Thursday, November 25, 2010


 There's nothing more mesmerizing than sitting by a fire on a cool evening and watching the flames.  I have always been a fan of fires.  I remember being about 7 or 8 and wanting to start a campfire in the secret spot my cousin and I had behind our Great Grandmother's arborvitae shrubs.  We asked the adults for some matches.  Obviously, we didn't get any.  We did, however, receive a magnifying glass and with it the promise that if we managed to start a fire with it, we could have a campfire.  Silly grown ups.  I think it took us about 10 minutes to get it going good enough to move it under the shrubs.  And thus, a young pyromaniac was born.  Luckily, with my dad serving as a fire fighter for Baltimore County, I also had a solid respect for fire and what it could do.  I listened to my dad's stories about houses that burned down, and I decided I needed to pack my most prized possessions up so I could grab them and get them out of the house in the event of a fire.  So I used brown paper bags (paper being such an excellent fire retarder and all).  It took 5 bags to hold all my stuff.  When it became a pain to repack the bags each time I wanted to play with something, I gave up on the idea.

Deltaville has always been an excellent place for a campfire or bonfire.  Once Pepop opted to use gasoline to get a large brush pile going.  I think there was some singeing of eyebrows, and I was certain Smokey the Bear was going to show up and tell him he should know better and only he could prevent forest fires (I was secretly hoping Smokey would show up because I was in love with Smokey the Bear, and Chewbacca... it's a hairy guy thing, you wouldn't understand).

Nowadays, we have smaller burn piles that are comfortable enough to sit around sipping wine or listening to music or listening to the sounds of nature.  And I can spend hours staring into a fire and watching it lick the wood.

 And usually attended by a professional:

Sometimes, we even go to a friend's house spur of the moment to drink wine by their fire pit and eat farshmellows and chockit.
Makes for a goom time. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Being Thankful- The Rainbow Connection

During my trip to California this past weekend, I spent a little time in the town of Monterey. If you've never been, I highly recommend it as I would live there happily if it were located on the East Coast.  While there, I visited the Point Pinos Lighthouse.
The weather was gorgeous, which was somewhat of a surprise because rain had been forecasted.  I had not anticipated spending a sunny day in Monterey.  As my friend and I exited the lighthouse, there was a fine mist in the air though the sun still shone as brightly as it did when we entered.  When we turned the corner, there was a huge rainbow that spanned the area between the ocean and land.
I can't think of any descriptions other than stunning and spectacular and perhaps even magical.

You know me and my symbols and signs. 
  Most people see rainbows as symbols of peace, harmony and hope.
What could be a more positive symbol than a rainbow?
Rainbows make me smile. 
They make me remember that I was once young and carefree enough to go running through my neighborhood looking for the end and the pot of gold. 
They make me think that perhaps the trials and tribulations of life will be worth it in the end.

This is a photo of Pepop, myself, and my cousin Ty in the old john boat we christened The Rainbow Connection.
Yeah, we were huge Muppet fans, but perhaps there was some childish wisdom in the name.
Perhaps we knew one day we would find it.
I think I have.
And so, I leave you with my good friend Kermit to sing a song I love and listen to on a regular basis (and yes, I listen only to the Kermit the Frog version)


Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.
Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it,
And look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.
All of us under its spell,
We know that it's probably magic...
... Have you been half asleep? And have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
... Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same
I've heard it too many times to ignore it
It's something that I'm s'posed to be...
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.
Laa, da daa dee da daa daa,
La laa la la laa dee daa doo...

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Periwinkles or snails, whatever you want to call them, are all over the place in Delatville.  I prefer calling them snails since Periwinkle makes me think of Tinkerbell and there's nothing fairy-like about a snail.  And periwinkle also conjours that odd color of blue in the Crayola box. 

Anyway, is seems snails are a natural kid attractor.  If you want to catch a kid, throw some snails in a pile under a box rigged with a stick and string.  Wait for the kid to go in to pluck up the snails, pull the string and voila!  You've caught a kid. I don't know why you'd want to catch a kid especially since 90% of the time I'm willing to sell the Brat Child, but if you did that's how I would do it.  For a kid, a snail is the perfect kind of marine animal to mess with.  It's small, it doesn't bite, it doesn't run away and it moves in a slimy trail of snail poop (OK for the science teacher who might read this I know it's not poop it's mucus) what more could a kid ask for in a wild pet?

I know my cousin and I spent many summers "catching" snails.  We'd lay on the pier and lean over to pluck the snails from the sea grass, like picking berries, and plop them into our buckets.  One summer we had the bright idea of bringing our snails into the trailer.  We asked Grandmother who probably said something about not letting them loose.  Seriously? Like they're going to leap from the bucket and race through the house.  So when Grandmother went outside, Kelly and I began building our snail habitat- in the kitchen sink.  There were shells, pieces of wood, sand and water.  Happy with our habitat, we dumped the bucket 'o snails into the sink and went off on another adventure.  When we returned, it was to a very unhappy Grandmother.  Not only was she not happy with the habitat in her sink, but apparently our snails were not smart enough to know they had to stay in the sink.  We had snail trails all over the kitchen.  About 15 years later when we were cleaning out the trailer to prepare for building the new house, I found a snail shell in one of the pots in the back of the cabinet.  I'm pretty sure I know where it came from.

And it seems that an interest in snails is mildly genetic.

Meet The Brat Child. 

He is a snail serial killer. 
Go to the snail mail post office and you will see his photo there under the snail's most wanted. 
In fact, in this photo he is holding what is apparently a baby snail. 

Yes, the Brat Child loves catching snails.  He refers to it as snail hunting.  This was my conversation with him about hunting snails:

Me: So how do you hunt snails?
BC: You jus gwab dem and put dem in the bucket.
Me' So it's not like deer hunting?
BC: Umm, no, you don't need no gun.
Me: So you don't have to shoot them?
BC: No, you jus gwab dem.
Me: Why do you catch snails?
BC: Ummm a-uz you gwab dem and put dem in da bucket and den take dem home.
Me: Don't they die if you take them home?
BC: No.
Me: So how come they don't come out of their shells when you bring them home?
BC: Well, sometimes dey are sweeping a wong, wong time.  And sometimes, actually, they aren't sweeping but their heads will come out of da shells but onny if you don't wook at dem.  If you wook at dem they don't come out, soooo, dey not dead dey jus don't want you wooking at dem or dey sweeping.

 I have found 3 not dead snails in my van.  I was apparently wooking at dem.

And to keep with the theme of symbolism in whatever.... here's a snippet about snail totems, "Snails also teach us to protect the inner child.  Snail people often present a hard shell to the world when they really have a tender heart and strong feelings. Watch for Snail and learn who and when to trust."