Thursday, October 31, 2002

Things that go bump in the night

I can't remember my costume from Halloween 1966, the year I was in kindergarten. I don't have any pictures either. But I do have a very clear memory of at least a part of that night. I think it might be one of the reasons - even the major reason - that I am not completely comfortable in a car.

A magical thing I remember, or at least I think I remember, is that we collected a lot of candy that Halloween. In my mind's eye I see paper bags brimming with candy. The kind of bags that supermarkets always gave, before the better stores started to parrot "plastic or paper?," crummy stores just shoved your groceries in plastic without bothering to ask, and the really eco-sensitive began to carry around re-usable canvas. A couple of years later, when we moved to West Shokan, we'd walk around, from house to house, on Halloween night. But when we lived in Boiceville, Route 28 made walking too dangerous, even in the 1960s. So we drove around, going to the more densely populated areas of our town. In Shokan, there were some developments, or what I thought were developments until I visited Bob's family in Long Island, years later. But for the Town of Olive, they are developments, built when IBM had a big presence in Kingston [see my essay Ghosts of the Past].

It was the end of the night, and we headed home; we were leaving Aunt Dot's house, going around a turn from Black Road to Bostock Road. My father was driving some sort of a Jeep. It had a button on each door that you pressed to open it, the kind of design that Ralph Nader might agitate against. That Jeep had bucket seats, and my brother was sitting on something like an upside down spackle pail in the middle. I was sitting on my mother's lap in the passenger's side. As I recall, there were no handles or armrests. The days before "paper or plastic?" were also a time when children did not have to be strapped in the backseat until they were old enough to drive, when seatbelts were optional, when bicycles and helmets were not found in the same sentence. (It's just my impression, but I think road rage may have been less common, though.)

We rounded the turn, pressed against the door, the button did its job, the door flew open, and my mother and I fell out. There was nothing to grab on the way out but my brother, and doing that would have made him tumble out, too. My biggest problem was being scared; it happened so fast, a moment of horror, and then I stood up and cried. Afterwards, I refused to sit on anyone's lap in the car. My mother took the brunt of the fall and was quite banged up from landing in the gravel stones, but considering other potential, very serious outcomes, she was very lucky. Last weekend, I was thinking, I guess our numbers just weren't up.

I think the big bags of candy were unharmed.

Fast forward to 2002, we made 80 packets of candy last night.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

My workload has increased; registration for the Spring semester just started, and my advisement duties are keeping me hopping. Plus, it is about the midpoint of the semester, so there is always a lot of student assessment/feedback. I do like working directly with students, though. Next week, after my sister is back from a trip to Ireland, I am going to finish, post and link to a page about Annie McSpirit Handmade Soap.

Tuesday Too (on Wednesday, again)

1.) What did you think was on the "other side" as a little kid, and how is it different from what you think is "there" today? (Thank you Leah and Gina [me!] :-)

I don't remember focusing on it that much as a kid. Certainly the concept was there in the readings at Mass, and of course I knew people, and animals, that died, but it wasn't until I was a teenager that the question really captured my attention. At that time, I read a lot on the subject: Elisabeth Kubler-Ross books (On Death and Dying), and some popular works, for instance Life After Life and The Evidence for Life After Death. I found a lot of comfort in that reading.

My grandmother and I talked a great deal about the topic. She promised she would let me know someday, as it was likely I would outlive her. The summer after she died nine years ago, I felt the world was different; somehow less colorful. Oh, the grass was green and the sky was blue, but it wasn't the same shade or brightness or something. Then one night I had a dream. She was sitting there, as always, at the little table in her kitchen, but her mobile home had been transported to a stunning hillside, surrounded by hay and Christmas-tree sized spruce trees. We had tea. She was OK. I felt better afterwards, though I still think of her, and miss her, a lot.

A few years ago a friend gave me a book called Embraced by the Light. I hope it is like that account. I have written something a bit more elaborate on the topic, and it is posted on my website. It is a short personal essay, called "Compost Pile" (it is a PDF file).

2.) What's your mood today? Do you believe in the power of mood rings?

I am busy, a little tired (we went to a Herbie Hancock concert last night), but generally in a good mood today. I had a mood ring in the seventies (and I still have it in my old ballerina jewelry box that plays Around the World in Eighty Days) but I was never much impressed with them. So they are back in again? Has the technology improved?

3.) Describe your absolute favorite Halloween costume? Did you play tricks on people, even when they gave you a treat?

About the costume, I rarely get dressed up any more, and when I do, it is pretty last minute and lame; last year, I was "taping is hell" and Bob was "painting is hell," or maybe that was vice-versa. We wore spackling knives and paint brushes on rope around our necks and headbands of plush devil horns. I am not sure about a favorite, but I am going to post some old pictures here and those will suffice for an answer. About playing tricks, generally I just collected as much candy as possible, but there were a couple of halloweens when I went out with a pack of kids, including one of my brothers, and we did throw stuff like tomatoes and toilet paper some bushes, etc. I wasn't really the lead participant, I was more of a witness to others in the pack. We didn't do anything super destructive, although if someone toilet papered my trees now, I would probably be mad.

I am saving my story about Halloween 1966 for tomorrow, but here are the pics:

This is halloween 1971. My mother sewed the dress and hat for me; the basket was from being flower girl in my brother's wedding.

This is halloween 1978. We won second place in our dorm's party! (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs won first.)

This must be about halloween 1987, although I am not 100% sure. This could be Bob's favorite costume.

This is also about 1978. I am not certain this was taken precisely at halloween, but it is a great costume photo anyway. (No, these aren't the tomatoes we threw.)

Monday, October 28, 2002

Here is a photo of a small pumpkin I grew 15 years ago.

Coming soon...halloween photos.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Well I'm not disappointed, the leaves are beautiful here in the Catskills, even on a rainy day! Soon we will fall behind - unlike most I do not mourn daylight savings time, but relish the extra hour we get back in the best part of the "evening." The early darkness is cozy, all snug in my house, and it makes summer more precious. (I was going to write "summer is overrated," but that isn't completely true.)

I believe I will take up the suggestion from my comments, and when I post the pictures here I will write about Halloween 1966 or '67. I don't remember which it was either, and I'm not sure what costume I wore, but I will never forget the events of that night (and I have a feeling my anonymous commenter remembers it even better than I do). In another strange coincidence, we were coming from my Aunt Dot's house that night. Tonight we had dinner at Aunt Dot's!

Saturday, October 26, 2002

Late late late at night and I have just finished what I call "mid-point updates" for my online students. I've stopped giving midterm exams, but I still let students know how they are doing on their journals, discussion participation and if they are missing any essays or the term paper topic. Doing high-quality, meaningful assessment, and giving appropriate feedback, is not easy. And it is time consuming, even with tools like spreadsheets and merge letters. Next week I will have to figure out a similar process for the classroom students. I am trying to design equivalent experiences for both cohorts, whether it is a group assignment, or feedback on their performance in some aspect of the course.

Off to Samsonville tomorrow; we are planting garlic that we got from the Saugerties garlic festival a few weeks ago. I am really looking forward to seeing those beautiful leaves and the mountains surrounding the reservoir. Maybe I will take some pictures if the weather is nice and I remember. I'm not sure whether I am more eagerly anticipating the leaves or Ma's promise of eggplant parmesan! I hoped to bake a pie tonight, but the evaluations took forever. So maybe I'll take the apples along and do it tomorrow.

Something coincidental: in Jeneane's survey, she asked about readers for your ejournal. One of the things I wrote in response was that my comments are few, and they come more often in the form of an email message. Also that people I know tended to react to my writing more in the past, when I emailed essays and short stories out to a small group, rather than now that I have a web presence. Now, I hear most often from people I do not know in person. Then suddenly, I get comments from two people I do know! So in honor of Halloween, and also in response to their comments, after the weekend I am going to post some photos of Halloween from many moons ago. But just now it is time to go to bed.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

I completed an interesting survey on ejournaling that Jeneane posted over at blogsisters. It takes some time but I found it a worthwhile effort, and she is hoping to use the results for a book, series of articles, or written pieces of some sort.

We got all sorts of things for Halloween. Some years we have 100 kids come to our house. That's what happens in a safe village, just up the street from the firehouse where a party is held. The kids who go to that party hit every house nearby. And I think people who live in places that are not as conducive to trick-or-treating bring their kids here. Last year, probably because of the atmosphere after 9/11, I think we only got about 40, but I know that exceeds what many people expect. Anyhow, I like to make it fun, because it was always fun for me, and I hope some carefree things about being a kid can be preserved in today's world. So we have an electronic windsock pumpkin on the porch, and a gumby-like skeleton. We got pumpkins and corn from the farm stand. Last night I added a creepy electronic candy bowl - they are selling them everywhere - and Bob insisted on a fog machine. We got an assortment of candy and some decorative bags. I think I will bring candy in for my students next week, too. Tsk, tsk. Am I trying to gain brownie points for the end-of-semester course evaluations or something?

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Tuesday Too

1.) What would you like the world to spend research money on (inner space, outer space, stem cell, you name it research), and why do you give it top priority?

Education, of course. It is my field, after all. And I do believe learning, and everything associated with it, are top priorities. We may never live forever, but we certainly can expand our minds in whatever time we do have.

2.) Where's the beef, Carmine Miranda, or what's bugging you lately?

Although I am miles away, and I know "routine" violence (as if there could be such a thing) never receives as much media attention, the sniper in Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia is bothering me.

3.) Elliott would like to know, do you type without looking at the keyboard; in other words, are you a hunt and peek (in his case that would be hunt and claw), or a "true typist?"

I guess I am a true typist. I am fast enough, and I get better the more I type, although I do a slightly modified version of "real typing." I fare best on a full-size IBM PC keyboard; on other brands I tend to have to "hunt" for del, shift, etc. a lot more. I took typing in high school - on an IBM Selectric. Before that, my Aunt Jean showed me how to type on on her IBM Selectric and I used to do a little work for her in a home business. As an undergraduate, I earned $1 per page typing term papers on my Smith Corona. But I didn't really learn to keyboard until much later, when I had my own computer and started to do a lot of typing: term papers, short stories, then email, etc. And of course there were the days and weeks and months of data entry at work, when I became a numeric keypad pro.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Well - I did all of the things on the 17 page list (I'm only exaggerating a little) that AOL Tech Support recommended - it took the better part of a day - and still I have to delete the file and reselect the cable modem every time I sign on to AOL 8.0 or it freezes. I'm sure the things I did were worth it, in terms of servicing this old machine. But yes, I am reminded why I don't upgrade so soon after release. Naturally, if I contact them again, I will be directed to about 100 more things to try, because I'm sure no one has a clue yet what will fix the problem. Too bad I don't want to pay for the privilege of performing testing for the company; my time is too precious and too valuable. So I'm throwing in the towel at the moment - I have to get back to my real work - and deleting and re-creating that file is no big deal for now.

A quick search on the Internet on the subject turns up (besides my own remarks!) nothing very helpful - a few reviews of the software, and then the usual comments/discussion areas where an assortment of nutjobs trash AOL and anyone who is willing to use it; of course a few reasonable people are sucked in to these "conversations," but aside from a little temporary amusement over the extreme remarks of the nutjobs, I gain nothing valuable. I've always been on the fringe; a long time computer user, not exactly a techie but quite literate, thank you. To me, technology is a tool. I don't care very much for TV, video games, cell phones (or any phone really, although I do have both). I don't care for "IM" for the same reasons I don't like talking on the phone very much. Computer & etc.-wise, I like IBM, I like HP, I like Netscape, I like Corel WordPerfect, I like Adobe PageMill, I like Lotus 1-2-3 and Notes. I like AOL, and I don't care to change my simple email address. I don't like things Microsoft at all, and never have. Of course what with monopoly and all, I have to use the operating system and many applications, or at least convert to .rtf when sharing. Oh, I really can't stand Outlook, which I use for the university. And my disdain extends to "his" wretched book, which I had to read in graduate school.

Anyway, I have to admit that so far the AOL upgrade is very nice. And the good news is, I finished my Virtual Museum for October/November; the subject: Apples. Improvement noted: Uploading the files was very fast!

On a different note, soon I am going to establish a password protected area here in my journal so that I can take notes about my online v. classroom impressions. Regarding the group work assignment, I have been making some interesting observations.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Spent too much of the day tinkering with AOL 8.0. As it turns out, the problem wasn't solved yesterday and I had three chats with Tech Support. I can use it, but each time I exit I have to delete a file called and then re-select the cable modem connection every time I sign on. I now have a list of things to try to rectify this problem that will take a lot of time, energy and patience. So for the moment I am satisfied with the deleting thing. I hope this isn't the first indicator that I need a new machine. What an unpleasant thought, but I know it is coming, and probably soon. This one is rather old, although still above the supposed system requirements. And since I must have another IBM (I'm thinking NetVista) because I can't abide any other kind, I'd rather not replace it immediately...I've long thought that this single fact - that fairly computer literate, yet not very techie veteran users like me haven't found an application that forced us to upgrade the hardware - is the reason for the sagging tech sector. I believe it is all thanks to Microsoft, which having gobbled up market share, fails to produce anything even remotely innovative (or even as good as its gasping for air competitors). The beauty of advertising, eh? But will AOL be it for me? Time will tell, although I really don't have the time to re-install and migrate all the files that will be needed for complete system upgrade. It makes me tired to think of it. January break would be the soonest, I guess. So I hope to sort it out without needing to resort to that.

This weekend, October 19 and 20, is the Ulster County Artisan Path. My sister makes Annie McSpirit Handmade Soap, and she will be demonstrating soap making at Creative Spirit Gifts in Olivebridge, NY. Sure is pretty this time of year, so if you want to do a little leaf peeping, enjoy arts and crafts, and maybe some early holiday shopping, this sounds like the event!

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Rainy again. The leaves are finally changing. In Samsonville it was pretty this past weekend, at least as far as I could tell through the rain. Monday was a clear and cobalt-blue sky day, though. Monday night we had a killing frost. I didn't cover anything, although I was a little sad to see the coleus, impatiens and cherry tomato go, but I figured October 14 is pretty late so whatever. Today we had to have the a few minor parts replaced in the furnace, because the pilot wouldn't stay lit. I made baked apples to warm up the house. Good thing I washed all the blankets recently!

I spent much of today installing AOL 8. At first I was a little nervous because I thought it had screwed up my machine. I was kind of distracted when the furnace was being repaired, what with trying to keep the dogs entertained. I had to coax Sophie upstairs, as she is nervous around strangers and she kept barking. It takes a long time for her to haul that hotdog body up those steep stairs! Luckily Rudy stayed with her and she calmed down. (He is such a good dog.) So it was probably a stupid idea to start the download at that time. I really should have been working on my classes, but I'm in OK shape for a day or so. Generally I don't upgrade right away, instead waiting for the bugs to be worked out before bothering. But this version has been receiving so much hype that I was tempted. The result was that it froze up several times and I figured it would never let me sign on. Anyway, I wound up deleting all the files and starting from scratch with the upgrade after the heat was working and things had calmed down here. All's well that ends well, because this time it worked fine. Next on the agenda is completing my virtual museum on apples at the GBP website.

Another Tuesday Too (on Wednesday)

1.) I know we've been here before, but perhaps you got a different one now. What's your "must see" movie, and why should I see it?

How about My Big Fat Greek Wedding? It's funny, it's heartwarming, it's independent, and it's breaking records. I think it is still at the movies in most places. Go see it! (For a rental movie, I really, really like Sya's suggestion of The Red Violin. What a beautiful, imaginative story.)

2.) What have you been procrastinating on, that you've just got to do, or finish up?

Three things come to mind. First, putting my button collection back up. I cleaned the dust off them, organized them, made .jpg images of them, posted them at my website, and they have been sitting here, waiting to be re-displayed. (Today I made some progress on this; I put the sheets on which they are fastened into archival sheet protectors; now I have to hang them up). Second, finishing the curtains on the porch. I have had four panels done for months; there are four to go. (A few days ago I bought a cheap little sewing machine to make this job easier). Third, really making a commitment to the treadmill, which is a struggle for me. Sometimes I am good about exercising, sometimes I am not. (I have just started to use it again.)

3.) Are you wondering, what in the world is happening? Are you afraid to pump gas? Do you think the US media has focused too much on the Maryland sniper? Why, or why not?

I don't drive, so I don't pump gas! But seriously, yes, I do wonder about what is happening. It is scary. I don't believe coverage in standard media (newspapers, radio, network television) is excessive, but all the cable news channels always obsess too much about all sensational issues. When programming is 24/7, that is to be expected.

Friday, October 11, 2002

Rainy day today, and the forecast says rain most of the weekend. Although I probably should grade essays or something, I am considering doing a little work to update my Gully Brook Press website. I need to post a new virtual museum, and I already know the topic will be apples. I might make an apple pie for my father, who I know must be feeling blue. Uncle Joe died yesterday morning. He was 88, but looked and seemed much younger. It's good that he wasn't ill for very long. His picture, when he was a boy in 1919, is in my Immigrant Roots virtual museum. He lived in Florida all of my life, having moved there from New York in the 1950s. We visited every winter for a couple of weeks, and after us kids were grown, my father continued to make an annual trip to Miami, most recently last June. Uncle Joe loved dogs as much as I do, and always had at least a couple. He also had other animals when I was a kid, including a precocious Myna bird. In recent years he cared for his wife, who died from Alzheimer's disease in 1997. I am remembering a Florida trip years ago, a bright, orange-tinged memory, and Uncle Joe giving me several pads and pencils to use for drawing, as the year before I had spent many hours doodling during our visit.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Fall cleaning. That's how I spent last weekend. It's basically the same idea as Spring cleaning, it's just the season that is different. Cleaning the dust, Rudy and Edna hair tumbleweeds (after months of supplements - Omega 3 and 6, B vitamins, and something called 'Nzymes, Sophie has managed to grow a strip of sparse hair on her back but still doesn't shed), and washing what seems like an endless number of blankets. We sure need them. Today I turned the fan off, and decided it was time for the furnace. The animals were curled up in tight balls, reminiscent of a wooly bear caterpillar's reaction when it perceives a threat. One eye opens and they watch me when I enter the room; I am hit with a powerful message: we're cold. Do something.

Of course the pilot light is out, and despite my best efforts I can't get it to stay lit. So I added my pink sweatshirt top to the working-at-home ensemble. My hands are cold as I type. Don, a college friend in Oneonta, used to wear gloves inside. He hardly ever turned on the heat in his railroad apartment, preferring to tough it out. It would have cost a fortune with such high ceilings. I remember him now, fully outfitted for winter, leaning against the cheap paneling in his dark living room, a textbook open nearby, writing with a pen in a spiral bound notebook. He actually seemed to relish the cold. Strange to think he has been dead for twenty years. The image is literally frozen in time.

The leaves are about two weeks behind schedule, and it is far from peak right now. Behind this house, against the tree-covered slope on the other side of the ravine that goes up to the Mountain View Cemetery there is one small oak tree, a pioneer among its mostly still green neighbors, that has fully changed color to a deep reddish orange. I watch it from the back windows of the house, a symbol of the approaching winter.

Another strategy for coping with a chilly house, and one I much prefer to typing with gloves, is baking. We got apples over the weekend; a peck of Mutsus beckons from the porch. (The treadmill is nearby, but that is strangely silent.)

Friday, October 04, 2002

For the first time in months, today I felt cold. The cold of leaves swirling, wooly blankets and LL Bean sweaters. I swapped my usual summer working-at-home garb, denim shorts, for my winter working-at-home garb, bright pink sweatpants. I've always liked fall, relished the colorful leaves and crisp air. Apples, apple cider, apple cider donuts. And apple pie. Summer has been hanging around this year in the weather, and now that it finally seems to be leaving it is bittersweet. Why?

Why this year? Because I am back on the academic calendar, with less time to myself? Because we got our pool late in the summer, and Bob closed it (I confess to doing only a little to help) last weekend? Because my garden's tomato yield was on the disappointing side? Because the cucumbers, which were abundant and especially delicious this year, are now done? My Uncle Joe and Bob's Uncle Bill are both quite ill and that probably is the biggest reason. In general, I am finding that being 41 is fabulous, and aging is awesome. That's explained more in the paragraphs about my risk-taking, below. But there's a rub, and it is a big one. It's the sadness of having to say goodbye. Yes, it exists for your entire life, but it becomes a much more frequent occurrence as you get older.

At some point in the Fall, Mimmie used to begin a sentence with, "Next Spring, If I'm Alive," before she told of the flowers she planned to plant or new garden implement she wanted to buy. A remnant of life on a farm, I guess, and probably passed on from older times when the foreboding Catskill Mountain winter was seen as a predator. Today we have flu shots and the mosquito- and tick- born diseases of summer loom larger.

Four years ago, I took a risk. I left my job as an academic administrator to finish my PhD full time. I had only two courses and the dissertation to go. I was having a spell of burnout that had been going on for a couple of years. In 1996, as the comprehensive exams approached, I considered leaving the program. I wanted - no, needed to find time to write, an on and off passion ever since I can remember, and I didn't see how I could keep working, finish my degree, maintain all the other aspects of life, and pursue my dream at the same time. But I hung in there as long as I could. I took and passed the comps in 1997 and started taking week-long vacations from work to write. I had a lot of time saved up since I rarely had taken more than an occasional day or two off in a row before that.

Then, in 1998, I decided that while I would probably finish the course work, I could never write a dissertation while working full time. Why sacrifice the nearly achieved PhD for a job? So I resigned, and in 2000 I had the PhD in hand. I resolved while I was working on my dissertation that when I finished I was not going to return to administration hastily. My interest in teaching and research had grown. Also, I had some success in getting a few of my freelance pieces published in 1998 and 1999, and I made a lot of progress on my manuscript, A Visit With Mimmie: Catskill Mountain Recipes.

Right before graduation I was pursued, and received a tempting job offer that wasn't exactly the package I wanted. I was proud of myself for holding my ground and turning it down, but for some reason the experience sparked panic, and I began to apply for some positions. Very quickly I was offered one that interested me and I accepted. For a bit more than a year I worked in vocational secondary school administration. It was a good experience, given my background. It exposed me to an environment that had been unfamiliar. However, it wasn't long before the fog of dissertation writing cleared and I remembered that the 9-5 world was not part of my plan. So, a year ago I took another risk; once again I left my job, this time to go completely freelance. For the past year I have been doing contract work, freelance writing and adjunct teaching. Spells of working like crazy, and then scrambling for work.

Today I unsubcribed to the Freelance Job Exchange. It is a good service, and I recommend it. I was a member for several months, and although I could not have supported myself solely on income generated from the membership, I did get two interesting and rewarding projects from it. I am unsubscribing because I no longer need to "hunt" for work. I have enough contacts, my cash flow is secure enough, and my time is appropriately filled, with teaching, advising, mentoring, research, and writing. It took a year. A year. I suspected it would take that long, and for the first time, I allowed myself to wait. Not always easy, but hindsight says it was. In 1996, I could only imagine it.

I took the money I saved, $20 per month, and subscribed to Blogger Pro and Blog Spot Plus. Spell check, no ads, the ability to have drafts, and host graphics. The "close" was that I can make a private journal if I want. Even at that I still have a few dollars a month to spare. Now if only it could be slipped into a little spiral bound notebook that could be taken to the benches where I wait for the bus.

I received an email recently from a woman who asked me if I knew of any Castleton pictures on the web (hi DZ). I did a quick search, and I didn't come up with anything. I'll have to give it some more thought. Although I have no photos of the village in general (and Main St. has some decay, but the Hudson River is pretty), I do have individual house pictures in my booklet, Castleton's Bungalow Houses, and here is a sample:
After class on Tuesday I noticed that my knees were very itchy. When I got home I discovered that I had bites all over them - and a couple at other places on my legs. They have been driving me crazy ever since - they are red, extremely itchy and hot to the touch. More serious than ordinary bug bites, but not as bad as when I was bit by a poison spider years least not yet. It doesn't help matters that when I have a bite, or contact dermatitis, or a blemish of any kind I have to remove it. I don't care how many times I've read that it's a bad idea to pick at zits and such, I must scratch 'til it bleeds. End of story. We haven't had a frost, and maybe some weird insect got me? I've always thought that one of the best things about winter is that all the bugs are dead. We went swimming and hot tubbing at the YMCA tonight and even the skin burning levels of chlorine didn't help a bit.

It must have happened on campus. Something living in my office maybe? It is dark and dusty there. The janitors empty the trash but that's about it. When you share a space with others who aren't there when you are - kind of a transient situation - no one really feels much like cleaning it up. So I sublimated my need to make that one day per week habitat better, and today I freaked out and washed every blanket at home; the ones on the bed, the ones on the couch, the ones in the dogs' and cat's baskets. Tomorrow I am going to launder anything that's left that isn't nailed down. I don't know if the linens were harboring vermin (the image of Edna and her prey is unwelcome) but it made me feel better to do it. And this place certainly needs it.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Tuesday Too

1.) What would make you just give it all up, or if there isn't anything that bad, how come?

No question there are really, really bad things. I've known a few people who have given up, for various reasons, no reason at all, or no reason they shared. Living through that experience is convincing, if I ever had any doubt: there can be nothing bad enough to justify giving it all up. And on the other hand, there are really, really good things, often just around the corner. Why miss out? Finally, that choice hurts others so much. What would justify doing that to loved ones?

2.) What in your life gives you the most satisfaction, or a sense of purpose? Can you explain why?

Oh, how about answering the Tuesday Too! :-)
I guess accomplishing things - writing a story, teaching a class, planting a garden, reading a book, even cleaning the house. I have a need to see tangible results of my efforts. Also, my relationships with family, friends, and pets are rewarding.

3.) What is it you don't have, that you've absolutely got to have?

I'm fairly satisfied, but having a real published copy of my "Mimmie" book in hand sure would be nice.