Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pale Blue

Summer morning, San Francisco. I listen to the NPR weekly program "Selected Shorts" (famous people reading great short literature) on my podcasts while the neighbor with the Japanese Zen garden plays and prunes among the rocks and fountains of his "yard." If I sit very still I am comfortable. At 9:30 in the morning it is already in the 80's in a city that by all rights shouldn't break 80 at 2 pm.

I was working through my usual visiting places this morning on the web and came upon a New York Times obit of Tasha Tudor's. I didn't quite know what was more incredible--that Tasha Tudor died or that she was only 92. When I turned the large and crafted pages of her books as a child twenty-five years ago she was already colonial to me, antiquated and loved for it, her and her holiday observances and her corgis. I spent my whole life wanting a corgi because of Tasha Tudor.

More stunning than reading of a childhood friend's death in the Times was that I was so blown into my past in a matter of minutes that I did what I used to do when I read a story like that--I set it aside like a slice of pie as a gift...set it aside to tell Mom about the next time I talked to her. As though, even after years of disuse, that phone time is still etched in my schedule, Saturday nights after A Prairie Home Companion. "Mom, this is your eldest..." A phrase that she always used with her parents when she called them, and then I stole it and kept it for calling her.

I keep forgetting that now she knows when I do, probably faster.

Neighbors do renovation work outside the kitchen window, a Saturday set of hammer strikes. I have listened to them for a year. I would have thought that they would have been done by now.

A lot of things should be done by now, I guess. But no rush.

Gentle breeze through the living room window sways the vertical blinds, but only on one side--we can't open the other window. My trashed bedroom begs for a little attention before I venture off into the baked and still baking hills for a gay wedding reception.

I'll be back, dear reader.

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