CAROLYN’S ONLINE MAGAZINE
MY LAZY AUGUST DAY
AUGUST 5TH, 2015
August 5, 2015. The 26,172nd day of my life. Here I sit—on a most perfect day—under a canopy of green trees painted on a canvas of blue skies dotted with white puffy clouds. Birds chirp as they gather at my bird feeder.
Soft breezes on this low-humidity day offer calm as they brush across my arms while my fingers fly across my laptop’s keyboard.
Seven hours of the 14.18 hours between dawn and sunset have passed. At 1:18 p. m. I’ve accomplished little. Perhaps.
I ventured outside at about 10:15 a.m. with my coffee and newspaper. I started to read the story on Elsie Hillman’s death. Two cats snuggled together on my lap—Li’l Dog and King (gray).
Suddenly I heard a beep-beep-beep. A truck with a large flatbed was backing down our dead-end road. I ran in and retrieved my camera and my trigger finger came to life. I watched the truck maneuver its way into the neighbor’s driveway difficult-to-get into driveway, where it loaded a dumpster.
The driver informed me that his company had dropped off a dumpster elsewhere in our community, and while here was removing this dumpster. I quickly tossed a couple of bags into the dumpster (the neighbor had offered me permission to do this), then watched the truck’s exiting maneuvers. The exit was made more easily than the entrance.
As I took pictures of the departing truck a walker appeared. He asked me why I was taking pictures of the truck.
“It’s what I do,” I said. “I take pictures.”
A couple of moments later the walker had turned about was heading back the way he’d come.
“I didn’t know this was a dead-end,” he commented as he walked by.
I returned to the newspaper and continued reading about Elsie Hillman, and, as per usual, I marked key points—in this case, things in her legacy could make anyone proud to claim:
- Pittsburgh lost one of its true giants today. Elsie Hillman defined the very essence of what it means to be a great civic leader in Pittsburgh. Generous, caring and unfailingly kind, she specialized and delighted in helping people find common ground on issues that really mattered.
- …(she) was uninhibited in her beliefs. Whatever her ideals were, she lived them.
- I’ll always think of her generous spirit and her warm heart.
- …she had…the unique ability to talk to the president of the United States in the morning and to talk to the parking lot attendant in the afternoon and convince both of them she’s their best friend…and that she would do anything for them…A parking lot attendant to Mrs. Hillman: ‘I really appreciate your talking to me. After all, I’m only a parking lot attendant.’ And she said, ‘Oh, no. You are an automotive placement engineer.’…and at the same time calling people “dearie,” even a president of the United States.
- …but her family always came first in her heart.
- Despite her enormous wealth and influence, she loved simple things: Kentucky Fried Chicken…driving her own car and ….(and) costume jewelry—(she once said) ‘Dearie, people think that’s an emerald…I’m not going to waste my money on expensive jewelry. I have more important things to do with my money.’…She just wanted to help everyone to be the best they could be and never wanted recognition for her contributions.
While I read the newspaper Li’l Dog, jumped into my lap and curled up. It wasn’t long before King also cozied up to me on my lap, laying across Li’l Dog’s back. They began to lick each other’s face, but I knew this loving action would be short-lived. It was, as suddenly Li’l Dog smacked King and I quickly shoved both off my lap in order to avoid being scratched in a cat fight.
While I relaxed I also watched my husband Monte atop a ladder, preparing a section of eves for a paint job. He wants to finish painting the house this summer. After finishing the paper I decided it was time to eat. I took my plate to the computer and started a game when I heard my daughter Sandy calling. We sat on the patio a while, King curled up on my lap. After she left I returned to finish my meal and my game. As I typed I discouraged King from sitting on my lap and watched birds flit about.
A pair of cardinals arrived, separately—the male first—as I glanced over to our garden gate, where pink morning glories still bloomed. Why they are pink I cannot guess—I planted red, blue, and white morning glories. I guess the flowers, like me, have a mind of their own. As I basked in the glory of nature’s gifts I reflected on the call I’d received from my friend Pat (Buffalo, NY) a couple of days ago. Her husband, Ed, passed into his next life following a short illness. Monte and I won’t attend the funeral but will wait a few weeks when the activity dies down. Pat and others agree that decision is best for everyone, and we can offer comfort at a time when everyone else is going on with their lives.
It’s now 2:25 p. m. and there are 13 hours left in this day. Perhaps I will start another article, do some picking up in the house (or perhaps not—it’s too nice a God-given day). There’s another alternative: I could walk up to the pool and swim a while.
My friend just called as I typed this, reminding me that it was our Wednesday night dinner at Ruthie’s, a local restaurant. I do have time to go to the pool if I scurry off now.
Perhaps when the sun goes down I will de-clutter my house. Wishful thinking. Like wishing for a Samantha-like nose that will accomplish my housekeeping for me.
Pool, here I come. It’s clouding up. Hope there’s no storm coming.