Years ago (good grief, 8, 9, maybe 10 years ago, maybe more) DS was in the Army serving as a linguist in Korea and it was hard to know when it was a good time to call him or when he might call us. So Durwood bought me a wall clock with Chinese characters instead of numbers that we hung on the kitchen wall right by the regular clock and set to "DS time." Then when DD went to study in England for a semester, I went to Walmart and found a metal and stained glass clock that looked kind of British to me, hung it next to the Korea time clock, and set it to "DD time." That same year when Durwood and I were on a dive vacation in Bonaire he bought a little ceramic clock with a decal of the island on it, hung it by the other "time" clocks, and set it to Bonaire "wish we were there" time. We got so used to having that cluster of clocks that even when both kids were back home between Army or college and real life, we kept the clocks but changed the times. We reset them when DD moved to Kentucky and when DS & his beloved, who became DIL1, moved first to California and then to Montana. DD's still in Kentucky but DS & DIL1 have moved back here; we still maintain the clocks. So when I saw that the Photo A Day theme is "time" I knew what to take a picture of. I survived the whirlwind that was my after-work yesterday. I got across town (I did have to dodge a train that closed off Walnut St.) to the wake of DS's scoutmaster and the father of one of his best friends. (We were standing in the line to greet the family and give them hugs and he said, "I'm too young to be going to the funerals of my friends' parents, and this is the third one." What do you say to that? "Yes, you are.") I got to the knitting guild board meeting a bit late and left a bit early so that I could arrive at the City Band concert just as they launched into the Star Spangled Banner. (It's not that easy to walk fast carrying your chair, purse & knitting, press your hand to your heart, and sing but I managed, gasping, but I managed.) There's a VFW convention in town so the program of patriotic music was just right. They played a medley of the armed services hymns and asked those who had served in each to stand when they were played. It broke my heart to see the bent old man in front of us rise from his wheelchair with the help of his young attendant to stand while his service hymn played and have to sit before it was over, and how her strong hand stroked his shoulders as he cried. There were kids playing loudly on the playground behind us, kids selling painted rocks to get money to help pay for park activities this summer, popcorn for sale, couples with wine in wicker baskets & real glasses, families on bikes, residents of the houses ringing the park on their porches and lawns, one politician glad-handing a bit (Dave Hansen) but not too much, and a veritable throng of listeners on rows of park benches, lawn chairs, and blankets. It was one happy, chilly herd of Americana in action. We all stood and sang the national anthem at the start and then stood again to sing God Bless America at the end, and people sang, by God, they stood up and sang, waving little flags the VFW women had handed out, and it made tears in my eyes to be in the midst of it.
June 14--Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Socrates. Ed stopped in front of the huge canvas. He stopped so abruptly that Linda plowed into him, stepping on his heel before she could stop herself. "For God's sake, Ed, warn me before you stop dead like that." He nodded but wasn't really paying attention to her anymore. "D'you see these guys in this painting. They look like actual people. Like they could step down out of the frame and walk away." He never took his eyes off the painting as he spoke. She stepped around her stalled husband to keep up with the group. She kept expecting Ed to catch up with her but he didn't. She found him outside the museum on a stone bench with his nose buried in a book about French painters reading the section about Jacques-Louis David like he was cramming for an exam.
Okay. I have to work today. I've got a soup bowl (I forgot one yesterday) and a little Tupperware of cider vinegar to maybe make my Italian Shrimp & Veggie Soup taste like something. Did you know that trick? DIL1 taught me when I'd made some mostly veggie soup that was too bland for words. Just a tablespoon in a pot of soup makes a world of difference so I've got my vinegar and a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon. I'm all set to work soup magic. I also have a needle and thread so that I can make hexagons. I had the fabric, scissors, and pins yesterday but no needle and thread. Hard to sew without them.