Me (waving goodbye), 2013
Me (touching a rainbow)
And so, my year long blog comes to an end.
In the very early days of my blog, Lisa and Nancy were displeased by a story I wrote, a story that included them. They told me that I needed to be very careful in what I wrote when it came to others unless I had their permission. They even warned me that I could be sued. This advice made me have to rethink my writing, thus, in most cases, I removed last names from my stories, and I felt myself treading very carefully when it came to what I wrote about whom. In other words, when it came to friends, I censored a lot of my memories. However, this caused me to focus even more on myself and my personal journey, my experiences and feelings, so on some level I think it was a good thing.
When I started this blog, I decided that I would tell the honest truth about myself, the good, the bad and the ugly, and I believe I have done that. In every story I have told, I tried my best to be totally open and honest about myself, even if what I wrote was less than flattering.
I’ve said this from the beginning, and I will say it again, I am not a very good writer. I am severely dyslexic and I have horrible grammar, but, just the same, I have forged on and I think to some degree I have become a better writer, at least a better story teller. Just like my work in music, this blog was created to be a personal work of art from me, maybe not the best work of art, but I did put my heart and soul into it.
For those of you who have faithfully followed my blog, I want to sincerely thank you for your support, and for those of you who have only occasionally read my blog, I also thank you for your support, although you have missed a lot of deeply personal stories that I will probably never share again, however, as I suspect this blog will remain online for some time, you can always go back and read what you missed.
In closing I want to thank all the people who have allowed me to share my life with you including Dee Dee, Terry and Rex, Marc and Cheri, Raymond and Ociel, Cindy, Clare, Marc O., Robert S., Lisa and Nancy, Billy Ingram, Jeff A., Seth, Chris and Margie, Miss K, Eva and Jeff, Betty J., Greg M., Louie, Bill and Cathie, Dave Wade Stein, my parents, my sister, my brother, Mom Taylor, Pop Taylor, Mike Russell, Jack Marquette, Doug Moody, Peter and Gary, Jessica, Craig, Paul and Sel, Jay L., Ed and Rick, Clint D., Marnie Weber, Paisley, Aunt Marjorie, Eliza, Sandi, Sally, Jay and Ryan, Andre, Mark and Liz, Danny Darko, Roy F., Joanna and Wes, Mary M., Todd, Ian, Mandy, Michelle B., Marr-lynn, Dev, Rico, Lynnie, Jimmy D., Egbert, Shirlie, Heathen John, Spike, Kirby Z., Summer, Steve S., Denny M., Beth N., Ricci S., and so many other friends and family who have been dear to me over the years of my life. Most of all, I want to thank Spider (James Allan Taylor), the man who makes my life worth living.
Special thanks to Monk Bucket (who came up with my blog title) and to those friends who wrote guest blogs for me.
Also a special pat on the head to Frappy, Monkey, Cheyenne, Pumquat and Ginkmo.
Okay, this has been my life on parade and now it comes to an end, though trust me, my life ain’t over until it’s over! I wish you all lots of love and peace and happiness in your own parades!
Petroglyphs (carved by prehistoric Hokokam people), Saguaro National Park
Me (holding Frappy), Cindy and Spider, 2013
Robert, Cindy and Spider (holding Frappy), 2013
Today is warm and slightly windy. I have the back sliding glass door open to let in some fresh air. I can hear our wind chimes. Whenever the weather gets warm like this, I think of spring and my youth. They say the next two weeks are the best time to see desert wildflowers and we can see them popping up all along the sides of the roads here in Oro Valley.
Yesterday Spider and I along with Cindy and Robert (and Frappy) went for a picnic in the desert (something we had originally planned to do last weekend for my birthday but it was too cold). The day was sunny and bright with a few faint clouds, the sky was turquoise blue. We drove way out into the desert by way of dirt road to my favorite hidden spot, a picnic area with ramadas fashioned out of rock, mesquite tress and saguaro ribs built by Civilian Conservation Corps workers back in the 1930’s under the Roosevelt administration. We had a cement table which we covered with a tablecloth and a lunch spread consisting of fresh bread, various cheeses, pickles, olives, potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw and watermelon along with a couple of bottles of wine that Cindy brought. After a nice and leisure meal, we drove further down the dirt road to another picnic area with a trailhead. We walked the short trail up and around a rocky hill to the top which had magnificent views of the desert (hundreds of tall saguaro cactus trees as far as one could see) and a pile of boulders covered in ancient petroglyphs carved by prehistoric Hokokam people. All in all, it was a beautiful afternoon, just what I needed.
I talked with Raymond by phone this afternoon and he and Ociel are hoping to go to Paris this fall about the same time we are going to New York.
I’ve been thinking more and more about our planned trip to New York City in early October with Marc and Cheri, and the more I think about it, the more excited I get. I find myself thinking about all the things I would love do and see (the Empire State building, the Chrysler building, the Statue of Liberty, the Met, the Top of the Rock, the Guggenheim, Central Park, Grand Central Station, Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge). As Spider and I are always so broke, the plan is to do our trip on the cheap. We will be sharing a room, taking the subway, walking through different neighborhoods (just taking it all in), and eating at inexpensive places. Gee, I wonder if they have Taco Bell restaurants in New York!
Spider’s Motown band is progressing really nicely. He’s been making recordings of their rehearsals and listening to them at home and they sound awesome. Both Ian and Todd are kick-ass players and Mandy’s voice is very, very impressive. Dance Garden has been asked to play a party for some friends which would be a great way to start off (and give them a chance to iron out any kinks before they start playing in clubs), but unfortunately the date is the same evening that we have tickets for Rachel Maddow. However, there is a second party in the making as well. Bottom line is that I’m really happy for Spider. Putting together this band was a struggle and there were times that Spider wanted to throw in the towel, but he stuck with it and now it’s all coming together. Most important is that they have become like a family.
I was sort of freaking out about going to Spider’s mom’s funeral on Thursday. I hate funerals, too dark and sad for me to deal with, but Cindy reminded me that it’s not only to show respect for Mom Taylor, but also to support the family and show our appreciation to Bev and Lee (for the years they spent taking care of Mom). I guess she is right. Now I’m thinking that I would actually like to get up and say a little something about Mom, about how she was more than just a mom to her children, but also a mom to everyone who knew her, sort of the ultimate mom. Just don’t know if I have the nerve to speak in front of so many people (as I think there are going to be a lot of people there).
Tomorrow I’m going to end this year long blog. Several friends have asked me to continue writing this journal of my life (and I appreciate their support), but to be honest, I’m ready to move on to other creative endeavors. As I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way), everything comes to an end.
Me and Pumquat, 1972
Mom Taylor’s funeral is going to be on Thursday. We will drive out to L.A. on Wednesday and drive back on Friday. We are so broke right now that money is a big concern. Luckily Dee Dee and Paul have offered to share a hotel room with us, so that will help with the cost. Spider and I are both doing okay, sad of course about the loss, but grateful that Mom is in a better place. For the past couple of years she had no quality of life. Spider is keeping busy with projects around the house, his way of keeping his mind off things.
I wrote to my mother and told her about Spider’s mom passing and my mother sent me the following poem (a poem that my grandmother had loved): A rose once grew where all could see, sheltered beside a garden wall. As the days passed swiftly by, it spread its branches straight and tall. One day a beam of light shone through a crevice that had spread wide. The rose bent gently toward its warmth, then passed to the other side. Now you who deeply feel your loss, be comforted, the rose blooms there. Its beauty ever greater now, nurtured by God’s own loving care.
Tomorrow we are going on a desert picnic and hike along with Cindy and Robert. We were supposed to go last weekend, but canceled do to bad weather. This weekend the weather is gorgeous.
Pumquat was our cat for 17 years. She was an orange tabby and her name came from combining the words pumpkin and cumquat (okay, okay, I was stoned when I named her). Pumquat wasn’t a very affectionate cat. In fact she hated to be held and we could only pet her on her terms when she was in the mood. However, whenever our friend Greg M. came for a visit, she had to get in his lap. He was the only one she did that with and poor Greg was terribly allergic to cats! Pumquat lived with us in five different apartments over the years and was basically an indoor cat most of her life, that is until the last year of her life when we bought our first house, then we would let her go out in the backyard where she would lay in the sunshine under the lemon tree. I wrote the Red Wedding song “Somewhere” in honor of Pumquat. Funny, during the last six months of her life, Pumquat suddenly became very affectionate with us. It was like she knew that she wasn’t long for the world, and only then did she show us her love. I still miss Pumquat, just as I miss Cheyenne and Monkey. They were all my babies.
Well, the Catholic Church got a new pope a couple of days ago, Pope Francis from Argentina. It should be noted that Pope Francis (along with the Catholic Church) was instrumental in leading the opposition to gay marriage in Argentina, but he lost the battle and Argentina became the first country in South America to approve of gay marriage. The question is, why should any religious organization be able to use their personal beliefs to deny anyone their civil rights? Here in the states, next to the Mormon church, the Catholic Church has spent big money over the years to defeat any sort of gay rights. I say they can all go fuck themselves.