More Things That Take Some Getting Used To

1. Eating fresh tangerines for breakfast in February. And by "fresh," I mean I walked out the front door in my pajamas and picked them myself.

2. Finding it so delightfully sunny when out picking my breakfast that I go change into jeans and a t-shirt and return to spend the next hour gardening.

(I feel compelled to mention that it isn't ALWAYS this pleasant -- only about a third of the time by my estimation. We are subject to high winds and frequent fog and/or rain, and this is one of the first days I haven't had to wear three layers and build a fire to fend off the morning chill. Not that I expect my friends in the north to have sympathy about that.)

3. Realizing that the entire house is wired for sound. I've been carrying my laptop from room to room so that I can listen to whatever CD or podcast I'm in the middle of as I work on tasks in different parts of the house, until I realized that the speakers in the corners of each of the rooms are indeed functional and are all wired back to the central stereo system in the dining room. (A feat of engineering accomplished decades ago when my mother and her siblings were small children.) So, I can plug the computer or CD player into the stereo receiver, wiggle the knobs, and send the sound to wherever I'm working -- kitchen, living room, study, etc. Particularly useful for picking-up-and-putting away operations that have me moving back and forth between several rooms of the house.

4. The public library actually having the books I want to read in the stacks, as opposed to perpetually checked out. (Well, except for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but you can hardly fault them on that one...)

5. Reporting retirement income when filling out a tax return. Basically it's a matter of copying numbers into the right boxes like everything else, but it took me a little while to get the swing of things. And I'm still confused about how to report one of the IRAs.

6. The Academy Awards being featured as local news. I don't know why I watched the whole thing. Inertia, I guess, plus being lulled into a sort of trance by the red carpet coverage, the hours-long award show itself, the "after party" coverage, the Barbara Walters Academy Awards special, and then, as if that weren't enough, the regular eleven o'clock newscast being devoted about 75% to the Oscars and 25% to everything that happened in the rest of the world.

At least I finished the scarf I was knitting. Now I need to plan my next project.


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