Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Deep in Summer

Everyday, I put a different design on my Firefox homepage and then the message of good morning and date on my Facebook Page and Twitter. It occurred to me that it is deep in summer. One would never know it here in Portland for it is overcast and I have one window cracked open. I love my new city, but it is not overly hot here. I have written here that none of the lower apartments have air conditioners, and I have lived in places for the last forty years or so that need air conditioning including Korea.

When I worked for the state of California, it was proper procedure for the state to dismiss its workers when the air conditioning failed in Redding as it did on several occasions. When I moved into this apartment, it seemed scary that there was no air conditioning at all. Here it is in July and I have not needed it. There were nights when I was cold and just added a blanket because turning on the heat seemed obscene.

I know there is severe heat going on in parts of the country and there are cooling centers being opened in such places such as Texas. Summer has always been my favorite time of the year because it always was a time of freedom. One could go anywhere without worrying about the weather. I still love summer and enjoy looking out my window at the trees and flowers that are in abundance here in the Northwest. It does not seem so free in other places now. People have to take shelter from the heat.

When I was a youngster, I loved summer because I could read what I wanted and hide out in the empty schools and trees. Sometimes, I would babysit and then take the bus to parks such as Balboa Park which was for me heaven on earth. In those days,all of the museums were free and I could wander through them looking at the exhibits. The San Diego Zoo was free on Sundays and I love to go there and look at the animals. All of that have changed. I don't know what I would have done if I was a kid growing up now. At least the books in the libraries are still free to check out. It was summer that I read the most. I was too poor to have a television, thank heavens. I could not afford to go to the movies unless someone paid my way or I worked in them. I still think fondly of summer and books.

Recently, I read that the bookstore, Borders, is liquidating its books and closing for good. I never lived anywhere near a Borders but it saddens me. I remember when Barnes and Noble opened its doors in Redding. I have never waited impatiently for a store to open as I did that one. The only bookstore in Redding would not order books that I wanted and I had to order on line from Amazon when it became possible. I became a steady customer. Here in Portland, I shop at Powells all of the time. I am also a library user. I rarely used the library in Redding.

I don't watch regular television except the news on PBS and cable. I have a subscription to the newspaper here in Portland and I like it very much. It is full of local news. I have plenty of things to do here.

Reality has been hitting me more clearly of late. I find that I am planning my time a bit more than usual. For instance, I am going out to get some papers signed for my oldest son and get some milk and coffee. I think I will hit the library as well. All of it can be done within a short distance from my place.

I finally got my apartment exactly the way I wanted it and I did not need to get a truck to transport furniture. I bought smaller chairs for the living room than the overstuffed ones that I thought I needed and put it in my Honda. I bought the last one at Value Village yesterday as I had a coupon. The chair had paint on it which I was able to take off with polish remover I happened to have. It looked much better than I expected. I don't need to go to the second hand stores anymore. I am good now.

I really enjoyed seeing my grandchildren this last weekend although it took a lot to drive down and back. I won't be doing that too often. With gas prices, it is too expensive anyhow. When I was in Redding, I could feel that it was not my home anymore. It was good to get back home again. I enjoyed the trip back home better than on the way down as there was more road rage on Friday than on Sunday. There was more police cars on the road on Sunday. I was glad of that.

I took my grandchildren to see the last movie of the Harry Potter series and paid extra for the 3D effect. I really enjoyed it. That seemed special somehow as I started to read the books there in Redding and saw the movies there too. I thought it was the best movie of them all. I thought the books were always the better of the movies except the last movie. I would be hard pressed to say whether the book or the film was the best. I am also glad they chose Daniel Ratcliff as the actor to play Harry Potter because he consistently did an outstanding job and carried the films to the end. Some kid actors lose some ability in growing up, but he did not. He got better.

Lastly, to me if there was a place like heaven, it would look like Portland with all of the trees and flowers but there would be a blue sky and sunshine. It would always be summer or that is my version anyhow. Maybe that would be the time we would all enjoy being with each other and truly listen to what each of us would have to say. I don't know. I could be around my grandchildren as much as I would like without having to have my home vandalized by anyone. I think my place looks pretty close to heaven now. I hope none of you reading this think I am being so corny. Even with all of my problems, I feel pretty good right now.

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