Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Memory

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

August 13, 2019 at 6:00 am

Fresh Start

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Here goes nothin’. It’s a new week and we get a fresh start to face the challenges that lie ahead. Even though the weekend ended kinda rough, there were a few high points that I am dwelling on to provide some positive momentum for the next few days of work, particularly the unfinished business from last week that I failed to address.

The best part of the weekend was the serendipity of meeting Catherine, a new out-of-town friend from the Pacific Northwest who was visiting Wildwood while we were there. We share the understanding of being on a journey to discover our best selves.

Another treat was catching a glance of one fledgling eagle making a brief circle of flight out of the nest.

We learned from one Wildwood community member that one of the young eagles was down on the ground shortly after the nest had fallen apart. It is unknown whether they came down together, nor how the fledgling had made its way back up again.

Seeing at least one of them take flight gives us hope they will both succeed in the next phases of development.

We received feedback around dinnertime last night, on the status of the lake neighbor’s bitten dog. The injuries were deemed “non-critical” and she was eating, drinking, and walking. Pending one last assessment by their main veterinarian today, we are hoping for the best possible diagnosis for a speedy return to full health.

I would like to embrace that thought on this quest to head into the work-week with a “fresh start” perspective.

Let’s imagine that the best could happen!

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Written by johnwhays

August 12, 2019 at 6:00 am

New Chaos

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We almost made it through two days of calm respite at the lake before the universe dished out a new dose of chaotic drama. My sense of orderliness is getting plenty of exercise, whether I want it, or not.

The idyllic afternoon in the water slowly eased into a delicious dinner of charcoal-grilled burgers with fresh corn-on-the-cob. Stories and laughter around the table topped off dinner and lasted until a call to join others by the lodge.

It was dark outside. There were a lot of people gathering on the deck next door. A bunch more were sitting around the fire at the lodge. Cyndie had Delilah on a leash. I was carrying my travel guitar in its case and arrived on the deck, having just walked up from the fire pit. The neighbors have a white dog that looks like one of the miniature mix breeds. Cyndie had been told the little dog was inside their cabin.

It all coalesced into a split-second explosion of dog conflict that revealed Gracie wasn’t inside. I turned to witness the fracas and ended up using my guitar case as a lever against Delilah as people scrambled to separate them.

Gracie was surprisingly calm, but inspection revealed she was bleeding from a puncture wound. The decision was made to bandage her up for the night and seek veterinarian advice today.

Cyndie and I are frustrated by Delilah’s quick transformations from calm to aggressive, but this degree of conflict is a new level that has us crushed.

The night was already laced with heaviness by reports of a community member in the last hours of life after years of cancer treatments.

I was on a quest for a break from life’s pressures, but the reality of new challenges occurring every day is helping me to adjust my focus toward the art of nurturing an intentional peacefulness that surfs above the turbulence which circumstances perpetually roil.

This morning I am conjuring extra love for people and animals and sending it to all the world. New love to sooth new chaos.

Peace.

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Written by johnwhays

August 11, 2019 at 8:27 am

Storm Damage

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By the looks of the driveway alone, up at the lake, it is obvious that there was some heavy rain. There is evidence of a flash flood of runoff that washed gravel away into the woods. Farther along on the property, we discovered that the big eagles’ nest had also succumbed to the deluge. There was debris of sticks and dead fish on the ground at the base of the tree. Looking up, the size of the structure had shrunk considerably.

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Still, the two youngsters remained perched, one on a branch above, and one on what was left of the nest. We occasionally hear them calling out to the adults who are the source of their meals. I would expect the stinky fish that landed below to eventually be picked up and delivered above again. It’s not like they’re past their expiration date or anything.

Getting the fish bodies up off the ground would make it a little easier to walk Delilah that direction. It takes a lot of muscle to steer her clear of trying to roll around in all the stench.

On a whim, I decided to be adventurous and take Delilah for an explore in the woods across the highway from our property. As soon as we made our way beyond the thicket of growth along the berm beside the road and got into the spacious forest beneath the spectacular canopy of the tall trees, I discovered the hazard of my decision.

All that rain seems to have unleashed a ferocious new batch of teeny mosquitos. They were unrelenting in their onslaught. I tried to keep moving to foil their attempts to land, but Delilah –lacking the exposed flesh I presented– didn’t share my urgency. She kept stopping to smell every enticing forest odor and, still on leash, frequently chose a path that had us at odds over which side of tree trunks to be on.

I had to cut our expedition short and set a course straight back to the bright sunlight of the roadway.

Things were much calmer when we got to the beach and I let her soak in the water while I stood on the sand taking a sunbath and listening to loons.

By that point, the storm damage was out of sight and out of mind. Almost the same for the chaos of the preceding week.

I will continue this course of therapy for a couple of days. It seems to be just what a doctor would order for what was ailing me.

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Written by johnwhays

August 10, 2019 at 7:51 am

Much Needed

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We made it to the lake for a much-needed respite from the nibbling chaos of late. I admit to a certain penchant for bringing order to my world. When there is always more to do in a day than time allows, I find satisfaction in tending to something on the list to a degree it at least gives the appearance of having been addressed.

The previous few days of the day-job have offered up increasingly more demands than my tiny progress has been able to offset. With Cyndie away all week, attention to the home front has been below expectations. Thank goodness we don’t need to be putting up hay this summer.

Cyndie’s flight home was canceled yesterday, on the excuse that a flight attendant called in sick and they didn’t have enough personnel to staff the flight. Really? They found her an alternative by driving her an hour to San Francisco to barely make an 8:00 a.m. departure toward home. Good thing Cyndie was willing to do a little running to make the boarding gate in time.

That solution involved leaving her checked bag to make its way home without her. The airline said they would deliver her suitcase to our doorstep by the end of the day. Too bad she left her jewelry and medicines in that bag and at the last minute decided to allow it to be checked instead of carrying it on as originally planned, because we made a dash for the lake last night before it arrived, bringing Delilah along for the two-and-a-half-hour drive.

Yeah, it all feels a little chaotic to me in retrospect, given the reference of sights and sounds we are enjoying this morning.

This is what I call respite…

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It is the perfect tonic for what is ailing me. I intend to immerse myself in the experience to the fullest. 

Aahhhhh. Wake me on Sunday when it is time to head back to the real world.

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Written by johnwhays

August 9, 2019 at 7:40 am

Impressive Specimen

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Last weekend, while I was up at the lake biking, Cyndie sent me a picture of a spider she was startled by in her garden. I don’t mind at all that I was not home to see it in person. The image alone revealed an impressive specimen of a black and yellow garden spider.

It’s about sixteen times bigger than spiders I’m not bothered by. I glanced toward the garden from the safe distance of my lawn tractor seat as I mowed around the perimeter, but didn’t spot the gargantuan arachnid. Thank goodness.

Despite the possibility of thunderstorms yesterday afternoon, I got out to finish the last of the mowing. Now I am ready to head back up to the lake for the weekend. Cyndie is due to return this afternoon, and as I understand it, the plan is that we will take Delilah with us. Maddie will still stop by to tend to the chickens while we are away.

Speaking of impressive specimens, this beautiful cumulonimbus cloud sprouted overhead just as I was preparing to start mowing.

Based on that beast and several others developing close by, I was prepared for my plan to be foiled soon after I started. Alas, that never happened. They moved off to the east and a fresh dose of dry air flowed in behind them.

The yard looks nicely manicured and gives the impression someone actually lives here. That is, until one approaches the overgrown paddocks in front of the barn.

I guess you could say we have an impressive specimen of tall grass going to seed out there.

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Written by johnwhays

August 8, 2019 at 6:00 am

Delilah Nodded

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Has it been a while since I boasted about our brilliant Terv? Being a dog, Delilah is rather highly motivated by food. As random as things are around here, we do strive to provide Delilah with as routine a schedule as possible. She is very helpful in reminding us when it is time to eat, should we ever stray from timing she expects.

I used to think it was a function of her impressive ability to tell time. Evidence now points to her reading our activities and recognizing we put out her food after coming in from certain tasks in the morning and afternoon. If we end up coming inside too early in the afternoon, she still assumes our arrival to the house means it’s time for her dinner.

When that happens, we tend to make her wait for the clock to reach the appointed hour.

With Cyndie out of town this week, I put Delilah in the outdoor kennel while I was mowing the lawn yesterday after work. By the time I decided to stop to feed her, it was about 30 minutes past her usual mealtime. When I reached the kennel to retrieve her, she was incredibly excited to see me. I knew why.

I’m pretty sure she knew I knew.

“It’s dinner time!”

She did the classic excitement behavior of running ahead, running back, and running ahead again. Knowing she was too excited to think about peeing, I encouraged her to take a moment to do that before we went inside.

Her response, in the midst of dashing fore and aft, was a head nod to let me know that wouldn’t be necessary. Going inside so I could immediately serve dinner was the only thing on her agenda. With a very obvious nod of her head, she indicated there was no need for what I was asking of her.

While she ate dinner, I stepped back outside and finished as much mowing as time allowed. Before washing up, I took Delilah outside one more time.

The very first thing she did was pee.

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Written by johnwhays

August 7, 2019 at 6:00 am