The Meeting Place

Meet me at the junction of old and new.

What? Oh, yes, I know the place.

A fence, a privacy fence is a common sight along busy streets. They serve all sorts of purpose – noise reduction, safety for playing children, less distraction for drivers. And they come in all heights and designs.

The very first I remember seeing was a demonstration piece of basket weave at the local lumber supply.

Now they stand in wood – painted, stained, or weathered – and bright white plastic.

Where old meets new – meet me at the fence – you know the place.

At the junction of old and new

Vanishing Act

This morning I walk in a mist. On the first portion of my daily stroll the cloud of night is lifting up beyond the shopping center roofs.

I continue my route. Greet a couple where their path intersects with my own. Traffic hurries past on the busy street, headlights on to vanquish the last of the mist. No need for sunglasses this morning.

The cloud has ascended now. I turn for home, ready to retrace some of my earlier steps.

There they stand, across the street and several large lots away. Straight, parallel, vanishing into the still rising fog. The radio towers have flashing lights on top, but you need imagination to see them this morning.

Vanishing Act

Special Tuesday

Tuesday — second workday of the week. Just another day, neither dreaded nor especially welcomed. Except for today.

Will you go to a pancake supper?

Participate in a parade?

Party until midnight?  But not a minute later.

Parades, beads, and music have puncuated the air for the last couple of weeks. Tonight is the big finish.  Shrove Tuesday.  Fat Tuesday.

Mardi Gras. New Orleans is the first place that comes to mind. It’s not the only city that celebrates. Any place along the Gulf coast is in party mode. Plus St. Louis and other pockets of partygoers in the United States.

Rio!  Munich!  A worldwide celebration on Tuesday? It’s usually a humble day.

Yes!  Party today.

Confess your sin tomorrow on Ash Wednesday.


Early Risers

Winter where are you? Have you been hiding? Did I sleep in one day and miss it?

Oh, you went visiting other cities and regions. Heard that you surprised a few people. Really — was it necessary to give a place an entire winter ration of snow in one storm?

Yes, I’ll stop the critique and enjoy mild weather for walks, roads without ice, and sunshine through my window.

I’m not alone. The children play basketball, visit the swings, and glide on skateboards where a year ago they slid down icy slopes and tossed snowballs.

And in my humble garden the daffofils poke up into mild sun, drink in warmth and create green among the brown mulch. Their friends, flowering tree buds, begin to swell. Spring song starts early this year.

Please — don’t find your frosty fingers at this awkward time.

Peeking out

Words in Triplicate

Trios. Triplets. Series of three.

Pleasant to the ear. Just enough to rouse our interest.

Look at the date. Are you a spouse? Child? Parent? Sweetheart?

Do you know the three words that other person is waiting to hear? The ones Hallmark wants to help with? The letters and symbols sprinkled on party paper?

Florists, chocolatiers, and jewelers (another trio) plan to be busy today.

Today can be seen as a bright dot in a dreary season. School children party, exchange cards, and eat heart-shaped treats. Young adults look for a partner. Spouses wait for the other to say it first.

Allow me.

God loves you.  God loves you.    God loves you.



Up and Over

The garbage truck comes to the condominium today.

Sometimes I meet him on my morning walk.  Like a green beast tugging at the reins the truck enters our private street. Sometimes I cross to the other side of the drive to watch from a secure spot.

One man operates it all. He stops the truck, dismounts, rolls the dumpster into position on the pavement. Then he lowers the tines, advances until they are within the metal sleeves, and moves another lever.

Up, up, over the windshield and top of the cab the dumpster is lifted.

Then tip, clatter, the lids bang against the truck and gravity lowers our discards into the enclosed metal bin. Bang, clatter, and the dumpster retreats, finds the pavement and the truck backs away. Free again, the driver rolls it back, ready for the next collection of refuse.

I walk past the sharp, sour smell of squeezed garbage avoiding the little puddle at the rear of the truck.

It’s very different, and in ways much improved, from our burning barrel and infrequent trips to the “dump” of my childhood.


Going into Hiding

More than a month ago a slippery street and a braking truck resulted in an unplanned swing and the tumble of a brick entrance sign. Opps!   Okay, the driver probably said more than that. I’ll leave the words to your imagination.

Recently men have been at work. Are they laying brick? Digging a foundation or pouring a concrete footing? Nope. Not yet anyway.

The men have been behaving as boys. You know what boys do. They dig in the dirt. And they’ve done a fine job with a narrow trench from the sign location to the utility box.

It’s encouraging that our mild winter has allowed digging and when the brickwork begins the light fixture will be connected promptly.

Going underground

Remote Control

Half an hour after a tardy winter sunrise my morning route takes me past a row of parked cars. An assortment of sizes, models and colors they await their owners for the journey to work.

It’s cold this morning. I pull my knit hat more secure over my ears and tug my scarf up and over my chin.

I see it first. The marker lights flash on one of the cars and I hear the “click” of a remote unlock. Then, without warning the engine comes to life.

Remote start startled me out of two heartbeats.

Where is the driver? Taking a last sip of coffee? Zipping up their coat? Giving a farewell hug to spouse?

We’ve come a long way in distance, technology, and time since my father would send one of us out to start the car on a cold morning while he finished his second cup of coffee, donned his coat, and kissed mother on his way to work on a winter morning.