Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's Sad

Disclaimer: I love America and everything it stands for, especially Freedom. And I realize that there is no room for a "but... " here, and yet... I wanted to say: wouldn't you think someone, somewhere, out there, or UP there ... would make tougher laws and put more restrictions on who gets to own a gun?! Not just for MY own safety and not to be discriminatory, but for the safety of the, well... majority of this country. When the minority of one person kills the majority of 32 ... I think we need to rethink our system. Don't you?? One piece of advice: listen to that Creative Writing professor with a British accent had to say about the killer. I really think that a system as great as ours should have done more to stop such a sick mind from having access to the easiest mass killing devices there are!
The fact that anyone can buy guns, REAL guns, at WalMart right across the aisle from the ... toy department ... is not only beyond disturbing: it is also doing nothing but encouraging an already flawed law... And it's sad. For the sake of the bright and innocent and the peaceful and the free... it is sad.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

On Surprises: Easter ... or Christmas?!

I love surprises! No, I mean it! I am one of those freaks that will break up a relationship for the simple reason that …well, it’s not surprising and unexpected enough and the spice of life just ain’t there! I need to be surprised! I thrive on it. I act better and make better decisions when I am pushed against the wall and forced to make an unexpected decision. It’s just what moves me: the thrill of not knowing what’s around the corner.
Well, with that said, and being true to my very quirky self … I really mind …and I mean: REALLY mind … changes in weather! Unexpected changes in weather drive me berserk! I know, makes no sense, right? Because if anything is the quintessence of changes, it is the weather, right?? Yes, I have been known to drive to the Outer Banks when there is a volunteer evacuation for an approaching hurricane, and I have been known to go to Romania in March, when the winter is not over yet, and the possibility of being stuck is very high – yes, I am a daredevil like that, but … if I am expecting something from the weather, well, it better deliver!
So, yes, I mind when Christmas decides to return for Easter, yes, I do! I planned a nice, restful getaway this weekend, to Asheville, which is simply one of my favorite towns in the world, and the changing weather decided to screw it all up for me. I planned a trip where I could feel renewed and revived by the new season (i.e. “spring”), where I could wake up with the world around me, with the plants and the trees and the birds coming back from the hot climate, like the spring prompts us to, and the weather had other plans for me.
I usually take a trip somewhere dear to me for my birthday, and I thought Asheville would be the perfect trip this year. Great places to eat, all-natural, all-vegan places to eat for my Lent “feasts”, great galleries, great downtown walks, rich people-watching in the Hippy Town of the Western NC, top notch, luxury, private condo, complete with tennis court and ping pong table, great company to go along with… What more can one want for an Easter AND a birthday present??
So, donned in spring attire, and hopeful, I began my weekend in Asheville, NC on Good Friday. We knew things were chilly when we left here, and even more so when we were taking the first walk on the streets of the “Weird City” before dinner on Friday; but when we saw snow flakes gently resting on our take-home dinner boxes when we left Barley’s Taproom we didn’t think it was funny any longer!
Next morning, there was no way we were going to walk the streets in our spring jackets and flimsy sweaters, when all around us all we could see was white (except the roads) and the nearby thermometer read 38 degrees! Yes, I got cranky! Cranky that I had to stay in and shiver, when all I wanted to do was go out and buy new decorations for my new house in the coolest town (no pun intended) in NC!
Christmas felt like it was back: runny noses, dry skin, cold breeze from the occasional open porch door, and the works. Yes, we even caught colds and had to drive by the pharmacy for Tylenol, cough drops, aspirin, etc… The weekend turned into an indoors, snuggle-up-under-the-dawn-covers weekend pretty soon. Hot tea and brain-cell melting in front of the TV took the place of walks and shopping for art. Reading books and catching up on the magazine reading for the month took the place of eating gourmet food and taking pictures of flowers in the blooming arboretum or the blooming Biltmore Gardens.
But as I am never disappointed by surprises: the weekend turned out different and wonderful, still! At the end of it all, I feel rested, and somewhat cranky-peaceful! The walks were half an hour long, instead of whole afternoons, but that is better that nothing (i.e.: being in Greensboro doing house chores, right?!). Yes, we need a “do over”. But if it’s not soon, I am not going to cry! The closeness and the warmth of the condo, as well as the dolce-far-niente of the 2 full days are things that I will treasure for a while, in the midst of the too busy life I am thrown into every day in Greensboro! And hey, I got one of my most precious wishes: I got surprised!!!
Sometimes we need to be grateful for weather mishaps, I suppose! Because sometimes that’s the only way we learn how to stop, and not have a purpose, constantly. Sometimes, the weather needs to put the breaks on our lives, and make us have a change of pace. If it weren’t for the weather … the weekend would have been, well, “planned” and probably hectic. So, to go along with my true self: thank God for surprises, even those that have to do with the weather. Yes, I have no new decorations to speak of, and I have not seen Mount Mitchell on this trip, because the Parkway was closed. And no, I have not added much to my picture collection of blooms. But I am grateful for the screeching breaks … sometimes. A time like this weekend! When a change of pace was welcome (she concluded with the cheeks burning probably from fever and with a sneezy nose…Chiu!).
But I am still cranky, you see… albeit surprised!
A dear friend of mine used to say: “In the South, if you don’t like the weather, all you have to do is … wait a while. It’ll change”… And indeed it did! We had temperatures in the 70’s today, and I wore short sleeves.
For a peek at the nature on Easter this April, copy and paste this link in your browser: