Half sweet, and half sour

Speaking of cell phones (weren’t we?), I noted cell phone usage in the mall on Saturday.

I’ve been to a mall twice in the past 20+ years, I love it that much. I took grandson there (his choice) so that we could finish out our happy day together with a late McD lunch, where he was unacknowledged by an aging Ms. Six Hickeys at the counter register to the point that he came back to the table defeated, “After I got into the other line when told to instead of listened to — that I already had my order but had forgotten to ask for sweet-and-sour sauce — and after 10 minutes in that line, she looked right at me and waited on two other sets of people…” I had been shocked enough to see him empty-handed after all that time.

He blinked rapidly for a moment, something that wrecks (and should) the heart of an observer when that little formerly happy chatty person has already suffered more than most in his short life.  Suffice it to say it’ll be an even colder day in hell when I return to a mall, though not because I caused a ruckus in direct view of a mall cop, which I most certainly did.  You mess with my polite, people-loving, bullshit-forgiving angel-grand, you mess with the surprisingly spry fugly thing behind him.  You will regret it. I won’t. He’s already consciously chosen not to become cold or hard in order to survive the cold and the hard. I do stand behind that. We had sweet-n-sour sauce in hand within milliseconds of my *approach.*

We were far from happy, though, for a while. It was one more thing that had to be talked to death, and a sad lunch (for me), and all of it ultimately to be excused by him. He was still happy to have found a blue spinner for his sister at a different store. He had missed giving her a birthday present at the time and promised her a desired spinner, and she had requested blue.  (He hadn’t wanted anything for himself at the store.)

Fortunately, he is nice enough for two people, and if I am dragged to heaven on anyone’s coattails, they’ll be his, but anyway, other things have indeed changed at the mall. A few tables in the food court bore families who put their phones down or kept them in pockets (though not at the teen tables), but I watched as everyone — even grown men — weaved their way down the long corridor to the rest rooms while they stared at their cell phone screens.  Adrift is today’s word prompt. Yes, indeed — that is exactly how they appeared!  It might even shock them to know it.


A Re-blog (“JFKs Peace Speech — just months before he was gunned down”)

(Relax note: [Johnny, we knew ye well enough and we loved ye dearly.] Peace is not impossible, still. It just has to be wanted more than it’s not. When we eldsters speak of what could’ve been, it’s because of JFK’s America — and his worldview as President. And because of his successful initiatives. I’m particularly thankful for the transcript, as my tablet freezes up after 3 minutes or so of viewing videotape, but go to the link and listen to the video if you can. There’s so much life in it, so much hope — and so much respect. For everyone.)

In the alternative

JFK’s Turning Point: American University Peace Speech, June 1963. Text.

SH Note: JFK began as a hawk. But the Cuban Missle crisis in 1962 brought the world a trigger-hair away from the end of civilization as we know it. According to James Douglass and many other scholars, this made both JFK and Khrushchev tremble for what had very nearly happened. And it was the generals both here and in the Soviet Union who thought a First Strike just might give their side the slight edge. General Curtis Lemay even argued that we should accept very high casualties in this risk. Kennedy thought he was mad and, with Khrushchev, sought through hair-raising negotiations to avert the ultimate disaster.

When it was over all the protagonists knew this must never be allowed to happen again. JFK delivered his American University Peace speech just months before he was cut down. And he sought…

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Flowers for two

IMG_0014It’s a beautiful day. Two girls and one grandson have gone hiking. DH is out trying to fix the lawnmower (it must be May-something, lol). I got up later than all of Heaven and earth and other planets, but I am at least unconfounded technologically — I finally uploaded the unuploadable, and am now going to go off into the sunshine to move mountains. Gah, I need an easier camera.

Anyway, here am I along with Birthright carnations and combined bouquets — with the beautiful daughter named for my beloved Magdalen, though without the “g” — replete with red star balloon in the background, which you can’t see, that was seen drifting down the street in the pouring rain on Mothers Day. Daughter loves stars and particularly in metallic (it’s still drifting around here) — a gift from the universe to her, so I crawled under the wet bushes to free its ribbon and bring it in the house.

Next, I will tackle the photo from yesterday — two daughters and the Old Town came in 5th in a verrrry large canoe and kayak race, and DH and his bud survived the kayak part, too!

I hope you won’t have to sleep with half the lights on tonight.  Either way, carpe diem!


Stationary journey..

What a surprisingly evocative prompt today: Unmoored.

I always (for decades) think I’d prefer to be unmoored — that I’m better, happier, more alive when drifting free. However, a) I haven’t taken much time to think on this;  a-and-a-half) it’s not something one can think on — it is, rather, something that one undergoes flailingly; and b) I have seen the unmoored pier rowboat or sailboat dinghy flying free in these currents just up around the bend, about to encounter whirlpools known worldwide to be some of the worst.

Though I will always pity the nearby buoy who had no real idea of what it would be to grow old with me, I’m glad one of us is always moored to land, rain or shine, so that one, two or many can more safely navigate.




A Re-blog (“Goldilocks and the three mares”)

(Relax note: A photog in Wales.. I could’ve looked through her stuff all night! Wow!)

A snap a day

A wonderful day walking up the Vale of Ewyas starting from Llanthony Priory and winding our way towards Capel-y-ffin.  Cold breezes stirred the soul and the heavy mist which clung to the mountain tops parted every now and again to let pockets of sunshine light up the autumn leaves in fiery golds, reds and oranges.   The dying bracken added to the palette of brown, russet and burnt umber. Calling ravens circled above our heads, wild ponies pricked their ears and Black Welsh Mountain sheep bleated their hellos as we tromped by.

Later as the mist started to clear, we drove up the valley into the hills and emerged to a spectacular view towards Hereford.  Here, the wild ponies looked windswept, as though they’d just stepped onto the set of a shampoo advert with their long, flowing (err..slightly tangled) manes and shaggy fetlocks.


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Too much, mostly

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve noticed a real benefit to cell phones for that segment of the population who might once have been thought vulnerable outer-casts, most especially awkward teens who haven’t yet found the muscles and beautiful gender attributes still hiding under their food-medicating results; those who would be alone on the street, if not for the cell. Now, waiting for a bus is not so much a problem. Or walking home, one is not alone. One fits in, now.  Everyone’s on their cells, texting or checking Facebook or whatever social site(s). No one’s looking at them with mean-sport ideas.

I knew people long ago who developed an over-toughness to such unwanted attention, after they went through many hells. Cell phones would’ve been a Godsend to them.. so, for that much, we all must be grateful.  However, cells (or similar screens) seem to also have an addictive quality — a drug-like addiction — because it negates real communication even when two or more are face to face in the flesh!

There will have to come a mandatory deprogramming/regulatory effort by 7th or 8th grade, I think, because it’s not healthy to prefer the virtual over the real, and because we don’t want to end up looking like aliens (big head from big brain from too much constant info, big eyes to track 84 screens at the same time, tiny nostrils from reduced breathing/never working up a panting sweat from physical activity, and a slit of a mouth because of no verbalized communicating for so long).

As I say, maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather none of us end up that way. Texting is great — it gets to the heart of the matter, but it can also be a quieter, easier weapon that works against both parties far more grievously than we might guess. We need to see and use eyes (truly, windows to a person’s essence, if not understood to be windows to the soul) as well as hear each other’s voices, and laughter, and singing, and sweet sounds of togetherness. Much of our inner lives are so alone already.

None of us will ever unplug all the way, now, but I think many of us would opt for an unplugged day — announced or not. We have to be the bosses of our lives. And we have to interchange and meld for real.  We were not created to be bots (nor even bumblebees who dance out locations). We were created for love. That’s a verb. Love cannot be texted; it cannot be virtual. After all, we are not descended from angels. We are descended from far greater than the angels. For a reason.  Technology always moves us away from the Reason.  (Yes, sort of Luddite, here, but only because there’s a Good reason.)  Social media always makes the grass seem greener on the other side. That should send up a warning flag for us think-ers and love-ers, always!

We are love-able, as is.