Monday, July 29, 2013

THREE SUMMER SHORTS




1.  HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME

Ah.  Summer.  I have not been much at the computer lately.  Instead, I have been trying to soak up as much sun and warmth and blue skies and gentle breezes and sunrises and sunsets as I can.  We are having an epic summer here in the Northwest.  Outstanding.  Exemplary.  Scary.

Yes, we are acting like the teammates of a pitcher with a no-hitter going into the 7th inning, score tied 0-0.  We. Will. Not. Speak. Of. It.  We cherish each day the sun continues to shine so brilliantly upon our gardens and outdoor activities.  We act as if this is normal; no big deal.  We act as if this will last forever.  We act as if we will shut out this summer with a walk-off home-run into the the upper reaches of October at the end of this sun-soaked season.

May it be so.
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2.  NIETHER RAIN NOR SLEET

I feel sorry for Doug.  He professes to log 8 miles a day walking his mail route largely in the neighborhood where we live, which is nothing but up and down streets on a hillside, some very steep.  To add insult to injury, he trudges another 23 stair-steps up to our front door to leave (on most days), credit card solicitations, Netflix DVDs, Sunset or Entertainment Weekly magazines, or a few bills that I haven't switched to online.  One day last week he left one lonely postcard reminding me of a dental appointment.

The US Postal Service is going broke and frequently threatens to cut service.  I read recently that in some new neighborhoods, door to door mail delivery will not occur at all.  Instead there will be a central "mail drop " location, as seen in apartment complexes.  I have to say, this makes some sense.  I think door to door delivery is a bit antiquated.  But I do appreciate it and I know not everyone has the mobility to get to a central location.  It's a quandary, for sure.

Personally, I love getting mail.  I look at it as a gift that gets delivered right to my door every day.  Mostly, now, it's a disappointing gift -- like socks.  But the anticipation is the best part anyway.  "I wonder what's in the mail today?!?"

Years ago I would get, like clockwork, a weekly letter from my mom after we moved from the Illinois "homeland".  And she would get the same from me -- often with photos of our boys included (after buying film, using up the roll, taking it to be developed, sorting out the duds, labeling the backs with date and place, and then mailing them).  I loved getting those letters between twice-monthly phone calls.  I also used to love getting birthday cards -- or any kind of personal correspondence at all, really.  Now that is so rare as to be almost shocking.

Well, enough reminiscing and lamenting.  I just hope Doug keeps up the route.  He has been our mailman for 21 years.  I have a photo of my boys, when they were about 4 and 6, sitting at the bottom of the driveway at their card table lemonade stand, and there's Doug, sipping a cool one on a hot summer day.  It's such a "Mayberry" moment.

I don't want some things to come to an end.
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3.  RESPONDEZ SIL VOUS PLAIT


Son One and Future DIL are moving into the full frontal assault on their wedding the end of September.  They race to the mailbox every day to see if they've received any response cards.  Usually they are disappointed.

People are loathe to RSVP these days.  I've been told people think it's a silly, old-fashioned notion and besides, how can one plan that far ahead?  I think it's just inconsiderate, but then I'm a little "notion-y" myself about how much work it is to put an event together, asking to be let known if a guest is coming, and then hearing nothing.  It seems the least they could do on their end is respond.  And in this case we have a caterer breathing down our necks and a "per plate" fee hanging out there.

Well, our deadline is 8/17, so there's still time;  I'm sure all the response cards will flood in that week.  I'm just impatient and I see that part of the fun for Son One and Future DIL is the anticipation of a response; they are starting to think no one is coming.

Plus, I think there is a bit of Karma at play here.  I am the Queen of RSVP.  I nearly always ask for one for parties we host and always offer one when invited by another.....until last summer, when the wedding invitation for a friend's daughter got buried on my desk. I had to take the embarrassing phone call from the bride's father, who had been given "follow up" duty, to inquire if we were coming.  Oh dear!  I was profoundly mortified. So, I will try to go easy when I make the the follow-up calls myself next month.  I SAID I will TRY....

At least, that's the view from here....©

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

DEAR DIARY

I'm usually a little smug about my technological successes.  I'm an Apple devotee and say what you will, those machines work well.  I rarely have an issue with my desktop, my laptop, my I-Pad or I-Phone.  No freezing.  Rare spamming.  No viruses or crashes or worms or any of those other bad things.

I take no credit for this.  I have no idea of the inner workings of Apple products that seem to ward off such disasters.  I just notice these things don't happen to me (much) and I credit the Apple geniuses, since previous computer brands I owned were always creating havoc for me.

But left to my own ignorant devices, I can screw up big-time.  I recently had a thumb drive go "bad" on me -- as in I plugged it into my laptop one day and it was fine, the next day it was dead.  No computer in my home even recognizes it, let alone opens it.  I've lost about 2 years of personal journal entries, a few poems, some other this's and that's -- I don't really recall everything that is on there.   Since that debacle I've been told  that thumb drives are notoriously prone to failure and to NEVER consider them a safe back-up.  Well, I didn't even use it as a back-up.  I used it as a primary storage unit for certain items.  Oh dear.

I'm pretty heartsick, mostly about the journal entries.  I read something once by another journal writer who said, "If I don't record my life by writing it out, it's as if it didn't happen."  I agree.  My journals are full of facts, reflections, brilliant breakthroughs, rants, cathartic moaning, groaning and screaming, sadness, joy, vacation notes, and dither.  I go back and re-read entries to remind myself of events, times, transitions, and thoughts I had then to see if I've made any progress on my personal growth quest or my "to do" lists, or just to steal particularly well written ideas and sentences for other writing I'm doing.

This has been a humbling experience and one that has caused me some grief and regret.  I really miss those two year's worth of entries.  Some important things happened and I want to remember exactly what my state of mind and emotion was then.  My memory is as notoriously unreliable as a thumb drive.

On the other hand, this is perhaps good practice in letting go.   What choice do I have?  Those years are in the past; I'm still here.  I grew and changed, things happened and I responded to them in ways brilliant and ridiculous.   I often say that should anyone read my journals at some future time, they might conclude I was the most depressed, angry, resentful, screwed up woman alive.  I have used journal writing to work through some very negative and dark emotional states.  But there is pride, contentment and unbridled joy there too.

Maybe I'll go back to journaling regularly and maybe I won't; either way, my life will continue to play out on the stage of everyday existence, and maybe that is enough.

At least, that's the view from here....©

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

PROUD PARENTS

You may recall my post in May about my inability to grow tomatoes.  But, with renewed commitment and the brilliant idea of naming them, talking to them, and basically anthropomorphizing them into vitality, things are going swimmingly!

We had an early scare that they may have contracted the deadly "blight", but, NO!  Hub and I got busy with gentle pruning, petting, and repeated positive affirmations, bringing them back to health!!!  Hallelujia!

So, take a look.  We are such proud parents.  Of course, there is still a ways to go...but lookin' good for now!

At least, that's the view from here...©