdays, Super Bowl, Christmas, I get involved with the arriving guests, spending a couple of minutes talking with them until someone else demands their attention. Usually the demanding one is our youngest grand-girl, Annabelle. Then somewhere during the grandchildren’s noise and activities, the adult children’s conversations  back and forth across the room, across each other, I am overwhelmed. I shut down for a few minutes.  As I return to the world of people I find that – though still in my recliner – I am again on the inside looking out. I’m a watcher. It gives me time to see how people are really doing and how much the grandchildren have grown, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I see them in a different light, and it’s good for me and for the people I watch, the people I love.

Then comes the leave-taking, the parade of family saying their good-byes, with kisses and hugs. We are a hugging family! I bask in their love. They leave, it grows quiet, and I am right-side-out again.

Me, Myself, and Denise

Born August 14, 1951 as first baby, later oldest daughter as 1 sister and 2 brothers joined me in the attempt to drive our mother nuts.  It worked!

Played several musical instruments, some better than others. Sang. Taught piano, guitar and accordion. Many years later (before and while finally going to college) I directed adult and children’s choirs with great joy. I had great joy, and the singers sounded joyful, too.

Started college in January, 1991. Became a 40-year-old dropout about a year later, devastated.

Got weaker and weaker, all sorts of problems following until one day everything went to pieces. I had trouble seeing right, dizziness, tremors on and off,  attacks of vertigo, and finally the weakness was so great I couldn’t get out of bed and to the bathroom without help. I couldn’t see to read.  When I could read after a time, I had difficulty holding the book. “Animaniacs” helped to keep me sane.

Things improved a little over time. I live in pain, tire very easily and need a wheelchair to go anywhere when I have to walk very far, like to the store or the movie theater. I’ve lost making music,  cooking, cleaning, gardening, and studying. My memory is not good, but I try! I read in spurts as sometimes I can’t take it in and have to read and reread and reread again to keep it in my head long enough to continue with a degree of understanding. Most days I also can do puzzles, watch TV, and every day I pet my dog.

I can always visit people, almost always my family. And I can spend time on the computer if I can sit in my recliner long enough to get to it.

I am a Christian. I tell you this because the Lord is a given in my life and does affect my perspective. If I offend you, don’t read my blog. My intention with my scribbling is to hold on to my thoughts, leave a record for me, and share stuff with anyone who wants to hear me. Good reading what I hope is good writing.

Just Survived Another Birthday

In the beginning my parents met, married, and had children, of which I am the oldest and the most important as I am the one that broke them. My parents, not the other children. I mean broke them in so the future children wouldn’t have to work as hard to wear them down, especially my mom. This beginning wasn’t the actual beginning of beginnings, just the beginning of my beginning. Everyone has one, and everyone pretty much believes that their beginning was the most important. They are all wrong. Mine is the absolutely most significant occurrence of the 20th century if you have the right perspective. If you doubt that, just ask me.

Along with diapers, safety pins, and plastic pants came other wondrous things. Some hung over my bed, some stayed in the play area and rattled or squeaked or caused tears to come to my eyes every time I hit myself in the face with them. I liked the live furry ones the best. They were as patient as my mom with me… up to a point. I liked to pull appendages and poke eyes. I thought the growling sounds were just loud purrs. The cat, finding itself in a grip like a vise and unable to free itself from torture by walking away, finally expressed itself in a punitive unsheathed swat. I was stunned. I cried and got no sympathy, and to this day only pull the cat’s tail with tongs while wearing a full suit of armor. I wear the armor, not the cat. Still not right. I don’t wear the cat and the cat doesn’t wear the armor.

Another wonderful thing happened right around the time I’d been alive for a year. A party! I liked the cake and the ice cream and the candles and the gift wrap and the ribbons and the boxes. They had been wrapped around some other stuff to show them off to advantage, but just a short time later the fancy stuff was gone and all that was left was the stuffing. I soon figured out the filler was fun, too. Some stayed in my bed, some rattled, some stacked, some clanged, and I hardly ever hit my face with any of them.

I’ve seen the pictures from that hot August in Walla Walla, Washington. No lie. Yes, Virginia and Margarita, there is a Walla Walla, Washington! There are pictures of me with my chunky thighs and round belly sitting on my pregnant mother with her round belly and legs of a model, both of us miserable. There’s one of me looking exceptionally wretched in a blow-up pool. The consensus was I had won the Jonathan Winters look-alike contest hands down. That, by the way, is the kind of picture one would really wish had been burned years before one began dating.

My sister put in an appearance a few months later. I was pretty curious about her, and wanted her to play, but my mother wouldn’t let me get her on the floor, or push her out of mom’s lap, so I had to just study the thing. Soon I noticed that baby was also wearing diapers with pins under plastic pants. Well, if anyone thought I was still a baby they were wrong. My mother tells me potty training went quickly. Blessed woman.

Years went by with frequent moves, hot summer birthdays often with only the family as we didn’t know anyone yet in the new place. By the time November came around, we girls had been in school for a couple of months, my sister had a few friends, and my mother knew other mothers and even imported an extra girl or two for the party. I tried to be pumped for my sister’s good fortune, really I did, but I’m thinking she remembers more about the unkind things I said and did out of, well, spite!

When the children came along I tried to give them memorable times with cake and ice cream always, and frequently had home-made pizza. (Later on it was from a pizza place and wasn’t as good as mine.) With 4 of the 5 having birthdays in November, December and January around Christmas and Thanksgiving, we couldn’t afford to give big parties every year, so they had their parties on alternate years.

The point I am heading toward along circuitous paths is this: for the last 20+ years I have hit the emotional lows on 2 particular days of the year. New Year’s Eve and my birthday are both indicators of another year passing by me at a dizzying rate leaving not much to show for it. But this year was different. This year I looked forward to seeing what might be coming my way.  (It was my children making a party  for me, with chocolate!) The fact that it marked a lost year was shown to be irrelevant. I turned another year older without even blinking. Sweet!

I wrote a poem a few years back. It started out as a rant against birthdays and ended up as a kind of tribute to them. Birthdays, that is. I need to remember that should I ever fall into that particular hole again.

So I have just one more thing to say and it is this:

 Happy Birthdays to all, and to all a good-night!