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Oh Dear! A Deer!

21 Jul

The other day my dogs went hunting. They chased an adolescent deer all over 2 and a half acres of our yard. They cornered it over and over. Each time it fled, sometimes jumping over them. I took photos and movies I wonder if I can add a video on this post? (NOT)

That deer was headed in my direction.
That deer was headed in my direction.

It was alarming because I was nearly helpless. Having come home from work early, I was planning to go to the market. So it was logical to let the dogs out first for a romp. My first indication that there was trouble came with the high pitched “hunting” howl that my 10 lb dachshund Sisi uses when hunting animals. I heard it and worried right away that she was on the hunt. I knew she would not be happy until some small animal was dead.

For a few minutes, I did nothing about it, just went back inside and sorted mail and took my extensive list of vitamins. Then in a few more minutes looked out of the door. Its floor to ceiling glass panes gave me a clear view of the yard -no dogs in sight.

I felt I had better see what they were up to, out there. When I opened that door and stepped out onto the flagstone terrace, I could hear that high pitched cry of little Sisi. Her distinctive hunting voice is hard on the ears; high pitched does not even come close to describing the decibel strength of her voice. She was clearly moving fast. I stepped out into the grass beyond the terrace, walked to the gateway separating the two sides. The brick wall divides the two halves of the yard. Covered with vines and climbing roses, it is a visual barrier and focal point. On top, at intervals, sit urns full of geraniums. The wrought iron gate is open all the time, but it makes a barrier even so. A muted turquoise paint coats the wrought iron, wide spaces in between the struts allow a good view. I walked through carefully, looking around to see if there might be more to see than just flowers. Then I saw them! Down near the pool, the little reddish short hair dachshund bitch, my larger black and tan long-haired boy, Magnus hunting. A young deer still marked with the white spots of a fawn though he was clearly not a baby any longer ran before them. When I called to the dogs, they faltered and the deer ran directly in my direction until it was nearly upon me. Then, seeing me, it wheeled around and went back the way it had come jumping over the dogs who were confused by the change in direction. I got the whole thing on my camera. Quite a movie it is but my lack of skill does not allow me to post it.

The dogs followed after the fawn, relentlessly. I could not stop them. The chase continued, back and forth for several minutes. It was HOT! Humid and well over 90 degrees the sun beat down as it does in Washington DC in midsummer. Finally, the deer and pack of two dogs came back a different way but still in my direction. When the small dachshund got just past me, she more or less collapsed on the ground panting. I scooped her up and took her in the house. I left Magnus outside because there was no way I could carry both of them. I knew he was not as overheated as Sisi. So I brought her into the house. She almost threw herself on the ground next to a water dish and began lapping up water from the bowl, at a rapid rate. She was dehydrated and exhausted. After she drank her fill, I took her and held her in the pantry sink, running a shower of cool water over her body. She was so hot when I began. Later, I could feel the temperature dropping after the water had been pouring over her for a few minutes. Then I dried her off. She seemed cooler and calmer.

My exhausted 10 lb. hunting dog.


I left her in the house and went outside where I could see the deer standing stock still near the fish pond. I wondered why he did not drink from it. When I got to the other side of the wall, the answer was clear. Magnus was in a standoff with the deer. He and the fawn both staring at each other and each refusing to budge. I was finally able to chase Magnus towards the house and ultimately to catch him. And I drove him with words to the door, opened it and shoved him inside. The deer followed us. And he stood beside to the trunk of the ancient oak tree still standing in the center of the yard. I was tempted to give him water, but I knew he could drink either from the fish pond or the pool. So I fought my wish to help him. I just wanted him to leave my yard. Living in Washington, D. C. must be hard for deer. On the other hand, there are extensive parks in which to hide. They crisscross the city and can support a lot of wildlife.

Cornered but not caught. The deer got away when I managed to take the dogs inside.
Cornered but not caught. The deer got away when I managed to take the dogs inside.


I did not let the dogs out again that night. Somehow they both held themselves in and did not soil my rugs even though they did not get to go out before bed. When we came downstairs the next morning, there was no deer to be found. I hope his mother came back to rescue him. I hope she joined him in an escape from our yard. All is well that ends well.

Copyright©. 2019 Bonnie B. Matheson

Meditations

14 May

I was at an elegant dinner party recently where I met an interesting young man named Devron Johnson.  He spoke with such good sense about the world today, we have continued our discourse.

He emailed me about his writing, asking for suggestions for staying focused (Haha!!! I am not focused most of the time, but I have learned some tricks.)

“I have been studying the Philosophy of Stoicism and the teachings of Marcus Aurelius since I was in middle school…Maybe this is why I tend to see things without too much emotion and clouded judgement.” He said.

Marcus Aurelius, I should have known! Devron is an intellectual. He has an open mind, it is splendid to see such in a young black man of the 2000s.

(Especially in the era of Black Lives Matter, because those people do not appear to read anything except violent, angry material. What interests them are attacks against white people who really are not nearly as prejudiced as themselves.)

The Meditations are marvelous. Perhaps it would be helpful to young people if some schools or parents or police or some form of authority, tried to forbid kids to read about the Stoics. Certainly, Meditations is seditious information because by using it for instruction a man can control himself and therefore he can control others (especially if they have not read it). Perhaps if it were forbidden they would flock to read it and learn some of the greatest lessons ever taught.

Sigh.

Not going to happen, but I am impressed that he read Marcus Aurelius in middle school.  He must have had a mentor or a really good teacher or divine help with his reading. (I am only partly kidding about the Divine help.)
Here is a link to his blog: https://knwhre.wixsite.com/mysite
“As for the not playing victim. Being a victim or playing victim will never help or improve anybody or any situation. I think that is the problem for a lot of millennials (my generation), and ethnicities (specifically Black people) who were once oppressed. Yes there is still racism, sexism, classicism, etc. However, there has been a lot of improvement and it should not be used as a crutch today. “ he added.

I agree with everything he said about victimhood.  Not useful.  And anyone who sees themselves as a victim gives power to the thing or entity by whom they feel victimized.

It is NOT the same thing but there is still some discrimination against women. I have been privileged my entire life and yet even I have experienced it.

And then, of course, there was the sexual harassment which we all grew up with in my time. It was not even remarked upon.  It was just ‘the way it was’.  But most women had their ways of combating it.  Most women were not as downtrodden as young women today appear to believe we were. 

Women stuck together.  Women basically controlled the family, even though the man might bring home the money.  Women raised their sons and daughters and a lot of men practically worshipped their mothers.  Women did OK for the most part.  

It is only NOW when they are educated and independent that they seem to feel like such victims. They have become whining snowflakes. It is unbecoming, to our sex. I have absolutely NO patience with it.  Women are NOT second class citizens. They never were even before we had the vote.  We had our ways.  We have always been able to run circles around men. We think differently. It is a gift or perhaps it is evolution. We have evolved for survival’s sake to know how to protect ourselves and generally get our way.

Copyright©. 2019 Bonnie B. Matheson

Out with the Old, in with the New

9 Jan

Out with the Old, in with the New

It is over. Christmas passed by, and here we are already into the New Year of 2019. Now, Twelfth Night is done and it is beginning to be a little bit lighter each day.

Taking it all down, putting it all away, starting a new fresh year, even while trudging up to the attic and down to the basement, getting things out of the way. It is a bit ironic. Start fresh, but not for a few days. Right now, much of the house is clear of decorations, but the dining room table is full of every thing taken from the other rooms. These decorations in my mother’s house are sometimes as old as I am. Some of them are from my earliest childhood. I wish I knew their stories. Where did those Art Deco angels come from? A whole choir of them sit in the window near the front door. When I was very little, they sang on the dining room table. They are reassuring to me. Time passes, but some things remain the same.

Fresh starts are marvelous. We can always start fresh. But, the New Year makes a logical place to begin anew. And since I am not as fastidious and neat as my mother, I need excuses. My latest book has been languishing as a rather boring first draft, since October. I have not touched it since then. But NOW, I am ready. It is time to add the meat and the spice to that first effort. It is something like cooking from scratch. The first draft is a rich, but bland soup stock. It is sitting, simmering, ready to be changed into something much more interesting and tasty to read. There are many lessons to be learned in the book, but they are subtle. They don’t shout about their benefits. You could call them the meat of the soup.

Next comes the spice. The fun stuff, some gossip, some speculation, and some outright shocking stories that may, or may not, be family stories, or those of close friends.The question always is; “How much do I want to upset my family?” How much spice shall I add? The spice is the best part, in my opinion. But, there is more to the soup than meat and spice.

There are the veggies, these are good for you and useful. Like life tips gained from living a full life, and surviving. Younger readers might gain an insight here or there and older readers may identify. They need to be part of the story, whether it is anyone’s favorite part or not. I am good at mixing things together to make a delicious stew or soup. I am betting that the end result will be fun to read, informative and in the very best cases, life changing.

Of course I suppose that is what every writer craves to hear. “You changed my life.!” Those words are magic. Magic for me, as well as the speaker. And it has happened to me before. That is why I know how exciting it is to hear them.

Back when my entire focus was on childbirth, I was able to really help some women empower themselves. They were hungry for some support in their beliefs about giving birth. I was right there, with as much information as they were ready for. And in some cases they heard me and they took action. Those are the ones who later told me what I wanted so much to hear. They told me that if it were not for my council they would not have dared change doctors, or hospital or they would never have dared hire a midwife. Not everyone needed that knowledge, but for those wanted it, I was available with books and contacts and my own story of empowerment. Those were happy times.

Now, I am a different sort of “pregnant” and getting ready to birth a book. A book about my life and it’s transformation over the last 4 years from desperately unhappy, to a joyful existence in the same place, with the same cast of characters that made me miserable before. Now every day is a good day. I want to share that journey with others.

Copyright©.  2019 Bonnie B. Matheson

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