Friday, March 29, 2013

Sandy days in town

The view is down one of the streets that border our town square. My store is to the left, but not visible.
The sand blows into every crevice of our buildings. I was looking around up above my front ceiling one day and discovered a pile of sand about two feet deep. I have no idea how the pile got into this one spot, but I bet there's a good ten pounds of sand.
My wife and I were in San Diego one year for a Modern Language Convention. We visited the old Settlers' Town. Most of the shops had displays sitting outside. I kept leaning over looking at items on display. I guess I looked weird staring at the leaves on plants. I was really up close. One of the shop owners asked me what I was looking for. I told her I was curious about how she kept sand off of every leaf. She looked at me like I was crazy. I told her where I was from that sand got on everything, even in our stores. People who don't live with sand simply don't understand. We breathe the sand almost every day. Today, we got a bit of rain over in the city. At first, I thought it smelled kind of nice, then I realized I was actually smelling mud.  I remember how clean the air smelled in Charleston, South Carolina during and after a rain.  Not so much here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Texas Tech was a great time in my life.

     I took this picture while sitting on a bench at Texas Tech University. My daughter, Shelby had broken her ankle, so I was driving from Levelland over to Lubbock to pick her up. As I sat in the shade, I thought back to the time I was studying at Texas Tech.
     I walked all over the campus for over a year, before transferring over to Lubbock Christian University where I completed my degree.  I remember the long walks from out near the Dome all the way into the center of the campus. I remember the days when the weather was so hot that the sweat ran down my face. I remember other days when the rain poured and I tried to stay dry under a huge umbrella. I arrived at campus by seven am. Many days I had late night classes and did not see the sun come up or go down.
     I was such a cool dude carrying my briefcase. . . for a month. By the end of the month, I realized why the smart people did not carry briefcases. I refused to carry a backpack, so I used a bag that I could sling over one shoulder. I suppose I refused to use a backpack because as a young boy in junior high, I did carry a backpack, but back then, no one else really used a backpack. I bought mine at the Army/Navy Store at downtown  Fort Worth, Texas. I carried my school books in that pack. I carried my baseball gear in that pack. I also carried fossils that I dug out of the creeks near Seminary South. Back then, I rode my bike everywhere. I even remember that one road on the way over to Seminary South was gravel. The hill down to the creek was super steep. Going down the hill was fun, but going back up hill was a struggle. With a pack loaded with about thirty pounds of fossils, Mike and I had to push our bikes back up hill. From the top of the hill back to our houses was probably about five miles. I guess a backpack reminds me of those fun times.
     Texas Tech was a wonderful experience. I had waited twenty-seven years to go to a University. I enjoyed every day of my time at Texas Tech. I probably enjoyed my hours in the stacks at the Library. We  still had the card files back then. In fact, computers were just beginning to appear about the time I left. I even enjoyed sipping coffee at the Student Sub while waiting for my next classes. I drank lots of coffee while studying and observing the younger students. Time is like a blanket that covers us during the night. I will lose these memories of days filled with learning at Texas Tech. No one will ever know the joy that I experienced during my time at Texas Tech. It's a shame that such joys fade with time.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blankets cover past pains

I remember the feelings of youthful adoration for a lovely girl. Oh, my goodness, I was such a happy guy. I was dating a girl that I thought the world of at that time. She was so pretty. I could not believe she actually agreed to go out with me, more than once even. Her smile lit up my days and nights. Her songs made my heart leap out of my chest as I felt so secure in our relationship. We enjoyed many  happy times together, at least I thought so. A young man is not always the brightest person in the group.

Well, I enjoyed the time we had together. I suppose we were not romantic. God forbid, I should have not been a gentleman with her. I respected her and her family. Once again, my church influence was a problem. She went to church with me once. At least that was the way I choose to remember it. Or maybe that didn't happen. I do know one of my good church friends asked her out on a date and that was the end of that relationship. That hurt. Of course, something similar happened again and again in my life.

Time is a blanket that covers past pains, but not completely.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Artistic Endeavors

     I wish I could have lived somewhere near my artist friends. I know that I could have learned to paint, if I had a bit of personal training. Where I live, I lack those friendly people who love to share their skills. It's a shame since I have a large store in which I could have displayed their works. I tried buying online at Ebay, but by the time I paid the Ebay fees and Pay Pals fees, and shipping and handling fees, the art was simply to expensive to try to resell. I have many collectible prints, but no one wants to pay a reasonable price for the art, let alone want to pay the high fees for framing.
     I would enjoy turning my store into my own private studio, but I can not produce work to sell. That's a shame. Gosh, I would spend endless hours painting, if I could make it worthwhile. Oh, I could go back to my silver and turquoise work, at which I excelled. However, today's ladies spend their money buying cheap jewelry, then comparing it to handmade pieces. There is no competing with imports. I learned that many, many years ago. I had thought about selling on again, but even their site is totally flooded with "stuff."
     I guess I will have to make a decision soon. My wife is retiring and God only knows how much longer I will be allowed to teach at our local college.  For now, I enjoy teaching. With all the coming changes to the higher education system, I have no idea what will happen. When the fun is gone, then I will go back to opening my store. The future is so unsure for so many people. And to make matters worse, just today, I heard that United Health Insurance will more than double our rates in 2014. I don't see how that can be met with all the other problems coming.
     I am so happy to see some of my artist friends being so successful. I have watched several as their skills have increased. I hope they are making enough money that they are still able to continue their artistic endeavors for a long while yet. I really can't complain. I had quite a few years of great fun and success cutting turquoise and other stones and gems and creating pieces of jewelry that people still knew to appreciate.
Nanu nanu.

There's nothing like a blanket.

     A blanket was such a welcome relief on cold nights when I was in the Marines. We were only allowed one green wool blanket. I don't remember ever having more than one blanket. It's funny that I can't remember any of us fighting over an extra blanket. I remember two sheets, but only the one blanket that covered me from head to feet. One blanket to provide protection from the cold at night. One blanket to provide a windbreak when we camped outside.
     So, why did I choose Timeblankets for the title of this blog? I see time as a living blanket that covers our existence. As I approach the last years of my life, I feel time closing in on me. Whereas in the past, I held that blanket away from my body, now  I find a feeling of protection from time. I feel time approaching me in ways that I did not recognize until recently. Time covers all heartaches, problems, and unhappiness. Time also covers all love, success, and happiness. In the end, all that we have is time. I wonder what time will be like on the other side of this earthly existence.