Hello, May!

May is a good month for doing things.  It’s not too hot.  Some of the spring rains are finished.  There’s a positiveness about more daylight each day.  Plant things grow all around anywhere they have a chance to grow and by that nature says there is such a thing as life.  Of course, as usual, that is something particular to the northern hemisphere. The message is delivered in the southern hemisphere six months later or it was delivered six months earlier. That, too, is important as it means that the message is always being announced somewhere.  In turn the message of autumn loses it’s finality and any absoluteness. 

May is very welcome in the apartment underfoot this year. It may be imaginings, but it seems people have been more nasty than usual for some time now, more so with each passing day.  The positiveness of the time takes the edge off of a little of that.  There are probably some valid reasons for people generally being out of sorts or otherwise worried such as the price of gasoline.  If someone has to drive a lot for necessities, no matter what kind of car it is, such was probably not figured into the use.  Then there are things like the religious scandals that keep turning up in the news.  It hasn’t stopped shaking faith to the core. 

So, May with it’s profound and continuous wordless message of hope is valued with the thought that some other people may need it, too, and that will make everything a little better for a while.  A lady was sitting on one of the benches outside of the apartment building the other day that may very well have had a need for such.  She had two very black eyes and her arm in a cast in a sling. Of course, since she’s in an old folks’ home, she can’t be too young, either.  That’s a more extreme case.  All the old folks need the perking up of real life more than that of some activities coordinator.  It should last at least a couple of weeks. 

Nature has many messages.  

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Royal Wedding

There was more in the day’s news than the wedding of a prince of England and his girlfriend.  Even if there is nothing in the day’s news of major interest, there are personal things of importance to everyone ranging from birth to death.  But, the spotlight did have to fall on that wedding.  For one thing, there are not a lot of unmarried princes around.  And, little girls who have read fairy tales where a prince comes along and rescues someone from some dire circumstances have to find out that it is not likely to happen to them, even though there are still a few princes in the real world.  There are probably some unmarried dukes as well. 

From what was seen (not all of the reports were read) it was a very nice affair, and more modest and even more sensible than what might have been.  That’s above and beyond the fact that it was also “different” in that – as is repeatedly stated – the prince was marrying “a commoner.” Actually, there really is no such thing as “a commoner.” In certain respects, such as in the bathroom, people are all very much the same.  The bathrooms may be different. Some are fancier than others and some cost a lot more than others to put together; but, the activities in them tend to be pretty much the same whether one is princely or common. 

Commoner or not, the lady is likely some day to become a queen, probably not in the lifetime of yours truly short of some shocking events, but some day.  And, she might make a very good queen.  One labeled “a commoner” might very well have a lot of “the common touch.”  That is important in people like queens and even lesser souls.  “Ordinary” people don’t worry about getting the attention of those who hold high position when they come from a background not too much different from their own. It can be expected that there is some understanding of concerns that come along.  There will, of course, be watching in the days ahead.

Happiness can be hard come by.  

Roast Beef

The filling in the sandwich was three slices of cow.  Alive, it had been a relatively young, healthy cow, not a calf, just not an old cow.  Because it was healthy and young, it was probably a pretty cow.  Anything young and healthy is pretty as a rule.  It had to be healthy or the government meat inspectors would have had a few words to say.  It had to be relatively young or the buyers would not have bought it with an eye toward something like the filling in the sandwich.  So, as it was young and healthy it was processed, and someone roasted parts of it with an eye toward someone like yours truly buying and eating it. 

There were at least nine slices in the half-pound of cooked cow purchased, not hardly anything at all by comparison to a whole cow.  The cow could have done quite well without it even if it had been lost while the animal was still alive.  (It might have bellowed a little at the time.)  With sandwich one, it was obviously some brown flesh; but, one can look past that and think words like “sandwich.”  With the second sandwich, it was much the same, although cow was starting to come into focus.  With the third sandwich it was definitely getting to look like a slice of leg although that probably wasn’t what it was. 

Somehow ham isn’t as reminiscent of the animal, maybe because those animals are not presented in the same way.  Ham is usually what is bought.  Anyway, it was a little bit of a relief when the last sandwich was finished.  Maybe if there is no realization that the sandwich was a pretty, innocent animal before it became the filling in a sandwich (in part) it would be easier to eat it. Sometimes eating a fish sandwich is just as bad.  It’s best not to think fish, either.  Then, of course, eggs could become chickens…. It must be remembered it’s food and needed for life.  In a sense eating is self-defense.  And, cows are bigger than people. 

Too much thinking causes headaches.   

Knit, They Say

Supposedly knitting is a calming thing.  The action, of course, is rather minimal in it’s most basic form as it is just pulling a stringy thing through a set of loops one by one and one after another. It’s a minimal bit of directed activity that if done a lot not only uses up some energy that’s kind of running loose but also creates a piece of material that can be used for something. Weaving the stringy thing will also create a piece of material, but that’s different in a couple of ways.  The fact is, there are quite a few needle arts.  Crocheting is another.  Some wouldn’t call any of them arts; but, if art is reducible to doing something well, they are. 

Not long ago, yours truly was “exposed” to one of those snide comments about knitting (like, “Oh! It would be good place to take along some knitting!”) uttered by an old idiot who clearly didn’t know up from down about it in spite of a lot of years on the earth. For one thing, some men knit.  For another, even if a person knew how to do it once, old people are not the greatest of knitters.  A variety of causes – deteriorating eyesight, arthritic hands, etc. – limits the ability to do a neat job of it.  While some elderly can manage it, knitting is not really an activity of the old folks’ home.  Neither are the other needle arts. 

For some reason it is knitting that has acquired a reputation of doing something utterly unimportant and out of the mainstream of life (“Oh! How nice!  But, there isn’t time, personally speaking, to be doing anything like that!”).  It’s true of the other needle arts, too; but, the others aren’t immediately named, due no doubt to being less familiar.  No one really talks about taking along the tatting.  To knit is not a job of the elderly.  There is yarn in the old folks’ home.  And, what does happen to it is that it sits in someone’s drawer or cupboard for a few years, just left until there is time.  The person dies; someone else takes over “keeping” it. 

Art is an activity of the young. 

Apartment Close Neighbors

Apartment buildings need to be places that might be described as “livable,” i. e., the plumbing needs to be working, the locks should be secure, and so forth. It’s not unreasonable for landlords to do some inspecting – one might think tenants would complain if something doesn’t work right.  In some cases they do, but not always. There’s a sort of trade off – yours truly once jiggled the toilet handle for a good four years. It wasn’t fixed until maintenance was there to fix something else.  In the end, there’s always something that might be fixed.  For the sake of peace and privacy, if something isn’t too bad, it can be better to ignore it. 

Some places have quarterly (four times a year) inspections for various reasons. If a building is old, it’s not a bad idea just because it is old.  Twice a year really should be enough.  There’s one pending (tomorrow) for the place underfoot.  It doesn’t take long; but, yours’ truly has been having a bad time in several ways and is rather upset, therefore, is not ready for an inspecting.  A neighbor came by apparently just to chat.  The neighbor is due the same inspection tomorrow, but evidently her apartment is in superb order (she has time to visit to chat the day before).  The door was answered politely, but she didn’t leave. 

How to be friendly with people can be a question at nearly any time. On the job, however, one usually leaves after a time and one can keep things business-like. In an apartment house, there is no business.  Meanwhile, there are often a lot of people living in fairly close quarters if the place has any size at all.  There is an important thing called getting along with the neighbors.  The only thing that might be worse in that regard would be something like a multi-unit building (big high-rise) that is something like a condominium wherein the person owns it. The door was answered politely three different days.  That’s enough. 

Patience only lasts so long.  

The Year 2135 (Earth Year)

She’s ten years old.  She was born in the new millennium, not at an exotic time like the year 2000, just in the new millennium.  If her school were on the grade system, she might be in the fifth grade, that wondrous year when children are likely to grasp the vastness of the earth and never mind the cosmos yet.  She’s one of the “new millennium” or “new age” or maybe “this thousand years” kids and she knows it.  Mommy was born some time ago, back in 1978.  It sounds so ancient to say nineteen anything.  Grandma was still farther back, around 1950. Yes, she’s ten years old, and she’s visiting grandma at the old folks’ home. 

He’s ten years old.  He was born in the new millennium.  He knows a lot is going to be expected of him because he’s male, physically okay, fairly bright…. He was told as much by his father, who is just a hard-working route salesman trying to provide for a small family in an economically depressed area where they live. His folks talk about moving; but, they don’t know where to go.  His father was born in 1975 – those nineteen hundreds again – and people were digesting the fact that some human had stepped on the moon.  …But, that living was for a special kind of people.  Grandma and grandpa just made house, car and TV payments. 

Medical advances are likely to help people live longer, but by Earth Year 2135 it is likely all of the “nineteen hundreds people,” even the very last of those born in “that” thousand years, will be dead.  He and she may also be gone, but they were the first, the first to visit grandma and/or grandpa in the old folks’ home and not know how to act or what to say because grandma and grandpa and all others in that place didn’t know anything about the “this” thousand years and what it’s like in their world even now.  And, maybe even in his or her lifetime the news will announce that the last person born before the year 2000 has died. 

The future may be terribly frightening. 

Forgotten Souls

Roughly twenty-five years ago, a couple of thousand miles from the Ohio Valley, somewhere believed to be in greater Los Angeles, California, a man died and a telephone call to Dayton, Ohio, announced it.  It was an uncle seen briefly twice in the lifetime within recollection.  He may have been around in very early (baby) years, before real memory was established.  World War II and the army in time took him to Oklahoma where he met his wife.  After the few years in service, he (they) moved to California in search of more opportunity than was then present in Oklahoma.  Why not Ohio was never disclosed although there are guesses. 

The person who called said she was a friend.  She may have been a nurse or a social service worker in a Veterans’ hospital; and, if so, why she didn’t say so is also a mystery.  It’s believed she may have tried to notify a still living brother by calling his niece by marriage first. Regardless, it’s a case of not being the first to know, although a likely blood relative and all that.  The fact is, it was yours truly who addressed all the Christmas cards and packed up all the Christmas gifts for near to two decades.  It’s presumed he died alone and, based on the briefness of that telephone call, assumed forgotten.  He still is not forgotten. 

In the case above, there was no real attempt to stay in contact on the part of a couple of people.  A young person going to school, job hunting or laid up sick is not in a position to run out to California to look up anyone, especially without a clear invitation, and there was no known one.  The forgotten ones are in places such as the old folks’ home underfoot.  They are most clearly forgotten at times such as Easter (and other holidays) when others around are off with family.  It just may be that they are not really forgotten; but, rather recollection is sought from the wrong people. 

There’s usually more to every story.