Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's Not That Easy Being Meme, And So I Offer An Alternative And A Challenge Of Sorts

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).



  1. Anonymous3:56 PM

    What a charming story about a child's heart. Hope to soon read the story of how his wife accepts it.

    Looking forward to your ambitious daily posting schedule. This should be fun.

  2. The view from my current seat is the front wall of the cubicle I inhabit during my day-job work day. To my left is the door and the main hallway of the office. Corporate-style boring look, decor, and artwork. We have over twenty employees and it's a big office, both in size and staff. Over time (I've been in the same job for 15 years), I have grown tired of it all--the job, the boss, and the co-workers. The hours are very flexible and the pay is excellent, so it suits my life-style. Every day is a count-down to 3 pm, when I fly out the door, come hell or high water, to go to the barn.

    Now THAT view is what I wait for every day. Outside. Could be hot, could be cold and rainy. I don't really care. The business belongs to my daughter and me. We discuss everything, what the horses are doing, what riders will be going to the March show, what little bit of gossip is going around the barn. We have three horses to ride, barn cats to play with, jumps to repair, and students to teach. And that's just today's view. Even though we go to the barn every day, no two days are alike, and that's just one more reason we love to be there. That's the passion that makes the dreary view from the cubicle bearable.

  3. "off-putting trio of sadness" - snort :) (Although, ewww!)

    My current view is my hotel room - a nice enough room, but I miss Mike! Tomorrow I'm meeting two different bloggers AND going to a company training (the training is merely incidental - although the company is paying for this trip).

    Your discussion of your neighborhood reminds me of ours. We've only been there 4 1/2 years, but there are a couple of "old guard" families left & I know they view all the changes with sadness. But they LOVE us - we're quiet & not too weird :)

  4. I'm lying on my bed - it's only 8.45am - and I can see the bright blue sky with a few clouds, and the Sangre de Christo mountains, east of Santa Fe. There should be a whole lot more white areas in the mountains - we haven't had nearly enough snow this winter for the prevailing drought conditions.

    But, the area near my house is filled with green trees and other houses. Santa Fe is "high desert".

    Gorgeous day - about 50 - and I'm going to do my 30 minute treadmill in a minute, then go start my day.

  5. phoebes in santa fe--could you loan us about twenty of those degrees? That would bring us up to at least a degree or to above freezing, and we might be able to breathe outside without gasping.

    Enjoy your lovely bright day! Maybe some of the rain that California is finally getting will head your way? I wish heartily that we could send you some of our snow, melted or otherwise.

    Bug--I do view some of the changes with a bit of sadness, especially the ongoing saga of Tish across the street. If new neighbors such as you and The Professor moved in, I would be content. Weird, I can stand.

    How nice of your company to give you a little getaway (hee hee) on them. Enjoy your time away and your meet-up. I know you enjoyed your room service.

    LaFF--Don't you hate how your job interferes with your life? I always said that when I was still working. LOL.

    Your attitude is pretty good, however; your job provides you with a nice income so that you can have what you want after work. And thank goodness it doesn't take every single thing out of you so that you can't enjoy your horses, students, and barn life. It sounds perfect for you, and if it were cows, I'd be terribly jealous right now. ;-) Cuddle a barn kitty for me.

    Ally Bean--Thanks. Don't sit too far on the edge of your seat waiting for announcement of a wedding for either of my boys. Jared is a bit closer than Sam, but neither is within even a year or two. We're not big Hurriers here. And in this case, thank goodness.

    You post with admirable frequency over at your spot. You are my inspiration!

  6. Well, here I am "joining the fray" and already 3 posts behind!

    Very touched by Sam's little red heart box. So sweet of him, and so sweet of Joann to hang on to it until he finds his life partner. :-)

    We have 3 windows from which to view the world from our abode.

    One is the main view of the parking lot and pool area. Not too much to comment on except for the occasional view of a raccoon or possum (opossum?), in contrast to the local squirrel population, which is ever present.

    The back window in our bedroom overlooks another apartment complex and, sadly, one of our dumpsters. Which occasionally has old furniture laid gently beside it, including Very Old Used Mattresses. 'Nuff said.

    The only other window is a skylight in the cathedral roof ceiling, which has a view of nothing, but which pours forth with blazing sunlight on many days, and, as happened one winter when there was a "leak," a few snowflakes which drifted down onto our dining room table.

    Over and out. Off to comment on other posts.

  7. Love the heart box story and will look forward, years from now, to hearing what the future Mrs.Sam's response is to it.

    Hats off for your March Blogging Madness! I asked (most) of the questions I did because I really was interested and wanted to hear exactly the sorts of things you wrote. Right now I'm really busy at work, so a post-a-day wouldn't work for me, but this is exactly the sort of stuff I was hoping people would talk about. Looking forward to the other 30...(and thanks for the heads up. I have you on my blogroll and just head over anytime I see something new - you were so prolific, I missed one, just as you thought.)

  8. Late, running behind the bus, waving my arms.
    I love this ida and your ties to your neighbourhood. And I am now off to read the other posts and pick up the prompts.
    Although March came in here like, um, an Arctic fox sneaking up on a lamb, I am still fighting the February blahs and am thoroghly fed up with snow, ice and Arctic wind. After I shovel behind JG with the tractor and auger to clean up our latest dump, I am coming back here to join in on this.
    If my neighbours are bears, they are still in bed. Nice thought, she said wistfully.

  9. Mary--Never late. I'm always here. Our March came in like a polar bear. More snow, more arctic wind, more shivering. I am in jammies all day today and I don't care. The hell with it all.

    MsC--It will be fun, and it will be a challenge. And now that Blogger and Feedburner are not playing nicely together, it is turning out to be a pain, but I will soldier on.

    Ortizzle--I've always wanted Rick to put in a skylight upstairs, but he refuses for the very reason you just described--eventually they all leak. It's inevitable, according to him. And since Ohio weather is the worst of all weather anywhere, it just doesn't make sense. Enjoy yours a little extra for me.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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