Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Hodge-Podge, Crazy Quilt Life

                A Hodge-Podge, Crazy Quilt Life
                What is life but shifting tidbits of sensory experiences tossed into a basket of scraps? After weeks of stitching together metaphorical pastel scraps, when friends from British Columbia dropped on my doorstep unexpected, I felt bombarded with a galloping array of primary colors.  

                My days didn’t change drastically, yet, the colors seemed more intense, the patterns more interesting. Kathy and Richard are long-time friends. Most of the swatches we dropped into or picked out of the basket were not exotic or unusual. 

Label one remnant “neighborhoods”.  We daydreamed ourselves into colorful casas. We drooled over derelict fixer-uppers; if only we were younger with bottomless pockets! These times I call nubby plaids.

                Not to be overlooked as unimportant, “hanging out” is a precious remnant of material. It is woven of rich threads of lounging in my living room, heads nested on pillows, feet propped, sharing stories, fears, hopes and wishes.  Stripes of satin.

                “Callecita”, flavored red, orange, and yellow with accents of blue, Richard discovered on a back street up a winding stairway in Old Town.  This tiny rooftop eatery makes the best (I promise.) bite-sized, lightly breaded, seared tuna. What drew us back for repeated visits, I must confess, is the guava pie.  It tastes like silk. What more can I say?

                Birds make up two separate shapes. Last month I met neighbors, who on a trip north of the border, found me a book of birds of Mexico, identified by both English and Spanish names. Now I can begin to identify my feathered, songster neighbors in the sky.  

                My other bird story is sad. Grackles, dark crow cousins but snottier, must eat too, I remind myself. My baby mourning doves, hatched in the hanging planter outside my back door, lived a mere three days. I heard the commotion from what I imagine to be “lunch”. Yes, officer, I heard the gun shots, but what could I do?

                Three days later, my pair of doves began to build a new nest outside my front door, on the ledge of the capital which juts from the top of a column which supports the upstairs patio. Have you any idea how many hours one can fritter (Meditation?)away watching birds build nests?  Eighteen out of every twenty sticks brought to the construction project fell to the ground. I swept them into the bin. Brown.

                Today Mama Dove is laying eggs, again in residence in the old nest outside my back door. Color them “hope”.

                My friends from BC flew home. My cousin Nancie from Sedro Woolley in Washington arrived. We four shared one overlapping day.  Laughter and stories.

                The Kentucky Derby, colored red roses, bluegrass and wide-brimmed hats, delivered full thrills, even via internet.

                The Pacman/Mayweather fight seemed just another staged show from Las Vegas, underwritten by obscene amounts of money. Yes, I am judgmental. Let’s color this scrap of fabric black and stitch it onto an edge.

                Climbing onto a bus for a trip to the Centro Historico Mercado, I stepped up wrong foot first, faltered, reached and wrenched my muscles around my new hip. This scrap has the shape of a three day lightning bolt. Dr. Richard taught me a jingle, useful for post surgery high steppers: Good leg up, bad leg down. 

                The full moon staged the best show, pulled acres of water over the sea walls, flooded the streets and rearranged the beaches according to some strange Lunar whim. Mist from the climbing, pounding surf filled the air. Have you any idea how many hours one can fritter away watching waves curl high into the air and crash onto the sand? Meditation.  Moonbeams and sea froth.

                One evening I accompanied Nancie to a dental specialist in historic Old Town for a root canal. This man had the most sophisticated, computerized equipment I’ve ever seen. I had mini panic episodes watching. We went to a restaurant nearby for dinner immediately afterwards. Nancie was hungry. My stomach was in shreds!

                Ah, good times. Emerald Bay to lounge around the hot pool. Cerritos for the coffee at Looney Beans and the fried fish at my favorite shack at the end of the street. An evening of Spanish music and Flamenco dancing at the Teatro. Every experience added fabric to my crazy quilt two week sudden social whirl; some pieces shimmery like velvet, some swatches frayed and wrinkled, like life.

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

May 7, 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment