(Update: I guess this post does have a bit of a funk quality to it, but aside from the usual city mouse/country mouse dilemma that will never be resolved here in this metropolis, I’m in good spirits. Not unlike a puma, learning that there are some new taste treats in the midst of too many people. Lyric Opera was wonderful last night; this business of the masses exposing themselves to all this magnificent free culture here in Chicago never ceases to amaze me. And today I was back at the zoo, talking about SSPs- Species Survival Plans- and the new and improved politics of animal acquisitions. Myra and Helen, the lionesses, were enjoying the beautiful weather and I got a quick peek at this 3 day old Francois langur. The photo is a bit fuzzy (per camera issues) but mama was keeping her baby close and this was the only shot I got off. Back tomorrow evening with an update on OUR newest addition.)
I have neither the self-destructive stamina nor the genetic material to be an addict; this is not a “good on me” fact but just a fact and over the years I’ve met some truly exceptional addicts to one thing or another who have had far more strength of character. Still, it can be good to take a personal inventory every now and then. I have no idea what that means if you are in an Anonymous group of some color or hue but for me, it has to do with coming full circle on the most recent spate of dramatic change in my life. Since this kind of change- tied to marriage and divorce and different houses and death- has been a constant in my life (Oh! the drama! You too, huh?) I’m not sure it’s really a change but more a waxing and waning of Big Weather on the emotional front. So now that I’ve figured out that the change thing is going to continue in some form or another until I’m ash and bone chip, it’s time for a different perspective on the whole situation.
I realized that I was spending a lot of time ‘missing’ people and places and things and also running on (and on and on) about that so I decided to take stock of what I have, in one short year, that I didn’t have ever before.
I came up with this list:
A broken camera
Rats in the alley
6 new dings on the (always parked) car
Now you understand why I haven’t written anything at all for a while. Mid-week, I took a different tack and tried for things I no longer have that make life better because that, too, would be a different perspective than, boo-hoo, I don’t have this anymore and I’m so sad…
I came up with this list:
dye in my hair
Now it’s Saturday, most of a week has gone by and the best I can do is a short report on the current state of affairs, with a few blurry pictures. And then I can not only call it good, I can call it life.
It was another week that went by in a flash. I did the volunteer thing. Today was an annual meeting at the zoo and this was the first occasion that new docents were recognized by the director and other powers-that-be. My good neighbors took note and I opened the door to these.
I tried to read from front to back of my camera manual (and ended up resenting that I had to actually learn how to take a picture since the ‘auto’ is kebust but discovering that it’s more fun to work at that than relinquish my camera at the moment.) McCloud didn’t mind at all that I was hunkered down on the bed mumbling and muttering for a day and he was happy to pose as I tried my hand at setting exposures and so forth. For people who are totally blind in one eye and slightly fuzzy without glasses in the other, auto-focus is a modern miracle. For those of you who can see and take pictures, well- you have no idea the challenges of ‘photography for the blind.’
It’s harvest time, a spell in the year when I have always previously enjoyed the fruits of my own labor- literally. This is the first summer in about 40 years that I haven’t had a huge edible garden, making due instead with a patio tomato and some basil, catnip and cilantro. Slim pickings indeed, especially if you remember those beautifully auto-focused photos of hundreds of jars of canned tomatoes, sauces, jellys and jams lining the kitchen counter at the Ann Arbor house. Add to this the news that our beloved Ann Arbor house is once again on the market. We were shocked to hear this; how could someone relinquish such a prize? The transplant surgeon who bought it from us has moved back to Virginia where she did her residency and while I have no idea whether this is tied to the air crash that killed 4 members of UMMC’s transplant team a number of months back, I wouldn’t be surprised. She was already under incredible work pressures and with two very young children and a husband in biochemistry (the Pfizer presence has left Ann Arbor this past year as well) I can see them going back to familiar terrain. And yet- now it really does seem as if the home of my adulthood and the home where I made a happy life for myself and my children has been reduced to a house. The listing photos show weedy garden beds and there’s very little remnant of the place as I knew it. We do have a wonderful small farm market right across the park here in Chicago and I walk over there each Saturday morning to buy-guess what?- Michigan tomatoes, peppers and corn.
We have company from Ann Arbor this weekend and shortly we’re headed off to SushiSamba and then the Lyric Opera concert at Millennium Park. Tomorrow we’ll head over to North Pond for brunch and then I’ll give a tour of the zoo. Monday, more zoo and Tuesday I fly to Florida for a week. This trip to Florida is one I’ve been really excited about. I’m already anticipating when we will be able to spend months at a time down there but for now I will see Abby, meet the new boyfriend and see how my xeriscaped yard there has managed these recent hot months.
We also have a new member of the family. Much of this past week has been occupied with a lot of hemming, hawing, indecision, getting acquainted, making arrangements and daily visits to the newest addition. Tuesday, he takes to the friendly skies with me- but I’m going to let you see him before then. I think you will approve…