Thursday, February 13, 2014

I realized today I live in a little world. My own comfortable, neat tiny existence much like the dandelion seed Horton almost sneezed away. There I sit. Each morning I wake before dawn, gather my water bottle and computer gadgets and retreat to Iry's spot on the sofa. It is closest to the wall of windows offering it's views of the river now nearly invisible to me. I snuggle under a fleece blanket and recline the seat. I pin and ponder and post and search. I sip and sip then search some more. I pin, I pin, I pee. I snuggle back under the blanket and sneak peeks out the windows. A slice of orange cuts through the blue black morning and reflects on the water. Quickly and quietly the dawn breaks the dark and it's orange yolk spills over the entire horizon. Jerry begins to chatter then chirp then sing. The little zebra finch reacts to my gently whispering. He watches the window as well softly plucking his millet spray and making a mess. I stare for a moment at the wonder of a new day. My stomach grumples (def. of the act of being grumpy and grumbling at the same time). A piece of cinnamon toasts with extra sugar comes to mind, and a K-cup of mudslide. I slide the electric radiator heater plugged in at my feet closer to my reclined toes. The room is toasty and lends no hint to the raw bitter cold on the other side of the window. I watch the sky lighten as Jerry starts to call out to the sea gulls he hears slowly descending on our pier and stretch of beach below. Soon there are hundreds of birds, including geese and swan chattering about the beach. I will gather their feathers later on my walk while thinking about all the wonderful things I will do with them. I have jars already full patiently awaiting their final destiny. I turn my attention back to my computer and quickly move thru all the terrible news about yet another stars suicide, and the shooting at another school, and all the dead children, and the corruption of a government that starves a nation, and the pollution of the world and our brink of near extinction along with the copper frog in Guam. And I sip and slide the screen to remove that possibility from my little world...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I concluded the story recounting my venture in the snow the other morning and tried desperately to publish it in the order of events as the storyline should read. The blog itself just wants to put the ending first and the beginning last so you have to scroll backwards up the posts to read the chain of events and final conclusion. And the last ends up first as the header of the story in the feed.
                                                                                                                                 Confused yet?
ridiculouness ....
I didn't realize I would run out of space to tell my entire story. I like taking one long deep breath and speaking til spoke out. I want my blog to read daily the opposite of what it will. I want the "beginning" to always be at the beginning in the side menu. As you travel down my trail of posts and view the feed I want my very first post to be the one you see. As it is now, you see the most recent as you travel backwards in time to my very first introduction of me. I feel like Alice falling in her hole. It's like riding in the back of a station wagon traveling along a road riddled with directionals, "YOUR BLOG BEGINS HERE" and "WRONG ONE" "READ THIS NEXT" in order to reach my "FINAL DESTINATION". All I wanted to do was write my story and have it all said in one fell swoop with one beginning and it's ending on the same page. So all one would have to do is scroll down, travel along, follow the yellow brick road so to speak... We don't read books backwards why should we blog backwards? I see the logic in posting the latest newest as the most recent and at the top of the list, but I must protest this "post-ure". I will know next time I cannot speak til all spoke out....

Friday, February 7, 2014

I remembered that pilot car and wondered if they had taken a right at the intersection of 158.
And if my pilot had anything at all to do with all those blue and red lights.
I pulled back into the gas station to call off my mission and make a phone call. The sky was brightening and burning the last layer of fog for my journey back. There was much more traffic on the road now and less patches of ice to be seen. I could see very well as I approached the little Wiccacon River bridge. And I slowed down to see the the path that truck had taken when it almost did not make it across. Very little evidence to remark what could have been a near fatal accident. I made it back over in the same manner as before, gracefully and gratefully. My mind began to recount what could have happened on the bridge had I stayed behind that truck and never passed it. If I had been following instead of leading. The pilot car? it gave me the confidence to pull ahead but the pilot must not have listened to the birds. And I wondered again about the blue and red mind washing over with images and what ifs my whole drive home.
I turned the key and climbed the stairs and immediately went to the bathroom. As I sat there I kept thinking about all that had happened and hadn't happened this morning. I saw something white on the little black lace waistband of my undies. I plucked it from the fold and held it up. 
The most beautiful little white feather you have ever seen. 

I knew right away that whoever was driving hit their brakes as soon as they hit the ice.
The truck began to skid sideways. Then quickly they must have tried to overcompensate the wheel and it swerved with a jerk in the opposite direction and starting sliding that way. Maybe that is when they decided to cover their eyes and let go of the wheel. Then it started spinning, one full circle, at this time it was close to the other end of the bridge. The truck did another 180 and came to a stop on the opposite side of the road facing the opposite direction landing directly in front of the low concrete rail that saddles the bridge. In my mind this picture frame froze. It probably had been no more that a few seconds that I stared into my rear view mirror. I never saw the car approaching me, nor the truck following the car. If I had I would have flashed my brights. I looked again in my rear view as they passed my vehicle and saw their brake lights hail each other as they approached the bridge and the truck now along side it. The road began curving again until there was nothing in my rear view except a weakening light littered with luminous snow on either side of a long dark path.
I believe I went into a slight state of shock because I don't really remember much after that until I got to the gas station in Winton. I only remember there were no more birds.
The fog had mostly misted away and the station was choking with motorists and big rigs. I got my gas and eased out from the pump. I noticed a big rig trying to get out onto the highway and I quickly maneuvered my vehicle to get ahead of him. I did not want to be stuck behind that when I reached the exit onto Hwy 158 a little more that a quarter mile down the road. Punching ahead towards the intersection riddled with construction cones and barrels I saw a lot of blue lights. A lot of blue lights and red lights, but no green lights, at the intersection of 158. Looking into the direction of my turn hundreds of big rigs, trucks, cars and school buses were lined up as far as the eye could see. I quickly did a U-ey into the opposite lane, barely missing a cone and the one chance I had to turn around quickly and easily to head back home.
People who know me and love me anyway know how much I love birds. I gather their nests, their feathers, their photos, their broken shells, their songs. I have painted them on the walls of my home and have buried their little lifeless leftovers in my yard. I have been called the bird lady, a bird brain, a bird freak and a freaky bird brain (to name a few). I am fascinated by birds and sometimes feel as though I were one at one time.
They kept darting in front of me flying across the road low in my lights and very excited. It was as if they suddenly realized all the good bugs were across the street and they would just have to take a chance at being hit to eat one. They were making me gasp at how close they were coming to my car grill eating them so I slowed down even more. Then I could make out the breeds.There were all kinds, not just the finches, although I think they were the "pilot" birds and the rest were following their lead. That is when I believe they told me. 'You should only drive as fast as the birds can easily get out of the way'. It was as clear a direction as I have ever been given.
I glanced in my rear view and saw the truck I had passed coming into my view now. I looked at my speedometer and it registered 50. For the next mile or two the birds kept flitting by but none to close and I felt safe to set my cruise for the straightaway. I sighed, it was not much further to Winton where I would get gas, eat my snack and take my meds, I was ready to get off the road for a while.
As the road began to incline into a slight curve I realized where I was. I was approaching the first small bridge over the Wiccacon River. I gently pumped my brake to release my cruise, felt the car gear down and loose some of it's momentum. Calmly my whole body said to me, do not touch the brake, and I did not. As my wheels hit the edge of that different plain I felt a slight slide. Barely noticible yet evident. My mind and car seemed to ease into slow motion. We gracefully and successfully reached the other side. Then I looked up in my rearview and watched in horror as the truck took to the bridge....
The further down the stretch of highway I traveled the more confident I became with my shortness of site. For several miles I passed no one and considered the schools must have called a delay. I thought to get gas in the next little bump in the road on this desolate route and decided I had enough to travel to the next town that was large enough for two stop lights. I wanted to keep up my pace, I was making good time. 
Finally I begin to see other vehicles, one oncoming and one coming behind. The one approaching my rear seemed not to be concerned with the road conditions or the heavy patches of fog. They had on their brights and they were speeding towards me. The oncoming truck I passed, and he too was sure with his speed. The car in the rear flew around me and I decided to follow his lead and lights. Justified as easier for me to see and quite possibly allow me a few extra minutes when I stopped to gas up, no lost time, right? I had yet to experience any bad icy patches on the road, mostly slush dusted with snow. My wheels straddled these runs of mush as I hung in with my new "pilot" car. The fog rising and thinning in places gave an even greater permission.We pushed the envelope of speed as if a crisp clear day. The approaching town limit said 25 miles per hour, we took the railroad hump at 50. Why I was so calm and reserved myself to play follow the leader I do not know. It is unlike me.
My pilot car pulled further away momentarily as it passed a truck that had turned onto the highway from a side road. The fog was not as thick in this area and my pilot car took the advantage of the passing speed and clear view to soar ahead. And I watched his rear reds quickly get smaller as I approached the "slow to go" truck that had taken my pilot's place. I decided to pass the truck as well, never even having to punch the gas to get by. I estimated it's speed to be only about 40-45. I maintained my momentum and pulled back into the lead.
After a mile or so the road darkened somewhat and I noticed more patches, more snow and the birds. Birds everywhere. Like little suicide bombers they kept cutting in front of me by the dozens. I instinctively eased off the gas.
Today I listened. I listened to the world and the quiet insistence of nature and it saved me.
I do not "hear and heed" as often as I should even though I feel those nudges and get those gut tugs and think after the fact "Ah HA! that is why I thought I should do so and so or bring this and that or go the other way, yadaya..
The morning wore a blanket as throughout the night it had snowed. I peered out the window and the rural two lane road was visible enough. I had to leave so early, before light, before it warmed...any. 
I had had a rough go of it in the night as well so I was more awake than usual given the unruly early hour. My stomach still ached somewhat from it's issues and I wondered how that would suit me on this long drive. I was cautious but confident that I could make the trip timely and without incident. I had fleeting thoughts as I gathered my belongings, "be sure to wear your gloves" then briefly saw myself needing their warmth in a long wait on the side of an icy road. I put them in my pocketbook.
I did not take my medicine, not sure why, as it generally is the first thing I do when I wake. It has a tendency to make me a little foggy at times as it works its magic to ease my pain and stiff neck. Instead I brought my water and meds with me  thinking once I got down the road a ways I would take it. Maybe when I stopped for gas and I would get a snack to eat with it, no wait, let me grab a fiber bar - even better. Bundled and braced I left at 6:12.
The exterior temperature gauge read 29 degrees when I turned the key and backed out of the drive. So dark, so cold but no so treacherous, just a thin layer of snow, right? Iry's warning of black ice from the weather experienced the week prior whispered from the back seat. I shook my head, yes, I know baby, I know, as I pulled away from home. I saw a slice in my mind's eye and imagined my body react to the by relieving the pressure of my foot on the gas but knowing not to apply it to the brake. I followed the path out to the road debating high beams over low beams and decided low would allow me to see the oncoming lights sooner.