May 6, 2013

Weekend lessons

Things I learned this weekend: 1) Gardens are not self-weeding.  And hungry rabbits really like my salvia.  Shoo, rabbits!!  2) Owls come home about 5 am, seriously upsetting their neighbors, the crows.  The crows don't mind scolding vociferously at this homecoming, thereby waking me up at 5 am both Saturday and Sunday morning.  Hush, crows!! 3) Mama cardinals are a little more tenacious than I expected.  This blatant squatter in my front porch hanging basket was actually audacious enough to host a tea party attended by several of her sisters my basket.  And this morning, she stared straight back at me through the window while balancing on the basket hanging wires.  I'm not winning this turf war.  Yet.

I've started packing for vacation.  I know I have a week left--plenty of time to get things organized, but choosing the right books to take on vacation take careful thought.   You don't want something too lightweight that is unsatisfying, yet it's not really the time to drag along your heaviest and thickest tomes.  They aren't very comfortable when you are trying to balance them with a drink on your reclining chair by the pool.  I want characters that are alive, a story that draws me in, a plot that keeps me on the edge of my seat.  In short, I want the magic that J.K. Rowling alludes to in the quote above.  

I need three types of books on vacation.  I get motion sickness so reading is out of the question while we are driving, but fortunately there are books on tape that give my husband and I time to indulge in one of our favorite authors-to-listen-in-the-car-to, Robin Cook.  Neither of us own any of his books, but we indulge in a little voyeuristic peeking into the life of two New York City coroners, Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery, when we are on the road.  The novels are medical thrillers and we always find them interesting.  Many years ago we were listening to one in the car on our way to a water park in Branson, Missouri, with the children, and I kid you not...when we pulled into the parking lot the kids begged us to keep playing the tape.  The book we were listening to was:


Another favorite author is Sue Grafton, and we've worked our way through the alphabet as we've traveled north and south, east and west, wondering how private eye Kinsey Milhone will get out of the current mess she is involved in...mystery and mayhem and almost always a murder or two!


And then for the times when we are stopped at a gas station, or the scenery is boring (doesn't happen often, but hey, Montana isn't called big sky country for nothing!) or waiting on a repair or have been delayed (all of the above have happened) I never travel without a few magazines for flipping through.  Heavy on the pictures so that darned motion sickness doesn't kick in.  Remember the old childhood book Swiss Family Robinson?  When I set out on vacation I feel much like Mrs. Robinson.  She was intelligent and resourceful, arming herself even before leaving the ship with a "magic bag" filled with supplies, including sewing materials and seeds for food crop.

In much the same fashion, I never leave home without my 'magic bag.'  When the children were little it was filled with little surprises, word games and toys I'd been saving from cereal boxes all year to make the time pass in the car.  We traveled before hand held games, car dvd players and Ipods were in fashion, so my magic bag was essential for keeping the peace.  Nowadays, I have only myself to keep amused, so in goes my camera, a few magazines, some simple snacks, maps, my MP3 player and a few Sudoku and crossword puzzle books, plus either a knitting or cross-stitch project.

Here's a fun poem to kickoff our work week.  Re-experience moments you prized...I like it!



by Joel Ash

There's a time machine inside your mind,
To this time and space not confined;
Return to the past,
Destinations are vast,
Or fast forward to see what you find.

Re-experience moments you prized,
The delights of your life scrutinized;
Scenic beauty recaptured,
Again you're enraptured,
In your time machine all this reprised.

Full control of your life with your brain,
See things that no longer remain;
Events can be changed,
Some results rearranged,
You can be a young child once again.

Plan a trip to before you were born,
See the Earth on the very first morn;
No borders for nations,
No thought limitations,
Imagine the perfect sojourn.

Why not create a past life or two?
There is nothing your mind cannot do;
Dream up some dreams,
Go to any extremes,
Climb a mountain peak near Kathmandu.

On the trips to the future take care,
You may not like what you see there;
Be aware if you venture,
I don't want your censure,
The world will be different - - beware!

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