Friday, June 1
Living in a house after years on the road is quite a change for me and the canine crew. I’m often aware how this change influences my thoughts and actions throughout each day.
Okay, I’m stating the obvious, but I’ll keep going with this.
Yesterday I stop at the thrift store and zero in on books.
I’m not interested in fiction these days, not like I was when vagabonding. I want to build a library of books relating to the house, mostly about gardening and landscaping in an arid climate. I figure Nancy and I have a lot to learn and could use the help.
I score five such books for a buck apiece!
My typical blogging practice would be to insert a photo of the thrift shop somewhere in the text above. Can’t do that now because such a photo would reveal our location. I want the house I’ll be sharing with my sister Nancy to be a private sanctuary.
This need to conceal is making blogging about my present, stationary life with the crew very difficult. It’s frustrating as all get-out.
Oh, the stories I cannot tell!
For instance, shortly after moving into our house, I was in a store shopping mainly for tools and maintenance supplies. As sometimes happens to me — why, I don’t know — I find myself listening to someone, a person to whom I’ve never been introduced. Typically this person shares personal information with me, as if we’ve been faithful friends for years. In a matter of a few minutes, a connection is made, a bond is forged.
This always astounds me. I guess because I’m reticent about sharing my own personal info.
Anyway . . . to get to my point . . .
On this day I meet a thirty-something man.
He’s a store employee, helping me find stuff. We pause in a store aisle talking. As a natural part of the conversation, the young man shares a condensed version of his life’s story. A series of extremely difficult occurrences in his life and in the life of his wife has brought him to a place of accepting much less than what he had hoped for.
He’s suffered serious setbacks.
Now before someone reading this gets it into their head that I’m being hustled, forget it. The man is working hard at a low-paying job in order to make ends meet. Besides, at my age I have sensitive radar about such things. Plus I’m leaving out a lot of information.
Again, the man is NOT giving me a load of bull.
He remains cheerful throughout the conversation in an “It is what it is” sort of shrugging way. I’m struck by the contrast between his situation and my own.
“Life has a way of turning around,” I say in an attempt to encourage. We hug and exchange God-bless-yous. I roll my cart to check-out, pay for my items, and leave.
I have so much more in the way of health, possessions and security. My dreams have become reality, whereas his dreams are fading away.
By the time I return to the Perfect Tow Vehicle . . .
I’m humbled right down to my socks. I lean on the steering wheel and weep.
Since then we’ve run into each other a couple times and the warmth of our connection remains.
What you’ve just read — assuming you didn’t skip over it — is an eviscerated version of the powerful story I would love to tell but cannot. I left out most of what transpired because it involved the setting and other details that would reveal where we are. This is a damn shame, because stories about people are the heart of this blog.
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Random stuff in and around the house . . .
I leave the back door open during the day so Reggie and Roger can go in and out as they please. Even though the temperatures are going toward three digits, I’d rather have the door open for them than the air conditioner running. It’s comfortable inside our house without a/c. So far anyway.
A hummingbird flies inside! Poor thing beats against a window, trying to get out.
Gently, holding a broom, I try to move him toward the open door, but he goes to another window instead. Seeking the light, I guess.
Not very different from people.
Eventually he tires enough to allow me to cup his little, fluttering body in my hands and carry him outside to freedom.
(Photo isn’t that great. I was more interested in helping him than making a pretty picture.)
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I’m sitting in the lounger under the mesquite tree.
Reggie bugs me to play fetch. I toss the rope toy a few times and this makes him happy. Here’s a photo of Reggie the Retriever, trotting across our lovely lawn. Ha!
Hmm . . . Where’d that Roger go?
“Roger! Why are you climbing the tree?”
Roger is climbing the mesquite tree!
He loves to chase lizards. Probably one skittered up the tree and the ever-determined Roger forgot that he’s a dog and not a lizard. He climbed up the tree after it. All this transpires within a few moments and I don’t get a photo. I try to reconstruct the scene (above) and Roger will have no part in it.
Could it be?
I think the ant population around the house is down. It may be wishful thinking on my part or maybe it’s the work of Spigot Lizard and Horned Toad Lizard. I know some credit goes to the Curved Bill Thrasher who lives in our yard, despite Roger’s repeated attempts to chase him out.
Spearmint tea . . .
Every evening I was making myself a cup of tea from the plants growing out back, adding honey. Too hot for that these days. I’m going to try Spearmint Iced Tea instead.
I change the photo on my desktop screen often. I jump into the thousands of photos I’ve saved over recent years and choose one from the list of jpgs, not knowing what will open up. I like the surprise and the memories that follow.
Delmoe Lake near Butte, Montana — Summer, 2013
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