To be more specific:
When is my glass-topped dinette table more than just that?
Answer: When is became a symbol of my escape, after years of disrespect, anger, and – let’s face it – abuse, from a loveless marriage.
Yes, I bought a new house, a new car, a new life, and rooms full of new furniture. The car – gone; the house – gone; ditto for most of the furniture. But that table has remained, happily adopted by my new husband. Now, its time has come and I dither. It doesn’t work in our newly remodeled house, yet we squeeze around it, bump into it. Could it be because its the last visual evidence of the happy life I created, phoenix-like, from the ashes of misery?
Perhaps one day my children will ask each other, “Why did Mom keep this old scratched-up thing?”
I doubt they’ll know the answer. I sure don’t.
These beauties don’t mind the heat.
Beautiful Libraries Around The World
As if I needed any more reason to visit a library! But here it is. These are all works of art. I’ve been to several, but could kick myself for missing some in cities I’ve visited, especially places like Sydney, Australia, a city I doubt I will ever return to. However…
Paul Theroux once wrote, “There is an art to sauntering.” He, being quite the king of sauntering, should know. Currently, I’m reading “The Old Patagonia Express” where he’s not actually the one who saunters. That role belongs to the pokey steam engine, but the journey itself is what saunters, allowing Theroux to absorb the people, the landscape, the climate (both physically and psychologically) along the way.
We all rush far too much and consequently, miss far too much. We know how to run for trains, planes and busses, to glare at watches and then paradoxically attempt to slow time by hurrying.
Sauntering, like any art form, must be learned, practiced until perfected. I suggest we all begin studying right now.
‘Tis a beautiful Sunday morning here in the desert – 20 degrees cooler than a week ago. Yesterday’s high in the mid-80’s created a morning perfect for a fast walk. Today’s music included one of my all time favorites, the Stone’s “Paint it Black.” Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” “The House of the Rising Sun,” “Circle of Life,” “The Speed of Sound,” and “Cheeseburgers in Paradise” all added to the pleasure of the morning. And finally, another song I never tire of, the strangely named “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”
As summer begins in earnest in the desert, I think of the Harvey Girls and all the other pioneer women who came West in the 19th Century. Here am I in my Harvey Girls Uniform (circa 1895) as I talk about the Fred Harvey Company and my book, “Seashells in the Desert”. These hearty women wore such garments, usually made of wool, despite hundred degree heat. Their spirit lives on.
I have to be reminded over and over again of many of life’s lessons. Discussing the whys and wherefores of that particular phenomenon is a topic for a future blog. Today, it’s one such lesson that blindsided me.
Don’t assume. Don’t ever assume. I was reminded of this tenet this morning when I learned that the man who cleans our pool is a graduate of Cal Berkeley. I assumed (uh-oh, there’s that word) that he just might have graduated from high school. Now, I’m the one who’s the dummy.
I’ve watched the guy for a couple of weeks and was impressed by the time he takes to do the job right. He’s thorough, meticulous. Certainly pleasant. And smart. He’s also no youngster. He took the job as a favor to a friend. He didn’t need it. Probably didn’t want it. But it hasn’t stopped him from doing a good job.
People take various paths in life, and very seldom end up in a straight line from where they started. I get it. Now, can I remember it?