Contemplating

It’s been eight years since I started this blog. Seems hard to believe.

I’ve had visitors from all over the world. The biggest “hits” on my site are from the United States. Followed by India and Ireland.

India because I once wrote about a young Brown student who went missing. Now every time someone searches the first name (not necessarily him but the first name which seems to be popular in India) they come across my blog. And we all know India is a well populated place.

Ireland, I suppose, is just the power of a big family. And lots of friends.

I have wondered if I should just let it go. Maybe it’s getting old. Maybe I am constantly regurgitating old stuff.

So, I’m looking for feedback. Should I go out like Johnny Carson? At the top of his game when people might actually miss him?

Or should I continue writing this blog?

Be honest. I can take it.

Thank you!

 

 

 

Dream

I had a dream last night. Or maybe this morning.

Can’t really remember. A bit sleep deprived since we hosted two girls from the Jakarta International School who were here for a tournament. Their schedules were erratic (no fault of their own) and we had some late nights and early mornings.

Anyway, I was sitting at an outdoor cafe with two other people. Odd since I normally wouldn’t sit outdoors in the sun here in Malaysia. The pale skin and all.

The setting reminded me of the States or Europe with many outdoor tables. I feel like I knew the folks at the other tables.

All of a sudden there was a breeze. Not usual for Malaysia where it’s 88 degrees every day, sticky and no breeze. I mean they actually have a mall named Fahrenheit 88. That’s how predictable it is.

Yes, a breeze comes in now and again. But it’s not a usual occurrence.

I said to the people at my table, “Do you feel the breeze???”

And then I stood up and proclaimed to all the other folks at the surrounding tables,”Do you feel the breeze?”

They all cheered, laughed and applauded.

Okay, I am as predictable as Malaysian weather. I will admit that any time there is an actual breeze here I do comment on it. I say stuff like, “Oh, a breeze!” and “Did you feel the breeze?”

But I’m thinking the dream is more than that.

I really think it is a reminder to acknowledge the little, every day things we take for granted. To stand up and proclaim for all to hear. To put things in perspective. Because maybe someone needs to hear it. Maybe we need to hear it.

Feel the breeze……

 

 

 

Reminiscing #2

In my last posting I stated that we were waiting for an email reply from our friend and neighbor in California.

My husband had sent an email to him Sunday morning. Saying that we were reminiscing about the good old days. When Jim tried to make a golfer out of my husband! And how we had the best neighbor.

That evening we still hadn’t heard anything back.

I figured he was away. We can’t expect everyone, a world away, to respond immediately. No matter how prompt we consider them. Can we?

But I had a weird feeling. A sinking feeling.

And I googled our friend’s name.

His smiling face popped up immediately.

In his obituary.

I just said, “Oh, God!”

Jim passed away at the end of June. I had no idea.

I had emailed him in April about my father’s passing. He replied how sorry he was for our loss. Said my father was a great guy. He had met my Dad on two different occasions and they enjoyed chatting about golf and other things.

He also said he was sorry for the delay in responding since he had been in the hospital for a week.

He wrote, “But I am okay now.”

I responded with an email including a “Hope it was nothing serious.”

That last time was the end of May and the next month he was gone.

My eyes kept tearing up all evening. It was the shock of it. And the loss of a truly wonderful person.

It’s telling that I had at least four postings about him in the past. Which I will soon share.

He was brilliant and an inventor. We wouldn’t be sitting here on our computers now if it wasn’t for the likes of him. A pioneer in Silicon Valley. And yet he was one of the most down to earth fellows you would ever want to meet. He was kind, generous and humorous.

He set the stage and paved the way for all of the Scottish folks I would meet in my travels. I would have to immediately like them if they were like Jim, right?

But he raised the bar for them. And for everyone else.

Rest in peace, my friend. We will miss you.

Jim McDiarmid

1940-2015

 

 

Reminiscing #1

This past weekend my husband and I were chatting on the patio. Talking about this and that. And the conversation veered toward that hot topic that comes up now and again.

Where will we live next? Where should we buy a house? Texas? California? East Coast?

Not owning a place in our home country causes us a bit of agita when we get thinking about it. We try to keep the heartburn at bay by thinking about the insurance, taxes, maintenance, etc. that we would pay in absentia.

But we lobbed the pros and cons back and forth across the table just the same.

Texas makes the most sense. California beckons.

He says, “I’m going to call Jim.”

This is after we reminisced about our place in Dana Point, California and our beloved neighbor Jim.

We did a bit of googling also.

Husband says there’s a house for sale on our old street. It looked like Jim’s.

Jim had been talking about downsizing in the past. He has another place in Arizona.

If we bought Jim’s place it would be in absolute pristine condition because he is a bit of a neatnik and a fanatic about everything being just so. Maybe that’s a Scottish thing.

If it wasn’t Jim’s place for sale then we’d have him as a neighbor again and that would be even better.

He ended up sending Jim an email telling him that we were reminiscing about our fabulous neighbors.

In the evening my husband said, “Jim hasn’t replied to my email.”

It just so happened that Jim had been on my mind all week.

My neighbor Nancy, here in Malaysia, had a rat in her kitchen the previous Saturday. She called me. And I ran over to her place. Not knowing what I would or could do. Laugh out loud.

When we lived in Dana Point, the city had cleared an embankment of brush to avoid the infamous California wildfires. It resulted in roof rats/Norwegian rats losing their stomping grounds.

Yup, we soon had those furry visitors in the attic. And Jim was my man. The neighbor I called. My go to guy.

And he always responded promptly.

My first thought? He was most likely visiting family or spending the weekend in Arizona.

Second thought? Jim is going to be absolutely thrilled that we are even considering buying a place in Southern California.

Good neighbors are a true blessing. And even better if they are your friends.

 

 

 

Nothing New

My daughter sent me a news article today. About two young people that were swept away from the shore into the waters of Northern California.

She said, “This is the brother of my friend. And she lost her father a year ago.”

Oh my!  I didn’t even know how to respond to that.

My God!

I still don’t know how to respond to that.

Life is so very precious. We are here one day. Young, vital and strong.

And then that happens.

I cannot imagine the pain of losing a parent and sibling in the same year. The pain of losing either at any time is horrific enough.

I cannot imagine a woman losing her husband and child in the same year. That is enough to make anyone insane.

We let our children out there in the world. It’s the natural way. We hope they will heed every last warning we excruciatingly exhaled in the last eighteen years. But the fact of the matter is that we do let them out into the world. And that is what we need to do.

Yes, upon hearing news like this, we should hug them tightly and tell them we love them.

But we should always be doing that.

Nothing new there.

Prayers for these families with the hope they will soon recover their loved ones. :(

 

 

 

So Cheesy

Living away from home is quite an experience. In some ways it’s pretty surreal. I could write a book.

There are things I miss. Like choices. Might be funny coming from a decision-challenged Libra like me but it’s true.

I was home in the U.S. for Christmas and stopped in the grocery store. I always forget how huge it is. Aisles wide enough for me to do cartwheels.

My daughter and I stopped and had a moment of silence at the entrance.

Instead of keeping it healthy and only sticking to the perimeter we opted to hit the middle aisles. Just to stay current.

The choices! The variety!

I don’t even need to comment on the Goldfish or the Keeblers. You get the picture. Or you see the picture.

But check out that CHEEZ-IT section!

Scrabble Junior with lettered crackers so you can play while you eat. Can’t possibly feel guilty if you are learning.

White cheddar.

Classic Snack Mix for the big game.

And Double Cheese Snack Mix because you know the single dosing of fake cheese just won’t be enough. Okay, that was mean. I do see that they are all stamped with “Made with real cheese.”

Provolone because you just went up a step in the cheese category.

Oh wait, there’s Colby and Pepper Jack also!

Grooves for those of you who like a little texture.

Zings for those who like a little more action.

Whole Grain for you health freaks.

Reduced Fat to fit in with your new year’s resolutions.

BIG for those of you who think that bigger is better.

Cheddar Jack because you just don’t like Pepper Jack.

Duoz because two is better than one. Sounds a bit like the old Schaefer Beer jingle. The one cheese to have when you’re having more than one!

Mozzarella can never be left out of a cheese snack assortment.

Not even sure what the Avengers and Star Wars flavor could be.

Finally, never, ever forget about the Original.

We didn’t even buy CHEEZ-ITS that day. But we certainly had choices.

Way too many.

 

Just GoOgle

One evening we were sitting and chatting.

Someone asked, “How did Google get its name?”

My daughter and I spit out answers at the exact same time.

She says, “It is a math term that represents 1 followed by 100 zeros.”

I said, “Go ogle. Go look. It makes perfect sense since the origin of the word ogle derives from a word for eyes. Go look.”

We immediately googled how Google got its name.

Of course, my daughter’s answer immediately popped up as a result of the search. All those zeros representing the endless information on the web.

I couldn’t find my wonderful answer anywhere. :(

Instead of declaring defeat I stated, “Well, I like my answer better. I’m using it.”

My brother said, “And you’d be wrong.”

I reverted to my ten year old self and retorted, “So what? I don’t care. I’m using it anyway.”

No, I won’t pretend my answer is how Google actually got its name. If that math thingy is their story and they’re sticking to it then I can’t really argue with them.

But when someone’s asking who is knocking at the front door I will just have to spew, “Google!”

If the kid can’t find her homework I’ll say, “Just Google!”

Husband wondering if a program is on the television? Ummm, “Google.”

I might not ever have to utter the phrases “Go look” or “Just go look” again.

New year. New possibilities.

Wishing you all a new year filled with possibility, imagination and humor. And don’t forget, every once in awhile, to give a nod to your ten year old self.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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