Monday, September 28, 2015

Keeping My Head Low

Like these two swans at Potter Marsh yesterday, I'm keeping my head low, getting ready to head south.  With a long to do list here, don't have time to blog on things important (it takes too long).  Yesterday, I escaped to Potter Marsh to sit and read My Name Is Red for my book club that meets tomorrow night.  REALLY good book and I'm sure I'll do some posts on it later, but now I just have to finish it and other loose ends before we go back to take another stab at cleaning out my mom's house and then getting some grandpa time in Seattle on the way home.

All this post death stuff has been affecting my stress level.  I'd decided to check on my blood pressure again and my home monitor was giving high readings.  Went to the doctor today and was reassured on two levels:  1.  my home monitor gave higher readings than their office monitor  and 2.  blood pressure levels for over 65 tend to be higher.  (Looking this up just now - something I was hoping to avoid in this post) showed less about the target blood pressure range and more about lack of good data and a range of opinions from the doctors.  I'm just not going to worry.  They said I was healthy otherwise.  But not so healthy that I got away without a flu shot and a pneumonia shot. 

So yesterday I sat in the car at a Potter Marsh pullout, watched swans and read my book as the wind now and then buffeted the van.   The swans were clearly loading up for their flight south - with their head below water much more than not.

And I walked the empty boardwalk.

Hanging out in the van with the book and the swans and a little walk on the boardwalk as it started to rain was what I needed.  Got well into this incredible tale that takes place in late 16th Century Istanbul and is loosely based on real a real workshop of court miniaturists.  Lots to think about that's relevant to the theme of this blog - how do you know what you know - as they examine the difference between reality and how that reality is represented on the page, and as they tread a fine line between honoring Allah with their work and slipping into creating forbidden idols.  And there's a murder to be solved and a love story as well.  And the author Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel Prize for Literature. 


  1. Those look like tundra swans.

    I live in Eastern Virginia where the Potomac River joins the Chesapeake Bay. When I stand on my front porch, I look straight ahead across the Potomac, or, look to the right across the Bay.

    About 1/4 mile east and west of my home are creeks that empty into the Potomac. In late-December the tundra swans start showing up in the creeks and the Potomac. In late January this year I counted 128 tundra swans on one creek, 65 on the other and 36 on the River.

    Maybe the swans who visit us are your swans?

    1. Redneck, I'm pretty sure these swans - there were about eight altogether - are trumpeters, not tundra. No yellow spots by the eyes.
      I'd love to see your masses of swans like that. Sounds magnificent.
      Maybe next spring I'll go to one of the bird migration festivals nearby.

  2. I am very sorry to read of your mother's passing, Steve. BB


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