When I was a kid…

Childhood Forests Fall

Sept 1 was a time of mixed feelings. 

On the one hand, I’d have been in school for almost two weeks and was mourning the end of Summer. On the other hand the countdown to the holidays was running in my head.

I knew I had Labor day off.

Whew, one more long weekend before I really had to buckle down and get to work. 60 days to Halloween, 26 days after that, Thanksgiving, 30 days later Christmas, then  the long dark dry spell of Winter with nothing to look forward to until Spring, the end of school and Glorious SUMMER again.

Back then, observed holidays were, well… actually Observed! and even though the Winter months were long and dark, they were punctuated by a holiday about once a month. I was also fortunate during Junior High and High School, that I lived in a place where we got snow days at the drop of a hat we lived for snow days.

gnat swarm

I guess I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. I woke up in a great mood, have already walked the dogs much to their delight and aside from being set upon by little black flying monsters, (I have no other description, they’re tiny, they swarm & they fly at your eyes, nose, ears, and mouth), The day is a good one. It’s cool and bright with the tinge of Autumn in the sunlight. 

I can’t describe it, there’s a color to the light that signals Autumn to me. All the seasons have a characteristic color?, tint?, cast?, in the sunlight. The night sky is also different beyond the constellations, depending on the season. I’ve been aware of these differences my whole life and took them for granted until a discussion with a friend.

Autumn Central Park NY

He doesn’t see the difference at all, he just looked at me like I was insane. [I am, but that’s another discussion.] I now know what describing color to a blind person is like. There are some things which words utterly fail to describe. Color, Orgasms, Joy, Beauty that makes you cry. 

I guess I’m more tuned into the rhythms of nature than I thought I was. Until talking with my friend I assumed that everyone saw what I see. Then again, I’m a very visual creature, so maybe it’s just that I notice details more than some people.

I like this time of year, it’s a time of change and for some reason I feel more creative.  

Everyone take a moment, look up from your cities, look out over the open spaces, take a deep breath, and take time to notice the light.

 

Night Rain

Maninrain

You don’t appreciate something until it’s gone.

Its been that way around here. I’ve had enough of the endless dry dusty days. This drought is like the party guest that just won’t leave.

There have been some really evil teasers over the past few months, cloudy days, huge thunderheads building against the mountain, lots of noise but not a lot of action.

All we’ve gotten out of it has been humidity followed by more steaminess than we had before.

I can take heat, with low humidity. I can take high humidity like you get in the South, at least you know that rain is coming.

I can’t take the nasty humidity followed by sun followed by more humidity with no breeze. That’s brutal and what the early evenings have been like for the past few days. 

Oppressive heat and humidity permeating what should be a comfortable time of the day. Not quite hot enough to run the air conditioning, but sticky like a Florida summer day without the afternoon thunderstorm.

Maninrain3

Being naked doesn’t help, because you can’t get enough sweat to evaporate to cool. You lay there sweating, wondering if the $$$ you’d spend on the A/C is worth it.

I was sleeping fitfully on the couch. Then about an hour ago I woke to the smell of rain on hot asphalt. It’s not raining a lot, more of a drizzle but it’s being fairly consistent and the temperature has dropped about 10 degrees. 

The rain isn’t hitting on the roof hard enough to make much of a sound, but I can hear it on the leaves and if I listen real hard, I can hear drops hitting the decks.

Maninrain2

I wasn’t naked when I fell asleep on the couch, I’m naked now.

Standing at the sliding door listening  to the rain through the screen I had an overwhelming urge to be naked, feeling the rain on my skin.

Thank goodness the decks are more or less private at this time of night!

For however long this gentle shower lasts, I’m grateful.

I can see myself wrapping up in a sheet then falling asleep listening to the crickets and gentle shower hitting the parched ground.

It’s worth losing a little sleep to enjoy the rain.

Just got some new Porn

20140528-154141-56501869.jpg

Ok, You’re right, it’s not Porn…  But the collection has a lot of the politically incorrect stuff that I spent my Saturday mornings watching, and laughing at.

This collection looks like it’s got a lot of the banned WWII propaganda. Much of this hasn’t been seen on TV for years because of it’s offensive characterizations of the countries that were our enemies at the time.

I think this stuff is fascinating and funny!

My chores are done for the day, so I think the DVD player is about to get a workout!

Maybe time for some beer and popcorn too.

Happy Easter

imagesThankfully there’s not a ton of crazy to comment on.

I guess everyone decided to dial it all down to a dull roar in honor of Easter. I’m sure Monday will bring all kinds of interesting insanity.

In the mean time, I’m taking a breath.

I hope that you and your families are able to enjoy the same.

Family

imagesFamily is a strange thing.

We all have families.

Whether we’re talking about the families we were born with, or the families we make, they’re a strange hodgepodge of men, women, children, aunts, uncles, in-laws and often, ex’s of one kind or another.

My family is so convoluted that for me to explain it, I need a score card, white board and powerpoint presentation.

I’ve got step parents, step siblings, half brothers, half sisters, and other things in between. God knows, the divorces and marriages propagate the complexity.

I laugh when people on the right talk about the “Sanctity of Marriage”, as a reason to deny gay people the right to marry. I can only ask WTF? Almost without exception all those Sanctity of marriage idiots are multiple divorcees. I suppose that makes them sanctimonious, but not necessarily defenders of the institution of marriage.

UnknownWhen those same people talk about a “Nuclear family” being the best family to raise children in, I blow whatever I’m drinking out my nose.

Sure, kids would probably be better off having a single set of parents who looked and behaved like Ward and June Cleaver, but that family model is very rare and has been even since “Leave It to Beaver” was being beamed into our homes weekly.

As a child of “broken” home I can tell you all that matters is the child knows that they’re loved. Hey, it worked for me it worked for my half brother & half sister, and It worked for my step sisters and step brothers.


Why have I been thinking about family?

I’m at my Mom’s house. She called me and asked for help with my stepdad. He’d been in the hospital since before Christmas.

When he came home, his needs and the needs of the household finally got to a point that my mom said “Hey, I can’t handle all this.”

She was right, cleaning the house, maintaining the pool, dealing with the yard, and doing routine maintenance & repairs are overwhelming me and I don’t have problems getting around.  I don’t have a bad hip,  knees, and somewhat demanding husband to contend with.

I’m glad she called me and I’m glad I came.

My mom deserves better than having all this on her shoulders in her retirement.

My step dad doesn’t mean to be difficult, I can see that he’s trying not to be. But a lifetime of ordering people around, ignoring other people’s feedback or needs, and assuming that his word on the matter however incorrect is blessed by god, is a hard thing to change.

He doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of doctors orders and “HOME BOUND”, nor does he appear to understand things like some of the drugs he’s taking may react with citrus rendering the drugs ineffective.

How about controlling the intake of sugar since he’s diabetic?  For him, he’s alive and the doctors don’t know what they’re talking about. Even though those doctors pulled him back two or three times, from circling the drain known as death.

He’d rather do things his way and then blame others if he doesn’t get better.

And damn! He does like to give orders!

“I want my breakfast now, I want my coffee, where’s my iced tea? bring me this, that and the other thing.”

All these orders are issued with the expectation that his wishes be fulfilled immediately. And all commands are issued only after he’s seen that you’ve settled down with your own meal, or are trying to get some work or research done.

Now I find myself teaching him to live with disappointment. If he asks nicely he gets what he wants fast. If he demands well he’ll get what he wants eventually.

God help you, if  you delay making his wish come true because you took time to wash your hands after cleaning the cat box, before making his breakfast or delivering his coffee.

This isn’t new; he’s always been this way. It’s not been until now that I’ve realized just how much his demanding ways influenced me, and how my reaction to people ordering me around has it’s roots here.

Go on, order me to do something and watch what happens!

I’ve also come to realize that my reaction to someone ordering me around might be a tad disproportionate to the situation. Cool, now that i understand why I become a lunatic I can work at changing my response.

As I’ve been observing the dynamic here, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m often just as guilty of ordering people around. I need to change that about myself. The days when I’m infirm may not be too far off and when they come, I don’t want to be a dick

My family & I have had some rocky times. I guess it’s part of the reason I put 3000 miles between me & them.

It’s not that I don’t love them, it’s that i needed to be my own person and I didn’t want to be second guessed at every turn by people that I often didn’t agree with.

That’s putting the situation politely.

I always felt talked down to, and my opinions were dismissed out of hand.

When opportunity presented itself for me to extricate myself and go create my own family. I jumped at the  that opportunity and honestly, didn’t spend much time looking back.

Over the years, I spent time with the family, mostly to make my mom happy. I could suck it up for 10 days or so. I always felt a great feeling of relief getting on the plane to return home.

It’s not about love, or the lack thereof, it’s about respect.

In case any of you doubted

20140219-170538.jpgMy claims of playing in swamps as a kid.

Here’s proof. This is the swamp that enters into a lake directly behind my parents home.

20140219-170600.jpgWhile this is not the actual swamp I grew up around its a good facsimile. Hopefully, I’ll get over toward my swamp and take some pictures of it.

20140219-170609.jpgWhile I was snapping these photos, I noticed I was being watched by a critter, at first I thought it was an small alligator. Then when it dove I saw the edge of its shell.

There are also some really large fish in the swamp and also in the lake beyond.

It’s humid and in the 80s here. I’m comfortable and enjoying it.