Sunday, April 19, 2015

It's interesting to me, how one's life, after it has passed, is replaced and somewhat reduced to memories, boxes of books, diaries, and flashes of momentos in received cards, notes, photographs. Today I drove up to Milwaukee to pick up my brothers art work. My moms building had been sold, and after 31 years of memory making (birthdays, graduations, Christmases, parties) she had to find a new place. It seems as though she is holding it together pretty well and getting excited about a new home. It was
sad for me to walk around the apartment for one last time, seeing many things already packed into labelled boxes, and just allowing myself to feel and remember. My brother really didn't do anything small scale. There were many large pieces, some not finished, that are four feet by eight feet. At times I couldn't hold it together and cried quietly. His art amazed me. So unique. So incredibly John. Not only did I pick up his art, but also his books and diaries. My brother was amazing. His diaries are chock full of pictures, notes, letters, sketches. Looking through one especially made me stop. It appears to be a notebook, plain page, of homework assignments, with the teachers notes taped or sticky noted on the sides. The whole book is pure art. It is also has sketches, photocopied pictures, and poetry. Looking at the notebook, I see where and how he got some ideas for his art. It all came together in that book! I miss my wickedly talented brother so immensely. His was a very special life, one cut way too short. His box of books, diaries and some of his art I now am custodian of.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

SPPRRRRIIIINNNNGGGGG is almost here! I feel it in the air! Well, at least it has been over 50 degrees :) I'm coming up with new plans for the back garden (the "urban farm"), and I'm excited! Olivia and I have been busy planting veggie and flower seeds inside, and I've been brushing up on best egg laying breeds for chickens. Chicago seems to have lifted the "6 only" rule as far as the number of chickens one can own. I don't think I'll go over 6, as it is just Olivia and I eating eggs, and even with just 6 working girls, I'll still have some extra to share! I am building a new chicken coop, one that will be a little easier for me to get in and out of. We've kinda outgrown the cedar playhouse (thought it was so CUTE!!), and am now going to build something I can actually stand up in! I'm really excited about that! They will also have a larger outdoor run to be in when I'm not home to let them free range. The whole right side will be for growing food! I get really excited about this! Stay tuned! I'll post some pics when I get them!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Well, a year has come and gone since the passing of my little brother John. And you know what? It still is hard. There are times when I would give anything to call him and tell him silly things like "it's snowing the HUGE globe snowflakes you like!"or "did you watch this years AHS? I didn't. Couldn't get past the clowns". I know there is no time limit to grief. And life goes on. New life happens. The rest of us are still here. We try and move forward, those of us who really knew him know it isn't always easy. So many things that stir up memories. Time for a pause. Ok, time to pick up and go again... and repeat. The life of a soul never really dies. It's energy that keeps on going, moving forward, transforming into something else. And I think I see that energy in the snowflakes. Feel it in the cold he liked. In the colors of autumn. In a silly laugh I hear. All around me, my brother.