I drove a little 1991 Toyota for twenty one years. The car served well as my work car — my little four-speed pastor chariot gave me good economy and happiness in driving. But the car was ready for a new owner, so we sold it to a neighbor for his commuting car. In the meantime, we cast about for a replacement, something nice, not too expensive. The neighbors right across the street - the same house I found gold in front of - put a for sale sign on what I thought was a rather plain looking silver sedan. So we looked into buying it. The car docked in their garage for several years, undriven. The husband bought his wife a dream car, a 2007 Buick LaCross CXL, with a dash of chrome trim here and leather everything inside. We took it out for a drive, marveling that the car still smelled new and had only 686 miles on the odometer. Ann, the little old lady neighbor, meant to drive at least to church on Sunday, but never did because she became ill. The car offered a terrific bargain for us, so we made a deal and soon the Buick, as I coldly referred to it, moved across the street into our driveway. I think I missed my little blue scooter, and also nursed a negative attitude about GM cars. Seven years passed in a wink. The Buick provided quiet and solid service, even though I never really liked the car — not one I would have gone out in search of. With time passing our solid Honda van came ready to bequeath to our son, and all things looking flush we are buying a new Subaru to serve as our adventures in retirement car in a few years. But after a trip or two the windshield in the car we named SubyRu developed a crack, such that we have left it parked for over a month awaiting a replacement windshield from the Mothership. So I’ve spent a lot more time than I expected with the Buick. In the past few weeks I’ve bonded with her. I’ve realized she has a beautiful ride, is a solid and reliable car, and is lovely, her paint a gleaming Platinum. As I washed and waxed her recently I remembered Ann wistfully saying goodbye, and asking us to take good care of her (the car), which we promised to do. As I’m detailing the inside, conditioning the leather upholstery, and, now, marveling that the car still looks new after ten years, I have a warm feeling and realize that I have fallen in love. This shy, elegant, strong sedan is in my heart. As such things happen, now that she has won my trust and affection, she gives me her name. Silvia - roughly translated, Traveling Silver. Hi yo! Away!
Yesterday morning I spotted a big grey squirrel clamped on to a sunflower stalk. It was about six feet up in the grove of flowers that have grown around a bird feeder in my back yard. As I watched it broke off a six inch sunflower head, looking like a wrestler doing a take down, dropped to the ground with it, and dragged it off in triumph. So then I walked to my office, which is next door to my house, and sat behind my desk, with a view of my landscaped courtyard through a patio door. Up walks that same squirrel, carrying the sunflower head, as if it wanted to show me what it had done! Maybe it was coincidence, but I got a feeling of being either taunted our thanked. It felt like the squirrel had followed me to work with its trophy sunflower head! After our eyes met it toted the prize away and I haven't seen the critter since!
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
- Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio
I'm fond of scanning territory, ground level, as I walk and run around the neighborhood. One sunny day I found an item I would never have expected to see. I ran a three mile route that day, a loop that starts and ends at my driveway. As I finished I walked back and forth in front of the house for a few minutes to warm down. As I'm walking I'm watching the ground out of habit. A small yellow object glints at me in the gutter in front of the house across the street. My first thought is that I somehow dropped a yellow guitar pick of mine, perhaps crossing the street on the way to the church where I often played. So I bent down and picked it up out of the leaves and dirt. The object was too heavy for a guitar pick, and gold, not yellow. I brushed it off and it started looking more and more like actual gold. I wiped it clean enough and put a tooth to it, arr matey like pirates do. My right canine left a nice dent. I was mostly sure by now that the thing was, actually, a lump of gold. I had a friend at the time who worked in a science lab and had access to an electron scanning microscope and, curious as I was, offered to take the lump of metal in to check it out. She brought back a little printout from the scan that declared the object legitimate. I had found a one ounce lump of gold right in front of my house. Keep those eyes open!