Just before i began my exercise walk this morning, i was cleaning up my office before the cleaning ladies came to clean up our house, including my office. In fact, every other week on Thursday, we clean up the house so the cleaning ladies can clean up the house. It is a routine that i find totally illogical but cannot help myself to forge onward with the cleanup.
Regardless (a term i use regularly, which signals i am wandering off focus again, which is normal, and i flatter myself by calling it “stream of consciousness” because in my case, it is more likely a stream of unconsciousness), i was cleaning up before the cleanings of two types ensued, and in one of the extraordinary number of piles of stuff that somehow had been shuffled to an office desktop, the photo fell out. It was not labeled, but it must have been of a relative of a relative. A piece of cardboard was behind the back of the photo. It must have been a child dear to someone enough to have placed it in long lost small frame. An ulterior motive in posting it here is that some relative might know who is the beautiful, healthy infant in the photo.
The photo haunted me during breakfast and the cleanup. It kept haunting me through my walk. When i returned, i used my cool down period before a shower to scan it and place it here.
The child staring back at me hit me as gone. The past is irrevocably gone. Unless a relative actually figures out who this child is, which is an extremely remote possibility, this child is gone. Keeping the photo is a futile attempt to retrieve the past, and even if i do somehow find the name, the photo and the child in it are gone. None of us will know what the child grew up to be, if she or he indeed grew up, nor what he or she thought or did. i wondered if he or she played the piano, a curious thought. It strikes me as sad. Sad.
In spite of it being a perfectly beautiful, warm summer day in the Southwest corner, my walk, just over three-and-a-half miles in moderate hills, street walking unlike my favorite walk, a four-plus mile hike in the steep hill open space a block or so from our house soon to be cleaned after our cleaning up, my thoughts were tinged with sadness, in spite of some great music in my Airpods from my iPhone, something i would have killed for when i was mowing Fred and Ruby Cowan’s and J. Bill and Bessie Lee Frame’s yards back home.
That was probably a good thing. i wasted enough time singing the rock ‘n roll songs with the background music in my head while mowing and then sitting on our den floor across the street to take a “break” that somehow grew into an hour or so because i found something interesting to read and would have taken a longer break if they had anything on television back then other than the “Indian Head” (i knew it was a native American because of the headdress) nickel as the logo and only static for audio on the lone channel back until Kate Smith sang her heart out on her 3:00 show, which i had to suffer through to get to “Howdy Doody Time” in Lebanon, Tennessee back in those. years.
They were good times and i didn’t realize it. Gone. Sad.
And of course, i’m feeling guilty. Folks like me out here are always talking about leaving. Too many things not good going on. i’m a’thinking they haven’t been looking at the national weather or perhaps, even the news. i skip most of the news primarily it’s all bad regardless of where you live, but i do watch the weather. Better economic situation, they say. Better culture, they say. Better, better, better they say.
Now, i can’t say much about how it is elsewhere except for the weather. In spite of us complaining about it raining since January up until a couple of weeks ago and complaining about the marine layer elongating the May Gray and the June Gloom, keeping our temperatures in the 60’s to low 70’s for the last three months or so. i haven’t seen any place i’d rather be because of the weather. And then’s there’s calamities, natural disasters. Floods and blistering heat. Oh, we’ll get ours: wildfires primarily, but the threat of earthquakes and wildfires hang over us. But it’s still pretty good. As i have said on numerous occasions, i’ve been over a whole bunch of this earth, and most places have more “tens” on a ten point scale than San Diego. That’s because it’s relative, and when a good day comes in those other places, the occupants think it’s perfect. A ten in San Diego is very rare (we did have one last Saturday: No clouds, 72, slight breeze) because we have more “sevens,” “eights,” and “nines” than any other place on earth.
As for what’s going on in those other places, i’m a’thinking that’s because of that greener pastures thing. i’m sure the problems are different, but if politics is involved, it ain’t good anywhere, and a bunch of Californians moving there is just going to make things worse. We’ve already proved that in Washington State; Oregon; Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; name the next one. Don’t know the solution. Wouldn’t get involved. If i did i would be faced with the same political party pressure as anyone like Robert Redford’s character in the 1972 film, “The Candidate.” Too old for that kind of stuff, and no one would listen to me anyway because i’m no longer good in front of crowds. Sad.
i hope my family, friends, all Vermonters recover quickly from the flooding. i hope the South and Southwest get some relief for the heat from hell, especially my daughter’s family in Austin. Great places with troubles. Sad.
And i’m thinking of my brother-in-law. Danny’s recovering from heart surgery performed today. Nasty stuff. It looks like he weathered the storm. i’m thinking of so many other folks i know who are in my age arena and are dealing with similar problems or more, some who didn’t make it. Sad.
The walk felt good and most of the music scrambled today was blues, fitting.
As i hit the two-and-a-half mile mark, Crystal Gayle trilled into my Airpods. Remember her, Loretta Lynn’s sister, younger by 19 years. Never was a superstar. Saw her at Texas A&M with Judy McConnell, one of the best women i ever dated, Judy, not Crystal nor Loretta. Tiny woman with an incredible voice and long, long hair, Crystal, not Judy nor Loretta. And to close out my walk she, Crystal, sang, “Ready for Times to Get Better.”
‘Bout perfect. Logged my miles onto my walking-running sheet.
i’m not so sad anymore.
i was going to insert Crystal’s song “Ready for the Times to Get Better,” but being technically challenged, i couldn’t pull it off. Sad. Maybe later, when i am smarter…Nah.