Thursday, March 12, 2009

Memory Jog

Red hearts on blue wall with a sprinkling of snow on the Canadian Redbud. This one is a weeping variety named 'Lavender Twist' growing only 4-6 feet high (Cercis canadensis 'Covey').

Memory Jog
what I did not write about but actually deserves an entry

  • I got tenure last spring.
  • Since last fall Teenage Daughter is attending a public boarding school about a four hours drive away.
  • We have a new ‘garage’ or actually new large shed because of complaints from Republican Gay Guy neighbor. If you do repairs for upkeep, even if re-building the old structure, you do not have to go through the Historic Preservation approval process.
  • Republican Gay Guy neighbor received his building permit, but had to alter his plans considerably. He has not started building yet. Not too long ago he planted at the front section of our property line five small Leyland Cypress trees and five Cleyera shrubs, all within ten feet. Not possible? Yes, it is – if the plants are still small and planted less than one foot apart from each other. The plants are from Lowe’s with their large tags still attached to them, all with planting instructions and indicating the distance from each other. I feel so sorry for those poor plants.
  • Teenage Daughter has her first boyfriend. She turned fifteen last September.
  • Do I have empty nest syndrome or whatever? Lethargy during the fall and winter definitely played a role in my life.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Daffodils bending under an unusual snow fall.

Snow in the South is an adventure. We have about two inches, the most I have ever experienced while living here. If it were a school day, I am sure schools would not have opened. But it is Sunday, so instead most of the churches have canceled services, and the public library will remain closed during the usual opening time in the afternoon. The world is white, and we enjoy it and go crazy. The TV stations change programming, and we get to see live cams, but mostly pictures people have emailed to the stations showing them frolicking in the snow. We also went for a walk in the morning and took pictures. Black dog was running and playing in the white stuff like a young puppy. In Icebox State this would be nothing special, but here it is a true adventure. I did not email my photos.

I took a hiatus from blogging. I have asked myself on and off about the nature of blogging, more specifically, what do I expect from blogging. I know that I have read from time to time blogs, mostly about gardening. I do not know why, but the academia blogs can be interesting, but most of the time they tend to be tedious, always they same complaints about students, colleagues, committees, life on the tenure track, and the like. For me they are an excellent reminder not to be caught up too much with academic life, but also pursue a private life. One could say that gardening blogs are also repetitious, the same seasons, plants grow, go dormant or die, others come up again in spring. Still I enjoy most of the time the gardening blogs. Why continue in my spare time to write about the tedious aspects of professional life? I understand that the process of writing can be cathartic, but my guess is, that I do not strife for catharsis in that area of my life by writing about it on a regular basis. Playing in my garden does that for me.

So what do I expect from blogging? Most blogs are meant to be read by others. Some bloggers strive for as many readers as possible, others write for a smaller group, maybe family and friends. Do I also have a reader in mind while I am writing here? Initially I saw this blog as a kind of diary, maybe with some restrictions by keeping the privacy of friends and family. I wished to keep track how my garden changes throughout time, but I also wish to be honest with myself and write about matters that are on my mind. Yesterday I was baking bread and watching TV while preparing the dough. NCIS, a criminal investigation show was on. I like the show, the characters are all individuals, and the women are smart and strong. One of the protagonists is not necessarily up to date with information technology and did not know what a blog is. Someone explained that "blogging is for losers." So blogging as a means not to participate in face to face interchange but writing for an anonymous crowd? I like this anonymity. On the other hand I am also attracted to the friendships that may develop and even lead to group gatherings as happening with the gardening bloggers.

For now this is my diary lying around in the open. I am aware that this diary is somewhat artificial since I am writing in English and not my native language. This fact alone proves that I obviously must have a reader in mind while writing. But this is still my diary. And as it is with diaries, from time to time I feel like writing about some things, but others I do not, even though changes in my garden and my life take place. In that sense I am selfish. First and foremost I am not here for the blog, but the blog is here for me. I am glad I finally put this on my virtual paper.