Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bama Boy - Joie de Vivre

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.
Emily Dickinson

How fun is that? Youngest son found in the 100,000 spectators at the Alabama/Penn State game. Recognize him? He's the one showing off that orthodontia while he gives you the #1 sign.

What a relief to know Ian's having a great time. We'll find out how much fun when mid-term grades come out in October.

Seriously, though, how fun was that! All 8 seconds of it. Such joy I observe in his smile. Such joy in my heart as I watch on the other side of the screen. Good way to bring him home for a moment.

Roll Tide!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How Late Is Too Late?

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
William James

How long is too long to not write a fellow blogger and thank them for taking the time to make a comment on your post? To respond to the kind thoughts they passed on in a time of need? To let them know how their time and comments made you feel better?

I have that problem. Many of you wrote such kind thoughts when my dad died and my youngest son went off to college. Your comments sit in my active email list. I have 55 to answer. I keep avoiding that. Not sure why.

Sort of like I keep avoiding putting out a new blog post. My last - forced. Only thing coming to mind is my new shoes or that the air conditioning in my car and my upstairs has gone kaput along with the leaky roof.

Or that I haven't told you that the swallows won the sparrow/swallow war. Or that I'm substitute teaching almost every day - and that I so want a cleaning person. A grocery delivery person. The YMCA in my back yard. New feet.

All seem rather trite.

Deb of Catbird Scout (if you don't read her, you should - she is a fine essay writer) sent me an email about the silence on my end. Yes, perhaps the heart has been tainted by the events of the last two months.

I'm hopeful the fog is lifting.

So, how late is too late to let people know how much you appreciate them? Or, that the moon that rose the other night had such beauty and I hope you saw it, too.

Meanwhile, a special moment shared...

...eatin' blueberries with my niece at Lake Michigan. August 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

And Then the Rains Came

Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Michel de Montaigne

Be Prepared. The scout motto, yes? Here in Central Texas, we prepare for weather. Any inkling of an ice storm, snow flurry, or hurricane in any sea, our weathermen get excited and tell us how to prepare. We follow like good scouts and invade the grocery store for water, flashlight batteries, and any other necessity to make it through the harrowing days ahead. I, of course, include the wine aisle.

Normally, our preparations are for naught. The ice storm stays in North Texas and the remainders from the hurricane skirt us and head into Mexico. I drink the wine anyway.

Last week, the rains arrived unexpectedly, adorned with the title of Hermine. I'd heard of tropical depression/hurricanes Alex, Earl, and Igor, but where did Hermine come from. No days of fore warning by our weatherman. A hint that rain might come, but no clue that three days of pouring skies might produce new rivers.

I can't tell you where she came from, but I can tell you where she ended up.

In my living room.
There I was, minding my own business. Reading a book while the rain poured outside. Hours of steady rain and then I heard a different sound. A dripping. I looked up from my book to see my fireplace weeping. Sobbing, in fact. Not just from that spot above, but through the rocks.

I rushed to remove all the photos, diplomas and the summer's collection of tidbits from the mantle.

I grabbed pots and pans from the kitchen only to notice water there also - above the oven, coming out of the register.

So glad we got that new roof last year.

Until three in the morning I wandered the house, pulling out more pans and towels, my evil eye tracing the ceiling and rocks on the fireplace for the next spring of a leak. The kitchen ceiling for even more brown spots popping up.

Outside the rain continued to drench, inch after inch. The radar on the television displayed a solid line of red right up our alley with no hint of drying up. Reports of cars under water in an intersection only a few blocks away.

Unprepared, I had no wine in the house. I wept right along with my fireplace.

My husband slept through the whole damn thing. My middle son, Jordan, currently living at home awaiting a new wildlife position, huddled with the computer in the study, playing some game online with his little brother in Alabama.

I stood in the study door, my hands on my hips. "Your dad's asleep and you're playing a game. I'm in here freaking out while the house crumbles before my eyes."

He shrugged and went back to his game. "Calm down, Mom."

Don't you hate that.

He told his little brother to give me a call and Ian called on cue. I was passed off, but I welcomed the call.

Twelve inches of rain, total, for our area. Our damage truly minimal compared to the loss of life and property experienced by many others.

But, my house in a shambles, I did what every self-respecting homeowner should do. I abandoned the property and went to the lake. Needed to check out the damage there, right?

Only 3-4 inches of rain unleashed, but oh, how my flowers loved it.

And look who came to visit.

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.... People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.
Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982


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