“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Things didn't get done

Things didn't get done today.
A painting did not get shipped.
Mary had visitors, friends down from Dallas who brought home grown hibiscus,
but things didn't get done.
She was lost again,
trying to find her way to the bedroom, lost in the red living room, wanting photos of the flowers, but lost, lost, lost.
The ever-wonderful Michael helped turn her in the right direction, leading her towards him, Lynda & I guiding from the rear, but she was lost.
She was tired, she wanted to stop here, stop right here, not go on,
please, please, please she said.

For days I've had a Guy Clark song in my head, unable to lose it.
It stays.
Although it's about an old man, not a woman, it stays.
So for Michael, who introduced me to this song 20 some-odd years ago,
and for J.Y. who knows about the Green Frog cafe,
and for me, and for Lyndi, and for Katie & Robert
& for Mary who wouldn't understand,
for all of y'all who know nothing about Texas music,
here are the words that I can't shake:

I played the Red River Valley.
He'd sit in the kitchen and cry.
Run his fingers through seventy years of livin'.
"I wonder, Lord, has every well I've drilled gone dry?".
We were friends, me and this old man,
Like desperados waitin' for a train.
Desperados waitin' for a train.

Well, he's a drifter an' a driller of oil wells.
And an old school man of the world.
He taught me how to drive his car when he w's too drunk to.
Oh, and he'd wink and give me money for the girls.
An' our lives were like some old Western movie,
Like desperados waitin' for a train.
Like desperados waitin' for a train.

An' from the time that I could walk, he'd take me with him,
To a bar called the Green Frog Cafe.
An' there was old men with beer guts and dominos.
Oh, an they're lying 'bout their lives while they played.
An' I was just a kid, that they all called his sidekick,
Like desperados waitin' for a train.
Like desperados waitin' for a train.

One day I looked up and he's pushin' eighty.
An' he's brown tobacco stains all down his chin.
Well, to me he's one of the heroes of this country,
So why's he all dressed up like them old men?
He's drinkin' beer and playin' Moon and Forty-two.
Like a desperado waitin' for a train.
Like a desperado waitin' for a train.

An' then the day before he died, I went to see him,
I was grown and he was almost gone.
So we just closed our eyes and dreamed us up a kitchen,
And sang another verse to that old song.
Come on, Jack, that son-of-a-bitch is comin'.
We're like desperados waitin' for a train,
Like desperados waitin' for a train.
Like desperados waitin' for a train.
Like desperados waitin' for a train.

And that's how I feel. That son-of-a-bitch is comin'. It's comin'.


  1. But death isn't a bad thing...part of life. Our bodies cannot sustain us forever and she will be going home. You will see her again but this time around, it sounds like she had a heck of a ride! Thinking of you, hang in there.

  2. Christy - No it's not. It's the waiting & watching that's so damn hard. This train is not a train that's gliding smoothly into the station to pick up a passenger - it's a horrible old chugging & puffing train, billowing thick black smoke into a clear sky, moving slowly up a mountainside, barely staying on the tracks. It's a train that keeps you holding your breath, one that's behind schedule. And while part of you wishes it would just get here, a greater part of you hopes it falls off that mountainside & never arrives at all. You know that another one will soon be along, but you hope that that one will be a silver streak of a train. With angels as engineers & conductors.

    Thank you so much!!
    Love, Debi

  3. It's just so damn painful to watch loved ones goes through that kind of pain. Sometimes, while so very beautiful, life can appear cruel.


  4. Carol - Thanks for weighing in. It IS hard. Part of life, but a hard part.

    Thanks again.

  5. Still here honey...holding that hand of yours.


  6. oh wow a tough day dear friend. my heart is there with you waitin' on that damned train.

  7. Celeste & Robin - Thank you. The last 2 days have been very hard, but an additional caretaker is being brought in to help. Mary wants to be at home when the end comes, and we are all doing everything we can to insure that. I made Michael visit her yesterday - Mary's always loved him dearly & thinks he's the cutest thing she's ever seen; I thought it would be a good time & it turned out to be a VERY BAD time - he was pretty shook up. he hadn't see her in a couple of months & although I'd been telling him how bad it had gotten, he didn't really realize.


    The end will be here soon enough.

    Thank you both for your thoughts & hearts & hands.

    Love, Debi

  8. Sending you so much love and lots of warm comforting hugs.



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