Monday, November 7, 2011


Looking back over this week, a flood of inconveniences wash over me: the overflowing toilets, the lack of sleep, and the walnuts that were toasted beyond recognition. Then there was the alternator in my car that gave up the ghost. I really couldn’t blame it, weeks like this make me want to throw in the towel too.

Having only one car threw a real wrench into my weekend plans. I had a commitment on Saturday and needed a way to get there. The only solution was to wake up at the crack of dawn and take M to work. As we stepped outside the stars were at their brightest, surprising me with their beauty. Who knew the sky could be so intense before the day breaks? We drove down the hushed streets of town without seeing a soul. Most likely they were still asleep, enjoying a slow start to a day off from work. After dropping M off at the store, I headed back to the house; turning up the radio to keep awake but not really listening. As I drove out of town a fox crossed my path, breaking me out of my thoughts.

When I got home I fed the dogs who were eagerly awaiting breakfast and snuck back into bed. I picked up a Maureen Johnson book and tucked under the covers. A few pages in and there it was, a description of a fox wandering early in the morning. And then another mention a few pages later. An artist had tattooed the names of her foxes on her feet. Instantly I felt a connection and the book became electric in my hands.

Then it was time for me to get up, get ready and head out on my way. The drive up to school gave me an opportunity to think about all that’s happened these past few months. The question I keep coming back to is this: Why is it just when I think I’ve reached the bottom does the rug suddenly get pulled out from beneath me?  It makes it so hard to get my footing, and almost impossible to take that first step

We live in a nice house in a lovely small town, but we certainly don’t live on Easy Street-- though I think about moving there. When I do, I hear that song in my head from the Annie musical. Which always reminds me of that redhead’s introduction to the mansion and everyone who works there. What would it be like to have someone draw my bath, lay out my clothes and give me tennis lessons? It might be fun-- even thrilling--at first, but overall it sounds boring to me, never having a chance to do things for yourself. I am nothing if not a DIY gal.

Given everything that’s happened to our family recently, I’ve realized that it comes down to a choice. I can be broken or broken open. That’s the one true thing that I keep coming back to again and again. Rather than be deluged by thoughts of inconveniences, hardships and mishaps I’m choosing to look beyond. I think of the stars, the fox and the warmth of sneaking back into bed with a book. Too bad those people on Easy Street slept in and missed it all.

We live on a road.  I don't think I've ever lived on a street.  Streets offer neighbors, hot dog vendors, sidewalks, parades.  If you live on Mulberry street you might catch a glimpse of elephants, pashas, bands and men with long beards.  Our road is dirt and quiet.  Sometimes dusty.  Today I met a man with the same last name as our road.  That's what happens when your neighborhood is both large and small.  When the dirt you walk upon is old as...dirt.  My dogs and I generally rush through our morning walk these days; the air is frigid already and there are small people to deliver to various spots.  But the road is very patient.  It waits for weekend days when time is somehow longer and stretchy.  Our road has never hosted a parade beyond our line of boys and four-legged friends, except when the road needs grading.  Then we sit on our porch and pay close attention.  We wave.  We might cheer.  And we feel less alone in the world populated by large growling machines.

Next week's word: King


  1. b ~ I'm so sorry to hear of your troubles over the past while. I know only parts of it, I guess, but I hope that the worst is over and that things will, indeed, get easier for you now. It's a beautiful sunny morning, and you live in a beautiful place, and you have your beautiful family and friends. This is your beautiful life!

  2. Lovely, thoughtful post. When you get to Easy Street let me know if there are any other houses for sale.