Writers Hours today assembled an eclectic collection from our Prose Banks, those random thoughts that wake you up at 3AM, and if you don’t write them down quickly, they hide back in the recesses of your memory to await another early morning. They are worth exploring, in my mind, as a never-ending source of self-enrichment. If you were looking for something else, you can skip to the end now. But if you want to see what’s percolating in the corners of our memory banks, read on!
In the Permission Granted corner: Our building permit is finally in process for approval! It was applied for on July 2, and as of July 8 has received 50% of the signoffs needed. We are crossing all our fingers and toes (see the separate comments on Pointy Things nearby) that a shovel will turn some dirt in the next 2-4 weeks, and that we might cross our new front doorstep early next year.
In the Pointy Things corner: Living in an RV, which is basically a small box on wheels, has many challenges. You adapt over time to these, like learning how to conserve a relatively small fresh water supply, or 2 people showering with a 6-gallon hot water heater. I have had a particularly hard time adapting to the Pointy Things challenge. No, there aren’t knives and spears randomly placed around the rig to stick and stab me, I speak of the pointy things on my person: toes, fingers, knees, elbows, knuckles and such. These will find any hard surface or sharp edge when they are flung around with abandon in a tight space. I find it valuable to spend more time focusing on Mindfulness, to grant me the increased concentration to know where these pointy things are at any time, and what they might meet as I pass through a door or turn around. It’s a process that requires patience. Wendy will add a little more to this a little later.
In the I-Saw-It-On-The-News corner: While I was initially dismayed and head-scratching-befuddled by Vice President Kamala Harris’ word salad speeches, I find myself increasingly entertained and amazed by them. Wendy and I play Wordle as a team sport with my sister Mary and a few other partners, sharing a common first word and then comparing our success in divining the answer. It’s fun, but it is only a single daily game. To stretch us a little farther, I propose a new game: WordleSalad. Madam VP’s best effort of the week is presented in raw form, and you have 6 tries to guess the meaning.
In the Current Events corner: I think Elon Musk is a very interesting person. He and I share a fascination with space, so I pay attention to his words and actions to see if there are lessons to glean from them. With his latest maneuvers on Twitter, he is either bailing on yet another pursuit of a gargantuan passion (not something he has a history of doing) or is playing possum in order to get a better deal (something I can easily see him doing). My lesson from all of this: I’m not a Twitter shareholder and I don’t think I can lose here. I thank him greatly for both the entertainment of observing this whole catfight from the beginning, and any outcome of it. If, by throwing Twitter on the ash heap of hyperbole and hypocrisy, he tanks it and it goes away, he has done a service to humanity by removing at least one carnivorous social media app from the planet. If he prevails and tames the Tasmanian Devil of censorship to provide humanity with a true Town Square of Free Speech, bravo!
In the Philosophical corner: On Tuesday July 12, we will get the first images from the Webb Space Telescope. I’m very excited about this. I see this newest orbital gadget as a metaphor for spirituality. Webb, much more powerful than Hubble with advanced technology and innovation, can peer far back into time (and Einstein would say therefore into the future) to the origins of the Universe, to see physical things that we humans have only imagined through the lens of faith. Religion and science, for as long as mankind has roamed the Earth, have related and conjectured our becoming. The images from Webb will further cement the reality that we are mere atoms, albeit highly privileged atoms, in a vast Universe. Our privilege derives not from class, or race, or anything other than our single shared trait: we are humans and share whatever history or future Webb displays to us. If the soundtrack from “2001: A Space Odyssey” has started playing in your head, you are where I’m at.
In the Horticulture-As-Family corner: When we set sail from Washington in May, moving our household goods and even our vehicles was a straightforward process. It was a lot of work, but virtually all of it was ordered over the phone or internet. The tricky part was what to do with our houseplants. They are fragile and can’t go in the moving van. We can’t use USPS Priority Mail to send them. Fedex didn’t seem like an option. We solved the problem by upgrading our flat pickup bed cover (thanks Undercover, you’ve been swell, but we’re dating someone else now) to a new Bestop convertible soft bed canopy.
Convertible because it can fold down, but also tall enough to allow us to put all the plants including our Avocado tree, our Money Tree (not a literal $$ tree, just a species), and our family heirloom, the Vineyard, in the back so they can travel with us. Of all of them, the Vineyard is Family, and the one we wanted most to survive, and for a specific reason (wait for it).
Way back in the 20th Century Wendy and I liked to tour the Napa vineyards and wineries in our RV as a weekend getaway. One of these trips brought us to Summit Lake Vineyards, situated high in the hills above Napa Valley. On what was otherwise a busy Saturday down in the flats, this off-the-beaten-track location just doesn’t get a lot of visitors. We wandered into the wine barn, all alone, and were eventually joined by one of the owners (a family) who informed us that the man of the house had just returned from a trip to the coast, and they were in the process of preparing dinner with his catch, abalone. Would we like to join? As a note to the reader: I will N E V E R turn down a fresh abalone fry. Full stop. Of course we joined! They were delightful people, sharing their delish dinner and a few bottles of their home brew with us. But they saved the best for last. They had, just that week, re-planted some acreage with “starts” of Petite Verdot, a deep red varietal. They had 3 lonely little vines left over in small plastic pots and they offered us one as a gift. We have been hauling that little soldier around for the last 20+ years from house to house, and even from house to RV and back to house. It has grown over the years, going dormant in the winter when it gets a severe pruning back to it’s sturdy main stalk, only to burst forth in the spring with new vining arms and always a small crop of premium grapes. We swear you can watch it grow once it starts anew each year. We refer to it as our Vineyard, or “The V”, because it’s only a single vine, right?
This year was a very cold and long spring in Washington, and the V stayed dormant much longer than ever before. By the time we left in mid-May, only a few small sprouts had emerged. Our weather and “climate” didn’t really improve until we headed south through Colorado, and that’s when the V woke up. By the time we got to our current camp, we had some 2-foot-long vines ready to spread their wings, and true to form the V has responded very vigorously to the super warm and humid days here. Our timing on the move into the new house might be perfect for our end game with the V. Our goal has always been to put this baby in some terra firma when we got a “forever home”, and a late winter planting will be perfect!
This blog is a team effort today, like a piano duet, from Wendy’s keyboard to you…
Within Warren’s theme of “a variety of things”, I couldn’t think of anything to write until I sat down at my sewing machine. My sewing machine is enormous and quite heavy. I didn’t want to pack it in the moving van because I was afraid it would get damaged, or worse, destroyed in the long journey. I found a place for it in the RV at the foot of the bed where it barely fit. After both of us banged our toes into it for the first couple of weeks, we finally started remembering it was there (see the previous reference to Pointy Things).
Most of you know I’m a “sew and sew”, that I sew…a lot. Creating and sewing keep me sane because, as many of you also know, I do not sit still very well. Since we arrived here at our temporary home 4 weeks ago, I have made two dresses, a pair of shorts, seat covers for our “Midget”, repaired several items and now I’m making a summer dress for Samara, who turns 7 in August. I am so grateful that we found a place for it even if it caused us a little pain. And pain does sometimes happen in tight quarters. For example, last week I was working at the kitchen sink and had left the bottom drawer open so I could return the scissors I was using. With my focus clearly on my project, I stepped back and fell backward, in slow motion, over the drawer. I had enough time to thankfully fall over the drawer and not on it. Still, it left a couple of scrapes and a bruise that have since healed. A tough lesson to learn but learn it I did, and it didn’t require any stitches. I was lucky this time.
And, as always, Tippy has random thoughts too, although some he appears to have randomly borrowed.