July 24, 2002

Blueberries and Ladybugs

Dear Political Diary,

Darlin sent me an email chastising me for not keeping up with my diary. I wrote back and whined that she was the only person who read it. That's not strictly true. The other day I checked hits for the month so far and saw that there were something like 350 hits on the diary. Who reads it? Darned if I know. Except for Darlin they never comment.

I don't even get much feedback on my columns in the Reader and I think that something like 9,000 of them are passed out each week. I shouldn't feel so bad. The only people who get feedback from their admirers are rock stars and their admirers heads are filled with bubblegum. I'm sure that even though I've attempted to make my latest Reader column provocative it will meet the same fate.

The piles of papers I have been avoiding for months now has all been pulled into my office. The dread I feel about going through piles of unattended paper just gets worse the longer I ignore them. I know that if I just dig into them at the start of the day when I'm fresh I can get them sorted out before day's end. The trouble is that I rarely get all the way through the darned piles. I always keep a few left as though I were keeping a little leaven to start a new batch of sourdough.

I was just as bad today. I did stick around the house until 10AM to wait for one of Jim Perrault's jobbers to give me an estimate on some roof repair. He turned out to be the younger brother of another one of my Proctor students. According to him his brother only has kind things to say about me. I wonder.

It was such a beautiful day I decided to play hooky and look for agates on Park Point. I walked the length of the beach and found a few but was to anxious to get back to my papers. That was too bad because the whole point of going to the Point was to get away and refresh my mind.  I really wasn't ready to return but fortunately, I found some blueberries. 

I had to pick gingerly because their was lots of poison ivy in the patch. I have only picked blueberries one other time and that was on a family camping trip to Canada  thirty years ago. I took forty-five minutes and got about a quart's worth.

The berry picking was every bit as therapeutic as agate picking but I needed more therapy. I had spotted lots of lady bugs in Tansy at the start of my Park Point expedition. I picked up a pop can and took another half hour  to pop 50 or so ladybugs in it for Claudia's garden. Some of our flowers are afflicted with aphids and I really didn't want to douse them with pesticide. I don't want to poison the chipmunk who keeps raiding our strawberries. The lady bugs were hard to keep under control. Every time I took my thumb off the hole at the top of the can a couple of my prisoners would escape.

Later, as I sat by the garden letting the bugs crawl up to chow down on our little red aphids my good old Republican neighbors dropped by. Although he's more conservative than me he had voted for me and was dropping off a contribution. Evidently my fiery little press release hadn't cost me his support. He told me he particularly liked my appeal to compromise even on abortion which he devoutly opposes. I assured him I thought that if we could keep the lobbyists out of our hair we could find a compromise even on that touchy subject.

Claudia came home late while I was scrambling to finish reading Perret's biography of US Grant which I had started in New York. Like I told the teachers in Terry Kronzer's School Administration class yesterday, its a great book. It happened to be Grant's birthday when I talked to them. I told them as school administrators they would be well advised to follow Ulysses example. Unlike all of Lincoln's other generals who told him they couldn't press on without more men or material Grant pressed on without excuse with whatever he had. I'm afraid that's the best school administrators can hope for these days.

Claudia and I  fixed blueberry pancakes for dinner. Life is good.

There Darlin.  Its not much in the way of politics but its one more diary entry.