WHICH WAY – THE ETERNAL UNANSWERABLE QUESTION – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge

Aldrich Street in June

I am permanently lost, so every time this challenge comes up, I take it personally.

Trolley station in Brookline

I’m good with maps, back when they published local maps that showed the actual streets in town.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Early in June

Mostly you can buy atlases, all of which show the main roads, but not the ones we are traveling.

Home again

 

LET THE SUN SHINE IN – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: A Study in Light

I love the color and quality of light. Through the leaves of a tree or a window. I love the light through the French doors in my dining room. My plants seem to love it too and grow beautifully in the glow.

Morning light in the dining room through French doors

The light has brought the orchids into bloom, something I never expected. The wonderful light from the east.

READY TO INCITE? – Marilyn Armstrong

INSIGHT IS NOT INCITE – BUT THEY SOUND THE SAME


Sometimes, you just have to love this language. I do not feel insightful, but I could probably incite a riot. I know it’s merely a homonym. Not the same word except by sound, but I feel very non-insightful.

I want is to win a lot of money so I can fix the house. I want my life — for the first time ever — to become easier.

I’m not sure when I started believing when you got older, things slowed down and you could relax, surrounded by caring family who would take care of your needs and maybe even a few small luxuries.

That has not exactly been how it worked. I’m just pissed about the whole “getting old” thing. Why doesn’t someone else cook dinner? Why are we both still scrubbing and vacuuming and cleaning? Why does the house persist in requiring maintenance and repair? What’s WRONG with this picture?

Round up the angry mob. Let’s skip insight and go directly to INCITE!

Who’s with me?

I WANT AN AUTONOMOUS HOUSE! Marilyn Armstrong

Autonomous house, autonomous life!

The self-driving vehicle is on the way. It’s on the news and in the news. A few accidents. One death. But considering the number of accidents just backing out of a driveway in suburbia, that’s pretty good.

I can actually see a day coming when Robert Heinlein’s vision will have arrived. Not exactly as he predicted, but close enough for folk music.

We could definitely use a self-driving car because neither one of us wants to drive anywhere, but we are driving a not-yet-paid-for second-hand 2012 Jeep Patriot, so a self-driving car doesn’t look likely to appear for us.

Autonomous cars would be great. Finally, we could blame everything on computers. Nothing would be anyone’s fault. The manufacturer’s of colliding cars could duke it out in court and all we’d have to do is recover from being slammed by a 40-foot moving van. Anyway, by then, medicine will be free. I know this because we are all moving in the direction of more freedom for all Americans.

We aren’t? Did I mis-hear the news again?

However much an autonomous self-driving vehicle would solve many issues, an autonomous, self-repairing, self-cleaning house would really do the job! If a tile on the roof gets damaged, the technology will grow another in its place. You’ll never know it happened. The furnace, will operate on hydrogen drawn from well-water and will never need filling. Rugs will be permanently free of dog hair, grit, pollen, and mud.

Pipes would never clog.

Of course, this presumes that we continue to get rain and have wells and aquifers. And we don’t turn into a charred desert or return to the Cretaceous period and have to live in trees.

Mostly, I want the autonomous house where everything gets fixed and I don’t have to figure out how to pay for it or even know I have a problem.

This whole “take care of your house” and “please don’t back into anything” is getting old.

I don’t think ANY of us should be driving. We are too distracted. Overly busy with phones, not to mention worries, conversations, and work. There are too many cars. Everywhere. Even where there aren’t a lot of people, there are still too many cars.

MAKE IT ALL AUTONOMOUS.

Anything you can run without needing me to do it, I’m a BIG yes. Please do not send me a bill.

Why is it always about MONEY?

HOME AND THE GIANT FIX-IT LIST – Marilyn Armstrong

It may be grubby, but it’s home.

Home is …

where the DVRs record the shows we watch.

where the bed is comfortable and we can sleep.

where the dogs are … dirt and all.

where the furniture isn’t classy, but is back-friendly and lets me put my feet up so my ankles don’t swell.

where my stuff lives.

 

It’s grubby. Frayed at the edges. Dusty. Full of memories, hopes and dreams. It ain’t fancy, big, or likely to impress anyone. Lots of things need fixing, replacing, painting, cleaning.

For all that, it’s incredibly comfortable. It has soft edges and inviting places to sit and rest. The roof don’t leak … and most of all,  it’s ours.

GET A LAWN, MR. WILKINS – Rich Paschall

The Green, Green Grass, by Rich Paschall

Rusty liked to get out and walk around the neighborhood.  It was a pleasant community with quaint old houses.  In fact, some of the houses were over one hundred years old, as were the trees planted in front of them.  Many homes were kept in fine condition by their owners, while others showed the sad effects of the many years they had been standing.  Rusty always spotted something new or different to enjoy during his walks.  One thing he could usually count on, as he strolled down Wallace Street on a weekend, was the presence of one particular old timer tending to his yard.

“Good morning, Mr. Wilkins,” Rusty exclaimed as he came upon the old house with a grand porch and nice lawn.  “The grass is looking very good this Spring.”

“Thanks, my friend,” Mr. Wilkins replied.  Everyone Mr. Wilkins addressed was “my friend” or “neighbor” or perhaps “sir” or “ma’am.”  Mr. Wilkins was very bad at remembering names no matter how often he heard them.  He was usually just fixated on the care of the old house and his beautiful lawn.

“I must say, Mr. Wilkins, I am surprised you are still at it. I thought you mentioned a dozen years ago that you would give this all up and retire to a warmer climate where there would be no lawn care.”

That is exactly what Mr. Wilkins had said.  He told many people that.  He wanted to retire to a nice area where a lawn service would take care of all the outside surroundings.  He wanted to relax in his old age and pursue his favorite hobbies.  He wanted to read more books, watch more sports and visit more museums and art galleries.  In his mind, he could envision a life different from the one he had for many years.  Nevertheless, he was still active in the same tasks that had now filled decades of his life.

“Yes, that was my plan, but as I approached retirement age I found I could not retire.  There just is not enough money there if I should live a long life.  I guess I will have to work as long as I can, then hope for the best.  I don’t think I will ever leave here.”

“Well, I guess I am sorry to hear it Mr. Wilkins, but you should feel good about this grand old house.  I believe your hard work had paid off. You have a lovely yard and a beautiful porch from which to admire it.”

“Thank you, neighbor,” Mr. Wilkins responded with a tone of true gratitude.  Complements on the lawn were always well received.  “There are some in the neighborhood with perfect lawns.  They have thick green grass and not a weed in sight.  I often wonder how they do it.  I hope I have such a lawn before my time is up.”

“This looks like the year of the perfect lawn, Mr Wilkins.  Now don’t work too hard.  This is the time to enjoy life.  Have a nice day.”  Rusty was off on his neighborhood journey.

Mr. Wilkins spent the Spring and early summer in pursuit of his favorite hobby, the lawn and garden.  His grass got the spring “weed and feed.”  He had tried various products over the years in search of the one with the best result.  A few bare spots got extra attention as Mr. Wilkins got down to loosen the dirt and then sprinkle his favorite grass seed.

Mother Nature cooperated with Mr. Wilkins like she had never done before.  The rain held off when certain products needed to be applied in dry weather.  The showers came when the seeds needed it and the grass required moisture.  Everything was coming along as Mr. Wilkins had always dreamed.

One day in early summer, Rusty was wondering down Wallace Street during his usual walk around the neighborhood.  “Good morning, Mr. Wilkins.  How are you this morning?”

“I am doing quite well,” the old-timer lied.  “How are you?”

Mr. Wilkins was tired, very tired.  He was pushing himself to do the things that came easy in past years.  He desperately wanted to do all the chores he felt were necessary to have a fine lawn and beautiful porch.  The work did not come without great effort.

“I am enjoying my walk past the many nice homes,” Rusty explained. “I must compliment you on the nice flowers and exceptional lawn. I think this is not only your best one yet, but perhaps the best one in the neighborhood. I should know. I have seen them all”

At that, Mr. Wilkins perked up. There were no better words for him than the ones expressed by his kind neighbor.

“Thank you so much, my friend. I am so happy to hear it,” Mr. Wilkins stated with a great deal of pride. “I believe the weather has been a big help this year.”

“I am sure your hard work had everything to do with it. Well, enjoy your fine yard and don’t work too hard anymore.” At that, Rusty wandered away and left Mr. Wilkins beaming with pride.

With complete satisfaction at his front lawn and neat row of flowers, Mr. Wilkins gathered up his gardening tools and headed back behind the house. There he set down his garden implements and just admired the lawn.

Related image
The green, green grass of home

“After all these years,” he said to himself, “I finally have a beautiful lawn. I wonder what brought it to me this year.”

As the sun was warm and the lawn was lush and inviting, Mr. Wilkins decided to lie down on the green, green grass where he drifted off peacefully.

No one found him until the next day.

MAYLOWERS OF MASSACHUSETTS – Marilyn Armstrong

MAYFLOWER – Flower of the Day

One of the great things about using the internet is learning stuff. Cee mentioned that Columbine is Colorado’s state flower … which made me wonder what our Massachusetts’ state flower might be.

Mayflowers

Turns out to be the Mayflower. Yes, just like the name of the boat that landed in Plymouth. Though I’m pretty sure it didn’t land on the rock or it would have crashed, so I’m assuming they anchored and went ashore in a more normal way.

Mayflowers – in May!

Meanwhile, though, I have tons of Mayflowers in our yard. They are wild, so they cover the grass, usually together with our first flock of dandelions. It makes a very pretty purple and yellow carpet in the early part of spring.

More Mayflowers
I was told that this is another kind of Mayflower

Late April typically, though it was May this year because of the cold weather that wouldn’t leave. Not to mention the wind, rain, sleet, and snow. Or, what we like to call “our miserable weather.”

Mayflowers
Mayflowers and pink-eyed grass

Nothing stops those wildflowers, though. We didn’t get the usually thatch of dandelions and Mayflower, but we got them. This time, fewer dandelions and more Mayflowers.