Monday, January 28, 2008


An American (17 syllable) sentence for the Writers Island prompt: desire

All I ever wanted was to know the why and wherefore; why can’t I?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Coming of Age

My landlady, neighbor, and most of all good friend, Eileen, has been learning to blog. When she first expressed frustration about using her computer it wasn't hard (once I showed her my own set-up) to talk her out of her old PC with dial-up and into an iMAC and DSL. She purchased a state-of-the-art combination printer/fax/copier, too. Weeks later she confided, "I am still feeling frustrated with my computer. All I ever use it for is email."

Like many senior citizens, Eileen is hesitant to enter the accelerated age of technology. Speed, constant contact, and the quirks of electronic gadgetry aren’t high priorities for her. Teaching, making purposeful conversation, and having quiet time to ponder—these hold more meaning. Her ability to converse, to think things through, to make silence a part of her day, are the very things that drew me to her and make her the marvelous person she is. But, she told me, she wants to participate in this era, in this new way, as well. She has never been afraid to learn something, to explore possibilities. And besides, she would be moving before the end of the summer and wanted a way to share her new life with others.

So began our Sunday morning lessons in word processing, photo importing, and blogging. I showed her my own blog and my daughter’s and a few of my favorites so she could see how using her computer could enlarge and enrich her life.

Eileen's current post reflects both her resistance to change for change’s sake and her uncertainty about the efficacy of what she calls the evolving electronic age. Having for years eschewed television for books and cell phones for uninterrupted quiet time, she effectively distanced herself from what many of us, especially the younger generations, have come to take for granted. Her old computer was her first concession to the age of electronics but it was slow and clumsy and she was untrained in its use. As she learns to master her new one, she is discovering a way to tap her creativity and share it in one fell swoop. We are both excited by her progress.

photo credit: blogging.JPG

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Here Be Dragons

My landlady and good friend Eileen is a sculptor. Her gardens, her house, her breezeway, her friends houses all host some of her delightful wood and stone figures. It snowed the other day and when the plow was finished with the driveway I went out to find Eileen poking her shovel at the piles of snow mounded on one side of the drive. "There's a dragon in here," she said when she saw me, "and I'm trying to let it out."

I came home from work today to find a huge, white dragon, it's head guarding the front door, it's wings at rest, it's large hind foot bracing the lumpy, winding tail that curved down the length of the drive. I ran for my camera and took some shots in the waning light. I'm not as good a photographer as Eileen is a sculptor, but here is the Driveway Dragon that will protect us until next week's promised warm temperatures drive him away.

"Here be dragons" is a phrase used by cartographers to mark dangerous or unexplored territories. My driveway is hardly either but by Sir Patrick, here be a dragon...