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(A Morgan-Franquemont reunion about 1951) Click the pic for a larger view.

Maybe I thought my sister might drop me—why else would I be crying?—pretty sure that’s my best diaper.

Remember being young for just a minute. There’s no hassle waiting to destroy the next minute, no bus, train, plane to catch or deadline to meet. No, you’re just young. Your skin is soft without a blemish and your hair shines like  grass after a brief rain.  You’ve learned to comb your hair but your not exactly sure why you do it. There’s no need to worry and everything feels right once your parents are home; the fire place sets itself and your dog is always fed. T.V. goes on past bedtime but you’ve seen everything you wanted to see and the day has come and gone like any other. Dreams come and go like the wind without cause or problem or forecast direction.

Everything just is. Do you remember now? Shoes or belts seemed useless unless you were playing dress-up.

(Our Son-in-Law running after his son.)

The world is an empty beach to run with dad close behind.

The sky is endless and full of mysterious clouds to watch as they drift by.

(My cousin’s son, Ross Franquemont, takes a selfie as he flies by the Northern lights in his U-2 plane.)

Remember the first time you stared at the clear night sky and realized there were more and more stars to see up above as your eyes adjusted to the blackness. Remember the morning dew on your bare feet. This is about the time you discovered ,’brain-freeze.’

There was so much to take in and share with your cousins and friends.

A la speed-o suit; that’s me.(Morgan dock at Lake Bonaparte-about 1956) ( AND… the person who edits this glob weekly* asked a good question: why am I the only one wearing a bathing suit? The dock is clearly wet?!?! Hmmmm)

Days come as easily as picking up a pencil. The scribbling on the paper wears a smile and it seems your masterpiece is, in fact, a heroic depiction of something meaningful to older folks—it’s some miraculous sketch of objects you’ve yet to see or a panorama of places everyone hopes to go. It’s good to be loved. Daylight loves you; nighttime is a blanket. The rain sounds loud upon the window pane and snow dances in street lights with winds that come from the moon you can’t see.  The pets always sleep on your bed.

Everyday is safe. Every night is cozy. You get along with other  kids, even with those who seem so different!

Being young harbors within it a certain kind of peaceful hope.

(View of Lake Bonaparte from our ‘half-way’ dock.)

Without notice, you assume the older folks will always be here.

Life seems a garden of acceptance.

You can wear any hat you want when you’re young!

(And on Youth Services hat day because we could.)

Routines begin to form. If it rains, you stay inside. If it is sunny you go out. Parents rush off in the morning and come back later after your nap but you’re never really alone, not that you’ve noticed or ever thought about. Tooth brushing is a daily important thing, not the best, but you watch as globs of toothpaste slide out of your mouth onto your cheeks around your out-stretched smile in the mirror and it tastes sweet. Tooth paste types change from being white, then striped, sometimes dotted or with a hidden line of stuff surrounded by white. You just do it.

You think broccoli may kill you but not if you eat just a bit. Vegetables are stupid but they’re the gateway to dessert.

I once thought food first filled my feet, legs, then my middle section, then my arms and finally my head: that’s when I was full. I made sure to save room in my head for dessert.  People talked over dinner but mostly we all came to eat. Someone would say something funny and we’d laugh but always, without fail, my dog’s head was near my lap, soft, warm, nudging my legs occasionally for that bit of something I didn’t care to eat or wanted to slip him anyway.

I hadn’t a care when I was young. Music filled the air and dancing had no steps, just movement.

Of course, I learned later in life that my life was not a universal experience. No, while I was in college there were children in Vietnam who awoke in the night to run out of their homes in fear Napalm bombs would hit their homes and burn them alive as it had some of their friends the night before. And other children weren’t lucky enough to live at all but died without ever knowing what a refrigerator was. Somehow, learning the truthful horror about some life on earth during my twenties put much of my childhood experience in a time-capsule that I cemented in a corner stone of myself.  My memories were too good sometimes to be shown in the face of another’s reality.

I’d been given so much and never knew. I’d been raised in the midst of modest but successful homes full of choices, flavors, designs, music,  friends and surrounded by mowed yards and shoveled driveways all owned by smiling people.

If you’re life was like mine, it’s okay. It’s okay that we may have been born some of the luckiest people on earth. Thing is, now it’s our time to give thanks. Now, if we haven’t already, it’s time for us to payback life anyway we can.  We have to fight for what we believe is best for this earth and give thanks to those who died for our right to do so. If we have something to teach, we have to do it. I think Thanksgiving has never seen a generation who has more to be thankful for than mine. Now, more than ever before, it’s time for my generation to stand up and speak about what we feel is right.

My generation owes the World a difference.

We can do this. It’s time to be young again, strong, wide-eyed, questioning and full of spirit. Spirits don’t age like our bodies, not really. Look in that mirror as you did as a child and see your face, see your smile and remember who you really are. You’re one who can make a difference.

We all can get along; we have to get along and help each other prosper—this is our task and purpose.

Franque23—Happy Thanksgiving.

*Barbara Mullenix gets all the credit for anything spelled correctly in these globs and none of the blame for all the rest….

 

 

 

 


Okay, I get it: we’re all different. Thing is, how different?

Of course I know it’s almost Thanksgiving, a time for food fetish feasting…so it’s the perfect time for this glob.

Let’s just get to it—I feel like I’m one guy yelling in the wind.  “– One-third of Americans have taken part in some sort of fetish or kink play.”* I may be a complete loser when it comes to the fetish game.  Apparently, I was born on another planet and merely shipped here to keep a sense of balance in the polls, not sure.

Thing is, why do people nibble toes?  Yes, people love to do this and it’s in plenty of movies, but why toes? Basically toes sweat in socks all day, right? Unless you take baths, how many people successfully bend over in showers to clean them? Yeah, no…you can’t start a date or third date depending upon on long it takes to need to ask your prospective partner if they take bathes or showers–that’s awkward.  Yet, it’s important to note that swallowing toe jam may not be the best thing. Who knows what’s in toe jam? When you get down to the microscopics of it all, there could spiders in that crap! Mushrooms may grow down there; bugs of any kind. Insects that have lived over the 6000 years people have only been on the planet (give to take a few million years) may have evolved into any type of toe jam eating organism. I’ve never seen a jar of jelly for sale labeled toe jam or even at a discounted price so , for me, toe nibbling is out.

Plenty of people nibble ears—huff, huff, ‘I have to nibble your ear’ said who?—again you see it in on zillion movies but why? Ears have ear wax in them right? What’s the break down on ear wax—I’d like to know. This is the sort of stuff we needed to learn in high school or middle school before we began diving in before lunch! Is ear wax high in protein and low in saturated fats? Maybe ear wax is the best diet food we’ve yet to discover? I’m not sure but it would have to come with some sort of warning……”Danger, there may be a bunch of hardware on that ear.” Before you nibble on a pierced ear you need to ask yourself a few simple questions: where did that hardware come from and where has it been?  I get it that tongue rings are ‘special,’ but what happens if a tongue rings meets an ear piercing? The two can tango or tangle? By the way–is ear wax fattening; has anyone asked? Are there fungus’s to be concerned about in the ear…it all needs studying.

For all we know, the plague might start from someone ingesting ear wax.

Then there’s under arms. I can’t wait to lick your under arms! Who knows what might be there? Maybe a bunch of deodorant full of carcinogenic material no one has tested? Plus, there’s sweat—you know, the stuff a body has outcast as trash. Yum.

Yes, it’s your deodorant I long for. (Like the perfect ad, right?)

Please don’t kiss me now.

Belly buttons are special, right. I get that ,too. But one thought: if you enjoy navel fuzz, have you tried licking your dryer filter?

We once were attached to mom there but now we’ve run a muck with piercing the area for what?

Are we decorating our life source or stabbing it?

Let’s hope that isn’t loaded.

Thing is, munching on a navel is enticing to some, but why talk with a mouth full of marbles while making love…” um bov, yu oeces,”  Again, about those tongue piecing and navel bells. I think the enticing part of nibbling on belly button is most likely that we’re on our way south. But, what if we get stuck there? Listen people do get stuck in all sorts of situations. You decide.**

So, there’s a zillion fetishes to talk about but I wanna skip the one about spanking. Listen, spankings are bad and we all know it from about day one. Mom can’t count to three slow enough and when dad gets home against all your prayers the entire world seems lost to the devil when he arrives. Still, some enjoy getting their butt walloped until their ass is red. Me? Nah. All I can think of is a guy or woman getting carpel tunnel after hearing , “May I have another” for the millionth time. I’d think one might lose a bunch of weight delivering a spanking but is that the point of sex?

In the end, (whoops) don’t beat yourself up over it.

There’s a million ways people find pleasure and I’m about to think 99.9% of them are weird to me since I’m from another planet.  But all of this, whether you indulged or not, doesn’t define who you might be in society. Don’t forget, President Lyndon B. Jonson had punishing shower heads in stalled in his White House shower.(Oh my god, this is so much worse than I’d read before).*** But that’s an entire different thing-self fetish, pain a punishment.

Me? I like the sex—you can keep the ‘au Jus.’

Franque23

*https://www.bustle.com/p/almost-half-of-americans-say-theyre-kinky-survey-finds-heres-what-sex-acts-theyre-into-8133938

*https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/all-about-sex/201810/unconventional-sex-is-actually-pretty-common

**https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-25827175

***https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/03/ldb-white-house-shower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


There’s nothing like a quick four or five day get-a-way to lighten up  a month of working, right? It’s by luck we have a home in Barefoot Bay,  one of Florida’s largest manufactured home communities.  Sure, Barefoot has a golf course (I don’t play). a shopping center, library, food shops of all sorts, several pool areas and mini-lakes scattered about as well as it’s own super long pier that juts out into the Indian River—that’s all fine and good. But the thing to me about Barefoot Bay is the private Atlantic beach-side property the community owns, and what a treasure it is.

(You can see the Barefoot Bay community has no direct bridge to its beach front that is located just north of Sebastian Inlet. This is the only picture in this post that enlarges with a click.)

The property is located just north of Archie Carr’s National Wildlife Refuge* and for years it’s been as pristine and isolated as any beach-side could get in Florida. Only recently have adjacent and surrounding properties gone up for sale, and some houses are already in place. Of course, I hate this, but who can stop development? Thankfully, nothing can take away my memory of watching whales swim by this beach as well!

There’s no need for Valet parking when we go…

(Psst: this shot was taken at 4 PM on a Sunday afternoon!?!?!)

This isolated stretch of heavenly beach is also my dog’s favorite running zone!

Shadow’s ready to run and the beach is waiting as the waves roll in.

We have all we need to make this work!

“Come on!” Shadow waits patiently with his shadow.

“Get the ball; it’s time to run!”

I watch him scurry down the final leg of the boardwalk and onto the sand. I heave the ball with a ‘chuck-it’ as far as I can throw it.

Shadow runs himself ragged after tennis balls. It’s an amazing time and we still have the beach to ourselves as far as the eye can see! Seriously! On a ‘crowded’ day I see four or five fishermen and maybe four walkers. Can you imagine? These beach trips make me feel as though I’ve gone to the moon and back, only there’s an ocean here in all of its surf-side glory.

The waves pound as birds call above sea-foam that pops in the wind.

Finally, Shadow is played out for now. He goes to the boardwalk when he’s had enough and we scoot on up to wash off before enjoying a restful twenty-five minute ride home.

I always take one last look before we leave.

Bye for now.

Oh wait! There’s one more curious thing about this parking lot of no valets. I came to this beach for twenty years and until the parking lot was ‘improved'( widened and sea grapes taken out) I never noticed that underneath a vast array of vines was an old hotel or home of sorts.

That’s it—just ahead over there. Nothing but vines, right? Perhaps, if you look hard you’ll see this one hundred foot long structure of broken down doors and windows underneath the vines!

I wonder about this history? Who lived here? What was it like back then? Someone had a keen eye for solitude and staked a claim here.

(You can see some of the red roof line on the center-left.)

For now, the land has won back the space and for all the empty spaces still filled with vines, living plants and critters I wish it could stay this way.

Going to the ocean always remains dream-like for me. I know it’s real and part of me, but I can’t touch it when it’s gone from sight, when I’m away. Me and my Shadow just have to await another day to live the dream again.

What a day! What a run it was!

Cheers

Franque23

*https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Archie_Carr/


Man has always made weaving’s. Why? We are part of one.

It was just a small spool of thread lying upon the bed in the morning. Two inches of the thread lay extended beyond the spool as if it were searching for a binding that needed stitching. The colored thread was red but not as deep as fire, but rather subdued in a way that mellowed my attention to its purpose.

It all got me thinking about that Abercrombie and Fitch woman, Jamie, I’d met up at Lake Bonaparte who worked in the upper spheres of their purchasing department. She stood tall, but not too much so, and held a strong image of elegance. We bantered and shared the this and that of our lives.

“You must have fun picking out patterns and materials; it feels real artsy.” A few seconds of images passed in mind. “I like patterns; love material. I do leather craft.”

“You work in leather craft?” I watched Jamie’s eyes shift left to view a memory she might have stored about the media.

“Yes. It’s been over ten years now. My wife and I have made about everything you can imagine to do with leather craft.” I was proud of our three shops and success. “I love material; you’re lucky to be working with the designs, material purchases and decisions for such a large outfit.”

Her nod gave way to question.”So, what do you think is the most important part of what I buy for Abercrombie and Fitch?”

The query was unexpected. “Maybe the thread is the most important.” It was an off-hand answer, the first that came to mind when thinking about a blouse, or jeans, or about anything that had sewed pieces.

Her eyes glowed as a full moon in the deep night, “Yes! That’s it completely! Without the best thread, the finest material is lost, so easily torn and soon cast aside. The bindings are what matters.”

Bindings are what matters….

It’s thirty or more years since I heard the words but they somehow still hover near.

The deepest blue waters of Lake Bonaparte glistened around our conversation that day. I can still see the sparkling sunlight dance off the water and spring around the dock as though magic was in the air. Even back then, Lake Bonaparte had become more than a lake to me. The lake was a thread in my life, something that held me together before that day, then, and would well into the future.

My thoughts drifted off that morning just as those past days up at Lake Bonaparte have fled from view. I stared back at the spool of thread on the bed and wondered where it might belong, where it might go should I pick it up.

In truth, that red spool of thread had reached out to me. It had magically asked for me to realize how the threads of my life came together to make me whole, to bring me peace.  But, I have to tell you, that peace hasn’t come easily as a soft wind in the most subtle morning light, not like the evening stars up at the Lake.

My life has never been a smorgasbord of hurrahs, no not that. The red thread had stretched out to me and asked what passed through me, what tied me together. That answer ran a thin line through my eyes to my heart, wrapped around my brain and tightened into a knot.

I was born lucky, white, in America, with a loving dad and mom and all the Christmas tree trimmings any kid could ask for. Still, while others skated free in my childhood I seemed sidelined with some things I can’t even write about now, not yet. Of course, life is a mix for all of us, full of ups and downs we have to turn around and make straight.  We’ve all had our hearts torn out by first loves that were never meant to last but to teach. We’ve all had friends who turned out to be enemies; victories that ended in the loss column. But having a sixth grade friend at a scout meeting ask me for help in a way I could not understand and then hang himself in his parents basement that same night hasn’t been perfect—and so much worse for him. It’s as if the memory of his smile funnels me down along side his pain, one I can’t imagine. Later, not much, my best friend drown before me within hearing distance but beyond site in a lake at Marlborough Vermont. I’ve written about this event before, and there are too many premonitions that led up to this happenstance to recall here now, but I’m not sure I’ve ever left those three days of waiting that it took to find Bobby’s body. Let’s face it: part of me is still in that water and I know it.* Is it a stretch to think we all have pain in life?

We all have to move on; we all have to stitch our lives together the best we can.

So, without a mirror but a cast aside spool of thread I came that morning to reckon what pieces me together, what keeps me balanced, on my feet, smiling, working in the garden and saying hello to those I never think of as strangers. I’ve dug down, tore it all up and realized why I say hello to plants, birds, the sun and the rain. I’m happy; basically, I’m happy.

But, why am I happy?

Though my wife and I have had a small amount of success in our lives, I’m certain no amount of wealth or holdings brings happiness.  A simple, pure joy is a different animal than a bank account. Life is the thread we cling to as we live and in those moments lies the bind of happiness. My wife will tell you there are plenty of mornings, afternoons or evenings I’m doing the happy dance. Sure, I may be blocking my wife’s TV view or arousing our dog, Shadow, to uncontrollable fits of barking but you know what: I’m still happy. I’m happy to see the morning, the rain, the fog, the cold, the lonely stars at night, the snake that slithers away as I call it, the post man who waves back and my work mates who nod as they go by.  I’m happy to hear the wind as it vibrates my ear drums and becomes an inseparable part of me.

I understand the immense hardships humanity has suffered through in the past and is currently having to endure. None of that is good, and, like you, I wish it could end. Still, I cling to the notion that if we are here for a purpose in life it’s to blossom as we can through it. The smallest seed can sprout thought the most solid rock; this is what we must do.

It all comes down to the threads of our lives and how we spool them together to carry with us. If you hurt, unwind that thread and re-spool. Bind yourself to a joy you have known no matter how small and plant that to grow inside you.

Many ask how they might be happy?

In a world of advice, I say know your world.

Know the people, places, animals, land and thoughts in your life as much as possible. Don’t walk though your time as though surrounded by unnamed mysteries: learn the name of the trees, plants, your neighbors, tools, clouds, birds and sights that fill your ears, eyes, mind and heart. Learn the way of everything you can. We are all surround by thousands of threads of life that want to bind with us. Make it happen. Then, the fabric of you will never be alone, and you will bind with the life around you, forever.

Franque23 loves you.

 

*https://franque23.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/the-dream-i-lived/

 

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