Friday, June 19, 2015

Number Play: a collective list, all about numbers

1 earplug on the floor of our car after my husband took the kids to the Weird Al concert

5 text messages from my husband, asking if our son's baseball game was rained out

6 minutes before I remember to take the tea bag out of the mug

10 times my thoughts have wandered today to contemplating my life's purpose, and I still don't have an answer

4 keyboards sitting in my office, but only 1 works

26 papers push-pinned to my bulletin board, and the only one that makes any sense is the postcard that says "I am ready for fun"

4 humungous legal texts, that I was given to read on my first day of work 5 years ago, still sitting on my desk, unopened

2 children selling lemonade on the corner

1 homeless person in front of the farmers' market, holding a sign that says "I'm hungry"

10 Mary Oliver books on my poetry shelf

5 garden gloves with holes in the thumbs in my garden basket

3 pennies in my vest pocket clink like there are more

1 white handkerchief to remind me of my mother

2 hummingbirds vie for territory at the hummingbird feeder

2 failed marriages — the third one is, indeed, a charm

8 children who deplete and complete me

7 graduations down, one to go

25 Buddhas all there to remind me to stay in my practice

1 postcard that I keep meaning to send but like too much to give up

1 motorcycle helmet that makes me happy just to look at, but even happier when I put it on and ride

1 cut glass piece from my mother's old lighter that I now use for tiny little flowers

1 sink full of dirty dishes from last night and this morning, reminding me that I live alone and can wash them any old time

8 minutes late the chimes of my grandfather clock

19 years my old cat has been with me all the way and back again

66 times around the sun for me it will be tomorrow

2.5 Pee-Wee Herman dolls in the house 

0 space left in my closet

92 new picture book for the library, thanks to a rich lady

2 endangered turtles in the marsh

5 harpists tuning up under the old apple trees

7 oak logs flushing shiitakes

100 seeds of Red Amaranth scattered to the wind

2 forks, dropped through the dock into the water of the harbor during lunch at Woods Hole, prompting a discussion of whether fish need forks

5 pieces of ornamental statuary standing under dripping pines

6 chickens huddling under the elderberry bushes while the hawk's shadow passes overhead

9 socks come out of the dryer, when I'm certain ten went in

47 of anything the universe wants to send me

500 perfect purple amethyst crystals in a vug

23 CDs found at the book sale on 25-cent day 

1 cake in the oven for 35 minutes; made with 3 bananas, 4 eggs, 38 walnuts and 1/2 cup yogurt 

1 very troublesome fly going back and forth across the room   

4 pears sitting in a bowl in the sun on the kitchen counter

200 pages left to read before Wednesday’s book group meeting

15 arbor vitae planted as a screen on the roof

2 worries that never seem to leave my mind

4 trips I want to plan and take with friends

3 shades of nail polish on my granddaughter's toes

5 cough drops left in the box and I'm still coughing

10 women hikers share a chocolate bar

5 moonlit bodies, stepping slowly into ink-shine river waves

124 sweaty people crammed into a room filled with sound and vibration, walls painted with condensation

8 hours of the night when I should be sleeping, but instead I stay awake and paint

7 years I’ve known you, and I’m still surprised

27 pink, turquoise, and gray knit squares that have not been sewn into an afghan

3 pairs of underpants drying

76 feminist Tarot cards

40 unsold copies of my haiku book

3 days off and I dread going back to work tomorrow

1 beach chair but no beach on my back porch 

2 sisters who also happen to be women I adore and I love spending time with 

3 rabbis at the mikvah conversion

2.5 hours of uninterrupted reading

1 woodpecker at the suet feeder and 1 dove in the birdbath 

1 elbow taking up the entire armrest on the plane even though it was meant to be shared

1 spot on the bench after 5 missed jump shots

2 dry pens, useless on my desk

6 days later our missing suitcase

2821 miles by plane to travel tomorrow

1 thank you note, featuring friendship quotes, on the fireplace mantle

8 shoes lined up at the front door

2 little girls playing on the front porch, pretending to be fairies on a stage

1 little boy at the library, reading a fairytale about a boy who found a penguin at his door and it began to follow him everywhere

572 hours watching the "Real Housewives" shows on TV and I am not ashamed

20 years of not drinking alcohol

3 failed attempts at reading Moby Dick all the way through

0 times flossing, despite all the dire warnings of many patient dental hygienists

1 glorious trip to Ireland that explained everything I still needed to know about myself

8 hours spent in the office on a fine spring day

5 sparrows pecking croissant crumbs in the garden of my favorite café

11 days until I fly to London

1 spotted fawn walking through our yard with its mom

1 large bucket of golf balls

4 winter tires sitting in the garage

12 buds blooming on the rosebush for my birthday

8 people at the family reunion helping Grandpa clean the fencerow

2 kittens ignore the mouse and go for the catnip

1 Matron of Honor frowning at the groom with unspoken message

1 piece left of the apple cake in the pan

64 years of "come day / go day"

1 true love never forgotten

43 years of sleeping in the same bed together

910 new trees planted this spring

2 friends weeding

1 sore stubbed toe

1469 weeds in the garden

10 plants (Solomon's Seal) that need transplanting

7 grandchildren to warm my heart

3 friends I consider my "besties" outside of Ithaca

3 friends I consider my "besties" in the Ithaca area

3 degrees I obtained from schools, all of them useless

2 holey sneakers waiting to be replaced

4 sisters sitting together on the beach

5 purple delphiniums standing watch over the garden

1200 Lego bricks littering the front hall  

8 bridge players, eager to drink coffee and eat cake, all overbid their hands

 3 black cats shedding on the mauve velvet chair just before company comes

6 button-down shirts, waiting to be ironed, smell like mold

7 ticks to find on the dog

2 2015 calendars to fill 

3 years until I retire 

10,497 messages in my work server inbox 

1,776 messages in my personal server inbox

4 hot pink reminder sticky notes, 2 gold sticky notes, 3 green sticky notes, 1 cyan sticky note, and 11 lime sticky notes on my desk 

3 times I awoke last night to write down more things

5 pairs of hiking boots drying from the rain

6 women hiding under the black rims of their hats

3 mosquito bites

3 stink bugs liberated to the outside this Spring

1 white cat whisker found on the carpet

 22 years I spent full-time in school

 24 leg curls a week at 50 lbs. each

 0 times I’ve bet on the lottery

1 worn, very loved plush bunny resting on the bed

5 people standing outside an electronics store that closed because of an electrical blowout

33 monarch butterflies, golden in the sun, roosting in a silver maple

20,010 raindrops falling amid the hum of air conditioners

4 sunbeams caught in a chandelier's crystal, draping rainbows across an otherwise drab day

1 mayfly squashed between the pages of a "lifelong learning" catalog

7 days until my birthday, and 'til I send off all those pages representing my life's work, so far

369 pages in my manuscript now, a gorgeous number not likely to stick

1 ingenious and illegal tattoo on my daughter's wrist, a first as of yesterday, the latest autonomous act announced after the fact

9 bridge pencils, little used, impossible to sharpen

1 croissant, once a month

3 complete dinner services

25 arrowheads sifted out from the beach where I grew up

4 years, 10 months, 3 weeks, 3 days, and 12 ½ hours since my friend Fred died of coronary heart failure, but who’s counting?

5 times this week my mother has asked me if I lived in the same house she lives in

2 letters I wish I had never written

52 chipped piano keys need a good scrubbing

8 wooden spokes are a blur as the foot on the spinning wheel pedal nods up and down

2 strands of hair intertwine in a locket; short black, long brown 

7 white ducks bobbing in the flooded yard

4 cables for i-things in a u-shape

12 minutes till the pasta is done

10 smoke rings just because I can

108 Maha-mantras to walk around the village

6 keys for . . . . I-don't-know-what

4 4th grade classmates acting out the parts of Little Women at recess

10 trips to learn the streets of Venice

5 minutes each day to remind myself of the beauty of silence and breath

1 big dog still looking for his buddy after 2 years

3 people on the bus, all immersed in their cell phones

10 shades of red that have adorned my hair

1 heart beating wildly with life

2 miles from my house to yummy pizza

9 fingers that know how to be helpful and 1 that is re-learning

4 days of being 70

2 tomato plants I planted, actually growing

16 weeks and 4 days pregnant, time is swishing by

4 songs we played for the baby last night as we introduced him or her to Fleetwood Mac

3 dorsal fins surface just off the bow of the boat

35 years since the first day we met

10 items on my "To Do" list, of which 8 of them were on the list from yesterday

18 pairs of unique plaid patterned underwear on the clothesline in the back yard

1 tick found attached on my leg yesterday and no idea of where I picked it up

39 photos of the sunset and it's afterglow taken last night

3 blue bird houses serving as homes for 6 tree swallows

4 crows eating crackers until the 5th crow arrives

67 — the birthday that shook into being my existential crisis

12 wooden beads decorate my dreadlocks

20 ounces of water left at the end of the day when I promised myself to drink 24

74 stairs on the trail at Treman State Park, and every single one is grueling 

4 separate times we "ran into each other" before we decided to plan a visit

1 lovely Mallika, my first grandchild, who just celebrated her first birthday at my house

270 (approximately) students whose homework I check each week

15 hours, on average, that I drive every week

1 million things (at least) that I want to, and have to, do before I leave Japan for a visit to the U. S. in July. 

2 Lunar Bars eaten when I only needed one

3 laminated "Nut Free Zone posters" on the school wall

32 children in red Peace Squad T-shirts, proudly on display

1 new back pack without a place to put a pencil

101 Hamilton & 33 Theresa Place, only two houses for my childhood dreams

112 1/2 Mesa Lane — I walked down 244 stairs to the beach each day knowing I would not be here forever

15 years with the love of my life after 27 with our best friend

5 years old my first poem oh the moon oh the stars oh the sun

12 years old, the last year of my innocence

10 pairs of shoes calling "not me" as I sort for the Salvation Army

4 leaf clovers, so many childhood hours spent searching for them

1 lover-cat riding on my shoulder

2 ex-lovers living on

7 siblings, 6 of whom survived, the 5th of them was my father

3 beautiful sunsets

3 people in my immediate family

12 primroses casting their aroma

12 houseplants waiting to be watered

5 sneezes in a row, no more no less, every time

2 purple mountains in the distance make for the valley between the place where they meet

1 very sore body taking a bath

2 old friends comfortable in silence

7 password attempts, 3 more to go

1 really big moon shining through the window keeping me awake

20 blocks in New York City makes a mile

1 precious relationship

1 wooden fence to protect a sidewalk garden, but someone left the gate open

900,000,000 times I've wanted to change something about myself


Thank you to all the contributors:

Alice Damp
Alison Van Dyke
Amber Donofrio
Andrea Staffeld
Annie Wexler
Barbara Cartwright
Barbara Kane Lewis
Barbara Tate
Cady Fontana 
Carol Miller 
Carole Johnston
Dave Read
Deirdre Silverman
Esmé Saccuccimorano
Gabrielle Vehar
Grace Celeste
Jennifer Groff
Joann Grisetti
Johannes S. H. Bjerg 
Julie Bloss Kelsey
Kate Halliday
Kath Abela Wilson
Kathleen Morrow
Kathy May
Katie Lynne Watkins
Kris Kondo
Laura Levinson
Laurie Petersen
Leah Grady Sayvetz
Linda Keeler
Linda Pope
Lisa Schwartz
Liz Burns
Louise Vignaux
Margaret Chula
Margaret Dennis
Mary Roberts
Maura Stephens
Meryl Young
Miriam Sagan
Molly Sutton
Nancy Osborn
Nicola Morris
Olivier Schopfer
Pat Geyer
Priscilla Walker
Rainbow Crow
Rob Sullivan
Robin White
Sandi Pray
Sara Robbins
Sherron Brown
Stacey Murphy
Sue Crowley
Summer Killian
Susan Lang
Susan Lesser
Teresa Wagner
Theresa A. Cancro
Tom Clausen
Vibeke Laier
Zee Zahava