Sunday, October 25, 2009
I don't know whose photo this is. (Now, thanks to Mike McDowell, I do: Eric Nguyen, the late and incredible weather photographer. It's real, too.) I don't know where it was taken, or even if it's real, and I'm breaking tradition to post it here (I always use my own photos). I love it so much, because it perfectly captures my soul these days.
Bill got a bee in his bonnet this weekend, and even though we went to bed around 3 AM Saturday morning after our Orangutangs gig, he got up at 8 and started moving stuff out of Phoebe's bedroom so he could paint it. Each wall is a different color: Sunrise Beach, Fruit Punch, Dusty Aqua and Ocean Mist. It's like a Caribbean dance party in there. I was charged with running to town for supplies and buying carpet to complete the makeover. Poor child has been staring at white walls for 13 years. She's more than due for a room in the colors she picked. God bless her Daddy for taking the initiative. There was stuff in her closet from the year she was born, for Lord's sake, from 1996. I am not kidding. Stuff about how to breast feed your baby. And now she's practically old enough to have her own baby, and she still had all that crap in her closet.
However. This means that until the carpet installers come Weds. morning, all her bedroom furniture, clothes and crap are in the living room. Which sets my orderly soul a-wandering, tearing its hair. Doesn't bother anybody else much. But I am like a banshee on the moors, wailing, when my house is all upside down.
Well, Liam moped and moped around because nobody was painting HIS room so I bought a carpet remnant for his room at the same time I bought Phoebe's, and then I realized that that meant that we'd have to put the contents of BOTH their rooms in the living room, which actually can't be done, and that also meant that I'd have to weed all his crap and clothes and books out before Wednesday. So I spent most of today, a perfect blue and gold fall day, doing that. And all I got done was the books. He has a LOT of books. And most of them break my heart to give away so really all I did was weed and sort them, and box up the ones for the basement, the Goodnight Moon and the Blueberries for Sal and the Letting Swift River Go and the Miss Rumphius and the Nuts to You, all the ones we know by heart.
By 2 pm I had had it and I called Shila and we decided to go on our own little fall foliage tour. And we took our cameras and Chet and had the most wonderful time photographing dilapidated barns and horse noses and the like. And no, I'm not posting those photos now because I am tired and it is late.
But Shila and I had a hoot exclaiming and freaking out over every little thing, it's like we're high all the time, but we don't use anything but beauty. It's good to have a friend like that, someone who can fully freak out over a sundog or a caterpillar or a certain slant of light through the veins of a leaf. It's not good, it's great to have a friend like that.
So the light was dying and we turned toward home where Bill was making us a homemade pizza. mmmm. And we were going up County Road 12 and I saw a sign for Dean's Fork Road and thought, wow, wouldn't it be cool to take crappy scary old Dean's Fork all the way up to our house? Everybody says it doesn't go through but my new Subaru has all-wheel drive and so does Shila's RAV-4. So I hollered back to Shila, "Hey, you wanna try to take Dean's Fork all the way home?" and her eyes lit up and she said "YEAH! Let's try it!"
Which was the MOST ridiculous thing to try, because everybody knows Dean's Fork is a piece of crap of a road. There are leaves all over it and it's barely wider than a forest path. And I had never been on the lower end of it. And we probably had ten miles of it to navigate.
The thing about off-roading is that the first few ruts and puddles you hit are bad but not that bad and the road just leads you on and on and before you know it you are mushing through the most gooshy and dangerous ruts and puddles, lakes, really. And you're telling yourself, "Hey, this isn't so bad. Look how far I've made it. What a car I have!" but inside you're biting your psychic nails because each puddle and rut is just a bit worse than the one before and you are that much farther from civilization. But I was emboldened by Shila right behind me in her Toyota and I kept mushing on. And I do mean mushing.
Finally we came to a lake in the middle of the rutted path and I knew it was probably my Waterloo so Shila and I got out and mucked around a bit and decided we had better back out of it and try to turn around and get the hell off Dean's Fork before pitch dark, which was in about 20 minutes. So she backed up and got up on terra firma and I backed up and my rear wheel went smack into the worst deepest rut which threw my front into a sashay and all of a sudden my left front wheel dropped off into nothing. I stopped and opened the door and that wheel of my precious new Forester was hanging off in space over a six-foot drop into Dean's Fork Crick. Oh, sh------t. Oh Shila I am so screwed, I am so screwed look at my car look at my car somebody's gonna have to pull me out of here! Aggghh I am panicking. I am envisioning my new car rolling slowly down greasy side up into the rocky creek bed, me and Chet in it. And Shila gets out of her car and points out that three of my wheels are still on the ground, albeit gumbo mud. "Have you tried backing up?" she asked and I said, "No, the only thing I have tried is panicking."
So I throw it in reverse and breathe a prayer and gun it and that car just backed out like Bossy out of her stall. So I did a twenty-point turn in the narrow road with Shila coaching all the way and we made our way back, refording all the puddles and ruts, until we were on pavement again. And pavement never, ever felt so good.
Shila has a bumper sticker on her car that says, "My Other Vehicle is My Imagination" and I told her I want one for my car that says, "My Other Vehicle is My Stupidity."
When Shila and I get together we are like a couple of hunting dogs, egging each other on, running wild. When I thanked her for coaching me out of that horrible jam, she said, "Well, you're welcome, but there's no way you would have taken that road if I hadn't been along." And I had to admit she was right. But it's good, no, it's great to have a friend like that.