Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year Murmerings

It took a couple of hours to start the car today thanks to the deep freeze of an upstate New York winter. Here it is January 2009 and I'm still not living in a city on Mars. Little Billy Shirley would be so disappointed. But on the brighter side I never expected to live this long, either, so I got that going for me. It's hard for me and the car getting started in the cold mornings. My fibromyalgia doesn't seem to like it either, my arms feel like somebody held them behind me all night and squeezed the biceps. Kinda sucks. One of the chickens looks like she's on her last legs, too. They get sick sometimes in the winter and sometimes they get over it and sometimes not. Big Red stayed in her nest for weeks, hardly moving and looking bad. A couple of times I had to poke her to see if she was alive. But she got over it and survived until summer and then dropped dead.

The charger was on the battery for about two hours, grinding away. Then I sat and pumped the gas, begged and pleaded and then Freya suddenly started. We still don't seem to have much in the way of a heater though and that's a problem, but since she's due for the shop to check the "check engine" light issue we should be able to deal with it. My mechanic is in a bad way, he tried to start a motorcycle business just before the recession got real shitty and lost his shirt. So now I'm letting him fix those annoying little things like red warning lights and no rear wiper.

The little birds are all puffed up and round, like they all turned into chickadees. Even the blue jays have breasts today. They are diving and landing, knocking each other off the perches on the feeders. The way they dive off the branches on the chestnut reminds me of cliff divers on a tropical island. Except for the icicles and piles of snow, the technique is similar. Instead of pearls they end up with a sunflower seed.

Back in Phoenix, where it is warm in the winter, when the car didn't start I would call up Larry and he'd come over with his tools and make it work. Never failed to start my cars and explain exactly why I screwed up. This morning I asked Larry for a manifestation or something and then the car started. I'm pretty sure it was just a coincidence because Larry would have explained why the car didn't start and how to prevent this problem. Nobody told me nothing this morning so I guess I am on my own.

A friend is asking me to pick a camera out for her. She likes my photos and wants to own a digital. I'm temped to give her my old one, the one Larry gave me when I wanted to work in digital, but it's an antique with a memory card they don't even make anymore. The real problem is that my friend doesn't own a computer and doesn't want one. When means she'll have to view her pictures at the drug store when she prints them. I told her this and she didn't mind, just so she gets nice prints. I like being known for having knowledge. It's not like I'm another Larry but there are a couple of things I know well. If somebody wanted to use a kiln or build one I could help. I've taught Jess how to brew and a few other things like that, so I am something of a teacher, not as far up the ladder as Larry got, but not bad.

We're putting together our family tree here, using and their Family Tree Builder. It's great stuff, you can have pictures, sound clips, all kinds of information about the members of your tree. Then you publish the thing at their web site and anybody who happens to be connected can find the rest of the information, like some long lost cousin might discover that there are several William Shirleys and by comparing some details they can link to our tree and the thing gets bigger. My great grandfather was a William and he moved from Tennessee to Erie New York where he was a peace officer and an herbalist. They called him Doc Shirley and his obit described him as a big man. So I can really relate since I too an into herbs and my pappy was a big man. I'd be a big man, the doctors say, except something went wrong as a baby and although my spinal parts are for a man over six feet tall, like Pappy, I am only 5'-10" minus two inches for shrinking bones and ending up at 5'-8". But Doc Shirley had kids and if they ever build a family tree online they would discover ours and the thing would grow. Eventually, if everybody with family tree knowledge did this eventually we'd have this single huge family tree online for everybody to see that they are related to everybody else.

We are a huge family with all kinds of skin tone, height, occupations and interests. Things don't always go well in families and people sometimes drop out, but unless they die in a lonely grave in the desert they continue on with their lives somewhere. Their children may come to wonder about their great-great grandparents and do a search online, and when they do they will discover that we've been growing a nice one. I just wish Mom could see it, she loved to talk about family members, ancient uncles and cousins and what they did when. My grandfather Tate saved people from a flood, going out to collect them from their houses in a rowboat. He got a cold, it turned into pneumonia and he died. The stories mom told about her brothers were delightful and protected under the 5th amendment.

--- How time flies. I started this a couple days ago and now Margaret has added numerous names to our family tree and one chicken has passed on. Poor Tweedle Dum died, most likely of old age. She is survived by her sister, Tweedle Dee and her friends and room mates, Audrey Beardsly, Sharon and Biddie. Instead of flowers please treat birds kindly.

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