In The Clearing.... - The Sensibly Organic Cook Blog at - 176600

The Sensibly Organic Cook

In the clearing.... 
May 24, 2010 7:36 am 
Updated: May 27, 2010 7:26 am
In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving"
But the fighter still remains
Lie La Lie Lie la Lie Lie La Lie    (from "The Boxer")

Yes, I'm up late.  And this was never an intended blog, but if you know the song and remember the cracking music at the end of some of the refrains then you know sometimes Life is just like that.  Despite what you do or how you do it, Life can rend it's uncaring whip over your head.  Lie la Lie.  So I'm up and I can't get this song our of my head.  Over and over it plays.  Why?  I will get to that but first be forewarned:  THERE IS NO FOOD on this blog, just my observations.  To anyone who's blood pressure might rise due to the nature of my midnight maunderings, turn away now!  At least I tried to warn you.  Just like I tried to find a distraction from the song and the reason I'm up.

Why pick AR for a distraction?  Cause I've met some of the neatest people here.  Gotten some good recipes and some GREAT ideas to make into my own recipes.  Looked at cool photos.  Oh and what about the stories?  Some about food, some about what is most important and beloved.  Ah, and then some about the people that have walked in and out of lives.   Some in a good way, some not so much.  So here I stopped.  To see what or who was up.  Lie La Lie and a fighter by his trade.  I'm afraid I'm simply sad.  No better reason to go poking about then that.  Just sad and troubled.  And he carries the reminders.  Can't sleep, so looked at this and that.  Read this blog, than this post, than that one.  Found one I had no clue about so read the whole thing, then had to read the thread before that, then the one before that one so it'd make sense.  Wonder why that was said?  Ahh, I feel bad for that person.  How awful.  I am leaving, I am leaving but the fighter still remains.  I've heard that song every since my sister called.  I am just a poor boy though my story's seldom heard.  Sighing, I think to myself is what I'm reading colored by my heavy spirit?  Maybe.  After all when's a recipe just that, a recipe?  Bits and pieces to be put together to make something else.  When's a remark just a remark? Just words spoken into the empty air or typed onto a blank page.  How much is either really worth?  I have squandered my resistance  Lie La Lie  Ah, the phone call that started this meditative musing.

When I left my home and my family
I was no more than a boy.  That he was. 

Living in a poor town, raised by poor people.  Mickey left.  He wanted a better life.  Better than the one he was looking at.  I've known him since 1984.  He married my niece, Kate, in 1986.  Nope, can't say I've always liked or agreed with him.  But I will give him this, he's always been an honest man.  He won't steal from, lie to or cheat another person.  Every since he left his small town all he wanted was to make a way for himself, his wife and maybe someday have a family.  Need something?  Call Mickey.  Need money?  He has very little.  Need food?  He believes in the teachings of the Bible so you won't be turned away.  May not be fancy food but'll nourish.  Need a place to stay?  Obey the house rules.  No swearing, drinking or drugs allowed and pick up after yourself.

Why is Mickey on my mind?  His adopted daughter Leah's graduation party was this weekend.  The reason for my sister's call.  Not about the party, it's about Mickey and she can't talk at the party.  It's a celebration after all.  I hear the worry in her voice.  And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him till he cried out..Lie la Lie.  This song just won't stop.  Heard it at Leah's party too.

Let me tell you about Leah.  I met her when she was just 6 years old.  Beautiful girl.  Sweet.  Hard worker.  I know this for a fact.  When she got older I hired her to work in my gardens with me.  First time, she told me to pay her what she was worth.  Her wage rose as that day wore on.  Missed her sorely last summer when she began her Guard training.  All those years ago Leah would have been made a a ward of the state if not for Mickey and Kate.  You see, Mickey's sister was more into partying and boyfriends than caring for her kids.  She'd dumped Leah and 2 of her brothers off on their biological father.  Not a good place to be.  They were there till dear old dad made some seriously wrong choices.  Surprise, the kids were shipped back to mom.  Not for long.  When mom's boyfriend left for the South, so did she.  Abandoned the kids as if they deserved no more consideration than stray animals get.  Not the first time it'd happened either.  Who stepped up to break the cycle?  Mickey and Kate.  They adopted the kids and tried to give them a good home.  In fact, my niece said the day she got those kids,  "nothing has worked so maybe this is God's way of saying I wasn't supposed to get pregnant.  Maybe, it's always been planned for me to raise another's children."  Lie La Lie  Kate even invited bio mom and dad to Leah's party, they are her parents after all.  Sorry, I don't think I could be that generous.  Who took on the hard thankless job of trying to raise those kids right?  Did the boys appreciate or thank Mickey and Kate? Nope.  Has Leah?  Well, she just put in a garden for Kate.  A Mother's day gift based on what she's learned from working with me.  My sister says it's beautiful.  So sweet.  I most see it soon.  Lie La Lie

Still a man hears what he wants to hear
and disregards the rest.
Lie La Lie

Some days that is just what Mickey did.  My husband tried to get him to change jobs several years ago.  Same field just a much better company with real benefits, much needed insurance, and a higher wage.  But no, Mickey is not only honest but loyal and he truly felt he was doing well.  I go looking for a job but I get no offers just a come on from the w...  Salaried, paid maybe twice a month for how many long hours of work!?  I hope his former employee thoroughly enjoys his elegantly immense lake home.  I'm sure his wife truly needed a sauna in her wieght worse than Mickey needed adequate health care.  When Mickey finally heard us, it was too late.  He couldn't pass the required physical to work with my husband.  That lead to one thing then another.  Then to my sister's call.  Mickey's kidneys are failing.  He'll be on dialysis soon.  Last Thursday he was put on the waiting list for a kidney donation.  If he finds a match it will be his gain but assuredly someone else's loss.  Not just the loss of the person donating possible life, but some other whole family will suffer.

He looked so tired at the party, older and grayer then me and I've got a good ten on him.  Oh, he was proud though.  He laughed and talked to everyone there, no mention of illness.  Thanked everyone for coming.  A gracious man, as always, no matter that Life was trying to beat him to his knees.  His daughter had graduated.  She was going to have a chance at a better life, a much better chance than he's had.  That's all that mattered at that moment.

In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame.

When's a remark just words, spoken into the empty air or typed on a blank page?  When's a recipe nothing more than measures of this or that?  For that matter, how should any of us measure ourselves?  I know who Mickey measures himself by and it will be that faith that will sustain him.  Cut down to the quick again, why can't Life just give him a break?

"I am leaving, I am leaving."  That's not Mickey's way.

And the fighter still remains
Lie La Lie la Lie Lie La Lie la Lie

Let me tell you about Leah
May 24, 2010 8:00 am
Seems to me Mickey's song should be "We are the Champions" - my friend - we'll keep on fighting till the end... no time for loosing, we are the champions! People such as Mickey are the salt of the Earth. An inspiration in the face of adversity. I hope all goes well for him, Cat. Peace and blessings to the whole family. &heart;
May 24, 2010 8:01 am
♥ should be...
May 24, 2010 8:11 am
Thanks but if you knew how many times he's been beaten down. You'd hear that song too
May 24, 2010 8:13 am
Oh I am SURE! He sounds like such a strong man.... Why is life so hard for some people?
May 24, 2010 8:19 am
That's supposed to be weight room. Sorry! One that Mickey helped build. Nothing goes right for this family. They are decent people too. It's always one thing after another. I just feel like if he could have seen a doctor for regular checkups years ago maybe just maybe whatever is wrong could have been slowed or cured before it got to this.
May 24, 2010 8:21 am
Unfair isn't it.....
May 24, 2010 8:35 am
Fraid so! Hadn't thougth of that song for years but it started up after she called to tell me. No matter how hard he has been beatten by things not of his doing, he just gets back up. What scares me is he may not be able to this time and what will happen to my niece?
May 24, 2010 1:34 pm
What a great blog, Cat!
May 24, 2010 6:25 pm
Thanks for dropping in. How are Bob and Yul? I'm still wondering why it is Life just has to do something to those that least expect it or deserve it.
May 24, 2010 6:54 pm
May 24, 2010 7:07 pm
Ksaza, sometimes that's all it takes. Thanks for stopping by.
May 24, 2010 7:38 pm
Wow!That was a great blog!Not sure what to say except there's a lot of Mickey's out there.Not fair at all!
May 24, 2010 7:38 pm
Sad story, serious life questions and awesomely put together. You've got great writing skills, Cat! Keep 'em coming!
May 24, 2010 8:12 pm
Very interesting... the way you presented it. I liked it. Poor guy.
May 24, 2010 8:30 pm
Great blog... Best wishes for Mickey.
May 25, 2010 6:02 am
GP isn't that the truth?! Everytime they turn around something else has gone wrong. My DH knew that former employer and all but begged Mickey to leave him but no he was making his way and doing so much better than anyone in his family. I can't help but think if all this had been checked earlier....Deep sigh Thanks for dropping in.
May 25, 2010 6:06 am
GoodNZ. Thanks for the kind words. I hope he fights this but at what cost will the battle be won?
May 25, 2010 6:08 am
Hey Shanon told you I hoped your weekend was much better than mine. Saw the RE last night about Kathleen's friend so, so sad. Mickey's at least had a chance at life. Wonder how the baby is today?
May 25, 2010 6:09 am
Magnolia Blossom, thank you. It's always the nice ones that get kicked when they are down.
May 25, 2010 7:24 am life problems seem so petty now...sad time for sorry that we can't help
May 25, 2010 11:14 am
Cat, beautiful blog, so sorry to hear about Mickey. He's still strong in my book!
May 25, 2010 12:43 pm
That was beautifully written! So sad when bad things happen to good people.
May 25, 2010 1:49 pm
Judy, it's funny how that happens isn't it. Look at someone else's misfortnes and sometimes your own aren't so bad. Thanks for dropping in :)
May 25, 2010 1:51 pm
Dragonfly thanks for the kind words. It's like Mickey is getting some of Job's tests. Again and again!
May 25, 2010 1:54 pm
1gdcowgrl, thanks for reading the blog. I just couldn't sleep that night and that is what came out. the next blog was already done and so much more lite hearted with food in it :)but I couldn't stop myself. too bad I haven't figured out how to do cool pics like you and some of the other bloggers
May 25, 2010 4:22 pm
It is said that if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. Mickey sounds like someone I would love to know. Actually, you all sound like people I would like to know. Great blog.
May 25, 2010 5:23 pm
Cat, first I was "moved," then awed at your prose and style... I truly must start looking in on more of "you" bloggers, but just HATE to feel tied to the 'puter day in, day out! My eyes get square enough looking at the "idiot box" let alone staring at the puter screen for hours at a time! Truly appreciated your comments, keep it up... "and a fighter by his trade..." luv ya!
May 25, 2010 5:27 pm
BSM Thank you that was very kind to say. I know that's what Mickey would say he has a lot of faith but dog gone it. Some days putting one foot in front of the other has got to be tough!
May 25, 2010 5:30 pm
Stevie, I thought you might appreciate it. That morning one of my faves on AR was ready to call it quits on AR. I just couldn't think what to say to her then my sister called and the rest is up above. Thanks for the lovely compliment! Take care, Cat
May 25, 2010 7:58 pm
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,a who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV We may not know God's purpose this side of heaven, but he does have one! Keep up the faith!
May 26, 2010 6:21 am
Cat, just popped back in to let ya' know about putting pictures in your blog....most of us use Blogger dot com. You just copy and paste it to your blog here. It's free to sign up and best of all, it saves what you type AS you're typing. So nothing is lost. Not sure if there is a limit to how many pictures you can place in a blog but it's so much easier than using AR blog features. On AR's blog you can only use photos that you have downloaded to AR. On blogger dot com you can access ANY photo.
May 26, 2010 11:06 am
Robbi thanks for the thoughts. I've always thought life was purpose driven whether we know it or not.
May 26, 2010 11:08 am
1gdcowgrl LOL LOL I need all the help I can get with technology. Right now I've got to get my garden in. It's been cold and wet and now with all the moisture it's like reverse rain. uh. Thanks for the tip!
May 26, 2010 2:53 pm
Cat, I read this shortly after you posted it and was unable to comment. It brought to mind sooooo many Mickey's from my family, I know I would love him on sight. This was nicely written and I hope Mickey gets his miracle. I often find myself thinking "Just this once, Lord, couldn't it work out for ?? Just this once??" Strange how things go sometimes, no?
May 26, 2010 8:27 pm
LS just wait, till tomorrow comes and I write the addendum to this story. I'm too tired tonight and this site doesn't have spell check. Have I got a story to touch the heart. What with what is goiong on with kathleen's friend and all. But there before the Grace of.....
May 26, 2010 9:17 pm
Waiting patiently for the update... @hearts;
May 26, 2010 9:17 pm
uh, @heart;
May 26, 2010 9:18 pm
AGH, never mind, you get my drift! <B
May 27, 2010 7:26 am
Thanks GE NZ. It's up, it's not about Mickey really but a story to uplift the spirits. Least mine were. I still have no clue how to do that @heart; thingy either
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Cat Hill

Home Town
Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Gourmet

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About Me
I live in the middle of the U.S. in a farming communtiy. Gardening, reading and cooking are the things you'll mostly find me doing. I also enjoy horseback riding & my many pets. A husband & teen, I have 1 of each.
My favorite things to cook
Bread & BBQ are 2 of my favorite things to cook. I do enjoy a food challenge. Last year it was curing my own brisket for Corned beef & pastrami & porkloin for Canadian bacon. This year sausages & scratch cakes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Bread and brittle. I learned to bake bread with my Mom. It was her favorite thing to make. My Aunt made the best peanut brittle ever. She'd stopped making it in the later years but when I told her how much I enjoyed her brittle, she opened the vault ,gave me the recipe & handed over the brittle torch to me.
My cooking triumphs
Anything that turns out the way I wanted it to or exceeds my expectations! Like my homemade bratwurst.
My cooking tragedies
Let's not go there! I prefer not to think about my kitchen disasters besides my child can gleefully recount all of them.
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