Archive for April, 2010

Life Story

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

My library, the Richland library, administered by the city council under the direction of a five-member board, has several shelves of biographies. The director separated them from the ordinary filing system according to the celebrity not by author. The person does not always author her/his own life story. I noticed Lucy for instance was the subject of four separate books. Four different people each looking at the success of Lucy in their own way because from each angle her life took on a different dimension. Remember the I Love Lucy show? Probably not. Try Google. She was funny and lovable character with clever script writers. How could we schedule anything else on the night of Lucy’s program? No recorders that we could use to play back our favorite programs in those days. Quite a difference now. Those reads will be quite a change from the fiction that I gravitate to – although I wonder how much fiction is woven into the so-called biographies. I was interviewed today for a profile feature in an in-house newsletter. Even from the list of facts the reporter took down I expect to see some fiction in the story because some of my answers were a complete surprise to him and yet I have worked with him for 12 years. I suppose I could write my own biography – “ME.” Eighty-two years around the world. Wow, could I put some exciting stuff in that!

A Rose or?

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Now I like flowers, no matter what the color, that put their pretty blossoms up to the sun for all to see. All plants have flowers one way or another and I think they are great. They lift my spirit and make me smile. Flowers of walnut trees are not showy and today I am downright unhappy about them. They most resemble a four inch caterpillar, black and green, when in fresh bloom. And then the lovely worms fall to the ground. Boy is that metamorphose a disappointment. They turn black, not pretty. They will senescence and leave stems that do not easily compost.  Tonight in the dark of twilight I rake them up and run them to the compost. In tomorrow’s light they will be out of sight and I will be free to admire bright red tulips and yellow daffodils, even tiny blue violets. Remember, I have colorful flowers because I want them. I spend money and slave to keep them alive. The botany of desire was described wonderfully in a book by Pollen. Our evolution continues with the co-existence of beauty and flowers are but one small part.

 

Read A Book

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

While preparing lunch – or any task by the sink – observing whatever moves outside is interesting, people or other animals. Today I finished Chapter 8 in THE WOLF IN THE PARLOR by Jon Franklin (Henry Holt and Company, 2009) my thoughts were on brains. With my hands in the dishwater I contemplated how, or if, animals have feelings or emotions and two squirrels scampering on the tree caught my eye. I had to fully concentrate on those fat little rodents. They were smaller and plumper than ones I’d remembered from months past. Oh, the big pair I’d watched chasing over my Douglas Fir months ago must have consummated the chase. The ones I now saw playing among the limbs must be the offspring and were they ever cute. They tangled and chased each other up and down and around. Then a larger scruffier squirrel appeared. The little ones nuzzled it and in its attempt to avoid them I could see that it was a nursing animal. It apparently was greeting and caressing the young. It finally enticed them to go up the tree on a branch beyond my view over the roof. The book I mentioned was about how, or if, the modern dog is a descendant of the wolf. And the author makes a good case. He even suggests that because humans and dogs are known to have lost brain size at relatively the same time in past evolution, they most likely evolved together. While it makes sense, and I do not love or hate dogs, the idea has merit. No matter how much the evidence indicates that people live longer if they have a dog I will continue my solitary life, letting every variety that brings its human companion comes to sniff my outstretched hands but with that almost touch, like an air-kissing movie star, I walk on, letting the hairy mammal know I understand but I am no further interested, thank you very much.

Nice to be noticed

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Leaving home for a week was not an unusual undertaking for me. I often take off on vacations and really only one day previously had returned from a week’s sojourn to rainier climes. So this week I was on the rocky, exciting Oregon coast for a workshop on public outreach by US Fish and Wildlife staff from Region One which encompasses the states of Washington, Idaho, Alaska, Marianas, as well as Oregon. There were discussions about the need to educate the public about “their” lands under the name of National Wildlife Refuges. While there are many parcels entitled public lands, the Refuges are particularly cared for by Federal employees so why and how the paid staff were doing the job was under discussion. Those who spoke recognized the value of volunteers like me who supports them. I attended workshops and speeches and snacks and lunches and dinners which reiterated that value. All in all a very nice accolade that I take very personally.

Death

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Usually death is associated with morbidity. But think about it. Death is not a disease. There is a circle to our lives. Conceived, birthed, lived, death. A natural part of life. I recently learned of the death of a thirty-two year old grandson of my husband’s cousin. I knew one of his parents for a few years. I cannot say his death particularly saddens me because I never “knew” him. Yet it seems natural to reflect on the nature of his death and how it most certainly affects those people whom I do know. I share sympathy for their loss of so young a person. A four-year-old, when asked about his grandpa’s death simply stated, “his heart stopped.” And that’s it. The end of a life. Not so the end of story. A body must be dealt with. By those who loved the body while alive. To celebrate the good times is easier said than done. But that is what we do. A life is over but that person survives in the living minds that recall them.

Gritty

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

The fallout from the volanic eruption in Iceland tops the news stories today but since I do not plan to fly anytime soon grit in the air is not a big concern. But look at the active earthquakes. Those of note are clustered at the north end of the Baja Penninsula and appear to be tearing the land away from the North American continent. Dozens ranging from 4.5 to 3.0 on the Richter scale affect the land mass for about a thousand miles along the San Andreas faultline. The earth moves not in one grand leap but in small grinding jerks just because that is the only way possible for the massive skin of the planet to move. And only in isolated areas. However I would not be surprised if those quakes have some effect on the volcano. The earth is one big organism where one muscle pulls for or against another. But it is governed by gravity and will not fly out of orbit or fall apart. What comfort there is in the law of physics.

Test

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

This is a test for my blog.

Puff of Grit

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

The fallout from the volanic eruption in Iceland tops the news stories today but since I do not plan to fly anytime soon grit in the air is not my big concern. But look at the active earthquakes. Those of note are clustered at the north end of the Baja Penninsula and appear to be tearing the land away from the North American continent. Dozens ranging from 4.5 to 3.0 on the Richter scale affect the land mass for about a thousand miles along the San Andreas fault. The earth moves not in one grand leap but in small grinding jerks just because that is the only way possible for the massive skin of the planet to move. And only in isolated areas. However I would not be surprised if those quakes have some effect on the volcano. The earth is one big organism where one muscle pulls for or against another. But it is governed by gravity and will not fly out of orbit or fall apart. What comfort there is in the law of physics.

Petalled

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

I’ve been assailed with snowballs, covered with dust, and showered with raindrops. Could such verbs apply to flower petals that fall from an ornamental Hawthorne tree? The underlying earth is nearly pink. The petals fall upon me in such profusion I feel exquisitely petalled. There are so many they carpet the progress for visiting royalty. I delicately walk over fallen petals with the most queenly footsteps I can muster. That’s as close to royalty as any will ever come upon this soil. And it will simply have to do.

Downpour Past

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

The clouds yesterday did indeed pour down a steady amount of water for five or ten minutes, maybe longer, gathering in a flow to gently carry every loose particle along until it caught on an upthrusted piece of gravel or bubbled over the edge to join in the rush toward the creek. I’ve witnessed heavier rains noted as cloudbursts in Montgomery, Alabama, and Houston, Texas. Thunder and lightning always marched before such outbursts in Minnesota. But here in Whatcom Park after the downpour water cuddled in low spots on the trail. Joggers less than half my age pounded their joints to stay on the high edges around those little puddles. I sauntered to the falls. Moss sparkled a brighter green and ferns danced with excitement in the still air. This is not Oklahoma nor is there sunshine, but oh what a beautiful morning!