Today we attended a funeral for a family friend. My mother's contemporaries are leaving us. The people who've always been there during my lifetime are departing in greater numbers.
It begins slowly enough. Movie stars, former presidents, foreign dignitaries, best selling authors -- the names and faces that graced the media while one was growing up -- they begin passing away. Hopefully in ripe old age. Sometimes not. Then elder relatives pass away. Beloved grandparents. Maybe a favorite great aunt or uncle. Then friends of your parents. Perhaps long-time family friends who have been present since you can remember.
Your childhood begins to fade away with their passing.
For my mother and others of similar age, shared experiences gradually go away. Younger folks don't recall the Depression, or Pearl Harbor, or the New Guinea jungle during WWII, or Portland during the war. Rationing. Manual typewriters. Outdoor plumbing. Old growth forests covering entire mountains. Portland's original streetcars.
This gradual departure of each generaltion has happened over and over again. But you don't notice it when you're young. Only when special people in your life leave you. I guess it becomes more significant as one's own generation begins the countdown.
There's a reason I lived in apartments for 25 years. Mainly because I chose a horse over a house. But also because I'm not into household maintenance and yard work.
I'll save my opinion of Home Owners' Associations for another time, but our HOA notified us that our house needed to be pressure washed. If not completed by the end of August they'd slap our hands. Having lived in a high crime neighborhood, my mother and I find a little moss and mildew much less offensive than nearby drug houses...but that's just us. But anyway, my mother juggled her accounts and came up with the money to have the house, driveway & walkway, and deck washed. We also had the deck stained. Earlier in the summer she hired landscapers to trim our taller shrubs and layer bark dust on the side yard and topsoil in the front.
The new topsoil has been sitting there all summer. With fall coming and a sale on bark mulch at Freddie's, we got into gear. The sales clerk at the Tualatin store sold us several bags of bark mulch -- problem was, the store had been out of it for a week or so. We reconnoitered the Canby Freddie's and didn't find a single bag of mulch. Hmmm. This could be a harder project than orignally thought.
We finally found bark mulch on sale at Haggen's. Two trips to Tualatin (four bags for $12 was all the Civic trunk could handle and I could heft) and we were set. But wait! We needed to transfer some iris bulbs, and trim the boxwoods, and cut back roses and get something in the ground near the Japanese maple.
After two days of effort the landscaping at the front of the house has a layer of bark mulch hiding the deposit of topsoil. The de-mossed driveway and walkway look great. We could possibly use another bag or two of bark mulch in a couple of small areas...but I'm good as is.
Looks nice. But that's what an apartment complex landscaping crew is for. :-/
Making steady progress on my rewrite. Trying to add more of the red mare's personality and developing the personalities of the princess and her traveling companions. I'm at page 135 which is maybe half way through. I've already edited out a bunch of stuff on a previous rewrite. I think this go round will produce the draft that I'll go through with pen and paper to edit, add and subtract material. Once those changes are incorporated I think it will be time for my First Readers to take a gander.