Shuffle

Good Golly Miss Molly!!

right after

…will you love me tomorrow?….

right after

…grace finds goodness in every thing….

My car has 7 year old bluetooth capability.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But my 2 year old smartphone usually finds this connection and randomly starts playing my music. I don’t ask it to. It just does it. And always has. Right out of the box. When this first happened I nearly drove through the garage door. But now I am just curious. So I leave it be.

What will it decide I should listen to?

Apparently I have a few hundred songs on my phone. I find that hard to believe, but that’s what it says right there in settings → general → about → songs. (how is there room for so much music next to over 4000 photos?)

It remains set on “shuffle” – so I have no control over what comes next. I realize this is the deal with shuffle – and I could just choose an album or playlist…but there’s a part of me that wants to live on the musical edge. My own personal radio station.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Sometimes it’s Barbra, and then Barbra again, then Bonnie, back to Barbra. Maybe next it’s Bruce. Then Pink. Then Carole. And sometimes it’s a song I don’t recognize at all. What the heck?

I call out a song title. Siri ignores me. So I just wait and see listen.

Last week shuffle was into CSN&Y. And Mary Chapin Carpenter. And Barbra. All good. Setting the mood for my drive. However, other times I’ll be feeling perfectly upbeat and then the next thing I know it’s Cat Stevens. But before long Colbie Caillat or Sara B. bring me back up. Then I’m chilling to Mr. Withers. Then Barbra. (say what?) (again?) How does Ms. Shuffle know what to pick? It’s a rollercoaster ride.

Back to today…I am driving home.
Another Monday after grocery shopping — an activity that can be a real mood changer (I mean seriously, can’t they have someone at the fish counter?…do I always have to…well never mind)…

The shuffling starts up as I exit the parking lot —

U2 singing about grace…I lean back a bit in my seat at the stop light.
segues into Carole King…now I’m starting to relax…
which segues into Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels…

I sit straight up.

Good Golly what grocery store?!

 

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Quote of the Day…

For me, writing something down is the only road out.”

Anne Tyler

~~~ 

 

Ah…but where?
Where to start that road?  The way out.
Gotta begin digging somewhere. Turning over rocks. Roots. Dirt.
The perfect spot.
Or the less than perfect spot…but the best spot.

Which direction…right…left…forward…backward?
Prepare the foundation. For strength. Support.
Begin at the middle? the end?
Curb? Maybe no curb. Perhaps it will be wider than normal.
That’s okay.

And those trees. In the way? Or build around them?
Maybe no trees.
Maybe flowers instead.
Color it up.
Or not.

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A proper base for the layer of asphalt. Maybe concrete.
Or perhaps just throw down some gravel and be done with it.
Or forget the fancy stuff and pack down the dirt.
After all it’s just a road.
But it’s your road.

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How does one find this road?…that’s up to you.

A sign.
A name.
So travelers will know.
It’s your road out.

 

~~~

 

A Photo a Week Challenge: Ready, set, action!

Nancy Merrill Photography is hosting a photo challenge:

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/a-photo-a-week-challenge-ready-set-action/

The theme this week is: Ready, set, action! – A photo or two that features movement of any kind.

Back in the 1990’s my very active son showcased movements of every kind…all day. Every day. When he was 3 ½, I showed him how to dribble a basketball. And he was hooked.

Channeling all that energy into basketball conveniently coincided with the emergence of the 1992 Olympic Men’s Basketball Dream Team. And then, more specifically Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. My son would dribble & shoot for hours and hours with the Dream Team in our driveway. His imagination was active too.
He played basketball all the way through high school and grew to be 6’3″ tall.

In the (35mm) photos below, at the age of 7, he gives his father a workout.

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Tuesday Photo Challenge – Light and Dark

Here is my entry for this week’s challenge hosted by “Dutch goes the Photo”

https://dutchgoesthephoto.net/2018/09/18/tuesday-photo-challenge-light-and-dark/

The theme this week is “Light and Dark”

A few years ago…for a brief 3 months, we rented a very small condo across the street from a stretch of Hampton Beach in NH.

It was a temporary home while we waited for our new condo to be finished…after  downsizing from almost 37 years in a 3 bedroom house.  In the interim, we stored most of our belongings and essentially moved twice. First to this rental! It was a stressful time of uncertainty, planning, paperwork, scheduling, packing, unpacking, working…oh and hosting Christmas with 3 more adults and a sweet baby.

However, this cozy oasis on the coast proved to be just that…an oasis in the midst of life’s chaos. Breakfast watching the sun rise. The stunning late afternoon light as the day ended. From dark to light and back again.

The view from any window had been more than enough to calm and restore my rattled self during that mini-chapter of life.

I took this photo the day we left.
One last look.

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Flash Fiction Challenge – Pasta

Flash Fiction Challenge: September 13, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes pasta. It can be spagetti, macaroni and cheese, or any variety. It can be a meal or a work of art. Go where the prompt leads.

https://carrotranch.com/2018/09/13/september-13-flash-fiction-challenge/

My contribution:

Lunch

“I think I know who she is.”
“What should we do?”

They whisper, but she hears.
Crouching in the hall shadows. Hidden.
Disappearing. Like before.

“Lunch time!” the nice man calls.
The little girl and little boy are at school.
She perches on the edge of her chair.
Her very own place at their table.

“Honey…” the nice lady begins.
“We’re so sorry…”
Looking down.
“You can’t stay here anymore.”

The girl freezes. Stares. Forkful of spaghetti suspended.
Fingers clench into a fist snapping the fork upright.
Steaming tomato sauce spatters.
Drips down her hand.
Red spreading. Staining.
Everywhere.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Water

Nancy Merrill Photography is hosting a photo challenge:

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2018/09/13/a-photo-a-week-challenge-water-2/

The theme this week is water.

I have two photos to contribute.

Did you know that summer squash is 94% water?
Even though it (and its cousin the zucchini) overtake local gardens by the end of the summer, I still enjoy these summer vegetables over and over. Sliced, chopped, steamed, roasted…and in a cheese casserole if so inspired.
One day the light was right and the cut squash cooperated…

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…from summer
to winter…

One February morning, I raised the shade and found this!
Water where I didn’t want it….

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Falling

Falling

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I never worried about it when I was younger. I fell all the time as a kid. Off my bike. Off my skateboard. Running and jumping.
I’ve got the shiny scars to prove it.  On my chin. Forehead. Wrist. Knees. Falling down: bruises, scrapes and sometimes stitches. But that was it. Within days (or less) I was back to my normal fearless self, good as new. Or at least it felt like it.

The bouncing back of youth. I took it for granted.  I was only really scared once: I tripped and fell while carrying a half gallon glass bottle of milk…rushing up the front cement stairs at dusk. That fall – onto broken glass – led to an emergency room visit…and thank god you didn’t cut your artery, you could have bled to death…That popped my eyes open on the ER bed.  I’ve got 2 scars on my right hand & wrist from those stitches. I was 11.

Decades later, it’s all about so much more. The consequences are now totally different.

The television commercial showcasing “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” is not really funny at all. Perhaps it only amuses a younger audience. I used to laugh too. But now I think, There but for the grace of God…

Both my Oma and Opa fell in their condo – the same day – and couldn’t get up; eventually crawling to reach a phone. Back before cell phones. They were forced to call my mother – closest geographically and their only child – effectively ending a 5 year simmering I’m-not-talking-to-them feud. Not quite worth the silver lining. They went from hospital to nursing home.

Within the next 10 years, my mother slipped and fell down the garage stairs, breaking her hip; triggering a decline in her health and functioning. My mother-in-law fell in the nursing home she was living in; broke her hip and then decided never to walk again. My father slipped and fell down an icy driveway, shattering his hand in multiple places. Their stories are not unique.

Now here I am in my “golden years” living in an “over-55” condo development. All the units are one level “garden style” type. We moved here for many reasons, but the biggest reason we chose this particular living arrangement? To reduce the risk of falling. No stairs to climb in our unit.
No guarantees though – stairs or no stairs. One of our new neighbors recently fell in the bathroom and will be immobile for many months. One fall and your life takes a different path. One you wouldn’t have chosen voluntarily. A few stitches or ice packs is not going to fix you anymore.

Of course not everyone “of a certain age” carries the same risk (and catastrophic falls can happen at any age); but it increases as time goes on. Falling can mean the end of having control over where you go, how you get there, what you do. Your world gets smaller and smaller. And often more painful.

But I wonder if worrying about it and being careful shrink your world as well? Where’s the fine line between sensible precautions and obsessive worry? There has to be a balance.

Recent condo association board meetings have had agendas full of “how to decrease liability.” Irate owners shouting We need speed bumps because people drive too fast. Someone will get hit, fall down and we’ll be liable. Others: Get rid of the speed bumps because people are tripping over them and falling and we’ll get sued. Or fix the sidewalk before someone falls…and we’ll get sued.

They are afraid. And not just about lawsuits. I’m convinced it’s not all anger…really. It’s fear. It’s about what can happen when you fall.  It’s fear masquerading as anger – on both sides.

In the backs of our minds, it’s there. I know I can’t be the only one, as I am on the younger side of the demographic here.

One fall and twist of the hip.
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Or arm.

Or leg.

One break.

Life changes.