Saturday, August 29, 2020

The Thirty-Fourth: Amusing Glimpses

Part of a series inspired by Ross Gay
that starts here: 

How often do we take a moment and see ourselves, our actions, and the consequences? Once a day? Or all the freaking time?
How does that not happen?
I mean, seriously.
So much possible amusement--just sitting there waiting to be gleaned from the vine.

The reason I ponder, is because our current pandemic situation has given (me) more opportunities for navel gazing, and such navel gazing rarely fails to embarass or shame . . . me. It's a daily struggle, say the tee shirts and memes. I was recently invited to go for a walk with a long legged bud. So what happened the night before? The mental planning, setting the (now rare) alarm and then . . . unable to sleep.

Those moments illuminate how many relaxation strategies I keep in my pocket . . . er . . . or under my pillow: breathing methods, backwards counting, kegeling (seriously), singing to self, tensing and relaxing muscles throughout the body. But on these "alarm nights", the methods become more like amusements that spark memories that spark smiles or a busy brain. And that's when I start to look forward to the following night--when my body will be unable to resist slumber. Thankfully.

Sweet dreams

Monday, August 24, 2020

The Thirty-Third: To Dare or Damn

Part of a series inspired by Ross Gay
that starts here: 

It's a small and silly thing to remember, but there it is:

school dances and Mickey Wasson's amazing dance moves--
inspired (no doubt) by Elton John & Bernie's, Crocodile Rock.

And, of course, my brain connects a memory of Elaine's dance moves from an episode of Seinfeld--a celebration of joy, that many of us feel compelled to criticize and guffaw over.

I've often wondered . . . do the "guffawers" ever put themselves out there? Show their moves, their 'stuff', their (superior) intellect? Or are they locked forever into being only observers who mock?

If so, I'm glad none of them have asked me to join their club.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Thirty-Second: Henry

Part of a series inspired by Ross Gay
that starts here: 

My very first boss was named Henry, though most folks called him Hank. He was Will Ferrell-esqe, before there was a Will Ferrell. He ruled over a staff of (mainly) mangy, high schoolers--training us up in the ways of Sizzler, making us laugh and comforting us when necessary. He was one in a million and I went so far as to look him up for that job in Portland, when my bud T and I decided to move.

He wasn't made for the type of business Sizzler ran. Henry believed in creating and maintaining a regular customer base. Which is what you need in a smaller town like Longview. So many unhappy customers, became friends of Henry and then regulars. Some people thought he was a schmoozer, but no, Henry was genuine.

Which makes this senior wonder, how many of the rest of his old crew still think of him all these decades later? Do they remember when he would pump the daily mist of insecticide into the dining area, while mimicking the wicked witch from The Wizard of Oz, "I'll get you my pretty! And your little dog, too!"? Or when he'd bend over to stir the vat of ribs, simmering in sauce and evilly ponder: "Ever wonder what happened to that busboy? Bwa hahaha!"

Looking back, that year at Sizzler feels like a coming of age film. Especially, the after hours party, where one of the crew disappeared (temporarily) on the railroad tracks and Siz decided to let our buddy Hank go after parents expressed concern. But I'm glad I thought to write down this favorite boss remembrance. I'd forgotten how he was there to hold my hand after my car and I were hit at an intersection. The other driver left the scene, which made it even more traumatic for a teen. And Henry was there when my cat Raisin died. I hope he got to share in the good news, too. Thanks, for that year, Henry!

Monday, August 17, 2020

The Hairy Deed is Done

The pile of hair on the floor, 
wasn't as large 
as I thought it would be. 
But the incredible 
feeling of lightness 
is upon me. 

Oh and K? 
No backsies.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Thirty-First: A Furtive Thief

Part of a series inspired by Ross Gay
that starts here: 

There were years, when our family of four, would head to Idaho's Cascade Reservoir, to join up with members of my family. This was during our tenting phase. I nearly typed 'days', but then realized those tents lasted for several years--no, I won't go back and count just for y'all.

The camping location, had everything to do with my parents and their love of Idaho and perch and my maternal family. I may have gotten the order of their reasons wrong, but you get the idea. A familiar location may call out to us for years: "come back!, your friends and family are here!, we need you!".

One of those years, during the full reign of the offspring and cousins', "Bodily Function Club", we noticed some strange happenings in the mornings. Perhaps it had to do with that particular campsite. It wasn't our usual.

We kept a Rubbermaid tub outside the tent flap. It's where we stored the family footwear and also provided a place to sit while putting on or removing shoes. Tho the kids didn't always make that extra effort to place their shoes inside the tub at night and I didn't always do it for them.

And then, one morning, one of the 'child alarms' went off, as they were crawling out of their sleeping bags and getting ready for the day.
The adults working on breakfast, probably made distracted suggestions on where to look and to have the others check to see if they had matching pairs on their feet. But no. That shoe was gone . . . until later in the day, when someone (another camper, maybe?) found it yards away from our site.

After that, more attention was paid to the proper storage of shoes at night. And thanks to G'ma's open ears and relationships with other RVers, the mystery was solved soon after. There was a mischievous fox, who liked shoes and pancakes. Huh, maybe the shoes were held hostage until the pancakes were handed over? Too fanciful? Never! What a shame we never got a photo.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

The Hairy Experiment

I think I'm done. Yeah, I'm fairly certain--despite my squiffy iffy words. Nothing definite, just a feeling or perhaps more of a desire to return to less fuss hair. Well, that and the reduced field of vision--something I don't remember anyone ever talking about--unless my brain discarded what it considered to be unnecessary information. And this fetlock of hair in the bang region . . . good golly, I can't believe I haven't sawed it off in frustration. I mean, it can be cute, in a "hurry take a picture, so I can put my barrett back in", kind of way.

But don't misunderstand me--it's been fun, I've learned more than I thought I needed to know about curls and waves, as well as the products. I wonder if I've learned enough to keep my current wash cycle of every two to three days? Or will I succumb to the old daily shampoo schedule? And will I keep wearing my bed beanie? Probably. I've come to appreciate less hair on the pillow and not looking like Kramer when I pop out of bed. Though, that was always a good morning laugh. In fact, the memory of some bedheads has made me chuckle as I type.

"Huh, maybe I ought to make that appointment with Karyn-who-cuts-the-hair . . . but there's no rush", mused the hairy procrastinator.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Thirtieth: House Hunting

Part of a series inspired by Ross Gay
that starts here: 

It wasn't easy saying goodbye to Roseburg. It was the first time I had experienced the warm embrace of a new place. Later, I came to believe it was due to a chunk of the local population, that moved more often than average, creating a rhythm of folks moving in and folks moving out. Whatever the reason, it was a lovely place to raise kids, for so many reasons--most of which had to do with enjoying the outdoors and the people.

But the State was closing the office that N worked at for sixish years and we were offered a choice of places to choose from. After a weekend visit, we decided La Grande wasn't for us, which left Salem. The big plus, was that we'd be a few hours closer to family.

The downside was, N had to start work before we had moved our household. He tried camping in the back of his truck canopy at Silver Creek Falls Campground, but the distance to town, the chill of late October nights and partiers, put a damper on that. Thankfully, we had friends whose mother lived in Salem with a spare room.

During our search for a home, we stayed at a local hotel. Looking back, it seemed we searched for an entire week, but most likely just a long weekend or two. Nothing was feeling right--the yards were small, the prices were high, we were all exhausted and feeling the weight of needing to make a decision of some kind soon. Our realtor, Merri Friday, may not have been experienced, but she didn't give up easily. She also offered our offspring an afternoon at her house with her kids--something I'm sure they appreciated.

And then . . . the next day, Merri pulled some more freshly printed pages of homes for sale out of the printer. It was our last day to look. Once we drove up this street, I felt the draw of the neighborhood--trees! A park! Trees! It was the same, when we stepped foot inside the house. It felt like home and once my eyes met N's, I knew he felt the same. The owner, Mark, began to give N a tour of what he considered to be the highlights. Merri told us that the price may be higher than what we could afford, but she insisted we make an offer.

After our offer was accepted, there were a few bumps and stumbles before we were handed the keys, but the house was ours. All ours. And it still is. Love you always, you old abode!

Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Twenty-Ninth: Dancing in the Kitchen

Part of a series inspired by Ross Gay
that starts here: 

When N and I, were first seeing each other, there were a couple of songs that were often playing--either on the radio or in our heads. One of the songs, If I'd Known You Better", by Hall & Oates, was always welcome on the radio and eventually our turntable.

Lately, I've been trying to seek more variety for my kitchen dance parties--I've been stuck in a glorious Blood, Sweat and Tears and The Guess Who rut for years. But wait K . . . there's so much more you've been ignoring all these years later. It's time to branch out and rediscover!

And so, yesterday, there I was, dancing my little heart out to that old song, with all the shiny memories and my wet face. What a delightful moment--accented by that big ol' smile on N's face. And now I'm thinking . . . what's up for tonight?
. . . Rita Coolidge's most popular album