bluescreen

Circuit overload. Maybe. I am neither a computer programmer nor can I assemble a computer. I used to change the oil and filter in my car before cars got computerized and too complicated.

I had a bluescreen moment this week.

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Rescue dogs Lily, Lulu and I pretty much keep to ourselves. We are cordial, friendly and helpful, but do not interject or impose ourselves anywhere, on anyone. The most invasive I have been recently was taking a fresh-baked batch of yummy cookies to new next-door neighbors. (They loved them!) So we are basically invisible. People see us, we smile, wave, that’s about it. If someone stops to say hello or pass the time of day we are happy to accommodate but we rarely initiate anything.

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So when we were on the homestretch after an early morning walkie and wished a neighbor a good morning, I was surprised when she asked when I was moving.

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“Sorry?” I replied.

“Aren’t you moving?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Oh.” She thought for a moment. “Well, did you just buy a lawnmower?”

“No ma’am.”

“Oh, well, glad to hear you are staying.”

How nice.

It’s weird to think no one has anything better to do than determine whether I am moving or not, or take an interest at all. I really do try not to be noticed. Kind of like Emily Dickinson’s little poem, “I’m Nobody, Who Are You?”

So far it’s worked. Glad that we’ve established, having only just moved to this house a little over two years ago I’m not going anywhere else. Yet.

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honor

It’s mid-October but that doesn’t matter if you’re the weather. Hurricane season lasts 6 months, June 1 through November 30, every year. So I shouldn’t be surprised there is a storm heading this way. This time from the gulf so it may only be some strong winds and thunderstorms, maybe no flooding. So even though it’s been in the 50s-60s winter clothes are still in mothballs. Or patchouli.

I had a couple of appointments this week, early morning. As I arrived I noticed a small cluster of people by the door, a World War II veteran among them. The doors slowly opened and though the veteran and his wife were obviously first at the door, others crowded around them to get into the warmth of the office inside.

As the others signed in I stood aside. The veteran’s wife walked with him as they made their way slowly to the desk. The appointment clerk noticed his ball cap and said with quiet reverence, “A World War II veteran, thank you for your service, sir.” He turned to take his seat and his wife murmured a whispered “thank you” as she passed me.

There could not have been more than 5 or 6 of us. How much time would it have cost anyone to wait for this gentleman to maintain his place, first in line? Or simply out of respect?

It’s like waiting to either board or deplane a flight. Everyone has to be first. Nothing else seems to matter. But it does.

What’s happened to thoughtfulness? Consideration for others? Did it vanish when prayer was evicted from schools and public places? How can we relearn to forget ourselves and think of others?

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Taken for granted. Thoughtless. This is wrong. What has happened? Is it so hard to see? Aren’t there enough war films that show what war is? Or has Hollywood become so glamorized that we think it’s all fiction? Don’t schools teach more than facts, dates? Like it or not it is true when others tell us because of those soldiers we have the life we have in America. No, it isn’t perfect. No, it isn’t the same for everyone, but we still claim our freedoms.

That veteran helped insure it.

God help us to be humble. To appreciate.

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possum

We are early risers. Rescue dogs Lily and Lulu go outside for their last evening ablutions around 7. With cooler weather here we woke even earlier than normal today. Lulu got to pick front or back yard, and chose back. Lily ambled over to the end of the yard to scratch and sniff what changed over night. Lulu took the other side. Leaves flew, loud hissing and a grey blur darted out, long, ropy pink tail.

Oh no! Rats again. I looked closer before running to get a broom. Too big for rats. Small possum!

It was somewhat cornered. The house was to its left, I was behind it, Lulu was in front and Lily to its right. Lily had yet to catch wind of it and Lulu was feigning disinterest. It backed away, looking over its shoulder every second or two at me. I gave it a wide berth, and it turned and ran around me to the other side of the yard where it climbed the fence. Lulu, realizing her quarry was escaping dashed after it, too late as it topped the fence and toddled away. At this point Lily got interested and she and Lulu darted back and forth along the fence to see where it was.

Long gone.

I am happy to have these little visitors. They don’t carry rabies because their body temperature is too low. They feast on beetles, cockroaches, ticks and all sorts of other unwanted pests. They are virtually harmless and more afraid of me than I of them.

IMG_0216.JPGWe know something is out here. We’ll wait.

I haven’t seen a possum in the yard for a while. Maybe being so preoccupied with Lily and her surgery recoveries I hadn’t noticed. Besides, there are fewer steps to the front door than the back door so because it’s easier for Lily we’ve gone out there more than the back yard. Not much happens in the front yard. The occasional rabbit maybe.

I miss seeing deer. To many people they are big pests. They eat a lot of flowers and shrubs but they are so graceful. Where I moved from I often would see them early mornings at my bird feeders eating all the birdseed, then drink out of the bird bath. It did not take much to scare them off. They would sail over the yard fence like they could fly.

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There has been a lot of new construction in this little town. New homes, shopping centers. Development is normally a good thing but eventually there is no more room to build. Which means wildlife has no place to go. So they find themselves in backyards and some humans are not willing to share. Seems unfair to me. Here we have helped ourselves to their homes, cleared their trees and underbrush. When I lived in south Florida I learned about melaleuca, a small, non-native invasive tree also known as tea tree. These were planted everywhere because they soak all the water with their fibrous root system and make marshland dry. So every now and then a massive hurricane comes along where nature tries to reclaim itself.

Against humans it is something of a losing battle.

I wish I had an answer.

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hair

This has never been a sore subject. When I was little I was often left to myself. This was not good. I had friends and play dates but there were infrequent occasions I found myself on my own of a Saturday. I don’t remember where my mother was, maybe not home, but even if she were I still found some way to get into something. When she lamented to her friends not knowing what to do with me they suggested shopping, playing a game, having my hair ‘done’. My mother knew I did not care for shopping and she had no intention of playing a child game. So she took me to her hairdresser.

Once.

I had wayward hair. One Sunday I was having such a hard time brushing it before dressing for church. I found a pair of scissors and cut off any cowlick or wisp that would not brush flat. To avoid that happening again Mother once invited me to sit at her mirrored dressing table to brush my hair. Frustrated, I slammed the hairbrush down on the table shattering the mirror.

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The trip to the salon was a disaster. The ladies made so much over me, complimenting the thick brown tangle on my head. I was given a permanent. I only wish they were temporary. My mom couldn’t say enough about it. I felt like my third grade teacher. Her hair looked like it was carved out of yellow plastic. Nothing moved.

Somehow my father solved the whole thing. He commuted each week to a big city and took me with him. He had contacts in advertising and they directed him to a place where I could have a good haircut. This was a place models frequented and the ones having their hair done that day happened to love children so made me feel quite important. So much that I had no idea what was going on with my hair. When I was spun around to face the mirror, it was gone. Well, all but an inch or so. All over my head.

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My dad said something to the effect of looking like a pixie, but I was in shock. I was bald!

My mother was happy. Not only was there nothing for me to hack away at, it would take some time before it would grow out enough to be any problem.

This hair went through many manifestations through my life. Long, short, thick, Sun-In lightened. Not really much trouble.

Until I hit mid-life.

Then the grey started. I didn’t mind this much, but the grey was unlike the brown. It did things the brown would not do and would not do what the brown did. I could grow it long enough to put it in a pony tail, braid or hair clip. It was worse in summer humidity. When I lived in northwest New Mexico it was flat. Back here on the coastal east it goes through transitions with the seasons so I have taken to wearing bandannas. They make my head hot but no one sees the mop on my head. Unruly maybe, but manageable.

So happy cool weather is coming.

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