Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Encountering CHANGE

I have never been one to haunt garage sales, church bazaars or flea market tabletops. I will however, eagerly travel to another city to investigate architectural salvage , galleries and antique stores. My favorites are the locations which offer all of the above. So you can imagine my dismay when I travel  to one of my favored haunts only to find it is gone. Recently, while sitting in a deserted parking lot in front of a deserted building trying to   google the shop to see if it was relocated, I noticed a smallish post-a-note on the door glass. Upon inspection the note said, " one mile north on left ". Since google still had the deserted location, I left.  I went North where, a mile later, I pulled into a front yard. There strung on clotheslines and beautifully displayed on folding tables was the antiques "store" I sought.

As I exited my car the dealer called out this greeting ,
"Fishy! did you see the note?" I  nodded and told him about the frustrating google search and the no phone number issue.

 He  shrugged  while explaining he was still trying to make some decisions but for now  was trying to stay afloat.  Selling  inventory on Ebay, Craigs and  via the  pink post it notes  directing searchers to the current location.

I am sure my shock was reflected on my face. This yard is now the storefront????? OMG.  We chatted a bit  while  I shopped. He explained the landlord could no longer make ends meet so all insurance policies on his properties, including all liability coverage had been cancelled. The agreement  had been for the landlord to insure the property while he insured his business and  inventory.

The landlord wanted his tenants to assume  insurance and maintenance costs for his propertie as he had no funds for  repairs. He hated to stress his tenants but his property values had declined, his rent receipts had declined but his insurance costs and the repairs costs has increased substantially.   The antiques dealer could not assume the financial burden, nor could he find an alternative location he could afford. Now, on nice weather weekends, he rents the front yard of an elderly friend, trailers his merchandise there, has his day, packs everything back in the trailer and then picks up the yard after the litterers. Ouch.

He is not loving  the Change. He must limit his offerings to that which is portable. To that which has broad appeal. To that which has a low price point while still offering some profitability for the dealer. He lists his furnishings and his unusual items mostly on Ebay now. Which means I can no longer examine the items  I might have purchased. Like an antique chimney cap or really long narrow farm table. I asked about scheduling an appointment to see the larger or more unique items? No, they were in an old utility trailer behind his house or in his mother's basement or under his bed. His life is, according to him, "a right big mess".

This  knowledgeable and interesting dealer will continue to search for a suitable location, will continue to pursue his vision of the American Dream. But now, he says he will stand on his soap box and bring to the attention of all who travel there to be mindful of the distance between rhetoric and reality. He will continue to offer interesting objects, knowledge, grace and  Nehi sodas on a hot summers day. Now, he puts a little note in with your receipt which says.

" Love your Country not just yourself."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Visual Haiku: Summer Nights

Moonflower scented,
Hot Southern night hammock ride,
Swing me to the moon

Mosquitoes droning
Citronella candles lit
Fireflies welcome here

Barbecue he-man
Swaggers by with tong and spear
Pride goeth before

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Damage Report

The meteorologists called it a "Microburst" which is Mother Nature throwing a big fit in a small place. Like the Pond neighborhood. Actually a microburst is as powerful and destructive as a tornado but the powerful force is not circular but straight down then up and out after smashing into our sphere.

56 trees down, 14 roads closed, multiple smashed cars and houses ( not mine) and countless grand old oaks and maples splintered. 15 thousand without power, the civic center opened to provide a staging area for the Red Cross and air conditioning for those having no other way to escape 97 heat.

If you are home when the environment is crazed you have a sensory perception which tells you to get to a safe place. Pronto. It isn't just the black cloud, or the knock you down wind gusts, or the lightening screaming across the sky horizontally. It isn't even the sound of the first marble sized, then golf ball sized, then fist sized hail pounding onto your roof and threatening to break your windows. Nor is it the terrorizing sound of 75 mph winds whipping the treetops
or looking out the window to see giant trees bend down in submission to this mega force.

For me it was the change in the air.
Like all the oxygen had been sucked out of it.
Like a tsunami sucks all the water off the beaches before returning in a rush to smash all in it's path. Only this was like the skies heaving in all the air and holding it for a bit before ejecting it back to Earth in an incredibly destructive manner. It made me turn and run for a small, hallway between master bath, bed and closet. A place where doors can be closed to all areas having glass. It was not a thought, it was an instinctive reaction. During the air uptake. Just in time.
The world shook, then the rains came cascading in sheets like I have never seen. 2 inches of rain in 40 minutes is not just another thunderstorm, it is an experience.

I saw a graphic on the weather report, showing how microbursts can slap planes out of the sky.
This one slapped the daylights out of my neighborhood. And it worried the heck out of Blowfish who feared I would be home alone and maybe in an emergency situation without help. He need not have worried. I am fine, our home is fine. 2 of our grand old trees have terrible damage but probably will remain standing. The huge limbs ripped from the trunks fell onto land or street.
Not even any of the fencing is down. Ours the only street for blocks with electricity. Spared.

Amazingly, like in the movies about the end of Earth as we know it, all of my neighbors and I opened our doors and went out to assess the damage at the same time. As if it had been choreographed. There is debris everywhere, roofs, lawns,streets, drives, walkways, hanging from the Magnolia like oddly conceived ornaments. Like the big messes in Florida after a hurricane. There were neighborly calls to affirm everyones safe status and then, with no commentary we each began the clean up.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

VHaiku: Flag Day

Throat clutch at flag's sway,
Rockwell's America lost ,
Elders sing proudest!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Not my lucky day

I'm having a pity party. Care to join me?
Here is my sad tale of woe.
A week ago I had some out patient surgery.
( It went fine, thanks)
It did however require an anesthetist and the starting of an IV.On my left side, they made three attempts to get the IV going. No joy. 2 on the top of the hand, one on the inside of the wrist which was quite ouchy. Then they gave up and moved to the other side. Both hands have extensive bruising and swelling from blowing the blood vessels. It hasn't been a big deal, just inconvenient.

Then yesterday, it was off to my primary for a long scheduled semi-annual check up. I have thyroid replacement meds which require monitoring . The tech in the primary's office was annoyed at all the swelling and bruising .... no place to work. She even looked me in the eye and said, " well I'd hoped to get out of here on time til you showed me this mess". I volunteered to leave without the needle work but that didn't happen. We did have a bit of a chat over where she would be sticking her needle. We didn't agree. She called the primary back into the lab and after placing tournequets on both sides they decided left hand was the best shot. I suggested we wait a week and I'd come back then. I should have left. I didn't, I sighed and gave up. They collected half a tube of blood before the vein blew still needing 3.5 more tubes. " Probably hadn't had time to heal yet" they postulated. "We'll have to look at the other hand".
This time I said " I think we are done for today."

After all, it was the last appointment on a Friday afternoon. They would not see the labwork before Monday anyway so I said I would stop in first thing Monday morning and they could have another go. They didn't like it but this time I was firm, kept my body parts to myself and left.

This morning, I did inside domestic things while the sprinkler was running in the walled garden. Between laundry loads, I decided I would go out and dead head the annuals and maybe cut a bouquet and make a pretty arrangement. I didn't know there was a yellow jackets nest out by the deck steps. I found out when I went to cut some pink carnations. A swarm of them came to announce their displeasure with my threat to their homestead. So they attacked.

They won too.

They are in my garden, I am not.
There is not a beautiful flower arrangement from our garden in the Keeping Room.
I am not in the garden because,I am inside with tea bags pressed to my injured flesh from the
yellow jackets attacks. I've read all the first aid stuff on the riskier symptoms of multiple stings. (3 )What to do if the stinger punctures a blood vessel. ( one on the tortured left hand)
What to do if the stinger punctures a joint space. ( one on the tortured left wrist)
What to so if you feel an odd sense of weightiness or tingling in an extremity. (monitor)
What it does not advise?
What to do if one of them cleverly flies up your pant leg without realizing this led to a dead end for wasps. Which one cannot sting ones way out of. No matter how frequently the effort is made.

Thank God there is no video.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

VHaiku: Summer Starts

Essential rhythms
Impregnate flowering fruits
Busy Summer bees !

Watermelon cooler
Quenches encompassing heat
Smirnoff rescue me!

Lemonade kisses,
Coconut oil polished flesh,
Ignites summer bliss

Thursday, June 3, 2010