disclaimer or something

A mummy-hand holding, (former) biker gang affiliating, hippie influenced semi crunchy granola mom's ramblings and reminisings on an off-kilter life

Monday, April 28, 2014

Dodging death

How many times did I dodge death as a child? I must wonder.....

My hippy parents (whom claim they aren't hippies, if you've met them, you are" LOL" right now) saved animals. We had foxes, crocodiles, owls, coyote, skunks, snakes, angry goats and crazy boosters, a full bred wolf.....and probably enough spiders to make the movie Arachnophobia cry. Ok....so we didn't actually have spiders as pets (hey Suzie wanna see my thirty deadly spiders in the terrarium?) But they were...ours.

I've never seen my parents kill a spider, and we get black widows like no other. My dad's been bit three times. I never even knew what a widow looked like until college and I was like oh...those...pshaw, it's the larger than a quarter wolf spiders I spotted daily in the tub that I noticed. Dusty messy widow webs? Oh those things that inhabited every corner, knick knack, or notch in the knotty pine walls? No one noticed. Not even me.

And the mice....my parents refused to even trap those, so hanta virus threatened in the attic and cupboards. Just wipe up the poo, my mom said, even poo on plates or clothing or anything.

And snakes. Aside from our pets, I personally can attest to three barely-misses of rattlesnake attacks on my personal body. Ever seen that show on that learning channel about rescuing and air-lifting victims of rattlers in So Cal? Yeah...those snakes are luckily what hadn't killed me.

Oh. And my parents collected antiques and rusty salvaged art and guess what? I'm allergic to tetanus shots. And penicillin.

And I'm here to tell you I survived, and why I hesitate taking my two curious boys to Grandma's.

Monday, April 14, 2014

popular parts

My umm...lady parts are popular this week. So I couldnt find my sole paor of pajama bottoms, a common tragedy, and I had a feeling they were in my husband's office (my dresser drawers are in there). I was in a shirt and nothing else, running around in a frantic search when I dash into his officce. He's on the phone and I say "ummyoure not on skype are you, cause I'm missing pants". Except, see, I said it kinda out loud. As in, whatever CEO he was talking to heard me. Luckily he wasn't on skype. Then today I am squatting down cleaning stuff and somehow lose my balance squatting and fall. Allarently a metal folding chair is within my falling reach. The metal leg lands right on my lady parts. I fell full-force onto the metal pole leg. I have a pitch black swollen bruise and I walk bow-legged due to the pain. Its a total freak accident only I would get into.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

broken fences broken lives

I recently travelled through El Paso, Texas, a town that reminds me of Vegas without the casinos. Its dusty, full of ghetto strip malls and broken promises. But...it is more than that. A quick look into the city's history tells me the borders of New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico have changed boundaries many times. As I looked at the brightly lit border fence from my hotel window, scaring the landscape like the Great Wall, I couldn't help but think how the citizens of Ciudad Juarez, just feet away, must feel. To look at a place I might find less than appealing as a beacon of hope, a place with less violence and poverty. Separated by a tightly guarded and ugly wall. Families separated, like the Berlin Wall, all because eugenicists wanted to eradicate the darker, feeble minded stock from the United States.

We left El Paso and entered the desolate expanse of West Texas, almost as empty as Alaska....no gas for a hundred miles. Coyotes (people, not canines) help illegal persons cross the border and often leave them to die, the elements and vast expanses taking their lives.

We gassed up in Fort Hancock, a homeless-looking man asked if we would kindly buy him something to eat. I was fascinated by the changing borders of the area, the culture (something like 75% of El Paso people speak Spanish as their primary language) and the history, that I had googled the few outposts of West Texas. I found out that Fort Hancock featured a gap in the border fence, often unmanned, and before the border patrol road block. I guess it was kind of an unwritten acceptance to allow a piece of open border and exchange. Somehow, the violence of Juarez rarely spilled the border, the open fence being kind of a peaceful spot, considering. I then found out the Mexican towns nearest Fort Hancock were far more deadly than Juarez; in one month in 2010, the area (with about 18,000 people) had 45 recorded murders. The scene looked just like No Country for Old Men, but the man didn't seem quite as scary.

The man asking for a meal really strikes me as the poster child for the entire situation. If a picture could speak a thousand words....he wears a military green trenchcoat, wrinkled and dusty. He huddles inside it, the thin, worn fabric not much against the howlin dust storm and near freezing temperatures. His pants are not a discernable color, his boots worn. I can't tell if he is hispanic or white; he looks like a photo from the Dust Bowl or from the coal mining children, full of blemishes and days old dirt. His wrinkles cut deep, his skin leathery. His accent is a mesh of Mexican and American, like I often hear in California. He stands out yet blends into the dusty worn down buildings, cracked asphalt, scraggly trees and tumbleweeds bending in the wind. This is a rough yet poetic time and place. This man is destitute, somehow victim of the changing borders, open and closed fences, policy, corruption, hope, dreams, and violence that plays a unique tune for the area. I don't know his story, but yet it still resonates with me, so much that I am wanting to paint the scene Isaw, to forever etch his story, whatever it is, in history. So here is my sketch, it is a mereetch) to say, you, whoever you are, are important. Your struggles are real and unique yet far too common. I don't know the solution, or even the story, but I remember you. 

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