Tag Archives: Love

Hey, Wait for Me.

Lee in Paradise
Hey, Wait for Me.
By Lee Broom

Originally Posted In ninetydaywonder.wordpress.com
August 14 2013

In the seventies all was good. My children began to marry. Business was great. The first grandchild appeared. And then another and another. My wife had disappeared with the family wealth but by doing so had given me an opportunity to experience freedom for the first time in my adult life. Becoming a purposefully sober person, also for the first time in my adult life, made it possible to experience this freedom in a way I would never have guessed was possible.

In the eighties I remarried and lost the freedom, lost the business, retired for a year, had a few drinks to feel better, discovered the futility of such a silly choice and returned to sober living. Got a job for a year. Self confidence returned and I began to rebuild my business. During this decade Asian economies boomed, some western economies faltered and the world began to change.

The nineties began with optimism, previously primitive Asian markets grew, enabling countries like South Korea to become first world powers. In North Korea Kim Jong Il, succeeded his father Kim Il Sung, US markets faltered, my own business soared through the first half of this decade and practically fell apart in 1995. I shut down my stores, moved my business from uppity North Scottsdale into low rent quarters in Phoenix, got an evening job and started over.

The new decade began with a stunned Lee Broom working two jobs, running a business and completely oblivious to the problems that the new decade brought to an optimistic America. I lived in an old office, 250 square feet, and questioned nothing. I stayed sober and prayed often.

By the end of this decade I had worked myself out of a short-lived period of poverty, rebuilt my business on credit cards and rediscovered my grandchildren. And their children. The first week of the new Presidential Administration marked the end of Lee Broom Gallery and Design, at least for a few months. I moved from a 2000 foot apartment into smaller but nicer quarters and began to learn new ways to market my wares and my skills.

There is a story woven thorough all this. It is the story of the citizens of the United States of America. In America there are people who will never have anything. This is primarily because they believe this is so. And they may be right. We must care for them and wherever possible help them to move into group two. And there are those who never give up and learn from their mistakes and move on. They do this because this is their reality. These are the people who keep the wheel turning. When a company downsizes those who are released from their careers decide which of these two groups they want to choose as their new reality. Some help reroute success, others know only their loss. During these times of difficulty I have belonged to both groups. There are no dollar signs on the measuring stick that I use to measure success. I have managed to stay in the Successful group more often than not because of another asset that I have not mentioned until now. I tithe. I don’t mean financially because I am not much of a Churchy kind of guy. But as a sober person for more than thirty-five years I have had another occupation which takes up a minimum of ten percent of my time; I make myself useful in the community by helping others. I’ve helped drunks get sober, hungry families get fed, taught oldsters how to use a computer, built a children’s theater, read to the blind and driven old ladies to Church and returned to pick them up when the service is over. Sometimes I even stayed for the service and sang when told to do so.

These activities keep me grateful. And I socialize with others who do the same. Within this group of people I call my friends, are those who are suffering and those who are not. I see people who once ran large corporations presently mowing lawns and cleaning kitchens.

I am 72. I am writing several books at a time and intend to publish this year before my eyes give out. I am learning how to take a business which first relied on retail stores, then upon sales calls and eventually on emails, greeting this new century by learning how to do all of the above and tie it all together with the internet, with social networking, a part-time job and a sense of gratitude to a Higher Power I call Love. I could never have comprehended such joy when I was twenty and driving my long, long convertible with a bottle of whiskey in my left hand, the steering wheel in my right and a very bad attitude. The bad attitude returns occasionally. But not for long.

I love my life and I love living it.

SAFETY FIRST (among giants)

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SAFETY FIRST

 

Life among giants is tricky.

We begin by staying close to Mom.

We venture out.

We crawl.

We rise up on our hind legs and we stumble.

We cry out for Mom but before she reaches us we are up again and on the move.

From Birth till Ever we search for safety.

We measure that safety with terms of approval.

We shout to the horizon “I am not afraid”.

And even when disappointed beyond words we seek additional measures of approval.

We had begun one person at a time until one day we decided “more is better”.

More approval meant  more cooperation but less emphasis on being right.

We stopped experimenting.

We adopted the attitudes and belief systems of the  group.

We rebelled occasionally, unhappy with having opted to be less true to ourselves in favor of what? Safety? Fairness? Fairness? Why had we abdicated our Freedom?

We had a cup of coffee in the most popular coffee shop and thought about it.

This isn’t so bad… is it?

Is it?

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Lee Broom

I AM I DO

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I AM I DO 
Lee Broom

Our first scream is an involuntary response to the first gasp. It occurs at the moment of our first sensation of fear; our first decision, our first affirmation and our initial attempt at managing our place in this new world.

This first noisy protest is interrupted with cradled arms and soft, cooing Mommy Words, which lend a hint that this dangerous world into which we have been thrust has an oasis of safety; ours for the price of a scream.

The calming voice, the gentle words are familiar to the newly initiated. The touch of Mother’s hands are a new sensation but it too is somehow, known.

Our first scientific experiment has begun.

This is our first experience at asking for and receiving Love, a sensation which will in future decades become confused with Approval.

Our  experiments will become more sophisticated if not necessarily objective; life and the events that greet us will be measured, examined, dissected and reassembled as we seek to secure Maximum Safety.

Life may be more difficult for those of us who have missed the touching and the softly spoken words of gentle parenting. Perhaps we ask for help.

Later, in the language of Mommy Words we may even ask another, untouched soul “May I lend a hand?”

And a Spark of The Spirit ignites the flame of LOVE.

I AM I DO 
Lee Broom

Music makes everything better First posted on May 5, 2012

Tricias thirty day challenge day 9

Happy Birthday to My Son. His name is Bill.

When my son was a child (he’s a grandfather now), he and I enjoyed taking long, evening walks together during the summer months. When we began this tradition we found we had little to say to each other. Remarkably, we stuck it out, eventually discovering some very creative ways of entertaining ourselves and each other. One evening as we walked, Bill picked up a stick along the way. The discarded piece of lumber was as long as he was tall, (smaller than a one by four and larger than a one by two); I don’t remember how tall he was but he was six or seven years old. We had just arrived in Phoenix from Oklahoma City and everything we did, Bill and I and his sisters Mary and Dixie and his mother, was an adventure of the best kind.

As we approached a metal light pole, Bill raised his stick like a bat and creeping up as if to attack an unsuspecting animal standing there waiting to become dinner, Bill swung the stick and with a resounding ring, the vibration of which traveled back up the stick and through the bones in his small body, landed him squarely on the sidewalk. The greatest stress to my boy was the surprise of an inanimate object fighting back. The second was to the ulna of his right arm with considerable pain centering in the wrist. I removed my shirt and then my tee-shirt, put the outer layer back on, cut and tore the tee into three-inch wide strips using a 200-year old knife that had lived in the pockets of several generations of Broom men, wrapping the resulting field bandage around his wrist. When I picked up the stick, Bill told me in a very firm tone that I should give it to him and I obeyed.

We walked on. He hit the next pole more gently; we listened to the musical tone that resulted from the blow and I reproduce the musical note with my vocal chords. By the time we returned home Bill’s wrist was swollen and we had arrived singing a melody made of the notes that had erupted from the vibrating light poles that my pole playing son had produced with his pole bat.

On the next walk we sang that melody until memorized and eventually created a silly set of lyrics; no need for ASCAP membership yet but it was a lot of fun.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Memories. Tagged humongous, learning, love, mind, Phoenix.

THE IMPORTANCE OF FRANK AND NAKO

Lee in Paradise

At the peak of my ten-K days I had two jogging buddies who accompanied me on evening runs though usually I ran alone at dawn. Those early runs were five to ten miles long, depending on my schedule. I didn’t want to place that kind of burden on my small companions.

These pals of mine were Frank and Nako.

Frank, a black toy poodle who never had to worry about getting a sissy-cut, was named after St Francis of Assisi. He was stoically silent when I rescued him from the pound and completely unaware of my presence. This curly-headed little critter seemed to be much more interested in the huge, dark, big-dog stool near the back of his cell. It had apparently been contributed by a previous tenant. I was informed by the doggie warden that when this little guy was first discovered running the streets of Phoenix, he was wearing a mute collar. He was arrested and interred and sentenced to death in a gas chamber unless someone adopted him before his ninety day appointment with the county canine killer arrived.  

“If you don’t mind” I implored, “would you bring him around and introduce us, please?”

Instant friends, I took Frank home to present as a birthday present to Terri. When introduced to Terri and Nako the family kitty Nako was ready for war. Terri picked her up and held her in her left atm, and at her request I placed Francis in her right arm. The hissing continued. Terri wasn’t at all impressed and established a routine of taking the mismatched family members for a walk each evening, one in each arm until the hissing stopped; eventually Frank and Nako became inseparable.

One evening as Frank and Terri and I started across a busy intersection we heard a strange cat sound from about a hundred feet to our rear.  Meow ow ow ow, Meow ow ow ow. It was Nako (Japanese for cat). Nako was Terri’s pet. Offensively independent, this strange animal and I were becoming very attached to each other.  The three of us turned to investigate. Each long meow which sounded more like a howl was interrupted every time one of Nako’s paws hit the pavement. Meow ow ow ow.

She was apparently stating her refusal to be left behind and demanding to be part of the team. Very assertive, this kitty; she never experienced the tethered restraint but she would soon demonstrate that she knew exactly what to do.  We waited for her to join us.

A year or so later we sold our Phoenix home and moved to Scottsdale. On our first evening in our new environment, Terri and I left Frank and Nako locked in the back yard after having jogged next to us daily for more than two years. This was our first evening in our new home and Terry had resumed our evening habit. Being in a strange neighborhood and respectful of the new pet control rules contained in the CC & R’s we decided to go it alone this first evening. Five minutes from home we heard this heart-rending doggie howl that just had to be Frank. We ran back home and opened the gate and in one and three-quarter seconds I had a wiggly armful of doggie as Frank leaped through the air like a refugee from an acrobatic dog act with a weekend Gypsy Circus. Nako greeted Terri by rubbing against her legs, purring like a buzz saw and we all enjoyed a brief reunion. Frank was no longer mute. His voiced approval and disapproval of every family event took some getting used to.

A year later Nako and Frank and I were jogging on the Scottsdale Country Club golf course, late at night; Terri who was no longer part of the team and homesick for a previous way of life had returned to familiar climes.

As we ran, geysers suddenly erupted and Nako was blasted by the full force of a stream of water meant to arc over a twenty-foot span. Nako was only a foot from the sprinkler head when it struck and was knocked five feet through the air. She hit the ground running and disappeared, never to return. Or so I thought.

Some months later I was entertaining former  team-member Terri, who was asking me about our Big City Kitty. As I was telling her the story we heard a familiar sound.

Meow ow ow ow, Meow ow ow ow. Nako looked as though she hadn’t eaten in a month. Our returning family member went to the three of us individually, purring like a buzz saw. For a minute or so as Teri and I smiled at the two pets began to communicate with their noses and poses and purring and soft little doggie barks.

I miss them. I really do. I live in a condo; . I jog on a treadmill. Maybe someday, I’ll buy an iguana.