Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Destination–Life : : Anne McAllister

lifes journey biggerAnne is freezing. It’s halfway through April, for goodness’ sake, and there’s still SNOW in the weather forecast.  Sometimes life and writing are a lot alike.

Last week I went to Texas.  It is the sort of destination that ought to be attempted in mid-winter, not in early April. I mean, what’s the point?  We are supposed to be getting spring flowers in the upper midwest.  Who needs Texas?

But I need periodic infusions of daughter and granddaughter and my most superlative son-in-law (my only, he reminds me. Yes, but still . . . ) so I went to Texas. And I took sandals and t-shirts and cropped jeans. I even contemplated leaving my semi-winter coat in the car at the airport to wear when I got back. But I had room in my suitcase so I tucked it in.

Thank God.

Woolen_socks_dryingI practically lived in it all week!  I brought socks, too. Wool socks. And not nearly enough of them.  The sandals stayed in their sack at the bottom of the suitcase and never saw the light of day.  The t-shirts were layered over with sweaters and jackets and fleeces (fortunately for me my Texas family has a large market share of sweatshirts and suchlike, and a liberal borrowing policy).  I piled on comforters at night, wore my wool socks to bed, and only rued that I didn’t bring a raincoat as well. 

But still – when I wasn’t complaining about the weather and noting that the weather back home was 10 degrees warmer – I had a great time.  Instead of doing warm weather things, we did other stuff. We went to the Sid Richardson Museum in Fort Worth one afternoon.  We attended a lecture at the National Archives.  We stayed home and watched Mamma Mia (for the umpteenth time) which we always do when we have “mom camp” (instituted seven years ago when granddaughter went to sports camp here and her mother and I were at loose ends – delightful loose ends). 

We improvised – as you do on life’s journey.  And on the one really nice mostly sunny mostly warm day we went to the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie.  What a treat!IMG_2584

I went, years ago, to a similar one in Shakopee, Minnesota.  I had a good time there, but I had a great time last week.  Partly this was because my granddaughter, aka GlowKid ( named from an early stint in a glo-suit to prevent jaundice in premature babies) who is now a couple of months shy of being a teenager, really got into it.

She rented a costume and became a “wood huntress” for the day.  Watching all the activity at the costume rental place – particularly a trio of teenage boys, who were like something out of Fast Times at Ridgemont High meets The Knight’s Tale, was one of the highlights of my day.  So was watching Glowkid take part in a “priming and firing the cannon” event which was both fun and instructive.

And then there was the falconry demonstration, and the glassblower, and the maze, and – wow, too many things to even remember. 

The whole day was unexpected, brilliant and fun and energizing.  It was a lot like writing when suddenly the characters grab hold of the story and run with it and all I can do is chase after them, typing as fast as I can (while occasionally grumbling about the weather). 

IMG_2541-001All in all, an unexpected delight.  Everyone needs a day or two like that every once in a while.  That’s what I remember now – even more than the weather. 

What about you? Have you had some unexpectedly terrific days recently?  Want to share them?  I’d love to live your great days vicariously.  I’ll bet others would, too.

Oh, and equally unexpectedly – to me, at least –  two of my grandsons made their first communion yesterday. 

Son said, “I thought ex-wife told you.”

And ex-wife said, “I thought he told you!” 

Fortunately eventually they both told us – and we got to be there.  Brilliant.  Holy. Absolutely wonderful.   

Who needs a road map to all the delights of life?

Anne is telling her hero and heroine that a nice ‘unexpectedly brilliant’ day from them wouldn’t come amiss right now. She hopes they are listening.  But she thinks she just heard a grumpy hero say, “If you think it might happen, it’s not unexpected then, is it?”

Fie on him!

1. wool socks: By SeppVei (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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