Thursday, March 10, 2016


The view out my window during the winter is grim.

In certain spiritual or poetic moods, I can find beauty in the tangle of last year's blackberry vines and crumbling grey-brown basalt, but generally, I look and all I see is the tangle, a reminder of mortality and entropy.

Which makes the blooming of the clematis vine such a delight. It's been in place since I moved in two years ago, but only this year does it look like somebody's planning a wedding down on the back driveway. A climbing vine, it seems ecstatic to have the wall of crumbling grey-brown basalt and the rockfall containment fencing to clamber up. Its highest bloom-bearing tendrils are at about the fifth floor level, so I have to stretch my neck a bit to see them from my desk chair, but they are well worth the effort (which is probably good for me anyway, since I tend to get kind of hunched over as I sit peering into my laptop screen.)

I will now go downstairs with my phone and attempt to photograph the clematis in all its glory. Oops.  No I won't, it's raining. But it won't be raining in a few minutes, so I'll do it then.

And meanwhile I will brag on Terwilliger Plaza because the groundskeeper maintains a web page listing and depicting what's currently blooming. Without Brian's page, I would have no way of knowing that this plant is clematis -- apple blossom clematis, to be specific. So nice to be able to address my plant friends by name.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

joining the Board

About ten days ago, I won an election to the Terwilliger Plaza Board of Directors.

Dear God, is that statement true? Yes, I think it must be, people keep stopping me in the hall to congratulate me or to tell me what they think the Board should be doing that it isn't. My actual term doesn't really start until March 24, when I will attend my first meeting as a Board member and may actually be able to take action, if only to vote "aye" on the motion to adjourn.

Meanwhile, it is amazing to suddenly be recognized by people I haven't met. (The Terwilliger resident who got me to come here seems able to remember not only the name but the personal history of every single person here. I would ask her for tips on how to do that, but I'm pretty sure it's one of those gifts granted to the few and envied by the many.) One person scolded me for being unserious about my new job because I cracked wise about it. But I think I get these few weeks before I have any actual responsibility to enjoy the giddy sense of incredulity at the content of my opening sentence.