Tag Archives: Dad


We bought a new to us Toyota Tundra.
I have been looking online, Craig’s List, from Oregon south to the bay area for a month or more, every day.

Seems like if you have a Toyota truck, especially a Tundra, you don’t sell them. They don’t lose value and there are few to find, especially in the price range I was looking for.

Russel needs a new work-school truck to haul his Aikido mats, his old 1990 Toyota is worn out, but still drivable, so the question was,
“Do we put a ton of money into it to keep it safe and functional, or do we get a replacement?” Then the thought was, ‘well I (me) didn’t want just another Toyota like his old truck, it was uncomfortable.’ And I couldn’t find anything for sale which wasn’t just buying the same problems we have with his 1990.

So after much looking and hard decisions, we decided to pull some money from our retirement account that my Dad left us.
Maybe not a smart idea, but that’s what we did.

2004 Tundra 4x4 Stepside SR5

We bought a 2004 Toyota Tundra 4×4 Stepside SR5 TRD… this truck is like new..really like new. You can’t tell anyone ever drove it. It only had 28,000 miles on it. It’s a bit fancy for our taste, but rides great, I don’t feel like I am in a blender, as I do in both of our other Toyota’s.

We need to get the truck bed a spray on bedliner, and a rubber mat for the bed. Still need seat covers and some really good rubber floor mats.


Seem’s sort of fitting somehow.. today is my Dad’s birthday.. and he is still giving to us.


What A Year It’s Been

I am glad this year is almost over. It has been hard, in so many ways. With Dad’s illness progressing to death on May 14, and trying to come to terms with that. And then Kaya dying so suddenly it still breaks my heart.

So I am hoping for a new year filled with some fun stuff – not sure just what that will be but starting to plan now!

And I need to port this blog over to WordPress, or at least update the Movable Type version it is running so that I can have comments back. Work has been steady, but frustrating. I have been studying a lot of WP docs and plugins and themes, oh my!

But really if you want to keep in touch, or up with what is going on with me, email is good:

me at onmybeat net will still work

Or come on over to Facebook!

Blessings for a wonderful healthy New Year!


Early Summer

Summer Arts 2009

Well I missed both Summer and Winter Arts fairs in 2008 .. my head space just wasn’t open to much of anything.

Dad’s passing has been a heart drama even though I knew he was going.

This year I mark Summer Arts as the first of many, I hope, revivals of my spirit. It was a warm and (finally) sunny day. So many friends and folks I only see once or twice a year where there. Good connections many.
Especially great to see Joellen who has migrated to Brooklyn, NY for the last years or so.

And so many people I know have lost a parent just recently, friends Sharon, Charlie, and Rob lost their mothers (all with in the past month). And there are more. I guess it is our age, and the ages of our parents, that this is to be. As Charlie said to me, “We are now the old ones..!” I guess I wasn’t really ready to accept that..even though it is true.

I have been back home now since May 21. The first 2 weeks, I was so ‘not grounded here’ at all. It is getting better now. The garden is doing great and I will have some photos soon. Russel only has 2 school classes left until fall, and he leaves for Aikido summer camp next Sunday. I am trying to pull myself ‘out of the funk’ of grief and to enjoy the life we have, but I still wake with lots of anxiety and do wonder why. Also, attempting to ‘reconnect’ and solidify the relationships I have with friends.

When I was in Michigan with Dad and Sue, and all my Dad’s brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins and second cousins, nieces and nephews and friends and neighbors.. it was constant visits … there was hospice and home health care nurses, and people stopping by really one after another all day and evening. There was always someone to do anything Sue needed done.. and there still is.

Family, living close to one another and family being true friends, that is what Dad had there. I have that there as well, but I am here and although I have friends … the ‘net’ doesn’t feel as strong as what I experienced in Michigan. So perhaps that is a bit of my anxiety, the reality of aging, and wondering all of the ‘what ifs?’.


Bob Kensler R.I.P

Dad took his last breathe Sunday evening May 10 at 8:10pm.

My Dad - Bob Kensler

Wave on wave of life
Like the great wide ocean’s roll
Haunting hands of memory
Pluck silver strands of soul
The damage and the dying done
The clarity of light
Gentle bows and glasses raised
To the charity of night
~~~Bruce Cockburn


Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.


Waiting Is

I have been in Michigan since April 26th now.

Dad’s fall on Easter eve (April 11) that landed him in the hospital with broken bones in his neck was the real start of the decline, being confined to a bed.

He was able to talk to me and the dozens of family and friends who have been visiting here. He even got all his brothers and sisters together last Saturday and declared that the day was “a great day”.

But that took a lot of energy and it’s been down hill since then.

Now he is in his last days. No eating, drinking barely a couple of ounces of water. Started morphine on Monday 4th.

I will be staying here now until he passes and the memorial is over.
Don’t really know how long a time that will be.
And I need to get Russel here, but he doesn’t have weeks he can spend just waiting here.
So Waiting is… and i am learning that lesson yet again.

Here’s a photo of Dad, Sue and her new puppy. Dad finally relented and let her have a dog.

Dad and Sue and puppy

There is so much going on that I am not writing here, maybe one day I will put more of it on paper.


Going to Michigan Again

I am getting ready to go back to Michigan and visit Dad. This time flying alone, Russel needs to stay here and work while school is still on. Not having Russel to power me through the airports will be very different.. I haven’t flown alone in over 20 years. Funny how dependent we get on one another.

Dad is done with treatments, and getting weaker all the time. He still is eating and walking slowly, but having a hard time getting up from a chair. He is clear headed and we talk every couple of days. But how long he will stay in this place is anyone’s guess.

They don’t know if the last round of radiation helped shrink the brain tumors, and won’t even do a scan for another month. Meanwhile the spots on his lungs have grown. The writing is on the wall I guess.

Home Health are coming in now 4x a week for a few hours
in the morning to help with bathing and such. Sue is handling most everything else.

My being there will mostly help me I think.. they are fine and family is abundant, but I only have one Dad, and I would like to see him at least one more time while he still can laugh and be with me.

So I leave April 25 – May 9 unless I need to stay longer. Sue keeps saying he isn’t dying yet, but I am not so sure.

I wanted to book this general time in February, but at that point Dad was improving fast and really thought he would be out planting his garden and mowing the lawn this year.

So I wish I had (booked then) as I wanted to catch a Bruce Cockburn show in Ann Arbor at the Ark on the 20th. But trying to book so late I couldn’t get a flight that met my needs until the 25..oh well. I do hope he makes it to California sometime this year.



Today is one of those beautiful spring days. I walked to the meadow down the road from our place. I started doing that just to get the feeling of being in nature. Even though we are surrounded by forest and no houses, when I am out side here all I see is the work that needs to be done.

What a shame, I need to change that mind set some how. We are so lucky in so many ways.

Dad was doing good the 3 months since we were there, then last week he collapsed. Now he has brain lesions.. and is getting radiated again for them. He has been through so much this past 2 years. I feel his time is very short, and it brings up so much stuff for me.

We missed some very cold days when we left mid- December.
Once back it has mostly been nice for a month or so. Finally getting some needed rain in March.

spring yard

Along with it being spring one day and winter the next.
Of course just thinking spring brings up the ton of work it takes to get ready to garden.

snow in march