Yes. I’m sure my house is brown.

Towards the end of June, I called the Dish Tech Dept. to report my satellite television service was not working properly.  I told them that I couldn’t get more than half of my channels and asked if they knew why.  Indeed, they did.  Hurricane in Florida. Or maybe that time it was because it was raining.  One or the other.  I called again.  Hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.  Or maybe rain. One time they asked me if it was cloudy.  I told them I live in Ohio Valley and that it’s often cloudy but that my satellite dish has always worked when it was cloudy before.  I also told them my neighbors had Direct TV and had no problems with clouds, rain, hurricanes in Florida, or yellow waxy buildup on their kitchen floor.  I called yet again.  I talked with a nice woman.  We did some diagnostics and re-booted the receiver.  I had a working satellite for about 2 hours. 

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I’ve called every couple of days since June 29th.  Monday, I talked with a techie who knew what he was doing.  After about an hour on the phone with him, he concluded either my receiver had a bad connection point or something was wrong with the dish.  He scheduled me for a service call today after asking my preference for either 8 to noon or noon to 5.  I complained about the window.  He apologized, but…  I called customer service and complained.  I was told, essentially, “Fine, lady, how about noon to two?”  I agreed.  Someone called last night to confirm my appt. for noon to five.  I said, no, noon to two.  We went rounds.  I talked to supervisors, etc. etc.  Noon to two.

I arrived home at 11:55.  At 2:10, I called and was unceremoniously told my window was noon to 5, but the tech was running late.  I burst into flames.  (This will prove prophetic, later.)  No good.  I called Customer Service and ranted about a month of no service, general dicking around, and now this.  Eventually, I wrangled a $49.99 service call credit.  I made my beach packing list.  At 4:40 I called.  The tech was on his way.  I should call back in 20 minutes if he wasn’t there.  Yeah yeah yeah.  I decided to cook an early dinner.  The phone rang in the midst.  It was not the Dish Network, it was Putnam General Hospital who is perturbed at me because my ex-husband had not yet paid a lab bill.  I wished them well and hung up just as the frying pan burst into flames.

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Love is. . .

Love is fat little cheeks and baby giggles

Steaming chili on the first cold and rainy day of autumn

A fresh pot of coffee that I didn’t have to make.

Love is carrying the groceries in from the car.

And putting them away.

Forehead kisses.

Love is the thunder of little paws headed for the door when the puppies hear the key in the lock.               

Love is talking in the kitchen while dinner cooks.

Love is a care package when I’m sick and cranky.

Love is the creases in the folds of old letters stored in a shoebox

–the stories we need to remember.

Love does not alter, when alteration it finds.

Love is the first big snow of the season and a slow walk through the forest.

Hot cocoa with marshmallows, Godiva truffles, and cornbread slathered in butter.

Love is potato soup and rain on a tin roof.

Love gives without giving in.

Empathy Not surrender.

Hope not fate.

Love is a quilt.

Hand stitched, nine stitches to an inch,

Pieced from the old jeans of shared lives.

Clothes hanging on a line in the summer sun

Love is Queen Anne’s lace

In a cobalt blue drinking glass on the scarred wooden table.

Love is a verb, a noun, an adverb and an adjective.

Love is patient.

Love is kind.

Rose Quartz, Smooth Lava

My childhood—multifaceted – multiplaned – geometric planes.  Rose Quartz and Smooth Lava – pink and black – California and Hawaii – my formative years.  My innocent years. The years I thrived.

Photo by guille pozzi on Unsplash

Rose Quartz

I am playing in our backyard.  Vista, California.  There is an orange grove beyond the fence.  I can smell the blossoms breathing sunshine on the breeze. The ground is scattered with pink quartz.  I am not sure why.  Perhaps my mother was turning soil for a new garden. But it shimmers in the bright scented sun.  The calla lilies of the old garden had not yet bloomed.  Later.

The rose quartz an ethereal glow next to the one large snail with spiral coils on its shell.  Also glistening.  Its slow movement across the fertile soil.  Pink studded.  Glowing and shimmering.  Pink quartz scents my childhood.

Smooth Lava

Kaneohe, Hawaii.  Black lava and green mountains and the red fires of Pele forging the rock. It too shimmers but only when wet. Often the surf pounds that lava—in some places for so long that it is smooth with no jagged edges and feels good on the skin. Bare feet and legs and arms, face turned to the ocean. In others, still jagged, much younger, you can almost feel Pele’s wrath.  Don’t take her from the island.  Just don’t.  The locals tell you.  There are signs.  And portents.  My childhood – a shimmering plane of my life. I miss the joy of smooth lava. The shimmering lava touching my skin, my heart.  Smooth lava – its touch in the bright sun warms my childhood.

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A Perfect Beach Day

The sun is hot on my skin, but a cool wind sends my hair drifting on its currents.

Perfect day at the beach.  Blissfully warm.  Blissfully refreshing breeze.  Silly frou frou drink in my hand.

Frozen strawberry lemonade with vodka, whipped cream, and 3 cherries.  But no umbrella. Alas.

It’s my second one of the day.  The first one lasted nearly three hours. 

I began this perfect beach day at 10:15. Procured the vacation-only drink at about 11.  At two, we trundled up to the beach bar for blackened flounder and French fries with cocktail sauce.  And another drink.  I told the bartender twice as much strawberry lemonade, half as much booze.  He puts it in a 24 oz white Styrofoam cup.  I take most of it back to the beach with me. 

We, my friend and I, sit there until the shadows began to lengthen and the sun moves behind us.  I can feel old Sol’s heat on my shoulders and back.  I feel the stress dripping off me into the sand where the ocean took it far away.

The sound of the surf, the sound of shorebirds, a small child giggling in the distance somewhere.

Sigh.

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