Friday, January 28, 2011

A Model City

Last weekend my husband, daughter and I visited the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane, WA. We saw four temporary exhibits:

Women's Votes, Women's Voices
This large exhibit traces how Washington women won the right to vote through the life of our country. Then asked the question, "Should the voting age in Washington be dropped to age 17." Children are encouraged to write their ideas on postcards. Some of the answers posted were thoughtful and provocative, others were funny. The best? "The voting age should be lowered because people come of age at 17 in the wizarding world." Harry Potter readers chuckled.

Timothy c. Ely: Line of Sight
This artist creates extraordinary handmade books that have elements of both science and art. Completely fascinating.

Dress Code
My favorite of the exhibits, this gave examples of clothing women in the Spokane area wore over the last 250 years.

American Indian Collection
My favorite parts of this exhibit were the many examples of native American bead work.
The Bridge at Spokane Falls
We also took some time in the permanent exhibit about Spokane's regional history where I captured this image of Spokane Falls. It's from a scale model of Spokane ... what it looked like before the Great Spokane Fire that destroyed most of the downtown are in 1889.

It's a bit of a thrill to walk over the modern bridge that spans that same canyon, especially when the water flow is high due to the spring runoff from the surrounding mountains.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Walking in the Dark

I forgot how much I love walking in the dark and the cold-but-not-too-cold.

Street lamps don't light everything, so there is sport in avoiding sidewalk cracks and patches of thick ice. I love the crunch of gravel under my feet. I feel uneasy pebbles beneath my soles. I can hear them crack in my wake, even though I walk with earbuds, listening to podcasts of The News from Lake Wobegone and The Writer's Almanac.

I don't so much mind the dogs who yelp at me from their side of the fence. I just bark back, and enjoy being a tenor voice in a chorus once again. It's been too long since the last time I sang that tune.

I delight in being the lone pedestrian. In my neighborhood, there's little chance of getting jumped. No pickpockets, thieves or gangs are around. No stray teenagers loiter in crisp 39° weather.

I like how my ears turn cold and red while the top of my head is steamy, body heat rising into my black cap. I like how my own exertion fuels my body temperature. I revel in scooting from shadow to shadow, a shadow myself in suede shoes and dark jeans. I like swallowing frigid air while I gradually warm up in an insulated hoodie and Isotoner gloves. I abandoned my winter scarf and wool coat when the Chinooks and rainstorms ran through the Valley.

What annoys me are those cars, their headlights too stark, steering home from work on wet streets, the glow of a cell phone plastered to the driver's ear. I relinquish my right-of-way, hurrying them through our mutual intersections with an impatient stance and a wave of my hand.

I like the dark. I really like the dark. I like the frosty air in my lungs. I like stomping out my inner churnings where few bother to see or hear me. I like watching the vapors rise in front of my eyes as I curse my frustrations to the deaf heavens.

And when the first mile has passed and the rhythm of my gate has soothed my furrows, I like slowing my pace at the curb and watching my neighbors through uncurtained windows, greeting one another, sharing a meal, nestling before blue-screened TVs.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

At the Side of the Road

I learned this on Sesame Street:
keep Christmas with you 
all through the year

Kicked to the Curb

Friday, January 14, 2011

Udderly Charming

My daughter Jodie and I had some girl time today. We went to our favorite sandwich shop for a meatball sandwich on a toasted sourdough roll. Then we stopped at our favorite re-sale store. My Favorite Things is sort of an upscale thrift / consignment shop. In one jewelry case, we found this gem of a brooch:
Pearl teats!
This artist has quite the quirky sense of humor!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sunday Secrets ... end of 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

I didn't manage to post any secrets for the last three weeks! This is a catch-up post. Here are my favorites, in no particular order.
I love this. Thirteen years ago,
my mom died between Christmas and New Year's Day.
The following year I gave her purple coat
to "Coats for Kids."
Wish I'd thought of doing this.

 After my parents died, I gave myself the same gift.
I have the same reaction.

 My adopted grandmother died this year.
I love you, Catherine!

I still send Christmas cards to some of my former beaus.
I've been happily married nearly 20 years.
I truly hope they are happy in their relationships, too.
(A couple of their wives ARE jealous ... 
I don't get it ... they won!)

On back: This pen is from the psych ward as well.
I hope this patient is healthy enough to know
to take the meds again should the need arise.
The help helps!

On back: happy new year
This was the first Christmas in a long time
that I didn't cry over those that won't forgive me.
I'm living the charmed life I dreamed.
I hope they are, too.

This secret brought a tear to my eye.

And this card made me laugh out loud.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's the New Year

And we still have inches and inches of
THIS pretty stuff around!

Yeah. We're quite cold and flaky in Idaho!

[ photo actually taken in February 2009 ]