Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Negotium Par Consueta

I know you're weary of photos of clouds, but there are only a few months of truly decent weather in Wyoming, and I'm spending them outside. This afternoon when I could have been blogging, I was happily bathing one of the plant trucks (the big grizzled Ford with the rusty homemade diffuser box, which diverts the force of hydrant flows when we flush them) in the glorious sunshine.

Yesterday we stopped by City Hall, where I faced a thing I've been dreading: a visit with Jo, several weeks into her chemo treatments for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was braced for the worst, but when I peered into her corner, I found her bright-eyed, tanned and serene, clad in pale khakis and a turquoise knit top, striped sandals, and a luxurious chocolate-colored silk scarf. She had wrapped the scarf around her bare head and tied it in a loose knot, and it looked so chic and fetching that I momentarily considered going bald myself.

Her voice is strong and her back is straight, and the chemo is also treating the symptoms of her severe arthritis, so her face bears a placid expression of rest and calm I haven't seen there in months (since we sat on her idyllic shady deck one afternoon, sipping iced tea and pruning petunias). As always, her workspace is filled with flamingos and photos of grandkids, fishing trips and Don, whose December heart attack is but a distant memory. But what I am most relieved to find intact is her sense of humor; she quipped something so shocking I can't repeat it here about hair loss -- not just on her head -- simply for the sheer joy of watching me cringe and blush.

It's the first day of summer, and I'm busy and thrilled and constantly weary- that healthy, contented exhaustion that means life is full. In the past month I've been to a graduation party, a rodeo, a birthday party, a lake in the mountains for fishing, and to the whimsical playground at my old elementary school. And last Saturday Abbie and Morgan and I spent a few delightful hours in the pool at the Rec Center when our kayaking plans fell through. I forget how at home I feel in the water, how graceful and secure
and tranquil. Work is bustling and (mostly) fun, home is tidy and cool, and ideas are swirling and begging to be committed to paper, even if only the bare bones. I can flesh them out later if I can just jot down the skeleton.

Tonight I got a massive email from Mom full of news I can't digest all at once and proposals of all our favorite summer activities, and suddenly it seems genuinely unfair that I have to sleep at all. I've resigned myself to the likelihood that things will be this way until the end of October, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Non sequitur alert! On a much more frustrated note: why, if we are commonly observant, can't we
more often be conservant? (We go the extra syllabic mile and say conservative, instead, but I'm ranting about water use, not grammar.) If, as I'm assuming, most of the residents of the fair city of Evanston are intelligent enough to understand (and have most likely witnessed) the concept and occurence of evaporation, why are they watering their lawns at noon?


Anonymous christmas angel said...

Being a fair citizen of Evanston (much fairer than most citizens here, I might add, aside from a select few, of course), I really can't answer that question. We water in the wee hours of the morning and the late hours of night, thanks so much to our lovely repaired sprinkler system (which I do so dearly love, especially after my experience last year), but people have said that if we do that our yard will get a fungus. Hmmm...people, we live in a desert, how can that happen? We can't get enough water on our grass here to cause fungus! Besides, isn't fungus in grass just mushrooms anyway? I've seen one, maybe two mushrooms in my grass in my 8 years here and our yard looks pretty good, so if there is some other form of fungus, causing a lawn to be more green, then we must have it, and I really don't mind! What about their water bills, all those people who water during the day...must be terrible!
Anyway, back to my lunch (oh, how nice it is to have one, let me tell ya), eggplant lasagna - not too bad, really, for a healthful choice.
Everyone has mentioned my hands in the tadpole photo, maybe I should paint my nails more often?! ; )

June 22, 2006 at 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am one of the proud lawn owners who water my lawn at noon. these are my reasons why: i have a sprinkler system that does not work and is too expensive to fix, noon is usually when i think about watering. but in my defense, i only water once about every two weeks so in a way i am being conservative.

i can't believe that playground in kemmerer is still there! they (the people in charge) usually say wooden playgrounds are too dangerous, and the swoop in a replace them with those horrid plastic and metal contraptions that cause so much static electricity that you zap yourself everytime you touch the metal monkey bars. i would rather play on wood, splinters and all.


June 22, 2006 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger A said...

Goodness, girls. I wasn't aiming that at either of you. I was actually mentally glowering at Parks and Rec., who water the City parks all day until they're a marshy mess. Sure, they're pretty, but who wants to play ball in a swamp? I know you water at night M (I got sprayed getting into my car Saturday night when I left your house) and there is no lawn fungus. And Bekah, you have my permission to water whenever you dang well please, because your baby is adorable, and you are conservative.

Paint the nails often in ever more shocking and delightful shades. They rock.

And yeah! I was SO glad to see the wooden equipment still there. I hate those static-cling slides at the Evanston playgrounds. We played on those old things for years, and we're not dead. (I just have about a quarter-pound legacy of gravel in my forehead- but I was doing something irresponsible.)

Off to Point now- everybody behave!

June 22, 2006 at 4:43 PM  

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