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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Got Your Bliss, Erin!

Alright, yesterday I was inspired by Erin O'Brien, stuck in an Ohio never-quite-dawning spring. I dashed out on my way to the office and snapped a few colorful shots, including one of cactus flowers just about to bloom. Erin commented, "Bliss".

Today I popped out onto the front porch and the sight grabbed my attention immediately, even though the place is five houses away down the street. They bloomed! Fewer than 24 hours after I first spotted them. I slid into some shoes and headed eastward, intent on those cactus blossoms. Just like yesterday, I knocked on the door to ask permission. Just like yesterday, no one answered and I erred on the side of getting what I came for.

My camera activity attracted the attention of the neighbor across the street, the man who owns the house with the lovely xeriscaped yard with all the poppies. "Whatcha doing there?" I felt it was self-evident what I was doing, but I told him about blogging with those in cold, gray country and confessed to shooting pictures in his own yard yesterday. This man is now my official new best friend! "Hey, after you take pictures of the cactus, come on over and come into my backyard." I had to think about that a little. This is Las Vegas. But he waited for me beside the curb. "Come on, I'll show you."

His backyard is as lovely as the front, but different - quieter, softer colors in the blooms. This man knows a lot about growing things in the desert. I met a sweet gray poodle (and remember, I don't even really like dogs too much) who weighs about 4 pounds and made not a noise the entire time I was there. The patio was covered with assorted pots and containers filled with plants. A dining table on the patio was set for a meal, including beautiful crystal wine balloons. The man told me his roommate is a botany professor at the university here, so they may have a leg up on such a beautifully designed yard, but that - generally - they just tossed out handsful of seeds and the result was what we can see. He offered me seeds and volunteered to help me or advise me when I said I really wanted a tomato crop this year. I was invited to stay for a glass of wine, but told him I needed to get to a meeting. He didn't need to know it was an AA meeting.

As I drove off, I remembered that neighbors used to know one another and enjoyed talking about their gardens and sharing things they had in abundance, like seeds or advice. I knew I would never have managed more than a "Hi!" to my neighbor. For - yes, really - I'm a little shy, a little unsure of myself in certain situations. Now I've got an invitation to "Stop by any time" and assurances that he will pop over when he sees me working in my yard (that could happen!). All because of Erin O'Brien whom I see as never shy. I'm glad you motivated me to get my arse outside and enjoy the spring, Woman!

And the wind continues to howl.


  1. Sounds wonderful Leslie - a new neighbour for a friend and a flowering cactus - the one seems to symbolise the other.

  2. A quiet back yard dotted with blossoms and a table set with "beautiful crystal wine balloons."


    Thanks so much for this Leslie. It is a perfect start to the day!

  3. @ Elisabeth ~ It's a sweet story, isn't it? A nice spring tale on a quiet street in an otherwise too-fast city. I actually used to enjoy keeping a garden, though not simply on my own. Ex was a huge help - in fact, maybe the leader. But if the neighbor were to offer me guidance, maybe . . . good to hear from you, Lis.

  4. @ Erin ~ I'm glad you enjoyed that little story. I know I have enjoyed the unintentional prod your post gave me. Tomorrow I mark 6 months of sobriety. I've done very well inside, studying, meditating. Now I need to go outdoors and soak up some of THAT brand of joy. I'm off to a good start.

  5. I love that you did this. It sounds like now it's time to start turning outward again.

    Six months is a huge accomplishment. Hold your head high!

    And go meet some more neighbors!

  6. @ Jenny ~ I surely do thank you! And - yes - if I tucked half a year under my belt, then I can tuck some more under it. And I don't have to hide or isolate or do any of the really horrible things I was doing to myself. "Watch out, neighbors ~ here she comes! She's got a camera and a hoe and a packet of seeds. Is that a cat following her?"

  7. @ CramCake ~ Honey, don't you know I'm just about cucumber cool. :~} A little cocky, too. I figure a little come-uppance will likely follow this giddiness.

  8. Third big smile of my day thanks Les.

  9. @ Tag ~ Oh, I LIKE to cause smiles. I like to wear them, too. I've been doing that a lot lately.

  10. So that's what a cactus flower looks like (can tell I'm from back east, huh?)

  11. @ Kirk ~ Well that's what SOME of them look like, Kirk, but there is a huge array of colors, shapes, sizes, etc. Many of them last only 24 hours, but these appear to be a variety that will go on for a week or so. It's my desire to go stick my face and camera right up in them at a particular time of day, but today was shot to hell in every way. Maybe tomorrow.