Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ribbon Cutting, Fried Mullet and Flea Marketing across Florida

Summer is passing, not that the heat is moderating much, but the light in the morning is enough to notice.  The leaves are fat and full, deep green with all the summer sunshine and rain this year.  Now as I walk around the yard, I am not looking for flowers, but for caterpillars.  Woolly bears, orange and black stripped, this year they seem to be equal colored.  Folk tales take that to mean a "normal" winter.  I think maybe moderate would be a better way to put it.  The colors are balanced.  Hopefully no extremes.  I also see ones that I know who they will be come, but can no longer remember their names.  I know I still have the knowledge on how to ID with my books.  I can almost see the pages with the information in order.  Not the words or numbers, the patterns are familiar.  Words are proving more and more elusive to me.  But the sting of the green caterpillars with the red and white stripe with green bristles tipped with black.  Yellow fuzzy ones that look like a Pekingese.  Green, white and black stripped monarch caterpillars as big as my pinkie finger.  The garden is lacy and weepy, with spots of color and delicate like lace.  But closer examination shows caterpillars munching away, plants completely stripped of any foliage.  I watch them from tiny clusters of identical tiny worms to fat thick bodies.  As they grow fatter and rounder they  chew all the leaves in a very methodical pattern.  Only the toughest stems and veins remain.  As one plant is stripped they move to the next plant closest, a little bigger and fatter.  As different species move around the garden each on their own progressive dinner new plants in the garden appear.  Plants forgotten now seem to pop into view as the other plants disappear into the background with no leaves.  Then the clusters start to disappear.  I am sure that some have been meals, but those that have survived have vanished in plain view.  With careful observation, sometimes I can find them hiding in their little sleeping bags as they morph into their full jeweled glory.  I did get to see one black swallow tail as it stretched its wings out for the first time.  Pumping up the hydraulic pressure that will be used to fly.

A wonderful gift this summer has been the Zebra Long wing butterfly, the State of Florida butterfly, Heliconius charitonius  has returned to my garden.  I see two and three at a time, all dancing around the cardinal flowers in a spot of sunshine in the front yard.  We have had a beautiful variety of flutterbys this year.  And I have let them pretty much have the garden this year.  Soon the air should begin to dance.  The monarchs move south through this area around mid to the end of October, normally around my birthday. Some people grow flowers that bloom September and October.  I had tried, but not being here for August means that instead of having fall flowers, we will have butterflies.  I am good with that. 

This has been a pretty wonderful week all in all.  We went out on the boat Monday, oh, and saw the manatee that swam past us.  Tuesday was doctor day, and of course any day I do not have to take chemo is a good day.  This does not mean that the cancer is better.  It means that I am healthier.  That as the rogue cells over achieve their way through my lymph system and push the barriers.  Everyone who sees me tells me how wonderful I look.  How I am radiating happiness and have never looked better.  I appreciate all the sweet words, they make me smile and give me a little chuckle.  I know all the compliments are real, in the "Oh my goodness you are still alive...........You look fabulous for someone who wasn't supposed to live this long............. Girl, if you can look that good dying, there is hope for all of us"  Okay, that is not what they say, but it is written on the surprised happiness that appears on all the faces. 

Do you know how happy that makes me?  That the reason people think I look good is because I am still very much alive.  Remember I am one of those people who actually listened to the lessons taught by the movies and stories of my childhood.  One of the hardest moments as a young girl, still very much a child, was when I realized how deep the wizard of Oz really was.  He says to the Tin man, something like, it is not how much you love, but how much you are loved.  Now, as I see the smiles, the warmth and happiness in my friends eyes.  I understand.  It is there love that makes it all worth while 

Wednesday we went to the magic store so I could buy some clown white and other theatrical makeup.  I do not buy most of the makeup at the Halloween stores because it is disgusting.  Really I have no word to describe it accurately.  But do not buy it.  It is worth driving all the way across Tallahassee, after school is in session, and dealing with the people in the shop.  They sell Ben Nye makeup.  Very good makeup.  But they only had the colors I needed to age Dan's face in expensive packages in very small containers.  The guy who works there makes these puns and jokes constantly.  Instead of calming people down, t it sort of creeps them out.  He is just a magic geek, and I am sure people who are really into theatrical makeup, magic and costumes loves that store.  It is always trying for me to deal with it.  As soon as you get to the door is the lists of No's, ironically right next to the sign, "Fun shop".  hmmmmmmmmm.  As I was cashing out, he makes a joke about smoking and cancer after I coughed a little.  I was shocked and simply said, "No, stage 4 lung cancer, not from smoking."  He made some further jokes one after the other with the last one ending about not wanting to end up an ash.  I know he does not realized who or what I am.  I wasn't hurt by his jokes, but it was a real reality shift.  It was like being in a dream you know its a dream, but just can't seem to wake up.  I looked over at Bug and he was stunned,  thankfully stunned.  I scurried him out of the shop before he got his feet back under his jaw and explained how hurtful this man's joke tirade was.  Every time I go there something bizarre happens.  It is like a place that once you enter the parking lot you enter another dimension, maybe Oz or a bar in Star Wars or even Star Trek, or even Diaycon Alley in Harry Potter.  A trip to Wally World to pick up the rest of the needed makeup and a dose of a different reality.

I taught Becca and Olivia how to do Dan's makeup.  I gave them the tools they would need and they let them experience it for themselves.  I can't wait to see the show to see how well they have become.  It was lovely to pop into a rehearsal and then pop out.  No memorization, no exhausting hours, just hugs with precious ones, a few encouraging words and then I am gone. 

We were on the go all week, running errands and enjoying this beautiful area at this time of year.  We registered vehicles since Bug's birthday is a week from today and we went ahead and registered the toy at the same time. 

Friday was the busiest day, and one of the most enjoyable.  We made it up to MADCo. for their ribbon cutting.  They had light hoers devours and a lovely cake.  The new studio for this non-profit dance, music, art and theater group is to provide the community, mostly the children the skills needed to put on the most amazing musical theater.  They know what they are doing.  It is amazing how many gifted and talented kids have come through this group.  It was the official Chamber ribbon cutting for the new business and we tried to work our way to the back of the photo.  I think we ended up more on the side, but it was a good turn out, and the people there are part of the reason I love this community.  I love these people.  I love these children I have only known for 6 years, but who have grown up in that time into beautiful, healthy, talented, intelligent people. 
It was the first day of Flea Across Florida where there are continuous yard sales and fleas from Jacksonville to Pensacola along Hwy 90.  There are a lot of gaps, like the eastern side of Leon county.  But from Monticello east almost to Madison there are lots of nice clusters of yard sales and garage sales.  We picked up some amazing things and then stopped at the courtyard Flea market.  This is our very own flea market here in Jefferson county and it is growing.  Since we had headed towards Tallahassee looking for yard sales we ran a few more errands and then  had lunch at La Fiesta.  I have not eaten there in forever.  I used to eat about once a month on a payday Friday there with my friends Debbie and Steve.  It was lovely to have lunch there again and think of them as I devoured a Mahi mahi fish taco.

Oh, but it was to be a complete day of fish.  After all it was the September Waukeenah Methodist Fish Fry.  We had been up to Pioneer Awning picking up some panels Bug had left there so we were able to take the Waukeenah south to 27 and to the smell of frying mullet, home made desserts and all the fixin's.  Before you open the door to the smell of church and neighbors, familiar food and the song of voices and laughter with the slight rise so common in the accent around here, there is a sign that read, "next fish fry, Oct 4. Oh Joy!!!  Hopefully the pumpkins will be here for the patch.  I love to go to the October fish fry and pick up my fall pumpkins at the same time.  It just seems right to me.

So a full week, a full life.  A life going in two directions.  One living to the fullest, the other, slowly taking over.  It is good that I am healthy, it means I get to continue to live but each month I will let them stab me in the chest to draw the blood that will tell them what will happen for the next month  I really am more of a sprinter instead of a long hauler, so I guess this really is a perfect way for me live. 

Bursts of life measured in small increments of days.
Stay healthy
balance that out with excess to make sure there is plenty of spice
rest and appreciate the quiet
be happy
maybe not a bad way to live any life

1 comment:

  1. I hope that all goes well. The jokes by that guy were tasteless.