Recovering from Responsibility

I know, I know.  All appearances to the contrary, Queenie has not fallen off the planet.  It was that Responsibility thing.  Two art shows, big doin’s in the neighborhood, (for which I had responsibly “volunteered” to be a part of, and do my share, having run for office and actually been elected to a position on the Board of Directors a couple of years ago – whoda thought?), and then, well, fun was involved when I immediately turned around and went down San Antonio way for another adventure of the Raul Malo variety.  One must be replenished, by whatever means, and while equally tiring in some ways, the replenishing is more than good in several others.

I dunno. I’m beginning to think this Responsibility thing is overrated, and I am the one who has been parading around waving that Big R flag for quite some time.  Yep, the Scarlet R, a friend of mine and I used to call it.  Responsibility, yessiree.

Queenie even wrote about it – one of my favorite quotes, actually:  Take Responsibility.  Hardly anyone wants it anyway.  It’s in the book, by the way, accompanied by a stunning picture of a hawk.  (This is what you call a plug if I were talking about this on a talk show….. one of these days.)

Responsibility makes one very tired.  At least this One.  I keep asking myself…. Is it really so much harder these days, or am I, (dreaded gasp), getting OLD?  I somehow refuse to believe the latter, but my physical body is seeming to have its own fully In Body experience, and it has been a bumpy ride of late.  But I bet that shirking Responsibility, in the end, is tiring, too.  Or should be.  After all, if one is expending all that energy NOT doing the right thing, s/he has found his own way to Tired, and it probably doesn’t feel as good, somehow, as the rewards – be them as they may – of well executed Responsibility.  I’m beginning to understand it as a Grown Up thing, and why we must thank all those involved who have anything to do with producing responsible children.  I’m not very familiar with children, as a rule, but I like the responsible ones – the ones who grow up into responsible adults.

So I have been so very responsible lately that I haven’t even stopped long enough to give Queenie a go, and let her have her say about things.  The “working” side of me has been active and inspired with the art shows and road trips and music shows and neighborhood association activities, and just any number of things to keep me seeing me zipping past my own self whilst I’m absorbed in some other dither or activity.  Again, are things happening faster, or am I just getting slower – in all forms of the concept.  Is that why, really, the almighty “they” say that time goes by faster as we get older? Probably not, I suspect.  Alas and alack, we have become the tortoise, and the likes of some of the new hares are getting on my nerves.  Even the antics of some of the other fellow turtle people are testing me.  I sure am getting a lot of material lately, mostly from my own neighborhood.  More on that in a bit.

And so I have been dealing and dueling with Responsibility, and now recovering from the very same.  I’ve been reacquainting myself with my garden, which I had gotten off to a decent start, but the drought and the critters are winning.  I can fight off the drought somewhat with the addition of a bit of our incredibly expensive water, but the creatures are more devious to contend with.  My beautiful begonia is now reduced to nubs, a victim of the deer, I believe, who decided to jump my fence and help themselves to the delectables.  They’re not so taken with the geraniums, and spurned them.

This is our second major drought in two years, and last time it affected the behavior of our neighbors in the animal kingdom.  We had coyotes and bobcats move right into the neighborhood looking for anything of sustenance.  Many cats disappeared, and folks were on edge.  With the disappearance of the water sources, reproductivity of the little munchies that usually feed the predators, (mice and rats and the like), slacks off, and the whole Balance of Life thing runs amok.

Not only is there no rain, but the heat is record setting, and the wind has been relentless.  A hundred and three today, and we’re already stalking the Hottest Summer on Record record.  It was instant summer, with not so much springtime flinging.  My dreams of kayaking at eventide are to be just that very soon.  Our little cove is retreating daily, losing itself to the heat and the drought and the rice farmers down south.  Hard thing to say, but we need a hurricane.  And of course, in the perfect irony that reflects such times, the rest of the country – or a goodly part of it – is washing away.  To those who doubt that we are not affecting Mom Nature, and that she’s mightily aggrieved, I say… Really?

So a catch up on what’s going on around these parts is in order, and so shall we proceed.

Back in the Back 40, Progress is still coming toward us from the horizon.  Slashes are appearing in the green masses of trees as roads are being cut, headed toward the adjoining cove.  I’ve not been granted permission to walk on the land since the new regime took over, so I carefully trespass.  It’s sad back there, with cracks taking the land instead of green grasses and wildflowers – same sort of thing that I found down in Big Bend in March. The Milkweed (sometimes known as Antelope Horns) managed to bloom, and attract a bee and some other nameless bugs.  I always call these the plants from outer space.


Over ten years ago there was a fire in the Back 40, ignited by a squirrel who hara-kiried himself on a transformer and went out in a blaze of glory, and then the blaze took off.  It was frightening, but very low level compared to the horrendous fires going on now in the places I love.  There are many reminders of what happened, including the alligator who lives in the dead grasses.  Have to keep your eye out when exploring in the wilderness, you know.  And I did happen upon a rattlesnake a few weeks ago, but without my camera, of course.  Everyone survived.


Speaking of the grasses, and the wildflowers, there are lots of dead grasses from the abundance we had for a while last year, and an equal lack of flowers.  It’s a hard year back there.  It seems to be a hard year all across the country, with extremes being the new normal.  I don’t know about you, but I’m a little tired and a lot concerned about the new normal.


But some things do indeed survive, against the odds, and I’m happy to keep running into Mr. Jack, or perhaps this is the Mrs., since I’ve seen two at one time.  Despite the coyotes and the drought and the Progress, I still see the jacks, and a few weeks ago I was trying to follow a wild turkey who showed up in our driveway for a few days in a row.  She hasn’t been back lately, but I hope she’s still making her way.  And Mr. and Mrs. Jack, too.


Meantime, I’ve been bringing the garden back from the worst winter we’ve had in many years – so bad that I lost many plants in the greenhouse – with the heater on!  It’s been looking a lot better, at least till the latest assault, which took out some of what you see here.  But here’s one of my views as I sit and watch the goings on my garden, usually very early with my coffee or late after I’ve watered.


I watched a female Painted Bunting come cautiously to the water bath, get comfortable, and then start calling to her mate, telling him she’d found the perfect place.  He didn’t exactly show up, but he came as close as the cedars nearby, and then called her away.  Better than television, I promise.  And the wrens finally took up quarters in the gourd that I hung years ago, and fledged a family.  Of course they fledged when I was off at an art show, so I missed it, but I know one family was successful.


Lots of hummers this year, too.  They get used to you and you can stand close and still sometimes, and they’ll hover right in front of you.  Not so when you’re holding a big camera though, and it’s late and dark.  But I still like the action in this image, and the upside down reflection in the sugar water.


And a remembrance of what’s gone now, lost to the marauders.  Poor begonia, nothin’ but nubs now.  And I don’t know if it can come back or not.  We won’t even discuss what has happened to the tomatoes, which just happened to be the first successful ones I’ve managed in years.  Hell and double damn.


A friend no longer in my life gave me some of these supposedly pesky plants that reproduce into infinity and back again – some sort of succulent I’d say.  I like it.  So far the critters don’t.  I made an art shot out of this one.


Magic is still around, and doing his spectacular thing, looking for love but finding only the deer and the squirrels.  I’ll have more pictures of him challenging the deer, (who are getting big and the bucks are growing their antlers again, and there are twin fawns that have just now appeared), but I am always in amazement of his south side.  If you didn’t know what this was, would you know what it was?


Several nights ago, there appeared a fantastic cloud with rain over there, which never made it over here.  Unfortunately, that story is getting old.  But it was glorious.  But I’d like to take my Glorious with Rain, thank you.


A couple of blogs ago I wrote about The Shift.  I didn’t know exactly what this shifting involved, only that I was living it.  I think it to be fairly important that I chronicle it.  One of those epiphany things sat on my head recently, and I made a decision and put some other things into action.  Actions are surely important, but they are formed from thought, and from the two we are delivered what we create.  In these sorts of things we are both Mother and Midwife.  I decided to reach backward to go forward, (not my usual recommendation), and reclaim a dream that I had forsaken so many years ago.  I’m not sure where this will lead, but there is a new beginning.  For those who wish to take the ride with me, come on along.  I hope it is amazing, and for those who follow, entertaining.  Old friends will recognize a familiar name, one that still means a lot to me, and here we go.  I’ll have a lot more to say, (oh, you have no idea), but here’s the new Sign of the Times.  Get ready to hear more about The Last Stand at the Slippery Slope Ranch.  Onward, into what’s next.  I can hardly wait.


Go for your dreams, y’all.  And stay tuned, as I reach for mine.


2 Responses to “Recovering from Responsibility”

  1. Queenie you have a way with words. I love your stories! Jim

  2. Shelley Says:

    Well said. Life is beautiful in your sphere. Looking forward to more chapters.

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