Here's a short documentary sequence of part of my day yesterday:
My life sure has changed recently. I feel like I've emerged from a comfortable but close and constrained cave to a breeze of fragrant fresh air and a vast fantastic vista lit by brilliant high sun; being in love will have that effect on you—but knowing that in your head and actually experiencing it in the moment are two utterly different things, of altogether different worlds.
That's a wordy way of saying I had a wonderful trip.
I got home to altogether too much reality: perfectly timed for the start of first winter storm of the season. So I descended out of the clouds to soon find myself mired in miserable local traffic, the wind howling, sleet falling at an angle, stuck behind minivans with their drive wheels spinning with a meager whining against the coalescing ice, trying to fit the snowblower in the trunk of my little sedan (a decisive fail), fetching the snow shovels which were at the wrong house, fighting my way through the crowds at the grocery store, and then racing the dark, the falling temperatures, and the fast-icing roads to try to collect the dogs. (Lulu made it home; Butters had to spend an extra night as a camper at Camp Bow Wow.) Ugh. Back to real life, with weather effects for emphasis. And I didn't even need the emphasis.
On the good side, I helped my taxi driver practice his English all the way to Waukesha, in the snow and slush and thick sluggish traffic—he and his wife came here four years ago from Northern Sudan, and he's been working very hard on his English. We had a great conversation. Those are brave people, to move permanently to a new country without even knowing enough of the native tongue to know where to start. Whoever thinks poor people don't work hard has never been one. The Sudanese-American cabdriver (I never asked him his name) goes to ESL class twice a week on top of fathering three young children and a 50-hour work schedule; he practices English in his cab, when he can understand enough of how his passengers speak.
I learned my first words in Arabic, too.
I want to write a bit about some of the problems of constructing photo sequences, but that'll have to wait a bit—right now I have to locate somebody to plow the driveway, yet another task I failed to get to in a timely fashion. Real life west of the Lake needs to settle down!
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