m wood pen

freelance illustrator: have pen, will travel

06.23.11 pioneers going out west day

did anybody notice?

i skipped an entire day.  though i feel pretty awful about not popping in on the twenty-second, i have a really good excuse.

really bad scary weather on tuesday night found us grabbing our laptops, fat dog, sneaky cat, etc. and barreling down to the basement…several rousing rounds of ping pong, a bit of an aggressive, competitive side coming out which sort of stunned my children…then a power outage, candles, flashlights, and ghost stories.

i don’t mess around with twisters.  this responsibility points squarely at two things: watching the wizard of oz as a very impressionable tot, and watching a twister fly over our house, again, as a very impressionable tot.  my motto?  is the pleasure worth the risk.  well, sometimes, but in the case of doppler radar, this diabolical stream of storms this spring, and the greenish creepy looking sky, then no: i do not take a chance.  move it, people!

nice adventure.

not so nice when you wake up in the morning and the stove clock is blank, the cellphone is out of a charge and your shower is verboten.  oh, and the fridge stocked with groceries from the day before cannot by any means be opened.  yes, glad to be alive and have dodged the menacing twisters, but really a drag to be blocked from all of that yummy food by a stainless steel door that must not be tampered with.

so, a long day stretched into a longer afternoon.  the only obvious thing to do was run off to the movie theatre and fall willingly into ‘midnight in paris’…yes, woody allen is back.  go see it.

this internet visit is made possible by the kindness of a fabulous pal who’s taken us in for the night. wow, do i realize how addicted to electricity we all are.  not that our time as pioneers hasn’t been enjoyable: and based on com ed’s dismal estimates on repairing whatever broke last night…we will be playing little house on the prairie for maybe another day or two.

what does that mean?  more reading, candle light, a summer bit of outdoor cooking, maybe a board game, cards, and a much earlier bedtime.  not bad at all, once you get the hang of it and just decide: i am going to linger, i am going to slow down, i am going to enjoy the passing of time.

when we were kids, one of our family bonding around the dinner table conversations involved answering the question: if a fire were to ravage the house, what five things would you save?

back then, my list was always the same: all of my diaries, my beanie boy doll (he’s been with me since a hernia operation when i was two…that’s the kind of loyalty i like), my paltry little supply of photographs, hmmm, i’m up to three.  the assumption was that people and pets were already safe.  so i have to come up with two more things that i needed to bring with me to safety, but from this lens way, way, way over here, i can’t remember what i chose.  probably something as ridiculous as my retainer and new pair of clogs.  i didn’t have much of a wardrobe back in the day, (still really don’t), but i do remember a schnazzy pair of palazzo pants that were wildly fashionable.

during this twister scare the other night?  without missing a beat, or alarming the teens, i walked to each room, grabbed all of our laptops, my hard drive (hello, can you say 3000+ illustrations and every photograph i’ve taken in the last decade), and our cellphones.  slipped them all into my jaunty striped dakine backpack. done.  the rest could just fly away for all i cared.

because what is all of that stuff, anyway?

yes, i look around my house, not very big, but chock-full of memorabilia, proof our our existence.  every wall, nook & cranny has an odd little something, and yes, they each tell a story.  sometimes they even tell a novel or a mini-series.

a hand-painted small dish just to the left of the tea?  venice.  ages ago, heck, they’re all ages ago at this point.  a coffee cup.  i know whose lips touched those.  swoon.  a framed photograph of a stretch of the pacific?  a particularly lovely weekend & then some.  a cowboy hat?  that crazy 4500 mile road trip out west with the kids.  so irresponsible of me, but wow, what a wild adventure.  a silver-buckle belt?  when i dragged the kids to their first (and last) hootenanny.  an old early 60s manual typewriter?  college.  an iron library lamp?  my parents constancy.  a line of champagne corks marching along the top of my mirror?  story after bubbly story.

so, this time around, what can i possibly do with my collected mementoes of my life, thus far?  gather it all up?  wrap this house into a fortress of hardened riveted steel to keep them all intact?

not a chance, nope.  my laptop, my hard drive, my iphone, my children, my fat dog, my weird cat.  my people.  my memories.  my life, all technicolored & stored safely where it belongs: smack dab in the middle of my heart, safe from all storms, all threats, all enemy advances.  eternally.

 

One thought on “pioneer day

  1. Kathleen Casey Hertenstein says:

    I absolutely love reading your blog and am so grateful I happened upon it, thanks to Elie Saad’s Facebook page! Always makes for a fabulous 5 minutes in my day!

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