It Could Be Me…or You

It could be me…or you…

and it is she…I met her a few weeks ago at the Memphis Farmer’s Market

IMGP0029

IMGP0034

Homelessness can strike at any phase of life and for Linda it came at a most unsuspecting time.  It’s a story she shared with me and then said I could pass along to you.

Like a theif in the night, it crept in as the loss of health.  As a college adult, she was about to begin her senior year  when illness snatched her dreams, temporarily at least.

IMGP0108

IMGP0090 IMGP0096When I first met her,  a sweltering June  Saturday morning, I was at this market, laden with color and the buzz of local flavor. The Memphis market touts some nifty  garden boxes where locals grow color and browse among the veggies for sale…

IMGP0022 1

Beautiful plants and flowers  grace the grounds and even  non living wing-eds  try and take flight!

IMGP0007_2

Shop a little, walk a little, talk a lot, break for some tunes, for most folks

IMGP0115

it’s just an all around fun time.  But for Linda and her friends it proffers an opportunity to sell the “Bridge” newspaper, for a dollar.  It’s where I learned her story and my heart hurt, then buoyed in hope as she explained her situation.  At one time, she was homeless but is now in a transition house in Memphis and works at sharing the Bridge for a dollar.   It’s a start back up a long hill.

Meet Linda…

Photo taken and used by permission from Linda

Photo taken and used by permission from Linda

I’d like to give a big shout out for Rhodes College who is behind this wonderful effort to help people get back into the groove of life, the steps that stretch long and hard.  My  admiration for her and her friends swelled as I learned of their perseverance.

So, if you are in downtown Memphis, any day of the week and see her or her friends in a similar situation, please consider buying the Bridge, for more than a dollar.  They wear a name tag and walk various parts of the downtown area and markets. Volunteers help them by driving them to various locations.

IMGP0113

It’s a way to help people like you, or me, who could find themselves in a similar situation,  walking hot pavements, seeking people who care.  The stories are not of pity but now of… hope.

As for me, I’m picturing Linda down the road up a hill, flagging a cap and gown!

Again, a shout out for Rhodes College that helps them accomplish this endeavor!

Color and Life!

I just can’t get enough of either!

backyard little bliss

backyard little bliss

You think you’ve seen all the sweet you can drink in Deep Southern living, hard times, blessed times, all slathered across an earlier long stint in Asia. We ponder across the birthing of three sons on foreign soil and seeing them now chase life’s dreams…

Hubby D.'s radishes!

Hubby D.’s radishes!

Memories  spread across the rough and smooth paths:  The mysteries of Asian life: Korea touting her great food and breezy simple rice paddies, fronds swaying in fresh morning light.

Then there was Hong Kong: minty green light busses  edging across the world’s showiest harbor; the Lunar New Year raining in fireworks exploding in color in popcorn shrills across the sky.   It’s a place where ending sunsets skim over water in breathtaking grace. The colors calm the otherwise storm of a city with 5,000 people per square kilometer.

I revel, thankfully, in the bringing up of three sons alongside the greatest husband on earth, both of us carried under the love of the God of the Universe…

from some gardens in Memphis moments

from some gardens in Memphis moments

My mind meanders through the memories of good times, IMGP0060 1 hard times, but thankful that the trials were generally from the worldside in,

not the inside out… IMGP0094Yes, in seasons hard and good, life and color waft in and out, some thoughts  as flotsam scattering the high seas, others as light touches, tiptoeing across Gulf waves.

O this life so full of color…in any season.

Peek a Boo, we see you little singer song writer!

Peek a Boo, we see you peering from the grapevines,  little singer song writer!

This life so full of striking pain, and of sweet surprises…

may we never tire of opening morning sunrises.

They twinkle like gift packages…

that never fail to wink in Hope.

Memphis Botanical Gardens

Memphis Botanical Gardens

the Awakening

IMGP0078 It seemed she could awaken anything…Spring that is,

with her onslaught of showers, sun sprays and gentle taps of wonder…

And I hope with the coming of all things Spring your dreams awaken too

just as she wipes away winter’s sleep from her eyes… to hear IMGP0048 kids  in bare feet

running tip toed

squealing through grassy greens!

And just above birds that can’t get enough

of treble clefs and parks,  where  even solid objects take breath! IMGP0057 1 “Skee dittle to da!”  if metal knees needs a speed limit sign than surely our dreams … can take wings!   IMGP0092 IMGP0027 1 IMGP0130“Peek a boo,” we see you  still in your winter whites all fluffy,

gliding on the Memphis pond. She carries no thoughts of tomorrow just latches hold of Now.

Living Now in the brightest, best way possible.  Birds get it. Children understand it.  Lilies live it!

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  Matthew 6:28 

Consider the LIly final

So Spring or anytime, why don’t we simply consider the lily?  Lay worries aside?

Or maybe  you are soaked in trust and I should just speak for myself…

Me -who has a hard time resting with the lilies

or

running through  grass…in bare tickled toes!

If Spring Could Sing…

If Spring could sing,

she might be twilling in choruses

swirling apple blossoms and grape hyacinths!

Memphis Apple Blossoms!

Memphis Apple Blossoms!

Why, if she could even hum,

then could surely tout out loud about blossoms that never quit on wonder!

In curled stanzas

that jangle in rainbow arches, we’d join the chorus.

Yes, if spring could sing she’d lullaby in rosehips from the rooftops

and shout “Glory!” from the roots up!

Memphis jewels

Memphis jewels

Yes, if spring could entertain, maybe we’d be lulled happy in a

bed of pansies

during the Entr’acte between the Iris blooms and

Fun at the Memphis Botanicals where beds real ly are made up in pansies!

Fun at the Memphis Botanicals where beds really  are made up in pansies!

fresh buds on the wing!

If only spring could sing…

IMGP0009_3

 

Yes, we’d ogle over the arpeggio of budding plants!

Dennis’ radishes coming right along!

She’d twill “Glory!” from the bottom up, maybe

loud enough to wake the Miss Priss, aka Tiger.

(Well, sort of…)

IMGP4919

Miss Priss, aka Tiger, woke as a very angry cat that she has not been featured in a post for a long winter’s time. Well, she slept and slept and slept some more…(type Tiger in the Search box for some of her more colorful moments, especially one Christmas.)

Yes,

sign us up for blooms that dazzle in the day and we’ll together plan for

the  moonflower’s night encore.

 

IMGP0010_2


 Choruses symbiotic to dazzle will carry us through til

glory plucks like a harp.

 

Now did I say “If” spring could sing?

Oh, shame on me, shame… shame on me!

Why, I’m altogether blinded by her chorus!

IMGP0015

 

indoor jewels too!

Kitchen indoor jewels too!

 

Another fun click along the Memphis botanical andante...

Another fun click along the Memphis botanical andante…

Pencils in His Hand…Mother Teresa

 

a study I played around with on Carroll Reevers watercolor bliss in Alice's Adventures.

Note:  credit given below to the original artist who dreamed most of the rabbit’s composition

In a study I played around with  Carroll Weevers’ watercolors found in Alice’s Adventures. His  drawings are rendered in watercolors, mine in acrylic, which I rarely use and then I added the hill in 3-D fun using spackling as the foundational element, acrylic over that medium.

Enjoy the thoughts of creators, on “pencils” and my full piece follows at the end:

A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.  Joyce Meyer

Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

Peter Weever's, Alice and his wonderful paintings!

Peter Weever’s, Alice and his wonderful paintings!

The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser – in case you thought optimism was dead.   Robert Brault

The pencil of the Holy Ghost hath labored more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon.
Francis Bacon

the Weever's composition

the Weever’s composition

Ideas are elusive, slippery things. Best to keep a pad of paper and a pencil at your bedside, so you can stab them during the night before they get away.
Earl Nightingale

I write about myself with the same pencil and in the same exercise book as about him. It is no longer I, but another whose life is just beginning.
Samuel Beckett

One must always draw, draw with the eyes, when one cannot draw with a pencil.
Balthus

 

"Tee hee…I did add the pencils to the border!"

“Skee ditty do!”  study by S. Lugar

“We are all pencils in the hand of God.”  Mother Teresa

 

Out of Ankara…

OIS Ankara Turkey Oasis International School

OIS Ankara Turkey
Oasis International School

IMGP5236

Director Campbell reading to a student

IMGP5157

Earlier on the blog, I shared an iMovie about my fall work trip to Anakara so if you missed that and would like to see some photos to music about that wonderful trip please type OIS Ankara Turkey in the search box.  It’s in the video section:

http://lugarandcompany.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/ois-in-ankara-turkey/

Today I wanted to share a few more pictures about that trip and about leaving  Ankara for Istanbul, around a 7 hour bus  trip. (Above are  OIS school photos!)

Getting to Istanbul was a full adventure for sure!  Along the journey out of Ankara, somewhere in the rural Turkish turf, we had a bus stop break. However,  not knowing the language, I had no idea how long break time was, so I ran to the restroom and parked myself back in front of the bus. Now I know, I had an hour, could have had lunch, lolligagged about Turkish shops and even taken advantage of their outdoor electronic looking soothie vibrater recliners (below).    But, I did not want to miss that ride to Istanbul.  Because if you miss the ride out of “who knows where,” then you could wind up “where no one knows who, especially you” and it would take more than a bandy of angels to get you out…been there, done that.   Word in the puffy whites is that there are no more angels available for any of my future Kabul trips, because it took a slew of them the last two times.  I do realize that here are other things going on in the world.    After the last trip, three sky white-trippers had  nervous breakdowns, a dozen retired…at twenty years young, and the rest were knocking themselves out of my queue for the upcoming Ankara trip.  Those angels probably just needed the pit stop auto recliners.

Rest break recliners

Rest break recliners

Now out of Ankara,  it was a full fledged sleek-slick Mercedez Benz bus package, complete with a tailored host who came with the push of a button.  At one’s beck and buzz, the steward handed out water and juice and then helped those who were throwing up, water and juice.  After the many, many rural hours of nobby goats, a few sheep, and a lot of dust, we arrived at the metropolis of Istanbul. We proceeded to ride around it, about two hours, dropping people off.  At this point, I began to wonder, “Now exactly where do I get off?”  Most of the bus stops were fine, one even had Big Macs, (I refrained) but when we got to one in the borderline slums, they decided for me, where I was to get off.   Hello world!

IMGP5358

Full drama insert here with hand gestures reading, “YOU get off this bus NOW!” Ok, ok, and luggage lay dumped on the side of the bus.  There were many Turkish excited voices yelling about things, tons of people and no English on board this displacement arena, except, “Airport! Airport! Airport!” and “Transfer!”  Somehow this was not in the fine lines of this travel agreement…or then again,maybe it was.   They are yelling for me to get on a dilapidated small city bus, yes, for the “transfer -airport!”  Of course that is nowhere near where I need to go (at this time)  but I don’t know where I am in relation to the hotel.  I would have jumped in a cab but I could have been $200.00 US dollars away from the hotel and was not too keen on taking that chance.

IMGP5291

Now enters the grace of having friend Harold’s maps in my hand and I thought, well, if I can get to the airport then I can metro (subway) out of there (reminder: huge bag and carry on plus purse, stuffed now in this little city bus).  This leg is minus the push button host that brings water or juice.  And if you throw up, I don’t think anyone really cares. Oh, yeah, the fun is on and I know I’m going way out of the way to try and get to a known spot:  airport.  Bystanders are esctatic to have successfully thrown me onto a bus to the airport and off I went.  For them, mission accomplished and rumblings of the Halleluh chorus jumbled over the bus’ exhaust.  For me: the drama is on! Sometime later, I arrive…at the airport.

looking into Istanbul

looking into Istanbul

It was indeed a wonderful thing. You’ve seen the movie, “Airport?”  Well, I felt in the makings of “Busport.”  I just knew that I was going to have to find a way to pitch a tent, in a bus, and just live there, riding around Istanbul the rest of life… I’m sure that Tom Hanks had some coffee in between scenes…. Oh well…

IMGP5005

zinnias from the floral market in Ankara

IMGP5293IMGP5300

Now I needed to get back into the old town of Istanbul where the hotel was.  Meanwhile at the airport, a stewardess on the run sent me to a parking garage, said it was the Metro, and then after arriving, a man sent me out, said it was the parking garage.  Some while later, still dragging luggage around the airport, a man sent me back to where the stewardess had sent me and I boarded the metro.  Are you confused?  Well, just a tad. After a while, the little Turkish  token man helped me study my map and try and figure out where I was going,  Insert with southern slang:  “Mercy Miss Agnes!”

Thankfully and some while later, on the Metro, I met three teen Turkish girls who were going, sort of my way.

IMG_0289

One was quite good with English, and all wanted to practice English so blessings, the ninth hour of travel was off to a good start.  Then, after some English chatting and smiling, they left and told me to “Transfer” train lines.  Oh, I don’t like that word.  This means fresh and mysterious confusion, every time. I must start over with buying a token, pushing buttons on the machine that is Turkish.  It was a guessing game, until, a college person came to my rescue.  He managed to retrieve a token and asked me where I was going and then said, “You did not need to transfer; get back on the same line; you do not need a new token.”  Wonderful, well I needed another little diversion after this 10 hours travel so far, always can use a stretch break, and a worthless (to me) colored token.  Now to  get right back on the same train line.

IMGP5390

Eventually, I arrived at the station closest to my hotel and planned to get a cab from there.  But, I can’t get the luggage through the turn stile.  Thankfully, in time and creativity, they do have ways of working things out.  I did not have to spend the night at the unexitable exit gate:  good news.

Upon exit, a  more than energetic taxi driver races to greet me as if I am the long, lost cousin, (right about the first part) and is falling all over himself to help me.  I know I’m only about three miles from the hotel (map is  helpful) and can somewhat gage price fares in Lira.  “Overcharge” is rolling in all caps, spinning his eyes like strobe lights at a high school party.  At this point, it is the principle of the matter.  I’ve just been on a forever bus trip  through Biblical terrain that would make you want to hug Paul and buy him new sandals, an eternal city bus trek, a Metro experience, we’ll say, and I have been all about being frugal.  No one is  going to burst my bubble now.

IMGP5296
“The hotel is VERY close,” I said to him.

“Lots- traffic!” he waves wildly like a cornered bird.

“I’ll walk.” I said.

“Busy time of day!” he argued.

“My luggage has wheels…”

“I’ll bargain,” he said.

We negotiated…

… and we came to a very pleasant understanding of how much it should cost to go three miles, or so.

And off we went, to sit in traffic …about an hour…to go three miles.

IMGP5040

He received a smile, his fare, a tip and a free token for the train…should he ever want to go three miles, quickly!

Where is Tom Hanks when you need him?  Napping in the airport, I guess…

IMGP5325

IMGP5289

Winter’s Kiss…in Staccato Pops

Winter’s  Kiss…

The pewter sky thumps against black birds skirting through clouds.

Another chilled morning rakes plants with a kiss of warmer promises…

Hopefully a sign of things to come!

Hopefully a sign of things to come!

Here in Mississippi, nature’s still delivering the February goods: cold, damp days, but nothing can squelch the beauty of winter,

not even the cold.

Through the icy frills, berries of fresh wonder pop against evergreens.  The winter palette simply refreshes color, in new waves.

And now as we are probing around (30 something degrees here in the South) scrounging for that “invincible summer” a poet once mentioned, we must find it in the soul.  The temperatures refuse to lend a degree our way. And may we find it indeed, and bask in those sun dipped thoughts that lend peace, joy, comfort for those in hard times, hope for the hopeless. It’s the only the kind of genuine care one finds, regardless of the temperature.

And all the while, underneath the crunch of snapping twigs, tiny limbs tangle in the frozen web.

Surprise! Scraping against a cold palette, bright crimson berries bubble pop against evergreen wisps.  In stacco like pitches they interrupt the drill of cold.  Crisp branches house cardinals, berries fill the bellies of birds…

Lugar birdsnest

Lugar bird’s nest

who work and never pause, to worry…

Be encouraged!

Be encouraged!

And all the while, underearth the cold tundra, bulbs  and all manner of roots lie in coyish patience, as if they are not going to once again, pull out the props,

come Spring.

With Spring comes drama…with drama,

Lugar Daylily, my Mother's love of florals

Lugar Daylily, my Mother’s love of florals

comes a curtain pulled back in reminders of

Lugar photo from a trip to Alabama, home state

Lugar photo from a trip to Alabama, home state

hope.

But for now, bulbs  sleep underground in frozen brownish outerwear, preparing to disrobe their boring wrap.  They will soon push up golden daffodil blooms, and brightly dressed tulips.

And right behind them all kinds of colors will sing through even warmer months.

looking forward to this backyard birdbath  pleasure again

looking forward to this backyard birdbath pleasure again

Soon, as we ogle over fields glazed in blanket tops of bluebonnets and grape hyacinth, maybe we will understand a wee bit more about,

why we needed winter…