Loose Threads

Lynn could probably tell you what these are; all I know is Oz and I saw them on one of the Riverwalk trails the other day, and I thought they were pretty.

Okay, it is not for lack of trying, although you do not know that. You only see an empty space in your inbox where my blog belongs, and you assume, knowing me, that I am slacking. And so I am, but I am also struggling, and instead of trying to pretend everything is fine I am going to tell you you probably won’t be hearing from me for a couple of weeks. Maybe, but probably not.

I have jury duty coming up, which is really all I am allowed to tell you, and it is the latest in a long line of stressors. I have many things I want to say about it, and once I am released from my duty, whether that be before the trial or after, I likely will, but in the meantime I am bound to a rather heavy silence.

Please rest assured, it is far more than the notion of jury duty. The last time I was summoned I ended up empaneled, and it was an interesting experience that fleshed out my life experiences.

There are plenty of other things I ought to be able to talk about, but I am having trouble gathering thoughts, which are roaming like little sheeps across a wide, semi-arid landscape. I do have a dog to help me, but the last dog of mine that I put near sheep was terrified of them — and her a border collie. I assume Oz would ignore them — they are not foxes, after all — but so far he’s of no assistance in the mental round-up.

In many ways this year has been harder than last, and I have to say I hardly expected that. Last year my focus was heavily on the survival of the business Kara and I own; this year that happily is not a problem. But finding my place in this new old business, a decision of my own making, has been hard.

This is compounded by everything I see strewn about me here at the house. We are coming up on two years in this house with boxes still unpacked and items unfound. There are no professional packer-movers to blame, so everything must be here, but finding things can be harder than it ought to be. Sometimes even finding Lynn in this house without hiding spaces is a bigger trick than it should be.

I spent the weekend moving the contents of one unpacked box from the garage into assorted semi-unpacked boxes inside the house, but it took too long because I stopped to read everything on the backside of paper intended for re-use. And then I straightened my magazine stand, which was a mess even back at the old house, and have now stacked up in organized fashion years of periodicals for my reading enjoyment, whenever that might happen.

Unbeknownst to many of you, I weathered the scare caused by my dental hygienist. I don’t know about you, but I hardly expected to go for a routine cleaning and be told I might have cancer. It took two months, two additional trips to Crested Butte where my dentist is located and one nine-hour roundtrip excursion to Montrose through a construction zone (not lethal at the time, but now one of the workers has been killed by a falling boulder) and the long way around to get home for a good five minutes with Lynn’s oral surgeon, who assured me the white striations on my tongue are not cancerous and 99 percent likely won’t ever be.

She blamed the cinnamon gum I don’t chew, possibly yellow dye in foodstuffs, perhaps sulfates in toothpaste, or maybe stress. I’m going with that last option. It doesn’t hurt or burn like the oral surgeon thought it must; I wouldn’t have known about it at all had the hygienist not said something. And so it was much ado about nothing, but for a long time I wasn’t thinking that way.

Tonight I am attending a homeowners’ association meeting convened for the board to discuss new neighbors who have to be very close to moving in, or perhaps they’re finally in. They seem to be nice people, from the couple encounters I’ve had with them during their construction process, far more endless than ours, but they arrive with a litigious reputation and now an apparent selfish sense of boundaries.

This couple has already made it quite clear that while they have no compunction about utilizing any of the Riverwalk trails that cross other lots, they do not want people walking on the trail closest to their house. And now they appear to be bent on converting that trail into a second private driveway.

Lynn and I recently left a very nice neighborhood with one horrible set of neighbors, people who made sure their front lawn was constantly watered but who had no problem letting their dog go without water for a week until they finally, much later than it should have been, gave the dog away.

I have enjoyed being in a neighborhood where we get along with all our neighbors, and maybe that will include this new couple, but I already find myself at odds with at least a couple of their notions, and this is causing me stress too. I have already provided my input to the board, but I think it’s important to be engaged in my neighborhood, so I will attend a meeting that might be less pleasant than most of them the HOA hosts.

I kind of expect them to be like the people who sold their lot without building, after submitting a video of many of the “trespassers” on their lot, which comes with both a trail and a fishing easement for the general public, people who ended their video with a rather ominous “Don’t make us regret buying this lot.” Like any of us forced them to do that.

Ultimately the lesson is: the time to pay attention to covenants and easements is before you buy.

So there’s a lot taking up space in my mind, all of it jostling to come before blogging — plus I’ve spent a week watching the Tour of France.

I haven’t finished a rather swirling blog account of the county’s abrupt and rather complete abdication of covid: no public health order, no more county updates, no more county website, not even any community testing for what is still an active virus only two counties removed from Grand Junction, which is so inundated with the delta variant that the federal government sent its first “hot spot” response team to Mesa County.

That means I’ll never get around to the Attack of the Cottonwoods, which has blanketed the environs surrounding our house with white as thoroughly as a late fall snowstorm, only with more staying power.

There are other things to tell you too — how I’m waiting for summer to come along so I can put many plans into place, my abject failure as a friend to birds, and a thorough discussion of the UFOs that now turn out to be Real — but everything’s pretty garbled as I devote gazillions of brain cells to jury duty.

That begins a week from today, and the trial is scheduled to last seven business days. There’s no reason to assume I will be selected for the jury, but one can’t assume I won’t be, either.

If I can find something else to think about coherently, I will be in touch; otherwise it might be awhile. Either way, I’ll be back, to quote one of many movie stars turned politician.

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