Don’t Panic! [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

Let us first deal with the sub-story of this cartoon, storyline B. When drawing, it is completely possible for me to respond to questions AS IF I am really listening without ever hearing a word. Call it a gift or a flaw as you will. I call it a defense mechanism or a survival skill. My focus is myopic. I’ve had to develop certain protections that enable me to stay in the story. Otherwise I lose the thread. Kerri will confirm my selective hearing.

As for the primary story, storyline A, have you ever thought you lost your sunglasses and found them resting on your head? Have you ever raced around looking for your keys only to notice that you are holding them? It’s a universal experience.

Despite what we might assume, it’s not an age thing. Looking for your phone while holding it isn’t a sign of impending dementia. It’s a sign of panic. Panic comes with blinders.

My only question is this: why am I experiencing more incidents of panic as I age? And, why can’t I find my pencil? Oh, wait…

read Kerri’s blogpost on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Do The Important Thing [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

These are the short days of the year. The moment I’m finished with work, we head out the door for a walk before the sun disappears. Sometimes, like this week, when the weather is gorgeous, we walk the neighborhood during my lunch break. We are walk-opportunitsts.

It’s easy on the weekends to fill up the days with the-things-that-need-to-get-done. The gutters need cleaning. The leaves need raking. Winter is coming. Generally, we build the list around a walk but occasionally there is an inversion. The walk goes on the list.

I know we have our priorities straight. Even on the days of inversion, even if the list is lengthy and incomplete, we recognize that the most important thing is not the door that needs fixing or the deck that needs repair. The most important thing is to hold hands and take a walk. Together.

It’s how we appreciate our moment of life. The list can always wait for another day.

read Kerri’s blog post on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Reconcile The Paradox [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

There is no greater paradox. I’ve never met a greater homebody than Kerri. Every object in our house has a meaningful story. A memory. She wraps herself in home like a comfy warm blanket.

I’ve also never met a greater roadtripper. She loves, as I do, being on the road. Traveling to and spending time in new places. Collecting more meaningful experiences and stories. There is always a rock or significant piece of wood to bring home. A cup. A cloth napkin. The daily stuff she touches, so, when home, she will touch the place when she holds the cup.

I suspect the RV dream is an attempt to reconcile the paradox. Home on the road. This is all I know: home is wherever we are. I love living the experiences, adding to the memories, no matter where they unfold.

read Kerri’s blogpost on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Try Them [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

I confess, it took some getting-used-to. Kerri experiences motion-sickness, even if she’s in the passenger seat. So, I rarely drive. I tease her when we’re with friends, saying, “My driving makes her sick!”

We avoid buses. Boats are problematic. Airplanes are not fun, especially during turbulence. A few years ago, our job required a ferry ride to the island so we lined the dashboard with ginger-chews, she wore pressure bands, and I had bags at the ready. Such a small thing; such a gigantic hurdle.

She showed me an ad for the glasses. They’re supposed to help with motion sickness. “Do you think they work?” she asked, hopeful.

“We’ll never know until we try them.” Such a small thing. Such a gigantic freedom.

read Kerri’s blogpost on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Punt! [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

We are excellent punters. Despite what we may have planned to make for dinner, after a glass of wine, we sometimes look at each other and choose the path of least resistance. For instance, a few days ago, we dumped our extravagant dinner plan and made homemade soup. Then, we spent the rest of the evening congratulating ourselves on our wise choice. What could be better on a cool fall evening than hot soup!

Where food is concerned there are two sure bets in our house: 1) We love to eat so will never miss a meal. 2) What we actually eat may or may not be part of the plan.

Pancakes for dinner? I’m all in.

read Kerri’s blogpost on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Modify The Plan [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

When you are an artist, you begin your career with the understanding that retirement is not really an option. You will work as hard or harder as any of your friends. You will have satisfaction in your work that few people can imagine. And, you will, most likely, unless you are very lucky or have a surprise trust fund, never experience lasting financial security.

Also, when you are an artist, you can’t imagine not making art so “retirement” generally means the-big-dirt-nap.

We have, since our great-double-wrist-break-and-financial free-fall of 2020-21, changed our approach. It’s less easy to improvise when the world perceives you as old-and-should-be-retired (non-dirt-nap-variety). Your networks collapse. Your mask obscures your capabilities.

We’ve modified our plan. We’ve modified our expectations. Now, we need only live long enough to break the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest living artists. Anything is possible! That belief, a hard-core dedication to abundant possibility, is what makes us artists in the first place!

Retirement (non-dirt-nap-variety), here we come!

read Kerri’s blogpost on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Punch The Buttons [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

I drew an outline around the remotes and numbered them. I sketched in important buttons and numbered them in sequence, “Press this first.” Then, I wrote scenarios. “If you want to do this, pick up #3 and follow the numbers.” Finally, I set each remote in the matching outline. It’s a fool-proof remote-map for Unka John when he comes to house-sit and take care of Dog-Dog. Dog-Dog does not require a remote so no map is necessary.

The volume control is on a separate remote than the power-on remote. Also, the volume remote wreaks havoc with the standing fan in the living room. Adjusting the volume causes anxiety in the fan so it’s important to move between the fan and the television while aiming the remote. The fan also has a remote but it ignores the television altogether. I think. We never use that remote. We’re old school and stand up to punch the buttons on the fan.

Dog-Dog also has a fan for his crate. I am the remote for his fan. I’ve looked and looked for his volume control but, so far, no luck. I’ve punched all the buttons but his bark-volume remains the same. Technology! It can be so fickle!

read Kerri’s blogpost on this SATURDAY MORNING SMACK-DAB.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerriandavid.com

Give The Benefit [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

Because this strip is about making assumptions, it shot to the top of our publication list. It’s most relevant this week.

A few days ago I had a health crisis and had to rush to see a particular doctor who will remain un-named. In a story of universal-weirdness – or – metaphors I choose to ignore – every time we leave the parking lot of Dr. X, we blow a hole in the muffler of our car. EVERY TIME. We arrive in relative quiet. We leave in a riot of noise. Little-Baby-Scion sounds like a prop plane attempting to take off. I refuse to associate mufflers with my emergency.

We have an appointment next week at Paul’s Bender Center to fix the problem (with the car). In the mean time, our ride is making some serious noise. At stoplights, we get “looks” from people, the same look we give to people when we pull up next to a car with a roaring muffler-about-to-fall-off.

Having just received our umpteenth dirty look, over the din, Kerri shouted, “This is humbling! I think, from now on, we should give people the benefit of the doubt.”

Yes. The benefit of the doubt. Assume positive intent. Next time we quietly pull alongside a rattling, roaring car, I will smile a supportive smile, “I know. I feel your pain.”

read Kerri’s blogpost about ASSUMPTIONS

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Hold Vigil [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

BabyCat waited until I was traveling. He was with Kerri long before I arrived in her life. I believe, to leave, he needed to have her all to himself. He passed suddenly, with little warning that something was wrong. She raced him to the vet. He was gone. In the blink of an eye.

When you wake up in the morning you never really know how your life will change that day.

We have a photograph that kills me every time look at it. Dog-Dog standing at the door, looking out. Not understanding. Holding vigil for BabyCat’s return. Sometimes I feel like I am Dogga standing at the door. I hear a sound in the house and think, “What’s that BabyCat doing now?”

And then I catch myself. Dog-at-the-door. Holding vigil.

read Kerri’s blogpost about MISSING BABYCAT

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Remember [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

It’s taken some time but Kerri has, at last, taught me a hard-to-learn-lesson: when I am to listen versus when I am to listen and give voice to a thought (sometimes known as “Offer advice”).

The challenge: the cues are not readily apparent. To misread the cue is to unleash certain havoc.

This, in a nutshell, is what I’ve learned: In 100% of the cases, listen and nod. Say nothing that is not the verbal equivalent of a nod. These moments that seem-to-my-eyes like problems-to-be-solved are never what they appear.

Boil the nutshell down to its essence: nothing needs solving. There are no solutions required so don’t offer any. There are only four words that are universally useful. It. Will. Be. Okay. (variation: We. Can. Do. It) (Bonus word: Together).

Now, if only I’d remember my hard-learned-lesson when I most need it. Remembering is not so easy.

read Kerri’s blogpost about ZEN-GEN!

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com