Today I learned a lot.
I learned that the elephants at the Houston zoo are very smart. They have been trained to bring any item that has been tossed into their enclosure to their keepers ( six keepers, three elephants). In return, the keeper gives the elephant a treat. One day one of the elephants had a little extra time and brain power available. So she dismantled the enclosure's light fixture, and spent the day bringing the resulting pieces to her keeper, one by one, in trade for treats. This was reported in our Houston Chronicle.
I learned that I would love to throw a party in honor of my Mom, who turned 80 years young today. Being half a continent away from her, and having my friends, (whom I would wish to gather together for such an event), scattered across the world, makes a party out of the question. Sometimes I do wish I had a private jet and could swoop up everyone and we could go party together. My friends would love each other! They would adore my mom.
Maybe wanting a jet makes me only 65% rich.
I learned that a virtual party has its own special charm. That sending an email asking my friends to send a message to my mom, ( most have never met my mom), resulted in a cascade of greetings and birthday wishes racing from around the globe to appear~magically, I swear~ before my mother's eyes, within minutes! How's that for a "Come as you are/Surprise" party?
I realized that if I am someday so blessed to become eighty, I will remember my own mom's 80th birthday. And I also realized that I can't recall any of the other 53 birthdays that she has celebrated in my lifetime. Odd, that.
And that in my mind's eye, I picture my mom at about age 35-40. I'm always a little surprised when I see her that she has aged. I'm just annoyed that we can not be 53 together. It would be such fun.
Today was hot. It got up to 97 degrees. Late in the afternoon the sky turned dark denim blue, and lightening bolts spangled the horizon. The wind blew as I drove home from shopping, blew hard, and bits of trees and paper and other things swirled above me. Moments later the rain fell, and the road was four inches deep in water. Power failed, traffic signals went blank. I dodged people sized tree limbs in the street, and cautiously went through intersections that were now without working signal lights.
By the time I got home the power was back on, and the television reported that we here in Kingwood had experienced winds clocked at 60 mile an hour. And more fun was on the way. More rain, heavy rain, and hail. We should seek shelter immediately, and stay away from the windows.
I keep wondering: From where do the television people imagine that they are being watched, that does not come under the definition of shelter. Are there people who plug their sets into a long extension cord and watch TV in the middle of their front yard? Or out in a field? Maybe mobile TV has really caught on, and people are watching the weather channel in their row boats. I don't know.
Maybe I have some learning to do there.
From the window I watched the hail fall. Not a lot, just baby pea sized. Lots of rain. Lots of lightening, and crisp tearing sounds, followed by booms. It made me want tea. The TV said it was still 97 degrees outside, but it looked cold to me, like cup of tea weather. Air-conditioning helped that fantasy.
While I drove home, I had suddenly felt like I was saturated with blessings, and had found myself a little teary. So glad I have a Mother who is celebrating a birthday. And friends who rejoiced with me in her day. And oddly, I also felt very, very tired.
Bernie was napping when I got home. I think the sudden drop of pressure from the storm did something to us. By six I decided to go to bed.
At seven Bernie woke me. A dear friend was calling. Tests were back. She has cancer. Damn. Damn. No.
I knew Laura would know what I should know about this cancer. So I called and I asked her what she thought. And I learned that a good treatment outcome is very likely.
They say a friend is someone you can laugh with and cry with. I called back my friend, and we did what friends do. We laughed and we cried. And I learned a fragment more of what a treasure this friend is.
And finally I learned that while power is back on, the internet server on my computer is out, due to the storm. So no pictures with this post. I am using B's laptop, on a different server. And I learned that his keyboard, while quieter, is a lot slower than mine.