in Daily Life


The traditional foldedspace spooky story can be found at the end of this entry.

Wow. I wasn’t expecting a wind storm, were you? When I crawled out of bed this morning, after the worst of the storm, the winds were still at 23mph with gusts to 43mph.

My drive down River Road from Oak Grove to Oregon City was over a sodden mass of pulpy leaves, a brown slush. Traffic lights were out along 99E in Gladstone. (Some of the drivers along the highway were dangerous, treating these lights as if they were green instead of treating them as four-way stops. Very scary for side-traffic.) The wind had blown down traffic signs between Oregon City and Canby, and there were fallen limbs scattered along the entire route.

This is the first wind storm I can recall in several years. Perhaps I’m overly impressed with its moderate strength because (a) it has been so long since we’ve had another and (b) it occurred during the early morning hours, while we were lying in bed, listening to the windows and the branches and the awnings thump and scrape and clatter.

The last severe wind storm in the Portland area occurred about ten years ago, in November of 1995. I left work early that day to be at home with Kris. The power was out at the shop, so we couldn’t get any work done anyhow. The power was off at home, too, so we listened to a battery-powered radio, and when darkness fell, we read by candlelight.

I wonder if this storm might not have been more damaging if we hadn’t had that massive freeze two years ago. That ice storm destroyed a lot of trees and branches that might otherwise have been injured last night.

I really do seem to have turned the corner on my year-long bout with depression. Through sheer force of will, I am changing the way I think, feel, and act. I like it. Through it all, I’m repeatedly reminded of Action Girl’s Guide to Living, which remains filled with good advice.

It occurred to me last night that some of the best entries I’ve made here at foldedspace are those in which I regurgitate information I’ve gathered regarding Action Girl’s approach: getting things done, a brief guide to better sleep, and get rich slowly What if I were to create a web site specifically devoted to this type of information? Or — dare I think it? — what if I were to write a book that collated this information into one easy-to-use manual? An Action Boy’s Guide to Living, perhaps?

Finally, here’s a foldedspace Halloween tradition: my favorite spooky story.

The Velvet Ribbon
by Ann McGovern

Once there was a man who fell in love with a beautiful girl. And before the next full moon rose in the sky, they were wed.

To please her husband, the young wife wore a different gown each night. Sometimes she was dressed in yellow; other nights she wore red or blue or white. And she always wore a black velvet ribbon around her slender neck. Day and night she wore that ribbon, and it was not long before her husband’s curiosity got the better of him.

“Why do you always wear that ribbon?” he asked. She smiled a strange smile and said not a word. At last her husband got angry. And one night he shouted at his bride. “Take that ribbon off! I’m tired of looking at it.”

You will be sorry if I do,” she replied, “so I won’t.”

Every morning at breakfast, the husband ordered his wife to remove the black velvet ribbon from around her neck. Every night at dinner he told her the same thing. But every morning at breakfast and every night at dinner, all his wife would say was, “You’ll be sorry if I do. So I won’t.”

A week passed. The husband no longer looked into his wife’s eyes. He could only stare at that black velvet ribbon around her neck.

One night as his wife lay sleeping, he tiptoed to her sewing basket. He took out a pair of scissors. Quickly and quietly, careful not to awaken her, he bent over his wife’s bed and SNIP! went the scissors, and the velvet ribbon fell to the floor. And SNAP! off came her head.

It rolled over the floor in the moonlight, wailing tearfully: “I…told…you…you’d…be…s-o-r-r-y!”

Here’s the mp3 for The Velvet Ribbon. Listen and shiver.

  1. It’s still blowing down here. How do you know the winspeed and gusts?

  2. I’d like to be able to answer “because of my fancy-schmancy weather center”, but the truth is I simply checked the various weather sites when I got out of bed.

    The winds have died in Canby now (and had done so by the time I got to work), but it’s still very very wet.

  3. Why does every geeky man (myself included) want a home weather station? There are so many on top of the houses in our community it’s unbelievable. I saw a really cool one at Costco the other day for $150 bucks. It measured everything you could possibly want. And it was wireless.

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