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Memory Monday: Snow Day

November 14, 2011
My childhood home in Staffordsville, KY (1995)

A picture is worth a thousand words? Sure. But the most important quality about a photo is its ability to transport you to another time, to let you relive the memories that the photo captured. Photographs, in their own way, are time traveling devices.

While pouring over a bag of photos from my childhood I found images from family vacations, picnics, elementary school parties, field trips and holidays, but when my hand touched this snow day photo I was immediately transported to a 1995 winter’s afternoon at my childhood home in Staffordsville, Kentucky. I was a nine-year-old girl again.

Other than Christmas morning, summer vacation and receiving a Valentine’s Day card from your classroom crush, nothing holds the magic and promise of a snow day. It begins like any other day with a groggy trip down the hall to the bathroom, followed by the excruciating task of deciding between Lucky Charms and over easy eggs and toast. Then Mom turns on the radio and your body wells with gut-wrenching anxiety that makes you rethink the eggs. You run to the window to partake of the precipitation. You recognize that the snowfall is substantial, but still you doubt your gut. And you listen. You wait for the familiar voice of the radio DJ to list your school among the area locations with closings (Not delays. There’s no magic or promise in delays.) And then it happens. You hear that your school is closed and the grogginess and anxiety dissipate to make room for the energy required to perform your best and most embarrassing Snow Day Happy Dance.

And then you go back to bed.

When you wake this time your room is noticeably brighter than it was at 6:30 am and you pray that the sun isn’t showing her face and melting away your snowy salvation. Again, you rush to the window and your excited breath fogs the chilly window as you are greeted with the most pristine landscape you have ever beheld. The brown, dead earth of winter has been powdered with flakes of magic. Your mind spins with the possibilities. Your imagination does a happy dance of its own. Will you rope someone into a snowball fight? Will you build a snowman? Will you gather a bowl of snow and help Mom make snow cream? Will you just wander around your yard aimlessly to see how far you sink down into the snow blanket? Answer: All. Of. The. Above. Chapped lips, red face and snotty nose be damned.

I miss those days. My family doesn’t live in my childhood home anymore; the pine tree in the yard has long since been cut down; my mom isn’t around to hang her artificial flower arrangements from the porch (seriously). My world is different. But I have this to look forward to:

Film Friday: 5 Seriously Witchin’ Flicks

October 28, 2011

The Craft will forever hold a special place in my cauldron and my heart. I remember being a 12-year-old girl and thinking that my friends and I were just the coolest and craftiest gals ever because we were so into this movie. Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell and Rachel True starring as Catholic prep school witches is a total win, but trying to call the corners and play Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board at sleepovers was a total fail.

Based on the book, The Witches, by Roald Dahl, this film (and more specifically Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch) has terrified children for more than 20 years. I fondly remember watching The Witches during highly anticipated classroom movie days in elementary school. While some of my classmates cowered in their cubbies at the thought of being turned into a mouse, I sympathized with the witches and their plights of wig-rash and square feet.

Yes, Rosemary’s Baby is a film about a literal devil child, but lest we forget that it is a coven of Satanic witches that raises Ol’ Pitchfork from the depths of Hell to impregnate the naïve Rosemary Woodhouse. From the horror genre or not, Rosemary’s Baby is one of my favorite films, ever. It’s brilliantly scripted, acted and directed, so watch it and enjoy “All of them Witches.”

Yet again, one of my all-time favorite films (and not only because Thackery Binx was my first character crush). What’s not to love about Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy playing a trio of sisters who maintain their youthful-ish appearance by sucking the lives out of little children and turning a future Agent McGee into a black cat? If you enjoy this seriously, seriously witchin’ flick as much as I do, park your vacuum cleaner,  grab yourself a dead man’s toe and join me in this chorus:

“Come, little children, I’ll take thee away

Into a land of enchantment

Come, little children, the time’s come to play

Here in my garden of magic”

AND since it’s Halloween weekend and I am a sucker for trivia, do you know which movie poster of a popular horror film remake features the terrified, yet defiant face of Allison (but not her “yabos”) from Hocus Pocus? Click here to see the poster!

Do not groan at my decision to include The Blair Witch Project in my list; hear me out. Seeing this ingeniously marketed film in theaters provided me with my first experience of  moviegoer comradery. The theater was packed. We were silent together; we screamed together. I imagine that movie audiences in 1978 reacted the same way when Halloween debuted. And for all of you new school horror fans, Paranormal Activity, which (for the record) I loathe, learned its lessions from TBWP.

And now for an honorable mention because I cannot make a list of “5 Seriously Witchin’ Flicks” without at least tipping my hat to Mr. Harry James Potter.

And for continued witchy reading, check out my post “Frugal Fun: I’m the Witch!”

“Let Go the Light” Teaser

October 18, 2011

This is a teaser for my novella, Let Go the Light, which I am currently editing and hope to have self-published on Amazon by November 1. This is my own original work, so if anyone dares to be so bold and arrogant as to bloody steal any part of it, know that I will HUNT. YOU. DOWN. And if you doubt my sincerity for even ONE SECOND, then you should also doubt everything you have EVER believed in, including Santa Claus and the hope of resurrecting Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty for a reunion episode of The Golden Girls.

“But I digress…” Here is the first page of Let Go the Light (Please leave comments):

It was 102 (temperature, not time). If it wasn’t for the enormous cross fixed to the steeple of the Old Regular Baptist Church you’d think you had taken a wrong turn and wound up in Satan’s stove. Days like today turned your saliva to dust. Days like today made you want to nurse your skin with a bottle of aloe lotion and nurse your soul with a pitcher of sweet tea. Days like today killed people. Days like today kept Neal Seagraves employed.

Three days prior—on another day like today—Attorney Oscar Claiborne expired while mowing his 1.7 acres on a brand spankin’ new Snapper Yard Cruiser. Three days prior it was 104 degrees and Mr. Claiborne had failed to keep himself hydrated. As a well-known (and not-so-reputable) bankruptcy attorney, Oscar Claiborne’s graveside service attracted most of the town of Grayville, which was pronounced as though it took somebody entirely too long to say gravel. The Hannah triplets, Vadie, Sadie and Gladie—each with a different color of hair but all deserving of the middle name Buxom—wore matching pink gingham baby doll dresses, undoubtedly to elicit more than just attention from Mr. Claiborne’s wealthy colleagues; Mr. Jensen Akers, Esquire, a.k.a. Oscar’s biggest competitor for new bankruptcy filings, made his presence known by slipping business cards to Attorney Claiborne’s former clients as he shook their hands and offered his deepest, greediest condolences; and pallbearers served double duty as ushers, handing out paper fans which had originally been printed to advertise the deceased’s law office: “MADE SOME FINANCIAL DECISIONS YOU’D RATHER FORGET? CALL OSCAR CLAIBORNE TO GET OUT OF DEBT!” Now the obnoxious (but effective) promotional freebies were used to cool the skin of mourners and hide the gossiping lips of folks who had noticed that Attorney Claiborne’s paralegal, Missy, had a better seat by the casket than the indifferent Mrs. Claiborne. Neal Seagraves paid no mind to these things.

His world revolved around one thing: the end of the day. Then Neal could pack his tools into the bed of his two-tone 1987 Dodge Dakota, drive home and forget. Never mind that his picks and shovels were his only companions and that the apartment Neal settled into every evening was practically empty save for necessary appliances, a mattress on the floor and a liquor cabinet constructed out of two brown milk crates; those 800 square feet were his. But to an outsider looking in, the notion of calling Neal’s living space a home was laughable and to say that his apartment “isn’t much” was, at best, an understatement.

Once he set foot inside Apartment B, which was centered downtown across from the courthouse and located one floor above the former home of Grayville’s Masonic Lodge No. 217, Neal made a beeline for his shower. Despite the stifling temperature of his apartment—no more than ten or 15 degrees cooler than the inferno outside—Neal couldn’t get the water hot enough. Although the bathroom quickly filled with steam and the reddish-brown tan of his skin deepened from the pounding water that could hard-boil an egg, nothing could make Neal feel clean. Nothing could truly absolve him of a life he loathed and a job he despised even more. Yet, there was no escaping it. Neal Seagraves was his job and his job was him. Even his name was a constant reminder, a painful joke. Neal Seagraves was a gravedigger.

A Woman’s Heart

October 13, 2011

A woman’s heart is a mysterious being:

A maze,

A labyrinth,

A harborer of pain.

It breathes.

It moans.

It aches.

It sings.

At times a glittery, shiny thing.

A riddle of sorts,

It confounds,

Amuses.

Uncertain,

It dies.

But if you know how to cradle it,

To ignite it,

Step inside it,

And pluck its strings.

Then, a woman’s heart is the simplest of things.

-written April 2010

My Kentucky Home: Lawn Ornament

September 28, 2011

This lawn ornament* not only adds a nautical touch to your landscaping, but also serves as a flotation device in the event of a flash flood. *Cement blocks not included.

My Top 5 Life Achievements (Well, Up Until Like, Now)

September 28, 2011

Motherhood

Yes, I gave birth to that. 10 lbs. 12 oz. & 19 1/2 in. long. We set the natural birth record at the hospital.

Marriage

I do mean actually getting married and not just enjoying the cake and trip to the gay bar that followed the ceremony. Might I add that we were not the only wedding party enjoying the drag show that night.

Graduating from College

2007 summa cum laude graduate – Bachelor of Arts in sociology with criminology concentration

Acquiring Every Season of The Golden Girls on DVD

Though, I do have to credit the generosity of my husband and a couple of ex-boyfriends.

Beating The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

One of my all-time favorite video games, and let’s face it, anyone with a brain should agree.

5 Essential Douchecepts, Vol. 1

September 28, 2011

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