Charlene was delighted with her tree. Everywhere else, when someone had a statement to make, it was always stupid toilet paper. All over the tree and then it would drizzle or rain and for weeks, the tree looked like it had some kind of hideous fungus on it.
She had done a much better job. Bright, colorful. It was a cheerful, happy tree and what started with anger, ended in art. She barely remembered why she started “fixing” the tree. She thought something had made her angry and she wanted to show the world, but before she was even a quarter of the way through it, the project had morphed into Art.
Brianna was going to be really surprised when she stepped out of the house that morning. Not a single sheet of toilet paper. Just bright colors swinging gaily from the little tree by the gate.
I have to admit, these days, it takes a certain amount of good ole’ gumption to get myself out of bed at all. It has been a frantic month and I can count on a frantic couple of months to come. I’m feeling the stress.
Finally, after relaxing enough to enjoy retirement, I feel like I’m back on a treadmill. I suppose I should feel good about it because it will have — I believe — good results and make our world a better place. Nonetheless, it has been a rough road. I’ve worked hard at unknotting the stress mess I’d become by the time I quit work and realized I wasn’t going to do it anymore. Now, it’s back.
Gumption is a great word and one you don’t hear much anymore. I remember when it was quite common, but our language has turned into a kind of internet shorthand and all the gorgeous, rich words seem to be disappearing. “LOL” and “OMG” and the like will never give us the feeling or wealth our previous language allowed.
These days, it’s had to have the gumption to just get on with it and survive. From a relatively peaceful world — which had its problems, mind you — we have been tossed willy-nilly into a nightmare world where everything we believed before makes no sense.
As I said: It takes a fair bit of gumption to just get up in the morning and face the day.
Does anyone think it is going to get easier? Yesterday, they actually locked up Manafort. I think that was the first thing all week that made me feel almost good.
World? Throw me a few crumbs! I need hope to keep on keeping on!
I’m up for trying anything, mostly. As long as it isn’t excessively painful or expensive.
I was retrospective yesterday. Anyone who wants to read yesterday’s retrospectivity conundrum can do so by clicking this here LINK.
Otherwise, let’s see how it goes. This one is a bit complicated for me. It’s a lot of bouncing around in a single week and I tend to get a bit lazy about that, but I’m “game on” trying to thumb my nose of WordPress, the curs.
Today I feel less far less retrospective and more sticky. The temperature has gone way down from yesterday, but the humidity has gone way up. I can’t remember the author who, misunderstanding the word “humidity” substituted “stupidity” and came up with the murderous yet childishly charming line:
“It’s not the heat. It’s the stupidity.”
If you think about all the scurrying around we are doing because WordPress is too freaking lazy to do a bit of work for the money they get paid, it really is the stupidity. Just saying.
May our efforts meet with success and we be less stupid than those who have gone before us!
So here’s what you can expect going forward (today’s prompt is retrospective, and I’m mostly being prospective): A daily prompt should post every morning, starting tomorrow, June 1. Currently, they arrive at 6 am mountain daylight time (which is 12 noon Greenwich mean time), and I’m suggesting that this continue. That said, some of your new prompters live in very different time zones, I think we are from Europe, the US, and Australia, so flexibility may be important. I’m listing the prompters along with their days and their sites below. If you follow each of the prompters, then you will have immediate access to their prompt.
Assay means “attempt.” When you say “I’m going to assay that climb,” you’re going to try to do it. There is, within the context of the word, a sense of insecurity. That you will try but not necessarily succeed. Subjunctive, sort of. English is not a subjunctive language. We don’t have the tenses to get it right.
Everything feels a been subjunctive these days. Getting up from a chair … can I do it without pushing is one hand? When I get up, will I fall back down? I still tend to load up my hands with whatever I think I need to take with me only to realize I have to put at least half of it down because I need one hand to push me out of the sofa. Oh those joys of aging!
It was supposed to snow today. So far, it hasn’t done anything at all, though the sky is a leaden gray that says more about rain than snow. But it’s definitely getting colder as the day goes on. Usually, days get warmer. This isn’t on of those days. So maybe we will get something, though sleet, snow, rain — or a delicious mix of all three is yet to be decided.
Regardless, in 48 hours, spring will come back. Or so the weather guys promised.
I was 18 when I first married. It was the summer after my junior year of college. I was working at the radio station. Jeff, my first husband, was Station Manager. Garry, my current and always husband, was Program Director. The two were best friends. We all met in 1963 and thus it begins.
Thirteen years later, I walked away from my first marriage. It wasn’t terrible, just empty. A good friendship, but not much of a marriage.
Off to Israel I went with my son. I was in Israel for just under 9 years. Got married for all the wrong reason. Suggestion: In a foreign country, do NOT marry the first guy who can speak your language.
For all the years, Garry wrote me letters. Every week, two to three letters, typed in capital letters and mailed special delivery arrived in my mail box. I began to think of them as my fan mail. I lived from letter to letter, carried the most recent one with me until the paper on which it was written fell apart.
No one writes letters anymore. Email has effectively eliminated personal mail, except for cards and the ubiquitous bills and advertising. These letters were exactly what I needed. I carried a couple with me wherever I went. Garry reminded me I was wonderful. He said I was amazing. It was salve for my soul.
I wrote letters too. When I got back home, I found he had saved them, an entire drawer full of letters. Clearly, something was happening. Maybe we’d both known it but had not been ready to deal with it. But it had changed and we were moving forward.
Neither Garry nor I has written a personal letter to anyone else since.
I was back.
With a little help from a friend, I got a job near Boston. Garry and I were an instant item. The previous decade hadn’t dealt kindly with either of us and we saw each other afresh. We’d always been a little in love, but there were reasons why it was the wrong time. I had been married, he was involved and then, there was his career — which was his real involvement and the one to whom he had always been married and she wasn’t going away.
And there we were. Garry was 48, never married. I’d been married twice and wasn’t all that eager to go for number three.
So what happened? He had decided it was time to have a personal life. Work wasn’t the “everything” it had been … and I was back. Unmarried.
I’d gone to California for a couple of weeks on business. I’d come home early because I’d been hit with the flu. Which turned out fine because the earthquake — the one that stopped that year’s World Series — occurred one day after I left. If I’d stayed, I’d have been crushed under a collapsed highway. Those little whispers in your ear …
Garry was really glad to see me … until I coughed. Then he wasn’t so glad.
What is the definition of “mixed emotions?” A man in love who knows the first kiss is going to give him the flu.
What defines true love? He kissed me anyway and got the flu.
After we stopped coughing and sneezing, we went to dinner. Jimmy’s Harborside, was a mile away on the harbor. It took nearly an hour to get there. Garry was kept looping around Leverett Circle, missing the turn. He was telling me how real estate prices were down and maybe we should buy a place. Live together. Forever. As in permanently.
Would that be okay?
So I listened. This was the most unexpected speech I’d ever heard, from the last man from whom I ever expected to hear it. Garry wanted to marry me. I never thought he’d marry anyone. Fool around? Sure, but get married?
Finally, I said: “So you want to buy a house. Move in and live together? As in … get married?”
“All of that,” he said and looped around one more time.
“I definitely need a drink,” I said. (I don’t drink.)
The following morning, I asked Garry if I could tell my friends. He said “Tell them what?”
“That we’re getting married,” I said.
“You said we should buy a house and live together forever.”
“Yes,” he agreed
“So we’re getting married. You proposed.”
“That’s a proposal?” he asked. “I didn’t think it was a proposal.”
“You want to buy a house with me and live together forever. If it’s not a proposal, what is it?”
“Just an idea,” he said. “You know. I thought we could kick it around a bit.”
“It is a proposal,” I assured him. A couple of weeks later, I suggested a ring might be the next order of business. Also, setting a date. He moved through these steps like a deer in headlights. Glazed eyes. When it occurred to him that all he had to do was show up in a tux, he relaxed. He had a tux. He was excited enough to get a new tie, shirt and cummerbund. The rest of it was my show.
We were married six months later after knowing each other just 26 years.
Garry and I celebrate our 26th anniversary a year ago and we’re charging into number 27 in under a month.
The man who was never getting married is a fine husband, even if he can’t cook. Personally, I think he bought a lemon and should have returned men and gotten a new one with a better warranty.
It doesn’t seem like so many years, but it turns out, when you find the right one, time flies by.
From the depths of sleep, she heard the voice. Calling. That old, familiar, and utterly unwelcome refrain. She opened one, sleep-filled eye. Noticed it was still dark — not yet dawn, then looked at her clock.
“Four in the damned morning? You’ve got to be KIDDING,” she snarled. To no one in particular, except Perhaps, a self-assured gray tabby who completely ignored her. Which was de rigueur unless tuna or catnip was involved.
The voice came again.
“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your golden hair,” he called.
“Another #$@%^# prince,” she said under her breath. She arose from her bed in the high tower. Went into the bathroom. Came out with the chamber pot. He was calling again.
“Rapunzel, Ra …” and when the contents of the pot covered his head, he just stopped. Gurgled. Mounted his horse and trotted away.
Rapunzel picked up Perhaps and sighed with pleasure. There would no doubt be another prince on some other night, but at least for this night, no one would further disturb her sleep.
“Good night, sweet prince,” she giggled as she drifted off.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see as in a mirror darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I too am known.
I’m not usually big on quoting the bible, but sometimes — and this is one of those times — no place says it better.
I was an “old” child. When I was very young, I talked like a much older person. I read “adult person” literature and thought of myself as very mature. I wasn’t. I was intellectually precocious, but still a child. Who used big words and almost understood many adult things.
Almost. There are a whole lot of things that simply don’t make sense until you’ve lived a life. Reading about life isn’t living it. A child, no matter how smart, is never more mature than his or her years and experience. That’s perspective.
Perspective isn’t static. At 10, you see things through 10-year-old eyes. As years and decades roll on, you see the same things differently, sometimes extremely so. Perhaps you really do see through a glass darkly. Or you should. If decades of living don’t change your perspective, something is wrong — with you or the life you’ve lived. We are supposed to change. The only things that don’t change are dead.
I hear people my age or even younger saying “Well, that’s the way I am. I’m not going to change.”
There’s a terrible finality in that statement. A sad finality, like a eulogy for “self.”
Someday, I’ll be too old or sick for change. The end comes to everyone. But until then, I hope my perspective keeps changing. I hope I revise my opinions often and contradict myself frequently.
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