So yellow the yellowness
So black the polka dots
So green the mowed lawn
One beetle per blossom
Each six bright spots.
I was struck by the sunny dandelions in the lawn and stooped to admire their delicate unfurling petals. Nestled in the first one was a pretty ladybug. I looked at another, and another, and each one had a pretty beetle in it. I looked up the unusual form for the ladybug and learned that it’s actually a cucumber beetle, and unlike a ladybug, it’s a pest. It’s still marvelous…
My mother raised five girls, God love her.
Towards the end of her life, all five of us snollygosters were regularly cracking up at her fashion sense. An ounce of wisdom shared among us would have warned that things were falling apart and that our lives were about to unravel with the ending of hers. But no, there wasn’t an ounce of wisdom to be found among us, we were too busy trying to catch our collective breath and recover from a new round of side-splitting laughter. Sometimes we laughed till we cried.
I could count on the others to burst at the seams, convulsing on the floor when I wore her clothes, in mockery, in the most clashing combinations possible and imitated her walk and mannerisms. It was all I could do to remain upright. Ours was uncontrolled buffoonery beyond compare. Did she dress in the dark or was she just feeding this foolishness frenzy?
She’d chuckle quietly and call us idiots. She’d shake her head and watch us carry on, incredulous that she had allowed any of us to live to adulthood instead of eating us as babies, like many other species do. She’d look down at her attire and smile. We knew what was coming next: she’d pat and straighten the outfit with her pretty hands. This was a gesture of approval and a sure statement that she had no inclination to go back upstairs to change. This led to a fresh wave of howling and hawing among the idiots, slapping at the table in disbelief.
It was only made worse by the fact that she was extremely fashion-forward in her hey-day. She was famous for stunning outfits worn with grace and elegance. So really, she brought this upon herself. Sure we felt sorry, but for crying out loud, where on earth does one go to buy a skirt like that? Har, har, har! Oh, that was good.
I am filled with guilt and a desire to make atonement as I write this. To mock one’s own mother, God rest her soul, is truly unforgivable. My eyes start to tear and I feel a surging deep within me. I bite my trembling lip, and shake my head pensively as I try to compose myself. But this heaving is not remorse! It’s a memory of the time she wore the black and yellow striped sweater with the…
Here we go.
Let’s cut the scut,
Say goodbye hoi polloi
And head for a favorite spot out south
Where I gambol on weekends
With some folks I love.
It is quite a schlep but it’s worth every mile.
And the sight of the Santiam makes my soul smile.
There we doss, and we nosh,
And we prate funny tosh.
Building cairns between naps
taken floating downstream.
It’s a crack of a time
On this river sublime,
Stoking wet wood and ash
Tending poison oak rash
At my favorite, irenic
I took these photos of amazing cairns that my husband stacked on the Santiam River. I was certain the second one could NOT be done and was transfixed and in awe of His Royal Highness when he did it!