Saturday, April 3, 2010

Days of our lives

What a day. I was exhausted when I woke up at 8:30, having stayed at my son's until 2 a.m. watching one absolutely horrible movie -- Quantum Solace, a James Bond flick -- followed by a good movie, something with Matt Damon, a true story of a whistleblower at Archer Daniels Midland in Illinois who himself was a pathological liar and jailed for embezzlement. Don't we love stories like that? Just so's it ain't us, right?

Before we settled on the comfy couch into moviewatching, Dan and Nicole got out the heart monitor. We were gonna listen to my new granddaughter's heartbeat in utero. See how I easily italicized that word? This blog program makes it so easy even a Luddite like me can understand.

So, we hooked the earphones up while Dan put the monitor over Nicole's burgeoning belly. ba-bump ba-bump ba-bump. Very fast heartbeats, like a little bird, followed by swooshing noises from inside the womb.

Very cool! Ain't God great how he thinks of all this stuff? (For the record, I'm a Jewish nonbeliever, but you have the god-given right to choose your own beliefs, screwy or not.)

I lay in bed, absolutely exhausted. My Connexions Group began at 10 this morning, held at the Willow Grove Giant Supermarket. An urgent errand, however, awaited me before our meeting. I rehearsed it while lying in bed. And then again while eating my scrumptious breakfast I never tire of: fried eggs, homemade bread and succulent grapefruit.

So far I've told not a single soul about my errand, except for Sarah Lynn Deming, who is the recipient of the errand. Call me at 215 659 2142 if you'd like to hear the story. I'll return your call when next I'm cooking in the kitchen. As Mark P knows, I like to talk when I'm cooking. I had him and Terry over from dinner one night.

We had a guest speaker at our Connexions Group. None other than Stephen Weinstein, my fellow political activist, and the man who sells those sanitary hand wipes to supermarkets. Who knew?

We all wore our name badges. Robin Franklin of Giant gave us a lovely classroom called Alps, named after one of the rides at the former Willow Grove Amusement Park, which is now the mall. Important to remember the history of our land.

After our 90 minute class which always lasts longer than the stated amount of time, five of us went on a nature hike at Pennypack Trust, led by Mark.

That man knows his stuff! For example:

- The Trust is built on a mature beech forest. A forest occurs in stages. First it's a meadow, then trees grow on it. That's all I remember. Understory. Just remembered that word to describe the ground growth under the trees: wild flowers such as marsh marigolds, the trout lily, ephemerals or spring beauties. We saw loads of wild flowers.

Also stopped at a bird blind on a huge man-made pond and heard spring peepers calling for their mates. A high trilling sound, absolutely irresistible. We saw big protruding eyes of bullfrogs which Elena likened to alligator eyes. Great name for a song: I love your alligator eyes.

Part of our walk was on steep rocky terrain. Even going down was tough cuz you hadda be careful not to fall on the tripping rocks. Going up we got out of breath except for Tony who showed off by jogging uphill. Ach! If only I were younger I would've raced him.

Afterward I drove Mike back to his car at the supermarket. "Wanna stop at the New Church?" I asked.

We drove thru the separatist branch of the Lord's New Church. The road was flanked with apple trees. The blossoms hadn't appeared yet. I showed him the church offices which look like a medieval monastery and then headed for the turn-around at the end when suddenly I heard organ music.

Did you hear that? I said to Mike.

I parked and we walked up to the church, a magnificent building whose doors are always locked. Organ music poured from the windows. I just stood there in awe. Then we walked to The Secret Garden behind a creaky green wooden door.

Mike was stunned by its beauty.

An empty pond stood in the middle with a two-foot high set of white marble angels where water once gushed forth. The garden is in disrepair but sometimes in that state of decay it looks even more beautiful than if it were cared for. (In contrast to an unkempt human being.)

I dropped him off at his car in the swarming-with-people parking lot where people were shopping for their Easter hams. That's how I met Bill Babb from my painting class. What a thrill! Just emailed him to invite me over to meet his family and I'll bring them a homemade whole wheat bread.

Connexions! That's what life's all about.

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