Monday, September 3, 2018

A Month of Septembers: Right Here, Right Now

A Month of Septembers: Right Here, Right Now

"A Month of Septembers” RightHere, Right Now
(For a month every day)

September 20, 2018. The sound of someone hammering. I sliced the homemade bread too thick this morning but I’m glad to finish the Meyer lemon marmalade.  There will be some quiet time when Ron goes over the hill to meet the basketball guys for coffee. I need to message Karen to see if they are on for Sunday. I’ll make Shepherds Pie.  Make a list of games to play on Saturday. Do this first thing. Writing feels hard this morning.

 September 19, 2018 2:55pm.  Reading Maya and friends’ entries for today. I too read the Anita Hill NYT editorial. She’s a wise women. But all over the news is the pushback from the men. I wish there was something I could do. I also just made deviled eggs for lunch. I’m envious of homemade mayonnaise. In order to record my teaching and prep time for Peninsula Bridge I needed to download an app. Where were we before apps.  Apparently my email copy of my W9 was not readable as a .jpeg. Gorgeous clear weather. Ron taking advantage to run Mt Montana. An Arnold Palmer. Quiet in the house.

         September 18, 2018. 10:00am.
         Maya’s lament about a grumpy, sullen teenager strikes a cord this morning.   Just spent 10 minutes with Ron trying to figure out why NO matter what we     do his events and my events don’t end up on each other’s calendars. When I check I have 14 different calendars on my Ipad app. Aaaaaaarg. Technology is mind numbing. I must look out at nature. The astonishing Etegami        created by a new found friend in Saudi Arabia which included a drawing of a fish and the quote: “ What is essential is invisible to the eye.” A scary moment when I had no short term memory of having eaten a peach this          morning. Ron assured me I had eaten it. Wishing deeply for some rain. So    strange to see the endless images of the hurricane on the east coast and look    out at our parched California landscape. Want rain so much. Tuesday is       trash night. Fears flash when I think of having to teach teenagers again on    Saturday. Maya, how do you do it?

         September 16 11:00am
         Getting the house baby-ready. I’m so lucky Ron does so much to help. I’m    still reeling a bit from a whole day in a cavernous gymnasium with 60   teenagers attempting to lead improv games. I’ve never felt this old before.     How is it possible to have such expressions of deep boredom and distain?        Their faces were emotionless as if to show any kind of enthusiasm would boot them out of the tribe. Are ALL teens this unhappy? The only thing all   day they seemed to care about was the pizza at lunch. Nothing I tried seemed to please or excite them. When I told everyone “There’s a wrapped gift package sitting on the floor in front of you. Pick it up.” More than half of them (the boys especially) mumbled something like: “I haven’t got anything.” (Or some variant of ARE YOU NUTS?) I was completely stumped over   how to handle this improv mutiny. I felt so old and helpless and sad for the    teens of this world.  

September 14. 9:14am The weather channel appears to be working hard to find newsworthy moments in Florence’s ongoing story.  Weird how the lack of disaster images feels like a letdown.  Relieved and grateful that from what I’ve heard so far “the catastrophe” isn’t exactly that . . .yet, perhaps.  Wishing some of that over abundance of rain could make its way to California.  Cinnamon oatmeal with sautéed bananas this morning.  So great to eat, a pain to wash up the pots and frying pan.  Friday is vacuuming day at our house. It’s Emily and Reid’s anniversary. I finished the tribute for Jeremy and emailed it to Stephen. The celebration of his life is somewhere in Canada.

         September 11, 2018 We we’re actually IN Manhattan on THE day. Ron      was running in Central Park and I was in an uptown hotel room watching         the Towers go down in real time. As I sit now in the comfort and serenity of my California home looking out on the Pacific I sink into that memory. We        were en route to our niece Emily’s wedding. The wedding went forward but        we were all changed. I just sent an email to Emily. A clear sunbeam lights onthe white couch. The old clock ticks. I am grateful for this life.

September 10, 2018.  5:30pm.    How satisfying to set up an exhibition of Etegami art at the SENIOR Center today in Half Moon Bay.  Ron helped so much by making the little wooden holders.  We went to JOES for lunch. Minestrone.  The new crockpot is easy to use because you can brown the meat on the stove before the slow cook part. My mother’s Spagetti sauce recipe continues to be delicious.  I was surprised to learn that the version of my book isn’t compatible with the library’s format.  Seems my contract with ACX gives them exclusive rights.  The customer rep is checking to see if I can change the contract after four years.  I must not forget to show up to a Zoom online meeting at 6:30.  I love the feeling of cool air blowing on my neck. On October 10 the Stanford Authors club is discussing Improv Wisdom. I’ll go to sign books.

September 8, 2018 8:30pm  
My preferred way to watch Stanford football is from the recline-lounger.  Ron, on the other hand, just LOVES being at the games. All the noise and excitation and lousy hotdogs.  There’s a timeout now and the ads are selling more sports on the Fox networks. Stanford is ahead 17-3.  Miso soup with noodles and a couple of my killer oatmeal chocolate chip, caramel chip cookies.  At the library today I was listening to the Michael Pollen book, How to Change Your Mind, thanks to Gary who sent me the audiobook on a USB drive.  Oh, and Lisa DID get the book, The Secret Life of Clownswhile she was at camp.  Thanks to the Canadian post. 

September 7, 2018 8:45am  
On my Facebook feed I’m reminded that four years ago today I watched the delightful movie Saving Mr Banks with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.  Yesterday I borrowed the same DVD from the library and watched it thinking it was for the first time.  The blackberries I enjoyed on my bran flakes this morning were so large that I had to cut them in half.  Monster berries.  The phone call with Marion about teaching was changed until 2:00pm today. It was done by an automated system that informed me and my calendar.  I remember the good old days when you just made a phone call, you didn’t need an appointment.  What a world.

September 6, 2018  9:30pm   The film about the life of Emily Dickinson was a heartbreaking story.  Her loneliness was profound. I wonder what she would think of her fame almost two centuries later? A long telephone conversation with a very old friend with whom I’ve been disconnected.  She and her husband both have been struggling with health issues. A lunch with another friend living with cancer and recent eye surgery. Amid all this suffering these friends are still positive and optimistic. All of these folks including me are in our 70’s. The Buddha taught that we shall all face old age, disease and death finally. Thinking all this doesn’t feel morbid. I feel grateful for this life and these friends.

         September 5, 2018
         Right here, right now 3:00Pm
         The Quiet Room in our new Half Moon Bay Library is my new favorite       special place to work and be. Some wise person designed windows that open    in this room so that not only can we enjoy the natural light we can also feel   the cool coastal air.  It’s rare in public buildings to have open windows.  
         One of our oldest and most precious friends, Jeremy Brown, aged 84, died    recently.  Yesterday would have been his birthday.  I’ve heard tell that the         Buddhist say that if you die on or very near your birthday it means that you have completed your life, having lived it fully and in a perfect cycle.  Certainly, Jeremy was someone who lived that fullness on every front. This    morning I took part in a webcam meeting of a group called “The Briar         patch” This gaggle of old hippies formed nearly three decades ago was         devoted to right livelihood.  Until you’re in a “quiet room” you don’t rightly         notice how noisy laptop keyboards are.   The carpet design is a grey    background with white angular splotches.  I will enjoy some Earl Grey tea when I get home.  

         September 4. Right here, right now. 
         A Facebook friend suggests we write a book together titled “Grandparent      Improv Wisdom”, the boiled egg 🍳was perfect this morning although I need to remember that a piece of the walnut pumpkin bread is stuck in the    toaster.  Will’s surgery appointment tomorrow is rescheduled to a chilly 6:30    am. The house is especially quiet and the clock sounds seem exaggerated right now.  My back aches just a little, probably need to stretch.  Ron was     just reading that Jane Stanford limited the number of women to 500 in 1899, fearful that Stanford might become the “Vassar Of the West”. That was changed in 1933.

         Day 3   September 3, 2018 “Right here, right now” 11:20am
         Smiling over our Sunday gift of being with Christian, the new grandchild.     We are learning how to be Grandparents. It never occurred to me that this is a learning curve. The German Swiss Cheese Mac and Cheese with hot sausage was a big hit, albeit an over the top fatty choice. Sometimes it's great to fill up with fats and carbs. I was heartened to see the boy pick up real objects (paper cups, cracker boxes, spoons, water bottles) instead of the shiny plastic toys designed to dazzle and attract attention. What fun to speculate on what these early choices mean. "Looks like we've got a young engineer on our hands!" After they left returning to our normal retirement house.   Amazing how swiftly Ron can clean up the paraphernalia of kiddo-ness.

         Day 2 
         September 2, 2018  9:45am
         Grey LLBean worn slippers.  Looking down onto my feet propped up.  Ron sitting in his morning perch trolling Facebook. The occasional audio from a       post blaring. The Audubon clock tweeting a bird call on the hour.  The taste of the Farmers Market walnut/pumpkin bread with last months Meyer         lemon marmalade.  Sunday, “change the sheets day” at our house.  I picked      the 10-year-old floral jersey sheets softer than a baby’s butt from a decade of       laundry.  Thinking about 10-month-old Christian coming over for Sunday    dinner after church.  The sound of the washing machine tumbling the beige   sheets we’ve slept on all last week.  Looking forward to a favorite weekly        ritual when I fold the just laundered sheets and put them away. Ron’s newly         fixed family heirloom Scandinavian clock ticking softly. Quiet joy before the        shrieks of the grandchild arrives.

         Day 1 September 1, 2018
         On this day, Maya Rachel Stein, the poet, and my Facebook friend invited   us to join her in a thirty-day writing challenge. It’s called “Right here, Right now” and the idea is to stop for moment at any time and to record your          present experience.  No rules on what to include.  Just a quick check in with your world. Maya is posting these and I’ve decided to join her.  My first        actual day doing this is on September 2 and my first post is below.  Here’s to noticing and writing.

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