Posts Tagged ‘memories’

I mentioned this on FB last night, but a pet deserves more than just a post or mention that typically lasts only a few minutes in this crazy busy world of info overload.

from FB… “Sadly lost our last of the original 3 chickens today, “Pumpkin”. Passed quietly after almost 9 yrs of entertaining and teaching us what having chickens as pets is like. We raised her from 3 days old. She was like a dog, came when called, always nearby when we were outside, liked to dig in the garden with us. All with the added benefit of giving us eggs. So, a little better than a pet dog in some ways. She’ll be missed. Hopefully see her again on rainbow bridge.”

We didn’t really know what we were getting into when deciding to get chickens nearly 9 years ago, sure we’d read a lot on the internet and some books and talked to some people who had them but until you actually have them yourself you really don’t know how much personality and life these little characters have.
Pumpkin, named for the orange head and black body, helped teach us what worked and how tough these little feather friends are. She was one of the original 3, Pumpkin, Ginger and Zena, and lived the longest.  She also helped train each new chicken we brought into the flock.  Taught them not to wander onto the road, (they have full roam of our property with no fence around it, just farmer’s field, and a highway out front) where it was safe to sit and roost, to always come running when we called, to stay close when we were digging to get all the good bugs, etc..

They adjust to the weather, even our cold harsh winters up here. Sure they may not like walking on the snow, but they just stay cooped up (pun intended) for the really harsh weather and come out whenever it is sunny enough and they can see grass, even if it is just a path I cleared thru the snow for them.  Rain, sun or snow, heat or cold, they just endure it.

They are not just dumb animals, they are more than just food.  I hope that me sharing a little piece of her life story makes a few people realize that they are not just meat.  They really are no different than a dog or a cat, they are pets and our lives are better for having known them.

RIP little Pumpy, wait for us on rainbow bridge, there is a good number of our beloved animals there to keep you company.

barkerp

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Watching the latest Apple WWDC keynote on Monday reminded me how much things change and advance, as well as how quickly things come and go.  Not just in technology, where the lifespan of a device is sped up to near ridiculous levels, but in all parts of life.  To that end, the incredible early 70’s song “Changes” by the thin white duke David Bowie comes to mind, especially one line in particular… “Time may change me, But I can’t trace time“.

Time does change us and we can’t always point to exactly when it happened, or why.  Change isn’t just around us, it’s within us too.  It has to be, not only to grow physically, but mentally as well.  Not only to grow but to adapt.  Not only to adapt but to accept.  Just as change is unavoidable, so is acceptance of those changes if you want to keep moving forward.  For this reason we all have to accept and live with changes.  Good or bad, they are going to happen.  Trying to stop change is akin to trying to hold water in your hands – eventually its going to slip thru despite your best efforts.

I get a little pensive and introspective at this time of year, as the anniversary of my brother’s death looms.  Thoughts tend to shift towards the ‘what if’s‘ and the ‘if onlys‘ that anyone who has lost someone unexpectedly inevitably ponders.  What would thing be like if it hadn’t happened? In the end, you have to push those thoughts aside and accept and adapt to the changes in life.   Time does change us.   Accept.  Adapt.  But never forget what life was like beforehand.

rest in peace bro.  ride on.

barkerp

sparkleSometimes inspiration comes from the strangest of places.

An example of this fact is the quote that inspired this particular post “One of what we all are, Pelly. Less than a drop in the great blue motion of the sunlit sea. But it seems that some of the drops sparkle, Pelly. Some of them do sparkle!” – Camelot (1967)

Sparkle.  It’s a funny sounding word, bringing to mind the glimmer of the lights at Christmas, the first snow at night as  they catch the glow of the streetlights, or as in the quote, the way the water seems to shimmer and shine as the sun sets.  All of these sights epitomize the word, but the sparkle I’m thinking of is less visual, more of a feeling or intangible thing.

People can sparkle or bring light to your world.  Maybe they don’t sparkle for everyone, but I’d hazard to guess that everyone sparkles for someone.  Like a little glimmer of happiness and comfort in the sometimes dark cold world.  Oftentimes that sparkle is missed most when it is gone.  Sure, we may have noticed it while it was there, but how often do you take the time to make note of it and say something.  Again, if I was to guess, I’d say not often, certainly not often enough.

Today is that day that comes for my family with mixed emotions.  June 3rd.  My parent’s wedding anniversary which should be a happy occasion, forever overshadowed by the unexpected death of my older brother.  I’ve mentioned it before, and will again I’m sure, because this day marks the day that a certain sparkle left the world.  We lost a brother, a son, a husband and a father.  Leaving behind kids that looked up to him and saw his sparkle regardless of what was going on in their lives.

As Joni Mitchell so aptly said in Big Yellow taxi, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone“.

I remember standing in the kitchen as kids with my bro doing dishes (this is back before dishwashers) and singing along to that song, making up all kinds of alternate lyrics, most of which made no sense but made us laugh nonetheless, and helped pass the time.  Looking back it wasn’t such a chore, it was actually a fond memory that still stays with me, much like the sparkle that may have left this mortal coil but remains in my memory.

People touch your lives and leave behind little pieces of themselves all the time, little glimmers and sparkles.  Remember to take the time to let them know, and once they are gone, just remember them.

ride on Bro,

barkerp

We mark days in our lives for a variety of reasons, most good – things like birthdays, or anniversaries, or maybe just a really good hair day – but sometimes in remembrance of something that makes us sad, something we remember for not so happy reasons,  they get marked as well.

For me, today is such a day, a birthday of someone who has passed.  We don’t get a say in when someone’s time comes, and it seems it always comes too soon.  Thinking about anyone whose life was cut short can make you sad, resentful, or sometimes even angry.  The “what-ifs” the “if onlys“, they can drive you mad if you let them.

So take that energy and channel it elsewhere, into making your life or the lives of those around you that much richer.  Live for those that no longer do and change those negative marks on your calendar into a celebration in remembrance.  Don’t let yourself slip into that funk or depression, fight it, and remember any life, no matter how short, is worth remembering and sharing with those around you.  For in your memories and stories they live on.

RIP bro,

barkerp

To-do:
Start bucket list – check.
Check items off bucket list – umm, check?

Every year around this time for the past 5, I look back and check to make sure I’ve done something I can check off my bucket list.  You know that list of things you want to do before you die, but often times, never really do anything to work towards making them happen.
Well, for me, this year was a big one, getting my motorcycle license and a motorcycle, cuz really what good is getting the license if you don’t use it. Sure, for some it may not seem like a big deal but the reason for the bucket list is the same as the reason why this item was so difficult to check off. My brother was killed while riding his motorcycle 5 years ago.

Anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook has probably been subjected to my travel shots of where I’ve been while on said “bike”. The photo at the top of this blog post being a perfect example.  Many sunsets have been viewed in the side mirrors of my Ninja.  Its a fun way to see the world, even though you may be seeing it from speeds a little quicker than other modes of transportation, you seem so much more in it and aware of your surroundings. I still remember fondly my first longer ride and seeing a hawk take off from it’s perch on a fence post to fly alongside me as I cruised on down the road.  If I hadn’t sucked it up, grew a pair, bit the bullet, (i’ll stop there, you get the idea without filling the blog with cliche phrases), then I wouldn’t have  experienced some of my most relaxing “zen” moments of late.

It also gets me a step closer to another bucket list item of traveling thru europe on motorcycle. I guess what I’m saying is that its good to make a bucket list, something to dream about but make sure you work towards making them happen too. You never know how long you’ve got so don’t procrastinate when it comes to checking items off your bucket list. Carpe diem.

In closing…

Bro, you are always in the back of my mind, which is probably better than on the back of my bike just yet.  You know how the extra weight makes it tough when cornering and I haven’t quite mastered that.  I’m sure you probably chuckle every time I mis-shift and chirp the clutch too.  Give me a break, i’m a old dog.

Ride on, Bro.  Ride on.

P.