Another cd-eating stereo is gone. So are both of the dilapidated folding chairs. Did I mention that the vinyl seats on both of these chairs is mostly disintegrated? And that they are rusty? And that whatever cushioning material that once existed under the ripped vinyl is either missing or crunchy? These chairs can be carbon-dated for their age by their avocado green color all the way back to the 70's! Also missing are the two white plastic oblong planters. I thought they were a good idea for the front yard about 15 years ago. Fourteen years ago they were moved to the back yard. They have been languishing behind the garden shed for twelve years. After all that rejection I am happy that they have found a new home. Oddly, the waterbed drawer pedestal is gone. But only the framework! The six drawers remain. The carpet pad is still there. People! This is a roll of premium quality virginal carpet pad! Where are your priorities?!?
Monday, April 14, 2014
With a name like The Boneyard, this sort of decor isn't the least bit surprising.
Nor is the de rigueur presence of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
These two festive fellows bear a striking resemblance to the impish ones who regularly appear on my left and right shoulders. They whisper conflicting advice into my ears. I only listen when they speak English.
What's this? Why, it appears to be a south of the border version of da Vinci's famous mural! The Last Supper holds some kind of record for being the most satirized painting known to man. This version would be evidence upholding that claim.
Once you have drunken in the atmosphere, drink down some authentic Mexican beer! Oh, and the food was absolutely delicious. I had the chicken avocado quesadilla and a sopa topped with black beans, peppers and shrimp. Oh, and the tequila was pretty tasty, too. Don't ask me the variety, it just appeared at the table in tiny goblets. Mmmmm.
In less than 24 hours a few more items have disappeared. The broken kitchen stool is gone, as is the dilapidated toy stove and the rickety yellow stepladder. Both boom boxes have vacated the pile, one of which was totally nonfunctional and the other was lacking a power cord. The perfectly good carpet pad is still there, as is the drawer pedestal for a long gone waterbed. I do understand the lack of interest in the two broken folding chairs and the cat-shredded wicker hamper. If any of these curbside items appeal to you don't wait too long! The city crews begin their rounds today to pick up what remains. Happy shopping!
Sunday, April 13, 2014
I don't always wait until the last minute to accomplish a task, but when I do, it's almost guaranteed that the weather will be cold and windy. So. After making mental notes all winter as to which stuff ought to be consigned to the curb for the city's annual clean-up, I discovered that they start picking up said stuff tomorrow. Tomorrow! A quick check in and around the garden shed, the basement and the garage produced these choice items. I wasn't quick enough to capture them in the act, but it was only little more than an hour later that two women hopped out of an already overflowing pickup to claim the rickety white bench. I wish them the best of luck in shoring it up for use as the wood is the consistency of something between a mushroom and aged chewing gum stuck to the underside of a table.
A primary reason for the recent sisters gathering in Atlanta was a bittersweet goodbye. Pam had decided to sell the house she and Cullen had lived in for most of their marriage. A sign that she is ready to move on after nearly five years there on her own since his death. She wanted Martine and me to be there with her to help her fill the house with love and good Karma and to ease her into the next phase of her life. I don't know what y'all do in your family, but we throw a Viking funeral. Or at least our facsimile of one. Having a creek bordering your property is a nice touch. Throw in some origami arks, fire, and a beer. Heartfelt words were said. Tears were shed. I came away with a sense of completion and healing. Funerals are, after all, for the comfort of the living. Two days later, we awoke to torrential rain that continued through much of the day. The creek was swollen with the runoff, almost unrecognizable compared to Saturday's lazy, flowing rivulet where we had set the tiny boats afloat. As if to help move Cullen's spirit along to the next realm. Movement is good. Sometimes all you need is a little push to get away from the shore.
The grief process is a long and strange journey. Approaching the five year anniversary of Cullen's death I realize that it has been only in the last year or so that I have been able to hear his voice issuing occasionally from my younger son and laugh rather than tear up. I still do, sometimes, but the sadness is of a gentler variety and the intervals in between have grown longer. Last winter I was taken completely by surprise by the mere mention of the word "brother" in the song Walking Tall while listening to Lyle Lovett's collection of movie songs, Smile. I was so overwhelmed that I texted Pam to commiserate. I couldn't remember the last time I had cried to the point of sobbing over Cully's memory, and was grateful for the texting alternative because I was so overcome I was unable to speak. He was my brother and I loved him dearly but it is the way of the world that siblings grow up and follow their own life paths. Parting is inevitable. Cullen was her soulmate and had been a part of her everyday life for close to twenty years. I felt that Pam's loss was of a magnitude so much greater than mine. Yet here she was comforting me.
So today I gave Walking Tall another listen, the first time since it elicited such an emotional response from me a couple of months ago. A few tears but no sobs. The memory of loss has been replaced by the memory of Pam's generous consolation.
Needing some music for my Sunday morning ritual, I dug out The Hollies' Anthology and found another brother song. The memories I carry of Cullen grow lighter as time passes. Indeed, he ain't heavy. He is my brother and will always be in my heart.
Friday, April 11, 2014
While visiting Altanta, I became enamored of two drinks. The first being Smithwick's Irish Ale. I swilled a few of these at a genuine Irish pub. It's rich and smooth and delish. When I Googled information on this ale, I deigned to click on the link providing caloric information. Sometimes it is best not to know anything that might interfere with enjoyment.
This, children, is the traditional Brazilian concoction known as a Caipirinha. It is not for the faint of heart. And it is almost ridiculously simple to prepare. First a lime is quartered and placed in a glass, then pulverized with a muddler to release its juice and pulp. Sprinkle the lime with a couple of spoons of sugar then fill with ice. Fill with rum, preferably a premium cachaca, a Brazilian rum that is light and sweet. I recommend drinking this slowly. Slooooowwwwwly. Close your eyes and dream of Carnivale.