Today looked to be just another day – same old, same old. I backed out of the garage with happy unawareness. As soon as I turned down the alley I learned that my day was going to be very different. There in the alley was . . .
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It was such a depressing day. Then she opened the mail – the hospital bill. It was several pages long. At the bottom where it said “Please Remit” the number was probably more money than she would make in her lifetime. She wondered briefly if they would let her pay it off at $50 a month. Then she put “The Sound of Music” on her stereo at full volume. She laid on the couch and tried to think good thoughts.
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Even behind glass, the colors have faded. After all these years, you almost can’t make out what the images is. Mere outlines of formerly bright spots and shapes remain. Someone was proud enough of this image to frame it, save it. Somehow it made its way to this thrift shop, in this small town. Maybe people would buy it for the frame, but I was fascinated by the disappearing image. A story grew in my mind as I carried the image to the cash register.
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We call the arroyo next to our neighborhood the “wildlife preserve” because it teems with rabbits and roadrunners, the occasional coyote, and now a half dozen Cooper’s hawks. They hang out in the same scraggly tree every morning. They fly low over the brushy landscape like it was hawk heaven. Either the pigeons are smart enough to go elsewhere, or the hawks have been dining on pigeon in great numbers. There are advantages to being at the top of the food chain, especially . . .
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The virus protector was heavy and awkward on my head. The breathing tube made my mouth dry. I hated wearing it. I was out of the city, high in the mountains, away from all human activity. Surely it would be safe to breath the unfiltered air. Just once, to be free, to breath normally when outside. I switched it off and raised it over my head.
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Are you that person? The one who strides energetically into the day, smiling and saying “Good morning” to everyone with enthusiasm? Or can you be that person with enough coffee inside you? If you take a bit longer to wake up, you may find the morning person irritating.
Take the fellow in the cubical next to me. He’s a morning person. He greets, he hums, he jiggles, he reads and responds to his email first thing. Most days I want to throw my expensive ergonomic office chair over the cubical wall and onto his head. But . . .
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The windows were still open. Soon I would have to close them against the day’s heat. I walked to the back and heard a strange ‘thunk, thunk’. There it was again. ‘Thunk, thunk.’
Peering around the back yard I finally spotted a roadrunner dipping its beak into the water in my sundial with a thunk. Happy to be the one to provide a drink at ground level, I realized for the first time that my sundial had a double purpose.
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I had a flash back to the book covers of lesbian pulp fiction from the 50s earlier today. Remember when things were hidden and secret and talked about only in whispers? That was before the Internet, obviously. Now everything is available to everyone. In my opinion, the world is a better place because of it.
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She thought about the best way to treat the long weekend. Should she go somewhere for a getaway? A nice hotel with a hot tub and a good restaurant nearby would be fun. Or maybe she should stay home, catch up on her sleep and do some much needed cleaning. She had a new book waiting for the cover to be cracked open – she could read and relax. What to do, what to do?
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I’d seen hawks in the area for several days, and I wanted to stop and sit, listen up, and hear their cries. There’s a bench under a tree near where I’d seen the hawks, so I sat there. The world is really noisy! So many birds, and barking dogs, cars passing down in the street, and people trudging by saying good morning. At least the abundant bunny population in the area was quiet with me, alert for a hawk.
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