Archive for May, 2010

mixed numbers/mixed blessings/mixed drinks

May 26, 2010

Leading economic indicators for this past week include

  1. number of objects flushed down the toilet that shouldn’t have been:  down from 1 to 0
  2. number of quarts of oil per week needed to keep car from breaking down: up from 0 to 1
  3. number of jobs scheduled to end:  1
  4. number of jobs scheduled to begin:  1

Additional useless wisdom:  I’ve discovered something worse than census work — having no census work.  As Joni Mitchell sang, “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”  At the very least, I’d gotten used to that paycheck and almost immune to the unpredictable results triggered by knocking on an unsuspecting person’s door.  Last weekend was especially interesting — “Charlottesville Old-Timers day.”  It was fascinating to listen to folks who were born and grew up in the area and grounding to connect with people over 70.  Their perspectives remind me how narrow mine are.  One tip on creating happiness I’ve found to be true:  spend more time with people over 70 and under 10.  Of the latter group, happy third birthday, Isaac Willis.  His joy over his new tricycle was infectious.

So the census work will end and my job selling vegetables at the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings will soon begin.  Other than as types of employment, the two are barely comparable.  I’m crazy about my friend Rob Brown whom I met when he was Monticello’s vegetable gardener.  When I would pass him in the garden with my tour, he would yell out, “You’ve got the best garden guide there is.”  One time I made him double over laughing when I answered back, “Thanks, Dad!”  When he quit Monticello in February 2009, I was afraid I’d rarely see him, but last year he asked me to help him at his vegetable stand which gets insanely busy by mid June as broccoli, cauliflower and then tomatoes arrive.   When we aren’t bagging vegetables, calculating totals and making change, we spend the time bullshitting about everything from politics to dating.  It’s fun, and the bird’s-eye-view for watching the crowds go by is unbeatable.  Any chance for a quiet, slow Saturday morning, however, will have to wait until October, since I’ll be up and out the door by 6:30 or 7 soon.  I have it easy:  Rob starts at 4.

Mozart is definitely helping with the stress, particularly clarinet and bassoon concertos.  When I’m particularly stressed, I can be heard humming them out loud, no matter where I am.  It’s better than screaming.  I discovered a latent passion for Mozart during morel season.  The opening bars of Symphony #21 in A trigger images of brilliant sunshine dancing across the forest floor.  What a gift to listen to Mozart in the woods!   Recording technology and Apple’s iPod are two technological advances I can wholeheartedly embrace.

It’s amazing how quickly Spring has clipped along.  Now it’s Memorial Day weekend.  There’s a palpable vibration of change in the air, and I’m waiting to see what will manifest, both in the world and in my life.  It’s like waiting for Dorothy’s tornado — knowing it’s coming but not knowing what will arise to meet you when you walk out your front door.