Monday, August 27, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

Today was a perfect day, starting with a good night's sleep after a two day camping trip whilst tossing and turning in a sleeping bag inside of a tent. The trip was marvelous but the sleep...not so good.

I totally indulged myself in the day, my 58th Birthday.

First the coffee and newspaper.

Then, the triple pickup: garbage, recycle, and yard waste. Purge!

Then a sweet call from my darling Daughter.
And, lots of Facebook greetings.

Then, the much needed haircut from Ching.

Then, lunch at Menchies, using my gift card to indulge in another triple whammy: coconut, original tart, and watermelon ice topped with mini-chocolate chips. Divine.  I am totally addicted.

Then, a visit to Dad. Bless his heart; he sang Happy Birthday to me and I caught it on video. Last year he sang to me as well but I didn't have my camera on him in time. I remember praying that he'd remain healthy and with us a full year later so I could hear him sing again. Yes!


Then, a lovely, relaxing interlude at the salon getting a pedicure whilst reading People Magazine.

Then, I did something I've never done.....more later. Maybe.

Then, a wonderful dinner at Palisade with my man.

Kate and Denny 8/27/12


Then, a stop at Whole Foods for a sweet dessert to enjoy. And, then a call from my wonderful Son and Daughter-in-Law with more greetings.

And now, I sit with my laptop and ponder how wonderful it is to celebrate birthdays and another blessed year. May there be many more. There is so much living ahead.

I am blessed. Blessed. And, very grateful.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

So Sayeth Condoleeza Rice....

Condoleeza Rice delivered a wonderful commencement address to the graduating class of 2012 at Southern Methodist University this past May. She's such an impressive person. Her words to the 2100 young graduates bursting forth into the world after four years of higher education resonated with me. She had, among other comments, four specific bits of advice regarding the obligations and responsibilities of those educated persons.

-- "find and follow your passion"; the "something you really believe is a unique calling to you, in other words something you can't live without"

-- a "commitment to reason"

-- to "graduate with wisdom and humility"

-- to "remain optimistic"  and to "work towards human progress"

Love it.

On the topic of wisdom and humility, her words resonate deeply for me. She points out that strong beliefs aside, a wider vision, acknowledging that others have a right to their views is healthy. And, necessary.  She says.....

"There is nothing wrong with holding an opinion and holding it passionately. But at those times when you're absolutely sure that you're right, talk with someone who disagrees. And if you constantly find yourself in the company of those who say "AMEN" to everything that you say, find. other. company."

Find other company. Yes. Balance. Expand your thoughts. See what's out there. Respect. 

Saga of Shoes

My Dad rarely puts in a request for new clothing or shoes. When Mom was alive she told me he declared at age 80 that he owned enough shirts and ties to "last forever" and requested "no more".  We've not exactly complied with that request. What else do you get Dad for his Birthday or Christmas or Father's Day but a new shirt and sweater vest? 

Here's Dad wearing a shirt and vest purchased for some such celebratory event. He wears it proudly as he works out with his 5 pound weight.

As for shoes, for the last 6 years he's had only two pair; one black and one brown. The black ones  are totally spent. As I think about it, we need to pitch them as he hasn't had them on his feet for years and for good reason. The brown ones, purchased ages back from Lands End, are enormous slip on shoes that have seen use every single day. He's worn them to church (yikes), Thanksgiving dinners, and my Mom's Memorial service. We try not to look at his feet. Attempts to polish them end up a fool's errand as they never look any better. Countless times we've asked Dad if he'd like a new pair. "No", sayeth he. Ok, I think. Be that way. You're 95, you can decide for yourself.

The "NO" turned into a yes (finally) when Betty, his foot care lady called me to say that Dad's shoes were a disaster; totally eroded on the inside and cutting into his toes. Did Dad complain prior to this? Negative. But, once Betty told him new shoes were highly recommended, shoes were on his mind, constantly.

My first attempt fizzled when the size 12 B shoes from Macy's were "nice but too tight". So, I ordered from Lands End, a 12 wide with shoes to be shipped to his address. Every day I'd ask...."Shoes there yet, Dad".  "Not yet". Sigh. The postal tracking indicated delivery on 7/31. But, there were NO DAMN SHOES and Dad, although pleasant in his complaints, was clear in his remarks that his current pair "hurt my feet". Sigh.

A call to Lands End after waiting several days for the shoes to be delivered revealed that the "package must be lost, Ma'am. We'll send another pair in the mail for you right away". Meanwhile, one of the caregivers pointed out that the postman had delivered a "tried to deliver" note. According to the writing to the left: "garden sprinkler across entry". The post office can't deal with a garden hose? C'mon!  By now, Dad's desperate for shoes and I'm steaming.

Long story short: I picked up the original pair of shoes at the post office and a day later the second pair arrived. At least he's happy with the fit and style. But, he doesn't want both pair. "You'll need to get the ones in the box back to Lands End, sweetheart."

OK Dad.  OK.

Success at last. New shoes and they make him happy. Love it when that happens.....

Status Update

Ahead of the Wave , this baby of mine, hangs on my consciousness like another bit of unfinished business. Created in late August 2007, the Wave,  will soon celebrate five years and boast nearly  1000 posts. I've not been writing of late because I'm thinking....thinking hard about its future direction. Some of many considerations have included:

--taking the blog to an even 1000 posts and then.....
--taking the blog to its 5 year anniversary on August 24 and then.....
--pressing on without change, posting intermittently in keeping with my recent pattern,
--ramping up the posting schedule, seeking the prior commitment to writing,
--letting the blog fizzle out,
--and other less definitive ideas.

Two weeks ago I ordered "hard copies" of my blog from blog2print, a sweet web site that prints each year's posts into a book. I've 2007, 2008, and 2011 so far with 2009 and 2011 pending. Hard copy lined up in a row feels more accomplished to my eye than an accessible, cyber-archive requiring another login and password. Give me a real book.

I ask myself; has blogging (started to) become passe? I know I'm reading fewer blogs these days finding it hard to keep up. Like most cool fads, at some point something new overtakes the old . Has blogging become old, a bit stale?  I don't quite know.

Then, there's my other blog, Back in the Day, a memoir of sorts about my professional life, that demands more thought, time, and effort to write, lying dormant at the moment.  Perhaps I should turn my focus in this direction and shoot for 5 years or 1000 post for Back in the Day.. Lofty goal, this.

I've always known that Ahead of the Wave was a springboard to something else. Practice.

Where I'll go isn't quite clear but at least there options.

Stay tuned. I'm thinking.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The First Week of August

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”
Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting 

She says it all and so beautifully. This weekend is "motionless, and hot", pulsating in its shimmering potential.

More to come.