Yes, AWOL – Absent Without Laughs. I haven’t cranked out a blog since last Friday and I hope you at least missed me. Mother Nature, calf splints and work kept me from this forum. I was nearby though … fingers flyin’ over the keyboard ‘til I was bleary eyed with a few work emergencies. Saturday morning I was up bright and early doing several loads of laundry. I was set to leave the house about 8:00 a.m. but I opened the door because I didn’t see any sunlight streaming into the windows. It looked like the sky was ready to open up any minute so I stayed put. Good thing – it poured raining about a half hour later. Whew! I lucked out. I decided to make good use of my morning and clean off my shelves in the downstairs pantry. I needed to rotate my old and new stock as I have loaded in alot of canned goods for over the Winter already. I still had many bags of canned goods waiting upstairs until I had time to do this chore. So I worked about two hours or so, lugging older cans upstairs to put in the kitchen cupboards and lugging new stuff downstairs. It was a daunting task – up/down/up/down, at least 35 or 40 times. I’ve mentioned before that I am certainly not the world’s greatest cook and I like simple meals – canned goods fit that bill. So, I finished the job and the rain stopped about the same time, but it was much too soggy to go walking so I stayed put, happy to be done with this task.
The weather folks promised a sunny Sunday, so I got up really early … that is, the alarm went off and I went to step down on the floor – ouch! I’ve had shin splints before but this was even worse – pain in the back of my legs and I could barely walk. I figured it had to be from all the trips up and down the stairs in my comfy loafers. I decided then and there I had reached official “old fogeydom” because I could barely shuffle along, and winced when I tried to step down the stairs. Well, walking was out and of course I was disappointed. So I went outside and took out my aggressions on the weeds instead. I got busy with work Sunday. Monday and Tuesday walking still wasn’t so wonderful, so I stayed inside.
When the alarm rang this morning, I decided I was going to be sprung from the house today since the promised a.m. rain never materialized despite some terrific crashes of thunder at 2:10 a.m. I got dressed, shoes laced up and hustled out before I changed my mind. I took the car along with me because it, too, needed to be sprung and taken for a short spin. We headed down to Wyandotte to the river’s edge. I figured I’d walk a bit and the car was there in case I overdid it. I took the camera, even though the sky was gloomy looking and there was not a hint of sun. As I strolled along the pier, it was busy with the usual anglers and I didn’t see a single fishermen reelin’ in any big ones, so the only fish dinners tonight for these fellas was going to be Starkist or Mrs. Paul’s.
Suddenly I heard screeching from a group of argumentative seagulls as they fought over a fast food box with a few goodies that had spilled out onto the sidewalk. While I watched them, I wondered if they shouldn’t just draw straws to see who would eventually get the treasure because they circled around, pecked a bit, circled some more, all the while glancing surreptitiously at one another, waiting to see who would make the first move. Suddenly, one of the gulls took flight from the group and started everyone – me included! He flew up and away quickly and no other gulls followed him. I watched him for a long time and eventually he just kind of blended into the dark clouds and was gone. The solo silhouette of outstretched wings and sharp beak in the dim morning light reminded me of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and the inspiring novella by the same name. I enjoyed that book way back in high school, kept it around for years and re-read it more than a few times – something I rarely do. I finally donated the book to the Lincoln Park library one time when I was clearing away the cluttered bookcase. The movie memorialized that famous seagull as did the beautiful song “Be” by Neil Diamond. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm2hYRQEOHM). There were many quotes that I used from “Jonathan Living Seagull” when I used to circulate my daily Thought for the Day to friends and co-workers. This was one of my favorite quotes and I am sure this credo applied to that lonely bird, maybe even one of Jonathan’s descendants, one gull who split from the group and had the gall to go for the gusto:
“You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way”.” – Richard Bach, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”