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First off, the sun is shining as the morning fog gives up its fuzzy grip on Juneau. The forecast on the weather page of this morning’s Juneau Empire shows continuing sunny days for the foreseeable future. As my son says, the best forecast here is for a continuation of whatever today’s weather is.  Which ain’t so nice when it’s raining, but I’ll take it right now.

In line with my mission (?) to try to keep up with technology, at least as it pertains to daily living, I’ve been studying Social Media Marketing. Among other happenings, from a not-very-active Facebook user, I now routinely go there as part of my daily internet check (email (5 of them gdang it), news feeds, etc.)  Underneath the FB (‘scuse me, FaceBook) veil of trivia there is healthy connection to those far away (or even in the next room) – clearly the reason for the site’s phenomenal growth.  My favorite way to learn new technical stuff, though, is at Lynda.com which has a great course on Social Media Marketing and another on Twitter – Essential Training.  Hand in hand with that study, though, I need ways to apply what I’m learning.  Not hard to find, for organizations I work with.  So I’ve added some more projects to my never-ending todo list.  And, forgive me friends, but I set up TwitterFeed to automatically feed blog posts to the TrouserRollers FaceBook and Twitter pages.

Happily, my morning piano practice time has moved into the sacred zone, so this particular interest (?compulsion) seems not to be in danger of bumping into it.

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In Hiatus

I seem to have (temporarily) gone off blogging.  In part because it’s so easy to keep in touch with far flung friends and family via Facebook.   In part because lately I’m totally turned off by what passes for “News.”  I read the Juneau Empire (for its good coverage of happenings in a genuine community, plus a bridge column and Dear Abby.)  Beyond that, it’s piano practice, walking the dogs, the part-time job. Am I turning inward – is that what happens in old age?

On the other hand, I might say it was winter, except we haven’t seen it since November.  It seems to have decamped to points east and left this part of Alaska bathed in a very very very early spring.

I expect I’ll be back.

Lot’s going on, missed posting.  Too much work (but seems to be productive) and trying to scale back.  Did a day-long training workshop on Strategic Planning followed by a day-long retreat for my favorite non-profit.  Took a lot more prep time than I recalled.  Since it’s a decade since I had my head in that bucket it was a bit like re-inventing the wheel – thank goodness for Bill’s help.  Like much of my life, couldn’t have done it without him.  Bill spent 3 days in the hospital a couple of weeks ago hooked up to an IV machine after some (one or more) bacteria/fungi blew up his left foot.  Nasty it was. The buggy culprit(s) not yet identified, but he (or rather his foot) is fully recovered.

The big news is that I have found a wonderful piano teacher. I think it’s OK to say her name out loud (Mary Watson) since she’s a well known and respected Juneau gem. Can’t tell you how psyched I am.  She let me make a copy of her tree of keyboard masters and students (Bach, Mozart, Clementi, Beethoven, Czerny, Liszt, Leschetizky, Kullak, etc. to the present) showing who of all the greats had been her teachers, all the way down to me….  Mind blowing.  So far I’ve had 3 one-hour biweekly lessons.  I feel like I’m making unbelievable progress and my motivation has moved through the roof.  This morning’s practice I finally felt like I made the piano SING!!!!!  Reflected on my 8 years of lessons when I was young, and my self teaching since then floundering around as a mediocre intermediate player. Think I never did have a good teacher – and all of a sudden I’ve landed in a gold pile.  My vision of being able to play the piano for hours on end when I’m a stuck-at-home very old lady (if I make it that far)  may now become reality. Heartfelt kudos to good teachers of everything, everywhere.   Plus, I signed up to take a 5-week Marimba class at the Canvas beginning February 7th.  Looking forward greatly to that.  Bill’s friend John came over last night for their weekly guitar get-together and the 3 of us had a fabulous 40 minutes gabbling about all kind of things musical before the two of them went off into the music room.

Romeo has disappeared.  Juneau’s favorite black wolf hasn’t been seen since September. His canine and human friends are very sad.

Strange weather – warm and sunny, not much snow left at sea level.

I Wish You Enough

Great email from cyberspace this morning.

Recently I overheard a Father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure.

Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the Father said, ‘I love you, and I wish you enough.’

The daughter replied, ‘Dad, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Dad.’

They kissed and the daughter left.  The Father walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry.  I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, ‘Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?’

‘Yes, I have,’ I replied.  ‘Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?’

‘I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is – the next trip back will be for my funeral,’ he said.

‘When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May I ask what that means?’

He began to smile. ‘That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone…’ He paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and he smiled even more. ‘When we said, ‘I wish you enough,’ we wanted the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.’ Then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.

  • I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
  • I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
  • I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
  • I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
  • I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
  • I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
  • I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good- bye.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them.

Happy New Year

The start of a new decade – with luck less disastrous for the US and the world than the last one.  Provided moral support to Rorie and the boys at the annual polar bear dip at Auke Rec. A big crowd.  Had friends and dear ones to dinner in the evening, made BiBimBap, a favorite Korean dish. Followed up with fresh pears poached in white wine and honey, with chocolate pudding (embellished by melting a bag of chocolate chips in it) and cream. Nice time, good company.  Food turned out good, a chance to use the rarely used Mandolin but coralling and serving all the food bits overwhelmed our small space.  Bill stepped up to the plate like the sweetheart he is and cleaned up.  This morning, nice hot tub under the remnants of New Year’s Eve’s blue moon.  A brisk 12 degrees F, under clear skies.  Another blocking high sitting over Juneau spreading its chilly cheer.

I’m reading The Next 50 Years, a collection of 25 essays by leading scientists.  Sounds like a strange world, not sorry I won’t see it. Reminded me that a bunch of future experts made predictions in the late 70’s of how the world would change by the end of the decade – they got about 30% of their guesses right.  Never envisaged the Internet, which of course is a bedrock (if pretty shaky) of current life. Wonder what earth-shaking invention of that magniture will show up between now and 2050.

Finally found a piano teacher, Mary Watson. I’m absolutely delighted. Discovered that the piano teachers I had when I was young probably weren’t very good. Finding amazing discoveries and insights under Mary’s tutelage and my interest and enthusiasm about progressing as a student has catapulted into high gear.  Which reminds me, it’s time to stop and go practice…..

Let’s Hear it for Mutts

I’m a dog lover and enjoy nothing more than taking a hairy companion on a walk. While I often wondered about some odd features in certain breeds, not until I watched a recent BBC documentary, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, did I understand the implications. Watch this video if you’re thinking about getting a pure breed dog – especially if you chose it for some peculiar physical features.  If you’re squeamish, it’ll make your stomach churn. Many of these animals endure great suffering and permanent distress solely to titillate a human owner. After making the documentary, the BBC refused to air coverage of the annual Crufts dog competition, which is as prestigious in Britain as the Westminster or National Dog Show is in the U.S.

Hibernating

Laying in bed the other night I reflected on how we humans seem to have an instinctual need to nest, make a roof over our heads. Even though we’ll occasionally sleep in the open, in every culture (I think) we “nest” in caves, tents, igloos, cabins, boats, mcmansions, and all kinds of other dwellings.  Is it the need for a roof – or is it because we’re hoarders/collectors of stuff and either we don’t want it to get wet, or we need to mark it as “ours.” Territoriality infects everything we do. Property lines, and town, county, state, and national boundaries. Me, mine.  How truly silly. Our world is ruled by that imaginary idea called ownership, the source of interminable conflict and fueled by greed.  We’re on this earth for a brief moment in time, then we’re gone. And we can’t take nothing with us…

Not just humans, but birds and bears too find or make nests.  Nice article in today’s Juneau Empire about where the local bears hibernate. Maybe the one hanging around our neighborhood in the fall is hibernating under our new deck.  If so, he’s welcome. And if he’s a she and produces cubs in the spring, perhaps we’ll have a cub to enjoy instead of a new puppy….

Among other careers in my next life (?lives) I’m going to be an ocean pilot, a tugboat captain, and an anthropologist – if there are any humans left, that is.