Appetizers vs. entrees…


All was quiet on the texting front with the kids this past weekend.  In fact, the last recorded text from my two yahoos was from Ellen at 5:31 p.m. EST on Friday afternoon.  Mum is the word since then.

I don’t mind texting back and forth, then back and forth again, with the munchkins.  It is worth remembering that this is their chosen and accepted mode of routine communication with buddies and co-workers.  I have to remind myself of that every so often.

But the digital exchanges tend to be short and sweet and barren of grist.  Nothing of particular weight is proffered; “How are U?”, “What are U doing?, that sort of thing.  (Note: In another sign my mind does not hit on all cylinders, I persist in crafting full sentences with real capitalization and full punctuation in texts.  Mercifully, Verizon does not charge by the character.)

From my vantage point, text messages are strictly the appetizer of communication.  The entree, if you will, is reserved for the single pages when I can stretch topics out, laze through a list of what they might want to read and put some meat on the bones.  Nothing wrong with texts, mind you, if you like bite size portions of information.  Texting is contact-Lite.

Here is last week’s letter to Ellen and her bro.

April 12, 2010

Ellen/Reid: It is amazing that, when you clean your windows, light actually comes through.  It’s only been four years since they last saw Windex.  That was most of my Sunday; cleaning up the house.  There were dust bunnies the size of rhinos and all manner of other things that deserved to be picked up and summarily discarded.  It felt good to at least take step one in the journey of cleanliness.  Over the long run, however, the whole place needs professional TLC.

All that sweat equity was done before the onset of the Masters.  It was great television for the golf masses.  EP, I know it was of no interest to you but it was wonderful drama.  Phil Michelson hit some shots that he had no business hitting.  For $1.35 million, not a bad four days of work.  My game on Saturday showcased a different brand of golf; left-to-right and weak.

Our weather has been nothing short of fabulous these past couple of weeks.  Of note has been a persistent dusting of pine pollen which literally coats everything with a yellow powder.  It lasts for about two weeks.  My car, the bike, the porch, the trash bin and air conditioning unit were covered in the dusty stuff.  Reportedly the pine pollen is not an allergen unlike oak pollen and the like but it’s still a mess.  When it rained there were yellow puddles everywhere water accumulated.  What I think are lilacs are in full bloom everywhere.  Even on my walks it smelled like my grandmother’s house.

Too bad Butler couldn’t pull off the upset.  They were the nation’s darling of a team, and no doubt 90% of the audience were pulling for the Dawgs.  I think they just had early jitters and let Duke set the muscular tone.  Of interest are the basketball budgets for both schools.  Duke spends in excess of $14 million, Butler just a tad over $1.  You think there is a correlation?  Duke practiced checkbook basketball.

Speaking of dough, found $20 on the sidewalk last week.  Spent it on gas and apples.  Whee.

Went for a very long ride last Sunday, about 180 miles in and around South Carolina.  Still struck by the abject poverty and living conditions for many families down there.  Reportedly the unemployment rate is pushing 14% which is entirely too high.  Honestly, I’m not sure what people down there do for a living other than cut down trees.  Some of those folks live in a permanent recession.

The lettuce on the front porch is ready to go.  Had my first little salad with it last night – along with baked chicken (375F for 65 minutes) – and it was quite good.  If I continued to feed it with Miracle Gro it would grow the size of a small tree.  The tomato has boomed up five or six inches in the first week as has the basil and the parsley.  I could pick some now if I wanted to.  As it is, it gives me something to look forward to each morning when I lug the watering can out front to give the plants a drink.

I flunked the morality test last week.  While out for my very early Saturday morning stroll with a cup of coffee, I came across a homeless guy up in the swanky shopping center behind the house.  He was fussing with what passed for shoes, which honestly might have included cardboard soles.  I walked by and then turned around, thinking that he could use my shoes which, while old, were a damn side better than the tattered things he had on his feet.  But I worried about how far I would have to walk home barefoot – about 1.5 miles – and I just kept on going.  I have stewed and lamented that lost moment where I could’ve made a difference for someone.  My faith went South.

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