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Fireflies and Prayers

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The first night of 2014 that I can comfortably sit on the veranda and watch the sunset, and the fireflies rise. There is something magical about fireflies and dusk. A feeling of peace envelopes me as another Shabbat begins. The neighborhood falls into silence as the first stars appear, the dogs stop barking, even the traffic seems to pause.

Too soon, something breaks that magical moment, and I fall out of the eternity into the eternal now. Tonight it was a teen coming home, his auto roaring around the curves and the sub-woofers at full rumble. So much for magical moments. But then, if magical moments persisted, they would become common.

One new addition to my summer evening ritual are holy incantations said softly. A special moment for reflection, even musing. So much of my spiritual life is done with others, and I am not complaining. But there is freedom in a moment of reverie on the veranda, accompanied by quiet streaks of light from the lightning bugs.

But back in the house now, Snook in the living room watching CSI, me in the studio, Annie-Annie, our black stray something or the other fast asleep on the daybed, tablet put on the charger and my world back in order. Time to kick off the sandals, take some medicines, and crawl into bed for the night.

As we say here in pick-up truck heaven, night y’all!

~r

Lane Hog

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A mighty prince of a fellow am I

I always obey the law.

And drive in my private lane on the left of the freeway

At exactly the speed limit, not more, not less

And studiously ignore the one finger salutes

From those angry souls who pass me on the right.

If you would drive at exactly the limit too

My world would be perfect for you as well

See? See?

See how much better I am than thee?

The Mills of God Grind Slowly

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Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience he stands waiting, with exactness grinds he all.

 

There was a time that I knew when things got too rough, I could go home.

Then one day, home was not, and would not ever be.

Stoically, I trudged on, for such is life, for one day too, I shall also be not.

To our mothers everywhere who once were, but are now not.

May they once again be.

The nothing box

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Friday morning dawns dripping from the midnight rains. It has been a slow starter today for me. I was up much of the night with the tornado and violent storm alarms from the weather radio and cell phones. It actually didn’t seem all that stormy to me, but maybe because of the long drought, an actual rainfall is something worth over reporting. But all that is forgotten with the yellow sunlight dappling the lawn as it filters through the dark greenery of the acacia and pecans.

And joyful thumpings reverberate through the house as dogs excitedly and tennis balls hit the kitchen floor. Time for a bit of ball chasing outside, and of course, the reward afterwards. Kippur the budgie scolds me, wanting me to put some noise on. I scold her back, telling her I demand two cupful’s of quietness with the morning infusion.

Today is Bruin Hilda day again. I am happy to report that my doc is elated with my glucose levels, and a loss of twenty pounds of sedentary excess. And my hip sockets and knees are grateful that the exercise machines aren’t so excruciating.

Not much else is going on here at the homestead. Still awaiting that morning when I can sit out on the front stoop with the laptop and coffee. Of course, Friday being preparation day, Snookums will soon busy herself baking challah bread for Shabbat, I will go down for an hour or so to prepare the shul for the day of rest as will Shamash’s all over the world.

And the first cup is empty, the sun has climbed another 7½° in the sky, and I will luxuriate in my ‘nothin’ box for one more cup.

Good morning!

~r

All in the name of Allah

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Thursday morning appears with slate gray skies, scattered rains and a humid 75°.

I was eager to sit out on the porch with my new tablet and type out a missive this morning, but the light rains put an end to that today. Not that I am complaining about the rain, mind you. We Texans don’t bitch about something as precious as rain. Most of us would be so elated with a good long weeks soaker.

I am a little late in penning this missive. It seemed to take a bit more coffee to thin the blood this morning, so I idly let the newsfeeds scroll by without comment. I am reminded of the Merry Minuet.

They’re rioting in Africa
(whistling)
They’re starving in Spain
(whistling)
There’s hurricanes in Florida and Texas needs rain

Read more: Kingston Trio – Merry Minuet Lyrics | MetroLyrics

School girls captured in the name of Allah. Captors cursed in the name of Allah.
Pelosi the hairy wants fairness in the Ben Ghazi hearings.
Senator Reid says some billionaires are evil (Koch Bros.) and some billionairs (Sheldon Adelson) are good.
Harvard students plan to hold a Black Mass. Cool. As long as it isn’t a Catholic Mass.

So goes the world outside my window. But I sit cocooned in my $49 Office Max Executive chair, coffee cup warming my fingers.

Mornin’!

~r

 

 

Intermittent rains …

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Wednesday dawns overcast and windy, but a warm 73° as rain cells scurry about, soaking one area, and leaving another bone dry in the beginning of the 4th year of drought.  Kipper da budgie greets me with shrill chirps and buzzes. I am wondering who dropped a quarter in her today.

And today is another Bruin Hilda day. I am getting used to the torture, and might even be beginning to enjoy her loving lashes as she escorts me from one device to the other. If only I didn’t have to make the trip into the metropolis and the attending labyrinth of the hospital corridors. But I guess you can’t have everything. Of course, my answer is “Why not? Who wrote that asinine rule?”

Later in the day an installer will come and put in a new broadband service called WDSL … sort of a WiFi network that will give me more bandwidth and higher speeds than satellite. And almost no latency (a geek term for sluggish performance). So for the next eight months, I’ll have two internet providers until my original satellite contract expires. But I’ll call them tomorrow and change to their lowest level of service, which combined with the Wi-Fi will cost me less than Satellites best service plan.

Yeah. I imagine you are just titillated with that revelation, aren’t you!

Not much happening on the writing front as life advances. It is a time of reassessing goals, becoming more reflective in my day-to-day routine, and working at becoming an elder statesman as the new congregation flourishes. It is kinda like when your kid grows up, and you have to back off and let them soar or crash.

But it is good. I never was a good committee worker anyway. Few good things come from committees. But then, few bad things come from them too. Committees on the whole are not geared for risk taking. I think the last committee meeting pretty much killed any desire in me to assist in taking the congregation to the next level. My work here is done. Now sit back and smile a lot.

And writing. Journaling is my speed today. I have little desire to lead you unwilling down mystical paths, inculcating religious themes in your mind without broaching the subject of God. It used to be fun to engage in that sort of benign deception. And the political fire in the belly is dying. Here is a great nation, slowly dying on the altar of greed and selfishness. Noble themes, the grand egalitarian experiment of the Founding Masons, have been pushed aside for effete academic intellectualism, and both political parties are culpable in the descent into decadence. RIP … it was a grand experiment, but man is not truly capable of freedom.

And my ambitions of a flourishing garden are slowly dying too. The persistent drought and my own debility combine to simplify my life. Keep the grass and weeds mowed down so that a prairie fire does not destroy my home is pretty much the rule now. The riding mower reigns, the garden spade is retired.

And with those somewhat morose meanderings, I bid you a pleasant good morning as I go to prepare by body for Bruin Hildas loving lashes …

Good morning!

 
 

~r

 

Tuesdays troubles …

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Tuesday dawns cool and partly sunny in weather casters vernacular. Odd use of words. Partly sunny. I guess that means a little more sun break outs than it would if it was partly cloudy. This’ll be a laid back day, I am still sore from my rehab session yesterday, but I am noticing a bit more strength.

The hardest part is the walk from the parking lot to the clinic. There is close in parking, and valet parking, but I am too cheap to pay a valet, and I don’t want to join the circle of cars slowly circling the lot waiting to pounce on an empty spot, and being annoyed at the surplus of handicapped spots with each circuit. So I just park in the far in of the lot and walk the block and a half to the door. It is uphill and by the time I hit the clinic door inside the huge building, I am puffing like a steam engine.

Once inside, I take my monitor pouch that is laid out on the table and walk to the back where Bruin Hilda ties the straps on, puts the monitor in the pouch, and snaps the leads on to the patches on my chest and side.

Now it is 20 minutes on the recumbent, which goes well, five minutes on the arm crank, and 20 minutes on the treadmill. The “effort” is adjusted higher each visit on the machines as well, but if it gets to be too laborious, you can adjust the effort downwards. But you WILL do twenty minutes. The machines are tied into the monitor, and they know if you cheat on the time.

But back to the moment, as I sit at my studio window and watch the breezes rustle the tree leaves, and the cardinals flit around the bird bath. It is a peaceful time, and by the middle of the second cup of coffee my mind can turn to the day’s evils. I will have to run into town today because I forgot to stop at the pharmacy yesterday and pick up some new glucose test strips. Maybe I’ll stop at the grocery and pick up the fixins for a country breakfast this weekend. I am allowed to blow my diet once a week … and Sunday is my day … and I have a hankering for sausage gravy and biscuits, scrambled eggs and hash browns. And maybe a grapefruit. If I am going to be a piggy, I’ll go whole hog.

Actually, I am off of pork and pork products. It is ersatz sausage I get these days, made from turkeys. It seems to satisfy the soul as much as the original hog did, but doesn’t tickle the taste buds as well. But such is life.

And maybe I’ll mow. That seems to be what I do best. Seated on my riding mower like a grandee, waiving at the passing neighbors and workmen. It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it.