Monday, July 11, 2011

Growing to the Sun

Naomi and Harry. Birds like to perch on the highest object possible.
Big storm coming! Take cover Immediately! My TV keeps beeping alarms. It should hit here in 15 minutes or so. After more than 2 weeks of no rain whatsoever, I am looking forward to a little rain. It was so hot and humid this morning that sweat from my swinging arms would splatter in my face while I ran.

Although it is just past noon, the sky has turned very dark. I just ran out to put the umbrella down, not easy to do as Steve has tied the rope into lots of knots that had to be unsnarled in the high wind. My solar lights lit up.

Going to the Sun...This is the name of a road that I nearly met my death on. It goes over the continental divide in Glacier National Park. There was a blizzard on it when my father drove us in July way back in the 60s. I usually sat in the front seat as navigator as my mom wouldn't or couldn't read a map. There were numerous switchbacks with no railings and the road was becoming slick. My father panicked easily and at one point took his hands off the wheel and covered his eyes..not too useful given the situation. I tried to calm him down and eventually we made it out of there safely.

As I typed this, the storm came and went. I received a phone call from a wife of a former colleague of mine. I should have know better as maybe she has only called me once before and shouldn't have been so cheerful. Her husband was a good buddy of mine way back in the early 80s. He was exactly 2 weeks younger than me. We used to bet each other on me being able to compete in various races at a given level. I won all our bets except the one in which I said I could outrun him in a mile. I think usually I could have but I had just finished my first marathon a week before and had not recovered. Anyway, due to a bad decision from our mutual boss, he quit, went back to school, and formed his own company, which I greatly admired him for. I saw him a few times over the next 25 years, the last time being at a celebration for my 30th anniversary with the company. My then boss, a wonderful man, arranged for people from my past to visit and tell a story about me as in This is your Life. I was touched that so many people came back. My boss recorded everything and gave the transcript to me at the end of the day. Dave was one of the mystery guests and this was his story:

One of these was a mile race with our next guest. This person, though athletic, was not a regular runner. Sue thought that this should give her the advantage. So on a cool, cloudy day at the Huron High track, witnessed by many friends and colleagues, the two ran around the Huron High School track 4 times. The race was competitive, but Sue ended up buying the beer. Unfazed, she said she should have agreed to a 2 miler.
            Our guest also worked in the same lab as Sue. There are always adventures involved with that. One of these occurred as our guest was helping Sue adjust her mechanical stirrer. As the stirrer started up, Sue's hair, which was much longer back then, got tangled up in it. Not a pretty scene - let's just say there was much screaming and profanity. 

Some time about a month ago, he and his wife Lana had gone to Virginia on a much needed vacation. His brother and wife came along also. His brother went on a bike ride with Dave and there was an accident. Dave received a massive head injury and hung on for a while. Lana knew the chances of his mind recovering was very slim and Dave would not want to live like that. A massive stroke occurred a few weeks into this making her decision much easier.

What does one say? How unfair this is? He will be missed. At one point he was a big part of our lives. He was on various sports teams with Steve, a very good athlete. He was breathtakingly handsome. Most chemists are very shy. Not him so when the two of us worked together, we were constantly at each other. It was fun. I knew all his stories. We went to his and Lana's wedding, went to his thesis defense party, cheered him on in his business venture. 

My friend Chez from Australia recently started a blog post in one direction and ended up in another. This often happens. I was going to talk about the minor miracle of plants trying to reach the sun; sun flowers tracking the sun daily turning their heads always towards the sun (girasole, the Italian word for them means : turn to the sun) and my morning glories grabbing anything vertical so they can climb closer to the light. I gave them some old raspberry canes to climb, which they have now out grown so I have various strings. It is amazing that they sense this and grab.

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