An Almost Perfect Day

After weeks of planning the day is here.  Up early I checked off my list.

Eclipse glasses – check

Picnic basket packed – check

Coolers packed with beer, sodas and lots of ice – check

Extra towels, tee shirts, bug spray and sun screen – check

Gas tanks on the boat filled – check.

With all that done my husband and I climb into the mini-van for the drive to the marina, usually about ten minutes away and, wonders never cease, only a ten minute drive today. Arriving at the marina another near miracle, an empty parking place only a few steps from the ramp to our boat.  As we started out of the marina to the main lake the weather was about as good as it gets mid August, a little hot with a little breeze and only the occasional puffy white cloud here and there.  Motoring down the lake toward our destination the water had hardly a ripple and when we got into the bay our favorite spot was vacant!  We had our choice of places to beach the pontoon with only a handful of other pontoons pulled in to the shore and none of those close to our chosen piece of shaded sandy gravel (or maybe better defined as gravely sand).

We unloaded the coolers, picnic basket, chairs, beach blanket, foldup chairs and portable radio onto the shore and the husband took off in the pontoon to pick up the grand kids while I got organized and then sat down to read the newspaper for a few minutes.  When he returns we have the only disappointment of the day; our daughter was not feeling well enough to come out on the lake with us for the day.  COPD chooses the worst damn times to act up.

As soon as we had secured the boat we began passing out the glasses and making sandwiches.  The grandkids and their dates kept us company and we all began watching the sky, waiting for the first little crescent to appear at the west side of the sun.  After a couple of beers (a time measurement used at picnics) there it was.  Just about that same time an unusual thing happened.  All the boats in the bay stopped running back and forth.  No one was zipping along on a sky doo, no one was water skiing and no one was squealing on a towable behind a boat.  Everyone was looking up.

Now an eclipse takes a while and it appears to happen slowly from our earthly vantage point so for the next little while activity increased then decreased as people looked up, then took a break to get a snack or a drink or just rest the neck from all that sky viewing and then looked up again.  And then, brightness became less bright and more like an approaching storm then more like the sky just before the sun breaks the horizon at dawn then, wow!  Twilight in the middle of the day.  A strange not quiet night but for sure not day darkness and the sun through the glasses a black ball with the tiniest thin line of light around the edge.  Taking the glasses off for the oh so short totality the trees seemed charcoal grey instead of green and the shadows deep and dark.  The water took on a sheen like black satin and I could briefly hear crickets in the woods.  All of us were awe struck.

I feel certain that this is a once in a lifetime event for me.  It is not likely that I will be living under the totality of a solar eclipse again before I die and neither is it likely that if I am around to see another that I would share it with my grandson and granddaughter and their significant others under a clear sky floating in refreshing water with a perfectly chilled beer.

It’s all good.


An Almost Perfect Day

What I really want

I would like to go to bed at the end of the day feeling that I accomplished what was needed for the day.  I would like to sleep soundly and wake refreshed.  I want to begin the day with no decision more important than whether to wear a white shirt or black.  It would be so nice to have coffee outside with the hummingbirds and walk in the park to a bench in the shade where I could sit with a book and enjoy a soft breeze.

I want to clean my house and bake fresh bread with no thought of things outside my walls.  I want to meet new people and like them and be liked by them.  To be comfortable in the knowledge that I am loved.  To dance and jump rope and play games and laugh; laugh with abandon.  To have the pleasure of childhood in my adult world.  This business of being grown up is not working out as well as one might hope.

Therein lies the problem.  Adulthood.  The part of life with responsibilities and obligations.  Adults have bills to pay, jobs to do, families to care for, communities to be a part of , standards to uphold.  I seem to have done adulthood fairly well with an occasional slip-up now and then.  Most days I don’t mind it, even enjoy it.  And, really, I would not be a child again even if I could.  Once through each of the stages of this life is enough for me.


What I really want

I think this about that

Trump.  The problem.  For me the biggest problem.  Since last November 9 I have lost a lot of my attention span.  I don’t sleep well.  I drink more.  There are more people that I just don’t want to talk to and sure as hell don’t want to listen to.  I am not alone.  But I feel more lonely in this crazy world since 45 took office.  I don’t interact with new people for fear of learning that they support the policies of the current administration.  I just don’t want to know anymore of those.  Even so they are still around. I overhear them in restaurants loudly proclaiming how 45 is going to show those liberals a thing or two.  Why is it that these guys always make sure the whole room hears what they are talking about?  I learned at an early age to keep the volume down on private conversations in public places by my mother leaning in close to my ear and softly but clearly stating “do not talk loud in public, it is trashy and an ugly way to behave.”  Made a believer out of me.

It seems to me that freedom of speech being the first amendment is significant.  It is first and foremost what a free nation must be about.  Any and all of the citizens of the USA may say whatever they wish as long as there is no threat to others.  Of course, we hope that speaking freely would involve speaking the truth or at least believing to be speaking the truth.  Then there are protests.  A lot of people would rather there be no protests because they interfere with the delusion that there is peace.  There are those who believe when people gather to protest they should be ignored and will therefore go away.  I believe that it is important to stand up and speak out for what we believe to be right and against what we believe to be wrong.

Under the laws of this nation peaceable protests are allowed for every point of view, even the most repugnant.  Peaceable being the most important element.  What we saw this weekend was not and was never intended to be a peaceable protest.  The bigots waving Nazi and confederate flags came looking for trouble and when met with opposition made sure to escalate it to fever pitch.  Driving a car into a crowd of protesters is terrorism.  I feel pride for those who showed up and stood up for what they see as right and just and shame for those who shouted racist slurs and blatant threats to others who had an equal right to be there.  Trying to shout down any opposing speech and threatening fellow citizens makes them cowardly bullies.  In my own opinion it also makes them assholes.

Speaking of assholes, there was a school teacher on public radio a couple of days ago talking about sex education.  I was listening to this in my car and had to pull into a parking lot to keep from losing my temper behind the wheel.  This woman actually said that she teaches the girls in her class that the only way to be safe is not to engage in sexual intercourse, which is offensive enough.  She went on to say that while she is not allowed to mention god or religion she carefully lets them know that sexual intercourse leaves them damaged and that while they may not know it now they will regret the sex for the rest of their lives.   This is a person who is shaping young girls self image.  She will cause some of them to feel shame.  She will cause some of them to doubt their own competence.  Her influence could be the last straw for a child contemplating suicide.  This is disgraceful.  I have let members of the school board (yes this woman is local) know my feelings.  I expect nothing to come of that.

Girls and boys, young men and women, please learn about your own bodies and make decisions about what you do and do not do with them based on fact.  Get your information from your parents, from doctors, from adults who care about you and want what’s best for you not from anyone promoting their own agenda.

I think this about that