I heard an elderly gentleman enumerate to his very inquisitive great grandson what things the Lolo, now in his 80s, had not done, either not ever or in a very long time.
The grandparent started with something spiritual. He said he had not gone on a retreat since high school and wondered out loud if cursillos were still in style. The child had no clue.
Then he said he had not driven a fast and noisy car in many years. “That was my hobby,” he added. Chuckling a little, he added he enjoyed slow dancing. The young boy asked “with Lola?” The old man nodded, with a fond, faraway look in his eyes.
The scene was interesting. It got me thinking. I saw myself wearing a red feather boa, and then a hat.
When my sister and I were little we had hats for special occasions. It was required attire for weddings, a given, no questions asked.
But as a grown-up I decided I looked ridiculous in a hat and I never wore one again. When I lived in San Francisco I often took the mid-morning bus to Union Square and cheered myself up trying on expensive hats at I. Magnin. It was always good for a laugh.
Today, what the heck, it has been so hot that maybe it’s time for hats again. Something with a wide brim, perhaps? On my first visit to Australia I noticed hats were part of the school uniform for children. They live closer to the equator so it is required, and sensible.
But wait, a red feather boa? I have never worn one.
I think a boa is so theatrical, eloquent, says so much without you having to utter one word. It gives you attitude. You look flighty, flippant, even defiant. It is a warning. Whoa, she’s wearing a boa today. Stay away!
Here’s an idea! Perhaps the next time someone talks to me about politics, I can quote US poet Allen Ginsberg who said, “Democracy? Bah. When I hear that I reach for my feather boa.”
There’s my escape from hot air, my refuge for 2016!
Next, I want to “unclutter” my life. A writer suggests to get rid of one item a day. I must first bring myself around to open the closet that is chockfull of my “one of these days” clothes, outfits worn many years and many pounds ago. I have come to terms with the fact that “one of these days” will never happen.
I did that with shoes some time ago. I gave my fancy high-heeled pumps to a lady who at my age, “thinks she can dance.” And she can! I just wish I could wear heels. Flats make me waddle. But I can’t risk a fall. Oh well.
For the past week or so, residents of Alabang and most areas of Muntinlupa have been up in arms. Maynilad has been inundated with furious complaints. There is no other way to say it. Our water stinks.
The situation has been so bad that Starbucks at the Alabang Town Center stopped brewing coffee and was closed for at least a day. The water reeks of mud and rusty metal. You smell worse after a shower. I am even afraid to brush my teeth.
What or who’s to blame? We are told that there is an overabundance of algae in Laguna Bay and that chemicals normally used to treat the water are suddenly not strong enough to do the job.
I read up about alga. One definition says alga is a simple non-
flowering plant of a large group that includes the seaweeds and many single-celled forms, contains chlorophyll but lacks true stems, roots, leaves and vascular tissue.
I went to look for possible harmful effects of ingesting algae-infested water. What I found is not pretty.
Green, blue-green and other algae can contaminate the water of city reservoirs and the water supply. This contamination develops a foul odor in the water and makes the water unhygienic. Secretions from algae can cause several human and animal diseases.
After a couple of days of getting “pasensya na lang, ma’am” from the people in charge, we have received circulars from Maynilad explaining the phenomenon. They tell us that everything is being done to address the water quality and that they expect operations to soon get back to normal at the Putatan Treatment Plant. (Can someone please change that name?)
As of this writing, the problem is over a week old. We’re still waiting!
‘Mr. Redding’s Farm’
I just read “Mr. Redding’s Farm” by Mateo Tabuena Filart, my 10-year-old great grandson who lives in Seattle.
Mateo’s entry, one of a couple of thousand submitted, won Honorable Mention in this year’s “Scholastic Kids are Authors” nationwide writing competition. Of course we’re proud.
The story is about Mr. Redding, a rescuer of animals in distress, who picks up the dirtiest, ugliest, most neglected and despised animals to clean them up, protect them and make them whole again.
“Mr. Redding’s farm isn’t just a story about rescued animals. It’s an allegory. Redding actually means “rescue” in Dutch. This book is really a story about the Rescuer Himself, Jesus, and how he chooses and saves those in danger, cares for the uncared for, pursues the unwanted and loves the unloved. All of us need rescuing. We all need the Rescuer. ”
Out of the mouths of babes, indeed.