The southern California sun softly caresses what skin I left uncovered this morning which was not much more than legs from knees down and arms from elbows out. I expect to bare far more after lunch and over the next couple of weeks obtain deeper shades of tan on my Richland pale hide. The temperature is just coming up on 70 F which does not feel all that warm. Well I hope to get warm enough to perspire. Moisture helps set the color but prevents burning. Deb is concerned about skin cancer and I should too but melanoma can be removed – cut off – Emil had the tip of his ears trimmed of it. The concept of an enduring tan, one that will last until summer sun shines at home, is one perk I expected. So bring it on!
Archive for January, 2012
On Saturday Ashton took me to an indoor shooting range where Ryan helped choose rifles with which we shot a man down from fifty feet (more and less). He was only made of paper but like a sniper I shot him in the back as he tried to escape. Not having had target practice for many years, I made a fairly good showing (meaning I missed the target only once). The paper man died hard. I might look for a practice site in Richland. Not the physical activity of Tae qwon dae but it soothed my ego to find I haven’t lost my touch in all these years.
Here I am, in sunny California, Oxnard, to be exact, at Dan and Debs. I left Pasco late this afternoon and whoosh, two airplanes and two cities later in balmy weather. They picked me up in Burbank and after an hour’s drive arrived at Melito Drive. I washed my face and partly unpacked and does the bed look good! Deb brought out a box of paperback romances to choose from but my eyes are very tired so I don’t expect to read much. I will sleep the dream of sunbathing in the back yard for two weeks. Well anyway whether I get tanned or not, I will enjoy California.
Snow did stop falling as forecasters predicted it would. Left out there was a beautiful pristine white world. Last night I had swept my porch and front steps so they are clear. I didn’t get the heavy rubber tread dug out from under the snow so I will just hope the mail carrier has Michelen soles on his/her boots and keep on their feet up my steps to deliver my mail. I have no need to leave the house. If the snow persists I will have limited food options but pulling back my belt would also reduce my fat layers so may be a good thing all around. I swept and shoveled snow last night to the sorrow of an aching back. Benny next door scraped his own windshield this morning (wonders never seize) but Buena had been out earlier to sweep off the snow. Nobody has shoveled any paths – just plow through. This is January and I cannot imagine a warm wind blowing through to melt it at all. How lucky I feel to be able to watch the scenarios of neighbors up and down Abbot street sweeping off the snow and then making their way slowly off to work. Have another cup of coffee and let the world go by.
I did. I huffed and puffed through deep snow along my sidewalk and around and off my car. About six inches had settled and I thought I had better get as much as I could off before it melted and iced on. The surface iced immediately when the snow hit the metal but I swept off the loose stuff. It seemed to be very deep for just having settled quietly down. And it got heavier and heavier as I pushed it off. It snowed all night before so it had time to settle down. I got plenty of exercise and I didn’t begin to do the driveway. Well I have no place to go. I made up my mind earlier I would not drive to Drinking Liberally so I poured a short shot with Jim Beam. I am not ready to go to bed although I am exhausted enough to lay back and enjoy by lazy recliner. I am reading MY INNER FISH again. I own enough books to keep me out of the Richland library for a while, at least until the roads clear up. The city might run the road graders on the main streets but usually the sun (ha ha) is supposed to do the job. Any way I have no place I have to be. My pantry is stacked and I am good to go probably a week without restocking. So I will relax and catch my breath and praise General Electric from whom all comfort flows.
And so it has. Snow has fallen all the whole quiet night and still is falling, stacking the clear white crystals on every solid surface. Occasionally a puff of breeze will move it off but most of it lingers, and beautifully so. Traffic goes on. Garbage truck emptied bins out front. Mine was not among them but I have very little garbage and none of it will reek the stink of animal fat. I may sweep my steps later but for now I will let the snow pile up. The mail will come because the carrier wears big boots and slogs through all weather as postmen are legend to do – through rain and sleet etc. My mail consists of non-profit pleas for money to carry on their good works. Lots of them. Oh such good works. I have the repository which requires a match to sent them off. Good thing I fired the pile yesterday, the snow will dampen and make burning difficult. The scene is lovely and I am comfy admiring it, happy that I can remain indoors, with coffee and my computer for company.
When I returned from drinking liberally of hot chocolate last night, the moon was so full and bright I would have gone for a walk if the temperature had been more receptive. Forty degrees F is too chilly for a casual stroll anytime. Even warmed with the hot drink I almost ran to my car and drove home in that chilly Hyundai. My house is snug and warm for which I am well pleased. The yellow moon was even more appreciated from inside. After all the moon is only a cold sphere of rock but has been the object of myths and romance since Homo sapiens were able to pass on rhymes and tunes – a long, long time indeed. Last night the moonlight was bright enough to cast shadows. I, however did not wax poetic. I gave the white object handsome respect, happy that it was bright enough to overcome my neighbor’s ridiculously bright porch lights. Tonight, according to a Raven’s forecast, the moonlight will shine clear and bright once more.
January according to history ought to be cold and clear. Last night’s full moon seemed to make that promise, but what do I get? Fog. Oh I can see clearly enough if I want to drive somewhere but fog indicates moisture in the air. Maybe spring is closer than the calendar expects. Am I ready for it? Yes. Dreary skies do not make for great optimism. With the air as still as it is, I wonder if the fog will go away like Sandberg’s fog on little cat feet. I do not need to go beyond my door except to retrieve mail. Therefore I can sit back and wait it out. I may have to take my wash to the laundromat. Clothes on my line will not soon get dry and alas, they do need to be cleaned – so off I go, – into the foggy foggy dew!
There was a chip I had forgotten but prepared last week and I plugged it into the digital picture screen. It was a year (and then some) of my adventures at the McNary NWR Education Center interspersed with scenes from other years past in my life. Camping with Tim. Places I visited. Australia. Kenya. People I met. The brink of a new year is a good time to treasure those places in review. And in private. I left the rum fest last night before others brought out slides of adventures of which I knew nothing. Today with no place to go was a perfect time to review 1011 from my personal point of view. Plants and scenes of moving water, rapids, falls, splashing over rocks and dead fallen trees. I had included many pictures that were fading in memory. A picture is said to be worth a thousand words but that will not be the same story for just any viewer. If you have been on the spot maybe you would think similar thousand words although I doubt it. A picture holds a scene rigid. Two different individuals who stand in the exact same place cannot possibly think the same thousand words. Good for the human species! I will look at the pictures I took and think of many times and whether I had been alone or with others any picture will conjure up dozens of ideas. Or dreams. Most will pass through my gray matter and be lost in minutiae. In the meantime I will reflect upon them and be pleased.
We did it again! Passed over the last day of one year and walked into the next one. And I didn’t do it half way. I met with four other like minded folks, drank rum-a-whatever’s and had a fine afternoon. Al called earlier and asked if I would like a ride to Pippo’s and that was handy since I wouldn’t be driving I could have a drink. Laurel Pippo had the makings of hot toddy’s, I think she called them, which we drank for a few hours and THEN she brought on shrimp, cheese, crackers. More rum. A big wedge of that flat wavy anti pasta for the main dish – I can’t spell its Italian name but it was good. Mildred brought her yummy chocolate brownies and Frank heaped on metropolitan ice cream. Not a single resolution reined in the air. What a great way to start 2012. I had been waked at midnight with locals and fireworks but that didn’t last long and I slept in till 0730 this morning. Any way it was ten pm when Al brought me to my well lit warm home by the light of a half moon. A full day. The only bells I have to ring are tiny ones on a pair of green felt reindeer antlers. But what the heck! They tinkle.