Friday, January 20, 2017

ADAPTATION--SURVIVAL--MOURNING

Reflecting on my life I think I lived quite a remarkable length of time – traveled many miles.   I hadn’t realized my dying would be noteworthy, but am even more surprised overhearing just how much I’m missed.    I have to tell you, I don’t mind the eternal rest I’m experiencing.    Life hasn’t been easy as I reflect on my past.

I recall my pride at being chosen in my youthful prime over many others by a very discerning older couple to take up residence in their suburban ranch style home.   I’d only resided there a little over a year when they were replaced by a much younger newly married couple.   We became comfortable companions so after only a couple years or so, I was chosen to join them in an unexpected odyssey.   

This travel required my being removed from the only real home I’d known.   Initially, I was relegated with a number of others from our home to a small dark windowless area where we were all pressed up against one another for a several months period of uncertainty as to our future.  

Just as I was giving up hope of seeing daylight again, the others and I were all suddenly loaded onto a large vehicle of some sort for a several hour ride to another location.  We were removed and I was again in an environment where I could function as I was intended.  

This was an exciting time as I became aware a new little being – cooing, gurgling, making crying sounds, loud and noisy at times – had taken up permanent residence in our household.    

But not quite a year later I was again subjected to having my interior being emptied, then I was loaded into a huge vehicle, only this time the ride I took was weeks long-g-g.  Other than my first Midwest Great Lakes residence, the southwestern state where I ended up this time was probably the most ideal for me once my interior was properly cleaned and refreshed.   

My memories remind me of  the special pleasure several years later when I once again heard the ooing, ah-h-h-ing, grunting, babbling and more noisy sounds indicating another little one was joining our home.  Meanwhile, I had enjoyed the first little being’s hands occasionally pressed against me, steadying for walking about, or prying fingers trying to figure out how to access my interior, gradually become more independent.   Then there was the birthday party with young neighbor friends and that fancy decorated chocolate lion cake made from scratch.

There was lots of activity and I really felt I was an important part of life there.     I faced a west window so regularly witnessed the fading day’s light, shades of sunset reds sweeping across the sky before emerging sparkling stars appeared.  

I recall one time of enormous vibrating cacophony, seeing shells clinging to tree trunks, the day after the living noisy cicada departed.  Their single isolated sound had been steady, never-ending, created as pictured here, but multiplied by thousands -- deafening.


I also saw power-stopping lightning, heard sharp ear-splitting thunder and witnessed horrendous rainy downpours.    One anxiety-filled occasion occurred when a hundred year flood was triggered by a downpour which desert sandy grounds could not absorb fast enough, allowing water to rise to a level seeping under doors into the house interior.  Fortunately, the water was prevented from creeping into my area, mechanism and motor. 

There was one occasion I was glad to be protected indoors when in the distance I could see an awesome dark cloud filling the sky -- rolling closer and closer, becoming blacker and blacker, finally encompassing the whole house as the cloud passed overhead.  Outdoors, a few dirty grey moisture drops splattered over everything. Inside, a thin. light, covering-everything residue was the gift blown in by this dust storm. 


More pleasant times allowed me to feel my whole being to be of use and value.  This occurred when various baking tins were placed on the top of my exterior, just below a cabinet – a perfect warm location, out of drafts, for sour dough, whole wheat and other yeasty rolls/bread dough to rise before their aroma permeated the air in baking.   

Those years lasted only half-a-decade.   Another move for this family was in the offing.  I didn’t know I almost was left behind on that move, so when I was unloaded from what has ultimately proved to be my last large vehicle ride, to be placed outside, in a garage, I was totally unprepared this less than ideal location would become permanently mine.
Over forty years have passed.   I long ago came to the realization that my value to the family was to be exactly where I was -- in the garage.  Summers were hot – sometimes over a hundred degrees, but at least I was protected from the sun’s direct rays.   Winters only occasionally would be below freezing temperatures, but I was protected from those cold effects, too. 
 
Once I reconciled myself to make the most of my situation, I began to feel quite proud during those years.  On two different occasions when the units inside the home, where I previously always had been, ceased working, I came to the rescue.    In those emergencies I was able to take into my interior all their contents – frozen foods did not thaw, milk did not sour, food did not spoil.   Both of those inside units had been purchased new, had worn out, one replacing the other, while I – much older – who had been moved, drug about, coast to coast -- kept doing my job, never once even requiring service or repair.   

Finally, early in 2017, I just became exhausted.   I’ve been working 24/7 well over half a century -- with no repairs or even any service provided.   I’ve just – finally – stopped working.   Maybe my mechanism could be given first aid of some sort, tuned up, repaired in some way – maybe not.   But, I just want to be allowed to permanently rest now.  My exterior appearance, sometimes neglected due to other priorities -- but not because of the families lack of caring -- decidedly reflects the wear of years.  I know I'll be taken from here, but I'm ready.   Wherever I’m taken, I hope that some part of me, if not all, can be recycled. 

RIP Hotpoint Refrigerator 1962-2017                                     


Thursday, January 12, 2017

HOLIDAY DELIGHTS

Enjoyed some special time with my son this past holiday season.   He surprised me taking a flight here, since I chose to stay put in sunny Southern California.   Resolution of some of those pesky problems that occur with my home ownership benefited from his attention -- such as addressing drippy faucets, assisting with security screen door selections, back patio refurbishing, performing digital guru functions breathing new life into my old computers.  Delightful phone/text/Face Time conversations, videos, from the rest of our small family highlighted holiday time.

Mostly, while my son was here, we indulged ourselves with lots of laughs, good conversation and food fare at a variety of area dinner restaurants as I didn't do any cooking.  Lunch a couple days involved the requisite visit to favored In 'N Out Burger whenever my children visit.  My son kindly sent gloating snapshots to his envious east coast sister who had specifically instructed she didn't want him sending her any such photos.  Timing of follow-up on a medical issue I've been tracking, coincidentally allowed him to be present and meet with my doctor, too.   Especially when you’re a widow of my age, I think it's good when a parent's children and doctor can meet one another, especially under ordinary circumstances.  

Prior to my son's visit I had been disheartened as had thought my fairly new clothes dryer seemed suddenly to not function as I tried to restart it several times when I discovered the towels were still damp.   Had never been unable to re-start it before.   Also a new dishwasher purchased earlier in the year had covered dishes with a black film that could only be removed with some abrasive scrubbing but serviceman couldn't come until after the holidays.   Additionally, one commode wasn't refilling after flushing due to tank mechanism malfunction.    I certainly was glad to not be hostessing a family gathering, I must confess.  

The dryer became a non-issue, I discovered to my chagrin, when my son suggested maybe I simply had not held-in the start button long enough -- exactly!  I'd never made that faux pas before.

Oh, did I mention Christmas my ancient, in digital world terms, laptop and net book had both crashed, independent of each other, though previously scheduled posts did continue to publish.

Following my son's departure, my dishwasher presented the first service man, middle-aged, a perplexing problem.  He left with one of my Corning Ware dishes smeared with a resistant-to-cleaning black film after reporting, "In my forty years I've never seen this problem before."   I'd received no feedback by the end of the week, so I phoned my longtime independent appliance store. No answers were forthcoming but we made arrangements for another service person to investigate the problem the first of the next week.

I decided I no longer needed to preserve all the blackened dishes I'd saved from the two earlier dishwasher actions, since service people had that one dish to examine. Over the next several days, 'cause I work best in spurts and don't welcome standing at a sink for long periods of time, I soaked several sink-filled batches of dishes, then scrubbed them clean.  This week in preparation for the new serviceman,  I accumulated a few new soiled dishes, intentionally dirtied a few more, to put a minimum number as guinea pigs into the dishwasher cause if they didn't get cleaned properly I wanted as few as possible to scrub.

The new much younger serviceman arrived with my still soiled Corning Ware 1 1/2 quart cooking dish noting, "In all my years working I've never seen this problem before."  Deja vu!   We discussed various issues, then he simply started the dishwasher.   He recommended I run sink water until it's hot before turning on my dishwasher.  Given our drought concerns I'll be capturing this early run of cold water to pour over a fern outside my front door that I have to water by hand anyway.

Periodically, as the dishwasher proceeded through its cycles the serviceman checked the water temperature as he had done earlier with the sink water faucet.  Temps were all fine.  He left after an hour with the dishwasher still completing it's long wash cycle, then sanitizing.   Later, job completed, I held my breath when I opened the door.  Voila!  Perfecto! The dishes, glasses and utensils sparkling clean as they should be.  So...I still don't know the source of the black film.  No, it wasn't mold.  I just hope it never returns.

The sometimes circus-like, and more worrisome serious aspects associated with the preparations for the incoming new U.S. government administration has been  hard to ignore.  During this time avoiding the continuing flamboyant, braggadocia -- a true example of the ugly American --  has been almost impossible.   I continue to be repelled by a leader who flaunts reasonable expectations he follow ethical and moral practices demonstrating his clear lack of conflicts of interest with his businesses, refuses to release his income taxes with a meaningless excuse and now presumes to say the American people don't care -- basically, he's saying, "Trust me" -- but he's a snake-oil salesman I am likely to least trust.   Also,  his mendacity, his proclivity toward pettiness, grudge-holding and retaliation against anyone disagreeing or critiquing him -- just to name a few troublesome character traits are repugnant. The thought this person represents me to the rest of the world is embarrassing to say the least.

All that said, I will continue to support our democratic republic and oppose all that is threatening.  I look forward to the future.

Monday, January 09, 2017

KEEP UNITED STATES, THE WORLD, GREAT!

A message worth listening to.......if we want the United States and the world to be great.  


Meryl Streep accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at 2017 Golden Globes






                                                      CPJ


                                                      (Click on link above)




          

Sunday, January 01, 2017

NEW YEAR 'ESTIVAL

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Computer I use for blogging crashed Christmas Day and this one is not as amenable to Blogger on the small device's screen.  My Word recent items not accessible, so will see how my future posts go, or when computer issue resolved.


Manhattan Transfer and New York Voices (live 2011) combine with a jazz classic, Birdland.
                                                                                                                        

Saturday, December 31, 2016

SNOWFALL ENCORE

Winter's snow fall warrants a musical encore from another harmonious vocal group,
Singers Unlimited,  as this holiday season continues.  












Friday, December 30, 2016

HOLIDAY FEELING



That Holiday Feeling  lingers on with Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme expressing those emotions in song here. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

LET IT SNOW

Snow memories continue with New York Voices and Helsinki Swing Big Band  musically  saying ...   Let It Snow     


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

HAPPY HOLIDAYS



The season's festive occasions continue with a wish for a happy holiday from Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gome singing this delightful song written by Irving Berlin.  Arranged by Don Costa.