Darkness Go Lightly

I live in a light house. Oh, a lighthouse you mean? No. A light house. A house full of light. I noticed it again today as I went from one room to another. I was facing a window and light was just streaming in to a fare-thee-well.

When I first moved here, my yellow car faded to nearly white in a matter of two years. It was approaching vintage status so I had it repainted and thus discovered the reason for Clear Coat paints. Be gone you UV damage.

I also noticed as a newbie to the Texas Gulf Coast that the sun was extremely bright…even on cloudy days. As I was house hunting I was startled by the number of houses I went into that were relatively dark, some almost cave-like, all with pulled drapes or closed blinds. Again, the sun was the culprit. Too much damage to furniture, wall decorations, whatever. It took some looking to find a neighborhood that I could be comfortable in light-wise.

Well, my house is about 12° off due east and west so the sun doesn’t beat in the east windows during the day…although the den is warmer, temperature-wise than the rest. And though, at certain times of the year, sunset hits one square in the eye on the west side, that is a small price to pay for sunshine. I have my blinds open all the time and adjust them as needed, but they are never fully closed and thus a “light” house.

I grew up in light. I had the way back bedroom…windows on three sides! And I don’t mean one window per wall. I mean three walls of windows. It was glorious. And obviously, I see now, significantly influential in my need for light. I had a pen-pal (remember those?) who lived in Alaska. I’d never make it there!

As I thought about this idea of living in light, I expanded it to include lightness of  “without.” I often go through closets and cupboards and ask them to vomit unnecessary items. Those things I never or seldom use, those things I have lost interest in or that have become meaningless. Those things I can live “without.” That always lifts a burden I didn’t even realize was a burden until I felt the lightness.

And that led naturally to lightness of attitude. If I can purge unwanted belongings, I surely can purge ugly attitudes. Yes. A weight lifted. Light as a feather. Living in a light house.


My thoughts are out for a walk, my sox don’t match, and baby, it’s cold outside

Today was what I call a big-thought-day. Although technically it’s a many thought day because everything isn’t big, but there are a lot of thoughts either sitting still in contemplation or running around looking for answers.
First, Birds.
The sheer numbers of starlings that my backyard can hold at any given time boggles me. There are thousands of them feeding on what I’m not sure, but they are really going for it.
I am learning to appreciate those birds that aren’t so pretty, but must have some “redeeming” quality. Starlings for instance present an artistic contrast with that yellow beak, orange feet and dark metallic, white-flecked plumage. They are messy birds, however. The birdbath needs a hose job after they leave. I can tell males and females apart only in breeding season when the males have a white splotch at the face end of their beak and the females a pink spot.
Grackles on the other hand aren’t pretty, but not so messy either. And their song is okay. The males are all shiny and the Boat-tailed guys have exactly that…a big tail that spreads out when they’re excited…like the wake of a speedboat. The juvies and females alas are saddled with that dumpy brown that says, “stay away.” They are pretty smart, however. I watch the females come to the birdbath with big unripe berries? Seedpods? drop them in, turn them over, pick-up, drop, turn over, pick-up, over and over until…I’m assuming…they are soft enough to crack open. They fly away with them rather than let me watch the cracking. The big guys are funny. Three of them perched on the edge of the birdbath. Each takes a drink…dip down…point bill straight to the sky, repeat. One turns facing outward. One dances into the water. One hops around edge. They all return to start. (I don’t know the Pass Go, Collect or not rules to this grackle business.) They repeat all this drinking, dancing, turning stuff a couple of times and then fly away. Later some obviously young ones zoom in and just play and splash and express joy. Seems a bit cold to me, it’s like 34°, but I’m not a bird…..
Second, Seasonal confusion.
Why does one wear an ear-flapped hat, a scarf around the neck, a windbreaker…and…shorts?? And all our cherry trees are getting dressed for spring in the middle of 30° weather. Obviously, they didn’t get the memo.
Third, Mumbo-Jumbo.
How does Lampson sound like Williamson over the phone? I can’t tell you how many times that happens! They aren’t even the same number of syllables.
Fourth, Blow cold wind.
How nice it is that the pansies on my patio are blooming like crazy despite the weather.
Fifth, Fearlessness.
I just cannot wrap my head around these ski and snowboarding jumps and tricks. The athletes make it look so easy. Figure skating and ballet jumps, lifts, leaps I can understand. Someone’s feet are always on the ground, he’s strong and tall; she’s light and short. A 1260 flip in the air, I mean AIR, to come down upright and keep going…just blows my poor sense of possible right off the map.
Sixth, These socks are mis-matched.
Why can’t we just have Olympic games and talk about the athletes, the buildings, the artistry, the meaning…and not add politics, terrorism, cost, tension and all that blather.
Seventh, Right. Right? Left.
My mother taught me to go to the right when walking down the street, entering an elevator, going through doors. It has always worked. Other people seem to know the same unspoken courtesy and so there has been little unintentional bumping in my travels. Until now. All of a sudden, “to the right” is disappearing. And here’s the one that mystifies me…We have five, yes 5, Walmarts here. Two of them have boldly printed ENTER on the left doors and EXIT on the right doors! The other three are my old familiar ENTER on the right and EXIT on the left. For awhile old timers like me kept ENTERing right so of course we were bumping into those obedient to the signs. It seems training has taken place. I am the only one still ENTERing on the right!
Eighth, Rocky Road isn’t always ice cream.
There’s more…about a rock garden…but this is too long and never ending so I’ll stop already.

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