Monday, May 30, 2011

......

YOU MAY HAVE SUSPECTED, READER DEAR, that I fell off the proverbial cliff.
In actuality, the scarcity of blog posts is a direct result of each and every one of the following:

HEAT--in these parts, we have jumped directly into the hot and muggy, tongue-hanging-out, turn-on-the-AC-prone days of late spring. Inspiration is wilting.

HOLIDAY--it's a holiday, by golly! Throwing together food for holiday cook-outs (while my yard man trucks the grill down to the picnic table)...and such, keeps me busy.

video

HOPING FOR TENANTS--I'm still trekking over to unlock apartment doors and give my spiel (well, only once; but once too often for a holiday weekend!) And then there are phone calls and email: I saw your ad on Craigslist; in fact, my fiance and I both saw it. For moral reasons, I don't want him moving in with me. We are looking for a place for him until we get married in November. Do you do a short-term lease?

HOLDING MY GRANDSON--The Small Actor is visiting me!

video

I'm busy coaching (Come on, a smile! Let's see a smile!)
and filming!

......

Sunday, May 29, 2011

...

OH, MY...A MORE PLEASANT day is seldom realized around here.

...

Friday, May 27, 2011

......

TWO-THIRTY-TWO p.m. I am finally finished composing the Craigslist ad for my vacantly-waiting apartment. It is so in need of a happy dweller. At two-thirty-seven p.m. my little white business phone rings. "I just saw your ad on Craigslist," the caller says in a rush. "When would I be able to see it?"

Arrangements are made for a prompt showing. I hang up, very satisfied with myself. Five minutes later my little white business phone rings again. "I'm looking for an apartment, and I saw your ad posted on Craigslist," says the caller. "It sounds like just what I'm looking for! I'd like to take a look."

Humming a little tune, I check my email. Great Holiday Frenzy, I've already got an email response, too. "Hi. My name is Lindsay. I'm very interested in this apartment. I'm going out of the area for the holiday weekend. Could I see it on Tuesday?"

I give a call to the phone number Lindsay's provided, and we arrange a showing this very afternoon; she realized sadly that Tuesday could be too late! By the time I get back to my email messages, there is another eager apartment hunter there.

Now I'm counting my chickens before they are hatched! I've got three separate parties who will be climbing the carpeted steps late this afternoon. And two more prospects in a holding pattern. Three single women will be listening to my "and-here-you-have-the-kitchen" address.
I'm doing a little dance around my own kitchen...
(mentally speaking, but I'm considering physically, too).

Bring on the holiday!

......


Thursday, May 26, 2011

......

PHONE MOMENT I FOUND FUNNY TODAY:

"I'm calling to see if you would like to get the daily paper again, in addition to the Sunday paper you're already receiving. For only a dollar forty-two more, you can get a paper the other six days of the week! We can put your current balance against the charges and let you know when you owe us."

It was a woman calling from the newspaper office, Dear Reader. (I'm telling you as though it's not about as clear as the mouth on your face-- although I suppose without hearing the lilting, melodious voice, you'd not be aware of the feminine distinction). Perhaps four months ago I had called to cancel our subscription to the daily paper. At the time, they'd convinced me to keep on receiving the Sunday edition--using the balance already paid to go toward that once-a-week delivery.

"Hmm, well," I responded. "My husband's been grumbling for lack of the daily paper. I suppose we could re-subscribe for a little while and see how it goes--see if it's actually picked up and read every day.* Is there any way we could get it in the mailbox, instead of thrown on the lawn double-wrapped in plastic?!"

"I'm afraid they won't let us put it in your mailbox. It's against the law now. But I'll make a note that you don't like the plastic,"
she said. "Okay, great!"

"All right then,"
I said. Then I paused.

"By the way,"
I asked. "What IS our current balance?"

"If you can hold a minute, I'll check,"
she said.

A few minutes later she came back on the line with her response:
"It's thirteen cents."

Well, Dear Reader, that struck me as funny! That marketing lady and I had a very good laugh together. It was well worth thirteen cents, but I didn't have to pay a thing for it!
....
....



*
In the old days, Dear Reader, prior to
canceling the daily paper, those missiles would lie
soggy and forlorn in the lawn for days at a time. I think I should have told the woman
on the phone, "We'll just go ahead and use up our current balance, and see how it goes from there."

......


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

....

OH, TRA-LA-LA, HALLELUJAH, Whoop-dee-do!! I'm not going to ever say another word about Apartment number twenty-six and the bathroom ceiling exhaust fan,* my Dear Reader! Nor will I make any kind of fuss about having to clean that very apartment myself for two and a half hours this morning--lasting into the afternoon, by which time the locksmith and the tenant were to meet me there simultaneously; and the locksmith taking almost an hour to change that lock; and then one thing and another, and by the time the new tenant left with the keys it was two-thirty. The carpet cleaners were due to arrive at three! If you think I'm going to whine about sticking around the apartment for another half hour, cleaning the washer and dryer while waiting...well, why would that thought have occurred to you?

The fact of the matter is this: I'd gladly not ever see the inside of that apartment again as long as I live (perhaps a slight exaggeration; perhaps not).



*Only this, because I just can't help myself--it was ME who carried my little stepladder into the bathroom, climbed up on it and hoisted the fan to the ceiling and held it there while I screwed on the nut and inserted the light bulb. Even that small job was not as easy as it may sound, Reader Dear. Goodness, two hands seem barely sufficient when engaged in activity of this sort.





But let me tell you, two hands were plenty with which to applaud myself, and celebrate the fabulous end to the week-long falderal over the installation of that vent and ceiling fan!

Okay, now--now my lips are sealed.**





(**except, gee whiz, everything is done. Workmen all went their merry ways......
And I find that one of them--it's a mystery-- left behind a drill!)






......

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

......


IT WAS GETTING LATE. The sun was sinking in the sky. My yard man had gone to "pick up a mare." I was idling, reading the stale morning paper.

Suddenly, almost as if someone had prodded me with a sharp object, I bounded to my feet, ran upstairs and put on sneakers. Then--lickety split--I grabbed my car keys and was out the door. It took me exactly two and a fraction minutes to get to my park --the one where in olden times I used to take a daily walk.

I didn't waste a second getting to the walking path--did a quick warm-up stretch, and set out briskly. This was a leg-thrusting, arm swinging, deep breathing, man-does-this-ever-feel-good
type endeavor.

After twenty-eight minutes of walking (tip-toeing over the squishy-slippery areas of the path with my own blend of speed and caution), it was certifiably dark. I crunched across the gravel parking lot at break-neck speed (hmm, perhaps not quite that fast, although even there I had to watch for soggy areas where breaking one's neck was a real possibility). Without a pause, I leaped into the car (uh, huh), thrust the key into the ignition and was out of the parking lot in ten seconds flat (dear me, without really meaning to, I think I spun gravel). Two and and three quarter minutes to home.

Whee! That was exhilarating!

......

Monday, May 23, 2011

......


FROM MY POINT OF VIEW, it was a less-than-ideal day:

video

When I find something springing to mind on which to expound besides the current weather
patterns and-or the ongoing Installation of Exhaust Fan in Apartment 26* (which has now had a total of FIVE quasi-qualified workmen--count them [well, okay, I realize you're not in a position to count them, but I've done it more than once myself, so you can just take my word for it--five!] lend whatever level of expertise they've got to the job), I will consider the day to be several steps closer to my standard of perfection!

video

*Which appears to be nearing its conclusion**
**Based on my own personal quasi-qualified ability to work with a nut...
......

Sunday, May 22, 2011

......


WE ARE BACK, DEAR READER, to overcast skies. This entire day, mournful clouds were ready to weep at a moment's notice (though sobbing was stifled at least until after nightfall). The gray threatening weather was conducive to an extended time of lovely lolling, however.

While the yard man sat on the sofa reading his tale of the life and rise of Barack Obama, I lay on the floor* and asked questions. Of myself, mostly. Now, lest you suspect it was self-introspection** in which I was engaging, Reader Dear, I'll take away that notion by quizzing you with some of the very same questions I asked myself:

"What word for 'slight error' would fit in seventy-five down?"

"What's a minuet-like dance starting with G?"

"Hmm, if 'shanty' doesn't fit in ninety-seven across, then what?"

And then there was this: "Now that Garrison's finished rambling on the radio, which CD should we spin?"

The yard man harrumphed when I tried to get an answer from him for forty-seven down, but he did have an answer to the musical question. I had an answer, too, and it was Nabucco.*** When I set the Chorus of Hebrew Slaves to playing, I told him, "You know this is one of my very best, A-plus, five-star, all-time favorite pieces of music!"

video

"Oh," I said. "And, by the way, I really like it."

......


*(It was deja vu )

......
**Yes, I know perfectly well, Reader Dear, it's redundant. I liked the sound of it, that's all:
self-introspection, as though it were possible to eavesdrop on the brain of another!)
.....

***Opera by Verdi

......
......

Saturday, May 21, 2011

......



I'M GOOFY!
I'M GIDDY!
IT'S ELEVEN O'CLOCK in the morning and there are still shadows on the lawn! Which explains my obsession with photos of the sky. The blue sky, that would be, the one with the adorable little white puffy clouds.




















No matter what the day brings....
as long as it is NOT gray, moisture-laden,
imminent-storm clouds,
or drizzle,
or a sprinkling of rain;
a shower,
a cloudburst,
a thunderstorm,
or
a squall....

Dear Reader, as long as the sky stays blue and the sun keeps showing its
radiant, rapture-producing face,

I'll be RAPTUROUS,
yes, I will!


......




......

Friday, May 20, 2011

......

HERE'S THE THING, DEAR READER. Last night the yard man and I nearly found ourselves winging our way to Jesus a whole day early!

We were not at home during most of the evening hours, but when we returned, the yard man went down to the basement and happened to hear a noise from the small room that houses the water heater. "Get down here, you've got to see this!" he hollered to me when he'd opened the door and looked in on the water heater.

Because his voice had an odd mixture of shock and awe, I didn't even take time to grab my camera (can you imagine!) and therefore I can't show you the flames that were leaping up the side of the metal tank when I laid eyes upon it! Indeed, Reader Dear...I could hardly believe it myself, but the thing was on fire!!

The water heater was sitting on a cement floor, and the walls are stone. But the ceiling...oh, Dear Reader, the ceiling is well-aged wood! I trust you can easily calculate how the two of us might have soon been heading off to another world ahead of the pack...
Though we didn't, of course, or I'd never be showing you this view from above of the brand new water heater on its way to installation ("view from above" meaning merely from a second-floor window).

video

And then, too, I wouldn't have been able to show you this hopeful bit of blue sky that I spotted in the late afternoon:
which grew into this:














But then there were still lowering clouds and bursts of rain here and there.














It wasn't until I glimpsed the rainbow, Dear Reader, that I called off the building of the ark.*

(Look closely and squint--it was fading and so was the
daylight when I snapped the photo, but you should be
able to spot the lovely arch!)

......
"I ran off with an Amishman," I told my yard man on the phone.

(In truth, Reader Dear, I just took him to Lowe's [my newly-found fix-it guy] and they were closing the store as we left.*How fortunate we didn't have to purchase all that lumber!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

......


HERE IT IS, DEAR READER...the penultimate day!
I was just about ready to gather together the Amish man who put in the latest vent for me, and his helper, and my yard man, and the guy who paints apartments and does small fix-it jobs, and my son-in-law, and a couple nephews of the yard man (plus the wife of one of them), and anyone else I could readily summon to mind who can wield a hammer; I thought to get down on my knees and beg them to build me an ARK!!

You see, Dear Reader--IT WON'T STOP RAINING! I can almost feel the mildew growing in my psyche! The room got so dark while I watched Obama giving his speech today that I thought it was taking over (the mildew, you know) until I realized it was just another big thunderstorm rumbling through! Continuous downpourings, I tell you!

So I was all set to take action, but THEN I remembered--no more worries! If that sign is to be believed, Reader Dear--Just one more day before the"Return of Jesus!"*




*Rats! Why did I bother doing laundry this morning?!)
......

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

......

DEAR SIS,*

PLEASE TELL ME the house beside yours there at the beautiful and sunny and seaside Outer Banks of North Carolina is available for rent in early September. I desperately need to be thinking about vacation time. As I type this email, I'm waiting to hear from a workman who is going to stop by Apartment 26 and take a look at the work that must be done ASAP. I'm desperately hoping he can actually DO the work ASAP. I'm desperately trying (get a sense of my level of desperation?) to get the place ready for the tenant who came and looked a week ago and has been calling me at the rate of two or three times a day ever since. (She appears to be quite detail-oriented [er, uh, hmm, well, perhaps the idea might spring into one's head to say "fussy"]). This morning I dragged myself out of bed at the unearthly** hour of --well, it wouldn't be unearthly to you, so I'm not going to say-- to meet the painter at number 26, and he pulled out the bathroom ceiling exhaust fan and we saw that there's a rat's nest of plastic taped-together tubing, which just means that a big hunk of the bathroom ceiling will have to come down and I'll have to find someone to drill me a hole in the cinder block wall and put in a whole new vent pipe--oh, and by the way, if you read my blog venting of two days ago, (which surely you...did?) this is NOT the venting I was venting about THEN (if you can possibly believe that, Dear Reader of mine!) Seriously, two problems of an identical sort two days in a row! Dear me, is this babble overload? Well, anyway, as soon as this call comes through, I must drop this one-sided conversation like a hot tamale and snatch up my briefcase full of keys and tape measure and application forms and two new leases ready for signing (ahhh...thank goodness for those!) and race to the desperation-inducing site to meet with the guy who will help to remedy the state in which the bathroom ceiling will surely be by the time that vent's been installed and I'm heaving my first big sigh of relief! So, anyway, about that vacation house, I'm desperately hoping to hear from you soon!

XOXQ.



*open mail

**(I thought to say ungodly,
but on further contemplation, I fully believe God nods an approval of any and every hour at which mankind wishes to extricate mankind's self from the bedcovers)
......

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

......

WHAT WAS I JUST SAYING? Oh, yeah. I was reminding you how when it rains, it pours! Sometimes, in fact, there's a real avalanche. A torrent! And you know, Reader Dear, even though I could be talking about precipitation, what with this sopping wet weather we've been working our way through, I'm not. Nope, I'm going for the cliched expression, which interpreted my way goes like this: If in close succession one or two tenants tell you they're leaving, look out for a mass exodus!

The Hey-we're-outta'-here craze often comes this time of year--the time of the spring rains. I just don't happen to think about that until there's a flood! Yesterday, as I stood on the sidewalk overseeing the Dryer Vent Wizard, one tenant who has always gushed about how much she loves her apartment arrived home from work and hesitatingly told me--"Uhm, well, I'm giving notice. I'll be leaving. I hate to go, you know, but... " Her son, she informed me, is planning on moving in with her; she needs more space.

Today I picked up my little white business phone and a tenant said, "Hi, this is Jake. I just wanted to let you know, we'll be leaving soon. We bought a house and we're so excited!"

I must admit, I'd have likely mustered up a little more excitement for the two of them myself if he'd been the first to give me this general message, rather than the fifth!*


......
*Six, if you want to count my
less-than-ideal tenant who
didn't actually give me the message,
but skedaddled anyway.


......
......

AH, HA!! IT'S FOUR O'CLOCK in the afternoon, and the sun just came out! I think I'm grinning from ear to ear! It seems almost too good to be true! The copper beech tree is dancing like a ballerina. The fillies in the meadow are kicking up their heels. I'm going to turn off the kitchen light ( Dear Reader, it was dark as mud all day up until now), put on my walking shoes, and go for a walk!

(Nevermind; it's four-fifteen. It's raining again)

......

Monday, May 16, 2011

......

......

TODAY, DEAR READER, THE SUBJECT IS VENTING. Go ahead, take it either way--I am covering both! As soon as I finish being grateful that the venting at my apartments never caused a fire, then I'm going to vent like crazy. I'm going to gripe and whine and complain and give you the rundown on this afternoon's meeting with the Dryer Vent Wizard.

Last week one of my tenants had shown me the curious phenomenon of air coming through her dryer's lint filter when her bathroom exhaust fan was running (the dryer door was open, but the dryer was turned off). Strangest thing, too--her bathroom ceiling was splotched with water stains and it was obvious water had been seeping down the walls.

Now, Dear Reader, I know that I'm always arrrghing about some trifle or another. Lots of little arrrghs here and there. But look out, because this is a long and sustained one, and it's very well-warranted, if it has to be me who says so! Okay then, cover your ears.... AAAARRRRRGHH!

Four months ago--just four months ago--before the current tenants moved in, and because of a long history of water on the bathroom ceiling of this unit, and numerous scrapings of curling paint, and numerous re-paintings, and numerous attempts to remedy, I had a fix-it man come and study and stew and tear a hole in the ceiling and tape together duct work and blow out the vent pipe and install a new bathroom exhaust fan to replace the one that was working just fine! When the invoice arrived, he had not only charged me for seven hours of his labor, but six more hours for labor by his female "helper." (He'd mentioned her not at all, and she wasn't there [I was] while he investigated the problem for an hour or so and tore up the laundry closet ceiling and did most of work (or so it appeared). On his second trip there, I stopped by to check on things, and noticed a woman was hanging around, picking up lint from the ground below the vent outlet. Working space at the laundry closet ceiling allowed for no more than one!) It was an outrageous overcharge, Reader Dear, and believe me, I know of such things. But lessons are yet to be learned. I questioned the charges, but ultimately paid; and my consolation was this: Now, at least, oh hallelujah, at last...this ongoing quandary of water on the bathroom ceiling was resolved! (Did I say hallelujah already?)

Uh, huh. Well. It was all water over the damn. Ooops, I mean dam. And there it was again last week--water on the ceiling!!

And that's how it came to be that I searched online and found the Dryer Vent Wizard. He spent two hours, and I spent two hours at his side (well, you know, not up on the ladder or anything--just picking up lint and making sure that there were no mysterious others laboring [or loitering] for hours!)






Although I did leave his side when a thunderstorm arrived and he wasn't quite finished installing the vent outlet cover.

I went and sat in my car until he was done.

And then I drove home, and I sat in my car until the rain was done.
Because you know, Reader Dear, how...
when it rains...


video

IT POURS!!

video
*

(And now...just before I finish up the venting...
geez, gutter spouts are overflowing thither and yon!
It's such a mess! And when is this endless down-pouring going to end?!!.....)

......

Sunday, May 15, 2011

....
....

......


I MANAGED TO HANG ONTO MY PANTS! Uh, plants, plants! That's what I meant to say--my plants! I kept those little sprouted seeds striving and thriving and reaching for the sun during those long winter months they resided on various windowsills of my house.

Then today, (in reality, last Monday)** being such a good-incubation day, I took that box of veggie babes and I planted them in my small herb bed. I was horrified (or something approaching it) to see a weed babe nestled in there alongside one sprout, and I cast it into outer darkness (pulled it from the dirt, anyway). I also threw out the unnamed twig, but planted the berry bush (though it appears to be ill-destined; likely it was just eking by in its plastic bag, surviving on water and sun alone).


They seemed so vulnerable--my wee tomato plants and basil and parsley. I was a little nervous to leave them alone in the great wide world. But I talked to them in an encouraging way and explained that I owe my very life to plants of their kind.












I'll do my very best to keep giving them words of encouragement (and yes, water too, if the heavens don't open).

And I'll do my best to keep you updated, Dear Reader, just in case you have a smidgen of interest. After all, I know for a fact that you, too, owe your very life to plants such as these!*






*Yes, well. Eggs, milk, chicken, pork.... One could go quite a ways, I suppose.
But what would life be, Reader Dear, without salads
and succotash and celery and such?
.........

**Alas, Reader Dear, the life of a blogger can be quite frustrating at times: this post needed to be painstakingly recreated, due to calamities of the blogging sort. (Blogger.com stole it away on May 9. They promised to give it back, but I have no faith.)


......

Saturday, May 14, 2011

......



"BUT IT'S RAINING!" That's what I told my yard man when he said, "I've got to go out and cut the grass." Dear Reader, it's a fine, gentle precipitation, but it's definitely raining.


Two days ago, when I was at the cardiologist's office, I solemnly promised the doc that I'd exercise.






"Oh, yes," I said. "Diet and exercise-- just give me three months! I looked at the pictures on the chart, of the robust heart and its healthy little tri-cuspid valves, and I swore to myself that nothing would stop me--every single day I'd march out the door and walk. Not just any old walk, but one that is long and brisk. And not just days with clear skies. Rain or shine, I told myself, rain or shine! Why else were umbrellas invented!?

Yesterday the sun shone. I took a walk.

And then I got up this morning and the day was a very dense gray. Whoosh! Resolve was so quick to leave, I hardly knew it had been there.














All day I've been holed up inside.
That yard man of mine is getting wet in the rain, but not me!

......

Friday, May 13, 2011

...

AHA, PAPER HAS BEEN INVENTED! Pencils and pens have evolved, and someone's invented the typewriter! And now....now, Dear Reader! Blogger.com is back in business!

Blogger Status

Friday, May 13, 2011

We’ve started restoring the posts that were temporarily removed and expect Blogger to be back to normal soon.

Posted by at 06:07 PDT

To get Blogger back to normal, all posts since 7:37am PDT on Weds, 5/11 have been temporarily removed. We expect everything to be back to normal soon. Sorry for the delay.

Posted by at 04:25 PDT

Monday, May 09, 2011

Blogger will go into read-only mode Wednesday (5/11) 10:00PM PST for about an hour for maintenance.

Posted by at 21:17 PDT


Sunday, May 8, 2011

.....

STILL SCOOPING UP THE PAST, Dear Reader, but this time the not-so-distant. It was only night before last that I spent the evening alone with the Little Actor. * My camera was whirring madly.

First there was the playground:

video

video

Then the faux playground.

video

video


Followed by a brief attempt to get into the not-quite NBA.

video

Rather unsuccessfully, sad to say,

video

but a good life lesson, anyway:
Tall people call the shots.

video

Not to fret--on the long walk home,
playgrounds spring up when least expected.

video

And then there's supper!

video

And a short stint as chef-in-training.

video

After which it's bath, bed and beyond....

video

When I've got it spliced together and edited, Dear Reader.
I'll need a title for my brand-new feature-length movie.
I'm thinking: It's a Wonderful Life. That has a positive ring.
Perhaps: A Star is Born. Or maybe (the
Little Actor lives on the west side of town):
West Side Story.




......
(*
Not to be confused, Reader Dear--
I've now got two leading men,
both of them heartthrobs!)
......

Saturday, May 7, 2011

......

I'M SCRAMBLING TO MAKE up for lost time! It was a whole entire week ago that I got to roll into production mode and give a starring role to my newest young leading man!

The Small Actor* happened to be visiting the same southern area as I was, and stayed for the weekend.
And can you believe it, Reader Dear, what with the photogenic and well-loved Small Actor at the ready, and the picturesque and historical location in which to film, I've got only two movies featuring him!


Not to worry, my camera's stuffed with stills!
We were in Williamsburg, Virginia, after all. And the day was lovely.

video

After a buffet brunch for the Small Actor's entourage, featuring a quite heavenly chocolate cupcake, and a sublime slice of cheesecake on my dessert plate,




the Small Actor himself had brunch, while those not serving his meal lolled around in the many hallways of the Williamsburg Lodge, pondering the paucity of persons there.

video

And then walked out onto the charming brick sidewalks of
the Colonial area, with the clip-clopping horse-drawn
carriages, tidy house gardens, small outdoor markets,

video

and a joie de vivre in the air that causes one to dream about living in a simpler time and place (even as one is enumerating to oneself the very real drawbacks, and reminding oneself that this is, after all, a vacation spot; most of the people here should be in a pretty good mood!)





























The yard man and I lost track of the hour, since we were not wearing tri-cornered hats and using the sun as our timepiece; and since we were having such a pleasant afternoon; and since we avoided looking at the info displayed on our cell phones (pretending they were not invented**) because we did not wish to say goodbye to the Small Actor and his caretakers.

But eventually that little V.I.P. got hungry again, and we realized the afternoon was waning.

We gave the thoroughly modern little guy and his parents a parking lot farewell, stepped into our thoroughly modern car (uh, well, relatively speaking) and left the colonial period
behind as we headed home.
......



*(Not to be confused with the Little Actor,
whose career is being advanced by an advancing vocabulary!)


**(In the interest of full disclosure, it was only I,
Dear Reader, imagining thus. And what I imagine
now is a new invention that brings the dear Small Actor
to my studio [might as well just pretend that I have one] in an instant
to star in my movies whenever I wish!)


......

Friday, May 6, 2011

......

GOODNESS ME...WHERE ARE WE?! I've got to get you across the Chesapeake Bay, Reader Dear! Heavens, I've got other things to blather about, and we've been traversing this bridge for a week! The bridge-tunnel is long, of course, but not that long!
We've got sixteen more miles to go:

video

As we're zipping along over this body of water and through the two tunnels, I'll just tell you about the first time I saw this great marvel of a bridge-tunnel. It was during the week of the Grand Opening! (Uh-huh, yes, yes, a long time ago). The year, in fact, was 1964! My father, being a great one for adventure of any kind (most of his life adventures being vastly more momentous than bridge-crossing) decided to load his family into the old (although likely not so old at that time) green and white Ford Fairlane, and go investigate this grand bay-spanning structure. We'd have an outing!

And so we did. Back on that day there were numerous uniformed men patrolling the tunnels, strolling up and down the narrow catwalks, or perched on their glassed-in seats located at intervals. And, uhm, my most enduring memory of the whole event, Reader Dear, is the attempts by my sister and myself to get those patrolling men to respond to our animated waving. Ahem, as was noted earlier, please note that was many long years ago, Dear Reader.

video


And now...now here we are, with light at the end of the (second) tunnel,

video

and visible land when we emerge. I think it's
safe to say I've gotten you safely to the other side!
(At any rate, it's the last clip I recorded, so you'll
just have to have faith that you're now on solid ground.)

The yard man and I, we then made our way north through
rush-hour traffic, to arrive at our
final destination just in time for
this scene:

which, Dear Reader, I've shown
you
numerous times, and will
likely go on showing you until
such a date as this Old Home Place
has changed hands, and I'm no longer
entitled to meet here with my siblings
for the weekend,




and stroll around the property,











and meander through the wooded area,







and reminisce around the remains of the Model-T Ford that that twin brother of mine propped up on cinder blocks forty-some years ago,












and relax on the pier,

and...


Oh, Dear Reader, I'm Scarlett O'hara and this is my Tara*! I'll think about that tomorrow!





...
(*Okay, not quite that grand,
and no slavery of any kind,

unless you wish to count
the washing of dishes
,
sweeping of floors,
and all those other bothersome,
unpaid chores.)
...