Wednesday, August 8, 2012

No Time for Scrutiny

      Hindsight is a bitch waving a flaming road flare. My brain is still running circles around Dad’s final weeks. Grief sneaks up on me when I least expect it setting off a torrent of tears. The cemetery where I picked up Dad’s ashes took me by surprise.  Heartfelt despair surfaced like a volcanic gas bubble in a tar pit. One stupid little sprinkler attached to a crusty hose spurted water into a clump of leaning headstones on the failing lawn. The futility of that sad little scene sparked a well of sorrow and I sobbed until I dripped snot. Stepping over broken pavement I got to my car hugging the metal box in a plastic shopping bag.   

     Dad was as frugal in life as in death. I don’t know what I expected, anything but derelict motor homes lined up outside a bent chain link fence. Maybe they hold swap meets on the weekend to make ends meet. Dad prepaid for the cremation plan and it should have been no surprise that he ferreted out the best deal. The gal behind the counter didn’t try to sell me on any of the dusty urns on the shelves in the lobby even though she looked like nothing would faze her. I liked her, she was genuine. No doubt she could wrestle a rabid bull to the ground, which may be a job requirement in a neighborhood of abandoned buildings, crack addicts and bus conversions unfit for one more trip to Burning Man. 

     Budget cremation outfits don’t hire handsome guys in Armani suits to fawn over weeping relatives. Tasteful buildings reminiscent of Swiss chalets were notably absent and maybe a total lack of charm was a good thing, although at the time I would have settled for garden gnomes. What better place to experience the overwhelming finality of losing my Dad. Nobody in the vicinity noticed one more person having a lousy day. The anonymous neighborhood, saturated with the misery of hard times, simply absorbed a little more.   

A Much Needed Break

       My sister and I took a surreal break from reality to visit her friend’s sculpture ranch in Suisun Valley. She’s part of an art show that takes place at the ranch in October, but you’d have to wrangle an invitation from her. The event is so popular they have to control the numbers and just to say, art buyers are given first dibs. Phillip was busy with yet another monumental project so he left us to our own devices, hence the photo op on the giant microscope. Thanks Mernie!  
Phil Glashoff with one of his creations

I want one!

sculptures of recycled metal junk line the paths on many acres

Liberty Bell

it really is freaking huge!

in the studio

along the driveway

and in the cow pasture, this guy must not have a real job :)

the donkey is the zebra's girlfriend

check out the car

they even spill over onto the roadside and line the valley in the way of mailboxes

this is a wind vain, the key keeps the grill into the wind

his and hers

I'll need this next time I live on an island with out of control dogs!

an acre of raw material

El Greco and stationary friend


  1. Catherine: I met you once at Mernie's class. You are one of the true heroes I have met in my life. Sandy

  2. I'm trying to think of another surreal distraction for you. What we need is a furry baby critters petting zoo.

  3. it's so good to see you here, read you here. even in grief, you have taught me so much. I love you Catherine for the beautiful soul that you are.

  4. Thank you, from my heart, your thoughts and kindness matter so much and you made me smile!