Thursday, February 25, 2010

Playing Nurse. Not the fun way.

I usually enjoy Theme Thursday and the writing prompt, and this week's--"bottle"--seemed so potentially rich and ripe with possibility. Alas, however, all that comes to mind today is the bottle of hot pink amoxicillin sitting on the top shelf of our fridge. This really has been a rough winter for us. We've been sick so many times--culminating in Hedgie's seemingly intractable strep throat that's now become scarlet fever.

Hedgehog just said..."It's like I'm trapped in a room, and the room is my body."...we've all had that feeling at some time or another, haven't we? The worst part is that there's nothing I can really do for her besides the usual pillow-fluffing and bringing of cold gingerale, cool compresses, and of course another festive round of hot pink fake cherry flavored antibiotics.

It could be worse--I think of poor Mary Ingalls, blinded by scarlet fever in the days before antibiotics. Actually, scratch that--let me not think of poor blind Mary.

Instead, I'll think of spring--although it's blizzarding outside right now, the trees are starting to show the first little knobs. It'll be warm again soon, and then there will be flowering dogwoods and ball games in the park and ice cream cones, fresh air blowing through the house from the open windows...

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Week of Cheap Thrills

speeding: driving as fast as I can because I can...or could...get my first ever speeding ticket, and am oh so embarrassed although Hedgehog queries, "mama if you're so embarrassed why did you tell daddy about it like you were kind of proud?"

Dwight Schrute: I'm not giving up on Severus, but I think I've found the man who's gonna give the Potions Master a run for his galleons, sickles, and knuts (if you have to ask, you're not the nerd I hoped you were).

strong drink midweek midday: everyone's out of the house and I'm supposed to be doing the things that a housewife does midday midweek but instead I'm raiding the stash. And maybe even watching "Everybody Loves Raymond" while doing it. Laughing like a maniac. Toasting myself.

reading menus: I'm online at the Russian Tea Room obsessing over the caviar menu and thinking about Caspian Sea Sevruga, how the frail gleaming beads pop on the tongue releasing their expensive salt.

Bugles: I'm eating 'em. Crispy corn horns of delight.

fake shopping: I wander the bright and cheerful aisles at Target, carefully choosing anything I want (new lipstick, note cards, stripey knee socks etc etc etc)...till I'm completely satisfied...then I go and put it all back. Cheapest shopping spree in the history of shopping. You should try it.

riding the scooter at Target: is this an American thing? That the superstores have motorized scooters for the elderly and disabled, and also (shhh...I didn't say it) the chronically lazy? Anyway, after a fake shopping spree this week, an older lady asks me to ride her motorized scooter back through the parking lot to the store for her. Omigod it is awesome. Those things really get up a little burst of speed, and can you guess what I go and do? I get too happy and crash it into the Dollar Spot shelves.

Then I hop off, adjust my skirt, and walk out like nothing happened...

It really was not a bad week.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

White Coral Bells

A summer afternoon very long ago, on an old woolen camp blanket spread in the pine shade, I reached a hand out and dug my fingers comfortably in the moss and listened as Grandma Eva sang to us in her smiley creaky voice for oh the hundredth time, but we never tired of it,

white coral bells
upon a slender stalk
lilies of the valley
deck my garden walk
o how I wish
that I could hear them ring
that will only happen
when the fairies sing...

we three exist there faintly still, world without end, on the old woolen camp blanket, under the pines, in the circle of song

read along or join in at Theme Thursday (where you can read more about how bloggers are ringing their bells in honor of Barry)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Little Sideways Smile

It's hard to imagine, in the long years since her death, hard not to redact oral history in her favor, but Grandma Eva had no sense of humor. This is not to say that she was stern, or judgmental, or quelling. She wasn't any of those things. She just didn't really get or make jokes--and I'm not referring to the "so a man walked into a bar" variety, but rather to the true wit and acerbity, the everyday hilarity and the bon mots indulged with wicked abandon by my family.

Grandpa Max adored his bride, despite the disability. He could find solace with his confederates--his daughters, brother, grandchildren, all in possession of genetically encoded, environmentally honed funniness. He knew grandma would always be there, standing to one side of the laughter, smiling a little sideways smile.

for more posts, or to join in with your own photos and reminiscences, please visit the Sepia Saturday blog!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Have to Look Away

We have two mirrors only in our house, I realized today. They hang in our bathrooms, rudimentary vanities to aid in the minor ablutions of tooth-brushing and hair-combing, my bit of lipstick, Sarge's shaving ritual, and nothing more.

I grew up in a house of many mirrors--the tomblike wardrobes fronted with mirrors, the entry hall and its floor-to-ceiling beveled mirrors, the little decorative mirrors framed with brass candle sconces; possibly the Victorians who built the house had grown up lacking such abundance--in place of the enormous mirrors, a piece of copper, hammered out and polished, hanging on the wall? or silvered looking glasses that held only the tiniest bit of face, warped and tantalizingly abbreviated? In adulthood, they loved the novelty of their full-length doubles and desired limitless access to their own images. I am just surmising, but whatever the reason, my own adolescent self from crown to foot could be found reflected--doubled, trebled, and quadrupled--throughout the five stories of that castle. And as the Victorians before me, I liked to look at myself.

Now, a grown woman, I'm ambivalent. But I found the answer to this quirk of mine tonight as, suddenly mindful, I caught my own gaze in one of the two mirrors, and was overwhelmed with the feeling of being looked at and truly, deeply known.

I'm unnerved by the intense brown regard, the eyes that, staring, reflect back my sins and strangenesses and secrets, my psyche overflowing.

I can't bear to be so known, by anyone

and I have to look away.

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