Monday, November 28, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Keeps things cold ...

6:50 a.m.
A citizen said her neighbor drives around with a can of beer between her legs all the time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The paperboy and the cat go way back


5:45 a.m.

A caller on West First Street said there was a possibly rabid cat near the paperboy.  The complaint was unfounded.  The paperboy and cat are friends, police said.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Of rubber chickens and gratitude...

So I haven't been posting much (okay, at all, really) since NaNoWriMo started in November. NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, where you sign up to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. That's 1,667 words a day if you're consistent, which I am not. It's crazy, especially to do it in November which is my very busiest month of the year for work, but  it's an incredible motivator. I took the day off today so I could move ahead on my word count, so I can't spend much time here. The project I'm working on I originally started back in my senior year of college and to see an end in sight is pretty exciting. I dug out what I had written back in 1995 and it's cringeworthy bad, so I can also feel a sense of accomplishment that my writing has improved significantly in the past 16 years.

But anyway, we're coming up on one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favorites because it's so pure in its intention- to be thankful. There's no religious stickiness or ridiculously overt commercialism and pressure to perform like Christmas, no confusion like Easter (I get chocolate bunnies & dye hard boiled eggs 'cause Jesus died and came back to life? Whah?) and no loud noises and strict color scheme like the 4th of July. (Usually.) The reason for celebrating Thansgiving? To be thankful! Grateful, to appreciate what you have. And yes, it can get bastardized into an orgy of eating and the whole Macy's Parade- wind-up to Christmas, but the bottom line is that it's an occasion for gratitude. Which I love.

My grandmother Genevieve was a big believer in gratitude. She used to tell us that there's always someone better off than you, but there's always someone much worse off than you, so you should be grateful for what you have. Her father died when she was a very little girl and her mother was encouraged by everyone she knew to split her kids up to different families. My great-grandmother refused and worked herself to the bone to keep her family together and even though she was just a tiny three-year-old when it happened, my grandma Genevieve never forgot that sacrifice and was always thankful for it. She was a young adult during the Great Depression that only further instilled in her gratitude for what she had, no matter how little it was. She was grateful to have enough.

I think enough is a concept that is entirely foreign to most Americans nowadays. We're taught that you can never be too rich, too thin, to always demand the best, that we deserve fine things just for being us, to stock up, to collect. Enough is a foreign concept and I think many people actively discourage such thinking. Sometimes I think this idea of never having enough comes from those people who survived the Great Depression. Having experienced the lack of so many things and not being sure where your next meal might come from, there can never be enough for some of these folks, and I think they passed that way of thinking on to subsequent generations but without the deprivation to give it context. When we bought our house, my in-laws were terribly concerned that we didn't have enough for it. My husband tried to explain how housing prices have gone up since they had bought their house in the 50s, but how salaries have as well, and that unlike their situation, we both work and have equivalent incomes. They still worried that it wasn't enough, even though we had been very careful to choose a house that was well within our affordability. I think for folks who have been through the Great Depression, there is never enough and that is one of the great tragedies of that time in our history.

But back to being thankful. I love Thanksgiving for the reflection it inspires. I think often of my grandma's saying, especially when I'm tired and cranky and whining. Especially these days, you don't have to look hard to see someone who's just barely squeaking by, who's under tremendous pressure to try to take care of their family, especially when they're surrounded by the pressure of buying a million expensive gifts for Christmas that they really can't afford. Whenever my job irritates me, I think of the thousands of people who would be grateful for any job, as well as the people working jobs that are so physically demanding that it takes their health, and of the people working as many jobs as they can fit in the day just to get by.

During Thanksgiving dinners when I was little, my dad would ask us what we were thankful for that year. I'd usually come up with something generic like being thankful we were all healthy or some such nonsense. But my brother, inevitably, every year, would reply loudly and proudly, "I'm thankful for rubber chickens!" We dismissed it as silliness at the time, Kevin being absurd to get a laugh out of the table, but I really am thankful for rubber chickens. I'm thankful for a family that taught me to see the humor in situations, that to laugh is to cope, that the stupidest silliest things that make you forget your troubles for a moment are worth their weight in gold.

I haven't done Thanksgiving with my immediate family in several years. I always have to work the day after Thanksgiving and frankly, I'm happy not to have to try to travel on that day, and my mom is happy not to have to go all out for a meal that lasts barely an hour before everyone departs for the tv. My friends and I get together and have a potluck, everyone bringing a part of the meal that we will share together in the spirit of thankfulness. And while we eat and enjoy each other's company, I'll be thankful to be generously blessed with friends, for my beautiful little dogs, for my cozy house, for my health, for my fulfilling and never-boring job, for a husband who tolerates and encourages me disappearing into my little nest to work for hours on a project he's never seen and I won't talk about until I finish it, for role models like my grandma, and for being aware of what I have to be thankful for. Like rubber chickens.

PS- Good grief, what a sanctimonious post. More police blotter reports and plastic dinosaur pictures to come soon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Smell ya later

I'll smell y'all on the flip side.

(Translation: I'll blog more in December.)