Saturday, March 29, 2008

quaint vignettes from my charming rural idyll

I have just been informed by my daughter, the Stainless Steel Amazon, that I am too old to both flip people off and climb fences. This rather took me aback. Things like 'age' and 'propriety' don't apply to me; I am the magic exception to the rule. I mean, come on; I'll probably flip off the coroner when he starts the 'Y' incision. That's ingrained behavior for heavens' sake.
I promise, though, that if I break a hip, THEN I'll stop climbing fences. That's the best I can do.
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This whole subject of getting old was brought painfully home during my visit to Oregon. As I sat and looked at all these glorious young people and listened to the things they were talking about, I suddenly realized that my shit is undeniably middle aged. I went to the bathroom, closed the door, turned on all the lights and took a close look at myself in the mirror.
Yup.
Whats more, I saw myself automatically doing that 'catching yourself ' thing? Where you raise the chin slightly and lift the eyebrows? The ol' 'instant face lift' move you used to bust your mom doing whenever she passed a store window? That one.
Simply excellent. I am now officially someone my age. No matter what I do or how I look, I will forever after always be "__________" (fill in the blank: weird, OK, kinda pretty, etc.) FOR SOMEONE MY AGE.
This is me in my Jimi Hendrix t-shirt sitting on top of a fence flipping y'all off.

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I was making some 'Swedish' meatballs (I totally doubt that the Swedes invented this. It was probably the Freemasons) and the recipe called for 'dill'. Fine; I hucked in some dill, the amount called for.

Holy hot damn did that stuff BLOOM. The whole sauce is like Planet Dill. I can still taste it an hour later, and that's just after taking a tiny nibble off the end of the spoon! I was not aware that dill would attack a person like this. Does it get stronger as it ages or something? Or am I just sensitive to the flavor?
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Yesterday we had 2 inches of snow. Then we had rain. This morning we had frost, ice fog, and now the sun is shining. Everyone is saying 'AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA GLOBAL WARMING WE'RE ALL GONNA DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE'
...meanwhile, this is pretty much what I remember happening every spring and ever fall in this part of the world for the past 47 years. Am I the only person who remembers the weather from one year to the next? My grandmother even did this and heaven knows she saw her share of climate phenomena in 89 years-still, every time it did something unexpected outside, something unnatural was to blame.

Her generation blamed 'Russian weather satellites.' Oh yes. Sputnik. You bet. It flew around the earth taking spy pictures, but when it got over the United States the Russians could make it shoot out a ray that messed up the weather. She absolutely believed this; in fact, a lot of people her age did, although I have no idea where they got the notion.

We would stand outside and watch the satellites going overhead (They'd announce it on the news; 'At 7pm this evening look north and you will see Telstar pass over!') She'd tell us kids 'Wave to Russia! Kruschev's taking your picture!"
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Grandma also had some strange notions regarding the end of the world. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she would live to see Jesus come again in glory. She would slip this into casual conversation; it wasn't an expression, it was a part of her long-range planning. "I don't know why I bother canning anymore," she'd say, wiping her forehead with her apron ,"Jesus will be here before we even start on these peaches from last year. We need to hurry and eat them before they go to waste. You wont need to eat anything after, you know."

Every time they'd burn off the rye fields the smoke in the atmosphere would cross the moonlight, turning it an eerie purpley-red color. Every year, my grandmother would start telling everyone to get right because this was the beginning of the end. Why? Because the Bible says in Revelations that the moon will turn red right before the end of the world.

The Bible also said that "he will arrive like a thief in the night", which she was certain meant that the end would come at night. Well, makes sense, right? Red moon? The moon comes up at night? And that was that as far as she was concerned.
As far as I was concerned my shit was absolutely freaked out by this whole red moon situation, every year. It scared me to think that some night I'd go to sleep and wake up dead someplace in my pyjamas (probably someplace hot, according to the nuns who taught me that humanity sucks and is uniformly unworthy of salvation and each one of us little six-year-olds were responsible for hammering the nails into Jesus' poor feet etc etc.)

My grandmother knew nothing whatsoever about that crap, though; she was Seventh Day. Her motivation was not to scare anyone; she was simply doing her neighbors a favor, like letting people know that there was supposed to be a big windstorm on its way so put the car in the garage.

For a couple of nights she'd stay up long into the dark, to peek up at the moon as it travelled across the sky, sitting in her rocker by the screen door, reading her bible with a magnifying glass in the lamplight. Every now and then she'd shake some salt onto the screen and knock down the nosy slugs that would climb up and peek in at her. In the middle of the night I could look out the bathroom window and I could see her sitting there, just her and the salty gastropods, waiting calmly for Jesus to stop by, keeping a light on so he wouldn't trip on the steps.

20 comments:

  1. Yay! I'm first

    *runs back to read post*

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  2. Damn that Frobisher.

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  3. If you can climb a fence you're not too old to flip people off.

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  4. Remember my broken rib! we share the Sign of the Rat!

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  5. that's amazing, you look just like me!
    clearly we are sisters.

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  6. Gotta love those old grannies, huh? But I think she may have had the "END OF THE WORLD" wrong. See, I know, from a the Maori woman who lived opposite us, how it's going to come about. She told my mother one day (one of those gate post conversations) that thunder and fire in the sky foretold the end. And she could prove it, "'cos it's right here, in the Bible, Mrs. P."
    Thing was,she couldn't read...
    (Bet your gran would have loved your boy.)

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  7. OKAY YOU KNOW WHAT
    I was telling you YOU ARE OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER THAN TO START FIGHTS IN A WAL MART PARKING LOT BY FLIPPING TRASHY PEOPLE OFF WHILST CRUIZING AT 2 MPH! THOSE PEOPLE ARE ON METH, THEY DONT GOT NO MANNERS, THEY'LL PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE AND SHIT ON THE CAR, THEY DONT CARE!

    And also!

    I DID NOT SAY YOU SHOULDNT CLIMB FENCES BECAUSE YOURE OLD
    I SAID
    FENCES ARE THERE FOR A REASON! YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE HOPPING THEM, YOU ROTTEN TRESSPASSER SCOFFLAW!!!!

    Sheesh!
    Okay I am done shouting.

    Thanks for the meatballs! They were freakin awesome. And dad invited us back for lamb already. Heh.

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  8. *frobisher you big copycat*

    first nations - you are superwoman, you can do anything.

    i like that last line - she keeps the light on so jesus won't trip on the steps. that's kinda pretty.

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  9. YAy. I am ninth.
    Too old
    Piffle........

    ****Moons SSA****

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  10. ***Climbs fence and moons SSA again***

    ( ! )

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  11. That moon looks more the size of the solar system, Beast.

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  12. Grammie must have been really disappointed that he never did show. Jesus must not be courteous enough to send a card to apologize for being late. Not nice.

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  13. Frobi: ok, you do that. I'll wait.:)

    mj: he's quick.

    billy: Thank You! I agree 100%.

    Frobi: you know what, I thought of that as I threw my leg over the top bar of the gate...

    cb: of course. it's the flat tummy. (i WISH.)

    DINAH: well, revelations is a big book; it says a lot of things. red moon, thunder and fire, ufo's, eggbeaters...at that point its all moot anyway! and yeah, i know she would have!

    ssa: old enough to KNOW BETTER? of course i'm old enough to know better. I know better, then i do it anyway. why do you think my lifes been so...'interesting'? and thanks; i'm having a meatball breakfast here. ha! i thought i'd have to freeze some! i'll post the recipe.

    pink: that was the kind of Jesus she believed in. her Jesus was really a friend; the type of guy who'd mow your yard for you while you were in the hospital. if i have any respect for religion at all its because of her. her faith WORKED.

    beast: watch it...she bites!

    mj: celestial botty!

    CLAIRE!!!! where you been, chickie??? no, oddly enough she was never dissappointed; she'd just say 'well, not this time i guess, 'no man shall know the hour' and continue on.

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  14. i wondered why we had a sudden solar eclipse. now i know.

    *yells at beast to get down*

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  15. I mean, Gooneybird's old enough to know better than to start fights with unkie meth heads, ma! c'mon meow.

    i am upset at the mooning, please find some arse-clearasil...too many craters...too many...*sobs*

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  16. Reading about your Gran, I thought of that line from 'A Man for All Seasons' when Thomas More, on the eve of his execution, says (and I probably misquote, but you will get the idea)

    'God will not refuse someone so eager to go to HIM.'

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  17. DAMMIT, this is one of your posts i had to read and reread... *mumbles something about stupid people and moday mornings* so i think if you can get up on the fence you can do what ever it takes to piss off the meth heads!?! is that right? and jesus? i think you can stand up on the fence and give him the finger as well. i'm pretty sure nothing is going to happen and if the meth heads give you any trouble you can tell them that god made you do it, that or you are on acid... most people are afraid of angry women on acid.

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  18. I seem to remember my grandma talking about the 'Russkies'. They were to blame of a lot things. Can't remember from what as I was to busy running around on the farm raising hell and annoying the animals. It was great.

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  19. *gives ssa blindfold*

    it won't make you forget, but it'll help prevent any further damage.

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  20. hendrix5:52 AM

    No, its even more fun being outrageous when you get older - because the older you get the more ways of being outrageous you can think of. I'm really looking forward to getting old. Then I'll be able to say and do the most outrageous things with impunity.

    Ps. Love the t shirt!

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