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Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day, 2013

It’s a holiday today and I’m watching a light show that many would pay to see. It’s our Sun again, dropping into the creek to dance on the waves those ducks made passing by. At the same time He’s playing hide and seek through the tree tops and painting Himself softly over the bushes and lawn across the way. Wow! What a way to celebrate! Better than fireworks by far, cheaper too, and all in the early morning! 

My neighbor, Bonnie, the tall slender gal, the single bachelor one who works in a bank, the neighbor I know best but don’t really know at all, just walked over the footbridge downstream with her basket of laundry. She usually does her laundry on Sunday mornings in the laundry machines provided by our home owners association over by the swimming pool. I don’t know why she doesn’t have laundry appliances in her place. Maybe she’s economizing. Maybe she likes to do it that way; laundry can be a pleasant thing, the handling of clean fresh clothes compared to the handling of “filthy lucre,” as we used to call those coins and paper bills. Then again maybe Bonnie’s bank job only involves spread sheets and such. She may not be a teller, but if she is, she’s a good one. Friendly, pleasant, efficient and easy to look at. 

That’s the way I see Bonnie. We’ve stopped to chat on the paths near our places but we’ve never been in each other’s homes. I sense that we’re alike, not indifferent to our neighbors, even kindly aware, but still private people. Not the “come on in for coffee” types. Each of us occupied in our own ways. With Bonnie it’s workdays and weekends to herself. I’ve never seen her place occupied by visitors or parties but she does have a black cat called Bandit. With me it’s Katie, my youngest granddaughter who lives with me. And Robin, my only daughter, who lives about 200 steps away in the Quail Creek area where I live. 

Katie’s looking for another job today. “I’m just going around the neighborhood looking for help wanted signs, Grandma.” It’s crunch time for her too with her bank balance shrinking. I sense that her outing today is just that. She needs to get out. She’s already been on line sending out her resume and getting leads and she already has two interviews set up for tomorrow. She’ll do OK. She’s a good worker. And right now she needs to get ready for her husband when he gets out. 

The two of them were married in jail. Jeff is there for...let’s just say 9 months. They’d hoped to elope that week he was arrested, but decided later to do it in jail. May 17 was their wedding day. Nobody was allowed to be with them except the “facilitator.” The witnesses? Two cops who watched on a video camera from another room. All of it with a plate glass window between the bride and groom and telephones for them to talk into. "I don't even remember reading and repeating our vows, Grandma, we were both crying buckets!" That will be something their grandchildren may hear about in whispers. (She doesn't mind my publishing it here. Everyone who knows her knows her story.) The date for them to seal it all with a kiss is set for November 9th in the early hours about 1 or 2am. when she picks him up at the prison gate. They will be spending their honeymoon here at Grandma’s where the rent is free, the food is plenty, the use of Grandma’s car free except for the gas it consumes. Two weeks of home life should make for a homey honeymoon.

 And Grandma? Well, she and Robin will be off to Oregon on a two week vacation. There’s a place that’s on my time-share plan called Whispering Woods Resort, close to Mt. Hood. We'll be there for a week. Will visit my sister-in-law who lives in McMinnville the other week. My two weeks should be quite pleasant while the honeymooners keep house and care for the dog and canary and houseplants and patio plants. Now Katie needs another part time job to pay for movies and dinners out and all the fun stuff that goes with a honeymoon. 

Then after the honeymoon Jeff will live in a place the government supplies for three months while Katie stays on with me. She'll get a more permanent job then. About Valentine’s Day they will be on their own, have their own place and get started with the life they've been waiting for. They’ll be a part of the work force of this nation, choosing when to start a family. The bad times will be left behind. They’ll be contributing to Grandma’s Social Security checks through their work. And I’m sure Labor Days will be a welcome days for them. If only I could peek ahead for a minute to Labor Day 2020!

Life goes on, sometimes at a snail’s pace and other times like a rocket. The news is that right now Congress is deciding whether or not to go to war again. I’ll come in from the patio, put away the breakfast dishes, type out this blog, and then, maybe then, tune in to see what’s going on outside of Paradise on this Labor Day, 2013.

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