Weather Rules

autumncolormanscar.jpgI’ve waited to start my note for the day because the power has been disrupted by the snowstorm.  We have about an inch of snow on the lawn and it’s not going above freezing today so there’s a little black ice scattered through the county.  Doesn’t sound like enough to mess with the power, but for the past three hours my power has taken five to ten second breaks every now and then, making things flash like crazy, killing the computer, and making the printer go totally nuts with a noise that sounds like a scared raccoon is trapped in it.  For some reason Lucy has a disproportionate reaction to the power going off, getting all riled up and barking like she’s cornered a burglar.  Is that normal dog behavior?  I have to ask my dog-savvy friend-she always knows what dogs are thinking and she translates for me when Lucy is  being weird. 

Aside from the weather stuff, this day started eerily like yesterday.  Once again I’ve finished a piece that I did not like, and frogged it (you know, when you rip it out, “ribbit, ribbit, ribbit” like a frog), and embarked on something that works better.  I think I mentioned yesterday that lavender and black weren’t working.  Well, I didn’t confess that I was pulling them both together and making a nauseating combo that was too bright and too muddled and just downright hard on the eyes!  Today, having frogged a lavender experiment, I’ve decided that the way to do lavender and black together is with lots of lavender and skinny, sophisticated touches of black.  You’ll see when it’s done.   The lavender experiment was sort of a beret, but the proportions were all wrong.  Now I can see just how deep the overlap has to be, and the next beret will be spectacular.  Yes, I’m still in cashmere.  “Once you get started, oh it’s hard to stop…” Chaka Kahn was singing that when I was in college, and I’m sure she was referring to cashmere.

Ellen Degeneres just finished her leftover show by rapping the lyrics to a Missy Elliott song.  I think she has as much intergenerational appeal as any public figure, and I love it that she does things that society may consider to be in the domain of youth.  The lines have blurred between the various ages now, and I don’t think anyone is still scratching their heads over what kind of music rock’n roll stars will make as they get older, but there are still some who feel that middle age demands a certain kind of demeanor, dress and choice of entertainment.

There are lots of things people feel compelled to give up as they get older, and the one that galls me the most is when they give up the opportunity to learn.  Learning a new skill or craft, reading on a topic that is new to you, taking a tour of a new place-these activities stretch us, allow us to grow, and ward off the mental fungus of aging.  So many of these opportunities are free or nearly free.  Examples are a trip to the library, going to the museum on freebie Friday, clicking on a new website on the computer, or taking a do-it-yourself class at your local hardware store.   Even volunteering can introduce us to a new skill or industry, with free training!

Speaking of clicking on new websites, I am thrilled to be here in the time of the Internet, and confused when I see young people ignoring its power for education.  They use it for communicating with their friends, looking up movie schedules, downloading music and displaying their lives to the world.  They even use it for research when prodded by a professor, but they don’t use it to satisfy their day-to-day curiosity about the world or to improve their skills in dealing with that world.  I’ve asked several lately why they ask me for a word definition or the location of a country when their laptops are open in front of them.  Their answers range from “it’s easier to ask someone” to “I wasn’t taught to use the computer for that”.  The first answer baffles me.  How hard is it to type “” and then enter a few words into their search engine?  Are the choices that come up too numerous, or is it too difficult to separate authoritative sources from bogus ones?  The last answer denotes some responsibility for self-education that we have not instilled in our children.  How could this powerful tool be in front of you and not tempt you to delve into all the world’s knowledge?  I remember the allure of the old set of World Book Encyclopedias that propped up my childhood learning.  I would thumb through them and find something interesting and new to read, or dig through pages of information to find the answer to some obscure question in my mind.   

Oh well, enough fussing at today’s youth.  In all fairness, they live incredibly pressured and complex lives, and have to be commended for keeping their heads above water in this craziness.  I am surrounded by loving, smart, sweet-natured young people who have already dealt with ten times the emotional stress I had at their age.  Bless them.  Bless us all.



One Response

  1. Am I dog-savvy? I think the electro-magnetic-force-field disruption makes some super sonic screechy sound that’s equiv. to finger nails on a chalk board (remember those from the museum, boys and girls?) which is making Lucy want to wring the neck of whoever is doing that but she can’t find them, they hide too good.

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