Forget about the wars, revolutions and the gubmint listening in on your cell phone calls! You’ve found a peaceful spot where you can sit and listen to birds sing, where gentle waters flow as you read.
I am fixing some problems I have procrastinated about, and feeling dumb because I didn’t address them before. We didn’t cook much until I began dieting. We didn’t know how to clean the oven. We are now entering our third day in the process of cleaning the oven, after having to research the different kinds of products and buying them. There’s a self-cleaning cycle to the oven, but I’ve already set off the smoke alarms twice trying to run it. Damn, those things are loud! Currently, the racks are drying outside. Mary and I have about a dozen degrees and professional licenses between the two of us. How could we have missed that class on how to clean an oven?
Mary’s gone to the dentist to have a root canal. She took a drug called halcion (triazolam) as a hypno-sedative beforehand, and she’s nervous. I’ll be driving her home after, and having had one of these operations myself some years ago, I expect her to be a loopy handful until she gets home and crashes. But you can’t put off dental procedures indefinitely. It makes eating unduly difficult.
The birds and other creatures are eating better though since we put up the feeders and built the fountain. In the afternoon I sit quietly, amazed at how many different kinds of life coexist in the yard. The grasses, ivy and ferns are growing. There are chickadees, finches, warblers, robins, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, and crows. Quail, squirrels, rabbits and deer have come to drink. Bees, spiders and worms are busy with their projects. When the breeze blows, I look up and see the trees open their arms, sending down mists of seeds and leaves to help sustain the multitudes below. I belong too. The others are shy, but they have begun to accept my presence.
During my past career as a musician and sound editor, I accumulated recordings in a variety of formats. It was my main leisure expense for decades, but it was a big pain to haul around and store since I rarely listened to most of the collection. I got rid of about 75%, but there are still boxes of albums and tapes with original compositions, rarities and works that have emotional significance for me. I finally got around to obtaining a good turntable with a line input, USB output, and restoration software to remove the clicks, pops, hiss and hum inherent in analog recordings.
I dug out my old G4 tower computer and set it up as a transfer station in a little corner of the loft behind the TV. I’m going to digitize everything, then get rid of not only the records and tapes, but also a number of obsolete electronic components. I really do not need a DAT recorder or a four-track Portastudio. I even have a remote hope of inspiring my wife to part with her Betamax, unused, in fact untouched during the entirety of our 20-year relationship.
It’s been nine months since our last dog went off to college and her new life as a guide dog. We’ve decided to broaden our skills and see what other kinds of service dogs we might be able to train. There are all kinds of people in need who might benefit. At the end of the week we will welcome a four month-old, black goldendoodle. He’s going to be raised as a general assistance puppy, and depending on his aptitudes he will be trained for mobility assistance, health alerts, and aid with cognitive challenges like PTSD and autism. Unlike the previous guide dog puppies, we will encourage this one to retrieve small objects, be steady so someone can lean on them to stand, and evaluate other talents as he grows. We’ll be learning clicker training through a school in a nearby town. I’ll keep you posted.