We leave on our long planned trip to Egypt in twenty-five days. To say we are excited would be a great understatement. I have always been fascinated by stories of ancient Egypt. It is hard to believe how very old it is. The Great Pyramid was ancient when Moses lived there. I love thinking about those people who lived so very long ago. Were their lives really that much different than mine? They have left us much to make us wonder about the lives they lived.
I am anxious to see the great temple at Abu Simbel. It is the one in the picture with the colossal statues. One of them lost it's head in an ancient earthquake and inspired Shelley to write a poem about the folly of fame. This Temple was carved out of a solid cliff in the thirteenth century B.C. It was built to honor Rames II, who was probably the pharaoh we read about in the Moses story.
There is more to see than the two weeks we will be there will allow us to see.What would you want to see if you were traveling to Egypt? What shall I bring you as a souvenir?
In just one month we will cross another item off our bucket list when we travel to an ancient land and see the statue that inspired this poem. We are very excited.
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” -- Proverbs 16:18
Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley
I met a traveler from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; And on the pedestal these words appear: “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.
I am sitting here in my husband's much too big office chair. He loves this chair. I often see him sitting here, leaning back with eyes closed as he meditates on life. This chair is way too big for me. My legs aren't long enough to reach the floor and I can't sit back and relax because I'm too short to reach the back of the seat. I feel like a little kid in a grown-up's chair and I don't like it.
So why I am I sitting in this uncomfortable big chair?
My computer died. I mourned for it all day, but it could not be resuscitated. Inside my dead computer there is much information that I need. It holds our financial records, pictures of my life, addresses of friends and relatives, and of course the record my exciting and interesting blog. It is gone and I sit here in my husband's big chair so I can use his computer and share my loss with you.
I will recover from my mourning quickly because I have the good fortune to be married to my very own in-house IT guy. He came home last night with a brand spanking new computer for me. This week-end he will do his magic and somehow retrieve all that wonderful information from the hard drive of my dead computer and transfer it to my new machine. I don't know how he will do that. I really do believe there is a bit of magic involved. I am grateful to have married someone with skills. I love a man with skills.
Today is my mom's birthday. She would have been 104. The photo of the two of us was taken in1945. I miss my mom.
Mom was a school teacher. She often entertained us with stories about her early days of teaching. She was a great story teller.
She began her teaching career in Texas in 1924. Her first contract to teach in a public school there contained clauses that not many would sign today. It stipulated that she would never use tobacco, drink spirits, play cards, nor “keep company”on school nights. It also required that she attend church services every Sunday. One final requirement was that she would quit immediately should she ever marry. She signed without hesitation, happy to have a job, and thinking there was nothing unusual in the contract.
My favorite of her many teaching stories concerned a light bulb. She had grown up in a home without electricity. Electric lights were a wonder to her. She considered light bulbs to be very valuable things. One day there was a fire drill at her school and the building had to be evacuated. She hurriedly sent her students down the outdoor fire escape. She then looked around the room to see if there was anything valuable that she should save from the fire. She saw that wonderful electric light bulb hanging above her desk and knew that it should be saved. Quickly she climbed onto her desk, reached up and unscrewed the bulb. Before climbing out of the window and descending the ladder she thew that bulb to safety on the ground below where it shattered into a million piece
I am in a warm place where all feels safe and peaceful. I am a giant oak tree planted firmly in the ground standing straight and tall, ready for all storms. One foot lifts up and presses firmly against my other leg as my arms lift high. I am an aspen tree quaking in the wind looking graceful and beautiful as I sway in the wind. One foot is planted firmly on the floor as I lean forward, hands reaching out, with my other leg stretched out behind and curving upward. I am beautiful young dancer ready to leap into the sky. I am floating on the warmth, slowly breathing in gratitude and breathing out peace. All is well with my soul.
I am grateful that our laundry room is not equipped with a surveillance camera. It might have recorded an ugly sight last night.
It was late when I was getting ready for bed. From the sound of snoring I knew my beloved was already sleeping. I had taken off all my clothes but when I reached for my jammies I realized that they were not on their usual hook. Oh yes, I had washed them and they were still in the laundry room waiting to be folded and put away. The house was dark as I ran to retrieve them wearing nothing but my birthday suit. When I flicked on the light to grab my jammies I was greeted by a herd of enormous crickets. I hate bugs. I especially hate bugs that might jump on me when we are sharing a small confined space. I hate them even more when I am naked and feeling very vulnerable. My scream did not awaken my beloved so I was left to deal with the monsters on my own. This morning the laundry room floor is littered with several books which were used as weapons to still the jumping, woman-eating bugs. Under each book is a dead bug. I got my jammies and left hurriedly after the great battle. Today I have not yet worked up enough nerve to clean up the field of battle.
The playlist in my head is always set on random and plays almost continuously. Whenever I am working around the house or doing some mindless chore the playlist becomes more audible and I start singing along with whatever song currently playing in my head. More often than not I catch myself singing an old hymn from my childhood, but it could be a song that I heard on the radio or a song we have learned in the senior chorale. I just start singing without realizing it.
One day this summer I was singing as I cleaned up the kitchen while we were on vacation with our grandsons. My sixteen year old boy told me that he loved to listen to me sing. I always sounded happy and that made him feel good. I thought it was a great compliment.
I have not always had such nice things said about my unconscious singing. One day long ago I was singing as I made a patient's bed in the hospital. The patient was a frail little old lady whom I had just bathed and dressed. I had brushed her hair and put a pretty ribbon in it. She looked pretty as she sat in in a chair while I changed her sheets. She listened to me sing for a few minutes then said, “Honey, when you were young I bet you could sing.”
What is the appropriate response to a statement like that? I quit singing.
My seldom used guest bathroom appears to have had a major explosion. Various colors of hair ribbons are draped over the towel bar. The cord of a curling iron hangs off the counter and snakes across the floor. The counter is covered with make-up, hair pins, and a wild assortment of toiletries. The pile spills onto the floor and across the hall into the guest bedroom. The bedroom is filled with books and papers, a colorful assortment of clothes, and pom poms of burgundy and blue. The house seems to be filled with a happy energy that perks up the quiet of our everyday life. My granddaughter,the high school pom, is spending the week-end with us.
The rest of her family is out of town for the long weekend, but she could not go. She is a member of the high school pom squad and today is the first football game of the season. She will be performing at half time and there was no way she could miss her first performance. She is so excited and happy. We are delighted to share this moment with her. We are blessed.
It is September and all my school-aged grandchildren are back in class. I hear there is a lot of homework in college. Pom poms are hard work. High-school is not as bad as expected, and the best thing about middle school is having your own locker. I spoke with my West Virginia granddaughter who has just moved to Louisiana and asked how she like school in her new home. She said that school was good except for two problems. They called her a Yankee (there was an adjective used before Yankee that I won't use.) She explained that she was not a Yankee but that her gramma was one. She also said that the school is full of red-necks and racists, but she could deal with them, so all in all, school and Louisiana were good.
So I guess life is going well for the next generation in my family.