Wednesday, August 25, 2010
There are not many events that could bring me out of my sabbatical on the Island of Zanzibar. Two events have taken place to draw me back to reality for a bit. One of which I'll discuss in this post, the other will have to wait.
Had you been a loyal reader you might remember my posts back in May of 2009 about my garden and how my neighbor was a "true" gardener or my post from Aug of 2009 and My Neighbors The Hummingbird Whisperers". These neighbors built their house at the same time we did and have tolerated more than their share over the last 15 years from our side of the fence. It's so hard for me to even write about this, but our dear friend and neighbor, Kevin, lost his battle with cancer last week. He was 48. Like most people who lose someone they care about, it's not real yet. Kevin and his wife are two of the kindest people you could ever hope to live next to. They were not nosy and didn't complain when I was. As a matter of fact, they never complained when our dogs barked at them or when we were loud or ever for anything. Kevin was an easygoing, roll with it kind of person...as far as we knew. I wish we knew him better, I wish I had played more pool with him, drank more beer with him, etc.
I used to call him the Hummingbird Whisperer because we both had hummingbird feeders on our back decks, but theirs always had hummingbirds buzzing all around it and ours would be empty. After we found out he had passed away we were sitting on our back deck and hummingbirds were litterally buzzing past our heads and there were a bunch of them...like never before. I thought to myself, "Must be Kev's way of letting us know he's OK now"...of course he's probably up in heaven listening to this saying, "Sure, whatever you want to believe" and having a good chuckle over it.
Kevin always had a remarkable garden...he grew pumpkins so big you couldn't pick them up. One year they used 3 or 4 huge pumpkins in a Fall display in their front yard. One night Kevin heard something out front and woke in time to watch some kids try to lift the pumpkins they had rolled to the street, into a pick up. I don't think any made it into the truck and Kev got a good laugh. This year he had some help, but he still planted his garden. His wife gave my daughter one of the small watermelons from his garden. She kept all the seeds from it so we can plant them next year. Wouldn't it be cool if we could do that every year and 20 years from now we would still have watermelons from Kevin's garden? Ok, now Kevin is up there saying "Um, I've seen your gardening skills, good luck with that!"
It never seems to make sense when someone who is the epitome of "a good person" is taken from us too soon...I have to believe that God needed someone really special for some reason and chose Kevin...it doesn't make me feel better and it still seems unfair...I just feel so blessed to have known him at all. Thanks, Kev, for being a good example for us and our kids.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Do you know who this is?
I could not believe my luck! Just a few weeks ago we were a flood disaster zone here, but yesterday we were unseasonably warm in the 80's...so I decided to take the kids to the zoo! It was a bit crowded, but that was to be expected with the nice weather. When I got up to the entrance to pay, they handed me a pamphlet of the day's events. I almost had to read it twice...Dr. Jane Goodall was there speaking and doing a book signing event! Are you kidding! OMG...she is....wait...what did you say? Who IS she? OK, I can deal with my kids not knowing who she is, but my peeps? She is the woman who, way back in the late 1950's, went to Africa and lived with the gorillas and chimps! Amazing woman, to say the least. I got some eye-rolling and snickering from my kids and their friends...as much as I wanted to rush right over to where she would be speaking, we did go there to walk around the zoo. So I painstakingly walked with my 9 year-old to see each and every animal and let her take pictures of every one until we got to the event area. She was only scheduled to speak for 1/2 hr and only had 10 minutes left by the time we got there. I was still amazed by her and her dedication to environmental causes...in between yelling at my daughter for taking off on me while I was trying to take pictures of Dr. Goodall!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I'm taking a moment to climb up on my soapbox...run for hills, people! Although I originally began this blog so I could express my true opinions without fear of people judging me...I more or less ended up using it to find humor in everyday things. However, once in a while I feel I have access to this medium that could allow me to do some good.
Regardless of your religious afiliations or beliefs, there is no denying something funky is happening in the world these days; earthquakes, tsunami's, flooding, Coke Pepsi and Dr. Pepper all in the same commercial together. Those of us with any religious background thinks of all the verbage about the end of the world and wonders if this is it. Not sure I'm willing to go that far, but I do think it gives one pause to reflect on your own life. If you were to be taken out of this world tomorrow, would you be satisfied with what you had accomplished? I know, I know, a little deep, even for me. I personally feel as though I should try to leave this world a little better than when I came into it. I always tell Mike that when I die, I don't want my headstone to say I had a clean house, I want it to say something about how I gave back...I am still working on that. So maybe this week everyone can take a step back and think about this question..."satisfied" can mean so many different things to different people as well as what you have accomplished. I think our actions would have a rippling effect like the whole "pebble in the pond" idea...people see you giving back and they want to as well. Or they stand there saying, "What the hell are you throwing pebbles for?"
Monday, April 5, 2010
We here in the Northeast are just emerging from record flooding. Many people have suffered severe damage and loss during last week's flooding. As a result of the heavy rains we naturally have an increase in the amount of pot holes in our roads. Now I realize I tend to pick on stupid drivers, but when it comes to pot holes, you really need to be paying attention. I, myself, have hit a few "good" ones this season...and by "good" ones, I mean they swallowed my front end and I started looking to see where my tires would land after they popped off.
Here is the situation: you are driving down a street, there are 2 lanes, one going in each direction...there is a car coming the other way...you come to a large pot hole in the road...what do you do? Apparently the right answer is "swerve into oncoming traffic, close your eyes and hope for the best!"...because I can't tell you how many times I have had to stop for a car that has swerved into my lane to avoid a pot hole! Idiots! These are probably the same people that don't put money in parking meters and ride their bikes on the sidewalks...I can't handle the chaos!