Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I stand there in the open space. My eyes are already closed and I take in a breath of warm summer air. I smell the spicy heat and the nearby alfalfa. The knee-length grass brushes my legs and the sun*s rays warm my skin. Lost in the laziness of the warm season my mind loses the need for focus and busyness. The warmth soaks into my body and my entire being is at peace.
The sounds of summer bombard my ears. The whine of traveling cars is a distant overtone to the ensemble. Tractors in the fields discing and swarthing; rumbling through their life*s work. Lawn mowers humming in nearby yards. The drone of an airplane flying low over the alfalfa fields echoes off the face of the mountain.
But beneath man*s sounds rings nature*s call. Crickets; hiding in their secret places; give evidence to their location; chirping a summer melody. Meadowlarks warble and sing their songs. The wind tumbles and plays through orchards; rustling the leaves. The cawing of magpies adds the brass to the animal symphony.
My puppy*s barking jolts me from my warm musings. The biting cold of the winter reality tingles on my exposed cheeks. A sigh escapes my lips. Winter is a time for nostalgia.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Everywhere we travel as a pair; me and my bumble bee. We*ve raced races and run reds because we two are unstoppable. My little black hummer has purred alongside rumbling diesels and roaring low-riders and won the noise contest every time.
Nissan Sentra 1993 Coupe. 1.6 Liter engine 4 cylinders. Manual transmission. Black exterior with a gray interior.
That*s all a car dealer would tell you about my girl.
But there*s so much more you need to know. There*s a rusty front fender that was the replacement after an accident that happened before she came to me. Her muffler is rotting at the joint which gives her the voice of a racer. The clutch is touchy and each day it*s a different ratio to get her going. Third gear tends to require more clutch than the rest.
Inside on the steering wheel is a furry cover with the pattern of a giraffe*s coat. That appeared on the steering wheel one day after I came out of my internship and I still don't know who put it there. Hanging from the rearview mirror is a Makini Helmet which is a symbol of protection and is believed to deflect death and bad spirits. I got him from my friend Jacqi; who got it straight from Hawai*i. My stethoscope is also hanging around the mirror for emergencies which got me through my Vet Assistant certification. Down below the vent controls sits a branch from the forests of Salmon; Idaho with a very light green lichen growing in random tendrils away from its anchor.
Inside the glove box is of course the instruction manual; the registration; and the insurance card. Then there is a pressure checker for those times when my tires get low and I get ambitious enough to actually check them. A CPR mask takes up most of the room in the small area which was from my CPR certification. Some Wet Ones in a pink package are squished underneath that. On the side a bandage wrap and my old cell phone for emergencies.
Below the passenger seat resides a Meal Ready to Eat (MRE); spaghetti and meatballs from a Search and Rescue Dog demonstration in Salt Lake next to the broken passenger visor. Behind both seats is my bent-out-of-shape sun shade and hanging from the ceiling handle are multiple Black Ice car fresheners; my personal favorite. An orange frisbee sits on the floor and I use this for clearing off great amounts of snow from my car during the winter.
In my trunk I keep a spare pair of winter boots and my mummy bag. My car is definitely my bunker of choice. I would be able to survive a nuclear war just chillin inside. Being an older year she has the stamina of an Olympic runner and the strength of an ox. But the problem with older cars is they don*t have the perfectly running engine or the nice new looking metal.
My little putt-putt has troubles sometimes. Her battery gets iffy in cold weather and happens to be scared silly of my Dad. The tires are always bought used and they go quickly because her alignment isn*t spot on. The speakers are selective on who they play for (Melissa). The defrost works at an alarmingly slow rate. During the summer the air conditioning is 60 mph windows down. The thermostat is stuck now so heat in the engine can*t be regulated and she overheats. Every once in awhile the security switch gets bumped so she doesn*t even bother turning on. The driver door doesn*t shut the whole way so getting up to 60 mph the music; if the speakers are working; can*t be heard for the wind whistling his way in.
But for all her flaws; for all her little quirks; she is my baby. I love my black Shaley. She is my little bumble bee. She and I have been so many places together. She captures all my tears and sings with me to all my favorite songs when the speakers are working. Every time my road rage flares; she grumbles along with me.
She is my Partner in Crime.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
I*m watching the students file in and sit in their seats. The buzz of teenage voices fills the room but one voice rises above the others with ease.
His attention is arrested on me. His white whiskery face pools with an excited blush. This jail-bait male practically dances and prances in his seat. The students in the room laugh and give their full attention to his useless antics.
I can feel his eyes intent on my face; watching my every move. Anytime I happen to glance his way; he puffs up and shows off his colors. I chuckle and shake my head at his naivete. Even if he were in date-able age range for me; he definitely isn*t my type. Positioning himself on the table in front of me; he bobs his head up and down repeatedly.
*Hello!* His voice grates on my eardrums.
*Hello. How are you?* I ask with exaggerated enthusiasm. Instead of replying; he looks at me from the side; *making eyes* at me. I can*t help but laugh out loud. He joins me and drags it out past the point of humor. He holds his leg out towards me invitingly. Oh no. I*m not so easily fooled! I*ve been in this situation before and I got hurt.
That beak was NOT something to be trifled with. But for some odd reason this 6 year old male has chosen me out of all the females in the room to flirt with. He flaps his wings and sharpens his beak; pulling out all of his best moves apparently. I relent and allow him to sit on my arm next to my body. Peikia dances and sings to me. He rubs his face on my shoulder; a sign of true affection coming from a macaw. The worst flirtatious gesture he pulls out is his regurgitating-loogie-to-show-you-that-I-am-a-good-provider trick. Not yummy.
Of course my kind act led to pain. His beak; with 350 pounds of pressure; was angrily taking his woes of unrequited love out on my unprotected body. This had happened before. Biting isn*t a very nice thing to do to someone; but a 6 year-old Catalina macaw doesn*t care about a common courtesy such as that.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
- *Do I reek so badly that it has wafted all the way down to them already?*
- *Would fatal collision have been certain had we both continued on the same side of the road?*
- *Do they know something about me that they shouldn't?*
- *Probably just couldn't handle walking past the awesomeness and attractiveness that is me.*
- *Does my bed hair look atrocious and they don't want to have to hide their sniggering?*
My cousin touched on this next unspoken rule in her blog. The must-walk-on-the-right-side-of-the-sidewalk rule. It*s good to know that all of us are good enough drivers to apply the traffic idea to the sidewalk. It does make the flow of passing people so much flowier. However; in many cases people will go out of their way to make sure that you do not pass them on the wrong (left) side.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Grumbling with bitterness and resentment, I flip my hood up and step out of the warm building into the falling snow. It's not the huge light fluffy snowflakes that fall in enchanting patterns but rather little wisps of ice streaming down to the already frozen earth.
Faceless strangers pass me, hoods pulled low over their foreheads. I struggle over the unevenly trodden snow as I make my way home. Although my hood is pulled up and over my head, it doesn't seem to cover quite enough. Iceflakes still pelt me in the face. I bend my head forward against the attack. My forward progression requires more vision than is provided thus. So I lift my face and take the snowflakes in the face once more.
There's a lot to be said about the people I see walking undeterred by the cold, wet flecks smacking them in the face. My eyes blink rapidly of their own accord every few seconds and twitch uncontrollably between blinks. Whatever makeup I managed to get on my face and eyes in the sleepy getting ready hours of the morning, was fast melting off. My brow becomes furrowed and my nose crinkles with the strain of trying to see past the blasted snowflakes. The entire surface area of my face was intent on closing in around my eyes to protect them from the mini ice bullets.
All of these people with the finesse to blink naturally in normal intervals must be laughing quite recklessly on the inside. I probably would if I could see my face contorting as each seemingly harmless snowman baby flies into my eyes. No one else seems to be struggling with this as I have been.
The solution...for the snowing to cease, but since I have no control over that I will just have get a hat with a brim.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
I fall down from the sky and creep down the mountains through canyons and ravines. My fingers seep into every crack, every orifice as I spread my being across the valley. Darkness is my friend and best companion and we give protection to those who seek it.
My thickness blocks out the sun and the sky. I surround and cover everything beneath me. I take chill and ice with me wherever I go. In the winter time I leave marks of the fabled 'Jack Frost' along railings and windows. My breath slips through leaks in buildings and touches every living thing. I am relentless. I cling to every surface that I can, drawing the warmth out of everything I touch. I have no substance but I am a wall.
No one can see what I hide. I hide the lovers' trysts. I hide the thief's scheming. I hide the world from every eye. No one knows what can hold me. The sky can only hold me for so long. I am wild and free. No one can control me. No one can stop me. No physical hand has power over my spirit.
I am what makes lake's mysteries stay mysterious. I am what shrouds the countryside with charm. I am cause for a poet's passion in a poem. I am the listless feeling of the clouds. I am the cap of a mountain. I am the warning of an ocean storm. I am the yore of the Scottish glens. I am in the morning. I am in the winter. I am in the cool spring.