I was feeling pretty sorry for myself when I first saw her. I was shivering in the waiting area of St Paul Gastroenterology. I hadn’t eaten in what seemed like for-EVER-er. Ok. That’s not exactly true. I had a clear liquid diet for part of the day before. woo-hoo. Continue reading
This is the reason I didn’t write last week. What started out as a very small pimple sort of thing, turned into surgery, fourteen staples, and four days in the hospital. But, it will leave a cool scar.
I didn’t blog at all last week due to a scary situation. (more later on that). To make up, I am going to try to post something for every day of this Halloween week. Scary, tricks, and treats! Maybe even a guest blogger.
This picture is a few years old, but I love it! Yes, they are mine. Yes, I was a little ashamed for dressing them up. But only a little. Their costumes and, I think, their expressions match their personalities. The angel and the devil are gone now. Just us “witches” are left.
What are you dressing your pet up as?
The first time I saw one of these, I was not very impressed. Shopping Craigslist and Ebay are close to a religion for Rollo. A Roadmaster Wagon went up for sale near us. We didn’t need another car. We never do. But, we went and looked. It was ugly. Long. Very Very long. It was not a 60s cool surf wagon. It wasn’t even really wood. AND, it was red, my most hated of colors. We test drove it and Rollo was not impressed either. As he handed the keys back, the seller guy wanted him to make an offer. He really didn’t want to. The seller guy really wanted him to. We came home, of course, with the car.
It did have lots of room. Of course. It also wasn’t all that nice, so we could get sand in it. Lots of sand. It became the beachmobile. You can get two coolers, six beach chairs, and an inflatable kayak in back with room to spare. But, it was still red.
So, the next year, he found a blue one. My most favorite of colors. Truly, we bought it from a little old lady. We’re in Florida here, ok? She knew a thing or two about mechanicals. She was a shrewd negotiator. She went toe to toe with Rollo and we did not come home with the car. About a month later, she called and wanted to make a deal. We came home with the blue woodie and a fern I dug out of her yard. (Plus the $80 bucks we found later tucked up inside the dash). She actually cried as we drove away.
For a short time, we had two wagons. Then Big Red left and The Blue has been my car for the past 3 years or so. I love it, fake wood and all. Old people in parking lots stop and compliment us on it. Once someone left a note on the windshield offering to buy it. No way. Not everyone loves it though. I get some odd looks. questions and comments from younger folk. I’d like to quote what two of my friends have said about it, anonymously of course.
#1. Can’t Rollo get you a better car?
#2…well, that’s good. It’s not the kind of thing someone’s going to break into…or steal.
Hmm. Maybe they are just jealous?
Hemmings Classic Car magazine had an article on fun-to-drive wagons and the Roadmaster made the list. The 1994-96 wagons that is. The article said any wagon with a high-performance V-8 is going to be a blast to drive and that this one is powered by the “incredible CORVETTE based 260hp LT-1 5.7 liter V-8, and backed by the 4T60E electronically controlled four-speed automatic” I don’t know what any of that means. It goes on “…these wagons can fly…” I don’t know about that either. I do know I was about 22 when I got my last speeding ticket. I’m 48 now and I’ve been pulled over twice in the Roadmaster. The first time doesn’t really count. The windows were tinted too dark. I had six chickens in the backseat and the officer let me go. The last time, yes, I was speeding. Only a little. I got away with a warning.
The Blue has carried us to Florida twice now. Us and 2 dogs, 2 cats, a chameleon in a five gallon pail, a guitar, a violin, the entire contents of the home office, and whatever else we thought we needed for four months. It’s brought us back for summer with the unplayed violin and guitar, one dog, two cats, the chameleon, and the second dog’s ashes. The kayaks are strapped to the top and whatever other “project” Rollo has is often towed behind. It’s never let us down. It’s never left me anyplace.
In the summer of 2010, the Roadmaster took us on an epic journey including 4200 miles, 5 states, 3 islands, and multiple ferry rides. It was on my bucket list to kayak with Orcas. We had a GPS, but we took extra “guidance”. We even got one of those RV maps that you paste stickers on as you travel though the states . They don’t have stickers for the islands. We were headed for the pacific northwest, so the kayaks were on top. Some VFW patrons in the flat lands of eastern Montana wanted to ride the kayaks down the stairs of the VFW. They were just bluffing. We made our way through Glacier National Park and the Roadmaster drove past mountain goats and grizzly bears. Once we got to the San Juan Islands, the tailgate worked great for lunches while we were waiting for the ferries. Finally, we parked at a campground on San Juan Island overlooking Haro Straight. In the morning, we were about to have our coffee on the hood, right when the Orca whales went by.
In answer to my friend’s question and comment above, No he can’t get me a better car. And, nobody better try to steal it.
We miss you, John Denver.
I do anyway. Being a John Denver fan was not cool when I was in high school in the 80s. I’m not sure I would have admitted to loving him in college either.
He was born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr on New Year’s Eve, 1943. He was given his grandma’s guitar at age 11. The rest, as they say, is history. He has 35 albums and was on the top of the charts in the 70s.
The Country Boy was killed in a plane crash fifteen years ago today. By that time, I had pretty much figured out I was a geek and going to stay that way, so I might as well claim JD. By then, I think he was cool anyway. At least, in a retro sort of way.
I’m not alone in my feelings for him. In Aspen, people from all over the world are gathering now to celebrate his life during John Denver week . There is a tribute concert at the Wheeler Opera house in Aspen. They need two nights.
Aspen is also home to the John Denver Sanctuary. His lyrics are carved in beautiful stones there. A recent expansion includes a 4-acre stormwater filtration system and wetlands area that cleans stormwater running out of Aspen towards the Roaring Fork River.
I bet he would have liked that. He co-founded the Windstar Foundation to further environmental education and research. He supported the National Wildlife Federation, The Cousteau Society, and Human/Dolphin Foundation to name a few. He was also interested in bringing people together. He traveled to the USSR and China at a time when American artists didn’t perform there, doing a benefit concert for the victims of Chernobyl.
It was something more basic than ambassadorship that brought people together. It was the songs themselves.
Who doesn’t beller’ out Take Me Home Country Roads driving in your car alone? Or get a tear in your eye when you hear Sunshine? Don’t you hum Leaving on a Jet Plane on your way to the airport?
These kids do!
“Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves we are the same.” – John Denver
So, tell it to me! What’s your favorite John Denver song? Why?
This is my first blog and, although I always have plenty to say, I wasn’t sure what I would blog about.
So I checked the Internet. A blog on blogging for writers tells me I shouldn’t blog about myself. I should blog about something useful, helpful, entertaining to the general population. They suggest food, travel, pets, and current interesting celebrities. Continue reading
I have been meaning to write a story titled The Last Piece of Cake. It’s been floating round my head for years along with recipes, dryer lint, plans for world peace, and a few lost marbles. It’s crowded in there. Continue reading
I’m not new to writing, but I am new to blogging. To having my possibly odd thoughts out there for all to read. I am not sure I want you to read them. Meanwhile, I’m working (and working) on a novel (which I hope you will read).
All this has brought up some questions. What am I going to blog about? What’s my tag line? What IS a tag line? What’s my genre?
Trying to come up with answers has me thinking about what I write. And about my life.
I am easily entertained. By simple thing, I guess. I can spend an hour hand feeding the chipmunk on my porch.
I can walk the same trail in the woods every day and find something new every time. Lately, it’s snakes. I tried to show a little snake to two nice ladies pushing a baby carriage at the nearby nature center recently. They weren’t entertained. Sometimes, I wonder if people think I’m slightly off.
But off or not, I like exploring, and showing someone what I find. I’d like to blog about that. To “show” you what I see.
I like to meet all different sorts of people and hear their stories, especially if they’re a bit “different” themselves. I’d like to blog about that. To “introduce” you to them. Someone suggested the tagline might have to do with oddballs. (You know who you are. Chris T.) Oddballs? We aren’t odd. We just aren’t quite…ordinary.
As far as the genre of my novel, I just discovered something called magical realism. Some of my favorite books appeared on a list of best magical realism at goodreads. Practical Magic (or anything else by Alice Hoffman), The Time Traveler’s Wife, or Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen.
Goodreads defines Magical Realism like this:
… is a literary genre that incorporates fantastic or mythical elements into otherwise realistic fiction…
Ok. But I think this is a better description. It’s from an article by Bruce Holland Rogers.
If your view of the world includes miracles and angels, beast-men and women of unearthly beauty, gods walking among us and ceremonies that can end a drought, then all of these things are as ordinary to you as automobiles, desert streams, and ice in the tropics. At the same time, the whole world is enchanted, mysterious. Automobiles, desert streams, and ice are all as astonishing as angels.
I love that. I think we could all use a little magic in our every day life.
But don’t we already have it?
Albert Einstein said – “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.”
I have this quote framed in my office. With a pine cone, the skeleton of a leaf, and a feather-each of which I think are miraculous. It’s probably obvious that I prefer Albert’s second way of seeing things. I’d like to blog about that. About all the miraculous things I see in every day life. I want to show you every one of them. I’d like the tag line to be “everyday miracles” or something like that.
But, I don’t have blinders on. I get it that life sucks sometimes. Non-miraculous things happen. Bad things happen.
Barn burnt now I can see the moon? (who said that) I’m not going to try to blow sunshine up your skirt. My metaphorical barn has burnt a few times and, yes, most of the time, in the long run, the view got better. But still, whenever the flames start, the first thing I ask is, where’s my horse?
Is the glass half full? That’s a good thing, right? But what if it’s poison? Half empty? Bad thing? Then again, maybe it was good whiskey. And I drank half. So far.
So how about if we substitute extraordinary for miraculous? I try to see the extraordinary in ordinary life and ordinary people.
That leave room beside the miracles for the extraordinary sorrows, anger, frustration, and extraordinarily
assholes clueless, mean, or just plain stupid people. Maybe some things fall in the middle. Things that just make you go Hmmm.
So, how’s this for a tagline…finding the extraordinary. Everyday. Here’s hoping yours is of the miraculous variety.