Friday, September 11, 2009

Listening to Obama from the upper left corner

So much of my life has changed, yet I treasure the parts that have not. Many miles and three time zones away from Kentucky, I still search the radio dial for an NPR station, and cook our favorite recipes using the same familiar pots and pans, now nested in a new kitchen. Last Tuesday afternoon, Lynne was still at work and I was chopping vegetables for our dinner, listening to the familiar voices on All Things Considered. I have listened to ATC since I lived in Durham (NC), "lo these many years" (about 34, to be more precise.) Now I listen on KPLU out of Seattle. And instead of listening to Obama's speech at 8:00 p.m., it was on at 5:00 pm.

In the context of new things and old, President Barak Obama falls in between. Going to his inauguration with Lynne and Pat and Anne was a highlight of my life, and makes a good story here where travel to Washington DC is such a distance. But Iman, one of our neighbors across the street (Adbullah's mother) came over and introduced herself because of our "I was there" Inauguration 2009 bumper sticker. She and her husband, Monem, had gone to the Inauguration also, intentionally taking Abdullah so that he would be able to say that he was there. And Julie, another across the street neighbor, grew up in DC but has never been to an inauguration.

I've been praying for Obama's safety and sanity recently, worrying that the aggressive and vitriolic behavior of his opponents would be more than he could take, but after sitting at the kitchen table and listening to his speech on health care, I have only renewed admiration for his vision, intelligence and compassion. Lynne came home in the middle of the speech and asked if I were crying. That would be's just something about listening to a such a gifted speaker...I teared up when he proposed that no one be denied health insurance due to a pre-existing condition. My health insurance woes are abating, but one chapter of this summer involved being turned down for health insurance because of my artificial hip. That's a helpless feeling.

This week I made two blackberry cobblers, an obvious choice since we are surrounded by blackberry bushes laden with ripe fruit. Blackberry bushes line one part of the trail that Winnie and I walk on, and our neighbor lets them grow on the steep part of his back yard. Lynne came home from work on Wednesday with blackberries that she had picked on her lunch hour. I do see people pausing on their walks or bike rides to eat blackberries, but I don't see people harvesting bowls of them like we did. It's true that the thorns are very effective deterrents when reaching to get the ripe berries that are hanging on the inside of the bush. The good news is not having to worry about chiggers or mosquitoes...

Our house is improving daily. We are approaching the "getting settled" but have not quite achieved the "settled in" state of living. We took advantage of a 25% off Re-Store sale last Saturday and bought a new (to us) Kohler bathroom sink for $3.75. The big bathroom is a dreadful combination of outdated swirly counter top and Italianate wallpaper with tarnished gold fixtures, so any bit of updating goes a long way. I'm sure Lynne would rather spend her days off relaxing (as in playing Spider Solitaire), but here she is, installing our new sink. Also, here she is, napping on the sofa after its done. Lynne has started working for OptionCare, doing home health in Skagit County, a 30 minute drive south of Bellingham. She says she would rather not be commuting, but that it is a beautiful drive through the mountains.
I have applied to substitute teach in three school districts plus a local Episcopal school, and to tutor at Bellingham Technical College, but I haven't worked yet. Its a new experience, waving Lynne off to work and staying home. I distributed compact fluorescent light bulbs in our neighborhood for Project Porchlight, and I will volunteer for them again on Sunday, exchanging incandescent light bulbs for CFL bulbs. I'm planning to take a class on making documentaries, but I am waiting to see if enough students sign up for it to fly.

I will plagiarize Garrison Keillor, by saying, "That's the news from the upper left hand corner..." I hope that everyone is enjoying fall and eating local crisp apples. Even the greenhouse tomatoes are not yet ripe here in Bellingham--that's one thing that we have had to sacrifice for all this beauty. Our new friendships have not ripened either, which is why I say, "Thank God for old friends." I send love to you all, Sky
News flash! Sky had just been called for her first substitute teacher stint to fill in for the music teacher. She will show "The Sound of Music" to the 6th and 7th graders at the Episcopal School here in town.

1 comment:

  1. Sky, you should show the young Episcopalians this trailer for the movie. It might get them interested!