Friday, September 12, 2008

Snippets here and there

Those of you who are observant will note the addition of my photo at the top of this blog. My honey was actually the catalyst for this: his photo now adorns his blog, and I figured if he was gonna put it out there, then I could too.

It's not like I'm not already visible: the photo also appears in Enjoy magazine, a wonderful north state glossy magazine for which I've had the privilege of writing for more than a year, and a similar shot also has appeared with my some-time real estate column in the Redding Record Searchlight's Sunday Homes section, although the column hasn't been in there lately for various reasons.

But it's a decent photo of me, taken by Tony on our back porch, before the wonderful ivy geraniums got nibbled to nubbins by the deer, and before the scorching north winds of a couple of weeks ago blew down the other plant that was hanging from our porch roof.

"Why no -- there hasn't been ANY retouching," she said guilelessly.

So now you know the face behind the words.


September 11 came and went although not without ceremonies of remembrance. I wrote about our experiences on that horrible day a few years ago.

I don't believe we've ever recovered from it, although I think that our collective attitudes have reverted back to the largely self-centered ones that preceded it. I so clearly remember the connectedness that pervaded the country in the days and months after the tragedy. I wish there was some way to regain that without another disaster.


And I re-read last year's September posts: it was not a particularly fun month, and this hasn't been either. I always am interested to note the changes, however.
  • We are happily communicating with daughter #3, and in fact, have a 3-month-old grandson who is a charmer. She is in a better place, I think, although this year has been hard for her health-wise. She and her boyfriend are in the process of making some changes to their lives -- again -- and we hope it will be better for all concerned. She has matured tremendously over this past year, and it is indeed gratifying to see her emerge into a mostly sensible young mother -- she even described herself the other day as a "soccer mom" -- she also is "stepmom" to his three children, a huge undertaking all by itself. We're proud of her and grateful for the improvement in communication.
  • No change as far as communication with daughter #2, and we only hope that she is okay. One day, perhaps, we'll know more. Until then, she is in our prayers and has our love around her, even if she doesn't choose to acknowledge it.
  • The biggest change is that daughter #1 is living with us after a difficult year and some very scary events. She is trying to adapt to small town life after living all her adult life in a substantially-sized city; she is enduring medication changes and subsequent side effects that have mostly sapped her natural energy; and she is adjusting to living with mom again after being independent for years. We're in a one-day-at-a-time existence, all of us. I am so grateful to have her where I can touch her and talk to her, and to know that she is safe, fed, and that she has resources to help her. Mostly those ice weasels have gone quiet, but I'd sure like to help her find some friends around her age who share some of her interests. It's just a huge, hard life change for her, on top of all the other issues.
We've just completed a couple of major projects for our property -- a start on some landscaping with a beautifully engineered and finished retaining wall, and an enormous shop-garage that will shelter not only the vehicles but also provide lots of work room and storage. It's being wired at this writing, but with all the lights and outlets, I'm sure you'll be able to see it from space -- sort of like "Deck the Halls," the Danny Devito movie of a couple of years ago. I'm told it's a "guy" thing. Whatever.

I'm still working on getting back into the full writing swing though -- the cross-country trip and settling in took a lot of energy and time, and I'm just now beginning to come back up to something like normal. I'm trying to get enough sleep and take a little time for me, but so far what that's involved is eating a lot more candy than I have eaten in months. I'm going to Bunco this month, however, and that will give me a really great girlfriend fix. I'm also hoping the Cowgirls will get together again soon -- I miss that connection.

This is our surgery month, too -- both Tony and I get cataracts removed and new lenses implanted -- he on one eye, me on both. We're both looking forward to better eyesight and easy recovery from this very simple procedure. That's coming up...

Last year's note about 57 degrees and rain on Sept. 22 gives me hope: it's been over 100 for days, although nights are cooling to lower 60s-upper 50s, and we keep windows open then. But I'm so tired of dust and heat and sweat and crispy crunchy grass, and the garden is just pathetic -- fruit doesn't set well with very hot temps, so the tomatoes look worn out and ready for the compost heap on top, although there's green at the roots. We're nearly at mid-September though, and it won't last too much longer.

We all long for change, don't we, at this time of year: the bountiful harvest of our hard labors in our homes, our jobs, our gardens. We long for new opportunities and fresh starts, for cooler days and renewing rains, and for the feeling that the great wheel is indeed turning as it should. It doesn't feel like that yet -- it feels stuck in place, like a little pebble is preventing the wheel from moving much -- but yet I know that it soon will move on. Life is short enough -- I don't want to waste my days and wish them away -- and yet, I am ready for something to change for the better.

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