Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Imponderables


Amazing the happiness simple things like petunias and coleus can exude, no? These greet you at the door to our trailer in Delaware. (We also have a display of flowers to mark the septic tank. Tasteful, don't you think? What won't these gay boys think of next? Pink flamingos? Oh, right...we have them!)

It's cloudy and so muggy the humidity is actually coalescing into drizzle. This weather is supposed to be the leading edge of a cold front that will usher in pleasant and dry conditions for the weekend. That couldn't be better for our crab cake dinner outside on Saturday.

When I started writing in this space last January I was full of important stories to tell. Over the ensuing months, I've told many of them, and what's left, I struggle with putting into words. There are some life situations we don't over-examine because to do so would only make the frustration they represent too clear--best to let insoluble problems sort themselves out and in the process give off their faint whiff of dissatisfaction, which you just build into your life as a given. Put petunias on that septic tank and call it a nursery. There are worse solutions.......

In something I read the other day, somebody said, "nobody's life is perfect." It was a response to someone who had complained that everybody else's life seemed "better" than hers--the complainer was happy and well-adjusted enough, but why didn't she have this or that thing that everybody else seemed to have?

The reminder that nobody's life is perfect was a good one for someone like me. I am by nature a fixer, an expediter. Unresolved situations drive me to distraction. I don't shop; I make a decision before going to the store and buy. (Junk--I mean antique--stores are an exception.) Too much choice just frustrates me: all those options vie for my attention and I resent having to test them all. Of course, it's impossible to predict such things with 100% certainty, but the thought has crossed my mind that if I was confronted with a split-second emergency, I just might shatter. I've built so much comfort and predictability into my life--consciously--that I can't imagine what I'd do if, say, somebody drew a gun on me when I answered a knock on the door. When I imagine these things (an idle mind is the devil's playground, yes!) I remember a medical emergency that Steve had a few years ago, and am reassured by the fact that I sprang to positive action without even thinking about it, and took complete charge of the situation for its duration. But that was taking care of someone else. I've never been tested by a personal crisis. I just knocked on my wooden desk. May I never.

On that positive note, I shall now take my life into my hands, get into my car, and go get some food for tonight's dinner. Look out for life's Mac trucks!

6 comments:

Kat said...

Ralph,
I am a fan of those flamingos, and I mean all of them! They brighten up your yard and trailer. I couldn't imagine a flamingo-less Ralph and Steve!

Ralph said...

Kat: LOL!!!

Nan said...

I laughed and then pondered. Great post.

Ralph said...

Thanks, Nan. I didn't know where I was going when I started, either! Sometimes that's the beset kind of trip to take.

(And the Rufus was of course with you in mind!)

michele said...

Remember our place in Oxford. We had a sundial and daylilies to mark the septic tank. Maybe one could do a photo book about floral decorations of septic tanks like the ones done about roadside mailboxes.

Ralph said...

Michele, that might be an interesting book. I'm reminded of the title of Erma Bombeck's first book: "The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank." I was too young to know what she was talking about when it first came out, but I sure understand it now.