The Next Stop

I see this scene every day. A man gets on the train with me and sits in two empty seats. He’s dressed to the nines. Full piece gabardine suit with a handkerchief peeking out of his pocket, silk tie to match, pale colored shirt, stylist shoes and artsy socks. I notice these things. His dark rimmed circle glasses makes him look like a scholar who belongs in a wing back chair in a well appointed library, smoking a pipe as he bends over his large book in his lap.painting30

She gets on the next stop and smiles at him. He beams. She’s in a simple shirt, pants and running shoes. Her purse is a backpack. They huddle like lovebirds. He’s the talker, she’s the listener. Both wear wedding bands. Are they married to each other or is this a rendezvous? Perhaps they’re newlyweds. Both in their 50’s. They couldn’t be this besotted with each other otherwise.

Calvin says, “I vote for the rendezvous. That way you have entertainment for the ride home.”  beagle

 

Not Yet, Maybe Later

One of my favorite authors is coming out with a new book.

It’s called Scary Close by Donald Miller.

Apparently it’s about intimacy.

I find that comical. Don is single, or was. He recently married at 42. And his book is about what it’s like to live with another person after so many years of being a self-proclaimed hermit. Well, writers are hermits. That’s part of their DNA. You can’t write while you’re carrying on at a party, or watching a movie, or attending church. You can’t write while having a conversation with your spouse either.

I’ll bet his wife is an extrovert dragging him into public places with friends and family and ruining his writing time.

I think he should have waited at least 7 years to write it. He’s still in the honeymoon stage of married life. Nothing he says now is going to be true later. But it’s too late. He didn’t consult me.
Jacqueline Osborn

I loved his Author’s Note:

“Somebody told me we will never feel loved until we drop the act, until we’re willing to show our true selves to the people around us.

“When I heard that I knew it was true. I’d spent a good bit of my life as an actor, getting people to clap—but the applause only made me want more applause. I didn’t act in a theater or anything. I’m talking about real life.

“The thought of not acting pressed on me like a terror. Can we really trust people to love us just as we are?

“Nobody steps onto a stage and gets a standing ovation for being human. You have to sing or dance or something.

“I think that’s the difference between being loved and making people clap, though. Love can’t be earned, it can only be given. And it can only be exchanged by people who are completely true with each other. I shouldn’t pretend to be an expert, though. I didn’t get married until I was forty-two, which is how long it took me to risk being myself with another human being.

“Here are two things I found taking the long road, though:

“Applause is a quick fix. And love is an acquired taste.”

Calvin says, “Oh no, why can’t he leave well enough alone. Intimacy is a well loved bone by the fire.”beagle

 

 

Change Is the Only Constant

The Giants won the World Series last week and celebrated with a massive parade at City Hall.

The Republicans took Congress this week and are happy with their victories.  
Giants

So what’s going to happen next week?

Maybe rain?

I hope so because we need it.

My lawn looks like a desert.

My last remaining tomatoes are still green on the vine.

Have you noticed that the drought has not phased golf courses, hotel gardens, and the mansions of the very rich? Are they receiving the $500 fine, I wonder?

Some of my neighbors’ lawns are as green as a hillside in Scotland. And I know they wouldn’t relish paying out those $500 dollars.

So what do they know that I don’t?

Are they watering their lawns with green paint? Or maybe with bottled water from the water store?

I want in on their secret.

Meanwhile I’ve been researching on the web for tips on how to take care of your lawn in a drought.

Here’s one that’s scary:

“You need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your particular grass.”

Really? Do I call in a drought specialist for therapy sessions?

Other tips include only watering those areas that are dying, and ignoring the areas that are surviving.

And – this one gave me hope – brown grass does not mean dead grass.

What planet are you on?

Calvin says, “I can provide water, just let me loose in the front yard.” beagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Kitchen Visitor

Here’s another bird story:

I visited a friend on Labor Day.  She lives on top of a mountain in a sprawling house, with a pool and several studios. She’s an artist and bird lover. We talked about the many species of birds that inhabit her world which she feeds – woodpeckers, ravens, blue jays, sparrows and a slew of others I can’t name. I don’t know my bird kingdom.

She also owns two dogs and two horses. The occasional fox shows up at night looking for food as do many deer. IMG_0205

The next day a hawk flew into her dining room, and smashed all her vases by the windows in its attempts to flee. Without breaking into a sweat, my friend threw a blanket over it and took it outside. It stood very still for a few seconds, she said, and then flew into a nearby tree and glared back at her.

I’m calling her the bird whisperer.

I couldn’t have done that. I would have panicked, and then the bird would have flown all over the house, crashing into things, the dogs would have gone after it, leaving loose feathers and flesh all over the place, and I would have ended up calling 911 and all of us going to the ER for stitches.

Calvin says, “A hawk? You’re kidding me, right? Why don’t you take me with you on these visits!?” beagle

 

Don’t Have Me Cry for You, Argentina

Yesterday was a devastating day for the Brazilian World Soccer team.

The fans looked on in utter shock as they watched the Germans shoot goal after goal past their goalie. It felt like a nightmare making it the worst loss in Brazil’s history.

After the carnage, the final score was 7 to 1.  Argentina

The Brazilians played hard and gave it their all, but they couldn’t get past the German talent.

Today is the semi-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands.

I’m holding my breath for Argentina.

It’s time we had a Latin American team win the World Cup.

And what better team than Argentina, one of the giants on the world soccer stage.

The last time they won was in 1986, so it’s time guys.

You’ll find me sipping matte in front of the TV screen yelling from the fist whistle to the last.

Gooooooooooooool Argentina!

Calvin says, “Do I hope for a walk at half-time, or am I going to have to console you by putting my wet nose into your face?” beagle

 

 

 

How Old Are You Behaving?

“How old are you really?” my friend asked recently.

“You know my age,” I said.

“On the inside. We don’t see ourselves through the lens of our real ages,” she said.bougainvillea2

She was right.

My internal age is 17. When I lived an unfettered, idyllic life of narcissistic bliss.

I was also prone to shyness. Caught unprepared I’d blush the color of a bougainvillea.

I still do.

It can creep up on me when I least expect it.

A heat wave starts in the back of my neck, spreads to the front, then travels up my chin, nose, cheeks, and forehead. There is no controlling it. It has a power and speed all its own.

What’s worse, everybody notices and stares at the color change happening to my face. 

That’s a double embarrassment, and lasts an eon.

I want to dive under the table.

Funny. These episodes usually sprout during meals.

Maybe I should stop eating.

Calvin says, “My internal age is 1. I’m all frolic and wiggles. Take me as I am.” 

beagle

A Little Child Shall Lead Them

I had an interesting ride home on the subway this week.

My car was packed. Lots of people standing. A young mother and her child in a stroller came on. She positioned herself by the door and hung on.

In no time flat her baby boy, no more than 2 years old, began bellowing.

She ignored him.

His voice got louder.

The mother looked down at him and just stared.

The child began to yell. Big goldfish tears ran down his cheeks.

Mom stood there motionless.

Tension was rising in the car.

The kid was screaming even louder.

Out from between people’s legs a little girl, dressed in a pink hat, emerged and stood in front of the boy. She looked up at the mother as if to say, “Aren’t you going to take care of this?” She held in her hand a large opened bag of Cheetos and offered it to the boy. photo(131)

Instantly he was quiet.

He shoved his arm into the bag, extracted a Cheetos, and began to chew on it.

The little girl disappeared.

Mom never said a word.

The subway car made it’s routine stops, people got off, the crowd thinned out, a seat became vacant and mom sat down.

The little girl appeared again and offered the boy some more Cheetos. He plunged his arm into the bag and retrieved another one.

Mom never said a word.

I went back to my book and when I looked up again, Mom and son had gotten off the subway.

I’m not going to comment on the mother. For all I know she wasn’t the mother, but a babysitter. Or if she was the mother, she was in a frightful state of mind. Probably numb from the struggles of life. And in her shoes I would have reacted in the same manner.

What did make an impact was how a simple gesture of kindness can affect a whole lot of people.

It also showed me how powerful a child can be in the midst of a tense-filled moment.

Calvin says, “If I had been there that little girl and I would have wolfed down that bag of Cheetos together, tossing the occasional one to that boy.”beagle