Bumps in the Road

I may not have written about the foot ferry but for those of you unfamiliar with my commute- I  leave my dear husband Paul fast asleep in the early morning hours and walk down from my house to the foot ferry in Annapolis which is about three blocks away, and walk down a long dock and onto a little passenger only ferry.  The current deckhand Annie always greets me with a cheery “Hi Joan!”  no matter how horrendous the weather, and the captain, the ever handsome Tom does as well.  The little boat is called the General Chesty, apparently named after a famous Marine with many decorations on his chest.  One day recently the General Chesty’s heater was on the fritz, and Tom said “Welcome to the Ice-Chesty!”  Oh ya baby it was FREEZING!

After I ride across the bay, about 10 minutes on a good day, we arrive in Bremerton and I then run for a hot coffee to go and load onto the larger ferry, which carries humans and cars and then take an hour’s ride to Seattle (see FerryLife.Wordpress.com for our ferry stories) , where I then hike up the hill to my office!  Quite the workout, I must say…

But, getting to the point here, tonight, Paul was at the junkyard we own which is lovingly referred to as Iron Acres, with little Teddy, my troublesome Shih Tzu, so he was unable to meet me at the ferry dock in Annapolis where he tries to meet me to carry my briefcase and walk me up the Hill.  So, I march past the Blue Goose Tavern, full of sweatshirted and ball-capped beer drinkers and shuffleboard players, past the mini storage units with the bright orange doors, past the guy in the beat up pickup truck yelling “Hey Babe, do you need a ride?”, past the daycare center ( a former church where Paul’s parents were married, actually), and where two of our collective 4 children attended and my granddaughter Cassie attended also, and then face the long hike back up the Hill.  As I walk, huffing and puffing a little bit, I am thankful for the little flashing light that my son Jamezz gave me for my briefcase, and I am thankful for the wonderful leaves that rustle as I walk through them.  I think about the dozens or hundreds of times that I have made the trip back and forth to the office in good health and especially am happy tonight because dear Paul moved the dead squirrel out of the road so I wouldn’t have to see it or step on it on my journey.  Here’s to living in a neighborhood where you know all of the bumps in the road and can find your way home in the deepest darkness.  Here’s also to seeing lights on at your front porch and knowing your key will always unlock the door.  Amen and good night.

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Pixie Cut

Every once in awhile Miss Joanie fails to call her hairdresser for the infamous “bang cut”, and resorts to doing it herself.  Note to Self:   NO! NO! NO!  Last night, peering into the bathroom mirror, she decides that, oh hell yes, these bang need a good trim and after all these years for crying out loud, I can jolly well do them by myself!  So she proceeds to dig through the bathroom “utensil” drawer, chock full of dental floss, nail clippers, old toothbrushes, pens etc. (you get the idea) for her little scissors.  Needless to say, in the Davis household, these $50 scissors may have been put to a myriad of uses such as:  dog whisker clipping, wrapping paper cutting, twine clipping on that pot roast, duct tape cutting…but Joanie, as determined as she is, proceeds to clip her bangs… unfortunately forgetting that she had used the little scissors a few nights ago to cut the wicks on some still flaming candles in the living room, therefore deadening their sharpness and cutting power (ya think?)- and as she clips away she is suddenly transformed into the fourth grade girl on the dreaded Day Before Picture Day when her mom, Doris, always cut all of the kid’s bangs… “Oh honey you look so good in that Pixie Cut!” “Jesus Christ” as my dear dad would say- “What in the hell did you do to that girl!”  Well, dear readers, apparently my dear mom is alive and well because this morning, as I peered into the mirror what do you think I saw?  My little fourth grade self, ready for Picture Day.   Amen and good night.

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Turkeys on Parade

Joanie loves to decorate for the holidays, and Thanksgiving is no small matter in her household.  For many years she has collected small turkeys- some arrived as gifts, some arrived straight from an antique show, and many of the little beasts arrived with salt and pepper in them!  “Beware- do not use salt and pepper from tabletop display! It may be 50 years old”  She carefully wraps each one each year in old newspapers or tissue, and packs them away until the next year when they all come out of hibernation to once again march along the mantel, the entry table, the hallway tables and dinner table.  There may be 40 or 50 or 100- she quit counting years ago- like her Easter bunnies but that’s another tale to be told at a later date.  Her turkey flock is of an admirable size.

Her tables groan under the weight of china and crystal, perfectly pressed linen napkins, flowers, candles, wine and delicious food.  She works for day on end, with her son and granddaughters, until it is all… PERFECT!  Seeing her family and friends at her home is so fulfilling- to her that is her real gift of the holidays.  She likes it all finished beautifully and attends to each tiny detail.  She dusts the turkeys before placing them on the table and always  attempts to pair them up- she is quite the matchmaker.

So, you can imagine drama in the house the year that the turkeys made a run for it- maybe they had seen a movie about lemmings, she isn’t sure, and chaos unfolded in the hallway.  CRASH- first, the giant gilt mirror broke loose of its moorings (drat!  she should have used bigger hangers…), heaved itself onto the hallway table and flipped over onto the turkey parade.  One by one they leapt to their fate, until nothing remained but a pile of cracked and broken poultry.  Oh no oh no!  She felt terrible and hoped that they died quickly and didn’t suffer, but then, tidy as she is, went to cleaning it all up and throwing them in the trashcan.  After all, it was almost dinnertime!

This is where her dear Paul comes in:  What do you think he did in the middle of the night in one of his many and legendary nocturnal wanderings?  He rescued the birds from the trash, picking through the cranberry sauce and soiled paper towels and cans and carefully lays out the pieces of those that could be resuscitated.  And so, for days after the holiday they sat together, carefully piecing the birds back together- trying to match them up as best they could.

So, now, each holiday that Joanie takes the birds out of their little swaddlings she remembers the year that Paul saved the birds.  She walks over and gives him a kiss on the top of his head as his sits in his chair reading.  Amen and good night.

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Santa Here?

Last night, while being awakened about the 10th time by Paul, my dear demented husband and Teddy, my young but bothersome Shih Tzu, Paul gazes out the bedroom windows and comments “Hon, it looks like Santa’s sleigh and the reindeer out front!”  Sure enough, a small tugboat is mother-henning a group of security fences, meant for the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard across the bay, for all the world appearing to be Santa and his sleigh and his eight tiny reindeer, adrift on Puget Sound.  A lovely imaginative sight on a full moon night- and just for a moment I agreed with him.  Here’s to late night wake up calls and the wonders they deliver.  Amen and good night.

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