Friday, 4 October 2013

The Machinist Takes An Afternoon Off

The Machinist's first observation as I walked into the office were my new blue shoes.  "Oh I liiiike theeem, Babe.  You look too hot to handle!"

"I love the colour, but they hurt a bit - just on the top" I slid my forefinger between plump upper foot and shoe, demonstrating the exact area of discomfort. 

"Oh don't worry about that, I can fix it with a soft hammer..."

I'm still perplexed as to what a soft hammer actually is.  

Later in the day, there was rain, - followed by furious hail.  We were scheduled to deliver newly manufactured laundry skips to The Canberra Hospital.  Despite each skip being polished and sealed in plastic wrap, the Machinist didn't want to deliver in the wet weather.  

With his main task thwarted,  he gave himself the rest of the day off 

("...and with having no battles on at the moment, he gave his lads the day off..." - from The Battle of Hastings)

As we walked down the Christmas isle in Costco (can't resist) a thought came to mind:  There is nothing like a grandchild to bring back the joy of Christmas.

Later, dinner and movies added to the excitement of the Season.


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Bats and Black Outs

After arriving home late after visiting the Grands in their new home, I thought it would be very disciplined and organised of me to go straight to the office in the Machine shop and complete some bookwork before going inside the house.  The Machinist was making some end-of-day calls next door.  Bob was crying to go inside.  Or be fussed.  Or fed.  I plumped up his cushion and told him to "go cushion", and he gave me 'those' eyes, but obeyed nevertheless.

The Machinist came in and sat on the chair next to me.  "Ready to go in, Babe?"

"Nearly"

And then - a power cut.  The computer, the heater - both off.  And yet... the lights were still on.

"If you go out of the front, I'll lock up behind you and come in the back door"

I went to the car to fetch a few items and lock it.  By then, the house and workshops were in darkness.  The sky was black.  And it was cold.

The front door opened and the Machinist shouted to me "Don't come in - there's another bat loose in the house!"

Don't come in?

Wow, he made it quickly through the garden, tip-toeing and avoiding the fuss, grunts and slobbery of the other dogs, through the house, locate the torch and out of the front door...

Don't come in?

There's another bat loose in the hooooose....

Another bat?

Whaaaat?

The phone rang.  Fumbling through my bag and vowing to empty it (again) really soon, I answer the call.  Our Sam.

"Are your lights out, too?" he asks
"Yep"
"I'll be down in a minute"
"Ok"

Then another call.  Our Sarah.
"Electricity off?"
"Yes, and there is another bat in the house"
"Whaaaat?"

Sarah and Cam pull in the driveway.  I climb in the back of their car as Cam jumps out the driver's seat, determined to help with bat eradication.  Sarah and I swap bat fearing stories and sentiments when the other rear door opens and Sam slides in next to me.

"Not going in to help with the bat?" I ask
"No way!"

In due course, the bat had gone and we went inside to a kitchen lit with candles and the aroma of roast beef.

Sitting down to dinner, with the dim light shining on his cheerful face, Sam declared "Well, I thought tonight would be a bit of a downer, but this dinner has cheered me right up!"




Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A Day In The Life of The Machinist's Wife

While feeding the baby her porridge, on the morning after her sleepover, - a terrible smell filled the dining room.

"is it the baby?" asks Sarah..
"No, she's clean.  What about the mother dog?" I ask..

On inspection, we discover that Pepi had a terrible mess going on in her undercarriage which needed our attention -and fast!

Cam fetched the wheelbarrow, Sarah donned gloves, I brought out the hot water.  Pepi sat in the water while Sarah washed her as I held her.  Baby wanted to see what was going on and we had to distract her when she got too close to Pepi's splashes.

The phone rang.  Machinist came around the corner from the Machine shop.  "It's your mom, Helen" (Helen!).."..the movers won't pack their stuff.  They need everything to be in boxes and your mom wants to know if anyone in town has any boxes they don't want..."

Hayley arrived to pick up Baby.  Sarah and I made a dash to the Grand's cottage.  It didn't look as if there was a lot of moving house going on that day.  It looked like, and was - a removalist's nightmare.  Small tubs, without lids.  Buckets oozing their wares.  Large tubs with lids - heavy and cracking with the weight they were bearing.  A few flimsy cardboard boxes with an occasional content marker.  Sturdy boxes - half empty waiting 'last minute items'.

There's a fine line between aged parent independence and necessary action for the good of all.  The Greater Good.

Emma confided in Grandpa to leave the key under a pot at their new home, while she took the Grands for lunch and coffee.  Sarah and I moved swiftly.  Very swiftly.

Kitchen unpacked
Pantry and fridge stocked
Beds made
Clothes away
Correct distribution of tubs and wares
Removal of empty vessels and other rubbish
TV set up

And then, an impulsive but necessary turn into McDonalds drive through (uugh) for a large coke and fries.  Diet tomorrow.

On arriving home, and after his meal, the Machinist asks..."Babe, come with me..." (Babe!)..."I've got something to show you".

I follow him to the kitchen, where he collects the torch.  I follow him outside towards the Fabrication shop.  "Look there!"

He spotlights a BRAND NEW FENCE.  But oh!  This is not only a lovely, high (privacy) beautifully fitted and welded fence partnered with a well hung and hinged gate.  It is a SNAKE PROOF FENCE.

Aaahhh... Romance.

Later that evening, the Machinist and I are lounging back in soft brown leather recliners, sipping cold drinks and basically - living it large.  We are watching a Very Scary Movie about alien invasion (the "Greys", FYI).  We retire to bed and just as we are falling asleep - a sudden distinct thumping noise.  Then again.  And again.

The Machinist gets out of bed to check what's amiss.  He's gone for a while, as I lay there and wonder if he has been abducted.  Then he comes back to bed, lifts the covers, slides in...

"What was the noise?" I ask
"Oh, it was Emma.  She had a bat in her room and I helped her guide it out the back door..."

A bat.  A BAT.  A BAAAAAT!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Thoughts on Sarah & Cameron's Wedding

It is nearly three months since the (rush) and joy of Sarah and Cameron's wedding.  It was beautiful, yet bittersweet; - a sense of loss and grief at the thought of 'losing' Sarah to Cameron (which is TOTALLY not the case and which I've learned is a common parental emotion) and yet - gain by the addition of another son, as well as a couple.  Sarah and Cameron became an entity: The Couple.







 When they left for their honeymoon,  I remember thinking of our daughter as going away and becoming a changeling, and yet - on their return, I realised how silly I had been and that she was the same, as was her husband, Cam.  They were the same; it was me who expected their change.  They were still the children, as they had always been, expecting us, their parents to - well - parent as we had always done - with the same attitudes and methods as we'd always used.  I, on the other hand had expected some type of change from them so much, that my own fathoming had changed me and I became the Changelings - towards them.

  
How confused and bewildered they must have been....(I'm confused and bewildered as I try to explain all of this.)

Sarah and I had a heartfelt discussion about this late one night.  We cried together.  And then, as quickly as this strange and yet common phenomena came upon us, it was gone, and family life, as we know it - had resumed. 

To normal. 

Well, as normal as normal is.

And so much normality has happened since.

Thank goodness.

The End.



Saturday, 18 May 2013

Workshop


It’s early in the morning – dark outside and the house is quiet, other than the odd creak as old roof wood contracts - stretching it’s corrugated tin counterpart.  Sometimes, there’s a scurrying – probably a field mouse and I always wonder how they get up there. 

When the westerly winds blow, and there is a constant chill my thoughts are towards my family in the Workshop.  I’ve started a ritual of toasted crumpets with loads of melted butter and a swirling of maple syrup.  With one hand, I pull open the huge door.  Sparks are flying!  Grinders are whizzing!  And then… with the sudden disturbance and rush of cold air, the inhabitants – oftentimes in sync – lift their welding helmets or take off their goggles to see who is entering.  Their curiosity is further piqued when they see a plate in my hand. 

 Emma - working the CAD


 The Machinist - deep in concentration while using the milling machine

 Sarah - grinding

 Cameron - not sure what he is doing

 Sam - not sure what he is doing either

I walk between them and their crooning necks to the rear of the workshop, to let the Machinist know that there is something for morning tea.  “I don’t want you spoiling them, Babe..” he tells me, as he smiles and grabs one of the offerings, minding not to drip the sweet syrup over his hand or overalls. 

Today, there will be no treats as Emma and I will be setting out to Sydney soon.  We have to pick up a job from a sub-contractor and bring it back to the Machinist – post haste – for him to work his magic and meet an (unexpected) deadline.  All of our other children (ahem – young adults – YA YA’s) will be working long hours this weekend.  Hayley will be taking good care of our cherished Keiralea. 

Sarah and Cameron’s wedding is just over two weeks from today.  The brand new workshop we are currently building will be the venue for their reception – before the Machinist fills it with equipment.  And so – a wedding reception in a building which is, as I write – not yet built.

This is typical of our family; thirteenth hour chaos, then calm. 

As the Machinist says “It’ll all be good, Babe.  We always deliver”

Friday, 10 May 2013

AN UPCOMING WEDDING

Life in Review:

The workshop is being built.  What I haven't mentioned is that Workshop B is to be the venue for our Sarah and Cameron's wedding reception.  The thing is - it hasn't even been built yet, even though it is in the process of being built. 

Their wedding day?  THE SECOND OF JUNE.

THIS YEAR.

Can you feel it?  Can you feel the urgency?  The angst?

And yet, in my heart of hearts, I know it will be ok.  It will be beautiful and it will all be ok. 

Friday, 19 April 2013

The Way It Is.

A lamb appeared in our garden late yesterday afternoon.  It was breathing heavily, and had sought rest between the two photinia robustas.   The lamb's woolly neck was blood stained, and yet - he was standing firmly, - alerted to our presence (Emma and myself, with grand-baba Keiralea in my arms). Just then, a huge Rottweiler also appeared and paused in it's tracks, head tilted back staring at us almost arrogantly (he reminded me of a scene from "Cujo").  Then there was the Machinist's voice behind me "Get inside, Helen, both of you - get away from that dog..."

The Machinist called the farmer who owned the lamb, and alerted the neighbour who owned the dog.  Although it wasn't one of the farmer's flock, he took it away....

You can imagine our delight and joy, then, when we learned that the lamb had been stitched, pain killers and antibiotics had been administered and the lamb is currently doing well in his "parents" shed.

We later heard that the owner of the dog had taken his pet to be euthanised

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Growth

It is the eve before they start building our new Workshop.  The Machinist has, for the most part, prepared all he can before the builders' arrival.  He and the lads have moved tons and tons of soil and roadbase, in efforts to heighten the land which runs alongside our house on which the Workshop will 'sit'.  A pad, if you will. 

I have meant to take many photos of the paddocks beyond our land.  When we stand on the back deck, we can see such beauty for miles, it seems.  The willows, the tussocks, the variety of gum trees, the hills and my favourite scene of all and one which I've posted on before - the three dead trees which look as if they are performing modern dance, while having an air of the wise prophets of old.  Very soon, this view will no longer be. 

Instead, a growing business.  A family legacy.  Scary, yet challenging.  Challenging, yet scary.  Like many before us, everything on the line. 

But by the Grace of God go I (we).

Friday, 15 March 2013

HURRY UP .... AND WAIT....

After many fantasies and good intentions of blogging regularly I am left with a sense of disappointment towards self.  I say to myself  "Self, - even if the blog post turns out crappy - just pull your head in and do it.."

I speak tough, acquire a new verve, then go on to view the blog posts of others or take a (s)troll on Facebook.

Many wild and spontaneous adventures with the local Council are always up for grabs.  These adventures make me feel drained and sad.  But then,  in a moment of clarity, I rob myself of the right to feel self pity over such trivialities when the rest of life is so BIG. 

These thoughts and feelings are like foreigners to me.  So is the urge to rebel. 

I might go and play 80's One Hit Wonders - full volume.

There!

We may be on the verge of being granted a Construction Certificate, so that we can start building the second Workshop.  The Machinist has hired a shipping container to store equipment until the structure is up and concreted.  In the meantime, out of working hours, the girls and I are painting the house, as you do when you are in-waiting. Very soon it really will be 'all systems - GO!'

Sunday, 24 February 2013

A Day In The Emergency Room

One of the most intense studies on human nature is to sit for hours in the Emergency waiting room and watch as people come in, report to reception and take their seat (or not).

Grandpa was there today.  We received an early morning call:

"Is that you, Andre?"
"Yes, Brian.. what's up?"
"Can you take me to the hospital?"
"What's wrong?"
"I think I've got food poisoning..."

Sarah and I spent 7 hours waiting for Grandpa at the local hospital.  Grandpa didn't eat or drink in that time.  He also had to wait hours for some type of pain relief.

It's a false sense of 'moving ahead' in the queue when you get assessed at the front, then ushered to the treatment room.  There's another throng back there.  All waiting for attention. Those who are caring for them are sitting in the waiting room, oblivious to them also still waiting and not being treated.  As far as we know, tests are being taken.  Blood is being let.  X-rays are a-scanning.  Questions are being asked, assessments made and medication prescribed.

I've performed the waiting-in-the-ER game several times for various family members (as a mother / daughter / wife does).  Survival dictates that you have to occupy yourself and resign to be there for hours. People watching is a good source of entertainment:

Two men sitting together chatted loudly.  One seemed quite anxious, as he paced, queried his appointment time at reception, searched with eager, desperate eyes - each time a staff member passed through the room.  "We've got one and a half hours to get home and watch the footy..." came from his companion. "The staff here are mean.  They don't care at all..."  

They were waiting for meth.

An older man with a hoodie and pyjama shorts, revealing leg ulcers couldn't help but praise the staff and on his way out, leaned into the reception " .... thanks for getting things going, love..."

A mom (and her son probably aged about 9) was giving her details through the slatted glass window which said "Discharges".  The receptionist asked for her phone number.  The mom was relaying her number when the son shouted the rest of the digits out.  The mom was silenced.  Further questions were asked and relayed.  The son decided to push right in front of his mother.  Mom submitted and took a step back.... 

A large woman wearing knee length lycra and a spaghetti strapped top, revealing flapping upper arms, heavily tattooed.  Her hair was wire-like, but fly-away.  She had arrived with her daughter and grandson.  The large woman was glaring at an older man, also wearing lycra. And she didn't hide it, either.  Later, her daughter, attired in egg-shell blue track suit sat in the chair next to her mother, the sides of their bottoms firmly wedged together.  She sat with her legs sprawled boldly apart.  The little boy  was sitting on his mother's upper abdomen, while her lower abdomen bulged out proudly, acting as a back rest.  

Both women were talking with the meth men.

Methman one: "We're hoping to see the footy"
Methman two: "Yeah, if we make it on time"
Large woman: "Sure you will.  It probably won't rain..."
Daughter: "Course it's gonna rain, mom.  It's gonna piss down..."

A younger woman reported to reception, hobbling with crutches, scrambling through her bag for her mobile phone.  She reported in and then, phone still in hand, sat over three chairs; bum on one, legs on another, crutches on the third.  Her arched back prevented anyone from sitting behind her. Fourth chair: TAKEN!

Sarah asked if we could see Grandpa.  We were told we couldn't as there were two emergencies in the treatment rooms and they didn't want excess people hanging around.  The Machinist had called to see if we could run an errand.  We explained this to nursing staff.  They took our number and assured us that they would call if / when Grandpa was ready to be discharged.

Much later, we picked Grandpa up from the ER.
"Are you in pain?" I asked
"No, but I haven't eaten all day"
"We know.  We were told you weren't allowed to until you had seen the doctor"
Grandpa nodded his head
"What did they say was wrong?"
"They don't know.  Blood was ok, X-rays ok and I had a shot of morphine"
"Did they give you some pain relief for if and when the morphine wears off"
"No, but I've got some Panadeine Forte at home", followed by a cheeky, boyish grin.


As we were leaving town, Grandpa declared

"When I get home, I'm going to make some tea and crack open a packet of gluten free ginger biscuits.  You should try them, you know..."

Reading the Newspaper

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Our Motley Crew

This is Bob:

Isn't he handsome?  Two years ago, Bob was bitten by a snake and we saved his life by administering Vitamin C and B injections, along with strong black coffee and lots of love and care.

This is Polly:


She is such a faithful, loyal one-person (me) dog.  She gets very jealous of any other dog around that comes near me.  Sad to say, in Polly's jealousy, she killed my other faithful girl,

Woopie


And our youngster dog, Lilly:


Woopie and Lilly are buried in our front garden.

Polly had to leave home.  She is now living with the Grands.  The Machinist says she is the luckiest dog alive. She probably is.

This is Pepi.  She is Lilly's sister and is in love with our Sarah:



This is Sasha.


She is also in love with Sarah, although she doesn't really care who strokes her and feeds her, cos she is delightfully plump and lazy.  Sasha is the sole survivor from a litter of six.

This was Bucko (he didn't always look like this)
.

 He flew into our garden when he was a baby.  Actually, he didn't fly, he sort of nose-dived.  Bucko had beak and feather disease.  The vet gave him six months to live.  He lived for almost three years and was a delight to us. Bucko is also buried in the front garden with Lilly and Woopie

This is Wilson as a lamb.


 Obviously, he's much bigger now.  Wilson is living with a local farmer, along with his friend, Leo.  One day, as soon as the Machinist has time, we hope to fence in a paddock on the Block, so that Wilson and Leo can be closer to home.    

We've had so many pets over the years.  Some have gotten killed on the road.  The others, by snake bite.  Some, however, just went on their travels and didn't return home.  I don't even want to think what happened to them.

Unless they are now living their happy ending. I do hope they are!


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Farewell to the Willow. Hello to Progress.

I'm constantly amazed at the speed in which willow trees grow.  There is one at the bottom of our garden, next to the Workshop.  Before we built the Workshop, (even before it was a 'glint' in our eye) we buried almost a whole litter of kittens under the willow.  A few months later, a whole litter of puppies dug up their decaying bodies and scattered them around the trunk. 

Yea, it is fertile soil.

A younger willow tree, on the edge of the receding creek

The Debco lads cut the willow tree down today.  It was was cut so that a 'levy' bank could be created in its place - to protect our current Workshop A and the one we will soon be building: Workshop B from flash flooding.

I had heated words with the Machinist, 'cos in my mind's eye, all I could see was a levy mound, - the height of our back corrugated fence.  I imagined that this newly formed mound would create a 'leg over' for any adventurous creek-dwelling snake (not that snakes have legs).  The Machinist informed me that he was going to build a new (higher) fence.  I knew that his new fence wouldn't come in the near future, - not for some time, in fact and in the meantime, reptile migration would be in full force.  

I panicked.

He was adamant.

I angered.

He angered.

I retreated to the house.

Not long after, he followed.

I put the kettle on.

He explained that the mound would be the same height as our rear orchard bed.  Two mounds, the same height with a corrugated (cemented in) fence between them.

We had coffee.

All was well.

It still is.

Good night.

Monday, 18 February 2013

The Tortoise and the Sound of Silence

The Machinist has a tortoise.  His name is George.  He rescued him off the highway, just alongside Lake George.  He's had him for a few weeks now, but we haven't seen George around much.  The other night, however, the Machinist called me to the back deck.

"Babe, Babe!  Come here.... Quick!  Look over there!  Can you see him?"

And there, up against the corrugated fence was George, - legging it at quite a fast pace (for a tortoise) His green mossy domed shell made his limbs seem extra gangly. We couldn't figure out if he was moving it because of the rain, or because he felt energetic at the time.  And we'll never know.

Almost in the exact spot where we found George on the highway, the Machinist spotted a second tortoise.  He glanced in the rear view mirror, then screeched on the brakes.  "Turtle!", he declared.

(The Machinist calls turtles AND tortoises 'Turtles'.  He must like the phonetics).

Keeping his eye on the traffic, the Machinist began reversing.  Cars and trucks screamed past.  The Machinist continued reversing, and was probably imagining two 'turtles' frolicking in our garden at home....

And then "...He's dead.  They must have ran over him.  Bastards!"

 **********************************************************************


In other news - it's the second night filled with the Sound of Silence.  The second night since our adult children Sam and Hayley, with their ten month old baba, Keiralea have moved out of our home and into their own.

The Machinist, watching the look of forlorn on my face attempts to comfort me:
"They're only down the street, Babe".  And they are.  Less than 500 metres away.  A brisk 5 minute walk (and even less if I'm lazy and drive there!) 

But it's not the distance.  It's not about this particular dear little family moving out and starting their new life together.  It's the realisation, - the actualisation of us beginning OUR new life as well - and the strangeness of it all.

It's also the knowledge of more changes to come in a fairly short time, as our girls come and go and leave as well.

 Sarah and Emma

Sometimes, change is uncomfortable and disconcerting. So are surprises.  I'm not fond of them at all.  Surprises are shocking and my absorbers are feeling worn...


Sunday, 17 February 2013

If Things Don't Change, They'll Stay The Same

The Machinist, in conversation today declared that he thought summer was just about over and autumn was upon us.  This made me smile, as I love autumn; even the thought of autumn.  Last year, I remember kicking the fallen plane tree leaves in the centre of Civic, just outside Gus's Cafe.  There were so many of them - on the pavement, hanging off the kerb and into the gutter.  A thick and ample duvet for damp tarmac and cement.

After much talk and procrastination, the five of us are going to join the gym in Goulburn. Sam joined over a month ago and the Machinist signed up yesterday.  I was going to as well, but when I arrived there to meet the Machinist and put my money where my mouth was, I backed out.  I felt sort of angry.  Angry that I was about to resort to going to a gym.  Any gym. 

A young trainer came over to where I was standing with Sam.  "Are you going to sign up, too?" he asked, after spending time with the Machinist. 
"I'm not sure"
"Not sure?"
"No.  To be honest with you - I hate gyms".  The trainer looked embarrassed and started to flush.  Then he laughed, nervously.
"You hate them?"
"Yes, I hate them.  They are monotonous and they bore me.  They hurt as well.  But - I know that if things don't change, they'll stay the same...."

While having a coffee with Emma and the Machinist at The Coffee Club today,  I committed to her that I would, in fact, join her and we would attend gym together.  She informed me that she was going to be my worst enemy and would drive me on if and when I faltered or complained in this resolve.

Here's looking forward to a beautiful autumn, even if it is peppered with pain and suffering (such drama!).  And I know my heart will be most impressed.

Monday, 28 January 2013

You Have My Whole Heart

Walking around some tourist-y shops in Mogo, I see this sign.  I stand there, staring at it.  The Machinist joins me.  I walk away.  He stands there staring at it.  I cannot look at him.  Then, from behind me I hear him "...you definitely have mine..." Then he walks away.

The End

Australia Day 2013 Part 2

 After fish and chips at the Boathouse in Bateman's Bay - fun and frolicking.

 Stormy skies approaching.

 The day's line up...."...altogether now, girls..."


 A skeleton fish head, visible from the deck at the rear of the Boathouse.  These seagulls always tempt you to feed them, despite the signs asking us not to. 

 Keiralea, having a chuckle and sporting FOUR teeth.  She loves her Rabbie...

More stormy skies.  Oh, do we have to leave now?
 
Ok, so I couldn't resist the temptation to feed the gulls.  We gathered the scraps and fed them away from the other diners.


 Keiralea determined to have more of her mummy's ice cream


 It started to rain as we headed back home up the Clyde mountain.

 I so wanted to get a good pic of Pooh Bear's cave.  Alas, not.  On the way down, though, we could see a dozen or more Pooh Bears having a tea party in the cave....


On the flat lands...still raining.  This is why it's called the Southern Tablelands.

 Dark already.  Still raining, with the addition of thunder and lightening.  


 Try as I might, I just couldn't capture the huge streaks of lightening.

Almost home, but the rain was coming down so hard and fast that we had to pull over for about half an hour.
 
Finally, on the road again.  Fortunately, the flash storm had not resulted in the Workshop being flooded out again.  The dogs were delighted to see us, and spent the night indoors.

Australia Day 2013 Part 1

An early morning drive to the coast via the dirt roads - just out of our small country town


 Signposts

Arriving in Mogo, checking out the shops and people.  Lots of people.

 Sarah and Cam monkey-ing around and being 'Posers' - hugging a Totem pole

 Our traditional and annual stick on tattoos, courtesy of a bubble gum wrapper. We have to walk around with these corny tattoos all day.

 Stopping at a beach near Mossy Point.  There was a lagoon, rocks and then the beach.
 
 Crossing the laggoon
 
 The rocks here were worn away and formed lines of honeycomb

 Loving the rock pools and what hangs out in them.

Loved how the birds gathered here....

 Tide coming in.  Also, a storm warning....

 The Machinist exploring the rock pools

 
 Looking back to the shoreline


I looked down and this was 'waving' at me, flowing with the ebbs....

 
 Can you see the worm tower in the sand?

 Knock knock.... anyone home?


 Multitudes of life and forms in one small area....



 The Machinist wrote my name in the sand with his big toe


 Another planet?

 The Machinist and I were sitting on a rock together - away from the maddening crowd.  A young boy suddenly appeared holding this crab.  "Can I take a picture of your crab?" I asked.  "Sure, but he's dead you know..."  The boy walked away triumphant that someone else was interested in his find.  The Machinist leaned over to me and whispered..."that boy is really pleased with his spoils of the day..."