Some memories haunt you all your life. You never know when they will be revisited, but when they are, your reaction changes over time they say. But this one, well, I still feel like a helpless little boy sometimes, like when the bully from down the street stole my prize possession. And although I was about five or six at the time, it was may fault. I was careless.
I've always loved model cars. When I was a kid, I had tons of them. They were built to scale and every detail was molded of plastic to look exactly like the real thing. It was the 1950s and cars still had style. Designs changed each year and seemed more beautiful than the year before. I'd save up or earn the two dollars they cost at SS Kresge, the five and dime store in Detroit that preceded K-Mart. It would take forever to make up my mind which little car I wanted to "drive" home.
One of my favorites was of the 1955 Ford thunderbird. The '55 was the first T-Bird produced and in my humble opinion, is still a head turner today. Anyway, I truly cannot remember how the little cream colored model came into my possession, but I suspect it was a birthday gift from my grandmother. It was one a the few "boy" sort of things I showed interest in, so I am sure she wanted to support it.
In '55 I would have been four or so, it doesn't surprise me that I wasn't always conscious of the evils of the world. I remember I was playing on the sideway in front of our house on Centralia in Redford. It began to rain and my mother called for me to come inside. So I "parked" my little car by the curb and did as told.
The rain was pretty light, but at four if your mom wants you inside, you have to stay inside. I wanted to go retrieve my toy, so I stood at the glass door and watched for the rain to subside. Suddenly I saw a couple of the bigger boys from down the street walking by. One of the spied the car and picked it up. I ran out into the rain, shouting, "That's mine!!" They turned and laughed and just continued walking. I was frozen in the now pouring rain. My mother appeared behind me and dragged my back into the house.
To this day, I can still see the car sitting there at the curb. I still feel all the anger a four-year-old could have felt. Regret, fear, sadness. They often wash over me even today, just not as intense I suppose.
I was in an antique store yesterday and saw the model pictured above. I decided I had to have it. It was reasonably priced, too. The shop is in the process of liquidating. I had no cash on me, so I asked the shop owner if he took credit cards. For some reason I found myself telling him the story of that day in the rain so long ago. He listened with deep interest. When I finished, I said I was ready to pay. He smiled, and over my protests, told me to take the little car. He wanted me to have it. Above my protests, he put it into a bag and handed it to me. My heart swelled. Sixty-three years later, a bit of solace came.
It is not an "original" produced in '55, but close enough. I love it all the same and now, when I look at it, I can remember that rainy day and forgive myself for being careless....but not sure I can forgive that jerk who took it. Some righteous outrage is just something you kept tucked away to remind you to be careful, mindful that world is not always that kind. And that what goes round, comes round like the wheels on little model cars.
I might as well tell you. I hope you won't be too disturbed. I'm going to Hawaii. Yes, it's been in the works for sometime. It was a very special gift for my birthday. And it wasn't even a milestone birthday or anything like that. It was a "for all you do" and "because you're a good friend" sort of thing. If you know me, you know who, but I don't usually reveal my sources, so remember that when I talk about you!
Anyway, Monday I'm island-bound. Aloha and all that stuff. The scent of plumeria, gardenias, volcanoes and beaches. I am visiting the Big Island, so there is adventure in store!
I actually am looking forward to it in spite of my usual anticipatory angst and worry. LOL. I don't know why, but I always get a bit anxious just before a trip. But you know what, I'm gonna start calling it what it probably really is: excitement! Yay me!
Note: I intend to keep up the blogging. I'm going for a consistency award or something like it. I'm told the internet is quite slow in the islands, (like most things, I think), so we'll see how that goes. In the meantime, anticipation in making me wait. Aloha!
Anticipation: not just for ketchup anymore!!
I'll bet you are wondering why I almost missed tonight and that would be natural.
Owing you an explanation, here goes:
I was minding my own business. I did a little of this and some of that. I had a coffee and toast with an out of town guest who used my guest room while attending some business activities in town. We had dinner and a lovely visit last evening and this morning we started the day with lively chat over coffee and toast. Usually my morning companions are Ching and MIg, and quite frankly, I never know for sure what they are thinking other than "walk", "dinner", "sleep" and "pet me." So needless to say, it was a refreshing change.
After my friend left, I did indeed walk the dogs before getting ready to go to a doctor appointment. All is good. I had an eczema outbreak on my hands, so I needed some advice plus I had some other minor issues to chat with about. My doctor, I love her. She is bright, witty and takes her time with all her patients. So when she's "running behind", that is okay, because I know I will get more than my allotted five minute drive by exam.
After that, I went to lunch with another dear old friend who is thinking about selling her home and moving into some sort of senior living place. I'm her power of attorney person and executor of her Will. That in itself is quite a responsibility, even if so far I haven't had to do much. She is alert and still pretty self-sufficient. So we talked about it and she is going to look around. Those places can be pricey and of course you wanna make the right decision.
After that, I came home. Having had a Marie Callendar special burger with carnitas and jalopeno lunch special followed by blueberry cream pie (it was included), I really needed a nap. So I napped.
That was followed by some reading, watering outside and watching Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert from last night.
So, yes, you might wonder why I'm telling you all this. I know it sounds so very exciting and you can see why I would get lost in all the activity and excitement. And that's just it! It's because of that I almost missed writing my blog today. And I have been on a roll...consistent even....so I sat down to write it, and this is what came out. Almost missed, but here it is. My blog!
Fires still rage nearby. Smoke is moving in overhead. I feel trepidation. It could happen here. It's about 1pm and outside it is growing dark. It feels a bit like doom is coming.
The likelihood of the fire reaching my neighborhood is allegedly slim. I am expected an out of town guest for the night. I resisted the impulse to call her and say don't come. But no doubt she is already here fulfilling some obligations and commitments. I flash on the possibility we could be evacuating together.
And then I shake it off. Go on with your day. Write a blog or two. Take a shower and get ready for my friend's arrival. Then I think I should probably fill the car with gas. Just in case.
I can't imagine those in imminent danger, what they are feelings right now as they rush to gather treasured items, pets, children and more...if they are given the chance. But then I can imagine...and it is downright scary. And here I sit. Thank goodness for those who are fighting the good fight on all of our behalves.
Where I live here is So Cal the skies are full of smoke from a not too distant fire. And we are not alone. The hills are burning. And along with it, homes, buildings, vehicles, animals wild and domestic, and, yes, people; people who couldn't escape in time, people fighting the flames and people who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
From one end of the state to the other, and all across the western United States, fires are wiping out that which sustains us. The forest, the flora and the fauna, all disappearing into an atomic shaped cloud.
There is no rhyme or reason to this. Some try to explain it as God's wrath from the sins of humankind. Others see it as retribution for policies that block uncontrolled growth and the permanent loss of virgin wilderness. Is that what we should have done? Sacrificed the virgin?
I don't think there is any merit in affixing blame to any one source. This is the culmination of years of bickering and the continued emergence of polarization. We don't hear each other any more. We don't seem to be able to work together to find the way forward...that is a way forward to save our planet and save ourselves. It seems we are just gonna burn baby burn.
Since its arrival in early July with temps hitting 118 degrees and above, daytime high temps have not dipped much below 90. It would appear, I fear, this is the new norm.
I am really feeling a bit helpless, and some despair over this and so many things that are going on in our homeland these days. Not surprising I suppose. But truly, I do believe that this too shall pass. There is always the peak of the mountain we climb, but sometimes it leads to tranquil plateau, sometimes another mountain or other times, to a downhill course. What I hope we come to remember is that we are all in this together. One human family. So why is it, it is so hard for us all to just get along?
End of rant. Thanks for reading.