Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Things I Dig

I've been tagged for the Five Things I Dig About Jesus meme.... And, even though I'm on vacation, my folks have upgraded to high speed internet since the last time I was home (complete with a new computer!!).

1. He spoke in parables that no one could understand, that we still wrestle with today.
2. On the flip side, he used language that was common and spoke to people where they were.
3. He challenged the world.
4. He spoke peace, and inspires us to do the same.
5. He liked to eat and drink.

You know the drill.... Cheers.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Dear Research Company,

Shockingly, you left a message last night. I liked that.

Shockingly, you called back tonight at shortly before 10:00 PM. That, I didn't like so much.

While your website indicates otherwise, I can't imagine that anyone out there would like to take your survey after finishing an evening routine after 9 pm. Certainly few of us at neary 10:00. Short of emergencies and the occasional friend or family, no one calls us this late. I sound old, I know, but it's true.

Really, a research call at nearly 10. I still can't believe it.

No, I won't answer your questions. And, no, at this point I don't want to tell you a more convenient time to call. You're lucky I was as polite as I was.

I remain,
Forever indebted to caller ID.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


We moved into our house in December, and as the weather has warmed and we've spent more time outside, neighbors have stopped and introduced themselves. We're on a waving basis with most of them, and a conversational first-name with others. I struggle with living as an adult in a neighborhood -- my desire to be anonymous, mixed with the question of how folks will respond to what we do, paired with really wanting to be good neighbors and part of the community. Some of our parishioners live in the area, and are friends with folks on the block, so many already knew all about us.

The woman who lives next door is maybe in her 70s, a widow with familiy nearby who are involved, and spunky and quirky. She loves our dog, appreciates the clean-up we've done to the side of our property that she sees, and will occasionally come over if she see me out.

Tonight was one of those warm, summery nights. I was away the first part of the week at camp, and now my colleague-in-everything is taking the second half of the week. After dinner (eggs for me, crackers for the boy), we started out on a walk ("a stroller 'venture"), and headed past her house along one of our regular routes. She called hello to us from the window, and then asked if she could join us on our walk, and she did, pointing out homes where she knew stories and calling out to folks who were outside. "My daughter dated their son," she'd say. Or, "my grandson stood up in their daughter's wedding."

While part of me had wanted to walk alone, chattering about to my son, her joining us was perfect.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

8 Random Things About Me

I have been tagged by 1-4 Grace to do this -- so here goes
Okay, first the rules:
1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3.At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

My amendments to the rules:
I love, love, love to be tagged. It hearkens back to some weird junior high feeling of inclusion. But when it comes right down to the return of tagging -- I can't bring myself to either choose or, well, go through the work of tagging others. So.... as with all of these -- if you want to play, I'd love to read your randomness -- just let me know in the comments. And clearly I think that blogger should incorporate an em-dash into their auto-ness.

8 Random things about me:
1. I've recently rediscovered that I really like corn-nuts. And remembered that I've been to the place where they make corn-nuts. Or at least there was a very large outlet/factory store of corn-nuts that we used as a diversion during a rain delay at a golf tournament.
2. I really love a good pedicure, but the manicure is nearly completely wasted on me. I can't read while it's happening, I ruin it within days if not moments of getting it, and I can never decide on color for the fingers.
3. I collected stickers as a kid. I had one that was a numbered limited edition that I remember thinking was really going to mean something someday.
4. I am so much more likely to do something if you don't tell me to do it.
5. I am immensely proud of my pathetic gardening attempts this season. These include simply scattering seeds over a bed of dirt and thinking they might grow. It has actually worked with, ahem, scattered results.
6. I take pride in my father's dry sense of humor and the fact that he's passed it along to me. He was a science teacher until he retired and I found him witty even in high school when I was outwardly embarassed and yet bursting with pride at the same time.
7. I can have boundless energy.
8. I never thought that I'd end up where I am today.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Safe Passage

He sits in a lawn chair when the weather gets warm, bright vest on, stop sign twirling at his feet. He stands and greets the kids who come near him, nodding and questioning. And then he walks slowly into the intersection, his hand out behind him until the way is safe when he beckons to the children on scooters, foot, the occasional bicycle. Sometimes a parent waits for that crossing with the family dog, waving and calling, "Have a good day," before returning home or continuing the walk.

He nodded his thanks to me one day, as I stopped farther than most and waited what he must have perceived to be patiently. Some days I might wave, an anonymous passer-by thankful for his role in the life of the community.

On cold days, much of our winter, he waits for the rush in his small blue car that has seen better days, a cup of coffee steaming the windshield, and I imagine talk radio filling the air. His smile is the same, but there's less dawdling, more hurrying, and the parents wave quickly, bundled more tightly.

School's nearly out for the summer. Late the other day, a group of children stood on the sidewalk, calling to him with pen and yearbook, waiting for the beckoning hand to leave an impression in their book.

Friday, June 01, 2007


I noticed the curve of the sidewalk and thought it seemed like a cheerful curve, a happy curve, and at the same time rebuffed myself for anthropomorphing (is that the right word? used correctly?) the sidewalk. I noticed the curve of the sidewalk as I stepped off of it to let the man walk past me, step-step shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. His jacket -- thin, dark blue, indicated his allegiance to an organization -- hung from his shoulders and swayed a bit as he step-step shuffled his way toward the building.
The grass where I stepped to make more room was soft, cushiony, and my thoughts jumped to sod and grass seed and rain gauges and errands I was running and the pending rain that was starting to fall, lightly and without conviction. The rain, like the sidewalk, not especially in need of the human attributes I was assigning, but they were working for me.
I stepped back onto the sidewalk, the man having passed, and I paused in my mind to be thrilled at sharing the building behind me with old men, immigrant families, students. My canvas bag bounced against my hip, my self-pride at having remembered it tempered only by its necessity to leave the house.
My car was warm when I threw the bag on the side seat, knocking my lunch out of its wrapper, the remains of the energy bar (my second of the day, a sad substitute for a rain check lunch) crumbling as I picked it up. The heat had softened it, warmed the cherries, made it vaguely reminiscent of pie -- if I closed my eyes and breathed deeply.