Wednesday Vignette – old vs new inventions

I had a most ridiculous day today. It was as if I really wasn’t meant to get a single thing done – at all. When I woke up, it was storming. Violent gusts shook the trees outside. I think the lights were on for all of three minutes when suddenly we had a power outage that lasted a couple of hours. Of course I hadn’t charged my phone the night before so, as I was fumbling around by candle light in our dark house, trying to pack my tools, I grabbed what looked like an iphone charging cord, figuring I would charge the phone while I was driving.

The first stop of the day was to pick up a large 8′ x 3′ x 2′ stock tank way out in a suburb of Portland. The extended darkness set me back some, so I had communicated with my helper William that, with traffic, I would likely not be on site until around 10:30. That was a pretty good guess, but I was running a few minutes late, so – at a red light – I tried texting him that I was almost there. And BAM, my phone died! Turns out the cable I had grabbed in the dark was for some other dumbass Apple product, and wasn’t working on the phone at all. My phone was completely stone dead.

“Oh well”, I thought, “he is probably already there… ” Well, this time, he wasn’t. I waited a few minutes, and then loaded up my tools on a borrowed cart and headed down to the slip. Today was the day when we were finally going to finish up the project at the house boat. It has taken far longer than anyone ever anticipated, as (besides all that styrofoam) we had to stop several times, as things like rotting wood, decking, etc., was discovered, and wait for owners to return from their travels to make decisions, and William’s two-week hiatus before that. Quite frankly, I was pretty excited to be done with it!

There wasn’t a whole lot I could do without him, so I loaded the cart up with a bunch of yard debris we had left behind last time, and hauled it back up to the dumpsters at the parking lot above. Still no sign of William. I cursed my dead phone, and knocked on three different doors to see if any of the neighbors could lend me a charge. Over the weeks I’ve been there, I’ve gotten to know several of the neighbors, but today, the marina was unusually quiet. Nobody was home. Even if I could have borrowed a phone, I couldn’t have reached him… Remember the days when you remembered all your friends’ phone numbers? I kind of miss the days when we actually had to keep information in our heads. In a way, you were less vulnerable, and definitely a lot less prone to electronically induced helplessness.

Back up to the parking lot again. Reluctant to drive home with that big tank, I decided to attempt to haul it down the ramp, made steeper by the low tide, by myself. They are big and unwieldy, but not super heavy. I had a rope in the truck, and with a few well placed clove hitches managed to unload and strap it to the cart. I mused over the irony of being sunk by malfunctioning new conveniences,  whereas by using age old tools like wheels, rope, balance, and leverage, I managed to move that beast into its new home. I was really proud of myself when I pulled it up to the slip and unloaded it.

Long story short; William and I finally managed to connect. He had gotten there ten minutes after me, but somehow forgotten the gate code, so he waited outside the gate for me to text him back. Poor thing, he waited in vain for almost an hour. (I didn’t think to look for him there, since only last week he reminded ME of what the code was… ) After giving up on me, he sought shelter in a nearby tavern for a while. When I finally got some battery power, he was on his way home but kindly turned around, and met me at the dock. We brainstormed a little, but at this point, we were both at a point where the best thing to say is “fuck it” and we went back to the bar. It was 3pm, and we finally got some lunch. After that, we both set out braving rush hour traffic back to our respective homes. What a glorious waste of a good day, huh? And still, it wasn’t all bad. My self confidence got a boost when I singlehandedly wrangled the tank into position, and despite the icy, sometimes up to 50 mph wind gusts, it was a spectacular autumn day. One delightful observation was that the swishy planters I had worried might blow over hadn’t – at least not at that wind speed. And, I got to spend at least an hour with a dear friend. There is something to be said for that too.

Stem pattern of Sauromatum venosum

As for the photo – no real relation to our day of tribulations – I just really appreciate the pattern on this gorgeous stem. In summer, when upright, the sheer size of the magnificent leaves of Sauromatum venosum commands most of your attention and obscure the stems below, but when it starts to topple come fall, you are once again reminded how absolutely awesome those stems are. Most of them are by now yellowed and soggy enough to pick off, but this one still held strong above the fray. A glimmer of fabulousness above the mush.



About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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16 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – old vs new inventions

  1. Tina says:

    Barely caffeinated, your post gave me my first chuckle of the day. But I also like your take on what could have been a real bummer: you accomplished some work that you didn’t think you could do on your one, spent time with a great friend, and you had an excuse to complain about an Apple product. I call that a win, win, win! Also, the photo is great–it looks like a giraffe leg! 🙂

    You have had some really stormy weather this autumn, haven’t you? Thanks for hosting, here’s my little WV:

  2. annamadeit says:

    Haha – it DOES look like a giraffe leg! Or a boa… Apple products drive me nuts. You’d think they’d make cords and accessories that would fit a range of products, but no. They are too freaking greedy. I’m seriously considering switching to something else at my next opportunity.

  3. Kris P says:

    Days like that can make you crazy but, at least looking back, it seems you were able to see the positives! The sun is shining and temperatures are cooler here today but, with yet another fire burning in SoCal, the sky dirty with smoke, and the winds blowing in bursts, it’s hard to get excited about the day’s prospects.

    • annamadeit says:

      Ugh, I have wondered about you, hoping you are out of harms way, even if the smoky air is a constant reminder… I’m so sorry for everyone down there. The news show entire families living in their cars, not even knowing if they still even have a home. So tragic…

  4. bergstromskan says:

    I am proud of you Anna! Never give up. Yes, great job ! Apple, like most other businesses, tries to get as much money out of you as possible. But why grab more about Apple than of everybody else? Yes, they have a short name, easy to remember and pronounce, but great service and easy to work with – I think.

    • annamadeit says:

      Why gripe? Because nothing ever matches. Yes, corporate greed is universal, but Apple is especially bad, I think. The non-Apple users of this family never seem to have that issue. At least not to that extent.

  5. Pingback: Wednesday Vignette: Just the Still Melancholy – A Moveable Garden

  6. mmwm says:

    A retreat to the bar after doing all you could do sounds lovely. I love these slice of life stories, good, bad, or indifferent (and this one was perhaps all three!). Mine:

    • annamadeit says:

      Yeah, all in all, it had all those components, but looking back was quite a nice day. And today we did make some headway. I had hoped we’d be completely done, but at least I can say the worst parts are over. 🙂

  7. I’ve made the same mistake and headed out with a dead phone. It’s a little frightening how dependent we are on those little things. I’m glad that it all worked out for you, though. It must be gratifying that you still were able to do what needed to be done.

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