Archive for April 2011

In Re. Happiness

April 21st, 2011 — 3:13am

April 20, 2011

Lately  I’ve been in a long blah mood.  There’s no particular reason for it, it just is.  It’s a fog that blows in, something to be accepted and waited out.  Or not.  I’m always tinkering with it, trying to find methods to disperse it faster, like an atmospheric physicist experimenting with the clouds.

One thing I know to try, good Midwestern girl that I am, is to count my blessings.  I start to list them in my head.  The list gets long fast and I’m tempted to trail off, worn out by the effort.


Okay, fine.  Great moments in the last nineteen days alone, in no particular order, in five hundred words or less:

*Two sandhill cranes flying overhead, their long necks graceful, their huge wings beating the air.

*A double latte first thing on a cold, damp, and generally dreary morning.

*A photo of the Andromeda galaxy sent by a friend.  I stare at it for a long time, wondering what’s going on out there.

*Sitting by the fire at work.  It feels like a chunk of sun captured and burning in captivity, simmering with immense, incalculable heat.

*SOUTH OF SUPERIOR getting selected as an Indie Next Pick and Ingram Premier Pick.

*Sallie’s  high speed gallop around the yard when I let her out in the morning.  After a circuit or two she skids to a stop at my feet, sending leaves and dirt flying.  Also her springing up and down in one spot when she sees something she’s curious and excited about and yet cautious of at the same time.  Also the way she sits with her head slightly tipped, one paw held just off the ground, looking tender and quizzical.  And the way she sleeps sprawled out on the couch.  Or curled up.  Or tipped over with her paws in the air.  Or with her chin resting on a toy.  And so on.

*Seeing a photo of Laura in her prom gown, looking beautiful and poised.  I am speechless.  My little Laura!  She’s so grown up!  She gives me a sweet and tolerant look when I say this.  She pats the seat of her family’s booth and I plop down and scooch up close and bask in the presence of all of them.

*Emails from Amelia, who’s going to study poetry in graduate school in Idaho in the fall.  These notes are full of perfect details about Lemon Heaven Cookies, a muddy walk in the spring woods, Theodore Roethke, the way the roads in Ohio are just before you get to Miami University, and many other things.

*Rick laughing at a funny movie we rented, his head tipped back, the corners of his eyes crinkled.

*A mug Meghan gave me that says, “I drink coffee for your protection.”

*April the cat creeping after a leaf, looking intent and astute, and then dignified and unconcerned when her captured prey turns out to be–a leaf.

*My friend Pamela being kind enough (again!) to say wonderful things about SOUTH OF SUPERIOR at the close of a recent post:

*Tonight’s snow that is so wet and heavy the pines are drooped low with it.  They look as if they belong in an old painting.

*Eating pesto and Italian sausage on a chunk of grilled foccacia bread, a snack I thought up all on my own, impromptu.  Look, Mom, I’m a gourmet Italian chef!  And I’m eating gourmet Italian snacks at bedtime!  Uh oh.

*Wearing my argyle knee socks in neon colors (purple, orange, and lime green) along with my red high top sneakers.

Oh.  Time’s up.  I’m over five hundred words, I’m just getting started, and I do feel better.  Again, hmm.

16 comments » | Life

Something About a Basketball

April 14th, 2011 — 10:48pm

April 14, 2011

Today’s Special: No special.

No burgers, no soup, no fish.

Eggs: lots of eggs. Have eggs.

It’s 6 p.m. Cold, breezy, and sunny.

There’ve been a long stretch of days when I’ve had nothing to write, and this is another one. But something about the clear cold sun, the sharpness of the air, the way the flags are laid straight out in the wind like sheets on a line, the dull roar of Lake Superior rolling into shore all day, makes me want to try anyway.

I walked through the town campground with Sallie after work, and on the way back I saw a basketball on the ground near the hoops, sitting alone at the edge of a little pool of snow. It looked like it was waiting for someone. I stopped and considered it. On one hand, I felt middle aged and not very limber, like someone who’d just eaten half of a corned beef Rueben that they didn’t really need half an hour before. But on the other hand—there’s something about a basketball, something bouncy and orange and fun.

When I was growing up we spent a lot of time trying to make baskets through a hoop nailed to the light pole that stood next to the granary. I realized as I stood there in the sharp Lake Superior wind that what I really wanted to do was try that again.  

I checked to see if anyone was looking, (and then scolded myself for checking, because who on earth could care?, but it was already done ).  It seemed like probably no one was, so I picked up the ball and threw it at the backboard and missed by a mile. The ball went rolling away and Sallie shot after it, barking with excitement. This happened over and over until after maybe twenty tries, I made a basket. Yes. Out of maybe another twenty tries I got four more baskets, and I felt—what? Victorious, athletic, and happy. Also fairly silly and still unlimber and middle aged, but not particularly concerned about any of that for the time being.

6 comments » | After Work, Today's Special

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