Friday, April 25, 2008

on snow and illness

We've had more than a foot of snow today and it doesn't look like it will ever end.

I'm starting to feel better after two months of asthma symptoms. Asthma is very unpleasant, with all that coughing and gagging and retching. Asthma is more likely to disable or kill me than breast cancer at this point.

But I've been going to the pulmonolgist, standing in line at the drug store, writing large checks, and having chest xrays and somehow it hasn't bothered me much at all.

No one is trying to raise awareness of asthma or use it to sell me something. No asthma survivors are running around talking about it endlessly. The pulmonologist's office has normal magazines, like Audubon and Redbook. instead of Cure!, Heal!, Thrive! and (my favorite, although I've never opened it) MAMM.

The pulmonary equivalent? Maybe WHEEZE! or ?BREATHE.

Just an ordinary, common, unpleasant chronic disease. Like cancer.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

now! maybe?

Last weekend it snowed.

Today I found my lawn chair in the garage, and sat out in the sun with my coat on, reading Maureen Corrigan's "Leave me alone, I'm reading". Then I took my coat off. Rolled up my pants and took my shirt off. Then I moved into the shade.

The little dogs, like me, adore our little enclosed garden. It always amazes me (I have loved and farmed acres at a time) how wonderful a 40 foot by 40 foot space can be.

For 6 months of the year I hate my little condo. The 70's shoddy construction, the worn out windows and nasty cheap floors, the low ceilings and the little rooms.

Then, in the spring, I imagine the first time I saw it. Lilac, lily of the valley, bleeding heart, tiger lilies. The lovely single rose at the front door.

Today there are traces of poppies and day lilies.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

fried spinach - Birmingham, Alabama

I love southern food. I love having people following me around with silver pitchers murmuring "Sweet tea?". The answer is always yes. I believe southern fried foods are some of the most delicious things on the planet. (But then, I love muktuk too). I am neutral on okra, unless it is fried. Fried okra is good.

This fried spinach was rather yuukky. The texture of a potato chip, but with a taste of all that is dubious in spinach.

"You people will fry anything!" I said rudely.

Craig, a fellow diner, laughed. "You cain't hardly think of nothin' around here that ain't fallen in hot grease!" he said.

Actually Craig, like most Southerners I've met, is an educated man who speaks standard English elegantly.

Birmingham is a lovely city and I only wish I'd had more time to spend there. The "magic city", and the great figure of Vulcan looming over the pretty park. Dogwood and azalea.

Meanwhile, back in Alaska, we have had two feet of snow in a week and more predicted. But the days are sunny and endless, and it is hard to complain about something as lovely as new snow under that intense blue sky.