Monthly Archives: June 2013

New Age Lawn Furniture

Sometimes the littlest thing turns into a drama, or so it seems. I’m sure that getting new lawn furniture for most people is not a big deal. At my house, it played out like a script for a TV sitcom.

I must admit times have changed since we last bought lawn furniture 19 years ago. My memory is that we went to a store, saw what we wanted and they delivered and set it up. Not anymore. In today’s world, we never actually saw the pieces, but ordered them on-line. Fed Ex delivered it all this afternoon in huge packing boxes that the guy stacked in my garage. It reminded me of the pyramids at Machu Pichu.

mountain of cartons.

mountain of cartons.

But I’m never one to shirk hard work. And I had Gela cleaning for me today. She and I tackle all kinds of things. I was sure we could unpack and move all the furniture within an hour at most.


The box the table was in was huge and unwieldy so I asked the Fed Ex guy if he could move it to the front door. He got a hand truck and wheeled it over.

“Could you bring it in?” I asked naively.

As he shook his head, his long curly hair (which I was envious of) bounced. “I’m not allowed to go into a house. It’s against regulations.”

“Oh,” I said. “Does it seem heavy?”

“Probably,” he said.

Probably? Gela and I tried to pick it up and it wouldn’t budge. We tried to move it aside—couldn’t move it an inch.

Oh my God, I thought. What are you doing? You’re 67 years old. Why are you moving furniture?

My next thoughts were inspired. Who could I hire to do the job? I’d pay them my next five social security checks (I don’t get much). I’d need someone big and strong, I thought. Ah ha! Into my mind’s eye, Jack sprang forth. Jack is so tall he can change light bulbs without a ladder.

I'm 5'6" and a peanut next to Jack.

I’m 5’6″ and a peanut next to Jack.

I ran into the house (no exaggeration) and called Jack. It was my lucky day—he answered on one ring. And he had some time later in the afternoon.He came over with two strong young men to help. It took all three of them to move the table, which then had to be assembled. Three hours later, the furniture was unpacked and moved onto our deck. But not without one further incident.

Two strong young men.

Two strong young men.

Somehow in the chaos, our little Havanese took advantage of the open doors, and ran out onto the main street where he was almost hit by at least two cars. I know this not because I witnessed it. (I’d taken a moment to surreptitiously go to the bathroom.) No, the reason I know is because two of the drivers came to the house to tell me how they’d had to swerve to avoid him. Then they’d tried to catch him, but he’d already headed for home. I explained I thought Bogey was in the house, and I’d been in the bathroom. After I groveled enough, they seemed mollified enough to go on their ways.

Bogey, safe and sound.

Bogey, safe and sound.

As I finish writing this, I am also finishing a glass of wine. I’m contemplating eating dinner at the new table. If I have enough energy left.

Morning Musings


My mother told me fifty years ago to never put in writing what I wouldn’t want to become public. She also warned me against sharing secrets over the phone. “You never know who is listening,” she said.

I thought she was a little paranoid, but I never forgot her advice. It was probably not long after the McCarthy era so I understood where she was coming from, and she alerted me to the fact that the capability is there. Besides, government surveillance of our lives isn’t exactly new. Anyone who reads spy thrillers knows that!

We aren’t a very private society. A lot of you knew I was just in Chicago because of the photo I posted on Facebook. A lot of us know TMI about Andrew Weiner because of his Tweet. Talking on cell phones is anything but secure. And emails? Martha Stewart can tell you how private they are. We pay most of our bills with debit or credit cards—your movements can be checked that way too.

I have to tell you, I hope my government is alert and monitoring emails, Twitter, phone calls, etc.  We are up against a wily enemy who is smart and savvy. If giving up some of my freedom to do what I wouldn’t be doing anyway is going to make me more secure in my life, I gotta say I’m okay with it. I don’t want to be a naïve dummy: I wish the Tsarnaev boys had been monitored more closely.

I’m sounding off on Snowden without having read much about it, but one other thing ticked me off this morning: Putin considering giving Snowden asylum. Here’s a country that is repressive about free speech and human right issues, but they’re going to criticize the United States? Why are they poking us in the eye? What is the signal behind that? Not good. Not good at all.