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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Yesterday I had to brave another trip into the outside world, so soon after I had gone to H.'s wedding.   I have two months to get my driver's license renewed.

The last time I didn't think I had exactly passed the vision test with flying colors, and I was afraid of stumbling and doing worse than was justified, because of my discomfort with dealing with agencies as impersonal as DMV's.  But I was told by the doctor's office where I am being treated for glaucoma that I could take the vision test there, and that was my reason for going to town ("town" in this case being a place with only a little over 400 inhabitants).

The doctor checked my eyesight carefully, and made out a report that I can give to the DMV instead of taking the test there, which is a load off my mind.

My wife took me to the eye doctor, in case I had the usual trouble with his dilation drops making the roads after the visit a blinding nightmare, and afterward we went to a local nursery to look for impatiens.

Every year I plant impatiens, that most shade-loving of flowers, in some oak half-barrels along our driveway.   They grow great there and provide a lot of bright color all the way until the first frost hits, with an absolute minimum of care.   Their only enemies are occasionally ambitious squirrels.

  But there were no impatiens on sale, except some already in skillful arrangements with other flowers in hanging pots.   None in the usual trays that you see outside supermarkets and hardware stores.

Wife, however, happened to spot a lady there who is the mother in probably the most distinguished family in the whole county, and she is also one of the owners of that big nursery.   And we just happened to know her well, because the youngest of her six or seven sons attended the county high school with our son, and they were good friends as well as competitors, and that youngest son even just happened to be there, too, because he is now running the nursery along with his brothers.   As a result of this happy accident, we ended up getting the needed impatiens after all, along with some begonias, due to this lady taking a lot of her time out to take wife on a little tour of her family's hundreds of "hoop" greenhouses.

I have always had a lot of admiration for this remarkable woman on a lot of counts, to the point where I had long ago based an important character in one of my Great Unpublished Novels on her, loosely, very loosely.  And right now I've been taking time out from my stained glass projects to go through those novels in an effort to tie up some loose ends that have been dangling for a long time, and in that novel the main chapter that featured the character inspired by this lady had been dangling worst of all, by not even being fully sketched out, as I had done with all the other chapters.

So, while waiting for this lady and wife to get back from searching for the impatiens, and thinking about seeing this lady for the first time in about 20 years, all of a sudden it occurred to me that when I get to finally doing that chapter and in fact finishing the whole book, which I must do soon, I could lift a long section involving that character from another chapter and moving it to hers, in an operation that is (lightly, very lightly) like cutting an organ out of a person and implanting it in someone else's  being.   The blood vessels, nerves, and other stuff have to be carefully tied off in the donor, while they have to be reconnected with just as much care in the recipient.    And when I finally got back home, right away I did the major step in doing just that, via my handy-dandy word processor, one of the great great inventions of modern times, and this will give me a big boost when I do finally tackle that chapter.

Isn't it funny how neatly things work out, now if not always then.


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