Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Harvesting Freeway Bounty

My husband was so excited when he came home from work this evening. “Guess what.” He asks me.

I don’t have a clue.

“You’ll never guess what I found.” He says.

He’s wrong, I have an idea. My husband is a freeway scrounger. He’s always on the lookout for interesting items on the side of the road. One of his schemes is to sell hubcaps on e-Bay. He thinks he could make a fortune!

“If you found a cooler,” I tell him “it doesn’t count unless you also have the lid.”

“I have the lid!” he exclaims and describes in detail how he first saw the blue cooler on the side of the freeway but hadn’t made the decision to pull over and pick it up until, and here he practically chortles with excitement, “there was the lid on the other side of the freeway!” So he slammed on the brakes and backed up to get the cooler and then crosses to the other side of the freeway to recover its lid.

He insisted I come outside to admire the big blue cooler in the back of his pickup.

“There’s no lid” I say.

“Oh wait” he says as he opens the pickup door and pulls out a white cooler top. “I have proof that this is a freeway find.” And he points to skid marks on the lid where it bounced on the pavement.

“And look at this” he declares as he pulls yet another hubcap from the back of the pickup.

I can drive for miles and miles and never see anything interesting, except road kill and those bottles of pee that truckers toss along the side of the road. This is Paul’s second cooler this month. He also found a small red cooler, with lid, that he’s now using to keep his snacks cold when he goes fishing.

I count my blessings. I have a husband with eagle eyes and plenty of coolers. If I ever lose a hubcap, there’s a good chance he’ll have one to spare.

Life is good.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Open to the Good

Over on my other blog last week,  I posted about trivial irritations.  (Click here to read the post.)  Once I started focusing on the things that irritated me it was difficult to stop. I was wallowing in irritation.

Then I remembered the quote posted over there on the right:
"What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life." – Oprah
It’s time to make another list of all of the things that make me happy. In no particular order…
  • My grandchildren
  • The smell of fresh cut grass
  • The wop wop wop brrrrrrrr of rainbird sprinklers
  • Quail in the back yard
  • Summer
  • Swimming pools
  • Freshly pedicured toenails in pink
  • New followers on my blogs
  • Comments on my blog posts
  • Scoring a Bag of Crap on Woot!
  • Sees Candy, especially butterscotch squares
  • Heated leather seats
  • Rain hitting the window when I’m in bed
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hearing from old friends
  • Dexter…yeah, it’s dark, but it’s soooo good!
  • Road trips with a good audio book
  • Road trips with rock and roll
  • Road trips with Broadway musicals
  • Live music
  • A pension that is above US median income…I get paid to not work!!!
  • New cute shoes
  • Lunch out with friends
  • Never using an alarm clock
  • My hot tub
  • A good book
  • Huge white puffy clouds on a bright blue sky
  • A full moon
  • Diet coke
  • Tulips
  • The smell of babies
  • Warm breezes…not wind, gentle warm air washing over me
  • A good haircut
  • A healthy family
  • Finding just the right word when I’m writing
  • Good dance music
  • A comfortable chair
  • Down pillows and a down comforter
  • A reliable car
  • Good credit
  • Compliments
  • Tivo
  • Watching the ocean
  • A fire in the fireplace
  • My dishwasher…how did I ever live without one in the olden days?
  • Slurpees

Throughout the day I expect that I will think of other things that I should have listed.  I had to fight the demons a few times while writing the list…a few irritations popped into my head.   I drove them out with gratitude.  I know the more I focus on what is good in my life, the more I am open to receive it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Megan's Crying Rules

Today Megan, my four year old granddaughter, gave me her rules for when it is appropriate to cry.

It is okay to cry when:
  • you have a boo boo
  • you miss someone
  • blood is pouring out of you
  • your house is on fire
It should be noted that she doesn't always follow her own rules...crying, for example, when she can't find her shoes or the popsicle is the wrong color.  I wish her life would always be so simple.  At four she knows nothing about broken hearts or broken dreams.

I am so grateful for the time I get to share with my grandchildren.  I want to be there to kiss the boo boos, staunch the flow of blood, and throw water on the fire.  I understand wanting to cry when you miss someone.  I wish I could always be there for her.

Friday, June 11, 2010

They Hatch and Grow Up So Quickly

Last week I wrote about finding a quail’s nest in the bushes outside our bedroom window. We were afraid that we had scared off the mother with our vigorous weed pulling. There were over a dozen tiny eggs in the nest. The mother returned and has been faithfully tending the nest. I checked for information on the internet about the gestation period for quail and found out that it is 24-27 days. Not knowing how long the nest had been there before we found it makes it hard to estimate when we can expect the eggs to hatch.

On Tuesday as I drove down our driveway I spotted a covey of quail under the bushes in the border around the lawn. There were two adults and a lot of tiny cotton ball sized quail running for cover. I was excited to see the little ones, but a little disappointed that I had missed the hatch. I went to check on the nest and was surprised to find the mother quail still sitting on her stash of eggs. 

I just checked the nest again a few minutes ago and our mother quail is patiently tending her eggs. I, on the other hand, am anxious to see the babies hatch.  It is exciting to see our yard teeming with quail
Three years ago I was similarly impatient for a birth. My daughter was expecting her second child. My second granddaughter was born on June 19th. I’m going to Texas next week for her third birthday party.

I hope the quail hatch before I leave. Just like grandchildren, they grow up so quickly. I don’t want to miss those early days of their lives.

Life is good.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

People Marry the Person They Love

I have been married to a Republican for almost forty years. I’m not quite sure how that happened. My liberal roots are firmly planted. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and witnessed the turmoil of the civil rights movement through the pages of Life magazine and the nightly news. My family boycotted grapes in support of Cesar Chavez and the farm workers. They voted for Kennedy and Johnson, and didn’t vote for Nixon either for governor of California nor president. I left California to attend college in rural Eastern Oregon in the late 60’s. I was already against the war in Vietnam.

I met my husband in college. He had long hair and wore huarache sandals. He was against the war too. He had a relatively low draft number. When he got his induction notice he was found to be 4-F. After college we entered the Peace Corps. I’m not sure when he became a Republican. I remember him voting for Jimmy Carter, but he says he’s always been a Republican and that was the only time he voted for a Democrat. Most years we cancel out each other’s votes.

On the issues, however, we are more likely to agree than disagree. We both trust women to make decisions about their own bodies. We support stem cell research. And, we believe equality extends to the right to marry for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.

My granddaughters, two and four, are the products of a mixed marriage. Their mother, my daughter, is a Democrat and her husband is a Republican. Their children will, I’m sure, be Democrats…if Nana has anything to do with it!

I’ve already taken them on educational field trips to Democratic shrines including the Clinton Presidential Library and the Johnson Presidential Library. When they are older we will go to the Smithsonian and see the Woolworth’s lunch counter or to the Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis and I will tell them the stories of the fight for equality. I will show them pictures of their grandfather with shoulder length hair at the Vortex Festival   It’s not a proud moment in our personal history. We went there rather than protest the war at the American Legion Convention in Portland, Oregon in 1970.

I visited the grandchildren last month. I had taken them to the Goodwill to purchase things for their dress-up box. They both bought wedding dresses. At home they dressed up in their finery and had a tea party. Hunter, the two year old, stated that she was going to marry her sister.

“No, silly” said Megan “Girls marry boys.”

“Some girls marry girls” said their mother.

“No” insisted Megan “Girls marry boys.”

“No,” said their mother “Girls can marry girls and boys can marry boys. People marry the person they love.”

We didn’t get into the discussion about why marrying your sister wasn’t appropriate.

We liberals have a responsibility to teach our children well.  I’m grateful to the people who have led the fight for equality. In my lifetime we have made great strides in many areas. Now is the time for all of us to support the fight for marriage equity. Everyone should have the right to marry the person they love.

I'm entering this post in a contest Blog 4Equality to win a scholarship to attend Netroots Nation sponsored by Freedom To Marry  Click the link for more information.
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