Mother’s Day, Mother Earth, and Conserving Our Energy

I was driving down the road today, Mother’s Day, a little over the 65 mile per hour speed limit, and I started to wonder why am I driving so fast? If I wanted to conserve on fuel, I should be driving 55 miles per hour. Everyone knows that once you exceed 55 mph your mileage goes down, or do they? I’m of that age that remembers the oil embargo close to 35 years ago when everyone was trying to conserve– keep the heat thermostadt at 68 degrees, carpool, and drive 55 mph. We reduced oil consumption by as much as 20 percent. What happened? We all became complacent and forgot, brainwashed by the energy companies and now we’ve done so much damage to our planet no one has time to care. We’re all too busy trying to get somewhere quickly.
I was on my way from Annapolis to Baltimore to visit my mother. I came bearing gifts, although I wasn’t certain if they were the “right” gifts. My mom has a talent for asking for things as gifts that I just can’t find, although they sound simple enough. She wanted a turtleneck (to hide her ugly neck she told me) but in May a turtleneck is not easy to find other than by going online. But I was running out of time so I bought her a red knit top. I thought it looked nice but she didn’t want it, so that’s another trip back to the store. She did, however love the flowering potted plant I brought her, even though she didn’t want a plant.(I figured the plant would last longer than cut flowers). “The color of the flowers are great,” she told me. Okay I did something right. Here I am, a middle aged woman still trying to please my mother.
My mom has lots of plants. Unlike me, she has a green thumb, and is always taking cuttings and creating more potted plants to populate her cluttered home. I made lunch rather than taking her out(Crabmeat and avocado salad), because with her arthritic hips she prefers staying in and headed home before the next onslaught of rain. (No I did not reduce my speed to 55 mph.)
Meanwhile I’ve received phone calls from both my sons and my daughter was working on my Mother’s Day gift –planting a garden with her dad and making me dinner. (Hope they can keep up that garden!) It doesn’t matter really, at least they put the effort in and as to what they’re serving for dinner? It’s a surprise. Whatever they prepare I’m going to love it!
For me the biggest gift is taking the time to slow down, enjoy the green earth while it’s still here, enjoy my family. So maybe it is time to see about getting those speed limit signs changed!


Women, Song, Mother’s Day, and More

If you’re casting about for something to do with your Mom on Mother’s Day and she happens to love musicals and strong women, take her to see Vanishing Point. There’s only one more show left, Sunday afternoon May llth at the Annapolis Unitarian Universalist Church, a production of the Dignity Players and directed by Mickey Handwerger with music direction by Mark Hildebrand. The story is about three famous women who vanished—Amelia Earhart, Sister Aimee , and Agatha Christie. Or did they? Agatha Christie, one of my favorite early 20th century mystery writers vanished for eleven days in 1926. That same year evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanished for three weeks. In 1937 Amelia Earhart set out to fly around the world and disappeared on the last leg of her journey over the Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. How are their three disappearances linked?
All three actresses—Margaret Allman as Agatha Christie, Wendy Baird as Aimee Semple McPherson, Sheri Kuznicki as Amelia Earhart have lovely voices and incredible stamina as they perform this intense story that draws on historical record and the authors’ imagination.
Also opening this weekend is The Goat Or, Who is Sylvia by Edward ,Albee Winner of the 2002 Tony Award at the Bay Theatre Company in Annapolis directed by Lucinda Merry Browne., if you attend this Friday there is a Pre-Show reception.
Over at the Colonial Players in Annapolis is Hauptmann and you can read my review in the “Entertainment Blog” on the website.
And if you want to make a visit to Baltimore, The Color Purple is playing at The Hippodrome through May 18th and is excellent. Leading actress Jeanette Bayardelle has a phenomenal voice. While I loved the movie, the staged musical is completely different, equally as poignant and uplifting in a different way.
Yes, I am a theater junkie. Good live theater is inspiring and we have plenty of great opportunities to see a wide variety of plays within a small geographic area.
The May baskets around town are starting to wilt and fade, but many colorful azaleas and tulips are brightening up the Annapolis Historic District. My favorite time to walk downtown Annapolis is early morning, before it gets too crowded, but for those of you who may live further away, next time you’re planning a trip to your favorite downtown restaurant allow some time to stroll. Spring is a great time to soak up the local scenery.

Brown Thumb or Green Thumb?

The Christmas cactus in my kitchen window has a beautiful deep pink bloom. It gives me great satisfaction to gaze at it as I wash dishes because this is the same plant that almost died last month due to neglect. A number of my plants lead tenuous existences because even though I love having plants and flowers, I don’t always remember to water them.

My husband Peter says I have a brown thumb. I don’t like hearing him say that since I’ve always thought of myself as a nurturing sort of person, but nurturing takes time and there are so many hours in the day—the family, work, community responsibilities come first and well, for me the plants are further down the list.

Saturdays I actually have some time to look at the plants in the house, to check on them and give them a drink. Right now they are all surviving. When it starts getting warmer and they need more attention, they might not be so lucky.

The one star survivor is my giant cactus, also in the kitchen window, inherited from my first husband Cyril who died in 1989. Unlike me, Cyril had a marvelous green thumb, an intuitive knack for knowing what plants need, even when juggling multiple work responsibilities. The cactus was an old plant when we began dating in 1977 so I’m estimating it must be over 50 years old—not bad for a plant.

In my front window near my home computer, a cyclamen is sporting four blooms. A small stem is perking up out of the soil with a bud, what I hope will become another colorful dark pink bloom. That is if I take care of it. So now it’s time to break away from playing with words and sentences so I can pay some attention to this other plant, I’d forgotten about, and give it some water. Today the plants are looking good.

Did Jane Austen Listen to Bird Songs Too?

Not many people at the coffee shop this morning. “They must be recovering from last night’s game,” theorized my neighbor John Hartnet. It was Super bowl Sunday last night but as the evening rolled on I was glued to my TV set watching Masterpiece Theater. This week’s episode was a screenplay about Jane Austen’s life, based largely on speculation. Was she disappointed she never married? Was she ever in love? Did she despise being poor? Unfortunately her sister Cassandra burned the majority of her personal letters and papers, so we can only guess.
I heard the birds singing loudly as we walked back towards the house. It’s funny how some mornings my ears zero in on their calls and songs back and forth to one another. That’s something I like about spring morning, lying in bed with the windows open and listening to the singing birds. But it’s not spring yet, still winter with maybe a blanket of snow still in our future. We’ll see what arrives. That’s what fun about life, the surprises.