Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Out of the Cave

My old computer died on me. It did not go peacefully into the night. No, it stalled and balked and went bananas. It shut down when it wasn't supposed to and wouldn't shut down when I asked it politely to do so. It swore at me with all kinds of alien language that popped up at odd moments on my monitor. The turning point was when the monitor turned PINK. It has always been a calm navy blue. I felt sorry then, it was almost as if my poor computer was bleeding internally, even though a moment later it returned to the usual blue. Before it totally died on me, I rushed off to buy a new computer, something I had been putting off for way too long.

While transferring my old files to the new computer, the technician read the serial numbers on my first computer and declared that it was considered "vintage". Imagine - a six year old computer is considered vintage! This seems outrageous!

I not only have to learn a new operating system, but a new email program and several new graphics programs that I have also failed to update over the years. The technician said I was "leaving my cave and entering a space ship." I loved that - it describes my thoughts exactly!

I will never procrastinate again.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Old Friends

Recently, four of my friends surprised me on my birthday. I thought I was going to dinner with one friend, and when I got to the restaurant, the waitress took us to a booth, and there sat three more of my friends, one from out of state! They were all grinning like cats who had just swallowed canaries. I was so surprised it took me all evening and lots of wine to get over my shock! The funny thing was, only two of them knew each other, and that included my friend from out of state, so it was a major email project for them to co-ordinate this surprise for me. I was so touched. I totally love and adore my friends. They see me as I really am, they have held my hand through all the ups and downs of my complicated life, and they love me unconditionally. I've been blessed with a family that also loves me unconditionally too, but you know how it is with families...they are........your family. Your family tends not to appreciate the same things about you that your friends find will find amusing/shocking/admirable.

The evening was filled with good food and lots of laughter and ended with the waitress presenting me with a birthday cake (actually, a yummy fruit thingie, a tart? I can't remember...) with a giant roman candle sprouting a fountain of sparkles that lit up the booth. It was the perfect ending to the perfect birthday.

By the way, this is a VINTAGE postcard - THESE ARE NOT MY FRIENDS. I AM NOT IN THIS PICTURE. I am not this old. Really.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ivanhoe Road

I had an epiphany the other morning while driving in my car. An epiphany in a car is almost as dangerous as a spider, I nearly drove off the road. Sometimes it really IS just how you choose to look at things that determines what you see. And if that doesn't make sense to you, I'll try and illustrate it with these photos of my neighborhood.

This is a little side road, off the beaten track, near my home where I walk every morning. Even though there are homes along the way, I never see anybody in them, there are never any cars or people. It's just quiet and other-worldly, quite different from the noisy middle class neighborhood my tiny house sits in, where I hear roofs being repaired, the hum of the freeway, kids screaming and trees being cut down, lawns being mowed. You know, the usual never-ending racket of summer in the burbs.

But just a few blocks away is Ivanhoe Road, a secret escape where I can walk and feel as if I am on vacation a thousand miles away.

There are marshlands and prairie grasses flooded with sunlight, and all I hear is the silence broken only by the wind or the birds and the frogs.
OK, you get the picture. Now it's important to note here that there is a big tall fence in the background of this picture. You can't see it, it's hidden by the foliage in the background. It was ages before I even noticed it.

Here's the picture taken the day of my epiphany. I was driving along humming a tune thinking of the groceries I had just picked up and how they were probably melting when I looked out my window. OMG, there was that fence!! That meant that Ivanhoe Road was right on the other side, but I couldn't see it because of all the foliage. That meant that for years I had been driving down this road to the grocery store, going past this strip mall and all the urban blight that was so annoying, and hidden on the other side of these trees was Ivanhoe Road. My Paradise Lost was right next to a mall. Only 50 feet away! What a difference 50 feet made - it was like living in a dual reality. It made me wonder about the rest of my life, and how I could look at it. Ivanhoe Road and the strip mall were almost the same, it just was a matter of sliding a little more this way or a little more that way that determined whether you were experiencing heaven or hell.

This sounds so dumb. One person's epiphany is another person's "well, yeah...". You just had to be there.