Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Unattended Little Boy

The little boy, maybe 2 and a half or so, stood on the edge of the lawn pointing happily at the red and orange leaves in the gutter. He wore no hat nor gloves. He had on no shoes or socks. He wore only a short-sleeved tee-shirt and thin shorts. The temperature was in the 50s. What the heck was he doing outside?

As we pedaled by him on our bicycles, I did not see any adult keeping tabs on him.

Odd.

A few houses down the street, an elderly man was mucking about in his garage. "Excuse me," I called, hopefully, "Are you missing a boy?"

"No," he said. "Is there one missing?"

"There's a little boy on the corner. He isn't wearing any shoes or socks."

"That's not good," said the man looking up the street. 

"Do you know where he might live?"

"No," said the old man.

The husband and I turned back.

The little boy couldn't or wouldn't answer any of our questions. "What's your name?" "Are you lost?" "Where do you live?" He merely wanted us to look at the pretty leaves in front of him.

Because he kept pointing across the street from where he stood, I took it to mean he lived there. So, I lead him to the house directly across from where he stood.

Knock. Knock.

Nobody was home. Would people really abandon their kid like this?

The little boy followed me to the next house, pointing at every thing that seemed to fascinate him. No one answered the doorbell. Dogs barked from inside the garage. No doubt they were warm.

All the houses around us seemed tightly shut. I did not want to knock on every door. Was nobody asking where their little boy was? What were we going to do with this kid? It was time to call for the police.

While the husband talked with the dispatcher, I needed to keep the kid warm. He was healthy and big for his age, but I did not want him coming down with hypothermia.  I'm sure the almost three feet tall boy looked quite funny wearing my pink skull cap,  orange gloves, orange jacket, and purple sneakers.

After the husband got off the phone, he went and knocked at a house where we had seen small kids play in the front yard. Fortunately, the husband's bright chartreuse bike kept the little boy mesmerized to stand in place with me. As he stood gazing at the bicycle, I noticed a woman walking up the street from which we had turned back. She was talking on her cellphone. I called to her, pointing to the boy, "Is this your son?" She kept looking at me, so I kept repeating myself.

As she crossed the street, the little boy shouted gleefully, "Mama, mama!"

The woman continued talking on the phone until she reached us.

"What's your name?" I asked the woman.

She looked at me unsurely. Remembering that she was speaking Spanish on the phone, I asked again, "¿Come te llamas?"

Then she woke up. Another fortunate break: she spoke English. It turned out that her son had been standing in front of his house. He probably slipped out of the garage when her husband had the door open. (The door was closed when we were there.) She had been in the bathroom so didn't know that her son was not in the house.

Okay.

I'm just glad all turned out well.  I hope.

How long had the husband and I been out there with the boy? The husband thought it was probably 10 or 15 minutes. I thought it was forever.

The lessons I learned yesterday afternoon.
  • Having a cell phone is definitely wonderful to have on hand to call the police when you need help.
  • The husband and I have no clue about kids' ages. The husband thought he was maybe 4 or 5 and possibly autistic because he wasn't answering my questions. I didn't put everything together until after it was all over and I rewound that incident in my head over and over.
  • The little boy may have understood me if I spoke in Spanish. Will I brush up on my Spanish skills? Probably not.
  • Always go knock on the house in front of which a seemingly lost kid stands.
Maybe the husband and I should've minded our own business. But, if you saw a small child wearing only a tee-shirt and shorts in the cold, without any adult supervision, would you do nothing?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Skywatch Friday: West vs. East

Earlier this week, I stood beside my car and took a shot of the evening sky to the west. Then I turned and took one of the sky to the east. How amazing the difference was! At least, to me.

To the West

To the East

To see sky views from around the world, check out Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Readers,

I wish each and all of you joy, peace, love, and happiness.

Thank you always for your visits. 

Truly yours, 

Su-sieee! Mac

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I is for Idiosyncratic Iconoclast

The photographer wishes to thank the husband for agreeing to pose at the given moments and allowing her to post the following photos that exemplify the spirit of idiosyncratic iconoclasts. (Whew! What a sentence of big formal words. That is, for me.)






Want to meet the husband? Click over to Arrmac's Blog!

Want to check out more "I is for..." posts. Head over to Alphabe-Thursday, hosted by Jenny Matlock.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Autumn Self-Portrait


I like Autumn. 

I seem to wake up in the fall. 

Maybe it's because I'm a fall Autumn baby. 

Yes, that sounds good.

This week, I'm participating in Outdoor Wednesday, hosted by A Southern Daydreamer. See what other bloggers have been doing outside by clicking here.

P.S. I'm also linking up with Follow Friday 40 and Over, hosted by Never Growing Old. Come check out other blogs with me by clicking here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Ups and Downer of the Weekend

Because Veterans Day fell on a Thursday this year, the past weekend was a four-day one for some folks. A few of our friends think that the husband and I have a seven-day weekend because we work at home. I say they're just envious. But, I admit that if I ever had to do a 9 to 5 job again, it would be a very difficult adjustment. So, knock on wood that won't need to be.

Anyway, back to the highlights of the weekend.

Thursday
The husband and I went downtown to watch the Veterans Day Parade. That was the first time I've been to one. Ever. It was a short, but fun, parade. 

If you love a small town parade, come to Hollister, California.  A couple weeks ago was the high school homecoming parade. A couple of weeks from now will be the "Hey, it's time for Christmas!" parade. That's not the real name, but you know what I mean.

Other annual parades that march through downtown include the Portuguese Festival Parade,  the Horse Show and Rodeo Parade, and the Mexican Independence Day Parade.

Friday
"PLEASE BE QUIET!"

That's what popped out of my mouth about one hour into our three hours of doing research in a library. Fortunately, it was not at our city library, but the one in the town and county next door.  I didn't mumble it or say it under the breath. I said it quite loudly so every kid and adult in the children's section heard me. There was immediate stunned silence, including from the husband who just a second before my outburst had been talking to me about our research. We were talking in just-above-whisper tones, which was hard to hear because of the NOISE around us.

Being that it was the children's section, some kind of noise is to be expected.

Quiet noise, that is.

Not toddlers shrieking. Not small kids who were talking in outside voices as they played? worked? on computers half the room away from us. Not middle schoolers giggling as they chased each other up and down the aisles.

The unsupervised children wasn't even the worse part of it all. The worse was seeing parents stand or sit next to their children who shrieked and talked in outside voices. Obviously, they had learned to tune their kids out.  The librarians? They sat about 10 feet away. Shelves blocked their view from the children's section. So, I suppose, their motto was similar to Sgt. Schultz on Hogan's Heroes, "I see nothing! I know nothing!"  None of the librarians looked happy to be there.

After my outburst, some adults and children tried to monitor themselves and others. Ssssh-shhhh!  A half-hour or so later, the husband and I moved to the quietest corner we could find, where all we had to contend with was the constant chatter of the library technicians at the circulation desk, and later a teenage boy who droned on about nothing to a teenage girl who barely responded.

What ever happened to the standards of Quiet! in libraries that librarians establish?

Saturday
Every now and then, the husband would look at me and crack up, as he remembered my outburst the day before. I'm glad I continue to amuse the fellow.

Most of the day I was on a ladder pruning an apple tree in the backyard. The husband joined me after lunch to reach the tall branches. The mama sat beneath us stripping leaves off the branches and cutting branches so they would fit into the green recycling bin.

We worked until almost sunset. A good time was had by all.

By the way, I understand why the mama likes to get up on the ladder. There's something rather freeing, and risky, by being up there. In other words, cheap thrills.

Sunday
Have you ever heard a British-style brass band?

Try it, you might just like it. That's what the husband and I did on Sunday afternoon. We made our way down to a local church to hear the Pacific Brass Band, a group of local musicians, perform a diverse range of marches, hymns, folk songs, and other pieces. The band is composed of brass instruments only—cornets, tenor horns, flugelhorns, trombones, and tubas. Oh, and percussion, too. Gotta have that beat.  It was amazing how the band got such a full concert-hall-size sound in the church.

I couldn't find a sample of the band's music, but I did find a fun video that will give you a general idea of what a British-style brass band sounds like.  Take it away, Mr. Bean.

P.S. Hope you had a glorious weekend, too, with more ups than downers.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Reading Challenge


Yes, another reading challenge for me to try.  This one is all about Louisa May Alcott, the author of Little Women. It was one of my favorite stories when I was a teenager.  I identified with Jo, the tomboy, the fun sister, the romantic,  the outspoken one, and the writer. Who didn't?

So, this challenge, the All Things Alcott Challenge.  What's it about? Click on the link to read the details. Essentially, participants decide how many items related to Louisa May Alcott to read, listen to, or watch that they hope to complete by December 31. My goal is the number 1. Between now and then, I will read at least one book by or about Ms. Alcott.

Update of Other Challenges
The 200 sit-up challenge. I finished that last week. Did 200 crunches all in a row. Yep, I did.

Jumping three times daily. That's on hold. My right ankle is now screwed up.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mid-morning in My Hometown


For more sky views from other places around the world, click on:


And, if you're interested in learning more about my hometown, click over to Take 25 to Hollister.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

H is for Help and Helping

Asking for help can be so difficult for some people. The mama, for instance.

The nearly-90-year-old woman  is stubborn about asking me to help her with the harder chores in the garden. But, she gladly takes the help, if I happen to give it without asking, "Do you need help?"

It's taken me awhile to recognize how silly that question is.  It's similar to asking a visitor if she would like something to drink. According to the Mama, you don't ask, you just serve the drink.

So, I've learned to keep my eyes and ears open to what's going on when she's outside. For instance, when I hear the sound of metal scraping against cement, I head outside to see what the Mama is doing. And, usually she has set up the ladder against one of her many trees to pick some fruits or prune tree branches.

"Here, let me do it," I say, as I shove my feet into my shoes.

"I can do it," she says, as she's about to climb the ladder.

We spar back and forth a couple of times before she finally lets me climb the ladder to pick the fruit or prune the branches under her supervision. I do what needs to be done up on the ladder, then put the ladder back by the fence and carry the heavier things to where they need to be. I go back to work, while the mama cleans and stores the fruit or strips the branches to fit into the recycle bin.

Sure, when I hear the rattle of the ladder, I sigh and mumble to the husband, "What is she doing now?" But when I'm up that ladder doing her bidding, I'm enjoying myself hanging out with the mama. I think the mama is, too.

Today, Alphabe-Thursday, hosted by Jenny at Off on My Tangent, is featuring the letter H. Head on over there to see what other bloggers are H'ing about. That is, after watching the video of the Beatles sing, yep, "Help!"

Friday, November 5, 2010

Glory!


I took this photo of the clouds a few days ago. Like the sky, the events of this week have been simply glorious.

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series. Yep, indeed!

And, no wealthy fat cat was able to buy the governorship in our state. Ha!

It's Skywatch Friday and Follow Friday 40 and Over! for me today. Join me, won't you? Click on the links to check out what other bloggers are posting.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

G is for Giants

San Francisco Giants, that is.

Yay, Giants!

I admit it. I jumped onto the bandwagon when the Giants won the first game of the National League play-offs.

I watched some of the second game, they lost.

I missed the third game, they won.

I saw a bit of the fourth game, they lost.

I decided I was a jinx. So, I stopped watching. I didn't even read Facebook updates on how they were doing, and just read the headlines the next day.
Since I stopped paying attention to baseball after the 1995 baseball strike, I had to show my loyalty to the Giants by not watching them win the NL pennant and the World Series championship. Boy, did I miss some good baseball!

Between 1986 and the baseball strike, I was a Giants fanatic. Those were great years. Roger Craig was the "Hummmm, baby" manager. What a crew he had.  Together, Craig and team eventually worked their magic to play against the Oakland A's in the 1989 World Series. Unfortunately that series played second fiddle to the 7.0 Loma Prieta earthquake that occurred just before the third game began at Candlestick Park. I believe that there were fewer casualties when the freeway collapsed because so many us were settled in for the game.

Crazed fan, probably a bit. Does a grown woman buy trading cards for the thrill of finding a Giants player? Yeah, I still have the baseball cards.

The 1989 Giants were brilliant.  "Big Daddy" Rick Reuschel and "The Caveman" Don Robinson, my favorite pitchers, were big galoots who delivered magic from that mound. I loved how Craig put Robinson in as a pinch hitter, and he often delivered. There was the triple play combination from shortstop Jose Uribe (uncle of Juan) to second baseman Robbie Thompson to first baseman Will Clark. Fhlump! Fhlump! Fhlump!  Sweet! And, there was that time, Kevin Mitchell, in left field, caught a fly ball barehanded over his shoulder while running full speed. He managed to run into the door that wasn't locked rather then into the wall. That was so wild. 

Sigh.

I won't even get into my summers of watching the Giants on TV as a kid. Except to say Willie Mays is the man! Always and forever. 

So, even though I've only gone to a few Giants games and watched the games on TV with little passion these past 15 years, I am very, very happy that the Giants won the World Series.  Those guys were playing baseball big time and joyfully with their hearts and souls. I would've loved to have watched them.


Hummmm, Baby!

You want to see some real avid Giants fans. Check out this video.  Then, afterwards, head over to Alphabe-Thursday, hosted by Jenny Matlock for more tales starting with the letter G.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Another Blog, Another Voice?


In several hours I'll be meeting a friend to talk about blogs. Writing them and reading them.

She's thinking about dipping her toe into the blog water. She wants to know if she would ever leave her house again should she venture forth.

I told her it would be the opposite. She'd be out and about, her ears and eyes continually open for post ideas. Fellow bloggers, what say you?

If the friend decides to go for it, she'll be doing it through Wordpress. Until three hours ago, my experience with that blogging platform was zilch, nada, nothing.

Three hours ago, I was very hesitant about getting a grasp of the Wordpress blog basics. But, how was I going to give the friend an idea of what she would be getting into, if I didn't find out.

There is definitely a difference between Wordpress and Blogger, which I've been using for the last three years. The first thing I noticed was how overwhelming the instructions were to do this and that. But, once I figured how to publish a post, and that took a long time, I became more confident.

Guess what? I have another blog. I call it Don't Be a Hippie. My writing voice is a bit different than the one I use here. At least, I think so. Because I was experimenting, I let my thoughts hang out. It was rather freeing. So, maybe I'll keep it for a while.

If you're interested in reading another side of me, click here to go magically there. Hopefully, it doesn't scare you away. Otherwise, I dunno, come back tomorrow. I plan to write about the Giants. Yay, Giants!