Friday, June 30, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
posting may be scant this summer--after bedtime is my prime writing time, and now that the kids are out of school, all bets are off as to when bedtime will be each night! i intend to keep at it, however hit and miss it may be!
i've run out of my exclamation point allotment, and now i must go to bed!
Friday, June 23, 2006
I gauge her to be early sixties, with long, fading red hair that blows, unstyled and untamed, around her seasoned face. Her freckles pop out around her glasses, which she passively nudges back up to the bridge of her nose after each drag on her cigarette. The blue in her eyes matches that of her wide assortment of accessories, and as she leans forward, I discover she is braless under her flowing, similarly blue shirt—a fact that somehow doesn’t surprise me.
“What they call a lake here is a joke,” she informs me, and though I can’t get a word in edgewise, I am inclined to agree. Having, like her, been reared along the Great Lakes, I have some difficulty conceptualizing the small river that runs below my hotel window—which, I’m told, is dammed on both ends—as a “lake.” But, always one to participate in the spirit of things, I squint real hard and tilt my head to one side and try to visualize a lake where a river flows. “A friend took me to see a lake up north of here—I stood there and could see the other side. ‘Where’s the lake,’ I asked her. ‘That is the lake,’ she told me. ‘That ain’t no lake—I could ride my bike around that in an hour!’ I told her. ‘Show me a real lake.’”
She pulls her hair back from her face—a futile gesture—and attempts to light her third cigarette with an emptying lighter—yet another. As she talks, ash flutters down around her, covering her lap and neighboring white straw Stetson, smoke swirling mercifully in the opposite direction from where I stand. She blows more sideways out the corner of her mouth, motioning perpetually with both hands like a marionette with the mouth and the arm strings somehow connected on the same stick.
“I’m a decent at the Austin Museum of Art—I love bringing art to life for kids—and I consider anyone under thirty a kid, let me tell you.” She points at me with her cigarette, looking me in the eye to see if I flinch. I do not let on that I am no longer a child. She continues. “So many docents are just ‘blah, blah, blah.’ I like to liven things up a little.” As she goes on, I learn she docents as well at the Texas State History Museum as a Ranch Hand, and went through training to lead “Haunted History” tours for The Hide Away which includes a pub crawl through the adjoining basements of several historic 6th street bars. Once again, I am not surprised.
Her delight in story telling, immediately evident upon sitting down next to her at the bus stop, is no doubt an asset that has served her well in these pursuits. Indeed, I remember encountering her a few hours before as she explained to a seven-ish looking young man the advent of branding cattle. “Image that someone suddenly decides that any steer that doesn’t have your name on it is fair game to add to his herd! Now, wouldn’t that just get under your saddle?” She punctuated her question with a finger into his chest—he stared back at her blankly, uncertain how to respond to her animated inquiry. I seem to recall chuckling—men of all ages seem uncomfortably uncertain what to do with a lively woman.
(to be continued…)
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
back from almost a week in austin with the hubby. here are five "faves" from the 188 pics we took! to see the rest, click on any of the images and then go to the "austin" set. (just to warn you, they aren't all rotated--so if the picture looks funny, tilt your head to the right and see if it gets any better!)
hope to post some of the stuff i wrote there in the next day or two!
Sunday, June 04, 2006
All is quiet now—chirping children and babbling birds alike—save for the low roar of the interstate and the occasional rumble of northbound trains in the not-so-distant distance. This is when my ears begin to perk up, searching the silence for the herald of summer, beseeching him to make his sweet, gentle music and set my spirit at ease. He does not disappoint me, this harbinger of both good fortune and great joy, as he slowly tunes his instrument, picks up his bow, and begins to play. He is rewarded with a contented sigh.
Deep, blue darkness has pulled its thick blanket across from east to west and the paper-cut images of trees have disappeared into the darkness. We are tucked in for the night—the lullaby of summer playing softly outside the window, which is finally unbolted and opened wide. I will sleep, tonight, in the tender caress of the almost-summer breeze, and dream sweet dreams of lightening bugs twinkling over vast wheat fields filled with a symphony of crickets.
Friday, June 02, 2006
The pretty one, the funny one, the smart one, the fast one, the loud one, the friendly one, the polite one, and the rambunctious one-- they can all take a bow!
(If anyone has read the script for second grade, I'd love to know what part we'll both be playing!)