Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Another Red

Today's Photo a Day is "letter" and I'd like to have an actual, hand-written letter to show you but I don't.  My first, very first thought when I read that yesterday was what we used to teach DS & DD their letters--the big, red K for K-Mart.  It's about a mile from our old house where the kids grew up and we made many a pilgrimage to K-Mart.  I'd pull out of the driveway and tell them to keep watch to see who'd be the first to spot the big, red K.  In the olden days (30 years ago--gah!) the sign on the pole was just that, a big, red K all by itself standing tall and proud.  In the intervening years they've modernized it and changed it, of course; Sears bought them and duded them up (or tried to), and they've struggled to keep going with the tanked economy and the depredations of Wal-Mart.  They're still there, still hanging on, so I thought they deserved pride of place today.  Here it is--the big, red K, with a side order of Lambeau Field (home of the GB Packers, you know, that football team?) in the background.  I'll bet you didn't know that the Packers' stadium is smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood.  It is.  I pass it at least once a week, it's been a fixture of my whole life here in good, ol' Green Bay, Wisconsin.  Enough about that football team, my white lilies are blooming!  They are so pretty and perfect, they look fake.  But they're not and they smell like heaven.  I'm almost tempted to open the front windows to let in the hot, humidity and fragrance but I won't because that also brings in mold and mildew which makes it hard for Durwood to breathe... and he's not getting out of taking me to see the bubbling mud and geysers in Yellowstone next month.  We're going if I have to truss him up and toss him on the roof rack.  (oh, not really, you know how I exaggerate, sheesh)  Yesterday afternoon I spread the map out and post-it noted the sights where we want to stop along the way to figure out our stopping places.  I made a reservation at the NoDak Motel in Dickinson, North Dakota and one for Room 11 at the Silvergate Cabins in Silver Gate, Montana, where Doug informed me that they have a "Wisconsin Cheese Tariff" in effect.  We have to bring Wisconsin cheese, our choice of variety; he even instructed me on the wonder that is dry ice for transporting said cheese to Montana in good condition.  Too funny.  As a side note, I just noticed that motel rooms get progressively more expensive until we get to the Super 8 in Gardiner, Montana which is a whopping $140/night.  Naturally we're staying there the longest, but Durwood found out in the AARP newsletter that he can buy a Lifetime Senior Pass from the National Park Service for ten bucks that's good for entry in all of the national parks and attractions we want to visit.  Score!  I'm not old enough to qualify but I can get in on his as long as I'm in the same vehicle, which I plan to be.  I feel tons better about the trip now that I have some reservations made.  I'm going to see about getting a room in Yellowstone so we don't have to drive back and forth to Gardiner every day but if they're all filled up (which it looks like they are) we're good.  Whew.  On the way home we're going the southern route through the Badlands and all the things we want to see are clustered around Rapid City, South Dakota (Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse monument, etc.) so I'll leave one day/night for the drive from the park and find us a place to stay for a couple nights.  I want to be home on Friday August 24th so we can gear up for Family Supper night (the Wiener Off!) on Sunday the 26th, when we can bore the lot of them with tales of our exploits.  I'm looking forward to July 28th when we'll be at JZ & HZ's in Shawano for Family Supper to hear all about their 2 week Baltic adventure.  (Man, I hope they have pictures, even postcards are good.  I love hearing about people's trips.  I think I'm the world's best audience.  I love hearing about people's good fortune and I'm never jealous.  Never.  Oh, I might envy their ability to afford to do something I can't but I never begrudge them.  Not ever.  Ask my kids.  In that (sole) regard, I am a paragon.)  Better get a move on.  It's a work day, you know.

July 11--Paul Signac, Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde (La Bonne Mere), Marseilles.  Luisa stood watching the boat burn.  The men were silhouetted in the smoke and flames as they fought the fire.  She wondered why the boat burned at all.  Yes, it was wood and canvas, both flammable, but it was a boat, surrounded by water.  The timbers must absorb water.  How could it burn?  She had seen Parkes drying out wood for the fireplaces by leaning it around the great stove in the kitchen.  Maybe that's what made the boat fire so smoky.  The fire wasn't making any noise, neither were the sailors fighting it.  No one shouted orders, no one called for help.  The boat was lower in the water now and the fireboat had just rounded the point, bells clanging.  It made its way through the thicket of sailboats to come to the aid of the stricken craft.

How come no one on the sailboats or on shore were moving to help?  That's what I want to know.  Ah, well, you know the French...  Adieu, mes amis.  At least until tomorrow.


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