Thursday, March 20, 2008

The first day of spring ...

... is here, and what a glorious day it is!

Isn't it early this year? Or is it always on March 20th? Maybe it's early because we added a day? I have no intention of looking it up. That would take all the fun out of this post.

My first husband always said that I was a lot of fun to go to the movies with because I could never remember the ending. Well, I was much younger then. Some of my favorites I've seen so many times that I can remember the dialogue, even ... still, that doesn't take away from my enjoyment.

It's the same thing with books. You know what, tho? I'm almost embarrassed to say that I have not even begun a book since September -- seems impossible to have to admit that in writing, but it's true.

There are positives and negatives to just about everything, I guess.

I drove a taxicab for very close to 18 years. There's a humongous amount of 'downtime' in the cab business ... waiting at the airport, in queues at hotels and cab stands, at ball games and special events, in a parking lot ... waiting to get your car inspected, to pay your lease, to have stickers put on, to get the meter changed to conform to a new rate (and there might be another increase coming up shortly with these gas prices -- aren't they unbelievable??).

Cab drivers, as a general rule, are pretty sociable folks. They like to talk -- about anything. You name it, they'll talk about it. And, you'll find that most of them are quite knowledgeable about current events on the local scene as well as at the national level. They read the newspaper voraciously.

Not I, however. When the Houston Post disappeared from our newspaper scene many years ago, we were left with only the Chronicle. No competition, no accountability, and a marked decrease in quality. The Chronicle -- and this is just one person's opinion, of course -- could be put to much better use as tinder or toilet paper, even. How about as a liner for a 'possum's casket?? Now that was useful!

So, what did I do in my downtime? Well, I never looked at my watch, I'll tell you that! Besides the fact that I never wore a watch, that would have been a 'downer'.

How did I know what time it was? Fair question. If the time was important -- I was to pick up a personal customer, for example, or the baseball game was on (I became somewhat of a fanatic before 1994, lesser so afterwards ... will probably do a post on that somewhere down the road) -- well, yeah, I'd keep track of it pretty closely.

Thank goodness for clocks in cars, right? Unless your battery is completely dead, and assuming you have remembered to change the time twice yearly, all you have to do is turn the key to auxiliary power and -- voila! -- you have the time. Also, I had a cell phone -- another neat gadget with which to play. (Again, one must assume that it has been charged.)

Enough already! Let's go back to the original question, which was, "What did I do with my downtime?" Well, it kind of depended on where I was.

If I thought I had enough time to take a nap and felt a little tired, I took a nap. Cab drivers work long long hours. Naps are essential. If I wasn't feeling sleepy, I would open the latest book I had checked out of the library and -- continue to or -- begin reading that.

Heavens to Betsy!! The number of books I read during those almost 18 years must have easily been in the hundreds! Finally, I decided that I had to try and keep track of them. I now have two notebooks (about 8" by 11") full of same, compiled first alphabetically by author and then by title and year of publication. Some personal notes are there, as well, along with up or down arrows -- the arrows refer to my own opinion of the book/material.

As a young person, I can recall that my favorite reading included dog/horse stories ... Albert Payson (sp?) Terhune, certainly. A little later on (& continuing for many many years), romance novels. Mysteries were NEVER on my "favorites" list.

My interests have since expanded to include historical novels -- does the name Michener ring a bell?, autobiographies -- Katharine Hepburn's (how about the one that shows her skate-boarding!), and mysteries -- yes, mysteries!!

Interestingly enough, I found myself going -- in most recent years, particularly -- directly to the end of the book to find out 'whodunit'. I did this only with an author that I greatly admired. Then, I would go back and read (in some instances, read and re-read again and again) the book.

I get a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of a well-turned phrase, a succinct point, a word so deftly applied that there is no possible way its exact meaning could be misunderstood. (Maybe that's why I like PBS so much??)

Anyhow, I have strayed from my main point, which was to wish ALL of you just a delicious day ... enjoy!!

1 comment:

Tammy said...

We sure did have a "delicious day" and it sounds like you did too.

I love that spring is finally here! :)