Thursday, May 8, 2003

A May Day

I’ve spent the past few days with my mom (and dad too). While I’ve been busy doing various things, most of it is spending time with Mom. For those of you wondering, she’s doing fine and in good spirits. I’ve been doing my best fattening her up a bit before she begins her first round of chemotherapy. She’s been busy doing normal things; getting plants out of the house for Spring, un-childproofing the house after all the grandkids came to visit the last few weeks, cleaning and straightening things up and doing things to increase her endurance. She is back to her daily walks and working a little. Luckily for me she’s been slowed down by her post-op recovery so that I can keep up with her daily walks in the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens at Pepsico.

I’ve been helping her by carrying stuff she can’t (or shouldn’t) carry yet, being her lilac-gathering cohort (much tougher than it sounds, really!), finishing the necklace I was supposed to send her for her birthday last February, messing up her cable reception when Bill and I put in her air conditioner and the subsequent and accidental correction of aforementioned reception. The biggest task I’ve completed to date was hooking up the receiver my brother sent her for mother’s day. I will use this forum to bitch about the dust I battled, the nasty sticky wires I cleaned and ended up splicing and running through her behemoth entertainment center. Because I have every intention of not going back there for a while (yeah Mom, no home entertainment from me this year) I dusted and tidied up the place when I was done. Yep, I even picked up those little bits of wire insulation when I stripped and spliced the right speaker wires that some woodland creature gnawed through. (Could have been a mouse, but it might have been the squirrel that got trapped in the house when Mom and Dad were on vacation last year).

In any case, Mom has music in the house again that doesn’t require the exclusive use of a clock radio, two working speakers in both the living room and kitchen and FM *and*AM reception. The AM reception is important because the folks listen to 710 WOR religiously on Sunday mornings. Of particular note was Ralph Snodsmith of the Garden Hotline. I actually listened to it for a good portion on the 2 hour program and found it interesting. Unfortunately I don’t know how much use it will be for me, since my black thumb gets me into a lot of trouble, I will attempt to grow a tomato plant or two if I can find an interesting determined growth plant. (Doesn’t that sound almost impressive?) The other place the AM radio is used is in the car. Seems Dad doesn’t really like Mom’s music (Pink Floyd, Creed, Poe, Smashing Pumpkins - you get the idea) and Mom hates Dad’s music (classic country) so talk radio is a safe and marriage-preserving option.

I’ve had all sorts of journal thoughts running through my head. I’ve noticed that things here have changed to the point that I don’t recognize some places anymore. I’ve also noticed that other things haven’t changed one bit. It’s like it was frozen in time while the rest of us moved on. I want to go back and photograph things that seem very much like home and very much not like California. If I do, I’ll post some here.

I’ve noticed that my life often seems extraordinarily boring. Not that it seems that way to me most of the time. I fill my days with going to work, to the gym, running basic errands, keeping touch with friends and occasionally doing something interesting. But even that ‘something interesting’ ends up being something like going to the movies, discovering a new neat place to hang out or dine out. Most of the interesting things I talk about are interesting things that happen to other people. Oddly I’m not at all upset about this. It is mildly distressing when I feel the need to come up with an interesting journal entry. But don’t worry that I’m losing sleep over it. I’m not.

The one thing that hangs as the most important thing that I’ve done this week is just listen. This can be a challenging thing as anyone who has spent time with me and tried to get a word in edgewise knows. While I would hope it was helpful for Mom, I can say it was good for me because the main reason why I flew 3000 miles was to hear about what was on her mind. And that’s what I got.

Tell me what’s going on with you.

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