Christmas Passed – Decs Deferred

This is the year we were caught by surprise.

There were a few good reasons why our house seemed a poor uninspired effort amidst the joy and celebration visible all around us. We witnessed our neighbors welcoming and hosting a blockful of cars and SUV’s. Although our own family was outside of this arena, it still felt strange to come home and have to navigate a darkened driveway without all those garish eyesores blocking the way.

One of the reasons we forewent all of that was that when the time came, there was a daunting situation. How does an older physically challenged person climb a ladder, get those lights in perfect alignment and take hours doing it. Then, the decorations themselves were old. Old, elder lights that were crumbling with oxidation just like our old bones. Older Christmas village that may have been magical beyond when a small child, looked like a group of old paper covered in sparkles which were quickly falling off. Sad.

Then there was the tree itself. It isn’t a tree; it’s the top part of an artificial tree that was also very old, and long gone and forgotten. The needles are out of proportion to the tree, making it impossible to hang trinkets. This year my patience was lost. The tree sits on the dining room table, making it impossible to use the table in the event of a rare, rare, rare, visit by friend or family.

Hence the desire and the drive to make it up. Yule season, thee is not forgotten nor forlorn. No longer will I ignore, and deny myself the magic and anticipation of the return of the light to the earth.

Next year will be hard, yes, with new involvement in environmental and social pushbacks. Despite not speculating and guessing, my life will be just as difficult as anyone else’s. But I’m up to it.

Putting my needs before anything else, downsizing does not mean ignoring. A modified, sale priced lighting display and new tree that actually looks festive, is a goal. So I made sure of this.

Several shopping trips later, I’ve become the proud owner of a plan that will startle and surprise. I will walk the grounds, splying wires and tiny lights. I will attach, hang, tape and smear sparkles and color over all the surfaces out there. And after the feast of the epiphany on January 6, 2018, I will do the entire act in reverse.

Such is life. Holding breath until it is time to exhale simply causes one to understand the importance and peace of the wait. Seasonal decorations may be held absent now, but will brighten our eyes and hearts in years to come.

Advertisements

If I Could Put Time in that Bottle…

And smash it against a brick wall!

All good things must come to any end and these past few months, as I look ahead to some improvements in lifestyle, and some successes and projects that take less time than in the past, I’m doing pretty well.

There is that matter of my computer club. After about four(?) years, there has been no improvement or time-saving progress whatsoever.

When I first joined the club, it was for a purpose. I had begun to work as a computer instructor, a totally inexperienced teacher, but a very experienced administrator and office technology user. So it was a logical step. For support, advice, mentoring and keeping abreast of the latest developments in technology as it related to workers and also to personal needs.

At that time, I was fighting a spinal issue, and as time moved on it became harder and harder to stand to give my lessons, until I discovered I had breast cancer in 2008 and my 11-year teaching career began to come to a screeching halt. It was a little like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

A few pounds of flesh lighter, and a painful back condition later, I found myself unable to work, and retired in 2009, after a respectable length of time for a career in mid-life. So what now about the computer users group?

Being a loyal to a fault person, I remained a member of the club, but in addition, became more involved in some of the duties of membership. I ran a couple of workshops, I ran a monthly workshop in word processing, I became the programs chair for a couple of years, wildly surpassing any past efforts and raising the bar on using my connections network to help that along.

Being that this is a short history of my efforts to retain my loyalty, I’ll put it this way. I became active in a couple of interest groups, especially the graphics group, which soon revealed itself to be a monthly sales pitch for some video software, and some irrelevant technologies such as 3-D printing and virtual reality software. Enough was enough.

I realized what I needed was to narrow my “causes” down to just a few essentials. So I picked and chose – my faith community; gardening; photography, and digital art. I redefined myself as a digital artist, and began to take day trips and network among some very creative people.

Albeit I found myself among younger, more vibrant, and actually people who used technology to create art. People who weren’t asking the same questions every month from the same seats in the same place. This was the opposite of the evening I presented a workshop in said video program, and nobody admitted to owning or using the program. That night was the last straw.

So, all this being said, it is the end of some things, time has been put in a bottle, stopped up with a used cork stopper, put on a shelf, and is already collecting the dust of ages.

Stanching the urge to crush and smash, I shall dust myself off and move on.

Another Day of Amazing Rudeness

Ever open up your #FaceBook page and hearken to Gen Xer relatives posting curses and rants against “federal government” and presidential hopefuls they don’t support, and oh, yes. #Muslims. Well, I have.

Gen Xers apparently have a mindset that they can say, do or post anything they want and then post things like “if you don’t like it…” or “too bad if you are so stupid…” (my para’s). Well, time to rethink what a “friend” with whom you “share” is, really.

Not that I’m looking for a way to have a world of bytes agree with me 100% of the time, but it seems it is not expedient, wise or even worth the time of day to again and again tell the world who you are. Who you identify as, with, or to.

This is apparently not popular, and let’s face it. Very few people of my advanced age even use FaceBook.

I thought it would be a great way to see pics and see people with whom I’m related, as they grow and participate in their own little, closed, now I realized, insular reality. This is not the case. My first to rebel niece, #Susan E. Fagan, jumped the shark many years ago when she would not accept my plea to watch out for cancer. My other two nieces don’t use their real names, and they are not little cute kids any more.

Well, neither am I. But I’ll try to stay clean and neat, at least inside, and let the rest of the world seek that within themselves before turning to my sometimes broken, heart. Be rude, but be rude without me.

Grounds for thought

It was a lovely day that day that we three went off to see the big-skirted Marilyn Monroe effigy in the westerly part of our county in New Jersey. The thing was it was always a different place even though it was the same place, and the bigger thing, even bigger than our Marilyn statue, was that the lotus was in bloom.trip to grounds for sculputre with Haya & Pat & Darrell 7-14 (569 of 632)trip to grounds for sculputre with Haya & Pat & Darrell 7-14 (610 of 632)
It was a good thing, fortunate really, that my two friends knew the place. I mean, they knew where the main building was, and how to hop on a handy tram when the opportunity arose. There was no judgment here. Lazy is as lazy does. I may not be good at hopping, but i am pretty good at being lazy.

A walk through the main building simply whetted our appetite for art. We were sure that our cameras were on securely. We had our lenses, lens caps, zooms and cleaning cloths safely tucked away in various pockets. What we didn’t have was the direction in which to start. Start! There is no such thing at GFS. All roads lead to even more roads.

trip to grounds for sculputre with Haya & Pat & Darrell 7-14 (603 of 632)At grounds for sculpture, there are indeed many roads. There are a myriad of ways to become lost, immersed in the feeling, the aura of what an artist may have envisioned, and by photographing that vision, you can make it your own. At least that is my theory. In this way, i overcome the personal prohibition of stealing, or borrowing, someone else’s work. At least i can try.

Guilty or not, we strode on, past screaming peacocks (and peahens), past annoying little kids wondering when they would get their promised lunch, past slower or older or just more observant folks out for a stroll.

lotus edited with black border

Some hours later, we found ourselves at the lotus pond. Not surprisingly, par for the course of our little threesome’s recent adventures, there were very few of the flowers open. But the ones who were, they were the focus of our focus for it seemed another hour. The random dragonflies, and butterflies, the lovely colors and shapes of the unusual flowers, gave us endless chances to practice our craft. Not on the man-made, but on the god-given beauty that was concentrated in this great sight. We were so engrossed in the taking and then in the discussion that followed, boring tothose non-photographers who may read this, we forgot the time.
It was a lovely day. The way in, the way out, was itself a study in self-knowledge and discipline. Or a wanton lack of awareness of teh outside world while visiting the world of waterlilies and dragonflies. A light was lit, and the experience will be remembered as well as relived, as soon as we can pack up our gear and make our way back.

Holding off on FALL Planting – or Putting it Wildly

Someone, a well wisher of very important status, both friendship-wise and wisdom-wise, noted my lament over putting things off (especially the weight on one side of my body). I thought how ironic, that the usual confusion occurs in my grammatically-obsessive mind.

Yes, I am planning a FALL planting. What that means is simply that. To practice a full range of nutritious vegetables and fruits in the home garden, it’s important to time the growth of each plant using the seasons. As we pass through the mid-summer season, and head on into the dark of the year, to use some Pagan concepts, we begin to plan a continuation of our delicious garden offerings.

Maybe this piece should be in another blog, my blog based on garden topics, or in my fictional blog, to conceal the identity of the injured party. But it is here, to keep things straight (especially my left kneecap).

Stay tuned as I notify, notice, notate my progress at each step(!) of the way.

8-5-14 post
Heading for a FALL