Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Succinctly Yours Week 148: The Grass is Greener on the Other...Head

Another snow day here, so I am hanging out like a furry escaped convict (see previous post for that reference). 

Thank you to Grandma’s Goulash for hosting Succinctly Yours! The idea of this meme is to use the picture to tell a story in 140 words or 140 characters. The bonus word was “quake.” I wonder if it still counts if you change the bonus word’s tense? Hope so. I have two this week, at 138 and 139 characters:

When Mama told me about the birds and the bees, her knees quaked and she blushed pink all way to her roots. My face went pale when I saw what was going on in the petunia bed

That's what you get, young man, from legalizing pots! You will quake down to your terra cotta toes when you sprout—what is that, you say? Legalize what? Oh. Never mind. 

That was a nod to the beloved Miss Emily Litella for those of you who remember her, and not a political commentary, I promise. This picture—not to mention today's snow—makes me miss summer!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Gone Soft

The first time was in the dark of night. It was my sister who turned me on to it; she’s always been a bad influence. I was stuck at home during a snowstorm. I figured no one would know, no one would see. But that once was all it took. After the first time, I couldn’t do without it. The thought almost made me panic. I drove across town to get it. I had to have more.

I even tried a cheap knockoff in the attempt to support my microfleece habit. Instead of the real stuff, I threw some pajamas made of the crappier kind into my cart while buying groceries. And worse—though microfleece is not by nature one of your sexier fabrics, some misguided designer had tried to make this garment look snazzy by putting a sparkly thread in the furry fleece. Unfortunately, this had the opposite effect: it looked like a Yeti who’d run away from the mountains of Nepal to become a Las Vegas Show Gorilla. A Sadly Sassy Sasquatch. An Abominable Snow Ho.

But that’s how bad the addiction was, you see. I had to have it anyway.

I thought it would be heavenly warm (it is) and heavenly soft (it isn’t). The problem is those darned shiny threads—they jab. Who needs a bed of nails when you’re sleeping in a garment of pins? Like an idiot, I washed it thinking that would soften it somehow. I also thought it would help wash some of the store germs off. Now I can’t return it.

So it sits in the giveaway bag, ready to transform some lucky thrift-store shopper into Trashsquatch, the South Pole-Dancing Bigfoot. I can spare it now, though. I found a pair of microfleece pajamas that make me look like a fuzzy convict. Except instead of doing hard time, I’ll snuggle up with a good book and do soft time instead. Ahhh.
The receptionist, wearing mostly her bones, but also a black blouse, a very short black skirt, black tights, black shoes, and deeply red lipstick, checked around and said Robert could do me in about twenty minutes. ~Elizabeth Berg, The Pull of the Moon

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pink and Succinct

Thank you to Grandma's Goulash for hosting Succinctly Yours and inspiring another post! The goal is to keep it under 140 characters or 140 words, and the word of the week is erode. My offering has 107 characters:

Enthusiasm for Mme.Vivant’s afternoon dance class began to erode until Hannah, who was tutu tired, was relieved of her relevé.  

Hope my teaching friends enjoy getting back to work this week after our multiple snow days! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cold and Colderer (and Word Meme)

If you are here for “Succinctly Yours,” please skip to below the quote, and thank you for visiting!

So far we’ve weathered (get it?) stuck cars, frozen locks and lots of shoveling. Still, that sci-fi-sounding polar vortex aside, I don’t really despise winter. I’m just superstitious enough that I feel like I must whisper this, however, lest some wicked winter warlock decides to make me regret admitting it.

Today was the day we were supposed to head back to school, but I do usually wish I had just one more day off. And in many ways, the experience brought back my youth in Nebraska.

The difference is that now I have no problem dressing for the cold, whereas when I was young, I was more concerned with unflatteringly puffy coats and ugly hats. Today when I emerged from the bathroom in my snow shoveling gear, the cat ran for his life, clearly fearing I’d morphed into the Abominable Snowmom. Even after treats and reassurances, he hugged the walls and cast wide, wary eyes at me. It was funny until I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realized I looked like a Monsters, Inc. creature. I swished when I walked and had hair that sprouted out of the top of my ear warmers like a freakishly huge pea hen.

Shoveling didn’t improve the hairdo any—and this from someone who regularly plays the “Which Male Lord of the Rings Character Does My Hair Now Resemble” game (hint: it’s never Legolas, and when it’s Aragorn, it’s always that end-of-war do when it’s clear he hasn’t washed it in at least six Orc battles…only way, WAY less sexy on me).

Now that the shoveling is accomplished, snow (and my hair) aren’t so bad again. This storm produced a sparkling white magic that so silently whipped up a new landscape, submerging scenery so that benches were buried and swing set seats were erased, whited out, their chains seemingly anchored to nothing.

For some of us, living in the tropics would be like eating nothing but chocolate all the time. Sounds heavenly until you get a hankering for chicken or even Aunt Roberta’s string beans.

So for now, anyway, at least while I sit here with leftover Christmas treats and the premiere of Downton Abbey on DVR, I’m okay being snowed in. Happy 2014.

In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip. ~Daniel L. Reardon

Thanks to the extra time our snowstorm has given me, this week I’ve decided to try participating in “Succinctly Yours” over at Grandma’sGoulash. The idea of this meme is to use the photo as inspiration for a story of 140 characters or 140 words (or fewer). Mine is 133 characters, not counting spaces, and the bonus word was "theory."

Gary, ever the perfectionist, had a theory about how Elvis impersonation should be done. When he played “You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound dog,” he got a bit literal.