There is an old canard that if you die in a dream, you die in real life, too. This I can now say with certainty is not true. Because last night I “died” in a dream, and I’m here to write about it.Continue reading What Happens if you “Die” in a Dream?
For most of my life, horses have played little if any role, so my first experiences with my friend Vera’s 12-year-old gelding, Patience, were a bit intimidating. Patience, you see, was half-Percheron, and he was big. He’d also once been a wild mustang—something that raised thoughts of bucking broncos and undomesticated beasts with a penchant for kicking through walls.
Actually, he was quite gentle—a relief, since he weighed in at a lean 1,300 pounds. Vera acquired him through the federal government’s adopt-a-horse program, training him herself and choosing his name because, she declared, “that horse is going to teach me patience.”
It was a lesson that came to include me one Fourth of July weekend when the three of us—Vera, Patience, and myself—attempted a 50-mile packing trip.Continue reading Lessons from Patience
Ten years ago, I had knee surgery.
I will never forget what the doctor told me when I woke up. “It’s worse than we thought.” He then added that the drugs from the surgery would mean that I wouldn’t remember those words, but he was wrong. Running as I knew it ended that day.
Seven years later, I had a hip replacement. Arthritis is the family bane. But this time, I wasn’t even thinking about running. Not only had I gained dozens of pounds, but the hip was so bad that the surgeon took one look at the X-ray and said, “That’s a bad hip. Let me check my schedule to see if we can move up your surgery.”
She did, for which I was grateful. I’d reached the point where the 150 meters from the nearest parking spot to the track where I was then coaching had become the longest walk I could manage without a break, and I took it for granted that there would be a time or two each day when the pain would be enough to make me nauseous.
But this is not that kind of story.
Because earlier this month, I rediscovered racing.
Who was Pat Lovett?
That was the question I thought I’d be answering here today. But how can you define a person who graced the earth for nearly 97 years?
When she was born, commercial radio was a new thing. Movies were jerky, silent affairs.
She lived to collect movies on CDs and record them off an invention called TV, using something that wasn’t even imagined when she was a child: satellite broadcasts beamed straight to her backyard.
Which means there’s a lot about her I don’t know. Not that she was a closed book. It’s just that she was a book with many chapters, interconnecting in the unexpected literary tapestry of a long life, well lived.
If any of you have ever read a John McPhee book, you know what I’m talking about. He wrote in tapestries, with threads appearing and reappearing and merging into unexpected patterns.
He would have loved her.Continue reading Remembering Pat Lovett (1923-2020): Remarks from her Memorial Service
I have spent the last few days working on my mother’s obituary, with versions for here and two newspapers. Photo, Pat Lovett and son David. Credit Deb Lovett.
Patricia A. (Pat) Lovett died July 3 in Rockford at age 96, due to complications from a fall. Born Patricia Holland in 1923, she grew up on a farm in Milton, Iowa, riding horses, rounding up dairy cattle, and playing basketball and baseball in high school. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 1945 with a degree in English, following it up with a masters in drama two years later—in the process, writing a screenplay that was performed on live TV at the dawn of the television era.