Friday, August 23, 2013

Smile, Nod, Keep On Moving

A few weeks before we left Cody I found a bunch of toy cars for sale on a local on-line classifieds site.
It was hard to tell much about them from the picture on-line, so when I picked them up I was surprised to see that they were all made of hard plastic, all larger than I expected, and were very cute indeed..
They were put out by the Chevron Company, the eyes on them move when the vehicles roll across the floor, they are apparently collectible, and they all have names like Wendy Wagon and Sam Sedan.
I didn't know any of that at the time, but once I bought them LC fell in love with them, and they're now sitting on a shelf in his office, including Patty Patrol car.
They bring out the boy in the grown man...................

Life has been busy lately.
After moving so many times in only three years, we have had to buy things to replace things we lost or sold or donated or simply gave away, each time we hit the road.
When we were in Cody we bought a butt ugly couch for $3 at a thrift store.  It had a hole in one arm and had plywood under the cushions to sturdy it up.  After thankfully taking it to the dump the day before moving to Idaho, we moved here officially (again) owning no living room furniture.
We bought a beautiful living room couch and love seat not long after we arrived.  A lady in Blackfoot was trying to sell it at her yard sale, and when I offered her less than she was asking she told me no.  I gave her my cell number anyway just in case she changed her mind, and 10 minutes after we made it back to Atomic City she called me and accepted my offer.  
A turn-around trip to Blackfoot and we owned a really nice set that had to come in through the front window because it wouldn't fit through the front door.
And so it has gone these past few weeks - whirlwind trips to Blackfoot, trips to Pocatello, one trip to Idaho Falls (and our resolve not to go back there again any time soon) and we again own kitchen tables and chairs and TV cabinets and (finally) yesterday a full size refrigerator, after having used a dorm fridge for the past three weeks.
Lots of trips and lots of painting and still lots more to do, but the place is becoming livable and is less ugly than it was before.....................

A few days ago I walked around town with Jamie.
My dog is healthy again.  Her happy, healthy, napping, sometimes annoying, seemingly always getting underfoot, bright eyed, tail wagging self.
Thank fully.
It is still too hot during the day to walk too far, but the other evening I made a grab for Jamie's leash and we wandered the quiet, dirt streets that make up the neighborhood in this isolated community.
As we reached the bar I snapped this picture of a worn and tattered flag that was hanging from the flag pole in the yard outside the bar.
I studied the flag for a moment, thought about LC's military service, thought about my youngest boy Chris' military service, and then regretfully snapped this picture...............
Bird houses also sitting in the yard beside the bar.................
Seeing the owners inside the bar I pulled Jamie towards the front door, yanked on the knob and both of us wandered inside.
There was a bow target sitting outside where the gas tanks used to be, it looked as though the owners were trying to sell it, and I wanted to find out about it.
From what I can gather the town seems to be split down the middle.  One half doesn't like the other half.
There are pieces of a story about who voted for and against the raceway, who messed up while volunteering on the city council, who are or were hell raisers back in the day, and other assorted slights and malfeasance.
I don't know the whole story and truthfully have no interest in the whole story, so only half pay attention when individuals that I don't know start telling me stories about other individuals that I don't know.
Regardless, I did the visiting-thing for a few minutes, caring not-at-all which side of fences these folks were on.
Before we left the bar (smile, nod, keep on moving) one of the owners gave James a doggie biscuit, and I knew my pup well enough to know what she would want to do with it.
We headed across the road to the small park so Jamie could find a place to bury it..................
Jamie happily scratched around the park for a few minutes, apparently decided that there was no suitable site for dog-biscuit-burial there, and we continued with our slow walk.
One of many doves that reside in this weird little town..................
And one of a handful of dove decoys that are currently sitting on the roof of the dog house in our yard.................
There is a small fenced area to the side of the house, and after hanging onto it for fifteen minutes my sweet, hairy girl finally found a suitable place to bury her dog biscuit.................
Part of the yard, taken while standing in Jamie's pen.
When we first moved into the house just over three weeks ago the entire yard was brown.
The grass hadn't been watered at all throughout the summer, and both LC and I were resigned to the fact that it was probably all dead, and we would have to plant more grass seed.
We set out the sprinklers anyway, in what we thought was a useless effort to try and bring it back.  Surprisingly we have a green lawn again....................
Sunset through the trees in the backyard....................
I am told that this building used to be an old school house, and that there are living quarters in back of the building for the teacher.
Long ago abandoned, it is one more structure that I would like to see inside...................
More pictures from a walk a few days later....................
When I was doing adventure racing I used to be a member of a very large and very active AR group that was based out of Atlanta, Georgia.
The group had branches all over the south east, and for a couple of years I was the director of the Nashville branch of the club.
I didn't know the head of the club very well on a personal level, but we talked regularly as he and I planned and organized training events for members.
A few days ago his adult daughter fell down a flight of stairs, sustained a severe head injury and died.  She was in her early 30's, and left behind a husband and two young children.
I've lurked on their message board ever since I left Tennessee to take a job in Juneau Alaska.
Wanting to keep up with what was happening in races and what was happening with so many guys that I raced with back then..................

And suddenly I have writer's block.................

Dull, unending pain unexpectedly turns into sudden, stomach wrenching pain.
A private message to a man I never knew well on a personal level, telling him of my son and letting him know how deeply sorry I am and how there is nothing I can say to ease his pain so I won't even try, but I care and please know that.
Crying for a woman I never knew, and a father and mother I barely knew, and a son I knew completely......................

Last night LC and I drove for five minutes and found ourselves in the middle of BLM land just as a storm was approaching.
The mountains to the north - that have been obscured for weeks by the smoke from wild fires - were visible, and the sky was alive.
The mountains, a partial sunset, ominous dark clouds coming towards us both from the south and the west, occasional flashes of lightning.
I will post more pictures of the approaching storm soon.........................

It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.............Amelia Bar

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