Saturday, January 22, 2011

Welcome Winter. Yuck.

My first winter visit to see the GrandKids.  First a scary trip through the poorly plowed streets of Elmira, then a nerve-wracking ride on the River Road between towns, and finally, another scary trip through the streets of Big Flats.

A twelve minute trip took a half-hour, trumped only by the unplowed driveway up to my daughter's home.  I threw old Barbie (you may have guessed that she's a Malibu) into low and began the climb.  Not 10 feet up and we were spinning our wheels.  I rolled back and tried again.  Barbie made it up 20 feet.  I rolled back and got out to walk.

Nothing plowed, nothing shoveled, nothing swept.  I climbed the snow-covered stairs, stopping when I detected a shout.

"Sweetheart!"  In the next door neighbor's yard was a plow, it's driver waving to me.  My daughter opened her front door, looked at me, then at the truck next door, and burst into tears.

I had arrived just in time to plug the entrance to their driveway.  My latest admirer was her father-in-law, arriving unannounced to plow.

The kicker?  My daughter wouldn't allow me to go back to move my car!  She was appalled I had trudged up the hill.  So there I was, preventing the driveway from being plowed, and my daughter nattering at me that I shouldn't have walked up the hill, because of my sprained back.  Never mind that the snow and hill have nothing at all to do with my back.

I felt like a fool.  And now the drive will not be plowed until Sunday.

Little Pond

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Time to Return to Time

The physical stresses of the past year are beginning to ease.  Even a sprained back can't hide the fact that I now feel my hands and feet.  Still rather numb and tingly, but they are there again.  There were times in the summer when there was simply Nobody Home at the ends of my limbs.

And once again, my mind is turning to the Infinite:  this body that has a tenuous hold on the present surely can't last forever.  And what is Forever, anyway, if all times we experience as ongoing, "flowing like a river," are simply the Now?  When the Now is no longer ours, and the body that hold us to it is gone, then Forever becomes the Infinite Now.

So where is all this gobble-de-gook leading us, dearest reader?

Nowhere in particular on this Planet.

It's time to return to writing.  My brain is finally healing.  I have reviewed my previous attempts at the new book and have even culled out a brief chapter.  You can read it here, before I delete it Forever.

This chapter actually led to a nicer one, featuring a certain bountifully gorgeous Diva.  Anyone who knows Diva will recognize here when I finally release the book.

Let the writing begin again!

Little Pond

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cappy's will stay!

Recently there was an unpleasant buzz here in Elmira that Cappy's would soon close.  Regular readers see lots of references to it as the goto store for almost any gift-giving, but especially spur-of-the-moment.  It is a mandatory stop for anyone visiting our downtown shopping areas.

A visit to this site will tell it all.  Lots of photos, too.

But Cappy's is here to stay.  A piece in Sunday's Star-Gazette reassured us Cappy's patrons that all is well.  Joe had a spot of bad health, but he's game for the long term.

Whew!  That was a close call for someone like me.  I'd really miss the place, come Father's or Mother's Day.

Little Pond

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Damned good point

In Leonard Pitts' column today, something caught my eye.

He wrote about how many blacks don't want to rehash the tragedies and injustices of the Jim Crow era.

He's right.

About a decade ago, my dear, now departed, coworker Carolyn Myles reacted very strongly to a Halloween decoration painted by one of our production artists.  It showed the artist hanged from a black tree against a dark sky.  It was meant to be funny, since he was constantly in trouble with the higher ups as a loose cannon.

Carolyn, an Afro-American with ties to family in Baltimore, was not the least bit amused.  She ordered him to take it down.  I can still hear her explaining that we Northerners cannot begin to understand the horror of such an image.  She was very upset, and it was the beginning of my own re-education in the extent of damage done to our black brothers and sisters.

Please, let's not pretend that slavery and brutal discrimination is over and done.  It isn't, and Black Americans will suffer the pain and injustice longer and longer, the more we try to sweep it all under the rug.

And I doubt that cleaning up the language in books like Huckleberry Finn will help matters, either.

Frankly, I thought the book overlong with a rather fairy-tale ending, but the brutality of the language and its accompanying concepts seemed instructive and necessary.

For crying out loud, when is American going to grow up?

Little Pond