Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sitting on glasses

The clutter on the floor and bed is beginning to congeal in piles of items destined for suitcase, rolling carry-on, purse, and second carry-on bag. Deadlines are in flux. (What’s a deadline if it isn’t in flux?) Perspiration glows on my girly face. Rivulets run down my back under my shirt. I’ll sit down for just a moment. I will travel today to my launching off spot down nearer the airport. I’ll take rapid transit to the airport in the morning.

I look for an open spot on the bed. In the only one, I see my glasses. They look a little odd. I pick them up. They are flat, and I’m not referring to having earpieces folded neatly behind the lenses. No, I mean flat, flat, flat. I have no recollection of taking them off, nor any sense of having sat on them, yet that’s the only thing that would flatten them.

I do a little twisting and bending and walk over to the mirror to see how they look. I’m a cartoon character who’s just had her clock cleaned, glasses hanging askew. One eye has a lens to look through. This will not do.

I phone my optician quickly. She answers in two rings; she’ll be there until four. Two hours to stuff the piles into their respective containers. Two hours to load the car. Two hours to write up emergency contact lists for appropriate parties, and a notice to the post office. Worst case scenario, I can race down to her store, them come back for my stuff.

But I get it packed, or, more accurately, crammed into the containers, load it into the car, and get to Stacy’s by quarter to four.

Fixed. Only slightly the worse for wear.

*     *     *

It takes about three days of piles on the floor, making additions and deletions, until I hone in on what I think I can wrangle. This sorting and pondering lasts exactly until the last minute, whenever that is. My original last minute for today was 10 a.m. My airline has always allowed online check-in starting thirty hours in advance of departure, to print the boarding pass, etc. Flight time? 3:45 PM. So I will check in at 9:45 AM.

Then my fellow travelers and I get emails from the airline that our flight is rescheduled to 4:10 PM. I remember to try to check in at 10:25, and there’s a message on the site that check-in can be made up to 24-hours in advance. That’s not until 4:10 PM today. It also means making our connection flight is in jeopardy.

Recalculating, recalculating, recalculating. I know how my GPS feels now. I revise my packing plan to fill the available time.  Of course.

I’m not sure how much later it was that I noticed an email from one of my traveling companions that she received an email from the airline that she can print her boarding pass now.  I find I have that email too, but haven’t been monitoring my communications media. I have my pass by noon, but I’m packing at a four o’clock departure rate. I have to turn the packing speed on when I sit on the glasses.

I ponder this evening what I have forgotten to do. Off-hand, I didn’t refill the cats’ water tower. I didn’t pooper scoop. I forget to do “Cat Count.” That could be bad. Henley has been in escape mode lately. I packed sloppily in the rush and now I need to do some rearranging so I can access things without pouring them all out.

I have no Internet tonight, so I cannot post this. I cannot add pictures. They’re in my phone and can’t be transferred to The Cloud and thus to my computer.

Except for looking into the sun for three hours, the drive here isn’t bad, but I am definitely tired. I’ll sort in the morning before my ride to the transit station picks me up. 

Into the sunlight

Green!!!  Someone must be getting water somehow.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A verdant autumn in Giverny

One of the best known and most beautiful places in France, and maybe the world, is Monet's Garden at Giverny. I've been there several times, in slightly different seasons. Spring and summer have the most riotous colors and biggest variety of blooming plants. I love the time of year when the water lilies are abloom on the ponds. I saw them at their very best on my first visit. It was probably May. My last visit was two years ago in late September. I'll take you on a  quiet stroll through the garden, without much commentary.

The predominant color is green, accented by splashes of color in a range of reds and pinks, and in yellows and oranges. They are accents, not a bonanza.

Here's a map, just for a little orientation. If you actually want to read it, click on it to enlarge it. We enter at the group entrance at #1 at the lower left corner of the garden.  We disburse. I take the passageway under the road (#9) to the water garden on the right. I stroll generally counterclockwise on the perimeter trail around the water.

Some delicate pink blossoms and people provide a subtle contrast to the green.

And blue here. (Blue is a shade of red, right?)

The colors are soft. There has been rain today, the sky shifting between overcast and brightness.

Some puffy clouds and blue skies reflect in the water.

A boating gardener, ever at work in clearing the water.

Here! A couple of nympheas. I'm not seeing many this trip. I have no clue what the penis-like thing protruding from the water is. I never noticed until I cropped the photo to get a close up of the lilies. Perhaps an emergent lily?

Sunlight highlights the willow tree.

Do you recognize this? It's the Japanese bridge, famously and frequently painted by Monet, and a place to stand for your friends to photograph you, especially if you're Japanese.

One of Monet's versions (1897), at a green time of year, and with water lilies:

I cross back under the roadway and meander through the garden on the other side. There are more people and more color in the dry zone. Look how tall many of the flowers are.

Someone across the street on the north side of the garden has a good view.

Intense photographers.

This is the view from an upstairs room in Monet's maisson. No pictures are allowed of the interior, but one may take pictures of the outside.

It strikes me that there are miniature sheep grazing on the grass  beyond ths bucolic arbor.

A closer look shows ... something that has probably grown from bulbs.

Cheepers here, for Nina C. (edit: I'm so sorry for your loss, Nina. I just read it.)

This is the loveliest cluster of benches. I've eaten lunch sitting here in the past.