Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A day of Contemplation and Conversations

The following things all came together for me in one day, and they only go to show--You don't have to leave home to experience adventure, terror, empathy, wonder, creativity, despair and hope .

(With my first cup of coffee that particular morning I turned on the computer and found this...I love the Internet...)


A round watermelon can take up a lot of room in a  refrigerator and the usually round fruit often sits awkwardly on refrigerator shelves. Smart Japanese Farmers have forced their watermelons to grow into a square shape by inserting the melons into square, tempered glass cases while the fruit is still growing on the vine. 

(I grew a square peach one time by encasing it in a small square bottle--then couldn't figure how to get it out without smashing glass into the fruit.  So I left the whole thing on the kitchen table as a great conversation piece). 
While grocery shopping that same afternoon I noticed a lady filling her cart with dozens of cans of cat food.  So I had to ask, "How many cats do you have?"  Her reply,  "Only seven but they are BIG cats."  "Oh, just how big are they?" (stimulating conversation, right?)  Whereupon she pulled out pictures of her 'babies'--seven of the most beautiful ocelots in all stages of domestic repose.  After a few minutes of conversation I learned that the cats were each purchased (not rescued) and came mostly from the Central American jungles.  Hmm, I was not too pleased to hear that piece of information.  Is the wild-animal trade still active?  Suddenly, I had so many questions but I think she may have sensed this could become a grilling on my part and she moved away.

That evening I spent some time on the phone with a really dear friend who informed me that her marriage may be foundering, and alcohol appears to be the culprit.  I remember their wedding only 10 years earlier and thinking they were so loving and perfect for each other.  But it has been a very hard 10 years for them with struggles that mirror the rest of our culture.   I truly hope they will weather this but the odds may be against them.  Kids today do not have the same optimism that my husband and I had at 10 years of marriage.  Our culture must find solutions to some of these universal problems (drugs, guns, climate degradation, inequality, expensive education, and on and on) for our children's and grandchildren's sake.

So here is a start:

(I love Wimp--check it out)

But this enlightening day started with a group of women getting together at 9 am at a local church to discuss the rather tame topic of 'Friendships'.  Many of us were new to each other and we were spending a few minutes sharing each others unique experiences when suddenly it came out that one of the ladies present had been the victim, and a hostage along with her daughter, in a home invasion by a drug crazed, gun wielding maniac only 6 weeks earlier!  The bravery of this lady and her daughter absolutely stunned me.  She quietly described that for hours she had been able to hold herself together and concentrate on calming this deranged maniac, for fear that at any moment he would kill her daughter.  There is so much more to this story besides the newspaper account. But there is one reason I wanted to share this in this blog...

People ask me all the time, "Aren't you afraid to be out there traveling alone?"  and I can honestly say that I am seldom, if ever, afraid.  I am cautious and try to be as observant as possible wherever I am but there is no guarantee of safety--anywhere.

The family that experienced the event described above lived in one of the most isolated and upscale neighborhoods in the city.  The perpetrator had to run through over a mile of wild cactus and snake-infested desert at 11pm at night and then to climb a steep hillside to reach the back of their house.  If their house was not safe, then how can any of us be safe?

I am not sure that we all need to carry guns for protection.  This guy was carrying a gun in each hand and had a backpack full of guns and ammo.  And he was so drugged up with Meth that he knew no fear.  My stance on guns may be different from all of you and I am not up for a debate on it in this blog.  But you needn't ask me, "Aren't you afraid?"  I notice since moving back in the house that I keep hearing noises at night--tree limbs brushing the house, boards creaking, Sigh Me trying to open a cabinet door, the hot water heater kicking on.  I never noticed noises at night in the RV.  I slept like a baby.


  1. I'm with you on the gun issue. We've never owned a gun, never visited a shooting range. It's just something that hasn't seemed necessary and that may be because we've never felt any real fear while traveling. Our only brush with crime has been petty theft from our neighbors when we lived in a house.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I am enjoying your Ohio tour right now. I hope to get there one of these days.

  3. Excellent and thought provoking post. That's a bummer about the Tucson housing market.

  4. That smart road idea is fascinating. I'm forwarding the vid to Terry in the next door office.
    You seem to be finding plenty to do!

    1. I loved the whole concept and thought we need something so radically different to overcome the many problems today...Maybe this would do it. It is so flashy and science fiction-like that it might capture the imagination of the youth. I'd like to hear Terry's take on it.