Lost-ish in Space Monday

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Why, hello there Monday. And what a gray Monday you are. Which doesn’t really come as much of a surprise, given the very, very persistent clouds for last night’s lunar eclipse.

Yes, I trekked out with my tripod and camera, only to have the clouds blow in for the main event.  Still, I got a glimpse of the bright red moon before the clouds swallowed it again.

And normally this is where I’d share one of my pictures, or a couple of my pictures, but in all honesty, I don’t love them that much. And I have the tiniest, tiniest suspicion there are better, sharper, bigger, more detailed pictures to be had, given the number of observatories with front-celestial seats and slightly stronger equipment than mine.

But like so many things, the viewing itself was enough to spark its own red light of creativity. You cannot watch something like that — even obscured by clouds for the most part — and not think about the workings of the vast, vast universe. It’s a simple idea, really, that our planet throws a shadow on our moon, but when you really consider what that means, that we are spinning our way through space with our life dependent upon an enormous ball of gas, it’s pretty remarkable that we are here at all to see our chunk of space rock turn red.

And now NASA has announced that there is flowing water on Mars. Aside from the very wise warning from the prophet known as “Doctor Who” not to drink it, let’s take a second to appreciate the infinite things we have yet to learn about this expanse of space we call home.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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A Rain Cloud Isn’t Always a Rain Cloud

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Yesterday, it was supposed to rain. It looked threatening, and all the weather reports warned of dire storms ahead. Flood warnings abounded, and it was supposed to be another soggy day.

And then the sun came out, shoving its way through the clouds without regard to weather forecasts or predictions. In the distance, the gray was streaked and looked waterlogged, but the distance never arrived. It stayed where it was and we stayed where we were, and Sunday wasn’t nearly so bleak after all.

It’s funny the way that things do that, the way that you are certain that they will be one way. Everyone tells you that they will be; everyone accepts it as fact. That is how it is going to be be. The sky and the weatherman say so.

But you can wait for the deluge, and hide from the deluge. And sometimes the deluge never comes.

The truth is that no matter what is happening, no matter what is above us, somewhere, way above the clouds, the sun is shining. We my not see it for a while, which is likely to happen this week around here, but even when we can’t, it’s still up there.

Clouds don’t always mean rain. And even those clouds — whether they’re big, heavy, watery ones or the kind that just take up they sky not doing much of anything at all — don’t hang around forever.

Sometimes the sun itself pushes them out of the way.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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R is for Really (Overboard)

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Yesterday I languished in the absence of construction noise, enjoying every moment of a day without a metal bit chewing through very reluctant concrete. And instead of taking advantage to get work done, I was, if I’m being honest, very lazy.

What’s that, hypothetical reader? You’ve noticed a procrastinaty trend running through these posts? I suppose that is a fair assessment. But I’ve had an excellent reason.

Sorry, hypothetical reader, you’ll have to speak up. What was the reason? Well, it was excellent, as I said. I’m afraid I can’t hear you, hypothetical reader. Our connection seems to be very bad, and no, I can’t be more specific.

So today we have wind, a lot of wind, the kind of wind that rattles the windows and the brand-new leaves. No men scaling buildings today, not with that kind of a wind.

For anyone keeping track, that’s two in a row. Two in a row. Woo-hoo.

And though my instinct is to indulge that cozy, lazy vibe, to look at the ominous clouds and listen to the drone of the wind, wrap myself in a fuzzy blanket and marathon something, anything, that is not what I’m going to do today. No really, hypothetical reader.

What’s that? You’re saying that I can hear you? The line must have cleared. You know, they do that sometimes. Oops, sorry, losing you again.

That’s the thing. It can be so tempting, when something has been particularly pleasant, to really push into it, to curl up into it, and stick with it. But often, it’s the uniqueness of a moment or a day or an opportunity that makes it so satisfying. You take that away, and you just have routine.

So I will not go overboard enjoying my silence today. I will get work done. I will be effective. And I will listen to the wind, because a wind like that one doesn’t come along often.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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Evidence of Tulips

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IMG_6209So I woke up this morning to another round of snow on the ground. We’d had a thaw, though a colder one than they promised, and then last night, on my way home, I caught the glint of snowflakes in the headlights of a cab.

So much for the warm up.

If there’s snow again, you ask, what’s with the tulips? Well, hypothetical reader, thank you for asking. You always know the perfect question to keep the conversation rolling.

I took this photo at the Chicago Botanic Garden, which, interestingly, is not actually located in Chicago, but in a north suburb. It was last year, and though it was still very chilly — there’s a wind that cuts through the garden on cool day that can ruddy your cheeks and redden your ears — there were the tulips. It didn’t matter what the weather wanted, the tulips decided it was time, and there they were, a whole field of them.

Last winter was much worse than this one. It was colder and snowier and grayer and leached the heat from everywhere until you couldn’t be sure how to be warm.

But it ended.

These flowers are proof that you might not see change while it is happening, you might not sense it. It might not feel like much or as though it’s measurably better than what came before. It can be slow, and plodding, and have to fight the cold as though battling to the end.

But still it comes. The tulips were not deterred, their heads bending as the wind blew across the pond. They didn’t have to feel the spring to know it was spring.

If that could happen after last winter, it will happen again.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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Autumn Calling

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I wish autumn was longer. Of course, I could just as well say I wish the days didn’t get shorter, or the sun would rise just a little more to the left, but still, I do. The transformation seasons here in Chicago are the city at its most graceful, shrugging off the heavy coat of winter in the spring, and slipping it back on again in the fall.

There is that crispness that belongs only to autumn, found on fresh, new mornings, which doesn’t last. It gives way to more and more frigid air, until the freshness is dried right out of it. And the leaves, showing off their fiery colors, quickly escape the trees, finding new homes underfoot and on the roofs and windows of parked cars.

But perhaps the brevity is what makes it so beautiful. Maybe it’s the truth that autumn is the embodiment of transience, we are watching change with each day. Winter hulks over the city for months, planting itself firmly, refusing to budge. Summer makes its presence known and revels in all the novelty it brings.

But fall and spring, they’re seasons on the way to something else. And they seem to know it, so they give us all the glory they have to offer, fast and delicate, before they are gone.

Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

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An Open Window

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Well, I’m pretty excited. That Aunty Ida announcement is coming tomorrow, and so is the start of a contest, complete with prize! So yay! Visit tomorrow and see what I have in store. It should be fun, I think. Come back, and bring your friends.

On an entirely different note, I opened my window today, something I haven’t been able to do much during the day with the facade work, but this morning it rained, a serious kind of rain, with thunder and lightning. Eventually it tapered off, but the platforms stayed grounded, so there are no saws, no drilling.

The traffic is amplified by the water under the wheels, the roads are still wet, and it looks like it will rain again, as though it’s only a matter of time. It’s soothing, though, the noise, unlike that I’ve had to get used to, it’s like white noise, the kind you never quite hear.

The air smells clean and fresh, and the day seems unhurried, unconcerned whether more rain comes or it doesn’t. The breeze isn’t as strong as I had hoped before I shoved the sash upward, but it seems like a wind that’s waiting for further instruction, not yet clear if it needs to pick up or not.

Need something to read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

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August Thoughts

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Goodbye July and hello August. August is a month with a character all of its own. It’s still summer, but the stores are packed with fresh notebooks (there’s nothing more irresistible to me than a brand-new notebook, its pages empty and full of promise), pens and boxes of crayons with upright posture. School hasn’t started, but it’s right around the corner.

Sometimes in August, at night, you can feel the early tendrils of fall, tugging us toward more serious mindsets and away from lazy summer thoughts. But August is summer, real summer. Sometimes it makes you swelter and just laughs. Sometimes, like today, the weather is perfect and you think about the coming cold.

August can be angry, with roaring, rolling thunderstorms, the rain driving as though from a faucet, the lightning awakening the entire sky. A strange, hot wind might blow under swirling gray clouds, and you remember that this planet’s will is so much bigger than our own.

It often gets overlooked, with eyes ahead on what’s to come as schedules tighten in September, but it’s not a month to rush past, it’s not a holding place on the way to something else. Ignore that school supply aisle. It’s not autumn yet.

Need something to read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!