20 August 2013

Summertime, and the living is crazy...

The waning days of summer have arrived, just in time for the heat to return.  Uck.  Also, iPastor is having some terrible neck pain, so if you're of the praying sort, put in a good word for him. He had a tough day yesterday, and couldn't get settled in well at bedtime.  Subsequently, I slept fitfully, if at all, and finally got up and switched to the daybed in the library about 2:15.  We have some trees that need trimming, apparently, because the branches squeaking on the windows infiltrated my dreams, making them...weird, to say the least. I was fretful, knowing iPastor had a 10am PT appointment, and I didn't want to oversleep if he was too sore to drive.  I didn't have to worry overmuch, because by 5 am I was awakened by spatting cats, and iPastor stumbled back down at 5:30.  I shambled about in a sleep-deprived daze most of the morning, and we ran some errands. When we got home, I made sure the kids weren't starving to death and planned a late lunch.  I wandered up for a brief nap about 12:15, and once again didn't have to worry about oversleeping, because one of the Things decided they waited long enough for lunch and woke me with a text at 12:45.  After that was said and done, I puttered around a bit, took another stab at a nap and failed, which just meant I was still tired and crabby, plus I didn't accomplish much anything of use, either.  Wonderful.  I trudged down to make smoothies, and dropped my slacks down the laundry chute on the way by, as I noticed a spot on them.  If a gal can't run a blender in her underwear in her own kitchen, what's this world coming to, after all?  I pulverized fruit and yogurt with the noise of a thousand chainsaws, according to Thing 4.  I headed back to find new pants and go fetch my veggie share.  I walked out of the kitchen to find every. kid. in. the. stinking. neighborhood. in. my. foyer.  I don't know if the old lady underwear or slamming door shocked them most.  So far, the rest of the evening has been uneventful, and I have to believe it can only get better from there.  It was almost enough to make me look forward to going back to school. Almost.


I went to a conference in Washington, DC, last month.  I absolutely loved it.  It was a good conference; a nice blend of USEFUL information and camaraderie, with enough free time woven in to check out some sights and spend a little time with a BFF.  One of the highlights for me, however, was just being in the city.  Not even a particularly big one, compared to Boston or New York with skyscrapers, but a busy, humming, diverse place with functional public transit (God bless it!) and choices.  So many choices!  In the two blocks around my hotel I could choose from a dozen different ethnic foods and a variety of shops (the Baskin Robbins store smelled really funky, though, so we opted for the frozen margaritas next door.)  I love cities.  I don't know if I'm cut out to live there full time, but I find a visit rejuvenating.  I love the diversity.
In the boondocks we have limited choices, and the closest regional shopping towns are 45 miles east and south, respectively. Yesterday,  I was forced to make the trek for a routine, work-related lab test that couldn't possibly have been done locally.  As I drove home, though, I caught myself noticing, then made a concentrated effort to notice, the scenery around me.  I often hear folks complain of rural scenery: one field after another, with only a road every mile to break it up.  That's not what I saw, though.  I saw fields of corn, soybeans, alfalfa, sugar beets, hay, oats, stubble and freshly turned earth, all different textures, colors and heights.  I saw the ditches filled with cattails, brown-eyed Susan, thistles, broadleaves and grasses too numerous to keep track of.  Red sumac, silver maple, weeping birch, evergreens and other trees filled windbreaks and groves with a cacophony of color.  Tidy little farmhouses with well-tended gardens and yard art alternated with sprawling, ramshackle farms with bikes, trampolines, pools, lazing dogs, and machinery scattered about.  Here and there a burned or abandoned farm haunted the landscape, with its own particular beauty painted in charcoal colors.  We do, indeed, have diversity in the countryside, it's just of a different sort.  Though perhaps this brand of diversity is not as impactful on lifestyle, its essential to living.

06 August 2013


Around here, you may frequently hear my husband or I refer to a task or an outing as "going fishing."  One may quizzically ask what we mean, only to receive a rambling reply along the lines of, "well, we read this book once (well, actually we listened to it on tape) where the author, it was Lewis Grizzard or Robert Fulghum or someone like that, talks about going fishing but first he has all these chores to do and it ends up being more work than its worth, and it was really funny, you should read it..." By the time we eventually trail off, the poor questioner is sorry he asked and the whole ordeal reeks of "guess you had to be there."  Twenty years ago, I worked at a piecework factory that had a library of books on tape to listen to at work, so I wasn't able to remember the author.  I tried occasional google searches, but to no avail.  Tonight I read an article about a photographer named McManus, and a little switch in my brain slammed shut, and the connection was made.  A quick google later,  and I am happy to share with you this link to "Sequences," by Patrick McManus.
Ok, so you have to copy/paste the link into your browser navbar, go to the page, then scroll down and click the hyperlink to "Sequences," but its totally worth it.
I promise.
I guess you had to be there...