Velma and Maurice

She woke up early this morning in the middle of a dream. Lucy was meowing, Little Red-Haired Girl was whining, they thought it was time to eat and were determined to get her up. She wanted to go back to sleep and finish the dream, but by this time she pretty much knew what it was trying to tell her.

The dream had a lot of red bricks and mortar and flowers, ceramic figurines, cakes and cookies and it was a house from her own childhood neighborhood; but it was different, it had evolved. It seemed to be a “business”. It had a driveway that was serpentine and it took her by a new building that was in the making and she could hear a radio playing and someone, a man, humming. She had walked down the drive because she was walking in the neighborhood and it didn’t look familiar until she saw this house and even though it didn’t look that familiar either, it had the telltale signs of being Velma’s house; flowers planted all along the borders and paths, something constructive going on, and Maurice tinkering somewhere. It was the house of one of her childhood neighbors who was up the lane from where her little cracker box house was, and on the street where people of better means lived. She liked to find her way into those homes and she did because she was the “good kid”, the “sensible kid” of the neighborhood. Parents liked her. She chose her friends by the homes she wanted to be a part of, as it seems now.

Lancaster Lane Cracker Box House

Cracker Box House

Velma was a large lady. Big boned, they called it. She had a little voice, soft and she spoke gently. She was kind of meek, always busy doing something, seemingly in the background. Always something constructive.

She was married to Maurice. Maurice had a good job with the civil service out on the military base only four or five miles away, where her mother also had a position as a clerk in the same building where Maurice worked. If her mother’s car was malfunctioning, Maurice would offer her a ride. It seemed Velma didn’t like that much, so it stopped at some point.

It was a military town so most of the inhabitants were rather poor and somewhat transient, though she remembers the neighborhood being pretty stable all through her growing years. She had the same friends until graduating from High School.

Maurice might have been an engineer. He had a prestigious position on the base and a personality that collected others to him. He laughed a lot and seemed to have a lot of answers.

Velma and Maurice had a daughter who was a year or two ahead of Ms. SpoolTeacher in school. Ms. ST’s older sister had had run ins with her so didn’t like her and neither did Ms. ST’s mother; but Ms. SpoolTeacher liked Velma and Maurice and their big beautiful house and the fact that they “did things” and made things and were constructive and all about home and family, so, somehow Ms. SpoolTeacher became friends with their daughter.

Maurice was always building on to their house or re-configuring it or helping his friends in the neighborhood do the same thing. Ms. SpoolTeacher wanted to know how to do things. She loved to sit around with these adults and hear them talk. Being friends with their daughter had her in their living room many nights when many of the neighbors were there as well and they were all talking shop. They liked to have Ms. SpoolTeacher there as well because it gave them a window into the more seedy side of life. They loved to gossip and they were always trying to get information out of her about the happening of any trouble she was aware of going on.

In the dream, before she had gotten to Velma and Maurice’s house, she had been involved with a project that was developing in what seemed like the plot of land that ran behind her immediate (childhood) neighbor’s house and her own. It was a bunch of mucky mucks and a lot of creative people planning out a venture of an open-air display of their crafts and the mucky mucks were clearly trying to gain control and diminish the profitability of the “little people”. There was a lot of vying for position among the little people for rewards and associations with the mucky mucks. Ms. SpoolTeacher has always been turned off by that and she was wanting to flee. After all, it was her idea they were developing and it was getting away from her and no one seemed to be giving her credit. At first she had been thrilled that her dream was coming true, but then someone started to take it away. That was why she was walking the neighborhood, to vent and look for someone to sound off her feelings to. She was mad that her ideas were being stolen and she wanted to flee and do her own thing or find a way to stop them and take back the control.

When she stumbled upon the bricks and mortar and flowers and new building going on, a sense of peace and contentment came over her. She passed the building with the humming and arrived at a french door opening to a kitchen. She could sense Velma nearby but was first greeted by two or three other girls who said immediately, “Oh, you are the one they talk about all the time”. When Velma finally appeared, she had a bouquet of flowers in her hands and went about putting them in a vase on the counter where there was a large collection of baked goods sitting. They offered her a piece of cake that was frosted with a thick white coconut icing. She declined and started asking questions about what was going on there. They were building a store for Velma to manage all of her constructive things. It had french doors too and Ms. SpoolTeacher went over to investigate. The first thing she saw was a large ceramic brightly colored rooster sitting on the floor of Mexican pavers.

That was when Lucy’s meowing broke her slumber and forced her to relinquish her dream state.

She loves waking up from dreams like this. Dreams that remind her that she has always known what she wants to be and has always been doing something about it. It makes her happy to recall that even as a girl, she was determined, constructive and tenacious about finding the “answers” to how she could get from here to there. Had she been born living up on that street where people of better means lived, would she have learned to be so creative? Would life had been as much fun, even with all of the challenges? The peace she felt in the dream when she stumbled upon Velma and Maurice’s conglomeration of goings on, was the peace of stumbling onto her own life; a life she has created from all of the influences from her past, among them and especially people like Velma and Maurice. There were many such people, but this dream was for them.

(Names have been changed to protect the innocent and hopefully get better search engine results, ha!)

No regrets.

A Thing Called Love

Garden Perfection

image courtesy: Better Homes and Gardens. Click picture for link

It’s not a picket fence, but it’s white and it looks like the perfect garden of her mind’s eye. Images she has deep in her psyche of the ideals set forward in her youth of what it is to be successful and happy. Especially the woman watering by hand. The slow life. The life well lived. Time to smell the roses, so to speak.

In her last post, Canning and Freezing, she posted another image:

Permaculture GardenThis one is of a small dwelling in the midst of what appears to be a permaculture type of gardening style. Ms. SpoolTeacher is trying to accomplish this; and even with a limited property, this is possible.

Little Red-Haired Girl helping

Living in a desert poses some obstacles that are trying at best. She’s trying her best to create what she calls “micro-climates”. In other words, ways of cooling the air so evaporation doesn’t exact its harsh torture any more than she has to let it. She is letting indigenous trees sprout and grow  and only removes them when it is clear they will have a negative rather than positive effect. They grow like weeds, offer plenty of leaves as they are deciduous. They don’t release themselves from the ground without a fight and that is why they are so worthwhile if they don’t overtake the strategy she has in mind. They grow without any attention at all and need no additional water. They grow straight up and in stands if you let them. A lot of her neighbors abhor them. She has grown fond of them.weed trees

But there is nothing that is as rewarding in gardening then that something you do makes someone or something else happier than they were.

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“Thanks Mom for making me a dirt pillow and a cool place to lay.” Sweet Little Old Red-Haired Girl deserves to have everything exactly the way it makes her happy. She is a senior and we want no regrets.

Happy Little Red-Haired Girl

The birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees….

birds,bees,flowers trees

And a thing called Love.

 

Seamless Sunshine

Fall Clean-up was missed. The leaves have been corralling themselves into every nook and cranny, between rocks and in all the hard to get to crevasses. The pest control expert advised against letting them remain during summer as they are where ticks especially love to house themselves during their family get togethers. And since Little Red-Haired Girl loves to lay on them…well, you get the picture.

It has been too cold to even go out to cut the wood to burn, so Ms. SpoolTeacher is hoping the ticks are still elsewhere; but, she is determined to have things ready to discourage them from visiting her again…that was a horror story.

It was a beautiful sunshiny day today. A day where two layers of clothes were enough.

A little while back, Ms. SpoolTeacher started excavating the ground along her walkways with the intention to eventually expand their widths. She piled the dirt up into a heap in the middle of the yard and imagined building a raised bed there to plant with vegetables.

For a couple of months now people have been asking why she dug all the dirt up…?

Finally, she hauled all the concrete blocks from around her various yards to use to establish the perimeters. She got them as far as rowed up the length of the diagonal walk pattern on the other side of the pile of dirt. She wanted to see if it fit her vision. It did. Then she realized there was a hump and she wanted the bed to be level, so to speak. So all the blocks had to evacuate and she had to level the dirt.

She is not big on pounding markers, establishing level lines and going through all the gyrations of a pro; she prefers to use her senses and backbreaking work.

She did eventually get out her level, and was surprised to find how accurate her senses are.

Because the levels of the yard vary, she had to devise a way to keep the ground from eroding below the bricks in certain places. Steps! Voila.

She ran out of bricks just in time for Little Red-Haired Girl to let her know it was 4pm, dinner time! “Come on already, I’ve been lounging around all day. I’m hungry!”

“After all”, she said, “Every time you dug the dirt or moved the leaves, I had to move too…this is a lot of work, Mom.”

It was a day without seam work because it was such a beautifully warm, seamlessly sunshiny day.

Every night though, she does try to “spool” knit one of these caps. It keeps her busy and another thing to sell someday…once she gets her yard in shape, the garage set up again as a variety shop, and on and on so she can finally have customers again.

It’s a work in progress. Row, row, row the boat…