Sunday, May 01, 2011

A day of pet peeves!

1. As a result of Bob's nearly endless surgeries, two years ago I took over the job of cutting the grass inside our fenced yard. (We have a landscaper cut the area outside the fence.) Bob is well now and could resume mowing duty, but he doesn't seem inclined. Maybe he knows how much I like doing it?

So today I ventured out for the first time this season. I have a sweet little Black and Decker battery powered weed whacker that I love, it works like a charm. It takes two batteries to finish the yard, and I always have one fully charged and installed, and the back up one in the charger, ready to go.

I did the pre-mowing poop patrol. Not the big job of the season, I did that early this year - back in March when there was still some snowy patches here and there. We had a warm day. No words can really describe the job, but if you are interested for some reason, you can read more about my annual spring task here. Since that post was written, I resolved to never let it go again, I would brave a blizzard. But that's an easy resolution during a mild winter. So that went by the wayside, I wasn't able to keep up with it, and it was an awful job this year.

I collected the toys Sam has left out in the yard recently. I fished my weed whacker out of the shed, and fired it up. Of course, after a winter of sitting in the shed, the battery still had some juice, but not much. No biggie. Normally, I would put on the fresh one from inside, and start re-charging the dead one.

Guess again. The charger had been unplugged and moved at some point since last fall - probably to plug in the vacuum cleaner or radio, and that battery was also almost dead. I managed to edge around the patio and mow maybe 1 foot of yard. What a disappointment! Now it will probably rain for a week.

2. Since good weather has arrived, we've been taking the dogs for a long walk in the cemetery behind our house a few times per week, time- and weather-permitting. This is something that we haven't done in two years, (again) due to those endless surgeries. I can't handle both dogs at the same time. Sam can be a handful - he likes to move right along!, Sophie likes to go very slowly and sniff every inch, and with my bad ankle, I'd surely fall as I was pulled in two directions.

They love it, and it's good for us, too. We always take along one or two Stewart's bags each (is poop the theme today or what). I don't ever throw anything on the ground, and I certainly would not leave behind dog crap. But it seems to me that the other folks who walk dogs in the cemetery do not share my perspective. I don't remember this being true in the past. At first I thought it was because of the winter, maybe people were more careless in bad weather, and once the spring clean up took place, everyone would be respectful. That isn't the case. I see fresh loads all over (and so does Sophie!). Clean up you slobs!

3. I wouldn't leave the poop but I am going to leave the theme! Today church was very crowded. There were some kids who made their first communion. That's wonderful, it is always nice to see the little kids all dressed up and excited.

I knew immediately that something was going on because when I opened the door, it was very noisy. Every spring, this event is celebrated at Mass, but for some reason this year, there were many more extended family and friend guests there to witness it, and it seemed as if the majority of these people either had never been inside of a church before and had no clue what was going on, or if they had, they resented being there. Either way, they talked constantly, didn't lean forward or pull down the kneeler so that others could kneel, fussed with their kids, constantly going to the bathroom, switching places in the row, etc. I didn't notice any smartphones, but after a while, I was kind of numb from the din and the camera flashing. I know we're supposed to be as welcoming and nonjudgmental as possible, and to be happy that newcomers attended. I am - or I guess I try, but it is hard sometimes. Instead I just aim for being tolerant.

It isn't that I want to judge people who don't attend regularly or at all, or who have different religious traditions. It's that when you go to a religious service, even if it is unfamiliar and/or you are a nonbeliever, it is important to follow the behavior norms. You don't have to say the prayers or sing the songs or give money. But you should sit quietly and not disturb others. I've been to many different services that were not from my own tradition, and I have always tried to behave politely. I mean, it isn't as if you are forced to go. If it is going to be torture for you, if you must chat constantly, smart phone, run around the aisles, etc. then decline the invitation and stay home. Maybe just show up for the luncheon afterwards, the way people sometimes do for wedding receptions.

Anyway, I have joked to Bob about having lecture center type seminars for children on various subjects. For instance, for kids who are TV addicts and can't sit still in school, just show continuous Dora or Baby Einstein videos. I am not being serious, naturally, but we have fun laughing about it. So today, I told him that I have an idea for a new seminar, but this one would be for adults: "How to behave in church."

4. This made me glad I canceled the "paper."  With friends like this, who needs enemies? Yeah, thanks TU. We'll take it from here.

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