5/31/09

Back Where I Belong



Today I got to spend the entire day doing something I love:

Making jewelry!

It's been so long since I just spent the day in the studio...too long. I feel like I'm finally home.

I made two thumb rings. Simple pretty things, just to get the soldering torch back in shape and work on my skills a little before tackling some bigger things.

They'll be for sale in my Etsy shop shortly, as soon as they get out of the spa (i.e., the tumbler) and get photographed and listed.

I still have some stuff that needs to be put away and organized, but I'm about 85% back together.

It feels good to be "home."

5/17/09

The Great Time Suck

Just when I thought it wasn't possible for anything to distract me further from things I need to do, along came Facebook.

I signed up for FB a few years ago, at the prompting of my stepdaugher, Maegan. But I noticed pretty quickly that being on Facebook gave me the same feeling I've gotten each time I've gone into a dance club in the last 10 years or so: everyone was young and hip and I was old and, well, not.

Then, slowly, the demographics began to change. I noticed a lot more people my age, and even older, joining up. I connected with people I haven't seen, heard from, or thought about in 30 years. I even read an article in a newspaper somewhere (yes, I still occasionally drag myself away from my laptop to read those) that college-aged kids are getting pissed at Facebook for letting us old farts in.

Good.

Why should all the best timesucks be reserved only for those under the age of 30? Don't the rest of us deserve to know what it's like to sit around and chat with everyone we've ever met?

Don't get me wrong, it's really cool to see how some of my high-school friends turned out. I'm sure they all get a kick out of the fact that the skinniest girl in school is now a fatty. I know that I was pleasantly surprised that one of the "unpopular" girls whom the cheerleaders and jocks picked on turned out to be a successful business owner and is pretty, healthy and happily married. Aging well truly is the best revenge...not that I'd know!

I know I should be doing something productive instead of hanging out on Facebook, but it's worth it if I tick off even one college student by doing it!


5/7/09

Wanderlust

I was probably seven or eight.

My parents got us up before sunrise, earlier than we had to get up for school, and loaded us into the car without explanation.  We were confused and worried.   What had we done?  Had we been bad?  Had we recently done something so egregious that they were fulfilling one of their oft-threatened promises to drive us into the wilderness and abandon us like the wild animals we were?  We all silently wracked our brains for undiscovered sins of the past.  Had one of us forgotten to feed the horse?  Did Mom find my secret stash of candy under the floorboard in my closet?  Had my sister been caught smoking?  Had one of them heard us complaining about our life of indentured servitude?  Whatever it was, this couldn't be good!

But something was weird about this.  Weirder than the fact that we had never done this before.  Our parents were....happy.  That can't be right.  Finally we got the story:  we're going on a family road trip.

Somewhere in their deluded minds, they thought that they could put three girls who barely tolerated* each other on 15 minute rides into the back seat of a car and drive several hundred miles to the Connecticut coast.  *By "barely tolerated," what I should say is that, as far as I can remember, none of us had ever had to be hospitalized after our battles.

"She's touching me."  "She's looking at me."  "She's breathing!"

Oh yeah, this was a great idea.

I don't remember a lot about it.  I know we all somehow must have lived through the trip.   I remember we went to the Maritime Museum in Mystic Connecticut.  I remember a plastic lobster bib and butter dripping down my chin as we ate fresh lobster in a restaurant.  I remember walking on the rough sand of a Rhode Island beach.  I remember some strange man walking up behind me, picking me up and pretending he was going to throw me into the icy Atlantic.  (When I think back on that, I think of how now if that happened that man would have been arrested, but back then we all just laughed).

That was my first "long" trip.  That was my first taste of travel.  That was my first sight of the ocean.  

That was the genesis of my wanderlust.


Follow-up:  I got an email from my sister Mary Jo, who remembers this much better than I do.  She said she was 18 and I was 13, so my memory must really be crappy to have so little memory of the trip.  She said that our parents wanted to do a family trip before she left home and that it was the best time.
I was 18. So you were 13. I remember it well.

Here's another little tidbit she remembers, that really illustrates a lot about my Dad and his personality.  He'll have to be the topic of a separate blog someday...he's a character!

Mary Jo said: 
"I remember Dad leaning out the car window and yelling "HI Charlie" and Mom saying "JOHN, stop that" and him saying "But I work with him" ... typical Daddy stuff, but yes he did know him as we met up with the guy somewhere in Mystic and they chatted."