Monday, September 14, 2009

Driving to Sunday School in the Chevy BelAir

My favorite quote from yesterday's first day of Sunday School. The five-year-olds were looking at their new children's bibles..."I've got two of these God books at home."

Whether you went to CCD or Hebrew School or Sunday could probably insert your name into my story. First of all, you got the new shiny shoes. I loved my new church shoes. We weren't poor, but we didn't have a lot of extra money to toss around, so my mom was always screaming at us about not going outside and scuffing them up before we pulled out of the driveway in the station wagon.

I remember exactly what my brother looked like in his. He used to walk, looking down at them, with a big smile on his face. I was just thrilled that I didn't have to wear my ugly everyday saddle shoes, built to last and to survive a nuclear explosion. I'd tried to destroy those things. I'd get up to an earth-shattering speed on my bike, careening toward the vacant lot at the dead end of our street, and at the very last second, I'd slam the toes of those saddle shoes down on the pavement and skid to a stop. Yes, they were scratched-up a bit, but my mom would just smile with her wry, I'm-on-to-you face and get out the polish. I think that polish she soaped them up with had liquid concrete in it, because they always seemed a little heavier each time.

So back to the driveway... You'd think all would be well in the Haywood station wagon. New's Sunday...supposed to be a day of rest and reflection. My dad will tell you there was nothing restful about the Chevrolet BelAir on a Sunday morning. That was when all the fights broke out. It usually started with our older brother not wanting to go...or maybe someone had gotten grass stain on their good pants trying to act out their best NFL plays in anticipation of the afternoon television marathon. Then an all-out battle would break out in the back seat. No seat belts in the Chevy, so when my dad took a corner, there was the inevitable sliding into your brother. And my older brother was king of the painful finger flick. He could thump you a terrible one in the arm with virtually no detection from the front seat. Then there was always a good amount of sharp kicking. We usually arrived at church with my dad careening around the corner, one hand barely on the steering wheel and the other trying to take a wild swipe at anything in the back seat. One big plus to not having seat belts was you could slide swiftly on the vinyl and out of his reach. Thinking back, I'm surprised my mom didn't get out at the first stoplight and jog off into the sunset. Whenever I see a mom with a tight smile on her face on Sunday morning, I know exactly what went on in their car.

I wore my black patent leather shoes yesterday, but my Honda CRV is not the same. I miss that Chevy BelAir. Thinking back, if I would have had any sense, I would have positioned my saddle shoes in the driveway behind the back tires. Those saddle shoes are probably in some landfill near Auburn, Washington. I can see them sitting right on the top, virtually unscathed and still shining with my mom's seventy-two coats of cement polish.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Tweet of Anxiety

I am fighting off Internet-based anxiety this morning. Do I know how to Twitter? Can I...should I figure out how to Tweet?? There's this really frightening feeling trying to surface in my brain: if I add one more thing to my technology challenged list, will my life turn into a retro Twilight Zone episode? Will I wake up one morning and find that the line between cyberspace and reality has been permanently blurred??

Running always reduces my self-imposed anxiety, so I go out for a nice long jog. As I'm going along, I picture this weird Twilight Zone scenario. If I do succumb to one more Internet-frenzied time suck, will I only be able to talk in web speak? Instead of deep conversations with my cousin, I'll only be able to say, "LOL, Trish. OMG . Let's TWEET-UP. TTYL." And on my runs, perfect strangers will start "following" me, waving a file folder, trying to get me to look at their questionable pictures. Then more people will join in the chase, trying to give me crucial information about how to enhance/alter one of my body parts that I may or may not have.

Someone honks their car horn at me and zaps me back to real time. An actual person! Yay! Someone I know! A friend who is giving me a real-life wave!

There's a chance for me, yet. All is not lost. I'm going to go home and write TWO snail mail letters...and two chapters for a book that will be on real paper with a nice, sturdy hardcover and book jacket...with real pages that you can turn and smell the newness or the unmistakable library shelf scent...

...Uh oh....what was that? You know TweetDeck makes a very appealing and realistic sound...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Brother is a Facebook Addict

Okay...this is totally cheating...I did not write the following blog....but I did keep it in the family. My brother wrote it. He's a year younger than me, so we spent a lot of time together as kids. You have to read it, because it shows, in a few short paragraphs, why my childhood was never boring and always an adventure...
Click HERE

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Harmony Book Reviews

Today I am guest blogging over at Harmony Book Reviews. Click here to find out how she's giving away a free copy of ALSO KNOWN AS HARPER...