Saturday, August 29, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
"I'm Mr. Blue and I'm here to stay with you.
And no matter what you do, when you're lonely, I'll be lonely too."
resonated with me. Recent break-up? Teenage angst? AquaNet inhalation? I have no idea. What did I have to be blue about then? Silly, silly girl. But I was thankful for my fish and I loved him (her?). I had a special pink aquarium and rocks and a little castle for his amusement. Some greenery to make him feel lively and free.
The summer after I graduated from high school, I went with missions organization for three months to a dozen countries in Europe. It was an amazing time. I was there right after the Berlin Wall came down. I remember having a quiet moment in a place called "no man's land", a sandy strip with guard towers and barbed-wire. Only months before my visit, anyone would have been shot for sitting where I sat that summer. Bryan was back home finishing up his senior year of high school. Similar circumstances :) High school is brutal.
While I was travelling, I left my Mr. Blue fish in the care of my capable family. I left plenty of fish food, treats, distilled water (I was a very conscientious pet owner back then for those of you who know me and are shaking their heads.) and handwritten directions for his care. Bryan and my parents pledged their word to look after him. It was fish, I know. But I loved him. He was there when I was lonely, after all. Silly, silly girl.
I returned a changed gal. The transition from my mountaintop experience to the return to my regular life was going to be tough. At least that is what the grown-ups warned me. I wasn't afraid. I had Mr. Blue. And he was here to stay with me.
So after three month abroad, I walked into my room at home and there was my fancy pink aquarium. The water was so black I could not even see the castle. Or Mr. Blue. Where was he? I had abandoned Mr. Blue and my family had forsaken him. Oh the angst.
Bryan came up behind me and said, "Don't worry sis, its alive. I have no idea how but it is still swimming." And he was. Mr. Blue survived. And Bryan made it through high school, even without the barbed wire and guard tower, a desolate and dangerous place. He was resilient. Like Mr. Blue. He survived. No thanks to Mr. Blue however, since he had apparently forgotten the little fish existed.
Whenever I hear Yaz' Mr. Blue, I think of my brother. Isn't that weird? I KNOW he was NOT a Yaz fan. Think Metallica and Ozzy and dead little chicks. Mr. Blue definitely did not comfort Bryan. But he made it out of high school alive with out him. So there's that. And so did I. Since school is so much on my mind lately, I needed that little reminder. Reilly is fast approaching high school age. Blink. Before you know it. Maybe I will get her a fish?
Thursday, August 6, 2009
When Bryan and I were pre-teenagers, my dad insisted that we help out in the yard one weekend. In our rural childhood home, there were slopes covered with iceplant. Mixed with a bunch of weeds. Dad required us to get up early one Saturday morning (can I say that I was not/am not/will NEVER be a morning person?) to share in the family responsibility of caring for our home. Bryan and I were less than cooperative. We grumbled and groused. We wheedled, whined and whimpered in unison.
My poor daddy never asked us to work in the yard again. From that time on, Dad always recruited undocumented migrant workers to do the grunt work around our house (oops! there goes his chance to run for public office! ssshhh. don't tell.) These hard working men would ride their bikes to my house knowing that my Dad would feed them lunch and pay them fairly. Poor, poor daddy. I guess this way was easier than coping with the incessant complaints from his ungrateful children. The very ones he pinned his hopes for his old age on. His firstborn. And his son. We were supposed to work the soil along side him in harmony and helpfulness. Not.
Fast forward to this summer. Bob is working relentlessly without a word of complaint, making our home lovely. And he expects his wife and kids to pitch in as well. On one of the 100+ degree days, after planting for hours, I snivelled that he didn't love me like my daddy does: