The Sweet Sounds of Summer (?)

A lovely summer afternoon, gentle breeze, sweet smell of honeysuckle, and most important of all – peace and QUIET.

City of Long Beach, CA

I want to scream. I have a sweet little 8 foot by 6 foot pool in the backyard that I call my sanity spa. It is equipped with a donut-hole float, and a long, raft-float. My summer vacation consists of reading while I bounce about in the donut and take naps while floating on the raft. It is an idyllic existence for spending a leisurely summer during the pandemic. Except for …

WHEN IT’S NOT QUIET!@!

And much to my deep chagrin, this is often the case.

So, you say, buck up and let the neighborhood kids enjoy their summer fun!

It’s not neighborhood kids.

Well then, let the boy next door enjoy practicing his drums.

It’s the boy next door practicing drums, nor the girl across the street playing the piano.

Could it be a gaggle of crows wanting to chase away some poor, unfortunate owl?

No crows, no owl.

None of the above.

Here’s a hint:

The other day I had sunk into a lovely rapture while floating on my raft when I sprung off it in a fit of frustration and fear due to the suddenly loud and intrusive buzzing of a hedge trimmer.  

My neighbors. My butt to backyard neighbors. My 60-something neighbors. My obsessive-compulsive, yard-fanatical neighbors. My neighbors who often mow their Pebble Beach Golf Club-perfect lawn every day. Who trim their 2-foot high hedges once a week. Who had near-apoplexy when the water company had to dig up their lawn to fix a broken water main.

Take your pick: lawn mower, hedge trimmer, power-washer, edger, weed whacker, oh, and dare I forget, their daily greeting as they float about in their own, much-bigger-than-my pool. (Did I mention the moaning of their pool pump?) If you’re looking for non-natural yard noise, come join me and let the cacophony begin!

Living Through the Pandemic

A time carved out of time. A chasm, deep, but not bottomless.

The landscape is changing. What will it look like when this is over? Will it be ever over?

I tell my students who are sad about missing their graduation to think that they are experiencing something cataclysimic that shall be forever embedded in history, a history about which they can say, “I was there.”

I am one of the lucky ones. I am content with my simple, daily life of reading, writing, and playing with my animals. I am alone with my partner, but instead of a time of tension and separation, we are growing closer. He is our courier and he is happy with that. I am our hearth keeper, and I am happy with that.

Still,  we listen to the news, watch our governor’s daily briefs and cheer him on, watch our president’s daily briefs and scoff in disgust, and wonder how it will all turn out in the end.

Dealing with the Pandemic

From jackrabbit quick to the stall of a snail tucked tight in its shell.  This is the trajectory of life before and during a pandemic.

I’m not complaining, except when I get a tad bored and the only thing I can think of to do is clean out the linen closet.  In truth – this is a once in the existence of humanity to stay secluded and find meaning in the particles of daily life that go unnoticed.

Correction – some of those particles are evident, like the blanket of dust that acts as a wrist-rest when I’m typing at my computer. But that’s not what I’m talking about. Maybe meme is a better word – the memes of daily existence, like:

  • Really listening to my green cheek conure to determine if she’s mad, sad, hungry, playful or bored.
  • Taking my little Boston Terrier, Finja, for a daily walk instead of shoving her out in the fenced-in backyard to do her business.
  • Listening to all the wild birds on our walk and drinking in the luscious smell of fresh earth as it awakens from its winter cast.
  • Slowly savoring every crumb of the foods we never have time to eat in our “real” world.
  • Digging out my digital camera and seeing the unseen and making it exquisite.
  • Sitting still and looking out the window

It appears our ability to live simply is going to last awhile. I will relish it.

The Skirt

It had been a long and crazy day. I taught in the morning, had office hours after, rushed home to get my dogs out, changed into jeans, and then went off to the shelter to walk the dogs. That evening my daughter and I were going out to dinner first before seeing the play Chicago! I rushed home after walking the dogs, changed back into my pencil skirt and top, and off my daughter and I went to begin our evening romp.

Dinner was good – I had my usual – a cheese omelet. Then, off to the theater. We parked on a back street and started the ½ block walk to the theater. About halfway there I felt something odd around my ankles. I looked down and to my horror, discovered my skirt had fallen down. I yanked that baby up as fast as I could and proceeded to spend the rest of the evening with one hand firmly grasping the top of that skirt.

My daughter and I about rolled down the street laughing at this new “mom-ism” caper. Interestingly, while gripping the skirt after “the incident,” I thought the waistband was awfully loose and wondered if I had lost weight.

Anyway, I made it home with skirt more or less intact and when I took it off, I discovered that when I redressed myself, I put the darn thing on upside down.

The moral of this story is that pencil skirts only go on one way and it’s best to identify the position of the waistband before putting one on.