Communal-Daily Prompt from WP, uh, don’t get me started!

Communal

(disclaimer: wordpress keeps freezing on me and then I lose entire posts because it also does not save drafts for me. This is a late night re-creation of a post I wrote earlier today…and I think the original was a lot better.)

This word is my preferred way of living, by far, and not just because I came of age in the 1960’s when that was all the rage. I did live in actual communes in my late teens and early twenties, and I thrived in that setting!

But really, I was kind of raised that way in the first place.

My Mom was a single working mother and was so well-loved by all of my friends, they all called her “Mom”. At several points in my young life, there were many other kids (besides our three) who either lived with us or crashed on the living room floor in sleeping bags….this latter category often as a short respite from their own broken and painful homes. During my highschool years (before I prematurely left home myself) a few times, my Mom would even find one of her extra “kids’  passed out on our front lawn. She would nurse them back to sobriety and eventually send them to their real homes to try to work things out.

And my mother also had other single-mom friends who would be around (or not), kids in tow (or not). My tiny childhood home, when my Dad was out of the picture, was delightfully unpredictable and often filled with additional people, bringing a variety of interactions, activities, and support. There was always someone to talk to.

When I became a young single mother myself, it seemed the most natural thing in the world to open up my home to other young women in similar boats….the more, the merrier after all. That expanded to renting rooms to students from a very close-by college. And before I knew it, many years of this lifestyle flew by, and I had lived with so many people and kids and animals, I almost lost count. I wrote a post all about it for my friend Badfish. You can read about it here:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/06/13/__trashed-7/

One of my favorite experiences of communal living was on a Once-in-a-Lifetime (which turned out to be twice) extended trip to the South Pacific. Me and my six closest people, as well as a crew of four, lived together on a 95 foot yacht called the Tau, for well over a month. We sailed down around and explored the Southern Lau Islands (Fiji).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lau_Islands

We lived on the TAU (in Fijian, it means friend) and though it was a beautiful and spacious ocean going craft, it could be crowded, so we had to develop some communal living rules to live by (like honoring the silence above deck during sunrise and sunset… Oh, and flushing only 3 squares of T.P. at a time or incurring the wrath of our Captain!)

Now, in these later years of my life, I think my version of Communal Living would be more like some of the wonderful Co-Housing communities born in the greater Seattle area this last 20 years or so. But I currently have a houseful of people I dearly love (my partner, my son and two grandsons, and a long-time family friend…oh and three cats) And we will live together communally in this rustic old house, for as long as the current economy will allow.

I have some very close people in my life-my adopted sister, my son, and my best friend-(all introverts) who cringe at my chosen lifestyle, but they can’t be surprised. Co-Housing and Communal Living is in my my history, my blood, maybe even my genes.

Though I am not a Mormon, my great, great grandfather was Brigham young. If you have come across his history, you know that at least 16 of those 55 wives, lived in row houses close to the Salt Lake City Temple.

And you just know they lived communally.

 

IMG_4703
Anyone know where the weed trimmer is?

IMG_4772

IMG_4707
Whose turn is to PAINT?

Gorge for WPC 12/7/17

Gorge

via Daily Prompt: Gorge

Here in the Northwest, the word gorge is definitely a NOUN, not a verb!

It is a DESTINATION! And surely, one of the most spectacular Concert Venues  in the world!

the-gorge

The Columbia River Gorge Amphitheater is a truly amazing  place to see a concert.

My favorite Concert there so far was Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby and Shawn Colvin. What a great line up! They just drifted in and out of each other’s sets like musical butter, so smooth.

The jam they did at the very end was a once in a lifetime combo, so beautiful. Northwest concert goers are relentless in their demands for an encore and these musicians complied by first letting the stage go all dark and quiet, but after 5 full minutes of our insatiable hunger for more, Jackson Browne came back out, sat at the piano in the dark and started his cool song “Stay” (or “the Load Out”). There was an instant standing ovation in recognition from the very first notes on the piano!! The other three joined him, one at a time and they did a generously spectacular 20 minute encore! What a finish.

And it did not hurt our experience at all that we were given “Box” seats for this show. Best view in the “house”, cozy recliners to lounge in, and a button we could push to have someone come bring us wine or hot chocolate, and get this, a BLANKET if we were cold!!! We even had a separate parking area, just feet from where we sat. It was an unexpected bonus! You know how a post-concert throng can be!!

Shawn Colvin was impressive both musically and as a new Mom. To my delight as an old Hippie Flower Child, who proudly breastfed in public long before it was legal in most states, Shawn had to stop in the middle of a song to let her baby GORGE!

 

Disclaimer: I did not take either of these photos. I found them on the Gorge Amphitheater website.

SongLyricSunday 11/19/17 Growing Older

Oh Helen, what a sensitive subject for me these days, as I am really feeling my age.

I asked James what song he thought of when I said “getting old”. Immediately he said  “When I’m 64” by the Beatles. A few years back that would have been my choice also but since that number is behind me, I think I’ll take the opposite approach now.

Personal history of the song I chose. Along with many other therapists, for many years we did a 5-day long immersion-type therapeutic retreat called Experiencing Enough. Originally designed based on the belief that almost every single issue in people’s lives, as well as in the world, can be traced back to the mistaken belief that there just isn’t enough to go around for everyone. Siblings fight over scarcity. Marriages end. Companies fold. Religions compete. And wars are fought over this erroneous idea. (This was back in the 1980’s and 90’s when there still might have been enough. Now I’m not so sure…)

Anyway, one of the main songs we played and sang was Forever Young…to address the idea that there was not enough “time”.

So that is my song choice for this week’s theme. “Forever Young”, written by Bob Dylan.

Now comes the hard choice, whose version of this song?? So many amazing musicians have covered this classic. You can read about it on Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forever_Young_(Bob_Dylan_song)

But I have to say, my favorite is still by Joan Baez. Here is an older version (with lyrics)

 

I encourage you to also check out the 2016 YouTube video of a Joan Baez concert called

All Star 75th Birthday Celebration

Joan and many other famous musicians who join her, put on a show that can change the way you look at aging. I found it so inspirational. The video is set up so you can click at the beginnings of each song (and each new performer that joins her), and skip ahead if you wish. Forever Young is the final song. Not the best quality but so worth watching. (Some night when there is nothing on TV if you must.) She is amazing and many of her guests are similar ages, so they are all models for aging with passion and beauty.

Enjoy!

 

IMG_1345

 

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 11/19/17

Song Lyric Sunday 10-22-17

 

I cannot add a single song to the theme for this week for Helen Vahdati’s weekly challenge. The one she chose would have been mine also. Please treat yourself to a visit to her site (and check out my comment at the bottom).

Song Lyric Sunday – Let It Be from Across the Universe

 

IMG_1345

Song Lyrics Sunday 7/2/17 Freedom

My mind reels at the topic Helen! A generational hazard, I guess. My youth was filled with MOSTLY songs about freedom.

I couldn’t stop the tidal wave of titles flooding in so I just picked at random.

But I like this one a lot (and the movie this clip comes from…Kevin Spacey as Bobby Darin!). It’s pretty simple and catchy even though at the time, the older folk singers had some doubts about the author. (He finally won them over I think.)

 

Lyrics

Come and sing a simple song of freedom
Sing it like you’ve never sung before
Let it fill the air
Tell the people everywhere
We, the people here, don’t want a war.
Hey, there, mister black man, can you hear me?
I don’t want your diamonds or your game
I just want to be someone known to you as me
And I will bet my life you want the same.
Come and sing a simple song of freedom
Sing it like you’ve never sung before
Let it fill the air
Tell the people everywhere
We, the people here, don’t want a war.
Seven hundred million are ya list’nin’?
Most of what you read is made of lies
But, speakin’ one to one ain’t it everybody’s sun
To wake to in the mornin’ when we rise?
Come and sing a simple song of freedom
Sing it like you’ve never sung before
Let it fill the air
Tell the people everywhere
We, the people here, don’t want a war.
Brother Solzhenitsyn, are you busy?
If not, won’t you drop this friend a line
Tell me if the man who is plowin’ up your land
Has got the war machine upon his mind?
Come and sing a simple song of freedom
Sing it like you’ve never sung before
Let it fill the air
Tell the people everywhere
We, the people here, don’t want a war.
Now, no doubt some folks enjoy doin’ battle
Like presidents, prime ministers and kings
So, let’s all build them shelves
Where they can fight among themselves
Leave the people be who love to sing.
Come and sing a simple song of freedom
Sing it like you’ve never sung before
Let it fill the air
Tell the people everywhere
We, the people here, don’t want a war.
I say … let it fill the air …
Tellin’ people everywhere …
We, the people here, don’t want a war.

Written by Bobby Darin • Copyright © Carlin America Inc, BMG Rights Management US, LLC

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 7/2/17

 

 

IMG_1345

Best “Best Friend Story” Ever!! for WPC

 

Friend

In 1971, we started our epic Camping Road Trip in Southern California. We wanted to see as much of the country as we could so we could pick our place to live. In our circumstance, the rat race of Southern California was just not going to cut it. (More on that later.)

We piled into my 1971 Metallic Blue Datsun 1200.

Datsun
not mine but photo found on Free Photos

And when I say “piled” I mean enough stuff that in each campground people gathered to watch in awe as we unloaded and set up an elaborate outdoor domicile. By the end of our 4 months on the road, we were pretty impressive in our efficiency, both in setting up and breaking camp.

We drove up and down and back and forth across the southernmost United States so we could reach our goal of camping in every state. A few things stand out of course, like the Grand Canyon (though I was too sick to hike down to the bottom…more on that later also). We tried to find something unique wherever we stopped, you know, something only the locals would know about…like Chang Gonzalez’s Kosher German Deli in Blue Lake, New Mexico.

Wait. I’ll let you digest that name…

On the Gulf Coast of the Deep South, we pulled into a classic KOA Campground in Biloxi, Mississippi. I remember us being exhausted that day and all we wanted was to set up camp, have a sandwich and a glass of wine, and hit the sack (or bag, as it were). Oh NO! Somehow, we had lost our wine corkscrew. This was not acceptable so we wandered out into the campground to see who looked like they might have one.

And there they were…Bill and Linda. To shorten a very long story (45 years worth, in fact) they had a corkscrew and they also had a flat in New York City, close to Columbia University where they were students. They were on the same quest as we were, camping across America to pick their place to live after college.

When I told Linda our trip would take us through New York City and we were excited to camp in their giant park (Central Park! What did I know??) she laughed and within minutes of meeting me, gave me the keys to their apartment so we would have a safer (more legal) place to stay in their city!

That was it! She just handed over her keys! When it is her turn to tell our story, Linda will say she knew she could trust me because I had already shared with her the fact that I was pregnant, and fairly proud that I had not felt the need to get married because of it.

After we each completed our months’ long searches to find our permanent homes, Bill and Linda chose Portland, Oregon to live in and we chose Seattle, a mere 3 hours away.

So Linda, the traditional girl from Ohio, student with her husband at Columbia, and Kathie, the Hippie Chick from San Diego, too “morning-sick” to climb down the Grand Canyon, in an instant, became fast friends for life. And we still are.

Linda has continued to “hand over her keys” to me for more than 45 years, to her house, her vacation homes, her psyche and her heart. And she has always made it safe for me to do the same! I could not have found a more perfect, lifelong best friend than my Linda.

PhotoScan (2)
Just home from our epic road trip, stopping for a gas station wedding bouquet on the way to our ceremony. That’s me in the homemade bridal gown!
Linda and Kent 529
Celebrating Linda’s marriage
12-18-06 104
On a Women’s Trip to Port Townsend

 

KathLinBch
The beach down in front of Linda’s house, me having just spread Joy, my dog and Bandit, my cat’s ashes (see https://chosenperspectives.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/wpc-53117-friend/)

 

Happy Birthday Linda! This post is dedicated to YOU for your love and patience and wisdom all these years!!

Love,

Kathie

PS Your present is in the mail!!

 

 

Song Lyrics Sunday 3/12/17 TIME

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2017/03/11/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-31217/

 

Well, I’ve just spent an hour searching for the song I wanted to share. I thought for sure I could find a video with it playing in that haunting beach scene from the movie “Coming Home” but no luck.

So here is the song (and lyrics). If you are over 60, crank up your volume, hold onto your heart and get ready to be transported back…in TIME!

https://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/csicrimesceneinvestigation/timehascometoday.htm

 

And here is the scene from the movie that comes up in my search and in my opinion, won Jon Voight the best actor Oscar that year.

 

IMG_1345