Friday, February 5, 2016

Keep Your Rope Taut

My mom doesn't like water.  As a kid I have no memory of her getting into a pool or lake with us.  Sweating and miserable in the blistering heat of her least favorite season, she would sit on the edge of the neighbor's pool and put no more than her feet in to cool off.  Her showers are legendary in their briefness. "I only let the water splash my face," she says as if we all wanted tips on ways to make a shower last no longer than five minutes.

What is also legendary about her aquatic history is how she got up on water skis the very first time, went around the circumference of a lake and never fell in.

Whenever the story comes up we are all amazed.  "Mom, do you have any idea how hard it is to get up on skis the first time?  It's almost impossible," we always tell her.

"What can I say," she says as nonchalantly as what Esther Williams might have said about synchronizing her way around a pool with a fruit bowl on her head.  "I didn't know how to swim.  I wasn't about to fall into that lake."


In the throes of a nasty political season that has a year to go, and the waning days of The Dismal Season, it seems like everyone I know is either depressed, tired, frustrated, sick, or utterly bored.  Even the Super Bowl isn't generating much enthusiasm. 

Coldplay?  Okay, I guess...... but then what?

Valentine's Day?  The new year awkwardly lurches from dismal to rosy disappointment, and without more than a dusting of snow around here there isn't even a blanket to cover up the gray.  Bare trees, bare, grass, bare gardens.  If it were possible to buy my way out of this grayness I would but that requires effort and that's as well hidden as the sun. 

What would I buy anyhow? 

I bought some fabric.  2.5 yards which is probably 1.5 more than I need but I didn't want to be short and have to go out in the cold again.  I'm going to recover the seat of the wicker bench that's on the back porch.  It will be navy this year and I may sew some new pillows.  Lots of color is about to go out there.  Vibrant, in-your-face color.  Our dinners will be on the little bistro set and when it gets dark I'll turn on the garden lights tucked into the eaves.  The crab sign will remind us of Maryland and Mark and I will talk for the thousandth time about The Crab Shack - the hole in the wall restaurant we could walk to from our townhouse.  We will pine for brown paper tablecloths, little mallets and salty air. 

Until then my twelve dollar purchase and a new project is the reward for keeping my rope taut for awhile longer.   I don't know how to swim in the waning days of winter and I don't care to learn.  

And falling in isn't an option.


  1. Nailed it !
    Never heard that story about mom before.
    Love the picture , too.
    I am sure your project will be beautiful ,
    and soon you will be outside in the sun enjoying Life as it should be enjoyed.

  2. Love your writing! I'm from Kansas City, but I lived in Maryland for about 6 years in the late 90's. We had a Crab Shack in Ellicott City. Is that the one you are referring to? There were probably a lot of them.