Archive - Aug 2011

August 31st

Wordless Wednesday

Our front yard after #irene, originally uploaded by Aldon.

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August 30th

Wishing and Writing

Last night, I sat on the old couch in my darkened living room and looked out the window through the tall trees at the sky beyond. There is was again, the wishing star and I pondered again what I am really wishing for. I thought back to my time on Cape Cod as I had similar thoughts. There, the trees, used to more constant wind, were shorter. Here, they were tall, and some were damaged by the passing of Hurricane Irene. Nearby, there was a tree that had hit the power lines, which is why the living room was dark.

The wish remained unformed. Besides the hurricane, it has been a time of great turmoil. Political campaigns are starting up and I’m feeling the call. Underlying my work, politics, and this blog is a desire to write something meaningful, something contributing to the greater good. What is the best way to do this? I’m not exactly sure, but instead of some of the polemics we see online so much these days, it seems like a core theme to writing should be to tell stories of people helping other people.

This is something I’ve written about a bit in the past. I wish more campaigns would write about how the candidate would enable and encourage people to show compassion to those around them, something like a cross between “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” and perhaps Zimbardo’s Heroic Imagination Project.

My mind wanders to Sandi Lynn. Sandi writes a blog, Pregnant with Cancer. Back in 2007, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two weeks after finding out she was pregnant. The blog talks about her experiences; she has been in remission since 2008, has a wonderful daughter, and is now studying to be an oncology nurse. The other day she tweeted, “had my very first end of life, comfort measures only cancer patient today. I hope that I made a difference in hers or her families life.” Later, she tweeted, “I walked by the room Friday and the room was empty. Kind of a sad feeling.”

If we are going to be talking about reforming our health care system, we need to be having the sort of discussions that Sandi talks about, and not political rants from one side or the other. We need to be exploring how we can bring greater caring to the people around us.

The sun is shining today. When I left home, the power was still out. We’ll see if it is out when I get home. Meanwhile, I deal with the other stressors in my life, and still try to better form that wish to write something meaningful, something contributing to the greater good.

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August 29th

After The Storm

This morning, I drove to work early, in part to give myself time, in case there were road closures, in part to fill up the car. When I left for vacation, it only had a quarter tank, and I wasn’t sure what gas stations would be open. I also wanted to get in early so I could use the shower at work, since we are still without power at home.

The drive in was uneventful. A few side streets in New Haven were closed due to downed trees and a stoplight in Middlefield was out of order. The gas stations all seemed to be open and I had no problems filling up. Now, it is time to dig out from a week of vacation.

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August 28th

#irene update

With provisions ready, and tired after a week on the Cape, I went to bed early and managed to sleep fairly soundly until about 2 AM when the wind started picking up. We still have power, and the only flickering of lights may actually be my sleep eyes blinking.

We live in a fairly heavily wooded area and for the past two hours, there have been plenty of sounds of things banging around outside.

I check what is going on online. Power has gone out in Milford. 34,000 people in CT are currently without power. As I write this, a message flashes on the screen saying it is now 40,000. Various roads have been closed, including the Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkway, if reports are correct.

Meanwhile, I read reports of friend from high school, oh so many years ago, having gathered at a reunion back in Williamstown. It would have been great to have been there, but not feasible.

Inside the house, Avery, our neighbors dog who is staying with us, is a bit rattled by the storm. Reilly, our cat, is asking to go outside. He’s normally an indoor/outdoor cat, but we’ll try to keep him inside during the storm.

I’ll post this now, hopefully before we lose power.

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August 27th

Before Irene

So, we are back home in Connecticut after a week on Cape Cod. The storm didn’t really change our travel plans that much. The only real change was that we came straight home, instead of spending Saturday swimming on the Cape before driving the rest of the way home. We also used Google Maps and Traffic to bypass a section of Route 6 that they were reporting heavy traffic on. Instead, we took a leisurely drive through Sandwich.

It struck me, as I was driving that this was the flip side of a blog post I had written a few weeks ago. Back then, I had suggested trying to look at a local area as if you were on vacation. As I drove through Sandwich, avoiding the crowds on Route 6, I tried to local at the side streets with the eye of a local. As I thought about it, it seemed that in both cases it is about experiencing all the moment has to offer, both as a tourist and as a local, as a participant and as an observer. I held on to a bit of this during the drive home, but sections of rain put me into a ‘just drive” attitude.

At home, we spent a bit of time unpacking. I checked on various social media sites and joined a little of the discussions about Irene. Following an example of a friend, I posted a picture of our house before the storm hits. We’ll see what things look like afterwards.

During dinner, we watched a little bit of The Weather Channel. It didn’t really capture my attention. Back to the in the moment sort of thinking, it felt like The Weather Channel was sensationalizing the storm. Instead, I liked the personal reflections of friends online; pictures of an empty Grand Central, discussions about what will be closing when, and related topics.

Now, to surf a few more blogs as we settle in for the coming storm.

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