Sunday, May 30, 2010

One face bearing many images.

Grandma and friends in the 1940s

I was going through some old family photographs and did a double-take when I came across this picture.  When I first looked at this picture, I thought my cousin Rosie was standing in the middle, calling out to some friend off-camera. The young lady is actually my grandmother. It's in the eyes, somehow, and that fleeting expression. 

The resemblance to other descendants doesn't end there because in other photographs taken that day, I can see traces of my own mother and other cousins.

Robin's nest in the apple tree

I find bird nests fascinating. This one probably contains straw from our garden. There was another one on our property that had what looked like dental floss. Next year, I may leave out bits of yarn remaining from my crochet projects and keep an eye out for pops of color in the treetops.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I hate airports. They make me feel helpless and thoroughly deaf.
You may not think so, but it's quite easy to forget one's handicaps in the normal routine of things.  The closed captioning is always set on the TV, J. knows not to talk to me when I have wet hair, my work colleagues have learned that my left side is my "good" side, and we tend to avoid avoid noisy places like bars, concerts, etc. (where all I ever do is sit/stand around and get lost in my thoughts...which isn't so bad, now that I think about it).  Once you settle into a groove, your actions become automatic, like breathing. 
Airports are not routine.  They are full of squawking intercoms, echoing corridors, and tiled floors that make the sound of rolling suitcases a special form of Chinese water torture.  Every specimen of the human race is dashing to and fro, intent on getting to whatever place they're going, and the sounds they make coalesce into an incoherent sea of mutterings and moanings. 
My hearing aid is powerful and expensive, but it can't slice through such a slog of chaos.  Fully aware of this, I make sure to keep in touch with the travel agents in case of any changes to my flight.  Sometimes they have me sit in the handicap seat, the color of a fire hydrant, where people look at me curiously, wondering what handicap I have, being neither in a wheelchair nor relying on any apparatus that they can discern.  
I don't start to relax until the plane has taken off and I look out the window at the earth dropping away below, the airport shrinking until it becomes a child's toy on a blanket of green fields threaded with rivers.  Then the plane lands in Kentucky where I disembark and see J. standing at the base of the elevators, a familiar, loved face in the midst of strangers.  He greets me with a voice that I have carefully memorized all the years I have known him and takes my hand. My handicap falls away as he leads me home.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Exploding garden

Exploding garden
 Our garden has exploded.  

This is what it looked like a month ago:
Tiptoing through the garden
The sheer abundance of this little garden is astounding. We were hoping that some of the plants would survive, since the soil was poor and we didn't know what we were doing. We weren't expecting monstrous plants that would produce more than we could possibly hope to eat.  Case in point: we ended up tossing the last batch of arugula as we were getting quite sick of it, having used it in most of our meals for the past month.  

Friday, May 14, 2010

Michelangelo in the west

I've been in Fort Worth, TX this past week for the ELUNA (Ex Libris Users of North America) conference.  The conference is focused on the various library software products provided by Ex Libris, so I got to complain heartily about library systems with fellow techie librarians who can empathize and hear about the next generation system that Ex Libris says will make our working lives easier.  We'll see.

After the conference ended yesterday, I walked to the Kimbell Art Museum to see "The Torment of Saint Anthony" which is apparently the earliest know painting by Michaelangelo.  For lack of a better word, it was quite simply stunning.

I didn't find out just how long the distance between the hotel and museum was until I returned to hotel and looked it up on google maps. It was definitely worth the 6 mile round-trip jaunt.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Water, water everywhere

We're floating in water down here in Kentucky, after getting more than 8 inches of rain over the weekend. This picture is the road down to the Valley View Ferry, which J. usually takes everyday to work. He'll be taking the long way round for a while.

Thankfully, our house is on high ground.  When we went to the grocery store, we drove along Tates Creek Road (the same road in the picture above, though a ways from that section).  The creek was transformed into a muddy monster snarling at the banks.  J. estimated that the creek was not 6 inches from flooding the road and we wondered if we would have to take another route to get home. 

While being bombarded by yet another downpour, J. said, "The weather is confused. It thinks we've gone hiking."