As my wife headed out the door to take her bicycle ride at 8 a.m.,
she said "looks like rain". I said, "I don't think so, yet, but even if it does, it's fun to ride in the rain". A few moments later, I looked out the window as the promise to Noah was unceremoniously broken, rain cascading down without even the grace of a rainbow. I wish I could say that I felt solicitous guilt for encouraging her to ride in what proved to be a maelstrom, but I have had enough of misplaced guilt with no basis for one weekend (I still shouldn't have sung that David Bowie song in church camp, you know), so I just laughed a bit and prepared to provide a towel to a drenched rider upon her return.
Within an hour, the sun was out and a really pleasant eighty degree day was blooming. Of the eight summers or so I've spent in Texas (discounting the four at the "front end" of my life), the weather this summer is the nicest. Rain seems to break the heat thus far each time the heat becomes unbearable. We drove ten minutes up to neighboring McKinney, whose Town Lake Park has nice walking sidewalks around a tree lined lake. I did two laps around, passing unsuccessful fishermen ("hell, we don't even know why we're here", they asked when what luck they'd had), parades of geese, and training wheel kiddie bikers. Then we headed home.
I've gotten little done of note today, other than stopping by Petco for dog food and mowing the back yard. Now that postage has gone up, I'm not sure our tract home back yard qualifies any longer as a "postage stamp" backyard. Now I think it may be an "artistamp" back yard. Unfortunately, due to a bit of neglect, the "theme" of the artistamp might be "Bermuda Grass Kingdom".
Note to self: when you don't mow the grass, on the ground that the back yard is such a small project that it can be done in fifteen minutes any day, the day soon comes when the back yard can no longer be done in fifteen minutes. It's like one of those trite self-help books--"Every thing I learned, Bermuda Grass Taught Me". I have tried to find some moral high ground in this grass mowing matter, but my wife swiftly quashed my attempt to compare grass blade height with the neighbors' yard. I did note with chagrin, though, that the new "low rent with junk food" feeder I've placed in the back yard to replace my "posh bird" number is still filled with seed. God has called me to watch birds, not to feed them. This reminds me, of course, of the wonderful person we know who spends every Saturday night baking for her small church. She has one of those gifts of the Holy Spirit--the gift of baking. But I have taken great moral consolation in celebrating an equal and complementary gift which her congregation members have, and which I share--the gift of eating good food. What profiteth a man to bake a gingerbread man, and haveth nobody to eateth it? Better to eat a gingerbread man than to burn with lust. Hmmm. This is not coming out right.
I think we'll skip over the Paul's Epistles baking metaphors.
I'm deeply touched that I got two nice letters in the mail yesterday. One was from heymaggie, who sent along some music I will much enjoy. It's going to be a fun listen--yet another nice postcardx matter. The other was from Adam B. of postcardx. I had sent him something, and he wrote me the nicest handwritten letter. I read in his postcardx profile that he was a big fan of cars, so I drew a very primitive Morris Mini on the back of his envelope. I saw a lot of three wheel and four wheel Morris Minis during the summer of 1980 when I was in the UK, so I knew it well enough to imitate it. Do you know how you can look at a picture of mine and tell it is a Morris Mini? Sure--it takes some knowledge of cars, but I'll tell you. You look under the picture and the telltale letters are there. Those letters say "Morris Mini". That reminds me of the story of my late paternal grandfather, who was riding with my parents to a small town in Louisiana. They asked him over and over when they should turn to go to the little town. Over and over he said "there's a big sign". Finally, after miles of country roads with no signage of any kind, they broke down and asked "What does the sign SAY?". He looked at them and slowly spelled out "S T O P". Adam B. was very kind about my LJ; it gives me a needlessly prideful shiver when I get an e mail or letter from someone who does not comment here that they read my journal. Adam B.'s use of an actual handwritten letter also makes me want to write letters, particularly letters using MS Paint as well as type. Let's see what I can do to become a correspondent of the physics and metaphysics of on line paintshops. A college kid wrote an e mail to compliment me on some career advice I've given on the vault.com law message boards over the last couple of years--the praise was robust, but I have to admit I lapped it up. I know it is wrong to absorb good feelings from unexpected praise, but I'll cop to this particular sin, in hope that frank confession does a soul good.
Speaking of careers, I wonder how many people daydreamed when they were kids of what they would be with any real specificity.
I didn't have to, you see, for it was preordained. I was raised by a country doctor to be a country doctor. I was to follow in my father's footsteps, as sure as the sky is blue and the day is long.
The only problem was that I was not willing to put the work in to get the grades to give it a run. My undergraduate career was competent but far short of distinguished enough to even think of med school. The other med-related fields, many of which would have worked fine, were out of the question, as I had been raised to be a doctor. I found myself with a degree in physics (the only physics major in my school's history, I believe, with essentially a minor in English literature). Next thing I knew, I was in law school, although that came 9 months, some shoveled coal, and a story best saved for another day later.
Langston Hughes wrote a number of poems about a "dream deferred".
I like the one which says that a "dream deferred" has a "boogie woogie rumble". But I guess I never learned to boogie properly, as I didn't know to daydream about any career, except the career
I didn't end up qualifying for. Now I daydream all the time, and yet I have a perfectly nice career. Maybe I need to head to ebay...could there be time to dream of a Morris Mini?