Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


Leave a comment

Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: oil change

AA4A1C04-4559-4830-A7A3-A0268C522401

My car in a place I’d rather be than sitting waiting for an oil change 

waiting, oil change task;

quick time promise dashed to bits

time unproductive

 

by Angie Quantrell

 

I ALWAYS have something on hand to do if I have extra wait time. Except for today. When, through a fluke of the nature of the beast (cars and things that can go wrong), I ended up with over an hour of wait time. This business requires customers to stay inside car. Keys are placed in a safety box. No radio. No book on CD. No steno pad. No newspaper or magazine.

What? How can that be true? Alas, I was sure it was a 20 minute stop and I’d be back home writing away.

After one hour 10 minutes, I was still waiting for a replacement plug. My honey came and got me and dropped me off for a quick lunch. I wrote tiny notes on my pocket-sized pad of paper as I (again) waited for food. I took off with his truck to get home while he waited for the car. Probably 2.5 hours? That was one LONG oil change. If they rate efficiency, my visit tanked their numbers.

But rest assured, they say I am good to go. No leaking oil, no stripped plug, no engine burning up. At least for now.

How about you? What do you do with unexpected wait time? I’d love to read your comments. Bonus points for writing a response in haiku!

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Ready for Church in the 70’s

076

What a masterpiece for mom-all 4 kids nicely dressed and AT the car doors, ready for church!

So many things run through my mind when I look at this photo.

The station wagon, the magical vehicle of weekend adventures with the family and the collie, Jody. Wish she was in this picture! A very cool fact about this wagon was the inclusion of fold down facing-each-other seats in the way back. We used to fight over who got to ride there, whether we were headed to church or not.

The outfits. Mom loved to dress my sister and me in the same outfits. Which worked most of the time. But according to mom, I loved the ruffles and frillies, despite the fact that I was chunky and the extra layers did not make me look slimmer. My sister loved the fitted and slim styles but with her slender build she could pull off all of my ruffles and more. The boys, well, suit and tie for the oldest boy, while poor baby boy sported a bib and belly button baring top. Mini Mr. Green jeans.

Notice my straight hair. I don’t know how that happened, but I have very fine curly hair. Does hair change texture as we age? Frizz is my usual style, so long flat locks were an anomaly. Some pictures, which will remain hidden, at least until they are rediscovered in storage, portray my head full of rollers. Lovely for curls, horrid for sleeping.

Desert. Barren. Dry. Unpopulated. As an adult, I’d love to travel back in time and see how undeveloped and sparse the locations we lived actually were. I don’t remember being far from neighbors when we lived here on Hamel Road. With friends just down the dirt road, this was a homey place to live. I know we rode the school bus every day, but I don’t have many memories of even standing in line for the bus. Later years, yes, there are all sorts of images from hours spent on buses, not all of them nice.

The jeep. Dad’s love. This vehicle was another magical transport, complete with a winch. Up hill, down hill, over gullies, 4-wheeling. Maybe that’s where my daughter gets it from, her love of wheeling. It certainly passed me, as I’d rather be on a horse. But during those early days, we went all over the state to find roads (or not roads) to use the winch to pull us up or help someone else up. Ah, the good old days.

How about you? What picture takes you back in time? Were the days simpler then? I’d love to hear!

 


Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Colors of Desert Sun

081

The opposite of sun-bleached, we were sun-drenched.

Long shadows, blinded eyes, rich dense colors.

Yes, this was us in the early 1970’s. I was most likely in 2nd grade, dressed for Arizona heat. My brother was in kindergarten, already pursuing his unique personality and sense of humor. Little sister must have been preschool-age, but back then going to preschool was not a thing families did.

Yes. That was how our yard was landscaped. Gravel, dust, scrappy weeds. The interesting parts were the critters and wildlife we discovered as we played and explored the desert environments. In this location alone, I remember collecting gallons of tadpoles after desert storms, and hunting horned toads, tarantulas, scorpions, snakes, spiders, jack rabbits, and those scary spider wasps. We also rescued a tortoise from the middle of the road and let him burrow around in the back yard. Thaddeus Humperdinck. That was his name. No idea why.

Yes. Windows open. The weather must not have been too drastically hot, and judging from the distant clouds, we might have recently enjoyed rain. We had a swamp cooler on top of the trailer and I remember lying on the floor beneath it during the hottest part of summer days with my coloring book and crayons, cooling off in the damp wind it created. But in this photo, the time of day was when the desert sun was kissing the horizon, ready to give us well-deserved shade and respite.

Yes. This was a very cool station wagon. Not only a wagon, but a magic vehicle capable of transporting us on weekend family treks to historical, dusty, engaging, scary, crowded, isolated, or deserted Arizona hot spots. Haha, “hot” spots. Soda pop bottles, white bread, bologna, and we were ready to roll. Up hill, down hill, across stretching southwest landscapes, stopping for rare shade trees and dusty gullies, drips of streams and gorges filled with flash floods. Life was an adventure. Include: dogs, kids, play pen, stroller, and avid interest.

Yes. A home on wheels. And we used those wheels to move the trailer several times over our life within the metal, possibly uninsulated, walls. We survived desert thunderstorms, lighting shows, freezing temperatures, snow storms, and heat hot enough to cook (insert your favorite food). Home it was. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, dining room-kitchen, and utility room. Kids lived on the right end, parents on the left. We six (plus critters) crammed a magnificent amount of life into that gorgeous tenement on wheels.

I loved living in the desert, back when heat didn’t bother me and I spent all my days outside, digging in the dirt, catching insects and reptiles, chasing kids in the ‘neighborhood,’ and making up daring adventure stories while riding horseback with my similarly minded friends. The nostalgia of childhood paints beautiful masterpieces in my mind, blotting the difficult times (were there any?) and adding exquisite details to enhance my thankfulness to God for a good, excellent, childhood.

What about you? Which photo takes you back to your childhood?


Leave a comment

Talk to Me Tuesday: Little Voices

100B7C4F-546B-4A34-B64C-F5623642AD77

“Sing the sitting song,” said 3-year-old Gage.

“What?”

“The sitting song!”

I was stumped. I had no idea, not even a glimmer of a clue.

This boy, along with his other 4 cousins/siblings, have been my captive (literally) audience over the years as they ride in the Nana Bus (my white 4-door Mazda 3) They all know the song about riding in the Nana Bus. And they have all been victim to my silly songs and antics during forced participation car trips around the city.

But the sitting song? When had I ever sang a song about sitting? We tried several, but no, not it.

“Sitting on my lap, sitting on me,” he finally said in frustration.

OHHH. “Willaby Wallaby Woo?”

“YES!”

So we sang:

Willaby wallaby woo, an elephant sat on you!

Willaby wallaby wee, an elephant sat on me!

Willaby wallaby wAGE, an elephant sat on GAGE,

Willaby wallaby wANA, an elephant sat on NANA.

 

Continually, we added cousins, siblings, parents. This song can go on forever. Like the song that never ends.

When I was finally able to quit singing the sitting song, he continued to talk. Nonstop. This chatter about a wide variety of topics, including many repeats, went on for at least an hour. I am not kidding. It started at home during play, kept going during our drive, and did not stop even when we finally met mommy for the hand-off.

I was dying and mommy was laughing because he does this up to bedtime and she has a hard time getting him to STOP talking. Just like his mommy. Wait. Just like his Papa, over filled with words and must get them out. ALL of them.

Here’s wishing you many good times singing sitting songs and chatting with the littles in your life.


Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: The Suitcase

8E7695A2-75AD-4C22-BC9A-13FE2FCC093A

I know we had this exact set of luggage.

Fingerhut, the mail order catalog, lured us into purchasing the complete set. Travel was at the top of my list, and we needed luggage. My family enjoyed many happy vacations and travel adventures using these beauties.

But this set was not my first foray into luggage acquisition. Years earlier, for graduation, I had requested luggage. You can tell something about a person by the choices she makes. Travel and adventure is high on my list, as evidenced by repeated attempts to procure baggage (of the traveling sort). Though I’ve got suitcases full of the other baggage, for free.

The original set of luggage, oh my. Ugly as dog poo. Make that baby poo, because it was the same awful orange-yellow-mustardy color. Naugahyde and built to last. Only it didn’t last as long as our many years of trips and is now lost in dump land. Or perhaps it is making the rounds through different thrift stores, living in the garages of other bright-eyed wanderlust humans.

What gifts or purchases have you made in the past that reflect who you are?

 


Leave a comment

Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: Drink

9585ADCC-3E9B-4F4D-BC67-200684B6C441

burbling, calling drips,

water-tongue speaks peace, quiet

drink serenity

 

drink by Angie Quantrell

 

A dear friend (college buddy and fellow Jello Molder) recently shared her lovely home and serene garden with several of our solidly middle-aged Jigglers. I could sit for hours beside this potted fountain, just resting. Listening. Dreaming.

Or wondering. Who lives beneath the leaves? Besides the dog drinking with noisy laps, who else visits for refreshment? Birds, squirrels, cats, frogs? Do bees bumble along the edges and butterflies dance above the leaves? Do raccoons dare to stop for a wash of dinner? Maybe spiders consider nearby locations to capture insects who venture in for damp moisture. I could imagine larger wildlife guests if the high fence disappeared. Do children press against the fence, hoping to spy the source of splashing? Are passing adults desperately wishing to sit and ease their minds beside the talking water?

A drink of serenity goes far to refresh a heart heavy with life.

 


Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Rust

IMG_1392

Rust certainly equals a throwback in time. Metal, rain, wind, snow, sun, exposure. All combine to wreck havoc on sentimental objects, mellowing newness and transforming it into works of art.

Paint disappears, patina wears thin, and intrigue grows. Who clasped this lock here, tossing away the key, for an eternity of unbroken love? Who was in love? Was the effort in memory of an absent love or did both in love grasp and click the lock to make a commitment?

How many throwback Thursdays have passed since each was locked? How many days, weeks, months, years of weather and life have drifted by like the waves on the shore and gulls on the breeze? How many throwbacks before rust came to visit?

Rust calls me. Not pristine, though new is surely beautiful. But wear and tear, peeling paint, bleed lines of red. Time lends character. But is time kind to the hands who attached the locks as signs to the world, shouting, “I love you!”? Is there still love?

Hope springs eternal. As rust makes for interest, time grows and deepens love. If we but let it. And work for it.

Hope for love.


Leave a comment

Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: Shaggy

E406E5A5-8458-4E8A-8410-65918D8407F4

shaggy head, bearded

swaying, stretching for the sky

little men lined up

 

shaggy by Angie Quantrell

 

It’s Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge day! How about sharing a haiku about something you see in nature?


Leave a comment

40 Years of Labor Days

2C5627EC-0272-4274-9EBA-B2619F09781E

A 40 year friendship! You can see Crystal Lake but not Mt. Rainier, which is glowing in the background. Selfies are not my strong suit…

We first met 40 years ago today, Labor Day, at the Wapato Harvest Festival parade.

Newly arrived from Arizona, I didn’t know many people. He had lived in Wapato for nearly all his life. We came face to face in front of the pastor’s house on the “Ave” where church members and assorted tag-a-longs gathered to watch the parade before heading to the city park for rides, games, and food.

Tall, thin, curly-haired; my impression was of a ‘cool’ guy who couldn’t be bothered to chat with a short, sun-kissed non-native. By his report, he was cool but thought I was the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen.

We made slow progress at first. His mom suggested he take me to the homecoming dance. “Nope.” So I went with my cousin from Seattle who was immediately the hottie everybody wanted.

Come spring, our relationship was growing in earnest and we became a couple. At least for a few months. Then I took a year off during our junior year. But like bees to honey, we were back together for senior year.

Off I went to Western Washington University, with the claim that, “If we can survive 4 years apart for college, we can survive anything.” My guy burned the road up between Wapato and Bellingham (4 1/2 hour drive one way), coming to see me every other weekend. Sometimes I traveled back home but then he had to share me with everyone. Back before cell phones and computers (I KNOW! Gasp!) we had a code phone call ring. To avoid the charges of our dorm phone, he would call, let it ring twice, then hang up. That was our good-night check-in. We did talk on the phone, but not much. We spent much of our time writing letters back and forth. Boxes of notes, cards, and creative tomes of love…if I had spent that much time studying…

In June of 1985, we became Mr. and Mrs. This was just a new beginning to our life of adventure, starting right off by driving to So Cal and Disneyland (giving our parents a heart-attack). Our honeymoon was the first of many on-the-road journeys Mr. and Mrs. enjoyed and plan to enjoy.

Two babies, five grandchildren, furry pets, revolving jobs, and numerous trips, houses, and escapades, we are still best friends and more in love each day. Sure there have been struggles and explosive moments, but we’ve stayed committed to each other. It’s wonderful to have a best friend and partner standing beside you on the journey, one who knows all your faults and fears and how you look in the morning (or after childbirth or surgery or the stomach flu) and who still loves you and takes you on dates and hiking in the mountains and on motorcycle rides and finishes your sentences or phrases cloned from favorite movies.

40 years of labor (of a different sort) and here we are today. Best friends, lovers, partners in crime. God knew what He was doing when He hooked us up. And we’ve kept Him busy taking care of us ever since.

To my best friend.

06C99359-D69A-4366-BA0B-1EAF978A5D27


Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Mobile Home in the Desert

scan0030

Circa 1970, November

Meet my Arizona, mobile-home dwelling, sun-squinting family. No one wants to look at the photographer (my grandparents on my dad’s side who had come for a visit).

My daddy is the tallest in the back (of course), mommy is holding baby James, Tracy Jo is holding something over her eyes, Mark David is totally looking away AND covering his face, and I’m standing in the middle with my gorgeous poncho, making an avoiding-the-glare grimace. Family photos at their finest!

I’m 7 or just turned 8 (my birthday is in November), second grade. The beast of our mobile home towers over us, the desert landscape (dirt and weeds) lends atmosphere, and the white station wagon waits as our trusty steed. This 3 bedroom, 2 bath deluxe model was truly mobile. In this picture, we are living on Hamel Road. But we moved to Presidential Estates further from town and on that property we moved one more time. Then we loaded up again and moved north to the White Mountains. Four total moves and she still held together! Alas, when we finally moved back to Washington state in 1978, the beast stayed south.

I loved living on Hamel Road! Two of my best friends lived on my street. I use the term ‘street’ loosely. Dusty dirt road. We rode our horses all over that area, creating dramas, rescuing invisible persons-in-distress, escaping from the bad guys, setting up picnic lunches, and camping out in the horse pasture.

This Throwback Thursday is sponsored by “Way Back When.”

What “Way Back When” memories do you have? Anyone else wear plaid or ponchos? Or both? (Yes, I once had a warm winter cape that was both plaid and poncho!)