Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Scottish Story

It's hard to focus on the  personal day-to-day in the midst of current political ass-hattedness and the resulting stream of heartbreaking news.  I feel single-minded and somewhat selfish as I go through these post-move days, shopping for picture hooks and towel bars and shifting things around from here to there and back. I'm not in the streets protesting anything these days. I'm not even in bed, protesting my own exhaustion--which is probably where I should be. Instead, I'm on a tear to get things done--to make yet another trip to Target, the hardware store, or to the recycling bin in the parking garage so I can deposit another load of cardboard.

Today, I decided I would find the perfect sideboard. I esty-ed. I e-bayed. No luck. In my mind's eye, I could see it. I just didn't know where to find it. Then, there it was on Facebook Marketplace in a town 50-something miles away that happens to be very near where I went to college decades ago. After exchanging messages with the seller, I drove off with a friend, hoping we'd measured correctly and the thing would fit in my car.

Turns out the sellers were selling because they're downsizing for a move to a traditional cottage in the Irish countryside. The sideboard belonged to his grandmother. The piece is Scottish, as she was. "I have thing for Scottish antiques" I told the wife.
"Me too," she said, without missing a beat as she elbowed her Scottish husband. I told them my heritage was half Scottish. And then, I don't know how it even came up, but it turns out the wife is on the faculty at the tiny college I attended all those years ago. Life is filled with weird luck sometimes.

I'm grateful for it. And for the blue skies here. And for peonies as big as dinner plates. And for the skyline that lights up my nights.

Mill ruins and stone arch bridge

Coral peonies from the farmer's market

Thursday, June 6, 2019

How can it be?

Time just keeps blasting us forward. Dan Paik died 5 years ago today. Five. I spent only five years with him. Soon he will be gone from this earth longer than I knew him.

I live on the 5th floor now in a brand new building in a new city. I'm weary and disoriented. I have a different car and changed to a different purse. I can't find things. I have no sense of direction. I'm lost every time I go anywhere more than a few blocks away. But the dead loved ones are here. Dan. My mom, my aunt Millie. They are constants, easy to navigate to.

The Mississippi River curves through this city. Sometimes I'm on one side of it, sometimes the other. The river Styx divides the living from the dead. I'm still here, living.