Looking back to look ahead

Over The Back Fence, collage, e. schoettler

Is that really true?
A month since I have written on this blog?
Hard to believe.

I used to write here every day
and if I did not write something my conscience pricked me.
I felt like I had fallen down at the switch.
Times do change, don't they?

So, I am back.
Trying again.
That is the song I sing, the story of my life.
I will see how it goes.

Catch up:

Sisters: Ellouise, Kathy and Ollie
Promo Card from Capital Fringe 2011
I did go to Georgia.  Spent a week with my sister, told Finding Gus at a local library, presented an all-day workshop at the same library and told The Hello Girls at a House Concert. That was great for the storyteller in me - making some money and telling lots of stories to very lovely people who enjoyed what I brought. Now who could ask for more?  Plus, lots of conversation with my sister. Catching up with her and sharing from my world. She has an unflinching eye on the world and her advice is good.

Jim: Pier near San Simeon, CA
Two days after I came home from Georgia I flew to California to visit my daughter and her family, friends, and to make a visit to Jim's home town and his family. All good. Rich time. Tinged with melancholy and tears without Jim there to share it.

But I realized
he is there. For more than 50 years he and I visited California together up and down Highway 99 from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Even though things have changed over time, a familiar landmark on the road is missing or a whole new development fills in the expanse of wide open space - Jim is there.

Jim loved California. As he left the hospital the last time I heard him tell someone that one thing he would like to do was "go to California". That did not work out. Instead he went further on his own.  Funny, the things I remember. So, when I go to California I feel that I am going for him too.

While I was in SF with Robin we worked research about The Hello Girls and it was so such fun to work with her although its hard to keep up. She processes stuff so fast, sees possiblities and zooms ahead. Hope we continue opportunities to explore avenues together.

On the flight home I sat with an interesting young guy who is a post-doc scientist at a CA university. We did not talk until the plane began to rock and roll and I said, "I hate this", he nodded, "I don't like it either." Then we dropped into an easy, friendly conversation that was really surprising - this guy is a genius, who along with several others like him, had invented a computer app which became a company which when sold padded their bank accounts. Shades of Facebook and other hot internet companies. But I tell you what really impressed me - when he opened his computer he took out a small folded paper and put it on the seat between us. (We were lucky - sitting in a three seat row with an empty seat). I could see it was a to do list "for the plane." with a box drawn next to each item. Once he turned on his computer he began to tackle those things one at a time and he did not waver until the flight attendant announced "prepare for landing several hours later." Total concentration.
I wish I had asked him what music he was listening to that helped his keep his train of thought.

Yesterday when I heard an interview about post-doc scientists on NPR, I thought of my seat mate on Virgin America.  The talk was about how this group is under-the-radar cheap labor in scientific labs across the country - working and doing excellent work for those who have snagged a tenured academic position - that this is the way progress takes place in their research fields. When I thought of him I was glad he had a well-padded bank account to see him through the excessively lean years ahead for him as a research scientist.

Nice to have a bit of insight into the interview -

My favorite ink pens: love the way they feel as they mark paper.

and more.....

Back home now and happy to be here.
I have lots of work lined up
so I am thinking about my seatmate last week and making a determined list
with boxes drawn next to each item .

Travel is good!!!

1 comment:

Sandra D. said...

Hi Ellouise,

I feel like I'm listening to an old friend when I read your stories. Your remembrances. They have a meditative effect. Thanks for keeping me entertained and I'm glad you enjoyed your trip out here: )


BTW, The list with the boxes reminds me of how I do my lists. I've been doing them like this for over 30 years or so. I saw a manager at a restaurant I worked at doing her lists like this and I picked it up and it's worked for me ever since. I'm inspired to blog about it now! Stay tuned…