May 29, 2007

ice skating with the devil

Back in January, the cowboy made room in our 24x28 garage for me to park the car. We've lived in this house 12 years and this is a first. Now, I never minded NOT parking in the garage, but it sure is nice when the temperature is in single digits, or I've got a trunk full of groceries to haul inside. My point being, now that I can park my car in the garage, I have no need to go outside. Not even a desire really. In the winter it's too cold. Or too windy. In the summer there are bugs, and weeds that need to be pulled . . . not to mention the "odeur de equine" when the wind blows northwest from the barn. I'm just an indoorsy girl at heart. Give me a bookstore or a museum and I'm happy as . . . well, as an girl in a bookstore or museum!

My husband, on the other hand, spends almost every waking not-at-work minute outside. He comes in the house after dark to eat and sleep. If he's not working with his horses, he is cutting down trees, or disking up fields, or hauling hay, or chopping firewood, or . . . you name it.

So, he comes in from the mailbox the other day, the latest edition of "Saddle Boy" magazine in hand, proclaiming, "I have found a place for us to go on vacation!"

I glance at him skeptically over the top rim of my reading glasses. One, because we never go on vacation, and two, because we never agree on anything, much less recreation.

"No, I'm serious," he assures me.

I'm in a good mood, so I bite.

He proceeds to describe what, to me, has the vacation appeal of Yemen and ranks right above Chinese Water Torture on the fun-o-meter: a working dude ranch. Now, I've seen "City Slickers", thank you very much, and there ends the extent of my interest in Big Sky Country and, for that matter, Jack Palance's acting career.

So, once again I glance at him over the top rim of my glasses. This time with less skepticism and more sarcasm, "Are you kidding?"

He then conveys all the perks: You get to work with horses, cut down trees, disk up fields, haul hay, chop firewood, and, if you're lucky enough to have double-X chromosomes, you also get to help fix the chow! And, let us not forget - YOU get to pay THEM for the experience! The cowboy cannot seem to grasp the concept that THIS IS NOT A VACATION. Not for a sane person. But to him it sounds like heaven. To me it sounds distinctly like something I plan to do right after I go ice-skating with satan . . .

May 14, 2007

i miss my bathroom

The good news: My daughter is home for the summer!
Probably the last one ever, as she graduates college next spring.

The bad news: I have completely lost control of the one and only bathroom in our house. I would like to say that, just because she's prettier, this should not entitle her to more mirror time. Quite the contrary, I should think. I have to work much longer just to achieve the basic goal of not looking like Shrek, while she rolls out of bed, throws on jeans and mascara and looks adorable.

I really do miss my bathroom. Even more, I miss my 20's . . .

May 11, 2007

happy mother's day!

I remember waking every morning to mom’s ear-piercing verbal rendition of “Reveille” (the military’s morning bugle call) while she sprung the window shades open. "Rise & Shine" she'd say!

I remember toast for breakfast – the cinnamon or cheese variety, of course.

I remember Bible stories she read every night before scratching my back, tucking me into bed, and reminding me to say my prayers.

I remember, regardless of weather or time restraints, posing for annual Easter pictures. (Weren't the 80's just the greatest decade for hair?)

I remember hot chocolate on snow days - the kind you cook on the stove with real milk.

I remember mom always pretending to be fooled when I faked sick so I could stay home from school.

I remember her reading the “Little House on the Prairie” books aloud so many times I could quote them.

In my head I can still vividly hear the words she yelled each and every morning as I left for school, “Have a good day and DON’T KISS ANY BOYS!!!!!”

I remember playing games together in the afternoons – but ONLY after homework was finished.

I remember mom’s groans through countless reruns of Gilligan’s Island. (In retrospect, the groans were warranted.)

I remember her being my Girl Scout troop leader, room mother, band booster, Sunday School teacher.

I sing "Rise & Shine" to my children in the mornings. I have read the "Little House" books aloud to my kids at least 4 times. I make my kids pose for Easter pictures. And, although I opt for the Swiss Miss microwavable hot chocolate, I have, for all practical purposes, become my mother. She shaped who I am. When I hear myself speak or see my reflection, there is no doubt I belong to her.

I love you, MOM! Happy Mother's Day!

May 05, 2007

monogamy (in a handbag)

For the last three years I have been in a serious monogamous relationship . . . with my purse. I have carried this faux-leather sensible black handbag (with a frivolous lime-green lining) through better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, forsaking all others and remaining completely faithful to my beloved handbag “until death do us part.”

We are very much alike, this handbag and I: practical, oversized, generally organized, and a bit whimsical (reference the lime-green lining). We have, for all practical purposes, been inseparable.

Regrettably, my $30 pleather partner had a lifespan rivaling the career of an American Idol winner or the shelf-life of an incandescent lightbulb. “Until death do us part” turned out to be about 32 months, thus I found myself in mourning.

After her untimely demise, I must admit to a brief rebound relationship with a cute little buckle-bag, but at only 5” tall, it turned out to be much too shallow for any kind of meaningful relationship. I’m ashamed to also admit to a lust-based one-night-stand with a metallic copper number. However, it proved to be nothing more than a vacuous tote, a hollow single-compartment chasm in which I could find nothing.

My grieving phase has ended, I’m happy to announce. I am once again in LOVE. My new purse is practical – large enough to hold my slimline NIV, but small enough to fit in the console
between the front seats of my car. It is designed for organization – 3 compartments (with magnetic snaps!) eyeglass pouch, and small interior zippered pocket. Mostly, my new bag is a bit whimsical – black and white polka dots and stripes. It’s nearly perfect . . .

I'm sure I could draw some sort of spiritual analogy here about how we were all created for a specific purpose, or about the wisdom of choosing good friends, or about the how our physical bodies are just transient, but, after all . . . it’s just a purse.