The day is drawing nigh and I still haven’t fulfilled my NaBloPoMo duty yet. I started to write about today’s Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage,* but quickly realized that to do the topic justice would take more brain power than I currently have.
So, how about a photo? I searched through my pictures and found that Paint Shop Pro has provided me with several. The one chosen totally at random seems to fit the month and mood perfectly.
*If the Washington Post link works, be sure to play the video if you haven’t seen it. It’s a fascinating look at how news of Supreme Court rulings reaches the masses.
The summer solstice, the first day of summer, and… what else?
I love this day! I’d possibly love it even if it wasn’t my birthday. It’s almost exactly one-half year from Christmas, so I only had to wait 6 months for the Big Present Days. (Past tense, because now all the presents are from me, to me. So they could come at anytime during the year.)
To celebrate the day, I’ve added a second picture to the blog header. (The two randomly rotate.) That means the stream value has increased 10%, making the water value now only 80% less than the original Stream of Conscience.
Earlier this year I’d noticed a dead branch hanging loosely from its base. This spring, the tree trimmers neglected to lop it off. Our maintenance guy says the branches are hollow and they’re afraid to do any more trimming.
He showed me how the branch coming from the base of the tree on the left is decaying. The other tree has a branch where a whole section of bark and “tree tissue” is missing. It’s like looking at a forearm with one side of skin and muscle missing, exposing the bone.
Here’s what I wrote way back in April, 2008 at (the old) Stream of Conscience.
It’s my annual rite of spring. The trees outside my entry are in full bloom, and it’s raining.
I don’t know what kind of trees they are. They sort of look like cherry trees. And the blossoms look like “double cherry blossoms.” They tend to bloom about 1-2 weeks after the “official” cherry blossoms and keep their blooms for about one week. My neighbor (who knows these things) says they’re almond trees.
Every year, at least once during their week of full bloom, it rains. The wet blossoms are so heavy, they pull the branches down so far that I have to duck when I walk under them. That day is my unofficial rite of spring.
My neighbor has since passed away. I was going to end this post by asking, “How will I ever know when spring arrives once the trees gone?” But now that seem frivolous compared to the fond memories of my neighbor.
Yesterday morning I set the alarm on my watch to 10:30 p.m. When it went off last night, I’d forgotten what I’d set it for. Short term memory? Not so good.
Having not thought about today’s post, the possibility of forgetting to blog was very real. Perhaps inspired by yesterday’s list of impressive relatives, I remembered thinking, as a young child, how fortunate I was to call these people family. Which reminded me of a few other early childhood thoughts.
Having been born before “women’s lib,” I often wondered why single and married men were addressed as “Mister,” while single and married women were differentiated by “Miss” and “Mrs.” (When you think about it, “Mrs.” isn’t even a word. “Missus” is just a phonetic representation of “Mrs.” Seriously??) [See Note 1]
I also knew that married men and women shared a last name, even though they were born with different surnames. What was the most equitable way to resolve this dilemma? The lawyer’s daughter in me (I was only 5 or 6 years old at the time) figured the county clerk’s office kept a record of marriages (which they do), and assigned the man’s last name to odd numbered couples and the woman’s to the even numbers. Or vice versa. Either was fair.
When I asked my mother the question, she seemed surprised and said, “You always take the man’s name.” I replied in horror, “That’s not fair!” She seemed taken aback. She probably thought That’s my daughter, the trouble-maker.
I was indeed the black sheep of the family. My mother was the oldest of four, my father the oldest of two, and my brother the oldest of two. At dinner one evening, I told them no one understood me because none of them were “not the oldest.” Mom said “That doesn’t make any difference.” Ha! Later research would prove her wrong.
[Note 1: Etymology tells me “Mrs.” is the abbreviation for “mistress,” yet “mistress” has been defined as “kept woman of a married man”since the 15th century.]
When is it okay to start over? Is it better to focus on improving one’s current path; or is there a point when the path becomes so overgrown it’s better to just change direction? Or is starting over the perfectionist’s cop-out when things get too messy?
I’ve thought about rebooting my blog many times over the past years in hopes of making it exactly how I want it. But since I’m not really sure what that is, I’ve avoided the temptation. Until now.
Why is now different? Perhaps Stream of Conscience was too unfocused and cluttered. Perhaps SciFi Chicks burned me out. Perhaps Ms. Pack Brat was one blog too many. Or maybe I’m just inspired by spring. Whatever the reason, I’ve decided to simplify and streamline my online life—just as I’m trying to simplify and streamline my home life.
Long ago, I started a blog for the purpose of telling my nephews and niece about their paternal grandparents (my parents), whom they didn’t know very well. But along the way, I got sidetracked by other interests and the minutiae of life. Life still gets in the way, but I have a better understanding of the stories I want to tell, and a more focused approach to the things I want to talk about.
Will I be more successful this time? Only time will tell. Stay tuned…