So, I have let more than a month go by without posting another blog. Good grief! I can hardly say that it’s because I have been too busy. I do the same things just about every day. I’d like to say that I went on strike until the government re-opened, but that would be a lie. Mike has been very busy. He went up to Minnesota for a weekend and got to experience below zero weather, a little snow, and long lines at the airport. He transacted some business and was able to have dinner with his cousin, Barbie. They have been friends for almost 60 years. Wow! They have become the senior generation and it’s kind of weird, they think. Their parents and almost all the aunts and uncles their parents age have passed on. It’s strange that they don’t feel as old as the older generation looked when they got to be in their 70’s. It’s all a matter of perspective I suppose. And it helps if you still feel good, although some aches and pains have set in pretty well by this time. I’m starting to feel a twinge here and there myself.
Michelle ran across a book by a fellow named Paul Morand and she gave it to Mike. Paul Morand was a French author who originally published this book in 1928. The book she gave Mike was a 1929 Viking Press edition translated from French into English by Hamish Miles and illustrated by a very famous illustrator, Aaron Douglas. She was attracted to the book by its title, “Black Magic.” But the book is not about me personally. The author was fascinated by African culture and wrote eight stories depicting black culture in different parts of the world. Four stories are situated in the USA, one in France, and three in Africa. The author claimed to have visited 28 locations in 30 years. Mike says it was extremely well written and he enjoyed the book very much. He also looked up the author. It turns out that he was a French citizen who was a Nazi collaborator and served in the Vichy government. In other words, he was a chazer (see “He Was a Chazer” June 25, 2018). But still, a good writer. Mike has been reading a lot lately. He has about five other books going at the same time. One of them is about the history of Jerusalem. He has been feeding me bits and pieces as he reads them. A lot of the very worst in human nature seems to be triggered in association with religion. Stay tuned for details.
So, I have been noticing for the last couple of months a very bright star at the end of our driveway early in the morning before dawn. It has been gradually moving across the northern sky towards the east. The other day it was hanging out with the moon and, I think, Jupiter. Really neat. Mike thinks it might be Venus which he says is the third brightest object in the sky after the sun and the moon. He could be right. I’m sure it’s one of the planets. It doesn’t really make any difference of course, but it’s kind of interesting. It helps give perspective to me when I lapse into thinking that I am the center of the universe.
I heard another nighttime phenomenon last night just before it got completely dark. It was an owl hooting. Mike heard it too. You may remember that Mike saw a barn owl last summer on our street (The Barn Owl, May 6, 2018). I’m probably too big for owl prey but I’m careful just the same. Mike and I went online to listen to different owl sounds to try to identify the one that he heard last night. I’m sure it was a great horned owl. It’s amazing how far an owl can turn its head. It seems as though it is barely connected to the rest of its body. One can get fascinated and creeped out at the same time looking at all those videos of owls. Mike was reading about owl pellets. Owls will chuck up a pellet a few hours after they have eaten. This is kind of like a cat although we typically don’t wait that long. And when we chuck up hair it’s our own hair, not the mouse that we ate a few hours ago. One of the articles Mike was reading, and I’m not kidding, referred to the dissection of owl pellets as “another fun winter pastime.” You can even order kits that contain all the necessary implements to assist you in the task. In theory, you could assemble a complete mouse skeleton. I wonder if you can also do DNA testing so that you can notify the next of kin. Questions like “Whatever happened to Charlie? I wonder if that damn owl got him.” could be resolved in this way. And in last Saturday’s paper there was an article about the increase in population of woodland hawks in the metro Atlanta. These would include species like Cooper’s hawk and the sharp-shinned hawk. They are not much for a cat to worry about, but beware ye songbirds and pet chickens! The feathers will fly!
In the milestone department, congrats to Mike’s good friend, Carl, who turned 80 very recently. Mike called him to wish him a happy birthday, but had to leave a message because Carl didn’t pick up on time. As Mike was leaving a message, Carl called him back, but Mike doesn’t know to answer a call while he is leaving a message, so they never spoke directly. But I heard both messages. They each said to the other “I love you.” It is very sweet. I’m glad that men today can allow themselves to be that emotionally honest and caring without feeling weird about it. Mike would never have been able to tell his male friends that he loved them when he was much younger. I take this as evidence that despite some appearances to the contrary, the world is getting better. My theory is that loving energy begets more loving energy in response, so that there is a constant increase in the loving energy in the world. This is the mathematics of spirituality. I think prayer works the same way. Lord knows we need it all, to counteract the abundance of anger and hatred that gets way more publicity.
So, that is far from all the news from Happy Meadows, but it will do for now. Be safe, be well, be happy, and I hope you hear from me again soon. Bye, y’all.