Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How Long is an Hour?

I's 60 minutes!  But why is it that some hours fly and others creep?  Our perception of time passing is skewed by the events that fill that time.  When you love what you are doing, the time seems to fly.  When you are driving down I-81 through Virginia... the time will inevitably creep ever so slowly.  Well, at least that has been my experience!

In no particular order here are some of the fastest and slowest passing hours this summer.

Endless Hours

We spend many hours with our family and friends at the shore and somehow time just slips away.  I like to say, "it gets late early up here".  I blame it on being in the Atlantic time zone.  The sun sets so late in the summer that before you know's late.  Those hours go by very quickly!
Any hour spent at our neighbor's house or our house watching the sunset, eating dinner or just visiting  will fly.
Sometimes we wish time would just stand still!

The Hour or Hours I Wished Would Never End

Ever since I bought our croquet set many, many years ago I have wanted to have a family croquet game on the lawn at the farmhouse.  I had visions of a very Gatsbyesque event.  We had thrown around the idea of dressing in all white and having a lovely game sometime during the summer.  We even tried to schedule a game but to no avail.  Then one afternoon it just happened!  I love it when things "just happen".  Jehnna did a beautiful job of documenting that evening here.  It was a very civilized and classy evening, complete with our own butler.  I really have no idea how long we were out there but the time flew by and before we knew it the sun had set and it was time to move on.

One of the rules was you had to continue holding your drink during the entire game.
Who knew croquet could be a drinking game?!.

The Hour That Lasted Forever

Our drive home never seems to go by quickly enough for me.  Most of the hours crawl by while I stare out the windshield wishing we were "there already".  I am just not one of those people who loves a long car trip.  I think too many car trips have burned me out.  However, there is one hour on our drive home that stands out as THE LONGEST HOUR EVER!

I had been warned and knew it was going to happen.  TJ had a very important conference call one of the days we were driving.  He gave full disclosure and told me when it was and that it would last about four hours.  I would have to be the driver during the call.  I was fine with all of this.  What we did not plan on was that there are very few areas on I-81 in the mountains that get good cell coverage.  No cell coverage while driving meant we had to find a city....on top of a mountain... with a good cell signal... for the conference call.  Meanwhile, Sadie the dog and I got to cool our heels and ....wait.  I was prepared to drive during the call but not just sit and wait it out.  I was fairly patient for the first three hours of the call.

Sadie and I did a lot of walking during the call.  We found a nice park and walked.  We ate lunch.  We walked more.  I went into the strip mall and shopped.  I read my email.  My patience wore thin, we were burning quote a loved one.  I was getting tired and bored and just wanted to "get there already".  The fourth and final hour of the call was the last straw and seemed to last another four hours.

The idea for this post happened right here...the sight of.the longest hour of our drive home!
The longest hour may or may not have resulted in me pitching a spoiled brat hissy fit.  FYI having a spoiled brat hissy fit only makes an hour last a lot longer.

The Best Hour of the Week

Our pastor likes to say that the hour we spend in church is the best hour of our week and sometimes he is right.  This Sunday was surprising.  I already had more than half of this post written last Sunday before church.  Imagine my surprise when during the homily the priest shared a little levity at the end.  It played right into his point but it also made me do a double take.  He did an entire list of things that ended this lead in,

"Isn't it funny how.....

-$100 looks so large in the collection plate at church and so small at the mall?
-we all cheer when a ball game goes into extra innings or overtime but groan when the homily runs 5 minutes too long?"

I know exactly what he means!  Isn't it funny how fast an hour spent watching the sunset at the shore or playing croquet on the lawn with some of your favorite people can go so fast and how slow an hour in a parking lot in TheMiddleofNowhere, VA waiting for a conference call to end can go by so slowly?!

Hope all your hours are full, fast and endless!

Monday, September 8, 2014

The End of the World, As I Know It

Four days ago I was ready to leave!  I think it had something to do with the skunking incident, plus the rain plus the fact I was just plain tired.  I wanted to go "home".  There comes a time in every summer when I am ready to go home.  It usually happens when I am tired and usually on a rainy day.  I think to myself, "I'm ready to leave, I'm ready for air conditioning, eating out at restaurants, retail stores within two miles, mindless television, city water and sewage, and last but certainly not least, college football."  Usually I get over this phase on the next sunny day when I am reminded how beautiful it is up here at this time of year and I remember how hot and humid it still is back home.

Serenity next door at the pond 

Last night I had a dream, more accurately... a nightmare.  I am not a psychiatrist nor do I play one on television but if I were one who analysed dreams this one would be a doozy!  In my dream I was outside chatting with friends in a driveway of one of our former residences and I noticed an interesting cloud formation.  That cloud formation turned out to be a mushroom cloud!

An image that might just wake you up from a sound sleep too!
In my dream I remember thinking, "Cool clouds....wait, that looks like an explosion!  Oh SH*#, what do I do now?"  I woke up immediately  from my dream and drifted in and out of sleep for the rest of the night.  All night I thought about what I should do or would do in the case of a nuclear explosion.  These are not sleep inducing thoughts.  I also had the song by R.E.M., "It's The End Of The World As We Know It" running through my mind all night long.  Not much sleep happened! Do you know how hard it is to sleep when you are thinking about why you dreamed up a nuclear explosion and what you would do if there were one?  Do I run to my family, do I drop to my knees and start praying and ask for forgiveness for all the wrongs I've done, do I run and help those who need it, do I just run for cover and hide?  These are the thoughts that ran through my all too awake head last night.

This morning in the light of day, whew, I figured out what this dream must mean, because even though I don't play a psychiatrist on TV, I will stay at a Holiday Inn this week.  On the eve of my two day marathon of packing and closing up the house for the season, I am looking at the end of my life as I've known it for the last three months.  Eureka!

Sadly, my summer of sandbar walks, large quantities of fresh garden produce right outside my back door, simple living among family and friends is coming to it's inevitable end.  POW!  Just like that it will be all over on Wednesday, until next year.

no more sandbar sunsets
no more garden fresh veggies
no more fresh cut flowers all over the house
no more beautiful peaceful commute's the end of the world as we know it..........and I feel fine.   I guess.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Romantic Day and Night in Halifax

We have had many visitors this summer!  Between all of our children, their spouses, our grandchildren and various friends visiting, we have had a lot of people around the house.  We love sharing this place with our family and friends.  Keep in mind that for most of the year we are alone together.  We also spend a lot of days and nights alone since TJ travels for work.  This being said, the prospect of getting away together before we leave Nova Scotia was attractive.

We planned to drive our last visitors, Mr. and Mrs. NYC, to the HFX airport and then go into the city, maybe have lunch, wander the streets, stop in a few shops, eat a nice dinner at a nice restaurant and then spend the night in a hotel downtown.  This was the plan, it was a loose plan.  We probably both needed to get away and maybe actually talk to each other.  It's been a while since we actually have been alone and able to just be Lisa and TJ.

We woke up this morning and our guests were busy packing, TJ was busy trying to do a day's work before skipping out of the home office and I was upstairs drying my hair before my romantic getaway.  Sadie the dog was just wondering what the commotion was all about.  She went to the door to go out and was let out.  Apparently she was in hot pursuit of none other than Pepe Le Pew who was under our deck!

"I was enjoying a nice morning under your deck and was very surprised by your dog!"
 "She scared the PEW right out of me!"
The people downstairs heard Sadie crying and then......the smell!  Mrs. NYC came running upstairs saying, "Close the windows! Sadie found a skunk!"  By the time I got downstairs TJ had Sadie on her leash, the house wreaked of skunk and so did the dog!  Did I mention the smell?  Yikes!  We all started our emergency readiness tactics by searching the Internet for skunk smell removal mixtures, closing all the windows and making "what's that awful smell" faces.  This was when I saw my romantic day and night plans go right out the stinky window.

TJ bathed Sadie (because at this point she is HIS dog!) in Dawn dish soap, it was all we had available at the moment and swift action was needed.  The smell seemed to lighten and we tied her up to a tree far, far away from the house to dry off and waft her perfume to the great outdoors.  Meanwhile the house still stunk!  We discussed plans for the rest of the day and decided heading out early was a good idea if for no other reason than to just get out of the stinky house!

"What is that horrible smell?  Oh, it's me!"
Things settled down until we were loading the car with all the luggage and it started to rain.  TJ went to untie Sadie from the tree and get her under the porch when she made a bee line straight back to her old friend Pepe Le Pew!  NOOOOOO!  Yes, she was skunked a second time and this time was worse than the first time.  This is when I sacrificed my day and said I'd drive to the airport and give up 4 hours of my day, TJ could stay home and relax.....and clean the dog again and live with the skunk smell, in the rain.  I'm such a giver....I don't think I knocked him down when I ran to the car but I might have.

TJ did the peroxide, baking soda, Dawn treatment and the tomato juice treatment just to be on the safe side.  We also heard if you use blue Listerine it gets the smell out so we have done that too.   Now our dog has lighter hair with a reddish tint and smells like mouthwash and skunk.  The good news is that it finally stopped raining and the sun came out!  The house does not smell like skunk anymore and we are hoping the mothballs TJ put under the deck have made Pepe decide to relocate.  How romantic is that?

Alone, at last.....

I have thought about what to write in the blog over the last few weeks and imagined I would write about something beautiful, inspiring or thought provoking when I finally had time to sit and reflect.  Then it hit me in the face, literally!   This is our last week at the farmhouse.  It will definitely be one to remember.  I hope Sadie smells more like a dog and less like a skunk by the time we have to spend 40 hours in a car together.  Yes, isn't that something to look forward to?!

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