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.. errr...so to speak...left found me, well, trespassing.
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:
"But I hate townhouses."
"Then buy a condo."
"But I hate condos."
"Then rent an apartment."
"But I hate apartments."
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?
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
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.
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?
My very own moon.
....so 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.
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 well....it'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......
Copyright © 2006-2009 Mimi Lenox. All Rights Reserved.