The Wandering Archaeologist Returns

Still in the middle of a heat wave here with temps above 90 degrees so this is a short post just to say SHE’S HOME!

The crew actually broke camp on Friday, but she stayed in the Eugene Oregon area for a day to hang out with some of her comrades and then made a stop in Portland this morning on her way home to do a little shopping at Powell’s Books.

In her semi-professional words, “This was the best experience of my life.” I think that means she had a good time.

She also found Eugene to be a hippie haven, something that is quite appealing to this lady, who as you know if you have followed the blog for a while, is truly the reincarnation of the quintessential hippie chick of the 1960’s.

We have various piles of stuff strewn about, some allowed into the house and some not, and some gear, such as sleeping bag and foam pad, that is so gross that it isn’t worth keeping. She loved every minute of her trip, sandy dirt and all but she doesn’t get to bring the sandy dirt into the house.

I took just a few pictures of her return welcome home unloading. Right now she’s busy compiling pictures to use in her senior capstone presentation. When asked if the project was continuing next year, the answer was an emphatic yes. I could see the gleam in her eyes as she contemplated her return next summer, maybe as a grad student at the University of Oregon.

Hard to see the tan lines but the blister is pretty evident

Her cat is happy

The duct taped window is still intact

And finally a shot of the fine sandy dust that is covering not only her vehicle but everything else.

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Nature at its not so perfect best

It’s a gorgeous sunny day here, with temps about 80 degrees so I decided to take a wander through another of our local parks.

This one, named DeCoursey Park is an extension of the Clarks Creek Park system named for the meandering creek that runs along the north side of this area. It has been a destination for many moms along the western edge of our town for years. I remember taking my kids there when they were babies, so roughly 26 years ago.

I haven’t really had a reason to venture into this park in quite a while and the sad state I found it in was really disheartening. It was never a groomed sort of park per se, but the years of ducks and geese living and breeding within its pond have taken a toll. Nasty, stagnant water and waterfowl poop are the biggest claims to fame anymore, although the children’s play area is still well-kept and the picnic shelters and lawns are great.

Here are a few photos as I wandered the trail system around the pond area.

Most of the wildlife was not cooperating very well and even when I could get closer to them I was stepping in poop.

And finally, a shot of the creek itself.

Saturday Writing Prompt

Today I find myself faced once again with a decision. Do I hunt for a meaningful prompt to share here or do I get off my ass and get chores done around my home?

I must finish a research paper. I am literally halfway complete on this last one. I remember having a great thought and emphasis in which to focus the final few pages before conclusions when I stopped writing a few days ago. Sad thing is that now, of course,¬† I don’t have a clue where I was headed. Thank God it’s a short paper and my direction was not the only possible direction to go although it was going to be a great wrap up vehicle for this paper. I think it will come back to me, I just need to sit down and do it. For small papers such as this one I have a pretty informal process, so please don’t cringe too much if you are a research professional and are having issues with my process. It works for me. It might not be pretty, but it works.

I have a multitude of flowers in various locations around my yard that have taken a beating in the last few days. They were sadly neglected by me initially, crying out for a small drink, and just when I planned to give them that drink torrential rain and thunderstorms struck. I now have water-logged, half dead plants and flowerpots that look incredibly sad. Those flowers are now crying out for grooming.

I have to find someplace that will enlarge a diagram for me. I have that wedding event in one week. I received the seating diagram just a few days ago and I really want to enlarge it to use as a workable road map for my set-up crew. Right now it’s sort of all jumbled onto a standard 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. Trying to adapt my printer to spit out a larger, workable chart was not going to happen last night mostly due to the fact that I don’t know what I’m doing. I want to take this to a copy center today and see what they can do for me. Then what I really want to do is come home with all sorts of cute and appropriate colored papers, cut out rectangular and round table images and such and attach them in their proper places to create a truly awesome and most likely unnecessary seating diagram. Thus presents the neurotic, Type A control freak to the world. But a little artsy-craftsy indulgence will be great fun and make me feel like I am a professional at this whole wedding planning thing, even though I am not. The pic below is not what I am working with but it did give me an idea.

I am sure there are numerous other activities that I just must do. The reality is that I have the entire week to do them. The second reality is that I just spent ten or fifteen minutes on this post when I could have easily chosen a writing prompt for today and written about it.

I think an appropriate writing prompt for today should be:

What is the one thing that you procrastinate about the most?Do I have any takers on this one?

Resurecting the random muse

Feeling a need to break from sociology research for a bit, inspired by an arbitrary random event today, and a memory evoked from a blog post by trophos just the other day I feel as if it is a great time to muse on life for a short time.

Topic: younger days, stupid but incredibly fun moments and the realization that at 52 I once had a life much different from what I am living now.

My fellow blogger wrote of a man on a motorcycle from her past. Many memories of my own man on a motorcycle came flooding back. What I didn’t share in my response with her is that I can say I had 3 men on 3 motorcycles come and go in my life in a short period of time many years ago. A little look back is in order, inspired by an obscure song that really means nothing to this conversation and a funny little scooter that just passed me winding its way down the road at a slow but steady pace.

Motorcycle man #1

His name was Don. He was a friend of a sort of ex-friend. I was twenty-ish. He was forty something and married. He rode a Harley. Looking back now I’m sure it was one of those male midlife crisis purchases. I’ve seen that trend in the forty-ish something man a lot since then. I rode with him a few times on the back of that Harley. I was so altogether naive. Don’t ask how I could be that naive even at twenty. He was a nice man. Scratch that, a nice older man. I was not into older men, but I was into taking a ride on his Harley. When his advances were not met with his desired outcome both he and his Harley no longer roared up to my apartment doorway. I still have a fleeting image of Don jump into my head every time I hear a Harley.

Motorcycle man #2

His name was Mike. He was one of my patients. No, I don’t think I violated any professional codes with this one. As far as I know there is no hard and fast rule that forbids a dental assistant from casually dating one of her patients but I may be wrong. Mike worked construction I think and was really into Martial Arts. His teeth weren’t great, thus the reason our relationship began in the first place. He was easy to chat with, nice looking despite the amount of dental work we were doing in his mouth and had a sort of bad boy biker image while the underneath was really rather sweet. For those of you old enough to remember I would suggest thinking Bob Seger circa the late 1970’s. I would specifically suggest Bob Seger singing Roll Me Away. I must pause a moment to listen to this song and smile.

I am back, although the pause was longer than expected as I had to scroll through a few other songs by Bob.

Mike and I did not date in the true sense of the word. We went to lunch a few times. A few eyebrows were raised as we pulled back into the parking lot of my dental office on his motorcycle after lunch. I think I remember a dinner and I definitely remember going with him once to a Martial Arts competition. I also remember 1 night and then it was over. Mutually over.

Motorcycle man #3

His name was Paul. I knew him in high school slightly. I then came to know him again because in a long involved way he came to know my ex boyfriend. This was the ex boyfriend whom I did not want to be “the ex” at the time. Young, stupid, and thinking it was love. It took me a while but I realized that was not love. Paul in some odd way that I don’t really remember became the ex boyfriends roommate after I exited the shared house. The ex and I had many mutual friends and we would run into each other quite often initially after the break up. Paul again was one of those bad boys. Paul was also really into drugs. Lots of drugs. This was probably 1980 or 1981. This was my I’m-going-to-do-everything-I-didn’t-do-in-high-school-phase. This was also my I’m-going-to-get-back-at-the-ex-for-dumping-me-phase.

Come to think of it, I believe that drugs were what drew the ex and Paul together. I think they worked with each other and through a mutual interest in all things hemp related, they became friends. The ex originally had been a “good boy” but he had his rebellious phase prior to mine and chose to jump on the experimental bandwagon. Long story that is best saved for later but my outcome with Paul was two-fold. A downright, flaunt it in your face one night stand under the very roof of the house I used to share with the ex and the drunkest motorcycle ride I have ever taken meaning the only drunk motorcycle ride I have ever taken.¬† In fact, I am pretty sure I haven’t been on a motorcycle since.

I look back on this night and wonder how and why I am still alive. The short version is that I appeared at a party with some of those mutual friends from earlier in the story. I drank, a whole lot. Paul had a motorcycle and Paul was going for a ride. Paul was drunk, high, hot and exactly what I thought would make the ex jealous.

I truly have no concept of where we went, how fast we were going or how long we were gone. I remember leaning into a corner, sliding, gravel, laughing hysterically and then we were back at the party. I never would have suspected until hearing Paul telling someone nearby just how close he came to dumping the bike that that particular ride may have been my last forever, taking away any choice I ever had to ride anywhere again.

Even though I know and understand the stupidity now I can’t help feeling a little smile tug at the corners of my mouth when I remember all three of those motorcycle men.

 

Saturday Writing Prompt

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Well, that’s a loaded question isn’t it?

At my age I hope one answer would be that I am still alive, still capable of functional thought and action but there are days I have my doubts about that one. Not so much the alive part but the functional part.

As a wife, there are days I have my doubts in this arena also. Shocking revelation to many readers here but please don’t read more into this than I am able to comprehend myself at this point in time. He goes one way, I go another and what that means for either of our futures I really don’t know. I do find myself asking the question, “Did we ever have anything in common at all?” lately. Enough said on this one for now.

As a mother, I hope that another child, or maybe two will have married; that there are more lovely grandchildren running amok in my life and that all of these various components are happy, really truly happy.

As the student, well crap, I don’t even know where to head with that prediction. I am such an nontraditional student in the first place. Here is this woman, who at forty something decides to go to college to earn her degree. She gets the AA but then just can’t leave well enough alone and jumps into the process for her BA for no apparent reason other than she:

-likes education

-wants a challenge

-is maybe slightly masochistic

-is trying to prove a point? and to whom?

-is determined to reach a lifelong goal (Okay, I like that one)

The truth of the matter is that I have no intent of doing much at all with this degree once I have it. I simply could have taken every single one of these classes that have been a part of my life for the past few years as audit classes. But dammit, I realize that secretly, or maybe not so secretly, I wanted that piece of paper that has my name nicely printed in calligraphy smack dab in the middle with the nifty designation of Bachelor of Arts underneath it. If, by some cosmic alignment of universal force, someone  somewhere asks me to apply all this sociology that I am cramming into my brain cells in a practical sense, well then I just might do something with this degree once it is conferred. If not, then I have really truly been working for the last few years to simply finance my odd obsession with education.

Which brings me to the last role of significance worth mentioning here.

As the employed American worker, in 10 years I hope I am not employed. To my new boss, when you read this, please do not fire me on Monday. I still need a paycheck because I have not figured out my life quite yet. The excitement of the new changes in my professional life are intriguing, and actually fill me with a sense of renewal. I must be honest though. I have worked a long time. Not really long enough to retire but a long time. My ass is big enough. I don’t want to sit on it all day and watch daytime TV but I also can see the end of the employee journey getting closer.

That’s about as close as I can get to any 10 year predictions right now. If those brain cells of mine are still firing in 2022 maybe I’ll post an update so we can all see what actually happened.

 

That brief photo excursion

I did manage to get out with the new camera the other day and gets some pictures although I was sidetracked by a little shopping trip and was then disappointed in the lack of nature in my local park. Sounds odd I know but I was really hoping for more flowers to be in bloom and this local park was not cooperating. There were a large number of children playing in the park that day also and I had this weird, creepy feeling trying to snap pictures when everything I wanted to photograph had semi-naked children in the scene. I had this nagging worry that police officers might appear behind me and inquire as to why I was taking so many pictures of little ones frolicking in the wading pool and grass.

I did get a few pictures that show a smidge of history of our city. We actually are rather famous as the home of Ezra Meeker, hop farmer extraordinaire. This picture actually shows a refreshed concrete and steel footprint of his original homestead which just happens to be in our local downtown park. The youths were hampering a better shot this time around.

Once dear old Ezra made it big in the hop industry, he and his family were able to move up in the world and build this mansion just a few blocks to the east of his original homestead.

The city now uses this gorgeous home as a museum and event venue for things like weddings

These are some of the other attractions that occupy this one particular downtown park: our library with its chiming clock tower, the newly built stage area where they hold outdoor concerts and directly behind that is the pavilion where part of our local farmers market takes place each weekend. The pavilion can also be rented as a wedding reception venue after a lovely wedding in the park proper.

Finally, I did get a few shots of some of the prettier roses that were still blooming in the small rose garden but missed out on the huge rhododendrons that had already come and gone.

And finally, just two of the many pieces of public art that adorn almost every corner and free space along our main street.