Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Fourth: Some Make You Cry

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

My Mom (sigh), if she was at your house, she was watching and waiting for unintrusive ways to assist--those small nagging things that you may ignore when you have company and want to give as much focus to their presence as possible. Or things you had never considered: if N ever mowed the lawn during a visit (because weekends), Mom would slip outside unnoticed, and begin to do "cord management", as N maneuvered the electric mower on his prefered grid. The first time, I was worried that they'd get in each other's way (something I rarely fail to do--fret), but then I noticed that she had been watching his routine before she began to help. Seamlessly.

When our second was born, a state away from family, I was both surprised and oh so pleased to have Mom come to lend a hand in our tiny rental. What a gift! What a joy! It had been a long time since I had her (mostly) to myself. And yet, probably due to the whole childbirth thing, I have few vivid memories of that time: quiet conversations between N and Mom, how she only made recipes from my collection (to keep things running nearly the same). Have to say, I was a little disappointed when Dad arrived to take her back home. No offense, Dad.

Tis good to pull out a good memory and savor it.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Third: The Rec Room

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

The best part of my childhood summers? Was when we packed up the truck and camper and drove to see the relatives. Those summers offered many delights: being pulled through the irrigated yard on whatever had been used as a sled, sleeping under that big star filled sky in the lush green grass, and having playmates.

We spent most of our time at my Mother's only brother's house--the one with the amazing air conditioner in the bathroom. Who wouldn't want to stay in that room overly long? One summer, we arrived to find the spacious garage had been converted into a rec room--complete with a bar and chairs that appeared to be crafted from barrels . . . and CHILDREN were not allowed.

A year or so passed and suddenly--we were the only ones using the rec room for that week or so in the summer. I think it was cousin D, who could play some tunes on the piano, one of which was Chicago's "Color My World". We played and sang the hell out of that song, in the adult abandoned room. And there was a hide-a-bed that I shared with C. She woke me up, in a panic, in the wee hours, to share her discovery: there were mice in the rec room(!). Trembling, we watched them skitter from the hide-a-bed, to check out shoes, and nooks and crannies.

In the morning, we couldn't wait to share the news. But . . . none of the adults would believe it. We, with our bad news, were teased out of the room. Huh, maybe that's how we ended up sleeping under the stars in the backyard.

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Second: Joy Under the Table

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

In my parents' world, friendship trumped all--or at least that's how it seemed, as the runt of the family, who was always seeking a lap to cozy into. I have no other reference than a faulty memory, but most of their get togethers were most likely on the weekends, around whichever dining room table was hosting.

A good share of those get togethers were all about playing cards: Hearts? Pinocole? Cribbage? When it happened at our house, the dining room was full of laughter and cigarette smoke. I can remember spending as much time as I could under that table--I'm guessing I was around 4-6 years of age.

Sitting under the table allowed me to be close, but not in the way. I enjoyed the adult banter and teasing, as they played their games. During their breaks, there was more entertainment to be had. That's when Ray would do tricks with his false teeth, I'd get to recheck who was missing which digits from working in the mills and Lloyd would give me a lesson on how to whistle using two fingers. And Mel, how could I forget Mel? He was broad shouldered, tall, and his laughter could shake the dust off the curtains. Which always made me wish that every card game could be around our table.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

First of a Possible Series . . .

{I haven't decided if this will be a consecutive series, or one that I'll return to off and on. I suppose, a person could say it's an exercise or experiment. Let's see what happens...}

Thanks to one of Carolyn Hax's chats (yes, I do talk about her work a lot), I became aware of a book of essays by Ross Gay, The Book of Delights. Yesterday, it arrived in the mail, and once I cracked it open and read the preface, I began to think about doing something similar here. A blurry week or so ago, family member offered a link to receive journal prompts each day, but that brought out my inner middle schooler, who crossed her arms, scowled and informed me (again) that she despises being told what to write. (sigh) So much for leaving my youth behind!

The first memory that popped into my head last night, as I wandered into dreamland, was rolling down the slope of the childhood home lawn with my eldest siblings children. The smell of the chlorophyll, the tickle of the grassy leaves, the hilarity of trying to roll straight and the joy of playing together. One month later, you'd find us out there again, running through the sprinkler and dodging the busy bees.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Resonating Rules

About a week ago, I read something on Carolyn Hax's Friday chat, that resonated with me. It's credited to a Washington Post sports columnist:

"WaPo Sports columnist Thomas Boswell has a rule to live by "How stupid would I feel." How stupid would you feel if you . . ."

His most current use, possibly the same week as the chat, was describing how that particular rule of his has been helpful to him during our current situation. Which has me applying it to every move we make--whether it's driving to the store or using sharp tools at home. Because, how stupid would I feel if I was responsible for exposing someone else to more risk, all because I wanted to continue doing whatever I want when I want to?

Though . . . is it possible to tip those scales too far?

Monday, May 18, 2020

Good Golly Ms. Mollie

What an interesting day.
Not exactly what I mean when I say "interesting"--usually I'm being snarky with that word.
But not today.
Today, I experienced more of that "loose ends" feeling. Not an unraveling, but more of an unease that begins in the belly and then alerts other body parts.

I was looking forward to the drive to the main Post Office--changing our perspective is within reach! But then we spot a big old pick-up driving up and down the busiest section of Mission, flying what I always assume is a stolen flag. And then we see another business sporting a for sale sign and another long time business that has sold itself off to gawd-knows-who.

Interesting times we're in and to be honest--I'm looking forward to the art it inspires, but until then . . . I hope the art we have, whether it be nature or human, is enough.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

It's a Rainy Day

I still love that old Sesame Street song, It's a Rainy Day. Whenever it's raining outside, there it is, playing in my head, until I can longer keep from singing it out loud. When I still worked at school, there were many moments of holding backpacks over heads, avoiding puddles and singing with the wee folk, as we made our way out to the bus lines.

"It's a rainy day;
It's a rainy day.
It's raining outside,
And I can't go out and play.
Why do we need the rain anyway?"

As you can probably guess, I've been singing that song quite a bit recently. Thanks, rain. Cheers!

Friday, May 15, 2020

So Much Counting

First let me say this--doesn't everyone do this to some extent?

Every single day, I'm counting. Whether it's while I'm brushing my teeth, washing my face, drying myself off after a shower, or even vacuuming, you can be sure I'm counting. I don't see it as a compulsion or a syndrome. I see it as a habit and a way of keeping track. 

Though, I do have some concerns. I can still remember when the girls were small and enjoyed watching Nickelodeon. There was a show with an emcee named Mark Summers, who we later learned suffered from OCD. You know, one of those moments when you learn about something, due to what concerns people you consider to be within your circle.

And that's the moment I became aware of counting. I'll stay aware, as long as you promise to let me know I've fallen and need to seek help before I get back up, but for now I'll justify my counting as a way of staying on top of my health. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020


Yesterday and today, have both felt even more random than usual. Perhaps this is the next 'phase'? {shrugs} Or maybe it's the several days of rain? Difficult to predict, K (sigh), so difficult. Though, random doesn't necessarily mean bad--on the contrary, perhaps we need to mix up our days.

I've always loved a good schedule--yes, even for whoopie. There are times in our lives, when it can be difficult to know what to do next or even to appreciate that lovely evening horizon. And there are other times when you're deep in a situation and you don't see what or who is right in front of you. A schedule can help you to notice and be aware. At least that's my experience.

This week, N and I have added Nintendo to our 'schedule'--somewhere between dog walk and dinner. My idea of playing computer type games, has always been Scrabble or Solitaire. I never enjoyed the competitive action games. Who knows why, maybe it was always feeling inept at the controls. Now that the two of us are learning at the same time--maybe that's helping with those old ugly feelings. Or maybe it's the meditative quality of Mario Tennis. {shrugs} Who knows, but it seems to help.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Entertainment is Everywhere

What's been keeping you entertained on the tv in the evenings? We spend a good share of our time on OPB TV, depending on the day of the week. Our current streaming series, is Bosch on AmazonPrime. And we save another series on Netflix, Shaun the Sheep, for when we need something silly and fun, to cleanse the collective palates after too many murder mysteries. Oh, and I need to add Madmen (I stream that on the treadmill.), a show so lush, it's easy to rewatch.

But . . . it's nearly time to go seek out the next series or movie. I prefer a series, only because it lasts for awhile--making the selection seem more worthwhile. Have to say, though, I agree with a bud, it can feel overwhelming to wade through so many choices--unless you're more of a 'kid in a candy store', when it comes to choices. I veer between being overwhelmed and overjoyed, because sometimes the selection process is just another form of entertainment. And I'm there for it--just like I was when N alerted me to the neighbors cutting down a big tree earlier this week. Aren't you?

Monday, May 11, 2020

An After Dinner Outing . . .

Our N, has had an exceptionally buzzy bee in his bonnet this past week--he wanted to weigh the trailer. He's had extra time to dig into the travel trailer over the past several months, thanks to the current situation. Which has led to to the realization that the GrandDesign was made to pull into campgrounds with hook-ups--not like one of our favorite places, Diamond Lake. Why else would they sub a smaller gauge of electrical wire throughout? Not to mention the inferior axle, that isn't built to tote a full water tank. Now we know. Though, Our N, successfully replaced the wiring, the axle is another story.

He's been on the trailer forum, when he hasn't been under the trailer frame or inside its storage area. N's not getting good answers from the company, but plenty from the other owners. One of the tasks, weighing it, was what he wanted to complete to learn more about what's expected of the axles. He found a scale at a truck stop south of us. We didn't even have to get out of the truck during our truck stop visit--it was all completed via an app, as we sat on the scale.

Yay for technology!

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Sunshine on My Shoulder is . . .

. . . not the reminder of normalcy I need or desire right now. But . . . I won't refuse to soak it up.

And along with the sunshine and warmer temps, there's so much justification for lax behavior to be had, but deep down (in our adult brain) we're all aware of the consequences to those we love, ourselves and those we've never met. We know how germs spread and this one is more determined to take more of us down.

But the sunshine. (sigh) It's that lovely time of year, when you know the evening will bring the cool, the slant of the rays provide more daytime shade, and there's no guarantee it will last for more than a day or two--which makes it feel treasured and special and grand.

To be honest, it's probably why when we venture out on one of the early beautiful days, we encounter so many smiles and happy greetings--until we experience too many bright days in a row. Then those moods turn. What's that you say? It's just me? {shrug} Perhaps, but I bet not.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Not My Story, but . . .

I never saw myself getting overly happy about N getting back on the old bicycle, but here I am.

Both of us are fairly good at communicating with each other--until we're not. He held his cards close to his chest, until he couldn't.

The good news is, he learned the concern he has does not mean he needs to give up riding. Yippee!

I bet he won't balk at my new bike suggestion any longer.

Ha! And right now I'm feeling that "knowledge is power" vibe. Go, N!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Sunshine on the Deck (cruise shipless and virus free)

Today, that sunshine is in full tease mode. As soon as it lights up the backyard, I begin to think about taking my current book and a cup of tea out to the deck. A few minutes pass and the sunlight dims, as a rain heavy cloud passes between us and lingers. Of course, it is 10ish degrees cooler than yesterday--so those clouds are just saving me the disappointment of not being able to stick outside for long.

In other news, last night I finally grabbed those good scissors, stood in front of the bathroom mirror and removed an inch or so. And this is why I can't trust evening K. She's always coming up with crazy ideas in the dark hours. I know, I know, I'm fortunate to have forgiving hair. But even with forgiving hair, there are concerns to watch out for--I mean, removing an inch seemed right and reasonable, until those curls decide to spring a bit tighter now that they're shorter. {shrugs} It'll grow, K, you and your hair will be fine.

Oh, and today's mail offered a sweet surprise. <3

Sunday, May 3, 2020

All BlurWeeks Are Not Created Equal

Not sure what it was about this past week, but it's left me feeling all of the ennui. Maybe our ups and downs aren't as recognizable as usual? And I'm wondering if N is dealing with the same, because my moods are often tethered to his and vice versa.

I haven't been as consistent getting on the treadmill in the past week and I know that always has an impact--whether it's due to a sleep disruption or bedtime self loathing. (I think those two things may be similar, K)

I'm going to do my best to shake and shimmy this mood off--what else is a Sunday for, but some music and movement.