In going through my cupboards to sort and throw out unnecessary items I brought out my place settings of Towle sterling silver. It is badly tarnished and I rubbed with special cream to clean it up. Not an easy job and I gave up after doing dinner forks and knives and spoons. The pattern is “Rambler Rose” so you can look it up. I hope that in using it the tarnish will wear off. I have several settings of silver plate in a plainer lovely pattern also. To do the best job of cleaning I will put all of it into soapy dishwater every day. I have also a serving tray engraved with Ron’s and my name, wedding date as well as names of our kids. I remember that certain acidic foods might hasten the cleaning. What strange adventures I find while I am the prisoner of a rainy day. Can I eat enough to keep it clean? Time will tell.
Archive for May, 2012
My plants would be suffering mightily from lack of water while I was off visiting and so I turned on several hoses when I arrived home in late afternoon. Not able to reach all plants right away I was prepared to water heavily first thing this morning. What do you know? Rain was falling! Nancy phoned me that rain had descended there after I left and apparently followed me home. Or actually could have got there first because clouds are not required to follow twists and turns of cement or blacktop. So I did not have to go out in the rain and turn on water. The rainfall may not be sufficient but covers more than I could with hoses. The sky is overcast still and continues to drip. I showered and sit in my sun room well pleased. A novel by Dean Koontz is engrossing but I have to put it aside to slide into a normal life here at 407 Abbot Street. This moisture as meager as it may be will inspire the already foot-tall cheatgrass to grow tall and seed more of the nuisance in what I want to maintain as chipped rock driveway and front yard. Across the street a neighbor has a lovely green lawn that he mows with glee every other day. Cheatgrass does not mow. It must be pulled. That is what I have. A physically active homecoming.
Although a bit weary from lack of water, my plants were perky as could be expected from the neglect for the two weeks during my absence. My hands were tired from clutching the steering wheel for so many hours. Bellingham is six hours away or more depending on stops to stretch. My legs complained from the stress as well but I watered the plants before I collapsed in my cedar rocker with a cup of coffee to peruse the back yard and mentally measure the acre of cheatgrass I had to pull or cut. Three squirrels were tail talking as mama robin fed her two young, the lazy little things. They could fly but the wing feathers were not fully developed and why not let mama work? Mama was not going to let the kids go hungry after she spent so much energy and patience hatching and warming them for weeks. Both young were impatient to eat and finally took off to forage for themselves. Otherwise the neighborhood looked the same. Sometimes I would like to kick one neighbor for keeping his lawn so green and neat. It makes me and all others look sloven and lazy. One of the laurel plants needs to be dug into the ground a little deeper and I will use my iron rod to fix that. Because I have acquired a daughter-in-law named Laurel I am going to rename the plants – maybe Allegheny and Shenandoah – or something from Linneas, plants in a similar genus. Whatever. I enjoyed my vacation but it sure feels good to be home to plants dead or alive.
Under a partially cloudy sky I am loading my belongings into my car in preparation of the hours long trip from Bellingham to Richland. I hope to catch up on my sleep at home although my shrubs are drying and I must water them at least enough to revive them. The trip usually takes six to eight hours depending how often and how long I stop on the way. Judging from the discomfort I have from sitting an hour or more at one time I may use the greater amount. But then I am quite anxious to be home so maybe not. I have enjoyed my visit and the shopping with Nancy but this may be the only blog about it. Stay tuned.
To take advantage of the Memorial weekend discount sales I looked for a fleece sweatshirt. I found a pretty blue with a hood that would work in chilly mornings with hood up and be fine when the temperature warmed I could push the hood to hang down against my back. It will compliment the other blue items I got for Alex’s wedding. Debbie warned us all that the time of the August wedding would be the warmest time of the year – translated into Deb/speak that means too hot for any jacket. And I do not doubt Debbie – however because of my poor old circulation I am more likely to get cold than overheated no matter what the ambient temperature registers on outdoor thermometers. Whether the wedding is to take place outdoors or in I will be prepared so into my suitcase goes my new blue sweatshirt. It zips all the way down the front making it easy to remove or cuddle into. And the color matches my new shoes and all the other items. I plan to get a matching envelope type purse that will hang from my shoulder. Never know what items I might want to carry so as not to have to get along without. It must at the least coordinate with the entire outfit. I am certain that in the next intervening months I will discover just the very purse I need to be properly outfitted for a grandson’s August wedding.
In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
For reasons unclear to me we have three day weekends with which to plan all manner of good stuff beyond the normal every day routines. This one is Memorial Day, I think originally begun to call attention to our servicemen and servicewomen who died in our nation’s military. It was begun as poppy day when women wore red poppies on their lapels in memory of Flanders Field, in France, the site of a battle in which the many soldiers fought and are buried, unnamed, essentially unknown who fought in the first world war and died on foreign soil. Historically it is a day for parades and picnics to honor all women and men who served in U.S. wars. In past years men who had served in wars led parades and met in parks where all manner of officials could boast of heroic deeds. I doubt that any person under the age of thirty has any concept of the honor the day gives to all American veterans. Nevertheless parades are marched, speeches are spoken, and flags are flown in memory of those heroes. We celebrate with picnics in the parks and buying sprees in stores. For me it has been a day with family, food and ice cream. Tomorrow, the third day of the special weekend, I will rest and ready myself for a long drive home.
No hurry to start the day. Coffee, bread and butter, then shower. I wanted to go with Jerry and Nancy to see the school kids run in the park. This was for sixth, seventh and eight grades, girls to a group and boys in another. We could see them gather in color-coded groups and hold spontaneous short races until some agreed-upon signal that the serious action was to begin. And they were off. Only the start of the races was within our view and of course the end. A biker adult was around I suppose to monitor for whatever kids need to be monitored. No one was injured, no quarrels erupted. The kids may have been timed but I saw, nor heard of, awards given for any reason. I enjoyed watching the kids display energy and enthusiasm. This event is the type to encourage kids to practice and remain athletic. And so very important when the home hours are often used for TV viewing and maybe other stuff geared to couch potatoes. When I was in grade school our athletics did include an hour in the gym where we ran around so many times and worked on activities on the horse, jumping over saw horses in the course of circling the gym. However all were done indoors and only for an hour on Fridays, if I remember correctly. Which maybe I don’t because of the time that has passed between then and now. Running I do not do but stretch and walk will have to do.
After two days in Bellingham the waist bands of my pants tightened up. I couldn’t see how clothes could shrink without going through several washdays in water too hot but mine did. I wouldn’t credit three regular meals each day plus an occasional snack for the change. Why should I at my age add single digit numbers and come up with triples? Worse yet why should simple meals add up to greater girth? Maybe they really didn’t. Maybe a gnome from Nancy’s back yard sneaked in and spiked each snack with spooky calories. Easy to blame those who cannot defend themselves. Anytime. For any little thing. I am really lucky. Do you believe that? Of course. Am I not the greatest fiction writer to come out of Richland in the last century, or what? And no one gets the opportunity to take real measurements. When I say my daughter shrunk my clothes in the wash, you’d better believe it. They couldn’t have become tight in the city’s atmosphere.
With the regular Bellingham rain in the forecast I am so pleased that no only has it not fallen but with the look of the sky rain may be farther away than the coastal rocks. The temperature at fifty according to Nancy’s deck thermometer is about what it is Richland so I am right at home. I was setting in my sun room nonchalantly watching the leaves dancing in the wild breezes not noticing how long my fingernails have grown, but there you have it. They are so long they slip on the wrong keys and require backspaces and retyping. They will break and be filed smooth, rain or no rain. But maybe I really brought the desert sun to this wet northland. At least it has not rained these two days, so far. At least at 8 am, not yet.