Tuesday, September 9, 2014

There in the kayak

He lifted his head slowly at the sound of the oar in the water. Groggy from sleep and the drone of the women's voices he shook his head and watched as the kayak, the yellow kayak approached.

Two kayaks he realized, but the second one held yet another older woman.  He thought, not for the first time that the whole lake, his whole world was filled with these women.  Smart, if you didn't think they were, you only had to ask them and they would tell you.  Stylish with their obsessive attention to clothes and the earrings they all wore.  They all wore them, but they all expected that the first thing he would do would be to nibble at those earrings, pull at them while they squealed and pretended to push him away.

Pushed him away while they stroked his back and told him how beautiful he was.  A beautiful young animal they would call him and nuzzle his neck while his nose, his whole brain was filled with the scent of their shampoo, their lotions, their lack of youth and fecundity.

He sauntered to the end of the dock, his hips taking on a rhythm as old as time and he watched her in the yellow kayak.  Tall, even though she was sitting down he could see she was tall, had to be with those long graceful arms.  Her hair, almost the color of his, spilled down one side of her head and rested on her small breast, snug in the top of her bikini.  A towel was across her waist, but he could see it was flat like an athlete's.

She pulled up and started talking to the older women on the dock.  The same ones who always told him how much he was loved and how much he was valued.  Almost shaking with desire he reached out across the water to touch her, nothing more, not yet.  She smiled and stroked his face and he smelled the heat of her skin, that smell of fertility that wafted across that few inches of water.

"Who is this gorgeous beast?"  Her voice was high and pure as she stared into his eyes with eyes the color of lake water.

"This is Bodie."  The woman laughed and gave his tail a quick scratch.  "I should warn you he just loves young women, Vanessa.

They all starting chattering and laughing, but the one in the yellow kayak held his paw anyway.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Corduroy Day!

This morning it was about forty degrees when I got up at five.  Yeah, I get up at five every morning so I've got ample time to drink massive amounts of coffee before young Bodie (highly energetic Golden Retriever) and I head out for our morning hike.

It's been fairly warm up here lately, at least by northern Vermont standards, but a cold front came through yesterday giving us a nice rain to help the pumpkins and squash get to where they need to be.  The rain and clouds are gone, but the front left a lovely chill in the air that feels and smells like autumn. Ran into a flock of wild turkeys on the trail and I even heard the distinctive gobble in the square when I stopped at the country store for the paper this morning  The maples, that iconic symbol of autumn in Vermont, are starting to be worthy of enthusiastic comment.

I knew it was coming of course.  Just this week I put away the Nicaraguan pottery on the dining room table and set up my collection of wooden duck decoys. (I know that sounds awfully Martha Stewart-ish, but I think it's important that the reader knows who they are dealing with.)  On a more practical level, we're getting a delivery of seven tons of wood pellets for the furnace this week and I've got a pyramid of our home-grown acorn squash on the counter.  And I'm giving some real thought to changing out the welcome flag to the one with the pumpkins.  The flag thing is practical in its own way, but I haven't figured out what that way is just yet.

Call them signs of the season or portents from the gods, but it was clear to me by 5:15 this morning that it was Corduroy Day.  The hike takes about an hour to complete and I spent most of that time deciding how to honor this day when the tee-shirts, the linen pants, the sundresses and the flip flops can be taken upstairs and traded out for real clothes.  It's not the day when the when the boots or anything wool comes down of course.  I'm not a savage after all.

This is the day to bring down just the cords and a few lightweight sweaters.  I sifted through my collection and found a wonderful turtleneck with just a suggestion of burnished gold threading.  Not tarty in anyway of course, just a little more festive than Sunday morning usually requires.  While I was in the off-season closet I did take a moment to check in on the gorgeous ski sweaters to make sure they'd made it through the summer.  Happy to report that they are all well and accounted for.

Thanks to the fact that I hike every morning and no longer eat a pound a chocolate a day, I am sitting here in my smallest pair of fawn colored cords.  Given that it is Corduroy Day I even put on earrings, bracelets and enough make-up to look quite festive, at least I think I think I look festive and I'm the only one here this morning except for young Bodie so my opinion is the only one that actually counts.  In fact, I think I  look so good that I'll head over to Amanda's Greenhouse and find out if she has some small mums for the window boxes since the things I planted in May are dying back.  I might even head over to the Notterman's farm to buy some tiny pumpkins to really make those window boxes pop.

Have a wonderful Corduroy Day. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Glory Days



I was raised as a Protestant, but I thought the Catholics had a better deal when I was a little girl.  I can still recall lusting after a nun doll that one of my friends had.  And I liked the way the Catholic mothers had those little charms on their watches, those little silver discs with the pretty lady on them.  Their churches, even the new ones, had statues and gold leaf on the outside and I was pretty sure that inside it was one big party with bells and smells.

In my home, blue and white was a departure from the accepted beige, but the Catholic houses had pictures over every doorway featuring red blood, holy martyrs, angels and the most beautiful woman in the world; the Mother of God.  Oh, how I lusted after all that drama and well, glitz.  It was a bells and whistle religion and the most dramatic thing my church could offer was Martin Luther nailing some complaints on a church door.  Yawn.

I got over it and eventually, I more or less got over religion, but I never quite got over Mary and she still felt somehow real to me when the rest of it didn’t.  As a feminist I even considered if these occasional sightings were some form of goddess apparition, but that was too New-Agey, even for someone who keeps crystals and rune cards on her desk.  Still, Mary has has an interesting past as someone who seems to have been morphed into whatever is needed at the time.

Still, I read about every sighting and was delighted when my daughter sent me an article she’d found about a delightful piece of Mary lore.  I don’t recall where it came from, but when Mary was a tiny girl, she danced up and down the steps of the Temple to the delight of the on-lookers who whisked her away on their shoulders.  Since I’ve always had a modified Broadway fantasy about being carried and swirled around by an adoring crowd, I found it very appealing.  My daughter sent it to me as a lark, but it became the germ of Glory Days.

In a down-at-the-heels town during the Great Depression, two little girls, Pammy a Catholic and Glory, a Protestant, think they have seen the Virgin Mary.  Skeptics abound, but the town could use some hope and a miracle might not go unwelcome.  And typical of Mary, it’s hard to know who she is when the shade of Evangeline, Glory’s late grandmother has been known to make an appearance.
Whatever and whoever they’ve seen, the town and it’s residents began to see each other and themselves in ways in they couldn’t have imagined until She came to town.