heat wave

We’re still in the heat for another day or so.  Around 90°F (32°C) today again.   Early this morning I walked through our fairly shaded neighborhood to a post box and noticed that the breeze was coming from the west, which is good news.

Over the last few days, any wind was coming from the south, as in Desert Southwest, where the hot air has been parked.  When the wind comes from the west, it means the air is coming from the ocean currents, bringing cooler air, instead of the hot air from the overheated interior land mass.

Desert Southwest:  that's HOT!

Desert Southwest: that’s HOT! (46°C)

Yaaaay.  Subdued I am by the heat and by the efforts to keep the house cool.  I was never meant to live in the heat, but my years in Tucson taught me how to manipulate air currents, curtains, sun blocks, fans, and swamp coolers.    (And, of course, now I have my portable air conditioner.  Thanks, Ma!)

It always helped that I was outdoors despite the 100-deg heat.   Often in the 9,000-ft mountains above Tucson, tootling up the switchback road in the red 1965 VW convertible Bug, always getting a vapor lock after we’d hit some cool elevation.  <:-D

gigantic red sunflower

gigantic red sunflower

One October, I moved directly from Tucson to Anchorage, and as I paused at the top of the mobile stairway parked next to the plane, seeing the mountains and ocean that surrounded the city, I knew soul-deep I had come home.   True that I panicked slightly at the 45°F (7°C) temp that greeted me.

That winter I learned about cold, with a stretch of two weeks of -20°F (-28°C).  I brought with me the love and need to be outdoors and discovered that I loved to be outdoors in the cold:  camping, skiing, mountaineering.  I will always know how to live in the cold with little thought or strained effort.

my happy Alaska place at my dresser

my happy Alaska place at my dresser

happy in the mountains at 10°F!  A Raven friend.

happy in the mountains at 10°F! A Raven friend.

 

 

 

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Declared redundant

The pressure builds, the atmosphere shrinking, pressing.  High-altitude breathing, gasping to tease out the combo of airs that will sustain.

Only in the last year or so did I hear the expression “made redundant,” which is the equivalent of the US “laid off.”

To be laid off is a shunting aside, a putting away, but still along the stream of the action.  To be made redundant says that the purpose is gone, done, over, shoved away from the stream.

Coming on two years ago I was made redundant.  …  More

Co-ink-i-dink? I think not!

My Mom has saved bits and pieces of her past lives and passed them to me.   The day before I posted about Italia, I found a stack o’ stuff from her in the Italy section of a dusty bookcase.  Lots of small tourist booklets from Second-World-War-time Italy from my uncle who was an officer in the hospital corps.  There’s a slim volume about Siena, which has been on my list for 10 years.  How is this possible?  (He must have been on leave from North Africa, where he did serve.  Shudder.)

Sometime in my 30s when I had been living the outdoor, self-propelled life in Alaska, I found out something special about a tiny town that I love and where I thought I’d retire–Seward, AK.  My paternal grandmother was shipped to Seward as an unmarried girl who hadn’t quite found a husband yet.  She did find her husband there, my grandfather.

In my late 20s–Mom you started telling me stories then, yes?  Or did I start to listen?–while working as a technical editor, I found out that my mother had worked as a technical editor in the 1960s for Chrysler Missile!  (Chrysler Missile was the reason we moved to Taranto.)  Remember this as the time of NATO, the Cold War, and nuclear attack worries.

My own parents after they were first married in the early 1950s were headed to work in Alaska, but the contract fizzled and they ended up in a more southerly portion of the Pacific Northwest.   I moved to Alaska after college and lived 16 amazing years there.  I’ve been gone for 13 years and I’m still homesick.

I used to be amazed by these co-ink-i-dinks, but now I am rather blase (where’s the acute accent here?) and just find that the revelations give more structure to my life.

©  No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Italia

For many years, I have been fascinated by the early Romans.  Geez.  They beat up everyone;  created state-sanctioned marriage in order to encourage people to have children (to strengthen the empire); built huge structures, especially aqueducts.

The climate was one of war-mongering, slavery, and assimilation.

Another fascination is with the Ancient Egyptians.  OK, they were builders and intellectuals.  Why can’t I travel in time to see both the Library at Alexandria  and the Pharos Lighthouse?  That lighthouse was around 450 feet tall!   That took a lot of slaves because who would pay a living wage for that kind of labor?  As a young child, (early 1960s) I cut out pics from the National Geographic of the fantastic sculptures–I think a dam was being built and would flood ancient structures.  (Can’t remember.)  My impression is that the Egyptians stayed home and hosted guests from out of town such as Antony and Caesar, etc.  However, there was plenty of slavery, so I must be wrong about the stayin’ home.

Then there’s Alexander the Great.  Dang, what a guy!  Warmonger and traveler.   I even named my long-ago doggie companion after Alexander–called him Iskander.

Fascination with warmongers?  I’m one who was preparing in the late 1970s to register as a conscientious objector if the draft began to include women.  In the late 1960s, I protested the Vietnam War, even tho’ I was only a kid.   On and on I could go about war, but I do see that it is what we do.  We are a horrible species, I’m just sayin’.

OK, then, Italia.   Have you seen the movie “Gladiator”?  There is a particular scene where our hero is walking up a dusty lane lined with Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), with groves of olive trees on either side.  When I see that picture, I get the scent of that dry air, dusty, and a little rosemary-ish.  How is that possible to have an olfactory experience from a place I haven’t been?  An aside, my family lived in southern Italy, Taranto, from 1960 to 1962.  Did my parents take us to the countryside where that pungent air swirled into my memory banks?

All that studying of Latin, beginning when I was 7, with Mom at the kitchen table.  I still have that workbook.  Studied Latin in college because I wanted to (along with my dearest Mal), and even had to sing Gaudeamus Igitur.  Yikes!

I have to go to Italy.  How can I not go?  Something apart from me is drawing me there.  As I study Italian right now, I keep hoping I’ll stumble into the cache of Italian language left from my toddler-hood in Taranto.  I know it’s in there!

The northwest corner of the country is my goal–on the water or in the mountains.  Close to France.  (Studied French, too; we lived in Toronto, Canada around 1970.  That’s a whole other story.)

©  No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Gypsy

A long time ago a friend called me, in Spanish, gypsy.  Other people from time to time, in English, have also referred to my spirit that way.

I have viewed myself as a gypsy, but thought I had more in common with a quixotic search than a roaming life.  Life is an enormous search to feel the breeze of the bits and pieces of existence against my brain.   Because of this internal wiring, I can’t have a sedate life, a life full of predictability and assumption.  I want to be like the other kids, sometimes, but I’m not.  When I was a kid, I would beg the Universe for a boring life.

Accepting limitations is anathema.  Again, I try to fit in, but that internal wiring jolts me.

When I follow that roaming instinct, I feel joy and fully alive.  Parts of my brain feel connected to the parts of the world I’m tasting.  As if the wiring circuits become complete and I’m functioning on all 4 cylinders.  (Can’t be 6 or 8 cylinders because that’s just too much!)

It’s time to make a list of those Taste of the World experiences.  Just for grins.  Just to remind myself that I really am having a good time even though the daily grind does grind.

Time to dash (!) into Big City along the repugnant, incomprehensibly-wrong freeway (free?  hahahaha! huge price to pay to be among humanity that way) to pick up my design drawings from the last class.  Which is another thing.  Hokey-smoke, Bullwinkle!  Do I really have to make a 40-mile trek one-way to go to a class where I am taught for 2 hours, then for the remaining 3  I am teaching myself??!!   Don’t get me going!  I’ve had lots of formal education and this new piece is sposta be preparing me to get back into the workforce, from which I was forcibly ejected because of the economy 1-1/2 years ago!  Yeah, right.

However, those attempts at preparing to return to work have shown me my roaming-ness again.   I prolly need to have a bunch of income-producing activities rather than one job, even though that one job I had was pretty darned good.

How about concrete art?  Garden design?  OK.  >:-D

©  No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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