Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Poem: The weed growing above the freeway

When the worry and dread

take over my head,

I go visit the weed 

Growing above the freeway.

And I tell it my troubles,

which are always different

yet always the same,

about how the world is dying,

yet humans keep flying

faster toward their doom,

like the cars forever driving 

on the freeway below.

And always I ask the weed

how it found that crack in the gray

to grow so green and serene

and stand so tall

above it all.

And always it says nothing,

because weeds can’t talk.

Still I always feel better after our chat,

and begin searching anew for my way

to grow green and serene among the gray,

and be like that weed 

growing above the freeway.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

My favorite birthday dinner? Hot dogs cooked in the dog’s water dish.

That birthday hot dog-dog.
On special occasions I like to eat hot dogs. No fancy food in expensive restaurants for me, please. And no ketchup, either. Just a hot dog with plenty of mustard is all I need.

So that is what we brought to a house we rented on my birthday one year. But the house that had nothing to cook with. A stove, but no pans. A microwave, but no bowls. No grill or fireplace, either.

It seemed like I wouldn’t get to celebrate with hot dogs after all. Until my husband finally found a way to cook them: boiling the hot dogs in the microwave with the only bowl we could put in there — the dog’s water dish.

That was cool.

Many people certainly won’t think cooking hot dogs in a pet’s bowl is cool, especially not the man who did it. But I love that he found a way to cook that night, deciding that at least one thing would be worse than cooking hot dogs in a dog dish: Me not eating the hot dogs at all. 

 That was super cool.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

My Grandmother’s Journals: May, 1997

My grandmother's 1964 passport photo.
In tiny notebooks, my grandmother wrote down each day when she woke, where she ate breakfast, any movie she went to see, any mail or phone calls, then what she read and watched on TV before bed.
In 1997, my grandmother turned 82 while living alone in a mobile home park in Santa Cruz, Calif. But I wouldn't describe her as lonely; she was an extremely independent and persnickety woman whom I never knew to live with another person or even a pet. (I wrote more about her life in an earlier post.)  
She began May of 1997 in Paris, again, a city she loved to visit in the spring, even at age 81!
That was super cool.
Thursday, May 1, 1997 - In Paris
Vibol anniversary May 10, send card.
Up 3 a.m., 6 a.m. Back on schedule?
Got cheese, cookies.
To Mimi’s for dinner: Broccoli soup, rice, salad, strawberries. Talked.
To hotel, McDonald's.
Wrote three letters: Justine, Andra, Violet Hotel.
Woke with gum or tooth problem.

Friday, May 2, 1997 - Paris
Meet Yvonne at 4 p.m.
To post office, mailed letters.
Gum better, washed with salt water.
Talked to couple from Atlanta.
Hot, left coat at hotel.
Washed hair and bathed. 
Yvonne arrived on time. Talked til 6, walked a bit.

Saturday, May 3, 1997  - Paris
To Pere Lachaise (cemetery). Take camera. Hot.
Forgot map. Where is Jim? (Jim Morrison).
Took pix of “graffiti”: “Some are known, some unknown, between the two are doors.”
Got chicken and potatoes. Packed 4 to 5:30 p.m.
To show, “Looking for Richard.” Al Pacino.
Got chicken cubes & cookies at store.
Packed again. Rained a bit.
Little sleep.

Sunday, May 4, 1997 - Paris to Marseille
Train to Marseille, leaves station 14:24
Awake almost all night. Up 7:45. Gum much better.
To RR 10 a.m. Read papers.
Train late to Marseille. Bus, welcome. Pix of each as arrive (on the ship).
Two women, three men. Woman robbed!
Hot. Sleep impossible.

Monday, May 5, 1997 - On cruise
Roommate has bloody nose. Ladies are twins.
Find way to use air conditioner.
Breakfast eggs, hardly made. Omelet offered.
Morning spent on life-saving exercises.
Lecture on excursions. Bought excursion tickets.
Bed. Slept better.
Tuesday, May 6, 1997 - Malta
Breakfast alone.
Got stamps and mailed.
Lecture very good. Re: origin of things.
Got postcards, mailed before lunch. 6: Justine, Carla, Lois/Oscar, Joan/Sally, Mina.
Langoustine for dinner.
Slept some.

Wednesday, May 7, 1997 - At sea
Warm in night. 
Roommates left early? Gone by 7.
Breakfast, promenade deck. A little sea.
Ukrainian lunch. Music, tea, more music. Russian pastry.
Women at table, asked for paper to write card numbers on.

Thursday, May 8, 1997 - Rhodes
Up 8, breakfast 9.
Washed clothes.
Lunch. Man could not eat cheese/legumes, given omelette with cheese. Jean-Michel not pleased.
Walked near port, shops for souvenirs.
Friday, May 9, 1997 - Turkey
To Cappadocia. Finally off at 9 a.m.
Have to pay $20 for Visa.
Shop, problem with money. Want lira, not francs.
Visited mosque. 
Roommate lives near Monaco.
Buffet dinner, beautiful spread.
Bed after bath. Roommate to folkloric program. 

Grandma sitting next to Robert, center.
Saturday, May 10, 1997
- Turkey
Watched TV. American woman selling Internet.
Bus out at 8. To city of 15 chapels.
Very hot. Walked lots.
To other roadside sellers, camel. Ate at better places. 
Robert was there, he drank too much. Staggered.
Visited underground city. Children came, I went upstairs with them.

Sunday. May 11, 1997 - At sea
Not much sleep, noise of the air conditioner.
Breakfast, no Robert. Later he said  he ate at 10:10.
Rested most of day. Read paper, balanced money.
Washed clothes after dinner.
Dinner good, salmon. Talked to children.

Monday, May 12, 1997 - Crete
Up 645. Tired. Excursion to Crete, 8:45.
Young English photographer, talked of government change.
To museums, got two tops for Justine.
Dinner late. To cinema, “Les Miserables.”
Bed late, slept some.

Tuesday, May 13, 1997 - At sea
Ankles still swollen.
Breakfast, wrote cards, 5: Justine, Mina, Carla, Stinson, Larry (her neighbor).
Tea 4:30. Walked a bit.
Chamber music, kids asleep in armchair.
Wednesday, May 14, 1997 - Palermo
To Jurassic Park, dubbed in French.
Excursion to 3 chapels, traffic horrendous.
Talked to tall man with Claudine, he calm, patient, nice.
Bed 11:30. Slept a bit better. 
So tired, problem with knee.

Thursday, May 15, 1997 - At sea
Up 7:15. Dressed. Cold worse! Walked.
10 a.m.: Conference on volcanoes.
11 a.m.: to kiosk for photos.
Lunch, rested.
Filled out questionnaire, took to TransTours. Packed.
Dinner, Robert took more pix.
Addresses exchanged, goodbyes.
Friday, May 16, 1997 - Marseille to Paris
Breakfast with Mimi. She kissed me?
Made goof, got wrong bag, everyone looking.
Train, slept practically all way. Young man put bag up.
Saturday, May 17, 1997 - Paris
Mailed tops to Justine.
Bank, got 1,800. Paid four nights
To Pere Lachaise. Got new map, Jim Morrison still there. Took two pix.
Called Sy. Not good.
To Mimi’s, left note, her bag.
Grandma's cruise roommate Claudine.

Sunday, May 18, 1997
- Paris
Not much sleep again! Warm, humid.
Packed some, washed underwear.
Claudine called, gave me her number in case I came back.
To Louvre, closed for holiday.
Walked to hotel.
Tuesday, May 20, 1997 - London
To Eurostar, London.
Raining, changed to boots, raincoat! Maybe not good, humid.
To London on time. Sat with girl, but changed seats so could rest better.
Ate at station, called hotel. Took Underground.
Landlady said I could leave luggage here. 
Wednesday, May 21, 1997 - London
Showered. 6:45 breakfast.
Took pix.
To discount playhouse. Got seat for 10f.
Woman next to me from Vancouver, son teaches English. She teaches ballet.
Patti Lapone as Maria Callas. Difficult role, couldn't hear all the time!

Thursday, May 22, 1997 - London
Packed a box to send to myself of clothes.
To National Gallery. Ate dessert.
Ate at Wendy’s about 1 p.m.
To Selfridges, got silk undershirt. Got black purses also! Girl had seen “Lost Boys.”

Friday, May 23, 1997 - Liverpool
To Liverpool, 9:05 train. Andra & Lutz met me.
To Albert Dock, souvenirs. Got tea towels. Beatles.
Walked long, tired. Not much eating.
Lunch at Andra’s, salad, lasagna. 
Games on TV.
Bed 11, good sleep til 3.
Saturday, May 24, 1997 - Liverpool
Tea, toast. Andra, Lutz & I to town.
Met Sabine, friend from university.
To Cavern, Beatles, pix.  
Ate at Caesars (Palace). Great salad. Lutz had kebab. Paid 23.95.
To home, TV a bit. 
To train station.

Sunday, May 25, 1997 - London
Cold in night. Should use quilt! Dumb.
Sandra called 9:30, will be up 11:30. Showed on time.
Talked cruise, then her turn. Almost split with husband. Very unhappy in 1995 when (Justine and I) there. Told her very apparent.
Walked to embankment. To small place for sandwich.
To Underground, she to Waterloo, I walked.
Bus to Victoria, ate baked potato and candy.
Had horrible accident, went to Burger King to clean.
To hotel, took shower, washed clothes!

Wednesday, May 28, 1997 - Back home in Santa Cruz
Up at 4. Unpacked, ate at corner. Vibol high blood pressure.
Got mail, mailed letter to Sy.
Washed some clothes, cleaned patio. Cut roses, fertilized.
Called Justine at 10:30, woke her. Did not get tops.
She called back, got mail today. Tops and photo.
Worked on bank balance, not coming out right. Need statement, 3 days more.
Bed 8 p.m. after watering lawn.
Thursday, May 29, 1997
Up 5:30. Breakfast McDonald's.
Laundromat, Kmart, BP. Safeway, groceries.
Tennis: Venus won.
Took pictures of surf at 41st, marina.
Home, rested, read papers. 
Finished putting things away. Washed tights.
Tired, no energy.
Mail: Bank statement, balanced OK.
Friday, May 30, 1997
Awake 5. Tea, applesauce. 
Fertilized lawn with Miracle Grow.
Washed shirt, two blue tops.
To walk, take camera. Forgot. Foggy.
Tennis: Pete lost, had stomach virus.
To Longs, cholesterol good. Pix not ready.

Saturday, May 31, 1997
Not good sleep. Pillow not mine.
Awake 5 a.m. Tea and applesauce.
Got paper. Car trouble. 
To Kmart, got breakfast, nightgown.
Hot, rested. 
Tennis: Hingis won.
To show, "Fifth Element." Crazy SiFi. Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Set in 2314. 
Man talked on way out re Jurassic Park: Lost World. Did not like.
Too warm. Gave up. Bed.
Is it cold that so tires me, or warm weather? Or HP?