Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring Fever

Spring in Central Texas has brought a beautiful crop of bluebonnets, Indian paint brushes, evening primrose, and many other wildflowers I can’t call by name. The term spring fever can serve multiple meanings this spring. Many of us are itching to get out of doors. Others of us are itching in our nose and eyes with allergies. YUK!

But perhaps the most dismaying definition of spring fever this year is the rash of dead bodies being found around Austin. The other night I was watching the local news and the top 4 stories were of officers responding to the scenes of dead bodies. Today, the open homicide investigations went up to 4 in the last seven days and 10 for the year with many more already solved. Accidental drownings, shootings, pedestrians being run over, they just keep coming. Several recent incidents have already been chalked up to gang activities, but it is really unsettling. Austin seems to be suffering some growing pains lately. Hopefully spring can continue on peacefully from here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


My brother and I had a running joke about my mother. She is quite jumpy and several times we arrived home to find her vacuuming and unaware of our arrival. The first time, my brother walked up to her and tapped her on the shoulder. She screamed and jumped and said how badly he scared her. So the next time, he ingeniously walked in, shouted her name, and when she didn’t respond, unplugged the vacuum cleaner. He was surprised when she turned around to see what made the vacuum stop and screamed and jumped and said how badly he scared her. So, the next time, he thought he would be smarter about it. He stood outside the front door and rang the doorbell. This made the dogs bark. She stopped the vacuum and opened the door and said how much that had scared her. Over the years, it became a joke. The only thing to do when you got home and found mom vacuuming was get back in your car and come home later.

Years later, DH has discovered that I am indeed my mother’s daughter. When he comes home, he frequently startles me. Last night I was brushing the dog quite vigorously on the back porch. I was tucking a big pile of fur in a trash bag and worried Moxie would jump off the table while I had my back turned. I heard a knocking and quickly turned back to keep her from jumping when the back door opened and DH greeted me. Unfortunately, my response was a blood curdled scream and jumping back 2 feet. He kept saying, “but I knocked on the door to warn you I was coming.”

The embarrassing thing about it is that I react in much the same way even when I KNOW he is in the house. I can be in the bathroom folding clothes and he walks in to ask me something and I will squeal and start. He has taken to announcing, “I am coming in the room now” as he approaches. I have no idea why I react this way. I just get startled when I am alone, or deep in thought. I wish I could control it, but I can’t. And in fact, I have actually had this same reaction at work. I had headphones on and was deeply engrossed in whatever I was doing and a manager approached me. Not receiving a response to his initial query, tapped me on the shoulder. Boy, you can see why the term gopher farm has been applied to cubicles. Within seconds, at least five co-workers popped up to see what had happened.

I guess I just have a jumpy personality.

So today, I am thankful for my calm hubby who never seems to startle.