Monday, May 21, 2012

Unburied Treasure

If a sign like this, propped next to a rickety fence, along side a rural road, hidden by a narrow driveway doesn't set your heart to racing, why then I don't know what to do with you!  Maybe yell "Clear" and shock you with enthusiasm paddles.

If I lived near a coast, I would be a diver exploring the silty depths for buried treasure, but in land locked Arizona, I settle for places like this, where I don't have to get my hair wet or wear an oxygen tank.
Outside there is rusty treasure to sift through, 
buckets and baskets,
 crates and signs, 
posts and boards,  
curry combs, harnesses, tools 
tires and wires,
chairs and wooden bears.

Inside a maze of old railroad cars
 There are more treasures
heaped and glowing
in dusty splendor.

 If you beg me, I'll tell you how to find it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Yard Art

 It was 10:30 at night when I looked into the back yard and saw my teenage daughter, busily working in the soft glow of a flashlight.

The picnic table dripped with paper mache.  Two life size legs, modeled with clear packing tape dangled from the branches of the orange tree, fastened with clothes pins.

Today, the tree is chock full of body parts.

Earlier in the week I went to the kitchen and found my son writing a letter with a feather, wearing a shirt he created out of tape and bleach.

 Either my kids have too much time on their hands
 or I'm raising future inventive Franken/Einsteinian art installation creators.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Laundry Lessons

Laraine F. Eddington

I must have been about ten and I was supposed to be folding laundry.  There were already several batches on my bed when I brought a new basket hot from the dryer and dumped it on the pile.  

At this time I was the only girl in a big family of boys who were pretty much excused from the constant domestic chores to work outside on the ranch.  I looked at the prodigious pile of jeans, t-shirts and unmatched socks.  I carefully closed my bedroom door, found my current library book and wormed my way under the mound.  Snug as a bug in a rug I propped up on my elbows, pushed up my glasses and read… page after delicious page.

The bedroom door burst open and there stood Mikey, the youngest, not yet old enough to be an ornery tease like his older brothers. 

“Whatcha’ doing Rainy?”



He turned and slammed the door behind him.

What had I done?  He was obviously a pint sized spy sent by Mom.  Now I would be in tons of trouble for not folding clothes.  My eyes filled with tears of self-pity.  My life was so unfair, chores, chores and more chores.  No sister to tell secrets to and be my ally against my stinky brothers.  I waited for my Mom to come in and say she was disappointed in me.

But she didn’t come.  She left me undisturbed for the next couple hours.  I dried my tears, folded clothes and then I read some more.

When I think about my childhood I remember moments like this; the time Mom woke me up 3 times and when I still didn’t get up, brought me avocado on toast and gave me a kiss.  The times she let me stay up late-late-late to finish just one more chapter.

She knew my childhood was a world filled with responsibility.  She knew it was good for me and that I would be grateful my whole life that I knew how to work hard, organize and be efficient.  But she also knew that I needed mercy, quick forgiveness and treats I didn’t deserve.  She knew that the sweetest tenderness is unearned.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Underage Calves Not Allowed

I have driven by this place
in a little northern Arizona hamlet dozens of times
 and it always flummoxes me.
Admittedly, I am not an expert 
on the subject of adult cabarets
given the advertising,
who would want to dance here?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

North to Alaska

photo by Maddie
The older of my tall boys just went north to Alaska for a job/adventure.  He has been training every weekend for months to drive one of these
No you silly, that's not a bus.  It's a "coach". 
It's called a coach because it is  as long as a football field and when you're driving a bus load of seniors from an Alaskan cruise you're going to have to use all your coaching skills to wake them up because they are so full from the ship buffet that they are all dreaming of the next meal and snoring away in their comfy seats completely ignoring the grizzly herds in Denali National Park.

But if you happen to take a Holland cruise to Alaska this summer, and in a brief moment of wakefulness, come upon a bus driver named Max, be sure to ask him how many gold nuggets he's found and how many times he's been attacked by a moose

These are things a mother needs to know.