Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Karma in the Mirror by Teri Saya

I sit in front of the mirror, applying age defying makeup,
covering my Mother's laugh and worry lines.
I see parts of her in me, the way I remembered her.
She had a beautiful, crooked smile, dark hair, and alabaster skin.
Her blue eyes and cheekbones reflect mine in the mirror.
Although, I am not as beautiful as she was.

But, in remembering, guilt and shame raises its ugly head.
I remember how self-centered I was,
And how I treated her when she would call me from her tiny apartment 450 miles away.
She was desperately lonely and wanted to talk to her eldest daughter.
She wanted to know how my life was going, if all was well, how the grandchildren were.
I would answer with small, vague words.
Then, I half listened to her telling me about what had been happening in her life.
The phone on my shoulder, my hands busy making lunch, dressing the baby, or doing the dishes.
I would lower the volume on the TV, but still watch it while she spoke.
I only noticed when there was a sudden silence on the other end.
"You’re not listening to me, are you.”
This I hear loud and clear.
"Well of course I am Mom."
She calls me on it. "Ok, what did I just tell you?"
"Uuhm." is all I can say. I am embarrassed and put out a small chuckle.
"I’m sorry Mom, I'm just a little distracted at the moment."
I can hear the disappointment in her voice.
 "Ok, I'll let you go. Maybe I'll call you later....or you could call me?" she asks hopefully.
"I love you Mom, I'll call you later."
"I love you too honey, I'll talk to you later, goodbye."
Her voiced has lost its strength.

Tears well up and smudge my freshly applied mascara.
I had taken my sweet time calling her back.
My sister calls two weeks later to tell me Mom is in the hospital.
Her Emphysema had taken its toll.

My Mother has been with God fifteen years now.
I had avoided the love she tried to pour out to me,
The love I had taken for granted during my adult life.

I step away from the mirror and pick up my phone.
I call one of my sons.
“Hi Mom, I gotta call you back. Someone just came to the door.”
I call my other son.
“Leave a message…beep!”
“Hey sweetie, I just called to see what you’re up to. I haven’t heard from you in a while.
You know my number, call me when you can, ok?”
I call my third son.
His mailbox is full and I cannot leave a message.
I call my fourth son.
His phone has been disconnected.
I e-mail and Facebook all four of my sons.
No response.

I picture my Mom nodding her head with a sad little smile.

I make excuses, as a Mother will.
“But they are all very busy with their lives”…… I begin.

Then I glance in the mirror once more…..hello karma.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Observation, Creating a Story or an Article from the Odd Things you Notice

This sign is posted at our local La Estancia Park just down the street from us.The dog looks like one of those from the Disney movie "101 Dalmations" and I'm not sure what's in his mouth...an eraser? Anyway, it basically reads;

"Your dog forgets nothing,
it is you who forgets
your responsibility
to collect their excrement."
From the Board settlers

It is a very nice park with lots of trash cans and most neighbors pay attention to this sign.

Below is a short article I wrote a while back about this very subject.

Baggie Blooms
by Teri Saya

If you walk through a lot of the neighborhood parks here in Guadalajara, you will notice that the trees and bushes are blooming baggies. The first time I noticed this was when my husband and I were exploring our new neighborhood, and while strolling along a path in a beautiful park, I noticed odd-looking blooms on some of the trees and bushes. Upon closer examination, the blooms turned out to be small, plastic baggies tied into the branches all along the trail. How very odd, I thought. Maybe it's an artistic statement? We had never encountered this in the states. We were both clueless until we decided to get a puppy.

Not only am I a Gringa in Mexico, but I am also learning how to live in the city. I was born and raised in the country, and in my adult life; I always stuck to rural living in California. I have always had a dog or three in my life, and whenever we went for walks, it would be off leash, through the forest or along the beach. I always taught my dogs not to do their business on a trail or walkway. They knew to go in the bushes or high grass where it would go unnoticed and eventually, washed away by rain. If we were anywhere near an asphalt road, I made sure they were leashed. This is actually a law in the states. You never know when a dog might see a cat or squirrel across the road and dart out into what little traffic there might be….So, I knew these basic, rural etiquettes for walking dogs.

The etiquette for city-walking your dog is so very different. We have now learned how to walk our Schnauzer on a short leash while maneuvering the obstacle course of people, skateboards, bicycles, motorcycles, buses, cars, and street drains. Pretty much, anywhere you look, anyone can walk. Thus, the beauty of the baggie blooms and abundance of trash bins. We have even added our own blooms upon leaving the park.

How often do you walk out of the door with your pet forgetting the poop bags? Head for the nearest neighborhood park, the shrubbery is in bloom!

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