First (Soggy) Day of Summer

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Our morning glories made their inaugural climb despite the rain.

My parent’s street today:

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Lima is full of residential scenes that make sense in widescreen.

Btw, there are ongoing dramas for friends and family of mine. I avoid mentioning such matters because doing so with much coherence could invade the privacy of the people involved. With that aside, I can no longer resist mentioning that my mother had washer number six delivered today. There’s no typo in the preceding sentence. My mother has found no less than five washers lacking since the beginning of May. Today Dad returned number five for the sixth pretender to the throne.

I don’t know the finer details of this appliance series, or how my dad overcame the obstacles of returning so many washers. Is he starting to feel like someone who’s been struck by lightning multiple times in dubious circumstances? Did he just give up around washer three or four and start donating the rejects to secondhand stores? I remember watching a Weather Channel special years ago in which a woman had survived three lightning strikes and was reluctant to describe how ordinary the scenes were when it happened. She was struck the third time while washing dishes. Her predicament reminds me just a little of my parents’ marriage.

My washer and dryer were made in 1987 and still launder clothes well with fantastic inefficiency in water and electricity use. I’m so fortunate they show no signs of collapse. I just didn’t inherit enough of my mother’s force of personality to find worthy replacements for them.

I will close with a rainy scene from today’s garden. Incidentally, my washer was spinning with ease as I walked outside to take this picture:

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Fall Photo Walk, October 8

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Peak fall color is still a fortnight away, but my husband and I ventured out to a local park this morning to capture some of the brighter leaves on the margin of the forest. By the way, my husband has started taking nature pictures, too, but I have not yet convinced him to start posting them online. He will be retiring in a year and a half and plans to devote himself full-time to his vintage bicycle hobby. I’ve told him he should consider blogging about his hobby, but I haven’t succeeded in that campaign, either.

While it would be neat to have interests like photo sharing and blogging in common with my husband, I can content myself with the notion that he is a rare treasure almost undiscovered by the world at large.

This week I saw a comedy clip on Facebook about a woman who freaks out because she has started dating a man who has no social media footprint whatsoever. She and her friends are so befuddled by this that they resort to creating an ad-hoc intelligence agency to figure him out. I wish I had a link to that video, for it is highly amusing. Anyway, my husband is like that guy. He has no presence on social media aside from my images and mentions of him. I’m glad I grew up in an era when you couldn’t scope someone one by stalking their Facebook, for I’d have thought it strange that he opted out of it. Maybe I’d have wondered if he had five wives in different states or belonged to the witness protection program, and I’d have alienated him with my suspicions.

I was glad to have him with me this morning. Enough of the leaves have fallen in the forest to reveal some spooky features, like this fallen tree:

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My husband said it reminded him of an elk. Close by there was a tree carved with many initials of couples who also strolled through that forest:

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I did persuade my husband to take a little walk with me on video. I made this clip by setting my phone on a tripod and pressing record, and then I trimmed it with the YouTube app on my phone. I’m sharing that little tip with you in case anyone else is interested in creating videos of moments with those who are near and dear to you.

This morning we were chasing the light because the sky was clouding up as we were taking our photos. The moments of dull light gave us more time to reflect on how many times we’ve visited that park over the years. I am grateful that I am nowhere near exhausting my interest in this locale. I am also blessed that I can’t imagine ever growing weary of talking to my husband. Even during the spans of time that have not been easy, he has yet to run out of fascinating things to say.

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Mr. Cole

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My husband has joined me for almost all of my photo walks this year. I feel lucky to have a husband who is very supportive of my hobbies. Just this morning he drove me to three different wildflower prairies in far flung parts of my county. In the picture above, he is holding a bit of gossamer fluff from a thistle plant in hope of recreating its slow flight through a sunbeam. He did this three times for me, but I did not capture the flying fluff too well:

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He offered to set the fluff aloft again for me, but I insisted we move on. I had captured what I wanted from that moment in my picture of him.

Another Lucid Dream

Today I am reblogging a past post about a dream I cherish. My recent dreams have been more elusive than usual to my waking mind. I wish I could recall them all, at least the pleasant ones.

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Just some quick thoughts on last night’s lucid dream. In it my daughter and I were walking through a forest that’s close to our neighborhood. We live on an odd brink of wilderness that’s interrupted by more suburban developments that end in miles of farmland with just enough small forests between to break the wind. Back to the dream, we found a grassy clearing in the woods where lots of people were walking through. It was a forest traffic roundabout, but the circular path was low like a small valley.

My daughter spotted her best friend and went ahead of me with her. I lingered in the grassy roundabout, curious about how this valley was formed with no real hills around it. Then I was caught in a reverie considering if it was time to abandon the apartment where my daughter and I lived before I married her step dad…

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Spring Photo Walk, May 22

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Today I rushed after work to get some pictures of the peonies at the garden next to the library. My husband, who knew of my plans, surprised me there, as he was apt to do in the our early days. He informed some of the other visitors to the garden, “I’m having an affair with her.”

After I’d been dating him for five years, he gave me the gift of a red Valentine’s Day bag from a store where I worked in the mid 90’s. The bag looked just like the ones we offered in the jewelry department back then. He told me, “This was the bag you gave me when you sold me my garnet ring.”

He’d kept that bag for twelve years before I started dating him. When I mentioned that I’d worked at that store, he told me, “You were the girl with purple hair who worked at Service Merchandise.”

The Gift of Time

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The photo for this post shows the very first birthday gift I gave to my now husband. I had been searching for wash cloth patterns online because some of them can be absurdly challenging given the purpose of the object that is created with the pattern. For instance, no one needs a wash cloth that’s cabled like a fisherman’s knit sweater, yet I’m sure such patterns exist. I suppose wash cloths are a safe canvas for trying new techniques in knit or crochet. The canvas is small, and it doesn’t take too long to unravel the wash cloth if it turns out to be hideous or misshapen.

In my search for a new wash cloth to knit, I found a pattern called “The Gift of Time.” I decided that I would make it for this man I hadn’t known for long, for I did not have much to give back then aside from my time. I bought a dollar ball of cotton yarn in a masculine colorway and knitted it for him. I gave it to him with a note about the title of the pattern. I didn’t worry that I’d look crazy in taking the time to do such a thing for him. I figured that he wouldn’t use it, but I hoped it would matter to him, nonetheless, sort of like the pink oxford shirt I bought for my dad when I was 15 and didn’t know any better.

I look at the photo above and notice that the colorway wasn’t all that masculine. Once again I gave a gift that was at least partly pink to a man.

I can no longer find “The Gift of Time” pattern online, but I can still find the man to whom I gave that gift. He’s asleep in the recliner in our living room.

Lady K

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Autocorrect changes my husband’s lunch.

My husband let me know that he ate a bowl of cereal and a “lady k” of hot dogs for lunch. I hesitated to ask about Lady K. Was this a bit of slang from yesteryear that I should know? Then I asked anyway and discovered that my husband’s phone invented Lady K.

Who was Lady K and how did she get a pack of hot dogs named for her? She was a moonshiner who had a St.-Paul-on-the-road-to-Damascus moment when she was weary of sneaking yet another 1000 lb. load of sugar in the back of her pickup truck. Unloading the last bag, she studied the sagging frame and tired axle of her truck. She saw her way out of this dirty business: she would trade her last gallon of moonshine for a meat grinder.

With that grinder she made the finest batch of hot dogs she ever tasted. She sold them in a ever-widening circle, starting with her past moonshine clients. One of them suggested that she could be famous if she solved the problem of having more hot dogs than buns.

So she set about the alchemy of baking a 10 pack of buns that could be sold together with 10 hot dogs. Thus was born the Lady K of hot dogs.

Of course the Lady drove a pickup truck. I struggle to create fiction beyond photo moments, but there is usually something in that mental picture that makes me think the person I imagine would drive a truck. Maybe this is because I can make up stories about as well as I can drive a truck. I failed my driving test three times, by the way.

I once created a truck-driving father for my nephew’s ex-girlfriend. While my nephew was dating her, I wondered a few times what her father thought of him. I imagined her dad washing his cracked hands with Lava soap in the kitchen sink, weary from hauling stuff in his pickup truck and shaking his head over the antics of my renegade nephew. He’d hear “Young Turks” by Rod Stewart and resign himself to the fact there will always be some boy who drives “his pickup like a lunatic.”

He was once that boy. Maybe his daughter was like the 10 lb baby born in that song, too, a love child born to runaways.

The real opinion of this young woman’s father would remain a mystery. A couple years after I had first wondered about him, I heard that there was no man living in her home. A single woman had adopted her and her two siblings.

I imagined that a man at work with an unruly beard would drive a pickup truck to a sparsely furnished home, where alone he’d read the works of John Muir and craft dining room furniture from reclaimed wood. This fellow actually drove a Jetta and had a growing family.

Back to my husband, I will tell you that I didn’t need to imagine him in a truck, for I first saw him getting into one. I was impressed that he could hop into a truck without jiggling or holding onto the door for balance. For short folks like him and me, this is a feat of grace.

His truck was ruined in an accident a couple years ago. By the time his truck was gone, I could see him as he was, free of the illusions that ease the start of any relationship. I know that he is not any more perfect inside or out than I am, and I still love him.

This morning he showed me that his truck has disappeared from online satellite photos of our home. I often think of how he looked the first time I saw him jump into that truck, but I prefer the man I see today, the man who can hop into a Honda Fit after eating an entire pack of hot dogs.