Friday, June 25, 2010

RUSTIC FEELINGS

I deliberately let my backyard, become wild and over grown… to give my patio retreat, a more rustic feel. I have the woods, right outside my back door. It feels good to be ONE with nature. It’s been hot, though. Over 90 degrees. A glass of spring water, with a slice of lemon, quenches my thirst, as I try desperately to catch a breeze. Stagnant air and high humidity hinder any progress made in that direction. Beads of sweat line my brow. A makeshift fan made from a paper-plate, exerts more of my energy, than providing relief from the heat… so the idea is abandoned. I persist in my pursuit of a wilderness STAY-CATION. But it requires me to hang tough. Ants and mosquitoes spar for my attention... attacking from every possible angle. Shaking off ankles, or swatting at my arms provides minimal protection, but doesn't ease the pressure of their presence… so the nuisance prevails. I wanted the woods. That’s what I got. Feeling parched, I take another sip of water. The heat is almost unbearable. Overhead, the buzzing of an airplane disrupts my solitude. I gaze up, from my woodsy habitat, trying to zero in on its exact location in the sky. Can’t see it through the blazing sunlight and towering trees. Leaning back in my rocking chair, I relax. Time stands still here, as the minutes click away. The sun eventually sets, and ambient light fades away… while lightening bugs begin to dance around, adding natural footlights to the scenery. It feels good to let the night, gently take hold. Technology takes a backseat out here…. However, the din of the air conditioner unit creates a rhythmic sound that blends with the singing tree frogs, Great Horned Owl's hooting and crickets chirping... and provides a brief reality check. It’s nice to know… civilization is mere footsteps away, should I wimp out and want to go back inside, where it’s nice and cool.

Friday, June 18, 2010

THE BUG

Earlier in the day, a rather large flying insect invaded the indoor perimeter of our house, slipping past two sleeping cats. Feeling guilty, they let the enemy, invade… the cats, later sprang to action, alerting me to the problem. Meanwhile, this enormous BUG struggled to find a WAY OUT, imprisoned by the obstacles inside our house. Both cats REJOICED at the challenge to chase and try to catch the FLYING invader. They performed amazing acrobatic feats that wooed and delighted me. Occasionally resting, the cats would EYEBALL me curiously, half expecting me, to turn the insect off, like a toy. But when I didn't, they reluctantly continued the chase, running in and out of every room in the house! With wings that fluttered faster than a hummingbird, this BIG bug refused to stay put... flying from place to place, acting crazier than you can imagine, probably because it felt trapped. Jumping on tables, stereo cabinets, kitchen counters and dressers... the cat's encounters with the flying daredevil were fleeting. Armed with a broom, I too joined the chase, trying to conquer this enemy within. At some point though... the whole thing started to get ridiculous. The cats, now bored… deferred to me, to take care of it, once and for all. Satisfied, I had the situation under control, when they saw me armed with our FLY SWATTER… both cats sauntered back into the living room to witness the bug’s demise. Totally exhausted from this INSECT'S escapades, I didn't feel confident... I would ever capture and destroy it. Not one of my feeble attempts resulted in victory. The cats seemed disappointed. DEFEAT STUNG. And since I could no longer pinpoint the bug’s exact location... because it stopped flying frantically about… I gave up the search and went about my business for the rest of the day. The problem is, that an insect, THAT BIG, just doesn't disappear? So either it left the way it came in, or it would be back. Later, as I was climbing into bed… there was a LOUD noise in the living room. I just knew it was that trouble making bug, back to drive us nuts, as our heads hit the pillow. TICKED OFF… I headed to the living room to see what all the commotion was about. After a brief inspection, I didn't see or hear the FLYING insect from earlier in the day... but I'd bet money, our cats knew where it was hiding. Because standing there, in the middle of the floor, were the two cats... playing tug of war with the FLY SWATTER. I headed back to bed, smiling. Let them take care of it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

THE PHOTOGRAPH

The eyes of a stranger stared back at me from the bin on the counter.Something about that gaze, haunted me. It's a look I've seen before. It seemed to shout, "Help me find my way back home. I want to go home." I asked out loud, "How did your picture end up here?" But the truth be told, I already knew. Discarded deliberately or carelessly... there was no one left,who cared enough to keep them safe. No one, except the shopkeeper... hoping to make a few bucks. Years of clutter accumulate in our homes, as we age.Souvenirs of a bygone era, keep us clinging to the memories. Along the way, we part with a few odds and ends. But not enough to make a dent in the history of our lives.When the time comes to WRAP our EXISTENCE... someone else must come in to sort through all the stuff, we've left behind. It is an arduous task... to whittle down the remains of a persons life... into a KEEP or DISCARD pile. If family does it... the sentimental value of an old tool, piece of jewelry, easy chair, painting, blanket or sewing basket takes on new meaning... to our loved ones. Our history lives. But if strangers do it... material value is all that matters. EVERYTHING becomes MARKETABLE. Even the photographs, that in life, we cradle in the palms of our hands... to relive the most intimate moments of a life, lived... can be sold, without smiles or tears, after our deaths... obliterating our personal history, in the blink of an eye. And if there is no family left to care... this is exactly what happens. HOW sad to have lived, loved and be FORGOTTEN by time. In the END, we too could wind up in an antique shop, staring helplessly out of a bin, on a countertop... in an old photograph marked $3.50... wondering if a stranger will happen by, to take us home again.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

THE CELEBRATION

My birthday came and went, but the lingering effects of it, remain. OUCH! I’m another year closer to sixty. The celebration was small, yet wonderful. Credit goes to my hubby who threw everything together. He always does a great job, year after year. One daughter was here, to party… she has officially moved back home with us. She’s unemployed. The other daughter, phoned home. She was busy at her in-laws, with her hubby and children. It would have been nice to also have them here, for my birthday… but her and I, will do dinner out, instead. My parents, who live back east, also called me… timed at the exact moment I was born, fifty-something years ago. It brought tears to my eyes. I was touched by the outpouring of affection. It made the festivities extra special. Only thing left to do, was to blow out all those candles, open gifts and sample the cake. My presents were simple and sweet. A PURPLE Kindle Cover, to replace the utilitarian black one, that’s now on it. Betsey Johnson perfume. A CD/DVD. A box of French Cremes. Some cash to buy whatever I want. And, last but not least… a gorgeous OPEN HEART pendant. Even the kitty-cats, remembered my special day. They gave me a card. Imagine that? I wonder how they got out of the house to buy it? Must have had help. I was giddy at the notion. It was a nearly perfect day. White cake with butter crème frosting, was next. My mouth had been watering at the thought of that first bite, all week long. So as I cut into the cake, the desire to have a mouthful was getting stronger and stronger. That is, until I saw chocolate crumbs on the cake knife. It stopped me dead in my tracks. I absolutely, positively HATE chocolate cake. Yet… hidden beneath the beautiful exterior, of white butter crème frosting, and pretty pink lettering, was chocolate. I was devastated. It was my birthday. I needed cake. But what could I do? Too late to fix the mistake. It wasn’t my husband’s fault. He had ordered white. So rather than make a big stink out of it, and let it ruin my day and everyone else’s… I declared, I would just finish cutting myself a piece, and then eat, the frosting, only. This delighted my guests. "Let them EAT cake."  There’s no accounting for taste.  I just hope this wasn't an OMEN of the year ahead.