Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Moonwalking and Concrete Trees

It was a balmy Sunday afternoon (73 degrees in the middle of winter for blog's sakes) and I needed to get into trouble. Apparently. My mission?
Chicken breasts creamer coffee romaine paper towels toothpaste...
Shocking, eh?
No more. No less.

Instead I came home with sawdust.

Somehow, and trust me, I have no clue how this happened....I decided to drive west instead of east, down the hill instead of up the mountain and found my car stubbornly turning left at the end of my driveway. Right would have found the breasts.. to speak...left found me, well, trespassing.

That's right.

Flashback 5 1/2 years: "Mom, the divorce is almost final and I'm keeping the castle."

And what were the first words to come out of my mother's mouth?
"But whhhoooooo will mow the laawwwwwnnnn?" I kid you not.

O ye of little faith, I thought.

And to this day, that question is answered and unanswered in temporary bursts of hired lawn people and the occasional princely son who takes pity on his Queen mother and mows. The sink stops up, the leaves need raking, fuses blow in two rooms at once just when I'm drying my hair and the washer ain't washin'. What's a Queen to do? Such events always lead to this conversation with my askewed priorities mother:

"Buy a townhouse. Your dad and I have decided that you need to buy a townhouse."
"But I hate townhouses."
"Then buy a condo."
"But I hate condos."
"Then rent an apartment."
"But I hate apartments."
"Then sell your house and move in with us."

At which point I usually leave.

Now, here's the problem. Contrary to popular blogosphere belief, the castle is not a castle at all to my mother. We know it's real but she doesn't know it's real. She knows nothing of the dungeon, nothing of the swarms of beautiful bloggers who pass through these gates on a daily basis and nothing of the Internet in general.
To her, Bloggingham is (shock!) - just a house.

So, as I left for the grocery store Sunday afternoon and stepped into a pile of unkempt leaves, noticed the overturned garbage pail, the untidy limbs in the woods from winter's brutality and yet another gutter begging to be guttered, I thought, mmmmmaybe she's right. I can't take care of all this by myself. It's impossible! Who has time to clean a moat?

And that's how I landed foot first here.

There was no one around. Not a soul in sight. Why not?
I didn't see a sign. Do you see a sign? So I parked the Queenmobile in the driveway and walked right in. ......tip-toeing through the studly skeleton of a townhouse under construction, nails and trash and worker's drink bottles everywhere. I took it in and imagined my life there. Ah hah! An opening for the fireplace....the tub is inserted (envisioning romantic bubble baths by candlelight).....Where will I place my piano? Will it fit in the Great Room? ......small hallways, not good. And will I hear the neighbors? Will they hear me? Will they care if I play?

The garage is in front hmmm...........curious.....My blog friends can't slip in and out unnoticed. That's a consideration. Wouldn't I scare the normals away with my opera howling on Saturday mornings? I guess they wouldn't mind if I sang wearing only my crown but still (!) this is most certainly not me. But don't you want something new, Mimi? (said the mother-voice in my head) Fresh paint. Trashless gutters. Lights that work. Hole-less before I tried to hang pictures walls. A maintenance contract in case I can't change the light bulb. A concrete walk instead of earth. Sure. All those things sound so much hipper for a single girl. All the groovy girls in town are moving here. It's time I became practical and prudent. Progress is progress. The castle is and the stairs are beginning to creak....

Stairs! Let's try the stairs. Everything in me is screaming "MIMI DO NOT CLIMB THE STAIRS.. you'll have to jump out the window if the police show up instead of pretending to be a pencil skirt reporter..." Oh, I'll bet there's lots of room. I could make a cute little writing studio. I did not listen to my inner smarts at all. So what did I do?
I climbed the stairs.

Up, up I went.
Not a creak in sight.

I peeked through the tenuous rafters with big gaping holes big enough for my prissy behind to slip into and splat on the cold cold concrete below, thinking all the time about a warning from Travis in my last post "Don't fall, my Queen" he said, "don't fall. I checked my footing and looked around. I do love the feel of a loft. I envisioned a hounds tooth jacket and Hemingway-ish brooding in the artsy rafters alone with my pen and pad.

Until....I noticed the sky. Oh, it was beautiful enough for a sky I suppose. It's just that....well......there were no trees. Not a bark in sight. Not a limb nor twig. Could I live in a place with a treeless sky? I took a deep breath of branchless horizon and descended into the nice neat boring box of a house.

And then I saw it. Out the front door window.

It was calling to me.
Just over the manufactured pond full of duckless manufactured water with white manufactured artificial pebble rocks and the very functionally efficient drain pipe in said wonder of nature pond - I saw a smiling reminder on the other side of town. So I said goodbye to the bricks and mortar wannabe face-lifted home with all parts in meticulous working order and store-bought trees planted in granite. Who ever heard of buying trees?

You call that a tree???

I left with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

What - oh what - did it mean?

By the time I got home I could see the winking old man just over the crest of the hill that goes straight up behind my backdoor steps.Look who followed me home. He had waited for me to come back.
My very own moon. I followed the light of my friend and went for a walk with unQueenly shoes as dusk turned to dark and dark turned to spooky. Bloggingham's orbs surrounded the crown that fell ever so gently off my head a time or two but it felt so good climbing through the darkness being careful not to fall....not to fall....not to fall.....and walking steadily up up up toward the top of the hill behind a castle full of creaky floors and laughing ghostly orbs, slippery algae decks and roofs with not-so-shiny shingles. A potting shed. Well water. A rose trellis and rusty tools. Wood burning fireplace just in case the end-of-the-world-comes soon and I need to stay warm (betcha forgot I'd need that for Doomsday, didn't you Mother?) Acres of trees. Crunch. Crunch. Peek-a-boo, Moon.
And my sitting rock. They would never let me bring my sitting rock to a townhouse. I just know it.

And besides, I could never function in a dwelling with no dormers.

Crunch. Think. Crunch. I wondered what spring would bring to my life. And how this most barren of winters could ever hope to transform the heart of a woman who needs a place to call home - but is not willing to put a price tag on peace and quiet.

I'm not worried.
Why, this old tree will tell me a story - you know I will tell you what he whispers - just you wait and see. He has plenty of company in my gloriously old and weathered part of the world.
Just scraggly pine, oaks and naked ash trees stripped bare of all things leafy - all things concrete. Nothing is annoyingly symmetrical! I tripped over rocks and stepped in delightfully dangerous holes full of leaves and dirt. There are surprise stumps and piles of rocks. Cut myself on a brier and thought Ha! Take that You Townhouse Dwellers! Chatted with the pesky squirrels that tear at my patio chairs, hoping not to happen upon a possum trail (oh those beady eyes) or a pack of stray wild dogs that might even scare Homer cause you
see I knew there were wild and untamed buttercups peeking out from under the rocks just waiting for spring and even with the orbs flying above I wasn't afraid in the least (see photo at right) I could hear the ducks on the pond waddling sleepily by splashing one more sound of home I knew - if my mother had her way - I would miss.

And what if I want to go prowling about chasing blue moons and spinning ghosts? How could I possibly explain that to concrete-laden neighbors? I am in desperate need of solitude to carry on my quirky customs.

Artificial pebble ponds are for wimpy Queens.

Not any 'ole moon will do.

So what? The basement (ala dungeon) needs a hammering handyman, the gutters need washing and the dormers need dorming but the trees - bare and naked in my forest - talk gently to the live-wired telephone pole and the firs bow down to the sassy squirrels even though they make it impossible for high-heeled Queens to keep their broken sticks off the ground.
But she tries.

They don't mind my untidiness. I don't mind theirs.

This is my mess and my bills and my leaky faucet and my impossible schedule and my crazy life and's mine. And I love it - except when nothing works and the same appliance breaks for the second time in a year and something somewhere always needs weathering or fixing or painting upstairs or down. And what, asks the "mother of all things gloomy," will you do if you happen to stumble upon a King for the castle and he lives in Argentina? What then? I'm sure Bloggingham will fit neatly in the back of a UHaul, mother. And besides......
Where else can you find a moon that follows you home?

Copyright © 2006-2009 Mimi Lenox. All Rights Reserved.


Charles Gramlich said...

A cathedral of silence. And the moon watches without a word.

Finding Pam said...

Just lovely Mimi...I so enjoyed this post. Stay with the moon that follows you home every night.

Mimi Lenox said...

Charles - Well said.
And I love watching the moon.

Mimi Lenox said...

Pam - Good advice. Thank you.

Mimi Lenox said...

ALERT! - My apologies to Dawn that there are no hot construction workers in this post. But it would have made a better story!

Speedcat Hollydale said...

I followed the moon over and am glad there are no construction workers.

Wonderful post Mimi :-)

Mimi Lenox said...

Eric - Not a one in sight. Thanks.

Summer said...

Blah on townhouses. I can't do confined areas either! :)

Jamie said...

Oh Mimi, I got cold and claustrophobic in that other place. Thank you for bringing us all home where we belong.

Noticed peace globe announcement. No peace globes in June this year?

Anonymous said...

I've lived in apartments & condos my whole life & I think I'd die if I had to live in another. I adore my little house, but your castle sounds like paradise! When I win the lottery, I'm going to build my own castle in Our Mountains. It'll have to be new, but I can make it old-fashioned, right?

Akelamalu said...

How could you even contemplate leaving Bloggingham? :)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

The moon always looks lovely, especially in Bloggingham.

Kanani said...

Nice reflection, Your Highness. Perhaps you can consider the new place your chalet.

The Gal Herself said...

I LOVE that you have your own moon that follows you. Recently you said your favorite color was "midnight." I'm seeing a motif develop here ...

This was a lovely post. I feel sorry for Bloggingham's Queen Mother that she just doesn't get it.

Mimi Lenox said...

Summer - Confined, yes, that's the word. I know there are places I could go and with the right person it might be heavenly.....but I'd still have to look out and see trees.

Mimi Lenox said...

Jamie - Maybe it's not where I'll always be but it's the place I should be right now.

I'm going to try peace globes once this year instead of bi-annually for several reasons. 1) I need to find a corporate sponsor and blog this smarter. On advice of several people, we can reach more bloggers via a few avenues I haven't tried. This will give me time to investigate and get it right.
2) I want to have more time to get the word out on as many blogs as possible
3)By the time one launch finishes, it's time for another it seems. I feel it doesn't give people time to gear up properly and make their globes and work on their posts. It feels a little hurried this year.

This is an experiment. We shall see what happens. Thanks for reminding me that I need to post about it soon.

Linda said...

I think you made a very wise choice in choosing to stay with the castle you know rather than going with the townhouse you don't. The obvious answer here is that you need to find yourself a hunky handyman who can come in and attend to your Queenly needs whenever they arise.

Having just gone through the move from a deep, fiery place I know what a pain it is to pull up roots and replant them elsewhere - in more ways than one! As I shut and locked the door at the old humble abode for the very last time today I couldn't help but feel just a tiny bit nostalgic for the place I was leaving after almost nine years - a true record in my life. There were a few bad memories there but overall there were good memories and more than anything I shall miss the front porch and my view of the woods across the street complete with capering squirrels.

Sometimes the view is worth staying for and other times, hot water becomes more important!

Glad to hear that the dungeon is staying put!

Tarheel Ramblings said...

"Where else can you find a moon that follows you home?"
And the key word there is "home" isn't it? I don't even want to think about moving to a new home. Just cleaning out the closets will take months and months.

Kitten said...

That was a beautiful post, Mimi. Besides, what kind of creative name could you come up with for a townhouse? Certainly not Bloggingham Palace!

Mimi Lenox said...

Linda - Did you see the orbs???!

Mimi Lenox said...

Autumn - You can make it anything you wish! Sounds like a plan.

Mimi Lenox said...

Akelamalu - You know me. I have to explore all the possibilities and thoroughly investigate.

Case closed.
No townhouse.

Mimi Lenox said...

Jean-luc - Is is a Bloggingham moon....sigh.

Mimi Lenox said...

Linda - Are you enjoying your new place. I want details and pictures. Soon? Yes?

Mimi Lenox said...

Lee - Moving is NO fun. And besides, the moon would be difficult to pack.

Mimi Lenox said...

Kanani - That's just what I need. A chalet AND a castle! Why didn't I think of that?

Mimi Lenox said...

Kitten - Thank you. I guess "palace" IS a bit much for a townhouse! 'Cept my imagination could go that way ya know. It's been known to happen a time or two.

I do love trees.

Speedcat Hollydale said...

Hi Mimi!! Running through to see the meme wall.

Checking ..... Checking ....

I think the Blog Blast 4 Peace should attempt to be on a major news page. Lots of emails to one writer could get some wheels turning.

Is the moon out??

Dawn (Twisted Sister) said...

What a wonderful post. I really enjoyed reading. My favorite line...
"betcha forgot I'd need that for Doomsday, didn't you Mother?"
Made me smile and think of my own mother :)

Mimi Lenox said...

Eric - A New York Times reporter contacted me about the story last year. I gave him the details he asked for and then he didn't run the story. Poof! No explanation.

Your idea is wonderful. I place you in charge of letter writing!

Mimi Lenox said...

Eric - Yes, the moon is out.
And gorgeous.

Mimi Lenox said...

Dawn - I wondered who would pick up on that line. She has an "interesting" (and often gloomy) outlook on life. It doesn't help that her daughter is an Internet Queen.

Desert Songbird said...

Home is wherever you hang your heart. And if your heart is still at the castle, then it should remain "home," right?

Travis said...

Let no one talk you into leaving the place that unlocks the mysteries in your mind and your heart. Your mind and your heart will tell you when it's time to find a new place.

Julie said...

There is no townhouse out there large to hold your thoughts, your sweetness or your heart.

Just my thoughts.

Mimi Lenox said...

Songbird - Hmmmm....sometimes my heart is divided, but yes, you are right.

Mimi Lenox said...

Travis - Bloggingham does inspire me to think and write and sing. No question. Thanks. I needed to hear that.

Mimi Lenox said...

Julie - Awww....that was nice. Smooch!

Don said...

For you, it would be downright impossible to trade the splendor of your castle for the convenience of some generic townhouse. Just find a jack-of-all-trades for hire; I know they exist near you, my mother found one over time.

Michelle said...

I love the illustrations.

Ricardo said...

I think there are advantages and disadvantages to every type of dwelling be it house, condo, townhouse, apartment. It is really all about what works for you. Some people like the house thing and that's just fine. Some people love condos and that's fine. Everyone was on my case to get a house just because it was the thing to get and would give me "equity." I have never wanted a house. Never needed one. I'm a happy bachelor but never been a mowing the lawn and handyman type. I think your parents are just concerned and not seeing the bigger picture of what you like and need. All parents have a knack for doing this.

Ricardo said...

I think there are advantages and disadvantages to every type of dwelling be it house, condo, townhouse, apartment. It is really all about what works for you. Some people like the house thing and that's just fine. Some people love condos and that's fine. Everyone was on my case to get a house just because it was the thing to get and would give me "equity." I have never wanted a house. Never needed one. I'm a happy bachelor but never been a mowing the lawn and handyman type. I think your parents are just concerned and not seeing the bigger picture of what you like and need. All parents have a knack for doing this.

Mimi Lenox said...

Don - That's the word: generic. Nope. Not for me. But I suppose it would depend on the circumstances and location.

Mimi Lenox said...

Michell - Thanks. They rolled right out of my camera.

Mimi Lenox said...

Ricardo - They mean well. Thanks for sharing the happy bachelor perspective.

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