Give a little bit

I answered my phone.

A whispery voice on the other line said, “come quick, come quick.”

Then I heard a bit of a struggle, you know, someone yelling, a small grunt, a cry like a small animal, then a voice. “Give me the phone Tellias.”

My brother Val was on the other end now. “Sorry Juliette. Hey, I need a favor. I’m taking Tellias to a meeting in Santa Cruz. Lola is in LA. Can I drop Eleora by?”

“When?” I asked.

Today, in about an hour. We’ll be gone a few days, not more than three. I just don’t want her alone. If she doesn’t fall in a well, or drive the car into the river, you know how she is. Her memory is totally shot these days. I’m afraid she won’t eat or worse order take out. She’ll pretend the plumbing is out, call 911, or something like that and when someone shows up she’ll drain them of every drop of their blood. I don’t even want to think about how many bodies she has buried out in the orchard over the past 150 years.”

“OK,” I said.

“She gets so depressed when she’s alone.”

“I know,” I said. “Bring her over.”

About an hour later my brother Val dropped off the Ancient Vampire. Eleora is over 2,000 years old, but she looks about twenty. A smile was on her pretty face as she ran to me and took my face between her soft cool hands. She kissed my cheeks, hugged me, and sang me a song.

Give a little bit
Give a little bit of your love to me
Give a little bit
I’ll give a little bit of my love to you
There’s so much that we need to share
So send a smile and show you care

I took her hand, then said goodby to my brother.

Once inside I made a pot of tea. I took Eleora around town with me. We went to the nursery to buy plants in the rain. We stopped for coffee and talked about all things under the moon and stars. We shopped for sweaters and boots.

All the while I held Eleora’s hand as she smiled and quietly sang. People gave me those sad sweet smiles they give people with special needs adults and super old elderly folks. I’d smile back weakly and squeeze Eleora’s hand.

Once back at the house I set her down with a book, a murder mystery, and put a blanket over her legs. The calico cat jumped up on the back of the chair and purred. The dog curled at her feet.

My errands, including the unscheduled shoe and sweater shopping lasted about three hours longer than expected. Eleora looks at everything, not once but twice. She goes down the same isles twice. The asks the same questions four or five times. She speaks to everyone she sees. She laughs out loud and sings loudly in sudden unexpected bursts.

And she loves me. And I love her, more than I can put in any kind of words.

She was there for me before I was old. So I am there for her, always.

It isn’t always easy when those we love get old. It isn’t easy when they are slow or forgetful. Our lives are so fast paced and full. Sometimes we need to slow down, and be old, even if it is just for a few hours. So be old. Be free. Be loved. That is what Vampires do. That is what keeps us young. Try it. You’ll thank me for it later.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Starry-Night-by-Vincent-Van-Gogh

 

pepper2017

#NanoPoblano

Heat, Religion, Frogs, and Old People

Summer is Here! Bake it baby (or if you’re smart you’ll stay someplace cool)

 

I could wax poetically about temperature but it is in the triple digits farenehight outside. Any wax is going to melt and I’m not feeling too poetic.

Yesterday afternoon, a man came to my church asking about my religious beliefs. I ended up with a brochure about “original sin,” something which I do not believe in. Sure some people are born evil. Some are born without souls, and I’ll freely admit that. I’ve met them. But the average little baby isn’t chock full of sin, like a dead deer full of maggots on a hot summer day, so don’t even make that comparison or even suggest to me EVER that babies are full of sin. Sheesh.

I should have given the poor man a glass of water but he was so crisp and unflappable looking that I assumed he had a cooler in his car (which could have been full of beer and Jello shots as far as I know.)

At the time I was holding a large German Shepard by her collar with the door cracked open. I should have never answered but it is usually a friend or a neighbor when someone comes a calling, especially when it is so stupidly hot outside.

I believe I’ve used the frog story before, but I shall tell it again.

Put a cold cast iron skillet on a cold burner on your stove. Gas works best. Place a large, live, cold blooded frog in the center of the skillet. Use a good sized one – 10-12 inches. Turn on the heat ever so low, then gradually turn it up. The frog will sit until it gets blazing hot and it’s feet and belly stick to the cast iron and it is cooked.

This is what happens to people in this heat (we’re expecting over 100 all week and over 110 F on some days). Elderly people and others who are not always aware will sit in the heat like the frog until they cook. They’ll forget to jump out of the pan, or in the case of some folks, forget to turn on the air conditioning or fan. Or they’ll forget to call for help because they won’t realize they need help.

My neighbor and dear friend Kelly came over tonight with a couple of cold drinks (bless her). She isn’t a Vampire like we are. She suspects we’re different but can’t quite put a finger on it. She also has a ghost in her house (yes, that ghost.)

We sat for a while as she told me of her elderly mother and the heat. Her mother forgets to turn on the air conditioner. Her mother obsesses about bad neighbors but will not let her children or helpers put anything over the fence so to keep out the eyes of those bad neighbors. She asked Kelly to come over (it was 110 outside) to cut down a tree. Kelly said no. Her mother doesn’t know what yard the tree is growing in. Kelly tells her not to go outside and check because it is too hot and because she’ll fall and end up in the hospital – again. The same conversation has happened over and over – with a different plant, a hose, a stray cat, an unfamiliar car parked on the street, or something else that Kelly will either have to deal with or talk her way out of.

She wishes her mother would move to a house where she won’t worry about bad trees and bad neighbors and expensive up keep. Kelly has suggested a smaller home near Kelly and the grand kids. It would be nice with all sorts of beautiful features and a lovely garden within walking distance of Kelly’s home. The kids could visit anytime. Her mother refuses. So Kelly must hear about trees and drive to her mom’s to get the mail, and give up her Saturday fun time. Saturday fun time is important for working moms and all moms and busy women who work, and well, it is important for everyone.

She wishes she could travel and do fun things with her mother. She wishes they could talk more of things that are positive and fun – things that are not bodily functions or other unpleasant things that only bring Kelly stress.

Sometimes the heat can suck the fun out of everything. The heat of being a caretaker can do the same. It is exhausting. Especially if the caretaker has children of her own. Kelly told her kids to put her on an ice flow if she ever got to the point where she couldn’t take care of herself. She asked them to shoot her if she ever lost her sense of humor. I gave her a hug. We talked for another house about books we’ve read this summer. We agree that everyone MUST read “Beautiful Ruins.” Then she went home to spend time with her own teenage children (good friends with my kids.)

After slipping on the kitchen floor today on an unknown object and landing on my back, I lay there thinking that I’d better call The Elders. They’re ancient and sometimes don’t use the best judgement.

Eleorna and Tellias, frail and gentle, were fine. Their neighbor had brought over shaved ice flavored with basil and rosemary. God bless him. They remembered to bring their old dog in and give him plenty of water. They didn’t drive today because sometimes they forgot how to turn on the air conditioner and the sun was too bright and they had lost the keys again, so they stayed home. And they turned on the air conditioner in their beautiful 143 year old house and slept in each other’s arms like young lovers.

I’m always afraid that I’ll drop by their house and find nothing but their ashes. I’m afraid someone will take advantage of them. I’m afraid that one day they might be gone and I will have a broken heart that will never go away.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

Taking Care of Elders – Vampire Style

I first posted this in 2012 – the first year of this blog. It is worth posting again.

 

Taking Care of Elders – Vampire Style

October 2012

We’re drove out to the old farmhouse where Tellias and Eleora live. About twice a month Teddy (my husband) and I pack the kids into the car and check up on them.

They’re ancients. Nobody really knows how old they are. They are fragile and need help. They don’t have a family. It is just the two of them.

When we drove up, just before dawn, they came to the door to greet me, thrilled to see a carload of their young Vampire friends.

Tellias was wearing an old workshirt that looked like something a guy working in a garage would wear. The name Greg was stitched on it. Eleora wore some horrible looking flowered dress with a stretched out brown sweater. She had on yellow flip flops that had seen better days.

They both looked pale and malnourished.

“Are you two eating anything at all?” I asked as Teddy took the large cooler to the kitchen.

They told me that their car wasn’t running but it was an excuse. The car was almost new but I was sure they’d forgotten to put gas in it or more likely lost the keys.

I unpacked provisions in the kitchen. They huddled around me touching my back and arms, then stroking my face.

“How long since anyone has been to see you?” I asked.

“Not since you were here. Nobody sees us anymore.” Eleora looked at me with sad round eyes.

“What happened to your clothes?” I asked, almost afraid for an answer.

“Someone stole them. We can’t get to our storage unit or the other houses.” Eleora shifting her feet, knowing I knew she was telling a lie.

“Who stole them? Did you let someone in the house?” I asked.

“We were out trying to hunt.” Tellias said putting his head down, trying to avoid my stare. I suspected they’d gone down to the river to find homeless people and transients to hunt and someone followed them home.

They were two of the oldest vampires I knew, over 2,000 years old. Treasures, but like the elderly of all kinds, they are often forgotten, especially those without children. Soon they fall apart like the past civilizations they lived in.

They both look, at first, like they are 19 or 20 years old. He has pale blonde hair and blue eyes. She is a golden eyed girl with reddish brown curls. They are slight with almost translucent skin.

They used to have a working farm with hired workers but now they leased out the farmland. The two acres around the house were kept up with a gardening service, but nobody was watching the residents. They’d been in and out of Vampire comas for years. They’d lost their confidence. I was afraid they’d lost their hunting skills.

These two were never the fierce Vampires of old tales and modern stories. They were always timid and always got by the best they could by hiding in the shadows and keeping out of sight. They were so sweet and good-hearted that it almost killed me to think of anything bad happening to them.

Teddy came into the room and gave Eleora a gentle hug. “We need to get the two of you better.”

They were slightly out of touch, unhealthy and frightened. It was obvious Tellias was depressed. They were prime targets for Vampire Hunters.

The ancients were glad the children were over. They always fussed over them and told them tales of long lost civilizations that no longer existed and were not yet discovered by historians and treasure hunters.

“We have to move them into town.” Teddy told me where the other’s couldn’t hear.

We dined on blood in beautiful crystal goblets the couple had purchased in the 1870’s when they first built the farmhouse. We talked of friends and relatives and the future.

I didn’t want to leave them. But I’d see them soon. I’m going to get them new clothes and find the keys to the car, and move them into the 21st Century where they belong.

Our elder folks are our treasures. We should all love and take care of those we have, both family and elderly friends who often have no family. You’re never too old for love, or friends or living life.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Random Ramblings on Romance

middle age romanceI was in my car, driving to the post office to drop off my taxes to the real blood suckers, not really thinking about anything except the sound of the voice on the radio. I wasn’t even listening to his words. You know how it is when you’re in your own thoughts and everything else is sort of a blur. At the light right before the strip mall with the post office I saw a couple on the side of the road.

They were typical white trash. Oh don’t get offended. If you know where I live you know who I’m talking about. There are two main streets that divides the two communities. One is tree lined and lovely upscale. The other is an almost treeless jumble of strip malls, auto shops, tattoo parlors, massage parlors and bars, restaurants, and other assorted small businesses. The businesses are ok – the look of everything is awful and run down.

So I’m driving down the side without the trees and saw a couple walking along. He looked was scruffy and skinny with a gray beard and loose blue flannel shirt and pants that were sort of baggy. She had squeezed junior sized clothing onto her square shaped middle-aged body. A sleeveless black shirt was sort of twisted across her arms and showed the flash of a red bra under the sleeve. The too short and too tight of a skirt showed off pale skinny legs. She almost hobbled in low heels, running a hand to brush back her straw-like over processed hair.

They’d been to the store and maybe out to lunch. There might have been a car that wasn’t running, or had been borrowed by a friend or relative. They might have had DUIs. One thinks about that when you see people like them walking on the side of the road. They could have just had an environmentally conscious moment and decided to walk, despite the heavy winds. He looked like he was about sixty years old. She looked around fifty (a well worn fifty.) I knew they were both in their early forties. And she looked pissed at him, maybe because they were out walking rather than driving, but it could have been anything.

They’d no doubt met right after high school. Years of drinking, smoking cigarettes, pot, meth and assorted other things hadn’t helped their looks. No doubt they had kids who’d either moved out and on as quick as they could or moved back in with grandchildren of unknown parentage. But from what I could see they’d been together forever and would be together forever as each other’s old man and old lady.

Easy targets for a Vampire but I leave their kind alone. I wouldn’t fit into their world if I came lurking around. It would be hard for me to even pretend. I could, but…

My brother Max has always been so judgmental of the romantic lives of others. He is judgmental of things not romantic too. That is just Max. He is also protective of what he thinks is his, and that includes his family members. I find that extremely hypocritical considering what an asshole he is when it comes to relationships. He goes after women who mess with him and use the ones who could love him with a measure of honesty, but that is another post.

I had stopped by the home of the Elders, Tellias and Eleora, the ancient Vampires I watch over. They’re out on a farm by the river in the Queen Ann style mansion they build one hundred and thirty years ago. Sometimes other family members will come stay with the fragile old couple to make sure they’re alright. I can’t always get down there myself. After much begging I convinced others to help me out.

When I arrived I saw that Lola, was staying in the cottage she’d made into her second home (sort of.)

Cody’s Prius was parked in front of Lola’s cottage next to her Tesla. For obvious reasons Vampires love their hybrid and electric cars.

Let me step back for a second for my readers who are new here. Cody is a 30 something Vampire. Lola was born in 1342. She is also my great great great grandmama.

Lola’s parents looked sort of like this:

Lola's parents might have looked like this. I'm digging that man-dress.

Lola’s parents might have looked like this. I’m digging that man-dress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cody’s parents looked sort of like this around the time he was born:

All the girls wanted a guy like this - but  more a DRESS like this. I like the little flower details and the hecka big veil. Yes, these two look a lot like our young Cody's parents.

All the girls wanted a guy like this – but more a DRESS like this. I like the little flower details and the hecka big veil. Yes, these two look a lot like our young Cody’s parents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Max thinks they shouldn’t be together. He thinks Cody is too young for Lola, even though she looks much younger than Cody. But Max, Mr. Alpha Uber Vampire, can sit in a corner and sulk for all I care. I’m just happy that Cody and Lola are happy when they spend time together.

Just as I was getting out of my car Max pulled up in his black SUV with his giant wolfhound mix dogs. He looked over at the cottage then glared back at me.

“Don’t even say it. Don’t even think it,” I hissed at him.

When we got up to the farmhouse Eleora and Tellias greeted us with hugs and kisses, then more hugs and kisses. Then as always they sang a little song to greet us.

Night time sharpens,
Heightens each sensation
Darkness stirs and wakes imagination
Silently the senses
Abandon their defenses

Slowly gently, night unfurls
Its splendour
Grasp it, sense it,
Tremulous and tender

Turn your face away
From the garish light of day,
Turn your thoughts away
From cold unfeeling light
And listen to the music of the night

It is always something random and unexpected. Phantom of the Opera today – Metallica or Gregorian Chants tomorrow. One never knows.

“Do you know Cody is at the cottage with Lola?” Max asked the elderly Vampires as if they’d actually take his side on the issue.

“Yes Cody. We adore Cody,” said Tellias.

“We adore him,” said Eleora.

“He took to Vampiring right away,” continued Tellias.

“Right away, like he was born to it,” said Eleora.

“Never spills a drop of blood,” said Eleora.

“Never,” said Tellias.

“Never,” said Eleora.

“Cody is smart,” said Tellias.

“Smart as smart can be,” said Eleora.

“Brilliant,” said Tellias.

“Absolutely,” said Eleora.

“We like Cody a lot,” said Tellias.

“Yes we do,” said Eleora.

“He makes Lola happy,” said Tellias.

“Poor dear deserves a bit of happiness,” Eleora.

“It makes her less dramatic if you know what I mean,”said Tellias.

“You’d be less dramatic Maxwell if you had love in your life,” said Eleora.

“Real love,” said Tellias.

“True love,” said Eleora. Then she took Max by the arm and kissed him on the cheek.

My brother looked slightly annoyed but defeated. He can’t win an argument with those two. They wear him out. Plus at over 2,000 years old they know what they are talking about.

With true love you need to look for someone who will go to Hell and back with you. You need someone who is willing to build something with you. For Max it is all fluff and the chase. It is about controlled passions and high expectations.

In reality love can’t always be explained. If there is love and respect and romance then let it happen. If it doesn’t work then move on. If it does then you have something wonderful.

There was no dramatic wrap up to the story. Lola walked into the kitchen to get coffee and gave me a kiss on the cheek. She gave Max a hug and then shook her head at him and whispered, “Mind your own business.”

Next Cody staggered in and filled his mug as well. Of course he is clueless of how Max feels but that is OK. Max needs another hobby.

More on school, teens and parenting stuff will be here later today. Have a good one everyone.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman