Thursday, January 31, 2008

Made In China

Old Meets New
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
October 7, 2005

Last night I threw out my old house slippers that my wife had purchased for me the last time she was in Christchurch. As I carried them out to the alley where the dumpster awaits, I considered the stars above and the thousands of miles the slippers had travelled (not necessarily with my feet in them). After making the glorious journey from New Zealand to Wyoming, they would simply return to the earth via the Powell Landfill. I felt they should be sealed up and shipped back to Christchurch where someone could depose of them in a more respectful manner; much like the remains of a foreign national who is returned to their home country for burial.

I looked at the shoes one more time. The tags on the inside were very worn, but I could plainly read, "Made in China." Hmmm. Still, so far away but, their mysterious appeal and existence seemed to suddenly fade when I considered all the things around me that are made in China. Undoubtedly the slippers will feel right at home in the Powell Landfill.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Uneventful Bliss

Fading Footsteps
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
A little after 5:00 this morning my 14-year-old cat, Schnebley, could be heard crying from behind the two doors that separate us from him—the kitchen door and our bedroom door. Before I heard the cat, my ears detected wind chimes clanging somewhere in the early morning darkness signaling a winter storm was undoubtedly making for a miserable morning. Forgetting my slippers, I climbed out of the warm bed to see about him; probably hungry was my guess. As it turned out, I'm not sure what he really needed. He ate a bit, but if I had to guess I'd say he was simply starving for attention. He's a bit fussy about everything. If given the gift of speech, I reckon there would still be times he couldn't articulate his needs.

Although I was up and about early for a Sunday morning, my wife and her two daughters would be rising soon as well—off to the second part of their two-day swim meet at the local high school. So, rather than go back to bed after seeing about Schnebley, I put on some coffee and half-listened to The California Commonwealth Club on the radio with the cat while folding towels from the dryer that were destined for the swim meet. I rather enjoy listening to the CCC, but I rarely get the opportunity as it is only broadcast on my local NPR station Sunday mornings at 5:00 a.m.

In other news on the day, I learned we are officially one year away from inaugurating a new President. Yesterday Hillary Clinton defeated Barrack Obama in the Nevada democratic caucus while Mitt Romney won the Republican version of the same race. Back in South Carolina, John McCain was victorious in the Republican primary there. Alas, I'd vote for any of them over George W. Bush—anyday.

The Patriots of New England are hosting the San Diego Chargers in the AFC title game while the Green Bay Packers are giving the New York Giants a tour of the frozen tundra at Lambeau Field. Who cares? Despite the millions that do care, as I see, they all deserve the bitterest and coldest weather given the NFL's insistence on playing in January and thus squatting on the hockey and basketball seasons.

Meanwhile in Mississippi, it snowed nearly three inches, but the ground is too warm there for snow to accumulate. I gaze out our frosty window considering Mississippi's dreadful snow scenario. That never happens here in Wyoming. Our best hope is that it comes down sideways fast enough that it eventually blows off to Nebraska or South Dakota, but the single-digit cold temperatures always linger.

My feet have grown cold and I'm determined not to retrieve my slippers from the bedroom for fear of disturbing my wife's precious sleep. So, I wait until she is awake. Rather than turn up the furnace while everyone sleeps, I sometimes turn on the kitchen stove—with the doors closed to the small space, it warms up nicely on cold January mornings in Wyoming like today.

The cat continues to vocalize whatever it is that concerns him. And as if it's the most important thing in my day, I direct my full attention to him—like a doctor attempting to solve a patient's problem. I remind myself of a retired, senior citizen at home shuffling about the kitchen while addressing my cat.

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King, Jr. day—a holiday. I have another day to feel as though my only worries are the everyday un-events around this house.