Monday, February 21, 2005

Sometimes It Just Turns Out That Way

(I'm disappointed with Flickr. I uploaded three pix, one to illustrate this post, then decided to crop one. But I had reached my photo limit on Flickr, and even though I deleted a few, it wouldn't recognize the deletions and let me upload a cropped version of one that I had just uploaded. Oh well. I guess I should plan better...)

I spent the last three days driving through intermittently sobbing skies to commune with family and the spirit world--high school spirit that is. My drive to Redding last Friday afternoon was uneventful, despite the stormy sky which was reflected in the blooming fruit orchards, their clouds of white tethered to the ground by the dark lightning of their branches, billows hiding the occasional hawk-angel.

I had plenty of time to remember that preceding sentence after it popped into my head, repeating it back to myself several times while traveling. Later that night, I was not so lucky--after we had all gone to bed, I thought of some wonderfully poetic things, and even considered retrieving my computer from the car so's I could record them. They were that good. But I fell asleep instead, and my little creative moment was sacrificed to the Writing Gods. I hope they reward my fealty.

I learned a lot on this trip. Texas Hold 'em, for instance. Though I must not have learned well, I lost $5. The intricacies of cutting and serving cheesecake to a crowd. That my dream of having a wedding reception where everyone sits at a long table, state dinner style, won't fit in the space where I've put down a deposit. That my 15-year-old niece has a boyfriend. A serious boyfriend, and all that implies. That my stepbrother's red 4-cylinder Volkswagen dragster is one of the few in existence, and kicks ass. That the Sundial Bridge does indeed tell time when the sun is out (where it is most of the time in Redding), is as lovely as billed, and that fisherman on the bank under the bridge cannot look up the skirts of unsuspecting crossers, despite the glass planks--they're just too opaque. And that the bridge gets hot enough during summer to warrant a warning sign.


One thing I love about visiting family is the mornings, where we all sit around in pajamas or various other states of undress, contemplating breakfast and sipping coffee, discussing family members not present and other pressing issues.


Hurtling to the Enterprise Starship Variety Hour (my niece's high school is called Enterprise--get it?) through the pelting rain and darkness on Saturday night, I tried hard to be a fly on my bucket seat. My niece and her boyfriend and two girlfriends were giggling and chattering away in nonstop double entendres. Oy, was I like this, coming home with the 'dults after seeing "Saturday Night Fever" when it was first released and extolling its virtue lo these many years ago?

The Variety Hour was held in a lovely restored (1920s Cal-Spanish style) high school theater. It was a little too "Up, Up with People!" for my taste, but it is amazing how accomplished and self-possessed those youngsters can be--see preceding paragraph also. Would that have made a difference in my career now had I had the opportunities that a larger talent pool would have afforded me when I was younger? Well, it's all a moot point now.


I drove home on Sunday, stopping in Chico to meet with the caterer, who has now officially been hired. (Check.) I was glad Mom was with me. I really like this company, and Sheri, the woman I've been speaking with, and Mom concurs. They seem eager to help and make suggestions. (Although I've just received an email from Sheri mentioning that the family-style meal I want might actually cost more than her original estimate--trouble in Paradise.)

There was an accident on the same leg of the trip that initiated the detour during my last journey to the Interior. I only went about 20 miles out of my way this time, but did have to pull over briefly for a scream of frustration before mounting I-5 again.


M was tired last night when he got home from work, and I was still a little dazed from my hours on the road. We talked more wedding logistics (it won't leave my brain), then he pulled out the big blue screen. I sucked down some white wine and turned on the bigger blue screen to watch The Man Who Wasn't There, which I enjoyed. And that was the homecoming.


While I was in Redding, the officiant-booking person left a message. She had been having a hard time finding someone available for our ceremony, but had finally been successful. Check.


I'm glad today was a holiday. I needed a day to myself, though I didn't spend enough time on chores. I deadheaded. Saw a rainbow. Made sugarwater for the hummingbirds. I did call my grandma. She sounded...fading. My brothers are planning a trip to see her in early April, so I'll go the following month so that she has several visits to anticipate. While pruning two of the rose bushes in the front yard, I broke up a donnybrook between some the neighborhood boys that somehow landed in my driveway while I was obliviously reducing my roses by half. The altercation really bothered me--what was I going to do to the bully, tell his grandma on him? Threaten him with my pruning shears? What's the right adult thing to do? I felt bullied myself--what if the boy doing the pushing decides to wreak revenge by pulling up my flowers while I'm at work one day?

I've really been missing M lately, and feel like it's been weeks since I've seen him rather than days. So when I took Rex for a walk this afternoon, I timed it so I could meet M at Krispy Kreme first, where he was going to study after work since the school library was closed today. It was nice just to talk to him for a few moments. Watching rows of creme-filleds plopping into the hot oil and moving along the conveyor racks, destined for the mouths of babes, was just an added bonus.

A plain cake doughnut and some sips of milk later, Rex and I were out in the field between storm drenchings, both of us feeling like we'd been bathing, the grass was that wet. While slogging along, we watched another, bigger, biblical storm coming our way. The clouds were low, spectacularly black and gray, stuffed like a doughnut with lightning and thunder, moving swiftly, misty tendrils of rain swinging along below, what a jellyfish must look like under water. I stayed out as long as I could, waiting for it as it swallowed the moonrise and sucked all the color out of the hillsides. Hightailing back to the car, I felt like the storm and I were companions, walking along the earth together. Or was it stalking me with precipitation? I timed it well--Rex and I made it home just as the biggest plops of rain started coming down. I let Rex run around in the rain in the backyard, barking at the thunder like a little maniac. Exercise and a bath, with no effort on my part! He's not good on the 4th of July, either.


Added to the Costco list, along with the perennial Diet Pepsi and cat litter: wedding bands.


Time for dinner, dishes, maybe a little TV...


Post a Comment

<< Home