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Treasure for the Future

What happens to our words when technology changes?

What happens when the media we rely on today is more outdated than eight-track tapes, and no one can access what we’ve written, the pictures we’ve taken, the record of history our present day communication will someday become?

Who are we counting on to save the gems of personal expression we take for granted today?

It’s phenomenal how much data we can store on a tiny piece of finely-crafted metal and wires, surrounded by plastic. Over time, those drives will corrode or be replaced by newer devices, and much of what you store on them is likely to be lost forever. Think of what you saved on disks just ten years ago, and tell me where you can go to retrieve all of it.

We cherish diaries of our ancestors, no matter how mundane they may have believed their lives to be, as a peek into hearts and minds of the people whose history shaped our own lives. How do we leave this same wealth of information for generations to follow?

This information will be a treasure someday.

I love blogging, but I fear what I write here will be lost eventually. The alternative seems to be print out my entire blog, and that isn’t going to happen.

If anyone has an answer, a real answer, not optimistic speculation, I’d love to know about it.


Image Credits © stock.adobe.com

 

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Now, Right Now

It’s hard — so hard.

When you fear your world is about to turn upside-down, and there’s nothing you can do but pray and wait. When you think perhaps the inevitable is happening now.

When your heart cries out, “I’m not ready for this!” but your head tells you, “you’ll never be ready.”

When the practical mixes with the unimaginable.

It’s hard.


Photo courtesy of Pixabay

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Finding Home

The other day I was getting my hair cut, and I commented on the casual Friday attire of the stylists.

In the past, they always wore black, and the color was more important than style. There’s a new owner now, and she believes given the nature of the salon — creating an image — the individuals responsible for the changes for their clients should be able to express their own style.

I have to agree, and I liked the change.

The new owner is a long-time employee of the salon, who started out as a receptionist, and worked long, hard hours to get to where she is today. She can be abrupt, but you get used to that, because she cares about both her employees and her clients.

She’s been cutting my hair for the last seven years, and does a damn good job. She also colors it (too much grey for my comfort) and — lucky for me — charges me a small portion of the typical cost for color. That’s not something she does for too many people, and I’m not sure what motivated her to do it for me. I don’t question it.

The longer you live somewhere, the more roots you establish, the more small benefits accrue. You know the back routes to beat traffic, you’ve discovered the quiet groups of people who share your interests. You’re in on the local secrets.

I’ve lived in my current location for 14 years, which is nearly as long as I’ve lived anywhere in my life. Granted, I haven’t been in the same home the whole time, but most of it’s been spent in the same city.

I like it here.

I’ve lived in cities where, despite all my efforts, I never felt at home. I’ve lived in places I once loved, but now find to be uncomfortable. The pace here suits me.

There are things I don’t like. The job opportunities in my field are exceptionally limited. The political and justice systems are somewhat backwoods. Yet despite those issues, I’ve found a community of supportive people of like mind.

Including my stylist. Okay, her political views are diametrically opposed to mine, so we don’t discuss the current state of affairs in our government. But we share many of the same values.

When she leaned in and whispered how much it cost the parents of one 17-year-old to have extensions put in her hair, I was shocked. This girl had gone to a cut-rate salon that had fried her hair with bad color and an equally pathetic cut. Her long, beautiful blonde tresses had to be trimmed to a short bob. After one weekend, her parents gave in to her sobs, and shelled out the $4,000 it cost to have extensions.

You read that right. Four. Thousand. Dollars. That’s before the tip.

I told my stylist my parents would never have done that, even if they could have afforded it. Your hair will grow out, they would have said. She agreed, and she has four children, so she knows the pressures.

It takes awhile for even the most verbose of reputable stylists to tell that kind of story to a client. I like being one of the favored, someone whose responses she can predict, someone she can trust.

I like being a long-time client, long-time patient, long-time resident. I’m not moving any time soon.


 

Images © Graphic Stock

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Never-Ending Wonder

There is something about endless skies and rolling fields that bring out the dreamer in me.

Perhaps it is the seeming unlimited nature of the view, the what-is-just-beyond wonder that this vista presents. It is vast, yet it is contained in our world, it is out of reach yet somehow attainable. It is our dreams spilling out before us.

Dreams for ourselves, our children, our country, our world. The belief more is possible.

Dreams are salvation for some, drive and determination for others. Dreams grab us and hold tight, tell us what we ought to do.

Never-ending wonder, unlimited possibility.


Photo Credit: © Andrushko Galyna — Bigstockphoto.com

 

+ Being Valued Being Wooed

Being Valued, Being Wooed: a letter to Madi

A co-worker once wistfully told me she’d married her husband because he picked her up at the airport, holding a bouquet of balloons and an engagement ring.

small heart and key“What else could I do?” she asked.

The surprise proposal made her completely forget that a week before, when she was knocked out by a miserable cold, he’d expected her to join him for happy hour with his colleagues so he’d have a ride home. A familiar sort of selfish request, with no regard for her health, or for that matter, safety.

Now this man was handsome, charming, smart, and from time to time successful, but all in all, he was no catch. I later learned she finally left him, taking their two kids and accepting full custody, knowing she’d never get a dime from him for any part of their life together. She got tired of being second best. But it took a long, long time.

Madi, you asked us how you’ll know how a man is going to treat you after you’re married. I guess, in a way, you don’t. But there are clues. Clearly, if he doesn’t treat you the right way now, get out. It isn’t going to get better. If he seems to be trying too hard to get you to like him, give it some careful thought. There should be more than that.

The best advice I can give you is this: Never, ever forget the foundational importance of being valued. If being with that person makes you feel free to express who you are, even to fail, you’re on the right path. It may or may not end up leading where you want it to go, but remember that path.

There’s settling for less-than-perfect, which you have to do, and there’s settling for hell-on-earth, which you should never do.

I have a close friend who for years knew she wanted to be married and have a family. She surefire wasn’t going to settle, though. It took her a long time and frankly, some good therapy, to get to a point where she was ready to meet the right man.

Cupid be true Sky background © Pakhnyushchyy - DollarPhotoClub

I remember finally, long into this, she called me and said, “I feel like I’m in the right place now, but I’m not even meeting men. At least before I could always meet bad ones.”

I told her, “Your outside hasn’t completely caught up with your inside yet. You know what you want and you’re sending out signals to the wrong guys saying, ‘go away.’ You just haven’t started sending out signals to the right guys saying, ‘Well, hello there.’ ”

Okay, I didn’t say “Well, hello there.” But that was the gist of what I said and it struck a chord with her. In fact, she told me later it meant a lot.

You can guess the rest. She met her husband shortly after that and now they have two kids, a boy and a girl. She didn’t settle. It took a long time, longer than most, but if she’d gotten married before that, she would have settled, because that was the way it worked in her life.

Madi, you were wise to ask us this question. Listen to the other ladies; they have a lot more experience than I do. There’s wisdom in the words of many.

Image Credits: (Hearts as Balloons) ©Andreka Photography – Fotolia.com (Key to my Heart) © GraphicStock.com; (Sky background) © Pakhnyushchyy – stock.adobe.com

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“Have a nice trip?” “Last Fall.”

A nice trip, indeed.

I’m working in a warehouse now as a technical writer. The administrative aspect of my job doesn’t mean I get an office, however, or even a traditional desk. I’m smack dab in the middle of 95000 square feet of bedlam.

They strive for high safety standards, but with that much STUFF it isn’t always easy.

So I’m walking to the ladies’ room when BAM! I find myself face down on a cement floor. Turns out a piece of plastic strapping tape — used in this case to bind a pile of empty, flattened boxes — was jutting out from said pile. I slid on it, which is what caused me to fall forward.

I landed smack dab on my side, seriously bruising my rib cage, liver and kidney, and the surrounding muscles. I spent hours in the ER, where they ruled out any cracks, breaks or damage to organs.

But, ow.

Even with painkillers, things like feeding my cats and lying down in bed hurt like the bejeebers. This is likely to last a little while.

So if it isn’t this, it’s that. Still, I remain grateful for overall good health and wounds that will heal.

The kitties haven’t left my side. I swear, we must secrete something when we’re in pain because cats and dogs always know when they need to take care of you.

And I’m well taken care of.


Image Credits: (Fallen Elephant) © maxbol — stock.adobe.com; (Leaves) © graphicstock.com

 

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Move over, Mr. Astaire

Not to be outdone, Jake is looking quite dashing…

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