Raggin' Piano Boogie


HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010

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December 31, 2009

West Virginia

This New Years Eve? Wow. Life has changed. When I think about the many past Raggin' Piano Boogie New Years Eve event performances on the streets of Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Haddonfield New Jersey, Providence Rhode Island etc... in crowds of ten to a hundred thousand people screaming and jumping around, Ha. I today I am presently stuck here in the snow. (four more inches today) The Traveling Piano truck is under cover in rural West Virginia, in a barn. Boner and I are with my friend Pat. I went back to New Jersey yesterday to pick her up for a visit to give her a mini Christmas vacation and her daughter (caretaker) a break and to have her see what I have contributed to the cabin. (Pat owns it) Relating with Pat is a major exercise with living in the present moment. She no longer has memory or can sustain a phrase with the words in a sentence. With her mind she cannot remember the past, the present can be just a moment and there is no ability to decide or choose for the future. Last night I had to keep turning on the heat because she kept turning it off thinking she was turning it on. I found the refrigerated items in the freezer and the freezer items in the fridge. Ahh... patience that stems from love. My dog Boner has been a significant tool for me to learn patience in life. I am very grateful for the amount that I have gained. Now I can apply that patience for people. I've had about four hours of sleep for each of the last two nights and it doesn't look like I am going to get much more tonight.

I feel a need to get more help for Boner with his congestive heart failure and other health issues. All in all I am in a good frame of mind probably because I just finished improvising music for about forty minutes. If Boner can keep going, the Traveling Piano truck with its issues can keep going ...and me, if I can keep going... the Traveling Piano will begin its fourth year in 2010. Before I continue I am going to finish archiving the past pictures for Boner The Dog. Never thought I would live to see 2010 and I want to remember that everything in my life is now "icing on the cake" as in... not needing expectations and obligations specifically for myself. Life is to purely enjoy. Ha, by coincidence I am ending this writing at the stroke of twelve midnight. There are fire crackers going off in the distance. .

December 30, 2009

Cumberland, Maryland

I've set myself up for some practice in not being the center of attention not that being the center of attention is a bad thing. When I am the center of attention it is usually all about my working with the journey. Now, for me to put all of my attention on someone else and not the journey... ha, a challenge. With my friend Pat visiting... my life is presently about going with the flow of whatever is happening in spirit. In mind when Pat wants to express a word... her mind knows the word but cannot verbalize it. Is that a form of alzheimer's? We spend a lot of time in silence because conversations can be difficult. This is not so bad. I just "be" with her. We are living together more in a spirit world verses mindful world. It is necessary to get up in the morning when Pat gets up. Oh my God!!! She gets up at 6am in the morning. I woke up this morning and thought, "you will not die from having only four hours of sleep." I meant the feeling!

We took a trip to Cumberland today. My neighbor Cindy needed a few snakes delivered because the post office will not do it. (she raises them and then sells them online) I was asked to tell the customer that she included a male and a female along with some mice and a few free roaches for feeding the snakes. My friend Pat, Boner, me, two snakes, some frozen mice and a few roaches... out for an end of the year truck ride :) After we delivered the snakes we went to the movies and then to visit with my friend Sandra. When I get up in the morning with Pat I think... wake up, what am I going to do... what are we going to do... take it slow and easy, take my time, I can do this... Pat is doing great to help make the visit great with her consideration and friendship.

December 29, 2009

West Virginia

This cabin where I have been staying, I am still cleaning the stinkbugs out of boxes that I moved into the place. There is only one thing worse than the smell of a stinkbug unloading its gas and that is... the odor created from trying to get rid of stinkbug smell with a citrus cent air deodorizer. FYI... the smell of a stink bug and citrus together... don't try it!

The Traveling Piano man has really gone out on a limb but its not with the Traveling Piano truck. It is with relationship. Seeing as I am not on the road with all that has happened and along with the weather, Boner's health etc... rationalizing with all that, I have summoned the courage to create a Christmas present for both my friend Cindy in New Jersey and her mother Pat. (Pat owns the cabin where I have been staying) Cindy in New Jersey... (I have several friends named Cindy who I write about in this blog) has been Pat's caretaker for a couple years and has not had a break from her mother. Am I creating a distraction for myself from not traveling and doing a musical journey? Maybe... but then again this journey is about more than just music. It is about relationship and always has been. Relationship with the nature of life, ...meaning in every form and in every way ...the birds, bees, trees, Boner, music, the Traveling Piano truck, myself, old friends, new friends... I am going with the flow of life, spontaneity, synchronicity, grabbing onto all opportunities for all progressive relating so... I drove back and forth from West Virginia and New Jersey today. (about ten hours of driving) We listened to Christmas music on the radio the entire way back and Pat serenaded me with Christmas songs.

Pat being here with me and Boner at her cabin is very special indeed. I wanted for her to see how I have cared for the place, what I have done for it and to share with her. Two days a year... this is all the time Pat gets to spend here. (her favorite place) This is because of the distance from where she lives and also other issues like age... her mind is not working like it used to. She knows this fact at times and it frustrates the crap out of her. It took over a half year for me to summon the courage and decide that I could spend a few days alone with her and would not let her mindlessness frustrate the crap out of me! Love wins out over fear every time and I love Pat. I have accepted the fact that reminders are needed for her to take vitamins and supplements several times a day... to take off her shoes before going to sleep in bed... to remember to use her potty pad in the morning, not to feed Boner her meals and... I must remember to keep everything important out of sight or might lose my wallet and find it next week in the freezer :) ... no kidding. I also must remember Boner's new needs like... I forgot to give him his dose of steroids and Lyme disease medication before bed last night and then... there's my needs too! We are having fun.

December 28, 2009

West Virginia

A really wonderful "constant" that has been with me since the beginning of this journey is the fact that I have never once felt alone. Most of my life was spent feeling alone so the gratitude that exists about this issue is huge! I have friends today on many different levels. I used to look for one person to fill all of life's roles for me. Now I have some friends who call on the phone, people who check up with me to see if everything is ok via the internet, I have neighbors who interact on a regular basis, friends to do activities with, I am surrounded in general by people who care. Life is good!

December 27, 2009

West Virginia

I really have nothing to say today and that feels kinda good! I don't need to have anything to say? Guess my mind wants to just shut down for awhile. Fat chance of that happening :) Todays picture was taken in the abandoned barn where the Traveling Piano is hiding from the snow.

December 26, 2009

West Virginia

Boner experienced big time anxiety separation last night. He acted out with behavior I have not seen in years. I left him at the cabin while having dinner across the street at my neighbors house. They have several cats that would have freaked out with his being there. I usually leave him in the Traveling Piano truck which is not a problem as he considers it his den but... with sub zero temperatures outside and his present health condition, this is no longer possible. Along with an almost constant crazed hunger from the steroids, (for his congestive heart failure) in a frenzy he tried to claw his way out the door completely chewing away the wall board and tearing it off the wall from floor to ceiling. Splinters had flown all over the floor up to four feet away from the wall, not good. In his early years I attributed this behavior to revenge, his trying to give me a consequence, an expression of anger, etc... but now I realize that "it is what it is" ... he was simply trying very hard to get outside to be with me and his pack. If there is anything I have learned from my dog it is that I will need to adjust my behavior for situations like this and not try to adjust his behavior. If possible make sure he is not hungry and is fully exercised... stop in to check on him more frequently, keep him in a space where he cannot do damage, give him enough treats etc... I cleaned his sleeping area today and he has been laying close to me while I improvise music. We are both feeling content.

December 25, 2009

West Virginia

Ahhh... Christmas with zero obligation or expectation. This is huge for me! I will always value past traditions, rituals and memories of Christmas but no longer feel forced to observe them repeatedly over and over with the same chaotic reverence of yesteryear. The last few days have been spent with friends old, present and new and it has all been completely unplanned via phone, outside visitations and also at the cabin where I have been staying. I'm just going with the flow and enjoying it all. My neighbors Christine and Dave cooked Christmas dinner which we shared together. Afterwards, I created music before bed while focusing on a Christmas candle that I had decided to burn after having used as a decoration for over thirty five years! That felt very good to allow myself to do.

December 24, 2009

West Virginia

Today being Christmas Eve, I find myself feeling interestingly satisfied and I am sure this is because I have not been around any shouting of what Christmas is, should be, should not be, forced commitments, shopping, television etc... I have finally reached a point in life where Christmas can be whatever I personally want it to be. Now, having more worldly experiences, especially with how the day is very different for people, this has helped in my changing views on past traditions and rituals. For example, my family having Christmas dinner any place but home would have been considered atrocious. To not spend it with the inside circle of trust (immediate family members only except for an additional charity case every other year, my aunt) would be considered an act of family war and reason enough to be considered for expulsion. Do you think I am kidding? ...not. I drove to Winchester, Virginia today with a friend and we picked up food and votive candles as another storm is supposed to enter the area tomorrow. We had dinner together; a holiday collage of food with cheeses, pepperoni and sausage, roasted red peppers, olives, veggies, candy, cookies and more.

December 23, 2009

West Virginia

We have been snowed in for days. Boner has been good about it but enough is enough eh? Today we got out and about!

Concerning the living of my Wildest of Dreams... I can get side tracked with "mindful" potential and possibilities while finding myself in "more, more, more syndromes". With mindfulness "alone" everything usually heads towards a feeling of emptiness for me. It is very easy to lose my focus with pure mindfulness. Enter spirituality and feeling...

On the other hand... when I just feel everything (my spiritual nature)... there is never a problem with anything. There are two kinds of impulses for me, mindful and spiritual (feeling). They both work together (as in balance) probably because they are both the same, they just work differently. My spirit can work on its own, my mind cannot. When I deal with mindful impulses alone I tend to lose the focus of my true desires. In the past I have had mindful impulses and there was no controlling them. I just flowed in the direction of any thought I had. It was like playing a dangerous game of roulette. Sometimes it was fun and sometimes not. (in the end, usually the latter) My present understanding of the mind with its thoughts... the mind is simply a great tool for living life. The trick is to use it to your advantage. In the past my thoughts (mindful impulses) lacked feeling. I knew not how to feel about them. I did not want to understand, know or trust feelings... I was afraid of them. (still am at times) Feelings for me were unidentifiable or at the very most... completely twisted from my upbringing and society as a whole.

I have been presently learning about spiritual impulses, my truths. My spiritual impulses are identified through feelings. These impulses seem to serve no purpose unless grounded in the reality of my world... in order to manifest fun and joy. Everything I have learned about my spiritual impulses has been through trial and error. My spiritual impulses can work with the mind and they can also work alone. They allow all the potential, possibilities and more, more, more that can exist and they can do it from a non-mindful state of being and without the need for mindful focus.

My ability to now have conscious awareness and discernment (ongoing practice) of mindful impulses and to connect them with true desires and intent... to think big in order to bring my desires into reality has been wonderful for my life. Ha, control of mindfulness, that is the trick. I know from learning about life that it is impossible for me to have wrong desire. All of my intent is pure. My desires manifest from my intent so they are also pure. And then their are impulses that enter the pictures of my life, impulses from the past, present and future. They are what they are. When I get a strong impulse like I am going to hit a deer while driving on a dark road at night... I no longer need to flow with it uncontrollably. From practice, I now immediately become aware of the impluse. "It is what it is" ...which is nothing for my life and has no power in my life unless I grab it and make something of it. Before I grab it or it grabs me and takes an unconscious control... I toss it off. Otherwise I will manifest it in some way so... I do not grab hold of negative impulses. The trick is to stay consciously aware which again for someone like me... takes constant practice. With negative impulses I say, "get outta here, grrrr, I do not want that to happen, lalalalala, everything will be good and ok, God help me" and then... I believe and trust. That has been working pretty good for me since this journey has began. That is just one little example. The bottom line is that negative impulses are having less and less control in my life. Positive impulses are coming into my life stronger, greater and quicker. I am able to recognize them... want and welcome them with awareness in clarity and truth... and share them with my gratuitous and giving nature. (which is simply, basic human nature)

December 22, 2009

West Virginia

Learning how to create my reality can be tricky. It all has to do with belief, focus of attention, awareness and staying "with it". As my reality is in a constant process I want to share that process... specifically my intent, why and what I am doing. Why am I living the life I am living? Is it to be an example, to show, to teach, to be a "do gooder", healer, to get attention... for fame, power, money, to show off? I live my life to have fun and experience joy, period. But... everything I just said can be fun right? With more clarity I realize that I want to have "shared" experiences of fun and joy for myself and for my world. Why? Because this feels natural, the way it should be as we are all connected anyway.

I was thinking about the process of getting to Hollywood with Boner to put him on a television show for the world to meet him (for fun) and to give a shout out to Oprah concerning my Wildest of Dreams (for fun). I want to continue to pursue my Wildest of Dreams so I began to visualize and feel them. I was doing real good with the visualizations until I realized my mind went off track (awareness). I want to write down what happened for this blog.

I was visualizing my being on stage with Jay Leno and we are talking having fun and then when it comes time for the Oprah part... (this is where I went off track and luckily became aware) Jay says something like, "Oprah has not come around for you and we know your getting to the end of your rope so"... and then the new Traveling Piano truck comes into the picture... my Wildest Dream begins to happen. Now... first off, my Wildest of Dreams have already been happening so what is up with the thought of... "begins to happen" ? Next... In the visualization... I began to feel that everything is a great big surprise because I love surprises. (this is where I went off track again) Now... I cannot visualize a surprise in my mind and then bring that into reality! I can feel what a surprise feels like from past experience... but I can't specifically visualize how it will happen ahead of time! In doing that it would not be a surprise when it really happens! Visualizations from my understanding are not about scripting they are about feeling.

Still with me? I have a tendency to create scenarios of how my Wildest Dreams will manifest. To create "how" things will happen, this is not my job to think about, or visualize or try and figure out. How anything will happen is not my concern. Often, I attempt to take control of areas in my life that are not my job to control. I am learning. There is more than just "me" working with and in my life. I don't need to understand every little detail of what, why and how my life works. I love the analogy of electricity and turning on a light. I could not care less about how and why the light goes on, how electricity works... I just trust that it will when I flick on the switch. The same goes for my life... I can switch the word "flick" for "connect" with people, nature, work, friendship, music, respect, my website etc...

When I try to figure out surprises or create scripts for my goals before they happen I go off track. When that happens... there goes that possibility... not a chance of having it as a surprise or the way I plan. Then again I could make a hundred choices and be surprised or satisfied by which one manifests? I better stop thinking now... Ha. Maybe I'm getting cabin fever stuck here in the snow, in the mountains. Not really, what I have said is a clear and an important piece of my life's puzzle.

December 21, 2009

West Virginia

The people in these here hills do not use snow shovels as much as plows and tractors when there is a storm. The Traveling Piano is safe (I hope) in an abandoned barn a couple of miles away. The course of events that have led to my being in a rural area and snowed in with no way to get out, I would never have expected. It is becoming a challenge to keep thinking outward with my goals and spirit. More effort is needed to stay connected with the world these days. I tend to fall into an isolated "my world." It can be fun and very satisfying at first but then I know from past experience that this type of fun can turn into a black hole of nothingness. Balance is the key. My world... our world... the world... it is all one. Remember that Danny, stay connected to it all in as perfect a balance as I can. I am embracing it all no matter what! Lucky for me, Cindy, my friend across the way from where I am staying has the neighborhood plow. She has been having a lot of fun with it and will be around to plow me out... someday.

December 20, 2009

West Virginia

It is clear that I am living the life I desire, creating my world experience... all of it, even what may seem wrong or disappointing. When in moments of unhappiness or feelings of failure, I remind myself that my mind is not clear about what I am really wanting "in the moment"... say for example being in China or Hollywood or working with Harpo productions (Oprah) who I have pursued now for almost four years... should I beat myself up with what is not happening in the moment? Nay, nay, nay... I work to think about what I am doing presently. I want to be happy in the present moment, period. It would be great to have a new comfortable Traveling Piano truck, money, riches, be traveling the world right now with Boner and sharing all that (Bo and I are snowed in and will be for a few days) ...the facts are that I really want the experience of nature and as much as I can get, the experience of peace, warmth, stillness, quiet... friendship, the fun in the present huge snowfall, self respect, security, food, shelter... to just "be" with my dog... in the moment. I also want chaos and like stimulation in all forms as long as balance exists with everything to a degree. I constantly need to keep an awareness of balance. I think about my spirit flowing free in the wind while trusting in God and the universe and also... the fact that I am living in a material world. (the birds, bees, trees, Traveling Piano truck, business, clothes, food) My biggest issue right now is organization. I trend to get caught in the material world with fear and use organization to help cope. (thinking about my past failures before the journey creates the fear) A clean palette to work with in the present moment, organization to a degree so that I do not create clutter, too much chaos, confusion and lack of clarity... not get distracted with too much organization... wow, what a task! A separate perspective and balance for both my spiritual and mindful/material worlds so they can work together... this is what I strive for.

December 19, 2009

West Virginia

It has been twelve hours since snow began to fall. I woke up to a foot and a half on the ground; plenty more is on the way. I am in a wonderland and happy to have this life experience in the woods... with Boner. Luckily I purchased a snow shovel yesterday so Bo can get down the deck steps. With all the snow he would not of been able to get out the door! We'll go out to play for short periods of time considering his age and condition. My doggie loves snow as much as I do. He's a snow bunny. The last time there was a storm like this Boner was very young pup.

I am sitting in one of the two new comfortable and fluffy burgundy cloth recliner chairs (given to me) ...while lounging in a one piece flannel night shirt (a present) ...in a cozy little cabin I have all to myself (a friends journey support) ...with a few special things like pillows my mother knitted for me, my family rug, (now for the cabin) candles burning that I saved for twenty years (yikes) etc... ...while outside the windows I am watching a fantastic winter season. Boner is laying on one side of me and a cup of coffee with a piece of sour cherry pie (shared from neighbors) is on my other side. There are no distractions like television, internet, radio, planes, cars, trains. I wonder if I will go crazy from gratitude or solitude. Ha, my neighbors just phoned to ask for help. They need to shovel a path so the wild deer can come up to their house to get food... off to work I go!

December 18, 2009

Cumberland, Maryland

Two feet of snow is heading right for the cabin we are staying in. I ran out to the store for a snow shovel. Last storm, Boner had some difficulty getting down the deck steps to take a pee. We joined the masses for the weekend, holiday, weather hysteria... a quick grab for food, fuel, cigarettes and beer. (not me on the last two) All the mountain critters were out of their holes... ha, ha what can I say I was one of them but... I sure did see a lot of strange sights that I have heard about all my life and have always wondered about. It could be several days before I get back to this blog... we shall see.

December 17, 2009

Cumberland, Maryland

Sometimes I realize how I repeat the same thoughts over and over in different ways well, here I go again. I've been going through... still as unbelievable as it may seem, the liquidation on belongings. My goal... to bring value and respect to everything in the "letting go" process. For this journey, I want to get so something from the manifestations of my past accomplishments in life. Funding for the journey from everything would have been great but whatever. That has happened on a very small scale. I would never just throw everything away... dump it all, sell things worth hundreds of dollars for five dollars etc... There would be no self respect for me in all that. Although, I must be honest with myself and admit that I have thrown, dumped and allowed myself to be taken advantage of to a degree. Ugh, on that fact.

The liquidation goal has been difficult to achieve and has lasted over two years now. It feels like the accomplishment has been small. Never the less it is what it is. The fact that things have gone missing bothers me a bit. Also, while through several past giveaways when I was trying to raise money for this journey with everything... people must have walked away with cartons of valued possessions without even looking into them to see what was in the cartons! That can really hurt if I focus in that direction but again, it is what it is. (I could also have forgotten that I gave the stuff away) I just do the best that I can to accomplish my goals and the results are not as important as feeling good about what I am doing in the present moment.

Today, was a success. I used to be an Extreme Christmas decorator and did that for a good twenty five years. People enjoyed it and so did I. Boner and I traveled and gave a large load of decorations for my friend Sandra's house. She had none, wanted to decorate and felt somewhat alone with the Christmas season. Most importantly for me... Sandra is a giver and I want to give to givers! It took about twelve hours to make a Christmas fantasy land for her with displays throughout the house. Job well done, liquidation concerning value and respect, fun and friendship with many Christmas decorations and belongings... accomplished. When we were done Boner and I laid on the floor with how we felt to have our picture taken.

December 16, 2009

West Virginia

Don't want to sound so sappy with my writings and words so I posted a hard picture from last January to go along with what I have to say, ha! It is clear that my job in life, my destiny... is to experience, accept and share joy without expectations or assumptions about what joy is. I know that sounds crazy, maybe through time I will learn to verbalize this fact better. I could also be all wrong about everything. Ha, I am just covering my ass with that last sentence. Today, after I got out of bed... which was in the afternoon... (thank God I can do that because the opportunity, desire, choice and decision was an experience of joy in everyway) ...after I got out of bed thoughts about all the "to do's" in front of me came to mind. I thought about my desire for joy... (fun, friendship, respect) and then my thoughts went to Boner, the Traveling Piano and my perpencity to be nurtured and to nurture. I have found a way in life to do the "nurture thing." It has been through the ways I communicate with the Traveling Piano" and my music, writings, pictures, Boner etc... ...so, with all of todays "to do's" and realizing there is no opportunity to use the Traveling Piano because of my present situation, (cold, location, immediate tasks) I am thankful that I have my career archives to work with. They help to keep perspective and also it is a sunny day to share with Bo and... I have a computer to work with in order to share my life with the world and a friend that needs more help decorating for Christmas. The personal friendship part of my life can be very complex concerning desire because that is where intimacy enters my life in the deepest and the most problematic as well as the best of ways. Bottom line... I enjoy the idea of experiencing as much as possible and doing "it all" whatever that may be in the present moment... my personal life in balance with all of life.

December 15, 2009

West Virginia

Playing the piano in an abandoned barn in rural West Virginia in the freezing cold... hmmm.... anyway, I called my Goddaughter today to say hello and had to ask her what day of the week it is, as well as the date of the month. Am I losing a grip on life? Do I need to know these facts? I drove to Cumberland, Maryland to drop off a bunch of my old Christmas decorations to give as a gift for a friend and to also help decorated for a short bit. First, we both stopped off at a Walmart to pick up a few things. When the Traveling Piano landed in a rural Mexican fishing village a couple years ago it felt like I was on a different planet. It was a completely different environment and life style than I could have imagined feeling.I experienced that same feeling again today. It came back to me when I walked into the Walmart. I did as before... acceptance came to mind.

December 14, 2009

West Virginia

It feels like this journey has come to a dead stop with the cold, the truck in a barn some distance away, the stuff I recently moved into this tiny cabin where I have been staying well... the story does not seem worth telling here on the blog but I have been having a lot of trouble with it all. After moving I had to take everything out of boxes to get rid of stink bugs (literally hundreds and hundreds of live stink bugs) then move it all into an attic where I found (after a heavy wet snow) a roof saturated and dripping with water inside and on top everything, my archives and much more... had to move everything down, unpack again etc... Thank God I have friends supporting me with help.

December 13, 2009

West Virginia

It has been a few days since I mentioned about fun in life with piano dog Boner. My dog Bo is all about fun. These days also about food. I was told that with the steroids he has been taking for his congestive heart failure he would become more aggressive. I am now seeing that with food. All he wants to do is eat, eat, eat and he REALLY wants to Eat! He can't help himself. I am becoming conscious to adjust my behavior with awareness concerning the issue because his constant panting and roaming and begging, eating every scrap of food particle that he can find... today he licked so hard the cardboard fell apart from a pizza box he found on the front porch of the cabin where we are staying... God, it tends to get on my nerves not to mention difficult feelings concerning the ramifications of why it is all happening. I've been raising my voice and can be very sharp in my verbiage towards him partly because he cannot hear (old age) but also because I get frustrated. Feelings of not being in control come into play even with all I have learned. That along with all the practice and success I have had through the years with "letting go." Fear can still be an issue with me. All in all... Boner constantly brings me into the present moment of love. He will always have my loyalty and devotion in both a spiritual and physical sense. With all that has been going on with our lives presently it has been difficult for him to have a sense of relaxation the same goes for me. I'll need to work more on that.

December 12, 2009

West Virginia

Sandra and I went to the barn where the Traveling Piano is hiding from an oncoming ice storm. She wanted to get a picture of me swinging my heavily clothed, cold, flustered body into the truck bed to improv. We both played some music. Sandra needed a lot of coaxing and distraction to keep going :) The walls of the place are cement so the acoustics; I love music bouncing off the walls. Sandra said she could feel the vibrations on the ladder she was hanging off. She described in visual detail the music she had heard. It is a phenomenon to hear how people like to tell their musical experience via visual imagery. She said the music has no end it just keeps going. Thats a good thing. Looks like the truck will stay in this abandoned barn for a few days because the ground is now too soft and muddy to move it. I'm just working away at enjoying life to the fullest no matter what!

December 11, 2009

West Virginia

Friendships comming into my life really create support for my life. Moving the belongings I still needed to take care of, fixing the twenty two year old Traveling Piano truck, the personal, relational intimacy that is so important to me, wow! This all has entered into my life effortlessly and I really appreciate that. Now, after days of stuffing all my archived papers and Raggin' Piano Boogie materials... clothes, a few personal items and books onto the attic floor I laid in my friends cabin... last night I went up during a snowstorm to find the roof soaked and dripping... inside and on top of everything I had packed away. I just deal. Need to take it all out again and secure everything. God help me!

December 10, 2009

West Virginia

I threw a chicken into a very huge cooking pot. There is plenty of food to get me through the next few days. It has fresh frozen green beans and a multi herb veggie tomato sauce made earlier in the year as well as peppers, (all from my neighbor Cindy's garden) and also mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, noodles, onions, spices... I've been slow cooking it all in a five gallon pot! This present time period is an opportunity to zone out for awhile and not think of anything, just be with Bo and quiet. I have books to read. Friends phone me every once so I know I am not isolated. (I can't call out because I have crappy cell phone service) There is an amazing about of organizing, filing, work and decisions to do with my archives and the journeys future. (I have come to accept that office type work will always be with this journey) I have a keyboard where I am staying to create music for the website. There is much work to do on the website before the year is finished. I may go for a walk when I am done writing this blog. There is still storage to be completed in the cabin.

My friend Sandra drove home last night in a snow storm. She has been such a huge help. It took her one hour slide less than a quarter mile down the hill in her vehicle. She had to use her four wheel drive land rover to crash into and out of the roadside ravine constantly, a couple of feet at a time. I'm not taking any chances with driving. Sandra has taken many boxes of Christmas decorations I still had in my possession. We have been sorting through them for days. I promised that I would help decorate her place in Cumberland, Maryland ...which brings up Christmas issues for me out the butt. I do not need to do anything but... old behaviors, patterns, thoughts and feelings are arising about the holiday the worst being to decide on wether I should celebrate, keep it low key, do it with just me and Bo or with someone else, be on the road with the Traveling Piano, etc... I work to keep a conscious awareness of gratitude that I have choices and that I have created them along with the ability to decide everything for my own life in spite of the fact that choices and decisions have been most difficult for me ...and most importantly, I no longer have a need for obligations or expectations. I may end up staying here In West Virginia for Christmas. There are friends who want me to stay. Who knows what will happen, it is all one day at a time.

A sense of urgency, commitment and loyalty to a constant Traveling Piano agenda always exists. This is partly because I have always said I would do what I am presently doing with this career as long as Boner is around and I want to make the most of my time with him. After he goes, the story of my life may change dramatically. I rarely traveled to perform throughout my past twenty five years before the journey began. I was booked over and over in the same communities within a two hour drive of my house. I have no present desire to travel with the Traveling Piano alone. It is turning dark here in the woods and I am getting ready to light some candles. I had about sixty Christmas figurine candles used for decoration in my old house for over thirty years and now have been enjoying their melt down for over a week! Ha...

December 9, 2009

West Virginia

All of my life I have wanted to live somewhere else. I had been my entire life living in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. Well, it is done. Even though West Virginia is not my home, (I presently have no home) I have been here basically since June with a few Traveling Piano trips away into other states. In the future I would like to live in and to experience many other areas of the world.

Presently, Boner and I are prisoners of nature :) The roads are covered with freezing rains, snow, sleet, the winds are cold and strong with over fifty mile an hour gusts... the temperatures are going to remain below freezing for a while. I do not know what tomorrow will bring but for now we are honker'd down with plenty to do. It feels like not much is being accomplished but I realize that my feelings are not always facts. I have been working in life to learn about my true feelings, create and choose them etc... it has been a very slow process. I take tiny steps forward, falling backwards while taking hold of any successes no matter how miniscule.

Boner is doing great. I am making sure he has warm areas on the floor. I interact with him and play for exercise, let him outside often for fresh air if he wants. (outside, I cleaned up the wild turkey feathers he had found behind the cabin to chew apart a few days ago) I am not going to worry about wether we get to Los Angeles, Alaska or China together. My goal is to be a support for him to have a happy, healthy and satisfying life as much as possible first... and then enjoy every moment personally... then to share our partnership and what we have to offer together with the world. (which is happening). I am very grateful for all my abilities concerning Bo.

December 8, 2009

West Virginia

We are kinda stuck here in West Virginia... waited a little too long; the snow and ice caught us as well as all remains of my belongings that need to be packed away. My friends Sandra and Sherrie have been helping me in a major way but also with other people in my space... we end up socializing a lot of the time. Thats a good thing, I think. I twisted my hip for the first time ever! We would have left the area by today but there is no where in the entire America's where the weather would be suitable for Boner. It is raining, cold and snowing everywhere. We are truly taking it one day at a time. Had to move the Traveling Piano truck outta the neighbors garage because they want their own vehicle protected from the oncoming ice storm... who can blame them? My truck is now undercover in an old abandoned barn with a leaky roof which is better than just sitting outside and it is about a mile away from the cabin where we are presently staying. Boner is preferring to stay at the cabin more and more when I leave because he is just tired out from my running around like a maniac. Sometimes it feels like the journey is slipping away from me even though I have created music for the last four days, just not out on the truck doing the usual. I am at the local park lodge right now using the internet and it is beginning to snow again... need to get out before the hill freezes and I won't be able to get back to the cabin...

December 7, 2009

West Virginia

...this is continuation from yesterday... My neighbors names are Dave and Trish. While we were unpacking the truck Sherrie said, "your neighbor is coming across the street." I said uh, uh... that can't be. She said, "oh, yes she is... look." At that point Boner went to work and ran to her. Dave and Trish are both animal lovers. They feed the deer, squirrels, birds, have cats and bring scraps to Cindy's dogs.Trish was ever so slowly stepping across the street to greet me (they are both in their seventies) while Dave was sort of stepping away but once I responded to Trish he turned around to join us. I love moments like this! We cleared the air from the past and they ended up offering me their garage for the Traveling Piano. They offered to take their vehicle out and leave it outside while mine stays protected in their fifty seven degree temperature controlled garage. Can we talk cry? Can we talk about idiot pride and a truck that has been dying in the woods for months because of it? Can we talk gratitude? As I write this it is now pouring rain outside and the temperature has dropped to freezing with high winds. I love my neighbors Dave and Trish! Sherrie has been stopping by everyday with lots of food. She has been doing my dishes, cleaning and helping me stuff boxes into every corner possible. Her eight year job ended last Saturday so she has been available and here she is helping me along with adjusting to her life. What kind of timing is that, huh? What a special friend I have in Sherrie. I am so very happy to be able to share all this with you.

Danny boy has been busy with a move and the journeys daily blog has been delayed a week because priorities shifted. I wanted to tie up some loose ends before I continued onward. This is the last entry of a fast forward with this blog. The story begins on November 27th. To find that date click on the November link... in the column to the left... of this page... and then scroll down the page to the November 27th date... to begin reading the story upward. I could print it all in one big blotch but naaaa....

December 6, 2009

West Virginia

...this is continuation from yesterday... While we were unloading the van at the cabin another event unfolded that needs to stand on its own. There are two neighborhood houses within sight of the cabin where I have been staying. The one neighbor's cabin, my friend Cindy's; I have talked about her extensively on this blog. She is now a close friend. The other neighbors... well, here is the story. A couple of years ago I was visiting with the Traveling Piano truck and drove it to a hill close by the cabin where there was a clearing. I wanted to create some music there. The spot was under high standing electrical power lines and behind the second neighbors house who I had never met. Within minutes of my starting to play music the neighbor guy came outside waving his hands and shouting, "get out of here, get out of here." Hahaha... I was embarrassed but thought, "this is public property, I am not causing a nuisance, he's far away and older maybe he can't see what is going on. I'll just ignore him until he goes away or comes over to spit on us or whatever... how can he be upset with beautiful improvisational music and a sweet dog sitting on the piano in the back of a shiny red pickup truck... I'm obviously not causing any harm and minding my own business... he's a neighbor, I'm sure he has seen the truck outside the cabin... show me the neighborliness!" He did not give up yelling and waving his hands. I began to feel really stupid so I stopped what I was doing because I was not having any fun. I thought, "damm, thats one person I'll be keeping distance from." I found out later that I was on their property, it was not public property. Still... well, since June it has felt that we have been avoiding each other but... while keeping a distance I worked very hard to stay open to any advance from them. I certainly was not going to take a chance with my pride by putting myself on the line and introducing myself to them. it would not be appropriate for me to reach out after I felt slapped in the face and I thought they are probably people that I would not want to associate with anyway.

All the local neighbors I have met know the story because its kinda funny. Everyone knows what is going on... it was like having a pink elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge out loud. Everyone without exception has said how they are great people, have had dinner with them, visit with them and that the situation should not be, but still... my stubbornness said, "you ain't making the first move." We did pass each other at the community mailbox one day. I was pretty sure it was him and we both mumbled hi to each other. He did not look at me. Who knows, maybe he was embarrassed but still I initiated the "hi" so I took that home with me. Oh, how petty I can be! Hahaha... It never occurred to me that other facts might be in play, like the fact that other strange people have dumped trash in that spot. I did not want to give any benefit of doubt... for prides sake. Yet, also this time period might also have been good so they could open up the communication on their terms. Who knows, the only thing that matters is that it happened and at the right time. ...continued above...

December 5, 2009

West Virginia

...this is continuation from yesterday... Support came when needed for this move. My friend Sherrie was in the picture helping throughout. I called Charlie's son Chip to ask for his help and he came both days. And of course Charlie was a work horse for us. The truck load would not have happened the second day without their help. My rocks, boulders and whatever outdoor plantings still alive stayed behind as did some furniture for Charlie's house. Everything else has been moved and has found its final resting place... my friend Pat, Cindy and family have it all!! I know they will hope I continue to liquidate it all through time because it is too much for the cabin holding it all. An interesting antidote... when Pat had to move from her house in Philadelphia to her daughter Cindy's place in New Jersey for health reasons... because I had room in my house at the time, I took stewardship of her dinning room furniture, china etc... to hold for her children and grandchildren. It is now all here in West Virginia at the family cabin for everyone... forever... probably... not... Ha... maybe! Haha.

On the way driving back to Berkeley Springs my neighbors Arlene and Larry from my old neighborhood where my house was sold, they called me for the very first time ever (known them for over forty years) to ask how Boner and I were doing and to let me know I am loved. Later on I called a friend in Berkeley Springs to ask for help with unloading and he could not do it but a friend of his, twenty one year old Jeremiah came and helped so that we could get the truck back to the store before we went over the time limit. Jeremiah's help was critical. We left him on his own to work while we drove the truck back. Funny, how all this help appeared when I needed it, eh? While we were delivering the truck Jeremiah at the cabin all by himself in a new strange environment flipped out when seventeen guinea hens (noisy little creatures :) came charging in his direction across the street from my neighbor Cindy's house to check out the action. They are very curious birds and Jeremiah had never seen one before. You have to know guinea hens to know how scary that would be for a young guy alone in the woods... very funny. ...continued above...

December 4, 2009

West Virginia

...this is continuation from yesterday... The next morning I called her cell phone when I woke up. There was no answer so I left a message. I called back a half hour later and left a message again. Then I began to freak and flip flop in my head both at the same time using all my tools... to trust, let it be, accept, turn it over, keep my serenity, not assume, project, etc... Hahaha... and then the phone rang. I thought I was speaking to my friend Trish who is always joking around... "Trish, Trish I need to tell you something very serious that has happened etc..." (thinking the truck I rented may have been stolen with the keys in it), I hear laughing on the other end... "please, please we need to get serious" ...it was Sandra. Opps. Her cell phone had been charging earlier when I called and left her messages.

The amount of kindness shown by Sandra in my short time with her has exceeded any past experience I have had. We repeatedly talked about how many days we have known each other but in dog years. That would mean that after four days it can be said that we have been friends for twenty eight years. Sandra left home when she was sixteen years old and got a job along with her own flat (place to stay). She said in England it is lawful and not uncommon for children to become adults at the age of sixteen. She has a very close relationship with her mother to this day and plans to visit her over the holidays. America came into her life at age eighteen as a nanny... and has had three long term stays with that career. She told me how with her first experience she was basically held as a captive buy a family who didn't have the money to pay her and she lived in a dank cellar while eating little more than twinkies for months. The intimate conversations we had were amazingly deep and insightful and our ability to connect on many levels... well it was just awesome even to the fact that she thought nothing of burping in front of me but would not tolerate my farting in front of her. Yes... I did just write that! ...continued above...

December 3, 2009

West Virginia

...this is continuation from yesterday... While in the gas station I began to get sidetracked as Sandra started to point out the new cigarette lighter kitchenware products available to plug into the the Traveling Piano truck. "Look, you can fry eggs while your driving or make popcorn." I wanted to go get my camera to take pictures of it all for this blog because it was so funnily amazing but was too exhausted to shuffle out to the truck knowing I would have to make the return trip. I talked her out of buying me a huge "Bubba Boy" coffee mug for Christmas. It must have had a twelve inch circumference. The rest of the ride was with a full moon which reminded me of how the night before while in separate cars we called each other via cell phones back and forth to report huge falling stars in the sky.

On the first night return trip... we were very tired and knew there would be no truck unloading in the middle of the night. Sandra in realizing that her volunteerism was going to take several days decided it best to drive the loaded truck back to Cumberland, Maryland for some dog and personal overnight supplies and then would head for the cabin the next morning an extra hour ride for her each way. She was smart enough to suggest I purchase a lock at the gas station for the truck while it sat overnight in Cumberland. I silently thought about the fact that I did not know her last name, have an address, did she have a license, that the suv left at Charlie's place from Vermont could have been a dumped stolen suv... and that there are many scam artists floating around especially from outside countries. I was thinking this while she sped off in a different direction form where Sherrie and I were heading back to the cabin. At the same time she was calling my cell phone to leave a message because I had no signal... her last name and address in case of emergency but could not resist adding at the end, "this is the right information or it might not be". ...continued above...

December 2, 2009

West Virginia

...this is continuation from yesterday... Sandra's dog named Rozzie is a fifteen year old girl mutt who amazingly has the same karma as my dog Boner. I have never experienced such a gentle, loving, inclusive, patient, considerate and clam dog other than Bo and it was very comforting when I was with her. Boner now on steroids is a little more aggressive with other dogs so I did not want to take any chances with their relating. Rozzie practically lived in Sandra's truck the entire time without complaint. At night she would sleep in the cabin and we would separate the dogs. For the second trip back we left Boner home by himself. The thought was a little unnerving for me because we have been together twenty four hours a day for most of his life. In the morning when we were about to leave he went back into the bedroom and laid on his bed. I took that as a sign that he did not want to go and it was without question the best decision. My neighbor Cindy from across the street came to visit him and my friend Sherrie came and spent time with him as well as to cleaning dirt, mold and mildew off the furniture and stuff that had been brought into the house from the first trip. Can we talk friendship?

I will never let go of the appreciation I have for Sandra's being able to drive the moving truck and through such treacherous terrain ...also for being able to do so much work and not not fall asleep while driving home and also... her being considerate with speed and aggressiveness. She can be a maniac driver! Sandra is without a question a "go for it" kinda girl. I knew it from the start. She is also intelligent and has a wit so sharp and quick it could rip off a person's face wether they know it or not. On the second trip back to the cabin we stopped at a Pilot gas station. It was three in the morning. While I was paying for gas (one hundred dollars a tank each way four times for each vehicle) I saw a stink bug fly out of my coat into the air and attach itself to the ceiling above us (there was a lot of stink bugs in the attic where stuff had been packed). With my being smelly and sweaty from days of work Sandra says, "you stink too much for a stink bug!" As we entered the store she had a lot of fun at my expense as she described what I looked like, the way I was walking and acting. "Your shuffling your feet with tiny steps like a seventy five year old man and your butt bent and up in the air, look at you grimace!." I caught the hilariously pathetic visual and needed to get my act together. The laughing lasted a good half hour. ...continued above...

December 1, 2009

West Virginia

...this is continuation from yesterday, see November 30th on the November link to the left of this page... We spent four total days together... twenty four hours a day. No sex or relationship seeking... friendship only we both agreed... thank God or whatever for that... we worked with no change of clothes, showers and little food, lots of sweat in the freezing cold temperatures (probably better) to carry up and down steps from attic to floor to outside ground, loading and unloading... we did a lot of lifting and truck stuffing. For several hours I had to pull...crawl... pull... crawl while laying on my sides, stuff out of attic crevices in Charlie's very long attic attic while sucking air full of dust, fiberglass and stink bugs... for hours. I used muscles that have not been used in years and kept away from thinking of myself as a fifty four year old man. The original plan was for what I had left over from my house and last years Traveling Piano giveaway event... to stay up in Charlie's attic forever how long was needed so I had originally stacked it all deep and away from quick access. A 17' moving van (thats sizable) was rented and we did not pick up the truck until way after dark the first day because the rental company kept screwing up saying they had a truck, did not have a truck, had a truck etc.... necessitating the need to drive all over jibip from the cabin to Berkeley Springs WV, to Hagerstown MD, to Ottsville Pa, to Quakertown PA, back to Ottsville PA and then onward to Pippersville PA.

A miracle... Sandra had experience with driving big trucks! I could not imagine myself driving a huge delivery truck with a 17' foot bed especially up, down and around the often one lane country roads of West Virginia and Pennsylvania and in total darkness. At one point Sandra got stuck at a covered bridge where the clearance height was iffy. There was no place to turn around. Luckily she was near the end of the route near Charlie's home and with his being familiar with the bridge drove out to meet us to get the truck through. The first day my friend Sherrie came to help. I drove my truck, Sherrie drove Sandra's land rover and Sandra drove the delivery truck to Pipersville because we knew the task would take two trips. With two five hour drives each way we wanted to take advantage of all the moving space possible. This arrangement was best because Sandra had her dog with her and I had Boner with me. The two dogs having had no time to acclimate or get to know each other... sharing one small space with both owners for ten hours in a truck driving back would not have worked. We left the Sandra's vehicle at the farm for the return trip. She was always quick with suggestions on what to do and I was always quick to accept her suggestions. Maybe once or twice I wavered but I was consciously grateful the entire time that I was able to work with everyone involved and not be a control freak. ...continued above...