Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ramble: to wander around in a leisurely, aimless manner

The Shore of Lake Huron

There's frost and leftover snowfall from yesterday on the grass this morning.  I am home alone, listening to Pandora.  I love Pandora.  It fits my very eclectic taste in music.  I have everything from pop to southern gospel to bluegrass to folk to musicals to adult contemporary to Celtic to New Age on my personal station.  Even some opera if you want to consider Andrea Bocelli an opera singer.  I guess he is, but I find his singing style more...romantic...than anything.

I have spent the last two days writing my Christmas cards and I am only about 2/3 of the way done.  I have writer's cramp.  Otherwise, I'd finish the rest of them today.  Trouble is, the only time I hand write anything  is when I write a check and I rarely do that now with technology what it is.  I read and also heard on the news not long ago that schools are thinking of no longer teaching cursive writing to students.  Hopefully they won't do away with printing one of these days.  That would leave us all with no signature.  And what a Brave New World that would bring on, taking one of our most personal declarations of self away from us.  But they seem to be more and more determined to do that to us as it is.  Equality in its proper places is fine, but taking away personal liberties is a little too creepy for me.  You don't even dare scratch your fanny in public because security cameras are everywhere watching our every move.

I spent an hour down in the basement this morning.  We have 1100 square feet down there and don't even use it.  But I dusted out cobwebs and swept.  Dear Hubby and I have discussed putting some furniture in the large great room, I guess you'd call it.  (Or Rec room, since it was built in the 1950s and that's what they were called back then?) At least we did when we first moved into this house, thinking we'd escape the summer's heat below ground.  We also thought our grandsons would utilize it for playing but unless I go there with them they want to stay up here with me. With central air conditioning it ended up we were comfortable here on the main floor so the basement has remained essentially empty except for one bedroom there that we have some exercise equipment in and several bins of Dear Hubby's hunting clothes as well.  With 1100 feet up here on the main floor and just two much room do we need?  But it's nice knowing it's down there if we need it.  I do my laundry there.  We have tons of cupboard space.  Before we moved we'd stuffed our Portland house to the gills.  I can not begin to tell you how much 'stuff' we gave and threw away.  And I don't ever ever ever want to be the slaves to so much...stuff...ever again.  It's been very liberating to have it all gone.  And what is especially funny to me is we haven't missed one thing.

Was it last weekend Dear Hubby and I headed south towards Ohio to go antique store browsing?  Time goes by so fast I'm constantly losing track of it.  We stopped here in LaSalle, Michigan, and spent a good hour or more wandering up and down the aisles.  As we left we chose a random direction and turned on to the highway, not knowing where we'd end up.  We came to the lovely and historic town of  Monroe.  Its history is rich and diverse...a major battle of the War of 1812 was fought there.  General George Armstrong Custer wasn't born in the town but he moved there at an early age and it is where he grew up.  Many of his relatives who died at the battle of Little Bighorn are buried there.  There was a doctor who used his home as part of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War years and it now houses the public library.  Since we arrived in the afternoon we didn't have as much time to ramble around the town as we would have liked to.  But definitely worth another trip on another day.

What is it like to ramble around in a new place where nothing is familiar?  Well, every day is a new adventure tho 9 months into our move here more and more is becoming familiar.  I like to venture off into new neighborhoods as I'm out and about just to see what they look like.  I feel comfortable doing that, now that I know which streets are main streets and I know I can find my way home if I turn down one of them that is familiar.  With the surrounding land so flat the plats of roads are very much North/South/East/West.  It really isn't very easy to get lost.  Now that I've learned that I'm more confident.  When my daughter-in-law and I were here in January to house hunt I said to Bill the Real Estate Guy, "How on earth do you know where you are if you don't have any visible landmarks to guide you?"  In Portland we had the Cascade Mountains to the east, the West Hills to the west.  He thought about that for a moment and just shrugged.  "Well, Kris," he said, "I've lived here all my life.  I just know where I'm going."

Well, I know where I'm going now, too.  Most of the time. 


Margaret said...

I'd never thought about getting lost in a flat area and how much I rely on landmarks. Great observation! I imagine that there are positives and negatives about getting used to a completely new environment. It sounds like you're having fun exploring!

Betty said...

We are living in flat country too but I think it´s also a sense of direction some people have. I don´t get lost easily. I can go into a new shopping mall or city and pretty much know which direction is south/north/east or west right away. But my hubby who rely´s on landmarks to find his way is lost when he doesn´t see them anymore. Sometimes when we go to Asuncion he´s so sure he´s going the right direction and then I have to correct him and we have to turn around. It´s getting to be a problem, because you know how men like to be corrected when driving??!!NOT

"Abby" said...

I grew up in, and now live in Colorado. We always have the mountains as reference, but I remember when we first moved to New York and I hardly knew up from down!

Wow, not teaching cursive anymore - that is sad. I was with my son getting his driver's license recently, and another kid there could NOT sign his name where required - he needed help! There is something personal about another's signature - at the bottom of a card or note or inscribed in a book. I hope that never truly goes away.