Sunday, September 27, 2009

The In-Between Time

I have to admit that I don't care much for this time of year, when the seasons are changing. Here in Ohio the change seems to come quickly most years, with warm, summer-like weather giving way to a sudden cold and rainy period which seems to drag on right into late fall with very few nice days before we're facing down winter. I'm ok once fall gets going with the chilly weather, but it's the transition period which gets me down. I guess maybe I regret not getting things done I wanted to do while it was still nice, which happens every year. Or maybe I just don't prepare myself mentally for the changing seasons. Or maybe it's something that I just don't deal with as well as other people - lord knows that's been part of my make-up all my life. Whatever the reason, I get depressed and moody around this time and have to find things to occupy my mind, which is why I usually find a project of some kind to get started on (do I ever finish these projects? haha).
Well the wind is blowing, air is cool, and the leaves are changing, so I'm off to go poke around and see what I can start this year.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Don't Fit In

Once in awhile when I have some spare time I like to click on the "Next Blog" button and see where it takes me. I've found lots and lots of pages devoted to crafts, knitting, crochet, and scrap booking. Many photographic blogs with brilliant pictures, lots of artists displaying their paintings, and writers using this forum to create poetry or stories. Then I look at my corner of the blogosphere and realize how lacking I am in subject matter, creativity and consistency. I could change and make this into a home remodeling blog... but that would border on a comedic sort of undertaking, what with the way my projects turn out. Or I could get into gardening on here, although if I posted pictures of my weed-infested jungle that started out as a garden I wouldn't get invited to brunch at the Green Thumb Society. I've seen a few blogs centered around macabre, horror-type things, so judging by my sons' rooms I could qualify in that category.

I'll have to mull this over and maybe change things when I get a chance, but the way I procrastinate that's gonna be a while. Hey, there's a thought. A procrastination site. Yep. One of these days I'll get around to doing just that.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Window at the End of the Hall

At the end of the hall in an old country home is a window that rarely gets used. It faces an old apple tree and barren hills beyond, so the view draws no interest from anyone. It only gets cleaned a couple of times a year when the lady of the house does her whole-house scrub down and comments on the amount of dust built up since last time. The curtains are a drab color, matching the rest of the hallway and adding to the obscurity of the window when visitors stay overnight in the guest room. It was broken once, when one of the boys of the house was batting stones with a stick, and its glass was promptly replaced and forgotten. The other windows in the house look out on the yard where children play, or face toward the barn and all the animals, or show the long lane where many visitors still come and go. The hall window is a very uninteresting window indeed, if you were to ask any of the house's occupants. Were you to ask the window how it thought of itself you might get another opinion. It might tell you of all the times when the children were punished by being sent to the corner nearby, and all the angry mutterings that were overheard. Or the time when the oldest daughter spent all day leaning on its sill, sobbing from a broken heart, or the years, long gone now, when the children used to decorate it for the holidays. The time the hot air balloon landed on a hilltop just within sight through its top pane and all the family had pushed for the best view. It might mention the three times the mother sat in front of it, staring absently at the apple tree, to get away from the crowd of mourners who gathered downstairs, first for her son- killed in a farming accident, then her father whose time had come, then later on her husband - that time she'd spent two whole days with her face pressed against the glass.
The window at the end of the hall... dusty, dull, forgotten, but keeping precious memories of the home safely guarded within its aging frame.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bureaucratic Red Tape and No Juice

This past week was an interesting one - frustrating, anxious and joyful within the space of a few days. My wife's brother was paroled from prison in July, but due to complications and regulations he didn't get out until Tuesday of this week. My wife hasn't seen or heard from him in the twenty years since he's been gone, except through her mother, so she wasn't sure what to expect when she showed up to get him. Backing up just a bit, her car has been acting up so she called Enterprise to rent one for the trip across the state. She'd asked for a full-size car, an Impala was what she'd wanted, but when she got there the only thing left was something that looked like Herman Munster drove only smaller, and bright red. She came out to the land where I was working right before she left and when she pulled up in that thing I couldn't stop laughing. Anyway, she took her mother and other brother to pick him up and was more than a little pleasantly surprised at his appearance. Rather than looking like the hardened criminal type she expected after so long, he had turned his life around and was clean cut, well spoken, and courteous, with a plan laid out for his future. He had maintained from the start that he was innocent of the crime that sent him there, and still declares his innocence. I really hope he can find success in the everyday world and doesn't slide back into the crowd that got him started down the wrong path years ago. A fresh start is something we all wish for at one time or another in our lives.

Also last week I tried to get things set up to get electric to the cabin. The power company had sent me diagrams for what I needed, so I went to buy everything at once and get it done. However, I ended up more confused and frustrated than I was before, because some of what was on the diagrams didn't apply to my cabin, and product codes didn't match what was on the paper. I gave up and called AEP to find out exactly what to do. Now it's going to take even longer to get electricity flowing and it's going to cost a lot more than I thought.... it's always something. The good news is that I'm on vacation starting today, so at least I won't have worries from work following me home every day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Thorny Crown Around A Flaming Heart

Except for a few years when I lived in different cities I've gone to the same church for most of my adult life. It's an old church, built in the late 1800's and remodeled around 1930, with most of the architecture from that time still remaining. Looking at some of the images I can see why some outsiders might consider Catholics to be different in a cultish kind of way from other religions. Even churchgoers, younger ones especially, who have never gone through the teachings of the Catechism don't know the meanings of many of the symbols associated with Christ and the Virgin Mary. Our church is called Immaculate Conception now, having changed its name from St. Mary's quite a few years ago. Most of the oldtimers still call it St. Mary's, and many of the statues and pictures have to do with Mary. My dad was a very staunch, old-school Catholic so we kids grew up having knowledge of some of the mysteries which are part of the our faith. The church though, in my opinion, has been slow to modernize its way of doing some things and in the last few years has tried to catch up all at once with the rest of the world, resulting in some of the teachings of bygone days to be overlooked, and the mysteries and passionate fervor in which the images around the church were created are lost on younger parishioners whose eyes see only gruesome images of pain and torture in their house of worship.

Not every Sunday feels like a holy day to me, but some days when I go to church I feel a special connection and on those days I have a very deep passion for my religion and its meaning, and the church feels like a place where the Lord embraces me and lets me humble myself before Him. Its then that I can look around at my surroundings and appreciate the flaming heart, or the images at each station of the cross. I don't know how many others share my experience when they attend mass - I might guess that half are there because they have to be, out of habit or for appearance sake - but the meaning of the Catholic religion seems to be changing and I think soon the images associated with the church will change too. Change comes out of need, and it's not always a bad thing, so maybe fresh teachings will spark new interest, but for me I'll always have a deep rooted sense of awe and mystery about the church and the mass.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Camping Out

I took a break after I got off work last night and Ryan and I spent the night at the cabin. It's the first time since last winter I've spent the night there, even though I go there almost everyday to do work of some sort. It was a relaxing, peaceful night. We fixed hamburgers on the grill and roasted corn in the fire, opened a can of beans and had a great meal. Then I sat there and watched the full moon rise slowly over the top of the hill, illuminating everything with it's magnificent glow. After a while of soaking in the peace and quiet we went to bed. I was looking forward to sleeping on the bed that I'd just constructed, but since Ryan's had a cold I didn't want him sleeping on the air mattress on the floor so I slept there... and froze through the night, so I started up the heater at 4 A.M. and slept well after that. Got up early enough to see the sun rise. Well, not exactly, since the fog was so thick that you couldn't see the sun itself, but when it finally started burning through it glistened off the wet grass and trees, and spider webs in the trees shone a brilliant silver color. It was so wonderful watching nature at sundown and dawn, and spending quality time with my youngest son. All my problems took a back seat for awhile and I was exactly where I wanted to be at that moment.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Absence Interferes With Performance

It's hard to believe that summer is drawing to an end already. I've been so busy that I haven't had time to do much of anything related to summertime fun. One of these days I'll write down all the things I've been working on so that I can look back when I'm being lazy and maybe inspire myself to get going. It's been almost a month since I've written anything but I have been checking in on my favorite blogs from time to time to keep up to date. Hopefully I'll get back to a rhythm soon and write more often.