Sunday, September 23, 2007

Unplugging (Saturday, Sept. 22)

Yesterday, while winding down my day at work, I made a decision to shut off my computer for the weekend. Oldtimer thought I'd get the shakes, but so far, so good. I told him that it's just too tempting, and weekends should be for loving my house and yard, creative time, and appreciating him. I was able to clean out my home e-mail via the web while at work, so I knew it wouldn't be loaded.

I think my always-on computer has caused me to develop some weird strain of ADD. I used to read 2 to 3 books a week and now I finish one a month. I used to lavish attention on my home and cooking, and now I barely manage to keep it clean.

When I got home from work, Gerry had take-out ready for dinner (I had requested a large quantity of hot and sour soup and white rice, our traditional cold and flu-fighting remedy). When finished, I cleared up the counter, picked up my book, and went to the recliner on the deck. I took a nap in the sun, finished my book, started the laundry, put the elastic in all 3 pairs of Olivia's bloomers, and watched a movie with Oldtimer, then had an evening relax in the hot tub - never once leaping up to check email.

This morning, I woke at 6:19, cleared away some pop cans in the loft and took my traditional Saturday morning latte' to the deck instead of my computer desk. My husband sat with me for a short time and told me what he had heard on the radio. If I hadn't moved to the deck at the precise moment I did, I would have missed the perfect aqua blue morning sky with the pink and peach illuminated clouds. I would have missed the Morning Star, peeking through a perfect peach cloud, I would have missed the sweet, gentle breeze, carrying the sound of the fountain in our pond and the scent of the Dr. Seuss brugmansia; I would have missed not just the gentle birdsong that greets the day, but the raucous call of crows. As I sat here and absorbed this, fully appreciating the lushness of all the deck potted plants and flowers, I found myself wondering how many different leaf shapes there are on various ornamental sweet potato vines. I was tempted to leap up and check the internet. The internet knows all things, answers all things! And I have tried to cram it all into my head - much to my distraction.

Already, the morning light has changed and I'm sitting under an autumn blue sky with a thin veil of white clouds. The morning sounds have changed, people are waking and moving, as are a flock of geese. Traffic - both automobile & bicycle - has increased on our road, and off in the distance, I hear a train whistle.

Today there is a fragrance order to pack, soap & lotion to make, weeds to pull, front door paint to choose, a decorative flag to change, and art to create. It's amazing how much can be accomplished when the computer is off; when you take the time to savor what you already know, when you listen not just to your spouse, but also your soul.

And now, we interrupt this moment of tranquility for Oldtimer's announcement from the doorway that Cosmo came in, dropped a live chipmunk on his feet, which then ran down the stairs and proceeded to climb the screen of the sliding door. When Oldtimer opened the door, the chipmunk climbed down, ran into the room and around one end of the couch, where he was met by the waiting Cosmo. The chipmunk scampered under the couch, Oldtimer took Cosmo upstairs and shut him in the bathroom, and ran back down to lift the couch - which was empty underneath. The sliding door was still open, so we hope he made a clean get-away. We'll know in a day or two.

And now, I'm off to pick up dog poop, so Oldtimer can mow. Hey, it's not all birdsong & latte'! If I didn't pick up some poop once in a while, I wouldn't appreciate the brugmansia blossoms!

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