Archive for August, 2011


may this be the second in a long litany of thankful prayers.

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I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Texas is being bombarded by drought and hideously high temperatures. Here in Austin we’re wrapping up the hottest, driest July and August on record. My stalwart air conditioner can’t get below 82 degrees from around 4 pm until after the sun goes down. Every day I hand-water my garden beds (we can only water with sprinklers twice — soon to be once — a week).  Even with a daily dousing, by mid-afternoon the plants all look wilted.

Mature yard trees are dying because people think they can survive without water. And the trees and plants that have to depend on rainfall are goners. Wild animals are being driven into the ‘burbs looking for water. My brother recently saw a coyote a block from his house and there’s a opossum who’s taken up residence next to my carport.

The other day someone told me that meteorologists are predicting we won’t get any ‘meaningful’ rain through the end of the year. The rest of the country’s getting floods, earthquakes, tornados. I suppose at least we can say it’s calm here as things die. But it’s relentlessly depressing.

This makes laughter all the more miraculous. I smile whenever I see this photo of my parents. It was taken in lush Tennessee, not parched Texas, and their shirts are not inside out. More on that later.

I got an email from an Austin friend who said he’d had a record-breaking water bill and his lawn now looks like a candidate for Yard of the Month… in Somalia. I responded that ‘I almost choked when I read about your Somalian yard. Really, I was swallowing a mouthful of water (I practically carry a bottle around my neck these days) and came close to spitting it out.’

Another friend took me to see Paula Poundstone in concert last week and I have a new understanding of the term ‘in stitches.’ Then I got to walk a short distance with her after the show. We joked about trying to keep up our ‘hair appearances.’ She was as delightful off-stage as on.

Yet another friend said her husband insists on wearing his tee-shirts inside out because he doesn’t like the writing on them. I started laughing out loud. She was kidding, right? Oh, no. He could easily afford to buy new shirts but these are fine, by dang. He just doesn’t like the writing. He won’t cut the tags off, either. She’s seen waitresses and kind strangers come up and whisper to him about it, assuming he doesn’t know. He knows. Hilarious.

My alternate hand recently wrote, there’s no such thing as too much gratitude. I’m beyond grateful for these gifts of laughter and the friends who bring them. And at this point I’d happily settle for some ‘meaningless’ rain.

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surprised at how little you owe on mortgage. due diligence, dear one, but at significant cost to you.

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Loving Kindness, thank you for the precious gift of myself and help me see that I contain wonders that I can share. let me love myself as unconditionally as you do.

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acknowledging feelings doesn’t equal being ruled by them, helpless to change. you are anything but helpless.

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Lincoln has always spoken to your heart. perseverance in the face of unimaginable hardship even when young. humor and his ‘better angels’ — and belief in himself — were in his arsenal.

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no expectations but eager anticipation is a-ok!

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