Monday, November 30, 2009

A Lost Book Of Names

Hello to those of you I have never seen identified on this Blog.  I like you a great deal as well, and do not care as to whether you comment or not.  These words are for our people.  And that is you.  A friend of mine, Midnight, reminded me of this just now.  And she wrote the letter some time ago.  How powerful her words, to bring me back here, yes...  

Whether you comment or not, hello.  I suppose science has laid to rest the function of prayer.  And your prayers are felt by me. Thank you.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Making an Ass Out Of You and Me

I've mentioned before how astonishing I find this meta conversation that Blogging (and other computer aided conversation) is.  Well, in my last post I wrote of my fascinating family who really mix the loving and accepting with small grace notes of profundity (the Colts!) as we celebrate our lovely lives together.  A number of you responded with words that delighted me for more than an hour, yesterday, as I attempted to consider not only the meaning they had added to my meditation, but also the significance of them to my life.  You people are a piece of work.  Real piece of work.  And you add to my happiness.  A great deal.

In any case, when I returned to my computer today, I wanted to remind myself, before posting something new, what was so wonderful about yesterday.  There was a new comment, from Mule.  In the comment Mule expanded on some things he had hinted at before to me in other comments.   He's been a somewhat politically conflicted guy his whole life.  He's worked hard, and lived somewhat hard, his whole life.  He feels old, but unlike some, as they near their golden years (he's only 57) his perspectives have not hardened into a disinterested apathy.  No, his perspectives have grown in their breadth and expanse, to be more and more inclusive of others... Hilariously, he voted for a Democrat, last election, EVEN THOUGH HE'S NEVER TRUSTED DEMOCRATS!  Well, Mule, neither have I.  But then... don't get me started.

All of the above was lovely to hear and consider.  But then Mule spoke about a neighbor he had met when he was invited to dinner with her and and her husband.  "Kind decent people.  Her husband is away at evenings and I started visiting the wife when her husband works.  She told me I was welcome any time.  She always gave me delicious food every time I visited.  Turkey, cheese, hamburgers, you name it man.  She told me a lot about her life.  Her husband was appartently an asshole, never made enough money for her.  I told her about my wife who left me fifteen years ago for another man.  And my children who never visit.  This old man sits at home by himself with only a cleaning lady who visits daily. And some friends from my job.  So I suggested she should get over to my house now and then and use my swimming pool.  She was overjoyed.  My house is her house, I told her.  We had a hell of a time for a while.  I felt twenty years younger and started to putting on weight.  We ate a lot, Andy.  And drank.  It was a true paradise.  Then she told me half a year ago they had to move.  Why? I asked.  Turns out the worthless husband had lost his job.  "Alright," I said.  This country doesn't protect its citizens.  I never thought about it before, but when looking at this beautiful, innocent forty year old woman with long black hair, I felt, what the fuck?  I may be turning into a communist or socialist but I will protect my community.  I would not accept this.  I went over to the husband.  He was smoking.  I told him right there and then the poor man had a job as a handy man to help me with things.  I payed him $1400.  More than nothing, the man was in tears as he accepted.  You see, Andy, I look after my community." ....continues, "Lately, I realized this country should do the same!  People with money should help the poor.  Next time it could be me.  Or you my friend.  We aimed for a shining temple on a hill, but this temple shall include all of us."  "Freedom is more than words, don't you think?  It's bread and butter, ham on rye."

Well Mule, their are certainly some pessimistic and cynical wags out there somewhere that would merely see in your words the self medication of a good Samaritin.  But I believe you discovered grace, and like the Dancing Scrooge, found it somewhat difficult to keep the secret.  You opened your home to a stranger, when she showed you an unexpected kindness.  And you found, in these simple, pedestrian moments at home... what? swimming, and having a whiskey? a paradise.  One that was in you all along. But, man Mule, it's a hard thing to find, without a little help from our friends.  I'm so thrilled you shared this with me.

I do not think fiscal conservatism is incompatible with a progressive society.  We need not blow our money.  The biggest waste in America is, as you said, not money, but real "bread and butter, ham on rye."  Our real freedom is the chance to continue, to be free to be loved and to love others.  To sit still, or to come away.  All of which has been converted by a number of complex factors in modernity, to look like a credit card, or a paycheck.  Living from paycheck to paycheck is not only living without proper security to truly be able to see the world around you, but also living through that tiny little porthole called money.  And money cannot be spent on the same merits as love.  It can purchase ribbons, bows, trophies, and baubles.  It can buy a new Macintosh, and be the centerpiece of an evenings admiration by your friends.  But, living through paychecks will only bind you tightly to whatever economic system you live under, providing you with no choices whatsoever beyond the purveyors of your appetites.  A life lived by the brain stem alone.  Fancy.

You can stand still in life.  Even clutching your infant, who, I know, it seems like will die the minute you live for anything other than it.  But you can stand still.  With a bottle for the kid.  And consider what you live for, DESPITE your inclinations.

I wont tell any stories about people I have been loved by, and the happiness it brought them to sacrifice for me.  And I won't tell you any anecdotes that reflect the thick moorings of my happiness... the old wisdoms are nearly obvious in their ubiquity.  It isn't RIGHT to treat people as you want life to treat you... it is basically your only option (should you wish to ever enjoy your dangerous life.) Those who steal from the living, to conjure imaginary kingdoms in their short lives on this planet, are, like it or not, as deserving of my love as the woman with brown hair.  The rich are unhappy in the same proportion as the poor.  Only love, listening, joy, laughter, and the simple, endless truths of the great wisdoms of the world will ever cut the mustard, for this ham on rye.  A dollar is but a promise made by a bank, by comparison. So.... hoard promises, if thats your reality.  Or use them, like Mule, to love another, and receive something---- real---- in return.

Would that the eyes of the world be upon you, Mule.  But hey, I guess, in a sense, you really had no choice.

That you have made mistakes is the consequence of your suspension between birth and death.  That you have loved is the consequence of your discovery of something that ideology could never hope to proffer.

Thank you Mule.  I am eager to be a man like you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Keepin' it Turkey

Tomorrow is what for many Americans must be a favorite holiday.  I'm not sure Christians would completely feel comfortable saying it, but Thanksgiving is an awfully fun and easy time.  And even for the cook, what could be more fun than an entire day of pigging out (and watching football.)

Some families have lavish meals with ham, turkey, and god knows what variation on the usual table sagging feast.  Some people fill the turkey with oysters (which sounds like a great thing to try.  How could, provided the oysters were fresh, it taste BAD?)   Some people have a complicated "stuffing" mix (a sort of bread mixture that is put into the turkey.  Health officials have been warning the public for years to keep it out of the bird, and bake it in a pan instead, due to the fact that Americans routinely eat Turkeys that through the process of slaughter are infected with human pathogens.  The stuffing keeps the turkey much cooler, and absorbs the germs, protecting them from the killing heat of the oven.  It's part of the fun of the American "feed," be it BBQ, or Thanksgiving, to cheat death, break the rules, and give grandma a kiss all at the same goddamn time.  Hey!

I'm not really in the mood to ask a lot of questions about Thanksgiving.  I never really thought it meant anything but the enjoyment of family, anyway.  One thing you always notice on Thanksgiving is that every driveway is absolutely filled with cars of visitors, and people are packed in every house.  Of course, some people go to a restaurant, and order a depressing variation on what grandma can't cook anymore.  It's a great measure of the difference between what commercial establishments promise, and what, at the end of the day, even the finest can really deliver.  Savor for a shilling; but only at the right time, and never over the boundary of the sacred.  Blackened redfish for Thanksgiving, at least in Indiana, is roughly equivalent to having sex on a churches altar.  Even if nobody but God knows.  It's simply a fact.

Very few holidays in America, are about America.  Sure, the fourth of July, is supposedly about America... but if you bring that up at the BBQ, people will tolerate you, as opposed to welcome any sort of conversation.  You could say instead, "Have you seen that cat video, on You Tube, where the cat is inside a pair of underpants (even if you are making it up!) and the entire table, or patio of people will laugh and tell you their own You Tube obsession.  Just don't discuss the fourth of July in the context of American history.  It's like, fifth grade history, or something.  Know what I mean?  (say "know what I mean" with no spaces between the words, and you are getting close to sounding like a Hoosier.  Be sure to really ring that "mean."  MEEEEEEEN!)

Thanksgiving, however, sort of beats the crap out of you if you don't sort of realize its significance where the coming together of family and friends is concerned.  Always at the back of your mind, even if you're a surly redneck, is that this was the holiday that sort of nods at that tiresome, and none the less slightly true fact that America is that idiotic country where people break bread together who have absolutely nothing in common.  Of course, there are many other countries that merge many different cultures probably far more effectively than America.  But still... I more or less have no ethnicity, and it's been a long time since a date even asked me, "where do you come from."  It completely doesn't matter.  That I write poetry is perhaps twenty times more important to someone I meet than the fact that I am Polish, French, German, and Irish.

So, it's probably the case that at Thanksgiving, we sit with the ghosts of our grandparents and ask them, "why didn't you notice your husband had that funny accent... couldn't you have married a person from the home country?"  Then someone asks you to pass the gravy, and grandma's passions sort of make sense.  She was probably eating something, and noticed the guy with the hot-dog.  It was the hot-dog that made her do it.  We're Americans.  Hot dogs are important.  Pass the gravy.  "Let's talk Turkey."  Nowadays you'd say, if you were my age, "keep it real."  Same difference.  In America.  But do people say in France, "Let's talk Turkey."  I doubt it.  They probably say, "Lets boil a frog in the river it was born."  I could well imagine that.  Of course the kids in France, due to the global passion for the artform of the African American, say, to their parents total shock and illness, "keepin' it real."  Ribbit.

I  told you I wasn't going to consider this thing critically.  I refuse.  I'm going to my aunt and uncles tomorrow, and we're going to eat a lot, play Charades, probably go to a movie, and drink to the point where driving is a real bad idea.  And halfway through the meal a litmus test of a persons true American mirth will be dipped in each person at the tables soul.  What's this?  Well... my uncle, a great lover of obvious questions and I think a close observer of human behavior, though he'd never really make you feel analyzed or anything, typically asks everyone at the table, to go in a circle and state what they are thankful for.  This is generally not done, in case you aren't aware of this, in America, since like everywhere else, "what I am thankful for" runs somewhat counter to the basic observation that today is, as it were, "another day in paradise."  As in, one more goddamn day.  So my uncle ignores this basic tenant of the typical modern individual and asks you anyway.  And everyone says something.  It's a nice tradition, and like most such things, drives the sufferers of particularly bad humours rather nuts.  Which is perhaps its true appeal for me.  I could easily get away with saying, "I'm thankful that the Seinfeld cast is going to be together on this months episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, at eight PM eastern standard time on HBO!"  and everyone would giggle, but nod politely, and more or less mean it.  I could as easily say that I was thankful that I lived for twenty two years of Mother Teresa's life, before she died some eleven or twelve years ago.  Way to go Mother!  I miss you.  Thanks!  And my family would nod sagely, there being at this sacred table, no particularly jarring difference between Mother Teresa and the television listings (or for that matter, my appetite for either of them.)  This can drive a philosopher crazy. But for me, it goes really well with cranberries, mashed potatoes, and corn bread all mixed together, cold, in the middle of the night, my feet bones aching on the tile floor of a dark midnight... giggling with my cousins.  Let the philosopher have the aria of his or her convictions, and I'll take the simple, concentrated animal feeding operation of my truly thankful people.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Close Encounters With A Pimp-Bot

I got a lovely comment today for my last post, about my music.  The comment was more or less, ".................."  It appeared to be a link as well.  But I didn't notice that at first.  So I did my standard response to a new comment and wrote to the commenter named "Ladys."

"Ladys," I wrote, "I haven't seen you here before, but that's the longest ellipsis I have ever seen."  Later today I clicked on the "long ellipsis" and it turned out it was a link... to a chinese porn site.  What's funny is that I visited the Ladys profile page, just to see who "Ladys" was, earlier.  And I was excited to have a Chinese follower!  Turns out it's a pimp bot.

Come to think of it, perhaps I am thrilled to be followed by a Chinese pimp bot.  A custom tailored, "Ladys" killer, that we'll call.... Chinese Pimp-Bot.

I guess I am rather naive.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Music (finally)

Well... it's going to take awhile, but before long I will have every single song of mine recorded and put up on this little gadget in the sidebar.  The mixture of computer sites, and music equipment that I have had to learn about has been incredibly daunting... so I am sorry to all of you who have been so kind to ask after my music.

This first song is my original demo of "Highway 46."  I had just returned from Madison, Indiana that day, working for Habitat for Humanity for an evening, and as I recount in Domestic Neon (under Highway 46's post) mourning my mothers father, my Grandfather Wilondek's death.  And my mothers loss.  And my own.

My voice you hear, is singing the rough outlines of the song for the very first time.  As the track begins you  can hear the radiator hissing, and it's valves popping.  I like that very much, but my future versions of the song "might" be missing that.  We'll see.

Obviously the version I wrote in Domestic Neon, is the one I sing today.  But I am very attached to all versions of my songs (a bad idea, to say the least.)

I hope I can get all my music on here before too long.  In 2010 I hope to force myself to write one bad song a day, and quickly record it.  I know I can do it, and it will help force me into more interesting musical places.

The guitar I am playing here is a beat up old sixty dollar collectors item I more or less learned to play on. I had no idea that I would be so inspired that night.  I started four of my favorite songs ever that night.  Thanks Grandpa, and Mom.

And thanks to you.

Andy Coffey

PS  The picture is not the greatest, the stupid website was crashing over and over, and it was the best I could do.  I will replace it with an accurate representation of my incredibly handsome self as soon as the plastic surgeons work heals up a little.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Szilard Loved Utopia

He called you Moonlight, when he brushed his face against your cheek; his chaste gesture held more longing than a handful of kisses.  "Your skin is like moonlight," he'd say, tracing the almond shape of your eyes, and staring close in, in wonderment at the shape of your eyelids, then laughing.

"What are you laughing at?" you asked him.

"I just feel so happy that I can stare at you now," he'd say, as if your love had already been sealed and given over to the commitment and vow of marriage.  At those times he truly seemed contented.

With a world falling apart, and the adults, parents, teachers and all the rest working tirelessly to plug the holes in the dyke, you hid your friendship, and denied even to each other the fervency of your desires.  He met you in the graveyard, where the last remaining rational people in your town lived, and laid down amongst them as much in hiding, and in comfort, as for pleasure.

You lay within his arms, and when he finished inhaling your scent and staring at your glossy wet eyes, he looked to the sky and asked, every time, questions about the sky.  Your father had taught you all the stories of the constellations.  The myths of the hunters, the sisters, the scale balance, and the warrior.  And you would recite the stories again with your hand aloft and pointing to the slowly turning sky: black but punctured by a world that wanted in to the district of this darkness: a small patch of shadow in a solar system of sunlight.  He'd reach up while your hand swept the universe, and touch your arm.  And sometimes when you finished a story, you'd wish to see his face, and tears would be wet upon it, which you could not help but rub with your fingers, and touch upon your lips.  On such evenings the the two of you would come dangerously close to talking about some memory of pleasure, which had for so long been denied you.  As if the promise of his tears and your gleaming eyes, had somehow reminded you of a world where you both were not slaves to the insane adult world.  Where gravestones were mere chairs in which sat the lively ghosts of persons who had only known happiness.  A complete impossibility for the townsfolk alive, and yourselves.

All to soon the warrior, and his starry belt, had crossed the sky, and he would say to you, "I cannot look upon your face again tonight, for I must go, and you should too.  I cannot look at you." He hurt you a little with an embrace as desperate as it was welcome, and picked you up off the ground, and without a goodbye, walked back toward his home.

As you walked you thought of the larger world, knowing nothing of it really.  Except the awful looks on your parents faces when they read the paper, and listened to the radio.  Something terrible was happening; was going to happen; and surely already had.  You could not remember the last time you had stood beneath the cherry trees, you mother smiling in an unmistakable ecstasy.  When had your mother last smiled at all?

Four days later...

The boy who called you Moonlight was killed that morning, beneath a mushroom cloud above your home, Hiroshima.  All anyone knew, among the living, was a new normal of hunger, thirst, fire, and, probably most of all, death.  The pressing night sky, your hand up in the heavens, and the feeble thought that you are beautiful, died with your first love.

(This is a true story, of real children. She is seventy four years old, and lives at home, with her children, in Hiroshima, Japan.)

(Leo Szilard, a physicist, was standing at a stop light, in London, and when the light turned green, it matched one in his head.  At that moment he was the only man in history who had even the slightest notion of what a nuclear chain reaction was.  The reason:  it had just occurred to him at the stoplight.  Szilard was a very committed optimist, and believer in world government.  He believed the chain reaction would be used industrially.  Six years later, "she" lost her love, and Szilard, more or less, got a glimpse of the closest he'd ever come to Utopia, which, to his credit, he suffered for with the remainder of his days.)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Perfect Day

A short time I have to be with you my love
But a short time is better than no time you see
So I bring to you all my posessions and would that you share them with me
I bring one springtime of robins one springtime of robins to sing
I bring you one summer of roses one summer of roses I bring
I bring you the dry leaves of autumn dry leaves will be helpful you know
To soften the fall of your snowflakes when I bring you your winter of snow
------Willie Nelson "Summer of Roses"

  One season is always something that another is not.  With yearning, regardless of the essence of the season, for something essential to another, but gone until it returns.  A Christmas thunderstorm might occur once in a great while but, in general, it should be a real option should one wish to exercise it, to miss thunderstorms at Christmas.  Thunderstorms don't know Winter so well, and go South with the birds that time of year.

The Spring is not the fall, and suffers for that.  Just as the Winter is not the Summer and suffers for that.  Just as the Summer will lack what the Spring had to offer, and one might yearn for a gift of another season.

 As Autumn comes into the fullness of its ripeness, we are  much with the peculiar dying of what we watched develop so recently with such joy.  We cannot guess, because we are human, that we will shortly be celebrating the holiday season.  When we are with the death of the green goddess of Spring, Christmas seems a bent and drunken plastic fakery.  But when Christmas comes, Autumn is not on our mind.  The swirling mythos of  human mastery over darkness and discomfort make the blazing song of Autumns display, seem merely the base traces left by something displaying the color of life, without it's crucial open smile.

When the Winter gives us it's seven hours of light and seventeen of darkness, we walk past buildings that in seemingly another life would give a constant radiant warmth from their sun scalded masonry surface, night and day.  But in January, the life that that warm, invisible glow seems to infuse in the topography of your stroll through town is gone entirely, and what looks identical feels as if it's receding right before your eyes.  The feeling is eery and you look to the sky for comfort.  Oddly, the Winter sky is more beautiful and saturated all day and night long than during the warm season, but it cannot reach you with it's cirrus so high and made of ice.  In January, only water can provide the appropriate respite from the steadfast refusal of the world to respond with feeling. Water frozen, or water expanding and heaving the soil.  Water frosting the windows into unstained, but beautiful art glass.  Water providing a dimension to the flat fact of cold that otherwise would seem a vacuum.  And when it snows, everyone knows the world is reborn, except that it categorically has not been.  We are repositioned to accept it.  It seems to have responded to our needs.  And we, therefore, refuse to believe this place so appropriate to the curious human wonder, could even be related to the dark, grey, place of feeble daylight that it shares a season with.  The power of our pleasure at a Winter wonderland is a testament to our yearning and twisting denial of the cold, dark, world.

And yet with all that, and in much the same vein, what should one make of "the perfect day."  The step out your door and the sun is shining and it's sixty five, "we have all day," all thirteen hours left of it, that is.  The perfect day.  Who doesn't see the bounce in the step of people as they walk with the astonishment that this is the same life as the one where they lay prey to a dentist.  A world informed by fantasy, again.  The same world, subject to the same vagaries of sunlight and water.  A butterfly beat its wings in a Saharan drought, and now the whole Goddamn town is smiling due to the Chaos of the thing.  "No, Andy, " they will say, "it's only that it's so nice."  And I suppose I should salute them.  When it comes to perfect days, there is the fact that they are beyond compare.

Should you be, however, a persistent fool (a cruel thing to call myself, yet in a democracy one risks a vote at every eventuality) you can't help but notice on the perfect day, there seems to be as much interest in the perfectness of the weather, and it's sheer compliance to the dictates and whims of bliss as a winter blizzard attracts an opposite sort of attention.  There is an undeniable persistence in the jocularity of the citizen as they spin their cane, or rock their hips with a new summer dress waving like the flag of the State of Grace.  Perhaps these revelers are merely appreciating things: students of the rare pleasures of life, and even rarer individual given the freedom to actually enjoy it.  I can't deny that a lot of people seem to fit that bill.

But, as you may have already guessed from my lighthearted mocking, the purpose I am attempting to embody with this Blog entry is one of asking:  does it ultimately serve a person to place a significance, great, or small on the "cool" of their day.  Is this season the one to be jolly.  And that, the one to regret?  Are you served by cursing the drought; the one that comes when it is normally very hot, and the rainfall not so much.  Are you hoping instead for the snowfall that you cursed at the other side of this ellipse of the sun?

Ultimately we look for any excuse to prescribe to nature the yoke of our feeling.  This is probably healthy, all things considered.  But antithetical to the wisdoms of the world I have noticed over the years.  The Winter day is not given its miseries by its action upon your body, so much as your total surrender to it's hand on your rudder.  The Meteorologists even developed the Wind Chill Factor  for the ostensible purpose of convincing people who are inclined not to take seriously the cold weather, and perhaps might die as a result, that it is colder than it really is.  More often than not the Wind Chill Factor is bandied about by the general public to make an mildly apocryphal case about how it really was.... "fifteen below....windchill."  The real temperature was twenty degrees outside, but which would you employ in a screenplay?

Sometimes, yes, the weather gets rough and the tiny ship gets tossed.  And sometimes, yes, some damned fool thinks the weather knows better than to mess with him, and finds themselves educated in a hurry on the finer aspects of a casket's interior (an undeniably innocuous environment.)  But, by in large as Randy Travis was surely suggesting in one of his songs twenty years ago,("as long as old men sit and talk about the weather,") people are going to find a way to speak to their preferences in life through their favorite subject.  And will their preferences be for what they are experiencing right now?

Only if it's a "perfect day."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Greenhouse In A Valley

Today was just the most beautiful, and moving day.  A few weeks ago I got a couple of calls from four or five people who needed stuff done. Of woman, the mother of a friends old employee (a gorgeous young beauty) called me a bit frantically about a greenhouse she was desperate to get into the ground before winter.  Her husband was too busy (and besides, she confided in me, he was frustrated that he couldn't figure the "kit" out. She was concerned about the effect of the whole project on her husbands manhood.)  They couldn't seem to figure the greenhouse kit out.  The snow would be flying soon.

"I can come tonight," I told her, three weeks ago.  "Oh, no.  Not right now... can you do it in a few weeks?" she asked me.

"Sure, just let me know. It's my pleasure."

So last night, after visiting my mentor in Indy, I drove to the Green's property down a road, North of Bloomington, which I had never been on.  The rode dove and dipped over ridges and down, steep and deeply into valleys, huge hardwood forests blanketed the landscape and small patchwork farms popped up at vertiginous angles.  The drive alone was like being in a national park.  And the Winter blood red sunset wasn't breaking my heart.  Having only missed one turn I called Pamela a few times, since the hills were killing my cellphone signal, and literally a hundred yards from her property, I turned down the thin ribbon of "road" and pulled up next to her falling down barn.

She showed me where the greenhouse was supposed to go.  I told her, "Great.  Where's the greenhouse kit."  She pointed to the falling down barn.  She thanked me and her husband shook my hand, and I went home, and was relieved to have finally looked them in the eye and shown them that I cared.

Well, today I drove back to the property, stunned at the unbelievable beauty of the valley in which they live.  It's nothing like a mountain valley.  It's midwestern.  But the hills are gorgeous and late morning fog and cows mix with the hardwoods recent loss of leaves, and an azure sky, to give all manner of feeling to this man.

So, when I pulled up to the house, I knew, this was the perfect location to be today.

All day long I searched and found solutions to that damned greenhouse.  It was supposed to be bundled up into a "kit" which was coded by little tickets and numbers and letters that the fifty page assembly book referred to.  Instead of such an organized "kit" what I found was a pile of aluminum posts and angles underneath a bunch of junk in the barn.  There were no identifying marks left attached.  Rain had soaked any and all paper and cardboard.  And a small pile of Raccoon shit topped things off like an Iron Chef.  I could see why Pamela had commented to me that she didn't doubt if I thought she was crazy.  These people weren't even trying.

That said, my policy is to enjoy the strange fact that in my life today, what would have confused me enormously in the past, and scared me away from trying things, I push right into and refuse to be afraid of these days. Every time the instructions turned out to be wrong and the "kit" didn't have the right pieces or identify in the instructions the right sequence of events, I just laughed to myself, that once again everything would work out, and at the end of the day I'd have a greenhouse, where Raccoons once stooped to conquer.

At the end of the day, Pamela came into the slanted winter light that had followed all the day through the valley, sweeping around the 120 year old Oak tree that stood off fourteen yards away ("There's a spring underneath that tree, and I guess the tree really likes that water," she told me.  Such a lovely woman.)

"I'm going to remember this incredible day on your delightful home property for the rest of this year and beyond, Pamela."  I think she actually blushed.  The embarrassing evidence of her husbands regret were being swept away by the bright glints of sunlight, shining off the newly erected aluminum structure.

"Were you hoping to start some plants in there, in February?" I asked her.

"Oh yeah," she said, smiling with scarcely concealed pride. "You never did get too frustrated today, did you, Andy?"

"More curious, then frustrated, Pamela.  I guess I'm not obligated to experience every complication in my customers lives as frustration in mine.  And besides, sometimes the world has really bad information, at hand, for an otherwise pretty reasonable cause.  A greenhouse is a wonderful thing to conjure in the world, and regardless of my amusement at the damned "creative" soul who designed this kit, I can't help but appreciate that you have now allowed me to go and tell my friends, when they ask, 'Yeah, I built a greenhouse today, for Pamela Green.' Thanks, Pamela Green.  You still think that I think you are crazy?"
"I guess not," and she smiled that beautiful smile.  I drove away, through the hills of this lovely world I live in, and couldn't help but wonder how that Winter tinged emerald valley came my way, save for grace, and the chance to be a little bit useful to the Green's.