Sunday, October 06, 2013

Civil disobedience - we owe it to ourselves

Across the nation, Americans are in revolt. Since the Obama administration has decided that we can't attend our publicly-owned lands like the World War II memorial, Mt. Rushmore, other national parks, we should be up in arms. Numerous reports of civil disobedience regarding this unlawful confiscation of our lands are making their way through the various news media. Here in Utah, a group of hikers did what all of us should be doing if we have the opportunity--they entered a national park. Check it out here.

These are not lands owned by the government. We own them. It's time they learned that.

Taking some time to remember

As we neared completion on our house renovation, I paused for a moment, remembering. It won't be long now before someone else owns the home that we owned for 27 years, and I'll no longer be able to go inside and think about things. A lot of life was lived in that home. Many many memories came flooding back. I looked up at the chain dangling from the ceiling fan. Still attached to it, was a small piece of tape. Why is this tape here? I wondered. And then it came to me--we used to tape the mistletoe to that chain. I had shared many a smooch with my amazing wife, Ann, under that mistletoe. I gazed at the stairs--there was the place where I had broken down and cried when I was explaining to Rebecca that our cat Ralph had cancer and was going to have to be put to sleep. Looking around that kitchen I remembered fond times when our family made sugar cookies, or when I pulled out the cast iron cookware and made Mountainman breakfast. I thought about my grandchildren coming over and helping me put together some cookies or make scone dough on that counter, and of the kitten we thought we wanted that crawled through a broken part of the baseboard beneath the sink and hid--we had to tear apart the bottom of the cabinet to get it out.

I looked over at our newly remodeled dining area. The new light there and the new floor, the missing table--none of it could dim my memories of the time spent playing board games--Scrabble, Boggle, Clue, Probe and the rest. Or of eating family meals together--ketchup roast, jackpot, to die for blueberry muffins, tacos. Or of Ann and the kids working on art projects together.

The basement brought back memories of writing, guitars, working on the computer, building a bookcase with Ben, cats on the window ledge, and the time when I was lifting weights overhead and felt something on my leg and glanced down to spy a black widow creeping up my bare leg.

I went back up to the main floor and saw the Christmas trees. The piano. The birds in the quakies out the south window, and the magnificent silver maple out front. I saw snowmen in the yard and started whistling Walking in the Air. I envisioned my kids and I playing in the front yard with baseballs and footballs, and playing horse on the driveway.

Further upstairs I looked out the windows for one last time. From the master bedroom, I looked across the church lawn, glad that I could see it, missing the poplars, but not really. I never really liked them anyway. Now, without them I could see my beloved mountains far across the valley. I remembered seeing my fellow church members out there on the lawn for activities---the ward picnic, the stake carnival, young men and young women activities. In the yellow room, I looked down upon the garden, the one that wouldn't grow because of the shade from the poplars, and which now was growing splendidly---the season we leave. It's fitting. I look further and spot Mt. Timpanogos. I've always been thrilled that  I can see "Timp" from my house so far away.

I look over at my good neighbor's, the Robbins, house and think about the good people they are, and think about how blessed we have been to have had them as neighbors since the beginning, and also to have the Earls on the other side of us for many of those years. A lot of good memories flood my mind associated with my friends who also happen to be my neighbors.

Memories. So many memories. They say you can't go home again, and perhaps literally that's true. But good kind people, good memories and good times are the fiber of which life is made. Treasure them all. We can go home again.

Cleaning out the crawl space = arachnophobia (part two)

The day when I was to go into the nether regions of the crawl space dawned. I turned on every possible light (one) to attempt to illuminate the darkest corners. It was a failed effort. I decided if I was to move, I needed to move quickly--get in and out as fast as possible to limit my exposure to her. Yes, I was convinced that Shelob lurked somewhere in that dark nest of spiderdom.

I edged my way into the crawl space, reaching out with my glaive to probe behind the various boxes and paint cans casting shadows in the dim light. I knew that any second she could drop from above, and I was terrified to even cast my eyes upward. I swung the glaive in wild arcs to knock down the webs that dangled to entrap. So far, I'd managed to launch my way into the crawl space the distance of one foot from the door that led to safety.

In time, I conquered my fear enough to haul out the 2 liter bottles filled with water for emergency storage, although I was thinking to myself it would have to be some kind of catastrophic emergency to induce me to go in there and get those things. Amongst the other goodies of Shelob's treasure was a bowling ball in a bag, a tubed container that contained maps, some old grave stones created for a Halloween party decades ago, and a box of various household cleaners and other products. Why we ever stashed those in that place, I'll never know. Perhaps I was thinking I would one day know Chuck Norris personally, or command an army. Neither one has ever happened. I guess that's why it was still down there.

The bottom line is, I conquered my fear momentarily, dragged it all out, and then pulled out my secret weapon to clear the dust from the concrete---my leaf blower. It worked great too, although clouds of dust filled the basement for a few minutes, I knew I was going to have to clean that too. I think I gave some of the smaller spiders a fun ride to the back of the crawl space, which is probably why I decided against going in there again and putting up the insulation that had fallen years ago. At that far end, an unused roll of fiberglass insulation sat there, waiting for someone to install it underneath the living room floor, where it had sat for decades. As I turned off my leaf blower and leaned over to close the door, I thought I saw a gigantic arachnid leg rising over the top of the roll of insulation.

I slammed the door and fled.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

New movie trailer: The Desolation of Smaug

Of course, I had to post this: The Desolation of Smaug

Coming December 13 to a theater near you.