Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Thirty-Seventh: The Day After

Part of a series inspired by Ross Gay
that starts here: 

Earlier this week, our area had one of those hours long, thunder and lightning storms: a seemingly never ending stream of "cells", levels of sound from loud grumbling, to a crazy roar of hail pelting the roof, a spectacle that can take your breath away. Then, finally--sleep in the last few hours left beneath the sheets.

When it was at long last done with us and rolling north up the freeway, a sweet group of memories popped into my head. When I worked with the wee folk, they'd enter the room in the morning, wide eyed with their memories of the previous night's big storm and the story sharing would begin. Probably much the same in all the small cafes and coffee shops--only younger eyes and shorter stories.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Spoon

Today, after licking the raspberry freezer jam off of a spoon, I felt like I was tasting everything I've been missing all these months. Something about that fresh sweet tang. It was like a brief but welcome, tap on the shoulder, to say "hey, remember me?".

Sunday, September 13, 2020

What Strange Times Are These 2020

 I was just getting used to the current retirement schedule--such a sweet wee groove I dug for myself: friend day, volunteer day, shopping day, etc. And then the virus showed up and the schedule constricted. N and I, did our best to adapt and adopt good practices and found ourselves in a new groove with fewer options, but . . . with food, shelter, entertainment (as well as the trailer taunting us in the driveway). 

Since the majority of the northwest, experienced a cooler, wetter, spring, we were hopeful for a less wild wildfire season. But then a historic east wind reared its old head, bringing down power lines, pushing the flames, consuming our flora, homes, businesses and fellow humans. And leaving us all choking in hazardous smoke--not just stuck at home, but stuck INSIDE.

I wouldn't have thought it was that much different, until I began to forget little routine things. And then I ponder--what else am I losing, but not noticing? <shrugs> Or I can start seeking some gratitude and singing those Raffi songs that re-landed in my brain this morning. Though I may be changing some of those lyrics. No offense, Raffi, but "Gonna Take A Walk Outside Today", is changing to "Gonna Stay Inside Today".

Thursday, September 10, 2020

The Thirty-Sixth: Heart Beeps

Part of a series inspired by Ross Gay
that starts here: 

When bud K and I, were doing science lessons with the wee folk, we would make needed adjustments from year to year. Some adjustments were due to our time frame changing or a change in the number of small groups or to fix something that wasn't working great. One year, after doing our February lesson on the heart, we realized the wee folk weren't saying "heart beats", they were consistently saying "heart beeps".

We tried writing the two words on the board, to pronounce and compare the different consonant sounds, which helped, but then they'd revert back to "beep" without missing a beat (sorry, couldn't resist). Also, can I admit how difficult it is to correct "beeping" with a straight face? (But, no, stop that K! Save your sillies for recess!)

The following summer, I let my brain ruminate on the problem--inspiration arrived in the form of a small Bluetooth speaker. I'd purchased one for myself, to use while enjoying the backyard deck and was amused at the feel of the bass, when the speaker was in my hand. And that's when the spark landed. I searched online for a downloadable mp3 file of a human heart beat. 

It took some time, because we all know how much crap there is to wade through when doing a search for something specific. But eventually, I found a site with sounds for medical training--wahoo! There were a few bumps and potholes with keeping a good smart phone connection inside the building, but the hand-sized speaker emitting heartbeat vibrations was a huge hit. Their eyes lit up and the focused excitement level was on point . . . but . . . they continued saying "beep".

Monday, September 7, 2020

The Thirty-Fifth: Gifted Fence Tomatoes

Part of a series inspired by Ross Gay
that starts here: 

Last Thursday, lucky for us, N had something he wanted to take a drive to check out. We hopped into the car and he drove us across the bridge to the west side of town. And then up the main road, through the residential area of apartment buildings and houses (some older, sagging houses, reminding motorists, that these haphazardly divided lots were once acres of farmland), and then the orchards, barns, rolling fields--some still growing and some harvested and a few tilled under, with the hint of the river, mostly hidden, on our right.

The Willamette has a greenway and water trail. We pass it often, as that particular drive beckons to us, but had never taken the time to stop. And that's what we came for this time--to finally stop and check out two of the access points. We didn't walk the trails far in the lose, dry, fine dust, that puffed up around each step. We walked just far enough to see what the access area offered and to watch a young couple cooling off their big dog in the water. And then home again, home again, jiggity jig. [As I type this, I'm surprised we didn't head to Dayton to pick up a fruit or pot pie. Doh!]

The pups were happy to see their tenders returned home before dinner time--so little trust after all these dog years! I opened the sliding glass door, to step outside to do some watering of the shaded plants in back, when I heard a man's voice say, "hello?". My brain decided it was our hard of hearing neighbor on his phone, but no--it was another neighbor, Ron. He said, he had too many tomatoes and couldn't visit friends to share during "our current situation". Would we like some? Amazingly, I didn't grab that tomato filled container right out of his hands, but I did make two batches of galette dough and we enjoyed bruschetta for dinner that night. And now I'll try not to wait on the deck, peering at the fence, waiting for more fence tomatoes.

Nearly forgot to brag--today we were given porch eggs, from the sweet fam across the street.