100

Happy 100th birthday in Heaven, Grr. I can hear your fiddle music playing at your birthday square dance and see Grandma smiling. Have fun calling, “chase the rabbit, chase the squirrel, chase the girl around the world.” You did. Thinking of you. Wearing my cowgirl boots for the first time this fall. Tell Copper and Santas I said hi too. Scratch their ears in the spots they liked. I am hoping that an unadvertised good thing about Heaven is: No Horseflies. Love you. Thinking of you extra today. Smiling, not crying. Just a little misty around the corners, like you when you’d hear music playing in your mind as you told a story from long ago. Love, Janean

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I have a hanky in my pocket
I’m leakin’ all kinds of tears
my heart, oh how it’s hurtin’
some solace waits for me there
my parents went south yesterday
the highway called their name
my cousin always lives there
next door to Grrr
who got me on this train
for grandpa’s birthday is the reason
number 97 is nearly here
I’m arrivin’ one day early
today’s the day I could come
“Happy last day of 96!”
I brought the last jar of alien goo
they’re really, “Green Tomato Pickles”
but either way, I made ‘em just for you

written Thursday, November 8, 2012
as I rode the southbound train from Normal to Alton, Illinois
the first leg of the trip