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Friday, June 23, 2000

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Smelling the desert

I had lunch at a bake sale downstairs at work. They were raising money to buy school supplies, such as paper, pencils and so forth, for children who couldn't afford them. I not only felt righteous in helping out such a good cause but they were very good brownies.

I wandered around town all afternoon looking through bookstores and buying some undies and socks. When I was at Borders all the lights went out. There were only a few very dim lights on but the cash registers were just clicking away. I asked the clerk how come and they said they had a generator that kept the cash registers running for fifteen minutes so they could get people checked out. It was a little strange.

I got outside and it was raining heavily so I put on my 99 cent poncho and had a good time walking in the rain. There wasn't any lightening so there was no problem. The water on the parking lots and sidewalks was warm if it had puddled for long as it was in the 90s before the rain started. I walked up to the wash but there wasn't enough rain to start it flowing. The only place there was much water was where a drain pipe was emptying brown water from the roads. It's been so long since we had rain that the roads are still being cleaned of their layer of encrusted dirt and oil after a week of good rains.

The geckos were out in force, darting everywhere in the wash and a ground squirrel was keeping lookout. The wonderfully sweet smell of a warm desert after a rain was intoxicating and I felt sorry for all the people in their air conditioned cars. I walked through the parking lot of the mall instead of walking inside so I could enjoy the odors that the rain always brings out. I think the smell of a desert after a rain is one of the nicest smells there is.

I got home to find some great photos that my daughter had sent me. There was one of each of us with our dark glasses on looking like we could fit into the Blues Brothers. I just had to call her and we had a nice talk. I miss not talking to her as much as I used to.

I'm trying to figure out how to set up a database for roads I've traveled. It's a many to many and I'm having trouble trying to figure out how to set it up. I have to think of it in 3-D almost as their are so many relationships. It's good practice and fun.

I've been thinking today about how the hardest thing for us to realize is how ordinary we all are. There are people who are important to me and I am important to other people, but in the wider view, we aren't all that important. We spend so much money and time and anguish trying to stand out and be different that we never really learn who we are. It is depressing sometimes to realize that no one outside of our immediate circle will notice if we die. Sure they will be sorry, if they know about it, but it won't affect their lives that much.

We try so hard to be special. Some people become the class clown and others marginalize, brutalize or murder innocent people because they think that they can only matter if other people don't. Most of us just spent too much time or money on superficial things forgetting that the best way to stand out is to be ourselves. Why do we think we will be special if we're like everyone else?

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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