Do all of you, Dearest Readers, recall November last when I vowed to post a Helpful Christmas Strategy per day in order to accomplish two things: 1. To help you enjoy a Less Stressful Holiday, and 2. To urge me to post more often? I so hope that you do.
I've been feeling slothful and Winter Weary overmuch these days, and in order to help me break out of the doldrums, I'm going to do something similar. MsCaroline at AsiaVu has asked me to do a meme consisting of eleven questions. I propose to answer those questions (and a couple others from her site) and use each one as a springboard of sorts for a fully developed blogpost and, further, I will post every day beginning today and continuing through March 31st.
Obviously, I'm going to run out of material before March is over, so please forward any interesting questions my way via comments or my email link, provided in my sidebar. If you want to take up the challenge as well, please do! Here is the link to MsCaroline's spot to get you started. (I hope you don't mind my customization, MsC. Think of it as getting a little more bang for your buck, as they say, and savouring it longer.)
Without any further ado, here is the first question:
What is the view from the window of the room where you are currently sitting?
I can actually see out of three windows in my teeny tiny house from my big leather armchair in the corner of the living room. I open the drapes in the bedroom every morning to let in the light so that Piper doesn't hibernate in there, so I can see a bit of the garage door at the back of the house.
If I look to my right, which is west, I stare straight at the neighbor's house. A while back they painted it a sort of creamy beige, yellowish colour with lilac trim. When that lilac went on, I almost choked. Not because it was lavender, per se, but because it had no business being anyplace near the other colour. If the rest of the house had been painted, say, grey or white, then by all means, slap on that lilac. But this house is just a study in poor colour matching. Anyway, I can see both colours (urg) as well as the red brick chimney in an off-putting trio of sadness. Luckily, this is the window where I stuck the kittens' bird feeder, so I can see that and any sparrows, juncos, chickadees, and the occasional cardinal that stop for a quick bite.
To my more immediate right are the front windows of my little house. Through them I can see my Japanese maple, which we planted on the western front corner of the house when we finally landscaped after we moved in. We moved in here when Jared was a wee thing, only three months old. Beyond that, I can see down the street right to Sam and Jared's best babysitter's house, Joann's. Sam used to call her Nanny. They adore each other to this day, and she has known him since he was three months old. He used to call Joann and her husband and three teenagers "my other family." He had a pet fish there, a bike there, and went everywhere with them. She was a blessing to us--really, the whole family was. We were so fortunate to have found them all, and right down the street!
Once, when Sam was about five, he had a little red plastic heart box. He's always been a saver of things, little doodads that have some sort of meaning to him. Joann told me one day that he came up to her with his heart box and put it on her lap and said, "Here, Joann, I want you to have my heart." She said oh, no, that she couldn't take it, but Sam assured her that he wanted her to have it. "I've been keeping it," Joann said, "and on his wedding day, I'm going to give it to his new wife. I'm going to tell her that when he was very little, Sam gave me his heart. I've been taking good care of it all along, and that now it's her turn." Her eyes were very shiny but...proud. Happy, yes, but proud.
There are so many stories in my small neighborhood, yet I know so few of the people. Lots of the Old Guard have moved, and there are several houses for sale--all the time, it seems. When I go for a walk, I look at the homes and wonder, and more than once I think of that song by the Beatles, "Eleanor Rigby." More than ever, I think of Thoreau's mournful quote, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." More succinctly--and still my favourite--"There are no ordinary lives" (Ken Burns).