Friday, May 23, 2008

Relámpagos y tormentas en todas partes

Let's start this weekend with a bit of Ella:

"Stormy weather" seems like a hopefully-passing theme at the moment. From the no-planes-going-anywhere in NOLA yesterday morning to the backlog of flights in Phoenix to the rain and wind and very gray sky greeting me in Albuquerque. Tornadoes here and there yesterday as well, most notably in Denver.

Monster Twister Rips Through Colorado, Killing at Least One
ABC News - 1 hour ago
By MIGUEL MARQUEZ, LAURA MARQUEZ and JONANN BRADY A monster tornado ripped through Colorado, Thursday, with wind gusts up to 130 mph flattening hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least one.
Tornado kills 1, injures 13 in northern Colorado The Associated Press
Colorado pulls together to help tornado victims

I looked out my bedroom window this morning to see how the garden is doing. The grapevines are about twice the size they were two weeks ago, the low-growing coral colored single roses are now all in bloom, and everything was bending this way and that in the wind. So I sit here and look out through double-paned windows. Wet and windy outside, dry and quiet inside.

It is oh so good to be home again for a little while.

I love seeing the bumper stickers that say "New Orleans is HOME." What a great spirit lies behind that and it warms my heart and strengthens my soul to see it. For me, obviously, it is not home. I am a western boy, a son of the soil of Central California and now a citizen of New Mexico. The central and eastern parts of the United States are part of my nation but not even remotely "home" for me. I think it's good to know and own that, as most of us have deep emotional ties to our regions. I believe in regional "flavor" and the importance of preserving it - not divisively but in mutual delight.

This is undoubtedly part of why I enjoy "locale" mysteries. [This calls to mind the day a wonderful bookstore owner referred to locale books while I was describing what I preferred and I had to ponder lo-cal for a moment. What did calories have to do with what I was discussing? Hey, I can be slow sometimes!] Most of the fiction I like has a strong sense of place. The stories cannot be placed just anywhere.

I look forward to visiting New Orleans again on vacation when I can relax and enjoy the town, getting out and about and having fun. Fun just doesn't fit the schedule well when one does business travel, as most folks can tell you. (Not talking about conventions when one attends one in five sessions and parties most of the time - I mean traveling for work.)

I did, however, stop at the Shimmy Shack Wednesday night for my glass of red wine, hamburger, and fries - and some chat with Ksusha, the Russian waitress. We talked a bit in Russian, more in French, and lots in English. Five months ago she did not speak a word of English. She hopes to spend a year in the U.S. then return home and finish university. She's had three years of French and that was the common language in which we both could speak more comfortably. Now I have motivation to work more on my Russian in the month ahead. Sweet young lady.

Two last bits of miscellaneous blather:

I do loves me some quiet. My home is quiet. I live in a quiet neighborhood (barking dogs and an occasional motorcycle are the random noise, with kids playing in the street now and again, a sound I enjoy) and, as noted above, I have double-paned windows. When nothing else is going on, the major noise as I sleep is a very quiet tick as the battery-powered clock on the wall advances. The apartment in Louisana is never quiet. There is a combination of the fountain in the courtyard that goes day and night (and sometimes fountains are NOT relaxing, much as I love them), the air conditioning (which is a good thing), one very noisy refrigerator, and several other things that are ongoing. It is never quiet, not for a second. This is not really a big complaint - I do fall asleep almost instantly and the noise does not keep me up. It is one of those experiences that tells me something about myself. I really, really like quiet. And that tells you all you need to know about why I have had no inclination whatsoever to walk a few blocks after work and visit Bourbon Street. It's rather nice at noon, however.

Finally, one part of blogging that I miss is the "Oremus" posts with prayer requests. There have been so many calls for prayer in the past four weeks and I have, mostly, not been passing them on. Somehow, when I am feeling physically exhausted, I don't feel up to the challenge of the gracious phrasing that I strive for and even the old cut and paste feels harder to do. I want folks who get prayed for to feel gently embraced and lifted up and it's probably too self-centered to say I prefer to be in a certain emotional and spiritual space to post prayer requests. So this is part apology and part self-chiding to get over myself and share the prayers. I also don't want to miss folks. This I can say: when I read the calls for prayer, I pray. My bedtime prayers are filled with names from blog posts. Will try to do better about sharing.

That's the Friday morning check-in!
--the BB


Grandmère Mimi said...

I think it's good to know and own that, as most of us have deep emotional ties to our regions.

Oh, yes. You have no idea. But, then again, perhaps you do, after all.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Oh, and I meant to say that this is a lovely post before I got into all about me.

FranIAm said...

This is so lovely, really a wonderful post that is so filled with the heart of you Paul.

I think that while your "Oremus" posts have been absent, your prayers obviously have not been and that is beautiful.

I am going to shut up and go re-read this post and then send prayers for and love to you in large measure.

Thanks be to God.

Paul said...

Thanks, ladies. I suppose this post was also about how it's good to be back "home" blogging at leisure. I miss the sharing, in both directions, savoring other blogs and sharing something more than a quick snippet here. I still do a very quick tour of the usual blogs but don't have time to read the comment threads and engage much.