Going “into town”

5 06 2007

In the absence of my own inspiration, I turn to Sunday Scribblings:

The other day my sister had an “away” IM message that said, “Going into town, then work until close” (apparently if you are currently a teenager this qualifies you to spell out to all of cyberspace your exact whereabouts at all times – I’ve stopped trying to understand). Precisely, this means she drove approximately 30 minutes to the nearest grocery, Wal-Mart, or the closest thing within an hour’s drive of a “downtown.” I know this because I grew up in Maine.

As the time that I don’t live in Maine increases, I am able to more clearly see the oddity that is the saying “going into town.” First, the phrase implies that you don’t already live in a town (which is actually true of those unfortunate folks who live in northern Maine, a.k.a. the COUNTY, in which case they may live in a place called “Territory #52.” Interestingly, I just learned that this phenomenon is not unique to Maine.) In fact, my sister does indeed live in the town where I grew up, however loosely we are allowed to use the word “town.” Its large area consists of long roads, a portion of them dirt, a medium-size lake, a few general stores (where you can purchase anything from beer to renting videos), a handful of dirt “pits” where friends of mine (myself not included, thank you very much) consumed large quantities of alcohol in high school, and not much else. To call it a “town” merely acknowledges that it contains a town meeting hall, a post office, and a school.

The “trip to town” is a trip not to be taken lightly. For instance, one must have enough gas to get to town, or plan for where along the way one should get gas. Timing is also a consideration as just about an hour will have to be reserved just for travel. In winter months, weather will also have to factor in. Thus the insaneness that is hoards of people crowding the grocery store before a big storm (it cracks me up that even people who live 5 minutes from everything feel the need to do this, but whatever).

Even though I currently live in a mostly rural area, I don’t ever hear this phrase.  Anything you need is usually 5 or 10 minutes away (thank sprawl for ruining farmland to give us copious amounts of big-box stores).  We live 5 minutes from a “downtown” instead of 30.

When I saw my sister’s IM message I had to laugh.  “Going into town” seems like such a quaint notion – like receiving milk in glass jugs on your front stoop.  Most of the time I don’t miss the inconveniences of real rural living, but sometimes I do miss the forced long drives to clear my thoughts or just listen to my favorite music.  I feel like now I’ve got the best of both worlds – beautiful scenery with necessities close by.  And occasionally before I leave to run an errand I’ll say to E., “I’ll be right back – going into town.” Just for kicks.


Pint of blood “Last Straw” for Over-Extended 20-Something

6 04 2007

Western MA, USA – Donating blood on a whim with a co-worker yesterday afternoon was the “last straw” for A., who is currently working and going to school full-time, studying for Sate teaching licensure tests, and volunteering at a local school.

The realization hit her as she lay dizzily on the Red Cross cot, a cold, wet towel draped across her forehead to prevent her from almost fainting yet again. As she stared up at the ceiling it occurred to her that his might not have been the best thing to do after the busiest week of the year at work, and just hours before she had to drive to a 4-hour evening class.

The realization that she is not “wonder woman,” fueled in part by her typical “Tauras-bull-like” stubborness, has caused A. to rethink her commitments and how she chooses to spend her time and take care of herself.

But as Friday afternoon of the “week from hell” rolled around, A. received a surprising call from a flower-delivery person, and received a basket of gorgeous flowers and a sweet card from her dear wife. A. decided to take Monday off from work to spend with said wife, and to not give blood again for a very, very long time.

For Sunday Scriblings #54: In the News…

In the Kitchen

25 03 2007

Sunday Scribblings #52: In the Kitchen

In the kitchen…

Creating wonderfully tangy, spicy, delectable dishes…

In the kitchen….

Sits an enormous mountain of dishes to be washed – waiting for one of us to FINALLY take the plunge and just WASH THEM ALREADY

In the kitchen…

We have interesting and non-interesting people over for dinner to share yummy food and wine

In the kitchen…

Memories of a gendered domain that meant a lot more than the preparation of food

In the kitchen…

Surprises, failings, broken dishes and new additions to the cookware family

In the kitchen…

Love, pain, creation, disappointment, stress, release.

Sunday Scribblings

20 03 2007

I just discovered a really cool blog: Sunday Scribblings. The blog posts a writing prompt at the start of the weekend and bloggers take the prompt and run with it on their own blogs on Sunday (is the day flexible? I’m not sure yet…) Bloggers let Sunday Scribblings know that they wrote about the prompt, and Sunday Scribblings lists them on the blog. So, you can read the prompt on Sunday Scribblings and then look at what people wrote from it.

This last weekend’s prompt is Inspiration – “Do you wait for it? Do you court it? Do you flirt with it a little? Does it come in flashes or in trickles or in spurts?”

Part of why I started a blog is that I love to write. Always have. Still keep a regular journal and have journals/diaries all the way back to my first lock-and-key in 2nd grade. Writing helps me make sense of the world, but more importantly helps me understand myself. It is my therapist, my worst critic, my savior, my motivator to change. If I have nothing to write, I feel empty, disappointed, like I’m searching for my keys that I KNOW I put down right there!

Inspiration is the support beam for my writing. In response to all of the questions above: yes. Sometimes it hits me like a flash, and no matter where I am or what I am doing, I wish I could be alone with my journal. When it’s gone, I look for it, wonder why it left me, and feel as dumped as a recent divorcee. Sometimes (like now) I’m bless (or cursed) with long spurts that seem to never end. My mind and heart are full, and the link from them to paper (or computer screen) is a short and quick one. Inspiration to write is like breathing: necessary to my health and well-being.

Sometimes we need a nudge in a new direction – a way of seeing our current situation differently. A new lens from which to find inspiration. This “writing prompt” idea looks like interesting way to be inspired if inspiration has left.