I wanted to say something at Fireman Al’s retirement party yesterday. Something about how he saved my life, and something about how he not only responds when living people need help in an emergency, but that he is the one who shows up when they die, at home, in bed, or in many other, less gentle ways, and how solid he is then, when everyone around him is shattered. Al drives the hearse too—the old ambulance—to the cemetery, and helps lift caskets out and get them settled for the pallbearers. I wanted to thank him for that, and I should have.
"Believe today in all the good you have done, in all the good you have been, in all the good you are each and every day you wake to what God has called you to do." - Bishop Steven Charleston
It's a good thing it rained all day, because I didn't mind hanging out in the kitchen peeling and boiling potatoes and eggs and chopping celery and onion and mixing in what looked like a gallon of mayo and mustard and relish for the classic Firemen's Barbecue 'tub of tater salad' ( I am not alone, all over town windows are steaming up and cooks are saying, "Do we really add the whole jar of mayonnaise?" --And Fireman Al says, "Yup."
Yesterday was my birthday. I'm 56, and very happy to have made it this far, thank you very much. I was sitting on the porch with a bunch of women friends gathered for Zumba and wine (my daughter is an instructor and gave the short, easy class for we - mostly-- beginners in the backyard), and one friend looked at the fireweed blooming pink, and the river, inlet and mountains beyond, and said, "It's so beautiful I can't believe I live here." Then she said to me, "I have known most of these women since we were in our twenties.
"When all thy mercies, O my God, my rising soul surveys, transported with the view, I'm lost in wonder,love, and praise."
-- Joseph Addison
( Words to Hymn 415 in the Episcopal Hymnal)
It's been a big week. After re-testing, the town water turns out fine and perhaps always was. No one got sick and no babies or old people died. (I read too much about E.Coli outbreaks this week, as you can see.)
I also said yes when Nelle called to ask if I'd help at the plate and bun table at the Friends of the Library 4th of July Picnic.
Boy is it windy-- gusting to 55 knots at the Eldred Rock lighthouse. It was work walking Pearl into the wind this morning. But we friends and dogs walked with light hearts from just living in these historical times-- what news-- gay marriage is legal in all 50 states. I won't forget the date either, because June 26 is our wedding anniversary. 33 years ago I chose to marry the person I love, and I can't imagine my life without him. Like the song goes, home is whenever I'm with him. It's great to know that now everyone in America can have that opportunity, isn't it?
Yesterday late afternoon the Borough announced that a routine test of the town water system found E.coli, and told users to boil water for cooking and drinking (and I would add bathing babies), for two minutes.
My mother used to say that my quiet husband (especially around his in-laws) didn't say much, but what he said was "pithy." I thought about that when on Sunday morning Chip looked at the Fort Seward Parade Grounds, where the night before hundreds of cyclists had camped tent-to-tent and said, "Five punks drinking beer on the beach leave ten times the mess a 1000 Canadians do. There's not even a gum wrapper left." There were 1200 riders, 250 volunteers, and no one was hurt, and everyone seemed happy. The weather was good and the cyclists were prepared.