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there is not much amusing...

Friday, April 28, 2017
... about aging. Not many positive things to be said about the process of failing body parts. Even though humans were designed to wear out, it is not such great fun to make appointments, spend time in waiting rooms, seeking advice from people who barely look old enough to be driving. Then be offered various items to support weakened joints, Rx to alleviate misery, opportunity for exercises, rehab. to strengthen the ailing parts.

But at last, there is some benefit to getting older: I find myself much more willing to admit to foibles, doing dumb stuff, finding the humor or irony in something foolish and confessing goofiness. Years ago, I would never have voluntarily 'told tales' on myself. Plus would likely have lied/denied if asked by someone who wanted to confirm.  Now: I was not even annoyed when I discovered my mistake, but immediately began reporting another time of nutty behavior.

Here's what happened: I am determined to get the minimum number of days working as a sub. teacher for the public schools before the last day on May 26. I was hoping to get some work today, and maybe a couple next week to be sure I was covered. I found a job for today that was only for half a day, which suited me beautifully now that I know that 1/2 day is counted as 'having worked' towards the ten day quota.

I got organized and went to the school, to arrive at 12:15 for that half day of work. When I found the Kindergarten Teacher who had requested a warm body to fill her position, she said: "It's not for today!" I was two weeks early. She had put in the request for Friday, May 15.

It was sort of amusing. I felt kind of foolish,  and of course, thoroughly embarrassed. I told her about the time I went to the wrong school and confused every one in office, trying to figure out who I was replacing and where I was supposed to be. Saddest part is that I have a conflict for that date two weeks hence. Now I will have to decide whether to give the job back or miss a once-a-month ladies luncheon.

book review: "For One More Day"...

Thursday, April 27, 2017
...by MItch Albom. Copyright 2006. He has written others: 'The Five People You Meet in Heaven ', and 'Tuesdays with Morrie'. If you have read either of those, you will know to expect something similar with the one I just read (on CD - a quick read, only three discs). Sweet, sort of sappy, but something that will ultimately tug at your heart. A reminder about what is most important in life: people.

The main character, Chick to his dad, and Charlie to his mom, felt like a complete failure as the story begins. He wanted to play professional baseball, partially to please his dad, who had left the family by the time Charlie was a teenager. His pro-ball days were brief, and he spent years job hopping, searching for success, his niche. He drank too much, eventually felt like such a failure after his daughter grew to adulthood and married without his knowledge, that he attempted suicide.

Most of the story is told in retrospect, as he walks through a day in the small town where he grew up.  "One Day" spent with his mother, as he is given the time to talk with her years after her death. She reveals things about herself and her marriage she chose to shield from him as a child. Putting their relationship and his life into a different perspective, giving him the wisdom to see what is truly important: time spent with those you love.

I read the 'Morrie' story years ago, and more recently the 'Five People' book. It's been long enough that I do not recall much in the way of details. But I would classify Albom as a man who writes from the heart. The 'Day' book starts off as something very believable, the requires you to suspend your belief, as it veers off into the supernatural. In order to provide us with the message that we fool ourselves when we devote our lives to inconsequential matters - spending your days and weeks, years on things of a superficial nature is such a waste of that most limited resource: time.

little birdies...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
.. have hatched out in both the nests I have been trying to not peek into. I could not resist temptation any longer, and got out the step ladder to peer in today. Both had tiny little grey fuzzballs with bright yellow beaks, soundly sleeping.  There were, when I got nosey several weeks ago, five little blue eggs in each nest, so I hope that they all successfully hatched.

When all you can see is a pile of dark fluff, it is hard to know how many you are looking at. But when they get a little bigger, and open their mouths every time they hear a sound, it is much easier to count. Those wobbly scrawny little necks that do not look substantial enough to support their teeny little heads with those demanding mouths will soon be much more in evidence.

I heard and saw the mother of the ones precariously perched in the nest above the light fixture as I was mounting the ladder to peek in. She was pretty vocal about not wanting me to get near her family. I did not touch anything, but she still kept a watchful eye, and made her opinion known.

false alarm...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
... not changing cell phone service today. We are such hicks we do not get out after dark, and cannot make the drive across town taking the chance we would not return home until bedtime. No, not really. Sorry, I just made that up.

But what is real: The Man Who Lives Here would not get up out of the recliner to get in the car for the excursion until traffic got bad. Even though the congestion out there is not seriously bad. And inconsequential by the standards of anyone who lives in the metro Atlanta area, driving on highways that are twelve lanes wide. With everyone speeding along at eighty-plus mph.

But aggravating for people who do not routinely have to sit in line and wait for the light to change twice. Inching up in a half-mile line of cars, trucks and semi-s, trying to get through the intersection. I guess it happens in other areas of town, but us little country bumpkins are so unaccustomed to being inconvenienced by traffic of that magnitude we tend to just stay at home.

I do realize in the overall scheme of things this is extremely close to zero on the scale of traffic problems. But I even take a country road-route, around by my elbow, when I go to my Wed. night group to avoid that hellacious intersection with people leaving industrial park and corporate offices for home. As well as hundreds of folk who work in town headed out to our end of the county to the peace and quite of their version of country living.

We have negotiated a compromise whereby I will meet him at the Target tomorrow after I get off work. I'm not sure why I need to be there, as he as yet to consider my advice or opinion. Assume I need to present my phone to get service changed? My next project will be to suggest he does not need to be paying $200 a month to Media.com for cable and internet.

Wed. is another of those: show up in the dark, clock in at 6 am, and be done by 11:00 days. Causing me to wonder why I keep at it?

if it is funny, but not...

...that  would be my definition of 'irony'. We are having some here. From the guy who suddenly, urgently decided we need to trek across town to Target. Where we will change our cell phone service from highly sketchy and unreliable AT&T to Consumer Cellular.

It appears to be prompted by a combination of receiving a bill for $140 for our two phones, and seeing advertising on television. I've been telling him - literally for years - that he is paying too much for the rotten, crummy, half-baked service we get. But unwilling to take it on  myself, as he is the one who continues to pay the (overpriced) bill for both.

Apparently today is the day.

where we are...(update)...

... is pretty much still in limbo. But think progress is occurring even when not so obvious to the naked eye. The latest report on the auntie situation is thus: we did a whirlwind tour yesterday, visiting five different places to get information about various facilities, options, levels of care and of course, the most needed piece of the puzzle would be cost.

I had called and made appointments to visit four of the five, and we just sort of dropped ourselves in on the fifth one. Knowing it was well out of the price range we felt appropriate, just wanting to sort of 'case the joint' and look around. A nice facility, but with residents sitting around in chairs seemingly inert. Sadly, that is par for late stage dementia, not unexpected for the declining path a person with memory loss will travel. Getting less and less physically active, less and less able mentally, eventually reaching the point being a bed patient.

Two of the four places we toured looked promising, like they were run and staffed by people who seemed to be invested and committed to their work. Which is saying a lot, as the job of caring for people on the decline, slipping away in increments is a really hard thing to be willing to do on a daily basis, week after week. One of the other places we visited, met with the director, and gave the a brief summary of our struggles with the auntie: we were told that she was probably not a good match as a resident. But the director referred us to one of the other places we had visited, that probably would have been my first choice (except for expense) as the place the auntie would most likely be content.

The limbo part is due to the fact that we do not know what her financial situation is like. And cannot access banking business until setting a date and attending probate. Where the judge will decide if there is sufficient grounds for family members to be appointed guardian and conservator. Allowing us to make decisions about her living situation/welfare, as well how her resources are to be used.

I expect we will be in court the middle of May, when the judge will hopefully make a decision, unless more information is needed.  The only blank not filled in at this point seems to be what color my underwear is, so

gettin' 'hit up'...

Saturday, April 22, 2017
... by people for donations. I feel like I am usually pretty wary and cautious when approached by people you might consider 'panhandlers'. Not tempted by the guys on the street corner with the hand printed signs on scraps of corrugated cardboard. Not pulling my wallet out to dole out my hard-earned cash. Not usually receptive to folks when they approach me expressing a need for food, gas, enough money 'to buy milk for my baby', etc. But on two occasions in the past few days I have been a very 'easy touch.'

When I stopped for gas at a station about half way between home and Valdosta last Wednesday, a man drove up as I was pumping, asked for help to buy gas. There was some sad tale about a family member in Atlanta, and a desperate need to travel, so I pulled out five dollars and handed it over. In retrospect I should have offered to go in the store and pay for five bucks worth, as I doubt my money went for gas. Plus he was driving such a gas hog, old model sedan, my small donation would hardly get him to the next gas station.  Sucker? Yes.

Today, a customer, someone who I see occasionally in the store said he needed something to eat. He often will hit up a co-worker for enough to tide him over, pay utility bill, a fast food meal. So I pulled out another five dollars and handed it over to Jerry. Most people who see him, would, after a glance, give him a wide berth. I know the man is 'not right', so I do make an effort to be civil, smile, greet him with kind words. I suspect he probably does not get a lot of kindness or compassion in his life.

The events of this week, along with the story from last week about the young girl walking down the street, obviously on the lam, make me seem like a real sap. But here's the thing: I am so thankful for so many blessings, aware of such small mundane things that other people lack, I believe I am obligated to step into those gaps where opportunity presents itself. Not one to put much stock in coincidence, I think we are put in places to do what we can for the people who cross our paths.

A cousin in SC is moving, and asked for help. I am working every day for the forseeable future and could not jump in with assistance. But my sweet, generous, smart, capable daughter also got that same request and was in a place where she could donate her day to packing, hauling, boxing, lugging things around. I am so thankful that she could, and would and did.  Making herself available. Devoting a day when she could have been lying in the hammock in the back yard reading and napping to being useful.

Nothing is Random. If you think things happen at random, you are looking at life from the wrong perspective. 

daisies in all their glory...

Friday, April 21, 2017
...blooming across the front of my house. Planted maybe five or so years ago, with periodic moving, re-arranging, relocating of various perennials as I get a notion they might be happier some where else. The daisy gloriousness started with some I got from my parents' house many years ago, and failed to consider what would make the plants happy. So -  foolish me - I planted them in the dense dark shade under oak trees. Rule number one: put them back in the same environment they were growing in before you manhandled them.

 As you can see - they love the sun, so were not at all pleased with my decision. And proceeded to actually move themselves, a millimeter at the time over a number of years. Determined to get out into the sun, they kept cropping up  in the lawn, and repeatedly mowed over. But not giving in to the abuse. Would bloom on a stem that was about a quarter of an inch tall.

I gradually realized what was going on, after a time of wondering why they did not produce prolific blooms sitting over there in the shade. Dug them all out of the grass and put them along the edge of the driveway in the blistering sun. They do like a lot of water, so there is a soaker hose buried underneath the leaf/pine straw mulch that gets turned on frequently. They are so happy, and make me smile :) every time I come home, pull up in the drive way and see them blooming like crazy.

The red stuff in the bottom photo is some sort of sage. Do you want some? It is not really invasive, but does spread, so I have some to share. It is one of those things the bees, butterflies, and humming birds love, so I keep trimming it back to make it bloom all summer. I actually bought some other sage, maybe the one that is 'black and blue', supposed to be a blue bloomer, so I would have patriotic colors all at the same time.  There is also some agapanthus that will send up tall stalks and blue orbs, sort of  like garlic, but bright cerulean that will show off in May. Yay for the flag!

tiny little African American church...

Thursday, April 20, 2017
... I occasionally pass by in  my neighborhood. When driving by this afternoon, the sign had:
'We are a facebook church:
We seek His face
We believe in His Book.'

lunch invitation...

... that was intended to be a 'thank you' for the literacy volunteers. An assortment of people who have been in various elementary schools over the past year, reading a variety of books with pre-K students in an effort to help improve their pre-reading skills. The things a kid needs to know to be ready for promoting to Kindergarten classes in the fall. Stuff like: identifying colors, shapes, knowing letters and numbers, being able to write your name. Recognizing illustrations of various common animals, like dogs, cats, cows, chickens, frogs. Pretty daunting task for kids who have never been held books, or been in an environment where there is no one who takes the time to sit and talk, explain things. Or look at the cereal box and point out letters, colors, reading the words.

I've been doing it for several years: going to a particular school one morning a week for a series of eight weeks. Spending a half hour with a small person, looking at a different book each week, talking about the words, illustrations, what sounds different animals make like 'cluck' and 'moo'. For the past couple of years there has been a lunch of sorts at the library as our reward for donating time to the program.

Today was the day of the end-of-year luncheon. Running errands, I arrived precisely at high noon. When I got to the library, people were streaming out the doors, and there was a big red ladder truck parked in front of the building. Folk I recognized from tutoring were standing in the parking lot, hanging around under a tree that produced insufficient shade. I inquired and discovered that there was a freon leak in the building, and everyone had been evacuated. The staff was told they could possibly return to their workplace in thirty to forty-five minutes.

That was a complete falsehood. I sat with others in the hot parking lot for an hour. Then an employee said they were told the building had to 'air out' for an hour before people could be allowed back  inside.  By that time about half of the folk who had been invited to the luncheon had lost interest and left. Or maybe felt like they had invested all the time they were willing to give standing in the sun with no hope of being fed. Those who remained of  group I was with had a picnic on the asphalt.

The leadership of the Literacy program had brought a hot lunch of chicken, green salad, mac'n'cheese, green bean casserole, rolls, tea. Which they rolled out into the parking lot when we found we would not be to eat in the community room as planned. They went across the street to the Just A Buck store and bought all the aluminum cake pans off the shelf, rolls of aluminum foil and we filled our make-do plates, covered. It was a most unusual 'thank you' event.

planting lillies...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
...at the entrance to the golf course. When I asked the store manager about donating plants that would be discarded, he said: 'no'. The plants would have to go in the trash, rather than being recycled and put to use beautifying the world. I had hoped that things like bulb plants that will bloom year after year could be rescued, and put out where I've been planting things across the street near the gates of the golf course.

When I was at work Monday, the day after Easter, all the left-over lily plants were marked down to just a buck, which I guess is better than just throwing them in the dumpster. I bought a grocery cart full that had been discounted, and brought them home. Some actually had two stalks, so I ended up with about twenty plants. Took them out of pot covers, removed from pots, and put them in the wheelbarrow. Rolled them across the street, along with my shovel and some granular/time release fertilizer. Got them all planted as it was getting dark on Monday afternoon.

As I was digging and planting, someone passing by veered off the street to stop, just curious as to what and why. He left me with some encouraging words. It doesn't take much for me to be really flattered by a kind word or two. He said he just wanted to know why I was doing it. I told him that I live right across the street, and thought: that little space is a mess! Decided I could/should do something to spruce it up. Went to talk to the course supervisor who said he did not have funds in his budget for doing anything that would not be a course improvement. I said:  'it won't cost you anything, other than some labor and mulch.'

 So I told the guy who stopped and inquired about my planting lilies in the dusky evening:  I thought it would bring joy into the lives of all the people who pass by each day and see something blooming. Hoping it would bring a smile to every face that drives by.

so this is how it went...

... on another day of getting up early.  I usually set my alarm for 5 to be walking out the door at 5:40 and in the door at work at 5:50'ish. So I did the usual, and was headed to Valdosta by 6.Knowing there is no way to get there in less than three hours, and was to be at attorney's office around 9'ish. 

I really like driving early in the day, getting out before the world awakens. Watching the sky get lighter, seeing the world begin to develop, as in watching a photo in the developing tray in a dark room - coloring up  and magically, mysteriously appearing out of the pitch black dark. Especially driving through south GA, piney woods, farm land, pastures, plowed fields. When the landscape is greening up with a thousand different shades and profusion of wild flowers along the right of way: pale pink primrose, brilliant yellow cosmos and coreopsis, strikingly bright purple native verbena creeping along the side of the highway.

I'd told the atty I would get to his office between 9 and 10, hoping/assuming I just needed to pick up paperwork and go to get fingerprints done. But he wanted to talk, so I spent the better part of an hour (and 250 bucks - the billing rate for his time) before I could get out and go give my prints at sheriff office. Sat in line of traffic in the street on the south side of town, and spent twice as much time waiting for the train with tank cars to pass by as it took once I got the the sheriff compound. Where they do not accept checks, to pay $15 and donate prints for background check.
Then went to talk to the social worker with the state who had been to visit the Auntie on Tues. aft., giving her the Cliff's Notes version of the past three years. The most interesting thing I learned from that is they apparently don't share information, talk to each other about cases because she knew nothing about all the other times Adult Protective Services had been called to interview/check on the Auntie. She was obviously fascinated by all the events unfolding, just like the script of a soap opera. And planned to go back to see her today, but did not expect her to have any memory of yesterday's visit.
Also discovered that as a last resort, if nothing else works to pry her loose from the house - we can complete a form with probate that will create a sort of chain reaction. With court approval, will result in EMS taking her to get a mental evaluation - a process that takes three days. I know it would be a terrible experience for the already sadly confused Auntie, but when she is stubbornly disagreeable refusing to cooperate or consider options, it is good to know that we do have some recourse- as that proverbial Last Resort.
Cuzzin F. is going to come to Columbus on Monday, and take a Tour of facilities. I will call around and get us appt. at some places so we can go and look at different options, ask questions, get info about pricing/levels of care for people with dementia that will inevitably get worse and worser.

planting stuff...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
...on city property across the street from my house, at the golf course. I started at least a month ago, and stalled out, hesitant to put anything else in the ground that would surely die, due to lack of water. I discovered that the irrigation system was not watering the stuff I spent an entire morning putting in the ground. And it all looked deader than dead.

Then we had a ridiculous unnecessary cold snap that killed everything it possibly could, including taking a whack at the crape myrtles I planted over there. I thought they were completely deceased, but the grounds guy, Steve, said that the below freezing temp. had gotten all the new, tender foliage on dozens of crape myrtles in the landscaping. He said: be patient.

They've come back, at least two of the three. One was almost tree sized, and it was damaged so badly it looks like it decided to start over, sending new growth out from the base, instead of more wee little leaves from branches on trunk. At least it has recovered, instead of turning up toes.

I walked over about a week after planting and saw everything looking dehydrated, thinking about dying. Steve got a call, with me anxious about the irrigation - apparently it was either not working, or not spraying water where the newly transplanted needed to be watered. He's put in another sprinkler head, so hopefully the water crisis has been solved. I do not want to be putting my time, effort and plants into something that will not be a success.

When I strolled over late on Monday to look around, I was amazed to discover some of the roses we planted on that one day of busy-work actually blooming. I saw them with withered, dried up leaves, and thought they were surely goners - and now they all have new leaves, buds and some are actually flowering: a yellow and a couple of reds. I was astounded. I'd already given them up for dead and gone, and here they are happily blooming away!

Also in that flurry of digging things up here, to replant there: some of the ever expanding 'yellow rose of Texas' that came from south GA. years ago, some snowflake that are the very early spring bloomers (bulbs) and agapanthus, that will send up tall stalks with big blue blooms in early summer. A friend donated some stokes' aster, that seems to have mostly survived the unexpected drought early-on and is growing, making an effort to get established.

I pulled up a bunch of weeds that have come up in the wood chips/mulch the trustees spread over the area where the flowering bed will slowly take shape. They had dug up an assortment of shabby, neglected plants, before we started putting new stuff from my yard in. Ratty variegated liriope, lots of volunteered Chinese privet, and assorted weeds: crabgrass, briers, smilax (that is so gratifying to dig up and throw away), vetch that goes to seed like crazy the minute you  turn your back on it. Slowly beginning to take shape.

It will be interesting to discover which of the things I've planted there will turn into ice-cream sundaes for the deer. Steve says they even eat azaleas on the golf course. Which I find baffling, as I have had azaleas growing for years, that they have not even glanced at, much less consumed. They do like native azaleas: I have two small ones in my back yard, inside the fence, that they periodically find quite tasty.

thinking about my dad...

Saturday, April 15, 2017
...because it is April 15, a date that always sticks in my mind, associated with him.As everyone who is a US citizen knows, it is the day your tax paperwork/return must be in the hands of the feds. You must file and have the documents postmarked by the 15th of the month, or you will be charged a late fee.

My dad refused to pay before the last possible day. If he owned any taxes he would definitely be putting his check in the mail with his return on April 15. Not a day sooner. Whereas, on the other hand, if Uncle Sam owed him a refund, he would, of course, have his envelope to the post office much earlier in the game. But he was determined to not let the revenooers get their hands on his money any earlier than absolutely necessary. I always think of him on Income Tax Day.

Even though I understand there are couple of days of a grace period this year, due to the 15 falling on a Saturday. I don't know why the IRS is being so lenient: it's not like people just suddenly woke up this morning and thought: 'Holy Cow-pie! I need to get my taxes done today'. They have know April 15 was coming for months. Probably those same people who show up on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and load a grocery cart up with all the makings for a big dinner - including a twenty pound frozen turkey.

about those comics...

...I heard about on the car radio.  It's probably been a couple of weeks ago, maybe when I was on the interstate highway headed to Decatur. Amusing myself by skipping through several different public radio stations as one would fade out and another signal kicks in. There was an announcement for something that would come up later in the hour. Like those little teasers on TV, where you hear about something designed to capture your attention, with more info. to come, causing you to 'stay tuned' to that particular station.

What I could swear I heard: 'hundreds of comedians are being turned back at the US border'. With details to be provided in a story later in the hour.  Which, you will agree, sounds really strange. Personally, I think we could all use more levity in our lives, so cannot even begin to guess why the Immigration Service would deny entrance to people who wanted to come and amuse us. Research is always suggesting how a good belly laugh will improve your mental and physical health. Why would the INS refuse passage to people who are providing such good therapy?

When I heard that full story would be revealed fifteen  minutes later, I was compelled to hold on to that radio station, to get  more information.  Whereupon I discovered that for some now obscure reason Canadians were being refused entry into the US. I guess that should make us all feel better, to know that it was people who spend most of their year covered in ice, snow and grumpiness. And relieved to finally understand that the comics who want to provide such good therapy by making us giggle and guffaw are not being singled out.

a tale for the telling...

Friday, April 14, 2017
... not a matter of any import, but a small story worthy of relating for the coincidences involved.  Not necessary to believe that 'fate' had a hand in the events, though there is most definitely a reason for everything that happens, and the sequence in which events occur. A little story to ponder...

I went to my regular Wednesday night community group. Generally a gathering of about a dozen people who meet in the home of a friendly couple who are always welcoming, with a love for their fellows as we meet and share joys and woes of daily life. The group met, and dispersed, I started home. Stopped at the grocery store, and proceeded on my usual route avoiding late afternoon traffic. The timing is portentous. I would not routinely be driving here, and rarely take this path home, but events collided to provide an unlikely meeting.

After the stop at the grocery store, I chose circuitous route I would not normally travel. Where I saw a young girl, teen-aged, walking along the side of the road with a large duffle bag slung on her back, a filled laundry basket on one hip, and purse over her shoulder. Obviously running away from something: likely an argument with her mom, probably over a guy they vehemently disagreed about. I turned around at the first opportunity and went back to say: 'Let me give you a ride.'

Her response was: 'I just need to use your phone'. I told her to get in the car and I would pull over a short distance up the road at a turn off for a subdivision, but I needed to get off the edge of the street. She got in and I drove on, pulled over and said: 'Do not laugh at my old school phone.' And passed it off to the girl. She made a call, saying 'come get me'. I told her I would take her to a nearby curb-store, and that person could meet her there.

We drove up the street to the well-lighted, populated area, and I pulled in. I asked if she had any money, and she said she did not - so I gave her ten bucks, saying: A girl needs some cash in her pocket. Then I said: "I am not going to ask you any questions, and don't want to know what is going on. But I need for you to let your mom know you are OK. I am a mom, and I would want to know that, so you need to let her know you are safe."

I left her there for the friend/boyfriend to pick her up. Knowing she was in a place where she would be safe until the person she called showed up to meet her. Do not know her name or any of the circumstances that had her walking down the road in a sparsely populated area in the near-dark. But I know how teenagers can be: impulsive and unreasonable, hostile when someone tries to give advice, control/protect them. In retrospect, I thought: that young girl could have been mine. Or years ago  - could have been me.

I know how frustrating raising teens can be, how demanding they are as they are exercising their desire to be independence. And how worried a mom can be about daughters associating with people that cause doubt and fear for the safety and well-being of a treasured child who thinks she is grown. I don't know that young girl's name, but God does. I hope she is safe, and warm, and cared for.

the dreaded task...

Thursday, April 13, 2017
...of  floor cleaning. It is a toss up  as to whether the sweeping/mopping action is more disliked than the vacumming of places that cannot be mopped. Both are equally distasteful, therefore the decision of which is most worst is a hard one to make.

Today's chore (as I am unemployed for the remainder of the week) was to sweep and mop all the places that have not been clean in a long time. The Man Who Lives Here has a penchant for sitting on a stool and eating his food from the counter-top in the kitchen. Meaning there is a considerable amount of edible material that leaves the horizontal surface and does not actually complete the route to end up ingested. Some lands on his clothing, some hits the floor. Cleaning either of those can be challenging, especially when the original product is not recognizable.

I've spent the morning sweeping and mopping two-thirds of the house.  Kitchen, living area, halls, bathroom. And have no desire or intention to get out the vacuum to complete the entire circuit. I've filled my quota for the day. Or possibly week.

I noticed when I was  moving chairs to clean under the small round table where we eat our meals (when The Man is not feeding himself from a great distance: counter to mouth) and realized I dislike dusting as much as any of the other routinely necessary household tasks. A particularly sturdy chair I moved to the dining table for supporting a large Man was really dusty around the braces on the legs. Upon asking myself: 'how long has it been since you last dusted this?' and the answer is 'never'. So I gave it a swipe with my bare hand. While wiping the dust bunnies off the bottoms of the legs, releasing them to roam again, skitter about on the random breeze, for the next time I get motivated enough to do any excessive cleaning.

nesting birdies + visiting lizard...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

... local wildlife found in my yard. The bird nest is similar to the one I found a couple of years ago. The previously discovered one, I noticed two springs ago, was on the back of the house, literally glued to the siding above a window. When the family hatched and eventually left, I got up on a ladder to remove it, finding the nesting material was attached to the exterior wall with little dabs of clay that held the whole apparatus in place. It was absolutely fascinating to see how the builders had put it together.

The nest you see in the photo is on top of a clear glass globe, part of the outdoor light fixture on the house by the front door. I cannot even begin to imagine what a challenge the nest makers had securing their building materials on to the perfectly rounded, smooth, slick surface of the glass cover for the light. Or begin to surmise why they would choose to locate and raise a family in such a unlikely location. It is certainly sheltered, safe from the elements, but seemingly impossible to attach a 'home' to that would be secure and stable.

I have to marvel at the engineering skills required to secure the nesting material to the slippery surface of the glass globe. It appears to be made out of pine straw, moss and lots of threads that look like spider web. The most amazing part is how it seems to be firmly attached to the smooth surface on which it is carefully balanced. I guess there is a considerable amount of spit used as glue to hold it all together? Making me wonder if the birds are some sort of chimney swift who build nests on brick walls. With tiny little bird brains programmed for choosing vertical walls, with the skills to build a nest that will safely hold fragile eggs and a young family.

The little chameleon is shedding skin. There is always a family of them lurking around the pots and plants near the front door.  I've seen them as short as a toothpick and as long as a full length wooden pencil. Who knows how many generations have enjoyed the safety of planters and crates around our driveway? Multiple skinks and lizards scatter on a regular basis when I go out to water all the things in pots. The little cold blooded reptiles sit in the sun on the warm bricks or rims of the terracotta pots, and dash off in great alarm when the hose is turned in their direction. They do eat a lot of insects, right?

and then there is..

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
...the really bad news. Which is not so much news, as just bad. But once the events occur, and the ball has started to roll downhill, it is history. Meaning no matter the circumstance, all you can do at this point is accept fate, while grumbling and muttering under your breath.

We were fortunate to find a rental car. Other customers came in after we did to claim the one we had reserved on the phone. The newly arrived were told there were no cars to be had, but they might want to think about a great big pickup truck. My guess is it might get twelve miles to the gallon. Not precisely so huge you would need a step stool to get in the cab, but seriously big compared to the little compact Ford we loaded up and drove off the lot. I am thankful that we did find a vehicle that would safely get us back south. Even though it was a dreadfully long drive: a good twelve hours from NYC to eastern TN.

The worstest part of all: the cost. The car rental was pretty reasonable. I'm not sure how much, even though I will eventually pay for it when the credit card bill arrives (along with all the fun we had in the City.) And I knew when we started into the agreement that there is a considerable cost when you do not return the rental vehicle back to the place of origin.

Sadly, I also knew we did not have much choice in the matter - it was stay there and stew about being stuck in New York, or take matters into your own hands. Which we did, in agreement that the decision to rent a car and drive across six states was the best solution. I am sure I will grieve again, like I did when I was gnashing my teeth in the Enterprise office. It will start afresh, when the bill comes and it is time to  pay the piper. I have already laid plans to access funds for covering the extra three hundred dollars they charge for failure to return it to the store where you signed the contract. Arrggghhhh.

So in summary: the trip was good fun, I enjoyed NYC. But the going and coming: not so much. As I was sitting in the ATL, having been delayed several times, I began to think of how we put so much faith and blind trust in the crew of the airplane. Expecting the pilots are well trained and fully qualified to take off, cruise and get us to the place we wanted to be when we purchased a ticket. Lots of faith that we will eventually get to the place printed on the boarding pass. Possibly over confident that the people who service, man, drive the conveyance have the skills to ensure we will arrive at the desired location - maybe hours later than expected, but at least in the right place.

and now for the good news...

Monday, April 10, 2017
... which is a direct result of the previous post bad news. It was really a pretty day, after a couple of days of overcast, wet, sloppy weather. So driving through the country side seeing the world starting to green up and come to life was really quite pleasant. By the time we got down into Virginia, it was a completely different season from New York, where it is just now getting to be early spring. There were lots of daffodils brightly smiling in planters in NYC, and forsythia all abloom as we left the city.
Trees all bare, not the first sign of foliage starting to show. Everything still dormant and sleeping.

But as we traveled, the world came to life. Redbud trees growing wild, volunteering all through the woods along the highway gloriously blooming in bright lavender shades. Prolifically sprouting up along the median and in the right-of-way, obviously leaning, stretching out limbs and reaching for the sunshine in their growth habits. Patches of naturalized daffodils nodding in the breeze, with yellow heads bobbing.

We actually had a good trip. Knowing it was going to be looooonnnnngggg day in the car anyway you slice it, we were prepared for the duration. It was not a terrible experience, probably due to having such an agreeable, amusing travel companion.  We left NYC about 11:30 am, and got to Chattanooga about twelve hours later.  Including several gas stops plus eats and bladder relief.

The last time I did something like that was when the three of us got in the car and drove all night to Key West. Went straight to Margaritaville Saloon and had strawberry margaritas. Just because we could.

now for the bad news...

... which happened when we woke up on Saturday morning, thinking of how we could squeeze in a little more fun. I thought it would be entertaining to go down to the end of the island, and take that free ferry that we heard about on the bus tour. It might go over to NJ and back, as part of the mass transit system, moving commuters to and fro. I'm always up for a free boat ride, as long as it will get me back to where I started from.

I suggested we could check out, leaving our luggage with the bellman, and pick it up before heading out in the subway to the airport. Knowing we should plan to start around noon for a flight that would board close to 3 pm, allowing plenty of time to get to LaGuardia and get through the TSA process. We took a bus, and a subway train to get into town, so I assumed we would reverse the process to get back to the terminal, then a long trek dragging suitcases. You will always as far away as possible from where you need to be, right?

As it turned out: we did not do any of that. A message that our flight had been cancelled changed our plans. The way I heard it was that ALL Delta flights had been cancelled. Which apparently caused thousands of thwarted travelers to attempt to book on other carriers, which caused every other airline to fill up. And us to be stranded in NYC.

I proceeded to devise a plan where we would get to Baltimore or Richmond on a bus or train, and have my brother meet us. He would be persuaded to agree to take us down into NC, where someone would come up from Atlanta to get us home. Nothing available on buses or trains. No leaving the city on mass transit.

We must have gotten the Very Last Rental Car Left in All Of New York City. My highly capable, thoroughly dependable, very resourceful logistics coordinator lead us to the subway, with luggage and high hopes. I'd suggested a rental car facility as faraway as we could get on public transportation to make it easier to get underway without dealing with the chaos of traffic. I think we were in the Bronx when we got our Vastly Overpriced car and headed south.

Through New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia and on to Tennessee. As we drove south, we got reports that the new flight we had been booked on, that would leave NYC at 730 pm had been delayed, then cancelled. We were then booked on a flight to Milwaukee, which also was cancelled, while we continued to motor along the interstate heading towards TN.

at the theater...

...when we went to the show on Broadway. It was amazing. We saw 'The Lion King, based on the Disney movie So all the songs were from the movie.

I did not remember all that much about the plot/story line as it has been years since I saw it. In truth, it was all like brand new to me. The staging was super, the costumes were so impressive. The live show was really a treat.

we got back...

... on the ferry, and went over to Ellis Island.There are a lot of brick buildings, most of which appear to not be in use, with windows boarded up. The whole place looks neat and tidy, but does not give the impression of much activity taking place there.

If I am remembering the figures right, it seems like about eight million people were processed there when they got off boats desiring to enter the US. There were screenings for everything from eye infections, to questions about family history, literacy, mental status, criminal activity. A large hospital was used to treat a great variety of problems, before individuals were permitted to proceed on to their destinations.

Apparently many women, often with children would get off boats, and want to be reunited with husbands who had come over to find jobs, provide finances for family to move to the US. According to what I read in the museum displays there, authorities were fearful single or unaccompanied women would be taken advantage of once they were allowed to proceed into New York. So were usually held there on the island until someone came to 'collect' them and insure they were not accosted by evildoers.

And lots of people arrived with various diseases, illnesses, some contracted during travel, so were put into the hospital there on the island to receive treatment. While children were left without adult care, but confined to the island. There was a huge kitchen, large facilities similar to dormitories for people who were detained.

I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to leave a home in Europe, making your family deliberately homeless. Loading on a boat, enduring a terrifyinging crossing of the Atlantic, hoping to improve lifestyle in US, and arrive to the bedlam of Ellis Island. Not speaking English, struggling to keep luggage, all your earthly possessions together, and minding children. Frightened, confused, not understanding what is going on as you are directed through processing lines, being inspected for medical problems, questioned about background, history, family, education, intentions, destination. All while trying to keep small children under control and appear to not be scared out of your mind.

recycling the tour bus tickets...

...when we still had a couple of hours before they expired. I though we should get back on the big red bus and take half the tour again, let them drive us down to the end of Manhattan where you need be to get on the ferry. We could see some of those same sights we failed to see clearly when we were on the bus the day before in the rain. And get to where we needed to be for the boat ride. Approach by boat is the only way to get to the Statue of Liberty, and you have to reserve tickets to get on the boat, more tickets to get in the Statue.

Play 'hurry up and wait', Get in line to go through a screening that is almost as thorough as what happens before boarding an airplane. Take jackets off, empty pockets, run your backpack and purse through the machine, and step into the area where your person gets scanned. Making you feel like a cartoon: the one where you see the complete insides of the character as if they were lighted from the inside. Sort of like that 'educational toy' that was popular for kids, called the 'Visible Man', with the form of clear plastic. You put the body together from inside out: skeleton, organs, veins, muscles, and finally the outer part that makes all those innards look human. I've been scanned and inspected so much lately, I feel like I should be auditioning for the part as the model for the 'visible woman'.

I can always expect to be pulled aside and poked more thoroughly due to metal in knee brace. I thought about putting it in the carry-on instead of wearing it on my leg, but decided that would make it even more 'suspect', look like I was trying to smuggle something. Just excessively suspicious - which is not beneficial to travel. I do my best to that process as simple and smooth as possible - but find that my progress is much improved by the wearing of that knee brace. Which means I should always expect to be pulled aside, asked to have the brace exposed, and checked for contraband.

Statue of Liberty...

...  was on my bucket list: Which explains why I was so delighted and excited to get an invitation to go to NYC. P. had to be in upstate for a work related event, asked if I would meet her so we could go to the Statue and Ellis Island. I've been wanting to go, and ...wow! That was really neat.

The ticket you have to reserve to go up into the top of the statue sells out 'way in advance. Which is ok with me, as I don't think I could have: a) tolerated being in such a close-company, confined space without having a panic attack, b) climbed all those steps inside the steel armature to get to the top, c) been able to look over the edge without loosing my lunch when I got to the peering out place.

You have to have a different ticket to get on the ferry that makes a loop from the end of Manhattan to Liberty Island, then to Ellis Island, and back to the dock at the bottom of Manhattan Island. Then another ticket to actually get into the statue, or a different one to go up to the head/torch area. I was perfectly satisfied with what I had, and not at all sad to not struggle with the climb all those steps to get higher.

The tickets we did have allowed us to go into the pedestal area, where there is a museum. You can also walk out onto a viewing area, that is just below where the feet and base of the statue is located. There in the museum, we found plenty of info. about the history of how it was imagined, conceived, designed, created, built, shipped in sections, put together in the US. As well as the renovation when the original iron armature began to deteriorate, and had to be replaced with steel.

The highest point, which is the arm holding the torch aloft was originally designed to be metal. But at some point, someone suggested/decided to turn the torch into a lighted one made of stained glass that would serve as a light house for ships. When the renovation occurred in the latter part of the 20th century, that was dismantled, removed and refurbished, put on display in the museum, where you see in when you enter the base/pedestal area. Replaced with one closer to the original design, copper with gold covering. That brightly reflects the lighting as it shines up from the well-lit base of the statue.

taking the bus...

Sunday, April 9, 2017

...is a great way to see the sights, especially in a new place. After our experience last summer, we concluded the best way to get the lay of the land is to get a ticket for a tour bus. The kind that goes in a loop, you can hop-on/hop-off as often as you want in a twenty-four hour period. The ticket is good for a full day. And we definitely got our full value from that purchase.

We learned last summer that the bus will have little earbuds for each passenger, and a place to plug in your listening device on the wall of the bus by your seat. I''d expected a recording, but in addition to a capable driver, we had a Brooklyn resident who had the script so well embedded in his head, he gave us a play-by-play as we rolled along. Adding lots of tid-bits of information he had gleaned over time, to fill our heads with trivial facts.

The weather: pretty rotten. But I was prepared: expecting cold and rainy, so I took layers and warm socks. If my feets are warm and dry, I can cope with most anything. We started off on the upper seating of the bus, even though it was a really soggy day. Half the seating is covered, but we soon discover that the places were the plexiglass is joined are going to drip and get  you quite wet. The tour company, in addition to earbuds, offers ponchos (keeps the wind out, as well as wet), so we did enjoy the chatty tour guide and ride.

Got off the bus during the loop, to track down a little pastry shop P. knew about, and stuffed our faces with freshly baked eclairs.  Oh, yum. We had talked about trying to get tickets to see a Broadway show, and hoped to find reasonably priced tickets. I'd heard it is possible to find people hawking  tickets on the sidewalk, so thought we should go to the theater. So pleased to find the box office of the theater, where tickets were considerably less than we had expected. Grinning with delight,  excited to think about seeing The Lion King with amazing costuming.

My resourceful traveling companion, with handy phone to look up all the Information available from the far reaches of the universe: found us a good place to go for dinner. Hibachi is a real treat, we both enjoyed the 'performance' as our chef cooked our food right there in the table while we watched. After eating too much, and brains full of all we tried to absorb while sightseeing, we were ready to crash.

good amusement...

... in the city, partially due to my clever traveling companion having the subway map right there in her pocket on her cell phone. When I finally, finally, finally got to the airport in NYC, she was there, waiting on me. Had actually been waiting for hours, due to the nearly five hour delay in taking off from Hartsfield in Atlanta. I knew I could just 'sit tight' until she could get there, but there was no sitting, or waiting on my part: P. was right there, smiling.

She had already purchased our passes to get on the subway, and had actually been 'practicing' her maneuvering skills, by finding her way from the hotel where she had reservations, across town to LaGuardia Airport.  We bought subway tickets that would actually be good for a week, after she did her research and found that to be the best value. Her transportation from upstate where she attended work conference brought her into town, actually put her out at the hotel, where she left luggage. Then she figured out all the 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' (remember that really awful movie withCandy/Steve Martin movie?) to be there to meet the postponed flight.  We did all that in reverse  after I arrived, and eventually got back to the Pennsylvania Hotel, located on Penn. Ave., near Madison Square Gardens.

We were compelled to roam the streets, having put so much effort into actually getting there. And found a little 'pub' nearby where we ate dinner on our first day in the Big Apple. So... that was the adventure for Wednesday, living in a hotel room a little bigger than your average walk-in closet + bathroom. Completely suitable for our needs - just a place to park our gear and sleep. 

in the rainy big apple...

Thursday, April 6, 2017
...where cold and wet and sloppy has not stopped us from sightseeing and gawking like 'flat-landers' (as you might recall from the Snuffy Smith cartoons.) We got up and charged off into the chaotic, traffic filled streets of NYC after fortifying with a stop at Starbucks for steamy warm drinks and energy-boosting breakfast.

Spent most of the morning on the big red bus, hearing a very Brooklyn-sounding guy tell about the wonders of the city. The weather has been damp, rainy, windy, not conducive to viewing from the top of the topless bus. Tour bus provides ponchos! Made of plastic thin enough to wad the entire thing up in your fist, but perfectly waterproof.

But we've seen a lot of Manhattan, and now full of trivial bits of early history courtesy of our enthusiastic tour guide. Walking the streets with thousands of other people - most of whom seemed to be on a mission. And then there is us: bumbling and bumping along, stopping at intersections to study the map, figure if we should be going north or south? This way or that?  Overwhelmed by foot-traffic, passers-by, buses, delivery trucks, congestion, endless construction work, blocked streets, vendors with food stands on the sidewalks, hawkers selling umbrellas and tour bus 'deals'.

It is always presents a quandary to know what to pack when traveling: you just simply cannot plan or squeeze in enough for every contingency. I knew it would be cooler in the north: they are just starting to have spring here with daffodils blooming.  My thought is to add or discard layers,  so brought and applied enough clothing to be comfortable.  Thankfully adding a rain jacket with hood. Even though it has been either pounding rain, drizzling or just misty like walking through a cloud, and cold for exposed hands and face, I've not actually gotten wet.

Thanks, S., for the loan of a warm, fleece lined snug knit cap. With warm toasty head, it is been a really interesting day for the country bumpkin in the city. Looking forward to a clear sunny day tomorrow - we have tickets to take the ferry across the river to see the Statue and Ellis Island.

badder weather...

...even though there is some vague memory of the fact that 'badder' is not really a word. I possibly recall that the thing that is more dramatic than 'bad' would be 'worse', but pretty sure that 'worser' does not really exist either. At any rate: the weather alert on Tuesday was to let us know that the storms on Monday were a mild precursor to what would happen on Wednesday. Just a fore-warning that the winds, blowing rains, hail, possibility of tornadoes would be far more widespread and dreadful than the little 'baby' storms we saw with power outages and downed trees early in the week.

Which caused the flight I expected to be loading on Wed.  morning to be delayed numerous times, to the point that you could almost feel the hostility, aggravation, frustration, pent up irritation, barely controlled four-letter words, simmering annoyance. As we all got to know one another (like you would on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean), we shared stories of how the continual delay was futzing our plans. I don't know what sort of contingency plans airlines could make for a weather crisis, and I know safety is a priority. But knowing well in advance just what was likely to occur, it is baffling that there was not some sort of preparation done. (Other than mop buckets to hold steady stream of drips from the leaking roof  of the incomplete terminal area.)

Talking to a fellow passenger, who was planning to meet a spouse in NYC, I found her to be quite optimistic about the storm we were watching out the windows, sheets of rain on the glass, blowing across the waiting airplanes, vehicles, workers. Sitting in the waiting area, she reported she had tickets for a Broadway show, and a husband waiting for her to arrive to go on a date in the Big City. She was so positive, and hopeful the weather would blow over and we would soon be on our way. I introduced myself, saying "and you must be Pollyanna?" Upon having the boarding time repeatedly pushed back, I suggested she give me her husband's number so I could call P. who was waiting for me, and tell her to go to the show with a strange man.

I finally arrived about five hours later than planned. What can you do? They have you over a barrel. You want to get someplace, and they have the only game in town, so you grumble and moan, gnash your teeth, but have no choice but to play the game by their rules.

At one point in the 'hurry up and wait' experience, I thought of the Tom Hanks movie when he is stuck in an airport and spends weeks in limbo, living in a construction site, and adapting to life as a persona-non-grata, man without a country. Doing a remarkable job of using the resources he finds in the building to 'make-do' and provide a life for himself.

The new wing of the terminal that is apparently mostly Delta flights, though in use, is incomplete. At one point I looked up at the (leaking ) ceiling, to discover the overhead lighting is bulbs on cords, dangling through the grid work designed to hold acoustical tiles. And the lampshades on the bulbs are aluminum pie pans with holes cut in the middle to reflect the light down. Just in case all the international travelers coming into the GA capitol city, did not know how inventive us rednecks can be when called up to use duct tape and bailing wire.

sleeping in the attic...

...works pretty well for me. I drove up to the city on Tuesday, with plans to spend the night and get an early start on Wed., hitching a ride to the airport to catch a mid-morning flight to NYC. There is a cozy sleeping place, quiet and comfortable, in the attic of the house on Eleanor Street. Often, over the years, there have been temporary residents who have lived there, people in various stages of transition. Staying for weeks, or months, then relocating to other quarters.

Currently vacant, providing me an excellent landing pad. A good night's sleep and launching pad for heading off to other places: visiting in SC, traveling on to TN. Or being let out in the pouring rain at Hartsfield International Airport for flinging myself into the wild blue yonder.

We laughingly talk about who will be my caregiver when I get to the point that one is needed. This may come under the heading of Black Humor, but given the facts of DNA and family history, there is a good chance I will eventually need assistance. With the natural process of aging, I know we are designed to have parts wear out. And expect to need someone to watch over me, or see that I have managed care. I have often said: 'Just put me someplace where I am kept clean and fed.'

My family has seen me, and participated in, providing care for family members in need over the years. I had the thought recently that the times I have provided that assistance has been the model for them doing likewise. I know they have opened doors and hearts to friends who find themselves in desperate straits on occasion.  Willing to provide shelter, bed-and-bath, meals, a safe environment from which to gauge and consider, decide the best path for the future.

When the time comes that I will need to be taken in hand, kept from crossing against the light. Safely snatched from the path of the speeding buses in life, I believe they will be there. Providing guidance and . willing to do what is necessary to 'keep me clean and fed'.

bad weather ...

Monday, April 3, 2017
...barreling through the state. We can usually depend on getting whatever happened in Texas a couple of days ago, and Alabama overnight showing up here today. But this storm was reportedly coming up from the south, with high winds, frog-strangling rains, thunder and lightening. I suspect that someone someplace has been swamped by flooding and possibly tornadoes.

I was at work, but close to leaving. The rain was pounding so hard you could hear it in the building - it has to be really heavy to hear it over all the sounds of an occupied building. Computerized cash registers beeping, people constantly on the intercom making announcements, ringing telephones, customers and employee conversations, plus the background music that is always present. You could hear all that, then suddenly silence: nothing but the rain pounding on the roof. Then the insistent, blaring alarms mounted on poles all over town, announcing imminent bad weather, warning us to take cover.

The lights were out. It was completely totally, blindingly dark for about 45 seconds, then auxillary power came on. With enough lights overhead for customers to find their way out of the store. And, surprisingly, ample power to run the registers. I can remember when the power would go out and nothing worked. So customers would wait, hoping we would be re-energized. Sometimes, yes. Sometimes: no.

The assumption is that they have rewired, and reprogrammed the computers that manage the cash registers. Allowing for payment of goods. You don't want customers to leave without what ever they came in for, and you don't want them to not be able to pay for whatever they came to get. Even if you can't find your way from one side of the store to the other in the pitch black dark, it is imperative that the registers are in good working order.

new red chairs...

Saturday, April 1, 2017
...of which I am very fond. Sadly, the can in the photo is the last one of Pearl Lite in captivity, or at least east of the mighty Missisisppi River. Which can only mean, that it must be time to start planning a road trip to Texas for a fresh supply. Made and bottled/canned just up the street from the Alamo.

I deliberately arranged the pair of red chairs so they face the trees down the hill from the house, out in the back part of the lot. Where I can do whatever I want without anyone minding my business. I had lunch with a friend who agreed she was willing to be recruited to come out and sit with me, in my new chairs. Even though she cannot drink adult beverages with me, she said lemonade will suit her. I thought it was such a great idea, to have chairs, and a place to sit and enjoy the end of the day with a cold one, then I realized I don't have anyone who would come and drink with me... how sad?

maaayyybe relocating...

...but just doing some research right now, with the idea of maaayyybe moving to north Georgia. Looking at houseboats and pondering the The Boating Life. What it would be like on one of the lakes created by Corps of Engineer dams, built to control flooding rivers. The lakes also conveniently provide water for communities in that part of the state, as well as recreational opportunities for water sports in warmer months. Which with global warming, (currently being denied as reality) might soon be no longer seasonal, but year 'round.

The Man Who Lives Here has always had an affinity for boats. He actually trailer'ed one from south GA to landlocked Columbus when he moved. Soon realizing how rarely it was actually in the water, he decided to sell it instead of looking like a redneck with things up on cinder blocks in the front yard. He is not much of a 'sports person' any more, although he did enjoy boating and fishing for many years.

We have been talking about selling this house. Though we have lived here for thirty-five years, it's time to consider making a change. Just a little too much to keep up. Along with 'way too much yard to maintain, though I do enjoy digging and planting. I know I would miss making holes in the ground and watching stuff grow.  I do believe we could put it on the market and find someone who would enjoy picking blueberries for years to come!

Considering downsizing onto a boat in one of those reservoirs up in the north Georgia hills. We've not really looked, but I know he would enjoy inspecting, deciding, trying them on for size. And we would be getting rid of lots of accumulated flotsam and jetsam we won't have anywhere to store. I am pretty sure the boats people actually live on are very well designed, with every square inch planned for maximum use like those Tiny Houses that have become of popular with people who are paring down.

Another great benefit of living on the water is lots of friends and family will want to come visit, right? Won't that be good fun, sitting on the deck, gently bobbing in the water, listening to the waves lapping on the sides of the boat while watching the sun set? And possibly have a nice refreshing, ice cold adult beverage as the sun shimmers, reflecting off the water in the cool of the evening...