Jul 15

More family visiting

Yesterday I completed the family circuit and hit my other grandparents’ home.

I walked around outside in the woods, as I did as a child. I got eaten up by mosquitos, as I did as a child. I was not told to be careful of snakes, as I was as a child. But probably only because my grandmother wasn’t home just then to warn and worry. She was at a funeral and I was killing time playing in the woods.

And then she came home and fussed at me, as she did when I was a child. And pretty much every day of my life she’s seen me.

It is a wonderful thing to be fussed at.

She’d had a big day so she had an early night last night. I played the Facebook where-are-they-now game. This is difficult to do in a place with limited cell phone service. It is even more challenging in a bedroom with only one electrical outlet, which is as far away from the bed as possible. These things didn’t matter much in the 60s, I guess, when the house was built.

Also, the mattress might be that old, too. And while I’m not that old, I always feel like it after a night in the back room.

But a lovely morning today. Huge breakfast. I washed dishes. More visiting and then this afternoon was timed to get on the road before the rain.

So with more traveling and visiting, I’ll just point out the obvious: when eight of 11 words on a label are that important, you pour yourself a big serving.

Jul 15

Things my grandmother grew

Jul 15

The stars at play

We read in the paper yesterday and then watched the news where people were discussing the current Venus-Jupiter planetary conjunction.

(It is highly likely that sitting there on the sofa against the wall dividing living room from kitchen is where I first became a news junky — the news was always on and there was always a big stack of newsprint sitting around. It somehow feels now as though I can’t get enough news there. I think because you’re watching the local and evening news and reading this morning’s newspaper, but that’s just a part of my regular information diet these days. But I digress.)

So my grandfather and I walked outside on the family compound last night and we looked up into the appropriate part of the sky.

There’s Venus! And, just there! Giant Jupiter!

I pulled out my phone, powered up one of my sky apps (I have three, and no, I don’t have a problem.) and started identifying stars and constellations and twirled around in the yard like a fool until I found the space station. It was below us and to the west.

My grandfather enjoyed this.

Today, he mentioned all of this to a coworker. (Because he’s the kind of guy who retired five or six years ago and still goes to work almost every day and laughs at how the rest of us talk about our hard days.) That coworker was intrigued and wanted to know more. So my grandfather came home I heard him put together a string of words I wouldn’t have imagined coming from him that morning.

“Oh, what was the name of that app you showed me with … ”

My grandfather: digital native.

So I turned it on again. This time we looked at things in the sky from inside the house, which might have been even more interesting. Look just behind the fireplace there and you’ll see …

When I went outside I took a few screen captures from the SkyView app, because these were just fun.

The constellation Cancer because this is basically my personal crest. He looks like he’s pinching the planets:

And look, Leo the lion is playing with two beach balls!

Jun 15

An observation on animals

When you see pets — or people, for that matter — only occasionally you see them in a different light than if you had daily interactions.

People’s personality traits are more endearing or obnoxious. Things you thought you liked, you might rethink. Things that you thought you disliked might not seem so bad after all.

With animals it is a little bit different — personalities and interactions being what they are. But I look at this pup and I think there’s something worth learning.

Ya know, she’s got the right idea.

I didn’t even run that far today. It was one of those days where I ran precisely enough to get in a 5K. And then I stopped, right away. But tired? That’s me.

Jun 15

Off traveling again

This is a shot from the freeway of pasture land somewhere near Belle Mina, Alabama.

Having sat still for several consecutive days it seemed only appropriate to pack a suitcase again. I’m taking a trip to see a few days worth of family.

Family is fine. Travel is fun. I’d pleased to not see a suitcase again for some serious length of time.