Sunday, January 27, 2008

Take me to the river

The river running right past our town is to me a talisman; a soothing, calming presence as well as inspirational. As much as I love road trips, the river is the ultimate road, beckoning with a greater sense of freedom, an elemental appeal that tarmac and concrete just can't match. It provides an endless parade of color, light and activity. Ships, marine life and a vast array of flotsam and jetsam ride past in its currents. The skies above are reflected on its surface. At any one time, you will find shades of blue, gray, or the reds of sunset and rise reflected in its ripples and waves.
This river is the very reason "we" are here. It is the core of this region, a magnetic presence even before we were here. Consequently, I feel that it's important to maintain broad access to the river. Visually, physically, as well as practically. Fishing and pleasure vessels use it constantly. Even on a grey, low-ceilinged day, it is a focal point. From the streets and sidewalks laid out over the hills of town, it's where the eye naturally settles, and inevitably follows Westward to where the river meets the sea. Dreams follow suit. A mental cleansing, of sorts.
Very often, it is pivotal in turning around my mood. Sitting still, watching the tide flow past is meditative in nature. Even the smell of a clean river is something irresistable to me.
Last night, on our way back from the beach at sunset, the river called me to its side. A barely audible whisper I could not even so ignore. It had turned to liquid black, reflecting a glittering array of lights. The night was calm, clear, as it settled into the region. To the west, a sublime stripe of maroon and persimmon burned horizon objects into sharp relief. Opposite, low in the eastern sky, a magnifed, mellow, golden moon held court over snow-sprinkled hills. Ships sat quietly at anchor. I felt a surge of equanimity as I observed and became part of this magical landscape.
Every sense felt renewed, my psyche soothed. I was gratefully overwhelmed, immersed in the beauty laid out before me. The liquid lane beckoned. It would be cold, though.
I started my truck, and reluctantly backed away.
Maybe some other time.
I did take with me some fodder for daydreams, and other mental meanderings.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Deep freeze

It's cold. Crisp and clear, and I certainly appreciate the view of the night sky. The stars, planets, the Milky Way itself, are gloriously showcased against the blackest of black backgrounds. It's cold, though, and I am loathe to linger too long in admiration. The ground winks back with its own reflected sparkle.
Instead of slopping through the mud, I crunch over it on my way to the barn.
The horses are thick with glossy Winter fuzz, their guard hairs standing out. I've let their bridle paths grow out, and they all sport a Tina Turner-style 'do.
I hear that more cold's on the way. The kind that will freeze the water buckets even inside the barn.
I could complain about it, but it's not raining. The brightness is welcome, though I could do with a longer day in lieu of these short, bright, brittle ones.
So each little fuzzball gets a bit extra hay, and then it's back to the now overly warm-seeming house.
The phones are all screwy again, so I'll have to assuage this bit of Winter loneliness with trying to scare up some online friends for a bit of distraction, tonight. See how everyone's doing. My cell doesn't work very well at my house.
The cold seems to add an extra layer to the isolation I feel sometimes. It has nothing to do with being alone, though everything to do with loneliness.
Even those stars seem more distant, this night.
One other thing about nights like this is that the bed sheets seem every bit as cold as the air outside. Climbing in, I huddle in a fetal ball, and try to conserve body heat. Luckily, I will fall asleep before I get fully warm, and wake up midway through to enjoy that warmth.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Snow today, wind tonight

I've heard at least five accidents in the hour or two that I've been listening to the scanner, this morning. Much of the county is encased in a layer of crusty, frozen slush or ice. What I don't get is why people drive fast enough to flip their cars over when they know it's icy?
It snowed out here for several hours, though it would mostly melt on groundfall, some of it piled up in the form of heavy, wet snow. Which froze overnight.
Kids have a two-hour delay and it's pretty obvious the second one steps outside that driving will be dangerous, something to be done with caution.
This wintry landscape seems especially foreign to me, in light of the dream I had last night: It was complete with rocking, floating on blue water, warm, soft (not hot) sunlight and the sweetest scent of Spring bourne on a breeze that was more like a gentle caress itself. Short and sweet. The details were muted, though it all felt very real. Every sense was supplied with exactly what was necessary to fool me into thinking that I was lying on my stomach in the sunshine, on a boat, with the warmth of the sun on my back, and the sweet scent of life and rebirth around me.
I clung to that bit of bliss for as long as I could, which was about a nano-second.
Next best thing is a big, hot cup of XDPNG coffee from Astoria Coffee Co.
Good thing, because the hike across the pasture's going to be cold, this morning.

Forecast is for another wind and rainstorm, tonight. Let's keep it interesting and add some sunny, warm days? I need light, dammit!

Stay warm, and drive slow.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Again with the wind

Another storm's on the way. No panic mentality, not even after last month/year's doozy.
I am, however, doing the usual that I like to do when I hear one of these is on its way: making sure all the vacuuming, laundry and cleaning is done. Well, as much as I can GET done, for as soon as I stop cleaning, dirt will commence its dictatorship.
Charge all your lights, batteries, fill the gascans and generators, lay in the firewood, and take a good, long, hot shower. Prepare for a windstorm.
I'm hoping they're right about the rain, though, that it is mostly headed south.
Summer, anyone?

Reality show


What gives?
Originally, I think the concept was a sound one: to see how real people handle real situations. Hopefully we'll see something extreme. It started out innocently enough, to go to these extreme places and situations and watch it all go down.
Now, though, we've managed to take it to the extreme. The glut of these shows is hardly reality, IMO. It's more like delusion with a dose of bipolar disease on crack.
Rock of Love, Flavor of Love, I Love New York (who coined that one...does anyone love New York?), The Bachelor, Big Brother, Survivor, and more I'm hopefully blissfully unaware of. These people are pathetic, not interesting. If this is reality, I truly need a break from same.
Editing, scripting and carefully planned situations turn it into a circus of fantastic proportions. It's insulting to the average viewer. Like 60-minute long ads, punctuated with annoying commercial breaks which advertise more of the same.

Do I really want to watch (insert has-been of choice) go through addiction counseling/fight with his or her wife/make out with same and have tantrums ad nauseum? Nope.
I'm sure there's the old can't look away from the train wreck mentality at work, but the train wreck likely needs a mirror to see these days!
What's wrong with us that we even bother? Just one of those burning questions.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Thar she blows...

Here goes the video for the gingerbread demolition (daytime version):
The ending needs to be edited out (I shrieked because I was hit in the back by warm shrapnel as I was running off, and then started to laugh about it all), and hopefully add a slo-mo of the actual explosion in its place. I have asked a friend to assist with this.
One interesting note was that the only piece of gingerbread that remained at ground zero was the gingerbread man's EYES.
Anyway, that's the gingerbread house New Year tradition. "My" raven really enjoyed last night's explosion this morning. She was waddling around in the front yard and gorging on gingerbread bits when I looked out first thing. The bluejays were happy to help with cleanup as well.
I think the best thing we learned this year was to remove the plastic tray before adding the explosive device. Last year, we spent a good amount of time hunting for the fragments of plastic.
Next year, we have designs on a full-scale gingerbread hotel or condo. Possibly a townhouse or high-rise. Thinkin' there needs to be a happy crowd of onlookers with gumdrop buttons and icing grins.
Dinner for us was our first deep-fried turkey. Not bad.
Happy 2008!