Late Autumn

Over the course of this last week the colors have changed around here.

~ • ~

There are a few last shots of color here and there.  God bless red roses.  I try to memorize the color so that during the bleak months I can remember it– and keep my spirit alive.  Do you do this too?

~ • ~ 

This is what is left of our Happy Returns Daylilies.  I love these plants.  In the summer their lemony yellow flowers make me smile.  And now they remind me to have faith in the process.  Bright colors will return again.  Yes?

~ • ~ 

The water on the glass-top green-rimmed table is doing a great job of revealing the bleakness of the woods beyond.  I love reflections.  What is real and what is imagined?

~ • ~ 

And then there is the woods back of the house.  The leaves on the trees are all down now.  I like how easy it is to see the grayish brown trunks of the trees.  Very visual and organic.  There are no straight lines in nature, eh?

The Story Of How We Got A Color TV

Yesterday after I posted two b&w commercials, I got thinking about the events that lead up to my mother finally allowing us to have a color TV.  I don’t usually talk about my childhood, but just this once I’ll tell you more than you’ll probably ever want to know about me– and how it came to be that my mother allowed the two of us to have an extravagance such as a color TV.

~ ~ • ~ ~

In May of my freshman year of high school we had unusually intense spring thunderstorms.  Very windy, very rainy, with lots of lightning.

Our house didn’t have cable so to get reception our TV had an antennae attached to it.  One night after Mom and I had gone to bed a bolt of lightning hit the antennae, came into the house, and went straight to the TV (which was off at the time).  In an instant, the old b&w TV caught on fire.

The burning TV sounded like someone making popcorn.  In fact, when I heard the popping sound I figured that Mom couldn’t sleep and had got up to make herself a snack.  Naturally, I wanted some of it so I hurried into the kitchen to get something to eat.

But what I found in the kitchen was my mother on the phone with our small town fire department.  They responded quickly and almost the entire fire department arrived to watch our TV burn up.  This was because most of the firemen had heard about how old TVs could catch on fire, but had never actually seen one in real life on fire, so this was a learning experience for them.

They dragged the TV outside into the rain and then axed it to pieces.  There was almost no damage to the inside of the house, but the old b&w TV was toast.

Weird as it is to say, the dramatic end of our TV got Mom and me laughing every time we talked about it.  The whole absurd thing was funny to us.

Already that year: 1) my dad had died after a lengthy illness;  2) I’d had major surgery on my knee;  and 3) while driving into the garage Mom had accidentally run over the family cat [who went on to live a very long and grouchy life].  So having your TV burst into flames seemed rather minor to us.  Just something to laugh about.  Endlessly.

Which was just as well considering that Mom had lots of bills to pay– and getting a new TV was not a priority.  So for the next twelve months we lived in a very quiet home with only the radio, playing cards, boxed games and books for entertainment.

Eventually Mom decided that it was time for us to get a new television.  She and I went to some local furniture/appliance store where we bought a brand-new top-of-the-line [Magnavox, maybe?] color TV.

Our first one.  Finally.

Which One?

When I was a little girl Saturday morning was for watching cartoons and commercials.  On a black and white television, of course.

[My mother refused to buy one of the “new” color TVs until our old one quit working.  Let me assure you that those old b&w TVs were very well-made.  But I digress… ]

I found the two commercials below on YouTube.  While I don’t remember either one, I’m putting them here as examples of what was on TV way back then.

[Or maybe a little bit before my way back then.  But you get the gist of what I’m showing you here, right?  Something in black and white.]

After watching both commercials I’ve decided that I prefer one of the characters over the other one.

So, how about you?  Are you on Team Sugar Bear [“Bet your booties, Granny”]?

Or are you on Team Trix Rabbit  [“Oh, rubba, rubba, dub”]?

• • •

• • •

• • •



To Comment Or Not To Comment

Here are assorted musings on one topic.  Make of them what you will.

###

For the past few weeks I’ve made a point of reading new-to-me blogs– and then leaving a comment on the blog.  I’ve found that I’m not alone in doing this.  Many people have stopped by The Spectacled Bean for the first time during November and have left me a first time comment.

I appreciate that effort very much.

###

I know that I’ve seen some bloggers write about how easy it is for them to visit someone else’s blog and toss out a comment.  (Or to hit the “like” button available on some blogs.)  For them interaction via comments is a given– and they do it as a matter of course without any hesitation.

I envy their ability to get involved so easily.  I’m not like that at all.

###

For me, an introvert, it takes a bit of effort to leave a comment on someone’s blog.  Perhaps that’s how all introverts feel.  I don’t know.

All I know is that I’m self-conscious about inserting myself into someone else’s life.  My goal is to encourage with what I say in a comment, but I’m never entirely sure that I carry out my goal.

Good intentions, dubious results.  Perhaps that’s the reality of all earnest people.

### 

I realize that there are always lots of people who lurk on my blog.  Through my stats info I see you out there.  You arrive here at the same time every day, from the same place, and stay long enough to read what I’ve written.  But you never interact with me.  I don’t take it personally– and honestly, I rarely even think about it.  I understand that’s how some people consume blogs– detached and anonymously.

It’s safer that way.

###

I’m always concerned that there will be a misunderstanding about what I say in a comment.

I try to be clear and specific in what I say in comments, but without visual clues there’s no way to know exactly how what I said is being received.  And it’s this sense of vulnerability that slows me down when commenting.  I want to tell my truth and I want to do it with grace– while honoring the thoughts of the blogger who has written the post in the first place.

It’s a delicate balance to do.

###

My Three Rules

A couple of weeks ago I found this delightful post: “I’m better than Gibbs. I only need three rules.”  It’s written by Jo White aka Mediamum.  I like what she has to say and how she says it.

Reading her post got me thinking about what my 3 rules might be.  Here’s what I decided.

~ ~ • ~ ~ 

1.  Arrive pre-amused.

Swiped this idea directly from The Little Book of Letting Go by Hugh Prather.  Attitude is everything, no?

2.  Embrace complexity.

I started saying this after we moved from a smaller city to this here big city where nothing is straightforward or easy.  Instead of whining about everything, I adopted this point of view.  It has served me well. 

3.  Say thank you.

It’s good manners.  It’s a prayer.  It makes your mother happy.  So why not demonstrate your grasp of successful interpersonal relationships and say it, huh?

~ ~ • ~ ~ 

What are your three rules?  Or do you have more than three a la Leroy Jethro Gibbs?  Please share in comments below– or on your own blog.  We’d love to know.

Too Soon

Christmas in the post-War United States
Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I went to the hair salon to have my hair highlighted and cut.  Someone had decorated the salon for Christmas already.  Everywhere.

OH MY.

Some of the decorations I recognized– like a fake pine garland with bulbs and bows draped over the top of the mirrors.  I recognized the canned Christmas songs playing endlessly.

But I couldn’t figure out what the large objects suspended from the ceiling were– nor why they were hanging over each stylist’s work counter.  In their way.

J, my stylist, saw me looking at one of the large Christmasy objects and said:  “You don’t know what that is, do you?”

Me:  “No.”

J:  “It’s a Christmas tree, fully decorated with bulbs and icicles, hanging upside down.  The ornament on the top– or bottom depending on you perspective– is supposed to twirl around in a circle all the time.  But mine’s broken right now.”

Me:  “Huh?  That’s… well– OH MY!”

J:  “You did a nice job of saying something pleasant.  Most people aren’t that nice about these trees.”

Me:  “Why do you have them anyhow?”

J:  “The owner was an interior decorator before he did hair.  He thinks that all this Christmas decorating is stylish and trendy.  He thinks that it’s clever.”

Me:  “Huh?”

J:  “I know.  Don’t even try to think about it.  It’ll make your head explode.  It’s ugly and it’s too soon.”

Me:  “Yes it is.”

After paying for my highlight and cut, I gave J a big tip.  She’s going to need all the help she can get to make it through a holiday season with an upside down rotating Christmas tree dominating her work space– and confused, outspoken  customers commenting on her boss’s stupidity cleverness.

OH MY.