out with baby b on a shopping adventure. there is love in those eyes.
“To live in hearts we leave behind, is not to die.” —Thomas Campbell
part of my family was visiting from nyc and this time they rented a car and drove here instead of flying. we took the rare opportunity to shop for large items they would never be able to haul home normally, with a ‘quick visit to ikea.’ this concept of the ‘quick visit’ to this crazy grand canyon of a place, was soon revealed to be the ultimate oxymoron, in my young niece’s opinion. she dealt with it all in her own way.
she finds a kindred spirit in an employee who has her own stuffed animal and happily joins in play with her stuffed bunny and ratty friends
she relaxes a bit at the scene of all the play, with her favorite color plastic ikea shopping bag, as her blanket
we move to another part of the store, but it’s all just one great napping place in her eyes
soon, she is absolutely at her limit, and ready to roll on out of this place. disguising herself as a large carton of furniture, she is in full-out camouflage mode.
‘And then, I do love my shopping, but actually, lounging is the big thing.’
and the online dating prospects continue…. (this one was quite a challenge for me not to follow up on, as he clearly knows what he does and does not want )
A little about me…
I worked for 15 years and my position was cut. I am not a lazy person but like to relax.
I don’t need a pen pal. I think after one week of writing each other we should meet in person and see if we are going to go our separate ways.
About the one I’m looking for…
I am looking for someone that likes to go up north in a small town doing nothing but have fun.
I’d just like to add…
If your picture is not recent please do not contact me. I am not looking for anyone older than 54. I am not into long distance relationships that will lead to nothing but phone sex. If I wanted a female pen pal I would write to a prison inmate. I am not prejudice.
just as they had many times before, p and her husband s, hit the road and made the journey from detroit to chicago to visit their grown children. they decided to take their time and spend the night along the way, as they were taking their older beloved dog with them, and wanted to make it an easy trip for him.
it was the long easter weekend, and they booked the only ‘dog-friendly lodging’ available, a chain motel, at their target stopping point – michigan city, indiana. this town, once known as ‘the coho capital of the world,‘ is now best known for its outlet malls, casino, and state prison. nyc it is not, but it happened to be located in just the right spot, the halfway point of the trip. they were fine with all this as it was just for a night, and in the morning they’d be off and on the road once again, headed for the windy city.
upon arriving at the motel, they checked in at the little front office, and made their way around the back to find their room and settle for the night. once in back, the first thing they noticed was the location of their room, and the second thing they noticed were the police officers, guns drawn, in defensive stance, aiming their weapons towards the room right next to theirs, involved in a standoff with the current resident. as p’s blood pressure quickly began to rise, s calmly put down his window to ask one of the officers if there was a problem, and if could they come through to get into their room. the dog now had his head out the window too, checking out the action and trying to figure out what was going on. while the officer was dumbfounded, by this request, p’s reaction was swift and strong -‘are you &^%$#@ kidding me?!?! put those windows up and let’s get the %$*& out of here and back to that office!’
s and the dog knew better than to mess with p when she started using symbols in her sentences, and they quickly backed out and returned to the office. when they asked the desk clerk what was going on, he looked at them calmly, saying,’i can’t tell you that.’ knowing there was nothing else available, they had no choice but to take a room, ‘as far away from the guns as possible.’ they didn’t sleep real well that night, but they never heard shots, and there is always something to be said for that. the next morning, they awoke early and headed out towards chicago, happy to be away from whatever had been going on.
chicago was great, the family visit was a good one, and all worries were behind them, as they headed for home. it was late afternoon when a light on their dash suddenly lit up, signaling a problem with the tire pressure. they pulled into the closest gas station and as they checked the tire that looked a bit low, it quickly went completely flat. a guy at the station replaced it with the donut tire and advised them not to drive more than 20 miles on it. it was easter sunday and nothing was open, so once again they ended up at their favorite motel, and requested their ‘usual room’ from the other night. the clerk seemed as surprised to see them as they were to see him.
they got the key and drove to their room, happy no standoffs were in play, and no swat vehicles were parked in the lot next to them. once inside, p went to take a shower, and noticed the shower curtain was missing. now, they’d been in this same room just 2 nights before, and the curtain had been in its place on the rod, so they wondered what possibly could have happened to it, as it was not the usual thing that someone would steal from a hotel room to take home with them.
s and the dog returned to the office, explained the situation to the clerk, who responded in his usual stoic manner, ‘hmm, i can’t say where it might be, but just take the one from the room next to you, the door’s unlocked.’ he truly is a corporate policy man and problem solver who can think on his toes. they trudged back to the room next to theirs, took down the curtain and installed it in their room’s shower. p was at her limit at this point, took her shower and they didn’t discuss it after that. later that night, when all were about to drift off into another restless sleep, they had to wonder if the missing shower curtain was somehow connected to the standoff, and perhaps even wondered what could have been wrapped in it? as for me, i wonder if they’ll return for their anniversary each year, though i think not.
This is an elegant hotel! Room service has an unlisted number.
chair calls out my name
come sit here still just rest watch
in comfort and peace
What an elder sees sitting; the young can’t see standing. – Gustave Flaubert
1. friend’s husband signs up for long distance marathon and has to spend the night before it, on site. he is happy.
2. friend’s friend invites their kids to have a slumber party with her kids that night at her house. both sets of kids are happy.
3. friend is extremely excited to have an very rare night at home all to herself, not taking care of anyone else. she is happy.
4. friend making plans to pamper herself and do only things she most enjoys. she is very happy.
5. two american government parties disagree on things. they are not happy.
6. both sides play chicken and no one gives in and they find themselves at an impasse. they are even less happy.
7. government shuts down. each side is blaming the other one for their unhappiness.
8. national parks shut down. rangers and visitors are not happy.
9. friend’s husband’s marathon at national park is shutdown. he is not happy.
10. friend’s night of self-indulgence is shutdown. she is not happy.
‘it’s like the first domino falling’ – zhang jiankang
sitting in my car at a stop sign on my way to school, i saw a father walk his pre-teen son out to the bus stop at the end of their driveway. i watched as father and son turned towards each other and embraced full-on into an uninhibited mutual hug. thought about this boy, and his father, heading off to begin each of their days, with everything they could possibly need.
I have a present for you, but I need to borrow your arms for wrapping paper. ~Author Unknown
i never cease to be amazed, when walking around my city, by the surprising displays of art i encounter. they can be found in places of all kinds, and in every form imaginable. i’m always struck by the time and care that people have taken to express themselves, to share their creative spirits, and to put their visions out there, to be met with a smile or scorn, making our space somehow the better for it, and to open random strangers’ minds and eyes to new experiences. these beauties and the people who create them, from the simple to the sublime, all for the sake of self-expression and the joy of knowing others may cross paths with them , are treasures, each in their own distinct way.
a rabbit peeks out from a front yard filled with vine and picket fence
a wall covered in gum, once painted over, and coming to life once again with new color,
ever-evolving with the contributions of passers-by
a sidewalk, redrawn with chalk each day, into a new design, by a mother, purely for the delight of others
a pink balloon, placed by a child, to make her tree more beautiful, in hope the fairies will come
a mural on an underpass, painted by a teen who i have known to be a gifted artist since he was in pre-school
and has no idea how talented he really is
a dead tree stump given a second chance at beauty with the addition of color and life
poetry painted on an alley ceiling – look to the stars for inspiration
The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic. Oscar Wilde
An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way. Charles Bukowski
in full-day kindergarten, every day is truly a treasure trove of wonder. in the morning, we talk about the sound that the letter F makes. children offer their own examples, things they are familiar with in their own lives: flower, frog, fruit. then, out of the crowd, a lone voice says above the rest, ‘funk.’ what was that? ‘i said, ‘funk. funk starts with f!’ it does indeed, thank you so much for bringing a smile to your teachers’ faces and for bringing the funk back into our lives with so much enthusiasm. you never know where you’ll find the letter F, it could be just the beginning of such an exciting word, funk.
after a day filled with activity and learning and music, and most importantly, our afternoon nap, we set out on a hike through the woods and trails on campus. we took the binoculars we’d made out of empty toilet paper rolls and string, for a chance to see one of many birds we’d been talking about in the last couple of weeks. along the way, we saw geese, swans, wrens, and jays.
suddenly, once again, a voice rang above the crowd. ‘ i saw jesus!!’. what? where? who is jesus? the class had all sorts of questions, as they are a patchwork of cultures, religions, and backgrounds. ‘in the bushes! i saw jesus!’ wow, hmmmmm…… maybe that’s why i never could be a part of organized religion. was i not seeing things clearly? i think not. but i guess some toilet paper roll binoculars are higher power than others. it was a day of funk and jesus.
i am absolutely fascinated by one of the security people on my school campus. upon my first encounter with him, i immediately began referring to him as ‘dwight’, as he so reminded me of the character on the american sitcom, ‘the office’ who, when it came to the concept of security, was a bit overzealous to say the least. soon, other teachers began to believe this was his real name as i referred to him so often by that name, and over time, it just became a natural part of our school culture.
each day, my dwight stands at attention, across from my school, armed with his whistle and his stop sign, and a with tool belt full of ‘stuff’, like a benign batman, that really could not inflict any harm on any living thing, luckily.
he wears his neon vest, waiting to put his orange cones out, to deter drivers from turning left into the driveway once the clock has hit 7:30am on the dot, thus averting a potential ‘too many cars in the driveway circle at one time calamity.’ problem is, he is always a bit overexcited and tends to place his cones out a few minutes early on most days, inciting drivers to try to explain/outwit/go around him in this arena.
last year, he went after a teacher who violated his early cone placement, read her the riot act and tried give her a ‘citation’ of his own creation. (and what i wouldn’t give to have this in my possession). after this incident, he had a talk with his superiors and had his whistle taken away for a while.
and yet, the madness and mayhem continue. this week, ‘dwight’ abandoned his post, and literally chased down another teacher, while holding his stop sign, recently-returned whistle bouncing on his chest, tool belt accessories jingle-jangling, and vest flapping in the wind, for violating his wall of cones, and this was physically no easy task for him.
when he finally caught up with ‘the perp,’ they had a conversation about the exact time of his cone placement, and as he indignantly pulled his watch out of his pocket to prove his point, and as he was yelling about it having been 7:30, they both noticed it was actually only 7:31at this moment of confrontation. now, math is my weakest link, and i am no great detective by any means, but if i was to think backwards, and see how long it would have taken him to conduct his footchase, there is no conceivable way he could have reached his violator in 60 seconds. after some grumbling on both sides, they parted ways and once again, he returned to his post, ever vigilant, and watchful of any perceived wrongdoings.
after all this, i thought about him, and wondered what makes him so concerned with rules and order, and why he has such a strong need to enforce such things, when no actual harm or danger is involved. i’d like to find out his story, his given name, and while i can never move on from thinking of him as dwight, and while i admire him for caring and taking his job so seriously, i’m not all that certain he could save any of us in the case of some real danger, though i do feel he would always be watching, and perhaps run to find someone who could help, whistle bouncing, and in that way, he would at last be the hero he longs to be.
If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere. – Marilyn Monroe
The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions. – Oliver Wendell Holmes