Light and Counting

east bound 580 Richmond Bridge

Saturday afternoon, driving onto the Richmond Bridge from Marin. 

It was Mema’s birthday, and I visited for her birthday and to gather some signatures.  When she spoke to my aunt by telephone, she told my aunt, “A neighbor is here helping me with business.”  (I was happy to be seen as helpful, rather than meddling.)  But generally a nice visit, with easy conversation. 

She insists she’s 101.  “Everybody tells me I’m 102, but I’m 1o1!”  “Mema, we’re in 2008 now.”  I think she counts differently than the rest of us, and we all seem to have trouble letting it be.  Really!  What’s a year, one way or the other?  We laugh at ourselves about it.

Speaking of counting, it’s not as clear as we all like to think.  Well, you knitters know exactly what I mean. 

Comes up in my job.  How do you count 6 months’ worth of weeks?  4 x 6 equals 24.  How many weeks are in one year? 52.  How many months are in a year? 12.  So you can count 12 x 4 equals 48.  How come we have a whole 4 week (or 1 month) difference!?  And then we’re back to 6 months, which is half a year.  Half of 52 weeks is 26.  When can we stop this medicine?

There’s also the misleading 9 month pregnancy, which is actually 40 weeks and how many months is that?  An extra month of pregnancy at the end! 

And statistics…

Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

To come back to the start of this post, I love this part of driving around the San Francisco Bay.  When the grey of the water and the grey of the sky surround me, and it’s a luminous grey light.  (even if I’m in my car)



Filed under Excursions, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Light and Counting

  1. The Richmond bridge has always been my very favorite bridge in the bay area — the way it rises and falls always looks to me like some giant monster of the loch ness variety rising from the water. Gorgeous.

    Yup, I know exactly what you mean, especially about that tenth month of pregnancy. Nine months, forsooth.

  2. Kmom

    I always have to stop everything and THINK to figure out that system of counting age years. She was born in ’06. From ’06 to ’07 she is less than 1 year old. From ’07 to ’08 she is living her 1st year (less than 2 years old). That’s not at all clear. But I get what she’s at.

    The same thing happened with the turn of the century. Was it Dec. 31, 1999/Jan. 1, 2000? Or did it start once we reached 2001? After all, we have 10 digits (I mean fingers and thumbs here) and count them all, 1-10, before we start over with 11-20. So a decade starts with 1 and ends at the end of 10. The big question for me is, what the heck is that period from birth to 1? Yes, the months and the fractions, of course, but still…

    What really gets us is that she followed the commonly accepted rules of counting age until she reached 100 (our 100) and then she got precise and logical and has seemingly lived one of her years twice! Keeping us on our toes.

    Yeah. I have the same trouble with weeks and months. We’re supposed to get 3 months worth of a drug by mail but it’s really just 12 weeks. So nothing ever quite works out. Drug companies must be making a killing.

    The grays are beautiful–a calming effect on a brain worrying over how to count. Thanks for posting it.

  3. Kmom

    Thoughts on birthdays from this morning…

    There is the day of birth, the birth-day. Then there is the 1st birthday, and the 2nd birthday. And the 102nd birthday. As opposed to 1 year old, 2 years old, 102 years old. But then, if we were cheese and aged 1 year, we’d have been sitting around for 1 year. After that, we’re still aged 1 year until we reach that 2-year mark. Then we’re aged 2 years. Cheese has it so easy.

    I’m even more confused.

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