Reading Vacation 07/26/2011
I didn’t plan it. In the past, summer vacation always meant working in an office. But not this year. I envisioned myself floundering with all this unstructured time.
And then I picked up a book. Downloaded another. I mixed entertaining reads with professional books, contemporary with classic. I now scour websites and book stores for more titles. I’ve begun to get exasperated feedback.
“You’re still reading?”
“Aren’t you doing anything else?”
“Don’t you want to do anything fun?”
Our Visitor 07/19/2011
I know, I know. Who wants turkeys in their yard? No one.They are loud, messy, destructive and none too swift. But this turkey was different.
He was strange from the start. Every evening he wandered down our hill to the backyard flockless. Can turkeys be loners? He walked with nonchalance, meandering around the grass, poking and pecking. Our burgeoning vegetable garden remained untouched. Sometimes he spent his visits preening his feathers. Or, he just sat swan-like. His presence kept the Evil Squirrels away.
The turkey always ignored the woods that bordered our yard and perambulated up front to the main road. At various times, he was sighted in different neighborhood yards. Yet that would mean his unknown destination required him to walk out along wide open spaces.
The first time the turkey emitted a sound came two weeks after his first appearance. Calm as usual, he pecked the ground. In the adjacent yard, a tan-and-white hawk dropped from the sky and stood still and poised. The turkey stiffened. A moment of tension filled the air. The hawk went into a slow glide, flying close to the ground. The turkey screeched and ran into the woods. But being a a turkey, he only hid himself partially. He left his dark brown rear sticking out and shaking. The hawk’s slow return sweep propelled the turkey to move deeper into the trees but did not prevent his gobbling in alarm.
The turkey no longer comes. I think he was lost for those couple of weeks and has now found some fellow turkeys to be with. There are other alternatives but I am going with that one.
Too Nice 07/05/2011
You would think that at a certain age you would stop worrying about what others think. Or get better at being assertive. I tend to err on the “be nice” side and try to avoid conflict. Yet there are times when I wonder about myself.
The dentist I go to is a true music aficionado. He routinely throws out names of groups, song titles, concert dates and lyrics. As I sat in the chair at the beginning of a long, painful appointment, this rock fan criticized the easy music stations typically found in doctors’ offices. He mocked the secretary for listening to Luther Vandross and Whitney Houston.
I sat there, uncomfortable, thinking I should say something to defend his secretary and easy music, but I didn’t. The dentist then swiveled his chair to his computer and asked what should he listen to. He wasn’t addressing me, though, but rather his assistant. He opted for 80s’ music. I breathed a sigh of relief. Oh, 80s Metallica. I groaned inwardly. But I did not speak up and say I don’t like Metallica. Nor did I say I couldn’t imagine listening to loud, thumping music while I was being drilled. I went along passive, supine and miserable.
On the way out, the secretary told me that she thought the music the dentist chose was inappropriate. I told her it was and she smiled. When I left, I knew I had told the wrong person.
A teacher and reader who wants to practice writing--despite being a procrastinator and one of the slowest writers in the world.