bunt sign

Monday, July 15, 2002

I keep expecting things to be different. I was away for ten whole days, but the world is still turning in the same direction. The sky is still gray and the grass is still brown. What gives?

They still haven't activated the "new" stoplight that's been blinking red at the corner of Sebastopol Road and South Wright for the last six months. The fence the landlord promised to fix is still broken, and the honeysuckle growing on it is still dying. The Israelis and Palestinians are still talking about talking.

I can't believe I'm driving down the same streets, to the same post office and grocery store, and I can't even tell any time has passed. I mean, I feel so different that it seems everyone else should feel it, too. I even look different, with my new haircut. Why doesn't anybody notice?

A few things about my yard were different when I got back. The bird feeders and birdbaths were emptied. The big birdbath was overturned on the paving stones and a chip broken off. But really, the yard looks better than I did when I left. The wisteria is lush and green and the oleander is blooming furiously, better than last year when I was so careful to water every day. That tells me something.

Maybe things are different and I'm just too mellowed out by my vacation to notice. I don't think so, though. I'm still yelling at the same idiot drivers who can't find their turn signals, and it still irritates me no end every time Barry Bonds gets walked intentionally. It seems the vacation adjusted my attitude more on the big important things than on the petty annoyances that don't really amount to much.

Shasta Lake

Kids walk along the top of the bank late in the afternoon.

My first day back at work was a modified, limited success. By that I mean it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it could have been. The few crises that cropped up were easily handled, or passed on to someone else. Nothing major took up the time I planned to use to take stock of where I am. I think that's the most important thing I can do on the first day, just look around and see what the priorities are. Once you know what needs to be done, it's a lot easier to do it.

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