Lots of good stuff in the blogs this week, as usual…check out Alec’s take on crappy Superbowl halftime performances, Ken’s winter driving tips for the laws-of-physics challenged (see how I used hyphenation there to group those modifying words?) and Laura’s take on smart snacking. (Hint: Cheetos are not your best option.) Remember, you can always read and comment on each others’ blog posts…all the links are on the home page here to the right (if you’re viewing on a computer).
This week in Baileyville, we’ve been having a lot of discussions about a place we call the Stone House. I’m capitalizing it here because it may as well be a proper noun in this case…you’ll see why in a moment.
The Stone House (*ahem* note: STONE, not STONED) is a mythical construct that I came up with a couple of years ago to try to cheer my husband up. (I should mention here that the past few years, we’ve both endured more than our share of hardships related to family and work matters. That carefully sanitized phrase reminds me of another sentence by author Harry Harrison that I’ll quote here: “I dropped the bomb and it went off.”)
Now, all of you are old enough to have seen real troubles, which means you’re all old enough to understand that when things get really bad, people cling to those sanitized phrases so they can avoid specifics.
My point here, people, is that things haven’t been good.
Anyway, when Roger and I were really low one evening, I started coming up with details about an imaginary, outrageous dream home to try to make him laugh. But since Rog is just as much a weirdo as I am, he took the concept and ran with it.
To give you an idea of what kind of home the Stone House is now (after two years of us “working” on the place), the house now boasts a wraparound porch (built out of large river stones, as is the whole shebang…well, it IS the Stone House). The house will have a kitchen equipped with a built-in soft ice cream machine, a movie-theater style popcorn popper, about five large marble-topped islands (if you ever saw my husband cook, you’d know why), two immense refrigerators with automatic icemakers, and dual convection ovens. The house itself will feature a special insulated music room that’s lined with guitars and amps (for Rog) and a cat-proof indoor/outdoor aviary for our pet birds (for me, Cricket and Piper). Our contractor is also going to build in shelving along the tops of the walls for the cats in all the rest of the house…you know, like the pic below.
The house is of course located on about ten sub-irrigated acres, which includes an impeccably, expensively-fenced horse pasture for my horses and goats, a garden, a state-of-the-art chicken coop, a duck/koi pond, a workshop, and a garden and adjacent greenhouse where I can grow herbs for my master chef and all the gerberas and citrus I want. Oh, and we’d also have to have a pickup, a small tractor, and a horse trailer. Naturally, we’d also make sure a nice retired vet lived just down the road.
Plus, the Stone House comes with an actual staff! Yes, employees (which will include a classically-trained chef who will help Rog in the kitchen and cook on demand whenever we don’t feel like it, a cat wrangler, a housekeeper, a gardener, and quite possibly a couple of personal assistants whose main duty will be helping me find things that I’ve misplaced).
Last Sunday morning, I looked out our bedroom window in our ugly-tiny-kitchen-bad-flooring split level here in Yakima. As I looked at out at the gray day, I saw it was snowing…AGAIN. I flopped back down and pulled the covers back over my head. “You awake?” Rog asked.
“It’s snowing,” I said irritably, by way of reply.
There was a silence.
“We want breakfast!” Rog suddenly hollered, loudly enough to make me jump (and loudly enough to scare off two of the three cats lounging atop our bed).
“What, are you calling for the Stone House staff?” I asked, grinning.
“Where the #@!& are those guys, anyway?” Rog asked petulantly…which completely cracked us both up.
We’ve done a lot of talking this week about “little victories.” Don’t underestimate the power of dreaming. Flights of fancy have the power to take us outside ourselves, if only for just a few moments.
It’s easy to start thinking of daydreaming as a weak-minded and unproductive thing to do. But our imaginations are extremely powerful, and unfailingly provide us with a kind of irreplaceable, sturdy magic. I see that magic in class whenever you guys really get cracking and start bouncing ideas and jokes off of each other…or whenever someone’s eyes open wide when they hit on just the right idea for their next story.
Yep, I think sturdy’s a good word to use there. Sturdy like a stone house.
See you next week.