Making a case for lima beans

Lima beans. I suppose they are healthy to eat in their own way. Perhaps if more people ate them, instead of, say, a Big Mac, they wouldn’t be fat. Maybe they even taste on the par with a Big Mac; but, who knows? I imagine that everyone is indoctrinated at a young age when Mom decided to spoon a pile of lima beans next to the slice of meat loaf and said, “No desert unless your plate is cleaned off.” One exploratory bite of a few lima beans and the question immediately pops into the mind: Just what is for desert anyway?

I’m not going to go off and do a bunch of research to make the case for eating lima beans. I’m just not interested. You see, in my case, chocolate cake wasn’t enough of a reward to eat those fateful lima beans piled onto my plate as a kid. Let’s just say I hadn’t quite yet developed an insatiable craving for chocolate. Not yet anyway, and one bite into the tough skin and the gritty guts of a few lima beans and I immediately wished our family had a vegetarian dog to clean up the mush I so wanted to spit out of my mouth.


Creaking, crackling adventure


Can’t have a day off without some sense of adventure, and lately, that’s been anything, anything at all, that is even remotely out of the ordinary. The sun was shining through the window perfectly, and as it filtered through the leaves of the philodendron, it warmed the room. It’s hot outside, but cool in, and completely enjoyable. It’s all a matter of angles, so the adventure came when I decided to climb up on a chair to shoot down. For me, that is an adventure and a whole new way of viewing things since I’m pretty short.


Imagine there’s no Heaven

The horrifying images of commercial planes flying straight into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in rural Pennsylvania were shown repeatedly across the nation’s communication networks and media. Those images are ingrained into our collective consciousness, along with the thousands that perished that fateful day in 2001. The iconic skyline of New York City is changed forever, the gaping hole once viewed sucks us back to a reality that is traumatic and nightmarish.

The United States is a young country. From its inception, it grew exponentially to dominate the world financially, politically and militarily. Our hegemony kept in check by the morals and values of the forefathers that created this nation. We stand for liberty, justice, equality in our minds – for some, in our hearts – yet instead, we became the playground bully, the spoiled brats of the world.

Is it naiveté? Or is it innocence?


On September 11, 2001 in Upstate NY


September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday morning like any other in upstate NY.

I had a 9:30 a.m. class to teach, my first of the day. As was my habit, I walked into the Business Office of the community college to check my mail before heading into my computer lab across the hall.

“Good morning, June,” I said as I walked by the secretary’s desk. Bustling along, it took me a few steps more before I realized she hadn’t greeted me like she usually did. I stopped and turned to see her staring up and to her left.  Following her gaze, I found she was staring at the TV that is always on CNBC with the stock ticker going across the bottom of the screen and the sound off.

I only glanced at the screen, saw the image of the World Trade Center, and since it was around 9:15, only one of the planes had hit.

“What are you watching?” I asked. It never hit me that it was a live broadcast of the news. What was shown on the TV looked like just about any other show or movie we’ve all seen a thousand times. Looking at June, her mouth was slack, her face blank, and I feared the woman was having a stroke. It was only when I walked back to her and repeated my question that she shook her head, her lips visibly flapped; she closed her eyes tight and then looked up at me.

“A plane flew into the World Trade Center,” she said in flat, toneless voice.


From the outside, looking in…again


Talking about living behind shuttered windows the other day brought a few more thoughts up that are a bit less than comfortable.

Here I am in my own little world, only to be startled to find the Great Dane next door gone. I heard and saw nothing. I wondered if the dog died, though I did hear him bark late last night. His chain and line are gone, and so is his water bucket and food dish. Sad, I felt saddened and at a loss. What happened to the dog? Hearing car doors slam, I peaked out through the window blinds and saw two pickups drive off, loaded with furniture. My neighbors are moving out, and I never got to meet them.


Like peas in a pod


Peas in a pod. That’s what life in the city is like.

Each house has its own little yard. Maybe there are things in the yard for the kids to play on, maybe not.

Maybe the back yard has a dog chained up or in a cage, maybe not. And, maybe there are flower beds and shrubs, and maybe not.

What each house has are windows with mini blinds, all pulled shut. Those mini blinds are all white and all closed. The houses aren’t the same, but each house’s windows are.