Sunday, September 16, 2012


That's the Photo a Day theme today, and also the meaning of my name.  Barbara means foreign or strange; I've always kind of liked that. (I also think it explains a lot about the way I'm careening through life so far.)  So here's a picture of my name.  It's above an essay that I wrote up at The Clearing years ago about a night I spent in the Cliff House which is a basic shelter built on a ledge at the far end of the property.  There's no electricity and no plumbing so you can infer what I was doing when I was mooning Escanaba which is the Upper Michigan city 5 or 6 miles across the bay of Green Bay.  I entered the essay when The Clearing sent out a call for arts and crafts and the written word done there or about the folk school.  There was judging and paintings, poems, ceramics, weavings, carvings, and one funny essay were chosen.  My irreverent essay about, well, I think you can guess what it's about, was chosen.  It's kind of the red-headed stepchild in the little volume of The Clearing Speaks where they've published the winners of the 2010 75th anniversary competition that recently came out, it doesn't quite fit but I don't care.  I don't care that all the other writings in the book are serious and meditative with strong images that evoke the wonderful atmosphere of The Clearing, my essay points to part of the atmosphere too.  It has strong images and in between the laughs are things that can touch your soul.  Laughter is also an emotion (or the manifestation of one) and I think it's just as valid as tears or those things that make you put a hand on your chest and sigh.  So anyway, here's my name.  My name is Barbara and I can be strange.  I was sad to drive away yesterday but I'm glad to be home.  I missed Durwood and I missed talking to my kids.  I even missed all of you, well, I missed sitting here every day blabbering on my blog assuming that there's a raft of you out there reading this.  Even if there isn't, I missed it, let's just leave it at that.  The bad thing about being away is that I want to come home and completely revamp my life and surroundings to replicate the serenity that I experienced up there in the woods on the bluff.  Yeah, that's not gonna happen.  It'd be expensive and I know that Durwood would never get onboard with me scraping all of our accumulated stuff out of the house and into the front yard, then only letting back in things that I really really really like.  I've even assured him that I'd definitely put him in the back yard with my writing things, my knitting & sewing things, my scuba stuff, the furniture pieces and other things we've inherited that I love.  You'll notice that it's all about what I want to keep.  I don't think he has a firm vision of what he'd want to keep (I suspect that most guys don't really think about redecorating), it's more that he'd notice its lack.  Durwood's more of a utilitarian kind of guy, for instance, he wouldn't let me have the carpet replaced with laminate flooring under our kitchen table because his feet get cold.  That made sense to me and I was willing to concede that as long as we got rid of the uncleanable kitchen carpeting.  See?  It's called cooperation, also fighting the battles that matter.  I'm not house-proud.  How can I be?  There's burnt orange carpeting in our living room, and I picked it out once upon a time.  But it's not worn it's just ugly.  Ugly I can deal with because there are so many other things that are way more important than replacing ugly carpeting.  We wouldn't have been able to afford a 2-week drive out to Yellowstone and back if we'd spent that money on new flooring.  Sure, the vacation was fleeting but the memories are irreplaceable and we got to spend 2 full weeks with each other seeing history and science on the hoof.  Totally worth living with burnt orange carpeting for a few more years.  Totally.

September 16--Jan van de Cappelle, A State Yacht and Other Craft in Calm Water.  The boat just sat there on the glassy water.  There was no wind to fill the belly of the sail or rumple the water's surface.  And it was hot.  The hard, yellow sunlight pounded Dale and made his head throb.  The deck felt griddle-hot even through the soles of his deck shoes.  He had been becalmed since just after sunrise.  It seemed like the last of the night wind had pushed him just so far and then left him there to fry for a day or so.  He let out some fishing line and secured the rod in the holder.  He might as well catch a few fish while he waited for the wind to come back.

Okay, kiddos, that's it for me.  I have to go down and fling the laundry around, then figure out what I'm having for lunch this coming week so I can make it.  I'm leaning toward making a batch of hummus.  If there's a can of chickpeas downstairs, that is, although I'm perfectly capable of going to the store to get some.  Hmm, there's a thought.
--Barbara Sue

1 comment:

Aunt B said...

So glad you're back!!! And the week at The Clearing sounds wonderful. Plus you got to do a little shopping and add to your stash of yarn. Pretty colors -- and love those little premie hats!