February 9, 1975
Sunday. I’ve been up for two hours now. From my window I see damp gray air and gold plated clouds. My eyes feel good. I’m almost well now. It’s as though I’ve escaped from prison or the hospital. Nushka lies on the gravel drive as though it was soft as a bed. His plushy gray fur has a beige tinge—he needs a bath although after a day outdoors, he’d need another.
Need to type new labels for the fishing tackle at Prom when it re-opens. Went to see Jo’s kitchen. Her remodeling and redecorating have made it a show piece. It’s done in blue, but not at all cold as blues can sometimes be.
We had a pleasant day yesterday until the boys came home from skiing. Joey had a sprained thumb, just like mine, but not as bad. My poor old digit is not completely healed yet.
I wonder about this particular volume of journals. I have recorded a lot of frustration, anger, and disgust. Now I question the judgment of letting it fall into the keeping of the children one day. I don’t want to damage their opinion of their father, but my bitterness is too plain to be mistaken. This is the nature of ambivalence. I vow myself to silence, and then burst out. It seems the honest thing for inwardly I’m crying, by god, I shan’t bear it any longer, hear that, world?! Then comes the desire to erase whatever mars a temporary euphoria. But I can’t erase the hurts, the fears, the upheavals. I wear them like a rosary of resentment.
Well these journals reveal my real emotions. Can you understand it, you who read this? I hope so. Because you can love and hate someone – admire and censure them—support and destroy them. We humans are capricious, ephemeral creatures whose moral yardstick is probably the most unforgiving measure ever devised. It stands like a rock in a sea of change. But if we can’t let go from time to time when overwhelmed by the inevitable storms of life, will we not perish? Yet, we must not lose sight of that rock, lest we drown in our excesses.
February 15, 1975 Wednesday
The flu returned with full force on Saturday. Don’t remember ever being so miserable. At least four days into it, I’m beginning to feel tolerable. Enough to tackle some household chores. It has rained almost all day and the wood pile’s getting low. We ought to order some more.
February 17, 1975
At the orthodontist’s, waiting for Joe to have his braces removed. He wasn’t well last night but after medication, improved, thank goodness. PJ and pal George have come along with us. No school as it’s Washington’s birthday.
There was snow in Springwater this morning. Otherwise damp and cool at our elevation. Nushka was wild and full of energy and the cats raced through the front room, rattling all the bric-a-brac. Spring must be a strong premonition.
Want to finish this journal today as it’s almost used up—then I can begin a new one. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could start whole new segments of life so easily—fresh and clean—at Day One!
Joey came out of the “inner sanctum” flashing a brilliant white smile!
End of this volume!

Published in: on December 30, 2018 at 1:29 pm  Comments (2)  


January 23, 1975
My frightful lungs, throat, and sinus still bad, though felt better yesterday. That is until evening. Woke up about 3 and just lay there listening to my sinuses drain, trying not to cough.
Have now restarted the fire and washed all the snack dishes from last night. Hear Paige coughing too.
Put Nush in the over-night ward at the Clinic where he’ll be x-rayed this morning. Maybe we’ll discover why it’s so painful for him to move. Need to take PJ to the orthodontist to pick up his new retainer. The cut he received from a rock while skiing is healing, thank goodness. Joe’s braces come off on February 17th.
Feeling grim physically but might as well scribble in my journal as to sit doing nothing. So irksome not being able to sleep when I seem to never get enough.
January 24, 1975
What a gray Friday to be home. Pete got the boys up yesterday, but waved me back to bed when I ran downstairs in a panic because of oversleeping. He even made an appointment with the doctor for Paige and me. The cause was laid to a virus, but got some prescriptions filled.
Nushka home from the vet’s. That diagnosis worse than ours; a fractured pelvis. Vet says it’s painful but not serious; takes about 3 weeks to heal. Meanwhile keep him warm and “abed” as much as possible.
As for me, reading by the fire, though I have stripped the boys’ beds and put on fresh linens. Laundry going and ironing done. But nothing else, except for hoisting Nush up and out when the time comes.
January 25, 1975 4:15 a.m.
Another wee hour entry before the sun is up. Outside black night covers all and the rain sluices down in great silver rivulets. No, I’m not sick as I was two mornings ago; at least the medication is helping.
Pickwick, rain jeweled, crouches at his food dish and Nush pants, trying to muster the courage to lie down.
Well, he wanted out –so after a full evacuation, came in for a bit of sustenance; milk and puppy chow. He’s ready to lay down while I have a cup of tea.
I see dark circles under my eyes in the window’s reflection. My skin is pale, so they show like bruises.
I was bitchy this afternoon. Nush wet the rug, but I kept cool because it wasn’t his fault. I hadn’t carried him out earlier. But later when I tried, he kept yipping and snapping at me until I actually gave his nose a swat. Not hard, but an unworthy act. Naturally, he began to wet again, so I had to carry him out despite his protests. Then I had to clean the floor and bring him back inside. Was not in a good mood.
I wonder if my medication is too strong. My ears ring and I feel stopped up, only slightly improved. I was tired after laundry, ironing, bed-making, dish washing and dog carrying and clean up. I’m writing this to show that I’m aware of being a person with a lot of faults. I don’t suppose to know them all, but maybe if everyone knew all their faults, it would crush them too far down.
January 31, 1975
A queer buttermilk gray sky. The fir trees are wuthering in a high wind. Patchy snow still frozen over the ground and sun deck.
Thank God it’s Friday and my day off. Felt poor yesterday afternoon again and slept for about an hour before fixing dinner. Back in bed at nine and read scarcely a half hour before closing my book. I then prayed until falling asleep. God, if He’s a Person, must hate it when I’m sick because when I feel ultra grim, I pray monotonously. It’s the only thing that keeps me from outright dying. Or so it seems.

Published in: on December 16, 2018 at 12:52 pm  Comments (1)  


January 10, 1975
The snow has been melted, absorbed into the earth. A still gray day outside my kitchen window. My mind races at breakneck speed over all I’d like to accomplish today, but know I won’t. Wrote Margret yesterday but still have 3 letters to go.
January 14, 1975
Fine rain floating like cobwebs over the road and trees this morning. Another day of waitressing at Hook coming up in an hour and fifteen minutes and here I am with coffee, breakfast dishes, and still not dressed.
More letters to write and laundry to finish. Felt a bit more energetic yesterday as compared to my 3 month slump. Hope I recover my zeal for action one of these days.
Everyone in an uproar yesterday at Hook. $70 missing from the till. How do these things happen?
January 15, 1975
Silvery light outside the kitchen window. Crystal drops from an almost invisible drizzle outline the little evergreens and decorate the Mt. Laurel. Yesterday was very busy. Worked two hours but made almost $2.00 in tips! Stopped at the store for a few items and saw that a quart of mayonnaise, once 59 cents, is now 91 cents. Prices keep climbing.
Cleaned the fireplace while PJ chopped kindling. Got the fire going, did laundry, put towels from Hook to soak, and made the boys’ beds. Then cooked a quick lunch for the kids and their friends and afterwards, took George home, a seven mile trip.
Wrote something for Paige on the Civil War, then slept for an hour.
Hate this feeling as though every day is a dragon to be slain.
[much of the following entries have been passed over as too depressing and repetitive in the foibles, fits, and frustrations of my life at this period of time.]
January 17, 1975
A dreadful day yet nothing really outstanding. Constant bickering and unrest both at home and at Hook.
Saturday, and a faint sunbeam splashes over my hands and face, a mild patina of light. If the weather holds, I may take Nushka to the woods tomorrow. Too late for today—too many chores to do and dinner to fix for hungry skiers.
January 19, 1975
A foggy Sunday. E. says she’s going to quit. I’m afraid it will be the same old story, Pete versus all my friends. Felt pretty low about everything. Went to Jo’s—we walked to Metzler Park through the fog and had a fine visit. Coming back it was dark and the fog felt like wet gray wool.
Yesterday the boys came home from skiing. PJ with a cut in his head from a tumble on the slopes, and Mike T. with a broken leg. Some three days!
But the crocus and hyacinths are coming up in the front bed by the planters. A cheery note in a dark world.
January 21, 1975
God, what a frightful several days. Nushka was hit by a car. The dodo went up onto the highway. Sherry and Chuck saw the whole thing and called. Nush came howling down the hill. We got him into the car and to the vet. No bones broken, but he screams when he tries to move. He hasn’t gone to the bathroom or eaten since and the vet is gone today! Very worried and upset. Took PJ to the orthodontist because he lost his retainer on the mountain.
January 22, 1975
Not as cold as last night but still nippy. Coaxed Nush to eat and drink but he still screams when he tries to move. Stood him up outside last night twice so he could wheedle. Which he did, thank goodness.
This morning, though he seems better in his appearance, he screamed frightfully when I tried to help him stand up. Thought he’d be a lot better. I can’t bear to think of losing him. I don’t know how I’d get on. I’ve become less willing to risk my heart as time goes on. I despise this trend but seem unable to change it. Maybe true nobility (or humility) is the heart that goes on loving all it can, no matter how often it’s broken.
Must take Nush to the vet before going to work. Struck by sore throat and infected bronchial tubes. Better today after taking Vitamin C last night. Have letters to write again this week. I wonder if people write letters in the after-life. I devoutly hope not! Just send thoughts direct.

Published in: on December 9, 2018 at 12:01 pm  Comments (4)  


January 8, 1975 Wednesday
A million things to do today after working Monday and Tuesday. Laundry, bills, banking, vacuuming, housework, and letter writing. Found Teddy, the hamster, who’d escaped the night before. His eyes were all stuck with mucous—washed them with boric acid and one is clear now. Must attend to him again. Talked astrology on the phone this morning with E.
Raining at present with periods of wet snow that blanket the air in shifting patterns. The alders at the edge of the clearing across the street are gray and ghostly. Oh, hurry, hurry, hurry. Too much to do and too little time.
4p.m. It’s snowing for real. Rumor has it that we’ll have between 4 and 6 inches tonight. If it does, will want to take Nush to walk in the woods.
Up much too late for a school night. Am just out of the shower and with a wet head to dry yet.
Finished reading a book Kinds of Love and was thinking, as I bathed, about the cry of the young city boy—one of the “new generation” who repeated–”I just want to be, to live. Exploring this a little further, it occurred to me that being is linked to doing. Life demands it. Equally necessary are the twins of patience and meditation. Through them, one’s actions and experience are digested and assimilated. Life is a composite, I think. Maybe that’s one of its “secrets.” The realization that existence is a series of phases.

January 9, 1975 Thursday
Snowing. Very little accumulation during the night so the kids went to school though buses were an hour late. It’s 32 degree exactly. The mud flat where the woods used to be is frosted white. There are pockets of snow on rocks and shelves of earth. Chimney smoke from the house on the hill is trailing off in a big plume to the southwest. I teeter on the edge of trance mesmerized by the sweep of falling snow. Sleepy too as I didn’t sack out until 1:30 a.m. and then Pickwick clawed on the bedroom door, waking me at 5. Staggered downstairs with threats and curses to put him out, jammed my sore thumb in the dark—then back up at 7 to find school would be an hour late.
Now have more letters to write and more books from the library to read. Biographies that look fascinating.
As I go through these days, I think and think, wondering, probing, and examining life and events. Things flash into my mind that I want to put into this journal, but the moment passes and the recollection seems too lengthy, and so it vanishes into the recesses of memory, perhaps never to be consciously recovered.
Evening of the 9th
Well, Judge Surica let Dean, McGruder and Kalmbach, Nixon’s personal lawyer, out of prison—wonder what he’ll hand out to Mitchell, Haldeman, and the others. A strange coil this Watergate mess. Guilty, convicted, pardoned. No wonder Justice wears a blindfold.

Published in: on December 2, 2018 at 2:38 pm  Comments (2)