Sunday, April 18, 2010

Even Garbage Has A Story

On Saturday I did my part for the environment and collected garbage around Lake of the Isles. It was an Earth Day event. Made Hubby go too. This is my kind of volunteer event. One and done. Since I'm on the neighborhood Environment Committee, I felt it was my duty to participate. Plus, I like to walk around a pretty lake.

We managed to come up with quite a haul despite covering just a small amount of the lake's edge. That's where the most garbage collects. Hubby and I had a few chuckles imagining how some items made their way to the lake.

The combination of beer cans, candles and condom was a pretty obvious story. While I suppose to the couple that left their accessories behind, it seemed like a romantic evening, to those of us picking up later it was only gross.

I imagined the baby pacifier was the result of a young child being given a close-up look of the lake shore resulting in a gleeful laugh that landed the pacifier in the water. I wouldn't use it again either.

There were plenty of candy wrappers, plastic pop bottles and tops and straws. Just the leftovers from some fishermen or picnickers I suppose. The plastic alien head and action figures may have been tossed in a little temper tantrum. And the tennis and wiffle balls must have once provided hours of entertainment to a never tiring dog, but one not inclined to jump in the water.

The only clothing we found was a pair of men's flip flops. They were quite a distance apart but clearly a matched pair. I think you'd have to be a little inebriated to walk home without your shoes and not notice. There were a few Bud's around.

Our favorite was the environmentally inclined litterer of two organic beer bottles. After chugging one back, he/she thought "I'll just toss these bottles here on the ground. After all it's organic beer. It's good for the lake."

We found one six-pack soda ring. In unison, Hubby and I said "That's why there's no dolphins in this lake!" I knew there was a reason we were meant for each other.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Letting Go

When I was pregnant with Daughter (aka Teen) I worried like most new moms-to-be do. Did she kick today? Is she growing okay? Is she healthy? I distinctly remember a co-worker saying, "and after she's born, you'll just keep worrying."

I have this big crease down the center of my forehead as proof that I have indeed continued to worry. Just the other day Daughter asked if she could attend an all-day rap festival. This sent shivers down my spine. A rap festival? You mean like gansta' rap? Apparently not. This is an "indie" rap festival. That's supposed to make me feel better. I went on line and searched for anything I could learn. When I saw a video from last year's festival showing a performer rapping about walking around Minneapolis lakes, I decided to take the chance and let her go.

She's going to a marine biology camp this summer. She'll be snorkeling and diving in the ocean. With sharks. And possibly other things with sharp teeth. I don't swim, but we made sure she did so she could do just these kinds of things I never could. But I'd feel better if her father was swimming alongside. When she asked, I was ready to say no, but Hubby intervened so we're letting her go to that too. He'd like to have a diving partner someday I think.

Letting her go. Don't you just hate those words?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Boomer Honors Baseball with New Blog Look

In honor of the start of the baseball season I have altered the look of my blog. Note baseball.

Tomorrow I'll be attending my first Twins game of the season. We have a 20-game series. This is only 1/4 of the available home games. When I was a working person (for money) attending 20 games was tough. Will be interesting to see if it feels like a lot of games or not now that I am a retiree with much more time on my hands. Can't imagine, even now, going to 80 games!

For those of you who do not have the privilege of attending this many Twins games, I am going to blog about my season experiences. So first blog will be after tomorrow's game. There are many things to see and do at the ballpark beyond just watching the game, so I promise to report on non-game related things too.

Maybe Hubby and I will be on Kiss Cam tomorrow. Oh the excitement of baseball!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lincoln and the Art of Memory Making

This past week I vacationed in Key Largo with Teen. She was eager to try snorkeling before her June Marine Biology camp. Since I'm not a swimmer I was content to enjoy the sunshine on board the boat. All went well. Perfect weather, calm seas. That was Day 1. We were pretty much out of things to do after that. Yup, Key Largo is all about snorkeling, diving and fishing. Beaches aren't much and I wasn't too interested in getting my name carved on a seashell so I spent a great deal of time lounging outside and reading a book on Lincoln, Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

This is no ordinary book. It's a big sucker..754 fascinating pages. Admittedly, like all his contemporaries, I fell a little in love with Abe. I teared up at the end, even though I already knew how it ended. One passage in the book struck me so much I underlined it. It said that Lincoln was unable to find comfort in the idea of a literal afterlife in heaven. Instead "he found consolation in the conviction that in the memories of others some part of us remains alive."

Lincoln did a lot of things worth remembering. But what about us ordinary folk? Will we remain alive in memories of others a hundred years from now? I grew up hearing the stories of my uncles and aunts growing up. They were passed down to me and my cousins, but it's unlikely they will move beyond my generation. I sometimes tell my daughter bits and pieces about my parents, but she never knew them herself so do those odd details really have any holding power? It's unlikely that I will live long enough to make a lasting impression on a granddaughter of my own so will memories of me stop at the next generation? If my daughter tells her of our trip to Key Largo, will it stick and be passed along?

Yet, I am hopeful that someone somewhere a hundred years from now will be doing a little genealogy work and will run across my name and seek to learn more. Perhaps they will find these little postings forever held in some internet cloud just waiting to be discovered. I suppose it's still possible I could do great things and make the history books, but not likely. Still, I've many years ahead of me to make memorable memories and to resurrect the memories of others. Because, yes, I do want to live on in someone's memory.

When Hubby asked me how I wanted my remains handled after death I said, buried with a marker. It won't say much about me other than I existed, but that's a start.

Darn, now that I think about it, I should have had my name carved on that seashell! I don't think even Lincoln had one of those.