Do Sharpies Write on Snow?

The snow they predicted for days came on schedule yesterday (“between 1:00 and 6:00 pm, 1-3 inches.”). Looks like we got 1-2 inches.  My phone says it’s 16 degrees outside.

I need a giant black Sharpie so I can climb out my window onto the porch roof and write on the white surface like a little kid with a crayon would write on a bare wall:

ROBIN WAS HERE.

(I live in the middle of North Carolina in the South of the US.  We don’t get much snow. 1-3 inches is kind of a big deal. 16 degrees is really cold.  I have a nice-looking wool coat and several scarves, but I don’t own a good pair of gloves or functional boots. Laugh if you want.)

Every morning, in my quiet time, I look out the double window in my office over the screened-in porch’s roof at the backyard of our house. This morning at 7:23, I saw clean, white snow on top of all the stuff–balls, dog poop on its mulch pile, 3 durable fake-wicker chairs, the weathered old picnic table, the Little Tikes First Slide and the blue swing hanging from a tree branch.

I saw me with the Sharpie on the porch roof. I’d go out on impulse in my pj’s that have been washed so many times they are soft like expensive baby clothes. The 16 degree cold would push me to hurry.  Would I change out of my warm, cream-colored thick cotton socks that look like they came from Finland? Or would I just jump out and do it?

How would I climb up and out? Would I even know how to move the screen of the triple-paned window out of the way?  What if I slid off?   The snow on the frozen ground wouldn’t be enough to cushion my fall. We know a guy who fell off a ladder while cleaning his gutters and got badly hurt.  What if I dropped the Sharpie? And who would even see what I wrote?

I’m good at over-thinking things and not so good at spontaneity.  Maybe not a bad way to be in the long run, but I think I’ve probably missed out on a lot of fun.

Besides, Sharpies of any size won’t write on snow. And I’m afraid of falling and my bones that are approaching osteoporosis could break into a bunch of jagged pieces.

Maybe I’ll try for a snow angel–in the yard–later, after I put on the proper clothes and a hat.  I hope the retired man I live with will help me get up.  We could be in trouble if we both lie down in the snow at the same time.

Published in: on January 29, 2014 at 10:46 am  Comments (10)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Got Purple?

Our wooden front door is purple.  Not lavender or dark purple.  Real purple.  Sherwin Williams “African Violet.”

The retired man I live with has a goofy streak I love.  We picked the door color together.  It looks great.

Our young stay-at-home-mom next-door neighbor emailed us, said she loved the color and asked what kind of paint we used.  She wants to paint her door, too.  I wonder what her husband thinks of that idea.  They haven’t painted yet.  They’re still too young, I guess, for goofy.

The retired man who gets bored easily created a unique sculpture in the living room.  It started life as a wrought iron coat tree.  The arms stick out too far to be useful for coats and the iron arms are at an unsafe eye level for most people.  I move below them, but it’s still a bit scary.

He decided last December it could be our Christmas tree.  He draped little white lights around and up and down.  He hung some colored balls.  It was actually quite cool.  We did get a little bitty real tree for Adaline to decorate.

The iron tree now has an odd assortment of “ornaments”:  A pink and white doll-size baby bottle, an 18-inch plastic star with a painted-on face and green and red striped knee socks, a slightly rusted metal angel, a blowfish about 5 inches tall made from bright orange wire, an old Easter basket, and a set of wooden monkeys that hang on random branches.  He still adds to it every so often.  He could maybe sell it as folk art at some street festival, but we want to keep it for ourselves.

He started working on our front yard when he retired.  He had a big natural area dug out and planted bushes and flowers.  Our daughter and granddaughter planted pumpkins in the natural area a month or so ago. The retired man who relaxes poorly created a beautiful strip alongside our sloping driveway–rose bushes, shrubs, a Celtic cross, and one big sunflower that must have come from a seed dropped by a bird.

He added a full-size flag pole in the middle of the front yard and flies a changing set of flags.  We fly Pittsburgh Pirates, Guilford Courthouse (a Revolutionary War site down the road from us), United States, a Buddhist prayer flag, Ecology (it’s green), and the state flag for NC.  Adaline, 2 1/2 now,  points to the Pirates flag and growls “Aaaaaarrrgh!”

The retired man I live with and I laugh a lot.  Even when I’m really angry, he can sometimes get me to laugh.  Our marriage, like any couple, has bumped over a few rough spots.  We share an appreciation of life’s absurdities and a love of goofy things.  It helps.

PS:  A few months after I wrote this, the next door neighbors painted their front door a bright, almost-neon-y green.  Goofy may be catching.

Published in: on August 13, 2012 at 8:19 pm  Comments (12)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

The end of Erica Kane??

I moved  into Morrison Dorm at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in August, 1970, for my freshman year of college.  With Mom and Dad’s help, I was a feminist trailblazer–the first year of the first coed dorm at Carolina!

I didn’t ask my parents why they let me live in a coed dorm.  They weren’t overly strict when I was in high school, but I was (and still am) surprised to be turned loose to make my own decisions.

August in NC is hot.  Guys who lived in Morrison the year before (yesss!) helped the dads carry our stuff into the rooms.  Someone had told them to really clean up–most wore ties and clean, controlled hair.  We saw no cigarettes or beer cans (or anything else).  And the elevators and lounge areas smelled good.

My classes started at 8:00 am every day that semester.  (Why??)  When I came back to get lunch,  All My Children usually blared from the lounge TV and male voices discussed Erica Kane and her friends.  5th floor guys watched soap operas every afternoon.  I got hooked on All My Children the fall of 1970.

I smile and remember that hot, beat-up TV lounge whenever I notice Soap Opera Digest at the grocery store checkout.  What a wonderful way to meet guys.  Except for the feminine hygiene ads.

Years later, I rocked my children to sleep for a nap watching All My Children.  They probably knew who Erica Kane was before they could read.  My husband asked about Erica’s exploits when he came home.  (A stay-at-home-mom’s life with preschoolers gets very small.)

We live in a different world now.  Morrison is “green” and air-conditioned, computers go to college, and coed dorms are not radical.  I hear some places even have coed bathrooms now (eeewwww!).

And All My Children is ending in September, 2011.  I haven’t watched regularly in over 20 years, unless  sick or recuperating from surgery.  Erica Kane is still alive and still played by Susan Lucci (who is impossibly skinny these days).  Cute Tad and cute Jackson are still cute, although a bit bulkier and grey-haired now.

Will it end abruptly?  Will Erica get married for the 11th time and leave town?  Does everyone die?  Do the 5th floor Morrison guys know about this?

Published in: on April 26, 2011 at 10:18 am  Comments (11)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Who Says?

No dessert until you eat your vegetables.

No playing until you finish your chores.

Those messages, that mindset, are planted deep in my psyche and have the power to paralyze me.

I got some stuff delivered from Lands End recently.  Internally, I heard “Don’t open the box of new stuff until you finish putting away the clean laundry”.  And I didn’t.

Writing for this blog is playtime for me.  So of course I hear “You can’t write for fun until you finish your chores”.  And I don’t.

I feel guilty when my husband makes a comment about the dishes in the sink while I’m sitting and reading the paper.

No fun until you meet expectations.  Who says??

I’m not very good at silly and spontaneous.  No wonder.  I remember a therapist asked me years ago what I did for fun.  I didn’t have an answer.  I thought that was awfully sad.

My husband and I rode the bus downtown on New Year’s Eve, went in the View to get my glasses adjusted, ate lunch at Fincastle’s Diner (we had fried pickles–OMG–and Jaybird came over and sang “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to me!), then we rode the bus home.

That may not sound like a big deal to you, especially if you live someplace where everyone takes public transportation.  Here, that was kind of adventurous.  I don’t think Mike ever got over being surprised I went with him.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become less concerned with what other people think.  And I take delight (sometimes)  in NOT following all the rules.

“Do not be too moral.  You may cheat yourself out of too much life.  Aim above morality.  Be not simply good; be good for something.”  (a quote from Henry David Thoreau)

You should…  Who says?

You must…  Who says?

No, you can’t…  Who says?

Published in: on January 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm  Comments (9)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,