Day 47: Plague and Pestilence

Shower Thoughts: Vehicles today can surf the web, link to your phone, stream music and videos, etc.. but they still can’t perform a simple database lookup to tell you what the check engine light is on for.

My breakfast: strong coffee with coconut creamer, bagel, two hard-boiled eggs with my NEW favorite spice Tajin, which is chili peppers, sea salt and lime. What’s on your plate?

Good morning.  How ya’ doing today?  Are you up with the birds like me? If so imagine the two of us clinking our coffee cups together in a toast for a good day. *cheers*  Although there are many thoughts racing around my mind this morning, I’m just not too sure what to write about. It’s SO much–there are SO many topics.

The way I feel this morning reminds me of what my doctor said when he was mentally preparing me for the birth of my first child 30 years ago. He said something like, “As you know from the childbirth and newborn book I gave you the cervix will expand to 10 cm gradually.  The body will slowly open and prepare the way for the baby to exit the body.  Labor pains are just that—pain.  However, at the peak of labor, when the head and shoulders exit, that is the maximum expansion, alright.  Now, when that happens, the skin, muscles, and other tissue are SO stressed and at their limit, the nerves stop sending pain signals and basically the mother feels no pain.  Now, isn’t that something to look forward to?”  Sounds perfect.  Thanks, doc.  Men say this because they can’t possibly imagine a watermelon exiting their body from ANY hole, much less one that was made specifically for that purpose.  I know he was trying to be encouraging but, well, whatever.

Yesterday I had a write out!  I met with a friend on her front porch for a mask-wearing, 6 feet apart sitting, write out.  She has a cute classic home over in the Sunnyland Neighborhood.  Builders back in the early and mid-1900s understood the value of a good front porch—they are the original SOCIAL PLATFORM.  Our activity feels like we transported back to perhaps the 1950s, waving at neighbors as they walked by, shouting at another asking if they want some tomatoes cages, stuff like that.  This neighborhood is fortunate to be within walking distance of a great grocery store, bus lines, and parks.  In Bellingham, we are allowed to walk outside without citation but advised to not travel too far or too much or with too many people. This is to help reduce the chances of accidents in an effort to keep the hospital free from preventable causes.  In addition to friendly foot traffic, my friend also has many bird visitors.  She throws out some saltines to a crow she recognizes and then says to me “LOOK! He’s going to burying it up in that houses roof gutter”, and he does.

Later she offers me some sun tea she made.  I accept…and then there is another sign that the times are not themselves.  The freshly poured glass of tea is placed on the table. I wait for her to sit down, and then I stand to retrieve it.  It is possibly too dangerous, too rude, or hostile to be close enough to HAND someone something with an unloved hand.  Are we two ladies enjoying sun tea on a fine May afternoon, or are we masked rebels toying with death?

 

Here is an old poem I found in my notebook.  Think I’ll play with it a bit more.

The Salting Room
or Watching Cooking Shows Home Sick with the Flu (April 2019)
by Shannon Laws

The butcher knows if the pig was happy

red cow parmesan from a free-range life tastes better
solid and liquid
curds and whey
the Salting Room
20 months- sweet and rich
30 months- amino acids start
40 months- salty-sweet bitter

mother sits at the chair
closest to the kitchen
Fat transforms in the pan
in the oven, in the crock

we laugh and cry cutting onions with friends
I keep my miso to two or three years
hidden and pressed

Roll the dough until
it resists your thumb.
Debone and roll to a
long round roast.

Salt the meat
give it time
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Here is my current mood expressed in a meme.  Enjoy your day my friendly bot.  -S

Poem: Shelf

An egg breakfast at Arlis’s Cafe, Bellingham WA

Shelf

by Shannon P Laws

 

bowl
inside a
bowl
inside a
bowl

collects the flicks of dishwater
shot by the sinks stiff brush
scrub hard at a plate of
Tuesdays dried oatmeal
and today’s just-burnt eggs

 

#

Poem: Just Dawn

 

blinds oad

Just Dawn

My window blinds squint out a slit of light.

No one can tell the view from here but me.

 

I see the June cherry tree out there, on the other side

holding bouncing chickadees that peck at branch aphids.

I hear the roof-spine morning seagulls barking orders

—when pushed off swiftly by rumble-crows for turf!

The rustle-bush below my pane shelters raccoons shaking soft
clawed hands.

Without a sound, regal-mother deer and spotted twins walk
down the middle of the path towards breakfast.

 

I walk with them in my mind, think of oatmeal and coffee.

Then, tuck my leg back under the covers a little longer.

 

~Shannon P. Laws

Breakfast at Harris’s

photo credit: Trip Advisor
photo credit: Trip Advisor

Happy moments.  They show up in the most surprising places, such as a window seat  Harris Avenue Café in Fairhaven.  I’m an inventory taker.  Every so often I take a look at my life and take inventory, see how I’m doing in relationship to my goals.  The last two years have been disappointing on many fronts.  At the same time, however, many personal breakthroughs have accumulated new ground.  Navel gazing at its best.

So, I’m treating myself to breakfast.  There’s no food in my kitchen and I haven’t eaten since Thursday afternoon.  This week I had two successful poetry performances and, well, I’m taking myself out to celebrate.  The plate arrives.  Eggs Toulouse with smoked salmon, Harris’s special spin on Eggs Benedict.  I order with fruit in place of potatoes.  Sitting pretty on the plate, red strawberries, green kiwi, yellow pineapple, orange melon sliced and arranged like they want to be painted.  My only brush, knife and fork. This is nothing I would make for myself and I don’t mind paying for someone else to put it all together.

The art of eating.

Enjoying the presentation.

Pausing for appreciation.

I seldom eat out.  I am thankful.

Picture 391 Harris CafeI have my 16 ounce mocha to my right. It sits there asking to be stirred.  I imagine a dark heavy layer of chocolate below the shots and milk. What a beautiful drink.  A book I’m three chapters in lays open on the left. Brightly painted tourist in sandals, slacks or khaki shorts and golf visors walk around looking for a nibble.  Groups of them walk in all asking for a table “outside in the garden.”  I’m inside, sitting in the window.  It’s almost nine, the sun is still behind 17th avenue; I’m safe for another two hours.

Breathing in the atmosphere, the happiness almost knocks me over—My God, I’m HAPPY.  I’m so freakin’ happy!  What a magical place this is.

This table, this view, this town, this moment—right now—just right now. I’ve always dreamed of doing this day in Europe.  Now I challenge France to come up with a better day.

Benny’s at dawn!

Whoever’s been praying for me, thank you.  This morning a portion of joy has manifest.

***

Harris Avenue Cafe  http://www.harrisavecafe.com/