Thursday, July 28, 2022

The dining room table where I shared meals with my mother and listened to her many stories moved with me from California to Minnesota in 2019. My mom was three years gone by then, and the table did not fit in my little living room/ dining room after I made my second Minneapolis move.One afternoon we borrowed a hole saw from our neighbor, and the once stately dining room table became a patio table.
It was a classy addition to the backyard. Then this happened.
My mom had a lot of skills/pastimes/hobbies. She could knit, crochet, sew, macramé, fix things. And she was an expert trash-picker. A gold pocket watch, a wooden baby cradle, a big box of very nice baby and toddler clothes, a gold ring with a giant genuine amethyst. Books, paintings, antique dishes. What she didn't keep, she gave away or sold at garage sales.I've inherited the trash-picker gene, but now with the existence of my local Buy Nothing group, I get to browse through other people's cast-offs without lifting the lids of their trash cans or stalking the alleys. We got a little Buy Nothing patio table after the tree fell, but I've been watching Buy Nothing for the past couple months for a bigger one. Here it is.
Getting it into my hatchback was a bit dicey. Good thing that bag of clothes for Goodwill was still in the back seat, so we could tie the hatch shut.
The past couple of days the table has been undergoing a transformation.
My mom would be so thrilled.
And soon I'll be giving away the little table on Buy Nothing. I love how that works.

Monday, June 6, 2022

A glass of red wine in memory of Dan Paik

Dan left this world 8 years ago.

Eight years is a very long time.

Let's say you have a baby. This helpless creature eight years hence can tie their shoes, understand the rules to a sport or a game, ride a bike, make toast, do math problems with fractions, maybe they will even have mastered the multiplication tables. Eight years feels like a miracle when you watch a person becoming more and more of themselves.

Eight years, I guess, is just eight years when someone disappears from your life. It's a blink of an eye or an eternity, depending on how you're feeling at any given moment. But no matter how you feel they're still gone. It's mysterious, this absence that's also a presence.

Unless I'm so tired that I sleepwalk into bed, I have a word or two with the dead. My parents, Dan, a certain friend or two on one night, some others on another night. Then I tell myself that I'm okay. That I mostly did good during the day. And I specifically tell my mom that I won't be coming to see her. Not yet. I remind her that she got to live to be 91, and I'm not ready to leave here yet. I tell her this because in the weeks after she died I had two very vivid nightmares where she came back to get me. I want her to know that I miss her, but that I'm staying in the world of the living for now.

It's been more than a year since I dreamed of Dan. I'm pretty sure I'll dream of him again. I just don't know when. Meanwhile, here's a memory with a dream in it.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Planet Earth and Her Shadow

Our planet has a rather insubstantial shadow, don't you think? A mere veil. Not at all like our own shadow on the sidewalk, say. I love lunar eclipses. You can look right at them without going blind. The next full moon lunar eclipse here where I live won't be until November--and it will be at an inconvenient hour--which is to say when I hope to be asleep. There won't be another until 2025. Who the heck knows where I'll be in 2025. Still on the planet Earth, with a little luck. Speaking of luck--
If a tree falls on your house, will you hear it? Maybe. Maybe not if the tornado sirens are wailing and the wind is roaring and you're in the basement with the weather channel turned up loud. Yes. There were some big noises, but I have to say I didn't really yell, OMG a tree just fell on my house!!! But it didn't sever our power line (not even our party lights!) Didn't take out the air conditioning or any of the ductwork. Didn't break the window or put an actual hole in the roof for rain to come pouring in. That said, I'm super frustrated with the insurance company. But mostly grateful that I'm not looking for temporary lodgings.
Sadly, my old table did not survive. In what seems like another lifetime when this table lived in my dining room, there were many fine meals there with many fine people. Two of the finest of those people are no longer on the the planet. They seem as far away as the moon. And yet very, very close.

Friday, December 31, 2021

A Sheep in Wolf''s Clothing

Not like this. This is a wolf in sheep's clothing. And believe it or not, it's from a front yard Christmas display in my neighborhood. It could well be some pop culture commentary that I am unaware of, but I think it's more likely political commentary. Some sheep are marked red. Others are blue. I mean, it's weird and kinda scary, right? Maybe also a little funny? Here's the whole thing.
The driver of the team of sheep is Planet of the Apes meets the Grinch. And the baby. I don't know what to say about the baby.
Anyhow, here's a happy thought. What if Omicron is a sheep in wolf's clothing.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/28/health/covid-omicron-antibodies-delta.html
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/dec/18/is-there-any-good-news-at-all-on-omicron-yes-there-are-small-signs-of-hope