Archive for November 2014

The Nearness of You   5 comments

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As near as my next heartbeat…,

only a breath away…

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…yet farther than a distant galaxy

from where I must live today.

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Posted November 28, 2014 by PapaBear in A Little Romance, Experiences, Family, Memories, Personal, Photo, Poetry

  1 comment

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In a world where there is so much poverty

we have so much for which to be thankful.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

EVERYBODY !

Posted November 27, 2014 by PapaBear in Uncategorized

Ruthless North Wind   3 comments

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The drums of autumn are muffled

by the blowing and drifting of snow

The hapless trees made nude of leaves

by bitter cold, ruthless north wind

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All creatures now scurry for all they can store

for soon there’ll be snow on the ground, nothing more

and it will be scoured as clean as a pin

by a bitter cold, ruthless, raging north wind.

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Winter has come early

making life more complex,

a gift of the now seasonal

Polar Vortex !!!

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GOOD NIGHT EVERYBODY 

STAY SAFE…, AND STAY WARM !

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Posted November 25, 2014 by PapaBear in Experiences, Other Art, Poetry, Story

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The PermaCloud   4 comments

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It’s been steadily creeping into the area for weeks now.  Stealthy, sneaky, like a thief in the dark.  Its dull, drab, dingy presence invades and clings to the very heavens.  There is little respite to it as it robs the skies of the sun, masks the sapphire blue, and leaves its droll grey residue in the air and replaces the warmth of the days with rain, snow, wind, and cold. .  It is here now, almost every day, relief from its drab environs comes in minutes and hours, rarely a full day.  The monotone of its coloring, the fog, the rain, and more often, the snow marking its presence.  All is covered by its shadow.  It is the “PermaCloud”, here until the early Spring…, and I am trapped in the prison of its cold, windy, and depressing grip.

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I miss the beautiful, warm Summer days.

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Posted November 22, 2014 by PapaBear in Experiences, Family, History, Memories, Personal, Prose

~~ Footprints – A History Lesson   3 comments

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“So you’re back again.  Have you decided on the property?  The clerk looked up and gave him a welcome smile.

“Not just yet.”  He replied,  “Today I’m here to do some research on it though.  Do you have records back to when it was first platted and sold?

“Not right here, but give me some time and I’ll dig up what I can find in the archives”.  She checked to see if there were any others waiting and then disappeared into another room.  Some fifteen minutes passed before she returned with a large manila envelope and an old, very worn portfolio.  “Sorry I took so long.  Had to go up to the history files for the portfolio.  If it wouldn’t upset you, I’d like to look at this with you.  I’ve never seen documents this old since I started work here”.

“I don’t mind.  I may have some questions that you can answer as I sort through this.  Let’s start with the most recent and work our way back”.  He opened the manila envelope and started to read.

The property, it seems, had only one owner listed as all of the filed tax information indicated that, until two years ago, all fees and taxes had been paid from a trust.  Two years ago the trust reached a level that would not cover any further payments and the property had reverted to the county for taxes in arrears.  They continued back through records of payments for 148 years.  He put all of the records back in the envelope and reached for the portfolio.  This was to be much more informative, not to mention, interesting.  In the portfolio was a handwritten copy of the trust in bold, flourshed lettering.  It placed a large amount of money to be escrowed by the county treasury for payment of taxes along with an annual stipend to be paid to his spouse, Mrs. Marie Lattimore.  The document was signed: George Andrew Lattimore, Esq.  Along with the trust he found some other documents in a packet, tied with a cord.  In it were the deed to the property, dated April 18, 1861 and papers that indicated that the land had been homesteaded from April 30, 1859 and that the terms of the homestead had been completed on March 31, 1861.

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These were carefully placed back in the portfolio, but as he was doing that, he noticed an envelope in a separate compartment. Quite simply, the front of the envelope was lettered: Marriage License.  Opening it he sat back, trying to hide the emotion that he was feeling.  He carefully unfolded the brittle, yellowed document.  It read:

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“This day, December 24, 1858, was married George Andrew Latimore, son of Andrew and Abigail Latimore, to Marie Luella Kissick, daughter of John and Phoebe Kissick”……..

An uncharacteristic tear trailed down his face from the corner of his eye.  Her name was Marie.  Part of the mystery was unfolding.  He brushed the moisture from his eye casually and looked over to the clerk who was still staring at the document.

“This is part of what I came here to find.  Is there any way to determine what happened to either or both of them…, and could I have a copy of this?”

She looked up, “Uh, maybe, if you went to the office downstairs.  They have the information on birth and death certificates for the county”.

He took the copy of the Marriage Certificate and as he started down the stairs he heard “…y’all come and let me know if you find anything, ok?”  The recorder’s office was nearly deserted except for a little old lady sipping coffee behind a behemoth of a desk.

“Help you find anything, sonny?”  She set the coffee on a coaster and ambled across the room.

“I hope so, I’m looking for a birth or death date on these people and anything you might be able to tell me about them from any records here.  It’s very old, I’m afraid.  I just hope you might have something.”

She took the copy and studied it for a minute, looked up at him and then spun on her heel and walked out of the room.  He was perplexed.  Did he stand there and wait?  Come back tomorrow?

From somewhere that sounded far, far away her heard a faint voice, “Come on in and grab yourself a chair.  This might take a while.  An a while it was before she came to the counter with copies of a couple of documents and laid them on the counter in front of him.  One page held data from a county census of 1880 and another of 1900.

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The other held birth, marriage, and death dates for George Andrew Latimore and Marie Kissick Latimore. The census indicated there was a daughter, Anne Marie, age 12, but nothing else.  He thanked her profusely and walked out to a bench in the courtyard beside the building to examine the information she had given him. The 1900 census only showed Marie Latimore as the principal resident and landowner, listing her occupation as storekeeper.

The census data confirmed that George Lattimore had indeed been a captain in the confederate cavalry.  He had been a cadet at West Point, going to the South when the southern states seceded from the Union.  He had been with Stuart’s cavalry at Gettysburg and at Lee’s surrender at Appomatox.    He had homesteaded on the lake with his wife, Marie, and owned a small leather goods and hardware store in the town and had been an outstanding civic leader.

The other records showed that George had been born in Lexington, Kentucky on August 15, 1838.  Married to Marie Kissick December 24, 1858, Died July 23, 1883.  Cause of death: Fell from a horse.  Marie Kissick was born in Louisville, Kentucky on June 10, 1839 and died at her home of natural causes on December 10, 1900.

He put the information in his briefcase and started toward the diner across the street for a cup of coffee and a sandwich.  His next stop would be the tax office.

“Here again…, so soon !  What can we do for you?

“Well, you can pull up the file on the lake property again.  I want to see the property boundaries, the amount of acreage, and lake frontage”.

“I didn’t bother to refile this yet.  I figured you’d be back again…, just not this soon.”

She laid the documents on a table and opened the survey platte.  It was very old and hand drawn.  The markings has faded somewhat and she went to get a magnifier so they could be seen more clearly.  It indicated that, in addition to the original homestead, George had later purchased the land on either side and the property that led down to the lakeshore and Marie had purchased a band of land that bordered the back of the homestead.  Tax records placed the acreage at nearly 200 acres. The cottage was centered at the back of the original homestead.  The survey indicated that the property extended from just beyond the top of the hill in the forest to the lake.  He couldn’t believe it.  What vision!  They had seen as their dream what he had felt when he first saw the lake from the top of the hill.  With this, his decision was made.  Now it was time to find what the cost would be.

“Ok, I want this piece of property.  First, how do I go about the purchase, and next, how much will I owe?  Oh, lord, he thought to himself…, what am I getting myself into?

The clerk smiled at him and pulled up a file with a sheaf of documents and figures.  “There wasn’t much going on here today so I took the time to research and determine the cost already.  This would be a tax sale, property sold for back taxes, and, since the house and any buildings were condemned four years ago, it’s for property only.  The back taxes,   late fees, and fees to process the sale, total exactly $6,162.00, and taxes due for this year would be about $1,210.62”.

Good grief, he thought, that’s less than the price of a used car.  Wonder why someone hasn’t grabbed this already.  He quickly took out his checkbook and glanced at the balance.  With what he had in savings and this account he could buy it outright with cash to spare.  He looked up at the clerk…

“How much should I write to cover a down payment until there is a closing on the property?  And how soon can a closing be arranged”?  He tried not to sound as anxious as he felt.

She smiled again.  “If you have the funds with you, we can close right here, right now.  I will arrange a quitclaim deed from the recorders office and the property will be deeded and titled in your name.  Fees for that will probably amount to about $125 and the documents could be ready tomorrow.  There’s no need for a title search but for your own protection you might want to purchase title insurance sometime in the future”.

“I’ll have to run over to the bank…, but here is a check for $500.oo to bind the sale.

“You have time.  We don’t close til 5:pm., and I’ll start the paperwork process.  See ya soon”!

The bank had been as busy as the county offices and he was back in less than thirty minutes.  He had transferred enough from savings to cover the back taxes, fees, and taxes due, with some left to cover any other fees that government offices could dream up.  They always seemed to be able to find some hidden costs.

The clerk was busy entering data into the computer and printing out docments.  She had a stack of documents and folders on a table next to her.  He recognized the portfolio and the tax files, but next to them was another, very old, file.  Hmmmm, another mystery…

“Ok, I think I have everything here now and we’re ready to do this.  I’ll explain everything as we go along and stop me if you have any questions, ok”?  She picked up a stack of papers and laid them in front of him with a pen.  They had been highlighted where he needed to sign or initial and as she talked, he signed.  Now came time for the check.

“It looks like, with all fees, and this year’s taxes, you owe a balance of $7, 483.87.  That is a final, total figure”.

He took out the checkbook, completed and signed the check and handed it to her.  She then gave him a receipt, a copy of a quitclaim deed, and a form indicating that the copy of his property deed and title would follow in three to five days.  That done, she reached over to the table and picked up the mystery file.

“Since you are now the property owner and all taxes and fees are current, I need to present this file to you.  I frankly don’t know what’s in it but instructions are that it is to be passed over to the new owner of this property, so…, here you are, and please sign this form for receipt of it, ok?  Oh, I took the liberty of going through the portfolio and removed any documents that weren’t tax related.  Here are the original homestead documents and the original deed and title for the land. Thought you might like to have them…., and the envelope with the marriage license.  We have no need for it.”

“Well now, are we all finished here”?  He was stunned by what he had just done – bought a run down cottage and about 200 acres of property.

“We’re all finished…, and congratulations !  Hope you’ll be happy with it.  Sounds like a pretty piece of property”.

“Goodbye now, and thanks for all your patience and help with this.  Thanks”!

He drove back to the house and changed clothes.  After another cup of coffee, he decided that there was still time to go over to the cottage – his cottage, and look over the land again.  It was getting chilly so he grabbed a warm jacket as he left, and as an afterthought, brought his briefcase and a flashlight with him.  This was to be a fortuitous afterthought.  As he reached the clearing at the edge of the woods he took in the view again, and it was breathtaking.  He didn’t feel like he was trespassing now…, more like he belonged here, and here belonged to him.  He went into the house and started to really take inventory, taking a pencil and pad from the briefcase and starting a list.  If it was possible, he wanted to restore the cottage and make it a home again – his home.

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The kitchen would need a lot of work – new doors on the cabinets, a countertop, a modern sink, and just a lot more.  The fireplace looked serviceable, but he would want to clean it to make sure that there were no obstructions in it.

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The hardwood floor would have to be sanded and refinished, the stairs needed new treads and maybe new risers, except for the kitchen and the windows and doors, it all seemed to be cometic.  Nothing he couldn’t do by himself, given time.  Getting to the cottage would be a major undertaking though.  He needed to build some kind of lane from the road back to the clearing…., and maybe a garage for the car.  At the moment it seemed overwhelming, but he would take it one-at-a-time and things would get done.  First the lane, then windows and doors………  Somewhere in the middle of all the planning he fell asleep on the torn old sofa.

You made me very happy today…., and you will be happy here…, both you and the Ghost.  I will be here with you for as long as you need me, but, there will be a time when someone will come to take my place with you.  Until that time, I will love you, watch over you, and guide you.  You have found me, my life, my dreams, and my love…, until he left me.  He was such a grand, commanding, and magnificent man, all while being gentle, tender, and loving.  You found some of his life, and his history.  You would have liked him, and he you, as you seem to be almost like the son we dreamed of but never had.  Rest now, I’m here with you……….

He woke, just in time to see the sun setting over the lake through the window.  It was chilly and he started to reach for his jacket before he realized that it covered him.  He had no idea how it got there… He took his list and the briefcase and went to the cellar.  He wrapped the old uniform and the pistol in a small canvas and stuck the sabre and scabbard through his belt.  Again, he carefully covered the cellar and weighted the boards with a couple of rocks and then started back to the house.

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It was enough for one day.  Ghost met him at the door, mewing and rubbing his legs.  He picked her up and looked into those mystic green eyes…”Little girl, we will soon have a new home…, and I think you’ll like it.”  He put his treasures in on the bed and came back to the kitchen to fix something to eat.

With a sandwich and a cup of coffee he started to settle down on the sofa when he remembered the “mystery package” he had left on the table.  After retrieving it, he sat down to finish his sandwich.  Ghost had joined him to beg some ham from the sandwich and was soon curled up beside him to sleep.  He carefully opened the packet and started to read the letter that was on the top.  He was more tired than he thought and his head slowly sank to his chest.  Ghost looked up at him, annoyed by his snores.

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White   10 comments

 
Capture

Before the dawn this morning

A nymph came out to play

In the mists as day was dawning

And she stayed for the whole day

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She picked her way among the trees

As she danced before the wind

She kissed the blooms and made them freeze

And their branches she would bend

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Her icy gown was shaded white and silver gray

She lingered til the dark of night

Then took the bright and shining light of day

And painted all in winter’s white

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The Snow Queen has come to impose her Winter Way on the land

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Good Night Everybody.  Stay Warm !!!

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We have 7 inches of new, heavy, wet snow with 3 more forecast overnight.  Did I ever tell y’all how much I really don’t like any of this…., all these 4-letter things like cold, snow, wind…???

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Posted November 13, 2014 by PapaBear in Experiences, Personal, Poetry

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Good Night   1 comment

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Words don’t come to me tonight

So I will lay the pen aside

And sleep til early morning’s light

Knowing failed…, but tried.

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GOOD NIGHT EVERYBODY !

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Posted November 10, 2014 by PapaBear in Experiences, Personal, Poetry

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