Monday, October 25, 2010

Lessons in Pink

Mama's pink daisies opened this week.
They perform this same miracle every year.
It has been a dozen years since Mama came down the drive with a flat of these in the back seat.

 "Fishy, you are going to just love these !"

She was right, I do love them.
They have taught me many lessons.

In the beginning they were planted out front where they thrived and multiplied, and multiplied and multiplied.
I attempted a little divide and conquer potting up quantities to give to friends and family which apparently gave them space for more multiplying.  The mass plantings were lovely but they kept multiplying. So I began to edit.

That was before I learned a "La Nina" year meant drought here. We had successive years of drought . One summer  we experienced record heat to go with the drought and that year there were far fewer pink daisys, but still plentiful. A frozen winter followed so again the pink daisy patch was lessened but still significant. What did decimate the pink daisys was flood. They do not tolerate wet feet. Too much standing water was worse than no water or frozen water.
What remained of our pink daisys I moved around back to our courtyard garden.

Like the daisys,
I have had years when I  thrived and years when I have not.
The past few years have been tough on many fronts.
I may be lessened but not gone.
The daisys are more plentiful this year than last.
There is a message in this.
Maybe I will bloom again soon.
But there will be no multiplying.

Mama's pink daisys have  yet another significance in my year.
They have become my starting gun for Autumn.
Once those daisys start showing color I am off to fetch pumpkins , hay bales, and flats of snaps.
So today I will plant flowers,  make fall arrangements, fetch the Halloween decor from the attic and
give thanks to my mother.

:-)   :-)   :-)   :-)   :-)  :-)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Reality Download

 On a recent Tuesday, a rising junior at one of our nations fine universities joined his Dad for lunch. Over the course of the meal pleasantries were exchanged. The father, a "self made" man talked about his latest business issues, the son talked of school sports and a bit about his class work.

While awaiting dessert the son said,
" Dad, I've forwarded on to you the e-mail about next semester's tuition. As you've no doubt read it's up a few percentage points and this term they are receiving funds early to secure slots in the upper level curricula."

Smiling the server delivered desserts and coffee which absorbed the father's full attention for a few minutes.
Stirring his coffee the Dad looked up and asked,

" How did you want to handle that?"
"How did you want to handle that?"
"I'm not sure I understand you Dad, handle what? I forwarded the e-mail to you, all the data you need is in the e-mail." His demeanor was respectful but he had a slight expression of annoyance around his browline.

" Well, it's nice of you to keep me informed of what's important in your life son, it means a lot to me. But, I believe  that tuition statement is yours not mine so what are your plans toward that obligation?"

" Is this a joke Dad?"

" No son, it is not. Why did you ask?"

"Dad! What is going on here? This is crazy! Since when do you ask me what am I doing about  tuition? You take care of the tuition Dad, I take care of being the student".

The father set down his fork, reached into his breast pocket to extract some papers which he passed to his son. The son picked up the papers saying , " What is this? Christ Dad, I have to get back on campus by 3pm for crew. Will this take long?"

"Son, those papers are portable so if you need to leave go ahead."

Opening the papers the son was surprised. In his hands were bank statements, the title to his car, an insurance policy in his name only, a receipt for auto tags and taxes.

" What's this about Dad?"

"Choice and change", responded the Dad while signing for lunch.
He thanked the server, stood and asked his son if he would care to join him for his walk back to the office. Outside on the sidewalk the son said, " Look Dad, if you are making a point I am not getting it.
What I am getting is a stress headache so could you please just tell me what this is all about?"

In a relaxed manner the Dad looked over at this son , took in  a  deep breath and said,
"This is about choices and changes just as I said in the restaurant. You  know son, your generation were so enamored of the virtual potential of change, the power of the virtual, you pretty much overlooked the real. Millions of us parents sat around dinner tables trying to explain to our kids the reality of the virtual choice but we were not heard.  For you son, reality is now here to trump virtual. Your college fund is depleted. You lost about 47% in 2008. You've had  5 full semesters and a few summer sessions  of tuition, books, fees, drawing from the remaining 53%.  You are pretty much tapped out. Some of those papers I gave you is a print out of your college fund, the loses and the transactions to date. There is some money in there but sadly,  insufficient to cover your tuition."

Reeling a bit from this news the son sat down on a bench, shuffling the papers until he came to the funds report. He read the papers carefully, ran his hands thru his hair  before standing again to address his father.

" Okay, this shows we took a pretty serious hit. But Dad!  what is remaining will not cover the basics for the remainder of this semester never mind the upcoming one. I need some help here Dad. I mean, I never thought I would be standing on a public sidewalk asking my Dad if he was going to help me with college.  I mean it Dad! You  are the CEO of a great business, we aren't poor people Dad so what is the problem?"

" No problem son, just a choice. I choose my beliefs over yours."

" What! Dad, this is nuts. What beliefs? What choices? What the hell are you talking about?"

" Son, this is  about owning your choices. You made one, as did millions of you fellow virtual reality voters.
When your generation voted into office a  virtual idea of a man versus the reality of an idealist who never has worked a day in his life, this is the reality you elected.  I am making another choice. I believe in an America which is business driven, not government driven. I do not believe in the redistribution of wealth.  I believe in equal opportunity to earn wealth. I do not believe in rewarding greed and failure.  Nor, punishing those of us who have successfully achieved independence, accountability  and decency through hard work, ethical practices and prayer. I will not support the needs of an individual who rejects these beliefs or declines to acknowledge  the consequences of choice.  You helped put into office a man who stands against just about everything I believe in.  As a parent, I am obligated to provide you with wings. I want those wings to work son.  I will  tell you now I think the  flights for your generation are going to encounter extreme turbulance. I am taking this action to do my best to help you accept and prepare for the world you have chosen."

" Wait a minute! You are refusing to educate me because you couldn't control my vote? That's crap!"

" NO son.
This isn't about control.
It is about accountability.
Yes, I could manage to come up with the funds to pay your remaining education expenses but to do so I would have to eliminate some expenses. Those 'expenses' are good employees who have worked hard and loyally for us for decades. I don't think they should lose their jobs for your education. I don't think
they should lose their jobs, home, pensions and all hope in this real world because  your generation flexed it's numbers and decided to elect a president like it was  a video game scoreboard.  Game over."

" Dad, you can't stop progress or technology or all the changes to come. And you can't expect my generation to want a leader older than our grandparents. We made the best choice for our time.  This might have caught you by surprise but you have to adapt! Every generation does. I'll help you get a handle on the new reality stuff  Dad but,  right now,  I need for you to stand tall and do the right thing. For me."

Placing a gentle hand on his son's shoulder the father said,

  " Thanks son, but I'm good. You see I have a new downloadable app out there for all the parents who need a little advice about how to help their kids own their choices.  It's doing really well at a dollar per download! Actually, I am pretty confident  the company employees and I will all have comfortable retirements now that our websites , blogs, twitters and links are up to speed. "

Friday, October 1, 2010

Missing Troll

Missing Troll

Have you all seen the advertisements for the release of the Secretariat movie?

It is a wonderful story.
We  plan to see the movie but there is something missing!
How can we possibly go to this event and not miss Troll ?

Once the trailer begins broadcasting
I am not thinking about the casting or the photography or the actors or even the story.
Immediately I pine for what we have already missed;
regular updates from the expert.
The man who would never let us believe in a story told improperly.
A man who would be generous with praise and respect if the story is told correctly.

We are missing  his excitement.
We are missing  his knowledge.
We are missing  his love for a fine athlete.
We are missing his passion for life.

It makes me sad.
I still miss Mute Mondays.
I still miss our Haiku games.

I am annoyed.
With those who stole his joy in us.
With those who defend meaness  by calling it humor.
With those who cruised the blog family  disseminating  falsehoods.
With those who implemented premeditated harm to a fine soul.
With those who did not respect what was given.
You should all be stomped into compost by Secretariat's ghost.