Friday, January 29, 2010

Times, they are a-changin'

Six-thirty this morning, as I stood at my kitchen window waiting for the water to boil, I was looking abstractedly out over the water, and suddenly realized that it had changed. I wasn't looking at black water with shades of charcoal, pewter, slate and iron, with tiny silver sparkles. This water was black with small pools of deep velvet blue. I looked up at the sky, and it, too, was no longer a shade of dark gray, it was all a smooth, very deep blue.

It is amazing to me, every time I think about it, that the circling of the earth through space, which has been going on EVERY YEAR since humanity first raised its eyes to the heavens (and before) still has the power to thrill and to awe.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cough and spit

Well, at long, long last, this cough has finally become productive. Perhaps this means we are approaching the end! Perhaps we are already in the end, perhaps this is the BEGINNING OF THE END!!

It would be lovely to be well again. No scratchy throat and husky voice. No pain in swallowing. No coughing and coughing and coughing. All of which began on New Year's Eve, and today is the 27th. The 27th!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I love my love with an A

Last night, as I was driving home from my cousin Mickey's birthday party, I was playing some in-the-car games with Calhoun, the eight-year-old son of my friend and neighbor Kevin. We were in the middle of, "I love my love with an A," and Calhoun was doing really well. Kevin was playing, too, I add, in case anyone wants to know all the details. Calhoun had gotten to, "I love with love with an N," although, let me just add for both interest and clarity, that neither Kevin nor his son Calhoun would say the words properly. Kevin would just say, "Oh, okay, let's see, uh -- Betty, bouncy and Burlingame and beans," and Calhoun would say, "Okay, I live with a guy named Ed, and he eats eggs, and he like to be exciting and we live in Eagle Creek."

Sheesh! Guys!

Anyway, as I was saying, Calhoun was on "N", and could not think of a food that started with that letter. We had made several suggestions to him, all of which he repudiated strongly, since he had not thought of them himself.

So I dropped them off and drove home. I had been home for about ten minutes when the phone rang.

"Elisabeth? It's Calhoun."

"Hi, Coony!"


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Strangeness in the Night

So the phone rings this morning at five o'clock.  This is Saturday, by the way.  My day off.  I am jolted awake and stagger out of bed and down the hallway to the office where it is located.  Guess what? It's Joe. 

He wants to bring three friends home with him, and says they will sleep out on the balcony.  (Cold, raining, etc.)

When I express my disbelief that this is the emergency that caused him to wake me from my sleep, he protests:

"But it's five!  I mean, you get up at six, and that's just an hour away!"


I refuse to have teenaged boys with perfectly good homes sleeping on my balcony all day, and hang up.  But my nerves and my heart are all jangled, and it takes nearly fifteen minutes for the latter to slow its racing to a normal beat.  I am unable to fall immediately back to sleep, but am relaxed in the bed and beginning to get drowsy when the phone rings AGAIN.  

"But Mom, they can't go home, Andrew -- and Travis -- and Nick -- " Joe is babbling really fast, hoping that I will be overwhelmed with his flood of speech and give in, but I do not.  I hang up, and get out of bed, at five-fifty on a Saturday morning, and shower.  While I am making my coffee, the key turns in the lock, and a very sheepish, hangdog boy slinks in.

"Ummm -- sorry, Mom,"  he says.

Friday, January 22, 2010


My son just called me at work and asked me for money. After explaining to him last night that I had seven dollars in cash, in case he neded to ride the bus somewhere -- emphasis on the word NEEDED -- and here he is. Less than 24 hours later.


Worry? Me?

Really, I'm trying very hard not to worry, since there is nothing I can do about this situation. I made an error -- yes, it is my own doing -- and forgot an automatic payment that I had scheduled to pay Joe's phone bill. Did not write it down. So when it was deducted from my account, I was suddenly over my limit. I quickly made transfers from other accounts and covered the checks, but now am at zero. ZERO. And it will be over a week until I can get any money in to the account. And, since I work 9-5, I cannot sell any of my books (My BOOKS!) which are really, the only things of any saleable value, which I have, until the weekend, anyway. So, I need to relax, calm down, and just exist until then, telling Joe over and over that I don't have any, when he asks me, as he does on a daily basis, for money.

That is the part that causes this worry, I do believe. Since, left to myself, I have gone weeks without spending anything. But Joe is both very dear to me, so that I don't enjoy turning him down, and also very dense when it comes to understanding the facts of life. Odd, isn't it? I've explained this situation to him so many times, and asked him, as a personal favor to me, not to ask me for the money which I don't have to give him (and this time REALLY DO NOT HAVE) since it is very hard and painful for me to say no. And he seems to understand. But sometimes the next appeal for money comes less than half an hour after one of these little speeches. What is UP with that?

And the bills which are mounting up? Are just going to have to wait. They will get a small payment soon enough.

Morning Light

Twice, on my drive in to work this past week, I've been awed at the view. Once, it was as though I had driven into a National Geographic photo, one of those big sky shots which we have all seen, with the clouds raked with parallel lines, as though they had been combed with a wide-toothed comb, and all originating from the same spot on the horizon, but spreading out across the entire sky. A very good way of demonstrating the roundness of the earth, if you are looking for it. Quite amazing to see, and I do believe, the first time I've seen it -- I was going to say, "in the flesh." But I guess I don't mean that. In real life? In color? What is the right phrase to use there? And palest of pale pinks from the early morning sunshine.

The second time, as I drove north, I was heading directly toward Mount St. Helens, and it was a clear bright morning, with thin golden light spreading over my shoulder and illuminating the mountain as though it were onstage, or were just about to have it's First Place picture taken. Sitting on the top of the mountain, and obscuring its flattened top (May 1980, anyone?) was a fat, smooth doughnut of cloud, clearly having been squirted out of the cloudmaker's can of whipped cream -- er, cloud -- so very smooth and round and fat was it. One could almost see the melting squiggles in the side. And a delicate shade of gold, collecting around the edges.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Driving Duties

At about 7:30, Joe asks me to take him to Andrew's house, but first picking up Ian, and then swinging by Sawyer's. I agree, but tell him that he will be responsible for finding his own way home, since I am still sick, and pretty tired. I won't be staying up til Joe comes home. He agrees.

At ten, the phone rings. "Mom, can you please come get me?"

"No -- you are supposed to find your own way home, or spend the night there."

"I can't! Nick isn't here, and I've been wrestling all evening, and I'm wiped. And Ian needs a ride, too, and I told him you'd take him home."

So guess who got into the car in her pajamas and went and picked up her son and his little friend?


The surface of the water was very smooth and pretty dark -- almost too dark to see. But the single goose that sat in the center of my window was quite visible. As was the diaganal line of ducks, slowly approaching, in perfect formation. As though there was a man with a drum tapping out the marching rhythm. Goose sitting perfectly still on the dark gray suface. Ducks, slowly approaching, in a perfectly spaced diaganal line.

Wait -- am I going nuts? Could that actually be happening?

Family Time

Spent New Year's Day at Mickey's, with Kevin and Calhoun, and a banana cream pie -- we hung out, watched the Rose Bowl game (we lost) ate pizza (really good stuff, too!) and then talked and talked and talked. Billy stuck around and talked, too. A good time was had by all. Then I took K&C back home, and gave 'em the rest of the pie.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

You wouldn't believe it to hear me cough.

It is a cold morning, with an overcast sky but no rain. The light is lovely, and the water is very reflective. And the ducks are out there going CRAZY! Splashing and flipping and racing around like there were prizes involved. I'm going to have to do some research and figure them out.

I, by the way, am sick. Yes, I must acknowledge it. I am not merely reacting to something, this isn't an allergy, I am actually sick with a specific and recognizable illness. Not that I've recognized it, I just know that someone could, if I asked them.

I am also very happy. Not blue at all! So the sickness is merely secondary in my body, and I am still on top! You wouldn't believe it to hear me cough, though.