The only reason this poster remains on the pole this long after the election must be because it’s over the heads of most of my neighbors. I never noticed it before so I’m guessing the flag-whipping, 4X4 truck drivers that roar through town never look up either.
I’ve heard that when you keep someone waiting, they’re counting your faults. I’m a pretty patient waiter which makes Sally, my cycling companion, and me compatible, because she can find more reasons to make a person wait than one can imagine. It’s not just that she can’t keep up on the climb (which she can because she has an e-bike, but she doesn’t like to exert herself), and she’s inclined to take her time on the descent, but she also has to stop frequently to check her heart rate monitor, apply chap stick, answer her text messages, apply sun screen, eat a snack, take a snapshot or twenty of a beautiful leaf, add a layer of clothing, take off a layer, etc. And the worst of it is, she doesn’t have enough faults for me to entertain myself by counting them.
While her dawdling can be aggravating, I’m not sure it can even be called a fault; it’s just her nature. When she perseverates about whether she will need a windbreaker or not, I suggest that, since it weighs nothing, she stuff it in the pack instead of dithering about it.
She always carries a pack that looks like she’s doing a through hike of the Appalachian Trail, so space isn’t an issue. I never have to worry about packing food because she always has a smorgasbord of tasty snacks and generously shares them with me. Stuffed into her oversized hydration pack are jackets, shirts, leg guards, dry sports bras, extra gloves, piano bench and monkey wrench. When we stop so she can apply sun screen, everything comes out. It looks like we’re holding a trail-side garage sale.
Saturday, riding with Sally, my back was giving me fits and my patience wore a bit thin, especially as the day wore on and I got hungry. So today, I decided to ride with the guys. Guys generally aren’t inclined to dally and they certainly don’t make me wait on the descents. But, oh my Dog, their conversation is so boring! How they can carry on about the length of their cranks, how quickly their seat post rises, how much travel their fork has, gear ratios, etc! I can tell you’re bored just reading about it. So, I think I’ll go back to waiting for Sally. At least we talk about interesting things…like work, our dogs, and people who dump trash.
The anniversary of my mom’s death is coming up and, while I don’t dwell on such things, certain events do bring her to mind on a pretty regular basis. For instance, our nectarine trees bore a bountiful crop this year, so my freezer is full of luscious fruit. It’s easy and delicious to pop a few into the Bullet blender to whip up a simple smoothie. All that roughage makes for entertaining sneak attacks on one’s mate or dog-startling audible eruptions, especially if you “push a little” as Mum used to say.
Now, my mom was a world class farter, though she rarely used the word. Her “whiffers” have been remarked upon by neighbors whose jaded senses never even register their own dog’s barking. So, this morning, when I pushed out a particularly melodic burst, I thought of Mum. R.I.P.
What’s up with the new tedious sign-in procedure every time I want to comment on one of my subscription’s posts? Is it just me, or is everyone jumping through hoops to weigh in? That coupled with the fact that my computer seems to have contracted a bug that makes my mouse uncooperative, is severely dampening my ability to leave cheery, witty, positive comments when I’m snarling inside.
So, I apologize to my many clever and interesting blogger friends for simply hitting the “like” button on their posts. Anything more is just too labor intensive until I get my computer fixed or replaced.
Don’t you just love seeing the package delivery truck pull up in front of your house? One of the unspoken pleasures of a porous memory is that, in the time it takes for the “free delivery” purchase to arrive, I can completely forget what I ordered. It’s like a surprise birthday present (the present, not the birthday; I still remember my birthday).
My favorite add-to-cart therapy comes from ordering books from ABE.com (American Book Exchange). Place an order today, for say four books, and you can receive four packages over the next four weeks, for about $20.
Out of consideration for the livelihood of my favorite authors, I usually buy new releases when they come out in soft cover. But when I want to binge read Wallace Stegner, Graham Greene, Edward Abbey, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ernest Hemingway, or any of my favorite now deceased writers, I buy used books. If I’m perfectly honest, I’ll admit to buying used books of living authors whom I have only recently discovered. It would not be affordable for my budget to order all of Kazuo Ishiguro’s earlier novels when I ordered his latest Klara and the Sun.
But once I’ve discovered a writer who captures my attention, I’m hooked for life. Someone loaned me Barbara Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible and I’ve purchased every new novel she’s released (hard cover, no less) since I read it and every previously published novel, used from ABE.com.
My niece, who works for a pest control service is horrified to think of me bringing used books into my home for fear of bed bugs, yet she shops second hand stores for her clothes. I have a feeling that libraries would be infested with the critters if that were really a problem.
The biggest danger of cheap books is over-burdening my book shelves. It’s too easy to order books I never get around to reading, which I store for years. You know the kind: Moby Dick (started it three times), Don Quixote, or any of those classics that I thought would look good on my shelves. There they sit, nestled between the oft read and lovingly remembered volumes: Desert Solitaire, A Walk in the Woods, Black Beauty, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The Lacuna, Bonk, and the list goes on and on.