Ponder this:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

In the news

I have mentioned before that we have no television. We own the appliance, and we have the black box that everybody had to buy a few years ago in order to received high definition transmissions. But the box broke and Husband didn't care enough to get it fixed or replaced, and I most assuredly shared his unconcern. With no great deal of pride I admit that neither do I read any newspaper, at least not in hard copy, except for the Small Pond Weekly. My sources of news are Other People and the Interwebs, so my knowledge of current events is, speaking kindly, spotty. 

I do know, however, that Amelia Earhart's plane's undercarriage might have been found, along with other evidence that indicates that she might not have crashed and died, but might have survived for a little while at least. That's pretty exciting.

Investigators say they've found key clue to fate of Amelia Earhart

And just yesterday I read that a WWII airplane has been found in the Sahara, hardly damaged, again with evidence that the pilot had survived for a bit. The experts surmise that the pilot walked off into the desert instead of waiting to be found, which would have been equally as futile. There's something more tragic, or perhaps more dramatic, about the idea of his heading off into the desert to meet his demise.
Those two stories interest me probably mostly because of the ghostly mental images they provoke.

Another news item that I could not avoid was about the New Jersey woman and her allegedly sunburned child. It seems to me there has been vastly more coverage of that particular [train] wreck. I have to admit to you that of all the videos, still photos, etc. about that horror, the one item that I could not let go of was the black lipliner. 
I mean . . . really?

Heaven help us all.

Glorious day!

I have just spent about an hour outside at the picnic table.
In the sun.
In sleeveless top.
Mostly keeping sleeping Max-in-diaper company and making sure he kept sleeping and didn't get up and wander away.
Lilac scent wafting around the corner of the house.
Mockingbird singing, singing, from the tops of the trees, one song to another. He barely stops for breath.
Doug brought over a small dump load of fifteen-year-old cow manure for the garden. It shines in the sun like black gold, looks as if it could at any moment burst into growth without benefit of any human effort.
I read my Cooking Light magazine. Even if I never made any of the recipes, that magazine makes me feel good. The recipes all look so simple and so beautiful, and mostly easy provided I could keep my mind on what I was doing for five minutes. It's a magazine full of Possibility.

All that joy and it's still only 10am.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Just a day in the life

I've just finished applying orange halves to the plum tree, the birch trees, the cherry tree, two apple trees, and all three shepherd's crooks. When I finished, I yelled, "Orioles, lunch is out!" A week ago I saw eight or a dozen orioles flying around up here on the hill. I haven't seen any lately, but I will...! Oranges are like magic for making orioles appear.
Right before I went outside with my net bag full of oranges I heard my seasonal mockingbird trilling through a thousand song phrases . . . couldn't see the bird through the window, but he was nearby.
Mom and Pop Canada goose were next to the road last Thursday when I passed late in the afternoon, with a gosling standing between them, looking for all the world as if they were waiting for the parade to start.
What joy these birds give me, just being around and living their bird lives.

In other news, Max grows skinnier and skinnier by the minute, it seems. He has come, in sleep, to resemble a newly hatched bird. He eats with gusto whenever food is offered, goes from his dish to Angus', eventually owning both servings until he has had enough. I suspect he doesn't know that he's eating from two dishes; I think every time he finds food, he thinks, "Oh! Food!" no matter how short the space of time between discoveries. 
Max can no longer manage the stairs in either direction, so he is carried up at night and down in the morning, and overnight, a baby gate placed across the top of the stairway. He fell downstairs twice in the middle of the night when he was, doubtless, wandering around looking for the bed and the hands that lift him up and replace him in same. My trips up and down the stairs usually require me to carry other things as well . . . dirty laundry, clean laundry, wastepaper basket contents, etc. The preparation and arranging of materials is cumbersome late at night when I . .  just . . . want . . . to . . . go . . . to . . . bed. 
In the mornings, if Max should arrive downstairs before Angus [who is on his own for his ascent to and descent from the bedroom], he totters to the couch and growls at the dark colored afghan, assuming it to be his brother. 
No matter what I'm doing I can count on Max being underfoot. Touching me is the only way for him to know exactly where I am. After a surprisingly small number of Squashing-The-Old-Poodle incidents, I have learned to check carefully all around my feet before moving an inch in any direction. It is tiresome, and makes food preparation and bed-making interminable, but it keeps me from cardiac events caused by loud poodle squawks of pain. 
I believe that I am ready for Max to cross the Rainbow Bridge. I think it cannot truly be said that he in enjoying his life. I think he is neither happy nor unhappy. He is in no pain I think, although he certainly would be if he were not coddled as he is. I am tired, worn out, but The Decision cannot be made without Husband's being on board, and he is not yet ready.
And no matter how ready all three involved parties (not counting Angus, who's had his brother with him all his life, both pre- and post-birth) might be, the aftermath of the deed will be gorged with sadness, guilt and regrets. After the ubiquity of the Sisyphean Max Care, when it is no longer necessary, there will an awful lot of time to fill with self-reproach.

More later, perhaps.
I believe it is time to change Max's diaper now.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


We have a starling caught in the woodstove. It arrived via chimney last evening. Husband can see the bird, but can't get at it, and has had run-ins with starlings before . . . he has gone to see if he can buy a butterfly net to catch it. We've caught many a bird without special tools, but if he's interested in investing, it won't be money wasted. 
Someday he can use it on me, perhaps.

On my way to the store this morning I passed a Canada goose couple. They've set up housekeeping at a swampy, creeky spot that seems to be all their own. I have seen them several times over the last few weeks, usually standing close together, whispering sweet nothings to each other. The lady seems always to hold her face downward coquettishly while the gander stands with his chin up and chest out, looking very manly. As I passed them on my return trip, he showed me his open bill. My window was not open but I imagine he was hissing at me, showing off, protecting his lady love.

I've seen half a dozen male red-winged blackbirds in pursuit of the dull-colored females. Such aerobatics! Oh, to be pursued, or ever to have been pursued, with such ardor!

A male bluebird greeted me one morning a week ago as I reached for my first cup of coffee. He perched on top of the shepherd's crook at the corner of the patio, all bright and blinding blue. Bluebird blue is such a clear, clear color.

And someone told me recently . . . someone who knows these things . . . that there are no blue birds. That all the birds we see as blue are black or gray or some mixture and it is just the way our eyes see the light reflected that makes them appear blue. I find that simultaneously interesting and obvious. Everything is only the color we see it because of the way the light reflects from it, after all.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

As long as this exists...

I would be unsurprised to know that people who read this blog are familiar with Public Radio's The Writer's Almanac. On Monday morning as I drove to work, Mr. Keillor's voice was at first simply a soothing sound as he began to read "As long as this exists..." By the time he reached the second sentence, I was thinking of the appreciation of people throughout the world, throughout time, for the peace of nature. 
"As long as this exists," I thought, "and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts, I cannot be unhappy." The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature, and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.