IF I COULD SEE THE FUTURE, I’D BE A WRECK

I can see the future. Everyone can. Take a look at the present. Extrapolate what’s likely to happen. It’s not magic, it’s logic. Intentions made real. Probabilities aligned.

We see ahead as accurately as we need to. Seeing more would gain us nothing but misery. The future would be a fearsome place. We could waste our entire lives trying to change it. No one would enjoy the present. What a pointless exercise!

I will make a prophecy and can guarantee it’s true.

We will all die. Of something. Eventually.

WHAT ARE THE DOING TO OUR FRUIT?

A Photo a Week Challenge: Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit. I’ve become phobic and afraid of it. So much of it has been genetically modified. It doesn’t look like it used to look.

The big fruit is the orange

The big fruit is the orange

Oranges bigger than grapefruit, but the orange skin is half an inch thick and there’s no juice in it. Strawberries the size of plums, mushy and oddly tasteless. Peaches that weigh a pound each, as sweet as cardboard with the same texture.

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Those weird fruits also rot pretty much immediately, before a single day passes. So far, they’ve left a few things alone. As far as I can tell, grapefruit and tangerines are still safe. But I won’t buy most fruit except at local farm stands. It’s like consuming an alien invader. Who knows what that stuff will do to you?

A NON-ANECDOTAL LIFE

I keep getting congratulated for taking the “less traveled road.” But it’s not true.

Sometimes, I took a back road because it was the shortest road to where I was going. More often, I traveled highways, because they offered the fastest, most direct routes.

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Always a pragmatist, I was goal-driven. I don’t remember thinking about if it was a more or less traveled path. Sometimes, I made a good choice. The rest of the time, I did the best I could with whatever mess I’d gotten myself into.

I’ve had an interesting life, but not as interesting as it probably sounds. I don’t talk about the boring parts because they’re boring. That’s the thing about blogging. You get to write your life and leave out the tedious stuff.

I don’t write about staying up late cleaning when I wanted desperately to go to bed. Because there was work in the morning. I had to make the kid’s lunch, get him on the bus. Make sure the dog didn’t eat his homework.

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All the parties I didn’t attend because I couldn’t find a babysitter … or was too tired to think about going anywhere. The nights I fell asleep in front of the television, unable to keep my eyes open past the opening credits.

I had good times. Exciting, weird, funny experiences. Tragedies and triumphs interspersed with long hours, short nights, and exploring the wonders of all-night supermarkets.

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Most of life isn’t memorable. It doesn’t bear retelling. My life was just like yours, whoever you are, whatever you did. Most lives are more alike than different.

I’ve had my share of crappy relationships, horrible bosses, and tedious jobs. I had a husband and child to raise, groceries to buy, a house to clean. I was lucky because I also had wonderful friends who were there for me when the going was tough.

Don’t be misled by anecdotes. Between the anecdotes is where life really happens.

DO YOU REMEMBER?

WHAT TECHNOLOGY DO I MISS? I DON’T MISS TECHNOLOGY. I MISS CIVILIZATION.

Telephones on which both you and the party to whom you were speaking could hear each other.

Sound tracks on movies where dialogue was louder than background music.

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Silence when you were out and not near a phone. Being out of touch was wonderful — the whole point of vacation.

People walking on the street without things stuck in their ears, paying attention to where they were walking. Saying “hi” and smiling when they passed by.

Conversations which were not constantly interrupted by tweets, dings, beeps, and ringing.

Good manners. “Please” and “thank you” being part of normal human intercourse.

The customer always being right. I’d settle for the customer occasionally being treated with respect.

Complete sentences with words spelled correctly and including punctuation.

Full-service gas stations where they cleaned your windshield.

FINAL GONG SOUNDS ON OUR WELL STORY

It took 9 months to get the job finished, starting from when our well went dry in late August 2014, until mid-May 2015. That was when Dave, the Well Guy, showed up to finish the job. I do not know how many calls I made that went unanswered and not returned. I considered just showing up at his front door. He lives around the corner, after all, but he probably wouldn’t answer the door. I wouldn’t, if I were him.

He had the grace to not bill me until after he had capped the well and completed the sidewalk. From completion of the job, it then took a mere two months before the bill arrived. I had reached a point of giddy expectation in which I thought maybe he was doing the job free. I mentioned this to Owen, who said “Fat chance of that.”

Eventually, the other shoe dropped. The bill arrived, delivered in person by none other than the elusive Dave.

Completed well-head in front of the garden gate

Completed well-head in front of the garden gate

I’d been holding the funds in a separate account the entire time. I needed to be sure it didn’t get used for some other frivolity, like fixing someone’s teeth or buying a hearing aid.

After the bill arrived, last week I transferred the funds to the checking account so I could issue a bank check. I left a week between transferring funds and paying him to be sure the bank didn’t get weird about my moving so much money at one time. They didn’t.

When the calendar flipped into July, I scheduled Dave’s payment.  Minus $100, a small fraction of the total bill.

“Why?” asked Garry.

“How long did it take Dave to finish the well?”

Garry thought a moment. “A little more than nine months.”

“Well,” I said, “In nine months, after he calls me a dozen times asking for the money — and I ignore the calls — then, after a suitable period of time has passed, I’ll make sure he gets that last bit of money. If he has a poetic streak, he’ll get the point.”

My work here is done.

SUMMER FROM THE DECK THROUGH A LONGER LENS

I have wanted to get a long lens for my Olympus cameras for quite a while. I have had the Olympus f4 40-140mm lens for years. I got it as part of a kit, but never enjoyed it. I don’t know why I don’t like it, but I don’t. The pictures come out well enough, but it’s not fun to use.

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Finally, I gave in and bought the Panasonic 45-150 mm. Like the Olympus lens, it is slow (f4) which makes it useful only outdoors. But it is smoother, focuses more crisply, and has — to my eyes — a more attractive bokeh.

Here is early summer from the deck. Through the long lens, on a bright June afternoon.

EVERY WHICH WAY WITH FLOWERS

CEE’S WHICH WAY CHALLENGE: 2015 WEEK #26

Welcome everyone to Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge. This challenge is about the roads, walks, trails, rails on which we move from place to place. You can walk them, climb them, drive them, ride them, as long as the way is visible. And, of course, any angle of a bridge is acceptable as are signs of any kind.

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I stayed in the neighborhood again. My garden gate is an ever-changing collage of color and texture this time of year. The exuberant arrival of new blooms almost hourly makes it a challenge to capture its mood and color.

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The dentist’s receptionist was out to lunch when we got there, just a bit early for our appointment. We waited. Garry read the newspaper. I took his picture.

Garry on the steps

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