Friday, May 27, 2005
My day today went something like this:
8:30 (or there about): Awoke—I haven’t experienced an upon-waking panic attack in over three weeks. I went downstairs and turned the on coffeemaker. As usual, Nettl had already gotten it ready for me and, because yesterday was the kids’ last day of school and Lauren was enjoying a well deserved lie-in, Nettl had brought my paper in and put it on the counter by the coffeemaker, the rubber band removed. Beside the paper sat my coffee cup with just the right amount of sugar measured into it. While the coffee brewed I went onto the veranda to check on the fish we got for our fountain earlier in the week. I then came in and went to the music closet in the den to turn on NPR, which I leave on throughout the day and evening because the sound is wired through the house and we all love classical music. It sets a good mood throughout the day.
8:45: Brought my coffee and paper upstairs, and got back into bed, turning on the Travel Channel. I usually go into the den in the mornings, but Nathan had fallen asleep on the day bed last night and we didn’t want to wake him up. I looked through the paper and worked all the puzzles, half-paying attention to the telly.
9:30: Got up and ambled to my computer to check my email, etc. The phone rang. It was Debra (Ville) asking if she could come over and use our dryer and I said sure. I got dressed and ready for the day.
11:00: Ville came over and had an anniversary present for us, which I opened immediately. It’s a frosted glass dish with five candles of varying heights and wine scents, with wine glass charms attached to them. There also was a bag of little gold nuggets to scatter around the candles. It’s beautiful and in our colors. Thanks Ville and Beau! We went downstairs and got some coffee, and sat in the living room talking as laughing as usual.
12:30: I began making lunch for us, knowing Nettl would be home a little after one. Nathan went to the skate park with his friend Matt.
1:15: Nettl came in and the three of us sat down for lunch. Much joviality. Nettl loved the gift too.
2:00: On her way back to work, Nettl dropped the girls off at the movie theater. Ville and I sat out on the veranda until she left a little before three.
3:45: Nettl came home and took a nap while I played some Yahoo! Games.
4:45: Lauren called, saying they were ready to come home, so I went to pick them up and returned to my computer.
It’s now 5:30 and I’m about to start dinner. Matt’s spending the night tonight, and I’m planning on passing the evening on the veranda, watching the birds that crowd our feeder.
On Monday Nathan and Heather are going to Wichita to spend the summer with their dad, while, on Tuesday, Lauren leaves for her 10-day tip to Paris. When she comes home she’ll spend a week here to rest up, then she’ll go on up to her dad’s as well. Nathan and Heather will be home for the week of June 26 for Nettl’s birthday, while Lauren goes to Ohio with her dad. Then they’ll all be back in Wichita until the week before school commences.
As much as I’m looking forward to my first real summer vacation in 10 years, I’m going to sorely miss our kids. It’ll be awfully quiet here; I’ve forgotten what it was like before they came to live with us. It’s a bittersweet emotion I’m feeling. I’m not sure what to make of it
Friday, May 13, 2005
What an evening. This morning I moved all the plants back outside and set up the patio furniture again. Considering we have 6 chairs, a table with 2 chairs, 5 hanging plants, 7 floor plants, 9 pots of herbs, 1 long planter, perhaps 6 table plants and numerous candle jars, all this moving about is quite a job.
This evening Lynette and I went out for dinner and then to Heather’s choir concert, all 8th and 9th graders. The kids did great, but the choir teacher is a buffoon. No, she’s a musical idiot. First of all, it was nothing more than a popularity contest (read, a display of her class pets, none of whom really were very good). The worst part is that she lied to her class, telling those who had won awards for solo and ensemble competitions (Heather won a solo award) that there wasn’t time for any of them to sing apart from the choir. Funny. Why then did she (on the sly, mind you) rehearse her pets, who sang duets? And why were we subjected to a trio between the three music teachers? We don’t go to these things to listen to the teachers. For the grand finale, the school orchestra joined in, sitting in the pit, conducted by their teacher. Did Mrs. Megalomaniac leave the stage? No. She directed the choir! Two conductors? That’s a train wreck waiting to happen! To the kids’ credit, they never lost time or pitch, despite the fact that the orchestra did not tune to the piano that was being played onstage by one of the teachers. Basta! As soon as the applause died down, a voice came over the P.A. system announcing that the National Weather Service had issued a warning — the west end of town was getting hit with baseball sized hail.
Lynette said, “Oh no! The plants!” and I replied, “Forget the plants, we have to get the car in the garage!”
We live on the west end of town. We and several other people stood to leave in order to rescue their cars, and the stupid teacher called out, “Wait, everyone!” And why? So that we could watch her receive her flowers! Believe it!
We ran out to the car through drenching sheets of rain, the sky lit with lightening that hit at least every second, and thunder clapping directly over our heads. The sky was an eerie yellow-green. We drove the 3 miles home very quickly, and while Lynette made room in the garage for Dan’s Jeep (he came down for the concert), I busied myself at top speed, pulling all the plants and furniture in under the patio. Just in time, too. The hail began falling hard, but fortunately, it was only about the size of a quarter. Soaking wet, hair hanging in wet clumps, I came in and turned on the news. Of course, here in OK, if it isn’t happening in OKC (Oklahoma City) or Tulsa, it just ain’t happening, so I turned to the Weather Channel, which had gone off the air for some reason.
The worst of it passed in less than 30 minutes and now we’re enjoying a nice thunder and lightening storm with a steady, albeit gentler, rain. I’ve poured a glass of wine.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
It’s hard to explain what we’re like when we’re together. It’s a cross between Wolfgang & Nannerl Mozart, Groucho & Chico Marx, Eds & Pats (AbFab), and John Lennon & Paul McCartney. We’ve been friends for so long now, we know everything about each other. We’ve often said we have to remain friends because we know too damn much. We walked around “the Lobby” for a good hour, having to run to the loo only once. Sheesh, even a simple outing becomes a “wet ‘em” experience. I bought some candles for the patio and she got some tea lights. Everything was 50% off.
After that we went back to her house to wait on the electrician who was set to come find out why her dryer had no power. He fixed the problem and I suggested we go to Leo’s for the lunch buffet. You remember Leo’s. It’s the Chinese place near the university campus. After lunch we went to Wall’s, which is nothing more than an over-priced outlet store, unless you know to pick through the junk to find the great sales treasures. She found a wall plaque for her guest bedroom and I left empty-handed. All I found was some art, but I didn’t like it enough to actually buy it. She dropped me off at home then, and Nettl and I went to get our passports renewed. Of course, that never goes as planned.
I spent the entire evening on the patio listening to the fountain and music, and putting up little gold lights. I even played my guitar a little, but it hurt my hand, so I gave up. With the threat of below 50° weather over, I moved many of my house plants outdoors. It’s wonderful out there! Today it was in the 90’s, and I didn’t feel well. I think I mentioned that I tore the Thenar muscle in my left hand. Thenar… The NAR. LOL! Anyway, I strained it again last night when moving some boxes in the garage, and today I was in a lot of pain, so I just lay around watching telly. Sometimes there’s nothing better than HGTV and the Food Network.
I forgot to say that on Sunday, while Joel swept and vacuumed the storm cellar, I pulled up all the sod that was against one section of the back fence, made a flower bed, and planted Delphinium, Hollyhocks, Salvia and Sweet Peas. The Morning Glories I planted last week (which I sprouted indoors last month), have already grown about a foot up the strings I gave them. Our tomatoes are doing well, as well as all my kitchen herbs, which are now strong enough to live outside (Basil, Oregano, Dill, Parsley, Chives & Rosemary). The only problem I’ve had is that none of the Lavender seeds did anything. Must have been a bad batch. It’s supposed to be cooler tomorrow, so if I feel up to it, I really need to weed the flower beds in the front and side yards. Of course, it’s not easy with just one hand, but I love working outdoors.
Sunday, May 8, 2005
And if tonight wasn’t perfect enough (I’ll get back to tonight in just a minute), last night after the graduation ceremony, Noelle and her parents, Marshall and Sandy, who are from upstate New York, came to our house to celebrate. We met them for the first time last summer and took to them immediately. Last night was even more delightful than our first meeting. We sat out on our veranda for a while, the fountain and the crickets playing a lovely soundtrack, and moved indoors when the breeze became a little too cool. Fortified with numerous munchies (which they brought) and wine, and Gordon Lightfoot, Stan Getz, Joshua Kadison, and Queen Latifa on the stereo (in turns, of course), we embarked upon a most enjoyable evening of conversation, discovery and camaraderie, discussing everything from the election of the new pope, to invoking the Goddess, to the best recipe for hot and sour soup. I have never felt so at home with people I really didn’t know. During the moments when I wasn’t actually speaking, all I could do was sit and listen, marveling in how familiar it all was to me. It was all about one German word.
In Germany and Austria, gemütlichkeit (geh-MEWT-leh-kite) loosely translates as “cosiness” but actually possesses a more complex subtlety. I’m sorry. It really doesn’t translate into words very well. It’s all about feelings, but you don’t have to be German to know the feeling. When you’re in a room with friends and everything just seems to click in a warm embrace of familiarity and warmth with a touch of nostalgia…that’s the best I can define it. Only the Germanic people could create a word for this feeling.
And then tonight happened. I wasn’t expecting it, but that’s always best. Nettl and I went to the Thai Cafe, where Noelle, Sandy and Marshall were at a table. Later, Marshall’s cousin, Al arrived, and a few minutes after that his wife, Barbara.
When I meet new people I never know just how much I can disclose about myself, so I step back. Tonight I introduced myself, then Lynette as my partner. Hm. No eyebrow lift, no glazing over of the eyes. I had no need to worry. These were the coolest people I’ve met in ages, along with Noelle’s parents. Coolness runs in their family, I guess. But as the evening progressed, I was astounded over and over again by the connections I had with these people. They’re involved in a group here in Stillwater, the Progressive Interfaith Coalition, who is working to make changes here in Oklahoma concerning not only GLBT concerns, but those of oppressed people across the board.
Until tonight, all I knew, personally, about my generation was that they had all either sold out to drugs or to “the man.” Either way, I’ve felt for many years that the really good members of my generation had disappeared somewhere. And especially since moving to Oklahoma I’ve felt like an ex-patriot of sorts, a banished exile. I even began writing a book called, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” because I couldn’t find my generation anywhere. And I’m not talking about the pot-smoking, acid-dropping Great Unwashed. I missed the spirit of my era. So I found friends twenty years younger than myself. They were vital, full of passion, opinionated, ALIVE! I was ashamed of my aging generation. Did we sell out? Did we grow jaded, complacent, apathetic? Or did we simply burn ourselves out? Tonight was a reunion for me with others like myself. I really don’t possess the writing ability to express the impact tonight had on me. We talked about Doc Watson and Joni Mitchell and Attica and Bob Dylan and Greenwich Village in the early ’60s.
So I’m getting involved with the PIC. In fact, I’m going to become a card-carrying member.
Friday, May 6, 2005
The OHF predicts that the number of natural redheads has been dwindling, and will continue to do so until there are none of us left. The year of our final demise is set at 2100. A world with no redheads!? That’s not all that far into the future. How can this happen? Scientists at the foundation say that only 4 percent of the world’s population are proud owners of the recessive red-hair gene, which is being diluted by the more dominant brown-hair gene. What’s responsible for red hair in the first place is a mutated gene known as the melanocortin 1 receptor. It was discovered in the late 90s. It can be found in all ethnic backgrounds, but is most prominent in people of Celtic descent, like myself. By the way, did you know that the Celts started out in the area around Salzburg, Austria and migrated west to the British Isles? That makes me 100 percent Celt and explains why I’ve seen more people with my hair color in Austria than in England during my travels. Plus, the redheads in Austria have yellow undertones in their skin (like me) and green eyes (also like me). The blue undertones and blue eyes come from the Viking conquests of the British Isles. At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Ville, who happens to be sitting here says, “You ought to say, ‘If you didn’t know me better, you’d almost think that I know what I’m talking about’.”
I get no respect.