Saturday, November 24, 2007

an unconventional thanksgiving

This indoor waterpark was the site of Thanksgiving 2007 for The Child and me. I have given up on trying to seek a traditional Thanksgiving. I am not traditional- no use pretending. I am a single parent, never married. I have no extended family to speak of, ever since my mother died many years ago. One year, when The Child was 10 months old, I held a quasi-traditional Thanksgiving meal at my house, complete with turkey, stuffing, potatoes and green beans. An assortment of friends attended. I was lucky that year; many friends were available and willing to share the date with us.
Too bad The Child was 10 months old- too young to have any conscious memories of that particular occasion. I'm not sure he believes me when I tell him about that very memorable Thanksgiving. Since then, those friends have married off, moved away, or become too busy.This year I thought I'd try something different. The Child has always been drawn to water, so I suspected he'd love one of those enormous waterparks which have recently been sprouting up all over the land. As for myself, I love bright lights and stimulation, so the above scene is rather appealing to me. Mind you, I am not proud of this preference of mine. I'd rather tell you that I'm a nature lover who wants to live in a cabin in the woods where my husband and I live off the land and homeschool our wholesome brood, but it isn't so. (Just to be sure I'm not confusing anyone, there is no husband, and technically, no brood since there's only one Child.)
And how many people get to test their athletic ability on a major holiday? Doesn't the above activity look more fun than sitting around a table full of fattening foods? (Seriously- I read that hospital emergency rooms are overflowing with people suffering heart attacks every Thanksgiving evening.)
Then, upon returning home, we were invited to a post-Thanksgiving dinner at Garnet's house, with his family from faraway and many of our friends. The Child and I managed to pull off a holiday featuring the best of both worlds.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

a passing temptation

November is now unmistakably evident in the rose garden on which my house is situated, even though the temperatures remain tepid. A few defiant roses bloom to this day. The chipmunks are hibernating despite the tolerable temperatures, and the squirrels scurry frantically in pursuit of fallen treasure.
The fall colors were more brilliant than usual this year. I will have to ask my friend the horticulturist why that is. I'm hoping that winter is as mild as fall. My neighbors, assuming the worst, have fled to Florida with their flock of snowbirds.

This is one of the other houses on the rose garden. (There are twenty altogether.) It's for sale by its original owner. People tend to hang on to these rose garden houses. The house is 50 years old. The average number of years that people keep houses in this city is 6 years; these houses on the park turn over very seldom.

This is the view from the backyard of the above house for sale. Those of you who read my blog are aware that I am house-restless, always wanting to sell my house and buy another. I think this view is pretty appealing. The house, also, has some selling points. It has two more rooms than my small house has, and it has a backyard. My current house actually was built in the backyard of another house on the park, thereby blocking the park view of the original house. My house has no yard, a fact I find tolerable only because of its location on the park.

This is my house. It's a few years newer than the other park houses. The dirt road you see in front of it is a service road for the park maintenance truck. It's definitely an unusual location. I am not seriously considering the house for sale. It's not enough of a positive change to justify the hassle of buying, selling and moving. But I will stop by for the open house tomorrow......

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Charmed Life of Whirling Betty

This is an example of a scene that greets Whirling Betty whenever she gathers the gumption to actually get out of the house and walk a few steps. Betty's house is situated right on one of the world's largest rose gardens. Even now, in November, the roses bloom for Betty's enjoyment if she would just get out there and look.
Photographers descend upon this park daily, and for good reason. Yet Betty often chooses to remain oblivious to the rampant beauty right outside her door. She talks on the phone to co-workers, analyzing and criticising the workplace and its unreasonable demands. Never mind that she always wanted this type of job and was lucky enough to be offered one.

Look at all the fallen leaves. Although they're in Betty's "front yard", she doesn't have to rake them. The full time staff of park workers takes care of them Monday through Friday with heavy-duty machinery. When it snows, they even clear the paths. (A 13-acre rose garden is a lot of work, year-round.)

The rose garden is only the beginning- beyond the roses there is even more acreage of parkland, with sports fields, wildlife meadows, fishing ponds, a playground, woods, a creek, a ravine and miles of bike paths. There are chipmunks, foxes, squirrels, groundhogs, owls, and all kinds of birds. It's a charmed life, all right, but only if Betty chooses to see it.