It's Saturday afternoon and my stomach is full of grilled cheese sandwiches, salsa, and Grandma's homemade peach iced tea. It tastes so much more fresh, so much colder and noticeably clearer than the beverage made from store-bought powder. I tried complimenting her on it but is it is with most comments she brushed it off.
"Oh, it's nothing. I just don't like that stuff that comes in packages."
"I know. But yours is really, really good! I love it."
"Pshaw, so now James. How's your schooling coming along?"
After lunch had been cleared away, the paper plates tossed in the trash and the leftover cookies thrown in a Ziploc bag (oh yeah, there were cookies. There's always cookies) I graduated to the living room with Grandpa to wake board behind his channel changing as we catch updates and several plays from college football games all across the States. Arms crossed, slouching slightly so as to take the pressure off the small of his back, Papaw sits a mere two yards from his massive 46" television and makes definitive statements as to the coach's and player's decisions alike. My lemonade sitting on the coffee table beside me, I occasionally reply with a few directive comments of my own, just to ensure I'm keeping up with him.
Every once in awhile the right or leg stretches out, seemingly of it's own accord. Old knees are flexing, stretching and not getting too stiff.
"Auburn just got beat. There's four minutes left. They're down by ten."
The Cinematic Orchestra plays in my second internet tab I have open, mournful violin strains and the gentle cooing of a carefully tempered voice filling my headphones with piano-laced swelling melodies.
I read, and outside the day gets a little warmer.
"A small boy, perched on an open catwalk in a candy factory, falls to his death. No, it is not a macabre moment out of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." It is a true story told by social reformer Jane Addams, who founded Chicago's Hull House in 1889.
Addams also described little girls who refused sweets as Christmas gifts that year. "They could not bear the sight of it," Addams wrote. "We discovered that that they had worked from 7 in the morning until 9 at night, and they were exhausted."These Dickensian scenes lasted in America from the late 19th century until 1938, when child labor was outlawed under the Fair Labor Standards Act. They are a sobering reminder of why the nation marks Labor Day."
It is not only sobering, but enlightening. With a pulse. Past lives, past pain, past human beings shouted, protested, starved, worked malnourished and died for what I so rarely appreciate today. Who doesn't like a three-day weekend? It's more than just that, it's rights built on a rich, albeit violent and even depressing history.
I continue reading. A hobby of mine, I'm fascinated with phones and the growing pressure inside the bubble that is the smartphone industry.
Google has just released the latest set of Android version numbers, and the overall trend of legacy version numbers dropping continues. There's no drastic changes, but a quick look at the chart above lets us see that numbers for Donut and Cupcake are now in the "also ran" category with each under two percent, and Eclair is steadily dropping compared to last month. Froyo (Android 2.2) still leads the pack with over 50 percent of all devices using the Android Market running it, but we see a nice boost in the number of phones running gingerbread, with numbers for Android 2.3 climbing over six percentage points. With Gingerbread updates rolling out or in the works for the Dinc, Droid 2, Droid X, and more, we expect another significant increase next month.
I take a sip of lemonade, uncross my legs, and glance outside.
There's a tropical storm threatening to smack New Orleans with 65mph winds and 8 - 10 inches of rain. "Too bad" I think. "We could use that here. And in Texas -- Texas could DEFINITELY use a bunch of rain right now."
"Home is behind the world ahead
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadow, to the edge of night
Until the stars are all aligned
Mist and shadow, cloud and shade
Home shall fade, home shall fade."
The Steward of Gondor now played quietly as I caught paused from reading to catch the last few seconds of the game.
"Wow. 41. Auburn came back and goin' win here in the last 30 seconds of the game."
Excited, Papaw left his seat and trotted upstairs to go find Grandma and tell her the news.