Some catching up …

30 Oct

Well, the dust is beginning to settle … We're almost getting used to the ache, now. She went so fast … 4 weeks from diagnosis to death … nice for her, but we didn't really have time to brace ourselves. Almost like jumping in front of a bus.

We've been going through her house, trying to dismantle a truncated lifetime, and I've gotta say, it's rough. Her spirit hovers over everything in there. But there are some bittersweet moments … I opened a satchel, and found her revolver, which she had bought "so she could spend time with Dad at the range." (I reckon I haven't said much about shooting … I'm a black-powder shooter, I have been for years. I love it, and my contention is that I've never seen anyone come away from shooting a muzzleloading rifle that wasn't smiling. After the first shot, you don't really care so much about hitting anything; you just want to make it do it again.) Anyway, this revolver of hers always has made me smile; it's gaudy, I suppose I might say, and shows to some degree her slightly off-center viewpoint:

We only went out to the range a few times, but she was learning to shoot it. I've inspected the accoutrements that were with it, and I see she was only using 15 grains (a weight measure) of powder … no wonder she was having a hard time! It may seem strange that a Buddhist should have a firearm, but Buddhists are a tolerant lot, and, if I am not mistaken, the Buddha only tells us to be harmless, not impotent.

It's hard to see the Autumn colours, so extra-brilliant this year, or so it seems, when she's gone and can't see them. When I can get my head together a bit more, I'll post a gallery of her artwork … she was an artist, too, in a family of them. Perhaps her Grampa Harold is, at this moment, teaching her how to use a brush; she always preferred a pen … a control freak, I reckon. LOL

Some pictures …

That last is the filling of cracks in our carpark; it looks like a reticulated giraffe.


Posted by on October 30, 2008 in Uncategorized


9 responses to “Some catching up …

  1. PainterWoman

    October 30, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Beautiful post and photos too. I love the colors in the grasses and the patterns in the sidewalk.It's hard going through a loved ones things. Her gun is cool, pretty and dainty, a lady's gun. I've often thought of going to a gun club and just learning about them and getting the feel of shooting. Have never done it though and I'm not sure I could have a gun in the house.

  2. derWandersmann

    October 30, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    The "dainty" is, I'm afraid, an illusion produced by the grace of the design. It is a full-sized repro of the Union Army sidearm in the American Civil War, but gussied up a bit with the nickel plating and whatever that gold colour is on the cylinder, hammer, and trigger … Beryllium, I suspect, but I don't know.These revolvers, the Colt Model 1860 Army (.44) and Model 1861 Navy (.36), Are frequently called the most beautiful revolvers ever made … they were Samuel Colt's Fourth generation of revolvers, and with them, he outdid himself. The grace of the design and excellent handling qualities have made them type-specimens of basic design. I understand that they are used as examples in Industrial Design courses.If you Google 1) Colt Paterson, 2) Colt Walker 3) Colt Model 1851 Navy, and 4) the Colt 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Model Dragoons, you will see the steps in the evolution of the design.

  3. PainterWoman

    October 30, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    I figured the prettiness would belie what it could actually do. If I were to ever buy a gun, it would be something like this one. Or one of those tiny guns women hid in their purses in the B & W movies of many years ago. They were small enough to hold in the palm of your hand.

  4. micahrayaills

    October 30, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Do you have any photos of your daughter you can post? Maybe one of your favorite photos of her?

  5. derWandersmann

    October 30, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Yes … but not today … I'll have to dig it out of some files, and it's late.

  6. derWandersmann

    October 31, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Had one of those little hideout over-and-under two-barrelled S&W derringers once … they're cute, and will fit into a vest pocket. All colour casehardened, with walnut grips. It was chambered for .45 Colt, which is a big old blackpowder cartridge. One time I loaded up some empty cases with black powder, shoved a .450" ball in with my thumb (notice the high tech equipment), and fired them at targets … poker-table distance. I can't say they were any more or less accurate than the OTC smokeless cartridges, but I figure that if I missed a guy, I'd at least set his shirt on fire, and lay down a smoke screen to cover my retreat. Cracked me up.Anyway, Painter Woman, if you do go to a club to learn about guns and fire a few shots … be sure to take a pair of those earmuff things that the guys at the airport use while they're out there with the planes. Guns are a LOT louder than they seem on TV or the movies, and they WILL damage your hearing. It is also a sensible precaution to have some form of eye protection, in case something bursts and spits hot metal or gas into your eye.

  7. PainterWoman

    October 31, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Derringer….that's the word I couldn't think of for those tiny guns. I had some information that I've since lost about the gun club nearest to me and it's one of their requirements that you wear eye and ear protection. I forget now if they loan it to you or rent it. This place is also where the Phoenix Police have gun safety seminars along with beginning classes on how to use them. I agree with Micah. I'd love to see photos of your daughter. Take care.

  8. Merc1

    November 8, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Oh, my! You're a very beautiful writer!and the gun is very pretty! and you're a great photographer! there's something about them, I can't quite put my finger on it…i'm not very good w/ words. i love expressing myself, i'm just not very good at it, lol 😉

  9. derWandersmann

    November 12, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Well, I see Mercedes has made an appearance on this thread as evidence that people are still reading it, so it behooves me to answer the accumulated questions/comments/whatevers that are here …First; to Mercedes: The writing which you term "beautiful" is, in my estimation, simply utilitarian. I have been complimented on my writing before, but I must confess that I can't quite see it. What I'm trying to do is to communicate clearly, and if I achieve that goal, I suppose something might be said about the writing being beautiful, in the sense of "form follows function". In any case, I thank you for the compliments … anent my writing and also my photography. I am in constant argument with my Scottish Lassie, who is a Photojournalist, lately of the Times of London … she is always telling me to crop in on the subject, to eliminate all that "wasted" space. My only rejoinder is that, being both a Photojournalist and a European, she has a very different idea of what the "subject" is … to an American (one almost wishes to use Mark Twain's phrase, "I'm not an American; I'm THE American!"), one raised on the edge of the Great Plains and in the Southwest, who lives on the edge of the Prairie … well, the space IS the subject, or at least it is to this old saddle-tramp.And, may I say that your last sentence is … well, it's funny, is what. There must be a veritable snowstorm of verbiage around you, as you try to express yourself. Just teasing, dear … no offense intended.Next, to Painter Woman …"Derringer" (with two "r"s) is a sort of generic name for small pocket pistols. These were originated by Henry Deringer (one "r") of Philadelphia, somewhere back in the 1840s, if memory serves. Henry's pistols were extremely successful, and many gunmakers tried to capitalise on this by misspelling the name, so as to avoid patent-infringement suits.And, if you don't choose to invest in the muff-type ear protection, plain old cotton, stuffed into the ears, will be sufficient, at least until you decide whether you want to go on with whatever it is you're doing. There are commercial plugs of all sorts, and plain muffs, going up to electronic muffs that amplify harmless sound and attenuate loud sounds … these run around $200 per pair. You can get progressively fancier, up into the $1500 – $2000 range, if you're so inclined. They work, but not cheaply. And an ordinary pair of safety goggles will do for your eyes.And, to all who asked … I'm sure you've noticed the pictures I've posted of her. Thanks for asking.


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